Best Of The WWF Volume 3 – Finally, It’s Over

Best of the WWF Volume 3
Host: Vince McMahons
Commentators: Jesse Ventura, Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund

This it the final volume in this series and I couldn’t be happier. This is from 1985 and also has some TNT skits in it which are usually pretty funny. We’re in 1985 here and at least one of the matches I’ve done before. I just want to get this done already so I’ll stop talking now. Let’s get to it.

For the last time in this series, that Coliseum Video intro rocks.

Vince is very clearly reading off a teleprompter. He runs down the whole card and we’re finally ready go to.

Jimmy Snuka vs. Roddy Piper

This is a strap match and you win by pin/submission. This gives us the ultra rare yet awesome Jesse Ventura solo commentary. From what I can find this is in St. Louis. Snuka hits him in the leg to start as they jockey for position with the strap. Piper scratches the eyes and comes at him with the strap to the throat. Snuka comes back and whips at Piper who tries to run.

Snuka chokes away at him which is kind of a heelish move. Then again Snuka used to be a heel so it works fine. Piper comes back and whips Jimmy but tries a headbutt. DOES NO ONE LEARN THEIR STEREOTYPES ANYMORE??? He rams Snuka’s head into the buckle and even Jesse is saying that was stupid. Back in and Piper overreacts to getting punched but he’s hilarious at it. In something you’ll hardly ever see again, Piper gets caught in a top rope cross body for the perfectly clean pin.

Rating: C+. This was an incredibly entertaining feud and while short, this was definitely a fun match. They did their usual over the top stuff and we got a bunch of fun things out of it. I think this was a dark match at a Superstars taping so it’s not like it was a featured match or anything.

Piper goes crazy post match and destroys Snuka with the strap post match.

Bob Orton vs. Ricky Steamboat

This looks like Toronto. Steamboat goes after the bad arm which is a very slow healing injury. Orton tries to kip up but can’t quite escape the arm hold. Steamboat slams him and we’re right back to the arm. Orton comes back with a beal and flying headscissors but misses a charge which sends him to the floor. Out there he throws a drink in Steamboat’s face but that’s not a DQ.

Orton takes over and hooks a cravate. Off to a chinlock which is quickly broken but Steamboat can’t slam him. Orton hooks the chinlock on again and rubs the cast in his face. I love little things like that. Steamboat comes back with chops and heads to the top. The top rope cross body only gets two, probably putting Orton in a very elite club.

Steamboat gets thrown to the apron but he skins the cat and comes back with a shot to send Orton to the floor. He was always great at that bump. The Cowboy tries to suplex Ricky to the floor but Steamboat counters. They speed it up again and Ricky misses a splash. Orton loads up the cast and comes off the top with a shot to the head and that draws the DQ.

Rating: B. Two guys that are absolutely great getting a good deal of time in front of a hot crowd. What are you expecting but a solid match? Orton was great as a guy that could be thrown in there and be asked to give you a solid match. He’s kind of the Kofi of his day but as a mat guy instead of a high flier. You never get a bad match out of him and he’s always entertaining. Very fun match.

Orton goes after him post match but Steamboat runs him off.

British Bulldogs vs. Johnny Rodz/Rene Goulet

The Bulldogs are new now so this is your basic squash/extended match that should be a squash. This is in MSG and Vince takes forever to intro the match. The old guys are clearly in over their heads here but Goulet gets in some token offense and brings in Rodz. The Bulldogs are like boys please and hit a pair of missile dropkicks and Dynamite nips up to snap suplex Rodz.

The heels take over with Dynamite getting beaten down. Rodz is very boring looking but he trained about half of ECW so take that for what it’s worth. Davey comes in with the delayed vertical and we need to get to the interesting part in a hurry. Everything breaks down and Davey throws Goulet in a fireman’s carry. Dynamite hops from the top rope, jumps onto Goulet’s back and hits the Swan Dive for the pin.

Rating: C+. Totally awesome stuff here for the Bulldogs as this is probably close to their debut. To give you an idea of how awesome they looked here, the MSG crowd gave them a standing ovation after the match. Upon further review this was their debut, at least in MSG. Great debut match and it worked well.

