January 16, 2005
Sheldon Kane III
MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS
Coliseum Video, 1987
Every few years one of these types of WWE videos show up on the market. I'm guessing the original Bloopers, Bleeps & Bodyslams must have sold HUGE, because there's been about 3,409 copycat videos released by WWE since. There was the piss-awful 1995 sequel, there was the Funniest Moments DVD from 2002, and then of course, we had this one. While the Most Embarrassing Moments video of 1987 (released by our trusted amigos at Coliseum Video) won't win any five-star reviews for itself, it's still a fun, enjoyable look at some odd - and sometimes funny -moments from WWE history up to '87. Some of these clips are seen on other Coliseum tapes (What? Coliseum Video repeats stuff over and over? Ashlee Simpson has no talent? Such incredible discoveries!), but when brought together here, the whole dang production seems enjoyable.
This is one of the few Coliseum Videos I didn't get to see when I was growing up. In fact, I saw it for the first time just a few weeks ago, as a gift from my friend Lori for my 28th birthday. eBay rocks the socks, what can I say?
With that, let's get right into this.
This is when Coliseum started using that lame little saxaphone intro to start their tapes. Interestingly, this same tune also opened the Nintendo WrestleMania game from 1988. I miss the "It began over 5,000 years ago..." intro already. Anyway, here's our host, Mean Gene Okerlund. Naturally, we start things off cornball, with Mean Gene putting over how perfect he is (think a short, bald Curt Hennig), then clipping to a piece where he forgets what a freaking dropkick is. My sides, they're splitting. Bwahahahaha...
Then we go to a clip of the great "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, tossing out little pieces of green paper with Presidents on them to the house show audience. Ted did such a great job playing a rich, arrogant type. The only thing that used to bother me were those glittery suits he'd wear. Made him look too cartoonish in my opinion. Wouldn't a nice Armani suit get the point across?
ARTHUR WASHINGTON vs. CHRIS CURTIS (8/5/87)
Huh? Who? No, not Jim Neidhart. I mean the two jabronis. This was supposed to be Ted DiBiase stepping into the ring on Wrestling Challenge, but instead, he decides to stick poor Arthur Washington out there instead. He gives him a big pile of money to sub for him against enhancement guy Chris Curtis. You may remember Chris from the AWA, maybe not. Anyway, bell sounds and of course, Arthur gets killed by Curtis, who makes quick work of him. Doesn't say much when you can't even get a move in on a guy who usually eats canvas every week. After the match, DiBiase slaps the hell out of Mr. Washington and takes back his money. I guess that's embarrasing for DiBiase, but I'd say it was an even worse night for Mr. Washington, wouldn't you?
Next we go to a clip of His Lordship, Alfred Hayes, who seems to be having a hard time spitting out the word "resilience." Whatever.
SEGMENT ON JESSE "THE BODY" VENTURA
rst, we get a quick match, Jesse destroying Steve Lombardi in a squash. Then, we go to Tuesday Night Titans, where Jesse is interviewed by Vinnie Mac. This is classic Jesse, when he would call anyone that meant nothing to him "Jack." In this case, it's "Jack McMahon." Vince keeps trying to correct him. Uh, okay. We've seen this bit repeated in many other Jesse interviews (you can see it happen to Pat Patterson on the Hall of Fame DVD too).
Clip of HULK HOGAN vs. "MACHO MAN" RANDY SAVAGE (1/27/86)(/
We now go to Madison Square Garden, with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura on the mic. This is seen in more complete form on Volume 7 of the "Best Of" series. Here we get the Hulkster bloodying Savage pretty badly, bearhugging him after losing by countout with Job Squad '86 trying to break it up. Poor Randy. Let me tell you, it looked like he lost an Eddie Guerrero-sized amount of blood here. Not too good.
MOOLAH BEATS UP ALFRED ON TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS
This was on WWE 24/7 a short while back. Culled from TNT's 1985 Halloween special, here we see Fabulous Moolah dressed as a witch, and beating up Alfred Hayes with her broom. Anything involving His Lordship being made a fool of is okay with me. They should have also given us Jimmy Hart dumping a bucket of water over his head too.
