What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 15, 1990

Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan do commentary for this show, kicking off a new round of television tapings from Syracuse, New York.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on April 3.

Opening Non-Title Contest:  Demolition (WWF Tag Team Champions) (7-0) defeat Chris Duffy & Scott Williams when Ax pins Williams after Demolition Decapitation at 2:53:

Duffy was a trainee of Killer Kowalski, becoming the heavyweight champion for Kowalski’s Massachusetts-based International Wrestling Federation in 1986 and 1987.  He worked as a jobber for World Class and began working in that same role for the WWF in 1986.  Duffy passed away before wrestling at an independent show in 2000 from a brain aneurysm.

The new WWF tag team champions are warmly received by the crowd, who give them a big pop for their entrance.  In the split screen, Demolition tell the Hart Foundation that they are not going to duck them and the Foundation will have to beat them if they want the belts.  Demolition pummel each of their opponents in turn and then lay out the lanky Williams with Demolition Decapitation.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment recaps WWF President Jack Tunney’s announcement that the Intercontinental Championship is vacant and the vacancy will be filled by a tournament.

Dino Bravo (w/Jimmy Hart) (10-3-1) pins Jimmy Long after a sidewalk slam at 1:47:

McMahon speculates on Bravo’s odds in the Intercontinental Championship Tournament and Bravo does an insert promo demanding that Tunney include him.  Bravo works quickly, planting Long with an array of suplexes to set up the sidewalk slam.

The Big Bossman (8-1) beats Conquistador #1 after a spinebuster at 1:57:

In the split screen, the Bossman tells Ted DiBiase that he is issuing a warrant for his arrest for obstruction of justice since DiBiase attacked him at WrestleMania VI.  The Conquistador proves unable to do anything against the Bossman, and after the match he is handcuffed to the ropes and hit with the Bossman’s night stick.

Mr. Perfect (9-1) pins Tony Ulysses after the Perfectplex at 2:27:

Ulysses was another Killer Kowalski trainee who began his career in 1988, the same year he started appearing on WWF television in an enhancement role.  Outside of that, his career was relegated to the Massachusetts independent scene where he went by other names like Mr. Trinidad and Tony Carrington.

The Genius has been written out as Perfect’s manager, an absence that is not explained by McMahon and Heenan.  Perfect does an insert promo that declares his interest in joining the Intercontinental Championship Tournament as Heenan says that Rick Rude has told Jack Tunney he is not interested in joining the tournament because he wants to be the WWF Champion.  After flooring Ulysses with a standing dropkick, Perfect finishes with the Perfectplex.

Jake Roberts (7-1) defeats Joe Champ after the DDT at 3:11:

Champ has good size but appears to have done very little in the wrestling business aside from a lot of jobs on WWF television in 1990.  Roberts pops up after a bodyslam and floats over another to sting his opponent with some jabs.  In the split screen, Roberts says everyone in the WWF fears him for one reason or another, but they still pick fights with him all the same.  After a long arm twister, Roberts hits the short-arm clothesline and DDT to get back to his winning ways after losing at WrestleMania VI.  Based on crowd reaction, the DDT is the most over finishing move in the company.  After the bout, Roberts tosses Damien on top of his opponent.

Gene Okerlund interviews Earthquake and Jimmy Hart.  Hart puts over Earthquake’s physical attributes while Earthquake justifies his attack on Hacksaw Jim Duggan at WrestleMania because Duggan hit him first.  Earthquake warns Duggan that if he wants a piece of him, he will get laid out again.

The Warlord (w/Slick) (1-0) pins Mitch Ryder after a running powerslam at 1:54:

Like the Barbarian, the Warlord has shed his face paint as part of a new singles push but still needs a wardrobe makeover.  Heenan hypes the recent edition of WWF Magazine that talks about the Powers of Pain split.  After doing some basic strikes, the Warlord lays out Ryder with a running powerslam.

Rick Rude and Heenan are in the gym, with Rude doing some bench presses.  Rude promises to be an unstoppable force the next time he faces the Ultimate Warrior, vowing to easily kick out of any pinning combination the Warrior tries to put him in.

A replay of the Bushwhackers interrupting Rhythm & Blues performance at WrestleMania airs.

The Bushwhackers (8-0) defeat Paul Perez & Bob Bradley when Luke pins Perez after a double stomachbreaker at 3:07:

Showing lots of fire for their new feud with Rhythm & Blues, the Bushwhackers tear into their opponents.  In the split screen, the Blues and Jimmy Hart complain about the Bushwhackers ruining the biggest day of their lives and vow revenge.  The Bushwhackers work the crowd, tag frequently, and finish Perez with the Battering Ram and double stomachbreaker.

Tune in next week to see Rick Rude, Jimmy Snuka, Akeem, and the Hart Foundation in action!

The Last Word:  This show keeps momentum going behind some of the big spring programs like Demolition-Hart Foundation, Big Bossman-Ted DiBiase, and Bushwhackers-Rhythm & Blues.  The Rick Rude training vignettes are a great tool to reshape his gimmick since they carry a realistic quality lacking in the cartoonish WWF of this era.  Since the WWF was not resuming house shows domestically due to overseas cards in the week after WrestleMania VI, we will next turn our attention to one of those shows:  the Wrestling Summit, a multipromotional effort put on by the WWF, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and New Japan.

Before heading to Tokyo, the WWF held a house show in Hawaii.  Here were the results of that show, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Honolulu, Hawaii – Blaisdell Arena – April 10, 1990 (8,000): Jimmy Snuka beat Greg Valentine…The Big Bossman defeated Ted DiBiase via disqualification after Virgil interfered…Tito Santana beat Bret Hart…Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification when Martel sprayed Roberts in the eyes with Arrogance…WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition beat the Colossal Connection via count out when Andre could not return to the ring.  After the match, Andre and Haku battled each other, with the crowd behind Haku…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior pinned Randy Savage after several clotheslines and a splash…Hulk Hogan pinned Mr. Perfect with a leg drop.

Up Next:  The Wrestling Summit!