The SmarK Rant for WWF Wrestling Challenge – 02.07.87
Well, we’ve come to the end of the currently available Challenge episodes on the Network, but WHAT an episode to end on.
Taped from Ft. Myers, FL, although all the notable stuff comes from Superstars in Tampa that week.
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
THE RECOGNIZED SYMBOL OF EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT
Koko B. Ware v. Jimmy Jack Funk
Wait, last week they promised a rematch of the Harley Race match! Wrestling has LIED to me again. Well, plans change I guess. Hopefully they have one or maybe two gigantic angles to make up for this blatant bait and switch. Jimmy Jack slugs away in the corner to start, but Koko (who is thankfully back to normal tights after last week’s unitard) chases him out of the ring while flapping his arms like a bird. Terrifying. Back in, Koko takes him down with armdrags while Slick does an inset promo burying Koko for being “bragadacious” and walking around with flashy clothes and a stinky bird on his shoulder. Who’s he talking about, Long John Silver? At this point Bobby predicts that Wrestlemania will be announced for Madison Square Garden, based on his sources. Must be the same as that jerk Meltzer’s sources, AMIRITE? HIGH FIVE! Anyone? Koko finishes with the missile dropkick and brainbuster at 3:04. This was fine. 1 for 1.
Meanwhile, CRAIG DEGEORGE makes his historic Challenge debut, interviewing Jack Tunney, as he announces that despite the bids of Wembley Stadium and MSG, it’s the Pontiac Silverdome that will be hosting the event. We’ve even heard that it seats over 90,000 people! I’d like to see some sources on that too.
WWF Tag team titles: The British Bulldogs v. The Hart Foundation
From Superstars, of course. Dynamite doesn’t even make it to the ring before Jimmy Hart knocks him out with the megaphone, leaving Davey Boy to fight off the Harts by himself. Delayed suplex on Bret and he tosses Neidhart while Danny Davis looks after Dynamite outside. Davey is fine, though, whipping the Harts into each other, as Jesse points out. Davey puts Bret on the floor with a dropkick and powerslams Anvil, but Danny Davis tends to Dynamite as Vince has an ANEURISM on commentary. WHERE IS DANNY DAVIS?!? So the Harts double-team Davey now and put the boots to him before hitting a double DDT and finishing with the Hart Attack at 3:01 to win the tag team titles. Vince’s “NO! NO! NO!” in perfect time with Davis’s count is the BEST. Vince notes that this is the biggest disgrace in the history of World Wrestling Federation officiating!
The great thing is that joke works for SEVERAL payoffs! Anyway, the Harts leave with the belts and LEMME TELL YA, the other wrestling fans in school on Monday were HORRIFIED at what had gone down. 2 for 2.
But we’ve still got one more to go this week!
Sika and Kamala join Mean Gene, as either they just imported the interview from Superstars or Killer Ken is done. Could be either way. Regardless, The Wizard congratulates the Hart Foundation on winning the tag team titles, but notes that his own team of weirdos is the team to be beaten now.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Australia, we get to hear from Outback Jack. AGAIN. We’ve now gone through the first 16 weeks of this show and this guy still hasn’t debuted yet. Anyway, he’s walking around and getting startled by automatic sliding doors at the airport, as he declares that he’s finally coming to America. And of course he’s flying Qantas.
Jake Roberts v. David Gold
Gold looks familiar, like a really young Jerry Lynn, but I can’t find any info on him. Jake is getting REAL big babyface pops here, although we’re still a couple of weeks away from the turn on the Snake Pit. But then we get an inset promo from Honky Tonk Man, who hates snakes and anyone who associates with them, so obviously the turn was coming right away. Jake quickly finishes with the short clothesline and DDT at 1:05. 2 for 3.
Billy Jack Haynes joins Mean Gene and he immediately claims “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and I don’t do drugs.” Oh my god, I’m so glad I wasn’t drinking anything while I was watching this, because otherwise I would have spit it all over my computer screen. In fact I bet Haynes was doing all three right up until the moment that they started rolling the tape for the interview!
Meanwhile, Ricky Steamboat visits some sick kids.
