The PPV logo used for the event
|Promotion||American Wrestling Association|
|Date||December 13, 1988|
SuperClash III was the third SuperClash professional wrestling event produced by American Wrestling Association (AWA). The event was held on December 13, 1988 from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. It was the only AWA show to be broadcast on pay-per-view (PPV). The Texas-based World Class Wrestling Association (WCWA; formerly known as World Class Championship Wrestling), women wrestling promotion Powerful Women of Wrestling (POWW), and Memphis-based Championship Wrestling Association (CWA) also provided wrestlers for the show.
Twelve matches were contested at the event. The main event was a tag team match, in which The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) fought The Stud Stable (Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden) to a double disqualification. The penultimate match was the most important match of the event, in which the AWA World Heavyweight Champion Jerry Lawler defeated the WCWA World Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich in a title unification match to unify the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship into the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
The show was poorly received, not a financial success and soon after the WCWA was bought out by Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett and merged with the CWA to become the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). The show was added to the WWE Network in June 2016.
The opening match of the event was a six-man tag team match in which the Guerrero brothers Chavo Guerrero, Mando Guerrero and Hector Guerrero took on Cactus Jack and Rock 'n' Roll RPMs (Mike Davis and Tommy Lane). Chavo hit a moonsault to Lane for the win.
Next, Iceman King Parsons defended the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship against Brickhouse Brown. Brown hit a flying bodypress to Parsons and covered him for the pinfall, assuming that he had won the title while Parsons had put his foot on the bottom rope. Parsons then grabbed a foreign object and hit Brown with it to retain the title.
The match was followed by a six-person mixed tag team match pitting The Top Guns (Ricky Rice and Derrick Dukes) and Wendi Richter against Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka) and Madusa Miceli, where Badd Company's World Tag Team Championship and Richter's World Women's Championship were on the line. Near the end of the match, Madusa held Richter while Tanaka tried to hit a savate kick but Richter ducked and Madusa was accidentally hit with it, allowing Richter to pin Madusa to retain her title. Stipulations for the match said that both the women's title and tag title were on the line but only changed hands depending on who pinned whom. Therefor, Badd Company retained their tag team championship.
Next, Greg Gagne took on Ron Garvin for the vacant International Television Championship. The action spilled to the outside of the ring until Gagne went back to the ring before the ten count to win the match and the vacant title.
Next, Sgt. Slaughter took on Colonel DeBeers in a Boot Camp match. Slaughter put on a helmet and hit DeBeers with it and applied a cobra clutch for the win. After the match, The Iron Sheik and Shiek Adnan Al-Kaissey attacked Slaughter until the Guerreros made the save.
Next, The Samoan Swat Team (Samu and Fatu) defended the WCWA World Tag Team Championship against Michael Hayes and Steve Cox. A brawl broke out between Samu and Fox and several referees tried to break it, allowing Buddy Roberts to hit Hayes with his wallet and Fatu then pinned Hayes to retain the titles.
Later, Wahoo McDaniel took on Manny Fernandez in an Indian Strap match. McDaniel touched all four corners to win the match. Fernandez attacked McDaniel after the match until Tatsumi Fujinami made the save.
Main event matches
The title unification match was the major highlight of the event, in which Jerry Lawler's AWA World Heavyweight Championship and Kerry Von Erich's WCWA World Heavyweight Championship were on the line and the match would result in the WCWA title being unified into the AWA title. Near the end of the match, Von Erich applied an Iron Claw on Lawler but the referee stopped the match due to Von Erich's excessive bleeding, rendering him unable to continue and awarding the victory to Lawler, making him the undisputed world champion.
The main event of SuperClash III was a tag team match in which The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) took on Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden. Near the end of the match, Morton and Gibson hit a double dropkick to Golden and attempted to cover him for the pinfall but Fuller interfered and both teams brawled in the ring, leading the referee to disqualify both teams.
SuperClash III was very poorly received as the event was not a financial success and Verne Gagne did not pay the visiting talent their share of amount for their participation due to low buyrates. Many professional wrestling experts have considered the event to be the downfall of AWA as people refused to work for Gagne for breaking his promise of not paying wrestlers. The most notable criticism came from the AWA World Heavyweight Champion Jerry Lawler, who was not paid for his participation in the event and Gagne ultimately stripped him off the title and buried him on AWA television.
Adam Nedeff of 411Mania rated it 4.2 out of 10 stars, considering it a poor event citing "Terrible, but not as terrible as I was expecting, which might be the most glowing review anyone ever gave this show."
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- "SuperClash III". Pro Wrestling History. December 13, 1988. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
- "WWE Network Adding AWA Supershows, WWE On Incredible Superstar Reunions (Video), Birthdays". Wrestling Inc. 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
- Scott Keith (July 31, 2002). "The SmarK Retro Repost – AWA Superclash III". Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Ryan Murphy; Bobby Melok (May 2, 2012). "The sensational history of the AWA". WWE. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Adam Nedeff (November 25, 2018). "The Name on the Marquee: Super Clash III (12.13.1988)". 411Mania. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.