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UWC TV taping on-site (7/8/2003), July 9, 2003
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post Sep 21 2003, 03:33 PM
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UWC Ripped TV taping (7/8/2003) on-site report
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

Those of you who have been following this site over the last year know that I attend a lot of independent wrestling shows, and the league I attend more often than most is the United Wrestling Council. You can check my archives for my previous reviews of their shows, including their most recent show, Final Exam 2. But the UWC has finally earned their first official television deal in Northeast Ohio and has started weekly TV tapings from Shamrock Nite Club in Barberton, Ohio, the first of which took place this past Tuesday.

A note to my northeast Ohio readers. This show airs every Sunday at noon on the Cat (channels 29 and 35) beginning this weekend, so if you live in the Akron/Canton/Cleveland area and want to be surprised at these shows, I'd suggest you hit the back button now, as there will be spoilers galore in this one.

Shamrock Nite Club is quite easy to find, as it's about a block away from Barberton High School. The ring is set up on the dance floor, and the front row is actually made by turning the chairs from the closest set of tables toward the ring. Although you know at some point there's going to be a hardcore match ending on the pool tables. The thing about this building is the apron is clearly a foot or two lower than normal, and top rope moves are still almost impossible to pull off without putting your head through the ceiling or bumping a ceiling fan or light.

They start the show with what they called "tryout matches", which basically gives the students of their training school a chance to show what they can do in front of an audience. The problem is that when they do these (and they've done these at their monthly shows before TV), they don't actually tell you who's wrestling. I figured most of it out based on previous shows and matches later in the taping, but I apologize for any names I don't have.

Dark Match: Rip Cripple (w/The Four Henchmen) vs. The Purple Hooter

This is the third or fourth person to don the Purple Hooter mask, from what I understand. Essentially a squash match, as Cripple picks up the submission win with a form of the STF in 2:31. The barflies were already in heckling mode, so either they love their wrestling or they love their alcohol. I haven't figured out which yet.

Dark Match: ??? vs. ???

I vaguely recognize both guys, but I can't place them. Previous gimmicks within the company, maybe? This one gets cut short, as the ring breaks following a simple bodyslam, so they do a quick spear and pin finish to end it at 1:10.

While they fix the ring, "Your Rolemodel" Ric Lieb comes out to be interviewed by local DJ and UWC broadcaster Dan Mason. Outside of the people who give him face pops (myself included), he actually gets so much heel heat for his promo that I have trouble making most of it out over the crowd. The main point is that after losing the World Title tournament final to Tack at Final Exam 2, every opponent is "Tack" until he gets a rematch.

We've fixed the ring, so it's time for more dark matches.

Dark Match: Wilbur Whitlock vs. ???

Again, I vaguely recognize the opponent but can't place him. Well, it isn't the best lit building in the world! Good match with some innovative spots considering the space, as the opponent stood on Whitlock's back and came down with a Rocker dropper at one point. Whitlock wins it by setting up his opponent for an atomic drop but dropping him face-first to the mat at 5:32.

Dark Match: Animal vs. Demolisher

For the thousandth time, this is NOT the Road Warrior, so stop asking. Another one that gets cut short, as Animal takes Demolisher down with a belly-to-belly suplex and they nearly fall through the ring, so that gets the pin in 1:03.

We have time to kill before we get the ring fixed, so it's time for another interview from Dan Mason, this time with manager "Sex Symbol" Keith Young. He brings out the newest member of the Inner Circle, Selena (aka Carrie Insane), and says that if anybody messes with his woman, he'll mess with them.

We're still trying to get the ring fixed, so it's time for TD (if I heard that right) and Matt to come out. They wear luchador masks, and they spend about 15 minutes insulting the crowd, at one point telling a guy that he had the best rack of any woman there. They also insulted one woman until she flashed them to prove her womanhood. Funny stuff here as they try to keep the crowd into the show.

We have a short lull as the ring is just about fixed, and then it's time for the actual tapings to begin. They do introduce the wrestlers once the tapings start, thank God. They give a quick announcement saying that they will pause at point since it's a TV taping but ask the crowd to keep the energy level up.

For the UWC Television Championship: Ash vs. Virus (champion)

Before the match can begin, Justin Dreams is out with a plastic mailbox. Every week, he'll be reading a letter from a fan, and this week's letter is from a woman who thinks he's dreamy. Virus finally interrupts to let Dreams know there's a match scheduled (Dreams: "You're the TV champion? I thought that belt was vacant."). Dreams apologizes, then cheap shots Virus before laying Ash out with the mailbox. That's a no contest.

After a break, Virus cuts a promo questioning Dreams' actions. They need three takes to get it right. I'll chalk it up to first TV promo jitters, as he didn't look comfortable.

The Purple Hooter vs. "Your Rolemodel" Ric Lieb (w/The Four Henchmen)

Basically a squash for Lieb, who calls Hooter "Tack" with nearly every shot. He also takes advantage of frequent distractions to do some good downhome cheating and to hit his opponent with his trademark platter. Lieb hits his version of the F5 called the 4H, then locks in a form of the cobra clutch for the submission win in 3:57. Old school Wrestling Challenge squash, and I like it!

