The Coliseum Video Rant II

The Netcop Colisum Video Rant, #2.

– By popular request, another 4-in-1 rant on some various old WWF videos

I have in my collection. This week, the Best of the WWF vol. 6,10,16

and 19. Let’s set the wayback machine for 1985…

The Best of the WWF, Volume 6.

– “Terrible” Terry Funk v. “Leapin'” Lanny Poffo. Way back when. Funk

does the Razor Ramon psych-job on ringboy Mel Phillips

(must…make…tasteless…foot…joke…) before the match. Poffo has

a big-ass afro. This was kind of an inbetween period in Funk’s career

— he was being recognized as a former great but was not considered

young enough to contend anymore. Keep in mind, this attitude was

prevalent *13 years ago* and the guy is still kicking around today.

Funk was deeply into the cartoonish selling even here. Poffo pulls out

a MOONSAULT (nicely done, too) and a rana! Wild shit, and a really

decent match. Funk uses a sleeper (really a chokeout) for the

submission. He brands him after the match. I bet big guys named

“Butch” are doing much worse to him as we speak. 1 for 1.

– WWF title, Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage. There have been many since,

but this was the first one. From MSG, of course. Crowd is just RABID.

Keep in mind that they have never wrestled each other before at this

point — this is like Hogan v. Warrior in magnitude. I’m surprised it

wasn’t on PPV sooner than it was. Okay wrestling, great drama. Hogan

is Good and Savage is Evil and just guess who’s getting all the cheers.

Macho Man pounds away, but a Hulkup and comeback. Big boot, Savage

bails. Hogan chases and gets blindsided, Big Elbow for 2. Hogan up

again, goes for the running knee but Savage ducks and the referee gets

creamed. Savage grabs the title belt and blasts Hogan with it, drawing

blood. Ref wakes up and counts out Hogan. Savage parades around with

the belt to MASSIVE boos, but Hogan comes in and destroys Savage,

reclaiming his belt. This was terrific fun, and I liked all the pre-89

Hogan-Savage matches. 2 for 2.

– Jesse Ventura on TNT. The show, not the Turner network. If you don’t

know what it is, be thankful. One fan asks a long-winded, complicated

question and Jesse makes fun of him. I guess it was supposed to be

amusing or something.

– The Haiti Kid v. Butch Cassidy. They always have to stick a midget

match on these tapes for some reason. 2 for 3.

– Ivan Putski v. Johnny Valient. Those who don’t know how bad Putski is

and was should be properly educated by this match. I don’t know where

or why they pulled this from, but it should have stayed there. Putski

wtih the sitdown splash for the pin. 2 for 4.

– “Advice for the Lovelorn” with Vince and Lord Al Hays. There’s just

way too many “highlights” from a show that hit it’s creative peak with

“Fuji Vice”. This particular skit is predictably stupid.

– Ricky Steamboat v. Bob Orton. Steamboat saves the show by carrying

Orton a good little match and selling like a demon. Orton tries to use

the loaded cast but gets DQ’d. Solid matwork from both. 3 for 5.

The Bottom Line #1:

Not bad. .600 is a good ratio and that Funk-Poffo match was

surprisingly good, and Hogan-Savage is a good popcorn match. A good

mix.

– Now let’s set the wayback machine for 1986…

Best of the WWF, Volume 10.

– Ricky Steamboat, Junkfood Dog & The Haiti Kid v. Dory Funk, Jimmy Jack

Funk and Jimmy Hart. Fast forward material all the way, although

Steamboat’s portions are watchable as always. Basically a straight tag

match with minimal involvement from the midget and the manager. Hart

goes after the beaten Dog about 15 minutes in, but Dog no-sells

everything and tags in the Kid. Yeah, bring in the midget, that’ll

really scare poor Jimmy. Pandemonium breaks loose, and Dory whacks JYD

with the megaphone and then bodyslams the midget, allowing Hart to get

the pin. 0 for 1.

– Bob Orton v. Tito Santana. A loooooooooong midcard match. Nothing

particularly jumps out at me enough to stop fast-forwarding. 30 minute

draw. 0 for 2.

– King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd v. Big Machine and Super Machine.

Slow, plodding supposed “action” ends when Heenan runs in for the DQ. I

hate everyone in this one, anyway. 0 for 3.

– The Dream Team v. The US Express. With Rotundo and Windham, it’s a

keeper. With Rotundo and *Spivey*, it’s fast forward and don’t look

back. Spivey rolls up Beefcake, who reverses to get the pin. 0 for 4.

