The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents The Best of the WWF Volume 13
Your hosts are Craig DeGeorge, Bobby Heenan & Johnny V
Hulk Hogan & Koko B. Ware v. Kamala & Honky Tonk Man
This is a dark match from Superstars, June of 87 in Buffalo. Hulk and Koko clean house and tear shirts to start, and Hulk immediately hits Kamala with a corner clothesline and brings in Koko. He hits Kamala with a pair of dropkicks and that brings Honky in. FUN FACT: This was the Superstars taping where Honky won the Intercontinental title from Ricky Steamboat, so he had only been champion for a couple of hours by this point in the night. Hard to remember a time when his reign could be measured in hours. Honky gets pinballed by the babyfaces while Jake Roberts now joins us at ringside for more people, and it’s back to Kamala. So while checking into this one, one of the matches I found around this time at the house shows was Honky defending the title against Bruno Sammartino. Greasy hair jokes aside, that would have been a fascinating dynamic, I’d have to think. So Koko kind of runs away from Kamala for a while and it’s back to Hulk, and Kamala actually takes him down with a drop toehold! But then Jake flashes his snake and the heels bail and regroup on the floor, with Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji and Kim Chee all hanging out and giving advice. Back in the ring, Kamala wants a test of strength, so poor sportsman cheater Hogan just punches him down and Koko dives in for a two count. But that allows Honky to lay him out from behind and put the boots to him to take over. Honky with a backdrop and he drops an elbow, and Kamala comes in and chokes him out. Koko fights up, but Kamala puts him down with a superkick and it’s back to Honky for the fistdrop off the middle rope. Koko gets the hot tag to Hogan, but the ref misses it and Kamala puts Koko down again and goes back to the choke or smother or whatever. To be fair, he’s supposed to be a cannibal, so maybe he heard “Koko” and thought it was “Cocoa” and thinks he’s a giant chocolate bar or something. Hulk comes in and nails Honky off the apron because he’s a CHEATER and a sore loser who picked a useless partner. Koko finally fights up again, but Honky cuts him off and goes up for an elbow that misses. And finally it’s HOT TAG Hogan as the crowd loses their minds. He slugs away on Kamala and gets the slam, then ties up Honky and legdrops Kamala for the pin at 14:20. This was a darn fine tag team match. 1 for 1.
Intercontinental title: Ricky Steamboat v. Honky Tonk Man
Hey, speaking of this one! Of course this was from the same Superstars taping in Buffalo, where Steamboat asked for a bit of paternity leave and got to job his title and then got drummed out of the promotion. Honky attacks in the corner right away and tosses Ricky, but of course he skins the cat back in and takes out Jimmy Hart in the process. Back in with a back suplex on Honky and he follows with a Perfect necksnap and beats on Honky with chops. Right to the PECTORAL AREA! Steamboat rolls him up for two, but Honky shoves him into the corner on the kickout and slugs away to take over. Honky necks him on the top rope and Steamboat does a dramatic sell of that, but Honky goes to the middle rope and misses the elbow. Steamboat comes back with kicks, but puts his head down and Honky goes for the neckbreaker. Steamboat backdrops out of that and makes the comeback, but he goes to the top with the flying chop while Jimmy Hart takes the ref. So Steamboat runs them together and cradles Honky, but Honky rolls over at two and grabs the ropes while the ref makes the third count, and somehow this counts as the pin, giving Honky his historic Intercontinental title at 3:44. Where was Gorilla to complain about the low quality of THAT refereeing job? 2 for 2. I love the glee from Jesse at the screwjob finish, as he needles Vince with “AND YOU SAID HE WASN’T EVEN A CONTENDER!”
WWF Women’s title: Fabulous Moolah v. Debbie Combs
From MSG, March of 87. Debbie gets a quick rollup for two and dropkicks her down for one, sending Moolah running to the floor. Debbie hauls her back in and hits a pair of catapults and a slam for two. Combs takes her down with a bodyscissors and works on that, then monkey flips Moolah for two. Moolah goes into her wrinkly old cleavage for a phantom foreign object and uses that to take over, and then tosses Combs into one of the ringside doctors and beats on her on the floor. This is Excedrin Headache #48 according to Gorilla. Back in the ring, Debbie comes back with a monkey flip, but Moolah boots her down again and then goes to a Boston crab. But then Combs powers out and Moolah bumps to the floor off that, and they fight out there again as Combs sends her into the ringpost for the countout win at 8:52. Meh. 2 for 3.
Coliseum Classic: WWF Women’s title: Fabulous Moolah v. Joyce Grable
This is from MSG in December of 1974, as Moolah gets some cheapshots on Grable and chokes her out on the ropes. But she stops to celebrate and Joyce dropkicks her to the floor, and back in for two. Joyce actually takes her out of the corner with a handstand into a rana, which is pretty impressive for 74, and they trade pinfall attempts off that. Moolah chokes her out and puts the boots to her, but she misses a splash and Grable slams her for two. But then she tries another slam and Moolah reverses to a cradle for the pin at 4:55 to retain. Finish was good enough for a point. 3 for 4.
