WWF All American Wrestling – April 8th, 1990
By Dave Newman on 23rd April 2023
A new addition to the review line-up, I’ve considered doing this for a while. In the era of the WWF running Prime Time, Superstars and Wrestling Challenge, All American Wrestling was the distinct number four show with some recycled matches and an exclusive match of some sort. As the full run of episodes is not on the Network or YouTube, I’ll be bouncing back and forth through the decade it aired, this one coming just after the Ultimate Challenge at WrestleMania VI.
Presented by Mean Gene and Hillbilly Jim from the WWF Control Center, with the big news of the Ultimate Warrior becoming the new WWF champion.
Dusty Rhodes vs. Don Stevens
From Superstars. Vince and Jesse recall Dusty’s previous “jobs”, with Jesse thinking the Dream picked up Sapphire on a plumbing job. Dusty throws his dropkick, which at least hits, even if the landing is a bit clumsy. Nice snap suplex, followed by an elbow smash off the ropes and the bionic elbow to finish. Nope, not the Polka Dot Drop, we’re not playing that game.
The WWF is On Tour. Always loved these, with the big plane that flew across the screen at the beginning, plus the random shout-outs of who’ll be appearing. “The Big Boss Man will be there in Richmond, Virginia!”
Special Report, with Gene reporting on the Warrior/Hogan main event. They keep on giving Hulk the final word of “taking steps towards immortality”, to show who the priority was to get over despite who had the gold. Also, Jack Tunney has decreed that there will be no rematch, with the obvious real plan to possibly do it a year later, which didn’t go ahead.
The Orient Express vs. Paul Roma & Omar Atlas
From Wrestling Challenge, with Vince filling for Gorilla. Sneak attack from the aisle to dump the babyfaces, with Mr. Fuji getting a cane shot in on Roma several times behind the ref’s back, in a long range plan to get him back over stronger to team with Hercules. Roma comes in and he’s pretty much dwarfing everyone else, including his partner. He gets the advantage on Tanaka before Tanaka takes it back when Atlas tags back in. Sato with a stomp that’s a literal foot away from Atlas’ jaw. Better Ligerbomb is used to set up a Gory Special, with Tanaka dropping a chop off the top onto the throat for the win. Pretty interesting squash match, in fairness.
WrestleMania VII will be coming March 24th, 1991, at the LA Memorial Coliseum… No, it won’t.
The Warlord vs. Rikki Ataki
Warlord has just been taken on by the Slickster, so we have the strange combination of him in his Powers of Pain look and gear, but coming out to Jive Soul Bro. Nice flying shoulder block and clothesline out to the floor to start, followed by a big suplex back in. Powerslam finishes off this fairly energetic Warlord squash, who was doubtless looking to impress at the start of his singles run.
Bret Hart vs. Dino Bravo
Feature match, joined in progress from MSG. Dino does the spot of bouncing Bret off the apron onto the barrier, which Bret told of taking elsewhere in Wrestling with Shadows and fracturing his sternum. Vladimir encourages him to get back in. Upon return, it’s a gutwrench suplex from Dino for two, before he rolls Bret over for a rear chinlock and tells someone in the crowd to “Shut up, you fat piece of shit!”, which neither gets commented on or bleeped! Dino does pretty much all the work with his grimacing, then dumps Bret again as Gorilla goes into a rant about that making no sense because all it does is give Bret a chance for a breather. Bret comes back in with a sunset flip for two, which Dino at least follows up by trying to get a count on Bret before he can get up. Bearhug, with the crowd pretty into it. Gorilla reminisces about using the giant swing to wear his opponents down, then breaking into a a criticism of referee Dick Kroll’s work before reflecting “Sometimes I get onto these referees, Hillbilly”. Small steps, Gino. Bret bites and elbows out, then gets a boot up on a reverse charge, but misses an elbow off the second. Dino tries a suplex, but Bret reverses it, Gorilla of course commenting on the lethargy in it rather than the usual crispness. Dino gets an eye poke, but flubs on a backdrop and Bret gets an elbow for two. Roll up for two, followed by a small package for the same. Gut stomp in a time before the Sharpshooter, with that moment where he holds the legs just getting an instant pop regardless of what’s coming. Backbreaker and elbow, but the bell rings for a time limit draw. The crowd boo it, but were really into the match, and it’s about the most fired up you’ll see Bravo in a match in the nineties.
Brother Love Show with the Bushwhackers, who are just off their hottest angle in the WWF, getting wiped out with a guitar by Rhythm & Blues. Love laughs at them and tells them they stink, so Butch gets in his face and says “bloody” every other word and proclaiming “Nobody bushwhacks the Bushwhackers!”. Pretty serious promo for these two, channelling the Sheepherders for some rare intensity in this role.
Earthquake vs. Jim Gorman
“There WAS Jim Gorman!”, prophesies the Brain. Quake straight in with some shots, sitting on Gorman when he goes for a sunset flip. Big elbow off the ropes and a safe as houses powerslam, which eventually would become his set up move for the finish. This time, though, he goes aerial and nails Gorman with a solid forearm shot off the top. The Earthquake gets him the win, with another pair after the bell for added measure. Hulk Hogan, more of a focus than the Warrior, is called out as the upcoming opponent in an insert promo too to confirm the Quakester as the top heel.
More of the WWF On Tour, all over the shop towards the end of April.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Black Bart
Must be Bart’s debut, as Vince gives him a little bit of an introduction after the announcements and comments on his size. He’s pretty much stripped down his look to be a jobber, looking more like Frenchie Martin. Bart misses a clothesline and Jim gets his. Mounted punches in the corner, with Hacksaw coming down on Danny Davis’ instruction and threatening to bite his pointed finger off. Another clothesline sets up the three point stance clothesline for Duggan. You can see why Duggan could wrestle well into his fifties before age caught up with him, doing not that much.
Event Center, featuring promos with the Barbarian, in his Powers of Pain outfit too, but with a strange face paint look over one eye, and Jimmy Snuka to rebut him. He says words, in sentences, with emphasis, but none of them make any sense.
Sign off from Gene and Jim, with Gene using the apt metaphor for him of “let’s put the cork back in the bottle”, then implying Jim spends just a little bit too much time around the cows and sheep. You old charmer!
The red, the white, and the blue: I’m going to use this to comment on the worst, the best, and the strangest bits of the show. Worst was Jimmy Snuka’s promo. Best was the feature match, with Dino and the crowd being strangely into matching the Hitman’s excellence. But what was with Gene being a dick to Hillbilly?
Back next week with an episode from 1983!