What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 21, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, which originates from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The taping took place on January 3.  This is the last show before The Royal Rumble.

Opening Contest:  Roddy Piper (1-0) beats Bob Bradley after a side suplex at 1:05:

Bradley was a trainee of Jimmy Snuka who worked for the WWF as a jobber from 1982-1986 before going to Texas and wrestling for World Class, winning the Texas Heavyweight Championship in a tournament before dropping it to the Dingo Warrior (the future Ultimate Warrior).  Enhancement stints in the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and WCW followed before he returned to the WWF in 1989 in a losing effort against Snuka.  This squash is entertaining as Bradley tears into Piper after the opening bell, only to have Piper fire back.  Not to be deterred, Bradley tears into Piper twice more, but the bigger star wins out, delivers a suplex, and then hits a sloppy side suplex to prevail.  Piper needs to go back to the sleeper hold or try something new because the suplex finisher does not look devastating enough.

Lord Alfred Hayes does the Special Report segment.  Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart tell Ronnie Garvin that it is time to put up or shut up.  Garvin screams back that Valentine will submit at The Royal Rumble.  Hacksaw Jim Duggan says that the Big Bossman will not be able to bully him at the pay-per-view.  Brutus Beefcake warns the Genius that his barbershop will be open for business.  And Brother Love hypes the Sensational Sherri-Sapphire segment on the show, saying that Sherri has already expressed her love to Sapphire.

Non-Title Match:  The Colossal Connection (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Bobby Heenan) beat Lyn Wagner & Butch Stanley when Andre the Giant pins Stanley after an elbow drop at 3:00:

The Connection was a super team of Andre the Giant and Haku, two singles wrestlers who were managed by Heenan.  The WWF needed a new heel team to face Demolition after the Brain Busters departed the company following Survivor Series ’89 and Andre and Haku needed something new to do, as Andre lost matches at house shows in the fall of 1989 to the Ultimate Warrior and Haku had lost his “king” title to Hacksaw Jim Duggan earlier in the year.  In the split screen, the Connection vow to take out Demolition in the Royal Rumble.  To cover for Andre the Giant’s physical limitations, the WWF acknowledges that Haku is doing most of the work in the matches, but they argue that Andre is a finisher who enters matches late.  Haku lands a few token blows against the jobbers until he tags in Andre, who holds Stanley in place for a Haku thrust kick and then an elbow drop makes things academic.

After the bell, Demolition rush the ring and drive the heels to the floor.  They pose with the WWF Tag Team Championship belts as the Connection retreats to the locker room.

Rick Martel (1-0) beats Mark Reagan via submission to a Boston crab at 2:17:

In the split screen, Martel tells Brutus Beefcake that he is going to wipe the smile he has been wearing recently off his face.  Schiavone and Monsoon note that Martel has bigger things to worry about in the Royal Rumble than Beefcake, who will not be in the match.  Reagan sells a Martel clothesline like death, setting up a Martel backbreaker and Boston crab for a submission win.

The Dusty Rhodes-John Justice squash match from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

The Big Bossman (w/Slick) (2-0) pins Terry Bronson after the Bossman Slam at 1:54:

As the Bossman dishes out punishment, largely with his boot, to Bronson he cuts a promo against Hacksaw Jim Duggan in the split screen, promising hard time for his opponent at The Royal Rumble.  After a headbutt, the Bossman plants Bronson with the Bossman Slam and pins him with one finger.

After the bout, the Bossman handcuffs Bronson to the top rope and brutalizes him with his nightstick.

Gene Okerlund interviews Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior.  The Warrior says he does not follow normal rules.  He says there are twenty-eight mortal men in the Royal Rumble as WWF Champion Hulk Hogan walks around with an invisible forcefield around him and if they are meant to face off in the Rumble then it will happen.  When it comes to Dino Bravo, the Warrior repeats his vow to steal Bravo’s strength.

