Happy Stinky Saturday Everyone!
Today we’ve got one honker of a Stinker Review for you, as we take a look at one of the more infamous examples of multiple companies trying to work together and it all ending in tears. The companies in this case are the AWA from Minneapolis, World Class from Texas, Women’s company POWW and the CWA from Memphis.
Verne Gagne from the AWA was the main person putting this one together, with Jerry Lawler from the CWA winning the AWA World Title and then putting it up against the World Class Champion Kerry Von Erich. The show ended up doing a lousy buy rate of 45,000 and drew under 2000 people to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
If the commercial failure wasn’t bad enough, the show was generally considered to be a critical failure as well, and then Gagne ended up hoarding any money the show did make, thus angering the other companies and bringing their short-lived alliance to an end. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon and the WWF continued to crush all before them with only Ted Turner’s WCW remaining.
McMahon was doing some of his best promoting during this period and was ready to pit WWF Champ Randy Savage against Hulk Hogan in a feud that practically gave him a license to print money, so the failure of this show and the damage it did to the promotional alliance probably wouldn’t have delayed the inevitable, but it was another example of how everything seemed to just fall into place for Vinny Mac in the 80’s and why the chastening bum kicking he got in the early stages of the Monday Night War was rather satisfying for a lot of people.
However, has the commercial disaster that this show was ended up giving the show itself a worse reputation than it deserves? Viewed as just a wrestling event, is there enough good stuff on this show to make the event overall worthwhile? Let’s take a deep dive to see if SuperClash III really is a Stinker or not.
The event is emanating from Chicago, Illinois on the 13th of December 1988
Calling the action are Lee Marshall and Ray Stevens
Larry Nelson and Lee Marshallopen the show by saying that they are picking Jerry Lawler later on, which gets them booed by the Chicago crowd, so we know who the babyface in the big Title Unification match will be.
Gary Michael Capeta is doing the ring announcing, but I’m guessing it wasn’t long before he was working for WCW?
Cactus Jack and The Rock ‘n’ Roll RPM’s (Mike Davis and Tommy Lane) Vs Los Guerreros (Chavo Guerrero Sr., Hector Guerrero & Mando Guerrero)
Cactus was still very young here but had been making a name on the indies, so much so that Dave Meltzer had given him a shout out in the Observer. The RPM’s were a talented mid-card tag team that never really made it big. The Guerrero Family are all brothers of Eddy Guerrero and sons of Gory Guerrero.
Cactus quickly busts out a sick bump by getting back body dropped on the concrete, as Los Guerreros run wild on the Heels to start, with all three of the Heel team taking some nice bumps for them. The match mostly exists as an exhibition for the babyface trio, and it works well in that regard as their offence is on point and the Heel team knows what it has to do in order to get them over.
The crowd enjoys the babyface antics of Los Guerreros, especially when they all pile on top of the Heels at one stage like they’re playing WWF Wrestle Fest in the arcade. The Heel trio eventually manages to cut Chavo Sr. off briefly, but he soon tags out and the match reverts to anarchy with all six wrestlers in the ring going at it, leading to Chavo Sr. getting a Moonsault Press on one of the RPM’s for the three count.
WINNERS: LOS GUERREROS
This was a decent opener that the crowd enjoyed
Larry Nelson is backstage with Nina (ivory) who is the POWW Champion. She shows off her attire and puts over all of the wrestling we’ll see tonight. She’s interested in winning the money in the Battle Royal later so she can do some Christmas shopping.
World Class World Light Heavyweight Title
Champ: Jeff Jarrett Vs Eric Embry
Jarrett was still super young here but was showing promise, whilst Embry was a grizzled veteran of the territory circuit. This is a well-worked contest, as they show that both men are evenly matched in the early stages by having them counter one another’s moves to lead into multiple stalemates. It’s solid wrestling and the crowd seems to like Embry more than Jarrett.
Jarrett misses a cross body at one stage and ends up tangled in the ropes before tumbling out to the floor, which leads to Embry taking control of things inside the ring. Jarrett is selling his shoulder and Embry goes after it, which Jarrett sells well. Jarrett eventually makes a comeback but he continues to sell the shoulder in a nice touch, which makes it hard for him to make it count. Embry manages to get a pin counter though and that’s enough for three.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: ERIC EMBRY
This was too short to be rated higher, but what we got was well-wrestled action
Eric Embryis now a four time Champion, and he does a celebratory promo with Lee Marshall, where he says Jarrett can get a rematch when his shoulder his better.
