WWF Wrestling Challenge - March 13, 1994
by Scrooge McSuck
- We're only a week away from the biggest extravaganza in World Wrestling Federation. We're talking, of course, about Fan Festival, taking place next weekend in New York City. Oh, and something called Wrestlesomething or other. I don't know, they haven't really talked much about it. Wrestling Challenge, at this point, very rarely featured feature matches, so we're going to be seeing a lot of hype jobs and squashes, so as usual with a random episode of WWF television, I do it more to jump in and talk about what's been going down, rather than for particular matches...
- And to show you how much Challenge meant, we open the program with a very special interview from the previous days episode of Superstars. Vince McMahon is in the ring, and introduces us to the co-winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble, Bret "Hitman" Hart, and "Made in the USA" Lex Luger. Through outstanding circumstances, both men will challenge for the WWF Title at WrestleMania X, but to make it fair, while Luger gets the first title shot, Bret has to face his brother Owen. I kind of liked the idea Bret was automatically assigned Owen as "suitable competition", because of the underlying storyline that Bret didn't want to wrestle his brother, and this contract basically forced him into it. The usual interview follows... how each man is going to win their match, and then a cock-waving contest over who's better than the other. I think we all know the real answer to that, but I'll let it alone.
- Gorilla Monsoon and Stan Lane are the hosts of Wrestling Challenge. We're going to see, among others, the Macho Man Randy Savage in action, as well as the REAL Intercontinental Champion, Razor Ramon, the Tag Team Champions, the Quebecers, and the Beast from the East, Bam Bam Bigelow. All this and more is coming our way...
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Jason Headings:
As mentioned earlier, Owen is scheduled to face his brother, Bret, at WrestleMania X. That is one small "arena" Challenge is taped from. It's no bigger than a high school gymnasium, I don't think. Owen teases giving the glasses to a kid at ringside, but tears them apart and tosses the pieces at him, instead. PLANT! SHILL! Sorry, that Pro Wrestling Exposed thing was on the Bio Channel last week. Owen quickly takes his opponent with a waistlock. He looks like that Heiki Kagero character from Super Punch-Out, with the long flowing locks and incredibly ugly, bright trunks. Owen slaps the taste of of Kagero's mouth and connects with a pair of uppercuts. Owen with a standing dropkick, followed by a snap suplex. Not as excellently executed as his brother, though. Irish whip is reversed, and Owen avoids a dropkick. Owen slaps on the Sharpshooter, and it's over at 1:32. That was pretty quick. Honestly, I didn't think Owen had a chance of beating Bret at WrestleMania, but I think that was what all the fans watching were supposed to be thinking. The crowd chants "We Want Bret" at Owen, who seems to be milking his time in the ring.
- Todd Pettengill hypes the March to WrestleMania Special, which includes Yokozuna taking on the Native American, Tatanka, Lex Luger going one-on-one with the Gigolo, Jimmy Delray, and Bret Hart squaring off against that foreign menace from Kona, HI, Crush. Yes, all three participants in the WWF Championship scenario are in action, and wow, talk about tough competition for Lex.
Razor Ramon (IC Champion) vs. Reno Riggins:
I really miss the days of squash matches, where the Jobbers were recognizable names like Mike Sharpe, S.D. Jones, etc. etc. When Reno Riggins is one of the few names like that, you know your cast of scrubs is weak. Razor Ramon is scheduled to meet Shawn Michaels, who has been running around with his own Intercontinental title belt, in a Ladder Match at WrestleMania X. I'm sure Bret Hart was pleased when Michaels suggested this "new" match that he came up with. Lockup, and Ramon shoves Riggins into the corner. We get pre-recorded comments from Shawn Michaels, Diesel, and a Ladder. Ramon takes Riggins out of the corner with a hip toss, but Riggins is determined, thumbing the eyes. Ramon catches a body press and slams Riggins backwards from the second rope. Ramon signals for the end, and yes, the Razor's Edge finishes poor Mr. Riggins off at 2:18.
- Promotional consideration paid for by the following... Ico Pro, you've got to want it! Jurrassic Park action figures! Street Fighter II Special Champions Edition on the Sega Genesis (and destroying a box of Mortal Kombat).
- Stan Lane is standing by in the Live Event News Center, hyping WrestleMania X. You can watch the show at the Paramount Theater, because Madison Square Garden is sold out! We focus this segment on the Tag Team Title match, where the Quebecers defend the straps against first-time challengers, Men on a Mission. After the commercial, we get a promo from Sy Sperling, the hairclub for men guy, who thinks he can help Luna Vachon... um... okay. I guess it's funny, because she shaves the sides of her head?
The Quebecers (Tag Champions) (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Steve Smith & Rich Myers:
Don't have much to say here, other than that there really weren't a whole lot of well developed teams at this point, so you could never tell who was or wasn't going to win the title matches. Jacques Rougeau singing along to the entrance music might end up being the highlight of the match. Pierre bitch slaps Smith, and it's a shoving match! Pierre dares Smith to come off the ropes, and he falls for it, with Jacques kicking him from behind and Pierre nailing a clothesline. Pierre slaps a "Kick Me" sign on his back and slaps him around some more. Jacques and Pierre kick away on Smith as we get an insert promo from Men on a Mission, along with Oscar. Myers gets tagged in and punished for it, too. Johnny Polo hogs the camera, as he points a finger at Nikolai Volkoff, who chants USA in response. Pierre pounds away on Myers, scoops him up, and Jacques crotch slaps him from the top rope. Jacques slaps on a Boston Crab, and Pierre hits a second rope leg drop to the back of the head. That's enough for the three count at 2:53. A little long-ish, but at least it was entertaining... and what was with the random appearance of Nikolai Volkoff in the crowd? And why was he still wearing that same damn suit?!
