wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.4.1988)

July 22, 2018 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Prime Time Wrestling Bobby Heenan
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.4.1988)  

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. Exactly half of the set is decorated for the Independence Day celebration. Bobby bought all the decorations, but he gave the instructions to “decorate the area of the set where the host sits,” and the crew in turn decorated only Gorilla’s side.

-Here’s a feud from earlier in the year that just kinda fizzled away. Superstar Billy Graham is on commentary and is naturally just marking out for Muraco all the way. Rock’s entrance music is dubbed with a hilarious knock-off of “The Final Countdown.”

-Gang attacks during the entrance and uses Muraco’s own t-shirt to strangle him. Muraco elbows free and rams him into the turnbuckle. Muraco follows with chops and punches. A dropkick takes Gang off his feet. Gang gets to his feet and Muraco keeps kicking and clipping the legs. Muraco keeps going to work on the legs and keeps the Gang grounded.

-Muraco applies a figure-four while Graham asserts that Muraco once did 8,887 pounds on the leg lift. Gang manages to get out of the hold but can’t stand up, so Muraco drags him to the corner and whips his leg against the post. Muraco keeps working the leg while heelishly using the top rope for leverage (which Graham defends as “maintaining his balance”).

-Gang gets some offense going with clubbing blows that ground Muraco, but Muraco uses that to his advantage to throw punches at the injured leg. Gang goes to the eyes and chokes Muraco. Bearhug by the Gang. Muraco fights it for about a minute and a half before sliding free and dropkicking the Gang into the corner. Gang bounces back with axehandles and applies the bearhug again.

-This time, Muraco fights back by pushing forward and ramming Gang into the corner. He Irish whips the Gang and they collide into each other and go down. They get back to their feet and Gang elbows Muraco over the top and onto the floor. Gang goes out and rams him into the post. Muraco tries to go back in but Gang hammers him back down to the floor.

-Gang props Muraco against the post and goes for an avalanche, but Muraco moves and Gang hits the post and knocks himself out. Muraco rolls back in and takes the win by count-out. Post-match, Gang tries to avenge the loss and Muraco just kicks his ass some more. Pretty good match, I do declare.

-Back in the studio, the crew gets fed up with Heenan’s complaining and hangs up a single balloon on his side. And they leave the ladder there, too.

“The Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE vs. S.D. JONES
-DiBiase is all over SD with boots and elbows. He goes to the second rope and makes contact with a double axehandle. Clothesline by DiBiase, and he’s in a hurry, so he clamps on the Million Dollar Dream right there. Jones didn’t even get token offense this week.

-Bobby is still mad, so Gorilla gives him a hat. But then Bobby finds out Gorilla has one just like it, so he doesn’t want it.

-Lord Alfred Hayes recaps the injury of Harley Race again…

-Gorilla is disgusted by the ten-bell salute and Bobby tries to justify that while Harley Race is very much alive, what he represented to wrestling is dead.

-The Honky Tonk Man complains about the conspiracy against him that’s mounting in the WWF. But he’ll overcome it because he knows all his fans came to the arena tonight to hear him sing. Jimmy warns him that he needs to protect his throat, and Honky agrees. He promises the crowd, “Some other time.”

-Gorilla announces a three-hour special episode in two weeks’ time. Gorilla promises…brace yourself…that it will be a happening.

-Damn, they’re going all the way back to March for this one…Copy-paste it! Side headlock by Bass and Jake can’t shake him off. Shoulderblock by Bass and he warns Gorilla, “That could have been you!” Back to the side headlock. Jake sends him into the ropes and gets shoulderblocked again. And Bass celebrates. And Jake is selling all of this like we’re in minute 53 of a classic. And we’re back to the side headlock. Jake sends him into the ropes again, and this time as Bass bounces off the ropes, Jake slides out of the ring to avoid getting shoulderblocked.

-Jake tricks Bass into chasing him and belts him across the mouth once he’s inside the ring. Jake goes for the DDT right there and Bass heads out to the floor to avoid it. Back in the ring, Jake works the arm and Bass sends him into the ropes. Jake hangs onto the ropes and gives Bass “a Texas salute” before backing into the corner and asking Bass to come toward him. Bass obliges and kneelifts Jake. Punching by Jake and Bass goes to the floor to recuperate.

-Back in the ring, Bass clotheslines Jake down and celebrates a bit more. He stomps Jake right out of the ring. And he celebrates. Jake gets back in the ring and Bass works the back with clubbing blows for a one-count. Knees to the back by Bass. He tries an elbow and misses. Jake bounces right up and gives him the short clothesline. He signals for the DDT, but Bass sees him signal for it and he’s ready. He backs Jake into the corner, then shoulderblocks him again for two. Jake tries a slam and collapses, so Bass lands on top for two. Irish whip by Jake, but Bass boots him on the charge. He gets in an argument with the referee and Roberts sneaks up and smacks Bass out of the ring…for the count-out? THAT’S your finish?

-Gorilla hypes the three-hour special again, saying that it’ll be called the “Unconventional Special.” Let’s all be there.

