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Charles (Loss)

[1990-10-06-USWA-Memphis TV] Eddie Marlin and Jerry Lawler

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Eddie Marlin is in a jovial mood, hyping the upcoming one-time Unified title tournament. Dave Brown does a rundown of all the tournament participants. Marlin wishes Lawler luck, and they show a clip of Lawler beating Hennig to win the AWA title in '88.

 

Lawler comes out dressed in a nice suit. He recaps that he issued a challenge to all world champions at the time, and some proved themselves company champions. He's only said that about a dozen times this year. They show a clip of how he lost the title to Snowman with Leon Spinks screwing him over. He further buries Snowman, calling him a guy who didn't know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch. Marlin comes out to pile on, even accusing Snowman of offering to pawn the belt to a drug dealer!

 

Snowman insults aside, this is uncharacteristically low key and classy, which makes it stand out.

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Eddie Marlin is out and once again have a belt (which may or may not be the belt). Terry Funk, Austin Idol, Dick Murdoch, Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Jimmy Valiant, Eddie Gilbert, Mark Callous, Jeff Jarrett, Dan Davis, Doug Gilbert, John Tatum, Dirty White Boy, Brickhouse Brown, Steve Keirn, Gary Young, Jeff Gaylord, Abdul Hussein (from IRAQ!), The Samurai, King Cobra, and Dick Slater will be competing for the Unified title.

 

Clips follow of Lawler winning the AWA World title from Curt Hennig. I'm actually a tad surprised they'd show clips of Lance Russell and a packed Mid-South Coliseum.

 

Lawler's out in a suit and he's putting over the other talent in the tournament, thankfully. Another spiel about challenging all the other World Champions and finding out they're only company champions. Clips follow of Snowman's Leon Spinks-assisted title win as Lawler sort of semi-shoots on Snowman's lack of wrestling ability. Marlin calls Snowman out as a coward who wanted to handpick all of his opponents and cuts a promo on him. IF YOU HAVE TO HOCK THE UNIFIED WORLD TITLE TO A DRUG DEALER, THEN YOU ARE NOTHIN' IN MY BOOK. That gets a big pop. I guess they felt they needed to spell all this out in public with Snowman going back to radio and newspapers. In a way, accident or not, I'm not sure the Snowman angle could have ended in any other way.

 

Big hard sell for this tournament. Drug deal tangents aside, this was a pretty classy segment that really got the championship over as a big deal--not always a staple of Memphis booking. (Hah--all typed up before seeing Loss' last sentence). This was about as good of a case of promotional damage control as you'll see.

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I loved the serious tone this took with everyone in suits and then hyping all the talent.

 

Lawler's promo was good but if you were a frequent watcher of USWA you were probably tired of the true world champion talking point.

Lawler shows clips of him losing to the Snowman and then has some remarks.

 

Eddie Marlin then cuts the PROMO of the FUCKING YEAR against the snowman saying he is nothing to him by trying to sell the USWA belt to a drug dealer and talking about how he refused to defend his title. I was mesmerize by all of this.

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Marlin with the World Heavyweight Title belt. Dave Brown goes down the complete list of participants. Pretty decent group of guys. One night tournament seems excessive with that many guys though. Could have spaced that out a few weeks. Lawler with a suit on joins us. Jerry buries Snowman once again. Calling him the worst wrestler and someone who didn’t really win the title. Snowman hasn’t been making his show appearances and has been stripped of the title. Marlin buries him too for ducking competition. They don't like Snowman.

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Lawler here proves his sinister genius.

 

He gives Eddie Marlin the big pop line about hawking the belt to a drug dealer. Marlin, stupidly, thinks this gets him over with the people. It did get the big pop. Just like Lawler surmised.

 

Lawler knows that this was a particularly slanderous line. Cleverly, Lawler is in the clear. He didnt actually say it. Lawler also knows that should any legal dealings ever arise because of this, well, Marlin will defend THE BUSINESS and KAYFABE to the point of perjury.

 

Never fuck with the King.

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Count me in as someone who liked the suits on everyone involved here. I've never actually seen Lawler in a suit and tie before; he's usually in either wrestling attire, a golf shirt, a sweatshirt, or a cheesy tuxedo. He's awfully low-key here, almost as if he's in booker mode rather than in wrestler mode.

 

Good use of both the Hennig and Snowman clips as a history lesson to set up the tournament. I don't agree with Soup about the fans being tired of the "one true champion" stuff, mostly because it's Lawler, the hometown boy, that's saying it. If it was anyone else, then maybe, but Lawler could come out every week spouting nursery rhymes in Polish and the WMC crowd would eat it up and beg for more.

 

I'm not sure if Eddie's line about Snowman offering to hock the belt to a drug dealer was really necessary, even if it was true. Talking about his unreliability and lack of wrestling skill should have sufficed. I'm also not sure if having Eddie say it was an evil plan concocted by Lawler to avoid prosecution, though I do think that Eddie knew he could pop the crowd with it.

 

How many wrestlers are in this monstrosity? Seems like it's nineteen or twenty, by my unofficial count. Either the card went well past midnight or the matches were booked to each go less than five minutes apiece. We can find out for ourselves later on in this disc. Regardless, they've signed quite the impressive talent roster.

 

It was nice to hear Lance in the Hennig footage, especially since I don't think the parting between him and Jarrett was too friendly.

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Good presentation of the tournament. Eddie Marlin is very proud of that belt. I like Lawler in a suit here. I'm more excited about the tournament than I was before. I was actually kind of skeptical about how serious it was going to be or if it was going to be tv matches or what. Good looking lineup too.

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The suits really do set this apart from the majority of 1990 USWA. The touch of class when dealing with the heavyweight title seems right. Snowman remarks aside that is.

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