wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: UWF Beach Brawl (06.09.1991)

September 25, 2010 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
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The Name on the Marquee: UWF Beach Brawl (06.09.1991)  

Here comes the UWF’s one and only foray into pay-per-view, clocking in at a 0.1 buyrate. Did it deserve better? Let’s find out.

-Originally aired June 9, 1991.

-We’re LIVE from the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto, FL.

-Your host is Brian Ricco. He interviews President Herb Abrams, who calls the main event for Dr. Death.

-We go to Craig DeGeorge & Bruno Sammartino at ringside. They’re ready for action.

-But first, here’s Brian Ricco, talking to Bam-Bam Bigelow, who has his game plan and strategy ready for Dr. Death. He reminds us that he has a lot of mobility, nobility, and ho-bility. He wants the belt for mo’ money.

-We go to Craig DeGeorge & Bruno Sammartino, who question Steve Williams’ level of ho-bility. Craig & Bruno are ready for action.

-But let’s go now to Brian Ricco, interviewing “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. He warns Bam-Bam that he won’t like what he has to face, but he has to deal with it.

-Brian Ricco reminds us that the UWF will be releasing this event on home video. Yeah, we actually could have guessed that.

-We go to Craig DeGeorge & Bruno Sammartino. They’re ready for action.

-Well…Wrestlemania I started with a jobber match, let’s give this a chance. Black Hearts double-team Cooper, and since it’s a special night, the Black Hearts have names instead of numbers. Apocalypse slips off the second rope but thinks quickly and turns a bodypress into an elbow. Clothesline by Apocalypse, then a series of shots to the neck. Backdrop by Cooper to get things going, and in comes Fire Cat.

-The jobbers do a Hart Attack—or, I guess a Black Heart Attack…am I right?—and Fire Cat ‘ranas Apocalypse. The Black Hearts take a rest, and then in comes Destruction to work over Cooper with a gutwrench. Elbow off the ropes misses, and Cooper slips out and tags the Cat back in. Fire Cat crescent kicks Destruction out of the ring. Back in, he rolls up Destruction for two. Suplex gets another two. Destruction jumps up and shoves the Cat, and Cat sells it like he’s been shot.

-Destruction sends him into the ropes, but Fire Cat crucifixes him for two. Destruction hammers him, and Apocalypse steps in for a double clothesline for two. Suplex into a bridge by Apocalypse for two. Back suplex by Destruction. He goes for a backdrop, but Cat counters with a DDT. Craig calls it a DDT; Bruno responds, “Well, he put him into a front facelock and then drove him into the mat like a piledriver.” Craig tells him, “Yes, that’s a DDT.” Bruno answers, “Well, they’re about the same.”

-Cat tags Cooper back in and you’d think by now he’d learn not to do that. Black Hearts destroy him and finish with the vegamatic. We go to ringside and see that Fire Cat didn’t do anything because he was busy being strangled by Luna. 1 for 1. Competitive, but not the hot kind of back & forth match that you want for the opener.

-Luna throws a fit about her men’s talents being wasted on a couple of scrubs.

-This was suppose to be Terry against Don Muraco, but Don bowed out due to injury.

-Lock-up and Gordy backs Ace into the corner. Gordy goes for an atomic drop, but Ace takes him down, ties him up in a side headlock, and chastises him for not having the right look. Gordy rolls him over for two. Gordy gets to his feet, they trade punches, and Ace comes off the top rope with a bodypress for two. Gordy just punches him down and puts the boots to him.

-Irish whip and a clothesline as this bout continues failing to look anything like a street fight. Snapmare by Gordy gets two. They trade chops, but before Ace can get any more offense going, Gordy does a back suplex for two. Gordy tries to finish with a powerbomb, which Bruno insists is a piledriver no matter what Craiggers tries to tell him.

-Gordy charges at Ace and Ace meets him with a boot to the face and a clothesline. They trade fists until a dropkick knocks Gordy out of the ring. Scary blown spot sees Ace go for a tope, but Gordy accidentally drops him right on his head and clearly taking a time out to see if his opponent is okay. Thankfully, he is, and they just trade fists and do the ECW happy-walk through the crowd until the bell sounds. They’ve both been counted out. In a street fight. 1 for 2. If you promise me a street fight, I expect to see a street fight.

-Craig and Bruno talk about the main event and what goes through your minds leading up to a big title match.

