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
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
At the bell, the RPMs tried to double-team Hector but ran into one another instead.
Hector then gave them a double flying headscissors.
Next, Cactus Jack, who weighed perhaps 200 pounds at this point, fell victim to a sunset flip from Mando but grabbed the bottom rope.
After Cactus tossed Mando outside the ring, he joined him but received a back drop on the concrete floor from Chavo.
Shortly after, Hector and Mando broke the wishbone on Cactus.
Chavo then took Davis down with a flying headscissors.
Lane tagged in as the RPMs tried a double clothesline, but Chavo delivered one instead.
Afterwards, los Guerreros hermanos knocked their opponents to the mat and took turns dogpiling them.
Once order was restored, Cactus delivered an elbow drop to Chavo for 2.
Hector tagged in, flipped over the top rope, and dropkicked all three opponents.
All six men were in the ring.
As Lane held Hector, Davis tried to clothesline him but hit Lane instead.
After Hector dropkicked Davis over the top rope to the floor, he delivered a plancha.
As Chavo slammed Lane, Mando hit a tope to Cactus on the concrete floor.
Meanwhile, Chavo pinned Lane.
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
“The Chosen One” was a mere 210 pounds at this point in his career.
After giving Jarrett an arm drag, Embry delivered a clothesline.
Jarrett then ducked another clothesline and delivered one of his own.
He then tried a cross body block, but Embry ducked sending Jarrett straight into the ropes.
Upon winning a double reversal of a cross-corner whip, Embry ate boot on his follow-through.
Jarrett then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick.
In spite of his injured left shoulder, he then gave Embry a sunset flip for 2.
Next, he hooked a backslide followed by an inside cradle for a pair of 2-counts.
Embry then countered one sunset flip too many by Jarrett with a rollup for the pin.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
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
Bloom would later become part of the Destruction Crew with Mike Enos who refereed the opener.
After a back elbow, Valiant delivered an elbow drop.
Welcome to the AWA, Wayne!
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
Parsons won the Texas title back on 8/5/88 when he defeated Kevin Von Erich.
For those that are interested, Verne Gagne joined Lee at the broadcast table for this match.
After a leap frog, Parsons ate a dropkick.
Brown then caught Parsons off-guard with a backslide for 2.
Parsons came back with a butt bump and a clothesline for 2.
He then gave Brown a snap suplex for another 2.
Brown then hit a cross body block and got 2.
Next, Parsons nailed Brown with a right for 2.
He then attempted a piledriver, but Brown countered with a back drop.
After a back elbow, Brown hit a flying forearm but only got 2 because Parsons put his foot on the bottom rope.
As Brown celebrated thinking he won, Parsons pulled some brass knux out of his tights, nailed Brown, and got the pin.
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
Both the AWA tag team and Women’s titles were at stake in this match.
To begin the match, all six wrestlers were in the ring.
The Guns and Richter then whipped Badd Company and Miceli into one another.
The Guns minus Richter then delivered a double back elbow to Tanaka.
As Dukes tagged in, he delivered a springboard shoulder block to Tanaka.
The Guns then gave Tanaka a double back drop for 2.
Dukes then delivered a clothesline to Tanaka resulting in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
That got 2 thanks to a save by Diamond.
Next, a dropkick by Dukes got another 2 on Tanaka.
While Miceli distracted referee Mike Enos, Diamond put a knee into Dukes’ back as he came off the ropes.
He then gave Dukes a sidewalk slam followed by a gutwrench suplex for 2.
While Rice occupied Enos’ attention, Miceli slapped Dukes across the face.
Diamond then gave Dukes a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Richter tagged in, grabbed Miceli, but received a guillotine on the top rope.
After a snap suplex by Miceli and a subsequent leap frog, Richter knocked Diamond off the apron as she came off the ropes.
She then missed a dropkick.
Afterward, she gave Miceli a powerbomb that could have broken her neck. Yikes!
Having somehow recovered, Miceli held Richter while Tanaka delivered a savate kick.
