The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents The Best of the WWF Volume 8
Your host is Mean Gene, who puts over the increasing output of the WWF by noting that a fan can view over TWELVE HUNDRED HOURS of WWF programming every year. Or, as we would call it, 2/3 of a Wrestlemania.
The Hart Foundation v. The Killer Bees
And we’re off to MSG to start, as Brunzell tries a top wristlock with Neidhart and can’t overpower him. Jim tries a headlock and Anvil won’t move for that, so he takes Neidhart down with a leglock instead. Neidhart tries to shake him, but the Bees double-team the leg and Blair gets a figure-four, which brings Bret in to make the save with a legdrop. This allows Anvil to finally take over and Bret comes in and beats on Blair in the Hart corner. Bret puts the boots to Blair and goes to a chinlock while Jimmy Hart annoys the ringside fans. Bret goes up and seems to slip on the middle rope while trying his elbow, and that allows Brunzell to get the hot tag. Not sure what happened there, you almost never see Bret botching a spot. Brunzell runs wild for about 10.5 seconds, but runs into Bret’s knee on the apron and the Harts are back in control again. Anvil goes to work with another chinlock, and then hauls Jim back to the corner for another beating and a Demolition elbow that gets two for Bret. Bret cuts off the ring with a facelock and they do the tag tease, but JUUUUUUUST as Brunzell gets close, Bret yanks him away and runs him into the corner with precision timing. Back to Anvil, who is the opposite of precision timing, and he just tosses Brunzell to the floor for a slam from Bret. Blair can’t take anymore, but that allows the Harts to further put the beats to Brunzell while the ref is distracted. Anvil comes in and cuts off Brunzell again, but Jim gets a sunset flip on Bret for two. Back to the Hart corner and Anvil pounds on him and cuts off the ring again, while this time Bret runs over and takes a cheapshot at Blair. So the Harts double-team Brunzell with the double whip spot behind the ref’s back, and Bret gets a rare dropkick for two. Brunzell comes back with his own dropkick, but Blair foolishly comes in again and this time Neidhart puts Bret on top of Brunzell for two. So Bret hauls Brunzell back to the corner again for an atomic drop and Bret goes back to the facelock again, cutting off the ring, and this time we get the false tag as they run through all the greatest hits. But this time the double-whip backfires on the Harts, and it’s HOT TAG Blair for real. He slugs away on both Harts and cradles Neidhart for two. Powerslam on Bret and atomic drop follows for two. Abdominal stretch and Lord Alfred declares it “perfectly hooked” and you just know Gorilla is silently seething. It’s BONZO GONZO and the Bees run the Harts into each other, and Blair gets two on Bret off that. Rollup gets two. Brunzell comes in with the dropkick for two, but time expires at 18:41. This was GREAT. 1 for 1.
Danny Spivey v. Terry Gibbs
This is a showcase for newcomers, as we join this match from MSG in progress with Gibbs hitting a backbreaker and sending Spivey to the floor. Back in, Spivey tries a sunset flip and Gibbs blocks it and drops an elbow for two. Gibbs with a bearhug, but Spivey claps out of it, so Gibbs puts him down with a neckbreaker for two. Gibbs goes back to the bearhug, but Spivey powers out of that and then misses an elbow, which gives Gibbs another two. Gibbs with a backdrop for two. This time Spivey gets a bearhug but that goes nowhere, so he slugs away on Gibbs and gets a slam and elbowdrop for two. Legdrop gets two. Bulldog finishes at 5:57. They wanted him to be Hulk Hogan and he could barely be Barry Windham. This match was fine. 2 for 2.
Billy Jack Hayes v. Moondog Rex
Haynes is the next newcomer spotlighted, in a match from Boston in June of 86. Rex pounds away on Billy Jack while the crowd dozes, but Haynes beats on him with elbows to send him over the top. Gene notes that he went “cattywompus” over the top, which is a term we don’t hear enough in modern wrestling. Haynes comes back with a clothesline and finishes with a full nelson at 3:31. Nothing to this one. 2 for 3.
Junkyard Dog v. King Kong Bundy
Back to MSG for this one in June of 86. Oddly I don’t remember these two interacting much but they actually had tons of matches together in the WWF. Bundy hides in the ropes but then hits him with a cheapshot before missing an elbow, allowing Dog to hit him with headbutts and chase him to the floor. Back in, they slug it out and Dog wins that battle, so Bundy clotheslines him out of the corner and hits him with a forearm for two. Kneedrop gets two. Dog fights back and throws forearms as this turns into a bit of a HOSS FIGHT, and Bundy falls first as Dog gets two. Bundy beats on him with forearms, but Dog hulks up and they clothesline each other and both guys go down. And then it slows down even more as Bundy goes to a lengthy chinlock before missing a splash. But then Bobby Heenan trips up JYD and that’s a DQ at 8:45. Well this was flirting with the point early on but went down the tubes rapidly. 2 for 4.
Jimmy Jack Funk v. Tony Garea
Back to the newcomer showcase with Jimmy Jack Funk this time, from the same MSG show as the last match, June of 86. We join the match with Funk holding a chinlock, but Garea fights out and gets a sunset flip for two before Funk goes back to the chinlock. And we’re clipped to later in the chinlock, as Garea fights out with a suplex and makes a comeback before sending Funk into the corner with a dropkick. Garea tries a bodypress, but Jimmy awkwardly hurks him over into a powerslam for the pin at 4:13. 2 for 5.
