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Thread: AWA Superclash 3 Review

  1. #1

    AWA AWA Superclash 3 Review

    Superclash III
    December 13, 1988



    This is billed as a joint show with the AWA working with World Class (Texas), CWA (Memphis), and they claim Championship Wrestling from Florida, but I’m of the mindset that that company had been dead for awhile now.

    The Guerreros vs Cactus Jack and The Rock ‘n’ RPMs
    This would be the PPV debut of Mrs. Foley’s baby boy. It would seem as if this was AWA (Guerreros) vs Memphis (Rock ‘n’ Roll) and World Class (Cactus). Their home territory for the talent can be a little confusing because it wasn’t uncommon for them all to work a bit everywhere. For example, Cactus had worked a few AWA matches in 1988 and had just finished up working in Memphis at the time of this PPV. This would be a good start to the PPV thanks to the Guerreros working their fast pace style that completely baffled the heels as to what to do. Hector, Mando, and Chavo Sr. kept tagging in frequently, they focused a bit on a limb, and the action never slowed down. For his part, Cactus quickly took a crazy bump, a back body drop on the exposed concrete on the outside. It’s amazing that Foley can even move around today. The former Memphis tag champions, Tommy Lane and Mike Davis (RnR), failed to leave any sort of impression thanks to the Guerreros and Foley putting on some memorable performances. Luckily, they’re not bad either though. Since they traded the Memphis tag titles back and forth with the Rockers some earlier in the year, I wouldn’t mind checking out those matches to see how Lane and Davis really were. The finish sees each of the Guerreros hitting dives with Mando and Hector flying to the outside while Chavo hit a top rope moonsault to a standing Lane for the victory. If this show continues to be of this quality, it’s easily going to be vastly underrated. *** ¼

    Jeff Jarrett © vs Eric Embry - WCCW Light Heavyweight Title
    In another PPV debut of a future PPV star is Double J himself. At this point, he’s only been in the business for a couple of years, but he’s been pushed hard thanks to Jerry Jarrett running the company. In Jeff’s defense, he’s pretty good for someone with so little experience. These two had been trading the Light Heavyweight Title back and forth for the last couple of months with Jarrett recently winning the title for the second time just in late November ‘88. Early on, the match was treated as if it was babyface vs babyface with clean wrestling, but with Embry starting to get frustrated with Jarrett’s success. This anger escalates after Jarrett misses a cross body, causing him to hurt his shoulder when he fell into the ropes and then down to the outside. From that point on, Embry is all about going after the shoulder, but again Jarrett gets the best of Embry by still getting in a lot of pin attempts and spots. Jarrett’s selling in this match is pretty great as he’s constantly grabbing at his shoulder and the hurt shoulder is clearly affecting his ability to get a proper cover on Embry. The finish is a bit flat as Embry gets the best of Jarrett in the middle of a cover exchange rather than having Embry heel it up or a finish that more prominently focused on the bad shoulder. Still, I enjoyed this match thanks to Jarrett’s selling. ***

    Two matches down and both have been good? This may actually be a great PPV!

    Wayne Bloom vs Jimmy Valiant
    Since Valiant left JPW/WCW last year, he’s been working various places with Memphis being his home territory. The future AWA tag team champion, Bloom, is an AWA rookie who is just jobbing away until he’s paired with Mike Enos to become The Destruction Crew/The Beverly Brothers. Bloom attacks Valiant before the bell, but Valiant quickly fires off some punches and delivers a poor looking elbow to get the pinfall in under thirty seconds. Um okay then. What was the purpose of this? SQUASH.

