The SmarK Rant for WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 07.31.89
I hate these Bobby Heenan Show episodes SO MUCH but people keep telling me to push through because it gets better once Bobby gets back to the studio again. FINE.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Rowdy Roddy Piper, who immediately bury last week’s Bobby Heenan Show and all the guests.
Jimmy Snuka v. Greg Valentine
Gorilla calls this a vaguely described “match broadcast on national television”, which is course from Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC but they can’t say that on USA I guess. Valentine attacks to start and Snuka makes a brief comeback, but goes up and accidentally headbutts the shinguard on the way down, allowing Greg to take over again. He drops elbows and puts Snuka on the floor and won’t let him back in, which draws the ire of troubleshooting referee Rugged Ronnie Garvin. And of course Snuka uses this distraction to sneak in with a flying bodypress to finish at 3:10. I’m pretty sure referees aren’t supposed to hit wrestlers with knockout punches. Where’s Gorilla when you need him? *
Back at the studio, Gorilla concedes that Garvin might have overstepped his refereeing duties, but Piper likes the ref is taking charge for once.
UPDATE! WITH MEAN GENE OKERLUND!
This past week on Superstars, Big Bossman is about to do a beatdown of a jobber, but Dusty Rhodes makes the save and steals the nightstick and hat to kick off their feud. And yet Dusty got it over.
Dino Bravo v. Dale Wolfe
This is a special never-before-seen match from a Wrestling Challenge taping, apparently, with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary and Ronnie Garvin as referee. Hardest working referee in the business, apparently. Bravo beats Wolfe down repeatedly and keeps picking him up, so Garvin gives him a piece of his mind. Bravo with the sideslam to finish at 2:21.
Back at the studio, Gorilla and Roddy basically call Wolfe an idiot for even signing the contract to face Bravo in the first place. That’s quite the take.
King Duggan v. The Gladiator
Another dark match, featuring Duggan reading the creepy American indoctrination speech before the match. Duggan runs Gladiator into multiple corners and works on the arm, then finishes with the three point stance at 1:54.
Back at the studio, Roddy and Gorilla discuss the upcoming Summerslam card and it quickly degenerates into Piper riffing on Zeus’ haircut like he’s trying to be Robin Williams. They just don’t have any chemistry together.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake discuss Hulk needing to use some kind of “magic potion” to get ready to face Zeus and Macho Man at Summerslam. Apparently it’s filled with 100% High Test Octane Power, and will work alongside the prayers and vitamins with no ill effects. The feds just needed to play this video in the courtroom and they would have had Vince dead to rights.
Bobby Heenan promises even more interesting guests on this week’s show, and Piper cuts a promo on him in response.
Tim Horner v. Iron Mike Sharpe
This is a special main event in any arena, joined in progress from Nassau Coliseum. Sharpe blocks a monkey flip in the corner and then hits him in the gut with the (alleged) loaded forearm and beats him down to take over. Sharpe with a backdrop for two. Horner comes back with a sunset flip for two, but Sharpe chokes him out on the ropes. They slug it out in the corner with chops, but Sharpe misses a blind charge and winds up tied in the ropes. But then Horner charges like a moron and misses, landing on the floor. Horner fights back in with a sunset flip for two, but Sharpe clubbers him down again and goes to the bearhug. Tim fights out of that and puts him down with a back elbow for two. Snap suplex gets two. Horner misses a dropkick and Sharpe drops an elbow on him for two. Horner tries a sleeper and can’t get it sunk, so he flips into a rollup instead and gets the pin at 7:30. This was a pretty good match with good heat! ***
Hillbilly Jim v. Sandy Beach
Another star studded dark match from Wrestling Challenge. We get an inset promo from the Genius and THERE’S a feud you never knew you wanted in your life. Jim quickly finishes with the big boot at 1:30. This was nothing.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers v. Paul Roma & (something) Becker
I missed the other jobber’s name because I was busy bopping to “All American Boys”. I don’t recognize him anyway. Apparently his name is Todd. I’m sure his mom will care. Roma chases the Rougeaus to the floor with dropkicks, but Becker comes in and blows the lead already, getting dropped on the top rope. We get an inset from the Rougeaus where they concede that they have injured fingers from opening all their fan mail! Huge if true. Rougeaus double-team Becker and Raymond pins him with a splash at 2:52. That theme song was the peak of Jimmy Hart’s songwriting.
The Brother Love Show with special guests Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior. Andre is calm and collected, but Warrior storms out and threatens to beat him and pin him. Back at the studio, Piper thinks that Warrior should come with subtitles. Talk about the pot calling the kettle incoherent.
SUMMERSLAM REPORT! WITH MEAN GENE OKERLUND!
We get a rebuttal promo from Randy Savage and Zeus. A REVERSE CHINLOCK IS NOT IN HIS DICTIONARY, YEAH, AND HE’S GOT THE EYE OF THE MADNESS!
WWF tag team titles: Demolition v. The Brainbusters
Another one from that unnamed nationally televised program. So after the Busters managed to make the Demos lose their cool and get DQ’d at the last SNME, this is the rematch with 2/3 falls. Tully gets a cheapshot on Smash and then runs away from Ax, but that backfires as Smash presses him back into the ring and Tully takes a beating. The Busters try to double-team Ax in response but that also backfires and the heels have to retreat further. Back in, Arn beats on Smash, although neither guy is legal unless they edited some stuff out already. Arn gets caught in the corner and double-teamed, and then Tully comes in and Smash bearhugs him. Smash tries a slam on Arn, but Tully dropkicks them over and then chokes out Smash in the corner. Arn with the spinebuster for two, but Smash hits Arn with a stungun and pins him at 5:00 to win the first fall.
Second fall and Smash beats on Arn in the corner, and the Demos beat on Arn to retain control. Ax drops him on the top rope and goes to a chinlock, but Arn escapes with a cheapshot and Tully comes in and clotheslines Ax under the bottom rope to take over. Bobby even gets a shot from the outside behind the ref’s back, and Tully takes Ax to the floor and puts the boots to him out there. Back in, Arn with another chinlock on Ax, but it’s hot tag Smash and he cleans house. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Demolition again loses control and won’t listen to the ref, so it’s a DQ at 11:44.
Third fall and Jesse clarifies that the rules are apparently now that a DQ in the first two falls is OK, but a DQ in the deciding fall does not change the titles. Also, Andre the Giant is now at ringside as well. Demolition continues double-teaming Tully and Ax hits a back elbow, but Tully runs Ax into Arn’s head for the sacrifice play, and Arn comes in and slugs it out with Ax. Ax runs Arn into the corner and they collide for a double down, but Smash gets the hot tag and starts destroying Tully. Clothesline out of the corner and it’s BONZO GONZO, but Andre throws his chair into the ring and Tully nails Smash, putting Arn on top for the pin and the titles at 17:37. Which marked the first (and for a long time only) title change on SNME. Didn’t like this one as much as the original match, as this felt disjointed and never really got into a groove or had a strong heat segment for the Busters. *** Young NWA stan Scott was pretty damn happy about this one, let me tell you. As much as I was a huge fan of Demolition at the time, they had been champions for more than a year and even I could I tell it was time for someone else to have a crack at it.
And back at the studio, Piper and Gorilla wrap things up and throw it to the Bobby Heenan Show, which much like the rest of the audience at the time is my cue to turn it off and go to bed.
I actually really enjoyed that random house show match between Horner and Sharpe and of course the main event was a classic moment. Macho Man is really selling me on this Summerslam show single-handedly, too, I have to say.