Chris' Blog


WWF Wrestling Classic

Our next video in the Coliseum Home Video Collection is the first ever WWF PPV, the Wrestling Classic. This was a big tournament that took place in Chicago, Illinois and also featured a World Title defense from Hulk Hogan. It’s the only WWF PPV to feature Roddy Piper versus Hulk Hogan, which is surprising considering what a huge feud they had. This is one of my favorite shows, let’s hope it holds up.

As always we open with the vintage opening video, they used this for a long time I guess. It’s still a great opener as it features pretty much every major star in the WWF in about a minute. The tape runs about two hours, so prepare for clipping. I have the full PPV as it aired, and it’s a longer show, may have to recap that one day. Vince McMahon welcomes us to a special program, and it’s called Wrestlevision and is a one of a kind sixteen man tournament. Vince sends it to the PPV, and we get the old school WWF TV opener, I miss that opener. Wonder who came up with Wrestlevision anway, it just sounds stupid as Vince goes over the names in the tournament and we see the huge crowd for this show. Vince is joined by Lord Alfred Hayes and some woman and they will cover the tournament brackets. Alfred was always a source of comedy, as they always found a good way to humiliate him each chance they had. We go to earlier in the day as Gene is with various people who draw their first round opponents. Vince then sends it to Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon who will be calling the action tonight. 
1. Adrian Adonis v. Corporal Kirchner

Adrian is still in the leather phase, not the pastel look yet, but it’s coming. Adrian overpowers the Corporal to the corner and we get a clean break. Corporal with a nice arm drag, and Adrian looks surprised. A second armdrag sends Adrian to the corner, as Gorilla says the matches have a ten minute time limit in this round. Corporal with a side headlock and Adrian counters with a belly to back suplex, then delivers a series of elbows to the head of Corporal. Corporal tries to come back with a suplex but Adrian again with a counter into a nice DDT for the win. 5/10 nothing offense, just a short quick match.
1. Adrian Adonis pinned Corporal Kirchner with a DDT 5/10

2. Dynamite Kid v. Nikolai Volkoff

Dynamite catches Volkoff with a dropkick off the top rope while he’s still singing the Russian Anthem and scores the pin. No rating as the match never started. Nikolai has no idea what happened as he leaves the ring confused. 
2. Dynamite Kid crushed Nikolai Volkoff with a missile dropkick NO RATING

3. Ivan Putski v. Randy Savage

Was Ivan even being used at this point in his career? Randy Savage comes out to a pretty impressive pop considering he was the heel. The introductions have taken longer then the last two matches combined! I love how Jesse always says Ivan’s name wrong just to be a jerk. Savage bails out right away as Putski goes after him. Savage continues his stalling tactics, hope he realizes that they only have ten minutes. Savage finally locks up and Ivan spits on Macho Man, which angers Jesse badly. Savage back in and gets shot in, then runs into the shoulder of Ivan which staggers Savage. Another lock up and Ivan gets sent to the buckle, but Ivan blocks and Savage bounces off the buckle. Savage rakes the eyes but Putski comes back with a series of punches to the head and Savage is in trouble. Savage shot to the corner and Ivan unloads on Savage, Savage sweeps the legs and covers with his feet on the ropes for the win! 6/10 a fun little match, as Savage outsmarted his opponent. 
3. Randy Savage pinned Ivan Putski using the ropes 6/10

4. Ricky Steamboat v. Davey Boy Smith

A much smaller Davey Boy then we are used to from the 90’s and beyond, as Gorilla calls this a science match. We start with a nice sequence of counters and holds. They exchange hiplocks and Davey gets the advantage and gets a pin attempt but Ricky powers out and backslides Davey. Ricky off the ropes and Davey catches and press slams him down for a near fall. Davey goes for the suplex and Ricky blocks it, so Davey press slams him up and over again. Davey again goes for the suplex and Ricky counters with one of his own and goes for the splash, but Davey gets the knees up. Davey with a nice dropkcik and Ricky in the ropes. Davey charges and crotches himself on the ropes, the ref stops the match as Davey is injured. 7/10 was shaping up as a great match, but short. Ricky checks on Davey as the officials help him out of the ring.
4. Ricky Steamboat beat Davey Boy Smith by ref stoppage 7/10

