Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday Morning Ringside: UWF Wrestling (1985)

In the mid-80's, wrestler-turned-promoter Bill Watts decided to carve out his own piece of the national television pie. Regrettably, it wasn't meant to last.

Watts' Mid-South Wrestling promotion underwent a name change to the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF), and landed a syndication deal that put the UWF almost on the same level with the National Wrestling Alliance (which they were affiliated with at first) and the then-World Wrestling Federation. However, before it was all said & done, as they say in the trade, Watts lost a number of talents, as Junkyard Dog, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ted DiBiase, and the One Man Gang would eventually move up north to work for Vince McMahon. The Fabulous Freebirds called the UWF one of their bases, this after a brief cup of coffee with the then-WWF that died practically stillborn, but are better known for longer runs with Georgia Championship Wrestling and World Class. Announcer Jim Ross would later work for WCW and WWF/E. Michael Hayes, the lone surviving Freebird, is also now with WWE in a creative capacity.

Here's a sample episode:

I have no doubt the UWF aired on Saturdays in some cities, mostly in the South, but most of the network carried the action on Sunday mornings or evenings (or both, as was the case with the affiliate in my area, which was an independent then, and now is a CW affiliate). Another promoter, Herb Abrams, revived the UWF name in the 90's and landed a deal with ESPN, but met the same fate as Watts' version.

Rating: B.

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