Universal Wrestling Federation (Herb Abrams)
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|Headquarters||Marina del Rey, California|
The Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) was an American wrestling promotion based out of Marina del Rey, California.
Herb Abrams founded the UWF in 1990 with hopes of returning professional wrestling back to its roots. He signed top stars such as Paul Orndorff, Steve Williams, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Bob Orton, Jr., Brian Blair, Danny Spivey, Billy Jack Haynes, Ken Patera, Colonel DeBeers, David Sammartino, Ivan Koloff, Bob Backlund, and Cactus Jack.
He trademarked the UWF name in June 1991 because Bill Watts never bothered to trademark his version of the Universal Wrestling Federation that was sold to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987. Abrams was head booker of the company from 1990 to 1992. Zoogz Rift, a cult musician and manager in the UWF, took over as head booker in 1993. Zoogz Rift accompanied Abrams on several international business trips in 1993, where they managed to secure home video deals for the company. He quit in March 1994, leaving Abrams to book the September 1994 Blackjack Brawl card. In late 1995, Rift rejoined the company as vice president, helping to secure new television deals with both SportsChannel America and Prime Network. Abrams' death in July 1996, however, marked the end of the company. Blackjack Brawl would stand as the final UWF show.
It appears that Abrams had a son, named Herbert Abrams Jr. whose mother was a former employee of the Playboy Club in Los Angeles, CA. Abrams Jr. has made it clear that he plans to relaunch the company.
The UWF tape library was left in a storage maintained by former wrestler Al Burke in California when Abrams returned to New York. When Abrams died, Burke claimed the library as abandoned property. In recent years, he has partnered with Todd Okerlund of Classic Wrestling to repackage and license the library through DirecTV and ESPN Classic Canada.
|UWF Fury Hour|
UWF Fury Hour logo
|Created by||Herb Abrams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||69 (SportsChannel America)
|Camera setup||Multicamera setup|
|Running time||approximately 1 hour per episode|
|Original network||SportsChannel America|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||1990 – 1993|
In 1990, the company signed a deal with national cable network SportsChannel America. A weekly program called Fury Hour debuted in October 1990 and ran until 1993. The program also featured matches from the Wild Women of Wrestling promotion.
In 1991, Herb Abrams was owed money by Steve Ray and wrongly suspected that Ray was sleeping with his wife. On May 10, 1991 during a television taping at Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, Abrams paid Steve Williams an extra $100 for the night to break Ray's nose during their match. The ensuing shoot aired in its entirety on an episode of Fury Hour.
In 1995, existing episodes were repackaged to a half-hour format and aired on ESPN2. Those same 24 episodes re-aired on ESPN Classic between January and March 2008. ESPN Classic started re-airing these episodes on February 4, 2009. ESPN Classic Canada reran original one-hour format episodes of Fury Hour in 2004.
|Herb Abrams and Bruno Sammartino||September 1990-November 1990|
|Craig DeGeorge and Bruno Sammartino||December 1990-July 1991|
|Craig DeGeorge and Lou Albano||April 1991|
|Craig DeGeorge and John Tolos||June 1992|
|Carlo Gianelli and John Tolos||July 1993-September 1994|
|Commissioner||Date started||Date finished|
|Arnold Ross||September 24, 1990||October 11, 1990|
|Carlo Gianelli||July 24, 1993||July 24, 1993|
|Bruno Sammartino||September 23, 1994||September 23, 1994|
|Segment||Segment Type||Host||Years Active|
|Ask The Wrestlers||Interview||Herb Abrams||1990-1991|
|Captain Lou's Corner||Interview||Lou Albano||1990-1991|
|Promotion||Universal Wrestling Federation|
|Date||June 9, 1991|
|Venue||Manatee Civic Center|
Beach Brawl was the UWF's first and only live pay-per-view event. It was widely considered a failure because of its low attendance and pay-per-view buyrate of 0.10.
