Thursday, 21 March 2019

RE-POST: UWA Volume 1 - DVD Review

In this edition of The Two Sheds Review we’re going to take a trip back a couple of years with a visit to the now-defunct Ultimate Wrestling Alliance, who staged something of a comeback after their original demise. This DVD, UWA Volume One, features matches from various shows held in 2004. 

This release, produced by Pinfall Productions, comes in the forms of “episodes”, so we’ll begin with Episode One, which begins with mixed tag action, as “Flyin’” Phil Powers and Lisa Fury go up against Paul Tyrell and Erin Angel. Once again Tyrell and Powers prove to be good foils for each other, and even though the girls don’t do much in this one, they do their part as Erin launches herself off the second rope with a flying body press on Powers to get the victory for her team. Not bad, but it would have been nice to see the match from the beginning, and not from halfway through.

Singles action next as a guy I haven’t heard about in ages, D’Ron Rulz, faces Andy Simmonz. This was during the time when Simmonz was the Duke of Danger’s butler on the FWA TV show, a gimmick that did hold him back somewhat, but thankfully, he’s just plain old Andy here. This was a take it or leave it kind of match for me, and disappointing given the calibre of those involved. At times both men looked great, but there were also times when both looked quite sloppy, with D’Ron in particular guilty of this. The end came when, after delivering a low blow, D’Ron got the pin after a death valley driver.

Episode Two begins with one half of the U.K. Pitbulls, Big Dave, taking on one half of the Liverpool Lads, Frankie Sloane. Another match that starts halfway through, which sees Big Dave getting the pin after a full nelson slam, following a visit from his brother the Bulk. Disappointing not because of the win, but because the entire match wasn’t shown.

Sloane then makes his second appearance of the episode, this time going up against Phil Powers. Now this was more like it, a fast-paced match between two veterans who really know their stuff, with Powers playing the part of the whiny heel to perfection, and Sloane outstanding in what was a tremendous back-and-forth match, the kind of match that left you guessing about who was going to come out on top. After what seemed like an eternity of great action, Sloane eventually emerged as the winner after a cross body block off the top rope.

Episode three only contains one match, an elimination mixed tag action, with the U.K. Pitbulls, Lisa Fury and Jade facing The New Breed, Erin Angel and Venus. A times this one wasn’t pretty to watch. The four women were very poor, and it was surprising to see Lisa Fury put in a poor performance, but then again, that may have had something to do with the ineptitude of her opponents. It was only after all the women were eliminated that things got better, as Ashe and Curve did their best against the much larger Pitbulls, but in the end it wasn’t enough for them, as Curve was eliminated after a full nelson slam from Big Dave, and Ashe went down to the Pitbull Powerbomb.

Episode four begins with the Bulk making his second appearance, going up against former WWE star Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Ring announcer Mal Mason, growing more annoying as the DVD goes on, wrongly introduces Roberts as a former WWF and Intercontinental Champion. Not one of the Snake Man’s best matches during his time in Britain, and frankly, it’s not a good match overall. Jake got the win with his patented DDT, and that was the highlight of the whole thing.

It’s a battle of the monsters next as Dominator, accompanied by his manager Poison, takes on Flatliner, who is in full comedic mode for this one. As with the previous match, this is nothing special, which was a slight disappointment because this one looked good on paper. Although funny at first, Flatliner’s comedy routine got a little tired after a while, which was another reason why this one failed to inspire. In the end Flatliner won by disqualification after he used a belt to whip him. Thankfully this one didn’t last that long.

The fifth and final episode features tag-team action, with Doug Williams and Steve Morocco facing Paul Tyrell and Jake Roberts in a best of three falls bout. This was definitely the best bout on the DVD, with all four men putting in a good effort, including Jake. This wasn’t one of those blink-and-you-miss them kind of match which Jake put on for some promoters. The first fall went to Morocco, who took care of Roberts with a sleeper. Tyrell equalised for his team with a hurricanrana on Williams from the top rope, with Jake getting the winner for his team after a DDT on Morocco.

Extras on this DVD come in the form of a U.K. Pitbulls promo, a music video, and a photo slideshow, provided by Sarah Barraclough of 1 Stop Wrestling.

In conclusion - you can definitely tell this was Pinfall’s first ever release. The production values are pretty poor, with some rather shaky camera work in all the matches, along with the fact that there’s no commentary, and those of you who’ve been reading my column for a while should know by now how I feel about that. As for the matches, well, there’s only two out of the eight on this DVD that I’d want to watch again (Powers v Sloan and Tyrell/Roberts v Morocco/Williams). The rest are take them or leave them kind of matches, matches that don’t exactly set the pulses racing with excitement. So overall, this is just a two star-er.

Sadly, this release is no longer commercially available, which is the case with UWA Volume 2 (which I’ll be reviewing at a later date.) But if you’d like to purchase other UWA DVDs (and I from what I’ve seen of them they are much better than this one), then log onto www.pinfall.net.

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