Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Blackjack Brawl
Date: September 23, 1994
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 900
Commentators: John Tolos, Carlo Gianelli

So a few months ago I looked at the UWF’s Beach Brawl, which was a special event from one of the more infamously lame promotions: Herb Abrams’ Universal Wrestling Federation. Now it’s time to look at the followup, which is over three years later and not on pay per view. It’s an eleven match card and nine are title matches, with five of those being to crown inaugural champions. This is going to be a really, really long night. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence, with the rather over the top introduction from Abrams and some clips from a press conference.

Abrams is in the ring to shout an introduction, with commentary talking over him. He brings Blackjack Mulligan to the ring to hype up the show and promises a lot of big stuff tonight.

Commentary welcomes us to the show.

We have a celebrity guest ring announcer with Steve Rossi (apparently he was on the Howard Stern Show at least once). After some audio issues, he introduces the Nevada Athletic Commission and brings out Dan Spivey. Rossi: “He’ll show you some wrestling tonight.”

Americas Championship: Dan Spivey vs. Johnny Ace

For the inaugural title (which is not mentioned until a few minutes into the match) and Ace has Missy Hyatt with him. Rossi has to beg the fans to cheer during the introductions and I think you know how this night is going to go. It doesn’t help that the arena (holds about 17,000) is embarrassingly empty. Commentary: “Who cares about these wrestlers when you have Missy Hyatt?”

Ace rolls him up for two and Spivey bails to the apron. Back n and Spivey hammers away, only for Ace to come back with a middle rope crossbody. A dropkick puts Spivey on the floor where he kicks a few things around. Back in and Ace stomps away (Tolos: “That would kill a normal man!”) before grabbing a chinlock. Spivey suplexes his way to freedom as I try to figure out who I’m supposed to cheer for here. A backbreaker gives Spivey two and a Russian legsweep gets the same.

Ace is back up with a top rope clothesline for two but Spivey grabs a DDT for three. Well I mean the referee slapped the mat three times but calls it two anyway, as I guess counting doesn’t work around here either. We look at Missy Hyatt for a second and come back with Spivey hitting what looked like a Boss Man Slam. The abdominal stretch goes on before Spivey slams him back down for two off a legdrop. Spivey grabs it again and Hyatt turns on Ace by throwing in the towel to give Spivey the win and the title at 7:18.

Rating: D. Just think for a second: of the eleven match card that they have planned, THIS is what they felt was the best way to get things going. I’ve said this already but it bears repeating: we are in for a really, really long night. Vince Russo unnecessary screwy finish aside, the match was rather lame as they were just doing moves to each other with no story, build, flow or anything. But at least the manager turned on Ace during their first time together so….development?

Post match Spivey grabs Abrams until Ace chases him off. Abrams yells at Spivey (Abrams: “You’re a double cheating cross!”), who leaves with Hyatt.

We go to a break, with commentary being heard talking to production, just in case you thought this could be competent for more than three seconds.

Post break, commentary cuts out, then Ginaelli slips up by saying Ace won the match.

We talk about the Junior Heavyweight title, featuring Mando “Gareo”. They’ll be right “black” after this break.

Junior Heavyweight Title: Mando Guerrero vs. Jack Armstrong

For the inaugural title and at least Rossi gets Guerrero’s (who comes out to an actual WEIRD AL song) name right. Jack (called Wildman in the graphic and Wildcat during his introductions) looks great and has been wrestling for….THIRTY ONE YEARS??? Granted this is his first match in about four years but when you debut in 1963 and are still wrestling in 1994, I’m a good bit impressed. Odds are that’s going to be the only impressive thing here but still not bad. Gianelli still can’t pronounce Guerrero as he sits on the corner while Armstrong poses.

