AWA Championship Wrestling
On ESPN Classics
Got to keep it short and sweet tonight. I’m Doug and this is the recap of AWA on ESPN Classics. This episode originally aired on February 14, 1986. So I guess I should say “Happy Valentines Day”. Hmmm! Maybe not! The announcers are Roger Kent and Greg Gagne. And the guy doing the interviews is Larry Nelson.
And now that all of the introductions are out of the way, let’s do this…
The Alaskans vs. “Rock & Roll” Buck Zumhofe & Leon White
I’ve heard of Zumhofe so many times, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen him wrestle. The Alaskans are two big hosses with apparently no real names, so we’ll just call them # 1 and # 2. Zumhofe’s “rock and roll” gimmick is that he carries a boom box. Jimmy Valiant would be so proud. White starts off with Alaskan # 1 and they just sort of lumber around the ring a bit. White with some shoves and # 1 tags in # 2. Gagne and Kent are talking about another famous “Alaskan” – Yukon Eric, who had his ear ripped off in a match against Killer Kowalski some years back. It’s much nothing until # 2 attempts a slam on White. That doesn’t work, but White easily slams # 2 to the mat.
Zumhofe tags in and after dodging some clubbing blows, Buck grabs # 2 by the beard. Alaskan # 2 complains and tags in # 1. # 1 locks up Buck in a headlock. Buck escapes by grabbing the beard of this Alaskan. The referee breaks it up and Buck ends up with a handful of whiskers. Buck goes after the arm, but the Alaskans work him into their corner and do the double-team bit on the Rock & Roller. Buck crawls and rolls around and gets the hot tag to White. White comes in and pounds away at everyone who gets too close. A big power-slam on one of the Alaskans by White and he tags in Zumhofe. White presses Zumhofe and drops him on the fallen Alaskan. As the referee makes the three-count, White moves over and clotheslines the other Alaskan. Zumhofe gets an easy pin.
Winners: “Rock & Roll” Buck Zumhofe & Leon White
Larry Nelson talks to Buck & Leon. Zumhofe calls it a privilege and an honor to be teaming up with White. White says that the AWA is the best competition and that Zumhofe is the best partner. He compares wrestling to football and says that wrestling is the single hardest thing he’s ever done. His partner is Zumhofe and they’re going to do it. Zumhofe repeats how great it is to have White by his side as the segment ends.
King Kong Brody (with Sheik Adnan El Kassey) vs. Mike Richards
Brody is tossing a chair into the ring before Nelson can even get out the introductions. Awesome. It’s all Brody as the bell rings and Brody just unleashes a chop and a kick to the face on Richards. He clubs the kid and stomps away. Richards falls to the floor outside the ring and Brody stands on the apron and just keeps stomping away at him. A slam by Brody and more chops. Richards tries to fight back with a few feeble punches, but Brody rips at the eyes and destroys the kid with a brutal pile-driver for the easy pin.
Winner: King Kong Brody (with Sheik Adnan El Kassey)
After the match is over, Brody just continues to kick and stomp away at Richards. He kicks the referee too and then tosses Richards to the floor. Brody gets a chair and nails Richards across the back before heading out into the audience for a few moments. This guy is freakin’ crazy!
We come back and Larry Nelson gets to talk to Sheik Adnan & Brody. It’s hard to understand what the Sheik is saying, but I caught that it cost Sheik a lot of money and agony, but Brody is back in the AWA and he’s ready to destroy anybody in the world. Nelson refers to Brody as a “hired assassin” and Brody pushes up against Nelson as he tries to keep talking to the Sheik. Sheik says that Brody does whatever he tells him to do and wants to know if anyone in the AWA can stand up to Brody. Nelson mentions Jerry Blackwell and Sgt. Slaughter. Sheik says that they’re ready for anybody. Brody is ready and he is back.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Rex Gatner
I may have the name of Slaughter’s opponent wrong here. They didn’t show the caption of his name on the screen and I couldn’t hear who Nelson introduced him as. Slaughter is the “Americas Champion” and comes to the ring to the sounds of his own “GI Joe – Real American Hero” song. He give out small flags to the fans as he comes to the ring. Sarge offers a handshake to Gatner to start, but Rex refuses and drops to the floor. Gatner gets in a quick punch and then stalls a bit. Slaughter attacks with some forearm shots and two big slams. Gatner flees again to the floor.
