PWF Homecoming: If I Ever Start Watching This Company Again, Shoot Me

PWF Homecoming
Date: March 11, 1989
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 2,500
Commentators: Gordon Solie, Diamond Dallas Page

Now here’s one I’d bet 99% of you have never heard of. This is the Professional Wrestling Federation, which is a company that Dusty Rhodes started in Florida once the CWF went out of business. That’s about the extent of what I know about this show. Well that and that it takes place in 1989. I have no idea what else to expect here and this is the only show of theirs that I know of. Let’s get to it.

Page and Solie welcome us to the show and tell us where the show is taking place at which is nice. The main event is the Steelman vs. Dusty for the inaugural PWF World Title. There’s a match going on in the background but we can’t see who it is or what’s going on. Steelman is apparently about 400lbs.

There are two “reporters” talking about the show.

Dusty is getting ready in the back.

Junior Heavyweight Title: Lou Perez vs. Jim Backlund

Backlund is champion I think. It seems that Perez is the crowd favorite here. Backlund takes him to the mat with a headlock and they get back up quickly. Perez jumps over him a bunch of times and this has something to do with Florida Championship Wrestling as well. No idea what but I don’t think it really matters for the most part. Backlund works on the arm and we have five minutes remaining. This was the match that was going on when we started. Nice job guys.

Backlund dropkicks him down with four minutes left in this boring match. Perez comes back with a backdrop for two. Something like a Boss Man Slam puts Backlund down but Perez hurt himself too. Two minutes left and Lou gets a near fall on a sunset flip. They hit heads and go down again to kill more time. Snap suplex by Backlund with a minute left and he goes up top. His splash misses and Perez hits a dropkick for two. Time runs out so Backlund keeps the title.

Rating: D. What a boring match. This was 1980s small people wrestling in a nutshell: neither guy was particularly good, but you can have a Junior Heavyweight Titles so put it on someone. This resulted in REALLY boring matches like these and about four guys ever getting the title. The problem is that these guys wrestled like heavyweights but at about half the speed for some reason. It never was very good until some Japanese and Mexican guys came in and actually did something interesting. I’ve never heard of either guy anyway.

Bobby Jaggers/Johnny Ace/Black Bart/The Terminator vs. Nasty Boys/Italian Stallion/Bubble Gum Kid

This should be….uh…..interesting. And yes it’s the same Johnny Ace. Bart and Jaggers are the Southern Force. Ace and Terminator, his less famous brother, are tag champions. Stallion and Bart get things going as Page talks about Ace’s trunks. Jaggers gets slammed as does Bart so it’s Bart in officially now. Knobbs comes in and has a bad shoulder apparently. Off to Sags and then Bubble Gum Kid. Seriously, who named him that?

The Nasties help Stallion to cheat on Terminator so here’s Ace. The problem with a match with this many people in it is that you can’t keep up with who tags in. Also there’s not enough time to get anything going so it’s kind of a mess. Kid hipblocks everyone so Page complains about him being too flashy. Even Gordon gets on Page for that. Stallion comes in and gets out of the heel corner followed by some dancing.

It’s Jaggers vs. Stallion at the moment with Jaggers looking afraid to charge in at him. Back to ace who has flower power going on with the tights. Page has a habit of putting the word baby at the end of every sentence. Knobbs comes in to face Bart and gets caught in the heel corner where they work over his bad shoulder. We finally have our face in peril. It’s off to Ace to work on the arm and then back to Terminator.

Now it’s Bart working on the arm and as soon as I finish typing that it’s Jaggers. Sags tries to come in which doesn’t do any good so it’s Terminator in for more punishment. Knobbs manages a clothesline and gets the tag to Bubble Gum Kid. Everything breaks down as you knew it was going to do at some point. Kid goes up but gets hit in the head with a bradning iron, allowing Bart to steal the pin.

Rating: D. Another uninteresting match here for the reasons that I gave you earlier on. There were just way too many people in there and because of that it was really hard to get a story going. The shoulder was about what you would expect here and it’s amazing how the Nasty Boys were in essence the same guys for so many years. This was nothing but a way to get a bunch of people out there though.

