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

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan do announce duties for today’s show, which kicks off a new round of television tapings in Huntington, West Virginia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the taping took place on June 26.

Opening Contest:  The Bushwhackers (15-0) defeat Tony Bennett & Kent Carlson when Butch pins Bennett after a double stomachbreaker at 2:47:

Monsoon puts over how much fun the Bushwhackers are having as they plow throw their two-bit competition today.  Heenan is left making some tired jokes about the Bushwhackers eating habits and wacky behavior.  Neither refers to the Bushwhackers feud with Rhythm & Blues so that program may be over by SummerSlam.

A replay of Hulk Hogan’s career announcement on Superstars airs.

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (17-0) pins Scott Colton after the Earthquake Splash at 1:30:

In preparation for facing Hogan at SummerSlam, Earthquake rolls through the artist formerly known as Randy Hogan today.  Tugboat does an insert promo and promises to be at the pay-per-view to make sure Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart stay out of the match.  Earthquake’s belly-to-belly suplex has a nice snap to it and he uses it as the setup move for the Earthquake Splash.  After the bout, Hart pins the referee in the corner so Earthquake can do his finisher two more times.  This leads to Colton doing a stretcher job, although he must not have good insurance because WWF referees haul him out instead of licensed medical professionals.

The Legion of Doom defeat Al Burke & Bob Bradley when Hawk pins Burke after the Doomsday Device at 1:46:

Formed at the direction of Ole Anderson in Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) in 1983, the Legion of Doom, known to most wrestling fans as the Road Warriors, were one of the world’s most decorated tag teams.  They captured the AWA Tag Team Championship in 1984 and spent two years in the Minnesota-based promotion feuding with the Fabulous Ones and the Fabulous Freebirds.  In 1986, the team won the first Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament and its fictional $1 million grand prize, and worked for Jim Crockett Promotions and its successor WCW over the next four years, winning the NWA Tag Team Championship in 1988 from the Midnight Express.  Disagreements with WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd caused them to bolt for the WWF and fans looked forward to a dream feud between the Warriors and Demolition, a team that NWA fans believed was a cheap Warriors imitation.

With Demolition now heels, the Legion of Doom come in as babyfaces.  They also ditch the Road Warrior name in the spirit of Vince McMahon putting his own spin on any gimmick and so as to avoid overlap with WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior.  In the split screen, Demolition allege that the Legion are copying them and Ax vows to wipe away their face paint.  That might bode ill for the Hart Foundation’s odds of getting the tag team belts because it seems like Demolition are already getting plugged into a different feud.  The Legion look good in this outing, quickly wiping the floor with their opponents.  Burke draws the short straw of the jobbers by having to take the Doomsday Device finisher.

Bad News Brown (17-0-1) pins Brian Costello with the Ghetto Blaster at 1:29:

An Indiana talent who was trained by Bobby Golden and Tom Lynch, Costello began doing squash matches for the WWF in 1986, four years after he broke into the business.  He also did some enhancement-level work for the AWA, wrestling in seven matches for the promotion in 1984 and 1986.

After attacking Costello before the bell, Brown does an insert promo about how he has found a “big, stinky” alternative to counter Damien because Roberts refuses to face him man-to-man.  Continuing his hatred of Dusty Rhodes’ manager, Heenan speculates that Brown will use Sapphire as a counter to Roberts’ snake, while Monsoon floats the idea that it will be Brown’s wife.  The victory keeps Brown hot for that feud, which he is losing on house shows.

Gene Okerlund interviews Nikolai Volkoff, who waves the American flag that Hacksaw Jim Duggan gave him on last week’s Superstars.  Volkoff thanks Hacksaw Jim Duggan for opening his eyes about the lovely things America has to offer.  He retcons his feud with Boris Zhukov, arguing that Zhukov attacked him from behind to breakup their team and he has no respect for people who act like that.

Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) (2-3-1) pins Jim Evans after a thrust kick at 2:00:

Since Haku lost to Jimmy Snuka on Prime Time Wrestling, this match allows Haku to be reheated.  Evans tries to choke Haku out with a sleeper, but Haku counters by ramming him into the buckles.  After refusing to pin Evans after a piledriver and backbreaker, Haku pins his opponent after a thrust kick.

Ronnie Garvin says that he relaxes after a tough match by eating a WWF ice cream bar.  He puts over the ice cream bars by saying they cannot be beat, just like him.

Tito Santana’s squash match from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

The Warlord’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

Tune in next week to see Boris Zhukov and Rhythm & Blues in action!  Also, there will be a special interview with WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior!

The Last Word:  The Legion of Doom had a good debut and will feature prominently into the WWF Tag Team Championship picture going forward after they find their footing in the lead up to SummerSlam.  It finally looks like the WWF is going to take the Ultimate Warrior out of mothballs for next week’s show too, and hopefully this time the Warrior can talk about Rick Rude instead of the concept of love.

Here is a reporting of the WWF’s house show happenings in early July, with results coming from thehistoryofwwe.com:

Lakeland, Florida – Civic Center – July 9, 1990 (2,800):  Paul Roma beat the Brooklyn Brawler…Hercules pinned Akeem with a small package…The Rockers beat the Orient Express via count out…Ronnie Garvin pinned Haku with a small package…The Big Bossman defeated Virgil (substituting for Ted DiBiase)…Koko B. Ware pinned the Genius…Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/Miss Elizabeth) defeated Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri (w/Brother Love) when Sapphire pinned Sherri after Elizabeth hit Sherri with her own purse.

Rapid City, South Dakota – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center – July 13, 1990 (5,200):  Jim Brunzell pinned Buddy Rose…Black Bart defeated Jim Powers…Tugboat beat Dino Bravo…Jake Roberts pinned Bad News Brown…WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition beat the Hart Foundation…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeated Rick Rude.

Boston, Massachusetts – The Boston Garden – July 14, 1990 (3,500):  Paul Roma pinned Paul Diamond with a powerslam…Pete Doherty (substituting for Hillbilly Jim) pinned Haku when Doherty lifted his shoulder during a double pin spot…Nikolai Volkoff defeated Boris Zhukov with a clothesline to the back of the head…The Bushwhackers beat Rhythm & Blues via disqualification…Hercules defeated Akeem…Earthquake pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan with an Earthquake Splash…Tito Satana (substituting for Brutus Beefcake) beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via disqualification when Perfect put the referee in the way of Santana’s flying forearm.

Backstage News*:        Kerry Von Erich will be replacing Brutus Beefcake in the with Mr. Perfect now that he has officially joined the company, showing up to the July 16 Supertars tapings in Omaha, Nebraska.  As expected, Von Erich wrestled with whether to show up, having told his family that he was going to stay in Dallas.

*Bodybuilders are interested in whether Vince McMahon decides to commit to their industry, believing that McMahon will increase television and pay-per-view exposure.

*The reason that Haku lost to Pete Doherty at the Boston Garden is that he was being punished for an unknown transgression.

*Rick Martel has missed some house shows lately due to nerve damage to one of his arms which will not allow him to lift more than fifteen pounds at a time.  This could scuttle plans for Martel to appear in a match at SummerSlam.

*In talent relations news, Nord the Barbarian will be packaged as a babyface called Yukon John when he makes his debut.  According to some, Nord was supposed to be given the third man spot in Demolition and Barry Darsow (Smash) wanted him for the role, but Nord deferred and said that Brian Adams would be a better talent for it.  Also, even though Sergeant Slaughter is primed for a heel run in the fall he might come in first as a babyface and turn later.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for July 23.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for July 16!