As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, members of the PTBN Staff are choosing programs at random and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!
Prime Time Wrestling March 27th 1989
Run Time: 96 Minutes
Why Brian Why???: I thought it would be fun to explore an episode of “Prime Time Wrestling” and one that took place in a different format from the regular studio as it was from Trump Plaza, the site of WrestleMania V. Plus, it has a Rockers vs. Brainbusters match.
Aaron George: I mean, the Mega Powers breakup would be the best segment on almost ANY show it was featured on but I’m gonna go outside the box and go with the Ultimate Warrior promo leading up to WrestleMania V. My six year old son popped up from the couch as soon as this chiseled God began screaming into the camera like a madman. He demanded a sacrifice. He demanded to know what you would do to prepare for such a monumental encounter. Would you throw yourself of the highest building? Would you lay down on the grass and get run over by lawn mowers? Or would you simply travel to Africa and be trampled by elephants? All amazing options. This was pure insanity and probably changed us both on a profound level.
Brian Bayless: The recap of the “Mega Powers Explode” was just awesome and did a great job highlighting one of the most memorable feuds in company history. Savage’s interview to close it out was the best part, it may have been the most intense promo he cut in wrestling.
Jacob Williams: The recap of the Mega Powers demise was great, from the famous SNME incident (jealous eyes!) to the insane go-home promos where both guys look like they will literally explode because they are straining so hard. The super close-up and throat cutting gesture from Savage was particularly fantastic.
Calum McDougall: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan in the medical room, even though its not technically from this show but rather The Main Event in February. It started from the Savage slap all the way through to the end where Savage is dragged away kicking and screaming. Engrossing stuff and a great build to the Mania main event.
Dave Hall: The Demolition vs Powers of Pain build-up. With so many segments on this show being used to hype WrestleMania V, I felt this was the best of the lot (maybe it’s my Demolition bias bleeding out). It covered several matches/segments, including the double turn, a good ending to a match between the teams, and a decent Demolition interview. The clip showed why the Powers of Pain need Fuji as a manager (they were awful) but overall it did a good job of telling the whole story between the two teams and provided a good build-up for their encounter.
Aaron George: It can only be The Rockers taking on the Brainbusters. Unless you’re going to vote for a Danny Davis match here which might just make me slit my wrists.
Brian Bayless: Easy choice this week with The Rockers vs. Brainbusters as the rest of the competition in this category was inferior plus it was an excellent match. I wish they had this take place on the PPV instead of the other two matches these teams had.
Jacob Williams: This easily goes to Rockers vs Brainbusters, especially given how few matches were on this show. Lord Al has a prophetic moment on commentary, pondering what Michaels would be like on his own.
Calum McDougall: There’s really only one match that it could be – The Rockers vs The Brainbusters. I knew this would win this before I even watched this show because of three words: Rockers. Versus. Brainbusters. It could be a match of the night contender on any given show, and it didn’t disappoint.
Dave Hall: Brainbusters vs. The Rockers. The only quality match on the card. It was fast-paced, crisp and told a good story. This contest should have been held at WrestleMania V. (The Strike Force break-up could have occurred in a match against the Twin Towers just as easily). The “ad-break” in the middle broke up the momentum a little, and the ending was not great. Tully pulls down the top rope as one of the Rockers bounces off it, and the ref disqualifies him? I have no problem with a DQ finish for this match, but what Tully did was not a DQ. Ending aside, this was very enjoyable.
Most Cringeworthy Moment
Aaron George: I had forgotten about how fucked up and classless Andre The Giant’s heart attack was. I guess no one had died in the ring yet, or had an ACTUAL heart attack watching a Kane match. HE JUST LIED THERE DEAD! Then Jake stood over his body triumphant as though he had actually done something. Made substantially worse by the tragic fact that Andre would be dead within four years of heart failure.
Brian Bayless: King Haku’s inset promo during Hercules’ squash match win was horrendous. And the King Haku gimmick in general was not a good one.
Jacob Williams: Red Rooster attempting to show some aggression and fire looked weak. I wasn’t buying his weird screeching and arm gyrations.
Calum McDougall: I didn’t think there was anything overly cringeworthy on this show, so I’ll go with Savage throwing Elizabeth halfway across the room. He might have gotten caught up in the moment, but he threw her with a hell of a lot of force. Looking back after the segment, it was slightly uncomfortable.
Dave Hall: The Mega Powers segment. With everything that happened between Hogan and Savage over a two month period, the WWF decided to focus everything entirely on the finish to the Mega Powers/Twin Towers match from a few weeks earlier, focusing solely on Hogan’s distress over Elizabeth getting hurt, and Savage’s annoyance to this. If they had included SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble footage, it would have told a better story. Through these omissions it really came across like Hogan was doing exactly what Savage was accusing him of. Eyes lusting, envy swelling.
Aaron George: Bobby Heenan struggling to identify Tony Schiavone: “It’s Alfred Hayes with a facelift!” That and Gorilla calling Honky and Valentine “MONGRELS.”
