September 9, 2004
BEST OF THE WWF VOL. 5
Hey, crazy kids. This is BoringBoy2 from Graham's board and the Kayfabe Memories board, too. I've watched wrestling for most of my eighteen years, and am a long time WWF/E fan. And what BETTER for an old WWF watcher to do, is to watch a mediocre Coliseum Video offering from 1986. Now, KISS always said, "you want the best, you got the best", which was always a tremendous lie. Let's see how the WWF defines "best", for a fifth time.
But first, the WWF really goes back to ancient times. Really. And the broken down Colosseum and MSG are pretty much the same. Bottom line, the 1985-1987 Coliseum Video intro is one of the great things of our time. :)
Our host is the vivacious Mean Gene Okerlund, with WrestleMania I in the background. Of course, this man thinks hosting Wrestling's Country Boys was great, and hosting Rowdy Roddy Piper's Greatest Hits was terrible. BUT, they do NOT take the word "best" lightly! He discusses our lineup and segues into:
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Don "The Magnificent" Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji)
From 11/25/85, at MSG. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura delight us with their voices. This was Steamboat's first big feud in the WWF, and a good one at that. Muraco and Fuji resorted to hanging Steamboat by his belt on TV, and clocking him with a chair after a TV match with Fuji. .
Jack Lutz is your official. We start out slow. Steamboat hits an enzugiri, and a brief chase is on. We stall for a bit. Second, and LONG lockup. Muraco gives Steamer a snapmare and kneedrop. Steamer fights back with some blows, a snap mare, and a neck snap. Muraco bails again. Steamer gets back into control with another snap mare and a neck twisting resthold. Muraco fights back, but Ricky uses his "martial arts" and Muraco bails again. Lockup three. Steamboat reverses a whip by Muraco into a backdrop, followed up by two armdargs and a drop toehold, and back into a chinlock. I don't care how good Ricky Steamboat was, he was NO Randy Orton on chinlocks. Nevertheless, this takes up two minutes or so. Steamer plants a knee, and then grabs Muraco by the nose, for a chop. Then we hit a front facelock. We clip later into the facelock, and Muraco bails with an inverted atomic drop, and a couple of clotheslines. Steamboat takes a big plunge into a turnbuckle, and gets a slightly obvious bladejob. To Ricky's credit, he bleeds TOO well. Muraco works on the cut. Gorilla and Jess actually both call for the doctor, but this ain't Baltimore. They head to the floor, and Muraco slingshots Steambot into the post, and continues to bite the cut. Muraco wears some of Steamboat's crimson mask, which should get a few points. Muraco slingshots Ricky back in, and hits his thumb spike from the second rope. BUUUT, Ricky fights back with a bunch of chops, and a few blows in the corner. But Muraco reverses a Steamboat whip into another clothesline Muraco boots Steamboats bloody head, to boot. Gorilla: "I'm sure you (Jesse) never got those cuts walking into doorways." Steamboat steals the cane from Fuji, and him and Muraco fight for it. "Effective" Jack Lutz would like for them to "get that out." Lutz goes down, and Steamer avoids Muraco's cane shots, and takes it. Steamers on FIYA! And two days before Magnum T.A does this to Tully Blanchard, Steamboat breaks the cane in half, and uses the sharp side to dig it into Muraco's now bloody head. Crowd goes loopy as they continue to brawl, or roll around in a homoerotic manner. But Ricky gets his revenge, dominating the post match brawls, despite Muraco winning by DQ at 15:25. Oh, couldn't good ol' Katie bar that damn door or something? Geez.
The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jumpin' Jim Brunzell) vs. The Hart
Foundation (w/Jimmy Hart)
From All-Star Wrestling. B-SHOW MANIA! Taped from the budding metropolis of Brantford, Ontario. Gorilla and Jesse are still here. John Bonello is your official.
