wrestling / Video Reviews

WWF Prime Time Wrestling (12.4.1989) Review

September 25, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Prime Time Wrestling Andre the Giant Haku Bobby Heenan
5.7
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (12.4.1989) Review  

-Originally aired December 4, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan in Studio A, and Rowdy Roddy Piper in Studio B. AND they’ve finally edited the opening so that all three hosts are named. The set is festooned with posters for No Holds Barred: The Movie/The Match.

THE CANADIAN EARTHQUAKE (with Jimmy Hart & Dino Bravo) vs. RENO RIGGINS

-Earthquake’s free TV debut. He drives knees into Riggins and heaves him out to the floor right away. I don’t know how many earthquakes Canada actually gets but looking at Earthquake, they must not get any natural sunlight. He’s like 0.8 Sheamus.

-Elbow and a chokeslam by the Quakester. Tremors start, and the Vancouver Vertical Smile Splash finishes. I just checked Urban Dictionary and apparently Urban Dictionary and I don’t agree on what Vertical Smile means but I like the alliteration so I’m sticking with it.

UPDATE

-The Genius got a shocking win over Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in a truly disgraceful act, he and Mister Perfect celebrated by smashing the WWF Title belt with a hammer. It was long rumored that the smashed belt became the Hardcore Title a decade later or so, but then in 2013, it came out that somebody had obtained the belt from a Mel Phillips estate sale, which caused a lot of people to do a double-take because Mel Phillips apparently died when nobody was looking.

-Bobby Heenan explains the gravity of the situation by explaining that Hulk thinks of his fans when he sees that title belt, so it would have been better for Perfect to just hit all the little hulksters one by one. Heenan laughs it off and says he’s in a good mood because it’s Christmas, laying the groundwork for Piper’s impending exit. Right when they’ve changed the opening!

RUGGED RONNIE GARVIN vs. CONQUISTADOR #1

-They’ve put the cart before the horse here, as Garvin is wearing a Greg Valentine-style shin guard without explaining WHY. Garvin works the ankle as Tony Schiavone says with a straight face that the Conquistadors are famous for their quickness. Garvin applies a half-crab, but Conky makes the ropes and goes to the eyes. Garvin comes back and just stretches the fuck out of Arms #1 and #2. Conquistador goes to the eyes again, but the hands of stone knock him out cold, and he’s all sprawled out for the Garvin stomp. Sharpshooter finishes.

-Bobby Heenan points out how dumb the Garvin stomp is. If you have to knock your opponent totally unconscious first, what’s the point of the Garvin stomp?

PAUL ROMA vs. BORIS ZHUKOV

-Joined in progress from Toronto, and Boris is so sweaty, they should call him Porous Zhukov. Boris boots and butts and bearhugs Roma and Gorilla is all over him for sloppy technique, so the abdominal stretch wasn’t the only hill Gorilla had to die on. Roma punches out but gets taken down and trapped in a chinlock. Great exchange on commentary with Lord Alfred Hayes saying that “Zhukov has a tremendous record” and Gorilla retorts “At Burger King!”

-Back to the bearhug, and the commentators have to cover for a pretty obvious discussion of a spot on camera. Roma escapes and bounces off the ropes, but he runs into a knee for two. They collide on a double shoulderblock, at long last giving both men a chance for a breather. Boris tries a corner charge but hits the post shoulder-first. Suplex by Roma. He comes off the top with a bodypress, but Boris rolls through for a very close two-count. Roma tries again with a powerslam, and this time he gets three. The final 30 seconds were pretty hot but other than that, not much to recommend.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. ALAN REYNOLDS

-We get pre-recorded words from Rick Martel, who thinks Beefcake is an idiot for signing for the No Holds Barred match and says that if Beefcake survives it, the Model will personally take him out of wrestling afterward because he’s an insult to fashion. Yeah, good luck, Martel. Beefcake being taken out of wrestling in 1990? Ain’t happening.

-Beefcake pounds away at Reynolds and makes pretty short work of him, finishing with the sleeper and lopping off the mullet. Really, he’s doing them a favor. It’s almost the 1990s, the mullets have to go now.