-Rougeaus offer a pre-match handshake. Raymond starts with Jim Brunzell. They exchange a lot of blocks and reversals with neither man able to get a clear advantage until the Bees manage to tie Raymond up and trade off on him to work the arm. Jacques tags in and drop-toeholds Blair and works the arm. Blair gets free and does exactly the same thing to Jacques. Brunzell tags in and tries a backdrop, but Jacques lands on his feet.

-Jacques offers a handshake, but snatches his arm away. He gets knocked on his ass and rolled up for three, and Brunzell offers his own handshake. Jacques gets pissed and tags out. Blair heads in and gets double-teamed while a pre-recorded promo sees the Fabulous Rougeaus dedicate their match to the American fans for Great Memorial Day weekend.

-Back to action, Jacques applies an abdominal stretch and Raymond comes in to add a savate kick. Rougeaus try a double dropkick and it misses. Blair is able to make the tag and in comes Brunzell with forearms and a beel throw. Brunzell works the back of Jacques and clamps on a sleeper. Raymond steps in to break the hold. Rougeaus manage to create a diversion and in the confusion, Jacques comes off the second rope with an axehandle and Raymond capitalizes to get three.


-Headbanger is Joe LeDuc in his one and only TV taping. Gorilla keeps calling him “The Butcher” and predicts that he won’t do much better in the WWF than the last guy called “Butcher,” Paul Vachon. Damn, Gorilla.

-Headbanger pounds and hammers and chokes and grunts and bites and beel throws and slobbers and punches away. He takes Costello into the corner and throws headbutt after headbutt, holding onto him by the hair and keeping him propped up in the corner that way. The referee gives him a five-count to stop and Headbanger refuses, so Brian Costello gets the win by DQ. Headbanger keeps headbutting away and won’t stop.

-Bobby gets another balloon. So he has that going for him.


-Jobber sneak up and run into double hiptosses and double crescent kicks out of the ring. Gibbs gets slingshotted backing and slammed down. Rockers double-team him and Marty Jannetty snapmare him down. Double dropkick on Gibbs. Shawn Michaels Irish whips him but misses a charge. Jobbers try their own double-team, but Shawn bodypresses both of them.

-Shawn gets trapped in the wrong corner and gets pounded on from all sides. Elbow by Gibbs while Gorilla speculates that the other Conquistador has been injured. Lot of that going around for whatever reason.

-Shawn comes off Marty’s shoulders with a fistdrop onto the Conquistador to get three.

-Gorilla suggests that we might want to get a grilled cheese sandwich or boil some eggs or anything else that might take 5 to 10 minutes, because Brother Love is next.

-I’m hooked on the Brother, I admit it. Brother Love assures us that he isn’t the only one who loves us. He brings out two other people who love us: The Big Bossman and Slick. Slick, who graciously color-coordinated his hat to the set, helps Brother Love explain that he used to spread the word of love to men behind bars who had gone astray. The fans in the arena are now totally losing patience with this segment and pelt Brother Love with garbage and beverages while he explains all this.

-Brother Love assures us that he only hurts those that he loves. He explains that love comes in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how different it might seem, he assures us that…he loves us…he loves us…he loves us…

GEORGE “The Animal” STEELE vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE
-We go off to MSG for this one. Valentine objects to the presence of Mine and goes to the floor. Valentine sneaks up on Steele, but Steele sees it coming and punches him out of the ring. Valentine pulls him out to the floor and rams him into the seat of a folding chair. Valentine tries to knock Mine off the ropes in the corner, but George tied the arms around the rope, so it just spins instead of falling off, annoying the Hammer.

-Back to the floor as Alfred Hayes tries to explain that the match is no-DQ. Valentine hits him with another one, and Steele reacts by throwing a chair and a bell into the ring. The bell actually bounces and goes right back outside the ring, which strikes me as funny. Steele points to Valentine’s shin guard and screams “Off! Off!”

-Back to the studio, where Heenan gets fed up and just tries to hang up some streamers and balloons on his own. He keeps wobbling and slipping on the ladder as we go to commercial.

-Back to MSG, where Steele dives down and bites the straps on the shinguard to just rip it off himself. Valentine goes to the corner and kicks Mine, which actually gets CRAZY heat from the crowd. Steele goes into the tights and uses his little hidden weapon to attack Valentine’s knee. Steele tries a bulldog, but Valentine shoves him off and George hits the post.

-Valentine puts the boots to the Animal and comes off the top with an axehandle. Valentine tries a figure four, but Steele stops him with a thumb to the eye. Valentine tries again and gets kicked into the turnbuckle. Valentine completely loses his temper and beats up Mine, which distracts Steele. Steele tends to his friend and Valentine attacks him on the floor.

Steele chases Valentine around for a while and Valentine gets him to stop by throwing Mine into the ring. George goes back in to get Mine…while the referee counts ten. By way of his own fuck-up, Valentine loses by count-out. I liked that finish. And you know what? As comedy matches go, this was good.

-Gorilla reminds us that we can get our own Mine doll by filling out the order form in the new WWF Magazine. Gorilla & Bobby play with sparklers at the desk. Gorilla pulls out a firecracker and keeps waving the sparkler near it, scaring the Brain until he gets up and runs off the set.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Good but not great wrestling, but another one on the pile for mandatory viewing if you're a Gorilla/Brain mark because the whole comedy of errors about set decoration was great.