The SmarK Rant for WWF Wrestling Challenge – 09.13.86
Taped from Hartford, CT
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd & Johnny V
Jimmy Jack & Hoss Funk v. George Steele & Junkyard Dog
Fun fact: In the WWE Champions mobile game, JYD and George Steele have a tag team link that calls back to this era. The intellectual giants on the babyface side clean house to start and Captain Lou does an inset promo so nonsensical that they just cut him off after a minute and fade out. Dog misses a blind charge on Jimmy Jack while most of the match is shot in an extreme wide angle hard camera shot for some reason, perhaps trying to disguise all the missed spots. Because there’s a lot. The Funks try to tie up the Dog with their rope, but Steele chases them off with a chair and Dog gets a backdrop suplex on Jimmy Jack for the pin at 2:39. I have no idea how they crammed this much awful into 2 and a half minutes but I think they managed to miss single thing they tried. And the replay shows that the ref was literally counting the pin BEFORE DOG EVEN MADE THE COVER! Did he have a bag of microwave popcorn going in the back that he had to check on? Explosive diarrhea?
Wrestler’s Rebuttal with the Hart Foundation: Jim Neidhart is tired of being called “nasty boys” and “greaseball”. Duly noted.
Kamala v. Mario Mancini
Yes, it’s “The Ugand-ian headhunter, Kamaly” according to Lord Alfred Hayes. Also Mancini is from “Connect-icutt”. If I might paraphrase Snatch, I thought British people were supposed to be able to speak English? Kamala puts him down with chops and kicks while we get an inset from the Wizard that’s even more out there than Captain Lou’s. Kamala with more chops and the big splash to finish at 2:00. Well at least he knew how to make a pin at this point in his career. Obviously he started regressing again in the decade afterwards.
Killer Ken Resnick brings on Captain Lou, talking about the speech therapy that George Steele has been going through with Dr. Sidney Greenleaf. Lou informs us that Steele was bullied as a child and doctors inserted a steel plate in his tongue to combat a lisp. So George joins us as well and Captain says be nice, so he’s nice.
Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Luke v. Jack Kruger & Joe Mirto
Kruger is probably more well known to people of our generation as a longtime WWF referee, retiring shortly after this period. The Hillbillies clear the ring right away and Jim puts Mirto down with a big boot on the way into the ring. Over to Luke who manages to fuck up a bodyslam, and then Ernie notes that Luke’s tennis shoes are called “burglar boots” in his circles. Jim comes in for a double slam on poor Kruger, who is trying desperately to stay in position for these two goofs, and Jim finishes him off with a bearhug at 2:44. And then we get a replay of the bearhug in case we didn’t get the nuance of a guy hugging another guy for the win.
Killer Ken talks about the tag team division in the WWF, and his specific guests are the Rougeau Brothers, who don’t even have their fancy blue tights yet.
Meanwhile, THE HONKY TONK MAN is coming soon, and we get a promo from him, as he’s looking to get his hands on Paul Orndorff and take care of business. Yup, he was supposed to be a babyface.
Ricky Steamboat v. Roger Kirby
Kirby’s another journeyman that they liked to use as a job guy near the end of his career. Steamboat evades him and gets some armdrags to gain control, but Kirby beats on the arm to take over. Backbreaker gets two and Steamboat tries a comeback, but Kirby cuts him off and sends him to the apron with some forearms and then snaps him back in again. Steamboat slides underneath him and slams him, and then goes up and finishes with the flying bodypress at 4:29. Oddly, they were having a real match and everything here for some reason.
The Snake Pit with your guest, Hillbilly Jim. Jake makes various insinuations about Jim being stupid and accuses him of smelling like pig shit. Well that was pointless.
King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd v. Paul Roma & Billy Jack Haynes
Weird to see Haynes being used on the enhancement side. I mean obviously we know who’s doing the job here. Billy Jack nearly slams Studd right away, but he grabs the ropes to block and beats Haynes down. Billy Jack slugs away, but Bundy gets a knee from the apron to cut him off and then drops an elbow on him for two. Although Gorilla notes that it doesn’t matter if Billy Jack slammed Studd because Heenan just never pays out the money to anyone. That’s called “The Trump Plan”. Roma gets a “hot” tag (BWAHAHA!) and immediately walks into an Avalanche and gets pinned at 2:34. Billy Jack would have been better off tagging out to the voices in his head.
Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & Hercules v. Corporal Kirschner, Jim Powers & Sal Bellomo
Amazingly, the heels are in the ring to start and the jobbers get the entrance. Kirschner gets a sunset flip on Volkoff for two, and it’s over to Sal, who quickly gets beat up by Sheik. Over to Powers and Hercules wallops him for a bit as these poor bastards can’t even get any shine, and Powers gets triple-teamed in the corner and choked out by Sheik. Of note here, Freddie Blassie is the manager at this point, but his new protégé Slick is hanging out at ringside. Sheik gets a belly to belly on Powers while we get an inset from Superstar Graham, and Hercules finishes with the torture rack before Graham can even finish his insane mushroom-fueled ramblings. Man, when Corporal Kirschner is the peak of star power on your team, you might as well just stay home.
Killer Ken is still putting over the awesome array of tag teams in the WWF, and he’s not wrong. So his guests are the Hart Foundation and they lay out all the tag teams they’re gonna beat on the way to the titles.
Next week: The Killer Bees! Sika! The Dream Team! Dick Slater! Paul Orndorff on the Snake Pit! The Machines! Macho Man! Hart Foundation v. Islanders!
And of course more saxophones as we review all the shitty matches from this week.
Well this one was certainly a work in progress for the show as a whole.