The SmarK Rant for WWF Wrestling Challenge – 10.11.86
THE RECOGNIZED SYMBOL OF EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT
Taped from Salisbury, MD
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Randy Savage v. Billy Jack Haynes
Poor Billy Jack gets no entrance and this is non-title. Gorilla, master of the sick burn, dubs Randy the “not so Macho Man”. Also, Macho and Liz have matching outfits in a nice touch. We get an inset promo from Liz right away as she starts to explain why she puts up with Macho’s treatment, but then Savage bursts in and shuts down the interview right away. I laughed at that one. Haynes gets a slam to chase Savage out of the ring as Gorilla is once again triggered by Savage’s “theft” of the title from Tito Santana. Man, it’s been 8 months, move on with your life. Back in, Savage outsmarts him with a cheapshot and goes up for the double axehandle, and that gets two. To be fair, it’s pretty easy to outsmart Billy. You just have to go “Hey, isn’t that JFK Jr. over there?” and then hit him when he looks away. Haynes makes the comeback as Gorilla calls him a “youngster” with a straight face, and a suplex and flying fistdrop get two. Even Gorilla has to admit that the suplex wasn’t particularly well executed. Haynes escapes a slam and gets the full nelson, but Savage makes the ropes, so Haynes pulls him back in. With that escape foiled, Savage just kicks the ref in the face instead, so Danny Davis comes in and calls for a DQ against Haynes at 4:30, which is hilarious because there’s no conceivable way that Savage could have won by DQ and they didn’t even bother crafting a fake reason for it like they would these days. I never actually saw this angle at the time when they were building up the Davis thing. Match was OK. **
Wrestler’s Rebuttal with Ricky Steamboat! You know what really grinds his gears? MANAGERS. He hates them. And also Jake the Snake and his DDT. I’m surprised he could even remember the name of the move after Jake dropped him on his head.
Meanwhile, Bob Orton and Don Muraco reminisce about last week when they beat up Roddy Piper, and Muraco is now wearing a kilt in Piper’s honor, so we take another look at it. And then we get the followup from the next week, as Piper hobbles out to his destroyed set on one leg, and uses a baseball bat to demolish the Flower Shop. That was also awesome. Apparently the Piper-Adonis feud flopped at the house shows at the time, which is pretty shocking because this was heavy heat stuff. And then Muraco does a hell of a promo as he’s now in a tag team with Orton and they’re coming for Piper. Muraco had quite a surprising renaissance at this point, probably because he hadn’t found anything to sink his teeth into for a long time.
The Machines join Killer Ken as Big Machine does the fake Japanese gimmick (“Mitsubishi. Honda.”) and Super Machine just straight up does a normal promo. Thankfully this was slightly less offensive than last week because they were playing it for laughs.
The Killer Bees v. Butch Cooper & Barry O
“Butch Cooper” is a solid old-timey wrestling name and he looks like a tough guy, but I can’t find any information on him so he was probably just a local job guy. Too bad, that would be a good one for someone in the NXT Name Generator because we haven’t had a good Butch in a long time. Orton comes in and Brunzell takes him down with a headscissors and the Bees work on the arm. Back to Cooper and Blair powerslams him and then elbows Barry over the top rope for a nice bump, and Brunzell finishes Cooper with the dropkick at 2:52.
Harley Race joins Killer Ken, as Ken notes that “his fellow workers” paid homage to him with the crowning. WHOOPS. Race notes that “Hawk Hogan” might be the champion but he can’t quite match up. Did they not have time for a second take? Was this the best one?
The Hart Foundation v. Mario Mancini & Nick Kiniski
Kiniski was pretty far from home at this point. Kiniski gets a bodypress on “Brett” for two and a sunset flip for one. Anvil comes in and Kiniski takes him down with an armdrag, flopping around like a fish in the process. He was a little gawky at that point, unfortunately. Over to Mancini and the Harts quickly put him away with the Hart Attack at 1:58. I’m thinking the Harts wanted to let Kiniski have a bit of shine here, but Nick was still incredibly green at this point or had nerves or something.
The Snake Pit with special guest Hulk Hogan. Although Jake has his snake, Hulk warns him not to mess with the pythons, brother. And then Hulk turns his back on Jake and walks off. Sick burn. Someday I hope they dig up the infamous Jake-Hogan DDT segment of legend if it was filmed, but I feel like we would have seen it on the Network by now if it was real.
Tito Santana & Pedro Morales v. Ken Glover & Steve Lombardi
Interesting that they never did more with Tito and Pedro as a tag team because it’s a natural combination and neither guy was doing much of note anyway. Lombardi slugs on Tito on the ropes, but Tito comes back with a hiptoss and dropkick and then takes him down with the armdrag. Pedro with a slam as Gorilla notes that once the hot Latin tempers get flowing, they’re LITERALLY unbeatable! Um, Tito’s win-loss record would beg to differ. Over to Glover, who beats on Tito, but Pedro comes in and gets a backbreaker for the pin at 2:25 while Gorilla rattles off all the guys that Bobby owes money to, for slamming Studd. To be fair to Bobby, Gorilla says “Haku” and then adds “King Tonga”. So that’s $15,000 saved for Bobby.
Moondog Spot v. Islander Toma
Still working out the kinks on those Islander names I see. Toma chops Spot down and slams him, but misses an elbow while we get our weekly batshit crazy Superstar Graham promo from the desert. Spot goes up and misses an elbow and Toma chops him down, but Rex comes out for the DQ at 1:31 and then Haku makes the save. Well that was a thrilling main event.
The Wizard and Sika chat with Killer Ken to wrap things up this week, as Hogan will be sent to OBLIVITY. Sounds unpleasant.
Next week: Paul Orndorff! Koko B Ware! Hillbilly Jim! Studd & Bundy!