What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – November 25, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are calling the action, still broadcasting from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Opening Contest:  Hacksaw Jim Duggan (32-1-1) pins Brian Costello after the three-point stance clothesline at 1:37:

Costello tries to get a jump on Duggan but that goes nowhere.  After Duggan clotheslines Costello over the top rope there is an insert promo from Sergeant Slaughter and General Adnan, with Slaughter claiming that Duggan does not know what it means to be a tough guy.  Duggan pads his winning streak to twenty-seven with the usual, continuing the longest such streak in the company for the year.

Footage of the end of the Ultimate Warrior’s match with Ted DiBiase on The Main Event is shown, along with Gene Okerlund’s post-match interview with Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri and Sean Mooney’s later interview with the Warrior.

Haku (w/Bobby Heenan) (5-7-3) pins Gary Jackson after a thrust kick at 1:53:

As Haku pounds away, Haku speaks in Tongan to insult the Big Bossman’s mother.  Haku refuses to pin Jackson after a piledriver and creatively uses a thrust kick out of a blind charge sequence to break a three-match losing streak.

Shane Douglas (6-1-1) defeats the Brooklyn Brawler (2-15) after a flying body press at 2:28:

Instead of hyping Douglas, Monsoon and Heenan hype Kane the Undertaker, who Heenan argues “Will be the force of the 90s.”  Douglas gets an insert promo where he promises to intensely seek his dream of climbing to the top of the WWF.  He dominates the Brawler with technical wrestling and finishes with a flying body press.

Jake Roberts (22-2) pins Tom Bennett after the DDT at 2:47:

Roberts is sporting a pirate-like eye patch.  Rick Martel does a split screen promo about how Roberts nearly lost all of his vision the last time they faced off and the damage could be much worse when they meet again.  Roberts does some boring arm work before taking Bennett’s head off with a short-arm clothesline and planting him with the DDT.  After the match, Roberts dumps Damien on Bennett.

The Warlord (w/Slick) (21-0) defeats George Anderson after the running powerslam at 1:25:

As the Warlord pounds away, Slick puts his man over in the split screen.  This is another easy win for the Warlord, who is still awaiting his first big singles feud.

Okerlund interviews the Big Bossman.  The Bossman promises that Bobby Heenan will serve hard time with him or be suspended for life from the WWF.  He says that his mother wants to accept Heenan’s apology but those apologies are not enough for him.

A replay of WWF President Jack Tunney’s announcement from Superstars airs concerning Demolition, Mr. Fuji, and the Orient Express.

The Bushwhackers (24-1) defeat the Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) (23-2) via disqualification when Mr. Fuji interferes at 4:08:

These teams have been trading words since September but this is the first encounter between them that is airing on television.  It functions as a blowoff because of the Express moving onto a feud with the Legion of Doom on house shows.  The Express feed well into the Bushwhacker’s cartoonish offense and Fuji gets involved after Tanaka eats a Battering Ram.  Butch gets salt tossed in his eyes and he is beaten down as the show goes to a commercial break.  This is a weak end to the feud but it is typical 1990 WWF booking.  Rating:  *½

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart & Dino Bravo) (26-2) beats Jim Evans after the Earthquake Splash at 2:14:

Evans never stands a chance as Earthquake powerslams, elbow drops, and Earthquake Splashes himself into the win column.  After the bell, Earthquake gives Evans a few more Earthquake Splashes.  Hopefully Evans has good health insurance because Earthquake sent him to the hospital back in February.

Tune in next week to see Dustin Rhodes, the Legion of Doom & Randy Savage in action!  Also, Sergeant Slaughter will appear for a special interview!

The Last Word:  This was just another uneventful episode of Wrestling Challenge.  Since the Orient Express are being thrust into a feud with the Legion of Doom it would have made more sense for them to go over in some fashion on this show so the questionable booking of the tag division continues.

Even though it was Survivor Series week, the company packed in a lot of house shows and did a new round of television tapings for Superstars and Wrestling Challenge.  Here were the results of a couple of the weekly cards, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Providence, Rhode Island – The Providence Civic Center – November 21, 1990 (4,500):  Haku pinned Koko B. Ware…Ted DiBiase pinned Dusty Rhodes…The Big Bossman defeat the Barbarian (substituting for Bobby Heenan)…Sergeant Slaughter & General Adnan beat Nikolai Volkoff & Hacksaw Jim Duggan when Slaughter pinned Volkoff…Randy Savage defeated WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior via count out at 7:48…The Rockers beat Power & Glory via disqualification…The British Bulldog pinned Boris Zhukov…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Rhythm & Blues.

Chicago, Illinois – The Rosemont Horizon – November 23, 1990 (11,000):  Saba Simba beat Tom Stone…Dustin Rhodes pinned Buddy Rose…The Warlord defeated Jimmy Snuka…Tugboat pinned Dino Bravo…The Big Bossman defeated Mr. Perfect & Bobby Heenan in a handicap match…Earthquake defeated Hulk Hogan via count out after a brawl on the arena floor.  After the match, Hogan was taken backstage on a stretcher…Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado wrestled Mr. Perfect to a double disqualification.