After a break, Lieb gets promo time, getting one short comment in before being dismissed. Talking is Lieb's strong point, so why he'd only get one line at the actual taping is beyond me.

Interview time, as Chris the Brain introduces UWC Heavyweight Champion Tack to the crowd. Tack says he's going to let the crowd determine who his first opponent is, and the fans call out for Ric Lieb or Chef Meeker, but "The Champ" John Potok has other ideas. He wants his shot, so Tack offers to give it to him right there, but Potok claims a shoulder injury. They set it up for next week, and Potok says he'll train hard for it. Tack questions if it will be his usual training ritual of Taco Bell, drinking beer, and masturbation (and I wonder if that one will actually make the air).

Jebediah Yoder vs. G.Q. Status

Status is actually in the crowd drinking a beer with his manager when he's introduced. The best TV match of the night. Yoder has control for a while, which leads to Status leaving the ring to buy time, as well as Status' manager to distract the referee from time to time to allow for cheating. The finish is right out of the Eddy Guerrero playbook, as the manager distracts the referee long enough for Status to toss Yoder's shovel at him, and when Yoder catches it, the manager turns the referee around. The referee sees Yoder holding the shovel and calls for the disqualification at 5:47, drawing a "bullshit" chant from the crowd before the decision is even announced.

After a break, Justin Dreams is being interviewed when UWC President Bo Smirnow comes in and tells Dreams that if you start something, you need to finish it. So tonight, it's Dreams vs. Virus for the TV Title. If it's that easy to get a title shot, maybe I'll cut a promo before a match too. In comes Mikey Showtime to say he was the best part of their short-lived tag team, and Dreams tells him to do what he wants.

For the UWC Tag Team Championship: Demolisher and The Go-Go Boy vs. The Shadows of Darkness (champions--w/"Sex Symbol" Keith Young and Selena)

The moral of the story here is probably "Make sure you wash your gear before the show", as a fan notices a brown stain on the back of Go-Go Boy's pants, and he became affectionately known as "shit stain" for the duration of this match. Darkstar does a rolling surfboard that is simply a thing of beauty to watch. Darkstar and Unknown do some basic double teaming and pin Demolisher at 3:17 to retain.

We're at break, and President Smirnow thanks us for being such a good crowd and informs us that there will be non-televised matches coming following our TV main event.

TV main event for the UWC Television Championship: Justin Dreams vs. Virus (champion)

This wound up being an OK match with a seemingly abrupt finish, as Dreams pins Virus to win the title following a spinning powerslam at 3:48 before Virus can ever make the token comeback. Postmatch, Dreams is celebrating his victory when Phattie Dattie makes his way to the ring. He brawls with Dreams until Dreams leaves the ring, but the belt is still in the ring, so Dattie holds it up while Dreams yells at him.

That's the end of the tapings, but we still have some dark matches to go, and one of the participants is already at the ring.

Phattie Dattie vs. Jason Thunder

Thunder got plenty of heel heat for his resemblance to Justin Timberlake and/or Justin Guarini, depending on your point of view. Back and forth match, as Thunder controls a bulk of the match and brags about how good it is to be him before Dattie comes back and wins with a magistral cradle at 4:45. Pretty solid for a five minute match.

For the UWC World Heavyweight Title: Mikey Showtime vs. Tack (champion)

Tack's popularity is mostly from teenage girls, and you have to be 18 and over to get into the tapings, but Tack gets a respectable pop anyway. Another short but decent match, as Tack retains via submission to a combination surfboard/Indian deathlock at 4:55.

The Hidden Dragons vs. "High Impact" Bret Myers and "Mr. UWC" Atlantis

One of the hidden dragons has wrestled as Eddie Insane, but I didn't recognize his partner and neither man was given an individual name to go with this gimmick. Eddie Insane was wrestling with a broken wrist here and looked pretty good in spite of that. Fairly formulaic tag team match with Myers and Atlantis both playing face-in-peril for a while. The match eventually breaks down into a four way brawl, and Myers pins the guy I didn't recognize following a handspring twisting senton at 11:02. Good stuff once it got going.

End of show.

Overall, that certainly wasn't the smoothest TV taping of all time. Some of the problems with it were unavoidable, as short matches are the nature of the beast with this type of card, especially when you're limited as to how much time you have for the full card. But in reality, my biggest problem the lack of ring introductions for the dark matches. I know some of these guys are still in training and therefore don't have a set gimmick yet, but give us a name to go with the faces.

There were problems with the low ceiling (some of these guys are better fliers and really couldn't attempt to hit their signature moves) and the ring breaking twice, but they found ways to keep the crowd entertained during the breaks and all-in-all put on a fun show to attend. How that will translate to TV is anybody's guess, but it was certainly worth the trip to see live.

Next week's taping features Tack defending the Heavyweight Title against John Potok in the TV main event, and I'll be there, so you'll probably see a recap of all the action.

I'll be back within 24 hours for SmackDown. Until then, send me some feedback.
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