Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WWF Wrestling Challenge March 1st, 1987

March 1, 1987

From the Civic Center in Springfield, MA

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be the Hart Foundation, Randy Savage, and the featured bout of Bruno Sammartino vs. Nikolai Volkoff. Plus another special report on WrestleMania III and more.



A clip of the Hart Foundation winning the Tag Team Titles from the British Bulldogs is shown.



Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. S.D. Jones & "Leaping" Lanny Poffo

Poffo's poem is directed at Davis and how he will get destroyed at WrestleMania III. Match starts with Neidhart attacking Poffo but missing a corner charge. Poffo hits a dropkick then tags out. Brett catches S.D. with a knee in the back from the apron as we get an insert promo from Tito Santana & British Bulldogs to hype their WrestleMania III match. The Hart Foundation double team S.D. then use quick tags to isolate him until they get the win with the Hart Attack (2:35). After the match Davis stomps on S.D.

Thoughts: A nice little showcase for the Tag Team Champions. It also helped further establish Davis as part of the act.



We get a replay of the contract signing between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant from "Superstars of Wrestling." If you have not seen this before, click on the link below. It is an incredible segment.





Mario Mancini vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan in the booth. The Junkyard Dog is shown in an insert promo telling Heenan that he is going to show him how to courtsey, in response of Heenan teaching him to bow before Race. Match starts with Race taking down Mancini and dropping the knee as Johnny V suggests the female referee for this match go home and wash her dirty dishes. Race then hits a few stomps and a couple more kneedrops. Race hits a gutwrench suplex then finally puts him away with the cradle suplex (1:25).

Thoughts: Just another segment to keep the lukewarm JYD/Race feud going. Race was a dud as the King. Even Heenan yelling at the crowd to bow couldn't get him much heat. His methodical style of wrestling also did not help things any either.



Gene Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes and asks him about his feud with Hercules. Haynes goes nuts and tells him that he is the master of the full nelson, promising that he will break his neck in the middle of the ring. Good lord he is a lunatic.



Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Koko B. Ware

Sharpe ducks outside as Koko pumps up the crowd. Back inside, Sharpe hits a clothesline as Butch Reed is shown in an insert promo threatening Koko. Sharpe gets sent to the floor then gets dragged back into the ring. Koko hits a backdrop then connects with a missile dropkick before getting the win with a ghostbuster (1:59).

Thoughts: The Birdman is still able to get the crowd going with his ridiculous act. It was quite the accomplishment. Sadly, he was one step above a TV jobber.



Bob Uecker is backstage with Jesse Ventura, who teaches him how to pose. Jesse tells him that he looks a lot better than Vince McMahon as Uecker is flexing. Again, Uecker looks to be having a blast doing these segments.



Okerlund is with the Rougeau Brothers, asking them about their match against the Dream Team at WrestleMania III. Jacques talks about dreaming to wrestle at the Montreal Forum as a kid but now that dream is WrestleMania. Okerlund talks about how 93,000 fans will be in attendance as Raymond cuts a promo in French for all of their fans. Another bland babyface promo from the Rougeau Brothers.



We are shown a vignette of Hacksaw Jim Duggan sweeping stuff out of the arena door saying that he is looking to take out the trash, like Randy Savage. Duggan was sporting the jeans and American Flag bandana look here. As far as the vignette itself it was only about 25 seconds long and not particularly good.



Jim Powers vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage w/ Elizabeth

Johnny V. has rejoined the booth, replacing Heenan. Savage slugs away then slams Powers as Ricky Steamboat is shown in an insert promo talking about how he has put a twist in things by having George Steele in his corner. Powers blocks a turnbuckle smash and hits one of his own. He fires away but Savage blocks his monkey flip attempt and shortly after that, Savage gets the win with a flying elbow smash (1:41).

Thoughts: Savage TV squash matches were always fun. He was the best all around wrestler in the company and probably the entire country at this point.



Replay of the "WrestleMania Report" from "Superstars of Wrestling," where we learn that Alice Cooper will be in the corner of Jake Roberts at WrestleMania III in his match against The Honkytonk Man.



Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick & Iron Sheik vs. Bruno Sammartino

This replaces the previously advertised Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff matched, which was postponed for some reason. I know Orndorff was hurt but he was still working house shows at this point as he worked the night before in Toronto and at the "Saturday Night's Main Event taping a few days after this was taped. Nikolai attacks Bruno then stomps away for a while but eats boot on a charge. Bruno then fights back and slugs Volkoff down. Bruno punches away in the corner as we get an insert promo from the Killer Bees hyping their WrestleMania III match against Sheik & Volkoff. Back to the match as Bruno is destroying Volkoff. He then puts him in a single leg crab but Sheik runs in to break it up for the DQ (2:37). Bruno fights them off for as long as he can until the Killer Bees run out to make the save.

Thoughts: Fun way to end the show and it gives the Bees a rub to be next to Bruno like that. Bruno could still go in the ring at this point. Volkoff was useless here.



Okerlund is with the Haiti Kid, Little Beaver, and Hillbilly Jim, who talks about his "little buddies." Jim tells us that King Kong Bundy is a "nasty fellow" but he promises that he will protect them from Bundy as long as they take care of their fellow midget competitors. Beaver and Haiti, who can barely speak English, then cut unmemorable promos.



Next week in action will be the Can-Am Connection, Tito Santana, and Kamala.



Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. It advanced feuds and storylines for all of the undercard matches at WrestleMania III plus you got to see the contract signing incase you missed "Superstars of Wrestling." Its been an entertaining ride on the road to WrestleMania III.



Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Kimberly Page
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/7/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03
Sunday: (no recap on the Sunday of a WWE PPV)
Tuesday: WWF Boston Garden House Show 3/7/87

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