Lee Maughan: Hosted by Gene Okerlund, who never makes mistakes. Cue a clip of Okerlund forgetting the name of someone’s finishing move, and ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes cracking up.
Ted DiBiase vs. Chris Curtis
DiBiase thinks his opponent isn’t worth sweating over because he’s a main event wrestler who doesn’t need to waste his energy fighting “preliminary bums”, so he gives a black guy called Mr. Washington $5,000 to take the match for him.
Chris Curtis vs. Mr. Washington
Curtis dominates Washington then pins him with a backbreaker in about a minute, so DiBiase takes his five grand back then beats the piss out of Washington. That was some pretty terrific characterisation actually, and it’s not hard to understand why DiBiase was such a despised heel so quickly, given angles like this.
Next, it’s ‘Lord’ Alfred’s turn to stumble over the word “resiliency.”
Jesse Ventura vs. Steve Lombardi
Jesse polishes off Lombardi with an elbow smash and an elbow drop, then it’s to the TNT studios where Ventura calls Vince McMahon “Jack McMahon” then refers to ‘Lord’ Alfred as “’Lord’ Jack Hayes.” Upon calling Vince “Jack” for a second time, McMahon brings up Ventura’s Prime Time Wrestling co-host Jack Reynolds, as Ventura gets in a zinger – “I don’t keep track of the trivial people.” Jesse and Alfred then get into a hilariously childish argument about how stupid Jesse’s hat is and how stupid Alfred’s accent is, until Jesse suddenly tops the lot and accuses Alfred of having herpes. Oh, Tuesday Night Titans.
To Madison Square Garden next, for the beginning of a Hogan vs. Savage bout, as Hogan steals Savage’s shades and does his best ‘Macho Man’ impression whilst kicking shit out of him. And that’s that. No match shown.
Back on TNT, Vince interviews a witch. When quizzed about The Fabulous Moolah, Alfred calls her “an odious person” and wishes she would “fly away on that broom.” The witch then whacks Alfred with the broom, but they don’t actually bother to show the reveal of Moolah under the costume, which I can only presume was the joke.
Oh God, it’s PYTHON PILLS again! I’ve already covered this on both Bloopers, Bleeps & Bodyslams and Hulkamania so head back to either of those reviews for a quick recap.
Back in Madison Square Garden for a title match with Superstar Billy Graham defending against Bruno Sammartino, with Gorilla Monsoon as the special referee. Superstar tries to bail but Gorilla carries him back to the ring. Another match at the Philadelphia Spectrum has Andre the Giant & Rocky Johnson up against Big John Studd & Don Muraco, with Swede Hanson as the referee. For no apparent reason, Hanson bodyslams Muraco, giving Johnson the pin. Okay then.
Hulk Hogan & Gene Okerlund vs. George Steele & Mr. Fuji
This is just some clips of the infamous match I already wrote about on Best of the WWF Vol. 1, so you can head back and read it, if you’re feeling that way inclined.
And now it’s the turn of Vince McMahon himself, who comes over all southern redneck in his exclamation of the words “God-damn!” when he introduces “The Highlights of the World Wrestling Federation, Vol. 1” instead of The Best of the WWF Vol. 1. He gives it another crack before asking “Where the hell am I going?”
