Filed under: Coliseum | Tags: Adrian Adonis, Big John Studd, Billy Jack Haynes, Bobby Heenan, Bret Hart, Brian Blair, Cousin Junior, Dan Spivey, Harley Race, Hercules Hernandez, Jake Roberts, Jim Brunzell, Jim Neidhart, Jim Powers, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Jack Funk, JunkYard Dog, King Kong Bundy, King Tonga, Lanny Poffo, Lou Albano, Moondog Rex, Pat Patterson, Pedro Morales, Ricky Hunter, Ricky Steamboat, Ted Arcidi, Terry Gibbs, Tony Garea
It’s time for the eighth tape in the Best of the WWF series, as we head through the summer of 1986. The cover for this volume is bright yellow and features a young star named Bret Hart. Advertised on the box are Jake the Snake versus Ricky Steamboat, Pedro Morales versus Adrian Adonis, Pat Patterson versus Lou Albano, debuts of Hercules, Dan Spivey and Harley Race. It looks like quite the impressive lineup, so let’s roll the tape.
The usual opening sequence sends us to Mene Gene who talks about the WWF TV coverage, seven hours a week across the planet. That really surprised me, I thought we had a lot of TV today, but they had about the same twenty five years ago! Gene sends it to our opening match, from Madison Square Gardens!
1. The Hart Foundation versus The Killer Bees
This should be a great match, as both team were just starting to make their mark in the WWF. Anvil and Brunzell start the match, as Gorilla talks about Jim Brunzell having the best dropkick in the business. Anvil uses his power to slow down the smaller man, but Brunzell able to use his speed and take down Anvil. My audio is off by quite a bit, which is kind of killing the tape, as the Bees double team Anvil and begin to work over the leg. The Bees continue to work the leg and make quick tags, as Bret finally breaks it up, and Anvil finally makes the tag. Bret starts to work over Brian Blair with headbutts and a snapmare, it’s sad seeing how young Bret looked here and how old he looks now. Bret distracts the ref and Anvil uses the tag rope to choke Blair, Bret goes back to work on Blair with a rear chinlock. Bret misses a blind charge and Brunzell gets tagged in, Brunzell takes it both member of the Foundation but the numbers catch up to him. This allows Anvil to start to wear down the much smaller man, but Brunzell fights free and goes for a cross body however Anvil catches him in a bearhug. The Foundation hit a variation of Demolition’s future finisher for a near fall, as Blair makes the save. Bret is relenless as he continues to work over Brunzell with a side headlock, as Jimmy Hart continues to taunt the Bees with the megaphone. Anvil tagged back in and takes him take going after Brunzell, before tossing him to the floor where Bret slams Brunzell on the cement floor. Bret rolls him back in the ring, into the arms of the Anvil who pounds om Brunzell’s back and tags Hart back in. Brunzell refuses to stay down and starts to fight back, but Bret is close enough to make the tag back to Anvil who again overpowers Brunzell, the Harts double team Brunzell as the ref was busy with Blair. Bret comes back in and gets shot in, Brunzell hits a surprising dropkick and both men are down, Anvl starts to come in which brings in Blair, the ref goes to send Blair back to his corner and Anvil drags Bret over Brunzell for a near fall. Bret hits the reverse atomic drop and goes for a chinlock, Brunzell fights his way to make the tag, but Anvil distracts the ref, negating the tag. The Foundation go for another double team, but Brunzell moves and the Foundation collide, this finally allows the hot tag to Blair who comes in a house of fire. Blair takes it to both Anvil and Bret and makes a cover on Bret, but Anvil goes to break it up, Blair moves and Anvil drops an elbow on Bret. Blair locks on the abdominal stretch, but Anvil quick to break it up, as we have chaos as all four men in the ring and the Bees get the advantage. The Hart Foundation bail out as the bell rings and the match is ruled a time limit draw. That was a pretty good match, but not as good as I expected.
1. The Hart Foundation and Killer Bees went to a time limit draw 8/10
2. Dan Spivey v. Terry Gibbs
This would be Spivey’s debut with the WWF as we joing the match in progress with Gibbs getting shot in but Spivey misses the blind charge. Gibbs hits the atomic drop and then a backbreaker on the youngster. Gibbs tosses Spivey out of the ring, as this match is not going Spivey’s way, no wonder he got cynical and became Waylon Mercy! Gibbs catches Spivey on the apron and slams his head into the ringpost. Gibbs drags him back in and sends him to ropes, Spivey goes for a sunset flip but Gibbs blocks and drops an elbow. A bearhug addes to Spivey’s problems as Gibbs squeezes the life out of him, Spivey powers out and goes for a backdrop, but Gibbs catches him with boot to the face followed up with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Gibbs quickly pulls him to his feet and locks on the bearhug again, and Spivey is starting to fade, but uses an elbow to the face to break the hold however Gibbs reapplies the hold. Spivey fights out with hiptoss and misses the elbow, Gibbs back in control with a backdrop and cover for the near fall. Spivey reverses the irish whip and locks on a bear hug of his own, but Gibbs rakes the eyes. Spivey getting fired up and hiptosses Gibbs across the ring and follows with huge slam and a big elbow drop for a near fall, a legdrop gets another near fall. Spivey hits the running bulldog and scores the win. Not the best of debuts as Gibbs got a lot of offense on Spivey, who only got a few shots in.
