Monday, September 29, 2014

AWA Championship Wrestling 7/22/86

 Venturing back to the 80’s with some AWA on ESPN. This should be fun … hopefully.

Larry Zbyszko vs. Chad "Babyface" Bardo

This looks like it was filmed at a high school gym somwhere. Not sure who this Bardo character is but I’m guessing he’s probably just a local dude they found on the frozen tundra of Minnesota somewhere and offered him a ten bucks and a hot meal if he would get beat up by Zbyszko. Zbyszko takes his time picking apart Bardo with two piledrivers and taps him out with a stump puller. Pretty basic squash.

Curt Hennig vs. Don Fargo

Don Fargo is an old outcast from the peak of the territories and looks like he’s been through the wars. He’d be more apt for an appearance in Game of Thrones instead of here taking on Curt Hennig. Not sure what’s so special about this match as Curt’s dad, Larry “The Ax” Hennig is doing guest commentary and Curt is being put over big. Loving Fargo’s selling of everything as he’s so animated and has a lot of good facials. Fargo met his doom after a brutal forearm smash and a big second-rope dropkick. Hennig looked fine but the world needs more Don Fargo.

Boris Zhukov vs. Tim Patterson

In the next match, Boris Zhukov attacked right at the bell and just destroyed this poor sap. Zhukov used the hammerlock frequently and worked over Patterson’s shoulder pretty much the whole match. Horrible looking kneedrop ends this mercifully. Another basic squash that went a bit too long and felt really bland

Midnight Rockers vs. Rick Renslow/Pete Sanchez

The opponents here for the Rockers are really thick dudes. Rick Renslow looks like a guy you’d find hanging out at a seedy biker bar after hours throwing back Budweisers. Wait, I’ve heard of Pete Sanchez, wasn’t he the guy that wrestled Flair in his first MSG match back in 1976? Michaels had to really work for a powerslam late in the match with Sanchez really didn’t want to go up for. The Rockers looked crisp and definitely made Sanchez & Renslow work for their nights pay.

Stan Hansen vs. Jerry Blackwell

The backstory to this one is that Hansen was the champion at the time and this was his last defense before refusing to defend the title the next night in Denver. Blackwell just opened up on Hansen with some big punches to the face and split open Hansen within the first two minutes of the match. Blackwell just seemed content to throw punches and not much else and seemed winded within the first few minutes. Hansen dropped Blackwell with a big boot to the head after he attempted a charge to the corner. Big bearhug from Blackwell slowed this down to a stop. Ref bump followed and Hansen went crazy just killing Blackwell and two referees with a cowboy boot. I was hoping for a match where two big dudes just laid into each other and unfortunately, this was not what happened here.

Brad Rheingans vs. Ali Khan

Rheingans, for all of his amateur credits, comes across on TV as one of the most bland and vanilla guys possible. I’ve seen milk cartons with more personality. Khan is nothing but a crazed lunatic. Some decent looking mat work from Rheingans after the first few minutes was nothing but stalling from Khan but thus far not much to really see here. Well, shit, the referee gets knocked down for no apparent reason. I’m not going to even try to figure that out. Match breaks down into chaos and apparently Khan got disqualified. What for? Not sure as it’s never explained.

Overall, an OK episode with the only real notable thing big thing being the Hansen/Blackwell match. The Hennig match was fun just because of Fargo’s invovlement but everything else was pretty bland.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Monday Nitro 1/8/01

WCW Monday Nitro 1/8/01
Minneapolis, MN
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, and Disco Inferno

It’s the first Nitro of 2001 and the final Nitro before the Sin pay-per-view!

Shannon Moore vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

This was originally supposed to be non-title but Chavo decided to put the Cruiserweight Title on the line here against Moore so that way if Moore won, then it would be a Chavo vs. Moore rematch on the PPV. Moore rushed out of the gate with some fiery offense, leading you to believe that he may have a chance, albeit a slim one, to win the title. This was a nifty little match with Chavo playing a good heel. Moore hit a nice springboard fameasser followed by a glorious botch trying to do some high risk move in the corner. The brainbuster at the end from Chavo was all kinds of nasty and pretty much ruined Moore’s night.

