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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (5.11.1987)

November 21, 2017 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Bobby Heenan Bobby Heenan's WWF Prime Time Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (5.11.1987)  

-Originally aired May 11, 1987.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan, now with neckrbace. Bobby Heenan demands a change in the show’s format because he can’t turn around and view the magic TV screen like they usually do.

DAVEY BOY SMITH (with Dynamite Kid & Matilda) vs BRET “Hit Man” HART (with Jimmy Hart & Jim Neidhart)

-From “Superstars.” Matilda attacks Jimmy before the match. Bruno actually shows some rare personality on the mic, talking about how Matilda needed shots after being carried by Jesse at Wrestlemania III.

-Davey Boy gets aggressive immediately and launches Bret right out of the ring. Back in, it turns into a fistfight, with Bret getting the edge and connecting with a kneelift. Davey Boy comes back, lifting Bret and dropping him by his hair. Brawl breaks out between the partners on the floor, and with Dynamite preventing Anvil from interfering, Davey Boy hits the running powerslam and pins Bret clean as a sheet. Danny Davis runs in and attacks after the bell, which I’d call the peak of his push. Davey Boy and Bret crammed a lot into five minutes and it was a really entertaining.

PAUL ROMA vs STEVE LOMBARDI

-From the Spectrum, the blow-off to a jobber vs. jobber feud that they unexpectedly pushed for a bit on the syndicated TV shows.

-Roma leapfrogs and slams Lombardi. Dick Graham is surprisingly prescient on commentary, saying that Lombardi strikes him as more of a street fight type of guy than a wrestler. Roma works the arm while the commentators have a conversation so outdated that “Prime Time” actually goes to the trouble of putting a chyron on the screen saying “MATCH RECORDED PRIOR TO WRESTLEMANIA III.”

-Lombardi clamps on a chinlock; Roma elbows free but takes a hard shot to the chin and Lombardi is in total control at this point. Roma comes back with an awkward shoulderblock and a clothesline. He tries a monkeyflip but Lombardi counters it with an inverted atomic drop. Suplex gets two. Lombardi gets a third wind with a series of dropkicks and a clothesline for two. Powerslam gets two more. Roma finally tries a sunset flip off the top rope, and that finally does the trick. Both guys showed good energy and delivered a pretty decent match.

-Bobby drops a pen on the floor and he and Gorilla accidentally collide when they both try to pick it up. What merry shenanigans!

UPDATE

-Craiggers recaps the Patera/Heenan debate. I’m still blown away by the bump Heenan took here, particularly knowing that the whole reason for the angle was that he legit had a neck injury as it was. Bobby challenges Patera to a match against Hercules for revenge.

SIKA (with Mr. Fuji) vs PETE DOUGHERTY

-From Boston Garden, and the mat is just COVERED in blood from a Hulk Hogan/Harley Race match earlier in the night.

-Sika bites away at Doughtery, but the Duke dropkicks him out to the floor to the shock of Beantown. Doughtery just lights into him with punches, but Sika drops him with a headbutt. Sika tries to finish right away with a diving headbutt, but Dougherty gets out of the way and Sika crashes. Dougherty goes off the ropes and charges, but Sika catches him and drops him for the Samoan drop and ends it on the spot. Dougherty played “plucky underdog” REALLY well here and they told a good story, with Sika no-selling everything but Dougherty being relentless with offense anyway.

-Because Heenan demands it, we get another Fuji/Muraco segment. This time, we flash back a year ago to the two of them performing stand-up comedy on “TNT.” Both men read cue cards with Larry “Bud” Melman-level skill. Camera catches Mean Gene giving Muraco the finger after a bald joke; meanwhile, somebody with a board knocks Fuji’s hat off his head. High point is Mean Gene busting up legit at Fuji suggesting they try some “tropical humor.”

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT (Champion) vs. HERCULES (with Bobby Heenan)

-From Saturday Night’s Main Event. Chops and forearms are traded, but Hercules gets the advantage with a high knee and sends Steamboat into the turnbuckle. Dropkicks by Steamboat as he mounts his comeback. Series of chops sends Hercules to the floor. Steamboat follows him out and atomic drops him. Back in the ring, Steamboat chops him again but gets sent into the turnbuckles. In the locker room, Savage is screaming for Steamboat to get back up and fight dirty if he has to.

-Clothesline by Hercules; elbow gets two. Backdrop attempt is stopped by a kick. Snapmare by Steamboat. Hercules throws punches, but Steamboat comes back with a boot. Neckbreaker by Steamboat. Hercules gets back to his feet and gouges Steamboat’s eyes. He locks in the full nelson, and Randy Savage darts to the ring and yanks Hercules backward by the ankle to break the hold. Heenan & Hercules go ballistic and Heenan insists that the referee stop the match right there. Instead, he sends Randy Savage back to the locker room. We’ll be back!

