WWF Wrestling Challenge February 7th, 1988

February 7, 1988

From the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, MD

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon, subbing for Gorilla Monsoon who suffered a minor heart attack.

This week, the featured match will be Hercules vs. Ultimate Warrior. Also in action are the Young Stallions, Butch Reed, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Demolition.

 

 

Before his match, Bobby Heenan is pumping up Hercules as he insults the fans and tells us all that his client is ready.

 

 

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan

Vince is solo on commentary here. Both guys have a staredown as they try to psyche each other out. Hercules lowers his chain in an attempt at a tug-of-war as they both start to pull. As they get closer, Hercules boots him down as Heenan yells not to let Warrior get up. Warrior then yanks the chain as that knocks Hercules down and the chain is now broken in half. Warrior beats his chest as Hercules charges with the chain and knocks Warrior down as the bell rings for the DQ (1:56). Hercules chokes out Warrior with the chain as the bell continues to ring. Hercules shoves off a few referees trying to break up the melee then jobbers David Stoudemire, Steve Lombardi, and Joe Mitro run out and finally back Hercules off. A “weasel” chant breaks out then after a replay of the finish we see the Warrior get up a grab the other piece of the chain as he runs up the aisle and wraps it around Hercules’ neck. The officials run after them as they go through the curtains.

Thoughts: I thought this was a good way to kick off Warrior’s first major feud. The crowd responded okay to this but overall it was a bad crowd and that was rare to be this bored at the first show of the taping. I liked the post-match brawl but having Warrior snap the chain seemed more corny than badass the way it happened.

 

 

 

WWF Special Report with Craig DeGeorge. The topic is WrestleMania IV and how it will be held at the Trump Plaza. They are playing up the venue a lot.

 

 

Vince lets us know that the Ultimate Warrior and Hercules continued to wreak havoc backstage. Vince also plugs the newest edition of “WWF Magazine” and the article about the Warrior, which is titled “Created for Combat.” You can tell Vince is going all out to get this feud over so the Warrior can move on to bigger programs.

 

 

Jerry Gray & Rex King vs. The Bolsheviks w/ Slick

Heenan is back on commentary, out of breath due to being involved in this Warrior/Hercules confrontation. Match starts with Volkoff suplexing Gray around as Heenan wants to talk about what took place at the Main Event as Vince immediately cuts him off to inform in about Tunney’s “strict edict” that prohibits everyone from talking about the show. Heenan, similar to Jesse Ventura on “Superstars of Wrestling” goes off about his freedom of speech. The Bolsheviks remain in control as Volkoff hits Gray with a Polish Hammer then Zhukov covers for the win (2:13).

Thoughts: The match was a bore as Heenan was on commentary more or less ripping off what Jesse was doing on “Superstars of Wrestling” regarding the edict about Andre/Hogan. Jesse was much more effective in that role.

 

 

DeGeorge is backstage with Demolition. He holds up an issue of “WWF Magazine” that asks if Ken Patera & Billy Jack Haynes (who is gone from the company at this point) can stop Demolition. Smash says there is no chance of those guys stopping them then switches focus to the Strike Force and how one day they might have the guts to offer them a title shot. Ax puts over Mr. Fuji for making them vicious before saying they are tired of beating everyone up and they only people left are Strike Force as they want a title shot. Its quite obvious that they are building up to a Strike Force/Demolition feud in the near future.

 

 

We get a pre-recorded promo from Bad News Brown, who promises he will back in the ring next week.

 

 

Young Stallions vs. Gino Carabello & Brian Costello

The Stallions take control to start as Vince warns Heenan about speaking of the “Main Event.” Heenan then claims to be close with Donald Trump and even invited him to his house. The Stallions work the arm of Carabello until Powers gets attacked from Costello on the apron. Powers then makes a blind tag as Roma catches Carabello with a belly-to-belly suplex. Well, it was likely supposed to be a powerslam but Roma saved what could have been a disaster (3:12).

