WWF Wrestling Challenge January 10th, 1988

January 10, 1988

From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week are the British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation & Danny Davis, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Ted DiBiase.



British Bulldogs vs. Terry Gibbs & Steve Lombardi

Matilda is not with the Bulldogs as Heenan laughs it up on commentary. For those unaware, Heenan and the Islanders stole the dog. Match starts with the Bulldogs in control as Monsoon grills Heenan over the kidnapping on Matilda. We then see an insert promo from the Islanders as they hold a leash with an empty dog collar attached, pretending that Matilda is still there. Heenan’s laughter is cracking me up a lot. Back to the match as the Bulldogs suplex Lombardi around until Davey launches Dynamite at him for a falling headbutt and the win (3:11).

Thoughts: Heenan’s constant laughter over the fact Matilda is missing cracked me up. The whole angle is completely ridiculous anyway.



WWF Special Report with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s topic is in fact the kidnapping of Matilda that we saw from the 12/26/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.” We are then shown DeGeorge interviewing WWF President Jack Tunney about the situation. Tunney says the Islanders will be suspended indefinitely and only lift it once Matilda’s whereabouts are known. Tunney said the same thing on Superstars the day prior to this show when he addressed Heenan and the Islanders on the interview platform. The segment ends with a still photo of Matilda, as if she was deceased. This angle got way too much TV time.



“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Omar Atlas

Heenan is going nuts on commentary at the news of the Islanders suspension. Match starts with Bass in control. Atlas fights back and hits a dropkick but Bass tosses him into the corner. Bass hits a back elbow smash as he is then shown in an insert promo cracking his whip, Miss Betsy, while declaring he is hear to beat people up. Atlas lands some shots in the corner but Bass clotheslines him down before hitting the gourdbuster for the win (2:06). After the match, Bass grabs Miss Betsy and chokes Atlas out.

Thoughts: They are starting to put over Bass and his whip. The guy has been on the roster for over a year and hasnt had anything of note go on with him.



Gene Okerlund is with Dino Bravo and Frenchy Martin, who says Bravo has no time to look at and sign papers so he decided to become his manager. Bravo said Frenchy knows exactly what he is talking about so he can do what is needed: get to the gym and the arena. Bravo also claims that 1988 is his year and “no human force” can stop him. I bet. Lame, generic heel stuff from these two, which is actually an improvement from what they usually give us.



Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Dusty Wolfe

Bigelow takes Wolfe down with an armdrag as Heenan talks about taking legal action against Jack Tunney. Bigelow hits a jumping back elbow smash then hammers away as Heenan proclaims his innocence over the Matilda kidnapping. Bigelow hits a snap suplex then a press slam but Wolfe lands a few shots after that. Bigelow then no-sells an attack and flattens Wolfe with a clothesline. Bigelow then hits a vertical suplex before getting the win with a slingshot splash (2:30).

Thoughts: Bam Bam continues to wow the crowds as his popularity is skyrocketing.



Gene Okerlund tells us about the event we will be seeing in Hamilton, ONT called the “Rumble Royal.” He says its the first time ever this will take place and its a match featuring 20 guys who pick numbers at random. The first two are in the ring to start off the match then a man is added every two minutes. The rules are battle royal style and the last person left standing is the winner. The Killer Bees come out as Okerlund stresses the unpredictability of the match, hinting they can draw numbers that are far apart from each other. Okerlund lists off some of the guys in the match like Bam Bam Bigelow, Ultimate Warrior, Jim Duggan, Butch Reed, and the One Man Gang. This was the first time the Royal Rumble was mentioned on TV, two weeks before the show was to air.



Hart Foundation & “Dangerous” Danny Davis vs. Brady Boone & Wellington Wilkins & ????

The 3rd jobber has the initials “JT” on his tights. Match starts with Boone and Davis going back and forth. “JT” tags in and gets his ass handed to him by the Hart Foundation. Wilkins tags and the Hart Foundation put him away with the Hart Attack (2:00).

Thoughts: Just a backdrop for the announcers to talk about the Hart Foundation looking to retain the titles. Davis is now just an afterthought, stuck in a feud with Sam Houston.



We are shown clips from the King Kong Bundy vs. Hulk Hogan match at last week’s “Saturday Night Main Event,” focusing on Andre attacking Hogan from behind after the match and choking him out. It took several wrestlers to pry Andre away from Hogan.



Now, we are shown the segment from the 1/2/88 edition of “Superstars” where DiBiase buys Andre the Giant’s contract in order for him to defeat Hogan and deliver the WWF World Heavyweight Title.



Sam Houston vs. Jerry Gray

Houston monkey flips Gray after an Irish whip sequence then works the arm. The announcers talk about DiBiase buying Andre’s contract as Houston hits an atomic drop. Gray lands a few shots but Houston fights back and hits a back elbow smash then puts him away with the bulldog (2:11).

Thoughts: A backdrop for the DiBiase/Andre angle. The announcers didnt even acknowledge the match until the end.



Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Pete Sanchez

Valentine beats on Sanchez as the announcers talk about Valentine injuring Beefcake with his figure four leg lock. We see an insert of the “WWF Magazine” article about Beefcake wanting revenge against Valentine. Sanchez gets tossed outside then hit with a suplex as he enters the ring. Valentine briefly softens him up before getting the win with a figure four (2:01). After the match, Valentine refused to break the hold.

Thoughts: They certainly pushed the Valentine/Beefcake feud heavily. And, they are doing everything they can to put over the figure four as a deadly finisher.



Rick Renslow vs. Koko B. Ware

Renslow attacks Koko before the bell. He stomps a mudhole in the corner but Koko fights back . Koko drills Renslow with a knee lift then hits a missile dropkick before hitting the Brainbuster for the win (1:12).

Thoughts: A quick win for Koko, who has nothing going on at the moment.



Okerlund is with Ricky Steamboat, who has not been featured on TV much of late. They talk about 1987 being an up-and-down year for him as Steamboat addresses those wondering what was happened with him. He says that the addition of his son to the family means another mouth to feed then addresses the newer talent in the company, such as Rick Rude. Steamboat Is just standing there without any passion at all and half the time crosses his arms like he is pissed off. This was awful and it was clear Staemboat put in minimal effort with this.



In action next week will be Jim Duggan, Rick Rude, Demolition and Jake Roberts. Plus, an update on Matilda’s whereabouts and more.



Final Thoughts: Unless you missed “Superstars” and “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” there was really no reason to watch this show. All you would miss is the news about the “Rumble Royal” show and that was very brief. Beyond that, it was boring squash matches.