|WWF Classics (UK) by Simon Grier||
There are a number of reasons why it is great to be a UK wrestling fan : we
get PPVs for free, we get two PPVs a year of our own (InsurreXtion and
Rebellion), our own UK version of HeAT, with Kevin Kelly and the Coach (OK
maybe that's not so good), but best of all, our Monday afternoons are
blessed with "WWF Classics". This is repeats of "Wrestling Challenge" from
The show is generally squashes and jobber matches, but is great for nostalgia value, even if not for wrestling value. It does clash with "The Weakest Link" though, which America is soon to find out is the greatest quiz show ever.
We start with the old WWF Logo (w/ coloured laser graphics - very '80s) and are informed that the WWF is the recognised symbol of excellence in Sports Entertainment.
Your hosts are Bobby and Gorilla, who invites you to take a seat in your favourite chair. Mine is downstairs. :(
Non Title Match - MACHO MAN (w/ Liz) vs. KOKO B WARE (w/ Frankie)
Macho is the IC champ at this point. Frankie is, of course, Koko's parrot, though Bobby speculates that he is a pigeon covered in watercolours. Naturally, Gorilla disagrees. Macho beats Koko down as soon as he gets into the ring, and hits an axehandle off the top, and a knee. He takes his robe off and throws Koko out through the ropes. We get one of those interviews where you see the guy in a small box in the corner of the screen. Macho rambles incomprehensibly. Koko back in, beatdown, Macho kneedrop gets 2.
Koko comes back with punches, knocking Savage down, and hitting a sweet dropkick. He goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick. He covers, but Macho landed on the ropes. Monsoon accuses Macho of being a coward going to the ropes, and he and Heenan start arguing about whether it is cowardly or good tactics. Surely it's both?? Macho stands by the ropes and Koko goes for a cross-body, but Mach ducks and Koko goes over the top to the floor. Mach to the top for an axehandle to the floor, but Koko counters with a punch to the abdomen. He throws Mach into the STEEL barrier and STEEL ringpost. Heenan speculates that it should be a DQ, and sure enough the bell rings. Surely he isn't DQ'd for that? Nope, it's a double countout in 3:10. Pretty good match in limited time.
Back in the ring, the ref announces the decision, and Savage spits at Koko and runs off. We cut to an interview with STEAMBOAT, who moans about Mach's mistreatment of Liz. He advises her to "slap the grease off his nose." This of course, is building to their famous match at WM3
We see footage of Heenan and Harley Race on Piper's Pit. Piper puts a toilet seat around Harley's neck.
"KING" HARLEY RACE (w/ Bobby Heenan & Jerry Lawler's King Ring Music) v CPL. KIRCHENER (w/ Stars and Stripes & Big Pop, but no USA chant)
Johnny V is subbing for Heenan on commentary. Danny Davis is the ref, which causes Gorilla to whinge lots. Harley attacks from behind, Irish whip into corner, Cpl. bounces out and Harley hists him with a running knee. Lots of boring brawling. Race hits a belly to belly for two. Cpl. recovers with a bodyslam and a kneedrop. He goes to the top, but misses an elbowdrop. Race goes up, and connects with a flying clothesline. Race hits a cradle suplex for the pin in 2:20. Not a particularly good match.
We cut to an interview with the ORANGE GOBLIN himself. Lots of calling Bobby Heenan a weasel, but only 2 uses of the word brother. He blames Heenan for everything that goes wrong in his life, and vows to punish both he and Paul Orndorff. He wants to break their necks. Stupid, rambling interview finishes with him hulking up.
OH MY GOD! It's a vignette for OUTBACK JACK! I should have taped this and sent it to Wrestlecrap. He's sitting by a fire with lots of his Aborigone (sp.?) "friends." They are all clapping to the rhythmn of a didgereedoo (sp.?) I guess the WWF have done much lamer stuff.
JOHN JACKSON & "MR. ELECTRICITY" STEVE REGAL (!) (w/ Blond Mullet) v PEDRO MORALES & EL MATADOR
Oh, he's still Tito Santana. Santana and Regal start. Regal hits a bodyslam. Tito brawls back and gets a slam of his own. Regal begs off, and we see an interview with THE HART FOUNDATION, who ensure us that the team of Tito and Pedro can't beat them. Tito tags Pedro, who hits a headlock. YOU'VE JUST TAGGED IN, WHY DO YOU NEED TO USE A RESTHOLD???? Regal escapes and tags Jackson, who's a fat jobber. Lame brawling, before Pedro tags Tito back in. Tito whips Jackson into the ropes, where Pedro shoulder-charges him. Pedro hits a backbreaker for the pin in 3:01. Pretty boring except for seeing my hero William Regal with a blond mullet. (Sorry, this is a different Steve Regal than the one we're watching in 2001 - CRZ)
Interview with Savage. Apparantly we heard from THE JUNKYARD DOG earlier in the show. Um, no we didn't. Savage is saying he pinned JYD with the flying elbow earlier in the show. Actually you fought a Double Countout with Koko B. Ware. The interview itself doesn't buck the trend of nonsense, confusion and downright lying, at least until he said that 'The Snake Pit' was "nothing to be proud of." No sh*t, Sherlock.
