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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (3.20.1989) Review

May 12, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Bret Hart WWE
7.3
The 411 Rating
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (3.20.1989) Review  

-Originally aired March 20, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla and The Brain.

JAKE “The Snake” ROBERTS vs. BORIS ZHUKOV

-From Odessa, Texas. Jake cuts off the Soviet anthem, a running gag that’s really beyond dead at this point. Jake gets overpowered on a test of strength but boots out and wrings the arm. Boris tries a hammerlock but gets sent to the floor. Jake gets caught up in an argument with the referee and Boris takes advantage to take over. Backbreaker gets two and the crowd was freaking the hell out thinking that Boris was actually going to win. Boris tries a bearhug and Jake is the man because his arms are free so he breaks the hold in seconds. Granted it was with the asinine hand-clapping method, but E for effort. Boris goes for a bodyslam, but Jake wriggles out and lands on his feet, and he DDTs Boris immediately for the win. Nearly all action and it all flowed very naturally.

UPDATE

-Elizabeth opts for the neutral corner at Wrestlemania V, and this is all even more incredible to watch after sitting through the “Dark Side of the Ring” episode. Savage just automatically assumes that Elizabeth will always be in his corner, and it turns out that’s a shoot, brother.

HONKY TONK MAN & GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TIM HORNER & JIM EVANS

-Honky starts with Tim Horner. Honestly, they should have been a tag team. Creative could have called them Team Horn Honk. Horner slams Honker and Valentine tags in to get armdragged around. Betcha Jim Evans is taking the fall on this. Evans tags in and wrings the arm. Horner tags back in and Lord Alfred dubs him “a pesky little wrestler.” Horner stays on Valentine’s arm.

-So now Honky tags in and he gets the arm wrung, and the go-home signal must have come late because Horner tags out immediately and Honky just gives Evans the Shake Rattle and Roll right away. Figure four by Valentine finishes. It was okay.

BROTHER LOVE

-Brother Love welcomes the Red Rooster, a man without a Brain, literally. Rooster, now with the wacky hair, says that at Wrestlemania V, he’ll beat the weasel. Hopefully in a private dressing room.

KING HAKU (with Bobby Heenan) vs. TONY CAUSEY

-Causey tries an arm wringer but gets chopped right now. Causey tries a dropkick but Haku dodges it, and a superkick finishes. So basically Causey kicked his own ass here.

EVENT CENTER

-Wrestlemania V is a-comin’, so we get rapid fire promos from the Rougeaus, the Whackers, Ted DiBiase, and the Brain Busters crammed into two minutes.

TITO SANTANA vs. DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin)

-From Hartford, CT, way back in August. Tito tries to work the arm but Dino goes to the rope and kills some time. Tito throws right hands until Dino tumbles to the floor. Back in, hiptosses and armdrags by Tito, and now Dino goes to the floor on his own in a fit of frustration. Back in, Tito works the arm, taking a break for an atomic drop before he goes back to the arm. Tito sends Dino into the corner, but Dino blocks the attempted monkeyflip and makes it an inverted atomic drop. Chinlock by Dino, perfect time for a break.

-In the studio, Gorilla has abruptly disappeared and Bobby is totally confused about what to do now. Back in the ring, Tito fights out of the chinlock, but Dino takes him down with an elbow for two. Frenchy takes a cheap shot, then sells hurting his own hand afterward in a cute twist. Tito fights out of another chinlock and gets a bodypress for two. Piledriver by Dino for two more. Having failed to put Tito away with one of the most devastating moves in 80s wrestling, Dino tries a third chinlock.

-At ringside, Frenchy teases interfering. Alfred says “that’s like playing with Mexican fire.” I don’t know what the difference between American fire and Mexican fire, but I’m on the internet so I’ll just assume I should find this offensive. Tito starts making a comeback and signals for the flying forearm, but he gets distracted by Frenchy Martin and heads to the floor to kick his ass for a bit. Dino comes outside to rescue his manager, then slips back in to beat the ten-count. Crowd’s mad. I’ve said this before, Dino was good at allowing himself to be carried. And Tito was a good carrier.

WRESTLEMANIA V REPORT

-Here’s Hulk, taking credit for “exposing Randy for what he truly is.” If he’s talking like that was his plan the whole time, then does he realize that actually makes him sound like an even crappier friend than he came off as before? And hell to the yeah, more Randy Savage promo magic. The big difference between Hulk and Macho…he didn’t need any little Hulkamaniacs in HIS corner, and he doesn’t need them now. He calls Hulk’s fans Pukesters, because they were never cheering for him to begin with. They only ever cheered for Savage because he was Hulk’s buddy. Fuck ’em.

-Next week: Prime Time on location in Atlantic City!

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. RAVISHING RICK RUDE (with Bobby Heenan)
-From Saturday Night’s Main Event. Now here was a perfectly logical feud that they just never got around to pursuing. Classics on Demand showed this one a while back during their marvelously-themed Mullets & Moustaches Month.

-Collar-and-elbow lock-up goes all over the ring until Beefcake goes to work with punches and a backdrop. He clamps on the sleeper immediately, but Rude breaks free in a pretty shocking spot, and the commentators are just totally unfazed by the idea that somebody’s finisher was countered. Weird.

-Knees and forearms by Rude, and watching Rude throw forearms instead of punches makes me ask who the earliest wrestlers were to do that? It’s more realistic than punching and I’m in favor of any wrestler who does it. Rude clamps on a headlock and Beefcake counters with a stunner.

-And here comes Andre the Giant for some reason! Beefcake gets tossed to the floor and Andre attacks him until Jake Roberts shows up to even things up, and it turns into a brawl until the referee gets fed up and calls for the bell. Big John Studd saves the day, and we have a giant staredown until Damien sends Andre running. “Running” being a relative term, of course. Disappointingly short because Beefcake and Rude had chemistry together while it lasted, and given more time, they probably could have put on a classic.

BRET “Hit Man” HART vs. “The Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil)
-Back to Odessa. DiBiase refuses to start the match until Mike McGuirk proclaims him Million Dollar Champion.

-Bret goes straight to the moves of doom, hitting a Russian legsweep and an atomic drop. DiBiase bails out. Back in, Bret cradles him for two, and DiBiase is beside himself with frustration. Back in, he avoids a corner charge to take control. DiBiase goes for the pin and it’s Tim White officiating, so he gets a three-count but it takes a four-count to win. A friend of mine in West Virginia always refers to Tim White as “Ol’ Four-Count” because he’d it the mat so hard when he went down on pinfall attempts that you’d hear a thump, and it sounded like he was counting to four instead of three.

-Back from the break, a belly-to-back by DiBiase gets two. Irish whip by DiBiase and Brett does his trillion-dollar sell of the impact. Backdrop is countered by a cradle from the Hit Man. DiBiase is startled by that so he throws Bret to the floor in a panic. Back in, he applies a chinlock, turning it into a chokehold while Virgil distracts Ol’ Four-Count.

-Bret fights free, but both men are wiped out on a double clothesline. Bret comes back to life with rights. Bret unleashes the arsenal and DiBiase keeps kicking out at two. DiBiase gets out of the way of a corner charge and Bret connects knee-first. DiBiase tries to finish with a spinning toehold, but DiBiase kicks him to the floor and follows him out there to brawl for the double-countout.

7.3
The final score: review Good
The 411
Good mix of matches this week and even one of the squashes was worthwhile. Take a look.
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Adam Nedeff