March 5, 2011
Alexander Settee

The Best of the WWF Volume 18

The last few tapes in this series have been pretty brutal, but looking over the lineup, this one actually looks pretty good as we have a Randy Savage/Ted Dibiase cage match that should be good, as well as Jake Roberts and Rick Rude from SNME and even the Brain Busters and Young Stallions, which should be fine as well. Hopefully this series gets on a good note here as it starts coming to an end.

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Sensational Sherri vs. Rockin Robin (October 7, 1988, Bercy Stadium, Paris, France)
We start out internationally with Sherri defending the Title that she won back on Volume 15. Sherri tries attacking, but Robin takes it to her, and that’s pretty much how it goes. There’s nothing remarkable here, but it’s all fine as she works a headlock for a bit. They do a spot where Robin slaps her ass and blames the referee, and then when Sherri turns to scream at him, Robin rolls her up for 2. Sherri takes over after tossing Robin to the floor, but can’t really keep anything going back in the ring. There go through a series of trading nearfalls that culminates with Sherri putting her on the top rope, but she comes off with a bulldog for the 3 count and the Title at 12:33. This was good stuff and turned out to be the final Title change before the Title was temporarily retired in 89. **

Jacques Rougeau (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (January 3, 1989, Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL)
We start out with Jacques stalling in protest of the hedge clippers being at ringside, but he finally gets in when threatened with a countout loss. He soon takes over on Beefcake and goes to work on the back with a variety of holds, and also gets some help from Jimmy Hart on the floor. Eventually he misses a bodypress and Beefcake gets the comeback going. Hart tries distracting the ref, but Beefcake just whips Jacques into him and hooks the sleeper, but that draws Raymond Rougeau out for the DQ at 9:10. They try a double team beatdown, but Beefcake gets the clippers and clears the ring. *

The Brain Busters vs. The Young Stallions (November 6, 1988, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON)
This is pretty shortly after Arn and Tully jumped over from the NWA so they’re just getting established here. The Stallions clear the ring early and control for the most part, working over Tully’s leg. Roma goes for a flying headscissors on Tully, but Arn nails him and he becomes face in peril. They beat Roma down for quite awhile, continually drawing Powers in so that the ref is distracted and they can double team. Roma gets a few small comebacks in, but keeps getting cut off from tagging. Eventually he reverses a suplex on Tully and makes the hot tag. Powers runs wild with dropkicks and slams and a double noggin knocker. It breaks down into a four way so the ref tries regaining control by putting Roma out as Powers goes for a suplex on Arn. But this allows Tully to come off the top with a sunset flip, with Arn clotheslining him down for good measure, and that gets the 3 count at 12:17. This was a fun little formula tag match, done really well as Arn and Tully are the masters of being the heel tag team and can pull it off better than pretty much anyone. **1/2

Next we get The Brother Love Show from SNME #18. Hulk Hogan is the scheduled guest, but first Love brings out Slick as Hogan was in the midst of a feud with Big Boss Man, who they make sure to mention is not here tonight. Hogan then comes out and Love does the bit where he asks the question, but then pulls the mic back and answers for him. Hogan then turns the tide by grabbing the mic and doing the same thing to him and Slick. Then he beats them up. This was fine.

After that we get a recap of the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude feud including Rude hitting on Jake’s wife Cheryl, and then having a pair of tights with her likeness on them ripped off. That leads us into the match.

Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/Cheryl Roberts) (October 25, 1988, Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, MD)
This aired originally on SNME #17, and was the final blowoff to the feud that started back in April. Rude has a new pair of tights with Cheryl on them, so Jake immediately goes for them to no success. Rude avoids the DDT and takes over until Jake comes back with a clothesline and then holds him so Cheryl can slap him. We clip out where the commercial from the original show would have been and find out that Cheryl was ejected for her interference. Rude sends him to the post three times and then hits a top rope fistdrop for 2. He goes for the Rude Awakening, but Jake counters by biting him and then hits the DDT. Heenan calls for backup and then hits the ring himself for the DQ at 7:24 (shown). The backup Heenan was calling turn out to be Andre, who lays Jake out, but as he’s checking on Rude, Jake gets Damian and this has Andre backing off. Jake eventually tosses the snake at him, which has him suffering what is implied to be a heart attack and Jake then stands tall over the fallen Giant to kick off a new feud. The match here was pretty good as they followed the SNME formula of keeping things short and always having something going on. *1/2

That’s followed by Mean Gene hanging out with The Bushwhackers. Much stupidity ensues.

WWF Championship Cage Match: Macho Man Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil) (June 25, 1988, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)
Following Wrestlemania IV the feud went on the road and it culminates here in the steel cage at MSG. They go back and forth early on before Dibiase gains control. He makes a few attempts at climbing, but Savage keeps stopping him. When Savage goes to climb however, Virgil keeps getting involved and blocking his way out. Superstar Graham is on commentary here, and he says that Elizabeth asked him how to become a better manager, and his advice was to hit the gym and bulk up by about 80 pounds. Come on Billy, she asked about managing, not about being a main event wrestler. So the match goes on with Savage trying the door, but again Virgil is there, slamming it on him. Dibiase tries it too, but Savage drags him back in and runs him to the cage. He climbs, with Virgil there as usual. Dibiase joins them, as does a fan out of the crowd, who’s obviously had enough of the cheating, but he’s dragged out quickly enough. This leaves Savage to get them with a double noggin knocker and then climb out for the win at 13:27. Another good match closes out the tape. ***

Overall Thoughts: Well, this was a definite improvement over what the last few volumes in the series has delivered. There are only five matches, but they’re mainly good and certainly none of them are bad or anything. Savage and Dibiase had a lot of good matches in 88, and this cage match was no exception as it leads the way here with good support from, well, pretty much everything else. The Bushwhackers deal is pretty stupid though, but it’s the only lowlight on this otherwise fine tape. Thumbs Up for Best of the WWF Volume 18.

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