The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents The Best of the WWF Volume 12
Oh lord we’re into the “rotating cube and saxophone” era of the intros now.
Hosted by Craig DeGeorge & Johnny V. These things are immediately going downhill.
First up, Craig uses some INSIDER LINGO a few years before the internet wrestling community was a thing, introducing our first match as something called (checks notes) a “dark match”. WHOA SLOW DOWN THE KAYFABE TRAIN THERE!
Kamala v. Ricky Steamboat
Craig hypes up this never-before-broadcast match from Philly in June 87, which by the way was 100% broadcast on PRISM and even features commentary from Dick Graham and Craig DeGeorge himself. That is some tremendous carny lying. Kamala chokes away on the ropes after Fuji gets a cheapshot, and Ricky goes right to his dramatic selling with no shine. Kamala gives him the two-handed choke and beats on him in the corner, but Ricky fights back for a second until Kamala chops him down again. Kamala misses a blind charge and Steamboat comes back with overhand chops before taking out Kimchee. But then Fuji trips him up and Kamala splashes and pins him at 5:49. Writing was on the wall for Steamboat at that point, as he basically got squashed here and barely even got a comeback or hope spot. 0 for 1.
Tito Santana v. Kamala
Now this is a legit dark match, from a Wrestling Challenge taping in Rockford IL, November of 86, which was back when the Wizard was managing Kamala. Tito slugs away in the corner and Kamala runs away and offers a test of strength and that literally burns up two minutes while Tito thinks it over and asks the fans. Finally Tito accepts it and quickly gets overpowered, but then he stomps on the bare foot to break. Kamala hits him in the throat and chokes him out on the mat and on the ropes. Tito fights back and gets beaten down with a headbutt and choked again. Tito makes his comeback, but the Wizard trips him up and Kamala splashes and pins him at 6:44. Hey, the exact same finish as the first match from the tape, whaddya know? 0 for 2.
Big Machine, Super Machine & Piper Machine v. Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan
From the Boston Garden in 86, as of course the mysterious Piper Machine immediately pulls off his mask behind the ref’s back and mocks Bobby. Bundy pounds away on Super in the corner, but misses the Avalanche and Super gets a bodypress for two. Over to Studd, while Gorilla claims that he in fact knows the identity of Big Machine but can’t give it away. What a fountain of disinformation. Over to the Piper Machine and he gets a sunset flip on Studd for one and runs wild on the heels. Studd tries to double-team him, but Piper Machine pokes him in the eye and goes after Bobby on the floor, which allows Studd to catch him in the corner and beat on the knee. Gorilla just blatantly calls the Piper Machine “Rowdy Roddy Piper” now with zero credible proof. That could be anyone under the mask! Bobby comes in finally and beats on the knee for a bit, and Studd drops an elbow for two. Bundy comes in and gets an awkward clothesline where Piper appears to duck but then sells it anyway. Heenan comes in with a headbutt and discovers that Piper has a harder head in a funny spot. Piper manages to get the hot tag to the Big Machine, but Bundy puts him down with a back elbow immediately and beats on him. Studd comes in with a clothesline and slams Big for two before going to a chinlock, but Big fights back and brings Piper back in. Piper just blatantly unmasks at that point and actually SLAMS Studd and pins him at 10:11! Terrible match but a hell of a finish, so we’ll give it a point. 1 for 3. And Piper is Scottish so you KNOW he’s gonna be harassing Heenan for that $15,000.
Brutus Beefcake v. Johnny V
From Boston Garden in the aftermath of Wrestlemania III, as they did this match all around the horn and poor Johnny got a million haircuts. Brutus slams him and Johnny runs away, but he gets brought back in by security and Brutus beats on him in the corner and biels him out. And the sleeper finishes at 3:00, allowing Beefcake to snip a couple of little bits of hair and then call it a day. And then we get the silly trope where Valiant has to be “woken up” with a slap to the back of the neck so as to avoid whatever brain damage was supposed to be threatened. 1 for 4.
The Mongols v. Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales
We’re back to what Craig claims is the “1960s” but the Mongols weren’t even active until 1970, so that places it in 1971, which is near the end of their run. Beppo Mongol was more well known later as Nikolai Volkoff. The Mongols double-team Pedro and get a cheap pin to win the first fall after some clipping, but then they double-team Gorilla too much and get DQ’d in the second fall. We’re clipped to the third fall and Pedro quickly pins Beppo for the win at 5:21. 70s WWWF was pretty dire in the ring. 1 for 5. Also the announcers talk nonsense about Pedro being the “US champion” and Gorilla being the “Asiatic champ” at that point.
George Steele v. Paul Orndorff
From MSG in January of 87. Orndorff taunts him with a poster of Elizabeth and then chokes him out on the ropes with the poster, but Animal fights back and tears up the turnbuckle. Paul gets run into the exposed steel and Animal chases after Bobby and sends him to the back, and then throws Orndorff out when he gets back to the ring. But then George tries to reassemble the poster of Elizabeth, allowing Orndorff to attack from behind and choke him out in the corner. And then he grabs a camera cable and blatantly chokes out Steele right in front of the referee, who does NOTHING. That is awful officiating. So Steele goes to work on the arm in retaliation and sets up the flying hammerlock, but Heenan returns with another poster and George chases after him again. An the ref gets in his way, so Steele hits him with the chair and draws the DQ at 6:00. Gorilla: “Just caught him with a glancing blow. I wish he would have given him a full shot with it!” Gorilla REALLY hates bad referees! In fairness, Gil Roman was one of the worst. 1 for 6.
The Fabulous Moolah v. Leilani Kai
Back to MSG, December 86. Gorilla and Bobby Heenan have a discussion about how long Moolah has been champion, with Gorilla making the claim that she had been champion since he broke into the business. This of course completely erases the title reigns of Wendi Richter and even Kai herself, which happened only a year prior to this! Moolah controls Kai with hairtosses and sends her to the floor, then slams her back into the ring and tosses her out again. They brawl on the floor and Moolah slams her out there and hits her with a telephone, as this is more hardcore than an AEW women’s match! And it was the 80s, when telephones where made with lead plates for extra reinforcement and weighed like 20 pounds each. We’re clipped to Moolah putting the boots to Kai in the ring, but Kai gets a crossbody for two. Moolah boots her down again and chokes away on the ropes. Kai takes her down and gets a stepover toehold, and then the match just completely falls apart, as the ref starts pulling Kai off her, and then Kai kind of runs into the ref and Moolah rolls her up for the pin at 8:20. Absolutely awful. 1 for 7.
And then we go back to 1985 with the Mean Gene training sessions for some reason. This was literally already on Volume 1.
WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Kamala
Yes, we close out the tape with a THIRD Kamala match, this one from Boston Garden in December of 86. Hulk tries a slam and gets stopped, and Kamala beats on him with clubbing forearms and gets his own slam. Hulk fights back with a running elbow and slugs away on him, but then he goes after Kimchee and Kamala takes over again. The Wizard throws in his magic horn gimmick and Kamala busts Hogan open with that and goes to work on him. Kamala with the choking and gouging while Hogan sells, and Kamala goes up for the flying splash, which has the crowd shrieking in terror. But Hogan crawls away like a coward and Kamala continues beating on him with a back elbow and big splash for two. And of course Hogan makes the comeback off that and Hulks up. Corner clothesline and big boot set up the slam, and the big leg finishes at 7:07, brother. This was peak lazy Hulk formula, sell sell sell and big comeback and win. 1 for 8.
This was easily, EASILY, the worst of these “Best Of” tapes thus far. They changed up the presentation and it was for the worse. And they don’t get much better from here on, either.