The SmarK Rant for AWA Superstars – 03.13.88
I know the idea with these AWA shows is that it’s the Shawn Michaels celebration, but these are some really random episodes from the downslide of the promotion. This one is all just recycled matches from the ESPN show.
Badd Company v. Tim Patterson & Greg Robertson
This was actually pre-DDP for Tanaka & Diamond, as the AWA added Page to the mix and then immediately put the belts on them. Tanaka legsweeps Patterson and then beats on him outside. Back in, Diamond puts him down with a gourdbuster, but Tanaka misses a blind charge and it’s HOT JOBBER TAG to the other goof. He can’t even get a hold on Tanaka before Diamond cuts him off. This poor doofus keeps trying to get his shit in, and Diamond casually cuts him off before they finish him with a slingshot into a DDT or something at 4:22. Robertson looked hilariously bad here, as the announcers were putting him over as a fresh new face out of San Antonio and Diamond just had no interest in letting him so much as get a punch in.
Wahoo McDaniel promises to become the first Indian champion of the World. Still waiting on that one.
Sheik Adnan v. Baron Von Raschke
Oh my god, they actually booked this on TELEVISION?! Sheik attacks and chokes him out with his robe to start, but Baron makes the Ubermensch comeback and Adnan runs away. Back in for some backrakes from the Baron, but Adnan decides to one-up him on the shitty wrestling scale with the VULCAN NERVE PINCH for the resthold. Baron escapes and brandishes the claw hand, so Adnan runs away again and we get a whole lot of THAT. Baron finally catches him and goosesteps into the Iron Claw, but Sheik runs away yet again and just pulls out a foreign object for the DQ at 7:21. This was everything you’d expect and less, like something out of Heroes of Wrestling. -*** Afterwards, Baron promises a rematch somewhere, sometime, someplace. I’m gonna need more specifics so I can be well away from the area first.
Gary DeRusha, the referee, answers a fan question about why there’s not two referees during tag matches. Was that Gorilla Monsoon who sent the question? Gary’s answer: The ring would be too crowded with six guys in there, man! Stick with refereeing, Gary. Maybe they should have had special troubleshooting referee Scott LeDoux answer the question instead.
AWA World tag team titles: The Midnight Rockers v. The Nasty Boys
I remember watching this match on TSN back in 1988! I remember it being pretty good, too. Did they ever cross paths in the WWF? I would tend to think not, since the Rockers were breaking up and the Nasties were just coming in, but there was a six month window there where they could have done a house show series. Knobbs trades shoulderblocks with Shawn and ends up on the losing end of that one. Sags tries a criss-cross on Jannetty, but he drops an elbow and Marty just moves in a cute spot. The Rockers double-team Knobbs in the corner and Shawn works the arm, then suckers the Nasties into colliding with each other. Marty continues slugging on Knobbs, but finally Shawn comes in and gets blindsided as the idiot babyface to allow the Nasties to take over. I could just watch Shawn Michaels play face-in-peril all day. So yeah, they beat the hell out of Shawn in the corner and take turns choking him out behind the ref’s back, and then they trade off on an abdominal stretch while holding the ropes. See, lazy holds are fine as long as you’re doing SOMETHING interesting with it. Knobbs misses a blind charge, but Shawn’s got nothing and Sags comes in with a lariat out of the corner for two. Shawn puts him down with the superkick and gets the hot tag to Marty and noggins are knocked. Marty with a flying bodypress on Sags for two, and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Shawn hits Knobbs with a tope to the floor, and Knobbs decides to run away from any further damage. However, he comes in on the wrong side of the ring and Marty comes off the top with a bodypress to finish at 14:47. Strong work from the Nasties here. ***1/4
Greg Gagne breaks down the whole Sheik v. Baron kerfluffle, as if anyone gives a shit what he thinks.
As usual, the Rockers save the show. Bad as this one was, it’d still probably draw better ratings than Roman Reigns.