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WWF Wrestling Challenge February 22nd, 1987

February 22, 1987

From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Junkyard Dog, and the featured bout of George "The Animal" Steele vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed. Plus, we will hear all of the announced matches for WrestleMania III and more.

Chic Donovan vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Both guys start off by trading moves and that leads to a fast-paced Irish whip sequence ending with a hip toss from Steamboat. The Wizard is shown with Sika & Kamala in a screaming promo about WrestleMania III as Donovan has Steamboat grounded. Steamboat hits a backdrop then comes back with a slam and a dropkick. Steamboat hits a clumsy looking backbreaker before applying a chinlock. Steamboat switches to a headlock and maintains the hold after a backbreaker but then gets hit with a back suplex. Donovan dumps Steamboat outside and beats on him as the crowd chants for Steamboat. The announcers hype WrestleMania III as Steamboat fights back and slams Donovan outside the ring then rolls him back in and hits the flying body press for the win (4:53).

Thoughts: The announcers spent most of the match talking about WrestleMania III but really didnt devote all that much time to the Savage/Steamboat saga. Donovan looked solid here. He was a journeyman who wrestled all over and had a solid physique and blonde hair but was on the short side. He could have made a fine lower card guy in the WWF at this time as he had some semblance of a personality. He got in a decent amount of offense as well.

Barry O. vs. Junkyard Dog

Barry bounces off of JYD then misses a dropkick. Heenan is shown in an insert promo with King Harley Race hyping his WrestleMania III match as Barry clotheslines JYD. Barry starts to taunt the crowd but turns around and walks into a sorry excuse for a headbutt then gets the win with a powerslam (1:33).

Thoughts: Barry worked about 99.9% of the match himself as JYD barely even moved. JYD was pathetic in the ring at this point and would become even worse over the next few years.

Gene Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes, who talks about how he has been the master of the full nelson for five years. He then asks the fans for support, as he claims he has never turned his back on them, then tells Hercules the only way he will submit is if his neck is broken then yells about how he will break the neck of Hercules to settle this feud once and for all. Holy shit was Haynes scary here. You really believed him when he said that it would take someone's neck to be broken in order for hi feud against Hercules ended.

We get a replay of Okerlund's interview with Roddy Piper from the 2/21/87 edition of "Superstars of Wrestling" in which Piper confirms that WrestleMania III will be his last match. They then show a clip of Piper's match against Adrian Adonis from "Saturday Night's Main Event"

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan, who tells us that Hogan has never offered Andre the Giant a championship match and is a "miserable excuse of a human being" for using Andre and now, they will use Hogan.

A replay of the clip with the Can-Am Connection being hounded by female fans from a few weeks with Jesse Ventura disgusted by this taking place.

Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. David Stoudemire & Salvatore Bellomo

Freddie Blassie makes a surprise apperance on commentary as Bellomo works over Orton briefly until he runs into a forearm. Muraco tags and hits a gutbuster as the heels are beating on Bellomo in the corner. We get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji warning the Can-Am Connection what will happen at WrestleMania III as Muraco hits Stoudemire with a gordbuster then tags Orton, who gets the win with a superplex (2:04).

Thoughts: Quick match to build up the vets for the Can-Am Connection at WrestleMania III.

Replay of the "Snake Pit" from the 2/21/87 edition of "Superstars of Wrestling" where the Honky Tonk Man attacked Jake Roberts with a guitar.

WrestleMania Report with Gene Okerlund as he runs down all of the matches and gives us information on how to get tickets and the local locations that are showing it on closed-circuit television.

"The Natural" Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. George "The Animal" Steele

Steele chased Slick out of the ring before the match but that allows Reed to attack him from behind. Steele fights back and chases him around the ring but gets distracted again by Slick. Steele fights back and when the ref checks on Reed, Slick hits Steele with his cane. Steele chases Slick backstage and is looking for him as he sees Koko B. Ware backstage watching on the monitor where he tells Steele to get back into the ring. At this point the bell has already rung but Steele & Koko run out to the ring and sees Slick and Reed. Steele chases after Slick then Koko hits Reed with a missile dropkick to finally clear them both from the ring (1:33).