DRINK THIS! (Tuesday Night Titans, 8/21/84)
You've all seen this a billion times on other Coliseum tapes, and on the Hulk Still Rules DVD. The Immortal One is making his "Hulkster's Powerful Protein Shake", Vince loves it to death, and Alfred runs off regurgitating like he just saw Don Vito in the nude. Yep, yep, yep, brother, yep.
Clip of SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM vs. BRUNO SAMMARTINO (8/1/77)
Quick clip from an often-seen MSG WWWF Championship match from 1977, as seen on the Grudge Matches video and others. A battered and bloodied Superstar decides he's had enough beatings for one day and heads for the showers. But special referee the late Gorilla Monsoon won't let it happen! He follows him, ducks a Graham punch, and picks up the Superstar in a fireman's carry, hurling him through the ropes and at the feet of Sammartino. Why that qualifies as embarrassing is beyond my scope.
Clip of ANDRE THE GIANT & ROCKY JOHNSON vs. BIG JOHN STUDD &
MAGNIFICENT MURACO (4/30/83)
From the Philadelphia Spectrum. Special referee is the late Swede Hanson. Swede bodyslams Muraco, setting him up to be pinned by his rival Rocky Johnson. Basically what every special guest referee does. Nothing special, though it's always good to see the big Swede.
Clip of HULK HOGAN & MEAN GENE OKERLUND vs. MR. FUJI & GEORGE
"THE ANIMAL" STEELE (8/26/84)
Come on, it's not THAT interesting! This has been shown on so many tapes, and it even shows up on the Hulk Still Rules DVD in complete form. If you've seen Hulk Still Rules, you've seen this already. Same goes for "Best Of" Volume 1. But if you haven't, here's the quick synopsis. Announcer Mean Gene Okerlund gets to be Hulk's partner for this match, and after weeks of training, he shocks the crowd - and Fuji and Steele - with a suicide plancha. Okay, he doesn't. Actually he just runs under George Steele's legs and tags in the Hulkster. At match's end, Hulk dumps Gene on top of a prone Fuji, and referee Dick Woehrle counts to three. And that ends that...until the next time it pops up on some video somewhere...
SEGMENT ON VINCE McMAHON
You could just show a montage of his bad suits and that would outweigh every other segment on this tape on the "embarrassing" scale. Instead, we get an oddball clip of Vince having a hard time remembering the names of the Coliseum Video releases. "God damn!" he says. This actually can be funny to watch, one of the better - albeit strange - segments on the tape.
SEGMENT ON TERRY FUNK
To even entertain the idea of having the Funker on a tape like this is almost criminal. Let's see if Coliseum can justify his inclusion. Okay, first we get a TV promo from 1985 where Funk spits his chaw on the camera lens. Maybe it's embarrassing for camera #6, but not really for Terry. Now, we go to the...oh man...it's the Funk beatdown on ring announcer/attendant Mel Phillips from Championship Wrestling, 6/17/85, as seen on Villains of the Squared Circle (see my review). Funk's Federation TV debut. It made me a believer in Terry Funk at age eight. Then we get a clip of Funk beating the late Junkyard Dog with his branding iron at Madison Square Garden, 9/23/85. Where is this all headed, you ask?
JUNKYARD DOG vs. TERRY FUNK, 10/31/85
From Saturday Night's Main Event, and the Grudge Matches video (hell, I may as well just review that one next). This was also seen on WWE 24/7. This is a Terry Funk match, '80s Federation style. Meaning, Funk and JYD have more than a few comedic moments in this match. From JYD hanging Funk crotch-first on the ropes, to Funk's hilarious sell of said move. The match ends with Funk clonking JYD with manager Jimmy Hart's megaphone for the pin. Same finish we'd see at WrestleMania 2 months later. After the match, JYD grabs Jimmy Hart, inadvertantly pulls off his pants (you see, Funk was pulling Jimmy one way, and JYD was pulling at him from the other). He then brands Jimmy's ass with the iron. Kudos to Jimmy Hart for selling it like it was really a hot branding iron, as opposed to being a glorified ink stamper, which it was.
