What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 3, 1991
By LScisco on 20th May 2022
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are doing the second episode from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Heenan says that Hulk Hogan is only the number one contender for the WWF Championship because he put pressure on WWF President Jack Tunney.
The Orient Express are shown hitting each other in the locker room as Mr. Fuji encourages them to keep going. WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation get themselves hyped up for today’s title defense.
Opening Contest: The British Bulldog (3-0) pins Carl Nelson after the running powerslam at 1:28:
Nelson’s biggest run on the independent circuit was for the CWA. He worked as a wrestler named Madd Maxx and was a friend of Mick Foley when he came through the territory.
During the match, Monsoon puts over the WWF’s Bodybuilding Lifestyles magazine. A blind charge by Nelson leads to a quick win by the Bulldog, who continues to build momentum for his feud with the Warlord.
The Special Report segments provides a replay of WWF President Jack Tunney’s announcement on Main Event that Sergeant Slaughter will defend the WWF Championship at WrestleMania against Hulk Hogan. Slaughter’s promo immediately afterward is shown as well.
The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) (2-0) defeats Tom King via submission to a nerve hold at 1:36:
In the split screen, the Mountie puts himself over as the only justice in the WWF. The Mountie is still looking for a good finisher, putting King to sleep with a nerve hold. Heenan tries to put it over as a law enforcement control hold. After the bout, the Mountie handcuffs King and shocks him with a cattle prod.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The Hart Foundation (Champions) (3-0) defeat the Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) (3-2) when Bret Hart pins Tanaka after Jim Neidhart powerslams him onto Tanaka at 3:24:
Within two weeks the Express have wrestled three of the four babyface tag teams in the company on television, a pace that was unheard of in this era. While the Express getting this title shot was questionable after the outcome of their Royal Rumble match against the Rockers, it is indefensible after the Legion of Doom squashed them two days earlier on Main Event. With more time this could be something fun but it has an awkward flow due to not getting enough time to breathe. Bret quickly recovers from the Express trying to use Fuji’s cane and a heel miscommunication spot lets Bret perch himself on the second rope so Neidhart can slam him onto Tanaka. Disappointing, but again, this type of match was typical of the WWF during sweeps month. Rating: ½*
Footage of the Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Sergeant Slaughter match on Main Event is shown, along with Hulk Hogan’s failed save attempt. Hogan’s in-ring promo later in the show with gene Okerlund also airs.
Tugboat (3-0) pins Joe Turner after a splash at 1:33:
The Undertaker and Brother Love do an insert promo where Love admits that Tugboat is a big boy and the Undertaker says that means he will just have to dig a bigger hole. Tugboat avalanches Turner against the buckles a few times and stays undefeated with a slam and a splash.
A replay of Virgil’s babyface turn on Ted DiBiase at The Royal Rumble airs. Afterward, Virgil and Roddy Piper do a taped promo where Virgil says it felt like a million bucks to hit DiBiase with the Million Dollar Championship Belt.
The Nasty Boys (w/Jimmy Hart) (2-0) defeat Jesse Knight & Brian Johnson when Jerry Sags pins Knight with the Trip to Nastyville at 1:57:
In the split screen, the Nasty Boys and Hart say that they are prepared to unleash nasty weather on the WWF. To enhance the act, Hart now wears a motorcycle helmet to the ring in addition to his customized ring jacket. One can tell that the Nasties are putting forth lots of effort in these squashes because Sags’ flying elbow drop looks great.
The Legion of Doom warn Demolition that they will pay a price next week. The WWF do not grant Demolition a rebuttal promo, a small signal that they were on the verge of giving up on the team.
Tune in next week to see the Legion of Doom collide with Demolition! Also, the Big Bossman and the Undertaker will be in action!
