Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA Brawl in St. Paul 1986

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: December 25, 1986

Attendance: 3,500

Hosted by Rod Trongard & Dick Jonckowski

Can the Midnight Rockers deal Rose and Somers some comeuppance? Will Hennig dethrone Bockwinkel on his second opportunity? How will Snuka exact revenge against DeBeers? Open the door and go inside to find out!

Match 1: Earthquake Ferris versus Brian Knobbs

Highlights:

  • Are you ready to get nasty before nasty was cool?
  • Ferris slammed Knobbs who sought refuge outside the ring while lambasting the members of the front row. Nevertheless, the St. Paul faithful were NOT pleased.
  • When Ferris slammed him again, he missed an elbow drop.
  • Ferris reversed a cross corner whip and clotheslined Knobbs.
  • As he gave Knobbs a cross corner whip, Ferris SQUISHED him with an avalanche.
  • Ferris delivered a Ferris Wheel, splashed Knobbs, and pinned him at 4:25.

Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Ferris as a young Knobbs gets knocked off his hinges.

Ferris cuts a post-match promo, wishes St. Paul a Merry Christmas, and pulls a Rocky Balboa.

Match 2: Boris Zhukov (w/ Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie) versus Steve Olsonowski

Highlights:

  • For those curious, Jerry Saganowich was the referee. As you can see, both he and Knobbs were paying dues prior to their teaming up.
  • Olsonowski made Zhukov HIT THE POLE and gave him a cross corner whip that could have landed him on Trongard’s lap. Unlike Santa, nobody wanted to sit on Trongard’s lap.
  • As Zhukov slammed him, he missed an elbow drop.
  • The St. Paul faithful chided Al-Kaissie with a “Sheik’s a freak” chant, and Olsonowski countered an arm stomp with a mule kick.
  • When Zhukov head-butted Olsonowski’s arm, he rammed it into the top turnbuckle.
  • An obnoxious fan’s diatribe toward Saganowich’s “haircut” got picked up, and it was clean-up on aisle 5 on my screen.
  • After Zhukov rammed his arm into the ring post, Olsonowski gave him a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • He gave Zhukov another cross corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • While he dropkicked Zhukov, Olsonowski got 2.
  • He dealt Zhukov an atomic drop for another 2.
  • As he slammed Zhukov, Olsonowski mounted the second turnbuckle but missed an elbow drop.
  • Zhukov landed an elbow drop and pinned Olsonowski. Huh?
  • Oh, Al-Kaissie cleverly knocked Olsonowski’s leg off the bottom rope. SNEAKY!
  • Regardless, Zhukov won at 13:09.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Zhukov that was so boring that the St. Paul faithful at ringside were more entertaining.

Prior to the next match, Zbyszko read the St. Paul faithful the riot act. He must not have gotten new golf clubs for Christmas.

Match 3 “Big” Scott Hall, Greg Gagne, & Leon “Bull Power” White versus Larry Zbyszko, Mr. Saito, & Super Ninja

Highlights:

