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AWA 1981

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American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

 

AWA LIVE @ Chicago, IL

April 4th, 1981

-The Crusher & Baron Von Raschke beat Ron Starr & Prof Toru Tanaka (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) in 7:51

-Tito Santana beat Thunderbolt Patterson in 10:53

-Mando Guerrero beat "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe in 14:32

-Larry Zbyszko beat "Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal in 14:37

-"Crippler" Ray Stevens (w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) beat Matt Borne in 12:31

-Jerry Barber beat Negro Casas in 11:21

Before the main event, Big Daddy Bundy & Eric Embry made their way to the ring for the main event, along with Bobby Heenan. Heenan officially introduced Bundy & Embry as the newest members of the Heenan Family and Heenan talks about the AWA World Title match tomorrow night in Green Bay that Eric Embry has with champion Verne Gagne. The match is announced to be best 2 out of 3 Falls and Heenan is upset that all Heenan Family members will be barred from ringside, Heenan included. Heenan guarantees that he'll soon have all the gold in his stable. Big Daddy Bundy & Eric Embry taunt the High Flyers about their recent lack of success in regaining the AWA World Tag Team Championship from the East-West Connection and Bundy says it's gonna be a piece of cake to beat Jim Brunzell in the main event tonight!

-In the main event, Jim Brunzell beat Big Daddy Bundy in 14:26 after "Crippler" Ray Stevens accidentally hit Bundy with a chair while Eric Embry was distracting the referee Marty Miller. Verne & Greg Gagne ran in to equalize things. Post-match, Bundy gets upset at Stevens and clocks him with a right hand, challenging him to a match in Green Bay tomorrow night!

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American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

 

AWA LIVE @ Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, Ashwaubenon, WI

April 5th, 1981

Taped Fist Match: AWA World Tag Team Champion Adrian Adonis (w/Jesse Ventura) beat The Iranian Assassin (w/Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie) in 8:24

-Jim Brunzell beat Prof. Toru Tanaka in 17:17

-Big Daddy Bundy beat "Crippler" Ray Stevens (w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) in 14:07. After the match, Lord Alfred Hayes comes out and shakes hands with Bundy, clearly indicating that they're now working together!

Submission Match: Robert Gibson beat Ricky Morton in 18:45 with a Figure Four Leglock

-Moondog Moretti upsets Baron Von Raschke in 12:12 after Lord Alfred Hayes throws Moondog's bone to him so he can use it on Von Raschke behind referee Gary DeRusha's back!

-The Wild Samoans beat The Hennigs in 15:08 after Sika pinned Curt Hennig with a falling headbutt

-Jerry Blackwell destroys "Hangman" Bobby Jaggers in 65 seconds

AWA World Heavyweight Championship, Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Challenger Eric Embry and Champion Verne Gagne fight to a 30-minute limit draw with 1 fall apiece. After the match, Nick Bockwinkel charges the ring and nails Verne Gagne with a roll of coins. Bockwinkel then poses with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship belt to close the show

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Loving this so far. You've done a great job gathering so much of the great AWA talent, and you're booking them perfectly.  I am loving seeing Bockwinkel attack Gagne (always loved Bock, even back then) and I love seeing Bobby The Brain with Ray Stevens during the AWA glory days as well.  Plus you've got The Baron and of course Jerry Blackwell.  It really takes me back.

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AWA kicks off with a bang... Bock and Verne are always a good starting piece for that world's title. I like the Samoans against the Hennigs... this will give Curt some real shine to build upon. I also love Robert v Ricky... they didn't do well in 1991 but in 1981 I am sure it would be pretty cool to see. Also... Lord Alfred is so underrated... he and Bundy... what a team!

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Thanks, guys! For Ricky & Robert, it's pretty much part of my plan to slowly give birth to the Rock N' Roll Express down the road. My challenge right now is to find the right time - and the right opponents - to pull the triggr on it!

