Cult Movie Essentials

Cult Movie Essentials: No Holds Barred (1989)

Directed by Thomas J. Wright, No Holds Barred stars Hulk Hogan as Rip Thomas – the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion. Kurt Fuller plays Brell – the struggling head of the World Television Network.

Following Rip’s recent title match Brell sets up a meeting in an attempt to lure him to the WTN and thus improve their TV ratings. It would seem Rip’s popularity is enough to turn a TV network around over night (and also foreshadows how TV networks would operate in the near future!). Rip declines the offer instead choosing to honour the deal he already has. During Rip’s return home Brell’s hired thugs try unsuccessfully to attack Rip.

Brell decides he will set up his own fighting show and visits the No Count Bar, where he comes up with his own program idea called Battle of the Tough Guys. The show is successful due to the introduction of Zeus (Tom “Tiny” Lister), an ex-convict and former protégé of Rip’s trainer Charlie. Zeus wins the $100,000 tournament and becomes Brell’s prized fighter.

Brell has Zeus challenge Rip, but Rip initially refuses until Zeus badly beats his younger brother Randy (Mark Pellegrino) then the countdown to the big match begins…

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