5. JYD v. Iron Sheik

Sheik attacks JYD before the bell and chokes him with the headdress. Sheik tells the fans what he thinks of them, but this gives the Dog a chance to get up. JYD unloads on Sheik and headbutts him down. JYD headbutts Sheik again and he bails out of the ring. Back in the ring and Dog catches Sheik with a lariat for a near fall. Dog with a snapmare and drops the head, but Sheik moves and quickly locks on the camel clutch. Jesse says he’s never seen anyone get out of this hold, Hulk Hogan did when he won the World Title. Dog powers his way out of the hold and Sheik quickly goes back on the offense in the corner. Sheik shoves the ref away and Dog headbutts Sheik for the win. 6/10 a fun match between two of my favorites as a kid. 
5. JYD pinned Iron Sheik 5/10

6. Terry Funk v. Moondog Spot

Terry Funk says he doesn’t want to wrestle Spot and asks Spot if he wants to wrestle him. Spot says no, so Funk says let’s leave the ring and settle for a draw. Spot wants Funk to leave first, so he does and Spot follows. Funk attacks Spot from behind on the floor and tries to run back in the ring but Spot catches him. Funk backdrops Spot back in the ring and Funk gets counted out. No rating, wasn’t a match just a fun little angle. That’s something that has never been seen again, and was just good comedy. After the match Funk and Jimmy Hart attack Spot who bails out.
6. Moondog Spot beat Terry Funk by countout

7. Tito Santana v. Don Muraco

Tito is the current IC champion, but of course this is not for the title. Muraco starts out hammering Tito and smashes his head into the buckle. Tito ducks under a clothesline and hits a crossbody for a near fall. Muraco furious and hammers Tito, but gets caught in a sunset flip for another near fall. Muraco begs off as Santana goes after him and unloads on Muraco in the corner. Muraco gets tossed into the buckle and does a cool flip in the corner, and Tito is relentless. Tito applies the armbar and controls Muraco in the middle of the ring, Muraco finally fights free and clobbers Tito using is power advantage. Muraco drops an elbow then a big knee across the chest for a near fall. Muraco slams Tito down hard and covers for the win, but Tito had a foor on the ropes. The ref resumes the match and Muraco has no clue, Tito rolls him up for the win. 7/10 a good solid match, considering the time constraints.
7. Tito Santana pinned Don Muraco 7/10

Before the next match we go to Gene with Bobby Heenan who has none of his men in the tournament tonight. Heenan says he’s always scouting for new talent, and says he has fifty thousand dollars to who ever defeats Paul Orndorff.

8. Paul Orndorff v. Cowboy Bob Orton

This is the final match in the opening round and the winner will face Tito Santana in the next round. They lock up and Paul goes after the oft injured arm of Orton. Paul with an atomic drop sends Orton into the post and Paul continues to hammer the arm. Paul off the ropes and Orton with a side headlock, Paul fights out with a leg scissor and back to the arm. Orton finally fights free and drops Paul throat first on the top rope and follows with a knee to the head. Orton unloads on Paul in the corner before shooting him in and Paul comes back with sunset flip for a near fall. Orton furious now drops an elbow across the back of the head before applying a rear chinlock. Orton transitions into a head scissors but Paul uses the power of the people to fight free. Orton tosses Paul across the ring but misses the flying headscissors and now Paul hammers Orton. Paul hits a back elbow and drops the forearm across the face and then hammers Orton so hard he flies over the top rope. Paul chases after him and tosses Bob back in, Bob bails out the other side and Paul clobbers him. The ref pulls Paul back and Orton clocks him with the cast, drawing the DQ. 7/10 a great back and forth battle, Bob Orton was always impressive in the ring, unlike his useless son.
8. Paul Orndorff beat Bob Orton via DQ 7/10

We go backstage to Vince McMahon, Alfred and the random model, who Alfred really seems stuck on. They recap the first round matches and go over the battles in the second round coming up. We have Randy Savage facing Ricky Steamboat, a year before it meant anything though. Vince announces the time limit is fifteen minutes for the second round. 
9. Adrian Adonis v. Dynamite Kid