We talk to some suit who is president of the organization. He says the future will mean something and that’s about it. We also see the PWF Title for the first time.

Terry Funk vs. Dustin Rhodes

There’s some guy with a big sign at ringside which looks like a protest sign. It’s a pro-Dustin sign, calling him America’s Baby. Terry gets in an argument with some fan in the third row. He breaks the sign too just because he’s Terry Funk. The guy tries to get the sign back so Terry beats him up. Dustin comes out and dropkick Funk’s manager Oliver Humperdink.

Apparently this is some continuation of the Funk vs. Rhodes war which I don’t remember ever starting. I do however remember it continuing for years on end. Terry suplexes him back into the ring and the beating begins. Piledriver hits but Funk won’t cover. Dustin is a total rookie at this point so it should be a squash. An eventual cover gets two. Dustin whips him into the corner and Funk goes over the corner and to the floor.

Terry comes back and throws him to the floor as Page talks about Dusty’s loins. Dustin comes back with punches and they head inside. Back elbow gets two. There are two slams and a suplex. It’s clear Dustin has very little ring time at this point so his offense is incredibly limited. Funk punches himself in the face to wake himself up and heads to the outside again.

Dustin elbows him in the head as Funk is coming in. It’s clear that Funk’s selling is designed to make Dustin look much better than he has any right to be at this point. They brawl on the floor a bit before heading back inside for choking from Funk. He’s got something in his hands to choke with because he’s Terry Funk and therefore evil. Dustin comes up with a backdrop and a Dusty elbow to the head. Humperdink comes in with a rope, only to get beaten up. Funk chokes Dustin with the rope for the DQ.

Rating: D+. This was probably the best match of the night so far and it was Dustin using the same moves over and over, which to be fair isn’t his fault. He had only debuted about six months before this so he was lucky he had someone like Funk in there that could walk him through the whole thing. Boring match but it could have been a lot worse. Rhodes had talent but he needed to get out of his dad’s shadow and get experience.

Italian Stallion and the Nasties make the save from a worse beating because Papa Rhodes was too busy I guess.

The Commandos vs. The Star Riders

No idea who any of these people are but the Commandos are big fat guys while the Riders are small guys. The fat guys jump the Riders and we start with the white Commando vs. we’ll say Rider #1. Off to the black Commando as this is comprised of a lot of clubbing on the back so far.

Back to the white one who misses a corner splash while Page implies Gordon is a cross dresser. Here’s Rider #2 and their names are apparently Rock and Blade. The black Commando is named Ray. Rider #1 is Blade. Ok then. The heels (Commandos) cheat, resulting in a double team clothesline and a splash by the white one gets the pin. This was too short to rate but it’s clear that all of these guys are REALLY green.

Terry Funk says he liked being in Hollywood but he’s back now. Oh and he won’t sleep with the interviewer woman, which is probably going to stop half of her questions. Terry wants to talk about Dusty Rhodes but the interviewer talks about Dustin. Funk wants to take away Dusty’s pride. He wants a Texas Chain Match with Dusty.

Florida State Title: Al Perez vs. Mike Graham

Mike is champion and this is No DQ for no apparent reason. Graham takes him to the mat immediately as is his custom. He hooks a leg lock and this is already boring. Perez gets out of it so Graham puts him right back into it. Al rolls to the floor before coming back in for some forearms to the back. Perez is sent to the floor and then into the post. This match is already boring, much like most of Graham’s stuff.

Back in and Perez takes over, catapulting Mike into the corner. Time for the chinlock to keep the riveting going. The match isn’t bad mind you, but it’s REALLY uninteresting. The No DQ rule hasn’t meant anything yet either. Al throws his feet on the ropes to establish that he’s a heel. Graham gets up and hits a single punch to put both guys down. Right back to the chinlock which has almost no torque on it.

This is one of those matches with nothing to talk about. The No DQ rule is probably here for the ending but it’s making the match even less interesting because you’re waiting on a brawl to break out but it’s just a boring wrestling match. Back to the chinlock for a third time which is broken up after a minute or two. They collide twice to really emphasize that they’re both down.

