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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (8.14.1989) Review

May 26, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Prime Time Wrestling 8-14-1989
7.2
The 411 Rating
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling (8.14.1989) Review  

-Originally aired August 14, 1989.

-And it’s a special three-hour “Countdown to Summerslam” episode!

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Rowdy Roddy Piper. Gorilla announces that because it’s a three-hour special, The Bobby Heenan Show is pre-empted. However, as a compromise, Bobby Heenan will be joining us from his set in Studio B. We go to Studio B, where Bobby says that he has guards at the door to ensure that Gorilla and Hot Rod don’t try to sabotage his set. Heenan and Piper trade barbs, and it’s just two or three minutes of solid gold and this is instantly the best thing that’s ever happened to the format of this show.

HART FOUNDATION vs. POWERS OF PAIN (with Mr. Fuji)
-Anvil and Barbarian have a hoss-off to start. Shoulderblocks go nowhere, and then Anvil just rears back and knocks Barbarian over with one solid clothesline. Hit Man tags in, dodging a corner charge and dropping an elbow from the second rope, and Barbarian has had enough for now and tags in the Warlord. Warlord locks up and shoves Bret across the ring, and Bret has a funny “touche” reaction to that and just calmly tags Anvil backs in. Anvil goes for shoulderblocks again,and Bret quietly slips in and schoolboys Warlord.

-He pays for that, with Warlord giving him a backbreaker, and the Powers of Pain have a target now, unloading with shots to Bret’s back. Big boot by the Barbarian. So it’s Hit Man in peril for the next few minutes, but Warlord tries a bearhug and Bret shows how he became World Champion by raking the eyes to escape. Warlord tries it again, but Anvil heads in and breaks the hold. Dumb move, as the Powers double-tea, Bret while the referee shoos Anvil out of there.

-We’re back from commercial, with Bret still getting mauled until he raises the boots to counter a charge by the Warlord. Barbarian stops the hot tag from happening, and Anvil’s just like “Fuck it” and comes in anyway to duke it out with Barbarian. Bret does some artful dodging of Barbarian before slipping through his legs and making the tag. Irish whip by Anvil moves the whole damn ring, and before long, he’s taking on both opponents. He slingshots Bret on top of Barbarian, but a full pier sixer breaks out and everybody ends up on the floor. Mr. Fuji sees an opening and tries to make use of his cane, but his aim is off and he clobbers Barbarian, which allows Bret to slip away and re-enter the ring to get the win by count-out. Really good story all the way through.

-Piper and Heenan get into another argument, with Piper insinuating that Andre the Giant masturbates a lot.

UPDATE

-We recap the incident between Greg Valentine and Ronnie Garvin on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Jack Tunney ruefully announces that Ronnie Garvin is fired, so he can’t be a referee, he can’t be a wrestler…what’s left?

KOKO B. WARE vs. IRON MIKE SHARPE

-Iron Mike comes out swinging with armbrace blows. Koko fights back with a dropkick and a headbutt. Series of armdags sends Iron Mike retreating to the floor. He loads up the armbrace with something and uses it to go after Koko’s eyes, but a corner charge misses. Missile dropkick, and the ghostbuster wraps it up.

-We get another batshit insane promo from Hogan and Beefcake, who can feel their “brew” kicking in. I believe it. Hulk says the secret ingredient is “one drop of sweetness from Miss Elizabeth.”

-Bobby assures us that there are plenty more guests waiting in the wings for The Bobby Heenan Show, but Gorilla and Hot Rod aren’t invited.

FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. MARK YOUNG & TIM HORNER

-Mark Young is formerly known as NWA breakdancing sensation Vincent Young, who got laughed out of the TBS studio during his debut match. We’re actually joining this in progress, with Tony indicating that we’ve missed a lot of stalling by the Rougeaus. Young tumbles out of the ring when Jacques yanks down the top rope as he’s running, and he takes a pretty cool bump into the ring apron, sticking his legs straight up and landing on his ass.

-In the ring, Young surprises Jacques with a moonsault into a sunset flip for two. Raymond slips in with a big kick to turn the tide again. He applies an abdominal stretch, with Jacques adding leverage from the apron. Jacques slaps him around and throws Young over the top, but Young skins the cat, and Tony calls it skinning the cat on commentary, which I’ve NEVER heard on a show from this era. Hot tag to Horner, and the jobbers actually kick some ass in there and atomic drop the Rougeaus into each other. Young goes for a somersault off the top rope, but he crashes. Le Bombe de Rougeau, and they follow that with the Boston crab/kneedrop combo to finish this one. Really, really, really long squash, and if they were trying to do anything with Young, this was a really odd way to go about it.

EVENT CENTER

-Mr. Perfect warns Red Rooster that he won’t win at Summerslam, and I’ve never been so sure of a heel’s promises in my life. Red Rooster responds with a promo about how his mother hen told him to always be a good egg. The Honky Tonk Man says that “Feel the Heat!” is a perfect tag line for any event where he has a match, because he has heat wherever he goes!

