California Championship Wrestling – June, 1986

I had it in mind to look at another promotion with Championship Wrestling as part of their name, and that’s still coming, but this came up on a search and I thought I’d look at it instead. We’ve talked about infamously bad bodybuilder/wrestler Ripper Savage before, and he’s part of the show, but we’ve also got the Superfly and the Rock’s dad slumming it too, which has to have some entertainment value.

The intro gets points from me for setting clips to Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa, of all things.

Commentators are Barry Richards and Leon Tillis, who has all the presence of a mannequin. Guest ring announcer is a DJ called Raechel Donahue, who announces a referee as Don “Chrome Dome” Lastra, causing him to be visibly pissed off, with the nostrils of his pig nose flaring. Apparently he was a Roller Derby referee, and he probably wishes he was back there.

Eva Savage vs. Charli the Golden Katt

Charli was in one of the Wally George clips I looked at weeks ago, talking about how she wanted to fight and fuck Wally. Eva is the “sister” of Ripper Savage, and is accompanied by him and Tux Newman. They start out with a test of strength, which doesn’t seem fair as Charli is almost a foot taller. That’s transitioned into a wristlock and an Irish whip, which Eva stumbles and spins all over on, getting the audience booing already. This brings in Tux, with what’s either a bag of sugar or all the coke they’re planning on doing that night, who throws the powder in Charli’s eyes. That was either planned or a mercy kill. DQ. A fat woman who accompanied her to the ring but wasn’t announced tends to her while she looks like she’s crying like Nancy Kerrigan. Terrible match, melodramatic angle afterwards.

Interview: Barry talks to Ripper Savage, who likes to put women in their place and slap them around, while Tux laughs hysterically in the background. Ripper’s going to take care of that “island”… creature that climbs a tree, for sake of my censors. Ripper does his weird squinting deal and they call out Jimmy Snuka.

Jesse Hernandez vs. Magic

This is seemingly taped from another club, with Leon Tillis as the ring announcer, wearing shades like he’s blind. Jesse Hernandez was a regular WWF jobber if they were taping in the California area. Magic is a guy in black tights with blonde hair and a moustache and tattoos, touted on commentary by Ripper Savage as a biker and stuntman who was in the movie Grunt. He is absolutely terrible, not selling any moves and throwing forearms and slaps with no force or coordination. He goes to the top with a flying punch and then a terrible elbowdrop for the finish. This guy had nothing going for him and was going nowhere. His tights also looked ready to split at any point, which at least gave the match some form of tension.

Steel Gladiator vs. Beartrap Smith

Back to the original club, with Tillis on the mic in the ring, looking scared to death. Steel Gladiator is a biker who looks like he’s been released from prison for the night after trafficking heroin. Beartrap is either a fat hillbilly or a Native American, and comes out to a slowed down version of Attitude Adjustment by Hank Williams Jr. to make things even more bizarre. Gladiator attacks with girly kicks, but Beartrap just stops selling and tosses him aside. He runs into him and actually moves the lousy ring as they hit the ropes. “The big man just tosses him off!”, says Barry Williams in a Freudian slip. At this point he decides he wants to do “the Indian arm burn” as Williams calls it, or a wristlock to you and me. Slam and splash finish. I’d never call it a big splash as Smith just juddered a bit and then dropped to his knees vaguely in the area of Gladiator and then laid across him. I’m surprised he got back up, he looked like he was having a heart attack by the end of the “gruelling” match.

Interview: Barry speaks to Junior Maivia, who while taking an island name is white as white can be, and Beartrap Smith about possibly becoming a team. They look like Dink next to Yokozuna.

Goliath vs. Sammy Delgado

Goliath, or the Great Goliath, rather, does at least have some stature and history. He takes down Delgado, who he dwarfs, with a nice heel hook. While they’re on the mat, Barry Richards talks up appearances from Billy Graham, Abdullah the Butcher and the Sheik, which I guarantee didn’t happen. Crucifix moves into a wristlock and then into headscissors for Goliath, who after a break gets a shot to the throat and a nice punch to the ribs. Knees to the back and a rear chinlock while Leon smiles gormlessly in the background. Goliath finishes with a bodyslam for three. While he was somewhat washed up by this point, after his heyday of teaming with Black Gordman, he still had a lot of crispness with his moves to the point that this is the only good match on the show so far.

Destroyin’ Samoan vs. Rocky Johnson

Not sure who the Samoan is, but we all know his opponent and know his son even better. Samoan attacks from behind with his robe. He’s got facepaint on and red karate trousers. Rocky makes his comeback with punches and a headbutt. Rocky’s more perturbed by getting Samoan’s paint on him than any other move he can do on him. Sunset flip out of nowhere for the victory for Johnson. Rocky was OK if he had any opponent who could lift him up a bit, but this guy was a jobber and beyond getting anything good out of. The Rock was far better than his dad, even though his dad had a great look too.

Billy Anderson vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka

Billy is a stalwart of the business as either a wrestler or trainer or ring announcer. Jimmy looks like he’s on another planet walking out, but that’s normal for him. Some jerks in the crowd heckle him by chanting “Piper!” at him. Feeling out process, concluding in Billy missing a blind shot at Jimmy and taking a few armdrags. He gets a side headlock, but walks back into another armdrag. Billy goes back to that headlock, which he maintains by pulling the hair. Jimmy eventually breaks it by getting a back suplex. Regular suplex follows. Billy makes a bit of a comeback, but makes the mistake of going for a headbutt and almost knocks himself out. Slam and headbutt, chops send Anderson to the outside. They restart, and it’s back to the headlock before the double leapfrogs, chop off the ropes, backbreaker and what I would’ve assumed would be the Superfly splash, but instead Billy gets up and Jimmy wins with the flying crossbody off the top. Fairly pedestrian independent match with a star who’s got it firmly in neutral.

The Bottom Line: I won’t be coming back to this show, but it was affirming to see how awful it was from the start. When your high point is a bit of an improvised clinic by an ageing star like Goliath and Rocky and Jimmy just there for the booze, the binge and the broads then it’s bad news.