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Coliseum Video Presents: The Best of the WWF Vol. VI
by Scrooge McSuck
We're digging into the deep pile of home video releases and what better way to do so than checking in with Coliseum Video's "Best of" series? I won't specify where, but there's a certain ARCHIVE on the INTERNET that features the preservation of a good chunk of Coliseum Video releases, and I'm happy to see there's a ton of content that I don't have in my personal collection to fill the gaps.
Gorilla Monsoon is our host from the production truck. Monsoon says the WWF puts on OVER ONE THOUSAND EVENTS PER YEAR around the world. Sure, and Hulk Hogan worked 400 days one of those years because of flying across the time zones so much (that's a direct quote, not me a jerk pulling stuff out of thin air). The release date for the tape is sometime in the Spring of 1986.
"Leaping" Lanny Poffo vs. Terry Funk:
From the July 13th, 1985 card from Madison Square Garden. As you can see, this isn't so much "THE BEST OF" what was going on, but more of a random collection of matches that is sometimes based on pushed talent, and other times random trips down memory lane with matches pulled deep from the archives. Funk abuses Mel Phillips for being a disgusting pervert. Lockup into the ropes and Funk with a light shove. They lockup again and we get a clean break this time. Funk lands a forearm in the ropes and drives Poffo to the canvas with elbows. Crisscross and Funk hangs back to avoid punishment, giving Poffo a chance to celebrate with a cartwheel. Funk lays into Poffo with chops and a headbutt. Whip is reversed and Funk takes a whacky bump that sees his leg caught in the ropes. Back inside, they battle in a test-of-strength. Funk with a cheap shot and goes for a wristlock, but Poffo quickly counters. Both men take a tumble over the top rope, with Funk in control. Back inside, Poffo counters an atomic drop, sending Funk tumbling through the ropes. Poffo pulls Funk into the ring with a front face-lock. Funk regains control, throwing a series of rights and lefts. He sweeps Poffo out of the corner, but Poffo fights off a spinning toe hold. Poffo flashing the fisticuffs. Funk cuts him off with more headbutts. Whip to the ropes and they smack heads for a double-down. Poffo lands on his feet to avoid going splat on the floor from a suplex. I'm not saying Poffo's selling is bad, but his facial expressions are ridiculous. Funk brings Poffo back in the ring with a delayed suplex for two. Funk with a hangman's neck breaker for two. Poffo surprises Funk with a sunset flip for two, but the bell rings by mistake. Poffo throws a series of rights in the corner. Whip across the ring and Funk gets flipped onto the ropes and kicked to the floor. Poffo brings Funk back in with a snap mare and plants him in the corner with a slam. Poffo with a moonsault for a two-count. Funk gets the better of a slugfest. Whip is reversed into the corner and Poffo takes him over with a hurricanrana for two. Funk catches Poffo off the ropes with a sleeper. Poffo fights to his feet, but Funk yanks him down with the tights and Poffo is finally ruled out at 13:06. Post-match, Funk gives Lanny the branding treatment. Took a while to get going, but this turned into something fun. **½
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth):
From the December 30th, 1985 card from Madison Square Garden. By the time this tape released, Savage was in the early days of his Intercontinental Championship reign. Monsoon cleverly calls Savage the "Not-so-Macho Man." Savage taunts Hogan with some flexing. Lockup and Hogan shoves Savage across the ring before doing his own posing and blowing a kiss to Elizabeth. OH NO HE DI-INT. Savage grabs a side headlock is bowled over with a shoulder block. Savage camps out on the floor for a while, testing Hogan's patience. Back inside, Hogan goes for the arm but Savage cuts him off with a rake of the eyes. Savage with a snap mare and jumping knee drop across the throat. Hogan avoids a seated splash, causing Savage to straddle the ropes. Whip to the corner and Hogan follows in with a clothesline. He connects with an atomic drop, sending Savage flying through the ropes. Hogan gives chase, but Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield. Back inside, Hogan catches Savage flying off the top rope and connects with a back breaker. Again, they end up on the floor, with Elizabeth between them. Savage jumps Hogan as soon as they're back in the ring and comes off the top with a double axe-handle for two. Hogan gets dumped to the floor and Savage connects with another double axe-handle. Back inside, Savage covers but Hogan kicks out with authority. He starts no-selling Savage's offense and is back on his feet. Hogan throws a pair of rights and bounces off the ropes with a clothesline. Whip and a big boot send Savage to the floor. Hogan physically moves Elizabeth from his path to pursue Savage. Back inside, Savage counters a back body-drop attempt with a punt to the chest. Savage hits the flying elbow but Hogan kicks out at 2.9. Hogan accidentally wipes out the referee as Savage ducks a clothesline. Savage with a high knee, sending Hogan to the floor AGAIN. Savage grabs the belt and nails Hogan from the top rope. Hogan is busted open somehow. Savage revives the referee and leads him in counting Hogan out at 9:55. Savage celebrates with the belt, but Hogan eventually reclaims his possession. They relied a little heavy on the "exit the ring" aspect, but this was a good time, and the crowd was eating it up. ***¼
Highlights from Tuesday Night Titans. Jesse "The Body" Ventura answers questions from the audience. This segment is dry and dull, which is a surprise considering what an over-the-top character Ventura can be when he's feeling it. This was just 7-minutes of fast forward material.
