Welcome Back Heroes! I have all the corp together today in a hidden part of the Satellite…. the gaming simulation deck. We are orbiting over the desert planet of Tatooine, home of the notorious Hutts that we are familiar with as fans of the Star Wars franchise. I am about to take us all to the Star Wars version of the Bermuda triangle..the notorious Sarlacc Pit! Its a place even the bravest of souls fear. As this is a simulation..we are going straight into the mouth of The Mighty Sarlacc! Strap in tight crew..this could go bad at any point!

Transmission Date Oct. 5 2016

Birthdays as a kid always were an exciting time. It meant sometimes a party, friends, cake, and of course getting stuff! Unlike Christmas, Birthdays were the only times you didnt have to go by the “Giving is better than receiving” mantra. It was 1983 and I was turning 9 and as you all know I was a huge Star Wars toy collector! I had not yet seen the third chapter of the Star Wars series Return of the Jedi as we did not have a theater in our community at that point…however I did see the merchandise and felt despite not having seen the movie I had a good grasp on this thing.

The commericals for the toys told me all  the backstory I needed while I waited to hit a theater to see the movie. My Marvel Comics Adaptation spoiled the hell of the movie so I was an expert before I saw it on the big screen ruining it for any of my friends who dared go to the movie before me. 

Merchandise for the first two movies were pretty extensive. There were a plethora of action figures and multiple playsets and vehicles available for The original movie and its sequel Empire. Things changed with Jedi however..we saw plenty of figures and vehicles..however Playsets took a significant hit. With so many key scenes in the movie some of the toys were recycled from the empire collections but among the vast collection there were few playsets to encompass the great sets of Jedi! No Jabbas palace and or Skiff Barge? No new Death Star? They did have an amazing Ewok treehouse set that almost makes me forgive them for dialing back on the big sets.

One glaring ommission was the Sarlacc Pit! If there was ever a playset waiting to be made it was that. A key part of Return Of The Jedi was when Jabba The Hutt ordered the rebel Heroes Han, Luke and Chewbacca be thrown to their death into a large pit containing The Sarlacc Monster that swallowed living things whole..including humans! The heroes were delivered over the top of the Sarlacc via a wicked floating skiff barge and sports the biggest action scene in the movie! Yet…no Sarlacc Pit toy was made in that time. The toy commerical had kids playing with a bucket and sand to simulate the infamous scene! 

Vintage Star Wars Commercials! CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

For all intents and purposes Star wars kids better have an active imagination to recreate this part of the movie! Then it happened..Parker Brothers the leading board game company at the time released the closest thing to a Great Pit Of Carkoon playset as we would get..The Battle At Sarlacc’s Pit board game! It was a multiplayer boardgame which featured a cardboard 3D Sarlacc Pitt complete with hole in the mouth area to swallow game pieces! It also boasted an excellent cardboard skiff! Finally…I had myself a small skiff and Sarlacc! Ill be honest..I may have played the game twice then it simply became a playset for my figures!! It was probably a little less cool than I am describing but I have strong memories of unwrapping and playing with this thing!!

Was the game itself anygood? The answer is simple….NO. To understand how this is possible Ill fill you padawans into why the game aspect of the toy sucked. First lets start with more positive…not only did we get cool 3D versions of a Skiff and The Mighty Sarlacc pit we also got 16 StarWars plactic molded mini figures. I hated them at the time as they were non posable..poorly painted and very small. We got a very horrible Jabba figure which was very stumpy, poorly painted and small? They didnt even try with Jabba clearly…

 We also got a decent Nikto figure (What no Weequay??) and 9 Gammorean Guard figures! We also got a Boba Fett pawn which would normally excite any Star Wars fan..but sadly he too was poorly rendered and painted. 

The 4 Player pawns of course were Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and Princess Leia. Leia was surprisingly NOT in her slave girl costume from the actual scene in the movie but rather she was clad in her Endor forest garb?? Not sure if the powers that be assumed the slave gear was not kid friendly but eitherway having Leia in her Endor moon attire in the miserable desert heat is an interesting quirk! 

The game play was very simple. The skiff itself was the game board and featured a number of tiles from one side to the other of which the player pawns moved about. Most of the spots on the board where taken up by Jabbas cronies. On the very opposite of the board rested the vile Hutt himself Jabba! 

The objective of the game was to cross the skiff successfully to the other side while dispatching Jabbas goons into the waiting Sarlacc and avoiding getting eliminated yourself to finally send Jabba packing and become the winner! 

Sounds fun right!! It sure did..however the ackward board setup did not give a ton of surface space to actually play so you were constantly sweeping extra undeserving badguys into the pit and sometimes your fellow players! As frustrating as the falling pawns situation was the card system sucked too. As you knocked badguys into the pit you collected points cards and of course whoever collected the most card points won the game..the trick is though usually the first player always had the advantage..ugghh.

After exactly two days the cards and plastic game pawns were discarded into the closet and the Cardboard Skiff and Sarlacc Pit became the best Sarlacc Pit Playset available for Return Of The Jedi at the time!!

In summary..despite the poor game play and horrendous figurine collection this game is an amazing playset..so I would encourage collectors to not pass over this rare piece of Star Wars history!

So much for this post being a Flash Transmission as we went slightly into overtime but it was well worth it! 

Hope you have enjoyed your stay aboard The SuperHero Satellite much more to come in the coming weeks…stay tuned!!

Transmission Ended..




Final Days of The AWA

Welcome Back Heroes! The Satellite archives have initialized and a we are on course into a Black Hole to furthest reaches of the inter-webs where no wrestling site has dared cover. The viewing deck of the Satellite has completed scanning the vintage files and today our journey takes us to the year 1986. During our time here we will witness a once dominant wrestling company on the brink of annihilation from a relentless competitor. Their glory days  are heralded…their final hours stand largely undocumented. Today we will review  the final days of The American Wrestling Association.

Begin Transmission: 07/08/2016

Anyone who knows me knows I am “That guy who likes wrestling”. To some that may be a good thing, to others they may not admit to knowing me at times but I digress. I have watched Pro Wrestling passionately since 1986. I was a huge WWF (World Wrestling Federation aka WWE for todays fan..did I just do that?) mark, but as my wrestling passion grew I took a strong liking to the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance aka WCW in case you didn’t know!) Hell I watched everything I could at the time which was not much with our weak cable lineup. I managed to get WWF, which had two shows a week and if we were real lucky we got a Saturday Nights Main Event every now and then! With NWA you managed to get it sporadically when ever one of the cable networks got a local clearance. Usually it aired late night Saturday Night well into the witching hour! I also absorbed a brief run of UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation ran by Bill Watts!) Sunday afternoons for a short period just prior to its NWA acquisition. Living in Canada I was treated to Stampede Wrestling Saturday Mornings for 2 hours! On top of all this I caught up with all the other promotions on a Wrestling Highlights show called Pro Wrestling Plus hosted by Stampede Announcer Ed Whalen! One show however caught my imagination and despite it being in its final years as a viable promotion The American Wrestling Association was a favorite of mine every Wednesday evening on TSN!

AWA main

AWA began as a Minnesota based wrestling territory in 1960 bleeding off the National Wrestling Alliance banner in the South. The AWA under the guidance of owner Verne Gagne and Wally Karbo. The AWA for those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of watching it boasted a massive roster of stars and future stars that would one day transform wrestling as we knew it in the 80s. Names like Hulk Hogan, Jesse The Body Ventura, The Road Warriors, Rick Martel, Stan Hansen, The Freebird’s, Mean Gene Okerland, Bobby The Brain Heenan and a ton more would hit the big time after departing the company for greener pastures in the WWF and NWA and become the biggest stars in the industry. Sustaining losses of this magnitude left the AWA scrambling to keep its spot among the top of the best wrestling promotions in North America. It was the birthplace of Hulkamania long before the WWF turned him into a household name. How did a promotion who had the biggest available roster of talent as well as the single biggest young star just breaking in the business simply implode upon itself? The answers are not as clear as you would think!


The Gagne Problem:

Verne Gagne who booked the promotion was certain to protect his business. The cartoon circus atmosphere of the WWF was the exact opposite of what he thought wrestling should be, however that’s what the audience of the mid 80s were clamoring for. The Rock and Wrestling Era was born and Verne’s ideals were being left behind in the dust. Despite people talking in his ear, Gagne wanted to present straight wrestling. He didn’t value the musical entrances, the flashy costumes and the over the top cartoon gimmicks. Verne maintained a firm belief that HIS idea about pro wrestling was strictly wrestling in the squared circle. The Gagne’s were in essence cementing their companies grave. The territory system of wrestling had a defined set of rules were promoters all around the United States followed the age-old handshake agreement not to interfere with the business of another territorial promotion. Championship reigns were discussed and the local scene was highly regulated…until the World Wrestling Federation broke all the rules of engagement. Gagnes old school mentality was about to be shattered. Agreements and unspoken rules were ignored and broken as a result the grim reaper was looming and its next victim would be the AWA. The AWA would not go quickly to its grave however it survived from late 1986 to its last hour in the early 90s. A  company set in its ways  was about to get a lesson in “Changing With The Times”a battle in which Verne Gagne would be dragged kicking and screaming  until it was too late.



Many would argue that the glory years of the promotion were over midway through the 80s and the remaining years are rarely mentioned in discussions on the AWA. I had quite a fondness for this era as a kid and like everything I watched back then. I was hopelessly hooked! Sadly the Hulk Hogan’s were replaced with Curt Hennig, The Road Warriors and The Freebirds were replaced by The Midnight Rockers and Playboy Buddy Rose and Doug Summers. Mean Gene was now replaced by Larry Nelson,Lee Marshall, and a young brash Eric Bischoff. Yes..times changed but little did we know that despite the apparent diminished roster (Not in this writers opinion!!) we were also witnessing the birth of a whole New Generation of wrestling stars.


The first televised AWA TV show that was stuck in my memory featured one of my faves Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka (Pre-Murder Charges)  feuding with Col. Debeer’s a wrestler with a  racist South African Militant gimmick. Snuka was pushed off the top rope to the concrete floor and that was followed up with a series of piledriver’s to the  concrete floor busting Superfly horrificaly wide open . This was NOT Saturday Morning WWF Superstars Of Wrestling..this was dead serious wrestling. It was a train wreck I couldnt look away from. Tuning in week after week I was introduced to a whole new world of talent ….and others not so talented.

The Last Act.


Any discussion in this era cannot begin without discussing one of the AWAs hottest exports The Midnight Rockers. A team obviously “Inspired” by the success of NWA’s Rock N Roll Express. Shawn Micheal’s and Marty Jannetty were a level of excitement that was hard to explain. To my childhood eyes The Rockers were “cool” and I mean really cool. They were built better that the Express, they dressed better and wore great sunglasses. Plus even in those days you could tell that Shawn and Marty were more than a little special. They drop kicked higher, and were over like no one else on that show. Bottom line the Midnight Rockers were electric! With a depleted tag scene the Rockers came at just the right time! Their long-term opponents were the make shift team of Playboy Buddy Rose and Pretty Boy Doug Summers who were managed by Sherri Martel. Rose and Summers at the time were the AWA Tag Team Champions and in my 11-year-old mind I never understood why. Rose was seriously out of shape and Somers was a shade above jobber status and not in shape either but they could bump and magically played well off of their popular polar opposites The Midnight Rockers.


