With Christmas just days away Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com gets in the holiday spirit with a look back at a classic, Christmas-themed edition of Prime Time Wrestling, as seen on the WWE Network.
By the end of 1986 the push was on for WrestleMania III, which had yet to be announced on WWF TV. There is some minor storyline advancement in this edition but not much. Mainly this edition of PTW is for fun, as wrestling should be. So let’s join Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan as they exchange a few gifts, tell a few jokes, and talk about wrestling.
Context is a mixed bag. While many of the previous editions of PTW are up to watch, none of the weekly TV, which became Superstars of Wrestling and Wrestling Challenge by August of ’86 (replacing Championship Wrestling and All Star Wrestling), are currently available on the Network.
WWF Prime Time Wrestling #94 (WATCH)
Date: December 6, 1986 – Location: Boston Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: >9,600 – Hosts: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Ken Resnick; Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura (main event)
CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith)
WWF Women’s Champion: The Fabulous Moolah
WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai)
After the classic opening credits Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan welcome us to the show. Gorilla talks about getting into the Christmas spirit before running down the card. Heenan breaks in, saying he isn’t going to cause any friction between himself and Monsoon, which leads to Monsoon busting Bobby’s chops about Heenan’s New Year’s resolution. Monsoon talks about exchanging gifts and gives a final word about the card, including Roddy Piper’s special tribute to Christmas, before we got out to the old Boston Garden for the first match.
— Singles Match (WATCH – 2:08)
Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Blackjack Mulligan
Blackjack was transitioning from being “Big Machine” back the Blackjack gimmick at this time while Jimmy Jack Funk was continuing his downward slide after his kayfabe brothers Terry and “Hoss” Funk (Dory, Jr.) left the WWF. This match is mildly entertaining but it’s just a basic house show match and not a very good one at that. Mulligan hits the flying back elbow for the pin at 5:34. After the match Funk attacks Mulligan but Blackjack fights his off.
WINNER is Blackjack Mulligan (Pin, 5:34)
Back in the studio Monsoon talks about Mulligan’s big win, saying it was a battle for Texas while Bobby proceeds to run down Texas and everyone in it. Monsoon says he’ll have to check with his sources to see what’s got Heenan so bent out of shape about Texas. After a break Heenan talks about telling kids Santa got lost.
— Singles Match (WATCH – 10:01)
“Iron” Mike Sharpe vs. S.D. “Special Delivery” Jones
This is a solid “big man” house show-style match but, again, nothing to write home about, though it is a lot more physical than the last match. In the end, S.D. Jones reverses a snapmare into backslide for the pin at 8:26.
WINNER is S.D. “Special Delivery” Jones (Pin, 8:26)
In the studio Monsoon and Heenan discuss how big a win that last match was for S.D. Jones and how badly he needed it. They turn their attention to the gifts on the table, one which Gorilla has brought for Bobby, one with a banana poking through the paper for Gorilla, and an unknown gift for Heenan that has a tail coming out of it.
Next they send it to a special World Wrestling Federation Magazine update regarding Rick Steamboat’s recovery from the larynx injury he sustained at the hands of Randy Savage. We see a brief snippet of Steamboat’s unsuccessful visit with a speech pathologist. Back in the studio Monsoon talks about Steamboat’s courage while Heenan cracks jokes.
We see a Blackjack Mulligan promo before Monsoon shows a clip of an interview Jesse Ventura conducted with Andre the Giant about Andre’s reinstatement. Ventura asks Andre how his reinstatement could happen with just Bobby Heenan in the room, to which Andre responds, “I think it’s none of your business.” Monsoon says he’s going to have to go interview Andre himself to get answers. Heenan is mum about how he got Andre reinstated after doing so much to get him suspended in the first place.
— Singles Match – JIP (WATCH – 28:37)
“King” Harley Race vs. Pedro Morales
This battle between two of the greatest of all-time is a slow, psychological match that is good but by no means a classic. Race dominates the early part of the match until Pedro makes the comeback. After a series of near falls Pedro grows frustrated with the referee. Pedro begins pushing the referee away so he can pound on Race against the ropes but Morales pushes one time too many and Race takes advantage, scooping Morales’ legs and rolling Pedro up for the pin fall victory with his feet on the second rope at 6:40.
WINNER is “King” Harley Race (Pin, 6:40)
Monsoon rips the referee of the previous bout before opening his Christmas present, a stuffed gorilla with a banana. Heenan says he doesn’t want the gift with the tail and legs or the gift Monsoon brought, “The Brain” wants cash.
After a break we see “Ebenezer Piper” (39:13), the so-called missing chapter of Charles Dickens’ 1843 masterpiece A Christmas Carol, starring none other than “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. This hilarious skit is quintessential Piper and one of “Hot Rod’s” forgotten gems. Next “Mean” Gene drops by the set to deliver a gift to Monsoon but nothing to Heenan because Heenan still owes Okerlund for a bet. After a break Monsoon razzes Heenan about the stuffed animal in the bag.