    Iceman King Parsons © vs Brickhouse Brown - WCCW Texas Title
    Parsons is a WCCW wrestler while Brown is from Memphis. It’s a bit odd in that they look less like rivals and more like partners. They’re both black men, wear jackets and hats to the ring, their ring gear is baby blue, ect. Couldn’t one of them at least wear different color tights? The match is technically fine. Parsons comes across as a good weasel based heel and Brown, who looks a bit like Jay Lethal, has enough babyface fire that I’m surprised the WWE never hired him. Parsons has a nice looking snap suplex. The problem is that there wasn’t any semblance of a story and the finish is awful. Brown nailed a poor looking flying forearm, but only got a two count after Parsons got a foot on the bottom rope. Despite the referee never counting to three and immediately signaling to Brown that Parsons had a foot on the rope, Brown celebrates as if he just won the match. That allowed Parsons to recover and pull out a pair of brass knuckles to knock Brown out behind the referee’s back to win the match. Brown came off looking like such a geek. **

    Badd Company and Madusa w/DDP vs Top Guns and Wendi Richter
    I believe everyone involved are AWA wrestlers. Badd Company (WWE’s Orient Express) are the AWA Tag Champions and Richter is the AWA Women’s Champion. If either of them are pinned, they will lose their titles. So even before knowing the results, I will say that if Madusa or a member of the Top Guns are pinned, it’s going to be one incredibly lame finish. Top Guns were originally the team of Ricky Rick and John Paul, but apparently Paul sucked badly enough that he was replaced with Derrick Dukes. All three members of Top Guns eventually appeared on WWE TV as jobbers in the 90’s. After being out of the wrestling spotlight ever since the infamous first screw job in late 1985, Richter popped up in the AWA a few months ago, quickly beating Madusa for the Women’s Title in November. Going into this match, I had some decent expectations due to the talent involved, but this was a mess. There’s numerous moments of mistimed spots, typically with the women being slower than the men. It gets to the point where it happens so often that I begin to wonder if the problem isn’t the women, but the fact that the men are rushing through the spots. Even the finish involves a mistimed spot with Madusa holding Richter for Tanaka to super kick Richter behind the ref’s back. Tanaka connected with the first one, but then attempted a second kick, which that one missed Richter and hit Madusa instead. It seems reasonable to assume that Tanaka was always supposed to only hit Madusa? Just as I was beginning to think Dukes was a fine wrestler, he missed a drop kick by a mile. With Madusa laid out, Richter is able to pin her to win the match for her team. The Top Guns come off looking like geeks for celebrating a match where they did not win the tag titles. Speaking of that terrible stipulation, apparently no one knew the rules of the match as the Top Guns were announced as the new champions and even left the ring with the titles. There isn’t any reason why this should have been so complicated. On the plus side, we did get to see a Richter power bomb to Madusa. That was rad. * ¼

    After the match, Madusa blames the loss on Tanaka and it appears as if Madusa splits from DDP and Badd Company. I believe this would be the end of Madusa in the AWA as she’d shortly begin heading to Japan to work with All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling.

    Ron Garvin vs Greg Gagne - AWA International TV Title
    After leaving JCP/WCW following Great American Bash ‘88, Garvin would come into the AWA for a short stint before he’d head to the WWE. In fact, this is technically a WWE vs AWA match as Garvin had just started working matches for the WWE, although the taped matches hadn’t begun to air yet. The International TV Title seems to be nothing more than an ego title for Gagne. He was the first champion and he held it the entire time until a match against Garvin ended in a funky manner where Garvin was believed to be the new champion and even started defending it, until it was ruled that the title was held up. The Chicago crowd is not high on Gagne at all. It’s a bit funny in that Garvin wrestled in Chicago for two PPVs in his career and in both times, the crowd reacted to him in the opposite way that they were intended. It was back at Starrcade ‘87 that the Chicago crowd hated the babyface Garvin in favor of the heel Flair. Like with all of the other matches thus far, this wasn’t long. It only goes about five minutes and for the most part, it’s all just hitting. For what it was, I enjoyed it until the finish that saw Gagne and Garvin battling on the floor, but with Gagne making it back in time to win the match (and title) via countout. For fucks sake. This title sucked. Gagne won the title in the first place against Adrian Adonis by DQ. Garvin then won the belt in a result that would later cause the title to be held up. Now there’s a third title change, but it’s by count-out? Meanwhile, the title would just go away after Gagne retires in 1989. What an amazing title lineage that was. * ¾

