Moondog Spot vs. Junkyard Dog
Spot attacks JYD as he enters the ring, without a referee present. He misses a knee drop from the decond turnbuckle and JYD hits a pair of crawling headbutts then headbutts him again and covers Spot, counting to three by himself and the bell rings, with JYD getting the win as the ring judge was present an awarded him the match (0:27) DUD.
Thoughts: Another awful finish but it was not like Spot had a chance to begin with and the quick match was probably for the best. At the time, Meltzer gave this match a -***** rating. For me, it was too quick of a match but the god-awful ending deserves a DUD rating.
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Tito Santana
Both guy shake hands before the match as Jesse cracks ethnic jokes at the expense of Tito. They lockup and Tito takes Orndorff over with a side headlock. They fight over a wristlock then Tito works a headscissors on the mat until Orndorff counters that with a rollup then they end up in a stand off. Orndorff works a hammerlock until Tito reverses and they end up in another standoff as Jesse constantly talks about Orndorff reverting back to his heel persona. Orndorff hits an atomic drop as Tito is in pain on the mat. Orndorff goes to work on Tito’s leg, which was taped up with the story being that he got hurt in his first round match against Muraco. Tito fights out then Orndorff knocks Tito to the floor with a forearm shot. He follows him out and they brawl on the floor as Orndorff rams Tito into the post and they continue to brawl until the match is ruled a double-countout (8:03) **. They continue to brawl after the match then finally stop as they are both now eliminated from the tournament.
Thoughts: The match was okay but it was mostly restholds. Orndorff, who still wrestled aggressively even as a face, was a bit more so than usual here but his heel turn didnt start until several months after this bout. JYD now has a bye and goes right to the finals.
WWF Championship Match
Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Piper attacks Hogan before the bell and tosses him outside. Hogan then drags Piper out as they brawl on the floor. Hogan tosses him over the steel rail before bringing him back into the ring. They trade eye rakes as Piper works on Hogan in the corner. Hogan comes back with a clothesline then fires away. He hits a back suplex and a slam before hitting a pair of elbow drops. He punches at Piper in the corner and as the ref steps between them, Piper hits Hogan then takes control of the match. Hogan is able to catch Piper in a bearhug but it is broken up with an eye poke. Piper gets a nearfall then places Hogan in the sleeper. Hogan just raises his arm before the three count then he takes Piper through the ropes with him. They have a stare down as Piper retreats when Hogan no-sells his punch. In the ring, Hogan hits an atomic drop but after that , Piper uses Hogan’s momentum to shove him into the referee. Piper goes outside and grabs a chair and whacks Hogan in the back. Hogan then stops a shot to the throat and they struggle over possession of the chair. Hogan then locks Piper in a sleeper as Orton runs in and decks Hogan with the cast. They double-team Hogan until Orndorff runs out and they take off (7:15) **3/4.
Thoughts: Fun match that could have been even better if it went longer. The post match stuff means that they are continuing with the feud between these four men.
Dynamite Kid vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
They brush each other off and show off their speed as Savage ducks outside due to frustration. They lockup and go all over the ring until Savage cheap shots Dynamite, who fights back. He hits a shoulder block at rapid speed that has the fans applaud loudly. He hits a backdrop then gets a nearfall with a crossbody. Savage blocks a sunset flip with a sitout splash then ducks a crossbody block. Both men collide at full speed and are on the mat. The camera shows a concerned Elizabeth as Savage heads up top. Dynamite cuts him off with a dropkick then hits a superplex but Savage turns it into a cradle and gets the win (4:50) **1/2.
Thoughts: Both guys went a million miles an hour in this short bout. This could have been a classic if it got more time. Still, it was incredibly fun.
Howard Finkel introduces the Rolls Royce contest but before that, he brings of Jack Tunney and Basil DeVito speak briefly about all of the entries that they received. Hayes then introduces the winner, Michael Hambly from Batavia, IL. This segment was useless.
Mean Gene is with Orndorff & Hogan in the locker room as they challenge Piper & Orton to a match at the next “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Junkyard Dog
Savage stalls outside and throws a chair at JYD, who proceeds to catch it then motion for Savage to step inside. JYD shoves away Savage a few times before hitting an atomic drop. He puts Savage in a bearhug until it is broken up with an eye rake. JYD hits Savage with a few forearms and headbutts to the back. Savage gets caught in the ropes as the ref steps between JYD. Savage comes back with a clothesline at a charging JYD then covers and gets two. He knocks JYD outside and hits the double axe handle from the top rope then does it again before choking him out against the guardrail. In the ring, Savage tries another flying axe handle but JYD catches him with a shot to the mid-section. He hits Savage with several headbutts. Savage charges and JYD sends him to the floor with a backdrop and Savage gets counted out as JYD wins the match and the tournament (9:42) **1/4. After the match, Jesse leaves the booth and confronts JYD, stating he is protesting the decision as JYD got a bye in the semi-finals, before leaving.
Thoughts: Another awful finish. The match was fine, as Savage did 90% of the work JYD was blown up two minutes into this match. I guess they thought they could protect Savage with this lost and send the fans home happy with JYD as the winner but they seemed burned out at the end of this long show.
Final Thoughts: There was some good matches here but the show dragged at points and some of these finishes were just plain terrible. Savage was the star of the night though and you can make an argument that he should have won but at the end, it didnt really mean anything either way as the tournament was a stand-alone event and did not factor into then storylines. I would seek out a few matches in this tournament but for the entire show itself, it was too long and I would pass. Also, I believed this show did not do well at all in terms of a buyrate.
