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[1990-06-23-USWA-Championship Sports] John Tatum vs Bubba Fangman


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  • 2 months later...

Tatum gives himself away as the gift-giver in a funny moment. He wrote Tessa a poem that he memorized:


Roses are red

Violets are blue


I love you


How sweet! The crowd is on his case and it's having a real impact on him. He says he's stopped drinking, he has sleeping better and he has a tan and a new hairstyle. He pleads with Tessa to come back to him before hugging the cameraman and comes across as a total psychopath.


A fan starts booing him and he runs to give him a hug. SELF HELP IMPROVEMENT GUIDE BOOKS. This is a total hugfest, as he is hugging and smiling at everyone in sight. Seeing him get more boos the more sugary sweet he gets is awesome.


Pringle referring to Tatum's cobra clutch by its Japanese name freaked me out.

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Roses are red,

Violets are blue,


I love you, baby, I love you!


Eat your heart out, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Tatum reveals that he had a "drinkin' problem for a few days" after Tessa left him, but he's given up drinking, gotten himself a tan, and has CHANGED. Hugs all around, including two hugs for some rather uncomfortable Sportatorium fans, one of whom loses his cowboy hat in a hilarious moment. Tatum's sudden mood swing when the crowd starts getting on his face is legitimately unsettling. "Bubba Fangman" is about the most hilarious misnomer in wrestling history--I expected a big Ray Boone/Makhan Singh type instead of a generic pasty-faced jobber. Tatum still wants to shake hands after every exchange until Fangman makes the mistake of armbarring him one too many times, leading to a false handshake, kick to the gut, a nice superkick, and the DREADED SHININOMAKI for the win.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Somebody had sent Tessa a necklace. Tatum makes a short joke about Dundee’s height. Tatum has a romantic poem for Tessa. Tatum has more poems for Tessa. He’s quit drinking, for a few days. Working out and his tan looks good. Tessa has to take him back now.


Tatum has lots of hugs for everyone. He offers a bunch of handshakes out of respect to his opponent. Tatum gets a cheap kick and wins the cobra clutch. He is sorry to have hurt his opponent though.

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  • 1 year later...

More of a character piece than an actual match. I'll say this for Tatum: he's thrown himself heart and soul into this gimmick. If he'd done otherwise it would have been laughably bad beyond belief. The closest thing to this is Brother Love, but the difference is you know right off the bat that Brother Love's a no-good liar. Tatum wrestles just cleanly enough at the beginning of this match that you start to believe him in spite of yourself. Then, of course, he lowers the boom on poor helpless Bubba.


I persist in my belief that Percy's the best commentator that USWA Texas has. He may have a voice that drives certain people up the wall (though not me personally), but he can sell a storyline like this, even while acknowledging subtly just how weird it is. I loved him asking for a second hug from Tatum, and also running down all the beautiful women that Texas has seen over the last few years, even mentioning Toni Adams without making a disparaging joke about her. Yes, he puts himself over by bragging a little about beating up Chris Von Erich, but that segment's brief and doesn't take away from the match in the ring. I also liked him being the only other person besides Tatum to know about Tessa's necklace.


Honorable mention to Bronko Lubich. I swear I saw a slight smile on his face when Tatum came over to hug him. If an angle can make even an old buzzard like him grin, it must be pretty special.

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  • 1 year later...

Tatum gives the realist promo in the world, like total textbook abusive boyfriend material here. At the end of the promo, once again, he opens his arms to the camera and my blood runs cold. You can keep your slugfests, I'll take a hugfest every time. Another winner and he's completely upstaging Dundee here as far as I'm concerned. Really enjoyed Percy here, calmly believing and putting over that Tatum is a changed man.

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  • 8 months later...

Tatum accidentally outs himself saying ‘whomever sent that necklace, oops, that gift to Tessa’ surely must be a rich man and must really love her too! He tells Dundee that if he’s ‘a long drink of water’ does that make him a ‘sip’? He knows Dundee doesn’t want to put up his belt against him next week but he has to. He then gets all emotional and tells Tessa that he loves her and that he’s also written a poem for her ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, Tessa I love you!’ He’s going to beat Dundee to death next week, win that title and then give it to Tessa. He says that he’s stopped drinking (as he developed a drinking problem after she left him!), is sleeping well and is looking real good as he’s got a tan and had his hair done for her! He loves her more than anything in the world and wants her to please come back to him. His face with his bottom lip quivering is a picture! He gives the cameraman a hug and tells him that he loves him, followed by one for Percy.


He takes off his jacket ready for the match, but before he gets in the ring gives a fan at ringside a hug, another for Percy (Percy wanted another!) and then one for another fan who he borrows a cowboy hat from that he puts on. Each of the ringettes are next for a Tatum hug and he tries to give one to Bubba Fangman but he’s not interested. Neither is Bronco Lubich, but he manages to give him one anyway! Tatum offers Fangman his hand, which he accepts, and when he does he pulls him in for that hug! Another mainly scientific match with Tatum obsessively wanting to shake his opponents hand again after every move. That is until Tatum breaks an arm wringer by grabbing the ropes and when he offers Bubba his hand, he kicks him in the stomach instead. A chop to the chest, a superkick followed by the Shininomaki sleeper for the win. After the match Tatum gets on his knees and says that he didn’t mean to hurt him.


This was hilarious and Tatum continues to be a joy to watch. Him putting on the cowboy hat that he took from that one fan and then giving the ringette’s hugs had me in stitches.

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  • 1 month later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1990-06-23-USWA-Championship Sports] John Tatum vs Bubba Fangman

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