The first match in the quarterfinals, and Adrian uses his power to take down Kid, but Kid comes back with his speed and Adonis bails out. Adonis comes back in and unloads on Kid then slingshots him into the ringpost, which makes Jimmy Hart very happy. Jesse leaves the commentator booth to go talk to Macho Man before his next match as Adonis suplexes Kid down hard and gets a near fall. Adonis snapmares Kid and applies a rear chinlock as he slows down the much quicker Kid. Kid fights free with a gutwrench suplex and goes for a splash but Adonis gets the knees up and begins working over Kid’s leg. Adonis locks on a Sharpshooter, very impressive to see that from Adonis, but Kid is in the ropes causing the breaks. Kid sent to the corner and catches Adonis coming with a sunset flip for a near fall, Adonis quickly goes back to the legs. Adonis goes for the bulldog but Kid shoots him off into the buckle and Kid capitalizes with a knee drop and a clothesline. Kid drops a knee from the top rope and gets a near fall, then follows with a great snap suplex and a diving headbutt. Jimmy on the apron and Kid grabs him, Adonis with a sunset flip but Kid kicks him off into Hart and covers Adonis for the win! 8.75/10 a great battle, probably the best of the tournament. Kid was always amazing in the ring and Adonis was underrated for his abilities.
9. Dynamite Kid beat Adrian Adonis 8.75/10

Backstage to Gene with Jesse Ventura, who says three heads are better then one as he’s with Randy Savage and Elizabeth in this tournament. Jesse says he’s informed Savage of Steamboat’s flaws but he will be unbiased. 

10. Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat

Who would’ve thought this would become the best match of all time at Wrestlemania sixteen months later. Savage quickly uses Elizabeth as a shield and when Steamboat turns around Savage nails him. The bell rings and Steamboat comes back with the karate, sending Savage to the floor. Savage pulls Steamboat out and rams him into the post before throwing him back in. Steamboat catches Savage in the corner and sends Savage back to the floor, Steamboat follows and unloads on the Macho Man with chops. Savage gets atomic dropped on the cement and Steamboat tosses him back in, Savage goes for a clothesline and Steamboat leaps over and chops Savage. A second chop attempt is blocked and Savage back suplexes Steamboat down then climsb the ropes. Steamboat catches Savage coming down and chops Macho Man repeatedly. Savage to the apron and Steamboat suplexes him back in then climbs the ropes. Steamboat with the crossbody gets a near fall, and goes back to the karate chops sending Savage back to the apron. Savage reaches in the tights as Steamboat suplexes him back in again and Savage clocks Steamboat for the win. 7/10 not the classic it should have been, but was still good considering all matches felt rushed.
10. Randy Savage pinned Ricky Steamboat with a foreign object 7/10

11. JYD v. Moondog Spot

Spot goes after Dog right away and hammers the Dog but misses the top rope splash. Dog with a series of headbutts, and covers but no ref. Dog counts three and the bell rings, and that’s the match. NO RATING, no ref, no match, just a quick way to get Dog into the next round.
11. JYD pinned Moondog Spot NO RATING

Backstage to Heenan who says he’s been watching this show closely as he scouts the talent. Heenan says Hulk Hogan is ready to be beaten and Piper will walk out the champion tonight.

12. Paul Orndorff v. Tito Santana

This is another face versus face match, and is the final match in this round of the tournament, with the winner facing the JYD. Jesse thinks Tito can be bought, as the bounty is still on the line. Santana with a side headlock to start the match, as Jesse points out that Tito’s leg is taped up and wasn’t previous round. Paul powers out of the headlock and then powers Tito down, but Tito comes back with a head scissors, again as he was in the head scissor earlier from Bob Orton. Paul counters out with a sunset flip for a near fall, and both guys face off. Paul quickly locks on a hammerlock on the IC Champion and powers Tito to the mat. Tito finally reverses the hold and Paul makes the ropes to break the hold, and both guys face off with fists, which makes Jesse happy. They lock up and Tito with a side headlock, and Paul counters with an atomic drop on the bad leg of Tito. The ref checks on Tito, who refuses to quit and Paul gives him time to get up, to the chagrin of Jesse. Paul sweeps out Tito’s leg and applies a toe hold, as Gorilla reminds us this is not for the IC title. Paul releases the hold before dropping an elbow on the leg of Tito and goes back to the submission hold. Paul goes for the figure four and Tito kicks him off, and both men are slow to get up. They get to the ropes and Paul nails Tito sending him to the floor. Paul follows and they slug it out on the floor, and the ref counts both men out. 7/10 a slow paced methodical match but was great that way. Both men are eliminated and JYD moves right to the finals!
12. Paul Orndorff and Tito Santana go to a double countout

