WWF Sam Houston Coliseum August 28th, 1987

August 28, 1987

Your hosts are Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk, and Pete Doherty

This was the WWE 24/7 version of the show, which omitted the Terry Funk vs. Chavo Guerrero match.

Also, this was known as the “Paul Boesch Retirement Show.” Boesch had promoted the WWF in Houston once the UWF went under in April of 1987 then retired shortly after that.  A lot of legends like Verne Gagne, Lou Thesz, and Stu Hart among others were in attendance as well.

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The Coliseum Video Rant: Andre The Giant

The Coliseum Video Rant – 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. The Pulse 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!

The Coliseum Video Rant 1A

The Coliseum Video Rant 1A: Into Dorkness Jesse Baker writes: “please do a review of the first WWE coliseum home video if only for completion sake” How could I have guessed that he’d be the one with the OCD reaction to me skipping it? So here’s the first ever Coliseum Video in a special single tape edition! Wrestling’s Bloopers, Bleeps & Bodyslams! Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon. Did you know that WWF superstars can LITERALLY fly in and out of the squared circle? This is an 80 minute collection of clips rather than matches. – Andre the Giant humiliates Don Muraco during a 10-man tag match. 0 for 1. – Freddie Blassie gives advice to the lovelorn on TNT. Funny for a little bit but runs way too long. 0 for 2. – Iron Mike Sharpe squashes some dude, who loses his toupee during the match! That’s a funny bit. 1 for 3. – Tiger Chung Lee tries to break bricks on TNT, without much success. Vince McMahon is nearly cracking up watching him fail. 2 for 4. – Lou Albano has a soundbite on TNT. 2 for 5. – Tony Atlas and Paul Orndorff have a posedown at what appears to be the nightclub from the intros of Seinfeld. Atlas wins the popular vote and Orndorff attacks him. Dunno if this went anywhere. 2 for 6. – Iron Sheik introduces Vince McMahon to his camel. Sheik is actually trying to focus the interview on Sgt. Slaughter and Vince keeps trying to crack him up and throw him off by insulting the camel. 3 for 7. – Vince interviews Kamala and Fred Blassie on TNT, and Kamala tries to eat a live chicken. 3 for 8. – MIDGET MADNESS with the Haiti Kid. 3 for 9. – Ivan Putski teaches Vince how to polka. 3 for 10. – Hulk Hogan’s PYTHON POWDER. This of course is the greatest segment on any wrestling tape, ever. 4 for 11. – Lou Albano gives advice to the lovelorn on TNT. Lou complains about people who don’t use deodorant and are fat. Albano improvising and getting more and more worked up is funny stuff. 5 for 12. – The Samoans give a cooking demonstration on TNT, which Lord Alfred describes as “smelling worse than the bubonic plague.” Oh, that wacky racism. 5 for 13. – Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas win the tag titles from the Samoans when Lou Albano accidentally breaks a chair over Afa’s head. Then on TNT, Lou Albano denies all responsibility and throws his team under the bus. Now that’s a heel. 6 for 14. – Sal Bellomo makes pizza for Vince and Alfred. This gets a point for Vince making a joke about Alfred’s cocaine use. 7 for 15. – Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch take Mean Gene on a tour of the mean streets of New York. Okerlund and Adonis basically just riff and interact with various weirdos they meet along the way. Mean Gene stiffing the hot dog vendor because he’s too cheap is just tremendous. 8 for 16. – Johnny V gives his advice for the lovelorn on TNT. His gag is that he misses the obvious sexual overtones of the letters, and it’s not that funny. 8 for 17. – Andre sings the Fish Song on TNT and cracks everyone up. Gotta love him. 9 for 18. – Cyndi Lauper appears on Piper’s Pit and Lou Albano interrupts. 9 for 19. – Butcher Vachon gets married on TNT, and we get a wacky array of terrible wedding gifts at the reception. Blassie buys them glasses so his wife can inspect the tiny cheap diamonds on the ring. Ha! George Steele gives a toast while the heel managers egg him on and everyone seems to be legitimately pounding back the sauce. You can see Sika sitting in the background and just losing it every time some crazy thing happens or Lou Albano says something stupid. Even Jesse Ventura breaks up after Albano randomly comes by and burps into Vince’s microphone. Dr. D, drunk and pissed off at Vince, shoves the cake into the bride’s face, triggering a food fight to Vince’s horror. But then he goes ahead and throws a pie at George Steele anyway. It was lacking a snake in the wedding gifts and thus can’t be the greatest wrestling wedding reception in history, but it was damn close. Well worth looking up on YouTube and it basically saved the tape. Anyone know who the girl with the wrestling mask was? Albano and Steele tear her shirt off at the end before she’s hustled off to the side by the producers. 10 for 20. The Pulse Pretty middling stuff most of the way, but that wedding reception was one of the craziest things you’ll see from the 80s and ran for about 15 minutes on its own. And with a .500 record, that makes this one a thumbs up.