2. Dan Spivey pinned Terry Gibbs 8/10
3. Billy Hack Haynes v. Moondog Rex
Gene says this is Billy’s return after taking time off, feeling he wasn’t ready for WWF yet. Once again joined in progress as Billy gets caught in a back suplex from Rex who follows up with a clothesline. Gorilla says Haynes will be around a long time, as Rex hits the backbreaker and gets a one count. I always liked the Moondogs and thought they were underrated, especially Spot. Rex snapmares Billy and then drops a knee across the face, as the crowd seems to be chanting boring! Billy gets caught with a hiptoss but Rex misses a second knee drop and Billy rams Rex into the buckle. Haynes starts to make a comeback and hits a knee lift then sends Rex over the top to the cement floor. Haynes drags him back in and misses the dropkick, as Rex is split open. Rex pulls him up and sends him in, Billy with a nice clothesline and quickly locks on the full nelson for the win. A quick 80s style squash basically to showcase Billy Jack who would not go on to bigger and better things as he would be gone within a year and a half.
3. Billy Jack Haynes beat Moondog Rex via submission 5/10
4. Junkyard Dog v. King Kong Bundy
I’ve always been a big fan of both these guys, especially Bundy, so this should be fun. JYD able to power Bundy into the corner and we get a clean break, now Bundy gets JYD to the corner, but JYD reverses and another clean break. The crowd is already chanting JYD, that didn’t take long as the crowd loves the Dog, We repeat the previous sequence for the third time, and the ref grabs JYD which allows Bundy to hammer Dog down. Bundy misses an elbow and the Dog with a series of headbutts sends Bundy scurrying to Bobby Heenan outside the ring. Bundy slowly back in the ring and gets a kneelift in, both guys slug it out and JYD gets the advantage with a headbutt. Dog runs into the corner and eats a knee, Bundy follows with a clothesline and gets a near fall. Bundy misses a clothesline and Dog comes back with a series of rights and headbutts as Bundy staggers and finally falls. JYD gets a near fall of his own, Dog misses a falling headbutt and Bundy starts to mount some offense, but he makes the mistake of working over the head. Dog comes back and both men hit the clothesline sending both men down to the mat and Heenan is going nuts at ringside. Bundy is the first man up and goes after Dog quickly but Dog fires back as we have another slugfest. Bundy gets a kneelift in and Dog goes down, Bundy drops the big elbow and follows with the rear chinlock. Dog finally fights to his feet and breaks the hold, Dog goes for the shoulderblock but Bundy hits a reverse elbow but misses big splash. Both men are staggering, but Heenan grabs the leg of JYD and that draws the DQ, but Bundy doesn’t care as he knocks Dog down and hits the big splash. Bundy pulls him up and Heenan slaps Dog, as Bundy goes for the avalanche, Dog headbutts Heenan and both men collide. JYD clears the ring with his chain. A better match then anyone expected and lots of fun to watch.
4. Junkyard Dog beat King Kong Bundy by DQ 6.5/10
5. Jimmy Jack Funk v. Tony Garea
Joined in progress as Funk has on a side headlock. Garea fights out and goes for the sunset flip, but eats a punch to the face. Funk back to the rear chinlock, what is this a Randy Orton match? Garea fights out again and suplexes Funk down and makes the comeback. Jimmy Hart quickly on commentary says they have this, as Gorilla taunts him. Garea hiptosses Funk and follows with the nice dropkick as Funk begs off in the corner. Garea pulls him out the hard way, then drops a knee to the midsection. Garea goes for a cross body but Funk catches him in a powerslam for the win. Very slow paced and not very exciting.