Meanwhile, we go back to Roddy Piper’s house for Halloween in 1985, as he makes “candy apples” out of bowling balls. Vince wonders how Piper celebrates Halloween back at “Piper Manor” in his native Scotland, and Piper gets all offended at being called a native and pretends to be a witch doctor while wrapping bricks in tin foil to make “chocolate bars”. So kids ring his doorbell and question why the candy apples are so big, but Piper protests that he’s just such a good guy that he gives out HUGE apples. And then he puts one in the kid’s bag, breaking it in the process and leaving all the candy on the floor so he can steal it. But then the kids get the last laugh, as they actually left him with “chocolate covered red peppers”. Weirdly, this was not the original TNT version, but rather the segment from the Halloween 87 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event where they used the backstage party to introduce the older segment.
The Islanders v. Demolition
Back to MSG in February of 87, as Smash quickly overpowers Tama, but the Islanders regroup and double-team Smash before chasing the heels to the floor. Back in, the Islanders work on Ax’s arm and put him down with a double elbow before Haku splits the legs and goes to work on them. The Islanders trap Ax in their corner while Gorilla continues taunting Bobby with his nonsense about visiting Andre’s training camp and seeing weaknesses. Pics of GTFO. Finally Ax hauls Tama into the corner and Smash tosses him to take over and then throws him into the front row in a nice bump. Back in the ring, Smash chokes him out, but Tama fights back on Ax with chops, so they throw him out AGAIN and Tama takes another man-sized bump to the concrete. Back in the ring, Ax puts him down with a back elbow for two and Smash drops him on the top rope and goes to a bearhug. Gorilla notes that the ref could “construe that sort of thing as an automatic disqualification if he sees fit.” HIGHLY UNLIKELY. Regardless, Haku gets the hot tag and beats on Smash with a superkick, and the Islanders double-team him with headbutts before Tama goes to the top for a crossbody, which gets two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, but the ref escorts Haku out and DEMOLITION DECAPITATION finishes Tama at 9:19. This had a beat and I could dance to it. 4 for 5.
The Islanders v. Paul Roma & Jim Powers
Now we jump ahead to June of 87 as the Islanders have turned heel, and we’re back in MSG. I actually thought it was a lot later in the year for their turn, like October. We’re joined as Roma gets cut off and double-teamed in the Islander corner, and Haku keeps him down with a nerve pinch and puts the boots to him. Islanders with a double elbow, but Roma tries to crawl under Haku and he just deadlifts the stupid bastard and slams him back in the Islander corner again. Tama comes in and puts Roma in the nerve pinch and then elbows him down for two. Haku with the thrust kick in the corner, which is awesome as always, and he cuts off the tag with a facelock. Roma fights over to his corner, but Tama takes out Powers and it’s back to Tonga for Roma. Haku misses a senton and it’s hot tag Powers, as he runs wild with dropkicks. He gets an awkward backdrop on Tama and it’s BONZO GONZO, as Haku hits Powers with a backbreaker into Tama’s flying splash to finish at 9:00. Heel Islanders were immediately much improved. 5 for 6.
Bret Hart v. Raymond Rougeau
We go back to October of 1986 at MSG as this should be an interesting one. Ray sends Bret to the floor with a monkey flip and Bret thinks it over and hides in the ropes on the way back in. So Bret tries his own monkey flip and Raymond stomps on his face to block that, and Bret retreats to the corner again. Bret suckers him in and gets some shots in the corner before dropping an elbow and then tossing him. Back in, Bret works a headlock on the mat, but Raymond comes back with a sunset flip for two. Bret chokes him out in the corner, but Raymond fights back with a piledriver. He slugs away in the corner, but Bret takes him down and pins him with the ropes at 8:50. Not great, but a good enough mat based match. 6 for 7.
Intercontinental title: Randy Savage v. Tito Santana
And hey, why not one more Savage-Santana match to round out the tape? This is a dark match from Wrestling Challenge in Tucson, December 86. Savage is wearing his pea soup green trunks here, which are my least favorite of his regular rotation of colors. Tito quickly chases Macho to the floor and then drags him back in and works on the arm, so Savage bails to the floor and threatens various people at ringside. Tito chases him out and Savage runs away, so Tito brings him back and puts the boots to him on the ropes. Atomic drop and Savage hides in the corner and suckers Tito in for a shot to the turnbuckle. Macho goes up with the double axehandle for two, but Tito fights back with a sunset flip for two. Macho tosses him and follows with another double axehandle to the floor. Back in for another try, but Tito nails him on the way down and hits him with an elbow off the middle rope. This sets up the figure-four, but Savage shoves him off and bails to the floor. They fight out there and Randy hides behind Elizabeth and hits Tito with a cheapshot, allowing him to beat the count at 7:35. Well that sure makes Tito look like a doofus. A very low-level match between them, but I can’t hate on Tito v. Savage. 7 for 8.
Coming soon from Coliseum Video: Best of the WWF 14! George the Animal Steele! Most Embarrassing Moments!
Once again, this kind of undermines the whole “Best of the WWF” concept by presenting a bunch of midcard matches. But everything was really solid on this one and it’s an easy recommendation after last week’s rock bottom.