Sunday, December 14, 2014

WWF Wrestling Challenge January 25th, 1987

January 25, 1987

From the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, PA

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Demolition, Junkyard Dog, Kamala, and the featured match of Jacques Rougeau vs Don Muraco





Al Navarro vs. Junkyard Dog

JYD beats on Navarro as we get an insert promo from King Harley Race, who is pissed about JYD refusing to bow for him. JYD hits a few headbutts then gets yelled at by referee Danny Davis. Navarro sneak attacks JYD but shortly after that he gets put away with a powerslam (2:01). After the  match, JYD yells at Davis before bringing a kid in the ring to dance with him.

Thoughts: The feud between Race and JYD continues. JYD didn't look as bad as usual here.



A "Wrestler's Rebuttal" with Adrian Adonis and Jimmy Hart. Adonis tells Piper that he is finished. That was all.



Jerry Allen & Sivi Afi vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V. 

Smash is still being played by Randy Culley. Ax starts by beating on Allen then we get an insert shot of Demolition. They have on a lot of color like blue paint on their faces. They beat on Allen some more until they put him away with the Demolition Decapitation (2:47).

Thoughts: I don't think the jobber team got a single offensive move in during this match. Demolition looked strong but their goofy facepaint and for some reason partly colored hair (maybe from taking off their masks and having it rub off on their hair) look would improve over time. It looks like a kid is doing their facepaint.



Ken Resnick is with the U.S. Express. Rotundo says that 1987 will be a great year because they are more mature and will win a match in every city in the country. Spivey said that he is back from his injury and that has given him a bad attitude towards other wrestlers as they try to attack his knee. Rotundo would leave the WWF a few weeks after this interview aired.



Nick Foley vs. Kamal w/ The Wizard & Kimchee

Foley is indeed Mick Foley. Mel Phillips called him "Nick Faley." Kamala beats Foley down to start. Kamala slams him down then hits a splash for the win (0:27). After the match, Kamala heads up top and hits another splash after ignoring Kimchee's orders.

Thoughts: Another Kamala squash match, another stretcher job for his opponent.



Resnick is with Hillbilly Jim, who tells us that he is our representative. Of what I have no idea.



Foley is getting taken out on a stretcher.



We are shown the clip of Hercules attacking Billy Jack Haynes from "Superstars of Wrestling" two weeks ago.



David Vance & Barry O. vs. Killer Bees

Blair keeps his mask on to start. The Bees take turns beating on Barry as we get an insert promo from Danny Davis saying that he disqualified the Bees for wearing illegal masks and that no one will make a fool out of him. Vance tags and the Bees take care of him until Blair gets the win with a Bee Sting (3:23).

Thoughts: Davis was targeting midcard acts like the Bees and Tito Santana, Pedro Morales, and Hillbilly Jim at the time and this match was just for the sake of keeping his angle going.



A replay of Piper's Pit from this past episode of "Superstars of Wrestling" when Andre the Giant received a trophy for being undefeated then walked off the set when Hogan appeared and kept on talking about how Andre was his inspiration.



Don Muraco w/ Bob Orton vs. Jacques Rougeau w/ Raymond Rougeau

Heenan on commentary flips out about Hogan stealing Andre's spotlight in that segment as Gorilla calls him a liar. Jacques has Muraco in a headlock but gets caught with a slam as Gorilla asks Heenan why he is behind Andre,a man that he despises, as Heenan said that he is just calling it like he sees it while Jacques has Muraco in a sleeper. Orton then goes after Raymond outside as Jacques comes out and they all end up fighting until the referee rules it a DQ. The Rougeaus go after Fuji, who hit them with a cane, and slam him to the floor (3:07).

Thoughts: The action was alright but the focus here was on commentary with Heenan's anti-Hogan/pro-Andre that even had Monsoon question him as to why he was favoring his supposed enemy.



Tiger Chung Lee vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Steamboat sends Lee to the floor with a dropkick. Back in the ring, Steamboat hits a crossbody then works the arm. He messes up a slide between the legs then comes back up and hits a few armdrags before going back to the arm as Heenan rants and raves about Hogan. Lee comes back with a throat thrust and targets that as we get an insert promo from Elizabeth about how Steamboat's injury was a terrible accident. Steamboat then fights back and hits a flying body press for the win (3:16).

Thoughts: Lee was a terrible worker at this point and seemed to be out of position multiple times in this match and moved far too slow to keep up with Steamboat's pace.



Resnick is with Randy Savage as he talks about George Steele being unlucky after getting hit with his title belt and then tells us that Ricky Steamboat is not at 100%.



Next week in action will be the Islanders, Jake Roberts, and the featured match of Koko B. Ware vs. King Harley Race.



Final Thoughts: Unless you missed "Superstars of Wrestling" there wasn't much you missed here except for Heenan dropping hints about Andre on commentary.

