No Holds Barred (1989 film)
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|No Holds Barred|
Home video box
|Directed by||Thomas J. Wright|
|Produced by||Michael Rachmil
Vince McMahon (executive)
Hulk Hogan (executive)
|Written by||Dennis Hackin|
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
|Music by||Jim Johnston|
|Editing by||Tom Pryor|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Release dates||June 2, 1989 (USA)|
|Running time||93 min.|
|Box office||$16,093,651 (USA)|
No Holds Barred is a 1989 film produced by Michael Rachmil, directed by Thomas J. Wright, written by Dennis Hackin and starring professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (who is billed as executive producer alongside Vince McMahon). The film is produced by World Wrestling Federation (now WWE, inc.) under a "Shane Distribution Company" copyright and was released by New Line Cinema on June 2, 1989. It was launched as an attempt to boost Hulk Hogan's acting career several years after his appearance in Rocky III.
Hulk Hogan plays Rip, a very popular professional wrestler. Although Rip looks and acts like a brute, he is actually a golden-hearted guy. He has a younger brother, Randy (Mark Pellegrino), whose presence in the audience motivates him enough to win his matches.
Rip appears on a television channel which screens all his matches. Thanks to Rip, the channel is highly popular. However, the evil, money-hungry chairman of a rival channel, Brell (Kurt Fuller), wants to convince Rip to join their network. Rip respectfully declines, though Brell has his gang of thugs attempt to beat Rip into submission during the limo ride home from the meeting.
After visiting the No Count Bar, a rowdy establishment featuring a wrestling ring in the center and patronized by drunken, vicious fighters, Brell is inspired to create a new kind of wrestling program, focusing more on violence and sensationalism than Rip's more moralistic version of the sport. Brell's new program, Battle of the Tough Guys, is successful after the introduction of Zeus (Tom Lister, Jr.), a violent, seemingly unfazable ex-con who sports a "Z"-shaped patch of hair on his skull. Zeus killed an opponent in the ring after the fight was over, and has been in prison until recently.
Samantha, a beautiful corporate spy (Joan Severance), is sent by Brell to seduce Rip. However, Rip's good nature and dedication to charity wins her over, and she confesses the truth to the wrestler and turns to his side. After this fails, Brell attempts to have Samantha raped; as usual, Rip foils the plot and dispatches the would-be rapist into a tree trunk. Meanwhile, Brell and Zeus crash an outdoor charity event Rip is appearing at, demanding that Rip prove his honor by fighting Zeus live on Brell's new show. Once again, Rip avoids violent conflict and attempts to reason with Brell, who leaves in anger.
Randy and a friend decide to check out Zeus for themselves, attending an illegal fight being held in a warehouse. After watching Zeus defeat the monstrous Lugwrench Perkins (Jeep Swenson), Randy foolishly identifies himself as Rip's brother to Brell and his associates. Randy attempts to defend himself, but Zeus brutally beats him, sending him to the hospital. Finally, after this ultimate insult, a tearful Rip decides to accept Zeus' challenge.
Before the match, Brell abducts Rip's friends and threatens to kill them if Rip doesn't lose deliberately. With the odds against him, Rip wins the match after Zeus falls from a perch into the wrestling ring, collapsing it. Rip turns his attentions to Brell, who accidentally falls into an electrical panel to his demise. With his friends rescued and his brother recovering in the hospital, Rip celebrates his victory.
- Hulk Hogan as Rip
- Joan Severance as Samantha Moore
- Kurt Fuller as Brell
- Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr. as Zeus
- Mark Pellegrino as Randy
- Bill Henderson as Charlie
- Charles Levin as Ordway
- David Paymer as Unger
- Patrick O'Bryan as Craig
- Jeep Swenson as Lugwrench Perkins
- Bill Eadie as Jake Bullet
- Stan Hansen as Neanderthal
- Rebecca Wackler as Ms. Tidings
- Bruce Taylor as Mr. Johnson
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund as Himself
- Jesse "The Body" Ventura as Himself
- Howard Finkel as Himself
Box office and reception
The movie debuted at #2, behind Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with $4,957,052 in ticket sales. Hogan writes in his autobiography the budget was about eight million dollars. Vince McMahon, who financed the movie, more or less broke even because of distribution fees. The final tally was $16,093,651 in ticket sales.
