January 9, 2010
Best Of The WWF Volume 19
Source: Coliseum Video
Sean Mooney welcomes us to the 19th volume of the Best Of The WWF series from right outside WWF headquarters in Stamford. Lord Alfred Hays goes into the building and doesn't pay any attention to Sean. Mooney tries to go inside the building, but security won't let him in. How dare they treat the esteemed voice of the World Wrestling Federation like that! Anyway off to our first bout.
Match 1: Mr. Perfect def Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake via countout at 9:29 [1/23/89 - MSG in NYC]
Rod Trongard and Lord Al handle commentary for this one which is a bit rough to listen to although it's not the Lord's fault in my opinion. I can understand Vince wanting to destroy the competition and everything, but I believe Mr. Trongard could've been safely left in the AWA. Curt Hennig/Mr. P was my favorite wrestler when I was younger and would remain so until I got into others a bit later on. He's not wearing the Olympic-style singlet yet as that would come at WrestleMania I believe. I was never a big Beefcake supporter in any of his incarnations, but my childhood wrestling pal was a huge Barber fanatic. One thing's for sure, the dude was way over with the general population for a while even if he is mostly known as the Hulkster's buddy now. The match is a bit strangely paced for a sub-10 minute match and not that exciting save for a few of Hennig's trademark over the top bumps towards the end. And there's one part during a Greco Roman knucklelock where Brutus extends his arm high, and Perfect whines "Come on! I can't reach that high!". That was funny. Other than that this was pretty dull. The end comes when Outlaw Ron Bass comes down to ringside. Beefcake starts to attack him outside the ring, and Perfect catches the Barber with a double axe in the back. The countout follows. Mr. Perfect's perfect record stays intact. Certainly not among my favorite Hennig matches.
Mooney has found his way inside WWF headquarters thanks to bribery, and he finds himself inside the WWF tape library. The gatekeeper of the tape library, John Arnold, is not happy to see him. Mooney says he is looking for a particular tag team title match to include on the tape. Arnold says it's at the end of the row. As Sean goes to find it, the gatekeeper makes the walls close in on our poor host. Next bout!
Match 2: WWF Tag Team Title Match - champions Demolition def Powers Of Pain(w/ Mr. Fuji) via DQ at 8:16 [2/3/89 - Milwaukee, WI]
Tony Schiavone and Lord Al are the commentators. This is from the same taping as the The Main Event II(featuring the break up of The Mega-Powers) and aired on Prime Time Wrestling. This bout was basically a set up for the Demo vs POP/Fuji handicap tag title match at WrestleMania V as Ax and Smash wanted Fuji to be an official part of the match so he couldn't interfere from outside with his cane. Also they wanted to beat him up. Demolition is in control of the bout until Fuji gets involved with the aforementioned cane by hooking Ax, and the Powers of Pain take over with their power brawling. The finish comes shortly after Smash gets the hot tag, and a big brawl erupts. Ax gets ahold of the cane and wallops everyone which the ref doesn't see fit to DQ him for. Fuji then throws powder in his eyes which the ref decides is just too much. Warlord, Barbarian, and Fuji put the beat down on the tag champs after the match. The match was just okay by itself, but as I said it mostly served as an appetizer for WrestleMania. As that it worked fine.
Mooney now finds himself outside Jesse Ventura's office and wants to talk with the Body before we see a Jesse match. Ventura's secretary gives him a letter saying 'Mooney Get Lost'. Sean lies about its contents. However the camera sees all. Now let's take a look at the Body in action!
