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Universal Wrestling Federation (Herb Abrams)

Universal Wrestling Federation
Acronym UWF
Founded 1990
Defunct 1996
Style Professional wrestling
Headquarters Marina del Rey, California
Founder(s) Herb Abrams
Owner(s) Herb Abrams

The Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) was an American wrestling promotion based out of Marina del Rey, California.


  • History 1
  • Fury Hour 2
    • Commentators 2.1
    • Commissioners 2.2
    • Recurring segments 2.3
  • Results 3
    • Beach Brawl 3.1
    • Blackjack Brawl 3.2
  • Championships 4
  • Home video 5
  • Awards 6
  • Footnotes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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.[1]

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.

The UWF tape library is currently owned by former wrestler Al Burke. In recent years, he has partnered with Todd Okerlund of Classic Wrestling to repackage and license the library through DirecTV and ESPN Classic Canada.

Fury Hour

UWF Fury Hour
UWF Fury Hour logo
Created by Herb Abrams
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 69 (SportsChannel America)
24 (ESPN2)
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time approximately 1 hour per episode
Original channel 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.[2]

In 1995, existing episodes were repackaged to a half-hour format and aired on ESPN2. Those same 24 episodes re-aired on ESPN Classic[3] between January and March 2008.[4] 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.[5]


Commentators Year(s)
Herb Abrams and Bruno Sammartino September 1990-November 1990
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

Recurring segments

Segment Segment Type Host Years Active
Ask The Wrestlers Interview Herb Abrams 1990-1991
Captain Lou's Corner Interview Lou Albano 1990-1991


Beach Brawl

Beach Brawl
Promotion Universal Wrestling Federation
Date June 9, 1991
Attendance 550
Venue Manatee Civic Center
City Palmetto, Florida
Pay-per-view chronology
N/A Beach Brawl N/A

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.

# Results Stipulations Times
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

Blackjack Brawl

Blackjack Brawl
Promotion Universal Wrestling Federation
Date September 23, 1994
Venue MGM Grand Garden Arena
City Las Vegas, Nevada

Blackjack Brawl was the UWF's first and only live television event that aired on SportsChannel America.[1]

# Results Stipulations Times
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


Home video

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".



  1. ^ a b Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.184)
  2. ^ UWF - Interview - Zoogz Rift
  3. ^ 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports
  4. ^ UWF - ESPN Classic
  5. ^ 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.  

External links

  • Herb Abrams' UWF - Tribute site featuring a detailed history of the UWF promotion
  • - Herb Abrams' UWF - Complete results and title histories for every UWF show
  • UWF Fury Hour at the Internet Movie Database
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