|WWF Wrestling Challenge|
|Created by||Vince McMahon|
|Starring||World Wrestling Federation|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. commercials)|
|Original release||September 7, 1986 –|
August 27, 1995
|Preceded by||All-Star Wrestling (1971–1986)|
WWF Wrestling Challenge is a professional wrestling television show that was produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE). It was syndicated weekly and aired from 1986 to 1995. The show became simply known as WWF Challenge in 1995. The show featured matches, pre-match interviews, and occasionally, summarized weekly events in WWF programming. Matches primarily saw top-tier and mid-level talent vs. Jobbers. At times, there was a "feature" match between main WWF talent. As with other syndicated WWF programming, the show promoted WWF event dates and house shows in local media markets. It was the 'B' show of WWF syndication, meaning it generally only aired in markets where WWF had two weekly slots, with the other taken up by WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Select episodes of Wrestling Challenge are available for streaming on the WWE Network. As of May 17, 2021, there are 23 episodes of Wrestling Challenge available for streaming on WWE Network, dating from its premiere to February 8, 1987.
Wrestling Challenge premiered on September 6, 1986, replacing All-Star Wrestling.
Following the show's debut, The Snake Pit, hosted by Jake "The Snake" Roberts, debuted as a feature of the show. The Snake Pit was an in-ring interview segment modeled after Roddy Piper's Piper's Pit, which aired on WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Wrestling Challenge also featured the similarly formatted The Brother Love Show. This segment, which debuted in 1988, was later moved to Superstars of Wrestling. After this, the main feature was a podium interview featuring Gene Okerlund and a random WWF superstar until 1991. Starting in 1991, The Barber Shop debuted with host Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, while The King's Court, hosted by Jerry Lawler debuted in 1993.
While WWF Superstars of Wrestling held most title changes on national television, Wrestling Challenge only had one title change on November 1, 1992 (taped October 13, 1992), as Money Inc. defeated The Natural Disasters to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship, with interference from The Headshrinkers. This title change was also aired on the October 31, 1992 Superstars of Wrestling with Wrestling Challenge commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan calling the action. The WWF treated the match as a simulcast on both programs.
The hosts for the first three episodes were Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd, and Luscious Johnny V. After that, Ladd was replaced by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan while Johnny V continued to do commentary solely for matches where Heenan was managing, until Valiant would leave the WWF in late 1987.
Other hosts included:
In some parts of Canada, Wrestling Challenge was repackaged as WWF Cavalcade, with the only difference apart from the title being Canadian-produced interview segments. This repackaging allowed the program to count as Canadian content.
In the United Kingdom, the show aired on Sky 1 and a repackaged version was aired occasionally from 1987 until 1988 on ITV as a part of the final two years of ITV's Saturday lunchtime Wrestling coverage. Certain ITV areas also screened a batch of 10 months' worth of episodes (covering the period August 1987-June 1988) in an early morning graveyard timeslot, erroneously announced in TV listings as Superstars Of Wrestling. The late night ITV slot would be replaced in 1990 by tapes of WCW. The Sky transmission continued to air in the UK until 1997, when it was repackaged as WWF Shotgun Challenge.