January 23, 1994
Todd Pettengill is the host and he is hosting from his own living room. This edition of Challenge aired in markets that did not show the Rumble on 1/22.
The matches are all from the Augusta, ME taping with Jim Ross & Gorilla Monsoon on commentary.
Shawn Michaels w/ Diesel vs. Tony Roy
Shawn beats on Roy and is then shown on an insert promo saying his speed and endurance will be why he wins the Royal Rumble. Shawn then asks “Big D” if he should take out Roy and goes over to tease a piledriver then uses a small package for the win (1:36).
Thoughts: Easy win for Shawn who was as cocky as ever here in the ring.
Back to Pettengill as he says the announcers mentioning stuff happening “tonight” it was really last night then hints about how this show is for markets where the Rumble was being shown on this date.
“The Rocket” Owen Hart w/ Bret Hart vs. Scott Taylor
The announcers talk about the Hart Brothers facing The Quebecers at the Rumble for the Tag Team Titles then how Bret is putting his own singles career on the backburner to team with his brother. Owen works the arm as Gorilla hopes he appreciates what his brother has done. Owen stays in control until Taylor comes back with a clothesline. Taylor lands a few punches but gets caught in a belly-to-belly suplex then Owen locks on the Sharpshooter for the win (2:29).
Thoughts: The announcers played up how Bret sacrificed his career to team with Owen and that Owen should be appreciative.
Pettengill is in his living room and tells us what Owen did last night in the tag match speaks for itself but does not want to give away what happens. He then plugs the encore presentation for the Rumble, which will take place on Tuesday the 25th.
Smoking Gunns vs. Barry Horowitz & Bert Centeno
We hear from the Gunns in an insert promo talking about the Rumble and how it might come down to them in that match. There wasn’t much point to this one. The Gunns work over Centeno to start. Horowitz comes in and DDT’s Bart but tags out as Centeno gets picked up and the Gunns use the flying elbow drop/powerbomb combo for the win (1:55).
Thoughts: Despite working hard the Gunns have a bad gimmick and presented as a lower card act with a “happy to be here” attitude.
Back to Pettengill’s living room as he tells us that the ending of the Royal Rumble was historic. Hard sell, baby!
Raymond Rougeau welcomes Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji, and Jim Cornette to the ring. Cornette talks about the Casket Match at the Rumble then explains the rules. Cornette now says that Yokozuna is scared of the casket but at the same time is a monster and when you frighten a savage beast in the wild they either run or fight then says Yokozuna is not Bambi and will never run away and hide. Cornette then says they are betting on when both men collide it will result in the Undertaker’s funeral taking place.
The last Undertaker Workshop segment airs.
Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Phil Apollo
We hear from Doink the Clown in an insert promo as Apollo fires away on Bigelow. Apollo charges but gets caught with a hot shot then Bigelow uses a falling headbutt for the win (1:02).
Thoughts: Quick win as they touched upon the Doink/Bigelow feud.
Pettengill once again hypes up how awesome the Rumble was and plugs the encore presentation. After that he talks about phoning Jack Tunney to suggest he give us a summary of the Rumble saga this Monday night on RAW. You know the ending is complicated when this guy has to call the WWF President and suggest he gives us fans a summary of what happened.
IRS vs. PJ Walker
IRS tells the crowd he will own all of Razor’s gold at the Rumble. He is angrier than usual. IRS says after tonight Razor will really be crying when after he has no more gold. Walker rolls up IRS for two but is quickly beaten down as Ross brings up Walker beating IRS on RAW a few months ago. Ross plugs the Rumble Hotline then IRS puts Walker away with a butterfly suplex (1:24).
Thoughts: Some hype for the IC Title match.
The Royal Rumble Rap airs.
We get the “WWF Unbelievable” ad with the baby laughing after turning on Monday Night RAW.
Lex Luger vs. Chris Duffy
Ross plugs the Radio WWF call of the Rumble. Duffy cheap shots Luger before the bell but Luger fights back. Luger clotheslines Duffy over the top rope and we then hear him in an insert promo saying good things happen if you are positive and prepared. Luger suplexes Duffy back inside from the apron but gets hit low. Duffy tries a piledriver but that fails then Luger sets him up for a superplex (1:28). After the match, Luger waves the American flag.
Thoughts: Luger cut a really corny promo as he is one of the favorites to win the Rumble match.
Pettengill then plugs the number to use for WrestleMania X tickets, followed by an ad for that PPV.
We now get a run down of the Rumble PPV by Pettengill for the Encore presentation, including him talking about an “extremely exciting” match that took place between Tatanka and Ludvig Borga. I bet.
Final Thoughts: A hype show for the encore Rumble presentation or in markets when it was available on this day. The format itself wasnt bad and Pettengill was a solid hype man. Next week’s syndicated shows will have the fallout and build towards WrestleMania X.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Monday Night RAW 1/24/94
Saturday: WWF Superstars 1/29/94, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/30/94
Sunday: WWF Monday Night RAW 1/31/94, Randy Savage vs. Crush from 2/1/94 White Plains, NY (WWE Unreleased 1986-1995 DVD).
Monday: WWF Superstars 2/5/94, WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/6/94
Tuesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 2/7/94
Wednesday: WWF Superstars 2/12/94, WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/13/94
Thursday: WWF Monday Night RAW 2/14/94