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Oklahoma's First Death Match

While this promotion probably will not become one of the ones I feature regularly here I thought I would cover it due to the historical significance it had for Oklahoma Wrestling. This even featured the first Death Match in Oklahoma as the main event. The promotion is called Unified Wrestling Oklahoma. This event was held 15 April 2023 in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Mohawk American Legion.

The opening contest for this eight match card was set for one fall Gallardo Uno versus Shotgun Dan Webber. The pre-match stuff started early as while Gallardo Uno was relaxing on the turnbuckle Webber threw his towel and hit him in the mask. Once the bell rings, Gallardo Uno evades Webber and his attempts to start the fight. Eventually when Gallardo is ready he attempts a shoulder tackle but is knocked down by the bigger man. Gallardo gets up and tells Webber this time he will take him down. Webber had other intentions as he gave Gallardo an uppercut sending him back to the mat. Gallardo rolled to the outside for a breather but Webber would not allow it he followed outside and delivered a headbutt. The actions returned to the ring. Webber appears to be going for a big move just for Gallardo to escape from Webber’s shoulders with what looks like a sling blade onto the top rope. From here Gallardo Uno has control and works on the legs of the bigger man. This onslaught by Gallardo Uno continues for a good amount of time. Eventually. Webber makes himself an opening by headbutting Gallardo. Gallardo gets to the bottom turnbuckle to recover. Webber goes for a cannonball but the work done earlier on the leg prevents him from running. After some more back and forth melee Dan Webber wins the match. A good opening contest. Gallardo Uno set himself up as the heel early in his entrance which was helped by certain fans in attendance. Webber also was able to feed off the fans being firmly behind him during his entrance, establishing him as a babyface for this promotion.

The next contest was for the RDW Bare Knuckles Championship. Sir Thomas Knight was the challenger. The champion is The Foreman Red James. Red James yells his own entrance the only thing the announcer gives is that James is from Tulsa. Although Sir Thomas Knight came out first I did not hear him announced at all. Red James starts generating the heat quickly as he calls Sir Thomas Knight a Make-A-Wish. Red and Thomas then tie up with an elbow and collar tie up from whence Thomas is backed into a corner. After a clean break Thomas then gets the advantage in a tie up pushing Red into the corner. After a few chops from Thomas Knight, Red James takes advantage with a headlock takedown. Here for a fan is where the match started to break down. It was very audible that James had lost where he was in the match and Thomas Knight had to tell him what to do next. Knight would break out of the headlock just for the two to both hit the ropes and fall to a shoulder tackle. James would get up first and drape Thomas Knight on the middle rope for a hanging DDT. This would result in a near fall. After which Thomas would mount a comeback before expending all his energy after a jumping clothesline. James would get up and go to his jacket for a pair of brass knuckles. The ref would tell Red James to put them away. Red refused to put them away. The ref then tells James if he is going to use them he better use them on. James obliged and knocked the ref out. Red calls for another ref to come out so he can get the pinfall. Instead a man in a Spawn mask ominously walked down to the ring. This individual did give Sir Thomas Knight an object he used to strike Red James. This ended up being a knockout blow and a second ref counted 1-2-3. The second ref declared Sir Thomas the winner and new champion. The original ref counters the second ref stating that Red James was disqualified. Board of Director member Mike Isles comes out to settle the dispute. His official ruling was that when Red James punched the first ref the match was over. The winner of the match is Sir Thomas Knight but still the champion Red James.

The third match of the night was a war of two big powerful men. Wolf of War against Colt Killbane. Wolf of War shows his power early and forces Killbane into the corner. He chops his chest. The match was full of two powerhouses doing power moves whipping each other into the corners and the sheer recoil knocking them down at times. Wolf of War would eventually take the victory with a full nelson slam.

The last match before intermission was an eight man tag. One one side was the massive team of Eddie Levaughn, Southern Aristocracy, Giganto, and Tank Bryson. Between three of those men is at least a half a ton. Their opponents are Trench Blyth, Romeo Reese, Frankie Lee accompanied by his valet Wendy and a masked man. It was hard for me to hear the introductions on this one and I am not familiar with the second team. Additionally, I can not tell you much of the in ring action as the Valet decided to take up position right in front of me. She was a larger lass blocking my view. At one point she even stepped on my foot and in true heel fashion ignored that it happened. The winners would be Eddie Lavine, Southern Aristocracy, Giganto, and Tank Bryson

After the break, Brent Wall, the official owner, came out to say thank the fans in attendance and announce that the reason he is wearing a ref shirt is that he will officiate the women’s title match between Nova Phoenix and Luna Nightshade. He said he would also be refereeing the Death Match later that night.

The UWO Women’s Championship was next. The initial assessment of this match is that Nova Phoenix is going to be a brawler. Her smaller opponent is going to be more like a Riho or Jungleboy type wrestler who uses their opponent's momentum against them. Luna Nightshade has a black cat mask on. Nova Phoenix rips it off to try and get an early shock victory over her opponent. Phoenix pins Luna Nightshade for a two count. While Pheonix is arguing with the ref. Luna shows that she had a pink mask underneath. Luna goes for the quick pin which is good for a two count. Nova Phoenix goes outside to regroup. She does this for a count of seven. When Nova Phoenix is returning to the ring, Luna scratches her back. Then followed it with spinning head-scissors. Phoenix is thrown into the second rope by that momentum where Luna again scratched the back with her claws. Nova gets to her feet where Luna Nightshade attempts to do a cross body but it is reversed into a world’s strongest slam. This gets Phoenix a two count which is followed up by choking Luna on the ropes. The old trope of high speed offense gets going just for one power move to stop the offense then gone into effect. Phoenix would eventually start to lay in some lefts and rights but the ref would stop that because they were closed fists. Luna Nightshade is able to get a close pin due to this distraction. When both ladies get to their feet Luna wants to go blow for blow with Phoenix. Luna wins the blow for blow competition. Phoenix falls into the corner where she starts to remove the turnbuckle padding. The ref stops her. Off this latest distraction Nova Phoenix will gouge Luna in the eye and deliver a Big Ending for the victory. Both ladies would shake hands and hug after the bout in a show of respect.