|Dark match||Boris Zuhkov defeated Paul Samson||Singles match|
|1||The Blackhearts (Apocalypse and Destruction) (with Luna Vachon) defeated Fire Cat and Jim Cooper||Tag team match||07:45|
|2||Terry Gordy fought Johnny Ace to a double countout||Street Fight||06:08|
|3||Mask Confusion (Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell) defeated The Power Twins (Larry and David Power)||Tag team match||12:23|
|4||Rockin' Robin defeated Candi Devine||Singles match for the inaugural UWF Women's World Championship||06:05|
|5||Paul Orndorff defeated Colonel DeBeers||Strap match||04:15|
|6||Bob Backlund defeated Ivan Koloff||Singles match||02:23|
|7||Steve Ray and Sunny Beach defeated Cactus Jack and Bob Orton, Jr. (with John Tolos)||Tag team match||04:02|
|8||Steve Williams defeated Bam Bam Bigelow||Singles match for the inaugural UWF SportsChannel Television Championship||07:11|
|Promotion||Universal Wrestling Federation|
|Date||September 23, 1994|
|Venue||MGM Grand Garden Arena|
|City||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|1||Dan Spivey defeated Johnny Ace (with Missy Hyatt)||Singles match for the inaugural UWF Americas Championship||07:20|
|2||Jack Armstrong defeated Mando Guerrero||Singles match for the inaugural UWF Junior Heavyweight Championship||04:36|
|3||Sunny Beach defeated Dr. Feelgood (with Missy Hyatt)||Singles match||05:26|
|4||Bob Orton, Jr. (c) fought Finland Hellraiser Thor to a double disqualification||Singles match for the UWF Southern States Championship||06:12|
|5||Little Tokyo defeated The Karate Kid||Singles match for the inaugural UWF Midget World Championship||07:33|
|6||Samson defeated The Irish Assassin||Singles match||04:13|
|7||Tyler Mane defeated Steve Ray||Singles match for the inaugural UWF MGM Grand Championship||07:25|
|8||Candi Devine defeated Tina Moretti||Singles match for the vacant UWF Women's World Championship||03:26|
|9||Masked Confusion (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell) defeated The New Powers Of Pain (Warlord and Power Warrior)||Tag team match for the inaugural UWF World Tag Team Championship||11:49|
|10||Cactus Jack and Jimmy Snuka fought to a double countout||Lumberjack Match||09:03|
|11||Steve Williams (c) defeated Sid Vicious by disqualification when Dan Spivey interfered||Singles match for the UWF World Heavyweight Championship||11:01|
- UWF Americas Championship (1994)
- UWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (1993)
- UWF Israeli Championship (1991)
- UWF Junior Heavyweight Championship (1994)
- UWF MGM Grand Championship (1994)
- UWF Midget World Championship (1994)
- UWF North American Championship (1991)
- UWF Southern States Championship (1992, 1994)
- UWF SportsChannel Television Championship (1991-1992)
- UWF Women's World Championship (1991, 1994)
- UWF World Heavyweight Championship (1994)
- UWF World Tag Team Championship (1994)
In 1992, the UWF issued six VHS releases in the United States through Best Film & Video Corporation: Beach Brawl, Tag Team Tandems, The Best of Paul Orndorff, The Lumberjack Match, The Steel Cage Match, and Wrestling's Greatest Champions. In 1993, the UWF released six volumes of PAL videos in Germany through Summit International Pictures under the "Wrestling Super Champs" banner. They were all compilations of Fury Hour matches. The same six "Wrestling Super Champs" volumes were re-released in Germany through Jünger Verlag under the "Super Wrestling" banner.
Recent years have seen the emergence of UWF DVDs in Australia through Payless Entertainment. Each of the seven Region 4 DVDs contains one episode of Fury Hour. The DVDs include Body Slammin, Grand Slam, Grudge Matches, It's War, Tag Team Madness, The Main Event, and Wrestling Wars. In Germany, a Region 0 DVD titled "Wrestling Super 4 Champs" was released containing two episodes of Fury Hour. Also in Germany, the "Wrestling Super Champs" VHS compilations were re-released on DVD in six volumes as "American History of Wrestling - UWF".
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.184)
- UWF - Interview - Zoogz Rift
- 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports
- UWF - ESPN Classic
- CANOE - SLAM! Sports - Wrestling - ESPN Classics Canada won't go Raw
- Foley, Mick (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-103101-1.
- Herb Abrams' UWF - Tribute site featuring a detailed history of the UWF promotion
- ProWrestlingHistory.com - Herb Abrams' UWF - Complete results and title histories for every UWF show
- UWF Fury Hour at the Internet Movie Database