Best of the WWF Volume 18 – Remember Volume 16? This is Nothing Like That.

Best of the WWF Volume 18
Host: Sean Mooney
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, Sean Mooney, Alfred Hayes

It’s another of these things and by the laws of science, wrestling and nature, it HAS to be better than Volume 16. After this one we’re going to be halfway through this series so at least we’re getting close to it being done. This is from late 1988/very early 1989, meaning I’ll enjoy it if nothing else. Let’s get to it.

Sean runs down the card for the tape.

Women’s Title: Rockin Robin vs. Sensational Sherri

This is in Paris and Sherri is champion. Sherri jumps her but Robin is a bit too fast for her. A jumping back elbow gets two as Gorilla and Brain talk about this being day #29 since Sherri defended the title. The spotlights are really bright and distracting. Gorilla and Bobby have a dinner bet on this match. Robin is totally dominant so far and gets two off a cross body. These girls at least know what they’re doing.

Robin really likes using a headlock. I mean she really likes it, as in I think she’s used about five in the first few minutes of it. Gorilla and Brain have such basic conversations and they’re just great. I’m fine with that when there’s nothing of note going on (front facelock here) but when Cole does it during a promo or a fast paced match, it’s stupid.

Sherri gets her first move, a full nelson, after about six minutes. It lasts all of ten seconds until Robin reverses to one of her own. Sherri finally takes over and again it lasts a few seconds as she gets rammed into the corner. Sherri gets rammed into more buckles and a jumping clothesline gets two. After nearly ten minutes, Sherri hits her in the ribs to take over. Her offense is really weak, similar to how most modern Divas wrestle.

Robin slams her off the top but she can’t follow up immediately. Cross body gets two. MAN Robin throws a hard chop. Sherri misses a spinning cross body and Robin gets two. This is FAR better than anything WWE has put on with boobs lately. Sherri avoids a dropkick but gets caught by a sunset flip for two. Sherri puts her on top for I’m guessing a superplex but Robin jumps off with a middle rope bulldog for the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. This was FAR better than I was expecting. Robin was actually pretty good and I was getting into this. It’s amazing what happens when the girls are actually having a wrestling match instead of trying to be all cute and show off how great they are. In other words, have wrestlers instead of models.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Jacques Rougeau

What an odd choice for a match, but WE GET HEEL ROUGEAU MUSIC!!!!!! Beefcake’s music is pretty awesome too. From what I can tell this is at a Superstars taping in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jacques keeps breaking cleanly to prove he’s a nice guy. He takes over quickly with a nice dropkick and Brutus is all confused. Thank goodness he’s fine.

A high knee puts Jacques on the floor and it’s time for hugs. Gay jokes abound from Mooney. Back inside (no pun intended) and Jacques takes over, hooking a camel clutch. The fans are all over Jimmy here. There’s a Boston Crab which is like a fetish for French Canadians. Jimmy shows off his value, hitting Brutus in the ribs with the megaphone while he’s on the floor.

He stays on the back and ribs, even hooking the abdominal stretch. Hayes complains about it since Gorilla isn’t on commentary here. Brutus ducks a cross body and the fans pop big. Very hot crowd here. There’s an atomic drop and Jacques sells it as it’s meant to be sold. Beefcake tries a splash (odd) but catches knees. Jacques is sent into his manager and the sleeper looks to end this, but Ray Rougeau runs in for the DQ.

Rating: C. Generic but fine here. Brutus was never in any real danger but I don’t get the ending. Why do they need to keep Jacques, a tag wrestler, from losing clean? Brutus was a solid midcard guy at this point and got a lot better around this point. Not a great match or anything, but for a TV main event this would have been fine.

Brain Busters vs. Young Stallions

In Toronto here I think. You could always tell as the camera was always off to the side a bit. There’s no Heenan here, although Gorilla says he might be in the upper deck in drag. That wouldn’t shock me actually. Arn and I think Powers start us off here and it’s a big brawl, won by the Stallions. Back to Tully vs. Powers and Blanchard isn’t sure what to do with him. Nice dropkick by Roma puts him down.

Off to Anderson who should be in the Hall of Fame. Roma (a future Horseman for some reason) snaps off some dropkicks and the Stallions rule the ring again. Blanchard tries to speed things up and that goes as well as anything else he’s tried. The Stallions work on Tully’s leg as this has been one sided so far. Anderson finally realizes he’s a Horseman and comes in with some double teaming to take over.

There’s a spinebuster which didn’t have a name yet. Roma gets beaten down like he’s a glorified jobber and Gorilla complains about the lack of perfection in the abdominal stretch. We get into a standard tag match with Roma being beaten down for awhile. Arn does his “test of strength on the mat and jump onto the other guys’ feet to crotch myself” spot. Blanchard gets taken down also and there’s the double tag. Everything breaks down and during the insanity, Tully cheats (atta boy!) and gets an illegal pin via a sunset flip on Powers.

Rating: C+. Fine match here and the 80s style never fails. It’s not a great match or anything but for a house show match that got about 12 minutes, it’s hard to complain about something like this. The Busters would get the titles later that year and would hold them until Tully got a little bit too high one day.

Here’s the Brother Love Show with Slick as the guest. This is from SNME 18 so I’m going to cut and paste as per usual. The guest is Hogan. Love always scared me to death back in the day. He was just freaky looking. Instead of Hogan he brings out Slick. Hogan is MAD and overacts beyond belief. We get to hear Jive Soul Bro as a consolation prize, making this show substantially better. Ah here’s Hulk. Nothing Love says means anything here as we’re just waiting on Boss Man to come in.

