What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – July 23, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are doing their usual studio duties for tonight’s telecast.

Opening Contest:  The Big Bossman (18-1) pins the Brooklyn Brawler (1-9) after a spinebuster at 1:46:

As the match begins, Ted DiBiase and Virgil appear in the split screen and continue to run down Cobb County, Georgia.  DiBiase holds up his wrestling buddy and argues that wealth can afford all kinds of privileges that the Bossman does not enjoy.  The Brawler tries to take the fight to the Bossman early, but it does him no good in the end.  After the bell, the Bossman handcuffs the Brawler to the ropes but elects not to hit him with the nightstick.  Maybe the WWF is realizing that jobber brutalization is not helping to get over the Bossman’s babyface image?

Monsoon tells Heenan that he gave Virgil $110 and found out that DiBiase bribed people in Cobb County less than $100 to speak ill of the Bossman.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report recaps the existing SummerSlam card.  Demolition warn the Hart Foundation that their future is bleak, with the Foundation responding that they survived Demolition’s ambush and will get sweet revenge by taking Demolition’s titles at SummerSlam.  Afterward, Heenan predicts that Demolition will prevail because there are three of them.  Monsoon counters that Heenan has never heard of “William Hart.”

Boris Zhukov (3-3) beats Scott Colton with a clothesline to the back of the head at 1:29:

Fans do not care about Zhukov, giving the bout the silent treatment.  An easy win continues to build toward a Zhukov-Nikolai Volkoff collision at an undetermined time.

Monsoon puts over the SummerSlam merchandise and Hulk Hogan children’s vitamins.  Heenan picks up the vitamins to read the label.  Later, he says that the only thing wrong with the product is the person on the box.

Jimmy Snuka (9-2) pins Tony Burton after the Superfly Splash at 2:36:

Random, meandering offense from Snuka sets up the Superfly Splash, earning Snuka a seventh straight win.

Promo time with Sean Mooney!  Bad News Brown does a promo from his neighborhood – indicated by a silver trash can with his name spray painted on it and a chain link fence – saying that people know he is not to be messed with.  He claims that Jake Roberts could not survive on his street.  Hillbilly Jim says he is happy because the fans are behind him.

The Barbarian’s squash from Wrestling Challenge airs.  Monsoon continues to rag on the Barbarian’s choice of ring gear.

Dusty Rhodes (w/Sapphire) (13-0-1) defeats Paul Diamond (1-6) after the Polka Dot Drop at 1:55:

An old woman is decked out in Rhodes’ gear and rocks out to his theme song as he makes his way to the ring.  Sapphire is wearing her diamond necklace to the ring and Rhodes is not happy about it.  In the split screen, Sensational Sherri screams about how it is not fair that a peasant like Sapphire is getting gifts.  Rhodes does very little to defeat Diamond and he is not as keen to dance with Sapphire after the match as he usually is.

Monsoon floats the idea that Donald Trump is sending Sapphire gifts.  Heenan explains that Sapphire is probably stealing the jewelry from stores across the country.

Gene Okerlund does the SummerSlam Report.  Heenan argues that Rude has the advantage in a cage match because the Warrior has never wrestled a cage match before.

Rhythm & Blues (w/Jimmy Hart) (18-0-1) defeat Ronnie Garvin & George Anderson when the Honky Tonk Man pins Anderson after a double back suplex at 5:12 shown:

Garvin and Greg Valentine briefly resume their rivalry, but Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes do not bother to revisit it on commentary.  The match is joined in progress, and it is just a long squash for the Blues as they beat up Garvin and then Anderson en route to victory.  After the win, the Blues sing “Hunka Hunka Honky Love” for the crowd.  With booking like this, it is amazing that Garvin did not give his notice as soon as possible.  He has now lost four straight matches.

Okerlund’s interview with WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior from Wrestling Challenge airs.

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (18-0) pins Alan Reynolds after the Earthquake Splash at 1:50:

Earthquake powerslams Reynolds with so much authority that it looks for a moment that he might cave in the ring.  The smaller Reynolds does a stretcher job after the Earthquake is done rag dolling him around.

Paul Roma (1-5) beats Buddy Rose after a powerslam at 6:05:

Prime Time Wrestling is behind the curve as this match was taped at Maple Leaf Gardens on June 17 before Roma’s heel turn.  Roma’s sole singles win this year was against Rose, defeating the big man on the April 29 edition of Wrestling Challenge.  The bout is worked at a slow pace, with Rose working a long bearhug in the middle.  Roma’s comeback kicks things up a notch at the end, winning with a powerslam.  No rating is given due to Rose’s jobber status and Roma being elevated back to star status, but this was not good.

More promos with Mooney!  Ted DiBiase, with Virgil, rants about lowering himself to visit Cobb County, Georgia, and he claims to now understand why the Big Bossman is stupid and refused his money months ago.  The Rockers talk about how they are going to become more aggressive and come after the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Sergeant Slaughter’s debut vignette from Superstars is replayed.

Jake Roberts (15-1) pins Gary Richardson after the DDT at 2:20:

Roberts shows a more aggressive streak tonight, hitting his short-arm clothesline thirty seconds in and clotheslining Richardson off the apron.  Another short-arm clothesline and DDT allow Roberts to pin Richardson with one finger.  Roberts may not have been a fan of Richardson as after the match he puts the snake bag over Richardson’s head rather than dumping Damien on top of him.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:  Demolition – Smash & Crush (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Ax) (3-0) defeat Tito Santana & Jim Brunzell when Smash pins Brunzell with a clothesline at 8:13:

This marks the first time that Demolition 2.0 are defending the tag team titles.  In a sign of team unity, Brunzell wears a Santana t-shirt to the ring.  Brunzell and Santana trade spending time in peril, with Santana getting more shine as he nearly traps Crush in a figure-four and hits Smash later with the flying forearm to trigger a double KO spot.  Crush breaking up a pin when Brunzell hits Smash with a dropkick causes all hell to break loose and, in the chaos, Ax hits Brunzell in the back of the head when he runs the ropes, allowing Demolition to retain.  The finish gets over the threat of having a third Demolition member at ringside, which is why that is banned at SummerSlam.  This was a good television match as Santana and Brunzell were top tier tag talents in their respective careers and sold well for the champions.  Rating:  **

Bobby Heenan simultaneously makes fun of fans and urges them to order SummerSlam.

The Last Word:  The tag team title match at the end was a nice way to end the broadcast and in many ways the WWF has made the WWF Tag Team Championship feud more interesting than the WWF title match at SummerSlam between the Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude.  Everything else on the show, though, exposed how stale the product is becoming.  The Big Bossman-Ted DiBiase feud is going in circles after the entertaining Cobb County vignettes as the Bossman has mustered a weak response.  Rhythm & Blues are getting a lot of screen time, but their matches never seem to get better.  They run the risk of Power & Glory supplanting them on the heel tag team hierarchy, especially if Power & Glory can wage an entertaining feud with the Rockers.  And even Dusty Rhodes is starting to look uninspired as his feud with Randy Savage continues to drag on.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for July 28!