|Index||3 reviews in total|
This was Verne Gagne's final chance of beating Vince McMahon and the WWF. The WWF had become huge, going national and breaking the tradition of wrestling being a territorial sport. This was the AWA's only pay per view show as they brought in wrestlers from Jerry Jarrett's CWA and Fritz Von Erich's WCCW. The show took place on December 13, 1988 from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago and did not even draw 2,000 fans. The main event was Jerry Lawler vs. Kerry Von Erich in a match that would unify the AWA and WCCW Titles. Lawler ended up winning the match. Even though Gagne recruited former WWF stars Wendi Richter, Sgt. Slaughter, the Iron Sheik and Michael Hayes, the show was a complete failure as pay per view buyrates were no better than the live gate. The AWA closed down a few years later after losing the majority of its wrestlers to the WWF and WCW. WCCW and the CWA joined together to form the USWA.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This PPV Wrestling event held in December 1988 was co promoted by the
Texas based WCCW promotion and the Minnesota based AWA Promotion.
Highlights saw the sneaky pudgy heel (Heel is Wrestling slang for the "bad guy") Eric Embry defeat young baby face (Babyface is Wrestling slang for the "good guy") Jeff Jarrett for the WCCW Light heavyweight championship in a descent bout, also a AWA sanctioned contest saw baby-face Native American Wahoo McDaniel defeat his arch rival "Raging Bull" Manny Fernandez in a bloody leather strap match.
Lowlights were terrible AWA matches like the old veteran baby-face Jimmy Valliant defeating the young Wayne Bloom in just 10 SECONDS, I mean what was the point???, was Valliant so washed up he could only go 10 seconds in the ring?, or was the AWA really trying to make Bloom look like a complete loser?. The fact that Bloom became an AWA Tag Team champion(With partner Mike Enos) just over a year or two later makes me think the former. Also supposed baby face Greg Gagne(AWA promoter Verge Gagne's son) beat AWA Television Champion Ronnie Garvin via COUNTOUT to win the belt, the funny thing was that the supposed vile "heel" Garvin was cheered through out the match, which tells you how popular the bland "Daddy's Boy" Greg Gagne was.
However the main event made this event a must see, the beloved hero WCCW World Champion Kerry Von Erich from Texas versus the master heel (but sometimes face too)"King" Jerry Lawler the AWA World Champion from Memphis Tennessee, a title unification match, the winner becomes the undisputed champ. The crowd are cheering for Kerry and Lawler is at his bad guy best, Kerry is busted open early in the match (bleeding from the arm) and Lawler works on the cut arm, however Kerry manages a heroic fight back and to the delight of the crowd locks Lawler in the dreaded "Von Erich Iron claw", Lawler submits, the bell goes, and the fans go wild thinking Kerry Von Erich has won the match and unified the titles, however the announcement is "That due to heavy blood loss the match is stopped and awarded to Jerry" The King" Lawler",therefore Lawler takes both belts to the disgust of the fans.
A great match with a great ending, one of the few wrestling pay per views at the time (1980's) which featured a heel main event victory as normally the face wrestler would win to send the fans home happy, a rather boring under card but worth a look just purely for the cracking main event match.
This card could almost have been seen as one of the final nails in the coffin of what was once one of the greatest promotions in the history of professional wrestling. For years the AWA was one of the most famous wrestling promotions in America. The list of their former stars reads like a who's who of professional wrestling. Stars like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, the Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes and Curt Hennig all got their first big pushes in the AWA. However, by the mid 1980's all of the big names were either working in the WWF/E or in Jim Crockett Promotions. Also, mismanagement on the part of Gagne, who didn't want to change with the times, led to the end of the promotion and this card could be seen as one last desperate attempt to save it. In fact, the only memorable thing about this card was that it marked the first appearance on pay-per-view of future WWF/E star Mick Foley, who wrestled as his most famous alter ego Cactus Jack. Unfortunately, that was the only memorable thing. This definitely was a sad way for the promotion to end.
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