wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.16.1989)

January 27, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Brutus Beefcake Jacques Rougeau
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.16.1989)  

-Originally aired January 16, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. The Red Rooster is waiting in the lobby to enter the studio, but Bobby Heenan is absolutely dug in about this, saying that Gorilla didn’t obtain permission to have a guest.


-From Huntsville, Alabama. Bass is now bald and extremely pissed off about it, attacking Powers at the bell, but Powers bodypresses him for two and dropkicks him out to the floor. Powers works the arm while Sean Mooney asks if Outlaw Ron Bass has changed because of the haircut, and Lord Alfred Hayes says his offense appears more ponderous now. A quick check of Merriam-Webster gives me three definitions, none of which is flattering to Bass, in or out of kayfabe terms. Lord Alfred is either calling him boring, clumsy, or a fatass, according to the dictionary.

-Bass fights back with an Irish whip, but Powers begins targeting the midsection. Dropkick gets two. Powers goes for a backdrop, but Bass counters with a pedigree for three. Just a squash.


-Mean Gene shows us highlights of Hogan vs. Akeem on Saturday Night’s Main Event. But the post-match interview confirms that the Mega-Powers are JUST FINE, dammit.

-Gorilla welcomes the Red Rooster and tries to make things easier by sitting between them. Gorilla tries to point out that Rooster’s already kicked his ass, so it’s unlikely that Rooster is itching to kick his ass again. Gorilla calls Bobby out for the sketchy contracts he has with his men and says he took 85% of Rooster’s earnings for each match. I remember they brought that up on commentary once and Jesse made a pretty valid point; if you willingly sign that kind of contract, you don’t really deserve to complain later.


-Joined in progress from MSG. Horner works the arm, but Horowitz gets things going with a high backdrop that “shows no respect to Tim Horner,” according to Rod Trongard. We are just so deliciously close to never having to hear him again. Horowitz bulldogs Horner into a turnbuckle. Front facelock by Barry Horowitz. Horner gets free but they collide on a double clothesline. They both recover quickly from that and Horner throws forearms. Uppercut by Horner, and Horowitz sells it like Bluto, jumping straight up in the air.

-Horowitz gives Horner a thumb to the eye, but Horner retaliates by attempting a sleeper. Horowitz resists, so Horner just pivots his entire body and makes it a sunset flip for three. Visually impressive but the rest of the match was pretty basic.

-In the studio, Heenan refuses to speak to the Rooster.


-From Birmingham, Alabama. Sharpe tries to slam Anvil, but Anvil resists and reverses. Sharpe stalls until Anvil clobbers him with a big forearm. Anvil goes to work on the unprotected arm. Bad strategy, dude. And indeed, Iron Mike comes to life and starts working Anvil over with the forearm brace. Anvil rams him into the turnbuckle ten times and finishes with a powerslam. Ehh. Finished just as it was starting to go somewhere.

-Bobby turns his back while Gorilla just totally ignores him and chats with the Rooster. Bobby looks at the WWF merchandise lining the walls of the set and says it’s fitting that he’s sitting in front of the Hulkamania foam hand, because it was one finger sticking up. Bobby insists on calling his former charge “Terry Taylor,” because Red Rooster is the name that Heenan gave him and he feels Rooster no longer has the right to use it. Taylor compares himself to Frankenstein’s monster, implying that Heenan will be destroyed by his own creation.


-Garvin’s MSG debut. They trade shoves, but Valentine starts attacking the shoulder with forearms and the point of the elbow. And then both guys do what they do best and chop each other, and MSG wakes right the hell up. Valentine’s chest is welted and bloody. Worth noting that Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes are on commentary, but when Valentine retreats to the floor, we see Alfred doing commentary with Rod Trongard, so for those of you who suspected that Sean Mooney was a shape-shifter, consider yourselves validated.

-Back in, more chops and slaps are traded. Garvin locks on a sleeper, but then just lets go for no real reason and drops an elbow for two. Back in the studio, Gorilla and the Rooster are confused because Bobby got up and walked out of the studio without saying anything, and they don’t know where he is.

-Back to MSG, more choppin’ prompts Sean Mooney to call this a street brawl. I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood and I remember watching gang members throw chops at each other all the time, while running around the block trying to touch all four stop signs in order to win the match. Garvin stomp continues the street-savvy tactics. Valentine finally remembers he has a leg-based finisher and starts targeting the leg. Valentine goes for the figure four, but Garvin fights it off and rips off the shin guard. Garvin winds up and starts to use it, but the referee snatches it away from him, and Garvin is distracted by that for exactly the three seconds that Valentine needs to roll Garvin up for three. Garvin grabs the shin guard and beats the crap out Valentine as desired afterward. Another good match between these two.

-Bobby Heenan is back and says he just went to the men’s room…for twenty minutes.


-We get words from Ravishing Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan. Well, hell, there you go, Bobby had to leave for twenty minutes to go to the green screen studio and record a promo.