Okerlund does the final Royal Rumble Report.  In Rumble promos, Randy Savage vows to prove skeptics about him wrong, Jimmy Snuka goes “Oo!” a lot, the Rockers talk about how the match could come down to them, Jim Neidhart says that the Rumble will be crazy, Tito Santana promises to have the time of his life, Dino Bravo and the Canadian Earthquake vow to destroy the Warrior and win the Rumble (which puts them at odds), and WWF Champion Hulk Hogan says he had to go to Gold’s Gym to find thirty guys to rough up so he could prepare for the Rumble.

The Powers of Pain squash from Prime Time Wrestling wraps up the show.

Tune in next week to see the Bushwhackers, Bad News Brown, the Red Rooster, Rhythm & Blues, the Canadian Earthquake, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan in action!  Also, Brother Love interviews Jake Roberts!

The Last Word:  The Ultimate Warrior continued the intrigue about whether he would face Hulk Hogan in the Royal Rumble.  Since both men were powerful characters the Warrior’s analysis of Hogan as larger than a mortal man made sense.  And Demolition getting one over on the Colossal Connection makes it clear that a rematch between the two is imminent.

Prior to the holding of The Royal Rumble, the WWF ran one of its big monthly shows at Madison Square Garden and held other big events at the Omni in Georgia and the Philadelphia Spectrum.  Here are the results of those shows and others, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – January 15, 1990 (11,500):  The Genius pinned Jim Neidhart after Mr. Perfect interfered…The Powers of Pain defeated the Rockers after the Barbarian pinned Shawn Michaels with an elbow drop after Mr. Fuji interfered…Al Perez pinned Paul Roma after rolling through a flying body press…Mr. Perfect beat WWF Champion Hulk Hogan via disqualification after Hogan hit Perfect with his own brass knuckles…Akeem (substituting for Bob Orton, Jr.) pinned Bret Hart…Jimmy Snuka & Ronnie Garvin wrestled Rhythm & Blues to a twenty-minute time-limit draw…In a Million Dollar Championship match Ted DiBiase beat Jake Roberts by count out after Virgil interfered.

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Tingley Coliseum – January 15, 1990 (4,807):  The Canadian Earthquake pinned Koko B. Ware…Bad News Brown pinned the Red Rooster…Tito Santana defeated Bob Bradley (substituting for Barry Windham)…Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior pinned Dino Bravo…Brutus Beefcake beat Rick Martel via disqualification…WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection defeated Demolition via disqualification…Roddy Piper beat Rick Rude in a lumberjack match.

Youngstown, Ohio – The Beeghly Center – January 19, 1990:  Mark Young pinned Barry Horowitz at 8:37…Dusty Rhodes beat the Big Bossman in a ball & chain match at 7:10…Randy Savage defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan at 7:39…Bret Hart pinned Bob Bradley (substituting for Bad News Brown) at 5:33…Ronnie Garvin wrestled Greg Valentine to a twenty-minute time-limit draw…The Bushwhackers defeated the Bolsheviks when Butch pinned Boris Zhukov at 14:32.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Spectrum – January 20, 1990 (8,216):  The Canadian Earthquake beat Mark Young…The Red Rooster pinned Conquistador #1 (substituting for Barry Windham)…Bret Hart beat Bad News Brown via disqualification…Greg Valentine pinned Ronnie Garvin…WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection defeated Demolition via count out…Randy Savage beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior pinned Dino Bravo.

Atlanta, Georgia – The Omni – January 20, 1990 (4,900):  Jimmy Snuka beat the Honky Tonk Man…Brutus Beefcake pinned Rick Martel with a roll up after Martel attempted to use the ropes for leverage…Tugboat pinned the Brooklyn Brawler…Roddy Piper defeated Rick Rude via disqualification…Jim Neidhart beat the Genius via count out…The Powers of Pain defeated the Rockers…WWF Champion Hulk Hogan pinned Mr. Perfect after twelve minutes of action.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Riverside Centroplex – January 20, 1990 (3,244):  Koko B. Ware pinned Barry Horowitz…Hercules beat Al Perez…The Bushwhackers defeated the Bolsheviks…Tito Santana pinned Akeem (substituting for Barry Windham)…Dusty Rhodes beat the Big Bossman in a ball & chain match…Jake Roberts pinned Ted DiBiase with an inside cradle.

Up Next:  Royal Rumble 1990!