June 20, 2005
Michael Silvers

WWF WRESTLING CHALLENGE
Original Airdate: March 29, 1987 (day of WrestleMania III)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

This week on the show we'll see matches featuring Tito Santana, Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat and Adrian Adonis, plus a final pre-report on WrestleMania III.

Mary Hart, the special guest timekeeper for the main event at WMIII, is with Bobby Heenan and Andre The Giant. Heenan says she's the luckiest woman on earth, as she's standing next to the man who will become the new champion at WMIII. Hart asks Andre if he likes little people like her, and Andre says that all she needs to worry about is her business, and Andre will get on with his. Basic promo of the day to get both Andre and Mary Hart over, and the latter certainly needed that.

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine w/ Luscious Johnny V, Brutus Beefcake and Dino Bravo vs. Tito Santana w/ The British Bulldogs
Santana comes out to the Bulldogs' music. The Bulldogs, as always, have their dog Matilda with them at ringside, and Heenan, as always, is nasty about the pet, just as he usually is when Koko B Ware wrestles. Lockup by Santana and Valentine leads into a fist-fight between the two. Irish whip to the corner by Santana, and a open-handed punch to the face by Santana sends The Hammer down. As Santana works on Valentine's leg, Danny Davis cuts a promo in the corner of the screen about Santana, who teams with the Bulldogs at WrestleMania III to take on Davis and the Hart Foundation. Kick to the gut by Valentine, and Greg follows it up with a chop to Santana's chest, sending the Mexican down. Bodyslam by The Hammer, and he follows it up with a running fist to the canvas, which gets a two-count. Valentine chokes Santana in the middle of the ring, then elbows him a couple of times in the face and then puts a double reverse chinlock on him, as Dave Hebner checks that Santana isn't giving. A Tito chant strikes up as Tito Santana works his way back up onto his feet to escape the chinlock. Heenan debates that the chants are for Dino Bravo as Santana gets out with a few punches and elbows, backing Valentine to the corner. Valentine reverses the flow of the match and backs Santana to a corner, but Tito comes back with a forearm. Valentine kicks Tito in the gut again, and drives his head into Santana's crotch. The Hammer goes for a stepover toehold, but Santana pushes him into a corner and resorts to punches. Santana tries for the 10-punch count in the corner, but Valentine is too strong and gives him a running inverted atomic drop. The Hammer goes for another atomic drop, but Santana takes him down and straps on the Figure Four Leglock, but at that point Johnny V distracts Hebner's attention, allowing Dino Bravo to sneak into the ring and drag them to the ropes, rendering the hold illegal. In fact, Bravo, Johnny and Beefcake drag Santana out of the ring completely and ambush him on the outside, but the Bulldogs run to the other side of the ring to stop the beating. As this is going on, Hebner calls for the bell, signaling a double DQ. Dynamite Kid protests against the decision as Davey Boy Smith runs with Matilda to chase the Dream Team, Johnny V and Dino Bravo out of the arena. Monsoon says that there is dissention in the ranks of the Dream Team as replays of the incident show that Beefcake wasn't as involved in the beating of Santana as the other members were.
Double DQ

Wrestler's Rebuttal with Craig DeGeorge
Special Guest: King Kong Bundy

Bundy says that if Hillbilly Jim thinks that having two midgets with him is going to help him at WrestleMania III, then he should think again. Bundy says that he will Avalanche Splash anyone that gets in his way, whether it be Hillbilly Jim, his two midget opponents Little Beaver and the Haiti Kid, or even his own two midget partners, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook. DeGeorge asks if Bundy will be considerate to Beaver and Haiti, and Bundy says that he's never been considerate ever in his wrestling career. Bundy rounds it off by saying that Hillbilly Jim and his midgets are going down for the five-count at WrestleMania III.

The official WrestleMania III promo with Vince McMahon saying the slogan "Bigger, Better, Badder" is shown.

Craig DeGeorge interviews Hacksaw Jim Duggan in the back. Duggan is basically saying that he wants to rid the WWF of Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, and says that he wants to stop Volkoff singing the Russian National Anthem, just as Volkoff starts singing that exact anthem. The footage is from Superstars Of Wrestling, as Volkoff and Sheik are getting ready for a tag team match. Duggan storms down the aisle with his trusty 2x4, and clears the ring, sending the former Tag Team champions and their manager Slick scurrying to the back.

