With the announcement of the WWE Network debuting in February, there’s buzz amongst wrestling fans and beyond. All eyes are on WWE to see if they can make this network successful which could lead to other forms of entertainment, most notably sports, following in their footsteps.
WWE have announced that every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view will be available as the network launches. Therefore, all of those PPV events that were released on Coliseum Video will be available for viewing too. Meanwhile, those poor releases that have seemingly been forgotten about will stay shelved. However, if you have been a Coliseum Video collector over the years and still own a VCR, you can watch them, hold them and keep them forever.
This edition of Coliseum Corner looks at “10 Coliseum Videos You Must Own“. So for those of you who own the following tapes… hold on to them. For those who don’t… get ’em! The tapes have been placed in order of when they were released.
The Big Event
In front of 74,000 fans at the Toronto Exhibition Stadium, WWF presented the Big Event on August 28, 1986. Considering the date and its outdoor venue, you could consider it a SummerSlam before there was SummerSlam.
The main Event saw Hulk Hogan face his latest foe and former friend ‘Mr Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff. The eleven match card also featured legends such as; the Funk Brothers, Harley race, Junkyard Dog, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, Lou Albano’s Machines, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan in action and a snake pit match between bitter rivals Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.
This event is truly one of the greats from the eighties.
Inside The Steel Cage
This release featured… yes, cage matches. However, some of these wars haven’t been re-released nor seen later on WWE Classics on Demand.
Can you imagine Seeing Bruno Sammartino and Roddy Piper in a cage match? Just watch this video. This Coliseum Classic was made available in early 1987 so it’s no surprise that the WrestleMania 2 cage match is included.
In other offerings: Andre the Giant vs Kamala and Big John Studd, respectively, Randy Savage & Adrian Adonis vs. Tito Santana & Bruno Sammartino, Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana, Bruno Sammartino vs. George Steele, Bob Backlund vs. Pat Patterson and the infamous match between ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka and the Maginficent Muraco of which Mick Foley was a spectator.
Prior to the very first SummerSlam came WrestleFest on July 31, 1988. The event was held at the Milwaukee County Stadium and was headlined by Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in a cage match. Ten matches were broadcast and released on video, but Terry Taylor and Mr. Perfect were left out, as was Ted DiBiase vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage – who was WWF champion at the time… shocking!
Other notable matches were; Bret Hart seeking revenge from Bad News Brown who had walloped the unsuspecting Hitman at WrestleMania IV, Jim Duggan vs. Honkytonk Man, Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude, Demolition vs. The British Bulldogs and The Ultimate warrior taking on Bobby Heenan in a Weasel Suit Match, where the loser would model this crazy item of clothing. Considering Bobby was nicknamed the weasel and that he was a manager fighting a future world champion, you can guess the way this match ended and the crowd loved it.
The event was held in an unusual setting compared to what you would see every week on TV. However, this made for interesting viewing and the World Wrestling Federation put on an entertaining show.
Much has been said about Demolition being Road Warrior impostors, because of their entrance attire and face paint.
However, if you look a little deeper, there was much more to the team than being copycats. For instance, still to this day, they were the longest reigning Tag Team Champions and could wrestle… well better than the Road Warriors anyway. However they just didn’t make the same impact. The team first made real impact once Barry Darsow replaced Randy Colley (Moondog Spot) as Smash. After a year they beat Strike Force in their first WrestleMania in 1988.
Demolition were one of the few teams that showed WWF Attitude long before the era and became a force to be reckoned with. On their video, Ax and Smash cut promos between matches, introducing them in their usual aggressive manor. It included PPV battles between ’88 and ’89 and title matches against Greg Valentine and Honky Tonk Man, the Bolsheviks and the Brainbusters. There were other tag teams videos, but this one is a good one.
Now this is worth owning just for the fact that you can see a few of the matches that were broadcast on WWF’s first European Tour.
World Tour featured two matches from London (Bret Hart vs. Dino Bravo and Honky Tonk Man vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan) and two matches from Paris (Rockers vs. the Rougeaus and Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage).
Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase just after WrestleMania VI and a special profile on Jimmy Snuka were also added to the video.
This seems to be quite underrated when it comes to Coliseum Videos. But this two hour gem is one to remember.
First and foremost there’s the guilty pleasure of seeing Hillbilly Jim wrestling his dog on a mattress in his kitchen at home, while his Granny makes us all feel welcome in their humble abode. In other offerings, we see Davey Boy Smith in one of his first matches after returning as a singles wrestler to take on Haku.
Bret Hart against the Barbarian is a short but fun match and of course Sgt Slaughter the Iraqi sympathiser meets the man who chants USA louder than anyone, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hulk Hogan meets Dino Bravo and the Big Bossman battles Bobby Heenan in a ball and chain match. There are a further four matches on this video, including Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior in a cage match.
