Welcome back to a special Monday edition of the Dark Match Dungeon! As always, this is the feature where we sit in the front row for some forgotten footage of today’s wrestling stars and/or their unfortunate hairstyles.
I’m jumping the gun on my usual time slot because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tipped his millions (and millions!) of social media followers off to something pretty cool, and I wanted to cover it as soon as I could. Check this out, direct from The Great One’s Instagram.
BIG DEBUT… crazy to share this with y'all.. so surreal to see this classic footage from of my VERY FIRST wrestling match in Memphis, for the #USWA (United States Wrestling Association). I just drove my truck up from Miami to Memphis, had no bank account to my name (just carried cash) and luckily found a very nice elderly couple living in a house on Union Avenue who was willing to rent out a room to me. I'll always remember it was Union Ave because every day I would drive by the world famous #SunRecords where the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee and Johnny Cash had recorded early in their careers. In a weird way driving by that studio everyday kinda kept me motivated to stay grinding. I was 23yrs old, making $40 bucks per match and NO CLUE of the long journey that lay ahead of me. But I was then, as I am today, extremely grateful for the opportunity and always willing to put in the work. Y'all keep working hard at your goals and creating opportunities for yourselves, always be humble and never, and I repeat NEVER wear sunglasses inside a TV studio like I did here. What in theeeee f*ck!?? 😂 #NaughtyByNature #ViolentByDecision #Huh? #ClearlyImStillLearningHowToCutAPromo #USWA #Channel5Studios #LiveEverySaturdayMorning #FlexKavana #HumbleAndHungry #TheHardestWorkerInTheRoom #LetsGoToWaffleHouse
He’s Flex Kavana, and much like the possessions of other people, he’s naughty by nature! After seeing this, I couldn’t help but wonder if the subsequent match was online. Fortunately for all of us, here’s the whole thing in glorious VHS quality.
What To Look For:
– Jerry Lawler in Memphis. Putting the King in his hometown acts as an automatic buff to all his stats.
– And let’s not forget Lawler’s son, Brian Christopher. This is well before he learned the value of asking his tag team partners if they could do The Worm.
– What was up with those old USWA sets? Were they timeshares with Sally Jesse Raphael?
– The referee selling Bill Dundee’s punch like something out of the Zapruder film.
As you may have guessed, this was recorded during The Rock’s very brief run with the United States Wrestling Association in the summer of 1996. USWA was his training ground, where he became a two-time tag team champion before being fast-tracked to his WWF debut at that year’s Survivor Series. If this year’s Survivor Series has a “25 Years of Undertaker” theme, maybe next year we’ll see the “20 Years of Rocky Maivia” edition.