-Mask Confusion is the tag team formerly known as the Killer Bees, and this is actually a pretty clever feud, because both teams are capable of, and frequently engage in, switching off, so logically, you’d expect a battle to see who’s more capable of that. Both Brunzell and Blair faded away from the national spotlight more or less after this run, which is a shame, because I think if the WWF brought them back the following year and gave them “No Rain” as an entrance theme, they might have been on to something. On the opposite side of the ring, Power Twins are pissed off because their manager, John Tolos has no-showed to focus on a match later in the card, and they taunt Mask Confusion by waving fly swatters, which is a cute way of acknowledging their old personas.

-Brunzell tries some amateur moves on, we’ll say, Larry, but he’s just too big. David interferes from the apron and from there, the Twins cut loose with some double teaming. Blair tags in and gets caught in a bearhug, but claps his hands immediately to get free. He slingshots the Twins into each other, and they head to the floor to regroup and argue a little bit.

-Back inside, Blair takes down Larry and now Confusion takes their turn at double teaming. Brunzell works the leg, and then so does Blair. Confusion keeps switching off until Brunzell slows things wayyyyyy the hell down with a toehold. Blair does likewise. They keep working the legs until Larry goes to the eyes and tags out. David charges in, but the Bees are ready for him and just work his leg in the same fashion.

-David is able to kick Blair away and some cheating here and double-teaming there finally allows Power Twins to take control. Craig takes this time to recap the events we may have missed so far (not necessary for pay-per-view) and gives the wrong result for the alleged street fight; meanwhile, a bearhug.

-Power Twins work over the back before deciding to try a headlock instead. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Larry, then he sends Blair into the turnbuckles. Double backdrop (and they get some AIR on this one, too), and then Brian gets worked over in the enemy corner. False tag behind the referee’s back, and the Twins take advantage with double teaming. Blair dodges a double clothesline and takes down both opponents with a clothesline. Blair gets to his corner, but then just stumbles away for no fucking reason and the Twins keep wailing on him.

-Power Twins dump Blair & Brunzell out onto the floor, showing without a doubt that they’ve never seen Blair & Brunzell wrestle in their lives. The masks goes on, Brunzell is fresh as a daisy, and he cleans house. Dropkick nearly finishes, but one twin saves the other. Brunzell tries a sunset flip, David blocks it with the ropes, and Blair vaults in and sunset flips David himself to get the three-count. 2 for 3. Aside from a SLLLLLOOOOWWW stretch of working the leg, this was your typically good Killer Bees match, although they missed the boat by not having the Twins switch off to get some heat beforehand, to make the mask thing look like sweet revenge.

-This is to crown the first champion. Divine offers a handshake, then attacks Robin from behind and chops her down. Divine charges and Robin raises her boots to block it. Robin drops an elbow for two. Shoulderblock by Robin, and a punch to the face. Front facelock by Robin. Divine backs her into the corner and Robin comes right off with a sunset flip for two. Slingshot into the mat by Divine (why do women always do the move that way?) turns the tide.

-Divine clamps on a Boston crab, but Robin powers out. Punches and stomps by Divine, followed by a dropkick. Robin blocks and reverses a turnbuckle shot. Chops and a clothesline get two. Dropkick misses, kinda…and Divine doesn’t know how to react at first. Robin tries a rear chinlock, Divine flips her over and goes off the ropes. Robin clotheslines her, then stands there and just looks at her while trying to think of what spot to do next.

-She settles for punching. Divine fights back with an Irish whip, but misses a charge and Robin rolls her up for the three-count and the belt. 2 for 4. Clumsy offense (whipping the arms and legs instead of punching and kicking, flailing all over the place) and two women who just generally looked ill at ease for the whole match make it a thumbs-down.

-We get a recap of Colonel DeBeers and his distaste for the black man. It amuses me to no end that according to the always-dependable Wikipedia, Colonel DeBeers is now happily retired and living in a small town in Arizona called Sun City.

-This is a weird version of a strap match, where the bout starts with a tipoff for control of the strap. DeBeers makes the catch and whips Orndorff. And he whips him. And he whips him and whips him some more. And then he whips him again. Irish whip. DeBeers charges, but Orndorff ducks and DeBeers gets straddled on the top rope.

-Orndorff grabs the strap. He whips DeBeers with it. Then he whips DeBeers with it. And he whips him. Orndorff chokes him to mix things up a little. Fistdrop by Orndorff. DeBeers kicks him and slams him down. DeBeers goes to the top rope and jumps, but Orndorff holds up the strap and catches DeBeers right on the neck with it. DeBeers tries to fight back with a backdrop, but Orndorff counters with a piledriver for three. And that’s it. 2 for 5. Orndorff celebrates by grabbing an American flag “from one of the popular children at ringside” and waving it. DeBeers sneaks up on Orndorff with a stun gun, knocking him out by “putting the stuns into him.”