The Haiti Kid vs. Butch Cassidy:
Another match pulled from December 30th. I'm not the biggest fan of the little person matches, but I'll bite the bullet and give this one the same respect as any other match. Cassidy is wearing an MTV shirt and Monsoon says he's almost too tall to be considered a midget. The WWF made sure to use their shortest referee, too. Haiti Kid chases Cassidy around, sending him to the apron to avoid making contact. Lockup into the ropes and Haiti gives a clean break. Lockup and Haiti Kid with an arm drag. He grabs a side headlock on Cassidy and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Crisscross and Haiti with a scoop slam, followed by a pair of arm drags. Cassidy fights out of an arm bar. Crisscross and Haiti continues to dominate the action. Credit to him throwing a dropkick, but that wasn't good looking. Haiti busts out the spot where he spins his opponent on his head like a top. We get the sequence where the heel kicks out, the referee catches the face, and then he dumps him on the heel to continue the gag until everyone is bickering. Cassidy grabs a waist-lock and wrestles Haiti to the canvas. They lock knuckles, which seems unwise for Haiti considering the size difference. Cassidy controls but Haiti outsmarts him and stomps his hands. Haiti sends Cassidy across the ring via slingshot and lights him up with chops. Cassidy rams Haiti into the turnbuckles, with zero effect. Haiti rocks Cassidy with headbutts (because... no, I'm not calling attention to it) and throws a much better dropkick for a near-fall. Cassidy controls for about 15-seconds, but he's there to be a punching bag. Haiti with a swinging neck breaker that is no sold. Whip and Haiti sells a dropkick like he was blasted with a shotgun. UGLY suplex-slam from Cassidy for two. Reverse shoulder breaker, equally sloppy looking. Haiti is done giving and catches Cassidy off the ropes with an airplane spin. Haiti comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and rolls Cassidy up for three at 10:32. I'm still not a fan of the style, but Haiti Kid knew what he was doing, and there were spots I genuinely liked. **
Ivan Putski vs. "Luscious" Johnny Valiant (w/ Capt. Lou Albano):
From the Archives, the June 16th, 1975 card held at Madison Square Garden. Putski is so ridiculously thick. Putski cuts off the introduction of Lou Albano to scream "POLISH POWERRR!" Valiant takes advantage of Albano's distraction to attack from behind. He unloads with rights and elbows, and I don't expect to see much more from him. Putski starts the no-selling routine and pummels Valiant with clubbing rights and lefts. Again, Valiant attacks from behind, doing more of the same. Putski cuts him off with more right hands. Putski grabs a side headlock and rattles Valiant with more punches. He switches gears, knocking Valiant silly with a headbutt. Valiant offers a handshake in a plea for mercy, but Putski isn't willing to accept the negotiation process. Putski with a hip toss out of the corner, followed by a BAAAAAACK body-drop. Valiant goes to the eyes to cut him off and keeps on punching. Crisscross and Putski with the Polish Hammer to finish things at a brisk 4:30. The crowd LOVED them Polish Power, but this was just punchy-kicky stuff. ½*
We take another trip to the archives of Tuesday Night Titans, as Lord Alfred Hayes is standing by with "Advice to the Lovelorn." You can only imagine how much help Hayes will be for someone in their quest for sexual satisfaction.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Bob Orton Jr.:
From the Capital Center in Landover, MD, taped on July 20th, 1985. We're Joined in Progress, which is always a bummer, especially for a match on home video release. Feeling out process, with Orton bailing out. Lockup, Orton grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Crisscross and Steamboat with a deep arm drag into the arm bar. Whip to the corner and Steamboat follows in with a chop. Steamboat goes back to working the arm, with Orton begging him off. He climbs through the ropes, but Steamboat pulls him in over the top rope. Orton gets to his feet with a kip up, but Steamboat is unimpressed, punishing the left arm some more. Steamboat puts the breaks on a whip to the corner and pulls off another arm drag. Orton escapes the arm bar with a slam, but Steamboat is quick to his feet, planting Orton with a slam of his own and going back to the arm bar. Orton forces a break in the corner and lands a headbutt to the chest. He sends Steamboat across the ring with a hip toss and follows with a head-scissors. Steamboat avoids the second attempt, sending Orton to the floor. Orton grabs a drink from a ringside fan and throws it in Steamboat's face to regain control. That could've been a DQ, but the match continues. Orton gives Steamboat a taste of the canvas and lays him out with a knee lift. Orton grabs a cravat, bringing Steamboat to his knees. Elbow across the throat for a two-count. Steamboat avoids being whacked with the cast but buckles attempting a slam. Orton sweeps Steamboat off his feet with a headlock for a two-count. Steamboat blocks a right hand and unloads with chops. He counters a piledriver and comes off the top rope with a flying body press for a near-fall. Whip and an elbow, followed by a chop to the forehead for two. Orton cuts him off with an inverted atomic drop Steamboat gets dumped, but he skins the cat and sends Orton flying over the top rope with an enzuigiri. Orton rakes the eyes and teases a suplex from the apron, but Steamboat counters, bringing Orton back in the ring. He goes for a splash, but Orton brings up the knees. Orton "adjusts" the cast and climbs the ropes. He clubs Steamboat from the top rope and the referee calls for the Disqualification at 14:04 (shown). Post-match, Steamboat avoids further assault and sends Orton out of the ring. What a weak finish to a great match. ***½
Coming Soon from Coliseum Home Video... The Best of the WWF Vol. 7 (featuring the British Bulldogs vs Hart Foundation), Villains of the Squared Circle, and Bruno Sammartino: Wrestling's Living Legend.
Final Thoughts: If clean finishes are a deal breaker, then this isn't the tape for you. We're light on fresh content, though two matches featured rate highly for the era (Hogan/Savage and Steamboat/Orton). Funk vs. Poffo is fine for what it was, and even the Little Person Battle had its moments. The flashback of Putski vs. Valiant seemed out of place, and the two segments from TNT were really a waste of 15-minutes that could've been dedicated to another match. Mild Thumbs Up.
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