Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA Battle By The Bay

Live from Oakland, CA

Airdate: June 28, 1986

Attendance: 1,500

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Rod Trongard, Lord James Blears, & Greg Gagne

Can Blackwell achieve greatness by defeating Hansen? Will Devine retain against Sherri? What will Bockwinkel do against Nord the Barbarian? How will the Midnight Rockers and Hennig fare in the main event? Let’s uncover the mystery right now!

Read more

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!

Read more

The Legion of Doom vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (and other Dream Matches!)

WWE's Top 10 Most Controversial Storylines - Page 4

The LOD vs. the RnRs! And not in FirePro! But don’t get too excited, because it’s short!

It’s time for another Dream Matches column! I was really surprised by how much of a reaction my 1995 KOTR one got, so I’ll have a 1996 version next week. This one features the one-time-only tag team match between the Road Warriors and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express… except it’s given 4 minutes on a WWF D-Show and the Express are heels! Life is weird.

Also up is a DOUBLE-SHOT of Ahmed Johnson vs. Al Snow, as Ahmed takes on Shinobi in an infamous squash match, and then the next year faces the New Rockers’ “Leif Cassidy”. Then we get the Bruiser Brody Memorial Show weirdo match of Abdullah the Butcher & Jimmy Snuka against Stan Hansen & Tom Zenk of all people. And we end it with a WCW Lucha Libre show match starring Psychosis, Felino & El Mosco vs. Blitzkrieg, Venum & Super Calo!

THE LEGION OF DOOM vs. THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPRESS (w/ Jim Cornette, Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham):
(WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, Jan. 24th, 1998)
* Yes, this is apparently the one and only time the friggin’ Road Warriors & R’n’Rs EVER FOUGHT, despite the vast amount of years both teams had been around, often in the same company. This seems impossible given how today’s wrestling is, but back then, I guess they just never wanted to run it. On this very blog, someone suggested it and Scott pointed out the Roadies weren’t gonna lose and the Express was better off getting the rub for teams who could play ball with them: https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2020/05/19/road-warriors-vs-rnr/. All there ever was was a 4-way match I guess. So instead we get a four-minute bullshit match on a WWF D-show, and this is the only time these two legendary squads ever faced each other in a tag match… with Jim Cornette backing up the HEEL RnRs, who are advertised as the NWA Tag Team Champions. Life is weird.

The Express are in red tights with white tassels (coming down to the ROCKERS’ theme music of all things) while the LOD are sorta in their “LOD 2000” gear, with grey shoulderpads- an unusual look for the WWF. The Express are 40 and 42, yet both look nearly fifty- they did NOT age well.

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA on ESPN 03-11-1986

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: March 11, 1986

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Ken Resnick, & Greg Gagne

Will David Sammartino win the AWA World title? How will Michaels fare against the nefarious Somers? Who’s this Colorado rookie up against the returning yet dastardly Zbyszko? What’s that, Al?

Read more

What the World Was Watching: The Wrestling Summit (Special Column)

As noted in prior columns, this show was a joint effort by the WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling.  The WWF was looking to expand its global presence while New Japan and All Japan felt threatened by Akira Maeda’s shoot-like Universal Wrestling Federation, which drew a 50,000 person crowd to the Tokyo Dome for a big show in November 1989.  To counter them, New Japan and All Japan worked together on a supershow at the Tokyo Dome on February 10.  Then, they built on that effort by partnering with the WWF for another big card in Tokyo on April 13 that was named The Wrestling Summit.  According tothehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 53,742.

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA Night of Champions 2

Live from East Rutherford, NJ

Airdate: December 29, 1985

Attendance: 12,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone

Can Martel retain the AWA title? Will Rhodes finally defeat Flair for the NWA strap? Can Magnum retain against Blanchard? What will the Soviets do to the Road Warriors? Will Slaughter survive against two Soviets? Let’s jam!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA on ESPN 12-10-1985

Taped from Atlantic, City, NJ

Airdate: December 10, 1985 (taped 11/04)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Dick McLeod, & Verne Gagne

Can Hansen, um, wrestle the World title from Martel? What does Bockwinkel say about Zbyszko’s actions from last week? Also, Garvin, Regal, and Precious are here! Let’s party!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA 10-22-1985

Taped from Atlantic, City, NJ

Airdate: October 22, 1985 (taped 10/16)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Doug McLeod, & Nick Bockwinkel

Can Curt defeat Garvin, or will Garvin’s entourage play a part in Curt’s demise? Also, the Freebirds return. Hansen will wrestle, but will his opponent survive? In addition, I included a BONUS MATCH. Let’s carve into and see what’s inside this week’s episode.

Read more

Yokozuna vs. Kamala (and other Dream Matches!)

Kamala, The Ugandan Giant: 6 Things To Know About The Late Professional Wrestler - CINEMABLEND

As a lover of “Big Fat Guys Running Into Each Other” spots, this screencap makes me so, SO happy.

Time for more Dream Matches! And if you’re a Kamala fan, boy have I got the column for you! Watch a newly-babyface Kamala trotted out as a sacrifice for a bigger, fatter Yokozuna! And then him teaming up with the mostly-forgotten “Kimala II” in All Japan of all places, teaming with Abdullah the Butcher to take on Stan Hansen, Joel Deaton & Mike Golden! Plus Bad News Brown vs. Koko B. Ware!

