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A.W.A.Fire Sale Everything Must Go!(1989)

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I remember now, I remember how it started, a cold Saturday morning, Christmas Eve to be precise in 1988 while perusing through the Minneapolis PennySaver I came across this ad.

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I picked up my phone and dialed the number.


"I'm calling about your ad?"

5 days later I was in the wrestling business.

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The Beginning


1989, a new year, chance to turn things around. Never had the mighty fallen so fast bordering on obscurity.Verne Gagne was selling. He wanted out. He wanted enough to retire on to his farm on Lake Minnetonka. His son Greg didn’t want the company due to it's less than secure state. So I took it over. With a bloated roster of rookies and old timers and a severe lack of star power things didn’t look good.


Getting Up To Speed on the Business

January 4th,1989 Decatur Ill. Decatur Civic Center

Owner's Journal:

The first card since taking over. Chaotic isn’t the word for it. No referees til the last minute, no one to put together matches, and no one willing to help. How the hell did this company survive being run like this? In the end Greg Gagne and Mike Graham stepped forward. On first impression Graham seems to be angling for a position of power. Gagne I think just wants a steady paycheck, he doesn’t seem all that motivated or have any real drive or passion. With some luck and a prayer a card is thrown together for a t.v. taping for ESPN. The company hasn’t had any television on ESPN in a few weeks due to preemption, all the sudden they demanded programming. Probably because rhythmic gymnastic season is over. So here we are in some dreary little building with 2 cameras, 1 referee and a bunch of wrestlers sitting in the dressing rooms playing canasta.


Some quick decision making was in order just to get through the night. Rod Trongard has a great voice but is getting long in the tooth,he will do for the time being calling the action(if there is any). I put Greg out there with him because if I’m gonna pay him a salary and he’s not in the ring then he can do color commentary. This Eric Bischoff guy is getting coffee and relaying messages between the various dressing rooms. Bischoff is a go getter but just is rubbing me wrong. Maybe it’s just nerves or anxiousness. Things are happening quickly tonight.


I figured might as well get half of our main event out there to get the crowd excited. Don’t know how excited their gonna get with Gagne who is as white bread as they come doing the interview and a 50 year old grumpy Native American who I think likes the fire water a little too much.

<a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/Wahoo_McDaniel_8_zpsgzucskd4.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Wahoo_McDaniel_8_zpsgzucskd4.jpg"/></a>

Wahoo McDaniel is in the ring talking to Greg Gagne about the title match tonight with Jerry The King Lawler. McDaniel makes it clear that he knows his career is winding down and it would be a real honor to finish it as a world champion.

Owner's Journal:

Well hot damn, that didn’t suck and Gagne actually did pretty well, we might have found a new position for Greg. The old Chief came across decently as well. There might be some mileage in that booze soaked body yet.


After some discussion with Graham I decided let’s get some young guys out there to fire up the crowd. It did not work.

Tom Zenk who is a good looking, young guy and who seems to get the women riled up. He defeated Cactus Jack Manson. I gave this Cactus character a chance, he seemed more enthusiastic than most of this crew and has no regard for his own well being. The match went too long, these guys have no endurance at all. It started off slowly got worse in the middle and landed with a thud at the end. Oh well it’s our first match, things can only get better, can’t they?


Gagne is interviewing Zenk after the match. Zenk fumbles around a bit killing some time talking about “going to the top of the AWA”.

Yeah right,not with matches like that.

Anyway, let’s see what Cactus Jack can do. We decided to have him jump Zenk at the last moment to try and get some excitement going with the crowd. Whoops! Knocked Gagne down as well. he’s a professional he can handle it.


Let’s see if our world champion can do any better. Let’s see how the crowd reacts to Jerry Lawler. He seems like an amiable guy, pretty funny and a bit eccentric too, must be how he got that 20 year old blonde hanging off his arm. At least I think she’s 20. Oh well not my concern.


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Lawler is in a dressing room and starts things off with a stereotypical “HOW Kemo Sabe!” making himself laugh with the cheap taunt before getting down to business. Wahoo you may have been tough back in the stone age but now your just some old man who people throw quarters at because they feel sorry for you. Yeah it might have been nice to be a world champion just once before you put your fat butt in a rocking chair at the nursing home but life is full of disappointments and regrets and you’re just going to have to accept one more. Because there is no way I’m not walking out of here with this belt.


Owner's Journal:

Well Lawler seemed on the ball tonight and did exactly what he was supposed to, piss the crowd off. Hopefully that anger holds til the main event. We have to come out of the gate if not on fire at least showing some spark of life.


Mike Graham offered to take one of the younger guys in the ring and try and help them learn a bit. This kid Steve Cox, He got his start in Texas but didn’t learn a whole lot, just enough to be passable. Graham thinks the kid could be a decent hand at some point so I told him if he thinks he can do something with the him to go ahead. Graham talked to Cox before the match to work out how things would go and then proceeded to walk him through the match. It wasn’t a great match by an stretch but Cox wasn’t terrible thanks to Graham.


On the other Graham does not cut a believable promo. He talked about being the greatest light heavyweight champion in all of AWA history which isn’t hard when the other champions were Steve Regal and Buck Zumhofe.


Great time for the oil rich Sheik and a very big Samoan. Guy is called the Great Kokina and is pushing 400 pounds if he weighs an ounce.

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Sheik Adnan Al Kaissie promises to once and for all bring the AWA to it’s knees. The Great Kokina will be that instrument of destruction.


Owner's Journal:

Wow, he needs to quit yelling so much. I do like that he throws in the odd Iranian word, at least I guess that’s what he’s doing. It adds some realism. Watching on a monitor in the back it’s strange how much presence the Samoan has, there’s an aura to him, even when the cameras cut to crowd shots there was a sense of awe.


The Great Kokina went up against this Jarrett kid, think his name is Jeff. Guess he’s the Memphis promoter’s son. He’s an arrogant little punk. Don’t really care for him. Argued with me about eating the pin tonight. Eventually he relented and the Great Kokina got the pin but not before sandbagging a good chunk of the match.


Owner's Journal:

Women’s wrestling…..oh well if it sucks people will just go to the bathroom or buy more beer.

I had a chance to talk to Wendi Richter earlier today. Nice enough gal, seems to have a bit of a chip on her shoulder and really doesn’t like that McMahon guy. Can’t say I blame her there. Any way we talked a bit about women’s wrestling. I told her I had reservations about it, she was understanding but just wanted a chance to show it was worth more than a bathroom break. As bad as it is to say, the women work cheap so I told her I’d give them some time each week and see if anything comes of it.

Richter went out against this other girl named Nina who used to work for the G.L.O.W. fiasco as Tina Ferrarai. They tried but the match went a little long and didn’t do much for the crowd. Richter won.


Greg Gagne talked to Wendi Richter who tried to fire up the crowd with a promo about being a “fighting champion and will take on any and all comers” The crowd was polite but not impressed


Ah the Rock n Roll Express Rick Morton and Robert Gibson, don’t know how well these guys are going to play north of the Mason/Dixon line especially since their on the downside of their popularity, Still probably have enough name recognition and good will with fans to get them fired up a little.

On the other hand we have these guys the Nasty Boys. Brad Rheingans says their decent hands, guess he should know since he trained them. I question sticking somebody’s face in their arm pit but what ever.


Owner's Journal:

Again the match was a little long but the crowd was into it Especially when Morton tagged in Gibson after getting the tar beaten out of him for 5 minutes. The crowd showed more life than they had all night when Gibson and Morton hit the double dropkick and pinned Sags.


We had Rod Trongard try his hand at doing an interview with the R N R Express. Morton did all the talking thankfully saying “Rock N Roll ain’t never gonna die baby!”


Now this match, I have to say I’m proud of myself for pulling off what I consider quite the coup.

I signed away Magnum T.A. from down South. Magnum felt a little under appreciated by everyone down there. Rhodes had unhitched his horse from the Magnum wagon and attached it to Sting. Magnum considered Dusty a friend and a mentor but was left hanging by Rhodes, Crockett and the rest of WCW for the day-glo painted bleached blonde. I made him an offer, made some promises in writing and low and behold the Boss is in the AWA. Let me pat myself on the back. Any way Magnum got a nice reception from the crowd as he faced Black Bart.

Now I have to give credit where it’s due, I never cared for Bart from what I've seen of his work in Texas but he’s a solid hand and does what’s asked of him with no complaint. We decided to keep the match short and Magnum got the Belly to Belly Suplex and 3 count as the crowd counted along.


Owner's Journal:

We decide to give Bart a "Lucky Horseshoe" to bring to the ring because he's a cowboy and is a bad guy(I was corrected by Mike Graham that the term is "heel")


Well let’s have Trongard give it another try interviewing Magnum this time who has his eyes on Lawler and the AWA title. The crowd hung on every word Magnum had to say but I think we will keep Gagne doing the interviews.


Now we have our main event, hope this goes well.


In the World Title Match, the hatred for Lawler seems to have gotten more intense. Maybe I didn’t give him enough credit.The match wasn’t all that action oriented,not surprising given who was involved. Lots of psychology used and the crowd was into it for the most part. When Lawler pulled the chain from his trunks and had it taken away by the referee the crowd thought for sure ol’ Wahoo would get his wish. But then Lawler pulled another chain from his boot and knocked McDaniel out the crowd lost their minds as he covered to get the pin and retain his title. The match was a little long again.


Owner's Journal:

Overall: Given the chaos of trying to get things together and put together a t.v. show with really no preparation things went off better than expected. Fans went home happy. I got my feet wet being a wrestling promoter. I think Mike Graham has found his calling training guys who may need help. Now if somebody could help him do interviews. And Greg Gagne also seems to have found a new vocation as play by play and interviewer at least for now. I know we are going to have to cut some people loose and maybe try and bring in 2 or 3 more "names" maybe, but first I’ve gotta get some sort of staff together. ESPN says to more programming for at least the next 4 weeks ready. Along with that there is also a house show scheduled for next week that was planned before I took over. Hopefully we can get a handle on things by then.

