Coliseum Video Rant 2018: WWF’s Grand Slams!
(Originally written 02.27.18)
Hosted by Mean Gene.
No match markers on this one, as it’s just a collection of quick highlights from previous tapes.
1. From the Wrestling Classic, Nikolai Volkoff sings the Russian national anthem, and gets dropkicked and pinned by Dynamite Kid in a cute finish. 1 for 1.
2. Tito Santana regains the IC title from Greg Valentine in a cage match in Boston, kicking the cage door in his face for the win, which causes Valentine to smash up the belt, and that gave us the famous redesign that is used today. 2 for 2.
3. From Wrestlemania, King Kong Bundy beats SD Jones in “9 seconds”, which is ridiculous because it’s clearly more than 30. I mean, you can literally COUNT the time yourself, why would they lie about it? 2 for 3 because dishonesty has no place in professional wrestling.
4. Rowdy Roddy Piper annoys Mr. T on the set of “The A-Team”, wanting to know how it feels to portray a heel on TV, much like Piper himself is a heel. T declares that Piper is a WIMP who picked on a lady, but Piper is just about equal opportunity. Good stuff, duh. 3 for 4.
5. Wendi Richter defends against the MYSTERIOUS Spider and loses the title in an actual shoot via small package, and then unmasks her as Fabulous Moolah. Wendi then tries to go to the actual finish by hitting Moolah with a backbreaker and the ref has to explain the situation to her and gives the belt to Moolah. And then Wendi left the company and never returned until the Hall of Fame decades later. 4 for 5.
6. From TNT, Freddie Blassie introduces Kamala, who apparently eats a live chicken off-stage. So enlightened. 4 for 6.
7. MIDGET MADNESS. Just some midget spots. 4 for 7.
8. Iron Sheik beats Bob Backlund via questionable submission to win the WWF title in December ’83, as Arnold Skaaland throws in the towel with Backlund in the camel clutch. Sheik straps the belt on upside-down to celebrate. 4 for 8.
9. Fuji & Saito beat Rick Martel & Tony Garea for the tag team titles via salt and chicanery in a pretty slick finish, actually. Really well-timed, with Martel coming off the top with a bodypress and hitting the salt cloud in mid-air, which allows Saito to roll through for the pin. 5 for 9.
10. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson win the tag titles from Wild Samoans when Captain Lou accidentally hits Afa with a chair. And then, via the odd connections of wrestling history, their children would end up linked together and being bigger stars than any of them. 5 for 10.
11. From Wrestlemania, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff screw the American Express out of the tag titles in a nothing match. 5 for 11.
12. Randy Savage wins the IC title from Tito in the finish we’ve seen a million times. But hey, always worth a point just for Danny Davis wearing tan khakis. 6 for 12.
13. From Wrestlemania 2, the Funks beat Tito & JYD via megaphone in a decent match that has always seemed like it should have been a bigger deal considering how hot the JYD-Funk feud was at the time. 7 for 13.
14. Jesse Ventura challenges Ivan Putski to an arm-wrestling match in a foolish decision, and then stalls and complains and cheats during the match before finally attacking Ivan and beating him down with the chair. Classic Jesse. 8 for 14.
15. Andre the Giant beats three geeks at the same time in the type of nonsense he excelled at. Andre just smiling and destroying these guys like they’re a mere annoyance to him, but with no malice in his work, just makes you realize how great of a performer he was. 9 for 15.
16. Gorilla Monsoon referees a match between Bruno and Superstar Graham that quickly gets out of hand, and he does everything as a referee that he complains about on commentary! 9 for 16.
17. From Puerto Rico, Gorilla boxes with Andre the Giant after a rainstorm. That was a bizarre show. I think they actually released it on WWE 24/7 at one time. Anyway, Gorilla uses his fancy footwork for a bit, but then Andre casually puts his lights out and sends him into a huge puddle at ringside. 9 for 17.
18. Muhammad Ali decides to step into the ring with Gorilla at a WWF TV taping in a strange angle, which results in Gorilla giving him an airplane spin and sending him on his way, then afterwards giving his famous “he doesn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch” line. Call it a point, I guess. 10 for 18.
19. Hulk Hogan puts Sheiky Baby down with the big legdrop and wins his first WWF title, brother. Gene calling it a “five and a half minute war” gets a point just for sheer balls. 11 for 19.
20. Hulk Hogan teams with Mean Gene in Minny to beat Fuji & Steele in a famously wacky tag match, although this sadly omits the training sessions leading up to it with Gene smoking cigars while Hogan works out. 12 for 20.
21. From the Big Event, the Killer Bees beat Jimmy Jack & Hoss Funk via the old switcheroo. I can’t award it a point because the rules of wrestling a sacred institution and the Bees were FLAUNTING them. 12 for 21.
22. A battle royal comes down to Tony Atlas and SD Jones, at which point they agree to flip a coin and remain friends. Sportsmanship is just another excuse for being a loser, I say, as SD Jones can even job to a coin. 12 for 22.
23. More battle royal action, from Wrestlemania 2, as Andre beats a bunch of geeks and football players to win. Including future Hall of Famer William Perry! 12 for 23.
24. Another battle royal with another famous finish, this one seeing Jimmy Hart hiding under the ring until JYD and Hammer eliminate each other, leaving Jimmy as the winner. Jimmy yelling “I won! I won!” at the referee while he disgustedly mouths “Yes, I know” is hilarious in itself. 13 for 24.
25. Andre the Giant beats the living hell out of Killer Khan in a stretcher match, getting revenge for having his ankle broken previously. As amazing as Andre’s jovial persona was, you always knew there was something under the surface if you ever made him mad. Remember, as Roadhouse taught us, always be nice. Until it’s time not to be nice. 14 for 25.
26. From Wrestlemania, Andre slams John Studd to win “$15,000”. Mean Gene as usual lies and says that no one had never slammed Studd before, which is completely ludicrous because it had already happened, multiple times, on earlier Coliseum Video releases! That was Studd’s whole gag, that he’d offer the money if someone could slam him, and then they’d slam him, and he’d refuse to pay. 14 for 26.
27. Vince McMahon interviews the Grand Wizard and Luke Graham. The Wizard isn’t trying to be a doctor, but he suggests Vince have his eyes examined. Wizard presents a sign from ringside declaring him to be the Manager of Champions, and Vince suggests that he had it made for himself and paid the fan to bring it in. Wizard suggests that Vince has it confused with the “Announcer of the Year” award that he won. Ha! And then another great line, “It’s the booze in the fans that make them boo us.” Wizard was way before his time and sadly died too soon, literally 3 months before the wrestling business exploded and he would have become a giant star. 15 for 27.
28. Bobby Heenan is ROBBED of the Manager of the Year trophy, as Hillbilly Jim gives his votes to Lou Albano, so Bobby smashes the trophy and the Heenan Family lays out Jim and Albano. I bet that’s how Trump won the election. 15 for 28.
29. And finally, Jimmy Snuka loses the cage match to Muraco on a fluke, and then gives him the big splash off the cage that launches the wrestling fandom of Mick Foley. 16 for 29.
Although technically only a little over a 0.500 batting average on this one, it’s actually an excellent primer for people who weren’t around in the 80s and want to see all the clips of the famous moments without sitting through the shows. I’d call it an easy recommendation, as nothing overstays its welcome and everything is at the very least notable or memorable in some way.