Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA WrestleRock ’86

Live from the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN

Airdate: April 20, 1986

Attendance:  23,000

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Rod Trongard, & Ken Resnick

Can the Road Warriors get revenge against the Freebirds? Will Bockwinkel regain the World title? How will Snuka and Greg fare against Brody and Barbarian? What’s going on with the Midnight Rockers? Let’s dig in and find out!

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – July 1, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth, and they are taped from Rochester, New York.

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Manami Toyota & Mike Quackenbush vs. Cesaro & Sara Del Rey (and other Dream Matches!)

Mike Quackenbush 25th Anniversary: w/ Manami Toyota vs. Cesaro & Sara Del Rey - YouTube

We live in a world where Manami Toyota gave Cesaro the rolling cradle. Life is so weird.

Welcome back to another Dream Matches column! This time, I have a wild CHIKARA match- MANAMI TOYOTA vs. CESARO!! With Mike Quackenbush and Sara Del Rey as their partners! I’ve had my eyes on for a while but was avoiding because of the length, but it turns out it’s really goddamn awesome!

And we follow that up with a very “Before They Were Stars” showdown, as John Cena as the super-lean, roided to the gills “Prototype” takes on WCW reject Chase Tatum, who has to lead the match! Back to All Japan, as John Tenta’s “oddly-skinny rookie run” has him teaming with Yoshiaki Yatsu against… Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka!?! Then we cap it off with some WCW Saturday Night goodness, as Barry Darsow & John Nord take on Disorderly Conduct.

LUCHA RULES (leaving the ring counts as a tag):
MIKE QUACKENBUSH & MANAMI TOYOTA vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI & SARA DEL REY:
(CHIKARA, 19.09.2010)
* Okay, now THIS is an interest mix of characters- friggin’ CESARO vs. TOYOTA?!? I’m there, dude. This is CHIKARA owner Mike Quackenbush teaming up with Manami again, but in a tag team match, and their opponents are the future Cesaro as an indie darling under his real name- long, lean and already bald, in white trunks. His partner is Sara Del Rey, who… okay I don’t know jack shit about modern women’s wrestling, but I’ve heard she’s respected. She was big in Shimmer, a women’s promotion that I always found to have a very clutzy-looking style of wrestling (but I’m a puro snob when it comes to women’s stuff, and ’90s AJW casts a WIDE shadow over low-budget American indies). She also went to ROH, CHIKARA and has been a WWE trainer since 2012.

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Dwayne Johnson’s TV Debut, Tugboat vs. Roadblock (and other Dream Matches)

Just a picture of Flex Kavana, anyone knows does he still wrestles, I remember seeing him USWA back in 90s. : SquaredCircle

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! Now, if you’re anything like me, every once in a while you wake up and go “I really want to watch a dozen Roadblock matches”, but I wasn’t sure about doing a “Best of Roadblock” column or just spreading the joy throughout multiple columns. But watching him fight Tugboat in 1991 just needs some focus on its own, you know?

Also, this week we’ll see the TV debut of some tall guy named Dwayne Johnson as “Flex Kavana”, as he teams up with Brian Christopher against Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee in the Memphis territory, while Dwayne prepares for his WWF callup in one of the few old territories left. Also, it’s a Berzerker frenzy, as John Nord squashes both Shawn Michaels and Jim Powers in different decades! Who knows if either of those pretty boys will recover their careers?

Also, come watch Blitzkrieg fight Super Calo! With NO BOTCHING! Swear to God! Except once. Where Blitzkrieg nearly dies. But other than that it was clean!

USWA TAG TEAM TITLES:
FLEX KAVANA & “TOO SEXY” BRIAN CHRISTOPHER vs. “THE KING” JERRY LAWLER & BILL DUNDEE:
(USWA, mid-1996)
* So yes, this is the first EVER televised match for one Dwayne Johnson, as he appears in his USWA incarnation, with barely any training under his belt (he graduated college only the year before), as “Flex Kavana” (a nickname 411/Inside Pulse’s Eric S would always use to make fun of him). And he’s teaming with “Too Sexy” against the old men of the territory, Jerry & Bill, at a combined age of 970, with Bill in yellow tights and Jerry in his blue one-strap. Flex is in black trunks, Brian in white tiger-striped tights. Flex, with the same heelish tint in his voice that the Rock would later use, declares his team “Naughty by nature and violent by design”. There’s barely anyone at all in this embarrassingly-tiny red TV studio as the USWA promotion dies and dies. Lawler is actually a heel at this point.

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