The SmarK Rant for WWF All Star Wrestling – 01.16.82
Still waiting for Wrestling Challenge to drop another 3 episodes on the Network or whatever pittance we’re getting in May, so let’s go back to that show’s predecessor.
So we actually have an OPENING now? With MUSIC? What black magic is this?
Taped from Hamburg, PA
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Pat Patterson. Vince sounds like he’s got laryngitis or something, speaking everything softly.
DISCRETIONARY VIEWER PARTICIPATION IS ADVISED FOR THE FOLLOWING PRO WRESTLING EXHIBITION
Jesse Ventura v. Steve King
Jesse shoves King into the corner off the lockup as he’s unable to take THE STAND. Jesse works a wristlock on the mat as this poor jobber is getting no SHINING off him. Ventura pounds on the back and then knees him right in the DEAD ZONE between his ears. He works the back with a backbreaker for two and throws him into the corner to set up a backbreaker to finish at 3:21. This poor geek just doesn’t have IT. He’s probably so broken up over the loss that he’ll go home and cry to his wife CHRISTINE and walk his dog CUJO and then suffer INSOMNIA because he’s such a loser. 0 for 1.
Steve Travis v. Victor Mercado
Travis is apparently the “star” here, although he looks like a skinnier Ron Swanson. Hopefully he buys his gear from Meat and Stuff and then goes to a strip club and orders all the bacon and eggs they have. Travis takes Mercado down and works a hammerlock as Vince is telling us how thrilled and excited we should be to see BOB BACKLUND as the main attraction of this show. You mean the winner of the Wrestling Observer Award for Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic of 1982? AS IF, Vince! Travis slams him and drops a knee for two as the jobber apparently gets his shoulder up, even though Vince declared it was over, and Vince is like “Eh, who cares?” before Travis finishes with a back elbow instead that almost makes contact at 3:10. 0 for 2.
Tony Atlas v. Jose Estrada
Estrada grabs a headlock and Atlas shimmies out, so Jose complains that the hair is greasy and thus Tony was cheating. So Jose stomps him down for two, but Atlas throws him off on the kickout and then makes a bizarre comeback where he flails around like a zombie from the Dead Rising games and then runs Estrada into the corner and slugs away. Estrada pokes him in the eye and pounds away, but Atlas makes another bizarre lurching comeback and puts him down with a headbutt. And that finishes at 5:02. How could anyone watch this show and the Mid-Atlantic shows from the same time period and think THIS junk would end up with a monopoly on the industry? 0 for 3.
Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito chat with Pat Patterson after throwing salt in Rick Martel’s face to win the tag team titles. Captain Lou declares the whole thing an optical illusion caused by a “concave lens” on the camera and lighting issues that made reflections that looked like salt. THERE WAS NO SALT. Fuji assures that the Japanese never lie or cheat and Rick Martel is crying like a little baby. And then he reminds us that his father was interred in a concentration camp in the South Pacific and had to cut off one of his own fingers to survive, so he’ll cut Martel’s head off as well. Well that got dark in a hurry. Saito celebrates all the money he’s making, and Pat gets a burn on Albano by noting that obviously they’re using the money to buy Lou food because HE’S FAT. This was a tad over the top but that was part of Fuji’s charm.
Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito v. Charlie Brown & Dominic DeNucci
Saito takes it to the mat with DeNucci and then Fuji comes in and goes to work on the arm, but DeNucci takes him down and gets his own wristlock. And then Charlie Brown comes in and has no idea what to do, literally just standing there and trying to figure out what his spot was supposed to be, so the champs immediately just haul him to the corner and proceed to beating on him. Even the crowd starts getting on Brown for being so useless, heckling him while the champs switch off on him, and Fuji hits him with a running headbutt before Saito finishes with, what else, a SAITO SUPLEX at 5:06. Where did they FIND these jobbers? Soup kitchens? 0 for 4.
Bob Backlund v. Hans Schroeder
Capetta introduces Bob as “one of the greatest World Wrestling Federation champions of all time!” To put things in perspective, Backlund is only the 7th guy to hold the title at this point. So I’d say it was a bit earlier in 1982. Backlund gets a slam and legsweeps him, but Hans grabs a headlock, so Bob takes him down with an armbar to escape. They fight for a lockup and threaten to punch each other, but no fisticuffs are evident. Bob takes him down with a headlock and gets two from that while Patterson is effusive in his praise for Backlund’s manager, Arnold Skaaland. Why would anyone have cared about Arnold Skaaland? It’s not like he was a big star when he was a wrestler and it’s not like he cut particularly good promos on Bob’s behalf. Meanwhile Vince tells a horrifying story about how Skaaland gives up cigar smoking for lent and chews tobacco instead, and then swallows the juice because he has an iron stomach. I can only assume he died from stomach cancer if that’s true. Bob takes Hans down and cradles him for the pin at 8:15. 0 for 5.
Charlie Fulton v. Jeff Craney
Wow, what a main event! Fulton lays him out with a knee to the gut and then puts him down with an elbow before dropping knees on him. Vince: “Pat, what do you know about Charlie Fulton?” Pat: “Not much. You know what they say, about when someone goes to a foreign country for a year or three years and then you forget all about them.” Well that clears it right up. Fulton sends Craney to the floor and knocks him off the apron before bringing him in with a powerslam for two and picking him up. Another slam and a legdrop finish at 3:05. Hey, I know another guy with long blond hair who takes exception to using that finish, BROTHER.
Well I was in need of a sleep aid tonight anyway. THIS SHOW IS THE DINO BRAVO OF 1980s TERRITORIAL WRESTLING SHOWS.