May 16, 2010
The Best of the WWF Volume 11
Weíre into the second half of the series now with a tape that came out shortly after Wrestlemania III. Among other things, that show featured the retirement match of Rowdy Roddy Piper, so for this installment in the Best Of series, theyíre going to feature a tribute to him with a couple of matches and other highlights of his career. Besides that, the lineup doesnít really look that promising, but letís see what we get.
The Can Am Connection vs. The Dream Team (w/Johnny V) (January 19, 1987, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
JIP, although it appears to be right after the bell anyways, with Martel and Valentine starting off. Martel goes to work on the arm, with Valentine trying to slam his way out, but Martel holds on. Tag to Zenk, who also targets the arm. Valentine sends him off and gets a hiptoss, but misses an elbow. Zenk nails a dropkick and goes right back to the arm. Valentine forces him to the corner and tags Beefcake, who snaps Zenk down but misses a forearm. Beefcake then takes an atomic drop and tags back out. Valentine takes the same for a 2 count after Martel elbows him down from the apron. Tag to Martel, who elbows Valentine from the apron and goes back to the arm. Valentine picks him up, but this time drops him on the ropes to break the armbar. Tag to Beefcake who gets in a few shots and tags back out. We all knew that Valentine was the workhorse of the team, but this match so far is a pretty strong reminder. Valentine elbows Martel out of a Beefcake backbreaker and gets 2 from it with Zenk saving. The Dream Team trades Martel off a couple of times with Martel getting an occasional comeback including a backslide for 2. Thereís not much exciting going on though. Valentine nails a suplex for 2 and tags Beefcake who goes to a bearhug. Tag to Valentine who drops a double ax from the 2nd rope. He goes for the figure four, but gets cradled for 2. Valentine gets back on him and hooks a rollup for 2. Tag to Beefcake, but Martel uses speed to maneuver through his legs and make the tag to Zenk. Zenk comes in as the house afire with dropkicks for both and a double noggin knocker. He whips Beefcake to the corner, but runs into a clothesline and now he gets cut off. Valentine gets the tag and goes to an abdominal stretch. Gorilla Monsoon is on commentary so Iím sure everyone reading this knows what he spends the next minute or so talking about. Valentine lets it go and nails a gutbuster, and then tags Beefcake. He nails an inverted atomic drop for 2, and then gets a couple more 2 counts by getting on top, but Zenk bridges out. Naturally this segues into the bit where Beefcake goes for the leverage, but ends up crotching himself on Zenkís legs. Heís right in his corner though so he tags Valentine. He and Zenk clothesline each other with the partners coming in and as the ref puts Martel out, Beefcake drags Valentine on top for 2. Beefcake comes in again and as the ref puts him out Zenk makes the tag, but the ref doesnít allow it, and Martelís arguing give the Dream Team a chance to double team. All four guys end up in the ring again with Martel getting tossed. Valentine hits a back suplex and hooks the figure four on Zenk, but as the ref gets Beefcake out, Martel comes back and slingshots himself on to Valentine. He rolls Zenk away and the ref turns around to count 3 at 17:08. This started a little slow, but ended up being a pretty fun match once it got to the heat segment. **
George ďThe AnimalĒ Steele vs. Kamala (w/Kimchee & The Wizard) (November 24, 1986, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
This probably wonít be a very fun match. Steele keeps trying to touch the paint on Kamalaís body, which has Kamala freaked out. That goes on for a bit until Kimchee distracts him and Kamala attacks, headbutting Steele to the floor. Steele gets back in and stomps the bare feet and starts biting him. Then Wizard tosses his horn in to Kamala, who nails Steele with it. Big splash and top rope splash finish Steele off at 3:18. That was about what I expected it would be. -*
Now we get to what looks on paper to be the best part of the tape; The tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper. We start with a live Piperís Pit from the 10/20/86 MSG show with guests Paul Orndorff and Bobby Heenan. On the tape here itís clipped to the important stuff which starts with Orndorff issuing the challenge for a tag team match at the next show. Heenan then announces that Orndorffís partner will be Harley Race, while Piper asks Vladimir who heíd like to see be his partner and Vladimir picks Hulk Hogan. That leads us to the next month where we get the match.
