Every year leading up to Wrestlemania, the WWE releases a few DVDs that delve into the history of their world, and they are for the most part re-releases. This year brings us the Intercontinental Title DVD and Andre the Giant, which we’ll take a look at today.
This is obviously a re-release as Lord Alfred Hayes brings us a look at the Giant. As of note should be they talk about the World Wrestling Federation. They DO however, edit the phrase “WWF”. Hayes delivers his lines very bland and is clearly reading all of his lines and has less personality than Ben Stein in The Wonder Years. Alfred brings us through each match and gives us insight into each match.
The first match is against Moondog Rex (on screen as Rex Moondog). 8.1.81
Lockup into clubbing blows by Andre to Rex’ chest. Andre picks up Rex into a headlock. Hip toss into a headlock on the ground. Rex up with some kicks and an eye rake. Andre’s in the corner but powers out of an Irish whip and reverses it and sends Rex in the opposite corner. Andre picks up Rex and goes back to the corner with more clubbing blows. Big boot followed by a standing splash and a quick three count in 1:49. **
Alfred Hayes is sucking the life from these matches.
Battle Royal: no date given
Participants: Sgt Slaughter, Adrian Adonis. Dick Murdoch, Big John Studd, Superfly, Andre, Pat Patterson, Hulk Hogan, Salvatore Balomo, Paul Ordorff, Tiger Chun Lee, Iron Sheik, Alexis Smirnoff, Mil Mascaras and Tito Santana.
What a list of talent there.
Patterson comes out to a huge ovation, but the distorted audio makes everything seem huge. Gorilla Monsoon and Hayes bring us commentary in overdubbed goodness. The men brawl as punches and kick as are exchanged everywhere. Hogan is pre-Hulkamania blue tights. Pat Patterson dumps Balomo, Slaughter and Sheik pair off, Andre and Studd pair off, Hogan has Orndorff in a full nelson, who has the sheik in a full nelson, Sarge has been eliminated by the Sheik, the Sheik is stuck in the ropes but Andre helps him out, Hogan seems to be everyone’s target, Smirnoff is getting crushed by the Giant’s backside in the corner. Snuka eliminated off camera as Hogan has Studd in a fireman’ carry, Ordorff dumps “MR. Arriba” Tito Santana as Gorilla called him. Hogan goes outside and drags Studd with him. Mil Mascaras, and Paulo Ordorff have been eliminated without explanation, followed by the Sheik who was dumped by Hogan. Someone else got eliminated but I couldn’t make it out. Hulk Hogan eliminated John Studd and pulled Hogan out at the same time with Lee and Adonis. Studd and Hogan go at it and bring themselves back into the ring. They’re both pulled out by referees. Lee dumped by Patterson. Andre is caught up in the ropes but muscles his way out. Patterson eliminated by Smirnoff.
-Final Four: Andre, Smirnoff, Adonis, Murdoch
All three beat on Andre. Attempt to lift him, they get him to the ropes. Smirnoff gets a boot and throws the other two off, Eliminates Smirnoff with an atomic drop, tosses Murdoch off his back over the top and we’re down to Adonis and Andre. Andre man handles Adonis with an Irish whip that send Adonis over the top turnbuckle and out of the ring. **** Extra points for Hall of Famers littered all around in this one
Handicap Match vs. Black Gordman & the Great Goliath, 1.12.76
He’d never been pinned in the ring so he would fight handicap matches is the reason behind this one.
Handshakes go into tests of strength, Andre throws them out of the ring. Andre’s afro only gets ** on this match. Andre powers out of an armbar of Goliath. Tags in Gordman. Tie up into a bear hug. Bear hug into a gorilla press onto the top turnbuckle. Slap that send Gordman of the top and into the ring. Gordman begs off. Punches to Andre are met with a slap. Goliath tagged in. Go behind by Goliath, Andre shakes his rear end and pries Goliath’s hands off him. Supposedly no one was allowed to sit in the front row because Andre tossed his opponents around too much. Goliath goes for the leg and is double teamed down and is in a wishbone. He closes his legs and takes both men down. Head butt on Gordman. Whip into the corner sends Gordman upside down and Andre comes in for a headlock. Another whip and Gordman moves out of Andre’s way. Gordman has a foreign object and his punching Andre. I think Chavo Guererro is announcing. Andre gets a bear hug and gets Gordman in a body scissors. Goliath comes in and Andre gets him in the body scissors too. Pretty cool looking. Andre boots them into the ropes and monkey flips them booth with each foot. Only a one count on Andre. Man handles both guys, big boot to goliath, gorilla press to Gordman, tosses him onto goliath. Sits on both of them to get the three count. ***1/2 for Andre’s innovative two man moves
Three man Handicap match vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Rodz & Joe Butcher Nova – no date given
“This was more fair” as Alfred Hayes puts it.