Thoughts: Although the action was poor it was a bit entertaining to watch and it helped build more tension for the Reed/Ware match at WrestleMania III. Steele truly was great in his role.

Okerlund is with Ricky Steamboat, who promises to give everything he has so he can win the Intercontinental Title. He leaves then Hogan comes in and first says that he thrives on the passion of guys like Ricky Steamboat and Billy Jack Haynes then cuts a promo on Andre as he calls him a liar and to be ready for the test of his life. Good promos from both guys.

Next week in action will be Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Hart Foundation, and the featured bout of Roddy Piper vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff.

Final Thoughts: This show was okay overall but it would have been a lot better had you missed "Superstars of Wrestling" because you got all of the hot angles. They did some angle advancement for the WrestleMania III lower card matches as far as original stuff and had some entertaining promos as well.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: RoH Wrestlerave 6/28/03
Sunday: WWF Madison Square Garden 2/23/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/28/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/1/87


  1. That was a mistake on my part. I mixed it up with the Superstars tapings in Tampa

  2. Bret “Drip Man” Hart

    Just.. perfect..

  3. I have one with a Savage/Luger Dream Match. I believe I also have a Flair/Hogan one, but I'd have to look.

  4. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJanuary 9, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Haynes claimed him and Hercules were at one time considered for the main event slot of WMIII.


  5. Did the LOD-Money Inc title switch actually happen then? I thought it was one of those "tournament in Rio"-style deals where the match never actually happened, it was just that one day Ted and Irwin were the champions.

  6. I bought a bundle of early 90s WWF magazines at a huge flea market a while back. I still have them somewhere.

  7. I myself have gone to many a show at the Lee Civic Center. Last one I attended was a WCW house show right after Flair had his head slammed in the cage door by Perfect and the nWo, and the heat against Hennig was off the charts.

  8. No one will ever hear me advocating that Vince was "right" for basically going back on his word re: Bret's contract. Nor will you ever hear me side with Shawn Michaels in that era. However, Bret really needed to be a "big picture" guy in this situation. Just drop the fake title, say "farewell" in your home country, and enjoy your $3 million/year contract. Hell, let the contract issue with McMahon motivate you to go to the competition and make him live to regret it. I think it would have saved him a lot of baggage and heartache if he had just laid down and "remembered he is in the sports entertainment *business*". Vince could not afford to get burned and had to put his company above Bret's own markdom.

  9. Yeah. I think any reasonable person says "fuck it, I'll lay down for Shawn all you want. I'm about to go make $3 million a year from the competition! I'm riiiiiich biiiiiitch". But no.

  10. I'm sure you're right. And to that end, it worked well. Mountie wasn't as "established" or credible as Honky was, but he didn't really need to be either. He was a ratfuck heel who people wanted to see Piper beat. Very effective

  11. I was always a PWI guy myself. *shrug*

  12. What's the deal with the random Batman symbol?

  13. When I first got into wrestling, my next door neighbor gave me a shitload of Coliseum videos she'd gotten from her grandfather who used to work in a video store that shut down. The Mountie was ALL OVER those tapes, so I'll always have a soft spot for the character. His feud against Bossman gave me a love of goofy entrance music that persists to this day.

    I'm really just posting this to brag about how amazing it is that it was so easy to find my new avatar in Google image search.

  14. We had one in our local newspaper that I used to call. It was full of wrong information. I mean just made up stuff like Cactus Jack really being from Truth or Consequences, N.M. Is that even a real city?

  15. Do you remember when that show was? I looked at 1997 and 1998 WCW results on History of WWE, and the only Ft. Myers shows I could find were Saturday Night tapings and a house show that happened two months before the Hennig/Flair thing.

  16. Heh- remember their "computer" that showed them who would win using advanced match descriptions and 3-D graphics?

  17. That magazine was re-released several times. I have one that only covers Mania's 1-7 and it's page for page the same thing. I bet it was released a few times before that, too.

  18. "This feature would not last much longer in the magazine and the cartoon did a good job showing how few people were attending WWF events in 1995 as NO fans can be seen! "

    Lol...tooooooo funny! I am loving this series!!


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