ALL STAR WRESTLING
was a WWWF television presentation quickly creating a great following for fans. These television broadcasts consisted of top tier or mid card opponents. The telecasts were taped and neatly edited into one hour programs which were syndicated on many television stations across the country.
The official WWWF logo from 1963 to 1979.
Wrestling From Washington was a twice-weekly wrestling show produced by the Capital Wrestling Corporation owned by Vincent McMahon Sr. Bill Malone was the original host but was replaced by Morris Siegal (1956-1959). In 1959, Ray Morgan became the host and remained until 1970 when McMahon moved the operation to Hamburg, Pennslyvania. Vincent K. McMahon Jr. (McMahon's son) then became the program host.
In New York WRESTLING first aired on WNEW, Channel 5, television on Thursday evenings from 9pm to 11pm with Marty Glickman at ringside from New York City.
Beginning June 21, 1956 to October 8, 1964 WRESTLING FROM WASHINTON took over this time slot. Matches came from the Capitol Arena in D.C.
Archived in the collection of Archival Television Audio, Inc. are over 30 broadcasts related to above matches airing during the time period February 8, 1962 to October 12, 1963 with Ray Morgan presiding at ringside.
The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) was formed on January 24, 1963. On April 25, 1963, Buddy Rogers was awarded the new WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, supposedly winning an apocryphal tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He lost the championship to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, 1963, after suffering a heart attack shortly before the match. To accommodate Rogers' condition, the match was booked to last under a minute.
Sammartino would retain the title for seven years, eight months and one day (2,803 days), making his the longest continuous world championship reign in men's wrestling history. Although Sammartino was the face of the WWWF, wrestlers such as Superstar Billy Graham and Bob Backlund were also hugely popular.
The WWWF gained notoriety in the 1970s by holding their biggest shows at Shea Stadium or Madison Square Garden and doing strong business across the entire Northeast metlopolis. They leveraged former, but still popular, wrestlers such as Captain Lou Albano, "Grand Wizard of Wrestling" Ernie Roth and "Classy" Freddie Blassie to act as managers for Sammartino's heel (villainous) opponents. At this time, only babyface (fan favorite) wrestlers were allowed to have long championship reigns, such as Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund, who all retained for more than one year each. The heel champions, such as Ivan Koloff and Stan Stasiak, were used to "transition" the championship from one wrestler to another, and they generally kept the title for no more than a single month-long program before dropping it to the next babyface. Graham was the only heel character to keep his championship for longer than one month, as the WWWF felt it needed time to build Backlund up as championship material.
Unlike most of the NWA territories, the main event would occur in the middle of the arena show cards, allowing the company to build upon the match's finish in order to sell tickets to the next event; reliable, popular workers such as Chief Jay Strongbow would then wrestle at the end of the show to send the crowd home happy, as evidenced in this November 19, 1972 TV Audio Air Check, winning his match in only 25 seconds.
WWWF held their then major event Showdown at Shea three times at Flushing, New York's Shea Stadium in 1972, 1976 and 1980. Bruno Sammartino main evented the 1972 and 1980 events, in 1972 wrestling Pedro Morales to a 75 minutes time limit draw and in 1980 defeating Larry Zbyszko in a Steel cage match. The main event of the 1976 event was a Boxer vs Wrestler fight between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki which ended in a draw (See ATA#18077A for the original HBO Special Event complete audio air check broadcast of this fight which was televised four times on HBO, June 27, July 1, 6, and 7th. At that event Bruno Sammartino retained the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship against Stan Hansen, also highlighted on the Ali HBO Special as well as a match between Andre the Giant and heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner.
Toots Mondt left the WWWF in the late sixties, and Vincent J. McMahon assumed complete control of the organization in 1971.
This very early extant WWWF TV broadcast sponsored by
Capital Wrestling Corporation with a young Vince McMahon Jr presiding at ringside and conducting interviews with many of the wrestlers performing on this broadcast is rare.
Match number 1
The Spoiler victorious over Charlie Fulton in 4 minutes 52 seconds.
Match number 2
Chuck O'Connor victorious over Dick (?) Cometti.
Vince McMahon conducts half time interviews with Lou Albano, Chief Jay Strongbow, The Spoiler, who predicts victory against Tony Garea next Monday night at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany (admission tickets $3.00). Garea talks with McMahon and predicts victory.
Mach number 3
Tony Garea victorious over Bobby Paul in 7minutes & 48 seconds.
Match number 4
Sonny King and El Olympico vs Black Jack Slade and Bobby Burns who lose in in a tag team match in 7 minutes & 45 seconds.
Match number 5
Chief Jay Strongbow victorious over Joe Turco in an amazing 25 seconds of the match.
Vince McMahon interviews Strongbow. and signs off till next time.
Music and voice over credits are heard for this ALL STAR WRESTLING presentation presented through CAPITAL WRESTLING CORPORATION .
Pre-recorded for the entertainment of viewers.
Wrestlers on this broadcast include The Spoiler, El Olympico, Joe Turco, Chief Jay Strongbow, Bobby Burns, Chuck O'Connor, Charlie Fulton, Sony King, Bobby Burns, Bobby Paul, Black Jack Slade, and manager Lou Albano. Ring announcer is Joe McHugh Time keeper is Bill Sands. Referee is Lou Super.
Commercials, include Sammy Davis Jr. for U.S. Airforce, Joan Crawford for MDA, and Bing Crosby for the Arthritis foundation.
NOTE: Most complete ALL STAR WRESTLING television broadcasts prior to 1977 have been wiped and are sadly lost to history with the exception of over 80 existing audio air check recordings originally recorded off the air and archived in the library of Archival Television Audio, Inc.