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This fall marks the 10 year anniversary of one of the most revolutionary wrestling federations of our time, the AWF. If, for some crazy reason you were never fortunate enough to have been witness to the intensity, excitement, and pure athleticism that the AWF had to offer, now is your chance to relive its immense history... Okay, perhaps I've slightly overstated the significance of the AWF, but to me it does hold a lot of memorable action, and if you're
Special Feature #4 11/04/03
already visiting this website, chances are you don't have anything better to do than read about it. I'm sure the initials AWF have been used dozens of times for indy feds across the globe, but the AWF I speak of here is one that I have close ties to. You see, the AWF was a fictional wrestling federation started by me and my friends Ricky, James, and occasionally Aaron way back in 1993. We had created a "fantasy" league waybefore that term even existed in popular lexicon to describe all the internet bookers out there running their own dream federations. Heck, the internet itself was an unknown entity to us back then! The AWF was born out of sheer boredom back in the hallowed halls of Huff Consolidated School early in my eighth grade year. Our "paper football" season, which was conducted during any free time that would arise during class, had come to an end and we decided to conduct a thumb-wrestling tournament to pass the time. We set up a bracket of 64 grapplers, filled it up with our favorite stars from every generation, and proceeded to thumb-wrestle until their was only one wrestler's name left standing. Sure, there's probably a few better ways to spend your time at school besides thumb-wrestling, and we probably didn't come off as the coolest dudes on the block, but we had fun. So much so that our thumb-wrestling tourneys, or "ThumbMania", as the supercard was dubbed, became regular fare in between work or at recess. The success of ThumbMania led to the formation of an entire wrestling federation, as I retired from active competition to take on the role of commissioner in the newly formed and cleverly titled AWF, or Allen's (that's me) Wrestling Federation. Vince McMahon is arrogant, but at least he didn't name his wrestling company after himself...yet, anyway. As the AWF began to grow, adding such shows as
"The Royal Thumble", "ThumberSlam", "Thumbday Night Raw" (you get the idea, right?), mere thumb-wrestling matches were now accompanied by feuds and storylines. And as sad as this sounds to me now, my friends and I were into the action of our own little imaginary federation more than the actual wrestling that was being put on TV back in those days. Remember, 1993 was the year that brought us such compelling wrestling gems as the Lex Express Tour, Cactus Jack wandering the streets of Cleveland thinking he's a sailor, The Shock Master...and I could go on and on.

So you can see it wasn't hard to put together better storylines than what the "big boys" were doing at that time, with a little imagination. However, one of the few bright spots in the "real" wrestling world in those days was the emergence of Shawn Michaels and his feud with Razor Ramon over the I-C title. This war spilled over into the AWF. Shawn and Razor were the favorite superstars of my friends Ricky and James respectively, thus they became the main event draws for our fed. Their feud will forever be remembered for their epic AWF World Title match at ThumberSlam 4. It's a battle that will live forever in the annals of history as the greatest thumb-wrestling contest the world will ever see, and this time I'm not exaggerating. If Dave Meltzer could've seen it, he would have given it 15 stars. It was an amazing encounter in front of a sell-out recess crowd which saw HBK retain his title in a time-limit draw, as the bell rang ending recess and the greatest match in AWF history simultaneously. This match had a little bit of everything, including the revolutionary "thumb-index finger submission hold" and the introduction of the infamous "under the desk smash" maneuver, in which James, as Razor, pulled the action underneath the desk and proceeded to repeatedly drive Ricky's thumb up into the unforgiving desk. It was a vile move that was outlawed immediately afterward and led to the rematch being the first and only "strap match" in federation history, in which the combatants were strapped down so everything would stay nice and legal. Michaels won the rematch, as well as pretty much every other match he competed in, leading James to suspect a conspiracy between the champ, HBK, and the Commissioner. Unfortunately, the carefree days of thumb wrestling were drawing to an end. "The Man" decided that thumb-wrestling in the middle of class wasn't the best way for kids to get a proper education, and as a result matches were pretty much banned from most classrooms. The AWF could've been left for dead right there, but it wasn't done yet, not by a longshot. As a matter of fact, the AWF was just beginning!

Click below to view the exciting tournament results from the first ever AWF event:
and be sure to check back later for part 2 of the history of the AWF!
The pros & cons of President Warrior.

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email Gartwo: robertga@concord.edu