The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Best of the WWF Volume 4
Hosted by Vince McMahon
Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Paul Orndorff
From MSG, the month after Wrestlemania, and WHEN are they going to put the 85 MSG shows onto the Network already? They slug it out immediately as the crowd goes BANANA and Piper tries to run away, but Orndorff beats his ass and hauls him back in for more of the same. Orndorff cranks on the arm, so Piper slaps him in the face, and that just angers Paul even more. Orndorff misses a blind charge and Piper takes over with a clothesline as they’ve got NUCLEAR heat from the crowd tonight, and Piper puts the boots to him in the corner and beats on him with knees. Orndorff with a backslide for two, but Piper pokes him in the eye after showing him the two fingers for the two count. Now THAT’S clever. Piper tosses him to the floor and puts the boots to him, but Orndorff fights back and Piper runs him into the post. Back in, Piper with a facelock, which Lord Alfred worries might be a “carotaroid hold”. Sounds terrifying. Piper takes him down again with a side headlock and they do a pinfall reversal sequence, leading to Paul getting a backslide as Piper rolls into the ropes. They slug it out in the corner and Orndorff wins that easily and drops an elbow, but he tries a crossbody and they tumble to the floor. Orndorff beats the count and hauls Piper in by the hair while smashing his head into the apron, and then drags him over the top rope by the hair and drops him facefirst onto the mat. And then Bob Orton comes in for the disappointing DQ at 8:35, just as the match was hitting fifth gear. So Orton beats on Orndroff with the cast, busting him open, while Piper slaps the referee around, and sadly Mr. Wonderful has no friends to save him at that point. Finally the British Bulldogs take pity on him and make the save while the fans throw trash at Piper out of anger. Now that is HEAT. So this was fantastic. 1 for 1. Now I want to see British Bulldogs v. Piper & Orton.
Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Snuka v. Magnificent Muraco & Bob Orton
Off to the Boston Garden for quite the tag team main event. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA right away and everyone slugs it out on the floor while Fuji waddles for his life, and then the faces chase the heels into the ring and Superfly goes to work on Orton’s broken arm. Well we know he’s a man of low moral standing. Hogan comes in, and you KNOW you don’t have to ask him twice to go after a man’s broken arm, as he comes off the middle rope with an axehandle and then rams the cast into the corner. What a monster. Back to Snuka for more punishment, probably causing him permanent ligament damage, and Hulk stomps him down and goes to another armbar. They slug it out as Orton fights for his life against this sociopath, but thankfully he’s able to tag in Muraco to teach Hogan a lesson. Muraco with a kneelift and he beats on Hogan with elbows, before Orton gets some shots from the apron. Bob comes in and hits a delayed suplex, somehow gutting through the pain of his shattered tibia because he’s a real man. Muraco comes in for the double team while Orton literally dares Snuka to come in and face him, and of course Snuka won’t pull the trigger because I guess he’s a coward of whatever. Muraco misses a blind charge and Hulk hits him with the corner clothesline, and he makes the hot tag to Snuka, who headbutts both heels and slams Muraco to set up the Superfly Splash. Unfortunately he manages to land on Orton’s cast with his face on the way down, because he’s clumsy, and he’s also busted open. What a klutz. Orton beats on him, but Snuka whips him into the corner for a double chop, and he makes the hot tag to Hogan. Hulk is immediately cheating, using closed fists and choking out Muraco, so Orton saves his partner by sacrificing his own arm and using the cast like a true hero. And the ref calls THAT a DQ at 10:00? Just because he hit a man with the totally legal and WWF-approved cast? I’ve got half a mind to take away the point I was going to give the match for that kind of miscarriage of justice, but that wouldn’t be fair to Bob Orton so I’ll grudgingly keep it as 2 for 2. But Hulk Hogan better watch himself because I can always change my mind.
20 Man Battle Royale:
This is a pretty famous one from Philly in 1984, although for all you battle royale apologists, I’m probably going to undersell the whole thing. CONSIDER YOURSELF TRIGGERED. Snuka gets eliminated early rather surprisingly. Blackjack Mulligan also goes out early on. Tony Garea gets tossed out by Mr. Saito, I believe, and then the Strongbows team up and throw him out as well. Not a lot notable going on aside from Adrian Adonis taking bumps for everyone like Mr. Perfect. The Strongbows end up on the floor with Mr. Fuji so I guess they’re all out. Adonis manages to get tied up in the ropes and so can’t be thrown out as a result. He’s the only one out there trying new stuff. Swede Hanson gets thrown out off-camera, and all the heels team up on Pedro Morales and throws him out. Rodz goes to the top rope, which violates my #1 rule of battle royales: NEVER GO TO THE TOP ROPE IN A BATTLE ROYALE. Luckily for him he doesn’t get eliminated. Adonis backdrops someone out, although the camera misses it and I don’t know who it was. Sorry, life’s too short to care about battle royale results. And Estrada takes a CRAZY bump over the top and he’s out, leaving SD Jones, Tony Atlas, Greg Valentine & Adrian Adonis. You probably already know where this one is going if you read PWI in the 80s. Hammer manages to get himself busted open in a battle royale and Atlas beats on him in the corner, before the heels get whipped into each other and Adonis takes yet another crazy Hennig bump off that. The heels regroup and lay out the babyfaces, and Adonis goes up to the top with a flying elbow on Atlas. WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT GOING TO THE TOP ROPE?!? Adonis goes to the sleeper on Atlas, but SD makes the comeback on Valentine, and Atlas manages to backdrop Adonis to the floor to escape the sleeper. Which the camera misses AGAIN. Valentine beats on SD and tries to go after Atlas as well, but he gets walloped with headbutts and thrown out. So that leaves SD Jones and Tony Atlas, but they’re men of peace and don’t want to fight, so the ref flips a coin, calls it for Tony Atlas, and he gently lifts Jones up and out for the win at 16:00. Adonis was AWESOME here and scores the point on his own. 3 for 3. Plus the finish was legendary.