-Gorilla and Roddy have a really surprising conversation where they revisit history and discuss the Greg Valentine/Chief Jay Strongbow feud as a reminder of what the figure four can do.

GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Jimmy Hart) vs. DAVE PARADISE

-Knees and forearms by Valentine, which Tony calls “Hammer Time” blows and I’m suddenly amazed that the WWF didn’t try to make that a thing at some point. Figure four ends it with ease.

BROTHER LOVE

-Brother Love welcomes Randy Savage, Sensational Sherri, and Zeus to the platform, giving us a record-breaking FOUR people who sound like they’re in mid-dump when they cut promos in a single segment. Randy Savage promises that the yellow and red will end thanks to Sherri’s Cauldron of Madness.

-And now, in response to “a deluge” of request, we re-watch, in its entirety, the Demolition/Brain Busters title change, all three falls of it.

-Piper is all wound up to confront Heenan about the tainted victory, but when they return to Studio B, Heenan suddenly isn’t there to talk about it.


SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA vs. DINO BRAVO (with Jimmy Hart)

-This feud was instigated when both men got into a heated argument about whose episode of Dark Side of the Ring was better. Dino clotheslines Snuka right over the top rope the moment the bell sounds and drops a big elbow for an early two-count. Dino pus the boots to him, but Snuka comes back with a dropkick that sends Dino to the floor. Test of strength unexpectedly goes Snuka’s way, and Dino is getting frustrated, just walloping Snuka and giving him an inverted atomic drop.

-Dino applies a bearhug and Snuka is an uncivilized savage who has not yet learned the modern technique of doing literally anything to break it, so he’s trapped for a while. Snuka eventually breaks free but gets shoulderblocked out to the floor. Snuka gets his second wind and starts going to the top to put Dino away, but Jimmy grabs his foot and stops him from jumping off. Snuka gets distracted by Hart and Dino tries a sneak attack, but Dino and his manager collide, and a nice little change on the usual formula as the referee abruptly calls for the bell…turns out he DID see the interference after all and he surprises the entire crowd by raising Snuka’s hand. This was fine.

-Note: There were two weird, very noticeable edits before and after this match. Anybody have any insight about what we missed?

-And now we get, in its entirety, the Beefcake/Savage match from SNME. Okay, they made NO mention of this being a three-hour episode last week and tonight, their special episode is rerunning the two longest matches that they’ve aired in the past month. Wild guess, USA Network kind of sprung the three-hour slot on them by surprise.

SUMMERSLAM REPORT

-High point is the promo from Akeem, Big Bossman, and Andre the Giant, where they collectively refer to themselves as “Twin Towers and Eiffel Tower,” which is so great that they should have just found a reason to keep them together.

SING-A-SONG SHOWDOWN

-This is an odd segment designed to give some semblance of “issue” to a match on the Summerslam 89 undercard. We have a band live in the studio, and Honky Tonk Man and Dusty Rhodes are going to have a showdown to determine who the better singer is. Worth noting that Dave Meltzer was reporting around the time that the WWF was putting out feelers for “The Wrestling Album III.” Honky Tonk Man takes the stage first, singing his entrance theme and pouring so much sweat he should just call himself Honky Tonk Rotunda.

-And then Dusty takes the stage…THE END. Now that edit, I actually do know about. Dusty sang a cover of “Johnny B. Goode,” so we’re sadly deprived of that on the network.

ULTIMATE WARRIOR vs. HAKU

-No Heenan at ringside for Haku, oddly enough. Both guys are perfectly color-coordinated, with Haku still in his purple and gold king tights and Warrior wearing purple with orange-tinted flair.

-So Warrior clotheslines Haku all over the place until Haku raises his knees at the right time. Chops and clubbing by Haku. He sends Warrior to the floor and slug it out. They trade chops and both guys mean it with the chops they’re throwing. Back in, Haku goes to the nerve hold. Warrior fights out and they exchange blows as we pause for a break.

-Back from commercial with Haku again trying a nerve hold. Warrior fights free and charges with a full head of steam, and Haku gets out of the way, and Warrior takes a really good bump tumbling out to the floor and crashing.

-Back in, Warrior comes back to life, faceplanting Haku and going to the top rope(!) He connects with a double axehandle, but he misses a charge. Haku winds up for a clothesline, but Warrior goes airborne and just knocks him out with a clothesline of his own for three. Ravishing Rick Rude hits the ring after the bell for a sneak attack. Great bit as the fans get up and look to the aisle to see who’s coming to Warrior’s rescue…and Andre the Giant shows up. And Andre is just there for guard duty and stands at ringside to keep anybody else from saving Warrior. Warrior turns out not to need anybody’s help, fighting back and press slamming Rude on top of Andre before taking off.

7.2
The final score: review Good
The 411
A lot of repeated stuff here, which makes sense, but it was a pleasant use of a few hours, and the studio segments were just a delight.
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