Prime Time Wrestling - October 6, 1986
by Erick Von Erich
Hello again, everyone, it's time for Prime Time Wrestling with Gorilla Monsoon and your host, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan. For some reason, WWE Network has now dubbed over the intro music for all their 1986 and 1987 episodes (as of their latest upload of a "new" block of Prime Time in May 2017). They're using the theme from mid-1988 and on, instead of my favorite "70's action show music". Oh, and even though this is listed as airing on a Monday, we hear a few references, thoughout the show, about how this is a special Thursday night edition. Whatever... we're wrestling recapper nerds, we notice these trivial things. In the actual intro, Gorilla mentions that he feels a little guilty for always ripping on the Brain...then gets in a little shot at losing to the Machines, yet again. But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let's get down to ringsidee for...
Billy Jack Haynes vs. "Ace/Cowboy" Bob Orton (w/Jimmy Hart)
We're at the September 23, 1986 Madison Square Garden show, but the crowd looks a little light. Gorilla and Lord Alfred Hayes are on the sticks. Howard Finkel makes a point of announcing that Orton has a new manager in Hart. Powerful lock-ups to start, and Haynes cranks away on the side headlock. Criss-cross (jump! jump!), then Haynes reverses a hip-toss, drop-kicks and thumps Orton out to ringside. Back in, Orton goes for a head scissors, but Haynes matches him. Orton missed a leg-drop and gets atomic-dropped. Orton hooks an armbar, but Haynes kicks up and turns into another head scissors takedown. Orton powers out of it and turns it into an airplane spin! Haynes whips him to the corner, but Orton lands a stiff clothesline on the rebound, for a 2 count. Orton tries a reverse splash from the top turnbuckle, but Haynes gets the knees up. Haynes "Billy Jacks Up" with a kneelift, clothesline, slam and a flying elbow from the second rope for 2. They hit the ropes and Haynes rebounds by hooking the Full Nelson! Orton manages to get a foot on the bottom rope. They fight into the corner and Orton gets a VERY blatant pull of the tights to score the pin. So blatant and obvious that the censors had to blur out the video to hide Haynes' butt crack. I think this was the first televised loss --of any kind-- for Haynes in the WWF. Orton's probably getting a small re-push due to his connection with the new Piper's Pit/Flower Shop angle.
The Islanders vs. The Moondogs
(Haku & Toma vs. Rex & Spot)
More MSG. Well hey, I think this is the first time we've seen the new Islanders tag team on PTW! Yeah, they're calling him "Toma", not "Tama". It's not mentioned here, but we should note (again) that the WWF would acknowledge that "Haku" and "King Tonga" were the same guy. So...I guess King Tonga's slam angle with Big John Studd has evaporated. Oh, and so much for Jimmy Hart managing the Moondogs, too, huh? Toma dances around and mocks Spottie's head-scratching. Coupla' leapfrogs and a chop from Toma, then Haku tags in to help with a hip-toss senton onto Spot for 2. All four guys enter and the Islanders clear the zone (my one hockey reference for the next 14 years). Rex and Haku do a somewhat laughable leapfrog sequence, with Haku delivering a headbutt. To the corner and Haku does the Stereotypical Pacific Islander Hard Head No Sell (SPIHHNS). Toma comes in and looks like he's having an absolute blast as he works an arm-wringer. Moondogs get in some elementary offense, but they're really making the Islanders look great. Spottie pulls the rope down, as Toma spills out to the floor. Spot then hops down and shoves Toma into the barricade. Rex pulls him back in and slams him on the top rope, followed by a vertical suplex for 2. Big powerslam from Rex gets 2, plus a splash for fun. Inverted atomic drop from Spot as Toma is continually double-teamed. Toma's knees block a Rex splash, allowing the hot tag to Haku. Haku cleans house and hits the ol' Double Noggin Knocker. Tag to Toma and a big splash from the top rope gets the pin on Rex. I really enjoyed this match, more than I expected. The Dogs looked good, despite the fact that Gorilla & Al were calling them "sluggish" and "stupid".