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<p>The First Meeting</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Friday January 6th,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owner’s Journal:The First Meeting</strong></p><p> </p><p>

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I hold a short meeting with <strong>Greg Gagne</strong> and<strong> Mike Graham.</strong> The first thing we discuss is who is on the market right now. Greg mentions a few names, notably <strong>Tito Santana</strong> and <strong>Rick Martel.</strong> I’m not really big on either one, I know they have history in the AWA and with the fans but I make it clear it’s not the direction I want to go. Of the 2 I’m more inclined to go with Martel being that he’s a little younger and has a little more upside to him. Graham mentions that Crockett let <strong>Tony Schiavone</strong> go for some “unspecified reason”. I am looking for a backup/replacement for Trongard. I ask Greg how he likes doing play by play. He tells me “it’s a lot easier on my body.” Can a 3 man team work at least in the short term? Gagne says he has no problem with Schiavone. Graham adds “if we hire Tony, we can keep Rod and Greg calling the action and use Tony to do the interviews.” I tell Graham to make the call and see if Schiavone is interested. Greg mentions a few other names, <strong>Terry Taylor</strong>(far too damaged to be of use from the Red Rooster debacle), and just as I predicted <strong>Jannetty and Michaels</strong> got let go again and called looking for work. I guess they assumed they had guaranteed jobs here, unaware of the change of ownership. I ask Greg what happened this time. He says “the same thing that always happens with those two, too much of everything.”</p><p> </p><p>

I’ve already got Morton and Gibson and the RnR RPM’s, I don’t need a 3rd team like that especially one with the constant headaches they bring with them.</p><p> </p><p>

I’ve got a couple of people I’m talking to as well. Both are by no means locks but the conversations have been good.</p><p> </p><p>

We discuss the current relationship with <strong>Jerry Jarrett</strong>, Memphis and Texas. Greg says it has been working okay. With Lawler as champion and being willing to travel between all 3 areas there’s been exposure for the AWA. Graham agrees but makes sure to mention that Lawler’s loyalty is always going to be to Jarrett and Memphis first and foremost. Duly noted.</p><p> </p><p>

I end the meeting here for now and tell them we will discuss more on Monday.</p>

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<p>More of the same</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Monday January 9th,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owner’s Journal:More of the same</strong></p><p> </p><p>

After sitting on the phone for the better part of the weekend I can now say with certainty that I have sealed the deal with one<strong> Paul E. Dangerously</strong> to return to the AWA. He asked what his role would be, I told him I had a special project for him one I think he will enjoy and will be very beneficial to all concerned. He asked for details but I told him I didn’t want to say just yet.</p><p> </p><p>

Gagne, Graham and <strong>Brad Rheingans</strong> show up so I can run some ideas past them. First I ask Rheingans and Graham how they feel about working with some of the younger guys just to see where they’re skills are at, who needs help. Rheingans being the primary one doing this given his experience of training both amateur and professionals. Not the most exciting guy in the world but the general consensus is he knows his stuff. Graham would be secondary to Rheingans in this regard, especially given that he’s wrestling and working on putting matches together. Both say they like the idea.</p><p> </p><p>

Next we discuss the women’s division. Gagne had nothing to say on the subject deferring to Rheingans who made a couple suggestions for me which I take into consideration. Graham questioned “why I was wasting my time with this? Women have never drawn a dime, everyone figures they can go to the bathroom and not miss anything.” I told Graham I made Richter a promise and that I see a strong women’s division as a way to set us apart from everything else. He just shook his head and we moved on to other things.</p><p> </p><p>

Greg brought up the titles, specifically the <strong>International Television title </strong>which is currently vacant. What should we do? I asked. Do we ignore it, hold a tournament, what? I do mention that the name is stupid and if we were to move ahead with it as a viable second tier singles title it would definitely have to be renamed.</p><p> </p><p>

This week we have television for ESPN. We are heading to Las Vegas to tape. The following week we tape in Rochester Mn. Followed by a house show at the St. Paul Civic Center.</p><p> </p><p>

Graham and Gagne bring up something that hadn’t crossed my mind. The boys need a booking sheet, a list of who they are facing on a particular night I suggested they put together a sample for me for this week’s taping. Gagne did ask if I had made a decision on whether to pursue <strong>Tito Santana</strong> and <strong>Rick Martel</strong>. I told him I was still undecided. If he had a choice and could only sign one who would it be?</p><p> </p><p>

And that was it for today. I’m sure there will be more to go over as things pop up. Having to rely on Graham and Gagne so much to keep things going in the beginning of this transition wasn’t my best case scenario but Gagne’s father wanted out and wanted out yesterday, once he got that check he was gone and I had to jump into this with both feet. I have to give them credit for stepping up though. I figured Greg was just done with the business but I think it was more he was done with the physical part behind the scenes he’s shown some life and I was also dumbfounded at how comfortable he was behind the mic doing play by play. Wonder who is going to surprise me next.</p>

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<p><strong>Tuesday January 10,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owners Journal:</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Greg Gagne,Mike Graham and myself leave for Las Vegas tomorrow for Thursday’s ESPN taping. In the meantime I have Graham set up the meeting with Tony Schiavone and arrange his flight to Las Vegas as well. If we come to terms, I would like to put him in front of the camera for the taping.</p><p> </p><p>

Gagne is still harping about Santana and Martel. He says we should snap them up before they get better offers elsewhere. I’m still not sure how good an idea this is.</p><p> </p><p>

Jerry Lawler informs me that he will be working his commitments in Texas next week so not to book him. I make sure he’s still going to be finish out this week for us before. He says not to worry about it.</p><p> </p><p>

I watch the video tapes Rheingans gave me of a couple women to consider. </p><p>

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The first is a 19 year old named<strong> Malia Hosaka</strong>. I have Gagne watch the tape for his assessment, I figure it’s pointless to ask Graham since he’s made his opinions clear. Gagne says that Hosaka seems decent enough, maybe a little too young. Next we watch <strong>Mimi Lesseos</strong> she’s 24 and goes by Magnificent Mimi. She’s done martial arts since she was a kid. Even to my relatively untrained eye I can see she’s got athletic ability. Gagne agrees that she’s pretty decent and could be of use. I’m going to have Richter check them out but I think I will offer them a shot and see what happens.</p><p> </p><p>

That’s it for today, next stop Las Vegas.</p>

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good stuff and a big hill to climb with the AWA heading into the 90's

I like the card write-up (better than long-winded blow by blow write-ups, you gave us the important stuff and your behind the scene insights).


My opinion, not that you asked, is that both Martel and Chico Santana would be welcome additions. They would give you some name value to steady the ship for the current time, should be able to provide some decent matches with the young up and comers - helping to groom them for the future as well, and give you an interim batch of contenders for the World title (a former AWA World champ and former WWWF I/C champ helps make you appear to be more bigtime). A year or so contract with the last part of it spent putting over the new talent that you've brought in unless they are doing so well that you want to keep them on. If you bring both in as babyfaces, they could even reprise their Strike Force team for on occassion (and maybe help get over a new heel team) - only guessing they might be too expensive to team up on a regular basis, but to cement the upper part of a PPV they could pay dividends. Best part is they are realistic hires, making sense for the era. They are not the future of the Company, but they will help solidify the present and be an integral part in building up your future stars.

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good stuff and a big hill to climb with the AWA heading into the 90's

I like the card write-up (better than long-winded blow by blow write-ups, you gave us the important stuff and your behind the scene insights).


My opinion, not that you asked, is that both Martel and Chico Santana would be welcome additions. They would give you some name value to steady the ship for the current time, should be able to provide some decent matches with the young up and comers - helping to groom them for the future as well, and give you an interim batch of contenders for the World title (a former AWA World champ and former WWWF I/C champ helps make you appear to be more bigtime). A year or so contract with the last part of it spent putting over the new talent that you've brought in unless they are doing so well that you want to keep them on. If you bring both in as babyfaces, they could even reprise their Strike Force team for on occassion (and maybe help get over a new heel team) - only guessing they might be too expensive to team up on a regular basis, but to cement the upper part of a PPV they could pay dividends. Best part is they are realistic hires, making sense for the era. They are not the future of the Company, but they will help solidify the present and be an integral part in building up your future stars.


I have had a tendency in my other attempts at diaries to do the long winded blow by blows but how many ways can you write up irish whips and monkey flips:D so I've tried to reign it in, in both this one and my Southwest diary(leaving blow by blows for the bigger events in that one)


As far as your opinion on Martel and Santana it is welcomed, I was actually trying to be subtle about getting a yeah or nay from anyone who reads and finds something of interest here on either, both or neither with out blatantly asking for opinions.

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<p>Just wanna say I love AWA storylines, and I also like the style of writing you have for this. It is very similar to a project I had in mind but would love to borrow this style, with your permission of course.</p><p> </p><p>

Also, definitely go for broke with Santana and Martel. They're both years under 40 so can serve as viable stars till you get more talent. May I also ask what type of AWA are you running: Pop, Perf, or Balance?</p>

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<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Curtman" data-cite="Curtman" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="43419" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>Just wanna say I love AWA storylines, and I also like the style of writing you have for this. It is very similar to a project I had in mind but would love to borrow this style, with your permission of course.<p> </p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Go for it, mine is hardly original(too many good writers/unique presentations for that to be true) besides you might have things in mind that I might want to borrow:D</p>
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<p>Almost showtime</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Thursday January 12th, 1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owners Journal:</strong></p><p>

Arrived in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon with Mike Graham and Greg Gagne. Jerry Lawler arrived yesterday as well. Also already in town was Bob Remus(Sgt.Slaughter). Some times I don’t know what to call some of them, do I use their real names, their ring names. Gagne chuckles a bit at my confusion and tells me to just stick to their ring names.</p><p> </p><p>

Graham informs me that <strong>Tony Schiavone’s</strong> plane had landed in Las Vegas and that he would be at the Showboat in an hour. That would be around noon. We won’t have much time to talk as doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. Gagne is dealing with ESPN’s crew in the sports pavilion. I tell Graham to meet Tony at the door of the hotel, get him to his room,let him freshen up a bit and then bring him to the pavilion at 2:30 p.m.</p><p> </p><p>

The <strong>Showboat Sports Pavilion </strong>is decent enough size, I would guess to be 4 maybe 5000 seats. It strikes me as being very much a throwback place with it’s bleacher seating and maroon and gold chairs for ringside. Gagne and Slaughter are talking down by the ring as crew work around them running cable for the cameras and sound. </p><p> </p><p>

I check the time it’s 2:15 p.m. I see Graham and Schiavone walking toward myself and Gagne. Graham introduces Tony to both of us. We exchange some pleasantries about his flight and getting out of the cold of Atlanta then head to a small office behind the bleacher seats to talk business.</p><p> </p><p>

