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[1993-05-01-USWA-TV] Jeff Jarrett vs Brian Christopher (Hair vs Title)

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Christopher puts his hair up against the Southern title.

 

Excellent match. Jarrett misses a shoulderblock, which leads to Christopher working over his shoulder and doing some cool spots. Lawler is at ringside handing out drawings of a bald Brian Christopher to fans! The girl in the front row holding up her Baldie Brian sign while doing the cabbage patch is cracking me up.

 

They really did a good job of making this a big event, as there is a barber's chair at ringside and other wrestlers are coming out to watch. And this has more heat than any Memphis studio match I've ever seen, because it's so well-worked and has all the really good false finishes. I didn't care for the finish of Steve Doll tripping Jarrett to cost him the match, but aside from that, this may be the best Memphis studio match ever.

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Yeah, this was terrific stuff.

 

The Lawler v Flair, Lawler v Dundee and Lawler v Mantel studio matches on the Memphis set were awesome, but I thought this might've been a better match, if not as spectacular an "overall package" deal (as this didn't have a great angle surrounding it). Finish was a bit deflating and really could've done with something bigger, but still, everything else rocked and I was buying a few of the nearfalls myself.

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The girl in the front row holding up her Baldie Brian sign while doing the cabbage patch is cracking me up.

Totally noticed that too. The studio crowd was really into this. Really good match and loved all the wrestlers coming out to ringside and getting into the action too. I didn't mind the interference but more that it looked weak with Jarrett getting tripped up and then pinned. Though a match as good as this did deserve better.

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Easily the best Memphis studio match since at least the Lawler/Dundee Southern title switch, maybe the best ever as an isolated match without the big killer angle surrounding it. About 7 million near-falls, with the heel and babyface locker rooms emptying to watch and cheer. I like how early they started bringing people out, but didn't go for the predictable fuck finish--the ersatz lumberjacks stayed uninvolved until the end. It was kind of lame that after taking an axhandle to the floor, a big legdrop off the top, and other hot moves, that Jarrett went down to a simple trip, but you knew you weren't going to have ten guys surround a Memphis ring and not descend into a brawl. This edges out Kid vs. Sabu as the best non-Big Two U.S. match of the year, just because it was something unexpectedly epic.

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Lawler is out and out passing out "Baldie Brian" posters to the studio audience. He probably got a huge kick out of that. Crowd seems really hot for Jarrett and the possibility of seeing Christopher get his head shaved. The wrestlers coming out to watch creates a great atmosphere and certainly sets up a big haircut. Christopher with a near fall on a flying elbow, then rolls through a flying crossbody for 2 as the match builds and feels pretty big. Would almost expect this to be at Miid-Sout but I think we're fortunate that its its not. Steve Doll trips Jarrett coming off the ropes, which lets Christopher wins the title with an elbow. Lawler & faces try to explain it to the ref to no avail and it eventually breaks down into a big brawl.

 

***1/4

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I may have spoke too soon declaring Lawler vs. Jarrett from 96 as the best USWA studio match of the 90's. These two are in heavy contention as this was great and reminded me of the Jarrett vs. Pritchard feud from 91 in spots as well as the Gilbert vs. Jarrett match from that year. Really smart work and unique stuff going on with an invested crowd and the promotion treating it very important. Kind of a shame that with so much other great stuff this year, no way this will make my year end top 100. ***1/2

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It's rare that we get to see a full memohis match that means something, so for that reason alone this would have been a treat. But Jeff and Brian outdid themselves here, putting on one of the best studio bouts I can remember regardless of promotion. They treated the WMC studio like it was a jam-packed Mid-South Coliseum, which seldom happens in the studio environment.

 

Jeff was excellent here, but Brian was the star. After some nice heeling at the beginning, he turned his focus to the match and delivered his best performance yet. I loved his work on Jeff's shoulder, which had to have been taught to him by someone other than his dad, since the Kingfish has seldom if ever worked a body part that I've seen. Eventually we got to the nearfalls, but they worked here better than they did elsewhere in the world at this time; you really feel the struggle over not only the belt, but Brian's pride, which he stands to lose a great deal of if Jeff can cost him a shaved head.

 

Kudos to Dave, who really told the ongoing story of the match well. He's a vastly underrated play-by-play guy, and with Memphis slowly starting to lose relevance in a world that's rapidly becoming WWF- and WCW-centric, it's really a shame that only geeks like us will ever truly know how good he was. Corey was almost indecipherable when he really got excited, but he didn't kill the bout like he's done with others in the past. An extra special shoutout to the camerapeople; with the other wrestlers surrounding the ring, they were forced to do more closeups than normal, but these really added to the intensity of the bout. It wasn't quite Lawler winning the AWA belt, as Dave suggested, but it was important and treated as such by all involved.

 

I didn't mind the finish, as this feud had to last a while and help draw some houses, both at the MSC and around the circuit. They didn't want to stop Brian's momentum dead with a clean loss, and that's perfectly understandable, but Brian also wasn't quite ready to beat Jeff cleanly either. By the end of the year, maybe, but not now. Besides, we're also set now for some tag matches with King and Doll vs. Jeff and a partner, and maybe a six-man or two with Christopher and probably Lawler added to the mix.

 

I liked the King handing out the drawings of a bald Brian to the ringside fans. I just hope he got Brian's approval before he did it, and possibly his (Brian's) mother's as well.

 

I know referees are supposed to be above personal feelings in most cases, but it had to be awkward for Kevin to be involved with big angles involving both his father and his brother, especially when they were on opposite sides of the fence. Thankfully for us fans, he did his job so well that we never sensed any awkwardness. He may be the best ref the USWA has right now, though the competition isn't exactly stiff, with the likes of Frank Morrell and Paul Neighbors.

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