It would be a lesson in psychology as it was the first time I got to digest “The Chase” as The Rockers could not take the belts away from these heels and often came up short-handed. It was not until months later the Rockers finally won a title shot in a very bloody Steel Cage match in December of 1986! The Rockers would win the tag straps just a month later and I was super excited. This in my opinion, was the best wrestling outside of the WWF or at least comparable! I had not experienced the glory days so I had no idea that this was the worst product the AWA had produced for years. Then something happened that would be repeated time and time again for AWA’s final years…the WWF came knocking for Shawn and Marty. This would play out with the AWA champions time and time again as you will soon see and as a result winning a title was basically your ticket OUT of the AWA and for viewers..that sucked.Then came the Russians..

AWA Russians

As a fan, I did not get to enjoy The Midnight Rockers as Tag Team champions as they dropped the straps abruptly to a less than stellar Russian tag team of Soldat Ustinov and Boris Zhukov. I could really tell that this Russian team were not top calibre performers. Soldat Ustinov didnt look anymore Russian than I was and paled in comparison to a “Real” Russian that I watched every week on WWF TV, Nikolai Volkoff! The other half of the AWAs Russians was Boris Zhukov a very strange looking wrestler with a giant head however Boris managed to look “Russian” enough to pull off the act. These guys had no business beating The Rockers and even as a kid I felt something was up but I was still too young to figure out what politics were transpiring behind the scenes in the wrestling world.

The “Cool” Curt Hennig Era

 While the Tag Team situation was very cloudy The Heavyweight singles division was about to experience its final bright period.  Nick Bockwinkle was multiple times the AWA’s champion and it was evident that change was coming to fight the rushing tide of the WWF. Bockwinkle as good as he was represented the old guard and the company had to freshen things up at the top of the card. Bockwinkle to me seeemed older but surprised me how good he was on the mic and with bumping in the ring! Bockwinkle rarely defended on televisionwith one fatal exception…The Nick Bockwinkle vs.Verne Gagne retirement match! I knew this as his match inside and out as it was shown over and over ad nauseam. In this much ballyhooed match Gagne defeated Bockwinkle to win the strap..only to give it back to him later by default as Gagne officially retired.I always felt this not only devalued the AWA title but also Bockwinkle to simply accept a belt after LOSING!!? As we will learn AWA straps in this era would hold very little value. The title switched back and forth between Slick Nick, Otto Wanz, Jumbo Tsuruta, Rick Martel, and Stan Hansen just to name a few but always came back to the warm hands of Bockwinkle who booker Verne Gagne trusted with the prestigious championship.The only problem was that on two occasions Nick was simply “Handed” the title without winning any match? This would only be the start of the issues with the official lineage of the AWA title!



Nick Bockwinkle’s character had transformed in this period from a distinguished intellectual heel who used big words on ever occasion to smooth confident face champion. Bockwinkle, who was famously paired with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in a dynamic heel duo, was now solo as Heenan had been swept to the greener pastures of the WWF . Gagne was watching the early stages of his companies fall from grace. Nick was a great technician and one of the most aired matches of the AWA TSN show was a match against a young upstart named Curt Henning.



Hennig was very good at this time. He was no rookie and had tenure in the ring in AWA and WWF and was also  fresh off a tag team run with Big Scott Hall...(yes that Scott Hall) who had also left the AWA for the NWA.  Nick would accept Hennig’s challenge on AWA TV only to go to a time limit draw which I bought hook line and sinker. Hennig had come so far and with this match and had “proven” with his time in the ring he was “ready’ Curt was given a rematch at AWA’s Superclash 87. This was a pivotal match for the company as it was not only  Bockwinkle’s unofficial exit from the company but also began a serious heel turn for Hennig. Curt Hennig won the AWA World title with some controversial help from long time AWA heel Larry Zybysko and an infamous “Roll Of Dimes”. Curt went on to be a great heel and a real stand out for the AWA! Hennig’s earnest baby face promos were replaced by a new “Cool” Curt persona and as the weeks went by Hennig began showing the seeds of his future role in the WWF as Mr. Perfect. It is fair to say Curt “Perfected” his  future role in the AWA!


Finally the AWA’s woman’s division was also barely alive at this time but as with everything else in the company it too was reeling from the effects of the WWF’s national expansion. Not even the ladies were safe from Vince McMahon’s deep WWF pocket book. Longtime AWA female competitor and champion Sherri Martel, was a big part of the AWA’s fabric. Not only was she AWA women’s champion but she was also manager to Somers and Rose and Mr.Magnificent Kevin Kelly just to name a few. Martel was a very gifted wrestler and a great manager. Sherri brought the best out of everyone she shared the spotlight with. She was a legitimately tough lady who was a weird mix of leather tough and unusually sexy. She was the center piece to their makeshift women’s division and a big part of the men’s scene as well. The WWF loomed over this division as well stealing the very talented Martel for  own women’s division. Thankfully the AWA was given a present…as Martel exited another talent emerged in the form of Madusa Miceli! Madusa was a very raw wrestler who seemed to have not only the look of a champion but carried herself like a bona-fide star in the ring. Miceli was the key to keeping the women’s division on life support as well as filling the role as Martel’s impromptu replacement with talent. Madusa formally took over Martel’s role as valet for Kevin Kelly. Martel would leave the AWA without dropping the women’s title thus leaving the title vacant. (Title Vacancies Haunted The AWA during this period) After a title tournament Micelli defeated longtime division stalwart, Candi Devine to win the AWA Women’s title. Madusa would throw herself into the main event scene managing the newly minted heel champion Curt Hennig.


Despite the massive losses incurred, the AWA had its own new generation of stars with Hennig, The Rockers and Madusa at the top of the card. As a new fan I loved this version of the AWA. I connected with all these new stars. Maybe..just maybe, the AWA could survive the onslaught of Vincent Kennedy McMahon Jr. and his national expansion talent purchases. Many of the wrestlers who got WWF contracts went on to big money contracts and national exposure that would keep them employed years after their performing years were over. The WWF took care of their performers financially like no other company had before and as a result when Vinnie Mac called..you went!  McMahon was a visionary at that time, and looked at wrestling through a new lens. He adopted popular mediums at the time such as music and entertainment and carefully weaved it into a wrestling tapestry. What Vince was doing was creating the future of the industry while others like Verne Gagne and many inside the AWA battled hard to keep away from their company. A costly error in hindsight.  Sadly this would be the last hope the AWA had to stay relevant and the seams of the company would come undone near the end of 1987 at the height of the WWF.


The next year things would begin to sink in. The Midnight Rockers left the AWA for a very brief stint in the WWF re-minting themselves as “The Rockers” in effect desolating the AWA Tag Team scene. As Verne Gagne was looking at life after the Rockers, a partnership with Jerry Lawler and The CWA (Championship Wrestling ) in mid 1989 looked to cross promote events and utilize new talent on both promotions TV. The idea was sound but the execution showed pure desperation. To make matters even worse the talent raids had spilled into the latter end of the undercard too as WWF took the AWA Tag team champions again just months after taking their previous tag champions. It seemed like every time a champion was crowned the WWF was there waiting to scoop them up! This time however they came for one half of the Russians Boris Zhukov leaving Soldat Ustinov alone. The decision was made to place him with Doug Somers who as well lost his partner Buddy Rose to the WWF as well.



The cracks were widening and maybe the CWA partnership could slow the bleeding. I was a huge wrestling magazine fan as well a fan of Pro Wrestling Plus so I was aware of the Memphis Territory and had seen a small dose of their product which was very good. I had read all about The King Jerry Lawler and when Bill Dundee and The King won the tag team straps in October of 1987 I was excited again see him finally on my TV screen! ! Lawler was magnetic on the mic and his promos were very well done..and I had something to celebrate. So with zero storyline background on screen, Lawler and Dundee appeared on AWA TV with belts in hand!

Lawler Dundee Champs

Trying to stay relevant, the AWA always tried to appear unharmed in the face of extensive roster losses so CWA manager Paul E Dangerously made his AWA debut touting his new team The Midnight Express!! I was shocked. One of my favorite tag teams of the day was the NWA’s Midnight Express consisted of Beautiful Bobby Eaton and Sweet Stan Lane!! Instead the AWA produced “The Original” Midnight Express Loverboy Dennis Condrey (Who could lay claim to being a Midnighter in my eyes as he was in the first version of The Express that I had watched prior to the Eaton/ Lane pairing.) and Ravishing Randy Rose.



Both Condrey and Rose were well past their prime by the time they debuted in the AWA but were held up by Dangerously and his exceptional promos skills. Only little over two weeks of being on AWA TV as the tag team champions The Midnight Express defeated champs  Lawler and Dundee for the AWA straps and the Memphis legends returned to their promotion. Even as a young fan I felt the instability.

The Age Problem

Vern interview

Meanwhile on The Heavyweight Front, AWA Champion Curt Hennig was tearing it up! Hennig was now partnered with Madusa Micelli and was well into his cocky heel persona. The Heavyweight scene was littered with a sprinkling of wrestlers well past their prime and thus some of the match pairings did not add up to quality matches. The likes of Baron Von Rashke, Col. DeBeers, Wahoo McDaniel, Sgt. Slaughter, and Crusher Jerry Blackwell filled time on AWAs TV show and it was apparent that things were quickly falling. Jerry Blackwell at the time was almost immobile and slowly drifted from TV after a feud with Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey and his cronies Debeers and The Iron Sheik!.

Vern interview

Wahoo McDaniel was still very much over with AWA TV audiences embroiled himself with younger talent at the time against Curt Hennig for the belt as well later with Larry Zybysko always chasing the title but never capturing it! Wahoo’s strap matches aired often on AWA’s tv show and he remained a beloved character on the show! His matches were still at that time workable. Wahoo was smart enough to pair himself with up and coming heels like Hennig and The Destruction Crew in the ring and as a result gave them a rub while masking the age factor.


Baron Von Rashke was one of the worst examples of the “Age Problem”. In 88 he had become unreliable in the ring and unable to bump or able to piece together a sensible match like he did in his heyday! In the NWA years prior or even as short a time as 4 years back when he was the AWA Tag Team Champion with The Crusher, The Baron was a solid competitor but the ship had long sailed on his days as an active competitor. He still did his bizarre promos but looked very visibly aged in the ring and was a shining example of the AWA’s unfortunate pruning by Vince and his growing national powerhouse the WWF.


Sgt. Slaughter was another story. Slaughter, whom had a great run early in his run with the AWA in the mid 80s, returned in 88 for another run. He was heavily pushed with his G.I.Joe “Americas Hero” gimmick. He was heavily financially sponsored by Hasbro the toy company riding high off the success of The G.I. Joe toy line and cartoon!. He was an immediate hit battling Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey cronies The Iron Sheik (Who he feuded with extensively in the past) and Col. Debeers.Slaughter had gained some weight and was older but was very much still serviceable in the ring. He would end up riding out his AWA meal ticket almost to their final days and being a viable main event star for the remainder.