Match 3: Jesse "The Body" Ventura def Tony Garea via pinfall at 10:31 [5/20/85 - MSG in NYC]
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Al are behind the mics for this one. Ventura spends almost a couple minutes taking off his paraphenalia(as Gorilla calls it) after the bell rings. The Governor lands one hard shot to Garea's ribs and poses for thirty seconds afterwards. As Garea recovers from the blow, Ventura hides behind the ref and then runs out of the ring. He very cautiously reenters. Some people really hate this style of wrestling. In the wrong hands it can be awfully boring, but Ventura knows how to work a crowd. Admittedly I'm not sure too many people would argue the point that he was a better commentator than wrestler because he was a seriously incredible commentator. The match continues at a snail's pace with a little game of "Is the Body using a clenched fist?" being played and then Garea controlling an arm for a bit. Ventura comes back with cheap tactics. True action is in short supply here, but you feel like you are seeing more than your really are. Then out of nowhere Garea does a Mick Foley-style hangman in the ropes. I mean I know it existed before Foley, but he's the one who's famous for losing his ear that way. I love that move! Ventura takes advantage of that situation with elbows and choking. Of course these were the loose ropes, but Garea stays in it for a long time. Finally he gets out, and the Body methodically goes to work and toys with Tony. Mistake as Garea makes a fiery comeback! Sunset flip gets two. High cross body gets two. Ventura reverses a whip into the corner, but Garea comes charging out. Tony jumps over a slam attempt and runs the Body into the corner. Jesse ducks, and Garea goes flying into the turnbuckle. An elbowdrop gets the 1-2-3. Surprisingly this ends up as my favorite match of the three so far on the tape.
Sean Mooney visits the video editing room and annoys the crap out of WWF senior producer Kevin Dunn and editor Kevin Quinn and touches a button that freaks them out. Let's go to the next bout before Mooney erases all the WWF's syndicated programming.
Match 4: WWF World Title Harlem Streetfight - champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage(w/ Miss Elizabeth) def Bad News Brown via pinfall at 6:48 [1/16/89 - Hamilton, Ontario]
Schiavone and Lord Al are our commentators. As would be expected from the match type this is a straight ahead brawl. Bad News dominates the early proceedings until he misses a punch and nails the ringpost. He is often called the original Stone Cold, and I have very little doubt that he would've been heavily over had he been around during the Attitude era. After Brown's missed punch the Macho Man goes to work with his weight belt as this is a come as you are streetfight. Savage tries to come off the top with a chair, but Bad News is able to ward that off with a shot to the gut. He then goes to work with the chair. To the outside and Savage is whipped into the barrier. He goes flying into the crowd. Bad News then grabs the timekeeper's table and sets it up in the corner. ECW! ECW! ECW! Oh wait a sec. Bad News tries to whip Savage into it, but Macho Man reverses and sends Bad News through the table! Oh yeah the ref was in between and got put through first. I guess the refs were not as used to getting out of the way of tables in 1989. Because the blow was softened Brown gets to his feet and quickly delivers the Ghetto Blaster to the recovering WWF champ. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 but there is no ref so of course no real count is made. Bad News kicks the crap out of the ref to wake him up. Finally the ref gets up to do his job. Brown hits a body slam and goes for the cover. But the ref has collapsed again! Bad News slaps the ref around some more and then goes for another body slam. However Savage leaps over the top and hooks a backslide, and a second ref runs down to the ring to count the 1-2-3! Wow Bad News got completely screwed there. A second ref couldn't come down when he had Savage out twice, but as soon as Macho Man has Brown down a ref comes sprinting out. Short but fun match that made it look like Bad News should be the WWF champion. Bad News assaults Savage and both refs post-match including a low blow to ref number two. That was awesome. Savage reenters the ring and another big brawl erupts. Various wrestlers come pouring out of the back to break the two up. They have a hard time as both guys just tear after each other. Intense!
Mooney visits the main control room, and everyone ignores him. Sean decides to just send it to the next match, a Coliseum Exclusive! He can't figure out to do it so the staffers have to bail him out. Just push play Sean you goof.
Match 4: Jake "The Snake" Roberts & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan def Andre The Giant & "Ravishing" Rick Rude(w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan] at 9:52 when Roberts pinned Rude [5/31/88 - Fresno, CA]
We get Schiavone and Lord Al again here. Andre starts the bout by choking and smothering the hell out of Duggan. That's intended to set him up for Rude, but it doesn't really work as Rude misses a fistdrop off the top when he comes in. Jake is tagged in, and the place goes bananas as him and Rude were having their very personal feud at the time. Roberts destroys Rude. Andre comes in to help but gets kneelifted and tied in the ropes. Duggan comes in, and the face team uses Rude as a battering ram into the Giant. The brain eventually helps Andre up, and he hits a huge headbutt on the Snake. Jake is immediately in trouble as Rude takes control. We hit the chinlock. Andre in, and we hit the choke. Rude back in, and we hit the chinlock again. Oh come on now. Some really slow and sloppy stuff results in a hot tag to Duggan, but Andre kind of stops that momentum from building. Duggan becomes the face in peril for a bit until another semi-hot tag to Roberts. Four way brawl erupts. Rude tries to lock the Rude Awakening on Jake, but Duggan wallops Rude with the 2X4 while the ref is dealing with Andre. Jake pins Rude, and that is that. This one was not very entertaining after the heels took control. Moving on.
