On This Day: March 9, 1991 – USWA Championship Wrestling: Terry Funk Comes Back To Memphis

USWA Championship Wrestling
Date: March 9, 1991
Location: USWA Television Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Dave Brown, Michael St. John

We had to skip ahead about a month here but it shouldn’t be a big problem. As far as I know there haven’t been any major changes, although at some point before the 15th, Jarrett’s Southern Title was held up after a match with Steve Austin so there’s no champion. Other than that everything seems to be the same. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Night Train Jackson vs. Sgt. O’Reilly

The show is starting a little early so some fans aren’t there yet. Jackson throws him around and dances a bit. He hits something like Old School and no sells a headbutt. See Jackson is black and in wrestling that means he has a hard head. Dropkick and a fisherman’s suplex get the pin. Squash.

The announcers talk about the Open Door Policy, which means if you want a match, talk to the promoter and they’ll try to get you one. That leads us to a video on the Texas Hangmen who are apparently violent. They shout a lot and no one, including the announcers, can understand it.

We talk about last week where Jeff Gaylord surprisingly joined up with JC Ice and we get a clip of Gaylord jumping Superstar Bill Dundee. Gaylord bailed on Downtown Bruno in the process.

Ronnie Leach vs. Jeff Gaylord

Gaylord is a power guy so he picks Leach up in a bearhug position and rams him into two corners. Backbreaker hits and he throws Ronnie to the floor. Apparently Ice has stolen all of Bruno’s talent, which means Bruno is heading to the WWF I believe. A modified powerbomb, the Dehumanizer, kills Leach and eventually a pumphandle slam gets the pin. Squash #2.

Dundee jumps Gaylord before Gaylord can go for an interview. Dundee rams him into the post to get rid of him. He talks about how he’s fighting to get his son Jamie (JC Ice) back. I forgot about that. Dundee says he’ll do whatever it takes to get him back and that includes beating up everyone that Jamie brings in.

Jerry Lawler will be at some hardware stores next week.

House show ads.

We hear about how Terry Funk won’t show up and defend the world title. We get a clip of him winning the title off Lawler in November. Eddie Gilbert tried to interfere and wound up costing Lawler the title. We also hear about the bounties that Funk put out over the last few months.

We finally hear from Funk for the first time in the nearly three months I’ve been watching this show. He’s being forced to come back to face Lawler in a rematch which will be two days after this show. Thinking of Memphis makes him spit and the people are even worse. Lawler is the worst of all of them but isn’t man enough to take the title from Funk. Apparently Jackie Fargo is going to be the referee again and Funk thinks he’s an old pervert. The match should be in Amarillo, Texas where men are men. Funk is only 46 here and he’s as evil as ever. Maybe he’ll stomp Fargo so Fargo’s heart will stop. That could be awesome.

Video on the career of Jerry Lawler. We get clips of him fighting probably 25 legends in a very impressive package. Pretty much every big name from the era (other than Flair, who I’ve seen Lawler face in Memphis when Flair was NWA Champion) is shown with Lawler beating them up, including both Funks, Hogan, Race, Savage, Rude, Hennig, and about twenty others. It’s really cool stuff. We also get a look at his work outside of the ring with kids. We also see clips from the Jerry Lawler Show, which is exactly what it sounds like and was a real talk/variety show that aired in Memphis. The whole thing runs almost nine minutes.

Mid-South show ad, including the Lawler vs. Funk match.

Lawler comes out and talks about the match coming up. It’s taken forever to get here but he’s ready. He’s not really fired up for it but is more calm and cautious. Win, lose or draw it’ll be his last match for awhile to heal from some injuries.

We get highlights from El Gran Pistolero vs. Danny Davis for the Light Heavyweight Title. Are there any matches on this show? The match is thrown out.

Davis says he was expecting a match and got a fight, and that’s not cool. He’ll fight Pistolero anytime.

Curtis Thompson/Brad Collins vs. Eric Embry/Tom Pritchard

Pritchard and Collins get things going. Tom and Eric are Texas guys so they keep explaining how awesome their home state is. It’s off to Embry who gets in some shots and then back to Pritchard. Both heels keep jumping between the apron and commentary. Pritchard tries a slingshot suplex that goes so badly it would make Tully Blanchard shoot himself so he could roll over in his grave. Embry hits a top rope headbutt for the pin. Thompson was never in the match.

The Texans make fun of Lawler and Tennessee.

Southern Heavyweight Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve Austin

The title is vacant coming in. Austin takes over quickly and stomps him down into the corner. JC Ice has the referee and Jeff’s small package is missed. Austin hooks a chinlock which only lasts a few seconds. Jeff tries to speed things up but walks into a knee to the stomach. Austin rolls him up in the corner and puts his feet on the ropes for two. A foreign object shot gets the same. Jeff hooks a quick sunset flip and gets the title back.

Rating: D+. Not the worst match ever but it was only a few minutes long and neither guy was all that great yet. This was more about pushing the Monday matches forward because of the post match stuff. Not much to see here and Jeff has the title back that he never really lost in the first place.

Jarrett gets beaten down by Austin and the other Texas guys but Eddie Gilbert makes the save. Jarrett says it ends Monday. Gilbert says bring on the blood.

Overall Rating: C+. This was much more like a go home show rather than a regular show which is an interesting change. The Lawler video is awesome and could easily be a HOF/retirement video all on its own. The matches were short here but it set up Funk vs. Lawler on Monday which is the whole point here. Good stuff but it could have been great with some better wrestling.

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