No Holds Barred, 1989
Welcome back to another exciting, informative and downright hilarious episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With WrestleMania 32 coming upon us, this week Dion Baia and J. Blake have gone through their attic collection of cardboard boxes filled with old clam-shell cased VHS tapes to find an absolute sleepover classic- something, which to be frank may not go down as one of the best films in cinematic history, but a film that seized on the wrestling craze of the 1980’s and became the pinnacle of that genre. We are of course talking about the legendary Hulk Hogan vehicle, No Holds Barred, from 1989.
Boy do the fellas get back to their childhood roots with this one, as they reminisce about growing up watching all things wrestling in mid-80s: be it the Saturday Morning cartoon, the live action TV shows and events, or even playing with all the great merchandize. Blake and Dion really get into the history of wrestling to set the table, particularly once it became a huge organization headed by Vince McMahon in the 1980s and 90s, disseminating the various leagues, like WWF, WWE, WCW, and even touch upon the rare hardcore fan favorite NJPW or New Japan Pro Wrestling that many of the classic wrestlers we know and love participated in during the 1980s. They even touch upon the phenomenon of backyard wrestling in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They also explain the behind the scenes anatomy of an actual wrestling match, and the progressive journey that wrestling has taken, now being almost a male soap opera, telling telenovela-esque storylines that has lured people in for decades now. The guys also go through the Hulkster‘s career rise, culminating with him becoming probably the single most famous wrestler of all time, before getting to their main event (pun intended), No Hold Barred. Dion and Blake are the first to admit this film is horrendously beautiful, and fully embrace all the shortcomings it may have so to bask in all the movie’s inherit sleepover nostalgic splendor. How involved was Hogan and McMahon in the behind the scenes production of the film? What pay per view event did the WWF create to try to fully exploit this film’s release? Did this film actually foreshadow what would happen a decade later with Ted Turner and his creation of WCW, and luring famous wrestlers to defect from WWF? And what hilarious story does Blake have about the fella’s old friend, famous Tony Award winning Jersey Boy’s actor John Lloyd Young, while Blake lived with him in the early 2000s? Well get out your knee pads, your do-rags, (and perhaps your razor blades…) and follow the boys down memory lane for probably their purest exercise in the pantheon of Sleepover movies, on another brand new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!