The SmarK Rant for WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 07.28.86
Just felt like jumping back to these tonight. I had done the Hogan/Orndorff episode and then this one was next on the timeline, and given the preview I just had to review it as well.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. And although everyone else in the world is disgusted with what happened last week, Bobby is thrilled. Also Bobby has been calling Handsome Harley Race a “King” and Gorilla thinks that’s a bunch of crap as well.
Handsome Harley Race v. Tony Garea
We’re in MSG for this one and Bobby demands that the crowd be quiet during Finkel’s introduction of Race, and of course they do not comply. Race jumps Garea from behind and beats on him outside and then follows with a headbutt onto the floor. So Race here has trunks that fall into the category of things that someone actually had to go to a tailor and order with a straight face. “I want a pair of trunks that are red and blue vertical stripes, with a white band on them like a pair of underwear, and THREE white stars on the front and the back. Not TWO, not FOUR, but three.” Garea fights into the ring, but Race runs him into the post and finishes with the cradle suplex at 2:02. Tony Garea getting wrecked is always fun. **
Back at the studio, Gorilla wonders if Race has a timetable for success in the WWF. Bobby thinks that we might see a new World champion by the end of the year, but he’s not sharing his secrets. Well he was way off on that one.
Pedro Morales v. Iron Mike Sharpe
Back to MSG for another ring a ding dong dandy. Lord Alfred describes this as “Mr. Perpetual Motion vs Mr. Experience”. Who is supposed to be whom in that metaphor? Mike takes a swing and lands on the floor in a funny bump, defying all the laws of physics. Back in, Sharpe wants a test of strength and Pedro slaps him away, so Mike gives him a cheapshot and then protests his innocence to the ref. So Pedro throws him over the top rope and Mike walks it off and comes back in, putting the beats on Pedro and sending HIM to the floor while Alfred relates a story about the Sharpe Brothers. Back in, Mike chokes out Pedro on the ropes, but Pedro’s temper gets him all riled up and they brawl to the floor, where Pedro runs Sharpe into the announce table and the turnbuckles, with Sharpe bumping all over the place for him. Back in, Pedro misses a charge and hits the corner pretty hard, which allows Sharpe to load up his completely legal forearm support with something legal. But then Pedro gets a small package to finish at 5:48 and the heel is foiled. Just a fun and simple match with a simple story and a good finish. ***
Back at the studio, Gorilla alleges that Pedro was unable to have his big family reunion in Central Park because everyone was busy all day trying to find jumper cables. Gorilla is still cracking up despite telling off Bobby.
Junkyard Dog stops by for words with Killer Ken and I have no idea what he’s talking about.
The Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis, with special guest Mr. Wonderful. He introduces Bobby Heenan as his new manager and accuses the fans of being just like Hulk Hogan: THEY JUST DON’T LISTEN.
Meanwhile, from what I assume is Tuesday Night Titans, Mean Gene meets up with Adrian Adonis at a flower shop, where we meet Adrian’s personal florist Mr. Bruce, who of course is a swishy cartoon character. But then their flower arranging is interrupted by a bee biting Adrian on the butt.
Trust me, that meme is 1000 times funnier than anything that happened on the skit.
Velvet McIntyre v. Penny Mitchell
From All Star Wrestling, but it was taped at the famous Championship Wrestling taping where Orndorff turned. Oddly, this is from a time when they were announcing weights for the women, which quickly stopped. Velvet takes her down with an armdrag and works the arm while Gorilla talks about how they’re both looking for a shot at Fabulous Moolah. Velvet just had a high profile title match with Moolah at Wrestlemania! And she lost in a minute! Mitchell uses some clubbing forearms for two and then throws Velvet around by the hair, but Velvet comes back with a monkey flip, only to miss a crossbody. Penny gets a front suplex for two, but Velvet bridges out, so Penny chokes her out on the ropes. Velvet takes her down for a jackknife cradle that gets two, but Mitchell drops a knee for two. Velvet makes the comeback with dropkicks and a rolling cradle for two, and then she goes with the Giant Swing, but misses a splash. Someone should bring back the Giant Swing, fans could count along with it, it’d be a whole thing I bet. Velvet actually tries a Lionsault and misses that, but comes back with a rolling reverse cradle for two, although it looked like it should have been the finish and the ref screwed up. So Mitchell thumbs the eye and tries a slam, and Velvet falls on top for two. Velvet dodges a blind charge and this time goes up with a victory roll, and that finishes at 8:15. Surprisingly long and good women’s match for the time. **3/4 And then in a totally random note, they actually leave Miami Sound Machine intact during the replay, as we all do that Conga.
Classy Freddie Blassie joins Killer Ken, and he’s been in negotiations for something, and they’re none of our business, but he’ll be able to afford even bigger diamonds soon. I’m assuming that was referencing his impending sale to Slick.
Back at the studio, we actually get an issue of Weekly Gong making TV, as Gorilla shows off the picture of the Machines on the front and Bobby freaks out.