They run the ropes to start and Mando dropkicks him out to the floor. Back in and Mando grabs an armdrag into an armbar but they’re right back to the floor to get the brawling going. Mando knocks him into the barricade and hits an Asai moonsault, sending Tolos into as close to shock as you’re getting around here. Back in and Mando gets two off a spinebuster as we’re told that this is the first of three Blackjack Brawls planned. Uh, yeah. Anyway Mando misses a moonsault and Jack drops two elbows for the pin and the title at 4:41.

Rating: D+. Well it was better than the previous one, but again it is very clear that they are not putting even the slightest bit of thought into all of these title matches. There was no mention of the title here and Mando dominated until the end when Armstrong picked up the fluke win. Armstrong had a good physique but this was the last match of his career.

Post match, Abrams gets in the ring to say he isn’t pleased with the winner, but at least Armstrong got busted open a bit.

Dr. Feelgood says he’ll win.

SportsChannel Television Title: Dr. Feelgood vs. Sunny Beach

For the vacant title and Missy Hyatt is here with Feelgood. There’s even a theme here as Feelgood has a doctor’s bag and Missy has a stethoscope. Beach takes him down by the arm to start and then armdrags him into an armbar to mix it up a bit. They switch it to a chinlock for a bit before Feelgood is back with some back rakes. Missy gets in a shoe shot to the head, sending Tolos into a speech about how gorgeous she is.

Beach comes back with some right hands and a sunset flip for two, only to get clotheslined down. A backbreaker gives Feelgood two and he plants Beach with a DDT (which commentary describes as “another great professional wrestling move”). Hold on though as Feelgood goes to his medical bag and pulls out a rag. He pours some liquid onto the rag, only to have Beach shove it into his face for the win at 5:27. The referee watched EVERY BIT OF THIS and doesn’t seem to mind. Can you really blame him?

Rating: F. Sweet goodness it’s actually getting worse. What are you supposed to do when the referee just lets the doctor use I’m guessing ether on the surfer? The match is a failure for the refereeing alone and I’m almost scared to see how bad this show gets as we keep going. Terrible match with an even worse ending.

Post match Feelgood takes Beach down with the rag as Missy screams a lot. Blackjack Mulligan comes in to yell, with Feelgood calling him various cowboy insults.

BUY MERCH! That has to be some kind of a collector’s item. Sid walks in and says something about Nolan Ryan signed baseballs.

Herb Abrams talks about Commissioner Bruno Sammartino….who isn’t here tonight! Abrams has Blackjack Mulligan talk about what else is coming tonight. Mulligan: “These other promotions won’t even touch these guys!” Steve Williams would destroy Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Bret Hart!

Southern States Title: Bob Orton Jr. vs. Finland Hellraiser Thor

Believe it or not, Orton actually is the champion coming in and Thor is better known as Ludvig Borga. Orton grabs a headlock to start but gets shoved away by raw power. More power sends Orton into the corner and this time Thor hammers away with shots to the ribs. There’s a side slam to plant Orton again and we hit the chinlock with a knee in the back. Commentary uses the time to discuss who really discovered America as Orton comes back with some shots to the face. Thor backdrops him over the top to counter a piledriver attempt and they fight on the floor for the double DQ at 5:29.

Rating: D. And somehow, that’s in the running for the best match of the night, just due to the people involved if nothing else. Thor is fresh off his time with the WWF and it isn’t a good sign when he is looking like a knockoff version of himself. Orton was pretty far past his prime already but his own talent is enough to carry him pretty far. Not far enough to save this show, but at least they picked things up a tiny bit over the previous match.

They brawl even more post match, showing more fire than anything else on the show. Thor bails and Orton’s eye is busted open, so the ring announcer asks the fans to cheer for him about five times. Orton goes on a rant about how he fights like an American, with all of the values that are falling apart every day.

Midget World Title: Karate Kid vs. Little Tokyo

For the inaugural title and this is FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. The ring announcer is practically begging the fans to cheer for this as things are falling apart before the bell. Tokyo bails from the threat of Kid’s kicks and shoulders him down. A hiptoss drops Tokyo, who glares out of the corner. The armbar doesn’t last long on Kid as the referee yells at Tokyo again. The crisscross is on, with Kid stopping so Tokyo runs around on his own. After the annoyance is over, Tokyo’s armbar doesn’t work all over again. They fight over a test of strength on the mat, allowing Tokyo to yell at the referee some more.