Thoughts: I thought Roma looked good here but the fans were quiet for the most part as the Stallions are just spinning their wheels at this point.

 

 

Gene Okerlund is with Slick and the One Man Gang. Okerlund reminds Slick that he has fallen short of his goal of Gang becoming the next WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Slick notes that 1987 was successful as they made a lot of money and beat a lot of people up. Slick said that in 1988, Gang will become the next champion. Okerlund wants to know why Gang does not speak as Slick said once he does, Gang goes off and ends up getting fined and costing him money. Slick does add how he will pull out his own money and pay the fine as Gang stands silent with his arms folded in front of both men, refusing to answer Okerlund. I enjoyed the chemistry between Okerlund and Slick. This interview was fine.

 

 

The British Bulldogs give us an update about Matilda. Davey said she is getting worse and still losing weight as Dynamite tells us Matilda appreciates all of her cards. I cant believe they are still trying to push this storyline.

 

 

Brady Boone vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan

Vince is once again solo on commentary. Before the match, Rude wants the “fat, ugly little boys” in the crowd to shut up so he ladies can see how he is simply ravishing. Rude backs Boone into the corner then hammers away. Boone dodges a charge then eludes Rude before landing a spin kick. Rude catches Boone with a powerslam right after that and pulls up after a two count. Rude drops Boone throat-first on the top rope before slamming him down. Rude then gyrates before hitting the Rude Awakening for the win (1:39).

Thoughts: A dominating win for Rude with Vince putting him over as a threat on commentary.

 

 

DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan talks about how if you set your goals high enough and never give up, you can achieve them. He then talks about the “garbage” running around the WWF, like King Harley Race and how he always has his 2×4 with him. A lame, babyface interview if you ask me but the crowd was chanting right along with Duggan the whole time.

 

 

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/  Slick vs. David Stoudemire

Heenan is back on commentary and attempts to talk about the “Main Event” match between Andre and Hogan and gets censored. Reed is in control of the match and hits a press slam before getting the win with a flying clothesline (2:56).

Thoughts: Man, the crowd was dead for this. Reed is pretty much an afterthought at this point and the announcers barely even mentioned him on commentary.

 

 

DeGeorge breaks down some of the events that took place at the “Royal Rumble” show. We show clips of Bravo breaking the “World Bench Press” record and the Jumping Bomb Angels defeating the Glamour Girls for the WWF Womens Tag Team Titles. They try to build up the bench press segment as some big controversy with Jesse assisting Bravo.

 

 

Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Omar Atlas & Rick Hunter

The match starts with Demolition beating on Atlas in the corner. Hunter tags in and suffers the same fate as Demolition remains in control of the match until they put Hunter away with the Decapitation (2:36).

Thoughts: Demolition brutalizes another pair of jobbers as Vince was putting them over as the next opponents for the Strike Force.

 

 

DeGeorge is with Ron Bass, who comes in laughing and cracking his whip. Bass promises not to put his hands on DeGeorge this and goes on about how there is no one in the WWF who can shut him up and that he will not leave until he gets a good fight. I love Bass promos. The dude looks like a badass and can talk on the mic.

 

 

Once again, Heenan attempts to talk about the “Main Event” show but is censored.

 

 

In action next week will be Don Muraco, with Superstar Billy Graham in his corner. Plus, Bam Bam Bigelow, The Islanders, and footage from the Andre/Hogan match that took place at Main Event.

 

 

Final Thoughts: Besides the jumpstart of the Warrior/Hercules feud, there was nothing else notable here. If you saw Superstars, you might as well have turned off this show after the Warrior/Hercules segment. Heenan really did not do a good job playing Jesse’s role of getting upset when censored. Jesse was absolutely irate when it happened while Heenan barely raised his voice.

 

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: KC Timeline Series: 1988 WCW as told by JJ Dillon

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/13/88

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/14/88

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/20/88

 

Also, follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MrBayless1982