The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Primetime Wrestling – July 20 1987
– Well, it’s been a while since I’ve braved these shows, and I missed the I-C title switch from Steamboat to Honky (although I watched the show if it makes you feel better), but I’ve got an hour to kill so let’s hit it.
– Hosted by The Brain and The Gorilla.
The New Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo) v. Sivi Afi & Lanny Poffo. From WW[bleep] [Bleep]s of Wrestling. Ah, they’re bringing out the A-list jobbers for the Dream Team. That’s like putting Italian Stallion & Rocky King on an NWA show. Why did they switch “Siva Afi” to “Sivi Afi” around this time? Did they feel it would get him over more effectively? Is it just like Mike Rotundo where the guy is 30 years old and doesn’t know how to spell his own name? Anyway, Afi slugs it out with the Hammer after taking a sideslam from Bravo, but Bravo catches him with a dropkick. Hooking clothesline gets two. Brutus Beefcake on commentary is pretty bad. The Dream Team works Afi over in the corner and Bravo goes up, but misses a legdrop. Over to Poffo in his super-gay blue-and-purple tights, and he hits Bravo with a nice dropkick and a moonsault for two. Bravo catches him from behind with a high knee and the sideslam sets up the figure-four from Valentine to finish at 3:37. Brutus runs in and cuts Valentine’s hair while he’s holding Poffo in the figure-four, which is pretty funny. I’m frankly shocked they never did a proper blowoff between those two, because Hammer going bald would have been the logical end to it.
– Gorilla and Bobby speculate on which manager has actually signed this Bam Bam Bigelow guy all the kids are talking about.
Outback Jack v. Jose Estrada. From Philly. We’re JIP for god knows what reason, as Estrada holds Jack in a choke that’s masquerading as a chinlock. Jose pounds the back, but Jack slugs away in the corner until Jose goes to the eyes and pops to the top with a fistdrop for two. And back to the chinlock we go. Jack fights up and they clothesline each other, and Jack recovers first with an atomic drop into a slam. And yet this guy was never WWF champion, even with that awesome moveset. Go figure. Another slam! Boomerang clothesline finishes at 5:14 aired. They gave this match LONGER than that before clipping? 1/2*
– The Snake Pit, with Jake Roberts, back when he was doing drugs that made him cool instead of pathetic. You know it’s 1987 because Jake is wearing a while Miami Vice suit and Mr. T is his guest. He’s been chopping down trees to prepare for his special refereeing gig, and did I mention that he’s chopping down trees? Danny Davis comes out and takes exception to T’s refereeing prowess, but Jake laughs him off and chases him with the snake.
– Even Gorilla and Bobby are riffing off Mr. T’s ridiculous promos. That’s how you know you’re lame. But you know what’s NOT lame? The motherf*cking MILLION DOLLAR MAN promos, beeyotch. Talk about the perfect guy for the perfect gimmick. This week’s lesson in American morality: Dibiase goes to a fancy restaurant to eat and there’s a lineup, so Virgil snaps off $100 bills until the maitre d’ finds him something. You know, today he’d only be the $993,718.71 man if he came to Canada.
Leilani Kai & Judy Martin v. The Jumping Bomb Angels. Yamizaki hits Martin with a flying clothesline and the Angels switch off on her, but Martin gets a slam on Yamizaki. Over to Kai, but Yamizaki gets the abdominal stretch until Martin breaks it up. She hairtosses Yamizaki into the corner for the tag to Tateno, who misses a crossbody. Martin gets two, but Tateno rolls her up for two. Tateno gets a pair of dropkicks to send Martin to the floor and the heels regroup as the fans start a “boring” chant. The Angels work over Martin’s arm and Yamizaki takes her down with a cross armbreaker and gets a pinning combo for two. Kai comes in and slugs it out with Yamizaki, and now the heels start working on the arm. And we take a break. Back with Yamizaki getting worked over while commentator Johnny V makes racist remarks. Martin gets a powerbomb for two, before it had a name. Kai is back on the arm and they switch off on an armbar in their corner. Yamizaki gets dumped, and back in Martin cuts off the tag as the fans are totally losing patience with this. Too bad, it’s a good match. Yamizaki comes back with a double dropkick and makes the hot tag to Tateno. Clothesline and enzuigiri for Martin, and she snaps Kai for a catapult that gets two. To the top with a kneedrop to the gut, which looks awkward, and it’s BONZO GONZO. Tateno finishes Kai with a sunset flip at 11:54. Crowd wasn’t into it, but they can suck it. ***1/4 Probably the best match aired on Wrestling Challenge that year, assuming it wasn’t a dark match.
