WWF: All Star Wrestling (04.21.79)

WWF: All Star Wrestling
April 21, 1979
Hamburg, PA
Hamburg Fieldhouse

Your current WWF champions are as follows:
WWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWF North American Heavyweight Champion: Ted DiBiase (2/17/1979)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Johnny & Jerry Valiant (3/24/1979)

Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: The Champ starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Schroder

#1 Song of the Week: Knock On Wood by Amii Stewart
#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.

NOTE: With the shortened WWF name, we get a new intro to the show. At this point, no other major visible changes to the program.

  • Nikolai Volkoff (w/Freddie Blassie) vs. Nick Busick

This Nick Busick is the very same Big Bully Busick we will see get a short WWF run in 1991. Volkoff squeezes and rips and punches and jabs at Busick for several minutes without Busick putting up much of a fight. Eventually, he finds a moment to kick back at Volkoff and pounds his head on the buckle. Unfortunately, Busick isn’t strong enough for that to hurt too bad. Nikolai hits one backbreaker and then hoists up Busick into the air to drop him down for another backbreaker to win at 4:29. Vince compares the Soviet Russian to a German tank which might not be the kindest analogy if we know our history.

  • Ted DiBiase & Steve Travis vs. Johnny Rodz & Marc Pole

Rodz and Pole corner Travis to start and beat him up until Rodz tries one too many elbow drops. Tag to DiBiase, he threatens Rodz with a closed fist, but goes for the hiptoss instead. DiBiase lays in some forearms and knee drops Rodz for two. Rodz knees DiBiase back and catches him with the kitchen sink knee strike. Tag to Pole, DiBiase sees him telegraph a backdrop and tags Travis. He hits a back elbow and trips on himself. There’s a front headlock. Looks like Pole really wanted to low blow him there, but missed I guess. Big slam to Pole, but he kicks out at two. Pole shoves Travis back into his corner to make it easier for Rodz to cheat and fly into the ring with his shots to Travis. Rodz tags in, but Travis backdrops him away. DiBiase tags in and delivers some nice armdrags to Rodz. Seeing Pole out of the corner of his eye coming into the ring, DiBiase whips Rodz into him. DiBiase telegraphs a backdrop and so Rodz heaves him out to the floor. Back inside, Rodz delivers a piledriver (!) but then misses an elbow drop. What a dummy. Travis and Pole both receive tags. Travis slams the big guy for a nearfall. A dropkick to Pole connects. He tries to reach up to Rodz, but Travis prevents the tag and grabs a front headlock. Rodz makes him pay with a shot from the top rope. Awesome. Tag to DiBiase, he connects with a dropkick and gets two. There’s the Jumping Back Elbow and the elbow drop scores the pinfall. (6:48) The Boys in Blue as Vince calls them says they can “really get it done”. Looks like these two are going to be feuding with the Valiants over the WWF tag belts this spring. When there’s a six-man, Travis and DiBiase would team up with the special attractions like Andre the Giant or Haystacks Calhoun. **

Bruno grabs a word with Ted DiBiase and Steve Travis at ringside. They put each other over and talk about how tough the other one is and how they enjoy teaming together.

After a break, Vince is standing by with Greg Valentine and his manager the Grand Wizard. The Wiz says he’s got a man who is the master of a dozen different holds, but one in particular is the Figure-Four Leglock where you either submit or walk around on one leg. Valentine says he and the Wiz have been singing a song lately called, “It Won’t Be Long”, because it won’t be long before he captures the WWF title from Bob Backlund. He’s going to break Backlund’s leg just like he broke Chief Jay Strongbow’s leg. Wizard is behind him laughing imagining Strongbow doing his war dance on one leg. He thinks Strongbow wouldn’t even make a good cigar store Indian. Hilarious. Vince thinks maybe Valentine is too focused on the Figure-Four Leglock, but Valentine says he only uses the hold when he can’t beat them with the elbow drop or the suplex. STRONGBOW IS FINISHED! BACKLUND IS FINISHED. Valentine even threatens Bruno as the crowd groans and gasps. AWESOME. Wizard wraps it up saying Valentine’s nine year journey will lead to the WWF title. In 197-NINE, Valen-TINE declares he will be world champion.  Vince sneaks in a great comment about maybe even Strongbow will be back when we come back from a commercial.

