April 28, 2007
WWF All-Star Wrestling
Brantford Civic Centre
Televised on June 29, 1985
For those not completely up-to-date on their wrestling history, All-Star Wrestling is the precursor to Wrestling Challenge, which would debut over a year after this show. Essentially, it was the WWF's “B” show, featuring jobber squashes and taped Championship Wrestling segments.
Your hosts are Jack Reynolds and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “Anvil” Neidhart (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Luc Poirier & Jack Londos
The Hitman and the Anvil weren't known as the Hart Foundation quite yet, as they had been teaming together for about three months at this point.
The match starts off with Bret and Poirier, whom Jimmy Hart says looks like Andre the Giant. Poirier is a big guy, but lanky. We would see him again just over 10 years later in the WWF as Sniper of the Truth Commission.
Poirier gets off to a fast start, getting a few punches in on the Hitman, before throwing him off the ropes and hitting a huge back body drop that almost launches the Hitman right out of the ring. Poirier then tags to Londos and it's all downhill from there for the jobber duo. Londos misses a cross-body block from the second rope following an irish whip by Bret, which allows Hart to tag in the Anvil.
Neidhart attacks with his standard powerhouse moves: overhand chops, shoulderblocks and bodyslams. He tags Bret back in, who hits a standing dropkick that would make Koko B. Ware proud. Bret pins Londos, but pulls him up on the two-count.
Neidhart tags in and sets up Londos for the now-famous Hart Attack, but Bret botches the clothesline, blatantly missing Londos. Bret goes to “Plan B” and hits a shoulderbreaker and his patented elbow drop from the middle turnbuckle for the 1-2-3. (3:23)
Bret looks royally pissed off at either himself or Londos as they are announced as winners.
Winner: Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “Anvil” Neidhart
WWF Update: Lord Alfred Hayes hosts the Update this week, as he shows a video clip of a previous Championship Wrestling taping in which Bobby Heenan, Big John Studd and Ken Patera announce that they will pay $25,000 to the man who puts Paul Orndorff out of wrestling forever.
An advertisement for the Wrestlemania video cassette airs. For the low, low 1985 price of $39.99, you get all two hours of action from MSG. Me thinks at that price, not many copies sold. In any event, reserve your copy at your local video store today!
Ricky Steamboat vs. Mike Moore
Steamboat was just getting into his ninja “Dragon” gimmick, as Reynolds questions what Steamboat's ring attire is called, as he's heard it called a “gi” and a ninja outfit. It's the same thing, Jack. Jesse doesn't like the solid black colour.
Moore scoops up Steamer to start, slamming him to the mat. Ricky gets up and launches himself at Moore after coming off the ropes, but Moore catches Steamboat and slams him back down.
Steamboat starts to use a lot of karate and other martial arts moves in this bout, and Ventura questions the legality of his chops to the throat. Reynolds quickly points out that Steamboat's hands are open, making it legal, but Jesse doesn't buy it. Steamboat pins Moore at 2:05 with a cross-body block off the top rope.
Winner: Ricky Steamboat
Taped Interview: Hulk Hogan
Mean Gene plugs the upcoming King of the Ring in Foxboro, MA by saying it will be the biggest event in wrestling history. He says it will include Nikolai Volkoff challenging for the world title against his guest, Hulk Hogan.
Hulkster agrees with Mean Gene that this will be the biggest event in wrestling history, and runs down the names on the card to prove it.
Hulk says he always knew it would come down to him and Volkoff, saying that Nikolai stands for everything that America doesn't believe in.
He says that he just got back from Japan and was hanging out at Sly Stallone's place watching training videos and that has him ready for Volkoff.
Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny V) vs. Mario Mancini
Lots of posturing to start this one off, as Mancini eggs on the crowd to taunt Beefcake. Once they finally start wrestling, it's all Beefcake. Brutus hits a hip-toss on Mancini and follows it up with at least a dozen stomps to the gut. Beefcake gets Mancini up and uses the ropes to choke him before throwing the hapless jobber to the floor. Once Mancini crawls back into the ring, Beefcake reverses an irish whip into a clothesline and then finishes the match off at 2:35 with a running kneesmash.
Winner: Brutus Beefcake
Taped Interview: Junkyard Dog
Mean Gene again plugs the King of the Ring, this time with the huge trophy that would be awarded to eventual winner Don Muraco. Gene brings in the Junkyard Dog, who says he's been climbing the ladder in the WWF for the past eight months and is now hot on the heels of Hulk Hogan, but for now, he's Nikolai Volkoff's problem.