5. Jimmy Jack Funk pinned Tony Garea 3/10
6. Harley Race v. Lanny Poffo
As usual joined in progress as both men are on the floor and Race hits a brainbuster on the cement, that was impressive for back then. Race rolls back in the ring and pulls Poffo to the apron. Race drives his face into the buckle and then snaps his neck on the ropes. Race quickly hits the belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Poffo starts to comeback, but Race headbutts Poffo down easily. Race with multiple headbutts and climbs the ropes, Race hits the diving headbutt, I hate that move, and another headbutt sends Poffo back to the floor. Harley Race quickly follows sends Poffo to the floor then drops another headbutt before heading back in the ring. We skip forward to Poffo trying to fight back but Race hits the headbutt, but Poffo comes back with a hurricanrana and a dropkick which sends Race to the apron. Poffo dives at Race and hits the headscissor to bring him in, another headscissor countered as Race drops Poffo across the ropes. Race hits the cradle suplex for the win. A very good match with lots of new moves we don’t normally see out of the WWF guys.
6. Harley Race pinned Lanny Poffo 7/10
7. Big John Studd v. Jim Powers and Ricky Hunter
A squash handicap match, that’s odd. Heenan shows the money offered for the bodyslam challenge, and King Tonga comes out and demands the match. Heenan waves him off, as the ref orders Tonga to leave the ringside area. Hunter starts out first and fails at the slam attempt, a second and third try go the same way. Heenan stands outside counting the money as Powers tries and fails multiple times. They try it together and still nothing, Studd slams Powers and Hunter with ease, but Powers comes back with a dropkick and fails the slam again. Studd with a kneelift and tosses Powers out of the ring, Hunter tries to clobber Studd, but he shrugs it off and slams Hunter for the easy win. A second slam after the bell and one for Powers bring back Tonga who comes in and slams Studd with ease and Heenan is having a fit. Studd bails out and runs to the back.
7. Big John Studd crushed Jim Powers and Ricky Hunter DUD
8. Big John Studd v. King Tonga
Tonga is of couse better known as Haku or Meng, and wants his money from slamming Studd from the other match. Studd attacks early and slams Tonga down hard in the middle of the ring and continues to stomp him. Tonga comes back with a headbutt and series of chops but Studd goes for a slam, Tonga slides down the back and goes for a slam of his own, but Studd grabs the ropes. Tonga blocks the forearm and chops Studd then pulls him back in the ring but Studd gets him in the corner and hits a corner clothesline. Studd hammers Tonga down to the mat and then pulls him up just to hiptoss Tonga back down. Studd with a side headlock and Tonga fights back with a series of kicks and Studd is staggered. Tonga goes for the slam and both men tumble to the floor, Tonga continues to chop the man as the bell rings. Both men continue slugging it out on the floor and no one is crazy enough to break this up. Heenan tries to convince Studd to leave the ringside area, but both men are still going at it up the aisle and finally it’s broken up. Halfway up the aisle and Studd wants to get back in there, he shoves Heenan aside and gets back in the ring as we continue with a slugfest. Tonga headbuts Studd who finally bails out. Not a bad match, but nothing major until after the bell.
8. King Tonga and Big John Studd battled to a double countout 5/10
9. Ted Arcidi v. Terry Gibbs
Really another Terry Gibbs match, did we run out of jobbers? Ted was supposed to be a big deal when he came in but he was a major bust and was gone by the end of the year. Gibbs tries to overpower Arcidi but gets tossed to the mat, as Gibbs complains to the ref about all the oil on Ted. Gibbs gets a boot in and a side headlock, but Ted powers him to the top rope with ease. Gibbs goes for a shoulderblock and Ted avoids it and locks on the full nelson, Gibbs makes the ropes quickly. Terry catches Ted with a poke to eyes and then starts to hammer him down, but Ted starts to get fired up and feeds Gibbs the turnbuckles. Arcidi quickly applies the bearhug for the easy submission win. A quick basic squash match, nothing more.
9. Ted Arcidi beat Terry Gibbs by submission
10. Hercules Hernandez v. Cousin Junior
The hillbillies are still around, I was hoping they would be gone by now. Herc is managed by the legendary Freddie Blassie as he makes his WWF debut. We’re joined in progress as Herc hits the clothesline taking down Junior and drops a big knee before locking on a rear chinlock. Junior fights free but runs into a big knee drop, as we have no commentary for this match which is really odd. Back to the chinlock as I see where Randy Orton learned his moveset from, the crowd is fired up, are they watching the same match or is it just audio sweetening? Junior again fights off Herc and clobbers Herc, but Herc sends Junior to the floor. Blassie yells at the ref to count him out, and I agree as Junior makes it to the apron and is greeted by Herc whi pounds Junior back to the floor. Why is the crowd so excited, are they watching the A-Team instead? Junior makes it back in the ring and Herc continues his slow offense and goes back to the damn chinlock as we clip forward to Junior with a bearhug which Herc easily fights out of. I bet he’s resisting the urge to go for a chinlock, as Junior comes back again and unloads on Herc but runs into a kick. Herc with another high knee, and I can just barely hear Gorilla on commentary, this is strange, as Herc misses a knee drop and Junior comes back with a backdrop and a rollup but Herc reverses for the win. That was horrible, I can’t think of anything good to say.
