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WWF Prime Time Wrestling - December 31, 1987
by Scrooge McSuck
- Taking a break from the string of related shows I'm currently on (in this case, the In Your House series) with a random episode of Primetime. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are hosting from Caesar's in Atlantic City, NJ. Monsoon gives Heenan crap for his noise-makers.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Killer Khan (w/ Mr. Fuji):
We've got Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk, and Pete Doherty calling the action, so this must be from a Sam Houston Coliseum card. I'm just going to say it once... Doherty makes me long for Don West, Heel Michael Cole, and Mark Madden. I thought Khan was gone by this point. Savage is in the middle of a hot program over the IC Title with the Honkytonk Man. Lockup, and Savage gives a clean break. Lame! Annoyingly noisy ring here, squeaking like it's about to fall apart. Khan misses a knee to the corner, and gets wiped out with a back elbow. Savage hangs him up across the top rope, and slaps on a front facelock. Savage gets laid out, and Fuji gets his token cheap shot(s) of the match. It's sad when Fuji's intereference is way more interesting than the actual wrestler he's managing. Back inside, and Khan targets the lower back. Khan with the Body Vice, but Savage uses the turnbuckle to counter with a back drop. Savage to the top rope, and he comes off with a double axehandle for two. Khan quickly puts him down with a crescent kick, but misses the mist, and Savage rolls him up for three at 4:42. That was pretty weak for a finish. Match was nothing. Khan's comedic reaction to missing his mist really looked awful.
- Gorilla Monsoon still has a "generous" Christmas gift for Heenan that was refused last week. Heenan says no thanks to the offer once again, so Monsoon whips out a thousand dollar bill from the envelope. "Ive never seen one of these." "And you'll never see another one again (yoinks)."
Ken Patera & Billy Jack Haynes vs. Iron Mike Sharpe & Van Van Horn:
There's a Wrestling Challenge banner, but Bruce Prichard and some other douche are on the call, so it's a shitty dark squash match. Haynes and Patera had issues with Demolition at the time, for the 3 of you who care. Sharpe takes Patera to the corner and "hammers away." Patera takes him over with a hip toss, followed by a scoop slam. Snapmare, and Patera with an elbow to the face. Haynes tags in and goes to work on the arm. Whip to the corner, and Sharpe misses a charge. Haynes works over the other scrub with a pair of back breakers. Patera with a forearm from the top rope. The action spills to the floor, where Patera continues to show Van Horn what prison life was like. Back inside the ring, and Patera drops Horn across the top rope. Patera with the shitiest shoulder breaker in the history of man, followed by an equally shitty short-arm clothesline. Haynes with a press slam and delayed vertical suplex. This just drags on and on... Whip to the ropes, and Patera with another clothesline. Haynes signals for the finish, and the Full Nelson ends Van Van Horn's night/afternoon at 4:25. Afterwards, Ax and Smash hit the ring for the only interesting part of the match. I think Demolition got a better face reaction than the team of Patera and Haynes.
- Craig Degeorge is standing by with the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase, and Virgil. Hulk Hogan recently rejected Dibiase's offer to buy the WWF Championship from him. Dibiase calls him a fool. Oh snap! Dibiase promises to "humble the Hulk." In case the point didn't get across, he wants the World Wrestling Federation title.
- We get the fans reactions to Hulk Hogan's decision. MARKS!
- Bobby Heenan has a guest for us... it's the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase. Monsoon tries to throw Heenan under the bus for making comments about him. Dibiase flips a thousand dollar chip Heenan's way ("That'll last you for two years at Caesar's. I heard you blew $3 last time.)
Sam Houston vs. Dusty Wolfe:
Pulled from the December 11th, 1987 card held at the Sam Houston Coliseum. I've already covered that show, so here's some copy and paste action for everyone: Prichard reminds everyone that Houston was having issues with former referee "Dangerous" Danny Davis at the time, proving that even bottom-feeders were given something to do, back in the day. Lockup to start, and Houston takes Wolfe over with an arm drag. Lockup #2, with the same result. Lockup #3 goes into the ropes, and Wolfe takes Houston over with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop, and Houston takes Wolfe over into an arm bar. Houston works a wristlock before going back to the armbar. Wolfe takes control for a brief moment, but Houston goes back to working the arm. Wolfe counters with a head scissors, and Houston counters back into the arm bar. Wolfe escapes again, and applies a hammerlock. There's a whole lot of hair pulling going on. Houston returns the favor of pulling hair, and Wolfe rolls out of the ring for a breather. Houston leap frogs the referee to nail Wolfe, who was hiding on the apron at the time, and drags him back in the ring for more low-level quality punishment. Wolfe works over Houston with rights and elbows, but Houston isn't going down easy, and floors Wolfe with his own punches. Irish whip, and Houston with a crappy back elbow. Whip to the corner is reversed, and we get a horribly blown spot, as Wolfe appears to get a mouthful of Houston's butt. Houston goes to the finish anyway, and a running bulldog ends Wolfe's night at 8:38. I know it wasn't that long of a match, but when all my exposure to Wolfe is as a weekend show Jobber getting squashed in 90-seconds, this just seemed like an eternity to me.
