The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Prime Time Wrestling – May 25 1987
– I think I skipped a show, but you’ll live.
– Hosted by Gorilla and Bobby.
Paul Roma & Jim Powers v. Magnificent Muraco & Bob Orton
From an MSG show. Muraco elbows Powers down and the heels quickly work him over in the corner. Orton presses him into a backbreaker (one-handed!) and goes to a cravate, but Powers whips him into the turnbuckle to break. Roma comes in from the top with an axehandle and works a headlock, but Orton dumps him to break. Muraco gives him a rather satisfying trip into the post, although I’m not sure if the hollow ringing sound was the post or Roma’s head. Back in with a delayed suplex from Orton, and Muraco gets a backbreaker. He misses a headbutt and Roma makes the comeback, as the Stallions pinball Muraco in the corner. This leads to heel miscommunication that gives Roma two. Back to Powers for another headlock, and he takes him down with it for two. And we take a break. Back with Muraco clotheslining Powers to take over, and using some bearhuggery. Powers quickly fights out, so Muraco brings him back to the heel corner and Orton throws his own dropkick. Yeah, show that Roma punk how to do it! Bob goes up with a pump splash, but hits knee and it’s hot tag Roma. Noggins are knocked and it’s BONZO GONZO, but the kids collide. Roma cradles Orton behind the ref’s back and Orton reverses, but Muraco stupidly rolls them over and puts Roma on top again, not realizing that Orton has already reversed. Nice finish!
(Roma & Powers d. Muraco & Orton, Powers small package — pin Orton, 11:07, ***1/4) This was the start of Muraco’s face turn, obviously. Good, fast-paced match with a minimum of resting. Not to mention the creative finish that put over the kids without really hurting the heels.
UPDATE! WITH CRAIG DEGEORGE! This week’s subject is Superstar Billy Graham, who got hip surgery after an “accident” (ie, accidentally injecting himself with steroids for 20 years) and was forced into retirement. The angle they’re playing here is that he’s training for a comeback, but it never happened. Graham, like all normal people, cuts a promo on his way out of the hospital while a terrified woman runs away in the background. THE CAMERAS ARE STEALING HER SOUL! AAAAAAH!
Outback Jack v. Frenchy Martin
Am I nuts, or did we just get this match a few shows back? A quick check of the May 4 show reveals that in fact, we did. I guess it was so good that we had to feature it twice. This apparently not the same match, if that makes you feel better. I’m always amused to see Jim Kordeiros with hair back in the day. Jack overpowers him to start and elbows him down, and Martin bails. Back in, it’s stall time before Martin cheapshots him to take over and drops elbows. The clubbing forearms prove quite effective, but Jack comes back with an elbow in the corner and finishes quick with the boomerang clotheslines.
(Outback Jack d. Frenchy Martin, clothesline — pin, 4:20, 1/2*) The suspense of the match is somewhat limited by Jack yelling “Now I’m gonna hit him in the back of the head!” after the first clothesline. Show, don’t tell, man.
Sam Houston v. Terry Gibbs
This was actually quite the political to-do, as Houston was married to Baby Doll at the time and it got her into serious hot water with the NWA and eventually got her blackballed from Crockett. Houston slugs Gibbs into the corner to start and gets a crossbody for two, then grabs an armbar. Atomic drop and it’s back to the armbar as the announcers speculate on Houston’s wrestling background and whether he comes from a wrestling family. Gee, I wonder. Gibbs elbows out, but Houston hiptosses him and goes back to the armbar again. Gibbs fights out and tosses him, then slams him on the floor. Back in, Houston tries a sunset flip, but Gibbs drops down him for two. Neckbreaker gets two. They slug it out and Houston wins that to set up a back elbow, and a cradle gets two. Backslide gets two. Gibbs tries an elbowdrop and misses, and Houston finishes.
(Sam Houston d. Terry Gibbs, bulldog — pin, 7:50, **) Not a super-impressive debut for Houston or anything, which is probably why he was feuding with Danny Davis and jobbing on TV soon after.