Scott, I found this on youtube. It is one of biggest and best angles in memphis. It has Jeff Jarrett debut as a ref. I never watched it until today but always heard about this show. This was my favorite wrestling show i have ever watched. My favorite was the triple title change episode of UWF, but Memphis was always awesome. This one is of course legendary for the angle with Jarrett.
Watching the 85 Wrestling Classic, and I was struck by Adrian Adonis. I guess I always knew him as the fem-Adrian gimmick. But early in 85, he was in great shape, but by time the Wrestling Classic comes along in November he looks like he's been training with Playboy Buddy Rose. Was this just him getting lazy, or did he get an injury?
Secondly, with the early SNME's, were they just house shows that got filmed, or were they a part of the marathon tapings they used to do?
How is it that ESPN Classic can show reruns of AWA without having to pay WWE any money? I understand that it aired on their network, but if you use that theory the TNT and TBS can show reruns of Nitro and Thunder without Vince's permission?
Why hasn't ESPN Classic shown WCCW?
http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2011/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-awa-championship-wrestling-on-espn-classic-08-17-11/ I’m drawn to this show like a car wreck. It’s like when you’re walking down the street and see people beating up a ginger kid, and you’re like “Man, I should help that poor freak” but then you stop and take a video for Youtube instead because it’s hilarious. But you feel bad about it afterwards. Like that.
The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic
Taped from somewhere in Minnesota, I think. The ring announce is Donna Gagne, so that’s what you’re getting into here.
Your hosts are Lee Marshall and Eric Bischoff
This looks to be early 1990, judging by the cast of characters.
DJ Peterson v. Jimmy Magnum
Peterson was a guy who had the look and a pretty good skillset, but ended up being yet another casualty after a motorcycle accident. At least it wasn’t drugs that killed him. DJ with a takedown and he works the leg with a grapevine, but Magnum makes the ropes. Magnum gets his sad jobber offense with a slam, but misses a ridiculous elbowdrop, and Peterson finishes with a sloppy flying clothesline and Scorpion deathlock at 2:53. Kind of funny hearing Marshall yell “Ring the bell, ring the bell!” while Peterson was using that particular hold.
Tommy Jammer v. Tom “Rocky” Stone
Jammer, as all the kids know, is the master of the abdominal stretch. Stone tries to attack him, but Jammer pulls him off the ropes and starts working on the leg. Jammer was a very green kid who looked like a bodybuilder and was supposed to be the teen heartthrob in the absence of, well, everyone else. Was there even anyone under 35 left in the promotion at this point? Jammer rams Stone into the turnbuckles a few times, and finishes with the ABDOMINAL STRETCH OF DEATH at 2:42. Jammer, and I shit you not, is sucking wind after this squash. He kicked around the indies for another couple of years and then thankfully retired.
Yukon John Nord v. The Annihilator
Nord is of course Nord the Barbarian in his pre-Berzerker days, and Annihilator looks like a very young Ahmed Johnson. It wouldn’t be him because he didn’t debut until about three years after this, but the resemblance is uncanny. Nord throws boots and Annihilator no-sells a lot of it, but misses a charge, and that allows Nord to finish with a flying legdrop at 2:17.
The Texas Hangmen v. Tony Leoni & The Cobra
The Hangmen are going by Killer and Psycho. The Hangmen double-team Leoni (who appears to be 80 years old) and hit a double bulldog, which gets two for Killer. The Cobra manages to get a tag and gets nowhere before Psycho hits him with a cheapshot and then comes in with a neckbreaker. DDT gets two. Psycho has an elbowpad, so I’m assuming that’s Mark Canterbury. Demolition Decapitation finishes at 3:22. They could not have been more obvious about ripping off Demolition unless they were managed by “Mr. Fugee” or something.
As a bonus, we take a look at the first meeting of Larry Zbyszko and Nikita Koloff, leading up to our main event tonight. I thought they would show clips, but no, they end up showing an entire 10 minute TV match between them. Larry hits Nikita with the belt to draw a DQ here.
Larry Zbyszko v. Nikita Koloff, 2/3 Falls
Sadly, this is non-title. Koloff pounds away in the corner and hiptosses Larry before tossing him out of the ring, and they brawl outside. Koloff runs him into the shower curtain that keeps fans from rushing into the ring, but Larry comes back and chokes him out with a TV cable. Back in, Larry with more of his patented choking and they slug it out. The announcers spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the referee, who is apparently a former football player. Note to idiot announcers: No one gives a shit about the referee. Koloff pounds away in the corner and gets two, then drops an elbow for two. Larry rolls him up with a handful of tights at 4:09 to win the first fall, however.
Second fall and Koloff runs Larry into the corner and puts him down with a shoulderblock, but Larry takes him down in the corner and gets two. Finally, after 30 seconds with his feet on the ropes, the idiot ref notices that Larry is cheating and breaks it up. Oh lord. Larry with a backbreaker for two, and he goes to the chinlock. Vintage Larry Z! That goes on so long that I have a chance to go read the new Observer while I wait for Koloff to escape. It lasts more than a minute, no joke. Koloff escapes with a backslide for the second fall at 9:10, continuing the cheap finish motif for this match.
Third fall and now the announcers are discussing the career of Zbyszko’s “grandfather” Stanislaus. Did Larry even use that as part of his gimmick? Larry pounds away in the corner, but Koloff shoves him off and finishes with the Sickle at 10:48. A competent but really boring main event, as clearly neither guy gave a shit at this point. They’d both bail for WCW when the AWA folded later that year. **1/4
Yikes. This wasn’t even the kind of bad that was fun to mock. This was a company clearly circling the drain, using the World champion’s wife as the ring announcer.