What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 22, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan do the studio duties for tonight’s show.

Opening Contest:  The Red Rooster beats Conquistador #1 via submission to an elevated hammerlock at 5:51:

The Rooster was an embarrassing gimmick given to Terry Taylor, a wrestler who cut his teeth working for the NWA in the early 1980s and the UWF from 1986-1987.  While working for those promotions Taylor had feuds with others like Buddy Landel, Ted DiBiase, Buzz Sawyer, and Nikita Koloff.  He signed with the WWF in 1988 but his original babyface gimmick as “Scary” Terry Taylor was abandoned and he donned red tights and made his hair look like a rooster’s comb.  Strutting like a rooster made him look even more ridiculous but in spite of it all he did have a feud with former manager Bobby Heenan and the Brooklyn Brawler, culminating at WrestleMania V where Heenan lost in thirty seconds.  After that the Rooster stayed in the lower midcard, directionless in storylines and putting over bigger acts.

After being eliminated quickly in the Royal Rumble by Andre the Giant, the Rooster needs a win to restore his credibility and he gets it, albeit with a lot of energy against a jobber like Conquistador #1.  The Rooster works over the arm until the Conquistador manages some token offense after cheating during a corner break.  The match plods on until Taylor awkwardly plants the Conquistador on his arm and then finishes with a raised hammerlock, a unique finisher that looks weird.

Ted DiBiase’s squash match against Lee Peak on WWF Superstars airs, along with Jake Roberts running out and stealing the Million Dollar Championship belt.  The WWF messed things up at The Royal Rumble as DiBiase appeared with the belt and now the audience is supposed to believe it is back in Roberts’ possession.

Heenan says the program should be redubbed “Crime Stoppers” because of Roberts’ theft of the Million Dollar belt.  This cracks Monsoon up, but he keeps it together enough to rebut that possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Koko B. Ware (2-0) pins Tony Burton after the Ghostbuster at 3:40:

Possibly upset about his poor performance in the Royal Rumble, Ware does not hesitate to go low against Burton, poking the jobber in the eyes when he is taken to the buckle.  It still takes him too long to put Burton away as it takes a powerslam, flying fist drop, and the Ghostbuster to finish.

After the match, Ware and ring announcer Mike McGuirk dance on the ring apron.  In the studio, Heenan says that Ware is starting to look like Frankie.  Monsoon tells Heenan that USA Network has empowered him to fine him at will.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan (3-0) defeats Pez Whatley with a three-point stance clothesline at 2:13:

Whatley was a civil rights trailblazer, becoming the first African-American wrestler for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the late 1960s.  After working for Southern territories and the CWF in the 1970s, he moved to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 and aided Jimmy Valiant in his feud against Paul Jones’ Army before turning on his friend and joining Jones.  After that his run fizzled out and he left the promotion, working for the WWF in an enhancement capacity starting in 1990.

Duggan does his usual gig of firing up the crowd, throwing some clotheslines, landing a slam, and then flattening Whatley to remain undefeated.

Monsoon wonders if the Pez Whatley he saw in the last match is the real Pez Whatley.  Heenan says that Duggan’s split vision is the best way to see Chattanooga since he only has to see half the town.

The Colossal Connection squash of Lyn Wagner & Butch Stanley on Wrestling Challenge is shown, along with Demolition’s post-match beating the tag team champions.  After the match airs, Heenan complains about Demolition’s behavior and when Monsoon calls his team cowards, Heenan justly challenges Monsoon’s position that it is okay for Jake Roberts to steal and Demolition to attack his guys from behind.  The announcers also argue over Andre the Giant’s role on the team.

Sean Mooney hypes a taped promo with the Bolsheviks, who he says promise to be “better than ever.”  The Bolsheviks put over their love for the USSR and their desire to fight the Bushwhackers, the Hart Foundation, and Demolition.  Jimmy Snuka says that “a lot of people in TV wonderland” do not know who he is but they will know soon.  He calls out Akeem, telling his foe to lose some weight.

Tito Santana (1-1) pins Bob Bradley after a flying forearm at 14:24:

Even though Santana has been with the WWF for six years, Monsoon still calls him a “youngster.”  Monsoon floats the idea of Santana searching for a tag team partner, which would not have been a terrible idea.  The Madison Square Garden crowd grows restless when Santana works a long headlock against an opponent that is nowhere near his level.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this match was supposed to be Santana against Barry Windham.  It was also the opener for the show, a misfire because fans have no investment in Bradley and do not want to see him wrestle this long.  Bradley’s offense consists of basic strikes and body slams, classic 1980s jobber token stuff.  Bradley misses a dive off the second rope and Santana FINALLY finishes him off with a flying forearm after fourteen minutes.  The WWF would have been better served keeping this match away from TV audiences.  It is a contender for one of the worst matches of Santana’s career.

