The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents The Best of the WWF Volume 15
Hosted by Mean Gene.
Haku v. Tito Santana
This is a dark match from a Superstars taping in October of 87, with Tito now into his Strike Force phase. And we’ve got Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk & Johnny V on commentary. Hopefully they find something more interesting for Bruce to do soon. They slug it out to start and Tito takes him down with a drop toehold and rams his head into the mat a bunch of times. Well that’s pointless. Tito works the armdrags to keep Haku off base and a backslide gets two. Haku escapes the armbar with headbutts, but he misses a kneedrop and retreats to the ropes to get some advice from Tama. Apparently that advice was “hit in the throat” because that’s exactly what he does and that allows him to take over. Gut wrench suplex gets two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Haku pounds away in the corner, but he misses a blind charge and Tito makes the comeback and slugs away. Backdrop sets up the flying forearm, but Tama and Martel both get involved for the double DQ at 6:34. Finish was bad but they were having a good match up until then. 1 for 1.
WWF tag team titles: The Hart Foundation v. Strike Force
We’re in Syracuse at the end of October on WWF Superstars, as this is the final “screw you” from Vince McMahon to Tom Zenk. Bret quickly beats on Martel on the ropes, but Rick comes back with a dropkick and works an armbar on Bret. Over to Tito for more of the armbar, but he tries a rollup and Bret blocks it. Over to Anvil, but Tito grabs an armbar on him as well, so Bret gets the cheapshot from the apron to take over. Bret with the backbreaker for two. Tito fights back and Anvil comes in and cuts him off, then takes the ref while Bret gets some more shots and choking in. Vince thinks it would be a shame if a match of this magnitude would end because of something caused by the referee. Well good thing that would never happen to Bret Hart. The Harts toss Tito and Bret runs him into the railing and back in as Anvil gets two. Tito fights for the tag and Bret takes out Martel to prevent that, allowing Anvil to beat him down further. Harts with the Demolition elbow for two. Bret misses an elbowdrop and Tito fights for the tag again, but Bret drops the elbow on him to block that and it’s back to the heel corner again. So Martel is all fired up and he comes in, which allows the Harts to do more double-teaming in their corner behind the ref’s back. Bret comes in and puts the boots to Tito, but he gets whipped into the corner and it’s HOT TAG Martel. He throws down with Neidhart in an awesome slugfest and dropkicks Bret off the apron, and a bodypress on Anvil gets two. Bret makes the save and Tito chases him off, and the Harts double-slam Neidhart to set up the Boston Crab, and Neidhart submits away the titles at 9:15! And after all those months of cheating, the Harts put them over clean as a sheet and give Martel a new finisher. This was some great pro wrestling. 2 for 2.
Bam Bam Bigelow v. King Kong Bundy
I’d be disappointed if this wasn’t taped in Walla Walla Washington. It’s a dark match from Superstars, although Vince and Jesse are doing commentary. They collide with the hoss fight spots to start and Bundy misses a charge, allowing Bigelow to drop an elbow on him and then work on the arm. Bundy catches him with a clothesline and tosses him out, and back in for another clothesline, but the big splash misses and Bam Bam gets his own for the pin at 3:53. That was a pretty suss count from the ref there but it was good enough of a hoss fight for the point. 3 for 3.
WWF Women’s tag team titles: The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kei & Judy Martin) v. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki Yamazaki & Noriyo Tateno)
From the Royal Rumble 88, of course. Tateno gets worked over in the heel corner, but she dodges a splash and Yamazaki comes in with a slam on Martin for two. Vince McMahon, professional wrestling announcer and owner of the company, decides to call the Angels “Pink” and “Red” based on their tights. Kai comes in and Yamazaki slugs her down for two and goes to an Octopus hold, but Martin breaks it up, so the Angels do stereo figure-fours on the champs. Yamazaki splits the legs on Kai ala Jeff Hardy and Tateno gets a deathlock to tie her up on the mat. Martin tries to pull her over to the corner, but the Angels pull her back. Finally Martin is able to make an illegal tag, and Martin yanks Yamazaki out of the corner to take over. Martin with an over the shoulder throw (like a powerbomb but released backwards) for the pin at 6:20 and that wins the first fall.
Second fall and Yamazaki bridges out of a pin attempt to start, and dodges a Martin splash, and it’s over to Tateno as the Glamour Girls clothesline each other and Vince has now learned the names of the challengers during the break. And Martin tries the powerbomb variation again, but Yamazaki gets a sunset flip on Martin for the pin at 8:36 this time to even it up.
Third fall and the Angels double-team Kai and Yamazaki gets an enzuigiri on Martin, but Tateno tries a fisherman’s suplex and that gets blocked. Kai comes in with a necksnap and works Tateno over in the corner, and a butterfly suplex gets two. Yamazaki gets the tag again and the Glamour Girls double-team her in the corner and choke her out while Marella does nothing and Jesse notes that it’s a good thing pins are only three counts because he couldn’t make it to four. PREACH. Yamazaki comes back with a slam on both heels and Tateno comes in with a flying knee for two on Martin, and a slam gets two. Bridging butterfly suplex gets two. Even Vince is bitching about the slow count from Marella at this point. Yamazaki goes up and misses a senton and Martin gets two off that. Tateno comes in with a middle rope clothesline for two, and then both Angels go up for a stereo missile dropkick, and that wins the tag team titles at 15:27. And that was the last we saw of the Women’s tag team titles until they were resurrected a couple of years ago. The Angels were doing a lot of crazy stuff for the time, but it wasn’t like a transcendently great match or anything. 4 for 4.
Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee v. The Wild Samoans
This is from a Philly show in July of 84 and this is a pretty odd mix, during the brief time when they were trying a babyface run for the Samoans. Fuji and Lee play “hide the salt” while the ref tries to find it and keeps checking the wrong guy. We’re clipped to the Samoans double-teaming Fuji in their corner, but Fuji goes up and misses a flying legdrop. Afa puts him down with an atomic drop and Fuji brings Tiger Chung Lee back in, but Lee goes up and gets slammed off. Lee goes for the tag and Fuji gives him the old short arm and walks away from the match, and the Samoans put Lee away at 4:04. 4 for 5. Never trust Fuj the Stooge, I guess. And indeed, Fuji comes out and offers a truce, but then turns on Tiger and chokes him out with the microphone cord to further express his disappointment with the poor job done by his former partner. So Lee chases him off with a kendo stick to turn babyface but I don’t think this ever went anywhere outside of the house shows.
WWF Women’s title: The Fabulous Moolah v. Sensational Sherri Martel
We’re in Houston for Sherri’s WWF debut in July of 1987. Once again the announcing immediately annoys me, as Gorilla discusses how Moolah has been champion for “15 to 17 years straight”, which ONCE AGAIN completely erases Wendi Richter and the whole Rock N Wrestling Connection deal that millions of people watched just a couple of years previous to this. That wasn’t even from a different era! Anyway, wrestling carnies lie, film at 11. They trade hairpull takedowns to start and Sherri takes her down with a wristlock, but Moolah reverses to a hammerlock. Sherri goes to a chinlock and yells at the crowd as she’s kind of working heel, but so is Moolah. And indeed they trade chokes in the corner and Sherri runs her into the turnbuckle for two. Moolah with a backdrop for two. Moolah chokes her out on the ropes as the crowd is pretty unsure of what to do with this match, and she gets a couple of headbutts to take over. Moolah necks Sherri on the top rope, but Sherri catapults her on the way back into the ring and then chokes her out on the ropes as they just can’t decide who’s heel and who’s babyface. Moolah cuts off a bodypress attempt and tosses Sherri, but she tries a slam and Sherri rolls her up for the pin and the title at 7:59 and a pretty huge pop from the shocked crowd. And that was basically it for Moolah as Sherri was off to the races. This was a weird trainwreck with both women trying to be the heel and neither one wanting to sell that much for the other. 4 for 6.
WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship: Tatsumi Fujinami v. Ted Adams
Back to 1978 in MSG for our Coliseum Classic. Adams was mostly a curtain jerker who appeared on TV and lost handicap matches, from what I can tell. He didn’t stick around the business for long. Crazy that Fujinami is still working today, though. They trade takedowns to start and Adams gets a headscissors, but Fujinami bridges and flips him over into a sunset flip for two. Adams puts him down with shoulderblocks, but Fujinami fires back with a dropkick. So Adams slams him and goes up with a flying headbutt, but that misses. Fujinami takes him down with the dragon screw and goes to work on the leg. Adams comes back with a bodypress for two and a cradle for two, then puts Fujinami down with forearms, and follows with a snapmare and dropkick. Fujinami chops him down for two and tries for a butterfly suplex, but Adams blocks it and puts him on the top rope to break. Fujinami takes him down and works the leg again, but Adams reverses to his own leglock and Fujinami kicks him off. Fujinami with a dropkick and backdrop, which sets up an airplane spin and they’re both dizzy and falling over. And Fujinami finishes him with a bridging german suplex at 13:44. I’d call it technically solid, but Adams was a WAY underneath guy and it wasn’t exactly making Fujinami into a bigger star by going that long with him here. 5 for 7.
Demolition v. Billy Jack Haynes & George Steele
Well this is quite the closer to the tape. I’m not entirely sure where and when this was, but it was during the period in late 87 when Demolition was feuding with Billy Jack and Ken Patera and they were doing matches around the horn. It’s a dark match from Challenge somewhere, and Patera is ringside here with the arm injury. And our announce team is Craig DeGeorge and Don Muraco, so that’s a thing. Ax beats on Billy Jack to start, but he gets a bodypress for two. Over to the Animal and he stalls for a bit, until Smash clobbers him and goes to work on him. Back to Billy Jack, but Smash whips him into the corner and puts him down with an elbow to retain control. Smash goes to a neck vice, but Steele bites Smash to break it and Haynes works the arm. What a thrilling match. George comes in and gets a slam, but the Demos quickly double-team him when he gets distracted and they go to work on him. Smash goes to a facelock to cut off the ring and we get the false tag to Haynes, so Ax comes in for the double-team and goes to a chinlock. More abuse in the Demolition corner and finally Billy gets the hot tag and puts Smash in the full nelson, but Ax hits him with the cane and Smash falls on top for the pin at 9:50. This was a pretty putrid end to the tape. 5 for 8.
No previews of next month’s tapes, sadly, as I think we’re now done with that as well. However, Bruce Prichard is listed as an Associate Producer in the credits for those keeping track of that sort of thing.
This one certainly had more notable happenings than usual on these things, although the actual wrestling wasn’t stellar outside of a couple of notable matches here. Your mileage may vary.