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WWF Wrestling Challenge January 18, 1987

January 18, 1987

From the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, PA

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be the Can-Am Connection, Butch Reed, and the featured match of the Dream Team & Dino Bravo vs. Tito Santana & Pedro Morales & Hillbilly Jim.

Ray Miller & Joe Mirto & Steve Lombardi vs. Mike Rotundo & Danny Spivey & Blackjack Mulligan

Mulligan finally makes his return to the ring after months of vignettes. Heenan makes fun of him for being fat. Lombardi gets his ass kicked as we get an insert promo from Ron Bass, who will be making his WWF debut very shortly. He screamed a lot as Heenan puts him over. The U.S. Express work over Mirto for a while until Miller tags into the match. The crowd chants for Blackjack and he finally gets tagged into the match as the crowd enjoys seeing him go nuts until he puts Miller away with a jumping back elbow smash (3:41).

Thoughts: The crowd enjoyed seeing Mulligan here. Bass debuting via insert promo does not really seem like the WWF had high hopes for him in the company. Match was boring.

Randy Savage is holding a copy of the new issue of "WWF Magazine" that features him on the cover as he runs down Ricky Steamboat.

Before the next match, Andre the Giant is introduced to the crowd. They go nuts as Andre smiles and heads into the ring. Andre shakes the hand of Mancini then goes over to Slick, who turns his back on Andre, who leaves.

Mario Mancini vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed w/ Slick

Match starts with Reed attack Mancini before the bell. Reed then hits a high knee smash we get an insert promo from Slick telling us how everyone wants to buy Reed's contract from him but that Reed is not for sale. Reed then press slams Mancini then drops an elbow for the win (0:57).

Thoughts: Despite minimal results, the WWF continued to push Reed strong as they are using the gimmick of everyone wanting to buy his contract from Slick due to his unbelievable potential.

Ken Resnick is with the Hart Foundation and asks them about Danny Davis helping them win. Neidhart said that is ridiculous then says that the British Bulldogs taking orders from Matilda is what bothers him as Brett says they should see a psychiatrist. They end by saying they are the best team in the WWF and will become the Tag Team Champions. Neidhart was 99.9% of the team's personality and was killing it in these interviews. Brett struggled mightily on the mic at this point.

Terry Gibbs & The Gladiator vs. Can-Am Connection

The fans are going nuts for the Can-Am's. Heenan and Gorilla go into their bit about joining the WWF Fan Club with Heenan pretending to be excited. Mr. Fuji gives us an insert promo saying the Can-Am's are going down as they are in complete control of the match. Zenk ducks an attack from the Gladiator that knocks Gibbs off of the apron. Gibbs gets revenge and trips him up from the floor. Gladiator is in control then stupidly tosses Zenk into his corner so he can tag out. Martel is a house of fire as he takes out everyone. The Gladiator eats a double dropkick then Zenk hits him with a powerslam and after that, Martel puts him away with a slingshot splash (3:26).

Thoughts: The Can-Am's were insanely over after a short amount of time in the WWF. Girls were constantly screaming for them and the male fans seem to enjoy their fast-paced wrestling. I can't believe Zenk fucked up his meal ticket here.

Tom Sharpe vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Honky misses a chop and gets caught with a small package for a nearfall. Honky then comes right back and knocks down Sharpe, who is shown in an insert promo saying that If Honky wrestles as good as he sings that it will be an easily victory of him then right after that, Sharpe losses to the Shake, Rattle and Roll (0:47).

Thoughts: Very quick win for Honky, who was getting his new heel push.

A replay of "Piper's Pit" from 1/17 when Hogan was presented with his trophy for being a champion for three years as Andre walked on and shook Hogan's hand hard as he said that three years was a long time .

Dino Bravo & Dream Team w/ Johnny V. vs. Pedro Morales & Tito Santana & Hillbilly Jim

Before the match, Heenan rants about how he is disgusted that Hogan got a trophy for being the champion for three years while Andre got nothing for being undefeated for 15 years. He also thinks that Andre deserves more recognition then plays it off like he is not friends with Andre when Gorilla seems suspicious of his motives. Tito and Bravo go back and forth as Gorilla and Heenan are having a heated conversation about Andre and Hogan. Tito hits Beefcake with a flying forearm and covers but Davis refused to count to three. Tito is irate then Beefcake suplexes him and tags Valentine. Shoulderbreaker gets two for Valentine but Tito kicks out of a figure four attempt then tags Morales, who cleans house. Morales covers but Davis stops at one then walks away as Pedro gets up and shoves him then goes after Davis but gets stopped as he walks out with Jim and Tito, who grabs the mic and says that they cannot have a match with Davis as a referee (4:35).

Thoughts: The discussion between Heenan and Gorilla really advanced the storyline about Andre's suspension being lifted as Heenan finally stopped being vague and was 100% pro-Andre on commentary. This also further advanced the Davis storyline as now wrestlers are refusing to work matches with him as a referee due to his antics. They made two key storyline advances in one short TV match. For the guys actually working the match, they were all doing nothing at the time and it stayed that way until WrestleMania.

Tony Nardo vs. George "The Animal" Steele

Steele attacks Nardo and bites his forehead. Steele then tosses Nardo outside and rams his head off of the steps as the announcers talk about WrestleMania III but Gorilla has no information on where it will take place or what the main even will be. Steele tosses Nardo inside and gets the win with a flying hammerlock (1:17).

Thoughts: Typical Steele squash match that the fans liked to see.

Resnick is with The Wizard, Kamala, and Kimchee. Wizard screams about how Kamala is crushing everyone with his splash and how he will take away Hogan's WWF Title.

In action next week will be the Junkyard Dog, Demolition, Kamala, and the featured match of the Rougeau Brothers vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton

Final Thoughts: Decent show this week. They had a lot of angle advancement here with Danny Davis and through commentary on the Andre angle. Blackjack Mulligan made his return and that made the fans in the building happy. Also, they are giving pushes to Can-Am Connection and Butch Reed to inject some new blood near the top of the card. Not bad at all.