The Coliseum Video Rant RETURNS

The Coliseum Video Rant 2.0 – 10.10.13 Much like Star Trek, I’m rebooting the franchise. Thanks to YouTube, I can start from the beginning of the series and probably lose interest after the second one. I’m skipping WF01 because it’s a compilation of skits called “Bloopers Bleeps and Bodyslams” and doesn’t really fit the series, but here’s WF02 (Hulkamania) and WF03 (The Best of the WWF Volume 1). As always, a point for stuff that works in any way, and no points if it doesn’t.   Tape #1: Hulkamania!   Hosted by Vince McMahon, from HOME VIDEO CONTROL, still doing his Howard Cosell cadence. He gives us highlights of the tape, which I don’t really like because I preferred the “What’s coming next?” surprises of the tapes. WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Greg Valentine From the Spectrum in August 84, featuring Hulk’s NWA National title variation on the belt. The Philly crowd is just JACKED for Hogan. Hogan quickly slugs Valentine into a Flair Flop and this is unfortunately edited, as we cut to the heat segment on Hogan. Valentine works on the knee with an indian deathlock and rams a chair into it, but Hulk does a primitive version of the Hulk Up and hits him with the axe bomber. Suplex from the apron and Hulk adds an atomic drop, as his comeback goes much longer than it would in later years. Valentine catches him with his head down and drops elbows, and we’re clipped again to another heat segment on Hogan. Hammer goes up and gets slammed off, but Hulk’s knee gives out and Greg goes back to work on it. Hulk escapes the figure-four, drops the leg, and we’re done at 8:29. Good start to the tape. 1 for 1. $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge: Hulk Hogan v. Big John Studd This is also a title match, but if Hogan slams him, he gets the money as well. EVERYTHING’S COMING UP HOGAN. From December 84 in New Jersey. The egregious music editing during the intros would seem to indicate that “Eye of the Tiger” was still Hulk’s theme. Welcome to 1984: Some dude in the front row has a Kodak 110 camera with about 18 flash cubes stacked on top. Good times. They fight over the slam and Hulk slugs away and hits the big boot, but can’t get the slam. Clothesline and another try, but Studd clubbers his way out of it. Hulk keeps coming with the corner clothesline and ALMOST gets it, but Studd grabs the ropes and they brawl outside. So Hulk starts bleeding and Studd beats on him outside, and then back in for LUCHA STUDD off the top with the CLUBBING FOREARM OF DEATH. Back elbow gets two. Studd slams him and sadly can’t collect $15,000 off it. Back to the floor as Studd keeps beating on him, but Hulk makes the comeback and slams Studd out there. Gorilla notes it wasn’t in the ring, so he doesn’t get the money, but the match is over at 8:00 for some other reason, which turns out to be Studd getting counted out. How do you book a screwjob in a bodyslam challenge? 1 for 2. Hulk Hogan makes his PYTHON POWDER SMOOTHIE for Vince and Lord Alfred on TNT. OH MY FUCKING GOD, why didn’t someone show this to the feds before they started prosecuting?!? Hogan adding the “magic powder” to make them stronger should have locked both guys up for 20 years. And then he pulls out a BAGGIE filled with packages of PILLS! Hulk notes that he eats one of these pills every day and doesn’t need any other painkillers, and if you’re looking small in the gym, they’ll help you get bigger. The secret ingredient: Kryptonite. Is that the street name, I wonder? BEST SEGMENT EVER. 2 for 3. WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Dr. D David Schultz From Minneapolis, sometime in 1984 you’d presume as a giant “Fuck you” to Verne Gagne, and Hulk has the rare powder blue tights. Schultz lays him out and chokes him down with his headband, which gets two. Dr. D pounds away in the corner and Hulk bails to the floor, where D adds a chairshot that busts Hulk open. Back in, Schultz drops the flying elbow, but he chooses not to cover, and that gives Hulk time make the comeback. Axe bomber and an elbowdrop gets two, but Hulk picks him up and decides to beat the shit out of him some more. Legdrop gets two, but he wants more. So they head to the floor and Hogan, SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR, runs the already beaten Schultz into the post to bust him open. BE A STAR, jerk. Back in with Schultz making a comeback and going up, but the flying elbow misses this time. Hulk levels him with a lariat to finish at 9:00. Schultz lays him out and steals the WWF title, and that of course is the only thing Hulk cares about, so he takes it back and chases him off. Does petty revenge make you feel better, Hulk? This all set up the super-duper-rare Hulk Hogan & John Stossell v. Dr. D & Richard Belzer tag match that I don’t think has ever been featured on DVD yet. I think Hogan won that one with a facelock. 