-Gorilla Monsoon tells Bobby Heenan that the Bushwhackers are coming up next while the Red Rooster just sits there and does the Bushwhacker march to entertain himself.

-But Bobby surprises everyone by saying he’s done a lot of thinking during this show, and he was wrong. He shouldn’t have mistreated the Rooster the way he did and apologizes. He tells Rooster that he’s willing to just let this drop and they can go their separate ways. He offers Rooster a handshake, Rooster accepts, and Bobby gives him a hard slap. And suddenly, Steve Lombardi emerges, now wearing a filthy t-shirt and a leather hat (but still wearing tights and kneepads along with them). Lombardi takes out Rooster with the stool, and then in a truly surprising moment, Gorilla Monsoon takes a bump, as Lombardi knocks him out cold so the attack on Rooster can continue uninterrupted. Camera pulls out to reveal the Prime Time Wrestling studio is actually a bit cluttered, giving Lombardi some weapons to work with, and he slams Rooster on top of a metal office cabinet. The beating continues as stagehands call for security. Fade to black. This was a HELL of a way to relaunch Steve Lombardi.

-Back from commercial, Bobby is alone and says he’ll be damned if he’s going to let a guy who assaulted him on NBC come out on HIS show, Prime Time Wrestling, and mock him. So Bobby HEenan got Steve Lombardi. And from there, Bobby lays out a fantastic backstory to give Lombardi some instant credibility: He’s the toughest man in Brooklyn, but he’s never won a match in his life because when he’s in the ring, he’s too distracted by the referees and fans, and can’t conduct the business end of pro wrestling. Bobby will now manage him so that Lombardi doesn’t have to think about anything but his opponent. Lombardi even told Bobby he’s okay with being yelled at and insulted, as long as Bobby makes him rich. Bobby has also decided that since Lombardi is most comfortable with brawling tactics and he’s from Brooklyn, he should call himself the Brooklyn Brawler. In the middle of the cartoon world of the WWF, this is a neat added wrinkle to the storyline, we’re getting an explanation of where the ridiculous characters come from: wrestlers assume personas that make them feel comfortable.

-And now we shift gears to see the Bushwhackers shopping at a lingerie store.

KOKO B. WARE vs. “Mister Perfect” CURT HENNIG
-From SNME. They still can’t decide whether to call him by his gimmick name or his real name. Koko gets an early advantage, but Hennig just gets pissed and hammers away. Armdrag by Koko, then another. Koko is showing some life until Hennig comes back with kicks and clubbing blows. Standing dropkick by Perfect knocks Koko to the apron. Headbutts by Koko keep Hennig at bay.

-Koko misses a corner charge and hits the turnbuckle balls-first. Hennig capitalizes, getting the Perfectplex for the three-count. Awfully short, and kind of weird. Koko came off looking like a much bigger star, actually, breaking out all kinds of impressive offense while Perfect stuck with punchy-kicky stuff the whole time.


-Jimmy Hart, the Honky Tonk Man, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine are here this week. They promise to break the Hart Foundation once and for all.

Bobby Heenan apologizes to the absent Gorilla Monsoon, saying it was a freak accident and that it was only because he happened to be in the way at the wrong moment.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. JACQUES ROUGEAU (with Jimmy Hart)

-“All American Boys” is a thing now! Yay! Even the commentary team goes silent just to listen and enjoy it. After some stalling, they finally lock up. Beefcake goes for a backdrop but Jacques lands on his feet and dropkicks him. Huh, it’s usually not a heel who does that. Brutus retaliates with a high knee that sends Jacques scurrying to Jimmy Hart for a hug. And if Huey Lewis didn’t make you believe in the power of love, Jacques Rougeau should because he heads right back into the ring and takes control with a rear chinlock and a “delayed backdrop” )which is Mooneyese for “Beefcake took a shitty-looking bump”).

-Boston crab by Jacques. Beefcake makes the ropes, so Jacques throws him to the floor, and Jimmy Hart takes a free shot to the ribs with the megaphone. Back from commercial, Jacques applies a modified bow and arrow as Alfred tells us that in England, it’s called the Yeoman hold. Abdominal stretch by Jacques, who’s probably going for that hold because he just found out Gorilla Monsoon is too injured to comment on it.

-Beefcake mounts a mini-comeback but takes a knee to the gut. Jimmy Hart jumps up onto the apron for NO reason because his man was about to get control of the match again, but as long as he’s on the apron, Beefcake goes after him. Jacques tries a sneak attack but knocks Jimmy off the apron. Beefcake applies the sleeper, but Raymond runs in for the DQ you expected the moment you saw the match heading. Beefcake scares off the brothers with his clippers after the match. Pretty unremarkable.

-Bobby and the Brawler gleefully rewatch the entire attack on the Rooster. Brawler declares that “Steve Lombardi is dead, long live the Brooklyn Brawler!” A stagehand notifies Bobby that Gorilla has recovered and is on his way back to the studio, and Bobby & The Brawler blitz out of the studio as the show comes to a close.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Pretty lame match selection this week, but the in-studio segments are fantastic.