Taped from Minot, ND
Airdate: February 27, 1988
Hosted by Larry Nelson, Rod Trongard, & Donna Gagne
Can Adonis and Orton defeat the Midnight Rockers for the tag titles? Who’s this connected guy that’s quite American? He looks familiar. Let’s find out all the mysteries of this week’s AWA installment!
We revisit last week when Hennig pulled off a miracle by surviving the atrocity that was Kevin Kelly.
Match 1: “Mr. Magnificent” Kevin Kelly & Nick Kiniski (w/ Madusa) versus Darrell Olson & Mike Smith
- Could you hear those catcalls? Those were for the flesh-colored outfit befitting Madusa this week. Yowza!
- Olson reversed a cross corner whip, and a rather sober Michaels joined the broadcast table. I guess it wasn’t quite Miller time.
- When Smith tagged in, Kiniski connected with a back elbow.
- Kelly tagged in and distracted referee Marty Miller.
- Meanwhile, Kiniski guillotined Smith with the top rope. SNEAKY!
- Olson tagged in, but Kelly slammed him across the ring.
- As Kiniski tagged in, he piledrove Olson.
- Kiniski and Kelly won at 4:15.
Summary: A rather mundane showcase match for the bleached blonds.
Nelson interviews Wahoo McDaniel who enjoys getting paid by Verne. He should try working for Uncle Herbie. Next, Greg’s ready to defend his title in the remaining territories not including Jim Crockett Promotions or WWF. He also mentions the arrival of the Rock’n’Roll Express. Folding my socks is more thrilling than listening to these two.
Match 2 for the AWA International TV title: Greg Gagne (champion) versus Mark Wagner
- Ray “The Crippler” Stevens joined the broadcast table for this match. Somewhere in the building, Jannetty hid quietly from him.
- As Wagner regrettably forgot the script, the Minot faithful were NOT amused.
- Greg tried to keep the match together, but the Minot faithful chanted “bor-ing” instead of getting more popcorn.
- When he slammed Wagner, Greg backdropped him.
- He dropkicked Wagner and applied a sleeper.
- After Wagner submitted, Greg won at 2:33.
Summary: Tiresome showcase match for the TV champ.
Nelson interviews the Nasty Boys, and Knobbs confirms their screws are quite loose. For those unaware, Sags hasn’t lost his front tooth as of this taping. Nevertheless, Knobbs cuts a promo on the Midnight Rockers in maniacal fashion.
Match 3: Tom Zenk versus the Nomad
- Per his namesake, the Nomad had ZERO internet trace whatsoever due to his anonymity and continuous traveling.
- Returning to the AWA, Zenk rolled up Nomad for 1.
- Nomad attempted a back elbow but came up empty.
- When he successfully connected with a back elbow, Nomad suplexed Zenk for 2.
- Nomad hesitated, so Zenk dropkicked him.
- Zenk won at 2:36.
Summary: Showcase match for the returning Zenk. I’m truly surprised the AWA didn’t clue in that Zenk was a Minnesota native; but as a national promotion, I can understand not wanting to do so.
Nelson interviews Zenk who wants a shot at Hennig and the World title. In addition to some singles action, Zenk introduces Ricky Rice as his new tag team partner. Does that make Zenk chicken or red beans? Because either combination is delicious no matter how you season it.
Match 4 for the AWA World tag team titles: The Midnight Rockers (champions) versus “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Adrian Adonis
- Donna rejoined the broadcast table for this match, and her silly humor wasn’t far behind.
- Jannetty reversed a cross corner whip, but Orton applied the brakes.
- As Jannetty dropkicked him, Orton landed face-first into the top turnbuckle.
- Michaels tagged in, and the ever-popular NO SMOKING sign made its appearance.
- With Madusa in the building, Minot’s finest must have been slacking during the opening match, ‘cuz she’s hotter than a summer weekend barbecue.
- Nonetheless, Orton leapfrogged Michaels but received an atomic drop.
