Apologies to Scott and Brian for possibly treading on their turf, but when I heard that new episodes of Prime Time were up from the period when I got into wrestling I had to look it up. At this point, it was in the short-lived period with guests and a studio audience, launched around March and dropped not long after this for a panel show format. It was goofy, but I enjoyed it, hence why I carried on watching.
Backstage, Bobby Heenan is a nervous wreck because Ric Flair’s on the show tonight. Everything’s gotta go right!
Intro time! It’s not Arsenio from LA! It’s not Oprah from Chicago! It’s not Joe Franklin from Secaucus! It’s Prime Time Wrestling from… Stamford, Connecticut(!). Lord Alfred Hayes introduces Bobby with his trademark subtly insulting spiel and Sean Mooney with a far more flattering speech. On the show tonight in the studio, the Undertaker and Paul Bearer, the Legion of Doom, and Ric Flair!
Col. Mustafa vs. The Dragon
General Adnan is absent from action with Sheiky tonight, but who cares? Steamer has pretty cool music, which I assume was a bit of an attempt to stealthily recreate Sirius. Sheik attacks with all the authority of an arthritic grandmother, which Ricky is kind enough to sell before getting a comeback. He does look weird with long hair. Alfred picks on Sheik’s belly on commentary. Face to the curly boot and a gutwrench suplex for two for the Colonel. Bad reversed suplex, with Sheik reticent to go up sets up the flying cross body for the win for the Dragon. Shit match, but Steamer is always a professional with selling like he’s being peppered with lead.
Back in the studio, fresh off causing trouble at Mr. and Mrs. Macho’s wedding reception, the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Bearer admires the dent in the urn from where it was used to lamp Randy Savage in the head. Then back to the reception, with Vince doing it to death on commentary about every detail of the ceremony. JJ Dillon shows up in a cameo on the sides. The happy couple open the presents, with Randy looking for money, but Elizabeth finding a snake in a box in a badly edited scene. The Undertaker, as mentioned before, knocks out Randy with the urn as Jake menaces Elizabeth with the snake until Sid Justice makes the save (Jake: “Who the hell do you think you are?!”, Sid: “I don’t give a shit!”).
Back from the recap, Paul hams it up while ‘Taker stands there impassively. They’ve got pictures of Elizabeth screaming in terror. Sid’s made an enemy in the Undertaker, though, so he’s their next target in a house show feud that didn’t really go anywhere due to Sid’s torn bicep in ’91.
The Bushwhackers vs. Dwayne Gill and Barry Hardy
Only thing of note here is the Beverly Brothers introducing the returning Genius as their new manager, replacing Coach, in an insert promo. Bushwhacker battering ram and double gutbuster finishes off Gill after a squash that went about three minutes and felt like thirty.
Hercules (w/Slick) vs. Phil Apollo
“I’ve got dinner waiting in the back”, says Slick, wanting Herc to finish up quick. End of the road for Power and Glory, with Paul Roma almost out of the promotion and Herc not there for long after either. Backbreaker before Slick’s fried chicken starts to cool as everyone’s gone to the toilet given all the red seats in the crowd.
Back to the studio, Sean reminds Bobby of having a door slammed in his face by Hulk Hogan at Summerslam when he went to challenge him on Ric Flair’s behalf. Bobby makes his excuses.
Jim Neidhart vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
Return to action for the Anvil, with his old Hart Foundation music and his blue parachute pants as Alfred shoehorns the word ‘metier’ into the conversation. Powerslam finishes as Jim’s already huffing and puffing after two minutes.
Bobby and Sean give their takes on Jim quitting commentary on Wrestling Challenge:
Bobby: “The reason he quit was…”
Sean: “He was going to deck you.”
Bobby: “He couldn’t control his temper.”
Great comic timing from Mooney.
Jim Powers vs. Big Bully Busick (w/Harvey Wippleman)
Powers comes out to ‘Crank It Up’ to do his job. Alfred gives an “Who the fuck are these two losers?” reaction to the newcomers. Powers is pretty juiced up still at this point, more than he would be when testing came in but not as much as he was in the late nineties when he wasn’t under contract. Busick goes for an atomic drop without dropping Powers ass to his knee, which Powers fucks up, then finishes with the stump puller. Bully had an interesting look but awful timing and selling.
Mean Gene takes us back to last week, when Bobby Heenan was on the Funeral Parlour and made the mistake of mouthing off about Roddy Piper, on commentary with Vince. Roddy comes down and spits on the belt and Bobby. “I SCARE FLAIR!” declares Roddy. This would lead to Flair attacking Piper during his aborted debut weeks later and Vince taking a chairshot to the back off an errant fling from Roddy.
