The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling – 03.05.88

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling – 03.05.88

Taped from Las Vegas, NV, back in the more familiar Showboat Casino setting.

Your hosts are Rod Trongard & Lee Marshall

The Bodyguard Ace Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. v. Bill Anderson

Orton beats on Anderson with elbows and goes to a cravat, then drops a knee as Rod notes that the jobber hails from “Goodyear, AZ”.  They named a city after a tire?  And I thought Saskatchewan had weird city names.  Orton tosses him and brings him back in for a backbreaker that gets two, but Bill makes a comeback that lasts 2 seconds before Orton takes him down with a knee to the chest and finishes him with a piledriver at 3:44.  Orton’s been looking pretty solid in this AWA run thus far but it never went anywhere.  Maybe he wanted to be paid for his work, I dunno.  1 for 1.

Jerry Lawler v. Samoan Joe

No, seriously, that’s the guy’s name.  So I looked him up and apparently he not only had the name before the more famous version, but he’s actually from New Zealand and was a big star in Australia for much of the 70s before coming to the AWA and essentially doing a retirement run as a job guy.  Lawler’s appearance here was the part of the start of the big AWA/Memphis crossover.   Lawler takes Joe down and works a chinlock and then goes for the leg.  You know this guy might be trouble because it’s special TROUBLESHOOTING REFEREE Scott LeDoux, who they put over stronger than a lot of wrestlers on their payroll.  Lawler backdrops Joe and drops a fist on him before going back to the chinlock.  Joe tries to use the hair to escape, but LeDoux takes NO NONSENSE and won’t let him get out that way.  So instead he powers out and drops a headbutt on Lawler, but goes up and misses  a splash from the middle rope.  Lawler makes a comeback and slams him, and then goes up with his fistdrop to finish at 5:10.  Joe had a good look and they probably could have gotten something out of him had he stuck around.  2 for 2.

Curt Hennig joins Larry Nelson, and next week he has to defend the AWA World title against Jerry Lawler.  No, that’s not the title change, for those wondering.  Lawler wins the belt in May and it’s in Memphis and Hennig is basically in the WWF the next day.

Badd Company v. Tim Patterson & Greg Robertson

Tanaka & Diamond haven’t quite added DDP to their act yet.  Tanaka beats Patterson down with chops and dumps him, where Diamond slams him on the floor, right in front of HERBIE MILLS!  You know, of the Mills Brothers!  Who says Verne didn’t have the finger on the pulse of the youth?  Back in, Diamond hits Patterson with a flying forearm and follows with a gourdbuster.  Tanaka beats him down in the corner, but misses a charge and it’s over to Greg Robertson, who can’t even suplex Tanaka before Diamond cuts him off.  So they do this really ugly and awkward sequence where Robertson keeps trying to get something going and Diamond rightly won’t cooperate, and finally Diamond has had enough and calls for the finish before slingshotting Robertson into a half-assed bulldog from Tanaka that finishes at 4:05.  And then they both put the boots to Robertson afterwards and look pissed off with him. Hey dude, you’re ENHANCEMENT TALENT.  Go work the indies if you want to get your shit in.  2 for 3.

Groovy Greg Gagne joins Larry Nelson, talking about how he wants the winner of the Lawler-Hennig match next week.  Yeah, good luck with that.

Sheik Adnan El-Kaissie v. Baron Von Raschke

This is our MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING.  In 1988!  Adnan attacks and chokes the Baron out before using the deadly BACKRAKES to get the heat on Baron.  Baron fights back and pokes him in the eyes, so Adnan runs away.  Back in, Baron gives him the backrakes in return, but Adnan takes him down for a cheapshot.  Next up, Adnan uses the Vulcan nerve pinch as Marshall claims this is “cutting off the supply of blood to the brain”.  No, that’s not how science works, but thanks for trying.  Baron somehow fights out of this predicament, so Adnan runs away again.  Could there BE a more 1988 AWA match than this one?  Back in, Baron teases the claw, so Adnan runs away and stalls some more.  Baron runs him into the turnbuckles and drops an elbow on him, and that sets up the IRON CLAW, at which point Adnan runs away again and pulls out a foreign object for the DQ at 7:15.  This was so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so bad.  So very bad.  Just terrible.  Awful.  2 for 4.

It’s really bad, is what I’m getting at.

Afterwards, Lee chats with the Baron, who claims that it was “a piece of steel or concrete or something”, and promises that this feud is far from over.  A piece of concrete, really?

Ricky Rice & Steve O v. Destroyer Samoan (Afa?) & Dennis Stamp

Yes, ANOTHER attempt to push Rice, this time in a team with venerable AWA midcarder Steve Olsonoski.  They double-team the Destroyer Samoan in their corner, but Stamp comes in and beats on Steve with chops until Steve rams the heels’ heads together. Over to Rice with a suplex on Stamp for two.  Steve O with a rollup for two, but Afa comes in and beats on Steve before missing a headbutt.  Rice beats on Stamp and gets a monkey flip and they hit him with a double elbow for two.  Rice with a dropkick and a bodypress for the pin at 4:43.  2 for 5.

Ricky Rice chats with Larry Nelson, and Larry wants to know if the team with Steve O is a permanent thing, but Ricky isn’t committing to anything.  Well, he’s still young and sowing his wild tag team oats.  Also, Kevin Kelly and Madusa join us and Kevin wants Jane Fonda to quit calling him.

AWA World tag team title:  The Midnight Rockers v. The Nasty Boys

Intriguing.  They never crossed paths in the WWF in any major way because the Rockers were splitting while the Nasties were ascending, but they had some house show matches at the end of 1991.  The Nasties do the big stall to start and then overpower Shawn in their corner.  But Shawn regroups with a shoulderblock on Knobbs that sends him to the floor to regroup.  Back in, Marty goes with Sags, who misses an elbow as Jannetty goes to a chinlock.  Lee Marshall notes that “if you’re got speed, you’ve got it all!”  Well we know that the Rockers were probably carrying speed at the very least in 1988 but I wouldn’t say they had it ALL.  Marty works the arm on Knobbs and the Rockers double-team him and Shawn continues working the arm.  The Nasties collide off that and Shawn dropkicks him to the floor as the Nasties regroup again.  Back in, Marty continues working on the arm of Knobbs and whips him around the corners before slugging him down and the Nasties bail again.  Back in, the Rockers work on Sags’ arm this time, but Knobbs finally hits Shawn with a clothesline out of the corner to take over and Sags goes with the abdominal stretch in the corner as they switch off for some shenanigans and monkeyshines.  Meanwhile Rod reminisces about the fabled abdominal stretch of Wilber Snyder.  I’m sure Gorilla would have found something wrong with it.  Knobbs misses a blind charge, but Sags continues beating on Shawn and hits him with a nice clothesline out of the corner for two.  Shawn finally fights back with the superkick and it’s hot tag Marty for a little noggin knocking.  Crossbody out of the corner gets two.  It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Shawn tosses Knobbs and follows with a dive as they slug it out and head back in to beat the count.  At that point, Marty dives off the top with a bodypress, catching Knobbs on the way in, and that gets the pin at 14:50 to retain.  Really solid formula tag team match.  3 for 6.

The Nasty Boys rant to Lee Nelson backstage, as Sags claims that he was the legal man and therefore they should be awarded the tag team championship.  Ah, the Donald Trump argument.  So Knobbs wants a rematch RIGHT NOW and they’re coming for blood!  Well that explains why the Rockers ran away to the WWF, then.

Next week:  Curt Hennig defends against Jerry Lawler!

Well at least the Rockers are still around to carry these shows at this point.