This video includes all matches from the Tuesday in Texas PPV (possible for the WWE Network).
This was the fallout from Survivor Series ’91 between Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker and an interfering Ric Flair. Randy Savage also went absolutely berserk looking for revenge after Jake Roberts’ cobra had bitten him!
The video also features a special profile on Undertaker, an amusing episode of Tax Tips with IRS, followed up by a match with Bret Hart and the action packed opener – The Mountie, Earthquake, & The Nasty Boys vs. The Legion of Doom, The Big Bossman, & Jim Niedhart. A fantastic Coliseum Video indeed.
This was the sequel to Rampage which was released a year earlier.
A great release that includes: The Undertaker vs. Razor Ramon in the Bad Guy’s CV debut. Another Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels match, a 40 man battle Royal, The Beverly Brothers & The Genius vs. The Legion of Doom & Paul Ellering, Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster before they were a real team vs. Virgil & Tito Santana, and more.
However, what you just have to see is the segment “Make up tips with Sensation Sherri”. She gives a make-over to a plain Jane and gives her the Sherri Look which leaves this poor girl traumatised!
1992: The Year in Review
A European release only, so if you can get your hands on it you’ve done well.
This not only features matches from PPVs of 1992, but it has regular footage from television during the year. For example in the run up to WrestleMania VIII, Roddy Piper defends his Intercontinental Championship in a rematch from the Royal Rumble against the Mountie. Bret Hart comes into the fray that teases a battle right there.
You also see the feud between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty where Marty is thrown through the glass window on the Barber Shop and his surprise return in the fall of ’92. A brilliant three hours of viewing if you liked 1992.
Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em
Now, you may have seen this video mentioned multiple times in Coliseum Corner, but it really is one of the best.
Firstly the crazy Bushwhackers spend the entire video with Lord Alfred attempting to renovate a house. A special profile on Bret Hart is an attractive edition to the video as you can see a special interview with the WWF Champion as well as the very first ladder match against Shawn Michaels, and his victory over Ric Flair for his first World title.
You may also remember from Coliseum Corner that “Cooking with Yokozuna” is featured!
Wrestling Grudge Matches
This is one to watch.
Repo Cam is legendary, and a little less legendary is… Sean Mooney on his honeymoon caring for his sick wife who is making weird noises under WWF sheets. Didn’t they only make them for single beds?
Elsewhere on Grudge matches: Bossman and Virgil vs. the Beverly Brothers, Crush vs. the Model, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. Papa Shango, Shawn Michaels defending his Intercontinental Championship against Bob Backlund, and Ric Flair vs. Undertaker to mention a few.
So there you have it – the Coliseum Videos you must own! Got your own favourites too? Share them with us. WWE Network or not, these Coliseum Videos will never be forgotten.
I have a bunch of old WWF VHS for sale on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/sch/shannon2411/m.html?item=121734137575&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
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At vincenzzzzzzzo no offense but you thought off the top rope was good? It had bret vs owen chopped into pieces from summrslam. The other 3 matches were complete duds. Im sorry not even trying to be rude but rethink that a little bit. That vhs stunk. Lol i did enjoy gripes grudges…. smack em….. the razor ramon coliseum with the yellow cover…wrestlefest 94… there are some good ones BOY
Bigges, Smallest, Strangest, Strongest = best Coliseum video ever.
@RCS1988 that is the year in review 1993. Another one of my favourites
@LP1. I don’t take it personally. No need to apologise. But when I say that… your comments could be merely about the subject. For example, you could have told us what your favourite coliseum videos are, that you feel are must owns. Your wrestling knowledge is exceptional and it’s plain to see. As well as people’s knowledge I would prefer to know what your favourites are. some matches trigger life memories for me. Although I used to rent videos the first one I owned was SummerSlam 92. I remember the day I bought that 21 years ago. People’s feedback can inspire future editions. People have tweeted me and have told me what they would like to see.
Please don’t take that as me telling you what to write. I have good insider knowledge but maybe not as good as you. Mistakes can be made but it isn’t a big deal. I read Power Slam and they are the real deal, but they make mistakes. The purpose of Coliseum Corner is for all readers to relate and get that feeling of nostalgia
Again, I really appreciate you and everyone who reads CC. It makes it feel worthwhile.
Best wishes LP1 from Dan
Some very solid choices on here, I was always a huge fan of the Supertapes and the Wrestlefest tapes.
There is 1 video that was made by Silvervision Coliseum Video in 1993 or 1994 that was made but never released was a video on Randy Savage. One match is Randy Savage vs. Giant Gonzalez from the 9/1/93 Challenge taping.
