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JULY 13 IN HISTORY: ECW vs. USWA in Memphis - Lawler & Christopher vs. Dreamer & Sandman war, RVD & Sabu vs. Taz & Candido, Kane shortly before he was Kane

Jul 13, 2013 - 9:36:33 AM
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This Day In Wrestling History - July 13

Date: July 13, 1997 (16 years ago)

Event: As part of WWE announcer Jerry Lawler's feud with ECW, the USWA promotion hosted a cross-promotion show with ECW in Memphis. The main event featured Lawler and his son, Brian Christopher, against Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman.

Torch Back-Issue: PWTorch Newsletter #449

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USWA vs. ECW "Brawl to Settle It All"
July 13, 1997
Memphis, Tenn. at Big One Expo
Est. Attendance: 1,200 ($7,000)


The event was scheduled to start at 7:30, but because the line for tickets was so long, they delayed the start of the event until past 8:00 p.m. The estimated 1,200 in attendance, nearly packing the place, was the largest crowd the USWA has drawn in that arena to date.

(1) Paul Diamond beat Bulldog Raines at 8:19. Bulldog showed some good power moves. In the end Diamond hit the second rope bulldog for the win. Diamond seemed to injure himself during the match when he came off the second rope and hit the table at ringside.

(2) Steven Dunn beat P.G. Walker (formerly P.J. Walker, a/k/a Aldo Montoya). PG13 came to the ring with Walker, but they were ordered to the back. This was a good, athletic, back-and-forth match. At 7:00 when Dunn gained the first solid advantage of the night, PG13 ran to the ring and jumped him prompting the DQ. Walker came off the top rope with a boot onto Dunn. Diamond made the save.

(3) Doomsday (Glen Jacobs, a/k/a Diesel, Isaac Yankem, Unabom, a few months before he debuted in WWF/E as Kane) beat Spellbinder at 7:30 to capture the USWA Hvt. Title. Luther Biggs was not in Doomsday's corner. Both began brawling at the ring of the bell with Doomsday taking the advantage for the first four minutes. When Spellbinder managed to bodyslam the much larger Doomsday, the ref was knocked down in the process. Billy Joe Travis then came to ringside. Spellbinder hit him, but then Travis nailed Spellbinder with his guitar. Travis threw Spellbinder back into the ring. Doomsday gave Travis a weak powerbomb for a two count. Doomsday followed with a strong powerbomb for the three count, ending Spellbinder's USWA Title reign at one day.

(4) PG13 defeated Steven Dunn & Flash Flanagan to capture the held-up USWA Tag Team Titles. PG13 were scheduled to face Flash & Nick Dinsmore for the held-up tag team titles, but Dinsmore wasn't there. The ref insisted that Flash pick a new partner, so he chose Steven Dunn. J.C. Ice protested, saying Dunn had already wrestled once and couldn't wrestle again (quite comical given the USWA's policy of often having wrestlers compete in several matches per card). Dunn told PG13 if they represented ECW, then they were about to kick their asses. Dunn was over with the mostly pro-USWA crowd. The heels bailed to ringside at the start of the match, but eventually returned to the ring only to be crotched by Dunn, which popped the crowd. Dunn and Flash used teamwork to take early offense. Dunn held Ice with his neck extended horizontal to the mat and Flash guillotine legdropped Ice. When Wolfie D tagged in, he jumped in the air to avoid a charging Flash, but Flash caught him in mid-air and powerslammed him. Ice later KO'd Flash with his hub cap. Flash began to bleed profusely. The crowd began an "ECW, ECW" chant (which shows what the crowd identified with ECW). PG13 bounced off the ropes and rammed Flash's head into the canvas. Wolfie hit a powerbomb at 9:30. The babyfaces began a comeback leading to a four-way brawl. Flash battled Wolfie D while Dunn and Ice brawled at ringside. P.G. Walker then came to the ring and DDT'd Flash on a chair, and then PG13 scored the pin. Flash was taken out on a stretcher, his facial features undistinguishable behind the mask of blood that turned his blond hair totally red. They had an ambulance in the arena itself, and after Flash was loaded into it, the ambulance turned on its siren on its way out of the building.