Love asks Hogan questions but keeps cutting him off before he can answer over and over again. He lets Slick answer because something tells me he’s not a nice person. Slick is as tall as Hogan. Never would have guessed that. The look on Hogan’s face is great actually as he’s not used to BLATANT DISRESPECT like this. Finally Hogan just grabs the mic and yells a lot.

Hogan talks about how fake Love is. This is going absolutely nowhere and I’m bored out of my mine. Hulk talks about being a judge and sentencing Love for something or other. He finally beats up Slick and Love. No Boss Man or anything which makes this a HUGE waste of time. Love gets handcuffed somewhere in there. Moving on.

The next match and angle are from SNME 17 so I’m going to cut and paste again. The angle that happened after the match is on the tape also.

We recap Roberts vs. Rude. The idea is that Rude had a gimmick going of giving a woman a kiss after his matches. He picked a woman in the front row and she declined. She said her husband was a pro wrestler. His name is Jake Roberts. Rude started wearing tights with Cheryl’s face on the crotch. Jake literally ripped them off of him and it was censored. In reality he was wearing a thong but you get the idea.

Rude says he’s never embarrassed of his body. Heenan talks about snake charmers hypnotizing snakes and hypnotizes Gene until Rude shouts RUDE AWAKENING. Funny.

Jake and his wife say really generic stuff.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude

What a natural paring this is. No theme music for Jake yet. Rude is wearing those tights again. Jake goes for the tights nearly immediately. Is Cheryl not satisfying him? I’ve watched nearly six minutes of this match and there’s just nothing to say about it. Cheryl gets thrown out for slapping Rude. Vince saying that she shouldn’t be because it didn’t hurt him is very funny for some reason.

Jesse goes on a rant about Vince playing favorites and it’s just freaking boring. I don’t know why but this just isn’t interesting at all. It’s not bad or anything. It’s just not getting my attention at all. Rude dominates for the most part with Jake just punching and looking for the DDT. Rude Awakening is blocked. Jake totally fakes him out by pulling back a punch and there’s the DDT. Instead of the cover though he goes for the tights.

Heenan comes in for the DQ. And here’s Andre, who would beat RVD in any match they had I think should be mentioned, to beat Jake up. Jake gets the snake out and since Andre is a heel, he’s terrified of it. The look on Andre’s face is priceless. Jake throws the snake at him in a smart move. Andre then has a heart attack. WOW.

Rating: D+. Not bad, but just not that interesting really at all. They would have what I guess was supposed to be the other big match at Mania 5 but this was just not a very good match. Oh yeah Rude was involved here. Yeah I couldn’t really care less. Match was ok though.

Here’s a brief profile on the Bushwhackers who are brand new. Gene talks to them and they praise the USA and talk about pushing buttons. They get a 7up and Luke uses his teeth to open it. I mean he takes the teeth out and uses them as a wedge.

Another skit (same clothes) shows them eating a lot and generally being disgusting.

Gene goes to the woods to meet them for the third time and they pop out from under a pile of leaves. It’s camouflage training or something.

WWF World Title: Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Savage

Oh yeah. This is on Savage’s DVD. I love that Fink has to tell us that it’s a cage match, WHEN THE BIG FREAKING CAGE IS AROUND THE RING ALREADY. I know fans are viewed as stupid but come on now. This is escape only and we’re in MSG so the crowd is white hot. DiBiase jumps him as soon as the bell rings. He misses a knee drop though and they slug it out from their knees. This is looking more like a fight than a match which is always cool when you have the talent to pull it off.

DiBiase beats him down and goes up the cage but Savage makes the save. The crowd is way into this already. Savage blocks a shot into the cage, I think. Actually maybe he did because he’s down already. Ted runs again but Savage makes another save. DiBiase gets his feet caught in the ropes coming down so Savage goes up, only to get caught by Virgil to put him back into the cage.

Randy sends him into the cage and goes up but gets punched by Virgil again. They’re doing a lot of “one guy goes up, the other guys saves, then reverse it”, which is great for building drama. Liz asked Superstar Billy Graham earlier today for some advice. “My advice is to gain about 50 pounds so you’ll look better.” That man is an idiot! DiBiase goes for the door but Savage makes the save. Then reverse that order and they do it again.

Both guys go up on opposite sides of the cage but Virgil makes the save. DiBiase jumps down for absolutely no apparent reason and stomps on Savage some more. A suplex is countered by Savage and he goes for the door but Virgil slams the cage on his head to break it up again. Graham goes on another rant about how Liz needs to gain weight to help her man. Savage makes another save as DiBiase goes for the door. He goes off on DiBiase as Virgil climbs up again. A fan climbs the cage to help Savage but Randy rams the heels’ heads together and climbs down to retain.

Rating: B. Solid old school style cage match here with the whole thing being based around drama and near escapes. Graham being an idiot got old fast, with him wanting the premiere sex symbol of wrestling ever up to that point to put on 50 pounds of muscle. Seriously, he said that. Anyway, fun match with lots of drama and DiBiase as the most evil thing around makes for a good main event.

Overall Rating: B+. I really enjoyed this. I don’t know if it was just that I’m a big fan of this era, but this was a really enjoyable 90 minutes of wrestling. It was one of those things you would see at a video store for like eight dollars or so and on that note, you can’t complain at all about it. Good stuff with a good main event is all you can ask for from these and it’s a great way to escape the horrors of Volume 16. Good stuff.

 

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