I was thrilled recently to receive the following email.
It’s no secret that Prime Time Wrestling is my all-time favorite pro wrestling show. It was more than just a collection of matches to me; it got me through one of the darkest periods of my entire life. I’m sure I’ve told the story before, but when I was in college, I was with a woman I was sure I was going to be with the rest of my life. This was going to be the future Mrs. Deal; I was on top of the world. Through a series of foolish mistakes nearly entirely on my part, it all fell to pieces. I was completely devastated. I couldn’t eat, sleep, anything. I was just a total wreck and I just wanted to hide from the entire world. Everything was horrible.
Except on Monday nights. Because that was when I would get my weekly fix of Heenan and Monsoon.
In a lot of ways, Prime Time Wrestling saved my life.
That sounds idiotic, I am sure. But when you have nothing left to cling to, you look for something, anything, that brings you joy. That one thing, no matter how trivial or silly it may be, that brings you happiness. Something that can make you smile and just get you through another day.
That was Prime Time. I would watch them live, of course, but I would also tape them on my trusty VCR, watching them over and over to the point that I could easily recite entire episodes. And most nights, as I struggled to sleep, I would just keep that VCR playing until finally, mercifully, I collapsed into unconsciousness.
When the Network first launched, I had grand visions in my head of PTW binging. I saw myself plopping on the couch watching entire years at a go, once more finding the joy I had discovered in a dumpy studio apartment outside a bowling alley in Bloomington, Indiana.
As a husband (of a wife who is a zillion times better fit for me than the girl listed above) and a father and a Sunday school teacher and a writer and an arcade assistant and about a dozen other things, I don’t have a lot of spare time. I can’t even tell you the amount of projects I’ve had to pass on due to my cluttered schedule.
But every once in a while, you bet that I can find an hour or so to kick back and enjoy Gorilla and the Brain. Especially of late, when I’ve had a handful of personal issues that have been weighing me down.
You know what’s funny? I watch it pretty much exactly the way I taped it all those years ago, focusing solely on the host segments and ignoring the matches. Let’s face it – that Dino Bravo vs. SD Jones match I skipped 30 years ago ain’t /magically going to get better now. So I watch what I like (Heenan and Monsoon bickering), fast forward what I don’t (90% of everything else), and boom – I have a great old time. I still love Prime Time Wrestling.
Almost as much as Craig DeGeorge loves WWF Magazine.
So yeah, life was good. Well, until last week.
That’s when I revisited PTW episode 112. And that’s when we got today’s induction.
Yes kids, we’re inducting Bret Hart vs. Dynamite Kid.
Wait, no, that match was AWESOME. Seriously, stop reading this and go watch it immediately.
But would you care to guess what was NOT awesome? The fact that someone, somewhere, perhaps a person with the initials VKM, thought that putting Mr. Fuji and Hillbilly Jim in a tuxedo match was a good idea.
So you’re either getting this…
…or this in near naked glory.
I’d tell you to turn back, but if I gotta suffer through it, so do you!
As this pile of crap starts, Fuji is decked out in his Sunday finest, looking dapper in his black tuxedo. Considering this is what he wore pretty much every single night until Yokozuna showed up in his stable, that should be zero surprise.
In something of a shocker, however, Hillbilly enters the ring wearing this all white atrocity. I don’t care if this was the 1980’s, that outfit is completely appalling and makes me want to vomit all over the place.
I wore the exact same thing to my junior prom.
Ironically, memories of that night, in which my date stood me up like an old pair of stinky jeans in the corner of some dank closet, also makes me want to vomit all over the place.
I mean seriously, I could have just stayed home and played video games on my crappy black and white television, the one I am proudly pointing at for no reason I can possibly comprehend. Even back then, that thing was completely ghetto.
Instead, I unknowingly dressed up as Tuxedo Match Hillbilly Jim for a gag I’d use on this dumb website 32 years later.
If anyone ever dares tell you life is anything but weird, use this page as the case closing shutter upper.
The bell rings, and immediately Jim steals Fuji’s hat. (So that’s where Trash got that idea! Sorry, Sgt. Nelson!) He points to it as Fuji begs for mercy. “It might be stomping time!” bellows Gorilla. And Hillbilly most certainly does, stomping a muddle in the derby and walking it dry.
Did Gorilla and JR ever do commentary together? I bet it would have sounded just like the last two sentences slammed together.
Jim being an idiot, he is so pleased with himself that he turns his back to soak in the cheers, allowing Fuji to rip his shirt off. I like that photo of Jim above. It appears to me that he is staring at his torso, unsure where his beard ends and his chest hair begins.
That’s probably a common thought process for the citizens of Mudlick, be they male or female.
Fuji uses his speed to his advantage to avoid Jim, and…no really, this happened. That should give you an idea of the incredible athleticism on display here – Mr. Fuji was FASTER THAN HIS OPPONENT. Someone really needs to hunt down what our old pal Dave Meltzer rated this thing. If it’s above -************************************************** then we should all question his judgment.
Anyway, said zippiness allows Fuji to catch Jim and tear off his jacket. If I didn’t see those wrestling ring ropes in the background, I would REALLY be questioning what I was watching. And why Net Nanny is allowing me to view it on my computer screen.
Fuji takes the jacket and begins to beat Jim with it, causing Monsoon to tell us that he’s using it as a whip. Seriously, a shirt had somehow become a whip. I love Gorilla, but this ain’t doing me any favors in defending him to those who don’t. The Brain does his best to save the day, explaining that he’s not trying to hurt him with this maneuver, he’s just trying to humiliate him.
Which would be great, if Jim wasn’t selling the light fabric grazing the back of his head like he’s getting a piano dropped on it.
Jim finally goes on the offense, ripping Fuji’s coat off and leaving him bare chested. “Do you know how hard it is to rip someone’s clothes off of them, Brain?” Gorilla asks.
Is that a question anyone really knows that answer to?
And if so, why do they?
Soon enough, both men are stripped to the waist. If I just saw this out of the blue, I would think nothing of it. Honestly, you wouldn’t either – it just looks like a normal pro wrestling match. I guess the fact these two were aggressively tearing their clothes off in the minutes prior makes all the difference.
That or this sport is just dumb and we all should quit watching it. Gotta admit, it would be a great excuse for me to just walk away after these years of torture. Hmmm…
Finally, Jim lands a headbutt which causes Fuji to stagger, allowing him to strip his foe down to his heart covered boxers. That’s just weird. This being the 1980s and more importantly this being the WWF, I was thinking he’d be covered in take out boxes and fortune cookies.
Fuji immediately grabs his junk and runs for the hills. I can only assume this means this match from Madison Square Garden took place after the one in the Philadelphia Spectrum.
Because, you see, in that match, Fuji’s boxers sprung open for all the world to see.
Ok, now THAT’s the excuse I needed.
Hope you enjoyed WrestleCrap for all these years, kids. Seeing Mr. Fuji’s bonsai tree just forced this old boy into retirement!
Who am I kidding? I’ll stick around.
But just for you, Craig DeGeorge, and your never ending love for WWF Magazine.