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WWF All-American Wrestling October 16, 1994
by Scrooge McSuck

- Are you ready for the end of an era... the end of All-American Wrestling? We open with the introduction from Vince McMahon on August 24th, 1983. I know this because of the date flashing on the screen. Then we go to the real opening, and throw it to Todd Pettengill, who is supposed to be hosting with the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase, who is absent at the moment. The set is being demolished over the course of the broadcast, making way for the Action Zone, set to debut the next week. Action Zone was supposed to be the weekend version of Raw, but after only a short while, became just as tedious and boring as Superstars, and by 1996, was mostly a recap show. Todd yells at Ian, the stage hand, and offers him a drink of water... Dibiase walks in and throws Ian out of his chair. Hilarity ensues.

The Smoking Gunns vs. Barry Horowitz & Chris Canyon:

Pulled from Wrestling Challenge. Yes, that's Kanyon, about four years before he was anything more than a scrub. The Gunns were kind of taking up space at this point, and never really did anything of note until the new year. Horowitz hammers on Billy and takes him over with a pair of arm drags, then slaps on an armbar. Billy no-sells, but Barry with a northern lights suplex for a two count! Irish whip is reversed, and Billy with a high hip toss, followed by a powerslam. Canyon runs into a powerslam, and Bart tags in. Heavenly Bodies and Jim Cornette with an insert promo... remember when they destroyed the Gunns cowboy hats, and the Gunns destroyed the wings on their robes in retaliation? I know, that's a no. Canyon goes for a moonsault, but Bart rolls out of the way, and Billy with an elbow across the body of Canyon, who was in an overhead position. That's enough for the three count at 3:31. I'm surprised the jobber team was allowed such decent offense.

- Flashback! Lord Alfred Hayes, on January 6th, 1985, talking about a Blackjack Barbeque... okay? We won't be seeing any clips of Heenan or Okerlund, for the obvious reasons. We get a hype video for Bret vs. Owen for the WWF Title on the debut episode of The Action Zone, and it's Owen's last chance at the championship. That was a pretty good match from what I recall, and it's on the Bret Hart DVD, for anyone who cares.

- Charlie Minn comes out (yeah, I totally understand if you don't know him), and Dibiase gives a "are you kidding me" expression on his face... I feel you. Minn is dressed exactly like Pettengill, just with color swaps. Minn only hung around a few months.

Yokozuna (w/ Fuji & Cornette) vs. Jason Storm:

Pulled from Superstars of Wrestling. Storm tries to attack, but Yokozuna lays him out with a headbutt. Vince and Lawler talk about the Casket Match coming up at the Survivor Series. Did anyone think Yokozuna had a chance in hell there? Irish whip, and Yokozuna with a clothesline. Yokozuna with the move best known as the Rock Bottom, and it's over at the 55-second mark... that might've been the quickest Yokozuna squash I have ever seen. The sad thing is, he looks like he's sucking wind. After the match, the light turn purple, and the toll of the bells goes off. Suddenly, Paul Bearer rolls the casket to rinside. the lid comes off, and there's nothing inside, but Yokozuna shits his pants on command, and starts doing prat falls, like he belongs in a Three Stooges short.

- Ian comes back to measure the coffee table, and he's working a HORRIBLE Irish accent. This running gag of annoying Ted Dibiase isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. Dibiase is no Heenan, but his reactions are highly entertaining.

- Courtesy of TNN (or as Vince used to call it, the Hee Haw Network), it's Music City Tonight, a talk show of sorts. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were guests.

- The WWF Hart Attack Tour is coming to Hersheypark Arena, in Hershey, PA "Tonight!". I remember these hype videos for obvious locations such as Madison Square Garden, the Nassau Coliseum, and Meadowlands... yeah, I lived in New York back then, and I would've loved to gone to some of these shows. Some of the main matches advertised included Bret vs. The Anvil for the WWF Title, Lex Luger vs. Tatanka, and the Undertaker vs. Yokozuna in a Casket Match. I have some of the handheld stuff available... maybe I'll make Fancam Month a possibility soon.

- Flashback! Gorilla Monsoon and Johnny Polo are playing basketball. From August 14th, 1994. That's a flashback?! I guess they're playing horse, and Polo does a trick shot that has the ball bounce off a bench, against the backboard of one hoop, into another hoop... I was going to a make a "I haven't seen video tampering this poor since" joke, but every example comes after 1994. Sorry.

- It's a WWF Commercial! Some little boy is going out to play baseball, but there's no game today, because the World Series has been canceled. Randy Savage walks up and offers to hit a few with the kid... I wonder if this was a cute touch since Randy had a brief career in the Minors, or if it was just a coincidence... the slogan: Our Season Never Ends. Insert non-Union joke here, and we're good to go.

- Ian almost damages the Million Dollar Belt. That's Dibiase's fault for leaving out like it was worth nothing. This past monday, Jerry Lawler brings out Queazy, a mini-Lawler, formerly known as Little Louie, which leads us into...