Create A Star

The unfortunate reality at the time was that the AWA’s roster was heavy with aging wrestlers who were nearing the end of their careers as in ring performers. The AWA’s main event roster was aged out and it seemed whom ever the AWA would build into a viable star, the WWF was fast to sign them. Verne Gagne who was resistant to change and slow to adapt to the changing landscape of wrestling that the WWF was now in control of shaping. Finally listening to reason the AWA broke down and began giving new acts a chance.Results were varied.


Leon “Bull Power” White. The man who would be Vader made a brief appearance in the AWA as the Baby Bull (Later Bull Power) after his career in football ended. White was literally a baby faced rookie who was extremely green in the ring. Leon used a very basic moves set but had an unusual look that made him unique. White did not connect with the fans during this run and his value as an in ring performer was in question. His time was short-lived in the promotion but in 87 with his one career highlight was fighting Stan Hansen for the AWA title. It would be Hansen who stormed out of the AWA Belt in hand for Japna who also gave White the connection to move to Japan and find fame as Big Van Vader! Nuff said!


Jammin Mitch Snow and Steve O. Two white bread baby faces who were Gagne’s attempt to bring in some good-looking high-flying talent and he rolled the dice with Mitch Snow or Steve O. The earnest Mitch Snow seemed to always be on TV and in the middle of doing something special then pulled back before he hit any kind of stride in the win department. Most of his matches, no matter who they were with, were time limit draws in a weird sort of twist. His early pairings were against Madusa’s charges Kevin Kelly and Nick Kiniski! However Snow never caught on with the crowd who were clearly exhausted with the lackluster product and it was obviously not fertile ground to grow new stars. Eventually he teamed up with AWA midcard job guy turned marginal midcarder Steve Olsonoski or Steve O for short. If they weren’t fighting each other they were on the losing side of a tag team match most notably The Nasty Boys. With very few wins and limited TV time, both men when back into wrestling purgatory.Both men were decently talented and did their duty getting acts over.


Mr. Magnificient Kevin Kelly was a 6 foot 5 inch tall Minnesota native and was the definition of jacked in his time with the AWA. Mr. Magnificent was managed originally by Sherry Martel, and his one stand out moment in the AWA would be his feud with a newly arrived Wildfire Tommy Rich. One of his most famous angles was his Arm Wrestling Challenge for 10’000 dollars that was answered by Tommy Rich which catapulted their feud. In fact, a large stretch of his tenure late in his AWA career was dedicated to his feud with Tommy Rich.Kelly was stiff as a board in the ring, he bumped awkwardly and his offense looked very light. It would be years later in the WWF as Nailz that he would finally get a break in wrestling.With bear hugs, sleepers and chokes, Kelly was not going to be their answer to staying alive despite a strong feud with the popular Rich.

The Cast Offs

Then there were the cast offs.Many names who’s usefulness expired in the big two of the NWA and the powerhouse WWF, landed for brief stops in the AWA and were given instant pushes despite having little AWA credibility. Desperate for star power the AWA took several “Names” and hoped it would lead to a turn around or a reverse exodus away from the WWF which was becoming the wrestling equivalent to a vacuum.

TommyRich AWA

The aforementioned former NWA wrestler the popular Tommy Rich had fallen out of favor with the NWA after winning their world title only to lose it as quickly. Rich had gotten more out of shape and his name value had plummeted but he managed to make a feud out of Kevin Kelly something no one else on the roster managed to accomplish.


One of the saddest cast off was Adrian Adonis who had a falling out with WWF after Wrestlemania 3 due to his ever-increasing waistline. By the time he surfaced in the AWA Adonis looked nothing like the Adonis who teamed with Jesse Ventura to make the East West connection in the companies prime years. Adrian was still an effective heel. He was managed by Paul E Dangerously and the two were a very effective combo. Adrian got into a short series of matches with Tommy Rich and showcased that despite his enormous size he could still bump incredibly well. Adrian even advanced to the finals of a TV title tournament the AWA put together only to come up short against Greg Gagne. Adonis AWA career came to an end after an unfortunate ankle injury took him out of his job.



Ronnie Garvin also surfaced in the AWA for a brief time with a very unusual heel persona but lasted mere weeks on TV before he mysteriously vanished.Garvin got into a feud with the Promoters son and long time AWA Vet Greg Gagne. The two battled over the TV title. WWF was still picking the scraps of the AWA and signed Garvin out from in under the Gagne’s and as a result Garvin’s belt was “Held Up” and had to be decided on the big Super Clash 3 show!! Garvin seeing the lure of WWF paychecks would not lose clean which allowed Gagne to win the Title back via count out further killing the legitimacy of the AWA.


The Iron Sheik, after bouncing from The WWF to The NWA after his Drug Suspension found his way as mentioned previously in a very short deal with Al-Kassie to feud with Slaughter.The pairing was successful ad Sheik fit with the cast of heels however like many others the NWA and the WWF came back to collect the Iron one leaving a gaping hole in Al Kassie’s camp.



Ken Patera also showed up for another AWA run with another Olympian Brad Rheingans and went on to form the championship team The Olympians!! The Olympians were a great fill in the blanks team that filled TV time while

The Rise of the Young Lions.

Despite its diminishing roster depth and annihilated event attendance, the AWA seemed to go for one last shot at going toe to toe with the WWF at their own game and began building a new foundation.

Rockers Return

The Midnight Rockers Return…and leave again. Shawn and Marty’s first run with the WWF was very brief as the duo made a horrible reputation for themselves with their wild partying ways and came crawling back to the AWA who to their defense didn’t put them right back on TV right away..they actually sent them to Lawler and the CWA before they earned their spot back on the main roster. The Rockers were never favorites of Verne Gagne so while it looked like it was creative restraint there was more at play than simply disciplining talent. When they were given the green light The Midnight Rockers returned to the AWA as returning heroes and defeated the Original Midnight Express. Their time on TV would be very short as they figured their time in the WWF had increased their worth. The Gagne’s didnt bend and forced their hand and that left Shawn and Marty out of a job with the AWA permanently. Their swan song was losing the belts they had just won to a brand new tag team in the AWA ..Badd Company.

Badd Company

Badd Company were cool. The team of Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond were originally part of the CWA/AWA cross partnership but the AWA adopted Badd Company permanently and paired them with a Rookie manager. DDP was just breaking into the business and where ever  Diamond Dallas Page was, he was always flanked by the Diamond Dolls. Badd Company wore Flamboyant multi-colored almost dress jackets and tights and with Page as their mouth piece this team really came across as something special.


Pat Tanaka was exceptional in the ring. What he lacked in size he more than made up for in speed, high-flying , and an exceptional bumping ability. Diamond was his perfect counter point as he had a serviceable mat game and had the size and strength to compete with larger opponents. Of course there was Page who seemed bigger than both guys and charismatic as the day is long.


In their first few appearance on AWA TV Badd Company defeated the Midnight Rockers for the Tag Team titles and began a year-long run with the belts! The energy that came from Badd Company from the time they entered the ring to the strains of “Bad Company”by the band Bad Company you knew that AWA found something they could finally be proud of. Feuding with The Rockers, The Guerreros, The Olympians and Badd Company delivered in the ring which at the time was not happening in the AWA. Badd Company would drop the straps to the Olympians ( Brad Rheingans and Ken Patera). Badd Company would later split and feud sending Diamond on a face singles run with the company as Tanaka would be swooned by the WWF to join another AWA alum Akio Sato to form the Orient Express. It would be months later that Diamond would be called up the WWF to replace Konnan as Max Moon which would be short-lived but he had a second more successful run as well when he replaced Sato in the Orient Express as Diamond took on the masked personal as Kato being billed from Japan under the tutelage of the devious Mr. Fuji. Badd Companies time in the AWA was memorable but they were another victim of the WWFs grand purge of the company!


Tom Zenk a former AWA wrestler in the early 80s returned to the fold after a brief appearance in the warm lights of the WWF. The loose cannon member of the very popular Can-Am Connection with Rick Martel walked out of the WWF out of the blue leaving everyone to wonder what happened to Zenk! Tom Zenk resurfaced in the AWA and was able to make an impact. With a sculpted physique and good baby face looks, the AWA had a star who looked very credible in the ring. Zenk had recently left a high paying gig with the WWF to jump to the AWA after a financial disagreement and was able to score big points with the AWA fans! Zenk exploded with an out of the gate feud with Kevin Kelly, and then his former friend Curt Hennig who was still champion at the time! Zenk would always just come close to winning the strap but always put on a good effort leading fans to think he was the top dog to be the next AWA Champion. Zenk’s flashy style consisting of drop kicks, head scissors and arm drags were fun to watch in a company of mostly grounded retirees.When Henning dropped the strap to Lawler, Zenk  set his sights on winning the strap in a Battle Royal as a result of World title controversy but coming up short yet again. Zenk never claimed the AWA strap but stayed until the dying days of the company and the fans enjoyed his chase for the gold.


Some talent benefited from the mass exodus brought on by the WWF. Now new talent got more air time and made careers for themselves they would otherwise not have had the opportunity previously. One of those acts were the Nasty Boys. Jerry Sagg’s and Brian Knobb’s were TV enhancement talent who were paired together originally as a jobber team. The Nasties first run as a team was in  Memphis as a foil to The Rockers. By the time they debuted in the AWA they stood out from the moment they walked through the curtain. With a punk rock look complete with Mullets and spiked hair , long black trench coats and one hell of a bad attitude The Nastie’s were a real treat to watch. On the mic the Nastie’s were rude, crude and abrasive. When the Nasty Boys spoke..you listened. In the ring they were straight on brawler’s. Nothing was safe, tables, chairs, guard rails and even announce tables, the Nasties used them! Their sloppiness in the ring was hidden under the sheer onslaught of their ring game. It almost made their act more realistic and hardcore before hardcore was cool. The Nasty Boys were one of the biggest breakout acts born of the AWA during their down period and went on to accomplish multiple championship runs in a number of companies most notably WWF and WCW but seeing their roots in the AWA was a big deal to this writer!


Then there were the Lumberjacks. Yukon John Nord and Flapjack Norton comprised the team of the Lumber Jacks. Nord a former World Class wrestler re-debuted in the AWA with a full on Bruiser Brody gimmick complete with fur boots! Nord came to the ring to “Bad Moon Rising” from CCR and I was actually a fan! He was a bombastic interview and seemed like a true powerhouse in the ring however Nord never seemed to find his niche as a singles competitor. Nord found common ground with another competitor who was on the AWA treadmill a young Scott “Flash” Norton. Norton on the other side was a former arm wrestler who managed to barely piece together a match with a few clotheslines and a bear hug. He was very green in ring and to hide his weaknesses AWA paired him with Nord to develop him as a competitor. Hence was born The Lumberjacks. Dressed in flannel and jean shorts and with axe handle in hand, Nord and Norton gained ground as a fan favorite team! They had a short-lived feud with The Texas Hangmen. Both Members of the team went on to good futures with Nord becoming The Berserker in the WWF and Scott Norton establishing himself in Japan and WCW partnered with Buff Bagwell in the NWO.