The JYD runs down more names in the tournament and says he's going to keep climbing the ladder and will have to be on top of his game to take that trophy home to his momma, Bertha.
George Wells vs. Gino Carabello
Carabello has a cheering section for this one as cheers of “Gino! Gino!” can be heard in the arena. George Wells is just a glorified jobber himself, and has only three moves in his arsenal: arm-drags, head-scissors takedown and a flying shoulderblock.
Wells hits a couple arm-drags to start things off, and Carabello quickly escapes to the safety of the arena floor. Carabello gets back in and attempts to throw Wells to the outside, but big George grabs the top rope and uses it to pull himself back into the ring, directly into the first of what seems to be about 8,145 consecutive head-scissors takedowns. He's really good at the move, but it's painfully obvious that it's his only effective move. Wells finishes it off at 2:01 with a flying shoulderblock.
Winner: George Wells
The Body Shop: All-Star Wrestling's answer to Piper's Pit is hosted by Jesse, complete with an opening shot of him lifting rubber barbell weights, which giggle on the rack as he sets them down. Nice touch. Jesse's guest this week is none other than the Arreba Man, Tito Santana. Tito says that Greg Valentine has been intentionally getting himself counted out or disqualified in order to keep his Intercontinental Title. Tito says that he will win the belt when he gets Valentine in his kind of a match, which would turn out to be a cage match. Nice bit of continuity as Jesse calls him “Chico” to his face, but Santana doesn't acknowledge it.
An ad for the 1985 King of the Ring airs. July 8th, rain or shine, at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro. Names promoted include the JYD, Tito Santana, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco and the Iron Sheik. The theme from Beverly Hills Cop plays in the background, making it that much better.
B. Brian Blair vs. Mr. X
Mr. X is of course referee “Dangerous” Danny Davis under a mask. This match is essentially a series of armdrags and armbars along with a hip toss and bodyslam thrown in for good mix by Blair. Davis sells like a champ. Jesse mentions that he doesn't like Blair's hair, adding that he probably goes to a stylist. Match ends with Blair putting X out with a sleeper at 3:29 after a series of running clotheslines.
Winner: B. Brian Blair
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Steve Lombardi
Lombardi is yelling as Orndorff is coming down the aisle, saying that he will collect the bounty. Ventura says that it has to be a major distraction for Orndorff.
Lombardi jumps Orndorff as he enters the ring, hitting him with some punches and kicks (the extent of Lombardi's moveset). Orndorff rallies back, hitting a series of kneelifts and armdrags. Jesse says that there isn't much stopping him from jumping into the ring right now and collecting the bounty.
Lombardi fights back, hitting another series of punches and kicks, as the battle spills onto the floor. Orndorff gets the upper hand by suplexing the Brawler onto the cement floor. Lombardi is easy pickings for Orndorff, as he rolls back into the ring into Orndorff's finishing move, the piledriver. Reynolds incorrectly calls it a reverse piledriver, but Jesse corrects him. (4:50)
Winner: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Taped Interview: Various guests
Mean Gene is once again with the King of the Ring trophy, this time he brings in Greg Valentine. Valentine says that in his mind, he has already won the tournament. For a guy not noted for his mic skills, the Hammer cuts a pretty good promo here.
Next, Johnny V brings in Brutus Beefcake. Johnny boldly predicts that Beefcake will win the whole thing, regardless of who he faces.
Johnny V and Beefcake leave, and Freddie Blassie and the Iron Sheik walk in. Blassie says that the Sheik will win the tournament (he calls it a battle royal) and then Nikolai Volkoff will defeat Hulk Hogan for the WWF title. Sheik blathers on about MSG back in January of '84 when Hogan beat him, saying that the referee was the Hulk's cousin….or something like that.
Back in the arena, Reynolds and Ventura run down next week's show, which will include team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, as well as King Kong Bundy.
Final Thoughts: Pretty standard weekly show for the WWF around this time period. Reynolds wasn't a very captivating announcer, as he really lacked emotion and storytelling ability. He would be shown the door about a month later.
Lots of plugs for the King of the Ring, which was just over a week away at this point. Despite the amount of promos for the show, eventual winner Don Muraco was barely mentioned.
This is a good show for nostalgic purposes. Jobber squashes obviously aren’t the most ascetically pleasing wrestling you’ll ever see, but it’s fun to see some names from the past.