wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: The Best of the WWF Volume 8

May 10, 2009 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
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The Name on the Marquee: The Best of the WWF Volume 8  

-Your host is Mean Gene Okerlund. Fun fact from Gene to start: Between national TV broadcasts and local broadcasts of house shows, the WWF was churning out 1200 hours of television in 1986.

-Anvil and Brunzell start. Brunzell tries a wristlock, but Anvil is too strong for it. Brunzell tries a side headlock, but gets shoulderblocked in return. Anvil goes for another shoulderblock but gets tripped and tied up by Brunzell, who works the legs. Blair tags in and makes a wish to keep the work on the leg. Toehold by Blair; Anvil kicks free but gets tripped up again and the Bees make another wish for a two-count. Brunzell tags in and goes to a stepover toehold. Blair comes back in and locks in a figure-four, but Bret runs in and with a legdrop to save. Anvil tags and Bret enters the match proper and tags advantage with punches and elbows. He chokes out Blair in the corner and distracts the referee while Anvil takes his turn at choking. Hart excellently executes an eyerake and snapmares Blair down for a headlock. Backbreaker by Bret. He goes for an elbow off the second rope. Blair moves out of the way, which is great because that draws attention away from the fact that Bret actually slipped and fell off the rope. He makes the hot tag and Brunzell cleans house until Bret attacks from the apron, and Anvil goes to work trying to wear him down from there.

-Brunzell elbows free but gets caught in a bearhug and Anvil rams him into the corner from that position. Decapitator looks to finish, but Blair saves. Front facelock by Bret, but when Brunzell looks like he might be able to tag from that position, Bret just punches him, and in comes the Anvil. And out goes Brunzell. Bret attacks him on the floor and the Harts keep up the punishment while the referee deals with Blair’s complaining. Backdrop is reversed to a sunset flip for two. Anvil locks in a side headlock, and again, Bret stops the potential hot tag. Bret Irish whips Anvil into Brunzell’s stomach, causing some torn inner-costal cartilage. Dropkick by Bret gets two. Brunzell gets his own dropkick out of nowhere and of course, since it’s Brunzell, that’s enough to KO Bret. Anvil takes advantage of a moment of confusion to drag Bret’s body over Brunzell’s, but that’s only two. Inverted atomic drop by Hart and a front facelock, but again the Harts stop the hot tag from that position. Anvil Irish whips Bret, but going for that move twice in one match is just greedy. Brunzell makes the tag and Blair takes his turn at cleaning house. Irish whip and a clothesline by Blair on the Anvil. Cradle gets two. Bodyslam on Bret, Bodyslam on Anvil. Blair atomic drops Bret so he lands on Anvil, and then Anvil accidentally elbows Bret for a two-count. Abdominal stretch by Blair, but Anvil breaks it and Brunzell comes in to make him sorry he did it. Harts are Irish whipped into each other for two. Blair rolls up Hart for another two. Brunzell comes in with a dropkick for two, and then the bell sounds for a time limit draw. 1 for 1. Picked up toward the end; prior to that, it just felt like both teams were going through the motions. Then again, Bees and Harts going through the motions still give you a better match than a lot of guys might.

-From the Boston Garden, where the crowd shows their appreciation for this tape with a “Best-Of” chant…no wait, they’re chanting “boring.” Okay, quick rule that might come in handy some day…If you’re assembling a 90-minute best-of collection and you have 1200 hours of footage from a single year to choose from, don’t choose a match with a “Boring” chant. And if for some reason, you feel like you have to, dub some better-sounding crowd noise over it. Gibbs locks Spivey in a bearhug, which the crowd boos. Spivey uses the Handclap of Freedom to break the hold, but it’s all for naught as Gibbs breaks the hold and goes for another bearhug. Spivey hiptosses out instead of wailin’ “Mercy!” but he misses the elbow drop and Gibbs goes for the pin and gets two. Backdrop by Gibbs for two. Bearhug by Spivey, but Gibbs gouges the eyes to break it immediately. Spivey hiptosses and slams Gibbs. Elbow gets two. Legdrop gets two. Bulldog gets three. Feh. 1 for 2.

