AWA SuperClash 1985 – My Mind Is Numb

SuperClash 1985
Date: April 20, 1985
Location: Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 21,000
Commentator: Larry Nelson

Some of you might remember me talking about SuperClash III which was Lawler vs. Von Erich for the “unified” title. This is the original in the series and it’s one of those Pro Wrestling USA shows. In other words, the other companies (AWA/Crockett in this case) are banding together in a mostly futile attempt to fight off Vince because those national companies are evil so we need to join up into a national company to stop it. The main event is Magnum vs. Flair for the title in what should have been the main event of Starrcade 1986. Let’s get to it.

Nelson and Gagne welcome us to the show.

AWA Light Heavyweight Title: Steve Regal vs. Brad Rheingans

Regal is defending and is the heel. Brad is an Olympic weightlifter. Both guys are interviewed by Nelson on the way to the ring. Regal of course isn’t the British version. His name is Mr. Electricity, which would be a great gimmick for today’s Regal for the camp value if nothing else. There are a few rows of fans at ringside in bleachers (and by a few I mean about four) so it looks like there are about 200 people here. Then they go wide and you see 20,000 so it’s not so bad.

Brad easily overpowers him to start and controls with a headlock. Regal has been champion for over a year and a half. He works on the arm but Brad avoids a charge and works on Regal’s arm. In a really bad looking spot, Brad dropkicks him and the feet hit Regal, but Regal doesn’t move and Brad acts like he missed it. A bad looking clothesline by Regal results in more bad selling. This is really missing but it’s not completely horrible.

Off to a chinlock by the champ which is probably a good idea here as they need to collect their heads. It’s strange to see a power man in there fighting for a lighter title. We’re five minutes in and Regal might have cheated to keep his chinlock. Regal lets him up and drops a middle rope elbow. Another attempt at one hits mat and both guys are down. Brad starts his comeback with a backdrop for two. Atomic drop looks for a pin but Jimmy Garvin distracts the referee, allowing Regal to get a rollup to retain.

Rating: D. This one wasn’t really bad but it came and went and that’s about it. It’s not a good match and it’s not interesting either. This is one of those light heavyweight matches where it’s a match of regular wrestlers who weigh under a certain limit. They don’t wrestle any differently and it makes for a pretty dull match.

Regal says he didn’t cheat.

AWA Women’s Title: Sherri Martel vs. Candi Devine

Devine is defending. Rheingans jumps Regal before the match starts. Sherri stalls before the match and won’t let the referee pat her down for weapons. To be fair she’s wearing a form fitting one piece swimsuit so where would she hide them? Devine grabs a top wristlock but Sherri pulls the hair to take her down. Nelson sounds like Casey Kasem. Now Sherri works on the arm. Now Devine works on the arm.

Sherri gets in a shot to the head to take over before sending her out to the floor. Somehow Sherri loses track of the woman in a black outfit on a baseball field and Candi is able to sneak back in and dropkick Sherri to the floor. Boston Crab by Candi is reversed into a reversal by Sherri which gets two. Sherri drops a leg and a horrible small package for one. Back to the floor and Sherri knees her in the head to keep her out of the ring.

After that happens a few times Devine pulls Sherri to the floor and wraps the leg around the post. Back in and Devine works on the arm a bit more because we haven’t done that in awhile. Now Sherri hooks a headlock and this needs to end really badly. It’s 80s women’s wrestling so this isn’t going to be good by default (other than the Bomb Angels that is) but do we need eleven minutes of it? Sunset flip gets two for Devine. Finally Sherri wins with a top rope splash. Actually it was more like a knee to the chest as she overshot Candi but whatever.

Rating: D-. This was even worse than the previous one. The psychology was completely non-existent (wrap the leg around the post, TIME FOR AN ARMBAR!!!) as Devine was clearly there for her looks. Sherri was a heat machine but I never was huge on her in ring stuff. Pretty awful match.

Sherri says she’s the champion.

As I said, everyone is giving interviews before the match. I’m not going to bother recapping them unless something of note is said because most of them just say “I’ll win.”