3 for 4. WWF World title, cage match: Hulk Hogan v. Big John Studd Back to April 84 now for some reason, even though the dubbed Gorilla commentary tries to sell it as the rematch from earlier in the tape. Hulk still has the ugly green belt here that he originally won from Shieky baby. Studd quickly drops an elbow and tries to walk out, but it turns out that it’s just VERY edited because Hulk is bleeding all over the place and we’re obviously late into the match. Cut to double juice and Studd dropping the clubbing forearm off the middle rope. They fight at the door and Hulk keeps him from leaving, and they slug it out. Studd goes down and Hulk drops the leg, but can’t crawl out the door. So Hulk kicks Studd in the face and crawls out on his belly like the coward he is at 5:48. 3 for 5. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon interviews Hulk about how he got into the sport and he manages to lie about EVERYTHING even in this short bit. 3 for 6. WWF World title: Iron Sheik v. Hulk Hogan And of course we finish with this one, which we’ve covered a million times, as Hogan wins in 5:00 with the legdrop and kicks off four years of our national nightmare. 4 for 7, since it changed the course of history and all. This one barely passes, but the Python Powder segment is a must-watch, especially if you’re a federal agent looking for evidence against Hogan and Vince. Tape #2: The Best of the WWF Volume 1 Hosted by Vince McMahon. Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch From New Jersey in 1984, and this is quite the tag match. Adonis and Murdoch were the tag champions at this point and I’m not even sure what the setup for this would be. Adonis starts on Hogan’s arm and gets caught in the babyface corner, but Hulk gets double-teamed in return. We’re clipped to Studd and Andre, and then over to Hulk beating on Adonis. Andre REALLY beats on him as Adonis bumps all over the ring, and then Andre traps all three heels in the corner and beats on them at the same time! Finally Andre puts his head down and Studd puts him down, and Andre is YOUR giant-in-peril. Murdoch goes up with a knee from the top and pounds away, then uses the tag rope to choke Andre down. Murdoch slugs away, but Andre chokes him right back and brings Hogan in to clean house. Murdoch catches him with an elbow and we’re clipped to Adonis dropping knees on Hogan and Studd holding a facelock. Hogan fights out and it’s hot tag Andre, as kicks everyone’s ass. The heels all bail and Studd runs for the dressing room while the tag champs double-team Hogan and get nowhere. Hogan no-sells Murdoch’s punches and Andre sits on him to finish at 9:29. Murdoch and Adonis as diabolical heels is always fun, and Andre kicking the crap out of people will never ever get old. 1 for 1. WWF Women’s title: The Fabulous Moolah v. Wendi Richter This would be from the Bout To Knock The Other Guy Out, of course. Moolah attacks and chases Richter to the floor, and we’re clipped to Moolah getting the heat on Wendi. This was a pretty short match and even then they had to edit it down to something watchable. Richter ties her up in the ropes and we’re clipped again to Cyndi Lauper getting a cheapshot on Moolah. Richter gets a dropkick for two and a suplex for two, and we’re clipped again to Moolah hitting a backdrop for two. Clipped again to Moolah rolling her up for the apparent pin, but Richter gets the shoulder up and wins the title at 4:00 aired. Terrible on every level. 1 for 2. Gorilla Monsoon v. Baron Mikel Scicluna This is famous for other reasons, as Muhammad Ali is at ringside watching. The Baron attacks and gets nowhere, as a chop from Gorilla puts him on the floor, prompting Ali to get all riled up and throw challenges at Monsoon. So he comes into the ring and wants a boxing match, but Gorilla grabs him in an airplane spin to send him fleeing. This sets up the famous promo from Gorilla, where he declares that Ali “doesn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch”. Crazy stuff. Can you imagine Floyd Mayweather or Anderson Silva going on national TV and being made to look like a fool now? 2 for 3. Jimmy Snuka v. Bobby Bass Another TV match, as Snuka squashes this guy and finishes with the Superfly splash. 2 for 4. Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka. Piper’s racism aside, this remains a classic. Best moment: After calling Snuka a “monkey who lives in the trees” and pelting him with bananas, Snuka asks “Are you making fun of me?” No wonder Piper cracked him on the head with the coconut. 