More from the UWA as we hop back to 1999 to see how British wrestling was trying to get back into the mainstream.
We’re up to episode 8 of the UWA’s short-lived TV show, and we open with the Death Squad’s belt unveiling from last week, before brief clips of promos from Doug Williams, Kerry Cabrero and Stevie Knight take us into the show open.
UWA Tag Team Championship: The Bad Boys (Blondie Barratt & The Whip) vs. The Death Squad (Duke Lynch & Mark Myers) (c)
Well, the Tiny Girls have a reason to exist now – they carry around the Death Squad’s home-made tag titles. Their opponents today are Blondie Barratt and the Whip (a man who looks like he’d easily get work as a fake Road Warrior Animal)… and my word, this screams “80s British wrestling”, except this was filmed in 1999.
Barratt and Lynch start off, and I’m guessing that Barratt’s meant to be like a Tracy Smothers character, since his singlet is now that of the Confederate flag? Lynch and Barratt trade shoulder blocks before Blondie tags out to the Whip, whose double-team clothesline on Lynch sees him take an awful bump, before he pops up and bumps the Bad Boys’ heads together.
Can nobody in this group bump properly for a clothesline?! Whip falls into the corner before he’s given a punch, before Myers throws Barratt back into the ring. Some double team work from the Death Squad take down the Bad Boys, before Myers gets a slam and an elbow drop, but doesn’t go for a count.
Myers dives off the middle rope with a clothesline, before Whip ducks another one, which sparks a comeback. The Tiny Girls try to distract Barratt as Whip works over Myers, with a side slam taking down one of the champions. Duke Lynch comes back into the ring and hurls the Whip to the outside, with the latter staggering through the ropes from an Irish whip attempt.
On the outside, Lynch headbutts Whip, before Barratt kicks away at Lynch in the ring. Barratt works over Lynch in the corner with a lariat, before tagging Whip back in, and then suplexes Lynch across the ring. A double axehandle off the middle rope from Whip is followed up with a tag, as Myers comes in for the Sheffield Hammer (assisted back-flip) as the Death Squad retain their titles. This was rotten, and not helped by the usual post-match beatdown, although to be fair, if I’d had that match, I’d be angry as well.. ¾*
Jody Flash vs. “Iron” Mike Roberts
Flash of course, is the future Jody Fleisch, whilst Mike Roberts was apparently having his first match here after a year out.
Roberts seems to be twice Flash’s size, and he starts by popping-up Flash and letting him fall to the mat. A chokeslam follows, before Flash flips over from a clothesline. Jody ducks a second clothesline and takes down Roberts with a spinning heel kick, then a springboard dropkick.
Jody goes to the top rope for a 450 splash (or a 360 Splash, as Ross Gordon calls it), and falls to a pendulum backbreaker as Roberts gores back on top. The world’s slowest two count sees Flash kick out from a side slam, before a body slam and a fist-drop continues the offence.
The end finally comes when Roberts scoops up Flash and dumps him with a tombstone piledriver for thew in. Another squash match, I’m afraid. *¼
Afterwards, Paul Martin gets in the ring and talks about Roberts’ match with Phil Powers. Problem was, you couldn’t hear Mike much, and they cut to the studio as soon as he was done talking…
Speaking of, Dan Berlinka’s back with a recap of the Death Squad’s win earlier in the show, and segues to the next match:
Alex Shane & Leon Murphy vs. Just In Time (Justin Starr & Jorge Castano)
Starr and Castano get the “already in the ring” jobber treatment here, and it’s Shane and Starr who get us going. They trade arm wringers, with Shane kipping up, only to fall into a headlock, and nearly fall out of the ring as he pushed off the ropes.
An enziguiri from Starr sends Shane out for a tag, as Castano comes in too. Murphy has more luck with an arm wringer, but he too gets reversed before he dumps Castano down with a lariat and a pumphandle suplex.
Murphy hits an Oklahoma Stampede on Castano, but doesn’t make a cover, before he gets another slow two count from an ugly looking Jackhammer slam. Castano drops down just in time to not get killed by a legdrop as Shane tags back in, and lands a legdrop off the middle rope.
Shane blocks an armdrag and takes down Castano with a chokeslam backbreaker, but Jorge comes back by flipping out of the corner to avoid an onrushing Shane. Alex hits back with a Samoan driver before he misses a springboard senton flip off the middle rope, as Justin Starr tags back in.
Starr flips over the turnbuckle from an Irish whip before a missile dropkick takes down Shane, who blind tags into Murphy, only for the pair of them to take a cross body from Castano. Murphy nails Castano with a press slam driver, but Alex Shane steals the cover to take the win. I thought Starr was the legal man anyway? Another squash, but again they cut away from the match before the result can sink in… this is TNA, before TNA was even conceived! *½
Back to Dan, who’s building up the Triple Trouble match, but first we’ve got another commercial break and another UWA-at-gunpoint update from the uncomfortable Paul Martin. Then it’s another promo with Phil Powers at ringside, and he’s got a title belt! His promo is heavily edited, and no sooner had he said that he’s got to “take care of… Iron Mike Roberts”, we cut back to the studio. What the hell was the point of airing this, aside from giving Powers a rebuttal?!
