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WWF Prime Time Wrestling - Nov 1, 1988

by Scrooge McSuck

- Halloween Havok rolls on, with a Halloween themed episode of PrimeTime Wrestling. As usual, we're greeted by Gorilla Monsoon (dressed up with a Gorilla mask on) and the host of Prime Time, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, dressed up as the Big Boss Man. The studio is completely decked out in WWF Merchandise, with posters in the background, dolls and video cassettes littering the desk, among others.

The Blue Blazer vs. Boris Zhukov (w/ Nikolai Volkoff):

PrimeTime Wrestling Exclusive, with Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. The Blue Blazer is a singles JTTS, and the Bolsheviks were a tag team JTTS, but Zhukov has Volkoff with him, so call it a Pick 'Em if you're in a betting mood. Zhukov quickly stalls, so Blazer gets the fans clappy by stomping the canvas. Lockup, and Zhukov quickly clubs Blazer to the canvas. Whip to the corner, Blazer avoids a charge, takes Zukov over with arm drags, then sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Blazer to the top, and he follows with a forearm across the back of the head. Back in the ring, Blazer grabs the beard and makes Zhukov pay for having it. Blazer works the arm, and settles in with an armbar. Zhukov counters briefly, until Blazer escapes and rolls him up for a two count. Arm drag, then back to working the arm. Zhukov escapes with a slam, but misses an elbow drop. Blazer with another takedown, and more working the armbar. Whip to the corner, Blazer goes for a monkey flip, but Zhukov hooks the ropes. Toss through the ropes, and Blazer gets introduced to the security rail. Blazer gets trapped in the Andre Special™, and gets pounded on even more. That's not very sportsman-like. Blazer with a sunset flip back into the ring, but Zhukov hooks the ropes to block, then grabs a chinlock. Whip to the ropes, and a clothesline gets two. Zhukov with a slam, then unwisely heads to the top rope, only to miss a knee drop. Whip to the ropes, and Blazer connects with a dropkick, followed by a back drop. Blazer with a slam and knee across the chest for two. Blazer counters being thrown over the top rope, scales the ropes, and comes off with the body press for a three count at 7:44. Blazer might as well have been wrestling a broomstick here, doing all of the work. Zhukov did absolutely nothing but let Blazer do some bumping and the occasional move other than "punch." It was watchable thanks to the Blue Blazer's efforts, but that's the best I can say about it.

- From the pages of WWF Magazine, here's Update: Last week on Superstars of Wrestling, Not-WWF Champion Hulk Hogan was a guest on the Brother Love Show, when suddenly, Slick brought out the Big Boss Man, who wound up unleashing a beating on the Hulkster that no one has been able to do in quite a long time, if ever. We throw it to a promo from Hulk Hogan, who is still wearing the handcuffs used to keep him restrained during the beatdown. Back in the studio, Bobby Heenan celebrates the beating by whacking a Hulk Hogan poster off the wall with his makeshift nightstick.

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Tommy Angel:

Another Prime Time exclusive, with more Mooney and Hayes. The key thing about this match (well, the only key thing) is the recently introduced shinguard that Greg Valentine has been wearing. It's called the Hart Breaker, for reasons too obvious to explain. I know the Hammer spent all of 1989 feuding with Ronnie Garvin, but I want to say I recall him having a brief program with Don Muraco, before Muraco ditched the company prior to the Survivor Series. It was for the better, Don Muraco SUCKED as a babyface. Definitely someone who never needed a turn, because he was too good as a heel to really get behind as a face. Oh, it's a squash match, by the way, and an extended one, too. Valentine turns the shinguard around for extra leverage on the Figure-Four Leglock, and eventually picks up the submission victory at 4:21. Next...

- The Event Center, with our host Sean Mooney. It's time to hype the second annual Survivor Series, coming to you live on Pay-Per-View on Thanksgiving Night. Call your local cable providers to order this once a year extravaganza. We get promos from the Co-Captains of one of the matches, Ultimate Warrior and Brutus Beefcake (joined by Blue Blazer, Sam Houston, and... Jim Brunzell?) as well as the opposition, the Honkytonk Man and "Outlaw" Ron Bass (along with Greg Valentine, Bad News Brown, and Danny Davis). I miss when the Survivor Series was nothing but elimination rules matches, and all the top names were spread out to make each match have a balance of main event/midcard/JTTS to keep the crowd interested all night.

