WWF Wrestling Challenge – August 20th, 1989

Just a quick note here. I also recapped the Tito Santana vs. Mr. Perfect match that aired on the 8/21/89 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling” and featured in “WWF Magazine.”

August 20, 1989

From the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, NY

Your hosts as Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week are Jimmy Snuka, Greg Valentine, Rockers, Rick Rude, and Demolition.

 

Jimmy Snuka vs. Barry Horowitz

Horowitz cheap shots Snuka after a break but Snuka fights back with a chop. Snuka follows with a knee drop then puts him away with the Superfly Splash (2:04).

Thoughts: A quick win for Snuka as he will be facing Ted DiBiase at SummerSlam.

 

WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. This is on Roddy Piper as it shows a clip of his segment from WrestleMania V then how he was named the new co-host of “Prime Time Wrestling” as he is arguing with Heenan.

 

Bad News Brown vs. Ben Wagner

The announcers talk about the Heenan/Piper feud as Bad News destroys Wagner. Bad News stays in control until he puts Wagner away with the Ghetto Blaster (1:38). After the match, Bad News puts Wagner in the tree-of-woe and stomps away.

Thoughts: Bad News destroyed another opponent but without a match at SummerSlam or any feuds looming on the horizon he remains stuck in neutral.

 

The Rockers vs. Chris Duffy & Alan Kinsey

The Rockers clear the ring as Tito Santana is shown in an insert promo saying his style fits in with the Rockers and that Rick Martel & The Rougeaus better watch out at SummerSlam. Shawn clotheslines Duffy outside then skins-the–cat back inside as the Rockers stay in control. Kinsey tags in and the Rockers work him over until they put him away with a double flying fist drop (4:00).

Thoughts: The Rockers continue to look great in the ring as the company has built up their six-man tag at SummerSlam really well.

 

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Brian Johnson

Valentine beats on Johnson as we hear from Ronnie Garvin in an insert promo as he said the biggest mistake was putting his career on the line but that Valentine’s biggest mistake was asking for him to be reinstated. Valentine hits a back suplex and shortly after that puts on the figure four and gets the win (2:23).

Thoughts: The Garvin and Valentine feud will once again continue in the ring.

 

We hear from Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake, who tells Hogan it feels like they are backed in a corner. Hogan says they have an ace up their sleeve in Elizabeth, who taught them all about Zeus and Greek mythology. He then goes on about the potion as it dissolved to the usual nonsense. Man, these promos were all insane.

 

Mitch Casey vs. Red Rooster

Rooster works the arm as the announcers talk about the SummerSlam main event. Casey hits a back elbow smash but runs into a boot in the corner as Rooster is shown in an insert promo talking about not going into SummerSlam “half-cocked” and that he will find a way to beat Mr. Perfect. Rooster then puts Casey away with the chicken wing (1:55).

Thoughts: Rooster gets a win to build himself up a bit for when he faces Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam.

 

Gene Okerlund welcomes Bobby Heenan & Rick Rude to the interview platform. Heenan delivers a message to Roddy Piper and that is to keep his mouth shut and watch what he says as he will have to answer and will not like what will happen. Okerlund asks Rude about Warrior’s guarantee that he will win back the Intercontinental Title as Rude brings up how he has beat the Warrior twice and will make a liar out of the him. I like the story of the Ultimate Warrior guaranteeing he will reclaim the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam and how he will let down all of his fans if he fails. It added a lot to the match.

 

SummerSlam Report with Gene Okerlund.

 

Demolition vs. Boris Zhukov & Bill Woods

Zhukov attacks Smash then starts raking the eyes and back then bites his forehead. Smash fights back as the announcers put over Demolition’s Coliseum Home Video tape then they beat on Woods until putting him away with the Decapitation (2:25).

Thoughts: They really put over Demolition’s Coliseum Home Video tape more than anything else.

 

Next week in action are Tito Santana, Mr. Perfect, Ronnie Garvin, and Ted DiBiase.

 

Final Thoughts: They did a solid job of hyping up SummerSlam here. With just one more week of TV to hype up the show, it seems like they’ve just about everything possible to make the viewer want to buy the PPV.

 

Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana

Lord Alfred Hayes and Tito Santana are on commentary for this match that is from the 8/8 “Superstars of Wrestling” TV tapings in Oakland, CA. Perfect chops Tito in the corner but Tito takes him down with an arm drag as they end in a stalemate. Both guys stare each other down as things get intense then Perfect takes Tito down with a fireman’s carry. Tito fights back and dropkicks Perfect outside. Back inside, Tito takes Perfect down and works the arm. Perfect uses a drop toehold but Tito counters and works a hammerlock on the mat. They slug it out as Tito is able to still counter everything Perfect throws at him. Tito works the arm again as we head to break with Heenan now with Gorilla in the main studio as Heenan says Piper was removed from the studio  (This was during the episode where Rick Rude and Roddy Piper were held back from going at each other). Back from the break, Tito is out on the floor. Tito slingshots in with a sunset flip but Perfect gets right up and stomps away. Perfect roughs up Tito, who fights back but Perfect was able to take down Tito as he fell to the mat. Perfect grabs Tito by the hair then works a side headlock on the mat. Tito eventually fights out and takes Perfect down. They struggle in the corner where Perfect hits a clothesline but Tito gets in the ropes to block a Perfect Plex. Tito gets his foot up on a charging Perfect then kicks him in the face. They slug it out as Tito wins that battle as he stomps away in the corner. Tito tries for a figure four as Perfect shoves him off as the bell rings signaling a time-limit draw (20:00) **1/4. Both guys continue to fight until Tito clotheslines Perfect to the floor.

Thoughts: I liked the first half of this match as Tito was able to outperform Mr. Perfect but after the break this match really dragged. The commentary was poor here too as they did not bring up Perfect’s undefeated streak and what could have been a really good match turned out to be mediocre. They had a much better match in the finals of the 1990 IC Title tournament.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/26/89

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/27/89

Wednesday: TBD

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Charles Wright (The Godfather)

Friday: WWF SummerSlam 8/28/89

Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 6/24/82

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/2/89