Rock Star Gary reflects on…AWA Superclash I

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: September 28, 1985

Attendance:  25,000 (20,347 paid)

Hosted by Larry Nelson

Before we get started, allow me to describe how this event was established. In an effort to compete with WrestleMania, the American Wrestling Association (AWA), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), All Japan, and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) collaborated to create this supershow.  I can neither confirm nor deny that David Crockett was involved in negotiations with current AWA talent, but several names from the AWA suddenly appeared on TBS shortly thereafter.

Instead of running the show at the UIC Pavilion, this show took place at Comiskey Park. For those unaware, Comiskey used to be the ball park for the Chicago White Sox named after the long-time owner infamously known as a cheapskate which arguably led to the Black Sox scandal in 1919.

But enough about baseball, let’s get to the show…

Larry interviews Rheingans who is as ready for Regal as he was for the 1980 Olympics had he been able to participate. Next, Larry interviews Regal who personifies confidence.

Match 1 for the AWA World Light Heavyweight title: “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal (champion) versus Brad Rheingans

Highlights:

  • A leapfrog and monkey flip by Rheingans gave him the early advantage.
  • Rheingans avoided a monkey flip with a cartwheel.
  • He then tried a dropkick but missed.
  • Slam and elbow drop got 2 for Regal.
  • A second slam by Regal, but the second elbow drop missed.
  • After giving Regal a cross-corner whip, Rheingans delivered a back body drop and got 2.
  • A delayed atomic drop by Rheingans should have received a count, but Jimmy Garvin got up on the apron.
  • After Rheingans nailed Garvin, Regal rolled him up and got the pin. Although the camera missed it, I’m certain he had a handful of tights.

Rating: *

Summary: Not the type of match to pump a crowd for a huge show.

After the match, Rheingans gets ahold of Regal and gives him a hard cross-corner whip, but Regal escapes with Garvin. Larry interviews Regal who claims he won fair and square. Sure, Steve, and I’ll sell you some oceanfront property in Phoenix for a great price!

Larry interviews Sherri Martel. Let’s just say her interviewing skills improved dramatically in the WWF and later WCW.

Before the next match begins, we see Rheingans slam Regal on the grass in foul territory.

One minor tidbit: The referees involved in this show were not the Gary DeRushas or Marty Millers that AWA fans were accustomed to seeing. I have no idea who these ham’n’eggers are, but as long as they do their job, I’m OK with their anonymity.

Match 2 for the AWA Women’s title: Candi Devine (champion) versus Sherri Martel

Highlights:

  • Please don’t confuse Candi Devine with singer Candy Devine. They are NOT the same person.
  • Martel countered an arm bar with a shot to the midsection.
  • After ringing Devine’s bell, Martel tossed her outside the ring.
  • Devine snuck around to another side of the ring then behind Martel.
  • She sent Martel over the top rope to the floor with a dropkick.
  • As Martel played cat-and-mouse about getting back into the ring, Devine brought her in the hard way.
  • Two catapults by Devine sent Martel flying face-first to the other side of the ring.
  • Boston crab by Devine, but Martel powered out.
  • Devine reversed a pinning attempt with a sunset flip.
  • Standing leg drop followed by an awful inside cradle by Martel for no count.
  • Slam got 2 for Martel.
  • She then tossed Devine out of the ring again.
  • A pair of flying knees kept Devine out of the ring a couple of times.
  • But when Martel got too close to the ropes, Devine dragged Martel out of the ring by her feet.
  • After ramming Martel’s leg twice on the apron, Devine rammed it against the ring post. OUCH!
  • She then slammed Martel on the grass.
  • Back in the ring, Devine worked on Martel’s arm rather than her leg.
  • Back drop by Martel, but Devine couldn’t hook the sunset flip.
  • A second try (oops) got the sunset flip and a 2 count.
  • Clothesline by Martel followed by a vertical suplex.
  • Martel then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the splash, and got the pin.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: *1/2

Summary: While the psychology of the match was all over the place, this was a HUGE win for the up-and-coming Martel.

After the match, Martel repeatedly whips Devine with the belt.

