After last week’s cavalcade of quick cuts, let’s see how the ninth UWA TV show fares – do they improve, or do they stick with the future TNA format?
They start with a replay of last week’s world title match, and Doug Williams’ subsequent dismissal of manager Steve Lynskey. I totally missed the part last week where they had the ring announcer actively telling the crowd to boo this spot…
We start with Dan Berlinka in the studio for his usual preview of the week ahead. Except they show a load of footage from last week’s title match as happening “this week”. What is new this week, apparently, is a barely-connecting missile dropkick from Phil Powers.
We’ve got a new commentator here, as Simon Bridlington partners Steve Morgan. That is not the change I’d have made…
Jody Flash & Jorge Castano vs. 2 Far Gone (Paul Tyrell & Steve Morocco)
So we start with an all-babyface tag team match. Flash and Tyrell start us off, with Tyrell press slamming Flash onto Jorge Castano early on, before Steve Morocco lays into Castano with an European uppercut.
A couple of missed elbows from Morocco lead to a back elbow, then a front senton flip, before a powerslam from Morocco and a body splash from Tyrell. There’s no cover attempt, and Castano finally tags out to Flash, whose springboard ‘rana looked like he took a powerbomb from Tyrell instead. Flash gets a near-fall from that, before a Quebrada gets him another two-count… and for some reason in the middle of this, the Death Squad come out on a motorcycle with training wheels!
Tyrell countered another top rope rana into a powerbomb (for real this time), as the Death Squad wandered around the ring. Tyrell and Morocco hit a side slam/top rope elbow, but Duke Lynch pulls off the cover, before he slams the referee to the outside, and I’m guessing this is going to be a no contest. Too short to be anything good, and the horrid finish killed it for me. Why are the Death Squad wiping out tag teams when they’ve got an open challenge out?? *½
Flash takes a powerbomb after the match, as Lynch throws another referee out to the floor. Flash gets press slammed onto Castano on the floor, as we see more referee carnage. Duke Lynch gets the microphone and says they interfered because the match was boring, and he reckons nobody in the UWA is big enough for the Death Squad. He wants more competition, especially against bigger wrestlers, but they won’t be back until then. So, they buried the UWA for the sake of wheeling out a motorbike?
Bully Boy Briggs vs. Paul Sloan
Briggs is a bit of a mixed up character… he’s out with a leather jacket, that “fake lats” gimmick, and has a heart on his tights. Okay then?
Slane charges at Briggs, and takes him down with a back body drop and a series of clotheslines. Briggs kicks away a handshake offer, before Sloan hiptosses him and lands a leaping shoulder tackle for the win. And the point of this was? DUD
They replay most of the match in slow motion, before Briggs gets thrown over the top rope by Sloan, showing off his lovely hearts-laden singlet. So much for the Bully Boy!
Paul Martin interviews Sloan after the match, and the sound is so bad you cannot understand either of them. The commentary team pretend it’s because the crowd is so loud, and they end up doing poor Paul Sloan’s promo for him.
Oh God… Big Papa T’s next in the ring, but first, Steve Lynskey’s out to address what happened with Doug Williams. Someone in the crowd has a sign that read “Fat Boy Steve Lynsky Blows Goats”. Quite.
Yet again, the sound here is really bad, but you can hear when Lynskey remembers to “turn on” his American accent. The takeaway from this is that Lynskey has a “monster”, and he invites Danny Royal to come to the ring. Royal comes out, and accepts the challenge. That made very little sense to me.
The Stomper vs. Big Papa T
The Stomper looks like a stereotypical skinhead football hooligan. Even the jobber got an entrance here.
Much stalling to begin the match, with Papa side-stepping lock-up attempts. Stomper actually gets some offence, but a headbutt is no-sold before Papa shoulder tackles him to the mat. There’s a moment of awkwardness before belly to belly suplex and a legdrop follows, before he goes to a Boston crab and that’s the match. -**
Can someone explain the Big Papa T gimmick to me? He’s not particularly good, his matches are too short, and there’s been plenty of dancing guys in wrestling who have talent… I think Papa’s exit from the ring was longer than his match for crying out loud!
