Arnold Furious: Among Coliseum videos cash-grab releases that no one actually wanted, this must be close to the top. It became a proverbial reviewing hot potato when compiling this book too. During a series of roundtable e-mails, plenty of other tapes were claimed and slowly but surely Wrestling’s Country Boys just floated around, unclaimed, unwanted and yet strangely available. I volunteered for said duty in a moment of madness. Perhaps due to my love of Wrestlecrap. I’ve seen some of the worst shows and worst tapes available. However watching really bad wrestling tends to get me a bit agitated and less impartial than usual. Wrestling’s Country Boys is one of those tapes that got me wound up. Enjoy, because I didn’t.
Hillbilly Jim vs. Terry Gibbs
Jim came into the WWF as Hogan’s ass-backwards hick buddy. So he’s immediately over. This would be his debut. It’s from February 1985. He turns on Hogan after five seconds only to get overpowered, legdropped and never be seen again. No more “country boys” would ever appear in the WWF again. End of tape.
James Dixon: Hey! That’s not what happened at all! I am afraid, despite your protestations, you are going to have to sit through all of this!
Arnold Furious: Damn it. Ok, that didn’t happen at all. But it would have been a better use of the 6 minutes than Jim wrestling Gibbs. Honestly though, was this REALLY the best use of the WWF champion? Trying to get over a comedy midcarder? Imagine that in Hogan’s WCW days? We want you to corner Norman Smiley whiles he screams and gets hit in the head by Meng? No thanks, brother. Gibbs quits to a bearhug but Jim is too STUPID to realise he’s won a match. Were they serious here or what? Did Vince really have that negative a view of the south that he figured this shit would fly? You can just imagine him in his office planning the angle out. “He’s gotta be really Southern, like really, really big and dumb, from someplace stupid with a dumb name like Mud Lick, Kentucky.” One negative star for Jim not realising he’d won and another for it being released on home videotape.
Final Rating: -**
Hillbilly Jim vs. Rene Goulet
This is in MSG. 18th February 1985. It’s on the universally awful undercard for the War to Settle the Score. Hogan vs. Piper aired on MTV, the rest of it was a “warm-up” for those in attendance waiting for the main event. Goulet had a reputation for making people look better than they were, hence his role here. Although this is right at the end of a prestigious 30 year career. Gene Okerlund makes this doubly horrible by joining commentary and pointing out the weird combination of celebrities at ringside; Danny DeVito, Joe Piscopo (when he was famous) and Andy Warhol?!?! Nice to see Hillbilly Jim discovering the hankie code in these enlightened times. A quick internet search reveals his red hankie in the back right pocket means he’s into receiving a fist in his rectum. The kinky bastard. Goulet tries so hard, bless him, and they even work in a sensible headlock spot. Keep it basic, eh! It goes on for ages though, longer than Piscopo’s rap career certainly. All those people in New York who are cheering along with this bullshit a) deserve it and b) haven’t seen Deliverance. Goulet quits to the bearhug after 10-minutes. Not 10-minutes in the bearhug, but rather 10-minutes of total “action.” Goulet could make virtually anyone look serviceable. He tries to do the same for Mr T after the match. They should have booked that, he could have got ** out of T, easy.
Final Rating: ½*
The Body Shop / Piper’s Pit
Jim slipped over chasing Johnny Valentine around ringside and broke his leg. Mainly because he’s a big clumsy goof. Because that stalled his push, the WWF brought his “uncle” in; Uncle Elmer. He’s a big fat worthless twat. It angers me that he’s wrestling on this tape. Both Ventura and Piper get the Uncle Elmer introduction. Ventura looks like he doesn’t want to be there, but Piper has more fun with it.
Uncle Elmer vs. Tiger Chung Lee
This is from July 1985. Tiger used to tag with Mr. Fuji, as Orientals hung out together in the ‘80s. That’s just how it was. He also threw salt in people’s eyes and used a bo staff. Not that Vince ever encouraged stereotypes. You’d think the WWF would have given up on the whole gimmick with Jim injured but we should never underestimate Vince’s determination to run with something once the idea is embedded. Elmer wasn’t as bad outside of the WWF but he sure learned how to work the ‘less is more’ style in a hurry. Of course ‘less’ by Elmer’s stakes equates to ‘nothing at all’. Including a headlock takeover where he can’t hold onto it because he’s too fat and then sitting there on the mat while Lee kicks him. FEEL THE WORKRATE! Elmer sort of steps on Lee/drops the leg/falls over and that’s the finish. Would have gotten a worse rating if it hadn’t been 3 minutes long. Is it too late to give his momma an abortion? Get that piece of shit out of the ring!
