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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Earlier this week I was watching some old George Gulas Mid-American wrestling videos and stumbled across the Lou Thesz UWF.

I had totally forgotten about it but watching just a few seconds reminded me. I actually saw these shows as a kid.

What I had not recalled was why was Lou Thesz running an opposition group to NWA member Nick Gulas?



The UWA was based out of Nashville,TN where it ran weekly and ran shows in Georgetown, Franklin and Owensboro, KY. As well as Jackson, Chattanooga, and Kingsport, TN, and Dalton, GA.

Thesz was getting older, and was trying to get out of ring competition, and apparently found financial backing in Nashville, from legendary musician Danny Davis as well as Nasville music agent, and former wrestler himself, Buddy Lee.



In 1976 Thesz tried to unseat Gulas's Mid American wrestling with his group of talent.

His roster featured tag teams (much in the tradition of the area)

The Islanders (known to us today as The Wild Samoans) Afa and Sika were his main event babyfaces. They were managed by long time area mainstay Dr Saul Weingeroff. Their main adversaries were another local legendary trio, The Interns with Dr. Ken Ramey. The Islanders also feuded with The Spoiler (Frank Morrell) and Cowboy Parker.

Eric "The Red", Mike Boyette (The Hippie Boy, and Apokolypse), Mr Moto (Tor Kamata) and Tommy Seigler, were all used as well known mid card talent.

A 15 year old Terry Gordy would wrestle as Mr Wrestling as fans in the area already knew the teenager. He would also wrestle as Terry Meeker. Buzz Sawyer was not much older appearing for Thesz, And Troy Graham the future Dream Machine would get his first wins in UWA.




A young Pez Whatley would get some of his earliest wins here, and many older vets would be winding their careers down like, Loranzo Parente, Steve Kovaks, Nelson Royal, Wild Bull Curry, Al Costello and Don Green.

Dale Mann also appears for Thesz here. If you have not heard of wrestler Dale Mann. His is a very interesting story which I have covered here before...
Obscure Wrestler of the Month | Wrestling Forum
He was actually accused of murder.




Eventually Gulas would hold off Thesz's group. The war only lasted 9 months. The question I have always wondered is why Thesz came after Gulas an NWA member? Gulas was known as a stingy promoter who only paid what he could get away with. His shows were never lauded as wrestling masterpieces. One could read into the Thesz invasion as Thesz seeing an easy target. Regardless Thesz folded up shop by September and was wrestling again in Toronto a month later.

The problem is that 1976 was probably the best year Gulas ever had in the business. He was riding high with Dennis Condrey, Tojo Yammamoto, Phil Hickerson, Jackie Fargo, Jerry Jarrett, Jerry Lawler, Tommy Rich,,etc... literally the best year Gulas ever had.

This past December someone posted 5 complete episodes of the UWA on you tube. If you are a fan of 70's wrestling, Terry Gordy, the Samoans, or just wrestling history, check these out...


The ultimate irony is that when Gulas tried to come back in the mid 80's against Jarrett, he used the UWA banner complete with the same graphics Thesz used.
 

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I forgot that Gordy and Sawyer were teenagers when they got their start. And I definitely can see how Thesz couldn’t gain any traction with what Gulas had at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I forgot that Gordy and Sawyer were teenagers when they got their start. And I definitely can see how Thesz couldn’t gain any traction with what Gulas had at the time.
Gordy is so thin. He's almost unrecognizable. But if you know Gordy you can see his mannerisms.

Go to 27:02 on this video for 15 year old 6'2 Gordy vs George Weingeroff, who was legally blind, but had a solid career.

@GNKenny, @Kowalski's Killer @ByTor @Jupiter Jack Daniels

 

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For some reason I didn't see this or get a notification, odd. Definitely gonna check out that show. The quality is amazing! Always great seeing 60s-early 80s American wrestling is such high quality.

I know it's a little touch but I like how the ring ropes have stars on them haha.

Just a total guess on my end but maybe this was his version of Smoky Mountain Wrestling? As in, Thesz was unhappy with the direction wrestling was headed in and wanted something more traditional? Again, just spitballing. As for the location...not sure about that. He was pretty vocal about not being a fan of Harley Race, no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For some reason I didn't see this or get a notification, odd. Definitely gonna check out that show. The quality is amazing! Always great seeing 60s-early 80s American wrestling is such high quality.

I know it's a little touch but I like how the ring ropes have stars on them haha.

