Wednesday, June 3, 2009

AWA Superclash II - 5/2/87

1) Buck Zumhoffe vs. Sheik Adnan Al-Kassie – 2
2) D.J. Peterson vs. The Super Ninja – 4
3) Madusa Miceli vs. Sherri Martel – 3
4) Curt Hennig vs. Nick Bockwinkel – 6
5) The Midnight Rockers & Ray Stevens vs. Buddy Wolfe, Doug Somers, & Kevin Kelly – 4
6) Jerry Blackwell vs. Boris Zhukov – 2
7) Jimmy Snuka & Russ Francis vs. The Terrorist & The Mercenary – 3

I’m not so sure what was so “super” about this particular clash. The voice of the AWA, Rod Trongard, is doing commentary solo for most of the show. (Tip: Play the Rod Trongard drinking game. Every time he mentions either the arena or the city they’re in, take a shot. This show will turn out better that way). The more I think about it, I think the opening bout was a giant rib. Zumhoffe and Adnan danced around each other and did very little. Sort of like a nerd fight on the playground at school … you hear that there’s going to be a fight and you get all hyped. Be when you get there and find out it’s two math nerds fighting about the correct proof of the pythagorean theorem, it just ruins your whole day. Zumhoffe and his flabby skin are an ugly sight to look at, especially when it’s the first thing on my television screen. Anyway, shoving and stalling isn’t a great way to start off what’s supposed to be one of your biggest shows all year. The Peterson/Ninja bout was not at all what I expected it to be. I thought it would be a snoozer, it ended up being the sleeper match of the show. Now, I’m not saying it’ll make you stand up and hail Peterson as the second coming of George Hackenschmidt, but it was a pleasant surprise. The Ninja played his part perfectly, that being of an evil Japanese … well, um … ninja. Peterson worked hard and I though some of his armdrags were especially crisp. The flow and rhythm of the bout was nice and solid but not so fast that you couldn’t keep up with it. Miceli was so buff going into her bout with Sherri that I was looking for the air hose that she used to pump herself up with. Ol’ Rod mentioned that she was a body builder and kickboxer. Sherri is just a great heel and the fans are all over her with loud chants of “Sherri Sucks!”. Sherri helped Madusa to a respectable match, but something that would be on the level of today’s 4-minute diva matches on TV.

Eons ago, I looked at the Hennig/Bockwinkel match for the History of the AWA DVD that WWE released, and this was the first time I’d watched it since, and honestly, it was about as I remember it. The mat-based action was very solid and had a good flow and rhythm to it. Hennig took a wild fall to the outside and banged his head on the railing. It should be noted that Larry Zbyszko was sitting ringside in a tux, awaiting a future title shot with the winner. As far as I know, this was one of Bockwinkel’s last matches in the company on a full-time basis. The key part of the finish, Zbyszko handing the roll of dimes to Hennig, wasn’t caught on camera and when Bockwinkel got pinned with the punch, I was left wondering what happened. After the match was a total schmozz with comments from everyone involved plus AWA president Stanley Blackburn. The match was good but had the finish been a bit cleaner, I would’ve given it a higher score. Buddy Wolfe looked like one of those haggard dudes you see on the news who always gets busted for drugs or is involved in a domestic dispute. His partners didn’t look much better. Somers seemed lost without his long-time partner Rose and just dawdled around the ring. You wouldn’t know that Kelly would go on to become the future Nailz and showed some glimpses of decent ring work but nothing to impress. Rockers and Stevens made a good team with Stevens just laying in some hard shots to the scruffy looking opponents. The match really had potential but just the limited work of the heels brought down the score. Blackwell and Zhukov was terrible. Blackwell was in bad shape by this point and could hardly move and Zhukov just didn’t care to be in there. Nothing to see or talk about, so we’ll just move along. The two masked marauders known as the Terrorist and Mercenary were rough, but I could clearly tell that the Terrorist was just Brian Knobbs under a mask, and clearly working to get paid. Francis, a former football player for the San Francisco 49ers, was much better in the WrestleMania 2 battle royal than he was here as his limited ring skills really shone through. The bored crowd popped a bit for Snuka’s and Francis’ offense but nothing that they really geeked out about. This was not super at all.

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