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American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

 

AWA LIVE @ Auditorium Arena, Denver, CO

April 10th, 1981

-Jumbo Tsuruta beat Ron Starr in 6:12

-Adnan's Army (Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie & The Iranian Assassin) beat "Superstar" Billy Graham & Larry "The Ax" Hennig in 17:54 after a distraction provided by an attack on Curt Hennig by Alexis Smirnoff

NWA World Tag Team ChampionshipPaul Jones & The Masked Superstar beat The Crusher & Baron Von Raschke in 12:37 to retain

AWA World Heavyweight Championship: Verne Gagne beat Matt Borne by submission in 7:06 to retain

-"Playboy" Buddy Rose (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) beat Brad Batten in 15:30

-Moondog Moretti beat "Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal in 15:56

-Buddy Landel beat Greg Gagne in 10:22

AWA World Tag Team Championship: The East-West Connection beat The Wild Samoans in 14:29 to retain

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The East-West Connection vs The Wild Samoans is a definite dream match...that would be one hell of a Main Event for sure.  I never was a Greg Gagne fan, so I have to admit I was very happy to see Buddy "Budro" Landell beat him as well!  Great stuff!

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I agree - that's a whale of a ain event. I almost think the Samoans could be fun babyfaces after watching them in Young Rock... there's some character there. Go along with Landel and Rose looking good... I think they may be a team of the future in the AWA. I am really excited to see how you do the NWA in the AWA... lots of pieces to that puzzle and I am sure you'll manage it... until the forces COLLIDE!

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American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

 

AWA LIVE @ Boylan Catholic High School, Rockford, IL

April 11th, 1981

Mean Gene Okerlund and Verne Gagne come out first to announce that tonight, they will crown the first AWA America's Champion in a 20-men battle royal in the main event. This title will be defended regularly in live events and TV specials throughout the year. Verne says in closing he hopes that his son Greg can win it but still wishes the best of luck to everyone involved in the battle royal

AWA America's Championship | Pro Wrestling | Fandom

 

-Jerry Blackwell beat Tiger Mask with a bearhug

-Brad Rheingans beat Mando Guerrero in 8:53

20-Men Battle Royal to crown the AWA America's Championship: Gino Brito wins the battle royal, last eliminating Thunderbolt Patterson. Verne Gagne comes out himself to congratulate Brito and award him himself the new championship

********

American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

AWA LIVE @ Chicago, IL

April 12th, 1981

Street Fight: Robert Gibson beat Ron Starr (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) with a missile dropkick. Prof. Toru Tanaka tried to interfere in favor of Starr but Ricky Morton came out to even the odds.

-Bobby "The Brain" Heenan defeated The Iranian Assassin in 5:03 after interference from Ray Stevens

#1 Contenders Match for the AWA America's Championship, Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie upset Larry Zbyszko in 2 straight falls after Zbyszko was disqualified for shoving referee Scott LeDoux. Zbyszko ended up piledriving LeDoux for his trouble!

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American Wrestling Association - Wikipedia

 

AWA LIVE @ MECCA Auditorium, Milwaukee, WI

April 18th, 1981

-Big Daddy Bundy (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) beat AWA World Tag Team Champion Jesse Ventura in 12:09

-The High Flyers beat "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe & Moondog Moretti in 11:30

-"Playboy" Buddy Rose beat Ron Starr in 10:24

-AWA World Tag Team Champion Adrian Adonis beat Akio Sato (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) in 17:16

-Sika (w/Afa) beat Larry "The Ax" Hennig in 15`:36

NWA World Tag Team Championship: Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar beat Adnan's Army (Alexis Smirnoff & Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie) in 33:40 to retain

 

***COMING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS***

Special interviews with Mean Gene Okerlund and the announcement for AWA's first TV special "Sunday Showcase"

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I like the use of Lord Alfred here... he is showing himself to be a big time player especially with Heenan around. I also have Buck Zumhofe... with a passion... so if he disappears from the game all together it wouldn't be a bad thing lol.

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Mean Gene Okerlund as AWA announcer [1981-08-08] - YouTube

SUNDAY SHOWCASE CONTROL CENTER

WITH MEAN GENE OKERLUND

 

Mean Gene: Ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot of excitement in the air as the AWA will present the first edition of Sunday Showcase from Chicago, IL on April 25th and through the next couple of days, we will be unveiling some major news for this card and it's only fitting for this first announcement that I am joined by the esteemed president of the AWA, Mr. Stanley Blackburn.

 

The Mid West Is Running Wild: Hulkamania is Born…in the AWA | Ring the Damn  Bell

(Stanley Blackburn walks on the set to join Mean Gene Okerlund)

 

Mean Gene: Mr. Blackburn, for this premiere edition of Sunday Showcase, we would all agree that a big main event needed to be signed and I've been privy to a couple of things going on behind the scenes as you and Wally Korbo have been working diligently to not only build this card but to find a special attraction worthy of being put in the main event slot. And after intense hours of negotiation, you are finally able to tell us about this announcement.

