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Coliseum Video: Best of the WWF Vol. 4

by Scrooge McSuck

- Time to keep on rolling! After sitting through that Country Boys tape, I was willing to sit through any other Coliseum Video ever released, knowing it couldn't possibly be as bad as that was. Fair warning, as the next handful of videos in the series will not be reviewed, including the Wrestling Classic (PPV), History of the Tag Team Titles (don't have and don't have the patience to track down every match featured, it's a super sized tape), or the Life and Times of Captain Lou Albano (As if...). But let's go with what we do have, and it's time for the 4th installment of the Best of the WWF Series...

- Our host is Vince McMahon. Let's get to the action...

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:

From the July 13th, 1985 card held at Madison Square Garden, and a direct result of the fall out of WrestleMania. Piper blamed Orndorff for their teams loss in the main event, turning Orndorff babyface in the process, and this was a pretty hot feud. Too bad it never got a proper blowoff. It's the Match of Honor™ according to McMahon's introductions. This crowd is HOT, and I mean hot. The hard camera was nearly rocking from the crowd's explosion. Orndorff avoids a sneak attack and hammers away to the delight of everyone. They spill outside, and Orndorff rams Piper into the rail, then comes back into the ring with a top rope sledge. Orndorff continues pounding away on Piper and rams him face-first into the canvas. Orndorff works the arm with a wristlock and brings Piper to his knees. Piper slaps Orndorff around, which can't be the smartest game plan. Piper rams Orndorff to the buckle, but Orndorff has a death grip on the wrist and takes Piper down with it. Whip to the corner, and Piper with a knee to the face, followed by a clothesline. Piper drives a knee into the face, then goes to the throat. Irish whip, and Orndorff surprises Piper with a back slide for a two count. Piper is up fast, shows two fingers to Orndorff, and jams him in the eyes, just to be an asshole. Piper puts the boots to Orndorff, knocking him out of the ring, in the process. Piper follows out and rams Orndorff into the ring post. Orndorff comes back in the ring with a desperation blow, but Piper slaps on a front facelock to hault his attempt at gaining the momentum. Piper gradually turns it into a choke, so Orndorff punches his way out. Piper quickly takes him down again with a side headlock. Orndorff counters with a head scissors, but Piper floats over into a pin for a two count. Orndorff bridges up, but it takes a few attempts, and back slides Piper into the ropes. They slug it out in the corner, with Orndorff gaining the upper hand. Orndorff with some stiff rights to the side of the head, followed by an elbow drop. Orndorff hits the ropes, but a cross body sees both men spill over the top rope, to the floor. Orndorff pulls Piper onto the apron by his hair and slams him head first into the canvas, over and over again. Orndorff pulls Piper in over the top rope, then drops him onto his face. Piper sells it like he's having a seizure. Orndorff heads to the top rope, but Bob Orton hits the ring and tosses him off, drawing the Disqualification at 8:30. Orndorff fights Orton off until the numbers game catches up and he gets bopped with the cast. They do a beat-down on him until the save is made by the unlikely heroes in the form of the British Bulldogs. Odd. ***1/4 Really good fight, up until the predictable non-finish we should be used to witnessing by now. I really would've loved to see a big blow-off match between these two, especially after seeing this sample of what they could do with each other.

Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) & Jimmy Snuka vs. Bob Orton & The Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji):

