The SmarK Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – 06.22.87
By Scott Keith on 29th September 2023
The SmarK Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – 06.22.87
I forgot how much I enjoyed this show before doing it again last week.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Intercontinental title: Ricky Steamboat v. The Honky Tonk Man
From WWF Superstars, of course, as Honky attacks at the bell and tosses Steamboat, only to get cat-skinned to the floor and onto Jimmy Hart. Steamboat suplexes him back into the ring and drops the chop on him before hitting a Perfect necksnap. More chops as Honky flails around the ring off that, but Steamboat tries a rollup and Honky runs him into the turnbuckle on the kickout. Honky necks him on the top rope and you know Steamboat is selling that with a dramatic bump. They slug it out in the corner and Honky goes up with an elbowdrop that misses, allowing Steamboat to make the comeback with KARATE. But then he puts his head down and Honky goes for the neckbreaker, so Steamboat backdrops him into the corner for a nice bump. Steamboat goes up to finish this geek off, but Jimmy Hart takes the ref and Steamboat goes after him. But when Steamboat cradles Honky by the ropes, the ref counts one, and then Honky grabs the ropes and rolls him over for the two and then three to win the title at 3:51. That referee is a moron. Well, at least we know that Honky is probably just a transitional champion. Surprisingly energetic match, actually, with some good bumps from both guys. **1/2
Back at the studio, Gorilla talks on the phone with Honky Tonk Man, who is apparently sending champagne to the studio to celebrate.
After the break, Bobby keeps playing with his neck brace and Gorilla accusing him of gold-bricking. #NECKSTRONG
The Can-Am Connection v. The Shadows
Unlike the weird Philly selections last week, we’re back to MSG this week for our non-syndicated content. The Shadows trap Martel in the corner, but Rick rolls away from them and brings Zenk in for a dropkick. I know this will come as a shock, but the Shadows were just dumb ol’ Randy Colley and Jose Luis Rivera under masks, kind of an all-star jobber mashup of the Moondogs and Conquistadors. The Can-Ams frustrate “the big Shadow” as the announcers call him, aka Rex, so “the small Shadow” comes in and he gets double-teamed by the Can-Ams as well.
Zenk with armdrags and Martel also works the arm. I feel bad that the Shadows are such geeks that they don’t even get NAMES. I’d say they should call one “Shadow Stevens” but I don’t really have a followup joke for the other guy so I’m gonna quietly back off from this topic of conversation while I can. And yes I know it’s spelled “Shadoe” but that’s not even a real name. Can-Ams continue getting the shine 8 minutes into this match as the heel team has basically had no offense and the Can-Ams trade off with headlocks which sets up Martel’s double-headscissors spot. Over to Shadow the Hedgehog as even Lord Alfred is like “Man these geeks have literally had no offense in this entire match”. Finally, ELEVEN MINUTES into this match, Zenk goes for a rollup and gets caught by Shadow of the Colossus with a cheapshot to take over.
We take a break and return with Shadow Cabinet choking Zenk out to get the heat until Martel saves. More choking gets two. Shadow Ban with a chinlock on Zenk and Shadow of the Tomb Raider switches in to set up some more double-teaming in the corner. We get the false tag behind the ref’s back as the Shadows continue double-teaming Zenk and send him to the floor before Moondog Shadow supelxes him back into the ring for two. Flying splash hits the knees and the heels manages to cut off the tag to really torture the crowd and they take Zenk back to the corner. Zenk blocks a superplex attempt and hits his own suplex on the Shadow, and it’s HOOOOOOOOOOOOOT tag Martel and this man knows how to run wild in a tag match. So he runs the Shadow into the corner and then rebounds with a crossbody on the other one for the pin at 19:29. Dammit they won me over with their tag team formula. Wrestling just knows me too well. ***1/2.
