The SmarK Rant for WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 07.17.89
More new 1989 episodes are getting added this month, so might as well pick up where we left off again. Which was with Bobby Heenan quitting the show and Gorilla announcing a new co-host!
Your hosts are a very happy Gorilla Monsoon and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper!
Last week, Bobby Heenan storms off the set and announces that from now on he’ll be hosting THE BOBBY HEENAN SHOW, with no more magazines on the desk and no cheap banana phones.
Roddy Piper joins us in the studio and he’s immediately freeform riffing like Robin Williams, apparently having snorted the GOOD coke before the show.
The Widowmaker v. Dennis Allen
So we’ve got Barry Windham doing a squash, with Ron Garvin as the referee, and Tony Schiavone on commentary! World Championship Wrestling reunion! But if I can be serious for a moment, Hangman Page is obviously a complete ripoff of the Widowmaker. Not even Barry Windham in general, but just this phase of his career. Widowmaker gets an atomic drop and a couple of suplexes and finishes with the much-hyped superplex at 1:20. All the kids are talking about that finisher. I’m assuming Allen’s wife is now sadly a widow. Hopefully someone sends her a nice ham.
SUMMERSLAM! FEEL THE HEAT! Do they not have A/C in New Jersey?
UPDATE! WITH MEAN GENE!
Frankly I’m shocked the update wasn’t “Roddy Piper dies of exploding heart caused by drug overdose” based on his hyperactive hosting job thus far. But no, instead we look at the feud between Dino Bravo and terrible referee Ron Garvin, as Ronnie awards the victory to a jobber and then gets into a fight with Bravo and kicks his ass. Yes, Dino Bravo got beat up by a REFEREE. That’s why he’s the worst. However, incompetent and corrupt idiot Jack Tunney steps in and threatens Garvin with a LONG SUSPENSION should these shenanigans continue. Greg Valentine also thinks he’s full of crap.
Back at the studio, Roddy Piper is proud of Garvin for asserting himself with the cheaters, although he himself would never cheat.
Meanwhile, over on Wrestling Challenge, Bobby Heenan quits THAT show as well while poor Tony Schiavone tries to play peacemaker. So Bobby throws an epic tantrum and storms off to a huge reaction from the crowd while Mr. Perfect is squashing some geek. Tony continues putting over Bobby and talks about how much he enjoyed working with him while Gorilla buries the Brain and says he needs psychiatric help. And then Bobby does a hilarious run-in at the booth again at the end of the match, literally grabbing the headset and yelling AND ANOTHER THING for one more rant against Gorilla.
Back at the studio, Piper wonders if Bobby is interviewing the Eastern European weightlifter, and then realizes that was just his wife.
EVENT CENTER! WITH SEAN MOONEY!
We’ve got the Powers of Pain, and they actually do a PROMO, which is weird because you never hear them talk. Also, Warlord SHOULD NEVER TALK. Also, we meet the guy who is a true patriotic American. But he wears a crown. Yes, it’s King Duggan! Apparently guys like Haku and Randy Savage have been looking down their nose at the flag and disgracing the country, and he’s having none of that. I mean, Randy Savage wasn’t a saint, but I never thought of him as a traitor to his country or anything.
Meanwhile, Bobby gets his makeup done in preparation for The Bobby Heenan Show. Roddy riffs on him by donning a Frankenstein mask and trying to pick up imaginary women.
Paul Roma v. Sandy Beach
We are JOINED IN PROGRESS from the Nassau Coliseum, with the crowd already doing a “boring” chant. Roma works the leg on the mat. Sandy later changed his name to Sunny Beach and was featured on the UWF Blackjack Brawl and won a title, which marks the only notable thing about his entire career as far as I know. Beach escapes all the leglocks and comes back with a gut wrench and backbreaker for two before going to the neck vice as the crowd is barely even paying attention between “boring” chants. So Beach goes to the bearhug and then pounds the back and goes to a rear chinlock. Come on, these poor people are already New York Islander fans as it is, and now you’re adding more suffering on top of that? Beach decides to go up to the top for god knows what reason, and Roma slams him off and makes the comeback. Roma with a suplex, which he declares to be the finish, and then hits a powerslam for the pin at 6:34. I’d hate to see the matches that they decided DIDN’T make the cut from that show. ½*
Back at the studio, Roddy relates a story about meeting Beach’s relative because he cut off a driver in New York and they were yelling “SUNNY BEACHES!” at him. OK, that’s not too bad.
