BEST OF THE WWF VOL. 14
- Hello one and hello all! The MillenniumMan comin’atcha once again with yet another classic in the Coliseum Video vault. Today, we’ll look at the ultra-rare Best of the WWF Volume 14. This video was produced in 1987 and is video #48 in the collection. Let’s see if the tape can live up to the hype.
- Gorilla Monsoon gives us an intro to the video. We are told that this will be the most exciting of all the ‘Best of’ videos. In Gorilla’s words, “That remains to be seen.” We have 2 Coliseum Exclusive matches, a Coliseum Classic, and Bobby Heenan is in one-on-one action! Let’s getty-up and go . . .
- Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and The Rougeau Brothers vs. The New Dream Team (Valentine and Bravo) and “Luscious” Johnny Valiant in a Coliseum Video Exclusive from a SuperStars taping --- Alright, we’ve got The Body, The Legend, and The Tool (DeGeorge) in the broadcast booth. This is post WMIII so Beefcake and The Rougeaus have big beef with their opposition. Raymond and Dino start off with Rougeau taking the early advantage being capped off by Bravo accidentally high kneeing Valentine, who was on the apron. The Dream Team embrace in a show of solidarity which draws “Awwwwwsssss” and “Booooooooos” at the same time. Ventura thinks the Rougeaus look too much alike. Uh Jess, Raymond has a mustache and is like 6 inches shorter. Valentine in, and Degeorge calls Greg’s chops to the chest, slaps to the face. He must be using Monsoon’s coke-bottled glasses. Jacques in, and a butt drop gets 2. Brutus tags in and Valentine heads out. Back in we go, and The Beefer gets caught in the wrong corner and ol Johnny V finally tags in, hits minimal offense, and tags back out to Bravo. Show em’ how it’s done Johnny! Beefcake makes a lukewarm tag to Raymond who tags his brother. Jacques with a flying elbow for 2. Neat double dropkick by The Rougeaus which hits Bravo at his front and back. Valentine finds himself going in and out and back in again to make saves for Bravo. Finally, Ray has had enough, but he too gets into le corner de le heels, or something like that. Ray gets bullied around outside the ring to put him into a state of peril. Raymond’s taking quite the shitkicking here, I must admit. Finally, Ventura corrects DeGeorge about the use of the chop/slap. Side suplex by Bravo, but instead of pinning, he decides to run the ropes and ends up missing an elbow. Respective tags to Valiant and Beefcake. The Barber gives his former manager the ol 10 shots to the buckle. All six guys in, and the heels collide. The Dream Team get dropkicked outside the ring, which leaves Mr. V all by his lonesome with the opposition. Double whip by The Rougeaus leads into the Sleeper by Beefcake. The lights go out and it’s all over in a little over 11 minutes. Beefcake gives Valiant a slight trim and then sprays his hair orange. Not a bad match, but pretty dull and by the numbers. Of course, that’s all you can expect in a dark match.
- Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Outlaw” Ron Bass from a Challenge taping --- This is just after The Dragon’s return to the WWF after dropping the I-C Title to The Honky Tonk Man. For the two of you know that don’t know, Ricky wanted a little time off to spend with his wife and new baby and Vince did not take too kindly to this at all. Now The Dragon is back, and The Boss wants revenge. Step #1: Stick him in there with The Outlaw. This guy is the equivalent of the A-Train today. Well actually, Bass is worse. Let’s see if Steamboat can make this watchable. Bruce Pritchard, Nick Bockwinkle, and Mike McGuirk occupy in the booth for this one. Early Frakensteiner (don’t know how to spell the proper name) and chop from the top sends Bass to the outside. Bockwinkle thinks that coming off the top should be illegal because of the danger tha . . . Shut up Nick!!! Bass takes advantage quickly with a suckerpunch. Clothesline gets 2. Back elbow gets 2. Powerslam gets 2. A failed slam attempt by Steamboat gets 2 for Bass. Oh the drama! A shake, rattle, and roll attempt gets countered into a backslide by The Dragon for 2. No, Bass was not going for a swinging neckbreaker, he was swinging his hips and everything. Collision leaves both men lying. Ricky reverses a vertical suplex into one of his own. Both guys are down again. Slugfest ensues and The Dragon catches Bass with a sleeper which Bass quickly shrugs off. Steamboat skins the cat and chucks Bass to the floor with him. They brawl outside and Steamboat scoots in the ring at the last second to garner a CO victory at about 7 minutes. Bass grabs Betsy, his whip, after the match but Ricky catches him with a dropkick to send him packing. As much as everyone hates a slide into the ring at a 9.8 count finish, we oughta be lucky Steamboat won at all.
