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The Furious Flashbacks – UWF Beach Brawl

May 31, 2012 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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The Furious Flashbacks – UWF Beach Brawl  

The Furious Flashbacks – UWF Beach Brawl

The UWF’s street is Squared Circle Blvd

Last time I covered UWF it was basically to finish what I started and put the company to bed. Herb Abrams is a terrible promoter and his shows are just horrific. He didn’t know what he was doing. When I did Blackjack Brawl to finish up with UWF, one of the comments came from the mysterious “Tiger Mask 69” who requested that if I’d not done it, could I also review Beach Brawl. Ask and thou shall receive.

Before reading on go and buy the book; HERE. I wrote some of it, the reviews, but the book is a tremendous read if you’re a wrestling fan (which I suspect you are, what with reading a Herb Abrams PPV review). Go forth and enjoy. When you come back we’ll have some cheap laughs at Herb’s expense.

9th June 1991.

We’re in Palmetto, Florida. Hosts are Craig DeGeorge & Bruno Sammartino. It could be worse, it could be Herb and Lou Albano. They waffle on about the card and throw to Brian Ricco for a few interviews. Herb gets his say and picks Steve Williams to win the main event. Mainly because he put Doc over in practically every big match UWF had. Incidentally the attendance is 550 people. No wonder the house lights are dimmed.

This is UWF’s only PPV event. They run down the line-up and its actually not bad. There are a lot of good wrestlers on the card. Some of them are a little long in the tooth but if they weren’t they’d be in a better promotion. Don Muraco’s laziness reaches new and impressive highs as he’s not even turned up. Future WWE Head of Talents Relations Mr Laurinaitis takes his spot.

Black Hearts w/Luna Vachon v Fire Cat/Jim Cooper

The Black Hearts (sometimes spelt Harts by the UWF’s dreadful graphics division) have the same music as Shane Douglas in ECW, although this is 2 years before ECW even existed. Fire Cat is Brady Boone who you might also know as Battle Kat. He’s great, everyone else sucks. Apocalypse & Destruction are the masked Black Hearts and they control the whole match. Mainly because the plucky face duo are jobbers. Cooper especially. Fire Cat at least has bits of athleticism and rip-off Sayama stuff. Unfortunately both Black Hearts can’t keep up and get confused with roll up’s and other ‘complex’ moves. The big question being; can Fire Cat carry both opponents AND his tag team partner? The answer; no. UWF could have done good business with cruiserweights as they were hot in Japan at the time. Even if they couldn’t afford many good ones they could still have used smaller local guys who worked the style. Bruno has trouble identifying the DDT, which shows you how much WWF he hasn’t watched recently. Unless he thought WWF had it trademarked and didn’t want to put it over. Cooper gets back in and is picked off with double teams while Luna chokes out Fire Cat. *. Poor Fire Cat. He worked his ass off here. Cooper was useless by comparison. Just jogging into his opponent’s offensive moves. Black Hearts weren’t terrible or anything and wrestled a bit like a low rent Demolition. Regardless of talent UWF still opened up their only PPV with a jobber match.

Street Fight: Johnny Ace v Terry Gordy

Originally billed as Gordy v Muraco but the Magnificent one was injured. So the street fight is now a completely pointless stipulation as there’s no hatred. It does make sense to book them together though as both men worked together out in All Japan. The stip is still pointless though as Ace can’t brawl that well. He’s a technical guy. Gordy can keep up but prefers to just fight and grounds Ace by punching him in the face. The stipulations suit Gordy and back in 1991 Gordy remains fresh and in great condition. Gordy gets in his powerbomb but Ace kicks out of it. Its weird watching this because I know the result and yet I can’t believe Ace keeps kicking out of moves. It feels like he should be out there to lose. Gordy bullies him as soon as they get into the scrapping. Gordy falls outside and Ace blows his pescado. That was supposed to be the count out spot but Ace blew it so Gordy turns it into a brawl into the crowd instead for the DCO. Keeping in mind it was a STREET FIGHT. A street fight with count outs. Obviously. Wouldn’t that be a RING FIGHT? **. Both guys looked game for telling a decent story and Gordy was particularly energised once they started fighting rather than wrestling. Shame about the booking but it wasn’t the first, nor the last, time that Herb couldn’t book a finish. What was the deal here? Was he protecting Ace? Maybe All Japan didn’t want him to job? Who knows? What should have happened was anyone in the back should have come out and jobbed to Gordy. The important part was putting Gordy over here and they couldn’t even do that right.

