Friday, November 28, 2014

WWF Wrestling Challenge December 28th, 1986

December 28, 1986

From the Community Center in Tucson, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be Koko B. Ware, Kamala, Hart Foundation & Adrian Adonis vs. U.S. Express & S.D. Jones, and Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & Butch Reed vs. The Islanders & Jose Luis Rivera. And the "Snake Pit" with special guest Andre the Giant.




Frenchy Martin & Koko B. Ware

Martin attacks Koko before the bell. He gets two with a gutwrench suplex then rakes the back of Koko a few times. Martin beats on Koko in the corner but whiffs on a clothesline and Koko hits him with a crossbody with Martin was completely out of position. Koko backdrops Martin then hits a back elbow smash as Martin looked gassed. Koko heads up top and hits a missile dropkick before getting the win with the Ghostbuster (3:07).

Thoughts: Martin was just as awful in the ring as he was at managing. They guy blew up in a friggin' TV squash match for crying out loud. Way too much offense for him and that took the crowd out of the match.



Another vignette of Blackjack Mulligan on his ranch. Why they wasted all this time hyping up his return is beyond me.



Hart Foundation & Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. U.S. Express & S.D. Jones

The Match starts with the U.S. Express cleaning house as S.D. just stands on the apron. Even Gorilla mentions that on commentary. The match settles down as we get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart referring to the Hart Foundation & Adonis as the "perfect trifecta." Rotundo is trapped in the opposing corner and they all take turns beating on him until he comes back with a flying forearm on Bret  then tags S.D. as the match completely breaks down as Adonis puts S.D. in the sleeper for the win (3:34).

Thoughts: They are pushing Jimmy Hart's guys as a strong unit. Wonder if S.D. was hurt because he barely did anything at all besides stand the entire match.



Ken Resnick is with the Rougeau Brothers and the plans they have for 1987. Raymond loves the competition in the WWF as Jacques thinks we should be thankful and celebrate the holidays and most importantly, do not drink and drive. The segment ends with the Rougeaus cutting a promo in French. 1987 ended up being pretty damn forgettable for them.



Bill Anderson vs. Kamala

Before the match we get an insert promo from WWF President Jack Tunney about how the banning of Kamala's top rope splash is currently "under advisement." Kamala beats on Anderson as the announcers plug the new "Official WWF Fan Club." Kamala splashes Anderson then climbs up top and hits another splash for the win (0:34).

Thoughts: The WWF did a good job at making Kamala's splash the most devastating move in the company. This meant it would mean even more when Hogan kicked out of the move during their series of matches.



Resnick is with Jake "The Snake" Roberts and puts over how he is devastating. Roberts cuts his usual promo but he was so convincing in everything he said that it worked.



We now see Anderson getting stretchered out as Kamala is following him up the ramp. Kamala then has a standoff with King Kong Bundy, who was coming out for his match.



King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Pedro Gonzalez

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Bundy tosses around Gonzalez before hitting him with the Avalanche as the ref counts to five for the win (0:58).

Thoughts: Same old stuff with Bundy, who was doing nothing at this time except getting challenged by wash-ups (Mulligan, Graham) in vignettes. After WrestleMania 2 it was all downhill for him.



Snake Pit with guest Andre the Giant. The fans go nuts for Andre as he waves to the crowd. Roberts asks him about Damien as Andre refers to it as a garter snake. Roberts then cuts to the chase and asks him about how he got reinstated as Andre tells him it is a mystery. They did a great job at dragging this out with Andre acting vague and only giving one-word answers.



Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V. vs. Alex Knight

Bravo is now sporting Canadian flag trunks. He puts Knight in a front facelock as Heenan avoids all questions from Gorilla about Andre's reinstatement. Back to the match as Bravo hits a gutwrench suplex and a leg drop before tossing Knight to the floor. We get an insert promo from referee Dave Hebner who says that Danny Davis is "unfit" to be a referee. He tripped all over his line there. Bravo keeps tossing Knight to the floor as the crowd is silent. Knight comes in but Bravo blocks his monkey flip attempt with an inverted atomic drop then gets the win with a back suplex (3:18).

Thoughts: Dull stuff. The crowd barely even bothered to boo Bravo after he won. The announcers spent most of this match talking about other things going on in the company.



Another vignette from Outback Jack as he is taking a shower while singing his theme song.



"The Natural" Butch Reed & Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. The Islanders & Jose Luis Rivera

Haku slams Sheik a few times as we get an insert promo from Slick as he denies ever committing outside interference. Rivera lands a few moves to Rivera but gets booted in the face on a backdrop attempt. The heels use quick tags to beat on Rivera until Reed gets the win with a press slam (3:26).

Thoughts: Most of this was the heels beating on Rivera, who was obviously the one who was going to get pinned here.



Resnick is with Jimmy Hart and asks him about his new client, the Honky Tonk Man. Hart says he just signed a contract with Honky and that he recounted the "Vote of Confidence" with Jack Tunney and found out that he was wrong. Resnick doubts Hart then Honky comes out and talks up Hart and puts down Tunney for not standing behind him. He also thinks that deep down the fans love him. Good job starting the Honky/Hart dynamic as they were annoying as fuck and the crowd hated them both.



Next week is the "Year in Review" show. I will not be reviewing that show and will skip ahead to the 1/11/87 show.




Final Thoughts: Andre's first live appearance in months was cool but this was mostly a throwaway show. Things would get a lot more interesting as 1987 began when the road to WrestleMania III got underway.


4 comments:

  1. I remember watching Primetime on WWE 24/7 and seeing Frenchy martin wrestle Outback Jack on about 5 different episodes. Same thing with the Young Stallions and the Shadows. Makes me wonder how when I was a kid I thought the show was so great and how I thought it featured "big" matches. I guess it is all perspective. Compared to the syndicated shows, Primetime did feature big matches. And Heenan and Gorilla were obviously the real draw.

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  2. It was amazing to me as a kid too but I watch them now on youtube and the show had so many awful matches from poorly lit house shows.

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  3. It was all Heenan and Gorlla. The matches were all undercard stuff from The televised house shows. Once they started to add exclusive matches for PrimeTime at the TV tapings it got better

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  4. Too bad the Kamala/Bundy thing didn't go anywhere. It's hard to believe Bundy lasted another year and half considering how far he'd slid down the card by this point.

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