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Universal Wrestling Federation (4.4.1986) Review

November 24, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling 12-29-84 Hacksaw Jim Duggan Image Credit: WWE
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Universal Wrestling Federation (4.4.1986) Review  

-Originally aired April 4, 1986.

-Your hosts are Jim Ross & Bill Watts.

-Gilbert calls out Hacksaw Jim Duggan, demanding a North American Title match and accusing Duggan of being YELLOW! Oh snap! Next time, he might accuse Duggan of asking or giving quarter.

-Gibson ducks and dodges, but it only works so long until Korchenko boots him and elbows him down. Backbreaker gets an easy win for Korchenko.

-The $1,000,000 Jim…Senior…the hell with this, Crockett Cup is on Saturday April 19th. Bill Watts attempts to put the boots to the WWF here, explaining that Crockett Cup isn’t going to be something like Wrestlemania 2, where they beamed it by satellite from three cities for home viewing. No sir, you have to physically come to the venue to see it. Okay, Wrestlemania 2 wasn’t that great, but that was the lamest way to go about flexing on it.

-We get a promo for the Crockett Cup, and it’s just the World Championship Wrestling theme playing under soundbites from THE PRESS CONFERENCE. The one where everyone sounded half-asleep.

-We also get an announcement that they have secured an official airline. You can get a fifty percent discount on your flight to New Orleans by booking through…EASTERN AIRLINES: THE OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS. Which one is an omen for the other? You be the judge.

-O’Reilly is noticeably bulked up here, and bulked up in the way that makes a wrestling fan raise one eyebrow and think “Yup” as you look at him.

-Landell strikes Sawyer and hurries out to tag in Dundee. O’Reilly tags in and gets worked over by the heels. O’Reilly reverses an Irish whip as Watts suddenly notices he’s there and marvels at how much he’s improved lately.

-Sawyer tags in and dishes out punishment on both opponents, and Landell cranks up the nice guy act to try to get him to back off. Landell drives a knee and an elbow into Sawyer. Odd spot where the heels distract the referee to allow Dundee to do a top rope splash illegally, but then Buddy accidentally screws his partner by letting the argument go on TOO long. Dundee gets the visual three-count, but Sawyer manages to kick out by the time the referee finally turns around. Not a bad spot, but you usually don’t see a “heels screw up their chicanery” spot in a squash match.

-O’Reilly tags in but Landell unleashes a flurry of offense. A big elbow and we get ANOTHER situation where the referee gets distracted too long, but this time it ends up not mattering, and Landell gets the three-count anyway when he finally turns around.

HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN (North American Champion) vs. ROB RICKSTEINER (with Buzz Sawyer)

-…But first…

-Dick Slater is here to complain that it’s a joke that Duggan holds the North American Title, because he never beat the actual champion to win the belt. So Duggan is ready for a fight and we have a brawl right away, but before it mnanages to turn into an actual match, Dick Slater pulls off his cowboy boot and whacks Duggan in the ribs with it, because of wrestling logic where a boot hurts more if you hold it instead of wearing it.

-Duggan fights him off and spears him, at which point Ricksteiner & Sawyer hit the ring. It’s a 3-on-1 fight until Steve Williams and Terry Taylor hit the ring to provide back-up, and the heels beat it out of there. I guess they’ll just have to settle this in a six-man tag when the UWF comes to my town!

-We go to Joel Watts, who’s at the Sheraton Century Plaza Hotel for a press conference. Mid-South sure does love their press conferences. But for some reason, Jack Victory and the Sheepherders merit spending money on a hotel conference room so they can shoot one that looks like an actual press conference.

-By the way, one thing about this; there was a stylistic choice that always set the WWF apart from other promotions. In other promotions, if the guys weren’t wrestling, they wore a shirt and pants for their promos. In the WWF, the wrestlers were wrestlers 24 hours a day, and they were in full look for their promos. Ric Flair is the perfect example of this. He cuts promos down south in a tailor-made suit. He jumps to the WWF and suddenly he cuts promos in his robe and ring gear.

-…My point is, I can kind of see where the WWF was coming from with their way of doing things, because the Sheepherders are doing their twitching and marching motions and are fully in character here, and Butch is wearing a polo shirt and slacks. And it’s so weird and wrong-looking to see him like that.

-We re-watch the shocking footage of the tainted win that gave the Sheepherders the gold. Joel Watts tries to ask some questions about why Jack Victory is involved with the Sheepherders, but Jack is noticeably distracted and looking for somebody. Joel asks who he’s looking for and Jack explains that his girlfriend should be here any minute.

-And in walks Mad Maxine. For the uninitiated, Maxine is a legit 6’4″ woman with a mohawk who came into the WWF after Wrestlemania I, and she was in line for a BIG push. It’s known that concept art was drawn for her to be a character on the Rock ‘N Wrestling cartoon show, and the story goes that the WWF was planning on merchandising the hell out of her and pushing her as a monster heel to feud with Wendi Richter in exactly the same vein as Hulk Hogan’s booking in the 1980s. Maxine was supposed to be the huge monster, and then run the house shows with Wendi for a few months and make bank off of Wendi slaying the monster.

-Well, and you’ll never believe this, Maxine quickly concluded that she was getting fucked over by Fabulous Moolah, who was collecting a percentage of her earnings for training her, but Maxine concluded that the percentage was so high that she couldn’t make a sustainable living as long as she was stuck to Moolah, so she quit the WWF after only a month. And you know what? Good for Maxine.

-So Victory introduces the guys to Maxine, and the B-roll shot of the Sheepherders reacting to her makes the segment.

-Fantastics go after Luke’s arm and manage to keep him from tagging out again and again. Luke gets knocked to the floor and we take a break!

-We return with the Fantastics clearing the ring again. Butch tags in and takes some shots while the commentators rattle off a list of all the stations that just started carrying the show this week. It really is crazy how fast this company grew in the span of a year, and then…they just went away.

-Luke misses an elbow and gets trapped in the corner again. Bill Watts reminds us that the UWF is the best in the world because of the caliber of the competition and the conditioning. “If you come into this promotion with that derby hanging from your stomach, you won’t last here.” Dude, you opened the show with Korchenko.

-We pause for another commercial and return with Tommy Rogers in peril. Rogers ends up on the concrete and they ram him in the barricade. Butch tries to block him from re-entering, but Tommy snaps his neck over the top rope and hustles back in to tag Bobby. Bobby cleans house, with Luke taking a HELL of a flat-back bump from an Irish whip into the corner. All four men brawl in the ring. Referee scrambles to restore order, but Bobby press slams Tommy on top of Luke, and it’s a clean three-count to give the Fantastics the Tag Team Title. Pretty fun TV match! These two would go onto have “Match of the Year” at Crockett Cup and the full match was lost for years and became a highly sought-after gem. And then WWE Network unearthed and…it’s a GOOD match, but not match of the year.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The feature bout was a real treat, and it's nice to see Watts finally give in and let Duggan be the star of the promotion.