The SmarK Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – 06.29.87
By Scott Keith on 14th October 2023
The SmarK Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – 06.29.87
Getting closer to closing the circle and catching up to where I originally started on these in July of 87. The goal is to get the complete year done and then start releasing e-books on Amazon eventually. I’m tired of letting that Meltzer guy have all the glory.
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Brad Rheingans v. Terry Gibbs
We are somewhere in the Great White North with Gorilla and Billy Red Lyons on commentary. Rheingans takes Gibbs down with a headlock and Gorilla once again notes that he’s never seen anyone pinned with a side headlock. Sadly he didn’t live long enough to see MJF do exactly that. Gibbs escapes and goes for a boot, but Brad catches him with an atomic drop and goes back to that headlock again. Crossbody gets two and he goes back to the headlock. I probably say this every time I see Brad Rheingans in the WWF but I don’t remember Brad Rheingans ever being in the WWF. I’ll probably forget that I wrote this and go right back to forgetting he was ever in the WWF next time I see him in the WWF and then I’ll do a whole thing about how I forgot he was ever in the WWF again. That’s the best part about it! It’s an evergreen bit! Gibbs finally escapes and throws chops in the corner, and then dodges a blind charge before taking over with a neckbreaker and actually drawing a babyface pop from the crowd. So he gets right into it and does an overblown Paul Orndorff style boogie woogie elbow drop for two before going to a bearhug. Brad escapes with a hiptoss and then misses an elbow before making a comeback with a backdrop out of the corner. Gut wrench gets two. Rolling cradle finishes at 8:47. OK that was a slick finish. Match was perfectly cromulent. **
Back at the studio, Gorilla continues to accuse Bobby of lying about the neck injury, and awaits delivery of the x-rays later in the show to prove his point.
Iron Mike Sharpe v. Hillbilly Jim
Back in the same arena as the first match, and the place is packed with kids who go INSANE for Jim and his generic overdubbed banjo music. I’m not sure where they are, but they use the same ring announce as Toronto in a smaller building that’s more well-lit. London ON maybe? Sharpe complains loudly and demands a posing break before locking up, so Jim sends him into the corner and then returns the pose. So the crowd declares Sharpe to be a wimp and he bails to the floor and protests as we finally learn that they’re in Kitchener, ON. Mike grabs a headlock and pulls hair to maintain control, but Jim sits him on the top rope and threatens to take a cheapshot while the crowd of kids yells in terror that he might get DQ’d. So Sharpe bails to the floor again and we take a break. Back with Bobby on the phone with Miss Betty, who is stuck in traffic while trying to deliver the x-rays, so we rejoin the match while we wait. Back with Sharpe trying shoulderblocks and getting nowhere, so Jim slams him and Sharpe decides to leave again before thankfully changing his mind. Back in the ring, Mike goes to the eyes to take over and rakes the forearm protector on Jim’s face behind the ref’s back and then unleashing the CLUBBING FOREARMS with the protector to take over. Yeah’s he got it wrapped up now. Amazingly, this only gets two. Sharpe beats on him in the corner but Jim comes back with an elbow and then drops one on Sharpe for two. Sharpe finds something in his tights and loads up the forearm and the kids are OUTRAGED, but Jim grabs Sharpe’s own arm and uses it to knock him out for the pin at 9:34. And then Sharpe goes to beat up the ref, so Jim saves with a Popeye windup punch and sends Sharpe running to the dressing room. These were two pros who saw the audience and Understood The Assignment. Match wasn’t any good but that wasn’t the point. *1/2
Meanwhile, Mean Gene chats with new Intercontinental champion The Honky Tonk Man. He doesn’t have the belt yet, probably because this was taped before the match happened, so they do a whole wacky bit about how Peggy Sue is off having the belt resized and cleaned because Steamboat left it all filthy. Gene is offended that Honky never invited him to the celebration party as well.
Back at the studio, Bobby finally has the x-rays, but Gorilla tells him to wait until later in the show.
The Snake Pit with special guests Hillbilly Jim & Little Beaver. Jim discusses Bundy dropping the elbow on his little buddy at WM3. Lame.
Junkyard Dog v. Terry Gibbs
Our second dose of Terry Gibbs for the show, as this is from WWF Superstars. Apparently Dog is returning from a “successful tour of the Orient”. Where was he, the opium dens? They criss cross and Gibbs tries to punch JYD in the head and that goes badly for him, and then Dog tosses him over the top and finishes with the Thump at 1:38. And he brings some kids into the ring, and given how terribly they dance I’m thinking one of them must have been a young Tony Khan.
