Tossing Salt Presents:
One on One (Part 1 of 5)
AEW versus AWA
July 27, 2022
Recently, while looking through a box of old magazines, I came across an old edition of Sports Review Wrestling, covered dated Summer 1982. A very cool magazine with stories such as “Austin Idol Begs The Fans: ‘Force Ray Stevens To Retire’.”, Exclusive. Rocky III Preview: Hulk Hogan Tackles Hollywood!”, and the classic, “Is Apartment Wrestling Becoming Too Brutal?”. Yeah, lots of cool stuff.
Of course, I took a look at the Official Wrestling Ratings. And that got me to thinking, what if these legends and stars, the men who dominated the business forty years ago, were to be matched up against the stars of today. Who would win? What would the matches be like? And then I decided, let’s try to find out. Let’s do some fantasy booking and see what happens when the star of yesteryear takes on the stars of today and go, wait for it, one on one.
There will be five columns with five fantasy shows. I took the official ratings from the 1982 magazine for the NWA, AWA, WWF, Most Popular, and Most Hated, and then went to the Pro Wrestling Illustrated website and got the official ratings for the week ending July 22, 2022, for AEW, WWE RAW, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, and the NWA. Over the next five days, I’ll have five battles where the past fights the present, using these ratings, and will give my thoughts and predictions as to who would win. So stick around and let’s see where it goes.
And here we go with the first of five, it’s All Elite Wrestling of 2022 versus The American Wrestling Association of 1982. Let’s do this.
CM Punk versus Nick Bockwinkel
The current AEW World Champion, CM Punk, taking on the 5-time AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel. What a match this would be. Nick was so smooth and crafty in the ring. I think Punk might have a slight speed advantage. This is one match that I honestly can not pick a winner for since they are so evenly matched. I’ll flip a coin with heads for Punk and tails for Nick.
Winner: AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel
Jon Moxley versus Hulk Hogan
Moxley is the modern-day brawler and crazy man who will take tons of punishment to get that one shot in. And Hogan? This is the AWA version of Hogan where he actually had to wrestle and do more than punch, kick, and leg drop. This would actually be a good match. Hogan has the size and strength advantage while Mox has speed and the crazy going in his favor. A tough call, but I think Hogan would come out with the victory here.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Wardlow versus Tito Santana
I don’t think we’ve really seen Wardlow at his best as of yet and against someone like Tito, he’d have to be on top of his game. Tito is the veteran by far and has the speed to wear down Wardlow. That being said, if Wardlow could get ahold of Tito and trap him in the corner, it would be over. Tito would last longer than most have thus far, but Wardlow would get the win and take that trip to the pay window.
Claudio Castagnoli versus Ken Patera
Patera was a strong man who just methodically beat and wore his opponents down, but I think in this particular match, none of his usual tactics would work. Claudio is taller, faster, just as strong, and a much more well-rounded wrestler in my opinion. It’d be an epic match for sure, but Claudio would walk out the victor here.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Pac versus Baron Von Raschke
Pac is so good and an amazing performer. He has all the physical tools and can go head to head with anyone. But that being said, Raschke has an amateur background second to none and was one of the sneakiest men in the history of the business. And anyone that knows me knows what a fan I am of the Baron and his claw. Pac would kick ass and dominate most of the match, but a low blow and the claw would allow the Baron to get the win.
Winner: Baron Von Raschke
Brody King versus Crusher Blackwell
This would be a fun match to see. Brody is a big man to be sure, while Blackwell was just big. Blackwell moved very well for a man that size and did things that a 400lb-plus sized guy should never do. But Brody would wait him out, allow Backwell to get winded, and then take him out. It’d be a remarkable fight, but the winner isn’t in any doubt.
Winner: Brody King
Chris Jericho versus Bobby Duncum
This is a true Daniel versus Goliath match as Duncum has almost every advantage over Jericho in size, strength, power, etc. Jericho may have a speed advantage sort of and more moves to use and a psychological advantage as well. Duncum was the typical big cowboy in that he would overpower and just beat down his opponent. Jericho couldn’t match his fist for fist and would have to outsmart him and be sneaky. I think Chris could do that. He’d be taking a pounding, but Jericho would walk out with the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Wheeler Yuta versus Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie
Adnan was actually a pretty good wrestler in his day, but by the time he was in the AWA, even in 1982, time was catching up on him and his in-ring days were becoming less and less. Yuta is a remarkable talent who seems to get better every week. I think Adnan would give a good fight and maybe teach Yuta a few new lessons along the way, but I have no doubt that Yuta would take home the victory.
Winner: Wheeler Yuta
Ricky Starks versus Greg Gagne
This could be the underdog match of the night. Starks and Gagne are so close in size and weight and would match up very well against each other. Gagne was a better wrestler than most want to give him credit for, but that being said, I think Starks has only just begun to tap his potential. This one would be so close, but I’ll go with Starks on this one. That young man is going to be a big star one day. Watch and see.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Eddie Kingston versus Jim Brunzell
Brunzell is another who doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He was a great singles wrestler and very good in that ring. But here, Eddie would have the size and strength advantage, plus the willingness to do whatever it takes. The opposite styles would make for a fun match, but I don’t think the outcome is in any doubt.
Winner: Eddie Kingston.
Lee Moriarty versus Buck Zumhoff
Moriarty is such a good wrestler who gets better every day, plus he’s a regular student of the Nightmare Factory and was one of Arn Anderson’s pet projects for a while as well. Zumhoff? He’s a child molester who carried a boom box. No doubts about the winner here and I would hope that he potatoes Zumhoff extra stiff a few times in the process.
Winner: Lee Moriarty
And there you go with the first series of match-ups, Part 1 of 5, with All Elite Wrestling defeating the AWA, eight matches to three. Score one for the new kids, right? Will it continue? We’ll find out in Part 2, coming up later tonight, which will be WWE Raw versus The World Wrestling Federation (1982). Be sure to look for it.
And with that, I’m out of here. Thank you for reading. Comments, thoughts, or any questions are welcome and appreciated. Use the comment box, my e-mail of Doug28352@yahoo.com, or find me on Twitter at @Doug28352. Take care and stay safe. Watch out for foreign objects. I’ll see you at the matches.