Their arch nemesis, The Texas Hangmen (aka the Disorderly Conduct WCW) Were two journeymen who with the help of a mask and a bullrope noose became Texas baddest team..or at least the AWAs. Killer and Psycho were a serviceable team and took bumps very well for heavyweights. Rick Gantner and Mike Moran, two enhancement talent for the AWA were suddenly a competitive force to be reckoned with! The Hangmen were short-lived and even wrestled singles matches near the end of the AWA but Killer and Psycho left their mark in the short time in the AWA rings. As good as they were their future would not be as bright s our next young lion…


Next came The Trooper. Del Wilke’s, the man who would become known as The Patriot in Global, WWF and WCW was first a green as the grass Football star turned pro wrestler known as the Trooper. The gimmick itself was AWA’s attempt to cash in on WWF’s “Occupational” gimmicks that were all the rage in the late 80s. So Del Wilke’s became a State Trooper style character who passed out police badges to kids at ringside and wrote citations to his opponents after he defeated them. Sounds stupid right? Well it WAS however Wilkes earnest personality and demeanor on camera got you invested in him and he seemed to grow on fans with every appearance in ring. He went from clunky headlocks, clotheslines and football tackles to a nice mat based style with a splash of high-flying. Wilkes developed an outstanding drop kick and flying clothesline. The Trooper is mostly recognized as the final World Tag Team Champion ever to hold an AWA Tag Strap (Along with Journeyman DJ Peterson) on the final AWA Televised show. Wilke’s would go on to great success in Global as their Heavyweight Champion but now under a mask and calling himself The Patriot. He also had a brief but memorable run in the WWF under the same gimmick but more so the WCW with multiple Tag Team championships with Marcus Alexander Bagwell!


The Destruction Crew. AWA job guys Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos were paired up with a “Construction Worker” gimmick complete with orange work vests, matching constructon orange tights and sledge hammers to became the Destruction Crew. What looked like a bad idea turned out to be a pretty good concept as Bloom and Enos gelled as a team and were quickly in Tag Title Contention. With Ken Patera and Brad Rheingans as the Tag Team Champions “The Olympians”, The Crew then storyline injured  Patera in a Car lifting competition which resulted in the Olympians being stripped of the Tag Team titles. The Destruction Crew went on to capture the vacated world tag team championships in a tournament final over Greg Gagne and Paul Diamond. Bloom and Eno’s individually were sound in the ring together they worked very snug together. From their entrance with sledgehammers, to the raucous chords of Queens “We Will Rock You”, to their awesome Destruction Ball (Doomsday Device ala LOD!) finisher the Crew were stars on the rise. Both men were very effective heels with Wayne Bloom a very effective promo and Mike Enos his Igor to Blooms Doctor Frankenstein. The Bloom /Enos Dynamic was interesting as Bloom was the dominant voice in the group always putting Enos in his place and doing the talking with the classic “I got this one Mike” to which Enos would bow down and let Bloom do the talking. They would also be the final wrestlers to wrestle on AWA TV in a note a little later!

The King Takes The Throne..

Lawler AWA Champ

One of the high spots that made me very happy as a wrestling fan was the night of May 8th 1988 when Jerry The King Lawler upset Curt Hennig to win the AWA Heavyweight Championship in his hometown of Memphis with his long time idol Jackie Fargo as the referee that night!



The aforementioned partnership between The AWA and The CWA came into play as Verne Gagne put his trust in Jerry Lawler to hold the crown in Hennig’s place as the WWF came calling for their future Mr Perfect. Lawler would indeed bring a degree of prestige to the AWA belt! Now wrestling magazines and televised shows featured Lawler in their pages and on their screens giving the AWA some additional exposure that had slipped away in recent years. As Hennig departed the King ran with the title all over Memphis TV but ironically not much on AWA TV.


The Highlight of the Lawler’s Championship reign was AWAs final major Supercard, SuperClash 3 on December 13, 1988. The AWA partnered with Lawler and his wealth of connections to create this multi company Supershow. With an already strong partnership with CWA  the show would also include POW (Powerful Women Of Wrestling) and the former World Class promotion WCCW now The WCWA. The main event would feature AWA World Champion Jerry “The King” Lawler vs.WCWA Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich. The AWA made sure to build this on their shows even though Lawler was not wrestling much per say for them as the champion on their TV but they built the match as a big deal complete with an official contract signing.As a kid in the 80s..this looked and felt like a happening you could not miss. For a few moments I felt the AWA had legs that were steady. The match itself was not up to expectations with Von Erich not “Present” mentally in the match due to some alleged recreational concerns as well as getting injured before the match began accidentally with a blade he had smuggled into his wrestling gear to draw blood late in the finish of the match. Instead Kerry sliced the inside of his arm accidentally and brutally much to the horror of booker’s who saw their show dying in front of them. Kerry pulled through enough to have a passable match which ended ironically by design with a blood stoppage with Von Erich appearing to have beaten Lawler with the Claw only to have the officials stop the match to declare Lawler the Undisputed Champion! It was controversial and the AWA fans turned sour very quickly on a now heel Lawler.

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In what looked on paper as a great financial partnership, the Lawler / AWA relationship would fall apart. Lawler had a falling out with Verne Gagne who at this point was very frustrated with his company’s fate and the financial disaster that was SuperClash 3. As with far too many times before the AWA World title was further tarnished when yet another champion vacated the title and the AWAs main title belt was held up yet again. The writing was on the wall for the company…and it wasnt good. Who could keep the boat above water for the Gagnes? Who could they trust? Everyone they had put in position to represent their company inevitably was swallowed by the WWF and the NWA during the national expansion boom. Verne and Greg turned to family

 Welcome To Larryland..


Larry Zybysko, a long time WWWF (Not a spelling error!) and AWA competitor most famous for his feud with the Legendary Bruno Sammartino. Larry had frequented the rings of the AWA over the years and after losing Lawler as their champion Verne Gagne had serious trust issues with his talent who seemed to be abandoning him at every turn. Zybysko was a part of the Gagne family by marriage and was one of the very few that the Gagnes felt comfortable giving the belt to so on Feb. 7th, 1989 Zybysko won a Battle Royal, last eliminating a popular Tom Zenk, to capture the AWA world title. Zybysko was a great heel. I always loved his interviews. Zybysko created Larryland a fictional amusement park that in the vein of Ric Flairs Space Mountain. Zybysko had an ego the size of a mountain and could speak very well on the mic. His interactions with Larry Nelson, Lee Nelson and Eric Bischoff were hilarious. Not since Hulk Hogan and Mean Gene has an act had so much chemistry.

80s AWA Announcers

Zybysko was also decent in the ring. The self-proclaimed “Martial Artist” often wore Karate apparel and even had his own Ninja present at times! Despite being the king of a broken kingdom, Larry played the role of champion like he was the WWF champion. He was that good at his role. Everything else around him was falling apart but Larry basked in his role as The Champ! Zybysko would often appear to “Drop The Belt” only to snatch it back on a legality.His matches against Sgt. Slaughter were controversial in that Slaughter appeared to win the belt only to have the decision over turned. Mr. Saito, a Japanese star the AWA co-Opted frequently, actually won the strap on a rare tour of Japan only to very quickly lose it again stateside as to make it appear that Larry didn’t lose at all. The win was acknowledged so it was counted as a title change. As mired in shame as the AWA titles were the AWA looked for the next big concept to pull them back to the safety of the shore before they drowned.

Eric BischoffAWA

 The Team Challenge Series

 That concept was dubbed the infamous Team Challenge Series! In what maybe the poorest executed concept in wrestling history The Gagnes, mainly Greg had become frustrated with the decline of the family company. For the sake of a better idea he literally handed over the creative reigns to an individual who would define wrestling in the late 90s Eric Bischoff. Bischoff at the time was a third string announcer for the company but fiercely loyal and aggressive and full of creative ideas..this wasnt one of his good ones. The concept would  divide the roster into three teams..each one Captained by a Legendary wrestler. We had Sarges Snipers Captained by Sgt. Slaughter himself. Barons Blitzers also made their entry into the series headed up by Baron Von Rashke.Finally Larry Legends was the champs team in the fray!



The overall concept involved Team Challenge Series matches on every show where the winner of the match collected points for his or her said team. Matches were NOT all standard wrestling matches..instead they were gimmicked sports competitions like The Great Turkey Hunt (Turkey On A pole Match), a Football Clash, a Beauty and the Beast match, a Knock Down match where the object was to simply knock you opponent down!!?? There was a great Hands Tied Behind Your Back Match, a Meat Grinder match and a Behind the 8-Ball match. Of course there was a sprinkling of standard matches and Battle Royals that added up for more points.The Series was such a low point that by the time the Series was under way attendance had slipped so much some matches were filmed in an empty building with a camera crew.

A pure humiliation for a once proud wrestling organization.The Series came to a merciful hault with a  Million Dollar Battle Royal won by Larry’s Legends team member and long time AWA Jobber but fan favorite Jake “The Milkman” Millman.  I can still picture the scene as Jake Millman, full of pure joy celebrated like he had won the Super Bowl shouting to the dismay of Larry and the rest of the team “We won the million dollars ..We Won the Million Dollars! Millman must have used his riches wisely as I didnt see or hear of him after this victory! The Team Challenge Series was over and much of the talent was gone…so was all hope for the mighty AWA.


Larry Zybysko stood tall amongst the ruins after he survived matches against Greg Gagne,Tom Zenk and Wahoo McDaniel and many more and held on to that strap until he parted ways with the company as was the legacy of the AWA strap.Larry would be the last official champion on record in the history of the AWA. Zybysko committed the last crime against the AWA when he arived in WCW while still the AWA Heavyweight Champion. By that time the jig was up. There would not be another Tournament or Battle Royal to crown a new champion. The reaper had arrived for The American Wrestling Association..it had one final hour left in the tank.

The Final Episode

DJ Peterson

The final match on the final show of the AWA was ironically a Tag Team Title match between The Destruction Crew versus The Trooper and DJ Peterson. The Destruction Crew were very elusive and held tightly on to the tag team titles and the makeshift team of Trooper and Peterson didn’t figure into being new champs. Ironically the last images of the AWA onscreen were a great moment as the challengers pulled off an upset win to capture the AWA tag team championship!! I remember popping huge at the win and could not wait for the next week to see the follow-up! Yes despite the monumental losses of talent and a seriously depleted roster I was still an AWA fan who loved wrestling and little did I know this would be the last new material that would ever air on AWA TV.







Many remember what their favorite era of wrestling was and when it comes to the AWA  these were my favorite years and shamefully this period is rarely talked about. It is for this reason why I needed to put this out there as a tribute to the men and women who stayed until the lights went out. Fortunately most on the roster in the dying years went on to bigger and better opportunities in  the WWF, NWA and Japan.Seeing the final hours of the AWA allowed me to see the last days of some aging vets as well as a host of future talent. It depends on perspective I guess..you love what you grew up with and that’s really what this little blog is all about. People can like what they like, but what really matters is remembering what put a smile on your face as a kid!

