Squared Circle Pit

Squared Circle Pit

Thursday, July 7, 2011

UWF-Mid South footage with plenty o' rockin' tunes

Clockwise: Sting, unknown, Missy Hyatt, John Tatum, Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and Rick Steiner. AKA: World's Worst 70's Disco-Glam tribute act.

There was something truly great about the short-lived UWF which was in its earlier incarnation, the Mid-South promotion run by Cowboy Bill Watts. This like many Southern promotions, I had only previously read about in the 'ol Apter mags. However, my first trip to Las Vegas in Summer '87 I discovered the UWF (which debuted a year earlier) and hence an entirely new wrestle-verse from my then friend & bandmate, Tom. Tom introduced me to the UWF's cable show "Power Pro Wrestling" which we later got in the Bay Area on Saturday nights on San Jose's independent channel, Channel 36.

The UWF was Watts way to draw in some of the talent he already had an could mix in with current elements of NWA territories past & present: Memphis, Los Angeles, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, World Class, etc. This meant names that would later make for some major and minor but still classic angles in the latter part of the 80's into the early-mid 90s: WCW and WWF: Terry Taylor, Ted DiBase, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, The Junkyard Dog (who I Hacksaw Butch Reed, Jim "Hacksaw" Duggan, Terry Taylor, Eddie Gilbert, The Freebirds, Kamala: The Ugandan Giant, Shane Douglas, Rick Steiner, and one of my faves. Steve "Doctor Death" Williams.

This first clip has KISS' "Rock N' Roll All Night" (shortly after uh, Molly Hatchett?) that works OK but not anywhere near as well as one after (around 1:04) with their few truly great 80's songs, "War Machine" featuring Jeff Van Camp doing the oft-used gimmick Lord Humongous - which similar to Hawk and Animal was also influenced by The Road Warrior film.

Later in the clip the Midnight Rider who reps the Allman Bros. but this time surpinsgly ISN'T Dusty Rhodes but (SPOILER ALERT: Bill Watts).

Now time to get your energy dome on as UWF announcer Ressor Bowden serves up a "Good Thing" of prime mid-80's grapplin' action & DEVO. Don't forget to watch your guest seat, Reesor!

But..."don't you miss it" especially when they got beer in Texarkana

Finally, because I sometimes too much time on my hands, I also found this clip of the house comedian of the Grand Olde Opry, Jerry Clower doing a promo with the Junkyard Dog & Jim "Hacksaw" Duggan (who he calls "Doogie" or is "Dukie"?)

In summary, it's really facinating what and who made these decisions for using music in the UWF. No canned pre-made themes, just actual songs from acutal artists that are often fitting the action really well. As I'll show in upcoming posts funk, disco and electro (or really nearly proto-techno) sounds were used brilliantly for themes for the various terriories. Once again: territory system IS hardcore!

ENDNOTES: Manager Jim Cornette has some great stories about working for Watts in the Mid-South. Which you can read in his Midnight Express Scrapbook - which is VERY much worth your time and $.