Brian Bayless: Heenan at the start of the show at the concierge desk making demands for his room and treating Tony Schiavone as a fan who wants tickets “Sorry, you’re going to have to order on PPV” was pretty funny.
Jacob Williams: This show was a Bobby Heenan tour de force, but my favorite line was his description of the Brooklyn Brawler as a “limited human being.” This is a guy he SUPPORTS.
Calum McDougall: Anything involving Bobby Heenan! I thought Heenan was brilliant throughout, interacting wonderfully with Gorilla, Tony Schiavone and the rest of the people who come in and out of the segments. He starts off by saying “Say hello to Mrs Claus for me,” to a breaded man behind the reception and it took off from there.
Dave Hall: During the Bushwackers match against Danny Davis and Jose Luis Rivera, in which the Bushwhackers were botching move after move, Lord Alfred Hayes comes out with “They (Bushwackers) have a superb way of not understanding each other’s team tactics”. A laugh out loud moment to explain the Bushwhackers horrible in-ring coherence.
Aaron George: Heenan did his best to carry a multitude of scene partners through some awkward improv. He’s pretty stellar from the start questioning if the concierge was on the phone with Run DMC. The Brain billing a bunch of stuff to Monsoon’s room was a predictably funny spot. The Demolition/Powers of Pain segment was fun and I had forgotten how much I was into that feud as a child. I love, love love Heenan’s fit when the Rooster loses the match with Tito Santana. I don’t think I have ever seen him so upset. A man who has had legit World Title controversies is more irate at Terry Taylor letting him down than anything else. Gorilla catching Brother Love stealing his chips was a rare solid moment from the man of love. Hercules’ music always makes me laugh. Those trumpets never stop going higher. Paul Roma’s awesome and I’m happy we joined him in progress from El Paso. “I’m not number three in the Mega Powers, I’m number one,” is an underrated gem of a line. Finally my son upon seeing Hulk Hogan cut a promo in front of a green screen: “Why is he already so sweaty?”
Brian Bayless: Since this show was just before WrestleMania V, the video packages on the top feuds were really good. Besides Hogan/Savage, we also had the Jake Roberts/Andre the Giant and the Ultimate Warrior/Rick Rude features. And the theme of the show in Trump Plaza was amusing as Heenan was on top of his game. It was nice to step out of the studio format. They did a good job in pushing the PPV.
Jacob Williams: All the banter in the casino was great. I loved Gorilla’s gambling attire, especially that swank hat. Bobby had so many great lines throughout the show. I just loved the concept of truly talented personalities getting in front of the camera and just being themselves. The individual promos and video packages really built WrestleMania well. It was a cool take on what could have been a throwaway show.
Calum McDougall: Tony Schiavone in the WWF is still an unusual sight for me, so to see him so early on this show was a pleasant surprise and I really enjoyed the banter between he, Bobby and Gorilla. AT the risk of sounding redundant, anything The Brain did was brilliant.
Dave Hall: Most of the build-up segments for WrestleMania were very good. I had not actually realized before watching this show that there was a background to the Hercules vs. Haku and Hart Foundation/Honky & Hammer matches at WrestleMania. The build-up to the Andre vs. Snake match was also good. The Brainbusters vs Rockers match was really solid, and topped off an enjoyable show.
Aaron George: This show is really just an ad for the Trump Plaza. Gorilla is pretty uninspired throughout., barely getting upset at Heenan and leading me to believe that he was legitimately gambling the entire time. Tony looked nervous and barely capable of getting lines out of his mouth. Brother Love stumbled through most of his stuff and wasn’t his usual confident self (although his skulking in was hilarious). They gave Lord Alfred Hayes about ten seconds of screen time. How awesome would it have been to have Slick dancing his way through this mess? The Bushwhackers match was atrocious. Tony really needed someone yelling at him as he complimented the Whackers tag work. The Powers of Pain should never, ever be given the microphone. Barbarian is completely incomprehensible and Warlord sounds like he should be voicing Baxter Stockman. What’s with all the faces cheating on this show? Bushwhackers choking, stomping and biting. Hercules pulling a jobber’s hair? You mean to tell me that fucking Hercules can’t beat some guy named Patterson without that hair pull? HOW’S HE GONNA GET BY HAKU? (who also cannot speak) Finally Hulk Hogan’s acting at Liz’s bedside may be the worst acting this side of No Holds Barred. “OH GOD! PLEASE! HE DIDN’T MEAN TO! PLEEEEEASE. THANK GOD YOU’RE OK!” They saw this and gave this man a movie? Where was the role for Brutus Beefcake’s “WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?”
Brian Bayless: Not all of the WrestleMania V matches were the result of great feuds. The Red Rooster/Brooklyn Brawler/Bobby Heenan storyline was not good at all. And the Demolition/Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji feud did not have much heat. We got a babyface Big John Studd interview and he was awful in that role. And speaking of Brawler, he had a bad match shown here against Paul Roma that saw him use a reverse chinlock for a majority of the match. I also felt that Brother Love’s segments were not too good and just a waste of time for the most part. That could have been dedicated to another match instead.
