The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Primetime Wrestling – May 4 1987
– So after last time, when they had the Wrestlemania III episode, now we jump ahead a couple of months, into May. Very strange sequencing.
– Hosted by Gorilla and Lord Alfred this week, as Bobby is out with a neck injury courtesy of Ken Patera.
– Speaking of which, we begin with a review of the Heenan-Patera situation, which leads to the Heenan-Patera debate from Superstars. Why would Patera wear his wrestling tights to a debate? Heenan’s position is pretty fixated on the “ex-con” aspect of Patera’s life, but then 90% of his speech is censored with a scroll at the bottom talking about how they were too heinous to broadcast. OK, anyone know what that’s about? Patera’s all “Wah wah wah, you didn’t visit or write to me while I was getting raped in the shower” and Heenan again rightly points out that he’s not Patera’s mommy and Patera is a grown man who made his own choice. If this happened today, people would boo Patera out of the building for being such a pyschopath in the first place. Heenan gets a little too worked up and attacks Patera with his belt, but Patera chokes him out with it and tosses him across the ring using the belt. Are THESE the actions of someone who is rehabilitated? Didn’t that kind of prove Bobby’s point?
– Johnny Valiant v. George Steele. This is from a house show in Toronto and it’s supposed to be Honky wrestling here, but a sling makes it obvious why Johnny V is subbing. Steele chases Valiant for some stalling, which gives me time to note that Canadian announcing legend Billy Red Lyons is doing commentary with Gorilla. Valiant jumps Steele and chokes him down, but gets bitten for his troubles. Miraculously, Honky Tonk Man’s arm injury heals and he jumps into the ring for the DQ at 1:54. DUD Totally pointless crap.
– Outback Jack v. Frenchy Martin. Speaking of crap. This is from Philly in another head-scratching choice. Did they just pick stuff at random for this show? Jack overpowers Martin to start and gets some slams, which means it’s time for stalling from Martin. Back in, and now it’s the handshake deal, which allows Martin to get a cheapshot and choke him down. Jack fires back with a back elbow and a weak splash for two. Boomerang lariat finishes at 5:01. Who knew that the Australians and French had such a rivalry? DUD
– Jim Brunzell v. Jim Neidhart. Over to MSG for this one, and the lack of pink tights on Neidhart would put this well before their tag title win. Brunzell tries to do some wrestling to start, but gets blocked by Anvil with a variety of cheating. Anvil goes to the headlock and hangs onto that for a bit, but gets taken down into a leglock by Brunzell. Neidhart bails and expresses his displeasure with the fans, and then heads back in to toss Brunzell for some more stalling. Anvil won’t let him in, so Brunzell yanks him out and sends him into the post. Back in, Brunzell works on a hammerlock and that lasts a while, as the fans rapidly lose patience. Anvil fights up, but Brunzell gets a crossbody for two and goes back to the arm. And that just drags on and on as Gorilla and Alfred have nothing else to talk about but the battle royale from Wrestlemania 2. Anvil finally fights up after literally three minutes of nothing but an armbar, and catches him with an atomic drop as we take a break. We return with Anvil biting him in the head and the hand to take over. Brunzell bails to regroup, but Neidhart chokes him out on the top rope. Brunzell gets a small package for two, but Anvil takes him down with a chinlock to really ramp up the excitement. Brunzell tries to fight out with an atomic drop, but Anvil hangs on to the resthold that just won’t die. Finally he escapes and reverses to…a sleeper. Oh, tremendous. Anvil rams him into the corner to escape and goes…back to the chinlock. Oh, dear god, if they’re taking this to a 20-minute draw, I’m gonna need booze. Brunzell starts working on the leg and wraps it around the post, then yanks on his beard to really do some damage. Figure-four, but Anvil quickly gets the ropes. Brunzell charges and runs into a clothesline from Anvil that gets two. They collide and we get more time being wasted as this match is going nowhere slowly. Brunzell tries a slam, but Anvil falls on top for two. Dropkick gets two as time expires at 18:49, which is not quite the 20 minutes advertised, but I’ll take the early finish. Horrendously boring, with most of the match spent on the mat in restholds and nothing that actually led anywhere. *
– “The Natural” Butch Reed v. “Rebel” Dick Slater. Big stall to start and Slater chases after Slick before we finally get the lockup. Slater fires away in the corner, but Reed catches him with a knee and gets a slam. Much like the failed “Rebel” Lex Luger years later, Slater’s non-gimmick leads me to wonder what exactly he’s supposed to be rebelling against. Maybe if they shot a vignette where he defies a random authority figure, like leaving his job at the Home Depot 15 minutes early, just to stick it to the man, then he would have gotten over. Reed pounds him down and chokes away as I can’t help but think that this would be a better match if it was three years earlier in the NWA. Slater tries a piledriver, but Reed backdrops out of it. Slater comes back with a small package for two, and a neckbreaker for two, which the announcer calls a snap suplex. Reed drops an elbow, however, and piledrives him, as the announcers encourage fans at home to try it themselves to see how much it hurts. No, really. It was a simpler time. They fight to the floor and Reed goes into the post, but both make it back in. Slater goes up and drops his elbow for two, as Slick puts Reed’s foot on the ropes. Slater chases him again and then catches Reed with another elbow, but Reed pins him in the corner at 8:18. It was looking grim to start, but both guys are talented enough to fight through the suck and put on something watchable. **
– Demolition v. Jim Powers & Paul Roma. This was pre-push for the Young Stallions, even before Ric Flair wished he was Roma. Ax beats the crap out of Powers to start, but Smash puts his head down and Powers brings in Paul “Nature Boy” Roma. He immediately misses a dropkick and they kill him dead with Decapitation at 2:25. Total squash. DUD Fun fact: Ric Flair was World champion at that point and probably screwing a hot chick while doing coke off a hooker in the VIP room. Just saying, Paul.
– UPDATE! WITH CRAIG DEGEORGE! The match between Billy Jack and Hercules at Wrestlemania is recapped, and Haynes yells and screams.
– Dino Bravo v. SD Jones. Back to Philly again, as Bravo pounds on Jones and stomps away. Jones comes back with his own slams, but Bravo pounds him down and gets a boston crab. Jones powers out and gets a backdrop, but misses a blind charge and it’s sideslam city at 3:01 for Bravo. 1/4*
– Tag Team Battle Royale: From MSG. All the usual suspects from the 80s tag team scene are in there, including the Machines, so they’re probably winning. Lots of punching and milling around, as the awesome super-team of SD Jones and Mike Rotundo are the first ones out when, surprise surprise, Jones gets thrown out. Next out is Steve Gatorwolf and Jay Strongbow, another strong contender gone. Iron Sheik charges Big Machine and gets backdropped out to end the foreign threat, and the Bulldogs and Hart Foundation eliminate each other via Bret and Dynamite. The Rougeaus try to get Bundy out, but Studd saves and we take a break. Back with Brunzell getting tossed by Studd to get rid of the Bees. The Islanders work on Ray Rougeau, but Jacques gets dumped by Studd and we’re down to the final four: Studd/Bundy, The Dream Team, The Islanders and the Machines. Beefcake is quickly tossed by the Super Machine, but Studd and Bundy team up and get rid of the Big Machine, leaving us with the Islanders against Studd and Bundy. The heels pound away, but the Islanders fight back until Bundy hits Tama with the Avalanche. Haku keeps fighting, and Bundy charges him and hits Studd by mistake to put him on the floor and give the win to the Islanders at 8:19. I don’t rate battle royales.
This show was teh suck. See ya next time.