- Mr. Perfect Vignette. He's playing chess. And he wins. WITHOUT Cheating.

The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. John Zeiglar:

Another exclusive, or I'm just too lazy to get into a more detailed search for information. The Honkytonk Man dropped the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam, and has been working with Warrior for months in a series of rematches that he wasn't too successful in. From there, a brief tag team program with the Hart Foundation, then Dusty Rhodes, and finally dropping further into a "comedy" tag team with Greg Valentine until his departure in January of 1991. Typical Honky offense (not much, other than punching and kicking), and he finishes Zeiglar (not Ziggler.... har har?) with the Shake, Rattle N' Roll neck breaker at 2:29. I think this is the last of the squash matches. It's nothing but clear sailing from here...

- Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are on location in Toledo, OH, home of Tony Packo's Cafe, home of the Hungarian Hot Dog (Editor's Note: still standing in 2012 and just a block away from the Toldeo Mudhens' Fifth Third Field). They talk about the place, the guy and his hot dogs, people signing the buns for him (including Monsoon and Heenan, reluctantly, of course). It's a real time filler, with the occasional jokes from Heenan and Monsoon to keep it from being unwatchable. The big payoff is that Monsoon has loaded Heenan's dog with Hot Sauce, and the obvious follows. People in wrestling sure do love humiliating people with hot food.

- Back at the Studio, Bobby Heenan is having his make up done, but the person in charge has him painted up with whiskers and nose, making him look like a Weasel. Har Har! Gorilla Monsoon sure does get a kick out of all this stuff at Heenan's expense.

Paul Roma vs. "Dangerous" Danny Davis:

I changed my mind, I'd rather see more squashes. Pulled from the October 24th, 1988 card held at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, this is NOT Joined in Progress. We get to suffer every single moment of this one. Roma is still using "Crank it Up" as his entrance music. Billy Graham: If he (Roma) was bigger, he'd give the Ultimate Warrior a run for his money." For WHAT? Too bad Roma didn't team up with a fellow Guido. Could've called them the ITALIAN Stallions. HAR HAR HAR! Stalling to start, of course. Lockup, and Davis complains of a hair pull. There is NO WAY IN HELL Davis is 230 pounds. I'm not one to complain about over-hyping someones weight, but that is just bullcrap. Whip to the ropes, Roma with a back drop, then more stalling. Davis with a slam, but no follow up. Lockup, and another slam. Roma returns the favor, so Davis takes a walk for MORE Stalling. Roma gives chase, and back in the ring, Davis pounds away. There's absolutely nothing worth noting, so I'll either start making random comments or give up entirely... and we go to a commercial break. Ugh... we come back, with David putting Roma down with a slam, and coming off the middle rope with a forearm for two. Whip to the ropes, and a clothesline gets two, as well. Chinlock! WE HAVE A CHINLOCK! Anyone got "Boring Bingo" yet? No? Okay, well... uh... anyone catch the new Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon? I hate the animation style, and didn't think it needed another reboot. Speaking of reboots, how about a new Super Mario cartoon? You know you want it! After another five minutes of pure torture, Roma comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick to the back of the head, and covers for three at 12:24 (less commercials and studio time). I understand Davis was pretty good at getting heat with cheap tactics, but it meant for some of the most boring matches from this era of the WWF, and this was no exception.

- Back to the Event Center, hyping the upcoming Survivor Series. This time it's promos from two tag teams participating in the big 10-on-10, 5 teams against 5 teams match: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (not the Captains), and the opposing team Captains, the Powers of Pain, still actually managed by "The Baron" (a face-painted and hooded Baron von Rashke, the evil Nazi... got to love WWF!). Call now to order. Or download it. Or order the DVD on Amazon. Do something!

