The SmarK Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – 01.26.87
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. All the matches this week are from a Toronto show at Maple Leaf Gardens. For me personally, this would be notable because these are the same cards they were running in Vancouver when I started going to wrestling shows in 1987.
Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake v. Dan Spivey & Mike Rotundo
Apparently Johnny V is introducing some other team soon, called “Demolition”. Spivey gets a weak atomic drop out of the corner on Valentine and takes him down for two. The Express gets a double-team elbow for two and Valentine hides in the corner to slow down the torrid pace. This prompts some rare approval of the refereeing from Monsoon, as John Binello disallowed a tag because Beefcake wasn’t holding the rope. So Beefcake comes in and the faces work on the arm and this is really dull stuff. We take a break from the “exciting action” and return with Spivey getting worked over by Beefcake before Rotundo tags in and puts Valentine down with forearms for two. And then they have a miscommunication on a criss-cross, where it looks like Beefcake was supposed to low-bridge Rotundo while Valentine drops down, but Beefcake doesn’t and then Rotundo suddenly jumps on Valentine with a chinlock. Finally Beefcake comes in with a cheapshot and Rotundo is face-in-peril and we get a lengthy chinlock from Beefcake. Gorilla once again bitches about referees and how we need two of them in every tag match. Valentine with a suplex for two and we get another chinlock on Rotundo, but Spivey blatantly cheats and breaks it up. And it’s back to the heel corner for another chinlock from the Dream Team. This match is kind of a rarity in that both teams changed members after winning the tag titles. Finally the Dream Team double-teams Rotundo with a slam in the corner and Valentine gets the figure-four, but Spivey cheats AGAIN and breaks it up, and this time gets the hot tag. Spivey cleans house and bulldogs Beefcake, but it’s BONZO GONZO and Valentine nails him from behind and Beefcake gets the pin at 18:00. Well, considering how many times that Spivey cheated, it serves him right. Boring match, good finish. **
Piper’s Pit with Andre the Giant sees Jack Tunney presenting the Giant with a trophy for 20 undefeated years in the WWF. Andre has some stuff to say, but Hulk Hogan storms out and hijacks the interview before he can even speak, making it all about himself. Andre just walks off and Hogan’s like “Man, that guy is so humble!” This of course sets up a fantastic payoff next week. Back in the studio, Bobby points out that Hogan’s trophy was bigger and Hogan stole Andre’s moment because he’s JEALOUS. In hindsight you can just see it building week by week.
Meanwhile, Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart visit the Heartbreak Hotel.
Update! With Gene Okerlund. We get clips of King Kong Bundy and Kamala, which is apparently building to a horrible, horrible feud that we thankfully never got. Bobby makes fun of Okerlund, and Gorilla defends Gene with “Hey, why are you picking on Okerlund? He always has good things to say about you! Even though they’re lies.”
Dino Bravo v. Scotty McGhee
Joining this hot, hot action in progress, as Bravo has recently turned to the services of Johnny V and also those of George Zahorian, but hasn’t yet dyed his hair blond. Bravo blocks a monkey flip with an atomic drop and gets two, and we hit the chinlock already. Bravo dumps him to the ramp on an awkward bump and slams him on the ramp (Gorilla covers the super-safe bump by noting that McGhee got his heels up and blocked the full force of the move), and back in for a side suplex that gets two. Scotty makes the comeback with forearms and a suplex for two, but he misses a crossbody and Bravo suplexes him for the pin at 4:47 shown. *1/2
Paul Roma v. Barry O
Barry is of course the estranged uncle of Randy Orton and best known for playing the Zodiac in Stampede. Barry attacks and gets a suplex for two as Gorilla notes that Roma owes his success to SD Jones, who took Paul under his wing. Who the hell takes mentorship from the dude who’s famous for losing the fastest match in Wrestlemania history? Roma tries a suplex, but Orton reverses into a slingshot suplex for two as we take a break. Back with Orton hitting the chinlock and then tossing Roma. Back in for a shoulderbreaker that gets two. Roma makes a comeback to crickets and a small package gets two. Backslide gets two. Powerslam finishes at 7:12. *
Koko B. Ware v. Magnificent Muraco
Joined in progress as we omit Koko’s offense to start, and Koko takes a HELLACIOUS bump to the outside off a hiptoss, clearing the ropes and taking a flat back bump right onto the floor. Back in, Muraco hits the Asiatic spike off the middle rope and takes over with the dreaded Vulcan nerve pinch. And that goes on FOREVER, almost five minutes, before Koko fights out. And then Muraco promptly goes back to it again as we take a break. Back with Koko FINALLY making the comeback as Muraco takes a couple of bumps in the corner and Koko gets the missile dropkick for two. Koko then puts Muraco in a very awkward Boston crab, but Muraco powers out of that. They slug it out and Koko puts him down with a headbutt for two and reverses a slam for two. Finally the time limit just expires at 15:00 for the draw. Muraco looked lazy and bored out there, which was par for the course before the Piper feud reignited him. *
The Hart Foundation v. Davey Boy Smith & Junkyard Dog
So the gag for most of January was that Dynamite Kid was injured pretty severely, so Smith defended the belts at house shows with a variety of wacky partners, ranging from JYD to the Crusher to Roddy Piper. And in fact the day this show aired, he reunited with Dynamite Kid at a Superstars taping and lost the titles to the Harts. Literally nothing happens for the first 5:00, as we get various stalling and nonsense with the Harts trying to cheat and getting foiled by the Dog, and comedy bumps from the Harts. We take a break and return with Dog pounding away on the Anvil in the corner, but Danny Davis forcibly pulls Dog off and throws him down, then fast-counts him for good measure. Now THAT’S how you act as heel referee. Over to Bret, who tries hitting JYD in the head and gets nowhere. Neidhart comes in and clobbers Davey from behind while Davis just stands there and watches. And then we get some AWESOME heeling, as Bret tosses Davey on the ramp and then drops down in front of JYD clutching his head like he was beat up. Davis turns around to admonish Dog for this phantom cheating and the Harts then double-team Smith some more. Bret hits Davey with a cheapshot from the apron and Anvil gets two as this thing finally starts clicking 10:00 in. Davey with a crucifix, which Davis ignores, before finally counting two and man the crowd is just LOSING it. Neidhart with a bearhug as the crowd chants “bullshit” and Gorilla, world’s foremost critic of bad refereeing, might be more disgusted with this match than anything else in his career. Bret with a backdrop into the lights on Davey for two and he goes to the sleeper, but Davey runs him into the corner to break. Press slam onto the top rope and it’s HOT TAG to the Dog. He sends Anvil to the floor with a headbutt and powerslams Bret, but Davis is out of position again. Bret with a small package and Davis dives in for the fast count, but Davey rolls them over before Danny notices what’s going on and the Smith/JYD team retains the titles at 15:00. Great finish, and that match was a whole lot of fun once they got down to the business of Danny Davis trying to screw the Bulldogs out of the titles by any means necessary. *** Sadly we omit the funny botch that follows, as Dog does his customary dancing after the match and invites a couple of kids from the front row in with him, at which point about 50 people storm the ring and security freaks out and clears the ring in a panic.
Another completely shitty week for this show, although the main event was a lot of fun.