- Todd Pettengill is standing by once again for our WrestleMania X Report! WrestleMania X is coming next sunday afternoon from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The card is complete and as followed...
- 1st Championship Match - Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna
- Bret Hart vs. Suitable Competition, his brother, Owen (Hart)
- Bret Hart faces the winner of the 1st Championship Match (Special referees will be assigned to each Championship match, but we have no idea who it will be)
- Randy Savage vs. Crush in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. The loser then has 60-seconds to return to the ring if the fall takes place outside of the ring.
- Razor Ramon defends the Intercontinental Title against Shawn Michaels in the "first ever" Ladder Match! Both the real and bogus Intercontinental straps will be suspended over the ring area.
- The Quebecers defend the Tag Titles against Men on a Mission in their first attempt at challenging for the titles.
- Alundra Blayze defends the Women's Championship against Leilani Kai, a blast from WrestleMania Past.
- Earthquake takes on Adam Bomb (replacing Ludvig Borga, the originally announced opponent). We actually get promos from BOTH men. Earthquake promises a disaster. Heh...
- Doink and Dink battle Bam Bam and Luna in a Mixed Tag Match
- The Smoking Gunns, Tatanka, 1-2-3 Kid, and Sparky Plugg take on the Headshrinkers, Double J, Irwin R. Schyster, and the Model in a Ten Man Tag Match.
- Special celebrity guests include Jennie Garth, Sy Sperling, Donnie Wahlberg, Little Richard, Burt Reynolds, and a host of others!
Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon) vs. Tom Alton:
I never quite understood the Doink/Bam Bam program at all, and adding Dink into the mix just made things more head-scratchingly lame. Gorilla Monsoon notes that this is the "first" Mixed Tag Match in WWF History. I guess if you mean Man/Midget vs. Man/Woman, that's true, but there was a pretty high profile Mixed Tag before, at a WrestleMania no-less. I guess since only one of those performers were still employed, it was ignored. Lockup, and Bigelow shoves Alton into the corner, then puts his opponent down with a slam. Bigelow misses an elbow drop, and Alton, who reminds me of the Albino from the Princess Bride, goes to work on the arm, before being flattened. I love dropping Princess Bride references. Bigelow with a headbutt to the chest, and it's over just like that at 1:29. Monsoon hypes the show at the Hudson Civic Center coming up in a week, featuring Yokozuna vs. Earthquake and Lex Luger vs. Double J. Thanks Gorilla...
- We take a look back at Monday Night Raw, where Tatanka is presented with a ceremonial head-dress from Chief Hunting Turtle (or whatever). Tatanka tries cutting a sincere promo, but I just never really cared about him. Oh look, Chief Jay Strongbow is there to make thing seem legit... I forgot, is he Italian or Jewish? Anyway, like a trophy or birthday cake, somethings up, and naturally, someone has a problem with this present... I.R.S, who demands taxes be paid on such an extravagant gift.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ben Jordan:
Blink and you'll miss the last televised wrestling appearance of the Macho Man, with his last broadcasted match being on PPV, against Crush at WrestleMania X. Monsoon actually treated this appearance as a big deal. The canned reactions are obviously enhancing things, but the crowd actually looks like they care for the Macho Man. Crush and Fuji cut an insert promo as the match begins, hyping the Last Man Standing Match. Lockup, and Jordan takes Savage down with an arm drag. OH NO YOU DI'NT! Savage responds with his own arm drag, then offers a handshake... and quickly retracts it. Jordan gets pissy, so Savage shoves him on his ass. Jordan rakes the eyes and attacks from behind. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Savage connects with an elbow. Savage drops Jordan throat-first across the top rope, then teases a cover before pulling his opponent back up. Savage with a scoop slam, then heads to the top, and comes off with his signature flying elbow smash for the three count at 1:46. Back then, I still really liked Savage, and was disappointed he was reduced to a non-wrestling role after WrestleMania X.
- Stan Lane is back to hype WrestleMania X once more, including a free pull out in the New York Times previewing the upcoming extravaganza. We're here to hype the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Randy Savage and Crush. Savage promises to tap dance on Crush's head and take him all over Madison Square Garden if he has to. At least he kind of kept that promise, since the match ended backstage with Savage tying Crush upside down.
- Wrestling Challenge will be coming to you on location from New York City, so no new material next week. Remember, it's WrestleMania weekend coming up!
Final Thoughts: With a major PPV only a week away, there's very little surprise that nothing really significant was established or advanced. Nothing except for the lame feud between Tatanka and I.R.S. that was aborted in favor of turning Tatanka heel and feuding with Lex Luger. As far as hyping WrestleMania X goes, it did the job, featuring a lot of the higher profile performers in action, as well as all the studio segments being dedicated to the task, as well. WrestleMania X was advertised as a big deal, and the effort into hyping the show seemed to feel like it, compared to at least the previous year, when WrestleMania IX was really treated as just another show other than the goofy Toga Party crap.
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