Blair and Bret start out with a lockup, and Blair is YOUR house of fire, slamming Bret and Jim Neidhart. Brunzell is tagged for an armbar on Bret. Brunzell gets a sunset flip for two. Then Jim works an armdrag into an armbar Bret reverses into an elbow, and tags Neidhart. Neidhart grabs a headlock for a bit. Brunzell elbows out of it, but Neidhart gets a bearhug. Brunzell claps out of it, and Blair is tagged. But Bret uses his boot from the apron to slow Blair down. Gorilla: "The ref saw that!" Jesse: "So what?" Bret is legally tagged, and he and Blair trade blows. Bret hits a backbreaker and legdrop. Bret ties Blair into the ropes, but Bret misses his leap, and Blair makes el hot tago. Brunzell elbows Bret and Jim. That gets two and Jim departs the apron. Brunzell gets the dropkick, but Jim breaks it up. And it's a pier...four brawl. Your double DQ at 4:08. But Gene tells us one good match deserves another, sooo...
Paul Orndorff and The Killer Bees vs. The Hart Foundation and Barry O
From Championship Wrestling, in that swingin' town called Poughkeepsie, New York-with Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino. Gilberto Roman oversees the proceedings.
We're in progress with Bret on Brunzell...buuut how long before pandemonium begins? Not terribly so. Orndorff chases Jimmy Hart, whom scurries under the ring...and keeps his pants on! Barry heads in, but Brunzell tags Orndorff, who cleans house rather well. Brunzell is tagged and hits the dropkick and three at 1:34. A "sensational six man tag matchup!" For ninety seconds. Truly the best!
WWF World Tag Team Titles: Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Brutus
Beefcake (w/Johnny Valiant) vs. The British Bulldogs
Still from Championship, Bruno & Vince. Gil Roman, all 3'2 of him, remains as ref.
Dynamite Kid and Valentine start off. They trade a locup, into a Dynamite headlock, and shoulder tackle. Which, according to the Living Legend, was a great move by the "English Bulldogs"! Lockup two, Dynamite is shoved into the wrong corner, but bails and tags Davey Boy Smith. Brut-eye comes in too. Davey gets a wristlock on Brutus. Brutus tries a slam, but Davey hangs onto the wristlock. Dynamite comes in, and axe-handles the elbow. Davey returns the favor. Davey hits a hammerlock. Brutus goes to the eyes, a whip. But Davey gets stereo dropkicks. A slam gets two, but Valentine breaks the pin. Valentine gets tagged, and him and Brut-eye gets a double elbow for two. Valentine slams Davey, but misses the elbow, and Dynamite is tagged. Dynamite cleans house. A backbreaker gets two and a half. Dynamite gets a headbutt, which gets two as Brut-eye interferes. A pier four brawl, but Valiant pushes Davey off of the top rope to save the titles at 4:18. Bulldogs by DQ.
And now, the greatest reason to buy anything, ever. It's time to raise the curtain on...Fuji General.
Muraco and Fuji are on TNT, and complain about their experience. Short form recap, as I so smartly deleted my long speil about it...this is your "General Hospital", Fuj and Muraco style! Muraco and Fuji delight with their impeccably horrendous delivery. Of course, Vince and Alfred must underline the fact, in case you could NEVER figure it out, they're bad actors. However, it is funny when Fuji jabs Da Lord with his cane, which leads Alfred to more laughter.
Women's Title: Wendi Richter (w/Cyndi Lauper & Dave Wolff) vs.
Leilani Kai (w/Fabulous Moolah)
From the show where the war did indeed attempt to settle the score: 2/18/85, MSG, Gorilla and Mean Gene on the stick. JIP as Richter headbutts Kai in the corner a few times, then misses. Kai takes control with a sloppy butterfly suplex for 1.5. Snapmare into a bit of a bad legdrop, which the announcers smartly sell as not hitting, but Richter sells it. Then Kai chokes Richter in the ropes, as Jack Lutz would like everyone to know "ONE, TWO!" Dave Wolff sits in on commentary. Richter dodges Kai who flies to the floor. Moolah consoles her charge. Richter suplexes Richter back in for a two. Then Richter tries some really quite crappy surfboard, as indicated by the announcers. Richter tries an easier bow-and-arrow, then clipped to an armbar, which takes a bit. Richter whips Kai, whom telegraphs into a knee. Kai uses a front facelock choke. Wendi reaches the ropes...Moolah throws her foot off. Richter blocks a boot and gets two. Richter hits a kneelift which gets two. Flying clothesline for two. Big boot gets two. Slam gets two as Moolah starts choking Cyndi. "What the hell?!", says Gene. Wolff tries to break it up, as Richter waddles over to check out the situation, Moolah punches her in the face, then Kai throws Richter into the ropes, and THEN school boys her for the three and the title at 6:45. Fear not, all would be wonderful again at WrestleMania. But since this tape would like to continue on its "Wendi Richter was fired in a funny way" segment, let's head to the match in which she WAS fired in a funny fashion.
