WWF Prime Time Wrestling 2/27/1989
Written by: Scrooge McSuck from Da Wrestling Site
– Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan are our hosts, and we’re immediately thrusted into conversation for WrestleMania V, and there’s a bunch of WrestleMania merchandise spread across the desk in the forms of baseball caps and a t-shirt. Oh, and there’s a bunch of bananas. They argue over who’s corner will Elizabeth be in for the WWF Championship Match. Our feature match this week is Rick Martel against the King of the WWF, Haku.
– Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin):
Pulled from an episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Monsoon and Heenan calling the action, of course. The canned heat for Martin is obvious, and honestly, has there been a worse manager in WWF History? Seriously, this guy was as useless as a poopy-flavored lollipop. There’s conversation about Heenan backing out of wrestling the Rooster at WrestleMania, but we all know that ended up being put on the card. Beefcake chases everyone off with his over-sized clippers. If you haven’t purchased the newest edition of WWF Magazine, there’s a feature article on the Barber. Beefcake avoids lockups, showcasing his speed advantage, then showcases his strutting ability. Neither is THAT impressive. Bravo grabs a side headlock, then plows through Beefcake with a shoulder tackle. The match is basically a back drop to WrestleMania V hyping. Beefcake ducks a clothesline and nails one of his own. Irish whip, and Beefcake with a back drop, sending Bravo out of the ring for a breather. Back in the ring, and Bravo sucker punches Beefcake, then pounds away on him in the corner. Whip to the corner, and Beefcake with a clothesline. Gorilla drops the “this could main event any arena in the country” card. Bravo with a boot to the midsection. Irish whip, and Beefcake slaps on a Sleeper hold! Bravo uses the ropes to take both himself and Beefcake through the ropes, to the floor. Bravo clotheslines the post, and Beefcake hammers away as the bell sounds for a double count-out at 3:56. Beefcake goes after Frenchy, and puts him down with a clothesline. The clippers come out, and he takes a little off before Bravo distracts Beefcake from doing more damage. Pointless match.
– Back to talking about WrestleMania V. 8 matches have been announced, so far. Hogan vs. Savage! Roberts vs. Andre, with BIG John Studd as the guest referee! Heenan argues that Studd isn’t capable of being the referee, and would much rather have someone like Danny Davis filling the role. Now there’s something the WWF barely followed up on, the reinstatement of Davis as referee. It was aknowledged once and never again, it seems. I don’t think anyone ever mentioned it, years later, either, that Davis had a history of being a shady individual.
“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass:
A Primetime Wrestling exclusive, but the Saturday Night’s Main Event banners are still in place. Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are calling the action, and it’s one of the few appearances of Bass, at least in a feature match, appearing with his shaved head, courtesy of Brutus Beefcake. Lockup, and Bass drives a knee to the midsection. Garvin ducks a clothesline and hammers away. Schiavone must be right at home with this match, a throwback to the good old days of a wrestling promotion that promoted wrestling, not entertainment. Lockup into the corner, and they slug it out, with Garvin winning that battle… for now. Lockup, and Garvin slaps on a wristlock. Irish whip, and Garvin takes Bass over with a hip toss, then goes back to the arm. Irish whip to the corner, and Bass misses a charge. Garvin with another wristlock, then back to the armbar. Bass escapes with a slam, but misses an elbow, and Garvin goes back to the arm. Bass takes control with some furious rights, then works over Garvin, who is caught up near the ropes. Irish whip, and Bass connects with a clothesline, followed by an elbow for a two count. Garvin mounts a comeback, ramming Bass into the buckle, but takes a blow to the midsection, and Bass is back in control. Garvin with a shoulder to the midsection, then hangs Bass up across the top rope. Garvin climbs the ropes, and a cross body gets a two count. Bass with a suplex attempt, but Garvin counters with a school boy for a two count. Irish whip, and Bass with a boot to the chest. Bass misses another elbow, and it’s GARVIN STOMP TIME! Bass blocks a piledriver, but Garvin turns it into a sunset flip for a two count. Bass is up fast, and knocks Garvin out, through the ropes. Bass posts himself, and Garvin works the arm as we get ANOTHER double count-out finish, at 8:15. Perfectly acceptable match until the crappy finish. After the match, Garvin comes off the top rope with a double axehandle, then scares Bass off with Miss Betsy.
– Gorilla: I’d like to see twenty more minutes of that. No thanks, Gorilla. Monsoon questions Heenan why Haku isn’t defending his crown against Hercules at WrestleMania V. Heenan doesn’t care what Monsoon has to say and says he doesn’t have to defend the title if he doesn’t want to. “He doesn’t have a title, he has a crown and a cape.”
