wrestling / Video Reviews

WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.31.1989) Review

May 15, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Bobby Heenan WWF Prime Time Wrestling 7-31-1989
7.2
The 411 Rating
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (7.31.1989) Review  

-Originally aired July 31, 1989.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Piper is humming through his nose as a tribute to the last Bobby Heenan Show.

SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA vs GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE
-From Saturday Night’s Main Event. As if to say “I dare you,” Jack Tunney has assigned Garvin to officiate a match involving the guy who caused his retirement.

-Valentine attacks from behind and hammers Snuka down. He follows with a chokehold, but Snuka finally shows some life with a chop and a headbutt. Diving headbutt, but he catches a shinguard to the head and Valentine goes back to work with elbows for two. Snuka winds up on the floor and when Valentine won’t let him back in the ring, a shoving match erupts. Garvin gets fed up and pops Valentine one right in the old schnozzola, and Snuka capitalizes with a flying crossbody to get a three-count. I get what this was; they just needed to tell the story and didn’t want to devote a lot of TV time to a match with a foregone conclusion, but still, pretty unsatisfying.

UPDATE

-Dusty Rhodes has arrived in the WWF, and his first order of business is stealing the Bossman’s stuff. Bossman is so angry he won’t even let Slick talk for him and promises to make Dusty pay. Dusty is a meme come to life, as he responds by actually saying, “U maaaaaad.”

DINO BRAVO (with Jimmy Hart) vs. DALE WOLFE

-And since you-know-who is in the WWF now, jobber Dusty Wolfe has a new name. Ronnie Garvin is the referee because they’re showing a match taped a month earlier, and Dino gets distracted by him immediately, allowing Wolfe to get the first move with a dropkick. Suplex by Dino as Lord Alfred Hayes makes it a point to say that Dusty Wolfe is going by Dale now. We never learned why Big John Studd suddenly had a grudge against Bobby Heenan out of nowhere but we made damn sure to explain that Dusty Wolfe is going by a different name now.

-Side suplex by Dino finishes, and he’s feeling ballsy afterward, so he gets in Garvin’s face and dares him to throw a punch. Segment ends without incident.

KING DUGGAN vs. THE GLADIATOR

-Duggan grabs the mike and makes a point about flag-burning before veering into the Pledge of Allegiance. I admire Duggan for wearing a crown and going by “King” while also pledging loyalty to the United States without any sense of inner turmoil.

-Duggan rams Gladiator into a turnbuckle as Alfred speculates that “If Duggan was stranded on a desert island, he would probably die of loneliness.” Well, yes, and starvation.

-Slam and the three-point stance gets the win. Duggan just had SO much fun during his King run, it’s fun to watch his stuff during this time.

-Gorilla Monsoon promises that the Meadowlands will be steaming on August 28. Well, hopefully they fix the plumbing the following day, then.

-Hulk and Brutus threaten to make a magic potion for SummerSlam. I swear, cocaine actually fell out of my remote while watching this. They promise to drink sweat, hair, and rocket fuel to prepare for the main event.

-Off to Studio B, where Heenan promises better guests than he had last week.

TIM HORNER vs. IRON MIKE SHARPE

-Joined in progress from Nassau Coliseum. Inverted atomic drop by Iron Mike. Big “Oooooh”-inducing chop and a high backdrop as Iron Mike is just having the best night of his life tonight. Choke and a piledriver by Sharpe, but he misses a corner charge and Horner punches him so hard he gets tangled in the ropes. Horner winds up to charge at him, but the referee unties Sharpe just in time and he moves out of the way, and Horner goes flying to the floor.

-Bearhug by Sharpe, but Horner elbows out…only for Iron Mike to reapply it. The punishing grip of the bearhug causes Horner to forget how he broke the first one so he just stays in the hold this time and fades away, until he doesn’t, and an elbow by Horner gets two. Really nice snap suplex by Horner gets a two-count. Sharpe dodges a dropkick, but Horner applies a sleeper out of nowhere, Sharpe resists, so Horner just turns himself around and turns it into a roll up for three. Odd match, with Sharpe just dominating and Horner’s win looking like a total fluke.

HILLBILLY JIM vs. SANDY BEACH

-Sandy complains about Hillbilly’s lucky horseshoe, anticipating that it might be used for chicanery or possibly shenanigans. Sandy Beach jaws with the fans as The Genius drops in to cut a promo about Hillbilly Jim. This is a weird amount of stalling for a squash at a Challenge taping.

-Hillbilly whips Beach into the corner and Beach hits with some FORCE, and the fans seem surprised by it. Bearhug by Hillbilly, but he changes his mind and lets go, and just settles for a boot to the head to finish.

FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. PAUL ROMA & TODD BECKER

-Jacques takes a long time stalling at the outset by jawing with Roma, and Roma finally gets fed up with waiting and clears the ring with dropkicks. Roma declares that his work here is done and tags in Todd Becker, so that’s the end of this match. Rougeaus stungun Becker while we get pretaped words from the Rougeaus, who complain that they might not be ready for the Rockers because their fingers are sore from all the fan mail they opened.

-Back to action, as the Rougeaus switch without tagging and Raymond, the illegal man, gets the win over Becker with a kneedrop. They didn’t have to cheat, but they did, because why not?

BROTHER LOVE

-Brother Love opens with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan already there, presumably because we’re to the point where they didn’t want viewers to see what Andre looked like climbing steps at this point. Bobby goes on a rant about wrestlers who try to intimidate people with facepaint, with scissors, with snakes…and Andre is grinning arrogantly through the whole thing, but his facial expression totally changes while Heenan says “Snakes,” and then he switches back to the arrogant face.

