wrestling / Video Reviews

You Tubular: Van Van Horne

September 16, 2010 | Posted by Leonard Hayhurst
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You Tubular: Van Van Horne  

What can I tell you about Van Van Horne, not much. He’s billed from Memphis, Tenn., and as we progress in the matches below he goes from a flat top hair cut to helmet hair that makes him look vaguely like Ricky Skaggs in the same period. I found a Facebook page for a Van Van Horne that could be him, but even I felt a little skeezy sending him a message saying, “hey, did you used to be a jobber in the WWF? If so, could you tell me about yourself for this column I do on a wrestling website where I review jobber matches I find on YouTube.” Would you respond to that? I wouldn’t.

The below matches are from “Superstars” between 1987-1988 with commentary from Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura and Bruno Sammartino.

Van Van Horne vs. Bam Bam Bigelow with Oliver Humperdink
Video Length: 3:45


Van covers his ears from the cheers as Bigelow enters. Van Van rolls under a clothesline from Bam Bam, but then walks into one. Bigelow hits a suplex and follows with the falling headbutt. Slick on behalf of the One Man Gang cuts an insert promo on Bigelow as he continues to work Van Horne over in the ring. Bigelow gets a press slam. Van Horne tries to slug back, but Bigelow shows him what real punches feel like. Bigelow with a face slam and the famous standing dropkick. He gives Van Horne a bell ringer for fun and he just stumbles about. Another suplex sets up the slingshot splash from the apron for the win. Bigelow looked dominant in a usual squash for him. ¼*

Van Van Horne vs. One Man Gang with Slick
Video Length: 2:44


OMG grabs Van Horne by the hair at the bell and smashes his face into the turnbuckle a couple times. He then rakes Van Horne across the top rope. OMG clubs and chokes Van Horne. OMG does a choke toss. Ventura says if he would pick someone for Vince to face in the ring, that would be the guy. He means OMG, but Vince asks if he meant Van Horne. Vince McMahon vs. Van Van Horne at Wrestlemania, book it now. The match is so boring, the commentators talk about Slick’s wardrobe. OMG bashes Van Horne in the corner. OMG wins with a front suplex. Just a mauling and lacked the energy of the Bigelow squash. DUD.

Van Van Horne vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine with Jimmy Hart
Video Length: 4:18


The crowd boos both guys. Valentine gets a body slam and an elbow smash. He follows with a back breaker. Valentine gets Van Horne up for a power slam, but runs him into the corner and hangs him in the tree or woe. Valentine drives a series of elbows into the throat. A butterfly slam gets two. We hear from some fans on if Brutus Beefcake should be allowed to cut wrestlers’ hair after matches. Vince should hire the one guy that says Beefcake is a licensed barber and learned from a Frenchman. As we all know the French are the best barbers in the world. Valentine gets a delayed gourdbuster for two. A regular suplex leads to the windmill elbow drop and the figure four for the finisher. Hammer refuses to let Van Horne go after the match. Valentine showed a pretty good offensive arsenal there. ¼*

Van Van Horne vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Video Length: 2:31


Hart wastes no times in going straight to the five moves of doom. Backbreaker, kick to the gut off the ropes, body slam. He then breaks it up with some pounding and choking on the ropes. A snap mare leads to a leg drop. Hart in an insert promo calls out Bad New Brown for blindsiding him a Wrestlemania IV. Hart works a camel clutch for a few seconds, then finishes with a piledriver. Hart was establishing himself as a singles wrestler in WWF at this time and honing his formula. ¼*

Van Van Horne and Mario Mancini vs. Demolition with Mr. Fuji
Video Length: 3:01


Ax beats the crap out of Mancini and body slams him a few times. He meets Smash’s boot and he tags in. Smash hits a series of axe handles and a body slam. He kicks Mancini into his corner so Van Horne can tag in. Van Horne and Mancini are wearing matching trunks, good show of team unity. Mr. Fuji in an insert promo says they shouldn’t play the Piledriver video next, they should play the Demolition video, it’s what the people really want to see. I have to agree with him there, that video is much more bad ass. Ax comes in to beat on Van Horne. He runs Van Horne into Smash’s boot and he tags in again. Smash smashes Van Horne’s chest with clubbing blows. Tag to Ax. He scores a backdrop. Tag back to Smash. He hits a backbreaker and then they finish with the Decapitation. Usual brutal squash from these guys. ¼*

Van Van Horne, Rex King and Sam Houston vs. the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis with Jimmy Hart
Video Length: 4:44


Houston and Davis were feuding. Davis and Houston start. Houston cartwheels away from a backdrop and hits a dropkick. Davis runs into an arm drag and Houston works the arm. Van Horne comes in and works the arm. Tag to King, who comes off the second rope with an elbow to the arm. Davis comes back with a clothesline and tags Neidhart. He hangs King out to dry on the top rope and then hangs him in the tree of woe. The Hart Foundation work the double team and Bret tags in. He hits a backbreaker on King. Bret follows with a piledriver and tags Davis. Davis gets a body slam, but misses an elbow drop. Tag to Houston He clears the Hart Foundation off the apron and hits Davis with a backdrop. Houston goes into the ropes and Hart trips him. Van Horne tries to interfere, which just allows the Hart Foundation to hit a variation of the Hart Attack clothesline with Bret on the apron. Davis makes the casual cover for the win. ½ * It continued the storyline and got characters over.

The 411: Van Van Horne might have been the greatest offensive wrestler since Lou Thesz, but we’ll never know. However, he was a master of getting his ass kicked and making the other guy look good, which is what true enhancement talent should do. Bigelow and OMG looked like true monsters, while Hart and Valentine looked like technical wizards. That fits who those guys are, but it takes an opponent to help bring that out and get it across to fans. They wouldn’t look so good if Van Horne didn’t come across so bad. YouTubular salutes a real old school jobber who knew his role and played it well.
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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Leonard Hayhurst

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