Stanley Blackburn: You're absolutely right, Gene. As you said, Wally and I have been working extremely hard to find a special attraction to our great fans in Chicago and we've always done everything to make sure that fans get a good show every night. Our relationship with the National Wrestling Alliance has been tremendous and it has allowed us to see already the NWA World Tag Team Champions Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar a few times here already but I definitely am pleased to announce something very exciting about an NWA World title match!

Mean Gene: Hold on a second, are we talking about an NWA World Heavyweight Championship match here?

Stanley Blackburn: Well, that was in the plans of course but given the busy schedule of the champion Harley Race, we couldn't be guaranteed that he would be able to be there in Chicago. However, one NWA world champion that we could guarantee to be there is the current NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion, Nelson Royal. And Mr. Royal has been looking for a top contender to wrestle  and defend his title against and it's with great pride that I can now confirm that the main event for our first Sunday Showcase will an NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship match between Nelson Royal and his challenger, AWA's Japanese sensation Tiger Mask!

 

The Saturday Showcase: Tiger Mask - Cageside Seatsimage.jpeg.608bd11fb1b388634578589e4ec389d2.jpeg

 MAIN EVENT

NWA WORLD JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Nelson Royal (c) vs Tiger Mask

 

Mean Gene: What would it mean for you and the AWA in its whole, Mr. Blackburn, to see Tiger Mask capture this championship on April 25?

Stanley Blackburn: It would certainly be a great honor for the entire territory because this would prove without a shadow of a doubt that the AWA is the major league of professional wrestling. Everyone in this locker room is working hard to prove that they are their best and Tiger Mask is certainly no exception to that.

Mean Gene: Thank you for this announcement, Mr. Blackburn and we will hear from the champion Nelson Royal in the next few days and Stanley Blackburn will be back here next time to make other announcements about Sunday Showcase! April 25th live on every affiliate!

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Mean Gene Okerlund as AWA announcer [1981-08-08] - YouTube

SUNDAY SHOWCASE CONTROL CENTER

WITH MEAN GENE OKERLUND

 

Mean Gene Okerlund: As we're getting closer to our first edition of Sunday Showcase on April 25, we are seeing this first card build up with a lot of anticipation and one of those matches on this card will definitely cause a lot of buzz as we've been told by AWA President Stanley Blackburn that it is now official, we will see The Wild Samoans square off against the formidable duo of Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens, managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan himself and speaking of the devil, here they are.

Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens | Bobby heenan, Pro wrestling, Awa wrestling

Bobby Heenan: Who are you calling the devil, Gene Okerlund? Us? No, if you should call anyone the devil, it's Verne Gagne. Not only he's holding on to the AWA World Heavyweight Championship like the last piece of chocolate cake in a birthday party but he also stirs the pot and avoids any challengers at all cost. Did you know that Verne had his son Greg booked in a Lumberjack Match against one of those 100 Japanese guys we have here for Sunday Showcase?

Mean Gene: I didn't know that, Bobby, but I guess that now I know...

Bobby Heenan: You wanna know one other thing, Gene? We know exactly what is going on here. Verne doesn't want in any way, shape or form to see this man, Nick Bockwinkel, near the AWA World title picture. So instead, he goes to Stanley Blackburn and he has Nick & Ray Stevens booked against the Wild Samoans. This is insane! But you know what, we will get the last laugh. Because eventually, the world will see that we are not the bad guys in the whole story. Verne Gagne is. And the day will come when we will pull the wool from people's eyes and they'll see how despicable of a man, Verne Gagne really is!

Ray Stevens: Truth be told, Gene, I don't have an issue with this match against the Wild Samoans because every win we can get is one step closer for us to wear gold again. We know how tough they are; we saw how they destroyed Larry Hennig's kid. However, we're not Larry Hennig's kid. We're the best tag team in the world. We're the toughest tag team in the world and we ain't afraid of getting our noses dirty and we're gonna make sure that those Samoans remember exactly just that.

