WWWF: All Star Wrestling (09.02.78) (PLUS MSG STUFF TOO)
WWWF: All Star Wrestling
September 2, 1978
Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: The Yukon Lumberjacks (6/26/1978)
Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Grease starring John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
#1 Song of the Week: Grease by Frankie Valli
#1 TV Show of the 78-79 Season: Laverne & Shirley starring Penny Marshall & Cindy Williams
Follow along if you have the WWE Network!
The following wrestling exhibition requires discretionary viewer participation.
Your host is Vince McMahon.
- The Fabulous Moolah vs. Vicki Williams
With all the information I didn’t know that came out about Moolah when WWE decided to do a battle royal at WrestleMania 34 in her honor, it honestly makes a bit harder to watch her stuff. Not that I was a big fan of hers to start with, but still. Vicki is one of Moolah’s trainees and best known for teaming up with Joyce Grable. For what it’s worth, they were two-time NWA world women’s tag champs throughout the 1970s. The match is okay and the crowd actually seems into it even though these aren’t WWWF regulars. These two had actually just wrestled in MSG, but not that it likely means anything to the people over two hours away in Hamburg, PA. Onward to the finish which actually makes Vicki look pretty stupid, she slams Moolah back into the ring to help her beat the ten-count and ends up being counted out on the apron at 5:26.
- Crazy Luke Graham (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Jim Ray
Jim Ray tries to get in some offense, but headbutts Luke and winds up hurting himself as he takes a hard bump to the mat because of it. Lots of choking follows. At one point, Graham hammerlocks Ray and jabs him in the belly with his thumb. They play around with the foreign object hidden in Graham’s tights. He jabs Ray in the throat and drops down on him with the thumb to get the three-count at 7:35.
Afterwards, Vince McMahon speaks with the Grand Wizard and Luke Graham. When McMahon mentions the foreign object they have been using on opponents, Wizard says his hypnosis trick has clearly worked because he has made McMahon and the rest of the viewing audience see an object that isn’t actually there. OHHH PLEASE. Vince continues to push the issue, but Wizard is appalled at McMahon for bugging Graham. He doesn’t have something tucked in his tights, he just has a bad hip. As Graham and Wizard leave, Vince says, “There is no doubt Mr. Graham is handicap. Although perhaps in a different manner.” Do you mean in the brain area, Vince?
- Dominic DeNucci vs. Baron Mikel Scicluna
Could there be a more 1970s WWWF match? With DeNucci rolled up on the mat, he has to pull Scicluna’s tights down a little bit to escape the hold. That REALLY pops the crowd. Dominic takes a slam, but then kicks Scicluna back. Scicluna uses some dirty tactics to take control and grabs the traps on the mat. DeNucci chops back to escape and works a headlock. He punches Scicluna despite the ref’s warning. When he goes for a second punch, Scicluna falls over. DeNucci applies a spinning toe hold and ref Dick Whorle starts counting Scicluna’s shoulder WAY too quickly. DeNucci punches Scicluna back, but then the ref makes him break the hold because of the closed fist action. Scicluna fires back, but ultimately DeNucci hammers on Scicluna. They get into a fisticuffs battle and both guys start shoving the ref away which earns them a double DQ. (7:23) The crowd was into it and probably love both characters since they have both been around for a long time, but boy they are not very good wrestlers. ½*
- Ivan Koloff (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Fred Marzino
Koloff has slimmed down about 40-50 pounds since he beat Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF title back in 1971. Being that Koloff is Backlund’s challenger in MSG, he tears Marzino a new one and beats him with the BOMBS AWAY KNEE DROP off the top in 1:38.
- “High Chief” Peter Maivia & Bob Backlund (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Stan Stasiak & Tony Russo
Well I think we know who’s taking the fall here. Anyways, it’s a rare treat to see the WWWF champ on TV. As Stasiak locks up with Maivia, he backs Maivia into his corner and throws a punch only for Maivia to duck and allow Stasiak to hit Russo in the face. Vince mentions that this is the first time Skaaland has managed a tag team and looks to win the tag belts. Backlund tags in and cranks on a headlock. Tag to Russo, he gets dominated with a headlock for the next several minutes between Maivia and Backlund. Russo does manage to back Maivia into his corner and tags out to Stasiak. This is where the match takes a turn for the good guys. More heel miscommunication ensues, which allows Backlund to get a hot tag. Backlund gets cornered as well, but gets away from Russo and tags Maivia. He chops Russo and then tags Backlund for the ATOMIC DROP to get the win. (6:35) It may be time for Stan to head back to Portland soon. *½
AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR TWO BONUS MATCHES THAT AREN’T ON THE WWE NETWORK~!
- WWWF Heavyweight Championship: Bob Backlund (c) (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Ivan Koloff (w/Captain Lou Albano) – (Madison Square Garden, 8/28/78)
So when Ivan Koloff figured he couldn’t dethrone Bruno Sammartino for a second time in 1975 and 1976, he left the area to wrestle elsewhere. Now that there’s an Opie Taylor champion who drinks his milk and does his daily exercises – basically a do-gooder that isn’t Bruno – Ivan Koloff has returned to the WWWF hoping to regain the title he once held. This is Ivan’s first shot at Backlund inside MSG and he’s looking to make the most of this opportunity.
