I’ll be picking up the WCW show in January more in line with the time of the year it actually fell, but for now here’s one of a handful of Prime Time episodes that were dropped a while back attached to holidays or certain events. This is from the dying days of the show, three episodes away from the end.
In the studio, Vince McMahon heads a panel of Hillbilly Jim and Sgt. Slaughter on one side and Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler on the other. Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary unless otherwise stated.
Yokozuna vs. Kevin Kruger
Very early in the run for Yoko, who still has to carry the salt bucket in place of Fuji, who’s in the tuxedo still. Big legdrop to a big ooh straight off a toss. Yoko is relatively svelte still here, able to throw a thrust kick. Belly-to-belly with a bounce sets up the avalanche in the corner and the Banzai Drop. We’re at the point where he still does the stance, a’la the Royal Rumble game, before going up. Impressive squash as Yoko really could move before he became clinically obese.
Reverend Slick gives a sermon from his pulpit. He tried, but this was never as good as the Doctor of Style.
Big Boss Man vs. Barry Hardy
From Superstars, with Vince, Jerry and Bobby. Boss Man was spinning his wheels after seeing off Nailz and definitely ready to go for a while. The unnamed Doink lurks in the background. Hardy awkwardly fucks up a backing off spot. Elbow and backbreaker for him as Doink sets up a tripwire in the entrance way. Boss Man Slam finishes, then he runs off and falls over the tripwire. Serves him right for running. Bobby at least gets in a snipe about him taking “a trip to Cobb County”.
Kamala vs. Bill Koby
Koby looks all of eighteen. From Superstars again, as they were obviously running out of exclusive material. Kamala was becoming the whipping boy for Harvey and Kim Chee after losing the casket match to the Undertaker. Choke-a-mania sets up a chop and the splash. I never really found myself wanting a sympathetic babyface Kamala, so maybe the Survivor Series should’ve been the last appearance for him.
The Model Rick Martel vs. Brian Costello
Gorilla and Alfred have flashbacks to Freddie Blassie when discussing his merits as a fashion plate. Another guy who was pretty much halfway out the door. I’m confused, as I thought Costello was a heel jobber. For lack of anything else to talk about, Gorilla and Alfred talk about Ric Flair’s WWF championship victory at the last Royal Rumble ahead of the upcoming 1993 one, which seemed a long time ago by this point, with Flair not long for the company either. Chokeslam and gutwrench suplex for Rick between headlocks. Chance sunset flip for Costello, who then misses a blind crossbody. Rick goes straight to the Boston crab, seemingly having filled his time out there.
Update w/Mean Gene Okerlund recaps his interview on Superstars with Bret Hart, who was interrupted by Bobby Heenan, Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Mr. Perfect saves him from their attack. Gene, as always, runs like f--- when it gets physical. Dual from Ric and Razor after.
Back in the studio, Jamison comes out with a present of boxers for Bobby to annoy him. He’s only been wearing them for two weeks already!
The Nasty Boys vs. Chris Allen and Gus Kantarakis
Terrible ring announcer Bill Dunn finds an incredibly odd way of pronouncing the latter jobber’s name. From Challenge, with Gorilla and Bobby on commentary and Doink hanging around ringside with presents here. Pit stop for the Greek, then Allen comes in for a legdrop off the second from Sags that’s even less graceful than his elbow. Powerslam between Knobbs talking to the camera sets up said elbow. Not great, but still better than the post-match s--- with Doink presenting them with a picture of Money Inc.
Damian Demento vs. Kerry Davis
Davis has a blonde and brown mullet, pink and green tights, and no discernible muscle mass. Gorilla thinks he looks like Wayne Newton, who Alfred hasn’t heard of. Demento does the ceiling fake out to get a cheap shot. Ugly legdrop, neckbreaker and kneedrop finish. Was this guy ANY better as Mondo Kleen? He was awful in this run.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Mike Collins
Of the people going and coming at this point, Bam Bam was one of the few willing to stick his working boots on. Flying shoulderblock and dropkick before a delayed vertical suplex. Avalanche sets up the double underhook backbreaker that Jericho would take later, then the diving headbutt for the win.
Event Center promo with the Undertaker and Paul Bearer, with the already departed Nailz as their target, before Mrs. Claus turns up looking for the studio. Bobby’s on the naughty list.
El Matador Tito Santana vs. Louie Spicolli
Louie’s willing to put the effort in, but it’s not too long until Tito hits his alternate finisher for this run, El Paso del Muerte. Always preferred the flying forearm, but surprised nobody else has ever tried that diving fistdrop.
Royal Rumble Report with Gene, talking up the world title match, still trying to coin the term “ruthless Razor Ramon”, plus Ted Dibiase, Tatanka, Yokozuna, Bob Backlund, the Berzerker and the Undertaker in the Rumble. The “rumble” transition effect they used between shots is really irritating.