Larry Nelson is backstage with The Terrorist, who says she’s going to tear everyone’s clothes off. Well, that’s certainly an interesting terroristic technique I’ll give her that.
Wayne Bloom Vs Jimmy Valiant
Bloom would go on to team with Mike Enos as The Destruction Crew and The Beverly Brothers. Valiant was a very charismatic figure who was also renowned for being an awful wrestler. They decide to tailor this to Valiant’s strengths by having him put Bloom away quickly in seconds with an elbow drop.
WINNER: JIMMY VALIANT
Was there even much point even having this on the show?
Larry Nelson is backstage with Dave “Bash” McLane and Bambi. Bambi says she will win the money in the Battle Royal tonight. She also says she’ll be going after Peggy Lee Leather and immediately gets cut off before she can finish her promo. Time management on this show has been pretty horrific thus far.
WCWA Texas Heavyweight Title
Champ: Iceman King Parsons Vs Brickhouse Brown
Parsons was a fiery brawler whilst Brown was more of a powerhouse. Parsons is cocky to start, so Brown delivers an impressive looking dropkick to send him scurrying to the floor and establish him as the babyface in this one. Brown gets the babyface shine following that, although they make a hash of an attempted backslide at one stage. Aside from that, Brown’s offence looks good and Parsons does a good job bumping for it.
Parsons manages to catch Brown with a running hip attack though and that’s the cut off, leading to Brown selling. Parsons looks good when it’s his turn on offence and Brown sells that well. It’s a bit rushed, like a lot of the other matches so far on this show, but it’s decent wrestling for the most part and both wrestlers play their respective roles well. Brown eventually back body drops his way out of a Piledriver attempt from Parsons and makes the comeback.
Parsons again takes some nice bumps and even starts begging off at one stage in classic cowardly 80’s Heel style. Brown gets a running body attack to seemingly pick up the win, but Parsons had his foot on the ropes and then hits Brown with a previously concealed international object behind the referees back for the three count.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: ICEMAN KING PARSONS
This had the odd sloppy moment but it was a decent overall
Iceman King Parsons cuts a cocky promo following the match, which essentially comes down to him saying he’s smarter and that’s why he won.
Larry Nelson is backstage with Pocahontas and Brandy Mae. Mae’s pants got ripped up, so that’s why we’re having the Battle Royal later. Pocahontas cuts a generic promo about how she’s going to win and the camera cuts back to the ring before she can even finish. You know, if you had a tight window in which to get everything in then maybe you shouldn’t have booked 12 matches tonight? I’m thinking anything between 6-8 would have been fine, and you could have then given some of the decent matches we’ve seen already more time and they might have been even better.
AWA World Tag Team Title / AWA World Women’s Title
Tag Champs Badd Company (Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond) and Madusa Miceli w/ Diamond Dallas Page Vs The Top Guns (Derrick Dukes and Ricky Rice) and Women’s Champ Wendy Richter
The stipulation here is that if Badd Company are defeated by The Top Guns then the Tag belts will change, whilst if Madusa defeats Richter then she will win the Women’s belt. However, any other result will see everyone leave with their belts, so if Tanaka pins Dukes for arguments sake, then no belts change hands. It’s a bit of a needlessly convoluted stipulation to be honest and they should have just gone with “winning team gets the belts” as it’s less complicated.
They take forever to set up a “whip all the Heels into one another” spot during the initial opening scuffle and the timing is STILL off when they finally executed it. Dukes doesn’t seem too bad in there, but I don’t think much of Rice based on what we get to see here. The Heels eventually cheat to cut Dukes off and work him over, with Dukes selling it well. Badd Company were a decent team and would go on to have some fun matches with The Rockers in the WWF, so the heat segment isn’t bad.
Richter eventually gets the tag but she doesn’t get much of a comeback for her team, as Madusa immediately cuts her off, which just destroys any momentum she was building. Honestly, one of the dudes getting worked over leading into Richter getting the hot tag and running wild is actually a pretty cool way to work one of these matches, so to see them totally botch it there wasn’t very pleasing. Things completely break down in the closing section, with Madusa looking completely lost, leading to Tanaka accidentally kicking Madusa to give Richter three, with the ref seemingly botching the count for good measure.
WINNERS: TOP GUNS & RICHTER (RICHTER RETAINS HER BELT)
Dukes getting beaten up by Badd Company was decent, everything else wasn’t
Madusa gets a spanking by the babyfaces post-match and Capeta accidentally announces Dukes and Rice as the new Tag Champs, even though that isn’t what happened under the stipulations.