Ricky Hunter vs. "The King" Harley Race w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
Johnny V joins Gorilla Monsoon in the commentary position due to Heenan being at ringside with Harley Race. Heenan flaunts with Race's crown and cape right in Hunter's vision, allowing Race to attack from behind to start the match. Race rams Hunter's head into the corner and then knees Hunter in the face. Knee drop by The King, followed by an Irish whip and a clothesline by the former NWA champ. Race's WMIII opponent, the Junkyard Dog, cuts a promo on The King in the corner of the screen as Race hooks the Cradle Suplex for the pinfall victory, whilst JYD is still speaking, no less. Race puts his cape and crown back on, as Heenan forces Hunter to bow to him. Hunter's poor attempts at a bow force Race to knee him in the face. Race continues to look elegant and regal, and once again kicks Hunter in the back of the head.
Winner: "The King" Harley Race

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Doctor Of Style himself, Slick, who's alongside Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. They're meant to address their WMIII opponents The Killer Bees, but Slick quickly turns his attention to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, calling him a redneck and saying that he shouldn't have interfered with Volkoff's singing of the Russian National Anthem on Superstars Of Wrestling. Volkoff says that the Killer Bees wear masks so that they can cheat in their matches, whilst Sheik says that the combination of Russia and Iran are number one in wrestling and the Killer Bees can't stop them at WrestleMania III.

Dino Bravo cuts a promo in the back on the Rougeau Brothers, saying that his boys The Dream Team will defeat them at WrestleMania III.

The Rougeau Brothers vs. Dave Wagner and Rick Renslow
Jacques and Wagner start the match with a lockup, which Jacques wins, forcing Wagner into an Irish whip and Jacques gets a monkey flip kick on Wagner. Jacques tags in his brother Ray, who is Irish whipped by Wagner and tries the same monkey flip kick that Jacques did earlier, but Ray just kicks him in the head. Ray goes for the pinfall, and Wagner kicks out, but Renslow accidentally kicks him in the face while attempting to make the save. Wagner and Renslow argue a bit in the corner before Renslow is tagged in, and while this is going on, Johnny V cuts a promo in the corner of the screen on the Rougeau Brothers, saying once again that the Dream Team will defeat them at WrestleMania III. Renslow bodyslams Ray Rougeau in the middle of the ring, and goes to the middle rope, but Ray avoids his belly splash. Ray tags in Jacques, and Ray Irish whips Renslow, allowing Jacques to sunset-flip him for a two-count, broken up by Wagner. Jacques drives Renslow's head into the corner, and tags in Ray. Side Savatte kick by Ray sends Renslow down, and foolishly goes for the pinfall attempt right in Renslow's corner, allowing Wagner to break up the two-count. The Rougeau Brothers drive their opponents' heads into each other, double slingshot them and then they double back body drop their opponents. The Rougeaus set Wagner up with Ray holding him up in the air while Jacques climbs the ropes and hit their finishing move.
Winners: The Rougeau Brothers

Mean Gene interviews Aretha Franklin, who says that she knew of Jake Roberts and his snake Damian, as she saw Damian in her lockerroom earlier in the day, and said that she thought that Jimmy Hart was a one-hit wonder.

We see Mean Gene once again, this time he's with Andre The Giant. Mean Gene asks why Andre sold out to Bobby Heenan when he was one of the most popular men in wrestling, and just as Andre is about to answer Bobby Heenan shows up and interrupts for his man. Heenan makes a wise observation that Hogan's shirt and pants are yellow, and therefore Hogan himself is yellow. Heenan then enquires how Hogan will take his defeat to Andre in a few short hours at WrestleMania III, will he leave through the sidedoor, in an ambulance, crawling through the backdoor or even in a bodybag. Heenan says that his dream is coming true, that he'll finally get to manage the WWF Champion, and when that time comes, his first task will be to have Mean Gene replaced!

Jesse Ventura cuts a promo with "Mr Baseball" Bob Uecker, or "Mr Basketball" as Ventura calls him accidentally. The promo is there to basically promote WMIII being shown both on closed-circuit and on PPV.

Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Corporal Kirchner
These 2 locked it up at The Wrestling Classic. Kirchner and Adonis lockup as Roddy Piper cuts a promo on Adonis in the corner of the screen. The crowd is fully behind Kirchner as an Irish whip results in him knocking down the Adorable One.. Adonis rolls out of the ring to catch a breath as Kirchner milks the crowd. We're two or three minutes into the match at this point, and most of it so far's been jawjacking, most of it by Kirchner towards the Mouth Of The South Jimmy Hart. Another lockup, and Adonis uses his big weight advantage to back Kirchner into the corner, where Adonis knees him, much to Dave Hebner's general disgust. Another knee by Adrian, but the Corporal reverses, sending the Adorable One into a back body drop. Adonis isn't selling Kirchner's punches, and decides to back suplex him. Adonis, at nearly 350lbs, goes up top and pulls off a belly splash for the pinfall. The victory is unpopular with the crowd, as a bunch of crap is thrown into the ring once the bell goes.
Winner: Adrian Adonis

The Snake Pit with Jake "The Snake" Roberts
No special guest this week, as Jake uses the entire segment to cut a promo on The Honky Tonk Man for their WrestleMania III match. Footage is shown from a few weeks back on The Snake Pit as HTM smacks Roberts over the head with his guitar. Jake says that HTM never made that attack count, as skin heals and Roberts' soul wasn't affected. Roberts says that he's bringing Alice Cooper to ringside in order to neutralize Jimmy Hart's presence in the match, allowing Jake to control his own destiny and to destroy HTM's destiny. The crowd was fully behind Jake for once, as The Snake says that HTM will be getting to know Damian a little better at WMIII.

Mean Gene presents the final WrestleMania III report. Jimmy Hart pleads with Mary Hart for her to join the Hart Foundation in their battle against Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs, and a handshake is done. Bobby Heenan welcomes Aretha Franklin to WrestleMania III, and says that she will be privileged to witness Andre The Giant becoming the new World Champ. Aretha says that Bobby's talking crap and should be showing R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Hogan, peeving Heenan off a bit. Junkyard Dog speaks about the possibility of him becoming King at WrestleMania III if he defeats Harley Race. The Hart Foundation, Danny Davis and Jimmy Hart can't understand why Tito Santana have beef with them. Mean Gene closes the report by saying that you can see WMIII by going to an arena or theatre to watch it on closed-circuit or by ordering it on PPV.

Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
As Steamboat milks to the crowd on the apron, Funk grabs him and suplexes him over the ropes and into the ring. Irish whip and clothesline by Funk, and a promo is cut in the corner of the screen by "Macho Man" Randy Savage, the Intercontinental champ and Steamboat's opponent at WMIII. Fists are exchanged between Steamboat and Funk, but Jimmy Jack gets the duke with a back elbow. Funk brings in his cowbell rope, which the ref isn't too fond of, and Irish whips Steamboat, but The Dragon goes low and chops Funk a few times. The last chop was so hard that the cowbell rope flew out of the ring completely. Vertical suplex by Steamboat, but a few seconds later puts his head down, allowing Funk to kick it. Funk throws Steamboat out of the ring, then once again The Dragon skins the cat and back body drops Jimmy Jack Funk right out of the ring. Chops to the chest on the outside by Steamboat and he throws Funk back in. Funk gets a bit of an advantage as Steamboat comes back in, but The Dragon comes back with a flying back elbow. Steamboat goes up top and hits Funk with a karate chop between the Lone Ranger masked eyes for the pinfall victory. Steamboat motions towards the lockerroom for George "The Animal" Steele to come out to the ring, and sure enough, Steamboat's WMIII cornerman shows up to share the celebrations for The Dragon's victory. A bunch of kids come into the ring and Steamboat high-fives them, and after a while, Steele does the same.
Winner: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Mean Gene brings on the WWF Champion himself, Hulk Hogan. Hogan says that he loves it when it comes to the 11th hour and the odds are stacked against him. Hogan says that Heenan stooped low in order to get Jack Tunney to make a new WWF Title belt for Andre, but Hulk says that Andre's not winning it. Hogan says that he's fighting for all his Hulkamaniacs' lives later on tonight at WMIII. Hogan says that Andre's weak in the knees and weak in the heart and isn't up to the challenge.

Next Week : Part One of the Ken Patera Story, Kamala, The Honky Tonk Man, The Islanders and Billy Jack Haynes will be in action.

Fantastic Show!!! Obviously, the Race/Hunter bout wasn't good, but the 80's style promos were excellent and all the interviews were too. Corp. Kirchner and Jimmy Jack were jobbers at that point, but if you saw the show that day you wouldn't think that.

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