10. Hercules Hernandez pinned Cousin Junior DUD
11. Adrian Adonis v. Pedro Morales
This is from 1982 as Pedro is the IC champion, and as always we’re joined in progress. I’d rather see less matches and the full match then lots of clips. They’re slugging it out to start and Pedro gets the advantage sending Adonis tumbling to the cement floor. Pedro slams Adonis’ head into the apron as Pedro is all fired up, he drags Adonis to the apron and rams his head into the buckle then slingshots Adonis into the ring. Pedro misses a corner charge and this finally gives Adnois a chance to come back as he hits a German Suplex for the win, but Adonis’ shoulders were down and Pedro win. After the match an irate Adonis goes after Pedro but gets beaten down and bails out. That was a real one sided match with an odd ending.
11. Pedro Morales pinned Adrian Adonis 5/10
12. Pat Patterson v. Lou Albano
Pat attacks Lou from behind and steals the weapon that Lou was going to use, and uses it on Lou busting him wide open. The ref tries to stop Pat but Pat shoves him back and continues to destroy Lou who bails out and takes the countout loss.
12. Pat Patterson beat Lou Albano by countout NO RATING
13. Ricky Steamboat v. Jake Roberts
This feud started on SNME when Jake hit the DDT on Steamboat on the cement floor, no one took a bump like Steamboat back then as it was a huge moment for both guys. Jake catches Ricky coming in the ring with a big knee but Ricky comes back with chops and a belly to belly. Steamboat gets dragged off Jake by the ref and Jake bails out of the ring. Jake slithers back in the ring and gets caught by Ricky, but Jake comes back and hits a vicious clothesline which he follows with the short arm clothesline. Jake maintains the advantage with knees and tosses Steamboat over the top rope, but Steamboat holds the bottom rope and jumps in with a sunset flip. Jake blocks with the ropes and punches Steamboat in the face then hits the reverse atomic drop as Jake gets in the face of Steamboat. Jake continues to pound on the Dragon as we get a look at the burlap sack holding Damien, who Jake goes to get but this costs him as Steamboat makes the comeback. Steamboat with a nice neckbreaker followed by a second one, as the crowd erupts, Ricky misses the big splash as Jake gets the knees up. Jake tosses Steamboat to the outside once again and Jake wants to DDT him again on the floor but Ricky counters by ramming Jake into the apron followed by the barricade. Ricky tosses him in the ring and returns to the ring via the top rope with a big chop, as Jake is split wide open. Steamboat continues to clobbers Jake, and the ref again pulls Ricky off Jake. Jake quickly goes for a DDT but Ricky backdrops out of it and pulls Jake up, however Jake gets a shot in the throat of Ricky. Jake unloads on Ricky in the corner and Ricky kicks Jake back into the referee, who calls for the bell. Ricky doesn’t care as he unloads on Jake, and the backstage area empties of jobbers to break this up. This was a good fast paced match, but the cheap ending hurt it, still the best match on the tape.
13. Jake Roberts beat Ricky Steamboat via DQ 9/10
1. The Hart Foundation and Killer Bees went to a time limit draw 8/10 on February 17, 1986 from NYC
2. Dan Spivey pinned Terry Gibbs 8/10 on November 25, 1985 from NYC
3. Billy Jack Haynes beat Moondog Rex via submission 5/10 on June 27, 1986 from Boston, MA
4. Junkyard Dog beat King Kong Bundy by DQ 6.5/10 on June 14, 1986 from NYC
5. Jimmy Jack Funk pinned Tony Garea 3/10 on June 14, 1986 from NYC
6. Harley Race pinned Lanny Poffo 7/10 on June 14, 1986 from NYC
7. Big John Studd crushed Jim Powers and Ricky Hunter DUD on June 3, 1986 from Poughkeepsie, NY
8. King Tonga and Big John Studd battled to a double countout 5/10 on June 14, 1986 from NYC
9. Ted Arcidi beat Terry Gibbs by submission on February 17, 1986 from NYC
10. Hercules Hernandez pinned Cousin Junior DUD on November 25, 1985 from NYC
11. Pedro Morales pinned Adrian Adonis 5/10 on March 14, 1982 from NYC
12. Pat Patterson beat Lou Albano by countout NO RATING on March 14, 1982 from NYC
13. Jake Roberts beat Ricky Steamboat via DQ 9/10 on May 19, 1986 from NYC
Overall not the best tape we’ve seen, but not the worst. The opening tag match, the main event and Race/Poffo were easily the stars of the tape. The next tape is one of my favorites, and I hope the audio is better on that one, it’s WWF Big Event!
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