January 24, 1988
From the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week will be Strike Force, Ted DiBiase, Honky Tonk Man, and the Islanders.
Jerry Allen vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue
The camera shows several young fans using the plastic megaphones to taunt Hart. They trade wristlocks until Honky grabs the ropes. Honky rakes the eyes as we get an insert promo from Elizabeth, addressing Peggy Sue that she would never want the Honky Tonk Man, despite her accusations. Back to the match as Honky stays on the attack while the announcers plug the upcoming Hogan/Andre match. Honky brings Allen back into the ring and hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the win (2:40). After the match, Honky thanks the fans for their support as Peggy Sue dances in the ring.
Thoughts: With the news of the Hogan/Andre rematch, the Honky/Savage feud had been placed on the backburner as the top TV feud but in reality, it had about run its course. Adding Peggy Sue did not do anything for the feud.
WWF Special Report with Craig DeGeorge. This is the same report shown on Superstars regarding the Matilda kidnapping.
Strike Force vs. Dave Wagner & Tiger Chung Lee
The match starts with Santana getting the best of Lee. Martel tags in as we get an insert promo from Demolition, who tell Strike Force they will cripple them and they can no longer run from them. Back to the match as Martel works the arm until he gets backed up into the corner. Wagner tags in but misses a charge in the corner then Martel fires away. Santana tags and works the arm as the announcers talk about the condition of Matilda. Martel tags and cleans house then Santana gets tagged and hits Wagner with the flying forearm for the win (3:11).
Thoughts: The story here is that the Strike Force have every team gunning for their titles. They really put over Demolition as the top contender here.
Gene Okerlund plugs the Royal Rumble. Hacksaw Jim Duggan comes in as Okerlund tricks him by saying his alma mater, Southern Methodist University, went undefeated (The university had their season cancelled due to receiving the NCAA “Death Penalty”). Duggan then warns King Harley Race about what will happen when he sees him at the Rumble.
We get a promo from Bam Bam Bigelow and Oliver Humperdink, who says 1988 is the year of Bam Bam.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. Dave Stoudemire
Match starts with Stoudemire dropkicking DiBiase into Virgil. He then stands there like a dope as DiBiase walks over and beats him down. Stoudemire gets tossed to the floor as DiBiase slams him down. The announcers talk about DiBiase’s attempt to buy the WWF World Heavyweight Title from Hogan as he hits Stoudemire with an elbow smash. DiBiase catches Stoudemire with a powerslam then yells at the crowd before setting him up for the falling back elbow drop and the win (2:11).
Thoughts: DiBiase beat the piss out of the jobber after getting kicked from behind and looked really strong here.
Okerlund is with Don Muraco. Its the same promo shown on the 1/23/88 edition of Superstars in which they talk about the Royal Rumble match.
Bad News Brown warns us that good news will be a thing of the past.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Dusty Wolfe
Beefcake starts the match by beating on Wolfe. We get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart, who is screaming about Beefcake bringing scissors to the ring while declaring a “Ban the Barber” campaign. Back to the match as Beefcake catches Wolfe with a sleeper and the win (2:06). After the match, Beefcake gives Wolfe a haircut.
Thoughts: They tried to get over the new “ban the barber” angle, which went as successful as the “ban the DDT” campaign.
Craig DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Ron Bass, who comes out cracking his whip. Bass screams about how he is the baddest then shows us what ropes are good for by wrapping it around DeGeorge and bringing him to his knees as he tells everyone you can run and hide but sooner or later you’ll have to face him and Miss Betsy. Good promo by Bass, who really did come off like a bad ass. He was older here but still had great presence.
We get fans giving their predictions on who will win the Hogan vs. Andre match. The consensus is 50/50.
Eric Cooper & Brady Boone vs. The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan
Gorilla is solo on commentary. Heenan still has the dog leash with him as the Islanders pretend that it is Matilda. Gorilla talks more about Matilda, stating she is not doing well, as Tama toys with Boone. Haku tags and Boone puts him a sleeper but gets backed into the corner. Boone tags Cooper and they try a double-team move but Haku clotheslines both of them down. Haku hits Cooper with a double underhook suplex as Heenan laughs on the outside. The Islanders beat on Cooper until Tama puts him away with a top rope splash (2:50). We get a zoomed in freeze-frame shot of Tama coming off of the top rope.
Thoughts: As if they needed more of an excuse to talk about Matilda. Its been way too much of this.
More fan predictions for Hogan/Andre. Still a 50/50 consensus.
“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Heenan is back on commentary as the announcers bicker about Matilda. Muraco and Sharpe go back-and-forth until Muraco takes him down with a hiptoss. Muraco clotheslines Sharpe to the floor then applies a front facelock when Sharpe re-enters. Sharpe comes back with an eye rake but misses a clothesline as Muraco hits a pair of dropkicks then gets the win with a tombstone piledriver (2:47).
Thoughts: Oddly enough, no mention of Muraco’s feud with Butch Reed and the One Man Gang.
Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. WD Wellington
Bravo tosses Wellington in the air as the announcers talk about how he is attempting to set the bench press record at the Royal Rumble. Martin is shown in an insert promo, speaking in French, about how Bravo will set the bench press record. Bravo picks up Wellington and gets the win with a side slam (1:41). After the match, Bravo tosses Wellington to the floor then Martin cuts a promo in French.
Thoughts: This was to make Bravo look strong before he attempted to set the bench press record at the Royal Rumble. It didnt seem like many people cared.
Okerlund is with Slick as they talk about the Royal Rumble. Slick tells Okerlund he respects him for having a brain after he said it would be better to have a higher number in the Royal Rumble drawing. Slick then tells Okerlund he does not shake hands because he cannot do it the “Caucasian way” as the One Man Gang enters and stands in front of them, crossing his arms and nodding his head. Funny stuff.
In action next week will be Junkyard Dog, Greg Valentine, British Bulldogs, and the debut of Bad News Brown.
Final Thoughts: Most of the show was hyping the Royal Rumble and the Matilda storyline. Also, a lot of segments shown were seen on the past episode of Superstars. So, if you saw Superstars, there was really no reason to watch this episode of Challenge, which was quite dull.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Tuesday: WWF 1988 Royal Rumble
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Nick Bockwinkel
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/30/88
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/31/88