WWF All American Wrestling June 18, 1989 Review
I don’t normally get a chance to review wrestling events or shows on here so today I figured let’s give this a shot and see how it goes. Today I will be reviewing an episode of WWF All American Wrestling, a show that used to air every Sunday on the USA Network. At one point this was one of the big TV shows that the WWF would air every week many years before Raw or Smackdown even existed.
The host of the show is Gene Okerlund and this is just a good fit for him and the show. No better person to host an all American show then Gene Okerlund. After telling us some of the wrestlers that will be on the show this week he tells us about the special No Holds Barred magazine that is out on newsstands everywhere, with the cover featuring Hulk Hogan and Zeus. This will not be the last time Gene mentions WWF products on this show.
The opening match on the show is a tag team match featuring Paul Roma and Jeff Gronsky, who come out to the old Young Stallions theme song, against the Brain Busters, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. As I watch I try to figure out in my head how a jobber tag team gets an entrance theme? As the match begins Roma gets Anderson into an O’Connor roll and nearly gets a three count right in the beginning, but after that the Busters take advantage of the match. However, Roma makes the tag to Jeff Gronsky and he holds his own for a little bit before the veteran tag team takes advantage and eventually win with the spike piledriver. We go back to Gene Okerlund who tells us about the newest issue of the WWF Magazine and guess who is on the cover? If you had guessed Hulk Hogan you would be correct.
We then go to a special update hosted by Gene Okerlund and he talks about a recent incident that took place on Wrestling Challenge between Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Snuka. I liked this segment as Jimmy Snuka is making his return to the WWF after a near four-year hiatus and got paired with one of the best heels at the time in Honky Tonk Man. The segment ends with Snuka jumping off the interview stage and hitting a crossbody block onto Honky Tonk Man and eventually he along with Jimmy Hart go to the dressing room. We get quick words from Honky Tonk Man saying that Snuka would pay for what he did.
It’s back to action now as we get Tito Santana going up against Dusty Wolfe, with the referee being Rugged Ronnie Garvin. At this point in time Garvin had lost a career ending match to Greg Valentine and decided to become a referee, I wonder if the pay is any good? Surprisingly this match is all Tito Santana which is interesting since Dusty Wolfe, from what I can remember, was one of those top-tier jobbers who gave the wrestler he was facing a run for their money. During the match Gorilla Monsoon was talking about the movie No Holds Barred and how if people who went to see the movie missed the terminology of the movie they should go see it again. Huh? Santana gets the win with his signature Flying Forearm. We go now to the WWF Event Center with Sean Mooney and we get two promos. The first one from Mr. Fuji and the Warlord as they talk about how the Warlord gets trained in the dungeon day and night, not sure if I want to go there. The other promo is from Bret Hart who said that the reason the Hart Foundation wasn’t doing so well two years ago was because the fans weren’t behind the team and that you have to be at your very best to compete at the top-level of the WWF.
Next we see the Intercontinental champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude in a non-title match take on Frankie DeFalco. Poor Frankie, he never stood a chance in this match. It is all Rick Rude as he just dominates his opponent and picks up the win with the Rude Awakening. After the match, they select a lucky lady from the audience and he gives her a rude awakening of her own. Then we go to a “romantic scene” from the movie No Holds Barred starring Hulk Hogan as you’ve never seen Hulk before, sure. Then it is time for a segment called “A Moment with Gene Okerlund” and in this segment he is on the phone with Jesse Ventura. I would’ve loved to have heard what Jesse was saying but the world will never know.
We go to a match in progress between two teams that I’m sure will be nowhere near anybody’s list of the greatest tag teams of all time. It is Hillbilly Jim and the Blue Blazer against the Brooklyn Brawler and Bad News Brown. As we pick up the action Brown has the advantage on Jim as the Brawler wants in the ring. Brown reluctantly makes the tag to Brawler and he beats up on Jim for a mere moment as Hillbilly Jim is able to get out of trouble by doing a cart-wheel and tagging in the Blazer. As soon as Blazer is tagged in he jumps into the ring and is met by a devastating clothesline by Brawler. Brawler loses the advantage and reluctantly tags in Bad New Brown. From there Brown just takes control of the match and hits the Ghetto Blaster on Blazer to get the victory. After the match, for no reason what so ever, Hillbilly Jim clotheslines Brooklyn Brawler. Brawler didn’t do anything wrong why should he get clotheslined? To make the situation worse, they start playing Hillbilly Jim’s theme and instead of checking in on his partner, he starts dancing, way to be a responsible tag team partner Jim. We return back to the studio and Gene talks about how he had a recent conversation with the Brooklyn Brawler in which the Brawler said his grandfather played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Gene thought it was his uncle but they say it’s his grandfather. We then go to a segment with Dusty Rhodes at his taco restaurant as a customer comes in and he looks like a very young Eddie Guerrero. Dusty asks the customer if he minds eating the lunch he had saved for himself which the customer doesn’t mind at all, lucky guy.
We have more tag team action as the WWF Tag Team champions Demolition are in action in a non-title match against the team of Todd Becker and Fuller Stevens. For those who don’t know I am a big fan of Demolition they are one of my favorite tag teams of all time, but even I have to admit this was just a complete destruction of the jobber team. Those poor guys never had a chance at all. Demolition picks up the win and pretty easily if I do say so myself. We go back to the studios and Gene Okerlund is telling us about the latest edition of the WWF Wrestling Spotlight magazine which features not Hulk Hogan but the Ultimate Warrior on the front cover. It’s not like they aren’t going to mention No Holds Barred again right, right?
Now we see “Macho Man” Randy Savage making his way towards the ring with Sensational Sherri as he takes on veteran Tim Horner. At first it’s an even match and at one point Savage goes to the outside, snatches a No Holds Barred movie poster and rips it apart in front of the fan. As the match is going on we get a quick promo from Sherri talking about how Hulk Hogan might have a successful movie, big deal. That he might be a successful movie champion, big deal. How do you become a successful movie champion? But she does say that to her there is only one undisputed champion and that is Randy Savage. Sherri does get involved in the match but it was no contest at all as Randy Savage gets the win with the flying elbow. We go back to the WWF Event Center as we get a promo first from the Bushwhackers and they talk about how they love the fact that the fans, especially the kids, are moving there arms up and down whenever they come to the ring. The other promo is from Slick and Rick Martel as they talk about how Tito Santana stabbed Martel in the back but he is off on bigger and better things. Slick then compares the two to a donkey and a thoroughbred. You can dress up one to look good but you can’t enter it in the Kentucky Derby.
We go back to Gene Okerlund for some final thoughts, talking about how fans all over the country are calling Sensational Sherri, “Scarry Sherri”. With that, it ends the episode for the week. My thoughts on this, while not the best episode it is a fun nostalgia trip back in time to when wrestling was popular and a generation of kids like myself started to take interest in this thing called wrestling. If you have a kid who likes wrestling and you want to show them what it was like when you were growing up, then let them watch this video it won’t hurt one bit.