The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.22.11

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The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.22.11

– Taped from Las Vegas, NV

– Your hosts are Rod Trongard & Lord James Blears.  Kill me now.

– Back to 1986 now.

Buddy Rose & Doug Somers v. The Steel Gladiator & Jesse Hernandez

This is before Rose & Somers even won the tag titles, so it’s pretty early in 86.  Funny how even two years prior, the Showboat is much more packed than it would be in the 88 shows I’ve been covering.  Oddly, the Steel Gladiator doesn’t wear a mask, and looks more like Dutch Mantell.  Sadly his name sounds like a euphamism for a vibrator.  The Gladiator actually controls both heels with armdrags, but Somers gets the dreaded full armdrag and twist and takes over.  Backbreaker as a helpful graphic lets us know that “Sherri Mantel” is the manager.  Rose gets an abdominal stretch and they work the Gladiator over in the corner, but it’s hot tag to the other jobber!  Can we just squash these geeks and get it over with?  Hernandez has a laughable dropkick attempt before getting the beatdown in the corner, and he tags Gladiator back in again.  Somers quickly suplexes him and Rose finishes with the DDT (front head-drop according to Trongard).  Way too long for a squash.

Rose & Somers return after the break, demanding that the Rockers and Hennig & Hall stop ducking them.

Nick Bockwinkel v. Harley Davidson

And you thought Sparky Plugg was a stupid name.  Bockwinkel controls with a headlock into the wristlock, and sends him into the turnbuckles for two.  Harley fights back, but gets whipped into the corner again and backdropped.  Knees on the ropes and a piledriver finishes at 2:40.  Replay shows that piledriver was pretty snug.  Bockwinkel throws down the challenge to Stan Hansen afterwards, and of course would eventually have to settle for getting handed the title back when Hansen decided he didn’t want to do a job.

Colonel DeBeers v. Mike Richards

We’re now in a totally different arena with Verne Gagne and Larry Nelson on commentary.  Wherever it is, it’s the home of the Huskies according to the wall.  Could be Saskatoon, but it’s an NCAA school so no dice.  DeBeers pounds on the jobber in the corner as the crowd has a very loud boring chant.  Vince McMahon would NEVER let that happen on his syndicated shows at the time.  DeBeers keeps stomping away and adds a suplex for two.  Butterfly suplex  and a very sloppy fistdrop get two.  The jobber fights back, so DeBeers tosses him “right to the hard cement floor” as the camera shows him laying on the mats.  Back in,  a powerslam gets two as DeBeers keeps picking the jobber up.  Larry Nelson notes that we should be worried about the welfare of Mike Richards.  Yeah, I’m not really worried.  DeBeers ends the boredom with the pancake piledriver at 7:10.  DeBeers was a total one-note character with his racist South African deal.   Scott Hall, in his porn star moustache and cowboy boots days, saves the jobber from further beatings.

Curt Hennig & Mike Rotundo v. Larry Zbyszko & Ninja/Mr. Go

Now, they call him Ninja Go to start, but Ninja Go was Steve Olsonowski under a mask.  This is clearly a Japanese wrestler and doesn’t wear a mask, so we’ll go with Trongard and assume he’s actually named Mr. Go.  Go trades wristlocks with Rotundo on the mat, and so does Hennig, as Go hangs on the mat with two damn good technical wrestlers.  Lord James Blears, meanwhile, has the most retarded, non-sequitur filled commentary this side of Lord Alfred Hayes.  Hennig works on Go’s arm with kneedrops, but Go tags in Zbsyszko and it’s STALL TIME.  Larry attacks and gets whipped into the corner by Rotundo, and heads out of the ring for his dreaded SEVEN MINUTE STALL OF DOOM.  He insults the commentators!  He insults the fans!  He does laps of the ring!  He insults the ref!  Finally he opts for tagging Go back in, and then changes his mind as Blears lays down the nationalities of everyone in the AWA (“Is Mike Rotundo Italian?  He might be.”)  The babyfaces double-team Larry Z in the corner to a good reaction, and of course after 30 seconds of action he bails and insults everyone in the front row a second time.  Finally he heads back in and Hennig gets a sunset flip for two, and Zbyszko has yet another conversation with the ref over it.  Finally he hits Hennig with a spinkick to put him on the floor, and tags Ninja Go back in.  It’s BONZO GONZO and the ref gets clobbered for the double-DQ at 11:30.  This just never got going, thanks to Zbyszko stalling and bitching every time he got into the ring.  **  I was intrigued by Mr. Go, however, and would have liked to see more.

Not a particularly interesting show this time around.