Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA 10-08-1985

Taped from Atlantic City, NJ

Airdate: October 8, 1985 (taped 9/26)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Doug McLeod, & Verne Gagne

Can Slaughter retain the Americas title against the crafty Bockwinkel? Will Zhukov be involved? There’s chaos on the Christmas show. What happened? Speaking of chaos, what nightmares will Hansen deliver? Let’s dig right in…

Match 1:  Scott Hall & Greg Gagne versus Kahlua & Blue Max

Highlights:

  • Opening the show, ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta introduced the first match.
  • Greg fed Max a knee lift, and Scott tagged in to the delight of the Atlantic City faithful.
  • When Greg tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Max.
  • Max attempted a back elbow, but Greg evaded it and followed with a thrust kick.
  • As tags were exchanged on both sides, Verne touted Hall’s physique while subtly disparaging Hogan.
  • You can tell Hall’s inexperience due to his attempts at countering a side head lock with an overhand wrist lock. Instead, he should either counter with a belly-to-back suplex or a sidewalk slam because that will showcase his size and strength.
  • After Hall slammed Kahlua, he got 2.
  • Max tagged in, and the heels double-teamed Hall. How dastardly!
  • While Hall easily slammed Max twice, Kahlua charged in and ate one too.
  • Hall slammed Max a third time and followed with a boot to the midsection.
  • When he bulldogged Max, Hall pinned him at 7:28.

Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for Hall and Greg. Hall’s timing was off, and his inexperience with chain wrestling was exposed. Hopefully, he sticks around and learns how to put things together.

Catch Remo Williams in theaters beginning this Friday!

Capitals and Rangers kick off the NHL coverage on ESPN on Thursday. Believe it or not, the Rangers won 4-2.

In the ring, Nelson interviews Hall and Greg, and Greg touts Hall while challenging Garvin.

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You can trust your money at the Bank of Lodi.

Match 2:  Stan “The Lariat” Hansen versus Tommy Rice

Highlights:

  • For those curious, this was NOT the same Tom Rice that wrestled in the 40s and 50s. For once, you can lay off the past-their-prime AWA jokes.
  • Hansen entered the ring, clobbered referee Tom Zanini, and tossed Rice down to the floor.
  • As he joined Rice, Hansen made him HIT THE POLE.
  • He brutalized Rice by ramming him face-first into the apron before taking him almost into the parlor. That would make me cash out for sure.
  • In the ring, Hansen dropped a knee before sentencing Rice to a lariat.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hansen won at 2:10.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase massacre for the wild and crazy Hansen.

After the match, Hansen retrieves his hat and bull rope. He wallops Rice with the cow bell before Rice hightails it to safer ground like the blackjack table. I bet Rice quit the business immediately afterward.

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Subscribe to a true gentleman’s magazine! Yes, folks, this happened on ESPN in the 80s.

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In the ring, Nelson interviews Hansen who’s ready for Martel. Nelson cuts him off and gets an earful. HA!

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Don’t just ask for a light beer, ask for Bud Light. Yea, beer! Please drink responsibly unlike your favorite internet wrestling journalist.

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Match 3: “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/ Precious) versus Jim Londos

Highlights:

  • Before the bell, referee Dick Woehrle ejected Precious from ringside.
  • Londos hooked a sunset flip for 2.
  • When Garvin backdropped him, he followed with a brainbuster.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Garvin won at 3:56.

Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Garvin despite his “main squeeze’s” early exit.

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In the ring, Nelson interviews Garvin who questions Precious’ ejection and dismisses Greg’s challenge.

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Drink Bud Light and have a Bud Light Fright Night for Halloween.

IN THIS CORNER: Zbyszko lambastes Nelson for not sticking up for himself last week before a video of the Hennigs versus the Road Warriors airs. They interview Hennig who Zbyszko believes won’t step out of his father’s shadow. Can he say that within earshot of Verne?

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MAT CLASSIC for the AWA World title: Rick Martel (champion) versus “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/ Precious)

Highlights:

  • This match occurred in St. Paul, MN on 12/25/1984.
  • As this match was joined in progress, Martel slammed Garvin.
  • Speaking of Garvin, he rebounded with a shoulder block and guillotined Martel with the top rope.
  • Garvin held a rear chin lock so long that the St. Paul faithful grabbed hot dogs at the concession stand.
  • When Martel escaped, he delivered a belly-to-back suplex to Garvin.
  • Martel missed an elbow drop, and Garvin got 2.
  • After Garvin slammed him, he got another 2.
  • Precious jumped on the apron to distract referee Marty Miller, so Garvin tossed Martel over the top rope to the concrete floor. SNEAKY!
  • While Garvin pulled him into the ring, he only got 2 with a HUGE kick-out by Martel.
  • Garvin tossed him down to the concrete floor and rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • As Martel somersaulted his way back into the ring, he backdropped Garvin.
  • He fed Garvin a multitude of rights exciting the St. Paul faithful.
  • When he dealt Garvin a backbreaker, Martel migrated to the apron and hit a springboard splash.
  • Does Martel retain?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Garvin’s foot was on the bottom rope.
  • After Precious handed him a foreign object, Garvin OBLITERATED Martel with it.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
  • Garvin won at 11:04 shown.