– Speaking of phoney championships, Ted Dibiase, dressed in a CAPE, is out and about, looking for his Million Dollar Belt. The title is unveiled to Dibiase, but the camera doesn’t show it to us, just Dibiase’s reaction (he cuts a promo about it, in fact). He seems quite satisfied by it, and it’ll only be a matter of time before everyone gets to see it, too. Dibiase ends it, cackling madly, as the jeweler just looks on, curiously.
The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Louis Spiccolli & Ricky Ataki:
Pulled from Wrestling Challenge, and Monsoon is calling the action solo, due to Heenan being at ringside with his Brain Busters. For those out of the loop, it’s been announced that the Busters will take on the reformed team of Strike Force, Tito Santana and Rick Martel (or Mex-y-Can Connection, as I horribly have dubbed them). Blanchard starts with Ataki, and gives a surprisingly clean break. Blanchard makes a blind tag to Anderson, who connects with a clothesline from behind. Anderson with a snapmare and stomps to the face. Blanchard with a sledge from the top rope, and some vicious face pulling. Spicolli tags in and gets thrown into the corner. Outside the ring we go, and Anderson connects with a clothesline. Heenan, adding insult to injury, casually smacks Spicolli as he passes by. Back inside, and Arn drops Spicolli throat first across the top rope, then Blanchard with a sling shot from underneath the bottom rope. The referee gets distracted, and a Spike Piledriver ends it at 2:29. Anderson and Blanchard could make squash matches so entertaining.
– Monsoon continues trying to ride Heenan about being a chicken and not accepting the challenge of the Red Rooster. Heenan calls him a barnyard buffoon and makes fun of the red streak in his hair.
Hillbilly Jim vs. Barry Horowitz:
We’re joined in progress, but it’s the start of the match, so we’re only missing introductions. Hillbilly dances around the ring and does a cartwheel, then offers a handshake. Horowitz with a sucker kick, but Hillbilly Jim isn’t effected, and brains him with a headbutt. Jim sends Horowitz to the buckle, then to the opposite corner of the ring, and a bee’s ear smack. Jim celebrates his sucess with some dancing. Jim with a scoop slam, followed by more showboating. Hayes calls Hillbilly Jim’s dancing a turkey trot. Horowitz takes control with rights, but gets caught in a head scissors, and Jim pounds away. Irish whip, and Jim connects with a big boot for the three count at 2:13. Yes, that was a squash match.
– Gorilla Monsoon mentions Hillbilly Jim got his wrestling boots from Hulk Hogan. Continuity from Gorilla! You gotta’ love it! Speaking of wrestling attire, Rick Rude has a new pair of trunks with Warrior’s face on the back of them.
– We throw it to the WWF Champion, “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He’s talking trash to the Hulkster. He brings up Hogan begging Savage for Elizabeth to be in his corner in a match against Haku. Hogan wanted to prove how much of a gentleman he is compared to Savage, because he held the ropes open for Elizabeth, then slapped him in the face by picking Elizabeth up and putting her on top of his (Hulkster’s) shoulders. Then at the Survivor Series, it happens again, embracing Elizabeth with lust in his eyes. You got to admit, Savage kind of isn’t THAT much in the wrong. Savage takes off the sunglasses, and shows off some CRAZY EYES!
Jim Powers & Tito Santana vs. Andre The Giant (w/ Bobby Heenan):
From Superstars of Wrestling, with Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura calling the action. Seriously, Tito Santana is in a handicap match against Andre The Giant, with JIM POWERS as his partner? Did Santana piss someone off, or something? Wasn’t Jim Brunzell or Paul Roma available for this kind of duty? Andre quickly gives them a double noggin-knocker, and chokes away on Santana. Powers attacks and gets caught in a bearhug. Then Santana and Powers are bith bearhugged. Big John Studd cuts an inset promo as Santana and Powers double team Andre, backing him into the corner. Andre fights his way free, and REALLY no-sells Powers’ offense. At least he’s selling for Santana before squashing him. Santana connects with a dropkick, and Powers follows with his own. Andre catches both in the corner, though, and crushes them. Suddenly, Jake Roberts starts speaking over the P.A. system. Santana and Powers get a brief moment of hope, but Andre bearhugs them, again. Santana tries for a sunset flip, and Powers clotheslines Andre over, but it only gets a one count. Cute spot. Andre gets back to his feet and headbutts Powers, then whips him into Santana. Andre drops the WORST elbow ever on Powers, and the three count is made at 3:34. Jake Roberts is back for more taunting after the match. Whatever. Really don’t understand using Santana in a Koko B. Ware role. He’s never gotten that treatment before, or again, that I recall.
