WWF Wrestling Challenge September 6th, 1987

September 6, 1987

From the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week are Strike Force, Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake, Paul Orndorff, and the One Man Gang.

 

Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jerry Monti

Gorilla brings up how Randy Savage got pissed about Honky calling himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Honky works over Monti as Hart is shown in an insert promo upset over Hulk Hogan being on the cover of the “Piledriver” album as the announcers argue about Hogan being able to play the bass guitar. Honky beats on Monti and tosses him outside. Monti heads back in and lands a few shots but Honky hits him with an elbow then gets the win with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (3:28). After the match, Honky thanks the fans and calls himself the greatest IC Champion.

Thoughts: They continue to promote tension between Honky and Savage, with Honky instigating things by proclaiming himself as the top IC Champion in history.

 

A replay of Jesse Ventura alerting Heenan that he lost out on Bam Bam Bigelow. We then see Slick gloating as he promises to bring out Bam Bam next week. Challenge was always a week behind “Superstars.”

 

Strike Force vs. Steve Lombardi & Terry Gibbs

Strike Force works over Gibbs as we get Bruno Sammartino in an insert promo telling us he has never seen a team as good as Strike Force. This is their second TV match by the way. Lombardi tags as Martel takes him down with a hurricarana before tagging out. Santana gets trapped in the opposing corner but fights out then makes the tag. Martel runs wild then tags Santana, who gets the win with a flying forearm (4:15).

Thoughts: They are really pushing Strike Force hard here. I have to imagine they wanted to get them at the level the Can-Am Connection were before Zenk left so they could get the titles. Martel was really in the zone as a worker in 1987 and still one of the best hot-tag wrestlers in the business.

 

Okerlund is with Rick Rude. He asks him about Paul Orndorff leaving the Heenan Family as Rude tells Okerlund that “Orndwarf” was fired by Heenan because he was not “big” enough. Rude then tells Okerlund that Heenan promised him fame, fortune, and the chance to become the next World Champion. We are getting an Orndorff/Rude feud.

 

Ken Patera is shown, with his arm in a cast, blaming the Heenan Family for destroying his arm and promises to take them all out one-by-one when he returns.

 

One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Billy Anderson

Gang beats on Anderson as Heenan talks about Patera for a bit. We are then shown WWF President Jack Tunney in an insert promo saying Gang’s suspension is over from when he assaulted the referee in a match a few weeks ago. Back to the match as Gang pummels Anderson until putting him away with the front suplex (2:36).

Thoughts: Gang looked the part and was a solid big-man wrestler but never really got over much as a heel.

 

Okerlund is now with “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, who recites a poem about Okerlund being his favorite announcer. Poffo then talks about the competition and says he has not lost in 15 years, as he refers to losing as “second place” and looks at the bright side of everything. He is a positive jobber I suppose.

 

Paul Orndorff w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Rex Farmer

Orndorff beats on Farmer as Heenan is upset and leaves the booth, saying he is going to do something that makes him happy. Orndorff tosses Farmer to the floor and beats the crap out of him outside the ring. The action heads inside as Humperdink is shown in an insert promo telling Heenan that its obvious Orndorff has a better physique than Rick Rude. Orndorff then hits Farmer with a dropkick and a clothesline before getting the win with a piledriver (2:33).

Thoughts: Humperdink added nothing at all to Orndorff’s act. Not much else to say about this other than that.

 

Craig DeGeorge is with Heenan on the interview platform. Heenan yells at Orndorff and Humperdink as they head back to the locker room before bringing out Andre the Giant. Andre slowly walks out, looking pissed off as the fans boo, and walks back once DeGeorge tries to speak to him as Heenan yells at the fans for being disrespectful. Andre coming back is big news though. Hogan needs a credible opponent.

 

Mike Starr vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Heenan is back to the booth. Match starts as Starr mocks Beefcake’s strut then gets caught in a hammerlock. Beefcake blocks a turnbuckle smash then hits a powerslam before putting him away with the sleeper (1:57). After the match, Beefcake gives Starr a haircut then sprays him with red coloring.

Thoughts: Man, did the fans love the barber gimmick or what. He was instantly over as a face.

 

The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Steve Gatorwolf & Jesse Cortex

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Tama starts by beating on Gatorwolf then gets caught with a hiptoss and a slam. Haku tags as he clotheslines Gatorwolf as we get an insert promo from Jesse Ventura, stating he has never seen a team as tough as the Islanders. Back to the match as Cortez is getting destroyed until he is put away with a double headbutt (2:52).

Thoughts: The Islanders are getting a strong heel push now and they were a good team. Their feud with Strike Force was one of the better WWF tag feuds of the 80’s.

 

Okerlund is with Slick. He asks him about his suit before Butch Reed comes out and yells about Superstar Billy Graham. Reed then warns a “broke down” Graham that he might get a nice reaction the first time he comes out but after that it will be all over as he will beat him down again. After watching Reed in Mid-South before his WWF run, he wasn’t the same worker here. Reed was much better before coming here and I don’t know if it was due to injury or anything else.

 

Next week in action will be Superstar Billy Graham, Ted DiBiase, Jake Roberts, and Danny Davis.

 

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. They teased some new feuds and Andre returning is huge (and “The Princess Bride” was opening in a few weeks). The TV feuds are starting to get better and the addition of newer talent is helping breath life back into the WWF, which became stale shortly after WrestleMania III. Things will start to pick up again soon, especially after the next episode of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: Highspots Developmentally Speaking 2

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/12/87

Saturday: Brickhouse TV Season One, Episodes 3 & 4

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/13/87

Tuesday: WWF Philadelphia Spectrum 9/18/87