WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 7, 1988: Steven Richards Approves Of This Show

WWF Wrestling Challenge
Date: February 7, 1988
Location: Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, Salisbury, Maryland
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan

What a name for a venue. We’re past the Rumble and the Main Event, but only the Rumble had aired when this show was taped. We won’t be into a post Main Event set of tapings until the end of the month so for now all you’re going to hear about is the Rumble (in theory). We’re getting into some very interesting times now though so let’s get to it.

We hear from the arena manager who welcomes us to the arena.

Vince says that the announcers aren’t allowed to talk about the ending of The Main Event. That’s pretty clever actually.

Opening sequence.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules

Hercules gets fired up before the match. Heenan is at ringside for this so Vince is alone on commentary. It’s a pre-match posedown because the chain is still in the ring. We’re going to get a tug of war to start. There’s been no contact yet. They keep moving their hands closer and Herc kicks him in the ribs. They keep pulling on the chain and it breaks in half. Herc hits him with half of the chain and the thing is thrown out before it officially starts.

Herc has to be pulled off of Warrior allowing the painted one to come back and choke Hercules to the back. This would result in a Wrestlemania rematch.

Mania is officially announced for Atlantic City at 4pm. We hear about some people who are going to be in the city although not exactly at the show.

Jerry Gray/Rex King vs. The Bolsheviks

Slick is with the Russians here. Heenan is back on commentary here. After the Russian anthem Nikolai goes after Gray. Heenan wants to talk about Indianapolis but he’s not allowed to. Off to Boris who gets pounded in the corner which gets him sent to the floor. Nikolai and King come in and Boris hits King in the back of the head. A double ax to the chest gets the pin. Squash.

Demolition says that Billy Jack Haynes and Ken Patera can’t stop them. They want whoever they can get their hands on, but they especially want the new champions, Strike Force.

Bad News is back next week.

Gino Carabella/Brian Costello vs Young Stallions

Roma and I think Costello start things off. Powers comes in with a sunset flip and it’s back to Roma. Heenan talks about hanging out with Donald Trump. The jobbers double team Roma but the Stallions make a blind tag. Roma (I think the illegal man) pins Costello with a belly to belly suplex.

Slick and the One Man Gang say that the Gang will win the world title this coming year.

The Bulldogs say thank you for your get well wishes to Matilda.

Rick Rude vs. Brady Boone

These two went to high school together actually. Boone jumps over Rude in the corner and does it again. His momentum is short lived as he walks into a powerslam for two. Rude Awakening ends this quick.

Jim Duggan talks about winning the Rumble. He’s always got the board in case he needs it.

Butch Reed vs. Dave Stoudemire

Heenan comes back into the booth and talks about The Main Event but it’s censored. There’s nothing to say here. It runs about two and a half minutes and Reed wins with a top rope shoulder block.

We get clips from the Rumble with Dino Bravo trying for a world bench press record. They only show about two minutes here but the whole thing ran about twenty and ended with Jesse helping.

We also get a clip of the end of the Women’s Tag Title match.

Demolition vs. Rick Hunter/Omar Atlas

Atlas starts and gets beaten down very quickly. Off to Hunter who is taken down even faster. Hunter gets demolished and the Decapitator ends this quick.

Ron Bass thinks all the top talent is hiding from him.

Heenan gets censored again and Vince leans his head in front of Bobby’s mouth so no one can read his lip. That’s a pretty good idea.

Overall Rating: C. The show was just ok but the story was clearly coming strong here and it would only be a matter of time before the whole thing finally got to be talked about. Once that happens, the road to Mania will begin and we’re only about seven weeks away from that show anyway. The wrestling wasn’t great here, but the story was.

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