Written by: Man of Steel from Place To Be
Prime Time Wrestling
April 6, 1987
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan
As expected Bobby’s a little bummed out on this episode as we’re one week removed from the biggest show in wrestling, Wrestlemania III. Gorilla is reveling in the fact that Andre the Giant is not the WWF Champion, there are plenty of unopened boxes of champagne, and the Brain owes the WWF $37,000 for the specially made world title belt for Andre that can never be used. The Hart Foundation, the WWF Tag Team Champions are in our feature bout today, but first our opening match.
Black Jack Mulligan defeats Tiger Chung Lee with a reverse elbow
2/17/87; Springfield, MA
Bobby Heenan and Johnny Valiant
This comes from an episode of Wrestling Challenge, and again Black Jack Mulligan is featured in these Prime Time matches, but wasn’t on the Wrestlemania III card. An unusual pairing here as we have two heel managers and no Gorilla or Vince. Interesting. Tiger starts out quick with a couple of kicks and an Irish Whip, but Blackjack reverses into a clothesline. Blackjack with some punches and Bobby points out he should have to take these gloves off. Blackjack backs Tiger into a corner with some shots and Tiger bails. Bobby and Luscious John are ripping the Federettes, saying they should be home cleaning the kitchen. These two are going to carry this squash match. Tiger gets back in the ring and begs off but Blackjack beats him down and Tiger bails again. Tiger gets back in and bails again. This is brutal, but what’s great is that Bobby and the luscious one are just ripping everything else and it’s hysterical. Tiger gets back in and Blackjack catches Tiger’s foot on a kick attempt but Tiger gets the other foot in Blackjack’s big gut. Tiger with some weak punches but Blackjack reverses the Irish Whip with a reverse elbow for the 3 count. Wow these late 80’s squashes are the pits, but I’ll take Bobby and Johnny V on commentary every week.
-Back to studio and Gorilla says Blackjack is awesome, and wants to face some of the big men in the WWF, like Bobby’s King Kong Bundy. Gorilla says Bundy’s under heavy scrutiny for squashing Little Beaver at Wrestlemania III. I personally didn’t mind, as did Bobby. Gorilla says Bundy is warped, which means I must be too. We go to break.
-Back from break and we have the Wrestlemania post-show report, as Mean Gene is at the empty Silverdome, and he goes through all the results.
-Back to the studio and Bobby is livid about the shoddy officiating in the match. We’re of course talking about the phantom 3-count that occurred in the beginning of the Andre/Hogan match. Gorilla laughs it off, but in reality that is a big bone of contention that keeps the feud going throughout the year. Incidentally the referee was Joey Marella, Gorilla’s son. They always rip Gorilla’s kid, saying he’s “Hogan’s boy” and what-not.
-We now go to part 1 of a piece on Ken Patera, as they show articles of his high school and college highlights. Then his Olympic exploits and pictures. They go to an old TNT piece when Patera was in the WWF, showing his tests of strength. Then some clips of he and Big John Studd as a solid tag team. Then the piece ends as it blames Bobby Heenan as his manager for Patera’s life going wrong. Bobby is flipping out at this point and says everybody’s blaming him for everything. Gorilla of course has no sympathy. This also starts the returning Heenan/Patera feud, which Bobby clearly wins but in the old kayfabe days it’s not spun that way.
Honky Tonk Man defeats Koko B. Ware due to Jimmy Hart’s interference
3/10/87; Dayton, OH; Hara Arena
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan
Back from break and we head back to Wrestling Challenge, where Gorilla replaces Luscious John at the broadcast table. The bell rings and Honky bails to stall. Bobby cracks me up when he says Koko wears his white glove so hitchhikers can see him at night. Couldn’t get away with a line like that nowadays. Honky gets back in the ring and Koko stalks him and Honky gets under the ropes. They finally lock up and Honky with an armbar. Koko reverses the armbar and Honky with some right hands but Koko doesn’t let go and hits an atomic drop. Koko with a head butt and a body slam. Honky bails and the crowd gives it to him. Honky gets back, baits Koko into a fight but bails again. Irish whip and Koko with a shoulder block. Referee breaks them up and Honky recovers. They lock up and Honky with a headlock. Koko reverses into a hammerlock, but Honky gets it back to a headlock. Koko whips Honky into the ropes and attempts a hip toss but Honky reverses it and hits one of his own. He then misses a fist drop and Koko with a headlock as we go to break. We’re back and Koko on the canvas and Honky drops an elbow. He picks Honky up and drops an elbow to the head. Back to a headlock and a fist to the noggin. Honky in control and Honky goes for a punch but Koko blocks and hits one of his own. Koko whips Honky but catches a knee to the gut. Honky with a body slam and now to the second rope for a fist drop and a 2 count. Honky whips Koko but Koko reverses the clothesline and hits a cross body for 2. Honky with some kicks to the back to re-take control. He shakes for the crowd and then slams Koko’s head into the turnbuckle. Honky pitches Koko out to the floor and now the Colonel is taunting him. Honky brings him back and hits the Fireman’s Carry. Honky to the second rope and hits an elbow for a non-chalant 2 count. Honky comes from behind and starts cranking on the neck. The fans are chanting “Greaseball” as Koko is fighting the move with some elbows to the gut. Koko with a sunset flip for 2. Honky regains control with a clothesline for a 2 count. Honky goes back to cranking on the neck. Koko trying to fight back, but Honky tries to ram Koko’s head into the turnbuckle but that has the same effect as JYD and SD Jones. It was funny how back in the day all black and island wrestlers were perceived to have hard heads. Honky with a cheap shot to the gut to regain control but Koko blocks a shot to the turnbuckle and Koko delivers with a turnbuckle shot, followed by some right hands and a back drop. More punches and Koko with 2 drop kicks and Honky hits the floor on the second one. Koko goes for a suplex back in the ring but Jimmy Hart grabs Honky’s legs. The referee moves which gives Jimmy a chance to trip Koko on the suplex attempt and Honky gets the cheap 3-count. Decent enough match for those involved.
