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WWF Wrestling Challenge December 21st, 1986

December 21, 1986

From the Community Center in Tuscon, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are the Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, and the main event of Hillbilly Jim & British Bulldogs vs. Moondog Spot & Dream Team

Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo

Poffo recites a pre match promo about Honky being a poor excuse of a Elvis impersonator then hip tosses him out of the corner. Poffo takes him down with a flying headscissors then Honky ducks outside. Back in the ring Honky takes control and targets the neck. Poffo fights back but Honky catches him with a clothesline then gets the win with the Shake, Rattle and Roll (1:42).

Thoughts: Surprisingly, the was not a lot of heel heat for Honky here. Regardless, his heel push was still in its infancy and he would continue to get opportunities.

Gene Okerlund is with two doctors as he asks them their opinions on whether or not Ricky Steamboat can return to the ring. One says that he can while the other says he should not.

Mike Lucca & Dennis Stamp vs. Rougeau Brothers

The Rougeau's work over Stamp to start the match as we get an insert promo from the Rougeau's wishing us a Merry Christmas in both English and French. Lucca tags and gets hit with a double dropkick and shortly after that the Rougeau's put him away with the Rougeau Bomb (2:16).

Thoughts: The Rougeau's were booked as a bland babyface team and were basically a better in-ring version of the U.S. Express.

Ken Resnick is with Hillbilly Jim and thanks him and his granny for their Thanksgiving dinner, especially the possum pudding and the catfish fritter. Jim then talks about how he has had a good year hanging with his friends and will have a "musical Christmas" and Resnick wants to come along and bring a special friend because granny will be cooking. The first of many Holiday themed backstage segments on this show.

Yet another vignette of Blackjack Mulligan at his ranch. Holy shit did they air a ton of these.

David Gold vs. Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Hercules starts by having a tug of war with his chain and shows off his strength by using one hand to send him into the corner. The announcers talk about Danny Davis, who is the referee for this match, as Hercules destroys Gold. He knocks Gold to the floor then throws him back in and applies a chinlock then softens him up some more before getting the win with the backbreaker (2:59).

Thoughts: Hercules was getting a solid push here as a power wrestler and did okay for himself in that regards. He would get better as an in-ring performer as time went on too.

Resnick is with Tito Santana and asks him about his goals for 1987. Tito's first priority is to get another shot at the Intercontinental Title and that Randy Savage better be in shape when the time comes. Hopefully Tito can start wrestling in some meaningful matches.

Jesse Ventura is with Andre the Giant and asks him what happened at his hearing and how the suspension got lifted as Andre said its none of his business as Jesse is beside himself over the fact he cannot get any information. They really did a great job with this angle as they slowly made Andre seem heelish with each passing week but not enough to really notice at first. This story is even more brilliant in hindsight.

Kevin Collins & Buddy Ryder & Tim Patterson vs. Billy Jack Haynes & Pedro Morales & Hillbilly Jim

Ryder looks like he traffics meth. We get an insert promo of Jim saying hi to granny. The match starts with Haynes grounding Patterson. Jim tags and sucks up to the fans then in a terrible looking spot, Collins tries to sneak attack him but runs into an inadvertent clothesline. The idea of the spot was fine, the execution was not. Pedro and Ryder are in now as Pedro hits a backbreaker. Patterson tags as the fans are into this match. The faces then all take turns beating on Patterson until Haynes makes him submit to the full nelson (4:32).

Thoughts: Enjoyable match that the fans liked featuring three guys without any feuds going on so the pairing made sense at least.

The Snake Pit with guests King Harley Race and Bobby Heenan. This really didn't go anywhere at all to be honest as Race was failing in the role.

We now see the Junkyard Dog down on his hands and knees talking to Matilda and even rubbing his head against his. JYD looked like he was on a lot of cocaine here.

Moondog Spot & Dream Team w/ Johnny V vs. British Bulldogs & Junkyard Dog

Heenan is back on commentary. Before the match we get a funny insert promo from Johnny V about how he hates all types of dogs. Match starts with Davey hitting Spot with an atomic drop. Dynamite and Valentine are in now and trade chops until Dynamite hits a snap suplex. JYD tags and hits a crawling headbutt as Valentine begs for mercy. Dynamite tags and beats on Brutus until he gets hit with an inverted atomic drop as the heels beat on Dynamite until he knocks down Spot and makes the tag to JYD, who gets the win with a powerslam (3:25).

Thoughts: Decent in ring action in this one. Really not much more to add other than that.

Resnick is with Lanny Poffo who recites a promo about George "The Animal"  Steele then welcomes him out. Steele keeps saying "no" then tells us that all of the heel managers gave him their action figures but he does not like them then as Poffo recite a promo about Christmas then after that Steele writes a promo. Lots of wackiness here. It was entertaining though.

Next week in action will be Koko B. Ware, Kamala, and the Hart Foundation & Adrian Adonis vs. U.S. Express & S.D. Jones. Plus, Andre the Giant returns as the guest on the Snake Pit and much more.

Final Thoughts: A looser show due to the Holiday segments but it was all in good fun. The Andre storyline got advanced and nothing here was bad so it was fairly enjoyable overall.


  1. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 21, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I am assuming this is before his trampoline gimmick that would adopt in later years.

  2. I always enjoyed Hercules. As a child he always seemed like a legit threat and he had a great LJN action figure. He had some great matches against Bigelow. Who just so happened to be one of my favorite LJN figures. Great stuff.


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