On This Day: August 11, 1989 – USWA Wrestling Challenge: When Worlds Collide

USWA Wrestling Challenge
Date: August 11, 1989
Location: Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas
Commentator: Marc Lowrance

This is the first of I think six episodes I have of this. I don’t have them all in order and I have no idea where to find them otherwise, so I won’t be able to put up the one from August 18. Other than that though this is from the late 80s (obviously) and it’s as good as anything else while I find a copy of the Raw I was going to do. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip from a World Class show from last week with Eric Embry facing someone from Japan in a cage. The idea here is that if Embry, a Memphis guy, wins, then the Memphis guys get to stay in WCCW but if he loses then they’re all gone. Apparently we’ll get the ending later because that’s all we see here.

This is a USWA show from Dallas which is something I’ve never seen before. I’d assume that means Embry won. Marc Lowrence, the longtime WCCW commentator, is host. Short version: Memphis (CWA) and Dallas (WCCW) merged to form the USWA to try to fight McMahon and Crockett and it lasted all of a year before they split again.

Skandor Akbar talks about how Devastation Inc is tired of not getting acknowledged. They’re coming for the Memphis guys.

Lowrance takes us back to the cage match and the fans are all behind Embry. Embry is the booker from Foley’s book that liked to book while naked. Eric wins with a fluke rollup.

After a break Embry and Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer) take down the WCCW banner and put up a USWA banner. I’m really not entirely sure what’s going on here but it’s as basic of the idea as I can get it. From what I can understand, that cage match was the culmination of a LONG story (as in like 6 months to a year) between Embry and Devastation Inc.

WCCW had been taken over by evil (Fritz had legitimately sold to Jerry Jarrett at this point so the Von Erichs got toned WAY down) Japanese people and Eric represented the good guys of the USWA. He won the match to bring in a new era, which was wanted/needed. This is all based off info I can find elsewhere and not from the TV show mind you.

Billy Travis, a WCCW guy, talks very nervously about how he’s glad to be here.

Eric and Percy are here to talk about the USWA. I’m not sure if USWA was the name in Memphis or not. They talk about how they’re glad the evil ones are gone and they’ll try not to let us down.

Jimmy Jack Funk/Kerry Von Erich vs. Al Perez/Taurus Bulba

Perez vs. Kerry gets us going. They fight for position early and then get in each others’ faces. Kerry grabs the arm and it’s off to Jimmy Jack. The guys on the apron almost get into it out there as (and by that I mean Marc talking to himself) talk about the cage match. Kerry throws the chair at Taurus. Akbar is at ringside too. Lowrance talks about how all of the good things from WCCW will be around in the USWA also. Bulba comes in but misses an elbow to Funk. Back to Von Erich who LOUDLY says put your foot up, which is exactly what Taurus does in the corner. Bulba runs from the Claw and takes Kerry back down.

An elbow drop keeps Kerry down as Akbar talks about how awesome Devastation Inc is. Bulba comes off the top but jumps into the Claw. He makes the rope though and it heads to the floor. The Claw goes on outside and they go towards the crowd. Bulba goes into the post and allegedly we’re at 10 minutes. More like 4 but whatever. Tornado Punch sends Bulba into the barricade but Perez hits Kerry with a chair. Everything breaks down and somehow there isn’t a DQ.

We have four minutes left in the time limit and Kerry is double teamed in the corner. Perez hooks a sleeper on Kerry and takes him down with three minutes to go. Kerry gets out and punches Perez down. Off to Funk and everything breaks down again. Somehow we’re now down to one minute as they’re not even trying to hide the clock changes. A lot of pins are broken up but Kerry gets the Claw on Perez with 15 seconds left. And never mind because it’s a draw.

Rating: C. This was a pretty high impact brawl and I’d assume it was to advance a Perez vs. Kerry feud, which is fine. Bulba was a Mongolian which is a tried and true indy heel gimmick. Not a great match or anything but the crowd was into it and it wasn’t a bad match at all. The clock thing was just laughable though.

A guy who isn’t named doesn’t like to be in Texas but likes Arkansas. He’s part of Devastation Inc though. Oh it’s Gary Young.

Tojo Yamamoto and Akbar get equal time and say they’ll be here. They’re coming for Eric and Pringle. There’s a $100,000 bounty involved somewhere.

USWA Tag Titles: Jeff Jarrett/Matt Borne vs. Cactus Jack Manson/Scott Braddock

Manson is Foley and his team has the titles. Frank Duschek is with the challengers. He was the WCCW boss and was fired by Akbar, who is here of course as well. Braddock is thrown into Akbar on the floor and it’s Jarrett vs. Jack to start. Now there’s a pairing. Jarrett works the arm to control and has Jack hiding in the corner. There was talk of a break but I don’t think we ever went to one.

Braddock comes in and walks into an armdrag of his own. Here’s Borne in pink shorts. He’s no Bret Hart in them but he has a good clothesline. Back to Jarrett and the arm work continues. Back to Borne who grabs the arm again. Now we take a break and come back to a promo of Jarrett and Borne WITH THE TAG TEAM TITLES. They say they’ll deal with anyone that wants a shot.

Back with Jarrett working on the arm of Braddock some more. Off to Manson who rams Jarrett into the buckle then clotheslines him down to block Jarrett’s flips. Off to Braddock who slams Jeff for two. Cactus throws him to the floor and hits the elbow off the apron (called The Consequences here, which is a perfect name for it). That gets two back inside as it occurs to me we’ve never been told who the champions are. It’s Jack/Braddock, but we’ve never been told that.

Jack throws him to the floor and tries another Consequences, but Jeff moves and crawls for the corner. A diving tag brings in the pink shorts wearing Maniac to pound of Manson. Everything breaks down and Borne snaps off a quick German suplex on Jack for the pin and the titles. It’s a huge pop, but man it would have sucked to watch this on TV and have the ending spoiled.

Rating: C. Pretty boring tag match for the most part but the ending was a lot better. That being said, I’d have liked it a lot better if I hadn’t seen Jarrett and Braddock with the belts halfway through the thing. These guys would trade the titles for awhile until Jack left to go to I think WCW. Not much of a match but a title change is always worth seeing.

Lowrance wraps up the show and in something you don’t often hear on a wrestling show, says have a good weekend and worship at the church of your choice. He retired from wrestling to become a minister but it’s still odd to hear. Nothing wrong with it mind you, just not something you often hear.

Overall Rating: C. This was a really bad episode to jump in on. The feuds that were featured here were some VERY hot stories back in the day and it brought Dallas back from a bad slump they had been in, although it was short lived because of backstage politics with the WCCW guys pulling out of the USWA, making that company a Memphis exclusive in about a year or so. Still, fun stuff and a cool look at an interesting time in wrestling history. I don’t have the 8/18 show but I do have 8/25 which is up next.



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