A retrospective on “Terrible” Terry Funk next, as his spits chewing tobacco directly onto a camera at the end of a Saturday Night’s Main Event promo, then kicks the shit out of a ring attendant for daring to wear his Stetson (which I have also covered elsewhere). Meanwhile, at Madison Square Garden, Funk destroys the Junkyard Dog with his branding iron, leading to…
The Junkyard Dog vs. Terry Funk
This also turns up on WWF Grudge Matches. Terry Funk could literally do everything in wrestling. As NWA World Heavyweight champion during the 70s, he was renowned for his 60-minute scientific classics. During stints with ECW, WCW’s hardcore division and a fun as Chainsaw Charlie during the WWF’s ‘Attitude Era’ of the mid-to-late 90s, Funk was an ageing brawler, and never one to shy away from a no-rope barbed wire match. Over in Japan, he was a tag team specialist, a crimson-soaked extremist, and an all-time legend of the sport. Here, in the circus of the mid-80s World Wrestling Federation, he was a cowboy. But make no mistake about it, he wasn’t just some guy playing a one-dimensional cartoon character like an Outback Jack or a Corporal Kirchner. No, Funk somehow managed to walk the line between ornery Texas bad ass and crazy old buffoon at the same time in the most completely convincing manner possible, never once allowing one area of his personality to overshadow the other. Even as a clown, getting bounced around on the top rope by JYD as Vince McMahon yelps “Yee-haw!” and “Ride-em, cowboy!” like the redneck he truly is, Funk never seems to lose that sinister air of danger about him. Make no mistake, he’ll stumble around like a drunk after closing time if you punch him in the face, but he’ll beat the shit out you without mercy if you think you dare to even think about trespassing across the Double Cross Ranch. Oh yeah, Terry Funk was fucking GREAT. And Funk’s personality is the story of this match basically, as JYD headbutts him a few times and Funk stumbles around punch drunk and somehow ends up rolling around on the floor with Jimmy Hart. You’re laughing at how over the top Funk is going with it, but the second he rears back to throw a left hook, you realise he’s the toughest guy in the old west. So yeah, this was The Terry Funk Show before Funk finally clonked JYD in the back of the head with Hart’s megaphone for the win. In retaliation, JYD pulls Hart’s pants off then brands him with Funk’s branding iron for good measure, as Hart comically squirms, squeals and wriggles around like a fish freshly plucked from the ocean. Funk was great, Hart was great, and JYD was also in the match.
Final Rating: *¾
Back in the WWF television studio, ‘Lord’ Alfred still struggles to get his words out.
Classic vignette time, as the Million Dollar Man shows up to a hotel claiming he has a standing reservation. The receptionist won’t let him in, so DiBiase greases her palm, and a newly married couple get booted out of the honeymoon suite so DiBiase can have it all to himself.
The WWF’s “poet laureate” ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo then cuts a poem on DiBiase, calling him a “million dollar jerk.” Sadly, what looked on paper like it would have been a pretty good squash match between the two, isn’t shown.
From Best of the WWF Vol. 2, Vince calls Andre the Giant “slim” and “a great soccer player back in France” before claiming the Washington Redskins tried to sign him to play in the NFL. I’d say one of those is a pretty dubious claim, and the other two are out and out bullshit. Andre pins the Black Demon with a big boot, but Demon attacks Andre after the match while Andre’s busy signing autographs for the kids at ringside. That leads to a quick brawl, with Andre pulling Demon’s mask off, revealing him to be neither black nor demonic. Then again, how could he be? He wrestled in a blue singlet and pink boots for heaven’s sake!
To the Boston Garden next, where Randy Savage and Adrian Adonis (dressed in drag) blindside Hulk Hogan, but Hogan recovers with a double noggin-knocker before he strips Adonis down to his bra, then prances about in Adrian’s wig.
Back in the studio, Alfred looks to form a cricket team with Vince and Gorilla, but he and Okerlund crack up over a discussion on how best to play with each other’s balls. Okerlund’s laugh is absolutely infectious. From there, Alfred asks Gene why he’s holding a toilet plunger and Okerlund replies “You and I obviously have different ideas on the definition of a good time, you know what I mean?” and everyone in the studio bursts out laughing. This was bizarre, but I laughed uproariously, so what can you do?
More TNT next, as Bobby Heenan discusses the fallout from WrestleMania, including a revelation of a private meeting to discuss the match between Heenan, Roddy Piper and Bob Orton that Paul Orndorff was apparently unaware of. The upshot is Orndorff firing Heenan, as Bobby gives a classic temper tantrum. Three years later, with Orndorff back in the Heenan Family, Heenan calls Orndorff out to settle some rumours that Orndorff isn’t getting along with Rick Rude. Heenan brags that he’s all but signed Bam Bam Bigelow to the Family, and wants Orndorff to admit Rude has the best body in wrestling, how he welcomed him with open arms, and approved on the signings of both Rude and Bigelow. Orndorff reiterates that he, not Rude, has the best body in wrestling, admits Heenan made him miserable, and he’s sick and tired of lying for Heenan, lying to the people, and lying to himself. That leads to Orndorff bringing out Sir Oliver Humperdink as his new manager, which is a little strange since Heenan had literally just fired him and Humperdink was apparently already waiting in the wings. Either way, with Heenan involved this was all good stuff.
“Oh Jesus!” blurts Vince McMahon, who somehow forgets his own name during the introductions for The Best of the WWF Vol. 1.