Women's Title: Wendi Richter vs. The Spider
From the same card which brought us Steamboat/Muraco. Gorilla and Da Guv give us the lowdown. JIP as Wendi is outside of the ring, holding her throat. She heads back in with a headbutt and dropkick. A failed flying headscissors gives the Spider a two. Spider throws Wendi into the turnbuckle a few times, and chokes her on the ropes, which gets one from Lutz. Moolah works on the hair, Wendi tries to fight back. Whip and clothesline which gets two. Spider suddenly gets a small package, Wendi kicks out a two...but Lutz counts three at 2:00? Gorilla says, "whoa, was that close." The bell rings and then Gorilla goes, "what was that?" Wendi rips The Spider's mask off, which reveals loyal employee Moolah. Moolah no-sells Richter's blows and gets the hell out of there. Howard Finkel gives us "the winner, and new Ladies' Champion, The Spider? The Fabulous Moolah?" And our intrepid announcers are still basically confused. Montreal '85! This all came down to Vince presenting a new contract to Wendi which she was not a fan of, so McMahon came up with Moolah going under the Spider mask and making Wendi "do the right thing." And don'tcha love that they paraded this match on a couple of other Coliseum vids? No shame, doth a McMahon have. But HEY! Our northern border pals want us back!
Intercontinental Title: Tito Santana vs. Jesse "The Body" Ventura
From Maple Leaf Gardens, somewhere around September '85, I think. Gorilla and Billy Red Lyons discuss. Interesting note as Gene does the pre-match voiceover, and mentions that Jesse and Adrian Adonis used to hold the "World Tag Team Title." Ahhh, did ol' AWA-ite Mean Gene spit out those two being champs in the dreaded "other organization", or is he confusing the Adonis/Ventura tandem which held the AWA World Tag Team Titles, but not the WWF World Tag Team Titles, with the Adonis/Murdoch team, who did NOT hold the AWA World Tag Team Titles, but DID hold the WWF World Tag Team Titles. I gather the, er, "crack" Coliseum Video editing squad were likely rockin' out to the "5,000 years ago" theme. I know I was.
"Fascinating observations": MLG still hasn't gotten rid of the NWA ring. The IC Title is the '85-'97 version, or the "Austin-Rock-River" belt. ANYHOO, lockup and clean break. And Jesse complains to Mssr. Bonello. Lockup two, and Jesse gets the clean break this time. "That's how you do it, Chico!" Lockup three, Jess heads to the ropes, Tito breaks. And Jess, surprise, jaws with Bonello. Lock up four, Jess gets a over-the-top wristlock. Tito reverses into a hammerlock, and Jess heads to the ropes for YOUR clean break. Lockup five, regular wristlock by Jess, and a "that's how do it, Chico." Tito reverses out. Lockup six, Tito gets a hedlock. Two shoulderblocks later, and Tito reapplies the headlock. Billy hopes for some cauliflowers. Jess finally outsmarts Tito with a slightly low knee. And then a well-placed kick to the "lower abdomen area." Jesse connects with a karate thrust, certainly channeling hero Superstar Billy Graham's highly successful martial arts career. He tosses Tito to the two foot space from the apron to the crowd. Bonello tries to count Jesse out, and he returns. Jess knocks Tito's head on the apron, then Jess heads out, and rams Tito back into the ring. Jesse poses and gets a pop. Jess gets a turnbuckle shot, and then a choke, which Bonello doesn't like. Jess seems baffled. Tito comes back with some punches, but Jess counters with the thumb. Jess gets a backbreaker for 2.5. Atomic drop gets two. Jess continues with some kicks to the kidney. Whip, into the bearhug. Or the straddle of doom. Tito survies the three-arm count, and claps out of it. Tito connects with some right hands which get Jess down. And Jess begs off, as the MEXICAN FURY is coming! Tito rams Jess's head into the mat twice. Whip, blow to the midsection. And then gets the figure-four to a big pop, but Jess heads quickly to the ropes. Then they brawl on the swank MLG ramp. Tito tries the figure-four on the ramp, but Jess kicks him back into the ring...but that doesn't beat the count at 9:56. DCO. But they must continue the brawl! Must! Fun look on Jesse in full heel-stall mode. You couldn't help but like him.