Madusa and Badd Company argue following that, and The Terrorist is out there for some reason. DDP is pretty funny acting like he doesn’t know who Madusa is now she’s walked out on him.
Kerry Von Erich is backstage with Larry Nelson and his daughter. Kerry cuts a pretty stilted promo hyping up the Title match later. Kerry had genuine charisma but it never really translated to his promos.
AWA International Television Title
Rubbish Ronnie Garbage Vs Groovy Greg Gagne
Garvin and Gagne had fought to a disputed finish, so the belt has been held up and they will wrestle for it here. I believe Garvin had already signed with the WWF by this point, but they let him come back to work this match, although it meant there was no way we’d get a clean finish as a result of that. The crowd seems to actively dislike Greg and boo him, even though he’s supposed to be the babyface here.
Gagne was a solid mid-level wrestler and had a good tag run with Jim Brunzell, but he was never really cut out to be a top star and the fans were starting to actively resent him whenever the AWA tried to push him in that role. Garvin takes most of the match here, and it’s a decent match for the most part, although not especially exciting. Garvin was a very believable worker, kind of similar to Fit Finlay in the 90’s and 00’s in that he liked to hit hard and often.
We get an aloha-Ron at one stage, leading to some pin attempts getting traded into a Central American Standoff. Both men trade strikes following that, which ultimately goes Garvin’s way and he gets some punches and chops. Garvin even bites Gagne at some point, getting some cheers from the crowd. Gagne starts doing some chops and slaps at one stage, and they look good actually. Again, Gagne knew how to work; he just was not a Main Eventer and was never going to be.
The finish is pretty cack due to Garvin not being in a position to do a clean job, as they both (slowly) tumble over the ropes to the floor and Gagne beats the count back inside to win the belt. That’s a very limp and unsatisfying way to end what had been a solid enough wrestling match up to that point.
WINNER BY COUNT OUT AND NEW CHAMPION: GROOVY GREG
The finish took this one down, but I had no problem with it prior to that
The fight picks up again following that, with Greg Gagne eventually sending Ron Garvin packing. Gagne then does a promo with Marshall, saying Garvin can get another shot whenever he wants. That didn’t end up happening of course.
Jerry Lawler has a promo backstage with Larry Nelson. Lawler cuts a good promo, saying he won’t be going after Kerry’s leg later on, setting up him working over Kerry’s shoulder instead.
Street Fight Lingerie Battle Royal
Nina Vs Luna Vachon Vs Bambi Vs Peggy Lee Leather Vs Brandi Mae Vs Pocahontas Vs Lori Lynn Vs Malibu Vs The Terrorist
You win by either chucking someone out or ripping off their clothes. If wrestlers brawling badly and leaning on the ropes is your jam, then I’m guessing you’ll enjoy this one. It didn’t really do anything for me, with it resembling a really bad night in Chepstow around chucking out time, but I’m sure there are some reprobates who had a good time watching it. I will give credit to Vachon at least, as she takes an impressive bump off the top rope to the floor for her elimination in the only part of the match that actually resembles wrestling. Sadly that leaves us with Mae and The Terrorist, and neither of them are especially good wrestlers nor seem like they’ve had any proper wrestling training, as they never did anything other than GLOW-type companies prior to this. Terrorist ends up terrorising Mae by choking her with silk stockings before throwing her out over the top, although thankfully Mae dropped onto the apron first in order to save us from a fatality.
WINNER: THE TERRORIST
LOSERS: THE REST OF HUMANITY
I’ll give it a quarter of a star just for Luna Vachon taking a cracking bump for her elimination
The Terrorist cuts a “so-bad-it’s-funny” promo with Marshall following that, with her verbiage being barely audible.
Larry Nelson is with Peggy Lee Leather, who complains about the other wrestlers ganging up on her. Luna Vachon cuts an Ultimate Warrior styled angry promo, which leads to Madusa coming in to give Vachon a snake. This segment was wacky, but not terrible.
Lee Marshall is with Bill Apter from Pro Wrestling Illustrated, who has an award for Jerry Lawler for being the most inspirational wrestler of the year, which seems an interesting tact to take seeing as he’s supposed to be the Heel on this show.
Sgt. Slaughter is with Larry Nelson, where Slaughter explains that Boot Camp rules means there are no rules. Remember that for later.
