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WWF Prime Time Wrestling - November 12, 1989

Survivor Series Showdown

by Scrooge McSuck

- It's a very special episode of Primetime Wrestling, dedicated to a last minute hype job for the upcoming PPV, the Survivor Series. Each match will feature two men from opposing Survivor Series teams, and it quite honestly looks like a bunch of matches done at random, because we're going to see a Bushwhacker and a member of Demolition in singles competition and Tully Blanchard in the only singles match of his WWF career.

- Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are the Studio A Hosts, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is relaxing in Studio B. Bobby Heenan and Roddy PIper are at words, probably due to the fact that Piper and Rick Rude, a protege of Heenan, were in the middle of a program that kicked off at SummerSlam. With so much action to take place, let's head to the ring for our first match of the evening... oh, and just to say it now, all matches are called by Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura.

Tito Santana (w/ Dusty Rhodes) vs. Big Boss Man (w/ Slick & Akeem):

Not a terrible choice for a randomly thrown together match. The big prrogram for the Dream Team vs. Enforcers was obviously between Dusty and the Boss Man, but I guess you could say Martel and Santana were always at odds, no matter what. Everyone else was kind of in limbo at the time, and Akeem was subbed out with little notice with Bad News Brown, and used the same elimination plot with him as they did in 1988. Lockup to start, and Santana counters a sucker punch with rights of his own. Santana with an overhead wristlock, but Boss Man escapes with a knee to the midsection and "hammers away." Irish whip, and Santana comes back with a pair of dropkicks, sending Boss Man to the outside. Back inside, and Santana grabs a side headlock. Boss Man tries to whip Santana off, but can't get him to let go of the hold. Boss Man fails at an atomic drop, and Santana sends him into the ropes with another dropkick. Santana with a headlock, and this time a back suplex brings Santana down. Boss Man backhands Santana, then connects with a weird version of a sit-out powerbomb. We cut back to the studio as we take a break from the action.

Back to the ring, and Boss Man hammers away across the back of Santana, then chokes him across the middle rope. Boss Man with a scoop slam, but he misses one of those elbow drops that never hits the target. Santana pounds away with rights, and comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Boss Man's kick out sends Santana out of the ring, but that doesn't lead to anything. Santana crawls back in, and gets KO'ed with an uppercut as Ventura makes a Tyson reference. Did Slick just say "No Taco's for a month"? Boss Man with a rake of the eyes and sledge to the back, then slaps on a chinlock. Santana fights back to his feet, but gets nailed right between the eyes. Boss Man throws Santana into the corner, and bashes him in the face with an axehandle. Whip to the corner, and Boss Man misses a charge. Santana stomps away on the right knee of Boss Man, then goes for the Figure-Four, but Boss Man counters. Boss Man with a nightstick blow behind the referee's back, but Dusty rolls in and does the same to Boss Man, then rolls Santana on top for the three count (and a big pop) at 9:55. Not a bad match, but a little slow at times. I'm surprised to see how much of a reaction the crowd gave that pinfall, though, but I guess seeing Santana pin anyone of name value, no matter what the circumstances, was worth popping for.

- Back to the studios with all our hosts. Heenan tries to justify Akeem's interference, but his argument was very weak, but it doesn't matter, Rhodes shouldn't have interfered, either. Roddy Piper makes fun of Bobby Heenan using 976 numbers and says that's how he and Rick Rude met. The WWF is on Tour! Nov. 19 in Hartford, CT! Nov. 18 in Milwaukee, WI! Nov. 18 in E. Ruthorford, NJ! Nov. 18 in Philadelphia, PA! Nov. 17 in W. Palm Beach, FL! Nov. 17 in Hershey, PA!

- It's time for a special presentation of WWF Update, courtesy of the pages of WWF Magazine. Bobby Heenan protests the showing of the following clips, for the obvious reasons. Last week on SuperStars of Wrestling, we crowned new WWF Tag Team Champions. Demolition regained the straps from the Brain Busters, the team they originally lost the belts to on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, in controversial fashion. Back to the studio, and Roddy Piper makes a suggestive remark regarding a deflated balloon in comparison to the Brain. Piper suggests Heenan messed up the Brain Busters' career. Forshadowing?