Rating: ***

Summary: That’s peculiar. I don’t remember Jimmy Garvin being a World champion.

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After the match, promoter Wally Carbo enters the ring and overrules the decision. A dismayed Garvin disposes a wobbly Martel over the top rope to the concrete floor. Ultimately, Martel won by DQ.

Catch the CBN Family Hour:

  • Mondays: The Monroes
  • Tuesdays: Gentle Ben
  • Wednesdays: Flipper
  • Thursdays: “The Circus”
  • Friday: The Lone Ranger

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Catch the AWA on tour!

  1. 10/11 Fort Wayne, IN
  2. 10/12 Indianapolis, IN
  3. 10/15 Salt Lake City, UT
  4. 10/15 Anchorage, AK
  5. 10/16 Atlantic City, NJ (ESPN taping)
  6. 10/17 Winnipeg, MB
  7. 10/18 Wausau, WI
  8. 10/19 W. Aurora, IL
  9. 10/20 Green Bay, WI
  10. 10/23 New Haven, CT
  11. 10/24 Baltimore, MD
  12. 10/25 Denver, CO
  13. 10/26 Rockford, IL
  14. 10/27 St. Paul, MN

Ad #2 airs for Jimmie Rodgers.

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Match 5 for the AWA Americas title: Sergeant Slaughter (champion) versus Nick Bockwinkel (w/ Larry Zbyszko)

Highlights:

  • Bockwinkel hip-tossed Slaughter but suffered one as well.
  • When Slaughter slammed him, Bockwinkel took a respite outside the ring.
  • Bockwinkel gave Slaughter a cross corner whip that resulted in a sternum-first bump.
  • As Bockwinkel piledrove him, he got 2.
  • Bockwinkel attempted a second piledriver, but Slaughter countered with a back drop.
  • After Slaughter delivered his own piledriver, he only got 1 thanks to Bockwinkel’s foot on the bottom rope.
  • Slaughter hooked a swinging neckbreaker for 2, yet Boris Zhukov approached ringside for a bird’s eye view.
  • While Bockwinkel nailed him in the midsection, he shoved Slaughter down to the floor at Zhukov’s feet.
  • Bockwinkel rammed Slaughter face-first into the apron, and the Atlantic City faithful erupted with a “U-S-A” chant much to Zhukov’s dismay.
  • When Slaughter no-sold Bockwinkel’s blows, he gave Bockwinkel a cross corner whip followed by a right that would knock an ox clear into 1986.
  • Bockwinkel rebounded with a sleeper, and Zhukov cheered him on at ringside.
  • As Slaughter escaped by backing him into the corner twice, he ducked a haymaker and clotheslined Bockwinkel.
  • Slaughter applied the Cobra clutch, but Zhukov jumped on the apron to distract him.
  • After Slaughter chased Zhukov in and out of the ring, he sauntered after him toward the parlor.
  • Referee Tom Zanini called for the bell, and Bockwinkel won by countout at 13:02.

Rating: ***½

Summary: Great story albeit with a cheap finish. While I understand that Slaughter and Zhukov are still feuding, Bockwinkel could have eaten a pin and regenerated some heat with help from Zbyszko.

After the match, Slaughter returns and shoves down Zanini. Bockwinkel and Zbyszko exit the ring. Bockwinkel returns, but Slaughter loads up and blasts a Popeye-style punch to him. Wisely, Bockwinkel scampers away to avoid further embarrassment. Instead, Slaughter assaults Zbyszko on the apron and deals them a double noggin knocker. I wonder if he earned a $5 chip in doing so.

Ad #2 airs for Remo Williams.

Catch college football action on ESPN as #9 Nebraska faces #5 Oklahoma State. Nebraska won 34-24 as Doug DuBose outshined some kid named Thurman Thomas.

In the ring, Nelson interviews Slaughter who runs down Zhukov and introduces Scott and Jackie. They recite the Pledge of Allegiance with assistance from the Atlantic City faithful. To finish the promo, he plugs G.I. Joe and promotes patriotism.

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Conclusion:  This was a much better effort than last week with a stellar main event and mat classic. Also, the promotion of next week’s main event encourages me to want to see it. I wish wrestling promotions would adopt this tactic on a regular basis. At least WCCW did it.  Regardless, switch your browser over and catch this episode STAT.

Next week, Garvin will square off against Greg.

TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for AWA 10-15-85!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com including Herb Abrams’ UWF!