WWF Prime Time Wrestling - February 18, 1991
by Scrooge McSuck
- Time for yet ANOTHER random television recap from the days of long ago. Everyone remembers Primetime Wrestling for the studio segments hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Even two hours of bad wrestling could be masked by their incredible chemistry together. Well, someone thought that was boring, because this episode features the debut of a BRAND NEW PRIMETIME FORMAT! Out is Gorilla Monsoon, in is a live studio audience, as well as Mr. Electricity himself... Vince McMahon. Oh well, at least we still get Bobby Heenan.
Primetime Wrestling originally was well known for featuring matches from around the country from locatios such as Boston Gardens, MSG, the Spectrum, but by the end of the 80's, the format began to include a lot of repeats from the weekend syndication shows and tons of squash matches. By this point, there was a lot of repeats, but handfuls of "exclusive" matches as well. Too bad the wrestling in 1991 wasn't exactly the most enjoyable to sit through. Hint: TOO MUCH BARBARIAN.
- Lord Alfred Hayes introduces Heenan and McMahon, and McMahon quickly embarrasses Heenan to notify him about his fly being open, and yes, we do get a close up of Heenan's zipper down. Vince McMahon says we'll be joined in the studio by the greatest tag team in the World Wrestling Federation... the Bushwhackers. GOD DAMMIT! We're also going to see the Big Boss Man take on... THE BARBARIAN?! Come on! We're also going to see Shawn Michaels take on Crush from Demolition, as well as Tugboat going up against the mighty Earthquake. But let's take it to the first match...
#1 Contenders, Tag Team Battle Royal:
(Participants: The Legion of Doom, The Rockers, The Bushwhackers, Power & Glory, The Nasty Boys, Demolition Smash & Crush, The Orient Express)
Winner of this match gets to face the Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag Team Titles at Wrestlemania VII. Pulled from the most recent episode of WWF Superstars, so we've got Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper calling the action. Save for closing moments, I'm not going to do any detailed PVP for this, since it's mostly punch-kick stuff. Demolition go for simultanious press slams on the Rockers, but that doesn't go their way, and a double dropkick elminates Smash at 1:55. Crush continues pounding on Jannetty, probably too dumb to realize he's also gone from the match. The Orient Express toss out Luke at 2:25 in a sloppy double team manner. The Rockers have face miscommunication, as Jannetty gets dropkicked out by Michaels at 3:07. Next to go? The Orient Express, in the form of Hawk back-dropping Kato out at 4:55, then Animal press slamming Tanaka on top of Kato for the hell of it. Power & Glory and the Nasty Boys work together to beat down on the LOD, of course. Roma tries for something off the top rope, but Animal catches him and easily heaves him over the top rope to rid us of Power & Glory at 5:57. For some unknown reason, the LOD go for the Doomsday Device, but Hercules crotches Hawk across the top rope, and Hawk falls to the floor, giving the Nasty Boys the victory at 6:35, as well as the shot at the Tag Team Titles at Wrestlemania. This match also gave us the classic encounter between the LOD and Power & Glory. As if anyone remembers that one. Not the worst excuse for a battle royal.
- Mean Gene Okerlund is "touring" Washington D.C.... with Barbera Bush (with a plush dog in her hands) and Nancy Reagan. It's two people dressed up with HORRIBLE masks on. They end up fighting off camera. Um... what the hell was that? This sadly goes on throughout the entire episode! What a way to honor President Day... with stupid nonsense involving two people wearing masks.
- Vince McMahon explains Gorilla Monsoon's absence from Primetime Wrestling as being an advisor to WWF President Jack Tunney. Whatever. We get some "Primetime News", but it comes across as incredibly stupid, so I'm just going to skip over this and hope for something good. We do get a joke at the expense of the New England Patriots owner, but this is 1991 and that team was a joke before the mid 90's, so no one cares.
- Special Interview time, with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and the Man Called Virgil. For those who forgot, Piper is training Virgil to be his own person. Tonight's lesson is learning about human rights. Piper gives Virgil a towel and tells him to ask him to polish his shoes. Virgil asks him nicely, and Piper obliges. What's the point? Because Piper is Virgil's friend. Piper orders Virgil to ask him to kiss his feet, and Piper retaliates with a "stick it in your nose" and has Virgil slap him over and over again. Piper turns the tables, switching roles. What are you? "I am a man!" Spell man: M-A-N! Tell Dibiase how do you spell man? V-I-R-G-I-L! I'm sorry, but I was eating this up with a spoon when I was a kid and I still mostly enjoy it.