Asian Six Man Tag Titles: Giant Baba/Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu vs. Harley Race/Bill Irwin/Scott Irwin

I can find no source claiming that these titles existed either before or after this show. The three Japanese guys are the defending champions but they have no belts. Baba has freaky skinny arms. Scott vs. Tenryu to start. They talk about the two former world champions here: Race and Tsuruta. That’s very interesting that they’re ignoring Baba being a three time NWA World Champion.

Ok so Scott is in the shirt. Got it. Race comes in to fight Tenryu and never mind as it’s Jumbo. Race is his usual old school heel self and it’s off to Bill. Bill makes a tag as Tsuruta counters a top wristlock. Off to Race vs. Baba as this match is really awkward. There’s no story here so there’s no heat to it. They tag in and out a lot and technically it’s ok, but it’s more like a collection of moves than a coherent match.

Bill gets a boot in and the fans are getting behind the heels. See what I mean about it not making a lot of sense? Tenryu is going to be playing Ricky Morton it seems. Piledriver gets two for Race. The Irwins hit a double back elbow for the same. Tenryu gets a boot up and it’s hot tag to Jumbo. Everything breaks down and Baba LAUNCHES Bill into the corner and to the floor. Back to Tenryu who gets a slam for two. Everything breaks down again and Baba hits a big boot on Bill for the pin to retain.

Rating: D. This show has been pretty meh so far and this match hasn’t helped anything. The fake champions defended their fake titles against guys they have no issue with right? On top of that like I said, there’s no issue here so the match isn’t anything interesting either. This felt off the whole time and it really brought it down. That and the heels being cheered because no one knew most of the Japanese guys.

The idiot Nelson calls Race the Legend of St. Louis.

Midget Championship: Little Mr. T. vs. Little Tokyo

This is something they’d do every now and then. The title had no continuity and one day a guy would be called champion for the sake of having a title match. These matches usually suck and it’ll probably have some unfunny comedy. This is one of those matches where there’s not much to say because again, there’s no story. Mr. T. gets caught in a quick armbar as for the fourth match in a row, Nelson isn’t sure if there was hair pulling or not.

Tokyo rams him into the buckle but Mr. T. comes back with a headbutt for two. Back to the armbar by T. until Tokyo comes back with strikes. He’s mean apparently. T. hooks a chinlock and then Tokyo kicks him in the shoulder. This is going nowhere. T. and the referee look at something in the air for no apparent reason. Here’s a test of strength which Tokyo controls but Mr. T. doesn’t pity that Japanese fool and stomps on Tokyo’s feet. Tokyo hooks a headlock again and T. hits a pair of Butt-Butts. You figure out what it is. Tokyo wins with a double chop.

Rating: D-. Is there a single good match on this whole show? There are enough to pick from (13) as the show runs over three hours, so there almost has to be one good one in here somewhere. It’s pretty clear that they were trying to fit as much in here as possible without really putting any effort into it. And they wonder why they went out of business.

IWA International Title: Mil Mascaras vs. Buddy Robers

This is called the Mexican Title but it’s an actual belt. Mascaras is champion here. Roberts is a Freebird so he’s a southern brawler, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to mesh that well with Masscaras. Mil moves around quickly and Roberts is getting frustrated. Mascaras hooks a full nelson and lifts him off the mat with it in a nice display of power. He uses a bunch of holds that get on Roberts’ nerves and this is bordering on a squash.

When all else fails, rake the eyes of the masked man. Buddy might hit him low before coming off the middle rope with an elbow for tow. Neckbreaker gets two. They slug it out and Roberts misses a running knee in the corner. He gets tied up and Mascaras doesn’t follow up due to being technico. Mascaras throws him around, slams him and comes off with the top rope cross body to retain.

Rating: C. This was by far the best match of the night up to this point. More than anything else, they kept this short. It also helped that there was a story, even though it was a simple one (one guy cheats, the other doesn’t). Mascaras was something different (and interesting, unlike the midgets or women) and made the match much more entertaining.

WCCW Texas Title: Kerry Von Erich vs. Jimmy Garvin

There seems to be more people around the ring now. Kerry wants the Claw before the match even begins but Precious gets in the way. Kerry is defending here. He takes the jacket off and we get the girl pop. We hear about Mike being in the hospital. That would be the injury he was rushed back from and that would drive him to suicide. Kerry tries the Claw but when Jimmy runs, Kerry does Jimmy’s strut.

