wrestling / Columns

WWF Prime Time Wrestling (2.27.1989) Review

April 18, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Andre the Giant Vince McMahon Natalya
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
WWF Prime Time Wrestling (2.27.1989) Review  

-So at this point, the WWF’s deals for televised house shows start dropping like flies, but with two hours to fill every week, it forced a kind of unfortunate but necessary change in what exactly Prime Time Wrestling was, and this week seems to be the real point of demarcation where Prime Time matches become shorter and squashier.

-Originally aired February 27, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin)

-From Wrestling Challenge. Bobby still has not officially accepted the Red Rooster’s challenge and makes a valid point, saying that Wrestlemania V is already going to be the busiest day of his career and that he doesn’t have time to squeeze his own match into the list of things he has to prepare for.

-Beefcake struts and stalls until Dino can clamp on a side headlock. Brutus shoves him into the ropes but gets mowed down with shoulderblocks. Dino goes to the well too often and gets clotheslined down. Beefcake tries to work the arm but just gets punched right in the face. Gorilla dubs this match “a main event in any arena in the world.” I could have believed “popcorn match in any arena” but main event is pushing it a bit.

-Brutus applies the sleeper, but Dino makes the ropes and they both tumble out to the floor and get themselves counted out while brawling. Brutus beats up Frenchy and cuts his hair as a consolation. Frenchy did literally nothing. The match was short and inoffensive, though.

-In the studio, Bobby reveals that he agreed to a guest referee for Snake/Andre because he just assumed it would be Danny Davis.


-From Hershey, PA. This is the last time we’re going to see Bass, so my head canon for this match is that Garvin confronted him in the locker room and said “Dere’s only enough room in da dubba-dubba-F fah ONE Ron! And I drive a truck!” So here we are. Bass plays up being pissed off about having to take off his hat, although enough of his hair has grown back that he really just has a short haircut instead of a bald head.

-Right hands and a choke by Garvin. Fisticuffs are exchanged and Garvin switches it up by just headbutting Bass out to the floor. Back in, Garvin hiptosses and wrings the arm, and Bass breaks it by going to the eyes. Corner charge by Bass misses and he hits shoulder first, so Garvin goes back to the arm. Bass gets aggressive, sending Garvin into the turnbuckle and working him over on the apron. Garvin responds by raking the back and ramming Bass into the turnbuckles.

-Garvin goes airborne and hits a bodypress for two. Roll-up gets two more. Bass boots him down to counter a backdrop, but he misses an elbow drop and IT’S GARVIN STOMP TIME, BABY! Garvin tries to follow that with a piledriver. Bass backdrops out but Garvin turns that into a sunset flip for two. Bass clotheslines Garvin out to the floor and goes to join him, and they brawl until they get themselves counted out. So I guess Garvin didn’t send Bass into retirement, and we get the same finish for two straight matches instead. It was pretty good though, and probably would have gotten over like crazy in front of a North Carolina crowd. Garvin settles for stealing Bass’ whip as a moral victory. Bass died on the way back to his home planet.

-Ted DiBiase returns to the jewelry store, wearing a cape, so that belt had better be ready. Mr. Betteridge removes a red velvet cover, and DiBiase blows a load at the sight of his magnificent new belt, which we don’t get to see. Even though we’re watching this segment. Point that Roger Ebert made in a review years back: It’s annoying when we’re led to believe that the cameraman knows something we don’t, and that the cameraman is actively refusing to help us.


-From Wrestling Challenge. Now this is just sloppy. They open the show with a Wrestling Challenge match where Bobby and Gorilla are on commentary discussing the Brain Busters squash that just happened, and now we’re seeing THAT match.

-Arn just beats the hell out of Ataki while we get pre-taped words from the Busters, saying the Strike Force might have been a good tag team last year, but the Busters thrive against the best competition in the world.

-Tully whips Spicolli into Arn’s knee, then uses a handful of tights to whip him out to the floor. Bobby chats with the referee while the Busters do some double-teaming on the floor. Back in the ring, the spike piledriver ends it. I love that they had an illegal finisher and that they had to come up with a new diversion for the finish to every squash match.


-From Hershey, PA. Jim offers a handshake but gets booted in the stomach. Jim reacts with a headbutt and takes Barry on a tour of the turnbuckles. Right hands by Horowitz. He charges at Jim and gets a boot to the head, and a Hogan-style big boot gets the three-count. Just a squash and nothin’ more.

-Bobby teases Rude’s new tights that he’s getting made for Wrestlemania V, with a picture of the Ultimate Warrior on the back. That is the least awesome part of those tights.

-Randy Savage cuts another enraged promo, this time talking about Saturday Night’s Main Event when Hulk held the rope open for Elizabeth. He did that to draw attention to the fact that Randy doesn’t do it! And then Hulk had the nerve to sneak up behind Elizabeth and put her on his shoulder during the post-match celebration. Savage makes some damning points about that, as Elizabeth clearly wasn’t expecting that, and Elizabeth had never been on another man’s shoulder before. And THEN he lifted Elizabeth and spun her around at Survivor Series. It never ceases to amaze me how consistently Hulk Hogan the character was portrayed as a shitty friend.


-From Superstars of Wrestling…Holy shit, did Paul Roma say no to this or something?