Boot Camp Bout
Col. DeBeers w/ Diamond Dallas Page Vs Sgt. Slaughter
DeBeers was the evil South African version of Slaughter basically, who stands for apartheid and oppression, whilst Slaughter is all about truth, justice and the American Way. A natural feud then, as you get the two army dudes with different philosophies and have them BATTLE! This match could comfortably Main Event any Saturday Morning cartoon anywhere in the country!
There seems to be fake boos getting piped in here, as both men just punch one another and throw lousy looking weapon shots. Slaughter does sell well though, so I’ll give him that. It’s a pretty heatless brawl to be honest, except for the odd USA chant. Slaughter starts bleeding at one stage, with DeBeers even using Slaughter’s own helmet against him.
Heel miscommunication between DeBeers and DDP leads to Slaughter making a comeback though, with him getting some head butts with the helmet, with DeBeers taking a comical Scott Hall at Mania X-8 bump from one of them. Slaughter looks to have the match won, which is the cue for Adnan El-Kaissey to run in for the DQ.
WINNER: SGT. SLAUGHTER BY DQ
Yes, they did a chuffing DQ in a BOOT CAMP match. I just love the idea of Vince McMahon watching this and thinking he had to bring Slaughter back to make him WWF Champ. Slaughter looked beyond washed up here, and it’s almost to his credit that he managed to bounce back with two pay per view matches as entertaining as the two he had with Warrior and Hogan in 1991. The match itself was a pretty lousy brawl, although Slaughter did sell very well
The Iron Sheik even shows up post-match, which is ironic as I think Slaughter, Sheik and Adnan were a Heel trio in the WWF. Los Guerreros eventually make the save for the Sarge, with Slaughter trying to chase Sheik down after that.. Sheik manages to gradually get away in order to leave the door open for he and Slaughter to meet again each and every week, always in more sexy and exciting ways.
Slaughter cuts an angry promo with Marshall following that, challenging all the Heels to come after him, although some of the fans don’t seem to care.
Jerry Lawler finally gets his award from Bill Apter, and is quite humble in his acceptance speech, although he does add that he’ll be wrestler of the year next year. I’m not sure that ended up happening.
World Class World Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu and Samu) w/ Buddy Jack Roberts Vs Michael P.S. Hayes and Steve “Do It To It” Cox
Roberts and Hayes used to be aligned as part of The Freebirds but now they are feuding, so Roberts has thrown his lot in with The Samoans. Hey, that’s an actual storyline that makes logical sense, on an AWA show in 1988! Pass the smelling salts I believe I’ve got a case of the vapours! Of course it took the World Class guys to give that to us, but I’ll take what I can get.
Marshall’s insistence on saying Cox’s nickname whenever he’s in there is actually quite impressive. Hayes-Cox are a decent babyface tandem actually, with their opening shine being executed well leading to the fans getting invested in the action. In traditional Samoan fashion, the biggest bumps the Heels take are when they accidentally hit each other, but the crowd enjoys the stooging.
Eventually Fatu gets a cheap shot in on Cox and that leads to our Heel heat segment, with Cox getting worked over in the Heel half of the ring. Cox sells that well and the crowd gets behind him in the hope that he’ll be able to tag out. Fatu and Cox end up clotheslining each other at one stage and that gives us the Hayes hot tag!
Hayes runs wild on the Heels and does a very impressive hot tag segment in all fairness to him. Things break down following that, with all four guys going at it, with Cox evening busting out a TOPE CON HILO at one stage out onto Samu. Hayes has Fatu pinned with a DDT in the ring following that, but the referee is distracted and that allows Roberts to give him a cheap shot so that the Heels can retain.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE SAMOAN SWAT TEAM
This was really good tag action, as they worked the formula and it ended up being a fun match
Michael Hayesremains hurt in the ring following that whilst Steve Cox tries to point out that the heels cheated to win and the crowd backs him up.
Iron Sheik and Sheik Adnan rant against Sgt. Slaughter and America. They apparently hated one another in real-life due to Sheik legit being Iranian and Adnan legit being Iraqi.
Native American Strap Match
Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez Vs Wahoo McDaniel
Both these guys were big stars in the NWA and now they’re working an AWA pay per view in a mostly empty building. Just goes to show that sometimes life is a beach and then you visit one eh? IWGP Heavyweight Champ Tatsumi Fujinami is at ringside for this one, which causes Bull to rage at him (well, it is his gimmick I guess). That was a thoroughly random cameo, although a trip to CageMatch.net reveals that Fernandez was working for New Japan at the time, so I guess they worked an angle here to set up some matches between him and Fujinami back in Japan?
