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UWF Beach Brawl

Live from Palmetto, FL

Airdate: June 9, 1991

Attendance: 550

Hosted by Craig DeGeorge and Bruno Sammartino

Who will win the TV title tournament final? Who wins the women’s title match? Can Wet’n’Wild finally defeat Orton and Cactus with Tolos in a shark cage? Will Orndorff defeat DeBeers in a strap match? Let’s find out!

For those curious, I chose the PPV version of the show which includes a BONUS match at the end.

Bigelow cuts a promo on Williams.

“Dr. Death” rebuts.

Brian Ricco welcomes us to the event and introduces Herb Abrams who is holding the UWF TV title belt. When Ricco asks for a prediction, Abrams chooses Williams.

Call the Beach Brawl hotline NOW!

Backstage, Frankie E interviews Bigelow who will bring “mobility, yobility, and hobility” whatever those are.

Afterward, Frankie E interviews Williams who claims to be the “true champion.”

Match 1: The Blackhearts (w/ Luna Vachon) versus Fire Cat & Jim Cooper


Rating: ***½

Summary: Showcase match for the Blackhearts with solid workrate, teamwork, and high-flying.

After the match, Luna mugs Fire Cat on the concrete floor before Dickinson stops her. Maniacal!

Backstage, Ricco interviews Luna with the Blackhearts who refers to Fire Cat and Cooper as “scrubs.” They want REAL competition. In case you’re curious, Meltzer reports that the teams had a match on 6/7 in Ft. Lauderdale and didn’t cooperate.

Match 2 (street fight): Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy versus Don Muraco Johnny Ace


Rating: **

Summary: It appears that Ace was not prepared for a “street fight” and wrestled a regular match. I don’t blame him as he was inserted into the match with insufficient notice. Since both Gordy and Ace wrestle for All-Japan Pro Wrestling, they know each other well enough to assemble a decent match.

Afterward, Gordy and Ace brawl among the Palmetto faithful until Gordy brings a banquet chair into the ring with him. Smartly, Ace doesn’t follow suit until Gordy’s back is turned. Gordy parades among the Palmetto faithful, but Ace catches up to him. Silverman shoos Ace backstage, and Gordy leaves to cheers.

Prior to the next match, Larry Power grabs the microphone and claims that not only Tolos was BARRED from ringside but also he is “unhappy about” it.

Match 3: Mass Confusion versus the Power Twins (w/o John Tolos)


Rating: ***½

Summary: Great bit of turning the tables on the Power Twins with the double switcheroo. Both the psychology by Mass Confusion combined with the tag formula made this an entertaining match.

Call the Beach Brawl hotline NOW!

Match 4 for the vacant UWF Women’s title: Rockin’ Robin versus Candy Devine


Rating: ½*

Summary: The two blown spots by Robin mar this match, yet Devine was a true pro for maintaining the flow of the match.

Prior to the next match, we revisit the 10/8/90 episode when DeBeers objected to Larry Sampson as a referee due to Sampson’s skin color. We then revisit the 11/12/90 episode when DeBeers intentionally rammed Billy Jack Haynes into Sampson, kicked Sampson while trapped in a full nelson, and attacked him post-match. Next, we revisit the 5/27 episode when DeBeers assaulted another referee and whipped “Soul Train” Phillips with a belt.

Match 5 (strap): “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff versus Colonel DeBeers (w/o Mr. Black)


Rating: **

Summary: Short but effective strap match as the local wrestler (Orndorff) beats the wily heel from South Africa.

After the match, Orndorff waves the American flag, but DeBeers retrieves a cattle prod from his ring jacket and zaps Orndorff with it. While Orndorff quivers in the ring, DeBeers steals the American flag. Heinous!

CAPTAIN LOU’S CORNER: Albano interviews “halfwit” Luna along with the Blackhearts. Since Luna wore the snake around her neck, Albano runs them down and hightails it. He must suffer from ophidiophobia. This HAD to be cut for timing purposes.

Get the Beach Brawl program!

Also, purchase the Beach Brawl video!

Match 6 (legends): Bob Backlund versus Ivan Koloff (w/ Mr. Red)


Rating: *

Summary: Extremely short match as the producers desperately try to regain the pace of the show.

After the match, Albano returns to the ring to encounter Mr. Red. He then nails Mr. Red. While Ivan tries to rescue his manager, Albano pants Mr. Red. HA! An embarrassed Mr. Red hightails it backstage while Albano celebrates in the ring.

We then revisit the 3/18 episode when Beach CREAMED Cactus with his surfboard causing a bloody mess. Next, we revisit the 4/8 episode when the heels got some revenge on Wet’n’Wild.

Match 7: Wet’n’Wild versus “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Cactus Jack (w/ John Tolos)


Rating: ½*

Summary: Extremely rushed match with no heat segment to fuel the Palmetto faithful.

After the match, the heels argue until Orton nails Cactus from behind. Devious! A BUSTED OPEN Cactus and Orton brawl both within and outside the ring until officials separate them.

Prior to the main event, we revisit the 4/29 episode when Bigelow defeated Rusty Brooks. We then revisit the 5/27 episode when Williams took Wild Thing TO SCHOOL. Later in the episode, wrestlers separate Bigelow and Williams in a tease for tonight’s main event.

Match 8 for the vacant UWF TV title (final): Steve “Dr. Death” Williams versus Bam Bam Bigelow


Rating: ****

Summary: Extremely tough big man match that told a great story, had some contentious near falls, and crowned a worthy new champion.

After the match, Abrams interviews the invigorated NEW TV champion. Williams credits Bigelow and welcomes all challengers. Abrams ups the ante by challenging “any champion of any federation” while touting Williams.

Backstage, Ricco interviews Williams who refers to Bigelow as a “tough cookie.” Williams will “work that much harder” for each challenge.

Don’t forget to get the program for tonight’s show!

Also purchase the video for tonight’s show available after 7/1.

Included in our video is a dark match shown prior to the PPV:

Prior to the match, Mr. Red grabs the microphone and requests everyone stand for the Soviet national anthem. Zhukov does a piss poor job of singing, and the Palmetto faithful deride him for it.

Match 0: Boris Zhukov (w/ Mr. Red) versus Paul Sampson


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Zhukov.

Conclusion: First of all, I cannot believe Abrams would book the Manatee Civic Center for this show. The arena holds 4,000 people, yet Abrams only netted 550 folks for the show. I have seen wrestling in this arena yet don’t believe Abrams, who averaged 200-500 patrons for most of his shows could have filled it.

Second, this show has an awesome main event along with two solid tag team matches. Therefore, I heartily recommend watching the show. However, I have one word of caution. If you’ve never seen Herb Abrams’ UWF before, the lack of excellent production values and announcer quality will act as a stark contrast to both WCW and WWF in 1991. Before seeing this show, watch some of the UWF Fury Hour episodes to get a better taste of the product.

Thank goodness, for the most part, there were clean finishes.

According to Meltzer, of the 14 million total subscribers nationwide in June 1991, only 2.3 million had the capability to order the show. In addition, SportsChannel America wasn’t available to a large percentage of the available audience hence a low buyrate. Meltzer also believed that the WWF may have pressured the cable companies (i.e., pulling Summerslam ’91) to refuse to carry the PPV, but that’s speculation on his part.

Buyrate: 0.1

Stay tuned for UWF 06-10-91!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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