It’s time to dance a bit until Kid gets a quick one. Hold on though as Tokyo yells at the referee AGAIN, followed by a poke to Kid’s eyes. Kid is fine enough to slap on a full nelson, with Tokyo climbing the ropes for the break, only to be dropped straight down for a slight chuckle. Tokyo avoids a dropkick though and Kid….runs into him, allowing Tokyo to get the pin and the title at 7:36.

Rating: D. Yes they gave this the most time of anything so far tonight and while it could have been worse, this was almost the cherry on the sundae of horrible ideas. This felt like it belonged in 1984 or so, and given how many things that could apply to on this show, it seems that things are kind of going badly around here. In other words, this is reaching torture levels all over again.

Post match Abrams and Tokyo have a language barrier. How many times do we need to see him and his yellow coat tonight???

Here’s the same merchandise ad from before the previous match.

Sid says….something that audio doesn’t pick up for the most part but it sounds like he’s coming for Steve Williams and the World Title.

Samson vs. Irish Assassin

They’re both in good shape and Samson is replacing Hercules. This is billed as a REVENGE match, though they don’t actually explain what the revenge is for. They have the lamest lockup I can remember in a long time and Samson’s running shoulder bounces off of the Assassin. A running clothesline in the corner hits Samson as commentary recaps Little Tokyo winning the title. Samson avoids an elbow as Tolos talks about making Gianelli a better commentator. A slam and a suplex give Samson the pin at 4:45.

Rating: F. Sweet goodness man. I don’t remember the last time I saw a show this….lifeless. When you consider that I can’t find anything about Samson and Assassin was a nothing name, I’m not sure why in the world I’m supposed to care about revenge, when THEY DIDN’T SAY WHY THESE TWO ARE FIGHTING. The company isn’t running anything else at the moment, so how many places could they set up something like this? I’m being more and more dumbfounded by this show every match and it wasn’t a high bar to start things off.


Steve Ray thinks Tyler Mane is tall but he doesn’t have any heart.

MGM Grand Title: Steve Ray vs. Tyler Mane

For the inaugural title. Mane dabbled in WCW for a bit but is far more famous as Sabretooth in the first series of X-Men movies. Granted the pelt with a lion’s head over his stomach is rather noteworthy in its own right. Ray is the Wild Thing and seems to be something like a rock star/Lionheart Chris Jericho type. After Ray makes sure his jacket is taken care of, we’re ready to go with commentary comparing Mane to Big John Studd. An armdrag and clothesline put Mane on the floor but he’s back in to slam his way out of a crossbody attempt.

Ray is fine enough to start in on the leg and the cranking ensues. We pause for a second so the referee can check on the knee, allowing Mane to get in a cheap shot and take over. A chokeslam (not named because….it’s such a complicated concept I guess) plants Ray but he’s back back with a grab of the leg. Mane low bridges him to the floor so Ray tries a sunset flip, only to have Mane sit down on it while grabbing the rope (again, right in front of the referee) for the pin and the title at 6:26.

Rating: D. Again, it says a lot when this is the kind of match that is near the high point of the show. It was a big man vs. small man match with Ray trying to have some energy but not being able to deal with the power. Now that being said, the horrible refereeing at the end hurt it a lot, and it’s not like this show has any benefit of the doubt. Another bad match on the show, which is completely beyond saving in case that wasn’t clear yet.

Post match Abrams presents Mane with the title. Mane, who is taller than Mulligan, says the fat lady just sung on Ray. True actually, as this was his last match for both guys.

