Chris' Blog


Best of the WWF Volume 1

The third entry in the WWF Coliseum Home Video library is the Best of the WWF Volume 1. This was a very successful series, as the made twenty of these over the years, featuring some amazing matches. The matches were taped at TV Tapings, and were the bonus matches for the live crowd. At this point this was the only way to see the main event matches/wrestlers unless you were there live. The box cover features on of the most popular wrestlers in the WWF at the time, Jimmy Snuka, the father of current diva Tamina. The cover lists Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan and Andre team up, Big John Studd, Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter, and Muhammad Ali versus Gorilla Monsoon. Looks like a great lineup, as it features all the big names.

Box

Once again we open up with the same video on previous tapes, I’m guessing this lasts quite a while. Nice high quality text that says Best of the WWF Volume 1, as Vince then welcomes us to the show and calls this historical. Vince goes over the matches on this volume, and it looks great as we get a match between two masked legends on here plus Mene Gene in the ring.

1. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant v. Dick Murdoch, Adrian Adonis & Big John Studd

Before the match Hulk Hogan and Andre cut a promo, and Hulk calls Andre the Big Boss and the best partner he could think of. Andre mumbles, he really needed subtitles, as we then see the tag champions and Studd coming down the hall to the ring. Gorilla Monsoon on commentary, as always, the true voice of the 80’s, and he’s joined by future WCW ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta. It’s sad that Hulk Hogan is the only man still alive today out of five guys, these tapes could be depressing when you realize this stuff. Hulk and Adrian start out, as Adrian was still in his bad ass biker gimmick at this point. Adrian off the ropes and Hulk ducks, Adrian runs into the giant ham hock of Andre the Giant, Andre and Hulk use Adrian like a pinball. Adrian tags in Murdoch and they work over Hulk’s arm, as Studd tagged in and so is Andre. No surprise but we get some clipping, and Andre is unloading on Adrian, who shows his agility flipping over the buckles. Andre catches all three in the corner and drives a shoulder into them, crushing Studd who’s in the rear. Speaking of rear, Hulk grabs Andre’s rear to add pressure, but it just looks disturbing. Clip alert, as team Studd is working over Andre, and Murdoch with a knee to the back from the top rope, which looked impressive. Murdoch uses the tag rope to choke the Giant, but a running punch from Murdoch blocked and Andre now chokes Murdoch with the rope. Hulk comes in and rams the champions into each other repeatedly and pops Studd on the apron. Hulk gets caught by a back elbow from Murdoch who quickly tags in Adonis and now Hulk is the face in peril. Adrian climbs the ropes, but Hulk catches him and drops Adrian on the top rope, and gets too close to Murdoch who nails him. Adonis makes a tag to Studd who works over Hogan and the three men take turns beating on Hogan. Murdoch and Andre tagged in and it’s not good for Murdoch who gets torn apart and Adonis comes in for some of the same. All five men in and Hulk and Andre take control, the heels quickly bail out and Studd tries to leave, so Andre goes after him. This allows the champions to double team Hogan, Andre comes back as Hulk comes back and tags in the Giant. Andre with the big boot and sits on Murdoch for the win. A fun match with five big names of the era, was better then I expected considering Andre in there. Andre looked impressive as he wasn’t broke down yet so he could still move around.

1. Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd, Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis 5.5/10

