WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 10, 1988: Can We Go Back To Superstars Please?

WWF Wrestling Challenge
Date: January 10, 1988
Location: Civic Center, Fort Meyers, Florida
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan

Hopefully this week is a normal episode in this series. From what I can tell this is a series of squashes plus some highlights from a SNME match with Bundy and Hogan which is really there for the post match stuff. Other than that there’s not much going on as the stuff for Mania wouldn’t get rolling until February. Let’s get to it.

British Bulldogs vs. Steve Lombardi/Terry Gibbs

Gibbs and Smith start things off as Heenan is saying the Islanders are innocent in the Matilda theft. Off to Lombardi and the Kid. There’s the snap suplex and it’s off to Gibbs. We get an inset interview from the Islanders with an empty leash which apparently explains that they don’t have Matilda. Lombadri gets in some offense on Dynamite but a clothesline puts Steve down. Back to Smith for some suplexes. Powerslam puts him down but Gibbs saves. The gorilla press headbutt combo ends this.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here but the Bulldogs continue to be awesome. It was a backdrop for the feud with the Islanders which is fine. Heenan’s crazy laughter is pretty creepy in its own right. Nothing to see here as a match but the Bulldogs were totally awesome and made up for the squash aspects of the match.

We get a clip of Matilda being dognapped which is a couple of minutes long. Basically there was a Bulldogs vs. Islanders match and Matilda went after Heenan. The Islanders got knocked to the floor so they stole Matilda.

Jack Tunney says that until Matilda is back, the Islanders are suspended without pay.

Ron Bass vs. Omar Atlas

Atlas tries to use speed which works for about thirty seconds. Heenan spends the match ranting about Tunney and the banning. Bass gives a quick inset interview about how tough he is. A modified Pedigree (no arm trap) gets the pin easily for Bass.

Dino Bravo has a new manager: Frenchy Martin. Bravo says he’ll be coming after Hogan and the title this year.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Dusty Wolfe

No name for the jobber here. Total dominance by Bigelow who shows off with some nice jumping stuff. Bigelow misses a charge in the corner and Gorilla names the jobber: Dusty Wolfe. Bigelow brushes off the offense and hits a suplex followed by a slingshot splash to literally squash Wolfe.

We go to Gene for an explanation about the Rumble Royal. Yes that’s what he said. He explains the concept and brings in the Killer Bees who are excited to be in it.

Danny Davis/Hart Foundation vs. Doug Wellington/???/???

Davis starts with let’s say Wellington. Clothesline gets two for Wellington and it’s off to Jobber #1. Bret comes in to run him over and drop an elbow before bringing in Neidhart. Here’s Jobber #2 and I don’t think Gorilla knows their names either. Hart Attack and we’re done quick.

Here are the highlights from Hogan vs. Bundy which runs like 10 seconds and is Hogan whipping Bundy into the corner and dropping the leg for the pin. Post match Andre comes in and chokes him out. The British Bulldogs come in but can’t do a thing. An army of guys come in and Duggan hits Andre with the 2×4 to break it up.

We go to DiBiase and Virgil who bring out Andre and Heenan as his latest purchase. This was a common thing back in the day: this promo aired “in the arena” on both Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. It’s the same thing and it ends with Andre saying he’ll get the belt for DiBiase.

Jerry Gray vs. Sam Houston

This is actually joined in progress for some reason. There’s nothing to see here. Gray hammers on him for a bit, Houston hammers back, a back elbow puts Jerry down and the bulldog wins it.

Greg Valentine vs. Pete Sanchez

Total domination with a lot of slams from Valentine. He sends Sanchez to the floor and puts him down inside with a belly to back. Elbow drop and figure four end this quickly.

Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Renslow

Renslow is a very hairy man. He jumps Koko to start but gets knocked down with a variety of dropkicks. Ghostbuster (brainbuster) ends this. It was barely a minute long.

Steamboat is looking forward to a good year in 1988. He has another mouth to feed now because he has a son. Steamboat wants the IC Title back and he wouldn’t mind getting his hands on Rick Rude either.

Gorilla gives us a preview of next week and we’re out.

Overall Rating: D. I really wasn’t that into this one. The longest match was about three minutes long and the matches were somehow more boring than on Superstars. It’s not terrible I guess but it’s nothing that you’re going to want to watch on a regular basis. Naturally that’s what I’ll be doing, but I have an unhealthy obsession with this time period in WWF history. Bad show, but it was about what you would expect on this show.

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