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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.18.1988)

May 20, 2018 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWE WWF Bobby Heenan Bobby Heenan's WWF Prime Time Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.18.1988)  

-Originally aired January 18, 1988.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan.

-You know how you can tell this match is going to be awesome? Because the French ring announcer tells us it’s “Le premier match.” Sika gets a little bit of pyrotechnics for his entrance, while S.D. Jones gets the dulcet tones of Koko B. Ware for his entrance music.

-Lock-ups go nowhere, but SD shakes his groove thang to demonstrate confidence and throws a punch to start. He tries working the big arm, but Sika breaks out and starts a’chokin’. And chokin’. Shot to the throat gets two. Nerve hold, as Sika admirably managed to hold out for three minutes before doing it. Jones breaks out and throws headbutts, and in the dual of head-hardness, black overpowers Samoan; Sika is dazed by it. Sika fights back with a hard elbow. French fans apparently have a different way of doing things; they whistle instead of booing. It’s weird to hear Sika apparently getting face pops over and over again.

-S.D. comes back with a few punches, but Sika overcomes him with chops. Sika tries a backdrop, but Jones reverses with a sunset flip…for THREE? What the hell? Holy shit, S.D. Jones defeats Sika clean as a sheet.

-Bobby Heenan announces that he’s not going to the Royal Rumble on Sunday because Ted DiBiase set him up with a nice vacation in the Barbados. Gorilla wonders who he’ll be hosting the show with instead. Oddly enough, Gorilla didn’t make it to the Rumble, either.

-Hulk Hogan will be facing Andre the Giant on February 5, and there WILL be live television coverage of it beginning at 8 p.m. To placate all the local stations carrying “Superstars,” though, we won’t tell you WHERE exactly it’ll be airing, so study your TV Guide carefully.

-Gorilla reminds us that the contract signing for that match will be taking place this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Bobby doesn’t give a shit because around the time of the contract signing, he plans on getting oiled up by a beautiful Barbados woman with a plate of food in one hand.

-Bulldogs are wearing Matilda t-shirts this week. And again, they have the empty platform for Matilda at ringside, which is just such a weird way to grieve.

-Carabello tries to work Smith’s arm, but he flips to and fro to get out. Carabello manages to hammer him as Vince, Jesse, & Bruno speculate that the Bulldogs just aren’t the same tag team without their doggy. Smith press slams Gino, and Dynamite tags in. He’s so pissed that he just shoves Gino into his own corner so Costello can tag in and get his ass kicked. Backbreaker by Dynamite, and in comes Smith with the running powerslam. Smith decides to punish Costello instead of going for the pin, and that’s a mistake because Costello is able to punch him away and make the tag. Here comes Carabello, and the Bulldogs give him double-headbutts. Rare delayed suplex by Dynamite, and they keep up the aggressive offense. Suddenly, the Islanders and Bobby Heenan appear on the interview platform as Dynamite pins Carabello.

-So what the hell are the Islanders and Bobby Heenan doing out there? Well, naturally, it’s to show off the official proclamation from Jack Tunney that the Islanders have been reinstated. The Bulldogs run over to the platform to raise hell, but Heenan fends them off by telling them that Jack Tunney is in the back and he knows where Matilda is. They take off as the Islanders play with an invisible dog collar and a bowl of food. Bobby Heenan tells the fans that this absolves him of all guilt and he’s eager to move on.

-Gorilla tries to call Jesse Ventura on a movie set to round up a new co-host for this Sunday, but Jesse won’t take the call.

-Entire face contingent is wearing Bee masks. He chases a Conquistador out of the ring, then bites Boris Zhukov. One of the Bees chases Boris around the ring and back inside. Double elbows by the Bees. Boris gets slammed, but dodges an elbow. Conquistador #1 tags in and clamps on a side headlock. Bee throws him into the ropes and gets shoulderblocked down, but rolls up Conquy for two. Armdrag by the Bee and the Conquistadors pull a switcheroo on the floor. Oooooh, I see where this match is going. Bee gets hammered by the Conquistadors, but he manages to fight both of them off as George Steele chases Slick in and out of the ring.

-Nikolai squares off with, let’s say JYB, and gets headbutted down. That’s all Nikolai needs to tag a Conquistador back in. Slam by the man in gold, but he misses an elbow. In comes a Killer Bee with a high knee and roll-up. That gets two when the other Conquistador breaks the pin. Figure four by the Bee and Nikolai breaks that. Bee gets trapped in the wrong corner, but long comes the Animal to break that up. We have a brawl in the ring as we go to commercial.

