No Holds Barred

No Holds Barred

It’s a travesty. It’s a travesty of the highest magnitude, and, I believe it is fair to say, without hyperbole, a crime against mankind itself.

Here we are, 15 years removed from the release of the first movie featuring Hulk Hogan in a starring role, and where, I ask, is the anniversary DVD release?

I mean, come on…Mr. Nanny is on DVD. So is Suburban Commando. Yet the one that started it all, the one that led the Hulkster to Tinseltown and such mega blockbusters as Santa with Muscles, 3 Ninjas on Mega Mountain, and countless other classics is nowhere to be found.

It’s a travesty. A travesty, says I.

Oh wait, sorry – I was channelling the spirt of Gorilla Monsoon there.

For you see, during the months prior to No Hold’s Barred‘s release, the WWF in general and Gorilla in particular made sure that no one – no one – watching WWF TV would forget that the Hulkster was on his way to theaters nationwide. In fact, Gorilla, with a straight face, no less, proclaimed that people were talking Oscar for Mr. Bollea.

To which I reply:


Let’s set the record straight. This movie absolutely sucks. It was created by Vince McMahon and the Hulkster for one reason and one reason only: to get Hogan a foothold as a leading man in Hollywood. And to that end, both men were not only producers, but also had a huge hand in writing the script, to the point that their fingerprints are fairly obvious throughout the film.

In something that wasn’t too much of a stretch, Hogan portrays WWF Champion Rip (and if you don’t blink and you might catch Bill Eadie, aka Demolition Ax, in Rip’s title defense during the opening credits.) Rip is a kind, good-hearted, and beloved-by-all do-gooder who would never do anyone wrong, just like the Hulkster himself.


The only major difference between Rip and Hulk Hogan is that Rip has a nerdy brother named Randy (hey!) that tags along with him, and that he wears white trunks instead of yellow. His catchphrase is “Rip ’em!” but the way Hogan mumbles it, it sounds like “Rip One!”

I like that, especially since if I ever had to describe this film as a bodily function, I’d probably say it most closely resembled a big, smelly fart.

According to the film, Rip is the number one ratings draw not only in wrestling, but in the entire world of television. (Gee, I wonder who wrote THAT line.)

Sadly, not everyone is happy about Rip’s popularity. In particular, the evil Mr. Brell, of the rival World Television Network, is livid that Rip is causing his network to come in dead last. I’d ask some elementary questions, like how Rip is causing him to fall behind every other network in addition to the one Rip is on, but realistically, that’s the least of the plot’s issues.

Tormented by his lack of success, Brell turns to his network execs for some new ideas. One kindly woman advises a high concept sitcom. Once can only imagine what that might be. I’m thinking something with Lyle Alzado playing a teacher by day, and a pro wrestler by night, perhaps.

Brell is so infuriated by the idea that he tells her, and I am quoting here, to “take a leak.” She leaves, probably due to the fact that she is so offended by the film’s horrid dialogue.

Or maybe she really did have to hit the crapper. Who knows?

Brell decides the only way to turn things around is to bring Rip to WTN. When his offer of a blank check fails, he goes into a mad rage of insane, Shanter-esque level of hyper thesbian overacting, which involves screaming in a most spitty fashion. In fact, his phlegm count may be higher than any other villain in the history of cinema.

Very, very phlegmy indeed.

He also repeatedly calls Rip, and again I am quoting here, a “JOCK ASS!!” , which is my new all-time favorite insult. In fact, I dare say if someone – say Tyson Tomko, if that guy’s still even employed – began using that as his catchphrase, we’d be ushering in a new golden era for pro wrestling.

His peaceful yet saliva-ridden attempts having failed him, Brell advises Rip’s limo driver to take him to a parking garage, where his band of thugs is waiting give him an ol’ fashioned city whoopin’. Rip catches onto this evil plan, and begins to kick the interior of the car. In fact, he kicks so hard that not only are footprints visible on the outer car doors…

…the car also swerves uncontrollably all over the road!

Despite his best efforts to run the car off the road (using his FEET, mind you), Rip is eventually brought to the parking garage of doom. As the hooligans surround the car, a rumbling is heard from inside, and then –


Rip punches his way through the roof, somehow launching himself approximately 23 feet into the air!

