What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 29, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan call today’s action, still taped from Syracuse, New York.

Opening Contest:  Dusty Rhodes (w/Sapphire) (8-0-1) pins an unnamed jobber after the Polka Dot Drop at 1:51:

In the split screen, Rhodes warns Savage that he messed with the wrong person and Sapphire wants a piece of Sensational Sherri.  Rhodes goes to do punches on the second rope but only lands one of them before flattening an unnamed act with an elbow off the ropes and finishing with the Polka Dot Drop.  In a testament to how over Rhodes is, he gets everyone in the crowd dancing, both the common folk and a group of yuppies in the front row.

Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes recaps Andre the Giant turning against Bobby Heenan at WrestleMania VI.  In a taped promo, Heenan says that Andre will one day come back begging to be part of the Heenan Family and he will spit on him.

Mr. Perfect (11-2) pins Mario Mancini with the Perfectplex at 2:29:

Perfect claims to have a perfect plan to become Intercontinental champion and it will start against Jimmy Snuka.  Monsoon argues that it is only a matter of time before Perfect is wearing a championship belt, telegraphing the outcome of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament.  Perfect works over Mancini’s left knee to set up the Perfectplex, beating Mancini for the second time this year.

Sean Mooney sends the broadcast to taped promos.  WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition say they are ready to face any team that wants their belts, including the Hart Foundation.  Earthquake and Jimmy Hart promises to do some “shaking and quaking” on the WWF roster.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan (11-1-1) beats Dale Wolfe after the three-point stance clothesline at 2:40:

Duggan does not take kindly to Wolfe’s attempts to break up his efforts to hype the fans, clotheslining his opponent over the top rope and ramming him into the ring post.  The squash slows down after that, and Heenan argues that Duggan’s issue with Earthquake is not over.

More promo time with Mooney!  The Warlord promises Slick that he will bring him a title.  Jimmy Snuka talks again “to the fans in TV wonderland” about how gets into shape by climbing trees, drinking coconuts, and rowing canoes.

The Rhythm & Blues squash from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

A replay of Bad News Brown getting scared of a rubber snake on last week’s telecast is shown.  Afterward, Gene Okerlund interviews Jake Roberts.  Roberts apologizes to Okerlund for putting him in a vulnerable position on last week’s show.  He says Brown’s talk is cheap and must figure out whether to fear the DDT or Damien more.

The Barbarian squash from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

The Rockers (6-2-1) defeat Paul Diamond & Sonny Austin when Shawn Michaels pins Austin after a double flying fist drop at 3:16:

Diamond was a former professional soccer player, playing as the goalkeeper for the Calgary Boomers and Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League (NASL).  After the league shut down in 1984, Diamond was trained by Boris Malenko and he got his start in Fred Barend’s Texas All-Star Wrestling, a successor to Joe Blanchard’s Southwest Championship Wrestling (SCW).  In 1986, Diamond moved to the CWA in Memphis, meeting Pat Tanaka and forming the team Badd Company.  The duo would win tag team gold six times before going to the AWA, feuding with the Rockers, and beating them for the AWA Tag Team Championship.  The team would later break up and feud, and Tanaka was signed away by the WWF in early 1990 to be part of the Orient Express.  Diamond was signed a few months later and this match marked his on-screen debut, but he was not receiving a push.  Soon he would be wrestling under a mask at house shows and go by the name Kato.

In the split screen, Mr. Fuji talks for the Orient Express and warns the Rockers not to mess with him because things might get “salty,” an allusion to Fuji using salt to help his team win at WrestleMania.  That promo leads to a weird discussion between Monsoon and Heenan about how wrestlers do not need to be Asian to carry salt in their tights.  The Rockers use their speed to daze the jobber team, flattening Diamond with a double superkick and finishing Austin with a double flying fist drop, giving a whole new meaning to Austin 3:16.

A prior Rick Rude training vignette is shown.

Paul Roma (0-3) beats Buddy Rose after a powerslam at 2:08:

In a clash of wrestlers who have yet to notch a win in 1990, Roma dominates Rose, catching his bigger opponent with a dropkick, scoring a near-fall from a reverse flying body press off the second rope, and then finishing with a powerslam.  The win seems to lay the groundwork for a renewed Roma push as Mooney hypes Roma’s abilities in the next segment.

In one last round of taped promos, Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri promise to make Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire their royal subjects and make them kiss their feet.

