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WWF Prime Time Wrestling - Oct 16, 1989

by Scrooge McSuck

- With hours upon hours of footage on Classics on Demand going to waste, I figured why not sit through the episodes of PrimeTime featured. I've mostly been ignoring recaps of the show because of the fact this era heavily favored squash matches instead of pulling stuff from arena cards from Boston or Los Angeles, to name a few. There still might be a buried treasure somewhere in between the countless squashes, but no promises. Also be forwarned, I don't plan on going into great detail, or very much detail, for the random squashes unless something significant takes place. It'll just be a place for me to refresh memories on what the goings on were.

- Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are our hosts in Studio A, with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper holding down the fort in Studio B. Heenan takes over introductions for the show, going through on rapid speed after himself. Our feature match this week will be the Hitman, Bret Hart, taking on the Model, Rick Martel.

- The Big Boss Man in Action... I guess Jive Soul Bro is lost to copyright issues, AGAIN, as his introduction is cut out, and we cut away immediately after the victory pinfall. Dusty Rhodes cuts an inset promo, still brandishing the nightstick he confiscated from the Boss Man nearly three months earlier.

- No Holds Barred, starring WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, is available on VHS Cassette in THREE DAYS! Bobby Heenan suggests roughing people up that don't have them for sale. This isn't communist Russia. If we don't want to see a terrible movie, then we don't have to.

- From the Pages of WWF Magazine, here's Update: The Survivor Series takes place Thanksgiving Night on November 23rd. Teams and Captains are announced as followed: The Hulkamaniacs (Capt. Hulk Hogan) vs. the Million $ Team (Capt. Ted Dibiase), the Ultimate Warriors (Capt. Obvious) vs. The Heenan Family (Capt. Andre The Giant), The Dream Team (Capt. Dusty Rhodes) vs. The Enforcers (Capt. Boss Man), Roddy's Rowdies (Capt. Roddy Piper) vs. The Rude Brood (Capt. Rick Rude), and the 4x4's (Capt. Jim Duggan) vs. The King's Court (Capt. Macho King). Team members to be announced later in the broadcast.

- "Rugged" Ronnie Garvin in Action... Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes speculate which team Garvin will be a member of. Greg Valentine cuts an inset promo, next to the completely bogus "Superstars" logo. Another example of erasing history for lame copyright reasons, I guess. Garvin works in the Garvin Stomp and finishes with the Reverse Figure Four, better known as the Sharpshooter or Scorpion Deathlock.

Tim Horner vs. The Genius:

First match of the show that can be considered competetive. Horner was typical enhancement talent on the weekend shows, but on PrimeTime he was typically allowed to work 6-8 minute matches before doing the job. They talk about the Genius' relationship with Mr. Perfect, so I'm guessing that was a fairly new direction. Genius with his usual stall tactics and Horner rolls him up for a two count. He grabs a side headlock and the two trade hammerlocks. Horner with a snapmare for another two count. Genius with a bitch slap, then takes a hike to work the crowd. I just noticed his boots have H.I.Q on them in a Scrabble style pattern. Hell, while talking about boots, Horner has his Lightning Express boots on. Back inside, Horner with a snapmare, sending Genius back out. Genius takes control with rights and boots in the corner. Whip across the ring is reversed, but Horner meets the post on a charge. Genius grabs a front facelock and Horner cradles him for two. He sends the Genius to the buckle and takes him over with a snap suplex for two. Genius counters a powerslam, and victory rolls Horner for the three count at around the 6-minute mark. Mostly stalling from Poffo, but Horner seemed game despite laying down for what was practically a split-time manager/wrestler.

- Haku in Action... Seems like Haku wasn't doing much of note between losing his Crown to Jim Duggan and winning the Tag Titles with Andre to close out the year. Commentary still puts him over as someone to keep an eye on, but they always said that about Hercules, and we all know how honest that phrase can be. Haku works in a variety of suplex and back breakers before finishing jobber Randy Larsen off with a crescent kick. Does anyone think Haku will be part of the Heenan Family at the Survivor Series? Only time will tell.

- Survivor Series Report. I'll skip over this, but for those tidbit fans, there were three notable changes to the card: Tully Blanchard was originally part of the Heenan Family, but was fired for what is assumed to be the worst case of failing a drug test the world has ever seen, and replaced by Bobby Heenan, with zero mention until match time. Akeem was scheduled to be part of the Enforcers, but also was replaced at show time by Bad News Brown. Final change was the Widow Maker, Barry Windham, being subbed out of Savage's team by the (Canadian) Earthquake, most likely dealing with the counterfeit charges against his father and brother.

