The SmarK Rant for WWF Wrestling Challenge – 10.25.86
THE RECOGNIZED SYMBOL OF EXCELLENCE IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT!
Shouldn’t it be WWF Sports Entertainment Challenge then?
Taped from Rochester, NY
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Cowboy Bob Orton & Magnificent Muraco v. Mike Kelly & Nick Kiniski
This was the awkward phase where Orton and Muraco were still trying to figure out who their manager was going to be, with both Fuji and Jimmy Hart representing them at ringside here. Kiniski dodges a charging Orton and takes him down with a headlock before working the arm. We get an inset promo from Mike Rotundo as he lets us know that Danny Spivey has a “serious knee injury” but he’ll be back “real soon now”. Are you a DOCTOR, Mike Rotundo? Are you qualified to share that information? I DON’T THINK SO. So after holding his own, Kiniski tags in this doofus Mike Kelly, and Orton quickly powerslams him to set up Muraco for the tombstone at 2:08. This loser might as well retire and move to Pittsburgh so he can be a schoolteacher or something because he was completely useless.
Wrestler’s Rebuttal, with Bobby Heenan and Harley Race. Bobby really wishes that people would get off their chairs and bow down to the King. It really grinds his gears!
Hillbilly Jim v. Al Navarro
Sadly, Jim’s theme has been replaced by the lesser-known variant, “Don’t Go Messin’ With a Corporate Music Rights Litigation Division”. Navarro tries working a hammerlock on Jim while Gorilla tells the story about Hulk Hogan giving his boots to Jim. When did Hulk Hogan ever wear black boots in the WWF? How stupid was Jim to fall for that obvious lie from Hogan? He probably loaded his roids into them to throw the feds off the scent. Jim finishes with the bearhug at 2:04.
Jake Roberts joins Killer Ken, and he’s not afraid of Tito Santana, Koko B. Ware, George Steele, no one! In fact the snake will eat Frankie if need be. And if he needs to sneeze, he’ll use Resnick’s hand, because that’s the kind of guy he is. Also he’s got the Intercontinental title on his mind, because then you can get a title shot at Hogan whenever you want. Why wouldn’t he just want to go after Hogan directly, then? I’m not really buying his logic there.
The Natural Butch Reed v. Don Driggers
Reed’s hair is a lot more under control now after his debut, and he’s gone from “Mr. Natural Hacksaw Reed” to the much more succinct “The Natural”. Driggers tries a headlock and Reed tosses him off to break that up and then beats on him with forearms and stomps him down in the corner. So apparently this guy Driggers’ entire career only lasted from 85-88, and he literally only worked in the WWF as a jobber and nowhere else. That’s a weird career path. Flying clothesline finishes for Reed at 2:43.
The Honky Tonk Man joins Killer Ken, and Ken is still putting him over as a smiling babyface who does babyface things, like singing and dancing! Good lord this was so misguided.
Speaking of misguided, The Machines go shopping for a compact car, as Big attempts to negotiate by saying “Moshi moshi” a lot and then can’t fit into the driver’s seat. Oh lord.
Dino Bravo v. Sivi Afi
Oh my god, THIS IS IT. THIS IS WHAT MY REVIEWING CAREER HAS BEEN BUILDING TOWARDS. Because JOEY MARELLA IS REFEREEING A DINO BRAVO MATCH! In his WWF TV debut for this run! Afi gets a hiptoss for two, but walks into a clothesline. Gorilla: “Dino Bravo has really put on some upper body weight since I last saw him.” GEE I WONDER WHY? Bravo drops Afi on the top rope for two and drops a knee for two, but Afi gets a crossbody for two before Bravo hits him with a backdrop driver for the pin at 2:39. That was a pretty nasty suplex. Dammit, it’s like they served this one up on a silver platter for me and I don’t even have anything to bitch about with either one. They’re both so terrible they can’t even suck properly! DINO BRAVO AND JOEY MARELLA ARE THE WORST!
The Snake Pit, with Honky Tonk Man. Honky suggests that Jake needs to grease up his hair and drive a Cadillac, and he’s not afraid of snakes. Why do they keep putting these awful Jake segments on there?
The Killer Bees v. Moondog Spot & Jimmy Jack Funk
Well this is a fascinating jobber team in the sense that they’re the leftover pieces of two other mid-level tag teams. Brunzell takes Funk down with monkey flips as a pretty sizeable portion of the crowd starts a “boring” chant already. I mean, they’re not wrong, but THIS is the match that turns the crowd on the show? DINO BRAVO WAS RIGHT THERE! Also, speaking of boring, DAVE HEBNER gets an inset promo. That’s how you know you’re watching a B-Show. Or in this case, a Bee-Show. Oddly, Gorilla also comments on the oddity of the jobbers, calling them a “mongrel team”, which is a bit more mean than I’d put it. Blair gets worked over a little by Spot, but Brunzell gets a high knee on Funk and Blair comes in with the hip attack before Brunzell finishes with the dropkick at 3:38.
Ricky Steamboat wants us all to say no to drugs. Wait, but what if all my friends are doing drugs and they say it’s cool and hip? Oh never mind, apparently we shouldn’t do them then, either, according to Steamboat. I’m very confused. Well, I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here. I’m gonna go flush my blood pressure medication down the toilet right now, just in case. I think we can all be thankful that we have pro wrestlers to act as role models for us and show us the right way to deal with drugs and peer pressure.
Meanwhile, on a really old episode of Tuesday Night Titans, Freddie Blassie introduces Vince McMahon to Kamala. That was more than a year before this show! He doesn’t even have the same manager now!
Kamala v. Tony Nardo
Kamala beats the guy down with chops and chokes him out on the ropes, then finishes with a big boot and splash at 1:32.
Ricky Steamboat joins Killer Ken, and he still isn’t finished with Jake Roberts, even if Jake thinks they’re done. Also, he subscribes to Hogan’s philosophy of saying your prayers, taking your vitamins, and working out. Also the fourth one, quitting the business to run a gym when contract negotiations don’t go your way. That’s more specific to Steamboat, of course.
Next week! Randy Savage v. Billy Jerk for the IC title! Ricky Steamboat! George Steele! And HULK HOGAN is actually going to slum it on this hellhole? Well slap me silly and call me Susan. I hope he squashes that little shit Mike Kelly because I would laugh SO GODDAMN HARD. Well I guess we’ll find out next time.
Until then, remember, DON’T NOT DO DRUGS…? Dammit now I’ve forgotten how it goes already. Stupid squash matches killing my attention span.