WWF Primetime Wrestling - December 24, 190
by Scrooge McSuck
- Gorilla Monsoon and our host, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan, are in the Prime Time Studio for this special Christmas Edition of Prime Time Wrestling. The stage is decorated with Christmas cheer, except for the tree that Heenan has (allegedly) put off decorating until the last minute, with obvious hijynx. "Where do I stick this?" (the plug for the lights) "I'd like to tell you where..."
Legion of Doom def. Tony Ulysess & Duane Gill
We've got Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action, but it's from a Challenge taping according to the banner. Gill takes the fall. L.O.D. were in the middle of a weird phase where they were being used to destroy the Orient Express, due to their alliance with Mr. Fuji, and his other tag team, Demolition (Smash and Crush version). I'm surprised that considering their status in other promotions, the WWF really left them in limbo for quite a while.
Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes:It was last week on Superstars, where the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase paid off ring announcer Howard Finkel, to be at ringside for the Intercontinental Title Match between Champion, the Texas Tornado, and former Champion, Mr. Perfect. Dibiase made his presence felt, KO'ing the Tornado, allowing Perfect to regain the gold. We follow with a promo from the Tornado, who vows revenge on Ted Dibiase. All because Dibiase doesn't like Texas? Talk about a program that went nowhere...
Saba Simba vs. The Barbarian
Monsoon on Simba: A man's heritage is nothing to be laughed at... HA! Pulled from the December 13th, 1990 card held in London, Ontario, Canada. Oh no, we've got Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred calling the action, too! My therapist was right, God does hate me. Lockup to start, and that leads to nothing. They go into the corner and get into a shoving match. Barbarian probably made some sort of coke comment to him, or something. Atla... I mean Simba, applies a wristlock, but a Barbarian throat thrust breaks that up and we get some choking to follow. Irish whip, and Simba comes back with a headbutt and clothesline, sending the Barbarian out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Barbarian grabs a headlock. Simba slips out like a [expletive deleted comment], and just stands around. In case that spot wasn't entertaining the first time, they do it again for shits and giggles. Boring hammerlock spot, next. Barbarian somehow takes control, but I was too busy practicing my rhythmic claps for the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" to pay attention. At least Sean Mooney is pretending as if Tony Atlas never existed, judging by the commentary of this snooze-fest. The crowd disapproves, but everyone is on their hands. Bearhug time, and Saba Atlas sells it like he's being stabbed in a Puerto Rican shower. Okay, maybe that one crossed the line, but it was totally in context. Atlas climbs the ropes and fights free, then comes off the second rope with a headbutt to drop the Barbarian. Simba tries a slam, but Barbarian falls on top for a two count. Barbarian slams Atlas, but misses his second rope elbow drop, like he always does. Irish whip to the corner, but Simba runs into a boot, and Barbarian covers for a three count at 8:21. It felt more like 28:21, but at least it's over. Total shitfest.
Royal Rumble Report with Mean Gene Okerlund
Coming to you live from the Miami Arena in Miami, FL, on January 19th, 1991, exclusively on Pay-Per-View.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match Participants announced... The Immortal Hulk Hogan, The Texas Tornado, The Warlord, Shane Douglas, Mr. Perfect, Bushwhacker Butch, Jimmy Snuka, Earthquake, Tugboat, The Undertaker, The Honkytonk Man, Bret Hart, Haku, Davey Boy Smith, Animal, Paul Roma, Saba Simba, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Smash, Crush, Jim Neidhart, Rick Martel, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo, Hawk, Hercules, Jake Roberts, Bushwhacker Luke, Macho King Randy Savage, and ANDRE THE GIANT?! I thought that was only a myth... oh well... looks like Andre and Honky were subbed out for Santana and Knobbs.
WWF Champion Ultimate Warrior defends against Sgt. Slaughter
***NEW MATCHES SIGNED!***
Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase & Virgil
Big Boss Man vs. The Barbarian
The Rockers vs. The NEW Orient Express
Power & Glory (w/ Slick) def. Kevin Green & Pat Armstrong
Paul Roma gets a solo inset promo concerning the Royal Rumble Match. Sean Mooney says that Roma prefers being refered to as "Romeo", to which Lord Alfred replies "Oh, I didn't know that..." Um... They've been calling him that since SEPTEMBER. I know Lord Alfred isn't the most enthusiastic broadcaster, but don't play incredibly stupid. That's Sean Mooney's role. The Power-Plex was the only cool thing about Power & Glory, if they weren't beating the crap out of Shawn Michaels.