Prior to the next match, Race and the Irwin brothers are interviewed. Poor Race. He was less than two years removed from being NWA champion. Larry attempts to interview their Japanese opponents, but there was a language barrier supposedly.

Match 3 for the Asian Six-man tag team titles: Jumbo Tsuruta, Giant Baba, & Genichiro Tenryu versus “Handsome” Harley Race, Bill & Scott Irwin

Highlights:

  • I believe this “championship” was a farce because none of the promotions involved had an Asian six-man title.
  • For those unaware, Tsuruta was a former AWA champion from February to May 1984.
  • After giving Scott a cross-corner whip, Tenryu delivered a hip toss and dropkick.
  • After a Race leapfrog, Tenryu slammed him.
  • Bill tagged in and nailed Tsuruta with a knee, stomp, ram to the top turnbuckle, and a back elbow in rapid succession.
  • High knee by Tsuruta sent Race flying down to the mat.
  • Baba tagged in and gave Race a Russian leg sweep.
  • Back elbow off the ropes by Tenryu got 2 on Bill.
  • Holy flying Harley-Davidsons! Bill delivered a bicycle kick to Tenryu that popped the crowd.
  • High knee and knee drop by Scott got 2 on Tenryu.
  • Enziguri from Tenryu to Race put the former champ down on the mat.
  • Powerslam by Race got 2 on Tenryu.
  • Piledriver by Race only got 2 thanks to a save by Tsuruta.
  • Dropkick by Scott got 2.
  • Double back elbows by the Irwins got 2.
  • Slam and running knee drop by Bill got another 2 count.
  • A punt from Tenryu to Scott enabled him to make the hot tag to Tsuruta.
  • Double noggin-knocker by Tsuruta to both Irwins.
  • Cross-corner whip by Baba sent Irwin over the turnbuckle and to the grass.
  • Slam by Tenryu to Bill got 2.
  • After receiving a cross-corner whip, Bill clotheslined an overcautious Tenryu.
  • All six men were in the ring.
  • Baba hit the big boot on Bill and pinned him.

Rating: **

Summary:  This match contained a good potpourri of styles that didn’t clash.

After the match, Bill physically harasses Larry while Race rightfully refers to himself as a “legend.”

Match 4 for the NWA World Midget’s Dwarf title: Little Tokyo (champion) versus Little Mr. T

Highlights:

  • My apologies to those that are offended by my use of the word midget as it actually is part of the title rather than my usage.
  • After Tokyo chopped T (wearing camouflage) against the ropes, T chased Tokyo to the apron then brought him in the hard way.
  • Interestingly, Tokyo wore flip flops for the first minute of the match.
  • A right hand by T sent Tokyo face-first to the match.
  • Tokyo rammed T into the second turnbuckle, but it didn’t faze him.
  • T rammed Tokyo into the same turnbuckle, but Tokyo dropped like a house of cards.
  • Head butt by T got 2.
  • Larry’s forced to admire the dental work (or lack thereof) of Tokyo.
  • Vertical suplex with a floatover got 2 for Tokyo.
  • Back drop by Tokyo got 2.
  • Both wrestlers and the referee look up into the night sky for no reason whatsoever.
  • Larry believed they were pointing at the full moon.
  • Tokyo tried to trick T by pointing up but got nailed instead.
  • To punish Tokyo for being barefoot, T stomped on each foot.
  • T hit Tokyo with a pair of butt butts, but the third one missed. Say that five times fast.
  • Back drop and double chop by Tokyo got the pin.

Rating: *

Summary:  Not a comedy match like one would expect. Tokyo retains the title.