Thanks for reading Heroes, the Archives are now closing. everyone return to their seats and strap in…I have a feeling the next coordinates we punch could be very entertaining!

Transmission Ended..


 Superhero Satellite does not claim to own the rights to any content including names, likenesses, photos or video shared in this blog post and is strictly intended for entertainment purposes only and not for profit in anyway. The rights belong to the rights holders namely the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and is used in accordance with the fair use act. Please visit their website for more wrestling action found at WWE.COM













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Sitting in the dining hall of the Satellite we have access to retrieving artifacts from the 80s. Seeing that this Satellite has decided to stall in the 80s I figured just for fun I would sent one of our crew on the hunt for a childhood favorite treat of mine…Lowneys ChocoLoto Bars! Lock in coordinates to 1982 computer…Initiate!

Begin Transmission: 05/18/2016

In 1982, not to sound like an old curmudgeon, but money went a long way on trips to the corner store. If you were fortunate enough to land 2 bucks you were a champ! On visits to my Grandmothers in a desolate rural town called Harcourt that may as well have been my childhood Tatooine, I managed to get the best visits to the corner stores. The town was about a 40 minute drive from the thriving metropolis that I lived in. To be clear any town you lived in, if you didn’t travel much, was always the biggest cause it was the center of your universe as was Clarenville to me..but I digress.


During numerous sleep overs at my Grandparents house I was always spoiled in the sense that I would always be given money almost any time I needed then jump on my bike and drive a very short ways to Holloway’s Grocery which was literally two doors away. I was always treated well by the lady who worked there (Shout Out to Audrey!!) and they always called you by name, which I appreciated as a kid! Being a little bit off the beaten track this store seemed to have older treasures still on the shelves  in 1982 but that was a great thing for me as you would always find that one treat in there that you didn’t expect to find that in hindsight may have been sitting on their shelves from opening day. It was here I gained a great coloring book collection as dictated in a previous article. I loved that store though as I always came away with something great like a Buck Rogers coloring book or the item in question in this article..the Chocoloto Bar!

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For those of you who do not remember it was a Bar with a bright green wrapper which featured a mint bar inside that one would liken in today’s world to a Laura Secord Mint Chocolate Bar but its key feature was that inside the wrapper if you peeled it carefully without destroying it you could win prizes! Inside the wrapper you could be alerted to a free giveaway like a T-Shirt..One of the very rare images of that T-Shirts thankfully still exists as per below..


The other prize was MONEY!! Well money wasnt simply placed in the bar wrapper but it was printed on the inside of the wrapper in coins. If I recall you could win 5, 10, and 25 Cents within these wrappers. This was pretty sweet as the bar its self was usually only 30 cents to purchase! You could save them up as well depending on how many bars you would buy you could come off with a good amount of money from these things depending on that appetite..I had little will power and always cashed in my money for candy and other confectionary goodness! One tragedy was he fact that I never won one of the shirts. I do remember loving the taste…the mint chocolate wasnt the norm back. In that time things like Laura Secord was something that the high rollers who lived in the big city would have but for this kid in small town Harcourt NL it was perfection.


Stop by and say hi to Audrey and the gang at Holloways Grocery one of my favorite stores ever as a kid!

Playing outside on my bike with a few kids from the area with your Drink, foil bag Hostess Potato Chips and me with my Chocoloto Bar life was all I needed it to be! So if you ever visit Harcourt and you head to Holloway’s Grocery, ask for a Chocoloto Bar..they wont have any but maybe they will remember old Hero here cleaning them out with my Grandparents coins!! Life is short gang…remember to smell the roses and hold on to the good memories!

Transmission Ended…Time to eat some Chocoloto!









Greetings Super-Blog Team Up fans..the band is back with another tale to weave into the fabric of the blogosphere. This round we tackle “Versus”. If you are reading this years from now some context is needed. In this year of 2016 Super Hero films are still big bucks at the box office and both Marvel and DC are hanging their hats on two films where their main “Good Guy”characters square off one on one. Dc’s Batman V Superman debuted to mixed reviews but a very large draw and is still making big money as we speak. On may 6th Marvel takes their shot in the war with Captain America: Civil War which trumpets the big battle between Marvels head honcho Captain America and Iron Man! Both films promise a full-scale battle of Hero vs Hero.

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Fortunately comic book history is filled to the brim with tale after tale of Earths mightiest heroes battling each other, even villains vs villains, not to mention Super Team vs Super Team! So many examples of epic battles with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Some battles have loved ones in danger and others where heroes secret identities hang in the balance. It brings us great pleasure here at The Superhero Satellite to bring you none of that! In fact this may be the shortest battle of Hero vs Hero in the history of comics. Without further adieu I present to you the moment when the Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The Bat, Batman took on the galaxies greatest protector, The GREEN LANTERN!! Okay…its Guy Gardner but he is a Lantern darn it! Anyways..on with the show..strap in and let’s get going to 1986..

Begin Transmission : May 4th 2016


DC had finished their massive crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths as detailed gloriously in past Super-Blog Team Ups and was looking to clean up many loose ends that resulted in its conclusion! Believe us there were a ton of them! The company decided after successful reboots of their core characters that they would pull all loose ends together into a bright red bow and make sense of all the individual titles by reforming their Super Team….The Justice League Of America! John Ostrander and Len Wein were the scribes in charge of reuniting DC’s heavy hitters under one banner. The story would be called Legends and it would take place over the course of 6 issues and multiple crossovers . It would be a jump on point for new readers and launched several new titles such as Flash, Suicide Squad and the brand new Justice League. In the story Darkseid wages a bet with Phantom Stranger that he will turn the world against earths Superheroes and uses a human political pawn as his catalyst. The end result sees DC’s finest come together to seemingly reform the Justice League and thwart Darkseid’s somewhat silly plot. Legends #6 boasts an all-star line up for the Justice League boasting Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam, Black Canary, Guy Gardner, Dr. Fate , Changeling, Martian Manhunter and Blue Beetle! The band was back together and DC fans were excited for this league to continue on and protect this new DC Universe, Post Crisis. All was right with the world again…or was it?

Legends 6

Sadly this League would dissolve quicker than it came together. Superman declined the invite, Wonder Woman walked away quietly, Changeling went back to his gig with the Titans and Flash sped away disinterested in being bound to a team. It seemed the rug had been pulled out from fans who had suffered through some bad times in Justice League history with the ill-fated Justice League Detroit (which actually kicks some major ass and is a very fun read!) and With many JLA heavy hitters seemingly out of the mix for the next round of this new league, The new groups prospects of commercial success seemed significantly less. How can we have a JLA without the Trinity? (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) Well Writer/ Artist Keith Giffen along with J.M. Dematteis and Kevin Maguire would roll out the LEAST likely band of misfits the Justice League banner had ever seen.


So was born the Justice League International or the Bwah Ha Ha League as it is fondly recalled by the comics faithful. Giffen and DeMatteis would bring a very lighthearted comedic tone to proceedings.

The famous Justice League #1 from May 1987 sported one of the most copied covers in comics history with a family picture sort of cover sporting this new team with some very suspect looking participants. While the team boasted classic JLA heavyweights such as Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary it also assembled a far more unique crew than the JLA had ever seen. Many of which were imports from DC’s recent acquisitions from Charlton Comics, Fawcett, and the Kirby verse. The Blue Beetle, Mister Miracle, Oberon , Shazam and a brand new Version of Dr. Light rounded out this roster. One member however stole the cover with the now famous “Wanna make somethin of it??” Guy Gardner, a relatively lesser known member of the illustrious and complicated Green Lantern Corp filled out the roster. It was apparent that Gardner was bringing the “Attitude” to its ranks. One look at Batman’s face knows this team is already in trouble.

Gardners debut



For those not familiar with the Justice Leagues newest Green Lantern would quickly grow to love the renegade Lantern. He originally debut in Green Lantern Vol. 2 Issue 59 and from the get go we know that this Green Lantern didn’t play by the rules. In this issue The Guardians give Green Lantern Hal Jordan a lesson in humility by showing him what would have been if Guy Gardner had been selected by Abin Sur to wear the famous Green Power Ring rather than him. We can all be thankful it turned out the way it did. During his travels Gardner would be passed over many times to lead the Lanterns in favor of Hal Jordan and John Stewart but always held to his guns that HE was the one destined to lead the team…alas at the time this did not come to pass however it would be a core reason why he was tormented by being subservient to another leader.


Guy went headlong into battles with DCs greatest rogues gallery would find himself in a bad situation in DC’s fabled Phantom Zone where he would be beaten into oblivion and permanently injured. A victim of brain damage, Guy as a result was a moody , self indulged prick who commanded the leadership of the JLI. Gardner however was not taken seriously by his new team mates. This certainly wasnt the Green Lantern Corp. anymore!! Joining a new group would be a little “problematic” for Guy as we will see..

Classic Batman logo1

We all know the story of the Batman. Avenging his parents death, Bruce Wayne goes on a mission to rid the world of evil doers. Along the way he gains multiple sidekicks with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Superman and many others. For all intents and purposes..Bruce Wayne was never good with relationships and no matter if it was with a partner, a love interest, or a Super Team, Batman’s relationships always turned out badly. Batman would be part of The Batman Family, The Justice League Of America and even The Outsiders…all of which were dysfunctional relationships to say the least.



Batman as well was never one for playing second fiddle to anyone and usually assumed the leadership role as would be the case with the latest incarnation of the Justice league International. After the downfall of Justice League Detroit former Leader, Martian Manhunter was reluctant to put the lives of another team in his hands as he felt squarely responsible for their demise. Batman took the reins while the group was in their bonding period. However…unlike anyone he ever teamed with, Guy Gardner was NOT a team player and it was up to Batman to put him in line. It was the battle of wills..The mysterious Batman VERSUS an ultra powerful ring wielder who has the power of the universe at his hands…only one would prevail in a Game of Thrones.

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From the opening page of Justice League #1 Vol. 2 1988, Gardner was already front and center and plotting to do a grand take over of the leadership position of the mighty newly reformed Justice League. Tensions would fly at their first ever meeting as a group..and Gardner and Batman would get their first taste of each other..it was NOT love at first sight!

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In fact Gardner’s overtures towards the leadership position would not only be rejected but it would lead to an all out breakdown of the team only in their first organized group meeting. Batman could see right away that despite his reluctance to once again lead a super team…this boat needed a captain..and FAST!

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With Gardner upstaged in front of the team, it would not only intensify the fire between Bats and Guy. It was just the start in a series of confrontations..as Batman attempted to instill a sense of protocol to proceedings Guy would be there to challenge his every word..

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Guys temper would make for some tense moments in the team’s business. Gardner had no respect for Manhunter’s word despite Jonzz being a longstanding leader of the original Justice League Of America. Guy also would have none of The Big Red Chesse’s (Shazam) words either, but when it came to Batman, Gardner would dare not step any further.

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Batman would literally become Guys babysitter. At every outburst or irrational thought, Bats was there to shut Guys outbursts down and amazingly there was zero retaliation..