We’ve another UWA update, with Paul Martin’s steely stare into the camera. At least we find out here that that challenge Danny Royal accepted earlier is for his UWA title shot.
Back from commercial, Jody Flash comes to the ring with a microphone. Through the poor audio, you can just about make out that Jody’s unhappy with the Death Squad interrupting his match earlier, but Jody’s got a new tag team partner who’s going to “tear their **** up” (yes, they bleeped it). We don’t see the new partner, but hey, it killed some TV time.
There’s an instant rebuttal as the Death Squad and the Tiny Girls talk among themselves. The Death Squad accept the challenge, with a promo where they’re clearly underrating Jody and his surprise.
UWA Television Championship: Iron Mike Roberts vs. Phil Powers (c)
Roberts easily shoves Powers into the corner from the opening lock-up, before the champion replied with a neckbreaker. There’s a load of fog in the arena, but Powers sees through it and connects with a tope to the outside, before a sunset flip off the top rope sends the challenger into the ropes.
After the replay, Roberts whips Powers hard into the corner, and grounds him with a sleeperhold. Powers slips out of the sleeper and grabs an arm wringer, and then kicks the rope into Roberts to crotch him. Regardless, a right hand from Roberts knocks down Powers, before a slam gets him a near-fall.
Roberts grabs a nerve hold, but Powers escapes and takes him down with a dropkick,before we see that barely-connecting missile dropkick. They end up outside, where Powers kicks away at Roberts, before he’s tossed into the front row as we go to a commercial break.
We return to see Powers climb back towards the ring, where he meets a suplex from the challenger, and into another nerve hold. Roberts delivers a back body drop, then chokes away at Powers in the ropes. Roberts removes one of the turnbuckle pads, and of course, he gets an Irish whip into the exposed corner, before Powers lands a spinning neckbreaker for a near-fall.
Powers gets a two count form a backslide as the referee replaced the pad, but Roberts took the champion down and back into a rear chinlock. That’s turned into a sleeperhold, which Powers fights out of after the old arm drop gimmick, only to be taken down with another backdrop which looked like he was going to land on his feet… only to miss and land on his arse instead.
Roberts stomps away some more, as Powers goes to the floor once more. Roberts keeps punching Powers out as he tried to re-enter the ring, before Powers tried a sunset flip back into the ring. It didn’t get any pinfall attempt as Roberts sat down, before following up with a sidewalk slam for a near-fall.
The camera shows Powers calling spots as he was trapped in a rear chinlock, before a Bossman slam got Roberts another two count. They replay that four times, before returning to a camel clutch-like submission from Roberts. Powers hits a mule kick to low blow Roberts, and that sparks a comeback with a Rolling Thunder shoulder charge.
A dropkick to the back of Roberts is followed up by a wonky slam as Powers fell back and nearly got pinned from it. Another grounded sleeperhold sees Roberts slow the match down again, before Powers rolled out of an armbar and sprung off the ropes to reverse an arm wringer. He gets a back body drop of his own, then another dropkick (with some oddly dubbed in cheers that suddenly died off).
Powers succeeds with the slam at the second time, then goes to the top again for a cross body block that gets him the win. That wasn’t a bad match for the standards that the UWA had set, but my word, Powers is very rough in the ring. **½
This wasn’t a good show, keeping up the trend of poor outings. The UWA does have some guys who went on to be really good, but the majority of this crop were just being exposed by being on TV. Having Big Papa T in squash matches served no purpose, particularly when it was clear he was as good as untrained (or just did a good impression of a barely-trained wrestler), whilst Paul Sloan at least had some promise.
By this point, UWA had seemingly given up all attempts at synergy with L!VE TV, as we were no longer getting the random appearances of personalities from the channel… but in its stead, we got what looked to be a televised house show sliced up to fit a TV show – a format that barely worked then, and is still being tried today.