    P.O.W.W. Street Fight Lingerie Battle Royal
    Featuring the women of Powerful Women of Wrestling (wait...why were they known as POWW and not PWoW or PWW then?), which was created by the brains behind GLOW and featured several of the women of GLOW as well. The women involved in this battle royal are The Syrian Terrorist, Bambi, Peggy Lee Leather, Laurie Lynn, Brandi Mae, Malibu, Nina (WWE’s Ivory), Pocohantas and Luna Vachon. I shit you not, this match was created because the Syrian Terrorist tore up the jean shorts of Brandi Mae. Seriously...ripped up shorts. The winner of this match earns a check for $10,000 from Verne Gagne. Hahahahaha...yeah right. For eliminations, you can either toss a woman over the top rope or tear off their clothes. It’s an awful match with the creator of POWW doing his best HoHo impression, acting like a total perv on commentary. The POWW Women’s Champion, Nina, is tossed out early in the match. The uneventful action comes down to Brandi Mae and The Syrian Terrorist. Now, you have a PPV match, set-up after a babyface was wronged, and this is her chance for revenge. Naturally, the heel wins. The Syrian Terrorist tosses Brandi Mae out of the win and Verne Gagne has just given $10,000 to help fund terrorism. WTF. ¼ *

    Sgt. Slaughter vs Col. DeBeers w/DDP - Bootcamp Match
    It’s an AWA match with DeBeers being the evil foreign wrestler while Slaughter is sticking up for America. Yet again, it’s a short match, but given the time, it was good. It came off like a heated fight with both men trying to use whatever weapons were nearby. This mostly just meant Slaughter’s helmet, which DeBeers uses to ram his head into Slaughter’s gut a few times until he accidentally hits Page. Slaughter grabs the helmet and uses it to headbutt DeBeers some until he could lock in the Cobra Clutch to force the submission. It’s hardly anything special, but it was effective. ** ½

    After the match, DDP brings out Adnan Al-Kaissie and The Iron Sheik (Who had just wrapped up working for the WWE and was about to start with WCW) to triple team Slaughter with DeBeers. That brings out The Guerreros to make the save. This actually made me want to see a Slaughter/Sheik AWA match. Go figure. The one flaw of this angle is that it doesn’t make any sense for why Al-Kaissie and Sheik didn’t interfere during the duration of the match since it was No DQ.

    The Samoan Swat Team © w/Buddy Roberts vs Michael Hayes and Steve Cox - WCCW Tag Titles
    After coming over to JCP/WCW in the UWF sale, Hayes would quickly leave for a short stint with WCCW before returning to WCW at the start of 1989. It’s in this short run with WCCW that he started teaming with another former UWF talent that didn’t stick around after the sale to JCP/WCW - Steve Cox. In World Class, they had a feud with the Samoan Swat Team, who to add heat, were managed by former Fabulous Freebirds member, Buddy Roberts. The SST/Headshrinkers’ short time in World Class was made memorable because apparently they were getting so over that Fritz was not a fan of that, allowing SSTs to leave to head to WCW in early 1989. When you look back at all of the foolish mistakes the territories made in the 80’s, is it any surprise that McMahon killed them all off? Looking back, I wouldn’t be surprised if McMahon didn’t intend on killing any of them, they were all just too prone to killing themselves. By far, the best match thus far on the show. It’s actually a hot match with the babyface team of Hayes and Cox getting in some offense early on while the SST are shown to be confused as to what to do. Reminding the SSTs about the money, Roberts causes Fatu to stoop to pulling down the top rope, causing Cox to take a bad bump to the outside. That allowed for a face-in-peril sequence to set-up the big hot tag to Hayes. Cox gets in the spot of the match by hitting an over the top rope suicide dive while Hayes lays out a Samoan with a DDT. Since the referee is distracted by the Cox spot, Roberts is able to jump into the ring and nail Hayes and pull Fatu on top of Hayes to steal the victory to retain the titles. A match that makes me completely willing to see other matches featuring these two teams. Naturally, neither team is from the AWA. *** ¼

    Before the next match, IWGP Champion, Tatsumi Fujinami (The hell is he doing here?!), is shown in the ring, causing Manny Fernandez to cut a promo on the Dragon about how Fuji has been ducking him.