- Sean Mooney is in the Event Center to tell us about the Royal Rumble. We get comments from the Tag Team Champions, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart. Earthquake and Dino Bravo (with seizure inducing background), Shane Douglas (I can only imagine Dean Douglas, now), and NEW Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect about the Rumble match.
Big Boss Man def. Pete Sanchez
Another "Exclusive Squash", I guess. Boss Man was penciled in for a program with Rick Rude for the Fall, but shit happens, and it's turned into Boss Man feuding with the remaining Heenan Family, with Mr. Perfect being the most prominent target, but before he can get to Pefect, he has a date with the Barbarian for the upcoming Royal Rumble PPV.
- Pulled from Wrestling Challenge, Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by with a very special interview with Brother Love and his new protege, The Undertaker. It's so weird to see the early days of the Undertaker, pre-Paul Bearer era. I'm surprised to see the Undertaker cut a (mildly) extensive promo, despite having a mouth-piece in Brother Love. He would get better, but he's better off standing there looking like a menace more than trying to be a talker.
- New Years Eve Show hyped... it's just a rehash of older matches previously featured on Prime Time: Shawn Michaels vs. Ted Dibiase, Marty Jannetty vs. Rick Martel, Randy Savage vs. Jimmy Snuka (from last years Christmas/New Years episode!), The Bushwhackers vs. Rhythm & Blues, and Tugboat vs. Haku. I know it's a holiday, but why have to be THAT lazy?
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. Haku:
Pulled from the December 13th, 1990 card held in London, Ontario, Cananda. Lord Alfred's poor attempt at humor includes suggesting that people from the Islands of Fiji/Tonga compete in canoe races... I don't know what the fuck that's supposed to mean. Lockup to the ropes, and Haku gives a clean break. You know, it's funny... Snuka Pre-1985 is someone I didn't mind watching, but Snuka 1989-on is damn near unwatchable. Snuka plows through Haku with a shoulder tackle and grabs a side headlock. Snuka comes off the ropes again, but this time a knee to the midsection from Haku turns the tide. Haku rams Snuka's face into the turnbuckle, but he doesn't sell it. Lockup to the corner, and Snuka breaks clean. They tease a test-of-strength, but Haku with cheap shots as Sean Mooney suggest a good Christmas present to be ordering someone else the Royal Rumble. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Snuka comes back with a chop, sending Haku to the floor. Back inside, Haku takes Snuka out with a reverse atomic drop, then follows with a piledriver for a two count. Haku continues to have a semi-physical relationship with the referee, in between beating the tar out of Snuka (or as Jesse Ventura used to pronounce it, Snooka). Snuka comes off the ropes with a sunset flip, but it only gets two. Snuka with a headbutt, followed by chops. Whip across the ring, and Snuka rolls Haku up for three at 8:20. Well, that finish came out of nowhere. Not the worst match in history (that might go to the Simba/Barbarian suck-fest earlier in the broadcast), but still not something I would consider "good."
The Brother Love Show, with Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
Dustin debuted about two months prior, taking a beating at ringside at the hands of Ted Dibiase and Virgil on Saturday Night's Main Event, then managed to go the distance with him on an episode of Superstars. Brother Love tries punking Dustin out, but Dusty interrupts to hype the bond between brother and son. Dustin's promo work would get better, but the point is... Royal Rumble, order it. Weird how the feud's focused almost instantly shifted towards teasing a Virgil face-turn in the following weeks.
The British Bulldog vs. Playboy Buddy Rose:
Pulled from the November 24th, 1990 card held at Madison Square Garden, and we're Joined in Progress, with new commentary from Mooney and Hayes. Davey Boy Smith had only returned to television a few weeks before Survivor Series after a two year absence. Rose has a seated chinlock applied, but Bulldog starts fighting back to his feet. Rose drops ass on him to break the momentum, and tosses Bulldog to the floor. Bulldog comes in with a sunset flip, but Rose crushes down on him for two. Whip to the ropes, and Rose with a shoulder tackle for another two count. Mooney seems to be baffled by Rose's claims to be only at a weight of 217 pounds. Rose climbs to the top rope, and predictably gets slammed off. Whip to the ropes, and Bulldog with a back body drop, followed by an elbow for two. Bulldog sends Rose to the ropes again, and takes a boot to the face. Rose slows things down again with another chinlock. Rose takes it to the corner, and chokes away. Rose with a snapmare and knee drop for two. Rose misses a charge to the corner, and Bulldog finishes him off with the running powerslam at a shortened 5:21. Not the greatest showcase for the Bulldog.
