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WWF Prime Time Wrestling - July 4, 1988

by Scrooge McSuck

- I'm feeling really down and have total "writers" block on what to recap, so I dipped into WWE's OnDemand service (online, of course) for this one.

- Our hosts are the team of Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and it's a 4th of July Spectacularrr. Bobby Heenan is upset that Monsoon's part of the set is decorated and his was left bare, which leads into an argument over who the host of the show is. It's wonderful seeing the interaction between the two, as it's sometimes obvious how good of friends they really were behind the scenes.

- "The Rock" Don Muraco vs. The One Man Gang:
We're from the Boston Garden for this one. Muraco's music is obviously dubbed over with some generic crap compared to that other crap he used to come to the ring to during his brief babyface run. There are NO managers are ringside for this... that's because Superstar Billy Graham is calling the action. Great. Gang attacks before the bell, and pounds away in the corner. Gang chokes Muraco with his vest, but Muraco fights free with elbows to the midsection, followed by his own choking. Muraco pounds away on Gang, and eventually knocks him off his feet with a dropkick. Muraco kicks the Gang's leg from under his leg, and works him over with a step over toe-hold, and then, surprisingly, a (sloppy) figure-four leglock. Billy Graham is a blathering idiot. Just wanted to throw that out there. Muraco maintains control and wraps the leg of the Gang around the ring post. The highlight of the past few minutes is the spit collecting in the Gang's beard. The Gang FINALLY takes control of the match, clubberin' away. He looks more drunk than hurt with his "limping." After a little bit of plodding offense, the Gang resorts to applying a bearhug. Lots of drama here. Muraco breaks free and dropkicks to injured knee of the Gang, but the Gang remains in control and goes back to the bearhug! Roger Kent goes into detail on why he calls a double sledge by that term, talking about sledgehammers and axes. THAT'S how boring this match is. Remember when random matches were all about a winner and losers "purse"? That would be money, for those that don't know. Why win? For the money, of course! The Gang sends Muraco out of the ring with an elbow, then follows him out for more punishment, smacking him into the post. Gang tries squashing Muraco, but eats the post himself, and Muraco rolls back in the ring, picking up the victory by Count-Out at 11:27. Outside of a surprising bit of leg work from Muraco, this match stank it up like rotten fish. Post-match, Muraco clears the Gang from the ring with another dropkick. Hurray for him. The only good thing about this match was that it finally ended.

- Back to the studio, and a stage assistant brings Heenan a balloon and leaves a giant ladder behind him. Heenan gets on the phone, a banana phone I might add, to vent his frustrations.

- "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil) vs. "Special Delivery" Jones:
Seems like this is pulled from an episode of Wrestling Challenge, and Heenan and Monsoon are arguing over Dibiase financing the Brother Love Show. Dibiase attacks, pounding away on Jones. Irish whip is reversed, and Jones returns the favor, and naturally throws a headbutt in for a surprise two-count. Virgil distracts Jones, allowing Dibiase to stomp away on Jones. Irish whip, and Dibiase with a back elbow, followed by a second rope sledge across the back of the head. Dibiase drops an elbow, then floors Jones with a clothesline. Million $ Dream time, and that's all she wrote at 1:49. It was a squash match, and it definitely did it's job.

- Monsoon offers Heenan his hat but then reveals he has another one under the desk, angering the Brain once again. Heenan is about to promote the new issue of WWF Magazine... but it's just a picture of a bunch of orangutans.

- We head to the WW_ Event Center with new-comer Sean Mooney, who seems a little bit TOO amped and enunciated with his lines. We throw it to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who has issues with the 8th Wonder of the World, Andre The Giant. Next, we have words from the Tag Team Champions, Demolition, and their manager Mr. Fuji. Recently, they put Rick Martel out of action. Smash says "crippled" about 10 times in 30 seconds. Mooney is INCREDIBLY bad here.