POST MATCH they have a pretty good brawl around ringside, which makes you wonder why they didn’t just book it to be a fight. That finish was so lame.

Tag Team Ring Fight: Mass Confusion v The Power Twins

I know UWF frequently called the Killer Bee’s “Mask Confusion” but the graphic definitely reads “Mass Confusion” at the top of the show. Typo? Wouldn’t be the first. Not even on this show. I’m actually shocked the Power Twins never got a WWF run around this time as the WWF was so short of tag teams that they needed jobber teams of a decent size. Some fuckin’ genius gives these teams 12 minutes, which is the longest match on the entire PPV. Killer Bee’s were on the wane by 1991 and the Power Twins didn’t really have the moveset to work a long match. Larry (possibly) Power gets his leg worked over. Its not bad but it sure is boring. David gets the tag and the Bee’s work over his leg too just to make sure they can’t blind switch to cover for an injury, because they’re both injured. I like the psychology behind that. The Powers take over on Blair and that’s spectacularly boring. Its so boring I spend the whole time trying to spot subtle differences between the two Power Twins. I think Larry, or the guy I’m calling Larry, is more muscular. You know that telepathy that twins have? Knowing what the other will do? The Power Twins don’t have that. As evidenced when David tries to set something up in the corner and Larry just drops Blair. Mask Confusion switch on the floor and the fresh Brunzell gets in there. That should finish but it just leads to more bullshit. The issue with the fans not being able to tell which guy is which, on either team, means they just don’t care about any of it. Blair comes back in with a blind sunset flip for the pin. *. Minor psychological work from the Bee’s aside, this was painful.

Ladies title: Candi Divine v Rockin’ Robin

I know Candi’s name is spelt “Devine,” by the way, but UWF don’t. So I’m using their onscreen graphic spelling. Robin is a former WWF women’s champion while Candi had her success in AWA. Candi is way more attractive. I remain stunned she was never in the WWF considering her appearance. By the time the AWA went out of business her chance had gone, I guess with Robin killing the WWF women’s division. But yeah, seriously, she was hot and Vince’s libido usually sniffs those girls out. Both girls work a bit loose and the only amusement is checking out Candi’s ring attire. Not that Candi should get her hopes up as UWF booking policy was as follows; if you worked for the WWF before this you were going over. They blow a couple of spots and the crowd gets on their case a bit. That either serves as a motivation or kills confidence. They take no risks and just go to the finish instead with Robin getting a roll up. ¼*. Any time they tried anything that required timing the match went to pieces. Robin retired as champion and Devine had the last laugh by picking up the title when it came back in 1994.

Strap Match: Col. DeBeers v Paul Orndorff

DeBeers had a racist gimmick where he refused to have any black men ref his matches. A no brainer would be having DeBeers wrestle a black guy. They even show a video of DeBeers beating up black people as DeGeorge claims “that’s what led to this match”. Sure it did! Orndorff is nowhere to be seen. The strap match isn’t a strap match. Presumably Herb had never seen one before so they just hit each other with DeBeers’ belt. Which the ref chastises them for anyway. Oh, it another pointless stipulation match from UWF. DeBeers sets too early on a backdrop and Orndorff finishes with a piledriver. ½*. Pretty much a squash. Nice to see Paul Orndorff sticking up for the black people of the world though. Solidarity, brother! DeBeers gets his heat back with a tazer.

