The SmarK Rant for WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 08.04.86
Hey, could we maybe stop showing commercials for Day One before every show on the Network at some point?
Oh also, for those keeping track, they’ve now replaced the “PPV” heading on the Network with “Premium Live Event” already. They don’t waste any time trying to rewrite history.
So as “January is shit for ad revenue” month continues, let’s go back to the era that makes me happiest: 86 WWF!
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan, and Bobby is promising a “huge new Korean star” this week. Also the Rougeaus remind him of Batman and Robin, in that one of them is really butch and the other is a huge wimp. Not even sure which is supposed to be which in that analogy.
Jake Roberts v. Sivi Afi
We’re in Toronto and Jake is dressed for a street fight in jeans and tank top, because he’s only interested in facing Ricky Steamboat and Afi can have the win by forfeit for all he cares. So Jake goes to leave, but then suckers Afi in for the short clothesline and DDT, which apparently is not a victory for him because he already forfeited the match to the “coconut picker” laying dead in the ring. Also he’s never wrestling in Toronto again until he gets Ricky Steamboat in a Snake Pit match. Thankfully the Rougeaus are around to come help Afi by picking up a man with possible spinal damage and carrying him to the back. Hey, I just renewed my First Aid via online course yesterday, so now I know that’s not good! Also I watch a lot of YouTube so I’m fully qualified to give medical advice now.
Hercules Hernandez v. Scotty McGhee
Back in Toronto again and Herc has his full gladiator gear at this point, which was always a cool look for him. McGhee hits Herc with dropkicks right away, but Herc slams him while Bobby starts making a point about managers and then completely loses his train of thought while Gorilla cracks up. I can’t even imagine Vince yelling in their headsets and wrecking their chemistry. Actually I can but it wouldn’t happen because he actually trusted Gorilla. Scotty dropkicks Herc out to the apron to frustrate him and then grabs a headlock, but Herc hits him with a forearm shot in the corner to take over and drops him on the top rope. So Gorilla and Bobby go on this whole run about how McGhee is from Scotland and Bobby is all “He should go home and sell bagpipes”. When was McGhee EVER said to be Scottish? He’s British and was always introduced as such. I’m not gonna stand for this kind of racism against my people. Herc drops an elbow and lays on Scotty for a bit, but McGhee fights back with a snap suplex for two, only to walk into a knee and Herc puts him away with the torture rack at 7:06. A perfectly cromulent undercard match. **
Meanwhile, Killer Ken chats with Moolah about the challenge of Velvet McIntyre. Moolah points out that she already won in 90 seconds at Wrestlemania 2, so that’s that. Moving on, Ken presses her on the details of her date with Jim Neidhart after “The Mating Game” on TNT, but she’s not sharing because it’s none of our business. Did Ellie know about him going on dates behind her back? Actually I don’t blame Anvil, Moolah is at least 20% less problematic than her.
