WWWF: All Star Wrestling (01.20.79)
WWWF: All Star Wrestling
January 20, 1979
Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko (12/2/1978)
Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Superman starring Christopher Reeve & Gene Hackman
#1 Song of the Week: Le Freak by Chic
#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 hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino. It appears we are pulling footage from two different episodes, which would explain the longer than usual runtime on the WWE Network. It’s ten minutes longer than we are used to seeing. The first match recapped here is from the January 13 episode and that’s all we will see. I’m assuming since the WWE Network was missing 6-8 weeks of All Star Wrestling that they wanted to provide as much footage as possible and decided to tag on one of the early Steve Travis matches here since he will be a mid-card babyface throughout 1979. THAT’S ONLY MY ASSUMPTION.
- Steve Travis vs. Baron Mikel Scicluna – (All Star Wrestling, 1/13/79)
Travis keeps Scicluna grounded with armdrags and an armbar. Word on the street is Travis was originally hired with the idea he would part of the Valiant family when it was doubtful Handsome Jimmy would get along with Luscious Johnny. As we know of what happened in 1979, this obviously did not occur. Scicluna breaks free and he’s all about pounding Travis. He’s a WWE Hall of Famer, folks. This angers Travis and he fights back, but Scicluna punches Travis and delivers a weak kitchen sink knee. Travis comes back again and he’s actually a pretty good fired up babyface – at least what you see here in the WWWF. Scicluna manages a knee drop and comes down on the throat, but the ref still counts two as Travis rolls his shoulder off the mat. Travis has enough and fires back with a series of punches, but the Baron cuts him off and lands another knee drop for a two-count. Scicluna tries to snapmare Travis, but Travis counters to a backslide and gets a quick three-count on the Baron. (8:06) Travis is a fine lower level babyface. I’d like to see what he could do against a better heel wrestler like a Johnny Rodz for example. ½*
- Jimmy & Johnny Valiant (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Joe Mascara & Kevin Victor
Did you catch Joe McHugh announcing Dr. George Zahorian as the ringside doctor? Hilarious. Handsome Jimmy and Luscious Johnny are such a weird combination with such different personalities. Creatively, clearly Handsome Jimmy could have plenty of opportunities to work singles elsewhere after his successful run in Memphis. Victor and Mascara never have a chance as the Valiant brothers destroy these guys. Johnny delivers a few elbow drops to finish off Victor in 4:12. After the bell rings, the Valiant brothers and Captain Lou continue their attack on these jabronis in and out of the ring. REALLY strong booking as they clearly have plans for the Valiants for 1979.
- Ivan Putski vs. Tony Russo
Russo shows he’s actually dumber than a Pollock because he thinks a headlock is going to keep a guy like Putski contained. He decides to hammer down Putski, but that never works either. Meanwhile, Bruno discusses different ways of training to maintain power while dropping weight. Putski eventually just has enough of Russo’s attempts and hits him with the POLISH HAMMER for the win in 4:22. Putski loves getting on the house mic and yelling things. He wishes everyone a happy new year and hopes they had a good Christmas.
Vince McMahon meets with Captain Lou Albano and his Valiant boys at ringside. Albano calls the Valiant brothers his great find and looks to get revenge on Tony Garea and Larry Zbyszko for stealing his WWWF tag belts. He feels the Valiants are now ready for title matches. He dares any twosome to get in the ring to see if they can last ten minutes with the Valiant brothers. Handsome Jimmy does a “Handsome Jimmy” promo (he must be an Eric Clapton fan) while Luscious Johnny is a little serious stating how hard they have been wrestling while they were gone the last three years. JIMMY HATES SHORT PEOPLE. Albano repeats his challenge over again and Vince has grown tired of hearing from these guys.