-Back to the show, Hercules comes off the top rope and hits a pair of raised knees. Savage is defiantly standing in the aisle to watch the match. Hercules tries to come back with a slam. He misses an elbow and then misses a charge, and Steamboat starts throwing chops. He just keeps throwing chops from every direction. Hercules comes back with an inverted atomic drop, and Bobby Heenan gets fed up and throws the chain into the ring. Hercules chokes Steamboat with it, and that draws the disqualification. Post-match, the fans are visibly turning to Savage and screaming at him to turn face and help Steamboat, but he won’t. Steamboat is unconscious and Randy Savage comes in to see if he’ll be okay….and then heads to the top rope and connects with the flying elbow. Niiiiiiiiiice. Hercules stepped up his game tonight and it made for a great bout.

-Bobby refuses to apologize for the chicanery. He feels that his life is threatened and he will not go anywhere unless Hercules is there with his chain.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. JOHNNY V

-From “Superstars.” Brutus debuts his new gimmick, complete with smock and a pair of regulation scissors instead of the familiar hedge clippers. Johnny V attacks from behind and puts the boots to Beefcake. He sends Beefcake from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. Beefcake reverses an Irish whip and slams Johnny down. A punch sends him to the floor. We get pre-recorded words from Beefcake. He promises to do some “trimmin’ & cuttin’”, so we’re still working on the catchphrase, too.

-Back to live action, Brutus introduces his new finisher, the sleeper, and Johnny V flails and oversells it for far too long before finally passing out. Post-match, Beefcake puts on his smock, pulls out some electric clippers, and gives Johnny a Mohawk.

GEORGE “The Animal” STEELE vs. HONKY TONK MAN (with Jimmy Hart)

-From “Wrestling Challenge.” Honky insists on doing a dance number instead of wrestling. Steele gets fed up and chases Honky out of the ring, then smashes his guitar against the steps and chases Honky & the Colonel back to the locker room. The ring announcer declares Honky the winner by disqualification. What the hell did I just sit through?

-And now, one of the all-time great Randy Savage promos…the “I am the cream” promo. That’s an instant thumbs-up for this week right there.

“The Natural” BUTCH REED, NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & IRON SHEIK (with Slick) vs. PAUL ROMA, JIM POWERS, & JOE MIRTO

-From “Superstars.” Slick celebrates the fact that Duggan isn’t in the building before turning the mic over to Nikolai. Short version because the crowd is pretty riled up and even in a few seconds they manage to litter the ring nicely. We get Outback Jack’s thoughts on the Duggan/Volkoff feud for some reason.

-Sheik shoulderblocks Powers but runs into a hiptoss. Jobbers work the arm as we get the worst inkling of a Powers/Roma push on commentary, noting how much both men have improved since they started teaming up together.

-Reed elbows Paul Roma down. Volkoff tags in and pounds away at him. Hot tag Mirto and he fires away at Volkoff until Volkoff cuts him off with a spinning kick. Press slam by Reed gets the win. To celebrate the victory, Slick sings the Soviet anthem.

-Holy fuck, Gorilla says a lynching is in order after Slick’s awful performance.

-Holy fuck.

-Gene Okerlund speaks with the Can-Am Connection. They’re developing new moves and techniques to keep their opponents guessing, and they think they’ll be named #1 contenders any day now.

ROUGEAU BROTHERS vs MAGNIFICENT MURACO & COWBOY BOB ORTON (with Mr. Fuji)

-Bruno and Jesse on commentary, giving us another opportunity to hear how remarkably better Bruno was on commentary if Vince wasn’t around.

-Jacques surprises Muraco with a victory roll early on. Rougeaus work his arm. Ray tries a top wristlock, which Bruno declares to be a strategic error because it’s a strength move and he can’t match Muraco in strength. And sure enough, Muraco overpowers him. Orton comes in and tries to double team, but accidentally bonks his partner on the head and Muraco’s not happy with his partner.

-Bodypress by Raymond on Orton for two. Sunset flip by Jacques for another two. Jacques wrings the arm. Muraco tags in and runs into some rapid fire hiptosses and armdrags. Fuji trips Raymond from the floor. Muraco distracts the referee while Fuji chokes Raymond with his cane. They continue to…Damn it, Jesse, Raymond is the one with the moustache. This isn’t that hard…They continue to work over Raymond in the corner. Lazy pin by Orton only gets two, and he pays for it more by running right into a dropkick a few seconds later. Everybody tags and Jacques lights into both opponents. Muraco blocks a near-fall, and then another one. All four men wind up in the ring. Muraco tosses Raymond to the floor, and the heels just gang up on Jacques until the referee gets sick of it and calls for the DQ. Weak finish to a solid match.

7.9
The final score: review Good
The 411
Holy crap, this may be the best episode of the series up to this point, with hilarious filler, a fun Fuji/Muraco segment, and the matches...honestly, aside from Steele/Honky, you've got a solid card here, with even the squash matches having historic moments or entertaining crap like Slick singing the anthem. Thumbs WAY up this week.
legend