From the May 18th, 1985 card held at Boston Garden. I seem to recall Hogan working the house show circuit with Muraco at this point, which seems a little odd since he was probably, at best, the third most prominent heel in the company at this point, but Piper had a well-established feud going with Orndorff, and Greg Valentine (Intercontinental Champion) was doing his thing with Tito Santana, so Muraco gets the call. I didn't know Snuka was still creeping around. I figured he was gone immediately after WrestleMania. Heels try a sneak attack, but the team of Hogan and Snuka clear the ring mighty quickly. Hogan tosses Muraco back in the ring, as does Snuka with Orton. Snuka takes Orton down with a snapmare and works the arm, so it's assumed they are officially starting the match. Irish whip, and Snuka surprises Orton with an arm drag, then slaps on an armbar. Hogan comes in off the top rope and works the "injured" arm of Orton. Hogan, class act he is, rakes eyes, scratches backs, and spits at people. Snuka comes off the top with a headbutt, and goes back to the arm. Hogan tags back in and does more of the same. Irish whip, and Orton with a knee to the midsection, but Hogan no-sells and sends him into the corner with an atomic drop. Orton kind of trips Hogan, then tags in Muraco, who pounds away. Orton tags in, and takes Hogan over with a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Orton hits the ropes and drops an elbow across the throat. Irish whip and a double elbow from Muraco and Orton. Muraco goes back to the clubberin' blows, but gets whipped to the corner, and Hogan follows in with a clothesline. Snuka gets the "hot" tag, and unloads with chops and a double noggin-knocker! Snuka with a slam on Muraco, then heads to the top rope, but as he does a cross body, Orton bops him with the cast! Snuka blades, and has already left a stain on the canvas. Orton bops him with the cast again, then shows off the impressive blood puddle that the cast sops up. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Snuka connects with a big chop. Hogan gets the real hot tag and hammers away on everything walking. Hogan choke lifts Muraco, but Orton whacks him on the back with the cast. Suddenly, the referee calls for the bell at 9:43, I guess a double disqualification for excessive double teaming? Hogan Hulk's Up, and Snuka Snuka's Up, and it's time to hide for everyone else. They brawl in and out of the ring to end things. * Not much to say here. No real pace, no interesting exchanges. The only memorable part of the match was Snuka's blade job, but the camera never got an established look at his face from that point on.

20 Man Battle Royale:

(Participants: Pedro Morales, Ivan Putski, Tony Garea, Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Chief Jay Strongbow, Jules Strongbow, S.D. Jones, Greg Valentine, Blackjack Mulligan, Adrian Adonis, Mr. Fuji, Mr. Saito, Swede Hanson, Steve Travis, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Jose Estrada, Charlie Fulton, Johnny Rodz, Laurent Soucie)
From the June 26th, 1982 card held at the Philadelphia Spectrum. I really don't like recapping battle royale's anymore, but I will do my best to try and not fall asleep for this one. Jimmy Snuka is dumped out at 1:39 by who appears to be Morales. Just a bunch of punching and kicking going on. Blackjack Mulligan and Ivan Putski are both gone at 3:30. Atlas saves S.D. Jones from the super team of Hanson and Estrada. Tony Garea is back dropped out at 4:34 by either Adonis or Saito, I couldn't tell. The Strongbows dump Saito out at 5:04. I think we clip to later in the match, but it's so boring, I can't tell. Valentine over-sells heel miscommunication from Adonis. Fuji and the Strongbows are all outside the ring, and I'm assuming all got eliminated recently, since the referees escort them away. While the camera focuses on them, it appears Swede Hanson has been tossed, too. Morales gets worked over by Valentine, Adonis, and Estrada, and they finally dump his ass at 8:46. Soucie (who?) spends the whole match annoying Valentine, it seems. Steve Travis is dumped out at 10:04. Valentine has bladed, for whatever reason, at some point during the match. Atlas tosses Rodz at 10:52, then Soucie is gone at 10:56. Jose Estrada is gone, as well as Baron Scicluna, both at the 11:00 mark. We're down to Adonis and Valentine against Atlas and S.D. Jones. The heels collide on a charge attempt. Atlas with a headbutt to Valentine, followed by clubbering blows. The heels get whipped into each other, and Adonis over-sells a headbutt like his name was Shawn Michaels. Adonis manages to plant Atlas with a powerslam, and Valentine with a back breaker on Jones. Adonis heads to the top rope, and connects with an elbow drop, then slaps on a SLEEPER HOLD? In a battle royale?! Jones works over Valentine, and ties him up in the ropes following a headbutt. Suddenly Adonis goes flying over the top rope at the hands of Atlas, at 13:57. Then Valentine goes out following a weird twisting dropkick from S.D. Jones, at 15:00. Atlas and Jones opt not to fight any further, and agree to a flip of a coin to determine the winner. Atlas wins the toss, so he gently press slams Jones onto the apron for the victory at the 16:00 mark. What good sports. Match sucked, other than the unique finish to the Battle Royale. I've never seen someone as happy as Jones in losing a match, unless he put money on himself being the runner up, or something.

