What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – May 6, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth, and they are wrapping up the television tapings in Syracuse, New York.

Opening Contest:  Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (13-0) pins Mike Durham after the Earthquake Splash at 1:49:

Durham started wrestling in 1987 and worked for Northeast independent promotions like International World Class Championship Wrestling and Trans World Wrestling Federation until forming a tag team with Rocco Rock in 1993 and donning the name Johnny Grunge.  The act would become the Public Enemy and be one of ECW’s more decorated tag teams of the 1990s.

The crowd showers Earthquake with Hogan chants but it does not knock the big man off his game.  An elbow drop makes Durham vulnerable to the Earthquake Splash and the outcome is academic in less than two minutes.  After the match, Earthquake does two more Earthquake Splashes for fun.

Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes recaps Hulk Hogan’s appearance last week on the Brother Love Show.

Bad News Brown (10-0-1) defeats Mark Thomas after the Ghetto Blaster at 3:18:

Brown works the jobber over as Monsoon talks about how Brown fears rubber snakes.  In the split screen, Brown does a cartoonish promo about how Jake Roberts ruined the first birthday gift he ever received, and he wants revenge.  This is Brown’s first squash in a month and after a long three minutes, Thomas is put out of his misery with the Ghetto Blaster.

A replay of the Hart Foundation’s quick win over the Bolsheviks at WrestleMania VI airs.

The Hart Foundation (9-0-1) beat the Bolsheviks (3-4) when Bret Hart pins Boris Zhukov after the Hart Attack at 1:47:

Dissension between the Bolsheviks continues as Nikolai Volkoff runs down Boris Zhukov for not singing the Soviet National Anthem well enough and begins singing it himself.  In a nice piece of continuity from WrestleMania, the Bolsheviks get the jump on the Foundation.  That quickly backfires, though, and the referee shows no interest in getting Bret or Jim Neidhart out of the ring.  So, they keep double teaming Zhukov until finishing with the Hart Attack.

After the match, the Bolsheviks get into a shoving match and Volkoff starts slugging on Zhukov until WWF referees pour into the ring.  “Slugging” should be used in its most liberal sense as most of Volkoff’s punches hit nothing but air.  Monsoon’s commentary makes it seem like Zhukov is the aggrieved party, casting Volkoff as a cheap shot artist.

Tugboat (6-0) pins Black Bart after a splash at 2:37:

Tugboat promises a tidal wave that will crash on the rest of the WWF, prompting Monsoon to fantasy book a match between Tugboat and Earthquake.  In an encounter that moves at a glacial pace, Bart gets avalanched against the buckles when Tugboat reverses an Irish whip, and a splash keeps Tugboat undefeated.

Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri.  Savage rewrites history by saying that Sapphire willingly kissed his foot.  He promises that the same will happen to Dusty Rhodes, who will be forced to kiss Sherri’s foot.

Tito Santana (8-4) beats Pez Whatley after a flying forearm at 2:59:

The match provides a way for Monsoon and Heenan to speculate on whether Santana will face Brutus Beefcake or Dino Bravo in the next round of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament.  In the split screen, Santana reminds viewers that he is rejuvenated and coming to get the Intercontinental title back.  Whatley taunts the crowd when he gets a few shots in, triggering a Santana comeback and victory.

Rick Rude, sporting a short haircut, appears in a boxing ring, practicing jabs with Heenan.  He promises that the Ultimate Warrior’s title will soon be his.

The Big Bossman (11-1) pins Buddy Rose after the Bossman Slam at 1:05:

Ted DiBiase and Virgil do an insert promo that puts over how money trumps justice in the world today.  Rose musters nothing against the Bossman, who cruises to a ninth straight win since The Royal Rumble.  After the bout, the Bossman handcuffs Rose to the middle rope and beats and chokes him with a nightstick.

Rick Martel promises to spread “Arrogance” in next week’s match with Roddy Piper.  Piper rebuts by saying he looks forward to his first fight of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament.

Tune in next week to see Roddy Piper face Rick Martel in the first round of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament!  Also, Koko B. Ware, Jimmy Snuka, and the Warlord will be in action!  And Ted DiBiase will appear for a special interview!

