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AWA Championship Wrestling 03-12-88

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: March 12, 1988 (taped 02/19)

Attendance: 2,000 (Yikes!)

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Ron Trongard, & Lee Marshall

Will Lawler defeat Hennig to become World champion? Can Greg retain the illustrious International TV title? How will this match contend with famous (infamous?) wrestling shows in the past?

Opening montage.

POINT OF CLARIFICATION: For the sake of accuracy, I use closed captioning during my reflections. Nevertheless, the WWE Network/Peacock makes me chuckle each time during Nelson’s spiel during the opening montage. Instead of interpreting the product as “mat action,” the closed captioning reads “man action.” THAT would be an entirely different show that some may enjoy, but I won’t be reviewing them.

We revisit the main event from last week when the Midnight Rockers defeated the Nasty Boys albeit controversially. Nelson threatens us with AWA President Stanley Blackburn but not yet.

Match 1: “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel versus Samoan Joe


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for McDaniel although Joe wanted to be a tough guy initially.

Match 2: Badd Company versus Bill Anderson & the Hurricane Kid


Rating: -*

Summary: Who let this Kid wrestle on national TV? He’s so raw the oysters at Joe’s Crab Shack felt overcooked in their shells.

We revisit last week when Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie tried to disfigure Baron Von Raschke’s claw hand. Afterward, Nelson interviews Von Raschke who vows “the claw is back” and cuts a promo on Al-Kaissie.

Match 3 for the AWA International TV title: Greg Gagne (champion) versus Destroyer Samoan


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for the TV champ. Are we done with these squash matches yet?

At ringside, Marshall interviews Hennig who’s wearing a Hard Rock Café t-shirt from Honolulu, HI. Hennig believes he would pound Greg into a pile of goo. Greg interrupts and challenges Hennig for the World title, a shoving match breaks out, but cooler heads prevail.

Match 4: “Cowboy” Bob Orton versus Kevin Collins


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Orton. Now they’re done, right?

After the match, Orton piledrives Collins behind referee Gary DeRusha’s back. How dastardly!

Nelson interviews Soldat Ustinov without Al-Kaissie. While Ustinov cuts a horrible promo on Von Raschke, he refers to his nemesis as a “coward.” Someone please teach this goof how to do promos.

Match 5 for the AWA World title: “Cool” Curt Hennig (champion) versus Jerry “The King” Lawler


Rating: *½

Summary: Despite the enthusiasm of the Vegas faithful, this was a convoluted mess that no one would dare to clean up. Methinks Lawler and Hennig saw how few patrons were in the stands and dogged the shit out of this match.

After the match, Hennig tries to wallop Lawler but HITS THE POLE instead. He’ll need more than Excedrin for that one, Monsoon. As Lawler rams Hennig’s injured hand against the ring post again, Hennig retreats to the locker room while Lawler stands tall.

Before the show ends, Nelson interviews McDaniel who wants a shot at Hennig. Nelson believes that Lawler will get a rematch. We can only hope it’s better than what we just witnessed.

Next week, the little people invade the AWA.

Conclusion: Please forgive me for a moment.

OK, I feel better now.

What a shitshow! Was this a TV taping or an exercise in futility? I’d lean toward the latter in this episode’s case. It was absolute DRECK. From untrained wrestlers to doofuses who want to stand up to McDaniel to main events that stink up the whole city of Las Vegas, this was the drizzling shits. Herb Abrams must have studied this episode when he compiled the Fury Hour episode preceding Summerslam ’91. It was THAT bad. Do not walk away from this episode.

You have been warned.

TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for AWA 03-19-88!

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

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