Mike Reviews High Flyers of the WWF

Hello You!

About a month or so back I reviewed WWF’s Funniest Moments on VHS and it seemed to go down well. I had this one in my tape collection too and it’s only an hour long, so I decided to review it as well.

Mean Gene Okerlund handles the introductions, telling us we’ll see the likes of Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware and The Rockers amongst others.

Opening Match
WWF Title
Champ: Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth Vs Virgil w/ Ted Dibiase

I don’t really think of Savage as a high flyer in the traditional sense, but I guess he kind of was by 80’s WWF standards thanks to his finisher. Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are handling the call here. Virgil looks to be in incredible shape and he actually gets to work Savage over for a bit. I think that these days Dibiase and Virgil would have probably got a run with the tag belts, especially as they have three brands now, but back then they didn’t change the belts as much and there was no way they were taking the belts off Demolition for another heel team.

Virgil’s stuff isn’t great, but the match has good heat and they make use of that by having Dibiase cheat now and then. Savage eventually makes the comeback with a knee and an axe handle, but Dibiase distracts him using Liz as a human shield for the ultimate display of villainy in the WWF during this time, which allows Virgil to regain control. This feels more like a showcase for Virgil than Savage to be honest, where they are trying to show he’s a genuine threat as a wrestler and not just a manager. The heels try to bring Liz to their side with Dibiase’s evil millions, but she refuses and the break gives Savage a chance to fight back, leading to the Macho Elbow for the three count.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: RANDY SAVAGE
RATING: **1/2

Just a TV match that had the main goal of making Virgil look like a credible contender until Savage decided it was time to take it home. It was watchable and we got the elbow at the end to justify the inclusion on the tape, but that’s about it.

We head straight to the next match, with no skits or anything.

Match Two
Los Conquistadores Vs The Rockers

“Somewhere in Latin America” is one heck of a lazy hometown for the rudos I must say. Sean Money, Lord Alfred and Superstar Graham are handling the commentary duties this time out. Los Conquistadores are two masked guys and the original pairing was Jose Estrada and Jose Luis Rivera, but I’m not sure if it’s actually them working here as I’m not familiar enough with their work to say. The Rockers pop the Boston crowd early with some tandem offence, which Los Conquistadores sell well.

Graham sells that the rudos never remove their masks, even whilst showering, which is something some of the bigger name Luchadores would actually do back in the day. In a nice touch of tag team chicanery, one of Los Conquistadores slaps his legs at one stage so that the other knows to catch Marty with a cheap shot when he gets whipped to the ropes. That’s fantastic; an old school team like FTR need to bring that one back if they haven’t already.

The rudos work some heat on Marty following that, and it’s basic but solid enough. Eventually a double down allows Marty to make the tag to Shawn, who does a hot tag segment with the rudos, involving dropkicks and the like. Rudo miscommunication sees one Conquistador take out the other and a Shawn cross body ends it soon after.

WINNERS: THE ROCKERS
RATING: **1/2

This was a nice tag team match where Los Conquistadores bumped all over the shop to make The Rockers look good, worked a bit of heat and then did a clean job to put them over. Nothing amazing but it was executed well and I enjoyed it.

The Rockers celebrate and we get a replay of the finish.

Match Three
WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles
Champs: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki) Vs Lelani Kai and Judy Martin w/ Jimmy Hart

Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred handle the call. The Bomb Angels were pretty revolutionary for the western women’s scene of the time, doing the sorts of things that some of the men couldn’t even manage. I’m sure the Joshi Boyz on here will no doubt be able to fill you in more on what they got up to over in Japan itself. A friend of mine who enjoys himself some Joshi said that, to use a modern comparison, the Bomb Angels were at the level of say a SANADA when it came to popularity whilst the Crush Girls would be Okada level. He also said that the Bomb Angels worked a comparatively light style in the ring, which made them more attractive to the WWF and helped with them getting the gig.

The referee is terrible here and can barely keep up as the Angels run wild in the early going, getting stereo Cobra Twists for a pop. The heels stooge well and the faces deliver some nice offence, which keeps the action fun. The crowd is into it and the two teams have an entertaining outing. The heels get brief moments of control, but never anything I’d really consider to be a proper heat segment. We get a rare case of babyface miscommunication as Yamazaki cross body’s Tateno by mistake, but Tateno quickly gets a roll up straight after to retain.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: THE JUMPING BOMB ANGELS
RATING: ***

Fun match!

We quickly jump to the next match.

Match Four
The Shadows Vs Paul Roma and Jim Powers

Because when you think of “High Flyer” your mind immediately jumps to Paul Roma right? Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred are calling this one also. Roma and Powers both have fantastic physiques here but little more than generic babyface offence when it comes to their move set. The Shadows are your standard masked heel enhancement talent, who are here to bump around to make the smiling youngsters look good. As a match it’s basically fine, but there’s little high flying on display.

Roma goes for the mask of the one of the heels and that leads to them cutting him off for the heat. Roma is so miscast in this role, but he does a competent job as a babyface in peril. Roma sells everything well and they succeed in getting the crowd to boo The Shadows’ antics. Roma eventually counters out of a Canadian back breaker and makes the hot tag to Powers, who unleashes dreaded high flying offence like a sleeper hold. Woah, slow down buddy or you’ll have air traffic control getting worried! I will concede that the crowd loves it though, so everyone has done their job well. Eventually Roma blind tags in for a sunset flip on one of the heels, which is enough for three.

WINNERS: ROMA & POWERS
RATING: **

It was a fine undercard tag match, but to say it was crowbarred onto the tape with the loosest justification possible would be an understatement.

Some of the crowd actually boo that finish, maybe because of the blind tag? That’s how great at being a babyface Paul Roma was, he made some of the crowd sympathetic to the plight of masked heels called The Shadows. That heel turn in 1990 was the best thing they ever did with him.

Match Five
Danny Davis and Jose Estrada Vs Koko B. Ware and The Blue Blazer

That babyface team sure has a high level of energy! Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred are calling the action again. The heels stooge all over the place in the early going, doing their best to make the faces look good, and the crowd is into it. I’m not sure why Davis went back to reffing to be honest, as he was fine as a lower card heel who could be used in roles like this. He was a step above enhancement talent but below an actual star, so beating him still kind of meant something and you could occasionally have him win a squash match and people would buy it.

Blazer actually is a genuine high flyer, so I’m cool with his inclusion here and Koko could at least move when needed, so I’ll allow his appearance also. Both Blazer and Koko spend some time selling in the heel corner, which suggests they are going for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express double heat extended tag formula. What a match to do that in!

Blazer eventually gets the second hot tag and delivers some nice stuff on Estrada whilst Davis flees in a funny moment. I think they’d market Blazer much better today with lots of assorted merch and his size would be far less of an issue, especially if he was working in NXT. They’d have something with him for sure and they’d probably sell a bunch of masks to the kids. Blazer gets a nice top rope splash on Estrada and that’s enough for the win. Hey, a proper high flying move, nice!

WINNERS: BLAZER & KOKO
RATING: **

Another decent tag outing, even though the heat dragged a little bit in my opinion.

We get to hear Piledriver following that match, even though it was Blazer who got the pin.

Gene sends us home and implores us to look out for more WWF tapes.

In Conclusion

Some questionable additions aside, this was a super easy watch with nothing bad on it. It’s not worth going out of your way to get it, but if you see it cheap somewhere then you could do far worse.