The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Best of the WWF Volume 9
Volume 8 was pretty questionable. Hopefully this one improves on things.
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Johnny V
Intercontinental title: Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat
Quite the way to kick things off, from Toronto in July of 86. Steamboat frustrates him with armdrags to start, and puts him down with a shoulderblock for two before going back to the arm. Savage actually pops up to the top for a flying bodypress, but Steamboat rolls through and hits him with chops before popping up for a victory roll that gets two. And he goes back to the arm. Savage gets his feet in the ropes, but the ref kicks them away for some reason instead of calling for a break. And then Savage grabs the top rope and the ref kicks his hand away! What kind of nonsense is THAT? Savage hits him with a knee to the kidneys and puts him down with a kneelift before hitting him with a kneedrop. Steamboat fights back with chops as we’re clipped to Savage wandering the floor to regroup, but he comes back in and Steamboat hits him with a hiptoss and SPITS on him. This gets Savage understandably worked up, but he charges and gets armdragged again. So Savage reverses a whip into the corner and then dumps Steamboat to the floor, teaching him a valuable lesson about spitting on people. They fight on the floor and Savage rams him into the railing to take over. Back in, Savage hits him with the double axehandle and that gets two. They fight over a suplex and Steamboat blocks it, so Savage goes up again and Dragon catches him with a chop to the gut on the way down this time. Steamboat makes a comeback with chops and tosses him into the front row, but Savage recovers and attacks again, so Steamboat runs him into the post this time and Savage is bleeding like it’s AEW Dynamite. Back in the ring, Steamboat goes up with a flying chop and that gets two. Steamboat beats on him with chops for two and then another running chop gets two. Finally Savage desperately runs Steamboat into the referee to knock them both out, although to be fair the ref was doing a shit job and had it coming. So Savage tries a slam and Steamboat cradles for two. Backslide gets two for Dragon. Savage goes to the tights for a foreign object and blinds Steamboat with that, resulting in Ricky swinging wildly for maximum babyface awesomeness, but Savage charges him and Steamboat manages to backdrop Randy to the floor in an incredible bump, but Steamboat is still wandering around like Mr. Magoo, so Savage yanks him out of the ring and beats on him outside. Steamboat fights back with chops, but Savage tries to slam him on the floor and Steamboat falls on top, and then beats the count at 15:28. I feel like they might have an even better match in them, but this was INCREDIBLE and already blows away anything on the last tape. 1 for 1 and probably somewhere around ****1/2.
The Hart Foundation v. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
So this is a thing. We’re in the Boston Garden in August of 86 and Jim Neidhart attacks during the Russian anthem to immediately turn the Harts babyface tonight. Volkoff beats on Bret to start, but stops to cartwheel and gets dropkicked. Over to the Sheik, and Bret immediately tosses him out and into the arms of their new manager, Slick. Back in the ring, Bret runs them into each other and hits Sheik with a backbreaker, but he goes to the middle rope and Volkoff brings him down, allowing Sheiky Baby to take over. Sheik with a clothesline and a loogie to show he thinks of USA (spoiler: He’s not a fan) and Volkoff continues the beating in the heel corner. Bret fights back with a sunset flip on Volkoff, but the ref is distracted. Sheik with an abdominal stretch, which Gorilla buries as usual, so Sheik hits Bret with a gut wrench to set up the camel clutch. Anvil makes the save, so Volkoff switches in for some shots, and Bret hits Sheik with a suplex and makes the hot tag. Anvil and Volkoff slug it out and the noggins are knocked, and a dropkick from Neidhart gets two. Anvil elbows him down for two. It’s ALL CATTYWAMPUS and everyone brawls, but Anvil goes for a slam on Volkoff and Sheik scoops the leg to put Nikolai on top for the pin at 7:45. Why yes, the Hart Foundation CAN work babyface, as it turns out. 2 for 2.
Boot Camp Match: Nikolai Volkoff v. Corporal Kirschner
Same show as the Savage-Steamboat match, from Toronto in July of 86. Kirschner quickly gets a sunset flip for two, but Volkoff beats on his back to take over and puts the boots to the Corporal in the corner. Volkoff misses a charge and Kirschner makes a comeback before missing a kneedrop as they’re 2:00 into the match and selling like it’s an All Japan marathon. Volkoff hangs him in the Tree of Woe and piledrives the Corporal’s dogtags, drawing sympathetic groans of pain from the crowd, and he slams Kirschner out on the ramp a few times. Back in the ring, Volkoff hits a spinkick and then tosses him for a shot to the post and Kirschner lays there and spends so long trying to gig himself that even Volkoff gets sick of waiting and beats on him with a chair. This isn’t exactly Slaughter v. Sheik 84 that’s for sure. Back in the ring, Volkoff whips him with his belt, which unfortunately results in his pants falling down, so he talks trash to the crowd and puts the belt back on again, thankfully. Kirschner comes back with a sunset flip for two and an atomic drop while Volkoff fights the force of gravity exerting itself on his pants, but then Kirschner misses a charge and lands on the floor. Thankfully this gives Nikolai a chance to pull up his damn pants, but Kirschner pulls off his boot and hits Volkoff with it for the pin at 11:21. This was slow and dull. 2 for 3.
