WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 12th, 1992

January 12, 1992

From the Corpus Christi Memorial Auditorium in Corpus Christi, TX

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan

This week in action are Roddy Piper, The Undertaker, Jake Roberts, and the New Foundation. Plus, The Rockers as guests on the “Barber Shop” and more!

 

The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer vs. Scott Bazo

Heenan tells Gorilla that you have to go with Ric Flair as the Royal Rumble winner as Gorilla wants to know why. Undertaker chokes Bazo as Heenan talks about being fair to Flair. We then hear from Undertaker & Bearer in an insert promo as they talk about cremating 29 bodies at the Rumble. Undertaker stays in control then hits the tombstone for the win (2:07).

Thoughts: Flair was the focus on commentary with Heenan pushing the “fair to Flair” theme. Undertaker is still being presented as one of the favorites to win the Rumble match.

 

WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. This focuses on last week’s interview from “Superstars of  Wrestling” with Randy Savage & Elizabeth and how Savage vowed to win the Rumble. After that we hear from other Rumble competitors as they talk about winning the match.

 

New Foundation vs. BA Dalton & Dusty Daze

The New Foundation take control as the announcers talk about the Rumble match. Owen gets in a lot of offense then the New Foundation hit the Rocket Launcher for the win (2:47).

Thoughts: So far the New Foundation has been a showcase for Owen as Neidhart’s stock is at a low point. Neidhart still has a personality but that isn’t going to carry him much further.

 

Plug for “WBF Magazine” and the Ultimate Personal Fitness Weekend.

 

The Berzerker w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Rudy Gonzalez

Berzerker knocks down Gonzalez as Heenan talks about about being fair to Flair. Berzerker ties Gonzalez in the ropes and hits a couple of big boots then a front falling slam before tossing him outside for the count out win (2:47).

Thoughts: I feel like I say this after every Berzerker squash match win but they are all the same and the character has not advanced to any feuds since debuting ten months prior.

 

We see the first Chris Chavis vignette from the 12/28 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.”

 

Roddy Piper vs. Louie Spicolli

Piper beats down Spicolli as we hear from Virgil in an insert promo telling Piper despite being friends he will eliminate him at the Rumble. Spicolli lands a few shots as Heenan rants about this being a dog-eat-dog world as Piper catches Spicolli with a sleeper for the win (1:38).

Thoughts: More basic Rumble hype for this match as Piper is being portrayed as a possible threat to win and become champion.

 

Barber Shop with guests The Rockers. They come out in street clothes with Shawn wearing a leather jacket as the camera zooms in on his earring. Beefcake brings out the WWF Magazine article about the team possibly breaking up but wants to hear it from them first. Shawn says without a doubt they are the tightest team in the WWF and as the captain of the team he assures us there are no problems. Marty seems to take offense to Shawn claiming to be the captain and stops him to say there is friction and wants to straighten things out. Marty said they’ve done everything together then we see the past few weeks of problems they have had, like Shawn missing a tag due to flirting with a girl as Shawn remarks “chicks dig me, I can’t help it.” Shawn then cuts Marty off and accuses him of shifting the blame then recalls wrestling Flair on Prime Time, adding its something Marty has never done, as Shawn says he was giving Flair a wrestling lesson until Marty “saved the day” and does not recall every saying he needed Marty’s help. Marty talks about always sticking together until recently and wants to know what changed with Shawn then even takes blame for what happened against Flair and says together they can make it to the top but its up to Shawn. Marty then says he will turn his back and if he wants to go off on his own then leave but if he wants to work it out he can stay and they will shake hands. Marty turns around as Shawn stays. Shawn then turns Marty around and smiles, saying they are cool as they hug. They raise hands then Shawn hits a super kick. Shawn then picks up Marty and smashes him through the Barber Shop as Heenan jokingly calls Marty a coward for trying to escape through the window. Shawn then picks up the WWF Magazine and asks if there is a problem with The Rockers and rips it up as Beefcake tends to Marty. We then see a replay from the other side of the window as Gorilla wants the doctor to come out. Man, what a segment. And a rare major event that took place exclusive to Challenge. With Shawn coming out and having a new look it was clear he was going to be on his own, especially with Marty’s generic t-shirt and jeans wardrobe. Shawn’s arrogance has been slowly growing for months and even on commentary they went out of their way to put him over as a potential singles star. I did like Heenan downplaying this on commentary by still referring to them as “Laverne & Shirley” and saying they would make up then claiming he knew Shawn would turn his back all along after the super kick. Shawn himself claimed he came up with this Barber Shop idea and Marty said Shawn stiffed him on this kick and he actually left his feet when it happened. This is a segment everyone should watch and you can do so here

 

Royal Rumble Report with Gene Okerlund. Same as “Superstars” but with Okerlund commenting how disappointed he is with Shawn Michaels. Okerlund said he hopes to get an update on Marty Jannetty’s condition.

 

Larry Ludden vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake beats down Ludden then we hear from Sgt. Slaughter in an insert promo as he does not trust Jake and will throw him out of the Rumble en route to winning the match. Jake stays in control and toys with Ludden before hitting the DDT for the win (2:28).

Thoughts: With Jake still feuding with Savage and not being named as a Rumble match winner favorite (like Savage) its clear that he is probably going to be losing his feud to Savage.

 

Next week in action are British Bulldog, Nasty Boys, Legion of Doom, and featured match of Randy Savage vs. Hercules. Plus, an interview with Hulk Hogan and an update on Marty Jannetty’s condition.

 

And while not part of the show, in his 1/10/92 “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Dave Meltzer published a copy of the WWF roster depth chart of how the company ranked the talent. Here it is:

Babyfaces: Hulk, Macho Man, Sid Justice, Piper, Bret Hart, Boss Man, Virgil, Janetty, Tornado, Bulldog, El Matador, Valentine, Chavis, Walker.

Heels: Flair, Undertaker, Snake, DiBiase, IRS, Mountie, Michaels, Repo Man, Berzerker, Skinner, Warlord, Kato, Hercules.

Face tag teams: LOD, Slaughter & Duggan, New Foundation, Bushwhackers.

Heel tag teams: Natural Disasters, Nasty Boys, Beverly Brothers.

 

Final Thoughts: The Barber Shop segment was memorable and started the solo push of Shawn Michaels, who would be one of the biggest stars of the company over the next several years. Besides that we had more Rumble hype but the Barber Shop trumped that on this show.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/18/92

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 10/27/83, 11/3/83

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/19/92

Monday: WWF Royal Rumble 1992

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/25/92, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/26/92

Wednesday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 1/27/92

Thursday: WWF Madison Square Garden 1/31/92