wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (4.13.1987)

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Bret Hart Hart Foundation WWF Prime Time Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (4.13.1987)  

-Originally aired April 13, 1987.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Your storyline in the studio this week is that Bobby has promised everyone food and beverages to celebrate his 1st anniversary as co-host, and naturally, the food’s not here yet.

-A look at the progress bar for this episode shows that it’s a full two-hour episode, but only five matches, so this is gonna be the best episode ever or it’s gonna SUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

TAG TEAM TITLE: HART FOUNDATION (Champions, with Danny Davis & Jimmy Hart) vs. ROUGEAU BROTHERS
-From Boston, this puts me in an optimistic mood right away. This is a rematch from the Rougeaus’ big non-title win last week, and they might as well light up “Danny will interfere, Harts retain” on the dot matrix lights in the Garden.

-As the match starts, the crowd is popping like crazy for something unseen, and a HERD of security guards is hauling ass to get someplace. Bret wins a test of strength against Jacques, but Jacques uses his prone position to his own advantage by just sweeping Bret’s leg while he’s down there, and Bret runs off to have Danny inspect a non-existent cut. It still amazes me that Bret became so obsessed with being a role model to the world in his later years when he was SO DAMN GOOD as a heel.

-Neidhart comes in, and the straps are down early. He tries to show how powerful he is by absorbing a shoulderblock, but Raymond is actually strong enough to knock him over so Neidhart just looks like an idiot for letting him do it. Bret comes back in and gets armdragged around by Raymond. Bret blocks an attempted sunset flip, but Raymond is able to catch him with a hard kick to the gut. Rougeaus start working over the lateral collateral ligaments of the knee with impressive continuity.

-Bret goes to the eyes and tags out quickly. Neidhart takes over with clubbery. Back from commercial, referee is rapidly losing control of this one, with the Harts ganging up on Raymond while Jacques protests furiously. It’s times like this I can’t help thinking that these kinds of matches need two referees. Raymond rolls Neidhart up, but doesn’t see Neidhart make the tag as he goes down, and the crowd is super-pissed when Bret just strolls in and whacks Raymond right in the back of the head.

-Raymond gets dumped on the floor and Danny takes a free shot before Raymond gets thrown back in. Bearhug locked on by Neidhart, but Raymond proves to be the brainiest face ever by throwing a punch to break it IMMEDIATELY instead of writhing for two minutes first. Harts go 2-on-1 on Raymond to keep him from getting momentum off that. Bret gives him a hard backbreaker but eats a boot on a corner charge.

-Attempted double-team by the Harts backfires and Neidhart crashes on the floor, and Boston is flipping their shit like the title change is imminent. Hot tag Jacques and Bret is left lying. Jacques does a really weird series of tumbles while holding onto Bret’s arm and the crowd is audibly confused by whatever the hell he’s doing, so they wake the fans back up with a pier sixer. Jacques cradles Bret while the referee’s back is turned. Danny Davis sprints in there and jerks a leg to roll Bret on top, and that’s the position they’re in when the referee counts three. Harts retain. FUN. Not gonna say “technical classic” or “great psychology” or “storytelling.” It was just a fun, fun match to watch.

-Gene Okerlund joins us in the studio to congratulate Gorilla Monsoon for tolerating “a jabroni” like Heenan for a full year.

-Demolition has a new manager: Mr. Fuji, making his first appearance in face paint. I always loved that look on Fuji.

-Ken Patera was a hero in the Olympics, but after becoming a professional wrestler, he signed a contract with Bobby Heenan (like ten years into his career but okay) and Heenan’s twisted tactics turned Ken Patera into a monster. All of Heenan’s efforts led Ken Patera…to prison. To be continued.

-Bobby Heenan presents his case: His contracts say that he manages a man’s career in the RING. He’s not responsible for whatever Patera did on his own time, because he wasn’t hired to be Patera’s babysitter. And, uh, yeah, that’s a pretty rock solid case presented by the supposed heel.

-Probably should have shown this before the Update segment. We’re in Toronto, and this is actually the finals of the Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament.

-B. Brian Blair slugs it out with Ax. Ax is a little thrown off when Blair is able to match him punch for punch, so he tags out immediately. Blair gets Smash on the mat right away and the Bees focus on Smash’s legs. It’s funny, when I was a kid, I never really thought of Demolition as “big” guys but watching this match, Smash just looks huge. And it’s Barry Darsow by this point, by the way.

-Ax and Blair get into another fistfight. Ax makes another quick tag and Smash drops Blair throat-first on the top rope. Blair gets thrown out to the floor and Johnny V takes a free shot at him while Gorilla mentions there are rumors of dissention in the Dream Team lately. Can you IMAGINE WWE airing matches with commentary this out-of-date now? This is a thing about Prime Time that I never really got, you have Gorilla and Bobby in the studio and by Bobby’s account, they actually did watch the matches in the studio in real time, why not just have them do the commentary?

