PTBN’s Excellent WWE Network Adventure: The British Bulldogs Coliseum Home Video 1986

As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, members of the PTBN Staff are choosing programs at random and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!

The British Bulldogs – Coliseum Home Video 1986

Run Time: 87 Minutes

Why Calum Why???: Given that the ballots for GWWE Tag Team are now open, and NXT UK has now hit the WWE Network, I thought it would be fitting to go back and look back at two of the pioneers of both offerings.

Best Segment

You want me to do what?

Aaron George: Mean Gene Okerlund and his stubby fingers introducing this shit show. He excites us by declaring this is the first Coliseum Home Video to profile a tag team before promising us SINGLES matches featuring top opponents like JIM THE ANVIL NEIDHART! He then teases us with the climax of the Bulldogs winning the tag titles. It feels like it’s going to be an “awesome” tape, and this bald fuck does an adequate job hyping it up.

Brian Bayless: Seeing the Bulldogs win the titles at WrestleMania was the best moment in a category without too many candidates.

Jacob Williams: There weren’t really many non-match segments on this tape. I’ll say the classic post-match celebration when the Dogs win the titles. That’s the Bulldogs, not the Moondogs.

Calum McDougall: Eh… it has to be the workout segment by default. Out of all of the segments on this tape, this one was definitely the best.

Dave Hall: The Bulldogs’ workout. This was the only segment on the program. It was interesting to hear a little about how the workout helped each man develop their body, and how it benefited them in the ring, Sadly, it was also a little plodding.

Best Match

MASHUP!

Aaron George: I guess the six man tag. I mean I never thought I’d vote for a match featuring Lou Albano AND Luscious Johnny V, but here we are. It’s about 85 percent stomping, but it’s at least not Anvil and Davey Irish whipping each other for ten minutes. It’s the only match that wasn’t clipped to pieces and the crowd was hot. It wasn’t good.

Brian Bayless: Bret Hart vs. Dynamite Kid was the best match on this tape. It took place at the Capital Centre on Landover, MD on 9/14/85 and was shown on the 10/8/85 edition of Prime Time Wrestling if you care to seek it out elsewhere. Dynamite’s snap suplex was like no other and he always had strong chemistry with Bret in the ring. I also thought the match against Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy was fun for a TV match.

Jacob Williams: Ironically, the best match on a tape centered on an amazing tag team was a singles match between Bret Hart and Dynamite Kid. There was a crispness to the moves and selling that you don’t always see in mid 80s WWF. I liked how Dynamite used Bret’s offense against him, and at one point hits Bret with a brutal knee drop to the face. It wasn’t an all timer, but a fine match, especially given the context.

Calum McDougall: By far the best match is Dynamite Kid vs Bret Hart. I thought that this was fantastic, it was incredibly smooth apart from one or two missteps, including a really bad looking one where Kid tripped over Bret and took at dive into the ropes head first! Those aside, you could see these two had clashed a ton before, and they certainly delivered here.

Dave Hall: Dynamite Kid vs Bret Hart. These two got to bring a little of their Stampede history to the WWF. The early stages had some good counter wrestling from both men, and the finishing sequence was quite good, leading to a roll up from Dynamite for the win. This match demonstrated why they were the better technicians on their teams, and in the company, but sadly they were not given the time to make it a classic. The post-match beatdown by Bret was good as well.

Most Cringeworthy Moment

Gene, you are NOT the father.

Aaron George: Gene Okerlund ogling the hipless gym rat. I don’t know what it was; the clothes, the spandex, the 80s hair? Perhaps the formless body as she pushed her way through an interview to pick up a dumbbell? Who knows, but Gene was on her like a drunken Bruce Hart on a discarded Bret Hart singlet.

Brian Bayless: Gene Okerlund tried but the segment at the gym almost put me to sleep. The Bulldogs were definitely a team that got over in the ring rather than on the microphone. Dynamite speaking was never a good thing.

Jacob Williams: The proprietor of the gym was so robotic and unnatural in her interview with Gene. She would just randomly change her tone from word to word and pause in strange places. For any Simpsons fans, it was very reminiscent of Smithers’s turning on his computer.

Calum McDougall: I don’t know if this technically counts as cringeworthy however the steady decline in announcing made me wince. You start out the cream of the crop with Jesse and Gorilla, then move on to Gorilla and Lord Alfred Hayes who were inoffensive. But it falls off a cliff to the point where you’re left with Vince McMahon, Ernie Ladd and Bruno Sammartino and I was ready to watch it on mute. The only word to describe this is urgh!