Best Three out of Five Falls: Andre The Giant, Ivan Putski, Chief Jay
Strongbow, and Rocky Johnson vs. Big John Studd and The Wild Samoans
(Afa, Sika, Samula)
Your massive finale, from 7/16/83 at my old arena of locality, the Spectrum. Gorilla and Dick "Mark Out Like A Nine Year Old At Any Moment" Graham. But, as another reviewer said on this site, that makes Graham good. Dick Whorele looks over these crazy kids.
Samu and Johnson start out. "Rocky" chant. Lockup, Samu with a side headlock. Rocky shuffles with a backdrop, dropkick, and armdrag. Afa then tries his luck on Rocky. Rocky shuffles out of a wristlock and dropkicks him while still on the mat. Studd cooly tags in. Rocky tags Andre. But ol' Johnny's not lookin' for that. Double noggin-knocker for Studd and Sika. Sika would prefer Andre not do anything, but a headbutt and chop is in store. Whip into the conrer, Strongbow tagged. Whip into a sleeperhold. Studd axe-handles Strongbow, and then a slight pier eight brawl. Please, MAYHEM! The faces uses Sika tied into the ropes to manhandle the other Samoans. Gary Cappetta informs us that Andre's team take the first fall by DQ at 5:13. Strongbow has to start the second fall, but is still suffering from a Samoan double-headbutt. Samu works Strongbow over, while Studd tries some somehwhat illegal tactics, then stops when Andre shuffles over. Sika headbutts Strongbow twice and gets the second fall at 0:46. "Even Stevens!", says Graham. Gorilla notes Putski hasn't been in yet. Sikag gets by an outside boot by Andre, and Strongbow pins for the third fall at 0:23. Graham: "Wooo!" Ric Flair, Dick Graham, it's all the same. Crowd wants Andre and Studd, but Johnny would rather, y'know, LIVE. Strongbow and Sika still in, but he staggers over for the hot tag. HOUSE O' FIRE POLISH POWER! He cleans house with the Samoans. Studd has no part in this, except for banging the mat on the outside. Putski does get worked on by Afa & Sika. Samu tags in, double headbutt, Putski staggers and tags Andre. FRENCH GIANT HOUSE O' FIRE! Then Samu works him over, Studd holds Andre from the outside. But it ain't long before Andre gets outta that. He whips Samu, Samu jumps to the second rope, jumps back to Andre, but that means YOUR size-sixteen boot and butt splash and a three count. Philly enjoys it...was there a time where my beloved metropolitan center cheered faces? Or was it because he's 7'4 and 500 pounds and he's got a 'fro. Ohhh...who knows, anymore? Anyhoo, this takes us to the credits.
But not before Gorilla would like you to purchase The Best of the WWF Volume 6, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, and Grudge Matches! Our crack Coliseum Video team also leaves in the sound of Gorilla shuffling his copy, and a "thank you, sir", from the random underling.
Verdict: The Best, which means "eh." They're definitely have been better and worse Coliseum vids. However, I've got Volume 3 here, and as a preface to a possible review, is a load of fun, showing a good representation of what was good about early Hulkamania WWF. But will I review it? In the words of the immortal Canadian Bulldog, "BANK ON IT!" Which means I might.
Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you read this piece o' work.