February 19, 2012

Mat Classics: Bockwinkel-Hennig

I first heard of Nick Bockwinkel as being one of the greatest talkers of all time. I started watching AWA mostly to see his interviews, which were great, but what I kept going back for was the matches. AWA was run by Verne Gagne, whose reputation as a "wrestling purist" remains intact more than 20 years after AWA folded up. I had heard of him referred to as such for a long time before I started to understand what "wrestling purist" would even mean in the world of pro wrestling. For a while, I figured it just meant that the characters would be unassuming, and the action in the ring would be- as a rule- boring. It didn't take much AWA to prove that preconception false. Some of the most colorful characters in the biz cut their teeth in Gagne's territory, and some of the matches proved to be all-time classics, such as the one I've chosen to share today.
This is an hour-long bout between the AWA champion Nick Bockwinkel and his young challenger, Curt Hennig, from November 15, 1986. It's one of the finest matches I've ever seen. It's also a shining example of what a "wrestling purist" might consider a near-perfect hour of wrestling. I don't consider myself a purist, but I don't think it takes one to appreciate a match like this. Make yourself a bowl of popcorn, get a few cans of soda ready, and spend some quality time with your computer screen. Hope you enjoy.

If you watch these in a single sitting, does it count towards your 112 in 2012?

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