Best of the WWF Volume 4 – Andre A Go-Go

Best of the WWF Volume 4
Host: Vince McMahon
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Lord Alfred Hayes, Gene Okerlund

Remember how I said I’d be doing two of these at once? This is the second one. We’re looking at a much older time in the company, probably about 5 months after the first Wrestlemania. In other words, everything is still about Hogan vs. Piper and company, with Paul Orndorff starting to hang out with and fight for Hogan somewhat. Big money would follow. Let’s get to it.

That Coliseum Video is still awesome.

Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper

This is from MSG and the aftermath of the loss at Mania. Piper actually said he screwed up. That should sum up the rareness of this one. The crowd is ERUPTING and they’re on the floor very quickly. Paul grabs the arm and Piper messes up Paul’s hair. You don’t do that in the 80s! Piper tries everything he can think of but can’t break the wristlock. Piper gets a knee up in the corner and a clothesline sends Orndorff to the outside.

Back in Orndorff grabs a fast backslide for two but gets his eyes poked to change the momentum again. They go back to the floor again and Piper shakes his arm. See how easy it is? You see? The brawl begins all over again but Orndorff gets sent into the post. Piper hooks a front facelock and shifts it to a choke as often as he can. After a few failed attempts, Orndorff manages to bridge up into a backslide for two.

Paul slugs away and they go to the floor again. Now Orndorff pulls his hair to make up for the unfair cosmetic attack earlier. He pulls Piper back in by the hair (FREAKING OW) and Piper shakes like a fish on a plate. Orndoff goes up…and here’s Bob Orton to shove him off for the DQ. I guess Orton wasn’t happy with his “friend” having his hair messed with like that.

Rating: C+. Rather fun brawl although not much of a match. Still though, after watching that awful show I just sat through, how much can you complain about this? This was a super hot feud back in the day and it would continue on for a few more months until. Fun brawl and really fun to see them both, probably at their in ring peaks.

The pair beats down Orndorff for a good while until the Bulldogs make the save, probably to set up a future six man.

Hulk Hogan/Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco/Bob Orton

In Boston which means a hot crowd. Hogan is champion (duh) and Jimmy is probably the second most popular guy in the company. More Mania fallout stuff here. Big brawl to start and the good guys clear the ring. Snuka and Orton officially start and Bob gets his cast beaten on. Well that’s a very slow healing injury after all. They work on the arm for awhile with Hogan even coming in off the middle rope with a shot.

The arm hits the post and at this point it’s still a fresh injury, only having been broken for a month or so. Back to Snuka and the beating continues. The Human Banana comes back in and Orton can’t get anything going. Big atomic drop has Orton in trouble but he manages to trip Hogan to bring in Muraco. Gee Hogan went down quickly there. Clipped to Orton hitting a nice delayed vertical on Hogan.

Back to Muraco with some nice heel double teaming. They collide and there’s the hot tag to Snuka. The camera cuts to a shot of the crowd and a kid pops up right in front of the camera like in a horror movie. Fuji gets up on the apron for a distraction and Orton hits Snuka with the cast. Hogan takes a shot too and Snuka is busted. OH MAN is he cut. Hogan goes into the post on the floor and we’re clipped to more beating on Snuka. He gets a shot in though and it’s off to Hogan finally. Orton pops him with the cast almost immediately and it gets thrown out.

Rating: C+. I liked this one a lot and I’d have loved to see the full version of it. That and a decisive ending instead of the DQ but whatever. This was Hogan 101 back in the day: find some guy to tag with, find a pair of heels, and watch the guy get bigger than he was going to be able to get on his own. They’re trying that with Cena and Ryder at the moment, but it’s not working so well because Ryder looks like a helpless chick (remember Cena holding him?) in the whole thing.

Big brawl post match again.

Battle Royal

There are 20 people in this and it’s from 1982 so I’m not going to bother figuring out who they all are. Just to give you some of the names: Atlas, SD Jones, Valentine, the Blackjacks, Morales, Fuji, Adonis (Biker, not yet gay), both Strongbows, Rodz, Estrada, Skiluna (thanks for listing all of these guys Vince) and others. Snuka goes out. Masa Saito is in there too.

Ivan Putski and Tiger Chung Lee are in this also. Garea is out there so that has to be most of them. Blackjack Mulligan and Putski are out. Swede Hanson is there too. That leaves one I don’t know. Apparently his name is Laurette Suce. Ok then. I know I butchered that. Garea is put out. Saito goes out as well. Either there are 21 people in this or I can’t count as a guy named Steve Travis chops Hanson.

Clipped to a bit later so I have no idea who is still in this. Morales pops Adonis in the face a few times and sends him flying. Someone goes out that we miss. It was both Strongbow brothers. Fuji is gone too. Adonis is tied in the ropes. That’s not a horrible place to be actually. I think there are about ten left. Pedro gets triple teamed in the corner and is finally put out.

Yeah there are nine left and no I won’t name them, mainly because I don’t know who they are. The fans are about 99% behind Atlas. Vince says Suce throws punches like a girl. Someone (the name Vince gives them) is out. Valentine is really busted open. Suce is gone as is someone else and all of a sudden they’re flying out.

Ok so the final four are Jones, Atlas, Valentine and Adonis. We get something like a mini tag match and heel miscommunication abounds. Tony beats up Valentine and the heels get slammed together. This is in Philadelphia if you’re curious. Powerslam by Adonis to Jones. Adonis busts out a top rope elbow, which would be a huge spot at this point. Off to a sleeper while on the other side, Valentine is tied up between the ropes. Atlas fights up and dumps Adonis with no acknowledgment at all from Vince. He wasn’t that good yet.

