In the solemn words of Jim Morrison:

With the national expansions of both the WWF and NWA, the territorial system, as we knew it, was breathing its last breath. Despite legends like Verne Gagne, the Von Erichs, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Mad Dog Vachon, Chris Adams, among others, the lingering territories during this era tried their best not only to survive but to succeed.

With the conglomeration of the AWA, WCWA, CWA, and POWW, this supercard marks the last stand by the territories in their effort to compete. How much success do they achieve? Let’s find out!

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: December 13, 1988

Attendance: 1,672

Hosted by Larry Nelson, Lee Marshall, and Ray “The Crippler” Stevens

To start the show, ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta details the important people for this event.

Match 1: Los Guerreros hermanos versus the Rock’n’Roll RPMs & Cactus Jack


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Exciting opener as los Guerreros hermanos brought the sparse crowd to its feet.

Backstage, Larry interviews POWW Champion Nina who would later become Ivory during the WWF Attitude Era. She will compete for $10,000 in a Beverly Hills street fight lingerie battle royal. Where’s the WWF when you need alliteration?

Match 2 for the WCWA World Light Heavyweight title: Jeff Jarrett (champion) versus “Flamboyant” Eric Embry


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Despite being a heel, the NEW champion (for a fourth time) gets a face pop from the Chicago faithful.

After the match, Marshall interviews Embry who’s worried about the condition of Jarrett’s shoulder.

Backstage, Larry interviews the Syrian Terrorist who not only wears a beautiful necklace but also confuses all of us including Larry.

Match 3: The “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant versus Wayne Bloom


Rating: DUD

Summary: The question wasn’t whether this was a match or not. The question was whether or not Valiant would kiss Lee.

Backstage, Larry interviews David McLane with Bambi who’s a proud Georgia native.

Match 4 for the WCWA Texas title: “Iceman” King Parsons (champion) versus Brickhouse Brown


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Get out the bulldozer! It’s time to tear down the brick house.

Wait! Not that bulldozer!

After the match, Lee interviews Parsons who calls his opponent “Outhouse” Brown and “Roody Poo.” So THAT’S where the Rock stole that catchphrase.

Backstage, Larry interviews Pocahontas and Brandy Mae.

Match 5 (mixed six-person): AWA World tag team champions Badd Company & Madusa Miceli (w/ Diamond Dallas Page) versus the Top Guns & AWA Women’s champion Wendi Richter


Rating: **

Summary: Sloppy match with a brutal powerbomb spot that looked extremely dangerous.

After the match, the Top Guns spank Miceli who then tries to slap Dukes again. She misses and barely escapes the ring unscathed. Lee then interviews Miceli who argues with and slaps Tanaka. DDP then dismisses her from the Diamond Exchange.

Backstage, Larry interviews WCWA World champion Kerry Von Erich with his daughter Hollie.

Match 6 for the vacant AWA International TV title: Ron Garvin versus Greg Gagne


Rating: *

Summary: The only worthwhile part of this match was the disdain the Chicago faithful had for Greg during it. A countout on a PPV? Seriously?

After the match, Garvin returns to the ring and applies a sleeper. To counter, Greg escapes by ramming Garvin head-first into the top turnbuckle. He then applies a sleeper to Garvin, but the latter escapes and heads for higher ground. Lee then interviews Greg who offers a rematch to Garvin any time. He then refers to Garvin as the Chicago Bears and himself as the Minnesota Vikings. Someone wasn’t happy about the fans’ not rooting for him.

Backstage, Larry interviews AWA World champion Jerry Lawler.

Match 7 (battle royal):

Participants: Bambi, Brandi Mae, Laurie Lynn, Luna Vachon, Malibu, Nina, Peggy Lee Heather, Pocahantas, & the Syrian Terrorist


Rating: NONE

Summary: Even young teenage boys would tell you to fast-forward through that dreck. If anything, let’s hope the Syrian Terrorist used the $10,000 for the powers of good rather than evil.

After the “match,” Lee interviews the Syrian Terrorist who yells at Brandi Mae in her native language.

Backstage, Larry looks thrilled while interviewing Peggy Lee Leather and Luna. While Peggy yells that she wants a shot at the POWW title, Luna scares the bejeezus out of Larry by wearing a snake around her neck. Has she been hanging out with Jake Roberts lately?

At ringside, Lee holds up an issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated then introduces senior editor Bill Apter who wants to award the Inspirational Wrestler of the Year—Jerry Lawler who remained in the dressing room.

Backstage, Larry interviews Slaughter. If only he had called DeBeers a maggot or slime…

Match 8 (boot camp): Sergeant Slaughter versus Colonel DeBeers (w/ Diamond Dallas Page)


Rating: *

Summary: Since the kids returned from the bathroom break match, their hero tried his best to defeat his enemy. USA! USA! USA!

