WWF Wrestling Challenge- September 14th 1986
by SamoaRowe and Viceroy Virus
-Our hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd, and Johnny V.
Jimmy Jack and Hoss Funk (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog and George “The Animal” Steele (with Captain Lou Albano)
Steele doesn’t waste anytime going for a snack on the turnbuckles, leaving JYD to fight off the Funks. Steele focuses, sort of, and attempts an early pin. The Funks gets dumped to ringside. The match restarts, with Steele isolated in the Funk corner. JYD tags in but eats a second rope fist drop by Jack. The referee is distracted while JYD almost gets tied up. Back suplex by JYD gets the pin on Jack at 2:23. Energetic filler, ¼*.
Winners: George Steele and Junkyard Dog
-Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart address that they don’t get respect because Jimmy is fat and Bret is greasy.
Kamala (w/ Kim Chee and The Wizard) vs. Mario Mancini
Kamala going to work on Mancini, chops, etc. Mancini tries fighting back and he eats more chops. You can’t just punch Kamala, sucka! Kamala owns him with The Big Splash at 1:36. The Ugandan Giant pwns a bitch. Duddest of duds, but I still like Kamala. ….Bitches.
Winner: The Ugandan Giant Kamala
-Backstage interview with Captain Lou Albano. He talks about the career of George Steele, claiming him to be the finest athlete, with the heart of a lion. Steele heroically got past the kids on the school yard who made fun of his speech impediment and look where he is today!
Brother Luke and Hillbilly Jim vs. Joe Mirto and Jack Kruger
A wild brawl kicks things off, as the Hillbillies arrange a meeting of the minds. Jim stays in to fight off MIrto. The match is so exciting that they add in a Jimmy Hart promo to keep us entertained. Luke tags in but misses an elbow drop, allowing the job squad to get some shots in. Luke blocks a hip toss and reverses. Jim tags and they hit a “double slam.” Jim applies the bear hug on Kruger and Luke prevents Mirto from breaking it up. Jim wins with the bear hug at 2:36. Well, that was certainly a match, ½*.
Winners: Brother Luke and Hillbilly Jim (Editor's Note: wasn't it "Cousin Luke"?)
-Who the hell is this? Some backstage interviewer (Editor's Note: Ken Resnick, perhaps?) talks with the Rougeau Brothers. They’re promoting their spaghetti sauce. No, not really. They love fighting and “sticking together”, if you catch my drift. They going to take the tag team division by storm by speaking very calmly and showing little excitement. Yeah, take that Bulldogs.
-The Honky Tonk Man is coming! He’s going for Paul Orndorff when he comes in. …That’s it, actually.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Roger Kirby
Hip toss and Bodyslam by our favorite vacuum. Steamboat with a dropkick and arm drags. Kirby gets some offense and hits some sloppy moves. Steamboat telling Kirby what to do and Kirby hit’s a terrible inverted atomic drop and continues with his sloppy offense! Snapmare by Kirby followed by a backbreaker. Goes for a pin - hell no. The Dragon comes back. They trade blows and Kirby manages to keep going. Snapmare over the top rope. By Kirby. Dragon hit’s a hard scoop slam and a top rope Crossbody on Kirby for the pin at 4:25. So, basically, Steamboat only needed those two moves to beat Kirby at anytime, he just waited 4:15 to do it. ¼* for a Crossbody.
Winner: Ricky Steamboat
-It’s time for the Snake Pit with everybody’s favorite snake-obsessed psychopath, Jake Roberts! His guest tonight is Hillbilly Jim. Roberts speaks condescendingly to Jim, who is actually rather well spoken. They trade insults in a battle of the hick-wits but they don’t trade blows.
King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd (with Bobby Heenan) vs. Paul Roma and Billy Jack Haynes
Just for the record, this match has a female referee. Neat. Studd kicks things off against Haynes and they feel each other out. Harley Race interrupts the match with a promo putting himself over as the king. It’s 1986 and he’s already looking ancient. Meanwhile, Studd and Haynes are fighting back and forth, at least until Bundy cheap shots. Bundy tags and nails an elbow drop for a close near fall. Bundy dismantles Haynes until he misses a corner splash. Roma makes a hot tag and unloads on Bundy. Sadly, Studd whips Bundy into Roma for an avalanche. That’s enough for the victory at 2:36. Nothing to complain about here, ¾*.
Winners: King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd
(Speaking of female referees, Katie Kincaid, come back. …And Happy Birthday!)
Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik and Hercules Hernandez (w/ Freddie Blassie and Slick) vs. Cpl. Kirshner, Jimmy Powers and Salvatore Bellomo
Volkoff serenades us the Russian national anthem. The audience is being disrespectful by throwing their trash in the ring rather than standing for his national anthem! The Americans rush in and go on the attack! And the powerful foreigners make quick tags, taking down Powers and Bellomo. The Iron Sheik with a strong clotheslines and hits a back suplex (he’s a master of it, you know). Billy Graham interrupts as Hercules loads Powers onto the torture rack backbreaker. Graham tells us he has a chimney made of skulls. Um, ok. Thanks, I guess. Go back to your horrid martial arts and nailing woman, Mr. Minister. And Powers submits to the torture rack at 2:32. The faces console the fallen Powers and no-one cares. *
Winners: Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik and Hercules Hernandez
-Backstage interview with Jimmy Hart, the manager of the Hart Foundation. A big deal is being made of the Federation’s fantastic tag team division (hey current WWE writers, pay attention to this!). Hart and Neidhart wander in and bask in their greatness. They refute the accusation that they are “nasty boys.” Hart runs down their competition and claims that they don’t need to cheat due to their strength and skill.
They got in six matches and six segments in 40 minutes. Strong emphasis on the tag team division throughout the show. Fun show for what it was because I’m a little kid when it comes to the heels in particular. It was worth seeing how many tag teams there were in the 80s all of whom could have taken the belts at anytime. Quite a few more tag teams were mentioned thanks to the mic time with the short interviews. Naturally skippable because it is essentially filler, but not bad. The matches may not have been good, but they were short and made the winners look strong (as it should) and the short interviews didn’t make the uncharismatic fellows sound like complete idiots and most were paired with someone to save them.
Thumbs in the middle.