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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.17.1989) Review

January 20, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Prime Time Wrestling 7-17-1989 Bobby Heenan
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.17.1989) Review  

-Well, I’ve been waiting for this one. And sadly it’s the 2nd-to-last Prime Time on the Network for the time being.

-Originally aired July 17, 1989.

-Your host is Gorilla Monsoon, who explains that “Bobby Heenan is no longer with us” and then has to clarify that, since Bobby is still alive. Bobby has indeed quit the show and is apparently hosting his own series, premiering tonight after Prime Time.

-And so Gorilla welcomes his new co-host, Rowdy Roddy Piper, making his actual this-time-for-real return to the WWF. Wrestlemania V was actually a one-shot appearance and Piper was actually negotiating with Jim Herd to come to the NWA and feud with Ric Flair (which, holy shit, could you imagine in 1989?) He got called in by the WWF again to replace Jake Roberts for a few house shows after that, but now, he’s really, truly back in the WWF, no foolin’.

-Also, the whole illusion that Bobby is in “another studio” for his TV series is shattered right out of the chute because when Piper walks onto the Prime Time set, you can see the blue cyclorama from Bobby’s set behind him.


-So he’s immediately rebranded and the name “Barry Windham” is instantly forgotten. Ronnie Garvin is the referee for this bout.

-Armdrags and a great one-armed slam by Mr. Maker. Big dropkick and a running inverted atomic drop follow. Barry workshops a new “thing” for himself, pantomiming cocking a shotgun before finishing with the superplex. He gets right in Garvin’s face after the bell and dares him to start something, but Garvin actually keeps his temper in check this week and doesn’t take the bait.

-Back in the studio, where Piper is splayed across the desk because he refuses to sit in Heenan’s old chair. They finally get him a director’s chair and Gorilla has to warn him to sit in it properly if he’s going to wear a kilt the whole time.


-And here’s why Garvin was on his best behavior. Jack Tunney is furious about the altercation with Dino Bravo last week and he’s issued his final warning. If Ronnie Garvin gets into an altercation with another wrestler, not only does his forced retirement from wrestling remain in effect, but he’ll be banned for life from the referee job, too.

-We head over to Wrestling Challenge, where Bobby Heenan throws a tantrum about being “squeezed out” ever since Tony Schiavone joined the show, so he throws down his headset and storms off, formally departing from that show. I remember really liking the Gorilla/Tony two-man combo when I was a kid.


-And the singles pushes are DONE, because here’s Mr. Fuji with the Powers of Pain, and they’re pretending they’ve been a team the whole time and nothing’s different. Meanwhile, King Duggan thinks your problem and flag burning are among the biggest problems facing America today. That’s why King Duggan has introduced House Resolution 11461. It would ban flag burning.

-Meanwhile, Bobby is sitting in make-up, promising the greatest array of talent and special guest stars in television history for his new series, premiering tonight.

-Joined in progress from Nassau Coliseum. Roma works the leg over while Sean Mooney and Tony Schiavone shit all over the name “Sandy Beach.” Yes, a guy named “Mooney” thinks your last name sucks, you need to change your gimmick.

-Roma stays on the leg until Beach rakes the eyes. Gutwrench and a backbreaker by Beach, but Roma won’t even stay down for a one-count. Beach tries to do a neck vice, but amazingly doesn’t know how to actually apply the hold and Roma is clearly teaching him while he’s caught in the hold. Roma’s guidance isn’t good enough and Sandy finally just gives up on it and lets go.

-Beach tries a bearhug. Roma fights out but Beach hammers him down and applies a rear chinlock, then he just releases and slams Roma into position. He heads to the top rope but Roma slams him off. Powerslam finishes for Roma. Ehhhhhhhhh…

-Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake formally accept the challenge of Randy Savage and Zeus for SummerSlam. Highlight of the promo: Hulk feeds Brutus a set-up line that’s obviously supposed to lead to Brutus saying “I’m gonna do some struttin’ and cuttin'” but Brutus brainfarts and says “I don’t know what I’m gonna do!” Hulk warns Scary Sherri that Brutus might give her a “Baldo Renaldo” after the match. Even Urban Dictionary doesn’t know what to do with that.


-Tito works the arm of Baldo Renaldo while Rick Martel drops in all-smiles and offers some threatening words. Arm wringer by Tito, but Renaldo rakes the eyes to break and headbutts him. Honestly, it ain’t like he was doing anything as Boris Zhukov in his singles run, they should have done another vignette where Slick had a ceremony around a garbage can in the middle of the street and declared that Boris was reborn as Baldo Renaldo, brutha.

-Tito fights back, backdropping Boris and finishing with the flying forearm. Just an extended squash for Tito.


-Brother Love welcomes The Genius, who reads a long, fawning poem about Brother Love himself. The lines are pretty funny, as The Genius is such a pompous ass that he can’t help slipping in an insult about Brother Love, too (he calls him “endomorphic,” among other gems). The Genius finishes up by presenting Brother Love with his own red and white cap and gown and declares him a Doctor of Love. This is why I could never get behind John Cena. They never did a vignette where Lanny Poffo gave him a robe and dubbed him Doctor of Thuganomics, so how legit could it even be?