"Introducing first, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, weighing in at 218lbs, Kurt.................Koffman." Damn. KURT KOFFMAN v KAMALA (w/ The Wizard and Kim Chi)
Kamala pushes KK down, while we see a Wizard interview where he shouts about Kamala unleashing magic. I do not want to ever hear again that Chyna or the Hardy Boyz have poor mic skills after hearing The Wizard. KK crawls around loads, mostly under Kamala's legs, which Gorilla tries to pass off as agility. He's a freakin' jobber, why make yourself look stupid trying to get him over when he's about to be squashed within 30 seconds? Irish whip, and Kamala does a leapfrog which shook the ring enough to make Koffman fall over, which is clearly the highlight of the show. Worst hiptoss ever (I'm being kind, I don't think it was intended as a wrestling move) and a FAT splash for the pin in 0:53. Monsoon decides the hapless Koffman will now be known as "Pancake." And to think that for a brief moment, I thought he might have been known as an Olympic Hero 10 years after this was taped. Negative Snowflakes for the match.
THE SNAKE PIT! Wrestlecrap explains this concept much better than I could hope to, for those of you that have never had the dubious pleasure of seeing The Snake Pit. Slick is the guest. Jake asks why he let Hercules go. (Last week we saw fascinating footage of Slick selling Herc's contract to Heenan) Slick wanted to have the power to be able to buy and sell men.Racial stereotypes were pretty common in mid '80s WWF. Hang on, they still are. Silly me. Anyway, he's bought The Natural Butch Reed, who appears. Jakes says his future is so bright he needs sunglasses. "Naturally". Jake says it takes years to build a career, the three of them say in unison that it only takes seconds to end one.
JOHNNY MANN & NICK KININSKI v NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & THE IRON SHEIK (w/ Slick)
Big USA chant, cos of course the Cold War was still going on back in 1986. That was a pretty irrelevant comment, as any patriotic foreigner is naturally a hated heel in wrestling, war or no war. Boos for the Soviet National Anthemn. English football fans are about the only ones in the world who don't respect other countries national anthemns, and get slated by the press for it. Wrestling fans get slated for everything though, so I guess they've got nothing to lose there. The Sheik gets on the mic and shouts something incomprehensible about the USA.
Sheik starts with a waistlock on Kininski (pretty athletic looking for a jobber). Kininski reverses, headlock from which the Sheik powers out. Slick interview informs us he will lead Volkoff & Sheik to the tag straps. Sheik knocks Kininski down with a clothesline, and spits on him to the disgust of Monsoon. Volkoff and Mann in. Volkoff with an Irish whip, Sheik with a cheap knee to the back. Gorilla missed this spot, so didn't understand when Heenan joked that Mann's back had given out. Volkoff hits a backbreaker, then tags the Sheik who gets a gutwrench suplex, and the Camel Clutch for the submission in 2:31. Gorilla gets in a strop because heel ref Danny Davis waited all of 2 seconds after Mann submitted before telling him to release the hold. I like Gorilla, and thought he worked well with Heenan, but he did go over the top in promoting sportsmanship. Match sucked.
It's a six man tag main event, so for once the BRITISH BULLDOG'S WORKRATE isn't the only thing on the show ahead of it's time!
MY FELLOW LIMEY HEROES (w/ Matilda) & CAPTAIN LOU ALBANO v THE DREAM TEAM & JOHNNY V
Matlida is of course, the Bulldog's Bulldog. The Dream Team are Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake. The ring announcer announces them as "Greg Valentine and Greg........Brutus Beefcake" so Lilian Garcia isn't the only announcer who can mess up spots. This is Captain's Lou's last ever match. Gorilla puts over what a great ambassador he is to the sport, even though for the years that he was a heel he was "an embarrassment to the sport." Bulldogs are the tag champs at this point.
Its Davey & Valentine to start. Davey with a nice vertical suplex. Interview with Johnny V who is glad Albano is retiring. Valentine with a bodyslam, and he tags Zodiac. The Barber with a vicious stomp and then a vertical suplex of his own. Davey recovers with a PHAT bodyslam. Kid in with a double shoulderblock. Davey locks on a headlock, but stupidly charges The Butcher right into the heel corner, where he is beaten down, and Valentine tags in, hitting him with an elbow and tagging Johnny V. Davey with a half powerslam, and a sleeperhold. The Hammer breaks it up, and we've got everyone brawling in the ring except Albano. Dream Team try to whip the Limeys into each other, but they do the Goddwinns do-se-do spot (which I always marked out for), and hit double dropkicks to send the Dream Team to the floor. Johnny V left all alone, gets a powerslam from Davey, top rope knee from Dynamite, and Captain Lou tags in to cover Johnny V and score the pinfall in his last ever match. I timed it at 6:10, but it didn't seem that long, so I probably forgot to reset my stopwatch, which would make it 3:39. Quite a fun match to close the show.
Gorilla and Bobby are still arguing about whether or not it's a shame Albano is retiring. I know whose side I took. We cut to the back, where there is a celebration, as Albano is drenched with champagne by Kirchener, The Bulldogs and GEORGE THE ANIMAL STEELE, who presumably prefers turnbuckle flavoured drinks,and isn't worried about wasting good champagne. Johnny V comes in and hits Albano with a cake to the face, but it doesn't deter the Captain from his celebation. :)
Show can't end with a cool segment like that though, so we get an interview with COWBOY BOB ORTON and LA ROCA I.
Orton is wearing a kilt, supposedly to mock Piper, who they attacked last week, but Muraco doesn' want to look stupid so he is just holding his. They spend ages talking about what they're going to do to Piper and how he brought it on himself...blah..blah
Gorilla shills next weeks show, where we'll see the Hart Foundation v The Moondogs, Orton/Muraco v The Killer Bees, and The Orange Goblin himself will be a special guest. It's so long from Bobby, so long from Gorilla and so long from me! Peace.