Saturday, January 10, 2009

Time to re-evaluate the champ ....

Readers of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter will be familiar with Meltzer’s Observer Star Ratings List applied to all major league matches. The following list shows matches scoring between 3 and 5 stars from the JCP/NWA/WCW leagues (i.e. excluding WWF/E)

Zenk features 8 times in match's with more than 3*'s over the period 1990 – 1992, placing him 3rd in the list of top babyfaces for the period, behind Pillman and Sting.

FACES number of matches in the top 92 of 1990 - 92
Pillman 20
Sting 12
Zenk - 8 ( 4 in singles and 4 in tag)
Rhodes - 8
Douglas - 3

Eaton - 22
Steiner Bros - 16
Anderson - 14
Flair - 13 (moved to WWF in August 1991 returning early 1993)
Windham - 13
Luger - 10

The List

1990 (34 matches)

2/6/90 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Doom (Titles vs. Masks) ***
2/17/90 Rock & Roll Express vs. Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane ***1/2
2/17/90 Arn Anderson vs. Shane Douglas ***1/4
2/17/90 Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman ****1/2
2/18/90 Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Rock & Roll Express ****+
2/25/90 Rock & Roll Express vs. Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane ****1/4
2/25/90 Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger ****1/2
3/24/90 Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton ***3/4
5/19/90 Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane vs. Brian Pillman/Tom Zenk ***3/4
5/19/90 Doom vs. Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner ***1/4
5/19/90 Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger (Cage) ***1/2
6/13/90 Rock & Roll Express vs. Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane ***1/4
6/13/90 Barry Windham vs. Doug Furnas ***
6/13/90 Doom vs. Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner ***3/4
6/13/90 Paul Orndorff vs. Arn Anderson ***
7/7/90 Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane vs. Southern Boys ****3/4
7/7/90 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Michael Hayes/Jimmy Garvin ***1/4
7/7/90 Lex Luger vs. Mean Mark ***
7/7/90 Sting vs. Ric Flair ***3/4
8/18/90 Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane vs. Brian Pillman/Tom Zenk ***1/2
9/5/90 Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair ***3/4
9/21/90 Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Eaton ***3/4
9/22/90 Scott Steiner vs. Ric Flair ***1/2
9/22/90 Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane vs. Southern Boys ***1/2
9/23/90 Scott Steiner vs. Arn Anderson ***
10/?/90 Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane vs. Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner ***3/4
10/27/90 Tommy Rich/Ricky Morton vs. Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane ***1/2
10/27/90 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Nasty Boys ***3/4
10/27/90 Doom vs. Arn Anderson/Ric Flair ***
11/20/90 Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Landel ***1/2
12/16/90 Bobby Eaton vs. Tom Zenk ***
12/16/90 Lex Luger vs. Stan Hansen ***1/4
12/16/90 Doom vs. Arn Anderson/Barry Windham (Street Fight) ****
12/16/90 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Masa Saito/Great Muta ***1/4

1991 (27 matches)

1/30/91 Tom Zenk vs. Bobby Eaton ***
1/30/91 Terry Taylor vs. Ricky Morton ***
2/24/91 Bobby Eaton vs. Brad Armstrong ***1/4
2/24/91 Itsuki Yamazaki/Mami Kitamura vs. Miss A/Miki Handa ***1/2
2/24/91 Terry Taylor vs. Tom Zenk ***1/2
2/24/91 Lex Luger vs. Dan Spivey ***3/4
2/24/91 Ric Flair/Arn Anderson/Larry Zbyszko/Barry Windham/Sid Vicious vs. Sting/Brian Pillman/ Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner (War Games) *****
4/13/91 Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman ****
4/27/91 Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman ****
5/19/91 Michael Hayes/Jimmy Garvin vs. Young Pistols ***1/2
5/19/91 Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman ***1/2
5/19/91 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Sting/Lex Luger ****1/2
5/19/91 Bobby Eaton vs. Arn Anderson ***1/4
5/19/91 Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami ***3/4
6/12/91 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Hiroshi Hase/Masahiro Chono ****
6/12/91 Ric Flair vs. Bobby Eaton (2/3 falls) ***1/2
7/14/91 Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham ***
9/5/91 Brian Pillman vs. Badstreet ***3/4
10/27/91 Bobby Eaton vs. Terrence Taylor ***1/2
10/27/91 Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes ***1/2
10/27/91 Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons (2/3 falls) ***1/2
11/?/91 Bobby Eaton vs. Johnny B. Badd ***1/4
11/?/91 Sting vs. Cactus Jack (Submission or Surrender) ****1/4
11/17/91 Ricky Steamboat/Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson/Larry Zbyszko ****1/4
11/17/91 Rick Rude vs. Sting ***
12/29/91 Lex Luger/Arn Anderson vs. Terrence Taylor/Tom Zenk ***1/4
12/29/91 Sting/Abdullah the Butcher vs. Bobby Eaton/Brian Pillman ***1/4

