WWF Wrestling Challenge – July 3rd, 1988

July 3, 1988

From the Fresno Convention Center in Fresno, CA

Your hosts are Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be Jake Roberts, The Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake and The Rockers. Plus, Brother Love is back with guests Slick and the Big Bossman and more!



Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Steven DeLeon

Gorilla breaks the news that Rick Martel will be out indefinitely as Heenan tells us we will find out who is the new King next week. The match starts with Beefcake in control. We get an insert promo from Beefcake as he tells us haircuts will be free all Summer long. Back to the match as Beefcake remains in control until putting DeLeon away with the sleeper (2:22). After the match, Beefcake gives DeLeon a haircut.

Thoughts: They got over Beefcake a bit but the big news was that Martel would be out indefinitely. We have yet to see the incident.



We get a replay of the “Special Report” from the 7/2/88 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” regarding Harley Race vacating the King’s crown and how a new King will be crowned next week.



“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. S.D. Jones

DiBiase rolls out of the ring after getting hit with a headbutt. He returns to deck S.D., who was distracted by Virgil. The announcers talk about the Million Dollar Dream as DiBiase stays in control of the match until putting S.D. away with the move (1:49). After the match, DiBiase shoves a $100 bill in the mouth of S.D.

Thoughts: They put over the Million Dollar Dream finisher here as S.D. instantly submitted to the move.



Koko B. Ware vs. Larry Simpson

Heenan tells us he found out that Frankie is actually smarter than Koko and he can actually understand what Frankie says. Simpson gets dumped to the floor to start. Simpson heads back inside as Koko hits a missile dropkick before hitting the Ghostbuster for the win (1:10).

Thoughts: A quick win for Koko, who did not have much going for him in the WWF at this point.



Sean Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from Elizabeth and Randy Savage, who tells us that Macho Madness and Elizabeth will keep him the World Champion. Don Muraco the promises to teach Greg Valentine a lesson.



Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jerry Allen

Honky stalls to start the match. We hear an insert promo from Honky, who tells Beefcake the best part of the Summer is “guitar tuning season” and how that is free of charge. Back to the match as Honky ducks a crossbody then hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the win (1:30).

Thoughts: A lot of quick squash matches on this show. Honky’s act is starting to become less effective as he no longer has the heel heat he once did.



Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from Jim Duggan telling Andre the Giant that he knows deep down in his soul that he is the only guy to knock him out and will do it again. After that, we hear from Demolition and Mr Fuji as they talk about how they have a hard time getting people to fight them as they run down the list of people they put out of action, including Rick Martel.



Terry Gibbs & The Conquistador vs. The Rockers

This Conquistador is in fact Jose Luis Rivera. The Rockers get attacked from behind but quickly take control with a double hiptoss. The match settles down as the Rockers hit Gibbs with a double clothesline. The announcers put over how the Rockers will take on all teams as they stay in control of the match until Michaels misses a charge. Michaels hits the Conquistador with an elbow smash then tags Jannetty, who runs wild. Michaels tags and climbs up top then jumps off of Jannetty’s shoulders with a fist drop for the win (3:01).

Thoughts: A nice showcase for the Rockers, who are a breath of fresh air for the stale tag team division. The tag team specialist gimmick continues as they have now used their fourth different finishing move in their four TV matches.



The Brother Love Show with guests Slick and the Big Bossman. Before that, he tells us that both Ted DiBiase and himself love everyone. Brother Love then tells us that the Big Bossman gave prisoners hard love and that is better than no love at all. This segment lasted over six minutes and there was no need at all for it to drag they way it did. So far, this character and gimmick is bombing.



Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Jake works the arm to start as the announcers put over his feud against Rick Rude. Jake rolls away from an elbow drop as we get an insert promo from Rick Rude telling Jake the reason his wife closes her eyes when kissing him is because she is dreaming of the Rude Awakening. Jake dodges a charge in the corner and shortly after that hits the DDT for the win (2:11). After the match, Jake puts Damien on top of Sharpe.

Thoughts: Jake looks strong for his feud against Rude. I really dig their feud too as it features some top-notch heeling by Rude.



Bad News Brown vs. Louis Spicolli

Brown attacks Spicolli from behind before the bell. He continues to destroy him as the announcers put over his martial arts background. We hear an insert promo from Brown, who is upset that there is a petition going around asking him to give mercy to his opponents and will refuse to do so as we then see him hit the Ghetto Blaster for the win (1:34). After the match, Brown slaps around Spicolli.

Thoughts: They have done a great job at building up the Bad News gimmick. It also helped that Bad News himself was tremendous in his role.


Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine as they laugh about what happened to Superstar Graham before Valentine tells Muraco he brought this all on himself and will take care of him the same way. After that, we hear from Ken Patera, who tells us that its the USA’s 212th birthday and it takes 212 degrees fahrenheit for water to boil and that is fitting because Dino Bravo is making him boil. Patera then tells Bravo he has more heart and talent and that will give him the win.



In action next week will be the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, Don Muraco, One Man Gang, British Bulldogs, and the Ultimate Warrior.



The show closes with Duggan telling us the 4th of July means hot dogs and soda pop before busting out a USA chant.



Thoughts: Not much of a show this week. Really felt like a recap show more than anything else.



Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Wednesday: RoH Supercard of Honor X, Night Two 4/2/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/9/88

Saturday: RoH Main Event Spectacles 11/1/03

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/10/88

Monday: WWF Los Angeles Sports Arena 7/15/88

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/16/88