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From JHawk's Beak: UWC (Ohio) on-site report
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Mar 16, 2003, 20:07
From JHawk's Beak: On-Site at UWC's Challenged! Battle of the Champions III
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins
Yes, I know, I said I'd put up a Ring of Honor review this week, but I also said it would be if I could stay healthy. Well, right now, I have a cold I can't shake and I'm already behind on a couple of things not related to this site, so I'm going to have to delay it until sometime this week. I will get to it, I swear.
So why am I checking in anyway? As you might recall, on August 25, 2002, I covered the United Wrestling Council's "Outrageous in the Cages" event for TSM, as well as getting an exclusive interview with Danny Doring. I had promised that I'd cover their October show. Well, apparently they suffer from one of the typical independent promotion curses, because there was no October show. The UWC finally returned to action last night (March 15, 2003) with their annual "Battle of the Champions" show at North High School in Akron, Ohio. And since I love my live indies, yours truly was there for the action. And I figured it might as well go up now so that it's fairly current rather than a week from now when even I won't care anymore.
Before the show, I bumped into Carrie Insane, who was there as a spectator and not a wrestler this time around. She was very nice and gave me a scoop. Not only is northeast Ohio finally getting an NWA promotion next month, but the Insane Family will be working for it, and Eddie Insane will be getting a tryout with NWATNA in a couple of weeks. Good luck to Eddie on that one.
The actual show was scheduled to start at 7pm, but the ring announcer didn't make his first appearance until 7:08pm. And then we don't even get straight to the action. The UWC does live commentary over the PA system, so we begin by introducing Chris the Brain and Dan Mason, who run down the card. Then we introduce the cameraman, Hollywood Hulk Hilliard. He always comes to the shows dressed like Hulk Hogan and runs through the entire posedown schtick. This time, he announces that it's his birthday. Luckily, he gets interrupted by The Inner Circle, consisting of Darkstar, UWC World Champion Pumper, and the manager, "Sex Symbol" Keith Young. They run Hilliard out of the ring, then do a promo to hype their matches later this evening. They vow to add a new member to their stable. But then they get cut off by the team of Straight Gaye (Justin Diaz and Chris E. Star). They're best described as Akron's version of Ring of Honor's Christopher Street Connection. Diaz taunts Pumper by holding up a giant poster of Pumper that says "Pumper is hot!"
Finally we get to the action.
Opening match scheduled for one fall: Jason Thunder vs. Virus
Thunder had defeated Virus back in May, but hasn't appeared in UWC since. Virus has yet to win a match in the UWC, but has come very close on a couple of occasions. Jason Thunder, as Mason was quick to point out, looks like Justin Guariani from American Idol I. Virus has an orange and black luchador outfit and mask. Thunder tries to take the knees away from Virus to counteract his high flying moves, but it's a Shooting Star Press that puts Thunder away at 9:10. Virus gets his first-ever UWC win! Decent opener.
More promo time, as Dan Mason leaves the booth and hits the ring. Mason, a DJ for 96.5 KISS-FM, and Keith Kennedy, a DJ at 98.1 FM-WKDD, are scheduled for a "match" later in the evening. Mason tries to insult the crowd to get heel heat, and it does a good job for the most part, but Keith Kennedy eventually makes his appearance, and even though the match is already scheduled, they decide to change it into a six man tag. Decent as promos go, but these are DJs we're talking about.
Gimmick Gone Forever Match: Straight Gaye vs. The New Southern Draws (Thumper Morgan/Jebediah Yoder)
The gay tag team takes on the hillbilly and the Amish man to decide who's gimmick is absolved. This match was basically forced to become an all-out brawl on the floor, as the ring broke halfway through it. Mostly a comedy match, with Diaz pinning Yoder following a roll up while using the ropes for leverage at 10:50. Fun match (Straight Gaye is hilarious), but bad technically. Following the match, Star tells Diaz "Screw Pumper!", to which Diaz misunderstands and yells, "Yay! Screw Pumper!" Hey, I laughed!