Andre stats with all three in the corner and crushes them together. Irish whips and chops all around. Commentated by a young Vince McMahon. Head butt and a body scissors into double body scissors. Repeated monkey flip spot. All three pile on for a two count. Andre powers out. Atomic knee drop on Evans and everyone else is begging off. Nova gets a chop as Rodz jumps on his back. Nova and Rodz on top and get tossed forward. Evans gets a huge head butt and is out of the ring. They run from opposite sides, Andre ducks and they knock into each other, they are on top of each other, Andre goes for the sit pin as Evans comes back to the ring and gets thrown on the pile and Andre sits down and gets the three count sit pin. **1/2 for the fun factor with this one.
Boxing Match vs. Gorilla Monsoon w/the Grand Wizard – no date given
Poor video quality, but it’s forgiven. Gorilla Monsoon’s the only man to have wrestled Mohammed Ali and boxed Andre the Giant. Monsoons jumping around and is light on the feet. It’s hard to recap a boxing match. Andre bas Monsoon on the run most of the match but Monsoon gets him into the corners now and again. Monsoon looks a bit aged and heavy by this point. Hayes thinks this is hysterical for some reason. Andre takes some hits to the head, but gets pissed and goes after Monsoon. Giant gets a bunch of jabs and Monsoons saved by the bell.
Not sure what round we’re in here as Hayes tells us it’s “further in the match” and it took place “a long time ago”. Andre takes a jab in the face followed by some cross/hooks. DOWN GOES ANDRE! DOWN GOES ANDRE! Monsoon does some footwork and gets some rights in on Andre. Monsoon gets a knee in and Andre turns around with a head butt. Hayes keeps calling the Grand Wizard “Hugo for some reason. Andre splashes on Monsoon’s chest and I don’t think this is allowed in boxing anymore. The ref talks to them both. Andre gets a few large punches in on Monsoon and Monsoon is down. Gets up by 8. Andre has Monsoon in the corner and is saved by the bell again.
We’re in the third round (what the hell Hayes, this is the third round but the “second” round we saw was “later” in the match? I remember liking Hayes but he sucks with this one. Monsoon comes in flying with some punches to Andre as Andre’s holding onto the ropes. Clubbing blow by Gorilla! More punches by Gorilla but one overhand by Andre floors Monsoon and he’s knocked out for the 10 count! Andre steps across Monsoons chest. ** for the boxing match, DUD for Hayes’ commentating.
After the match Andre attack Gorilla outside the ring on the baseball field knocking him into a puddle
Interview with Andre and Superfly by lil’ Vince, who’s sporting the JBL hairstyle. Andre’s probably standing on a box. Superfly talks about having no doubt with the greatest their is today. They will take on the Samoans. The way Snuka says it sounds like “San Juan islands” Vince looks as happy as a pig in shit as Andre says they will do something the world has never seen before.
Andre & Superfly vs. The Wild Samoans 2.18.83
Vince is commentating with Gorilla Monsoon. Gorilla has confidence that the Samoans are a better team. Afa and Snuka start the match. Remember Afa trained Snitsky. Just remember that, there’s no real reason behind that. Snuka is pushed the Shrinkers’ corner and is double teamed. Sika tagged in. Snuka’s behind choked and chopped. Punched as Andre comes in and Snuka keeps getting double teamed. Afa is back in for more double teaming. Clubbing blows to Snuka and more and more double teaming. Andre makes a beeline for the Samoans and breaks it up. Snuka goes back for a hot tag but can’t make it. Sika back in for more punishment on Snuka. Snuka comes back with some “karate chops” and still can’t make the tag. Back rake by Sika as Snuka comes back with some punches and chops. Afa comes in to even the score, then gets tagged in. Snuka gets double chopped. Only a two on Snuka after some hesitation. Snuka pushed the to the rope and an even shoulder block knocks both men down. Snuka’s close to tagging Andre but an Afa head butt stops Snuka. Sika tagged in and Snuka gets double head butted. Andre grabs Sika for some clubbing blows as Afa grabs Snuka for more punishment. Sika chokes Snuka in front of the ref and drags him back to the Samoans corner. Snuka gets in a head butt and that leads to some punches, but it dazed and still can’t get the tag. Afa tagged in for a double clothesline on Snuka as Andre knocks Sika’s head into the turnbuckle. another tag as Andre goes back to the corner and Snuka makes the hot tag to Andre. Andre knocks the Samoans heads together and chops, slaps and punches both Samoans. Shoulder blocks in the corner on both guys. Irish whip for both to the opposite corner. Andre delivers some rights to Afa and Sika as it’s down to Andre and Sika and Sika gets a back body drop, Afa gets a body slam. Head butt to Sika. Andre blocks a head butt and gets another on Afa. Sika in for some punches on Andre. Sika gets whipped to the ropes for a big boot. Another head butt, tag out to Snuka, Superfly gets the splash from on top of Andre’s shoulders. *** at 12:51 for an old school tag match with an original finish for the time.
