The Coliseum Video Rant – Andre The Giant
(Just to REALLY finish off the Andre run, here’s a repost of the 2013 Coliseum Video rant of Andre the Giant)
I’ve decided that I kinda like the single-show format for these, so that’s what I’m gonna go with from now on. Saves me having to come up with goofy subtitles, too.
I think the point of this tape is pretty self-evident.
Hosted by Lord Alfred Hayes, who relates a story about meeting 17 year old Andre in Europe in the 60s.
Andre the Giant v. Moondog Rex
From the Spectrum, and shot on what appears to be 16MM film rather than videotape. Andre takes Rex down with a headlock and whips him around the ring like a child, then finishes with a big boot and splash at 1:50. Clearly Andre was not paid by the hour. Andre beating the shit out of dudes is always great. 1 for 1.
Battle Royale! This is from Jersey and the Murdoch/Adonis team would place this around late 84. We’ve got Slaughter, Adonis, Murdoch, Studd, Andre, Pat Patterson, Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Tiger Chung Lee, Iron Sheik, Mil Mascaras, Tito Santana, Jimmy Snuka and a few others that flew by too fast. There’s some giant star power in this one. Usual messy schmoz and after a couple of dead weights are tossed, Sheik eliminates Slaughter to trigger a brawl between them. Murdoch tosses Snuka off-camera and an annoyed Andre starts tossing guys, although the camera misses most of them. Three heels team up and get rid of Hogan, triggering a pretty good Hogan-Studd brawl that would appear to foreshadow the next show. Finally it’s a weird final four, with Andre, Murdoch, Adonis and generic Russian Alexis Smirnoff. The three heels team up on Andre, but he gets annoyed again and everyone goes flying to give Andre the win after a trademark Adonis corner flip at 11:05. Eh, it’s a battle royale. 1 for 2.
Andre the Giant v. Giant Goliath & Black Gordman
These two goofs are not as fearsome as their names would indicate. No idea where or when it’s from, but it looks old. There’s a false front row set up to sell the gimmick that Andre throws his opponents into the front row too often, and thus no one is allowed to sit there. So I guess someone’s constantly getting thrown into 75% of the seats in arenas that TNA runs, and that’s why no one is allowed to sit in THOSE seats. Makes sense. To demonstrate this, Andre throws one of the poor geeks in the front row, before they actually manage the miracle of taking him down! Andre even sells a couple of punches and one of the dweebs gets a foreign object and works Andre over with that, but Andre manhandles them like they’re toys and sits on them for the pin at 6:52. 1 for 3.
Andre the Giant v. Jack Evans, Johnny Rodz & Joe Butcher Nova
As Alfred notes, this is a bit more of a fair fight. Andre does some of the same spots as he did with the other two jobbers before, and fights off several dogpile attempts, and again Andre piles all three guys up and pins them at 3:20. I liked this one a bit more because the 3-on-1 deal was more of a spectacle and it was much more to the point. 2 for 4.
Boxing Match: Andre the Giant v. Gorilla Monsoon
This is from the famous Puerto Rico show where a rainstorm pounded the ring all show. Terrible “match” with Andre finishing him with a KO at 5:00. 2 for 5.
Andre the Giant & Jimmy Snuka v. The Wild Samoans
Snuka quickly gets caught in the Samoan corner and he’s so baffled by Afa trying to explain if and how they’re related that he gets beat on without any defense. And that shit just goes ON and ON. Finally even Andre is bored of waiting around and Snuka takes the hint and makes the hot tag. The crowd goes APESHIT and Andre destroys the Samoans and headbutts the shit out of poor Sika, allowing Snuka to climb onto Andre’s shoulders and finish with the Superfly splash at 9:00. The heat segment was dull as dishwater but the finish was MOLTEN. 3 for 6.
The Masked Superstar v. Andre The Giant
This was Bill Eadie’s last MSG appearance before making his return as Demolition Ax a couple of years later, and I believe this is from the undercard of one of the MTV shows. Andre overpowers him and tosses him around the ring, but Superstar manages to take him down and put him in the cobra clutch. Andre pulls at the mask to force a break, and sits on him to finish at 7:00. Meh. 3 for 7.
Big John Studd & Ken Patera v. SD Jones & Andre the Giant
From WWF TV in early 85. Jones does OK against Patera for a bit, but gets caught in the corner and whipped like the proverbial government mule. Patera dumps Jones and Andre just decides to come in and exact some vigilante justice, but the heels manage to double-team him until the ref calls for the DQ at 4:00. And with Andre down, they CUT HIS HAIR and Vince declares that they’re RAPING HIS DIGNITY. Fans are so pissed off that they’re throwing trash into the ring and everything. Classic stuff. 4 for 8.
Andre appears on TNT with Vince to discuss his impending Wrestlemania match with Studd. And they throw to…
Andre the Giant v. Ken Patera
From MSG, as Andre’s revenge tour begins. Andre quite thoroughly beats on Patera and steps on him, then takes him to the floor and whips him into the railing to boot. This prompts Bobby to come in and attack Andre with brass knuckles, drawing the DQ. Andre calmly continues kicking both of their asses and lays an EPIC beating on Bobby. Heenan’s sell of Andre slapping him around should be taught in classrooms. Not exciting, but it was total destruction by Andre from start to finish as the heels got everything that was coming to them. I can’t imagine fans not getting their money’s worth out of this one. 5 for 9.
Bodyslam Challenge: Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd
From Wrestlemania, of course, with Studd putting up $15,000 against Andre’s career. We’ve covered this one enough, it’s terrible, we all know it. Andre of course slams Studd and throws the gimmicked money bag into the crowd. 5 for 10.
At .500 it’s right at the cutoff for a recommendation, although way too much time is taken up by the two handicap matches. It’s Andre, you know what you’re getting anyway.
Next time: Best of the WWF Volume 2!