Rick Martel puts over his style and calls out Brutus Beefcake for cutting up his clothes.  He vows to make an example out of him at an undetermined time.  The Hart Foundation say they are back in the hunt for the WWF Tag Team Championship.

The Bolsheviks (0-2) defeat Terry Bronson & Chuck Kilts when Boris Zhukov pins Bronson after a clothesline to the back of the head at 2:05:

Kilts, who also went by Chuck Coates, had an interesting enhancement career for the WWF as he worked for the company in 1989-1990 and then re-emerged during the Attitude Era to do jobs on Shotgun Saturday Night and Jakked between 1999-2000.

As the squash plays out there are dueling split screen promos between the Bolsheviks and the Bushwhackers.  The Bolsheviks say that Bushwhackers make them sick while the Bushwhackers vow to destroy the Russians.  Bronson falls victim to a double clothesline and is finished off when Nikolai Volkoff whips him chest-first into the corner and Zhukov follows up with a clothesline to the back of the head.  Tony Schiavone does his best to still put over the Bolsheviks as a threat, referencing their “impressive” finisher but its hard to see WWF fans buying it after the team has jobbed to the whole division.

Hercules (1-0) beats Alan Martin via submission to a torture rack at 1:30:

Simple squash where Hercules shows off his power by taking Martin to the buckle ten times, slinging him into the opposite corner, and using the torture rack to finish.

Heenan makes fun of WWF Champion Hulk Hogan’s fierce facial expression on a poster, saying that he must have eaten something from Mrs. Santana.  Monsoon says that the Hogan-Perfect feud is not over.

Mr. Perfect (w/the Genius) (2-0) pins Jim Powers after the Perfectplex at 2:02:

Powers, a Big John Studd trainee, is still wearing Young Stallions gear even though that team with Paul Roma is over.  As noted before, the two did not get along and it led to the end of the team after their push from 1987-1988 ran its course.

While Roma is still featured as competitive in singles matches, all Powers lands is a dropkick and a slam before Perfect goes on the offensive.  He works a quick pace and finishes Powers with a rolling snapmare, clothesline, and the Perfectplex.

When Monsoon rants about the Genius, Heenan says that is because Monsoon feels inferior due to the Genius’ 300-level IQ.

Bad News Brown (2-0) pins Bob Burroughs after the Ghetto Blaster at 2:55:

Brown takes his time picking apart Burroughs, who he tears into before the opening bell.  After several minutes of strikes, the Ghetto Blaster finishes.  Brown pins Burroughs with one foot and smirks at the camera.

Monsoon asks Heenan about the rumor that Brown is looking to become a member of the Heenan Family.  Heenan refuses to confirm or deny and when Monsoon says that asking fits role as a journalist, Heenan says that Monsoon’s actual role on the show is to make him look good.

The Honky Tonk Man plays a little on his guitar and says that Jimmy Hart has laid out some easy opponents for him like Hercules, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, and Tito Santana so he is going to the top.  The Rockers say they are not worried about the Powers of Pain.

The Bushwhackers (4-0) defeat the Powers of Pain (w/Mr. Fuji) (1-0) via disqualification after Mr. Fuji interferes at 8:55 shown:

This match took place at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens on October 8.  In true Bushwhackers fashion there is a lot of stalling to begin the bout.  The Powers of Pain seem ill-suited to wrestle the Bushwhackers comedic style as the viewer wonders why they do not use their overwhelming size and power to crush their competition.  After three minutes, the Powers put each of the Bushwhackers in peril.  A highlight is when Butch is rammed into the ring post and recovers after the crowd claps, flexing his back in time with the beat.  Little stuff like that is why the Bushwhackers remained over despite bad matches.  After the Barbarian misses an elbow drop off the ropes, the Bushwhackers hit their opponents with Battering Rams.  That only has a temporary effect as the Barbarian recovers but Fuji stupidly gets into the ring and hits Luke with his cane, causing his team to lose.  The result here is a small upset and does not bode well for the Powers long-term prospects as a team.  Rating:  ¾*

Heenan argues that Kim Bassinger of Batman has interest in him.

The Last Word:  The long Tito Santana-Bob Bradley match sucked the life out of the broadcast and nothing got it back.  There was not a lot of Royal Rumble talk because this show was taped prior to the pay-per-view so next week’s should provide more reflection on the pay-per-view.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for January 27!