2. Fabulous Moolah v. Wendi Richter for the Women’s title

Gene is backstage to get words from Lou Albano and Moolah, Lou says Moolah cannot be beaten and they’re ready. Moolah looked the same doesn’t matter what year it was, while no one was more entertaining then Albano. The old Women’s title looks funny, it’s tiny and looks like her picture is in the middle. Lou mentions that Moolah has been champ for a dozen years, and she corrects him at twenty-seven years. Can’t tell if those are earrings on Richter or Homer Simpson’s famous pink donuts, they’re gigantic. I bet this goes a long time, unlike today’s women matches that are lucky to hit five minutes. They quickly exchange arm drags, and Moolah in the ropes, as Gorilla and Gene on commentary tonight. Moolah unloads on the challenger with a series of snapmares then tosses Wendi on the announce table. Gene is only too happy to help her, pervert, as she gets back in and we clip. Wendi has the advantage but misses an elbow, and we clip again to Moolah in control. Moolah stomps a mudhole in Wendi, who comes back with a lower headbutt. Moolah on the apron and Wendi flips her over the ropes, tangling the champion as we clip again. Wendi has a full nelson on the champion as Cyndi on the apron and clocks the champion, but no disqualification? Moolah shot in and Wendi with a front dropkick and gets a one count. Wendi with a nice suplex and another one count as we clip again. Wendi backdropped by Moolah and a cover, but Moolah pulls her up as another clip. Moolah rams the challenger into the buckle and a back suplex with both ladies down, and the ref counts. Everyone in the ring as Finkel makes the announcement, Wendi Richter wins the gold as she got a shoulder up before three. Pandemonium ensues as Moolah dropkicks the ref and stomps him. What we got to see was really good, but so much clipping. We get a replay of the final pin, showing Wendi’s shoulder up and Moolah’s down as Wendi celebrates her biggest moment in the WWF.

2. Wendi Richter defeated Fabulous Moolah for the Women’s title 6/10

3. Gorilla Monsoon v. Baron Mikel Scicluna

Muhammad Ali is introduced at ringside, thus the reason this match is included on this tape. Baron attacks Gorilla as he gets in the ring and unloads in the corner. Gorilla comes back with the chops and sends Baron to the floor. Ali points at Gorilla and removes his jacket as Vince is screaming that Ali will be killed. Ali jumps in the ring and challenges Gorilla. Gorilla avoids the punches from Ali, and scoops him up in the airplane spin before dropping Ali down hard. The ref holds Gorilla back as the announcer helps Ali up. Ali bails out of the ring as Vince says Ali could never beat a wrestler. This was build up for the Ali/Inoki match, which was boring as all hell. Vince gets a word from Gorilla who says Ali can’t stop a wrestler and doesn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch, classic Gorilla. Monsoon says he could’ve done anything with him but didn’t.

3. Gorilla Monsoon defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna by countout DUD

4. Superfly Jimmy Snuka v. Bobby Bass

Bass attacks Snuka before the bell and shoots him in, Snuka over and backdrops Bass down. Snuka tosses Bass around the ring and basically just destroys the man. Superfly climbs the ropes and hits the Superfly Splash for the easy win. Basically just a quick showcase for Snuka, nothing to see here, move along.

4. Superfly Snuka crushed Bobby Bass DUD

Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka, this is a classic moment as Piper humiliates Snuka. Piper pulls out a pineapple and bananas, this is so racist, as Snuka asks if he is making fun of him. Piper then cracks Snuka with the coconut and beats the daylights out of Snuka, destroying the Pit set as well. Piper mashes bananas in Jimmy’s face before whipping him with his belt. Piper spits on Snuka, who comes to life and chases Piper who runs behind a door.

5. Superfly Jimmy Snuka v. Roddy Piper

No one can anger a crowd the way Piper could, the current roster could learn from him. Piper stalls on the floor before finally getting in the ring, and charges Snuka. They slug it out with Piper getting the worst of it as Snuka unloads on the Scotsman. Piper begs off and Snuka will have none of it and headbutts Piper down. Piper finally gets the vintage eye poke and takes the advantage on Snuka with a series of right hands. Snuka comes back and chops Piper to the floor, as this has been a brawl so far, and a great brawl at that. The heat is enormous, as this crowd is going nuts, this is how you get a crowd into a feud. Snuka with the sleeper hold and both men tumble to the floor, Piper breaks it by driving Snuka into the apron. Piper tries to throw Snuka into the post, but Snuka reverses and Piper crashes hard. Snuka destroying Piper on the floor with a chair, and Piper’s busted wide open, as Snuka doesn’t stop and hammers the cut. Piper catches Snuka coming off the top rope and tosses him to the floor, and Snuka can’t get up. Piper scores the surprising victory to continue this amazing feud. I didn’t see any cuts at all, which is good, as this was an amazing brawl. Would’ve been a higher rating with a decisive end, but a great way to continue the story.

