Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Best of the USWA Volume 2 - Video Review

Once again I’ve delved into my vast video and DVD collection, as this time we travel back in time to the southern part of America, namely Texas, and take a look at some action from the United States Wrestling Association, with a look at The Best of the USWA Volume Two.

We start off with British star Chris Adams and Jimmy Jack Funk taking on Gary Young and PY Chui. Young was one of those guys I used to mark out for big time. The dastardly heels tried all they can to hurt Adams as much as they can, working over his left leg. After Young misses a splash off the ropes, Adams manages to make the tag to the Faux Funkster. Mayhem then breaks loose, and the heels are disqualified when Young clobbers Adam with manager Tojo Yammamoto’s kendo stick.

Next, a battle royal, with the added stipulation that the winner must grab a set of car keys from the top of a pole. It’s basically a mess as tons of guys try to climb to the pole. Eventually, Kerry Von Erich manages to grab the keys, and wins the car. I hate reporting on battle royals.

Six man cage action follows, as Freebirds Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts, along with Iceman King Parsons, take on Chris Adams, Kevin Von Erich and Steve Simpson for the six-man tag-team titles. Some great action in this bout, and good to see Terry Gordy in his prime years. But for all their hard work, the Freebirds team still lost the match. During a mass brawl, Adams super-kicked Roberts before Von Erich sealed the deal with a splash off the top rope to win the gold.

When then move on to see current NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett team with future Doink Matt Borne as they defend their tag titles against Ron Starr and Al Perez. This was back when Jarrett was a beloved Memphis baby face. With Skandor Akbar at ringside watching over his men, Perez and Starr showed some good teamwork. But the end came when Starr picked up the tag titles from the ringside table and went backstage, where they were counted out. Kind of a screwy finish here.

The three Simpson brothers then go up against the Hood, Vince Apollo and Cowboy Tony, who I remember as one of the USWA’s top referee’s back then. The Simpsons are clearly the baby face team here with their rock star looks. A but messy at times, Cowboy Tony took the loss after one of the Simpsons pinned him after a body block off the top rope.

A strange team next, as the Missing Link and Solomon Grundy take on John Tatum and Jack Victory, strange because Grundy is a four hundred hillbilly and the Link is a green face painted freak. Definitely not a classic here, as all Grundy seemed able to do was push people around with his massive stomach. The bout ended in a mass brawl as Vince Apollo came down with one of this men to attack Grundy and the Link, before Bill Irwin entered the fray, chasing the heels away with his whip. A real mess here, and not pretty to watch.

More six man action, as Kerry and Kevin Von Erich team with Chris Adams against Buddy Roberts, Iceman King Parsons and the Angel of Death on a penalty box match. Tons of action in this bout, with the Von Erichs showing just how good there were. The end came when Jerry, with both of his partners in the penalty box, pinned Roberts with a roll-up. Boy was this one good.

Following this, Steve and Shawn Simpson take on John Tatum and Jack Victory in a Texas tag-team title bout. A so-so bout sees Tatum and Victory winning the titles as Tatum uses the top rope to clothesline one of the Simpson boys as he attempted to roll-up Victory. Big Jack got the winning fall shortly afterwards. You know, I used to be a big fan of John Tatum back in the day. Guess I was impressed really easily back then.

The final bout of the tape sees the Hood and Tim Brooks take on Kevin Von Erich and current WWE road agent Michael Hayes, who was quite a wrestler in his day. A sweet little bout here, with Hayes and Von Erich working well as a team, and Von Erich getting the pin on Brooks after a body block off the top rope.

In conclusion - a mixed bag here, with some good matches interspersed with some stinkers, although this is a good way to take a look at some vintage work from the likes of the Von Erichs, Jarrett and the Freebirds, although I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness because some of the top stars featured on this tape, Kerry Von Erich, Chris Adams and Terry Gordy, are no longer with us.