I ask Tony about leaving Atlanta. He says that the nature of his release was really just a small conflict that got blown out of proportion by a certain individual. He doesn’t name names but states he doesn’t blame that person and that it was best for him to move on. I respect that he doesn’t go out of his way to throw anyone under the bus. We discuss that I would like him to eventually replace Rod Trongard when the time comes and be lead announcer. Schiavone says that while he can do play by play, he’s much more at home doing interviews and wouldn’t feel right about pushing anyone out of their job. Fair enough. I assure him that I wouldn’t push Trongard out of his job, that he would be the go to only when Rod was ready to leave. Schiavone is hesitant. I make him an offer to try things out for tonight and see how things go. If nothing else he gets a paid vacation to Las Vegas. He stands up and offers a handshake, apparently we have deal at least for now. He heads back to his room to rest up for a couple of hours. Schiavone leaves and not 2 seconds later Graham and Gagne are knocking at my door.</p><p> </p><p>

Without even letting them ask I tell them that at least for tonight Schiavone is working in the AWA. I let Greg know that he and Rod will handle play by play and Tony will handle the majority of the interviews. I want Greg and Rod to open the show and introduce Tony to the crowd and to the television audience.</p><p> </p><p>

It’s 4:00 p.m., we’ve roughed out a lineup tonight but again some of it will be on the fly. I can hear laughter echoing in the empty sports pavilion. A knock on the door and Lawler sticks his head in letting me know he’s arrived. He also wants to know who he’s facing tonight Graham tells him he’s penciled in against <strong>Ken Patera</strong>. Lawler grins and leaves.</p><p> </p><p>

Graham tries to talk me out of wasting time on pushing the women. It’s a waste of money, I told you women don’t draw a dime. I told him to give it a rest. He said “it’s your company”. I told him “you’re right it is.” Things are getting a little tense and I decide to end this. I have Greg make sure everyone is starting to check in and notify me of any absences or anybody being late. Graham says he’s going to change into his gear and check the ring maybe work a bit with some of the younger guys before the doors open. I throw him a bone and tell him I appreciate him helping the less experienced guys,it seems to soothe his ruffled feathers a bit.</p><p>

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I talk to Slaughter a bit about nothing in particular, I see <strong>Don Muraco</strong> arriving along with the<strong> Iron Sheik</strong>. Sheik is talking with his hands a lot making Muraco laugh. I notice <strong>Ken Patera</strong> has arrived and taken a seat up in the high bleachers and seems to just be watching things being prepared.</p><p> </p><p>

It's almost showtime.</p>

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January 12th, 1989 Las Vegas, Nv. Showboat Hotel and Casino</strong></p><p><strong>

Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Las Vegas and the Showboat Sports Pavilion. The city had been good to AWA for a long time. Tonight we’d see if the relationship was still there. From what I can see attendance is around 1600-1700. Gagne says that’s about what they’ve been drawing the last 7 or 8 months sometimes a little more sometimes a little less. Obviously there’s work to be done. </p><p> </p><p>

Gagne and Trongard go out to the ring to pre hype the show. Gagne introduces Tony Schiavone as a name, a face and a voice you might be familiar with. Obviously quite a few knew who Schiavone was and responded as expected </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Schiavone’s introduction is unspectacular but acceptable. I decided to let Dallas Page open the show proper with his tag team. Maybe some of that energy and positive outlook of his will rub off on the crowd and get things started with a bang.</p><p>

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<strong>Diamond Dallas Page</strong> pumps up how <strong>Pat Tanaka</strong> and <strong>Paul Diamond </strong>are not just the world tag team champions but also the future of wrestling and the future is now.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Page was energetic and gave it a good try but it pretty much went nowhere. I’m thinking it’s going to take a lot for these younger guys to get over. I take note that both the crowd here and the one at the previous show seems to skew older.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Brad Rheingans</strong> was given the task of testing out another young guy in the ring, <strong>Brian Lee</strong>. He’s a big guy like 6’6 and around 260. Rheingans puts him through his paces. Lee was a little lost and tentative but showed some spunk. Rheingans of course picked up the win.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

After the match Rheingans said there was a slip up but that he can work with him a little more and see what happens.</p><p>

It’s time for Schiavone’s first interview, I give <strong>Tom Zenk</strong> another shot at it mostly to see how Schiavone comes across. </p><p> </p><p>

Zenk talks about being attacked by <strong>Cactus Jack</strong>, how no one who claims to be an athlete would act like that after a loss. I had Graham send Jack out to attack Zenk again to try and get over just how unpredictable he was.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Let’s give Cactus some mic time and see what he can come up with.</p><p> </p><p>

Cactus Jack Manson talks about how people think he’s crazy, that he’s a little off kilter, that he doesn’t belong in polite society. Those people are right! He looks at Tom Zenk with his good looks and chiseled body, perfect smile and wonders why? Why doesn’t he have the nice body and perfect teeth? Why can’t he walk down the street without being hassled by the cops? Why does he prefer sleeping in alleys and doorways over having a nice house in the suburbs? He doesn’t know why, do you? </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

For the record this Cactus kid is nice enough, loves wrestling, and really, really wants to be a star. But that was craptastic. We might have to find him a manager. I don’t think he’d fly with Page, may with Sheik Adnan but he’s already got his hands full with the Samoans.</p><p> </p><p>

Diamond Dallas Page and BADD Company came out to take on <strong>Jeff Jarrett </strong>and <strong>Terry Garvin.</strong> Tanaka is a little short but he’s got some talent, Diamond is a little blah but serviceable. They worked decently enough together. Tanaka got a little winded, probably should drop a little weight. Overall a mediocre match with Badd Company coming out on top.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Page did good at ringside. Afterwards during a break Gagne told me Jarrett was not happy about losing again. I told Greg if Jarrett’s got a problem see me after the show.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>The Rock N Roll RPMs</strong>(Mike Davis and Tom Lane) were given a chance to do some promo work.</p><p>

The RPM’s talk about their match against the Samoan Swat Team. Everyone thinks they don’t have a chance but everyone is going to be shown how wrong they are.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

What are there 3, 4 teams doing this shtick and I’ve got 2 of them.The RPM’s are okay behind a mic, got what needed to get across for the most part even if it was a little awkward.Again maybe a couple guys who need a mouth piece. I don't want to have to hire like 6 managers because half these guys can't find the words.Well let’s see what Lawler has to say. He hopefully can get the crowd riled up again like last week. I decided again to let Jerry do his promo on his own, he doesn’t seem to need anyone to play off of.</p><p> </p><p>

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Lawler shining up the world title said Patera what did you do? Drop a weight on your head and get some sort of brain damage. You failed at the Pan American Games, you failed getting to the Olympics, heck you failed at doing something simple like getting a Big Mac and you think all those pumped up muscles are going to get you this belt? Those big muscles are going to let you down tonight just like they did at the Pan American games. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Thank god for the King, it might have been a little harsh using Patera's past history but the crowd was into it all the way to the end. I think it would be a shame if we lost the King. Graham’s turn in the ring with another one of Verne’s projects that I have to figure out what to do with.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Mike Graham</strong> took on the <strong>Trooper</strong> to see if we can get somewhere with him in ring wise. I guess Graham liked what was going on because he decided to go to a time limit draw with the guy. I’ll find out more later. Still got to figure out a better character for the guy. A state trooper?? What was Verne thinking.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I told Wendi Richter I’d give the women a chance. Last week she tried to be the fighting champion this week she appealed to the fans to give the women a chance, that they have a lot to offer in the ring and work just as hard as the men if not more.</p><p>

Hmmm. Guess we will see if the fans are receptive.</p><p> </p><p>

Richter took on <strong>Bamb</strong>i(really?) who is just horrible in the ring. I can see why Wendi asked about getting some more experienced women to work with.Richter got the win but you could tell it was meaningless to her.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I’d really like her to succeed, again it would be something to sets us apart. </p><p>

Richter heads to the locker room, she gives me a look like yeah I know it was bad and then disappears to the back.</p><p> </p><p>

Tony Schiavone talks to Sheik Adnan and his tag team, cousins of the Great Kokina. Adnan yells a lot about the <strong>Samoan Swat Team</strong> not getting a title shot because all of the AWA conspires against him and his men and have for years. When the SST’s get done the AWA will have no choice but to give them a title match and he is counting down the days when the tag titles will belong to the people of the Middle East.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Kaissie was better this week but maybe needs dial back the yelling. Samu and Fatu much like the Great Kokina have an aura of danger around them that is palpable. Could be a dominant, dangerous team.</p><p> </p><p>

The Samoans took on the RPMs. Kaissie did a good job angering the fans. They really hate him. The match itself even I could tell started off a little rough but eventually both teams found their groove toward the end. It probably went a little long, never seen so many guys with no endurance at all. For as big as the Samoans are they are agile and quick as all hell. It’s downright scary seeing both of them flying off the top rope at the same time.</p><p>

<strong>Owner's Journal:</strong></p><p>

It was a fine line both teams walked. The RPMs did their job good enough, got in enough offense to make people think they had a chance at the same time, the Samoans looked unstoppable. </p><p> </p><p>

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We give <strong>Ken Patera</strong> some mic time with Schiavone. Bad idea, he was trying but ended up lost, confused and nonsensical.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I was impressed that despite Patera's meanderings, Schiavone was able to almost save the segment. I do find out from Eric Bischoff that Patera was grumbling about Lawler’s promo going over the line with the Big Mac comment. Hope it doesn’t affect their match. </p><p> </p><p>

I had <strong>Don Muraco</strong>, the Magnificent one himself take on <strong>Brian Knobbs.</strong> Muraco may be a little older and not quite in shape he was even just a year ago but he can still go when he wants to. It was a real brawl between the two, but Muraco came out on top and looked like a million bucks doing it. The crowd ate everything he did up. We kept the match relatively short and it helped I think. If Knobbs had a little more experience it might have helped as well. Even Gagne and Trongard were impressed by Muraco’s effort which added some genuineness to their calling of the action.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Before the match I decided to have Sags go out and help Knobbs beatdown Muraco to try and get some heat. I had Graham tell Muraco if he didn’t think it was working to just end it by driving them off. It wasn’t going well so Muraco did just that. I’m beginning to get a grasp on who I can trust and who is willing to help and be helpful. Crowd was very into Muraco, I think they still see him if not as the superstar he was still a big deal.</p><p> </p><p>