The Rougeau Brothers v. Jimmy Jack Funk & Tiger Chung Lee
Lee tries an armbar on Jacques to start, but gets reversed into a victory roll for two. Jacques slams him and he bails, so Jacques slingshots him back in again. Over to Jimmy Jack, and they quickly double-team the arm. Jacques gets a back elbow and Raymond adds a side kick, but a cheapshot from Lee turns the tide. Funk with a shoulderbreaker for two. They work Raymond over, but he quickly comes back with an abdominal stretch on Funk and the Rougeaus double-dropkick both heels. Senton from the top finishes.
(The Rougeaus d. Funk & Lee, Raymond senton splash — pin Funk, 4:08, *) Just your basic TV squash.
Nikolai Volkoff v. Corp. Kirschner
We’re in Toronto, so Kirschner is waving the Canadian flag. This must be pretty old, because I don’t think Kirschner was still around this far into 87. Volkoff attacks him with the flag to start and stomps him down, but Kirschner rolls him up for two. Fistdrop and he dropkicks Volkoff (at about 0.7 Watts) but Volkoff boots him down again. We head to the floor, where Volkoff slams him. Volkoff keeps kneeing him back to the floor again. Kirschner finally fights back and wraps Volkoff’s leg around the post, which allows him to make the comeback. Clothesline and elbowdrop get two. He pounds away in the corner, but misses a blind charge and hits the floor again. And we take a break. Back with Volkoff getting a butterfly suplex for two. Gut wrench gets two. Volkoff gets his bearhug on, but Kirschner fights out, so he goes to a bow-and-arrow instead. Kirschner fights out and drops a lazy elbow for two. Small package gets two. Backslide gets two. He uses the shirt to clothesline Volkoff, but misses a splash, and Volkoff presses him into the backbreaker to finish.
(Nikolai Volkoff d. Corporal Kirschner, backbreaker — pin, 9:48, *1/2) Kirschner was super-sloppy here, wrestling like someone about to do a job and on his way out of the promotion.
Butch Reed v. Tito Santana
This is a dark match from (Name of syndicated show blurred). Commentary team here is Craig DeGeorge, Jesse Ventura and Bruno, which is an interesting combination to say the least. Jesse immediately cuts Craig down, telling him to shut up and let him call the match. Go, Jess! Tito wins a slugfest to start and Reed bails. Back in, Reed stalls for a bit, so Tito gets a small package for two and dropkicks him out of the ring. Back in, Reed tries the headlock, but Tito slugs him down again, which allows Slick a chance to pass Reed a phantom object. This gives us some major stalling, as Reed plays Hide the Object for a while before Tito finally starts working on the arm. Reed gets his “object” and clobbers Tito to take over, although it’s clearly an open hand if you actually watch him. Two handed choke and Reed pounds away, but Santana comes back until Reed tosses him. Slick distracts the ref while Reed does his dirty work on the floor. Reed suplexes him back in, but Tito falls on top for two. Reed stomps him down for two. He hits the chinlock and Tito fights out, but a quick hair pull brings him down to the mat again. And using the ropes keeps him there. And that goes on for a while. Santana fights out, but runs into a high knee that gets two. Piledriver gets two. Tito powers out of another attempt, and then catches Reed coming off the top, which sets up his comeback. He slugs away on the mat and gets two. Forearm shot into the figure-four, but Reed makes the ropes. Tito drags him out again, but ref gets in his face, allowing Reed to slug him with the object again and the bell rings.
(Butch Reed draw Tito Santana, time limit expires, 19:07, ***1/4) Not sure what the time limit was, because without Gorilla & Bobby’s banter in the middle there it was only about 18 minutes, but we’ll pretend it was 20:00, I guess. Anyway, both guys are of course totally competent workers and this was as good, but no better, as you’d expect out of them.
Overall, one of the “up” weeks for the show, with a minimum of junk, so that’s enough for a recommendation from me.