The SmarK 24/7 Rant for PrimeTime Wrestling – June 8 1987
– Hosted by Gorilla & Bobby, and sadly Lance the Lawyer is absent this week.
– Oddly enough, the clip shown by 24/7 before the show was Honky Tonk beating Ricky Steamboat for the I-C title, which was listed as June 2 1987. However, that was the actual date of the title change, whereas the kayfabe date was a couple of weeks later, because otherwise this very show would have had that clip, too.
– Bob Orton v. Frankie Lane. Quite the clash here. Lane, also billing himself as “Cowboy”, looks about 60 years old. Orton takes him down with a headscissors on the mat as the commentary places this well before Wrestlemania III. Lane comes back with forearms on the ropes, but Orton pounds him down to a pretty substantial babyface pop. I wonder if this is a general case of Toronto popping for the stars or Lane being a heel? Orton tosses him onto the ringside table and then suplexes him back in, and goes up with a fistdrop from the top. Lane bails and stalls on the ramp as Gorilla just totally buries the guy, basically calling him a jobber. Back in, Orton wins a slugfest with ease and powerslams him to finish at 4:42. Total massacre for Orton. Bob was a much more interesting worker than his son, doing a variety of stuff that you don’t often see out of Randy, including a variety of finishers and even some aerial stuff. *1/2
– Review and update time, as we get a video package from Mr. Fuji, as he prepares to debut his exciting new youngster, Killer Khan, and Craig DeGeorge gives us yet another interview with Superstar Graham. I love how they warn about how graphic that footage of his operation is, and yet show it at every opportunity. CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN, SUPERSTAR! Don’t touch him, Craig, he’s got to climb it by himself!
– Bobby and Gorilla show off the 1987 WWF calendar and give some away, which seems kind of silly given that it was halfway through the year. Sidenote: I TOTALLY had that calendar. I even remember that Randy Savage picture.
– Paul Roma & Jim Powers v. The Shadows. What the FUCK? They just showed this match last week, except from Houston, but now we get the same one from Philly. However, thanks to the power of Wikipedia, I have learned that the fat Shadow is Randy “Moondog Rex” Culley, who got this dumb gimmick after getting kicked out of Demolition, and the skinny one is Jose Luis Rivera. So now I can sleep at night. Powers escapes from the heel corner and Roma comes in with a headlock on Rivera, then overpowers him, but Rivera gets his own headlock. Criss-cross and Roma monkey-flips him, and the Shadows stop to strategize. Rivera decides to try Roma’s monkey-flip against him, but gets stomped as a result. The Stallions use teamwork to foil the Shadows’ double-team efforts, and then outsmart them when the Shadows try to give it back to them. Really, if Paul Roma is outsmarting you, you’re a jobber. Culley gets a slam and misses a kneedrop, so the Stallions go to work on his leg, switching off behind the ref’s back. See, he’s a dick AND a cheat. Culley manages to tag Rivera, but they work on his leg too, and we take a break.
Back with the second half of this thriller, as Powers puts Rivera in a figure-four, but Culley drops an elbow to break it up. We hit the chinlock and the Shadows double-team Powers in the corner, but Roma manages to get the tag and powerslams Rivera. Powers comes back in and gets tossed, which allows some Shadow-nangians. Suplex back in gets two for Culley, and they switch off and do some choking in the corner. Culley goes to a bearhug, which Powers slugs out of, but walks into an elbow. Big splash misses, however, and Powers gets an enzuigiri to set up the hot tag. Roma dropkicks both Shadows and Powers comes in with an abdominal stretch on Culley, but Rivera breaks it up. Man, I’d hate to be the guy who submitted to that move. Exact same finish as the match last week, as Roma trips up Culley and Powers finishes Rivera with a bodypress at 17:41. About as exciting as last week. *1/2
– Koko B Ware does a rather sad walk-on cameo to annoy Bobby Heenan, and plugs his feud with Danny Davis.
– Leaping Lanny Poffo v. Dave Barbee. Poffo’s poem is plugging the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Man, you know you’re a jobber when you don’t even warrant a poem from Poffo. So this raises the question: Who’s more effeminate — Lanny Poffo or the guy named Barbee? It’s pretty funny hearing the announcers going on about “matching power with Barbee” or “The 300 pound plus frame of Barbee”. Barbee gets a slam to start, but Poffo takes him down with a facelock. Poffo slugs away, beating up on Barbee, but Barbee comes back with a back elbow in the corner. Oh, please god let Poffo lose this match so I can always have “Lanny Poffo jobs to Barbee” to get me through the days and nights. Barbee with a neckbreaker and elbow for two. Barbee slams him again and we take a break. During THIS match?
Back with an elbow from Barbee for two, but Poffo slugs back in the corner. He tosses Barbee, and we get some stalling before Poffo drags him back in and stomps away, but mises a dropkick. Barbee drops an elbow and pounds him down. This match is brutal, with no flow and no heat, they’re just randomly beating on each other and making comebacks whenever they feel like it. Poffo thankfully slams him and finishes with the moonsault at 8:42. Well that was a mercy-killing. Even a guy named “Barbee” couldn’t make this any fun. 1/2*
– Sam Houston v. Iron Mike Sharpe. Back to Houston for another main event in any arena. Sharpe has an unsuccessful attempt at a full nelson, but Houston kicks out of it and Sharpe takes a hike. Back in, Houston reverses a hiptoss attempt and Sharpe is out again. Test of strength, as I go surfing again and learn that Sharpe apparently trained Charlie Haas, Simon Dean and Crowbar. Huh. Houston tries the bulldog, but Sharpe sends him into the corner instead and gets two. Another try is successful at 5:03. Nothing of note. *1/2
– Outback Jack v. Frenchie Martin. OK, seriously, this is the THIRD time we’ve seen this match this month, this time from Toronto. In fact, I’m pretty damn sure this is the same match we got on the May 25 edition. Jack threatens to throw a punch and Frenchie backs off as a result, but Jack elbows him down and Frenchie bails. Back in, Martin goes to the eyes and uses the clubbing forearms, but Jack elbows him in the corner and finishes with the boomerang clothesline at 4:20. This WAS the same match, complete with Jack yelling that he’s going to hit him in the back of the head! 1/2* Why recycle a match we just saw two weeks ago?
– Honky Tonk Man v. Billy Jack Haynes. Honky’s older tights places this early in 1987. Honky works on the arm to start, but Billy pounds Honky’s arm and messes up the hair. There’s just no call for that. Honky bails to regroup, and gets a cheapshot back in the ring to take over. Haynes fights back with a backdrop and hits the chinlock. Honky fights up, but Haynes overpowers him and goes back to the chinlock again. I’m pretty sure, come to think of it, that I saw this match at a house show in Vancouver in 1987 during Honky’s tour of the world as I-C champion. We take a break and return with Haynes getting a sunset flip for two, but Honky punches him in the throat and pounds on the neck to take over. He goes to a neck vice, but Billy gets a bodypress for two. Honky necksnaps him on the top rope and does the punches in the corner, but Billy Jack brings him out with an atomic drop. Honky gets a backdrop suplex for two, but Haynes fights back. Delayed vertical suplex sets up the full-nelson, but Jimmy Hart distracts them. Honky charges for the cheapshot, but hits Hart instead, and Haynes rolls him up to finish at 14:57. **1/2 Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, with a fairly clean finish and enough action to hold my attention for the running time, which is more than I can say for the other crap on this show this week.