Now it was time for one of their featured matches. Leo Fox of CYN with Marvelous Mike Andrews against Adrian Vega. Both men are military veterans which plays well for the crowd and venue.. Fox would start the match by extending and shaking Vega’s hand. This show of respect didn’t last long as Fox would nail Vega with a cheap shot. Corporal Punishment, another local wrestler not booked for the show, stood up and said that he is what a real veteran looks like. Vega gets up and delivers a series of blows. Those blows push Leo Fox into the corner. Vega tries for a monkey flip but is blocked by a poke to the eyes. Fox would lock Vega in a leg hook. Vega makes his way to the ropes for the break. Leo Fox waits for Vega to get up before taking him down with a clothesline. Fox continues to exhibit strength and power moves dominating Vega. Vega would eventually find a small opening to reverse an Irish whip into a clothesline that does not take Fox down. Leo Fox would knock Vega into the second ropes. Fox would then distract the ref while his manager would choke Vega. After this Vega would make a small comeback with a series of clotheslines. Vega would eventually set Fox up for what looks like a Northern Lights Suplex but Mike Andrews would save Fox from that fate. Fox would use the distraction of the ref to give Vega a low blow followed by a DDT for the win.

The penultimate match was a contest between two rookies. This is a series between the two first to fifty. James the Elegant who fans automatically called out for being a HHH Blue Blood Connecticut rip off against MLP another blatant rip off or La Parka that the fans seems to have no issue with. James was at 19 wins and MLP 10. The match started with the two men calling for a test of strength that would not start because they would alternate which hand would be higher and MLP turned it into a dance. This match followed the classic back and forth script with the heel taking most of the offense. The face (MLP) would hit his comeback with some clotheslines into a senton. Jason the Elegant would stop that momentum with a step up kick to the back of the head winning the match.

Jason would take to the mic after the match and call for a tougher opponent as he has already beaten MLP 20 times and wants better competition. This would not go unanswered, Bud Ford the Bad-est Man in Oklahoma would come out to challenge Jason. In a squash match Bud Ford easily defeated Jason the Elegant.

Now it is time for the match everyone came to see. The first ever Death Match in Oklahoma for the UWO heavyweight championship. Chris Morrision with CM Burnham against Sam Stackhouse. While people are bringing weapons to the ring the announcer is asking fans who they want to win. The majority of fans are behind Sam Stackhouse, a Tulsa Native. Sam has actually faced Matt Cardona for the GCW title. Doors were placed in every corner of the ring. Between the post carpet tacks were placed. Two chairs were added to the ring. The stage was finally set for the two men to go to war. During the introductions both men flip each other off. The physical action starts with a shoving match. Sam would whip Morrison into a door. The door did not break. Morrison would whip Sam into a door with a loud resounding snap the door breaks. Morrison tries to throw Sam into the opposite corner but Sam reverses that. The door breaks as Morrison hits it. While Morrison is down, Sam builds a contraption with the two chairs and an unbroken door. Sam tops it with some carpet tacks. Sam goes to slam Morrison into the contraption but is blocked. Morrison slams Sam’s head into the contraption. Blood is spilled. Morrison escapes to the outside for a breather. Sam follows him and gets hit with part of the broken door. After circling the ring with punches and other various blows the two men grab carpet tacks and start to smash them against each other's biceps. Both men roll back into the ring after this. From my vantage point I can see the blood splattered all over the floor. Burnham hands Morrison some hypodermic needles. Morrison attempts to stab Sam with those needles. Sam is able to prevent this and shoves them into each side of Morrison’s cheeks. As Morrison is writhing in pain, Sam starts to take off a bottom turnbuckle. The fans start to jest that he is just paying his dues by taking the ring down. A little early as the match is still going. Morrison crawls toward Sam and gets nailed by a hammer that Sam was using to take the turnbuckle off with. Morrison would roll to the opposite side from where Stackhouse is dismantling the ring and start to do the same. Then the men decide to lock up again Sam Stackhouse gives Morrison a double underhook on the exposed hard pine of the wrestling ring. That was only good for a near fall. Sam is stunned by the resilience of Morrison. Morrison is able to recover and barely give Sam a side belly to belly supplex. Morrison would do this move twice more once into a table. None of them could put Sam away. Morrison would eventually wrap the ropes around Sam Stackhouse’s throat, choking him out. The ref would stop the match. Your winner and still the UWO champion Chris Morrison. During the celebration Morrison would choke out his manager CM Burnham effectively firing him saying his service was no longer needed.

Overall this was a good show. I attended because of the Leo Fox against Vega match and the first Death Match in Oklahoma. I ended up knowing quite a few of the wrestlers from working with EPW. If the promotion was to do something special or have a name that I enjoy watching at one of their shows I would most likely go back. As a first timer to that promotion it was easy to pick up on dynamics. I think that Gallardo Uno can be a major name in the wrestling scene for at least Oklahoma. I was disappointed in the death match. It felt very limited in the weapons they used. I count maybe four. I also don’t feel like Sam Stackhouse expressed his range as a wrestler. For a big man he can really move and that should have been showcased. Which brings me to another downside for the show the 8-man tag what I could see of it the big men don’t do splashes or things that really show I am big and powerful. I want to see Vader Bombs, splashes from from the top, attempts to slam them fail.

All photos are from the official UWO Facebook account.


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