65 comments:

  1. In what way? Because people here are thrilled to see a decent wrestling show or are you talking actual hype by WWE and it's marketing people?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah perfect ppvs don't tend to have two squash matches (even if one is a much anticipated debut). Let's face it the tag title match was 3 stars tops. The women's match was awesome for a women's match but still had some flaws. I give it 3 1/2. The other tag with Finn was decent. 3 stars or so again. main event was very good. Probably 4 stars there. So 3 three star matches, one 4 star, and a couple squashes, plus a great debut complete with the start of the next big feud. Good? Absolutely. WM17 or GAB89? not even close

    ReplyDelete
  3. Exactly - wrestling fans are proper self-hating weirdos sometimes. Afraid to express full enjoyment/optimism for their nerdy hobby

    ReplyDelete
  4. Doesn't Mel also introduce "Nick" as weighing 160 pounds here? Or is that some other time?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Everyone is overselling it to make up for how down on the current product we are. There is clearly a schism on the Blog of Doom.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Unfortunately for the idea, the NXT guys are getting paid very little. If they ever did become a major focus point, they'd rightly ask for more money, and then Vince would TOTALLY take notice and we're back to square one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just the over the top love fest. TLC better be ready to bring it tonight. I don't think they can do it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You hit the nail on the head.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you're talking pure attendance and not tickets sold, I would think Beware of Dog I belongs in the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 2012 is "never"?


    Well, I guess that's what the Mayans thought too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 47,514 paid, 12,511 comps, 60,525 total. $480,013 total gate

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIKBDHNYeII

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it was pretty disastrous from a business perspective and probably the reason we didn't see another full-scale dome show until WrestleMania X7.

    Yes -- 60,000 people were there and yes 48,000 people "paid" for tickets but a high percentage of those paid tickets were massively discounted even before they just started giving them away. Taco Bell ran a promotion locally that amounted to people spending a few bucks a ticket. The gate tells the story though -- sales were about $480k for 48k paid tickets. WCW ran Nitro in the building within the next year and did a gate of $446k on 20k paid fans.

    So they can put it on the books that they only gave away 15k tickets, but
    they were doing everything short of having Stephanie out on the corner
    for this one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yeah, if wanted to include that sort of thing, that'd easily be the worst ever, because they didn't even sell out the capacity of the Arena. That was the first WrestleMania they tried selling tickets a year in advance for and they had only 15,000 gone by February 1991 IIRC.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yeah I don't think Vince wants to remember it that way haha. They got the bodies in there one way or another though and the crowd looks good on TV as a visual.

    How they sounded is another story though -- It's easily one of the quietest crowds I've ever heard for a major PPV show and certainly the worst giant crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yeah, I also went to WrestleMania XIX and was surprised at the number of empty seats and also at the number of people who left before Brock/Lesnar was over.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's the condensed version of "Wrestling Excuses: Small Attendance."

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sadly I think that the final part of your last sentence points the way to the future. NXT will be great until they make it part of the WWE and then it will no longer be that awesome thing that is an alternative to WWE.


    See also: every other good thing in wrestling that eventually got bought/crushed/assimilated into the larger company.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hired goons.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Not this time but here he was billed as being from Boston.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Isn't that the way it always goes, though? We want something to become known and popular, and when it does, it ends up sucking? To borrow some TV Tropes, not only because of executive meddling, but because of "it's popular, now it sucks." A little of both.

    ReplyDelete
  21. And by the standards of the WWF at the time, that was a big win, was my point. Not that it wasn't a flop. But that it was still one of their better results, things were so bad.


    Or such is my understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  22. So for the foibles it may have, can we agree that the sooner the day HHH has 100% control, the better? (now how many of us would say that 12 years ago?)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yeah, the more elaborate official version is too long. I actually posted it on one of the threads about two months ago.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I remember a ton of people leaving during Brock's entrance.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yes. And this happened back in the "infallible" Attitude Era too. Face Rock and Austin = still successful, still over, but not as good as the heel versions.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "NXT guys are getting paid very little"


    evidence please

    ReplyDelete
  27. Maybe it's because they were in East Rutherford, NJ instead of being in MSG?

    ReplyDelete
  28. SHe's not telling him how to run NXT, though, is she?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Looking forward to "In Praise of Marcus Louis" threads on Reddit.

    ReplyDelete
  30. WCW had some low PPV attendances in the early 90s and the late 90s. The Omni portion of Starrcade '86 drew 14,000 fans. Three years later, Starrcade '89 in The Omni drew 8000 fans.

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://wrestlingnews.co/new-wwe-signing-correction-on-nxtdevelopmental-salaries/

    http://www.inquisitr.com/1563534/wwe-news-backstage-update-on-how-much-wwe-developmental-wrestlers-actually-make/

    Short version: NXT salaries start at $25-$26K, up to $52K. Women are all $50K+ apparently, as their "maintenance" is higher. Compare to:


    http://prommanow.com/2014/09/11/shocking-wwe-salary-list-revealed-dismal-developmental-contracts/


    and http://www.sportrichlist.com/wwe/wwe-wrestlers-and-divas-salaries/, where $60K seems to be the opening salary, and the vast majority are in solid six figures.


