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VIP EXCLUSIVE COLUMN - Early release from PWTorch Newsletter #992...
Newsletter Headline: McNeill At The Matches: Steiners vs. LAX, A.J. Styles vs. Joey Mercury
Originally published: September 22, 2007
From Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter #992
Here in 2007, Hermie Sadler's United Wrestling Federation (UWF) is one of the main independent promotions in the Mid-Atlantic region. Critical Brian and I took in a UWF show up in Fort Meade, Maryland back in the month of June. The show, which was okay, drew about 300 people and featured Sabu and Team 3-D going over Rick Steiner, Steve Corino and Ricky Landell in the main event. Due to the Benoit murders, I never had the time or the opportunity to review the UWF. Fortunately, they came back.
On Saturday night, the UWF rolled into Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia, the site of a very successful TNT Wrestling show last year. The UWF announced on its message board that this would be their final show of 2007. Critical Brian and I were ready to go. Leon the Neighbor got permission from his very pregnant girlfriend to go with us. Then there was another complication. My new girlfriend, the lovely and talented Anne, had come up from Richmond to spend the day with me. Anne grew up in the Carolinas, but had never seen a professional wrestling event. Since the show was on her way home, she followed us down to Spotsylvania. Over the years, this columnist has seen a multitude of wrestling events, and noticed happy male wrestling fans in the crowd next to their very unhappy dates. Therefore, we agreed that Anne could leave at intermission without putting a strain on our young relationship.
Due to traffic on I-95, and having to stop twice, we arrived just in time for the opening bell. The high school gym was pretty full, with about 900 fans in attendance. The UWF uses a six-sided ring like TNA's. There was a massive display from the local country music station and the high school booster club sent students throughout the bleachers as food vendors and trash collectors. It was a very professional setup.
(1) In a triple threat match, David Young defeated Damian Wayne and Ruckus in 5:43. Damian Wayne is the NWA North American champ, and has been active in the Mid-Atlantic indy scene. This match was a bit of a clustermess, but Ruckus hit a couple of cool spots. Anne, who loves people watching, was enthralled with the young children near us. The kids were hooting, hollering, screaming, jumping around and releasing tons of pent-up energy. Because this was a Hermie Sadler show, ex-TNA wrestler David Young won clean with the spinebuster.
(2) In another triple threat match, Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino & C.W. Anderson) defeated Charlie Dreamer & "Man Scout" Jake Manning and Caleb Konley & Joey Silvia in 10:54. Konley and Silvia wore white. Konley is one-half of the Deep South Wrestling tag team champions. Silvia holds the CWF Mid-Atlantic title in North Carolina. Dreamer and Manning wore red. Jake Manning has worked in FIP before and produced the documentary on the Omega Wrestling promotion in North Carolina. Charlie Dreamer works for various North Carolina promotions and really needs a new gimmick. All three teams worked as heels. The fans decided to root for the most recognizable team. Silvia slapped Manning, much to the shock of Anne. "He girl-slapped him!" she said. C.W. fell victim to old Tennessee tiptoe spot but ended up pinning Silvia with the spinebuster to the delight of the audience.
Next up was the semi-main as A.J. Styles took on Joey Mercury. Joey did an MNM entrance as Anne declared that Mercury's tights would make nice upholstery. Leon seethed at the sight of his least favorite TNA performer, a wrestler Leon frequently referred to as "the male cheerleader". Anne didn't miss her cue. "Patrick tells me this A.J. guy is your favorite wrestler," she said sweetly.
"Kiss my ass. Both of you," replied Leon.
(3) A.J. Styles pinned Joey Mercury in 19:43 with the Styles Clash. Mercury informed the audience he had beaten Styles the previous night in Richmond. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how this was going down. The two wrestled like the match was important to their careers, which was a nice touch. Mercury hit a delayed vertical suplex that was a thing of beauty. Styles went for the Pele kick, but accidentally knocked out referee Brian Hebner. Styles applied the Sharpshooter, but there was no referee. A second referee ran in for a false finish, but Styles kicked out at two. Mercury beat up the second referee and went for a chair. Brian Hebner recovered and grabbed the chair from Mercury, which distracted the former Smackdown star long enough for Styles to hit his finisher. This was very good, easily the match of the night.
After walking Anne to her car and saying goodbye, the gang and I ate the mediocre food from the concession stand and enjoyed intermission. The Steiner Brothers took center ring, where fans good get a Polaroid with the legendary duo for just $25 a pop. Rick and Scott could not have been......
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