Demolition v. SD Jones & Don Driggers
OK, it’s attempt #2 for Demolition, as they’ve already been repackaged with new makeup and a new Smash. Hopefully this guy lasts a little longer than the first guy! The new guy is bald, like he was just playing a Russian or something, and he no-sells Driggers and slams him, and it’s over to Ax for a back elbow. Smash comes in and slugs away before dropping Driggers on the top rope and then slingshotting him into a lariat from Ax that finishes at 2:00. This was literally ONE THOUSAND PERCENT better than their debut in every way. Now we’re getting somewhere. 3 for 4.
Piper’s Pit as now it’s time for the FIREWORKS FACTORY. So Roddy Piper brings out Hulk Hogan, and Jesse Ventura produces Andre the Giant…and Bobby Heenan? Well now we know why he was at the reinstatement hearing. Hulk is shocked, as everyone was, and demands to know what’s going on, brother? Hulk begs for some sanity and desperately cries about how Andre taught him about respect for the fans and good sportsmanship. Well Andre did a shit job of teaching him that then. So Bobby goes on the rant from last week, accusing Hogan of being JEALOUS and stealing Andre’s spotlight. Hogan: “You’re WRONG! YOU’RE WRONG!” Good comeback, Hulk. But then Hulk makes the mistake of putting his hands on Andre and Andre just GLARES at him and tells him to take his hands off him, and then challenges him to a title match at Wrestlemania and tears off the shirt, ripping off Hogan’s cross and cutting his chest in the process. And then Piper does a great understated sell of the moment, telling Hulk that he’s bleeding and trying to lead him away. BOOM, we have a main event! And suddenly wrestling nerds are all like…
And Vince SURE DID. You sure didn’t have to tell him twice back in the day.
Adrian Adonis v. Mario Mancini
Shut down the show, we’re not topping that one. Adonis beats on Mancini and tosses him and then finishes with the sleeper at 1:00. At this point Bobby returns to commentary and confirms that Andre has been signed to a contract. 4 for 5.
WRESTLEMANIA III: Bigger, better, badder! Yeah it is.
The Can-Am Connection v. Iron Mike Sharpe & Steve Lombardi
Lombardi immediately gets tricked into a rollup from Zenk that gets two while Bobby predicts that Hulk Hogan will be surrendering the title next week and retiring, to avoid getting his butt kicked by Andre. Checks out. Lombardi and Sharpe double-team Zenk and Steve gets a backbreaker for two while Heenan reveals that Hulk Hogan has been bashing Andre behind the scenes all these years, calling him a “freak”. Huge if true. Sharpe works on Zenk, but a bodypress gets two, so they bring Zenk back to the corner and work him over some more. Lombardi with a back elbow for two. More abuse in the corner and Sharpe cuts off the ring with a facelock and we even get a false tag spot while Lombardi takes the ref. Zenk fights back and dives for the hot tag as Martel cleans house and Zenk slingshots in with a sunset flip for two, but Iron Mike saves. So Martel tosses him and Zenk powerslams Lombardi, and slingshots Martel in with the splash to finish at 4:23. This was a real tag team match and everything! 5 for 6. Meanwhile, Bobby questions why Hulk never offered Andre a title match, and Gorilla not only doesn’t deny that Hulk never offered one, but then deflects the question by noting that it’s not Hulk’s place to offer title matches, it’s the “championship committee”. Maybe It’s because HULK WAS A BAD FRIEND and we all know it.
Slick and Butch Reed join Mean Gene, who accuses Slick of “managing six gals up in Detroit.” What kind of slander is Okerlund engaging in there? Anyway, Reed declares that no one puts their hands on Slick except him, and even then it’s only with friendship and respect, not like that bean-eating Tito Santana. Butch declares him a “natural athlete” even though he’s suddenly three suit jacket sizes bigger than he was when he debuted.
NEXT TIME: Hulk Hogan answers the challenge! Tito Santana! Randy Savage! Harley Race!
Well, hopefully they add another 8 episodes soon so I can carry on. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll add 10! Nah, that’s crazy talk.