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WWF Wrestling Challenge (9.27.1986) Review

May 10, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWF Wrestling Challenge 9-27-1986
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WWF Wrestling Challenge (9.27.1986) Review  

-Originally aired September 27, 1986.

-And it took only ONE taping for us to decide stuff wasn’t working, so your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. It’s Heenan’s first week and he’s ALREADY doing the shtick where he tries to talk but they roll the opening instead.

-And Mel Phillips is your new ring announcer. Lord Alfred left some big shoes to fill, and hopefully Mel is up to the challenge of licking them.


-Koko introduces his new friend, Frankie the bird, and tells us that Bird is the Word. It was my understanding that everybody heard about the bird, Koko.

-Right off the bat, they bungle Gladiator crossing over Koko’s body. Gorilla blames it on Gladiator’s lack of peripheral vision, but Koko just timed it completely wrong and Gladiator Dick Van Dyked over him. They try a criss-cross into a slam by Gladiator, but Gladiator loses his balance and slumps against the ropes, and this squash is just a shitshow only two spots in. Koko with a series of shoulderblocks and a hiptoss, and since those spots go well, I think they just need to go home right now while they’re on a roll.

-Koko boxes Gladiator and gives him a neckbreaker, and the brainbuster finishes.


-Slick hates people who are jealous, and Nikolai Volkoff hates stupid people. Iron Sheik demands that cameraman zoom. This segment is awful.

“Mr. Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Bobby Heenan) vs. LUSCIOUS BROWN
-Mr. Brown would go on to be a much bigger star in a very unexpected role within a year of this squash match. Rumors are he was discovered sitting alone at a table with a banner reading “LUSCIOUS BROWN WRESTLING SUPERSTAR” and given a tryout. Brown gets stungunned and kneed by Orndorff, and dumped right out to the floor. Forget Fuck Money, he’s not even earning Play with Yourself Money in this showing.

-Orndorff clotheslines Brown and puts his hand to his ear as the “We want Hulk” chant goes up. Piledriver by Orndorff finishes. Luscious can’t even afford extremely limited breadsticks from Olive Garden after that ass-kicking.

-Ken Resnick talks to Ricky Steamboat. Ken does a funny job of building this intense blood feud with Jake the Snake that’s just boiling over, and then Ricky Steamboat comes out and does a Backlundesque promo and it’s a good thing he was as great in the ring as he was.


-Yes, it’s the Wrestling Challenge in ring debut of Honky, smiling, shaking hands, and kissing everyone on the way to the ring. His look is actually pretty bizarre, as he wore the standard Honky Tonk Man jumpsuit for his promos, but now he wears just a really generic jobber-with-money jacket to the ring, along with blue and purple tights that make it look like he’s wearing leg warmers, and most infamously, held up with suspenders. Honky does a really DORKY-looking dance move before putting up his dukes like an 1880s boxer. Look, Honky says that he really was supposed to get a serious babyface mega-push and I believe him, but there’s a contingent of fans who theorize that this was a brilliant long-game by Vince, making him the worst babyface ever to set up the heel turn, and I get where that theory comes from. He’s just such a dweeb as a babyface.

-Honky bops him with punches as we get a promo from Hulk Hogan, officially endorsing the new guy and promising that he follows the three Demandments of Hulkamania. And not even a Hulk Hogan promo was enough. Gibbs manages to slam Honky and heads to the top, but Honky slams him off and them yanks down the suspenders to show he’s mad, much like another famous king of Memphis. Slam by Honky, and he comes off the top with a fist drop for three.

-Ken Resnick elcomes Leaping Lanny Poffo, who has an epic Mike Brady-esque mop of curls and reads a poem for the Special Olympics.

“Mr. Natural” HACKSAW BUTCH REED (with Slick) vs. MIKE KELLY
-Okay, the name needs some fine tuning. Reed warns Hulk Hogan that the WWF is about to have a natural champion.

-Butch Reed and Shanemike Douglaskelly are both blondes wearing blue tights and red boots but fortunately I can tell the difference between them, because Shane has white kneepads. Reed gives Kelly a shot to the throat and suplexes him. He lifts Kelly in the air for a chokehold, and a kind-of-a-backbreaker gets three.


-Showing what quick learners they have running this show, Jake’s “pond” from the first taping is now dry, and he just has Damien lying there. Jake welcomes the Hart Foundation, who ask if Damien eats Bees, or Bulldogs, or French-Canadian frogs.


-Theeeeeeeeeee Wizard rambles something or other about the ancestors of a thousand years ago as Sika just pulls a fish right out of the water and eats it. And wow, this segment just keeps going. I don’t know who the hell told them I needed a six-minute Wizard promo on a wrestling show.

NON-TITLE: BRITISH BULLDOGS (Tag Team Champions) vs. NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & IRON SHEIK (with Classy Freddy Blassie & Slick)
-Dynamite by this point was in the early stages of his back problems, and for whatever reason, Vince really, really wanted Volkoff & Sheik to be the team that they dropped the belts to, but Dynamite absolutely refused to job to them, and the Harts ended up getting the big break as a result.

-Dynamite knocks Sheik around for a bit, but Sheik gets a lucky shot with the suspicious boot and tags in Volkoff. Volkoff lifts Dynamite in the air with one arm for a choke. Sheik comes back in with a gutwrench for two. Dynamite finally slips away and makes the tag. Powerslam looks to finish, but Volkoff makes the save and Dynamite heads back in. Fight goes to the floor and Volkoff and Davey Boy just to decide to battle it out in the ring so they have something to do. Referee breaks it up while Dynamite suplexes Sheik back in the ring, but Slick grabs the ankle and trips him, and Sheik crashes on top for three.

-Ken Resnick talks to Slick and Sheik and Volkoff and they cut a longer and less terrible version of their promo from earlier.

The final score: review Average
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