The Last Word: The original version of the Orient Express did not have much credibility and the second version of the team is suffering from the same problem. Eating clean losses to the Rockers, the Legion of Doom, and the Hart Foundation does not leave them with a lot of places to go and one would have thought that they were on the verge of being released. The Undertaker’s first feud with Tugboat was a good way to give him immediate credibility because a victory would show that the WWF was committing to the gimmick long-term.
Here is a summary of the WWF’s house show action for the first week of February, with results coming courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
Sacramento, California – The Arco Arena – February 1, 1991 (10,200): The Mountie pinned Sam Houston…The Legion of Doom beat Mr. Fuji, Kato & Bob Bradley (substituting for Tanaka) in a handicap match…Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification…Hulk Hogan beat Earthquake in a stretcher match…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Power & Glory…Dino Bravo beat Tito Santana via count out…The Texas Tornado defeated Ted DiBiase after Virgil interfered.
Richfield, Ohio – The Richfield Coliseum – February 1, 1991 (8,000): The Barbarian defeated Koko B. Ware…Hacksaw Jim Duggan beat General Adnan (substituting for Sergeant Slaughter)…The Undertaker beat Tugboat…Roddy Piper defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out…The Rockers beat Demolition…The Big Bossman beat Haku…The Nasty Boys defeated the Bushwhackers…WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter (substituting for Randy Savage) beat the Ultimate Warrior in a steel cage match.
Springfield, Massachusetts – The Springfield Civic Center – February 2, 1991 (Matinee, 5,000): The Barbarian pinned Koko B. Ware…The Undertaker pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Roddy Piper pinned General Adnan at 1:15…Demolition defeated the Bushwhackers…The Big Bossman beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out at 6:50…Tugboat pinned Haku…The Rockers wrestled the Nasty Boys to a time-limit draw at 20:30…WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter beat the Ultimate Warrior via disqualification.
Backstage News*: The biggest news of the week is that the WWF is relocating WrestleMania VII from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the 15,000-seat Los Angeles Sports Arena. Although Dave Meltzer believed that more than 20,000 tickets had been sold for the Coliseum, which was still a disappointing figure, the real number was closer to 12,000. The WWF has given no reason for the change of venue, but they are going to portray the show as being from Los Angeles and neglect talking about the venue to paper over their failure to sell out the Coliseum.
*The reason that Sergeant Slaughter had to substitute for Randy Savage on house shows is that Savage broke his right thumb and needs surgery on it. He is still expected to make WrestleMania.
*Pat Tanaka also recently blew out his knee, so Bob Bradley covered for him until he hurt his ankle while working under a mask as Kato’s partner. Poor Kato is going through a rotation of random partners now as Louie Spicolli teamed with him on a house show and he might be working with the Brooklyn Brawler until Tanaka returns.
*To boost the heel side of the tag team division the WWF plans to make Haku and the Barbarian a team.
*Vince McMahon will host the World Bodybuilding Federation’s first show in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 15 and wants to do quarterly bodybuilding contests on pay-per-view. Unfortunately, the WBF is only recruiting second-tier talent and no one they have signed has mainstream appeal.
*The Warlord was sent over to Japan as part of the SWS talent exchange deal and is working bad matches with Genichiro Tenryu.
*Recent house shows have the company in hot water. First, the Capitol Center in Landover, Maryland is not happy with the WWF because they did not want General Adnan wrestling and the WWF booked Adnan for the show in a bout with Hacksaw Jim Duggan anyway. And second, parents at a recent WWF house show were upset at the main event where Randy Savage beat the Ultimate Warrior in a cage match when the Warrior was too busy beating up Sensational Sherri and ripping her clothes off until she was in her underwear.
*In talent relations news, John Nord is being brought in as a viking character. To satisfy McMahon’s quest for a Native American character, the WWF recently gave Charlie Norris a tryout as “Johnny Gray Feather” but did not like him enough to sign him. They are going to give Steve Gatorwolf a tryout with the gimmick as well and figure out where to go from there.
*Backstage news is provided courtesy to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 11.
Up Next: Prime Time Wrestling for February 4!