AWA Championship Wrestling
On ESPN Classics
April 8, 2008
It’s Monday night and it’s time to get this party started with another exciting week of classic AWA wrestling action, courtesy of the fine folks at ESPN Classics. Will this be a week of great matches and historical moments? Or will it totally suck eggs? Only one way to find out and that’s stick around to see what happens. I’m Doug and I’m the recapper extraordinaire who does this each and every night, Monday through Friday, just for you. Damn, I need a life.
Let’s get started…
It’s from the world famous Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. This show originally aired on May 13, 1986. The guys at ringside are Lord James Blears and Rod Trongard. And Larry Nelson as the Beaver.
Alex Knight & Sally Ruez vs. Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty – The Midnight Rockers
Knight and Jannetty start the match and almost immediately , it’s a quick bit of double-teaming by Knight & Ruez. Jannetty uses the forearms to fight out of the corner and takes down Knight. Tag to Shawn who comes in with an elbow and quick power-slam for a two-count. Dropkick by Shawn and he locks up the arm of Knight. Ruez tags in and Michaels locks up the arm before tagging out to Jannetty. Ruez goes after the leg of Jannetty, but Marty reverses and goes back to the arm. Marty & Ruez do the back-and forth reversals a few times and Shawn comes back in with a very awkward and stiff clothesline. Shawn tags in Marty and then we see the classic Rocker double-team as Shawn press-slams Marty and drops him on top of Ruez for a very long two-count. Knight tags in and goes after the leg of Marty Jannetty. Marty scores with an elbow and a big slam. Shawn tags in and keeps control with a slam on Knight. A tag to Jannetty and then Shawn picks up Knight for a suplex and holds him in position. Jannetty with a cross-body on to Knight as he gets suplexed. Jannetty covers and gets the pin.
Winners: Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty – The Midnight Rockers
Larry Nelson is talking to the Rockers. Jannetty says that the Rockers like to take care of business. They’re climbing that ladder and still have a long ways to go. They love to party and have a good time. They’re on their way to the top. Marty mentions the Sheik’s army and says that they have talent, but the Rockers will take them down one man at a time. The Midnight Rockers are not intimidated by anyone.
Shawn talks about how Buddy Rose & Doug Somers have been a thorn in their sides, but they’re going to beat them and go to the top and the AWA tag team titles. Rose & Somers are next. The Sheik’s army are big, but they’ll take it to them. They party hard and take care of business.
In This Corner with Larry Nelson & Larry Zbyszko
Nelson starts off by saying that he has no idea who the guest is going to be this week. We get a “mystery guest”. Zbyszko says that last week, they had the “Spudhead” Curt Hennig, a man who only gets title shots because his Daddy hunts ducks with the Gagnes. He continues that people are “afraid” of Zbyszko and then proceeds to introduce a video highlighting “a man who’s done everything” and “a legend”. Yep, it’s time for an “AWA Special Look At Larry Zybszko”.
It’s cheesy video, but it shows Larry kicking a lot of butt and taking out Greg Gagne & Nick Bockwinkle with the nuchukas. We come back after the video and the Larrys’ have been joined by Mr. Go – The Ninja. Nelson wants to know who this man is and what he’s doing here. Go speaks and cuts a promo, but it’s in Japanese. Nelson is perplexed. Zbyszko puts over Go and gives us the scoop. Go is from Japan and is a cultural killer. Nelson calls him an assassin.
Zbyszko goes into his usual rant about how he can’t get shots at Stan Hansen. Nick Bockwinkle pays off ex-prize fighters to protect him. Hennig gets title shots because his Daddy hunts ducks with Verne Gagne. Go is here to watch Zbyszko’s back. They believe the same things and that’s wrestling. They’re not trying to kill ducks – they just go out and wrestle. Where is Stan Hansen? Where is Blackwell? Where is everybody now? Zbyszko is just ranting and rambling in classic form while Nelson just has a one-track mind and keeps repeating that “a ninja is a killer” as the segment ends.
We come back from commercial and Nelson talks about how he’s fed up with Larry Zbyszko. And then he moves on to the next match. It comes from St. Cloud, MN, because one of the participants, King Kong Brody, is suspended from the state of Nevada and unable to wrestle at the Showboat. I guess he got a little too wild one night at the blackjack table in the casino? Who knows? Brody was nuts! So this match is on tape and is the “AWA Feature Match”.
King Kong (Bruiser) Brody (with Sheik Adnan El Kassey) vs. Leon “The Baby Bull” White
Before Leon can even get into the ring, Brody takes some kicks. Sheik Adnan distracts the referee and Brody goes after the leg and knee of White with a steel chair. Finally, the referee sees what’s going on and gets the chair away from Brody, but White’s leg has already been injured. The ref asks White if he wants to wrestle the match and Leon says yes, so the ref calls for the bell.
Brody is like a rabid animal and goes after White with a rake to the eyes and chops. A big kick by Brody. White hits some shoulders and some chops, but Brody just keeps throwing the kicks and stomps as he eyes the already injured leg and knee of “The Baby Bull”. Fists and elbows by White and Brody does what looks to be an inverted “Flair Flop” on to his back. Awesome! White with some headbutts, shoulders and a lot of stiff punches. Kicks and chops again by Brody. White comes off the ropes for a shoulder, but Sheik Adnan reaches into the ring and grabs White’s ankle, tripping him up and tying up the leg in the ropes while Brody intimidates and distracts the referee. Brody with stomps and kicks to the leg again. The referee moves in and decides that White’s leg is too injured and calls for the bell as Brody continues to stomp away.
