What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – September 23, 1990

Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan handle commentary, conducting the second show from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Opening Contest:  Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil & Sapphire) (19-1-1) defeats Jim McPherson via submission to the Million Dollar Dream at 1:44:

McPherson musters a slam out of nowhere and covers but gets nothing from it.  DiBiase uses an elbow to counter a McPherson charge into the corner and finishes him off shortly thereafter, stuffing a $100 bill down the jobber’s throat after the bell.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report discusses the Ultimate Warrior-Randy Savage feud in the same way that Superstars handled the issue.  Randy Savage openly questions whether the Warrior really wants to find him in a new promo.

Saba Simba (1-0) defeats the Brooklyn Brawler (2-12) after the Lion’s Roar at 1:44:

Before the action gets going Akeem and Slick do an insert promo, repeating their argument that there is only one African American in the WWF and that is Akeem.  Like his debut on Superstars, Simba uses few moves to checkmate his opponent, doing some punches, kicks, and quickly going to the Lion’s Roar for the finish.  The booking of these matches shows that the WWF is doing their best to disguise Simba’s weaknesses as Tony Atlas was on the nadir of his career.

Mr. Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) (27-3) pins Jim Powers after the Perfectplex at 1:53:

The Texas Tornado has changed his mind about Perfect having to go the bottom of the contender ladder and work his way back up, saying in the split screen that he will give Perfect a chance to regain the title.  This match marks the third time that Powers has faced Perfect this year and he once again fails to make a mark, losing to the former Intercontinental titleholder in less than two minutes.

Gene Okerlund interviews Sergeant Slaughter, who introduces General Adnan as his manager.  After Adnan goes off in Arabic, Slaughter translates to say that the two of them are declaring war on Nikolai Volkoff.  It is odd that the WWF thought they needed to have an introduction angle for Adnan twice in the same week.

The Big Bossman (23-1) defeats Paul Perez after the Bossman Slam at 1:29:

Before the match, the Bossman heads to the announce booth to confront Heenan.  He handcuffs the Brain and throws him off the announce stand and onto the concrete.  Then, he drags Heenan to the ring and attaches Heenan to the guardrail.  After making quick work of Perez, the Bossman goes to get Heenan but WWF officials rush out and form a barrier around the manager.  In response, the Bossman takes the handcuff key and tosses it into the crowd.

Power & Glory (w/Slick) (9-0) beat Barry Hardy & Ross Lindsey when Paul Roma pins Hardy after the Powerplex at 2:42:

Heenan is still handcuffed to ringside when Power & Glory make their entrance so he tries to enlist their help, offering them $10,000 for breaking him free but all that does is nearly get Power & Glory counted out.  Power & Glory win their tenth match, but everyone is focused on Heenan’s antics more than what they are doing.  Heenan implores Slick to go and get Rick Rude.

Tugboat (20-0) pins Chris Duffy after a splash off the second rope at 1:41:

Duffy must not have broken his arm against Saba Simba as he managed to make the next day’s Wrestling Challenge taping for this bout.  As the match unfolds, Rude comes to ringside and tries to help Heenan break free but fails.  Like the Power & Glory squash, the crowd is more focused on what is going on with Heenan than the match.

To wrap up the show, McMahon comes by ringside to tell Heenan that he got what he deserved.  Rude accuses McMahon of doing nothing to help his manager and demands he do something to free Heenan.  Rude also says that he had Heenan make the remarks so that he could get a piece of the Big Bossman.

Tune in next week to see the Hart Foundation, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Rhythm & Blues, Nikolai Volkoff, and Dino Bravo in action!

The Last Word:  On the one hand, it was refreshing to see Wrestling Challenge used to further an angle.  On the other hand, any angle that is on Wrestling Challenge is not something that the WWF typically prioritizes, so Rick Rude is falling back into heel purgatory after his cup of coffee feud with the Ultimate Warrior over the WWF Championship.  It is too bad that Gorilla Monsoon was not doing commentary opposite Bobby Heenan on this episode because he would have taken greater delight than McMahon did at Heenan’s situation since he had been warning Heenan for weeks on Prime Time Wrestling to quit.

