What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 28, 1990

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.

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What the World Was Watching: Saturday Night’s Main Event – January 27, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura provide the commentary for this evening’s matches.  They are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 3.  According to oswreview.com, this show scored an 11.1 rating, an improvement over the 8.7 rating of the previous edition.

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Bret vs. Misawa, Savage vs. Tenryu & Hogan vs. Hansen (and other Dream Matches!)

 

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Hogan & Hansen: Main Event in the making!

WWF/AJPW/NJPW WRESTLING SUMMIT:
(Tokyo Dome, April 13th, 1990)

* This is a pretty wild and wacky card, full of the kind of “Dream Matches” you’ll never see again- I’m really shocked it’s not more famous. I mean, it’s a triple-show with All Japan, New Japan, AND the WWF all at once! In the Tokyo Dome! Apparently highlights were aired on Japanese TV, but complexities with the rights led to the full event never being shown in its entirety (which might be why it’s so obscure). The biggest matches are Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen, Macho Man vs. Genichiro Tenryu, and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase. The WON awards declared this the “Best Major Wrestling Show” of 1990!

“TL;DR” Version: So come see Bret Hart vs. Mitsuharu Misawa in the most disappointing Dream Match of all time! Hogan with his “Japan working boots” (where he’s more “Unstoppable Monster” than the Technically-Gifted Powerhouse I was led to believe he was) on against Stan Hansen in one of his greatest matches ever! Macho King & Queen Sherri doing their schtick against a stoic top-tier Japanese legend in a befuddled Tenryu! Grumpy ol’ Jumbo Tsuruta dealing with hard-working heels in Martel & Perfect!

The show had two dark matches- Dan Kroffat, Doug Furnas & Joe Malenko beat Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitahara & Toshiaki Kawada in (11:56), and Jushin Liger beat Akira Nogami in (8:37). An extremely shaky fancam of the latter exists- it’s mostly hold-trading. They trade corner moves and Liger hits a surfboard and a rock-the-cradle. They trade flash-pins and Nogami hits a very good plancha and German Suplex for two, but Liger dropkicks him coming off the top and hits a Tope Con Hilo to the floor! He misses a roundhouse kick but gets a powerslam and finishes with a Moonsault Press. Looks **1/2-ish but holy god am I not gonna go move-for-move with such a shaky vid.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Orlando, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this show drew a sellout crowd of 16,000 fans.  It also drew a buyrate of 2.0 (an estimated 260,000 buys), an increase from the 1.5 number the Rumble did the previous year.  This would also be the last pay-per-view that Schiavone would call for the WWF.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 21, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, which originates from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The taping took place on January 3.  This is the last show before The Royal Rumble.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 20, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth, kicking off a new set of tapings in Birmingham, Alabama.  These tapings took place on January 2.

The opening match is the Jimmy Snuka-Brooklyn Brawler bout that aired on Prime Time Wrestling.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 15, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio to spar with each other before they toss the broadcast over to new matches.  Tonight’s feature match comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee and was taped on January 3.

Heenan is upset that he cannot have the guests he wants on the program whereas Monsoon was able to bring Arnold Skaaland on last week’s show.  Monsoon tells Heenan that he had better not abscond with the yellow Royal Rumble hats on the broadcast desk.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 14, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action, wrapping up the television tapings in Nashville, Tennessee.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 13, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Huntsville, Alabama.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 7, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon handle commentary duties and they are taped from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  This taping took place on December 12, 1989.  Schiavone has a guitar and tries to play a song and does terribly.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 1, 1990 (Start of a New Series!)

1989 was a strong year for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  The Mega Powers angle between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage created a strong buyrate for WrestleMania V and rematches between the two throughout the spring and summer generated healthy gates.  In addition, the company expanded its revenue streams by adding The Royal Rumble to its pay-per-view lineup in January.  And other competitors were faltering as the American Wrestling Association (AWA) was on its last legs and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was riven by divisions between Executive Vice President Jim Herd and talent like Ric Flair.  Times were good for the WWF’s Golden Age.