3 for 5. Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Jimmy Snuka So yeah, this one tore up the house show circuit for a while. Snuka of course attacks him right away as Piper bumps all over, but a poke to the eyes turns the tide. Snuka fights back with a sleeper and Piper takes him to the floor to break, so Snuka RAMS him into the post. Piper is crazy to take the bump so hard. Back in, Piper is bleeding and Snuka goes nuts with rage. He goes up to finish, but Piper trips him up and he bumps to the floor for a countout at 5:51. 4 for 6. WWF Junior Heavyweight title: The Cobra v. Black Tiger The title is being held in abeyance at this point. Black Tiger is Mark Rocco, not Eddie Guerrero, of course. Cobra puts him down with a spinkick and a gut wrench suplex for two, and they have a stalemate. Cobra pounds the back and hits a gutbuster into a Boston crab, and then hooks Tiger with a bow and arrow. Clipped to Cobra dropkicking the Tiger out of the ring and then slamming him back into the ring, but Tiger comes back via the magic of editing with a clothesline for two. Clipped again to Cobra hitting a leg lariat for two and dropkicking Tiger out of the ring, then following a SUICIDE DIVE. In 1984! Black Tiger comes back in with a floatover suplex for two and a TOMBSTONE for two! Another one is reversed by Cobra and he goes up with a top rope senton to finish at 7:00. Holy cow, what a finish! The title went back to Japan with Cobra and never returned that I know of. 5 for 7. Hulk Hogan arrives at Mean Gene’s house to train him for their tag match, and Gene is smoking a cigar while drinking coffee and eating a pancake breakfast. They go on a run and Gene tries to stop for a beer and sausage, to no avail. Gene’s commitment to the gag earns a point by itself. I nearly deduct the point for the visual of Gene carrying Hogan on his back while grunting in pain, but I’m nothing if not generous. 6 for 8. Hulk Hogan & Mean Gene Okerlund v. Mr. Fuji & George Steele We’ve covered this one a bunch as well, and it’s a famously silly match from Minneapolis with Hogan beating both heels by himself and putting Gene on top of Fuji for the pin. Just harmless fun. 6 for 9. Bruno Sammartino v. Larry Zbyszko This would be the complete opposite of harmless fun, as this is a “scientific exhibition” between teacher and student that kicked off a violent feud. They fight over a waistlock and Bruno gets the best of that, but Larry gets a hiptoss for two. Bruno takes him down with a drop toehold and Larry is getting flustered and slams Bruno for two. Bruno slams him right back and Larry’s rage is building. He tries the abdominal stretch and Bruno quickly throws him away. Larry with another slam for two and he goes to a half-crab, but Bruno escapes that as well. Criss cross and Bruno hiptosses him, and now Larry gets so worked up that he walks right into a bearhug. Bruno quickly breaks out of sportsmanship, which only makes it worse. Larry bumps to the floor and Bruno holds the ropes open, so Larry BLINDSIDES him and absolutely destroys him to take out his frustrations. This results in a DQ at 9:24, and Bruno eats a chairshot and bleeds all over. What a great storyline and payoff. And Zbyszko STILL won’t shut up about it to this day. 7 for 10. Cage match: Bruno Sammartino v. Larry Zbyszko So we finish the tape with this classic from Shea Stadium. Bruno attacks and chokes him out in the corner to start, then sends him into the cage all over the place and rakes his face into it. Larry goes low and stomps him down, but can’t make it out of the cage, so he rams Bruno into it a few times and tries to climb out. Bruno yanks him down and they slug it out, which goes Bruno’s way. He rams Larry into the cage, but he tries to climb out again and Bruno slams him off the top again. Larry eats the cage a few more times and Bruno chokes him out in the corner, but Larry slugs him down and pounds away in the corner. Larry manages to tear open a gash in Bruno’s arm and he tries to walk out, but Bruno yanks him back in again and sends him into the cage. Into the post and Larry does the obligatory blade, so Bruno sends him into the cage a few more times to really give the fans their money’s worth. He kicks Larry in the head one more time, wipes his sweat onto him, and then walks out to win. Just a total fight from start to finish. 8 for 11. Hell of a collection here. The Pulse I’d give both a pretty solid recommendation, actually. The later Hogan tapes would get pretty insufferable once it turned into the “Hogan v. big fat heel” formula over and over, but this was a nice mixture of stuff, as was the Best of the WWF debut.