The main event this week had Lawler defending his world title against Patera before heading off to Texas for all of next week. The only thing was neither man wanted to look bad. Graham and Gagne both made suggestions. Graham said to go for a double DQ, Greg suggested some sort of the ref overturning the finish, boy the apple don’t fall far from the tree does it.</p><p>

Anyway Lawler,Patera both agreed to the double DQ, both would toss the referee aside twice. Patera looks strong against the champion, Lawler looks strong standing toe to toe against a legit powerhouse and retains the title. I’m glad Patera remained professional and got over being upset about Lawler’s promo and didn’t try and go into business for himself.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

The match itself went over well with this fan base. It wasn’t action packed from start to finish but was what was expected, kind of like an old pair of jeans. A little action, a little psychology, some brawling,all of which added up to an enjoyable if unspectacular match for the crowd. </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Had to throw in another main even match at the last minute to try and at least send the crowd home satisfied. Had the <strong>Iron Sheik</strong> go do a typical anti American promo and then called <strong>Sgt. Slaughter</strong> a cartoon character just like all weak Americans. </p><p> </p><p>

This brought out Slaughter waving old Glory and demanding a flag vs flag match which the crowd seemed up for. Their respective flags in each corner these two who know each other and have worked together so well over the years went at it, doing their best. Age has caught up with both of them as they were a bit slow and plodding but they both knew how to work the crowd. All in all the match came off decently enough with Slaughter claiming victory, wiping his rear end with the Iranian flag and throwing it at the Sheik for extra emphasis.</p><p>

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Slaughter led the crowd in a U.S.A. chant while waving Old Glory as the taping came to an end.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner's Journal:</strong></p><p>

Thankfully this one is over. It started out rough and only had a few bright spots mostly the last half hour or so of the show.I have learned one thing over the last 2 weeks and that's not to underestimate the older guys they always seem to come through. I think I can start putting together a list of who I’m going to have to let go. I’ll know more after next week. As for now I’m going to have a meeting with Graham,Gagne, Rheingans, Slaughter, Kaissie, Page and hopefully Lawler if he hasn’t left yet to get some input.</p>

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<p>After the Show</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Post Show Meeting</strong></p><p><strong>

January 13th ,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

In attendance:</strong></p><p><strong>

Mike Graham</strong></p><p><strong>

Greg Gagne</strong></p><p><strong>

Brad Rheingans</strong></p><p><strong>

Dallas Page</strong></p><p><strong>


Sheik Adnan Al Kaissie</strong></p><p><strong>

Jerry Lawler</strong></p><p> </p><p>

So after the card in Las Vegas I called a meeting of some very specific names from the roster to get their input. I was happy Lawler was willing to participate at least for a few minutes before leaving for Texas for a week. I had some questions specifically for him that would decide the direction we might head. I also wanted to make sure that if I let that Jarrett kid go it wasn’t going to be an issue. Lawler tried to make the case for Jarrett which I expected claiming that he’s still young, he could be a big star The only way that’ll happen is if he gets his attitude in check.</p><p> </p><p>

Lawler argued weren’t we all entitled, snot nosed, arrogant know it alls at that age? Keep him around for a while, if he keeps up his crap then I’ll tell him he can head back to Memphis. I asked Lawler if I do let Jarrett go, is that going to cause problems between us. Lawler said no. If he can’t get his head on straight then he needs to go back to Memphis til he does. </p><p> </p><p>

Lawler got up to catch his flight to Dallas. I gave in a little and told Lawler that Jarrett could stay for the time being but he keeps the complaining and he’s out. Lawler left without a word. Don’t know how much I trust him on this issue. He’s one of the few bright spots right now and it would damage an already wounded company if he walked out, worse still if he walks out with our title. For now I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but I better have some sort of contingency plan especially if he tries to walk off with the belt to Atlanta or New York.</p><p> </p><p>

I asked for opinions on who we should give their walking papers to. First on my list is <strong>Bambi</strong>, from what I’ve seen there’s nothing good there. I asked Mike Graham his opinion he pretty much told me what I already knew, it was going to take a lot of time to get her up to being average. Sgt. Slaughter brought up that for her to get anywhere she needs to be in there with some one who can lead a match and right now there isn’t really anybody.</p><p> </p><p>

Next up was <strong>Brian Lee</strong> who seemed to have everyone on his side,Graham, Rheingans, Slaughter,McDaniel and Gagne think he has a lot of potential. He’s a big kid at 6’6 and could breakthrough as a star. Gagne even brought up comparisions to Hogan. I don’t see that at all but I think Gagne is always going to be looking to try and catch that lightning bolt again.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Cactus Jack Manson</strong>? What to do with this guy. He’s got some weird energy going on. He’s a nice kid, a big fan of wrestling, he’s willing to sacrifice himself to succeed. He desperately needs help with his interviews. Everyone seems up in the air about him. Basically he’s a big IF right now. I decide he has to have somebody to speak for him and/or maybe find him a tag partner to carry some of the load. Graham put forth the idea of building him to the Light Heavyweight title. I’m not too sure about that idea.</p><p>

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Everyone already knows my feelings on <strong>Jeff Jarrett</strong>. Graham and Gagne try to defend him but stopped them before it went too far. I gave my word to Lawler and I always keep my word.</p><p> </p><p>

Next up is <strong>John Nord</strong> another big guy, He’s kind of like a poor man’s version of the late Bruiser Brody. If he comes along fairly quickly he could be good and entertaining.</p><p> </p><p>

The<strong> Rock N Roll RPMs, Tommy Lane/Mike Davis.</strong> What should I do with these guys. Are they entertaining to people. I guess, though a little rough around the edges. If I have Gibson and Morton do I really need a team with essentially the same act? </p><p>

Gagne agrees, Graham thinks they can be of use. Slaughter and McDaniel say they’re decent hands in the ring. Sheik Adnan agrees with me and thinks I should cut them loose. Curiously silent is Dallas Page, who has said nothing about much of anything to this point. Seems to be just watching how things are going.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Scott Hall</strong>, a guy I haven’t seen much of. I guess he’s out healing up from a broken ankle and will be out at least 6 to 7 more weeks. Rheingans,Graham and Gagne are high on the kid, thinks he has a bright future. Maybe I’ll give him a call in a week or two, introduce myself and talk to him a little bit see what’s going on with him.</p><p> </p><p>

Graham has already taken a shine to <strong>Steve Cox</strong> and is willing to work with him to help him improve in the ring, needs to learn to talk though. He’s got some energy when he’s out in front of the fans so that accounts for something.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Del Wilkes</strong>, god somebody here think of a different persona for him. I cannot stand the state trooper thing, Stupidest damn idea in the world. Rheingans and Slaughter both think he could be if not a top star at least a decent draw. We are going to have to brainstorm some ideas about what to do with him though.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tom Zenk</strong>, he’s got a good look, has some nice moves in the ring, has his fans, mostly female. Is a bit arrogant, not Jarrett arrogant but arrogant still. I guess if I’m giving Jarrett a chance I gotta give Zenk a chance as well.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tommy Rich,</strong> good old Wildfire. Yeah he isn’t what he used to be but he’s dropped some weight and seems game to give it a go one more time. He’s still got his fans and can still get them going. Everyone seems to agree that Rich can be of benefit.</p><p> </p><p>

I inform them that I’ve got <strong>Paul E. Dangerously</strong> starting soon which does not go over well. I also announce that one of Brad Rheingans former trainees will be returning soon. This of course raised some curiosity. But that will have to wait for the time being.</p><p> </p><p>

While they are all here I also lay out my current plans for the Women’s division and ask for recommendations on who would be viable to bring in to help. No one had any real suggestions just yet. I told them I expect at least one or two ideas.</p><p> </p><p>

Also told them to get some order to the matchmaking, sorry booking and maybe come up with some conflicts. We can’t keep booking on the fly like this. </p><p> </p><p>

I also informed them that there will probably be some switching around of assignments. Adding to the booking team and adding another agent so Slaughter, McDaniel and Kaissie don’t have to carry the load.</p><p> </p><p>

I thanked them for their time and told them all to get some rest tomorrow, we’ve got a long week ahead of us. </p><p>

They all filed out except for Page, he sat in his chair staring at the table. I asked him “something on your mind?” He looked up “why am I here? I’ve only been in the business a couple years. I’m just some dude with a gift of gab.”</p><p> </p><p>

I told him “your here because I wanted you here. You saw these guys tonight? Wahoo is on his last legs, Slaughter might have a couple years left. Gagne is transitioning over to announcing. Graham is also looking to transition from the ring to backstage. Kaissie is getting up there as well. I wanted you here because you’re young, you are upbeat which is a nice change from a lot of these guys who just seem to be perpetually pissed off at someone or some thing.”</p><p> </p><p>

Page asked”why don’t you just get rid of them then?”</p><p> </p><p>

“Because, despite their age, demeanor and general disagreeableness they still know what their doing and how to do it. Maybe not as fast or as good as they used to but they still know what they’re doing even if it’s buried underneath all the booze and bitterness. You’ve seen the last two weeks, we gave the young guys some chances but who got things going , the veterans. There’s still some usefulness there and I’m going to take advantage of it. Besides most of these guys have no where else to go. New York won’t touch most of them and Atlanta’s roster is so bloated now. I feel like they’re owed something , one last shot at glory before they ride off into the sunset.”</p><p> </p><p>

Page laughed a little”I guess you’re just a big softy.”</p><p>

I tell him “Don’t let it get out.”</p>

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<p><strong>Monday January 16th,1989</strong></p><p>

Back in St. Paul. Greg Gagne hits me with some news that all three brothers Guerrero are leaving at the end of the week after fulfilling their commitments . He also let’s me know that since we haven’t had any real use for him that Dutch Mantel won’t be available any longer and is committing to Memphis.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

It saves me from having to let all 3 go along with Mantel so there is that.</p><p> </p><p>

After some hemming and hawing over the idea I call Gagne in. I tell him to make the calls to Rick Martel and Tito Santana to get a feel for how much money they’re looking for. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I seem to have made Gagne’s day.</p><p> </p><p>