Winner by Referee Stoppage: King Kong Brody (with Sheik Adnan El Kassey)
Larry Nelson is with Sheik Adnan. Brody is in the audience, in the ring, and everywhere else just stomping around and being a total crazy-ass. Awesome! Sheik talks about how now White is just one more man out of the picture. They want a championship match and a shot at Stan Hansen. And Sheik says that Barbarian & Boris Zhukov are ready to take the tag team belts too. Sheik continues that Brody listens to him. He takes care of Brody. And if Stan Hansen has any guts, he’ll defend the title against Brody. And Adnan get in one last shot at Scott Hall & Curt Hennig. Where are they? They’re “hiding in the closet” and says that Nelson knows what he means. Wow! Was that a shoot? Only Sheik knows for sure.
And now, time for the main event…
Col. DeBeers vs. Nick Bockwinkle
Why is Bockwinkle carrying around a bull-whip? I guess he’s channeling Dutch Mantell? While DeBeers starts off by complaining about Nick’s whip, Lord Blears gets in a plug for the Cauliflower Alley Club. They’re a great organization that does quite a bit for the old-timers and legends of wrestling and boxing and if you get the chance to check them out at some point, I’d strongly encourage it.
We start the action and DeBeers backs Nick into the corner and then just turns and walks away while twisting his mustache. He does this twice and Nick looks amused. Nick backs DeBeers into the corner and mocks DeBeers, by turning and walking away. DeBeers tries to go after Nick, but Nick is ready and cuts him off before DeBeers can attack. DeBeers goes into action with a knee and a headlock. Nick tries to power out and escape, but DeBeers keeps the head locked up. Nick manages to reverse it into an arm-lock, but DeBeers moves Nick into the corner and takes control with stomps and a knee before slamming Nick’s head into the turnbuckle. A roll by DeBeers for two.
Nick comes back and goes after the leg of DeBeers. Bockwinkle locks in an Indian Deathlock and pounds DeBeers in the head with stiff forearm shots. DeBeers makes the ropes to break the hold and Nick gets in a few more kicks and knees as he continues to work on the leg of DeBeers.
DeBeers fights back with a headbutt and some shoulder-blocks. Nick goes back after the leg. Nick and DeBeers end up with their legs all tangled up and the referee is forced to move in and untangle the intertwined mess of legs and body-parts. Kicks and punches by DeBeers. Nick goes back to the leg and drops a big elbow across the knee. DeBeers rips at the eyes and slings Bockwinkle to the floor. As Nick tries to get back into the ring, we see two big “Shades of Greg Valentine” forearm smashes across the chest by DeBeers as he continues to hammer Bockwinkle.
Stomps, punches and a slam by DeBeers. He climbs to the second rope and hits a big splash for a two-count. A knee and another slam and DeBeers goes up again to the second rope for another splash. Nick gets the knees up and DeBeers crash and burns. Nick throws some stiff punches and gets a two-count. DeBeers scores with a knee, but Bockwinkle with a backslide for another two-count. DeBeers gets in a headbutt to the gut and a slam. He climbs to the top for a cross-body splash, but Nick uses the momentum to roll through for a two-count. Both men are up and go into the ropes. They collide and both men fall down and go boom! DeBeers rolls to the floor as the referee begins to count.
Both men are up before the count and the action continues. Bockwinkle with a hip-toss and a suplex. Dropkick, slam and a “Shades of Harley Race” diving headbutt by DeBeers. Nick gets a couple of two-counts using fists and a knee. Sleeper by Bockwinkle, but DeBeers makes it to the ropes. DeBeers rakes the eyes and scores with a hip-toss. Nick counter with a hip-toss of his own gets two. Punches by Nick for another two. They’re trading punches and Nick is trying for another cover as the bell rings.
Official Results: A Time Limit Draw
After the commercial, we go to Larry Nelson who is with Col. DeBeers. Nelson mentions that Bockwinkle was upset at the time limit running out and didn’t want to be interviewed. So he’ll talk to DeBeers. Nelson rubs it in on DeBeers that he was losing the match and was saved by the time running out. DeBeers goes on a tirade about how every American has to put limits on everything like their marriages, contracts, and wrestling matches. Nick Bockwinkle carries a bullwhip because he’s gutless. The only people, according to DeBeers, who are not gutless, are the people from South Africa. The time limit didn’t save him. In South Africa, they wrestle until there is a winner. They’re real men and not like Americans who hide behind women and attack Third World countries. DeBeers concludes, as Nelson wraps the interview up, that South Africa is where the real men are at. He calls someone in the audience a transvestite as the show ends.
And that’s another show in the books. A squash match by the Rockers, a showdown between a rookie “Vader” and the always dangerous King Kong Brody, and then a long main event. And some classic Zbyszko in the middle to bring it all together. It was a fun hour to sit back and watch for sure.
That’s it for me today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more classic AWA goodness and another recap. Send comments and questions to Doug28352@yahoo.com. Visit me at MySpace athttp://www.myspace.com/salt_palace.
I can’t think of anything else right now so I’m out of here. I’m Doug and as the legendary Baron Von Raschke would say, “Dat is all de’ people need to know!” Have a great day and always be a fan.