– We immediately throw it to Brother Love, host of, you guessed it, The Brother Love Show. His guests this week are the WW_ Tag Team Champions,Demolition, Ax and Smash. Pain and Destruction are their middle names. At WrestleMania V, they’ll be facing the threesome of the Powers of Pain, and their manager, Mr. Fuji. They threaten their WrestleMania opponents, and Ax comes close to popping Brother Love’s head like a disgusting pimple.
– The Red Rooster vs. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig:
Pulled from an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, or big giant blur in the days of WWE 24/7 On Demand. Hey, imagine an alternate universe where Curt Hennig is running around, scratching his feet and clucking like an idiot… to get babyface reactions in a wrestling ring. Lockup, and Hennig quickly grabs a headlock. Irish whip, and Rooster with a hip toss, but Hennig boots him away and plants him with a slam. Rooster returns the favor, takes Hennig over with a pair of arm drags, and sends Hennig out of the ring with a dropkick. Brooklyn Brawler cuts an inset promo on the Rooster, as the action continues. Whip to the corner, and Hennig boots the Rooster, charging in. Suddenly, Bobby Heenan and the Brawler head to the ring area. Irish whip, and Rooster with a swinging neck breaker. Slugfest time, unofficially won by the Rooster, who follows up with an atomic drop. Rooster becomes distracted, and gets nailed with a dropkick. The Brawler gets a cheap shot in, but Rooster has enough to clothesline Perfect across the top rope. Rooster heads outside and brawl with the Brawler (no DQ?), and gets counted out in the process, at 2:25. Wow, not much of a match here, as the Rooster continues to slug it out with the Brooklyn Brawler. Rooster returns to the ring, pecking away, and cheap shots Hennig, standing proud in the ring, despite being the loser.
– Gorilla Monsoon talks trash to Heenan about his involvement in the previous match, but Heenan is ignoring it while pretending to be on his banana phone. It all comes down to the same thing as before… why won’t Heenan sign the contract for a match with the Red Rooster at WrestleMania V.
– We head to the WWF Event Center, with your host, Sean Mooney. He’s here to hype WrestleMania V, much like everyone else on the show this week. The Brain Busters and Bobby Heenan cut a promo on Strike Force, who are teaming for the first time in nearly a year. Howard Finkel tells us to order WrestleMania V on Pay-Per-View.
The Powers of Pain (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Sam Houston & Stefen DeLeon:
Another exclusive squash match. Barbarian and Houston lockup, and Barbarian quickly over powers him. Houston with a side headlock, but a cross body fails, and Barbarian connects with a back breaker. Houston goes to work on the arm, but gets thrown onto his head in a shitty back drop attempt. Houston tags out to his partner, who is quickly over-powered. The Warlord tags in and plants DeLeon with a slam. Warlord continues to dominate his opponent, and now it’s the Barbarian’s turn once again. Irish whip, and Barbarian with a big boot. Warlord tags in and does more generic power stuff. Barbarian heads to the top rope, and a flying clothesline finishes DeLeon off at 2:42. Boring squash match, as I expected.
– Hulk Hogan cuts a rebuttal promo, making contradicting points about everything Savage considered being lustful and going out of his way to show the Macho Man up. All he did was treat her like a lady by opening the ropes for her, and his excuse for holding her up on his shoulders was… he did what Savage would’ve done. Excuse me? Does this mean I could bang a hot girl if we hung out alone, if her boyfriend wasn’t there, because that’s what he would do? Hogan does make a valid point about Survivor Series, though. Hogan wasn’t resting on the apron, he was fighting off the Twin Towers from abusing Elizabeth, and was handcuffed to the ropes.
Hercules vs. Lou Fabiano:
From an episode of Superstars of Wrestling. Lockup, and Hercules quickly shoves his opponent to the canvas. Overhand wristlock, and Hercules quickly powers free, forcing the jobber to the canvas. We get an inset promo from King Haku and Bobby Heenan. Remember, Heenan sold Hercules as a slave to Ted Dibiase, but Hercules veto’ed the deal by, you know, being the whitest man in history. Hercules continues to show off his strength, and it’s the same boring squash he always does. Whip to the corner, and Hercules follows in with a clothesline. Hercules with a snapmare, followed by an elbow drop. Hercules signals the end, and yes, the backbreaker (torture rack) finishes things at 2:30. Boring. Next, please.
