AWA All-Star Wrestling – January 1, 1984: Complete With Bloopers

AWA All-Star Wrestling
Date: January 1, 1984
Location: WFBT Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentator: Ron Trongard

This is I think the flagship show of the AWA. Since it’s getting kind of hard to find some of the requests I’ve gotten, I figured I’d work on this huge backlog of shows I’ve found while I download copies of others. I don’t know very much about this company at all so I’ll be guessing on a lot of it as we go. Let’s get to it.

We open with Gene Okerlund who has Jesse Ventura with him. Jesse has promised us a major announcement that is going to knock wrestling both forward and backward. Two years ago he was in Japan and saw a guy that he wanted to start tagging with. It’s not Adrian Adonis but rather someone who compliments Jesse perfectly. It’s Mr. Saito. Saito gives Jesse a kimono. Saito hits a board with his head but it doesn’t break. He does it again and the board still doesn’t break. Everyone cracks up laughing and I think that was a blooper.

Here’s Gene again who brings in Verne Gagne. He talks about how this is the season for amateur wrestling. Verne congratulates all of them for their hard work and dedication. Back to the pro ranks though, he’s glad Schultz (I presume Dave) has been suspended. Rule breakers are going to get cracked down on a lot more in 1984.

Opening sequence.

Rocky Stone vs. Jim Brunzell

Brunzell is half of the High Fliers and takes Stone down with an armbar. Off to a headscissors but Stone gets to the ropes. The referee’s nickname is Sodbuster. I can’t say I’ve heard that one before. Stone grabs a front facelock but Brunzell knocks him into the corner and works on the leg. Pick a body part dude. A high knee sets up the dropkick for the pin.

Rating: D+. That dropkick is awesome but the match was boring up to that point. Brunzell was in a team with the owner’s son so you know that he was getting pushed strong. The match was dull as Brunzell couldn’t pick what he wanted to work on so he worked on everything, then finished with the dropkick. Boring but it’s a squash so it doesn’t matter much.

Gene runs down a card and talks about how Bockwinkel needs a partner. Heenan, Bockwinkel’s manager, has been asking old Heenan Family members to be Nick’s partner. Heenan and Bockwinkle, the world champion, come in and deny that. They won’t announce who their partner is. We’ll find out by the end of the show.

Buddy Lane vs. Mr. Saito

Lane takes him to the mat but Saito gets us easily. Saito takes him down now and works over the arm. He chops Lane in the corner and dropkicks him down (kind of). Saito tries a Boston Crab but Lane blocks it. Instead he tries a cradle but Lane keeps getting his shoulder up. That goes on for about 30 seconds and they get back up. Saito punches him near the throat and chops him down again. Saito Suplex ends this.

Rating: D. This was another odd match as Lane got in a lot more offense than you would expect as well as blocking a lot of Saito’s stuff. It wasn’t horrible I guess but it was a different kind of squash and I’m not sure if I mean that in a good way or not. Still though, it wasn’t bad.

We get the Jesse/Saito thing again but this time he breaks the board. That’s awesome that we got a blooper.

Jake Milliman vs. Buck Zumhofe

Milliman is nicknamed Milkman and is kind of the AWA’s version of the Brooklyn Brawler. Buck is Light Heavyweight Champion and this is 2/3 falls. And now Jingle Bell Rock is playing. Buck is nicknamed Rock N Roll so maybe that’s why? He hooks a quick stepover toehold and then shifts to the arm. I don’t think the title is on the line here. Zumhofe hooks some armdrags and back into the armbar.

Milliman manages a knee to the ribs and hooks a chinlock for his first offense. Buck fights up and works on the arm again. A dropkick takes Milliman down and a second one does as well. A cross body (called a flying body slam) gives Zumhofe the first fall. We take a break and come back with the second fall. The fans chant for Milliman who is the heel I think as Buck works on the arm.

Now for a change of pace, Buck works on the arm. Good to see them mixing things up in a match that has no apparent reason for being two out of three falls. Milliman gets two off something like a DDT. A slam gets two for Buck. Jake hits a flying forearm to take over but Zumhofe slams him off the top and wins with a Vader Bomb.

Rating: D+. Boring match and I have no idea why it was two out of three. Milliman got squashed twice in a row when once certainly would have given us the same result. Also, why not make this for the title if it’s going to be a squash? Either way, dull stuff but not terrible I guess.

Buy the AWA shirt! It’s $10 which is a lot better than the $39.99 for the Austin jersey in 1998.

The High Fliers say Saito is strong. They say they’ll be patient about getting their titles back.

Zumhofe says happy new year while having Auld Lang Syne playing on his boombox.

House show rundown. Bockwinkel comes in to announce his partner as Jerry Blackwell. He’s half of the tag champions and injured both Mad Dog Vachon and the Crusher, the two guys they’re teaming against.

AWA World Title: Mad Dog Vachon vs. Nick Bockwinkel

This is from Christmas Night and we’re joined in progress with Bockwinkel in trouble. I think they said there are five minutes left in the time limit. A backdrop gets two for Mad Dog. Vachon has dominated this according to Trongard. Bockwinkel avoids a charge in the corner and both guys are down. Nick tries the piledriver but Vachon reverses. Vachon puts him down but pulls him up at two. There’s a piledriver by Mad Dog for the pin and the title! That came out of nowhere. Not enough shown to properly rate it but it was your usual main event style ending, although the pin comes out of nowhere.

Heenan and Bockwinkel jump Mad Dog’s friend Crusher post match until Crusher gets a chair and pops them both with it. And never mind as Bockwinkel is disqualified for something so there’s no title change. This was a weekly thing in the AWA, including twice taking the title back from Hogan, which is why he bolted.

Vachon says he’ll hurt Blackwell. Crusher comes in and calls Blackwell fat.

Overall Rating: C-. The show isn’t really bad and at just an hour, it’s not like this is a chore to sit through. The in ring work is far weaker than the talking parts though, which set up future stuff as well as catch us up on what’s been happening. Not a terrible show or anything, but it’s not something I would regularly watch I don’t think.

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1 comment

  1. Frank says:

    Not sure which came first, but that Mr Saito blooper is alot like this.