Later on Greg informs me that Martel is interested but Santana has turned down negotiations at this time. </p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=scq42f" rel="external nofollow">http://tinypic.com?ref=scq42f"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i64.tinypic.com/scq42f.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i64.tinypic.com/scq42f.jpg"</a> border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a></p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Martel was my preferred choice anyways. I have a plan for him as well. Don’t know how it will play out but hoping for the best.</p><p>

With Lawler gone all this week, the tag team titles are going to have to be the headliners for both television and the house show. </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>For the ESPN taping in Rochester,Mn. Wednesday </strong></p><p>

Brad Rheingans/Trooper vs Mike Graham/Brian Lee</p><p>

Tommy Rich vs Black Bart</p><p>

Col. DeBeers vs Manny Fernandez</p><p>

Wendi Richter vs Sue Sexton(Rheingans arranged this)</p><p>

Magnum T.A. vs Jerry Sags</p><p>

Wahoo McDaniel/Tom Zenk v Cactus Jack/Terry Garvin</p><p>

Col.DeBeers vs Manny Fernandez</p><p>

Badd Company(Tanaka/Diamond) vsMando/Chavo Guerrero</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>For St.Paul Civic Center on Friday</strong></p><p>

Jeff Jarrett vs Terry Garvin</p><p>

Cactus Jack Manson vs Greg Gagne</p><p>

Rheingans/Trooper vs Sags/Knobbs</p><p>

Great Kokina vs Tom Zenk</p><p>

Fatu/Samu(SST)vs Slaughter/Patera</p><p>

Black Bart vs John Nord</p><p>

Badd Company vs Rock N Roll Express</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I decide we will do a short meet and greet on Friday with a couple of the wrestlers during the intermission and see how that goes.</p>

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<p><strong>AWA Championship Wrestling from Rochester, Minnesota</strong></p><p><strong>

Taped for ESPN, Wednesday January 18th, 1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Rochester tonight, St.Paul Friday night. It’s been a couple weeks since taking over. Tough choices have to be made, ESPN seems to have taken a renewed interest since I’ve taken over, we will see how long that last. Given their past treatment of the company I should probably explore other avenues soon.</p><p> </p><p>

Went over some preliminary stuff earlier today. Put <strong>Adnan Al Kaissie</strong>, with Slaughter and McDaniel to help keep the crew in line. Told Gagne and Graham to start including Bischoff in their discussions see if he has any ideas maybe as a marketing/ad guy he sees or thinks of things we don’t. Thinking about having Dallas Page sit in as well. The less experienced guys have got to start stepping up for us to have a shot. Most them are okay ring wise, the odd misstep here and there but put a mic in front of them and they become tentative, anxious, and easily flustered.</p><p> </p><p>

Walked out to ringside under the pretense of talking to Trongard,Gagne and Schiavone but really wanted to get a feel for the crowd. Looks bigger than I expected, a few thousand and least. Might be a good night. Tell Gagne and Schiavone if anybody starts drifting in their interviews or losing their place to bring them back as best they can. </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tony Schiavone</strong> and <strong>Greg Gagne</strong> are at ringside promoting the matches and stars that will be on the show. I really have them push the main event for the tag titles and a special video that will air later in the show.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I purposely kept the contents of the video under wraps because I want a legitimate reaction from the announcers. Hopefully it works.</p><p>

Graham and Rheingans want to work with their respective guys.So they all got booked in a tag team match. Given the reputation of both maybe they can bring a few of the younger guys up to speed a little quicker. Probably a big mistake but I let Graham and Lee do an interview Schiavone.</p><p> </p><p>

Graham and Lee demand time to talk. Graham calls Lee 260 pounds of pure butt-kicking thoroughbred. Lee says he doesn’t care about Rheingans Olympic dreams getting crushed by a peanut farmer 10 years ago, he doesn’t care how many tickets the Trooper wants to hand out. The ring is for men like him and Graham not little boys Rheingans and Trooper.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I was really afraid after I made this decision but it turned out okay. Surprisingly Lee carried the interview, he didn’t get lost, he came across with some good intensity. Graham is another story.</p><p> </p><p>

A decent opener between these four, Trooper being the weak link tonight. Graham and Rheingans were solid in the ring as usual. They may not be the most exciting guys in the world but they’re consistent. Lee got pinned by Rheingans, even still he worked hard during the match.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Something I’ve been dreading for a few weeks and that is Col. DeBeers. I’ve avoided booking him the last few weeks. I know he gets people upset but I don’t know if it’s the kind of upset we want. I tell Schiavone during a break to not let him go too far with what he says. If it gets to be too much to end the interview immediately. Right now I don’t need any sort of hassle.</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/debeers_zpsv1d70qpv.png" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/debeers_zpsv1d70qpv.png"</a> border="0" alt=" photo debeers_zpsv1d70qpv.png"/></a></p><p>

Schiavone talks to Col. DeBeers about his match tonight with the Raging Bull Manny Fernandez. DeBeers talks about having to face some one of Fernandez’s ilk. He will have to show just how low on the evolutionary scale those like Fernandez are.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

This could have been way worse than what it was. I guess word got to DeBeers about my apprehensions. If nothing else he did get the crowd to respond. Whether it was a good or bad response is up to interpretation.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Black Bart</strong> and<strong> Tommy Rich</strong> are up next. ESPN in all their awesomeness put up a chyron that says “Timmy” Rich. Production is so cut rate, need to improve that, at least get the damn names right! Had Bart get the win against Rich thanks to using the horse shoe he brings to the ring. Rich had no problem taking the pin and Bart never says a thing, just does what he’s asked.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Rich looked better in the ring then he has in a long time. I'm glad for that.</p><p>

Let’s see if that motivation spills over to his interview.</p><p> </p><p>

Schiavone interviews Rich who is bleeding a little from the shot by Bart’s horse shoe. Rich said he wants Bart again but also wants a piece of the King and the AWA title. He tries to summon the Wildfire of old saying he still got the fire in him and it burns just as hot as it did 6 years ago.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Rich came off a little forced there. While the crowd likes him well enough they didn’t buy what he was selling. Now comes a segment I’ve put a lot of faith in, let it go well.</p><p> </p><p>

Gagne and Trongard discuss our newest signing <strong>Leon White a.k.a.Big Van Vader</strong> who is finishing up in Japan and making a return to the AWA. </p><p>

Greg says this is not the Baby Bull who got his start in the AWA, this is a whole new man who has carved a path of destruction through the Orient.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> I hoped for much more reaction to this. I believe it was my mistake to not let Gagne and Trongard in on who it was they were supposed to hype. Gagne tried to make this seem like a very big deal which I believe it could be.Trongard while a good play by play gets lost in stuff like this. </p><p> </p><p>

They introduce a video of Vader in Japan.The video is essentially Vader destroying Japanese legend <strong><strong>Antonio Inoki.</strong></strong></p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/2ba228ee-1da7-4b1a-8512-ba0a92ac8f66_zps9a8rfezj.png" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/2ba228ee-1da7-4b1a-8512-ba0a92ac8f66_zps9a8rfezj.png"</a> border="0" alt=" photo 2ba228ee-1da7-4b1a-8512-ba0a92ac8f66_zps9a8rfezj.png"/></a></p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/6a0d7350-a5b2-4b4a-be5d-abe4191fe55a_zpsafahqgvx.png" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/6a0d7350-a5b2-4b4a-be5d-abe4191fe55a_zpsafahqgvx.png"</a> border="0" alt=" photo 6a0d7350-a5b2-4b4a-be5d-abe4191fe55a_zpsafahqgvx.png"/></a></p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

It goes over okay, The Vader helmet is impressive looking and Vader looks like an unstoppable force which is what I want.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Wendi Richter’s</strong> attempts to try and build up the Women’s title continues. She wanted better competition in the ring I bring in Australian <strong>Sue Sexton </strong>on Brad Rheingans recommendation. Maybe it was the jet lag or something but Sexton wasn’t good. Rheingans swears she’s better than what we saw.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Gagne and Trongard tried to help on commentary to make this seem somewhat important. I appreciated their effort.</p><p> </p><p>

Schiavone talks to Richter who tries to play up what a tough opponent Sexton is. The crowd is pretty quiet. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I feel bad for Richter, she’s tried everything under the sun to get people to care. The disappointment shows as she heads to her locker room. I hope the new signings of Hosaka and Mimi can bring some life to this project.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Magnum T.A</strong> is up next against <strong>Sags</strong> of the Nasty Boys. He and Sags have a nice match with Magnum getting the Belly to Belly Suplex which the crowd loved. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Sags seems like the more talented and less troublesome of the two. He did well for himself in the ring. Seems to work better with out that moron Knobbs getting him in trouble.Watching the crowd react to Magnum the last few weeks has me feeling this was a good idea. Didn’t know how he would play with the average AWA fan but they’ve taken to him.</p><p> </p><p>

Gagne talked to Magnum, he’s always went after everything he’s ever wanted will all the energy and effort he had and the AWA world title is going to be no different.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

A intense,serious interview that Magnum has become a master of over the years. The crowd got into, essentially the same as what Rich tried to do earlier but came off better.</p><p> </p><p>

We cut to Schiavone doing a locker room interview with the <strong>Raging Bull Manny Fernandez </strong>who gives an impassioned speech about the difficulties in his life, Fernandez talks about having to deal with people like DeBeers his whole life. Living in a border town in Texas, talks about his service in Viet Nam and at West Texas State where he played football and even in wrestling. How there was always some one like DeBeers telling him how he didn’t have any place in this world. All it did was make him angry and want to prove them wrong. And tonight he’s going to show DeBeers just how wrong he is!</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I liked this one. Fernandez was believable and genuine. It helped that he was with someone he was familiar with.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Ken Patera </strong>and<strong> Hector Guerrero</strong> are up. A decent big man vs small man match. Guerrero looked good, and the crowd was into his win. Patera reached back into his history and locks the Swinging Full Nelson on Guerrero.Rheingans,Jarett try to pull him off. Eventually letting go on his own.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I had an idea going into this match but it required Patera to be on board. Patera is just not very good at being a good guy. He's just kind of, how to put this gently, kind of an ass. He’s still holds onto some anger over McDonald’s incident from years ago. I figured I might as well use that if it was okay. I discussed it with Patera and he seemed a little more pleased after we talked. He was even was fine Guerrero getting the win in this case.</p><p> </p><p>