Jimmy Jack Funk & Hoss Funk v. Danny Spivey & Mike Rotundo
This is like a whole bonus Toronto show this week. So kind of funny that we have two different tag teams where Hall of Fame level guys have been replaced by cheap knockoffs in quick succession. The US Express sends the Funks into each other with atomic drops and the Texans retreat to the floor, although I guess Jimmy Jack is more technically a Floridian. Back in the ring, Hoss has words for Rotundo, so Mike grabs a headlock and Hoss retreats to the ringside announce table to escape. Back in, Rotundo continues cranking on the headlock and switches off with Spivey, who sends the Funks running away again. These guys are making Texans look like a bunch of cowards. Jimmy Jack wants a test of strength with Spivey and SWEEPS THE LEG to win that battle, but Spivey fights up while Bobby promises that the acquisitions of Harley Race and Paul Orndorff will lead to him managing the WWF champion by next year, and he’ll be the sole host of Prime Time Wrestling and then be appointed the President of the WWF when Tunney is sent into retirement. Huge if true! Gorilla: “What about the Intercontinental title?” Bobby: “Well, the Macho Man has a busy schedule.” The US Express trades wristlocks on Jimmy Jack, switching off behind the ref’s back in some blatant cheating while Gorilla notes that both teams are sweating profusely. That’s just Rotundo. He makes enough for four people. We take a break and return with Hoss hitting Rotundo with forearms in the corner to take over, but Mike gets a bodypress for two and chases the Funks out of the ring again. Man, this match is clear proof that everyone from Texas is a yellow coward who runs from fights. Back in, Rotundo works an armbar on Hoss, but Jimmy gets a cheapshot behind the ref’s back and the Funks take over, running Mike into the railing so hard that he thinks he’s a boat captain! Hoss with a suplex back in the ring, setting up an abdominal stretch on the master of the move, so that’s not gonna work. Jimmy drops Rotundo on the top rope and chokes him out before going to a facelock to cut off the ring. Meanwhile Bobby is spreading his baseless conspiracy theory about Andre the Giant somehow being related to the Machines from Japan. If he was making vodka no one would drink it because it would be ZERO PROOF. Spivey gets the hot tag and runs wild, slamming Hoss to set up a dropkick and legdrop for two. Corner clothesline sets up the bulldog, but he walks right into a lariat from Jimmy Jack in mid-move while the ref escorts Rotundo out, and Hoss gets the pin at 17:06. That was a HELL of a finish and a really good match. ***1/2
Back at the studio, Gorilla notes that the loss was a damaging blow to Spivey, and Bobby notes that the biggest blow was when he bought trunks and decided to become a wrestler.
Cowboy Lang joins Killer Ken for a rare midget interview segment, and Ken actually plays it totally straight and it’s a good promo. Back at the studio, Bobby notes that he invited Lang to go golfing last week, but he couldn’t adjust because he was used to miniature golf.
Meanwhile, on TNT, Bobby Heenan introduces his newest Korean giant superstar, Kim Chee, who looks suspiciously like John Studd in a Masked Superstar hood. Gene calls him out as obviously being Big John Studd and Kim Chee stops and asks Bobby what his name is supposed to be again, at which point it’s clear that the jig is up and he unmasks as BIG JOHN STUDD. BOMBSHELL. Anyway, their point is that Andre the Giant is clearly not fooling anyone, but Gene continues pointing out that the Machines are from Japan and obviously different people.
Billy Jack Haynes v. The Iron Sheik
Yup, back in Toronto again. This seems like it was a pretty decent house show, actually. Sheik wisely declares that “Canada is the same country as USA, HOCK PTOOEY!” so as to cover all the heel bases. I wonder if that was supposed to be Mustafa Ali’s new gimmick before he asked for his release? Billy Jack is offended by that for various reasons and attacks, slugging away on Sheik and getting a slam before choking him out with his own headdress. Hayes with an atomic drop and he splits the legs for the boot to the gut before grabbing a headlock. Sheik escapes with a suplex while Gorilla puts Haynes over for “not smoking, drinking or using drugs.” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He was probably carrying a few hundred dollars of meth in his hat alone. Sheik with a gut wrench for two and chokes Billy out on the ropes, but Hayes fights back with a suplex for two. He gets the full nelson, but Volkoff interferes to break it up, only to hit Sheik by mistake and allow Hayes to get the pin at 5:28. HOW WAS THAT NOT A DQ?!? He was literally doing that right in front of the referee! Just a match. *1/2
Back at the studio, Gorilla notes that Slick will be upset about losing money on that match, and they pretty much accuse him of being a pimp.
SD Jones v. Rusty Brooks
We join this classic in progress, as we’ve moved from Toronto into what appears to be a dark match from Championship Wrestling or All Star Wrestling. Jones takes Brooks down and works on the leg for a bit, but they slug it out and Brooks goes down. SD misses a blind charge and Brooks gets a corner splash, but a second one misses and Jones rolls him up for the pin at 2:25. My life is enriched that much more having watched this one. ½*
Back with Bobby questioning whether SD was a mailman, but Gorilla notes that they don’t have mail delivery in Antigua. Disregarding for the moment that SD is from Philly, I’m pretty sure they DO have mail service in Antigua.
