WWF Greatest Matches
- Millennium Man here with you for another old school Coliseum Video review. This time out, we have the WWF’s Greatest Matches. This particular cassette was produced in 1986 and was apart of The Collector’s Series along with The Hulkster: Hulk Hogan and Wrestlemania Highlights. Hope you’ll enjoy the rant.
- We begin with our host Mr. Vince McMahon. He states we will see the “true” stars of professional wrestling. This speech only takes 40 seconds. For a guy who could go on and on and on and on and on, that’s incredible. Now, I’m going on and on, so let’s get to the matches.
- WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff from Maple Leaf Gardens --- We’re in Toronto, Canada for this one and Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura grace us with their melodious tones. This is prior to their split in August of 1986 and, in fact, is prior to WrestleMania as well. Hogan gets things begun with a back suplex and a clothesline while Orndorff was playing to the crowd. Paul regroups. Back in, Hogan hits a side headlock in which Orndorff shoots the champ off but gets bulldozed down. Orndorff heads for the hills again. Monsoon brings up that, “a good little man never ever beat a good big man.” Hmmm . . . talk amongst yourselves about that one. Hogan whips Paul into the corner and follows up with a clothesline. Atomic drop and a headbutt get a 2-count for Hogan. Somehow, Orndorff catches Hulk with a knee and proceeds to drop those classic Wonderful forearms. He then shoots Hogan out of the ring. Orndorff follows and sends the champ into the barricade; well in the sense that Hogan ran to them, hit the breaks, and then let himself lean into them. Bah, whatever. The challenger pours it on some more outside the ring and continues the assault inside the ring. Orndorff gits a nice looking vertical suplex. A knee drop gets Orndorff 2. Orndorff’s attempt to send Hogan face first to the buckle is blocked, however, and countered by the “good big man.” “The good little man” is slammed but the GBM misses an elbow and the GLM is back in control. I should note that there is A LOT of stomping being done by Orndorff, but oh well. Wonderful heads to the top rope and lands a cross bodyblock but Hogan rolls through and gets the 1-2-3 victory. Of course the spot looked awkward as they usually do even when two really talented wrestlers are involved in it. Granted, it did look better than Richter/Kai at WrestleMania. This was nothing other than generic Hulk Hogan title defense #7B that he had from 1984-1987.
- Intercontinental Championship: Tito Santana vs. Macho Man Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth from Boston Garden --- We’re in February of 1986 and Monsoon and Ventura are once again commentating. Santana is defending and Danny Davis is refereeing. That should let the old school fans know the outcome of this. If not, read on. This is a rematch of the previous month’s Boston Garden match where Savage won via countout but now he’s going for the gold. Both of those matches can be found on The History of The Intercontinental Belt. A few intense lockups start us off. Santana with a go-behind but Savage heads to the ropes. After a decent mat-wrestling sequence, both men are back up and ready. Savage plays to the crowd from the top rope. The Boston Garden marquee states that coming up ‘Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd’. Oh please, that couldn’t POSSIBLY make this tape, COULD IT?!? I may be a fan of many of the aspects of the WWF in the 1980’s (Animal Steele, numerous gimmicks, comedy matches, ect.), but I draw the line at hillbillies vs. plodding giants and meaningless midget matches. Anyways, back to the match. Savage catches Tito with a quick punch. Santana’s pissed so Savage knows his role and heads out. However, Mr. Arriba follows and attacks. Both quickly back in. Savage heads to the top for an axehandle but Santana catches him with a shot to the boiler. This crowd is all FIRED UP! Tito with a slam and hits the ropes looking for the flying forearm but Savage rolls out. Santana chases but Savage catches the chaser, but then Santana catches the catcher who caught the chaser and gives him an atomic drop for 2. Get all that? Macho Man rakes the champ’s eyes. Macho with an axehandle for 2. Macho hits a clothesline for 2 which catches a few boos. I think after the previous month’s match and judging by crowd reactions, Mr. McMahon must have been confirmed of what many fans already knew. Randy Savage was destined and ready for a championship reign. Don’t forget, Tito Santana was loved in his own right. He was a face who had a Latin edge about him and didn’t take crap from no one (back in the 1980s). Once, the 1990s hit, he was a JTTS but a damn good one. That’s how you earn respect in the business, in my humble opinion. Anywhoo, Savage is on the top rope waiting for me to unpause the tape so he can soar off, so here I go. He nails Santana with another axehandle and gets yet another 2-count. Santana gets chucked outside and Macho catches him with a third axehandle and is second one off the top. And people wonder why he has knee problems. Santana fights back from the apron and takes control with some Latino Heat of his own. Tito launches himself from the 2nd turnbuckle with a flying elbow that decks the challenger. That gets two. Ventura’s pumped up! A knee by Savage draws a great, big POP from the Bostonians. That gets 2 and Davis gets bumped. Santana gets a small package for 2 despite the bump. Savage misses a knee drop and Santana SMELLS BLOOD! He goes after the damaged knee with some kicks and looks to be setting him up for the Figure-4 leglock. Sure enough, he locks it in and the crowd is just digging this match. Savage is desperate. He’d give his right eye to get out of there. Lucky for him, he did by rolling to the ropes. Savage counters a 2nd Figure-4 attempt and heads to the apron. The ref sends Tito back and challenger (but not for long) Randy Savage goes into his tights and grabs an object. An unaware champ (but not for long) heads his way. Savage with a wild swing that misses and Santana goes for a back suplex, but Savage plunks him with the object and gets the 1-2-3 victory and The Intercontinental Championship much to the delight of the Boston crowd. I think 65% is for the fact that Savage is the new champ and the other 35% is for the fact that the match was pretty awesome. Plus, any heat Savage is generating comes across more like cheering, I think. Savage is still selling the knee injury like a champ. The camera catches the funky-looking weapon Savage used to win the title. FYI, Savage used the same means to defeat Ricky Steamboat in the 2nd round of The Wrestling Classic. But, this was the way to drop a belt to a heel. Perfectly done, now you can have rematch after rematch after rematch due to the shady way Savage dropped the belt and the heat between the two. This would win the MillenniumMan’s Match of the video honors.