Backstage to Vince, Alfred and the model, as they go over the upcoming one and only semi final match, Randy Savage versus Dynamite Kid. Alfred says Savage has had two grueling matches while Kid has had much easier matches. Meanwhile the JYD is getting a bye and moves right into the finals. Jesse calls it unfair that the Dog gets a bye and says both men lost their cool in the last match. 

13.  Hulk Hogan v. Roddy Piper for the World Title

Hulk Hogan looks funny in white, as Piper jumps him and tosses Hulk to the floor. Hulk pulls Piper out with him and tosses Piper over the railing. Piper finally makes it in the ring and Hulk follows, Piper rakes the eyes and hammer Hogan. Piper pokes Hogan in the eyes but gets sent to the corner and eats a big clothesline. Piper does a classic Flair flop falling face first to the mat and Hulk goes right after him. Hulk hits a big suplex and then the big slam followed by a pair of elbow drops. Hulk sets Piper in the corner and hammers Piper, the ref grabs Hulk’s arm and this allows Piper to get a shot in. Piper clobbers Hulk and climbs the ropes, Piper dives down right into Hulk’s arms as Hulk locks on a bear hug. Piper breaks the hold by poking Hulk’s eyes and unloads on Hogan. The crowd is not as loud as expected for this match, as Piper locks on the sleeper hold and now the crowd is firing up, as Hulk tries to fight off the sleeper. Hulk drops down and Piper continues to crank the pressure on Hogan, and the ref checks on Hogan. Hulk’s arm drops twice, but not on the third one as Hulk starts to fight free in classic Hulk style. Hulk makes the ropes and both men tumble hard to the cement, Piper tries to ram Hulk into the post but Hulk shoves him off and Piper hits the post. Hulk starts to Hulk up and Piper tries to run away, but Hulk catches him. Back in the ring and Hulk shoots him in and hits the big boot and an atomic drop. Piper reverses the Irish Whip and Hulk hits the ref, Piper quickly grabs a chair and clobbers Hogan with it. Piper goes to ram the chair into Hogan but Hogan blocks and nails Piper with it then locks on the sleeper hold. Out of nowhere comes the Ace Bob Orton for the save and that causes the DQ. Paul Orndorff comes out to save the champion and Piper and Orton bail out. 7/10 a solid back and forth battle, but a lame ending hurt the match, still better then the main event of Wrestlemania!
13. Hulk Hogan defeated Roddy Piper by DQ 7/10

14. Dynamite Kid v. Randy Savage

This is our only semi final match and the winner will face the JYD in the finals, this should be a great match. Jesse continues to complain about JYD getting a bye and says Dog should be out here doing pushup throughout the match, can’t see Dog being able to do that many to be honest. The inital lockup and neither man gets an advantage, a second lockup and Kid shoves Savage off. The third try and we get a series of nice counters, which angers Savage. Another lockup and they battle all around the ring on the ropes, Savage finally gets a cheap shot in and then slams Kid into the buckle before shooting him in. Kid comes back with a nice shoulderblock sending Savage to the mat. Savage sent in and Kid backdrops Savage down hard and a nice crossbody but they wind up in the ropes. Savage shoots him in and Kid goes for the sunset flip but Savage holds on a drops down on Kid. Kid tries to come back with a cross body but Savage ducks and Savage pulls him up. Both men collide and Savage the first one back up, and climbs the ropes slowly. Kid catches Savage on the top rope with a dropkick then hits a beautiful top rope suplex, then goes for a cradle upon landing but Savage counters into a pin of his own! 8/10 would’ve been a higher rating if they had more time, simply a fantastic match considering the time they had. 
14. Randy Savage pinned Dynamite Kid 8/10

Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan in the showers, as he advises the camera man to keep the camera up high. Hulk says neither man has had enough and now Orton wants some too as Orndorff comes into the picture. Hulk challenges Piper and Orton for a tag match anytime, and Paul says he’s tired of the interferance and that he and Hulk are blood and they’ll be together. Hulk says he and Paul have a surprise for Piper and Orton.
15. Randy Savage v. Junk Yard Dog

It’s time for the finals of the tournament, as JYD has had time to rest while Savage just finished a grueling battle with Kid and this marks Savage’s fourth match of the evening. Savage gets in Dog’s face and Dog charges, so Savage hides behind Elizabeth and bails out of the ring. Savage grabs a chair as the bell rings and Savage tosses the chair at the Dog who smashes the chair over his own head to show how hard his head is. Savage slowly gets back in the ring and then dives out the other side. It’s sad to realize that all three, Dog, Savage and Elizabeth are all gone now, makes this match very depressing. Savage continues to stall before finally getting in the ring and Dog tosses him aside repeatedly. Savage goes for a slam but Dog counters and headbutts Savage to the back and follows with an atomic drop, I guess that’s the move of the night. Dog locks on a bearhug and Savage rakes the eyes to break the hold as Gene joins the announce table. Dog quickly goes back to working over the back of Savage and Savage falls to the apron. Dog chokes Savage, and Jesse points out that Dog is cheating, as Dog sends Savage to the corner. Savage comes out with a badly botched clothesline, and Savage tosses Dog out of the ring. Savage climbs the ropes and drops the axe handle on Dog on the floor. Savage slides in the break the count the sneaks back out and clobbers the Dog before ramming him into the post. Savage again drops the axe handle on the Dog, who crumples to the cement floor. Savage breaks the count again and smashes a chair over the back of the dog, and that’s not a DQ? Gene questions that as well, as Savage continues to work over the Dog, choking him on the barricade. Dog finally back in the ring and Savage climbs the ropes, Savage dives down and Dog catches him. Dog with a series of headbutts on Savage and pulls him out of the corner the hard way. Dog with another headbutt and Savage tied in the ropes, so the Dog unloads on him, which angers Jesse badly. Savage fights free and rakes the eyes, the Dog staggers to the ropes and Savage charges. Dog backdrops Savage to the cement and the ref counts Savage out. 7.5/10 a pretty good final match once the stalling ended. Probably on of the Dog’s better matches. After the match Gene congratulates Dog on the win, and Jesse gets in the ring and gets in Dog’s face. Jesse says he’s protesting Dog’s win as Savage is helped to the back. Vince and Alfred close the show, as Vince calls this the first annual Wrestling Classic, however this was the only Wrestling Classic. We then get credits rolling over the theme song of Hulk Hogan’s cartoon, remember when PPV had credits showing who helped make the show?
15. Junk Yard Dog beat Randy Savage by countout to win the tournament

MATCH RECAP:

1. Adrian Adonis pinned Corporal Kirchner with a DDT 5/10


2. Dynamite Kid crushed Nikolai Volkoff with a missile dropkick NO RATING

3. Randy Savage pinned Ivan Putski using the ropes 6/10

4. Ricky Steamboat beat Davey Boy Smith by ref stoppage 7/10

5. JYD pinned Iron Sheik 5/10

6. Moondog Spot beat Terry Funk by countout

7. Tito Santana pinned Don Muraco 7/10

8. Paul Orndorff beat Bob Orton via DQ 7/10

9. Dynamite Kid beat Adrian Adonis 8.75/10

10. Randy Savage pinned Ricky Steamboat with a foreign object 7/10

11. JYD pinned Moondog Spot NO RATING

12. Paul Orndorff and Tito Santana go to a double countout

13. Hulk Hogan defeated Roddy Piper by DQ 7/10

14. Randy Savage pinned Dynamite Kid 8/10

15. Junk Yard Dog beat Randy Savage by countout to win the tournament

Overall a fun show which aged surprisingly well. Have to give the matches a bit of a pass considering the time alloted. The matches that went longer were fantastic and the short ones were fun enough to make the show enjoyable. A great first PPV from the WWF, and another great Coliseum Home Video. Coming up next is Tag Team Champions, the history of the tag titles!
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