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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.9.1989)

December 25, 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 (1.9.1989)  

-Originally aired January 9, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. And I am STOKED because 1989 was when I became a fan, and I think for every fan, that first year has an extra kick of sentimentality to it. Gorilla says he’s amazed Bobby was able to make it to the building under his own power, and the Brain storms off when he learns that Tito Santana vs. Red Rooster is on the line-up for this week.

-From Superstars, and Jesse Ventura is worried that Honky’s head won’t be in the match because Roy Orbison, who idolized Honky, died a few weeks ago.

-Anvil and Hammer slug it out, and logically, that should be in Hammer’s favor because that’s how you use an Anvil, but instead Anvil gets the upper hand. Bret atomic drops him into his own corner, allowing him to make the tag while we get a pre-taped promo from Jimmy Hart, revealing that this match is a curveball he’s throwing the Harts because they thought they were supposed to face the Rougeaus.

-Bret gets distracted by Jimmy Hart and Honky takes advantage with a sneak attack. Bret ducks an attempted double team and Valentine takes out Honky with an elbow. Hot tag Anvil and he’s all over both opponents. All four men end up in the ring, and Anvil successfully blocks a Hart Attack on Honky. Official’s lost control of this one as Valentine adjusts the Heartbreaker and applies the figure four on Anvil. But now it’s Bret breaking Valentine’s finisher. Bret gets distracted by Jimmy Hart, and Honky sneaks up with the guitar to the noggin to knock Bret out. Harts get the win by DQ, but Bret’s out cold. This was a’ight.

-Sunday! SUNDAY! Sunday! The Royal Rumble!

-Bobby reluctantly returns and says that the director told him that Prime Time has a blanket agreement with President Jack Tunney to air anything they want without any additional permission granted.


-Big John Studd goes to the gym to prepare for the Royal Rumble. Other wrestlers are big, other wrestlers are strong, but he’s big AND strong. Put that on your t-shirt.

-The Bushwhackers annoy a waitress. Back in the studio, Gorilla mentions the credentials of a wrestler in the next match, discussing his experiences at the Terry Garvin School of Self-Defense.

-I hope Ron isn’t upset that is kayfabe brother is apparently teaching self-defense to his opponent. This is the rugged one’s first appearance on “Challenge” and Gorilla is amazed that he already has a spot in the Royal Rumble. This is going to sound like the gayest observation ever, but in hindsight, you can tell they’re about to push Lombardi because he’s waxed.

-Garvin gets the early edge with a takedown. Lombardi gets in a little token offense, but falls victim to the most lethal of maneuvers, the Garvin Stomp. My brother: “He might as well just scream ‘WRESTLING IS FAKE!’ at the top of his lungs while he does that.”

-We get pre-taped words from Garvin, promising that we’ll see what he’s all about at the Royal Rumble. Lombardi gets token offense, but keeps getting countered. Garvin finishes with a piledriver.

-Gorilla has heard a rumor in the locker room that Ted DiBiase is plotting to buy other wrestlers’ numbers to get himself the final slot in the Rumble.

-Bobby Heenan gets a phone call from Jack Tunney, who rips him a new one for trying to block the re-airing of the Tito/Rooster match.

-Gorilla touts our next match by saying “Wherever Koko goes, you can be sure that Frankie will be nearby.”

KOKO B. WARE vs. AKEEM (with Slick)
-From Los Angeles. Slick doesn’t look like himself tonight, coming to the ring not only without his tie and cane, but he’s also hatless. Repeat, hatless. Koko heads to the ring without Frankie.

-At ringside, Graham tells Koko as the bell rings to do hit-and-run tactics, and Koko listens to him, attacking Akeem and keeping his distance after each impact. Akeem takes over and chokes out Koko and hammers him repeatedly. Bearhug by Akeem. Koko fights free and Akeem stays on his back before he can show any whiff of a comeback. Akeem tries to finish him off with an avalanche…yes…and Koko makes his comeback with rapid punches and a dropkick. He goes for a corner charge and misses, and Akeem splashes him to end it before either of them had a chance to exhaust themselves by thinking up fresh ideas for spots. Boring as hell. The WWF actually gave everybody a rare eight day break after this weekend of shows and I guess these two decided to start early.

-More Rumble hype. Bobby Heenan rattles off a list of the people Andre will eliminate: Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, the Rockers, the Bushwhackers, and Bad News Brown. Hmm. One of those was a curious name to drop. Hulk tells Elizabeth about “the gasoline in his veins.”

“Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil) vs. PAUL ROMA

-From Birmingham, Alabama. DiBiase currently resides in the Netherlands Antilles, for anyone who cares to keep track.

-Roma is distacted by Virgil’s offer of a bribe, allowing DiBiase to make a sneak attack, but Roma ends up atomic dropping him over the top and onto the floor. DiBiase heads back in and heaves Roma out to the floor himself, then slams him on the concrete…’s protective cover for added injury. Back in, they trade punches while Alfred Hayes addresses the rumor that DiBiase is trying to buy #30 and suspects that no one would be stupid enough to sell it.