Women’s Title: Candy Divine vs. Tina Moretti

For the vacant title and Moretti is better known as Ivory. The pre-match gaffe is on the announcer, as he introduces Divine (yes DIVINE, which is not the hardest word to read, pronounce, spell or understand) as Candy Devian. That’s another level of bad and as a result it fits in perfectly here. Even commentary blasts him for that screwup. Divine popped up in various promotions and was one of the bigger names of her time for outside the WWF. Moretti is billed from Italy, which is rather odd after listening to Ivory for years.

Commentary is all about how the women look as Divine is dropkicked to the floor to start but they switch places in a hurry. Back in and Divine works on an armbar but gets rolled up for a fast two. Divine fights up and chokes in the corner, which Tolos calls a good wrestling move. Moretti gets slammed out of the corner and Divine gets the pin and the title at 3:11.

Rating: D-. I’m not sure what happened there but it was an abrupt ending to an already bad match. Women’s wrestling was absolutely nothing in America at this point so you can’t get too annoyed. Also given how bad some of the things on this show have been, a three minute match is hard to get annoyed over. Take that for what you will.

Post match, the announcer says Devian for the fifth time.

Steve Williams is standing in front of a cutout of himself and says he respects Sid Vicious. He can’t get Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair on the phone but he’ll face Sid tonight. Really not the image you want to present but that’s the least of their problems.

Tag Team Titles: Killer Bees vs. The New Powers Of Pain

For the inaugural titles and that would be Warlord/Power Warrior, the latter being a guy who didn’t do much in his career. Announcer: “And we have a battle royal coming up.” No, we don’t, thank goodness. Blair (who apparently has a great gym) starts with Warrior, who shoves him away without much effort. An armbar has no effect on Warrior and Blair is starting to look a little unsure.

We get a quick recap of some of the things that have happened tonight, which makes me feel better about forgetting them. Brunzell comes in for a double hiptoss but Warlord comes in with a bearhug. That doesn’t last long so Warlord has to slam his way out of an armbar. Warrior comes back in and gets taken down by the leg in a hurry because he isn’t the worker that the Warlord is. Blair stays on the leg but Warrior kicks him into the ropes so Warlord can low bridge him to the floor.

The bearhug goes on back inside but Blair is out in a hurry, allowing the hot tag to Brunzell to take over on Warrior. A catapult into a top rope clothesline drops Warrior as the referee is knocked outside. Cue someone who looks like Warrior (his other brother in the Power Twins) for a full nelson on Blair. Warlord goes up….and we cut to Brunzell throwing the referee back in and we come back to Blair covering Warrior for the pin and the titles at 11:50.

Rating: D. They were having a better match than usual (for this show at least) until the ending, which we didn’t actually get to see. Let me repeat that: you couldn’t actually see the part of the match that actually mattered in any way. Throw in that one of the villains had an evil twin and they managed to lose anyway and I think you know all you need to know about this one.

Jimmy Snuka says there are no two pieces of matter that can occupy the same space at the same time. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but he says he’s going to fly.

Merch plug, the threequel.

Jimmy Snuka vs. Cactus Jack

Lumberjack match, so the ring announcer says “our next match is for the lumberjack match.” Oh and Cactus Jack is “a mean guy”. Announcer: “You’re going to see a battle royal.” Can we get him to stop saying that or at least find out what it means? Pretty much everyone else on the show so far are the lumberjacks, who get a round of applause of their own and their own individual introductions. Jack shakes his hand and grabs a headlock as we hear about Jack losing his ear.

Snuka reverses into one of his own, which really, really impresses Tolos for some reason. A shoulder puts Jack down as the announcers are talking about bets on the match. Jack knees him in the ribs to send things outside for a bit but makes the mistake of headbutting Snuka. That’s enough to send Jack to the floor but he’s sent back inside as Herb Abrams comes to commentary to talk about how great this is.

The brawl goes over to the commentary table (Gianelli: “THIS SHOULDN’T HAPPEN IN AMERICA!”) but the fight back inside where Jack grabs a chinlock. Back up and Snuka tries a shoulder, only to bounce off of Jack and over the top. They fight into the crowd with Snuka hitting him in the head with a chair….and that’s a double DQ at 9:03. Yes in a lumberjack. Announcer: “I’ve never seen anything like this!” There’s a reason for that man.