-Andre noggin-knocks them and applies a double-bearhug. Tito and Powers just lean into it to force Andre against the ropes and break the hold, and they light into Andre with punches from all directions. Andre fights them off with headbutts. Strike Stallions fight back with dropkicks, but Andre corrals them into the corner and shoulder rams them repeatedly. Jake’s voice suddenly starts cutting a promo over the PA system and teases that he’s somewhere where Andre can’t see him, and he has Damien with him. Andre is completely distracted by that but still manages to bearhug them while Bobby starts searching ringside. Santana hits the ropes and gets into sunset flip position, and a clothesline by Powers gets Andre down on the mat for a one-count. Andre whips Powers into Tito hard enough to knock Powers out while sending Tito out to the floor, and a big elbow on Powers gets three. That was pretty damn entertaining!


-The Brother welcomes Demolition. Demolition concedes that Mr. Fuji caught them everything they know, but that means they’re experts at breaking bones and kicking stinking teeth in, so turning Demolition into killing machines and then betraying them was completely stupid of him.

-Bobby Heenan refuses to wrestle the Red Rooster at Wrestlemania V. He’s going to be too busy that day!

-From Superstars of Wrestling. They go back and forth with counters while Steve Lombardi destroys the new WWF Magazine in a rage for printing an article about the Rooster.

-Back in the ring, Hennig stomps away while Jesse agrees with Bobby’s point, saying it’s ridiculous to challenge a man to a match knowing it’s already the busiest day of his year. Fisticuffs are exchanged as Bobby and the Brawler head to ringside, shocking the seven people who thought this match would happen without an angle. And sure enough Brawler takes a shot at Rooster. Rooster, after taking a moment to nearly jerk Hennig’s johnson out of his tights on an attempted charge, heads to the floor to brawl with the Brawler, getting himself counted out. Really not much of a match here, it was just killing time until the angle.

-Back in the studio, Gorilla shows his mastery of American history by demanding that Heenan put his John Henry on the dotted line for Wrestlemania V.


-Tully Blanchard’s unibrow promises that he’s ready for Wrestlemania V. Arn says it’s a testament to how dominant the Brainbusters are that the WWF had to put an ex-championship team back together just to give them actual competition.

-Pick up your copy of USA Today and enter the Wrestlemania V sweepstakes!


-From a building. Houston tries a bodypress, but Barbarian catches him and turns it into a backbreaker. Scary backdrop almost goes wrong and Houston gets out of there immediately. Boots and chops for DeLeon. Clothesline off the top by Barbarian ends it.

-And now we get a rebuttal from Hulk. It was SAVAGE’S idea to have Elizabeth in Hulk’s corner on SNME. He had never had a female manager at ringside, so he just assumed he was supposed to hold the rope open. He had seen Savage put Elizabeth on his shoulder a million times so he figured that’s just what he was supposed to do. And hey, Survivor Series? Let’s go to the tape, Hulk insists. And indeed, as soon as Hogan gets the three-count, the first thing he does is check on Savage and make sure he’s okay. Savage’s jealousy is a cancer, Hulk tells us! It is a cancer, and Hulkamania is the, uh…the, uh…hey guys, what cures cancer?


-From Superstars. King Haku smirks at the lowly peasant in the ring, thinking he’s worthy of being in the ring with royalty at Wrestlemania V.

-Fabiano tries a bearhug, but Herc just pries his arms off and snapmares him. Torture rack gets the win. Vince declares that Hercules is no longer enduring “Bobby Heenan’s bondage.” I’m sure if Heenan had stuck around for the Attitude Era they could have done something with that premise.

RICK MARTEL vs. KING HAKU (with Bobby Heenan)

-From MSG. So, because of the timing of the publishing of my stuff on 411, you may not realize this, but at the time I’m writing this, it’s been 11 weeks since I’ve written something for the site. I know I’ve seen this match, I have zero memory of seeing it, and I figured it might be interesting to just watch it again and when the columns are published, see if my opinion is different from one viewing of the next. The answer could speak volumes about the credibility of some dude typing his opinions on the internet.

-Haku hammers away but gets hiptossed and armdragged around, and he heads to the floor for a quick retreat. Back in, Haku gets caught in an armbar. And Martel stays with that armbar. They trade attempted back suplexes, but Martel armdrags him and…goes to the arm. I have a wacky feeling that I didn’t like this match the first time. Haku starts chopping the leg, which Martel bravely no-sells before switching to a hammerlock. Armbar by Martel, but Haku slams free out of boredom. Martel fights back with a bodypress and reapplies the armbar.

-Martel charges at Haku, but the king gets out of the way and Martel goes flying out to the floor, where a dozen empty chairs are set up for no reason. Martel raises a boot to stop the corner charge. Haku fights back with a devastating Hakuplex, which is a name he should have used for something. Haku sends a dazed Martel out to the floor, and he instinctively attempts to apply an armbar to the post. Back in, Martel hits another outta-nowhere bodypress as we pause for a break.

-We’re back with a front facelock by the king. Martel escapes but gets pounded down. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Front facelock by the king. And he facelocks him and facelocks him and facelocks him. Nervehold by the king. Martel breaks it and a fistfight goes Martel’s way. Martel applies an abdominal stretch and in the studio, Gorilla demands that we stop the tape of the match so he can explain that it’s not applied properly. And then we go back to MSG where Haku hiptosses out of Martel’s comically unhooked leg. But then Martel applies a Boston crab and darn the luck, the bell sounds for a draw. Match was fine, but man, here’s what I hate about time limit draws. I’m not demanding wall-to-wall action, but it sucks the suspense out of the match when the guys are changing up their style from the word “go” and wrestling at such a slower pace that they’re obviously stretching.

-Gorilla concludes by promising six more matches for Wrestlemania will be announced next week. Oh for god’s sake, at this point, Wrestlemania V is going to go over three hours. Ridiculous.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Well, they ran out of gas in the second half, but up to Brother Love, this was a pretty good show. Just...watch it up to Brother Love, I guess.