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WWF Coliseum Video: Andre the Giant (1985)
by Scrooge McSuck

- Itís been quite a while since Iíve pumped out a review of a wrestling show, tape, whatever the case may be, so Iím a little rusty in this little ďintroductionĒ scenario. Iím mainly going to dive into my collection of tapes of Coliseum Videos, and work my way up from the oldest to the last ones released, and since this is the earliest one in my possession, Andre The Giant gets the honor of going first. Other than the first release, Coliseum Video was mainly pumping out tapes based on particular superstars at this point, Andre, Hogan, and Piper to name a few. Some have hidden gems on them, some donít. Since quality of matches for these tapes is rather weak, Iíll be scoring wether or not a match is worth a damn to tally up at the end.

- The host for this tape is everyoneís favorite British bastard, Lord Alfred Hayes. He does a LOT of narrating on this tape, so I hope everyone enjoys his voice. He goes on and on about Andreís background and some minor trivia about his personal life, rather weird for a time where kayfabe was never broken.

Andre The Giant vs. Moondog Rex:
From the Philadelphia Spectrum, probably around 1982-83. Lord Alfred does voice-over for the entire match, but on the plus side, itís a fairly short match. Andre pretty much squashes the Moondog with little trouble, finishing him off with a big boot and splash combination at 1:50. Andre mustíve been feeling limber still at this point, because he manages to hop over the top rope, to the floor, a la the Rockers would. Weird. Bad match, no significant importance, so this gets zero points. [0/1]

18-Man Battle Royale:
(Participants: Sgt. Slaughter, Adrian Adonis, Dick Murdoch, Big John Studd, Jimmy Snuka, Andre The Giant, Pat Patterson, Hulk Hogan, Salvatore Bellomo, Paul Orndorff, Tiger Chung-Lee, The Iron Shiek, Mil Mascaras, Tito Santana, Alexis Smirnoff)

No idea where this match was taped from, but judging by the roster, itís probably from 1984, and Iíd make a stab at it and guess it might be from the Midwest, possibly St. Louis. The star power of the match is pretty good, but a Battle Royale is a Battle Royale, and back then, they werenít intended to be very good. Just take one guess who wins this thing. Hereís a hint: Heís the feature of the tape. He had to fend off both Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch to pull out the victory. No points for this one, either. [0/2]

Andre The Giant vs. Black Gordman & The Great Goliath:
Ugh, weíre going to get worse before we get any better. This looks to be from the mid 70ís, and I donít think it was even a WWF show. Lord Alfred explains that promoters would put Andre in handicap matches to make his matches seem more competitive. Yeah, whatever. Heís fighting TWO scrubs instead of one semi-important superstar. This match goes on for way too long for my liking, but Andre works in some double-effort punishment on both guys. Andre wins of course, the time being just about 7:00, and it didnít even take too much out of him. Iím begging for a match to last a while or to be somewhat good, at this point, cause weíve had nothing but stinkers so far. [0/3]

Andre The Giant vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Rodz, Joe Butcher Nova:
Another handicap match, and this time, itís Three-on-One! Oh, the humanity. From the late 70ís, probably, and along the same lines as the last match on this tape, except now Andre has to swat away three pieces of crap instead of two. Oh wait, Johnny Rodz is a WWE Hall of FamerÖ two pieces of crap and one ďwho the hell is he to be in the Hall of FameĒ guy. Long and boring match, as Andre allows his meat to get some offense in on him before taking over for good and pulling out another victory. What a surprise. Oh, and yes, this match is a piece of crap, too. [0/4]

Andre The Giant vs. Gorilla Monsoon:
From the Late 70ís, and itís a BOXING Match. Donít ask me why, I donít know. I think this was held at Roberto Clemente Stadium in Puerto Rico, but Iím not 100% sure. I think there was a rain storm during the show this is from, a non-surprise for WWFís trips to Puerto Rico back in the day. A laughably bad match, as the ďboxingĒ efforts of both men make me want to throw up. Monsoon cheats like crazy, to the point Iím begging to see Roddy Piper and Mr. T go at it for a few more rounds at WrestleMania 2. This goes on for a long time, with no end in site, until Andre ďknocks outĒ Monsoon in what I think was Round 6. After the ďmatchĒ, Monsoon does a flop onto a tarp covered in water from the rain storm. Horrible match. Iíd take away points, but you canít take something away from nothing. [0/5]