(5) Brian Christopher beat Billy Joe Travis in a "survivor's match" where the loser would be lashed with a strap ten times. The bout was no DQ, no time limit, two-out-of-three falls. Travis ranted and raved over the house mic at the start of the match. Christopher then came out to the biggest pop of the night. The fans crowded the railing as he made his way to the ring. Travis attacked Christopher at the start and threw him into the guard rail twice. Travis then dropped Christopher chest-first over the guard rail. He then threw Christopher into the ring. He immediately cradled Christopher for a quick three count to end the first fall. The second fall began with a brawl at ringside. Christopher hit Travis with a wooden section sign and then slammed his head into a ringside table. A fan at ringside held up a trash can for Christopher. Christopher threw the trash can over Travis's head. Christopher then threw Travis into the ring and grabbed a wooden pole from a fan. Travis leaped off the top rope toward Christopher, but Christopher met him with a chain and scored a three count to end the second fall. Both men were groggy at the start of the third fall. Travis managed to hit a piledriver, but during the pin attempt Christopher put his foot over the bottom rope. Travis worked over Christopher's left leg with kicks and stomps. Christopher began a babyface comeback and headbutted Travis below the belt. Christopher then set up Travis in the corner upside down and got a running start and checked him in the corner. Christopher then hit Travis with a chain and followed up with a superkick and a three count. Christopher dragged Travis to the corner and tied him to the ringpost. Christopher got on the mic and told the fans this is what he and they had been waiting for. Fans then began throwing belts to Christopher so he could give Travis ten lashes. Travis came to only to realize his position and he began to panic. Christopher threw down the mic and began lashing him, dedicating each lash to one of the sections of the crowd. On the ninth lash, Doomsday came out and Christopher lashed him. Doomsday, though, brushed Christopher aside and bodyslammed him. Two refs ran into the ring and Doomsday chokeslammed both at the same time. Travis picked up a guitar to hit Christopher, but Spellbinder ran out with a boot and made the save. The heels fled the scene. Spellbinder and Christopher teased a brawl, but finally they shook hands and hugged. The crowd cheered.

(6) Rob Van Dam & Sabu (w/Bill Alfonso) defeated "Human Suplex Machine" Taz & "No Gimmicks Needed" Chris Candido. Van Dam & Sabu were introduced first to a smattering of some applause. Candido came out next, followed by Taz who got a big pop, which was surprising given his limited exposure in the area. He wore the ECW TV Title, although he was announced as the ECW Hvt. Champion. The brawl began immediately as Taz and Sabu fought into the crowd right away to the concession area. They used chairs, garbage cans, and tables. Taz slammed Sabu's head into a concession machine, breaking it. The crowd swarmed around the two. Taz and Sabu came back to ringside where a four-way brawl broke out. They exchanged stiff shots. Sabu tried to vault off the second rope to the floor, but he slipped on the unfamiliar ropes for the first of several times. Sabu dropped Candido over the top rope, then slidekicked him, sending him into the railing. Alfonso threw a chair into the ring and Sabu vaulted off the chair over the top rope onto Candido. Taz suplexed Van Dam. Van Dam tagged out to Sabu. Sabu and Taz faced off again. Sabu blocked a Taz suplex attempt and countered with his own, then Taz tagged in Candido. Sabu tagged in Van Dam. Van Dam went to the top rope, but Candido caught him and suplexed him off the top ropes. Van Dam came back with a tombstone piledriver. Sabu tagged in and hit a leaping frankensteiner off the top rope onto Candido. Sabu then slipped on a chair, and tried again and connected. Candido caught Sabu on the top rope and hit a side suplex. Candido got a chair, but Sabu came off the top rope and slammed Candido. Taz wanted to be tagged in, but Candido wouldn't tag him. Taz became frustrated. Candido connected with a top rope frankensteiner on Sabu, prompting the other two wrestlers to enter the ring and brawl. Taz applied the Tazmission on Sabu, but Sabu escaped. Sabu hit a top rope legdrop on Taz. Candido attempted to make a save as Sabu covered Taz, but Sabu moved and Candido landed on Taz. Taz and Candido confronted each other. Taz suplexed Candido and left the ring. Sabu and Van Dam put Candido on a table and Sabu crashed Candido through it. Van Dam rolled Candido into the ring and covered him for the win. PG13 and P.G. Walker came to the ring to help a disoriented Candido to the back.

