Wrestling Challenge - Sept 7, 1986
by Samoa Rowe
-Check out this episode and more at WWE 24/7 Online, exclusively at WWE.com!
-Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd, and Luscious Johnny V are our hosts for the evening. Monsoon runs down the card, which is a lot to pack into a one hour program.
The U.S. Express vs. Iron Mike Sharpe and Magnificent Muraco (with Mr. Fuji)
Don Muraco kicks the match off against Mike Rotundo. Muraco uses his strength advantage to corner Rotundo. Muraco almost runs into Danny Spivey, the temporary distraction allows for Rotundo to hit a scoop slam to change the momentum. Spivey tags and hitís an elbow shot off the second rope. Scoop slam by Spivey and a series of arm drags. Rotundo tags and works the arm. Spivey gets a quick tag, but Muraco stops his momentum and tags in Sharpe. Spivey reverses a hard Irish whip and hitís a back body drop. Rotundo tags and hits an airplane spin slam. Cover by Rotundo gets 2, but Muraco stops the count. Spivey makes the save, but Muraco reverses Rotundoís small package. Spivey counters, allowing Rotundo to get the win at 3:04. This was a spirited little contest. ĺ*.
Winners: The U.S. Express
-Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage has a rebuttal to those who would applaud Ms. Elizabeth. He wants the fans to join his bandwagon.
Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart and Bob Orton) vs. Tommy Sharp
Itís amazing how fat Adonis is, all the while keeping his ďAdorableĒ moniker. They lock up, with Adonis getting some bizarre form of the monkey flip in. They circle cautiously until Adonis gets an arm wringer. Sharp reverses the hold, but Adonis gets to the ropes. Adonis throws Sharp to the floor. Sharp tries to get back to the ring, but Adonis unceremoniously dumps him in. Sharp gets some jobber shots in, but Adonis throws him down. Hart provides the distraction while Orton assists in a double team. The referee turns around in time to count, giving Adonis the win at 3:06. What a heel. Ĺ*.
Winner: Adrian Adonis
-We are treated to an interview with Bob Orton, whoís here to explain why heís aligned himself with Jimmy Hart and Adrian Adonis. They offered him more money and conveniences, more than Roddy Piper could ever offer him. Orton defends his pink hat, because heíll wear anything they ask him to. It takes a man to wear a pink hat like that and heís just the man to do it.
Koko B. Ware vs. Bob Bradley
At this stage, Ware is cutting promos with a boom box on his shoulder, which is charmingly 80ís. Bradley knocks down Ware, but gets caught in a high cross body. Side headlock takedown by Ware, but Bradley clubs the back and frees himself. Scoop slam by Bradley, who goes high risk. Bradley misses the leg drop. Ware hits an elbow shot and some drop-kicks. Ware goes high risk and hitís the missile drop-kick and big splash for the win at 2:42. That was a lively squash for 1986. ĺ*.
Winner: Koko B. Ware
-Jimmy Hart is backstage, talking about his need for a bodyguard and how Bob Orton fits that role perfectly. Despite all the wrestlers he manages, he still needs extra protection.
Paul Orndorff (with Bobby Heenan) vs. Troy Martin
Orndorff enters to Hoganís ďReal AmericanĒ music, which earns him some nice heel heat. Letís see, one guy is Hoganís arch nemesis, and the other is a random jobber. My money is on Orndorff (editor's note: although "Troy Martin" is actually a young Shane Douglas, who strangely enough began using the name "Troy Orndorff" within a year on the regional circuit). The bell rings and Orndorff aggressively brings the fight to Martin, tossing him to the floor. In the corner of the screen, Honky Tonk Man cuts a baby face promo against Orndorff. Well, thatís neat. Back to the match, Orndorff has driven Martin into the guard rail and hitís a big drop-kick back in the ring. Standing clothesline by Orndorff and some stomping. Piledriver by Orndorff gets the win at 1:43. That was better than most modern squash matches. ĺ*.
Winner: Paul Orndorff
-Itís time for Jake Roberts and the Snake Pit! His special guest tonight is Kamala! The Wizard and Kim Chee are there to keep Kamala in line. This leads to a rather theatrical promo that ends up getting cut off before the completion. Thatís alright though.
-The heel wrestlers are in the ring as itís time for Harley Raceís coronation. Just like any good king, Race has a midget carrying his crown to the ring. Bobby Heenan declares Race the only true king of professional wrestling. Race is then crowned and Heenan encourages everyone to chant ďLong live the king.Ē Somehow, it doesnít catch on. Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy carry Race out of the building on their shoulders.
The British Bulldogs (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. The Moondogs
The Moondogs jump the Bulldogs before they can take their title belts off. The Bulldogs Irish whip the Moondogs into each other. The Dynamite Kid is left alone with Moondog Rex and he takes control. Swift snap suplex by Dynamite Kid gets a cover for 2. Spot trips Dynamite kid from ringside, giving the advantage to Rex. Vertical suplex by Rex gets a cover for 2. Spot tags and smashes away on Dynamite Kid. Spot tags but gets caught in a sunset flip for a near fall. Rex quickly tags and regains control. High cross body by Dynamite Kid gets a cover for 2. Rex bounces back and tags Spot, and the pummeling game continues. Dynamite Kid clotheslines Spot and finally tags Davey Boy Smith. Smith cleans house on the Moondogs. Smith gets tossed out by the interfering Spot, but Dynamite Kid makes the save. The Kid is forced back to the apron, but the Moondogs double team Smith. Smith leaps over Dynamite and Spot to take down Rex and get the win at 4:28. The match was completely by the numbers, but the Bulldogs were on top of their game. *Ĺ.
Winners: The British Bulldogs
-Jake Roberts cuts a backstage promo. Roberts defends his use of the DDT. Roberts introduces his new friend, Randy Savage. Savage is justified in everything he does because he holds the Intercontinental Championship.
-A music video recapping tonightís action plays them off the air.
Final Thoughts: Itís fun to look back at this for the sake of novelty (Iím too young to feel sentimental for this era). This show was crawling with guys who went on to become Hall of Famers. The wrestling was all pretty decent stuff, but were all cramped for time, so nothing developed into anything truly memorable. As a time capsule of the era, this works just fine though.
Thumbs in the middle