Mongolian Stretcher Match:
Andre The Giant vs. Killer Khan:

From the November 14th, 1981 card held at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Younger fans might remember this being "flashbacked" to during the Big Show/Brock Lesnar feud setting up towards Judgment Day 2003, which makes me wonder... seriously, 22 YEARS between high profile stretcher matches? Andre had legitimately injured his leg or ankle months earlier, and storyline credit went to Khan. This is his demise, because there's no way in hell Andre is losing this one. Lockup, and Andre quickly connects with a headbutt. Khan tries running, but Andre throws him back in the ring, and slaps him across the chest. Irish whip, and Andre with a big boot, followed by a butt drop. The referee tries to get the stretcher ready, but Khan throws it away. Khan goes for the legs, but Andre ends up planting him with a piledriver. Andre goes for a headbutt, but Khan rolls out of the way. Khan stomps away, screaming like a girl the entire time. Khan ties up Andre's ankle in the ropes and stomps some more. Khan comes off the ropes with a pair of knee drops. Stretcher comes into the ring, but that isn't going to happen. Andre looks PISSED, and grabs the stretcher, and whacks Khan across the back with it. Andre with a big headbutt, then we clip to Andre dropping ass onto Khan, over and over again. They try to stretcher him, but Khan hangs onto the ropes, so Andre drops ass on him SEVEN more times! Have you ever seen a squashed bug? Khan holds onto the ropes again, so Andre gives him a super uppercut in the corner, takes him over with an underhook suplex, drops ass on him, and gives him a big splash. Khan finally gets his ass carted out of the ring, giving Andre the victory at around the 7:00 mark. ** Hard to rate a match with this gimmick situation, but I enjoyed it, and Andre completely destroying his opponent was an enjoyable site to see. Probably one of Andre's signature matches in the WWF, other than the Hogan stuff, of course.

Steel Cage Match:
Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd:

From the September 24th, 1983 card held at the Philadelphia Spectrum, and we're Joined in Progress for this one. Andre has Studd in a compromising position, then throws him face first into the cage wall. Andre takes a bite out of Studd, and introduces him to the cage again. Studd is wearing an impressive crimson mask, by the way. Irish whip, and Studd surprises Andre with a clothesline. Studd crawls for the door, but Andre pulls him back by the ankle and drops ass on the back of his head. Andre tries to escape, but Studd grabs the ankle, so Andre sits on him again. Andre isn't done, though. Andre slams studd into the corner, climbs to the top rope, and comes off with a super butt drop! Studd is D-E-A-D, and Andre casually walks out the door for the victory at a heavily clipped 3:00. No Rating, but damn that was impressive to see Andre do, and it's funny how when the WWF looks back at his career, they never show highlights like this.

The Colossal Jostle!
Andre The Giant (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart):

From the September 23rd, 1985 card held at Madison Square Garden, and yes, the Madison Square Garden production crew actually put that in the graphic! I don't remember exactly, but I think this stems from a beatdown Bundy and Studd gave Andre at the Maple Leaf Garden, so there you go. Bundy, at this point, was slowly climbing the ladder into top of the card material, and Andre still had something to give, so maybe this won't be too bad. I forgot Jimmy Hart was managing Bundy, but I recall on an episode of TNT finding out Jimmy traded King Kong Bundy's services to Bobby Heenan for the Missing Link. I'm sure someone else was involved in the trade, so we have to assume Heenan really screwed Hart over on that one. Oh, and Albano is introduced as Andre's "new" manager. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are calling the action. Monsoon reminds us, that yes, Bundy attacked Andre at the Maple Leaf Gardens. Thank you, Gorilla.

Lockup into the ropes to start, and they tussle around the ring with it until Andre clubs Bundy and starts choking him. Andre with another big blow, sending Bundy out of the ring for a breather. CLIP! Bundy has Andre in a compromising position, but Andre battles to his feet, and knocks Bundy out of the ring with a headbutt, and Bundy takes a nice bump for it, too. Bundy comes back in and pounds away on Andre, then starts choking away in the corner, as well as attacking the "injured" chest. Gorilla yelling at the referee to do his job is one thing I'll never get tired of from him. The other is stating any match could be a main event in any arena in the country. Andre fights back to his feet, but there's nothing going on. Andre wth shoulders to the midsection as Gorilla continues to bitch about the poor officiating. Bundy sends Andre to the corner, but runs right into a boot. Andre drops ass, but John Studd hits the ring for the Disqualification at a clipped 4:02. Andre fights Studd off, but Bundy splashes him from behind. Albano gets in the ring and takes a shot from Bundy. Andre kicks off Studd and rolls out of the ring, proving to be smarter than anyone else. Andre then grabs a chair and bashes it across the apron, and chases everyone out of the ring. You don't want to piss of a giant, especially a giant with a chair. DUD Not much of a match here, and the complete version isn't much better.