  • Bulldog Brower (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. SD Jones

Either Brower is setting Jones up for something or he’s scared. Lots of stalling from Brower –  acting afraid to lock up with the big guy. Jones connects with a headbutt, but misses a corner charge. There we go. That’s my guy. Brower punches SD out to the floor in front of Albano, but he doesn’t get involved. He runs Jones into the turnbuckle connector, but Jones comes back and grabs a headlock. Brower shoves him off into the ropes and catches him with a back elbow before landing a fist drop to the chest for the win in 4:06.

  • Tito Santana vs. Jose Estrada

This is our first look at Tito Santana on WWF All Star Wrestling. He is one of MANY excellent wrestlers from this era to come out of West Texas State University where he played tight end with Tully Blanchard who was the quarterback if you can *believe* that. When his pro football career didn’t pan out, Tully got him into wrestling where he was trained down in Florida by Hiro Matsuda and Bob Orton. He would debut on Championship Wrestling from Florida in 1977 getting his feet wet and would move over to Georgia and the Carolinas where he would wrestle as “Richard Blood” – ironically Ricky Steamboat’s real name – finding lower mid card success. After spending the first few months in 1979 wrestling under his real name in Amarillo in a tag team with Ted DiBiase, they both have hit the big time in the Big Apple. This is where we find ourselves in the career of Tito Santana.

Both guys stand strong during a lockup. Estrada pounds Tito on the head and Tito gets FIRED UP. Now we see a headlock from Santana. Estrada wants to punch Tito and Tito really doesn’t like that. Of course, he refuses to engage, and tries to get Estrada back to wrestling. Estrada catches him with a back elbow and crucifixes him into a pin attempt, but Santana kicks out. Santana comes back with a hiptoss and a dropkick. Like every babyface in the WWF, he threatens a fist and doesn’t engage. Captain Lou is out here distracting Tito for some reason. Vince says Albano is trying to end this match quickly so his Valiant boys get more time. That’s an interesting plan nobody would think to do nowadays. Tito returns to the headlock. Bruno gives us his weekly update on Chief Jay Strongbow. He says Strongbow is on crutches and he’s getting around. He predicts Strongbow will be off crutches and on a cane very soon, which means it won’t be long before he will return to get revenge on Greg Valentine. Meanwhile, Santana catches Estrada coming off the ropes and pops him in the gut before dropping an elbow for two. There’s an atomic drop, but NOBODY but Bob Backlund is the master of that hold around here, buddy. Back to the headlock. Estrada shoves Tito away, but telegraphs a backdrop. Santana delivers a dropkick and a flying headscissors. They botch a backdrop spot. Tito tries to recover with a spinning toehold. Once Estrada’s leg is good and twisted up, Tito drops back and bridges Estrada for the pin in 7:06.

  • Jimmy, Johnny & Jerry Valiant (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Dominic DeNucci, Steve King & Frank Williams

I guess Steve King and Frank Williams had to flip a coin as to who will job tonight. Why is DeNucci bothering to team with these two scrubs against the VALIANT BROTHERS? Come on. Vince is very interested in Albano being “wet”. Johnny Valiant starts the match against DeNucci. This will be the most competitive part of the match. They do some headlocks and hammerlock exchanges. In comes Jerry, he gets in some nasty punches on DeNucci’s giant nose. Jimmy tags in and chokes DeNucci on the mat. Back to Johnny, he makes a weak comeback and tags in Frankie. Oh boy. He gets pounded in the Valiants corner. The dude is absolutely dominated. He does manage to shove Johnny back over to his corner across the ring. DeNucci tags in and puts an abdominal stretch on Johnny, but Jerry breaks it up. Frankie tags back in for reasons I’ll never understand. Jimmy whips him into a double clothesline from Johnny and Jerry. Jimmy covers Williams and that’s going to be it at 5:23. Steve King never saw any action here. Vince reminds us Albano is one big slob.

No mic time left for the Valiants.

That’s gonna do it for this week. Until next time, so long for now.

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Posted on July 29, 2019, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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