  • No, Olsonowski was not pulling double-duty tonight as Super Ninja was portrayed by Shunji Takano.
  • Also, this was Saito’s return match after his prison sentence for battery of a police officer. Allegedly, his first meal out of the joint was not a happy one.
  • Ninja landed a savate kick and followed with a belly-to-belly suplex to Greg.
  • When Zbyszko tagged in, Greg hooked a backslide for 2.
  • He gave Zbyszko a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • As White distracted referee Jerry Saganowich, the heels gave Greg the business in their corner. How dastardly!
  • Saito tagged in and distracted Saganowich so that Zbyszko could regrettably inform Greg that he’ll make more money than him tonight.
  • After Ninja tagged in, he missed a leg drop.
  • Zbyszko tagged in but got punted. Better than the Vikings did last Sunday, no?
  • While tags were exchanged on both sides, White fed Saito a running body block.
  • He powerslammed Saito for 2.
  • When Zbyszko tagged in, White reversed a cross corner whip and SQUISHED him with an avalanche.
  • He delivered a gorilla press slam, splashed Zbyszko, but ate a kick from Ninja before a count could be made.
  • As tags were exchanged on both sides again, Saito bowed out of respect, but Hall responded with a knee lift. Although Hall would be quite the politician in his wrestling career, he never portrayed a decent diplomat.
  • Hall slammed Saito, landed an elbow drop, and got 2.
  • After Saito countered a side head lock with an inverted atomic drop, Ninja tagged in but ate a knee lift by Hall.
  • Zbyszko tagged in and distracted Saganowich.
  • Meanwhile Saito manhandled Hall in the heel corner.
  • Hall countered a front face lock by picking up Zbyszko and tagging in Greg.
  • When Greg sent Saito into the babyface corner, he successively whipped both Zbyszko and Ninja into him.
  • Greg applied a sleeper to Zbyszko, but Saito broke it up.
  • As tags were exchanged on both sides once again, Saito hooked a figure-four leg lock.
  • Ninja delivered a series of leg drops to Hall, yet Saganowich paid him no attention. Hmmm…
  • After Hall countered a figure-four leg lock attempt into an inside cradle, Zbyszko tagged in but couldn’t slam Hall.
  • Speaking of Hall, he slammed Zbyszko and violently blocked a cross corner whip.
  • For a fourth time, tags were exchanged on both sides, and the babyfaces double-teamed Ninja for 2.
  • Ninja blocked a slam attempt and hit an inverted atomic drop to Greg.
  • While Saito tagged in, he bestowed a back elbow to Greg.
  • Zbyszko tagged in and trapped Greg in an abdominal stretch.
  • When Greg escaped with a hip toss, a mid-ring collision put both wrestlers down on the mat.
  • For the fifth time, tags were exchanged on both sides, and Hall backdropped Saito so high that Jeff Bezos was jealous.
  • Hall demolished Saito with an elbow drop and caught him in a bear hug.
  • As Zbyszko mounted the top turnbuckle, Hall relinquished Saito from the hold and squeezed Zbyszko instead.
  • With Saganowich distracted in the babyface corner, Ninja tossed powder in Hall’s eyes. Nefarious!
  • 1-2-3.
  • Saito, Zbyszko, and Ninja won at 15:49.

Rating: **

Summary: Wild six-man match that gave everyone involved a chance to shine. This White kid might amount to something, no?

Immediately following the pinfall, Scott LeDoux jumps into the ring to the objection of Zbyszko. LeDoux removes his shirt and chases Zbyszko from the ring as the babyfaces stand tall. Methinks Saganowich’s days as a referee are numbered as White manhandles and slams him on the concrete floor.

Match 4 for the AWA World title: Nick Bockwinkel (champion) versus Curt Hennig

Highlights:

