Chris' Blog


The Tag Team Champions

   After a little longer hiatus then I planned, I am back with the continuation of the Coliseum Home Video Library. Todays video is entitled The Tag Team Champions, and the box says it covers six years of championship matches. Featured on the box are Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, and the Strongbows. Nowadays if they covered six years of title changes it would take about ten tapes, but this should go from about 1980-1986, so there wasn’t the random title change madness we have now. I assume we’re going to get a lot of clipped matches though, but should still be a nice trip down memory lane.

   Following our usual classic opening video, they sure used it for a long time, Mene Gene welcomes us to this new video. Gene says we get highlights of twenty title matches and goes over some over the stars we’ll see tonight.

1. British Bulldogs v. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake

   This is not the match from Wrestlemania II, but a random house show with Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino on commentary. Bulldogs get the early advantage on the veteran Valentine, who tags in the rookie Brutus Beefcake. Davey Boy continues to maintain the advantage and double team Brutus. Brutus rakes the eyes and tries to get an advantage but Davey Boy catches Brutus with a dropkick as Luscious Johnny V watches on at ringside. A double team from The Dream Team finally gets them the opportunity, but Greg misses the elbow and Kid takes over on both men. Johnny gets involved and shoves Kid off the top drawing the DQ. 6/10 was good for what we saw of it.

1. British Bulldogs beat Dream Team via DQ 6/10

2. Mr. Fuji & Toru Tanaka v. Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo

   Seems weird seeing Bravo with dark hair and a good guy, as this is from the 70s. We join this in progress as Denucci has the advantage on Tanaka and makes the tag to Bravo. We clip to Fuji and Tanaka cheating on Bravo, as they switch men without tag, those dastardly heels. Bravo fights free and dropkicks Fuji in the corner and almost wins, but Fuji has his foot on the ropes. Fuji quickly chops Bravo, but he makes the tag and Denucci gets double teamed by the Asians. Vince says we’re running out of time as Fuji and Tanaka continue to work over Denucci. Bravo comes in and they catch him and tie Bravo in the ropes. Tanaka misses the strike and Denucci catches Tanaka in the airplane spin for the win. 6/10 as much better match then I expected, as Fuji and Tanaka played the heels perfectly.

2. Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo defeated Mr. Fuji & Toru Tanaka 6/10

3. Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo v. The Lumberjacks

   Not a clue who the Lumberjacks are, Gene says they are Eric and Pierre, as we are joined in progress as the Lumberjacks double team Bravo, but he makes the hot tag to Denucci. Denucci unloads on both of the Lumberjacks, as the crowd explodes. Denucci gets the abdominal stretch on Eric but Pierre breaks the hold, and Bravo back in the ring. Every time Bravo and Denucci go for a fall the pin is broken. Bravo tries to help out but with the ref busy the Lumberjacks hit the double chop and score the win and titles. 5/10 perfectly acceptable 70s style wrestling, nothing flashy but very solid.

3. The Lumberjacks defeat Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo 5/10

4. The Lumberjacks v. Larry Zybysko & Tony Garea

   No one had a harder to spell name than Larry, who’s a young face at this time, and as usual we’re joined in progress with Larry slamming Pierre, but hurting his shoulder. Pierre tosses Larry into Eric’s knee before tagging him in and they continue to hammer the future legend. Larry finally makes the hot tag to Tony who unloads on the Lumberjacks and the crowd is electric for Tony. All four men in the ring and we have chaos, which usually favors the heels, but Larry and Tony send the Lumberjacks crashing into one another. Tony covers and gets the win, making the crowd get on their feet. 5/10 didn’t see anything bad, as it was a basic tag match, but the ending seemed flat.

4. Larry Zybysko & Tony Garea defeated the Lumberjacks 5/10

5. Larry Zybysko & Tony Garea v. The Valiant Brothers

   We’ve already seen Johnny in the first match, managing the Dream Team, but now we get to see him in his prime. Joined in progress as Larry unloads on Jerry Valiant, best remembered for being squashed by Uncle Elmer on a Saturday Night’s Main Event in record time. Larry and Jerry collide, and as the ref is busy with Tony and Johnny, Jimmy pulls Jerry out. Johnny makes the cover and scores the illegal pinfall. NO RATING only saw the last sixty seconds or so of the match.