And also, a very special random match from RINGS of all places, as the Japanese fake-shoot fed gives us two of their top stars- Volk Han & Dick Vrij in one of those weirdly inexplicably-scored matches (but don’t worry- the counts are only there to lead to the come from behind finishes!).

YOKOZUNA (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. KAMALA:

(WWF RAW, May 1993)
* Hell yes- someone recommended this to me, and it’s perfect. Another FAT MAN STAND-OFF, as Yokozuna takes on the newly-babyface Kamala, with no Slick at ringside, so you know his ass is being jobbed out. Heenan writes off Kamala’s chances because Yoko has never been slammed, while Savage votes for “the definite underdog” on account of Razor Ramon’s recent loss to the 1-2-3 Kid meaning everything’s up for grabs. Yoko is about ready to fight Hogan for the WWF Title at King of the Ring, so that pretty well tells you the finish right away.

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA 10-08-1985

Taped from Atlantic City, NJ

Airdate: October 8, 1985 (taped 9/26)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Doug McLeod, & Verne Gagne

Can Slaughter retain the Americas title against the crafty Bockwinkel? Will Zhukov be involved? There’s chaos on the Christmas show. What happened? Speaking of chaos, what nightmares will Hansen deliver? Let’s dig right in…

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA Super Clash ’85

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: September 28, 1985

Attendance: 20,347

Hosted by Larry Nelson

Can Magnum defeat Flair for the NWA World title? Will Martel retain the AWA World title against Hansen? How will the Road Warriors fare in their hometown? Does Slaughter stand up for America against Zhukov? Let’s sink our teeth into this delicious supershow!

Read more

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 28, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are still in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A replay of the Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Pez Whatley match that aired on Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

Read more

Bret vs. Misawa, Savage vs. Tenryu & Hogan vs. Hansen (and other Dream Matches!)

 

ENV0YdPui94CbGoaZs40CSfKUABP3A5x4As7gK5clhs.jpg

Hogan & Hansen: Main Event in the making!

WWF/AJPW/NJPW WRESTLING SUMMIT:
(Tokyo Dome, April 13th, 1990)

* This is a pretty wild and wacky card, full of the kind of “Dream Matches” you’ll never see again- I’m really shocked it’s not more famous. I mean, it’s a triple-show with All Japan, New Japan, AND the WWF all at once! In the Tokyo Dome! Apparently highlights were aired on Japanese TV, but complexities with the rights led to the full event never being shown in its entirety (which might be why it’s so obscure). The biggest matches are Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen, Macho Man vs. Genichiro Tenryu, and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase. The WON awards declared this the “Best Major Wrestling Show” of 1990!

“TL;DR” Version: So come see Bret Hart vs. Mitsuharu Misawa in the most disappointing Dream Match of all time! Hogan with his “Japan working boots” (where he’s more “Unstoppable Monster” than the Technically-Gifted Powerhouse I was led to believe he was) on against Stan Hansen in one of his greatest matches ever! Macho King & Queen Sherri doing their schtick against a stoic top-tier Japanese legend in a befuddled Tenryu! Grumpy ol’ Jumbo Tsuruta dealing with hard-working heels in Martel & Perfect!

The show had two dark matches- Dan Kroffat, Doug Furnas & Joe Malenko beat Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitahara & Toshiaki Kawada in (11:56), and Jushin Liger beat Akira Nogami in (8:37). An extremely shaky fancam of the latter exists- it’s mostly hold-trading. They trade corner moves and Liger hits a surfboard and a rock-the-cradle. They trade flash-pins and Nogami hits a very good plancha and German Suplex for two, but Liger dropkicks him coming off the top and hits a Tope Con Hilo to the floor! He misses a roundhouse kick but gets a powerslam and finishes with a Moonsault Press. Looks **1/2-ish but holy god am I not gonna go move-for-move with such a shaky vid.

Read more

Bridge of Dreams- Tokyo Dome Supershow (Part 2)

WEEKLY PRO WRESTLING “BRIDGE OF DREAMS”:

* Welcome to Part Two! This is the part of the massive interpromotional show that sees Michinoku-Pro and All Japan put on their best stuff in 6-Man Tags, and then New Japan putting on… that match. The story goes that they were gonna put on a throwaway bout until everyone else brought their A-game matches, so they had to scramble and put their top stars in a bout to be a proper “Main Event”. But… oof. They also hit the YouTube video with an immediate copywrite claim over the Main Event, so it’s missing from the show above, but I managed to finagle an MP4.

See Part One here!

“TL;DR- What’s the Deal?”: 4-5 all-time classic matches, the women showing up nearly everybody, worked shoots, bloodbaths, spotfests, comedy- something for everybody. Two more ****+ matches to go!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on AWA WrestleRock ’86

 

Live from Minneapolis, MN

Airdate: April 20, 1986

Attendance:  22,000

Hosted by Rod Trongard & Larry Nelson

Three cage matches along with the Midnight Rockers, Sergeant Slaughter, Jimmy Snuka, Road Warriors, Freebirds, and more fill out this star-studded supershow. Read on!

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Battle of the Belts I

Live from Tampa, FL

Airdate: September 2, 1985

Attendance:  7,600

Hosted by Gordon Solie and Mike Graham

Similar to the WWF with WrestleMania, WCCW with the Parade of Champions, AWA with Superclash, and JCP with Starrcade, Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF) created Battle of the Belts as their supershow to showcase the best wrestlers of the Sunshine State.

Read more