Saturday, July 30, 2011
Road Warriors vs Harley Race/Stan Hansen
I did some research on this card because aside from this being a kind of unusual match, I didn't expect to hear Gordon Solie do play-by-play on a card with the AWA Tag Champions. I'm not saying Gordon never worked with the AWA, but I just was not aware of it. Well it turns out this was from a card called NWA/AWA Battle of the Belts 1985. The color commentator is Mike Graham who was running CWF (Championship Wrestling from Florida) at the time since his father Eddie had committed suicide on Super Bowl Sunday 85.
This really is a fun brawl despite the non-finish. Harley clearly wasn't in his prime anymore, but he still projected the tough, grizzled bad ass. The Road Warriors were fairly early into their legendary run and look completely jacked here. The no-selling is off the charts. That one spot where Harley hits Hawk with the cowbell was completely disregarded for example. Stan Hansen is the star of the match for me. Honestly, Stan would easily be one of my 10 favorite wrestlers of all-time had he not just been a picture and a name in the Apter Mags when I was a kid. Stan is a lot like Ole Anderson that I appreciate him more now. The difference was that as a kid I saw Ole, but only saw him during the Horsemen Era and never saw all of his brilliant work before that. Beyond that Ole wasn't the type of character that was going to impress a kid the way he would a 30+ year old wrestling blogger. In Stan's case, I knew about him. I was glad when I saw he won the AWA belt. I remember his run in WCW fondly, but I just did not get to see enough of him since he was in Japan so much. His tough, wild man, cowboy gimmick is awesome. He stands toe-to-toe with the roided up Warriors and looks every bit as bad ass as they do.
Anyhow, this was a really fun match for me due to the individuals involved. Hope you enjoyed.