One On One: Triple Threat
AWA versus WCW versus ECW
December 20, 2017
Way back before Vince McMahon the WWF / WWE won the “Monday Night Wars” and gained dominance over the wrestling landscape, there were several other groups and companies who were recognized as top companies in the United States and around the world. They were as big and powerful as it could be at the time and controlled their own spot and place within the world of wrestling. In the Northeast, operating out of Philly, was the land of extreme, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), controlled by Paul Heyman. Down south in Atlanta, we had the Turner / Time Warner owned World Championship Wrestling (WCW). And up in the Great Lakes area, it was the American Wrestling Association, controlled by the legendary Verne Gagne. Three great companies, all different, but all leaving a mark and a legacy that is beyond reproach in the Annuls of Professional Wrestling.
So what I’m doing here is taking a look at the last ten men to hold World Champion status for each group. And with a little fantasy booking, I’m going to book ten triple-threat matches where it’s AWA versus ECW versus WCW and based on my memory and knowledge of each of the men involved, try to decide who would win in each encounter. Pretty simple, right. So stand back as we get the best of the best of the AWA, WCW and ECW, as the final ten from each group face each other in the ring, my ring, and go “One On One”.
One On One – AWA versus ECW versus WCW – Triple Threat Rules…
Representing the AWA are the last ten men to hold that legendary championship, “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko, Mr. Saito, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Curt Hennig, Nick Bockwinkel, “The Lariat” Stan Hansen, Rick Martel, Jumbo Tsuruta, Otto Wanz and Verne Gagne.
Representing the Land of Extreme, ECW, we have Rhyno, The Sandman, Steve Corino, Jerry Lynn, Justin Credible, Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Mike Awesome, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas & Bam Bam Bigelow.
And finally, representing World Championship Wrestling are the last 8 men (and two non-wrestlers) who last held the title when it was truly part of WCW: Booker T, Scott Steiner, Vince Russo, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, David Arquette, Diamond Dallas Page, Sid Vicious and “The Crippler” Chris Benoit.
I’ll draw a name from each group, one at a time to make the matches. The selections will be random. And here are the matches and who I think will win each one as we find out who was the best non-WWF company of all time. Will it be the AWA, WCW or ECW? Most matches won by a company makes the winner. Let’s get busy and do this…
The Matches. Triple Threat Rules – No DQ or Count-Out. First wrestler to score a pin or submission wins…
Nick Bockwinkel versus Jerry Lynn versus Vince Russo
Russo wouldn’t even be a factor here and I think Bockwinkel and Lynn would take turns tormenting Russo before tossing him to the floor and out of the way. Then the real wrestling would start. Few men were smoother and better at chain wrestling than Bockwinkel. Jerry Lynn though is one who could match Nick move for move and a match with these two would be the proverbial wrestling clinic for fans of all ages. Jerry is faster and better with flying around, but Bockwinkel would keep control and be able to stop Jerry before he gets going too well. I think in the end, Nick would side-step a dropkick, causing Jerry to crash and burn. A roll-up with a handful of tights and Bockwinkel gets the pin.
Winner: Nick Bockwinkel (AWA)
Jerry Lawler versus Taz versus Diamond Dallas Page
Can you find three more obnoxious people to perform in that ring or three more diverse folks? Jerry is a brawler from the start and would be throwing fist after fist. Taz is the human submission machine and was taking people on tours of Suplex City long before Brock ever found the place for the first time on the map. And DDP, he just wants people to feel the bang. Another good match with three very unique people. I think Page would catch Lawler with the Diamond Cutter from out of nowhere and score the pin to take home the win.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (WCW)
Stan Hansen versus Steve Corino versus Scott Steiner
Steve Corino is a very talented and exciting wrestler, but matched up against two powerhouse brutes like these two men, I think he’d be way outmatched and out of his league. Steiner is a great wrestler, but by the time he started winning World titles, he was mostly power moves and brute strength. Against most people, that would be fine. Hansen can wrestle, but why bother? He’s just power and brute force personified. I think this match would end when Hansen knocks Steiner to the floor and then turns around and levels Corino with the lariat to knock the man out and collect the pinfall.