- Koko B. Ware w/ Frankie vs. Dangerous Danny Davis w/ Jimmy Hart from MSG --- Monsoon, Heenan, and Hayes at the table. If you’ve seen one 1987 Davis match, you’ve seen them all. Face attacks, Davis bails. This is NO different. Luckily, Monsoon and Heenan are commentating. I debate myself whether to FF or just sit though it for the broadcasting. I do a little of both. I’ve lost track of how many times Davis has left the ring. Monsoon thinks that Frankie is giving Koko some advice to which Heenan responds, “I think Frankie did leave something, it’s right there by your shoe Alfred.” Haha! After three minutes of the usual, Davis wants a handshake that results with Koko stepping on his fingers. What a brute! Almost 6 minutes in and we hit a test of strength. Davis gets the advantage until Koko starts jumping around and hits a dropkick so Davis hits the bricks. Back in, Koko misses a charge and Davis finally sees fit to stay in the ring for more than 30 seconds. Davis nails him with kicks, a couple of uppercuts, and a back elbow for 2. Clothesline gets a 2-count for DDD. Gorilla notes that Davis is in control, which inspires Heenan to proclaim, “DANGEROUS Danny is what his friends call him . . . You can call him Mr. Davis.” Sleeper by Davis which leads to the funniest exchange of the video in which Heenan proudly proclaims, “Boy, I’ve seen more holds out of Davis tonight, then I’ve seen out of most wrestlers in a year!” “That’s the first one I’ve seen,” retorts Gorilla. Classic stuff! Koko fights back and gets a sleeper of his own which gets broken up by Davis. Davis misses a splash and Koko is all fired up! Flying punch by Koko and Davis heads out. Finally, Koko starts chasing him and catches Danny back in the ring. 10 headbutts puts Davis on the mat. Koko starts clobbering Davis in the corner and the ref breaks Koko off of him. Hart cleverly uses this window of opportunity to slip Davis the brass knuckles which Davis uses for a 1-2-3 count at about 13 minutes. I don’t see why they could have done the same match but maybe cut 5 minutes of the Tom & Jerry shenanigans out of it. Ah well, that’s how it went back then. For our final Monsoon/Heenan exchange, Gorilla mutters, “Tell me you didn’t see that (Brass knucks) Brain.” “I happened to be looking at this bird over here making some noise. I got the pin though,” replies Heenan. Might as well end the segment on a positive note.
- Junk Yard Dog vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil from a Challenge taping --- Pritchard, McGuirk, and Bockwinkle return for commentary duties. I miss The Brain already. I’ve never seen any Mid South so I can’t really comment on those days. Although, this has to be one of DiBiase’s initial encounters since it’s 1987 and they’re sticking him in there with a familiar face (They were both there at the same time, right?). Early atomic drop sends DiBiase to the outside. Bockwinkle says, “Hell.” Oooooooooo!!! Teddy keeps stalling! This is like watching Koko/Davis again w/o the cool commentary. It’s hard to recap these types of matches because you don’t know if you should bother recapping the moves in between the stalling or not. 5 minutes gone by so far in a match even you and I could work. Armbar takes us to 6 minutes. JYD misses a headbutt and DiBiase takes control. He starts choking JYD much to the ref’s dismay. Kneedrop gets 2. DiBiase gets in a couple cool Million Dollar fistdrops. I’d kill to see a heel adopt that move today. DiBiase tries for whatever off the 2nd rope but jumps right into JYD’s fist. Rolling headbutts connect to DiBiase and Virgil. Virgil distracts JYD with money and The Dog foolishly takes the bait. Actually, JYD knocks Virgil down, takes the cash, and passes it out to the ringsiders. Hey, I’m sitting through this match too, Where’s My Money?!? DiBiase can’t slam JYD back in, but he rolls through, grabs them cakes, and gets the 3-count in approx 10 minutes. Good for Teddy! I still want my $100!