While the ring crew fixes the ring, the promoters toss out some T-shirts for the local Fox Sports Radio station (where their weekly radio airs), and then it's time for another promo. Out come three of The Four Henchmen, led by "Your Role Model" Ric Lieb. Lieb is basically a combination of Ric Flair and Gorgeous George (the original, not the chick from WCW) and pulls it off beautifully. Lieb was scheduled to be in a lumberjack strap match tonight, but it's been changed to a first blood match, so Lieb is PISSED. Out comes his opponent, "Time Bomb" Fred Potok, who says stop complaining and start fighting. Lieb agrees to the first blood stip, but says they'd better make sure the ring doesn't break. That dude knows how to play off of what's going on. He also promises that after he beats Potok, then anybody wearing a "Role Model sucks" shirt will get their asses kicked as well. Interestingly enough though, these two were supposed to do a first blood match at the October show that never happened.
Handicap Match: Super Sydal/The Kamikaze Kid vs. Sack
Sack was the victim of the indestructible table at the TLC battle royal in August, and, according to Mason, has red hair because "either he got busted open in the back or doesn't realize The Red Rooster gimmick died in 1988". Boring match, which Sack wins by Tombstoning the Kid and pinning him at 5:27.
Three Way Dance for the UWC Television Title: Unknown vs. Darkstar (w/"Sex Symbol" Keith Young) vs. "Mr. UWC" Atlantis (champion)
This match is under triple threat rules, but Atlantis must be pinned to lose his title. Why have a TV Title when your promotion doesn't have TV? This match probably had the most potential of any match on the card, but wound up being the most disappointing. Some decent action, but then came the ending. Unknown grabs a chair, Atlantis holds Darkstar, and Unknown fakes right and hits Atlantis. That give Atlantis the win by DQ at 6:07, and Unknown has officially joined the Inner Circle. Not good.
15-MINUTE INTERMISSION (although closer to 25)
Radio Showdown: Dan Mason/Justin Dreams/Mikey Showtime vs. Keith Kennedy/The Untouchables (Animal/K9--UWC World Tag Team Champions w/Bounce/Wolfman)
Sadly, my favorite UWC tag team is saddled with my least favorite of the two DJs. My favorite of the two DJs, Mason, tries to get heel heat by showing off his T-shirt: "LeBron's mom gave me a hummer." He got a face pop for it though. Anyway, the story is supposed to be around the DJs, but it's essentially a regular tag team match. Finally the DJs are legal, and Mason gets the advantage. Everybody else is brawling on the floor, when Chef Meeker runs out from the back, gives Mason a fatass splash which even he'll tell you got no elevation, and rolls Kennedy on top for the pin at 15:49. Decent when it was down to the regular tag teams.
First Blood Match: "Your Role Model" Ric Lieb (w/two Henchmen) vs. "Time Bomb" Fred Potok
A lot of history dating back nearly 15 years with this one, even though these guys are probably still in their mid-30s. When The Four Henchmen were originally formed in 1988, Potok and Lieb were two of its initial members. Both men left the business in 1990. Fast forward to a couple of years, when Lieb was reforming the Henchmen, but Potok refused to join. They've been adversaries ever since. At the August show, Potok cost Lieb a shot at the TV title after Lieb had cost Potok a shot at the Hardcore Extreme Title. Onto the match, which was very tame by first blood standards. Potok shows up wearing a "Role Model sucks" T-shirt. Lieb did everything he could to bust Potok open, but one shot with Lieb's own gold platter sent him to the floor. Lieb visibly bladed (and needed two or three attempts to get it right). That's when one of the Henchmen distracted the referee, enabling Lieb to throw fake blood onto Potok. The referee turns around, sees both men "bleeding", and doesn't know what to do. That's when UWC President Bo Smirnow runs in with a towel, wipes the fake blood off of Potok, and the referee declares Potok the winner at 8:10. I'd have rather seen it called a draw rather than bring the towel out, but I loved the booking for some reason. Decent match.
