Lee Maughan: So this is the very first World Wrestling Federation home video. Hulkamania and Best of the WWF Vol. 1 were both released on the same day as this tape, but this one got the distinction of the first catalogue number, and what a suitably bizarre way to start out given Vince McMahon’s intent to leave behind the murky world of “professional wrestling” in favour of his brand of “sports entertainment.” Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon from WWF Video Control.
Best 3 out of 5 falls
Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Salvatore Bellomo, Pedro Morales & Rocky Johnson vs. Buddy Rose, Mr. Fuji, Superstar Billy Graham, Don Muraco & Ray Stevens
The very definition of an all-star tag team match so naturally it gets clipped down to about 90 seconds for the sole purpose of highlighting one of Andre the Giant’s favourite “highspots”, wherein Andre would send his opponent into the ropes and drop down, then stick his ample arse out while getting back up and the opponent would crash into it. Hey, it gets a thunderous pop, what can I say? The match is available in a less clipped form on the Most Unusual Matches tape.
Freddie Blassie’s Advice for the Lovelorn
Next we hit Tuesday Night Titans, Vince McMahon’s earliest attempt to turn the World Wrestling Federation into a variety show. First, a letter from a woman who’s husband won’t pay her any attention because he enjoys TNT too much. Blassie tells the ‘goofy broad’ to take a bath and shave her armpits. Next, a husband who likes to practice the Superfly Splash on his wife from the top of the dresser, which Vince claims “could be a catastrophe!” Blassie talks about how he used to practice strangling on his second wife, causing Vince to completely break character and bust a gut laughing. Finally, a 60-year old woman with “limited experience” wants to hook up with a wrestler so Blassie suggests Sgt. Slaughter, Tito Santana, Hulk Hogan, The Tonga Kid (“He’s eighteen years old!” squeals McMahon) and The Samoans. The last letter really tailed off at the end but this segment was anarchic gold.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Steve Gray
During a squash match, jobber Steve Gray’s hairpiece falls off. Yep.
Martial arts expert Tiger Chung Lee fails to break bricks with karate chops. In the pre-clip introduction, Gorilla takes credit for buying fireplace bricks with steel reinforcements. About as funny as it reads, which is to say not very.
The Greatest Walking Advertisement for Birth Control
Captain Lou Albano rants and raves on TNT. Why was this even here?
Paul Orndorff vs. Tony Atlas
Hey, it’s like the World Bodybuilding Federation at its most embryonic! Two muscled-up oily guys pose for a while before the audience predictably selects babyface Atlas as the winner. That sends Orndorff into a rage and the pair end up brawling around the studio in their underpants, all greased up.
The Iron Sheik introduces Vince McMahon to his camel, Claude, who Sheik claims is better looking than Sgt. Slaughter. There’s some obvious cuts here where McMahon, Sheik and Alfred Hayes all crack up laughing.
Lunch with Kamala
Freddie Blassie and Friday bring Kamala to the TNT studio where, through the magic of video editing, he eats a live chicken.
Danny Carpenter vs. Haiti Kid
From back in the days when ‘midget’ wasn’t considered such a politically incorrect term, it’s clips of all the usual spots you associate with these types of matches as Haiti bites Carpenter’s backside then slingshots him onto the referee and Haiti counts the three.
‘Polish Power’ Ivan Putski teaches McMahon how to dance the polka. Vince, naturally, goes completely overboard with it. What a ham.
Popping Pills with the Hulkster
An infamous skit as Hulk Hogan teaches ‘Awful Alfred’ and ‘Vicious Vince’ how to gulp down “Python Powder, guaranteed to keep you going all day long.” The big punchline is Alfred pretending to vomit when he drinks the powder-fuelled milkshake, but the real comedy comes from Vince’s salmon-pink suit.
Captain Lou Albano’s Advice for the Lovelorn
First up is a husband who smells bad so Albano suggests natural remedies instead of deodorant. The second letter concerns another husband who is incredibly fat and Albano tells him to try a low carb diet. Finally, another husband refuses to take his cowboy boots off so Albano advises on using more deodorant. What, not natural remedies? Boy, these weren’t a patch on Blassie’s answers.
The Wild Samoans prepare a Samoan cuisine for Vince and Alfred but Alfred thinks it smells as bad as the bubonic plague. Long segment that goes nowhere.
WWF Tag Team Championship
The Wild Samoans (c) vs. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson
This is the semi-famous TV match where Atlas & Johnson won the titles, and although the actual match is only about four minutes long, here it’s clipped right to the finish as Albano accidentally clobbers Afa over the head with a wooden chair and Atlas scores the pin. On TNT, Albano blames the Samoans for the loss; “They’re supposed to be tough!”
Salvatore Bellomo makes pizza from Mama Bellomo’s recipe as Vince delivers the immortal line “Alfred, you’ve got a little powder on your nose, and that might not be the first time I’ve seen that!”
