WWWF: All Star Wrestling (02.28.76)

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WWWF: All Star Wrestling
February 28, 1976
Hamburg, PA
Hamburg Fieldhouse

Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bruno Sammartino (12/10/1973)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: Louis Cerdan & Tony Parisi (11/8/1975)

Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster
#1 Song of the Week: Theme from S.W.A.T. by Rhythm Heritage
#1 TV Show of 75-76 Season: All in the Family starring Carroll O’Connor

The following wrestling exhibition requires discretionary viewer participation. This intro would sound a lot jazzier if these clips were set to the similar Barney Miller theme song.

Your host is Vince McMahon and Antonino Rocca. I understand maybe every five words Antonino says. That new kid on the block Stan Hansen managed by Freddie Blassie is all the rage right now.

  • Louis Cerdan & Tony Parisi vs. Cowboy Bob & Baron Mikel Scicluna

Definitely not Bob Ellis or Bob Orton Jr. here. No last name apparently. Just Cowboy Bob sounds like he would be a character on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Cerdan and Parisi – the good guys – frustrate the crap out of the Baron here by cheating like CRAZY. When one is the apron, the other holds poor Cowboy Bob for a punch. They switch in and out without tagging. That’s the thing about the WWF style back then. The babyfaces would cheat and the logic would be that you should do what you want to them before they do it to you, which is asinine. They even do a blind tag that goes awry for Scicluna – TWICE. Like any good babyface in the south, eventually Scicluna has enough and nails Parisi from behind. Oh okay, and the ref just allows the switch. Some bonzo gonzo activity occurs until Parisi wins with the WHOOPIE CUSHION (yeah, I’m sticking with it) on poor Cowboy Bob at 7:58.

  • Bobo Brazil vs. Hans Schroder

Yep, it’s been thirty years since V-E Day and the Germans still get booed for being German. That bastard Captain Lou Albano comes out and gives Schroder some advice. Apparently all he needed to say was BEARHUG because that’s exactly what happens to our hero Bobo. Brazil fights out with some Three Stooges offense and applies a nerve hold to Schroder for some cartoony selling. COCO BUTT ends Schroder at 4:15.

Afterwards, an angry Captain Lou gets in the ring to yell at Schroder for losing. They both attack Bobo however but Bobo cleans house on Schroder and Albano waddles around the ring. WHY DON’T YOU JUST LEAVE? Presumably paid off by Albano, heel jobbers Johnny Rodz, Billy Coleman, and Frank Monte hit the ring only to receive Coco Butts as well – to the point that they find it’s not even worth it to stick around. Bobo delivers a few COCO BUTTS to Albano to send him to the dressing room.

When we return, the Grand Wizard talks to us and Vince McMahon about Bugsy McGraw. He’s not the loveable goofball character we would come to know in the NWA. Wizard calls him a NUCLEAR WARHEAD. He has held McGraw’s power back, but Wizard’s patience is wearing thin. The day is coming soon when he will push the button and let Bugsy EXPLODE on everybody. I can imagine Wizard would enjoy seeing Bugsy exploding. Wizard explains what “sick power” is = ability to follow through with the most evil things imaginable. They discuss a possible match with Bobo Brazil. Vince still calls Bobo the U.S. champ. That lineage is so convoluted. McGraw comments on how he would do against Bobo. The dude says he likes inflicting pain on people and laughs about it. Seriously, these two are cartoon characters.

  • Stan Hansen (w/Freddie Blassie) vs. Johnny Rivera

This is Hansen’s WWWF debut – TV or otherwise. At this point, all he had done as best to my knowledge is train some in Florida and then had some marginal success in Leroy McGuirk’s territory. Hansen has the long blonde hair going on, which just looks strange on him now. Little John in the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood comes to mind. Backbreakers and knee drops in between the poundings. Eventually, Hansen just runs Rivera over for the three-count at 1:47. When McMahon and Rocca summarize the action, we see Hansen hurry up into the crowd for a confrontation with an audience member. A handful of cops are seen rushing behind him. HA.

  • Kevin Sullivan & Pat Barrett vs. Billy Coleman & Frank Monte

It doesn’t get much more Irish than Sullivan and Barrett. Sullivan looks a bit like Jack Black in his younger days. Before all the devil worshipping, Sullivan was just a humble mid-card babyface. Anyways, Barrett and Sullivan work the arms of Coleman and Monte for the duration. Barrett catches Monte with a couple Irish Cannonballs (jawbreaker). Yadda yadda yadda, Sullivan surprises Coleman with a sunset flip off the top rope for the win at 5:08.

  • Dominic DeNucci vs. Louis Cyr

For those unaware, the real Louis Cyr was a Canadian strongman famous in the late 1800s. There were world records that claim he could lift 500 pounds with one finger and backlift over two tons. Naturally the reason Cyr the wrestler is named after this guy is because of their resemblance. Very little action as Cyr maintains a headscissors on the mat on DeNucci for several minutes. Match ends with a curfew draw at 6:09. Thankfully, none of this OVERTIME bull that Tony Schiavone thought was so cool in 1998.

Southern wrestling will spoil you. This was BORING. However, maybe there is another perspective to have here. It’s interesting to me to see just how important the Three Kings – Blassie, Wizard, and Albano – were as the basis of the entire heel side in the WWWF. Just from this one episode, you could understand their entire booking philosophy. It was almost as if the wrestlers really were merely tools and the managers were the maniacal and self-absorbed operators. I know this sounds like an obvious concept, but the 1980s heel managers and beyond weren’t taken as seriously. They didn’t seem like they were running the show quite like we saw here. While they did feel like additions to wrestlers and made up for a weakness in a wrestler, they didn’t quite feel as integral to a master plan like this. As Wizard explains concerning Bugsy McGraw, Bugsy was the NUCLEAR WARHEAD – but even more importantly than Bugsy being a dangerous individual, Wizard’s hand was on the switch. Just an interesting observation.

NEXT WEEK: Crusher Blackwell, Bobo Brazil, Stan Hansen, Skandor Akbar, and Billy White Wolf will all be in action.

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Posted on March 12, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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