Ken Resnick Studio Interview with Slick & The Iron Sheik
Basic self-promotional stuff. The implication is that, ever since Slick took over "Classy" Freddy Blassie's contracts, the Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff have been on a roll. Sheik gets in a few words, yet surprisingly doesn't get all animated.
The Flower Shop vs. Piper's Pit, Part 2
Taped shortly after last week's incident. Piper returns to the remains of Piper's Pit, left leg wrapped up, and on crutches. "It'll take a HELUVA lot more to keep me down!" Piper has a baseball bat and destroys the set of the Flower Shop, then makes like Bo Jackson and breaks the bat in pieces. He hollers at the camera: "The war has just begun"! Fans are into it and give him a loud "Pi-per" chant.
"Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal vs. Jose-Luis Rivera
In the studio, Gorilla mentions: "let's see if the youngster has the qualifications to be here". This is the guy who was probably most famous for being in the AWA, although he's recently jumped from Jim Crockett Promotion and the "NWA". Joined-in-Progrss from MSG with Regal working a chinlock. Elbow-smash and a vertical suplex get 2 for Regal....then it's more chinlock. The "Borrr-ring" chants are very audible and you have to wonder if including this on Prime Time is a shot at the competition. Side backbreaker gets another 2... so we celebrate with more chinlock. JLR fights back, with a mild punchy/kicky sequence and a drop-kick for 2. Regal over-sells a whip to the corner (a la Curt Hennig) and gets backdropped. JLR hits the ropes, but gets caught with Regal's belly-to-belly suplex, which gets the pin. Back in the studio, Gorilla buries Regal and says: "Mr. Electricity didn't show me a lot of voltage". I think Regal was gone from the WWF, within a month.
S.D. Jones vs. Mr. X
More MSG and more joined-in-progress. X rolls outside as Jones tries to unmask him... so what would've happened if Mr.X was exposed as Danny Davis?! X hurts his elbow as he tries to smash Jones in the head. We get a BUNCH of punchy/kicky and Jones constantly teases going after the mask. X comes off the second turnbuckle with a double axe-handle, then jabs Jones in the throat. X is sent to the corner in a VERY slow and awkward Irish whip, hits the turnbuckle. Jones with a lethargic slam... then slowwwwwly climbs to the second rope and hits a jumping headbutt to get the pin. To quote somebody: "'Dis was pure crap".
Tito Santana vs. "The King" Harley Race (w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)
Before it's thrown to the arena, Gorilla gets the Brain all worked up by suggesting that Race stole his crown from a second-rate costume shop, off Broadway. First time we've seen Race in his new king gimmick on PTW, although Howard Finkel still introduces him as "Handsome Harley Race". Collar-and-elbow tie up, then they hit the ropes and Tito hits a dropkick, slam and an armdrag. Criss-cross (JUMP! JUMP!) again and this time Race floors Tito with a clothesline, but misses a diving headbutt. Tito's right back to the armdrag, as Heenan pays a visit to the broadcast table to mess with Gorilla and Al. Race oversells an Irsih whip into the corner and flips out to the floor. Race baits Tito outside and introduces him to the railing. Race tries to continue, but gets up close and personal with the ringpost. Up to the apron and Race flips himself back in, over the ropes. Headbutt and shot to the GROIN from Race. Tito reverses a vertical suplex and gets 2. Race goes into punch/pull-up-pants/punch mode, then a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Both guys bump heads and Race flips out, again. Race's teases a headbutt from the top to the outside, but Tito rolls in the ring and slams him to the mat. Figure-four attempt, but Race kicks him away, then delivers a Greco Roman Eye Rake. Piledriver from Race, but he misses another headbutt. Tito thumps away and hooks a sleeper, right at mid-ring. Race is down to one knee...and delivers a crotch shot to break the sleeper. European uppercut from Race, followed by an atomic drop, but Tito counters it and delivers his own for a 2 count. Race misses yet another headbutt from the top and Tito goes for the figure four. Heenan is up on the apron to distract and goes for something in his tights. Race sneaks in and rolls hiTito up from behind to get the pin. Wow, how many times did Chico get suckered by the ol' "manager on the apron" trick? Afterwards, Tito hops out to thump Race, but the ref stops him. Replay shows that Tito didn't have his right sholder down for the full 3 count, but the decision still stands. Very solid midcard match and exactly what it should have been. Worked as a heat vehicle to prove to fans that Race has good credentials and isn't just a ridiculous gimmick. Back in the studio, Gorilla needles Heenan about going for something in his tights, to which he replies: "what happens between me and my under-tights is my business".