Schiavone tries to get an interview from the former Olympian. Patera ignores him and stalks off to the back.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Probably the best interview Ken’s given in a long time. The man is just a natural bad guy and seems happier as one. Debating over whether to put him with a manager, if I can find one, Maybe back with the Sheik, don’t think he’d fit with Page.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Col. DeBeers</strong> gives it one last little bump before the match against Fernandez reiterating that he shouldn’t have to step in the ring with people like this. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Well that got people a bit upset. </p><p> </p><p>

DeBeers did his standard stalling, being disgusted at being in the ring with Manny which the fans ate up, but got even more into it when Manny finally got a hold of DeBeers and beat the living crap out of him for 5 minutes. Just to keep things interesting DeBeers bailed and walked away from the match to the locker room leaving the crowd and Fernandez wanting more.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

DeBeers keeps thing pretty basic but he does get people wanting to see him get what’s coming to him.</p><p> </p><p>

Fernandez tells Schiavone it’s not over with DeBeers by a long shot how he can run but can’t hide.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Pretty generic promo from Hernandez. Didn’t accomplish a whole lot especially considering his earlier interview.</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/wahoozenk_zpsg6y1w2pg.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/wahoozenk_zpsg6y1w2pg.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo wahoozenk_zpsg6y1w2pg.jpg"/></a></p><p>

Gave the kids a shot tonight putting <strong>Cactus Jack</strong> and <strong>Terry Garvin</strong> out there against <strong>Wahoo</strong> and <strong>Zenk</strong>. Cactus went overboard with the crazy act and seemed out of place in the match. Garvin did his job just fine, Zenk was disinterested leaving it to McDaniel to carry the match to some sort of watchability and he came through.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I figured I owed Zenk a win even if it was in a tag match for not complaining too much about the beatdowns from Cactus the previous 2 weeks. What can I say about Wahoo, he continues to astound me with his effort and knowledge of what to do and when to do it. It’s becoming a small pleasure to watch the man even if he is not at his best anymore. I wonder how much longer he can keep going. </p><p> </p><p>

Time to see if my tag team champions are up to the task of head lining.</p><p>

<strong>Diamond Dallas Page </strong>tries some last minute taunting to pump up Tanaka and Diamond and tear down <strong>Chavo/Mando Guerrero</strong> saying Tanaka/Diamond are going to flush them down the sewers with the rest of the trash.</p><p>

A good match between these four. The Guerreros did some impressive work with some unique moves. Tanaka kept up with them, Diamond tried but always seem a step behind. With the Guerreros giving notice Tanaka and Diamond of course came out on top. The Guerreros were gracious enough to make them look like champions.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Schiavone and Gagne do a quick recap before signing off.</p><p>

Badd Company came off well thanks in part to the Guerreros.</p><p>

It wasn’t great tonight,but wasn’t terrible either.</p>

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<p>Good stuff and here's just a few quick thoughts</p><p> </p><p>

for women division, something that seems to help is bring in 4-5. Have a face gatekeeper - someone for the next title challenger to beat so they actually have a win to their credit before the title match (maybe able to build them up some momentum first). Mix in a few tag team matches and mixed-tag teams in an effort to build them up as legit stars. The ladies are usually cheap to hire, but still takes an investment to get any pay off.</p><p> </p><p>

For Cactus Jack: I've always found pairing him with an established star works wonders for him (moreso than just giving him a manager). He grew leaps and bounds as GI Jack (when I had a heel Sgt Slaughter as his mentor and partner). I could see the results here - for example if King Jerry Lawler makes a brag that he can take anyone and make them into a Prince - and his rival chooses Jack as the guy (would provide some good comedy stuff). With Lawler as your world champion, you probably don't want him in many tag matches, so might not be the best choice -- maybe there's someone else on the roster who would fit the bill (Debeers?)</p><p> </p><p>

In fact, it might be worthwhile to pair up some of your aging veterans with a hot up and comer. Most the veterans might be able to pull double duty on a card (early tag match, later singles match). Patera and Brian Lee for example would have a formidible look. Wahoo and a rising star could become tag title contenders (great reward for the Chief to win another title before riding off into the sunset). A tag team veteran might even help adjust Double J's bad attitude (or lead to a great pay-off when one of them turns). With a rare exception, you're not really looking to create the next great team so they don't have to wrestle as a team every week (few times a month and do their promos together more often should be enough to help the development of the young guys). I think you're allowed to have the partners "manage" each other so the rookie gets the rub from being seen with the established star.</p><p> </p><p>

hopefully, you're able to hold back Magnum vs Lawler for several months and major PPV. Having a few money feuds to carry the shows will help though.</p><p> </p><p>

one suggestion: I always like seeing the grades. It's great for comparison over time - and with your journal comments it seems a natural ("I'd score that match 75% or I'd grade it a D but that's better than I expected). Sure we realize there maybe more lower graded matches as guys are getting their tryouts, but that makes it even better when we see the improved results as you lay the foundation. Your opinion of how it went is appreciated, but I just like the letter or number grade too (maybe because its a unique factor to this game - and gives us the visual that we don't otherwise see)</p>

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<p><strong>House Show Friday January 20th,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

St.Paul Civic Center, St.Paul Minnesota</strong></p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Took Greg off of announcing tonight since it’s a house show there’s not much point. Schiavone is doing interviews for use at a later date. Trongard is doing voice over for the matches, just in case we have to use them for filler on t.v</p><p>

Got a call from <strong>Paul E. Dangerously</strong> about a start date. I told him my ideas and to give it a couple weeks. I really want him to make an impression when he starts.</p><p>

Lawler also called from Houston,Texas says he’s heading to Memphis for a couple of days after he’s done in Texas and to pencil him in for t.v. and at least 2 house shows. I asked him if he had any preference on who to work with during those 3 dates. He said he’d think about and let me know in a couple days.</p><p>

For my own purposes I’ve decided to start keeping a report card of sorts for segments and matches starting tonight. It will help me keep track of what’s working and what’s not. For now it will be for my eyes only.</p><p>

Well it’s almost show time might as well get the ball rolling and see what happens tonight.</p><p> </p><p>

Tony Schiavone goes to the ring to hype up the crowd for tonight’s card, especially the main eventfor the tag team titles between Badd Company and the Rock N Roll Express.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Schiavone’s enthusiasm is a little down when the cameras aren’t rolling and it comes across.(I give the opening a <strong>C- rating</strong>, I expect more from my lead announcer whether it’s television or a house show.)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Terry Garvin</strong> comes down to the ring dressed in a hot pink robe and feathered boa. </p><p>

Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible plays as<strong> Jeff Jarrett </strong>makes his way to the ring.Jarrett and Garvin was a decent enough opener. Each man pulling his weight with Jarrett coming out on top.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

I knew Garvin wanted to try and change his persona, I wasn’t really prepared for this though. Nice music for Jarrett, boy that kid is not full of himself at all. The match was a typical opener and just kind of there, didn’t do a lot for the crowd in attendance.</p><p>

(I’d say an <strong>E rating</strong> for sticking to a very basic match with no real attempt to get the crowd worked up.)</p><p> </p><p>

We have Jarrett do an interview with Schiavone to try and get him fans familiar with him, talking about his family’s history in Memphis and in the wrestling business and wanting to live up to the family name.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> I really don’t know what anyone sees in this kid, maybe it could just be me but he doesn’t really get anywhere with the fans either tonight.</p><p>

(Based on the lack of response from the crowd and even when trying to be sincere coming across as being the center of the universe I give Jarrett’s interview an <strong>E rating.</strong> He can obviously improve the question is will he.)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Cactus Jack Manson</strong> comes out acting so bizarrely the crowd doesn’t know what to make of him. <strong>Greg Gagne</strong> heads to the ring and gets a response that was a little unexpected. He so very plain but I guess being a hometown boy and the Gagne name still carry some weight in St.Paul.</p><p>

The Gagne Sleeper got a good response. Gagne worked a slower pace and Manson wanted to go a little faster and do some things that Gagne wasn’t sure of. Toward the end though Manson went with what Gagne was doing.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Cactus comes across as a little off but just seems so grateful to get the opportunity to wrestle. His problem is trying to push for too much too quickly which is why I had him in with Gagne tonight. If anyone could settle him down it would be Greg.</p><p>

(It was a rough start by Jack took a few minutes for Gagne to settle him down. I give it a <strong>D rating</strong>, At least Cactus is trying different things.)</p><p> </p><p>

Give <strong>Brad Rheingans</strong> and his project the <strong>Trooper</strong> a chance to work on their promo skills with Schiavone. Trooper is going to write tickets for both of the<strong> Nasty Boys</strong> for violating the laws of decency. Rheingans talks about training both of them to be better than this.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Rheingans is a master in the ring, very believable, very smooth in the ring but just so blah when he gets a microphone in front of him. I like the fiery side of the Trooper even if he still his stumbling over what he wants to say.(I give them a <strong>D rating</strong> just for Trooper’s passion even if what he said wasn’t great)</p><p> </p><p>

Since Rheingans has such high hopes for Sags and Knobbs as well as the Trooper I put all four of them together tonight.I figure a house show that probably won’t air anywhere. If it goes bad no harm no foul.</p><p>

It ended up in a double count out. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal: </strong>It went too long for 3 of the participants, give you a guess who. It might have went over better if it was shorter. Ended up being a draw which is fine. Remember that for next time.(I appreciate Rheingans working his butt off with these guys but one man can only do so much it gets a <strong>D rating</strong>)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Sheik Adnan Al Kaissie </strong>with the <strong>Great Kokina</strong> come to the ring and does a very anti-American promo. He promises that Kokina will make an example of his opponent.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Don’t know what’s wrong with Adnan lately he just hasn’t been his usual self(I give he and Kokina an <strong>E rating</strong> for tonight)</p><p> </p><p>

If we’re going to push the Great Kokina he has to destroy people, we decided to feed Zenk to him. Had him dominate the match from start to finish.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Zenk wasn’t too happy about it but did his job. Crowd didn’t like it though. Probably too much for them, should have let Zenk at least get in a few moves.(It gets an <strong>F rating </strong>and is totally my fault for not thinking this one through) I’m going to have to give Zenk some wins I think just for not being too big a pain for taking these beatings. </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Intermission. Had Jarrett, Rheingans and Trooper go out and sign autographs and take pictures. I will say Jarrett was really good with the fans as was the Trooper who was popular with the kids. Rheingans had his fans as well. May have to make this a regular thing at house shows.</p><p>

(It gets a <strong>C rating</strong>for creating some good will with the fans)</p><p> </p><p>

