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The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling – 03.04.86

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling – 03.04.86

So the connecting thread for these random AWA uploads to the Network is obviously “The secret origin of Shawn Michaels”, and thus we’ll just start at the start, with his debut in the AWA.

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Your host is Larry Nelson, with Ken Resnick & Greg Gagne on commentary.

Shawn Michaels v. Buddhakhan

Young “Sean Micheals” is apparently the Central States Rookie of the Year, so he might have a future.  Buddhakhan, who I’m assuming is a bizarre pun on “Budokan”, does not.  Shawn takes him down with an impressive suplex, but gets rolled up for two as Buddhakhan holds him down there by hooking the tights.  Shawn takes him down again with a hammerlock and works on the arm as Gagne drops some knowledge:  Apparently this Michaels kid was trained by Jose Lothario.  That is totally new information for us.  They should work that into a storyline in about 10 years.  Shawn chases Buddha to the apron with a dropkick and slugs away with some WEAK forearms.  1995 Shawn would laugh in his face.  Superkick and flying splash finish at 6:30.  Way too much offense for Buddhakhan.  Selling pudgy, short-haired Shawn Michaels as a high-flying sensation was kind of funny.  Afterwards, Shawn cuts a dull promo about having to go to the AWA to show he’s truly the Rookie of the Year.  And for the moment, he’s looking for a tag team partner.

Tim Patterson & “Bun Boy” Barton v. Wild Bill Irwin & Scott Hog Irwin

Well this is quite the contrast from the opener, as 10 years later the kid in the opener is World champion, and Bill Irwin is The Goon.  Sadly, Scott Irwin died a few years after this, because the Long Riders were always a solid heel team and Bill never really flourished as a single. So…can we talk about “Bun Boy” Barton, the masked jobber in a white suit and white mask?  BUN BOY?  Anyway, the Long Riders beat on Bun Boy, who will be appearing in a Chikara spot show near you I’m sure, but he manages to tag in Tim Patterson, who fares slightly better with an armbar on Hog.  Sadly, Scott headbutts him in the face a few times to break up that rally, so it’s back to the BUN BOY.  He gets nowhere, so poor Patterson has to clean up again with bodyslams before walking into a pair of Brogue Kicks from the Irwins that finish him at 7:00.  ** just for putting a guy named BUN BOY on a nationally televised wrestling program.

Scott Hall v. Doug Somers

I am continually in awe of Hall’s pornstache in the 80s.  Hall and Curt Hennig were the tag champs at this point, and would in fact lose the tag titles to Doug Somers and Buddy Rose later in the year.  Hall controls with simple stuff to start, since he was green as grass at this point, but Somers takes over with a kneedrop.  Hall backdrops him out of the corner in a sequence lifted from Flair, and Somers bails as the Vegas crowd is pretty amped for this.  Back in with more slams from Hall for two, but Somers goes low (down where? DOWN THERE!) to take over again.  Nice backdrop suplex gets two. They slug it out in the corner and Somers goes to the chinlock while Gagne rages about the shoddy quality of the refereeing here, unlike the top-notch refereeing of Scott LaDoux.  He’s the TROUBLESHOOTER.  So he probably moonlights for a local TV station trying to help old people who have been scammed.  Hall comes back with a powerslam and that finishes at 8:20.  Very simple match for Hall and that worked fine.  **  Afterwards, both Hall and Hennig lay down a challenge to Stan Hansen.

Meanwhile, Larry Nelson and Larry Zbyszko take a special look at Marty Jannetty, another newcomer to the AWA.  Whereas Shawn Michaels looks like a totally different person, Marty is already wearing the Rockers gear and sporting the same hairstyle.  Marty reveals that he’ll soon be teaming up with Shawn as “The US Express”, but Larry Z cuts him off because he can’t understand his mumbling.  The man has a point.  He questions Marty’s vicious streak, and wonders if he’d kick someone’s face in when the armdrags stop working. Well we certainly know SHAWN has a vicious streak.  Larry was pretty funny burying Marty’s mumbling interview style here, actually.

And that’s it for the show.  Well that was kind of abrupt.

Pretty fun show, and I always liked the AWA in their prime.