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AWA Championship Wrestling 03-19-88

Taped from Las Vegas, NV

Airdate: March 19, 1988

Attendance: 2,000

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Ron Trongard, & Verne Gagne

What happens next in the Von Raschke-Al Kaissie feud? Does Ustinov have a say in the matter? Can Steve O become Steve Champion by beating his buddy, Greg? Will the little people outshine some of the riffraff in the undercard? Let’s sweep through this episode to find out!

Is that Uncle Herbie?

Opening montage.

We revisit the atrocity that was the main event from last week when Hennig and Lawler stunk up the Showboat Sports Pavilion. Let’s hope this week’s episode is an improvement.

Match 1: The Nasty Boys versus Greg Robertson & Kevin Collins


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the Nasty Boys who exhibit brute force but not much else at this point.

Nelson interviews Ricky Rice briefly before the Nasty Boys ruin Nelson’s evening. Knobbs continues to complain about the match against the Midnight Rockers to ZERO effect. Sorry, Knobbs, but we’re not kidnapping President Stanley Blackburn from his assisted-living facility to overturn it.

Match 2: Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie versus Tim “Spitball” Patterson


Rating: DUD

Summary: Waste of time as Al-Kaissie was worthless in the ring at this stage.

Nelson interviews 1984 Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman style wrestling Jeff Blatnick. While Blatnick bores us with amateur wrestling minutiae, 1976 US Olympic competitor Brad Rheingans joins to put over Blatnick. Unfortunately for Blatnick, his cancer returned, so he couldn’t compete in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He also died in 2012 due to complications from heart surgery. What a shame!

Following a commercial break, we revisit the match between Al-Kaissie and Baron Von Raschke from the 3/5 episode. Meanwhile, my wardrobe is in dire need of refolding.

Match 3 for the AWA International TV title: Greg Gagne (champion) versus Steve Olsonoski


Rating: **

Summary: As you’d expect from two guys who train together regularly, this was neck-and-neck until Greg pulled it out of his ass at the end. Did he elevate Olsonoski or barely beat the equivalent of a JTTS for 1988? I’d lean toward the latter.

A disheveled Nelson interviews Soldat Ustinov who denies another opportunity for Von Raschke’s against Al-Kaissie. Instead, Von Raschke gets in Ustinov’s face and scares him off with the threat of the claw. Von Raschke cuts a promo on Al-Kaissie until Ustinov CLOBBERS him from behind with a wooden board. While Nelson screams for medical attention, Ustinov drapes the Soviet flag over Von Raschke. Insta-feud!

Match 4 (non-title): AWA World tag team champions the Midnight Rockers versus Samoan Joe & Destroyer Samoan


Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for the champs.

At ringside, Lee Marshall interviews the Midnight Rockers. Jannetty names Lawler/Dundee and the Nasty Boys as top challengers before mentioning their opponents NEXT WEEK in Badd Company. Afterward, he alludes to the arrival of the Rock’n’Roll Express. Michaels credits Badd Company as a tough challenge but is also appreciative of the Rock’n’Roll Express.

We revisit the previous two episodes for a quick peek at Badd Company.

Match 5 (dwarf): Karate Kid & Cowboy Lang versus Killer Cruz & Bad Boy Brown


Rating: *

Summary: Entertaining match although they didn’t follow the tag formula. Hence, the Vegas faithful got a kick out of them but didn’t excitedly leap from their seats.

Nelson interviews Greg who provides an update on Von Raschke. As Greg cuts a promo on Al-Kaissie, he states Von Raschke may have a concussion.

Prior to the end, we revisit the Ustinov attack of Von Raschke.

Conclusion: The Ustinov-Von Raschke angle saved this show from the abyss where the previous episode exists. As the little person match made for good afternoon entertainment, the TV title match was every bit of a Von Erich-Adias match from WCCW as it could be.

Once again, unless little person matches are your Michelangelo, I beseech you to…

TV Rating: NONE

Stay tuned for AWA 03-26-88!

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

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