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WWF Prime Time Wrestling Review (4.3.1989)

June 1, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Rick Rude Jake Roberts Prime Time Wrestling 1989
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WWF Prime Time Wrestling Review (4.3.1989)  

-Oh, man, can’t wait to see what kind of zany unpredictable stuff they have in store for us 24 hours after Wrestlemania V!

-Originally aired April 3, 1989.

-Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Sean Mooney…well, that’s certainly unpredictable.

-It’s a special week, it turns out, as tonight’s episode is a “Coliseum Video Preview Show.” All of the matches this week are from Coliseum Video releases.

-From SNME, as featured on The Best of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Fisticuffs lead to a Duggan atomic drop that launches Zhukov out of the ring. Back in, Zhukov gets a boot and walks into a series of punches. He goes for a dropkick(!) and nearly Wattses all over Duggan before the big patriot moves out of the way. This looked just indescribably bad.

-Duggan whips Zhukov into the ropes and Zhukov gingerly comes off the rope and politely hands his body over to Duggan for a big slam. Three-point stance finishes. An unfortunate example of one guy totally giving up on a match, as Zhukov seemed to be game for the first minute or so, and then when he realized Duggan just wanted a squash, he said “Fuck it” and mailed it in.


-From Wrestlefest ’88. Noteworthy for possibly being the nucleus of a Bret Hart tradition, as he looks around ringside and realizes there’s no ring attendant to take his sunglasses, and after having some fun riffing on that (“Doesn’t anyone work here?”) he just throws his sunglasses into the crowd.

-Bret lights into Bad News with punches and slams him down. Elbows by Bret, and he drags Bad News’s face across the top rope. Bad News raises a boot to block a corner charge and takes over. Or maybe not. He heads to the top and Bret slams him off for two. Attempted side suplex is blocked by an eye rake. Bret ducks the ghetto blaster and backdrops him out to the floor. He slingshots himself on top of Bad News. Back in, Bret gets a series of two-counts on Bad News…but we need to buy the video to see how it ends!

-Great sales pitch by Sean, who says that if you own a videotape, you can watch it more than once. Why didn’t anyone tell me?!

-From Wrestlemania. Jesse reveals how easily impressed he is by saying that “Wrestlemania is living up to everything I expected it to be” before the bell even rings.

-Early criss-cross (and good GOD these are the loosest ropes I’ve ever seen; it looks like they’re in danger of falling out of the ring any second) leads to a back bodydrop from Tito, and it’s pretty much a Tito squash from this point forward. Executioner gets some token offense and there’s actually a story & psychology to it as Tito is on the comeback trail after having his leg broken by Greg Valentine. When Exebuddy finally gets some offense in, he targets the leg. He goes for a step-over toehold, but Tito makes a comeback with a Flair slam off the top rope. Splash is countered by Executioner. Neat spot with Executioner draping Tito’s leg over the bottom rope and dropping down to put all his weight on it, and Tito counters by using his free leg to shove him over the top rope, and Executioner lands perfectly seated onto an unoccupied chair. Not a mind-blower or anything, but it was interesting. Flying forearm follows, and Tito would normally finish it with that, but since he knows Greg Valentine is watching, he goes for a figure four and gets the submission. Remember two sentences ago when I said Not a mind-blower or anything, but it was interesting? That’s pretty much the entire match.

-Sean Mooney mentions the main event of Wrestlemania I, and the WWF changed so much in four years that hearing Sean Mooney say the name “Paul Orndorff” is like hearing him say “Frank Gotch.”

KOKO B WARE vs. BIG BOSS MAN (with Slick)
-From Summerslam ’88. Slick’s distraction allows Bossman to attack at the bell and toss him out of the ring, but Koko comes right back with fists and a dropkick that causes the Bossman to fall into the ropes and tie himself up. Koko goes off the ropes and splashes him to take advantage. Bossman is dazed. He charges at Koko but Koko dodges and slaps him. Bossman gets a front facelock and hammers him to the mat. Irish whip and a splash by Bossman as Slick boasts, “I told him to do that!”

