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[1991-03-08-USWA Texas] Eric Embry & Steve Austin vs Bill Dundee & Gary Young

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This is super. Embry knows that Dundee and Young aren't good friends or anything, so he actively places them in spots to try to create dissension that almost work. At one point, Embry and Austin are cheering them on and they realize what is happening and go after Embry and Austin instead in a fun spot. Gary Young is FIP in this one and does a hell of a job, selling beautifully and teasing comebacks at just the right time. The crowd really wasn't into him much early on - I think because they were so used to seeing him as a heel - and he got them solidly behind him. Dundee pins Embry shortly after the hot tag, but the heels win the war, as they attack them after the match and handcuff them to the ring ropes. Tom Pritchard leaves the broadcast booth to help with the beatdown, and JC The Ice Baby brings Austin a special loaded glove. They seem to be setting up Dundee/Embry and Austin/Young feuds, which makes sense based on the upcoming matches on the yearbook. This was surprisingly excellent.

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This featured some of the best execution of a rivals-turned-partners team that I've seen. Just more good stuff from USWA, with all of their big feuds now at a point where I'm eager to see more.

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Absolutely outstanding match, on the level of Jarrett vs. Gilbert for the very high-end USWA Texas matches ever. They're continuing to tease Gary Young as an "island unto himself" (tm Gordon Solie) but he and Dundee manage to fake out the heels with what looks like a break-up, only for both of them to level Embry. Embry and Austin provide some surprisingly stiff offense and all the teased comebacks and cut-offs are executed perfectly. Dundee gets the pin shortly after the hot tag, but Embry quickly levels him with a set of handcuffs and both Young and Dundee are cuffed to the ropes and beaten down, drawing in Dr. Tom from the broadcast table to join in. Match of the...first 9 days of the month.

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Nice little spot with Dundee coming off the top rope but putting the breaks on before hitting teammate Young in error. Young/Dundee tease friction but are on the same page when they realize what Embry is up to. Don’t see Jeanne around. Real good performance by Young who I’m not too familiar with. Short celebration for the good guys as they get handcuffed to the ropes. Pritchard joins the fun.

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Great stuff. The moment where Embry makes Young and Dundee explode only for them to high five and clean house was awesome. The FIP section on Gary Young was shockingly good with him creating a lot of sympathy and Dundee rallying the crowd from the apron. I also liked the finish and how Dundee really looked like he had Embry tied up with no where to go. Up there with the best stuff we have seen from USWA in 1990 and 1991.

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I thought that this was very smartly booked. Young has been one of the slimiest heels in Texas for years now, so how do you make sure the fans are on his side? By reversing what should the natural order of things and having him play FIP instead of the smaller Dundee. He takes a righteous beating from a good-looking team, as Embry and Austin look seem they've been partners for quite a while, even though they haven't. I also liked that any possible dissension between Dundee and Young was put to rest early; it would have been easy to make this match all about whether the two of them would come to blows, but the story we got instead was much better.

 

This was the first match where Prichard got on my nerves a bit as a commentator, but since he's aligned with the heels it makes sense that he would be biased. He reminds the world where his loyalties lie by joining the postmatch beatdown from the booth, much to Michael's disgust. They make a nice complementary pair, though Michael can be a bit too earnest for his own good from time to time.

 

Where were the rest of the faces, especially Jeff? That's a common problem on both sides of the USWA: faces who come to the rescue far too late. I know that beatdowns are supposed to be big moments for the heels, but most of them go far beyond the limits of common sense. Wouldn't guys like Jeff be on the lookout for odd-man situations and ready to hit the ring at a moment's notice to break them up, or does each babyface's hidden reserve of virtue and righteousness shield them from any and all harm, even if three or four guys stomp the living hell out of them?

 

Nice to see Jamie as part of the festivities, and I notice that they're still keeping him away from a physical showdown with his dad. You know it has to be coming sooner rather than later, though.

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