wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (4.20.1987)

September 22, 2017 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Honky Tonk Man WWF Prime Time Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (4.20.1987)  

-We get a disclaimer at this one, warning us that because of SOME technical glitch, this isn’t actually the full episode. Fine, but I’m not paying a penny more than $9.98 this month.

-Originally aired April 20, 1987. Happy birthday, Hitler! Also, marijuana. Right?

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan.

GEORGE “The Animal” STEELE vs HONKY TONK MAN (with Jimmy Hart)
-Steele taunts Honky by doing a Honky-style dance to a HUGE pop. Honky runs, bails, and stalls, and I have a feeling that’s going to be the bulk of the bout. Commentary team is Bruno and Jesse, and everybody needs to watch this match just to hear how shockingly better Bruno is at commentary when Vince isn’t around. He and Jesse genuinely seem to be having fun here.

-Honky bails and stalls again. Steele chases him back inside, but Honky clotheslines him hard enough that Steele’s feet get tangled in the ropes. Honky lights into the prone Animal with punches. Steele frees himself and gives Honky a dutch rub to ruin his preciously maintained hairdo. And then Steele gets distracted by Jimmy Hart and gets counted out. It doesn’t seem fair that this match survived the technical difficulty.

UPDATE
-Craiggers gets word from “The New Beefcake,” Brutus is a babyface now but not yet The Barber, and he simply wants to tell Adrian Adonis that he got what he deserved at Wrestlemania III.

-Back at the studio, Bobby again defends his honor over the accusations that he did harm to Ken Patera’s life and reputation, and Bobby (again, very correctly) points out that Patera is a grown-ass man.

THE KEN PATERA STORY, PART 3
-A hungry Ken Patera threw a brick through a window, leading police to arrive at A Hungry Ken Patera’s hotel room and arrest him. Mean Gene Okerlund says it’s tragic that rapists can plea bargain their way down to a few weeks while Patera got the full brunt of the law’s punishment. The funny part of this is that Patera refused to take responsibility for his stupidity and was actually denied parole at one point because he wouldn’t suck it up.

-Bobby Heenan cuts a promo saying his responsibility ends with making sure Patera got to the arena for the match that night. If a fast food restaurant denies him entry, either they were closed or Patera was doing something to piss him off, and if a grown goddamn man needs a babysitter to order his food for him so he doesn’t get himself arrested, that’s Patera’s problem. This promo would 100% turn Heenan babyface today. He’s completely in the right.

OUTBACK JACK vs THE RAIDER
-Raider attacks from behind. They trade blows with audible thwacks, but Jack elbows him down for two. They trade more punches, but Jack catches him with the flimsiest finisher of 1987, the Boomerang, and gets the three count.

-Koko B. Ware wants a piece of Danny Davis!

B. BRIAN BLAIR vs MOONDOG SPOT
-Joined in progress from the Cap Centre. Blair gives Spot an atomic drop as Gorilla cheekily says that “the other Moondog” seems to have disappeared from the WWF recently, whereabouts unknown. Blair applies a hammerlock and slams Spot. Blair works the arm while Gorilla catches Gene Okerlund off-guard on commentary by calling the next hold Blair does “a deep crotch.”

-They criss-cross and Spot does a Bee-style “sting” as he collides into Blair. There is a SOLID pro-Moondog contingent in Landover tonight as Spot connects with a knee from the second rope for two. Bodypress by Blair out of nowhere for two. He goes for a slam but loses his balance and Spot lands on top for two. Spot applies the chinlock as we pause for a break.

-Back from the break, the chinlock is still going, which gives me a chance to say I miss these days when the commentators would talk in a normal, conversational tone during the less important matches. This isn’t the main event, and they aren’t trying to make us think it is. In fact, the fun of these lesser matches in the 80s is the way Gorilla veers into intricacies about strategy, training, things that can affect a performance, or describing the way the contracts dictate the winners and losers will get paid, because he doesn’t have a storyline or a piece of merchandise to shill.

-Slugfest erupts and Blair gets the upper end of it. Blair stings him out to the floor and then brings him back in. Spot is begging for mercy again and Blair catches him with a sunset flip off the second rope for a sudden three-count. This was a DAMN good match where I didn’t expect to find one, and if Spot had dumped the Moondog character for anything else and totally changed his look, they probably could have done something more with him.