-Bossman pounds away and gets a clothesline. He goes for a pin but pulls Koko up at two and does a surfboard. Koko kicks his way out. Bossman does his draped-over-the-middle-rope legdrop. Bodyslam and he goes for a splash and…sort of hits it. Koko moves but Bossman makes partial contact, and for a moment you can see Bossman thinking “Should I be selling this?” Bossman misses a corner charge and crotches himself on the top rope ad Koko punches away. Missile dropkick grounds the Bossman, but Bossman is too big for a brainbuster, so Koko tries a splash instead and that only gets two. Bossman makes it to his feet and Koko charges him, but Bossman catches him and drops him over the top rope. Sidewalk slam ends things and Bossman gets ready for main event status. Fun big vs. little match.

BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE vs. JACQUES ROUGEAU (with Jimmy Hart)
-From Best of the WWF Volume 19. “All American Boys” is a thing now! Yay! Even the commentary team goes silent just to listen and enjoy it. After some stalling, they finally lock up. Beefcake goes for a backdrop but Jacques lands on his feet and dropkicks him. Huh, it’s usually not a heel who does that. Brutus retaliates with a high knee that sends Jacques scurrying to Jimmy Hart for a hug. And if Huey Lewis didn’t make you believe in the power of love, Jacques Rougeau should because he heads right back into the ring and takes control with a rear chinlock and a “delayed backdrop” (which is Mooneyese for “Beefcake took a shitty-looking bump”).

-Boston crab by Jacques. Beefcake makes the ropes, so Jacques throws him to the floor, and Jimmy Hart takes a free shot to the ribs with the megaphone. Back from commercial, Jacques applies a modified bow and arrow as Alfred tells us that in England, it’s called the Yeoman hold. Abdominal stretch by Jacques, who’s probably going for that hold because he just found out Gorilla Monsoon is too injured to comment on it.

-Beefcake mounts a mini-comeback but takes a knee to the gut. Jimmy Hart jumps up onto the apron for NO reason because his man was about to get control of the match again, but as long as he’s on the apron, Beefcake goes after him. Jacques tries a sneak attack but knocks Jimmy off the apron. Beefcake applies the sleeper, but Raymond runs in for the DQ you expected the moment you saw the match heading. Beefcake scares off the brothers with his clippers after the match. Pretty unremarkable.

-From Survivor Series 1988, the worst Coliseum Video release ever. The show itself is fine, but they clipped two of the matches down to ten minutes. We get co-captains this year, probably because nobody wanted to deal with figuring out if Hulk or Savage got to be the captain for the main event. Jumping Jim is your first substitution of the night, replacing the departing Don Muraco. There’s some impressive continuity on the heel side this year, as Honky, Bass, and Davis were on a team the previous year and apparently decided to give it another shot. Speaking of impressive continuity on the heel side: Honky, black tights. Bass, black tights. Brown, black tights. Danny Davis, black & white tights. Valentine, c-c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker blue tights. I’m not sure it would have added anything but I think just for the sake of “different,” they’d have something if everyone on a team wore similar gear for Survivor Series.

-Beefcake and Valentine trade punches. Davis offers a little outside interference before tagging in proper and getting KOed by a sleeper immediately. Big pop for that, too. EDIT! Slams and fists by Bad News. Brunzell makes a comeback, but Paterally misses a charge and falls victim to the ghetto blaster, getting eliminated and officially ending his long fruitful run of being treated semi-credibly. EDIT! Valentine and Bad News try a double-team, but Valentine screws up and punches Bad News, and Bad News decides he’s not in the mood for this shit and walks back to the locker room, eliminating himself. EDIT! Houston tries a monkeyflip, but Bass counters with a powerslam, and that finally finishes off Houston.

-EDIT! Blazer goes to the top, but Honky pushes him off and Blazer lands knees-first, allowing Valentine to get rid of him with a figure four. Owen actually had to take a little time off due to that leapfrog, too. EDIT! Sleeper is clamped on by Beekcake, but Honky goes to the ropes and causes both of them to tumble out to the floor. It’s a double-countout and Warrior is left against Valentine and Bass. And we leave off there. Bleh.

Next, from “Brains Behind the Brawn,” a video about the managers, we get a montage of squashes highlighting the Hart Foundation’s face turn, as Jimmy tries to give them advice and Jimmy just gets sent back to the locker room each time.