The Rougeau Brothers v. The Moondogs
OK, back to Toronto again after that palette-cleansing dark match. Gorilla goes over the history of the Moondogs, remembering “Spike” and “King” from various points in their history. I don’t specifically recall Spike but I don’t doubt that could have been a thing. Rex works the arm on Raymond, but the Rougueaus take him to the corner and break it up. Over to Spot, who beats on Ray in the corner but gets whipped into the turnbuckles and hurts his arm. The Rougeaus double-team him in their corner and go to work on him, and Jacques gets a bodypress for two. Bobby notes that the Rougeaus developed their speed by running away from fights in Quebec, because they’re a couple of sissies and pansies. Well Dynamite sure found out about messing with them. Jacques tries a monkey flip on Spot and it’s blocked, and the Dogs take over as Rex beats on Jacques in the corner. Meanwhile Gorilla wants to know how Bobby brainwashed Mr. Wonderful. I bet he showed him some convincing videos on Rumble and encouraged him to do his own research. The Moondogs take Jacques to the floor for a double-team and we take a break. Back with Jacques still getting beat up in the corner while Gorilla again rants about having multiple referees in tag team matches. Bobby rightly counters that if a referee is so incompetent that he can’t handle the job he’s paid to do, he should be fired. The man makes sense! Jacques and Rex collide in the corner and Jacques fights back with a sunset flip on Spot for two, but Spot cuts him off again with a chinlock. Bobby notes that Jacques Sr. probably bailed his sons out of all their fights. Could be true, Jacques Sr was a tough bastard. I wouldn’t mess with him. Meanwhile Gorilla gets all pissy because Bobby rightly calls him out for mixing up the Rougeau brothers. Do all Canadians look the same to Gorilla? What a racist. Raymond finally gets the hot tag and cleans house, and it’s BONZO GONZO as Spot throws Jacques over the top, but he skins the cat and rolls up Spot for the pin at 12:10. Dull match, good finish. This sadly was not another contender in the “Moondog Spot Hidden Gems” series but I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers, as the kids say. **1/2 Jacques was actually pulling on Spot’s rope belt, but Gorilla notes that this is fine because the rules only say you can’t pull the TIGHTS and it doesn’t say anything about a rope. That’s some specious reasoning. How did this clown end up as the WWF President?
The Dynamite Kid v. Brutus Beefcake
And we wrap it up in MSG with a match I think was on the British Bulldogs Coliseum Video but it’s short anyway. Kid grabs a headlock as we’ve got the nightmare commentary team of Gorilla, Lord Alfred and Ernie Ladd. Ladd once again proves that being a Hall of Fame talker doesn’t mean you can be a great commentator. Kid chases Beefcake out of the ring and Brutus gets some advice from Johnny V out there. That advice? “Make sure you keep your gimmicks fresh!” I think he took that one a bit too far. Back in the ring, Beefcake tries to work the arm and Kid flips out of that and reverses into his own armbar. Beefcake makes the ropes and hits Kid with a suplex, then follows with a headbutt on the abs to take over. Brutus goes up with a flying stomp as it appeared that he was waiting for Kid to counter and it never happened. Beefcake with a delayed vertical suplex and that gets two. “Five years ago that match would have been over!” notes Ladd. Really? Guys were getting pinned with vertical suplexes in 1981? No wonder wrestling was stuck in smoky halls until Vince saved it then. Beefcake beats on him in the corner, but Kid fights back with a snap suplex, extra snap, and drops a headbutt on him to turn the tide. Kid beats on him with chops, but charges and lands on the floor. Brutus finds the old phantom object in his tights and hits Kid with that for some punishment on the apron, but Kid flips in and rolls him up for the pin at 8:55. A perfectly cromulent main event to the show that didn’t overstay its welcome, as Beefcake was showing real improvement by this point. **3/4
And back at the studio, Gorilla and Bobby wrap it up for another week, as Bobby predicts that next week Hulk Hogan will appear on the show and admit how he’s jealous of Paul Orndorff. The evidence is there.