What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 24, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan call the action, which originates from Rochester, New York.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on June 5 and drew a crowd of 8,000 fans.

The Bushwhackers squash match from Prime Time Wrestling is today’s opener.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment sees Tugboat read a letter from a fan that is meant for Hogan.  The letter is written by a doctor, who talks about all the goodness of Hulkamania.  Hogan’s friends in the locker room provide additional comments about how great he is.  These include Brutus Beefcake, the Rockers, Tito Santana, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (15-0) pins Mike Pocari after the Earthquake Splash at 1:34:

Pocari was another Larry Sharpe trainee who was wrestling his first televised enhancement match on this show.  The next year he went to All Japan and wrestled under the name Johnny Favorite, losing most of his matches.

During the squash, Gene Okerlund asks an old adult fan in the audience named Len what he thinks of the big man.  Len is not a fan, evidenced by the Hogan t-shirt he shows off.  Earthquake quickly polishes off Pocari and after the match he rips off Pocari’s Hogan friendship bracelet and gives him two more Earthquake Splashes and an elbow drop.  Pocari is wheeled out on a stretcher after that.  This segment came off like one big infomercial for Hogan merchandise.

Nikolai Volkoff (2-0) pins Buddy Rose after a clothesline to the back of the head at 1:10:

Volkoff has upgraded his ring gear to feature tights and a ring jacket with the U.S. and Soviet flags and reinforces how he is the babyface in the Bolshevik split by telling fans that America is great because it is a free country.  In the split screen, Boris Zhukov continues his one-dimensional promos by calling Volkoff a traitor.  Volkoff counters an effort by Rose to get a jump on him and finishes quickly, which was a good call for a 1990 Volkoff match.

Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) (10-1-1) pins Brady Boone after the Rude Awakening at 1:28:

Boone broke into the business in 1984 and was an alumni of Robbinsdale High School in Minneapolis, the same school attended by Rude, Mr. Perfect, and Smash.  He worked for PNW, Mid-Atlantic, CWF, Central States, and All Japan and previously wrestled for the WWF as an enhancement talent in 1987 and 1988.

Rude’s tight game was always top notch and that is shown here as his trunks feature a woman crying because there are no more post-match kisses until he becomes the WWF Champion.  Like prior squashes, Rude calls out the Warrior en route to winning with the Rude Awakening.

The Big Bossman (15-1) beats Chris Duffy with the Bossman Slam at 2:07:

As the Bossman works over Duffy he also appears in the split screen, saying that he is getting tired of Ted DiBiase trying to slander him in his hometown.  Duffy gets good elevation on a backdrop before being finished with the Bossman Slam.

Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri.  The segment goes back to pre-existing talking points about how Savage and Sherri are royal while Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire are not and that they will make Elizabeth kiss Brother Love’s feet.

Jimmy Snuka (6-2) defeats Mike Sharpe after the Superfly Splash at 2:49:

Sharpe extends the match by bailing a couple of times, but he cannot avoid Snuka using his head as a weapon.  As has been noted before, the Superfly Splash is keeping Snuka over, but his matches are not good.

Jake Roberts (12-1) pins Mike Williams after the DDT at 2:46:

The crowd is hot for the DDT, but Roberts goes through his usual offense of a knee lift, snapmare, and short-arm clothesline to set it up.  After the match, Roberts dumps Damien onto Williams.

The Last Word:  There was no new ground broken in terms of storylines, so this show was just average.  Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri’s promos are running out of steam for the Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire feud, though, as evidenced by their Gene Okerlund interview repeating all their old talking points.

Here was a sampling of the action on the WWF house show circuit for this week in its history, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Wichita, Kansas – Kansas Coliseum – June 22, 1990:  Ronnie Garvin beat Rick Martel…Koko B. Ware defeated the Genius…Jake Roberts beat Bad News Brown…The Rockers defeated the Orient Express…Earthquake beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan…Hillbilly Jim defeated Black Bart…Brutus Beefcake defeated Mr. Perfect via disqualification

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Philadelphia Spectrum – June 23, 1990 (5,136):  Paul Diamond pinned Jim Powers…Koko B. Ware pinned the Genius…Tito Santana beat the Warlord via disqualification…Jake Roberts pinned Bad News Brown…The Rockers defeated the Orient Express via count out…Hercules beat Akeem…Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/Miss Elizabeth) defeated Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri (w/Brother Love) after Elizabeth hit Sherri with a purse

Chicago, Illinois – The Rosemont Horizon – June 23, 1990 (7,100):  The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Jim Brunzell…Paul Roma beat Buddy Rose…Rick Martel pinned Ronnie Garvin at 7:56…Nikolai Volkoff pinned Boris Zhukov at 4:49…The Bushwhackers defeated Rhythm & Blues via disqualification at 16:45…The Big Bossman pinned Ted DiBiase at 12:36…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeated Haku & Bobby Heenan (both substituting for Rick Rude) in a handicap match at 11:05

Backstage News*:        Fans are angry that the WWF is not issuing refunds for its A-level house shows when they learn that Rick Rude cannot compete due to injury.  Dave Meltzer does not believe SummerSlam ’90 will do as well as the previous year because the scheduled card is a repeat of matches that have been going around the house show circuit for months.

*In talent relations news, Vince McMahon met with Kerry Von Erich and there is an agreement that Von Erich will start working in August.  Von Erich backed out of a deal with the NWA so there are questions about whether he will compete for the WWF.  In fact, there are lots of bets in the industry that Von Erich will never step inside a WWF ring.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for July 2.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for June 25!