There goes the referee and Perez gets a chair and a shot to the arm which apparently is injured. Thanks for telling us that 10 minutes into the match guys. Graham comes back with the good arm and knocks Perez to the floor. The arm is sent into the post and Perez goes after it very slowly. Back into the ring for a key lock and they roll around on the mat for a bit with the hold on. Perez turns it into a pin and grabs the rope for the pin and the title.

Rating: F. It was boring, there was no justification for the No DQ ruling, the rule didn’t come into play until the referee went down which made no sense and the ending was lame as the cheating could have happened with nothing at all with the arm shot. Graham is a guy that you hear good things about and while he’s technically sound, I’ve yet to see him have a good match.

Scott Hall/Steve Keirn vs. Dick Slater/Bam Bam Bigelow

Keirn has an alligator with him named Wally. Get the reference? Gordon says this is an Australian tag match, whatever that means. Bigelow and Hall start things off. Bigelow is the only one here that looks like he usually looks. Hall works on the arm and brings it’s off to Slater who takes over. Back to Bigelow who looks silly working on the arm. Monster heels go after RIBS man. RIBS. Bam Bam misses a headbutt and Hall hits a dropkick.

Off to Keirn who works on the arm as well. Slater is knocked to the floor and Keirn suplexes him back in for one. This is another boring match. Swinging neckbreker from Slater puts Keirn down but he won’t tag. I guess it’s supposed to tease tension or something. Slater drops an elbow for a delayed two. Keirn hooks a sleeper so Bigelow makes the save. Hall knocks Slater down and after about a day and a half Keirn tags him in. A quick sunset flip gets the pin. Oh and apparently Slater and Bigelow are part of Page’s stable.

Rating: D-. Scott Hall’s mustache alone keeps this from failing. Other than that there’s NOTHING here that anyone should want to see. This show continues a complete lack of being able to tell us anything about the stories leading up to the match. Bigelow and Slater are in the Diamond Exchange? Thanks for telling us that with 10 seconds left in the match. It really made the ending epic.

Slater goes after Humperdink post match but Bigelow beats down Slater.

Page is in the ring but let’s go to Gordon and whatever that interviewer chick is named. Nothing at all is said so let’s go back to the ring. The president presents the title belt to the referee. Page is ring announcing apparently.

PWF World Title: Big Steel Man vs. Dusty Rhodes

Big Steel Man is Tugboat/Typhoon/Shockmaster. Dusty comes out to Old Time Rock And Roll. Well at least he has good taste. Oh apparently Page is the manager of Big Steel Man. That sounds like something a 4 year old would come up with. Steel Man shoves Dusty around a lot to start. Dusty comes back with an elbow. That sequence took over a minute somehow. Dusty jumps (yes, jumps) into a bearhug two minutes into the match. This match is really looking down in a hurry.

Dusty elbows out of it and goes to the floor, only to have his shoulder rammed into the post. Back inside Steel Man works over the arm with a wristlock. The guy is 370lbs and he’s using a move that a cruiserweight could use. That’s not a compliment in this case. The arm goes into the buckle and Big Steel drops four legdrops in a row followed by a missed top rope splash. Dusty rolls over quickly and gets the pin and the title out of nowhere.

Rating: F. OH COME ON! After this horrible show, the big star’s match for the world title isn’t even eight minutes long? There was no build at all and the ending didn’t do anything for the crowd, as they didn’t have a chance to get ready. Also, Dusty looks like a weak champion as all he did was move out of the way instead of hitting a move of his own. Horrible main event to a terrible show.

The Diamond Exchange comes in to work on Dusty’s arm. Keirn comes in and lays on Dusty to protect him instead of, you know, hitting the heels with a chair or something. Dusty gets up because his help sucks and clears the ring.

Overall Rating: F. When the only good thing there is to say about a show is that it’s relatively short, that’s a pretty sure sign that the show is horrible. The wrestling is bad, there are almost no stories in sight and there’s nothing redeeming here at all. It comes off like a really bad indy show with guys that haven’t been around for years. From what I can tell these guys were CWF/Florida Championship Wrestling guys, and if that’s the case I’m NEVER watching that company again. Horrible show.

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