WWF Prime Time Wrestling (3.2.87) review
March 2, 1987
WrestleMania III is now only weeks away. It’s time for a contract signing for the WWF title match! We start in the studio with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. The former was invited to watch Andre train and puts over Andre as being in “better condition” than any other point in his career. EXCUSE ME? Someone check this man’s eyesight, stat.
Sika vs. Moondog Spot
This is a heatless heel-heel match from Toronto. They ran a bunch of these on house shows and I have no idea who they were hoping was going to get the babyface reaction. Spot? The match is so fucking boring. Sika just hooks a front facelock, and they stand there in it. The striking in between is GARBAGE. The match is so bad, I could have wrestled it to the same standard and that should not be happening. I can’t believe they put this on TV. Sika doesn’t even take a bump in this. Samoan Drop finishes this six minute match, which had four minutes of rest holds in it. -***
Back in the studio Heenan and Monsoon chat about the Hogan-Andre match. Monsoon says there’s an issue with Andre not thinking for himself at the moment, which will be a problem when he wrestles Hogan. He also says he saw something in Andre’s training and won’t tell Heenan what that weakness is. Spoiler: it’s that he’s completely fucked and can barely move.
SD Jones vs. Ron Bass
The crowd chant “Bass is an ass”, which is excellent work Toronto, well done. Bass has just come over from Crockett and it always seemed like an odd fit in New York for the cowboy. Bass, with his bald spot, forehead scars and beer belly, never felt like a WWF style worker. He doesn’t have the kind of look that gets Vince McMahon going. Apparently, he was brought in to feud with Blackjack Mulligan over who the toughest Texan was but Mulligan left before the feud got going. I really like Bass. He’s a big, rugged guy who hits hard.
Monsoon stops off to point out Danny Davis has been fired as a referee by the WWF. As with the opener, there’s not much effort here. At least the strikes are passable. SD is a better wrestler than people give him credit for. Bass finishes with Mulligan’s back elbow, showing they’re working towards that as a feud.
Back in the studio, Heenan is getting paranoid that Gorilla has seen something in Andre’s training.
Anyway, this is what contract signings used to look like! The belt on the table, the contracts with Jack Tunney (BOOOOO!), the onscreen ‘president’ of the WWF, and Heenan chatting with Gene Okerlund in the background, plus a bunch of suits. Okerlund hosts the whole thing from a seated position behind Hogan. It’s so weird seeing something so out of control compared to Vince’s obsessive blocking ever since. Heenan does a lot of the heavy lifting here, disparaging Hogan. Meanwhile, Hogan just stares a hole in Andre and rambles about how “you’re both sick”. “I’d have given you anything, man, you’re bigger than the world title to me”.
Video Control gives us Gene Okerlund, who says the Honky-Roberts match is now officially signed for WrestleMania III and the card is complete.
In Jake’s corner; Alice Cooper! In modern times they’d have him sing Jake to the ring. “Feed My Frankenstein”* would have worked great! We also have Bob Uecker signed for Mania. Bobby Heenan chats to Uecker and he tries on Heenan’s sparkly jacket. Mary Hart has been named timekeeper for Mania. Mary was host of Entertainment Tonight.
Nobody gets to chat to Aretha Franklin sadly. That would have been good TV.
*I realised after typing this out that Feed My Frankenstein didn’t come out until 1992.
Back in the studio Heenan makes a big deal about the WWF title being re-made to fit Andre.
Corporal Kirchner vs. Johnny K-9
Oh wow, they have made no effort at all with the content on this show. Johnny K-9 is also Bruiser Bedlam, who worked in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Kirchner is winding down his WWF career and would be gone in the summer. The trouble with these cards is guys would would be ironing out the kinks in their WrestleMania matches around the horn (Savage vs. Steamboat took place on this show but didn’t air), so the big guys weren’t available. The result is Sika vs. Moondog Spot and Kirchner vs. Johnny K-9. Monsoon goes off on a tangent about 1984 (the movie, not the book). You can tell when he’s running out of shit to say about the actual match.
