What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 28, 1991

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio for their usual banter.

A video package recaps how Randy Savage cost the Ultimate Warrior the WWF Championship at The Royal Rumble.  Afterward, Monsoon and Heenan debate the merits of instant replay.

The Mountie’s squash from Superstars is the first match on the show.

The Big Bossman (3-0) pins Jeff Sword after the Bossman Slam at 1:25:

Sword, who started wrestling in 1980, was part of a tag team with Doug Vines called the Devil’s Duo that were tag team champions in Angelo Poffo’s International Championship Wrestling (ICW) in 1981 and Jerry Jarrett’s USWA later in 1991.  Despite success on the independent circuit, his appearances in major promotions were in enhancement roles as Sword did jobs for GCW, Mid-South, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the WWF.

In the split screen, the Bossman says that he is coming for Mr. Perfect because he is the only member of the Heenan Family he has yet to defeat.  The Bossman takes the lead in win-loss rankings with an easy win here.  After the match he handcuffs Sword to the bottom rope and runs to the locker room.

Heenan asks Monsoon for 114 tickets for WrestleMania, reprising a running joke for the last few years.

Non-Title Match:  The Hart Foundation (WWF Tag Team Champions) (2-0) defeat Dale Wolfe & Doug Vines when Bret Hart pins Wolfe after the Hart Attack at 4:28:

Wolfe takes a nasty bump from a stun gun as he does not get his arms over the top rope when Jim Neidhart drops him on it.  The Harts beating on Wolfe overstays its welcome, although it does provide a sneak peek at Bret’s arsenal for a singles push.

Rick Martel’s squash from Superstars airs.  Monsoon puts over Martel’s iron man run in the Royal Rumble.

Promo time with Sean Mooney!  Koko B. Ware sings about how he feels good.

A replay of Hulk Hogan’s post-Royal Rumble promo is shown.

The Barbarian (w/Bobby Heenan) (0-1) defeats Saba Simba (1-0) with the flying clothesline at 3:53:

This match took place at the recent Wrestling Challenge taping in Chattanooga.  Although it is not mentioned on commentary, the Barbarian ended Simba’s undefeated streak at the end of 1990.  Like that match, this one is bowling shoe ugly as Simba struggles to effectively sell the Barbarian’s offense.  Simba gives the Barbarian ten blows in the corner, but the Barbarian does not sell it and sets up his finisher with an inverted atomic drop.  This was the last time that the Simba character would appear on WWF television.  Rating:  ¼*

Monsoon tells fans that there will be some changes coming to Prime Time Wrestling and they will be announced in the next few weeks.  One change is that Prime Time will have a studio audience.

Brother Love screams about the healing power of love.  Road agent Terry Garvin pushes an allegedly blind man named Paul onto the stage in a wheelchair and Love proceeds to heal him.  Silly stunts like this are why Love was not a good manager for the Undertaker because their gimmicks did not mesh.

Paul Roma defeats Shane Douglas (2-0) after rolling through a flying body press off the second rope at 2:59 shown:

This bout, joined in progress, comes from the WWF’s recent show in Madison Square Garden.  Some decent action precedes a weird finish where Roma pins Douglas after rolling through a flying body press off the second rope.  For whatever reason, Roma and Douglas keep fighting despite the ring bell going off.  All of that leads to Roma powerslamming Douglas and pinning him a second time.  Why the WWF kept the post-match section in is a mystery, but it may have been to bury Douglas since he was set to depart the promotion for several months to care for his ailing father.

The British Bulldog’s squash from last week’s Prime Time airs.

Non-Title Match:  Mr. Perfect (Intercontinental Champion) (2-0) pins Terrance Blaylock with the Perfectplex at 2:52:

Blaylock was trained by NWA tag team champion Gene Anderson and made his debut in 1990.  He would spend the first few years of the 1990s doing squashes for the WWF and WCW before he would link up with New Jack and form the Gangstas in North Georgia Wrestling Alliance in 1994.

Perfect does not give the jobber any offense, laying in a stiff knife-edge chop en route to staying undefeated for the year with the Perfectplex.

Jake Roberts’ squash win from Wrestling Challenge is shown.

Monsoon says that the new Prime Time will feature guests.

Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) defeat Pez Whatley & Mike Wallace when Crush pins Wallace after Demolition Decapitation at 1:59:

This is the second version of Demolition, featuring Smash and Crush, which the WWF pushed as the new version of the team after Survivor Series when Ax quit the promotion.  In 1990, the original version of the team won the WWF Tag Team Championship for the third time at WrestleMania VI against the Colossal Connection but health problems put Ax on the shelf shortly thereafter and the WWF got Brian Adams from Pacific Northwest Wrestling as the team’s third wheel instead of waiting for Ax to recover.  The WWF weakened the team with a heel turn to make way for the Legion of Doom’s debut and the company also took away the team’s popular theme song.  After SummerSlam, where Demolition lost the tag team titles to the Hart Foundation, the team feuded with the Legion and the Ultimate Warrior, losing six-man tag team matches on house shows and later on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event.  A coup de grace for the team’s momentum happened near the end of the year when Smash and Crush announced that Mr. Fuji would be their manager, going back to the man who turned on Demolition at Survivor Series ’88.  That made both men look desperate and stupid.

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.

Demolition do very little in this squash.  Crush hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Wallace and Smash rains down some axe handles before they finish the jobber with Demolition Decapitation.

Heenan freaks out at the suggestion that he will have to mingle with WWF fans on the new Prime Time Wrestling.

Tune in next week to see Power & Glory & the Warlord face the Legion of Doom & the British Bulldog!  Also, Tito Santana wrestles Koko B. Ware!

The Last Word:  This show continued a recent trend of punting on gimmicks as Saba Simba made his last television appearance and Shane Douglas lost decisively to Paul Roma.  The idea of changing the format of Prime Time Wrestling is consistent with news reports that the show’s ratings were in decline so the WWF probably thought a new set and structure could enhance interest.  However, all of that is like putting lipstick on a pig because Prime Time’s ratings declined was owed more to featuring fewer competitive matches than it did in the late 1980s.  

Up Next:  The Main Event V!