Texas Championship Wrestling – February 23rd, 1991
By Dave Newman on 10th July 2022
A one-off review of one of the many incredibly obscure groups that YouTuber Armstrong Alley is uploading at the moment, with this one having an incredibly strong roster that would be off to either WCW or the GWF soon. I chose this one because of a feature that includes the biggest star of the nineties in an early part of his career.
Some incredibly bad intro music, which sounds like it should be on a news show from the early eighties. Also, very confusing title that seems to be designed to make people think both of the World (Wrestling) Federation and (World) Championship Wrestling, while being neither.
Hosted by Bill Mercer from the Metroplex Arena in Dallas, Texas, the first two of many holdovers from World Class.
Quick promo from Terry Gordy in front of a toilet, which is used a visual aid for what Gordy is going to do with Abdullah the Butcher, ending with a superimposed face of Abby spinning down the toilet as it’s flushed in one of the most bizarre promos I’ve ever seen.
Promos from a rare babyface Gary Hart and the team of Billy Travis and Terry Garvin-Simms to promote the next set of TV tapings – mom and grandmas get in free with a child, which makes me wonder if a woman brought her kid and her mom along would they charge at least one of them or does the one kid cover both maternal parents? Suckas gots to know!
The Angel of Death plays Taps in a graveyard on his trumpet before bellowing “TAKE ME LAST!”.
Matt Borne vs. Angel of Death
Ring announcer Dawn Batiste, who I believe was a local area DJ, has this really strange way of swaying in front of the camera and calling out the name first, then the particulars second as if they’re the more impressive part. Angel has a Sheik ripoff manager called Ali Farooq. Borne is the World Federation champion, having beaten Al Perez for it recently, although doesn’t have the belt with him seeing as this was probably taped in advance. Bill has someone on commentary with him who I can’t work out because he isn’t introduced. Borne with an early roll-up, switched behind by Angel, then a takedown to the mat. Borne would be Big Josh very soon, if not already on WCW TV, and Angel got some low key appearances as a Kevin Sullivan goon before, I believe, PN News fell on his leg and broke it. Speaking of, Borne works the leg, but Angel stomps out and gets a big boot. Run of the ropes leads to an awkward bearhug catch. Borne claps the ears but gets caught again. The crowd is lively, if somewhat sparse, getting far more into this bore than the guys deserve. Break, but Borne yells before missing a charge. Angel goes for the trumpet, and Angel almost rolls him up for the three. Backbreaker from Angel and a nice piledriver, a real stuff job, but he breaks the count and goes for a slam and of course gets small packaged for the one-two-three. Solid but completely unspectacular.
Rod Price promo where he takes credit for driving Kerry von Erich to the WWF and throws out vague threats at Kevin. That’s hardly the most devastating thing to do to him, seeing as he was IC champ within weeks. Kevin responds as the Texas heavyweight champion. Is that different to or equal to Borne’s aforementioned title?
Bill Mercer goes out on location, to Hooter’s, to meet up with the tag team of the California Stud (Rod Price) and Steve Austin. They look like brothers at this point with muscles, blonde mullets and baseball caps. Price talks about how they work out hard, but sometimes you’ve got to get some chicken wings and beers. Austin gets into an awesome run about how they only need one another as friends because their eyes are on the prize. Bill asks Steve if he’s the brains of the pair, compared to Price’s brawn: “Well, Bill, I have a sweatshirt, yes, and I am somewhat half the brains of the outfit, but don’t let this sweatshirt fool you, baby! If I take it off I’ll start turning heads!”. Well, that explains that. He and Price just start riffing and Austin kinda loses his thread and starts talking about how they can come down to Hooter’s if they want and “have a few beers, drink a few chicken wings, do what we wanna do, because nobody tells us what to do!”. Bill breaks first on the obvious flub, followed by Steve, then Stud, and they keep it in! That actually did more to get Austin over than if he’d done it right. Everyone cracks up off camera too.