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Despite Guys reluctance to fight Batman, he would antagonize The Dark Knight at every opportunity. Both parties were now in the advanced stage of their passionate dislike for each other. Gardner took every shot he could whether on the battle field or in front of their peers. Serious group debriefings were fertile ground for Guys barbs….as Batman continued to make mental note of his detractors poor attempts to get under his skin.


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Batman continued to hold the Lantern at bay, but when the League had their back against the wall, Gardner challenged Batman’s leadership for the last time. The defiance, the outbursts, the smart remarks and the tantrums would come to a head. Gardner would build up the courage to put the money where his mouth was as once and for all, Guy Gardner challenged Batman for the coveted Leadership position of DC’s high-profile flagship super group.

Guy confronts Batman

All the pent-up frustration..all the years of being held back by his peers in the Green Lantern Corps and now again in the Justice League. Gardner even removed his power ring and with no more fear in his heart, Guy Gardner BIT!!

I Bite Guy Punches

Guy Gardner handed his ring to Blue Beetle and rushed furiously towards Batman and FINALLY these two rivals would square off one on one, head to head in a battle to end all battles this war was finally settled…

The Punch

With ONE Punch…

Guy Recovers

What? Were you expecting something different? A bigger battle? A drawn out brawl over the course of six issues? Nope not here…sometimes less is more. Masterpieces are not created in one stroke of the brush…this rivalry was the exception. Batman would go on to leave the League a short time afterwards but Guy would still not achieve the top spot. Batman would go on to lead again and even Guy many years later, would finally get his respect as a Leader in the Green Lantern Corps...but that my friends is another story for another day. If you are hungry for a fight the battles continue with our group of Fellow Super Bloggers…read more below!!

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 1. Between The Pages : “Star Wars Versus…” http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2016/05/star-wars-versus.html

2. Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: Jack Of Hearts vs ROM!! http://crapboxofcthulhu.blogspot.com/2016/05/super-blog-team-up-versus-edition.html

3. Chris Is On Infinite Earths Guy Gardner vs Blue Beetle! http://chrisisoninfiniteearths.blogspot.com/2016/05/justice-league-america-52-1991.html

4. LongBox Graveyard: Fire and Water: Human Torch vs Submariner https://longboxgraveyard.com/2016/05/04/fire-and-water-the-human-torch-vs-sub-mariner/

5. Coffee and Comics Blog: Spiderman Versus Ghost Rider http://coffeecomicsreading.blogspot.ca/2016/05/marvel-team-up-91-1980.html?m=1

6. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Captain America vs Wolverine https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/captain-america-vs-wolverine/

7. Bronze Age Babies: Civil War – Silver Age Style! Tales of Suspense 58

8.Superhero Satellite: Super-Blog Team Up 8: Batman vs Green Lantern (Guy Gardner) – http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-M8

9. The Unspoken Decade: War Machine vs Cable

10. The Retroist: The Joker vs Sherlock Holmes http://www.retroist.com/2016/05/04/super-blog-team-8-joker-sherlock-holmes/




Today I have gathered the Satellite crew in the main cabin for what I like to call..reading time. Yes, a foreign concept in this technical world of cell phones and computers. Gather round the virtual library and marvel at some classics that may have passed by a whole generation of kids..Yes today is Scholastic Day at The Satellite!!

Begin Transmission: April 1 2016

book order shs

I was a fan of school..although the younger me would dispute this many mornings struggling to get up out of bed. Overall if I look back I would not trade one day of the public school system. In our home town there were none of today’s craziness with guns and drugs and bullying..we came to school…hung out with our friends and at time at the most an odd fight would break out but would be settled in the court of the playground. Yes my fellow school goers were generally a civilized bunch and it was always good times. One very memorable thing that I looked forward to every month was a little 4-6 page pamphlet that teachers would hand out so you could order books and have them delivered to your school. The Scholastic Book Order was the Sears Wish Book of Public School!

Scholastic was an American based publishing company that offered discounted literature to school districts all over Canada and The United States. They distributed order forms to schools for kids and parents to browse and order books through their services. Scholastic did a great job marketing their titles to kids as they had access to all the latest trends, movies or show publications and would feature them prominently in their pages of their flyer. The flyers were usually 4-6 pages in length and each page would feature plenty of books and items for order. The front Splash page usually featured the most current popular books and deals while the inside of the flyers would offer a variety of offerings from various authors. Of course Scholastic was careful to have multiple circulars for all different age groups so that offerings to elementary school children would not be the same as the offerings to Teens in Jr. High.There were literally hundreds of books from time to time and the prices were never at gouging level..and they also had great savings on bundle packages where you could get a full series of books for one low price.



I ALWAYS looked forward to these book orders. Once you made up your mind on what books you wanted or could afford, you filled out a long rectangular order slip in the last page of the flyer and noted the items you wanted. You then bugged your parents to fork over the cash and depending on what they donated to the cause decided your literary fate for that month. I feel I always fared decently well..Now where to start??


Dynamite Droids

Banannas FactsOfLife

I fondly remember some of my classic hauls. Early on in our elementary days I loved kids magazines such as Dynamite and Bananas. Both were variety magazines which usually had celebrities from the favorite TV shows of the day and an interesting interview or story about them on the inside.



Dynamite was the better of the two as it had a more serious approach and featured the things I loved as a kid like Star Wars, Different Strokes, The A-Team and Knight Rider to name a few. It also featured plenty of puzzles, quizzes and cartoons to keep you reading!

Before the internet I got my movie and TV news through Dynamite!! Bananas was a comedic almost Mad Magazine style of publication which looked and felt a lot like Dynamite in terms of content and layout but went more for laughs than telling news stories or interviews.Both were great launching points into reading.


As my interests changed so did my literary intake. Fun puzzle books and gimmicks were always a staple in the order forms.We didnt have the large selection of media offerings with CDs and video games like kids of today..nope..we had to write our own fun with great stuff like Mad Libs!


As a long-standing comics fan Scholastic offered higher brow reads so instantly I was drawn to my version of high education..Garfield!! The classic strip bound in a soft cover format were always a favorite of mine and one of my first ever grabs as a kid!! Yep I was introduced to everyone’s favorite Lasagna eating, ideological Cat on the ground level with this classic!! This was MY kind of literature!! Others in my class had advanced deep into The Hardy Boys , Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins books so this Hero was being left behind at the bottom of the literary food chain..that had to change..I couldn’t be ordering kids stuff when the rest of the class was ordering the equivalent to Shakespeare.



I traded in kids magazines and comic strip books like Garfield, and Mad Libs for novels.I will admit some of my need to dip into the adult side of the pool was because of my love of cover art. I fondly remember buying the Lloyd Alexander Collection. The artwork was very fantasy like and it drew me in like a tractor beam. I will admit to merely skimming the adventures of young Taran but I had to have that art.If not for the fine folks at Scholastic I would never have dared take a chance on such an author!



So I would quickly realize that literary classics like a Wrinkle In Time and Oliver Twist would not be for me..nope..I loved movie adaptations! So while others read higher brow selections I grabbed such classic as The Karate Kid!! It was perfect for me..it was short, easy to read and had a color photo section from the movie!!


Of course Science Fiction was always my “go to drug” so when I gazed upon Star Trek 3 The Search For Spock in the book order, I knew I couldnt wait! I could finally find out what happened to Spock after Wrath Of Khan! Our town didn’t yet have a movie theater so this book was one of the few ways of knowing the “Spoilers” that would happen in the movie!! Yes it was still the era of the VHS tape and I would have to wait sometimes over a year before our video stores would have this movie so I put the “X” in the box next to that novel on my book order and loved it when it came! It had a foil embossed logo and all! Nerd Heaven when it wasnt cool!!



As cool as Star Trek was my first passion was always Star Wars and Scholastic super served our kind with their variety of Star Wars fun!! I grabbed my Return Of The Jedi novel with awesome hand and light saber cover!! Guess what..didnt read a page! I devoured the 8 pages of color photos inside scrutinizing every last detail! As with Star Trek it would be a long time before I watched the film on VHS!


There was the holy trinity of Star Wars books :The Jedi Masters Quiz Book! Not for the casual fan. This book was written by a kid named Rusty Miller and was insanely detailed and the 425 questions would challenge George Lucas himself!! I fact I am certain that old George would not correctly answer some of these questions!!




I opted not to read much of the Return Of The Jedi Novel because truth be told, Scholastic had THIS Bad boy…The Return Of The Jedi Storybook!! The fully illustrated photo story book with a ton of photos from the film and plenty of narrative that made you feel like you were getting the whole story!! Years later I would get this same book in a hole in the wall book store in Buffalo New York with a hard cover!!


Occasionally if you order a promotional set of titles or spent a certain dollar amount Scholastic would reward that lucky kid with an awesome free poster!! They usually had some pretty cool giveaways. Luckily it was not always a cute cat poster..from time to time you would get awesome posters like this!! Always an incentive to spend more!!

Poster Free

Over the years I amassed a very large book collection but there was one book that always stuck with me that may be my favorite book of all the selections I ever ordered…yes the Coup De Gras is THE GREAT SUPERMAN MOVIE BOOK!! This book was visually striking and loaded with pics and info all about one of my favorite superheroes of the day!! It had a giant Superman poster inside, and talked all about the Superman films and behind the scenes of them. This was the Internet before the Internet was the Internet..Just go to Amazon and get this one..tell em Hero sent ya. Anyone out there have this one? Share your thoughts below!!


So to the fine folks at Scholastic, a big thank you from this adult who grew up reading because you offered it! Tons of great Scholastic memories still stay with me! The anticipation of order day arriving and getting that wonderful stack of books is just a great visual etched in my brain. So as we close the Satellite Virtual Library we want to hear from YOU our valued readers! What did you get in your Scholastic Orders? We want to know.

Till Next time heroes…Class time is over. Now back to your stations!!

Transmission Ended..


SHS 3rd Holiday Special Header1

Many traditions are born on Christmas time. Each differ from family to family, household to household. Well growing up, my friend and I had a tradition of our very own..one that many have no idea even existed! It was a little event called Christmas Brawl. You might ask what is a Christmas Brawl? Before I answer that I need to give you some background. Strap in tight heroes..we are going back all the way to 1989!

Christmas Brawl Official Logo

I was new to High School and figuring my way through the social climate of Clarenville High. I was not your stand out student, I didn’t do exceptionally well in High School, plus I wasn’t particularly in high demand from the females on the social scene either. I didn’t fit in with the jocks known as “The Byze” (The Boys in non slang). I wasn’t into the popular things like Hockey and music in fact it really didn’t interest me..nope I loved two things..my passions.. Comics and WRESTLING!!


The B.W.F. was the imaginary Wrestling Federation my friend and I created! It had the smallest roster ever for a promotion…two wrestlers! Four if you count my Brother and another friend who moonlighted one show and literally tore down half our Christmas Decor with a very high Impact Frog Splash!

