What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 25, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Fort Myers, Florida.

Opening Contest:  Smash defeats Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) after rolling through a body press off the ropes at 3:42:

This match is the popular booking trope of having one member of a tag team square off against the other in the build up to a pay-per-view match.  Both men exchange blows, an exchange that Haku wins.  Smash kicks out of a slam and side suplex and then sloppily rolls through a Haku body press for the win.  If Smash showed more fight, this would have been better.  Rating:  ¾*

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment replays WWF President Jack Tunney’s announcement that the main event of WrestleMania VI will be title-for-title.  A replay of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior’s promos from Superstars air.

Hercules (4-0) beats Dale Wolfe via submission to a torture rack at 1:28:

Hercules does an insert promo about how he will receive all the strength he needs to win at WrestleMania VI.  He stays strong for his match with Earthquake by dazing Wolfe with a forearm off the ropes and putting him in the torture rack.

Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) (3-1-1) pins Omar Atlas after the Rude Awakening at 1:34:

Heenan puts over Rude’s appeal to women in the split screen as Atlas intelligently tries to surprise Rude with roll ups and a small package.  Rude quickly kicks out of those, though, and Atlas succumbs to the Rude Awakening in less than two minutes.

After the match, Rude gives his trademark kiss to a woman from the audience.

The Bushwhackers (6-0) defeat Alan Martin & Lee Peak when Luke pins Martin after a double stomachbreaker at 1:36:

The Bushwhackers spend more time toying around and licking each other than wrestling, blitzing Martin with the Battering Ram and finishing him with a double stomachbreaker.

Gene Okerlund interviews Earthquake and Jimmy Hart.  Earthquake screams that no one can survive what he dishes out, challenging the winner of the Hulk Hogan-Ultimate Warrior match at WrestleMania VI.  Ever the pro, Okerlund almost falls off the announce platform when the Earthquake jumps up and down to trigger a “mini quake.”  By ignoring Earthquake’s match against Hercules at WrestleMania this segment spoils the outcome of that bout.

Roddy Piper (4-0) defeats Pez Whatley after a side suplex at 2:20:

Bad News Brown appears in the split screen and says he is going to get Piper before WrestleMania VI.  Piper starts with amateur wrestling but quickly gets into a rage and beats the tar out of Whatley after tackling him.  The plan appeared to be for Piper to win after a right hand, but referee Joey Marella refuses to count the fall because Piper is putting his hand over his opponent’s face.  As a result, a frustrated Piper finishes with the side suplex.

Okerlund provides the WrestleMania VI Report.  The Big Bossman says Akeem will experience hard times at Skydome.  Brutus Beefcake also warns Mr. Perfect that he will ruin his perfect reputation.  And Ted DiBiase and Virgil vow to do anything they have to do to get the Million Dollar Championship back from Jake Roberts.

The Red Rooster (2-0) beats Tom Stone via submission to the chicken wing at 1:28:

Rooster crows like a Rooster in an insert promo, saying that he has been “winging it” since joining the WWF and he loves the support of his “Rooster Boosters.”  The Rooster works fast, stretching Stone’s arm and using a jawbreaker to set up the chicken wing submission.

Tune in next week to see Akeem, Brutus Beefcake, Bad News Brown, Dusty Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase in action!

The Last Word:  This was a forgettable show that built a lot of the underneath acts for WrestleMania VI.  The only notable booking decision is distancing Earthquake from Dino Bravo now that Bravo’s feud with the Ultimate Warrior is over.  That was only a matter of time because the WWF needed a new big monster for Hulk Hogan or the Ultimate Warrior to slay after WrestleMania.

Here were results from the WWF’s house show circuit between February 19-25, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – February 19, 1990 (13,800): Tito Santana pinned Buddy Rose after the flying forearm at 16:55…Earthquake pinned Ronnie Garvin with the Earthquake Splash at 7:35.  After the match, Garvin did a stretch job after taking three more Earthquake Splashes…Rick Martel defeated the Red Rooster via submission to the Boston Crab at 21:00…Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake beat Mr. Perfect & the Genius when Hogan pinned the Genius after a leg drop at 15:27.  After the match, Beefcake put the Genius in a sleeper hold and cut his hair as Perfect fled to the locker room…Bad News Brown pinned Jim Brunzell (substituting for Jimmy Snuka) after the Ghetto Blaster at 14:39…Dusty Rhodes beat Akeem via count out following heel miscommunication at 9:04…Hacksaw Jim Duggan & the Rockers defeated Mr. Fuji & the Powers of Pain when Marty Jannetty pinned Fuji after Duggan hit Fuji with a 2×4 at 16:38.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Stadium Arena – February 22, 1990 (4,000):        Paul Roma beat Conquistador #1…Tito Santana beat Akeem via disqualification…Earthquake pinned Ronnie Garvin…WWF Tag Team Champions the Colossal Connection defeated Demolition via count out…The Brooklyn Brawler beat Tom Stone…Black Bart pinned Jim Evans…Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior beat Dino Bravo in less than third seconds.

Los Angeles, California – Sports Arena – February 24, 1990 (15,800; sellout):           Hercules defeated Al Perez…Jim Neidhart pinned Black Bart…Tito Santana beat Buddy Rose…Hacksaw Jim Duggan wrestled Bad News Brown to a double disqualification…The Rockers beat the Powers of Pain via disqualification…Dusty Rhodes beat Randy Savage via count out…Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake beat Mr. Perfect & the Genius.

Landover, Maryland – Capital Centre – February 25, 1990:  Tugboat pinned Bob Bradley…Pez Whatley beat Bill Woods…Bret Hart wrestled Greg Valentine to a draw…Earthquake pinned Ronnie Garvin…Demolition defeated Haku & Bobby Heenan (substituting for Andre the Giant) via count out…Dusty Rhodes defeated Randy Savage via disqualification…The Ultimate Warrior & Jake Roberts beat Ted DiBiase & Akeem when the Warrior pinned DiBiase after a splash.  The Big Bossman served as the special guest referee for the match.

Backstage News*:        The WWF is still uncertain how they want to frame the Hulk Hogan-Ultimate Warrior match, which is why the Warrior’s promos have had a subtle heel vibe.

*Even if Mike Tyson had not lost in Tokyo, he likely would have skipped his appearance on The Main Event because his sister passed away a few days before the show.

*After The Main Event went off the air fans were treated to a Roddy Piper-Rick Rude match and a fan tried to involve themselves in the action, which Rude snuffed out with a chokehold.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for March 5.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for February 26!