The SmarK Rant for AWF Warriors of Wrestling – Episode 7
By Scott Keith on 12th June 2023
The SmarK Rant for AWF Warriors of Wrestling – Episode 7
Taped from Chicago, IL
Your hosts are Terry Taylor & Mick Karch
AWF World title tournament, round two: Gentleman Chris Adams v. Greg Valentine
First mention of Paul Alperstein, take a drink already. And Terry Taylor accidentally calls him the REFEREE! That’s no way to discuss the PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN WRESTLING FEDERATION! Where I come from, Canada, we treat our Presidents with respect. They fight for the lockup and Adams takes him down with armdrags to control and holds on through a slam. Adams with a cross armbreaker as the animation of the crowd doesn’t match the droning noise piped over top of them whatsoever. It’s like watching a bunch of cardboard cutouts like in the WWF N64 games or something. Valentine escapes with a backbreaker and goes to a chinlock, but Adams runs him into the corner and works the arm as the round expires. Wow, really taking advantage of his years of experience with the round system there.
Second round and Adams hits an enzuigiri while Wish Paul E. Dangerously confers with Wish Alexandra York at ringside. Meanwhile we get an inset promo from Mr. Hughes, who is threatening the well being of Tito Santana while Valentine goes to work on Adams’ leg now, which leads to the figure four. Rico takes the ref while Hammer grabs the ropes and we get another mention of AWF President Paul Alperstein, take a drink. Valentine drops an elbow as the second round expires.
Third round and Valentine continues working on the leg, but Adams reverses another figure-four into a small package for two. Valentine tosses him and suplexes him back into the ring for two, but he does the Arn Anderson “land crotchfirst on your opponent’s knees” spot and Adams makes the comeback with a suplex of his own. Adams goes up with a crossbody for two and the announcers are like “OH MY GOD HE’S GOING HIGH RISK!” Adams with a rollup for two, but Valentine gets a sleeper and Adams escapes with a jawbreaker and gets a rollup for two. Back suplex gets two. Valentine with a butterfly suplex for two as the announcers are selling it like Savage-Steamboat and even the fake crowd noise is lethargic by contrast. Like whoever was directing this stuff really needed to watch more actual wrestling shows and learn to format them. And the round expires at 13:56 to finally give us a time limit draw 7 episodes in. And Adams is awarded the win by the referee because reasons and he advances to the semi-finals. Just a normal match. **1/4
AWF World title tournament, round two: Koko B. Ware v. Cowboy Bob Orton
Truly a main event in any armory in the Northeast 10 years earlier. Koko headbutts Orton into the turnbuckles and follows with a bulldog for two, but Orton is in the ropes anyway. Koko goes for a slam and Orton suplexes him and they’re selling like it’s 20 minutes into the match, and Orton falls on top but the ref won’t count for some reason. Koko makes a comeback and slugs away in the corner while we get another mention of Paul Alperstein, take a drink. Orton tries a piledriver and Koko backdrops him to the apron. Orton runs him into the turnbuckles and tries a slingshot splash, but Koko gets the knees up, so Orton cradles him with a 3/4 Nelson for the pin at 3:33. This was a mess. 1/2*.
AWF World title tournament, round two: Luscious Tommy Rich v. Sgt. Slaughter
Oh god this is gonna be a trainwreck. Taylor puts over the latest digital technology used to shoot these shows, and I’ll give him credit: This is sourced from the DVD set and it looks fantastic for a 1994 show. I still want to see the mythical HD tapings of Jim Crockett’s Dallas shows, though. Place bets on what bullshit finish they use to get Slaughter out of the tournament here without doing a job. Rich goes for a slam and can’t get him up while we get a visit from the Rooster of the Woods, if you will. Rich bumps to the floor off a hiptoss and Sarge teases a dive, but come on now. Sarge with a backbreaker for two as Rich is just desperately bumping all over the ring to get something out of Slaughter, and Sarge gets an abdominal stretch as the first round expires.
Round two and we get another mention of Paul Alperstein, take a drink, and Slaughter clotheslines him for two. But then he charges and hits the post for the trademark Slaughter bump, and Rich puts the boots to him on the floor to take over. Back in, Rich slugs away in the corner and runs Sarge into the post again, and that gets two. Sarge makes the comeback, but Rich bumps the ref and Slaughter gets the cobra clutch. But then Rico runs in and Slaughter goes after him, then Rich throws himself over the top rope. So that draws the DQ at 8:35, even though time had expired on top of him not actually throwing the guy over the top. But the ref was out and didn’t realize the time was expired and couldn’t see Slaughter actually throwing him over the top and didn’t see the manager, which means this earns the prestigious TRIPLE SCREWJOB award to make sure that Slaughter did not have do anything remotely in the orbit of a job. Yes, he was unjustly disqualified in a match where the time had actually expired and had the other guy beat with his finisher before outside interference broke it up. 10 out of 10, no notes.
AWF World title tournament, round two: Tito Santana v. Mr. Hughes
What’s with Tito’s weird mismatched gear here? He’s got black trunks, white boots, and then one black kneepad and one yellow kneepad over a knee wrap. Hughes goes after the injured knee and backdrops Tito for two. Tito comes back with the flying forearm, but the ref gets wiped out for our second ref bump in a row. Tito with the sleeper, but the ref revives and calls for the DQ at 3:40 because Hughes had pulled him into the path of the forearm. These are some horrific finishes, even by the standards of the time, and this was barely even a match.
After the opener I was thinking this wasn’t the worst wrestling show I’ve ever seen but all credit is due to the AWF for working hard to change my mind.
NEXT WEEK: The semi-finals feature Tito Santana v. Tommy Rich and Bob Orton v. Chris Adams! SIX ROUND MADNESS!