Leaping Lanny Poffo v. Frenchie Martin
Bobby finally gets Gorilla to crack while introducing the match in the studio, doing a horrible job of figuring out the participants and which camera to look at. So we’re in Boston for this one, with Gorilla and Bobby at ringside for this as well, and Poffo does a spicy anti-Brain poem right in Bobby’s direction. Tough talk from a guy who’s wearing a macrame blanket for a ring jacket. Frenchie beats on him in the corner and goes to the nerve hold, but Poffo reverses to an armbar and Martin makes the ropes. Meanwhile the crowd isn’t particularly into either guy and Gorilla is like “Eh, they hate both guys, it’s Boston, what can ya do?” Frenchie puts the boots to him to take over and follows with a butterfly suplex for two. Bobby: “I’ve had enough of you, and this match.” Me too. So he leaves the commentary table and goes back to the dressing room, leaving Craig DeGeorge on commentary while Poffo finishes with a moonsault at 4:50. *
Back at the studio, Bobby finally gives Gorilla the x-rays, but it’s a chest x-ray. “What is this, a rib?” Bobby notes that it’s whole body medicine so they’re checking everything south of the neck first to make sure.
Sivi Afi v. Jose Estrada
Back to Boston as we’re really hitting the star power hard this week. I’ll always associate Afi as “The guy who teamed with other guys when their partner missed the house show”. Afi with a rana right away and Estrada backs off and stalls. Jose runs Afi into the turnbuckle but he’s Samoan so that doesn’t work and Afi gets a sunset flip for two. Estrada goes to a headlock and beats on Afi’s neck before chinlocking him. Afi fights out, but Estrada plays dead and lures him into trying a splash before lifting his knees. That was a nice touch during a god awful match. Estrada chokes him out on the ropes while DeGeorge plays the newbie and asks Bobby Heenan the different between a choke and a sleeper. And Bobby actually plays it straight, noting that a sleeper cuts off the blood flow to the head via the carotid artery, while a choke cuts off air via the throat. Afi makes a comeback with a clothesline for two and does a messed up side slam type of deal that gets two. What was he even going for there? Crossbody follows, but Estrada rolls through and gets the pin at 9:55. So yeah this was pretty much the low point for Sivi Afi’s career. Just kidding, it got way worse for the poor guy. ½*
Back at the studio, Bobby’s next x-ray turns out to be feet. Bobby is OUTRAGED that he was ripped off by the doctor like that.
Paul Roma & Jim Powers v. The Shadows
Back to Kitchener. Out of curiosity I went and looked up the results for this show and OH MY GOD I’m shocked they ever drew a crowd there again. TWO Paul Roma matches and Billy Jack Haynes in the main event. Powers controls Shadow Rex with a headlock while Gorilla notes that John Bonello is rapidly becoming one of the premier referees in the WWF. Yeah, because he keeps hiring hitmen to knock off his competition, I hear. Moondog Shadow tries to beat on Powers to escape the headlock, but Powers goes for the mask and he runs away. Over to Conquistador Shadow as we take a break. Back with Roma coming in for a double-team and he goes to a headlock, but the Shadows trap him in the corner as I’m starting to worry that this is our feature match and we’re not getting anything after this. They toss Roma and work him over on the floor, where the camera angles show that the arena is more empty than an ROH taping. Back in for a backbreaker from Rex and he goes to a bearhug. The Shadows double-team Roma while Powers comes in and distracts the ref like an idiot, but then the ref just lets it go and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. And Roma comes off the top with a flying bodypress on the big Shadow for the pin at 14:00. Well this was certainly a match that happened. **
Meanwhile, Mean Gene chats with Koko B. Ware. He wants to teach Danny Davis a wrestling lesson!
The Hart Foundation v. The Killer Bees
This is a non-title match from WWF Superstars, which oddly enough I do not remember. I do remember the Bees winning a match before the Harts won the title, but not this one. The Bees double-team Bret to start, but he gets a cheapshot on Brunzell and the Harts go to work in the corner. Bret with the backbreaker for two. Brunzell fights back, but Danny Davis trips him up and gets taken to the back by security as a result. So the Bees switch off on the floor while this goes on, and Blair makes the illegal comeback. Bret grabs the ropes to block a sunset flip, but Brunzell slingshots in with another sunset flip behind the ref’s back as they switch off again, and that gets the pin at 4:20. Wow some bad refereeing on this show. Not much to this one, sadly. *1/2
Well this show was awful. Serves me right for complaining about too much good wrestling in the previous episode, I suppose.