Andre The Giant & Jimmy Snuka vs. The Wild Samoans:
Woah, damn, this might have a chance. From Madison Square Garden, circa 1983. Donít know why this match was put together, but I guess Snuka had issues with Captain Lou Albano, the Samoans manager, at the time, and Andre was a good partner to pick, since he never loses. Iíve always had a minor liking for the Samoans, but damn does that gimmick/character get old fast, especially as the years went on. Decent match that goes back and forth, but nothing spectacular. The good guys rally late with some double team action, finishing off Sika with a big boot and Superfly splash combination at 12:51. Oh well, it was semi-decent, so Iíll be generous and give this one some percentage points, but this tape needs a lot of help to be saved from the trash pile. [0.5/6]

Andre The Giant vs. The Masked Superstar:
Again from Madison Square Garden, I think February of 1984. The Masked Superstar is Bill Eadie, best known as Ax of Demolition. Unfairly this match is on here, as itís butchered to show bits of Andre clowning around on Tuesday Night Titans (TNT for short, the late night WWF ďtalk showĒ that proceeded PrimeTime Wrestling.) The match as a whole is good enough for half a point, but itís butchered here and there to the point itís just fast forward material. Andre wins again, with a boot to the face and a splash. Well, this tape is coming to an end, at least. [0.5/7]

Andre The Giant & S.D. Jones vs. Big John Studd & Ken Patera (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Interesting matchÖ from WWF television, Winter of 84-85, I believe, and famous for what happens after the match. Why Andre picked Special Delivery Jones as his partner is beyond me, but thatís why heís the 8th Wonder of the World, and Iím not. Short, nothing match as the faces control until Jones gets dumped out of the ring and the duo of Studd and Patera double team Andre. Heenan helps out, kicking Jones while heís down. What a worthless partner. After some beatings to Andre, the Heenan Family cut off Andreís signature afro, all while Vince McMahon is screaming ďHeís being RAPEDÖ of his dignity.Ē Iím giving this a point for itís historical significance and occasional chuckle factor from McMahon. [1.5/8]

Andre The Giant vs. Ken Patera (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Back to Madison Square Garden, I think in January of í85. This is labeled ďthe Giantís RevengeĒ, according to Lord Alfred Hayes. Patera does a lot of stalling outside of the ring, and rightfully so, so Andre has to pull him back in the ring to be a man. Average match, with no real meat to it, but not entirely bad either. Cheap finish though, as Heenan jumps into the ring to help Patera, but that of course backfires. Andre ends up sending both men packing, winning the match via Disqualification. Some revenge Andre got, eh? Almost done with this tapeÖ [1.5/9]

Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Some finale to the tape. Recycled from WrestleMania (1), itís the $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge. If Andre slams Studd, he gets the money, if Studd slams Andre or Andre canít slam Studd within the time limit (20 minutes), Andre must retire. Yeah, cause retirement stipulations always are concrete. Horribly dull match, as Andre works through most of the match with bear hugs and the like, basically treating Studd as a Jobber. Andre cleanly scoops and slams Studd for the victory at 5:53, but Heenan, the weasel he is, steals back the money as Andre tosses a handful of ones into the crowd. Another bad match, but it has historical significance, so a generous half point goes to this [2/10]

Final Thoughts: 2 out of 10? Sounds like a stinker, since one point is two generous scorings, and the other isnít because a match is good, just important for nostalgia purposes. I liked Andre, but not enough to sit through and enjoy a 90-minute tape dedicated entirely to him. Definite Recommendation to Avoid. You can find better shows and tapes with Andre on them around.

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