Ken Patera, Big John Studd & Jesse Ventura v. Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka & Junkyard Dog
From the MSG show in March of 85. Patera is quickly triple-teamed by the babyfaces and chased to the floor, where he gets some consolation from Bobby Heenan. Back in, Patera goes after Andre and that doesn’t go well for him, so he hides behind Studd and they talk trash while Jesse hangs out in the corner. JYD comes in and Jesse quickly traps him in the corner and chokes him out, but Andre saves and cleans house, ramming the heels together, but the beating on the Dog continues. Snuka gets a hot tag and Studd immediately cuts him off and pounds him down before going to a bearhug. Patera comes in with his own bearhug, and so does Jesse, and then back to Studd again. Can’t blame them for taking it easy the week before the biggest show in WWF history to that point, I suppose. Finally Snuka breaks free and makes the hot tag to Andre, and he lays waste to Studd and goes for the slam before Patera saves. So Jesse comes in and gets his shots in, but Andre casually grabs him by the hair and beats on him before booting him down for the Superfly splash at 11:25. Nice touch with Andre just standing between Jesse and heel corner, daring someone to try and make the save. And no one did. Just a super basic match with the babyfaces winning. 2 for 4.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy v. King Tonga & Sivi Afi
Off to July 86 in MSG for this one, as Tonga trades chops with Studd in the corner, but Studd tosses him and runs him into the post to take over. Back in, Studd gets a slam, but Tonga makes a comeback with a headbutt and the Tongan martial arts to put Studd down in a pretty badass sequence. And then Tonga gets a slam on Studd for $15,000, but that only gets two. He just hoisted him up with ease on that one. Over to Sivi Afi, who also tries a slam, but YEAH RIGHT. So Bundy comes in and Afi manages to get a bodypress out of the corner for two and then gets some shine on Bundy for a bit before getting beaten down. Bundy slams him like a midget at WM3 and that gets two. Studd comes in and abuses Afi further in the heel corner, but Afi rolls over for the hot tag to Tonga. And then Studd just UNLOADS on him with some impressively stiff knees in the corner to cut him off. Where did THIS come from? Bundy drops a knee on him for two, but apparently it was three and the match is over at 8:54. Well that was weird. Surprisingly good hoss fight here with the heels actually selling a bunch. 3 for 5.
Cowboy Lang v. Lord Littlebrook
Another MSG match from the same time, as Lang goes for a full nelson and Littlebrook powers out and celebrates his amazing strength. So of course he gets cocky and offers up his neck for the move again, but this time he can’t escape and has to get to the ropes. Littlebrook takes him down and works the arm while biting the fingers, so Lang bites his ass to escape and then gets the ref as well. They do the test of strength and Lang bites the fingers to win that. Littlebrook boots him down for two, but Lang gets a backdrop and they do the rolling cradle for the pin at 6:20. 3 for 6
22 Man $50,000 Battle Royale
From MSG on July 86 one last time, and this one has a famous finish. If that one ever makes it to the Network I’ll have it all done between these last two tapes. King Kong Bundy immediately gets bullied out while Jimmy Hart hides under the ring. Bobby Heenan and John Studd both get thrown out right away as well, prompting Heenan to stop by the announce table and rant about his loss. SD Jones gets thrown out by a Moondog while Jimmy Hart keeps popping out from under the ring and checking on the situation. Iron Mike Sharpe and Tony Atlas both get thrown out at 3:30, followed by Johnny V. Valentine throws out Tony Garea at 5:09. Harley Race gets thrown out by King Tonga at 6:00, followed by Sivi Afi. The Bulldogs hit both Moondogs with a double dropkick to eliminate them both at 6:44. Beefcake manages to power Dynamite Kid out at 8:00 in one of those spots where the babyface is hanging onto the ropes but then doesn’t have a miracle escape. Pedro Morales tries to go to the top rope, but Valentine beats him down and out at 9:20. And then Lanny Poffo manages to get Beefcake out at 9:39. Everyone gangs up on Valentine, but he manages to backdrop Billy Jack Haynes and King Tonga out while fighting everyone off. So we’ve got Davey Boy, JYD, Lanny Poffo and Greg Valentine left, plus Jimmy Hart occasionally sticking his head out. I’m gonna be honest, that’s my whole Fortnite strategy and I’ve won with it, so I can’t say anything. Valentine suckers Davey into the corner and throws him out at 10:44, and then tosses out Poffo as well. This leaves Valentine and JYD, and Dog finally hauls Jimmy into the ring, but he and Valentine fight on the ropes while Jimmy cheers them on. Jimmy gets some laughable shots on the Dog, but Hammer and Dog fight on the ropes again and they both falls out at 13:00, leaving us with Jimmy Hart as the winner of the match. The referee’s disgust at having to raise his hand is enough for the point, and the crowd’s reaction even moreso. 4 for 7.
Better than Volume 8, although that Savage-Steamboat match is a stone cold classic and needs to be viewed.
Coming soon to a video store near you: Best of the WWF Volume 10! WWF’s Grand Slams! Hulkamania 2!