-Suplex by DiBiase gets two. Backbreaker for another two. DiBiase just keeps beating on him and it’s going JUST a little bit long for my tastes before Roma starts making a comeback with punches…but DiBiase gutwrenches him and we’re right back where we started. Fatal mistake by DiBiase, as he goes for the backward falling elbow that never connects, and Roma rolls out of the way. Bodypress off the top by Roma, but he’s dumb enough to see Virgil yelling at him, and he’s like, “Hey, look! It’s Virgil! And he’s doing stuff” so DiBiase sneaks up and attacks again, powerslamming Roma and applying the Million Dollar Dream to finish. DiBiase was in control for just a ridiculously long time, like a TBS squash, and I felt disconnected after a while.


-The Powers of Pain, Rick Martel, and Bad News Brown have words about the Rumble. From sheer body oil levels, I gotta pick Martel to win. Who can grip him to throw him over the top rope? Rockin’ Robin’s cue card has threatening words for Judy Martin.


-Angel and Riddle switch off on Jacques with dropkicks, and Jacques tags out and gets a hug from his brother for added motivation. Jimmy Hart drops in to describe the pretty new house the Rougeaus bought in Memphis, and we come back to the Rougeaus in firm control with double-teamery. Le Bombe De Rougeau finishes.


-Mean Gene welcomes Slick, the Big Boss Man, and Akeem. Boss Man is ready for the Hulkster, while Akeem is focusing his energies on Big John Studd AND Andre the Giant. Oh, and actually, historic moment as Slick formally names the team for the first time. Behold, the Twin Towers.


-More Rumble hype from the Million Dollar Man, followed by the Bushwhackers. DiBiase has a GREAT line, “Whoever I don’t buy, I’ll beat.” Team Quebec has words for Hacksaw and the Harts.


-Well, we’ve pretty much covered all the necessary ground in this week’s episode, but, hell, Mean Gene made the drive and put on a tie. Go ahead, explain the rules again, Gene. Gene shows us the finish to the hair vs. hair match on SNME, and Outlaw Ron Bass threatens to “throw a baby” because he’s so riled up now that he’s bald.


-From Superstars of Wrestling. Holy crap, there’s about 5000 fans too many in this arena for it to be the Techwood Studio. I’m confused.

-Horner applies a side headlock on Tully and just rides him around the ring with it until Arn gives him a hard forearm. The Rockers cut a promo and Jesse makes a valid point; it’s stupid for guys to cut promos on specific opponents because how do you know you’re even going to see them in the Rumble? George South takes a BIG bump off a shot to the gut from Arn, and the spike piledriver gets the win.

VINCE: “That’s a unique manuever!”
JESSE: “No it’s not!”


-Lord Alfred Hayes has an exclusive photo of Jimmy Hart and the Rougeaus at the Tennessee state line, as the Rougeaus celebrate the purchase of their new home.

TITO SANTANA vs. RED ROOSTER (with Bobby Heenan)
-From Saturday Night’s Main Event. Bobby Heenan is wearing a clip-on microphone to give the fans some insight about a manager’s job at ringside. Rooster completely ignores an instruction by Heenan to back away from Tito, and Tito connects with a right hand as a result, completely pissing off the Brain. He goes to ringside and finds a sympathetic ear in George Steinbrenner.

-Rooster gets the advantage with a chokehold, but Tito makes a comeback. Rooster goes for a sunset flip, but refuses to hook the tights like Heenan is telling him to, so Tito is able to break away from it. Skullcracker by Tito, followed by a backdrop, and Heenan is totally frustrated. He yanks Rooster out to the floor to scream at him for screwing up. A shoving match ensues as we go to commercial.

-Back to action with Tito suplexing Rooster for two. Rooster turns things around with knees and kicks while Vince says that Rooster could probably be better off without Heenan. Jesse can’t follow that logic since Rooster’s undefeated.

-Roll-up by Tito for two. Backslide gets another two. Rooster gets another comeback going with a piledriver for his own two-count. Stungun by Rooster and he appears to be going for a sharpshooter until Tito punches free. Rooster gets clotheslined out to the floor and Heenan tosses him back in out of spite. Rooster and Heenan argue, and Tito takes advantage of the distraction to roll up Rooster and get an easy three-count.

-Heenan’s head absolutely explodes and he heads into the ring and slaps Rooster across the face for fucking up. Fatal mistake; Rooster kicks his ass, with the mic picking up every blow in a nice touch. This match told a different story than you’re used to, but it was fun to follow the tension mounting and seeing it paid off.

-Gorilla excitedly announces that the Red Rooster will be in the studio as a special guest next week, and Heenan loses it again. Bobby says that if Gorilla wants to surprise him, then he’ll just have a surprise waiting for Gorilla and the Rooster. Bobby departs from the studio one more time as we close the show.

The final score: review Average
The 411
The Rumble hype was kind of fun, and so was the feature. And it's 1989 so it's harder for me to hate on the show.