TED DIBIASE BUYS A HOTEL SUITE (8/1/87)
From Superstars. The Million Dollar Man is at it again, paying the receptionist $300 to get the best suite at the hotel, despite being booked. As a retort, Coliseum then takes us to a clip of Leaping Lanny Poffo reading a poem about Ted, calling him a million dollar jerk. Kind of like your brother, right Lanny?
Clip of ANDRE THE GIANT vs. THE BLACK DEMON (3/17/81)
Championship Wrestling, Vince and Pat Patterson on commentary. This is also seen on "Best Of" Volume 2, but in this case, they could show it on as many tapes as they want. I LOVE this segment! Postmatch, Andre is signing autographs for the fans at ringside (you'd never see that on a WWE show today), when his opponent, the masked Black Demon (I'm assuming this isn't Tony Nero) jumps him afterward. Andre calmly turns around and headbutts him, then decides to grab him by the neck and throw him across the ring. In the process, Andre ends up ripping the mask right off the guy's head! Andre just stands there dumbfounded, staring at the mask, while the fans laugh their asses off. The Demon covers his head in a towel and hightails it. I guess I love this so much because when I first saw it as a kid, I totally didn't see it coming.
Clip of HULK HOGAN vs. RANDY SAVAGE (6/27/86)
From the Boston Garden. The complete match is found on Hulkamania 2. This is the post-match sequence, where the late Adrian Adonis - in full frumpy drag - shows up to help Savage attack the Hulkster. Eventually, Hulk makes a comeback, driving Savage from the ring and putting a hurt on Adonis. As Adonis tries to escape, Hulk grabs the top of his dress, ripping it off to reveal a bra underneath. The champ then puts on Adonis's curly wig to the amusement of no one. Sad thing about this? I was there live. I should be smacked in the head. Then again, Hulk did get the pinfall win, so that kind of redeems it.
Yikes, another Alfred Hayes segment. For some reason he finds the word "ball" to be a reason to go berserk with laughter. Seeing Alfred Hayes over the years reminds me of the line from Blacula: "You know, he is a straaaaange dude."
PAUL ORNDORFF FIRES BOBBY HEENAN
Two years later on Superstars, 8/4/87. By this time, Orndorff had turned heel again, betraying Hulk Hogan and setting up the feud of the year for 1986. When it was all over, Orndorff had plunged into club mid-card, and he was getting pushed down the Heenan pecking order in favor of the late Ravishing Rick Rude (Heenan's called "The Brain" for a reason you know). This of course, leads to Orndorff turning face again, and firing Heenan a second time. He then brings out Oliver Humperdink as his new manager, which is like trading in Natassia Malthe for Courtney Love. Bad move, Paul.
Another segment on Vince Jr. is next. Strangely, he seems so nervous about taping a video introduction that he forgets his own name. This after doing TV for a decade and a half up to that point. You're fired.
GEORGE "THE ANIMAL" STEELE vs. KING HARLEY RACE (circa 1987)
The Federation's "most embarrassing match", you say, Gene? Let's find out. It's funny; Harley Race said on the Hall of Fame DVD that he could pull a good match out of anyone. One look at this match will tell you he's full of it. Basically, George doesn't sell a single move from Race's arsenal. He even gives Harley a stiff punch in the face at one point. Ultimately, Harley loses his cool and boots George down south. No-sell THAT, George. Later on, like Al Snow 12 years later, George totally no-sells a chairshot to the face. This match really was an embarrassment, embarrassing to eight-time former NWA World Champion Harley Race, who must have been wondering why he even signed with Vince in the first place.
