What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 15, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio to spar with each other before they toss the broadcast over to new matches.  Tonight’s feature match comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee and was taped on January 3.

Heenan is upset that he cannot have the guests he wants on the program whereas Monsoon was able to bring Arnold Skaaland on last week’s show.  Monsoon tells Heenan that he had better not abscond with the yellow Royal Rumble hats on the broadcast desk.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 14, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, wrapping up the television tapings in Nashville, Tennessee.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 8, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host tonight’s broadcast.  Tonight’s two feature bouts come from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and were taped on December 14.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 6, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are taped from the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  This taping took place on December 13, 1989.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 1, 1990 (Start of a New Series!)

1989 was a strong year for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  The Mega Powers angle between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage created a strong buyrate for WrestleMania V and rematches between the two throughout the spring and summer generated healthy gates.  In addition, the company expanded its revenue streams by adding The Royal Rumble to its pay-per-view lineup in January.  And other competitors were faltering as the American Wrestling Association (AWA) was on its last legs and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was riven by divisions between Executive Vice President Jim Herd and talent like Ric Flair.  Times were good for the WWF’s Golden Age.

However, there were some cracks underneath the surface that the WWF would grapple with as 1990 began.  The company’s star, Hulk Hogan, wanted to make his mark on Hollywood and WWF owner Vince McMahon wanted to find the next big act to replace him.  And without Hogan it was unclear whether casual fans, who fueled the WWF’s rise throughout the late 1980s, would continue to tune in.  Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior appeared the most likely successor, with a physical build similar to Hogan’s and laying claim to being the second-biggest star in the company.  Both men had been kept away from each other in storylines and McMahon looked at a clash between them as a way to resolve the conundrum.  And beyond the Hogan-Warrior transition there were questions as to who the big heels of the company would be.  Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase had failed in their efforts to win the WWF Championship, reduced in standing by multiple losses.  Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, and Zeus were considered possibilities but Perfect had not held a singles title yet, Hogan refused to work a program with Rude, and Zeus was limited in the ring.  So, the WWF was on the look for new talents that they could slot into main event programs and continue to draw houses on par with those of the late 1980s.

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What the World Was Watching: Starrcade ’95

Note the typo on the video cassette box, which says “1996” instead of “1995.”  I guess this goes in the “because WCW” category?

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes are doing commentary and they are live from Nashville, Tennessee.  Heenan appears to have put aside his complaints about working with Dusty, which drove him from WCW Saturday Night earlier in the year.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – December 24, 1995

If you have not already, do not forget to vote for the Doomies.

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan handle studio duties for the last Main Event episode of 1995 to feature new matches.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – December 23, 1995

WCW Prime for December 18 featured a couple of original bouts, with Chris Cruise and Dusty Rhodes on commentary.  They are sporting Santa hats for the show.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 18, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are in the booth and they are live from Augusta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 8,100 fans attended the show, with 3,000 paying to do so.

Madusa interrupts the announce crew, holding the WWF Women’s Championship.  She says she will always be Madusa and she dumps the WWF Women’s title in the trash can.  The promo was terrible, but this was a HUGE shock at the time since Madusa had just competed at Survivor Series weeks earlier and plans called her for to face Aja Kong at the Royal Rumble.  This incident had long-term ramifications too as Vince McMahon feared Bret Hart would do the same to the WWF title if he retained at the 1997 Survivor Series, thereby leading to the Montreal Screwjob.  Also, the WWF would not restart its women’s division until 1998.  WCW would attempt to create its own women’s division with Madusa as a centerpiece, but it never worked out.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – December 10, 1995

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan handle today’s studio duties.  Okerlund implies that Heenan’s new suit came from Sonny Onoo.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – December 3, 1995

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan handle studio duties for today’s show.

Okerlund talks about a “dark cloud” that lingers over Randy Savage’s world title win at World War 3.  Since the company is not building to a Savage-Hulk Hogan match, continually casting Savage’s title win in this fashion is not doing him any favors.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – December 2, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Orlando, Florida.  Heenan puts over his business partnership with New Japan, ignoring that he took their money fraudulently for half of WCW Pro.

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What the World Was Watching: World War 3 (1995)

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are calling the matches and they are live from Norfolk, Virginia.

Gene Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Sting.  The crowd gives Hogan a mixed reaction as he talks about how he has not fully embraced the dark side and is going back to his babyface persona.  He sheds his black gear, which Sting tosses into a black container that explodes.  The problem is that the fire gets to be too much, so Sting has to keep going back to the container to pour water on it or keep down the smoke.  WCW technicians are eventually forced to put it out.  Savage tells Sting that he is cool with him again as Sting acts like a star-struck teenager.  Hogan says that Savage’s arm is not actually hurt and goes into a crazy rant about a “rag sheet” that said the Giant was going to win – the rag sheet in question being a copy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer – and how the Internet has the “real scoops.”  The Observer copy is burned as regular fans at home have no idea what Hogan is talking about.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – November 25, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Orlando, Florida.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – November 19, 1995

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan are in the studio for today’s broadcast.  Heenan says that he is rooting for Sting on Monday Nitro because he cannot stand Hulk Hogan.  Due to Heenan’s WWF career, that is an awesome piece of character continuity.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – November 18, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Orlando, Florida.  WCW Pro got a great new set but Worldwide must be the neglected child because their presentation looks incredibly outdated relative to the other shows.

Colonel Robert Parker hypes his new tag team:  the Super Assassins.  He puts over the fact that they weigh over three hundred pounds.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – November 5, 1995

With no pay-per-view afterward, Main Event is back as a studio show with Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – November 4, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Orlando, Florida.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – November 4, 1995

WCW Prime for October 30 featured some new matches so we will recap those before moving on to WCW Pro.  Chris Cruise and Dusty Rhodes called the action on Prime.

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