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UWF Blackjack Brawl

Live from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: September 23, 1994

Attendance: 600 (228 paid)

Hosted by Carlo Gianelli & the “Golden Greek” John Tolos

Can Sid defeat Williams to become World champion? Will the Killer Bees finally become World champions? Who wins the lumberjack match? Also, women, little people, and more! Let’s sink our teeth in!

To start the show, highlights from the Blackjack Brawl press conference offer snippets from wrestlers who will be performing. Like the press conference that launched the UWF, Spivey knocks someone’s block off. This time, it’s Herb Abrams’. Methinks that’s payback for allegedly stiffing him in Reseda.

“Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal Herb Abrams opens the telecast by introducing Blackjack Mulligan. Unfortunately, it’s extremely obvious that there are numerous people dressed as empty seats.

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We return from commercial break, and Abrams introduces our special guest ring announcer Steve Rossi. For those unaware, Rossi was a stand-up comedian, so this should be thrilling.

Match 1 for the UWF Americas title: “Dangerous” Dan Spivey versus Johnny Ace (w/ Missy Hyatt)


Rating: **

Summary: It’s apparent that neither wrestler wanted to job, so they implemented the old Arnold Skaaland trick from 1983 that cost Backlund the WWF title. Spivey’s workrate and Ace’s high spots highlighted the match, but Spivey’s forgetting how to hook an abdominal stretch irrevocably spoiled the match.

After the match, Tolos claims a double cross while Spivey drags Abrams into the ring by his jacket. Hyatt and Mulligan join them in the ring, and Abrams calls Spivey a “chickenshit.” Ace seems rather confused, so it’s an actual double cross for Missy and Spivey. While Ace wants a rematch, Abrams drops every name in the naughty book at Spivey.

Curt Hennig will be interviewed next. Wait a minute! This isn’t one of my AWA reflections. Although he wasn’t under WWF contract, I believe he no-showed.

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Considering Hennig won’t be here, we head back to the ring.

Match 2 for the UWF Junior Heavyweight title: Mando Guerrero versus “Wildman” Jack Armstrong


Rating: *½

Summary: Despite Guerrero’s getting the Vegas faithful into the match, Armstrong took advantage of his mistake and beat him.

After the match, Abrams interviews Armstrong who calls him a “sick bastard.” Armstrong delights all cartoon fanatics with “I’m a thinker, not a stinker.”

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Match 3 for the UWF TV title: Sunny Beach versus Dr. Feelgood (w/ Missy Hyatt)


Rating: **½

Summary: Beach did solid work while Feelgood looked like a ham’n’egger.

After the match, Hyatt enters the ring and slaps the bejeezus out of Beach. He must not have done his part if you catch my drift. Regardless, Beach manhandles Missy until Feelgood applies the rag to subdue him. While it sucks, at least he sticks to the gimmick.

With Beach OUT COLD on the mat, Abrams interviews Hyatt who wants “another championship belt.”

Feelgood and Mane shill UWF merchandise, and Sid makes a cameo.

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Ad #2 for Log Home Living airs.

In the ring, Abrams announces that Bruno Sammartino couldn’t join us due to an Italian-American celebration in “Pittsburg, CA.” Methinks the drugs are affecting him now. Regardless, Mulligan confuses honored with audited which I bet is something Abrams knows quite well. He puts Williams over as a great champion.

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Ad #2 airs for Balfour rings.

Match 4 for the UWF Southern States title: “Cowboy” Bob Orton (champion) versus Thor


Rating: ½*

Summary: Definitely not Orton-Orndorff from Spartanburg. Let’s move on.

After the match, Orton and Thor brawl at ringside, and Thor rams him face-first into the timekeeper’s table. Thirsty for more violence, Abrams hands Thor a steel chair, but Orton nails Thor before any shenanigans take place.

Mulligan interviews Orton who talks about “knowledge, desire, and heart.”

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Ad #3 airs for Log Home Living. Meanwhile, I take a respite.

Match 5 for the UWF Midget World title: Little Tokyo versus the Karate Kid


Rating: *

Summary: Comedy match that had its moments.

After the match, Abrams, standing at about the same height, interviews Tokyo. Abrams and Tokyo discuss sake and kanpai. (e.g. a Japanese toast while drinking).

Promo #2 airs for UWF Wear.

Ad #2 airs for the Nolan Ryan golden stamp.

Sid, who usually whispers, cuts a promo without the benefit of his microphone being on. Oops.

Ad #2 airs for Jeff Foxworthy.

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Match 6: The Irish Assassin versus Samson


Rating: DUD

Summary: Preliminary match if there ever was one. Pass the popcorn!

Backstage, Sid, Mane, Feelgood, & Wild Thing shill the UWF PowerLine.

Ad #3 airs for Balfour rings.

Within the casino, Wild Thing with some little wild things cuts a brief promo on Mane and shills both the UWF and MGM Grand.

Match 7 for the UWF MGM Grand title: “Wild Thing” versus Tyler Mane


Rating: **

Summary: Good psychology by Wild Thing, but shenanigans by Mane earned him the victory. Believe it or not, Wild Thing retired following this match due to family commitments.

