What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 11, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary and they are broadcasting from Fort Myers, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on January 23 and drew a sellout crowd of 5,000 fans.

Opening Contest:  Brutus Beefcake (2-0-1) beats Pete Sanchez via submission to a sleeper hold at 1:46:

Mr. Perfect and the Genius rant about Beefcake cutting the Genius’ hair at The Royal Rumble in the split screen.  Beefcake does not need a lot of moves to checkmate Sanchez, reversing a whip into the corner and then applying the sleeper off the ropes.

After the bout, Beefcake cuts some of Sanchez’s hair.

Lord Alfred Hayes does the Special Report bit, replaying WWF President Jack Tunney’s announcement of the WrestleMania VI main event.

The Rhythm & Blues squash of the Mulkey Brothers on Prime Time Wrestling airs.

The Koko B. Ware squash of Kerry Booth on Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

Gene Okerlund interviews Bad News Brown.  Brown exaggerates his impact on the Royal Rumble, saying that guys kept running away from him and eliminating themselves to stay away from him.  Brown also disputes that Roddy Piper eliminated him from the match and questions his manhood.  Piper is held back by WWF officials as Brown dismisses Okerlund and chastises Piper’s pasty skin.  Finally, Piper breaks free of the referees and tackles Brown on the interview stage, with the two brawling until a host of jobbers comes out to separate them.

Shawn Michaels (w/Marty Jannetty) wrestles Bret Hart (w/Jim Neidhart) to a double disqualification at 4:07:

In seven years, a match between these two would play a pivot role in shaping the WWF’s future but in 1990 both men were firmly established in the tag ranks.  This might have been their first match together and it is unusual for the era that a bout features a babyface against another babyface.  The match does not long before each man’s partner interjects themselves into the bout and most of it was “feeling out” stage material, but what they packed in was fun.  And if this leads to more battles between the Hart Foundation and the Rockers down the road then that will only make these shows better.  Rating:  *½

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (4-0) pins Jim Evans after the Earthquake Splash at 1:01:

Trained by fellow jobber Tom Stone, Evans broke into the business in 1982 and started working enhancement bouts for the WWF in 1987, a role he would continue to fill until 1992.

There is a major size disparity between these two as it would take at least four copies of Evans to equal Earthquake’s size.  A powerslam, elbow drop, and Earthquake Splash leave Evans dead to rights in a minute.

After the bell, Earthquake does another Earthquake Splash, causing Evans to do a stretcher job.

After recapping the Big Bossman’s babyface turn last week, the Bossman cuts a promo that says Slick should have never questioned his integrity or lied to him.  He warns Ted DiBiase that he cannot be bought and he will be wearing handcuffs if he tries to mess with him.

Non-Title Match:  The Colossal Connection (WWF Tag Team Champions w/Bobby Heenan) (1-0) defeat Rico Federico & Jim Gorman when Andre pins Federico after an elbow drop at 1:15:

Federico worked on the Florida independent circuit and made television appearances for the WWF in a job role throughout 1990.

The Connection do not break a sweat in this squash as Haku beats down Gorman, flattens Fredrico with a thrust kick, and Andre gets the pin after dropping an elbow.

Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire tell fans that they are going to make Rick Martel model Dusty’s fist.

Tune in next week to see Dusty Rhodes face Rick Martel!  Also, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Dino Bravo, and the Powers of Pain will be in action!  And hear more information about WrestleMania VI!

The Last Word:  The feature match had a lot of promise but was used as an angle sideshow, which makes sense because the WWF did not see value yet in Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels in a singles capacity.  The brawl between Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown was well done and now officially moves Piper onto a new feud after he toured the house show circuit with Rick Rude.

And here is a sampling of what the WWF was doing on the house show circuit for this week in its history, with results provided courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Cincinnati, Ohio – Riverfront Coliseum – February 9, 1990 (5,400):  Tugboat beat Mike Sharpe…Koko B. Ware pinned Black Bart…Earthquake defeated Paul Roma.  After the match, Roma was taken from ringside on a stretcher…Ted DiBiase beat Jake Roberts via count out…Bret Hart pinned the Honky Tonk Man…WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection beat Demolition…Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior pinned Dino Bravo.

Boston, Massachusetts – The Boston Garden – February 10, 1990 – Hercules defeated Conquistador #1…The Red Rooster defeated Al Perez via submission…Ronnie Garvin defeated the Brooklyn Brawler…The Rockers defeated the Powers of Pain via disqualification.  After the bout, Jannetty was removed from the ring on a stretcher…Jim Neidhart pinned Greg Valentine…Dusty Rhodes beat Randy Savage via count out…Roddy Piper defeated Rick Rude in a steel cage match.

Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Met Center – February 10, 1990 (7,200):        Tugboat defeated Mike Sharpe…Koko B. Ware pinned Black Bart (substituting for Barry Windham)…The Genius pinned Tito Santana after Mr. Perfect interfered…Demolition beat Haku & Bobby Heenan (substituting for Andre the Giant) via count out when Heenan could not return to the ring after being double teamed on the floor…Hacksaw Jim Duggan wrestled Bad News Brown to a double disqualification when both men would not stop brawling and hit guest referee Eddie Sharkey…Bret Hart pinned the Honky Tonk Man…WWF Champion Hulk Hogan pinned Mr. Perfect after a leg drop in a steel cage match.

Denver, Colorado – February 11, 1990 (5,200):          Black Bart pinned Mark Young…Tugboat pinned Mike Sharpe after a splash…Bad News Brown pinned Koko B. Ware after the Ghetto Blaster…The Honky Tonk Man beat Bret Hart…Hercules & the Rockers defeated Mr. Fuji & the Powers of Pain when Jannetty pinned Fuji after Fuji was hit with Hercules’ chain…Dusty Rhodes beat Randy Savage via count out…Roddy Piper defeated Rick Rude in a steel cage match after escaping via the door.

Backstage News*:        The WWF held its official press conference for WrestleMania VI in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on February 5, announcing that Hulk Hogan would defend the WWF Championship against the Ultimate Warrior in the main event.  Other notable matches announced were WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection defending against Demolition, a mixed tag team match between Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire against Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri, and Jake Roberts wrestling Ted DiBiase for the Million Dollar Belt.  A heel turn for the Warrior cannot be discounted prior to WrestleMania VI as he was acting heelish at the press conference.

*WrestleMania is already a sellout, with 63,000 tickets being sold for Skydome within a week.

*In one of the greatest upsets in boxing history, Buster Douglas knocked Mike Tyson out in Tokyo, Japan to win boxing’s heavyweight championship.  Vince McMahon is panicking about what to do for The Main Event because the WWF has paid anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million to Tyson for an appearance.  After the loss in Tokyo, though, Tyson’s drawing power has been diminished and it is unlikely that he will show for the taping.  Previous hype of Hogan facing Tyson in a fight seems to be all talk from Tyson’s camp in an effort to get a big payday.  Tyson promoter Don King said Tyson would do a match with Hogan for $50 million.

*McMahon is looking to expand outside of wrestling, looking to get into the bodybuilding scene with a magazine called Bodybuilding Lifestyles. 

*In talent relations news, the WWF is going to bring in Akio Sato and team him with Pat Tanaka.  The team will be called the Orient Express.  The WWF is also going to bring in Buddy Rose as an enhancement talent and has an interest in signing Terry Gordy as well.

*Backstage news is courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 12 and 19.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for February 12!