Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
All American Wrestling
Date: April 8, 1990
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Hillbilly Jim
Hosts: Gene Okerlund, Hillbilly Jim
This popped on my YouTube recommendations and I can always go for some 1990 WWF. We are a week removed from Wrestlemania but it’s hard to say how much of this was taped in advance. If there is a studio portion, I’m sure we’ll hear all about it between a parade of squashes. Let’s get to it.
Gene Okerlund and Hillbilly Jim welcome us to the show and tell us about the Ultimate Warrior winning the WWF Title. Jim insists that Hulkamania will live forever though. They run down the card and we’re ready to go.
Dusty Rhodes vs. Don Stevens
Commentary goes over Dusty’s various careers, with Vince mentioning that Dusty was a “son of a plumber.” A dropkick and suplex set up a chinlock, followed by the big elbow to finish Stevens at 2:08.
The hosts talk about Wrestlemania VI and Hillbilly Jim’s hair. Because reasons.
House show ads, which are always cool to see.
Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan to win the WWF Title at Wrestlemania VI and we see some still shots. They make sure to clarify that Hogan is STILL awesome. Of note: we’re told that Jack Tunney will NOT sanction a rematch because it would be too physically grueling on both of them. That’s quite a nice way to cover up why Hogan never got a rematch, though you would think it would have been mentioned more often.
Orient Express vs. Omar Atlas/Paul Roma
Mr. Fuji is here with the Express, who clear the ring rather quickly. We settle down to Atlas in trouble as we get an insert promo from Fuji about how the Express will destroy anyone. Kato strikes away and Tanaka comes back in for a spinning forearm. A backbreaker/top rope ax handle combination finishes Atlas at 3:17.
Rating: C-. Total destruction here and it’s kind of interesting that Roma was in this spot just a few months before Power & Glory started up. The Express was a weird situation as they had all kinds of talent and could have a nice match with anyone (their stuff with the Rockers was great) but they never got above the midcard. It’s a shame as they could have been better, but they never got the chance.
Wrestlemania VII will (not) be at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum!
Warlord vs. Ricky Ataki
Warlord debuts Slick as his new manager and drops Ataki with a flying shoulder. A clothesline puts Ataki on the floor and there’s a suplex to drop him again. We get a quick Slick/Warlord inset interview with Slick being happy about his new acquisition. Warlord finishes with a running powerslam at 2:34. Nice squash.
We go to Madison Square Garden, seemingly on October 28, 1989.
Dino Bravo vs. Bret Hart
We’re joined in progress with Bret in trouble on the floor and having his already banged up chest knocked into the barricade. Back in and Bravo grabs the reverse chinlock before sending Bret right back to the floor. A sunset flip gives Bret two and but Bravo is right back with the bearhug.
They even drop to their knees for a bit in a weird spot before Bret bites his way to freedom. The bearhug goes right back on though and this time it’s a series of elbows to break it up. A suplex drops Bravo and Bret starts the comeback, including dropping an elbow for two. The backbreaker sets up the middle rope elbow but the time expires at 8:46 shown for the 20:00 draw (which was actually about 18:40).
Rating: C-. That wasn’t exactly great as it was mainly spent on the bearhug and Hart having to fight out of trouble. Then the ending came out of nowhere, which granted might have had something to do with showing about nine minutes of the match. These two fought quite a bit but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them have a good one, so this wasn’t a surprise.
We go to the Brother Love Show, with the Bushwhackers as this week’s guests. Love laughs at them about Rhythm and Blues attacking them recently, sending Butch into a rant about how IT’S NOT FUNNY WHEN SOMEONE GETS HIT WITH A GUITAR. Butch threatens Love, who runs off to end a rather nothing segment, save for butch losing his mind.
Earthquake vs. Jim Gorman
Earthquake has Jimmy Hart with him and promises to hurt Hulk Hogan. The powerslam, a top rope chop to the head, and the Earthquake finishes Gorman at 1:37.
Post match Earthquake crushes him two more times and Gorman leaves on a stretcher.
House show ads.
Jim Duggan vs. Black Bart
Duggan works on the arm to start and sends him into the corner for a clothesline. The three point clothesline finishes Bart at 2:34. Duggan continues to be goofy fun and that would be the case forever.
Barbarian, with Bobby Heenan, says this is his year. Heenan says they’re coming for the good guys.
Jimmy Snuka says his mind is clean and he loves competition.
Gene thinks there are animals in Jim’s beard to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. There’s nothing much to the show but that’s kind of the point. This was about getting people on the show and mentioning some of the things they were doing. Granted in this case you had Wrestlemania fallout so there was quite a bit to cover from the biggest show of the year. I could go for some more like this, as it’s quick and easy while showcasing a lot of the talent of the era.
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