1992 (31 matches)

1/?/92 Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat ***1/2
1/21/92 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Big Van Vader/Mr. Hughes ***1/4
1/21/92 Brian Pillman/Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Taylor Made Man/Tracy Smothers ***1/2
1/21/92 Cactus Jack vs. Van Hammer (Falls Count Anywhere) ***1/2
1/21/92 Dustin Rhodes/Ron Simmons/Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton/Larry Zbyszko ****
1/21/92 Sting/Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude/Steve Austin ***
2/29/92 Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Liger ****3/4
2/29/92 Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko/Steve Austin ***3/4
2/29/92 Bobby Eaton/Arn Anderson vs. Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner ***1/4
4/4/92 Brian Pillman vs. Brad Armstrong ***3/4
5/17/92 Brian Pillman vs. Tom Zenk ***3/4
5/17/92 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Tatsumi Fujinami/Takayuki Iizuka ***3/4
5/17/92 Sting/Nikita Koloff/Ricky Steamboat/Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes vs. Rick Rude/Steve Austin/Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton/Larry Zbyszko (War Games) *****
5/?/92 Rick Rude vs. Dustin Rhodes ***3/4
6/16/92 Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton ***1/4
6/16/92 Jushin Liger/Brian Pillman vs. Chris Benoit/Biff Wellington ****1/4
6/16/92 Terry Gordy/Steve Williams vs. Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner ****
6/20/92 Sting vs. Cactus Jack (Falls Count Anywhere) ****1/2
6/20/92 Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude (30:00 Iron Man Challenge) ***1/2
6/20/92 Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner vs. Terry Gordy/Steve Williams ***1/4
7/?/92 Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin ***3/4
7/12/92 Ricky Steamboat/Nikita Koloff vs. Jushin Liger/Brian Pillman ***1/4
7/12/92 Big Van Vader vs. Sting ****
8/?/92 Tom Zenk/Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Terry Taylor/Scotty Flamingo ***1/4
9/2/92 Ricky Steamboat vs. Steve Austin ***1/4
9/2/92 Rick Rude/Jake Roberts/Big Van Vader/Super Invader vs. Sting/Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner/Nikita Koloff ***1/4
10/25/92 Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman ***1/4
10/25/92 Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin/Steve Williams ***
12/28/92 Barry Windham/Great Muta vs. Brian Pillman/Too Cold Scorpio ***1/4
12/28/92 Ricky Steamboat/Shane Douglas vs. Brian Pillman/Barry Windham ****1/4
12/28/92 Big Van Vader vs. Sting ****1/2

Does anyone have a DVD of this match?

AWF Pumpkin Brawl 1996 with Tom Zenk, Sgt. Slaughter, Santana, Nailz, Sheik

By Brian Hoops, Specialist Contributor

PW Nostalgia Review
"AWF Pumpkin Brawl 1996"
By Brian Hoops, Specialist Contributor
October 19, 2007

This week's look at nostalgia takes us back to the American Wrestling Federation and the "Pumpkin Brawl 96." The AWF was a national professional wrestling
organization, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1994 by promoter Paul Alperstein. The organization was short-lived, lasting only until December 1996 and enjoyed only limited success. The company ran several house shows and was building towards running a PPV event, but closed before a PPV card could be put together. The AWF did have syndicated television, however it was on a very limited basis. Sportschannel America, a satellite company carried the program in its weekly block of wrestling during 1995 and 1996. The AWF heavyweight champion was Tito Santana and the tag team champions were Greg Valentine and Tommy Rich.