For the UWC Hardcore Extreme Title: Tack vs. The Phattie Dattie (champion)
Tack is easily the most over full-time wrestler in UWC. He's got the teenybopper crowd on his side because of his good looks and the men on his side for his highspots and hardcore expertise. Plus he's actually a pretty solid worker. But on a night that seemed flat in general, anything that can go wrong in a hardcore match did go wrong. First, Dattie "hit" Tack with a plastic water cooler that clearly missed by a foot. So they repeat the spot, but this time it not only connects, but the cooler shatters, which cuts Tack's ear open. Later, the brawl's moved into the crowd, and Tack's got a table set up underneath a basketball backboard. He places Dattie on the table, which promptly breaks without so much as a move being done. Tack improvises by hitting Dattie in the head with a giant plastic crayon, but he cuts his own hand open along one of the edges. Not a good night. The end came when the battle finally got back in the ring. Tack went up for a shooting star press, but Jason Thunder ran in, hit the top-rope Rock Bottom he calls the Thunder Strike, and Dattie gets the pin to retain at 14:49. This would have probably been match of the night had the weapons not ad-libbed on them.
Main Event for the UWC World Heavyweight Championship: Pumper (champion--w/"Sex Symbol" Keith Young) vs. "Even Colder" Mike Austin
I recently discussed Even Colder in our forums, but for those of you who missed it, here's the short version. He's a bit shorter than Steve Austin, but is otherwise a dead ringer for him...and he's essentially doing the best Steve Austin impression I've ever seen. He does the beer drinking, the head bob, and even has the voice down pat. This is the first time I've actually seen him work a match, as he'll usually just show up announced, stunner some people, and leave with kids and stupid people thinking it's the real Steve Austin. Onto the match, and Austin hits a stunner 30 seconds in and Young has to pull the referee out of the ring to prevent the three count. Pumper does some offense, but Austin regains the advantage, another stunner, and this time a foot on the ropes saves Pumper. Pumper regains the advantage and has things well in hand, and out comes Justin Diaz with his "Pumper is hot" poster. The guy two seats down from me gives Diaz his seat. I'm not making that up. Pumper hits his Pump(handle) Slam, but before he covers, he starts yelling at Diaz. When he turns around, it's Stunner #3, and Even Colder gets the pin and the title at 8:36. Overbooked mess, but I think there's a reason for that.
Postmatch, Ric Lieb makes his appearance to challenge Even Colder for a title shot at the next show. Even Colder agrees to it, but he wants it right now. President Smirnow officially schedules it for the April 26 show, and we're done at 10:21pm.
After the show, they had an "after party" at a local night club, but outside of watching lots of hot chicks my age get their groove thing on (which I am not complaining about), it wasn't much of an "after party". We saw Chef Meeker and Fred Potok, who asked us to go out for a beer with him next time we're at a show, and that was essentially it. But hey, it's a night out, isn't it?
Overall, a decent show, but nothing really seemed to click. More blown spots than I think I've ever seen at an indy show, way too many Raw-esque promos in the first half of the show, and everything I was counting on to be good simply wasn't that good. Had this been my first UWC show, I don't know if I'd have ever gone to a second.
But what I do like is how they try to elevate somebody with every show. Jason Thunder and Justin Diaz aren't exactly UWC veterans, but they more or less have matches signed with Tack and Pumper respectively for the next show (not officially, but likely), and they're probably the two top guys in the promotion. It's always a fresh lineup everytime you go to their shows.
I won't be at the April 26 show as I'm already going to the Ring of Honor show that night, but they have announced a May return to North High School, so I'll likely hit that one.
I'll be back with Raw tomorrow. Those of you in northeast Ohio can check out the UWC website for info on upcoming shows.
In the meantime, send me your feedback.