Universal Wrestling Association – March 6th, 1976
By Dave Newman on 9th January 2022
Another one from Lou Thesz’s UWA. Watch out for the bloop at the start again, this time with colour bars!
Hosts are Lou Thesz and Buzz Benson.
Pez Whatley vs. Nelson Royal
Lou is creaming himself in his understated way based on the amateur credentials of both men. Pez gets a full nelson, which Nelson flips him out of. Pez sits out of a rear waistlock and gets an armdrag into a hammerlock. He turns Nelson into a pinning position for two. Nelson uses a snappy leg trip to bounce Pez, but Pez gets a grapevine. “You’ve got to dig in there like a chipmunk!”, says Lou. Nelson kicks out and avoids a leg dive, but Pez regains a hammerlock. You can tell these guys were doing their best to impress Lou and meet his high standards. Lou apologises to Buzz for not talking more as he’s enjoying the match so much, which is a nice level of authenticity. Royal gets a chinlock, with the hands clasped, which Pez hip tosses out of. There’s enough going on but not so much that Buzz can’t give some background on the guys (Pez: accomplished amateur wrestler/potential Olympian, Nelson: rodeo star). Pez is back to the hammerlock pinfall attempt for two with two minutes of the ten overall remaining. It’s slowing the match down, into the last minute, as Buzz talks about how Pez’s amateur background would see him win with that for holding it so long. Nelson comes up with thirty seconds remaining and takes an armbar with ten seconds to go, then a crossface as the bell rings as the time limit expires. Nelson is reluctant to break but both men accept the draw. Hugs out of respect after. Not the greatest match of all time, but completely solid babyface match with a bit of flavour with Nelson leaning into heel tactics.
Flying Fred Curry vs. The Renegade
So, I have reviewed these episodes out of order, with this being the debut of the Renegade and more detailed information about him being a hillbilly heel from Virginia. Curry is the son of Wild Bull Curry, which I’m not sure whether it was acknowledged that widely, although I’ve always known since I became aware of them that that was the case. Buzz explains Fred’s unusual psyche-out move of bouncing around the ring on his toes, so that you never know what he’s going to do. Just as he says that, he fires off a nice dropkick. He follows that up with a monkey flip that the Renegade just about tucks his head on as he bounces over. That was almost straight down. He takes a powder, then Fred headscissors him back into the ring. Renegade gets a break on the ropes. Gut shots in the corner and a choke. Fred flips over Renegade on a corner charge and gets a bombs away drop from a grounded position. Crowd counts along on seated axehandles, although some get to ten and others get to sixteen. Renegade gets a back body drop out of nowhere, but falls to a springboard cross body block out of the corner for three. Really interesting match to watch Curry in, who I’m surprised wasn’t around longer and more prominently, although his name did get dropped occasionally as a favourite of Brian Pillman’s in the nineties, hence Pill taking the Flyin’ nickname.
The Islanders vs. Troy Graham and Eric the Red
Here’s one I was hoping would pop up! Troy Graham would go onto greater fame as the Dream Machine, but the Islanders are actually clean-shaven babyfaces Afa and Sika, later known as the Samoans, and the latter is obviously the father of Roman Reigns. Conspicuous by his absence is Saul Weingeroff, the manager of the Islanders, who got beaten up by Dr. Ken Ramey and the Interns recently and put in the hospital, to set up the big tag team feud. Saul even took a spike piledriver on the concrete floor to add heat to the angle. Graham starts with Afa, who Buzz mixes up with Sika. Afa REALLY looks like Yokozuna did in 1992 at this point facially. He can’t get the better of the Samoan, so Eric tags in and has no more luck. He gets a boot and an elbow to bring Afa into the corner, although annoyingly they’ve hit the end of TV time and the match gets cut off! Will have to look for more of them on other episodes.
Melting it down: Another mostly enjoyable show, although the lack of conclusion to the last match was frustrating. Another one tomorrow.