Chris' Blog

Best of the WWF Volume 4

It’s time for another classic Coliseum Home Video recap. Next in this great library is The Best of the WWF Volume 4, and this box is bright red with a great shot of the Iron Sheik locking on a camel clutch. Also featured on the box is Big John Studd, Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy. This tape comes to us around the summer of 1985, with Hulk-a-mania continuing it’s rise to the top of the business. After that last tape anything has to better then 80 minutes of those damn hillbillies, so I expect greatness on this tape, let’s hope I’m right.

Following the usual classic opener with that vintage 80’s music we’re greeted by Vince McMahon who welcomes us to the program. No powder blue or pink suit from Vince, I’m disappointed. Vince puts over the WWF and calls it the greatest spectacle in the world and calls this the best record of history.
1. Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Paul Orndorff

Was there a better heel then the Rowdy One in the 80s, as Rowdy gets introduced Vince goes over the fall out between the two. The story was that Piper blamed Paul for the loss at Wrestlemania and called picking Paul as a partner the only mistake he ever made, thus turning Paul face. The place explodes when Paul comes out, as Gorilla and Alfred are on commentary. We start with a slugfest and Piper sent to the outside, when Paul follows and hammers Piper before slamming him into the post. This crowd is insane, multiply the Wrestlemania crowd by a hundred to equal how loud this crowd is, and this is just a random Madison Square Garden house show. Paul makes the classic mistake of running into Piper’s knees and this gives Piper the advantage finally, and the crowd has still not cooled down one iota. Piper gets caught in a backslide for two, and he shows Paul it was only two by poking the two fingers in Paul’s eyes. Piper sends Paul tumbling to the cement floor of the Garden, and the crowd is screaming at Piper. Paul pulls Piper outside the ring and tries to send him into the barricade but Piper reverses and Paul crashes to the barricade. Back in the ring and Piper slows it down with a side headlock, but Paul fights back and gets the upper hand on Piper. Orndorff staggers Piper with a series of shots and charges Piper, and both men tumble to the cement. The brawl continues and Paul clobbers him before getting in the ring and Paul drags him back in via the hair. Paul climbs the ropes but Bob Orton out of nowhere shoves Paul to the mat drawing the DQ. 8.5/10 a fantastic brawl and an electric crowd like you never hear nowadays. After the match Piper and Orton double team Paul and bust him wide open, and Gorilla Monsoon is beside himself at ringside screaming for help. Piper and Orton continue to destroy Paul and here comes The British Bulldogs for the save and Orton and Piper bail out. What an awesome opening match for this tape.
1. Paul Orndorff beat Rowdy Roddy Piper by DQ 8.5/10

2. Jimmy Snuka and Hulk Hogan v. Bob Orton and Don Muraco

We get an amazing tag match featuring two of the biggest faces of 1985 facing Mr. Fuji’s devious duo. I was always a huge fan of the Rock, Don Muraco, the only Rock in wrestling. We start with a huge brawl with all four men and they battle all around the ringside area, as Fuji is trying to stay out of the way. The ref finally gets Hulk out of the ring as Snuka works over the always injured arm of Orton, he wore that cast forever. So far it’s been pretty one sided with Hulk and Snuka tearing apart the over matched Bob orton. Orton finally gets a cheap shot in and makes the tag to Muraco who hammers the World Champion down. Orton back in and hits a beautiful delayed suplex, what a show of power from the Cowboy to hold the champion up that long. Hulk plays Ricky Morton tonight as the heels continue to double team him and get a near fall, but Snuka makes the save. Hulk catches Muraco with a big lariat and both men are down and struggle to make the tag, Hulk makes the hot tag to Snuka. Superfly a house of fire unloading on Muraco and Orton with headbutts, as Gene calls him a One Man Gang, no he debuts two years later. Snuka hits the crossbody on Muraco but Fuji has the ref distracted and Orton uses the cast to nail Snuka and then Hogan. Snuka split wide open as Muraco slams Hogan’s head into the steel post, and Orton is relentless as we clip forward a bit. Snuka catches Orton with a chop and crawls to the corner to tag in Hogan, and succeeds. Hulk hammers Orton and Muraco but again gets clobbered by the cast of Orton. The ref finally calls for the bell, as Orton and Muraco get disqualified. 7/10 a fun brawl but not as good as the last match. After the match the faces clobber the heels and send the fans home happy. 
2. Jimmy Snuka and Hulk Hogan defeated Bob Orton and Don Muraco via DQ 7/10

