What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 24, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan call the action, which originates from Rochester, New York.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on June 5 and drew a crowd of 8,000 fans.

The Bushwhackers squash match from Prime Time Wrestling is today’s opener.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 17, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan commentate this Father’s Day edition of Wrestling Challenge.  This is the last of the shows from Madison, Wisconsin.

Brutus Beefcake’s squash from Prime Time Wrestling kicks off the telecast.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – June 16, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, concluding the tapings in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Ventura argues that his MIA bracelet will come off faster than McMahon’s Hulk Hogan friendship bracelet.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – June 10, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in charge of the telecast, still broadcasting from Madison, Wisconsin.

One match is missing from my copy of the show.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Rick Rude (8-1-1) defeated Sonny Rogers in the opener, his first televised match since the April 2 edition of Prime Time Wrestling.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – June 2, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are starting a new set of television tapings in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a location the WWF does not highlight in the show’s opening.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the taping took place on May 15.

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Earthquake & Vader vs. Gary Albright & Kazuo Yamazaki (and other Dream Matches!)

Oh man, I found some wild stuff for everyone today! VADER AND EARTHQUAKE as the mother of all Monster tag teams! In the weirdo Fake-Shoot Japanese UWF-I fed, no less!

Also, here’s a horrifying indie match between the Warlord and an ultra-green Ron Reis, plus a tag match in the storied No-Limit Soldiers/West Texas Rednecks feud. And we end things with a Saturday Night match between Eddie Guerrero & Blitzkrieg, as my “check out all the Blitzkrieg stuff on YouTube” series finally continues!

SUPER VADER & JOHN TENTA vs. GARY ALBRIGHT & KAZUO YAMAZAKI:
(UWF-I, 08.10.1994)
* Now THIS is a Fat Man Stand-Off! So Vader/Albright is the big feud in the company at this point, and Vader (the reigning champ) brings it Earthquake for a tag match. Quake is noticeably taller and wider than Vader is, in fact. Both are wearing their standard gear, though Tenta has an oddly blank upper torso, as “Earthquake” has been taken off. Albright was a big kinda homegrown UWF-I star, becoming a big name they were building up. He got pretty fat after this, but here is a barrel-chested guy in yellow, being dwarfed by the opposing team. Yamazaki has no physique, but was a shooter-type guy through most of the UWFs- feeling skipped over for title shots, he bailed for New Japan (his original company) and even sided with them during the “New Japan vs. UWF” angle, training its boys against the “Shooters”.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – May 26, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary, wrapping up a long television taping in Austin, Texas.

Jake Roberts’ squash from Prime Time Wrestling is shown.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – May 19, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary, still taped from Austin, Texas.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – May 14, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio for tonight’s show.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – May 12, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary today, taped from Austin, Texas.  This was the same location as the recent Saturday Night’s Main Event taping, taking place on April 23 and attracting 8,500 fans.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – May 6, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the booth, and they are wrapping up the television tapings in Syracuse, New York.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 29, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan call today’s action, still taped from Syracuse, New York.

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What the World Was Watching: Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVI

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary and they are taped from Austin, Texas.  To put over the Texas setting of the show, McMahon and Ventura open the show on horseback in the aisle.  The card was hyped as “The Tussle in Texas” and took place on April 23.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 8,500 fans.

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The Rockers vs. The Natural Disasters (and other Dream Matches!)

The Wrestling Insomniac: The Natural Disasters: Tag Team Champions?

Many more “Fat Guy Matches” await us today! Read on!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! The main thing this time is a match I didn’t even realize had happened, as one team formed just as the other one was being split apart- the Natural Disasters against The Rockers!

And this time I have even more on those terrible indie-riffic tag guys, as the Land of Giants actually fight EACH OTHER (in Puerto Rico of all places), while the Puccio twins (“The Undertakers” on last week’s column) wrestle on a WWF House Show as “Double Trouble” against the Steiner Brothers! Then we see a random Saturday Night squash as Mike Enos takes on Mike Tolbert.

Also, a match that helps explains to the youngsters among you just WHY Dallas Page was one of the most hated wrestlers online in the late ’90s. This tends to shock newer fans and those who weren’t around back then, so take a look at a particularly notable match against Psychosis!