- Special Report time, with Lord Alfred Hayes. We go back to an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, where King Harley Race seriously injured himself, doing a spot involving a table. Last week, on WW_ BLURRED LOGO, Bobby Heenan does a 10-bell salute in honor of his fallen king of wrestling, along with the rest of the Heenan Family. Heenan promises to deliver a new King. Who can it be? Kong? Don? Burger? It could be anyone! Monsoon questions Heenan's search for a new King, disrespecting his previous.

- Special Interview time, conducted by Craig DeGeorge, with the Intercontinental Champion, the Honky Tonk Man, and his manager Jimmy Hart, who, thanks to Brutus Beefcake, looks like a woman with a really bad haircut. He claims shenanigans on the WWF, handicapping him by taking his manager away from ringside and taking Peggy Sue away from him. Honky offers to sing, but Jimmy Hart prevents it, to the pleasure of everyone.

- Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "The Outlaw" Ron Bass:
We're back in Boston, but this time we've got Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. They're visible at ringside, so this is probably from a different card than from where the Muraco vs. Gang match was pulled from. I'm not really looking forward to sitting through this match. Lockup to start, and Bass grabs a headlock. Roberts fights free, but Bass yanks the hair to put the preasure back on. Irish whip, and a shoulder block goes to the advantage of the Outlaw. Bass takes the time to yell at Monsoon, just for shits and giggles, I'm sure. Bass continues with headlocks and shoulder tackles. Jake rolls out of the ring to catch a breather, very unlike a babyface. Jake motions for Bass to come out of the ring after him. Bass takes the bait, and eats a knee lift coming back into the ring. VINAGE JAKE ROBERTS! Sorry, was channeling Michael Cole for a second. DDT attempt, but Bass rolls out of the ring to escape. Back in the ring, and Jakes works the arm. Irish whip to escape, but Jake puts the breaks on and gives Bass an unfriendly hand gesture. Pissed off Texans = Not Fun. Lockup into the corner, and Bass hammers away. Roberts rolls out of a slam attempt, and Bass runs outside after an encounter with the ominous bag at ringside. Monsoon makes a Michael Spinks remark, and we all know that story... if you have a mild knowledge of boxing. Roberts tries working the arm, but gets nailed with a clothesline for his troubles. Bass whips Roberts back-and-forth to the buckles, with gusto, then stomps him out of the ring. I think I fell a sleep and this match is STILL going on. Roberts avoids an elbow drop and connects with his signature short-arm clothesline, but the crowd seems really out of it. Bass counters another DDT attempt, and a weird shoulder block spot sees Bass fall on top of Roberts for a two count. Roberts tries a slam, but again, Bass lands on top for a cheap two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Roberts charges into a knee. Bass man-handles the referee, and gets nailed with a knee lift for his troubles, with the momentum sending him out of the ring. The end result, a count-out at 10:54 in favor of Jake Roberts. After the bell, Bass attacks and goes for Miss Betsy, but Jake manages to whip Damian out and wrap it around the neck of Bass, but Bass doesn't play scared as much as most people do. Incredibly boring match, and less fun to make fun of than the Muraco/Gang match.

- Back to the studio, and Heenan is still on the phone, agitated about the lack of decorations for his set. Monsoon keeps pimping the July 18th episode of Primetime Wrestling, which will be a 3 HOUR SPECTACULAR. Knowing the WWF, it was probably a bunch of recycled crap from the weekend shows and two or three bad exclusives.