Kerry speeds things up and the place is erupting off every move he makes. Garvin tries to cheat and gets run over for his efforts. Shoulder block gets two. Garvin gets in some offense but misses an elbow drop. Kerry misses a knee but doesn’t really get in trouble. A quick abdominal stretch is broken up and Garvin hooks a chinlock. Kerry gets knocked to the floor where Precious yells at him. Garvin won’t let him back in so Kerry stalls like a Zbyszko. Back in Kerry hits some discus punches but can’t get the Claw. Jimmy goes up but gets crotched and falls off, allowing Kerry to get the pin.

Rating: C-. Anticlimactic ending aside, this could have been a bad TV main event I guess. It’s a good example where the crowd can help a match as the fans were rabid for Kerry. What a shame it was that Fritz wouldn’t let his boys go outside of Texas because Kerry could have been a huge star on a national stage.

Nick Bockwinkel/Ray Stevens/Larry Zbyszko vs. Greg Gagne/Scott Hall/Curt Hennig

Old vs. new here. Hall with that porn stache is something to see. Jack Brickhouse introduces the match. He reminisces for awhile and does LONG intros, taking almost three minutes to introduce six men. Hennig vs. Bockwinkel to get us going. The fans all start to get interested in something so the match stops for a few seconds. Bockwinkel flips Hennig around as Curt is a hot shot rookie at this point.

Hennig comes back so Nick hides in the corner. Off to Larry who only stalls about 40 seconds this time. Larry gets thrown around so he rants and raves for awhile. Off to Hall who works on Larry’s arm. Off to Gagne who jumps onto the arm off the top. Now Hennig works on the arm but Larry gets a suplex in to bring back Nick. Larry and Nick choke on Hennig in the corner until Hall comes over which doesn’t really do much.

Hennig gets knocked to the floor and worked over for a few minutes until it’s back inside for an abdominal stretch from Larry. Curt manages to tag Gagne but the referee misses it. Bockwinkel and Hennig collide as the match keeps going. Larry comes in and there’s the hot tag (with a POP) to Gagne. Everything breaks down and Hall powerslams Steves (both illegal) for the pin. Stevens never tagged into the match.

Rating: C-. Not the best six man in the world as it was more or less a three on two match given Stevens not coming in. The match wasn’t that good but the energy was there at the end. Hall looked like a completely different guy and Hennig has a small afro, so time has been kind to those guys. This was just barely ok.

AWA Tag Titles: Freebirds vs. Road Warriors

The Warriors are defending. This is Hayes/Gordy and they have their faces painted with the Confederate Flag. The champs clear the ring before the bell and are mad over because this is in Chicago. Hawk and Gordy start as Hayes walks around the field with people yelling at him. Hawk pounds on Terry so Terry heads off to bring in Hayes. Off to Animal as the Birds stall. Ok it’s Animal vs. Gordy.

The squashing continues with the Warriors taking their shots at Gordy. Michael comes back in again and gets pounded so much he crawls back to Gordy for a tag. Terry is like uh….not right now. Gordy finally wakes up and goes after the eyes before dodging a charging Hawk to send his shoulder into the post. Hayes comes back in and hits a side suplex for two. Piledriver by Gordy mostly works but Hawk doesn’t feel like selling that much.

Hayes goes up but Hawk slams him off the top but manages to tag before Hawk can. That’s kind of impressive. Gordy and Hawk collide but there’s the hot one to Animal. Hayes stays on the apron as Animal destroys Gordy, getting two off a powerslam. Everything breaks down and even Roberts and Ellering come in. Ellering gets dropped with a chair and Gordy accidentally pops Hayes. Powerslam to Hayes by Animal and a shoulder to Gordy looks to finish but Hayes comes off the middle rope with something around his hand to knock Animal out for the pin and the titles! The place is stunned.

Rating: D+. This one didn’t quite work either. The whole match was a mess and the ending was hard to follow due to everything going all nuts. The Warriors were still in the period where they would do nothing but run people over, which ran for about the next six or eight years. Bad match for the most part, but you know what’s coming.

Verne Gagne comes out and says hold on a minute. He reverses the decision and the Warriors get the titles back.