5. The Valiant Brothers defeated Larry Zybysko and Tony Garea NO RATING

6. The Valiant Brothers v. Tito Santana & Ivan Putski

   Gene calls Tito, Latin Lightening, why didn’t that stick, sounds better then El Matador. Johnny works over Tito Santana and Tito gets double teamed in the corner. Johnny slams Tito and tags in Jerry who continues to unload on Tito, as the crowd solidly behind Tito who fights his way up but back down via the hair pull. Why do a rest hold in a tag match, that’s just being lazy? Tito finally makes the tag, but the ref doesn’t see it and while Ivan argues with the ref the Valiants double team Tito, it worked well the first time so they do it again. This has been a lot of rest holds, which in a tag match is very boring, which makes me wonder why they’re showing so much of this match. Tito finally makes the hot tag and Ivan unloads on Jerry in the corner then tosses Jerry over the top to the floor. Ivan then tosses Johnny outside with his brother and the crowd is going nuts. The bell rings and the ref tries to pull Ivan off Jerry, but the match continues as Tito sends the Valiants into each other and hits the flying body press on Johnny for the win. 2/10 very slow paced till the ending, and the bell ringing early was odd.

6. Tito Santana & Ivan Putski defeated the Valiants 2/10

7. Tito Santana & Ivan Putski v. The Wild Samoans

   This one is not joined in progress as the bell rings and we have chaos in the ring with all four men. Tito and Ivan send Sika out and unload on Afa. Order finally restored as we clip to Ivan with a leg lock on Sika in the middle of the ring. Sika breaks free and tags in Afa and Ivan quickly gets a full nelson on Afa, who reverses the hold but Ivan breaks out. Tito comes in for a couple hits before tagging Ivan back in, but Afa avoid Ivan’s charge to the corner and now it’s Samoan Smackdown Time. Afa and Sika begin to systematically work over Polish Power, love old school WWF with all the ethnic stereotype characters. That’s what’s missing these days. Santana finally back in and climbs the ropes and hits the body press on Afa, but may have hurt himself. Afa catches Santana and hits the Samoan Drop for the win. 5/10 a pretty good match when Tito was in, but Ivan was really bad.

7. The Wild Samoans beat Tito Santana & Ivan Putski 5/10

8. The Wild Samoans v. Tony Garea and Rick Martel

   We open right as the bell rings and Martel unloads on Afa, who rakes the eyes but misses the corner charges and Martel back in charge. Tony tagged in and leap frogs his partner to nail Afa, that was pretty impressive, as they continue to work over Afa. So far it’s been all arm bars, which is not a good thing for a tag match. Tony gets sent to the outside and with the ref distracted Sika slams Tony on the cement floor, and Rick comes around the corner to make the save. Tony finally back in the ring as we clip to Afa with a rest hold on Tony who fights free and hits the cross body, but Sika breaks the pin. Both men finally make a tag and Martel takes out both Samoans with his speed, as Tony comes in to help and we have chaos in the ring. A double dropkick takes down both men, and we have a collision mid ring, Afa covers Garea while Martel covers Sika at the same time and the ref counts three. The refs finally decision is that Sika and Martel were the legal men, so that pin counts, which is surprisingly correct. 5/10 had moments of fun but too many restholds.

8. Tony Garea & Rick Martel defeated the Wild Samoans 5/10

9. Tony Garea & Rick Martel v. The Moondogs

   This is the original Moondogs, Rex and King, as we’re joined in progress with Garea using an arm bar on Rex. Rex fights free and sends Garea in, Garea comes back with a sunset flip for a near fall and tags in Martel. Martel goes back to the armbar, which drags the match down, but Rex fights free and tags in King. King drives the knees in and follows with a nice backbreaker for a near fall of their own. The Moondogs double team Martel, and with the ref distracted Lou Albano gets a cheap shot in too. The Moondogs continue to work over Rick Martel but both men collide in the middle of the ring however Rex makes the tag and King almost gets the win. More double teaming from the Moondogs as Martel keeps trying to fight free and make the tag, but the Moondogs keeps holding him back. Martel finally makes the hot tag and Garea clobbers Rex and locks on the abdominal stretch, King breaks the hold. The ref gets knocked down and King cracks Tony with the bone across the head, and Rex makes the cover for the win. 6/10 not a bad match after a slow opening sequence.