Wearing my Joker or my Macho Man Randy Savage shirt to school really didnt endear me to many friends. Few people shared my like for either of these things..others would be too ashamed to freely admit it. However my crew of friends were not your typical socialites but they were my people and I loved hanging with them! My friends liked all kinds of stuff like  Music, Video Games, Horror Movies, and just hanging out. One friend was a religious Bon Jovi guy…hair and all and a hardcore Music, Video game, and Hockey fan, another was a hockey and wrestling fan too and could nail any impression of any wrestler plus an unbelievable Donald Pleasance as well plus a was personality powderkeg! Then there was Butler, my best friend all through High School and beyond who was just like me..he connected with me first with a sound knowledge of wrestling. I usually test people before I invite them in my friend zone and usually had my guard up so I didn’t show my geekiness too much. This guy rattled off wrestling history like he was a text book. I knew we would get along. So it was written..our own little 4 Horsemen hung around and guarded each other from the horrors of social persecution. In fact..I felt we were pretty darn cool in our own way. Sure we could have used a girlfriend or two more but we did okay in the end, besides we had too much fun with my LJN Wrestler collection to concern ourselves with such things!!

LJN Wrestlers

Hours of time were spent huddled around this wrestling ring engaging in very elaborate wrestling events!

With a deep shared passion for wrestling and we both had a passion to do one thing..WRESTLE!! One problem..we had no ring..or ring attire, we just had the unforgiving confines of my living room! Our couches and arm chairs became our turn buckles and the carpeted floor our mat! We were fans during wrestling’s  dead zone era known as the WWF New Generation. Wrestling was at an all time low in popularity and admitting that you were a fan was not how you won cool points with the populace.Regardless, we loved to watch the stuff and yes we “Tried This at home!” I will say our early attempts at piecing together a match  were pretty horrible. A few fake punches, a body slam and a scattered elbow drop for good measure was the best we could muster. Slow motion matches were also popular at the time with massive amounts of slow motion overselling overselling! The more wrestling we watched together the more moves we would try.


WWF: The New Generation ..when wrestling wasnt cool anymore. I firmly believe that my friend and I were its only viewers..okay maybe a few more.


The good news is that we did get better.Body slams turned into suplexes, elbow drops became flying elbow drops, headlocks turned into STFs! We knew we were on to something. Hours and hours we spent after school wrestling around in my parents living room and eventually we were able to mimic a real wrestling match! This was the era of Bret Hitman Hart, Shawn Micheal’s, Big Daddy Cool Diesel, Razor Ramon, Macho Man Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior! With the exception of a Moonsault and a true Frankensteiner we nailed all the move sets right on the hard floor with a thin layer of carpet! Carpet burns and back aches were the common sustained injuries that would disappear by the next encounter! We thought we were pretty darn good! The downstairs tenant who rented the apartment below our wrestling arena did not share our joy for combat. Sorry Wayne!


Ahhh…P.W.I. where wrestling fans got there Wrestling Scoops in the 80s and early 90s!!

We became more engaged with the inner workings of wrestling. We found out Vince McMahon was more than an announcer and that Brian Lee was the fake Undertaker! We were, at least in our minds, wrestling super-fans!  By reading magazines (Pro Wrestling Illustrated!!), and by grabbing a very rare dirt sheet (Pwtorch!), it was all we had to understand the very choreographed world of Pro-wrestling. We loved it and began booking our own matches with cool ending and cliff hanger moments that would “Continue Next week!” Our favorite matches to imitate were Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect from Summerslam 1991, British Bulldog vs Bret Hart from Summerslam 1992, Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan Wrestlemania 6 and Randy Savage vs Steamboat from Wrestlemania 3. All these matches contained great match endings and amazing wrestling and we ate it up!!

Hart vs Hennig

Summerslam 1991. We executed this match at least a hundred times! Classic!!

We even created our own Wrestlemania of sorts…it was usually around Christmas Eve..usually on that evening or the day before when my parents would go out for the evening visiting relatives we had the “Arena” to ourselves! I transformed into my alias “The Anvil” and my friend Butler shifted gears to become “The Hitman”. Not the most original names but somehow it fit! We dubbed this annual event Christmas Brawl..and it was always the culmination of our year long “Story-lines” and the “Title was always on the line!”

WWF Title belt

The symbol of excellence…many a match was had for this prestigious title!

Our usual after school “events” were usually the Best Of Five Falls. We always did a multi fall match so we could have the satisfaction of finishing each other off with our finishers! Christmas Brawl was different…we would do the Best of Ten Falls!! This was an Iron Man spectacular and we put out our best effort that we did all year in front of an audience of no one! It didnt matter though..it always felt like we were wrestling in front of 93,000 when we started!

As time went on we had grown in our in ring abilities and finally able to deliver a full fledged tribute to our favorite wrestlers/matches and some we hated as well. Here a list of our favorite moves that we put in our classic brawls!

My Top Ten Moves Included:

  1. Whoa Be Tide (WCWs Big Josh’s Finisher a Top Rope Butt Drop
  2. Loaded Knee (AWA’s Illustrious Jonny Stewarts Flying Knee to the chest)
  3. Super Fly (Super Fly Jimmy Snuka..Nuff Said!)
  4. Flying Elbow Smash (Top Rope Elbow drop ala Randy Savage)
  5. Press Slam (Sadly the Ultimate Warrior inspired)
  6. BaileyPlex (Poor Mans Perfect Plex ala Mr Perfect)
  7. Saito Suplex (I loved suplexs and this one exectuted from the side into a back suplex was always my favorite throw compliments of Mr. Saito of AWA fame
  8. Head scissors Frankensteiner (The Ricky Morton Special..looked more like a nice roll!)
  9. Flying Sunset Flip (Johnny B Bad Top Rope Sunset Flip)
  10. Torture Rack (Lex Luger..when he was good!! Loved this move!)


Butlers Top Ten:

  1. Flying Leg Drop (Top Rope Leg Drop/ Alabama Jam Bobby Eaton)
  2. Trash Compactor Tilt A Whirl Power Slam ala Duke The Dumpster Drosce)
  3. Spine Buster (Arn Andersons version of course..is there another)
  4. Suplex (Ala Ted Dibiase..fluid and great!)
  5. Bret Hart Elbow (Self Explanatory)
  6. Sharpshooter (Another Hart Classic..even though it was Stings move..that he ripped off..)
  7. DDT (More Jimmy Jam Garvin than Jake The Snake but still effective)
  8. Flying Shoulder Block (Ron Simmons special)
  9. Sit Out Power Bomb (Ahmed Johnston sloppy sit out bomb)
  10. Flying Clothesline (Barbarian special always sold with the Tito Santana rolling flip from Wrestlemania..look it up kids!)


With our move set ever expanding came the screw ups or blown spots. Yup botched moves were dangerously common. A simple “Roddy Piper Eye Gouge” almost ended in tragedy when my friend misjudged the position of a piece of furniture that was supposed to break his fall as he sold the move with great gusto but rather ended up crumbling into the heater! Hell we even broke the furniture. The main couch in the living room suffered damage quite often after enduring the tremendous pounding it received weekly!


Sometimes we would ratchet up the selling of moves and make that extra leap for good effect as was the case when I jumped high on a Butler wicked spinebuster with extra stink on it and my head missed the hard arm rest of the a chair which could have been concussion city!

Then there was getting blood..yup..we didn’t “blade” but we did take advantage of a well placed pimple from time to time. One pimple on my friends forehead led to a great opportunity to get juice. So I went for it..I dug into that bad boy getting a very light trickle of blood…but it my mind it was the Ric Flair “Crimson Mask”. It actuality it was like Lex Luger’s sad attempt to get blood in his match with Flair at the Bash that was stopped for blood but for some reason Lex could only muster a light trickle..hey..we tried alright!!!

Sometimes we would attract an audience..whether we wanted it or not! During one late evening Christmas Brawl during a particularly brutal match a suplex off the couch a knock came to my front house door. This was unusual as no one used that door for anything..it was always the side door..so stunned and rattled I answered the door after peering through the glass. Here in the dead cold of winter was a very official looking gentleman. This had to be important..after thinking of ditching the guy and not answering the door I knew surely he had heard the great bang on the floor from the suplex seconds earlier..the jig was up. Peeling myself off the floor covered in sweat , hair in great distress I answered the door and to my surprise on this Pre-Christmas eve at 8pm in the night was none other than an Encyclopedia Salesman!!?? Not sure what in the hell this guy was doing selling his wares this late and that close to Christmas but the look on his face when he saw both of us with the ever loving snot beat out of us was priceless. This didnt stop him from spilling out his unsuccessful sales pitch to possibly move his prehistoric volumes. Not really sure what this guy was thinking when he walked away from the house but I can only wonder.


Whatever happened to the Christmas Brawl Encyclopedia Salesman? If you see the guy at your door go ahead and buy a set! Your brain will thank you!

Christmas Brawl would come to an abrupt end when the reality of our in house combat would come back to bite us.On a regular non holiday Sunday afternoon we were in the middle of yet another “Houseshow” style of match. I climbed to the arms of my arm chair and dove off Ricky Steamboat style into a High Cross Body onto Butler and he caught me..however when he did my leg swung downwards clipping him in the side of the knee dropping him like a “Pair Of Shitty Ones” as we would say. Thinking that this was one hell of a sell job I continued to lay the boots to my friend as he howled in pain..the first critical injury had occurred.Butler had completely blown out his knee..an injury so severe it would require surgery! Now of course we would lock up from time to time after that foolishly with knee brace and all, but for all intents and purposes Christmas Brawl as we knew it was dead.

Body Press

The move that ended it all…

Some 20 years later we have both moved on with life, living a fair distance away from each other. Both of us now with family’s of our own and real jobs and the likelihood of another Christmas Brawl is pretty slim. In all honesty I shamefully admit to not being the greatest “friend” and spent way too much time being my usual anti social self. Despite my friends attempts to stay in touch I sucked as a person and should have picked up the phone from time to time. So despite all that, this post is a tribute to two great friends who shared an unhealthy passion for a fictional sport and trusted each other with our lives. There is something to be said for that … so on this Christmas Day 2015 I raise a glass to great memories and a promise to not let anymore time pass without picking up a phone a saying hello again. Merry Christmas my friend..its been too long. Hope the knee is doing okay. Here’s to one more round..ill even do the “job”.




Transmission ended..

Check Out The Satellites Original 2 Holiday Specials!

The 1st Annual Satellite Christmas Special: The Music

Satellite Holiday Special 2: The Sears Wishbook!








StarWarsSBTU7 Header


When it comes to X-Mas all my readers know I am more than a little sentimental. Whether its the music, the food, or the Christmas catalogues, we all know the selfish side of us love one thing…THE GIFTS!! The old saying goes “It is better to Give Than Receive..” we all know its pretty damn cool to receive as well! This December my family have a very important date planned to share a fun event and that on December 18th. The 18th and not the 25th you may ask? That’s not Christmas you say..whats so important about December 18th? I call it a Geeks Christmas as fans worldwide will finally go to theaters to watch the debut of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens! Select members of our esteemed SBTU Crew have gathered around the Satellite Holo-tree and share our memories of a Galaxy Far Far Away… Pour Up some Egg Nog Heroes, and join us as we raise a Holiday Glass to Star Wars!