-Back to the studio and Gorilla raves about all the celebrities and how nice they were at Wrestlemania III, although he said Aretha Franklin left a lot to be desired. I wonder what that means and if there was any legit heat there.
-Next we head to an interview with Mean Gene and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, which of course we’ll skip.
-Back to the studio and we now have the world premiere of “Fuji Bandito”, which is hilariously bad, just like “Fuji Vice” and “Fuji General”.
-Back to studio and Gorilla is practically on the floor laughing. Then all of a sudden Mean Gene comes on camera in sunglasses and a trenchcoat asking where the bathroom is. There must be a cache of inside jokes here as the show seems to be improvised all of a sudden but it’s actually quite funny. We go to break.
“Outlaw” Ron Bass defeats Salvatore Bellomo with a reverse elbow
2/16/87; New Haven, CT; Coliseum
Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura and Bruno Sammartino
Sal has this weird Rocky gimmick still going, but he was a heel the last time we saw him. Now he’s facing another heel. Bruno says those back home in Italy aren’t proud of someone like Sally boy. Bass gets started quick with some punches and slams into the turnbuckle. Bellomo reverses a back drop into a mule kick. Bellomo with a body slam into a headlock. Bellomo with a cross body for 2. Bellomo back to a headlock. Bass gets out of it with a head slam into the turnbuckle. Bellomo lying on the apron and Bass is choking him out. Both men outside and Bass slams Bellomo into the post. Bass with a slam on the outside and then back into the ring. Bellomo gets back in and Bass catches him with a knee. Bass with a knee to the gut. Bass chokes Bellomo on the second rope. Bass with a front facelock. Bass with an atomic drop. Bass finishes it off with a reverse elbow (ala Blackjack) for the win. Did the two of them ever feud? They kept pumping it up on Prime Time but did it ever happen.
-Back to studio and Gorilla and Bobby continue to debate the phantom 3 count in the Hogan/Andre match. From there we get a taped interview with Mean Gene, who made the big announcement that Mr. Fuji acquired the services of Sika, Kamala and Kim Chee from the Wizard.
Demolition defeats The Islanders when Smash pins Tama after the Decapitation Device
2/23/87; Madison Square Garden
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan
This is from a MSG house show and Demolition is under the tutelage of Mr. Fuji but they come out solo here. No cool entrance music yet, as this is much more generic although if you hear it it’s the same guitar riff as their future theme. This match is before Wrestlemania obviously, as they’re talking about matches before they happened. Randy Culley is gone and Barry Darsow is now Smash, but he still has the short hair from his Krusher Krushchev days in Mid-Atlantic. He and Tama start. Lock up and Smash with a knee to the gut. Irish whip and double shoulder blocks. Smash with a shoulder block drops Tama. Tag to Haku and a double drop kick. Ax comes in and a double clothesline and Demos goes outside for a breather. Smash and Haku lock up and Smash pushes into his corner. Tag to Ax and Haku with some chops. Haku with a head butt. Islander double team and a double reverse elbow. Haku spreads Ax’s legs and a stomp to the breadbasket and Haku starts working on the leg. Haku with some kicks to the legs. Tag to Tama and he drops a knee on the leg. Tama continues working on the leg as we go to break. Back from break and Gorilla says he saw a flaw in Andre’s training. The Islanders continue working on Ax’s leg. Ax fights back and tags into Smash. The Demos double team Tama and he’s pitched out onto the floor. Smash throws Tama over the steel barricade into the crowd. Tama rolls back in and Smash lifts him up by the throat and then dropped. Tag to Ax and both throw him backwards into the corner. Ax and Tama are battling together but Ax throws him out of the ring. Tama has a huge welt on his back but gets back in the ring. Ax with a clothesline and a tag to Smash. Smash drops Tama on the top rope. Smash with a bear hug. Tag to Ax with a stomp and a 2 count. Tag back to Smash but Tama breaks free and finally tags Haku. Haku goes nuts with head butts and a drop kick. Haku with a reverse thrust kick followed by a double head butt. Tag back to Tama who goes to the top rope and hits a high cross body for a 2 count which is broken by Ax. All four men are battling in the ring, but the ref pretty much helps Demolition by moving Haku back to the corner, which allows the Demos to hit the Decapitation Device on Tama for the win. Solid match for the future tag team legends.
