July 31, 2010
The Best of the WWF Volume 14
The series continues here with, among other things, Brutus Beefcake out for revenge on his former partners, an early appearance of the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, and Bobby Heenan of all people getting into the ring. Scanning the lineup for the tape I donít see anything that gets me excited, but letís see if it delivers anything.
Brutus Beefcake & The Rougeau Brothers vs. The New Dream Team & Johnny Valiant (June 23, 1987, Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN)
The Setup: Beefcake was dumped by the Dream Team at Wrestlemania III and adopted the Barber gimmick following his face turn. Here he gets a chance for revenge on his former friends.
The Action: The Rougeaus start out in control of Valentine and Bravo, and then Beefcake gets a big pop when he tags in. He ends up caught briefly in the corner, but escapes and tags Raymond. The Rougeaus dominate Bravo, with Ray eventually hooking the Boston crab, but Valentine makes the save and kicks off the real heat. Ray gets beaten down for quite a while, but Bravo misses an elbow following the side slam and the hot tag is made to Beefcake. Johnny V got the tag on his side, and heís quickly overwhelmed. It breaks down into a six way with the Rougeaus holding the Dream Team at bay while Beefcake hooks Johnny V in the sleeper to get the win at 11:38. After the match, Beefcake cuts more hair and even spray paints it orange.
The Verdict: This was a really good match to kick the tape off right. It was energetic, and heated, and everyone did the right things at the right times. ***
Ricky ďThe DragonĒ Steamboat vs. Outlaw Ron Bass (October 28, 1987, War Memorial Arena, Rochester, NY)
The Setup: Just a TV taping dark match with no real issue behind it.
The Action: Bass works him over pretty much from the get go with Steamboat making his usual great comebacks. Thatís about all there is to it until Steamboat skins the cat into a headscissors to take Bass to the floor where they brawl until Steamboat just beats the count in for the win at 6:54.
The Verdict: This was during the doghouse period for Steamboat where he didnít really get much of a chance to shine, and this was a good example of that as he was a) stuck in there with Ron Bass, and b) not even allowed to get a good win. Ĺ*
Koko B. Ware vs. Dangerous Danny Davis (w/Jimmy Hart) (May 19, 1987, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
The Setup: Again, not much of a feud here, but Davis was still over as a heel due to the crooked ref deal still being pretty fresh.
The Action: The first 7:00 or so consists of Davis taking like one move and then bailing over and over again. Finally Koko misses a charge to the corner and Davis gets in some bad looking offence for a bit. Koko fires back and hits a powerslam, but Davis hooks the ropes. Koko wonít back off though so when the ref forcibly drags him back, Jimmy Hart slips Davis a foreign object, which he then nails Koko with for the pin at 13:17.
The Verdict: I didnít like this at all. I guess it builds heat for Davis, but he showed nothing here and to me it was a waste of time. -*
Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil) vs. The Junkyard Dog (October 7, 1987, Veterans Memorial Arena, Green Bay, WI)
The Setup: These guys feuded in Mid South, but by this point that may as well have been thirty years ago. Dibiase is still pretty new to the WWF and getting the big heel push, while JYD is on the way down.
The Action: Dibiase keeps backing off, and when he does get close he makes mistakes like ramming JYD to the buckle. JYD does not look good here by the way in terms of his motivation, and ability to move around the ring. Dibiase does gain control for a bit, which lasts until he comes off the 2nd rope and JYD gets the fist up. The crawling headbutts follow, including one for Virgil, who then challenges him to come to the floor. JYD nails him and gives the money away to a lucky fan. As he goes to get back in, Dibiase goes for a slam, with JYD falling on top, but Dibiase rolls through and hooks the tights for the 3 count at 10:01.
The Verdict: I already talked about who was going up and who was going down, but this didnít do Dibiase too many favours, especially with the cheap ending. DUD
2/3 Falls Match: Spiros Arion & The Yukon Lumberjacks vs. Tony Garea, Dino Bravo, & Andre the Giant (August 28, 1978, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
The Setup: They go into the archives for a match thatís before my time, so I donít really know. The Lumberjacks were the WWWF Tag Team Champions at the time.
The Action: Garea works the entire first fall for his team, holding his own until getting caught in the corner for the triple team which results in a fast and super weak DQ at 2:53. The second fall sees Bravo control the ring much like Garea did. He then makes the tag to Andre who hits Pierre with a big boot and big splash for the pin at 6:14 to win 2-0.
The Verdict: This wasnít bad or anything, but there also wasnít much to it. Ĺ*
Hercules (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Paul Orndorff (w/Oliver Humperdink) (October 6, 1987, The Mecca, Milwaukee, WI)
The Setup: Orndorff had recently left the Heenan Family, specifically over an issue with Rick Rude over who had the better body. Here Heenan sends a different family member after him though.
The Action: Hercules gets right on him and they work a good pace to start until it slows down with a bearhug. Orndorff fires out, takes a shot at Heenan, and hits the piledriver, but Rick Rude runs in for the DQ at 6:24 to further that issue.
The Verdict: Obviously just a setup match for another issue, this wasnít that good on its own. Ĺ*
Bobby ďThe BrainĒ Heenan vs. Salvatore Bellomo (November 26, 1984, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
The Setup: Heenan had debuted only two months earlier as a manager, and I guess that they felt they needed to let us know heís also a wrestler. This would probably be the only singles match for Heenan in the WWF not played as a comedy deal.
The Action: Of course Heenan still plays the cowardly heel, much better than Danny Davis did earlier on the tape by the way. Heenan uses nothing more than eye rakes to take over, but it works. The finish sees Bellomo go for a sunset flip, but Heenan nails him and falls on top for the 3 count at 8:57.
The Verdict: It was interesting to see Heenan portrayed as a competent wrestler, but it wasnít great or anything. Ĺ*
Tito Santana vs. Killer Khan (June 7, 1987, Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX)
The Setup: Khan was brought in and being built as an opponent for Hogan so he gets Santana as part of that.
The Action: Santana starts out on the leg until Khan bails to recover. Khan takes over doing pretty much nothing of note and then ends up crotching Santana on the top rope for the DQ at 9:33.
The Verdict: Bad match and a bad ending to the tape. DUD
Overall thoughts: Well, it started great with that six man, but then it fell off a cliff and delivered absolutely nothing else worth seeing. The action just wasnít there after the opener, and then to boot we had bad finish after bad finish. The one good match isnít so great that it saves the whole tape though, so itís a pretty easy Thumbs Down for Best of the WWF Volume 14.