Excuse me, ahem, OK, I’m better now.

After the match, Slaughter rallies and applies the cobra clutch to El-Kaissey. Again, DDP motions to the back, and, surprisingly, the Iron Sheik runs in to attack Slaughter. Since the Iran-Iraq war ended four months prior to this match, he and El-Kaissey must have a truce. Regardless, after the Iron Sheik nails Slaughter with a foreign object, referee Mike Enos runs in only to get nailed by the Iron Sheik. Finally, los Guerreros hermanos hit the ring to scatter the foreign menaces. A BUSTED OPEN Slaughter chases the Iron Sheik away.

Lee then interviews Slaughter who’s ready to declare war on the Iron Sheik. He then recites the Pledge of Allegiance along with the Chicago faithful.

Backstage, Larry permits Apter to properly honor Lawler with the award mentioned earlier.

Match 9 for the WCWA World tag team titles: The Samoan Swat Team (champions w/ Buddy Roberts) versus Michael P.S. Hayes & Steve “Do it to it” Cox


Rating: **1/2

Summary: The SST looked really good here as the feud between Roberts and Hayes continued.

Backstage, Larry interviews the Iron Sheik and El-Kaissey who cut a promo on Slaughter.

Cappetta then introduces IWGP champion Tatsumi Fujinami as Fernandez takes exception to his presence.

Match 10 (Indian strap): “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel versus the “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Violent bloody match with an outcome I could have guessed in my sleep.

After the match, the brawl continues as Fernandez nails Enos and tosses him out of the ring. Suddenly, Fujinami returns to the ring to aid McDaniel.

Lee then interviews a bloodied McDaniel who wants Fernandez “dead.” Don’t say that too loud in Chicago, Wahoo.

Backstage, Larry interviews AWA promoter Verne Gagne and AWA President Stanley Blackburn. Both men agree that the match should have been stopped due to blood. The thick plottens.

Match 11 for both the AWA and WCWA titles: AWA World champion Jerry “The King” Lawler versus WCWA World champion the “Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Really good match with a gory bladejob by Von Erich. Is he the unified champion?

After the match, as Dusek argues with Miller, Lerner announces that Von Erich was unable to continue (despite having the advantage), and Lawler is the NEW unified World champion.

As the Chicago faithful chants “BULLSHIT,” Von Erich’s blood has stained the entire mat. Ick. After Miller places both belts atop the fallen Lawler, Von Erich grabs both of them, raises them overhead to cheers, and leaves the ring with them.

In the ring, Lee interviews Lawler.

Backstage, Larry interviews the bloodied Von Erich and Blackburn. We then revisit the end of the match beginning with the false finish. Afterward, Blackburn interjected about too much blood and his instructions to Miller. Kerry argued with him as Larry asks the burning question: “Will there be a rematch?” Blackburn says yes.

Match 12: The Rock’n’Roll Express versus the Stud Stable (w/ Miss Sylvia)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Horrible finish to a rushed match that truly needed the tag formula to succeed. Let’s face it. It failed.

After the match, Lee interviews the Rock’n’Roll Express. Morton disputes the rumor of a break-up and is ready for a fifth tag title reign.

Backstage, Larry interviews the Stud Stable. While Golden wants to give the Rock’n’Roll Express a Southern ass-whippin’, Fuller runs down both the Rock’n’Roll Express and Chicago without missing a breath.

Finally, at ringside, Lee interviews Verne who thanks all who helped with the show. After they discuss the unification match and its controversial finish, Lee mentions the surprise appearance of the Iron Sheik.

Conclusion: If it wasn’t for the opener and the unification match, this show would be a disaster of Biblical proportions. Definitely check those matches out but skip the rest.

Epilogue: While this wasn’t the final nail in the coffin for these promotions, their efforts going forward meant less each day moving forward. Since the promoters could only agree on the bouts and the venue but nothing else, Verne Gagne retained all of the revenue from the event. Since Lawler wasn’t paid for the event, according to the Spectacular Legacy of the AWA DVD, he never returned the AWA title after being stripped of it.

Here is a list of AWA champions from April of 1983 until December of 1990:

  1. Nick Bockwinkel
  2. Jumbo Tsuruta
  3. Rick Martel
  4. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
  5. Nick Bockwinkel
  6. Curt Hennig
  7. Jerry Lawler
  8. Larry Zbyszko
  9. Mr. Saito
  10. Larry Zbyszko

Goodbye, territories. Say hello to either the WWF or the NWA on your way out. And someone grab the light please.

See you for NWA Starrcade ‘88!

Rating: 0.50

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

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