Koko B. Ware vs. "The Duke of Dorchester" Pete Doherty:
Pulled from the December 12th, 1987 card held at the Boston Garden, with Gorilla Monsoon and Nick Bockwinkel calling the action. Monsoon says Doherty's record stands at around 2 - 5,879. Seems accurate. Lockup, and Doherty with a cheap shot in the ropes. Koko with a takedown, and he quickly goes to work on the arm. Doherty with a side headlock and shoulder block. Koko responds with a hip toss, and another delay in action. Doherty with a slam, then more stalling, and repeat. Koko blocks another slam attempt and throws Doherty down with one of his own. Frankie is squawking pretty loudly, or maybe it's because I'm so bored I'm noticing. Doherty pounds away on Koko in the corner as Monsoon declares Doherty might pick up victory #3. Doherty chokes Koko down and plays the crowd, AGAIN. Doherty with a snapmare and more choking. He heads to the top rope, and jumps into a fist. Koko with a running knee to the face, busting out an early version of a Shining Wizard. Whip to the ropes, and Koko with a clothesline, followed by a back drop. Koko drops a knee across the throat for a trio of two counts. Koko with a back suplex for a two count. Koko signals for the finish, and yep, the Ghostbuster (Brain Buster) sends Doherty back to the soup kitchen at 7:20. DULL. The last minute or so was entertaining, but the rest was damn near torturous to sit through. The highlight: FRANKIE FLAPPING HIS WINGS WILDLY.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Ken Johnson:
More from the December 11th show at the Sam Houston Coliseum. Forgiveness, please. What the hell is this? Johnson is billed as being from San Antonio, TX, but couldn't they find a more well "known" Jobber to be used to feed to Valentine? I can expect this to be shorter than any other match featured on the card. Lockup into the corner, and it's a clean break. Johnson applies a headlock, and Valentine quickly counters with a back suplex. Lockup, and Valentine with chops. Snapmare by the Hammer, then he applies a chinlock. Valentine drops a headbutt to the midsection, followed by an elbow drop across the back of the head. Valentine throws Johnson down to the canvas, and quickly floors him again with another chop. Valentine with a double under-hook suplex, followed by a wind-up elbow drop. Valentine applies the Figure-Four, and that gets the submission at 3:05. Well, at least it was short. Just a squash match, so the rating has no importance here.
- Highlights from the 37th Annual Slammy Awards! Vince McMahon singing Stand Back, with Hulk Hogan on bass, Savage, Beefcake and Roberts on "trumpets", and JYD and the Bees on "Saxophone". Oh my God, this is so... Wow. Vince McMahon shaking his fanny in 1987 brings new meaning to his "ass doing tricks" remark from 2001. Jim Duggan and King Harley Race brawl all over the arena for Race winning Best Dressed. "The Brain in the dumpster, right where he belongs!" This ate up a good 10-12 minutes, but it was somewhat entertaining.
The British Bulldogs (w/ Matilda) vs. The Islanders (w/ Bobby Heenan):
(Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid vs. Haku & Tama)
Looks to be pulled from an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, with McMahon, Bruno Sammartino and Jesse Ventura calling the action. The Bulldogs send Matilda after Heenan, so Heenan refuses the match until they take the dog away from ringside. Suddenly, the Islanders attack the Bulldogs from behind, while Heenan TAUNTS Matilda. The Islanders dump the Bulldogs from the ring after an extended beatdown, and then, yes DOGNAP Matilda. It's the start of that stupid angle. The angle that lead to marks sending in get well cards to a dog, and the stinker at WrestleMania IV featuring the attack dog suit Heenan wore. No match, but cool to see the kickoff to the angle, no matter how lame it ended up being.
- Ted Dibiase has replaced Bobby Heenan at this point, counting his money while Monsoon tries to give him the business. In a minor flub, Gorilla actually refers to Jake Roberts as a former Intercontinental Champion. For shame, Gorilla!
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Honkytonk Man © (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts:
Dark Match from the December 9th, 1987 taping in Ft. Myers, FL. I always dread the "feature match" being a dark match, for the obvious reasons. Those tapings had to be hell, and I'm sure that the majority of time, most performers put forth a less than full effort. As mentioned earlier, Honky was feuding with Savage at this point, but I'm unsure about where Roberts stood. Might've been in-between programs at this point. I just noticed that It's a WrestleMania III ReMatch. Lockup, and Roberts quickly pounds away with rights and lefts. Whip to the corner, and Roberts meets a knee on the charge attempt. Honky puts the boots to Roberts, but that doesn't last long. Whip to the ropes, and Roberts with a knee lift, but a DDT attempt fails. Jimmy Hart trips up Roberts, but Honky can't capitalize on it. Back inside, and we head to the studio for a brief intermission. Honky chokes away and stomps him some more. Just punch-kick stuff going on. Honky with a snapmare, followed by a fist drop. He misses an elbow, and Roberts counters the Shake, Rattle N Roll. Honky misses a charge to the corner, flipping himself upside down in the process. Roberts with the short-arm clothesline. Honky with the megaphone, and that draws a Disqualification at 5:28. That was a lame ending, but a formula for all Honkytonk Man matches from 1987-88. Losing by cheap DQ and Count-Out. Afterwards, Roberts locks Honky in the ropes and goes for the bag. Jimmy Hart takes the bullet, allowing Honky to slip away unscathed.
We wrap things up for 1987. See you again in the New Year.
Final Thoughts: It wasn't uncommon for episode of Primetime taking place on holidays to slip a bit in the quality of footage picked to fill out the broadcast. The banter was decent, but felt a little flat at times. The jumbled selections from random arena shows were some of the lowest caliber of matches from those particular cards, and the feature was the typical garbage match from Honky and babyface Jake. The only real bright spots were clips from the Slammy Awards and the Matilda Dognapping.
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