What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – December 30, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth for a new set of television tapings from West Palm Beach, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on December 12.

Opening Contest:  The Rockers (16-4-1) defeat J.T. Smith & Tom Stone when Shawn Michaels pins Stone after a Rocket Launcher at 3:35:

The J.T. Smith in this contest is not the same J.T. Smith of ECW fame.  This is the first Rockers television appearance in more than a month as they have been drifting since Power & Glory annihilated them at SummerSlam and Survivor Series.  Even the Rockers original feud with Demolition was cut short by an injury to Crush so they are booked at The Royal Rumble against the Orient Express.  As the squash unfolds, the Express and Mr. Fuji do an insert promo about how they are going to use the next three weeks to devise a plan to defeat the Rockers.  Jannetty uses the Rocker Dropper to set up Stone for the finish, something notable because jobber Charles Austin had been paralyzed by that move a day earlier.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report shows Sergeant Slaughter and General Adnan showing off the boots given to Slaughter by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The Barbarian (w/Bobby Heenan) (27-0) pins Don Steel after a Mafia kick at 1:33:

Steel is wearing tights that make it look like he is wearing fishnet stockings.  As the Barbarian pounds away, the Big Bossman does an insert promo about how he will extract justice from the Barbarian at The Royal Rumble so he can get a hold of Heenan.  The Barbarian opts not to use his usual finish, pinning Steel after a Mafia kick.

Rick Martel (22-1-1) defeats Danny Brazil via submission to the Boston Crab at 2:17:

In the split screen, Martel says he looks forward to making Jake Roberts life even worse in the Royal Rumble.  Martel does some token back work and locks in the Boston Crab to run his winning streak to thirteen matches in singles competition.

A replay of Ted DiBiase trying to buy Dustin Rhodes on the Brother Love Show several weeks ago on Superstars airs to segway into an Okerlund interview with Dustin and his father, Dusty.  Dusty puts over his son, while Dustin keeps trying to channel his dad’s promo style to put over his dad’s talent.  Both of them finally get around to hyping the Royal Rumble tag match, arguing that blood will overcome money, a bond that Dusty says is paper thin.

There is a replay of Virgil massaging DiBiase on Superstars as DiBiase cut a promo against the Rhodes Family.

The Texas Tornado (16-1) pins Black Bart after the discus punch at 1:21:

The Tornado vows to win the Royal Rumble so his 1991 goes well.  In this third clash of World Class champions, the Tornado dazes Bart with strikes and floors him with a big discus punch off the ropes.

Okerlund does The Royal Rumble Report.  In Rumble promos, the Bushwhackers put over the craziness of the Rumble and how they are willing to throw each other out to win it, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan says that it is his kind of match because he can hit anything that moves.  WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior warns Sergeant Slaughter that he takes orders from no one and Slaughter’s new boots will just bring him closer to his ultimate destruction.

Power & Glory’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling airs.

Tune in next week to see Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect, Jake Roberts, the Undertaker, WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation, and Sergeant Slaughter!  Also, there will be a special interview with WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior!

The Last Word:  Another show of Royal Rumble hype.  The Dusty & Dustin promo was the best one to this point in their feud with Ted DiBiase & Virgil.  It will be interesting to see how the WWF handles Dusty from this point to the pay-per-view because he was largely done with his contractual responsibilities.  There is only one more show to go in 1990, so we will see how the WWF wrapped up the year on Prime Time.

After taking a week off, the WWF resumed its touring schedule after Christmas at some major venues.  Here is a sampling of some of their house show cards, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Maple Leaf Gardens – December 26, 1990 (8,500):  Dustin Rhodes pinned the Brooklyn Brawler with a bulldog…The Big Bossman beat Bobby Heenan…Jimmy Snuka pinned Haku with a small package…The British Bulldog and the Warlord went a no-contest in an arm wrestling match…The Barbarian beat Saba Simba…Roddy Piper defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out…Sergeant Slaughter pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation defeated Demolition when Bret Hart pinned Crush…Hulk Hogan & Tugboat beat Earthquake & Dino Bravo when Hogan pinned Bravo.

Auburn Hills, Michigan – The Palace – December 27, 1990 (7,000):  The Barbarian pinned Dustin Rhodes…The Texas Tornado defeated Mr. Perfect via disqualification in a match where Roddy Piper was the referee…The British Bulldog and the Warlord went to a no-contest in an arm wrestling bout when the Warlord turned over the table when he was about to lose…Tugboat pinned Dino Bravo…Earthquake beat Hulk Hogan via count out…Demolition defeated the Rockers when Smash pinned Marty Jannetty with a clothesline…Sergeant Slaughter beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan…WWF Tag Tema Champions the Hart Foundation defeated Power & Glory.

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – December 28, 1990 (13,700):  Koko B. Ware pinned Black Bart with the Ghostbuster at 10:07…Jimmy Snuka defeated the Warlord via disqualification at 8:28 when the Warlord would not stop choking Snuka on the ropes…The Rockers wrestled Power & Glory to a time-limit draw at 21:11.  During the bout, the middle rope broke when Hercules tried to superplex Shawn Michaels…Saba Simba beat Greg Valentine via disqualification at 8:29 after Valentine pushed the referee…Hulk Hogan & Tugboat defeated Earthquake & Dino Bravo when Hogan pinned Bravo after a big boot at 9:24.  After the bout, Earthquake attacked Hogan with a chair and delivered an Earthquake Splash while Tugboat had salt thrown in his eyes from Jimmy Hart.  Hogan refused to be stretchered out afterward…The Texas Tornado pinned Virgil (substituting for Ted DiBiase) after the discus punch at 7:55.  After the bell, the Tornado and Virgil shook hands…Sergeant Slaughter & General Adnan defeated Dusty Rhodes & Hacksaw Jim Duggan when Slaughter made Rhodes submit to the Camel Clutch at 9:10…Roddy Piper beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out at 12:38.

Chicago, Illinois – The Rosemont Horizon – December 29, 1990 (10,600):  Greg Valentine beat Koko B. Ware via submission to the figure-four leglock…The British Bulldog beat the Warlord via disqualification in an arm wrestling match…The Rockers defeated Power & Glory when Marty Jannetty pinned Paul Roma…The Texas Tornado beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via disqualification after a low blow.  Roddy Piper was the bout’s guest referee…The Barbarian beat Dustin Rhodes…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation defeated Demolition when Bret Hart pinned Crush…Sergeant Slaughter pinned Hacksaw Jim Duggan…WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeated Randy Savage via count out.

Toledo, Ohio – December 30, 1990 (7,300):  Jimmy Snuka pinned Haku…Virgil (substituting for Ted DiBiase) pinned Dusty Rhodes in 45 seconds…Shane Douglas pinned Buddy Rose…Tugboat beat Dino Bravo…Hulk Hogan pinned Earthquake…The Big Bossman defeated Bobby Heenan in 16 seconds…Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification…The Legion of Doom defeated the Orient Express & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match.

Backstage News*:        Ted DiBiase missed house shows after the Christmas holiday because he underwent knee surgery.  He is expected to be ready for The Royal Rumble.

*The talent that the WWF is sending to Genichiro Tenryu’s SWS promotion in Japan is not leading to big ticket sales as combined shows are averaging less than 3,000 fans.

*Due to the WWF flirting with FOX, NBC is going to give the WWF a timeslot on February 1 to air another Main Event special.

*In talent relations news, the Honky Tonk Man quit after Christmas over a pay dispute.  The WWF has signed Percy Pringle, supposedly to come in and manage a returning Rick Rude.

*Backstage news provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 8.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for December 31!