- More hype for the Royal Rumble, with promos from Power & Glory and their manager, Slick, Tugboat (toot-toot!), "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka (what's with the evil goate?), and Demolition Smash and Crush with their manager Mr. Fuji.
- Vignette of Jacques Rougeau (yes, introduced as that), riding a horse, dressed as a Mountie, harrassing some girl for her drivers license (probably one of the wrestlers daughters). Okay? Gorilla Monsoon calls him the Dudley-Do-Right of the Rougeau Family.
The Hart Foundation (Tag Team Champions) def. Black Bart & The Black Demon
Pulled from SuperStars, and we've actually got the original commentary from Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper, and the Honkytonk Man. Since I couldn't remember who they were programmed with for house shows, I'm quickly reminded it was with Power & Glory, who cut an inset promo. I guess they were going to be paired with whoever the Champions were, since they were also working with the Rockers for the week or so that they were Champions. Anvil has his way in the battle of power with Bart, and Bret takes the Demon apart. The Hart Attack quickly finishes the Black Demon off for the Champions.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts def. Kent Carlson
Pulled from SuperStars. Roberts was in the middle of his program with Rick Martel over being blinded by his Arrogance (har har!). It's weird to think of a time when a midcard feud lasted nearly 7 MONTHS for a WrestleMania blow-off. We have new commentary, once again... I just don't get it. We're sure to see two pieces of merchandise: the Jake Roberts Hasbro Figure and an inflatable replica of Damian. Mooney and Hayes speculate the progress in the healing of Roberts' eye. The inset promo is still intact, so why not keep the original commentary? Jake wins with the DDT, of course. Monsoon: What does Damian get for Christmas?" Heenan: The Easter Bunny."
Mr. Perfect (IC Champion, w/ Bobby Heenan) def. Rico Frederico
One last pull from SuperStars (and again with new commentary). Heenan was pitching a fit in the PTW Studios about Perfect risking serious injury by competing in the Royal Rumble, and actually referenced Giants QB Phil Simms' injury that kept him off the field for the remainder of the season and their Super Bowl XXV push. Perfect offers a handshake to GEORGE STEINBRENNER, who is seated at ringside. Perfect cuts his own inset promo, suggesting 1991 will be the "Perfect Year." Perfect shows off some of his signature athleticism and quickly finishes Frederico off with the Perfect-Plex, dedicated to Mr. Steinbrenner.
- Promotional Consideration paid for by the following... Stetson Cologne (HARD for a Woman to resist!), Halls Medicine, Yahtzee!, Electronic Talking Battleship, and Total Recall for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Speaking of Total Recall... WHY REMAKE IT?! I just happend to watch Total Recall the other night, and it's still an awesome movie, and hardly outdated. I just can't stand how unoriginal movies have become, with excessive rehashing thrown in as well (didn't we get TWO Snow White films this year?).
- Gorilla calls out Heenan's poor effort in decorating the tree, and yes, it looks like a mess. Bobby Heenan claims he has a cashmere suit coming for Monsoon, but offers him a banana in it's place until it gets there. Heenan opens a gift intended for the stage hand, which happens to be tools, so Monsoon syas Heenan's gift will go to him instead.. a Rolex. Heenan proceeds to smash it.
Final Thoughts: Throw-away show for quality wrestling. Only two true feature matches, and both could be graded as underwhelming at best, pretty damn bad at worst. Way too many squash matches pulled from the syndicated shows, but for whatever reason, almost all of the matches had new commentary with Mr. Personality and Lord Alfred. With the last half-hour being nothing but squashes, you have to think whoever was in charge of producing this episode just said fuck it and threw together whatever to fill out the rest of the run time. If you were a fan watching at the time, how lame is it for them to just splice together repeat matches? Yes, maybe some people didn't see all of them and thus it's "new" to their eyes, but for regular viewers, it's a re-run.
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