-Gene notes that Billy Jack actually came to the WWF briefly in 1984 but felt that “he wasn’t ready.” He departed to hone his bridge-burning skills and returned in 1986, where the fans welcomed him with open arms and another “Boring” chant. Kneedrop by Rex gets a two-count. He goes to a chinlock as the “Boring” chant starts gathering steam quicker. Haynes breaks free and gets a shoulderblock. Rex fights back and drops an elbow. Haynes reverses a turnbuckle shot and throws punches, then claps his hands to disorient his opponent. Chops and elbows by Haynes send Rex to the floor. Back in the ring, an ugly-looking dropkick by Haynes is no-sold by Rex, who went ahead and bladed while he was on the floor. Yes, blading for this match. And suddenly Billy Jack Haynes locks in a full nelson and gets the submission victory to thunderous boos. 1 for 3.

JUNKYARD DOG vs. KING KONG BUNDY (with Bobby Heenan)
-This would have been a hell of a feud in Mid-South. Lock-up and JYD backs Bundy into the corner before breaking free. Another lock-up has the same result. And another one. And this time Bundy decides to do stuff and throws punches and kicks until JYD goes down. Elbow misses, and rolling headbutts send Bundy to the floor. Back in the ring, fists are exchanged and JYD staggers Bundy with a headbutt. Irish whip by JYD but he walks into a kick and a clothesline. Fistdrop gets two. Kneedrop gets two. JYD ducks a clothesline and throws punches and headbutts until Bundy finally falls over for a two-count. JYD tries a falling headbutt, but Bundy rolls away and starts throwing punches. JYD fires back. Double-clothesline, and both men react with a delayed sell for a weird visual. Both men get to their feet and pick up where they left off, with fisticuffs (which took me three attempts to type correctly). Bundy takes JYD off his feet and drops an elbow for two. He goes for a headlock, and that’s actually the first resthold of the match. JYD fights to his feet and elbows out. Shoulderblock by Dog, but Bundy knocks him over. He misses the splash, though, and JYD starts throwing punches and headbutts again. He goes off the ropes, but Heenan hooks his leg and the referee sees it for the DQ. Shitty, shitty finish, but this was an example of “Doing the best you can with what you have.” Neither man was a technician but just kept going with what they were capable of and didn’t fall asleep on top of each other mid-bearhug or anything. 2 for 4.

-We establish on commentary that Jimmy Jack is actually a cousin to Terry & Hoss and not a brother like I’ve been thinking this entire time. I once watched a documentary about television where somebody pointed out that when a new relative is introduced, it’s almost always a cousin because the relationship is distant enough that the audience will allow that they look nothing like the rest of the family, but close enough that the audience will accept them quickly. Hence, Jimmy Jack can’t be a brother…he has to be a cousin. TV logic demands it.

-JJ has a headlock on Garea for a while, but Garea elbows free and sunset flips him for two. JJ snapmares him and goes back to the headlock. Garea fights it and suplexes free while Jimmy Hart bothers Gorilla Monsoon. Garea puts the boots to JJ and hiptosses him. Dropkick compels JJ to request a time-out in the corner, but Garea London Bridges him. He goes for a Thesz press, but JJ catches him and eventually turns it into a powerslam for a three-count. 2 for 5.

-We are VERY early in Race’s WWF run with his NWA robe & tights. We’re joined in progress with Race giving Poffo a brainbuster on the concrete floor! Holy shit, that’s actually something you do post-match to explain a guy’s absence for the next three months or so, but Poffo shakes it off and gets back to the apron here. Race rams him into the turnbuckle and snaps his neck over the top rope as Hayes commends Poffo for his suppleness. Bellt-to-belly suplex by Race gets two. Poffo mounts a comeback with punches but gets headbutted right down. Race goes to the top rope and connects with a diving headbutt. Poffo gets to his feet and Race headbutts him out of the ring and onto the floor, with Poffo landing with an audible “thump.” Race goes out and falls on top of him with a headbutt. Integrity preservation goes to a comeback by Poffo with more punches, but Race headbutts him. Dropkick sends Race through the ropes, headscissors on the apron brings him back again. Lanny tries another headscissors, but Race drops to his knees and hooks Lanny’s neck in the top rope. Cradle suplex gets the win. Total domination here. 2 for 6.

-Jim Powers and Ricky Hunter are the scheduled opponents, but King Tonga runs in the ring and spits out the marbles in his mouth just enough to say “Give me a chance.” Bobby Heenan makes him leave. Both jobbers take their turn at slamming Studd, but he just gets bored and beats the crap out of them. Tonga returns and slams Studd with no trouble at all, then does a celebratory boogie. 2 for 7.