-As a special treat, Brother Love as another guest this week for a face-to-face debate, and he welcomes the Ultimate Warrior, as we’re just looking past Rick Rude completely and already moving on to building the fall house shows. Warrior promises to not just beat Andre, but to do it by pinfall. Good acting by Andre, who looks baffled by how confident Warrior was in saying that to him.

-Great line from Roddy Piper in the studio, who says that the next time that we have a segment with Andre and Warrior talking, we should have closed-captioning for viewers who CAN hear.

SUMMERSLAM REPORT

-Feel the heat! Here are Savage, Zeus, and Scary Sherri. Zeus doesn’t CARE about stepover toeholds or chinlocks! All he needs is the eye of the madness!

-Just added this week: Hercules vs. Valentine and Tito/Rockers vs. Martel/Rougeaus. Tito promises that he’s coming after Martel.

TAG TEAM TITLES, 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: DEMOLITION (Champions) vs. BRAINBUSTERS (with Bobby Heenan)
-From Saturday Night’s Main Event.

-Fall #1: Tully Blanchard knocks Smash off the apron, then dodges a punch from Ax by sliding out to the floor…forgetting that he knocked Smash off the apron, and he promptly gets his ass kicked. Funny spot! Pier sixer erupts immediately and all four men wind up on the floor. Sanity is restored and Smash has an easy time handling Double-A. Arn winds up in the wrong corner and gets hammered down. The tide finally turns when the Busters make history by being the first tag team ever to notice that Smash always wears a brace on one knee, and targeting the knee actually works.

-Smash gets trapped in the Busters’ corner and gets worked over. Spinebuster by Arn only gets two. Ax blocks a double-team by getting a handful of Tully’s hair, and Smash immediately capitalizes by pinning Arn to take the first fall.

-Fall #2: Ax tags in and things go better for the Busters, getting a little double-teaming and sneaky tags to stay in control. Heenan gets a few shots in, too. Smash manages to tag back in and before long, all four men are brawling, and Heenan goes sternum-first into the post. Andre the Giant suddenly shows up and Demolition hits the decapitator, but they’ve both been in the ring way the hell too long, and the referee DQ’s them to tie up the match. At this point, Jesse dives in to announce a big rule change in the WWF, saying that the title can still change hands and only the THIRD fall must be a pin or submission.

-Fall #3: Andre has a seat next to Howard Finkel and Demolition stays on Tully Blanchard. Blanchard does the Anderson sacrifice, ramming Ax headfirst into his own partner, but he can’t really capitalize. Arn tags in, totally dazed, and it’s a pretty even fight in that way. Ax rams Arn into the turnbuckle so hard that Arn’s head snaps back and collides with Ax.

-Smash is able to make the tag and we have yet another pier sixer. Andre slides a chair into the ring and Tully DRILLS Smash with it (and Barry Darsow said in a shoot interview that it legit KO’ed him) and the Busters get the pin and the tag team gold. Great match from a feud that didn’t get enough attention. Demolition’s reign ends after a historic 16-month run. Fun fact: This was the ONLY title change on the original run of NBC Saturday night specials.

THE BOBBY HEENAN SHOW
-The Oinkettes now get their own special introduction at the opening of the show. Bobby calls the three of them “25 of the nicest girls you’ll ever meet.”

-Tonight’s first guest is Kareema…something, a professional belly dancer who cannot bring herself to sit near Bobby. Bobby points out that if she married Buckwheat, her name would be “Kareema Wheat.” She demonstrates belly dancing while Bobby tells her “Make ’em bounce!” And we have the same problem as last week’s dance segment, as it just goes way, way, WAY too long. Jameson salvages it a bit with a funny aside where he complains to Bobby that he hasn’t actually been paid for the show yet.

-Bobby talks with her a little more and he’s kind of amused by the soft-spoken Kareema explaining her dancing experience by saying she’s danced at someplace that sounds like “The Damn Hotel.” Bobby tells Kareema to give Jameson a belly dancing lesson and she’s not processing this request at all, as she ties a turban on Jameson’s head, then forces him to the floor and walks on his back. Bobby curiously asks how old Kareema is, and Kareema, who doesn’t seem to understand what the hell is going on at any point in this segment, answers, dead serious, “one thousand.”

-Our next guest is Jacob Biblich, a hypnotist. And he’s still working and available! Jacob hypnotizes Jameson, who just barks like a dog repeatedly, and this segment just lays there and dies.

-Our next guest is Cecille Chabeau, a French woman who raises pigeons, and she seems to get what’s going on and responds well to Bobby’s questions about how to prepare pigeons for Shake ‘N Bake. She then explains a birth control method for pigeons to keep the population in check. This is kind of a funny segment just because Bobby seems totally thrown off by how much depth she gives to this subject and it comes dangerously close to being educational. Bobby is still slipping in jokes as he can, but he actually really lets her go into detail about this because he just seems totally thrown by how much she has to say about it. Show ends with the belly dancer getting up to do their thing, and the Oinkettes and the pigeon lady join in. Pigeon lady is having a GREAT time here.

7.2
The final score: review Good
The 411
Man, I hate to say it but that's the weakest Bobby Heenan Show so far. Prime Time was a GREAT show this week, as again, the switch to 90 minutes actually did a world of good for pacing. Wasn't meant to last, though.
legend