Rating: F. Mick Foley is my favorite wrestler of all time and probably always will be. I know it means the world to him to be in the ring with his idol in Snuka, but they had a double DQ in a freaking lumberjack match after nine other matches on this show. In this case, you kind of can blame him because, as a huge Snuka fan, he refused to let Snuka lose to him here so this was the best they had. Points for the respect but….dang man.

Post match they keep brawling into the empty chairs, which is about as dumb of an idea as you can have in any situation.

Herb Abrams shouts that this is the main event, thank goodness.

UWF World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Steve Williams

Williams is defending. Announcer: “It’s time to get rocking and rolling. And I’m getting out of here.” They trade shoulders to start as we hear about Williams being the All Japan Triple Crown Champion. Sid kicks him in the face for a knockdown and it’s time to crank on Williams’ arms. Williams can’t quite reverse so he goes to the ropes for the break instead. Tolos does his best Jim Ross impression to list off all of Williams’ accomplishments as the announcers treat this like the greatest thing they have ever seen.

A chokeslam plants Williams and Sid whips him hard into the corner. Tolos: “If they went into the New York Stock Market, do you think their stock would go up overnight???” Gianelli: “I don’t know.” Sid gets two off a slam and we’re off to the chinlock. They even lay down a bit as this has already been a bit much for them.

Williams fights up and slugs away….as the mat starts coming up like there’s a bubble inside, because OF FREAKING COURSE IT DOES! Williams hits a splash in the corner for two but misses a middle rope shoulder. Sid goes up top (oh boy) but Williams backdrops him down and hits the Doctor Bomb, drawing in Dan Spivey for the DQ at 11:02.

Rating: D-. They were having a watchable power match until the ending but my goodness man. THE RING wanted out of this show and was giving up by the end. It could have been a lot worse but the ending didn’t help anything and teasing a rematch on this show was as dumb as it could have been. Not the worst match on the show, but a perfect way to end things.

Post match the beatdown is on with Williams being double powerbombed. Johnny Ace comes in for the save.

Post break, Abrams asks if Williams will defend the title against Sid in a cage. Williams says he’ll sign a contract if Abrams gets one together before he leaves.

Merch plug, featuring the now dastardly Sid.

Abrams yells at Sid and Spivey, with the former blaming Blackjack Mulligan for being his mentor.

Commentary says next time will be even more treacherous.

Since this show just can’t end, Abrams and Mulligan (who has the World Title for some reason) talks about how this was a Skyscrapers (Sid/Spivey) plan all along. Abrams promises (or maybe warns) us about a sequel to end the show.

Overall Rating: Awbooga. That’s how Abrams, legendary cocaine addict that he was, would probably try to spell wrestling at this point, because WOW. This is one of the all time insane shows that you almost have to see to believe. There is nothing approaching good, nothing approaching normal, and nothing approaching ANYTHING that should be taking place in 1994 on this show.

I know Abrams was kind of a kook (that’s putting it mildly) but sweet goodness this was awful, with one random title match after another and nothing even partially good. The people here are talented wrestlers, or at least they were a few years earlier when they were still regularly wrestling and not ancient in some cases. It’s not the complete train wreck of something like Heroes of Wrestling, but with a barely there (and barely audible) crowd, the disaster on commentary and ring announcing and such low level wrestling, this is a complete mess and something just more depressing than anything else.

The biggest problem here is the wrestling, as they seem to think that any of this stuff matters just because you throw a title or the REVENGE MATCH moniker onto a match. It doesn’t help if there are no stakes to the title or reasons for these people to be fighting and it showed badly. All time awful show, and now I’m off to have nightmares of Abrams screaming in my face while Mulligan is there every time for no apparent reason other than he’s been paid in advance. Avoid this one unless you’re in for a train wreck of Star Fox 64 Forever Train level proportions.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!


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