- The Killer Bees vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers:
(B. Brian Blair & Jumping Jim Brunzell vs. Jacques & Raymond Rougeau)
From an episode of Superstars of Wrestling. The Rougeau's were transitioning into their heel roles at this point, and are present, waving their tiny american flags. Handshakes are made. Brunzell and Raymond lock up, with Raymond taking Brunzell over with an arm drag. Criss-cross sequence, and they trade off armbars and arm drags. Blair tags in and goes to work on the arm, then grabs a headlock. Jacques with a blind tag, and takes Blair down with a drop toe hold. Blair takes Jacques over with a fireman's carry, then does his own drop toe hold. Jacques offers a handshake, but takes it away. Brunzell rolls him up and gives him the same treatment. Raymond tags in and grabs a headlock. Jacques tags in and nails Blair from behind with a forearm. We get an inset promo from the Rougeaus, acting like ignorant jerks. The Rougeaus double team as Ventura defends them, which is a sure sign that their turn is almost complete. Jacques has an abdominal stretch applied, and Raymond adds a crescent kick to the midsection. Blair avoids a double dropkick and makes the hot tag to Brunzell, who hammers away on Jacques, then throws him out of the corner with a hip toss. Brunzell clubs the back of Jacques and applies a sleeper hold, but Raymond breaks the hold. Brunzell with an atomic drop, and Blair adds a Bee-Ear-Smack. Brunzell connects with a dropkic, but Jacques breaks the cover. Blair distracts the referee, and that allows Raymond to trip Brunzell up, but Blair breaks the pinfall attempt. More double teaming sees Jacques pinning Brunzell after some heel shenanigans at 5:49. After the match, the Rougeaus offer handshakes, but there won't be none of that. Not a bad match, especially since it's only purpose was to advance the heel turn of the Rougeau Brothers.

- We're back in the studio, and Monsoon offers Heenan one of his sparklers. Heenan responds by putting it through his paper hat, then puts over the Rougeau Brothers. HEEL TURN!

- More Event Center brought to us by Sean Mooney. We've got comments from Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart, and this reminds me of a forgotten angle between Valentine and Muraco that saw Valentine put Graham on the sidelines as Muraco's "manager." I say forgotten because of a lack of PPV blowoff for almost every angle that went on during the summer of 1988. We've got a promo from Ken Patera, who has issues with Dino Bravo, a.k.a The Challenge Feud of '88. Awful, take a lap.

- The Head Banger (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. Brian Costello:
Who? Monsoon calls him the Butcher, but his ring introduction says the Head Banger. Probably like how he called Ricky Steamboat by name when no one else would, during the "Dragon" days of 1991. Because he could. Oh well, The Butcher attacks Costello before the bell and clubs away. His ring attire consists of a dingy brown overalls and rope for a belt. Irish whip, and "Head Banger" nails Costello with a stiff clothesline, followed by a slam. He scoops Costello up by his legs and slams him back down, face first. Butcher Banger headbutts Costello over and over... and over... and over until he disqualifies him at 1:55 and awards the match to Brian Costello. I'm pretty sure The Head Banging Butcher disappeared with no more than a whimper. (Editor's Note: Scrooge probably knows this, but for all you out there in Internets-Land: The Headbanger was veteran grappler Jos LeDuc)

- Heenan has a new balloon and a tiny piece of tape to put up his rolls of streamers.

- The Rockers vs. Terry Gibbs & Conquistador #7:
From an episode of Wrestling Challenge, and one of the earliest appearances of Jannetty and Michaels on WWF television. I'm sure they only debuted a few weeks prior to this. Gibbs and Conquistador attack before the bell, but hip tosses and crescent kicks clear them from the ring. Michaels sling shots Gibbs back into the ring, and a double clothesline follows. Michaels with a snapmare, and Jannetty tags in with a fist drop. Irish whip, and the Rockers connect with a dropkick. Whip to the corner, and Michaels misses a charge. Conquistador tags in as the puff of cloud of Harley Race shows up. Michaels with a cross body on both opponents for a two count. I'm surprised he never did pin two people at once, during certain times of his career. Gibbs tags back in, and genericly works over Michaels. Conquistador comes off the ropes with a sledge, but soon runs into an elbow from Michaels. Jannetty gets the tag in, and he unloads on everyone. Jannetty with a suplex, and Michaels comes off the top with a super fist drop, and that's enough for the three count at 3:03. Energetic squash match, but that was usually how it went with the Rockers. Nice to see the "All-Star Jobbers" too, instead of generic scrubs.

