• 06/03/2008 (7:23:46 pm)
  • Georgiann Makropoulos

June 3rd aired a 1988 episode of Verne Gagne’s AWA All Star Wrestling from the Showboat Sports Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chris Curtis versus Chief Wahoo McDaniel
Curtis is charged down, and then head scissored when he arm drags out of McDaniel’s cross face half nelson. McDaniel pushed down Curtis on his two attempted escapes with a head stand, then McDaniel butterfly locked Curtis’ arms back. McDaniel went on to chinlock Curtis, followed by a tomahawk chop. McDaniel unleashed a series of chops on Curtis in the corner, then whipped him from corner to ropes. Curtis was taken down with a big knife edge chop as he came off the ropes. McDaniel butterfly suplexed Curtis to the mat, then pushed him, gaining referee Gary DeRousha’s 3 count. This match was under four minutes.
A partial replay of newcomer Magnificent Mimi’s ringside interview with Larry Nelson aired. Mimi said that she had been wrestling professionally for eight years. She said that she recently has been training for wrestling by Billy Robinson and getting her martial arts training from "Judo" Gene LeBell. Mimi said that she has arrived at the Showboat to finally confront AWA ladie’s champion Madusa Miceli, whom Mimi claims to have chased all over Europe.
Then a clip aired of Mimi confronting the ladies’ champion, before Madusa’s first match with another newcomer named Brandi May. Madusa laughed as Mimi threw a challenge to her. Madusa called Mimi a scraggly looking broad, and wanted Mimi to see what madusa does to sweet Brandi May, and maybe she will get her match.
Backstage comments aired of Madusa saying that she never heard of Magnificent Mimi. Madusa said Mimi’s claims of chasing her throughtout Europe are bologna. Madusa questioned if standards have gone down, saying "don’t challengers need credentials before getting a title shot?" Madusa then accused Mimi of getting opportunity by the championship committee by offering something more than credentials.
Verne Gagne interviewed twin wrestlers who were Olympic hopefuls on the USA team, in Duane and Dennis Koslowski. Verne interviewed Dennis first, who said that he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the finals at Pensacola Florida, by defeating Chris Tyroni from the New York club in two matches, scoring 4-0 on each. Duane said that his Olympic qualifying matches came by defeating an old nemesis in Marine Craig Pittman (who I believe is the same Pittman who wrestled in WCW), in two matchs scored 6-1 and 6-0.
Dennis said that they would be training for many weeks in Soviet Union, Romania, Minnesota, then do high altitude training in Big Bear California, to the Seoul Korea. Duane said that the top Greco Roman wrestlers in their heavyweight class are from the Soviet Union, adding that he and his brother would have to defeat them in order to earn a medal. Verne said that wanted to have the Koslowski’s back soon with an update.
Mike Luca & Pete Sanchez versus AWA tag champions Badd Company (Paul Diamond & Sensai Pat Tanaka)
The Diamond Doll held the ropes open for Badd Company’s manager Diamond Dallas Page to enter. Page said that Badd Company ran former AWA tag champions the Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) out of the AWA, and now former NWA tag champions Rock N’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) have been chased out too.
Sanchez charged down Tanaka, then waited for Tanaka to turn around, and scooped him up twice for body slams. Tanaka backed a tagged Luca into Diamond’s corner, and Luca flipped Diamond by reversing the hip toss. A tagged Tanaka chopped a cornered Luca, but was reverse whipped to the opposite corner. Luca charged to the corner and crashed to the mat after Tanaka spun around to deliver a high crescent kick. A tagged Diamond corner whipped a tagged Sanchez, who moves, causing Diamond to jam his shoulder into the corner.
A tagged Luca applied a side headlock, but Diamond smashed him into the mat with a back suplex. Referee Marty Miller forced Sanchez back to his neutral corner, as Diamond hung Luca on the top rope. Tanaka charged off the ropes, leap frogged over the back of Diamond and splashed the back of Luca. This gained Badd Company the pin victory, in this match that ended under five minutes.
Top Guns (Ricky Rice & Jon Paul) gave comments backstage. Though this was not a replay of their last comments, Rice repeated in saying that he appreciated the fan, and on a serious note have been traing hard with his partner. Paul repeated his comments in saying that his team will use a top team such as Soldat Ustinov and Teijo Khan as a stepping stone to AWA champions Badd Company. Paul then thanked everyone.
Brian Costello versus Mondo Guerrero
From a lock on Costello’s left arm, Mondo jumped on his back, then spun himself upside for a roll up in attempt. From a knucklelock, Mondo jumped up and body scissored Costello down to the mat. A slow European arm drag into an arm lock had Costello go to the ropes for a break of the hold. Costello applied a headlock, and Mondo lifted his legs up to bring Costello back with a body scissor.
Both men clamped hands in a knucklelock, and Mondo twisted his body to flip Costello backwards onto his feet. Mondo then dropped down to the mat to flip Costello with a corkscrew head scissor. Costello punched Mondo and threw him through the ropes. As Mondo went to the ring apron, Costello went to attack, and Mondo lfted his legs to head scissor Costello over the ropes to the floor.
From the ring, Mondo yanked the top rope to spring onto Costello with a flying cross body to the floor. Mondo then flipped Costello from apron to the ring, when he yanked the top rope. Costello corner whipped Mondo who grabbed the top rope, twisted his body to catch the charging Costello with a sunset flip. Referee Gary DeRousha counted the 3, ending the match after four minutes.