Hulk Hogan & Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Harley Race & Paul Orndorff (w/Bobby Heenan) (November 24, 1986, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
It starts out with a four way brawl and the faces clearing the ring. Piper and Race get going once things settle down with Race slamming him but missing an elbow. Piper tags Hogan, and I have to stop for a second and note that one of the problems with todayís wrestling is that they really miss out on doing the little things that tie everything together in a way that makes sense. Hogan and Piper had a blood feud one year before this show, but now theyíre teaming up against a common enemy. Thatís fine, but what makes it better is that they are clearly wary of each other and itís obvious that they donít completely trust each other. Attention to detail like that goes a long way in storytelling and shows us that what happened in the past matters and weíre not just supposed to forget it like they expect us to do today. So anyways, Hogan drops a double ax from the 2nd rope and hooks a wristlock. Tag back to Piper, who also connects from the 2nd rope. They tag off a couple more times, mostly working on Raceís arm in the process. Race finally gets going with a belly to belly suplex on Piper and makes the tag to Orndorff. Orndorff puts the boots to Piper and nails a clothesline. Tag back to Race, who draws Hogan in, which allows a double team as the ref puts him back out. Race then nails a powerslam and tags back to Orndorff. Piper elbows out of a rear chinlock and goes for a sunset flip, but Orndorff nails him and tags out. Race nails a suplex and drops a knee. Tag to Orndorff with Piper firing back, but heís in the wrong corner and ends up double teamed, which is made worse by Hogan coming in and having to be put out. Race gets the tag and nails a headbutt, but Piper escapes his clutches and lunges to make the tag to Hogan. Hogan runs wild on everyone for a bit, culminating in a legdrop on Race, but Orndorff makes the save at 2. It breaks down into a four way brawl, but then Hogan leaves Piper to be double teamed so he can beat up Bobby Heenan. Piper ducks a clothesline though and Orndorff hits Race with Piper falling on top for the 3 count at 8:18. To further the idea that this was just business and not about friendship for Hogan and Piper, Piper bails immediately after the fall, leaving Hogan to be triple teamed. He never returns for the save either, so Hogan has to make his own comeback and clear the ring. It wasnít a long match, but it was very fast paced and energetic, with, as I mentioned, the great storytelling. **1/2
Elimination Match: Adrian Adonis, Harley Race, & Randy Savage vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Junkyard Dog, & Ricky Steamboat (February 23, 1987, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
We have three Wrestlemania matches brought together here for an elimination tag match, which is also billed as the final MSG appearance of Roddy Piper. Piper and Adonis start, but Adonis wants none of him, so he tags Savage. Piper responds by tagging Steamboat, which has Savage running for the hills. They end up going at it for a bit with Steamboat controlling the arm. Tag are made to Race and JYD with Race getting the bad end of a headbutt battle. JYD knocks him to the floor, but he gets back in and hits a belly to belly suplex to take over. Tag to Savage who drops a knee for 1 and then goes up, but Steamboat distracts him and JYD nails him. Tag to Steamboat who gets some chops, but he puts his head down on a whip and gets kicked. Savage tags Adonis who nails a back suplex. Steamboat escapes and tags Piper causing Adonis to try and bail, but it ends up breaking down into a six way. As the ref tries putting guys out, Piper takes a double suplex from Race and Adonis for 2. Adonis hooks the sleeper, but Piper runs him to the corner to break it and hooks his own. Race breaks that up and tags are made to both JYD and Savage. JYD slams him for 1, and then Savage tags back to Adonis. Shots to the head on JYD are no sold, but then Adonis avoids a charge and JYD goes to the floor. They brawl out there, with all the partners getting involved as well. Piper nails Adonis with a chair in the melee, which then spills back into the ring, but after quite a delay the bell rings and itís announced that both Adonis and JYD were counted out at 7:51 leaving it 2 on 2. Race and Piper go in the ring with Race nailing a clothesline and trapping Piper in the wrong corner. Tag to Savage, whose suplex is blocked, but Piper still gets cut off from tagging. Savage then misses a rope straddle, but makes the tag to Race who again cuts Piper off. His suplex is reversed though and now Piper makes the tag. Steamboat comes in and works over Race with chops. Savage ends up coming