5. Roddy Piper beat Superfly Snuka by countout 8.5/10

6. The Cobra v. Black Tiger for the vacant WWF Junior Title

It’s odd that the WWF had a junior title in 84, as I have no idea who either guy is. Cobra is from Japan and Black Tiger is from England. According to Wiki, The Cobra was George Takano, who runs a wrestling company in Japan. Tiger is Mark Rocco, who was a big star in England and retired in 1991. Cobra has the early advantage as tears apart Tiger before hitting the gut wrench suplex for a near fall. Cobra slows it down with a headscissor and Tiger fights free. Cobra sets Tiger on his shoulders and drops him down over his knee, and quickly locks on the Boston Crab. Cobra releases the hold and into the Surfboard, nice classic submission holds as Tiger makes the ropes. We get some clipping, as Cobra dropkicks Tiger to the floor and Tiger comes in via the top but gets slammed down. Gorilla and Gene are enjoying the match, but I’m disappointed, I expected something different but it’s basically submissions. Tiger gets the advantage and drops a knee getting a near fall as we get another clip. Cobra shoots Tiger in and hits the spinning heel kick, ala Owen Hart, for a near fall. Cobra with a backdrop and another dropkick sends Tiger to the floor. Cobra follows with a diving headbutt to the floor. Clip, Tiger pops Cobra as he comes in and hits a diving splash. Tiger hits a nice float over suplex for a near fall, and follows up with a modified Tombstone Piledriver. A second Tombstone is reversed by Cobra, who follows up with a senton splash for the win. The first little bit was slow, but it picked up quickly and for it’s time was true innovation. The dive to floor was something never seen in MSG, and this match really stands out from the stuff going on in this era.

6. The Cobra pinned Black Tiger for the WWF Junior Title 7.5/10

We get the vignettes of Hulk Hogan training with Mene Gene, getting him ready for his first match. This was actually funny, as Hulk almost killed Gene with the workouts.

7. Hulk Hogan and Mene Gene v. George Steele and Mr. Fuji

Not sure who looks worse in wrestling gear, Gene or Michael Cole. It’s bad when Hulk is the most talented in the match, as Hulk starts with Fuji and destroys him. Fuji makes the tag to the Animal George Steele, as we clip to Steele using the foreign object to take down Hogan. Hogan comes back with the rights taking out Fuji as well. Gene hasn’t been in the match, but stomped the hand of Fuji before high fiving Hulk, which the ref counts as a tag. Gene in there with Steele and avoids contact, before tagging Hulk back in. Hulk takes out Steele, as Fuji goes for the salt and Gene grabs his arm. Fuji off the ropes into Gene’s boot, Hulk tags Gene in and slams him across Fuji for the pin, as Hulk holds Gene’s ass down. After the match Fuji and Steele attack, Fuji shot into Gene’s boot, as is Steele and Hulk and Gene celebrate the win. A fun match, as they kept the non wrestler out till the end, and that helped. The crowd enjoyed it, which makes the match better.

