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Coliseum Video: The Women of the WWF
by Scrooge McSuck
Hosted by "Mean" Gene Okerlund from the set of Prime-Time Wrestling. I guess it was the hot spot for filming at the time, because "Best of the WWF Vol. 16" has a similar presentation, and was released the same day as this, along with Hulkamania 3 (a.k.a the Hogan/Andre recap tape). The version I'm recapping is from the old WWE 24/7 On Demand service. I don't think I've ever seen the video available in the wild, and honestly, I forget this tape existed most of the time when going through the Coliseum video catalog.
Wendi Richter vs. The Spider:
Quite the infamous match to kick off the action. Every match featured is a Championship Match, so we won't add that every time. From Madison Square Garden, taped on November 25th, 1985, with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura calling the action. Richter goes for the midsection and backs Spider into the corner. Richter with an awful forearm, followed by a snap mare. Spider hides behind the referee and powders out as the crowd loudly chants "Moolah" at her. Back inside, Richter dumps "Spider" out on the opposite side of the ring. Richter follows and gets rammed into the ring apron. Richter shrugs it off and gives chase, and Spider FALLS OVER WHILE THROWING A KICK TO THE CHEST. Richter covers up for the botch, going to work on the leg. She sweeps the Spider away from the ropes and applies a step-over toe hold. Spider counters with a leg-lock, but Richter rolls into the ropes. Richter goes for the mask again while she's being choked in the ropes. Monsoon says the women under the mask is probably Moolah knowing how deceiving she can be. Richter fights her way in from the apron and hits Spider with a dropkick. They blow a flying head-scissors so spectacularly it needs to be seen to believe. Spider does the goofy splash cover that only Moolah (or Moolah trainees) would do. Whip to the ropes and Richter with a clothesline for two. Spider with a cradle and that's three at 6:37 despite Richter getting the shoulder up at one AND it being a fast count. Richter continues to attack the Spider, and to the surprise of nobody, it was Moolah under the mask. Richter hits a back breaker and covers, and there's a whole lot of confusion. Richter keeps working while Moolah no-sells her, and that is the WWF screw-job that predated Montreal. The popular story is Richter wasn't willing to sign a contract without looking it over, and Moolah was given marching orders to get her in a pinning predicament. This would be Richter's last appearance for the WWF for more than 20-years. This match was awful, by the way. -**
The Fabulous Moolah joins Gene Okerlund in the studio. Gene shows old photos of her, asking if they were taken in 1930. HAR-HAR. This was probably taped in the first quarter of 1988, after Moolah's final TV/PPV appearance. We then show some footage that is possibly from the 1960's, based on the quality of the film. According to Gene, it's Moolah against Vickie Williams. Gene keeps making age jokes about Moolah wrestling in front of President Roosevelt and Moolah keeps calling herself the Woman of Wrestling. Correction: Moolah says this is from 1970. Moolah plans on regaining the belt again (spoilers: She would, in 1999!).
The Fabulous Moolah vs. Debbie Combs:
From Madison Square Garden, taped on May 18th, 1987. The only tidbit I have about Combs is that she was the original scheduled opponent for Alundra Blayze at WrestleMania X. Moolah doesn't like the idea of the referee checking her gear and belly-bumps him. Combs drops Moolah with a forearm and takes her down with a series of snap mares for a two-count. Combs with a dropkick, and Moolah doesn't give her a one-count before rolling to the outside for a powder. Moolah takes a comedy bump into the ring and gets flung around with a pair of slingshots. This referee moves around so slowly that any pin attempt is a waste of time. Moolah takes control, mounting Combs and pulling the hair. Moolah was a spry 63-year-old at this point, for those that care about that stuff. Slam and goofy splash cover for two. Combs grabs a full nelson and turns it into a body-scissors where Combs rolls back and slams down with the hold applied. I don't know if that spot is supposed to be sexual by design but having Moolah in it kills that idea. Moolah regains control, using the usual dirty tactics. This is like the worst of Memphis mixed with an outdated style of working. Combs gets dumped out and nearly wipes out one of the suits sitting at ringside. Combs finally gets back in the ring and runs wild while the crowd takes a nap. Moolah cuts her off with a punch to the boob. She works the legs and applies a Boston crab. She doesn't sit down on it. Combs pushes off to break the hold and send Moolah out of the ring. Combs gently lays Moolah on the concrete and rolls back in for the count-out victory at 8:50. Post-match, Moolah wants to keep fighting, but Combs fends her off. This tape is already a waste of my time. -*
"Peggy Sue" interrupts Gene Okerlund and The Fabulous Moolah. It's Jimmy Hart under the gear, and he's exposing the gimmick by talking a lot and doing the signature Mouth of the South laugh. Moolah is disgusted by this and votes it the most disgusting promotional tactic of 1988.