(7) J.C. Ice won a 16-man Royal Rumble. The final three in the ring were Mabel, Doomsday, and J.C. Ice. Mabel lifted Ice above his head and slammed him to the mat. Doomsday then powerbombed Ice. Doomsday and Mabel then locked up. They battled to the ropes where Mabel almost eliminated Doomsday, but Doomsday held onto Mabel and both went over the top rope, leaving a knocked out J.C. Ice as the winner. Mabel and Doomsday threw up their hands in frustration. Mabel said he "doesn't care nothing about ECW" which prompted some cheers. He then added, "I don't care nothing about the USWA, either." That also got some cheers. He said no one could beat him. Billy Joe Travis came to ringside to keep Doomsday from attacking Mabel.

(8) Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher defeated Sandman & Tommy Dreamer via DQ. In an unusual scene, when ring announcements began for the match, everybody who was in line for a bathroom or concession stand ran back to their seats. The ring announcer Tony Freedman stayed out of the ring because last time Dreamer was in town he piledrove him. Lawler came out to a smattering of boos and taunts from ECW fans holding up the shirts they just bought at the ECW souvenir stand. Fans threw trash at Lawler and Christopher. "Enter the Sandman" began playing as Sandman and Dreamer came out. Lawler looked out at the crowd, disgusted at the ECW fans' response. Dreamer and Sandman drank a beer. Sandman smashed a can over his forehead, cutting himself in the process. Sandman then stroked his cane and spurted beer out of his mouth. PG13, Walker, and Paul E. Dangerously came to ringside.

The building was electric with anticipation of the brawl. Lawler began a "Paul E. sucks" chant and the pro-USWA fans joined in. Paul E. yelled at Lawler, "F--- you." Lawler charged Paul E., who jumped off the apron. Dreamer and Christopher paired off, as did Sandman and Lawler. Dreamer slammed a beer can on Christopher's forehead while Lawler slammed Sandman into a railing. Christopher slammed a sign onto Dreamer's head. Lawler flipped Sandman into a guard rail, catapulting him over a table. Christopher slammed Dreamer's head into a ringside table, but Dreamer returned the favor. Lawler used a trash can on Dreamer while Christopher flipped Sandman onto another table at ringside. Lawler hit a fistdrop on Dreamer in the ring, then set a chair up in the ring and threw Dreamer into the ropes. As Dreamer rebounded, Lawler rammed Dreamer's face into the chair. Christopher superkicked a chair into Sandman's face. Lawler and Christopher then brought a ladder into the ring. Sandman set up the ladder in the corner and threw Christopher toward it, but Christopher reversed Sandman into the ladder. Christopher leaped off the ladder onto Sandman, but Sandman moved. Dreamer began caning Lawler. Christopher gave Sandman a see-saw uppercut with the ladder. Christopher knocked Dreamer off the top rope so Dreamer straddled the ropes in pain. Sandman frankensteinered Christopher off the top rope. Christopher rammed the top of a crutch into Sandman's gut. Dreamer attempted to DDT Lawler, but Lawler flipped Dreamer over. Lawler and Christopher spike piledrove Sandman for a two count.

Dreamer, whose face was covered in his own blood, watched as Sandman flailed his cane and missed Lawler and then took a Christopher superkick to the face. Walker then ran into the ring, followed by Sabu, Van Dam, and PG13. All hell broke loose. Sabu broke another table with Sandman lying on it. Some teenage ECW fans in the front row reached out and whipped Sabu. Sabu grabbed a belt and whipped the fans in return -- hard. Lawler and Christopher even came to Sabu's defense. One of the kids spit at Lawler and Lawler spit back at him. The intensity was unlike any past events. Dreamer eventually helped Sandman to the back. Christopher, Lawler, Van Dam, Sabu, and Alfonso remained in the ring. Lawler grabbed the house mic and said: "Hey, ECW, and all of you lowlifes, we're all still here."

The ECW wrestlers charged back to the ring as the USWA wrestlers left. ECW wrestlers taunted the crowd as fans threw trash at them. Before leaving, the ECW gang handed parts of broken tables and chairs to the fans as souvenirs. The fans left buzzing about the action they had just witnessed.

[Torch art credit Cory Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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