- Andre the Giant, Dino Bravo, and Tony Garea vs. Spiros Arion and The Yukon Lumberjacks ina 2 out of 3 Falls Match from MSG in the Coliseum Classic Match --- We’re in August of 1978. The Lumberjacks are the Tag Team Champions. Bravo has his naturally brown hair in tact. If it’s not really natural, pretend I was being sarcastic and this sentence never existed. Vince McMahon is flying solo at the commentary table. Andre is at a slim, trim, lean, mean, buff, cut, ripped, chiseled, and JAKKED 445 lbs at this point. McMahon gives away Andre Rusinoff’s last name. Oops, so did I. Garea and Eric the Lumberjack start. Garea hits a couple armdrags and Eric tags in Arion. Garea connects with some forearms in the corner and Arion tags in Pierre the Lumberjack. Garea executes a wristlock on Pierre and he tags Eric back in. Big slam by Tony and he’s TCB (Takin’ Care of Business) all by himself. Finally, he gets caught by the heels and Andre interjects himself by disposing of Eric and nailing Pierre. The bell rings and at 3:14. The Lumberjack/Arion team get DQ’d for triple teaming Garea. So, it’s Team Andre 1, Team Ain’t Got a Prayer in Hell 0. Garea and Eric begin the 2nd fall. Tag to Bravo and he sends Eric to his corner to tag Arion. Criss cross takes place and Bravo gets the better of that with an armdrag. Tag to Pierre. Pierre actually takes control for a bit. Backbreaker gets a deuce for the Tag Champ. However, Bravo casually tags Andre and I think the end is near. Atomic drop by Andre leads into a big boot and the BIG SPLASH finishes off Team AGaPiH for good at 5:39. I don’t think anyone broke a sweat in that match. Certainly nothing great, but too quick to call it bad. Just a quick peek into the life of the WWF in 1978 and it was plenty harmless.
- “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink vs. Hercules w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in a Coliseum Video Exclusive at a SuperStars taping --- This is our 2nd of 2 CV Exclusives and our commentating team is Pritchard, McGuirk, and Leaping Lanny Poffo! Orndorff has just fired Heenan not too long before this match and The Brain is none too happy. Hercules attacks Mr. W before the bell and Orndorff is hurt early. Orndorff skins the cat and starts punishing Herc with punches, kneelifts, and an eye rake. Clothesline by Hercules turns the tide. Another one gets a 2. He pins again and again for a 2 and 2. Hercules clamps on a bearhug while Heenan is standing right by the timekeeper’s table trying to give Mark Yeaton a helping hand in letting him know that Orndorff has quit. What a guy! Orndorff breaks the bearhug and gets a desperation small package for 2. Orndorff starts fighting back while selling the back. Dropkick and top rope forearm take Herc down. Orndorff knocks Heenan off the apron and hits the dreaded Piledriver. 1---2-- . . . Ravishing Rick Rude runs in to break the count and gives Orndorff the DQ duke at a little over 6 minutes. Rude hammers him down, chucks him outside, and poses as only he can. However, Wonderful gets it together outside and returns with the Humperdink’s scepter. Rude skips town. Orndorff gets on the mic and challenges Rude to get back in the ring. Will Rude come back? Will he confront Orndorff? Will this issue be settled right here? Right now? I dunno because we’re going to NYC baby!