The Viking vs. David Isley:
Pulled from an episode of Wrestling Challenge, and this is very early in the run of John Nord in the WWF. Obvious, because he's refered to as the Viking rather than the Berzerker, plus he's introduced as being from Iceland. He's also without a manager at this point, too. Who do you give as a manager to a near incoherent maniac? Yes, Mr. Fuji, of course! The Viking attacks and quickly connects with a big boot, shoutng "Huss" over and over again. Irish whip, and he connects with a running dropkick. The Viking with a forward power-slam and a knee drop. Viking comes off the ropes and boots his opponent, again. Viking with a face-slam suplex, then picks him up and tosses him to the floor, picking up the Count-Out victory a 2:34. Interesting squash. I've always wondered... did the Viking/Berzerker ever win a match by pinfall? After the match, the Viking gives his victim a plancha, just because he can.
- It's time for the Event Center, with Sean Mooney. Sunday, March 24th, it'll be Wrestlemania VII. We get promos from Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart, throwing threats at the Texas Tornado, Kerry Von Erich. Next we get words from Greg Valentine, who's been at every Wrestlemania to date, and he's going up against the mighty Earthquake. I always forget Valentine actually had beef with the stable of Jimmy Hart, but it was so quickly forgotten, you can't really blame me.
"The Model" Rick Martel vs. Dale Wolfe:
I guess it's a Primetime Exclusive, with Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. Correction: I see Wrestling Challenge graphics all over the place throughout the match. Martel is wearing a giant button that reads "I Am a Model!" Lockup, and Martel hammers away. Irish whip is reversed, but Martel with a cart-wheel to escape danger. Inset promo from Martel, who is more than a little upset over being tricked into a blindfold match with Jake "The Snake" Roberts at Wrestlemania VII. Martel puts the boots to Wolfe and takes him down with a gut-wrench suplex. Martel with a slam, followed by knees into the back of Wolfe. Martel with a back breaker, and the Boston Crab finishes things at 1:47. Short and sweet for the Model.
- We get a special weather report from the Bushwhackers. They march around licking and whacking their way through the studio audience. Because this format worked SO well for Tuesday Night Titaans. They play with a giant colorform set and misidentify things the entire time. If you want entertaining television, this is NOT the show for you!
Big Boss Man vs. The Barbarian:
Are.. you.. kidding.. ME! I swear to GOD, this match haunts me. I've seen this in two previous "flashback" reviews as well as two different Coliseum Videos. I refuse to sit through this stinker again, even if it is Joined in Progress. Sorry, but it's Copy and Paste time! Taken from the December 13th, 1990 show held in what looks like London, Ontario, and one of the most recycled shit matches ever. Mooney and Lord Alfred are on commentary to further make this match enjoyable. Barbarian with a series of blows to the back of Boss Man followed by applying a bearhug. Boss Man breaks free with a series of headbutts and biting of the forehead. Barbarian is back to no selling though and floors Boss Man with a big boot. According to Hayes, that was a karate move... yeah. Barbarian heads to the second rope for the elbow drop that always misses, and of course, it misses. Both men exchange blows... very... slowly. Boss Man takes control of the match with his shots and nails an enziguri! That only gets a two count, though. Irish whip and Boss Man stuns Barbarian across the top rope for another two count. Boss Man heads up to the top rope and comes off with a cross body, but Barbarian rolls through for a two count. Barbarian counters a piledriver with a back drop, but Boss Man sunset flips him as he poses in a pinning cover, and Boss Man picks up the duke at 4:57. Did every fucking Barbarian match end like that?! After the match Haku runs in for some double team beatings on the Boss Man. 1/4* A partial point for the enziguri, but the match sucked ass. The full match, which runs around 14 minutes long, is as bad as you could imagine with plenty of resting, stalling, and more stalling.
