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[1988-12-13-AWA-Superclash III] Jerry Lawler vs Kerry Von Erich

Superstar Sleeze

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AWA World Heavyweight Champion Jerry Lawler vs WCWA World Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich - AWA Superclash III 

In 1988, the WWF vs JCP arms race was flull blown and the last three major American promotions gave it once last shot to fight these two superpowers. The biggest promotion of the three, the AWA, put their money on the biggest independent star left in American wrestling, the King of Memphis Wrestling, Jerry Lawler. They lost their last homegrown star, Curt Hennig to WWF and had no other choice. The Memphis the smallest of the big American territories was the big winner as their biggest star was finally validated as World Champion. The missing piece was Lawler needed an opponent enter the other major Independent superstar, Kerry Von Erich. It may not be 1982 but in the 1988 landscape Kerry was still a major baby face and the Champion of World Class. So these three promotions made an alliance to put on SuperClash III pitting the last two major independent superstars together. This match is pretty famous and has made many WWE comps, I would hazard to guess the most watched match of either mans career. 

The first thing I always think of is how Kerry accidentally cuts his left bicep with his blade before the match even starts and can't stop looking at his bicep throughout the beginning. It is just so Kerry Von Erich. They shoehorn Lawler slamming Kerry's arm into the steel to explain the blood but it is mostly no sold besides Kerry constantly looking at it. 

The beginning is bump 'n' run at its finest. Lawler feeds him, Kerry decks him and Lawler bumps. It was fun. Discus punch! Lawler bites the arm and finally lands a couple punches. Damn he is good as he sends Kerry over the top. Kerry makes a comeback but still can't get the claw. He punches the post with his bad arm and now Lawler has a golden opportunity. He reaches into his trunks and pops Kerry in the head to draw blood. Five alarm bladejob. Total crimson mask. Fist drop. Lawler is cocky. Fist drop but wait THE CLAW! Great set up for the Claw. I popped switches to head but can't get the win. Great stand up battle roars to the end. Great Lawler "hiding the chain" and punches. Amazing selling from Kerry. Kerry proves he is still got it with a great comeback. The finish is fucking garbage. Kerry loses via blood stoppage when he is in the dominant position with the Claw on Lawler who looked passed out. Finishes like that really hurt wrestling.

Terrible finish aside this match was a great classic babyface vs heel matches. Just the perfect ideal of both. Lawler bumps so well and then cheats like a muthafucka. Kerry has great big offense and sells well down the stretch. Great bloody brawl to end it. Shame about the end. Lawler is the big winner as he creates the USWA World Championship while AWA & WCCW fold in 1990. Famous match that showcases the beauty of a simple match that builds and builds into a bloody brawl. ****1/4


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  • GSR changed the title to [1988-12-13-AWA-Superclash III] Jerry Lawler vs Kerry Von Erich
  • 7 months later...

I remember really liking this match from about a dozen years ago. I think it was the first Kerry Von Erich match that I saw. 

I wanted to use this space to mention the Wahoo vs Manny Fernandez Indian Strap match instead. It's probably not worth making its own topic. We'll just use the King vs Kerry match as a catch all for the Superclash III :)

Anyhow, this strap match was pretty darn good. Stiff chops, punches and blood abound! The big surprise was that Tatsumi Fujinami was there! Fernandez was working in NJ in '88 I believe so, I think he was there to keep Manny in check or something. Well, he certainly DOES both at the start and finish...yes!

Awesome little interview at the end from Wahoo where he says he wants to literally kill Fernandez. 



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