Dave Hall: The workout segment ends with Mean Gene “lusting” over a woman in the gym and walking off. It made him look like a dirty old man, and leaves Davey Boy with the microphone in hand to end the segment. It looked out of place, and totally scripted, and really felt like it was designed to give Vince McMahon a laugh more than the viewer at home watching.

Funniest Line/Moment

CONCENTRATE!!!

Aaron George: I’m still laughing at Al Wilson dressed as a greaser.

Brian Bayless: I guess by default it was Okerlund trying to hit on a woman at the gym then getting yelled at by Davey for not concentrating.

Jacob Williams: Gene completely drops his interview to perv out on a random woman at the gym, only for Davey to chastise him. “YOU SEE GENE! YOU CAN’T LOSE CONCENTRATION!” I think Gene has other priorities, Davey.

Calum McDougall: My favorite moment is Davey Boy explaining the Bulldogs training regime without uttering the word “steroid” once! What a consummate professional that man is!

Dave Hall: With the program basically devoted to in-ring action and no interviews, the funniest line has to lie in the hands of the commentators, but most of the commentary was focused on the action. Two lines in commentary stood out enough to make me chuckle. In the Dynamite Kid vs. Bret Hart match, Gorilla said (and Lord Al repeated) “…Blowing it all to pieces by the Dynamite Kid”. Then in the six-man tag match, Jesse hit a pearl of a line when he said “A lot of guts from Albano… literally.”

Highlights

What On Earth Is This???

Aaron George:  Jesse and Gorilla arguing about the tenor of Nikolai Volkoff’s voice. And Minute 87, when I could finally shut this off and get back to my life.

Brian Bayless: The chemistry the Bulldogs had in the ring made them a great team and we saw their combination of speed, strength, and technical ability. Plus, matches involving Bret Hart and Greg Valentine were entertaining.

Jacob Williams:This might sound shocking, but the Bulldogs really carried this. It was fun to watch both Davey and Dynamite match after match and see how they really brought a unique style to the WWF. The six-man tag, including the manager shenanigans, was fun. Bret and Dynamite bringing the Stampede show to WWF was cool to see, and you could see a glimpse of what singles heel Bret could be. Valentine’s multiple appearances were welcome, as he gelled well with the Bulldogs.

Calum McDougall: The Hart Foundation series of matches were great, then it falls off a bigger cliff than the announcing did! This is the only thing I can think of that I liked on this tape.

Dave Hall: A lot of solid in-ring action throughout the program. Seeing the Bulldogs wrestling Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart in singles actions that early in their careers was really good. The Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg Valentine was solid and well-worked. The match against Studd and Bundy was short, but also highlighted that the Bulldogs were thinkers who could adapt in the ring. I also liked that just about every match had a different finish, showing that the Bulldogs can pull wins out of anywhere. The finish to the Moondogs match was especially spectacular.

Lowlights

MASHUP!

Aaron George: Where to begin… not one match held my attention. Not one. They all bored me to tears, including the Bret Hart/Dynamite Kid encounter that should have been great. Everything else was either a dreary mess or clipped to shit. It’s ALL matches. They told us at the start that we’d see the Bulldogs reach the mountaintop at WrestleMania II, and we did see it, two minutes of it. It’s legit a decent match, it would have been the ONLY decent match on the whole tape. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SINGLES MATCHES ON THE TAPE DEDICATED TO A TAG TEAM??? Why does Davey Boy Smith invent the sharpshooter in a match with Greg Valentine? I thought Bret said Conan the Barbarian taught him that??? Is it possible that Bret is a fucking liar? Why does Dynamite win all the singles matches and Davey always loses? Dynamite fixes his tights after every single in-ring movement. Is that why Davey fixed his jeans every five seconds during his spectacular 1999 run? Also the Kid starts every fucking sentence with “I’ll tell you something Mean Gene,” before speaking till he ran out of air. Moondog Spot’s selling can only be described as preposterous. Jesse upsets me by outright lying that he’s never seen anyone get out of the camel clutch. IT’S IN THE DAMN INTRO MIXED IN WITH THE OUTLANDISH CLAIM THAT COLISEUM HOME VIDEO TRACES IT’S LINEAGE BACK 5,000 FUCKING YEARS. I’ll say one thing: they have a lot of balls comparing themselves to Roman gladiators while Chief Jay Strongbow is dancing around the screen. This whole thing was awful. Thanks Calum!

Brian Bayless: The Bulldogs vs. Dream Team Tag Title match from WrestleMania 2 was clipped to show only a few minutes of the match, which is lame because it would have been the best match on the tape. The gym segment lasted longer and that was a bore. The Davey vs. Anvil and the match against the Moondogs were not particularly exciting. Plus, why feature a match where Davey loses clean like he did against Greg Valentine?

