October 17, 2010
Alexander Settee

The Best of the WWF Volume 16

The next tape in the series has a theme to it, that being ďThe WWF Around The WorldĒ. This means that itís full of matches that took place outside the United States, in a variety of locations, with the idea being to show that the WWF was truly a global phenomenon. Our in studio hosts are Mean Gene Okerlund, Frenchy Martin and Outback Jack, with Gene dressing up for each country theyíre visiting next in their segments, while Jack and Frenchy argue.

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Giant Machine
This is from New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1985. Fujinami gets him with kicks, but canít elude him forever and eventually Andre grabs hold and beats on him. He escapes and gets a double leg takedown, but canít flip Andre over for a Boston crab. He ends up getting Andre over in a sunset flip, but only gets the visual fall as the ref s distracted by Andreís manager. The missed fall pissed Fujinami off to the point where he bodyslams the ref and is disqualified at 5:23. Andre seemed to do more here then he would in the US, and in spite of the bad finish it wasnít terrible or anything. Ĺ*

Mean Gene tours Tokyo, including finding a record store that has The Wrestling Album. Not much to this segment.

The Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Condor Saito & Bull Nakano
Theyíre still in Japan, but over to All Japan Women now. The early part of the match sees Nakano and Saito work over the Angels and itís pretty much all action. Yamazaki makes the big comeback with a slingshot press and a 2nd rope dropkick for 2. Tateno follows with a top rope kneedrop and then they connect with a double dropkick. Nakano uses some nunchucks and the ref doesnít seem to care. Eventually they all end up brawling to the floor for the double countout at 11:15. It was another bad finish, but this was still easily the best match on the tape. ***

Mr. Fuji vs. John Doe
This match is taking place at a soccer stadium in Kuwait, but the name of Fujiís opponent is not mentioned in the studio and the commentary is in Arabic (?) so I have no idea who he is. For what itís worth, he looks kinda like Ric Flair as long as you donít look too closely. Match is JIP with Fuji in control. He throws the guy to the ground, and then over the barrier. The guy gets back in and is immediately put out with a sleeper at 2:45 (shown). I donít know how they ended up with this in the library, but it was completely pointless other then to show a WWF guy in yet another country. DUD

The Killer Bees vs. Iron Mike Sharpe & Barry O
This is from Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1985, and the most notable thing about the match is that itís taking place outdoors in a huge rainstorm. Of course that means that they canít actually do anything because the mat is just soaked and itís a struggle to move without slipping. They go through some basic motions for a bit until Brunzell just small packages Barry O out of nowhere for the 3 count at 4:10. I guess they included it for the novelty of being in the rain because otherwise it sucked (and I canít blame the wrestlers for that). DUD

Hercules vs. The Ultimate Warrior
Weíre onto Italy now in 1988 for this classic example of muscled up guys from the 80ís doing absolutely nothing. Hereís the match: They flex. Warrior hits a shoulderblock and a clothesline. He does the gorilla press, but the splash hits knees. Hercules gets the full nelson, but Warrior breaks it. They go to floor and brawl for the double countout at 4:26. Yeah. DUD

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Andre The Giant
This is from the same show as the last match. Duggan uses speed to avoid Andre, but canít really sustain any offence. Andre finally catches him in a headlock which goes for awhile. Duggan breaks and gets Andre tied in the ropes so he can beat on him for a bit. When Andre gets out, Duggan knocks him to the corner with the three point stance clothesline, but then he charges into a boot and gets pinned at 6:57. I sure hope that the matches we didnít see from this card were better than these. DUD

Up next, Mean Gene visits a petting zoo in Australia with Ricky Steamboat, SD Jones, and Paul Roma. They feed the animals and talk about how much theyíve enjoyed being down under.

Then we get some highlights of the Outback Jack vignettes. We see him pounding back beers, wrestling animals, and taking part in Aborigine rituals.

Junkyard Dog vs. King Harley Race
Thereís no match from Australia to follow up with so instead our final trip takes us to France in 1987 for this match with Andre the Giant as guest referee. Andre blatantly favours his fellow Heenan Family member right off the bat, getting in JYDís face for everything he does, and stepping in anytime JYD gains an advantage. He hits the Thump powerslam, but Andre wonít even count. Race gets the belly to belly, but makes the mistake of following up with a headbutt and hurts himself. Before JYD Can take advantage though, Andre just kicks him and then calls for the bell at 10:16, awarding the match to Race via DQ. Did this company put on any good matches outside the US in the 80ís? DUD (fifth in a row, by the way)

The Rougeau Brothers vs. The New Dream Team
Still at that show in Paris weíre JIP with a match that has to break that streak of DUDís. Ray is getting worked over as we pick things up, and Bravo soon puts him in a bearhug. Thereís a bit of an odd moment as Valentine goes to sunset Ray, but he reaches out and makes the tag. Jacques then just doesnít get in the ring, and the heat on Ray continues like nothing happened, so I guess they realized they made a mistake or something. He gets beaten up on the floor for awhile, and then gets back in where he tales the side slam from Bravo. Bravo then misses an elbow and Ray makes it over for the real tag to Jacques. Jacques runs wild on both guys for awhile before hooking Valentine in a sleeper. Bravo breaks that, so Ray comes in after him. The ref puts Ray out so the Dream Team hits a double slam on Jacques. Now the ref puts Bravo out as Valentine goes for the figure four, but Ray comes back in and gets him with a sunset flip. The ref, who doesnít notice the illegal man making the cover, counts 3 at 9:36 (shown). At least we got to close things out with a decent match. **

Overall Thoughts: With the small exception of the womenís tag match, this tape was pretty much a waste of time. Besides that it was loaded with non-action, and terrible finishes. Itís an easy Thumbs Down for Best of the WWF Volume 16.

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