What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 10, 1991

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handle commentary, wrapping up the television tapings in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They put over the career-ending match booked for WrestleManua between the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage.

Opening Contest:  The Undertaker (w/Brother Love) (4-0) pins Alan Reynolds with the Tombstone at 2:06:

Monsoon talks about a profile of the Undertaker in the new WWF Magazine as he destroys Reynolds.  The production crew makes it a point to show the faces of faces who are in awe of the Undertaker, some with their mouths agape and one fan who gets bug eyes during the Undertaker’s entrance.  After the bell, the Undertaker walks out instead of doing the corny post-match bit of sprinkling rose petals on his opponent.

Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment recaps how the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage will face each other at WrestleMania.

The Texas Tornado (3-0) pins Dale Wolfe after the discus punch at 2:49:

In the split screen, the Tornado tells Ted DiBiase that he cannot be bought.  He adds that he will give DiBiase a promissory note with his fist.  The Tornado throws a zillion punches and finishes with the big discus punch, continuing his rough series of matches to start the year.

The Warlord (w/Slick) (3-1) beats Pez Whatley via submission to the full nelson at 2:02:

Monsoon makes a ridiculous claim that the Warlord had an impressive performance in the Royal Rumble even though the Warlord lasted less than two minutes in the match.  The British Bulldog does an insert promo that compares his ferocity to a dog.  Monsoon announces that next week will feature a full nelson challenge between the Warlord and the Bulldog.  The Warlord does a few slams and locks in the full nelson after a few token shots to the back.

Gene Okerlund interviews Rick Martel.  Martel hypes his participation in WrestleMania, unconcerned about the contract he signed.  This did not match what fans saw on Superstars where Martel was irate about being in a blindfold match but in some markets Challenge aired the day before Superstars.

The Big Bossman (4-0) defeats Doug Vines after a spinebuster at 2:05:

The match allows Heenan to cut a promo on the Bossman throughout, talking about how it would be a disgrace to have the Bossman become the new Intercontinental champion.  The Bossman takes his time wearing down Vines and after the match he handcuffs him to the ropes before running to the locker room.  That post-match bit needs to go since its silly.  What is the Bossman running to the locker room so quickly for?  Catering?

Okerlund provides the WrestleMania Report.  Jake Roberts is elated at getting to face Rick Martel in a blindfold match.  Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect and Heenan say that the Bossman is a “king sized fool” who is nothing more than a country bumpkin.  WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter and General Adnan talk about how they constitute a force that Hulk Hogan has never seen before.  Hogan rebuts that he is ready for war and the chair shot Slaughter gave him on The Main Event meant nothing.

The Legion of Doom (2-0) defeat Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) (1-0) via disqualification when Fuji interferes at 3:30:

Hawk is quickly placed into peril when Smash pulls down the top rope.  A double clothesline spot with Crush leads to a hot tag to Animal and things break down.  The Legion lift Smash for the Doomsday Device but Fuji trips Hawk on the top rope in view of the referee.  The bell does not sound and there is a tease of giving Fuji the finish and then the teams brawl some more before Demolition retreat.  Crush and Smash are trying but the magic of the team is not the same without Ax.  Rating:  ½*

The Warlord promises to break the British Bulldog’s bones in next week’s arm wrestling challenge, while the Bulldog says that there is not a hold in the WWF that he cannot break.

Tune in next week to see the full nelson challenge!  Also, Jake Roberts, Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect, and WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter will be in action!  And there will be a special interview with Roddy Piper and Virgil!

The Last Word:  As expected, the feature match was short and was not very good.  The Legion of Doom are getting the strongest push of anyone, squashing the Orient Express on Main Event and winning against name talent on this broadcast, so they would appear to be the clear favorites in the Superstars tag team battle royal.  That show is up next in this journey through 1991.

Here were the results of some WWF house shows for this week in its history, with results courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:

Louisville, Kentucky – The Louisville Gardens – February 9, 1991 (Matinee; 5,000):  The Mountie beat Jim Powers…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned General Adnan…The Nasty Boys beat the Bushwhackers…The Undertaker pinned Tugboat…Roddy Piper defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via disqualification…The British Bulldog pinned Dino Bravo…The Rockers beat Smash & Boris Zhukov (substituting for Crush)…WWF Champion Sergeant Slaughter beat the Ultimate Warrior in a steel cage match.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – The Saddledome – February 9, 1991 (11,000):  Greg Valentine pinned Koko B. Ware…Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel via disqualification…WWF Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation beat Power & Glory when Bret Hart pinned Paul Roma…Tito Santana beat Haku…The Legion of Doom defeated the Orient Express & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match when Animal pinned Kato…The Big Bossman pinned the Barbarian…The Texas Tornado beat Ted DiBiase…Hulk Hogan pinned Earthquake in a stretcher match.

Backstage News*:        The WWF is citing a bomb threat as the cause for moving WrestleMania VII to the Los Angeles Sports Arena, costing the company millions of dollars in revenue.  Dave Meltzer thinks it is because of public distaste of the Sergeant Slaughter angle, something that Vince McMahon should have known better to avoid.  For example, in a 1985 interview with Larry King, McMahon talked about the need to avoid politically sensitive topics because they can hurt the marketing of the WWF product.  The poor ratings on Main Event are evidence that people are not liking the Hulk Hogan-Slaughter angle and now there are groups doing letter-writing campaigns to the WWF’s sponsors that are critical of the storyline.

*Since Randy Savage is recovering from a broken thumb, Slaughter is substituting for him on house shows.  This messed up plans for a Slaughter-Texas Tornado main event in Dallas, which will be switched to the Texas Tornado vs. General Adnan in a flag match, with Fritz Von Erich still appearing in the Tornado’s corner.  In addition, Savage only plans to do a short hiatus after WrestleMania and does not plan to retire.

*The Legion of Doom are said to be unhappy with how their WWF run is gone and are looking to leave.  However, New Japan is not willing to pay them the $16,000 per week they are asking for.

*USA Network wanted changes to Prime Time Wrestling because ratings were declining at a rapid rate.  The new format will try to mirror afternoon talk shows with a live studio audience but also put an emphasis on comedy.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for February 18.

Up Next:  WWF Superstars for February 16!