Harley Race v. Leaping Lanny Poffo
Another one from that same MSG show, as we’re joined with Race hitting a brainbuster on the concrete, which is quite the point to join the action! Back in the ring for a further beating from Race, but Poffo comes back with a rana for two and then chases Race to the apron before bringing him back in with a flying headscissors. That’s not really a Harley Race type of bump and it goes badly. So they set up and try it again, and this time Race drops him on the top rope and then finishes with the cradle suplex at 4:41. This was shockingly bad, actually. 2 for 6.
Big John Studd’s Bodyslam Challenge 2.0
From Championship Wrestling, as Studd challenges a pair of jobbers to slam him for $15,000, but King Tonga hits the ring and wants a shot. Heenan notes that Studd is only accepting two challenges per night and Tonga has to wait his turn. So Jim Powers and Ricky Hunter take a shot and neither gets anything going, allowing Studd to slam Hunter and pin him to win the challenge. But with the match over, Tonga returns and easily slams Studd, although it was outside of the challenge and so presumably doesn’t count. 2 for 7.
Big John Studd v. King Tonga
In a rare bit of continuity for the time, we actually get the PAYOFF for the angle, as the TV angle leads to a match in MSG. Which, surprise surprise, is from the June 86 show that makes up 80% of this tape so far. Studd quickly slams Tonga and they trade forearms, before Tonga hits some chops to take over. He goes for the slam and Studd grabs the top rope to block. Man, Tonga just lifted Studd with EASE there. Studd bails to the apron, so Tonga tries to slam him back into the ring and Studd grabs the ropes again to block. Studd hits him with a corner clothesline and we’re clipped to Tonga making a comeback with more chops and a dropkick. Another slam, but this time both guys fall over the top and they fight on the floor for the double countout at 3:49. Unfortunately this feud went nowhere despite Tonga getting a lot of shine on TV. 2 for 8. The post-match, with them trading bombs on the floor and neither guy backing down, is almost enough to push it over the line for a point, and watching Haku do a dance in the ring to annoy Studd would also qualify under normal circumstances, but rules are rules. If I gave it a point now we’d have anarchy. And that’s how you get communism and women having the vote and stuff. Also I’d deduct a point anyway for Lord Alfred repeatedly calling him “this young Fijian” despite his name LITERALLY BEING KING TONGA.
Ted Arcidi v. Terry Gibbs
Another newcomer showcase for Arcidi this time, and we’re in MSG. You wanna guess which MSG show? TAKE A GUESS. Ha, you’re wrong, it’s the February 86 show this time, jerk. You look stupid now. Arcidi stands there while Gibbs bounces off him for a bit, and the bearhug finishes at 2:12. This tape is going down the toilet. 2 for 9.
Hercules Hernandez v. Cousin Junior
Back to MSG for another newcomer spotlight on Hercules this time, which is weird because this match is from November of 85, so he was hardly a “newcomer” at the point when the tape was released. Also the commentary from the show has been deleted, as you can hear Gorilla’s commentary faintly in the background but it’s been clearly mixed out. Herc drops elbows on Junior and goes to a chinlock while grunting a lot, but Junior slugs back before getting thrown to the floor. Herc chokes him out on the apron and sends him to the floor again, but Junior fights back in with a sunset flip, which Herc blocks to take over again. Back to the chinlock and we’re clipped to Junior escaping from that and making a comeback. And then Hercules cuts him off again with a high knee and goes to the top. He misses a flying fistdrop and Junior comes back with a backdrop and a rollup, but Hercules mercifully ends it by reversing for the pin at 7:14. Just brutal. 2 for 10.
WWF Intercontinental title: Pedro Morales v. Adrian Adonis
From the archives, back in March of 1982 at MSG this time. Adonis bumps all over the ring for Pedro and out to the floor, and Pedro slingshots him back in and puts the boots to him. But then Pedro misses a blind charge and Adrian gets a german suplex for the apparent pin, only to learn that Pedro lifted his shoulder at two and retains the title at 2:23. I hate that finish and Adonis was too lazy to bridge on the suplex so he’s got nothing to bitch about. 2 for 11.
Captain Lou Albano v. Pat Patterson
From the same show, as Albano immediately pulls out a foreign object and Patterson steals it and busts Albano open. Pat continues slugging away on the cut and Albano runs away for the countout at 1:15. 2 for 12.
Jake Roberts v. Ricky Steamboat
From MSG, May of 86, to wrap up the tape. Jake quickly gets the short clothesline and beats Steamboat down before tossing him over the top, but Steamboat fights back in with a sunset flip, which Jake blocks. Jake follows with an atomic drop and slams him a few times before going for the snake, but Steamboat revives and dodges the kneelift to make the comeback. Neckbreaker and Steamboat goes up with a flying splash, which lands on the knees. Jake sends him to the floor and threatens another DDT on the concrete like on SNME, but Ricky runs him into the railing to escape this time and makes the comeback. Back in the ring, Ricky goes up with the flying chop and Jake is busted open now from the railing, so Steamboat beats on the chop until the ref pulls him off. Jake tries to dive in with the DDT, but Dragon backdrops out of it despite the efforts of this idiot referee. You don’t put your hands on a competitor in that ring! Oh man now I’m turning into Gorilla. Finally they slug it out on the mat and the ref can’t stop them, so he calls for the double DQ at 7:30 and it’s a pullapart brawl. Good match, lazy finish. 3 for 13.
Coming soon to your local video store: Best of the WWF Volume 9! The British Bulldogs! INSIDE THE STEEL CAGE!
Woof. This was easily the worst of the Best Of series thus far. And yeah, I know it continues going downhill from here. This one was a lazy collection of MSG matches under the “newcomer” theme with a WHOOOOOOOLE bunch of crap finishes.