The WWF’s house show circuit spent most of its time in the Midwest for this week in its history, but the company also sent talent to New York and California.  Here are some of the results of those shows, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville Gardens – September 17, 1990 (1,000):  The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Dale Wolfe…Bob Bradley beat Jim Powers…The Orient Express defeated the Bushwhackers…Jimmy Snuka beat the Warlord via disqualification…Saba Simba pinned Buddy Rose…Ted DiBiase pinned Dusty Rhodes…Jake Roberts defeated Akeem (substituting for Bad News Brown) in a steel cage match.

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – September 21, 1990 (More than 11,000):  Dustin Rhodes pinned Paul Diamond with a flying forearm and elbow drop at 13:04…Sergeant Slaughter beat Nikolai Volkoff via submission to the Camel Clutch at 8:40…The Barbarian pinned Tito Santana after rolling through a flying body press at 13:28…Paul Roma beat Marty Jannetty after Hercules interfered by tripping Jannetty and holding his feet down for the pinfall at 13:43.  A coin toss determined that Jannetty would face Roma for the match…Ronnie Garvin pinned Bob Bradley (substituting for Akeem) after a roll up at 12:21…Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Rick Rude via disqualification when Rude pushed the referee at 9:10…The Ultimate Warrior & the Legion of Doom defeated Demolition when the Warrior pinned Smash after a splash at 12:59.

Los Angeles, California – The Sports Arena – September 21, 1990 (11,000):  Shane Douglas defeated the Brooklyn Brawler…The Big Bossman beat Haku…Koko B. Ware defeated Boris Zhukov…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Rhythm & Blues…Mr. Perfect beat Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado via count out…Tugboat defeated Dino Bravo…Earthquake beat Hulk Hogan via count out.

Backstage News*:        The WWF has reportedly inked a deal with FOX to air a wrestling special next February.  This has angered NBC, who does not like the WWF working with another network but the WWF was willing to talk to FOX in order to get more money.  The WWF’s relationship with NBC has also become frayed because of the WWF not following the original terms of the deal, which forbid blood in matches.  NBC was furious at the Big Bossman getting color against Hulk Hogan in a cage match last year and the recent Saturday Night’s Main Event taping saw the WWF use blood for an angle.

*Vince McMahon is trying to attract as many top bodybuilders as he can for his World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF) and other bodybuilding-like projects but there are hesitations in that community to jump because of fears that the WBF will be short-lived and hurt their careers.

*The WWF is not happy with the recent Madison Square Garden attendance figure, even though a crowd of more than 11,000 fans was better than its most recent outing there in late April.  Some have said that this will be what causes the WWF to take the WWF Championship off of the Ultimate Warrior since he headlined the show while Hulk Hogan wrestled Earthquake on the West Coast.

*Survivor Series this year will have a gimmick where all of the survivors of the elimination matches will meet in an “Ultimate Match of Survival.”  Dave Meltzer speculates that this will be used to trigger a Hulk Hogan-Ultimate Warrior feud that will culminate at WrestleMania VII.

*The WWF is suing the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, arguing that they should not be taxed like a sport because what they do is art.

*With Bad News Brown gone, Jake Roberts will be transitioned into a feud with Rick Martel.

*Curt Hennig got into a backstage fight with Boris Zhukov on the California tour, which agents had to break up.  Reports are that Zhukov was winning before it was stopped.

*Longtime WWF jobber Mike Sharpe headlined a New Jersey house show that had a paid crowd of one person and gate of $10.  A fan’s wife contacted Larry Sharpe to put it on for $10,000 and the fan beat Sharpe in the main event.

*In talent relations news, the WWF recently gave a tryout to Nitron, a Canadian big man that worked as a bodyguard for Doom at some WCW shows like Starrcade last year.  Nitron wrestled Tito Santana and lost.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for October 1.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for September 24!