Detroit, Michigan – Joe Louis Arena – November 24, 1990 (1,800):  Saba Simba defeated Bob Bradley…Koko B. Ware pinned Black Bart…The Warlord defeated Jimmy Snuka…Power & Glory beat the Bushwhackers when Paul Roma pinned Luke after Hercules hit Luke with a chain…The Big Bossman pinned Bobby Heenan in four minutes…The Legion of Doom defeated the Orient Express (Tanaka & Kato) & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match…Rick Martel defeated Jake Roberts via disqualification after Martel subbed a substance into Roberts’ eye and a blinded Roberts DDT’d the referee by mistake…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeated Randy Savage via count out.

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – November 24, 1990 (15,700 paid):  The British Bulldog pinned Buddy Rose after a running powerslam at 8:48…Tugboat pinned Boris Zhukov after a splash at 5:57…Earthquake beat Hulk Hogan via count out at 8:33 after Dino Bravo interfered.  After the match, Hogan was double teamed after he slammed Earthquake but was saved by Tugboat, who brought a chair into the ring…Shane Douglas pinned Haku with a body press off the second rope…Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado pinned Mr. Perfect when the Tornado lifted his shoulder out of a double pin position at 11:38.  Roddy Piper was the guest referee for the match.  After the match, Perfect attacked the Tornado and Piper.  Piper chased after Perfect after he recovered but returned to the ring to raise the Tornado’s hand…Ted DiBiase & Virgil defeated Dusty & Dustin Rhodes when Virgil pinned Dustin at 8:51 after DiBiase hit Dustin with a powerslam behind the referee’s back.  After the match, the Honky Tonk Man, who distracted Dusty Rhodes during the previous match, came into the ring and sang “Hunka Hunka Honky Love”…Sergeant Slaughter pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan with a clothesline after General Adnan interfered.  Prior to the match, Slaughter had Howard Finkel announce that it was Veteran’s Day in Iraq and the crowd needed to stand up for ten seconds of silence for the Iraqi soldier who died during the invasion of Kuwait.  After the match, Duggan cleared the ring…Bret Hart pinned the Barbarian with a sunset flip at 4:09…The Rockers beat Demolition (Smash & Crush) via disqualification when Crush touched the referee at 10:53.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Maple Leaf Gardens – November 25, 1990 (matinee) (10,800):  Ted DiBiase pinned Dusty Rhodes after Virgil interfered…Dino Bravo defeated Shane Douglas with a side suplex…Tugboat pinned Boris Zhukov…Bret Hart pinned the Barbarian…Demolition (Smash & Crush) defeated the Bushwhackers when Smash pinned Butch…The Big Bossman beat the Barbarian (substituting for Bobby Heenan).  Heenan came to the match with a crutch, saying he was unable to wrestle.  After Heenan interfered several times, WWF President Jack Tunney later ordered him to wrestle the Bossman at the next Toronto show on December 26…Intercontinental Champion the Texas Tornado pinned Mr. Perfect with an small package.  Roddy Piper was the guest referee for the match…Saba Simba defeated Rick Martel via forfeit when Martel was not able to show up for the card…Earthquake beat Hulk Hogan via count out.

Backstage News*:        It is unlikely that the WWF will do another Grand Finale match next year for Survivor Series as fans at the Hartford Civic Center were not into it and were leaving during the bout.  In a last-ditch effort to get the Ultimate Warrior over as champion, Vince McMahon is reducing how many times commentators talk about Hulk Hogan and he made sure to book the Warrior as the one to get the winning fall in the Grand Finale.

*The WWF has soured on Kerry Von Erich and he will be pushed down the card quickly after he drops the Intercontinental Championship.

*The ratings for Prime Time Wrestling continue to hit new lows, dropping to a 2.1 before Survivor Series.  There are rumblings that the format for the show might be altered or different on-screen talent used because some think the Gorilla Monsoon-Bobby Heenan partnership has run its course.

*The local DJ that the Ultimate Warrior clotheslined at a house show several weeks ago has decided to sue the WWF.

*The WBF project is already running into problems because a WWF-produced bodybuilding magazine had poor sales and McMahon is offering deals that were smaller than what he initially promised.  Some bodybuilders are not keen to sign deals where McMahon takes over their marketing and merchandise sales and there is also discontent over how the winnings from competitions would be put toward a contestant’s yearly guarantee rather than adding onto it.

*In talent relations news, Dusty Rhodes has given notice to the WWF and his last date will be the Royal Rumble on January 19.  It is speculated that Rhodes is going back to WCW to be its new booker to replace Ole Anderson.  McMahon is not objecting to Rhodes’ decision to leave, although he did counteroffer with a front office position.  McMahon is also letting Rhodes out of his contract early as long as he agrees to put over who he is asked to until his departure.  Dusty leaving means that his son, Dustin, is likely to follow him to WCW.  Barry Darsow decided not to quit with Bill Eadie after all so the WWF still has the Demolition tag team, albeit repackaged as Smash and Crush.  Eadie wants to wrestle as Demolition Ax in Japan, but the WWF is threatening legal action over that.  Since Eadie is leaving the WWF scrapped the masks for Demolition because there was no point using it when there were only two members left.  There were rumors that the Great Kabuki might come in to replace Sato on the Orient Express since Sato is moving to an office position where he will be a liaison with Japanese promotions, but Paul Diamond will be inserted under a mask and using the name Kato.  The Nasty Boys recently gave WCW their notice, rejecting a $156,000 deal from Jim Herd and they should appear in the WWF soon.  The WWF is reportedly making offers to Ricky Steamboat, planning to put him in Dusty Rhodes’ place but they will not call him Ricky Steamboat.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for November 26 and December 3.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for November 26!