During the October 13, 1997 episode of Monday Night Raw, Vince McMahon joked, "Hogan promised me that if the movie lost money he was gonna return his salary. I guess the check is still in the mail." This was during the Monday Night Wars and was part of a number of digs at Hogan's then-new movie project Assault on Devil's Island. Raw commentator Jim Ross also joked during the late 90s; "No Holds Barred? More like No Profit Allowed."
The film was widely panned by critics, with a 5% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews (though there are not enough reviews for a true consensus). Film critic Brian Orndorf described the film as "tremendously crude, unapologetically manipulative, and aimed directly at easily entertained 13-year-old boys." Recently, the film has developed a cult following over the years.
The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1990. It was released on DVD for the first time ever with a digitally remastered transfer by WWE Home Video under the WWE Studios banner on July 3, 2012.
|No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||December 12, 1989
(aired December 27, 1989)
|Venue||Nashville Municipal Auditorium|
No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie, which is how the event was billed, was shown on pay-per-view, on December 27, 1989. The program consisted of the film in its entirety, followed by a match pre-recorded at a Wrestling Challenge taping on December 12 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The main event pitted Hogan and Lister — appearing in character as "Zeus" — on opposing tag teams. Hogan teamed with longtime friend Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, while the heel Zeus teamed with "Macho King" Randy Savage. The four had been involved in an intertwined feud since the summer. Zeus had made several appearances at WWF events and cut promos stating that he, and not Hogan, should have received top billing in No Holds Barred. Meanwhile, as Hogan and Savage were feuding over the WWF World Championship, Beefcake began feuding with Savage after Beefcake insulted Savage's manager Sensational Sherri during a TV taping. At the 1989 SummerSlam, Hogan and Beefcake teamed to defeat Savage and Zeus, after which the tag team feud simmered for several months as Zeus began appearing with "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in the lead-up to the 1989 Survivor Series.
The Hogan-Beefcake vs. Savage-Zeus tag team rivalry resumed after the Survivor Series, in the lead-up to "No Holds Barred: The Movie-The Match."
|Dark||Dusty Rhodes defeated The Big Boss Man||Singles match||Unknown|
|Dark||The Ultimate Warrior (c) defeated Dino Bravo||Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship||13:45|
|Dark||The Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku) defeated Demolition (Ax and Smash) (c) via countout||Tag Team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship||10:02|
|Dark||Mr. Perfect defeated Ron Garvin||Singles match||8:24|
|1||Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake defeated Randy Savage and Zeus||Steel cage Tag Team match||9:32|
The Hogan-Beefcake vs. Savage-Zeus steel cage was part of a WWF Wrestling Challenge taping. In addition to matches pitting mid- and lower-card wrestlers against jobbers, other contests (which were not televised) saw "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes defeat Big Boss Man, WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeat Dino Bravo, The Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku) defeat WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition by countout, and "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig defeat Ron Garvin.
Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake defeated Randy Savage and Zeus in the 9:32-long Steel cage match. Unlike traditional tag-team steel cage match rules the WWF had in place at the time, wherein both members of one team had to exit the cage to win, the match could end with a pinfall.
After a back and forth match early on, all four competitors were knocked out after Hogan hit a suplex on Zeus, and Beefcake and Savage hit each other's heads into the cage structure. Sensational Sherri (the manager of the Savage-Zeus team) handed a chain to Savage, who attempted to strike Beefcake with a fist drop off the top of the cage, but Beefcake recovered and caught Savage coming off. Eventually, Beefcake knocked Savage to the mat and escaped the cage; Savage—with some eventual help from Beefcake—crawled outside, tying the match at 1-apiece.
Meanwhile, Hogan rallied against Zeus, battering him before dropping three leg drops to score the pin and the win for the Hogan-Beefcake team.
- "No Holds Barred". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- Hogan, Hulk (2002). Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Pocket Books. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7434-5690-6.
- No Holds Barred (1989 film) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Orndorf, Brian (2009-06-01). "Reliving the Summer of 1989 Diary - Week Two". BRIANORNDORF.com. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "Latest on No Holds Barred DVD, WrestleMania 28 Pulled, Blu-Ray Issues". WWE DVD News. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Royal Rumble 1989". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- No Holds Barred at the Internet Movie Database
- No Holds Barred at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cinema Connoisseur review
- Review of No Holds Barred with animated screenshots at I-Mockery