Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Charles Laffere
"I might not have got the picture,
But I could read the writing on the wall."
"Writing on the Wall" -George Jones
In addition to being country music’s greatest singer (well, tied with Willie Nelson), the Possum is a wrestling fan. I have one of George’s many compilations with this song and another –"High Tech Redneck"-that mentions a guy who’s "old enough to know better" who still watches wrestling on Cable TV. Any resemblance to yours truly is purely coincidental.
When I decided to begin this column with the end of the UWF three months ago, I had no idea that WCW would face a possible buyout by the WWF nor that ECW would slip even further into its comatose state. This time, I would like to briefly cover two more reasons why the UWF folded and to speculate what might have been had things transpired differently. I believe that Bill Watts could provide some good advice to all of the aforementioned companies. So with that, let’s look at
REASON # 5: JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS TREATED THE UWF LIKE AN UNWANTED UNCLE AFTER THE MERGER.
True enough. I had become a fan of Mid-South/UWF through the Houston Wrestling television show. When the Crocketts bought the UWF, it had the potential to be a good thing because Watts had some good workers that would be good additions to the JCP roster. Instead, the UWF became a second-class group. When Big Bubba Rogers (AKA The Big Bossman) won the UWF Heavyweight Title, JCP announced that he had won a championship without specification.
To add insult to injury, Rogers would defend the UWF title on the first match of the card at JCP house shows. Dusty Rhodes, Watts’ fellow Midnight Rider and then-booker for JCP, was never known for his booking acumen nor his backstage diplomacy. Whether the incoming talent threatened Rhodes’ position within JCP or whether he was acting on the orders of Jim Crockett is unclear. Despite the UWF’s declining talent level at the time of the buyout, the promotion still had much to offer to JCP, who had lost its share of workers to the WWF. Sting and Rick Steiner were the only UWFers to receive a big push with JCP.More...