Rick Martel vs. King Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan):
It’s the feature match of the week, and pulled from a card held at Madison Square Garden. We don’t get any introductions, but the match doesn’t seem to have started yet, at least. Lord Alfred Hayes and Ron Tronguard are calling the action. Haku attacks, and pounds Martel into the corner. Martel avoids a charge, and takes Haku over with a pair of deep arm drags, Ricky Steamboat style. Back in the ring, and they feel each other out. Lockup, and they exchange wristlocks, with Martel taking control, and slapping on an armbar. Haku takes it to the corner, forcing a break. Irish whip is reversed, and Martel connects with a running dropkick, followed by an arm drag, then back to the armbar. Haku finally escapes with karate chops, then floors Martel with a shoulder block. Haku counters a slam, then Martel counters an atomic drop, and rolls up Haku for a two count, before going back to the armbar. Haku chops away at the left knee of Martel, in vain attempts to break the hold. Martel ends up turning it into a hammerlock, then rams the shoulder into the turnbuckle. Martel goes back to the arm working a wristlock and armbar. Haku escapes with a slam then whips Martel to the corner, but Martel comes flying back with a twisting cross body for a two count, and it’s back to the armbar. Haku kicks away to escape, then sends Martel flying through the ropes, side-stepping a charge. Haku keeps Martel outside the ring, kicking him off the apron after every attempt to re-enter the ring. Back inside, and Haku with an elbow across the back of the neck, then rams Martel to the buckle several times. Haku slaps on a front facelock, which is a better hold than the vulcan neck pinch, I guess. Martel tries to fight his way free, but Haku knees him in the midsection, and continues to bring the punishment in the corner, using headbutts. Whip to the corner, and Martel boots Haku, charging in like a wild bull. Martel pounds away with rights, but Haku kills him with a back suplex. Haku chops across the back of the neck and chokes Martel on the apron. Hey, it’s Vladimir! Haku with some premature celebrating, as Martel finds his way back into the ring. Irish whip, and we get a double cross body, with Martel’s impact landing on top for a two count.
Haku goes back to controlling the action, as we head back to the studio for an intermission. Haku slaps on another front facelock, and the hold makes sense with Martel’s “neck injury” at the hands of Demolition. Martel’s arm drops twice, but not thrice, and he’s still alive for the match. Martel rams Haku into the corner, breaking the hold in the process. Irish whip, and Haku with an axehandle across the back. Haku scoops Martel up and connects with a shoulder breaker for a two count. It’s time for the nerve pinch, and I’m surprised it took nearly 15-minutes to work that hold into the match, considering it’s Haku and all. Haku releases it quickly and does more chopping across the neck. Martel with some weak shots to the midsection, but Haku goes back to the front facelock. Martel counters with a small package for a two count, but Haku hangs on, and has the facelock applied on the canvas. Martel looks like a dead fish, just laying there. Martel fights back to his feet and goes for the leg, but Haku won’t have any of it. Martel manages to counter, this time with a suplex, but again, Haku hangs onto the hold! Watch out, the referee is counting shoulders down, but no one is dumb enough to lay there for a three count…. yet, at least. Haku pounds away and goes for another nerve hold, but Martel escapes with an inverted atomic drop. Slugfest time! Martel wins that one, throwing roundhouse LEFTS. Irish whip is reversed, and Haku misses a dropkick. Martel with sledges to the back, followed by a back drop for a two count. Martel with a back breaker for another two count. Martel with a scoop slam, then applies an abdominal stretch. Is he setting Haku up for the Boston Crab? Time will tell… Haku breaks the hold and arm drags Martel over, but Martel maintains control, dropping axehandles across the back. Haku rakes the eyes and plants Martel with a slam, but misses a somersault splash. Martel goes for the Boston Crab, but the bell rings at 20:07, and it’s a Time Limit Draw. Usually time limit draws aren’t that close in time, at least not back in the day where you didn’t have giant screens counting them down. *** Despite the lame finish, a surprisingly good match. I say that because of the generalization that Haku was an awful worker, when he wasn’t. Just different. Definitely someone I’ve grown to appreciate as I’ve gotten older, and of course, Martel was no slouch in the ring, until the Model giimmick consumed him.
– Monsoon and Heenan send us off, promising at least 5 or 6 more matches to be announced for WrestleMania, and maybe Heenan will finally give in and sign the match with the Rooster. For the 700th time, Monsoon runs down the card, or what’s been announced so far. Three titles, Jake vs. Andre, Brain Busters vs. Strike Force, Hercules vs. Haku, Rougeau Brothers vs. Bushwhackers, and Bad News vs. Jim Duggan were officially announced as of this episode. Until next time…
Final Thoughts: It always seemed that, during the era of “feature matches” and tons of squash matches, the month of February always seemed to have heavy amounts of features, and this show definitely has a lot of them. Who would’ve guessed that Ron Bass and King Haku would be involved in the two best matches on an episode of Primetime Wrestling? Most of the matches were throw-away’s, but the amount of hype WrestleMania V was getting was incredible, but sometimes tiresome. The lengthy promos from Savage and Hogan really helped establish their feud in a nutshell, in case you’ve missed anything. Overall, a very entertaining episode, at least if you’re a fan of the era.