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Coliseum Video Presents: The Best of the WWF Vol. X

by Scrooge McSuck

Roddy Piper

Released in early 1987 based on some of the selections, with "Mean" Gene Okerlund hosting from the WWF control room. For the 10th edition of the "Best of" series, you would think this would be a bigger deal, but it's the most boring introduction I've seen for the series in a while.

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Junkyard Dog, and The Haiti Kid vs. Hoss & Jimmy Jack Funk and Jimmy Hart:

Taped on April 26th, 1986 from the Boston Garden. I'm surprised some comedian didn't call this a 5 ½ Man Tag because of the midget. Terry Funk was originally advertised, but he decided he was done with the WWF after WrestleMania 2, so we've got "Jimmy Jack Funk", their crazy cousin who wears a lone ranger mask (reports that it was repurposed for the Repo Man are unconfirmed, though it would make sense). The involvement of Hart and Haiti Kid automatically tips off that this will be mostly a comedy match, so strap in. My theory is proven correct as we open with the babyfaces clowning around with Jimmy Jack's cowboy hat. Steamboat finds himself caught in the corner and fights off the Funk "cousins" while Jimmy hides. Steamboat with slams and JYD with his signature headbutts to clear the ring. Hart finds himself in trouble, but is pulled to safety. JYD launches Haiti Kid onto Jimmy Jack for a near-fall. I'm not a J.J. fan, but he's getting the geek treatment of a lifetime, 4-minutes of ring time and zero significant offense. "Hoss" (Dory Jr) tags in and gets bitten by the Haiti Kid. ON HIS RUMP. Steamboat cleans house again as we cut ahead in the action with Jimmy Jack taking Steamboat's head off with a big clothesline. FINALLY. Hoss throws some brutal forearm uppercuts for a two-count. Steamboat counters a piledriver and takes Hoss over with a suplex. Jimmy Jack cuts him off and hits a running high knee, but only gets a one-count. JYD with the hot tag, running wild on Jimmy Jack. I've never seen someone run the ropes so slow, AND I DON'T MEAN JYD. Russian leg sweep from the Dog gets a two-count. We get a clothesline double-down and Jimmy Hart makes the save on a pin attempt. Jimmy Jack puts JYD Down, and now Jimmy wants in. He gives some weak shots to JYD, who justifiably no-sells all of it. Hart gets sent to the ropes with an atomic drop and here comes the Haiti Kid! It's a pier-six brawl with Haiti chasing Hart around the ring. Hoss whacks JYD with the megaphone, then plants Haiti Kid with a slam, allowing Hart to pin the midget at 11:45 (shown). For those keeping score, Jimmy Hart has TWO victories recorded across back-to-back releases in the "Best of the WWF" series. Nothing terrible here, but the comedy depends on your tastes. **

Tito Santana vs. Bob Orton:

Taped on August 9th, 1986 from the Boston Garden. Someone in the home video department must've been a bit of a geek to include random matches like this from time to time, knowing that it will be a banger (is that still a term in 2024?) even if it means nothing to the general public. Orton has his pink cowboy hat, which means we're in that period where he was the muscle for "Adorable" Adrian Adonis. They feel each other out and lockup into the ropes for a clean break. Orton teases a lockup and captures Santana with a drop toe hold. We cut ahead in the action with Orton burying a knee into the midsection and dropping a forearm across the back of the head. Whip to the corner is reversed and Santana connects with a clothesline for two. Santana with an arm drag into the arm bar, but Orton is able to get to the ropes and takes a powder. We cut ahead again, with Orton taking Santana out of the corner with a hip toss and taking him down with a head-scissors. I'm assuming he held this for a while, because we cut again, and the hold is still applied. Orton with another throw across the ring, but this time the head-scissors misses and he straddles the ropes instead. Santana unloads with rights, sending Orton not only taking a big bump over the ropes, but over the ringside barricade as well! Santana brings the fight to the floor and sends Orton back in the ring, hooking a roll-over cradle for a two-count. Orton escapes an arm bar and unloads with rights and lefts. Whip and Santana with a back-slide for two.

Orton escapes a wrist-lock with an inverted atomic drop. He misses a charge to the corner, smacking his shoulder on the post. Poor Orton is going to need to put a cast on that wrist the way Santana is working on it. Orton with a cheap shot and handful of tights, sending Santana to the parquet floor. Orton follows, sending Santana crashing through the barricade. What motivated these guys to go so hard for a mid-level match in the Summer in a building that probably doesn't have good (or any) AC? Back inside, Orton drops Santana's midsection across the top rope. Santana escapes a chin-lock with an atomic drop (complete with another edit to trim down the length of the hold). Santana escapes another hold, pounding away at the midsection. He blocks a boot from Orton, spins him around and goes to work on the leg. Could he be setting him up for the Figure-Four? Spoilers: Yes. Figure-Four is applied but Orton quickly gets to the ropes to force the break. They get down and dirty, jockeying for position with handfuls of hair. It turns into a slugfest at center ring, with Santana getting the better of the exchange, and suddenly the bell rings at 16:55. They keep going at it, with the referee getting bumped during the brawl. The result: a 30-minute draw. Yes, they trimmed this down from HALF-AN-HOUR. I won't bother with stars, but this was a nice taste of a match that, in full, is flirting with 4-star territory (it's been years since I've watched it, but I remember enjoying it). There's still enough to enjoy here, but the constant edits can be a bit annoying.

