Hi folks! It’s been a while since I brought you a vintage review from my limited VHS collection. Today, I decided to dust off the old VHS player and slip in WCCW’s first volume of All Star American Wrestling. On the box includes lines like “Never before available in the UK”, and “Today’s top stars in the bouts that made them famous”.
Released by Chrysalis Home Video in 1992, it sports a collection of seven matches with a running time of 60 minutes. As you can imagine, the short running time means we only get highlights or matches being cut early. Did you miss reviews #1 & #2? You can find them here: Hulk Hogan’s Real American – The Undertaker’s Gravest Matches
Intro: WCCW was an American promotion from the Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas area from 1966-1990; before merging with CWA to form the USWA. With an American flag in the background, we’re introduced with short clips from the matches. The host runs down the card featured on the video.
#1. Jerry Lawler vs. Randy Savage in a Shake Cage (1984)
We’re a few minutes into the match, with a heel Savage beating down Lawler in the corner. Macho Man’s in great shape. Jerry fights back and brawls him. Randy escapes and climbs the cage, teasing a climb to the outside. Jerry doesn’t go after him, as he simply goads Randy to get back in the ring. The cage looks flimsy, so it would be unwise to climb over anyways. He climbs back down and they stare each other out.
They go through a quick exchange til Randy snapmares him in to a very long headlock. The commentator reminds us the match will pick up later. Jerry somehow escapes and launches Randy in to the cage .. which looks like it could fall any second. Randy rolls to the outside, and seems to get something from under the ring to hide in his tights. He gets back in and works Jerry’s arm over. Jerry tries to fight back but Savage pushes him down on his backside.
Randy goes for a suplex but Jerry blocks. Savage doesn’t like it so he aggressively punches him in the face. Lawler escapes to the outside, so Randy gets on the turnbuckle and falls to the outside with a double axe handle. Randy pulls whatever it is and uses it on Lawler’s face in the ref’s blind spot. He slams Jerry in to the cage, clearly having the upper hand. Randy goes for it again but Jerry reverses and sends him to it instead. Lawler makes a great comeback and the crowd are all for it. He somehow steals what Randy had in his tights and uses it on him. Randy gets out of it and knocks him down.
Savage climbs to the top of the cage! He goes for the super high elbow drop but Lawler moves! He lands on his feet, so still goes down. Not only does this cage match have rules, it seems there’s a reason the referee stops Lawler hitting the piledriver on Savage. Randy reverses the piledriver .. and no lie, he takes Jerry for one of the quickest, most awesome Aeroplane spins I’ve ever seen! They’re both dizzy and fall over trying to punch each other.
They fight to the outside and Randy repeatedly bangs Jerry’s head off the steel. One of Jerry’s biggest rivals Jos LeDuc makes his presence known at ringside. He climbs in the cage and attacks Lawler! Forcing the referee to call for disqualification. Officials struggle to unlock the cage, but when they finally do they split it up. Lawler is still the Southern Heavyweight Champion. The date for this match differs between 1983-85, with more leaning towards ’84.
#2. Greg Valentine vs. The Deadly Dutchman
They lock up, and the commentators sell Valentine as a global star. Greg works the arm over. He nails him with an elbow to the head, and a stiff chop to the chest. Valentine lifts his legs and drops the headbutt on his crotch. He locks in the Figure Four Leg Lock and Dutchman taps out. By far the shortest match on the video. Disappointing.
#3. The Rockers vs. The Sheepherders
Don’t get too excited, it’s not the same Rockers with Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty, although it says “The Rockers” on the box. What we actually have, are the “New York Rockers” Al Perez & Joe Savoldi against The Bushwackers before WWF made them circus acts.
We got a brief promo from The Rockers before the match. We start off and the pace is quick. In fact it’s so frantic I had trouble keeping up with it. Sheepherders got the advantage early on, and we got a nice shoulder block from one of ’em. Joe hits a dropkick and takes him down to the mat by his head. Sheepherder fight back, but it’s competitive.
A little later, The Sheepherders show why they became a popular team with quick tags to stay fresh. They isolate Joe and keep Perez waiting on the apron a long time. Finally, Joe tags Al and he makes a huge comeback. He gets a two-count, but it’s not enough. Joe locks in a submission, but the match breaks down as all four get in the ring and the referee loses control. He throws the match out as a no-contest.
*We get a break with a “Rockers” song going along to clips of matches featured so far*
#4. The (Wild) Samoans (w/ Ernie Ladd) vs. Ted DiBiase & Bob Roop (1981)
The veteran team of The Samoans are the champions, while DiBiase & Roop are challenging. Couldn’t tell which Samoan which in half the time due to camera angles. Bob opens up by working the arm over. He attacks the Samoan’s partner and is ready to take both on. DiBiase tags in and dropkicks. He locks in a headlock, but The Samoan’s get the tag and double clothesline him down to the mat.
He fights back from his knees, but The Samoans have been together for years and simply double team again. Bob wants in as Ted fights valiantly through repeated punishment. One of the Samoans leaps and misses the flying headbutt, giving Ted the chance to get Bob in with the hot tag. He takes it to both, but their manager Ernie Ladd gets on the ring apron and distracts long enough for The Samoans to take advantage. Roop’s in danger as The Samoans continue their double team offense.
