WWF: All Star Wrestling (01.12.80)

WWF: All Star Wrestling
January 12, 1980
Hamburg, PA
Hamburg Fieldhouse

Your current WWF champions are as follows:
WWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Pat Patterson (9/1/1979)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Ivan Putski & Tito Santana (10/22/1979)

Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Kramer vs. Kramer starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep

#1 Song of the Week: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
#1 TV Show of the 79-80 Season: 60 Minutes hosted by Mike Wallace

Follow along if you have the WWE Network!

The following wrestling exhibition requires discretionary viewer participation.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino.

  • Larry Zbyszko vs. JoJo Andrews – (WWF Championship Wrestling, 1/12/80)

It seems that Zbyszko has been avoiding Bruno for the last couple weeks on Championship Wrestling, so they hope to get to the bottom of it on today’s show. Andrews isn’t really any challenge to Zbyszko – nor should be with what’s about to go down. Andrews misses a dropkick (!) and Zbyszko applies a Boston Crab for the win in 3:44.

After the bell, Vince speaks with Larry Zbyszko hoping to get an explanation. Zbyszko says that wrestling is his life. He hopes to do this for the rest of his life and wants to be the best at it. He explains that Bruno Sammartino was his trainer and he could not bring himself to talk to the man. He admits he doesn’t hate Bruno, but he has to become Larry Zbyszko and not “the guy Bruno trained.” It has been hard for him and he’s been depressed about the fact that the man who has helped him so much is now standing in his way. Larry then challenges Bruno Sammartino to prove that he is better. Zbyszko feels he can’t get anywhere without stepping out of Bruno’s shadow. The crowd doesn’t seem to like this idea. Zbyszko even goes as far as to say he DEMANDS to face Bruno. Whether the people understand it or not, Zbyszko needs to meet Bruno in the ring on a scientific level. He even wants to do this on TV so everyone can see to get himself out of his rut. OH BOY. The crowd actually applauds.

  • The Wild Samoans (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Dominic DeNucci & Steve King

Back on All Star Wrestling, Vince mentions that Albano wants to get back into wrestling while working out with the Samoans. Of course, that remains to be seen. Bruno thinks his pal Dominic will provide some problems for the Samoans. GIVE ME A BREAK, BRUNO. It takes Vince a minute or two to bring up to Bruno about Larry Zbyszko challenging him. Bruno feels like his heart has been broken over Larry’s comments. Bruno doesn’t feel like he could possibly wrestle Zbyszko since he sees him like a younger brother. Back to the match, DeNucci gets a tag from King and gets about two moves off on Afa. Steve King tags back in and gets his shit jacked up. Afa puts him away with a SAMOAN DROP. (6:22) Vince reminds us of the Samoans undefeated streak. Albano couldn’t be happier with his guys.

Vince talks with the returning Rene Goulet who has been away from the area since 1972. He is a former WWWF tag team champion with Karl Gotch and left the territory after they lost the tag titles. Goulet says it was Gotch who got hurt in the match and cost them the tag belts. His game plan is that he’s going to “fight fire with fire” in the 1980s and thinks it should prove successful. They discuss European wrestling since Goulet claims that’s where he’s been since he left. He actually spent a lot of time in the AWA, WWA, Mid-Atlantic, and also Georgia. Goulet of course wants to wrestle Backlund and Sammartino. Talk turns to famous French wrestler Andre the Giant. Andre is a man Goulet would like to avoid meeting in the ring. Imagine that. He speaks some French for the French audience. Vince and Rene make a few comments on how diverse the culture is in this area before Vince cuts him off and moves onto Goulet’s match.

  • Rene Goulet vs. Johnny Rodz

Rodz goes right into his dirty tactics to start. Goulet escapes an armbar and catches Rodz with a dropkick. We are only a few minutes in and Goulet’s babyface style feels dated. Rodz comes back and comes off the middle ropes with stomps. Goulet comes back with a slam and takes Rodz to the mat with a headscissors. Rodz eventually headstands out of it and grabs a chinlock. Crowd could not care less, but Hamburg has never really been a weekly hot crowd. Rodz hits a vertical suplex and misses something off the middle rope. Goulet sees a backdrop coming and counters with a gutwrench suplex for the win. (6:36) Rodz complains to the ref about Goulet pulling the tights. He even shoves Whorle, but Whorle doesn’t shove back. This isn’t the NWA. Goulet is rather boring from my viewpoint. ½*

  • Tito Santana vs. Jose Estrada

After a friendly collar and elbow tie-up exchange, Estrada grapevines the leg on the mat and works on the knee. He puts Santana in the corner and kicks at the injured knee as well. COME ON, REF! Tito kicks back with his good leg and returns the favor working the knee on the mat. Estrada rakes the face to get away, but Santana is right back on top of him. Vince discusses Tito’s fiery Latin temper. Again, Estrada rakes the face to disorient Santana. He sneaks a choke on Tito while applying a hammerlock. Santana punches back and sends Estrada into the ropes for what looked like a Thesz Press, but Estrada catches Tito and slam dunks him to the mat. He tries a leaping splash, but Santana moves and surprises Estrada with a CROSSBODY BLOCK for the three-count. (5:06) This was way more fun than the Goulet match because of Tito’s fast-paced offense that Goulet couldn’t provide – not to mention Estrada worked as a more aggressive heel. *½

  • Bobby Duncum (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Angelo Gomez

Duncum closes another episode of All Star Wrestling as he prepares to square off against Bob Backlund in the Philadelphia Spectrum on the same night. Duncum works over Gomez’s neck all throughout the match and finishes him off with the RUNNING BULLDOG in 3:05.

If you are interested at all in the Larry Zbyszko and Bruno Sammartino feud, CHECK OUT THIS EPISODE. That Larry Z promo is ESSENTIAL.

And that does it for this week. We will be taking a detour off to the Philadelphia Spectrum next to see BOB BACKLUND against BOBBY DUNCUM, HULK HOGAN versus TITO SANTANA, and much more~! Until next time, so long for now.


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