-The masks come out. The one who’s obviously Brunzell connects with a high dropkick, and then Blair sneaks up to the top rope and sunset flips Ax for the three-count to win the tournament.

-Bobby’s catering has arrived, and it’s just boxes and boxes of Chinese food from Bobby’s favorite Chinese restaurant, Bernie’s. Bobby offers Gorilla “a sweet and sour taco” and Gorilla just deadpans.

-Charlie Chan is a fascinating choice of target for these Muraco/Fuji parodies, given that Chan is pretty much the root of Fuji’s gimmick. Professor Muraco is there for the unveiling of a rare gem. The man who discovered the gem is violently murdered, which brings in the great detective Fuji Chan. To drive home the point I was making, Fuji didn’t even need a special costume for this, he’s actually wearing his usual tuxedo and bowler because he doesn’t need anything else to be Charlie Chan. Fuji is joined by his Number One Son (Mel Phillips!) and determines that Don Muraco is the murderer. I’m sorry, everything just pales compared to “Fuji Vice.”

KOKO B. WARE vs DANNY DAVIS (with Jimmy Hart)
-From London, Ontario. This was actually taped before Wrestlemania III, Davis’ supposed “debut.”

-Danny stalls and walks around the ring, beginning a grand tradition of stalling and walking around rings that would end with him getting bounced right back to referee in two years. Davis does another lap around the ring, then hiptosses Koko and celebrates. Koko is surprised to learn that his wrestling opponent can wrestle, so they circle the ring while Koko reconsiders his strategy. Danny showboats too much so Koko just dropkicks him over the top and onto the concrete.

-Back in, Danny lights into Koko with uppercuts and kicks. Koko starts to fight back, so Danny runs to the floor for a breather. Back in, Koko dropkicks him back out, and Danny takes a breather. Back in, Danny offers a handshake. Question if there are any folks from Canada, or any Americans who live near the border: the bird at ringside pretty obviously is not Frankie. Is that a customs thing? Are you not allowed to transport a bird like that from America?

-We pause for commercial with Bobby Heenan reorganizing some stuff in a mysterious briefcase, possibly containing some diamonds are Marcellus Washburn’s soul. We return to the match, with Danny applying a front facelock. Davis uses the bottom rope to work the neck, really using his referee’s ring knowledge to help himself as a wrestler, just like his Topps trading card professed.

-Koko gets thrown out to the floor and Danny works him over against the barricade. CHINLOCK CITY! They hit the ropes and collide for a much needed breather. Koko starts his comeback but crotches himself on the middle rope. They trade punches and Koko decisively wins this. He heads up to the second rope for a fistdrop and connects as the bell sounds for a TIME LIMIT DRAW. Way to make both guys look like shit. The new guy who’s supposed to be getting a heavy push is made to look like not much of a threat, while Koko was unable to defeat a guy who, storyline-wise, has about three weeks of training and no matches under his belt. Four-minute match with Koko taking a faceful of megaphone should have been your booking.

-Back in the studio, even Gorilla is pointing out that it makes no sense for Koko to struggle for 15 minutes with a guy who has that little experience.

-We’re going back about two years for this one from Boston. Martin clotheslines Desiree down. POWERBOMB by Judy, which neither commentator has never seen before and Gorilla can only muster “inverted backbreaker” to describe it. Martin tosses Petersen right into Mean Gene’s lap at ringside. Martin goes hardcore from there, lobbing her over the barricade and in front of the fans. Back in, Judy gives Desiree a swift kick in the vagina, which has the commentators demanding a disqualification.

-Back in, Judy tries a dropkick and crashes right on her ass. Judy gets fired up and tosses Desiree into Gorilla’s lap this time. Gorilla gently places her on the apron and laments that she hit “the steel monitor.” Judy whips her into the ropes, and Desiree Morton comes off with a bodypress and gets the three-count out of nowhere after being squashed like a bug through the whole thing.

-Yes, really, two weeks after Wrestlemania III they’re doing this. They jockey for position as Gorilla whips out one of my favorite Gorillisms, smugly mentioning that he likes to use the nickname “Not-So-Macho Man.” Take that.

-Savage sees Gorilla trying to interview Elizabeth at ringside and gets in his face. The 50-year-old Gorilla, in a green tuxedo, stands up, ready to fight Savage. Pause for a break after all that fast-paced action and excitement.

-Back from commercial, Savage stalls some more and JYD chases him around the ring until the bell sounds, giving Savage the win by countout. Yep, that’s the whole match.

The final score: review Poor
The 411
Man, this went over a cliff once the tag teams were done.