    From a "majors vs minors" standpoint, the difference is quite normal. But the lower end of NXT is definitely low-paid.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I agree with Scott (I think it was him) about Itami. I thought hes getting lost in the shuffle and was over shadowed by Balor. The cream always rises to the top so he should be ok.

    ReplyDelete
  33. YET. I think as long as NXT has little impact on RAW/SD, she won't care. But once those guys come up, the writers come into play... and short of Steph going away permanently, those writers will still be there.


    MAYBE it is "Vince overrides all", and somehow the product does drastically improve once he's gone. But I'm not going to bet on it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was just thinking about all that but was to lazy to go find it. Anyone that reads only the slightest bit of wrestling news knows they dont get paid a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The potential for big money in the future (in WWE) is what brings a Devitt, KENTA, or Steen to NXT. But they readily admit (as Bryah has) that they make a fair bit less in NXT than on the indies.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yeah for WCW, they had some really badly attended shows particularly during the Watts era. 1991 had some really bad gates too, with them doing 'two for one' tickets or 'pay for an adult, bring a kid for free' sorts of things.

    ReplyDelete
  37. As bad as WCW was, they always had a good attendance in Baltimore for The Bash and SuperBrawl V.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yeah, that's one thing you have to give them credit for -- they knew how to make their crowds look good on TV no matter what, especially pre-Titantron. WCW always shot their crowds from way too low for the aerial shots and had a tendency to make even a large crowd look much smaller than it was.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yeah those early Hogan shows did some good numbers (although the paid attendance figures were kinda weak for some of them). Bash at the Beach 1994, Halloween Havoc 1994, Superbrawl V, and Halloween Havoc 1995 all did solid numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  40. That's just because it was actually good and showed what a fun wrestling show could be. I don't think the hype is overblown by any means.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I cant speak for anyone else. But the hype around Reevolution made me watch it today. And that was my first exposure to nxt. And even though I knew who won already I was still on the edge of my seat with the zayne match, and all I had to go by was the video package before the match. And the last time I was like that was with Bryan at wrestlemania and before that was Punk/brock. So MAYBE its a case of slim pickings, I dunno. I enjoyed it though.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It struck me as odd that WWE booked the huge venue for the Rumble and then 13,000-seat Allstate Arena for Wrestlemania that year. Why not the other way around? You certainly could've sold more tickets in San Antonio on the WM name than you would've for the Rumble.

    ReplyDelete
  43. For being on a weekday, Starrcade '94 did a respectable number.

    ReplyDelete
  44. The key with Austin is that he was smart enough to know that his character wouldn't work if it was watered down, so 1998-onwards Stone Cold is only maybe 5-10% more mainstream-friendly than the 96-97 Stone Cold.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think Kurt Angle had something to do with that match as well.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You're gonna send some people down there dressed like hockey players?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh and for a pre-Hogan show -- Spring Stampede 1994 -- that was considered a huge success for them, getting a good sized crowd in a building that long had exclusivity rights with the WWF. Getting Zane Bresloff from the WWF to promote big buildings for them was a huge coup.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Another advantage is that you have a regular paycheck and regular gigs that are mostly in Florida. There's no traveling across states to work for a shady promoter who might only pay half of what you were promised.

    I am sure there are a lot of perks to the NXT deals too. I believe they help with housing costs and you have access to a world-class gym, too.

    So it's also a more benefits vs. more money situation.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Has this been posted yet? Because it should be.

    http://botchedspot.com/comic/nxt-takeover/

    ReplyDelete
  50. And Bash at the Beach 95 had 100,000 people on the beach.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I believe the official attendance was 93,17..4.

    ReplyDelete
  52. It all depends on if he can find his US ring legs or not. He's improving, but you can tell he's not quite comfortable working an American style in American rings yet.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sure, but benefits don't put food on the table for a family. You're not wrong, but I'm just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Given that Vince will never walk away from the WWE, is it wrong to (not hope, but) think that Vince's years of coke and steroid use catching up to him could be a massive improvement for the business?

    ReplyDelete
  55. I stand corrected.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Disagree - on a weekly basis, I find it an enjoyable alternative that has its share of negatives, but the one particular PPV that everyone is flipping over? No, that was a PHENOMENAL show.

    I don't think anyone's really saying that NXT as a whole is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  57. In Bobby's own words, he managed like a wrestler, and wrestled like a manager. Also, I think he said it was actually a clothesline from Warrior that broke his neck.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Makes getting thrown off the top of a cage look like child's play!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Vince had just seen Saving Private Ryan and was confused which Omaha it was?

    ReplyDelete