Shawn Michaels (w/ Marty Jannetty) vs. Demolition Crush (w/ Mr. Fuji):
This is a Primetime Wrestling exclusive, and I'm pretty sure this is available on Coliseum Video, Supertape Vol. 4. I find it odd that Smash isn't present at ringside, since this was obviously done at a Wrestling Challenge taping. They lockup and Crush hammers away on Michaels. Irish whip to the corner by Crush, but he misses an elbow. Michaels mounts Crush for a series of punches and connects with the reverse crescent kick followed by a series of clotheslines and a diving shoulder tackle. They brawl outside the ring and Crush hammers away on him some more. Crush attempts a gorilla press slam, but Michaels escapes it and connects with a hurricanrana. Crush walks into a drop toe hold of Michaels and Shawn applies a front face lock. Crush battles back up to his feet and catches Michaels in his famous Tilt-o-Whirl back breaker followed by an over head back breaker for an early two count. Crush continues to hammer away on Michaels and he applies the bear-hug. Michaels takes a moment to sell then fights his way free. Irish whip is reversed by Crush and he sends Michaels into the corner which he sells like he's Bret Hart with a nasty thud. Crush applies a body scissors in the middle of the ring and he must be winded already, and the crowd cheers for Michaels to escape. Crush releases the hold and connects with a massive back breaker. Crush heads to the top rope to finish Michaels off, but he misses the knee drop and now both men are down. Michaels works the leg with kicks and attempts a high cross body press, but Crush catches him. The referee is distracted as Jannetty comes off the top rope to give Michaels enough leverage to land on top of Crush for the cover, and that actually gets the three count at 7:18. ** Nothing special here, but it was decent enough. I like the rarity of seeing a singles match like this, but at the same time, I probably would've prefered a match between the two teams, instead. It might not have been much better, but I've always prefered tag team matches compared to singles when it comes to throw-away junk like this.
- We get a segment where Vince Mcmahon asks Bobby Heenan advice from random people. I'm pretty sure this was a sketch on Tuesday Night Titans. Lou Albano giving horrible love advice was pretty entertaining. This was okay, but I'm just not very into it.
Tugboat vs. Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Pulled from an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, possibly a week or so earlier than the previous weekends episode. Tugboat was really in job mode in the Spring of 1991, before finally turning heel and renaming himself Typhoon. Outside of Koko B. Ware, Typhoon might've been the only babyface not to see action at Wrestlemania VII. At least the Bushwhackers were used in that stupid Instant Replay crap. Tugboat grabs a headlock, but a shoulder block doesn't do much for either man. Earthquake with a headlock, and the roles are reversed, but with the same results. Earthquake finally takes Tugboat off his feet with a clothesline, then chokes away on him. Quake continues to hammer away and connects with another clothesline. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Tugboat follows in with an avalanche, then clotheslines Quake into the ropes, getting him caught in the process. Jimmy Hart gets on the apron to take a beating, but Earthquake frees himself, grabs the megaphone and bops Tugboat with it for the Disqualification at 3:27. Earthquake adds insult to injury by dropping ass on Tugboat. DUD Not much to see here. Earthquake really fell far from grace, feuding with Hulk Hogan, then instantly doing mop up duty for Jimmy Hart against an over-the-hill Greg Valentine.
- We get a quick video hyping the debut of some guy who spits fire named The Dragon. Who can this mysterious newcomer be?
Full Nelson Challenge: The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord (w/ Slick):
From an episode of Wrestling Challenge, and we all know what's going to happen. Warlord teases putting the hold on, but chickens out a couple times. Then, when the Bulldog least expects it, the Warlord attacks from behind, then slaps the hold on. Davey Boy manages to escape the hold, but the Warlord runs away, so the Bulldog takes it out on Slick, who might be the leader in all-time manager ass-kickings. Even Tito Santana got to beat up on him a couple of times. This is all just to build up some anticipation for their encounter at Wrestlemania VII, which turned out NOT to be the worst match in history, although I wouldn't call it a very good match, either.
- Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon discuss Heenan's Wrestlemania VII involvement, then we talk about the stupid crap between "Barbera Bush" and "Nancy Reagan." Heenan gets in a pretty good line, discussing the first lady breaking her leg. Heenan: I saw that on television. She said "I've fallen and I can't get up!." I only make note of this because I've always enjoyed Heenan's harrassing jokes about the eldery, especially when it came to Stu Hart. Too funny.
- They discuss something about Presidents, which leads to talking about fashion, which then leads to the Bushwhackers modeling towels while Lord Alfred Hayes does the narration. Bobby Heenan was expecting something else when he heard "Models". My God, what a waste of time. Did someone really find this to be entertaining? They were in a beauty contest in New Zealand. "Who won?" "No one."
"Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich vs. Darryl Woodworth:
Pulled from an episode of Superstars, but redubbed with Lord Alfred and Sean Mooney calling the action. Interesting name for a jobber. Oh, I thought it was "Woolworth" for a second. Von Erich punks his opponent out and shoves him out of the ring. We take a peak at WWF Magazine concerning the tension between Von Erich and Ted Dibiase. There's a feud that went nowhere fast. Lockup into the corner, and Woodworth gets a few token shots in before Von Erich mops the floor with him. Whip to the corner, and Von Erich follows in with a running punch. The Discuss Punch connects for the three count at 1:32. No Claw? I'm disappointed! Not much of a squash, but that can be said about a lot of squash matches. Von Erich is going to face Dino Bravo at Wrestlemania VII, by the way.
- Bobby Heenan calls Von Erich 270 pounds of spam and blames the referees for Mr. Perfect originally losing the Intercontinental Title to the Tornado. Heenan claims Barbera Bush is mad at Nancy Reagan for stealing a glass of water... because her teeth were in them. The violence escalates from knife wielding to shotgun posing. The blowoff? Nothing.
Next week on Primetime Wrestling will be the Mountie and Jimmy Hart, and possibly Andre the Giant, which upsets Heenan. Then, out of nowhere, the masked pair of First Ladies come to the studio and toss buckets of water on Heenan. Okay, so THAT was the payoff. Whatever.
BONUS CONTENT! Disappointed by the lack of the following, here's a couple of things pulled from the weekends episodes of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge...
- The Wrestlemania VII Report, brought to us by Mean Gene Okerlund. So far, the card looks a little something like this...
Newly Announced this week...
- WWF Champion Sgt. Slaughter defends his title against the immortal Hulk Hogan. We get 120-minute long promos from both men.
- The Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage put their careers on the line then cut some tense, yet rambling, promos. A lot of long promos for a PPV Report.
- Jake "The Snake" Roberts squares off with the Model Rick Martel, in a blindfold match!
- Mr. Perfect defends the Intercontinental Title against the Big Boss Man
- The British Bulldog takes on the Warlord to see who is the strongest man in the WWF
Wrestlemania VII will feature such celebrities as Regis Philbin, and Willie Nelson will sing America the Beautiful. Bob Costas and Paul McGuire will be there to debate Instant Replay.
- Virgil, with Rowdy Roddy Piper takes on the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase
- The Hart Foundation defends the Tag Titles against The Nasty Boys
- Greg "The Hammer" Valentine goes up against Earthquake
- The Texas Tornado will meet Dino Bravo
- Superfly Jimmy Snuka will go one-on-one with the Undertaker
- Mean Gene Okerlund is with us from a special section in our local Toys R' Us. How would you like some Wrestling Buddies from Tonka. "How would you like to BONK Hulk Hogan!?" Or how about an Ultimate Warrior slumber bag? A World Wrestling Federation ring and championship belt? Or the official WWF action figures from Hasbro? Get signed photos of Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Legion of Doom when you purchase WWF merchandise from Toys R Us. The LOD interrupt and Gene spouts off random wrestler names begging not to be pulverized. Seriously, I've never seen such a shill as Mean Gene Okerlund.
- It's time for the Brother Love Show. He's got the Undertaker with him. Brother Love is unable to give the Undertaker his undivided attention, and so, Brother Love is going to introduce us to the man who will guide the Undertaker to the top of the World Wrestling Federation. Yes, it's the debut of "Brother Bearer", Paul Bearer that is. Get it? Being lead to the ring by Paul Bearer? Hyuk Hyuk Hyuk! Yes, Paul Bearer, fresh off a run as Percy Pringle throughout the southern territiories, is here to make the Undertaker character more comical. Or so most people would've thought. The Undertaker STILL went on to be totally awesome, despite a manager with a cartoon name. Brother Love ties this in with the upcoming retirement match between Warrior and Savage. Hmm... does the Undertaker have plans for the Ultimate Warrior's career coming to an end?
Final Thoughts: If your only outlet to WWF television was Primetime Wrestling, then it's forgivable to see a lot of stuff recycled from the weekend shows. For example, this week featured one match important to setting up two matches for Wrestlemania, a high profile feature between Quake and Tugboat, the Full Nelson Challenge from Wrestling Challenge, as well as a couple of PTW Exclusives. Too bad the wrestling was pretty bad for most of this, plus all the studio segments, particularly the ones with men dressed as old ladies and the Bushwhackers, were pretty terrible. The most disappointing part, though, is the lack of Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan bickering back and forth like in the good old days. It's just not the same with Vince McMahon setting up Heenan for obviously scripted exchanges.
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