This is a pretty snug hard-hitting match, with both men throwing chops and shots with the strap. It’s fought under the “drag your opponent to four corners” stipulation, which doesn’t always lend itself to good matches, although there are notable exceptions such as Sting’s war with Vader at WCW SuperBrawl III. McDaniel is soon bleeding as a result of either some punches or some attacks with the strap.
The crowd doesn’t really care about this one, but the match delivers on the promise of it being a brutal and violent gimmick bout, as both men throw in the shots with the strap and Fernandez is soon bleeding as well. It’s a match where if you like blood and brawling then this will probably provide you some entertainment, but there’s very little actual wrestling going on, so if that’s what you want then you probably won’t enjoy this.
McDaniel ends up picking up a pretty limp win, as he drags Fernandez to three corners and then gets kicked into the fourth win, so Fernandez ends up costing himself the match in order to protect him in defeat. Why McDaniel couldn’t have just won properly is beyond me, as it’s not like Bull was getting pinned or anything.
WINNER: WAHOO MCDANIEL
This wasn’t a bad bloody brawl, but the crowd just didn’t care and the finish was pretty lame
Manny Fernandez attacks Wahoo McDaniel following that until Tatsumi Fujinami makes the save. The crowd doesn’t care. McDaniel then cuts a promo where he goes all Arn Anderson and threatens to grab a gun and finish the job. A promise of attempted murder here on this wrestling pay per view!
Larry Nelson is backstage with Verne Gagne and Stanley Blackburn, with Blackburn saying the previous match should have been stopped due to the blood loss, which is actually a clever bit of foreshadowing ahead of the next contest.
AWA and World Class Title Unification Bout of DOOM
AWA Champ: Jerry “The King” Lalwer Vs World Class Champ: The Modern Day Warrior Kerry Von Erich
These are the two biggest stars in the AWA/CWA/World Class conglomerate, so they’ll wrestle one another to unify the belts. Kerry actually cut himself backstage before the match by forgetting he had a blade on his finger and then scratching under his arm (yes, this actually happened) so they work it into the match immediately by having Lawler attack him from the bell and ram that part of the body into the turnbuckles. You could already see some of Kerry’s blood on the mat prior to that though, so it must have been flowing pretty quickly already.
They do a good job of giving this one the “Big Fight Feel” that so many Main Events go for, with Kerry getting the babyface shine to start with Lawler playing the Heel role. You can see why Lawler had such a long career because he bumps before Kerry is able to make any contact with his clotheslines, although he times it pretty well so that the fans don’t really notice. Still though, Lawler knew every trick in the book in order to prolong his in-ring career, saving the big bumps for when he needed them and taking his own bumps most of the time rather than relying on an opponent to be careful with him.
Kerry is moving pretty well here considering that this was after he had been given a prosthetic foot, as you wouldn’t really know unless someone told you. Kerry actually no sells a Piledriver at one stage, which would make him on par with God in the Memphis territory as that move took out EVERYONE in that part of the world. The ref ends up taking a bump when Lawler gets pressed onto him at one stage, which means he isn’t there to count when Kerry catches Lawler with a Piledriver of his own, with it finally getting a two count when the ref wakes up.
The wrestling hasn’t been perfect here or anything, but the match has had great intensity and the crowd has been super into it, which has helped make up for some of the occasional moments of sloppiness. Lawler eventually manages to hit Kerry with a hidden weapon of some kind, which leads to Kerry doing a big gory blade job, meaning he is now bleeding from both his face and under his arm. Kerry keeps fighting though and even manages to catch Lawler in the stomach claw at one stage, but Lawler refuses to tap.
Kerry ends up moving the claw to Lawler’s face instead, although Kerry’s head is still gushing blood and the referee keeps checking the cut. Why you’d do that when Kerry is in the ascendency and winning doesn’t really make much sense though, as he can clearly see what he’s doing and he isn’t really at any risk. Now if he was down or clearly in trouble in the bout, then yes, checking the cut makes sense, but if it’s not affecting his performance then checking it serves no purpose.