Jacob Williams: Aside from the featured match, the in-ring action was pretty soft, and the show did drag in spots recapping some of the blander WrestleMania matches.
Calum McDougall: The only downside for me is that it was a very segment heavy show. I know that’s a bit like me complaining that sky is too blue or that the grass is too green. Yes it was a preview show for Mania and Prime Time was a talk show type show. I know all that, but I was still expecting more matches. That being said, I’ll watch more PTW and maybe that will change my mind on this gripe.
Dave Hall: The Bushwhackers match was horrible, with several blown spots and a horrible finish. Then we had to suffer through a Bushwhackers interview, which was unbearable. The filler and introduction moments on the whole were not very good, and the Hogan vs Savage build-up focused entirely on the break up at The Main Event, completely overlooking the rest of their year-long story. And then in the middle of a show completely devoted to building up WrestleMania, we got a Mean Gene segment going over the matches for WrestleMania, which just seemed totally stupid.
Wild Card BABY!!!
Worst Bump: Danny Davis any time he was whipped into the corner. Awful. – AG
Most Heard Phrase: GIANT Screen Closed Circuit!! – JW
Softest: Danny Davis – AG
Most Perplexing Booking: Everything about Demolition vs Powers of Pain is strange. I can 100% understand why you’d want to have these two teams going at it because I love seeing four absolute beasts knocking lumps out of each other but the build up is weird. Why did Fuji turn on Demolition mid-match?? It didn’t even have an bearing on the last fall of the elimination match. I know I’m not the first person to moan about this, and I probably wont be the last. Putting my fantasy booking hat on for a second – why did they not do the turn at Mania? The Powers of Pain were really over at SummerSlam ’88, surely they could’ve kept them hot for the next six months. It seems like it was they wanted the double turn but not Demolition to lose the titles, resulting in this mess. – CM
Of All People To Be Training Others: Danny Davis. Seriously? What the hell man? – AG
Most Bobby Heenan Moment: In a show filled with some great Heenan quips and moments, I really enjoyed his first segment when he kept telling the concierge to be quiet when she had a message for him, followed by him shunning Tony Schiavone. It really promoted some of the best “qualities” of the Brain. Then we had his attitude towards the young waitress… – DH
Worst Attire: Danny Davis. It’s after Labor Day you uncouth monster. – AG
Best Bump: It can only be Akeem’s bump through the ropes when attempting the the double big splash. It was strange to see it kept in because I thought that they normally edited out botches from the Network. And even though you could only see him flop out backwards you could tell it hurt like hell. Fair play to the big man for even getting back into the ring even if it was only for 10 seconds. – CM
Best Tidbit: According to Brutus Beefcake, Andre the Giant was legitimately terrified of snakes. Jake Roberts was told by Andre not to put the snake on him but Jake did not care and would and that resulted in Andre roughing up Jake in the ring, even ripping the hair out of his head by stepping on his hair and lifting him back up. – BB
Aaron George: Eh. It was a ninety minute promo for WrestleMania V. Maybe it’s my years as a child sitting watching the Viewer’s Choice preview channel that has made me never want to sit through a wrestling preview again. The wrestling was sub-par, the skits were waaaay too all over the place in terms of quality and while the video packages for Mania were good by now I’ve seen them about a million times. This felt long and I was happy when it was done. RATING: 4/10
Brian Bayless: This setting of the show was interesting enough and it had a really good Rockers vs. Brainbusters match (well, aren’t all of their matches like that?) but the premise did lose steam down the stretch and I felt too much of this was dedicated to Brother Love. It did a good job of selling the PPV as it was designed as a last-minute hype show. RATING: 5.5/10
Jacob Williams: Though it was mostly recaps and preexisting footage to hype WrestleMania V, this was a fun watch. I guess the concept seems dated, but the hard sell of a big show is so simple and satisfying to watch. Plus, you get some of the most entertaining personalities in wrestling tying it all together in a unique setting. Obviously lacking in wrestling, but you do a get an awesome match at the end! RATING: 7.5/10
Calum McDougall: This show did what it was intended to do and that was to promote WrestleMania V. It wasn’t a difficult watch and it wasn’t at all bad, I just think it was only OK at best. RATING: 5/10
Dave Hall: This Prime Time had some great build for WrestleMania V, but also missed the mark on some of their segments as well. Apart from the Brainbusters/Rockers match, the rest of the “featured” matches were really bad, and as I have mentioned several times the Hogan vs Savage build-up was really horrible. However most of the build-up segments really promoted the WrestleMania matches, and I enjoyed the show as a whole. RATING: 5/10
And we are out! Where will the Network Adventure travel to? Which Coliseum will be conquered next? Which of these assholes will quit the project in an indignant rage??? Find out in TWO WEEKS!