KING TONGA vs. BIG JOHN STUDD (with Bobby Heenan)
-I think it says something that I was surprised to actually see this match following that. I mean, they just didn’t do anything with Tonga until they turned him into Haku. Studd slams Tonga before the bell and puts the boots to him. Tonga fights back with chops and headbutts. He goes for a slam, but Studd grabs the top rope and elbows Tonga right down. Tonga tries for the slam again but gets rammed into the corner. Clothesline by Studd and Tonga tries chopping him again. Studd hiptosses him for two. Crescent kick and a headbutt by Tonga and he goes back to attempting to slam him. Studd grabs the ropes again and pulls himself and Tonga out to the floor, and they brawl until we have a double count-out. Felt like a TV match, as both guys just did their arsenal and went to the finish as soon as they got to the five-minute mark. 2 for 8.

-The extra B is for a bonus appearance by Terry Gibbs! Arcidi shoves him down and shoves him down again. Gibbs complains about Arcidi’s excess body oil. Gibbs tries a front facelock, but Arcidi lifts him off his feet and plants him on the top rope. Gibbs tries a shoulderblock but Arcidi catches him off the ropes with a full nelson. Gibbs makes the ropes for the release. Gibbs throws punches and more punches, and Gorilla is really funny on commentary, making no effort to build suspense and simply declaring that there’s no way Gibbs is winning this match. And of course, Arcidi gets a bearhug to finish him off soon after. 2 for 9.

-JIP at a high knee by Hercules. He goes to a chinlock and switches to a headlock. Junior elbows out, but Hercules blocks the comeback with another knee and an elbow for two. He goes back to the headlock, but Junior gets to his feet and elbows out again. Hercules grabs him by the overalls and throws him to the floor. Blassie taps him with his cane to taunt him. Junior gets back in the ring but gets knocked out again. He tries a sunset flip on re-entry but gets punched for his effort. Kneedrop by Hercules and another punch for two. Back to the headlock. Junior reverses it to a bearhug and Hercules kicks him down. Junior makes another comeback and punches and punches and punches, and then punches from an alternate angle, but Hercules kicks him and connects with another high knee. Slam by Hercules, but a top rope splash misses. Backdrop by Junior and more punching. Ugly series of blown spots leads eventually to Hercules rolling Junior up for a three-count and ending this horror. 2 for 10.

-We flashback to that magical year of 1982, which I spent most of being a fetus. We’re in MSG, JIP and Adonis punches Morales until Morales punches back. He punches Adonis over the top rope and onto the floor and rams him facefirst into the post, which has a microphone attached to it. Adonis comes back in the hard way and gets Irish whipped, but he dodges a charge. Awful-looking German suplex gives us the always-hated “double-pin and one guy rolls his shoulder” finish. 2 for 11.

-Albano goes to the corner to get something from his tights. Patterson catches him and punches him, then grabs the weapon and absolutely pounds him with it, and Albano bleeds less than 30 seconds into the match. And again, he blades right on camera. Albano gets sick of this crap and leaves, giving Patterson a count-out victory. 2 for 12.

-Brawl to start things, but the referee breaks it up (giving Gorilla a heart attack) and Jake takes a breather. Back in the ring, short clothesline by Jake sets up…another short clothesline, actually. He sends Dragon through the ropes, but Dragon catches himself on the apron and flies back in with an attempted sunset flip. Jake blocks it with a punch and follows with an inverted atomic drop. More punches by Jake and a slam. Attempted high knee, but Dragon hooks his leg and sends him crashing into the turnbuckles. Neckbreaker and another one by Steamboat. Splash is blocked by Jake’s knees and Jake throws him to the apron and Steamboat stops himself from going to the floor. Jake punches him to force him to the floor and goes for the DDT, but Steamboat rams him into “the steel apron” and the barricade. Back in the ring, Steamboat comes off the top rope with a chop between the eyes and Jake is bleeding. More chopping by Steamboat and the referee again breaks it up. Jake goes for a sudden DDT but Steamboat backdrops out. Referee jaws with Jake and Steamboat kicks Jake hard enough that he crashes into the referee, and the referee calls for a DQ and gives Jake the win on the grounds of Needing an Inconclusive Finish. 3 for 13. Still a good match like you were expecting.

Here’s the Game Show Utopia now.

The 411: A few good matches, but nothing classic enough to justify sitting through "boring" chants and Captain Lou's flagrant blading. Pass.
Final Score:  2.3   [ Very Bad ]  legend

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