The Last Word:  It is fitting that the WWF’s C-show plays host to the Bolsheviks break up angle since they are the lowliest team in the promotion.  They are also the second tag team to experience a breakup this year as the Powers of Pain split just prior to WrestleMania VI.  A Nikolai Volkoff-Boris Zhukov feud is unlikely to be good, though, considering the disjointed nature of their brawl at the end of the feature match.  Aside from that, Rick Rude’s new promo was the highlight and Rude’s updated look does a lot to make him seem like a serious contender for the WWF Championship.  However, the WWF needs to get Rude back on house shows soon because the Ultimate Warrior has been directionless on them since WrestleMania, contributing to his poor drawing power.

And here are some samples of the WWF’s various house show cards that ran during the first week of May, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – April 30, 1990 (9,500):  Hercules beat Haku with a roll up at 11:51…Paul Diamond beat Jim Powers by reversing a powerslam into a small package at 9:53…Jake Roberts pinned Bad News Brown with the DDT at 12:55.  Afterward, Brown ran away when Roberts tossed Damien into the ring.  Later in the show, Brown came out and promised to bring a big sewer rat with him next time to take care of Damien…Nikolai Volkoff beat Jose Luis Rivera with a clothesline to the back of the head at 5:23…Rhythm & Blues defeated the Bushwhackers via count out at 13:01.  After the match, Greg Valentine continued to attack Butch but was double teamed by the Bushwhackers and floored with the Battering Ram…Dino Bravo pinned the Red Rooster with a sidewalk slam at 4:45…The Big Bossman beat Ted DiBiase with a small package at 11:18.  Afterward, DiBiase and Virgil did a two-on-one beatdown until the Bossman chased them off with his nightstick…The Barbarian pinned Jimmy Snuka with a Flair pin at 6:40…Hulk Hogan beat Earthquake via disqualification when Jimmy Hart interfered at 8:39.  Afterward, Hogan bodyslammed Earthquake.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The Montreal Forum – May 3, 1990 (4,200):  Al Perez beat Mark Young…Ronnie Garvin wrestled Dino Bravo to a time-limit draw at 20:00…Rhythm & Blues beat the Bushwhackers via disqualification when Luke hit Greg Valentine with a guitar…The Big Bossman defeated Ted DiBiase…Richard Charland (substituting for Tugboat) pinned Black Bart with a small package…Koko B. Ware pinned the Brooklyn Brawler with a missile dropkick…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior pinned Mr. Perfect with a splash.

Orlando, Florida – Orlando Arena – May 4, 1990 (4,000 paid):  Jake Roberts pinned Bad News Brown with a DDT…Akeem beat Jim Powers…Black Bart pinned Rico Fredrico…The Rockers beat the Orient Express via count out…Paul Diamond pinned Brady Boone…Jimmy Snuka beat the Barbarian via disqualification after Bobby Heenan interfered…Sensational Sherri pinned Sapphire…Roddy Piper (substituting for Dusty Rhodes) pinned Randy Savage after hitting him with Sensational Sherri’s purse.

Dayton, Ohio – Hara Arena – May 6, 1990 (2,000):  Koko B. Ware pinned the Brooklyn Brawler…Haku beat the Red Rooster…Hillbilly Jim defeated Bob Bradley…WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition wrestled the Hart Foundation to a double disqualification…Earthquake pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Rick Martel beat Hercules…The Big Bossman pinned Ted DiBiase.

Backstage News*:       The recent Madison Square Garden show will be the last for a while since the venue will be closed for renovations this summer.

*WWF referee John Bonello, who was arrested for paying an undercover cop $5,000 to murder his wife, had bail posted by his father.  What makes that newsworthy is that Bonello’s father lives with the wife he tried to kill.

*Tugboat has missed house shows and the company has lost faith in the gimmick.  There are rumors he will be rebranded as “Bronto” and feud with Dino Bravo.

*The Ultimate Warrior’s matches against Mr. Perfect on the circuit continue to draw poorly.

*In talent relations news, the WWF is refusing to let Terry Taylor out of his contract early and will use him until it expires in August.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for May 14.

Up Next:   Prime Time Wrestling for May 7!