In case you were wondering, Enos was occupied with Rice and Diamond in the babyface corner.
Regardless, a second savate kick went awry by hitting Miceli instead of Richter.
Seeing her opponent knocked into the middle of 1989, Richter pinned Miceli to retain her title.
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
Upon his introduction, the Chicago faithful heartily booed Greg.
As Greg gave Garvin a cross-corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
On the other hand, he then delivered a back drop for 2.
Shortly after, Garvin gave Greg the ten-punch count-along to cheers.
Not to be outdone, Greg returned the favor to Garvin but did not elicit the same reaction.
He then tried but missed a dropkick.
Garvin then hooked an inside cradle and got 2.
Afterward, a cross body block by Greg SLOWLY sent both men over the top rope to the concrete floor. That didn’t look crisp.
As Garvin then rammed Greg face-first into the broadcast table, Greg retaliated by sending Garvin shoulder-first into the ring post.
While Greg climbed back into the ring, the bell rang.
Greg won by countout. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
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
McLane joined Lee at the broadcast table for this “match.”
You’ve got to be kidding me if you think I’m calling this. Shenanigans, I tell you.
Laurie Lynn was eliminated over the top rope.
According to McLane, Pocahontas was eliminated. All I’m seeing is ripping and tearing at clothes. No wrestling and a complete waste of time.
Brandi Mae nailed one of the women with a clothesline but couldn’t take her off her feet. Perhaps she should use her breath. That’ll knock a redwood down, I’m sure.
Meanwhile, the Terrorist and Brandi Mae began catfighting.
Leather and Bambi spilled over the top turnbuckle to the concrete floor. That’d break more than a nail.
We’re down to three: Brandi Mae, Luna, and the Terrorist.
Luna then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Brandi Mae nailed her sending her flying down to the concrete floor. Rule #1 in a battle royal: don’t climb the ropes. Hopefully Luna can improve in her wrestling career going forward.
Nonetheless, the Syrian Terrorist played a cat and mouse game with Brandi Mae in and out of the ring.
In the interim, McLane mentioned that he had the $10,000 check from Verne Gagne already in hand. I wonder had he dropped it how high it would bounce in the UIC Pavilion.
A healthy “take it off” chant emanated from the Chicago faithful.
Finally, the Syrian Terrorist tossed Brandi Mae over the top rope and kicked her down to the concrete floor.
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)
While the Marine hymn played from an 8-track tape in Verne’s Winnebago, Slaughter entered the ring to battle DeBeers.
Slaughter then nailed DeBeers with a riding crop.
After Slaughter clotheslined DeBeers using said riding crop, DeBeers rammed Slaughter in his ample midsection with a combat helmet.
DeBeers then removed his belt and began to choke Slaughter.
As the Chicago faithful chanted “USA” for Slaughter, he stomped DeBeers with his “steel-toed boot” according to Lee. I believe DeBeers would have been busted open hardway if that were true.
Regardless, Slaughter tossed DeBeers over the top rope to the concrete floor then rammed him into the ring post.
He then nailed DeBeers with a couple of rights and got 2 on the concrete floor.
In the meantime, DDP hid the combat helmet under the ring.
DeBeers came back by nailing Slaughter in the back with a metal rope holder. Unfortunately, I’m saddened by the lack of steel railing for this event.
DDP then handed the combat helmet to DeBeers who rammed Slaughter again in his midsection with it.
As DDP stood on the apron, he held Slaughter so that DeBeers could nail him, but DeBeers accidentally hit DDP instead.
Afterward, a clothesline removed the combat helmet from DeBeers’ head.
Slaughter then gave DeBeers a series of head butts using the helmet.
After delivering a clothesline, Slaughter hooked the cobra clutch as DDP motioned to the back for someone.
Suddenly, Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey hit the ring to attack Slaughter. Referee Mike Figueroa called for the bell.
A DQ in a boot camp match? Are you kidding me?
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
If you’re asking if I made that nickname up for Cox, you’d be sadly mistaken.