“Andre stands 7’4″, Snuka has to be 15 feet in the air when he takes this leap.” -Vince’s call about the splash from Andre’s shoulders
Andre vs. The Masked Superstar – 2.20.84
Commentated by Monsoon and Patterson. Both men lock up as Andre powers him into the corner. Gorilla and Monsoon tell stories of Andre. Andre powers out again. Headlock on Andre, Andre stands and lifts TMS and pushes him off. TMA complains about pulling his mask. Shoulder block on Andre that doesn’t work. Andre’s afro gets *** on this one. TMS goes after Andre but drops after Andre fakes a punch. Andre goes after the mask, but TMS leave the ring. They cut to a clip of Andre on a talk show to show how big his hand is. Replay of Andre stepping on TMS’s fingers. Another side headlock by TMS as Andre powers out, throws him to the ropes and TMS run right into Andre’s ass. Andre walks over TMS and the crowd goes crazy. TMS goes to leave the match and calls for a time out. “looking for a tasty cake break” as Monsoon says. TMS comes back in and crushes TMS behind him with his backside in the corner. Blocks it with a knee and we have our first “Lower lumbar area” from Monsoon! TMS gains the advantage and gets an Irish whip on Andre after some punches. Clubbing blows on Andre as TMS won’t let up. Andre slowly tries to get to his feet as superstar gets a sleeper/cobra clutch type move on Andre. Andre is down for a while, and this is the most we’ve seen anyone get any advantage on Andre. Andre goes for the mask to get TMS to release him. Andre gets back up and punches and chops TMS and then head butts him a few times. Throws him to the ropes followed by a big boot then goes for a standing Bonzai drop as Andre gets the three count. **1/2 as Andre can’t get the mask off. TMS had the best luck so far
Andre & S.D. Jones vs. Big John Studd & Ken Patera w/Heenan – 12.15.84
Listed as “This is the legendary haircut match”
Vince announces this one. Alfred Hayes says this match has become a piece of wrestling history. Jones starts with a headlock on Patera, Irish whip and reversed to an arm bar. Andre’s tagged in. Patera head butted and Andre starts working on the arm. Jones tags back in and works more on Patera’s arm. Patera reverses with a side breaker. Studd is tagged in and whips Jones and shoulder blocks him down. Patera back in as Jones nearly gets a tag. Patera whips Jones and goes for a back body drop but it’s reversed with a kick to the chest. Jones tags back in Andre. Patera throws Jones out and Andre’s pissed. Andre backs Patera into a corner but it’s reversed with a knee and Patera gets an axe handle from the top on Andre’s back. Patera tries a full; nelson as Studd comes in and they both beat on Andre. Both body slam Andre as we see Andre off his feet for the first time not on his own volition. More double teaming on Andre ass Patera and Studd get DQ’d. They continue to beat down Andre and have him held down as Heenan comes in with scissors. Stuff cuts Andre’s head as Patera holds him down. People start throwing cups in the ring as Vince announces, get this:
“Studd and Andre RAPE THE DIGNITY from Andre the Giant!” No kidding.
They continue the haircut as Vince announces this as a nightmare and a “despicable display of conduct in wrestling history”
Vince welcomes us back to TNT as he’s got a talk show with Andre as a guest. Vince flashes his Rolex to the camera very sneaky. Vince asks if Andre’s gaining weight and Andre says he’s nearly 500 lbs, it seems like Vince is translating for Andre. We find out WHY Hayes is commentating this DVD because he was he guy who brought Andre to Vince at first when he was 17. Andre was 270 lbs at 17. Interview was promotional to Wrestlemania 1. Andre’s likable personality really comes through on this as he talks about himself, Studd and Patera. HE says he’s picked up 400 lbs previous and he’s not afraid of picking up Studd. Vince brings us back to a match against Ken Patera in the Garden on January 21st, 1985.
vs. Ken Patera “Revenge of the Giant”
Andre is sporting a shorter haircut. A DUD in terms of an afro. Patera stays away from Andre as Hayes blows a modern day notion RIGHT out of the water and says that “He is never the less, an OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST in power lifting.” about Ken Patera.
