The Coliseum Video Rant 2018: The British Bulldogs
Well, you knew I was going to have to redo this one after Dyno’s death yesterday.
When I was a kid and hanging out with my wrestling nerd friends, this tape was the HOLY GRAIL and along with the Hart Foundation tape, was one that we would rent every few weeks and watch again. We were nerdy.
I kind of wish they’d just edit out the damn “2000 years ago…” intro if they can’t use the original music.
Hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund.
The British Bulldogs v. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
From MSG in Oct 85 according to Gorilla on commentary. The ring is absolutely filled with garbage right away during Volkoff’s song, and the Bulldogs chase them out of the ring. “I didn’t know the British had such a problem with the Russians!” notes Gorilla. To be fair, Dynamite had problems with a LOT of people. Davey starts with Volkoff and immediately gets double-teamed in the corner, and Sheik gets a clothesline and spits on him for two. Slam gets two. Volkoff pounds away on Smith’s back, but Davey rolls him up for two. Nikolai continues pounding him in the corner, but Kid comes in to save and works on Volkoff’s arm. Sheik with a gut wrench suplex for two, however. Kid blocks a suplex and gets one of his own, and a sunset flip gets two. Volkoff cuts him off and gets a piledriver for two. Sheik hits his own partner with a boot by mistake and Davey gets the hot tag and immediately powerslams the Sheik for two, but he puts his head down and gets caught. Sheik hurks him over with a german suplex and gets the camel clutch on Davey, but Dynamite makes the save. Volkoff tosses him and the heels double-slam Davey, but Volkoff tries another slam and Dynamite dropkicks them over and Davey gets the pin at 6:38 in a really good finish to a good match. 1 for 1.
The Dynamite Kid v. Bret Hart
Poor Bret has his name spelled “Brett” on the graphic here. It was probably that bitch Julie. Bret works a headlock, but Kid slingshots him into the corner and Bret bails off that. Kid threatens to dive onto him, but Bret stays out of his way. Back in, Bret hides out in the ropes, but Kid catches his boot and hits him with an atomic drop and snap suplex for two. Kid with a chinlock and they trade hammerlocks off that, but Kid runs him out of the ring off that and we’re clipped to Bret getting back in. Bret works the arm and Kid flips into his own wristlock, so Bret yanks him down by the hair and beats on him with a knee to the gut. He drops the elbow and adds a legdrop, then tosses Dynamite and slams him on the floor. Back in for a backbreaker that gets two. Kid with a sunset flip out of nowhere for two, but Bret cuts him off with a questionable stomp and pounds the neck with forearms. Kid with a backslide for two and a backbreaker, but Bret ties him up in the ropes and then dives on him, which goes badly for him. Kid comes back with a headbutt and hairtoss, and drops a knee for two. Kid with a backdrop suplex for two, and he goes up with a flying knee for two. Kid misses a charge and manages to trip on the ropes somehow, and they repeat the spot and this time Kid tries a rollup and lands on the floor. Ah, I see what they were going for there. Back in, Kid flips in and gets a reverse rollup for the pin at 11:30. They had a million matches together and they were all pretty great. 2 for 2. The Hart Foundation, in protest of Bret’s tights getting pulled, double-team Kid and Davey makes the save, which leads to…
Jim Neidhart v. Davey Boy Smith
They trade shoulderblocks to start and Anvil loses that battle while Gorilla gets a funny line about how Stu Hart fathered 13 children and he has no idea where the guy found the time to actually do any wrestling! Anvil hits the floor and stalls for a bit, and we get the test of strength back in the ring, but Davey flips over him and dropkicks him into the corner. Anvil slowly pounds him as the Washington DC crowd turns on the match like [political themed joke redacted to avoid bitching from the blog] so you KNOW they must be bored by it! Anvil cuts off a comeback attempt and stunguns Davey on the turnbuckle and then pins him with his feet on the ropes in an abrupt finish. 1 for 3.
The British Bulldogs & Captain Lou Albano v. The Dream Team & Johnny V.
From MSG in March of 86, leading into Wrestlemania 2. The Bulldogs double-team Valentine in their corner to start and Kid pounds on him in the corner, which brings in Albano for a few shots. Brutus comes in and traps Davey in the heel corner for some abuse and Hammer comes off the top with a forearm and goes to the chinlock. Kid comes in and trades some pretty stiff forearms with Valentine in the corner, and we get a Flair Flop from the Hammer, which gets two for the Kid. Hammer runs him into the corner, into a backbreaker, for two. Greg goes AERIAL again, but Kid slams him off, and then Brutus comes in to cut off the ring again. So Hammer indeed drags Kid back to the heel corner while Beefcake sacrifices himself for the greater good in the babyface corner, and then escapes with the help of the ref. That’s pretty damn smart, in fact. It’s not often you see someone letting themselves get beat up by the babyfaces in order to distract them from their partner getting it worse in the heel corner. Johnny beats on Kid with elbows and then Hammer slugs away in the corner and follows with a front piledriver for two. Figure-four follows, but Albano breaks it up and Davey gets the hot tag. Johnny bumps all over for him and Davey hits the powerslam, but Hammer saves. Albano comes in for some shots on Johnny, and then Davey powerslams Hammer for two. They collide for the double down, but Davey recovers first with a delayed suplex for two, only to have Johnny V make the save this time. Back to Kid and he pounds Hammer with headbutts and more stiff forearms as him and Hammer are working a tad snug tonight. Hammer misses a charge and Davey switches in with a small package for two. Gorilla is OUTRAGED by the low quality of the refereeing here. Kid with a lariat on Hammer for two, but Johnny makes another save and under the Secret Rule of NXT, that should be a DQ. Finally the babyfaces have had enough it’s DROPKICKS FOR EVERYONE and Brutus gets rolled up and pinned at 12:55 by Davey, despite not being the legal man! It’s a MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE! These guys had freaky good chemistry together, of course. 3 for 4.