-Heels double up on Warrior and Bass hammers away at him. Heels keep double-teaming every time Warrior looks to make a comeback, but Warrior fights them both off with clotheslines, and Warrior takes advantage of a moment of confusion to pin Bass, the illegal man. He takes care of Valentine and eliminates him, too, seconds later. 1 for 1. Hot, fast-paced start to the show.

-Sensational Sherri challenges the winner, which gives this one away since they’re building a Robin/Sherri feud already. Sherri does commentary and totally buries both women, saying that they’re both overrated and neither one deserves a title shot. Now Sherri really should know better than that. Gorilla suspects that Sherri doesn’t care who wins, which puts Sherri in the same boat as everybody else in the Summit tonight.

-Both women half-ass this one to the point that Gorilla doesn’t even bother with the “setting a deliberate pace” excuse. He flat out says they’re both looking lethargic. Lots of clotheslines and bodyslams and not much else. Sherri continues burying both of her potential opponents as the commentary sounds more and more like the shit they do on RAW.

-Another bodyslam. Two-counts are exchanged while Sherri yells, “Come on, one of you win already!” KILL THIS MATCH. Robin gets a bodypress off the second rope to win and retain. 1 for 3. Oh my god, this was a vision of the future. Commentators make everybody sound like shit while the crowd naps through 10 minutes of slam-slam-slam-clothesline-clothesline-slam. No blown spots though, which makes it about half a notch above the current women’s division matches. (Note: Written in 2011.)

-They’re trying to entice us to buy Wrestlemania IV with THIS piece of shit? Granted there’s not a lot to choose from on that card, but this match is like fifteen minutes of watching a turd sizzle on a Foreman grill.

-Lock-up goes Rude’s way and he poses to celebrate. Jake faceplants him and Rude gets upset and backs into the corner. Rude comes roaring back with a slam and another one. Jake with a series of slams of his own. He punches Rude right into Damien’s corner and Rude runs for his life and right into an arm wringer. Rude tries to fight it, but Jake hangs on. And he hangs on. And he hangs on.

-Rude finally gets free and throws punches. Jake takes advantage of a moment of distraction to give Rude a high knee from the second rope. Jake goes for a DDT and Rude runs away and into the arms of Bobby Heenan. I don’t know why this interests me, but there’s a moment on commentary where Gorilla notes that Bobby Heenan was instrumental in a campaign to ban the DDT and Jesse has to explain that, no, that was Jimmy Hart. Gorilla is sure that Bobby was involved somehow, though. Just as sure as George Steele got eliminated quickly in that battle royal.

-Rude gets the upper hand and pauses to pose, even as Heenan angrily screams at him not to waste any time. Clearing taking the advice to heart, Rude applies a headlock. The commentators discuss the importance of the time limit, giving away where we’re headed for this classic. Jake starts to get out of the headlock…but then he doesn’t. Jake finally breaks free and Rude comes off the second rope with a forearm. Rude pauses to pose again, then clotheslines him for two. Oh, cool, a bonus headlock. We couldn’t have THAT on home TV!

-Jake back suplexes his way to freedom, but Rude puts the boots to him and drops an elbow for two. Headlock the Third and this crowd has had just about enough, as even the comped folks who have never seen wrestling before are now fully aware that whatever this is, it sucks. “Boring” chant comes and goes until Jake finally breaks free and throws punches at Rude. Backdrop by the Snake, then a short clothesline. Jake tries a DDT but Rude backs him into the corner. Rude charges and runs into a knee. Stomachbreaker by Jake gets a two-count. Back suplex by Rude out of nowhere gets two. Double clothesline KOs both men. Rude recovers first for a quick two-count. Rude tries a Flair pin in the corner and gets two with both men on the ropes, but before the referee can count three, the bell sounds for the time limit, and both men are eliminated. Jake chases Rude & Heenan out of the ring with Damien. Terrible.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
If this was supposed to entice me to run to the video store in 1989 and rent Coliseum Video selections, I think watching this selection of matches would have made me settle on those direct-to-video "Candid Camera" episodes with naked women. Pass.