- Brother Love Show, with Hercules. He's recently turned face, after Heenan sold him to Ted Dibiase to be a "slave". Would you accept those conditions? Me neither. I'd rather be a lame babyface than a SLAVE. I don't care if he's as white as Casper the fucking Ghost, you don't use "SLAVE" when Dibiase's other henceman is African-American. They try to give Hercules the Mega Powers rub, but his run as a top face fizzled fast.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition © (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The Rockers:

(Ax & Smash vs. Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels)
Also pulled from the October 24th, 1988 card held at Madison Square Garden. The Rockers were still fairly new, having debuted towards the end of June (so four months into their tenure), and Demolition are in the middle of their record-long championship run, lasting from March 1988 through July 1989. Ax and Michaels lockup, and Ax easily shoves him to the canvas. Ax with some clubberin' blows. Whip to the ropes, and a body press gets countered with a slam. Ax misses an elbow, allowing Michaels to pound away with rights. Smash tags in, and wants some of Jannetty. Why not? Everyone else does, too. Lockup to the corner, and Jannetty proves he has the speed advantage. Smash with a knee to the midsection, followed by axehandles across the back. Whip to the ropes, Jannetty surpises him with a dropkick, Michaels adds one of his own, and Jannetty with another for a two count. Smash works the arm, but Jannetty counters, and the Rockers take turns working him over. Whip to the corner, Smash misses a charge, and it's back to work on the arm for Jannetty. They take it into the Champions corner, and Ax tags in, only to get worked over, as well. Ax finally breaks it up with a headbutt on Jannetty. Whip to the ropes, and Demolition with a double elbow. Whip to the corner, and Jannetty with a mild over-sell. Ax with a scoop slam. Smash tags in, and Jannetty surprises him with a diving elbow. Michaels tags in, and sends Smash to the corner... and we take a weird break back to the studio.

Back to the action, Ax pulls the ropes down on Michaels, causing him to spill to the floor, to a fairly positive reaction for Demolition. No wonder they were turned face a few weeks later. Fuji gets a cheap shot in (I think, the camera missed it), but the crowd is boo'ing, so I'm assuming it did happen. Back in the ring, Smash turns Michaels over with a Boston Crab. If only they were wrestling Strike Force, that would be awesome. Ax with a snapmare, followed by choking. Smash hammers away on Michaels some more. Michaels offers a comeback, but Smash with a drop toe hold to hook the leg, then drags him back to the corner and tags Ax back in. Ax greets Michaels with a vicious blow across the chest, then slaps on a bearhug. Smash tags back in, and works a bearhug, as well. Whip to the ropes, and Michaels nails a boot to the chest from out of nowhere. Jannetty gets the hot tag, and pounds away on both members of Demolition. Twisting body press on Smash, and it's a pier six brawl! Double dropkicks on both men, followed by a shoulder tackle on Ax, and slam on Smash. Fuji on the apron, and he gets taken out. Jannetty to the top, and the splash gets two. Ax dumps Michaels over the top rope as things get out of hand. Smash catches Jannetty off the ropes, and holds him in place for an Axe clothesline from the apron. Smash covers, and the three count is academic at 13:27 (including studio break). Started off slow, but a couple of decent heat segments for Demolition, and a really hot finish really saved this from the boring pile.

- Back to the studio one last time, as Gorilla Monsoon shows up, meaning the guy under the Gorilla mask is someone else. They pulled the old switch-a-roo during one of the last few studio breaks, you see, and Gorilla suddenly stopped talking. Oh, the hilarity!

Final Thoughts: Only one real feature match, that being between Demolition and the Rockers. The rest is a couple of JTTS face-offs, a couple of squash matches, and a few time filler segments from the Brother Love Show. We did see important stuff like the Hogan/Bossman program kickoff, and Hercules' pat-on-the-back from Randy Savage, but not much else to keep me interested for the entire 90-minutes. I was hoping for more from this episode, and finished off being disappointed. Other than the banter between Gorilla and Monsoon, and a decent main event, the rest is a lot of filler.

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