in, but that doesnít turn the tide as Steamboat takes on both. Piper comes in as Steamboat gets Race in a small package, but while the ref put him out, Savage rolls Race on top and the ref turns around to count 3 at 11:48. This leaves Piper 1 on 2. He charges right at Race and beats in him for a bit, but then Savage comes from behind and nails him. Piper keeps fending them off though until heís finally caught with a double ax off the top by Savage for 2. Race hits a powerslam for 2, but Piper then reverses a gutwrench. He covers, but Savage makes the save. Race holds him for Savage, and of course that plan backfires as Piper ducks and Race gets nailed with the double ax handle. Piper quickly covers, and gets the 3 count at 15:47. Race wonít leave though so Piper ends up running Savage in to him and then nailing a bulldog. He then bites Savage, who retaliates by spitting back at Piper, but this just angers Piper who chases Savage around. Savage eventually lures him back in the ring and nails him. A clothesline gets a 2 count as does an elbow to the throat. Savage goes for a slam, with Piper falling on top for 2, but Savage keeps on him after that. Piper comes back with a throat toss and then sends Savage off the ropes leading to a collision that puts Savage on the floor. Piper is shown to be playing possum, so as Savage gets back up, he goes to the top for the elbow, but Piper moves and then gets him with a small package for the 3 count at 20:25. This was another really fun match here and a nice little farewell to Piper. ***
The tribute to Piper concludes with his farewell promo from SNME #10, and then a video package highlighting memorable moments from Piperís WWF career. Really good stuff here.
Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook vs. Pepe Gomez & The Karate Kid (November 24, 1986, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
Now we have the token midget match that they feel the need to stick on every other volume or so. The story of the match here is that Tokyo and Littlebrook arenít on the same page at all and hilarity ensues. In the end, Gomez and Karate Kid pile on Littlebrook for the 3 count at 7:47 and thatís all Iím going to say about that. Ĺ*
Hillbilly Jim vs. Magnificent Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji) (November 24, 1986, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
I complained on an earlier volume about them featuring too many matches from the same shows. While it was resolved for a while, weíre right back to it now as we visit this same MSG show for the fourth time on this tape. Is there really nothing else worth putting out from this time period? So this is from during the time where Muraco was part of the group feuding with Roddy Piper, so he wears a kilt to the ring here. He stalls forever in taking it off though so Jim comes from behind and grabs hold of whatís underneath the kilt . I didnít know Jim swung that way, but there you go. Now the match is on with Muraco whipped to the buckle and flipping to the floor. Muraco charges back in, right into a slam and then begs off to no avail as Jim continues tossing him around. After getting knocked to the floor again, now Muraco wants a handshake. Jim doesnít fall for it, so Muraco grabs the hair instead and yanks Jim down. He works a nerve hold for a bit, and then hits a neck snap. Jim goes to the apron where Fuji grabs the leg allowing Muraco to continue the attack. Back in, Jim gets the boots up on a corner whip and then connects with another big boot. He hooks the bearhug, but Fuji runs in and nails him with the cane for the DQ at 6:13. DUD After the match they double team Jim with the cane and rip up his overalls. This leads to Jim issuing the challenge to Fuji for a Tuxedo Match at the next show.
Tuxedo Match: Hillbilly Jim vs. Mr. Fuji (December 26, 1986, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
And they have that match to close out the tape here, which at least means they moved on to a different MSG show. Jim starts out by beating up Fujiís hat. Fuji then nails him and starts ripping the jacket. And they take turns tearing away each otherís clothes until both the shirts are gone. Jim then gains the advantage and goes for the pants, which he gets off causing Fuji to run away and making Jim the winner at 4:15. Didnít we get enough goofy comedy with the midget match earlier on? DUD
Well, the Piper segments are the clear highlights of this tape, but sadly theyíre here to emphasize the fact that heís leaving the WWF forever (or for two years anyways). Other than that the only thing remotely worthwhile is the opening tag match. But thatís still about half the tape right there so itís good enough for a Thumbs in the Middle for Best of the WWF Volume 11, with a recommendation specifically to check out that six man tag team match.