In case you’re thirsty, Roberts wore a Jägermeister t-shirt to the ring.
After Cox reversed an Irish whip, Samu attempted a cross body block but came up empty.
As Hayes distracted referee Marty Miller, Fatu low-bridged Cox sending him crashing to the concrete floor.
He then rammed Cox face-first into the broadcast table.
Back in the ring, Samu gave Cox a face plant.
Fatu tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom to Cox.
He then gave Cox a stungun.
After a brief Cox comeback, the SST hit a double clothesline sending both wrestlers down to the mat.
Hayes tagged in and gave Fatu a back drop.
Samu came in but received a clothesline from Hayes.
With all four men in the ring, Hayes gave Fatu the ten-punch count-along.
As Samu was on the concrete floor, Cox delivered a plancha. Wow! Didn’t know he could do that. I guess you CAN say he can do it to it.
In the ring, Hayes gave Fatu a DDT, but Miller was occupied with Cox and Samu.
Roberts then came into the ring and nailed Hayes with his chained billfold knocking him OUT COLD. Talk about your hard currency, folks.
After Roberts placed Fatu atop Hayes, the SST won the match and retained their titles.
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
While Fujinami held Fernandez, McDaniel whipped Fernandez with the strap.
After McDaniel whipped him with the strap, Fernandez delivered a head butt and a chop sending McDaniel down to the mat.
He then wrapped the strap around his fist and repeatedly nailed McDaniel.
McDaniel was BUSTED OPEN!
Upon delivering a back elbow, Fernandez touched one corner.
McDaniel came back and nailed Fernandez with a wrapped right hand.
Fernandez was BUSTED OPEN!
Lee mentioned that referee Mike Enos may have to stop the match due to blood, but since this is pro wrestling AND an Indian strap match, then that shouldn’t transpire. Hmmm…
McDaniel then chopped Fernandez down to the mat.
Next, he touched three corners before Fernandez nailed him down near Peoria.
After a fist drop, Fernandez mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a knee drop.
He then touched three corners and mounted the top turnbuckle for some unknown reason.
Of course, McDaniel then yanked him down to the mat.
After delivering a pair of chops, McDaniel touched three corners.
As Fernandez struggled to break free, he mule-kicked McDaniel into the fourth corner.
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
Cappetta announced that WGN Radio announcer Al Lerner will be the guest ring announcer for this match. I wonder if he ever shared a Budweiser or 100 with Harry Caray.
As Lawler received a mixed reaction, he praised his opponent but vowed to defeat him.
While Von Erich was introduced, he examined his left arm as if he was hurt. In fact, he was injured as he sliced his arm with a razor on his right hand accidentally in the locker room prior to the match.
WCCW booker Frank Dusek seconded Von Erich for this match.
Having noticed Von Erich’s arm, Lawler smartly rammed it into the top turnbuckle to justify the bleeding.
However, upon receiving a right from Von Erich, Lawler sought refuge outside the ring.
As Lee described each wrestler at the top of the list of wrestling’s finest, Von Erich clotheslined Lawler.
Upon ducking a clothesline, Von Erich delivered a second one.
After each wrestler ducked the other’s clothesline, Von Erich delivered a third one.
He then rolled up Lawler and got 2.
After Lawler missed a fist drop, Von Erich delivered a discus punch for a pair of 2-counts.
Next, a right hand by Lawler sent Von Erich over the top rope to the floor.
With Von Erich on the apron, Lawler nailed him a couple of times, but Von Erich delivered another discus punch sending Lawler down to the mat.
He then tried a splash but hit knees.
After giving Von Erich a shot to the midsection, Lawler delivered a piledriver.
Unbelievably, Von Erich no-sold it. Who does he think he is? Road Warrior Hawk?
Anyway, he then nailed Lawler with discus punch #3 for 2.
As Von Erich attempted the Iron Claw, Lawler blocked it.
Von Erich then attempted a knee drop but missed.
After a snap mare, Lawler attempted a cover, but Von Erich’s kick-out sent Lawler atop referee Marty Miller.