Begin Transmission: Dec 16th 2015

As a child Star Wars was more than a movie. It occupied a large portion of my childhood through Movies, Comics, and our topic today the Original Toy-Line! Many an hour was spent playing with these little plastic toys and their very cool accessories and vehicles creating my own episodes of the Star Wars Saga! Well in 1977 the Kenner Toy Company was more than willing to fill kids wishes in the valued 4th Quarter and as the holiday season approached Star Wars was at a fever pitch. Kenner was primed to deliver a massive influx of cash towards their companies bottom line and win the Christmas season. They would be conquering heroes of the lucrative Toy Market…then it happened. The production team could not deliver the toys to market in time for the Golden Holiday Season. In an act of desperation Kenner created the Early Bird Package. Yes under the tree at Christmas Star Wars fans in 77 opened ……(Drum Roll Please!!) an ENVELOPE!!!??



Starwars Early Bird


Kenner could not deliver the figures but to pad their losses they went for a “Made” money approach. Customers would be “promised” the action figures later in 1978 if they purchased the Early Bird Certificate Package. The package would include 4 items including a Certificate that you would have to mail in that was good for 4 Star Wars figures that would be mailed to your home between Feb. 1st 1978 – July 1st 1978.

Star Wars Early Bird Back

(Back) The Original Early Bird Set Did NOT Include Han Solo, Darth Vader, or C3-Po? The Original promised line up were Chebacca, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and R2-D2

So you may ask what was a kid supposed to do with a stupid Early Bird Certificate? There were a series of steps involved.

  1. Open your Certificate Envelope.


Star wars Early Bird 3

Fill out your Name and Address on BOTH portions of the Early Bird Certificate!

2. Tear Off Your Proof Of Purchase Card, write the date you mailed your Star Wars figures and store it in your records.

PofP Coupon



3. Set Up your STAR WARS Display Diorama that is included in the set! I will admit. I was a sucker for displays and playset’s especially when it comes to STAR WARS toys! The Display set itself was cheap but pretty nice! Collectors still struggle to find these in great condition and that is part of the charm of being an Early Bird Customer!


4. Next. Enjoy your enclosed set of STAR WARS Stickers! The detailing on the stickers were a little lackluster. It is clear that Kenner was struggling to rush something…anything, to market that Christmas in 77.

Early Bird Stickers

Early Bird Star Wars Sticker Set included with Kenners Early Bird Package

Once you have mailed off your certificate…all you had to do now was….WAIT. Fortunately for Kenner they were able to meet the deadline and there were no further delays and the very FIRST STAR WARS FIGURES ARRIVED in Feburary of 1978!!

Star Wars Early Bird Open

The Original 4 STAR WARS Figures from 1978!

The Figures came shipped with a Thank You card, a white packaging tray and action figure stand tabs to insert into the base of the diorama display set included in the early bird package. As the saying goes “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” applies to this situation as folks who were fortunate enough to purchase this Early Bird Package received possibly one of the most coveted Action Figure in the history of Action Figure Collecting! That figure would be the Double Telescoping Lightsaber Luke Skywalker. This figure is so rare that it was even featured on a recent episode of AMC’s Comic Book Men!



As cool as it sounded have a lightsaber tip that extended much further than many other of the like models of that particular original Luke. However it was disheartening to know it was very poorly crafted and the tip itself often bent easily making your lightsaber look very stupid. Check poor Luke above.

Chewbacca Early Bird


Included in the early Bird set as well was a not quite as rare as the Luke mentioned above) was a unique Chewbacca with a Greenish tinted  molded Bow Blaster rifle was shipped with all early shipments of this set making it a very sought after variant! True fan boy collectors know that the early bird set with variant Luke and Chewie is a rare gem in the collecting universe!

Star Wars Original Collection

While I did NOT have the good fortune of buying the Early Bird Packages in 1977 (I was only 3!!) I did however have the complete set of original action figures and still boast 75% of them to this day! Nothing were quite like the original toys.Yes they had far less articulation than their modern day relatives but they represented a changing of the guard in the action figure industry. The figure market that was previously dominated by bigger versions of action toys like the old 12 inch G.I. Joe figures as well as the middle sized and super fun MEGO collections popular in that day were replaced with the official dawn of the 3 3/4 era action figures when Star Wars fever hit!


Original 1978 Star Wars Commercial

Of course I was a collector who on every possible allowable occasion  would get one of these gems at the store. I was too young to enjoy the Early Bird experience however, by the time the Empire Collection arrived this Hero was in full Star Wars Collecting Beast Mode!


At this point in the 80s however, leaving your figures mint on card was not an option, so all of my toys were open and well played with especially the Star Wars originals! I had plenty of vehicles and play-sets to go along with my figures so I basically felt like I had my own galaxy! I had an X-Wing, Darth Vader Tie Fighter, the AT-AT Walker, Boba Fett’s Slave 1,and many more! As for Play-Sets, I was fortunate enough to acquire Hoth, Cloud City, Dagobah, Jabbas Palace and the Grand Daddy of them all The Millenium Falcon! Of course as discussed in a previous Satellite post about my favorite Christmas Gifts I also had The Death Star!! Overtime..things broke, pieces went missing, poorly conceived trades occurred and my collection slowly died.

Death Star Vintage Toys

My collecting twilight was in my adulthood just at the time that it was announced that the Prequel movies were being released. The much maligned Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was on its way and fans worldwide were exploding with anticipation as I was! I began re-building my collection. eBay was in its infancy and many folks didnt truly know how to post auctions and occasionally  a seller would post something under a weird category and literally get zero interest. As was the case with an original Star Wars Action Figure collection. Like a speculative comics fan in the 90s who thought they would send their kids to college with their fortune they would amass after selling their collection I lucked into a carded original Star Wars Action figure set of 7 figures and bought them all for 10 dollars!! The figures were improperly categorized under “Dolls”and as a result I was able to jump start my collection!

Impossible eBay Auction

Random eBay Auction Where You Can Still Get Lots Of Vintage Star Wars Stuff!!

From there I regained a Millenium Falcon, a AT AT Walker, new models of Star Destroyers, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, I even completed my Marvel Comics Star Wars collection and added a horde of new mint on card action figures! I even built myself my own collection room and filled it with mostly Star Wars merchandise! The ultimate geek cave was born!



I remain a true STAR WARS Geek to this day!

All would change one fateful day when I returned home from work and I entered my home through the downstairs entrance of my split level rental home. I noticed a piece of cardboard that looked like a toy package on the floor.I thought little of it as my kid always came away with a new toy when we visited the store and often would not wait until he actually got in the house to rip open his new toy! This was not out of character for our family so I did not give the packaging DNA evidence a second thought. As I walked the hallway to go upstairs to our main living space I noticed more packaging debris..that led to the closed door of my Toy room! I opened the door and to my complete horror ALL of my action figures were missing from the walls of the room..instead in the middle of the space was a mound of shredded packaging. My eyes surveyed the room as shock turned to anger and on my office desk where my Millenium Falcon usually proudly displayed was absent as well. The crown jewel had been stolen…I had a suspicion of what happened. This was not the work of an intruder..this type of carnage could only have come from a child..MY CHILD..my 3 year old son..who happened to be a big Star Wars fan and had his own great Phantom Menace action figure collection. As I gritted my teeth and exited the scene of the crime, I turned and stormed out of the room and headed upstairs where I heard the familiar chatter of my wife and children.As I walked up the stairs, inching savagely forward to the top level, one glance to the right I caught the culprit red handed!!



There, in the middle of my living room was my 3 year old son proudly swooshing a fully loaded Millenium Falcon in the air with a giant smile on his face completely lost in play! I looked in the kitchen just off the living room area where my wife looked out and simply said “He got into your room…” that was it. My anger at this point was at a terrible boil and I turned again to somehow rescue the remnants of my collection as my son set the Falcon down on the living room table and grabbed more figures still enthralled with his own little universe and with that I was disarmed. A flashback of my younger self reminded me of the sheer joy of playing with my toys and seeing him having that same experience actually made me happy. I was suddenly at peace with the fact that my kid was enjoying the exact same toys that I grew up on and you know that changes a guy. Many years of Father-Son Star Wars play would result and at that exact moment I grew up. I was no longer that adult who beat the kids to the store to clean out the toy shelves so I could add a rare piece to the walls of my man cave. I appreciated what it meant to be a kid who loved Star Wars and really THAT is one of those moments where you just know “The kids (MY Kids in particular!) will be alright!”


So just two days out from December 18th my family and I have a stack of movie tickets to Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens and that former 3 year old son is now 15 and cannot wait to see the newest Star Wars film. My wife is also a pretty darn big Disney fan who enjoys a yearly trek to Disney World in Orlando to attend Star Wars Weekends and gets just as excited as the boys to meet the characters! Her Facebook profile is of her wearing her Star Wars T-Shirt posing with Chewbacca! Hows that for geek love..how can you not love a woman like that!! Then on my other side is my latest child who is six and during his many visits to Disney has defeated Darth Vader twice and Darth Maul in his last outings at Jedi Academy Training at Disney World. He is a fan as well with a great Lego Star Wars collection plus the family inheritance of the remaining portions of our collection!! I feel I have become Ghost Obi-Wan, My 15 Year Old Son is now Jedi Luke, and my youngest Offspring is Finn!! Generations of Star Wars love…The Force Is Strong in our Family..My Wife has it..My Children have it…and by god..I STILL HAVE IT!!


Well this is where I stop and get off..it has been my honor to share the passion I have for a Galaxy Far Far Away and all the characters that I really love to this day. I hope that tonight you and your significant others turn on one of these movies and you enjoy it as much as a fanboy I once knew in the early 80s whose every minute held his Luke Skywalker figure close and imagination ran wild!

Transmission Ended..

For MORE Super-Hero Satellite Star Wars fun read all past Star Wars posts from yours Truly, The Charlton Hero! Enjoy!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Super Hero Satellites own Star Wars related posts!!

Star Wars Logo

May The Force Be With You!!

Star Wars: The Disney Menace

Star Wars: The Marvel Comics Years

Star Wars: A Caravan Of Ewoks

 SBTU Crawler

Longbox Graveyard: Star Wars Card Trader Enter The Galactic Graveyard Here..

The Retroist: The Force Was Strong With Star Wars Records Nobody Does Retro like Retroist!! CLICK HERE!!

Between The Pages: A long time ago in a bookstore far, far away….
Go Between The Pages..CLICK HERE!!
Son of Crapbox Of Cthullu: The Crappiest Comics In The Universe!! CLICK HERE!!

(Mystery V-Log) Cap N Cummings YOUTUBE Channel : My Personal Star Wars History Unveil The Mystery..CLICK HERE!!

Bronze Age Babies: Star Wars: Season of the Force
Visit the BRONZE AGE now CLICK HERE!!!

Superhero Satellite: Star Wars Episode 7: The Toys Awaken.
Hey..You are already here!!

In My Not So Humble Opinion:Star Wars Sketch Book In MY Opinion you should CLICK HERE!!