Winner: Stan “The Lariat” Hansen (AWA)
Larry Zbyszko verus Justin Credible versus Jeff Jarrett
For me personally, this would be a dream match on many levels. I like Jarrett and I like Zbyszko, especially in his heel days as the AWA Champion. Justin is a helluva performer in his own right and way under-rated, but I think he’s here just to take the fall. I think that this match would be a brawl with mostly Jarrett fighting Credible with Larry getting in the cheap shots from outside the ring, avoiding the action when he can. Finally, we see Jarrett with the guitar shot and he lays out Credible. Larry in, but Jeff catches him and has him cornered. From out of nowhere, here is the Ninja Go and he’s in the ring. Jarrett levels Go with the guitar and turns into a spinnng kick by Zbyszko. Larry with the sleeper to get the win.
Winner: Larry Zbyszko (AWA)
Mr. Saito versus Bam Bam Bigelow versus Booker T
Three powerful veterans from three eras going at it. I think Saito and his martial arts would confuse Booker and allow Saito to take an early advantage. Bigelow, who spent lots of time in Japan, waits for his spot and manages to level Saito and knock him from the ring. Booker goes for the Harlem Hangover, but Bigelow uses his power to catch Booker and plant him with a running power slam to get the pin.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow (ECW)
Verne Gagne versus Kevin Nash versus Rhyno
Nash has the size and power. Verne is the old-school technician and mat wrestler. And Rhyno is somewhere in between. Nash would use his size to try and overpower Verne, but Verne would take the legs out and keep Kevin on the mat to keep the advantage and keep Nash tied up. Rhyno would be in there, taking shots, but would be the odd man out in this match until the end. Verne would have Nash in the sleeper and out on his feet. Rhyno from out of nowhere with a big gore that takes out both men and sends them sprawling across the mat. Rhyno covers Verne and gets the pin.
Winner: Rhyno (ECW)
Curt Hennig versus Mike Awesome versus David Arquette
As with Russo earlier, Arquette gets taken out early by Awesome and a powerbomb. Hennig moves in before Awesome can pin Arquette and we see a virtual wrestling clinic of power versus technique. Finally, Awesome tries for a running powerslam, but Curt manages to slip out at the last second and Awesome goes through the ropes to the floor. Rather than follow Awesome out of the ring. Hennig spies David Arquette trying to get up and runs over and uses the fisherman’s suplex to get an easy pin.
Winner: Curt Hennig (AWA)
Rick Martel versus Tommy Dreamer versus Chris Benoit
Forget about Benoit as a person and look strictly at him as a wrestler / performer and there were few in his league. Dreamer’s whole schtick was that he could take a beating and keep coming back for more. Martel was a great technician and wrestler, but was not comfortable with brawling or when things got a little out of hand. Benoit would win this one easily when he caught Martel in the cross-face and made him tap out.
Winer: Chris Benoit (WCW)
Otto Wanz versus The Sandman versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Wanz was a strong man who used mostly power to win his matches. The Sandman was a brawler, pure and simple. And Flair, he’s Ric Flair. What more needs to be said. Sandman would get winded as the match progressed. Wanz was a good wrestler, but get him off his feet and he was like a turtle, stuck on his back. Flair would chop the legs from under Wanz, get him in the figure four and win by submission.
Winner: Ric Flair (WCW)
Jumbo Tsuruta versus Shane Douglas versus Sid Vicious
This match would be surprisingly good, given the wrestlers involved. Vicious was one dimensional as a character and lazy in the ring, but I don’t think Douglas or Tsuruta would let him rest too easy or get lazy in this match. Sid definitely has the power andstrength advantage. I think the speed and endurance would go to Jumbo, who was used to long and hard matches in New Japan every night. Douglas was a combination of wrestling and brawling and wasn’t called “The Franchise” for ECW for nothing. It’d be close, but when push comes to shove, I think Sid and Shane would work together to weaken and take out Tsuruta and then Shane would turn on Sid, chopping his legs out from under him and laying him out with a title belt to capture the win for his company.
Winner: Shane Douglas (ECW)
And there you go. In these potential fantasy matches between the last champions of the AWA, ECW and WCW, we end up with the AWA winning four matches and WCW and ECW both winning three matches each. And if the people in each match had been changed up even slightly, it could have went differently in almost every match. What if WCW had ten legitimate wrestlers representing them instead of eight wrestlers, Russo and Arquette? Who knows what might have happened then. But each group had strong champions during their histories and has a valued spot in the history of the world’s greatest sport, pro wrestling.
So did I call the matches right as to who probably would have and would have not won in each match? What do you think? Comments, thoughts, questions and all feedback is welcome and appreciated. Let me know what you think and how you would have booked these matches differently.
And now, I’m calling it a night. It’s late and I’m getting tired. Again, thanks for reading. I’m down and gone and I’ll catch you later, my friends.