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.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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?!!
- 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.
- 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.).