Monday Night Mayhem DVD Review: “Guest Booker With Terry Taylor: Re-Booking The UWF Purchase”
Produced By: Kayfabe Commentaries
DVD Review Written By: Shawn “The Angry Hero” Marek
Once again, Kayfabe Commentaries puts a notable wrestling booker/personality in the armchair booker role, giving them carte blanche to do what they want with whomever they want in a specific scenario. This time around, former WCW/WWE/TNA wrestler/producer Terry Taylor is the guest, as he re-books the UWF sale of 1987. Quick history lesson: Bill Watts, proprietor of Mid-South Wrestling in the late-70’s and majority of the 80’s, wanted to take his promotion to a national level. Rebranding it as the Universal Wrestling Federation, Watts had a weekly syndicated wrestling program and top-flight talent, including…Terry Taylor. Unfortunately, according to Taylor, talent raids by the WWE (then WWF) and the NWA, coupled with the increasingly unmanageable costs of syndicated television, caused Watts to sell to Jim Crockett Promotions in late 1987.
I really dig that KC took on this particular event, one that in my opinion is often overlooked in regards to its significance to wrestling history. This was the original “Invasion” angle, and regretfully, it produced the same lackluster, one-sided results as the WCW “Invasion” back in 2001. Taylor discusses the tension between the NWA mainstays and newer UWF competitors, as everyone wanted to maintain their spot and not get lost in the shuffle. In a great story, Terry talks about coming home on an early flight with Dusty Rhodes (then NWA booker) and playing a one-sided rib on Dusty while he had his headphones on. Terry thought he was getting away with something clever by doing Dusty’s voice, while Dusty was presumably not listening. Shortly afterwards, by no sheer coincidence, Taylor was on job duty from that point on until leaving for “Rooster-dom” in 1988. It wasn’t until years later that Terry found out that Dusty knew the rib was happening all along.
Getting into the booking, Taylor sets up the basic framework behind the angle, basing it off of the primal instinct to be employed and have a job. The UWF wrestlers needed a place to work, the NWA is a place to work, but they already have people there. And therein lies the conflict. The NWA shuns the UWF at first, drawn into the fight through a number of sneak attacks by the UWF. In order to keep an eye on the enemy, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair demands that the UWF be brought in, and so we have the assimilation. What I thought was really hip was Taylor’s suggestion of having it be “sudden death” for both the UWF and NWA wrestlers should they lose a match. You get pinned, you’re fired. I’m not sure if you’d bring everybody back at the end, but it is a great way to weed out the lesser talent if you’re doing it for real.
Taylor’s fantasy pairings of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair/”Dr. Death” Steve Williams and Tully Blanchard/Eddie Gilbert reminded me of the Marvel/DC battles, where it was like personalities or characters of similar status squaring off against each other. This is was evident in Terry’s ideas for Buzz Sawyer against Dick Murdoch, which is the wrestling equivalent of Wolverine vs. Lobo. When you bring two entities together such as this, you have to give the people what they want. Taylor’s build-up’s are seamless and simplistic, as he and Sean Oliver build up to the big Pay-Per-View match. Each time, when asked the question “Who goes over,” Terry has the same answer: “Who do you got?” It’s that easy.
Out of the Guest Booker series, the Terry Taylor edition is a quality release. Terry is not nearly as bitter or controversial as other subjects, but he’s got fun ideas and good stories. In my opinion, that is all you need here. Please support our friends and colleagues at Kayfabe Commentaries by picking up this DVD, YouShoot: Chyna, along with the all of the other great KC releases by logging on to www.KayfabeCommentaries.com.
Thanks for reading folks! Feel free to follow me on Twitter (at www.Twitter.com/AngryHeroShawn), and check out my official “Future Endeavored” blog (located at (www.futureendeavored.tumblr.com), along with my short film Smark (located at www.smarkmovie.tumblr.com). Don’t forget that I’m now also producing a new podcast called PodCRASH! with That Chris Gore, featuring film expert and comedian Chris Gore (from the G4 Network). You can subscribe to us on iTunes and check out past episodes (located at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcrash-with-that-chris-gore/id479586448). And remember: Above all things — be a man!