The North-South Connection
Dick Murdoch takes tag team partner Adrian Adonis to his farm, where Adonis falls off pick-up trucks and horses, before the odd couple arrive in New York City, Mean Gene in tow. Okerlund immediately starts talking to strangers on the street including Adrian’s supposed ‘Aunt Sophie’ who claims she’s never seen Adonis before in her life. Later, they stop off at a street vendor for hot dogs and Gene refuses to pick up the tab.
Probably the most pointless thing on the entire tape as it’s basically just the opening Coliseum Video package with a few extra clips thrown in.
Luscious Johnny Valiant’s Advice for the Lovelorn
Did every heel manager in 1985 do these? First, a woman who’s husband isn’t as physically fit as the WWF Superstars. Valiant suggests that if he doesn’t look like a pear then the wife should be satisfied. Next, a husband who makes his wife wear a mask but Valiant thinks there’s nothing wrong with that. Okay then. Letter three is from a woman claiming to be slim and attractive and into ‘ugly men’, and she’s look for some suggestions on which wrestlers to pursue. Valiant immediately replies with “Hulk Hogan” in lighting-quick fashion, then says on a scale of 1-10, Brutus Beefcake would be “a fifteen, or a twenty”, before getting in a cute line about how the Junkyard Dog once wrote in to a lonely hearts club and they wrote him back claiming they “weren’t that lonely.” Finally, a letter from someone who fantasises about being in a 16-20 man battle royal and worries about being “unusual”.
The Fish Song
Andre the Giant is interviewed on TNT before promising to sing ‘The Fish Song’, which turns out to be less of a song, and more of a mime.
Okay, this is some pretty important stuff as Piper’s guest is Cyndi Lauper but Lou Albano comes out to take the credit for Lauper’s success. “Tell ’em how I wrote Time After Time, Cyndi!” Next, Albano starts busting out the misogyny by declaring that “Women should be in the kitchen!” so Cyndi pounds him with her purse then takes a slug at Piper. And this little segment kicked off the entire ‘Rock n’ Wrestling’ era, launching the WWF into a nationwide success.
From Paul ‘Butcher’ Vachon’s fourth wedding reception. First up, the wedding gifts. Lou Albano gives the happy couple a box full of rubber bands, and Freddie Blassie gives them a pair of eyeglasses so the bride can inspect the “tiny, cheap diamond” Butcher bought her. Next, the toasts. George ‘The Animal’ Steele grunts his way through nothing in particular before Albano goes off on a drunken tirade. Jesse Ventura gives his profound sentiments on things, claiming “The scum always rises to the top of the water” before Sky Low Low makes some rotten joke in broken English about a toaster. “Hit that midget right in the nose!” barks Blassie. ‘Dr. D’ David Schultz is up next and, thirteen years ahead of his time, cuts every foul-mouthed redneck promo you ever heard Steve Austin spew out during the Attitude era. I mean, just watch this, it’s positively spooky how ‘Stone Cold’-like this speech was in it’s timing, verbiage and delivery. From there, Albano starts belching into Vince’s microphone, unbuttons his shirt and threatens to drop his trousers, and suddenly (and perhaps mercifully) it’s time to dance. Sky Low Low pairs off with Butcher’s bride, Albano takes Sky Low Low’s wife, and Animal Steele tries to get a dance from Butcher himself. Next, Sky Low Low and the Wild Samoans hit the karaoke bar, and then it’s time to cut of the cake. Butcher’s wife refuses to on the grounds that she doesn’t even eat cake, but super-redneck Schultz comes over to save the day, insisting she do as her man says before shoving the entire cake into her face. And of course, a full-scale food fight breaks out. Alfred’s double-take after getting a cake in the face is absolutely hilarious until he ruins the moment, unable to stop himself from cracking up at the sight of an extremely stern-looking, cake-covered Sky Low Low. What a absolute train wreck this entire segment was.
Summary: Much like CM Punk, I ascribe to a clean-living, straight edge lifestyle. But man alive, if I could only travel back in time and sample whatever drugs Vince McMahon was clearly ingesting when he came up with this slice of hokum. Whatever it was that was in those protein shakes Hulk Hogan made for him, judging by the skits splashed all over this tape, it must have been at least ten times as strong as the finest backstreet cocaine Vince’s dirty money could buy. In fact, you’ll probably need a dose of it yourself just to get through this collection without having your brain explode. Sure, there’s a cute line here and there, but it’s really not worth giving up 90 minutes of your life for. The Hogan skit (which can be seen uncut on both the Hulkamania VHS and the Hulk Still Rules DVD) and Butcher’s wedding reception might be worth a look once, but have little redeeming value beyond that. Put Freddie Blassie’s ‘Advice to the Lovelorn’ bit and the Piper’s Pit segment onto your ‘Best of Coliseum Video’ home-made comp, and skip the rest.