The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling – 03.12.88
I wish I could quit you, 1988 AWA.
Taped from Las Vegas, NV
Your hosts are Rod Trongard & Lee Marshall
Last week, Larry Nelson takes us back to the Rockers-Nasties match and then we’re gonna get to some HOT WRESTLING ACTION this week. The hotter the better! Regardless, Larry notes that they’re gonna have to thaw out Stanley Blackburn from his cryogenic sleep and have him make a decision before putting him under again. Well he didn’t make the cryogenic joke, that was all me.
Wahoo McDaniel v. Samoan Joe
Wahoo hits Joe with a chop and it actually has no effect on him, so Wahoo hits him harder and tosses him out to the floor. Back in, Wahoo with more chops, but Joe fires back with headbutts and puts him down with a back elbow. Wahoo hits him with more chops to put him down and finishes with an elbow at 2:18, however. They were on the verge of having a pretty fun match there before Wahoo ended it so abruptly. 1 for 1.
Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond v. The Hurricane Kid & Billy Anderson
Jesus, it’s ANOTHER random Samoan on these shows. The Kid looks a lot like Tama but he was still in the WWF at this point. Badd Company double-teams the Kid and Diamond beats on him outside with chops, and back in for some cheapshots from Tanaka. Diamond comes in and puts the boots to him and there’s no way this is Tama or anyone else with any experience because he’s AWFUL. Over to Billy Anderson, and the heels immediately finish him with a slingshot into a DDT from Tanaka at 4:00. Those jobbers were terrible. 1 for 2.
Meanwhile, Baron Von Raschke joins Larry Nelson and the hand is already ready to start applying the clawhold again after the brutal hand-focused attack by Sheik Adnan last week. It was BRUISED AND CONTUSED and the doctors said he couldn’t ever claw again but he will.
AWA International TV champion Greg Gagne v. Destroyer Samoan
Yes, three straight Samoan job guys, although getting a better look at this one and he’s obviously way too young to be Afa. Did Verne get a deal from the Samoan Dollar Tree or something? He was only going to book two Samoans on the taping and the guy at the till was like “Hey, if you book this one too, you’ll get all three for the same price!” and Verne was like “SOLD! And I’ll take a pack of smokes and a bottle of whiskey to make my son look tougher as well and maybe the other promoters will actually let me make him World champion this time!” and then the clerk laughed and Verne laughed and they shared a nice moment about what a loser Greg was. True story. The Samoan takes Greg to the floor and runs him into the post, but he goes up and Greg slams him off the top and hits a pair of dropkicks to make the comeback before finishing the dreaded Gagne Sleeper at 3:08. 1 for 3.
Curt Hennig joins Lee Marshall at ringside and he’s laughing about the beating that Greg Gagne took in that last match, which brings Greg out to demand a title shot and they get into a shoving match because Greg is just so butch.
The Bodyguard Ace Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. v. Kevin Collins
Bob beats on Collins with knees in the corner and drops elbows on him. These must be old tapings because Orton was long gone for New Japan by the time this was airing in March. Superplex finishes at 2:30 and then he adds a piledriver afterwards for fun. Orton was looking really bored here. 1 for 4.
Meanwhile, Soldat Ustinov joins Larry Nelson, doing a “Russian” accent that sounds like Baron’s German accent.
AWA World title: Curt Hennig v. Jerry Lawler
They fight for the lockup to start and I should point out that Lawler literally has a sponsored ad for Renegades chewing tobacco on his ass here. Curt trips him up in the corner to escape the lockup and bails to go have a conversation with the fans like Lee Marshall makes the ridiculous claim that “there is not a wrestler in any other federation that Jerry Lawler has not defeated”. Come on now. Maybe the ones that came through Memphis, but unless we’re counting Koko B. Ware as 100 different wrestlers then this is nonsense. Hennig takes a powder again as this is taking some time to get rolling as Lee notes that “wrestling isn’t a team sport.” Except for all the tag teams, I guess. Also he notes that all the other sports are called “games” but wrestling isn’t a game. Lee Marshall is like the Dino Bravo of announcers. Hennig continues stalling and running away, but Lawler slugs away in the corner and chases Curt to the floor again for another coffee break. Hennig decides to take a walk and Trongard notes that the title can change hands via countout. I’m gonna call bullshit on that one, because at the very least it certainly never happened before. We finally get into the ring after NINE MINUTES of this shit and Lawler slugs away again, but Hennig kicks him in the crown jewels to take over. They fight to the floor and Hennig runs Lawler into the post and that’s a DQ or countout or something at 12:48, it’s never really clarified. This was a total night off for both guys and a complete disappointment. 1 for 5.
Meanwhile, Wahoo McDaniel joins Larry and declares that the world is ready for an Indian as World champion and it might as well be him.
Next week: Midgets! Can’t wait.
I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I finish burning through these 8 episodes because there’s just nothing else like it on the Network.