Von Erich then gave Lawler a piledriver.
He only got 2 as a woozy Miller was slow to recover.
As both wrestlers were outside the ring, Von Erich tried discus punch #4 but hit the ring post instead. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Lawler pulled a foreign object out of his trunks and nailed Von Erich. Quickly, he hid it from Miller. SNEAKY!
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a fist drop.
Von Erich was BUSTED OPEN!
Once again, Lawler mounted the second turnbuckle, took his time, leaped, but received the Iron Claw to the midsection on the way down.
When Lawler wouldn’t submit, Von Erich applied the Iron Claw to Lawler’s head.
Do we have a new unified champion?
NO! Lawler’s feet clutched the bottom rope.
As Von Erich wore the crimson mask, he reapplied the Iron Claw to Lawler’s head.
He then gave Lawler a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
In fact, he hit his head on the ring post bloodying him further.
They then brawled into the corner where Lawler used the foreign object to nail Von Erich again.
When Dusek asked Miller to check Lawler’s tights, Lawler was swift enough to hide it behind his head.
As Dusek distracted Miller, Lawler nailed him again with it.
When Miller checked on Von Erich’s cut for what seemed like the 100th time, Lawler again used the foreign object to wallop Von Erich.
After giving Lawler a pair of right hands, Von Erich unleashed discus punch #5 which laid out Lawler on the top rope.
Each wrestler then hit one another with a right hand sending them both down to the mat.
As the Chicago faithful chanted “Ker-ry,” Von Erich got 2.
While Von Erich reapplied the Iron Claw, he got another 2-count.
On the other hand, when Miller checked Von Erich’s eye again, he called for the bell.
Lawler was OUT COLD on the mat, so what’s the decision?
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)
The Stud Stable was comprised of Jimmy Golden (a.k.a. Bunkhouse Buck) and Robert Fuller (a.k.a. Colonel Rob Parker). Miss Sylvia was Fuller’s wife at the time, I believe.
After a leap frog by Golden, Morton countered a hip toss with one of his own.
Fuller came in and received a hip toss and dropkick from Morton.
Gibson came in and gave Golden a cross corner whip as the Stud Stable sought refuge outside the ring.
To counter a front face lock, Golden took Morton over with a throw, but Morton maintained the hold and converted it into a double underhook suplex.
When Morton made the cover, Fuller came in for the save.
Gibson also came in and nailed Golden.
Morton then gave Fuller a cross corner whip right into Golden.
Shortly after, Gibson and Fuller began a criss-cross that culminated with a Golden knee to Gibson’s back.
As Fuller and Morton occupied referee Mike Enos’ attention, Miss Sylvia nailed Gibson with a kendo stick on the concrete floor. I wonder if she’s friends with this guy.
Nevertheless, Fuller joined Gibson on the concrete floor and rammed him face-first into the apron.
Back in the ring, Golden applied a bear hug to Gibson as the teeny-boppers in the audience chanted “rock’n’roll.”
While Morton distracted Enos again, Golden tossed Gibson over the top rope to the concrete floor. For those unaware, not only was this a cause for DQ in the NWA, it was also a DQ in the AWA and CWA.
Enos was still occupied with Morton when Miss Sylvia repeatedly hammered Gibson in the back with the kendo stick.
After Fuller tossed Gibson back in, Golden applied a Fuller-assisted abdominal stretch.
When Gibson escaped, he delivered a knee lift to Golden.
Morton tagged in and tossed Fuller between the ropes to the concrete floor.
The Rock’n’Roll Express then delivered their patented double dropkick to Golden.
Outside the ring, Gibson sent Fuller shoulder-first into the ring post.
Enos then called for the bell.
Before the decision was rendered, the Stud Stable rammed Gibson face-first into the broadcast table.
Morton joined the melee and rammed Golden into the broadcast table.
Enos ruled the bout a double disqualification. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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:
Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
Goodbye, territories. Say hello to either the WWF or the NWA on your way out. And someone grab the light please.