3. 20 Man Battle Royal

Nothing more exciting then an old school battle royal. We get a plethora of names in this match including Snuka, Greg Valentine, Adrian Adonis, Mr Fuji, Jay Strongbow, SD Jones, Rocky Johnson and every other big name of the era. Snuka the first man eliminated, which is a huge surprise to me. The first triple crown winner, when that meant something, Pedro Morales almost goes out. We see Blackjack Mulligan and Ivan Putski gave been eliminated, but didn’t see how. Vince is horrible on commentary when he’s alone, he almost sounds lost. Adonis and Valentine going at it, which is odd since both are heels, Tony Garea gets dumped out and lands hard on the cement, courtesy of Adrian Adonis. Vince talks about the Strongbows beiing alone, as Saito goes out via the Strongbows! Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz is in there, as is SD Jones, which is surprising. It seems odd to have a battle royal without Andre the Giant, as SD Jones is being choked by Johnny Rodz. Pedro unloads on Adrian Adonis, who does a sell job that would make Dolph Ziggler proud. The Strongbows are on the floor fighting with Mr. Fuji, I guess all three are out. The refs have a hard time getting rid of the Strongbows, as Jones almost goes out. Valentine, Rodz and Adonis work over Pedro and send Pedro out of the battle royal. I think Valentine is the biggest name still in there at this point, along with Adonis. Vince makes fun of someone for throwing punches like a girl, as someone goes out, as called by Vince. Valentine is a bloody mess at this point, and Vince thinks he’ll eliminate himself due to the blood flowing, not likely with the Hammer. Adonis eliminates someone, as Estrada goes out and Sciluna as well. Final four, Adrian Adonis, Greg Valentine, SD Jones and Tony Atlas, I’m pulling for the Hammer personally. The faces have control as it’s a Texas Tornado tag match at this point, but the heels turn it around as Valentine tosses Jones but through the ropes. Atlas being put to sleep by Adrian Adonis, but SD makes a comeback on Valentine who gets tied in the ropes. Did Adonis go out, if so we missed it, as he’s on the floor, guess he’s out. Atlas and Jones send Valentine out of the ring, and it’s down to SD Jones and Tony Atlas as the final two. They lock up but instead they hug each other and call the ref in, we get a coin flip finish and Atlas wins? 5/10 wasn’t bad but that was the most messed up ending to a battle royal. After the match Atlas gently presses SD over his head and drops him on the apron for the offical elimination.
3. Tony Atlas wins a 20 Man Battle Royal 5/10

We get a segment on wrestlers specialty holds, called Specialty of the House. They show Barry Windham hitting the bulldog on Nikolai Volkoff, Ricky Steamboat showing off his karate kicks, Brutus Beefcake and his backbreakers on David Sammartino, Paul Orndorff’s strength against Roddy Piper, Iron Sheik’s Camel Clutch on Hulk Hogan, and Hillbilly Jim’s bearhug on Rene Goulet. Surprisingly we get a clip of Stan Hansen doing the lariat on Bruno Sammartino, also Bruno showing off all his offense on Larry Z. Hulk Hogan shows off his clothesline and big running elbow on David Schultz, followed by Greg Valentine showing why he’s called the Hammer on Tito Santana then the figure four on Jim Powers. Cowboy Bob Orton displays his superplex on a jobber, King Kong Bundy hits the avalanche on Tony Garea. We then get a series of different poses from different stars followed by Jimmy Snuka hitting the superfly on a scrub and then from the top of the cage on Don Muraco, a classic moment in WWF history. Now the British Bulldogs show off the acrobatic abilities against the Hart Foundation to finish this little clipfest.
4. Andre the Giant v. Killer Khan in a Mongolian Stretcher Match

Vince McMahon goes over the rules of the match, one man must be carried out on the stretcher. Andre as always stands tall over Khan, as he checks on the stretcher before the match. Vince talks about the last match in Boston when Killer Khan broke Andre’s foot, as Andre quickly destroys Khan in the corner. Andre not wasting anytime and Khan tries to bail out, but Andre pulls him back in and hits a big boot sending Khan to the mat. Andre follows with the big butt drop and the stretcher comes in but Khan fights off the stretcher. Andre misses a diving headbutt and now Khan is on the offense working over the previously injured leg of Andre. Andre tied up in the ropes as Khan continues the offense and calls in the stretcher for Andre, but Andre refuses to lose and grabs the stretcher, slamming it over the head of Khan. Andre headbutts Khan down and drops all his weight on Khan repeatedly, and the stretcher comes in again but Khan holds the ropes so Andre is ruthless now. Andre drops all his weight on Andre multiple times and Khan is on the stretcher but holds the ropes  to continue the match. Andre sets Khan in the corner and unloads on the Mongol then hits the butterfly suplex and follows with a butt drop and a huge splash on Khan. Khan finally leaves on the stretcher ending the match. 4/10 was legendary for what it was at the time, but nothing major as it was mostly Andre sitting on Khan. 
4. Andre the Giant defeated Killer Khan in a Mongolian Stretcher Match 4/10

5. Andre the Giant v. Big John Studd in a cage

This match is joined in progress, as Andre headbutt Big John who’s a bloody mess. Andre misses the big boot and Studd comes back with a clothesline then hammers the Giant down. Studd tries to escape through the door but Andre comes back and drops a forearm across the back of Studd’s head. Andre slams Studd with ease and climbs the ropes, but instead of escaping he butt drops Studd from the top rope, holy crap!!! Andre leaves via the door as Studd is a puddle of jelly at this point. 4/10 wasn’t bad for what we saw, but the usual from these two although the top rope butt drop was amazing to see.
5. Andre the Giant crushed Big John Studd in a cage 4/10