Mooney is now in audio control. The audio engineer is nice to him, but Sean screws up again by turning the volume way up on his headphones.
Next up is a little feature about how the "Million $ Man" Ted DiBiase got his million dollar belt. DiBiase visits the "finest jewellers in the world" in Greenwich, CT and commissions them to make a belt made entirely of gold and diamonds. We also see him debuting it on the Brother Love show.
Match 5: "Million $ Man" Ted DiBiase(w/ Virgil) and Bret "Hitman" Hart fought to a double countout at 15:59 [3/8/89 - Odessa, TX]
Once again Schiavone and Lord Al are behind the mics. DiBiase demands to be called the Million $ Champion before the match. Bret is not impressed and attacks him from behind to begin proceedings. A Russian leg sweep quickly gets two. An atomic drop followed by a high cross body gets another two for the Hitman. DiBiase bails out and works the crowd for a spell to regain his composure. Back in the ring, and Ted goes for a slam. Bret leaps over and goes for a roll up which is blocked. DiBiase celebrates so Hart cradles him for two. DiBiase again bails out of frustration. He slowly works his way back in, but Bret is impatient and brings him in the hard way over the top. A headbutt drives Ted into the ropes where he gets tied up in them Andre-style. Bret charges, but DiBiase moves and the Hitman runs full force sternum-first into the ropes. Hart rolls to the outside to recover. Back in, and the Million $ Man stomps a mudhole and viciously chokes while trash talking. A hard clothesline and an elbowdrop get two. DiBiase goes up to the second rope and comes off with an elbow to the back of Bret's head. Ted tells the crowd that he is the man. A fistdrop followed by a nice suplex gets another two. Bret then reverses a second suplex attempt into one of his own. Both wrestlers get to their knees, and a slugfest develops. Ted stops that with an eye rake. A back suplex gets two for the Million $ Man. A hard whip into the corner takes the Hitman down. A chop from DiBiase is followed by a hard whip into the opposite corner which leaves Bret reeling. A backbreaker gets another two count. DiBiase heartily complains to the ref about his slow count. An attempted backdrop is stymied by a Hitman cradle for two. DiBiase gets up quickly and tries for a slam, but Bret executes a third cradle for two. Ted tosses Hart to the outside and then sends him face first into the apron. Back in and a second fistdrop gets two for the Million $ Man. We hit the chinlock. Bret stands up, but DiBiase uses the hair to drag him back down. Virgil distracts the ref so Ted can turn the chinlock into a choke for a bit. A cover gets two. Back up, and Bret ducks a clothesline that turns into a double clotheline on the other end. Ted gets up first and heads to the top rope, but Bret springs up and slam him off the turnbuckle. A slugfest erupts which Bret gets the better of. Ted begs off. Bret ain't listening though and fires away with more right hands. A back elbow and elbowdrop gets two for Hart. A backbreaker is followed by an elbow off the second rope that gets two. DiBiase is whipped into the corner, but Bret misses a charge and hits his knee on the buckle. The Million $ Man locks on a spinning toehold, but Bret is able to kick him off and over over the top rope to the outside. Hart follows him out with a plancha! A huge brawl breaks out, and the ref is forced to count both men out of the ring. This was some solid pro wrestling right here.
Mooney finds a WWF producer who says he needs to wait in the office for five minutes and then he will be helped with anything he needs. The producer leads Mooney into a storage closet. Tape over!
The second to last edition of the Best of the WWF is an enjoyable one with two matches that I really liked. Certainly worth a watch for fans of the era.
Favorite Match: tie between the streetfight and Hart/DiBiase