– Billy Jack Haynes v. Brutus Beefcake. What, more Brutus? I don’t

know why they pick this stuff, swear to god. Beefcake is a terrible

singles wrestler in 1986 and Haynes is nowhere near good enough to carry

him. Ref gets bumped by Beefcake and it’s a DQ. Yawn. 0 for 5.

– The Islanders (Haku & Tama) v. Mr. X and Jimmy Jack Funk. Again with

Funk. This is the Islanders’ debut in the WWF, and it’s a long,

glorified squash with minimal glimpses of the huge potential that the

Islanders had. Don’t ask who Mr. X is — I think it’s Danny Davis but

don’t quote me on that. Tama with the BIG splash. 0 for 6.

– Roddy Piper v. AJ Petrucci. This is the famous ’86 squash from

Superstars where AJ slaps Piper and Piper responds by beating him to a

pulp…with one hand behind his back! Pure genius. 1 for 7.

– Review of Piper’s Pit v. The Flower Shop. One of my favorite angles

ever. Bob Orton has turned to pink-hatted suckup for Adrian Adonis,

along with beach bum Don Muraco, and Piper returns to the WWF to find

his interview segment overrun by Adonis and his faggy Flower Shop. He

confronts Orton about the betrayal, and Orton & Muraco kick the crap out

of him, breaking his leg with a chair and painting his face with

lipstick.

*Bugs Bunny mode on*

Of course you know, this means war.

*Bugs Bunny mode off*

Piper hobbles onto the Flower Shop the next week, on crutches, before

the show is scheduled for that week. He uses a baseball bat to decimate

the set, screaming obscenities the whole time until there’s nothing but

rubble. This all led up to the Muraco/Orton team and the Piper

“retirement” match at Wrestlemania III. Great stuff, and a must for the

compilation tape I keep putting off. 2 for 7.

– Roddy Piper v. Don Muraco. From Boston. A wild brawl, with Piper

going apeshit on Muraco in retaliation for the attack. Both guys end up

juicing. Piper with a rollup for the pin. 3 for 7.

The Bottom Line #2:

The Piper stuff is available elsewhere, and the rest is not so good. A

definite avoid.

Set the wayback machine for 1988, mate!

Best of the WWF Volume 16: WWF Around the World.

– Hosted by Mean Gene, Outback Jack and Frenchy Martin. Ugh.

– Tatsumi Fujinami v. Andre the Giant. From Japan. Andre is the heel

here. Fujinami drags about the best match out of Andre that anyone

could in his waning years. Fujinami ends up getting frustrated and

nails the ref for a DQ. 0 for 1.

– Mean Gene tours Japan. Lame.

– The Jumping Bomb Angels v. Bull Nakano & Kandor Saito (sp?). Bull

looks…different. She’s got the Luna thing going on in 88, I guess.

She almost looks…dare I say it…attractive at that point. And yes,

this match really is on a WWF tape, I wouldn’t lie to you, Faithful

Readers. I don’t know jack about women’s wrestling so don’t ask me what

the significance of this was or anything. Nakano yells a bunch, I

notice. Big ol’ double countout, but an easy point. 1 for 2.

– From Kuwait: Mr. Fuji v. a jobber. The jobber is a stone dead ringer

for the Nature Boy himself. I pieced together from the commentary that

the guy’s name is Al-Kasseltzer or something like that. A Fuji squash,

he wins with a Cobra Clutch. 1 for 3.

– From Puerto Rico: The Killer Bees v. Iron Mike Sharpe & Barry O.

We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. This is in the

middle of a rainstorm and it’s sad to watch them slipping around, trying

to salvage a match. Brunzell with a small package on Barry O out of

nowhere when it becomes apparent that it’s too wet to continue. 1 for

4.

– From Italy: The Ultimate Warrior v. Hercules. Guess what I thought

of this. Double DQ. 1 for 5.

– From Italy: Andre the Giant v. Hacksaw Duggan. All I need now is

Junkfood Dog on this tape to officially put me in WWF hell. Duggan gets

DQ’d for sucking too badly. 1 for 6.

– Mean Gene visits the Outback of Australia, and we get a recap of the

entire Outback Jack saga. This I will also put on a compilation tape

one of these days — it widely regarded as the best introduction package

ever coupled with one of the worst wrestlers ever.

– From France: Harley Race v. Junkfood Dog. Ah, there it is. JYD to

save the day. Oh, and Andre the Giant Sloth is refereeing too.

