March 5, 2011
The Best of the WWF Volume 20
So it's on to the final entry in this series, once again hosted by Sean Mooney. The theme is that they're having a party to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the series and he promises that a lot of special guest will be appearing later on.
The Brooklyn Brawler vs. The Red Rooster (May 8, 1989, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ)
The Setup: This stems from the angle where The Rooster left The Heenan Family and was replaced by The Brawler.
The Action: It's very basic stuff early with Rooster controlling. Lord Al Hayes is on commentary and flat out says that The Brawler is a bad wrestler, but then kind of saves it by noting that if it turns into a brawl he'll have the advantage. Brawler can't get anything going, until it goes to the floor and he sends Rooster to the post a couple of times. He methodically takes it to The Rooster with stomps and an extended chinlock. Rooster gets a few false starts on the comeback, but Brawler manages to regain the advantage each time until Rooster gets a sunset flip out of nowhere for the pin at 8:57.
The Verdict: This was just a basic house show prelim match which wasn't that exciting, but for what it was they actually did just fine. *
Our first guest at the party is Brother Love who thinks the whole thing is in his honour.
Bad News Brown vs. Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (April 22, 1989, Boston Garden, Boston, MA)
The Setup: I don't know what they would be feuding for considering Bad News doesn't have any hair.
The Action: Bad News attacks from behind and chokes Beefcake out with his own jacket. Beefcake gets no offence for quite awhile actually as Bad News works him over. Bad News finally misses a charge to the corner so Beefcake and take over, hitting the ten punches in the corner and an ugly looking crossbody for 2. Bad News nails him and goes up, but gets slammed off. Sleeper is hooked, but News quickly backs him to the corner to break it and then nails a clothesline. News then grabs the mic and announces he's gonna do the haircutting here tonight, which leads to an argument with the ref as he grabs the scissors and that lets Beefcake roll him up for the 3 count at 7:39.
The Verdict: This was a completely forgettable match, and that's about all there is to say about it. 1/2*
Back at the party, still no one else has shown up, so Brother Love covers Mooney with some silly string.
King of the WWF Match: King Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (April 26, 1989, Omaha Civic Center, Omaha, NE)
The Setup: Haku decided to start defending the crown after Wrestlemania V, and Duggan gets the first shot at it here on Superstars.
The Action: Haku cheap shots him on a break, but ends up getting clotheslined and hiptossed. Haku takes a break and then comes back to try and take over by going to the eyes, but Duggan is just no selling all. A clothesline puts him down, but Haku misses a senton splash and Duggan nails the 3 point stance clothesline for the win at 3:29. Heenan runs off with the crown and cape, but Duggan is the new King.
The Verdict: It was a TV match so they kept it short and it wasn't bad or anything as a result, but again we have nothing to write home about. 1/2*
Then we get the coronation from the following week. Mean Gene reads the proclomation as Duggan is crowned with all the mid and low card babyfaces standing by in support. Haku, Heenan, and Andre look on from backstage with Heenan vowing that Haku will get it back.
Mooney continues getting hassled by Brother Love, so he throws to the next match.
16 Man Battle Royal (May 1, 1989, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON)
The Setup: This would be one of those flesh out the show deals where all the undercard guys on the show would come out again and give the fans a little extra for their money.
The Action: Akeem is eliminated almost immediately, but then no one else goes for awhile. Boss Man tosses Ax for the next elimination at around 4:00. Now we go faster as Jim Powers and Honky Tonk Man are dumped. Richard Charland and The Blue Blazer are next, followed by The Brooklyn Brawler. Greg Valentine gets dumped to the apron, but pulls Red Rooster out from there before getting knocked down and eliminated himself. Smash and Boss Man take each other out, and then Mr. Perfect gets Hillbilly Jim leaving the final four as Perfect, Rick Martel, Tito Santana, and Bret Hart. If a tag match broke out here it would be much better I'm sure. Tito gets his hand on Martel, but gets dumped by Perfect from behind. Now it's a double team on Bret, but Tito kept hanging around ringside and when Martel runs the ropes, Tito pulls them down and eliminates him. Bret then immediately clotheslines Perfect out for the win at 10:53.