The Cat vs. Ron Harris

Before the match, Cat just had to run his mouth about the Harris Brothers. This immediately led him to getting double teamed when the match started. Cat’s karate moves didn’t phase Harris at all and amounted to exactly squat. The referee was completely incompetent, allowing the Harris’ to do an illegal switcheroo and double team Cat right in front of him. Quick match, nothing exciting.

Lance Storm vs. Billy Kidman

This is yet another continuation of the Filthy Animals vs. Team Canada feud that feels like it’s never ending. For a TV match though, this was good. The action kept up at a decent pace. Storm hit a nice forward roll and then dropped Kidman sternum first on the ropes. Kidman countered a Storm jump off the top rope with a sick dropkick that caught Storm in mid-air and then got a really close nearfall off of a Lo-Down. For some reason, a chair was thrown in 90 seconds in. Not sure why as it didn’t really come into play until the last bit of the match when Storm took a header into it. The finish had Kidman getting the win with the Kid Crusher. Worst part of the match was the brawl on the outside with all of the Animals and Team Canada that seemed to just inexplicably stop since the match in the ring was in the final stretch. Probably the best match I’ve seen from this project thus far.

Shane Douglas vs. Sid Vicious

Sid and his jean shorts look really old. First move that Sid did in this match was a clothesline and it was awful, therefore that meant that pretty much the rest of the match that’s all the offense he threw. Douglas did his best to make this watchable but Sid is just so stiff and rigid that there wasn’t much he could do. Douglas got finished off with a powerbome and Sid showed no expression whatsoever though this whole thing while going through the motions.

Kronik vs. Goldberg/DeWayne Bruce

I wish someone would actually take the time to explain how Bruce wound up getting involved with Goldberg. Does he have a deep, dark secret on him or something and is therefore forcing him to kill his career by teaming up in bad matches on national television? Anyway, we had a lame brawl on the outside with Goldberg taking one of the worst leg trips into the railing I’ve ever seen. Bruce is just brutal to watch. For all the hype he has for being this hard-ass at the Power Plant, he’s showed absolutely nothing the two matches of his I’ve seen. Kronik nearly got the upset with the High Times move but Goldberg fought back with a series of kicks, a spear, and a jackhammer to win.

Minnesota Massacre Match: Kevin Nash/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mike Sanders/Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo

This was a mess. Earlier in the show, Commissioner Mike Sanders announced this match and explained the rules, which seemed very complicated and that it would involve “randomly selected opponents” for the Thrillers (himself, O’Haire, and Palumbo). Then, later, a disembodied HAND reached in a suit coat that supposedly belonged to Sanders and swapped out the envelope that had the “randomly selected opponents” with a different one. Finally, to the match, and it turned out the that the MYSTERY HAND made Kevin Nash and DDP the “randomly selected opponents” for the Thrillers. The match itself then started and no one seemed to know what the rules were. On commentary, Schiavone kept saying it was “last man standing” so I guess that works. O’Haire and Palumbo both tried to kick DDP at the same time but collied with each other and fell to the mat in a heap in an unintential moment of hilarity. So much punching from all participants that it wasn’t even funny. DDP hit a Diamond Cutter and Nash hit a powerbomb for the win in what was essentially a handicap match.

Scott Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett

Before the match started there was a LOT of talking. So much, in fact, that when the bell actually rang to start the match there was only five minutes left in the show. They had a match that was decent but in no way memorable. A brawl on the outside culminated in a low blow on Steiner. Then, we get a random run-in from Sid, who seemed to be moving faster than he was in his earlier match, and the Mystery Man in his black and white bumblebee outfit. All four brawled and the show ended.

Not much of a go-home show for the PPV.

Next up: Thunder, the actual last stop before Sin!

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List