Bushwhacker Butch (w/ Luke) vs. Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius):

Come on, how can anyone consider this a fair match? The Bushwhackers were very rarely put in singles matches, and Mr. Perfect was on the verge of a main event push. I wouldn't be surprised if he would've gone over in a 2-on-1 match with these dorks. Butch is representing Roddy's Rowdies, and Perfect is for The Rude Brood. Naturally, the only program with any serious establishment there was between, you guessed it, Piper and Rude. Perfect attacks from behind, after a butt-load of stalling from Butch, but Butch counters with biting. More stalling before the action resumes. Perfect pounds away in the corner, then talks trash. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Butch with more biting, sending Perfect outside for another breather. Back inside, and Perfect takes Butch's head off with one of his signature knee lifts. Perfect with a snapmare, followed by the neck snap. Perfect takes Butch off his feet with a chop, then rakes the eyes with the laces of his boot. Butch bites, AGAIN. Perfect goes back to stomping Butch on the back of the head. Perfect with a snapmare out of the corner, then crushes Butch's head with his groin. I've never seen that move before. Perfect continues working the neck, trying to make this into an actual wrestling match. Butch mounts a minor comeback, doing nothing but punchy-kicky. Perfect whips Butch to the corner, but runs into a boot. Butch with an atomic drop, followed by a clothesline. Butch becomes distracted by the Genius, and the Perfect-Plex ends this nonsense at 6:55. One of the worst matches I've ever seen from Curt Hennig, other than his entire series of matches with Kerry Von Erich. Back to the action, and the Bushwhackers clean house of Perfect with the Battering Ram. What a bunch of sore losers!

- We're in the WWF Event Center with Sean Mooney! He's hyping the Survivor Series, coming to us live on PPV. We get promos from Rick Rude and Roddy Piper, pimping their teams and threatening each other with violence. I guess Rude had a better team on paper, since both tag teams being complete ass cancels each other out, and Jimmy Snuka was worthless since 1985, in comparison to Mr. Perfect.

Hercules vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage (w/ Queen Sherri):

It's weird to think, that at the same time a year earlier, the WWF was seriously trying to pass off Hercules as a main event threat. That went over as well as a fart in a Burger King kitchen with a line full of customers. Savage was captaining a team called "The King's Court", and his arch rival (at the time), Jim Duggan was leading the 4x4's. They were, once again, the only real fresh program. Valentine and Garvin had their stupid and VERY slow burn program going on, but it was pretty irrelevant at this point. Everyone else was just filler, and in another substitution, Barry Windham (known as The Widow Maker) left and was replaced by newcomer, the (Canadian) Earthquake. Shoving match to start, and a lockup into the ropes ends with Hercules shoving Savage across the ring. STALL! Savage with a knee to the midsection, then grabs a headlock. Irish whip, and Hercules puts him down with a shoulder block. Whip to the corner is blocked and Hercules floors Savage with a clothesline. Hercules with a wristlock, and Savage escapes with a forearm. Savage goes for a slam, but that doesn't work, and Hercules responds with a press slam. The action spills outside, allowing Savage to ram Hercules into the ring post with a well placed knee to the back. Sherri with some kicks to the chest of Hercules, behind the referee's back of course. Savage to the top rope, and he comes down with a double axehandle. Hercules is selling better for Sherri than he did for some of the male wrestlers. Sherri loses her shoe bashing Hercules, and it lands it in the crowd. Back in the ring, and Savage with another double axehandle for a two count. Savage hangs Hercules up across the top rope, but that only gets a one count. Savage with a slam, but the elbow drop MISSES?! Hercules avoids a charge and drops Savage with a clothesline. Hercules with a series of lefts and rights, followed by a pair of clotheslines. Sherri hops on the apron to create a distraction, but Savage misses whatever he was trying, and goes flying over the top rope. Hercules with a suplex from the apon, but Sherri trips him up, and Savage lands on top... for a two count. Savage with an axehandle across the back, then heads to the top rope. Hercules catches him and connects with a back breaker for a two count, as Sherri put Savage's foot on the bottom rope. Hercules with a trio of clotheslines, but he so obviously hits the ropes to fall out of the ring. Hercules snapmares Savage out of the ring, then plays drunk in the ropes. Savage gets the purse from Sherri and KO's Hercules with it. Savage rolls back in and covers for the three count at 10:20. Match was okay at times, but Hercules was just not very good, and he just seemed so fake when he wrestled, at least when it came to his babyface run. Sad to see Savage having to cheat someone who was almost at the levels of JTTS.