  • Billy Robinson was the special guest referee for this match.
  • Can this match top their November encounter?
  • As Hennig slammed Bockwinkel, he landed an elbow drop for 2.
  • Hennig countered a top wrist lock with a hammerlock and trapped Bockwinkel in a hammerlock half-nelson.
  • When Bockwinkel bridged out of it at 1, he made the ropes to escape.
  • A forearm by Bockwinkel caused Hennig to fly over the top rope down to the concrete floor.
  • After Hennig bolted back into the ring, he fed Bockwinkel a ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • Bockwinkel grabbed Hennig by the left leg and rammed it into the ring post twice.
  • While Bockwinkel caught him in an inverted Indian death lock, Hennig escaped courtesy of a head butt.
  • The St. Paul faithful chanted “Curt,” and their hero tossed Bockwinkel aside on a second attempt at the Indian death lock.
  • As Hennig dealt him a pair of knee lifts, Bockwinkel spilled down to the concrete floor.
  • Hennig rammed Bockwinkel’s left arm into the ring post, but the champion responded with some heel tactics and a knee to the midsection.
  • When he planted a second knee into the midsection, Bockwinkel got 2.
  • Suddenly, the tape skipped, and Bockwinkel bounced Hennig’s noggin off the broadcast table.
  • Bockwinkel rammed Hennig face-first into the apron, and Verne joined the broadcast table.
  • Following a forearm smash, Bockwinkel got 2.
  • Another forearm smash earned Bockwinkel a second two-count.
  • After Bockwinkel backdropped Hennig, he couldn’t get 3.
  • Hennig countered another back drop with a sunset flip for 2.
  • While Hennig delivered knee lift #3, he dropkicked Bockwinkel for another 2.
  • He gave Bockwinkel a cross corner whip, trapped him in an inside cradle, but couldn’t get 3.
  • As Hennig unloaded an Axe, he got yet another 2.
  • Bockwinkel bounced off the ropes and plowed over Robinson sending him down to the concrete floor.
  • When Hennig made a cover, he could only earn a false pin.
  • Hennig checked on Robinson, so Bockwinkel nailed him from behind and attempted a piledriver.
  • After Hennig backdropped him over the top rope down to the concrete floor, he slammed Bockwinkel back into the ring.
  • Meanwhile, Robinson remained on the concrete floor with an apparent leg injury.
  • Hennig mounted the top turnbuckle and launched a missile dropkick.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • Robinson came over and could have counted the pin.
  • While Hennig celebrated his victory, Robinson demonstrated Hennig’s toss of Bockwinkel over the top rope.
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • Therefore, Bockwinkel won by DQ at 19:21.

Rating: ***½

Summary: Obviously not as great as their Las Vegas encounter, but it gave the St. Paul faithful a glimmer of hope that Hennig could become champion…just not tonight.

After the match, the St. Paul faithful boos the finish out of the Civic Center as Hennig claims injustice and yells B-------.

Hennig cuts a “frustrated” promo and feels “ripped off.” As Verne joins them, he questions the disqualification, but the referee’s decision is FINAL.

Bockwinkel gives kudos to Hennig for the match and informs him to “learn (his) lessons.”

Match 5: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka versus Colonel DeBeers

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the apartheid supporter launched Snuka from the top rope down to the concrete floor head-first back on October 15. From there, Snuka wanted revenge.
  • When Snuka leaped over the top rope to enter the ring, the brawl was ON.
  • Snuka dealt him a flying head butt, but DeBeers craftily used his trick knee to gain the advantage.
  • As Snuka no-sold some right hands, he headbutted and slammed DeBeers.
  • He mounted the second turnbuckle and landed another flying head butt.
  • After he gnawed on DeBeers’ forehead, allegedly he craved “the other white meat.”
  • DeBeers was BUSTED OPEN, so Snuka headbutted him down to the mat.
  • While he mounted the top turnbuckle, Snuka scored with a flying fist.
  • He bounced DeBeers’ head off the mat and shoved referee Scott LeDoux.
  • As a result, LeDoux disqualified Snuka, and DeBeers won at 3:43.

Rating: **

Summary: Nasty feud with an abrupt finish to the match. Obviously, the feud wasn’t over, but when’s the rematch? According to cagematch, they battled through numerous house shows with various gimmick matches including a cage match on March 28, 1987 in Wausau, WI. As you’d expect, Snuka won.

After the match, Snuka shoves LeDoux away again, slams DeBeers, mounts the top turnbuckle, and forcibly moves LeDoux away. Snuka makes DeBeers HIT THE POLE before DeBeers runs away scared out of his wits.

Match 6 (cage, non-title): AWA World tag team champions “Playboy” Buddy Rose & “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers (w/ Sherri Martel) versus the Midnight Rockers

Highlights:

  • As the Midnight Rockers entered, they rammed Rose face-first into the cage.
  • Much to Sherri’s dismay, the Midnight Rockers successively made the tag champs taste the cage.
  • The bell rang, and Rose was already BUSTED OPEN.
  • When Michaels nailed Somers, Rose broke up the pin.
  • Jannetty wasn’t thrilled, so he rammed Rose into the cage again.
  • After Michaels fed the champs a double noggin knocker, Sherri threw an absolute fit because she couldn’t help her proteges.
  • Michaels dealt Somers another pair of trips to the cage and tagged in Jannetty.
  • While the Midnight Rockers ricocheted Somers’ head off the cage, Sherri screamed as if Freddy Krueger was killing her men.
  • Michaels tagged in from the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom onto a BUSTED OPEN Somers.
  • As Jannetty tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle, and unloaded the heavy artillery upon Somers for 2.
  • Rose tagged in and shuttled Jannetty face-first into the cage.
  • When he slammed Jannetty, Rose mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Jannetty crotched him, and the St. Paul faithful loved every second.
  • After Jannetty joined him, he delivered a ten-head-to-the cage-count-along to Rose.
  • He slammed Rose and got 2.
  • While Somers interceded, Jannetty rammed him into the top turnbuckle.
  • Rose ruined Jannetty’s late evening plans with a shot downstairs and got 2.
  • As Rose sent him into the cage again, Jannetty no-sold it and blasted Rose for 2.
  • In lieu of pinning Rose, Jannetty picked him so that he could further humiliate him.
  • He whipped Rose into a Michaels right hand that sent him flailing into the heel corner.
  • When Somers tagged in, Jannetty powerslammed him for 2.
  • Michaels tagged in, slammed Somers, mounted the top turnbuckle, and scored with a big elbow for another 2.
  • After Michaels obnoxiously showed his appreciation for Sherri, Jannetty grated Somers’ head into the cage. Does anyone care for some Muenster cheese?
  • Notwithstanding, Somers retaliated with a header into Michaels’ junk drawer.
  • Rose tagged in and catapulted Michaels head-first into the cage.
  • While Michaels was BUSTED OPEN, Rose ensured Michaels’ food for the next week had a metallic taste.
  • Rose scored with a DDT but only got 2 thanks to a save by Jannetty.
  • As Somers tagged in, he shot Michaels into the cage like a javelin.
  • Rose grated Michaels’ face across the cage, and Michaels was wearing the crimson mask.
  • In the meantime, Jannetty distracted referee Billy Robinson.
  • Somers suplexed Michaels and tagged in Rose.
  • When a member of the St. Paul faithful doused Sherri with some St. Pauli Girl, Rose creamed Michaels and got 2.
  • Rose backdropped Michaels into the cage and crotched him on the top rope. Well, I guess the Midnight Rockers will be making love to the ice machine at the hotel tonight.
  • Nonetheless, Somers tagged in, hit a knee drop, and picked Michaels up at 2.
  • He rolled up Michaels and got another 2.
  • After he rammed Michaels face-first into the mat, Somers ate a head butt from the bloody Michaels.
  • Somers reversed an Irish whip but received a knee lift from Michaels.
  • Hot tag Jannetty.
  • While he powerslammed Somers, Rose broke up the pin and attempted to flee the cage.
  • Jannetty caught him at the very last second and dragged him back into the cage.
  • As Rose fell to the mat, Michaels landed a superkick to Somers.
  • Jannetty launched a cross body block to Somers.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Midnight Rockers won at 17:23.

Rating: ****

Summary: Hot crowd with a gory, energy-packed match where the Midnight Rockers deal some payback to Rose and Somers for their bloody massacre back in September.

After the match, Rose ejects Michaels from the cage, and the champs double-team Jannetty. Despite Michaels’ best efforts to return, the champs annihilate a BUSTED OPEN Jannetty. Ultimately, Michaels regains access to save Jannetty’s bacon and sends the champs packing. Rose screams on the microphone claiming, “it’s over with the Midnight Rockers,” but Michaels refutes his claim.

Conclusion:  What can ya say? Both the cage and title matches make this show a no-brainer for a recommendation. Hennig and the Midnight Rockers are STARS heading into 1987. Also, Snuka fed DeBeers some much needed payback, heel shenanigans helped Zbyszko’s team win, Ferris won, and the future Nasty Boys made their presence felt.

Please feel free to enlighten me with your thoughts.

TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for AWA Super Clash II!

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 the Monday Night War and Herb Abrams’ UWF!