Gatner climbs back into the ring and takes it to the Sarge with punches and a choke on the ropes. Sarge gets slammed into the turnbuckles and Gatner scores with a monkey-flip and a big knee. The fans are chanting “USA” to rally Slaughter.
Gatner climbs to the top rope, but takes too long and Sarge catches him with a big “Flair” slam from the top. Sarge goes to the second rope and comes off with a clothesline. Cover and pin and Slaughter gets the win.
Winner: Sgt. Slaughter
Larry Nelson talks to Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter says that he’s damn proud of the USA and mentions a couple of friends of his who are proud Americans. One is Sam Walton (the owner of Wal Mart) and I didn’t catch the other name. Sarge says that every week, he’s going to announce his favorite Americans of the week. I could easily see someone like JBL trying to do this now.
Nelson brings up the Sheik and King Kong Brody. Slaughter says that Sheik has a lot of money and Brody is tough and dangerous and everyone remembers the Brody – Blackwell wars a few years back. Slaughter changes the subject to Stan Hansen and says that he has matches against the AWA Champ coming up. Slaughter mentions that he is the Americas Champion. Hansen is a coward and Slaughter wrestles for the people now. He tells Hansen to hold on to that belt as long as he can because Sarge is coming for the title.
And now, to the main event…
AWA World Championship Match
Stan Hansen (c) vs. Curt Hennig
The match starts as Stan charges and misses an elbow. Curt locks in a headlock. The announcers mention that next weeks main event will be King Kong Brody versus Jerry Blackwell. Curt hits a dropkick on Stan and goes back to the elbow. Stan takes the advantage and works over Hennig with some knees, clubbing forearms, a slam and some stomps. Chops and punches by Hansen. Hennig with the sunset flip for two.
Stan and Curt exchange punches and chops. Back-breaker by Hansen and a big elbow-drop for two. Knees and a suplex by Hansen for another two-count. Stan picks up Hennig and crotches him across the top rope. Some knees and a big “Shades of Killer Kowalski” stomach-claw by Hansen. Stan scores with an atomic drop and some punches before whipping Hennig hard into the corner. Curt tries to punch his way back, but Hansen locks in the “Shades of Sweet Ebony Diamond” Boston Crab.
Stan breaks the hold and drops some knees across Hennig’s back. A backdrop by Stan. Hennig tries to fight back again, but Stan rips at the eyes. Stan goes to toss Hennig out of the ring and Curt gets his head caught in the ropes and is hanging there by his neck. Stan moves in to take a shot at the helpless Hennig and Scott Hall comes charging into the ring. The referee calls for the bell and the disqualification.
Winner by DQ and Still Champion: Stan Hansen
Hall just unloads on Hansen with elbow shots and punches before Stan flees to the floor. Hansen gets the cowbell and goes after Hall with several elbows, but Hall gets the advantage back quickly and Hansen decides to leave the ring area. Hall helps the referee free Hennig from the ropes and checks on his partner.
Larry Nelson has the mic and goes to the ring to interview Hall & Hennig. Curt, holding his throat and barely able to talk or stand up, makes sure that everyone knows that he didn’t give up. Hall talks and he’s holding up his partner while screaming about Stan Hansen. Curt never gave up. Hansen likes to run rough across the AWA, but he has two men there to face him face to face. Hall says that Curt is like a brother to him. It’s funny watching as Hall screams, he’s yelling into Curt’s ears. Curt appears to be in major agony. Hall says that they’re the tag champs and the top two contenders for the AWA Championship too. Scott is there screaming about Hansen as Curt drops to the mat. Hall finishes his statement before helping Hennig up. Nelson mentions that Hall should help Hennig to get medical care and the segment ends. And so does the show.
And that’s that. Not a bad show. Lots of squash matches and nothing to really write home about. But I was laughing at Hall & Hennig. His partner is injured and falling to the mat from his injuries, but Hall, immediately after calling Curt his “brother”, is more concerned about calling out Hansen than looking after his partner. It reminds me of the scene from Titantic where the girl is on a piece of wreckage near the end and Jack is hanging on in the water. She turns to see rescuers in the distance and while she’s distracted, he drops from the wreckage and sinks into the freezing water to die. And I don’t know why I mentioned that.
OK, that’s enough from me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more classic AWA goodness from the fine folks at ESPN Classics. Questions and comments – send them toDoug28352@yahoo.com. Visit me at MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/salt_palace.
I’m Doug and in the words of Baron Von Raschke, “dat is all de’ people need to know!” Have a great day and always be a fan.