    Manny Fernandez vs Wahoo McDaniel - Indian Strap Match
    After leaving JCP/WCW in mid 1987, the Raging Bull, had been splitting his time between AWA and New Japan. Meanwhile, McDaniel left JCP/WCW a few months before Fernandez, although he predominantly only worked in the AWA. This has been a feud for a good portion of 1988 with various gimmick matches being used. This was a bloodbath with Wahoo quickly getting busted open. Later on, Manny gets bloodied as well. With how much blood there was and the fact that it was a gimmick match, it had the feel of a mid 80’s Starrcade match. It’s mostly just brawling, but I was into it all. Occasionally, one of the wrestlers would try to drag the opponent to the four corner. The worst spot of the match saw Manny reach three corner and clearly having enough slack on the strap to reach the 4th corner, but instead opts to climb to the top rope for some odd reason. That allows for Wahoo to pull The Raging Bull down to break the count. Finally, Wahoo pulls Manny to three corners and Fernandez does another foolish thing by kicking Wahoo in the face, sending Wahoo flying backwards into the fourth corner, giving Wahoo the victory. Some of Manny’s actions were certainly questionable from a logic standpoint, but I’ve generally loved everything I’ve seen from Manny. ** ½

    After the match, The Raging Bull attacks Wahoo to continue the fight before Tatsumi Fujinami returns to make the save. Gee, I can’t wait until the next AWA PPV where we’ll see The Dragon vs The Raging Bull and Sgt. Slaughter vs The Iron Sheik.

    In the back, Verne Gagne and Stanley Blackburn are interviewed regarding the last match. They’re both in agreement that the match should have been stopped due to the blood loss. Gagne makes casual mention of telling his referees to not let this sort of thing happen again. Hmm…

    Kerry Von Erich © vs Jerry Lawler © - WCCW World/AWA World Title Unification
    It’s time to finally have only one world champion in all of wrestling! From the first time I saw this match on the The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the '80s DVD the WWE released back in 2005, it quickly became one of my favorites from the 80’s. You have one great heel in Lawler and a great babyface in Von Erich. For Lawler, everything he does is designed to help him gain the unfair advantage. He doesn’t care about winning the titles through honorable actions. As long as he wins, that’s good enough. Thanks to Von Erich being a fuck up and cutting his arm open before the match in the back, they quickly explain the cut with Lawler ramming Von Erich’s arm into the the steel connector holding the turnbuckles/ropes to the ring posts. With the blood coming, Lawler keeps going after that cut, even biting it. When that isn’t bringing Lawler as much success as he’d like, he begins pulling out a pair of brass knuckles every chance he gets. That eventually gives Von Erich a crimson mask. Naturally, from that point on, everything Lawler does is geared towards worsening that cut. For Von Erich’s part as the babyface, he never stoops to The King’s level. He endures all of the cuts, doesn’t try to bust Lawler open, and even has Lawler pinned when there was a ref bump. Due to the previous match and Gagne/Blackburn’s attitude that such blood loss should not be happening in an AWA ring, the AWA referee is constantly checking on Von Erich’s cut near his eye. As the concern for Von Erich’s cut continues to rise, every time Lawler stoops to using the foreign object on the cut, it’s an even greater heel tactic as no one wants to see the match ended. Finally, with Lawler barely conscious while trapped in the Iron Claw, the referee calls for the bell, unable to keep the match going for another moment due to Von Erich’s cut. It’s a lame finish, but it wasn’t quite as bad as it seemed. The AWA nicely set-up the ruling due to the previous match, Von Erich did bleed A LOT (Unlike Lex Luger at Great American Bash 1988), and the referee allowed the match to continue for ages before finally deciding to end it. Plenty of drama in this match that I still feel is one of my favorites from this decade. In terms of matches with screwy finishes, it’s very satisfying. ****

    Once Lawler recovers, he gets on the mic, praising the referee’s decision since it was all about Von Erich’s safety. What a wonderful douchey promo.