Lawler gets yet another shot with the concealed weapon in his tights, which leads to World Class booker Frank Dusek complaining to the ref. Lawler goes after the eye with some punches and Kerry’s face is just CAKED in blood, but he keeps coming. Of course, NOW would make perfect sense for the ref to check the cut as Kerry is swinging wildly and on the defensive, as Lawler keeps getting shots in with the weapon. This is a great example of how blood, when used correctly, can be an excellent dramatic tool for a match that a crowd are already emotionally invested in.
This has been a great dramatic match, with both men playing their respective roles well and the crowd treating it like a big deal. It’s a match you could have put in a high position on any major companies card at the time, although it was probably a bit too bloody and intense for the WWF. Sadly the finish is absolutely crap, as Kerry gets the CLAW back on Lawler and clearly has the match won, but the ref ludicrously calls for the bell and awards the match to Jerry Lawler. Why would you stop it THERE but not when Kerry was on the defensive?
WINNER VIA THE WORLDS MOST RIDICULOUS BLOOD STOPPAGE AND NEW UNIFIED CHAMPION: JERRY LAWLER
It’s a massive shame because that match was great up until the finish, with good storytelling and selling from both men. Sadly the finish just made no sense, as Kerry had things well in hand and the stoppage was ridiculous. A blood stoppage finish is fine, but you have to do it right. If Kerry had been slumped in the corner, refusing to stay down but unable to pull himself back up due to the loss of blood, then a stoppage makes sense and you could always have him pull himself back up once the bell had gone to show that he might have had more in the tank whilst still doing a finish that made sense. However, with Kerry clearly on top and moments away from winning, it makes zero sense to stop the bout and just makes it look like Kerry got screwed. Great match with an all-time stupid ending
Kerry celebrates with the belts following that, whilst Lawler sells in the ring, but Lawler is the winner and the Unified Champion. I guess this set up potential rematches, but that all went to heck when Verne Gagne angered all of the other companies by getting dodgy with the pay per view money. Lawler does a great Heel promo following the match at least, saying he would have blinded Kerry if the bout had gone on, even though he was clearly out for the count in the CLAW and about to lose.
Kerry Von Erich is backstage with Larry Nelson and Stanley Blackburn, with the crusty old Blackburn saying there will be a rematch. The crack AWA production team shows the wrong replay as well, showing the kick out of the Piledriver instead of the part with the CLAW. Oh AWA, you make WCW look competent.
The Stud Stable (Jimmy Golden and Robert Fuller) w/ Miss Silvia Vs The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson)
I really don’t know why they put this on last seeing as there’s no following that Title match. It’s a decent match at least, as both teams know how to work the formula. After a babyface shine the Heels cut off Gibson and work him over, which puts Morton in the rarely seen role of being the hot tag guy. Gibson does a solid job as the babyface in peril, and Morton’s hot tag is done well, so they probably should have mixed things up more often. Eventually it’s double dropkick for Golden, which leads to both teams brawling for the Double DQ.
Flat way to end the show, but as a match it was fine
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express say they want the tag belts following that. Decent babyface promo, although the crowd didn’t really care.
The Stud Stable cut a promo in response backstage with Larry Nelson and they aren’t happy about the DQ finish. Another decent promo.
Lee Marshall and Verne Gagne close us out by doing some more yakking.
Is it Really A Stinker?
There’s enough good wrestling on this show that I couldn’t justifiably call it a Stinker, although it was an absolute bomb from a business perspective. It has its problems as a wrestling show, mostly stemming from a bloated card and some bad finishes, but there’s also stuff here you can enjoy.
Just sitting down to watch it as a 150 minute long wrestling show, SuperClash III is mostly pretty watchable and the shorter length of the matches mean that some of the lesser bouts don’t drag the whole endeavour down too much. I’d stop short of recommending it, but I don’t think I could rightly call it a Stinker either. There are enough matches in the **-*** range that the show isn’t a complete disaster and the Lawler/Von Erich match is genuinely a classic bout that gets dragged down by a lousy finish. Cut out some of the lesser matches and trim this down to 8-9 matches whilst giving some of the better matches more time and it’d probably be a pretty good show.
However, if you want a time capsule that perfectly encapsulates why the AWA was such a mess in the second half of the 80’s then this show is a darn good example, as all of the better matches for this show involved people from other companies, with the AWA portion of the even being pretty lousy. Gagne being an absolute weapon in regards to the financial aspect of this show just made that particular AWA aftertaste even sourer. It was the AWA’s name plastered all over the event and they were by far the worst part of it, not unlike that ROH/New Japan show from Madison Square Garden.
Final Rating – Odourless