- Salvatore Bellomo vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan from MSG --- Heenan is not even being seconded by anyone. What a man! Monsoon and Hayes doing the yakkedy yak. The Brain confuses Sal with a couple clean breaks. Heenan then whacks Bellomo with two suckerpunches. God bless him! Bellomo returns the favor with one of his own. Bastard! Bellomo whips Heenan into the corner and he does his super bionic sell where he leaps up the top rope stomach first and lets his body convulse as it may from there. Heenan takes a breather. Call me biased, but when Heenan stalls, it’s not that bad. First of all, he’s not a regular wrestler. Second of all, he really looks like he is begging for his life when he’s in the ring. Thirdly, when he is outside, he appears to dread getting back in. He returns to the ring anyways and gets met with a flying bodyscissors and a dropkick which sends The Brain shoulder first into the post. Bellomo attacks Heenan in the corner and the crowd goes BONKOS! Air horns are blowin’ in the Garden! Heenan slips out and The Stallion does a poor looking cartwheel. ¾* tops. Heenan takes control with an eyerake and slaps on a chinlock. Heenan hits a back body drop which Bellomo sells like a gunshot. Two kneedrops to the back by Heenan give The Brain a 2-count. Collision in mid ring. Bellomo seems a little peeved. He starts ramming Heenan’s head on the mat. However, Heenan manages to throw The Immigrant outside. Bellomo tries to sunset flip his way back in but The Brain wisely drops down on Bellomo for a clean 3-count at almost nine minutes. Boy, timing these matches sure is annoying. Oh well, only one more match to go . . .
- Tito Santana vs. Killer Kahn from The Sam Houston Coliseum --- I have no idea who these announcers are. Kahn goes through his sumo prematch ritual. The one announcer actually gives some backstory on Kahn’s haircut. He said Kahn used to have a traditional sumo haircut, but once he entered the WWF, the sumo committee or something would be all over his case if he still had the sumo style hair, so Kahn cut it. Not bad if he just made it up. Of course, that doesn’t explain Yokozuna but that’s five years later, so never mind him. Man, I’m bored just thinking about how boring this match could be when Kahn is on the offense. Kahn has the early advantage which indeed puts the BO in boring. As the announcers pimp next month’s card, they mention Ted DiBiase and Sam Houston vs. One Man Gang and Outlaw Ron Bass. That’s a bit odd. Why would a face and heel team up? And why would they name a Coliseum after a jobber? Where are my answers? In the interim, Santana fights back and goes after Kahn’s legs. He’s got Kahn set up for the Shattered Dreams, but we’re WAY before that so Santana decides to kick his thighs instead. A middle aged fan (can’t really tell if it’s a man or woman) starts walking like a monkey to taunt Kahn. Really pathetic, I must say. Santana locks in an armbar/hammerlock for quite a while. Kahn fights him off and keeps stomping away with his nasty, bare feet. Santana loses his temper and starts choking Kahn on the ropes. Kneelift connects and a headlock gets countered by Kahn into an atomic drop. However, Kahn drapes Santana crotch first on the top rope for the automatic DQ after nine minutes of ‘action’. Oy! Kahn hits himself in the head with a chair several times for his error and inability to get to DA PAY WINDA!
- Closing credits roll and previews of Best of WWF Volume 15, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and Saturday Night Main Event’s Greatest Hits put us to bed.
- Final Thoughts --- If by ‘excitement’ Monsoon meant ‘stalling’. Then yes, this was the most exciting Best of the WWF video ever. Nothing much to this at all. The only match I actually enjoyed was Heenan/Bellomo. It wasn’t necessarily a great match, but the crowd was into it and there was great selling by both parties. I suppose the Coliseum Classic was fairly interesting. And the commentary for Koko/Davis gets a Thumbs Up from me. Everything else was definitely Zonkfest material. I can’t decide if this is worse than Volume 16, but it’s a definite Must Avoid! Next time out, we’ll see if we can fair any better with the 1989 release Brains Behind the Brawn. Remember, feedback is always welcome. Thanks for reading!