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WWF Wrestling Challenge February 1st, 1987

February 1st, 1987

From the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, PA

Your hosts are Johnny V., Bobby Heenan, and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be the Islanders vs. Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Jake Roberts, Billy Jack Haynes and Koko B. Ware vs. King Harley Race




King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko uses his speed to avoid a charge then backdrops Race as Johnny V. says that Frankie and Bruno Sammartino have the same type of nose. The crowd claps along with Koko, who takes Race down with a hip toss. Race catches him with a punch to the gut then gets one with a belly-to-belly suplex. Race goes to work as Johnny V. puts over referee Danny Davis as the crowd starts a loud "weasel" chant. Race misses a falling headbutt from the second rope as both men are down. Koko heads up top but Heenan shoves him off then Race covers as Davis quickly counts to three (2:09). After the match, the Junkyard Dog runs off Race and Heenan then checks on Koko. Davis warns JYD to leave and JYD gets in his face then takes him halfway across the ring with a hip toss as the crowd goes nuts.

Thoughts: They advanced two storylines here: JYD/Race and the Davis angle. This fast count was very deliberate here too, making it obvious to everyone. Poor Koko, who had been getting good crowd reactions, was just a pawn here. They had no plans for the guy. The action was fine for what it was.



Don Driggers vs. Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan

An insert promo of Hulk Hogan is shown as he puts over the strength of Hercules and how he pushed him to the limit and is the ultimate test. Hercules slams Driggers then hits a delayed vertical suplex before making him submit to the full nelson (0:48).

Thoughts: Strong effort to put over Hercules here as he dominated the match and had Hogan put him over in a promo.



Ken Resnick is with George Steele, who speaks about Bruno and Steamboat beating Savage and how Elizabeth should manage George. Typical Steele promo here.



Billy Jack Haynes comes down to the ring for his match and has a confrontation with Hercules, who was being held back by Heenan.



Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Billy Jack Haynes

The mach starts with both guys fighting over a lockup. Funk cheapshots Haynes then rakes his face across the top rope. Haynes reverses an Irish whip then clotheslines Funk down as we see Hercules and Heenan watch from ringside. Haynes hits a press slam then a suplex that gets two. Haynes then hits the an atomic drop before making Funk submit to the full nelson (2:07). Heenan is telling us that Haynes' full nelson stunk as they tease another confrontation between Hercules and Haynes but that does not happen as Heenan walks him back to the locker room.

Thoughts: They have really tried to heat this feud up on this show. That is nice to see as they have been typically treating Challenge as a recap show or sorts. Using it to further along the midcard feuds is a fine idea.



Resnick is with Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man. When asked why he aligned with Hart, Honky said that he is the only one in the WWF he can trust, unlike Hulk Hogan. They have been pushing the Hart/Honky duo strong recently.



Jim Parks & Paul Roma & Tony Garea vs. "Adorable" Adrian Adonis & Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart

Heenan is back on commentary, replacing Johnny V. Adonis holds up Garea for Brett but accidentally gets hit with a dropkick. Brett hits a backbreaker but misses an elbow drop as Garea tags out. Roma hits a dropkick then goes to work on the arm. Parks tags but Bret hits him with a side slam. He nearly dropped him altogether and was supposed to hit a backbreaker. Adonis tags and drops an elbow from the second rope then gets the win with the Good Night Irene (2:03).

Thoughts: Not much to say here. Roma did look good in his brief time in the ring though.



A replay of the 1/31 edition of Piper's Pit is shown where Ventura promised Andre would appear next week and Piper promised that Hogan would appear. A classic segment.



Danny Davis is in the locker room as he wants JYD fined and suspended for putting his hands on an official.



Gary Starr vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Roberts got a good amount of cheers at the introduction. Roberts toys with Starr before beating him down then hitting the DDT for the win (0:28). Roberts didnt even take off his t-shirt. He then puts Damien on Starr.

Thoughts: Roberts was really over at this point with the crowds. He was such a cool character too. Lots of guys try to imitate his style but they have not come close.



A graphic hyping WrestleMania III airs



Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik w/ Slick vs. The Islanders

The Islanders work over Volkoff as Heenan grills Monsoon about WrestleMania III and how no ones knows the main event or even the location of the show. Tama gets trapped in the opposite corner but is able to hit Sheik with a suplex then tag out. Haku hits a dropkick then a press slam as Tama comes off of the top with a splash but Volkoff distracts the referee as Slick comes in and whacks Tama with his cane, who sells it like he has been shot, then Sheik covers for the win (2:14).

Thoughts: The match itself was alright but more filler than anything else. The Islanders were low on the totem pole and Sheik & Volkoff were on the decline.



Resnick is with Ricky Steamboat, who is still talking with a coarse voice. Steamboat cuts a passionate promo about how he will seek revenge on Savage. Not too bad.



Monsoon is with Andre the Giant and asks him if he will be on "Piper's Pit." Andre stares into the camera, points his finger and says "I'll be there." Andre did not look too happy here.



Next week in action will be Randy Savage, Tito Santana, Butch Reed, and a rematch between Koko B. Ware and King Harley Race plus the airing of "Piper's Pit from Superstars with Andre the Giant and Butch Reed



Thoughts: Decent show this week. They furthered along the Hercules/Haynes feud and confirmed that Andre will in fact be appearing on Piper's Pit. Nothing here was terrible and everything was making sense at least.

Comments

  1. Wow, two future hall of famers going toe to toe to kick things off! They spoil us.

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  2. Always surprised to see how Crash TVesque these old shows are. Tons of very short matches, even more interview spots and constantly moving from one segment to the next.


    I lived through these shows as a kid but don't remember them being this frenetic.

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  3. I didn't realize there was so relatively little time between the making of Hogan-Andre and the actual event.

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  4. I wouldn't call these shows Crash TVesque because although the segments were short they took place over a few weeks thus things were building slowly until it culminates in the big event. Crash TV was all about cramming weeks worth of angle advancement into as little time as possible.

    This was before the era of the 20 minute interview. Syndicated television had very specific time constraints so each segment could only last so long. The average Piper's Pit was about 3 minutes and matches rarely went over five minutes. They only had an hour to get over several storylines involving members of the roster. The older shows were more about long-term serialized angle advancement than the Crash TV approach of cramming as much as possible in order to keep people from turning the channel.

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  5. Yeah, I've always wondered about that, because it looked like they were building for Hogan/Orndorf and suddenly it was like they called an audible. It happened pretty quickly for 1987 - when Andre came back from back surgery, I think.

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  6. The build started pretty late, but the Andre-Hogan match had been planned way in advance. The Apter mags were running cover stories about it before the angle really even started, so it was pretty set in stone. It may have been a case of them holding off on the angle as long as possible, so as to make sure that Andre's back issues would still allow the match to actually happen.

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  7. Yeah, Meltzer reported it in December too. Such a great, slow build to Andre's turn

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  8. Very well put

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  9. I have been enjoying reading through these in order. But Inmust have missed it. When did Jake turn face? Oct, Nov?

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  10. He was still officially a heel at this point but the crowds kept cheering for him anyway. He will be turning face very shortly

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