Match 5 for the IWA title: Mil Mascaras (champion) versus Buddy Roberts

Highlights:

  • The IWA had been dissolved for quite a while, but Mascaras continued to defend its championship.
  • This match was joined in progress for no reason whatsoever.
  • Flying headscissors by Mascaras put Roberts down on the mat.
  • Mascaras escaped a full nelson by dropping down and using a mule kick.
  • As Mascaras applied the full nelson, Roberts tried to escape, but the hold was reapplied.
  • Roberts put his feet on the ropes to break the hold. Mascaras released the hold sending Roberts straight downward.
  • After delivering a boot to the midsection, Roberts mounted the second turnbuckle and hit an elbow to Mascara’s back.
  • Backbreaker by Roberts got 2.
  • Swinging neckbreaker got another 2 count.
  • As Mascaras roughed up Roberts, the crowd finally perked up.
  • Mascaras dodged a charging Roberts who then got hung by his right knee in the corner. OUCH!
  • Vertical suplex followed by a flying forearm by Mascaras.
  • After reversing a cross-corner whip, Mascaras gave Roberts a back drop then mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Flying body press got the pin.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Roberts was the worker amongst the Freebirds, so his ability to hang with the legendary Mascaras doesn’t surprise me.

As Larry interviews Von Erich by the dugout, Kerry dedicates the match to his brother Mike who was in the hospital recovering from toxic shock syndrome.

Match 6: The “Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich versus “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/ Precious)

Highlights:

  • Before the match began, the crowd chanted “Kerry!”
  • A pair of dropkicks by Kerry sent Garvin to the grass.
  • When Garvin returned to the ring, he tried to nail Kerry but ate an atomic drop instead.
  • Discus punch got 2 for Kerry.
  • Abdominal stretch by Garvin broken by an eye rake as Precious distracted the anonymous referee.
  • After receiving a knee to the midsection, Kerry exited the ring.
  • As Precious distracted Officious Anonymous, Garvin tossed Kerry over the top rope to the floor.
  • Sunset flip back into the ring by Kerry got 2.
  • Pair of discus punches by Kerry put Garvin on the defensive.
  • After dodging a charging Kerry, Garvin mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Kerry caught him causing Garvin to straddle the top turnbuckle. YEE-OUCH!
  • After Garvin fell from the top turnbuckle, Kerry pinned him.

Rating: **

Summary: While the crowd (especially the women) were much more invested in this match, the quality of the match wasn’t very good.

After the match, Precious gets in Kerry’s face so that Garvin could ambush him. After leapfrogging Garvin, Kerry applies the Iron claw. Garvin falls out of the ring to escape. I add ½* for the exciting aftermath.

Prior to the next match, Larry interviews Stevens, Bockwinkel, and Zbyszko. Immediately thereafter, he interviews Greg, Scott Hall, and Curt Hennig.

Match 7 (six-man tag): Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, & Greg Gagne versus Nick Bockwinkel, Larry Zbyszko, & the “Crippler” Ray Stevens

Highlights:

  • Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Jack Brickhouse was the guest ring announcer for this match. Hey! Hey!
  • Unfortunately, the 69 year-old announcer became a chatterbox in the ring as he described Greg’s father. Regrettably for Greg, he stole Little Mr. T’s wardrobe for the match.
  • Brickhouse was kind enough to note that Larry Lisowski was the referee for this match. Thanks, Jack! For those unaware, Larry is the son of the Crusher.
  • Just as the match was getting started, the crowd erupted for something off camera. Perhaps it was Morganna, the kissing bandit.
  • Hip toss and slam by Bockwinkel to Hennig.
  • Hennig replied with an arm drag, hip toss, and slam to Bockwinkel.
  • After a quick edit, Hennig arm-dragged Zbyszko across the ring.
  • As Hall had Zbyszko in an arm bar, Bockwinkel fell into the ring.
  • As Bockwinkel distracted Lisowski, Gagne guillotined Zbyszko on the top rope.
  • As Gagne tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and put a knee onto Zbyszko’s arm.
  • Monkey flip and flying head scissors by Gagne to Zbyszko kept the faces in control.
  • Hennig tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a double axe handle on Zbyszko’s arm.
  • Zbyszko immediately countered with a belly-to-back suplex.
  • A pair of knees to Hennig’s midsection put Bockwinkel in control.
  • While Bockwinkel distracted Lisowski, Stevens choked Hennig on the top rope.
  • Stevens distracted Lisowski, but Hall ran to the other corner to nail Bockwinkel and Zbyszko.
  • After Bockwinkel tossed Hennig outside the ring, Zbyszko came off the apron to nail Hennig.
  • He then slammed Hennig on the grass.
  • Zbyszko applied an abdominal stretch to Hennig who made the tag to Gagne.
  • Sadly, it’s a false tag as Lisowski was occupied with Bockwinkel.
  • Vertical suplex by Zbyszko only got 2.
  • Cross-body block by Hennig to Bockwinkel got 2 thanks to a save by Stevens.
  • Shoulder block put both men down on the mat.
  • Hot tag to Gagne as Zbyszko also tagged in.
  • Gagne delivered a dropkick to Bockwinkel then rammed the heads of Zbyszko and Bockwinkel together.
  • All six men were in the ring.
  • Hennig and Hall whipped Bockwinkel and Zbyszko into one another.
  • Powerslam by Hall to Stevens got the pin.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Exciting tag match that electrified the crowd. Hall and Hennig were definitely blue-chippers at this point in their careers.

