WWF All American Wrestling – July 2nd, 1989
By Dave Newman on 28th May 2023
This week the All American review comes from 1989 on July 4th weekend. Luckily this episode is from a newly-uploaded batch courtesy of Aaron Scott – thanks for keeping me in business a little longer with a YEAR’S WORTH of material.
Hosted by Mean Gene from the Sports Control Center.
Koko B Ware vs. Jim Megan
Koko is in the different colour hairspray era but hasn’t switched from Piledriver to Do the Bird. From Wrestling Challenge, with Bobby and Gorilla bickering while Tony tries to hold it together. Dropkick and headbutt take down his blonde opponent. Koko promised a new move for this match and eschews the top rope dropkick for a pretty nasty flying legdrop. Equally nasty brainbuster allows him to get the pin.
Update takes us back to the Brother Love Show, with Jimmy Hart coming out to call Jimmy Snuka a monkey in a different time, leading to Honky coming out and wiping out Superfly with the guitar. At least this time he limited the shots to the back, all ten or so of them, so he didn’t have Snuka bitching at him like Jake Roberts still is. Honky cuts a promo after to boast about it. An angle that didn’t really get over, but at least they tried.
“Widowmaker” Barry Windham vs. Frankie DeFalco
As much as Vince on Superstars can say about the returning Windham is “big Texan” and “pretty ornery individual”, which shows he didn’t have much for him. Windham allows DeFalco an armdrag before hitting back with right hands and a suplex. Superplex quickly finishes. It was pretty obvious that either they had nothing for him or were holding it back until they were sure he wasn’t going to split on them, meaning nothing happened during this short run.
No Holds Barred music video. Says a lot that no artist is identified for the song, which isn’t totally terrible, although the movie famously is. Kinda surprised they left in the shot of Brell backhanding Samantha.
Event Center with Sean Mooney, featuring promos from the Twin Towers, who boast of being the biggest tag team in the WWF (with Slick as tall or taller than both), and Brutus Beefcake, with call outs to Randy Savage and Scary Sherri after they cut his hair. I’m reminded of the old trope of zooming in slowly on the wrestler as they get more intense, which is done for Bruti.
Hillbilly Jim vs. Butler Stevens
Butler looks like he’s nineteen and growing his first moustache. He’s daft enough to try a slam, reversed, then gets his toe trod on in a punch reversal. Vince teases Jim bringing in a new piece of gear with him soon, which would be his lucky horseshoe. Jim almost fucks up a blocked punch and then messes up a shoulderblock too. “As a wrestler he leaves a lot to be desired”, says Jesse. Big boot is the finish instead of the bearhug, which I’m surprised Jim didn’t fall over on as he couldn’t get the pin right either. Awful.
Brother Love Show with the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, with Love reminding us that he’s also the guy paying the bills for this segment too. Ted runs through his list of achievements so far, culminating in putting Jake the Snake on the shelf. Jake was apparently off getting his neck operated on after the aforementioned guitar shot in ’87 from Honky, as opposed to being in rehab this time. Speaking of, Dibiase looked pretty blazed here, one of his LESSER addictions.
Bad News Brown & Brooklyn Brawler vs. The Bushwhackers
Joined in progress with News working over Butch. Big drop down the card for him after a year of challenging Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Bobby Heenan has lost interest in Brawler by this point too, with him losing the advantage as soon as he comes in, allowing Luke to come in. News tags back in to get things working for his side again. Brawler comes back in and misses an elbowdrop that had a run up of six weeks. Luke and Butch get the battering ram and double gutbuster for the win while Brown has his back turned. A bit of static between the heels over that loss, but News calms Brawler down before hitting him with the Ghetto Blaster. Just filling time for Brown.
The American Dream, with Dusty Rhodes down the farm, talking about what happens when a horse gets fuel and makes his own fuel. Just remember, doo-doo is good for me and doo-doo is good for you. And also don’t be silly, don’t play with that willy.
No Holds Barred promo, with the Hulkster, in his black Rip outfit, promoting his movie and threatening to come round your house and bodyslam you if you don’t go and see it. Can I take that option, please?
Haku vs. Todd Becker
What’s with these former kings being so reluctant about dropping their king gear. Becker tries a roll-up but gets dropped on his head. Kick to the gut and thrust kick finishes it in no time. That was pretty emphatic.
Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Sonny Rogers
Rogers is a good example of an independent guy of the time, who would get his photo featured in the Apter mags and you’d know the name of for them working all the while, but they’d never get a shot in on TV. Rude’s getting the last bit of use out of his WrestleMania V tights before they’re just a smudge. Clothesline and slam set up the Rude Awakening in less than a minute. I believe Rude was working with a torn bicep at the time, hence his elbow pad. Bobby brings a pretty hot girl in for Rude to give the other Rude Awakening to, but Rude’s so impressed that he says he’s going to let her give him her best. So it’s eyes closed and angle time, as the Ultimate Warrior runs in, slams his head into the mat, then presses him to the outside. This was of course included in the Summerslam ’89 recap package on the show and was an excellent subversion of something you’d get as normal most weeks.
Event Center, with some more of Koko, who calls out a bunch of guys he had no chance of coming into contact with, and more Honky, again crowing about taking down Jimmy Snuka. Kinda poor quality control that we get double of these guys in the same show.
Wrap-up with Gene, previewing the likes of the Young Stallions, who I thought were more than done by this point.
The red, the white and the blue: Worst bit was the Hillbilly Jim botch-fest. Best bit was the Rude/Warrior angle. Strangest bit was the clip selection for the No Holds Barred music video, which also included Mark Pellegrino as the centre of sympathy, even though the modern audience will know him better as the sleazeball ex of Rita in Dexter.