The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.25.11

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic – 08.25.11

– Over to 1988, during the big crossover time with WCCW and Memphis.

– Your hosts are Lee Marshall & Frank Dusek.

The Top Guns v. Terry Adonis & The Beast

They’re not even being SUBTLE about things with the Guns now, as they are now being dressed and styled to look exactly like the Rockers.  Jon Paul works on Beast to start and Rice comes in and flips around like Shawn Michaels used to.  Just to show you the bizarre stuff going on at this point in the AWA, this is an AWA tag team facing a WCCW tag team in a Memphis ring.  Adonis comes in and gets hiptossed by Paul, and Rice works the headlock.  Marshall and Ducek are doing the super-hard sell for SuperClash III, so this is pretty late in 88.  Double dropkick finishes at 3:48, just so they can rip off the Rock N Roll Express as well.  Jon Paul would get replaced with Derrick Dukes before they got to the PPV, sadly disrupting their Rocker rip-off look.

Ron Garvin v. Scott Steiner

Whoa!  Steiner was a green rookie in Memphis at this point, so don’t get too excited, but still, SWEET.  Garvin has Greg Gagne’s vanity belt at this point.  Steiner gets a slam to start, but Garvin smacks him down and gives him the GARVIN STOMP.  Steiner bails to the apron and Garvin beats on him out there, but Steiner goes up to escape.  He whiffs on a crossbody, and HANDS OF STONE finishes at 1:40.  That would be the last time you ever, EVER see Scott Steiner getting squashed like that.  I know hindsight is 20/20 and all, but they could have had SCOTT FUCKING STEINER locked up at this point, and they put them out there and squashed him.

Baron Von Raschke v. Kevin Collins

Back to Las Vegas now with the empty Showboat and idiot Trongard on commentary.  Baron wrestles Collins down and no-sells the jobber offense, then adds a knee to the gut.  They exchange clubbing forearms and Collins gets a slam for two, but Baron finishes with the claw at 3:01.

And after that completely pointless excursion to Vegas, we’re back to the Memphis tapings again.

Kerry Von Erich v. Gary Young

There’s some very liberal use of copyrighted hair metal for entrance themes here.  I’m pretty sure Verne wasn’t paying ASCAP for any of these.  Young attacks Kerry to start and clubs him down for two.  They slug it out in the corner and that ends with a discus punch by Kerry.  Young tries a crossbody out of the corner and Von Erich rolls through for the pin at 1:30.  Gary Young was a pretty big star at this point, kind of surprising that they’d beat him like that.

Our Mat Classic this week:  Ron Garvin beats Greg Gagne for the TV title.  That’s kind of stretching the “mat classic” term, given that it only happened a month before this show.  And it’s the greatest commentary team of all-time, Lee Marshall and David McLane, calling it.  Garvin fakes a knee injury, and then KO’s Gagne to win the title while Greg is arguing with the ref.

The Magnificent Mimi & Wendi Richter v. Madusa Micelli & Sylvia

Richter rolls up Madusa for two start and goes to a bodyscissors, working on that for a bit while David McLane promotes POWW.  Madusa powers out and Richter brings Mimi in as Lee Marshall creams in his pants over Mimi.  Really weird deal as they were pushing Madusa v. Richter for the PPV, and Marshall is going on and ON about how Mimi is the #1 contender.  Mimi gets a flying headscissors and works on the arm, but Madusa takes her back to the heel corner.  Madusa pounds away in the corner, strangely totally ignoring her partner, and it’s BONZO GONZO as they all fuck up a collision spot and then thankfully move on.  Madusa beats on Richter and gets a suplex for two, then steps on her head while arguing with the ref.  Richter ties up Madusa in the corner, and then hangs her in the Tree of Woe and stomps away, and it’s once again BONZO GONZO.  That quickly turns into a heel advantage again as this thing has absolutely no flow to it and we’re back to Madusa getting the heat on Richter.  Backdrop suplex gets two and they wrestle around on the mat as the bell rings at 7:30.  No decision is ever announced.  I’m pretty sure it’s not a draw because the timekeeper’s call was at 5:00 the same time as mine was.  What a weird, awful match.  -*  Madusa never even tagged in her partner or made a move towards doing so, basically working the entire match alone.

Robert Fuller, Jimmy Golden & Tommy Rich v. Jimmy Valient, Jeff Jarrett & Bill Dundee

OK, so Fuller you probably know as Col. Rob Parker from WCW, and Golden is Bunkhouse Buck.  Also of minor note, Jamie “JC Ice” Dundee is at ringside seconding his dad.  Jarrett is very early in his career at this point.  Marshall makes fun of how fat Tommy Rich is getting, which is a weird way to get someone over.  Jarrett and Golden do a nice mat sequence and Jarrett cleans house on the heels.   Golden misses a kneelift and Dundee gets two while commentator Verne Gagne makes jokes about Crocodile Dundee to show the kids how hip and young he is.  Dundee works an armbar on Rich and goes with a headlock takedown and a series of slams into another armbar.  Over to Jimmy Valient, and he gyrates at the Stud Stable and then goes after poor Downtown Bruno outside.  He slugs away on the heels and brings in Jarrett, who slugs down Rich for two.  Rich goes low to take over, allowing Golden to slug away on JJ in the corner. Jarrett makes a hot tag to Valient after a really short heat segment and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA.  Everyone hits their finishers, but Bruno runs in for the DQ at 9:20.  The heel beatdown commences, but Brickhouse Brown saves and clears the ring.  And we’re outta time!  **

Only Verne Gagne could be handed three rosters full of stars and deliver a boring show like this one.


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