Hercules vs. The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):

You would think this match would easily go in the favor of Honky, but he was doing just as much of a Job Tour at this point as Hercules, so this could be considered a Pick 'Em. Hercules is the bottom-feeder of the 4x4's, and shocking to say, Honky might be considered the Bottom Feeder of the Enforcer's. Unfortunately, this does NOT preview either of their matches. Stalling to start. Lockup and Honky complains about a hair pull. Herc' ducks a clothesline and sends Honky to the corner with an atomic drop. He noggin' knockers Honky and Hart, then rams the former IC Champ to the buckle. "Charge" to the corner meets a knee, and I say that quite generously. It was more like a slow walk. We come back from break, with Hercules chasing Hart around the ring and taking it from behind. He meets post, then it's time for a really crappy looking chinlock. This is bad, even by the low standards set by the reputation of these two. We're so bored that Schiavone and Hayes discuss the members of the Hulkamaniacs and Million $ Team. Hercules counters the Shake Rattle n' Roll, hits a few crummy clotheslines and slaps on the Torture Rack, triggering Jimmy Hart to run in for the DQ at 8:10. Hercules no-sells a megaphone blast and sends them packing to make the fans go mild. Absolutely terrible match.

- The Brother Love Show with special guests Macho King Randy Savage and the Sensational, Queen Sherri. We get extensive highlights of Savage winning the crown from Jim Duggan, and the coronation that would follow a week or so later. This dragged on for a good 6-7 minutes.

- The Rockers in Action... Semi-Notable jobbers here in the form of Tom Stone and Al Burke. Interesting story: Al Burke apparently owns the rights to the Herb Abrams version of UWF, and actually competed on their last show as the (at the time) mysterious Dr. Feelgood... okay, so it's not that good of a story, but it does come full-circle with my UWF Blackjack Brawl review from last year. Typical Rockers squash, extended version, ending with the double fist drop from the top rope.

- Sean Mooney with Event Center promos from the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. This show is making me long for a three hour episode of Monday Night Raw.

- Montage of Mr. Perfect throwing darts, bowling, and sinking putts... because he's Perfect!

- The Brain Busters in Action... I was this close to mentioning that the Brain Busters were working with the Rockers, but then remembered that was the first half of 1989, and currently (well, as of the broadcast date of this show) were the reigning Tag Team Champions, working a program with Demolition. Quick squash match ending with the always awesome Spike Piledriver.

Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. "The Model" Rick Martel (w/ Slick):

Feature match of the night, and this has the chance to be decent. Piper picks Bret to win, and Heenan says it'll end in a Draw... that seems random. I always forget that Martel was "briefly" managed by Slick (with briefly being about 5-6 months), so of course he gets no entrance. Damn you, Jive Soul Bro! Martel plays to the crowd to kill a few minutes. Knucklelock, and he quickly goes for the cheap shot. Whip to the ropes, and Martel cartwheels out of the way. Bret grabs a hammerlock, and Martel counters with a drop toe hold. He sends Bret to the buckle, and stomps away. Whip to the corner, Bret misses a charge, but Martel celebrates pre-maturely one-time too many, and gets blasted with a clothesline. Back inside, Bret blocks a boot, sweeps the leg, and stomps the midsection. Small package for a two count, and it's time to work the arm, working in blows in-between armbars. Martel with a shot to the throat to escape as we take a commercial break.

We come back, with Martel putting a hurt on the Hitman on the outside of the ring. Back in, Martel with a pair of elbows across the back for a two count. He slaps on a seated chinlock, but only briefly. Hard whip to the corner for another two count. He tries to turn Bret over with the Boston Crab, but Bret powers out to counter. Second attempt is also a failure. Martel with a back breaker, and this time he does get the hold applied, using Bret's momentum against him. Cute spot. Unfortunately for Martel, Bret is right next to the ropes, forcing a break. Martel sends him to the floor, and comes off the apron with an axehandle. Martel goes to the well one time too many, wrapping his own arm around the post on a charge. Back in the ring, Martel cheap shots Hart in the ropes. Whip, and Bret comes back with a well placed boot to the face. Whip to the corner, taken hard, and Bret with a back drop. Snap suplex for a two count. Side back breaker for another two count. Martel sweeps the legs in the corner and rolls him up for two, even with the feet on the ropes. Whip to the corner, Martel misses a charge, and goes flying over the top rope, to the floor. Whip to the ropes, fist to the midsection, and a roll up gets two. Martel with a small package for two, and Bret turns it over for another near fall. Bret blocks an atomic drop, connects with his own, followed by a dropkick as the bell rings at 18:14... pretty specific time limit. This started off pretty slow, but dammit if they didn't keep going and going to build interest and give us a solid performance, especially in the era of free television not producing too many quality matches.

Final Thoughts: The feature match is worth a look, and there's always the studio banter, but the rest is some low-interest throw-away stuff. The only other feature match was pretty terrible, the squash matches were uneventful, and the rest of the show was pretty much set to hype the upcoming Survivor Series PPV. I could think of many worse ways to do than watch this week's episode, but at the same time, I'm not looking forward to futher episodes on Classics on Demand.

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