Meanwhile, at Wrestlemania, the Bulldogs finally win the tag titles from the Dream Team and don’t even get to celebrate with the belts. Regardless, still a great match. 4 for 5.
Meanwhile, Mean Gene takes us to the Diamond Gym in New York, where SERIOUS and RUGGED people train. Like the Bulldogs! Fun fact from Davey: You work the chest extra hard because it gives you the power from underneath to push someone off when they’re trying to pin you. That…makes sense, actually. Mean Gene gets distracted by a woman and Davey is disgusted by his lack of concentration. He should be watching Dynamite do arm curls, DAMMIT! Gene: “How long have you two been together?” Kid: “We’ve been together for 8 years. Um, as a tag team.” Nice save, Tom.
WWF World tag title: The British Bulldogs v. The Moondogs
I bet this’ll be a dogfight.
See, and HE’S a dog, too! IT WORKS ON SO MANY LEVELS!
Anyway, this is supposedly the Bulldogs’ first title defense, here at MSG. Spot gets beat up by the champions in their corner and it’s over to Moondog Smash, who also gets walloped by the Bulldogs. Spot pounds on Davey in the corner, but Smith powerslams him for two and Spot regroups with a headlock. Rex pounds the back for two and follows with a slam and big splash for two. Rex and Spot switch off with shots to Davey and that gets two and even Gorilla notes that the champions are looking pretty lethargic tonight. Spot with a kneedrop for two. Rex goes up with a splash attempt and lands on Davey’s knees, but he’s juuuuuuuuust short of a tag. If Kid was six inches taller, they would have made it! Davey comes back with a bodypress on Spot for two and suplexes Rex, and it’s finally hot tag Dynamite. He headbutts everyone and clotheslines Spot to set up the diving kneedrop, but Rex makes the save and throws him over the top rope. Davey comes in for the PIER SIX BRAWL and, we get an amazing finish, as Kid climbs to the top rope and then dives OVER Davey, Spot AND the ref, and hits Rex with a bodypress on the other side of the ring for the pin to retain at 8:02. That finish redeemed the whole thing. 5 for 6.
Davey Boy Smith v. Greg Valentine
From MSG and Gorilla annoys me by screwing up a famous Clint Eastwood quote. It’s “A man’s got to know his limitations”, not “capabilities”. It completely changes the meaning if you say it the other way. Davey boxes Greg’s ears in the corners for two and goes to an armbar, then dropkicks Hammer. He goes to a Boston crab, which is actually an early version of the Sharpshooter and Davey probably picked it up from Choshu in Japan, and of course Gorilla bitches about the execution. Then we get a unique spot where Davey splits Hammer’s legs and stretches out his hamstrings with his own feet. Hammer quickly bails to the apron to escape that, but Davey brings him back in with a suplex for two. Hammer drops a knee on him and goes to a headlock, but Davey escapes with a backdrop suplex for two. He rams Hammer into the turnbuckle to set up the powerslam, which gets two. Hammer runs away from that action and catches Davey with a knee on the way into the ring, and hooks the figure-four, but Davey powers to the ropes. Valentine goes back to the leg and tries it again, but Davey pulls him down and then shoves him into the turnbuckles to block it again, but Hammer goes up and finishes with a forearm from the middle rope at 8:40. Good action here. 6 for 7.
Dynamite Kid v. Brutus Beefcake
From the same show, obviously, and this is something of a style clash, to say the least. Kid works a headlock and overpowers Beefcake, sending Brutus to the floor. We’re clipped to a test of strength and Brutus works the arm off that. Brutus stops for some advice from Johnny V. That advice? “Chicks dig water sports. You should take up parasailing or something!” Beefcake stomps away and pounds on Kid with forearms in the corner, and a suplex gets two. Kid comes back with a sunset flip for two, but Beefcake cuts him off and continues stomping him as Gorilla notes that Brutus is kind of sucking air. He sucks all right. Dynamite comes back with the snap suplex and a falling headbutt, but Kid tries a running headbutt and goes flying to the floor. Beefcake finds a phantom object in his tights and he works on Kid with that and keeps him on the apron, but Kid rolls in for the pin at 6:47. They kept it short and in Beefcake’s wheelhouse and it worked just fine. 7 for 8.
The British Bulldogs v. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy
Interesting match to wrap things up. This is from WWF Superstars or whatever the main show was at that point. Smith tries a slam on Studd early, and then changes his mind and the Bulldogs opt for a double dropkick instead. That gets two. Bundy comes in and the Bulldogs double-team him as well, only for Bundy to drop a knee on Davey to take over. Studd comes in with an elbowdrop for two and Bundy gets a backbreaker for two. Studd misses a blind charge, but the heels hold Davey in the corner and pound away on him with the dreaded clubbing forearms. The ref gets thrown down by Studd and that’s a DQ at 4:36. Nothing to this one. 7 for 9.
A pretty great 90 minutes overall, although I’d prefer more classic Bulldogs tag team action and less singles matches. Still, hard to complain here overall Strong thumbs up from me. Ironically, of course, shortly after this tape was released, Kid suffered the injury against Muraco & Orton that derailed their title run and ended his career as a top level worker.