Were are a little behind the schedule. <strong>Sheik Adnan</strong> and the <strong>Samoan Swat Team</strong> come out and taunt their opponents by promising to destroy Americas heroes <strong>Slaughter</strong> and <strong>Patera.</strong></p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Like I said Kaissie has been off quite a bit from what he usually brings to a promo. (This is slightly better enough to garner a <strong>D rating</strong>)</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/headshrinkersfs_zpsu0irf3pc.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/headshrinkersfs_zpsu0irf3pc.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo headshrinkersfs_zpsu0irf3pc.jpg"/></a></p><p>

Hopefully the cousins do well. I want them to look like they are just the baddest thing walking the earth so I put them in with Slaughter and Patera. Let the older guys do what they do best I think to myself. Samu/Fatu come out on top thanks to a little help for Sheik Adnan</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Everyone came out looking okay, Samoans get the win against two big names Sheik’s interference gave Slaughter and Patera a reason for the loss, we didn’t want them looking bad for what’s up next.</p><p>

(They get a <strong>C rating</strong> for what was accomplished.)</p><p> </p><p>

And just to move things along, we have Patera and Slaughter have a minor disagreement over the match about who’s fault the loss was. Things settle down(calm before the storm)between the two. Slaughter salutes the fans, Patera drops him with a clothesline. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> It was a little awkward but acceptable.</p><p>

Patera goes full on arrogant strong man, flexing in between stomping on Slaughter and making obscene gestures toward the crowd. Just to make sure everyone gets that Patera is now a solid heel he locks Slaughter in the <strong>Swinging Full Nelson.</strong> The crowd is pretty hot at Patera now, good!</p><p>

(the turn is complete and went over better than expected garnering a <strong>C+ rating</strong> for the effort put forth by both men.)</p><p>

I go for broke and we send Wahoo out to save Slaughter from Patera’s attack. The crowd pops pretty good for McDaniel who chases Patera off.</p><p>

(Another good effort by Wahoo getting a <strong>C+ rating</strong>)</p><p> </p><p>

The crowd is amped up now after the previous segments. So I send out the big guys to go at it.<strong> Nord</strong> and <strong>Black Bart</strong>. Both guys are easy to deal with which I like. We will see how they do together. They had a nice little brawl that ended in a double count out, it helped it was kept short and energetic.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> The effort was there but came as a bit of a letdown after the previous match and it’s aftermath(The big men get a <strong>C- rating </strong>through no fault of their own)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Main Event Time.</strong></p><p><strong>

World Tag Team Title Match Badd Company vs Rock N Roll Express</strong></p><p>

<strong>Diamond Dallas Page</strong> rips off some patter from KISS(hope Gene Simmons doesn’t sue)to intro his team “St. Paul you want the best, you got the best! B A double D, Badd Company!”</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>I like Page, he’s a good guy and tries his damnedest to get things rolling. (Any reference to Kiss is alright by me so he gets a<strong> C rating</strong> for that)</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/rnrexpress_zpsevqvb7v6.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/rnrexpress_zpsevqvb7v6.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo rnrexpress_zpsevqvb7v6.jpg"/></a></p><p>

These two teams have been in the ring before elsewhere so they should know each other pretty well and know how each other work. The crowd is seriously into Morton and Gibson. Don’t know why they got canned from down South. Maybe it’s because they never passed up this way much or something but people want to see them still and they haven’t lost a step. Tanaka and Diamond are decent enough workers but I wonder about them being champions. There are other options not just what’s already signed but there people currently unemployed who might work better than Tanaka and Diamond.</p><p>

As expected the teams worked well together and the match went over well. Badd Company got the win thanks to a distraction from Page, giving the RnR Express a reason to demand a rematch.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Page did some decent work at ringside. Gibson and Morton looked good. Tanaka and Diamond were passable.(A solid <strong>C rating</strong> for this one. A little more effort could push this into a very good feud between the 4)</p><p> </p><p>

Tony Schiavone did a quick interview with Gibson and Morton who want a rematch right here in the St.Paul Civic Center next time aroundwhich the crowd was all for.</p><p>

(AWA fans love themselves some Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, a <strong>C+ rating</strong>)</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Things were looking bad for most of the night until the intermission and then picked up nicely. The overall show gets a<strong> C rating</strong> , there was much to over come in the early going which thankfully we did.</p>

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<p>I certainly don't understand the others' like for Jarrett either...</p><p> </p><p>

Maybe if you turn him heel... *strokes chin*</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

Good show, by the way. Rock & Roll are never a bad choice for main eventing a house show, and you're right, AWA LOVES smaller teams. <img alt=":D" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/biggrin.png.929299b4c121f473b0026f3d6e74d189.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p>

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<p><strong>Monday January 23rd,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Owner’s Journal:Morning Meeting</strong></p><p>

We had a couple decent shows at home, the Rochester taping pretty much standard fare. The St.Paul show started out badly but made a heck of a comeback. Up this week is a taping in Green Bay,Wisconsin and a house show on Thursday in Milwaukee,Wisconsin and Villa Park, Illinois on Friday.</p><p> </p><p>

Most of the time I talk and take advice from Mike Graham and Greg Gagne, this time I thought I would bring in the guys on the front lines so to speak, my road agents,</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/myagents_zpsvjgorps3.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/myagents_zpsvjgorps3.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo myagents_zpsvjgorps3.jpg"/></a></p><p>

Slaughter, Sheik Adnan and McDaniel to get their thoughts on how things are going. Starting at the top I ask how they think Lawler is doing as champion. Slaughter believes he’s the right fit for now, pointing out how he can pretty much work with anyone making them look pretty good in the process, he’s also traveling between the AWA, Texas and Memphis area giving us exposure in those parts of the country. Wahoo agrees with Slaughter to a point but thinks the King can sometimes be more concerned with making sure he looks good than having a good match.</p><p> </p><p>

Next up is our tag team champions Tanaka and Diamond. Slaughter thinks they have a good look to them and have their moments in the ring. Sheik and Wahoo agree that they are destined to be pigeon holed tag team wrestlers given their skills, and that the whole is greater than the parts.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Ken Patera</strong> is up next for discussion. All 3 know Patera well. Adnan is first to chime in praising Patera.</p><p>

Slaughter praises his effort in turning and thinks he and Patera can have a decent feud at least for a few weeks over it.</p><p> </p><p>

I ask their opinions on <strong>Big Van Vader</strong>. Slaughter remembers when he was the Baby Bull Leon White a few years ago and was impressed with him then but now he seems to be at a different level in terms of his skill. Adnan found it hard to believe this is the same person. McDaniel says he might make some money.</p><p> </p><p>

I mention that <strong>Cactus Jack</strong> asked if we could put him in a match with McDaniel. Wahoo looked at me strange and then shrugged his shoulders. Some how I don’t think it was a smart idea on Cactus’s part.</p><p> </p><p>

Finally their opinions on <strong>Magnum T.A</strong>. This is the first time Wahoo has perked up telling me Magnum is my obvious successor to Lawler. Slaughter agrees as does Adnan pretty much telling me that I got damn lucky to sign him and he’s going to have to get the title at some point relatively soon before he wears out his welcome. </p><p> </p><p>

I give them a copy of the upcoming matches for televison.</p><p>

<strong>Taping for ESPN-Green Bay,Wisconsin-Browns County Veterans Memorial Coliseum</strong></p><p>

<strong>Slaughter v Knobbs </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

RPMs v Jarrett/Cox </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Rich v Sags </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Richter v Devine </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

McDaniel v Manson </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Magnum vs Lee </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Kokina v Fernandez </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Badd Company v Rheingans/Trooper </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

Lawler v Zenk</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Later this afternoon I’ll talk to Graham, Gagne and Bischoff about some short and long term plans.</p><p>

Some things to bring up include the International T.V. title, I’m thinking a tournament of some sort to give the lower/mid roster guys something to shoot for. As well as discuss ideas for Superclash.</p>

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Monday January 23rd,1989

Afternoon Meeting with Greg Gagne/Mike Graham

Owner’s Journal:

First thing is the vacant television title. I ask both of them their thoughts on using it as a stepping stone for the lower to mid card guys giving them something to chase. Gagne was wondering if we were ever going to do anything with it so he’s on board. Graham thinks it’s fine as long so long as we don’t keep adding titles he thinks having a title for every thing just looks ridiculous, he points to the group in Atlanta as his evidence when they had at the very least a dozen different titles. He says “everybody was some sort of champion.”


How do we go about filling the vacancy? Gagne says either a battle royal or tournament, unless you want to do a phantom change and just give it to somebody. Graham chuckles. No offense to Verne but we are not going to make his mistakes again. It’s decided a tournament is the answer, 2 questions remain where and who is in it. I tell them to come up with some ideas next week.

Owner’s Journal:

It would make sense to have the tournament on ESPN but I don’t know about burning possibly 2-3 weeks of television on this.


We go over the 2 line ups for the house shows this week. After Green Bay we head to Milwaukee on Thursday the 26th,the card is as follows:


Cox v Bart

Nord v Garvin

Graham v Jarrett(title match)

Sexton/Bambi v Richter/Hosaka

Muraco v DeBeers

Lawler v Gagne(title match)

and then in Villa Park Illinois on Friday the 27th which will be:

McDaniel/Gagne v Fatu/Samu

Hosaka v Nina

Patera v Cox

RPMs v Nasty Boys

Lawler v Slaughter(title match)


Graham brings up that there is a lot of talent on the market right now and it would be stupid to let it go unused. I tell him I want to work with what we have currently at least for the time being, mentioning that we’ve signed quite a few contracts already. Maybe in the future we might look at signing some of that untapped potential but for right now let’s try and build what we have.

Owner’s Journal:

Graham wasn’t pleased with his suggestion being shot down but money doesn’t grow on trees and we are pretty overloaded as it is so I think if I was to hire someone I would at least have to let 2 go. Who wouldn’t want to bring in the Von Erichs even with the baggage they bring or Orndorff now that he’s had his surgery and is pretty much back up to full speed. As it is I’ve got Rheingans wanting me to do a favor and bring in some kid he has been working with at Eddie Sharkey’s school named Jerry something, Lynn, yeah Jerry Lynn is his name. The kid wants to get some ring experience and wants to learn as much as he can from some of our guys.

