WWWF: All Star Wrestling (03.24.79)
WWWF: All Star Wrestling
March 24, 1979
Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWWF North American Heavyweight Champion: Ted DiBiase (2/17/1979)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko (12/2/1978)
Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: The China Syndrome starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas
#1 Song of the Week: Tragedy by Bee Gees
#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.
From an earlier episode of All Star Wrestling, Joe McHugh introduces the winner of the North American Wrestling Magazine’s 1979 rookie of the year award: STEVE TRAVIS. Seems a little premature since it’s only March, but I guess they wanted to get out in front of all the other magazine awards for 1979 that will probably be announced sometime in 1980. Travis would actually go on and become the runner-up for the PWI rookie of the year in 1979, but would lose to Sweet Brown Sugar who was tearing it up in Florida that year. Anyways, the award is a giant cornucopia of flowers. That’s right. No trophy to get broken apart. Vince McMahon talks with Travis down on the floor and he’s as happy as a clam for winning the award after all the hard work he’s put into wrestling. Boy, Vince is giving Travis some serious bedroom eyes here. To suck up to the crowd, he shares his flowers with as many fans as he can.
- Ted DiBiase vs. Jose Estrada
Capetta gets booed simply because he isn’t Joe McHugh. DiBiase is able to armdrag Estrada around the ring to start. Estrada grabs a front facelock and rips at the face while the ref’s back is turned. DiBiase gets PISSED and fires back. He delivers a sharp knee drop and grabs an armbar. They play around with the armbar for a while. Estrada gets to the ropes and takes down DiBiase for a headscissors. DiBiase turns him over and applies a hammerlock. Estrada goes low and hammers DiBiase in the corner. He telegraphs a backdrop though and DiBiase goes DROPKICK CRAZY. He catches Estrada with the jumping back elbow and an elbow drop gets the win in 5:18.
Before we go back to the ring, Vince McMahon talks with Freddie Blassie and The Great Hussein. There’s no telling what Sheiky Baby is saying. We can make out that he’s saying Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund. Blassie talks while Hussein swings the Persian clubs in the ring and dares any man $1000 in the USA who can outdo him on the clubs. Vince grabs one of the clubs and assures us all that the clubs are heavy. He also points out Hussein’s wrestling boots with the toes curled up. Blassie only allows Vince and the cameraman a moment to look at his boots.
- The Great Hussein (w/Freddie Blassie) vs. Steve King
Hussein beats the piss out of Steve King here. Bruno calls out Hussein for kicking his boot against the mat and then smashing King’s face onto his boot up in the corner. He falls onto King and gets the three-count in 2:31.
More time for another interview as Vince McMahon confronts Greg Valentine and the Grand Wizard for what was done to Chief Jay Strongbow. Valentine thinks if Strongbow can’t hang, then he needs to get out. Wizard feels you should do unto others before they do unto you. Whenever Wizard is feeling low, they watch the tape of Valentine breaking Strongbow’s leg and pretty much jerk their ding-dongs off to it. Valentine says he broke Strongbow’s leg to make more money in this business because he likes big cars, big houses, and possibly big women. I don’t know. I won’t judge the guy. He’s still hunting after Bob Backlund as well as because their “no time limit” match in MSG is coming up on Monday night.
- Nikolai Volkoff (w/Freddie Blassie) vs. Marc Pole
Volkoff beats poor Mark Pole out of the ring and then pulls off a perfect cartwheel. AWESOME. Pretty aggressive squash match here. Volkoff picks him up off the mat a few times to prevent the three-count. Thought Pole was going to take one nasty bump off the apron, but realized he’s not Mick Foley and this is 1979. Eventually, Volkoff PRESSES Pole up in the air and drops him down into a backbreaker for the win in 3:35.
- Greg Valentine (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Frank Williams
This gives Vince a chance to ask Bruno what the update is on Chief Jay Strongbow. He’s going through a really hard time right now. Vince has heard Strongbow will never return, but no one can convince Bruno that he won’t come back. Valentine works the leg and does all he can to get Williams softened up for the Figure-Four. No Figure-Four though. Instead, he applies a half crab and gets poor Frank to submit in 4:52.
