WWF Wrestling Challenge February 22nd, 1987

February 22, 1987

From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Junkyard Dog, and the featured bout of George “The Animal” Steele vs. “The Natural” Butch Reed. Plus, we will hear all of the announced matches for WrestleMania III and more.

Chic Donovan vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Both guys start off by trading moves and that leads to a fast-paced Irish whip sequence ending with a hip toss from Steamboat. The Wizard is shown with Sika & Kamala in a screaming promo about WrestleMania III as Donovan has Steamboat grounded. Steamboat hits a backdrop then comes back with a slam and a dropkick. Steamboat hits a clumsy looking backbreaker before applying a chinlock. Steamboat switches to a headlock and maintains the hold after a backbreaker but then gets hit with a back suplex. Donovan dumps Steamboat outside and beats on him as the crowd chants for Steamboat. The announcers hype WrestleMania III as Steamboat fights back and slams Donovan outside the ring then rolls him back in and hits the flying body press for the win (4:53).

Thoughts: The announcers spent most of the match talking about WrestleMania III but really didnt devote all that much time to the Savage/Steamboat saga. Donovan looked solid here. He was a journeyman who wrestled all over and had a solid physique and blonde hair but was on the short side. He could have made a fine lower card guy in the WWF at this time as he had some semblance of a personality. He got in a decent amount of offense as well.

Barry O. vs. Junkyard Dog

Barry bounces off of JYD then misses a dropkick. Heenan is shown in an insert promo with King Harley Race hyping his WrestleMania III match as Barry clotheslines JYD. Barry starts to taunt the crowd but turns around and walks into a sorry excuse for a headbutt then gets the win with a powerslam (1:33).

Thoughts: Barry worked about 99.9% of the match himself as JYD barely even moved. JYD was pathetic in the ring at this point and would become even worse over the next few years.

Gene Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes, who talks about how he has been the master of the full nelson for five years. He then asks the fans for support, as he claims he has never turned his back on them, then tells Hercules the only way he will submit is if his neck is broken then yells about how he will break the neck of Hercules to settle this feud once and for all. Holy shit was Haynes scary here. You really believed him when he said that it would take someone’s neck to be broken in order for hi feud against Hercules ended.

We get a replay of Okerlund’s interview with Roddy Piper from the 2/21/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” in which Piper confirms that WrestleMania III will be his last match. They then show a clip of Piper’s match against Adrian Adonis from “Saturday Night’s Main Event”

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan, who tells us that Hogan has never offered Andre the Giant a championship match and is a “miserable excuse of a human being” for using Andre and now, they will use Hogan.

A replay of the clip with the Can-Am Connection being hounded by female fans from a few weeks with Jesse Ventura disgusted by this taking place.

Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. David Stoudemire & Salvatore Bellomo

Freddie Blassie makes a surprise apperance on commentary as Bellomo works over Orton briefly until he runs into a forearm. Muraco tags and hits a gutbuster as the heels are beating on Bellomo in the corner. We get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji warning the Can-Am Connection what will happen at WrestleMania III as Muraco hits Stoudemire with a gordbuster then tags Orton, who gets the win with a superplex (2:04).

Thoughts: Quick match to build up the vets for the Can-Am Connection at WrestleMania III.

Replay of the “Snake Pit” from the 2/21/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” where the Honky Tonk Man attacked Jake Roberts with a guitar.

WrestleMania Report with Gene Okerlund as he runs down all of the matches and gives us information on how to get tickets and the local locations that are showing it on closed-circuit television.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Steele chased Slick out of the ring before the match but that allows Reed to attack him from behind. Steele fights back and chases him around the ring but gets distracted again by Slick. Steele fights back and when the ref checks on Reed, Slick hits Steele with his cane. Steele chases Slick backstage and is looking for him as he sees Koko B. Ware backstage watching on the monitor where he tells Steele to get back into the ring. At this point the bell has already rung but Steele & Koko run out to the ring and sees Slick and Reed. Steele chases after Slick then Koko hits Reed with a missile dropkick to finally clear them both from the ring (1:33).

Thoughts: Although the action was poor it was a bit entertaining to watch and it helped build more tension for the Reed/Ware match at WrestleMania III. Steele truly was great in his role.

Okerlund is with Ricky Steamboat, who promises to give everything he has so he can win the Intercontinental Title. He leaves then Hogan comes in and first says that he thrives on the passion of guys like Ricky Steamboat and Billy Jack Haynes then cuts a promo on Andre as he calls him a liar and to be ready for the test of his life. Good promos from both guys.

Next week in action will be Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Hart Foundation, and the featured bout of Roddy Piper vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.

Final Thoughts: This show was okay overall but it would have been a lot better had you missed “Superstars of Wrestling” because you got all of the hot angles. They did some angle advancement for the WrestleMania III lower card matches as far as original stuff and had some entertaining promos as well.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: RoH Wrestlerave 6/28/03
Sunday: WWF Madison Square Garden 2/23/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/28/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/1/87