The Jumping Bomb Angels vs. The Glamour Girls (w/ Jimmy Hart):
THANK GOD. From Madison Square Garden, taped on November 24th, 1987. We don't have Moolah in the match, but Leilani Kai and Judy Martin are Moolah girls, so her influence continues to make a presence. These two teams wrestled around the horn for months and would be the highlight of the women's elimination match three days later at the Survivor Series. Leilani starts, ignoring a handshake from Yamazaki and planting a boot to the midsection. Whip to the corner, Leilani blocks a boot and sweeps Yamazaki out of the corner. Yamazaki comes back with a pair of dropkicks, then throws Martin by the hair. Tateno with a whip and running high knee, followed by a deep slam for two. Yamazaki comes off the top with a flying wristlock, sending Martin to her corner for a timeout. Martin surprises Tateno with a boot and plants her with a slam. Tateno bridges out of a cover and takes Martin over with a sunset flip for two. Yamazaki with a monkey flip out of the corner, followed by a sunset flip for two. Leilani with knees to the body. Yamazaki avoids a stomach buster, plants Leilani with a slam, and Tateno flies off the top with a knee for a near-fall. Leilani rolls away from a flying senton and brings her to the corner with a hair mare. Martin with a double fistful of hair to throw Yamazaki across the ring. The referee plays dumb while the Glamour Girls do some double-team work in the corner. Whip across the ring and Yamazaki surprises Martin with a flying sunset flip, but the referee is too distracted flirting with Leilani Kai to attempt a count. The Girls do an illegal switch to keep Yamazaki in the ring. Whip to the ropes and Yamazaki with a cross body press for two. She picks the ankle of Martin but is unable to reach her corner. Yamazaki counters an overhead back breaker with the 16th sunset flip of the match. Tateno gets the tag, but the referee misses it, forcing her out of the ring. ANOTHER SUNSET FLIP FOR A NEAR-FALL. AND THEN ANOTHER. We get heel miscommunication, allowing Tateno to get the tag. She hits both Glamour Girls with a body press. She sends Leilani across the ring with a shotgun dropkick and hits Martin with a body press for two. Flying clothesline for two. The Bomb Angels both miss dropkicks. They bridge out of a pair of covers, whip the Champions together, and hit Martin with a double flying dropkick. The referee is distracted again as the crowd loses their minds. Martin plants Tateno with a Powerbomb and Leilani covers for three at 14:02. Decent action with a hot finish, but a little disappointed by this one. I guess they were still working on the formula based on how many comebacks featured a sunset flip attempt. **½
Peggy Sue takes exception to Gene Okerlund laughing at Jimmy Hart. She accuses the Bomb Angels of being men and SUMO WRESTLERS (yay, fat shaming). Peggy Sue accuses Okerlund of checking her out. This is getting uncomfortable. We're promised a rematch from the Royal Rumble, where the Bomb Angels defeated the Glamour Girls in a best of three falls match for the titles. What we get is about 5-minutes of the match, showing the last minute-plus of each fall. The entire match is one of their better (I had it at ***¼), and easily the best match on that Royal Rumble card. I understand not wanting to devote 30-minutes of the tape to an imported team you already dropped, but at least give us THIS match if you only are going to show one of them.
Reigning Women's Champion the Sensational Sherri joins Gene Okerlund and Peggy Sue in our wink-wink moment of the tape. Peggy Sue blames Joey Marella for costing the Hart Foundation and the Glamour Girls their Championship belts. Sherri trying to be subdued is an interesting choice.
The Fabulous Moolah vs. Sherri Martel:
From the Sam Houston Coliseum, taped on July 24th, 1987. Just what we needed, MORE MOOLAH. At least this match has historic significance. Sherri didn't adopt the "Sensational" moniker until a few weeks later. We join the match in progress, with Sherri on the floor trying to recuperate from Moolah's punishment. Sherri pulls Moolah to the floor and gives her a slam on the concrete. That was a little snugger than the slam Combs gave her at MSG. Moolah quickly no-sells and gives Sherri a slam. Moolah drags Sherri back in the ring by the hair, yanking her over the ropes backwards and dropping her on her head. Sherri gets dumped again, because the Moolah formula is the way to go. I guess the stories at the time suggest Moolah didn't like Sherri's poor conditioning (or maybe she was jealous the belt was taken off her). Moolah tries bringing Sherri in with a slam, but Sherri cradles her for three and the title to a babyface pop at 2:06 (shown). Moolah does the usual poor-sport routine. Not much to rate, but it wasn't looking good.