The Verdict: It was just a standard battle royal to start, and even though they had some great guys in at the end, it went much too quickly to really be of any value. *
Back in the studio, Brother Love tries throwing to the Brother Love Show, but Mooney informs him that we're actually going to see a match that he is refereeing instead.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation (February 3, 1989, Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI)
The Setup: The Harts/Jimmy Hart breakup happened many months ago, but the feud was still ongoing at this point. And as mentioned, Brother Love will be the guest referee, which will of course kill any hope of this being a good match and saving the tape. Tony Schiavone even outright says this, oddly enough.
The Action: Well, the action doesn't start right away as Love cuts an extended promo asserting his authority. Anvil finally grabs the mic and calls for the bell himself. So of course the heel ref shenanagans start right away with Love blatantly favouring the Rougeaus by slow counting Bret's covers, but when Jacques rolls through a sunset flip, he's right on it with a fast count. Anvil gets the same treatment when he gets in with Raymond. He then ends up getting double teamed while Love continually chastises Bret in the corner, even though he's not doing anything. The announcers actually bring up the possibilty of a Montreal Screwjob ironically enough, although not with that exact terminology of course. Anvil finally makes the tag, but Love maneuvers himself to not see it and the beating continues until Anvil finally decieves Love into seeing a tag. Bret runs wild on both guys, but still can't get a real count. He argues the point, but ends up getting rolled up and counted down for the pin at 12:28. The Harts clear the ring after the match, and get their revenge on Brother Love with a Hart Attack.
The Verdict: In between all the heel ref garbage, they did have a pretty good match, but sadly Brother Love dragged it way down from what it could have been. *1/2
Back at the party again, the producer gets on Mooney's case about no one showing up yet even though the tape is almost over, but he insists that they're gonna be there before throwing to our final match.
WWF Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) (January 9, 1988, Boston Garden, Boston, MA)
The Setup: I don't believe that these guys had a full fledged feud, but Rude was a great heel and it's probably too bad that they didn't. We'll see if this bears me out.
The Action: Heenan issues a challenge for an arm wrestling match, but Hulk declines instead of beating him, although Monsoon suspects it would have been a setup anyways. Rude does goad him into it eventually but Hogan puts him down rather easily. A beating follows, ending with Rude getting atomic dropped to the floor, and Heenan taking a shot as well. Hogan gets a suplex, but misses an elbow and Rude finally gets on offence. Hogan goes for Heenan, but Heenan lures him into an attack that spills to the floor where Rude grabs a chair and gets in a shot with it, but Hogan kicks out at 2. Rude gets him up for the backbreaker and then lets him go thinking he got the submission, but of course he didn't. Top rope knee drop then gets 2 and kicks off the Hulk Up. Hogan gets a corner clothesline, and a bodyslam, then finishes Rude with the legdrop at 11:41.
The Verdict: Maybe the tape has just set low standards so far, but I didn't think that this was that bad. It was certainly not an all time classic or anything, but it does wrap things up here on an ok note. *1/2
Back at the party, Brother Love wraps it up by putting the cake in Mooney's face. Tony Schiavone then finally shows up and lets Mooney know that the party was actually taking place in the other room. So that's our big conclusion to the series.
Overall Thoughts: This wasn't the best tape in the series, and really it doesn't even feature anything I'm going to remember by next week. I don't know if they knew it was going to be the last one, but if they did it would have been nice if they had thrown us some better stuff to end it. Thumbs Down for Best of the WWF Volume 20.
Overall Stats For The Series: 5 Thumbs Up, 7 Thumbs in the Middle, 8 Thumbs Down. Best Tape Overall: Volume 9. Worst Tape Overall: Volume 12. Best Individual Match: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat from Volume 9.