As noted in prior columns, this show was a joint effort by the WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling. The WWF was looking to expand its global presence while New Japan and All Japan felt threatened by Akira Maeda’s shoot-like Universal Wrestling Federation, which drew a 50,000 person crowd to the Tokyo Dome for a big show in November 1989. To counter them, New Japan and All Japan worked together on a supershow at the Tokyo Dome on February 10. Then, they built on that effort by partnering with the WWF for another big card in Tokyo on April 13 that was named The Wrestling Summit. According tothehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 53,742.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary duties, starting a new round of tapings in Sacramento, California. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on March 6 and attracted a crowd of 13,500, with 2,000 of those fans attending for free. This week Ventura has his face painted like the Ultimate Warrior – a horrifying sight – and is wearing tassels because he is once again changing his prediction for the WrestleMania VI main event.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are handling commentary and they are concluding the taping cycle in Phoenix, Arizona. Ventura switches his WrestleMania VI pick back to Hulk Hogan, wearing off a Hogan shirt to start the broadcast.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura call the action and they are still in Phoenix, Arizona. This week Ventura has an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt, changing his prediction on the WrestleMania VI main event after doing some research.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they start a new round of television tapings in Tucson, Arizona. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on February 14.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, and they kick off a new round of tapings in Phoenix, Arizona. These tapings took place on February 13. Ventura is clad in Hulk Hogan merchandise because he predicts Hogan will win the WrestleMania VI main event.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Fort Myers, Florida.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura commentate today’s action, concluding the taping in Miami, Florida.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura do commentary and they are live from Detroit, Michigan. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 21,000 fans. The broadcast drew a rating of 12.8 (roughly 20.9 million viewers), an increase from the previous year’s telecast that pulled a 11.6 rating (19.9 million viewers) when the show was headlined by the Mega Powers facing the Twin Towers.
Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri. Savage says that he is happy that Mike Tyson pulled out as the referee because he found out that Tyson’s great grandmother is a Hulkamaniac so that made him biased. Savage warns Buster Douglas to call it down the middle or royal authority will rain down on him. Sherri closes by vowing that Hulk Hogan is not going to go into WrestleMania VI as world champion.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary and they are taped from Fort Myers, Florida.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are doing the second episode from Miami, Florida.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary and they are broadcasting from Fort Myers, Florida. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on January 23 and drew a sellout crowd of 5,000 fans.
No, not THIS WrestleFest. But damn, that game was awesome.
WWF WRESTLEFEST ’88:
(July 31, 1988, Milwaukee Coliseum)
* So while looking for more Dream Matches, I found this interesting card. It’s been covered on the Blog in the distant past, but it seems fun. This was one of those times Vince “My philosophy is help yourself; don’t hurt the other guy” McMahon deliberately booked a super-show specifically to hurt the other guy, as Great American Bash tour was kicking off in Milwaukee the next night, so Vince is like “HEY HAVE A STADIUM SHOW WITH ALL MY BIGGEST STARS!” putting the hot World Title program and Hogan/Andre in a goddamn Steel Cage in the Main Event slots. The obvious reason being to make the WWF look awesome and the NWA look like shit, and to make fans spend money and hype on this show instead of that one. And I guess it worked.
This show is kind of scattered around the ‘net, as they didn’t quite air the whole thing at once- the openers were taped for regular TV shows and the Title Match is on DailyMotion, so this is scattered between YouTube and DM. But it’s an interesting time for the company, as things are hot as hell 3+ years after the Hogan Era began and the Mega Powers era is in full swing. Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes, Sean Mooney & Superstar Billy Graham, which is an, um, odd assortment of B & C-Team announcers.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Rockers energetic squash from Prime Time Wrestling kicks off the broadcast.
For the Special Report segment a recap of the Brother Love Show at The Royal Rumble airs.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Dusty Rhodes squash match from Prime Time Wrestling airs.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth and they are still in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A replay of the Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Pez Whatley match that aired on Prime Time Wrestling is shown.