Wonderful. He blatantly favors Race, of course, allowing Race to get

the pin after a few minutes of less-than-enthralling action. 1 for 7.

– From France: The Rougeaus v. The New Dream Team. I usually love the

Rougeaus, but they were in between getting stale as faces and turning

heel, so they phone it in. Dino Bravo is a better wrestler than Brutus

Beefcake, which is why the new Dream Team sucked as badly as it did.

I’ll explain: Brutus Beefcake was really bad, I think we can all agree

on that. So Greg Valentine ended up doing *all* the work and carrying

the flow and pace of their matches. As a result, the Dream Team

appeared very coherant because Valentine was doing 90% of the work by

himself. When they dumped Beefcake and took on Dino Bravo, Bravo

started wrestling more than Beefcake did, and as a result Valentine and

Bravo got equal time and were thus less coherant as a team, because

neither one was a particularly great tag team wrestler to begin with,

and now Valentine was only doing *half* the work. Understand? Okay,

whatever, I don’t care anyway. Standard WWF formula tag match, Raymond

sunset flips Valentine during the execution of the figure-four in a move

that I just finished watching on the Big Event from 1986. 1 for 7.

Le Ligne de Bottom #3:

Le retch. Le puke. Le fast-forward all ze way, oui-oui?

– Finally, a short jaunt back to 1989 gives us…

The Best of the WWF Volume 19.

– The running gag for this video is that Sean Mooney is unwelcome at

Titan Towers and no one likes him. What a prophetic video.

– Curt Hennig v. Brutus Beefcake. About Jan. of 1989, I’d say. Hennig

is god from then until 1991, so he carries Beefcake to a decent enough

match. Ron Bass interferes, and Beefer gets counted out. 1 for 1.

– Demolition v. Powers of Pain. From the untelevised portion of the

second Main Event broadcast in early 89. The usual match between the

two, but like many others I was a huge Demo mark so this is a-okay with

me. Kids, this is what Barry Darsow was doing before shaving his head

and getting squashed by Goldberg every week. Double-DQ here. 2 for 2.

– Jesse Ventura v. Tony Garea. Odd choice. Ventura is the ultimate

heel, with effeminate clothing and major stalling tactics. Not a very

good match once it gets started. Garea misses a charge to the ringpost,

and Ventura drops an elbow to finish him. 2 for 3.

– Randy Savage v. Bad News Brown. Street fight. OH YEAH, BABY! Wild,

ECW-ish brawl that is well ahead of it’s time. Kevin Sullivan was

probably booking. 😉 Ring is filled with weapons and they use ’em all.

No blood…odd. Table! Table! Table! Savage whips Brown through a

table but the ref gets *crushed* in between them. Brown comeback,

Ghetto Blaster (enziguri) but the ref is out. Brown physically

manhandles the ref back to his feet, screaming “Are you awake” the whole

time. The ref answers yes, but when Brown bodyslams Savage, the ring

vibrations knock down the poor ref again. Cute spot. Brown goes to

pick up the ref again, but Savage backslides him and a second ref runs

in to count the pin. Brown flips out, destroying the OTHER ref now, and

a huge pull-apart brawl erupts. Wild stuff. 3 for 4.

– Andre the Giant & Rick Rude v. Jake Roberts & Hacksaw Duggan. Eeyuck.

One cute spot has Andre tied up in the ropes and the faces using Rude’s

beanpole body as a battering ram. The rest is crap. Roberts pins Rude.

3 for 5.

– Ted Dibiase’s Million Dollar Belt promos. Again, another great

addition to a compiliation tape. Dibiase was such a great heel, and

that cape was too cool.

– Bret Hart v. Ted Dibiase. WHIP ASS~! Vince is waffling on whether to

push Bret at this point, because the Harts haven’t even split up yet,

but Bret still puts on the best match out of all four tapes here. No

chance of him beating the newly repushed Dibiase at this point, but it’s

still a great match. 20 minutes or so and then Bret does his pescado

onto Dibiase, and both are counted out, thus protecting Bret from losing

face. 4 for 6, and this match was, I daresay, ****-ish.

– Mooney ends up getting locked in a storage closet to keep him out of

everyone’s hair.

The Bottom Line #4:

Good tape. Hard to beat a 2/3 average. Nothing to go ga-ga over, but a

pleasant waste of 90 minutes, which is all anyone could ask out of these

thoughtlessly tossed together Coliseum tapes.