However, there were some cracks underneath the surface that the WWF would grapple with as 1990 began.  The company’s star, Hulk Hogan, wanted to make his mark on Hollywood and WWF owner Vince McMahon wanted to find the next big act to replace him.  And without Hogan it was unclear whether casual fans, who fueled the WWF’s rise throughout the late 1980s, would continue to tune in.  Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior appeared the most likely successor, with a physical build similar to Hogan’s and laying claim to being the second-biggest star in the company.  Both men had been kept away from each other in storylines and McMahon looked at a clash between them as a way to resolve the conundrum.  And beyond the Hogan-Warrior transition there were questions as to who the big heels of the company would be.  Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase had failed in their efforts to win the WWF Championship, reduced in standing by multiple losses.  Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, and Zeus were considered possibilities but Perfect had not held a singles title yet, Hogan refused to work a program with Rude, and Zeus was limited in the ring.  So, the WWF was on the look for new talents that they could slot into main event programs and continue to draw houses on par with those of the late 1980s.

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What the World Was Watching: ECW Hardcore TV – December 5, 1995

A graphic describes ECW as the place “Where the big boys don’t play” to lead into a replay of the Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer-Raven and Cactus Jack match at November to Remember.  ECW clips the match down to three and a half minutes to hide its faults.

Funk puts over Dreamer as the next hardcore athlete and how his wrestling career is winding down.  A tearful Dreamer tells Funk that he will never forget what he did for him.

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Dream Matches: WWF Survivor Series Showdown 1989

Survivor Series (1989) - Wikipedia

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES SHOWDOWN 1989:
(Nov. 12, 1989)
* So this is largely a card of JUST Dream Matches, and I Bayless already covered this ages ago, but whatever- these cards fascinate me. I guess they were on the USA Network and were used as hype shows for the Survivor Series, mixing up the guys in the matches against each other. So we’re in the post-WrestleMania V era, with “Macho King” being slid down to an “Upper Midcard” position, Hogan as Champion again with Zeus as an arch-enemy, and more. And this YouTube video includes the COMMERCIALS, complete with advertising. Hm, Dyanetics or video games made by Acclaim- which is more evil to advertise to children?

Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan & Roddy Piper are our hosts, and Monsoon actually lays it out- every team member would put their names into a hat, drawing names out until one one guy remained- those guys would fight each other. This is why it looks so “random” (ie. big stars are fighting tag team wrestlers so that they can win while not hurting anyone’s push).

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – December 30, 1995 (Last Column of the Series)

There were no new bouts on WCW Prime, so we head to WCW Pro with Chris Cruise, Dusty Rhodes, and Larry Zbyszko doing commentary.  They announce that Ric Flair is the new world champion.

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What the World Was Watching: Starrcade ’95

Note the typo on the video cassette box, which says “1996” instead of “1995.”  I guess this goes in the “because WCW” category?

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes are doing commentary and they are live from Nashville, Tennessee.  Heenan appears to have put aside his complaints about working with Dusty, which drove him from WCW Saturday Night earlier in the year.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 25, 1995

If you have not already, do not forget to vote for the Doomies.

Eric Bischoff, Steve McMichael, and Bobby Heenan are in the booth for this Christmas edition of Monday Nitro and they are taped from Augusta, Georgia.  This is also the go-home show for Starrcade, which takes place in two days.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – December 24, 1995

If you have not already, do not forget to vote for the Doomies.

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan handle studio duties for the last Main Event episode of 1995 to feature new matches.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – December 23, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes in the booth and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these matches took place on November 29 and 30.

Schiavone announces that Hulk Hogan has been suspended from WCW because of his actions on Monday Nitro.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 18, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are in the booth and they are live from Augusta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 8,100 fans attended the show, with 3,000 paying to do so.

Madusa interrupts the announce crew, holding the WWF Women’s Championship.  She says she will always be Madusa and she dumps the WWF Women’s title in the trash can.  The promo was terrible, but this was a HUGE shock at the time since Madusa had just competed at Survivor Series weeks earlier and plans called her for to face Aja Kong at the Royal Rumble.  This incident had long-term ramifications too as Vince McMahon feared Bret Hart would do the same to the WWF title if he retained at the 1997 Survivor Series, thereby leading to the Montreal Screwjob.  Also, the WWF would not restart its women’s division until 1998.  WCW would attempt to create its own women’s division with Madusa as a centerpiece, but it never worked out.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – December 16, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes are calling tonight’s action and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these matches took place on November 29.

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