Wednesday, February 27, 2019

AWA Wrestlerock 1986

Most people probably know about the Wrestlerock Rumble rap number that has become something of a cult hit for all the wrong reasons... because isn't that the typical way of becoming a cult hit? For all the wrong reasons.

Anyway, this is the show that whole thing was promoting... and oh dear god...

Quick note: I'm watching this off the WWE Network, which apparently features a heavily edited version of the show. I don't know what differences there are - apparently, there's a match featuring the Midnight Rockers that was cut from this version - but I'm just going by what I watch and that's all I could do, really.

Brad Rheingans defeats Boris Zhukov in the opening match... meh.

Cowboy Lang & Little Mr. T defeat Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook in a Midget Tag-Team Contest. Special referee is Gary Lumpkin... it is a "little person" match and let's just leave it at that.

Col. DeBeers defeated Wahoo McDaniel via DQ when Wahoo tosses DeBeers over the top rope, which is a no-no in AWA and Bill Watts-era WCW. This is the same sort of finish that kept Hulk Hogan from winning the title from Nick Bockwinkle back in '83 and contributed to his move to WWF where he got the title and made a shitload of money. Three years after that, we're still doing that hackeyned finish? No wonder AWA went under a few years after this.

Tiger Mask defeats Buck Zumhofe. This was a thing that happened.

Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo defeat The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane & Steve Keirn). This was also a thing that happened and that's surprising being that you have four really talented wrestlers on here who could do good matches. This was just a match and it was meh.

Giant Baba defeated Bulldog Bob Brown in one of the all-time terrible matches in the history of professional wrestling. I knew about this match because Lance Storm and Cyrus once talked about it on their Killing The Town podcast and, well... it's not a good match. It's pretty bad. It's not a good showcase of Giant Baba, who is a legendary figure in Japanese wrestling, nor is it a good showcase of Bulldog Bob Brown, who is... who is... who is Bulldog Bob Brown. Seriously, catch the clip on Youtube of those guys talking about the match because they do it far better justice than I ever could. This was fail at its most failiest.

That is a new word, yes.

The match between former NWA World Champion Harley Race and former AWA World Champion Rick Martel ended in a double countout. A non-finish on an AWA event? What are the fucking odds? Both guys would eventually end up in the WWF down the line and this match was just a thing that happened.

There's a women's battle royal that is won by Sherri Martel featuring a bunch of women that I don't recognize.

AWA Americas Champion Sgt. Slaughter defeats Kamala via DQ due to Kamala hitting his own manager or something like that. There's more chopping here than there is in that Chop N Roll vs. Rock N Roll Expresses match I've seen from that one Black Label Pro match last year... except that match was entertaining whereas this was... this was... good lord, this is deathly dull.

AWA World Tag Team Champions Curt Hennig & Scott Hall defeat The Long Riders (Bill Irwin & Scott Irwin) to retain the titles.

In a European rules match - which has matches split into rounds - and with Larry "The Axe" Hennig serving as referee, Scott LeDoux defeats Larry Zbyszko via DQ in the sixth round. You know what, I'm glad to have watched this match. Because now I know how the Rounds system in the short-lived AWF promotion work and I never, ever, EVER have to watch a single episode of that show ever again. Thank you, AWA.

Nick Bockwinkel defeats AWA World Heavyweight Champion Stan Hansen by DQ due to getting backdropped over the top rope. Minus the shit finish, this had the makings of a really good match and I was really getting into it. Bockwinkle and Hansen were both before my fandom, but they had that element that compelled me to see who win the battle between the distinguished competitor and the rough-riding brawler... and then you have THAT bullshit finish. Hansen would later be stripped of the title due to failure to appear and would get a run-over title belt with tire tracks on it.

Greg Gagne & Jimmy Snuka (w/Verne Gagne) defeat King Kong Brody & The Barbarian (w/Sheik Adnan Al-Kassie) in a mildly amusing Steel Cage match that ended with the repackaged Bruiser (King Kong) Brody dropkicking his own partner, allowing the other fellows to win. This would lead to Verne Gagne beating up on Al-Kassie in a follow-up match in the same cage. Bless Verne for giving himself the clean, decisive victory.

Also in a steel cage match, the Road Warriors defeat The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes). This was a thing that happened.

I'll be honest; trying to sit through a four-hour Wrestlerock event from the AWA is as much of a chore as trying to sit through a modern-day WWE Pay-Per-View, except that the match quality overall isn't anywhere as good and the production was abysmal. Even the NWA shows of the time seem higher quality than this supposed supershow from the AWA. Bad enough the matches were forgettable fare, but then you had some awful finishes. But hey, I saw the horrible Wrestlerock Rumble video and now I saw the horrible Wrestlerock show to go along with it.

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