Afterwards, color commentator Bobby Heenan does a promo on them, declaring that the Islanders would have beaten them in minutes and sent them running back to the showers. So Martel demands the Islanders RIGHT NOW and they actually try to oblige, but the referee corps holds them back because apparently this is neither the time nor the place. Would YOU tell Haku that he’s not allowed to fight?
UPDATE! WITH CRAIG DEGEORGE!
Superstar Billy Graham continues to work out despite his doctors all telling him that he should retire over and over. WELL HE’S GONNA SHOW THEM. (Narrator: No he’s not.).
Meanwhile, Brutus Beefcake chats with Mean Gene about his future plans for the Dream Team.
Back at the studio, Bobby has put a tiny little neck brace on his LJN wrestling figure in order to update it and Gorilla mercilessly mocks him for it. I feel personally attacked by that.
The Islanders v. Paul Roma & Jim Powers
Another MSG match from the same show as the earlier Can-Am match. Roma works the arm on Tama while Gorilla and Lord Alfred discuss how ridiculously stacked the tag team division in 1987 was. No cap, as the kids say. Roma with hiptosses to frustrate Tama and he dropkicks him into the corner to chase him out of the ring for some advice from Bobby Heenan. That advice? “Have lots of kids and then call Inoki.” Back in the ring, Haku comes in and offers Roma a handshake, which is rudely refused. They trade shoulderblocks and that’s not gonna work with Haku, so Roma takes him down with a drop toehold and brings in Powers for a quick double-team. “Jimmy Powers looks bigger every time I see him” notes Gorilla. GEE I WONDER WHY THAT IS. I
nteresting to watch the total lack of chemistry between the Young Stallions as compared to the Can-Am Connection, despite both teams reputedly having about the same levels of dislike for each other. Probably because Martel was a super-talented pro who could mesh with anyone regardless of personal feelings and Paul Roma…wasn’t. And you bet that Gorilla sure called that out any time he was watching a Stallions match. Back to Tama and Roma works the arm to control, and the Stallions get a double dropkick for two. They continue switching off on the arm as we take a break and Bobby mocks the Bruno Sammartino figure, noting that the side profile makes him look like Frankie the Bird.
Back with Tama missing a blind charge and hitting the post and Gorilla continues burying the Stallions for their lack of teamwork and chemistry, which is a common thread that he would continue with for months afterwards. And then Haku comes in and NAILS Roma with a dropkick, and Gorilla moves onto laughing at Roma managing to maintain his hairstyle through the match thus far. Haku misses a headbutt, but Tama trips him up from the apron and Haku goes to work in the corner. Tama comes in with a flying chop and chokes him down as I wonder how these guys were ever babyfaces before. Roma tries a sunset flip on Haku and Haku just spikes him in the throat to block and takes him back to the corner with an atomic drop to cut off the ring. Oh GOD am I gonna end up loving this match, too? 1987 tag team wrestling is like my personal kryptonite. Tama with a suplex after Powers stupidly tries to break up the double-teaming and gets caught, and the Islanders put Roma down with a double chop and Tama stomps on his head for good measure.
Haku comes in and Roma tries to go under him for the tag, but Haku just DEADLIFTS him into powerbomb position and hauls him back to the corner for a shot from Tama that gets two. Roma fights out of a nerve pinch, but Tama puts him down with a back elbow as Bobby wants more punishment. Me too, screw that guy and his stupid hair. Finally Haku puts his head down early and Roma boots him, but Haku boots him harder and cuts off the ring with a facelock. Tama hauls Roma back to the corner and Powers comes in AGAIN and gets caught by the ref and they do the dramatic fight for the tag again before Haku nails Powers to trigger him again. OK I concede, this is great. Hot tag Powers and he slugs away on Haku and gets a pretty good run on the Islanders, but tries a backdrop on Tama and his back gives out. And Haku hits the backbreaker to set up the flying Uncle Uso splash from Tama to finish at 20:00. Shit, this match ruled, too. This show is bumming me out with its good wrestling this week. ***1/2. Here I am trying to be snarky to support my family with my hilarious hatred of stupid shit and they’re out there working their asses off and entertaining me. FINE THEN. BE THAT WAY.