NWA Six Man Titles: Krusher Khruschev/Ivan Koloff/Nikita Koloff vs. Crusher/Dick the Bruiser/Baron Von Raschke

This is Crockett vs. AWA and the Russians are the champions of course. Big brawl to start and we eventually get down to Crusher vs. Krusher. Crusher bolo punches his way to prosperity and brings in the Baron. Nikita comes in and runs from the Claw. Nikita was a killing machine and he’s running from an old bald guy holding his hand in the air. Ivan comes in and gets beaten up by the old man as well.

Here’s Dick The Bruiser who is a scary man. He and the Crusher are identical. Dick and Ivan have a test of strength with the evil Russian cheating to escape. Back to Crusher vs. Krusher with Crusher taking over and bringing Baron back in. Ivan comes back in and takes Crusher down. He hits a legdrop which Nelson calls illegal. I’m not even touching that one. Crusher makes his comeback and it’s off to the Bruiser. Baron comes in and drops a leg which isn’t mentioned by Nelson. There’s the Claw and everything breaks down. We cut to a wide shot then go back to see Ivan pinning Baron.

Rating: D+. The ending is as quick as it sounds and since Larry didn’t see it either, we have no idea what knocked Baron out. I think you could see both other Russians but things were moving too fast. Nikita should have been in there running over people though as it’s what he was best at. This is the AWA though so it doesn’t think things through at times.

AWA American’s Title: Sgt. Slaughter vs. Boris Zhukov

Guess who the champion is. Boris jumps the champ to start but Sarge uses the powers of American to get control. The camera jumps to the crowd for some reason. Back to Slaughter destroying Boris, sending the shoulder into the post. They head to the floor and Zhukov slams him onto the mound. Boris controls with basic heel tactics back in the ring. Swinging neckbreaker gets two.

There are three matches left after this one and I don’t think I could take anything longer than that. This show has completely drained me. Out to the floor again and Boris slams him on the announce table. A piledriver out there is countered and Boris is slammed off the top back in. Nelson says the ring shifted an inch and then a foot. Dropkick by Sarge puts Boris down and he loads up the Cannon. The Cannon (short clothesline) hits the referee instead and Boris hits him with a loaded elbow pad. Sarge is busted and as the referee checks on it, Boris shoves the referee for the DQ.

Rating: D+. My mind is numb at this point. These matches mean nothing and we’re getting one cheap finish after another. Also the insane amount of punch/kick matches are making this unbearable. There hasn’t been a single match that I would call good and we’re over two hours into it. This needs to get done because it’s too late to be saved. This match was just another on the pile tonight.

Kamala vs. Jerry Blackwell

This is a $10,000 bodyslam challenge. Kamala is managed by Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey. The Sheik used to manage Blackwell so there’s your story to the match. Kamala pounds on him to start and I keep trying to remember if he ever won a big match. The crowd reacts to it at least. Blackwell makes his comeback and uses general fat man stuff including a splash.

They try to slam each other which doesn’t work at all because more often than not you don’t just pick someone up and try to slam them. They slug it out and Kamala knocks him down with a chop to the head. There’s a splash and the idiot referee counts one. Here’s a nerve hold for a few seconds. Blackwell Hulks Up, splashes Kamala in the corner and slams him for the win.

Rating: D. It was short but this was one of those goofy fat man matches that they would have. The crowd would get into them which is the right idea. Blackwell was incredibly popular but he never would win the world title. Kamala was Kamala for the better part of ever so he was pretty set.

Post match Al-Kaissey and Kamala beat on Blackwell with a sword. Yeah they turn it on its side and hit him over the head with it. Baron with a ball bat finally makes the save.

AWA World Title: Rick Martel vs. Stan Hansen

Martel is defending. This is the next to last match thank goodness. Hansen jumps him to start and they go to the floor as the bell rings. Back in and it’s all Hansen. If I understood right this has a 25 minute time limit. The midgets got 45. Martel sunset flips him for two. Hansen takes him to the mat and chokes away before it’s a big brawl. They go to the floor and Hansen hits him with some chairs and it’s a DQ in about two and a half minutes. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? We’ve had eleven other matches and the WORLD TITLE MATCH gets two and a half minutes? You couldn’t cut one of the six men matches down? I’m done.

