The SmarK Rant for WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 07.24.89
I left off here ages ago because the Network collection originally stopped with the Bobby Heenan Show on July 17 89, but they’ve since added a ton more so we might as well pick it up here again for fun.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and…sigh…Rowdy Roddy Piper. Unfortunately that experiment is still going to be going on for a while.
Speaking of which, Gorilla and Roddy are already burying Bobby’s new show and talking about how stupid the guests are this week. And they wondered why the ratings were so bad it nearly resulted in the cancellation of the show?
Big Bossman v. Jim McPherson
This is a squash from Superstars, and the jobber is a skinny guy who wrestles barefoot and actually has some impressive gymnastics. But he immediately misses a flip in the corner and Bossman beats him down and finishes with the Bossman Slam at 1:24. Too bad, the job guy showed some good charisma in the 10 seconds we got to see him showcased. But before Bossman can deliver some hard times to the guy, Dusty Rhodes (pre-polka dots) makes the save and uses the stolen nightstick to chase him off.
Back at the studio, Roddy makes fun of Dusty’s dancing and jiving. I’m assuming they gave him a list of talking points and he just cheerfully tore them up.
UPDATE! WITH MEAN GENE!
Yes, it’s the official announcement of Summerslam 89, available on Pay Per View or “Super Screen Closed Circuit TV.” I don’t recall it being available on closed circuit in Canada, actually. Unless it just wasn’t playing in Vancouver at the time. And Gene has the entire card laid out already! Although the Red Rooster v. Mr. Perfect match doesn’t even warrant a graphic, apparently.
Back at the studio, Roddy gets an intern to bring him some water, and then chases her off camera and snaps an elastic headband at her.
The Hart Foundation v. Barry Horowitz & Dave Coleman
Some kind of dark match from a Wrestling Challenge taping here. Coleman was way ahead of his time, rocking a bleached blond rat tail 5 years before Lance Storm broke into the business. He was too beautiful to survive 1989. Barry (who, fun fact, used to wrestle as “Bret Hart” in the southern US) tries a rollup on Bret and gets stuffed, and Neidhart comes in to bowl him over. Meanwhile Bobby Heenan does a cut-in to promise that the Brainbusters are winning the tag team titles on Saturday Night’s Main Event, and the PPV match with the Harts will be a non-title match either way. Over to Coleman, and Bret drops an elbow on him. Anvil beats on him further, and the Hart Attack finishes at 2:44. And we cut to ringside where a pair of kids have a Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart shirt. What kind of a loser bought a JIM NEIDHART shirt in 1989? Maybe the kid tried wearing a Four Horsemen shirt and they made him put on an Anvil shirt to punish him on national TV or something.
Rick Martel v. Don Champ
Oh Don, I think you need a different wrestling name. Also, in his effort to top the guy in the last match, he’s got a full on 1992 Crush mullet going on with the skunk dye job. Bet he scored a ton of ring rats backstage with THAT awesome look. Martel does some cartwheels to evade Champ and chops him on the ropes, but misses an elbow and Champ goes for the arm. And then he nearly trips over himself in the corner, so Martel puts him down with a clothesline and declares that it’s time to move on. Gut wrench and he beats him down, then stops to deliver some words to Tito Santana before finishing with the Boston crab. Although the guy submits, but Martel lets him out and doesn’t want the bell rung yet, and then goes up with a flying knee to finish for real at 3:48. I’d stick with the Boston crab, and I’m not sure what the flying knee has to do with Tito.
Back at the studio, Gorilla thinks that Slick obviously has done time at some point, which Piper thinks is hilarious. This might be one of the worst pairings I’ve ever seen. They just have zero chemistry together and Roddy Piper is just going into business for himself with no attention paid to Gorilla.
Meanwhile, Randy Savage and Zeus are STIRRING THE CAULDRON OF THE MADNESS, YEAH. STATE OF EXECUTION AT SUMMERSLAM, YEAH, NO PAROLE OR RESURRECTION. So people did some drugs in the 80s, I’ve heard.
Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan tries to explain to the cameraman how to shoot his show, because last week sucked so bad. Close-ups all the time!
