Friday, August 17, 2012

AWA Rewind Part 1

The italicized notes are the back story of each match courtesy of the resident AWA expert at DVDVR, khawk20. Show results are from Mike Rodgers.

Lord Alfred Hayes v. Bobby Heenan-January 13, 1980, St. Paul, MN

Hayes was the Manager of Super Destroyer Mark II for a few years in the AWA, notably feuding with Billy Robinson. A few weeks after SD II lost a TV match against the unheralded-in-the-AWA Dino Bravo (and being forced to unmask due to the loss), he came to the ring for a squash and took the mic and fired Hayes. He then introduced his new manager…Bobby Heenan. This set the Hayes-Heenan feud in motion, which included this singles match and several tag matches.

This was the battle of the managers as the face, Hayes, fought Heenan. Hayes started on Heenan by using Heenan's arm to take him down in a pretty fancy manner by rolling on the ground out of a wrist lock. Then, Hayes ripped at Heenan's nose and smashed him in the buckle a couple times. 

Hayes and the ref were talking as Heenan reached for a foreign object but he tried hiding it. Bobby was thrown outside and Hayes smashed him face first into a chair. They both got back in and Heenan gouged Hayes' eyes with his object and he went to work on the prone Hayes. Weasel chants began and Hayes soon gouged Bobby's eyes and he was on top. Hayes was sent into the corner and he put a boot up to an incoming Bobby and then, he scooped him up and won with his feet on the ropes. Afterwards, Bobby slapped him and hit him with a chair that sent the ref down too.

Here's the rest of the card from the show...

Nick Bockwinkle beat Crusher, Jesse Ventura & Adrian Adonis beat Dino Bravo & Greg Gagne, Al Hayes beat Bobby Heenan, Steve Olsonoski drew Super Destroyer Mark 2, Super Destroyer III beat Buck Zumhoff, Jerry Blackwell beat Ron Ritchie.

Greg Gange v. Super Destroyer Mark II-May 1, 1980

The Gagnes had a continuing feud with the Heenan family and this was an extension of that feud, with SD II being managed by Bobby Heenan at the time.

This was joined in progress as Mark II was working on Gagne's left arm. He slammed him onto his arm and put him in an arm bar. 

Gagne was in peril the entire match with some explosive hope spots until he finally made a big comeback and the crowd loved it. Bobby Heenan was managing Mark II and Gagne had hit a knee in the corner that sent Destroyer outside and Heenan demanded a DQ. In the AWA, one can't throw his opponent outside over the top rope. Mark II regained control and hit a big backbreaker but later he was sent into the corner and nearly flipped out. Heenan pulled him out completely and demanded another DQ. Both guys collided and Gagne was sent out and Super Destroyer wouldn't let him back in as he kept pounding on him. Eventually, Gagne smartened up and didn't bother to get back in until he had his wits about him. He grabbed Destroyer's legs and smashed one into the post. Here was Gagne's comeback and Destroyer ended up outside and Gagne wouldn't let him back in. He even did a double noggin knocker with Heenan involved. Super Destroyer was begging off in the ring and Gagne missed a splash in the corner. 

Destroyer was on him with big moves including a tombstone but Gagne kept kicking out. Super Destroyer Mark III came down to the ring and distracted Mark II. Gagne then hit a dropkick and got the win and the place went crazy. Heenan and Mark II tried attacking Gagne until Mark III made the save. Lots of heat for Gagne and this was a pretty decent match.

Mark III
Mark II

Verne Gagne v. Nick Bockwinel w/Bobby Heenan-July 18, 1980, Chicago, IL-AWA Championship

After two years of chasing Verne, Bockwinkel finally won the title in November of 1975 due to interference by Bobby Duncum and some questionable refereeing from Paul Perschmann (aka Playboy Buddy Rose). Heenan and Bockwinkel had avoided Gagne as much as possible (there is a notable title match between the two from 2/10/79 in Chicago that is available on one of the Japan Classics discs) until this Chicago match, held outdoors at Comiskey Park.

Bockwinkel had been champ for around five years since beating Verne in 1975. This match was clipped and started off with Verne controlling things as Bock couldn't get anything going at all. Verne stretched him with a standing surfboard with his knee in Bockwinkel's back. Bock bailed a couple times and finally it worked to his advantage as he grabbed Verne's leg and smashed it into a post a couple times. 

Nick worked on the leg for a little bit and Verne tried to slam him but he collapsed under Bockwinkel's weight. Verne eventually got back up and got control and hit him with a big right hand. He had a lot of momentum but they both collided mid-ring and Bockwinkel hit a piledriver. He tried a second but Verne reversed it and ended up hitting his sleeper hold and the ref called for the bell. Verne won the AWA belt as a bunch of wrestlers came out to help him celebrate. Not a terrible match but it might not be for everyone.

The rest of the card...

Verne Gagne beat Nick Bockwinkle to win AWA title, Jerry Blackwell beat Dick The Bruiser, Greg Gagne beat Bobby Heenan COR, Crusher & Mad Dog Vachon beat Jerry Valiant & Adrian Adonis, Bobo Brazil beat Super Destroyer Mark II, Steve Regal beat Roger
Kirby, Paul Christy drew Tito Santana, Pat O'Conner DCOR Wilbur Snyder.

