What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 27, 1991

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth and they start a new taping cycle in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this taping took place on January 8.

Opening Contest:  Power & Glory (w/Slick) (2-0) defeat Len Wagner & Major Yates when Paul Roma pins Yates after the Powerplex at 2:36:

Roma has been sloppy with some of his ring work, falling down during a clothesline, falling on top of Wagner after a dropkick, and then splashing Yates’ knees for the finish.  Power & Glory still appear to be top contenders for the tag team titles, but they are not being mentioned as a major threat.

Jake Roberts (2-0) pins Izzy Slapowitz after the DDT at 2:03:

Slapowitz, who has one of the most notable jobber names ever, started wrestling in 1976 and primarily worked Southern promotions, often as a manager of talents for his Slapowitz Syndicate.  In the 2000s, he wrote columns for KayefabeMemories.com and posted on the WrestlingClassics.com message board.

As Roberts works an armbar, Martel does an insert promo about how the new and improved Arrogance will give him an edge over Roberts.  Monsoon tells Heenan that WWF President Jack Tunney is considering the use of instant replay, freaking Heenan out because it could detect cheating.  Roberts pulverizes Slapowitz with a short-arm clothesline and DDT, continuing the build for a singles bout with Martel.  After the bout, Roberts dumps Damien onto Slapowitz.

There is a replay of the post-Rumble Hulk Hogan promo that originally aired on Superstars.

The Bushwhackers (2-0) defeat Pat Rose & Dale Wolfe when Luke pins Rose after the double stomachbreaker at 2:45:

As was the case with many jobbers at this taping, Rose worked across the South after making his debut in 1979 and won regional tag team titles with a variety of acts, most notably Arn Anderson.  The duo held the NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship, a title that was defended in Alabama and East Tennessee.

Wolfe was a noted territory jobber that began working in 1982.  He had a good backstage reputation in the WWF and was used as a mentor to other talents.  For example, when Zeus was brought into the company in 1989, Wolfe supervised him on the road.

Monsoon makes the laughable claim that the Bushwhackers did well in the Royal Rumble.  Luke’s weird antics continue as he wears as hat for much of the match where the Bushwhackers spend more time yelling to the crowd than beating up their opponents.  Like the prior year, the Bushwhackers are off to a hot start but it is only a matter of time before they are called upon to job to a bigger heel team.

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (2-0) pins Jim Boss after the Earthquake Splash at 1:34:

Boss had a brief in-ring career, starting in 1988 and stopping in 1992.  He did far more television squashes for WCW than the WWF.

Earthquake tosses Boss around with ease and gives him another Earthquake Splash after the bell.  That leads to a medical team coming to ringside but the announcers do not talk about a series of stretcher matches Hulk Hogan is having with Earthquake on house shows.

The Orient Express and Mr. Fuji promise that the Hart Foundation will suffer next week, especially after they take their tag team titles.

Tune in next week to see WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation face off against the Orient Express!

The Last Word:  Again, the booking for next week’s show is puzzling.  Why do the Orient Express get a title shot after they lost to the Rockers in the opener of The Royal Rumble?  On commentary for that match it was said that the winner would be first in line for a title shot but, just like the promises made about the WWF Championship, that is not coming to fruition.  But hey, there is a feature match next week and that is more than most Challenge episodes could say in this period!

Here is a recap of the WWF’s house shows as January started to come to an end.  The biggest card of the week was a show at Madison Square Garden on Monday, January 21.

New York City, New York – Madison Square Garden – January 21, 1991:  Paul Roma pinned Shane Douglas with a powerslam at 10:01…The British Bulldog beat the Warlord via disqualification in an arm wrestling contest after the Warlord pushed the table onto the Bulldog when it was apparent that he was going to lose.  Then, the Warlord put the Bulldog in the full nelson until WWF officials intervened…Tito Santana pinned Koko B. Ware after the flying forearm at 10:10…The Undertaker pinned Jimmy Snuka with the Tombstone at 7:14…The Legion of Doom beat Demolition when Animal pinned Smash after a Hawk flying clothesline at 2:58…The Big Bossman beat Hercules via disqualification when Paul Roma interfered at 7:16.  After the bout, Power & Glory double teamed the Bossman until the Legion of Doom made the save…Greg Valentine pinned Dino Bravo (substituting for the Honky Tonk Man) with a small package at 8:53 to counter Bravo’s figure-four leglock attempt…The Nasty Boys beat the Bushwhackers when Brian Knobbs pinned Butch after Jerry Sags hit Butch in the back of the head with an elbow drop off the middle rope to break up a cover behind the referee’s back…Randy Savage defeated the Ultimate Warrior in a steel cage match at 10:33 by escaping over the top while Sensational Sherri distracted the Warrior.  After the match, the Warrior gorilla press slammed Sensational Sherri.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – Copps Coliseum – January 25, 1991 (5,000):  Haku pinned Shane Douglas with a thrust kick at 12:40…The Nasty Boys defeated the Bushwhackers when Brian Knobbs hit Butch with a flying elbow drop to the back of Butch’s head behind the referee’s back…The Big Bossman pinned the Barbarian with a sunset flip at 11:16.  After the bell, the Barbarian and Haku double teamed the Bossman…Rick Martel beat Jake Roberts via disqualification at 5:15 when Martel sprayed Arrogance in Roberts’ eyes.  After the match, a blinded Roberts inadvertently gave Shane Douglas a DDT when Douglas came out to help him…Sam Houston pinned the Brooklyn Brawler with a bulldog at 9:45…The Legion of Doom beat the Orient Express & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match when Hawk pinned Kato after the Doomsday Device at 9:17…The Undertaker beat Tugboat with a flying elbow drop at 8:50…Roddy Piper defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out at 10:46.  After the bell, both men kept fighting and Piper eventually clocked Perfect with the title belt.

Chicago, Illinois – The Rosemont Horizon – January 26, 1991:  The Barbarian beat Sam Houston…The Nasty Boys defeated the Bushwhackers…The Legion of Doom beat the Orient Express & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match…The Big Bossman defeated Haku…The British Bulldog beat the Warlord…Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification…Roddy Piper beat Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via count out…Hulk Hogan defeated Earthquake in a stretcher match.

Backstage News*:        In a correction to an Observer report from to weeks ago, it was the Department of Defense that scuttled Hulk Hogan’s planned trip to Saudi Arabia with the USO.  The WWF was not happy that Dave Meltzer was critical of the Hogan-Sergeant Slaughter angle and, according to Meltzer, they threatened to sue The National, a newspaper he works for.

*Herb Abrams’ UWF is backing down from WWF legal threats, getting rid of any mention of Rick Rude, the Honky Tonk Man, and Greg Valentine on television broadcasts.  They also edited out the term “sports entertainment” because that is a WWF trademark.

*The WWF wants to seize control of the Dallas territory and has a show planned for February where the Texas Tornado will challenge Sergeant Slaughter for the WWF Championship.  They are going to have Fritz Von Erich accompany the Tornado to the ring.

*In talent relations news, the WWF did sign Native American talent Chris Chavis.  His expected name will be War Eagle.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 4.

Up Next:  Prime Time Wrestling for January 28!