Harley Race vs. George Steele
Okerlund calls this possibly the WWF’s most embarrassing match. Maybe in 1987, but with years of hindsight I’d be more inclined to nominate the Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Brisco evening gown abomination from the 2000 King of the Ring. Then again, perhaps the embarrassment was in reference to Race’s situation. Having toured the world as the NWA champion, Race had gone from highly regarded mat technician to waddling around in a purple cape and crown, proclaiming himself the king of the WWF. Not only that, but he’d traded in his famous battles opposite Dory Funk, Jr., Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair for abominations like this with the WWF’s resident man-child. And while this match isn’t really any worse than anything else from Steele’s babyface run, it’s certainly not helped any by an ageing Race’s plodding style. There were points during Race’s WWF run where it somehow looked like he was taking all his bumps in slow motion, and when you put him against a slug like Steele, it becomes very noticeable. On top of all of that, this had a shitty non-finish (Steele threw a bunch of chairs into the ring but Race used them first so I’m not entirely sure who, if anyone, was disqualified), AND the insufferable ‘Duke’ Doherty was on colour commentary duty (though much like the infinite monkeys writing Shakespeare he did manage to raise a smile when he barked “Swine!” at Steele for no apparent reason.) Embarrassing? In the grand scheme of things, not really. I’ve certainly seen much worse. Completely awful? 100%.
Final Rating: DUD
And now a classic un-aired wraparound from All American Wrestling as the cameraman starts winding Okerlund up by tilting the camera sideways so Gene simply retorts “You guys can go fuck yourselves, ’cause were out of time here, pal!”
Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
From the first round of the Wrestling Classic tournament, Volkoff is busy berating fans on the microphone after another poptastic rendition of the Soviet national anthem, when the referee calls for the opening bell. Sensing an opportunity, Dynamite sprints to the top rope and delivers a European-style missile dropkick that catches Volkoff so off-guard that Dynamite scores the pin off it. And that’s how I like all my Volkoff matches: six seconds long.
Next, Bam Bam Bigelow is coming to the WWF, bringing about a popular angle of the day during which a series of managers courts the newcomer until he finally selects one. Randy Savage had done the same thing in 1985, swerving everyone and introducing Miss Elizabeth as his valet. Here, Bigelow eliminated managers from contention one-by-one (giving you a reason to tune in every week) until only Slick was left. But of course, it was another swerve – Bam Bam yells at Slick and his charge Nikolai Volkoff to get out of his face because his new manager is Sir Oliver Humperdink. Man, between Bigelow and Orndorff, Humperdink had the backbone of one seriously kick-ass stable, right there. Just imagine if he’d signed up The British Bulldogs and gone to war with The Heenan Family! *Drool*
To Madison Square Garden once more for a live edition of Piper’s Pit, as Piper interviews a pair of fans who think Paul Orndorff is better looking than him so Piper asks the female fan for a date because he’s the kind of guy who can go all night long. Alas, she turns our Roddy down, leading Piper to the conclusion that she’s the kind of girl who likes to go out to eat then come home and go straight to sleep. That just leaves the male fan so Piper asks him who his favourite wrestler is – “Hulk Hogan” comes the response, which is pretty suspicious. I’d have guessed his favourite wrestler was Andre the Giant given the ‘fan’ was none other than Andre’s long-time assistant and late-90s WWF referee Tim White (he of wwe.com’s Lunchtime Suicide webshow infamy.) That brings out Piper’s scheduled guest, ‘Living Legend’ Bruno Sammartino. Sammartino insists Piper’s bodyguard ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton take a hike, else he’ll go bring back-up of his own. Piper starts making old man jokes at Bruno’s expense “Take a seat…unless you don’t think you’ll be able to get back up.” Bruno in kind, lets Piper know he likes to shut big mouths up. Finally, Piper calls Bruno a “stupid wop” (man, between this and the monkey jibes at Jimmy Snuka, ‘Hot Rod’ was quite the racist character back in the 80s) so Bruno just decks him, and understandably so. Humiliated, Piper smashes Bruno from behind with a chair then drives the edge of the support into Bruno’s neck and rips off Sammartino’s shirt, as a bent-out-of-shape MSG crowd hurls all kinds of garbage into the ring. Bruno eventually gets the chair away from Piper, so Piper takes a powder. Hot, hot angle. That leads us back to the Boston Garden as Sammartino and Orndorff team up for a bit time grudge match against Piper and Orton, giving us a clip of Orndorff landing a sunset flip on Piper, which results in Piper’s trunks being pulled down and the crack of his arse being exposed. And that’s the entire clip. That’s IT. That’s the payoff this tape is giving you after that great angle. WHAT THE F*CK?!