After the match, Larry interviews the winners.

Next, Larry interviews the Freebirds who are wearing Confederate face paint. To say this wouldn’t fly in 2015 would be the biggest understatement I could make.

Match 8 for the AWA World tag team titles: The Road Warriors (champions w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) versus the Fabulous Freebirds (w/ Buddy Roberts)

Highlights:

  • Hayes performed the moonwalk prior to the Road Warriors’ entrance.
  • Before the bell even sounded, Animal slammed Hayes while Hawk gave Gordy a back elbow.
  • The crowd popped for the hometown Warriors.
  • As a crazed Hayes walked around the infield, the crowd chanted “Go home, Freebirds!”
  • Clothesline by Hawk to Gordy followed by a knee lift.
  • After Hawk rammed Hayes into the top turnbuckle, he smudged Hayes’ face paint. Allegedly Hayes had this to say.
  • After receiving a cross-corner whip from Animal, Gordy flipped upside-down in the corner.
  • As Hayes held a side head lock on Hawk, Ellering and Roberts stood toe-to-toe outside the ring.
  • Meanwhile, the crowd chanted “Freebirds suck!”
  • Sunset flip by Hayes thwarted by Hawk.
  • Larry had the gall to mention Gordy’s muscle tone with Hawk and his steroid-infused physique in the same ring.
  • After Hawk reversed a cross-corner whip, he missed Gordy and rammed his shoulder into the ring post.
  • Vertical suplex by Gordy who then flipped out. I believe Gordy was infused by something other than steroids allegedly.
  • Hawk blocked a ram into the top turnbuckle then rammed Hayes into it.
  • Sideslam by Hayes got 2 as Hawk’s kick-out sent Hayes to the grass.
  • Double elbow to Hawk by the Freebirds.
  • Piledriver by Gordy to Hawk…NOT no-sold by Hawk. Someone notify the press!
  • After the Freebirds double-teamed Hawk, the momentum shifted as Hawk rammed both Freebirds’ heads together.
  • After giving Hawk a clothesline and a slam, Hayes mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Hawk caught him and brought him down the hard way.
  • After a cross-corner whip by Hawk to Gordy, their heads rammed together sending both men down.
  • Hot tag Animal and the crowd went WILD.
  • After ducking a haymaker from Gordy, Animal gave him an atomic drop.
  • Powerslam by Animal to Gordy got 2.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • Standing choke from Hawk to Hayes, but Roberts jumped on the apron.
  • Ellering grabbed him and pulled him back down to the infield.
  • After Ellering decked him, Roberts retaliated with a steel chair to the head. OUCH!
  • As Hawk went outside the ring to assist Ellering, the Freebirds tried to double-team Animal. However, Gordy nailed Hayes instead.
  • The anonymous referee’s attention was diverted by all the commotion outside the ring.
  • Impressive press slam by Animal to Gordy. Wow!
  • Powerslam #2 by Animal this time to Hayes.
  • Flying clothesline by Animal to Gordy, but Hayes leaped from the second turnbuckle and nailed Animal with a foreign object to thwart the pin attempt.
  • 1-2-3. Gordy pinned Animal.
  • WE HAVE NEW CHAMPIONS!