The Machines vs. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby Heenan):

Taped on September 6th, 1986 from the Boston Garden. What is this, the Boston Garden tribute tape? We've got Super and Big Machine, a.k.a. Bill Eadie (Masked Superstar and Ax of Demolition) and Blackjack Mulligan (a.k.a. Barry Windham's papa). No "Giant" Machine or Capt. Lou Albano at ringside, so you know the team is doomed. Bundy with a bum rush that fails and the Machines botch a double-slam. We're off to a great start. Big Machine (Mulligan) picks up and plants Studd ("that's $15,000 right there!") and I'm guessing since this wasn't a sanctioned challenge, he won't pay out. Super Machine (Eadie) gets caught on the wrong side of town and worked over in the corner. Super comes back with a series of clotheslines, taking Studd off his feet. Big Machine and Bundy meet in the middle with a shoulder block and neither man moves. Bundy reverses a whip to the corner, but the avalanche misses. Big Machine and Studd trade blows. When you have two teams of big guys just trading blows over and over, it gets old. Super Machine with more clubbing and elbows before Studd cuts him off with an elbow. See? We get heel miscommunication, leading to an exchange of words between partners while the Machines stand around like geeks. Studd and Bundy hash it out until the next night when they do the spot again. Studd and Bundy take turns working Super Machine with the usual. Bundy misses an elbow drop, allowing Big Machine to tag in and unload with more clubbing strikes. Whip and Big Machine with a diving elbow on Studd, but before the count is made, Heenan hops in for the cheap Disqualification at 9:07. They go for the mask, but Super Machine has them running off. 9-minutes of clubbing. Could've been worse. *

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake (c) vs. Mike Rotundo & Danny Spivey:

Taped on November 11th, 1985 from... the BOSTON GARDEN. Hold on, one second... all but TWO matches on this tape are from Boston! I don't know why they're digging deep for this one, with the intro acknowledging this is from back when Valentine and Beefcake were Champions. Probably a match cut at the last minute, like that Hogan/Piper vs. Orndorff/Orton match we were teased at the end of "Best of the WWF Volume 9". We're JIP (early in the match) with Rotundo hitting Valentine with a dropkick. Valentine hooks the arm and tags in Beefcake. Rotundo flips through a wrist-lock and hits Beefcake with a mule kick. Rotundo reverses a whip to the corner and rattles Beefcake with a jumping forearm. Rotundo and Spivey make the illegal switch on the hammer-lock. What is with those furry boots on Spivey?! Valentine tags in but the referee plays dumb and forces him out, to the point Monsoon and Alfred are like "buddy, how did you miss that?". Rotundo brings Valentine in from the apron with a suplex but misses an elbow. Spivey gets lured into the ring, allowing the self-proclaimed Dream Team to dump Rotundo over the top rope. Back inside, Beefcake with a snap mare and forearms dropped across the chest for a near-fall. Beefcake hops on Rotundo's back with a sleeper, but Rotundo launches him into the turnbuckle to break the hold. Valentine cuts off the tag and drops Rotundo throat-first across the top rope. Rotundo fights back with forearms and takes Valentine over with a suplex. Spivey with the hot tag, running wild with left hands. He sends Valentine from one corner to the other and connects with a dropkick. Rotundo with his signature airplane spin but Beefcake saves. Spivey and Beefcake with a clothesline double-down. Spivey ducks a right hand and rolls Beefcake up, but Beefcake counters and sits on top for the three-count at 11:33. Not even a handful of tights? I'm surprised. Not much here, with Spivey and Rotundo in the early days of their team and having no tag team chemistry. *½

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant):

Taped on July 12th, 1986 from Madison Square Garden. We're AN HOUR into this tape and we finally left Boston. Also, who thought this tape needed TWO Beefcake matches? Valiant trolls Haynes about his hat, allowing Beefcake to get the jump with the softest high knee I've ever seen in my life. As I type that, Beefcake scoops Haynes up and seems unsure what to do before settling for a sloppy backbreaker. Get me out of this nightmare. Haynes reverses a whip to the corner, but Beefcake remains in control. Beefcake misses a fist drop from the middle turnbuckle and gets taken over with a sunset flip for a two-count. Haynes blocks a suplex and counters with his own, but once again Beefcake is on offense. There's no structure to this match, it's just Beefcake doing stuff when he feels like it. BEEFCAKE is gobbling someone up. I can tell you right now this is not a good match. Whip and Beefcake with a clothesline for two. Haynes ducks under a second clothesline and hits his own. Haynes finally strings together some offense as he desperately plays to the crowd. Haynes with a slam and leg drop, followed by a flying whatever from the middle turnbuckle. Valiant hooks Haynes' ankle from the outside and that's a Disqualification at 6:26. What a great finish. They did some stuff, and that's the best I can say about this one. ½*