- WWF Championship Match: Bob Backlund w/ Arnold Skaalund vs. The Iron Sheik w/ The Ayatollah Blassie from MSG --- The date is December 23, 1983 and for those who read my review of The Hulkster: Hulk Hogan (Thumbs up, silly grin), you know how this one turns out. If you haven’t read it, shame on you. Print it out, laminate it, and you have some great reading for El John-O. Monsoon and Patty-P have the announcing duties tonight. We get the boxing-style introductions and rightly so. The champion, Bob Backlund comes in with an injured neck and left shoulder courtesy of The Iron Sheik whacking him with a Persian/Iranian/Saba Simbian club the week before. Sheik attacks before the bell and chokes Backlund with his robe. Sheik starts hitting and stomping the shoulder. Sheik hits a series of armbars that are countered with arm drags by the champ. Sheik is a sweaty mess early on. The challenger hits a shoulderblock but gets caught with a hiptoss which ends up hurting Backlund much more than The Sheik. Armbar and we CLIP to an armbar. Now, THAT should be the intention of clipping right there. Sheik tries to pin the champ to the mat but just gets 2-counts. Patterson compares Sheik’s cranium to the top of the moon. Sheik with a surfboard (the hold, not the object you dufuses). We CLIP to later on in the hold and Backlund eventually counters into a pinning combination for 2. Backlund goes for a backslide but his neck/shoulder gives way. For as boring as the match is, at least they’re employing psychology (Vince’s Satan-word). But hey, it’s easier for me to review at least. Sheik stomps away but misses an elbow. Backlund counters a vertical suplex and goes for a rollup/bridge, but his neck is WAY too badly hurt. Sheik locks in The Camel Clutch. Backlund refuses to give in. Blassie is screaming for Sheik to “Pull On It!” All of the sudden, a towel enters our field of view and the ref calls for the bell. Skaalund threw it in and via a submission, The Iron Sheik WINS The WWF Championship. Of course as you all know, that celebration would be short-lived. As for the ending of the match, your guess is as good as mine as to what the original outcome was supposed to be. I mean, Backlund stuck around for a few more months before leaving on bad terms. Personally, I think in any era, six years is enough time to hold the gold and I’m sure most of you would agree. Anyways, the match was a squash but only because of the injury. It may have been boring, but it was great for historical value. Now, it’s time for our finale . . .
- WWF Tag Championship: Brutus Beefcake and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Luscious Johnny Valiant vs. Hillbilly Jim and Uncle Elmer from MSG --- Oh GOD, it’s hillbillies! Of course they’re here to finish off a series of WWF’s “Greatest Matches.” Oh well, might as well give it a chance. This looks to be from late 1985-early 1986. Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes finish with their play-by-play skills. Hillbilly gets psyched up by executing a cartwheel to show that his injured leg is fine, as it was hurt in the first place by Brutus Beefcake, so at least there’s some backstory to this. Jimbo telegraphs a big boot and Valentine STILL runs into it and does his Timmberrrrrr face first fall. Jimmy follows up with a headbutt, a quasi-clothesline, and a snap mare for a 2-count. Elmer tags in and gives Valentine a neck hang. I love that move! However, Elmer just stands there as Valentine gets up, goes to the 2nd rope, and nails Elmer’s Paste with an elbow. Doh! Elmer’s already in peril. Beefcake tags in and hits a flying stomp and then some standing stomps. Boy, that Beefcake sure is versatile. He struts as well. What a man! Valentine back in and he hits 2 elbow drops for a 2-count. The Beefer tags back in and agitates Jimbo enough to lure him into the ring while Brut-Eye tries to keep up the assault. However, Elmer makes the luke-warm tag to King Hillbilly. Predictably, he cleans house and locks the bearhug on Beefcake. Valentine turns it loose with a knee to the back. Jim tags Elmer back in. Elmer easily slams Beefcake and hits a legdrop but Valentine makes the save. All 4 are in the ring and Valiant jumps up on the apron. Jim headbutts him, despite Valiant wearing sunglasses; GRRRR! Being a glasses-wearer myself, I can’t condone that! In the mean time, Elmer avalanches Beefcake and locks in a bearhug of his own. However, the end is near. Valentine leaps off the top rope onto Elmo’s back and Brutus falls in top of him for the 1-2-3 pin. The Dream Team retains the belts.
- Closing credits roll and we’re treated to a video preview of the entire Coliseum Video Series up to that point.
- Final Thoughts --- Well, what can ya say? Some historic events are in here. But I’d hate to be a promoter and market this tape as being 4 of my Greatest Matches. I understand that you can’t put Hogan/Sheik on yet ANOTHER video, but The Hillbilles against The Dream Team? Oy! Well, I hope you enjoyed this installment of my Coliseum Video reviews. Any/all feedback can be replied to at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!