Rating: ***

Summary:  Really good tag match as the heat for the match was red-hot.

After the match, Larry interviews Verne who requests a replay on the big screen. After further review via instant replay, the Road Warriors retain the gold. Oh my God! The Freebirds just got screwed. I wouldn’t blame them if they wanted to leave the AWA for Crockett based upon that crap. Talk about a home team call. Sheesh!

Prior to the next match, Larry interviews the Soviets.

Match 9 for the NWA World six man tag team titles: Krusher Khruschev, Ivan & Nikita Koloff versus the Crusher, Dick the Bruiser, and Baron Von Raschke

Highlights:

  • As the Soviets made their way to the ring, the raucous Chicago faithful chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
  • I regret to inform you, but a bigoted fan actually got a “Kill the Commies” sign on camera. Yikes!
  • All six men battled as Baron and Crusher rammed Ivan and Krusher’s into one another.
  • A right hand by the Crusher knocked Ivan out of the ring.
  • Larry rightly mentioned the lack of hair follicles between these guys. Four of the six are bald!
  • He also pointed out that during the opening moments of the match that Ivan was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Shoulder block by Nikita didn’t take the Baron off his feet.
  • During a second attempt, Nikita put on the brakes as the Baron threatened the claw.
  • Back drop and a knee to Ivan’s midsection kept Baron in control.
  • I must laugh because the combined age of the faces was 159 (Dick-55, Crusher-59, Baron-45). Ivan was the oldest of his crew at 43. To see these older men want to beat the Soviets so badly is hysterical.
  • A knee to Krusher’s midsection kept the advantage for Baron.
  • Shoulder block by Baron didn’t go well, so Krusher gave him a shoulder breaker. Smart!
  • Leg drop by Ivan got 2 on Baron thanks to a save by Dick the Bruiser.
  • Ivan missed the running guillotine, and the Crusher made him pay with a knee to the midsection. This move must have been on sale at the concession stands, ‘cuz these old guys are using a bunch of ‘em.
  • Leg drop by Baron to Ivan, and Raschke goose-stepped and showed the claw to the excited crowd.
  • As Baron applied the claw, Krusher attempted to stop it by coming off the top rope.
  • However, the Crusher came over to the turnbuckle and ensured that Krusher would not have a hot date later if you catch my drift.
  • All six men brawled as Crusher and Krusher fought outside the ring.
  • Probably thanks to a Nikita Russian sickle (never shown), Ivan pinned Baron. BOO!

Rating: *

Summary:  The crowd was into it, but this was comedy due to the combined age of the face team. There was no excuse for the director to miss the finish with a ringside cameraman right there.

As the Soviets leave the ring, the proud American crowd chants “BULLSHIT!”

Larry interviews Zukhov prior to the next match. Zukhov definitely sounds like he’s hit the Smirnoff. Larry then interviews Slaughter who hands Larry a small American flag.

Match 10 for the AWA America’s title: Sergeant Slaughter (champion) versus Boris Zukhov

Highlights:

  • After receiving a cross-corner whip, Zukhov rammed his shoulder into the ring post and fell to the grass.
  • Someone handed Slaughter an American flag. Slaughter used it in the same manner as a matador would to a bull.
  • After receiving a cross-corner whip, Slaughter hit the top turnbuckle, sailed over it, and landed on the grass.
  • Zukhov followed him outside the ring and slammed Slaughter on the infield.
  • As Slaughter was trying to re-enter the ring, Zukhov put a knee in his midsection. Must have been 2 for $1 at Comiskey.
  • As part of the punishment delivered to Slaughter, Zukhov guillotined him on the top rope.
  • Swinging neckbreaker by Zukhov got a 2 count.
  • Zukhov kicked Slaughter from the mat down to the grass between the ring and the announce table. Back in ’85, the announce table was adjacent to the ring so there wasn’t much room for Slaughter to fall.
  • Zukhov ramming Slaughter into the announce table practically sent Larry and his table flying.
  • Zukhov tried a piledriver on the infield, but thankfully Slaughter countered with a back drop. I was hoping there would not be any fallen soldiers at this event.
  • With Slaughter back in the ring, Zukhov mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Slaughter caught him and brought him down the hard way.
  • Back elbow and, if you can believe it, a dropkick from Slaughter put Zukhov down.
  • After giving Zukhov a back drop, Slaughter attempted a clothesline but nailed referee Larry Lisowski instead. In fact, Lisowski landed on the cameraman providing us with an action shot.
  • While Slaughter checked on Lisowski, Zukhov loaded his elbow pad.
  • After giving Zukhov a cross-corner whip, Slaughter ate a shot from the loaded pad.
  • Upon hiding the evidence, Zukhov attacked Slaughter who is now BUSTED WIDE OPEN.
  • Zukhov rammed Slaughter head-first into the ring post.
  • Lisowski called for the bell.
  • Slaughter retained his title as Lisowski disqualified Zukhov.