- Jerry & Johnny Valiant (w/Captain Lou Albano & Jimmy Valiant) vs. Ivan Putski & Fred Curry
I love how Putski never minds to grab the mic right out of the ring announcer’s hand to shout something nonsensical at the crowd. The back of Luscious Johnny’s tights says “Macho Man”. I’m sure Randy Savage would be going NUTS about it down in Kentucky if he knew. The Valiants double-team and choke Curry until he gets pretty mad about it. Jerry Valiant tags in and does more damage to Curry, but then lets Curry get away to tag in Putski. He runs wild and the match breaks down as the Valiant brothers are whipped into one another. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER from Putski. Johnny gets into a test of strength with Putski and there’s no way Johnny can win that battle. After repeatedly kicking Putski down, Johnny can’t handle him and tags out to Jerry. Putski backs Jerry into the corner and rams him into the buckle. In comes Curry, the match breaks down again. Putski applies a bearhug to Jerry. Meanwhile, Curry hits Johnny with a flying body press out of the corner. Next thing we know, a bell sounds and the match is ruled a curfew draw. (7:21) Curry is nearly triple-teamed by the Valiants, but Albano and his Valiant boys decide to fight another day. ½*
AND NOW FOR A SPECIAL BONUS MATCH~!
- WWWF World Tag Team Championship: Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko (c) vs. Johnny & Jerry Valiant (w/Captain Lou Albano & Jimmy Valiant) – (Championship Wrestling, 3/24/79)
From the Tag Team Champions Coliseum Video released in 1986. We are JIP to Zbyszko getting a hot tag from Garea. He’s got a baaaack body drop for Jerry and a shot to the chops of Johnny. As he and Jerry run the ropes, Zbyszko leapfrogs and takes a shoulder to the groin. Looks like Jerry is KO’ed. While the ref is busy getting Garea out of the ring, Jimmy Valiant sneaks in and drags Jerry out to the floor. Meanwhile, Luscious Johnny crawls over to Zbyszko and covers him for the three-count to win the tag titles. (1:07 shown) The whole thing went a little over ten minutes, but I don’t have the whole Championship Wrestling episode so all we get is the finish. The WWE Network doesn’t seem to be against showing the old stuff so maybe we will get some Championship Wrestling episodes at some point down the road. N/R
TO MAKE UP FOR HOW SHORT THE FIRST SPECIAL BONUS MATCH WAS, HERE’S A SECOND SPECIAL BONUS MATCH THAT IS MUCH LONGER~!
- WWWF World Champion Bob Backlund (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Greg Valentine (w/The Grand Wizard) – (Madison Square Garden, 3/26/79)
These two went to a 60-minute draw at the February 1979 MSG show – now Valentine gets a rematch with no time limit. The Grand Wizard seems to manage every opponent Backlund has. Why not just have Backlund beat the crap out of the Grand Wizard so badly that he leaves the fed so Backlund can be champ forever? Valentine stalls a bunch by just circling around Backlund inside the ring. Once they do lock up, Valentine spends the better half of five minutes trying to knot up Backlund’s hamstrings with knee strikes. When that doesn’t matter, he puts Backlund down with repeated elbows to the top of the head. Valentine grabs a front facelock and the crowd starts to get restless with the slower pace. Backlund uses his midsection to muster up the strength to slam Valentine off him, so Valentine drives his knee into Backlund’s ribs. Valentine grabs a modified surfboard with his knee stuck in Backlund’s side. You can literally hear fans at times shouting, “SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!” Valentine applies an early version of the Regal Stretch. Backlund escapes and gives Valentine a good slam, but Backlund misses an elbow drop. Valentine tries to get the pin on the mat with a knucklelock, but Backlund shows us just how flexible he is with some awesome bridges. They trade off on a half crab, leading into a back and forth row boat pin. It almost leads to a double pin. Backlund reapplies the half crab and when Valentine counters, Backlund manages a monkey flip to set up the FIGURE-FOUR, which is Valentine’s finisher! The crowd goes completely nuts as they think Valentine just might submit to his own hold. Valentine finds the ropes and reverses the hold over Backlund for a moment. Valentine stays on the leg until Backlund starts firing off some forearms until they knock each other silly. Valentine catches Backlund charging the corner and nails him with an elbow on the top of the head. Valentine drops the Hammer and gets 1-2-NO! Valentine thinks he’s won and turns away to celebrate, so Backlund comes up behind him and delivers the ATOMIC DROP for the real 1-2-3. (30:56) Due to its length and lack of action that we’re used to nowadays, it’s probably not for everyone. Great story told though, but I think their feud in 1981 made for better matches even though there was a tremendous amount of heat on Valentine as he just broke Chief Jay Strongbow’s leg and that’s frowned upon in this area. ***
That’s gonna do it for this week. Until next time, so long for now.
Posted on July 15, 2019, in WWE and tagged All Star Wrestling, Arnold Skaaland, Bob Backlund, Captain Lou Albano, Fred Curry, Freddie Blassie, Grand Wizard, Greg Valentine, Iron Sheik, Ivan Putski, Jimmy Valiant, Jose Estrada, Larry Zbyszko, Nikolai Volkoff, Steve Travis, Ted DiBiase, The Valiant Brothers, Tony Garea. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.