- Bulldog Brower (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Charlie Brown
Joe McHugh calls Brower the “One Man Riot Squad”. There’s a lot of young guys we will see in 1979 and Bulldog Brower ain’t one of them. He’s got to be nearing 50 at this point. He’s best known for being one of Bruno Sammartino’s longest and most consistent opponents throughout his eight year run as the WWWF champion. However, he is a wild man and seems to have a lot of energy to beat up Charlie Brown. He tips Brown upside down backwards over the top rope and onto a ringside table. Brower then proceeds to stomp the crap out of Brown on the table and them repeatedly ram his face into it. YES, I LOVE IT. Bulldog allows Brown back into the ring and Charlie mounts a comeback with a pair of head butts, because you know he’s black. Bulldog cuts Charlie off and flings him out to the floor where he slams the wooden steps across the back of Brown. Brower then rolls Charlie inside for a knee drop and the win. (1:56) Brower may be old, but he can still kick your ass.
- Greg Valentine (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Lou Palamouchi
Although he’s only in his late 20’s, Valentine already looks like an old man to me. I think the day he was born, his father Johnny sent him out to buy him a pack of cigarettes because he figured he would pass. This is Greg’s first big run in the WWWF. He’ll main event MSG a few times with Backlund here in 1979. Grand Wizard really tries ref Dick Woehrle’s patience here taking his time getting out of the ring. Much like his dad, Valentine proves immediately to the audience that he’s clearly a sadist. He gets rough with Palamouchi up against the ropes and then delivers an atomic drop (whoops). He grinds on a headlock and whips Palamouchi from corner to corner. He then hiptosses the guy and drops knees to the ribs. Valentine stretches the Palamouchi and stomps the back. The dude is just working so stiff and he’s solid. He throws Palamouchi out onto some concrete where water had spilled. Not good. Back in, Valentine stomps the gut and then delivers a stalling back suplex to set up a pair of nasty direct elbow drops for the win. (4:40) The man was clearly beat about a minute in, but instead of doing the “pull the guy off the mat at two” deal over and over again, he just kept on punishing Palamouchi until he was just ready to leave. My dad once told me a story of seeing Johnny Valentine do that gimmick with a guy for about twenty minutes in the Greensboro Coliseum back in the day. TWENTY MINUTES.
- Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko vs. Johnny Rodz & Bull Molino
Zbyszko and Rodz have a nice scuffle on the mat to start. They end up on the floor for a moment. Back inside, Rodz goes to slapping Zbyszko and delivers some elbow drops. When Larry Z gets to his knees, Rodz starts punching on him. Tag to Molino, Zbyszko kicks him back as he comes off the ropes. Molino does a poor job of preventing the tag as Zbyszko reaches Garea. He really lays in a punch on Molino and whips him from corner to corner. Rodz tries to leap at Garea, but misses and gets grabbed so the babyfaces can whip the heels into one another. The champs continue to dominate with armdrags and armbars. Eventually, Rodz catches Garea with a knee to the stomach and makes a short comeback. Garea reverses things on Rodz and whips him into the corner for a scary Ray Stevens bump to the apron. So infuriated by Garea’s methods, Molino comes in and chokes Garea up against the ropes only to get popped in the face by Larry Z. Tag to Zbyszko, he avoids a big splash off the ropes by Rodz. Garea and Zbyszko double-team Rodz while he’s tied up in the ropes. Oh, but it’s flat out MURDER when it happens to Tony Garea. The match breaks down and the champs do-see-do away from being crashed into one another. Molino is whipped into a corner, but then Rodz lowers the boom on Garea. With Molino as the legal man, Garea slaps on the ABDOMINAL STRETCH for the submission win. (9:32) They should have left Garea and Molino in the locker room and just had Larry Z and Johnny Rodz battle it out. *½
That’s gonna do it for this week. Until next time, so long for now.
Posted on June 29, 2019, in WWE and tagged All Star Wrestling, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Bulldog Brower, Captain Lou Albano, Grand Wizard, Greg Valentine, Ivan Putski, Johnny Rodz, Larry Zbyszko, Steve Travis, The Valiant Brothers, Tony Garea. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.