One of the house shows the company ran occurred October 23, 1996 in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Pumpkin Brawl 1996. The reason this show makes our nostalgia review was the autograph session held prior to the wrestling card and the legends that appeared. As Minneapolis was the heart of AWA territory, several former AWA stars were on hand before the card in an autograph signing session. Stars that were signing autographs included; Rock & Roll Buck Zumhoff, Tito Santana, Sgt. Slaughter, Tom Zenk, Baron Von Raschke, Eddie Sharkey and Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie. The show was broadcast on local cable access with Mick Karsch handling the play-by-play duties.

First match of the evening was Wayne Bloom against the Joker. Wayne Bloom was a former AWA World Tag Team champion and former WWF World Tag Team champion, as one half of the Beverly Brothers. The Joker was a small, local guy in a mask. Bloom didn't work very hard and the match wasn't very good. Finish came when the Joker threw Bloom into the ropes and tried to follow up with a splash. Bloom moved and rolled up the Joker for the three count.

[photo by Wade Keller (c) PWTorch]

Next match is tag team action, featuring former AWA alumnus, former WCW World TV Champion and former WWF World Tag Team Title holder Tom Zenk teaming with local wrestler Billy Blaze against local wrestlers the Chi-Town Thug and The Hater. The Hater had a tryout match with WCW in the late 90's. This was a pretty-good match, considering local independent talent worked most of the match. Zenk worked early in the match, gaining the upper hand on the Thug before tagging in Blaze. Thug and Hater worked over Blaze most of the match, before Blaze made the hot tag to Zenk. Finish came when Blaze threw Thug into Hater's elbow and Blaze covered thug for the pin. Zenk gave Hater a superkick and threw him into the wall after the pin.

Lenny Lane vs. Horace the Psychopath is next. Both guys are local Minneapolis based wrestlers, but Lane would go on to wrestle for WCW in the late 90's, winning the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship. Being at the event live and seeing Lane for the first time, you could tell he had a ton of potential. Horace was doing the escaped inmate from the insane asylum gimmick, but he could hold his own in the ring with Lane. This was a very good match, that had ample time to build. In fact, it was a better match than the majority of what WCW or WWF would put on PPV in 1996. Finish came when Lane gave Horace a flip tope over the top rope to the floor and rolled Horace back into the ring. Lane tried to do a moonsault off the top rope, but Horace moved and did a senton onto Lane then covered him for the win.

Local wrestlers J.B. Trask and Dan Jesser were in the next match. Trask received a tryout match a few years later with WCW in a dark match prior to Nitro. Match itself was nothing special with Trask rolling Jesser up for the pinfall.

Next match is a tag team match; Tito Santana & Sgt. Slaughter vs. The Black Top Bully (Barry Darsow) & Nailz (Kevin Wacholz). Nailz and Bully were managed by Sheik Kaissey. From a nostalgia standpoint, the match was great as all four had wrestled previously in WWF and AWA and had numerous championships between them, however all the guys were past their primes and the match itself wasn't very good. All four guys were counted out of the ring for the finish.

Main event was an over the top battle royal, called "The Pumpkin Brawl." The guys used in the battle royal were the local, independent wrestlers. The in ring action was very good. Horace the psychopath was the Pumpkin Brawl battle royal when he eliminated Lenny Lane.

Summary: I was at this house show live and it was fun seeing some of the stars of the AWA that I grew up watching. The wrestling on the show was very good with the independent wrestlers putting on a strong effort and several showing potential. It was a fun evening of wrestling.

Next week we look go back 15 years and look at the WCW Halloween Havoc 1992 PPV.

I hope you enjoyed this week's column. As always your questions, comments and thoughts are always welcomed, and you can contact me at vs. Jushin Liger (late '95) – 28 (3)