King Kong Bundy v. Swede Hanson
This is a pretty old match for this show, coming from April 1985 in MSG. In fact, Jimmy Hart was still managing Bundy at the time! Not only that, but it originally aired on Prime Time in May of 1985 already. Bundy tries throwing forearms in the corner, but Swede fights him off and grabs a headlock. They trade forearms and Bundy rakes the eyes to take over and then chokes him out on the ropes. Bundy slugs away, but Swede makes a comeback, only for Bundy to finish with the Avalanche at 4:30. Slow and bad. DUD
Back at the studio, Gorilla notes that Bundy has seemingly dropped 20 or 30 pounds since that match, under Bobby’s tutelage. “Yeah, he missed a meal that day,” Bobby quips.
Johnny K-9 & Rusty Brooks v. Leaping Lanny Poffo & George Wells
Well this is certainly a dog’s breakfast of a tag team match from All Star Wrestling, again way back in 1985. What a random piece of shit match to dig up for this show. Poffo gets double-teamed by the heels to start, but K-9 misses a splash and Poffo tosses him and follows with a dive from the top rope to the floor! Back in, Wells slams K-9 for two and goes to a chinlock and man was he bad. Brooks comes in and beats on Wells to take over, and K-9 goes to a facelock before Wells suplexes out. Poffo comes in with a somersault senton and Wells adds a shoulerblock for the pin at 4:00. Wells was SO BAD. And yet Poffo was so great here. ½* And then of course Gorilla spends the post-match putting over how great Wells is and all the amazing things he can do.
Bret Hart v. Ricky Steamboat
Back to Boston in March of 86 for this one, and yeah, this is a pretty famous match. The story is that this match was going to happen at Wrestlemania 2, but Vince wanted Bret to be in the Andre battle royale instead, but both guys wanted the match and so it happened here as a make-good. It was supposed to be the first Bret Hart singles push of many that got cut short. It ended up on a couple of Bret Hart DVDs, I believe. We’re joined in progress and Dragon works the arm to start and superkicks Bret, but Bret comes back with a neckbreaker and drops a leg on him. Bret goes to work and Steamboat tumbles to the floor off a shot to the gut. Back in, Bret works a headlock and Steamboat tries to slam out, but Bret falls on top for two. Dragon gets another slam to escape and both guys are down, but Dragon misses a splash and Bret works him over on the ropes. Bret tosses him and slams him on the floor, then stops for a hug with Jimmy Hart for a good well done. Back in, Bret gets a running powerslam for two and backbreaker, but he misses the elbow off the middle rope. Steamboat comes back with a chop for two and a back suplex for two. Steamboat chops him for two and beats on him in the corner, but Bret reverses Steamboat into the ref and then hits the hooking clothesline and there’s no ref! I bet that’s the worst injustice a referee will ever commit against Bret Hart. Bret with a bodypress, but the ref revives and Steamboat rolls through for the pin at 10:12 aired. Man, Bret got screwed there. ****
STEEL CAGE MATCH: Randy Savage & Adrian Adonis v. Tito Santana & Bruno Sammartino
Another famous match from July 12 in MSG, which I haven’t reviewed in a while. Interestingly, in another bit of trivia that I hadn’t realized before now, this was Bruno’s final Madison Square Garden match. It’s a pier six brawl right away and Bruno puts the boots to that piece of shlime Savage, not even letting him get his robe off! Savage tries to pull himself out the door, but Bruno stops him, while Tito runs Adonis into the cage at the same time. Savage comes back and drops a knee on Tito and he climbs the cage, but Bruno runs up there and pulls him down and then chokes him out with his own robe. Adrian dives for the door and Tito trips him up to stop him and beats on him in the corner, while Bruno hangs Savage in the Tree of Woe and just puts the boots to him. Adrian suplexes Tito and tries to climb out, but Bruno just shakes his head at him and pulls him down as we take a break. Back with Bruno hauling him back in and crotching him on the top rope while Savage drops the axehandle on Tito. He rams Tito into the cage like a javelin and Bruno runs Adrian into the cage, and we’ve got blood from Tito. So Adonis gives us the cheese grater spot on Tito before Bruno makes the save and beats on Adonis, whipping him into the cage. Tito fights back on Savage and blocks the flying axehandle with a shot to the gut, while Adonis crawls for the door and actually pulls the stairs apart as Bruno hauls him back in kicking and screaming. Savage goes into the cage and HE’S busted open now, so Tito tries to climb out and Savage nails him to bring him down. Meanwhile Adonis goes to the top of the cage and tries to splash Bruno, but that misses. Savage and Tito fight on the top of the cage and Savage takes a vicious bump back into the ring, landing on Adonis to knock him out. And with that, Bruno walks out the door and Tito drops to the floor and the babyfaces win at 10:41. What an amazing spectacle of violence this was for 1986 WWF. ****1/4
So yeah, one episode of Prime Time with two of the most legendary matches of the year on the same show? Can’t beat that. This was a great show this week.