After pummeling his foes into submission (no doubt using his granite-like feet), Rip corners the limo driver (who bares an uncanny resemblence to Richard Belzer, come to think about it) and snarls at him like a constipated weiner dog.

For whatever reason, this causes the poor sap to poop his pants in fear.

Of course I’m not kidding.

The movie even includes this close-up view of the dude’s leaky anus, no doubt delighting all the nine-year old boys in the audience.

I know what you’re thinking at this point: “Sure, guys defecating in their trousers is funny and all, but what would really be great would be if say, Stan Hansen just showed up out of nowhere and started making fun of guy’s ding-a-lings.”

Done and done.

Anyway, Brell decides that if Rip won’t join him, he’ll fight him. This leads him to finding, yes, you guessed it: ZEUS, THE HUMAN WRECKING MACHINE (aka, D-movie actor Tiny Lister with a “Z” shaved into the side of his head).

With the cross-eyed behemoth on his side, Brell launches a new show entitled “Battle of the Tough Guys”, featuring ring legends such as Jeep Swenson and Pete Doherty. Zeus tears through the competition (yes, he even beat the Duke of Dorchester!), and throws out an open challenge to the one and only Rip.

But that’s not all Brell has planned for the Ripmeister. He also wants to get inside his head, and hires a skank ho named Samantha to seduce our hero. But what Brell didn’t count on was this:

Yes, that’s exactly what you think and fear it is – Hulk Hogan’s barely covered, glisteningly greased ass thrusting up and down in rhythmic fashion.

Though the vision to the right would likely cause 99.999999999999% of the American public to regurgitate, it causes Sam to swoon, and she begins to fall in love with the big guy.

Unfortunately for Brell, Rip continues to ignore Zeus’ challenges. Finally, Z-Gangsta attacks Randy at a charity sack race.

You know, I think Jerry Lewis has it all wrong. If he’s serious about beating muscular dystrophy, screw the telethon – BRING ON THE SACK RACE.

Anyway, Zeus brings the party down by snapping Randy’s neck like a twig.

Rip races to his brother’s hospital bed, breaking down in tears.

Hogan’s acting is so bad here I almost think I’d almost rather see this:

Crippling his brother is enough to finally get Rip to accept Zeus’ challenge, leading to a scientific masterpiece the world has not seen the likes of since the Gotch-Hackenschmidt classic of 1908. In fact, it was so fantastic that Vince decided to bring Zeus in for a run against Hogan following the movie’s release, even considering the bout for the main event of Wrestlemania VI.

And no, I’m NOT making that up.

Finally, Rip prevails by knocking Zeus off a girder, falling twenty feet below through the ring, and presumably, his death.

Brell follows suit, as Rip propels him backwards into a generator, electrocuting him in a scene right out of the Chamber of Horrors. In fact, he even kind of looks a bit like Abdullah, doesn’t he?

And thus everyone lives happily ever after. Well, except for Brell and Zeus, since they’re dead.

It should be noted, of course, that WWE has recently started a film division, and the first movie out of the chute is scheduled to be a vehicle for none other than Vince’s brand new son-in-law, Triple H. One can only hope that we won’t be subjected to such egomaniacal and laughable scripts.

One can hope…but I fear we all know what we have to look forward to:


– Brell (spitty as he wants to be): “Then we get him to break his bond! What’s his pppprice? What’s his ppppprice?”

Network exec: “With all due respect, Mr. Brell, others have asked that question.”

– Brell (enraged!): “Are you trying to tell me my money’s not good enough for you? I FIND THAT A LITTLE HARD TO SWALLOW. YOU, YOU JOCK ASS!!!”

– Limo Driver (crying like a little baby)
Rip (growling like the sissiest dog in the land): “What’s that SMELL?”
Limo Driver: “Dooo…dooo…doookie!”
Rip: “Dookie? You mean ya shit yer pants?”
(Note from RD: Ok, I made that last line up.)

– Stan Hansen: “What do we got here? A TEENY WEINER! And here’s another.”

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