British Bulldogs vs. Hart Foundation

That was their first match in MSG, and this is their second. Joined in progress with Dynamite and Bret getting us going. The Brits clean house until the power guys come in for a test of strength. Bret comes back in and the Harts take over with some nice double teaming stuff. Bret misses a charge and knees Anvil by mistake to bring in Dynamite.

House is cleaned and everything speeds up. There’s a falling headbutt to Bret as things finally get down to one on one. Missile dropkick puts Bret down and there’s the powerslam but Jim breaks up the cover. That allows Bret to take over and the Harts dominate. Dynamite hooks a sunset flip but the curfew comes on. That means it’s I think 10pm in New York and therefore the show has to end. Imagine that happening today.

Rating: C+. Good stuff here but there’s only so much they can do with so little time. These teams just couldn’t have a bad match in this time period if their lives depended on it. Dynamite was so great with his speed stuff and it’s easy to see how Benoit modeled himself after the Kid. Fun match, would have been great with a finish.

We go to a famous skit from Tuesday Night Titans. Albano is in an office and we’re going to see George Steele get shock therapy in an attempt to get him to speak. First up the doctor tries to hypnotize him. George talks about playing football in school when he was 13 and messing up his tongue. He didn’t talk in school or something and then he became a wrestler and was booed because he wrestled Bruno. The hypnosis ends and George goes off again.

Now let’s try electrical shock. Apparently this is going to make George smart and not crazy. The doctor is named Sigmund Ziff. Good to know. After some more hypnosis George has his hat put on. George gets some shock and manages to say “how now brown cow” in a British accent. Then he gets shocked again and he’s back to normal. Funny segment but it didn’t need to go 8 minutes.

US Express/George Steele vs. Adrian Adonis/Big John Studd/Bobby Heenan

This is from MSG and this show is a bit more famous because of the debut of Randy Savage on it. No one wants to start with the Animal. Barry and Adonis (not yet gay or in pink) start us off. Let the stalling begin! Before anything happens, Heenan is brought in so Windham tags Steele. Heenan DIVES to the floor to hide and it’s back to Adonis. Now it’s back to Windham before any contact has been made at all.

Off to Studd to meet Windham and Barry is knocked down pretty easily. It isn’t often that Barry has to speed things up but he does it here as he doesn’t have another option. He keeps going for the slam which doesn’t work at all. A cross body gets two. Clipped to Heenan being brought in and Barry beats him down like a world champion beating on a manager.

Everything breaks down and Steele rams all three heels into the posts. Rotundo comes in and Heenan’s mouth is bleeding. Mike takes Studd down and works on the arm. Clipped to Adonis beating on Rotundo. Gorilla gives us some analysis of what we’re seeing and the fans chant USA. Windham finally comes in as does Steele, wanting to get his hands on Bobby. There wasn’t a tag and everything breaks down. Steele goes outside and comes back with a chair which he hits the referee with for the DQ.

Rating: D. Pretty boring match here and I really don’t get the point of them giving us what appears to be a focus on Steele and then having him lose his match. Then again I think they did that more than once in this series so it must be a running theme. That doesn’t mean it makes sense but it’s what they’re doing I guess.

Here’s a video from Ivan Koloff vs. Bruno Sammartino in a cage.

David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake

This is from Wrestlemania I so I’ll just copy and paste here. The version on the tape is clipped (thank goodness) but this is the full PPV version. We get a quick promo from the Sammartinos where Bruno tells Beefcake’s manager Johnny V to stay out of it. V says he’s not worried about Bruno. Now we go on to what was little more than a reason to have the managers brawl at ringside, we have David Sammartino against Brutus Beefcake.

David is accompanied by his father and Johnny Valiant for Beefcake. Big stall to start which is filled in by Gorilla talking about how great the crowd is, and for the time it really was. Finally we get going and Jesse cracks me up by saying that a loss for either man here could set their careers back 2 years.

That’s nothing but priceless. Anyway, we have a nice little wrestling sequence to start with Beefcake stalling again after sliding to the floor. We’re almost 5 minutes in and nothing at all of interest has happened yet. They’re trying to do a technical match and it’s just failure. I’m quite bored as I watch this match and it’s not getting any better.

I feel like I’m watching a house show match, but not the good kind. I feel like I’m watching a house show match that makes jobbers look good. Even the commentators sound bored here, yet for some reason the crowd is into this. FINALLY we get the managers involved and it’s a huge brawl for the double DQ.

