On This Day: January 31, 1988 – WWF Wrestling Challenge: The Main Event Of Its Day

WWF Wrestling Challenge
Date: January 31, 1988
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan

At the moment this is the last show that I have from this era and this show in particular. There will probably be more but until I get them I obviously can’t review them. We’re past the Rumble now and not a lot has changed. However five days after this, we have the live Main Event which is where for the first time in four years, Hulk Hogan won’t be world champion. Let’s get to it.

We get the usual highlights of the city we’re in and Gorilla opens us up.

Bad News Brown debuts today.

Tiger Chung Lee vs. Junkyard Dog

Dog shoves him to the floor and grabs a hammerlock back inside. The announcers talk about Hogan vs. Andre as the powerslam gets the pin in a quick match.

Craig DeGeorge talks about the card for The Main Event on Friday. We get some clips of the matches that set up Hogan vs. Andre II and Harts vs. Strike Force II. DiBiase and Andre say Hogan is going down and DiBiase will get the title.

Scott Casey vs. Greg Valentine

The fans have the Outshout The Mouth megaphones still. They trade slams and Brutus says that whatever problems Valentine has had before, he’ll have real ones coming up soon. Valentine sends him to the floor where Casey manages to get in a few right hands. Back in Casey misses a top rope splash and the Figure Four ends this quick.

House show ads.

Steve Lombardi vs. Sam Houston

Lombardi isn’t the Brawler yet but is still a jobber. Houston works over the arm and an atomic drop gets two. We hear about the Jumping Bomb Angels winning the Women’s Tag Titles at the Rumble as Lombardi’s offense is stopped very quickly. The armbar takes Steve back to the mat and it’s time for Sam to dance. Belly to belly sets up the bulldog for the pin.

Gene tells us that there actually are other things going on in the company besides Hogan vs. Andre. He brings in Hacksaw who talks about how tough the competition is and how you always have to deal with managers anymore. Hacksaw doesn’t like Harley Race either. They make a “going both ways” joke and it sounds very dirty for some reason.

The fans say who thinks will win some of the bigger matches on Friday.

Hart Foundation vs. Omar Atlas/SD Jones

Bret and Jones start things off. Hart gets sent to the floor so Jimmy yells about a hair pull. Strike Force is looking forward to the match on Friday. Atlas gets caught in the Tree of Woe and Neidhart pounds away. Here’s Bret again with a backbreaker and it’s back to Jim. Brain makes fun of the Bomb Angels as the Hart Attack ends this squash.

Dibiase says that he’s going to collect on the biggest deal of his life on Friday. Andre says he wants to be world champion now and it’s going to be Giantmania.

Randy Savage vs. Terry Gibbs

Gibbs gets in a quick shot and that’s about all he’s got going for him in this match. Savage says he’ll beat Honky on Friday. Slam and elbow get the pin.

With Savage still in the ring, Honky, Jimmy and Peggy Sue come out and say nothing of note before Savage comes to the platform.

Bad News Brown vs. Rex King

Brown jumps Rex during the introduction and the pain begins. Total squash just like any debut, ends in about two minutes with the Ghetto Blaster.

House show ads.

British Bulldogs vs. Dusty Wolfe/Barry Horowitz

Barry pounds away on Davey to start and gets suplexed for his efforts. Off to Dynamite for the snap suplex. Davey powerslams him for no cover as Gorilla talks about the show on Friday. For some reason, they’ve never said what network it’ll be on. More suplexes follow and Davey hits a piledriver. He still won’t cover so Dynamite hits a top rope knee. A middle rope belly to back superplex ends this domination.

Rating: C-. The Bulldogs were near the end of their run here and would be gone by the end of the year. Not a bad match but the jobbers literally didn’t get in a single shot of offense at all. The Bulldogs are still fun to watch though and this was decent enough for a main event I guess.

Butch Reed says that Gene’s questions are none of his business. He has soup bones for fists and is going to take out Muraco like he took out Billy Graham.

Hogan says he wants to break DiBiase’s financial empire and that he’ll prove all the doubts about his first victory this Friday.

Gorilla and Bobby wrap it up.

Overall Rating: C. This made me want to pop in The Main Event which makes this a success. The matches weren’t anything of note but it could have been a lot worse of a show. Either way, Hogan vs. Andre is pushed to the moon and the pushing would work as it holds the record for the highest rated wrestling match ever. Good hype show.

Here’s The Main Event if you’re interested:


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1 comment

  1. Redsox4life says:

    The reason why NBC wasn’t mentioned in the hard sells for the Main Event special is because nearly all of the TV stations that carried this show were FOX affiliates and they didn’t want to upset the stations by mentioning a rival network on the air.