6. Andre the Giant v. King Kong Bundy

This match was called the collosal jostle, no seriously that’s what they billed this contest as. Bundy is still managed by Jimmy Hart at this point, but would soon be traded to Bobby Heenan. Andre comes out accompanied by the legendary Captain Lou Albano, and the crowd explodes. I love New York crowds in the eighties, they were insane for the big names. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura on commentary and they talk about Bundy attacking Andre in Toronto a few months earlier with a series of splashes. Andre gets Bundy in the corner and chops the big man out of the ring, as the crowd is insane. We clip to Andre headbutting Bundy out of the ring and Bundy hits the table on the way out. More clipping to Bundy unloading on the Giant, and the crowd chants for Andre, which encourages Bundy to continue working over the Giant. Andre finally fights his way to his feet and uses his size to control Bundy in the corner. Andre gets sent to the corner and Bundy charges for the avalanche, but Andre gets a boot up and drops the leg. Big John dives in the ring and attacks Andre, drawing the DQ. 5/10 not a bad match, but nothing fantastic. Bundy and Studd work over Andre and Albano comes in and gets popped, Andre finally makes it out of the ring and grabs a chair, Bundy and Studd bail out.
6. Andre the Giant defeated King Kong Bundy by DQ 5/10

7. Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine v. Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat

That’s an interesting tag team on the face side, as we have three great workers in one match plus Beefcake. Brutus and Steamboat start out, and Steamboat takes care of him with ease. Tito and Ricky work over Brutus, with a few shots on Valentine as well. I assume this is our main event tonight, much better then ending a show with twenty minutes of talking, just saying is all. Brutus finally makes the tag to Valentine, who misses an elbow on Tito and Tito hammers the Hammer to the outside. Steamboat and Tito even have matching powder blue tights, wonder if there were any plans to make them a long term team. Gorilla mentions Sheik and Volkoff are the tag champions, so US Express had not won them back yet. Steamboat and Santana in control of the Hammer, and Santana goes for the figure four but Greg kicks him off. This gets Greg on the offense as he drops the hammer on Tito and follows with a nice shoulderbreaker before tagging in Brutus. Brutus shows off his offense skills by choking and clobbering Santana, boy was Brutus bad still at this point. He improved by the time he turned face in 87, but at this point he was still bad. Valentine tagged back in, saving this match as Brutus dragged it down a bit, and pounds on Tito as Brutus goes after Steamboat. Just realized Greg was still managed by Jimmy Hart at this point, so they were not the Dream Team yet. Santana doing a great job playing the face in peril, as Valentine and Brutus keep working over Tito. Gorilla impressed with how both teams are working, as Brutus screws up and lets Santana make the hot tag to Steamboat. Steamboat unloads on both men, including a beautiful snap suplex on Brutus. Steamboat locks on the sleeper hold on Brutus, but Brutus fights free and tags in Valentine. Greg hits a stomach breaker, called a reverse back breaker by Gorilla. Steamboat now gets to play face in peril as the future Dream Team double team Steamboat. Ricky was always on of the best at selling, as he’s getting tore apart in the ring by Valentine who goes for the figure four but Steamboat rolls him up for a near fall. Steamboat fights off both men and makes the hot tag to Santana who hits the noggin knocker on Brutus and Greg, then takes down Brutus. Flying Forearm from Tito and he covers Greg, but Brutus breaks it up and we have all four in the ring. Steamboat tossed to the floor and the double team begins on Santana. Steamboat comes back in from the top and clobbers Brutus sending him to the floor. Tito locks on the figure four on Greg, who has no choice but to submit. 8/10 a great back and forth tag match exciting and fun to watch.
7. Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat defeated Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake 8/10

1. Paul Orndorff beat Rowdy Roddy Piper by DQ 8.5/10 on July 13, 1985 from New York City

2. Jimmy Snuka and Hulk Hogan defeated Bob Orton and Don Muraco via DQ 7/10 on May 18, 1985 from Boston, MA

3. Tony Atlas wins a 20 Man Battle Royal 5/10 on June 26, 1982 from Philadelphia, PA

4. Andre the Giant defeated Killer Khan in a Mongolian Stretcher Match 4/10 on November 14, 1981 from Philadelphia, PA

5. Andre the Giant crushed Big John Studd in a cage 4/10 on September 24, 1983 from Philadelphia, PA

6. Andre the Giant defeated King Kong Bundy by DQ 5/10 on September 23, 1985 from New York City

7. Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat defeated Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake 8/10 on April 21, 1985 from Toronto, ON

A very good and fun filled show with three great matches, a fun battle royal and a trio of Andre matches. The opening match was great, as were the two tag matches, and the battle royal had one of the oddest ending ever. Still a great tape, and coming up next is the first WWF PPV, The Wrestling Classic. Smackdown is coming up Friday and the Classic will be on Monday. 

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