Classic Wrestling Images from Mid South Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Federation
Mid-South Wrestling was a small promotion started by Julius Sigel in Louisiana around 1929. Run by "Cowboy" Bill Watts from 1979 until it's demise, Mid-South blossomed for a short time under the glare of sudden National TV exposure in 1986 to become the upstart Universal Wrestling Federation. About a year and a half later, after running joint cards with the Crockett family's NWA promotion, the UWF was absorbed by the larger organization.
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The first born son of wrestling legend "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, Brad Armstrong (see the image above) saw his greatest successes in Mid-South and later the UWF. Here he captures the arm of "Pistol Pez" Whatley (going under the name "Shaska"). This scene depicts him taking a shot from Horseman Arn Anderson, then giving a little back.
The man in the face paint here is "Hacksaw" Butch Reed. his opponent is the massive Kamala, another Mid-South discovery. "Iceman" King Parsons wandered over from WCCW to take his own shot at the Ugandan Giant.
Football great Ernie Ladd was another Mid-South stalwart. His massive size and intimidating manner made him a villian the fans loved to hate. Here he takes some shots from a much smaller Terry Allen, who would later be known as Magnum TA.
Yet another Mid-South discovery were the Rock & Roll Express here Ricky Morton locks it up with Hector Guerrero (older brother of Eddie) as Chavo Guerrero Sr. tries to recover on the outside. Back in the ring, Chavo finds himself on the receiving end of a double drop-kick, the R&R's signature move.
Here is a fascinating sequence from 1984. The first "Four Corners" Tag Team match I ever saw pitted the Road Warriors (then just making the transition from heel to face in the eyes of the fans) , against the Rock & Roll Express (one of the most popular teams in the history of pro-wrestling), against the Dirty White Boys (Tony Anthony's on the right - now known as T.J. Hopper, the wrestling plumber) , against Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts of the Fabulous Freebirds. It was a genuine slobberknocker. Hawk strutted his stuff, but took his licks from Terry Gordy. Then he suckered the Freebird into a test of srength. As the smallest man in the ring Ricky Morton certainly took the worst punishment in the match. Fortunately, he also had the most heart. As the oldest man in the ring Buddy Roberts tried to stay out of the line of fire. Animal jumped out of the ring to battle Freebird Michael Hayes who had begun to interfere from ringside. Unfortunately for the Warriors, he was a legal man and got counted out - thus eliminating his team. The brawl outside grew in size and intensity as the Dirty White Boys joined the frey. Terry Gordy took advantage of the confusion to deck Tony Anthony then dragged him back into the ring and pinned him. Now it was down to the Freebirds vs. the Rock & Roll Express, but in his exuberance, Michael Hayes with boot in hand, climbed to the top turnbuckle and was discovered there by the referee! Ricky and Robert won the match.
Here is an infamous incident. Did you ever wonder why "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan's left eye has that tendancy to wander? Well here is why. Skandor Akbar) a heinious individual, decided to interfere before Duggen could defeat his man Kamala. Here we see him pulling Duggen off by his hair and then unleashing a fireball right into his face!! He then left Duggen lying in the ring. Duggen's eye was never the same again. It didn't seem to slow him down in this match against Ted Dibiasi. That's Steve Williams on the apron in the background.
No doubt you recognise this now famous Mid-South announcer who actually started as a referee.
A young Jake "the Snake" Roberts was a prime heel in the promotion. Here he bulls Brad Armstrong into the corner trying to set up the infamous DDT. In this scene he angrily confronts Terry Taylor who was about to have a Belt vs. Belt match, putting up his TV Title against the North American Championship of a very young Ted Dibiasi. Dibiasi dominated the contest and seemed to have the match well in hand. Suddenly Roberts ran-in and tried to interfere and inadvertently helped Taylor to get the pin! Taylor celebrates with both Titles while Dibiasi tears his hair.
UWF Tag Team Champs Terry Taylor and Chris Adams took on the heel team of Sting and Rick Steiner. Here Taylor drops Steiner on his head. "Gentleman" Chris Adams, the originator of "Sweet Chin Music" plants a Super-Kick on the chin of Sting, who rolls out into the waiting arms of his mentor "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert (note Steiner in the background of this shot). As Adams attempts to suplex Sting back into the ring Gilbert reaches in right between Taylor's legs and trips Adams up. The stunned Adams is pinned by his opponent as his partner Taylor fights on seemingly oblivious. After the match, Gilbert's First Family celebrates their victory as Adams is trying to figure out what happened...
Here's another scene from the match depicted in the image above. The Lightning Express, shows off some of their teamwork to the detriment of a downed Tiger Conway as "Shaska" Whatley looks on. They later held the UWF World Tag Team Titles.
Things had a tendancy to change quickly in the UWF. Here a young Shane Douglas menaces the now villianous Terry Taylor.
Meanwhile Sting has undergone his own transformation. Here he battles his former partners Eddie Gilbert and Rick . The then newest member of the First Family Gary Hart (not the manager by the same name - he later changed his name to "Gary Young" to avoid such confusion) decides to get involved and gets whupped upside his head.
The first UWF World Champion was Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy of the Fabulous Freebirds. He won the Title in May of 1986 in a Tournament final against Hacksaw Jim Duggan and held it for six months. In November of that year The One Man Gang won the Title by forfeit after Gordy was injured in an auto accident. The Gang was later challanged by former ally Big Bubba Rogers. Their manager, Skandor Akbar, had decided to depose his own champion because he felt that the gang had gone soft. Akbar had aquired Bubba's services from Jim Cornette especially for this purpose. Rogers went right to work on his dissillusioned former partner and defeated him handily. Dr. Death Steve Williams defeated Bubba in July of 1987 to become the final UWF Champ before the promotion was absorbed into the NWA in December of that year.
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