Still watching WWF Wrestling Challenge from 1986- the last time I watched straight episodes like this was when I was a kid. Here are is my first post: WWF Wrestling Challenge.
Bobby Heenan was more concerned with managing Paul Ordorff and Harley Race than announcing.
Wrestling Challenge was a very long TV taping that was made into weekly episodes, with the same wrestlers and jobbers. The audience began to lose their enthusiasm for a few wrestlers after a while. I heard the infamous “BORING CHANT” for the following wrestlers: Sika, Dick Slater, and the Killer Bees. “The Natural” Butch Reed had no heat, and his interview on the Snake Pit sucked.
Jimmy Jack Funk (Jesse Barr) had reduced to a Jobber to the Stars (JTTS), in this case the Junkyard Dog.
Moondog Spot, also a JTTS at that time, was capable of putting on a good match. So was Tony Garea. You can really see how Vince McMahon was phasing out former WWWF tag team stars.
Kamala got some good heat when he did his big splash. He was very agile for a big man, and his acting skills were great although he never spoke. In theory, the Wizard (King Curtis Iaukea) should have been a great mouthpiece for him, the Wizard had no heat in 1986. Speaking of the Wizard, he mentioned the famous manager Grand Wizard, which was rare since WWF didn’t mention the late Ernie Roth who had died in October 1983 after their 1983 tribute. Also in another rare situation, WWF aired old TNT footage of Kamala from his previous WWF run (when he ate a live chicken). Usually, the WWF didn’t acknowledge previous runs.
The evil referee Danny Davis was a hot angle.
The Machines (Super Machine and Big Machine) were getting pushed pretty hard. They received a run from being associated with Giant Machine (Andre the Giant), but Andre stopped working. As Super Machine, this was Billy Eadie’s gimmick before Demolition. Big Machine (Blackjack Mulligan) said some racially insensitive things pretending to be a Japanese man.
Billy Jack Haynes had the look, but never got the push he deserved due to backstage politics and his own personality. His actual matches were OK.
After Roddy Piper was “injured” by Adrian Adonis, Bob Orton, Don Muraco, and Jimmy Hart, Orton and Muraco started to become a tag team. Mr. Fuji got some work.
Good in the ring: Harley Race, Rougeau Brothers, British Bulldogs, Greg Valentine, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Killer Bees, Iron Sheik.
Bad in the ring: Junkyard Dog, Honkytonk Man, Brutus Beefcake, Sika, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Butch Reed, Nikolai Volkoff, Giant Machine
Managers (in order of push):
Bobby Heenan’s Heenan Family: Ordorff, Race, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd (feuding with the Machines)
Jimmy Hart: Adrian Adonis, Hart Foundation, Bob Orton
Lou Albano: British Bulldogs, Machines, George Steele
Slick: Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (w/Fred Blassie), Butch Reed, Hercules
Johnny V: Dream Team, Dino Bravo
Wizard: Kamala (w/Kimchee), Sika
Mr. Fuji: Magnifient Muraco
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