Back in the studio, Vince goes into hype mode for the surprising introductions of the Steiner Brothers. Not surprising that they were coming, because it was known they were done in WCW, but why reveal them in such unflattering fashion here? They say some brief words on their first opponents, the Beverly Brothers. Pretty worthless debut, almost forced in.
Papa Shango vs. Marty Jannetty
Marty is not long back from house arrest and not even bothered to upgrade from his old Rockers gear. Shango is startlingly bigger than Marty and dominates him early on. He runs into a boot as Shawn Michaels starts wandering down to the only bit of heat I’ve heard this show. Marty gets distracted and opens himself up for an attack, with Shango’s face paint pretty much hanging on by a thread even three minutes in. Marty gets an impressive missile dropkick to Shango on the outside, then catches up with Shawn and gives him a huracanrana and some punches in the aisle. Nothing to this as a feature match, but a hot last minute. Shango wins by dubious count out, which Gorilla basically says “Who cares?!” in response to drive home the insignificance of it.
Razor Ramon vs. John Paul
No introduction for Paul, but it is he of the Top Guns. Razor was another guy, like Yoko and Bam Bam, who got over by not sleepwalking through his squash matches. Sack of s--- spot after a catch, while Bobby claims Perfect is illiterate and can only tell a red light from a green. Back suplex off the second rope sets up the Razor’s Edge. He really wasn’t ready for a world title shot at this point, but was doing everything he needed to move up the card.
Back in the studio, Mrs. Claus presents Bobby with a mug with Jamison’s face on. Bobby offers to show her where the mistletoe is hung and gets a slap for his trouble.
Interview hosted by one taping recruit Joe Bevins, who you missed nothing with, featuring the Bushwhackers dressed as Santa. He was some Canadian commentator who I believe was given a shot based on a recommendation by Nick Bockwinkel. Moving on…
Skinner vs. Bob Backlund
Skinner is brushing his teeth by this point to kill off the gimmick. A bit of riding on the mat to start, as I notice that Fonzie is the ref as part of his short run. Back up, test of strength, which Bob transitions into a trip. Skinner takes it to the corner and gets some boots, but gets halfway caught in an atomic drop. Nice block into an O’Connor roll, kicked out of. Bob jumps over a slam attempt and gets his own roll and cradle for the win. Like the other “feature” match, they kept it in first gear until the last thirty seconds before deciding to speed up to the finish.
Money Inc. vs. Lavern McGill and Chris Hawn
The jobbers look pretty physically impressive for a change. Ted works the arms of McGill and brings in Irwin with a shot off the top. Hawn comes in and gets dropped with a back suplex. Jerry Lawler, on commentary, even gets to reference his long pre-WWF history with Jimmy Hart. Ted comes back in and puts out Hawn with the Million Dollar Dream. Never going to knock some wrestlers doing wrestling, but the tag champs were no longer in the position where they should main event a WrestleMania, yet…
Crush vs. Dark Destiny
Dark Destiny is unquestionably Dwayne Gill from his goofy body language. Crush works a bow and arrow into a pin attempt, then catches Destiny with a one-armed belly-to-belly off the top. Punch sends Destiny over the top and Crush leaps over to clothesline him on the floor. Press back in, as he rolls all the way out over the other side. Suplex back in. Head crush finishes. Crush was doing pretty well in his babyface run except for taking a few high profile losses, but I guess he just fancied his chances better as a heel.
The Undertaker vs. Dwayne Gill
And here’s Gill doing another shot under his real name. Future WWF light heavyweight champion, ladies and gents. Interesting to reflect on how ‘Taker was using stuff like the chokeslam as a basic move and not the big setup for the Tombstone at this point. Back suplex to set up said Tombstone, with the camera lingering on the back of Gill’s head long enough to show it going down before a quick cut as it just avoids hitting the mat. Replay confirms his hair dangling down covered the visual difference.
The Headshrinkers vs. Matthew Williams and Dave Morgan
Weird pair of jobbers, as Williams is a chubby guy with a bum fluff moustache and a red bodysuit with white trunks over them, while Morgan is a bald guy with a tuft of hair at the crook of his neck. Samu clotheslines Morgan down, then a pretty cool lifted DDT. Williams walks right into a thrust kick and Samu tags Fatu in. Double faceslam sets up Samu’s diving headbutt from the top, which was a weird bit of a change from Fatu’s splash.
Need excitement? Snap into a Slim Jim with Macho!
One more trip to the studio, with Bobby promising to be despicable while sounding like Daffy Duck. Vince takes this time to announce that Prime Time is winding down and debuting on January 11th will be Monday Night Raw, live from New York! It was as fresh as this show was stagnant, as much as you hate to see beloved shows go, although Prime Time ran for eight years, twenty less than Raw has at this point.
Closing the show, Bret Hart sits on Santa’s knee and asks for more competition in the new year.
Melting it down: A piece of coal in the wrestling stocking, with lots of recycled material from the weekend show and nothing much to talk of in new material. Raw could not come soon enough.