AWA All Star Wrestling – Apr. 10, 1988 (Rockers vs. Bad Company)

One more AWA show and then we’re done. It’s been fun… most of the time.

It’s a Gagne family roll call, plus cousin Larry, opening the show to get a few announcements in.

From the Showboat, with Rod and Lee.

Greg Robertson vs. Soldat Ustinov

So, fat boy Greg fucked up a match with pros like Bad Company, let’s see how bad he can do with someone worse. Soldat, who’s accompanied by the now late Teijo Khan, better known as the Barbarian’s Cannibals tag team partner in the terribly camp movie Body Slam, hasn’t even bothered to shave his head. What kind of lazy Russian is he? He probably can’t even spell perestroika or glasnost. Backbreaker to start, with Robertson totally missing the knee on the bump. Clothesline and legdrop for two. You can tell this is an AWA Russian, he’s got love handles, not steroid bacne. Over the shoulder backbreaker gets the submission for Soldat. They didn’t fuck up too badly, they just didn’t do anything good.

Bad Company plan on getting the tag team championships from the Midnight Rockers later in the show. Paul Diamond does the talking, which just has bad idea written all the way through it seeing as he was the guy who thought DDP stood for Dallas Diamond Page.

Larry Nelson takes us back to Sheik Adnan attacking the Baron’s hand with a foreign object. It might be steel, it might be concrete, it might be wood, it might be a bar of soap. I’m going with option number four.

The Baron has been given a baseball bat to take on Adnan’s men. Jim Raschke appears to be a very nice man in real life, but I really don’t get the appeal to his act.

Fan of the Week features Donna Gagne showing a quilt that a fan has made for the Midnight Rockers. Not included is a letter asking them to get under it with her plus a pair of her panties.

Shawn and Marty thank her for it… well, Shawn does, Marty just stands there looking vacant.

Soldat Ustinov and Teijo Khan cut a promo that cuts off early that looks like it’s been filmed in front of one of those cloudy shower windows. This reminds me that I found out recently that when Torrie Wilson did her Playboy shoot, Billy Kidman also took part in the shoot and you can see his arse in a shower shot, because why not, I guess.

Dennis Stamp vs. Ricky Morton

He’s booked again! Never saw the sense in just one half of a tag team wrestling, but apparently Robert missed a plane connection. I liked Ricky’s line in a recent interview that he and Robert have never seen eye-to-eye… you have to think about it a bit. Top wristlock for a bit, then a dropkick for two. Stamp gets some cheap shots and posts Ricky with an Irish whip. Ricky comes back with a dropkick and a cross body block off the top for the win. Was alright, not much more than that.

Curt Hennig and Madusa Miceli cut a promo as the male and female world champions. It’s a new Curt Hennig. If he wasn’t a heel he wouldn’t wear the knitted sweater he’s got on. Madusa is all peroxide and hair extensions at this point.

Greg Gagne’s Mat Classic, brought to you by 20th Century Fox – no way do I think for a minute they were actually sponsoring them! Was the recent crappy match between the Baron and Sheik Adnan not enough for you? Well here’s an older crappy match between them from Chicago in 1981. Joined in progress with Adnan struggling to apply an abdominal stretch – that girl from Connecticut will be writing in again about that. The Baron escapes and gets the claw. The grannies and factory workers on the front row all look bored out of their brains. Adnan makes the ropes, causing a break, and slip on a knuckle duster and hits the Baron with it for the pin. As lame then as in the present.

Ricky Rice got beat last week, but next time he meets Bad Company he’ll bring Wahoo McDaniel with him. Well, at least we’ll know where all the coke is.

Daryl Nickle vs. Greg Gagne

Ah, one of my least favourite job guys. A muscular guy, who walks around like he’s got a basketball underneath his armpits and legs spread so far he couldn’t catch a pig in a passage, tights up above his navel. Up there with Mark Thomas for awkward movement. Groovy Greg has a fancy windbreaker he’s wearing to the ring. Nickle falls over just running the ropes, so Greg takes him down and grapevines the leg. Nickle escapes with a choke, then doesn’t know where to place his hands for an Irish whip. That’s reversed, leading to a back body drop out of the corner, which he lands on in a manner where he could’ve broken both his legs. Greg finishes with a dropkick, which Nickle kicks out of before three, screwing up the finish. Greg looked pissed off. Gagne actually wasn’t a bad wrestler at all, entirely capable, but he was the promoter’s son.

The Nasty Boys are coming for the titles and challenge the winners of the next match.

The Big K speaks. This is Stan “Krusher” Kowalski, a guy who’d been retired for more than a decade, sat in an office behind a desk with computer in the background, not even switched on, opining on whatever comes to mind. It’s like he’s a heel surrogate for Verne. I believe the point of discussion at the time was they had to make a choice between booking this lisping, senile goof or Paul E Dangerously, and they chose mushmouth here. We get a rare look at Rocky Mountain Thunder during his tirade, one of the worst wrestlers ever, which seems appropriate. Even the clip they pick is him falling over while trying to apply an over the shoulder backbreaker. Jeez!

Bad Company vs. The Midnight Rockers

In a shocker, they don’t dub over “Bad Company” or whatever the Rockers are coming out to (doesn’t sound like “Living After Midnight”). We all know that these two teams had a classic match at the Royal Rumble in 1991, but let’s see here. Shawn and his old partner Diamond start. Tanaka runs in to a military press and double dropkick, then the same for Paul. BC’s tights with mesh up to waistband does make me wonder for a moment if they dare wrestle commando. Diamond and Tanaka run into each other on a blind tag. Rod shouts out all the regional promoters in a quiet spot, including Lou Thesz. Tanaka takes a wristlock, which Shawn reverses into an Irish whip into a shot from Marty. They try it again, but Tanaka wises up to it the second time, but walks into a clothesline, doing his backflip bump. Just for fun, Shawn gives him another clothesline, and he obliges with the same bump.

Tanaka gets Marty into his corner and they try similar chicanery, which results in a punch in the face for Diamond inadvertently. The Rockers pinball him with punches. Eventually BC get him with a double chop and Tanaka gets his back kick, which Shawn sells like he’s taken a blow dart to the neck. Flying clothesline gets two for Diamond. Shawn ducks a double clothesline and gets his own flying version. Marty tags back in and gets slams and puts the heads together. Irish whip gets the heels together. Diamond dumps Marty behind the referee’s back and they double post him, splitting open Marty. They quickly roll him back in for the pin while Shawn is held back to give the heels the belts, new champs. Finish was a bit impromptu and they could’ve gone longer, but a good match overall. Not on par with RR ’91, but Marty gushes deep red blood. Shame they couldn’t have made more use of that. Referee Gary DeRusha gets out of town really quickly, possibly fearing someone from the audience coming up to punch him. Marty even throws a tumble out of the ring in.

Shawn Michaels cuts a promo after the match with Marty on his way to the hospital. Pretty impassioned, he was really coming on at this point with that part of his game, even though I don’t think he was ever the greatest talker of all time. They’re not coming for world tag team titles, they’re coming for revenge, and they’re gonna get it.

Larry Nelson closes the show by telling us to watch out for those rematches.

The Bottom Line: I’m glad they finished with a good match on this last show. It’s been fun, although the relative brevity of the “series” meant I didn’t get too bored. Back some time soon with something else.