The Islanders vs. Jimmy Jack Funk & Mr. X:

Taped on October 4th, 1986 from the Boston Garden. I don't know if Haku and Tama had the team name at the time of the match, but they were definitely known as The Islanders by the time the tape came out, so we're playing by my rules on this one. Mr. X is a masked Danny Davis, and YES, TWO MATCH WITH JIMMY JACK FUNK ON A "BEST OF" TAPE! If that isn't enough, Rita Chatterton is our referee, one of the few times I remember seeing her on these tapes. The arena is DARK, like I've never seen the lighting this dim at the Boston Garden. Tama and X start. Lockup and X gets sent to the canvas. Crisscross and Tama with a big chop. Jimmy Jack comes in and gets planted with a slam. Tama with a dropkick, followed by an arm drag into the arm bar. Haku tags in to work the arm. Funk rakes the eyes to escape but misses a charge to the corner. Haku with a back breaker on Mr. X for a two-count. You know a match is boring when Monsoon talks about ring gear colors from his era. Yet another match of just "stuff happens" without much rhyme or reason. Tama is in trouble for the first time, almost SEVEN MINUTES IN. Jimmy Jack with a back breaker for two. Mr. X with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Funk with a shoulder breaker and flying fist drop for two. Swinging neck breaker for another two-count. Tama blocks a second attempt and takes Funk over with a suplex. The referee misses the tag, but Tama is able to wipe out Funk and Haku gets the REAL hot tag moments later. He runs wild on Mr. X with chops. Haku muscles him over with a suplex and Tama finishes with a big splash at 12:16. The victory announcement actually answers my first question: They are known as the Islanders. Good to know. This was prelim wrestling at its most average. BEST OF THE WWF, INDEED. *

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. A.J. Petrucci:

Taped on August 5th, 1986 from Poughkeepsie, NY for "Championship Wrestling." This section of the tape covers "The Return of Rowdy Roddy Piper", with a whopping 18-minutes left of tape time. Petrucci with slaps to open up the contest. Piper tucks his left hand in the back of his trunks and proceeds to beat the crap out of Petrucci with the self-imposed handicap. The crowd is HOT for Piper as he sends Petrucci crashing into the ringside table. Petrucci offers some desperation blows, but Piper cuts him off and keeps dishing out the (literal) one-handed punishment. Whip to the ropes, Piper hits a double axe-handle to the face, tucks the hand back in the tights, and covers with one foot for the three-count at 2:26. When squash matches make it to these tapes, there better be a good reason. This one had that good reason.

We recap some of Roddy Piper's history with Adrian Adonis, including the assault on the set of Piper's Pit where Adonis, the Magnificent Muraco, and Bob Orton did a number on Piper, followed by Piper returning to the set of the Flower Shop and destroying it with a baseball bad. From there, we get highlights of another Piper's Pit that involved Adonis, and finally highlights of a pull-apart brawl between the two from syndicated TV. All this footage was used from the weekend syndication "Year in Review" shows.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. The Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji):

Taped on November 1st, 1986 from the Boston Garden, and the final match of the tape. With Adrian Adonis briefly terminated, Muraco and Orton were thrown in as Piper's regular house show opponents before he was brought back to the company about six weeks later, and you could argue this is Muraco's last hurrah as a heel in the company. Piper wraps the kilt around Muraco's head and unloads with right hands. Piper thumbs the eyes and sends Muraco flying with a dropkick. He continues to dish out the punishment, ramming Muraco into a set of ringside chairs. Muraco does the teeter-totter sell in the ropes and gets planted with a running bulldog. The referee unjustly interferes in the corner, allowing Muraco to nail a defenseless Piper. He gets dumped to the floor, where Fuji greets him with shots from the cane. Piper gets sent to the post, and we even get a rare broadcast replay of the spot. A busted Roddy Piper scrambles into the ring and unloads with right hands. Now Muraco is showing color. Piper with a big suplex for a two-count. He tries to bring Muraco in from the apron with a slam, but Fuji pokes him with the cane. We get heel miscommunication and Piper rolls up Muraco for three at 7:24. Perfectly fine brawl, but I've seen much better under the same circumstances from both. **½

Coming soon from Coliseum Video: The Best of the WWF Volume 11 (including Hillbilly Jim vs. Mr. Fuji in a "rare" Tuxedo Match!), a tape dedicated to the Junkyard Dog (featuring JYD and Andre vs Terry & Hoss Funk and Jimmy Hart) that ended up scrapped and replaced by a tape for the Hart Foundation, and the History of the Inter-Continental Title (with highlights of a match between Pedro Morales and Magnificent Muraco).

Final Thoughts: Quite the unusual lineup for a "Best of" release, with some odd choices including a handful of matches that not only fail to deliver as decent wrestling matches, but weren't a window into what was going on at the time. Why the year-old match with Rotundo and Spivey challenging for the Tag Titles? Why that Islanders match against two prelim guys? It feels like a tape that had bigger plans but ended up getting some last-minute changes that ultimately took away some excitement. This isn't anywhere near the list of bad tapes, but there's not much to go out of your way for, either.

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