wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee Review: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.23.1989)

February 12, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Randy Savage Elizabeth WWF WWE Network
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
The Name on the Marquee Review: WWF Prime Time Wrestling (1.23.1989)  

-Originally aired January 23, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. And Gorilla is in a FOUL mood after what happened last week. Bobby tries to apologize, but since the whole incident last week started with Bobby apologizing, Gorilla thinks that’s a crock. He has a 2×4 on his side of the desk this week just in case.


-From Huntsville, Alabama. They slug it out while Lord Alfred says with a straight face that this match could be confusing because the two men have such similar looks. Garvin throws a hard chop that sends Dino scurrying to the floor. Back in, Bravo tries an armbar and drops an elbow for two. Dino drops to his knees in the general vicinity of Garvin’s crotch, which is close enough for the commentators to call it a headbutt to the solarplexis. Bearhug by Dino. Garvin fights out and connects with the hands of stone, but Frenchy Martin breaks the pin from the outside and suckers Ronnie into coming out there. That brings Dino out too, and they futz around until we have a double countout. None of this made me hope for closure at Wrestlemania V.


-Mean Gene recaps the falling-out between the Red Rooster and Bobby Heenan, which means we get to watch Bobby take bumps, so the segment’s already five stars. And that takes us to last week’s Prime Time Wrestling and the peak of stardom for Steve Lombardi, as he looks like a truly dangerous mofo for really the only time in his career.

-Back in the studio, Gorilla threatens to shove his 2×4 up Heenan’s ass while Heenan tries to apologize again.


-The Bushwhackers’ “Superstars of Wrestling” debut. Butch whips Stone around as Vince & Jesse search for a way to tell the Bushwhackers apart. Whackers stomp and pound on Stone. Jerry Price tags in and Butch clotheslines him so hard it just instantly wakes this crowd up, with good reason. Battering ram, which Jesse calls “using your head.” With a dry cool wit like that, he could be an action hero! The double stomachbreaker finish.


-Mean Gene is on the platform with Rockin’ Robin, who cuts a lady Backlund promo before Sensational Sherri shows up and picks a fight. Cute bit as they get into a physical brawl while Mean Gene is still standing between them, so he’s stuck, and his facial expressions are pretty funny.

-Gorilla announces that Prime Time Wrestling will be on location next week, but Bobby’s punishment for last week’s incident is that he can’t come along for the show.

-February 20: a special episode of Prime Time Wrestling!


-From Toronto. Busters cut the ring in half, but Jim Powers came to fight and ends up clearing the ring. Paul Roma tags in and dropkicks Tully Blanchard. Roma keeps throwing dropkicks and bodyslams Arn around, clearing the ring by himself. Camera cuts to Arn looking at Roma from the floor smiling, perhaps realizing deep down that this kid is Horseman material.

-The Stallions begin targeting Tully’s leg until he gets out of Dodge. Arn tags in and gives Roma a spinebuster as only he can. Tully daashes over and spits in Powers’ face, Powers tries to do something about it, and then the Busters double-team Roma on the floor. Crowd pops for how damn clever that was.

-Arn applies the abdominal stretch and you bet Gorilla’s on top of that. BTW, nuances from Gorilla on commentary: Winners get 70% of the purse for each match, losers get 30%. Three years ago he said it was 75/25 split, so the WWF’s rules and regulations changed at some point. Probably because of shrewd negotiations from Bobby Heenan.

-Busters switch without tagging and hammer Roma before sending him back out to the floor. Tully goes for the splingshot suplex, but Roma reverses it and makes the hot tag. Powers is a house of proverbial fire. Roma and Tully fight on the floor while Arn battles with Jim Powers. Referee desperately tries to restore order and forces Roma to his corner, which gives the Busters an opening to behead Jim Powers with a clothesline by Arn while Tully hooks his legs to roll him up for three. Busters worked some magic here and had an exciting match.


-Bad News Brown doesn’t want friends or partners because he’s the only person in the WWF who really matters. #allwrestlersmatter


-From Wrestling Challenge. They trade pinfall reversals for a bit and Rivera dropkicks him out to the floor. Perfect gets good and mad, chopping Rivera down and working the leg over while slapping Rivera around. Rivera comes back with lefts and rights, but he crashes on a bodypress off the second rope, and the Perfect-plex wraps it up. Pretty enjoyable for a squash.


