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WWF Wrestling Challenge (1.25.1987) Review

April 8, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ricky Steamboat WWE Wrestling Challenge 1-25-87 Image Credit: WWE/Peacock
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WWF Wrestling Challenge (1.25.1987) Review  

-We’re back in Hershey, PA.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan.

-Danny Davis doesn’t even wait for JYD to get in the ring before yelling at him for something. Lock-up goes to the ropes and Davis yanks JYD off Navarro. Navarro capitalizes with cheap shots, but gets knocked over with the single punch from the Dog, and Davis gives a SLOOOOOW two-count.

-Navarro gets a lucky shot in and goes for the pin, and Davis hauls ass to give him a fast count, but JYD manages to kick out. The crowd is basically begging JYD to snap and kick the referee’s ass, and JYD almost does it, but gets attacked from behind by Navarro again. JYD rallies with a headbutt, and the Thump gets the three-count…eventually.

-This is Demolition 1.0, where you can look at them for just a second and know immediately that yes, it’s Demolition, but then when you actually pay close attention, you suddenly realize that it’s not quite what you remember. Let’s go through the subtle-but-many differences…

#1. Smash is Moondog Rex; although not evident in crowd reaction here, most accounts say that the fans chanted “Moondog” at him during some matches, and he was quickly replaced by Barry Darsow.
#2. Different manager. Johnny V didn’t make much sense as a manager for them because he already had a tag team, and besides, the personalities didn’t quite mesh. The more logical choice, Mr. Fuji, stepped in a few months later.
#3. Fur boots.
#4. Painted hair; Ax has purple hair & Smash has green. Actually it looks kinda cool. I would have kept it that way.
#5. Weird facepaint designs. Ax is black & blue, while Smash, as Wrestlecrap cheerfully pointed out, seems to have a slice of pizza painted on his forehead.

-Ax starts with Allen. Shoulderblock and Ax just pounds him right down. Smash tags in and rams him into the turnbuckle. Ax pounds Allen some more and Sivi Afi comes in and takes his share of pounding. Afi BADLY screws up a sunset flip and gets pounded into oblivion, then thrown out of the ring (and he screws up falling out of the ring, too). Ax throws him into the barricade and Smash pulls him back in. Afi is able to make the tag and Allen mounts a little token offense before missing a charge and taking a Parts Unknown Hammer. Decapitator gives Demolition the duke.

-The U.S. Express talks about how Danny Spivey’s knee injury may work to their advantage.

KAMALA (with The Wizard and Kimchee) vs. NICK FOLEY
-Another turn at Job Duty for the future hardcore legend, and Mel Phillips earns his pay by announcing him as “Nick Failey.” Gorilla tries to stir shit with Bobby Heenan to continue teasing a Kamala/Bundy feud. Meanwhile, Foley/Failey gets chopped and slammed into oblivion, and the splash gives Kamala the win. Kamala goes up top, and, against Kimchee’s wishes, jumps off and splatters all of Mankind.

-Ken Resnick talks to Hillbilly Jim, who thanks the fans for all of their support. Not to talk bad about the guy, but how often was Jim involved in an actual FEUD, exactly?

-We take a look at Hercules winning a squash on Superstars with the full nelson. He calls out Billy Jack Haynes to come to the ring and try to break the full nelson. Billy Jack is game and comes to the ring. He insists on taking the full nelson, although suddenly, Heenan seems nervous about it. He steps in to try to stop it, but Haynes gives him a hard shove for doing so, and Hercules takes that as his cue to start kicking some Oregonian ass.


-Mel Phillips introduces Barry as hailing from Las Vegas, so Barry helpfully steps in and corrects him. He’s from “the FABULOUS Las Vegas, Nevada.” Brunzell wrestles without his mask, but Blair keeps it on. Blair wrings O’s arm and turns it into a hammerlock. They trade reversals until O elbows out. Blair rams him into the turnbuckle and slams him down. Armdrag and Brunzell comes in to assist with double-elbows for two. Brunzell monkey flips O as Danny Davis drops in to explain his disqualification of the Bees for wearing “illegal masks,” explaining that nobody makes a fool out of Danny Davis.

-Vance tags in and gets dropped down quickly. Blair tags in to work the legs. O comes back in to try to mount some offense, but Brunzell drops him with a high knee. Vance returns but gets backdropped. Bee Sting finishes; as Bobby surmises, “He used his brains for that move.”

-Same Pit we just saw, with Hogan interrupting Andre’s ceremony.

-Honky Tonk Man looks at Elvis’ private jet, the Lisa Marie. Honky complains that it’s too small, and now that he’s in the big time, he needs a 747 jet to carry him everywhere.

JACQUES ROUGEAU (with Raymond Rougeau) vs. MAGNIFICENT MURACO (with Mister Fuji & Cowboy Bob Orton)
-And big surprise, your referee is…Oh, it’s Dave Hebner, actually. Okay.

-Lock-up, but the big story here is Bobby Heenan on commentary going on a visceral tirade about what a crappy trophy Andre got considering how much more he’s accomplished than Hogan. Even worse, Andre’s ceremony was interrupted by Hogan. Gorilla is absolutely bewildered by the rant and basically tells Heenan to STFU.

-Meanwhile, Jacques has Muraco trapped in a side headlock, but Muraco breaks free and drops Jacques with a sidewalk slam. He takes control as Gorilla asks Heenan why he cares so much about a guy that he’s always hated. Heenan refuses to answer. Jacques locks in a sleeperhold as a brawl erupts between the tag team partners on the floor. Jacques goes out to help his brother, but Fuji attacks with the cane and a donnybrook erupts on the floor until the referee counts everybody out. Post-match, the Rougeaus manage to steal the cane and Fuji gets bodyslammed on the floor.

-He’s baaaaaaa-aaaaaaaack…

-Chunger takes him down with a shoulderblock, but Dragon dropkicks him out of the ring. Back in, Steamboat gets a flying bodypress for two. Armdrag into an armbar, but Lee breaks free and trips him up. Slam by Lee, but Steamboat armdrags his way back into control. Lee gives him a crescent kick and stomps on his neck, and Steamboat begins gasping for air. Lee continues attacking the neck as Elizabeth drops in and assures everybody that what Randy Savage did to Steamboat was an accident.

-Steamboat fights back with chops, but has a coughing fit in a nice bit of selling. Heenan is still going off about the trophy ceremony, as Gorilla clarifies that Andre has actually received a whole mess of awards and honors from the WWF over the years, and every time they tried to do a public ceremony, Andre requested that it be changed to a private function. Anyway, Steamboat finishes with the flying bodypress as he continues his road to the Intercontinental Title.

-And here’s Randy Savage to talk to Ken Resnick. Resnick brings up what happened on “SNME” and Savage sounds like he’s going to kill him for bringing it up. He also promises that the Dragon will be burned by his own fire.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Yeah, you can get better WRESTLING elsewhere, but for sheer storytelling, this promotion was unbeatable in 1987.