WWF Wrestling Challenge (12.13.1986) Review:

-Hey! I recognize this symbol of excellence in sports entertainment!

-Originally aired December 13, 1986.

– Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan.

RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (Intercontinental Champion, with Elizabeth) vs. MARIO MANCINI

-Elizabeth is wearing a sequined dress with that pattern that paper cups had in the 1990s.

-Savage sends Mancini over the top rope and meets him out there with the top rope axehandle, and this is a firmly pro-Savage crowd, no matter how evil he tries to be.

-Savage cuts a fantastic pre-taped promo, saying if Steamboat can’t talk, he’d better learn sign language, and he makes a thumbs-down for Steamboat’s first lesson. Flying elbow gets the win.


– The Wizard complains about not being on the cover of the WWF Magazine, which is the same thing Harley Race was mad about last week, so we found a NEW way for this segment to be terrible.

-President Jack Tunney confirms that yes, last week’s report was accurate. Andre the Giant IS reinstated. He acknowledges that the reinstatement hearing was a bit odd, in that Andre himself no-showed, but Bobby Heenan, who insisted on the suspension to begin with, was there. Well, hold on, if Andre no-showed his own hearing and Heenan, the guy lobbying against him, showed up, then how did Andre get reinstated?

– Gorilla asks Bobby what happened at the hearing, and Bobby blows him off.

-Express is returning after some time off for a knee injury. Danny Davis is referee, and Gorilla notes that his referee’s license is up for reevaluation in April and he can’t wait for Davis to be gone, so again, they’re building towards a slightly different payoff than the one we got.

-Spivey bodypresses both opponents, and then both members of the Express splash both guys simultaneously, with Davis uncharacteristically allowing all of this and counting the pin for the faces. Bulldog ends it for the Express.

-Ken Resnick talks to Dino Bravo and Johnny V. Johnny V pledges that he’ll get Dino to the top, as long as Dino listens. Ken wants to talk to Dino about his decision to “go with Johnny V,” and Johnny V clarifies that Dino’s not going with him, Dino is being managed by him.

-Blackjack Mulligan warns King Kong Bundy to look out.

THE KING (with Bobby Heenan) vs. PAUL ROMA:
-A classic WWF attempt at rebranding, as they’re actually trying to just call him “The King” without ever referring to him as Harley Race (except for the chyron guy who didn’t get the memo). Heenan holds up the crown as Gorilla clarifies that The King has, in fact, agreed to surrender his crown and “King” title to the first wrestler who can beat him, so it’s on the line for this match. There’s another storyline that they just kinda forgot about after a while.

-Roma dropkicks The King over the top rope, and rubs it in The King’s face by just grabbing the crown and putting it on right there. The King doesn’t take it well and rams Roma right into the post, then brings him back into the ring and drops a series of elbows. Cradle suplex gets three.

-Ken Resnick talks to the US Express, and Dan Spivey promises that the team is back and stronger than ever, now through March.

– And here’s the Honky Tonk Man’s big surprise. no more kissing ugly babies and fat women. All he needs to advance his career is his new manager, Jimmy Hart! Jimmy comes in and assures his new charge that the fans just boo because they’re jealous.

“The Natural” BUTCH REED (with Slick) vs. LEAPING LANNY POFFO
-Mildly interesting moment, as the show censors a verse of Poffo’s poem, and based on the surrounding lines, it would appear that the missing verse is a quip about Reed using steroids.

-Poffo rolls Reed up for an early two-count. Dropkick follows, Reed’s had enough of this and dropkicks Lanny out to the floor, then pulls up the mats on the floor and biels Lanny straight onto the concrete. Now there’s a nice benefit that nobody ever thought enough about when they added the mats on the floor, it added a new way to get heel heat. Clothesline off the second rope gets the Natural victory.


-Jake opens up with a line about “20 years in the future, when today’s cars are sought after by antique dealers.” And here we are, 35 years in the future, and sure enough, antiques dealers today can’t get enough Renault Alliances or Chevrolet Celebrities to meet demand.

– Jake’s guest is Rowdy Roddy Piper. Jake hurls insult after insult at Jake, but Piper just ignores everything he says and asks, “Is Adrian Adonis’s match next?” Jake confirms that yes, Adrian’s match is next, and Roddy simply leaves.

-Next, we’re off to the land of alleegators and dingo babies, where Outback Jack is looking forward to coming to the WWF. No worries mate!


-Adonis was only fired for about two months, but they hyped this as his return, framing it as Piper’s crutch shot on SNME putting him on the shelf.

– Adonis beats SD down until Roddy Piper emerges from the curtain. He just stays and watches initially, but he does a great Undertaker-speed walk towards the ring, which is a great alternative to the usual run-in because you KNOW what’s about to happen, and Piper just creeps to the ring and milks the hell out of anticipation for it.

-Adonis gets distracted by the sight of Piper and SD rolls him up, which would be the finish today, but Adonis kicks out, and finally, Piper hits the ring, and when the referee immediately surmises that he can’t control this, the locker room empties out, and stars and jobbers alike work to pull them apart. The anticipation was better than the payoff, as they BARELY made contact before they got pulled apart, and the whole thing only lasted a minute or so.

-Tito Santana loves going to the library!

-Jesse Ventura casually insults the Can-Ams while pretending to put them over.

SIKA (with The Wizard) vs. BOB BOYER:

-No info on Bob Boyer’s exact age, but per Cagematch, he is 29 years into his career at this point. Sika puts him away quickly with the Samoan drop.

-We get words from Hulk Hogan, who warns Randy Savage that because of the crap he did to Ricky Steamboat, he’s challenging Savage to a match. You’d think that’s setting up a house show run, but oddly enough, they didn’t follow up on this one.

-The Wizard cuts one of his mute button-inspiring promos. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the odd-looking sundress that Kamala wore for both of her promos this week.

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