The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.24.11

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.24.11

Back to 1986 this time.

Your hosts are Rod Trongard and Lord James Blears.

Nord the Barbarian v. Bobby Bold Eagle

Nord chops the jobber and adds the big boot, then tosses him and sends him into the post.   Kneedrop back in the ring, and the piledriver looks to finish, but Nord picks him up.  Middle rope legdrop finishes for reals at 2:00.  I wonder if John Nord’s career would have gone better have Verne not tried to turn him into Bruiser Brody.

Sheik Adnan throws out the challenge to all the babyfaces who would DARE wrestle Nord the Barbarian.  Nord actually cuts a normal heel promo here, saying he injures people for gold, women and money.

Larry Zbyszko v. Alan West

West kind of looks like a bigger Brian Pillman and was apparently a fairly successful college football player according to Trongard.  Wonder why he never made it?  Even the announcers riff on how they’ve probably got 10 minutes before Larry actually starts wrestling.  And sure enough, Larry starts making the rounds at ringside and insulting fans and cameramen and referees.  Literally no contact is made until 2:30.  Larry gets a pair of hiptosses, but West comes back with a slam and you KNOW Larry is going to stall now.  And indeed, out he goes.  I wonder if he complains about people wasting time when he’s on the golf course now?  West grabs onto a headlock and powers Larry down, then gets a sunset flip for two.  Back to the headlock, but Larry rolls him over for two.  They do that for a bit as James Blears gives a bizarre speech about how kids watching should endure injuries and setbacks if they want to get into wrestling.  That’s why guys end up dying from booze and painkillers – because they DO “tough it out” when their neck hurts and don’t just give it up and find something they’re better at.  This scummy pseudo-sport is not worth dying over.  West misses a dropkick and Larry grabs the tights for the pin at 10:00.  REALLY?  Ten minutes for that shitty finish?  *

Ali Khan & Boris Zhukov v. Bill Anderson & Jesse Hernandez

Khan is the rare Afghanistani heel, and he pounds on Anderson, and Zhukov comes in for a backdrop.  He headbutts Anderson in the back and Khan comes in with a kneelift and bearhug, and it’s over to Hernandez.  He quickly falls victim to a flying knee from Zhukov and body vice from Khan to finish at 2:43.

AWA World tag titles:  Buddy Rose & Doug Somers v. The Midnight Rockers

WHOA!  Where did this come from?  This would be one of, if not the first, meetings between these teams.  Rose and Michaels have a spit-off to start, and Rose charges right into a sunset flip for two.  Shawn wins a slugfest and pops up with a victory roll out of nowhere for two, and both teams retreat to their corners and plot things.  Shawn superkicks Rose for two and he bails, drawing Shawn out as well.  This allows Somers to run Michaels into the post and HOLY FUCK THIS IS THE BLOODBATH MATCH!  YES!  Back in and Shawn begins losing plasma on the mat, as Somers bites on the cut and Shawn is just awesome selling the blood loss and getting the shit kicked out of him.  Rose pounds on the cut, and then we get a great pro wrestling moment, as Somers holds Shawn by the hair, taunting Marty with how close he is to a tag, and then rams an elbow into Shawn’s face to put him down again while LAUGHING about it. Shawn fights back out of the heel corner, but he gets backdropped for two.  Shawn fights up again and slugs Somers down, but JUST can’t make it to the corner.  This is a young man who knew his craft well.  Rose tosses Shawn again so he can freshen up the juice, and he barely beats the count back in.  Shawn tries one more comeback, but Somers cuts him off.  Shawn makes an amazing babyface comeback at this point, putting him down with wild swings, and they slug it out from their knees.  And finally, HOT TAG Marty.  You have not heard a place come unglued like this.  Even I was ready to jump up and cheer, that’s how effective Shawn was.

Somers eats the ringpost and yeah, he’s bleeding now.  Marty goes after Sherri, however, and Rose hits him from behind for our next heat segment.  Rose sends Marty into the corner to take over and now Marty is wearing the crimson mask.  And he’s not fucking around with it, as he looks like he tapped an artery.  Somers hits him with a standing dropkick for two.  Marty keeps fighting back and falling down due to blood loss, and that’s why this is great compared to ECW bloodbaths:  They show CONSEQUENCES for the blood.  Marty’s white tights are now stained red, which is an automatic addition of one star.  Marty goes flying back off a punch and tags Shawn again, and he’s also out for blood.  So to speak.  He slugs away on Rose in the corner, and you know that’s gonna draw blood.  It’s BONZO GONZO and the ref gets wiped out, allowing Rose to drop Marty on a chair outside, and the brawl is on until they finally throw it out at 16:17.  That was a finish away from being a perfect match.  A million billion stars!  OK, actually ****1/2.  I don’t know if this one is on a DVD, but it fucking SHOULD BE.

Correction:  There’s spatters of Shawn’s blood on the CAMERA LENS, so I’m upgrading it to ****3/4.    Fair is fair.

This is why I sit through all these crappy AWA shows.  Because you just never know.


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