3/17 AWA ON ESPN CLASSICS REPORT
By Doug Maynard on 3/18/2008 1:31 PM
AWA Championship Wrestling
on ESPN Classics
March 17, 2008
Whassup' all! I'm Doug and I'm back again with another big week of AWA Championship Wrestling action, brought to us by the fine folks at ESPN Classics. The weekend is over, but the party continues. It's Monday night (Tuesday morning actually) and the luck of the Irish be with ye'! Happy (belated) St. Patricks Day. And for all of the readers and fans down in Mexico, Happy (belated) Benito Juarez Day!
As always, the great mat action of AWA Past comes from the famous Showboat Sports Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. The men who are calling the action are Former Multi-Time Champion Verne Gagne and Lord James Blears. And Larry "Mr. Graybeard" Nelson is the man who needs to sample "Just For Men" and who also holds the mic while the superstars speak their mind.
I think I just spotted a leprechaun running across the living room. Hey Shamrock-Breath, watch out for the.... Ugh! Yuck! Watch out for the cat! Oops! Well, let's hope the little wee green fellow has Nine Lives because that's what he just ended up as.... chunky cat food! Damn cat! At least now I know what happened to the Easter Bunny last year. *Sighs*
But enough of the chit chat. You're not here to hear about the decimation of holiday patrons... you're here for bone-crushing, back-breaking, kick-ass, professional wrestling. And I aim to deliver. It's the AWA! It's 1986! It's pro-wrestling at it's best. Let's do this...
This show was taped on March 26, 1986...
"Playboy" Buddy Rose (with Sherri Martel) vs. Jesse Hernandez
Larry Nelson does the introductions, but according to Buddy Rose, he's not 255lbs as Nelson indicates. He's a slim and trim 217lbs. I don't think anyone is buying it. Sherri helps remove Rose's robe and brushes his hair before the match begins. Rose decides to show the world how "in shape" he is by doing several one-armed push-ups. I'm impressed. Lots of stalling to start as Rose is more concerned about showing off for Sherri and the fans than wrestling his opponent.
Finally, Rose makes a move by slapping Hernandez across the face. And Jesse, he makes the big counter by messing up Rose's hair. How awful! Rose acts as if he's been shot and quickly goes to the floor and Sherri Martel for a quick brushing. Gotta make sure the hair stays in place. Funny stuff.
We see a caption for Referee Scott LeDeoux - he's the only man to box 8 World Champions.
Rose finally gets to action with a kick and by choking Hernandez on the ropes. Jesse fights back with some punches and Rose flees to the floor once more so Sherri Martel can brush his hair and give him some moral support and advice. Rose locks up the arm of Hernandez. Jesse tries to flip Rose loose, but Rose hangs on and continues to work on the arm. Knees by Rose and some big chops followed by a neckbreaker. A big DDT by Rose and the match is over as Buddy covers and gets the pin.
Winner: "Playboy" Buddy Rose (with Sherri Martel)
Larry Nelson is with the mic and talking to Buddy Rose and Sherri Martel. They're joined by their partner, "Pretty Boy" Doug Somers. Rose calls his DDT maneuver "Hit The Jackpot" because it's just like pulling the lever on a slot machine and always leads to winning so all the money will come to him when he hits the move.
As for his weight, Rose claims he only weighs 217 lbs. Rose starts doing the one-armed push-ups and wants to know if Nelson can do that. Or if the fans can do it? Nelson admits he can't, but makes excuses that he's not a professional athlete. Rose puts over Sherri Martel and how intelligent, gorgeous, beautiful, etc, that she is. Sherri says that Buddy deserves a belt and she deserves a belt. Sherri vows that (AWA Women's Champion) Candi Divine will go down. Larry Nelson mentions that they're out of time and notes that Doug Somers never got to speak. Rose chimes in that they (Rose & Somers) want the Midnight Rockers next week.
We see a caption: Up Next: As Wild As They Come...
Col. DeBeers vs. Bill Anderson
Verne Gagne points out that Herb Mills, of the legendary Mills Brothers is in the audience and is a big wrestling fan. And 99% of the viewing audience goes "Who?". DeBeers quickly takes Anderson down with an arm-drag and a chin lock. Fists, kicks, and stomps - Oh my! A knee and a big slam and DeBeers covers Anderson for the pin. But Anderson's foot ends up on the ropes (courtesy of being placed there by DeBeers) and the match continues.