I keep kicking myself over this. I lived in New York when Coliseum home video went out of business. All of the porn shops had them for cheap. I bought everyone of them. I had them all! I sold them in 2003 when my father died. Arghh!
I used to love “Brains Behind the Brawn.” It was a great set about the managers. I remember the moment when hogan was cuffed to the rope and Ms. Elizabeth grabbed the key from Slick. Classic moment there.
Coliseum Video ran until the end of 1997 and the company closed its doors. The WWF then launched WWF home video and has existed since (obviously WWE Home Video now). Coliseum video had no problem putting matches on their videos over and over again as seen today with WWE DVDs. While WWE release previously unreleased DVD footage, Coliseum Video’s library had various matches taped especially for the title.
WWE actually decided to bring their video releases in-house even before severing ties with Coliseum Video. The first video released under the “WWF Home Video” label was “Cause Stone Cold Said So” in June 1997. They even released SummerSlam ’97 and In Your House: Badd Blood even though Coliseum Video also had their own versions of those shows. They also released One Night Only, In Your House: Ground Zero and the WrestleMania 1-13 box set before the Coliseum deal was over. So they knew the end was coming for a while. Royal Rumble ’98 would’ve been the first WWF Home Video release after the Coliseum Video deal was over.
But that doesn’t mean WWE doesn’t own the Coliseum Home Video library. They 100% own that entire library. They re-released several old Coliseum Videos on DVD in the mid 2000’s and they’ve been showing old non-PPV Coliseum Videos on Classics On Demand forever. So when they said their home video library will be available on the WWE Network there’s no reason to believe that the Coliseum tapes won’t be on there as well.
@LP1. We all see your knowledge on wrestling is tip top. Those matches you mentioned are available but for obvious reasons I’ll leave it there. The savage DiBiase match was still important to the card and therefore perhaps the sale of the video had it made it. However neither me or you can confirm this as we didn’t work for coliseum video nor the WWF.
Just a side note on network. The entire wwe home video includes anything after Royal Rumble 1998… includes the videos such as undertaker this is my yard and hard knocks cheap pops a source has told me. Watch this space
they already lots of the Coliseum videos on their 24/7 channel (prime example: The “Best of the WWF” series) so it seems very likely that they will upload Coliseum videos as well.
@PrettyWonderful beat me to it. That is correct.
And Dan I’m not sure what you mean about the Savage vs DiBiase match. The Macho Madness VHS was already printed and ready to go before WrestleFest even went on sale. Back then you have to remember that VHS tapes only could hold 2 hours(before they moved to T-180’s that could hold 3 hours). So it was common place to edit out as much as possible to fit a show in the 2 hour window. Look at WrestleMania 2 for example. That was a 3 hour+ live PPV that ended up on tape at 1 hour and 55 minutes. They cut out all the entrance and backstage interviews. Royal Rumble 89 even had an entire match cut from the tape(Haku vs Race). So when deciding which matches to cut for WrestleFest, the reason I say it was an easy decision to cut Savage vs DiBiase, they already had the Macho Madness VHS matches planned out for the next month. It would’ve been pointless to include the same match on back-to-back releases. Plus WrestleFest wasn’t an event that was promoted on TV nationwide. It was only marketed in the Milwaukee area. So it wasn’t like it was the big heavily hyped event that the whole world was waiting to see. Saving the Savage vs DiBiase match for the Macho Madness tape wouldn’t have made a difference in the sales of the WrestleFest tape because nobody(other than the people of Milwaukee) even knew of this event until it was released on tape. Hogan vs Andre in a Cage was the main event of that show anywhere and that was what sold the tape.
Anyway, I enjoy your work on the site and don’t want to sound like I’m bashing you or anything. Keep up the good work.
I appreciate your feedback and glad you enjoy my column. It does seem that you do bash a lot of my work.
Having said that I welcome yours and everybody’s opinion.
I hope you are right about Coliseum Video being on the Network. I know WWE own all Coliseum titles and SilverVision had all of those Coliseum Videos… even the ones they didn’t release. I’m guessing Freemantle Media have these titles also.
In Europe Coliseum Video was still labelled on all WWF videos except for Cause Stone Cold Said So and One Night Only. In Your House 19 was also released under the Coliseum Video Banner.
I have the early PPVs which were chopped all over the place. WCW videos were especially bad for that.
I didn’t have access to WWE 24/7. Meanwhile if you look at the title of this column, it says Coliseum videos you must own. Many of you have commented on wanting to actually own physical copies of DVD/Blu-Ray. Some even by both and by both with one to keep sealed.
With WWE Network you do not own these videos, PPVs, documentaries etc, you simply have access and like Netflix, there will be occasional removals of these titles.
