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 - Charles Laffere

1987 UWF Tag Team Tournament

Hello, Charles Laffere here again with another installment of my UWF memories. I know I had promised an overview of UWF heels circa 1987, but I have decided to present a different story due to several things. One involved the original installment itself. Trying to present an overview of Bill Watts own heelish past, Skandor Akbar’s Devastation Inc., the Fabulous Freebirds, and Eddie Gilbert/Missy Hyatt’s Hot Stuff International proved somewhat unwieldy. The characters involved there merit more than a 1,000 essay. I’ll present that story, possibly in two installments, at a later day.

Another problem presented itself recently-I had a computer glitch this past weekend that wiped out my hard drive. With the hard drive went my article (I know, ALWAYS save to a floppy disk. Oh!)

Finally, I owe the Kayfabe Memories message board for the idea of writing about an actual event rather than providing character profiles. On the UWF section, Mr. HM Files suggested that I give specifics about matches in 1987. Point taken and acted upon.

Today’s North American pro wrestling scene is unquestionably dominated by the WWF. Part of the WWF’s appeal stems from its intense focus on television. Unfortunately, much of the current WWF TV product hinges on the insufferable V.K. McMahon, Jr. produced version of "Days of Our Lives" (or "All My Children," depending on if Shane’s around). Bad acting, connect-the-dots logic, and glossy production values predicate the promotion’s main storylines and angles. Twenty-minute opening dialogues are the rule, not the exception. After all, as he stated in "Beyond the Mat," McMahon perceives himself as being in the business of "making movies."

Somehow, I doubt that Bill Watts saw himself as John Ford, Steven Spielberg or Ron Howard. Watts placed a tremendous emphasis on TV as the foundation of his promotion, but he never had his daughter marry a wrestler or demand a divorce from his wife (well, he did push son Erik, but that’s another story.) Instead, at his best he designed storylines which fans could follow seamlessly without having to be reminded about what happened "moments ago."

One of the best examples of Watts’ premier wrestling storytelling abilities is the UWF Tag Team Tournament. On December 27, 1986, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Terry Taylor captured the tag straps by beating Wild Bill Irwin and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown in Fort Worth.  More...

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