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RATE THIS CLASSIC -- BATTLE ROYAL FOR THE AWA TITLE 2-7-89  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 03:07 pm
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beejmi
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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 02:28 pm
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srossi
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Most battle royals are dull and this was exceptionally so.  It was sad to see the state that the AWA was in at this time.  1986 was still quite good, and 1987 they were hanging in there.  But then the bottom really dropped out.

IIRC this was to fill a vacancy left after the dispute with Memphis and Lawler.  Gagne had no one left to turn to so he went to his son-in-law Larry Zbyszko, who was as good a choice as anyone he had available and was bragging about retiring two legit legends in Bruno and Bockwinkel.  But I think the runner-up in this battle royal was Tom Zenk, which shows you the lack of depth the roster had. 

I am going all from memory here, I have not watched this match or time period in about 8-10 years. 

Last edited on Thu Oct 25th, 2018 02:29 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 06:24 pm
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DJP

 

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srossi wrote: Most battle royals are dull and this was exceptionally so.  It was sad to see the state that the AWA was in at this time.  1986 was still quite good, and 1987 they were hanging in there.  But then the bottom really dropped out.

IIRC this was to fill a vacancy left after the dispute with Memphis and Lawler.  Gagne had no one left to turn to so he went to his son-in-law Larry Zbyszko, who was as good a choice as anyone he had available and was bragging about retiring two legit legends in Bruno and Bockwinkel.  But I think the runner-up in this battle royal was Tom Zenk, which shows you the lack of depth the roster had. 

I am going all from memory here, I have not watched this match or time period in about 8-10 years. 

Thats all accurate. The AWA said Lawler missed title defenses and was a coward.

Of course, Lawler rebutted on Memphis television. He had already introduced the new Unified title belt and said that he was going to return the AWA and World Class belts to those respective organizations because they were company championships that were contenders to that title. When Verne called him and said we need you to defend the AWA title he said he was already booked elsewhere because he was a Unified champion now and that was the belt that mattered. So Verne "stripped" him, even though he had already relinquished both the AWA and World Class titles on his own anyway. He also said Verne needed to get in the 80s and stop promoting wrestling like it was the 50s.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 06:54 pm
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srossi
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DJP wrote: srossi wrote: Most battle royals are dull and this was exceptionally so.  It was sad to see the state that the AWA was in at this time.  1986 was still quite good, and 1987 they were hanging in there.  But then the bottom really dropped out.

IIRC this was to fill a vacancy left after the dispute with Memphis and Lawler.  Gagne had no one left to turn to so he went to his son-in-law Larry Zbyszko, who was as good a choice as anyone he had available and was bragging about retiring two legit legends in Bruno and Bockwinkel.  But I think the runner-up in this battle royal was Tom Zenk, which shows you the lack of depth the roster had. 

I am going all from memory here, I have not watched this match or time period in about 8-10 years. 

Thats all accurate. The AWA said Lawler missed title defenses and was a coward.

Of course, Lawler rebutted on Memphis television. He had already introduced the new Unified title belt and said that he was going to return the AWA and World Class belts to those respective organizations because they were company championships that were contenders to that title. When Verne called him and said we need you to defend the AWA title he said he was already booked elsewhere because he was a Unified champion now and that was the belt that mattered. So Verne "stripped" him, even though he had already relinquished both the AWA and World Class titles on his own anyway. He also said Verne needed to get in the 80s and stop promoting wrestling like it was the 50s.

This may all be true, but wasn't the bigger issue that Gagne never paid Lawler or anyone else from Memphis for the SuperClash show?  Lawler has been talking about that for so long, he even made a joke about Gagne sill owing him money when he was a Raw commentator and Gagne's name came up. 



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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 07:26 pm
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DJP

 

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srossi wrote: DJP wrote: srossi wrote: Most battle royals are dull and this was exceptionally so.  It was sad to see the state that the AWA was in at this time.  1986 was still quite good, and 1987 they were hanging in there.  But then the bottom really dropped out.

IIRC this was to fill a vacancy left after the dispute with Memphis and Lawler.  Gagne had no one left to turn to so he went to his son-in-law Larry Zbyszko, who was as good a choice as anyone he had available and was bragging about retiring two legit legends in Bruno and Bockwinkel.  But I think the runner-up in this battle royal was Tom Zenk, which shows you the lack of depth the roster had. 