Nick Bockwinkel: What my friends have so eloquently said here is that no matter the conspiracy Verne Gagne is preparing to hang on to the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, we will give him a stern reminder that we aren't going anywhere. Everyone in the wrestling world knows that Ray Stevens and myself are the absolute elite of this sport. We are smarter than everyone, we're stronger than everyone and most importantly, we're better than everyone. Verne, you can book your son in a Lumberjack match to avoid us getting involved any way you want but you seem to forget that we are playing chess when you are playing checkers. You can try everything you possibly can but just remember that The Heenan Family always gets what they want. On the premiere of Sunday Showcase, we will make a statement and won't give you any other choice.

 

Mean Gene Okerlund: We will see who will prevail between the Wild Samoans and the duo of Bockwinkel & Stevens on Sunday Showcase!

 

 

Wild Samoans | Pro Wrestling | FandomNick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens | Bobby heenan, Pro wrestling, Awa wrestling

TAG TEAM MATCH

The Wild Samoans vs The Heenan Family

********

 

Mean Gene Okerlund: And now, for the last part of our Sunday Showcase Control Center, I welcome once again our esteemed AWA President, Mr. Stanley Blackburn.

 

The Mid West Is Running Wild: Hulkamania is Born…in the AWA | Ring the Damn  Bell

Mean Gene: Stanley Blackburn, I will reiterate once again that you've been working extremely hard to give us a night to remember on the premiere episode of Sunday Showcase on April 25th, in Chicago and you've been working hard on securing new talents for us in the AWA and I understand that you have a special Junior Heavyweight tag team match in store, featuring 2 new signings to the AWA roster

Stanley Blackburn: Indeed, Gene, we've been hard at work to scout new talents to add to our tremendous roster but sometimes, we don't have to look hard as some people will actually reach out to us. In fact, I received a phone call by Mr. Dominic DeNucci, one of the most respected wrestlers I've ever known and he told me about this young kid, who just started and Dominic felt like it would be great to get some experience here. So I'm pleased to announce that this young kid from Pittsburgh by the name of Troy Martin will be part of our roster. He will also continue his training at Verne's wrestling school and hopefully we can get him where he needs to be to have him dominate the sport in the next several years.

Mean Gene: I also understand that you made quite the signing from overseas as well. I was absolutely amazed by what I've learned but I don't want to ruin your surprise so Mr. Blackburn, go ahead.

Stanley Blackburn: Indeed, we're looking to have the best junior heavyweights in the world and considering the big main event we have for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship for this premiere episode, it's only fitting that we give our fans some of the best in this weight category. And I truly think that we just signed the very best in the world. Right from the United Kingdom, I will proudly announce that we have secured the services of the one and only Johnny Saint!

Johnny Saint - OWW

Stanley Blackburn: And I'm proud to announce that we'll have a tag team junior heavyweight showcase as "Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal will team with Johnny Saint to wrestle the duo of young Troy Martin & "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe! Hopefully, this will be the start of a great era in the AWA with this first Sunday Showcase!

JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM SHOWCASE

"Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal & Johnny Saint vs Troy Martin & "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe

*****

FINAL CARD FOR PREMIERE EPISODE OF SUNDAY SHOWCASE

MAIN EVENT

NWA JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Nelson Royal (c) vs Tiger Mask

The Wild Samoans vs The Heenan Family

JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM SHOWCASE

"Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal & Johnny Saint vs Troy Martin & "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe

LUMBERJACK MATCH

Motoshi Okuma vs Greg Gagne

"Hangman" Bobby Jaggers vs Brad Batten

Tor Kamata vs The Iranian Assassin

+ we will hear from AWA World Tag Team Champions the East-West Connection!

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The AWA is starting Sunday Showcase with a stacked card!

Kudos on the Okerlund-Heenan interview i could hear the whole exchange in my head. Bock and the Crippler vs The Wild Samoans should make one hell of a contrast in styles.

And we can't forget the big Junior Heavyweight Title match. Royal and Tiger Mask could tear the house down.

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I agree with Dragon, lots of big stuff coming on that Sunday Showcase... honestly... the Heenan Family is looking to be my MVP of the AWA right now... I also love Lumberjack matches... look for one to pop up on the MACW circuit soon! The other thing that I sincerely am jealous about... Gene Okerlund.  He is such a force in moving everything forward. I am so upset that I don't have someone like him and it really tells why the WWF snatched him and how he became such an important part of their growth and the development of so many characters.

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