Just a total guess on my end but maybe this was his version of Smoky Mountain Wrestling? As in, Thesz was unhappy with the direction wrestling was headed in and wanted something more traditional? Again, just spitballing. As for the location...not sure about that. He was pretty vocal about not being a fan of Harley Race, no?
Harley was Central States, this is Gulas, the territory that eventually lost a promotional war 2 years later to Jarrett
 

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Harley was Central States, this is Gulas, the territory that eventually lost a promotional war 2 years later to Jarrett
Oh sorry, I just meant the state of wrestling in general. Harley was just the example I thought of to compare with Verne's preferences of the more traditional pro wrestling. Well going by what he said anyway.

I do admit sometimes all these different promotions confuse me though haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's amazing how young the Samoans look in some of the videos.

And the clarity! Looks like it was filmed yesterday, truly an epic find for classics fans.

So here is every UWA card, I think it is interesting to note

Even on the five shows we have here, it is clear Thesz realized he has mis-read the local crowd. They want story not technical wrestling. The later shows feature more heat.

1/20/76 Georgetown, KY
Lou Thesz vs. Mr. Wrestling(Terry Gordy)

2/10/76 Georgetown, KY
Lou Thesz vs. Bruce Swayze

2/11/76 Nashville, TN(TV)
Nelson Royal & Terry Meeker(aka Terry Gordy) vs. Cowboy Parker & Hartford Love

2/23/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
The Islanders(Afa & Sika) vs. Pez Whatley & Mr. Wrestling
Chief Black Eagle vs. Phil Hedden
Dale Mann & Chuck Connors vs. The Interns

3/2/76 Nashville, TN @ Municipal Auditorium
The Interns beat The Islanders(8:00)
Nelson Royal beat Eric The Red by DQ
Luis Martinez & Fred Curry beat Cowboy Parker & Hartford Love
Princess Jasmine beat Ramona Isabell(12:30)
Pez Whatley beat The Alaskan
Bull Curry beat Mark Starr(5:30)
Walter Johnson beat The Spoiler
Prince Pullin draw Mike Boyette

3/3/77 Georgetown, KY
Lou Thesz & Ed Pues vs. Bruce Swayze & Great Keamooko

3/25/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Interns vs. Fred Curry & Luis Martinez
Rick Sanchez vs. Tommy Seigler
The Spoiler vs. Islander Sika
Cowboy Parker vs. Rocky Johnson
Mario Leone vs. Islander Afa
Mike Boyette vs. Bubba Jordan

3/30/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Islander Sika beat Rocky Johnson
Lorenzo Parente draw The Spoiler
Dale Mann beat Mike Boyette by DQ
Cowboy Parker beat Troy Graham
Rick Sanchez beat Soulman Jackson
The Interns beat Luis Martinez & Islander Afa(sub for Fred Curry)

4/6/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
7-team Tag Title tournament including:
The Spoiler & Cowboy Parker
The Interns
The Islanders
Joe Ball & Bill Helm
Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez
Dale Mann & Rocky Johnson
Mike Boyette & Rick Sanchez

4/13/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Interns vs. The Islanders in a no time limit, no DQ, 2 of 3 falls match
Eric The Red vs. Terry Meeker
Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez vs. Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler
Pez Whatley vs. Lee Teal
Buzz Sawyer vs. Tommy Seigler
Mike Boyette vs. Bruce Swayze

4/20/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Islanders & Saul Weingeroff vs. The Interns & Ken Ramey
Mike Boyette vs. Pez Whatley
Lorenzo Parente & Dale Mann vs. Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler
Bruce Swayze vs. The Sheik(aka Rick Sanchez)
Chuck Connors vs. Rocky Johnson

4/26/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Mr. Wrestling(Terry Gordy) beat The Destroyer

4/27/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Islanders & Saul Weingeroff vs. The Interns & Ken Ramey in a match with 2 referees
Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez vs. Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler in a 2 of 3 falls match
Pez Whatley vs. Mike Boyette
Tommy Seigler vs. Bruce Swayze

4/28/76 Chattanooga, TN(TV)
The Interns vs. Mr. Wrestling & Ted Atlas

5/3/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Pez Whatley beat Mike Boyette
The Islanders beat Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler by DQ
Bruce Swayze draw Tommy Seigler
Superman Graham vs. Mr. Wrestling

5/4/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler vs. Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez
Pez Whatley vs. Tommy Seigler
The Islanders vs. Mike Boyette & Bruce Swayze
Cora Combs vs. Casey Carr

