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Brody and Friends talk about the AWA (Brody has no friends)

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
Looking at Misawa's Cagematch profile and it said that he was Tiger Mask at WrestleRock '86. Is that true? I didn't think he became Tiger Mask until much later. MisAWA!
 

alkeiper

Welcoming our new insect overlords
Looking at Misawa's Cagematch profile and it said that he was Tiger Mask at WrestleRock '86. Is that true? I didn't think he became Tiger Mask until much later. MisAWA!
Misawa actually picked up the gimmick in late '84. According to wikipedia, AJPW bought the rights to the character. Instinctively I would think if Giant Baba is on the card, you're watching Misawa.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
I I was listening to an old Between the Sheets podcast while once again driving around the sticks here. The dirt sheets in Oct 88 said Verne was planning a battle royal for SuperClash 3 with Avalanche (PN News), Abby the Butcher, Lord Humongous (Sid), Jerry Blackwell, Dallas Cowboy Harvey Martin, Russ Francis and others!
 

RedJed

Rasslin' Rambler

I haven't got a chance to watch this yet but plan on it as it premiered up here in Minneapolis over the weekend via an outdoor screening, but it's available on streaming now.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster

Playing watch along w/ Johnny Sorrow and the gang.
- Curious who Sorrow's mate is who doesn't know any old school wrestling. It seems he doesn't even know WCW stuff.

I first saw this show in 2001ish when I bought a dubbed VHS in a parking lot of an indy show out of a guy's car. Basically like a drug deal.

- Mike Enos as a ref in the opener. (RPMs/Cactus vs Los Guerreros) Only a few months away from AWA tag title gold.
- Gurrerros hit a hot finish with all 3 heels going down. Fun match. Chavo was a bit washed, but Mando and Hector may as well have gone to WCW and joined the loaded 89 tag division.
- Cactus (as noted by the guys) has yet to learn how to throw good strikes.
- Jarrett vs Embry. Another fun finish as they trade roll ups and cradles and it actually ends with one guy getting the flash pin.
- In a fictional world where I make an effort to consistently watch wrestling again, sleazy looking babyface Embry's WCCW run as a top face is something I'd like to see in long form, That's one of those things I only knew about through the Apter mags but I am weirdly nostalgic about it anyway.
- Boogie Man/Wayne Bloom... Bloom is subbing for Tommy Rich. Verne's big rookie gets smashed by the vet. Poor Verne didn't realize he was going to have to make Bloom a top guy in a few weeks I guess.
- Brown/Iceman.... Iceman does some good stooging. Parsons hits a crisp suplex, probably aided by Brown having such good core body strength. Verne on commentary for a WCCW match with 2 black dudes doesn't work on several levels.
-Badd Company/Madusa vs Wendi/Top Gunns... Gunns has already quit the AWA but came back for this. Badd Company certainly is another team that hits me in the nostalgia as they were on top when I was watching as a 6 year old on Sunday AM. Wendi busts out a powerbomb, which was not a common move at all in 1988, at least not in America. I feel the Jumping Bomb Angels may have debuted it in the WWF in late 87.
-Ronnie Garvin/Gagne... Sorrow has to do my role of defending Groovy Greg to his buddies. Gagne trades stiff shots with Garvin. Interesting/odd that both the AWA and WWC put belts on Garvin almost as soon as he quit JCP. Garvin dropped both belts while under WWF contract, making him one of the last cases of a WWF guy working a non WWF affiliate. (SMW, USWA, ECW, Japan stuff,etc)
Total shit finish as tough guy Garvin runs away after escaping the sleeper and then just sits at ringside and stares as the ref counts him out. Greg cuts a promo on the crowd booing him. Gagne was probably in a bad mood to begin with as he knew what his dad had invested here and had to know the crowd and PPV clearances were the shits.
- Out of all the talent on the card, the random POWW girls are given multiple interview segments. Useless since the PPV is already on, so enticing us with T and A won't do any extra business. Let Valiant, DDP, etc talk!
- POWW battle royal. On a card that drew zilch, why add 8-10 extra pockets to line? Just give Luna Vachon a push on the strength of her AWA family heritage.
Sarge/Debeers...DDP manages Debeers... But DDP is also with Tanaka who Debeers should hate due to white supremacy? The guys amuse me by talking about "Debeers" in the tone of "Da Bears!"
Sarge goes for his finisher like 3 mins in after a comedy bump from Debeers. DDP fails to interfere several times so Adnan and Sheiky Baby hit the ring. Sarge's white shirt is wasted on a weak blade job. Post match brawl is a highlight!
We get Lawler and Apter together for a PWI award segment. This was supposed to happen earlier but Lawler was legit in the back arguing about a finish for the main event and missed the mark.
Hayes/Cox vs SST... Hayes is a few weeks away from going back to the NWA. SST is showing their support for their manager Buddy Roberts by wearing Jägermeister shirts. SST are entertaining as always with big bumps and lots of high impact stuff.
Hayes hits the DDT, but Buddy interferes and Hayes eats the pin, which is surprising considering his partner seemed like cannon fodder. Hayes sells the KO longer than several of tonight's matches.
Wahoo/Manny... Wahoo is washed, but he takes some decent bumps before both men hit gushers. Dragon Fujinami makes a cameo at the beginning and end to help Wahoo. He was in the US on a mini tour and had worked Kerry Von Erich in a match that was almost used by WCCW to pull their title out of the main event to fuck with Verne and Lawler as the disputed finish was argued over.
Kerry vs Lawler... Was the buckets of blood in the previous match used to kayfabe the finish of this match? I can't recall off hand.
Lawler basically turns heel during the match, but some fans are all for it. Not sure what the end game was going to be. These 2 already wrestled a ton, including on TV several times.
Lawler does a heel promo afterward.
The TV for WCCW right after this would be interesting to see. Lawler of course went on Memphis TV and explained he was the World champ and wanted to defend in Memphis, Alabama, Texas, etc but the AWA wanted to keep him locked down so he was willing to send their belt back to them. Jarrett made a new belt, which pissed Verne off.
Verne wanted Don Muraco (former 1972(3?) AWA rookie of the year) to beat Lawler for the belt, but then both Muraco and Lawler no showed the AWA TV taping.
Eddie Sharkey ran the Twin Cities around this same time with Charlie Norris, Tehjo Khan, Soldat Ustinov and Brad Rheingans, which drew around half of what this loaded PPV drew in Chicago.
Another interesting indy show was promoted by Leon White, who had already had a solid AWA run. Vader wrestled the future Yokozuna in Colorado, with former AWA guys Buddy Rose and Rocky Mountain Thunder. Plus the SST and Col Debeers. Oh and Doctor Death skipped an NWA house show because he didn't want to fly to Texas, so he just worked this shot instead.
This is also the month where music legend James Brown worked an AWA paid show in Georgia as part of a court settlement for his recent drug and weapons charge. Michael Hayes and the Rock and Roll Express worked the show.
The WWF meanwhile swung their dicks by Memphis and Louisville the week of this PPV.
The RnR Express close the PPV against Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden in a random southern style match that is fun, but the Chicago faithful has no idea who the heels are.
Overall the PPV was possibly better than I recalled it being. Fast paced and nothing really awful to bring things down.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster

@King Kamala it's time for you to get booked at CrusherFest 2021 so you and I can hit up the Breweries after we co-win the "Mr. Saloon" competition.

Then I can show you where Dahmer's apartment was before we dine on some fava beans.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster

It's always bittersweet when a late era AWA show pops up on my feed. As far as I can recall the AWA wasn't even on in Green Bay anymore by 91, but I could watch a very fuzzy faint feed from Milwaukee or somesuch with the right conditions. The only thing I remember from these "Best ofs" is seeing a Martel vs Bockwinkel match. My Grandma's hatred for Nick had sunken in my head. She supposedly stopped watching/going to wrestling because she was sick of seeing him cheat as champion.

Why AWA was even bothering to produce a show (one assumes they had a deal with a few stations to make some cash???)
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
Yeah, if you watch beginning of that episode, it was taped off of a Las Vegas station. Frankly, I'm amazed AWA had syndicated television outside of the Midwest anytime after 1988.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
It must have been a case where a few of the AWA original hot spots were still doing enough local ratings that the stations were willing to air stuff for a token fee to the Gagnes in exchange for the station raking in the commercial money.

Shit by 1991 even the WWF was leaning out in ratings and interest!

The interaction between Greg and Nick is actually really good. It's quite impressive how upbeat and fun they are towards one another considering they are hosting a wake for the AWA. It's a real dagger to the gut when they run down the legends of the AWA during one segment and you just see the talent all vanish in 84.
 

snuffbox

Integral Poster
That show was fun to watch. I always like when the old commercials are included. But, yeah, super weird that it aired in 1991. Too bad they couldn't put some Windy City Wrestling talent or something on those last tv shows. Something to look like the AWA was still actually active.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
I wonder if Vince pushed for Bockwinkel to work a quick midwest loop when he came in as an agent in the summer of 87? I don't buy the rumor that he was offered the Ted Dibiase gimmick.
Heenan could have worked the loop in June and challenging Hogan to wrestle "the real champ" or whatever. Hogan storms the ring and asks Heenan which of his Family members he thinks could even make such a claim....Andre?!.... not this time...Nick Bockwinkel! They run the match in July in the Twin Cities, Chicago, Milwaukee, San Fran, and maybe Houston (for the Boesch retirement show since Bock was a part owner of Houston) Nick can pick up some (hopefully) decent paydays and ends his formal career laying on his back on the same night his business partner and friend Boesch calls it a career too.
The whole thing can be house show only, with none of it making national TV, but Bock and Heenan can do promos for the local syndicated shows.

In all likelihood Nick probably wouldn't have gone for it without Verne's blessing.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster

Killer Ken is either lying or confused. Ken wasn't in the AWA until after Hogan had left. Ken had worked as a Minnesota sports reporter and met Gagne at some event after Mean Gene had left (according to his wiki). The stories may have been told to Ken after the fact during his WWF stint(?)
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster

They added Madusa to CrusherFest....and Jumpin Jim and Groovy Greg!!!! I really want to go now! If they appear on that Saturday, I think I HAVE to go.
 

snuffbox

Integral Poster
Even during the long reigns of Gagne and Bockwinkel that's not really what the AWA, or the Upper Midwest wrestling scene in general, was really like. I think I've mentioned this before, but the rote tv studio tapings have gotten confused for the touring product (which was the main thing for all wrestling companies into the 1980s). The cards were, for decades, booked as a Packers-Bears game. And not the John Facenda two yard run mythical stuff. There were the technical wrestlers like Gagne and Bockwinkel, the Luckmans and Starrs as it were, but even Gagne was doing headscissors and whatnot. High spot oriented football tackling and clothesline type workers (because they were literally football players) like Bronko Nagurski, Leo Nomellini, and Dick the Bruiser. Punch kick fullbacks like Da Crusher who, like Suzuki right now, was the best at their style. And like those Packers and Bears were always at the forefront of exciting new concepts and players (Hutson, Sayers), so too was the AWA and the other Upper Midwest wrestling. The popularity of Gorgeous George on Chicago-based TV, the High Flyers, Adonis and Ventura, and even as some of the misconceptions were starting to solidify during the ESPN end of days, the Midnight Rockers.
 
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