WWF Wrestling Challenge - April 3, 1994
by Scrooge McSuck
- We're STILL coming from Locksheldreke, NY, originally taped on February 23rd. My goodness, why on earth is this taping so damn long? I know the "live" Edition of Wrestling Challenge the day of WrestleMania pushed everything back, but now we're two weeks removed from the show, and none of the matches/squashes hold much interest because you're guaranteed nothing exciting happening, since it's nearly two months old at this point. The only thing you can hope for with the squash matches is the efforts of the editing staff in post-production, and even then, practically everyone on the show didn't even make it to the PPV!
- Sweet Stan Lane and the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase are calling the action for us once again. Funny Scrooge Story: When I was a youngster watching these shows as they happened, I really didn't know anything about Stan Lane. Heck, even in one of my earliest flashback reviews, I made reference to this lack of knowledge, and felt silly being called out that he was a member of the Midnight Express. To be fair, I did grow up a WWF child, and Lane was gone from WCW when I was 4-5 years old, and we never rented WCW shows from the local video store, so my lack of anything to do with the guy before I started venturing out for non-WWF material is understandable... right?
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the WWF Superstars featured on this week of Challenge were left off the card at WrestleMania or had nothing of interest going on, so there's very little to find to talk about. Most notably falling under this category includes Kwang (the Ninja), The Smoking Gunns, and the Heavenly Bodies, who were rarely used for squash matches, and in this case, got to work an extra long one, clocking in at nearly the 5-minute mark. One of their opponents is a young P.J. Walker, who would later put a jock strap on his head and call himself Aldo Montoya. The Bodies squash also features an appearance of Nikolai Volkoff, wearing that same stupid suit he's had since 1984.
Superstars of note in action are Doink (the Clown), who had just finished a program with Bam Bam Bigelow and would flounder around before kicking off an angle with Jerry Lawler at the end of the Summer, Crush, who just ended a program with Randy Savage and pretty much did nothing the rest of his time in the WWF, and Tatanka, who was prancing around with a special head dress given to him by Chief Little Turtle. More on Tatanka later. Last, but definitely least, is Made in the USA Lex Luger, who is still upset with Mr. Perfect for screwing him out of the WWF Title at WrestleMania X. So angry, we get... An INSERT PROMO! Oh my God, I thought we wouldn't even get one of those! That's basically all the interesting (or lack of) stuff to do with the squash matches.
INCASE YOU MISSED IT...
- We Flashback to the previous episode of SuperStars of Wrestling, where Tatanka (with special Head Dress) is taking on Kwang (the Ninja). If anyone is wondering, I'm making fun of how the WWF would actually list Doink as "Doink the Clown" on their TV programs, and was quite surprised they didn't do the same with Kwang. Anyway, the match stunk, but we join it pretty late in progress so we get the inevitable appearance of Irwin R. Schyster, who has been warning Tatanka to pay Gift Taxes on his new Special Head Dress, or else suffer the consequences. This all leads to a big commotion and a double Count-Out finish, which means Tatanka has sunk so low, he can't get a clean victory over KWANG. Don't worry, these two will definitely be having a rematch sometime in the future.
- Irwin R. Schyster, rapidly becoming the most heavily pushed heel on Wrestling Challenge, is back for the second week of his tax tips. If you're wondering, I don't remember these vignettes, but he did do this stuff during his pre-match introduction, using the video wall for assistance in calling people out, even one time calling out Vince McMahon as a tax cheat. THAT was hilarious. This vignette... not so much, but the last one got a mild chuckle from me. Here's the list for the week...
- Why you should pay your taxes, Reason #18 - Because all the little people have to pay
- People are such bad tax cheats, Reason #131 - People are basically dishonest and corrupt
- What happens if you don't pay your taxes, Reason #87 - He will put your lazy kids to work and take their allowances!
THE HYPE MACHINE:
Believe it or not, that's the only juicy material I had to work with, with this episode of Wrestling Challenge, which means I will probably rewind the clock and dig into some episodes of Superstars for stuff worth the time and effort of sitting through and recapping. The Hype Machine is my segment of the review which is basically anything to do with the WWF trying to sell merchandise or hype up-coming broadcasts.
- The WrestleMania Revenge Tour is coming back to the New York City area, with stops at the Nassau Coliseum on May 19th, and Madison Square Garden on May 20th. Matches already announced for the Tour: WWF Champion Bret Hart defends the title against his brother, Owen. Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon defends the gold against Big Daddy Cool, Diesel. Lex Luger looks to gain revenge against Mr. Perfect, and Doink the Clown goes one-on-one with Double J, Jeff Jarrett. All this, and MORE, on the WrestleMania Revenge Tour!
- Coming up tomorrow night on Monday Night Raw, we'll see not one, but two feature matches. Earthquake and Adam Bomb face-off in a WrestleMania ReMatch, most likely due to the match being cut to almost nothing for time purposes. Also, the big ten man tag match WILL take place! Sparky Plugg, Tatanka, the 1-2-3 Kid, and the Smoking Gunns face Double J, Irwin R. Schyster, the Model Rick Martel (he was still around?), and the Head Shrinkers. Don't miss all the excitement, tomorrow night, on Monday Night Raw!
- WWF Commercials featuring that new Phone Service where, for only $9.95, you can have a WWF Superstar give a personalized greeting to a friend or family member, wether it's a birthday, anniversary, or a special hello incase they're really down in the dumps. Just hope it's not the Undertaker calling and you're trying to cheer up a suicidal Uncle or anything. Also, the Unbelievable commercials return, and it's the one where some punk kid dresses up as various WWF Superstars, including Razor Ramon, Bret Hart, Tatanka, and Randy Savage, to impress some woman. Her attention only notices the REAL Randy Savage, and warns us not to fall for cheap imitations. Ahem... I won't comment.
- WrestleMania X is coming to YOUR local video store, courtesy of Coliseum Video, on May 4th! Need more to entice you to buy a copy? Well, then check out THIS video of Rhonda Shear squealing like it's her first time, as she drools over a drooling Burt Reynolds. Blink, and you'll see Johnny Polo just standing around casually in the background. I always thought that looked funny. It was during the post-show celebration, but we only saw the babyface locker-room pile out for Bret Hart's victory. Coliseum Video! May 4th! WrestleMania X! BUY IT! AGAIN!
- Promotional Consideration paid for by the following... NBA Jam is coming to the Super NES, Sega Geneis, and Game Gear! Snap into a Slim Jim with the Macho Man, Randy Savage! Bart & The Beanstalk available on the Nintendo GameBoy, from Acclaim! I'm surprised they still had Lord Alfred Hayes doing these "Promotional consideration" voice overs, but I just can't imagine anyone else doing it. Who else could promote video games when I can guarante he probably has no idea what the products are?
- Next Week, on Wrestling Challenge... a very special interview with none other than Mr. Perfect! Owen Hart, Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon, Earthquake, and Kwang (the Ninja) will all be here! Make sure you don't miss a second of the action, as if anything good will happen, anyway. I'm still on the table wether or not I should push forward with these episodes of Challenge.
Final Thoughts: It's become quite obvious by 1994 that Wrestling Challenge was a damn near completely worthless show. Maybe it's being the last week of a TV taping that took place before the biggest PPV of the year, but nothing worth of note happened, and the only angle development came from recaps from Superstars. Usually that's the typical formula, but even back in the day, there were interview segments like the Snake Pit or Barber Shop to try and keep fresh content going. Here, it's just like watching an episode of Mania, minus a feature match. It's just 45-minutes of stuff happening until it's all over. No reason to watch it, no reason to care about it.
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