Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Saturday Morning Ringside: AWF Warriors of Wrestling (1995)

In 1994, Chicago promoter Paul Alperstein came up with a novel idea in professional wrestling, creating a promotion that would have matches contested in a format similar to boxing and the then-up-and-coming UFC.

The American Wrestling Federation, however, was a way station for veteran stars of the AWA, NWA/WCW, and WWF/E who were looking to extend their careers. In short, this was really no different than any number of independent promotions in the US that will sign name talent to boost attendance or, in Alperstein's case, television ratings.

AWF Warriors of Wrestling premiered 22 years ago, with former AWA announcer Mick Karch doing play-by-play alongside Terry Taylor. You won't hear it in the premiere, but over the course of the two year run, Taylor would demonstrate some skills as an impressionist, doing mimics of Dusty Rhodes, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and others, while pretending to abandon Karch in the booth.

Richard Land offers up the series opener, featuring veterans such as Sgt. Slaughter, Greg Valentine, Tony Atlas, and Tito Santana.



Matches were meant to be 3 rounds, 4 minutes apiece, with a short rest break in between rounds. Translated, it was a 15 minute time limit with a twist. Unfortunately, the AWF didn't last long on local screens, if at all, and was a distant memory by the time the bigger promotions began the "Monday Night Wars".

Rating: B-.

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