WWF Wrestling Challenge February 14th, 1988

February 14, 1988

From the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, MD

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon.


The show starts, oddly enough, with Mean Gene Okerlund introducing the opening credits. In reality, Monsoon’s heart attack caused him to miss the actual taping so they came up with this as a way to hide that. When he came back, Gorilla introduces us to the finish of the “Main Event” show. Actually, they showed a majority of the match and the post-match theatrics. We then see the interview with Okerlund and Hogan in the locker room after his loss as well as the message from WWF President Jack Tunney announcing that the WWF Heavyweight Championship is vacant and will be crowned in a 14-man Tournament at WrestleMania IV. For those who missed Main Event, this was a great way to see the Hogan/Andre match.



Ken Johnson vs. “The Rock” Don Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham

Graham is now acting as Muraco’s mentor. We get an insert promo from Muraco as he hypes up his involvement in the WrestleMania IV tournament. Muraco is having his way with Johnson then finally puts him away with the Tombstone (2:40).

Thoughts: Having Muraco as a babyface, Superstar Graham-lite performer was not exactly lighting the wrestling world on fire. The fans reacted well when he signaled for his finisher but that was really all that happened.



Okerlund is with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and talks to him about his first round opponent, Ted DiBiase. Duggan says you have to look at this as a chance for a title match. Well, yeah its a title tournament. Not much of an interview here.



We get a replay of the Ultimate Warrior/Hercules angle from Superstars were Hercules choked out Warrior with a chain in their match then the Warrior came back and chased him back through the curtains with the other half of the chain that he “broke off.” This was really the beginning of the Warrior mega-push.



The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Eric Cooper & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Gorilla is now solo on commentary. Poffo takes down Tama and tags out. Cooper fails as Tama beats him down and tags out. Haku is in and the Islanders are in complete control of the match. Haku then holds up Cooper for a vertical suplex as Tama leaps off of the top with a crossbody as that gets the win (2:48).

Thoughts: After a hot feud with Strike Force, the Islanders cooled off with their feud over Matilda with the Bulldogs. Two good teams involved in a bad storyline.



Okerlund is with Slick, who tells Mean Gene that he has the best mind in wrestling. One Man Gang and Butch Reed come out as Slick puts over their first-round matches and how they will win. Nothing stuck out of the ordinary here.



We see the last 20 seconds of the Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Joe Mirto match as Bam Bam puts him away with a slingshot splash.



Okerlund is now with Hulk Hogan, who is still visibly distraught over losing the title last week. He still looks on the verge of tears. When asked about the tournament, Hogan says its all about “justice” and that he will prove to the Hulkamaniacs that he is the real World Champion.



Jimmy Hart is with the Honky Tonk Man and calls him the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Honky himself then plugs his latest feature in “WWF Magazine.”



Bad News Brown vs. David Stoudemire

Heenan is back on commentary. Brown attacks Stoudemire before the bell. He puts him the tree-of-woe and stomps him while the announcers talk about the tournament at WrestleMania IV. Brown clotheslines Stoudemire and slaps him around until he puts him away with an enziguiri. It was not known as the “Ghetto Blaster” at this time (2:42).

Thoughts: The announcers put Brown over as a badass loner from the streets of Harlem when they were not talking about the title Tournament at WrestleMania IV.



British Bulldogs vs. Dusty Wolfe & Jose Estrada

The Bulldogs immediately take control as we get an insert promo from the Bulldogs telling us that Matilda is improving. Dynamite even claimed they read every piece of fan mail and it helped her get better. Back to the match as the Bulldogs suplex Wolfe around. Dynamite kills Wolfe with a piledriver then Davey hits a powerslam and launches Dynamite for a diving headbutt and the win (2:17).

Thoughts: The Bulldogs looked great here. That was really all to take away from this other than Heenan making fun of people who have pets.



Okerlund is with DiBiase, Virgil, and Andre the Giant. DiBiase rants over being stripped of the WWF World Heavyweight Title then talks about the tournament. He calls his first-round opponent, Jim Duggan, that he is a fool who does not belong in the same ring as him. Andre talks and says he now has to beat Hogan for the third time and he knows that Hogan is scared. As good a heel as DiBiase was with the Million Dollar Man character, Andre was equally impressive. He really was a great heel and coming from someone who was a lifelong babyface in the United States, he quickly adapted into the role.



Next week, we will get a Special Report on WrestleMania IV. In action will be Junkyard Dog, One Man Gang, and Jim Duggan. Plus, a special interview with Randy Savage and the featured match of Demolition vs. Killer Bees.



Final Thoughts: Unless you missed “Main Event” or even “Superstars of Wrestling,” there was nothing else of note that took place on the show. The focus was on the WrestleMania IV tournament as they are wasting no time in building up the first round matches.