— Singles Match – JIP (WATCH – 48:02)
Steve Lombardi vs. “The Rebel” Dick Slater
This one is just a drawn out squash. Lombardi, the WWF’s jobber to the stars, does his job remarkably well here, making Slater look like a true world beater. Mercifully for us Slater delivers a textbook butterfly suplex for the win at 5:26.
WINNER is “The Rebel” Dick Slater (Pin, 5:26)
Afterwards Heenan and Monsoon talk about the match and Lombardi’s losing streak. Monsoon and Heenan then joust over Bobby not providing promised gifts to the crew of Prime Time Wrestling. Heenan says that Miss Betty is bringing their gifts and they’ll all be different. Monsoon laughs as he reveals the gift with the tail to be a weasel dressed in a black “BH” shirt and a red bow tie. “The Brain” is not amused.
Next, Ken Resnick interviews the U.S. Express, Mike Rotundo and Danny Spivey, about getting back in the hunt for the WWF World Tag Team Championships. Back from break, Heenan is still upset over the weasel. “I don’t want it. I’m not a weasel. Why don’t you send me a brain in a jar or something?”
— Singles Match (WATCH – 57:53)
Dino Bravo w/Johnny Valentine vs. Corporal Kirchner
This one isn’t much of a match. Bravo dominates early until Kirchner makes the comeback. It looks like it’s all over for Dino Bravo when Kirchner cinches in the abdominal stretch, but Johnny Valentine distracts Kirchner, who lets go of the hold and chases Valentine off the apron. Bravo sneaks up behind Kirchner and hits a belly-to-back suplex for the win at 3:35.
WINNER is Dino Bravo (Pin, 3:35)
Monsoon and Heenan discuss the previous match and how amateur a move it was for Kirchner to release the hold to go after Valentine. Monsoon then tries to give Bobby his gift but Bobby, thinking it’s a rib, wants nothing to do with it. Heenan says he’ll take cash, though.
— Singles Match (WATCH – 1:05:41)
Junkyard Dog vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
Some of the more “colorful” slurs chanted at Adrian Adonis have been muted but a few still get through. As for the match, it’s basic house show stuff. In the end, the two brawl outside the ring and up on the apron. JYD ducks the hard-charging Adonis, who hits the ring post, before rolling back into the ring to win via count out at 4:45.
WINNER is Junkyard Dog (Count out, 4:45)
Monsoon and Heenan discuss both JYD and Adonis looking “lethargic” in the match. Heenan again refuses Monsoon’s gift and tries to pawn a Bobby Heenan rubber doll off on Monsoon who says he already had one and cut it in half.
After a break we see an Outback Jack promo where the Aussie is getting his face painted by an aborigines tribe, who apparently taught Jack how to live and survive in the outback, which is like the WWF, or something. Either way, he’s coming! Next Monsoon talks about the trouble Danny Davis is causing in the WWF, which leads to a short Danny Davis promo about fans not bothering him.
— WWF World Heavyweight Championship (WATCH – 1:16:26)
Hercules Hernandez w/Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan(c)
From Saturday Night’s Main Event VIII – November 29, 1986 (Taped: November 15, 1986)
This one is your typical Hogan TV match from the era, but not at all a dud. The late Hercules Hernandez, for my money, remains one of the most underrated talents of his era. Hercules was one of the few strong men in the WWF to come off as an equal to Hogan and it shows vividly in this match. Hernandez gets Hulk up in the Hercules Backbreaker (torture rack) and, after believing he’s won, argues with the referee. Hercules then goes for the pin only for Hogan to throw Hernandez off at two, “hulk up”, and land the big boot and Atomic Leg Drop for the win at 6:25 to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
WINNER is Hulk Hogan (Pin, 6:25)
Back in the studio Heenan again argues that Hulk Hogan submitted in the backbreaker because of how Hulk’s head was shaking. Monsoon says it’s nonsense, that if he put “The Brain” in the backbreaker Heenan’s head would be flopping everywhere.
After a break the crew begins to hassle Bobby for their gifts. Heenan says he’ll give them their gifts off camera but they want them on camera. Meanwhile, Monsoon opens Bobby’s gift, which turns out to be a French-style imperial telephone. Suddenly Heenan wants the gift but it’s now Monsoon who’s doing the refusing. Gorilla takes Bobby’s wallet and finds only a single dollar bill in it and no photos. The show goes off the air with Heenan claiming he’s been robbed and that Christmas isn’t over, pleading with the crew to calm down. Monsoon and Heenan continue to argue through the credits.
Though this edition of Prime Time Wrestling may not have provided much in the way of unmissable wrestling action, it features some classic moments between Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon and, of course, the “Ebenezer Piper” skit. If you already have the WWE Network, go check it out! It’s not a bad way to spend some time this holiday season.
And for more great WWE Network coverage, check in with our friends at WWENetworkNews.com.
From all of us at Wrestling DVD Network we wish you and yours a safe and merry Christmas!
Thanks for reading and until next week, see ya at ringside!
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