WWF Wrestling Challenge October 19th, 1986

October 19, 1986

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY. It was on this taping when the infamous match between Bret Hart and Tom Magee took place. For those who do not know, Magee was a 6’4 275lbs guy with a martial arts and weightlifting background who at one point was declared a future champion by Vince McMahon due to his look and athletic ability but never improved enough and only wrestled at house shows and dark matches sporadically into leaving the WWE in 1989.

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Koko B. Ware, Paul Orndorff, and the The Dream Team.

Steve Lombardi vs. Koko B. Ware

The match starts with a criss-cross sequence that ends with Koko hitting a fist drop. Koko hypes up the crowd by flapping his arms as Heenan makes fun of him. Koko hits a pair of hip tosses but Lombardi rakes his eyes in the corner. Lombardi misses a charge in the corner then Koko hits him with a back elbow smash and a neckbreaker before getting the win with the Ghostbuster (2:36).

Thoughts: Koko was getting over surprisingly well with this gimmick. He was not going to be a main eventer or anything but was good enough to pump up the crowds instead of trotting out crappy lower card guys like Corporal Kirchner, Sivi Afi, and The Honkytonk Man.

Tony Parks vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Bobby Heenan

Johnny Valiant takes Heenan’s place on commentary. Orndorff is still using “Real American” as his theme song. Orndorff starts by hitting a suplex then stomps Parks on the mat before tossing him outside. Back inside, Parks gets drilled with a clothesline then Ordnorff finishes him off with the piledriver (1:26).

Thoughts: I loved Orndorff squash matches at this time. He looked like he killed these guys in the ring but I never heard anyone complain that he was stiff. The fans hatred of him was still there too.

Ken Resnick is with Tito Santana. He asks him about the feud between Roddy Piper and Adrian Adonis, Bob Orton, and Don Muraco. Tito talks about how he heard Piper was “coming around” (meaning he was turning face) then speaks Spanish for a minute before ending by saying he will take back his Intercontinental Title from Randy Savage. 1986 was not a great year in Tito Santana’s career to say the least.

Bob Bradley vs. “The Rebel” Dick Slater

Slater catches Bradley with a hiptoss then works a chinlock as we get an insert promo from Danny Davis, who addresses the fan mail about his antics by telling them they have no clue how to officiate and he will continue to officiate the way he has been. A light “boring” chant breaks out as this match is sucking the life out of this crowd. Slater ducks a crossbody and Bradley crashes onto the floor in a bad looking spot. Man, these two are really phoning it in here. Slater then suplexes Bradley back into the ring and finsihes him off with a top rope elbow drop (3:03). This win got no reaction from the crowd by the way.

Thoughts: Slater got a few boos from the crowd here and that was the only reaction he even had in the match.  He was completely miscast in this role. The match really did suck too as these guys either didn’t gel or just plain did not care.

Ken Resnick is with the Rougeau Brothers. He plays up how they have been undefeated since entering the WWF. The Rougeau’s say that they will wait until the promoters give them a championship match and put over the competition before saying how it is nice to interact with French fans throughout the country. I know this was how babyfaces acted in the 80’s but today, they come off as a couple of wimps.

Jerry Allen & Rick Hunter vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant

Valentine and Allen trade slams to start. We then are shown an insert promo from Valiant, who appeared coked out of his mind as he rambled about how the Dream Team is here to stay. Beefcake tags and beats on Allen for a bit. Hunter tags and catches Beefcake with a few shots but gets caught with a back elbow smash. Beefcake hits him with a powerslam then tags Valentine, who puts Hunter away with the figure four leg lock (2:39).

Thoughts: They were still clinging onto the Dream Team’s WrestleMania II title loss to the Bulldogs for a reason to keep them in the title hunt, despite the fact they have lost numerous times to the Bulldogs since.

The Snake Pit with guest the Junkyard Dog. Jake disses JYD and says that if a judge and a jury sentenced  him to death for being a great wrestler, they would have convicted an innocent man. JYD responds by saying that if they took Jake’s brain and weaved it into cotton they would not have enough to make “a nat a boot.” Hard hitting insult for sure. Anyway, Jake tells JYD he will make him “sing in the ring” as JYD tells him the only things people can make him do is to “stay black and die.”

Sika w/ The Wizard vs. Jose Luis Rivera

Sika chops Rivera out of the ring then rolls him back inside and works a chinlock as he we get another screaming insert promo from The Wizard. Rivera mounts a brief comeback until he gets caught with a knee to the face off of a charge then gets pinned with a falling headbutt (2:08).

Thoughts: Sika was just not over as a heel here. It didn’t help matters any that 75% of the match was him applying a chinlock. As a young kid, Sika legit scared me when he was on TV though.

We are shown a video of Bobby Heenan meeting up with the British Bulldogs and Matilda at a park. Heenan made fun of the dog for a few seconds and it ended. The whole thing felt contrived and Heenan wasn’t even that funny here.

Rudy Diamond & “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal vs. The British Bulldogs

The match starts with the Bulldogs beating on Regal, who did a great job at selling by the way. Diamond tags into the match and works an arm wringer on Davey, who easily reverses the hold. Davey hits him with a powerslam but Regal runs in to break up the hold so Davey puts him in a fireman’s carry and tags Dynamite, who climbs up top and launches off of Regal’s back to hit Diamond with a headbutt for the win (2:16).

Thoughts: The Bulldogs did not appear too comfortable walking Matilda to the ring. The fans loved the team though and their opponents bumped all over the place for them.

Resnick is with Slick. He talks to him about the money he has spent to acquire his stable. Slick said that he was here to establish “managerial supremacy” when he entered the WWF and brings out the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, who says the have a manager to get them title matches.

Next week in action are Bob Orton & Don Muraco, Hillbilly Jim, Butch Reed, and Kamala. Plus we get to see the Machines shopping for cars.

Final Thoughts: This was a really dull show this week. The crowd was dead for most of this too, which is a bad sign since it was the first show of the taping. Not a lot of crowd advancement in this one and two really poor matches made this a very skippable and unmemorable show.

Here is my schedule for the next several days

Saturday: RoH Final Battle 12/28/02
Sunday: WWF Houston Summit House Show 10/19/96
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/25/86
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/26/86