WWF Wrestling Challenge October 26th, 1986

October 26, 1986

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Don Muraco & Bob Orton, Hillbilly Jim, Butch Reed, and Kamala. Plus, the “Snake Pit” with guest The Honkytonk Man.

Mike Kelly & Nick Kiniski vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton w/ Mr. Fuji

The heels come out Piper’s theme music. Orton and Kiniski start off with a nice squence that ends with Kinski taking Orton down with an armdrag. Muraco tags as we get another insert promo from Mike Rotundo talking about how Danny Spivey will be back shortly from knee surgery. Muraco beats on Kiniski for a bit. Kelly tags and Orton immediately attacks him. Orton hits a suplex then tags Muraco, who puts him away with the tombstone that he dedicates to Heenan (2:12).

Thoughts: The heels coming out to the face’s music thing got played out here as Orndorff was doing it to Hogan, making it little reason for Muraco & Orton do copy that. Speaking of Muraco & Orton, they are just keeping the Piper/Adonis feud alive until Adonis returns.

We are shown a “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” from Harley Race and Bobby Heenan. They are upset that the “peasants” are not getting down on one knee when the King comes out to the ring. The King gimmick was not one of the best to be honest. Over time, Harley got a bit more comfortable with it but it was rough at the beginning.

Al Navarro vs. Hillbilly Jim

Heenan shows us an insert promo of Jim’s “fan club” which is a bunch of animals making noises. Jim starts the match by overpowering Navarro as Heenan rags on Jim the entire time. Navarro cheapshots Jim but misses a knee strike in the corner and Jim goes back on offense. Jim takes him down with a big boot then catches him with the bearhug for the win (2:32).

Thoughts: This match was terrible but the WWF was giving Jim another singles push her as Cousin Luke was cast aside.

Ken Resnick is with Jake Roberts, who says it does not matter who he wrestlers as he has no fans in this business and talks about becoming a champion and says that the Intercontinental Title is on his mind as once you have that, you are on the champion’s mind then calls out Randy Savage.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Don Driggers

Slick cuts off ring announcer Mel Phillips so he can introduce Reed himself. We get an insert promo from JYD who says that there is nothing natural about Reed. At least that was the part I could actually understand. The match starts with Reed overpowering Driggers while stopping to flex on occasion. Driggers works the arm for a bit until Reed knocks him down. Reed roughs up Driggers then drops him throat-first on the top rope. Reed then catches Driggers with a slam before putting him away with a clothesline from the middle rope (2:42).

Thoughts: I liked Reed and his initial push was somewhat reminiscent of how Hercules was brought in but Reed was better in the ring and had a lot more charisma. He seemed to be his own worst enemy as to why he did not make it further in the company though.

Resnick is with the Honky Tonk Man, calling him a controversial figure. Honky cuts a promo about how talented the WWF is and that he’s glad to be here. Honky also says how some fans do not like when he wrestles because he struts too much. They are starting to have Honky mention the boos he is receiving but still trying to make him work as a face. At least they stopped that and went the heel route with much better results.

We are shown a video of the Machines trying to buy a compact car. The dealer tries to rip them off and they do not buy because the cars are too small. This was awful but luckily this gimmick was just about finished.

Dino Bravo w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Sivi Afi

Bravo starts by hitting an armdrag and a slam as we get an insert promo from both Bravo and Valiant, who declares that Bravo will be going to the top. Afi comes back with a pair of armdrags as Bravo takes a break so he can listen to Valiant. Bravo catches Afi with a clothesline then drops him throat-first on the ropes. Leg drop gets two. Knee drop gets two. Afi comes back with a crossbody then punches away at Bravo in the corner but misses a charge then gets hit with a back suplex and Bravo covers for the win (2:29).

Thoughts: The crowd was silent during this match as they didn’t care about these two. They always rejected Afi as a Snuka knockoff and Dino would not get over at all as a heel for another two years.

The Snake Pit with guest the Honkytonk Man. Roberts asks Honky if his mother got her wish when she asked for her son to become a strong and successful man. Honky asks Jake who made him the authority on what his mother thinks as Jake makes fun of him for being an Elvis impersonator and they go back and forth for a bit as the fans remain silent as they hated Honky and Jake was still a heel so the segment died in front of the crowd.

Moondog Spot & Jimmy Jack Funk vs. The Killer Bees

The Bees have brought their masks with them. Spot catches Blair with a knee then works the arm for a bit. Blair takes down Spot then tags out as we have shown an insert promo from referee Dave Hebner as he says it is a tough job being a referee but despite all of that he thinks Danny Davis should be up for review. The Bees work over Funk until he tags out and Spot beats on Blair. Backbreaker gets two. Funk tags and hits a shoulderbreaker then hits a fist drop. Spot tags but misses an elbow drop and Blair makes the tag as the crowd stays silent with the exception of a few boring chants. Brunzell roughs up Funk before Blair hits him with the Bee Sting, which looked awful. Spot breaks up the pin attempt and the match breaks down until the Bees use a double noggin-knocker then hit Funk with an atomic drop/dropkick combo (3:35).

Thoughts: Decent action but this crowd has had enough of this show, which has been subpar to say the least. The Bees seemed to wrestle on every show in 1986.

Ricky Steamboat delivers a PSA on saying no to drugs.

We are shown the clip from “Tuesday Night Titans” where Kamala “eats” the live chicken. Wow, this was about two years old and had Blassie as his manager too, making it odd for them to show the clip. They were using older clips to hype up the wrestlers at this time, mostly from “TNT” which had just been cancelled at this point but with an expanded audience, the clips are new if you haven’t seen them before.

Tony Nardo vs. Kamala w/ The Wizard & Kimchee

Kamala tosses Nardo around then hits him with several chops before slapping his own belly. Kamala hits more chops then hits Nardo with a big boot before putting him away with a splash (1:35). After the match, Kimchee prevents Kamala from hitting a second splash.

Thoughts: Not much to this match as Kamala continues to get the monster push before being fed to Hogan.

Resnick is with Ricky Steamboat, who talks about what it takes to become a champion today. He then talks about Savage and Elizabeth as George Steele comes out, because Steamboat mentioned Elizabeth by name, and talks about how Savage uses Elizabeth. Steele tells Steamboat that he can beat Savage as he will worry about Elizabeth as someone needs to take the belt and Elizabeth away from Savage. I found Steele entertaining in this role as a comedy guy, actually.

Next week’s featured match is for the Intercontinental Title as Savage defends the belt against Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. In fact, it was quite dull. There were no big angle advancements and the crowd was dead for a majority of the matches. Next week looks better at least as we get an Intercontinental Title match.