Tune in next week to see the Hart Foundation face the Bolsheviks!  Also, Tito Santana, Earthquake, and the Big Bossman in action!  And Gene Okerlund interviews Savage!

The Last Word:  This show flew by, featuring some fun, charismatic acts and good wrestling and that is all one can ask of a syndicated show.  Next week’s feature match is being built as a way for the Bolsheviks to get revenge for their quick loss to the Hart Foundation at WrestleMania and will probably be used to further the Bolsheviks breakup angle.  While we would normally move to the next episode of Prime Time Wrestling, that broadcast did not feature any original matches aside from a Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Boris Zhukov bout, so the next broadcast that will be covered will be the May 5 edition of WWF Superstars.

Here is a summary of WWF house show action for the last week of April 1990, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Stadium Arena – April 25, 1990 (1,600):  Paul Diamond pinned Pez Whatley…Tugboat beat Black Bart…The Barbarian pinned Jimmy Snuka…WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition wrestled the Hart Foundation to a double disqualification….Hercules defeated Haku via count out…Akeem pinned Mark Young…Sensational Sherri beat Sapphire…Roddy Piper (substituting for Dusty Rhodes) pinned Randy Savage.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Spectrum – April 28, 1990 (6,549): Al Perez beat Mark Young…Koko B. Ware defeated the Brooklyn Brawler…Dino Bravo defeated the Red Rooster…The Warlord beat Tito Santana…The Big Bossman pinned Ted DiBiase…Rhythm & Blues defeated the Bushwhackers via disqualification….WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior beat Mr. Perfect.

San Francisco – The Cow Palace – April 28, 1990 (6,265):      Paul Roma pinned Buddy Rose…Brutus Beefcake defeated the Genius via submission to the sleeper hold…Rick Martel pinned Ronnie Garvin with a roll up…The Orient Express beat the Rockers after Mr. Fuji hit Shawn Michaels with his cane…Hillbilly Jim beat Bob Bradley…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned Akeem…Sensational Sherri beat Sapphire after Randy Savage provided a distraction…Roddy Piper (substituting for Dusty Rhodes) pinned Randy Savage after Sapphire tossed Piper Sherri’s loaded purse and Piper hit Savage with it.

Boston, Massachusetts – The Boston Garden – April 28, 1990 (7,100):  Kato beat Jim Powers…Tugboat defeated Black Bart…Bad News Brown defeated Hercules…WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition wrestled the Hart Foundation to a double count out…Haku beat an unknown…The Barbarian defeated Jimmy Snuka…Hulk Hogan beat Earthquake via disqualification.

Backstage News*:        The WWF spoiled its own Intercontinental Championship Tournament for those who attended the WWF Superstars taping in Austin, Texas on April 23, taping the finals before they taped two of the first-round matches.  The company also forgot to bring the Intercontinental Championship Belt to the taping, so they had to use a tag team title belt instead.

*It appears less likely that the “Tag Team” pilot featuring Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper will get picked up.  Piper was hoping it would allow him to leave wrestling and the WWF is aware of Piper’s other media interests, so they do not want to put him in a more prominent position unless they have to.

*Dusty Rhodes missed house shows this week with an undisclosed injury, but his C-show loops with Savage have not drawn well.

*House show returns are also poor for the Ultimate Warrior’s first loops as champion against Mr. Perfect, but the company still has high hopes for his summer feud with Rick Rude.

*NBC wanted to re-air the Big Bossman vs. Akeem match from WrestleMania VI on Saturday Night’s Main Event, but the WWF decided to do a new match because they were not happy with the WrestleMania bout.

*A Toronto reporter was doing some digging on steroids in wrestling as a follow up to Bruno Sammartino and Superstar Billy Graham’s appearances on Entertainment Tonight last month but was fired because the WWF did not want negative press in the area.  Dave Meltzer argues that the WWF cannot keep suppressing stories about it because a star is bound to drop dead from steroid use and that will attract a lot of media attention.

*The reason that Classie Freddie Blassie commentated some matches with Vince McMahon for Prime Time Wrestling was because of Tony Schiavone’s departure.

*In talent relations news, Dustin Rhodes had a recent tryout match in San Antonio.  He defeated Black Bart.  Barry Windham was also able to leave the WWF easily because he never signed a contract.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for May 7.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for May 5!