    The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs The Stud Stable
    It’s AWA vs Memphis. RnR had recently left JCP/WCW and came into the AWA/Memphis area. The Stud Stable are made up of Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden, but I know them better as WCW’s Col. Robert Parker (Fuller) and Bunkhouse Buck (Golden). While Fuller looks pretty similar to his Parker days (Minus the white suit), but Golden is unrecognizable to me. His hair is lighter and a mullet, he doesn’t have a beard, and is wearing regular ring gear rather than the jeans, long sleeve shirt, and gloves that he wore in WCW. This was a quiet match though. Gibson played the face-in-peril for a change. The fact that this was booked to take place right after the Lawler/Von Erich match was a mistake because all of the emotion was used up in the title match. Eventually Gibson gets a dull tag and we have action with all four men. Despite the legal men (Morton and Golden) are fighting in the ring and the illegal men (Gibson and Fuller) are fighting on the outside, the referee counts both teams out. The ring announcer claims it’s a double DQ though? Idk...whatever the case, the match was forced to end because the illegal men weren’t hanging out on the apron like they were supposed to be doing. It’s a lame finish on its own, but it’s made even worse by the fact that we just had a match end in a screwy fashion. Why are we getting another one? **

    Overall
    AWA's first and only venture into Pay Per View isn't a bad show in terms of match quality. The Lawler/Von Erich match is superior to every WWE PPV match of 1988. The show had me excited about a handful of "Obvious" matches for AWA's next PPV. The problem is that outside of the match quality, the PPV is mostly poor. First off, from a presentation standpoint, the AWA looked atrocious on this first PPV. The ring mat is so dirty looking. The AWA logo in the middle of the mat is faded and crackly badly. The AWA decided to have fancy PPV ring aprons, but attaching cardboard Superclash 3 signs to their old AWA aprons. The commentator's table has skirting around, but the tape that is holding the skirting to the table is attached to the top of the table, making it look really cheap. The camera work often missed major spots including being able to witness the final elimination in the battle royal. I can appreciate a company trying to add importance to a match or a card, but it was overkill with how often AWA brought up that this was the most important night in the history of wrestling and we'll finally have one World Champion, despite the two companies that mean anything (WWE and WCW) not being involved. Simply put, this show made the AWA look bush league as fuck. Due to the fact that this PPV was bought by nobody, it meant it made very little money. Verne Gagne, being Verne Gagne, decided to take what little money Superclash 3 made and keep it all for himself. As you can probably imagine, this did not sit well with the other companies. This first venture into PPV literally helped pushed AWA closer to death. Go out of your way to watch Lawler/Von Erich and maybe even stick around for some of the other matches like the six man tag, Embry/Jarrett, and SST/Hayes & Cox, but this event is mostly just an example of how to put on a PPV when you don't care to help your promotion. Now, where to find the second AWA PPV with Von Erich/Lawler II, Sheik/Slaughter, and The Raging Bull vs The Dragon?

  2. #2
    Crotchety Old SMOD

    Fuji Vice's Avatar

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    Re: AWA Superclash 3 Review

    I love Lawler/Von Erich but I think it's about even with the SS '88 tag match in terms of company output.


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  3. #3

    Re: AWA Superclash 3 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    I love Lawler/Von Erich but I think it's about even with the SS '88 tag match in terms of company output.
    I gave both matches the same rating. They're two very different matches, so it's a bit difficult to try and compare them.

  4. #4
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    Re: AWA Superclash 3 Review

    Is this on the network? I have to watch this battle royal and fill my shit wrestling quota.
    -------
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!

  5. #5

    Re: AWA Superclash 3 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Darling Nicky View Post
    Is this on the network? I have to watch this battle royal and fill my shit wrestling quota.
    It is. There's a few AWA supershows in the AWA sub-section of Vault section. Also on the Network is AWA Wrestlerock '86, which features a 10 woman battle royal.

    If you want to fully experience the shit sandwich that was the battle royal from Superclash 3, watch the interviews with the various P.O.W.W. women before the match (Pretty much better every match in the first half of the card). At times, they came off as pretty damn creepy and perverted.

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