Moolah storms the set, accusing Sherri of stealing the belt from her. Peggy Sue doesn't want to get in the middle of the fight, so Moolah snatches he wig and reveals Jimmy Hart in drag. He threatens to pull the wig off the "battle-axe" and storms off in disgrace.
The Sensational Sherri vs. The Fabulous Moolah:
The Rematch! We return to the Sam Houston Coliseum on August 28th, 1987. Okerlund says the match is in progress, so of course, we get full introductions and probably the full match, as well. This was the Paul Boesch Memorial Show if memory serves correctly. Sherri attacks from the bell, choking Moolah in the corner. Oh God, we've got Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk, and Duke Doherty on commentary. Moolah comes back with the hair mares, sending Sherri out of the ring. Sherri gets brought in by the hair and flung across the ring with a pair of slingshots. PETE DOHERTY IS THE WORST COLOR COMMENTATOR OF ALL TIME. Sherri takes control, working Moolah over with a step-over toe hold. Bruce Prichard calling anything in his normal tone is always a jarring experience. McGuirk says some fans are cheering Moolah. This is heel vs heel to me, and the crowd isn't doing much cheering for anyone. Sherri with a rolling cradle for two. God, if Moolah were to bridge up and counter with a back-slide, I'd give the match 5-stars regardless how bad the rest of this will be. Mixed reaction for Moolah choking Sherri across the top rope. Sherri avoids a splash, then Moolah does the same. Whip to the corner and Sherri charges in with a knee to the midsection. Sherri misses a blind body press and Moolah covers for two. Snap mare and MOOLAH WITH A FLYING HEAD-SCISSORS for two. Moolah busts it out again to diminished returns. Slam and splash for a one-count. Whip to the ropes and Moolah with a back body-drop for two. Whip and clothesline for two. Sherri counters a roll-up by driving Moolah into the turnbuckle and covers for three at 6:46. She grabbed a handful of tights just in case, but it wasn't necessary. Wow, a WATCHABLE MOOLAH MATCH. Miracles do happen. *½
Jimmy Hart has returned to the studio, still dressed as Peggy Sue minus the wig (including the stuffed bra). Jimmy snuck onto the show to stand up for his Glamour Girls (who ceased being a team by the time this tape was released). Okerlund continues to flirt with Sherri. WE GET IT. OKERLUND IS A DIRTY MIDDLE-AGED MAN.
The Sensational Sherri vs Desiree Peterson:
Last match of the tape, from Madison Square Garden on April 25th, 1988. Peterson trained at Moolah's camp, so that's every match where either Moolah or a Moolah trainee is featured, just to give you an idea on the monopoly Moolah had on women's wrestling in the US. Sherri needs help having her ring gear adjusted, with the neck strap malfunctioning. I'm sure the knot the referee ties will make breathing comfortable. Sherri offers a handshake but Peterson rejects. Lockup to the ropes and Sherri gives a clean break. ASTONISHING. Peterson throws forearms to the chest and hits a cross body press for a one-count. Peterson unwisely turns her back on Sherri and pays for it. Whip is reversed and Peterson with a back body-drop. Slam and goofy splash cover for two. GOD, I HATE THAT F*CKING SPOT. I feel like I'm recapping the same match over and over because Moolah and all her trainees work the same spots. Sherri cuts her off, slamming Peterson face-first to the canvas. Peterson surprises Sherri with a rolling cradle, but only gets a one-count. Whip and Peterson with a dropkick for two. Whip and Sherri with a shoulder block. Crisscross and Peterson with a monkey flip, followed by a slam. Sherri gets a foot on the rope before the one-count! Whip and Sherri with a "glancing tackle", as called by Lord Alfred Hayes. Sherri dumps Peterson out of the ring. Peterson fights her way back into the ring with shoulders to the midsection. Whip to the ropes and we get a clothesline double-down. Whip to the corner and it looks like they muffed a spot. Whip and Sherri uses a handful of hair to slam Peterson's face to the canvas, and that's three at 7:32. Woof. These two weren't on different pages, they were in different sections of the library. ZERO STARS
Final Thoughts: Not much to say about this one. Dedicating an 82-minute tape to "The Women of the WWF" when the division was rarely treated with respect was a choice that doesn't make sense. My best guess is they threw this together to fill the void of the tape that was originally scheduled for the Honkytonk Man (as punishment for his power play in Indianapolis, they put the kibosh on him getting a dedicated home video release). The wrestling here was mostly poor, with only one complete match worth checking out and the rest the same old stuff because it was just Moolah formula every time. Strongest recommendation to avoid, unless you find Jimmy Hart in drag for multiple segments to be worth a chuckle.
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