What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – September 2, 1990

Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary, still broadcasting from Springfield, Massachusetts.  Heenan continues to pile the insults on the Big Bossman’s mother, saying that she needs a “tune up.”

Opening Contest:  Rhythm & Blues (w/Jimmy Hart) (20-0-1) defeat Ronnie Garvin & Glen Ruth when Greg Valentine pins Ruth after a double back suplex at 3:30:

Ruth was a Larry Sharpe trainee who broke into the business in 1990 on the New Jersey independent scene as the Spider.  Wrestling fans would best know him as Headbanger Thrasher when he returned to the WWF in 1997.

This is the first television appearance for Rhythm & Blues in more than a month.  McMahon tells fans that Rhythm & Blues will be the first challengers for the Hart Foundation’s newly won tag team titles, implying that the Blues won their feud with the Bushwhackers even though the teams went 50/50 on the house show circuit.  Valentine and Garvin have a fun mini-match to start, exchanging stiff strikes as McMahon acts like they have never wrestled before.  Garvin does his best to will his team to victory but he cannot keep the rookie out of the heel corner, where he is double teamed and put away with a double back suplex.  This was a fun opener because of Garvin.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report recaps SummerSlam.  Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan warn Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado that they are not done with him and pain awaits him.  The Tornado basks in the glow of his SummerSlam win and says Perfect will have to join a list of other contenders.  The Legion of Doom gloat about costing Demolition the tag team titles.  And Dusty Rhodes, wearing a black cape and voodoo-like top hat, screams about how he does not have a price for Ted DiBiase.

Koko B. Ware (11-2) pins Dale Wolfe after the Ghostbuster at 1:52:

Ware has only appeared on television twice since June and McMahon and Heenan pay him little mind, preferring to talk more about Mr. Perfect’s SummerSlam defeat.  Wolfe lays out well for the Ghostbuster, losing for the second time to Ware this year.  After the match, Heenan refuses to dance to Koko’s theme and storms off to get Haku for the next match.

Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) (3-4-1) beats Mike Pocari after a thrust kick at 2:13:

Like other acts on this show, Haku has not been seen in a while, last wrestling on the July 30 edition of Prime Time Wrestling in a losing effort against Tugboat.  Pocari bumps a lot as McMahon talks with the Big Bossman in the split screen.  The Bossman warns Heenan to cease and desist.

The Big Bossman (21-1) pins Mike Williams after the Bossman Slam at 2:16:

Heenan continues to talk a big game against the Bossman, saying that if the Bossman has a problem with him then he can say it to his face.  He adds a funny joke about the Bossman’s mother being taken hostage and being released if the hostage takers demands were not met.  The Bossman adds a gutwrench suplex to his squash arsenal but opts not to hit Williams after handcuffing him to the ropes after the bell.  McMahon tries to hail the Bossman to visit the announce booth after the squash, causing Heenan to flee.

Gene Okerlund interviews Sergeant Slaughter, who reiterates his anger at fans for supporting Nikolai Volkoff.  He says when he gets Volkoff in the ring it is going to make the events in the Middle East look like a Sunday school classroom.  Volkoff comes out and confronts Slaughter, standing toe-to-toe with him.  When Slaughter tries to throw a punch, Volkoff ducks and atomic drops Slaughter off the stage.  WWF officials intervene after that to prevent further action, but this was a good segment to advance the feud and Volkoff got his biggest reaction to date.

Tugboat (18-0) defeats Buddy Rose after a splash 1:51:

Tugboat does an insert promo where he thanks the Big Bossman for saving him a few weeks ago.  He also calls out Dino Bravo and Earthquake.  There is a nice callback to Tugboat’s recent injury as he does not splash Rose against the turnbuckles, one of his signature moves.  However, that does not stop Tugboat from using his chest to win, even though it gives him some discomfort after the three count.

The Genius urges young fans to listen to him for academic tips for the upcoming school year.

Power & Glory (w/Slick) (7-0) beat George Skaaland & Mike Daniels when Paul Roma pins Daniels after the Powerplex at 4:01:

Power & Glory do an intense insert promo about how the Rockers have more pain awaiting them.  The squash goes too long, filled with some deliberate offense by Power & Glory.  Even McMahon and Heenan seem bored calling the match, at least until the finish, which Heenan finds impressive.

Bad News Brown (20-1-1) pins Mike Durham after the Ghetto Blaster at 2:15:

Brown brings Harlem sewer rats to the ring, with Heenan likening their smell to the Big Bossman’s mother.  Brown wins another slow, deliberate squash to regain momentum after SummerSlam.

The Last Word:  The best piece of the broadcast was Bobby Heenan making jokes about the Big Bossman’s mother.  When you lack a feature match that kind of banter is worth its weight in a gold when watching these shows.

Here is a sampling of the WWF’s house show cards in the days after SummerSlam, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Lincoln, Nebraska – Pershing Auditorium – September 1, 1990 (matinee) (1,542):  Haku pinned the Genius…Black Bart defeated Jim Powers (substituting for Hillbilly Jim)…The Warlord pinned Tito Santana…The Orient Express defeated the Bushwhackers via disqualification…Sergeant Slaughter pinned Nikolai Volkoff…The Big Bossman & Tugboat beat Dino Bravo & Earthquake.

Denver, Colorado – The Denver Coliseum – September 1, 1990 (5,800):  Shane Douglas pinned the Brooklyn Brawler…Hercules defeated Koko B. Ware…Jimmy Snuka pinned Buddy Rose…Greg Valentine beat Marty Jannetty…Rick Rude & Mr. Perfect defeated Jake Roberts & Hacksaw Jim Duggan when Rude pinned Roberts with a clothesline…The Ultimate Warrior & the Legion of Doom defeated Demolition.

Warwick, Rhode Island – Warwick Musical Theatre – September 1, 1990 (2,000):  Saba Simba pinned Mike Sharpe…Paul Roma beat Mario Mancini (substituting for Jim Neidhart)…Boris Zhukov defeated Jose Luis Rivera…The Barbarian pinned Ronnie Garvin…Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado defeated Ted DiBiase…Dusty Rhodes pinned Randy Savage in a lumberjack match with a roll up after Savage collided with the Barbarian on the ring apron.

Backstage News*:        The reason that Vince McMahon likes to have pre-show matches before a pay-per-view goes on the air is because he does not like the look of people coming into a building when the broadcast starts, so starting with a match or two keeps people in their seats for television cameras.  The dark match of SummerSlam saw Shane Douglas beat Buddy Rose.

*The WWF is trying anything to get the Ultimate Warrior over in recent weeks, adjusting his look in an effort to get fans to rally behind his title reign.

*Tony Atlas’ new gimmick will be an African character named “Saba Simba” that arena reports say is offensively cartoonish.

*Brady Boone, who has been kept off television as of late, will be put under a mask and given a small push as part of a new gimmick.

*Reports are suggesting that Shawn Michaels could miss three months with his knee injury because he requires surgery.

*In talent relations news, Adnan Al-Kaissie, a veteran of New Japan and the AWA, will be brought in to manage Sergeant Slaughter.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for September 3 and 10.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for September 3!