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Universal Wrestling Federation (Herb Abrams)

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The Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) was an American professional wrestling promotion founded by Herb Abrams.

Edited episodes of the promotion's television show Fury Hour currently rerun on ESPN Classic.


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, Don Muraco, Bob Orton, Jr., Brian Blair, Danny Spivey, Billy Jack Haynes, Ken Patera, Colonel DeBeers, David Sammartino, 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, Zoogz Rift rejoined the company as Vice President, helping to secure new television deals with both SportsChannel America and Prime Network. Abrams' death in June 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

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.

In 1995, existing episodes were repackaged to half-hour format and aired on [ESPN2. These same episodes began airing on ESPN Classic on January 8, 2008. They can be seen Tuesday through Saturday at 1:00am and 1:30am ET.

ESPN Classic Canada reran original one-hour format episodes of Fury Hour in 2004.


Commentators Year(s)
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

Recurring segments

Segment Segment Type Host Years Active
Ask The Wrestlers Interview Herb Abrams 1990-1991
Captain Lou's Corner Interview Lou Albano 1990-1992


For complete results of every UWF television taping, house show and major event, see Herb Abrams' UWF Cards.

Beach Brawl

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.

Blackjack Brawl

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

  • Sunny Beach defeated Dr. Feelgood (w/ Missy Hyatt) (5:26)
  • Samson defeated The Irish Assassin (4:13)

Steve Williams / Steve Ray shoot

In 1991, Herb Abrams was owed money by Steve Ray and wrongly suspected that Ray was sleeping with his wife. On May 10, 1991 at a television taping 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.


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".


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