Mean Gene and Gorilla Monsoon commentating. Both men square off as Andre gets a knee on Patera followed by some chops and a head butt that sends Patera out of the ring for a hug from Heenan. We have our first “You have got to be kidding me” from Mean Gene! Patera back in after a hug-fest as Andre calls him closer. Patera backs off around the ring. Pat era’s big, but has nothing on Andre. Andre sneaks in a chop as Patera escapes the ring and Andre steps on Heenan’s fingers outside the ring and then also on Patera’s hand trapping them both. They escape and Patera runs away. Andre stalks Patera around the ring and pushes Patera to the corner and chokes him into clubbing blows to his chest. More choking on Andre’s part. Patera escapes again as Heenan tells the ref to keep Andre back. Patera wants to shake hands but Andre wants a pair of scissors. Patera tries some unsuccessful shots from Patera and Andre gets a bear hug on Patera in the corner followed y some head butts and a reverse knife edge chop. Andre goes for a backdrop but Patera gets a boot in. Patera goes to slam Andre but Andre gets a knee in followed by a big boot and more chest clubbing. Andre gets an atomic drop that sends Patera out and Andre grabs him back in. Irish whop by Andre into a Big Boot, Patera tries to leave but Andre grabs him for another chest club and Andre sits on the back on Patera’s head then stands on his chest and waves to the crowd. They go outside for some chops on Patera and an Irish whip into the railing. Heenan looks concerned. Heenan goes to the top turnbuckle with brass knuckles and hits Andre and gets a ref bump. Andre gets up and Heenan keeps going with the punches. Patera gets a boot after trying something from the top rope. Andre crushes Heenan and Patera in the corner. Patera gets whipped to the other side as Andre goes to work on Heenan. Patera breaks it up and gets head butted for his troubles. Andre clears the ring and gets the crowd behind him.
Back to Vince’s talk show on TNT to talk about that match. Vince brings up the “rape your dignity” line again. Vince talks up Big John Studd and talks about the $15,000 body slam challenge. Andre says he doesn’t come into the ring to be a loser and he won’t put anything more up because he already lost his hair. Vince backpedals after Andre disagrees with him. Heenan says Andre should put something up. Andre says if they want to lose his money that’s fine. Heenan says Andre should retire if he loses. Vince says that there might be a yellow streak in Andre which pisses him off. He lifts Vince by his tie and says he’s gonna win and walks out on the interview.
Heenan and Stuff interview by Mean Gene. Studd talks about how it’s just bait. Heenan delivers the “for $15,000 and a haircut” line as Mean Gene tries to get his hands on the bag of cash.
vs. Big John Studd @ Wrestlemania – 3.31.85 Body slam Challenge
Howard Finkle announces the stipulations, apparently Andre agreed to the retirement stipulation. Andre is 476 lbs. for this match. Michael Cole and Tazz announce this match oddly enough. I’m looking forward to the best commentating on this match. They both talk up Studd, the money, Heenan and Andre. Studd comes after Andre in the corner as Tazz and Cole make fun of a kids sign. Andre comes back with chops and boots to Studd as Studd leaves the ring. Andre gets Studd back in the ring and chokes him in the corner with no referee five count. Andre gets some punches in and crushes Studd in the corner as Tazz an Cole talk up Wrestlemania 1. Stuff gets a knee as Studd goes for a body slam unsuccessfully. Andre gets a bear hug on Studd as Tazz and Cole talk about the different pacing of matches back then. Cole talks about how different history would have been without Andre and where they were to see Wrestlemania 3. Andre still works the bear hug. Andre releases and gets some blows to the back, this goes into a headlock. Studd gets a headlock and it’s broken with a punch as Andre gets a few head butts in. Andre starts to work the arm and gets an Irish whip as Studd tries to kick Andre, but Andre grabs the legs and punches Studd in the face. Andre muscles Studd into the corner and gets some chops in. Studd calls to Heenan for something as Andre gets some kicks in on Studd and Andre gets the body slam! The crowd goes nuts as Andre throws some money in the air and Heenan runs in and grabs the bag and Studd hightails it out. ****1/2 stars for the historical value of that match. Tazz break out Monsoon’s “sea of humanity” line about the crowd. The DVD ends with a shot of Andre celebrating his win.