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[1990-04-21-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler and Eddie Marlin

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Eddie Marlin is out to announce new USWA rules!

 

(1) All matches will end by pinfall or "technical loss". Every match will have a winner and a loser. No more disqualifications or countouts. Titles can change hand on either win or technical loss.

 

(2) The first time a wrestler interferes in a match he's not part of, he'll be fined $1,000. The person who he interferes on behalf of will have a technical loss. The second time is $2,000. The third time will be a 30-day suspension.

 

(3) Matches will no longer end in a draw. They will go into sudden death and the first guy taken off of his feet loses the match. (HELLO SCREWJOBS!)

 

Marlin points out that Lawler has saved himself more times by getting DQd than by actually pinning his opponents. Lawler chimes in with great smarmy questions to really get this over. I liked this segment.

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Good segment and I would be interested if when Lawler walked off camera if he told his heel fans to pipe down to let the angle get over. I appreciated Marlin slapping on the New sticker on the desk. The technical loss thing is sort of confusing though and these rules are definitely not sustainable.

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Eddie Marlin comes out to boos from the studio audience which Lawler enjoys it. Marlin has some new rules for USWA. First rule is all matches must end with a finish and no disqualifications. Like that one. Lawler as champion doesn’t like this. The technical loss is a bit silly though as it seems similar to a disqualification.

 

There will be stiff penalties against for outside inference resulting in a technical loss. Another rules a sudden death where once time limit passes it will be decided by who the first person is knock their opponent off their feet. Don’t like this one as remember it in WCW with Sting and Vader and it deciding the number one contender.

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It looks like USWA has exhausted all of their screwjob finishes with Lawler as champion, so they create new rules so they can create new and exciting ways to screw their fans out of clean finishes in the main events, at least until they forget about all of these rules and go back to their old screwjob finishes again.

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The fines and suspensions for outside interference definitely make sense. "Technical loss" is the same as disqualification, so there's really no change there except that there can be title changes off of them, but the Unified title goes back and forth at least once during every Lawler program, so what's the difference? I'll have to see the "sudden death knockdown" rule in action; it does seem like an excuse to create a new kind of screwjob finish. But this is Memphis, so that rule should fit right in. As long as the right man (Lawler) ends up champion at the end of more weeks than he doesn't, the fans should eat these rules up with a spoon for however long they last.

 

As Soup mentioned, it sounded like Lawler was definitely talking to the crowd off-camera during Eddie's preamble, but that might be because of the rather thorough booing Eddie got when he came out. The only authority figure I've ever heard booed quite that much was Mr. McMahon, and he was supposed to be a heel at the time. I wonder what set them off that day?

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Eddie Marlin comes out to a fair few boos which makes ‘The King’ laugh and he’s sure to point them out to make sure that Marlin heard them. Dave says how he and Eddie were talking before the show went on the air and there are some new rules in the USWA. Marlin says that part of his job is to talk with the fans, see what wrestlers they like, who they don’t like and book them against each other as that tends to bring a good crowd in. This past few weeks they’ve been seeing what the fans don’t like and he’s got together with the committee and Max Andrews to draw up some new rules:

 

1) All the matches will end by pinfall or a technical loss. This means that there will be no more disqualifications, every match will have a winner and a loser and titles can change hands on a technical loss. Lawler queries how can you not be disqualified? What if someone is blatantly punching someone in front of the referee, will they not get disqualified? Marlin explains that they will lose the match on technical loss. He’s also checked the records and found out that Jerry Lawler has saved his title more times by getting disqualified than he has by actually pinning his opponent. This new rule means that if he does something that would previously have warranted a disqualification (be it pulling a chain, hitting the referee etc.), now it would be a technical loss and he would lose the title.

 

2) The first time a man interferes in a match he’s not assigned to he will be fined $1,000, and the man he’s going into the ring to help will be awarded a technical loss. The second time that same man interferes it would be a $2,000 fine and if he sees fit to interfere a third time he will be suspended for 30 days. Dave thinks that should cut down on the Ronnie Gossetts and the like running into the ring and costing people matches.

 

3) As there are no draws, from now on if a match goes to the time limit be it 15 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever, when the time is up, the referee will ring the bell. He’ll then get both wrestlers in the ring, start the match over and the first wrestler to takes the other off his feet will be declared the winner.

 

Lawler is not too thrilled with these new rules but Dave Brown is rather excited by them. As Marlin leaves Nate the Rat comes out and starts putting a plastic floor covering down in front of the announcing desk. Dave asks him what he’s doing but he doesn’t reply and ‘The King’ tells ‘brain damage’ that Dave is talking to him. Nate says he’ll find out soon enough and Lawler jokes that Nate has bought his carpet from home out.

 

I don’t think these rules will last too long, for as much as the second one makes sense, I’m not overly keen on the other two. The technical loss seems exactly the same as a disqualification, just that belts can now change hands on a DQ and I absolutely hate rule three where a winner is declared by taking your opponent off your feet. I hadn’t contemplated that these were alternative screw job endings for Lawler as they’d exhausted all their current ones, but it certainly seems like that is the case. I’m all for giving them a go at least if it means we’ve seen the back of the ‘ref bump/foreign object’ finish that was a staple of the first couple of months!

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Lawler's reactions make this work. Otherwise it would have been way too dry. The "sudden death" rule seems like it could be a fun kind of gimmick for a promotion to use.

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