Chris' Blog


WWF Amazing Managers

 After a brief hiatus, I’m back with the next tape in the Coliseum Home Video Library. Got briefly delayed watching the WWE Legends of Wrestling roundtable series, highly recommended viewing. They had some great stories and amazing clips, a great way to learn more about the history of the business. Anyways, back to the CHV series, today’s show is “WWF Amazing Managers”, a tape that will showcase the managers of the World Wrestling Federation. The box features Mr. Fuji, Grand Wizard, Bobby Heenan, Freddie Blassie, Jimmy Hart and Lou Albano. There was a time in wrestling when almost every heel had a manager, and it was a great way to help get guys over who could not speak. Without a manager where would Kamala, George Steele, Demolition, Killer Khan, and all the other great monsters have gone. Managers are seriously lacking the business today, and it’s a shame, managers would help guys like Husky Harris, Alex Riley, Mark Henry and others. With that let’s see what we get on this tape, I expect just a series of promos and highlights.

As always we open with the classic WWF Home Video opener, always great to see. We’re greeted by one of the greatest managers of all time, Bobby Heenan, who welcomes us to this tape. Bobby starts out making fun of Lou Albano and Hillbilly Jim, and also mentions Fuji, Hart, Blassie, Wizard and Johnny V, along with Moolah, Cyndi Lauper and Elizabeth. We get an excerpt from the current issue of WWF magazine, dated October/November 1985, thus giving us our taping era.

Our first clip is Don Muraco on the beach in Hawaii, with manager Mr. Fuji. Muraco issues a challenge to Hulk Hogan, and Fuji brags about the training.

1. Mr. Fuji & Don Muraco v. Junk Yard Dog & Ricky Steamboat

This should be a fun little match, as Steamboat and Dog quickly take over on Fuji and Muraco. Dog takes care of Muraco while Steamboat chokes out Fuji, they then switch opponents as we have a brawl to start this match. Muraco bails out and Steamboat follows after him, sending Muraco into the post, while Dog continues to work over Fuji. Clip alert, as now Muraco tags in Fuji while Steamboat is down hurt, and Fuji uses the martial arts to chop the Dragon. Now the heels have control and make quick tags to wear down Steamboat and we clip again to Dog being tagged in. Dog unloads on both men with the headbutts and gets a near fall on Muraco after a vicious lariat. The crowd loudly chants for JYD, he was easily second most popular behind Hogan in this era. Dog gets caught with kick to the back of the head from Fuji on the apron. Dog staggers to the corner to tag in Steamboat who quickly works over Muraco with his speed, and then sends Muraco into Fuji. Steamboat with a sunset flip on Fuji to score the pin. After the match the heels double team Steamboat, and Dog grabs the chain to chase off the heels and save Steamboat. 8.5/10 a great fast paced battle, with a nice brawl to start and some good heat on the heels. A nice way to open the tape.

1. Ricky Steamboat & JYD beat Don Muraco & Mr. Fuji 8.5/10

We now go to TNT for an interview segment with Johnny V and Brutus Beefcake. Vince asks why Brutus picked him as a manager, and Johnny says because he’s smart. Johnny says Brutus will win and he will make sure of that as we go to the ring.

2. Johnny Valient v. Steve Lombardi

Yes, that Lombardi, the Brooklyn Brawler, and this is from 1985 so Lombardi looks pretty young here. Early on Johnny uses a cord to choke Lombardi, then tosses him to the floor. Johnny slams Lombardi’s head into the barricade, as Jesse appoves of the rough style of Johnny. A big slam on the cement floor stuns Lombardi, and Johnny takes his time getting in the ring, allowing Lombardi, the gutsy kid as called by Ventura to get back to the ring. Lombardi pulls Johnny out and hammers the manager then slams him on the floor before rolling in the ring. Lombardi catches Johnny coming back in the ring and rams him into the buckle, as Lombardi gets fired up. Johnny reverses a corner whip and catches Lombardi coming back with a clothesline, drops the elbow and scores the win. 5/10 just a basic TV match, had a few good moments but nothing major.

2. Johnny Valient pinned Steve Lombardi after an elbowdrop 5/10

Another interview segment, this time with the legendary Grand Wizard of Wrestling alongside a young Don Muraco. Wizard brags about Muraco’s talents and Don calls himself the greatest wrestling machine in the world. Wizard calls Muraco humble and talks about his training, while Muraco talks about getting down and dirty to break people.

3. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham

This is from Wrestlemania and joined in progress as big Nikolai works over Rotundo before tagging the Sheik who locks on the ab stretch. Outside the ring Blassie and Albano are arguing, as Rotundo fights free. Both men make the tag and Windham works over Volkoff and hits a nice dropkick and follows with the bulldog, but Sheik breaks the pin attempt. Rotundo dropkicks Sheik out, and the ref busy with Rotunda allows Sheik to nail Windham with the cane. Nikolai makes the cover and they win the tag titles. 5/10 what we got was good, and I always liked Sheik, Volkoff and Windham, wish it was the full match though. Could only grade the few minutes we got, as we go backstage to an interview with Blassie and the new champions.

3. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff beat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the tag titles 5/10

4. George Steele v. Nikolai Volkoff

Nikolai asks that we all rise so he can sing the Russian National Anthem, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Meanwhile we see Albano and Steele making their way to the ring, and Steele charges in breaking up Nikolai’s singing. After some stalling the bell finally rings and Volkoff bails out, some more stalling before Steele gets distracted by Blassie allowing Nikolai to hammer the Animal. Animal quickly comes back and takes a bite out of Nikolai’s head. Steele again distracted and Nikolai clobbers Steele down in the corner but Steele comes back with a shot that looked low. Steele takes a minute to eat some buckle stuffing and then offers some to Nikolai. It’s sad I’m actually enjoying the match, it’s hilarious comedy as Albano has the ref busy allowing Blassie to clobber Steele with the cane. Nikolai goes on the attack as Albano goes after Blassie, who cracks Albano with the cane. Steele goes to check on Albano and Blassie nails him again, Steele after Blassie and Nikolai sneak attacks him. Albano clobbers Blassie while Steele takes care of Nikolai and the bell rings, it’s a double countout. 6/10 more fun then it should have been, just a good fun match, something we don’t get in the current product.

4. Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele went to a double countout 6/10

Our next interview segment features Jimmy Hart with Greg Valentine on TNT. Greg brags about Jimmy Hart’s music career and mispronounces Cyndi Lauper’s name. Greg is the IC champion at this time, and that title is bowling shoe ugly, lime green. Jimmy Hart talks about Greg’s match with JYD at Wrestlemania, and says the Dog will bite the dust. Vince asks Jimmy if he’d take any credit if Greg loses at Wrestlemania, and Jimmy snaps on Vince and covers Greg’s ears.

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

Joined in progress as Moolah destroys Richter with a snap on the ropes then poses for the crowd. Moolah chokes Richter on the ropes as Cyndi screams at Richter to try and fire her up. Richter eats the buckle as we clip to the end, and we get the double pin gimmick, where Wendi lifts a shoulder to score the upset win and the title. No rating as we only got about a minute of the match.

5. Wendi Richter pinned Moolah to win the Women’s title No Rating

Backstage to the Wrestlemania interview with Lauper and Richter, Richter’s no longer champion at this point and fired up as she challenges Leilani Kai for the title tonight. Now over to Moolah and Kai, Kai says she’s ready to beat Wendi and retain the gold.

6. Wendi Richter v. Leilani Kai for the Women’s title

Joined in progress as Richter charges Kai in the corner and Kai gets the boot up and covers for a near fall. Richter slammed down and Kai climbs the ropes, Kai dives down and Richter rolls through for the win. No rating again as only a minute shown.

6. Wendi Richter pinned Leilani Kai to win the Women’s title No Rating

Now to another Wrestlemania promo with Bobby Heenan and Big John Studd, as Heenan talks about retiring Andre the Giant and shows off the money. Quickly sent to the end of the match as Andre slams Studd and tosses the money to the crowd, and Heenan dives in the ring to steal the money back. Another TNT segment with Bobby Heenan, giving advice to the lovelorn. Same segment we saw on a previous tape. I love the fact that Vince cracks up during the segment, he’s having a tough time getting through the segment.

7. Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd

This is not from Wrestlemania, but a house show instead, and of couse joined in progress as Andre headbutts Studd but gets caught with his head down. Studd boots Andre down and drops a big elbow, Heenan jumps on the apron and hands Studd scissors. Studd goes to cut the hair again and Andre grabs the wrist, then bites Studd who drops the scissors. Andre chops him down and Heenan slide in and gets booted by Andre. Andre pops Studd in the face as the crowd explodes, Andre slams Studd in the middle of the ring and has the scissors. Here comes Bundy to the rescue of his tag partner and hammers Andre as we have a two on one. Studd tackels Andre down and Bundy connects with a series of big splashes on the Giant. Finally the locker room empties as they pull Studd and Bundy off Andre. 6/10 the crowd made the match better then it should have been, as no one generated heat like the Heenan Family.

7. Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd via DQ 6/10

Awesome footage of Randy Savage’s debut, as he’s searching for a manager. Freddie Blassie, Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan each present their case to Randy as to why he should choose them for his manager. All three guys attack each other, no honor among theives, as Savage listens on. Blassie makes a good point, as he’s the only one who’s managed the World Champion. Jimmy Hart does his classic cackle everytime someone says something. Vince sends him to a commercial as they all scream over each other.