- Gorilla Monsoon offers us advice on how to kill time for the next segment, including boiling eggs and making a grilled cheese sandwich.

- The Brother Love Show is next, and out special guest of the week is the newly debuted Big Bossman. The Brother Love Show had only debuted a few weeks earlier, itself. For whatever bizarre reason, I always found the Bossman a hell of a lot more fun to watch as a massive, ass kicking heel, rather than a slimmed down, child hand-slapping pussy babyface. This just went on and on...

- George "The Animal" Steele (w/ Mine) vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine:
From Madison Square Garden, and this is our FEATURE match of the week. Yes, Steele has MINE with him, and Valentine doesn't have Jimmy Hart. I'd say Valentine still has the advantage. Roger Kent, Billy Graham, and Lord Alfred Hayes are on commentary, so this is going to be a painful few minutes. Steele taunts Valentine with the stupid doll, but doesn't fall for a snea attack and clears Valentine from the ring. Valentine pulls Steele out of the ring, though, and rams him into a bunch of random stuff. I honestly have NEVER seen a good match with George Steele. He bum rushes the ring and bites away on the forehead of Valentine, but before he could munch on some turnbuckle, Valentine pulls him outside and nails him with a chair. No DQ is called, though. Steele tosses a chair into the ring, but the referee discards it. Steele tosses the bell in, but it bounces back out at him, no doubt a sign of karma. Maybe this is a No DQ match, but we're never formally informed of it, at least. Steele grunts for the removal of the shin-guard of Valentine. (We cut to the studio, where Heenan is up on the ladder to decorate the stage himself, with poor results, of course.) Back to the previously recorded action, and Steele dives between the referees legs to chew on the calf of Valentine. Valentine punts Mine, so Steele rams him into the buckle TWELVE times, instead of the tradtional ten. That's because he's untradtional... (crickets chrip) Steele has a loaded weapon, and nails Valentine in the leg with it. Billy Graham FINALLY reveals this IS no disqualifications. Valentine takes control of the action and stomps away on Steele. To quote Kent, Valentine with a sledgehammer to the back of the back. He turns the shinguard around, but Steele thumbs the eyes to prevent the Figure-Four. Valentine goes again, but Steele kicks him off into the turnbuckle. Valentine grabs Mine and beats on him, then chucks him into the front row. Steele runs for Mine, allowing Valentine to sneak up on him and attacks. They run around the ring, with Mine as the item of desire... and the bell rings? It's a count-out victory for GEORGE STEELE at 7:48. Whatever. 10 years later, they put on a match even more horrible at the Heroes of Wrestling PPV. That's a lie. They did THE EXACT SAME MATCH, except instead of Mine, you substitute Sherri Martel. Valentine beating the crap out of Mine rivals Raven tossing Moppy into a Wood Chipper as my favorite moment of violence on an inatimate object.

- We close the 4h of July Celebration. Heenan has a blurred out 4th of July hat on and lights his sparkler, and Monsoon joins in with the antics. Monsoon ignites the special "fireworks", forcing Heenan to flee the studio before any explosions could take place. Next weeks feature match, by the way, is hyped as Demolition vs. Strike Force. I'm guessing that was the injury angle match, even though we heard a promo about it already happening.

Final Thoughts: Seems like your typical Primetime episode from the time. The feature matches were rather crappy, and oddly paired off for the time frame, and there was the usual recycled material from the weekend syndicated shows to keep you up to date with the important stuff, like who was the New King, the Rougeaus turn, and debuts of superstars like the Rockers and Bossman. The only reason to really watch these shows though, was for the studio banter between Monsoon and Heenan, and this episode was no different. Bad wrestling, entertaining stuff otherwise.

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