9. The Moondogs beat Rick Martel & Tony Garea 6/10

10. Moondogs v. Rick Martel & Tony Garea

   This would be the rematch from the previous title change, and we join in progress as Garea is clobbering King. For some strange reason we have no commentary which is just odd, and suddenly here’s Vince and Bruno. The was an odd segment of silence, as we have Spot in this match instead of King, so I guess this is Moondogs 2.0 as Tony and Rick continue to work over the Moondogs. It’s been all Rick and Tony so far, and Albano is furious at ringside. So did the Moondogs use the Freebird rule as champions, or did they just slide Spot in and hope no one noticed? Rex gets tossed to the floor and Albano chastises his man before walking away, this has been a squash so far but the crowd is loud. Rex finally gets an elbow in but runs into a slam for Garea and Martel back in, as the Moondogs are getting crushed here. A cheap shot from Spot and Albano finally gets the advantage for the champions, who now unload on the future Model. Spot dives off the top rope and almost scored the win, Rex tagged back in and continues the assault, but makes a mistake allowing Rick to take in Tony. Martel gets caught in the wrong corner and all four men are in the ring and Albano throws the bone in, but Martel dropkicks Lou and sunset flips Rex for the win. 5/10 almost a squash match as Garea and Martel were in full control for about ninety percent of the match.

10. Tony Garea & Rick Martel defeated The Moondogs 2.0  5/10

11. Tony Garea & Rick Martel v. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito

   Martel starts out with Fuji and tosses the future manager around the ring, Saito tagged in and Martel continues the offense as Lou Albano is getting frustrated early on. Garea in the ring and maintains the offense as Fuji gets tagged in, but Garea is relentless in the ring. Every time Martel gets tagged in the crowd pops, mainly the girls, as Martel almost wins with the cross body. The Asians finally get the advantage with a little cheating and they begin to work over Garea, as the crowd is screaming for Martel to get back in there. Fuji was actually impressive in the ring back in his day, as they are relentless on Garea who’s playing our face in peril for this match. With the ref distracted Fuji. Saito & Albano take liberties on Tony, much to the crowds chagrin. Tony tries to mount the comeback but misses a dropkick and Saito tagged back in and hits a diving knee to the chest. Saito misses the corner charge and Tony makes the hot tag, Martel quickly takes down Saito with his speed and Fuji sneaks in, but eats a dropkick. All four men in the ring, and with the ref busy with Tony. Fuji throws salt in the eyes of Martel. Saito quickly covers and scores the win and titles. 7/10 a good fast paced match, and we probably got the entire match here. A hot crowd made the match even better.

11. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel 7/10

12. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito v. The Strongbows 2/3 falls

   Right at the start Fuji throws salt in the eyes of Jules as the ref was busy with Saito, and Fuji covers for the quick easy pin and the first fall. Albano gets a few shots in on Jules on the floor, as we get a replay of the opening seconds of the match. We only get the first fall, which means the match only went less then a minute, so no rating

12. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito defeated the Strongbows NO RATING

13. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito v. The Strongbows with Ivan Putski as ref

   Saito starts out chopping Jay but misses a chop and Jay comes back with some of his own. Jay was quick guy in there as he runs circles around Saito, as we clip to Jay no selling Saito’s chops and takes the man down with the knees. Jay runs into the big foot from Saito who follows up with a nice dropkick for a near fall. Fuji misses an elbow drop and Jay covers for the win. 2/10 really a pin after a missed elbow? That may be one of the worst endings to a match ever.

13. The Strongbows defeated Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito 2/10

14. The Strongbows v. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito

   Here we go with the third match in this series, hopefully the last one. Joined in progress as Jay chops down Saito and tags in Jules who hits a back elbow for a near fall. Jay with a sleeper, but Fuji breaks the hold before getting tagged in. Jules also tagged in and unloads on Fuji with the chops. Fuji able to tag in Saito who clobbers Jules down and then they double team the younger Strongbow. The crowd loudly chants for Jules, as he makes a tag but Jay eats the buckle. Saito chops Jay down and sends him in the ropes, Jay comes back with a Thesz Press for the surprise win. 5/10 not a bad match, but nothing major.

14. The Strongbows defeated Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito 5/10

15. The Strongbows v. The Wild Samoans

   Time for some more Samoan action, as we join the match in progress as Jay chops Afa and hits a knee lift. Afa catches Jay with a chop of his own and sends Jay into Sika’s head before tagging Sika in. Jay fights his way to his corner and tags in Jules who chops both Samoans, as all four men in the ring. Jay gets sent to the floor and Jules gets double teamed. Afa hits the Samoan Drop on Jules to score the win. 6/10 was good for what we saw of the match, as the crowd was hot for the Strongbows.