5/10/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler no contest with The Islanders
Pez Whatley beat Mike Boyette
Luis Martinez & Mr. Wrestling beat The Interns by DQ
Little John beat Sonny Boy Hayes

5/11/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez vs. Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler in a no time limit, no DQ match
Pez Whatley vs. Mike Boyette
Bruce Swayze vs. Tommy Seigler
Lord Littlebrook & Little John vs. Sonny Boy Hayes & Haiti Kid
Intern #1 vs. Islander Sika

5/17/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker, The Spoiler & Al Costello vs. The Islanders & Saul Weingeroff
Mike Boyette vs. Mr. Wrestling
Mike Boyette & Lord Littlebrook vs. Mr. Wrestling & Haiti Kid
Haiti Kid vs. Lord Littlebrook

5/18/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Lorenzo Parente & Luis Martinez vs. Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler in a no time limit, no DQ, 2 of 3 falls match
Pez Whatley vs. Intern #1
Lord Littlebrook & Little John vs. Sonny Boy Hayes & Haiti Kid in a 2 of 3 falls match

5/20/76 Jackson, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler vs. Pez Whatley & Luis Martinez
Little John vs. Sonny Boy Hayes
Intern #1 vs. Islander Sika
Lord Littlebrook vs. Haiti Kid
Plus 1 other match

5/24/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & Al Costello vs. Saul Weingeroff & Islander Sika
The Spoiler vs. Islander Afa
Al Costello vs. Saul Weingeroff
Pez Whatley vs. Bruce Swayze
Mike Boyette vs. Tommy Seigler

5/25/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker, The Spoiler & Al Costello vs. Luis Martinez, Lorenzo Parente & Tommy Seigler in a 2 of 3 falls match
Pez Whatley vs. The Sheik
Ken Ramey vs. Saul Weingeroff in a boxing match
Troy Graham vs. Islander Afa
Bruce Swayze vs. Islander Sika

6/1/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Park, The Spoiler, Al Costello & Mike Boyette vs. Luis Martinez, Lorenzo Parente, Tommy Seigler & Pez Whatley in a 2 of 3 falls match
Bruce Swayze & The Sheik vs. The Islanders in a 2 of 3 falls match
Cowboy Parker vs. Lorenzo Parente
The Spoiler vs. Tommy Seigler
Mike Boyette vs. Luis Martinez

6/5/76 Dalton, GA
Lou Thesz & Mr. Wrestling vs. The Destroyers

6/8/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler vs. Pez Whatley & Tommy Seigler in a 2 of 3 falls match
Intern #1 vs. Lorenzo Parente
The Sheik vs. Steve Kovacs
Mike Boyette vs. Islander Sika
Troy Graham vs. Islander Afa

6/11/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Mr. Wrestling vs. Ted Atlas

6/15/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Pez Whatley vs. Cowboy Parker
Intern #1 & The Spoiler vs. Tommy Seigler & Steve Kovacs
Prince Pullins & The Sheik vs. The Islanders
Princess Jasmine vs. Mary Jane Mull

6/21/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
Pez Whatley vs. The Sheik
Masked Spoiler & Mike Boyette vs. The Islanders
Bruce Swayze vs. Steve Kovacs
Plus 1 other match

6/22/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker & The Spoiler vs. The Islanders
Pez Whatley vs. Bruce Swayze
Mike Boyette vs. Tommy Seigler
Mighty Yankee vs. Steve Kovacs
The Sheik vs. George Weingeroff

6/24/76 Jackson, TN @ National Guard Armory
Mike Boyette, The Spoiler & Troy Graham vs. Pez Whatley, Tommy Seigler & William Stone
The Sheik vs. Islander Sika
Jack Graham vs. Islander Afa
Plus 1 other match

6/25/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Pez Whatley vs. The Spoiler
Mike Boyette vs. Tommy Seigler
The Destroyer vs. Steve Kovacs
Jackie Lewis vs. Ray Langston

6/29/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Islanders beat The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze in a 2 of 3 falls match
Tommy Seigler beat Cowboy Parker by DQ
Steve Kovacs beat Troy Graham
Bruce Swayze beat George Weingeroff
Troy Graham draw Mr. Wrestling

7/1/76 Jackson, TN @ National Guard Armory
Pez Whatley vs. Eric The Red
Mike Boyette & Bruce Swayze vs. The Islanders
The Spoiler vs. Steve Kovacs
Troy Graham vs. William Stone

