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 - Charles Laffere   


“Out of all the reindeer you know you're the mastermind
Run, run Rudolph, Randalph's not too far behind
Run, run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it to town
Randolph he can hurry, he can take the freeway down

And away went Rudolph a whizzing like a merry-go-round”

“Run Rudolph Run,” by Chuck Berry

I think Hanson did a cover version of this tune. They’re from Oklahoma, right? Perhaps the Hansters were a little too young to be tuning in to the UWF. Oh, well, I’m sure Chuck Berry watched his fair share of wrestling living in St. Louis… 

“Said Santa to a boy child ‘What have you been longing for?"
"All I want for Christmas is a Rock and Roll electric guitar’
And away went Rudolph a whizzing like a shooting star
Run, run Rudolph, Santa's got to make it to town”

Hello, I am Charles Laffere, and welcome back to the Christmas/New Year’s Edition of my Universal Wrestling Federation Kayfabe Memories. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa greetings, and Happy New Year to all. To our Canadian neighbors celebrating Boxing Day, I asked last year for--and never received--an explanation of that particular holiday and why there isn't a Wrestling Day as well. I’ve got a Bob and Doug McKenzie album where they give their version, and I just want to make sure I’ve got it straight… 

“Can't you make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
And away went Rudolph a whizzing like a merry-go-round”

Last time we met, we were pulling the curtain on the UWF’s Superdome Extravaganza on November 27, 1986. Dating back to 1976, Bill Watts’ wrestling promotion held super cards at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Starting in 1980 Mid-South would hold an annual card on or close to Thanksgiving Day. The first UWF Thanksgiving “Superdome Extravaganza” is the one we will look at in the installment. The UWF had more cards at the ‘Dome after this, but the show that night was the last truly big draw the company enjoyed at the stadium, with 13,000 in attendance for 13 matches…         

“Said Santa to a girl child ‘What would you like most to get?"
"I want a little baby doll that can cry, scream and wet’
And away went Rudolph a whizzing like a Saber jet
Run, run Rudolph, run, run Rudolph, a running like a son-of-a-gun.”

In the opening match, Jeff Gaylord pinned Kayfabe Memories own Art Crews. The second bout saw Gary Young down the hapless Lybian.  The third contest pitted the Freebirds bodyguard, the Angel of Death, against Ken Massey. The Angel of Death was a large fellow named Dave Sheldon. He, along with the ‘Birds valet Sunshine, supplied the Fabs with an entourage usually reserved for rock stars, fitting perfectly into Michael Hayes’ Ric Flair meets Ronnie Van Zant vision. Sheldon was trained by Stu Hart and began his career with the Stampede Wrestling promotion. In fact, Sheldon was chosen, along with Bruce, Ross and Diana Hart, to give the Cauliflower Alley Club's highest honor, the Iron Mike Mazurki Award, to Stu Hart in 2001. Sheldon also accompanied his mentor when Stu Hart received the Order of Canada medal.

Sheldon had several anecdotal occurrences in his career. The Angel was one of Ole Anderson’s multiple choices to be the Black Scorpion in that (in) famous angle. That would have been a true surprise, for Sheldon was noted almost solely for his stint with, and later against, the Freebirds in the UWF. Sheldon also appeared as the Russian Assassin for a brief time in Jim Crockett Promotions. He is now retired.  More...

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