-Back to the studio and Gorilla tells Bobby that Andre didn’t win the title because he lost the killer instinct he used to have before hooking up with Bobby Heenan. Bobby will have nothing of it and returning from the break he’s on the phone with producer Kevin Dunn to try and get more Fuji material on before the show ends.
Rougeau Brothers defeat the WWF Tag Team Champions Hart Foundation when Jacques pins Bret Hart after a monkey flip splash
2/7/87; Boston Garden
Gorilla Monsoon and Ken Resnick
The Rougeaus are already getting booed but they’re the babyfaces. Harts are getting booed too, so we can see where the crowd heat for this match will go. Neidhart reminds everyone this is not a title match. Workrate-wise this should be good. Posturing to start and then Raymond and Bret lock up. More posturing, as Gorilla and Kenny are talking about Wrestlemania after it happened, so this match was fairly recent for this Prime Time episode. They lock up again and Raymond takes Bret down, and Bret complains about alleged hair pulling. Knuckle lock and then an Irish Whip and Raymond with a cross body for 2. Raymond with an armbar on Bret. Crowd is as expected quiet. Raymond tags Jacques and he drop kicks Bret from behind into Raymond who slams Bret to the canvas. Jacques with a splash for 1. Bret bails to take a powder and confer with the Anvil. Resnick makes fun of the Hart’s pink tights. Who the hell does Ken Resnick think he is? Go back to the AWA you schmuck. Anvil in and Resnick makes fun of Anvil’s gut. Ken Resnick is getting a little ballsy in his commentary here. He locks up with Jacques and stops a body slam attempt. Another failed body slam attempt by Jacques and Anvil with a slam of his own. Wow Anvil’s gut is pretty big. A dangerous move as Anvil whips Jacque into the ropes but Jacques reverses and gets Anvil up for the slam, but almost falls backward and Anvil almost lands on his head. Anvil calls time in the corner, but Jacques goes in with an armbar, and a tag to Raymond. Double gut shot and Bret comes out to distract, which give Anvil a chance to club Raymond. Anvil lifts Raymond up and drops him on the top rope. Anvil with some club shots and a tag to Bret. Bret with some forearms. Bret distracts the ref and Anvil is choking Raymond with the tag rope as we go to break. Back from break and more double teaming by the pink and black while the ref is with Jacques. Anvil bites Raymond in the corner, then as the ref breaks Bret chokes him with the tag ropes again. Anvil with an Irish Whip and Raymond meets Bret’s knee in the back. Anvil distracts the ref again and Bret continues the business in the corner. Tag to Bret and an inverted Atomic Drop for 2. Bret with a body slam on Raymond, then a tag to Anvil to hits a slingshot splash for a 2 count, one he broke himself. Tag to Bret and a shot to the gut. Bret with a whip to the corner but Raymond reverses and whips Bret sternum first into the turnbuckle. Both men are down and the crowd is finally waking up. Both partners come out, and of course the ref goes to Jacques which gives Anvil a chance to put Bret on top of Raymond for a pin attempt. The ref counts 2 and Raymond kicks out. Both men are still dazed as the announcers still rip on Anvil’s gut. Raymond and Bret do the roll-up sequence where Bret holds onto the rope to break the roll-up, but Raymond drops kicks Bret over the top rope and onto the floor. Raymond finally gets the tag to Jacques and he goes off on both Harts. Jacques with a slam on Bret, then a fist drop from the second rope for a 2 count. Jacques with a sleeper on Bret. Anvil breaks it with a double ax handle and all 4 men are in the ring. Both pairs in opposite corners but the Rougeaus reverse the whip and the Harts collide. Anvil falls out of the ring, which gives the Rougeaus a chance to hit their monkey flip splash and Jacques pins Bret for the surprise 3 count. Now the crowd goes crazy as the faces win.
-Back to the studio and Gorilla says next week there will be a re-match with these two teams, but this time the titles will be on the line. They continue bantering about Ken Patera, as it seems this feud will start when Patera returns from his prison term.
-We wrap it up with a preview of next week’s show, including a match with Randy Savage and “Fuji Chan”.
Drama’s Take: A solid post-Wrestlemania show that hammered home points that will be used throughout the spring and summer. Good matches and a nice look at the tag team situation, with the Hart Foundation and Demolition getting nice long matches. The comedy is good, with more Fuji nonsense and the banter with Gorilla, Bobby, and Mean Gene in that one segment was hysterical. My fear now is that with no major show on the horizon (I’m not sure the thought of Survivor Series had come up yet) the shows will get stale. However with a wealth of feuds working, I doubt it. I love Gorilla, but his Hogan love does get quite sickening at times. Of course its easy to say that now since back in the day we were all Hulkamaniacs. In any event a solid PTW in the wake of the greatest PPV ever. Final Grade: A-
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.