I hope you all enjoyed part 1, I've got a lot more planned as I go through the last ten years of the AWA and all the best matches.  I'd like to thank goodhelmet for putting together a great set like this.  I still will be working on WWF Primetime 1988 and I'm thinking of starting WCW Saturday Night 2000 soon.  Remember to follow me on Twitter @stevesgraps and my contact email is

Monday, August 6, 2012

WWF Primetime 2-29-1988

We've got a barn burner tonight with Sherri v. Rockin' Robin. I know that's a match you've all been begging for! Bobby thinks that Robin is fast and aggressive but if she were that fast and aggressive she'd be at home whipping up a meatloaf.

George Steele v. Sika-February 22, 1988-MSG

I've realized that Steele can be pretty entertaining even if I don't like his workrate. Of course, it's not always about workrate in wrestling. Sika started out by attacking Steele and refusing to let him enter the ring. Steele got upset at this and finally got inside only to bite Sika in the face and throw him outside. Sika grabbed Steele out and sent him into the ring bell but Steele no-sold it. Sika went back to keeping Steele from getting back in the ring. Steele finally grabbed a couple chairs and tossed them in. Sika grabbed one and swung it at Steele who ducked and the chair bounced off the top rope back into Sika's face. This looked weak but Steele did get the win this way. Steele wanted to talk afterwards but the mic went up and he grabbed Alfred Hayes' headset, put it on, and broke it.

Apparently, Matilda is going through training for Mania IV and the six man with Heenan, the Islanders, and the Bulldogs. Gorilla can't wait to see her bite Bobby in the ass.

Rockin' Robin v. Sensational Sherri-Non Title Match-February 16, 1988-Wichita, KS
On January 2, these two actually teamed against the Jumping Bomb Angels but other than that, in 1988, they only worked singles with each other. Even in 87, they wrestled singles but no tags together and if anyone knows why they teamed then, please let me know. In the beginning, Sherri couldn't get anything to work for her. Bobby said they were both like two early shoppers at Bloomingdales. He also said that Sherri was at one of his parties recently and Hugh had his eye on her. Sherri got the advantage with a back suplex and later Sherri dumped Robin outside. 

Bobby said that if Robin had just stayed in the kitchen the worst thing that would've happened was she'd burn her fingers on some muffins. Gorilla responded by saying Heenan obviously doesn't believe in equal rights. Bobby replied that it wasn't true as he believes everything equally should happen to him. Robin and Sherri went back-and-forth until Sherri went up top but got slammed down. Robin then hit a bulldog from the middle rope and pinned her and gave the ref a kiss.

Gorilla showed off the 1988 WWF calendar with Hulk on the cover. Bobby thought it would be a collector's item because you'll never see Hulk again with the WWF belt.

Mr. DeGeorge is back with an update on Mania IV, specifically on the match with Macho and Butch Reed. Savage has momentum from a recent episode of SNME where he fought Honky Tonk Man. Savage won by count-out but Honky was mad and grabbed his guitar and went to hit Macho. 

Elizabeth stepped in and stopped him enough for Macho to fight back and celebrate by putting Liz on his shoulders. Macho gave a promo saying that Reed is like an unclimbable mountain but that he will climb it all the way to the top and the WWF Title. Liz cut a short solo promo saying she hopes to stand by her man like she always had before.

Bobby explained that Liz was not being courageous by standing up to Honky. What she had actually planned on doing was leaving with Honky but when she saw his beautiful profile and sideburns, she fainted. They played a video asking fans who they though would win the tournament and two girls said Rude would win and they wanted his awesome pecs. Bob Eucker interviewed Slick and the One Man Gang and Slick said Gang was so big that every time he steps on a scale it reads to be continued.

Ax w/Mr. Fuji v. Ken Patera-February 22, 1988-MSG

The announcers questioned why Fuji would split up his team for singles matches but Alfred later came around and said it was smart. It would be good if one guy was taken out and his teammate would have to fend for himself and he would be better prepared for it. This was a decent match but nothing real special. Patera started by working on Ax's arm with armbars and wristlocks. Fuji teased nailing Ken with the cane and Patera went after him outside but Ax followed. 
 They brawled for a little outside but when they got back in, Ax got the advantage for like a second. He missed a headbutt and Patera went to town and Ax sold well. Ken signaled for the full nelson and got it in but Fuji got up on the apron and Patera nailed him. The full nelson was back on but Smash came out onto the apron and got nailed. This time, Ax came up from behind with a running knee and pinned him. The Demos and Fuji triple teamed him until JYD made the save with his chain. There was a stand-off until Patera got on his feet and then the heels left. Ken did get a hold of Fuji's hat and he stomped it and threw it into the crowd. Bobby also said during this match that he admits to antagonizing but never interfering and that's ok.
Gorilla didn't agree with splitting up the Demos for singles matches so close to Mania. Bobby tried to respond but Gorilla shut him down for no reason and berated him saying he never managed a champion.

