The SmarK Rant for WWF Wrestling Challenge – 01.10.87
Into the weird and crazy world of 1987 after last week’s “year in review” show that reviewed the last two months of the year.
Taped from Hershey, PA
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Totally random note, but I added yet another pair of headphones to my already ludicrous collection of them, this time a nice pair of Panasonic Bluetooth wireless noise-cancelling over ear ones for doing show reviews like these (my old HP laptop predated Bluetooth), and now I can hear that the saxophone intro for Challenge actually has a pretty rockin’ bassline that thumps in the background as well.
Randy Savage v. Steve Gatorwolf
Nice yellow and blue color combo for Savage this week while Gorilla disgracefully buries him repeatedly, calling him the “Not so Macho Man” over and over in a demonstration of the Big Lie. Savage chokes out Badgerhawk on the ropes and adds a suplex for two. He picks up Dogcat and gets some chops, but Lizardbear fights back with Native American chops and then Savage just dumps like a pile of trash and drops the double axehandle on poor Tigersnake. Flying elbow finishes Gorillafish at 3:08 as he pins him with one foot. That seems pretty macho to me despite the slanderous nonsense from Monsoon. 1 for 1 under the MACHO MAN is awesome rule.
Wrestler’s Rebuttal with George Steele: Elizabeth is pretty, and then George eats the magazine. Well said.
Meanwhile, Outhouse Jack reckons he’s ready to do battle in the WWF. Well we still got a while to wait.
Tito Santana v. Jimmy Jack Funk
Poor Tito doesn’t even get an entrance or music or nothing. Funk takes him down and Tito while Gorilla is STILL crying about Savage “stealing” the title from Tito a YEAR earlier. God, get over it. Tito’s inset promo is wishing everyone a Happy New Year, so you know he’s got nothing going on. Tito whips Funk into the corner and out of the ring, and back in Jimmy tries to work the arm and is unable to even do that. So he gets an atomic drop to get a bit of heat on Tito and drops him on the top rope, and a belly to belly follows. He goes up with a fistdrop for two and they fight for a backslide, but Tito actually reverses it for two. You don’t see that often. Tito makes a comeback with a backdrop and some slams while the announcers discuss Funk’s masked visage. Gorilla: “I have no idea what he looks like under there.” Bobby: “He looks like that. But without the mask.” Flying forearm finishes at 4:21 and this was a pretty good little match. 2 for 2.
Slick joins Killer Ken and calls him a “sarcastic wimp” for asking about the cast on his arm. This brings out Butch Reed, and apparently the stars of the WWF are more afraid of Butch than “dogs are of fleas”. I dunno, I’d say my dog is more afraid of sprinklers. He HATES those things.
Kamala v. Jesse Cortez
We get an inset promo from Jack Tunney, where he is going to rule on Kamala’s top rope splash, but Bobby Heenan does a run-in on the inset and confronts Tunney about leaking the Andre reinstatement hearing, and Jack denies everything. Kamala slams Cortez and goes up with the flying splash to finish at 1:00. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a run-in on an inset promo before, actually.
Koko B. Ware joins Killer Ken and get BREAKING NEWS: Frankie has a girlfriend, who may or may not be his sister. Damn hillbilly bird incest. And then Koko makes out with the bird. No, really.
King Harley Race v. Jerry Monti
The crowd is chanting something leading into the introductions but I can’t really make it out. Probably something about Bobby Heenan. Race’s crown is so cheap and ratched already. Thankfully they spent a bit more money on the ones that followed. Race puts Monti down with a neckbreaker and drops knees on him. Powerslam gets two, but Race picks him up and drops an elbow for two. Gorilla supposes that if Andre comes back and beats Race for the crown, that would make him “The biggest King in history”. I dunno, Elvis was pretty fat at the end there. Cradle suplex finishes at 2:00. 2 for 3.
The Snake Pit with special guest Butch Reed. He wants HULK HOGAN.
UPDATE! WITH SCHEME GENE!
Let us take you back to Macho Man dropping a ringbell on Dragon’s throat. Steamboat gasping for breath and flinging himself off the stretcher in melodramatic pain is an underrated touch of greatness there. And then Bruno is backstage, shocked by the science of intubation. And then Gene chats with the doctor, who thinks that Steamboat was NEAR DEATH at one point, and Steamboat’s career is OVER. Oh man, he’s gonna have to go back to North Carolina and open a gym or something. But then we go to Steamboat’s home, and he can talk again, and cuts a promo on Savage where he coughs at the end to make sure we know he was injured.
Meanwhile, Blackjack Mulligan shows us his honey wagon, which you load up with fertilizer and take around the fields. So he’s going to bring the wagon around to all the arenas and throw King Kong Bundy into a giant pile of shit in every city in the US. That can’t be allowed under health and safety rules, I’d imagine.
Cowboy Bob Orton & Magnificent Muraco v. The Killer Bees
Historic moment, as Jimmy Hart is now gone and the heels are solely managed by Mr. Fuji. Also, Orton is wearing a Wrestlemania 2 t-shirt for some reason, even though he didn’t compete there. That’s kind of sad. Muraco gets double-teamed by the Bees but fights back with a samoan drop on Blair, as Orton comes in and slugs away. Bob misses a dropkick and the Bees double-team him with a high knee from Brunzell and abdominal stretch from Blair. But then the ref puts Brunzell out of the ring and Muraco just comes in and nails Blair to break up the hold and drops an elbow for two. And then the heels switch off again behind Danny Davis’s back, and Orton gets a slingshot suplex and Muraco comes in with the knee off the top rope for two. The heels double-team Blair in the corner pretty blatantly while Davis keeps going after Brunzell. Well maybe he should stop coming into the ring, then! I have no sympathy. And then the Bees bail and put on the masks for their usual cheating, and Brunzell switches in with a sunset flip. But Davis puts the other Bee out of the ring and calls for the DQ at 5:44 because he’s had enough of their shenanigans and tomfoolery. Serves them right! The ref was losing control of the match and had every right to call for the bell. 3 for 4.
Junkyard Dog joins Killer Ken and makes resolutions for 1987, including being good to his new wife, and showing up on time to the arenas to avoid fines. Well he broke that one pretty fast. Also Blackjack Mulligan saunters in, complaining that he asked his wife for a Rolex for Christmas and got a Timex instead.
Next week: A salute to the WWF fans! Honky Tonk Man! Blackjack Mulligan! George Steele!
Pretty fun show this week.