This is the final edition of Challenge in this format. It would become strictly a recap show and officially end the following year but was not featured in many markets.
August 27, 1995
From the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, MA
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Dok Hendrix
Hakushi vs. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz did not have his entrance air. The announcers talk about the matches both men have at SummerSlam. The announcers talk about the Ladder Match at WrestleMania as Dok believes Razor Ramon will win. They now talk about British Bulldog turning on Diesel on RAW as Horowitz uses a dragon screw to take down Hakushi but pats his back and gets attacked. The Bodydonnas head out to ringside as Hakushi hits the handspring elbow smash then stomps away in the corner. Hakushi hits a jumping attack and then drags Horowitz to the other side of the ring but misses a springboard splash. Horowitz fights back and hits a double underhook suplex then a leg drop for a two count as The Bodydonnas are pissed. Hakushi then shoves Horowitz outside and Sunny distracts the ref on the apron so Skip can attack Horowitz. Back inside, Hakushi stalks Horowitz as Skip pleads his innoncence to the ref. Skip then decks Horowitz as the ref turned his back but Horowitz punches him back. Hakushi gets a nearfall then we get a reversal sequence that leads to Hakushi trying a bridging pin attempt but for some reason Skip gets up on the apron and yells then Horowitz shoves Hakushi off and Hakushi collides with Skip then Horowitz uses a cradle for the win (4:12) *1/2. The crowd goes nuts as Ross and Dok do the “Horowitz wins” call. Skip then goes in to check on Hakushi as Sunny is shocked over Horowitz winning again. Hakushi gets up and is livid as he shoves down Skip. Hakushi looks at Sunny then back drops Skip and beats on Skip until he bails. Skip flips out on the outside as Ross asks if Skip will be a three-time loser at SummerSlam.
Thoughts: A storyline match heading into SummerSlam with now Hakushi losing to Horowitz, due to the antics of Skip. And with Hakushi attacking Skip afterwards a match between those two should be imminent. The crowd went nuts for Horowitz winning too.
WWF Live Event News with Stan Lane. Same segments we saw on “Superstars” hyping the MSG show on 10/6 except with a different host.
An ad for SummerSlam airs.
Clips of the series of events that lead to British Bulldog turning on Diesel from “RAW.”
The WWF New Fall Season ad airs.
Jacob & Eli Blu w/ Uncle Zebekiah vs. Jason Ahrndt & Matt Hardy
Ross plugs the WrestleMania special airing exclusively on Fox 5 in New York for this NY area show. Jacob & Eli beat down Ahrndt to start. The announcers talk about George Steele returning to be in Bret Hart’s corner at MSG. Hardy tags in and gets destroyed as the announcers are trying to sell the Jacob & Eli/Smoking Gunns match at SummerSlam as a #1 contender’s match. Dok puts over Uncle Zebekiah for having his newphews ready as Jacob & Eli hit an elevated clothesline for the win (2:40).
Thoughts: The Jacob & Eli act does not have any heat and the fact they are somewhat presenting the winner of their match against Smoking Gunns as the top contender for the Tag Team Titles speaks volumes about that division’s lack of depth.
The vignette of Dr. Isaac Yankem’s office voice mail airs.
We are shown Dok interviewing Bret Hart “earlier this week” as part of the World Tour de Force. It was really part of the 8/15 “Superstars” taping in Portland, ME. He has his jacket here. Dok asks Bret what he is going to do about Isaac Yankem and Jerry Lawler. Bret makes foot puns about Lawler crying over losing the “kiss my foot” match before saying he knows nothing about Yankem and doesn’t get intimidated by dentists. Bret says he sees a lot of tough guys come and go in the WWF but he is the one that is still here and in “The SummerSlam” he will wipe out Yankem. Bret also says Yankem will need lots and lots of novocaine at “The SummerSlam.”
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Nick Barberri
The announcers talk about the WWF on AOL live during SummerSlam. We now hear the announcers talk about this being Helmsley’s first PPV as Helmsley takes Barberri down with an arm drag. Helmsley is disgusted by Barberri then we get a shoving match that ends with Barberri slapping Helmsley and firing away. Barberri uses a rollup for two as Ross says we almost had a “Horowitz” but after that Helmsley avoids a dropkick and hammers away. Helmsley drops Barberri with a back elbow smash then hits a suplex. Helmsley then avoids Barberri and hits the Pedigree for the win (2:52). Ross wonders if Helmsley will remain undefeated after SummerSlam.
Thoughts: Some hype for Helmsley/Holly at SummerSlam with the story being Helmsley’s undefeated record on the line. We also heard of another WWF AOL chat taking place during SummerSlam.
We are now in the aisle as Barry Didinsky is wearing the new Bret Hart t-shirt he’s trying to sell. Helmsley walks by and is disgusted by the shirt, which is a terrible shirt with too much stuff everywhere. It was like watching the retro Smackdown in the Thunderdome last week. You also get a free three month subscription to WWF Magazine and a box of Stridex pads.
We are shown the Goldust vignette from RAW where he called out Shawn Michaels. Ross called him the most controversial superstar ever a few times so that is something being pushed.
We are shown some of Undertaker vs. Tatanka from RAW.
Razor Ramon vs. Tony DeVito
The announcers talk about Sid being at SummerSlam. Razor tosses his toothpick at DeVito then beats on him in the corner. Ross hypes the Superstar Line and his confrontation with Lex Luger. Razor stomps DeVito then drops him with a back elbow smash. Razor slaps DeVito around as the announcers talk about the Ladder match at SummerSlam. Razor toys with DeVito then hits a super back suplex and after that finishes off DeVito with the Razor’s Edge (3:19).
Thoughts: All hype for Razor vs. Shawn at SummerSlam with Razor being more of a dick to hint at a heel turn.
WWF Live Event News with Stan Lane. He talks up the 10/6 MSG show. I do not have this show but do have a Germany handheld show from 10/10 will be recapped. We hear Shawn run down British Bulldog to hype their match.
The WWF New Generation ad airs where
We now go to the hosts. Dok keeps humming “bye bye” as Ross asks why he has been like this all show long. Dok then asks Ross what he will be doing this week and the weeks to come. Ross says he reckons he will be here working each week. Dok then says he’s wrong and that Ross has been fired as this show will no longer be shown on this Fox 5 affiliate in NY. Hendrix then plugs “his show” you can see Satruday’s at noon which of course is Superstars. Dok would host the new format show, simply titled “Challenge” which was a recap format like stated earlier. It officially ended in September of 1996.
The video hyping up SummerSlam airs.
Final Thoughts: The Horowitz/Hakushi match was good for storyline purposes with the rest forgettable, which is what Challenge has become. Quite frankly the format was dated and repetitive and had been that way for at least the past couple of years. And stay tuned later for the Action Zone recap with SummerSlam being posted early tomorrow.
Well, 9 years of Challenge, it is over on this timeline. I don’t know if I’m the first person on the internet to review every single episode of this show in succession but if not, congratulations to whoever was first and the rest that followed and if I am first then congratulations to the next person because this was a repetitive show with not too many standout moments. However, with this out of the way, its basically just RAW, Superstars, PPV, fan-cams, and occasional episodes of Action Zone so I’ll be moving through the rest of ’95 and 1996 rather quickly.