7/5/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
The Islanders vs. The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze
Eric The Red vs. Mr. Wrestling
Troy Graham vs. The Streaker
Jack Graham vs. George Weingeroff

7/6/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. The Islanders
Eric The Red vs. Tommy Seigler
Cowboy Parker vs. Lorenzo Parente
Jack Graham vs. George Weingeroff
Troy Graham vs. Jim Wilson

7/12/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. The Islanders
Luis Martinez vs. Eric The Red
Troy Graham vs. George Weingeroff
Jack Graham vs. Jim Wilson

7/13/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. The Islanders
Cowboy Parker & Eric The Red vs. Luis Martinez & Mr. Wrestling
Troy Graham vs. Jim Wilson
Phil Hedden vs. George Weingeroff

7/19/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
Eric The Red vs. Luis Martinez in a match with Lou Thesz as special referee
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Mr. Wrestling & George Weingeroff
Phil Hedden vs. Islander Sika
Troy Graham vs. Islander Afa

7/20/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Don Greene & Tommy Seigler beat The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze in a 2 of 3 falls match
Islander Sika & George Weingeroff(sub for Islander Afa) beat Jerry Watson & Eric The Red(8:10) via pinfall
Cowboy Parker beat Luis Martinez(14:00)
George Weingeroff beat Scorpion #2

7/26/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
Lou Thesz vs. Eric The Red
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Little John vs. Little Koko
Plus 1 other match

7/27/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker beat Frenchie Martin in a 2 of 3 falls match to win UWA World Title
Don Greene & Tommy Seigler beat The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze by DQ in a 2 of 3 falls match
Ann Jeanette beat Peggy Fury by DQ
K.O. Fleetwood beat Eric The Red(13:20) by countout

8/2/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
Lou Thesz vs. Eric The Red in a no time limit, no DQ, loser leaves town match
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Mighty Pat Kennedy vs. Little Joe
Mixed Tag match
Mr. Moto vs. Troy Graham

8/3/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Don Greene & Tommy Seigler beat The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze in a 2 of 3 falls match
Cowboy Parker beat Terry Meeker in a 2 of 3 falls match
Lorenzo Parente beat Eric The Red
K.O. Fleetwood beat Mr. Moto by DQ
Troy Graham beat Mark Barber

8/9/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Lou Thesz vs. Troy Graham
Steve Kovacs vs. Super Demon
Tommy Seigler vs. Mr. Moto
plus tag team match

8/10/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Spoilers & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & Tommy Seigler in a no time limit, no DQ, lumberjack match with 2 referees
Cowboy Parker vs. Terry Meeker
Lorenzo Parente, Steve Kovacs & K.O. Fleetwood vs. Troy Graham, Super Demon & Mr. Moto
Al Costello vs. Tommy Seigler

8/15/76 Chattanooga, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker beat K.O. Fleetwood(sub for Steve Kovacs)
Don Greene & Tommy Seigler beat The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze
Mr. Moto draw Mr. Wrestling
Tommy Seigler draw Bruce Swayze
George Weingeroff beat Frenchy Martin(sub for Jack Graham)
Ann Jeanette beat Ann Costello(sub for Sandy Partlow) by DQ
Mr. Wrestling & Ann Jeanette over Mr. Moto & Ann Costello

8/16/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Lou Thesz vs. Troy Graham & Phil Hedden in a handicap match
Waldo Von Krupp vs. Tommy Seigler
Paul Morton vs. Larry Chin
Mr. Moto vs. Mike Porter

8/17/76 Nashville, TN @ National Guard Armory
Cowboy Parker beat K.O. Fleetwood in a 2 of 3 falls match
Lorenzo Parente, Don Greene & Saul Weingeroff beat Bruce Swayze, The Spoiler & Al Costello in a 2 of 3 falls match
Paul Morton beat Wiley Bean
George Weingeroff & Terry Meeker beat Jackie Lewis & Skull Von Brauner
George Weingeroff beat Jackie Lewis
Terry Meeker beat Skull Von Brauner

8/30/76 Owensboro, KY @ National Guard Armory
Jack Graham & Troy Graham vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Lou Thesz vs. The Spoiler & ?? in a handicap match
Bruce Swayze vs. Eric Embry
Plus one other match

9/1/76 Kingsport, TN @ National Guard Armory
The Spoiler & Bruce Swayze vs. Don Greene & K.O. Fleetwood
Jack Graham vs. Mr. Moto
Mike Porter vs. Troy Graham
plus 1 more match
 
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