-Bald-headed Ron Bass promises that 1989 will be a year of payback and violence. Dammit Ron, read the memo, it’s a year of payback and physical intensity. And Bret Hart acknowledges Gorilla Monsoon’s “excellence of execution” nickname for him for I think the first time ever. Neat.

-Next week, we’ll announce the location of Wrestlemania V. Well, I just hope they learn their lesson about not doing the show in a small venue with a comped audience consisting of non-fans, because it made for a shitty-ass atmosphere and you wouldn’t want to do that for two consecutive years.


-From “Superstars,” it’s Martel’s first singles match back. Martel throws dropkicks as we hear words from Tito Santana welcoming his partner back to the WWF and offering his help if Martel ever wants to go back into tag team wrestling. Jesse speculates that Martel might be cool to the idea after having his damn neck injured during a tag team match with Tito as his partner.

-Martel works the arm until Horowitz rakes the eyes and backdrops him. Monkeyflip and a Polish…well, Quebecian Hammer, I guess, finishes.

-And now because of issues with the original master tape, we get a host segment in the studio from what is obviously a YouTube download.


-Joined in progress right before a hot tag. Koko cleans house and Danny Davis gets dumped on the floor. Estrada gets a second wind and tags Danny back in. Danny gets bodypressed and gets out as soon as he can. Blazer dropkicks Estrada and Koko heads back in, getting knocked around by the jobbers a bit. Koko backdrops Estrada into perfect position and Blazer soars off the top for a splash to get three. Wow, the babyfaces showed some really High Energy in there!


-Holy shit, Brother Love’s red make-up this week looks like it came straight from Sherwin Williams. Brother Love welcomes Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, who reiterate that Andre is not afraid of snakes. He just doesn’t like surprises. So Bobby shelled out some money and hired a hypnotist to do some therapy, officially curing him. Brother Love excitedly pulls out a Jake-style bag of his own and wants to open it to show the world that Andre is cured, and Bobby and Andre both freak out a bit. Bobby hastily tells Brother Love something off-mike, and Brother Love changes his tune, saying Andre is obviously cured and there’s no reason to even bother with the test. Funny.


-The Rougeau Brothers tout the impending release of their entrance music as a single. I remember pop music in 1989, that theme had a shot.

NON-TITLE: RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (WWF Champion, with Elizabeth) vs. AKEEM (with Slick)
-From “Superstars of Wrestling.” Savage gets trapped in the corner and clubbered down by Akeem. Savage comes back with elbows and quick jabs. Backdrop is countered by Savage, and he goes for a slam…but he’s just not strong enough. Savage keeps trying to make comebacks, but Akeem is too big. Big Bossman suddenly arrives at ringside, too, just to make things really interesting.

-Savage gets avalanched in the corner while Elizabeth remains “her usual helpless self out there,” according to Jesse. Close-up reveals that Bossman has his eye bandaged up again. Savage is just getting squashed here with absolutely no offense being put up. Akeem goes to the second rope and crashes into the mat. Savage begins doing hit-and-run offense for his comeback. Axehandle takes Akeem off his feet. Flying elbow connects, but Bossman breaks the pin with the nightstick for the DQ.

-And the very MOMENT that Savage is in trouble, Hogan springs to ringside, slams Akeem with no effort, slams Bossman too, steals the nightstick, and clears the ring. Hogan takes a moment to see if Savage is okay, and the moment he sees that his partner is fine, Hogan does some celebratory posing…for Savage’s victory. Yup. Great little artistic camera shot sees Savage pick up the nightstick, and his eyes dart back and forth between Hogan’s back and the nightstick while Hogan keeps the routine going. Today, if they did that, Michael Cole would be going, “I think you can see that Savage might be thinking about attacking Hogan with that nightstick.” Yeah, we’re wrestling fans, but some of us like being able to draw our own conclusions.

-Gorilla is finally taking all the hints and sensing that something is amiss between the Mega-Powers. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan gets a phone call and is being called to the offices at USA right away for something. Gorilla gleefully suspects he’s getting a new co-host effective next week as we sign off.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Holy damn, that's actually one of the best episodes of this series ever. Only a few duds among the matches; a pretty exciting three-minute squash even made its way into the mix. And things are starting to fall into place for Wrestlemania, so it was a nice eventful show. Thumbs up.