I am going all from memory here, I have not watched this match or time period in about 8-10 years. 

Thats all accurate. The AWA said Lawler missed title defenses and was a coward.

Of course, Lawler rebutted on Memphis television. He had already introduced the new Unified title belt and said that he was going to return the AWA and World Class belts to those respective organizations because they were company championships that were contenders to that title. When Verne called him and said we need you to defend the AWA title he said he was already booked elsewhere because he was a Unified champion now and that was the belt that mattered. So Verne "stripped" him, even though he had already relinquished both the AWA and World Class titles on his own anyway. He also said Verne needed to get in the 80s and stop promoting wrestling like it was the 50s.

This may all be true, but wasn't the bigger issue that Gagne never paid Lawler or anyone else from Memphis for the SuperClash show?  Lawler has been talking about that for so long, he even made a joke about Gagne sill owing him money when he was a Raw commentator and Gagne's name came up. 

Yeah that's right. The real reason he didnt go back was because he never got his payoff. He even kept the AWA belt. When Zbyszko won the battle royal he was actually given Greg's International TV belt. Lawler later recycled it in the USWA and used it for the Unified title when Snowman left the promotion with that belt.

Of course, Greg has alleviated Verne of any responsibility and blames Jerry Jarrett because supposedly the deal was all the promoters involved in SuperClash were to pay their own guys even though it was a "AWA" PPV and Lawler was AWA champion.. So if he never got paid it was because Jarrett screwed him.

Last edited on Thu Oct 25th, 2018 07:28 pm by DJP



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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 08:32 pm
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beejmi
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A major title decided by a battle royal. Any other times that has happened?

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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 08:34 pm
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srossi
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beejmi wrote: A major title decided by a battle royal. Any other times that has happened?
Well, there was this thing called the Royal Rumble in 1992...



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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 08:53 pm
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DJP

 

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The IC title when it was reinstated in 2003 and again in 14

Also the IC title in 93 and NWA title in 02 (first TNA PPV). But they had the last two guys have a match to decide the champion.

Last edited on Thu Oct 25th, 2018 08:54 pm by DJP



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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2018 01:16 pm
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beejmi
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More often than not, instead of a 'battle royal' the wrestling leagues have went the 'tourney' route

Don't like the big prize decided in a battle royal but yeah I did like the 1992 Royal Rumble

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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2018 12:11 am
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Also the first 3-ring 60-man World War 3 for WCW in 1995.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2018 03:24 am
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tamalie
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I attended this AWA card in person. Although fans were seated all the way around ringside, in the elevated stands fans were only on the side that the hard camera shot as a way of making the crowd seem larger than it actually was. The announcers added their commentary in post production. Dusty Rhodes and Don Muraco were both supposed to be in the match. Dusty was in Florida post JCP/pre WWF and sent in interviews. Muraco was at the previous TV taping and got such a big push that conventional wisdom had him either winning or being the last man eliminated to set him up as #1 contender. Both guys no showed and the fans audibly groaned at the explanations of travel issues. I think there was one other big star who was promoted, but didn't appear. This TV taping had probably around 18 to 20 matches with lots of squashes to go along with maybe half a dozen competitive bouts.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2018 02:37 pm
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srossi
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tamalie wrote: Muraco was at the previous TV taping and got such a big push that conventional wisdom had him either winning or being the last man eliminated to set him up as #1 contender. Both guys no showed and the fans audibly groaned at the explanations of travel issues.
I think I had heard many years ago that Muraco was supposed to be the last man eliminated.  That makes a lot more sense than Zenk and would've presumably given a bigger rub to Zbyszko, not that it really mattered by this point.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2018 04:55 pm
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I can never get in to a battle royal, too many fists flying to see who hit who.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2018 05:23 pm
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tamalie
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Here's one other note from the taping. The battle royal took place maybe a third of the way to halfway through the card rather than last. The point of that was to get a couple of matches with Larry Zbyszko as champ on tape for airing in the aftermath of him becoming the new champion.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2018 02:21 pm
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I'm completely drawing a blank here. As Pat Tanaka is being introduced the camera pans to where the wrestlers enter and there is a wrestler there but it's not Pat Tanaka.
Who is it?



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