Doink The Clown (w/ Dink... the Clown) vs. Corey Student:

Pulled from Superstars. Dink was one scary bastard. Doink quickly takes Student down with a waistlock into a bridge for a two count. Doink with a pair of arm drags, and my, this version of Doink seems quite taller than Matt Borne. Student lays Doink out with a clothesline and stomps away. Doink will face Double J on Monday Night Raw, by the way. That's a main event in any arena in the country. Irish whip and an elbow from Student. Doink with an atomic drop, followed by a clothesline. Doink to the top rope, and the Whoopie Cushion finishes things off at 1:56. Babyface Doink was such a terrible idea... Doink and Dink celebrate with some awful dancing. Doink gets on the microphone, and introduces us to Dink's counterpart... WINK. Oh dear Lord... Wink is another midget clown, except with bright yellow hair. Lawler calling them the Lollipop Guild is pretty funny...

- Ted Dibiase continues to insult Ian the Stagehand, while Todd Pettengill plugs a book from BURT REYNOLDS, star of WrestleMania X. They show a clip of him mentioning the WWF, and he doesn't exactly sound very flattering in tone... they would use clips of ANYTHING, wouldn't they?

- Special Interview with Arnold Skaaland from Superstars. He's the guy that threw in the towel the night Bob Backlund lost the WWF Championship. Backlund comes out, things become heated, and Backlund snaps and locks Skaaland in the crossface chicken-wing. It's so funny seeing Vince McMahon trying to break it, and even with the ugly suit, you can see McMahon has a pretty big chest.

Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. Reno Riggins & Gary Scott:

From Wrestling Challenge. Michaels and Diesel won the Tag Team Titles at a live event from the Headshrinkers, a few days before SummerSlam. Riggins with a headlock on Michaels, followed by a cross body press for a two count. Michaels tosses Riggins over the top, as Monsoon and Stan Lane hype Bob Backlund vs. Bob Holly, next week, on Superstars. Diesel tosses Riggins back in, and Shawn tosses Riggins back out. Lane makes a Miami Vice/Don Johnson reference in regards to Michaels' beard. Michaels lays out Riggins with a super-kick, and it's Diesel's turn to beat up on Gary Scott. Diesel with a big boot, and the Jackknife Powerbomb is enough for MICHAELS to make the cover for the three count at 2:37. I've never been a fan of super teams as champions.

- From the February 2nd, 1994 episode of All-American Wrestling... Vince McMahon twirls a giant mallet that Doink used to prank around with, introducing the BUSHWHACKERS. How are these some of the best highlights?!!

Lex Luger vs. Tony Devito:

From Superstars. Lex Luger is still Made in the U.S.A., and he's a REBEL! It's pretty laughble how underused Luger was. He went from semi-main event of WrestleMania to WrestleMania's throw-away tag team opener the next year. Luger with a headlock and shoulder tackle, completely over-sold. Luger continues to showcase he is stronger than his pudgy opponent. Devito surprises Luger with an inverted atomic drop, then hammers away. Whip to the corner, and Luger boots Devito charging in. Luger comes screaming out with a clothesline, then takes Devito over with a powerslam. Luger with the REBEL RACK, and it's all over at 2:09. I love that Luger's entrance music has canned chants of "USA!" Luger brings his little flag bearer in the ring, and Lawler's suggestion of Luger wrestling him doesn't sound like a bad idea.

- Todd Pettengill tries to stir up trouble, regarding a mishap between Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka on Monday Night Raw. It's mighty nice of Tatanka to forgive Bam Bam for cutting off the sacred red hair of his native american heritage... remember that program? No? My God, I need to start asking questions with "yes" answers.

- From Wrestling Challenge, Raymond Rougeau is standing by for a special interview with the WWF Champion, Bret Hart. On October 23rd, on the Action Zone, Bret Hart will give Owen one last shot at the gold. This is their absolute last match for the title, ever. To be fair, I think it WAS the last time Bret defended the title against Owen, on television at least.

Owen Hart (w/ The Anvil) vs. Mike Park:

From Superstars. It's amazing how Owen went from undercard babyface to top of the card heel, with almost no warning of such transformation. He's going to challenge for the title, next week, by the way. Owen takes Park to the corner, then gives a semi-clean break. Owen works a wristlock, then sends Park to the corner for some more punishment. Owen misses a charge to the opposite corner, and gets his leg kicked from under his leg. Park's stomps are less convincing than some of the lesser skilled "Divas" of the last decade. Anvil gets a cheap shot in, and Owen regains control. Owen to the top rope with a missile dropkick, and the sharpshooter finally ends things at 2:56. That seemed a lot longer than three minutes.

- Todd continues hyping some of the action coming up next week. the walls start coming down around them, which FINALLY gets Dibiase out of his chair. We close things with stock footage of a building being demolished.

Final Thoughts: It's a recap show that FINALLY bit the dust. No repeats of feature matches, which is a shame. They even stopped doing the "Memory Lane" segment towards the end. For those unfamiliar, from around WrestleMania X through mid-September, they would broadcast a match from the archives. One notable match was Andre, Jay Strongbow, and Billy Whitewolf taking on the Executioners and Bruiser Brody, from MSG circa 1975. I heard the idea came from Johnny Polo/Rave/Whatever his name really is, but I can't confirm. Anyway, this show was not missed, and it's amazing it was on the air for 11 years, when it was just a recap show for probably half of that time. Since this was during a time you couldn't reference WCW employees, any "classic" bits from All-American with Heenan and Gene Okerlund couldn't be used, rendering the "flashback" stuff pointless. I could probably assume the Action Zone got so much hype because I'm sure most fans didn't realize there was WWF programming on the USA Network at Noon on sundays... going against itself (Wrestling Challenge aired in my area at Noon, as well... Heh.).

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