WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 8th, 1989

January 8, 1989

From the Sun Dome in Tampa, FL

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

In action this week are Hacksaw Jim Duggan , Rick Rude, Ronnie Garvin, King Haku, and Hercules.


Hercules vs. Barry Horowitz

Horowitz shoves Hercules and slaps his hand away before bailing. Hercules still has his chain then Horowitz heads in for a sneak attack. Horowitz lands a few shots but Hercules comes back with a clothesline. Hercules fires away as the announcers talk about the Royal Rumble as we hear an insert promo from Ted DiBiase, who says his chain will be around Hercules’ ankles after the Rumble because he is his slave. Heenan then talks about DiBiase trying to buy #30 in the Rumble match as Hercules stays in control until getting the win with a backbreaker submission (2:40).

Thoughts: They put over the Hercules/DiBiase feud and the story of DiBiase possibly buying the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble match.


WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is about the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and how they’ve moved to Memphis, TN as Hayes wonders if their neighbors will accept them. After all the hype of where in the U.S. the Rougeaus would be moving they are now going to focus on the team after settling in Memphis.


“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. Steve Lombardi

Garvin grounds Lombardi as the announcers put over his toughness. Garvin then uses his stomp as Heenan leaves to get Haku ready for his match. We hear from Garvin in an insert promo as he talks about coming to the WWF for tough competition and will prove it at the Royal Rumble. Lombardi bites Garvin but has his sunset flip attempt blocked and shortly after that Garvin puts him away with a piledriver (2:38).

Thoughts: Decent showcase for Garvin, whose character is that of a no-nonsense babyface. Its not the easiest gimmick to get over in 1980’s WWF, however.


Martin Roy vs. King Haku w/ Bobby Heenan

Gorilla tries to tell us that if you wait too long, you will not be able to order the Rumble on PPV. A loud “weasel” chant breaks out before the match. Haku chops Roy down as we hear from Harley Race in an insert as he says Haku only has one more week to pretend that he is a king. Haku continues to destroy Roy then ducks a crossbody before hitting a slam and getting the win with a top rope splash (2:07).

Thoughts: The Haku/Race feud over who will be the king has been a complete dud. Part of that is Race has not really turned face on TV other than call out Haku during insert promos.


Sean Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from Rick Martel, who states he chose this match to prove the doctors wrong as wrestling is his life and he will show the fans his appreciation and give 100%. This is the first we have heard from Martel since he was taken out by Demolition. After that the Hart Foundation & Jim Duggan call out the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers & Dino Bravo to hype their 2/3 Falls match at the Rumble.


Powers of Pain w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Omar Atlas & Bob Emery

The Barbarian runs through Atlas then slams him with one arm. We hear from Mr. Fuji as he promises something special for Demolition at the Royal Rumble. Emery tags as the Powers of Pain work him over until they hit the Doomsday Device for the win (2:43).

Thoughts: They continued the Demolition/Powers of Pain feud here and teased the “every man for himself” theme at the Royal Rumble with how much they’ve pushed that partners will turn on each other if needed to win the match.


Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from Demolition, Bad News Brown, and Big John Studd as they hype up the Royal Rumble match.


Trent Knight vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Kinght stalls to start off the match. Duggan catches him with an atomic drop then a clothesline as he stays in control. We hear from Bravo in an insert promo as he promises to get rid of Duggan, who slams Knight then puts him away with the Three Point Stance (1:58).

Thoughts: More hype for the Duggan/Bravo feud to put over their six-man tag match at the Royal Rumble.


Gene Okerlund welcomes Slick and the Twin Towers to the interview platform. Bossman says he beat Hogan like a dog and the only thing to save him at the Rumble will be a stay of execution. Akeem dances then says Bossman speaks the truth and that he will come out on top as Bossman says he will win the match. Slick then reminds us that these two will now be known as the “Twin Towers.”


Royal Rumble Report with Gene Okerlund.


The Bushwhackers are shown at a fancy restaurant. They end up ordering a ton of food and are shown eating the food with their hands as we see this in fast-forward while some wacky old-timey music plays. It was harmless and the Bushwhackers were actually great with their gimmick so it worked out well.


Robin Idle vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan

Rude beats on Idle then hits a snap suplex. We see an insert promo from the Ultimate Warrior who tells Rude is becoming increasingly weak and frail because he feels his power. Back to the match as Rude slams Idle then puts him away with the Rude Awakening (1:28). After the match he gives some girl, who looked quite young, the Rude Awakening.

Thoughts: Warrior’s insert promo was a bit nutty as they are hyping their “pose down” at the Rumble. Only a PPV promoted by Vince would feature such a segment.


Mooney is back in the Event Center as we hear from Greg Valentine and Andre the Giant as they hype up the Royal Rumble match.


Next week in action will be Ted DiBiase, Bad News Brown, and the Koko B. Ware vs. Mr. Perfect and Tito Santana vs. Red Rooster matches from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”


Final Thoughts: With one week until the Royal Rumble we got a lot of hype for the show. They also hyped up most of the midcard feuds too. Really not a whole lot to see here.


Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/14/89

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/15/89

Wednesday: PWG Thirteen 7/29/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF 1989 Royal Rumble

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/25/82

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/21/89