- It's time for the WWF Survivor Series Report with Mean Gene Okerlund! It's coming to you live on Pay-Per-View, Thanksgiving Night with an 8 p.m. EST start. We get promos from the 4x4's (it's a shame how much they underused Windham in 1989), the 4x4's, who are in a poor synchronized act using 2x4's, and Bret looks like he knows how stupid he looks to be doing it. Jim Duggan: We've got wood! Also comments from the Dream Team. Santana and Rooster are showing team unity, wearing matching Survivor Series sweaters... and the Rooster clucking is just too ridiculous to take seriously.

The Ultimate Warrior (IC Champion) vs. Tully Blanchard (w/ Bobby Heenan):

Here's another of those whacky random matches. I know that Blanchard was a very established singles wrestler, but in the WWF Universe™, I can't recall him being used in a singles match in his entire run with the company. Naturally, I only mean stuff that was shown on television. He could've done a house show in front of 1,500 people where half the wrestlers got stuck in bad weather, so tag teams were split to stretch the card. Oh, to the match. Warrior captained the Warriors and had issues with Andre, the ULTIMATE Giant, captain of the Heenan Family. The Rockers and Brain Busters were on-and-off with their rivalry, and Anvil and Haku were filler. Blanchard with a shove, and Warrior shoves back. Lockup, and Warrior throws Blanchard into the corner, not once, not twice, but thrice! Blanchard offers a handshake, but Warrior squeezes the hand a little too hard. Blanchard thumbs the eye and pounds away in the corner. Warrior starts no-selling and traps Blanchard in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Blanchard bounces to the arena floor. Back in the ring, and Warrior dumps Blanchard over the top rope. Blanchard tries to take a walk, but Warrior brings him back via press slam. Warrior to the top rope, and he comes of with a double axehandle. Whip to the corner, and Warrior misses a dive. Vince McMahon notes that there's trouble-a-brewin' in the Heenan Family. Whip to the corner, and Warrior connects with a clothesline, but meets the knees of Blanchard going for the splash. Blanchard goes for a suplex, but Warrior counters and takes Blanchard over with his own. Warrior misses an elbow drop, then runs into a boot in the corner. Blanchard to the top rope, and Warrior catches him with a powerslam. Warrior calls for the end, but out comes Arn Anderson, who kicks the knee from under Warrior, drawing the Disqualification at 6:01. Warrior nails the Busters with a double clothesline, and here comes Haku to try and take Warrior down. The 3-on-1 is enough finally, but now the Rockers and Anvil are in the ring for the traditional Survivor Series Teams Brawl. Andre finally wakes up from his nap to come to the ring, but he's too late to help his team in the war. Match was really bad, which is a shame because Blanchard did absolutely nothing and looked like a joke with Warrior dominating the entire thing.

- Bobby Heenan argues that everyone was too afraid of Andre The Giant, but Monsoon rightfully points out that by the time he got the ring, there was nothing left for him to do but face the Warriors 4-on-1. We throw it to an Event Center promo from the team of the Hulkamaniacs. The foursome of Hogan, Roberts, and Demolition has to be my favorite Survivor Series team ever. As a child, these four were like the All-Star roster of the Survivor Series... and why does Hogan keep calling Dibiase the Multi-Million Dollar Man?