Here's a funny little segment. Mean Gene is taping for All American Wrestling at the control center, when the crew starts to mess around with the camera effects. Gene then tells the crew they can "go f----themselves." Mean Gene's mouth could really fly off the handle at times. Remember SummerSlam '89, where Gene dropped an F-bomb when the SummerSlam sign fell off the wall? Or the WCW PPV where he called Mike Sanders a "p---k" right to his face? Good examples of this. Then again, what do you expect from a guy whose burger chain carries the slogan, "The Burger That Says BITE ME!"?
DYNAMITE KID vs. NIKOLAI VOLKOFF (11/7/85)
This is from the World Wrestling Federation's first PPV, the Wrestling Classic. It's also seen on the Grand Slams tape. Volkoff starts off his first-round tournament match by singing the Russian national anthem, much to the displeasure of the Dynamite Kid. Having heard enough, Dynamite climbs to the top rope at the opening bell, catches Volkoff off-guard with a dropkick, and pins him in just six seconds. This match, believe it or not, is just the THIRD shortest match in WWE history. What's ahead of it? The Rock pinning Big Boss Man in four seconds at the 1998 Survivor Series comes in at second, and topping the list is a three-way tie: Gorilla Monsoon pinning Frank "The Moose" Monroe, Bret Hart pinning The Mountie in Boston, and Trish Stratus pinning Nidia on a RAW. All three clock in at three seconds. Only in WWE...
THE ARRIVAL OF BAM BAM BIGELOW (8/26/87)
This happened on Superstars. For several weeks, every heel manager in the company wanted to sign Bam Bam Bigelow, an impressive 393-pound newcomer with tattoos on his head. Of course, he could also dropkick and do cartwheels, but never mind that, it's the TATTOOS, man! Anyway, it all seems to boil down to "The Doctor of Style", Slick, and he comes out to the interview podium (with Nikolai Volkoff, so you know something's about to happen) to introduce Bam Bam, cause "He's mine! Mine, all mine! Yeah!" Out comes Oliver Humperdink looking like he fell out of a deck of cards, telling the world HE's going to bring out Bam Bam. Sure enough, the big guy comes out, and he tells Slick, "You would never be my manager, if you were the last slimeball on the face of the earth, man!" Eventually, Bigelow and Volkoff trade words, to which Bam Bam responds by knocking Volkoff on his red behind. Moment of irony: Bam Bam labels Volkoff a "commie", and just a few months earlier, he was playing a Russian character named "Crusher Yurkov" in Texas. I understand Bam Bam now runs his own deli in Pennsylvania, with a one-pound hamburger on the menu. And people wanna blame Ronald McDonald for obesity issues.
PIPER'S PIT LIVE
We start off with a live Pit from MSG where Piper decides to insult some fans in the audience. One woman says Paul Orndorff is better looking than Roddy Piper, which gets her a verbal lashing. Another fan says his favorite wrestler is the Hulkster, which gets him shoved. It must have been staged, considering said fan could have sued the kilt off Roddy if he wanted to. This prepares us for...
LIVE PIPER'S PIT WITH BRUNO SAMMARTINO (10/21/85)
From Madison Square Garden, also seen on the uber-rare Bruno Sammartino tape from Coliseum Video. This, to me, is Piper at his slimiest, as he gets pretty personal with some of his insults toward "The Living Legend". Bruno, to his credit, takes it all in stride, and shoots down every one of Piper's insults with a better one, which really angers Roddy. At one point, it seems like Piper's shooting when he says, "It ain't me that's got a little puke son running around trying to carry my daddy's name, man!" He later calls Bruno a "stupid wop", which Bruno responds to by pushing Roddy out of his chair. He and Cowboy Bob Orton then try to attack him, but Bruno fights them off. A lot of this segment seemed to border dangerously on shoot. It's embarrassing for Piper, to me because he had to resort to cheap insults and heat to get one better on Bruno. Just made Rod look immature and childish.
Clip of BRUNO SAMMARTINO & PAUL ORNDORFF vs. RODDY PIPER & BOB
Clip from the Boston Garden. The match can be seen on the Bruno Sammartino tape. We see Bruno pulling Piper's trunks down, with his bottom exposed to all of Beantown. Piper actually continues wrestling for a minute or two with his trunks still down. I could have lived without seeing that bad moon rising.
