WWF Wrestling Challenge – May 22nd, 1988

May 22, 1988

From the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

This week , we will see the Tug-of-War between Ken Patera and Dino Bravo. Also in action we will see Jake Roberts, Bad News Brown, and the Junkyard Dog



Jake Roberts vs. Steve Lombardi

Heenan tries to tell Gorilla that Jake’s wife slipped Rick Rude her phone number during their confrontation. Jake takes control of the match as we hear clips from fans showing their displeasure with Rude as Jake then hits the DDT for the win (1:32). After the match, Jake dumps Damien on top of Lombardi.

Thoughts: The story remains that Jake is more aggressive and volatile than ever since Rude hit on his wife. So far, its the best post-Mania feud the WWF has.



WWF Special Report with Sean Mooney. This week, we see clips of the One Man Gang and Bam Bam Bigelow destroying their opponents. We then get a clip of their match at WrestleMania IV as they try to hype up their feud. This feud was never pushed all that much and seemed like it was off-and-on and as a result, it never got over.



Chris Zarna vs. Bad News Brown

Bad News immediately destroys Zarna as Gorilla pleads with the kids at home not to try these moves, which are performed by trained professionals. The announcers put over the marital arts skills of Bad News as he stays in control of the match. Bad News hits a clothesline then puts Zarna out of his misery with a Ghetto Blaster as he covers him with one foot while yelling “garbage.” (2:37).

Thoughts: They are really trying to put over the Ghetto Blaster. Plus, they continue to push the Bad News/Bret feud.



Young Stallions vs. Rick Gantner & Tom Stone

Stone quickly tags out after Powers took control. Roma tags and works the arm as we get an insert promo from the Bolsheviks and Slick, who admits the Stallions are good but comparing them to the Bolsheviks is like comparing a “Hatchback to a Cadillac.” Powers tags in and runs wild on Stone then holds him up for Roma, who hits a missile dropkick for the win (3:20).

Thoughts: The Stallions looked good here but a feud with the rather unimpressive Bolsheviks is not going to excite many people.



Sam Houston plugs the WWF Ice Cream Bars.



Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Bill Bowman

Gorilla is now solo on commentary. Hercules overpowers Bowman with ease, stopping to taunt the crowd. He then picks Bowman up and puts him away with the backbreaker submission (1:53).

Thoughts: They are keeping Hercules strong on TV for his feud against the Ultimate Warrior, the person he will be putting over.



Gene Okerlund is in the Event Center. We hear from Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, who is mad at Duggan for getting hit by a 2×4. Duggan then talks about getting cheap-shotted and how he will give Andre his best and if it fails, he can put him back out with his 2×4. I really liked Andre’s heel promos a lot the more I watch them.



Terry Gibbs vs. Junkyard Dog

Heenan is back on commentary. Gibbs rakes the eyes to start but tries a turnbuckle smash that fails as JYD takes control. JYD misses a headbutt as Gibbs stomps his head but JYD no-sells that then puts him away with a powerslam (1:53).

Thoughts: JYD’s gut was growing here but he was over with this crowd. Oddly enough, there was no mention of his feud against Ron Bass.



Craig DeGeorge welcomes Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant to the interview platform. Heenan is asked about Duggan as he tells DeGeorge that Duggan is the one who has a problem as Andre is back up and he is staying up. Andre then tells Duggan that he is going to suffer and he will squeeze his little neck until he is gone. Andre then bullies DeGeorge then puts his hand over his face after he did Duggan’s chant. Solid segment and Andre’s hand literally covering the entire face of DeGeorge was a sight to behold.



Now, its time for the Tug-of-War. There is a piece of black tape in the ring to mark the line. After a couple of minutes of stalling due to Bravo’s complaints, they finally begin. After a struggle, Patera almost wins but Bravo attacks Patera instead. Bravo drops a few elbows then beats Patera with the rope before choking him out. A few referees come out to break it up then Bravo taunts the crowd. Although nothing wrong with it, the segment was built up slowly and the crowd just does not care about Bravo as a heel. They were practically silent throughout the segment.



Rick Renslow & Dave Wagner vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The Rougeaus take control to start as we then get an insert promo from then talking about how much they love America as Gorilla thinks they sound a little conceded. The Rougeaus stay in control, and are more aggressive than usual, until they put Wagner away with a Doomsday Device (2:15).

Thoughts: The Rougeaus were cheered here but their slow heel turn was happening. And again, they showed a lot more personality as heels.



Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We hear from both Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage as they hype up their matches.



In action next week will be Bret Hart, Greg Valentine, Ultimate Warrior, and Rick Rude. Plus, the Randy Savage vs. Virgil match from the 5/21/88 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.”



Final Thoughts: The big segment here was the Patera/Bravo Tug-of-War and that did not get over with the crowd. Other than that, they continue to push a lot of midcard feuds as well as Duggan/Andre and Jake/Rude.



Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Monday: WWF Madison Square Garden 5/27/88

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/28/88

Wednesday: PWG Bowie

Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries 1997 WCW Timeline as told by Kevin Nash

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/29/88

Saturday: Ring of Honor Main Event Spectacles 11/1/03

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/4/88