The Genius v. Jose Luis Rivera
We’re joining this in progress from an MSG show on 7.10.89, a main event in any high school in the country! This was still Poffo’s initial repackage as the Genius, before he got paired with Mr. Perfect in a much more effective use of the character. Genius chokes Rivera out on the ropes and puts the boots to him, then follows with a dropkick and chases him to the floor. Back in, Rivera fights back in with forearms and gets a hiptoss for two. Slam gets two. Genius slugs away in the corner and goes to an armbar. Somersault senton gets two. Then we get this whole thing where he pretends to injure his leg and the referee isn’t buying it, but then Genius trips up Rivera anyway and acts like it was a big plan. So bad. Rivera tries a comeback, but the Genius thankfully finishes him off with a swanton at 6:47. Afterwards, he forever curses his own career by pointing to his head to indicate intelligence. I mean, it makes sense that he was a huge jobber, because that was his whole deal!
Back at the studio, Roddy wonders how you just become the Genius? Didn’t he ever see the Lawnmower Man or a bunch of different Twilight Zone episodes? It’s BASIC SCIENCE.
SUMMERSLAM IS COMING! If you have a dish or a descrambler, call to order now! I had a descrambler but probably not in the way he was meaning.
The Bushwhackers v. The Gladiator & Sandy Beach
Sandy was better known as Sunny Beach later on in Herb Abrams’ UWF. Butch drops a fist on Beach, and Mr. Fuji does an inset promo where he’s pre-emptively laughing at the pain and suffering that will be inflicted by the Powers of Pain. I can attest to suffering a lot of pain from watching matches with both teams. The Whackers double-team Beach in the corner while doing a wacky gag where the guy on the apron has to wear a hat. Over to Gladiator, who quickly takes the Battering Ram and gutbuster at 3:05.
The Brother Love Show with special guest Dusty Rhodes. There’s nothing to this one, as Dusty quickly interrupts Brother Love and does his promo on the Bossman, then demands that Love’s music be replaced with his theme song so he can dance.
Meanwhile, back at the Bobby Heenan Show, Bobby continues promoting his trainwreck. And then in the other studio, Roddy Piper is doing a running gag where he’s been drinking water for the entire show and has to pee really badly. Frankly I’m shocked USA didn’t cancel the show the middle of the airing. I’m waiting for a “The Krusty the Klown show has been put on hiatus for retooling” graphic any minute now.
Red Rooster v. Jim Chappel
Chappel manages to get some slams on the Rooster and beats on him with shoulders in the corner, but he charges and runs into a knee and a clothesline. And Rooster finishes with a flying chicken wing at 1:49. At least that made sense as a finish for him.
Ravishing Rick Rude v. Tony Durante
Holy shit, check out teenaged Pitbull #2 getting squashed by Rick Rude! And he’s got HAIR! ON HIS HEAD! This would be one of Durante’s first televised matches in fact. Rude Awakening finishes at 1:00.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake do their promo in reply to Randy Savage, but you’re not topping the CAULDRON OF MADNESS. Not without better drugs. Not that they didn’t try. You have to admire the effort from Hulk, talking about Sherri stirring in the stolen ruby red slippers and being possessed by demons and shit.
Bad News Brown v. Koko B. Ware
For those keeping track, this is our main event, another dark match from Challenge. Not counting the Bobby Heenan Show. Bad News attacks to start, but makes the mistake of ramming Koko’s head into the turnbuckle. But then Koko rams Bad News into the turnbuckle and he just laughs and slugs Koko down. See because they both have hard heads. Koko with a bodypress for two, but he puts his head down and Bad News beats him down again. Koko comes back with a sunset flip for two, but Bad News beats him down again and takes him to the apron for another beating. Back in the ring, Koko gets a rollup for two, but Bad News cuts him off again and clotheslines him under the ropes. “Don’t worry about it” he notes to head off the ref’s complaints about cheating. Koko makes the comeback with a boot rake and clotheslines him for two, but he misses a charge and clotheslines himself on the top rope, and the GHETTO BLASTER finishes at 7:35. Well this was a match that existed. **
The Bobby Heenan Show
Jamison gets added to the show as Bobby’s sidekick this week, as Vince was basically fighting the USA Network two weeks into the experiment, with the network wanting to pull the plug already and Vince fighting to maintain the new direction. One guess who won that battle. And much like week one, the show is literally unwatchable, as I can’t even make it through the first segment without shutting it off for good.
I honestly don’t know which is worse on these: Roddy Piper desperately trying to engage with Gorilla Monsoon for an hour and failing every time, or Bobby Heenan being given half an hour of freeform comedy and dying on-screen. Either way, Vince McMahon completely destroyed whatever magic Prime Time had with these episodes and I don’t know that it ever came back again. This was just bad idea after bad idea right before our eyes.