January 2, 1994
From the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon
Tatanka vs. Tony DeVito
Tatanka takes control early as Gorilla puts over DeVito for spending a lot of years as a “scholastic” wrestler. DeVito takes Tatanka down with a fireman’s carry then rams Tatanka into the corner but Tatanka just fires up then hits a flying chop for the win (2:48).
Thoughts: Easy win for Tatanka to build him for the Royal Rumble.
WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. He talks about the Royal Rumble being three weeks away then we see the Undertaker’s Workshop segment we saw on the Rumble Report segment from “Superstars.” He then runs down the rest of the matches on the PPV and how Todd Pettengill will be up later on for a more detailed report. Not too much heeling this week by Lord Alfred.
The Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. John Crystal & Russ Greenberg
The Headshrinkers attack their opponents then things get messy as it appears the enhancement workers were supposed to hit dropkicks as just Greenberg does so while Crystal gets hot-shottted. The Headshrinkers beat Greenberg down then Crystal tags in and gets destroyed until Fatu hits a flying splash for the win (2:45).
Thoughts: The past few weeks have seen The Headshrinkers all over TV but they are more being hyped up as badass lunatics instead of being pushed in a feud.
Bret Hart warns us not to drink and drive.
Doink the Clown w/ Dink vs. Duane Gill
Doink hits a back suplex but Gill comes back to work the arm. Doink reverses as Dink does his unfunny shtick on the ring apron then Gill misses a charge in the corner and Doink heads up top for a sit-down splash and the win (1:56).
Thoughts: This stuff with Dink really sucks. The crowds do not care. The Doink/Bigelow feud is still being pushed, however.
Stan Lane welcomes Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji, and Yokozuna to the ring. Cornette is upset with the conspiracies in the WWF regarding Yokozuna’s contract for his title match against Undertaker. Cornette then promises the Undertaker he will not get up after the amount of Bonzai Drops Yokozuna hits at the Royal Rumble. Cornette then reminds us that much like Lex Luger, Undertaker will only get one shot at the title. Cornette then warns Lane not to say the word “casket” as we see that obvious is afraid. Cornette was fine here and Yokozuna’s facial reactions upon just hearing the word “casket” are great.
Men on a Mission w/ Oscar vs. Reno Riggins & Chris Duffy
MoM works over Riggins to start. Riggins then attacks Mo from behind as Gorilla assumes that Mo will also be announced as in the Rumble match. MoM then hit Riggins with a drop toe hold/leg drop combo and Mabel spins around on Riggins before covering for the win (1:40).
Thoughts: Well, Mo was announced for the Rumble match but is clearly taking a back seat behind Mabel in this act. Mo is really out of place in this gimmick.
The Thurman “Sparky” Plugg vignette airs.
IRS vs. Mike Khoury
IRS refuses to let the camera peek into his briefcase. IRS beats on Khoury as the announcers talk about the IRS/Razor feud and match upcoming at the Royal Rumble. Ross jokes that IRS is Rush Limbaugh’s favorite wrestler then IRS hits the Write Off clothesline and follows with a back suplex for the win (1:49).
Thoughts: Easy win for IRS as he possesses the gold chain of Razor in his briefcase and will have it with him when they face off for the Intercontinental Title at the Royal Rumble.
Royal Rumble Report airs.
Shawn Michaels vs. Bert Centeno
We see the pant style here that Shawn kept for the next few years. Shawn works the arm but Centeno takes him down with a side headlock. Shawn then catches Centeno with a dropkick then hits a slam. Shawn also fakes out Centeno and nails him with a super kick as the announcers talk about Shawn being younger than Bret Hart then Shawn hits a flying elbow drop for the win (1:45). Ross says Shawn could win the Royal Rumble and head to WrestleMania and face the champion. After the match, Shawn takes the mic and calls himself the “undisputed” Intercontinental Champion and refers to himself as the “Heartbreak Kid.”
Thoughts: The announcers really put over Shawn as a threat to win the Rumble and Shawn is now stressing the “Hearbreak Kid” nickname.
In action next week are Tatanka, Crush, Ludvig Borga, and Marty Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid. Plus, an interview with The Undertaker.
Final Thoughts: The only thing exclusive here was the interview with Cornette, Yokozuna, and Mr. Fuji as the rest of the show was Royal Rumble hype, which is all Challenge will be for the most part as we deeper into the year.