Back in the studio, finally time to introduce the Nature Boy in his first onscreen appearance in the WWF. Bobby has the red carpet rolled out for him and shoves off everyone except himself and the Naitch. He’s also using a proper version of Also sprach Zarathustra at this point. Ric starts off calm and ramps it up eventually, working through Piper first and Hulk second, telling off a girl in the audience in the process. Flair and Bobby just looked awesome together and it’s a shame Bobby was done at this point.
I.R.S. vs. The Texas Tornado
Gorilla implies Kerry is too out of it to know where the ring is. He’s wearing fetching fluorescent green trunks that’ll burn a few retinas. Weird bit early on where Kerry gets an armbar and Irwin slams him, going down with it as if he was going to roll through to allow Kerry to keep the move, but lands on top and then kicks him right in the face, which Kerry looks pissed off about. No idea what that was all about but neither guy looked happy. Irwin goes up for a weird punch off the top rope once, then gets caught on the second go, jumping into the claw. Kerry won’t let go even though Irwin was in the ropes for a time. Discus punch sends Irwin to the floor. Suplex back in. Kerry misses a charge into the corner and eats the lariat, taking a weird bump to his knees. Irwin’s already drenched. Wear down holds as Gorilla teases Alfred about his received pronunciation version of ‘Tor-nar-do’. Kerry accidentally strikes Earl Hebner while breaking out of a sleeper, but still wins by disqualification as Irwin goes mad. Shocker of a match, with neither guy on the same page, possibly because of Rotunda wanting to start shooting and Kerry on another plain of chemical consciousness.
Jimmy Snuka vs. Tanaka (w/Mr. Fuji)
This was towards the end of the run for the Orient Express, so I’m surprised Fuji was bothered to come out with Pat. Tanaka gets his flying forearm and back kick. The Orient Express really should’ve been a better fit with Fuj, but they were pretty much the lowest level heel team regardless of whether it was the Sato or Kato version. Tanaka walks into a clothesline and chops from Jimmy. Backbreaker and Superfly splash finish off Tanaka-san. Joined in progress and nothing much to talk about.
Legion of Doom join Sean and Bobby. Hawk looks rough, unshaven and twitching, sounding like he’s had a few long nights out. Alfred comes over to congratulate them on their victory on behalf of the UK and Europe and Hawk says he’d give the Queen the tongue… again! Animal brushes off the Nasty Boys as old news and moves onto the Natural Disasters as their first challengers after sticking up for Andre the Giant at Summerslam. Thank goodness Animal was such a pro, because even with Hawk being a good talker even when he’s fucked up it was obvious that he was chewing his tongue off with how much his jaw was moving.
Coliseum Home Video Exclusive: Some clips of Davey Boy Smith, Kerry and the Dragon against Power and Glory and the Warlord at Summerslam. No idea why they showed this when four of the six guys were already on this episode.
The Barber Shop: Brutus Beefcake interviews Ted Dibiase, sans Million Dollar Belt, and Sensational Sherri. Hard to say what’s longer, Bruti’s 600 tassels or his mullet. This was obviously shot before Summerslam, where they shot an angle where Virgil got ahold of the belt so that they could record matches with him wearing the belt and Ted doing interviews about him having “stolen” it rather than having “won” it so they could reset the balance at the end of the show. Ted cuts his normal good promo about getting revenge and getting his belt back.
Coliseum Home Video Exclusive: Bret Hart beats Mr. Perfect for the IC belt.
The Warlord (w/Slick) vs. Mark Thomas
Warlord was being set up as the first challenger for Bret before they switched him into a feud with Davey Boy and Bret to the Mountie. Thomas is semi-famously pretty stacked, then and still now. Big boot, shoulder block, gutwrench suplex and 67 forearms sets up the full nelson. Warlord’s inset promo during the match proves why he always had a manager. Thomas’ lack of any coordination also shows why they never gave him a shot given his body was as good as most at this point of steroid monsters.
Big Boss Man vs. Dwayne Evans
Despite the nerdy name, the jobber is a burly guy who looks like a biker with a handlebar moustache and his head shaved except for a tuft at the back. Imagine Hawk if he had never been in a gym but just knew a guy called Jim who sold meth at his club. He’s no good, anyway, and Boss Man finishes in less than a minute with the Boss Man Slam.
Sean and Bobby sign off by promising appearances from Sid Justice, Ted Dibiase and Sherri, and the Rockers. Bobby tries to talk up how distinguished an evening it’s been while Jameson annoys him in the background. He lays the belt down on a chair with Flair’s robe draped over it to finish.
The Bottom Line: Ostensibly an absolutely rubbish show, but I was loving this when I was a kid. Crap matches, but the commentary and bits carry it along. I wish they’d fill in all the gaps now.