-Captain Lou’s guests are the Black Hearts and Luna Vachon. As soon as they arrive, Lou declares “I don’t like you,” then throws down his microphone and walks away. Luna and the Black Hearts stare blankly for a while, then leave. 2 for 6.

-Backlund tries to work the arm. Ivan takes him down, but Backlund slides out and applies a hammerlock. Ivan gets to the ropes, then starts working Backlund’s arm. Hammerlock by Koloff. Irish whip and a hiptoss by Koloff. He applies armscissors, but Backlund does a one-armed curl with Koloff’s body, carries him across the ring, and plants him on the top rope. Koloff charges and gets backdropped, and Backlund rolls him up for three. Zuh? 2 for 7. Bob treated it like he was wrestling a jobber and finished just as quickly. Match barely went two minutes. Post-match Captain Lou Albano waddles out and yanks Mr. Red’s pants off.

-We recap the feud leading up to our next battle.

WET & WILD vs. CACTUS JACK & COWBOY BOB ORTON (with Coach John Tolos)
-Tolos had actually already jumped ship and was already appearing on WWF-TV at this point, so I’m a little surprised to see him here. Tolos is supposed to be in a shark cage suspended above the ring but refuses to go in, so Wet & Wild kicks their opponents’ asses and then shove Tolos in there.

-Sonny Beach starts with Cactus. Cactus tosses him right to the floor where Cowboy Bob pounces him. Backbreaker by Cactus and the heels gang up on him. Elbow from the top rope and onto Beach by Cactus. Orton tags in and brings the match back inside. Short clothesline and a series of boots by the Cowboy. Orton rams Beach into Cactus’ head, then suplexes him.

-Cactus tags in and hammers away at Beach. Russian legsweep by Cactus. He charges and Beach gives him an overhead slam. Hot tag to Ray, who throws punches at his opponents and accidentally Irish whips Cactus into the referee. Donnybrook erupts from there and Tolos throws brass knuckles to Cowboy Bob. The knuckles wind up KOing Cactus Jack instead, and Wet & Wild takes the win. 2 for 8. It was a total squash, followed by the faces winning on a total fluke that made them look like shit. Cactus & the Cowboy argue and brawl all the way back to the locker room.

-We recap the tournament for the UWF SportsChannel TV Title, leading up to the main event.

-President Herb Abrams steps in the ring just long enough to reveal that he’s approximately 4’3”, and then Bam-Bam shoves him out of the way to get down to business.

-Williams knocks Bigelow in the corner, but misses a charge. Headbutt and a punch by Bam-Bam. Avalanche by Bigelow. He headbutts Williams, then throws right hands that stagger Williams. Williams charges at Bigelow, but Bigelow won’t be budged. Bigelow goes for another avalanche, but Williams clotheslines him and Bam-Bam does a 360 before crashing to the canvas. Dr. Death is bleeding a little bit, but has no fear.

-Forearms by Williams. Bigelow is bleeding now and throws headbutts. Elbow and a kneelift by Williams. He goes off the ropes, but Bigelow catches him in a fireman’s carry slam for two. More headbutts and a slam by Bigelow. Slingshot splash gets two. DDT by Bigelow. Splash from the top gets two. He goes off the ropes, but Williams catches him in a belly-to-belly for two. Clothesline by Williams, and a pair of Oklahoma Stampedes. Powerslam gets two.

-Punches and headbutts are traded. Williams goes for a slam, but can’t do it. He Irish whips Bigelow and powerslams him again, and this time, it gets three. 2 for 9. This reminds me of indy shows I’ve seen, where both guys would blade immediately and then move at ½ MPH for the entire bout to create the illusion of the tail end of a classic match. Wasn’t fooled there, wasn’t fooled here. Post-match, Herb Abrams issues an open challenge to any wrestler in any promotion. That always works. Totally.

-Bruno & Craig close out the show by recapping the entire card, match by match and finish by finish, for a good six or seven minutes. I will close out by speculating that somebody was given the “go home” signal too soon and plugging Game Show Utopia.

The 411: Well...the good thing is I now sort of get what they were trying to do with the underwhelming home video releases, because it was the build for a couple of the matches. The bad news is the payoff totally sucked. Underwhelming finishes (Tolos in the shark cage), nonsensical booking (Captain's Corner, the street fight, a seven-minute main event, Backlund squashing Koloff), and just-plain-disappointing matches.
Final Score:  2.5   [ Very Bad ]  legend

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