Steve Austin and the California Stud vs. Terry Garvin and Action Jackson
I thought Garvin and Travis were the team, or had Travis already skipped town on a drug debt? Austin starts out with Garvin, who used to do a gay gimmick as the Beauty but had “straightened up”. We get a bit more of an idea of who the other commentator is – Adam something. Austin pounds away in trademark style, already having his punches and blows down within a year or two of turning pro. Powerslam, followed by a flying elbow. Misses another one, but Garvin can’t get the advantage until he floats over another powerslam and gets a roll and an armdrag. Jackson comes in, gear and hairstyle a bit more interesting than his days as Perry Jackson, but still looking like a melted ice cream. Price comes in and is immediately thrown around. Adam the announcer is pretty awful, half-edgelord and mostly uninformed. Price slams Garvin and gets a tag to Austin, who misses a charge and gets rolled up for two and claims that both his hair AND tights were pulled – that’s a hell of a reach! Price comes back in, and while he isn’t actively bad, he’s just so much lower down the scale of quality than his partner. Rare flying elbow off the first misses, but again Austin can get in before the tag. Price trips Garvin for Austin to get his elbow. Double boot and an awkward legdrop get two for Price. LONG wear down segment on Garvin until he gets a bulldog and tags Jackson, who awkwardly pounds away. Austin tags in blind off an atomic drop attempt and clotheslines him down to set up a Demolition decapitation for the win. Fine, not actively bad, but I’m a big proponent of how a two minute squash is better than one that goes ten.
Abdullah the Butcher promo, with an Indian guy reading a prepared statement (badly) about how Abby won’t go home until the Iraq war is over… not that he’s from Iraq. Abby eats the statement.
Terry Gordy vs. Abdullah the Butcher
Pretty big match for such a small promotion, with both being big stars in Japan at the time. Bam Bam is wearing his Dr. Death boots. Referee is John Renesto, who I believe is the son of former Assassin Tom Renesto. Abby gets a nervehold early on, the dreaded neck massage. He switches to the armpit claw, which is just less relaxing and more ticklish. After several boring minutes, Gordy comes up and Abby chops him back down and goes back to the pinch. Any chance of a bit of bleeding and spreading diseases around instead, Butch? He adds an armbar to it to get rarely technical for him. We drift to the outside, where a lot of the ringside fans are set up at tables with beers in front of them, which might be the only way to get through this. Despite the inaction, Abdullah is sweating buckets, so I can only imagine how hot it was in there. I always liked how Abby’s karate pants read A. Butcher, as if “the” was accepted as his middle name. Gordy tries to headbutt out, but is destined to spend in excess of ten minutes with a fingernail sticking into his nipple. Adam the announcer assures us that these guys are not washed up or out of it, seemingly missing the basic rule that you highlight the positives rather than acknowledging any negatives. My declining interest is drawn to the logo on the mat, which looks like it was painted on by a schoolkid with some water-based paints and a paintbrush that they had to wet the bristles on first. Bill and Adam are down to discussing the comparative quality of Abby’s mudflaps. Gordy finally gets a boot to put Ab down, but doesn’t exactly fire up and just stomps away. Any chance of a Japan performance, Tez? Corner clothesline with the timing way off. Ab thumbs the throat, but misses his own big elbowdrop and basically skids down to the mat as Terry slides out. Gordy goes for the Asian spike to finish, so Abdullah punches him to get disqualified rather than take the loss. Angel of Death and the Dragon Master join in beating on Terry, but the Freebirds are in WCW, so it’s down to Matt Borne and Iceman King Parsons to make the cold save. If I’d known this was so bad I would’ve saved it for Nightmare Matches, one of the laziest bouts I’ve ever seen.
Iceman and Brian Adias offer point and counterpoint promos on one another, with Adias claiming he’s been barred because of his thumb.
The show closes with Angel of Death and Ali Farooq seemingly being escorted out by the cops.
Melting it down: Gary Hart, Bill Mercer and Mickey Grant are listed as producers (with the aforementioned Tom Renesto), and it was obvious that this was one of many attempts to relive the glory days of Texas wrestling, with willing participants but matches that ranged from dull to promising to crimes against decency. Worth a look for a young Stone Cold cutting up with his typical verve and vigor.