THE ROCKERS (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(WWF TV, Oct. 20th 1991)
* It is extremely weird to me that these two teams overlapped- I identify them both so strongly with two different eras- the “Hogan Era” and the post-Hogan doldrums- that this just feels “wrong”. But there was indeed about a four-month period where this could have happened- the Rockers were on their way to splitting, while the Disasters were a fresh heel team set up to fight the Legion of Doom. Ironically, the Rockers, in their bright blue tasseled gear, were a “modern”-looking duo, which is why in retrospect they’re now the most dated-looking guys of the era.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 15, 1990

Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan do commentary for this show, kicking off a new round of television tapings from Syracuse, New York.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on April 3.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – April 8, 1990

With Tony Schiavone gone, Wrestling Challenge sees an announcing shakeup with Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan now calling the action.  They are commentating matches at the end of the taping cycle in San Francisco.

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What the World Was Watching: WrestleMania VI

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Toronto, Ontario, Canada in what will be Ventura’s last appearance calling a WWF pay-per-view.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a sellout crowd of 67,678, a new attendance record for the venue.  It drew a buyrate of 3.8 (an estimated 550,000 purchases).  This was a decline from the 5.9 buyrate of WrestleMania V, but this can be attributed to more homes getting pay-per-view access by 1990, thereby messing with the buyrate average.

Robert Goulet sings the Canadian National Anthem.  According to Bruce Prichard, Goulet was picked for this spot because he badly botched signing “The Star Spangled Banner” several years earlier and this was a chance for him to redeem himself in front of a live crowd.  The WWF put the lyrics on the Skydome’s video screen to ease Goulet’s nerves.  And if you watch his body language during the performance, he goes from a bad of nerves to a guy having the time of his life halfway through.  His wife, who watched backstage, cried her eyes out after he nailed the song.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – March 31, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, and they remain taped from Sacramento, California.  On the eve of WrestleMania VI, Ventura is dressed in Ultimate Warrior face paint and t-shirt and a Hulk Hogan hat.  When McMahon asks for a prediction, Ventura says the bout is a tossup.

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The Road Warriors vs. The Natural Disasters in Japan (and other Dream Matches!)

1991.12.12 SWS&WWF L.O.D VS Natural disasters① - YouTube

The height difference here is nuts. Like, Fred Ottman must always fight dudes of equal height because I completely forget sometimes that he DWARFS even men as big as Hawk.

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, I found an AMAZINGLY fun Hoss Match from Japan as the Natural Disasters go up against the Legion of Doom… with their “Iron Man” theme and incredible overness in Japan! That and Earthquake’s sumo credibility make for an incredibly fun bout.

And I found a great grab-bag of weird stuff for the column today: Did you know that when the Truth Commission split up, Bull Buchanan and the other guy were paired up for a couple of weeks as a team before being sent away and repackaged? Yup- come see “Armageddon” take on The Quebecers! Also my “Best of Roadblock” series continues as he’s set up against a pissed-off, lethal Giant! More of Jimmy Del Ray’s weird run as “Jimmy Graffiti” as he takes on Eddie Guerrero during Eddie’s early babyface push! And we cap off with Al Snow and a very young, green Kane as “Unabom” up against… Matt Hardy and Joey Abs? God SMW was weird.

WWF TAG TEAM TITLES:
THE LEGION OF DOOM (Hawk & Animal) vs. THE NATURAL DISASTERS (Earthquake & Typhoon, w/ Jimmy Hart):
(SWS/WWF in Japan, 12/12/1991)
* Okay, this is a fantastic one I saw split up in two on YouTube. The Road Warriors are of course famous in Japan and here come out to their old-school theme, “Iron Man”, and HOLY SHIT is that a massive game-changer to their act. Even with the cartoon WWF red & black spikes it’s a totally different effect, as awesome as their WWF music was- this was BORN to be a wrestling theme. Earthquake is of course known and respected in Japan as a former sumo (undefeated but quit over injuries and cultural rules and such)- he’s billed “Earthquake” John Tenta here. Right away I’m astounded as the two teams square up and even Typhoon is MUCH larger than either man. Like, Hawk & Animal ain’t small but Ottman has a couple inches on either one. This is in two parts on YouTube.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling “The Ultimate Challenge Special” – March 25, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host tonight’s show, which aired on USA Network on March 25.  Instead of doing the show from the studio, though, they are on location from the Sparkles Nightclub in the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The matches on this broadcast were taped in San Francisco, California on March 7 as part of the Wrestling Challenge tapings that took place in the same location.

Heenan is anxious about being in CN Tower, telling Monsoon that the building is swaying.  They renew their gag about Heenan needing tickets for WrestleMania VI and when Monsoons says he has secured them, Heenan demands to know if they are in the front row.  Monsoon asks Heenan why he agreed to have the Colossal Connection face the Rockers a week before WrestleMania.  Heenan responds that he arranged the match because Andre the Giant wanted to send a message to the Hart Foundation.

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