Here we go with Vince, again more "hilarious bloopers" from Mr. McMahon. These aren't so funny after about the hundredth clip or so of watching him mess up lines. What they should show us is the 1977 Manager of the Year ceremony, where Lou Albano hits Arnold Skaaland with the trophy so hard, it sends Arnie AND Vince McMahon over the ropes. Now THAT's funny.
Clip of THE ROUGEAU BROTHERS vs. THE DREAM TEAM (WrestleMania
Nothing like getting embarrassed in front of 93,173 people. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, along with Johnny V and Dino Bravo, walk out on Brutus Beefcake after they get a win over the Rougeaus at WrestleMania III. Beefcake had mistakenly hit Valentine across the back during the match, a problem Bravo had to correct by dropping a knee on the back of Jacques Rougeau's head in order for Valentine to get a pin. This leads to Beefcake turning face on the same show, helping Roddy Piper cut Adrian Adonis's hair (not shown, but should have been).
BRUTUS BEEFCAKE vs. LUSCIOUS JOHNNY V (Superstars, airdate 5/2/87)
This marks the official debut of Brutus' "Barber" gimmick, which was derived from his haircut on Adonis at the Silverdome. Earlier in the show, Johnny V made the mistake of giving Valentine and Bravo the day off, which turned out to be a stupid, stupid move. Beefcake won the match rather easily, and then of course went to work on Johnny V's hair, giving him the worst haircut in the history of man.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1986 SLAMMY AWARDS (3/1/86)
This highlights package also appears on Volume 7 of the "Best Of" series. Originally aired on MTV as a half hour show. Gorilla Monsoon standing there with his fly open, Roddy Piper's trophy falling apart in his hands, Nikolai Volkoff winning the award for "Most Ignominious", it's all seen elsewhere. Still, the best line comes from Roddy Piper: "MTV: Music To Vomit By!" This of course was back in the days when MTV actually showed videos.
ANDRE THE GIANT ON THE BODY SHOP
This is from Wrestling Challenge, 1986. Andre had just returned from Japan, doing the whole "I'm-back-and-ready-for-action" bit. Then he starts to mess around with Jesse's feather boa. They could have shown a million better things on this tape...Fuji and Muraco's acting bits, King Kong Bundy trying wigs on, anything. Instead they waste valuable time on this segment. Had no place on the tape.
TED DIBIASE AND A BASKETBALL
This aired on Wrestling Challenge during the fall of 1987. And boy, did it ever make DiBiase a hated man. The idea was, Ted would give $500 to anyone who could dribble a basketball. He picks a young boy named Shawn from the audience to do the task. The kid - who may I add looks nervous as a kid could when appearing on a nationally aired program - managed to dribble it 10 times, and the fans get behind him. Now, Ted has upped his demands, saying he's gotta dribble it 15 times. Shawn's on his way to 15, but at 14, DiBiase boots the ball off the interview podium, accenting with a "Whoops!" Poor Shawn runs off to his mother, and DiBiase stands there looking so proud of himself. Segments like this one really cemented Ted DiBiase's status as THE most hated wrestler in the Federation, the only man who could supplant Roddy Piper as the company's top heel.
We now head into our finale. Mean Gene celebrates four years of All American Wrestling on the air. The producer tries to smash the cake in Mean Gene's face, but he totally misses the mark. FOOD FIIIIIIGHT!!! Oh, look at me, ROFLMAO and all that. Sooooo hilarious.
Mean Gene gives his goodbyes, and of course, the camera moves downward to show us his fly being open. Credits to "Carnival Overture Op. 92", and we're all done.
THE FINAL VERDICT
All in all, this tape is a fun view. Yes, we see lots of this elsewhere, but it all seems to work when strung together like this. If you're lucky enough to find it on eBay, by all means, grab it and enjoy. It can be amusing, and can also be quite cornball, but that's how things were in the Federation back in the day. Give it a view sometime.