PPV v. Coliseum

Hey, I got a question for your Blog of Doom.
When it comes to live pay per views and Coliseum Home Video releases back in the 80s and 90s, when has there ever been an occasion where the Coliseum release was better than the live edition and vice versa?
Also, when it comes to the 1994 King of the Ring, which edition is better, live or Coliseum?

There was no polishing that turd, regardless of media. There wasn’t a lot of dramatic changes between live and Coliseum that I can remember, although a big one was Wrestlemania V.  The original show was a 4-hour borefest, whereas the Coliseum release cut down almost all the matches to a more manageable length.  Once they got the PPV shows down to a 2:40 constant length, there was no longer a need to edit things down as much any more. 

PPV v. Coliseum

Hey, I got a question for your Blog of Doom.
When it comes to live pay per views and Coliseum Home Video releases back in the 80s and 90s, when has there ever been an occasion where the Coliseum release was better than the live edition and vice versa?
Also, when it comes to the 1994 King of the Ring, which edition is better, live or Coliseum?

There was no polishing that turd, regardless of media. There wasn’t a lot of dramatic changes between live and Coliseum that I can remember, although a big one was Wrestlemania V.  The original show was a 4-hour borefest, whereas the Coliseum release cut down almost all the matches to a more manageable length.  Once they got the PPV shows down to a 2:40 constant length, there was no longer a need to edit things down as much any more.