Atlas goes OFF on Valentine and knocks him into the corner with a headbutt. A dropkick by Jones almost puts Valentine out, so he fires a second one and Valentine is gone. He was practically out on his feet anyway. That makes the final two SD Jones and Tony Atlas. They hug, and I absolutely kid you not, flip a coin to decide the winner. Atlas wins. I’ll give them this: it’s a new one.

Rating: C. Well it certainly was different. This was a very refreshing kind of battle royal with no huge stars in it, making the whole thing just kind of fun. Vince mentioned the winner getting money so at least there was a reason for them to fight. Not a classic or anything but I liked it. The ending was creative and at least they were cheered.

We get a special segment on the wrestlers’ specialties, or finishers as we would call them. It’s really just a set of clips of the guys using them. Steamboat’s is just listed as “Karate.” These might just be signatures instead of finishers. Orndorff’s is “Strength.” Is he a Pokemon? Stan Hansen is in this. Bruno’s is “All The Right Moves.” Ok then. My goodness he’s a hairy man. Yeah Hogan is listed as a clothesline and an elbow. Seriously? There are a ton of these that I’m not mentioning because they’re just guys doing moves. The Superfly Splash is always cool, especially the cage dive. The Bulldogs use “acrobatics.”

Andre the Giant vs. Killer Khan

This is a Mongolian Stretcher Match. Khan had broken Andre’s ankle so you have to beat one person down until they have to be carried out on a stretcher. We’re in Philly. Khan tries to run but Andre pulls him back in by the hair. Andre sits on him and the referees try to put him on the stretcher but he’s not done yet. Khan tries to backdrop him so Andre busts out a piledriver. A falling headbutt misses though and Khan goes after the ankle for some continuity. Khan drops a bunch of knees and calls for the stretcher. That just ticks the Giant off and here comes the pain.

Andre can’t really follow up though because of his ankle. His solution? HE SITS ON KHAN’S HEAD! Khan holds onto the ropes so Andre jumps on him SIX TIMES IN A ROW. Khan tries to grab the apron skirt and stays in. Oh this isn’t going to end well. Andre suplexes him, sits on him AGAIN, and splashes him to end this. Khan is DEAD.

Rating: C-. No it wasn’t that good, but man Andre’s destruction of Khan was something to see. Khan laying there like that was great as he looked like he had been completely destroyed. Fun stuff but Andre being a monster that is ticked off is always at least worth a look. Also cool to see him in better shape like this.

Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd

This is in a cage, before Wrestlemania, and joined in progress. This is just here for the ending. Studd is busted open already but manages to get in some shots and goes for the door. Andre stops him and drops a leg to break that up. Andre easily slams him and goes up. He goes to the top and JUMPS DOWN ONTO STUDD’S CHEST!!! When did this turn into a snuff tape??? No rating, but my goodness Studd has to be dead.

Andre the Giant vs. King Kong Bundy

By jove I think we’ve got a theme going here! This is called the Colossal Jostle for no apparent reason. Albano is with Andre to counter Hart. Andre goes right for him as this is about revenge from a Bundy attack in Toronto. Bundy gets chopped in the corner and knocked to the floor. Clipped to Bundy getting knocked back to the floor. Clipped again to Bundy knocking Andre down. Bundy goes after the injured sternum which was hurt by a bunch of splashes at the aforementioned Toronto show. Andre fires off some shoulders in the corner to take over. Bundy runs into a boot in the corner and here’s Studd for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Pretty dull stuff here but at least they kept it relatively short. The clipping really hurt it….I think. It might have helped it but it’s kind of hard to tell. Not terrible but definitely worse than the Khan match. This would result in Hogan coming in to help Andre….I think.

Dream Team vs. Tito Santana/Ricky Steamboat

This is in Toronto. My goodness that’s quite a face team. Ricky vs. Beefcake starts us off. The ring is quickly cleared and Ricky hits what we would call a springboard forearm to take over. Off to Tito as the camera stuff is really all over the place here. Jesse sounds like he has a sore throat. Valentine and Santana stall a lot so Brutus slams Tito and then brings in Greg.

Valentine misses an elbow and it’s back to more stalling. I can barely recognize Jesse’s voice. That’s how messed up it is. Big clothesline puts Valentine down but the Figure Four is broken up. Greg takes over and works over the arm. Off to Bruti who can’t do much more than choke at this point. This is before the Expresses established the tag team formula so things are a bit different here.

Tito grabs an armbar but his back is to the wrong corner so he can’t get anything going. Back to Beefcake in control via a headlock. In a nice sequence, Beefcake points at Steamboat to distract the referee and Valentine gets in a shot to the back of Santana. With Ricky trying to get in, Santana gets on all fours and tries to bob and weave, eventually diving through Beefcake’s legs for the HOT tag to Steamboat.

Sleeper goes on Beefcake but he pretty easily breaks it up. Valentine comes in to hammer on Ricky and an eye rake slows the Dragon down. The Dream Team (not sure if they’re named that yet or if Steamboat is the Dragon) works him over and Valentine starts loading up the Figure Four but Steamboat small packages him for two. Steamboat fights out of the corner and makes ANOTHER hot tag to Santana. The forearm gets two on Valentine and everything breaks down. Ricky is sent to the floor but he comes back off the top to take Brutus out. Santana counters an atomic drop, hooks the leg and the Figure Four ends this.

Rating: B. Great old school tag match here and more proof that you don’t need some big long back story to have a great match. These four had no history together outside of Valentine beating Santana for the IC Title and that was like 6 months prior to this. Very fun wrestling match here and we didn’t need Teddy Long to book it.

Overall Rating: C+. A lot of this is going to depend on your tastes. Other than the main event the matches aren’t great but there’s nothing on here that’s really bad. However if you don’t like old school stuff, this certainly isn’t going to be your taste. Good, fun show though and I liked it a lot. Good luck finding it though.

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