EVENT CENTER

-Akeem and Slick talk about how the po-po pulled Slick over while Akeem was in the passenger’s seat and charged Slick with traveling with an illegal weapon. I’m assuming this was in Mississippi. Tito Santana cuts a nice generic “I will take on anyone” promo. Not to sound dismissive–I actually do like that and think that’s a thing that wrestling needs to bring back. Just give guys mic time to remind us who they are. It doesn’t always have to be to advance a feud.

RED ROOSTER vs. RAVISHING RICK RUDE (with Bobby Heenan)
-Winner gets custody of the letter R.

-Rude applies a side headlock. Rooster comes to life and applies a chinlock, and Heenan has a minor freakout. Crowd chants “Weasel,” which Bobby interprets as a chant for Roddy Piper as we cut to commercial.

-We return with Rooster writhing on the mat, and Rude drives his face into the mat repeatedly. Heenan slips in with a cheap shot while Rude talks to the referee. Rooster tries a comeback, but Rude cuts him off and starts targeting the midsection, which is interesting because even outside the bounds of kayfabe, that’s your ideal strategy for battling Terry Taylor. Rude Awakening finishes. It ran for a while, but even with Taylor getting some offense, this felt like just a squash. Rooster just is not on the same level as the rest of the roster at this point.

SPECIAL INTERVIEW

-Big Boss Man and Slick are on the platform…okay, Dusty keeps stealing the nightsticks? Fine, let’s see him try to steal…a ball & chain. Boss Man declares he had a custom-made ball and chain for Dusty’s foot. They never really paid this off and again, they could have. No Holds Barred with an extra hour tacked onto it would have been a fun blow-off for all of these feuds that are about to disappear anyway.

-Rick Martel models the “Stud Patrol” look…we’ve seen this!

COLOSSAL CONNECTION (with Bobby Heenan) vs. AL BURKE & MIKE SHELTON

-Haku kicks Shelton around while Demolition drops in and says they’re willing to defend the belts against the Connection. Burke tags in and Haku calmly stays in the ring and headbutts the fresh man. Andre adds a headbutt from the apron while the commentators are amazed at the damage that Haku is doing alone without even tagging in the most dangerous member of the team. Andre adds a kneelift from the apron but still doesn’t tag in. Commentators marvel at how Haku doesn’t even need Andre because he’s such a badass. Again, they just packaged and presented these guys BRILLIANTLY. Andre finally tag in to audible “ooooohs” from the crowd, and a big-ass elbow drop ends it.

MARK YOUNG vs. BARRY HOROWITZ

-Joined in progress. Horowitz tries a hiptoss, but Young blocks and the commentators declare “Horowitz can’t get him over!” Well…yeah.

-Horowitz with a back suplex on Young. Horowitz drives knees into him. Horowitz tries to finish it, but Young keeps kicking out. Legscissors by Horowitz. Young pries the legs free but misses an elbow. Backbreaker by Horowitz and he heads upstairs to finish it, but Young counters it and heads to the top rope himself to finish with a sunset flip. Odd match, with Horowitz just DOMINATING it.

-Great segment in the studio, with Heenan diplomatically offering Piper a chance to back out of his upcoming house show matches with Rick Rude, and Piper is so fired up that, even in a different studio, Heenan tries to hide from him.

-Randy Savage and Zeus continue to be insane.

SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Jimmy Hart)

-They stay on the mat pretty early on, with Valentine applying a chinlock, clearly just trying to run out the clock until it hits that 15-minute mark when he becomes immortal. Snuka revives and chops Valentine down. Snuka rams Valentine between the turnbuckles and into the post. Valentine just gets fed up and dumps him out to the floor.

-Back from commercial, Valentine brings him back in with a suplex for two. The fight ends up on the floor and Snuka rams Valentine into the barricade, then lays some nice-sounding chops into him. Snuka heads to the second rope for a diving headbutt, but Valentine gets out of the way and adjusts the shin guard for the figure four, but here comes Rugged Ronnie to prevent Snuka from losing the match cleanly in favor of losing by DQ. Garvin and Snuka take turns beating up on Valentine, and Valentine makes his escape before Garvin can apply the sharpshooter. This was…there.

-And this show ends on the wildest note imaginable, as Gorilla does one more hard sell for No Holds Barred: The Movie/The Match, saying “As Mel Phillips would tell you, this match will knock your socks off!” And Roddy Piper genuinely breaks at the line.

5.7
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Nothing special about this week, but we've at least hit the point where the show's pacing is so breezy that even a not-great week is pleasant to sit through.
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