WWF Wrestling Challenge January 31st, 1988

January 31, 1988

From the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

This week in action we will see Randy Savage, Bad News Brown, British Bulldogs, Greg Valentine, and the Junkyard Dog.



Junkyard Dog vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Match starts with Lee knocking down JYD before getting taken down with a hiptoss in a terrible sequence. These two are going in slow-motion and that is being kind. JYD uses a hammerlock as Heenan talks about being wealthy and becoming instrumental in defeating Hogan. Back to the match as these two are lumbering through the motions until JYD finally ends this by hitting Lee with a powerslam (2:08).

Thoughts: This was terrible. The crowd was not into JYD and the action was actually embarrassing. JYD is well past his point of usefulness.



A replay of the “WWF Special Report” segment with Craig DeGeorge from the 1/30/88 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.” Its hyping the Friday Night special on NBC.



Scott Casey vs. Greg Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart

Hart is holding up a “Ban the Barber” sign as they show some young fans in the front with the mini megaphones used to taunt him. Match starts with both guys trading slams. We get an insert promo from Brutus Beefcake, warning Valentine that he is coming after him. Back to the match as Valentine beats on Casey until getting pulled outside. Casey fires away then heads in for a slam but misses a top rope knee drop as Valentine works that over before locking on the figure four for the win (2:22). After the match, Valentine refuses to break the hold as Hart distracts the referee for a bit until the hold gets broken up.

Thoughts: Once again, they are trying to put over the figure four as a deadly finisher. And they continue to push the Beefcake/Valentine feud.



Steve Lombardi vs. Sam Houston

Houston hits several hip tosses and armdrags while Gorilla plugs his article in the latest edition of “WWF Magazine.” Houston works the arm then catches Lombardi with an atomic drop as Gorilla lets us know the Jumping Bomb Angels captured the WWF Women’s Tag Titles from the Glamour Girls at the Royal Rumble. Houston hits Lombardi with a gutwrench suplex then puts him away with a bulldog (2:49).

Thoughts: Not much to this one at all. They put over Houston a little on commentary and during the match but that was all.



Gene Okerlund is with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and asks him about the level of competition in the WWF. Duggan says he always brings his 2×4 with him to look out for those sneaking around from behind. Okerlund brings up King Harley Race, as Duggan warns him about sneak attacking him from behind again. I’m pretty sure this was an older promo but I cannot say for sure.



We get fan opinions on who will win their matches on the Friday Night network special. Lots of picks for the Honky Tonk Man here.



Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. S.D. Jones & Omar Atlas

Bret and S.D. go at it and that ends in a stalemate as Hart takes a breather outside before tagging out. We get an insert promo from the Strike Force, telling the Hart Foundation there are no more excuses after they face off Friday night. Back to the match as the Hart Foundation beat on Atlas in their corner as Heenan tells us that the Jumping Bomb Angels had the biggest celebration in wrestling after going through twelve bags of rice. The Hart Foundation then put Atlas away with the Hart Attack (2:40).

Thoughts: You can tell that after Friday night, the Hart Foundation/Strike Force feud will be over. They didn’t have anything left to do and it wasn’t like the feud was all that over to begin with.



Okerlund is with Virgil, Andre the Giant, and Ted DiBiase, who says after Friday night, he will become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion when Andre the Giant defeats Hulk Hogan then hands him the belt. Andre promises that Hogan will not only lose the belt but also become broke as he smiles holding a fistful of cash. Good heel promo here.



Terry Gibbs vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth

Gibbs takes down Savage to start. Savage comes right back and beats on Gibbs as we get an insert promo from Savage, stating he will become the WWF Intercontinental Champion again. Savage clotheslines Gibbs and shortly after that puts him away with a flying elbow drop (1:44). After the match, we see Jimmy Hart, Peggy Sue, and the Honky Tonk Man pointing and taunting from the interview platform as they are with DeGeorge. Hart tells us that Honky is the greatest IC Champion of all-time and will prove that Friday night. Savage walks by as Honky goads him while Peggy Sue threatens Elizabeth. Sensational Sherri, who was playing Peggy Sue, made no attempt to change her voice here.

Thoughts: This is another feud that has about run out of steam so the blowoff Friday night makes a lot of sense.



Rex King vs. Bad News Brown

Brown immediately attacks King. The announcer bicker about Matilda as we get an insert promo from Brown, telling us they call him “Bad News” is because he brings bad news to his opponents in the ring. Brown continues to destroy King until putting him away with an enziguiri (2:03).

Thoughts: The crowd did not react at all towards Brown. His finisher was not called the “Ghetto Blaster” here and it looked really sloppy here. They did make it a point to over Brown as a badass on commentary, making it clear they have plans for the guy.



British Bulldogs vs. Barry Horowitz & Dusty Wolfe

Match starts with the Bulldogs having their way with Horowitz. We are shown the Matilda shirt and it looks pathetic before Davey hits Wolfe with a running powerslam. He then hits Wolfe with a tombstone piledriver before Dynamite tags in and gets in his moves before finishing him off with a super back suplex (4:13).

Thoughts: Just a backdrop for the announcers to push the Matilda storyline and that hideous shirt. The Bulldogs got to hit all of their cool moves at least.



Okerlund is with Butch Reed, who tells Slick is “taking care of his business” then tells Okerlund off. Reed then tells us all he takes care of business. This promo went nowhere and Reed just never clicked in the WWF.



We get words from Hulk Hogan, telling us he can break down DiBiase’s financial operations and change his lifestyle before telling Andre that all the controversy regarding their WrestleMania III will be answered Friday night.



Next week in action will be Rick Rude, Jim Duggan, Butch Reed, and the Young Stallions. Also, the featured bout will be Hercules vs. Ultimate Warrior.



Final Thoughts: They did a good job of pushing the Friday night special but are in need of some new feuds. Its nice to see a newcomer like Brown in the company as some of the roster was getting quite stale. Other than that, this show was skippable.