Interesting story about Bruiser Bedlam; he decided on the Johnny K-9 name after seeing it written on the side of a paddy wagon. Maybe they don’t have dogs in Romania? It certainly pre-dates the 1989 Jim Belushi comedy of the same name. Kirchner wins with a Samoan Drop, which is weird because this was the match directly after that dogshit Sika match. So, they had the exact same finish. This wasn’t as bad but was still poor. “Corporal Kirchner continues to get worse” says Heenan. Monsoon is aghast. “Well, you saw the match” jokes Heenan. A character assassination. Wonderful stuff.
Dream Team & Adrian Adonis vs. Can-Am Connection & Lanny Poffo
This is from Superstars, February 16. Poffo reads out a dreadful poem that doesn’t rhyme. Logically you would want Roddy Piper in here to offset Adonis. The whole point of this is Adrian threatening to shave Piper’s head, so he’s goes to Hollywood a bald geek. Ventura is annoyed about that on commentary, being so bald himself. The Can-Ams vs. Dream Team stuff is good here, which makes me wonder why they didn’t just do that match at WrestleMania as the Dream Team were breaking up anyway. Every time I see the Can-Ams, I wonder how over they would have gotten if Zenk hadn’t quit. Adonis accidentally cuts Beefcake’s hair, in a really stupid miscommunication spot and a shocked Brutus gets rolled up. More issues for Beefcake with the heels. The crowd are invested in the potential of Brutus turning babyface here.
Back in the studio we talk WrestleMania undercard and Heenan refers to Billy Jack as “Billy Jerk”. Hey, I knew I got it from somewhere!
Billy Jack Haynes vs. King Kong Bundy
Heenan points out Haynes paid actual money for this hat. Ventura calls him “Billy Jerk” too! Vince and Ventura debate whether Bundy will “squash one of those midgets” at WrestleMania. Haynes gets the full nelson, which is unbreakable, so Heenan runs in for the DQ. He did the same thing with Harley Race. I had no idea they pushed Haynes this hard.
Paul Orndorff vs. Pedro Morales
Orndorff has been moved on from Hogan thanks to the Andre feud.
He’s still coming out to “Real American”. I’m surprised they stuck with him as a heel so ardently. He turned to go after Hogan, failed to win the title and then stuck with Heenan anyway, even when Heenan told him he’d get another title shot and then jumped onto the Andre opportunity instead. Morales is nearing retirement. He has three TV matches after this one before retiring for good late in 1987. Considering he’s been wrestling since 1958, it’s probably overdue. This last WWF run is a ‘thanks’ from McMahon and a way for him to segue into becoming a road agent. This is a well paced little match, concluding with Orndorff rolling through a crossbody for the pin. He has his foot on the ropes but had the beating of Morales anyway. Orndorff was a really good worker in the late 80s and you have to wonder what would have happened if he’d stopped and got surgery when he needed it and had not worked through it and permanently damaged his arm.
Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees
This is not for the WWF tag titles because it was signed before the Harts won the belts.
This is the main event of the Toronto show most of the matches have come from this week. Killer Bees are a couple of nerds, who have switched to yellow trainers called “bee boots”. The Harts work over B. Brian Blair with a series of rest holds. Bret(t) throws him to the floor, and we get Masked Confusion. Although the Harts have improved a lot recently, this doesn’t help against the Killer Bees. They still have zero chemistry. Blair comes in blind with a sunset flip for the pin. Stripy cheats! B. Brian Blair, you are punk! Iron Sheik looming large for B. Brian.
This is clearly the worst one of these I’ve done. The matches are all set for Mania. We’re good to go. I’m going to do SNME #10, which is the go-home show for Mania III and then we’re there. Watching a lot of the build has made me more excited for the show, and maybe it’s something I should do for big cards. Outside of the contract signing and the Adonis-Beefcake miscommunication there wasn’t a lot happening in 90 minutes here though.