Knees and a big slam by DeBeers and he rams Anderson's head into the corner. A kick and a big suplex. Cover for the pin. But DeBeers pulls the man up at the two-count. Anderson tries to throw some punches - his only offensive move of the match thus far, but that quickly comes to a halt as DeBeers throws some more punches and a knee to the gut. A big elbow and another cover. And again, DeBeers pulls Anderson up at the two-count. A big face-driver and DeBeers plants Anderson into the mat. Cover and pin as the match is finally over.
Winner: Col. DeBeers
Larry Nelson is with AWA World Champion Stan "The Lariat" Hansen. Nelson puts over Hansen's schedule as the AWA Champion. He has a defense coming up against Leon White, a tour of Japan scheduled and then a match at the upcoming AWA Super-Card, WrestleRock 86. Hansen tells Nelson to shut up! He talks about how he recently took on Bruno Sammartino Jr., who was a tough kid, but ain't nothing to him. He puts over Leon White, but says that Stan Hansen isn't backing down from anyone. If Bockwinkle or White or anyone else wants him, he's here and they can come on out.
Another Caption: Still To Come: In This Corner Goes Political...
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. Hans De Hass & Alex Knight
Shawn & Knight start the action as Shawn takes the advantage with a headlock and a hip-toss. Tag to Jannetty who also goes after the arm. Hass tags in and he's cocky as he struts around and talks junk to Jannetty and the referee.
Hass goes after the arm of Marty. Marty reverses and Hass claims that MJ pulled the hair. Hass hits a very sloppy hip-toss on Jannetty. Marty locks up the arm and Shawn tags in for a "Shades of Jake Roberts" knee-lift and a suplex. Hass looks like dead weight and Shawn has to struggle to get him up there and in position. Knee by Shawn and a back breaker that looked kind of stiff to me. Marty tags in and Hass quickly begs off and tags Knight in. Knight goes after the arm of Jannetty, but Marty hits some forearm shots. HBK tags in and hits a big cross-body splash off the top rope to get the pin.
Winners: Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty - The Rockers
Larry Nelson is with 3-Time Former AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkle. He talks about how Hansen likes to yell and be loud and admits that Stan is a tough guy, but Nick is tough and knows what it's like to be at the top. He was there three times over 8 1/2 years and he knows all the tricks. There is nothing that Bockwinkle wants more than to hold that title and be on top again for a 4th time.
Verne Gagne and Lord Blears plug Wrestlerock 86. They talk about how Waylon Jennings will be a part of the show and will be performing. And they say that it's Waylon's first time to appear in front of a wrestling audience. I don't know how true that is since Waylon and David Allen Coe both performed during the Great American Bash tour by Jim Crockett Promotions the year previous to this, if I remember right. I was young at the time, but I remember the commercials and promos plugging the Bash tour and they kept mentioning that Waylon and Coe would be performing mini-concerts at the shows as well. It may have been after the WrestleRock 86 event, but I don't think it was.
Anyhow, Gagne & Blears build up a match that took place at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was supposed to be Brad Rheingans versus Sheik Adnan El Kassey, but Kassey claimed he couldn't wrestle and had someone else, a masked man, take his place. We join the match in progress.
Brad Rheingans vs. The Masked Marauder
As we join the action, we see Rheingans and the Marauder go outside the ring to brawl. Sheik Adnan El Kassey gets involved and teams up with the masked man to toss Rheingans into the ring post. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Brad Rheingans
The masked man continues his assault on Rheingans and after repeatedly slamming him into the announce table at ringside, tosses him back into the ring. Several kicks to the head and the Marauder grabs a chair from the outside. Here comes my accountant, I mean Greg Gagne and he unloads on the big masked guy. Gagne takes off his boot and just starts to swinging it wildly into the face and head of the Marauder. Gagne goes after the mask. The referee gets in the way and Gagne tosses him to the floor. Gagne rips off the mask. It's King Kong Brody. Sheik Adnan comes into the ring and grabs Greg Gagne. Brody hits the big boot to the face. Brody with the piledriver on Greg Gagne.
