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AWA Championship Wrestling 03-11-86

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: March 11, 1986

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Ken Resnick, & Greg Gagne

Will David Sammartino win the AWA World title? How will Michaels fare against the nefarious Somers? Who’s this Colorado rookie up against the returning yet dastardly Zbyszko? What’s that, Al?

The full episode isn’t available, but I found the three matches that embody it. Unfortunately, no post-match interviews are included.

Match 1: Larry Zbyszko versus Leon “Baby Bull” White


Rating: *

Summary: Quite the shellacking by White onto Zbyszko, yet the wily veteran found a way to beat him. Perhaps Michaels should have used this strategy at Summerslam ’96 against Vader.

After the match, White returns to the ring and military-press-slams Zbyszko.

Match 2: Shawn Michaels versus “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers


Rating: **½

Summary: Solid work by both wrestlers as Somers displayed workrate while making Michaels look really good. I bet if each wrestler obtained a partner, a tag team war could ignite.

Match 3 for the AWA World title: Stan “The Lariat” Hansen (champion) versus David Sammartino


Rating: ***

Summary: Sammartino had his chances, but Hansen withstood them to retain the gold. Great to see a clean job to put over the champion. If only Herb Abrams had learned this lesson…

Conclusion: A solid three-match show makes for a fun experience. You could certainly see the potential in White from the get-go. Somers and Michaels had great chemistry, so I look forward to future matches between them. Sammartino gave a good showing, but it was too early for Hansen to relinquish the title.

The next event on the AWA calendar is the supershow WrestleRock ’86, so I’d call this show an effective appetizer. Here’s the card:

  1. In a steel cage, the Road Warriors face the Freebirds.
  2. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka & Greg Gagne versus King Kong Brody & Barbarian (if Snuka and Greg win, Verne faces Al-Kaissie.)
  3. For the AWA World title, Hansen versus Nick Bockwinkel.
  4. In a boxing match, Zbyszko faces referee Scott LeDoux.
  5. For the AWA World tag team titles, Curt Hennig and Scott Hall defend against the Long Riders.
  6. For the AWA Americas title, Sergeant Slaughter faces Kamala.
  7. Ten-woman battle royal.
  8. Rick Martel versus Harley Race
  9. Fabulous Ones versus US Express
  10. Midnight Rockers versus “Playboy” Buddy Rose & “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers


TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for AWA WrestleRock ’86!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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