- Jannetty tagged in, grabbed a head lock, caught an incoming Adonis, and took down both challengers at once.
- When Adonis trapped Jannetty in a full nelson, heel miscommunication ensued.
- Michaels tagged in but got caught by Orton.
- After Orton delivered a backbreaker, Adonis tagged in and broke him in half with a double axe handle.
- Adonis bulldogged Michaels and followed with an elbow smash.
- While Michaels reversed a cross corner whip, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
- Orton tagged in and dealt Michaels an extremely delayed vertical suplex.
- As he fed Michaels a double underhook slam, Orton got 2.
- Adonis tagged in, and the Minot faithful chanted “rock’n’roll.” I guess not all North Dakotans are country bumpkins.
- When Adonis distracted referee Marty Miller, Orton gave Michaels the business in the heel corner. How dastardly!
- Adonis landed a series of knee drops for 2.
- After Orton tagged in, he delivered a short-arm clothesline to Michaels.
- Adonis tagged in, and the Masters of Disaster destroyed Michaels with a catapult/clothesline combo.
- While Adonis attempted a splash, he ate knees. Donna would have added chocolate icing to the narrative but ruined the joke earlier in the match.
- Orton tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and obliterated Michaels with a falling knee drop followed by a forearm smash.
- Do we have new champions?
- Jannetty made the save.
- As the heels illegally switched, Adonis powerslammed Michaels for another 2.
- With the Minot faithful fully invested, a false tag occurred to break their little hearts.
- Behind Miller’s back, the Masters of Disaster tossed Michaels over the top rope down to the floor. Nefarious!
- Adonis distracted Miller again, so Orton demolished Michaels with an axe handle.
- When Orton made Michaels HIT THE POLE, Jannetty distracted Miller allowing Orton to carry on with more shenanigans.
- Michaels returned to the ring, but Adonis gave him a cross corner whip.
- Unfortunately for Adonis, he came up empty on his follow-through.
- Michaels slammed Adonis but missed a splash.
- After Adonis countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex, Orton tagged in and realigned Michaels’ vertebrae with a hangman’s neckbreaker.
- He mounted the second turnbuckle and scored with a fist drop.
- While he hit a quick head butt, Orton came SO CLOSE to becoming the champion.
- Michaels reversed a cross corner whip sending Orton atop the top turnbuckle.
- As Michaels punted him, Orton crotched himself on the top rope. OUCH!
- Hopefully, his eight-year-old son was home asleep in Kansas City and not privy to his father’s misfortune.
- HOT TAG Jannetty.
- When Jannetty gave Adonis a cross corner whip, an Adonis flip occurred.
- He whipped Orton into the opposite corner and sent Adonis directly into him.
- After Jannetty made a cover atop Adonis, he only got 2 due to Orton’s dragging him to the floor. Clever!
- All four wrestlers battled outside the ring, so Miller counted them all out at 14:52.
Summary: Katie, bar the door! This was a tag team masterpiece with incredible selling by Michaels for the diabolical and deliberate offense by the heels. Jannetty was merely a placeholder for Michaels’ ability to make his own ass-kicking a spectacle. Methinks he practiced that quite a bit during his free time. Regardless, this had the cake, the icing, and the candles. All it was missing was a match to light it.
After the match, the Midnight Rockers double-superkick Orton spilling him head-first down to the floor. Since they didn’t lose the titles, the Midnight Rockers were heralded by the Minot faithful.
Next week, Nelson promises us….WE ‘RE OUTTA TIME!
Since you, my loyal RSG-ites, deserve to know, the Midnight Rockers defend against the Nasty Boys. Sounds good on paper. We’ll find out soon enough if it’s good otherwise.
Conclusion: The main event was the only worthwhile portion of the episode. Track down this episode on Peacock or the WWE Network and buckle up for a fun ride.
TV Rating: NONE
Stay tuned for AWA 03-05-88!
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