“Specialty of the House” is a quick look at various special moves. Most of them are the standard ones, like Barry Windham’s bulldog and Stan Hansen’s lariat. Although Orndorff’s is apparently “Strength”. And Bruno is “All the right moves”. For Sheik they have the camel clutch, although the clip is him doing it on Hogan and I think it would have been clever if they transitioned to “Legdrop” when Hulk escapes it to win the title. But instead, Hogan gets “The clothesline” and “The Elbow”.
Mongolian Stretcher Match: Andre the Giant v. Killer Khan
OH YEAH. From Philly in 1981, after Killer Khan made the worst mistake of his life and broke Andre’s ankle. Of course in reality it was Andre accidentally hurting his own ankle backstage and they crafted the angle around it. Andre immediately beats the stuffing out of Khan and chases him to the floor, and then hauls him in again and hits him with a big boot before sitting on him. So they try to put Khan on the stretcher, but he’s too dumb to stay down and wants to keep going. So Andre gives him a piledriver, but tries a headbutt and misses. Khan goes after the ankle and ties it up in the ropes, and then calls for the stretcher. Yeah no. Andre gets fired up and smashes the stretcher on Khan’s head, and then drops butt after butt on his chest, but Khan clings to the ropes and won’t go on the stretcher. So Andre just MURDERS him, squashing him again and again, but Khan hangs onto the apron this time and won’t take the ride. The phrase “more guts than brains” was never more true than here. So Andre picks him up and suplexes him, sits on him again, splashes him, and this time he can’t fight back and goes out on the stretcher at 8:03. Why would you possibly want to make Andre the Giant that mad? 4 for 4.
Steel Cage match: Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd
Another famous one from Philly in 1983. Studd manages to beat Andre down enough to go for the door, but while he’s crawling for it, Andre sits on his back to lay him out. Ouch. Andre tries to walk out himself, but Studd grabs the ankle, so Andre punches him in the face and then casually slams him to make himself $10,000. And then, for an encore, Andre goes to the TOP ROPE and hits a flying butt splash off the top and Studd is DEAD. And Andre walks out the door at 2:42 shown. 5 for 5.
THE COLOSSAL JOSTLE: Andre the Giant v. King Kong Bundy
From MSG in September 85, and Andre now has Lou Albano managing him. I think the Colossal Jostle was actually one of the proposed names for Wrestlemania before everyone came to their senses and asked Howard Finkel for his opinion. Andre chases Bundy to the floor right away, and we’re clipped to Andre headbutting him to the apron as Bundy takes this nasty bump and lands on a chair hip-first. Clipped again to Bundy working Andre over with the clubbing forearms and putting the boots to him. Andre fights back with shoulders in the corner, but Bundy charges for the Avalanche and Andre casually boots him in the face, and Big John Studd comes in for the DQ at 4:00 shown. So that allows Bundy to get the Avalanche this time, so Andre has had ENOUGH of this crap and smashes a chair on the floor before brandishing the remains at the heels and scaring them off. I’d run too if I was them. 5 for 6.
Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake v. Ricky Steamboat & Tito Santana
From Toronto in 1985, and I didn’t actually realize the moving parts from this one. So this was actually an off-shoot of the Tito-Valentine feud, plus a mini-feud that Beefcake and Steamboat were having in Toronto, and Beefcake and Valentine just stayed a team after this and became tag team champions. Weird how well that one worked out. The faces befuddle the heels to start and Beefcake retreats to the corner to think it over. Brutus pokes Tito in the eye and slams him, but Valentine comes in and misses an elbow and Tito is all fired up and chases him to the ramp. Back in, Valentine works him over with forearms, but Tito fires back and puts him down with a clothesline and goes to work on the leg. Valentine escapes the figure-four and puts Tito down for the Hammer, which gets two. Beefcake takes the ref and Valentine gets all kinds of cheapshots on Tito, and it’s over to Beefcake for a slam. Tito crawls for the tag, but Beefcake grabs the leg and Hammer takes out Steamboat to prevent that. And then he works Tito over in his own corner for further insult and puts the boots to him back in the heel corner. Finally Tito fights them off and makes the HOT tag to Ricky Steamboat and he’s chopping everyone and everything. Sleeper on Beefcake, but Valentine breaks that up. So Steamboat continues chopping Valentine, until Hammer puts him down with a gutbuster for two and now Steamboat is the face in peril. They were probably arguing about it before the match. “I want to take an extended beating and sell for the whole match!” “No, I do!” Seems like they compromised and both guys are doing it. Beefcake with a clothesline on Steamboat for two. Valentine goes up with a forearm to put him down, and then tells him to get up before going to the top and doing it again. YEAH. Valentine works the leg and tries the figure-four, but Steamboat cradles for two. Back to the heel corner for more abuse, but Steamboat fights out and makes the desperate hot tag to Tito, and that’s pretty awesome. Flying forearm on Valentine, but Beefcake saves at two and it’s PANDEMONIUM BREAKING LOOSE. Steamboat gets tossed out while the heels double-team Tito, but Steamboat pulls Brutus out and Tito reverses Valentine into the figure-four and puts him away with the figure-four at 15:28. I know I’ve reviewed this one before but WHAT A MATCH. 6 for 7.
Coming soon to Coliseum Video: The Best of the WWF Volume 5! The Life and Times of Captain Lou Albano! The Tag Team Champions!
This one’s an all-timer. Get to your local video cassette retailer and reserve a copy for your home video library right away, say I!