Greg Gagne presented a November 22nd 1984 match from Salt lake City Utah, that saw Curt Hennig versus Mr. Saito. The final few minutes of the match aired. Hennig escaped Saito’s abdominal stretch and applied it on Saito. Saito escaped and was hammer by a Hennig forearm and elbow. Hennig whipped Saito to the corner and nailed him with a dropkick. Saito punched Hennig in the stomach, then smashed his head to the top turnbuckle pad. Saito picked up Hennig and slammed him on his knee.
Saito then pressed down to pressure Hennig over his knee. Hennig head scissors out, traded punches with Saito, then whipped Saito to the ropes for a gut punch. After a body slam, Saito kicked out of the pin, and Hennig whipped Saito to the ropes for The Ax clothesline as the announcer counted down the last seconds of the match. Hennig cover but Saito got his right leg on the bottom rope to stop the count. The bell sounded as this match has reached time limit, resulting in a draw.
Big K’s segment had him speak about the rise of women’s wrestling, and credited AWA champion Madusa Miceli for bringing it to the forefront. K said that Madusa could beat 90% of the men in the wrestling, if she had Big K in her corner. K said Madusa could give AWA men’s champion Jerry "The King" Lawler a run for his money, and said that Lawler wouldn’t even be a prince in the old days. K said that Jackie Stallone (Sylvester’s mom) tried but couldn’t get Magnificent Mimi to wrestle for her ladies wrestling company (G.L.O.W.), because Mimi knew the best wrestlers were in AWA.
K said that he and Diamond Dallas Page had been talking about finding tag team competition for the champions Badd Company. K said that not since his days as Crusher Kowalski teaming with Tiny Mills in Murder, Inc, has he seen a team as good as Badd Company. AWA history note: Big K (Stanley Kowalski) and Tiny Mills of Murder, Inc became the first AWA tag team champions when they withdrew the NWA tag titles in 1960.
For Pro Wrestling Illustrated, senior editor Bill Apter interviewed Baron Von Raschke who was clenching his Claw hand. Apter asked if Baron had any regrets for damaging hundreds of wrestlers with his Claw hold. Baron felt that a lot of the wrestlers he faced had brain damage before he got to them, but believed his Claw did add further damage. Apter recalled an interview he had where Baron said "that the fans meant nothing to him"
Baron said that early in his career he was like a ship lost at sea, and he reacted to the negative way he was treated, and got carried away with it. Baron said that having the fans support makes him feel good about himself and what he is doing. Baron said "I love the fans, and I’m glad they love me"
Top Guns (Jon Paul & Ricky Rice) with Mystery partner versus Soldat Ustinov, Teijo Khan and "Raging Bull" Manny Fernandez
Ustinov, Khan and Fernandez were all about to attack the Top Guns. Then Top Guns went back to the dressing room to get their partner, running back with Robert Gibson of the Rock N’ Roll Express, and battling their opponents out of the ring. Gibson ducks a back handed chop and flies off the ropes with a cross body press on Fernandez. Gibson arm dragged Fernandez down and traded off an arm lock to Paul, who Fernandez headbutted to an escape.
A tagged Khan was arm dragged down, and a tagged Rice flew off the second ropes with a double axhandle on Khan extended left arm. Gibson clapped his hands to referee Marty Miller’s back to get Rice in, and Fernandez yelled his complaint that a tag wasn’t made when Gibson came back in to work over Khan arm, when Miller’s attention was again away.
After having his left arm yanked, to a leg drop and arm stretcher by Rice, Khan tagged Ustinov who missed with a back forearm on Paul. Ustinov was then knocked backwards by Paul’s flying corss body off the ropes. After being kneed in the corner by Ustinov, Rice was struck down with punches and chops by Fernandez. Rice was then thrown to the floor, and when referee Miller was restraining Paul and Gibson, Khan body slammed Rice on the concrete floor.
Fernandez then flew off the apron with a forearm to Rice. A powerslam by Ustinov, a back elbow and waist lock suplex by Fernandez, then a backbreaker by Khan on Rice. Khan stopped his pin attempt quickly for more punishment, but his double chop knocked Rice to the corner for Gibson’s tag. All six men are in the ring, as Gibson slams Khan and Fernandez’s heads together.
Rice delivers high dropkick to Ustinov and Khan. Referee Miller sounds the bell, closing the match after nine minutes on a no contest, after Paul back body drops Ustinov. Gibson rams Fernandez into the table, as Khan smashes Paul into the floor. Ustinov slams Rice into the post, but Rice responds with a knee to Ustinov’s chest. Gibson tosses Fernandez into the ring, ducks the attack to nail Fernandez with a flying clothesline.
Rice back drops Ustinov for a Gibson fist drop. Ustinov’s team has fled the ring, but the Top Gun team resumes the fighting when Gibson jumps over the top rope, attacking Fernandez. The bloody mouthed Ustinov throws Rice into the ring steps, and Gibson throws Fernandez into a row of empty chairs. Rice lands dropkicks on Khan and Ustinov, but Fernandez knocks away Rice’s dropkicks. Fernandez then floors Rice with a DDT on the concrete.
Catch the legends of AWA Monday to Friday at 1am est on ESPN Classic.

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