Friday, July 24, 2009
GAB Friday: Dr. Death, Hotstuff, Cap'n Redneck
Random Great American Bash clip Friday keeps on keeping on! This week we flash ahead to the 1987 Great American Bash tour, which featured: (1) The inception of the War Games match (two rings surrounded and covered by a cyclone fence) as The Four Horsemen battled Dusty, Nikita, and the Road Warriors; (2) The Rock and Roll Express defending their World Tag Titles against Jim Cornette's Midnight Express; (3) Ric Flair once again taking on any and all challengers for his World Title, most notably Jimmy Garvin; (4) Lex Luger chasing and eventually capturing the US Title from Nikita Koloff; and (5) the stars of the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) on tour with the stars with the National Wrestling Alliance.
You may recall that in the Spring of 1987, Bill Watts sold his UWF promotion over to Jim Crockett. Instead of immediately morphing or dissolving the UWF into the NWA (that would occur at Starrcade that November), Crockett retained the UWF brand name and syndicated programming while keeping much of its talent pool in tact...the most notable immediate defections being Ted DiBiase and The One Man Gang who showed up in the WWF later that summer, along with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who I believe left right before the acquisition took place.
In addition, Crockett started infusing many of his NWA guys into the UWF. For example, Barry Windham came in and won the unprestigious and randomly created UWF Western States Heritage Title while Jim Cornette's bodyguard Big Bubba Rogers showed up seemingly out of nowhere to take the UWF Heavyweight Title from the One Man Gang then promptly turn heel and joined up with Skandor Akbar's anti-honky talkin' army otherwise known as Devastation Incorporated. Also around this time, Magnum T.A. and his glistening schlong cut and exquisite rug of chest hair became the color commentator on one of the UWF broadcasts. Hell, even Dusty Rhodes came in every now and again to suckle at the sweet teet -- or more accurately in the Dream's case, feast upon the all you can eat buffet-- of the area's top babyface hoss and contender for Big Bubba's UWF Title, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.
In turn, UWF guys like The Fabulous Freebirds, Sting, and Rick Steiner were gradually featured on NWA TV and incorporated into NWA angles and storylines.
The apex of this NWA-UWF arrangement was having both "companies" (again, it was in actuality one company but presented as and understood by 11 year old mark lil' Malibu Sands to be two distinct federations) join forces for an expanded Great American Bash tour.
Another NWA jumper over to the UWF during the spring of '87 was the Tulsa Welding School's most venerated and articulate graduate," Dick Murdoch. The recently heel turned and grizzled veteran promptly joined forces with the embodiment of chicken shit heeldom "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert to run roughshod over Gilbert's arch nemesis, Dr. Death.
While the clip above does not take place during the Great American Bash per se, it very much set the stage for the series of Murdoch-Williams and Murdoch/Gilbert-Williams/"Freebird" Terry Gordy (the first time the eventually to be christened Miracle Violence Connection joined forces) confrontations during the '87 tour.
Go ahead and click play now, you'll get vintage flair for the dramatic Mid South/UWF era Jim Ross play-by-play, one of the vilest two-on-one beatdowns you'll ever witness, and a SICK chair shot on a hapless pasty/mulleted garden variety 80s jobber at the 1 minute 57 second mark.