So if you have access to say… Grudges Gripes and Grunts its not the same as owning the videos.
To clear up what I have said:
I have been told that the Network will be using attitude era releases and WWE DVD releases at least initially. Time will tell. I hope WWE are more than generous with their library.
As for the Randy Savage match, my point was that Coliseum Video did put the same match on multiple releases… annoyingly at times. If WrestleFest was just a regional event the release would have been much better with the match in question present and remove say… the anvil and poffo match. That’s neither here nor there though. WWE have the final say and WWE Network or not, owning these videos is better if you feel the same as me. I’ll be getting the WWE Network though. So for those who have commented, it would be nice to hear what videos are your must haves
Don’t let some people’s bashing bother you. You and the rest of the people on this site are doing a good job. Some of the bashing is more just a difference of opinion or even constructive criticism. On the other hand, you have to also account for the fact that some people just have nothing better to do than to try to come across as the smartest person in the room — or better stated self-centered wannabe know-it-alls– even on this faceless, nameless place called the internet.
I’m really surprised by the comment that you think I bash a lot of your work. I don’t remember ever really bashing your work. If I did in the past then I apologize. I’ve commented many times on your articles(and articles of others on the site), but I never intentionally bash anyone. I’ve pointed out some mistakes here and there, but other than that I can’t think of a time I’ve bashed any writers here.
Some of the other commenters I’ve bashed many times, but that’s because some of them just get off on being trolls and nothing more.
Again, I apologize if I ever came across as bashing your work or anyone else’s work on the site. Take care.
Totally agreed on WCW Home Video. In their early days (89-mid 93), they would cut things and even do edits that when viewed were obviously out of sequence. The would advertise matches on VHS releases (in promos and even right there on the box itself) that had been cut for home video. One of the few good things that Eric Bischoff did when he took over in 1993 (or that at least took place under his watch) was the change to release entire WCW PPV events on VHS unedited, starting w/ Fall Brawl 1993.
A quick note on WrestleFest. The event ran almost 3 hours live. There were 15 matches total on the show and some of the less important matches had to be cut to fit on the 2 hour tape. The Savage vs DiBiase match was an easy cut for them to make because that match was included on the Macho Madness release that came out the next month. So people still got a chance to see it.
Other cut matches like Beefcake vs Hercules and Scott Casey vs Bossman for example were shown on Prime Time Wrestling a couple weeks after the event. The only match that never saw the light of day was the Taylor vs Hennig match which was never seen until WWE released it on DVD a few years ago.
During the press conference in Vegas it was said that not only will every PPV be available on the Network, but the entire Home Video catalog will be on there as well. Although they didn’t say if they will all be available on day 1. So all of these tapes(not sure about the SilverVision exclusives) will be on the Network.
Let’s at least try to be consistent. You already used Classics on Demand as a comparison to what would be on the new network. Well, you of all people, should know that they’ve run SilverVision exclusives (UK Fan Favourites 1993) on Classics on Demand.
That said, when they indicated the entire home video catalog would be part of the network, I interpreted that to mean WWF and WWE Home Video, NOT Coliseum. Sure, the Coliseum Home Videos will likely pop up down the road, but I doubt they’ll be part of the Network’s permanent on-demand library in much the same way that something like the Dusty Rhodes DVD documentary will be pretty much from the beginning. I’m guessing the Coliseum Home Videos will appear down the road in the on-demand offering of the network as one of the many shows that get removed.
I really don’t remember everything that’s popped up on the Classics channel. I must’ve missed the UK Fan Favourites. But that’s good then, because that answers the question about SilverVision exclusives.
They never did make it clear if all of the old home videos will be up on the network on day 1(I doubt it because they would be pushing harder if they were), but at least we know what they have available to use.
I’ll give another vote for Grudges, Gripes and Grunts.
Here’s my top 10 (in no order) Coliseum Videos I’d really like to get on DVD is:
-Battle of the Superstars 1992
-Best of the WWF 18
-Grudges, Gripes and Grunts
-Invasion of the Bodyslammers
-Undertaker…. His Gravest Matches
-Wrestling World Tour (Bulldog on the cover of this 1 hour video)
Grudges, Gripes, and Grunts was my favorite. Had one of the only matches taped for CHV with Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake vs. The Beverly Brothers during Hogan’s infamous 1993 WWF run.
Off The Top Rope was one of my favorite Coliseum Video releases. It had a good match between Tatanka vs Lex Luger on it and a few others. Paul Bearers Hits From The Crypt was another favorite of mine. Too many good ones to name.
Rowdy Roddy Piper’s Greatest Hits!
I own The Big Event & Smack ‘Em whack ’em. Coliseum video was the best! ! Great read.
My personal favorite coliseum video vhs was bashed in the usa