Meanwhile, Zeus and Randy Savage challenge Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake for THE SUMMERSLAM. Hulk cuts his promo to accept, noting that he didn’t just stumble into Beefcake in the parking lot, walking arm in arm. Did…did anyone actually suggest that they did? Because that’s a pretty specific image. Anyway, Brutus is pretty pissed off about Randy Savage cutting his mullet off. I don’t even remember that. Because that would have been pretty great heat if he did. Also, Hulk stresses that he had all these problems with Zeus while filming the movie, and now the HUNTER HAS BECOME THE HUNTED and they’re gonna hunt as a pack and chop him down to size and then do stuff to the remains with Brutus’s clipper. Weird stuff. Butt stuff? Sherri will probably get a haircut too. Yeah OK, this was a hell of a promo from Hulk, I’ll give him that.
Back at the studio, Gorilla tries to steer Hurricane Roddy back to whatever his point was supposed to be, and then gives up and throws to the next match.
Tito Santana v. Boris Zhukov
It’s like Trump’s nightmare match. Boris works the arm, but Tito reverses to his own armbar while we get an inset promo from Rick Martel, who suspects that Tito is jealous of his talent and good looks. He’s a talented and good looking guy, he might have a point! Boris gets some cheapshots in the corner and puts him down with a headbutt. Tito fights back and misses a blind charge, allowing Zhukov to hit a backbreaker for two. But then Boris misses his own charge and hits the post, and the FLYING FOREARM finishes at 3:33. This was Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. **1/4
Back at the studio, Roddy reminisces about “going around and eating burritos” with Tito, but he likes both Santana and Martel, even though Martel is being kind of a jerk.
Head RAW and Smackdown Producer Brother Love joins us, and his guest is The Genius. Poffo bestows an “honorary PhD” on his “endomorphic friend” Brother Love, thus making him the Doctor of Love.
Back at the studio, Roddy wonders when Brother Love will be hitting puberty. Also, he wonders how he would know anything about love with a tummy like that.
COLISEUM CORNER! WITH TONY SCHIAVONE!
That’s right, now you can own ALL FOUR HOURS of Wrestlemania IV on VHS! And now these days we’re like “Oh man, they managed to keep that show at 4.5 hours, it flew by!” Anyway, we take a look at Dibiase v. Duggan from the first round in our featured match from the show.
Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan continues his prep for The Bobby Heenan Show, which is coming up.
Hercules v. Mr. Perfect
Back to Long Island, I guess. Well this is a matchup you didn’t see a lot. Perfect offers a classic riddle to start, as we learn what the five fingers said to the face. Perfect runs away and stalls for a bit, but Herc hauls him in and stomps away, before Perfect exits the ring again and continues to mock Herc. Back in, Herc gets a hiptoss and Perfect bails AGAIN and struts around to kill more time. Back in, they slug it out and Perfect bumps over the top rope. Perfect milks the count and then comes in to break it, before immediately walking out again. Finally Herc pulls him back in and rams him into the turnbuckles from top to bottom and then goes to a headlock. He moves to a bearhug until Perfect pokes him in the eye, but then recovers with a press slam and stomps Perfect in the corner. Finally Perfect necks him on the top rope to get the heat and slugs him down in the corner. Hercules fights back, but Perfect uses the tights and dumps him to the floor to buy some time. Herc tries to fight to the apron and gets pounded out there, but he makes his way back in and gets the torture rack, at which point the time expires at 15:00. This was some minimal effort on display here. *1/2
Speaking of minimal effort, we then move to the premiere of…
The Bobby Heenan Show
So this was apparently supposed to be a legitimately huge hit for USA, and boy did it not turn out that way. In fact the ratings were so brutally bad that they had to retool the entire Prime Time show again to keep it from getting canceled.
Your host is Bobby Heenan, with Lord Alfred as his announcer.
First up, Bobby introduces his “Oinkettes”, aka fat ladies in bathing suits. And if you think it’s going anywhere better from here, you’re sadly mistaken.
So Bobby introduces Jamison Winger as his first guest, and he’s supposedly an air traffic controller at La Guardia airport. It’s actually a very primitive version of the character, basically just a nerdy guy in a suit instead of the incredibly stupid cartoon character that he ended up as. Astonishingly this interview goes on for TEN MINUTES, running through a commercial break and featuring brutally unfunny “comedy” with Bobby insulting the guy over and over with no payoff.
Speaking of unfunny comedy with no payoff, we finish with a mother-daughter comedy duo while Bobby yawns and checks his watch through the segment.
Holy shit, that last half-hour was literally unwatchable. I have no idea why USA didn’t pull the plug on the show after the first airing. Like, was it supposed to be deliberately terrible because it was trying to be ironic?
Probably one of the worst ever episodes of Prime Time, as they destroyed the central premise of the show and had nothing to replace it with. Hopefully Piper gets better and more comfortable in a hurry because I can’t take many more like this one.