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 - Charles Laffere

UWF’s Behind the Music:
Everybody Wants Hot Stuff?

Okay. Please, nobody sue Vince for copyright infringement. It just so happens that this installment of Wrestling with UWF Music will feature artists from that irresistible guilty pleasure known as VH-1’s Behind the Music. But, before we start, a moment of reflection. As Percival Pringle III noted at the Wrestling Classics Message Board this last month, July 16 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Terry “Bamm Bamm” Gordy, the first AND best UWF World Heavyweight Champion. In the words of Ronnie Van Zant:

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?”

Rest assured, Ronnie and Terry. You two will always be remembered by those who saw and listened to you perform.

Hello, I am Charles Laffere and we are back for another spin at KUWF, broadcasting to frequencies between Badstreet, USA, the Sam Houston Coliseum, and Bixby, Oklahoma. We completed our last shift with a selection dedicated to Terry Taylor, a number from those effete Limey heels known as Duran Duran called “Notorious.” Now we will start off with a song that any red blooded, God fearing, heterosexual UWF fan would surely regard with spite and loathing, a ditty used by Eddie Gilbert and his corporation, Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”:

Looking for some hot stuff baby this evening
I need some hot stuff baby tonight
I want some hot stuff baby this evening
Got to have some hot stuff
Got to have some loving tonight
I need hot stuff
I want some hot stuff
I need some hot stuff”

Gash!!! Disco was long dead by 1986, but the song fit Eddie Gilbert’s preening narcissist just fine. This was the same guy who, in Mid-South, once offered a portrait of himself as the prize in a contest. Gilbert was one of the guys who had a hand in booking many of the UWF’s classic angles, but in the ring he was at the center of the promotion’s most emotionally charged storyline. In the spring of 1986, the Mid-South promotion had morphed into the UWF, but Bill Watts knew he needed a big angle--a REALLY BIG angle—if he wanted his renamed company to make a significant impression nationally.

At the time, Gilbert was wrestling occasionally and managing a Road Warriors knock-off called the Bladerunners, composed of future legend Sting and the evolved life form known as the Ultimate Warrior.

Around the same time, Gilbert began managing Korstia Korchenko, a “Russian” invader whose gimmick was draping the Hammer and Sickle over his defeated opponents. Given that the Reagan era was still in effect, the sociopolitical tenor of the promotion’s Louisiana/Mississippi/ Oklahoma/Texas fan base, and Bill Watts’ own, uh, RATHER conservative political views, this seemed like a good idea designed to elicit tremendous heat. However, Korchenko wasn’t any good at all in the ring, not even as a plodding big man. Watts and Gilbert carried the feud, going back and forth over Hot Stuff’s Commie sympathizer ways, with the big Cowboy threatening to fire Gilbert if he brought the Russian flag to the ring again.  More...

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