7. Hulk Hogan and Mene Gene defeated George Steele and Mr. Fuji 4/10

8. Larry Zbyszko v. Bruno Sammartino

The back story is that Bruno was Larry’s mentor and trained him, Larry got tired of being in the background and turned on Bruno. This set up on the biggest feuds of 1980, including a classic cage match in Shea Stadium. This match was before the heel turn, as Larry was cheered here. Bruno gets a huge ovation from the crowd, as always. They lockup, and into the ropes, we get a clean break as Larry goes for the legs and Bruno moves. We get a nice sequence, as Bruno shows off his underrated scientific skills, as Bruno was always looked at as a power man. Evenly matched so far, as neither guy can get the advantage as Larry gets the shoulderblock and Bruno gets a leg sweep. Vince agrees and says the same thing, as Larry slams Bruno to get a two and Bruno answers back with a slam of his own. So far it’s been a series of stalemates as neither guy can gain control, until Larry finally gets a single leg crab on the former champion, but Bruno rolls out and we’re back to zero again. We get the classic criss cross, with Bruno armdragging Larry across the ring, and Larry is getting pissed off. Bruno out maneuvers Larry and sends him to the floor, Bruno holds the ropes for Larry. Larry has had enough and snaps, stomping the crap out of Bruno and slams his head into the buckle. Larry grabs a chair, tosses the ref and cracks Bruno across the head, splitting Bruno wide open. A second chair shot, and the crowd wants Larry dead. Bruno struggles to his feet and Larry smashes the chair over his head again, knocking Bruno out. Was a pretty good match, and the ending was a shock at the time. This is something completely different to what the current fan sees, as the slow build to the heel turn was done to perfection here. This is what the WWE needs to do with Cena at Wrestlemania, but won’t.

8. Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko by DQ 7/10

We now get the weigh-in for the Showdown at Shea, hosted by Vince in a yellow jacket and green pants, who dressed this man, George Clinton? Bruno says he is ready for the match and he will destroy Larry. Bruno says nothing will stop him in th cage.

9. Larry Zbyszko v. Bruno Sammartino in the Cage

Bruno quickly goes after Larry and smashes him into the cage repeatedly. Bruno is destroying Larry for turning on him and just carving him up on the cage. Larry gets the headbutt in to break the momentum and drives Bruno into the cage now. Lots of clipping, which is ruining the match, but with only six minutes left on the tape no surprise. Larry almost escapes but Bruno slams him down from the top of the cage, as we get a look at the crowd. This has been brutal, what we’ve seen at least, as Larry again tries to escape and gets tossed down hard. More clipping as Larry unloads on his former mentor, and tries to leave but Bruno catches him again. Bruno smashes Larry’s face into the ring post and into the cage repeatedly. Bruno’s arm is bleeding, but Larry is a mess and Bruno leaves the cage for the win. What we got was amazing, the full match is even better of course, but what a match. Larry stumbles out of the cage and Bruno hammers him some more as the tape ends.

9. Bruno Sammartino beat Larry Zbyszko in the cage 7/10

MATCH RECAP:

1. Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd, Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis on July 15, 1984 from East Rutherford, NJ 5.5/10

2. Wendi Richter defeated Fabulous Moolah for the Women’s title on July 23, 1984 from New York, NY 6/10

3. Gorilla Monsoon defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna by countout from May 19, 1980 DUD

4. Superfly Snuka crushed Bobby Bass DUD

5. Roddy Piper beat Superfly Snuka by countout on August 25, 1984 from New York, NY 8.5/10

6. The Cobra pinned Black Tiger for the WWF Junior Title on December 28, 1984 from New York, NY 7.5/10

7. Hulk Hogan and Mene Gene defeated George Steele and Mr. Fuji on August 26, 1984 from Minneapolis, MN 4/10

8. Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko by DQ on January 22, 1980 from Allentown, PA 7/10

9. Bruno Sammartino beat Larry Zbyszko in the cage on August 9, 1980 from New York, NY 7/10

An interesting mix of matches, as we got a couple of squashes and some pretty good stuff mixed in. The two Bruno/Larry matches are worth the price alone, add in the Piper/Snuka and we got a good tape. However, the clipping is pretty bad, hope they stop the clipping inevitably. The tape is ninety minutes long, if they had less matches they could’ve shown them complete. Still it’s a nice mix of stuff for the era. Coming up next is the WWF’s Most Unusual Matches.

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