Rating: **

Summary:  This battle may be over, but the war isn’t.

Afterwards, Zukhov beats on Slaughter until Slaughter has had enough. Zukhov hightails it costing us the chance for Slaughter to deliver his comeuppance.

Larry interviews the bloody Slaughter. That shot by Zukhov must have loosened something because Slaughter was all about G.I. Joe and the American Way. On the other hand, methinks he was speaking along the terms of his contract with Hasbro.

Next, Larry interviews Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie with Kamala. The Sheik has a surprise for all of us. Subsequently Larry interviews Blackwell.

Match 11 ($10,000 body slam): Jerry Blackwell versus Kamala (w/ Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie)

Highlights:

  • While Kamala came in around 340 lbs., Blackwell entered at 473 lbs. It’s going to be a tall order for Kamala to slam the “Mountain from Stone Mountain.”
  • The ring announcer, who could be Rodger Kent but I may be mistaken, handed the microphone to Al-Kaissie to sing the “Arabian” national anthem.
  • A head butt by Blackwell didn’t faze the large Ugandan.
  • Wally Karbo, who was Verne Gagne’s partner with the AWA, had a check for $10,000 for the winner and sat next to Larry.
  • Clothesline by Blackwell put Kamala down on the mat.
  • Blackwell made the first slam attempt of the match but was unsuccessful.
  • Kamala tried one of his own but was also unsuccessful.
  • Splash by Kamala, but a pin doesn’t count in this contest.
  • Nerve hold by Kamala bored the crowd to tears kept Blackwell down on the mat.
  • After absorbing some chops, Blackwell gave Kamala a cross-corner whip followed by an avalanche.
  • As Kamala staggered toward the middle of the ring, Blackwell slammed him.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  While the stipulations resemble Studd-Andre from WrestleMania, this match doesn’t compare very well.

After the match, Al-Kaissie enters the ring and wallops Blackwell with his sword. He takes the check from Karbo as Kamala bites Blackwell. As expected, Blackwell is BUSTED OPEN. Some jobbers try to aid Blackwell, but Kamala tosses both of them out of the ring. Finally, Baron hits the ring with a wooden baseball bat to chase Al-Kaissie and Kamala away. Before Al-Kaissie and Kamala leave the ring area, they beat up the jobbers some more.

Match 12 for the AWA World title: Rick Martel (champion) versus Stan “The Lariat” Hansen

Highlights:

  • As Hansen entered the ring, he tossed a chair in.
  • Martel gave Hansen a cross-corner whip but ate cowboy boot.
  • After Hansen tossed Martel outside the ring, he rammed him into the plastic chairs at ringside.
  • Martel rammed Hansen head-first into the ring post.
  • Back in the ring, Hansen slammed Martel then gave him a back elbow.
  • Sunset flip by Martel got 2.
  • After Martel avoided a charging Hansen, he slammed Hansen.
  • They fought outside the ring. While there, Hansen rammed Martel head-first into the ring post.
  • He then nailed him with a plastic chair.
  • Next, Hansen found a folding chair and walloped Martel.
  • Martel grabbed the chair and nailed Hansen a couple of times.
  • Lisowski called for the bell.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Considering the length of this show, I’m sure they just told them to hold off for another day.