Martel and Hansen brawl onto the field and into the dugout until Verne finally breaks it up.

NWA World Title: Magnum TA vs. Ric Flair

I need this. Flair in the 80s may be somewhat overrated, but Flair’s worst match ever is going to be a glass of water in the desert on this show. Magnum is young here but looks awesome. It’s such a shame what happened to him. Flair doesn’t have the big gold belt yet. Nelson: “Flair like to talk about his robes and his money and his possessions. Magnum TA likes to talk about winning the heavyweight championship of the world.”

They go to the mat to start and no one can get an advantage. They try it again and Magnum takes over with a hammerlock. Back up and Magnum wins a power match in a top wristlock. They speed things up and Magnum dropkicks him down followed by a gorilla press. Flair chops him in the corner but Magnum shrugs them off and it’s back to the arm. Flair throws him through the ropes but Magnum holds on and comes back in all fired up. His dropkick misses though and here comes Naitch.

The champ hits that one armed snapmare that you’ll see him do a lot. There’s the knee drop but he doesn’t cover. Butterfly suplex gets two. Abdominal stretch has Magnum in trouble but Flair gets caught pulling trunks so the hold has to be broken. Flair snapmares him down again but the knee misses. Magnum IMMEDIATELY throws on a figure four and the champ is in trouble. You don’t need a big long beatdown. This makes perfect sense so the psychology is right there. Love it.

Ric finally makes a rope but his knee is messed up now. Magnum tries to put it on again but Flair counters. A low blow takes TA down but Flair can’t capitalize. Suplex gets two for Magnum. Backslide for two. Flair pokes him in the eye and throws him to the floor. Magnum comes back with a sunset flip attempt but Flair punches him in the head to break it up. This time Flair hooks a hammerlock and puts his foot on the rope at the same time. Little things like those will always get someone booed, but for some reason no one does them anymore.

Flair stays on the arm and puts his foot on the rope but swears he didn’t do it. Again, little things. Crucifix position cradle gets two. Magnum fights up and hooks a sleeper. Flair slaps at the ropes but doesn’t grab them so the referee won’t break it up. The sleeper was Magnum’s finisher before he started using the belly to belly. A splash hits knees though and both guys are down.

Flair hits a kneecrusher out of nowhere and there’s the Figure Four. Magnum turns it over so Flair lets it go. He tries to hook it again just like Magnum did earlier but Flair’s is countered as well. Magnum throws him into the corner for the Flair Flip (Nelson thinks it’s a DQ but the referee says Flair flipped himself. Whatever) and they go to the floor. Flair is busted so Magnum pounds away at the cut.

Magnum is all fired up but Flair says bring it on. TA keeps pounding away at the cut and Flair is bleeding nice and strong. Big right hand gets two. Backdrop puts Flair down as he’s holding back on the belly to belly so far until he knows Flair is ready. They do the awesome backslide bridge out and the fans are all fired up now. There’s the belly to belly (powerslam according to Nelson) but Flair’s feet hit the referee. Magnum rolls him up but Flair pulls the tights into one of his own for the pin. Nelson: “Flair wins the title!”

Rating: B+. After the AWFUL stuff that we had to sit through for the last three hours, I’d have given anything that was good a solid grade here. Good match here and after Magnum had his best match ever in about two months, seeing this again in about fourteen months would have been awesome. Very good match and every time I see Magnum in a big one, it makes me kind of sad. He’d be 52 today so he could still be somewhat active. What a shame.

Overall Rating: Agoobwa. Until the main event this was going to be a rating that hadn’t been heard of yet. It’s not so much that it’s bad because some of these matches are okish, but THIRTEEN of them in a row isn’t enough for a very good main event to make this even salvageable. The lack of stories and the high amount of punch/kick matches bring this WAY down. Just too long and nothing interesting until the last match. Really bad show but if you’ve got 25 minutes to kill, you could do a lot worse than Flair vs. Magnum.

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3 comments

  1. noahconstrictor says:

    YES! AGOOBWA!

    [Reply]

  2. rick says:

    “Flair in the 80s may be somewhat overrated,”

    So you don’t think his eighties work is some of the best ever?

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Some of, yes. As great as it’s made out to be? No.

    [Reply]

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