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But for now I’ve got what I’ve got and that’s what I’m going to work with. Off to Green Bay and ESPN tapings.

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<p>Green Bay Jan.24,1989</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>January 24th,1989</strong></p><p><strong>

Green Bay Wisconsin – Brown County Vetetran’s Memorial coliseum </strong></p><p><strong>

Taping for ESPN AWA Championship Wrestling</strong></p><p><strong>


The show started off with Schiavone/Gagne opening it to change up things a little, hyping the matches.</p><p>

<strong>Owner's Journal:</strong>Schiavone was good, Gagne is improving my leaps and bounds as an announcer. Just astounds me.</p><p>

To start things off we have The Trooper and Knobbs of the Nasty Boys. I figure I might as well get the weak links out of the way. Trooper seems to get a good response but I just so hate the character. Maybe I’ll see if he has some ideas. Knobbs on the other hand is just a trouble maker and loud mouth who I would dump in a minute if not for him being so buddy,buddy with Sags who is the complete opposite.</p><p> </p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/trooper_zpsynbwcrc6.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/trooper_zpsynbwcrc6.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo trooper_zpsynbwcrc6.jpg"/></a></p><p>

Trooper and Knobbs have a passable brawl with Trooper getting the win with a Diving Shoulder Block from the ropes.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Knobbs actually tried this time around, Trooper’s improving little by little. He’s not always going to have someone like Rheingans as his safety net.I give the guys a<strong> D rating </strong>not great but the effort to try was there. We have <strong>Magnificent Muraco </strong>for an interview to try and work a little magic.</p><p> </p><p>

Muraco talks to Schiavone about his career and accomplishments. He also talks about winning a lot of titles in his life and doing a lot of bad things during his career. He feels like he doesn’t need titles anymore, he needs to do some good to balance out all the bad if that’s possible.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Muraco was very contrite and out of character, almost seemed like a little look at the real man Don Muraco as opposed to the Magnificent one. While the crowd hoped for something more they did listen and were respectful. It gets a <strong>C- rating</strong> though because it did bring things down a bit. </p><p> </p><p>

The<strong> RPMs and Cox/Jarrett</strong> match was just there. Nobody really stood out, it seemed like they were just going through the motions. The RPMs came out on top but nobody seemed to care.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Everybody was wore out from the match. I thought I kept it short enough but I guess not. Surprisingly Jarrett had nothing to say about the loss, guess if he’s not the one getting pinned. I don’t know what to do about Davis and Lane. To me they don’t seem to fit here. They’re decent enough in the ring but are so rough looking and Lane is just such a bump on a log during interviews. I give it a <strong>D rating</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

The <strong>RPMs</strong> do a promo demanding a re-match against those savages the <strong>S.S.T’s</strong> in a ring, in a warehouse, in somebody’s garage it don’t matter.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong></p><p>

Davis did all the talking as usual. Another<strong> D rating</strong>. Nobody is doing real great so far.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Wildfire Tommy Rich</strong> defeated the other Nasty Boy Sags. The match wasn’t very good. Rich looked decent but Sags was not his usual self, </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Sags wrestled more like Knobbs while Knobbs wrestled more like Sags in his earlier match. So I give the Knobbs/Trooper match a D rating because they accomplished more than I thought they would and now I give Rich and Sags a <strong>D rating</strong> because they did worse than I expected. Rich does an interview with Schiavone. Here’s fingers crossed it goes over better than the match.</p><p> </p><p>

Rich talks about Black Bart and getting his head busted open by Bart’s “lucky horseshoe”. Rich says Bart’s “luck” is gonna run out eventually.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> That’s better, Rich gets the crowd to respond somewhat garnering a <strong>C- rating </strong>for at least showing us there’s a pulse. We try to add a little gas to the spark and send Bart out to attack Rich at the end of the interview. </p><p> </p><p>

Bart leaves Rich in the ring after a Texas Trash Compacter. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> So much for starting a fire, we lost the crowd with this. I give it a <strong>D rating</strong> which tells me as a whole the audience hated the whole segment from beginning to finish. Usually Bart is pretty reliable and consistent and Rich is usually better than this. Hopefully just an anomaly for these 2.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Wendi Richter</strong> defeated <strong>Candi Divine</strong>. </p><p>

Owner’s Journal: Didn’t set the world on fire but was a better match then Richter has had in the last couple outings so it gets a <strong>D rating</strong> from me. She needs a viable threat to her title. Divine was decent but not seen as being quite up to Richter’s level. </p><p> </p><p>

Richter issues an open challenge to any woman wrestler from anywhere in the world. I’m the best and will beat whoever it takes to prove it.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Richter keeps trying and keeps getting disappointed. An<strong> E rating</strong> I don't think anyone is going to budge these fans. We will see how her open challenge goes at futures events.</p><p> </p><p>

The crowd has been dead and it’s going to look horrible on tv. I send DDP out to to build up some anticipation for the main event.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Diamond Dallas Page</strong> had an interview with Schiavone about Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka's upcoming tag team match against Brad Rheingans and Tom Zenk. Page says Rheingans has the personality of a houseplant and Zenk has it’s brain and they ain’t got a chance against my 10 karat champions Badd Company.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>Page was his usual energetic self getting a <strong>D rating</strong> but the crowd still sat on their hands for the most part. Up next a match I had to question especially since it was requested by Cactus Jack.</p><p> </p><p>

Wahoo and Cactus Jack had a really hard hitting match. It was short but intense and seemed to bring the crowd out of their stupor a little.McDaniel got the pin.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> A strange one as I said. Wahoo beat the hell out of Jack, those chops of his didn’t sound fun, Jack took the punishment and kept coming back for more. I gave it a <strong>C- rating </strong>just because it looked pretty harsh. I thought maybe Wahoo would be upset at Cactus not staying down.</p><p> </p><p>

Wahoo did an in ring interview with Greg Gagne about getting one more chance at Lawler and the world title </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal</strong>:This crowd is tough even Wahoo can’t get them to budge. I give this a <strong>D rating</strong>, it was tough watching McDaniel trying and the crowd not caring. I find out during his interview from Slaughter that Cactus wanted to be hit as hard as possible. He wanted Wahoo’s respect. Slaughter said McDaniel told him the kid can take a hell of a beating. Slaughter informed me that was as good a compliment as anyone would ever get from McDaniel</p><p> </p><p>

Magnum is up and has the next couple of segments, let’s see if the Boss can live up to his nickname especially with this audience.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Magnum TA</strong> took on Graham’s protege <strong>Brian Lee</strong> and got the win with the belly to belly suplex.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Kept it short and Magnum was all business. It seemed to pay off, as Magnum looked like a freaking god by actually getting this crowd to show some life. I give it <strong>C+ rating</strong> for pumping some excitement finally into the show.Things continued…</p><p>

<a href="<a href="http://photobucket.com/" rel="external nofollow">http://photobucket.com/"</a> target="_blank"><img src="<a href="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/Magnum-TA_zpsrrbrhqwp.jpg" rel="external nofollow">http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah290/chrismc048/Southwest%20Championship%20Wrestling/awa89/Magnum-TA_zpsrrbrhqwp.jpg"</a> border="0" alt=" photo Magnum-TA_zpsrrbrhqwp.jpg"/></a></p><p>

Magnum talked to Schiavone saying he’s not here to play games or make jokes. He’s here for one thing ,the AWA world title.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Magnum pulls off that “all business, not to be messed with” interview so well and just sucks the audience in with it, he gets a well earned <strong>C+ rating</strong> for that. Let’s see if we can keep this momentum going.</p><p> </p><p>

Magnum is finishing up the interview when he’s attacked by the <strong>Iron Sheik</strong>. Schiavone is in shock as the Sheik puts on the Camel Clutch.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Magnum is selling this like a star, Sheik is probably not the perceived threat he was a few years ago but is doing his part. Schiavone on the other hand is a different story. But the crowd is responding which is good especially given how things have gone so far tonight.A <strong>C+ rating</strong>, Schiavone was the drag on this segment. Now to close this out.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Sgt. Slaughter</strong> comes running in armed with a chair and chases the Iron Sheik off before too much damage was done. Slaughter helps Magnum up.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Wow! They popped hard for Slaughter saving Magnum from the Camel Clutch and chasing the Iron Sheik off. It gets a <strong>B- rating</strong> from me for getting the crowd the most excited I've seen. </p><p> </p><p>

Schiavone got some words from an angry seriously pissed off Magnum saying he’s never backed down from a fight, from any man , any where and he’s not about to start now. If Sheik wants a piece of him to face him like a man instead of like a coward.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> Magnum was on fire and the crowd red hot for this, I can’t actually believe it. An <strong>A rating</strong> is definitely in order. My decision to offer Magnum the sun and the moon to join the AWA seems like the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done. He’s my superstar, Crockett was dumb as a brick to cast him aside.</p><p> </p><p>

The<strong> Great Kokina</strong> and <strong>Manny Fernandez</strong> got off to a slow start and really never picked up which given the previous segment made sense. Kokina came out on top thanks to a little interference from DeBeers.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>We had DeBeers go out to get some retribution on Fernandez by costing him the match. It gets an <strong>E rating</strong>, the crowd was wore out after the Magnum segments so it’s not too much of a surprise.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Sheik Adnan</strong> has all his Samoans with him and claims the path to the top of the AWA will be made with the bodies of those who stand in the way of the Kokina,Samu,and Fatu.</p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal: </strong>Sheik Adnan was on the ball this week, Graham said he’s never seen a young guy be such a natural like the Great Kokina. His cousins are no where near where Kokina is performance wise. </p><p>

A solid <strong>C rating</strong> from the foursome.</p><p> </p><p>

In the main event <strong>Badd Company</strong> and <strong>Rheingans/Zenk</strong> had a good match that might have rated higher any other night. Diamond pinned Zenk with a superkick. </p><p>

<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong> This was an okay match. Zenk seemed actually excited to be in the ring for once. Diamond and Tanaka were consistent if unspectacular and Rheingans was a machine in the ring as usual. Dallas Page did a fine job getting heat for his team. Funny is interviews and promos are lackluster but he always does well at ringside. A decent effort from all involved to get a <strong>C- rating.</strong></p><p><strong>


<strong>Owner’s Journal:</strong>What was looking like a total disaster for most of the night ended up okay. A <strong>C- rating</strong> for the overall show. I never thought I’d say this but I’m down right giddy with what we ended up.</p>

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