I’d originally intended to go through the WWE Network chronologically, but my rreal aim was to introduce myself to wrestling that I’d never watched before, so I’m going to jump around between territories a lot more, and probably veer over to YouTube as well. This is my first taste of watching AWA television, so here goes. The show starts out with Larry Nelson introducing Judy Moore, the General Manager of the Showboat Casino in Las Vegas, the location of today’s show. Larry runs down tonight’s card, then heads to the ring, since he’s also today’s ring announcer. A man of many talents.
First up is Buddha Khan against last year’s Central States Rookie of the Year Shawn Michaels. Shawn gets the boos when his name is announced. The commentators for this show are Ken Resnick and Greg Gagne. This match showcases the young, athletic Michaels frustrating the veteran Khan with his speed and agility. At one point in the match, Khan grabs the ropes to escape a hold applied bu Michaels, and is admonished by the referee after the rope break, who tells him to wrestle his way out. That’s something I’ve never seen before. Michaels finishes off Khan with a super-kick followed by a splash from the extremely loose top rope. That performance won him over with the crowd, as his victory is greeted by cheers from the casino crowd. Larry Nelson interviews Michaels after the match, who states that he’s looking for a tag team partner, and that the tag team titles will be his first step toward the world heavyweight championship. Prophetic words indeed.
Next we have Tim Patterson and the absurdly named masked man “Bun Boy” Barton taking on “Wild” Bill Irwin and Scott “Hog” Irwin, the team known as The Long Riders. While this wasn’t a competitive match at all, it took an age for the Irwins to get win. Finally, Bill Irwin pinned Patterson after a big boot off the ropes. For what really should have been a squash match, this went on forever. Maybe with a bit of luck, Patterson and Barton can win the rematch. In a post match interview, the Long Riders question why they haven’t been given a shot at the tag titles held by the “pretty boys” Scott Hall and Curt Hennig.
Tonight’s final match is “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers (that’s what happens when you don’t have writers) versus one half of the tag team champions of the world “Big” Scott Hall. Somers is a practitioner of the lost art of stalling. Hall finally catches him with a huge powerslam for the pinfall victory. Another match that went on too long for what they were trying to achieve. Post match, Curt Hennig challenges Stan Hansen, who had recently injured his neck.
Th show ends with a sit down interview between Larry Nelson, Larry Zbyszko and Marty Jannetty. Jannetty announces that he is going to team up with Shawn Michaels (that was quick) as the “U.S. Express”. Larry cuts Marty off and runs him down in typical Larry fashion, questioning whether Jannetty has the mean streak that is needed to make it in professional wrestling. Larry Nelson apologizes that Zbyszko stole all Marty’s interview time, but we’ll be right back. Except that’s the ends of the show. The main event was announced as Jerry Blackwell against Boris Zhukov, but for some reason, it’s missing from the WWE Network.
Not the greatest wrestling show. The atmosphere was very subdues in the casino arena, with many empty seats to be seen. The kids in the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves, but the adults were pretty indifferent. I’d guess they were all casino patrons given free tickets. Worth watching for a glimpse of Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall early in their careers, but from the brief highlights package, Marty Jannetty was the stand-out high flyer of the day. Scott Irwin was very strong on the microphone, but none of the post-match interviews lacked substance, and only hinted at possible future matches, rather than built to any particular match to look forward to. Larry Zbyszko was excellent as always, but there are much better examples of his work. Maybe that Blackwell-Zhukov match was a five star classic. We’ll never know.
You can watch this show on the WWE Network.
You can follow me on Twitter as I live tweet the next show @krisswrestling.