DiBiase manages to tag Roop and gets in the ring .. but the referee didn’t see it. As he argues with the ref, The Samoans keep work Roop over. The ref gets bumped and chaos ensues as Ernie Ladd gets in the ring to help The Samoans. DiBiase and Roop clean house, and Roop goes for the cover as the referee recovers in time to count the pinfall 1-2-3. They are handed the titles .. but wait!? What’s this? The referee has reversed the decision. There’s controversy as the referee talks with a higher up at ringside. It is eventually announced the referee changed the decision to a Disqualification due to Ernie Ladd’s interference, meaning The Samoans are still champions.
#5 Jerry Lawler vs. Rick Rude w/ Jim Neidhart & Angel (1984)
Rude looking absolutely ripped .. while Jerry’s well, you know. They lock up. Rude brawls and stomps him down to the mat. He’s all over Jerry in the early going. Rude distracts the referee so Neidhart can interfere. He pins Jerry, but gets a foot on the rope. Rude does this same spot two more times in the match, like he never learns to pull his opponent away before pinning. He follows a scoop slam with an elbow drop. After a long time on the offensive, Lawler hulks up and makes a comeback.
The crowd pops as Jerry finally gets in to the match. Rude puts the brakes on by throwing Jerry in to the ref. Neidhart storms in .. but Jerry is wise to it and manages to fight him and Rude back. He goes to the top and lands the flying fist drop to Rude’s beautiful face. Angel enters and distracts Lawler long enough for Rude to clock him hard on the back of the head. Neidhart wakes up the referee while Rude pins him .. and a slow 1-2-3. New Champion! The crowd boo.
Jerry’s not happy, so he attacks them. Angel grabs a chair and swings at Jerry’s head, but it doesn’t have any impact and she’s too scared to run. Jerry literally punches her full force in the face! Neidhart & Rude jump in, but other tag teams appear for their own agendas. Tommy Rich & Eddie Gilbert go after Rude & Neidhart, while Zambuie Express (Ray Candy & Elijah Akeem) went after Lawler with chairs. No conclusion.
#6 Sgt. (Joe) Slaughter vs. Boris Zukoff w/ The Iron Sheik
Slaughter is a huge celebrity at this point. Fans going crazy as they take their sweet time starting the match. He invites a fan in the ring with the US flag to counter the Soviet Union flag held by Zukoff. But Iron Shiek sneakily steals it from the fan! That’s not on. Somehow Slaughter gets the Soviet Union flag from Zukoff. He blows his nose on it, before passing it back to Boris. He still has the patriotism to fold it neatly back up though, which the commentator mentions.
Zukoff jumps the bell to blindside Slaughter with a chain shot. He’s not good at holding on to things, as Slaughter takes his chain and chokes him with it. The match continues as Slaughter uses the chain against him. The commentator thinks the referee should stop the match, as it’s not right .. even if Zukoff introduced it. Slaughter stops using it, and Boris gets him in a headlock. Slaughter reverses it in to the Cobra Clutch.
He let’s go for some reason .. and very clearly places his back next to Iron Sheik on the apron .. so he can grab him for the next spot (Sheik has no idea ..). So he grabs Slaughter and Zukoff charges at him, but he misses and hits Sheik instead. Slaughter hits what could be considered a lariat? And gets the pinfall for the United States. USA! USA!
#7. Bruno Sammartino & Dick The Bruiser vs. Ernie Ladd & Baron Von Rashke w/ Bobby Heenan – Sam Menacher as special referee (1973)
We’re already underway as we clip to the last match. The commentator says this is a two-out-of-three falls match. Much like the earlier tag match, there’s so much going on it’s hard to keep notes. But the one thing I did pick up on .. was the crowd reaction. Super loud. Crazy loud. Crowd going mental as Bruno brawls with Ernie. He goes for the pin but Baron breaks it up. Everything Bruno does gets a pop as he stomps on Ladd.
Baron Von Rashke gets the tag and starts working over Bruno .. but he’s having none of it and moves to tag Bruiser in. Bruno & Dick are all over this team as we clip to a young Bobby Heenan getting steamed on the outside. He gets so frustrated .. Heenan jumps in the ring and breaks up the pin, but the referee doesn’t care enough to disqualify their team. Bruiser hits a big move on Baron and gets the pinfall, leaving him & Bruno 1-0 up.
Sadly .. that’s all the time Volume 1 has for us. The crowd was red hot for the last match, I would’ve liked to see more of it than the two squash matches with Valentine & Slaughter. I can honestly say I’d never seen this video or any of the matches before. Certainly an experience seeing wrestling legends in a production with zero ties to the WWF/WWE. As much as I tried .. I could not find any dates or videos for some matches, which means you won’t see them anywhere else unless they’re included in another collection.
This was old school southern “wrasslin”, and I feel better having seen it. Thanks for reading my vintage WCCW review, I’d enjoy seeing your comments in regards to the collection, and if you’re old enough to have seen it? Your thoughts on the WCCW promotion. Was it as the box described? “Today’s top stars in the bouts that made them famous”