Here comes Verne Gagne from the back. Verne is unloading some wild punches on Brody and a sleeper hold. Adnan grabs Verne from behind and gets tossed from the ring for his troubles. Verne has the chair and nails Brody four times. Brody rolls from the ring to escape the ass-kicking Senior Citizen as Verne goes to the corner to raise his arms in triumph and victory.
And we go to a commercial. After we come back, it's Larry Nelson with the introductions for the next match. It's for the AWA World Tag Team Championships.
Scott Hall & Curt Hennig (c) vs. Boris Zhukov & The Barbarian (w/ Sheik Adnan El Kassey)
Hall and The Barbarian start off and decide to do the "Macho" thing, trading shoulder-blocks from the ropes. Barbarian scores with a kick and a slam. He misses the knee. Scott throws some punches and hits a slam for a two-count. Barbarian wants to do the old "test of strength" thing. They lock hands. Barbarian is winning, but Scott comes back and monkey-flips Barbarian across the ring. Zhukov tags in and they do the double-up on Hall. Scott fights back and tags out to Hennig. Hennig throws chops and dropkicks and sends Zhukov flying to the floor. Scott & Curt celebrate in the ring as Zhukov talks to Sheik Adnan for some advice.
Zhukov climbs back into the ring and goes after the arm of Hennig. Hennig reverses and tags in and out with Hall many times over the next few minutes as they work over Zhukov and his arm. Hennig hits a cross-body splash for two. Barbarian tags in and clubs away at Hennig, ripping at the eyes. Choke by Barbarian. Hennig comes back with the dropkick. Zhukov comes back in and Hennig tags out to Hall as well. Scott pounds away at Zhukov with punches and a backdrop. Barbarian in and we see a mid-ring collision as Scott & Barbarian both attempt clotheslines. Both men are down. Hennig tags in and throws some knees at Barbarian. We hear the bell ring and everything just stops.
The wrestlers just stand around in the ring as the referee drops to the announce table to check with the announcers. It seems as if the bell was rang by accident. Verne Gagne suspects that the Sheik may have snuck around and rang the bell to save his guys. Whatever! The referee declares that the match will continue.
Barbarian rips at the eyes of Curt Hennig. Hennig with some chops and punches. Barbarian kicks Hennig in the face for a two-count. Barbarian with a standing back-breaker on Hennig. Zhukov comes off the top rope from his corner and lands a big forearm shot to the throat of Hennig. The referee is calling for the bell. The referee saw Zhukov nail Hennig in the throat as he came off the ropes and is disqualifying the Sheik's team.
Winners (by DQ): Scott Hall & Curt Hennig
This match was totally messed up from the time the bell rang accidentally until the end. What caused the DQ? Zhukov came off the ropes and nailed Hennig? So what? I guess they had to end the match because of time and the referee just called anything to stop the match. Even Gagne and Blears at ringside questioned the referee's call. But Curt and Scott got the win and kept the titles, so I guess that's all that matters. Let's go to Larry Nelson.
Nelson has Scott Hall and Curt Hennig with him. He asks Hennig how he's doing and Hennig says he's sore and his ribs hurt. He calls the Sheik's men "dangerous" and wonders where the Sheik keeps finding these monsters. Nelson brings up that Hall & Hennig will be facing The Long Riders at WrestleRock 86. Curt talks about how the Long Riders tried to put both him and Hall out of action by kicking them in the throat with their steel-toed boots. But at WrestleRock, the Long Riders have to wear regular wrestling tights and gear. And, according to Hennig, that means that they have The Long Riders right where they want them.
And the show ends here. Again, not that shabby of a show. The ending to the last match with Hall & Hennig versus Zhukov & Barbarian was confusing and messed up, but I guess those things happened from time to time. More good action and a lot of blasts from the past. It's still confusing that they don't show these programs in chronological order, but I guess we just take what they give us and be happy, right?
I'm Doug and "dat is all de' people need to know!" I'll see you tomorrow with more classic AWA goodness. Have a great day and always be a fan.