Captain’s Corner

Vince had started inserted chat shows into the middle of his PPV’s so UWF follows suit. Lou Albano had no idea about subtlety and spends his impartial journalistic interview insulting the Black Hearts and Luna Vachon, his “guests”. He doesn’t even ask any questions. He just insults them and walks out. Albano was a disaster for UWF. Always putting himself over and frequently burying whatever Herb wanted him to do. He was the archetypal ‘grumpy old man’.

Legends Ring Fight: Ivan Koloff v Bob Backlund

Backlund hadn’t worked much in the USA since leaving the WWF so this was a minor coup for Herb. Backlund had been tearing it up in Japan too against Nobuhiko Takada for UWF (the Japanese one, not Herb’s). He’s in great condition. Koloff isn’t. Which makes you wonder why they hired Backlund to put him in a nothing match. Maybe they didn’t know how good his condition was. Backlund wins with the O’Connor Roll in short order. SQUASH! Not sure what the point of this was. Especially with them having Backlund the year before the WWF re-hired him. I guess Herb was too busy getting naked and smashing up furniture to follow potential trends in wrestling.

POST MATCH Lou Albano comes back and punches out Mr Red, the heel manager of scrubs like Koloff.

Cactus Jack/Bob Orton Jr v Wet N’ Wild

Wet N’ Wild were Sunny Beach and Steve Ray, one of the rare UWF created gimmicks that got over. Unfortunately Herb developed issues with Steve Ray and cut the legs off the push. John Tolos is hanging over the ring in one of those shark cages to stop him interfering on behalf of Cactus & Bob. Not that I get the combination. He’s got a sports coach gimmick. Cactus is a lunatic and Orton is a veteran with a cowboy gimmick. What’s the fucking connection there, Herb? Foley is out to steal the show and hits his elbow drop to the floor OFF THE SECOND ROPE. Ow. Unfortunately the weird combination isolate Beach, who is definitely not the talented one on his team. Unless growing an awesome blond moustache is considered a talent. Tolos throws down brass knucks from the cage but Jack eats them and Ray steals the pin. *1/2. The match was brief, to say the least, at four minutes. Cactus Jack still stole the show with a series of ridiculous bumps.

POST MATCH Tolos blames Foley for the loss and encourages Orton to jump him from behind. Thus putting an end to their weird stable that never made any sense to start with.

UWF Sportschannel TV title: Bam Bam Bigelow v Steve Williams

Doc was UWF’s ace, which is not a bad idea considering his enormous success in Japan and decent reputation in the NWA. Bigelow was a decent name too; he’d had a good WWF run before getting injured. Herb comes out to show us the SPORTSCHANNEL championship belt. I wonder who paid for that? Bigelow blades in the early going and does a sloppy job of it so Doc knees him in the face for a while and sneaks in a slicing of his own. Only without the sneaking. Basically he cut open Bigelow’s head on camera. Bigelow bleeding all over the ring is his contribution to the match. Not to be outdone, Doc blades too. This all taking place inside the first 2-3 minutes. Mainly because they’ve only got 7 minutes for this. Bigelow sets up the ropes with a DDT. Damn those ropes are slack. Bigelow’s splash gets 2 and Doc employs Japanese no selling by popping up afterwards. That’s it for Bigelow as Doc bosses the rest of the match. Bigelow looks heavy and isn’t in his best condition. Its scary how easily Doc picks him up despite Bigelow’s size. Powerslam finishes. **. They certainly put a lot of effort into their 7 minute main event but surely the match should have been longer. Especially with a double bladejob. There should have been a build up to both blading incidents. Having them just go ahead and blade right away made no sense. Especially Doc who wasn’t even caught with a head shot before bleeding.

The 411: For a UWF show, this isn’t bad. The main event doesn’t suck, even if its too short, and most of the undercard is relatively inoffensive. I say “relatively” because the UWF was so bad at times that a passable show would be good by their standards. There were some UWF-isms creeping onto show though. The count out in the street fight is an obvious one but there are several completely non-competitive matches and their titles mean nothing. The booking never makes any sense.
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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