Hey, are you sick of all those clips of Vince flubbing his lines yet? You are? Well, have some more anyway!
Let’s take you back to WrestleMania III as Dino Bravo jumps off the top turnbuckle with a knee drop to give The Dream Team a victory over the Rougeau Brothers, before Bravo, ‘Luscious’ Johnny V and Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine leave Brutus Beefcake behind in the ring. That leads to a grudge match between Brutus and ‘Luscious’ John, with Beefcake putting V to sleep then shaving his head bald.
To the opening of the 1986 Slammy Awards, as a wardrobe malfunction leaves Gorilla Monsoon with an unfortunate opening of his own. More from the Slammys, and the award for ‘Best Personality in the Land of 1,000 Dances Music Video’ goes to ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Piper arrives with a thin, black mop he refers to as “Tina Turner”, then his piece of shit trophy falls to pieces which he decries as “typical of MTV – ‘Music to Vomit By’.” Well, there’s a statement that’s truer now than ever. Piper proclaims himself the “king of rock and roll” then claims he was going to smash the trophy himself anyway, suggesting it was probably rigged to fall apart but just went into business for itself. And now, the award for ‘Most Ignominious’, as voted on by the “WWF Academy of Arts and Sciences.” There was only one nominee, and he’s the winner – it’s Nikolai Volkoff. Volkoff is ecstatic about the award, believing it to be for his vocal work on The Wrestling Album so Vince has to explain what it really means and Volkoff pitches a fit. Still with the Slammys, Vince tries to wrap things up as Junkyard Dog de-pantses Jimmy Hart so Jimmy can run around the stage in his undercrackers, something so gut-bustingly funny Coliseum Video just had to include it here, despite already having subjected us to an extremely similar incident during the earlier JYD-Funk match.
To Jesse Ventura’s Body Shop, as Jesse asks Andre the Giant how he’s enjoying retirement, but Andre’s been wrestling around the world. Jesse asks Andre how much he weighs, and Andre plays with Jesse’s feather boa. This went absolutely nowhere.
Back to the Million Dollar Man, as we get a great angle where DiBiase offers a kid $500 to bounce a basketball. DiBiase asks him to dribble the ball ten times to prove he can do it and the kid succeeds, so DiBiase offers him the money if he can do it fifteen times. The kid starts bouncing the ball and the whole crowd counts along, but just as he gets to fourteen, DiBiase kicks the ball away and smarmily consoles the kid for not being good enough to get paid. The crowd is PISSED and the kid runs away crying to his mum. Wonderfully evil stuff!
To the fourth anniversary of All American Wrestling as Gene congratulates his crew (including on-camera appearances for some rather influential behind-the-scenes WWF employees including Kerwin Silfies and Kevin Dunn) before Gene asks his “mom” (a woman clearly far too young to be his mother, a bit Jerry Lawler used at the first In Your House pay-per-view) to bring in the cake. Obviously this is pro-wrestling so the goal is for her to trip up and throw the cake in Gene’s face, but she blows the big spot and spills it all down his shirt instead as Gene half-heartedly tries to improvise a finish. “God dammit” is about the best he can come up with before asking Alfred to come back on camera, but he’s wise to Gene’s plans, so Gene just starts making titty jokes instead – “I told you, I told you where I got the big mouth, right? She nursed me for four years.” Gene tries to wrap things up again, but someone sneaks up from behind and starts pouring champagne over his head, giving us one final “God damn!” And in the present day, Gene wraps things up but the camera pans down to show his flies are open, just like the hokey bit with Gorilla from the Slammys.
Summary: Everything with Ted DiBiase, Bobby Heenan, Roddy Piper, and Terry Funk was wickedly fun, the rest was complete and utter dreck. On top of that, the majority of the footage here (including all the matches, shitty as most of them were) were culled from previous Coliseum Video releases, making this tape largely worthless. Put all the stuff with DiBiase, Heenan, Piper and Funk on your own compilation, then get Agent J to erase the rest of this junk from your memory.