Jacob Williams: Sheik and Volkoff controlling most of their match wasn’t particularly engaging. The camera missing the finish of Bret/Dynamite was unfortunate. Neidhart in singles competition can almost automatically be stamped in as a lowlight. The Bulldogs having to make the Moondogs look threatening was weird.

Calum McDougall: Right, here we go!! Why do you have Mean Gene open the video but then let Gorilla and Johnny Valiant do the hosting of the tape?! What is the point of putting out a best of tape and have two of the matches ends in loss for the guys you’re highlighting?!?! And the clipping of some of the matches was baffling. I get that you want to sell the Mania 2 tape and the Bulldogs/Dream Team match was the best match on that show, but either put the full match in, or nothing at all!

Dave Hall: Very few. Sadly the first match between the Bulldogs and Shiek/Volkoff was a little clunky, and there were multiple clear missed spots by both Shiek and Volkoff. Then the “title defense” against the Moondogs was slow and drawn out. The Bulldogs should have been made to look more dominant against a team that was essentially now a preliminary team. I also found it annoying that the one match that had the potential to be the best of the program, the title win at WrestleMania 2 against the Dream Team, was cropped to the last two minutes.

Wild Card BABY!!!

Wrestling!

2018 Bigot Award For Misgendering: Lord Alfred calling Dynamite the “Dynamite MAN.” Bigot. – AG

Best Tidbit: The Dynamite Kid refused to drop the Tag Team Titles to Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and would only do so for the Hart Foundation.

Best Heat: I’d never seen trash thrown into the ring BEFORE a match even starts! Nikolai Volkoff was a heat magnet with the Soviet national anthem in this one – there was so much garbage in the ring that they didn’t even bother to clear it, they just wrestled in among it. – CM

We’re Not On Steroids … Seriously: During the workout, Davey Boy mentioned on 3-4 separate occasions how they train two hours a day, seven days a week. It really felt like they were trying to justify their growing physiques and counter any claims that they may be using synthetic substances to assist their muscle growth. Davey Boy got noticeably bigger during the matches from the start of the program to the end. But this would be understandable if they “Train two hours per day, seven days a week”. – DH

Donald Trump Memorial Hair Award: The ref in the Bret/Dynamite match. Same fucking hair. – AG

Random Fact I Learned: Apparently, Clint Eastwood was mayor of a California town. – JW

Whats The Point?: Captain Lou Albano! I know that the Bulldogs weren’t amazing on the stick but why anyone thought the Captain Lou would be a good fit is beyond me! Why would anyone want Albano to be their manager at this time unless they needed rubber bands at short notice? – CM

How To Win Wrestling Matches:  “We will work out and act like men.” – Dynamite Kid sometime in 1986. – AG

Final Thoughts

Why tarnish my good name?

Aaron George:  This tape made me like the British Bulldogs less. I’d rather watch outright garbage than this boring mess. RATING: 0/10

Brian Bayless: I was let down by the tape but when it was released there was not that many great opponents for the Bulldogs as the tag team division was not at its strongest. If it was released a year later there would have been more options against better teams. I thought it sucked that their match at WrestleMania 2 was reduced to clip form but for the time it did showcase the Bulldogs uniqueness as a tag team. However, this does not hold up well today. RATING: 4.5/10

Jacob Williams: This tape was a bit of a disappointment, through no fault of the featured team. It was more average than horrible, but I had really high expectations because the Bulldogs are such a great team. Unfortunately, they were dragged down by some of their competition in this collection. It was a little weird having all the best matches be something other than straight tag matches. I can’t help but think they must have had a few better tag matches taped that could have made this a classic. RATING: 6/10

Calum McDougall: I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the guys for putting them through this. I did not like this. I thought this was going to be a great compliment to the GWWE Tag Team project and NXT UK as I’d said, and it was looking promising, but  went downhill really quickly. There was a genuinely great match in Kid vs. Bret, but then it seemed like the promising matches were cut to shreds in the editing and the bad matches were there in all their glory. Again, who puts two losses on a best of tape?! RATING: 3/10

Dave Hall: This program felt right down the middle. Nothing really stood out as great, and nothing stood out as really bad. Everything really felt like it was just middle of the road. It was good that the Bulldogs were showcased against multiple opponents, and had a series of different finishes, but no one match really reached any heights. RATING: 5/10

And we are out! Where will the Network Adventure travel to? Which Coliseum will be conquered next? Which of these assholes will quit the project in an indignant rage??? Find out in TWO WEEKS!

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.