Back at the studio, Gorilla and Bobby draw winners of the WWF calendars as Bobby tears up anyone who sent in a letter instead of a postcard as the contest stipulated. Bobby: “Here’s one, Mustafa Al-Zari from Stamford Connecticut. Looks like an eye chart.” That feels like some kind of inside baseball reference there.
The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis v. The British Bulldogs & Billy Jack Haynes
OH COME ON. Is this show gonna give me ANYTHING to mock this week? What am I supposed to do with a Bulldogs-Harts match from MSG in 1987? ENJOY IT BECAUSE WRESTLING IS AWESOME? Who’s gonna read 2000 words about THAT on a Friday morning? Bret gets chased out of the ring while Gorilla and Alfred discuss the amateur record of Danny Davis, which I gotta call bullshit on. Back in the ring, Davey works the arm on Bret and flings him around with the wristlock, and then Billy Jack comes in for a chinlock. I gotta say, I’m shocked Billy Jack Haynes has not become a Twitter superstar given he would fit right in with the current legion of blue check conspiracy weirdos that are left on the place. Kid comes in with the hairtoss spot on Bret that always rules and Davey tries a crucifix, but Bret drops him with a slam and it’s over to Neidhart. Davey yanks him by the beard, but Dynamite gets trapped in the Hart corner and triple-teamed.
We take a break and return with Kid getting choked by Danny Davis on the ropes. Kid tries a suplex on Anvil and that dog don’t hunt, as the kids say, so Danny comes in with a cheapshot and then tags out after drawing nuclear heat. Bret drops the leg on Kid and beats him down with uppercuts, but the Harts try to slingshot Davis into the ring and he lands on Kid’s knees and he’s in trouble. Billy Jack comes in and takes out the Hart and then hits Davis with a press slam as the crowd goes nuts, and that sets up the full nelson before Bret quickly breaks it up. Bret comes in with a backbreaker for two and Anvil beats on him with clubbing forearms to cut off the ring as the Harts get the heat on Billy Jack. Neidhart tosses him and Bret gets some cheapshots on the floor. Back in the ring, Danny goes to work in the corner and then tags out as soon as Haynes gets any offense on him. That’s called SMART TAG TEAM WRESTLING, despite the snark from Gorilla and Alfred about his cowardice. Bret with an atomic drop for two. Haynes comes back with a sunset flip for two and we take another break.
Back with Haynes running the ropes and Bret hits him with a PERFECTLY timed knee on the apron. Man that move was just instant heat whenever he did it. Neidhart chokes him out while Bret argues with the ref, and then Bret puts the boots to him in the corner and brings in Danny Davis for his next bit of offense. And again, Haynes gets a single shot and Davis tags out to Anvil again. Neidhart with the chinlock and Bret comes in with a straight boot to the gut to set up another chinlock and cut off the ring again. Haynes tries a rollup and Bret grabs the ropes to block, so Billy dropkicks him over the top and Bret has to dive back in and cut off the tag with a facelock despite being right in the Bulldog corner. Bulldogs aren’t trying very hard for that tag. Just sayin’. Harts try a double-team clothesline on Haynes and they hit Davis by mistake, and it’s hot tag Davey Boy. Bret takes the turnbuckle and Davey follows with a delayed suplex for two. Small package for two. Lariat gets two. And it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA as Davey presses Kid onto Bret with a diving headbutt for the pin at 21:11. ***1/2.
Also why isn’t this MSG show on the Network?
Well I hope everyone got all the great wrestling out of their system and we can get back to the lowered expectations of Brutus Beefcake squashes and 6 year old women’s matches next week, LIKE THE GOOD LORD INTENDED FOR US.