15. The Wild Samoans defeated The Strongbows 6/10

16. The Wild Samoans v. Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas in a No DQ match

   Joined in progress as the Samoans double team Rocky, as Lou Albano looks on happy with his men. The Samoans continue to work over Rocky, but Rocky finally knocks down Afa with a shoulderblock. Afa comes back with the classic nerve hold, but Rocky fights free and tags in Tony. Tony comes in and takes out the Samoans, a slam accidentally clobbers the ref. Albano grabs a chair as Afa holds Tony. Albano smashes the chair, but Tony moves and Afa gets clobbered. Tony quickly covers Afa for the surprising win. 6/10 was a faster paced match then expected, and a classic ending. Afa leaves with the wooden chair still around his neck, that’s hilarious looking.

16. Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas defeated The Wild Samoans 6/10

17. Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas v. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch

   Adrian was such an under appreciated star, as Rocky starts out quick with a series of arm drags on both men before applying the arm bar to Adonis. Adonis breaks free and Murdoch comes in, right into the arm bar, way to show that move set Johnson. Atlas tagged in and goes back to the arm bar, Murdoch powers free and hammers Atlas in the corner, but Atlas fights back. Atlas runs into Murdoch’s elbow and Adonis back in, they double team Atlas. Atlas tries to use his speed but Adonis hammers him, Atlas comes back with the headbutt and makes the tag to Rocky. Rocky takes out both men, as we have all four in the ring, as usual on this tape. Murdoch tossed out and Rocky with the Boston Crab on Adonis, but Murdoch breaks the hold. Atlas and Murdoch on the floor, but this allows Adonis to roll up Rocky for the win. 6.5/10 got better after the lame arm bar battle, as both Adonis and Murdoch were impressive.

17. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch beat Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas 6.5/10

18. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch v. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo

   Joined in progress, and it’s very dark video quality as Adonis is destroying Rotundo with his power advantage. Adonis slams Rotundo down and charges, but Rotundo backdrops Adonis to the floor. Adonis grabs Barry and smashes him into the barricade as Murdoch clobbers Rotundo. Windham crawls to the apron, but Adonis and Murdoch double team Rotundo, and Murdoch locks on the Boston Crab but Rotundo powers out sending Murdoch into the buckle. This gives Rotundo the chance to make the tag to Windham, who quickly unloads on Murdoch. Windham handles both men with ease and goes for the bulldog on Murdoch but Adonis catches him and we have all four men in the ring, I need a shortcut to add that in for each match, and Windham and Adonis wind up on the floor. Adonis smashed into the post and Windham quickly back in, sunset flip on Murdoch to score the win. 7/10 a good solid tag match, would’ve like to see the whole match and a little more light, but still good action.

18. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo defeated Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis 7/10

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

This is from Wrestlemania, and is a classic match as Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary. Nikolai shows some impressive agility jumping over the top rope to the apron! Mike and Sheik start out, as Jesse says you won’t see a dead Wrestlemania, obviously not foreshadowing Wrestlemania 9, 13, 16, and the last three. Rotundo and Windham quickly work over the Sheik to start the match, but Windham gets to the wrong corner and Volkoff holds Windham. Sheik off the ropes with a dropkick, but Barry moves and Sheik hits Volkoff! Sheik apologizes and tags in Volkoff, as Rotundo gets the tag as well. Rotundo uses his speed to keep the big man down, before tagging Barry back in. They use quick tags to work over the Russian, but Nikolai uses the hair to hold Mike and hits the elbow then runs Mike into Sheik’s curly boots. Sheik tagged in and slams Mike then drops an elbow for a near fall. Sheik with a nice gut wrench suplex then goes for the vertical but Mike blocks and hits one of his own. Volkoff tagged back in and stomps Rotundo then slams him across the ropes. Rotundo tries to use amateur skills but Volkoff over powers him, as the crowd is chanting USA. Volkoff again rams Mike into the boots of Sheik before tagging him in, as Albano and Blassie are getting into it at ringside. Sheik locks on the Abdominal Stretch, but Mike fights free and both men make the tag. Windham unloads on Volkoff before connecting with a nice dropkick then hits the bulldog and covers, but Sheik breaks it up and, say it with me, all four men in the ring. Sheik sent out and the ref busy with Mike, Sheik nails Windham with the cane of Blassie. Volkoff covers and Sheik and Volkoff win the tag titles, much to the dismay of the Wrestlemania crowd. 8/10 a great tag match and probably the best match at the first Wrestlemania.

19. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham 8/10

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

This the rematch as we’re joined in progress with Volkoff doing a nice cartwheel across the ring. Volkoff unloads on Windham, but Windham makes the tag and Mike in the ring. Volkoff uses his power to control Mike, but Mike fights back but comes off the ropes and Sheik hits him in the back. Sheik tagged in and backdrops Mike and stomps Rotundo with the curly boots. Sheik continues to work over Rotundo, as the crowd is getting louder. Sheik goes for a suplex but Mike counters to a small package, Volkoff comes in and reverses the move. The ref admonishes Volkoff and Barry sneaks in to reverse the move back and the ref counts three. 6.5/10 what we got was pretty good, with a very unique ending, would love to see the full version of the match.

20. Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham defeated Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff 6.5/10

21. Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham v. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake

Joined in progress as Greg misses the elbow drop on Mike, who makes the hot tag to Barry. Barry dropkicks Greg and another one for Brutus, as Windham tosses Brutus to the floor and hits the bulldog on Greg. Greg kicks out of Barry’s finisher, which shocks the crowd. Barry hits a second one and Brutus comes in, and we have all four men in the ring. The ref is busy with Mike, as Johnny passes Brutus the cigar which he rubs in the eyes of Barry. Greg drops an elbow and covers for the victory and the titles. NO RATING, only got a couple minutes of what could have been a good match.

21. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake defeated Mike Rotundo Barry Windham

MATCH RECAP:

1. British Bulldogs beat Dream Team via DQ 6/10 on September 10, 1985 from Poughkeepsie, NY

2. Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo defeated Mr. Fuji & Toru Tanaka 6/10 on March 14, 1978 from Philadelphia, PA

3. The Lumberjacks defeat Domenic Denucci & Dino Bravo 5/10 on June 26, 1978 from New York City

4. Larry Zybysko & Tony Garea defeated the Lumberjacks 5/10 on November 21, 1978 from Allentown, PA

5. The Valiant Brothers defeated Larry Zybysko and Tony Garea NO RATING on March 6, 1978 from Allentown, PA

6. Tito Santana & Ivan Putski defeated the Valiants 2/10 on October 22, 1979 from New York City

7. The Wild Samoans beat Tito Santana & Ivan Putski 5/10 on April 12, 1980 from Philadelphia, PA

8. Tony Garea & Rick Martel defeated the Wild Samoans 5/10 on November 8, 1980 from Philadelphia, PA

9. The Moondogs beat Rick Martel & Tony Garea 6/10 on March 17, 1981 from Allentown, PA

10. Tony Garea & Rick Martel defeated The Moondogs 2.0  5/10 on July 21, 1981 from Allentown, PA

11. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel 7/10 on October 13, 1981 from Allentown, PA

12. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito defeated the Strongbows NO RATING on July 13, 1982 from Allentown, PA

13. The Strongbows defeated Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito 2/10 on June 28, 1982 from New York City

14. The Strongbows defeated Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito 5/10 on October 26, 1982 from Allentown, PA

15. The Wild Samoans defeated The Strongbows 6/10 on March 8, 1983 from Allentown, PA

16. Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas defeated The Wild Samoans 6/10 on November 15, 1983 from Allentown, PA

17. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch beat Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas 6.5/10 on March 17, 1984 from Allentown, PA

18. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo defeated Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis 7/10 on January 21, 1985 from Hartford, CT

19. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham 8/10 on March 31, 1985  from New York City

20. Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham defeated Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff 6.5/10 on June 17, 1985 from Poughkeepsie, NY

21. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake defeated Mike Rotundo Barry Windham NO RATING on August 24, 1985 from Philadelphia, PA

   Overall this was a pretty good tape that really chronicled the history of the WWF World Tag Team Titles from 1978 to 1985, and was a great way for a new fan to learn about the title lineage. Some pretty good matches on here, and nothing really bad. The Windham/Rotunda tag team matches were the best of the bunch, while the Valiants were the worst on here. Coming up next, the Life and Time of Captain Lou Albano, should be fun.

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