Hawks at San Jose: Always Be (re)Capping
Good news! There's more AWA Wrestling Classics on my DVR! And this time I recorded the entire program.
From September 16th, 1986 at the Showboat Sports Pavillion:
Greg Gagne vs. Kevin Glover
Both men are pretty much bland white dudes. However, Gagne has a major advantage in this match in that his father owns the entire promotion. As you would expect of these two dynamic competitors, they mostly throw each other into the turnbuckles until Gagne wins by administering two consecutive drop-kicks to Glover.
Winner: Greg Gagne and nepotism
"Playboy" Buddy Rose and Pretty Boy Doug Somers vs. Pablo Crenshaw and Clement Fields
Rose and Somers are accompanied to the ring by their "manageress" Sheri Martell. They're also tag team champions and seem to get a lot of mileage out of the fact that they claim to be good looking but are actually very fat. Rose in particular is booed by the entire crowd when he corrects the ring announcer's claim that he weighs 271 pounds. These were simpler times, I guess. Anyway, as you might have guessed, two guys named Pablo and Clement are not going to beat the title holders. Somers wins by suplexing one of the guys, then he and Rose do an interview in which they bad mouth the Midnight Rockers, better known as Shawn Michaels and that guy he kicked through a window.
Winner: Rose and Somers and people who speak English because we can now use the word "manageress".
Larry "The Polish Prince" Zbysko vs. Eddie "Not Bill" Sweat
Zbysko has somehow managed to acquire Kurt Russell's hair, and it is AWESOME. He's also accompanied to the ring by "ninja" who is a guy with a black towel wrapped around his head. I'm fairly certain that 25 years later this same guy would wear this same outfit to the ring except his name would be something like "terrorist". Eddie Sweat fares about as well as you'd expect a man named after bodily fluids would. Zbysko piledrives him and that's all she wrote.
Winner: Larry Zbysko and the glorious nation of Poland.
Curt Hennig vs. Bill Tabb
Mr. Perfect! Obviously he wasn't known as that yet, but Hennig was still one of the biggest names left in the AWA. Bill Tabb...wasn't. Hennig reminds me a lot of Kurt Angle here for some reason. Anyway, after a lot of back and forth, Curt wins with a drop-kick from the top rope.
Main Event: AWA Title Match, Boris Zukov (challenger)vs. Nick Bockwinkle (Champion)
Zukov is managed by Shiek Adnan Al-Kassie who is probably Iranian since this is 1986, but is actually an Iraqi who apparently went to high school with Saddam Hussein. Bockwinkle looks like he probably drove to the arena in a windowless van. The crowd knows their damn role and chants "USA" at Zukov who spends a solid two minutes stalling in order to get them even angrier. Boris' tactic of running at Bockwinkle while flailing his arms at his sides is laughable, even to my five year old daughter who points out that he should at least put his arms FORWARD because then they might hit the other guy. Zukov falls out of the ring and walks around some more. THE ACTION! Zukov back on the apron and the jumps down again. Truly Verne Gagne was the Jacques Lemaire of wrestling. Finally, Zukov climbs back into the ring while Adnan threatens the announcers with his mustache. Bockwinkle uses a series of shoulder blocks and headlocks to gain the upper hand so Zukov pulls his hair. DIRTY COMMIE! After some more scintillating headlock action Zukov is thrown across the ring and the exertion causes him to roll out of the ring so he can rest. Boris decides that Bockwinkle's knee is his weak point so he starts hitting him in the knee. STRATEGY! We're only halfway through this so it's time to fast forward. More of Bockwinkle laying on the ground while his knee is stomped. Figure four leglock from Zukov. Ric Flair would despair at that form. Bockwinkle does that thing where he turns over and NOW IT IS ZUKOV WHO IS IN PAIN. Then Boris gets whipped into the corner and Nick steps on his face. Headbutt from Zukov. USA from crowd. Full nelson from Zukov. Bockwinkle gets to the corner, runs up the turnbuckle and falls back on Zukov and the ref counts the pin....apparently on both guys as they each had their shoulders on the mat. So Bockwinkle retains the title.
It's hard to believe that Vince McMahon thought he could improve on this.
Winner: YOU, ME AND DEMOCRACY FRIEND! USA! USA! USA!