We’re shown the new UWA title for a fraction of a second, and it looks a LOT like the classic WWE Intercontinental title. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I’d have liked to have been able to look at it without hammering the pause button! Still, at least they remembered to use the cut-aways when some kids in the crowd tried to flip off the camera!
UWA Championship: Kerry Cabrero vs. Stevie Knight vs. Doug Williams
Doug Williams makes a beeline for Knight at the bell, and they hit a double clothesline on each other as the ring announcer is still introducing him. Cabrero gets a double splash on them, but gets a pair of two-counts as he tried to end this early.
Helpfully we’re told it is an elimination rules affair, so hopefully we don’t see the nonsensical “wrestlers break up other’s pins” rubbish. We get a pair of headlocks, which leads to Williams being shoved into the ropes, but he takes down Knight with a shoulder tackle. Knight headbutts at Cabrero’s midsection in the stomach, but Kerry fights back before clotheslining Williams to the outside.
Cabrero launches off of Knight into a plancha, and Knight hits back with a dive of his own. On the outside, Williams sets up a chair, and it’s Kerry Cabrero who ends up taking a drop toe hold into the chair. Kerry uses the chair on Williams’ back, before Knight and Williams use the chair together to drop it into Cabrero’s head.
Back inside, Williams hits a Stinger splash on Knight, before a body slam gets him a one-count as Cabrera returned to the ring. Doug clears the ring again, then leaps off the top floor to Knight on the floor, before Cabrero and Williams ends up in the crowd. That MVC sign is smashed over Williams’ head and this is quickly turning into a pseudo-hardcore affair.
They replay Williams having the sign smashed over him, and it’s cut the back of his neck pretty badly… back from commercial, we see Knight take a near-fall on Cabrero. Kerry misses a top rope splash, before Knight takes his turn to miss a swandive headbutt. Cabrero cuts off Williams on the top rope, before Cabrero busts out the Cattle Mutilation on Knight.
Yep, we get the first piece of triple-threat logic as Doug Williams breaks up the hold, so he can dump Knight with a suplex for a three-count… but Knight had his hand on the ropes, and the referee reverses his call after the bell went. From the confusion, Williams takes a bridging German suplex, which Cabrero breaks up. Did nobody tell these guys it was elimination rules?
A pair of suplexes from Cabrero is followed up as Knight lifted him up and dumped him on Williams with a legdrop, before Knight and Williams work together to smash Cabrero with penalty kicks to the front and back… but Knight breaks up the pin.
Cabrero knocks Knight to the outside, which allows him to drop Williams with a side slam for a near-fall… again, Knight tries to break it up. Williams countered a tiltawhirl slam into some headscissors for a two-count, before Knight trips Doug in the ropes, and lands a top rope elbow for a one-count. Yep, it was broken up.
Cabrero and Knight fight among each other, before Kerry grabs a chair and smashes it into Knight’s head. Williams dumps Knight on the top rope, before a Rob Van Dam-esque legdrop over the ropes sets up the Anarchist… for a chairshot to the back. More chairshots follow, including an unprotected shot from Knight to Cabrero, before Knight catches Williams in the Knight Driver (Electric Chair Facebuster). Of course, the pin attempt’s broken up.
We go to the corner where Knight hits a back superplex on Cabrero as he tried to fight with Williams on the top rope. Doug catches Cabrero with a quebrada for a near-fall (yep, broken up again). Williams and Knight finally brawl up the aisle and onto the stage, where Doug takes a back body drop off the stage as Doug nearly clipped the edge of the stage on the way down.
Knight bulldogs Cabrero in the crowd, before Kerry hits a suplex outside the ring, as Doug returns with a steel chair, and dumps Cabrero on it with a German suplex. That finally leads to a pinfall, as Cabrero’s eliminated. Thank. God.
After Cabrero’s escorted out, Williams nearly gets a win with a schoolboy, but then snatches the title with a Falcon Arrow of sorts… and that’s the win. Huh, I was expecting that second “fall” to last a little longer, but this match had long since broken down. It was one of the first times a triple threat match had been seen on the UK scene, but for an elimination match, I really disliked the broken-up pins. **
As Doug left the ring, Steve Lynskey came out with a piece of paper in his hand. Lynskey’s wandering accent is happy to see Doug win the world title, and he’s offering him a new contract. Williams takes the contract, but dropkicks Lynskey out of the ring before declaring it’ll be “anarchy in the UWA”. So there’s the babyface turn confirmed, I guess?
Yes, they cut back to the studio quickly, as Dan Berlinka wraps up the show for another week.
This week wasn’t a good show. It seemed like they adopted a completely new philosophy for this show, along with a new ring. Quick cuts away from matches and promos killed any impact they may have had, and left you thinking that you were watching a clip show of prior events, rather than something “new” that you should stick around for. Hopefully that wasn’t the sign of things to come.