– Mean Gene interviews Don Muraco and Bob Orton, and there’s trouble in paradise as they can’t agree on who’s screwing up as of late.
The Young Stallions v. The Shadows. Oh, hey, another go-round of this epic feud. This is from Philly again so it’s likely the same match I already reviewed four or five shows ago. The Stallions whip the Shadows into each other to start, foiling their brilliant plan. The “retro timeline” is out to lunch, by the way, as it states that HHH beat the Rock for the WWE championship on September 27 1999. I guess technically that’s true since he pinned Rock in that six-way match at Unforgiven, but it’s not like Rock was champion going in. Anyway, I’m missing all the excitement here of the Stallions working over the arm of Randy Colley and Powers getting a crossbody on Jose Luis Rivera for two. They continue working the arm and Roma takes Rivera down and tries to unmask him, and we take a break. Thank god. Sadly, there’s no commercials, because they’d probably be more interesting. Colley breaks it up with a sideslam for two. We hit the chinlock and the Shadows work Roma over in the corner with a double-slam and pound the back. Colley goes to a body vice after more boring stuff, and Roma powers out if it, and makes the hot tag to Powers. Dropkicks for everyone! And he goes to a sleeper on Colley, as it’s BONZO GONZO. Roma finishes Rivera with a sunset flip at 16:03. You’d think two teams who wrestled each other FIFTEEN MILLION TIMES would have some chemistry, but you’d be wrong. *1/2 This was like drinking warm milk and Tylenol PM.
Demolition v. B. Brian Blair & SD Jones. Jones is a special guest Bee tonight because Brunzell is sick. I totally think they should try the mask switch, just for fun. Ax pounds Blair to start, but he comes back with a bodypress and slugs away in the corner. Over to Jones and he gets Smash, but can’t overpower him. So he headbutts him instead and the Bees work the arm, into an atomic drop from Jones. They work Smash over in the corner, but Blair takes the knee from the apron and Demolition is in command. Ax works the back and hits the chinlock. Smash slugs away and they trade off with choking behind the ref’s back, but Blair comes back with a sunset flip on Smash. Ax casually breaks it up with a shot to the head for one, and goes back to the chinlock. I’m not sure what arena they’re in here, except that it’s somewhere in Ontario because of the ring announcer, but it’s embarrassingly empty, to the point where I don’t know why they put it on TV. Demolition again switches off and works the back, and Ax cuts off the tag. Smash chokes him out in the corner and Ax uses the tag rope for the same purpose, and Ax goes to the bearhug. Blair finally comes back with a flying forearm, but it’s a false tag to Jones. Ax gets more punishment, but misses an elbow and it’s hot tag to Jones. SD throws down in the corner and everyone slugs it out, leaving Smash in the ring with Jones while Blair brawls with Ax on the floor. The ref attends to Blair first, leaving Ax to clobber Jones from behind, and Smash falls on top for the pin at 9:45. Quite good, actually, although nothing I’d bother watching again. **3/4
– Bobby brings out his personal physician, who is about 80 years old and uses a variety of medical instruments from the 18th century to examine Heenan’s neck while Gorilla calls him a quack before chasing him off.
Nikolai Volkoff v. Billy Jack Haynes. Main event time! They fight for the lockup to start and Volkoff gets a cheap shot and pounds away on the ropes, but Billy Jack takes him down with an armbar. He goes to a headlock and then takes him down for the chinlock. Oh, it’s a barnburner this week. Slick lives up to his name and hits Haynes with the cane behind the ref’s back to break it up, and Volkoff takes over. They slug it out in the corner, but Haynes elbows him down and gets the full nelson. Volkoff makes the ropes, and Billy goes after Slick, grabbing the cane for the stupid DQ at 4:32. Why hit the guy in full view of the ref? Nothing happening here, as they hardly even got started. 1/2*
Another hit-or-miss show, as Primetime is generally a whole lot of nothing with the occasional nostalgia moment thrown in.