8. Randy Savage v. Jim Young

Randy comes out with Freddie Blassie, Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji and Johnny V, and removes his classic robe and headband. Young distracted by the ref, and Savage drives a knee to his back and tosses Young to the floor. Savage follows with a double ax handle from the top rope and tosses the kid back in. Randy with a delayed vertical suplex followed by the flying elbow for the win. No rating, was a squash match only included for the post match stuff. Savage tosses Young out of the ring, grabs the mic from Howard Finkel and thanks the managers for their consideration. After mention everything each manager taught him he introduces him manager, making her WWF debut, Miss Elizabeth. Vince is already drooling over Elizabeth as she comes to the ring, it’s depressing to realize that they’re both gone now.

8. Randy Savage squashed Jim Young No Rating

Great now we get the Hillbilly Family, what is Vince’s obsession with the Hillbillies? Uncle Elmer and Cousin Junior come to the ring with Hillbilly Jim to face Jerry Adams and Barry O. Barry O is better known as the uncle of current WWE star, Randy Orton. That might be the most exciting part of this match, as Vince and Jesse talk about the manager of the year award. Elmer and Barry lock up and we cut away to TNT again. I appreciate not having to sit through this match. Jimmy Hart and Freddie Blassie are talking about the manager of the year award, Both men go over their stables and talk about Randy Savage some more. We now go to the manager of the year announcement, hosted by Mene Gene. Gene is with the final three, as he announces they had over a million votes, Heenan takes the microphone and says all the managers have given their votes to him and it totals 519,711 votes. Heenan gets all cocky and announces himself manager of the year, as Hillbilly Jim asks about his votes, Gene says he has 316,428 votes. This leaves Captain Lou Albano, as Heenan poses with the trophy. Albano has 314, 166 votes, and Jim gives Albano his votes, giving Lou the win. Heenan snaps and smashes the trophy over Albano’s head. Studd and Bundy quickly comes out and destroy Hillbilly Jim much like they did to Andre, and the locker room empties to save Jim. Heenan leaves with the plaque portion of the trophy as the crowd chants Lou’s name. Now more TNT footage of Lou Albano, as Heenan says we have a video of Albano coming soon. Albano is a heel in this interview as he runs down Cyndi Lauper, and talks about The Samoans losing the tag titles.

9. Captain Lou Albano & Afa v. Pedro Morales & Andre the Giant

This seems like a mismatch, as we have the largest man in wrestling team with the former World/IC champion against one half of the tag champions and a manager. Andre quickly rams Afa and Lou’s heads together, and Lou bails out. Clip to Pedro and Afa as Afa powers Pedro to the corner and Lou grabs Pedro. Afa swings and Pedro ducks causing Lou to get clobbered. Clip again to Pedro being hammered by Afa and then Lou tagged in. As soon as Pedro comes back Lou bails out sending Afa back in. More clipping as Lou slams Pedro down, but Pedro sweeps the legs and tags in the Giant, which causes Lou to bail out again. Andre sends Afa into the ropes and connects with the big boot then pounds on the Samoan. We get the classic run into the Giant’s ass that we’ve seen in multiple tapes now. Andre stands on Afa’s hair and pulls him up at the same time. Afa finally makes a comeback with a headbutt and chokes the Giant down. Now Andre’s down Lou makes his way in, but Andre comes back and headbutts Albano, splitting the Captain wide open. Pedro tagged in as Afa tries to save his manager, and Pedro rams them together. Lou leaves the ring and heads to the back, leaving Afa to eat the Giant’s boot. Pedro covers for the easy win. 7/10 surprisingly a fun match, as Andre was still very mobile at this point and Lou is always entertaining.

9. Andre the Giant & Pedro Morales defeated Afa and Lou Albano 7/10

MATCH RECAP:

1. Ricky Steamboat & JYD beat Don Muraco & Mr. Fuji 8.5/10 on August 17, 1985 from Landover, MD

2. Johnny Valient pinned Steve Lombardi after an elbowdrop 5/10 on August 17, 1985 from Landover, MD

3. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff beat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the tag titles 5/10 on March 31, 1985 from New York City

4. Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele went to a double countout 6/10 on July 13, 1985 from New York City

5. Wendi Richter pinned Moolah to win the Women’s title No Rating

6. Wendi Richter pinned Leilani Kai to win the Women’s title No Rating from March 31, 1985 in New York City

7. Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd via DQ 6/10

8. Randy Savage squashed Jim Young No Rating on July 30, 1985 from Poughkeepsie, NY

9. Andre the Giant & Pedro Morales defeated Afa and Lou Albano 7/10 on August 23, 1980 from Philadelphia, PA

Overall a fun tape, with a couple good matches and some great classic segments. Worth matching for the Randy Savage segments alone, the whole battle for Savage was classic. Another enjoyable show from Coliseum Home Video, unfortunately I can’t say the same for the next volume, Wrestling’s Country Boys, not expecting much from that tape.


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