-And we’re back with JYB going for a backdrop, only to get pounded down by the Conquistadors. In come the Bolsheviks to tee off on him. Chinlock by Volkoff. JYD powers his way over to the corner, only to get backed into the wrong corner and quadruple-teamed. We get an eight-man brawl in the corner. JYD continues to get pounded in the corner, and one of the Bees has had enough and just mounts a sneak attack on the floor for an act of vengeance.

-Boris applies a front facelock and Nikolai stops the tag with some distractions. Heels gang up on the Dog again. Rather blatant spot discussion in the corner leads to a Conquistador accidentally kicking Zhukov off the apron. Hot tag to the Animal and now a Conquistador gets trapped in the wrong corner. One more donnybrook erupts for good measure, and JYD polishes off a Conquistador with the Thump.

-We go to Gene Okerlund, who misuses the word “expostulate” while promoting the Royal Rumble, or the Rumble Royal or whatever the bloody hell they’re going to call it. Frenchy Martin & Dino Bravo talk about the upcoming attempt at breaking the world’s bench press record.

-Another look at foreign words of wisdom from Dino, Frenchy, and the Bomb Angels.

-Bad News Brown tells us that there’s no more good news for the WWF.

DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin) vs. JERRY ALLEN
-Frenchy cuts a promo en francais and Bobby Heenan translates it. “Jerry Allen is a bum and will be defeated by the world’s strongest man.” Well, it’s no “To be the man, you gotta beat the man,” but it’s a start.

-Dropkick by Allen, but goes for a backdrop and eats a knee. Punches and chops by Bravo. Bodyslam and an elbow for two. Headlock by Bravo. Allen elbows free, but falls victim to an inverted atomic drop. Back suplex gets two. Elbow misses as the “boring” chant starts to gain steam. Bodypress by Allen gets two. He charges at Dino and runs into a boot, and the side suplex finishes for Dino.

-Gorilla Monsoon gets a call from Jesse Ventura. He promises to come to the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Bobby grabs the phone and invites Jesse to join him in Barbados instead.

-Your surreal commentary team of the week: Vince McMahon & Nick Bockwinkel.

-Patera cleans house on both opponents with a little help from the Weasel Whacker. Snapmare by Patera on the King and he hangs on for a headlock. Race manages to tag Hercules and he takes out Patera with a hard clothesline. They trade punches until Billy Jack Haynes makes his way into the ring, and we have a Wrestlemania III rematch ready to go. They stare at each other, but Hercules decides to just tag Race back in instead. Race takes advantage and NOW Hercules wants in. He pounds Haynes but gets taken down by a single chop. Series of chops and kneelifts by Billy Jack. Hand-clapping practically kills Hercules.

-Patera comes off the top rope with the cast and tries to finish, but the King breaks the pin. That turns the tide a bit and Race comes in with a neckbreaker for two. Series of headbutts by the King get two. Hercules tries to finish, but Patera makes the tag and Haynes is all over Hercules again with punches and knees. Hercules manages to drill him with a clothesline and staggers over to the corner to tag the King back in. Belly-to-belly by the King. Heels switch off without a tag and Hercules chokes out Haynes. Haynes gets double-teamed…

-As we go back to the studio, where Bobby Heenan shows off the new Hulk Hogan lightswitch. He says he installed one in every room of his house, so wherever he goes, he can put Hogan’s lights out. A crew member seems to appreciate that as we go to commercial.

-And now, back to our totally-disrupted match. Harley continues pounding on Haynes. Diving headbutt could finish, but instead he tags in Hercules. Hercules continues punishing Haynes with an Irish whip and a knee to the back. Full nelson is clamped on, but Haynes breaks free. Double clothesline and both men are out of it. Hot tag to Patera and he gives Hercules a beating. Elbow, elbow, elbow, slam for two. Race interferes to keep the match going and they go to work on Patera’s vulnerable arm. Race tries to work the arm, but Patera hiptosses him over. Double-tags give us Haynes vs. Hercules one more time, and again Haynes dominates. Press slam by Haynes and he applies the full nelson. Race tries to break it but gets knocked out of the ring by Patera. Patera gets reprimanded by the referee and that gives Race the opening to break the hold and Hercules KOs Haynes with the chain. Referee catches him in the act, though, and Haynes & Patera take the win by DQ.

-Gorilla dedicates the match to a fan named Tommy who we lost over the holidays. That’s sweet, actually.

-We finish with one more reminder that the Royal Rumble is this Sunday. See you there!

The final score: review Average
The 411
Well, this show was sure as shit more focused than the NWA has been the past few weeks, with everything having a clear path to two upcoming specials and giving us reasons to care.