Jesse "The Body" Ventura Studio Interview with Hulk Hogan
Jesse stirs things up by claiming Paul Orndorff is the REAL American. Hogan gets right in Jesse's face: "I'll bet you think you have a full head of hair and large arms, but next to me you're a small dude". Why'd you have to go after the hair, Hulkster? Hogan does his usual training/prayers/vitamins stuff, as this was maybe 30 seconds, tops.
Rougeau Brothers vs. The Hart Foundation (w/Jimmy Hart)
(Jacques & Raymond Rougeau vs. Bret "The Hitman" Hart & Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart)
Good chance this is the first televised match between these two teams. Rougeaus are straight out of 1982 with their floor length robes and plain dark burgundy trunks. To be thorough, the Harts are still in their black/blue gear. Rougeaus get the early advantage, double-chopping Anvil, then sending Hitman to the floor with a double drop-kick. Jacques and Hitman square off. Hitman hooks an armbar, but Jacques escapes with a forward roll, then a roll over Hitman's shoulders, into a drop-kick. Raymond comes in for his spots. Hitman blocks a roll-up attempt, off the ropes, but gets drop-kicked over the top, again. Anvil challenges Jacques by removing his straps...and getting a few sarcastic cat-calls. Anvil no-sells two shoulderblocks. Jacques then suckers him for his own shoulderblock, but the French-Canadian leapfrogs and catches him with a slam. Boston crab attempt, but Hitman makes the save. Harts finally lower the boom on the Rougeaus and work over Jacques, including their decapitation move, for a 2 count. Scoop-slam on the floor from Anvil, then Hitman shoves him into the apron. Jacques rolls back in for more punishment. They go to the ropes and Jacques surprises Hitman with a reverse monkey-flip. Anvil cuts the ring off with a front facelock, then the Harts do their vintage "cheap shots while ref is distracted" spots. Double team Irish whip as Anvil crashes into Jacques in the corner. Hitman drapes him on the ropes and actually connects with a charging body-press. It looked a little weird, because I was expecting Jacques to dodge and Hitman to crotch himself on the ropes. Side back-breaker, but Hitman misses the second rope elbowdrop. Anvil grabs Jacques's foot, but not before the HOT TAG to Raymond, who cleans house. Hitman tries to enter, but Raymond whips Anvil right into him. Raymond with an elbow-drop for 2, then hooks a sleeper. Hitman and Jacques run around ringside, then the Harts do another double-team as Raymond eats boot. The ref tries to restore order, but Jacques (not the legal man) leaps over the top rope, with a sunset flip, and pins Anvil for the 3 count. The Rougeaus' biggest win, to date, and the fans loved it. Very well-paced match, overall.
In our final studio segment, Brain gets all riled up about his LJN figure not being listed in the WWF Magazine. He promises to bring his "doll", next week, along with the return of the telephone! See you next Tuesday for Prime Time.
Why'd You Watch This?:
Solid episode and a big improvement over the last few weeks of junk. 4 of the 6 matches were very watchable and the studio and interview segments were time well spent. While terrible, the other two matches (Jones/X and Regal/Rivera) are thankfully joined-in-progess and have their own trainwreck curiousity to them. The Regal match is especially weird. So, if you're into PTW, this episode is a solid recommendation.
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