Sunday, January 4, 2015

WWF Wrestling Challenge February 15th, 1987

February 15, 1986

From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be Tito Santana, Randy Savage, King Harley Race, and the Rougeau Brothers & Hillbilly Jim vs. The Dream Team & Johnny V. Plus, updates on WrestleMania III and much more.




Johnny V. & The Dream Team w/ Dino Bravo vs. Rougeau Brothers & Hillbilly Jim

Jim catches Valentine's foot then his an atomic drop. Raymond tags and they slug it out until he hits a chop. Jacques and Beefcake tag in and have an Irish whip sequence that ends with Jacques getting two off of a backslide after Valentine breaks that up. Valentine tags and softens up Jacques before tagging Johnny, who acts cocky then gets caught with a small package as Jacques gets the win (2:43). After the match, Bravo runs in and hits Jacques. However, the faces end up clearing the heels from the ring shortly after that.

Thoughts: This was designed to further along Bravo's feud with the Rougeau Brothers. And really, it also shows how much the Dream Team and even Hillbilly Jim were afterthoughts at this point.



Gene Okerlund tells us we can join the WWF Fan Club by reading the details inside of WWF Magazine. That's how you sell the magazine to the kids.



A replay of Jack Tunney suspending referee Danny Davis for life then Jimmy Hart declaring that Davis is now a wrestler and the newest member of his stable. They actually showed it in its entirety, which was several minutes long.



Okerlund is with Paul Roma. He talks him up a bit before asking him about Steve Lombardi, who Roma says they have signed a contract to wrestle. Okerlund then puts over Roma's physique. You could tell they thought something of Roma here and really he was a solid worker with a good look. Too bad he was short though. That held him back, IMO.



We are shown a vignette of Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man in the recording studio. Honky says that he doesnt care about the fact that he is holding Elvis Presley's guitar or that he is in his studio because he cannot sing. Honky then says that he is not like Elvis as he can sing and does not need grease in his hair. These vignettes managed to make Honky and Hart even more unlikable, which was tough to do at this point.



Jerry Allen vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage w/ Elizabeth

Allen attacks Savage from behind to a massive pop but gets caught with a stungun. Savage then slams Allen before climbing up top and getting the win with the flying elbow smash (0:29). Savage had his glasses and coat on the entire time.

Thoughts: Gorilla put over Savage as a fighting champion here and other than that, not much else to say.



We are now shown a promo from Savage who promises to make sure that Steamboat remains handicapped if they ever wrestle again. Even the 3rd billing on WrestleMania III had a tremendous build.



Okerlund is with George Steele, who is holding a bowl filled with Valentine's Day candy. They have a comedy segment in which Steele picks the good candy for Elizabeth and gives Savage a "lemon." Not bad as these two are pros and could make it interesting.



Moondog Spot vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Before the match we are shown an insert promo of Heenan teaching the Junkyard Dog how to bow and kneel before the King. Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Match starts with Race headbutting Spot off of a break. Spot comes back and hits a running knee smash but Race avoids a second one then puts Spot away with a cradle suplex (0:36).

Thoughts: The announcers talked about the venue for WrestleMania III for the duration of this short match.



Replay of Piper's Pit with Hogan accepting Andre the Giant's challenge for WrestleMania III is shown.



Billy Jack Haynes vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Heenan is back on commentary as Gorilla goads him about Hogan accepting Andre's challenge, with Heenan not thinking it is a big deal. Haynes starts the match by hitting a crossbody and a dropkick. Haynes then grabs a chinlock as we get an insert promo from Hercules challenging Haynes to a match at WrestleMania III. Lee briefly takes control with his shitty offense that consists of nerve holds and back rakes. Lee chops him down but Haynes blocks a second one then locks on the full nelson as Lee submits (2:53).

Thoughts: Haynes was pretty over with this crowd. Heenan called him "Billy Jerk" repeatedly.



Red Demon & The Gladiator vs. Killer Bees

For those wondering, the Red Demon is Jose Luis Rivera under the mask. The Bees trade off working on the arm of the Red Demon. Slick is then shown in an insert promo telling us that Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff will be facing the Bees at WrestleMania III. The Gladiator tags in and gets caught with a dropkick but the Demon makes the save as the match briefly breaks down. The Bees use the double noggin-knocker then Blair hits The Gladiator with the Bee Sting for the win (3:12).

Thoughts: Dull stuff but we have another match added to WrestleMania III now so that is good. The Bees act was starting to wear thin around this time.



Okerlund is with the Hart Foundation, who think the British Bulldogs have sour grapes over losing the titles. Brett says that they have the secret weapon, which Neidhart walks right in front of the camera and yells "Hart Attack." The Hart's then put over Jimmy Hart as Neidhart cracks me up the entire time. With Neidhart's personality and Brett's in-ring ability, they made a perfect team.



Next week in action will be Ricky Steamboat, Junkyard Dog, and the featured match of George "The Animal" Steele vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed.



Final Thoughts: Solid show. They replayed all of the big moments from "Superstars of Wrestling" and furthered along the secondary feuds too. The WWF was putting out a great product at this time.



And my schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/21/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with the Fantastics, Disc One
Friday:RF Video Shoot Interview with the Fantastics, Disc Two
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/22/87
Saturday: RoH WrestleRave 6/28/03
Sunday: WWF Madison Square Garden 2/23/87

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