Final Rating: -***
Uncle Elmer vs. Big John Studd
I have never been so happy to see John Studd and let’s face it, he’s a workrate black hole. This is during Studd’s bodyslam challenge with Heenan at ringside with the cash and Jim ringside as manager for Elmer. The match is one holy awful pile of dog shit, from which there is no escape. A truly awful wrestling spectacle. Each moment worse than the one that precedes it. Let’s face it, it’s Elmer and he’s wrestling someone with similar mobility, so it’s a disaster. Heenan ends up running in to prevent a slam and thus giving up $15k. Just so utterly appalling on every level.
Final Rating: -**
Tuesday Night Titans
Jim and Elmer do a duet. Given that country music is the worst creation in the history of mankind its absolutely horrible. Vince McMahon and Alfred Hayes sit down with Elmer and Jim who, as good babyfaces, force the religiously ambiguous Hayes into saying grace and taking his hat off. Also eating a possum burger. Alfred is horrified with the lack of hygiene.
Cousin Junior vs. Ron Shaw
Junior is Larry Kean, the future Moondog Cujo/Splat. He must have loved this gimmick as he went “crazy” and got fired. Shaw is a jobber. He demonstrates this by losing in about 30 seconds. They spend longer dancing afterwards.
Final Rating: SQUASH (Not rated)
Cousin Junior vs. Adrian Adonis
From September 1985. I guess the logic behind Junior was that Elmer was no good in the ring and with Jim still hurt they needed someone else. Just give up on the gimmick already! Give. Up. Please. Adonis can sell and take bumps that you wouldn’t expect from a fat boy. But as far as fat boy’s go, Adonis is pretty much their god. He showed the world that fat boys could work and get over in the WWF without changing to suit Vince’s tastes. Of course Vince turned him into a transvestite but that’s besides the point. Junior doesn’t really know what he’s doing and opts for doing very little and letting Adrian run the show. It works for the most part as he gives Adonis openings for cheap shots. Adonis works smart, using his weight and posing to piss the fans off. Which makes me wonder; where’s my ‘best of Adrian Adonis’ tape? I guess heels don’t get videotapes. Adonis gets disqualified for not letting go after five on a choke. Shockingly decent match with a shit finish.
Final Rating: *¼
Cousin Junior vs. Moondog Spot
As I mentioned two matches back, Junior would become a Moondog in the future. Maybe he was enamoured with the gimmick during this match? This is before the Adonis match and from August. The action in this is ‘unorthodox’. At least Junior doesn’t completely suck in the ring but the crowd seem less interested. LOUD “boring” chants are audible. In 1985! And if it was boring in 1985 you’d better believe it’s horrible in any era since. The amazing part is they released a ‘best of’ tape for the ‘Country Boys’ and a match where the crowd chant “boring” made it on there. I can remain positive though as Uncle Fat-F*ck is nowhere to be seen. Spot is a solid hand but the match must be dull because there is a big clip in the middle and another one near the end. Junior sneaks up on Spot and mule kicks him for the win. Pretty much the pinnacle of Cousin Junior’s run.
Final Rating: ½*
Cousin Junior & Uncle Elmer vs. Jerry Adams & Barry O
Barry O, as in, Oh my god, look at the jobbers. Barry’s real name is Randy Orton. How crazy is that? Maybe not so much as his brother is “Cowboy” Bob Orton. He’d also make a name for himself during the WWF’s sex scandal where he accused Pat Patterson of sexually molesting him. Barry O wasn’t a bad worker but was on permanent enhancement duties. Elmer gets the majority of the match, so its shit, and Junior sits on Adams for the win. And at zero stars it’s the best Uncle Elmer match on the tape by some distance, which should give you an idea of his ability.
Final Rating: DUD
Uncle Elmer’s Wedding
This was the first of the WWF’s weddings from October 1985. According to kayfabe Elmer actually did get married to his girlfriend Peggy. Not sure how true that is. Roddy Piper ends up interrupting because he’s a heel and that’s what they do.
Summary: It’s f*ck*ng terrible but then, it would be wouldn’t it? Hillbilly Jim was passable as a worker but his gimmick was tiresome. When he broke his leg they brought in Uncle Elmer, who is one of the worst wrestlers to ever feature in the WWF. Finally in came Cousin Junior, who went insane and never recovered. Hell of a gimmick, Vince, hell of a gimmick. There was another Hillbilly, Cousin Luke, who was also struck down by the curse and broke his ankle. Just to prove that Vince doesn’t learn and is the most stubborn son of a bitch you’ll ever meet, he re-hashed the gimmick again in 1995 with the Godwinns. Nothing worthwhile was achieved by anyone involved in any aspect of the Hillbilly Family. This tape is the seventh circle of hell.