What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 17, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan commentate this Father’s Day edition of Wrestling Challenge.  This is the last of the shows from Madison, Wisconsin.

Brutus Beefcake’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling kicks off the telecast.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report replays the Earthquake and Jimmy Hart promo from Superstars and Tugboat’s insistence that Hulk Hogan is getting better.

Demolition’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

Boris Zhukov (0-3) pins George Anderson with a clothesline to the back of the head at 1:37:

Zhukov has not won a match this year, sacrificed to better competitors.  However, he needs some squash wins to build his feud with Nikolai Volkoff, so his overall record should improve over the next few months.  In the split screen, Zhukov promises to destroy Volkoff, and he uses the same finisher as Volkoff:  a clothesline to the back of the head.  After the match, Zhukov takes off his boot and beats Anderson with it.  If Zhukov wants to use a weapon, why not use the Soviet flag?  That is more in keeping with his gimmick.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan (16-1-1) pins Paul Diamond (1-3) after the three-point stance clothesline at 2:01:

Monsoon urges fans to read the new edition of WWF Magazine, which talks about Duggan’s ongoing feud with Earthquake.  Duggan bowls over Diamond, who cannot counter Duggan’s craziness.

Rhythm & Blues (w/Jimmy Hart) (14-0-1) defeat Hillbilly Jim & Randy Fox when Greg Valentine pins Fox after a double back suplex at 2:59:

In the split screen, the Blues promise that the Bushwhackers will not be able to stop their musical tour through the country.  Jim showcases his talents at the beginning, but the heels isolate Fox, who is the weakest link, and they finish him off.  This would be Jim’s last in-ring, televised appearance in the WWF.

After recapping Bad News Brown’s attack on him last week, Jake Roberts comes out for an interview with Gene Okerlund.  Roberts says Brown is “sad news” because he attacked him from behind and he puts himself over as more of a man than Brown will ever be.

Rick Martel (11-1-1) defeats Jim Powers via submission to the Boston Crab at 3:35:

In the split screen, Ronnie Garvin complains that Martel’s cologne smells terrible and promises to bring some fresh air to the company by getting rid of the Model.  Powers puts Martel on his heels for much of the squash, working the arm and taking his opponent to the buckle ten times.  However, a blind charge leads to his demise.

Ted DiBiase and Virgil talk to the Big Bossman’s old librarian, who says that he was one of the worst students he ever had.  She claims he had to cheat to get F’s, lied, and sat in the dunce corner, which they have named after him.

Tugboat (10-0) pins Pez Whatley after a splash at 1:54:

Whatley lost to Tugboat on the April 9 edition of Prime Time Wrestling so he alters his strategy by attacking the big man before the bell.  That does not work, though, as Tugboat shrugs off the blows and uses his size to squash him.  Dino Bravo vows to end Tugboat’s career in the split screen, vowing to do to him what Earthquake did to Hulk Hogan.

Tune in next week to see the Bushwhackers, the Big Bossman, Rick Rude, and Jake Roberts in action!  Also, Gene Okerlund will interview Randy Savage!

The Last Word:  A good show with entertaining squashes, which is all one can ask of Wrestling Challenge during this period.

Here is a recap of the WWF’s house shows in the middle of June, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Providence, Rhode Island – The Providence Civic Center – June 15, 1990 (2,500):  Al Perez beat Jim Powers…Paul Roma defeated Buddy Rose…Akeem beat Brady Boone…Rick Martel defeated Ronnie Garvin…Sato defeated Marty Jannetty…Shawn Michaels beat Tanaka…Jake Roberts defeated Bad News Brown…Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire beat Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri

Indianapolis, Indiana – Market Square Arena – June 15, 1990 (6,000):  Shane Douglas pinned the Brooklyn Brawler…Tugboat pinned Dino Bravo with a splash…The Big Bossman beat Ted DiBiase…The Barbarian pinned Jimmy Snuka…The Bushwhackers defeated Rhythm & Blues via disqualification…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeated Haku & Bobby Heenan (both substituting for Rick Rude) in a handicap match when the Warrior pinned Haku with a flying shoulderblock and a splash.

Miami, Florida – Miami Arena – June 17, 1990 (3,912):  Koko B. Ware pinned the Genius…The Warlord pinned Tito Santana…Hercules defeated Black Bart…Brutus Beefcake defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via disqualification when Perfect hit the referee…Earthquake pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Hillbilly Jim beat Paul Diamond…WWF Tag Team Champions Smash & Crush (w/Ax) beat the Hart Foundation after Ax interfered.

Backstage News*:        Rick Rude is suffering from a torn tricep muscle, so that is why the WWF had to run handicap matches in his place on A-shows this week.  The WWF hopes to keep the injury quiet because it would torpedo their top program on the house shows.

*In a sign of how badly the Ultimate Warrior is drawing on top, shows featuring Warrior-Rude are sometimes bringing in fewer fans than shows headlined by Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri.  For example, last week that match drew more than 8,000 fans in San Francisco while only 6,000 fans wanted to see the Warrior this week in Indianapolis.  In an effort to spice it up, look for a change to be made where the Warrior will team with Brutus Beefcake to face Rude and Mr. Perfect.

*The company is happy with the reaction to the Hulk Hogan-Earthquake program as their confrontation on the Brother Love show drew a 11.1 rating for Superstars several weeks ago.

*To bolster the tag team ranks, the WWF is planning to team Hacksaw Jim Duggan with Nikolai Volkoff.

*Bill Eadie (Demolition Ax) is expected to be out another six weeks with his heart issue.

*In talent relations news, the WWF is in negotiations to bring in Nord the Barbarian and Sergeant Slaughter.  In the case of Slaughter, he will probably be an active part of the roster by the fall and will be booked as a heel.  Shane Douglas has also been brought in as a preliminary worker on house shows.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for June 25.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for June 18!