In the ring, Abrams presents Mane with the UWF MGM Grand title belt. Mane praises Wild Thing before crowing about his victory.

Promo #2 airs for the Rolling Stones.

Promo #2 airs for the MGM Grand.

Ad #4 airs for Log Home Living.

Match 8 for the vacant UWF Women’s title: Candi Devine versus Tina Moretti


Rating: DUD

Summary: Devine used her height and experience to win, but she’s prettier than this match was. As you may know, Moretti would do fine for herself becoming Ivory in the WWF.

Ad #2 airs for the Julio Cesar Chavez tape.

Ad #3 airs for the Nolan Ryan stamp.

Williams cuts a promo on Sid while challenging WCW wrestlers Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.

Ad #3 airs for the Foxworthy tape.

Ad #4 airs for Balfour rings.

Match 9 for the UWF World tag team titles: Killer Bees versus the New Powers of Pain


Rating: ***

Summary: Solid tag match with the Bees using ring psychology while the Powers of Pain implemented heel psychology. Regrettably, it backfired for the heels.

Snuka cuts a promo on Cactus.

Promo #3 airs for UWF Wear.

Promo #2 airs for Sports Interview.

Match 10 (lumberjack): “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka versus Cactus Jack


Rating: *

Summary: This had the makings of an ECW-style brawl which had yet to be invented. Unfortunately, you could tell that they had ZERO chemistry. Since Snuka was Cactus’ idol, I’m certain he would say this wasn’t a good match whatsoever.

Afterward, the spotlight follows Cactus and Snuka into an empty section so that Abrams doesn’t get sued on top of going bankrupt. Snuka suplexes Cactus in the cheaper seats while Rossi’s voice hits a few octaves higher out of sheer surprise and terror. The lumberjacks separate them and walk them up the stairway.

Promo #3 airs for the Rolling Stones.

Promo #3 airs for the MGM Grand.

Ad #5 airs for Balfour rings.

A crazed Abrams tries to rile up the Vegas faithful by hyping the main event.

Match 11 for the UWF World title: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams (champion) versus “Malicious” Sid Vicious


Rating: ***

Summary: Once they got going, the match cooked. The finish stunk on Melba toast, but they were supposed to be building to another show.

After the match, the newly reunited Skyscrapers double-team Williams. Sid powerbombs Williams with Spivey’s help. While Ace storms the ring with a steel chair to rescue Williams, the Skyscrapers head for safer ground.

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While Williams is aided by medical personnel, Abrams interviews him. Abrams promotes a steel cage rematch, Williams will sign the contract. He cuts a promo on the Skyscrapers and touts Ace as a partner.

Ad #2 airs for the kids’ construction tape.

Promo #2 airs for the UWF PowerLine.

In the ring, Abrams interviews the Skyscrapers, and Sid refers to Spivey as his “mentor.” Mulligan calls them on their bullshit and supports Williams. With Mulligan as backup, Abrams taunts Spivey about Williams’ retaining the championship, and the Skyscrapers exit the ring.

Ad #4 airs for the Foxworthy tape.

Promo #3 airs for Sports Interview.

To close out the show, Abrams and Mulligan put their exclamation point on the show.

Conclusion: During the event, Gianelli promotes the possibility of upcoming shows like Blackjack Brawl II and Blackjack Brawl III. Sadly, neither show comes to pass since this show did a horrific gate and lost a lot of money.

Let’s discuss the matches. The opener had an angle that foreshadowed Spivey’s double-cross in the main event. Next, an Asai moonsault was the highlight of the Light Heavyweight title match. Beach wrestled the match of his career in the TV title match. Following that, Orton struggled trying to make Thor worth a damn. The little people and the steroid monsters did what they could to entertain. In the MGM Grand title match, both Mane and Wild Thing ended their wrestling careers with a decent showing. Unlike today, the women’s match served as a concession stand break. The Bees scored the World tag team titles by avoiding heel chicanery and persevering. In the lumberjack match, Snuka and Cactus tried to make it work but failed. The main event saw not only the breaking of the ring but also a few minutes of Sid and Williams performing at their best before the storyline finish.

Let’s discuss the rest. Steve Rossi, as ring announcer, performed more like he was at a kid’s party trying to keep them entertained between the matches. Needless to say, but he did a poor job. Gianelli and Tolos were a terrible broadcasting duo. I wish Abrams had brought back Craig DeGeorge for the show because he had good rapport with Tolos and could orchestrate a show. Abrams’ drug addiction reared its ugly head a few times during the show as his voice and antics were not completely solid. I caught a quick glimpse of his yellow ostrich boots, but they rightfully did not get great attention. Allegedly, some of his checks to the wrestlers bounced which is a fitting end to the promotion.

If you’ve never seen the UWF or this show in particular, be forewarned. This is an independent promotion with lower production values than WCW or WWF in 1994. I recommend the Bees match and main event but skip the rest.

Farewell, UWF! We hardly knew ya.

TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for The History of Herb Abrams’ UWF!

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

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