After the match, Hansen nails Martel with his cow bell. They fight all the way back to the dugout. After Martel slams Hansen in foul territory, Hansen tosses Martel into the dugout. This fight resembles a Reggie Jackson-Billy Martin altercation.

Larry interviews Magnum prior to the main event. He vows to take the title. Next, Larry interviews Flair. To say Flair is large and in charge would be putting it mildly.

Match 13 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Magnum T.A.

Highlights:

  • It should be noted that EVERY match on the card had a 45-minute time limit. The only one that could challenge that mark might be this one.
  • Magnum won a top wristlock battle as the crowd chanted “U-S-A” for some reason. I didn’t realize that Minnesota had defected from the union.
  • Larry mentioned a potential Flair-Martel match-up for all the gold. It actually took place on 10/21/85 in Japan.
  • Hip toss and dropkick kept Magnum in control.
  • Gorilla press slam followed.
  • Knee to the midsection and a chop gave Flair the advantage.
  • Magnum reversed a cross-corner whip then gave Flair a back body drop.
  • Hip toss #2 by Magnum, but he missed the dropkick.
  • Knee drop and another knee to the midsection by Flair.
  • He then hooked and hit a butterfly suplex for 2.
  • Abdominal stretch by Flair, but referee Larry Lisowski caught Flair grabbing the trunks.
  • After giving Magnum a cross-corner whip, Flair missed a knee drop.
  • Magnum then hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • Does Flair submit? Do we have a new champion?
  • Nope, Flair made the ropes. Whew!
  • After getting Flair out of the corner, Magnum tried another attempt at the figure-four but was thwarted.
  • Flair attempted a vertical suplex, but Magnum reversed it for 2.
  • Backslide by Magnum only got 2.
  • Upon tossing Magnum outside the ring, Flair rammed him shoulder-first into the ring post.
  • Sunset flip by Magnum, but he ate a shot between the eyes.
  • Hammerlock by Flair as he put his feet on the ropes. Awesome!
  • Upon shooting the half, Flair got a series of two counts on Magnum. Of course, he was still using the bottom rope for leverage. Sneaky!
  • Crucifix pin got a trio of 2 counts for Flair.
  • After reversing a cross-corner whip, Magnum applied the sleeper.
  • Flair went down to the mat but smartly put his foot on the bottom rope.
  • After a slam, Magnum tried but failed at a splash hitting knees.
  • Knee crusher by Flair set up the figure-four leg lock.
  • Magnum reversed the hold, but Flair broke it immediately.
  • Flair made another attempt at a figure-four leg lock, but Magnum hooked the inside cradle for 2.
  • Flair flip sent the champion over the top rope to the grass.
  • Magnum joined him but received another knee to the midsection.
  • Flair tried to ram Magnum head-first into the ring post, but Magnum blocked it and sent Flair into it.
  • According to Larry, Flair had been BUSTED OPEN!
  • Several right hands by Magnum resulted in a Flair flop.
  • Magnum got another 2 count.
  • After giving Flair a cross-corner whip, Magnum gave him another back drop for 2.
  • Another backslide by Magnum got 1-2-NO!
  • I thought we had a new champion right there.
  • Belly-to-belly suplex by Magnum, but Flair’s legs wiped out Lisowski.
  • Lisowski recovered but Magnum could only get 2.
  • Flair reversed a rollup and pinned Magnum using the tights.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Yes, folks. Flair carried Magnum to a great match. If only Jim Crockett could have put these guys on closed-circuit or PPV, but it wasn’t to be. Regardless, check this one out STAT.

After the match, Larry interviews the bloody champion. Afterwards, Larry asks Magnum about the trunks. Magnum confirms Flair’s use of them and is ready for another shot down the line.

Conclusion:  Whew! Thirteen matches in three hours of action is a lot to digest. Definitely check out the main event along with the Road Warriors and Freebirds in their prime. If I were to compare this show to WrestleMania though, I’d have to lean toward the WWF for presentation and quality.

Oh, one last thing…if WWE can put this on their On Demand channel, why can’t they put it on the WWE Network?

See you for the 1985 WCCW Cotton Bowl Extravaganza!

Buyrate: NONE

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