Tito Santana & Ricky Steamboat vs. Greg Valentine (IC Champion) & Brutus Beefcake (w/ Jimmy Hart):

From the April 21st, 1985 card held at Toronto, Ontario's Maple Leaf Gardens. This is pre-Dream Team days, although they would become an official team by the end of the summer. Santana and Valentine were still fighting over the Intercontinental Title, so Steamboat and Beefcake are just filler teammates here. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are calling the action. Steamboat and Beefcake start, although we don't have introductions, so who knows if this match is clipped or not. Lockup, and Beefcake with a headlock. Criss-cross leads to a Steamboat arm drag, then Valentine comes in to get some of the same. Steamboat tosses Beefcake back into the ring, and Santana's in to slap on a front facelock. There seemed to be a weird video edit there from our pals at Colisuem Video. Beefcake makes the ropes, and it's time to talk strategy. Lockup, and Beefcake rakes the eyes and slams Santana. Valentine tags in, but misses an elbow, and Santana works him over, forcing another retreat to the outside. Back inside, and Santana is daring Valentine to cross his line in the sand. Valentine obliges and drives a series of forearms and elbows into the face of Santana. Valentine with a snapmare, followed by a boot the face. Santana fights back from his knees, but gets clobbered. Irish whip, and Santana comes off the ropes with a vicious clothesline. Santana whips Valentine into a Steamboat chop. Santana floors him with a right, then drops a headbutt across the midsection. Santana tries for the Figure-Four, but Valentine tosses him off and boots him in the chest. Valentine scoops Santana up and connects with a shoulder breaker, then slaps Santana like a bitch. Beefcake tags back in and chokes. Santana tries fighting back, but gets his eyes raked for his troubles. Valentine comes in illegally and hammers Santana across the side of the head. Beefcake stomps away, then plants Santana with a slam. Santana rolls out of the way of an elbow drop, but can't make the tag.

Valentine continues to work over Santana, while Beefcake takes care of Steamboat, who has taken a hell of a beating on the apron. Valentine with a wristlock, then turns it into an armbar. Beefcake hooks the tights to keep Santana in their corner, and it's time for some double team action! Beefcake tags in and grabs a headlock. Beefcake lurs Steamboat into the ring, allowing Valentine some cheap shots behind the back of the referee. Steamboat manages to get the hot tag and chops away on both men. Steamboat whips Beefcake to the ropes and catches him with a big chop, then takes him over with a suplex. Irish whip, and Steamboat slaps on a sleeper hold. Beefcake rakes the eyes to escape and tags out to Valentine. Steamboat and Hammer exchange blows until an eye rake takes Steamboat down. Valentine with a stomach buster for a two count. The Pre-Dream Team slam Steamboat back into their corner and continue to work him over. Valentine with a reverse atomic drop for another two count. Beefcake tags back in and connects with a clothesline, but Santana breaks the pin attempt. Valentine heads to the top and comes off with a chop to the back of the neck. Valentine heads to the second rope and connects with an elbow. Valentine drives a series of knees into the right leg, but Steamboat counters a Figure-Four with a cradle for a two count. Steamboat gets caught in the wrong side of town, but fights everything off that's walking. Santana gets the Real Hot Tag and does more of the same. Double Noggin-Knocker! Santana with forearms to everyone, and the Flying Forearm gets a two count on Valentine. Steamboat and Beefcake tussle, but Beefcake disposes of him. Double team action goes down until Steamboat comes off the top with a chop on Beefcake, then dumps him through the ropes. Suddenly, we cut to Santana having the Figure-Four applied on Valentine, and gets the submission victory at a clipped 15:13. **3/4 If not for the weird edit job done by Coliseum Video, I would've given this a higher rating. Solid tag team action, good team-work from two unlikely combinations, and a clean finish (from what I could tell) always makes an entertaining match. Too bad it was poorly butchered by someone who's never used a knife before.

Final Thoughts: Another winner here. The tape opens and closes with two pretty good matches, we've got a classic Andre The Giant match that holds up pretty well in the form of the Stretcher Match, and the only things that are fast-forward material are probably the Battle Royale, aside from the finish of course, and the Colossal Jostle, which is clipped down to barely anything. Solid Recommendation, but could've been a tad bit better.

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