Rating: D-. I was so bored I almost fell asleep. Absolutely nothing at all of note and it was just done to get Bruno on the show. David had a lot to live up to and for the most part he never came close which is the case for the vast majority of the kids of major stars. If nothing else look at David Flair. This was a very bad match though as Beefcake was the top guy in the ring which sums up things rather well.

Bruno Sammartino/David Sammartino vs. Johnny V/Brutus Beefcake

Pretty obvious reasoning behind this one. David is just so horrible compared to his father that having them tag was probably not a great idea. Arnold Skaaland is with the family here. Bruno vs. Johnny starts us off and Bruno throws him out easily. Brutus comes in and is tossed as well. Since this is MSG, Bruno can get a big pop by doing anything beyond breathing. Back in and Bruno does as much as he did before to keep Johnny in trouble.

Off to David who just is not that good. He works an armbar and slams Johnny a few times before Brutus comes in. Bruno comes back in to hook on the armbar and then tags out so David can do the exact same thing. The heels get in a tiny bit of offense before Bruno comes back in. This is so boring other than when Bruno is in there. David comes in again and gets hammered on for awhile. Valentine misses a charge but manages to avoid contact with the buckle. Not that it matters as David rolls him up for the pin anyway.

Rating: D. Bruno, I love you man but your kid sucks in the ring. I mean he’s just BAD. This whole thing was to have David be put over and Bruno was trying his best to try to give him a rub but at the end of the day, David just didn’t have any talent whatsoever. He’s just bad and thankfully he wasn’t around that long at all.

Here’s a clip from King Kong Bundy on Tuesday Night Titans where he tries on wigs. Well he does look like an egg without them. This goes on for awhile.

King Kong Bundy vs. Tony Garea

Bundy shoves him around with ease as today this would be Brodus vs. Regal and would last a minute. Here in 1985 though, this lasts WAY too long. Garea works on the leg but gets caught by the power. Garea misses a dropkick and the Avalanche ends this. Somehow that took about 6 minutes.

Rating: D-. What in the world was the point of this? Either way at least this tape is almost over. Bundy was fine as a monster but he could only be interesting for so long. That would be about 2 months but he was good for something like this. Boring match here and I’d much rather watch Garea have a tag match.

Battle Royal

Masked Superstar, Moondog Rex, Samu, Mil Mascaras, David Schultz, Bob Boyer, Mr. Fuji, Ivan Putski, Big John Studd, Tony Atlas, Paul Orndorff, Rocky Johnson, Adrian Adonis, Jimmy Snuka, Dick Murdoch, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Tiger Chung Lee

We’re in Missouri here and actually this is the battle royal that Hogan was talking about on a show I reviewed a few weeks ago. Cool stuff. Anyway the winner gets thirty grand and Schultz is gone almost immediately. Hogan has been world champion about two weeks here. Studd keeps going to the apron but not out. Hogan throws out a few people. I don’t know if he’s even acknowledged as champion yet.

EVERYONE goes after Andre and Boyer gets trampled in it. They have to carry him out which can’t be good for your health. Studd is on the floor but not eliminated. Adonis hammers on Hogan so he Hulks Up and punches him to the floor in an elimination. I have no idea who is left. Putski beats on Atlas and Masked Superstar is out as is Orndorff. Orndorff pulls Johnson to the floor through the ropes and posts him.

Rocky is busted open and Studd is finally back in. Johnson collapses and Samu dives out by mistake. And never mind as Johnson and Murdoch go out seconds later. Mascaras and someone go out. Hogan and Andre go at it. Studd throws out Putski, then Andre while he’s at the ropes. Hogan goes out as well and Studd wins it.

Rating: D-. Really boring match here but Hogan vs. Andre is always worth seeing. It’s pretty cool to see them do that this early but other than that, there’s nothing going on here at all. This was a different era though and you can really see that. Boring match and a bad way to end the series.

Hogan demands Studd get back in so Hogan and Andre both beat him up.

Overall Rating: D. It has two good matches and then about an hour and fifteen minutes of drek. This was a dark era for the company as they had no one ready to fight Hogan yet other than Piper and that had already been done. Nothing to see here other than stuff from guys that were naturally great talents. Why is that not a surprise? And with that, we’re done with the Best of the WWF, which is a bad name for the series as it’s a lie.

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