The SmarK Rant for USWA Challenge – 05.01.90
OK, let’s continue jumping around the territories with the WWE Network, as we journey back to the early days of Stunning Steve Austin in the USWA. This is under the GWF banner on the Network, but it’s USWA, about a year after World Class folded and Jerry Lawler bought the promotion. There must have been some deal for the footage through ESPN when GWF got the timeslot or something. Or maybe this is part of WWE’s new sweetheart deal with ESPN and THAT’S why they’ve suddenly got access to the ESPN shows there, too? That actually would make a lot of sense.
Taped from Dallas, TX
Your host is Mark Lowrance.
Ronnie P. Gossett gets transferred from the Memphis branch to the Texas one, joining Mark on commentary.
Billy Travis v. Matt Borne
This is a mini-tournament for a shot at the Texas title held by Kerry Von Erich, and Borne is wrestling barefoot for some reason. Billy Travis was one of those guys who hung around Memphis forever and didn’t do much past the midcard. And he apparently died in 2002?! Huh. I must have been on vacation. Borne dominates for a bit while Travis complains and stalls and complains and stalls. Borne finally hits a belly to belly suplex and drops an elbow for two, but we take a break from this exciting action. Back with Travis holding a rear chinlock and he slugs Borne down for two. Luckily, Borne makes the comeback with a variety of nothing, but they collide for a double KO and Gossett pops up from the announce position and knocks Travis out with a chain, giving Borne the pin at 12:00. Wait, I’m confused. Aren’t they both heels? Jerry Lawler and Terry Garvin (the Jimmy Garvin lookalike, not the alleged gay predator) run out and do a beatdown on Travis. Were they working some weird Memphis v. Texas angle here? Terrible match. ½*
Kevin Von Erich v. Amos Moses
Despite making his debut here, Moses is already in the semi-finals of this tournament! Moses literally looks like some geek they pulled out of the crowd and Kevin hiptosses him around and finishes with a suplex at 1:30. Where the hell did they find this goof? DUD Only thing notable here was Gossett getting bleeped for saying that Kevin was being celebrated as a part of “National Faggot Week”. I mean, I know he’s a heel, but COME ON.
Southern Heavyweight title: Bill Dundee v. Stunning Steve Austin
Dundee controls with a hammerlock on the mat, but Austin gets a cheapshot from behind, allowing Scandor Akbar to get some abuse on Dundee. Keeping in mind this was only a year into Austin’s career and he already looked and acted like a superstar. Austin dumps him and slugs away back in the ring, then adds some choking in between yelling at the ref. Dundee makes the comeback, but charges and hits the post, and Austin powerslams him for two. They trade headlocks as Dundee fights back, and the ref gets bumped. Mark Lowrance doesn’t like the looks of it, and I don’t like the looks of Austin’s tights, which appear to be patterned on licorice allsorts. GROSS. Akbar gets involved, but Dundee whips Austin into the chair and pins him to retain at 8:00. Not great. *
Kevin Von Erich v. Matt Borne
Finals of the thrilling tournament for a shot at Kerry! Even Lowrance sounds like he’s sick of listening to Gossett, who adds nothing and literally just sits there insulting everyone in the match. He’s just way too far over the top in a heel role. Kevin controls with a bodyscissors on the mat and gets a bodypress out of the corner for two, and a backslide for two. They tumble to the apron and back in, where Borne grabs the ropes and gets a cheap pin to win the title shot at 7:00. You like 5 minutes of Kevin doing bodyscissors plus a commercial break? This is YOUR match. DUD
This was a promotion circling the drain and it was obvious. Thankfully the Austin v. Adams feud was coming up in a bit to light a fire, but that is LITERALLY the only thing going for this show, as it was like the zombie corpse of World Class walking around long past the expiration date.
So of course I’ll probably keep watching it.