WWF Wrestling Challenge – December 4th, 1988

December 4, 1988

From the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA

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

In action this week are the Red Rooster, Koko B. Ware, and the Rockers. Plus, the Ultimate Warrior vs. Super Ninja match from “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and more.

 

The Rockers vs. Barry Horowitz & Steve Lombardi

Jannetty catches Horowitz with a hip toss after an Irish whip sequence then works the arm. The Rockers use a few double-team moves then Michaels gets caught in the wrong corner. Michaels backs of Lombardi as we then hear from the Rockers in an insert promo putting themselves over. Gorilla teases Heenan about the Rockers beating the Brainbusters before defeating Demolition for the Tag Team Titles as Michaels grounds Horowitz with a side headlock. The Rockers then clean house before putting Horowitz away with the Rockerplex (5:11).

Thoughts: Much longer than your average TV match against enhancement talent. On commentary they lightly teased a Rockers/Brainbusters feud but did not mention their match next week on “Superstars of Wrestling.” At this time, they were still trying to push a Brainbusters feud against the Young Stallions.

 

WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. We see the clip of Bad News Brown putting his hands on Jack Tunney during the “Brother Love Show” one week ago. After that, Tunney is shown telling us Brown is fined $25,000 and was going to be suspended but since Randy Savage wanted to avenge Elizabeth’s honor, the suspension is lifted.

 

Koko B. Ware vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Koko rallies the crowd as he frustrates Sharpe. Koko misses a diving attack and hits his throat on the ropes as Sharpe chops him hard. Koko then fakes out Sharpe with a crossbody and hits a dropkick before putting Sharpe away with a the Ghostbuster that looked vicious (2:47).

Thoughts: These fans loved Koko. The Ghostbuster looked sick here too. Koko, however, has nothing at all going on for him though.

 

Gene Okerlund is with the Bushwhackers, who smell each other and use their “yankee money” to get a soda from the machine. Luke then opens up the can with his dentures. These clips to introduce the Bushwhackers were something else.

 

Louie Spicolli vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass

The camera shows a kid holding up a Brutus Beefcake doll as Bass beats on Spicolli. Bass stays in control until hitting the gourdbuster for the win (1:36).

Thoughts: Quick match to put over Bass as his feud with Beefcake continues.

 

Sam Houston vs. Red Rooster w/ Bobby Heenan

Gorilla is solo on commentary. We hear from the Red Rooster in an insert promo as he puts Heenan over for giving him confidence. Houston uses a flying headscissors and a Thesz Press before Rooster bails. Heenan screams at Rooster, who heads in and hits a neckbreaker after Houston ducked his head. Rooster roughs up Houston but almost gets beat with a sunset flip. Houston gains some momentum but Rooster stops that with a hotshot then he uses the Cock of the Walk to get the win (2:46).

Thoughts: This was a nice, little match these two had here. Poor Houston is officially a TV jobber now though, which is a shame as he looked pretty damn good here.

 

Sean Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from the Young Stallions as they put over the top teams and how they are not afraid to face anyone. Their goal is to be the top tag team in the WWF. Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine are next as Valentine calls himself the greatest wrestler today and that he should have all three belts. Even though he was older and slowing down, I still appreciated the Hammer. He carried himself well in promos and could still have a good match with the right opponent.

 

We see the Ultimate Warrior defeat the Super Ninja from “Saturday Night’s Main Event” in what was billed as the first Intercontinental Title match in SNME history.

 

An ad for the Royal Rumble airs

 

Okerlund welcomes Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant to the interview platform. Heenan is upset about Okerlund saying Andre is afraid of snakes. Andre then tells Jake to step into the ring with him as Heenan says he will not be responsible for what Andre does to Jake and if the crowd keeps chanting for Jake, he will suffer more. A basic promo to continue the Jake/Andre feud.

 

We see the Powers of Pain/Demolition double-turn from Survivor Series, courtesy of Coliseum Home Video.

 

“Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig vs. Frank Valdez

Hennig beats on Valdez as Gorilla wants to know when Hennig will start facing some real competition. Hennig yells out that he will be the next champion after hitting a dropkick then we hear him in an insert promo as he puts over his perfect record. Hennig stays in control until putting Valdez away with the Perfect Plex (2:29).

Thoughts: Hennig looked good in the ring here but his act is just not over at all. The crowd does not care about him and to be honest, his promos come off as really corny.

 

Mooney is back in the Event Center. Frenchy Martin puts over Dino Bravo for being the strongest man in the world while Bravo tells Jim Duggan the Quebec Flag will be the only one waving in the WWF. Brutus Beefcake then calls out Ron Bass.

 

Next week in action will be Tito Santana, Rick Rude, and the Young Stallions vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

 

Final Thoughts: Not much of a show this week. They played some clips from the bigger shows and there was no real angle advancement to speak of here. The action was fine at least but this show was not something you needed to watch in order to keep up with the WWF product.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days. I’ll try my best to get these posted but cannot promise anything as I’ve been busier than usual and going away on vacation next week:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/10/88

Wednesday: EVOLVE 66 8/19/16

Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1991 WCW as told by Barry Windham

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/11/88

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/18/82

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/17/88

Monday: WWF Philadelphia Spectrum 12/17/88