They test each other to start trying to see who will force who into the corner. Backlund wins the first test and hiptosses Koloff across the ring. Koloff refuses to be taken over with a hiptoss the second time, but Backlund outsmarts him with a headscissors takedown and holds onto the head on the mat. He tries to twist his way out of Backlund’s hold, but can’t manage to make it happen. Koloff winds up rolling Backlund over and tries to hold Backlund down for a three-count, but Backlund bridges up with Koloff working against him and still manages to prevent the pinfall. Back up to their feet, Koloff places Backlund on the top buckle although he gets kicked back to the middle of the ring. Test of strength time. Backlund goes down to his knees, but rolls through holding onto Koloff’s arm and takes him down. However, Koloff grabs Backlund by the hair and pulls him into a headscissors on the mat. Backlund manages a few escapes, but Koloff yanks the hair to bring him right back into the headscissors. Finally, he’ll hand stand out of the hold like he’s Austin Aries and then catches Koloff with a dropkick. Backlund delivers a headscissors and holds onto Koloff down on the mat. He really cranks on it, too. While still in the hold, Koloff rolls Backlund over trying to get a pinfall. He eventually slips out and drops a few knees onto Backlund’s mid-section. He starts slamming, but Backlund counters one with a Jack Brisco rollup for 1-2-NO! Koloff yanks the hair again to escape a headlock and reverts to the headscissors. When Backlund starts to rise up, Koloff decides it’s time to start hammering the guy. While he’s hammering Backlund, Backlund catches a kick and starts stretching and kicking at the knee. He twists on the ankle a bit, but Koloff kicks him off into the ropes and delivers a backdrop. He tries another, but Backlund sees it coming and kicks Koloff down.
Backlund starts row boating the leg to really give it a good stretch. While stretching out Koloff’s leg, Backlund falls through the ropes onto the apron. Koloff hurries over and brings him back inside with a suplex for only a one-count. It’s short-arm scissors time. They build this up until Backlund powers Koloff up – WITH ONE ARM. He places Koloff on the top buckle and slaps him silly, says Vince. Backlund reverts to his training by the Funks and applies the spinning toe hold. Koloff pulls the hair to break the hold and double stomps Backlund so hard, it hurts his knee. LOVE IT. The Backbreaker across the knee connects for 1-2-NO! Koloff is really trying to finish off the champ, but they run into a double-KO as Backlund falls through the ropes to the floor. Back on the apron, Koloff runs Backlund into the buckle and gives him a suplex back inside for 1-2-NO! Another Backbreaker, but no. Backlund kicks out. He heads up top for the Bombs Away Knee Drop, but Backlund MOVES. He telegraphs a backdrop though and gets kicked out to the floor. While Backlund is standing at the apron, Koloff comes off the top rope and stomps Backlund on the back of the head. Backlund sells like he’s on dream street not knowing where he is. The ref is pushing Koloff back and calling for a doctor. While the doc approaches Backlund, Koloff kicks him down. The doc looks at him for two seconds and leaves the ring. OK, then. Backlund gets FIRED UP one last time. He hits Koloff with the ATOMIC DROP, but the ref is calling for the bell. (30:11) Howard Finkel tells us the ref stopped the match and gives the match to Koloff because Backlund couldn’t continue due to “facial cuts”. There’s barely any blood on his face, but the finish sets up the rematch in September where Backlund would pin Koloff inside MSG which is a huge deal since everyone connects Koloff to pinning Bruno once upon a time. Backlund wants some more of Koloff, but Koloff isn’t interested. This is one of those matches that isn’t for everyone, but it’s got great psychology and drama near the end even though the finish was crap. ***¼
- Bull Rope Match: Dusty Rhodes vs. Superstar Billy Graham – (Madison Square Garden, 8/28/78)
From Dusty’s WWE DVD set released back in 2007. Some call it the most famous bull rope match ever. I’m fine with that. Chief Jay Strongbow is the special referee for this match. Instead of a ten-count, both wrestlers have an eight-count, which adds two extra counts of intrigue. This is also the end of their very long feud that blazed through the WWWF and throughout CWF as well in 1977 and 1978. Dusty yanks Graham all around the ring and levels him with an elbow to the head, but Superstar rakes the eyes with the bull rope and starts choking him. There’s nothing Strongbow do about it. Dusty flips Graham over and tries the Bionic Elbow, but misses. Graham grinds the cow bell into Dusty’s eye and we’ve got some blood now. Graham throws Dusty to the floor and we see even MORE blood pouring out of Dusty’s head. CRAZY! From there, Graham decides it’s time for a Bearhug and we get the great visual of Dusty’s bloody forehead. Of course, Dusty elbows out. Graham heads up top, but gets violently pulled down. Dusty starts punching Graham with the cow bell and cuts Graham on the forehead. Yep, EVEN MORE BLOOD. Dusty misses a corner charge and gets choked and kicked down in the corner. Strongbow steps in between them for some reason because there’s no disqualification. This allows Dusty to wake up and knock Graham to the floor with the cow bell. DANG. This is enough for Strongbow to quickly count to eight to help Dusty win the match. (6:28) As Dusty and Strongbow leave, Graham runs off Howard Finkel and BOY IS HE PISSED. He leans down with a terribly bloody face and talks to the cameras at ringside. Short, but violent for sure. A wild final chapter to this wild feud. **
Until next time, so long for now.
Posted on May 23, 2019, in WWE and tagged All Star Wrestling, Arnold Skaaland, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Bob Backlund, Captain Lou Albano, Dominic DeNucci, Dusty Rhodes, Fabulous Moolah, Grand Wizard, Ivan Koloff, Luke Graham, Madison Square Garden, Peter Maivia, Stan Stasiak, Superstar Billy Graham, Vickie Williams. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.