TONY SCHIAVONE’S COLISEUM CORNER: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. “Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil & Andre the Giant)
-From Wrestlemania IV. These guys have phenomenal chemistry together if Bill Watts is breathing down their necks.

-They trade punches and Duggan takes control with an atomic drop that sends DiBiase spilling to the floor. Back in the ring, DiBiase goes to the eyes and throws chops & punches. Duggan grounds him with a clothesline and then punches him in the corner. Irish whip by Duggan, but he runs into a boot and DiBiase punches him. Then he punches him. Stomps by DiBiase. Fistdrop gets two. They trade additional punches. Duggan gets a sunset flip for two, which SHOCKS Jesse. Kneelift and another fist by DiBiase. Dual for a suplex goes in Duggan’s favor. To see if this match is in Duggan’s favor, head down to your neighborhood video dealer today. Bill Watts, for the record, was some 2000 miles away at the time of this match.

-Bobby is in Studio B, supervising the crew as they put the finishing touches on the set. One crew member keeps dropping things from a ladder while Bobby puts on a proud face.


-From Nassau Coliseum. Perfect gives Herc a slap, then dives for his life out of the ring when Herc looks ready to do something about it. Back in, Herc goes for a backdrop. Perfect cartwheels around him, but Herc just lifts him for a choke and heaves him into the corner. Perfect avoids a clothesline and bails to the floor and does a great job of “laughing” while selling.

-Back in, Herc lays into him with punches, and an uppercut is Hennigly sold with a bump over the top and back onto the floor. Back in, Herc rams Perfect from turnbuckle to turnbuckle and brings him to the middle of the ring for a side headlock. Perfect fights his way to the corner, but Hercules just Irish whips him and Perfect is making Hercules look like Goldberg tonight.

-Bearhug by Herc, and then he just dumps Perfect into the corner and stomps a hole right through his chest. Herc just keeps beating on him well past the point where Perfect should be dead, but Perfect finally slumps over and yanks him by the tights to send Herc to the floor. And then Perfect does a showy dive over the top rope and lands on his feet. Come on, dude.

-Perfect has an abbreviated heat segment, but then Herc just roars back with punches and clothesline. Torture rack looks to finish, but the bell happens to sound for the time limit draw, and Perfect’s perfect record kind of technically stays intact, I guess. Okay, that’s just an all-out assault on kayfabe because NO referee would call that match a draw. Perfect got the ever-living shit kicked out of him for fifteen minutes.

-Gorilla signs off from Prime Time and tells us to stay tuned for The Bobby Heenan Show, next, live from Studio B.


-A parody of Johnny Carson’s opening from this period opens the show: a spinning box with memorable highlights of Bobby’s misadventures on Prime Time.

-Your announcer is Lord Alfred Hayes, who does a fawning introduction of the star, and Bobby looks legit stoked about doing this, and I can’t say I blame him, because this is so different from anything EVER. If you’ve never seen The Bobby Heenan Show, the best frame of reference is that it’s Fernwood 2Night hosted by Bobby.

-Bobby hates pretty women who stand around and do nothing but turn letters and flip cards over, so he introduces his three assistants, The Oinkettes–The Rosatti Sisters in bathing suits. Bobby won’t let them sit down, since the furniture is new. God bless all three of them, they’re all in for this and having a blast.

“Do any of you play sports?”
“Yes, weightlifting.”
“The usual quarter-pounder?”
“I swim.”
“Well, watch out for those icebergs.”

-Bobby welcomes his first guest, NASA rocket scientist and LaGuardia Airport air traffic control department head Jamison Winter, an unkempt nerd with greasy hair and glasses held together with a band-aid and a safety pin. Bobby tries to ask him questions about NASA and Jamison has no idea what he’s talking about. Eventually it turns out that Jamison’s entire introduction was wrong and he’s really just some unemployed dork. Jamison’s shoe just falls off while he’s talking and Bobby tries to make sense of why he’s here. Jamison tells him that “Vince” called him and said they were hiring for something-or-other in the studio.

-We get another segment with Jamison, as Bobby is desperately looking for SOMETHING interesting about this guy and it turns out that he really is just a guy off the streets. And this runs a BIT long.

Bobby’s next guests are The Comedy Team of Penny and Coco, a mother-and-daughter stand-up comedy team. Penny’s cute, too. They perform while Bobby yawns and heckles them. And guess what. Penny and Coco are still working and available for gigs! And yes, they list The Bobby Heenan Show in their TV credits.

“We perform every Sunday at Dangerfield’s.”
“Are they closed that night?”

-Bobby invites them to keep performing, but as soon as they start the act again, Bobby signs off for the week and closes the show by spinning his chair and turning his back to his guests.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This happens a lot with Prime Time...highest recommendation for absolutely every part of this show that wasn't a wrestling match.