Bulldogs promo centered around Matilda as she can't wait until WrestleMania. Gorilla then shoved a Matilda shirt in Heenan's face. I'm amazed that they actually made a Matilda shirt but I'd love to see Dynamite wearing it.

Smash w/Mr. Fuji v. JYD w/Ken Patera-February 22, 1988-MSG

This was a wild match that the ref never had control of but it was short and forgettable. JYD launched strikes at Smash who bailed to the outside. Patera came following and kicked Smash right in front of the ref. Things went back inside and JYD went for a clothesline spot but Smash bumped early and missed JYD's arm. JYD went running towards Smash on the mat and Ax appeared and tripped up JYD. Immediately, Smash went running and got tripped by Patera and then Ken went after Ax which distracted the ref. JYD grabbed his chain and clobbered Smash across the throat with it and pinned him. Bobby Heenan was irate at how inept the ref was during this match.

Bobby mentioned he was having trouble getting tickets for WrestleMania from Donald Trump and he figured there was a problem with the mail or something. Gorilla just laughed at this.

The Rougeau Brothers v. Rick Renslow/Dave Wagner-February 16, 1988-Wichita, KS

Wagner and Renslow teamed in the AWA as the Alaskans in the 80's before coming to the WWF. Renslow also worked singles in the AWA and Pro Wrestling USA and he died of cancer in 2008. This was a good showcase match for the Rougeaus. Vince tried lecturing Jesse on his use of double-negatives during commentary. Renslow and Wagner tried to overpower Raymond with two top wristlocks but Jacques came in and run under Ray to flip him over. This enabled Raymond to monkey flip both of them and both Rougeaus delivered two dropkicks and sent both heels out over the top. The story with this match was that Renslow and Wagner were not cohesive as they kept mistakenly hitting each other but they were terrible to begin with. Ray grabbed Renslow while Jacques went up top and sat down on him and Ray pinned him.

Craig interviewed Honky Tonk Man on his match at Mania with Brutus Beefcake. He said Mania will be the biggest day of his life. He asked Brutus if he had ever wondered what would happen if he hit him with his guitar and then cut his hair.

Brutus Beefcake v. Brian Costello-February 17, 1988-Topeka, KS

Absolute nothing match here. Beefcake is billed as being from San Francisco. A promo from Brutus aired during the match where he said he wants to hang Honky's hair on his wall right next to the IC belt. Yea, cause that's not odd at all. Bobby said Brutus looked like he had two grenades in his pants and they both went off. Brutus hit his sleeper, won the match, and cut Costello's hair.

Hulk interview with Craig and it was very basic. I felt sorry for the fans because they went crazy seeing Hulk only for him to be out for a minute or two and then leave so they could usher in Beefcake v. Costello or something. Hulk couldn't have planned out the Mania tourney himself. He is happy to fight Andre right off the bat when Andre is still fresh. Once he beats Andre, he will mow down everyone in his path, especially Dibiase. Later, Bobby said both guys were in a position where they have to win.
WrestleMania IV report running down the matches. Donald Trump cut a promo saying it was an honor to host Mania. 
 A recap of the Hercules/Warrior chain angle with both guys cutting promos. Warrior said nightmares are the best part of his day and Herc said Warrior will be destroyed. Then, we get a recap of Strike Force winning the tag belts from the Hart Foundation. Demolition cut a great promo saying they've demolished every team they've faced and they've forced the WWF to give them a title shot. Ax said for Strike Force to remember when they were young and they were afraid to go to bed because the monsters were going to get them. Well, the Demos are the monsters and they're here and Strike Force's nightmare is just beginning. Strike Force cut a basic promo wearing neck bandannas that made them both look like they were wearing neck braces. Finally, Vanna White cut a very condescending promo about being the guest time keeper. 

Bobby was on the phone with Vanna and she told him he could turn her cards anytime he wanted. Gorilla shifted the subject and asked where Hercules buys his chains. Bobby said they're designer chains and asked Gorilla if he'd ever heard of Gucci. Gorilla couldn't believe they were Gucci chains.

Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan v. Koko B. Ware-February 17, 1988-Topeka, KS

This one had good heat but a lousy finish and it was a decent match. Koko attacked early with some good moves but got caught off and put in a camel clutch. Koko escaped by crawling and walking using Rude's legs to send him into the corner buckle. Clever counter that I've never seen before. Koko couldn't capitalize though and Rude put another camel clutch in. Koko lifted him onto his shoulders and dropped him but Rude then blocked a big splash from Koko. Rude put in a big bear hug but then he missed a drop kick and Koko hit his comeback to good heat. He hit a missile dropkick but Bobby grabbed Franky on his pedestal and ran to the back and Koko chased him down. Rude won by count-out but Koko returned with the bird and did a number on Rude.
Heenan running with the parrot
Bobby said the only reason he took the bird was because Franky crapped on the floor and he was taking him back to get some newspapers. He told Koko if you live by the bird, you die by the bird. 

I hope you enjoyed everything with this episode.  Follow me on Twitter @stevesgraps for more photos from this show.  Drop me a line over email at or post some comments right here.  I'll be back soon with the next episode and I'll be starting on AWA in the next week or so too.  Thanks.