Demolition Smash (Tag Team Champion) vs. "Million $ Man" Ted Dibiase:

Last match of the night. The Hulkamaiacs vs. Million $ Team main programs were between Hulk Hogan and Zeus, and Jake Roberts and Ted Dibiase. The naked eye of me as a youngster thought the team captains were always the big deal with each other, but not here. Dibiase "injured" Jake Roberts sometime after WrestleMania V, and Roberts had only recently returned for vengeance, while Hogan and Zeus were sucking every ounce of life from the stupid No Holds Barred movie. Oh, and Demolition and the Powers thing was done at WrestleMania V, but they had to be stuck somewhere. It's funny how the build up featured Dibiase claiming he paid to get the best team money can buy... and he got the Powers of Pain and Zeus. Smash attacks from behind, and Dibiase stupidly punches Smash's studded mask. Smash with an atomic drop, sending Dibiase over the top, to the floor. Smash grabs a fist full of cash and stuff it in his trousers. Kinky. Dibiase charges back in and Smash takes him over with a back drop. Smash with a pair of clotheslines, sending Dibiase back out of the ring. Smash follows for a game of cat-and-mouse, allowing Dibiase to get the upper-hand, dropping a series of knees across the back of the head. Irish whip, and Smash with another clothesline. Smash pounds away, but it's not the same without Ax doing it with him. Smash sends Dibiase back out of the ring with another clothesline. Smash tries to clothesline him again, but ends up wrapping his arm around the post, and Dibiase puts him down with his own clothesline. Back in the ring, and Dibiase with a knee into the midsection, followed by a fist drop. Smash with a pair of knees to the midsection, but Dibiase rakes the eyes to break up the momentum. Dibiase with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Dibiase with more knees to the back of the head for another two count, then slaps on a chinlock.

We return from a break, and the hold is still applied. Smash sounds like he's choking. Check the arm, ref! Smash with elbows to escape, but he runs into another knee. Dibiase with an elbow to the back of the head for a two count, and then it's back to the chinlock. Smash fights back to his feet, but Dibiase brings him back down. Dibiase is wrestling this match more like a twenty-plus minute match at MSG rather than something from a TV taping. Smash fights back to his feet again and throws Dibiase to the buckle. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Dibiase puts Smash down with a clothesline for a two count. Dibiase goes back to the chinlock again, and this hold is really starting to drag it down. Smash uses momentum to throw Dibiase into the turnbuckle and break the hold, then rams him back into the buckle. Dibiase heads to the second rope, and jumps right into a fist from Smash. Irish whip, and Smash with a back drop, followed by a powerslam. Suddenly, Zeus makes his way to the ring. Dibiase tosses Smash out of the ring, and Zeus does the stupid neck twist behind the referee's back, and Smash sells it like it's death. Zeus tosses Smash back in the ring, and Dibiase makes the cover for the three count at 10:27. To add insult to injury, Dibiase slaps on the Million Dollar Dream, but Ax runs in to make the save and scare Dibiase off... but Dibiase holds Zeus back from taking Ax out? That makes a lot of sense. Suddenly, VIRGIL comes to ringside. Where the hell was he for the whole match? Match started off pretty fun, but the rest-holds seemed to drag things down too much considering how fast they went home from there.

- We go back to the Studios one last time. Bobby Heenan name-drops Jason Hervey of the Wonder Years as someone he's trying to get tickets for. That just seems weird, considering he was always at the NWA/WCW shows at the time. Monsoon instigates Bobby Heenan about the long-distance phone call he recieved earlier in the night. Promotional consideration paid for by the following... Electronic Battleship! Peak Protection engine fluid! Stetson Cologne (hearing Lord Alfred grunting "Hard" is too funny for words)! Wireless Remote Controller for the NES! We end things with Roddy Piper popping all the balloons in his studio except one that has his name on it.

Final Thoughts: Not the greatest example of wrestling, but these shows always held a nostalgic place in my heart. For the time, it was rare to see a show filled with feature matches like this, and it seemed much more important than a typical episode of Primetime, which usually didn't have a pattern or theme to it, and was just a bunch of random matches thrown together by whoever. These shows had one purpose, and that was to get fans excited for the big PPV, and for every year they did these for Survivor Series, SummerSlam, and WrestleMania, it did it's job, at least for me.

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