-The Hart Foundation cuts a hilarious promo about Danny Davis’ background before becoming a referee, a department store detective who did a lot of work with Boy Scouts and the Kiwanis Club. I just love that, out of all lines of work that Bret could have pulled out of his ass, he somehow landed on “department store detective.”

FUJI GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
-Muraco and Fuji are outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which looks BEAUTIFUL here and it makes me sad about what the changes in ownership have done to that place (they rent kiosks to t-shirt vendors right on the footprints now, and it looks so CLUTTERED and shitty in 2017). Muraco talks himself into an agent’s office by introducing Fuji as the star of a Saturday morning cartoon. The agent watches their demo reel and laughs them out of his office.

-And holy shit, this keeps GOING. Next they drive to MGM/UA and try to “Dr. Galaciewicz” their way into a meeting with somebody but they’re denied entrance again. Muraco refers to himself and Fuji as “The Prime Time Players” in a weird moment. Finally, they go CBS and disrupt Gene Okerlund’s taping of the live action segments on “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N Wrestling,” and Gene just kinda screws around with them as the sketch runs out of gas.

-Craig DeGeorge talks to Elizabeth, who says Randy Savage has become terrifying since losing the title.

-Ricky Steamboat announces that a Little Dragon is on the way.

-Craig DeGeorge talks to Randy Savage, who threatens to kill him if he ever again insinuates that Savage may not win the title back.

-Gorilla presents Bobby Heenan with a huge cake that has a picture of a weasel on it.

ELIMINATION MATCH: HULK HOGAN, ROWDY RODDY PIPER, & BILLY JACK HAYNES vs “Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF, ADORABLE ADRIAN ADONIS, & HERCULES (with Bobby Heenan & Jimmy Hart)
-From Boston Garden a few weeks before Piper retired forever until 1989. This is basically the WWF introducing the world to the concept of elimination tag team matches, with the ring announcer dumbing it down a little bit by describing it as a 3-out-of-5 falls match where the loser of each fall has to leave the ring. They did a pretty good run of elimination tag team matches with different combinations at house shows in the month leading up to Wrestlemania, and did good enough business with them that they decided to run a whole big pay-per-view that was nothing BUT elimination tag team matches. But we’ll get to that later.

-Katie negligently leaves the door unbarred for the opening moments of the bout, and the babyfaces clear the ring. They’re touting this as Piper’s last match ever in Boston, so Hulk plays to the crowd a little bit before tagging Piper in because Boston DEMANDS Piper. Piper obliges, but doesn’t want to fight anybody BUT Adonis, so when Hercules gets in the ring instead, Piper tags out and Hogan starts.

-Hercules throws punches as the Boston fans are being rambunctious in a really weird way tonight, throwing clothing at the wrestlers. They threw a hat at Piper at the start of the match and now Hercules is being pelted with a shirt.

-Orndorff and Haynes lock horns next and apparently shit’s getting out of hand because commentary STOPS and you can hear the ring announcer begging the fans to return to their seats. Adonis tags in and rams into Haynes with a shoulderblock. Haynes with a BIIIIIG backdrop on Adonis. Piper tags in and Adonis hurries out again…but he tags in Orndorff, and a Piper/Orndorff confrontation is still pretty interesting.

-Back from commercial, Hogan is working Orndorff’s arm. Billy Jack stays on the arm, but Orndorff turns things around and manages to tag Adonis in. Adonis drops a knee on Billy Jack, then tags a cheap shot at Piper on the apron. Powerslam by Adonis. Billy Jack makes the hot tag behind Adrian’s back, and the big man is surprised to find his ass suddenly being kicked by Piper. Match spills out onto the floor, and we get a cheap double-count out to eliminate both men, so we’re down to 2 on 2.

-Hulk gets caught in the ring as Piper is being shooed off, so Hercules and Orndorff attack him from behind to force him into being the legal man. Hercules drops rapid fire elbows. Orndorff puts the boots to him, but an attempted double-team backfires, with Orndorff accidentally clotheslining Hercules, and Orndorff gets rolled up for three.

-Hercules makes surprisingly quick work of Billy Jack Haynes though, and pins him seconds later. But not long after that, Hulk hulks up, and you know the rest. Heenan takes an Irish whip as only he can to make it a perfect night. Match started hot, but I guess they hadn’t worked out the timing for these things, because the rapid fire eliminations made this feel cluttered and anticlimactic.

-Bobby’s face goes into the cake, sure enough.

4.1
The final score: review Poor
The 411
The feature match and Blair/Spot were pretty good, but the rest was totally skippable.
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