Chrononaut Chronicles: WWE 24/7 – Saturday Night’s Main Event Halloween

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The Chrononaut Chronicles – WWE 24/7: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event – Saturday, November 2, 1985

– And now, Part 4 of my WWE 24/7 Halloween Quadrilogy.

– Candice Michelle discusses some of the fun Halloween activities we will see on this special edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event as she introduces the feature for WWE 24/7.

– Mean Gene Okerlund begins the festivities in a pumpkin costume on the scene with Bobby Heenan, who is dressed like Davey Crockett and practices for the pumpkin-bobbing contest later. The Brain smashes two pumpkins together to represent what King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd will do to Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant tonight.

– Hogan cuts a promo about Studd & Bundy breaking the rules and how he can hardly wait to see Andre wipe the mat with them, but Andre tells him they’ve talked enough and they head off.

– Jesse Ventura interviews Roddy Piper in a Superman costume (with an “R” on the chest, of course) and calls him a “hero” for interrupting the Hillbillies’ wedding, but the Rowdy One gives credit to the Body’s “two carp in the Mississippi River” line on commentary and plans to make fools of them tonight on Piper’s Pit.

– Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart & Terry Funk, who spits tobacco and vows to “housetrain” the Junk Yard Dog tonight. The Mouth Of The South giggles and Funk spits at the camera as we go to the Saturday Night’s Main Event opening.

– We are NOT LIVE from Hershey, Pennsylvania, as Vince McMahon runs through the lineup and talks it over with Jesse Ventura.

– Classic footage from Summer 1985 of Funk beating up ring attendant Mel Phillips because he put on the Funker’s cowboy hat is shown before Mean Gene (in the arena without his pumpkin costume) interviews Funk & Hart, who claims that it’s TV tricks making Terry look bad. Funk calls JYD “dogmeat” and they head off as we are treated to more footage from Summer 1985, this time in MSG with Funk pounding JYD with the branding iron while Jimmy cheers him on.

– Mean Gene interviews JYD, who states that every dog has his day and tonight’s is his as we go to break. I love the cheesy ’80s graphic with a jack-o-lantern and a witch in front of a moon, man, that’s when Halloween was FUN! I miss that.

– Terry Funk vs. Junk Yard Dog

Funk stands on the apron yelling at the fans, so JYD brings him in the hard way and unloads on the Funker while “Grab Them Cakes” is still playing. This is like New Jack ’85, only with no weapons and a corny ’80s tune instead of a hardcore rap track. JYD goes out after Jimmy Hart on the floor, but the Mouth apparently escapes under the ring and the Dog crotches Funk on the top rope, tugging on his leg a few times to really grind it in. Funk bails out to remove his chaps and comes back in with a bodyslam on JYD, but misses an elbowdrop and JYD dumps him over the top rope. Hart attends to Funk and a confused Funk rolls around on the floor with him before threatening to punch his own manager and deciding against it. It’s too bad Funk’s WWF run here didn’t work out, he was entertaining as hell and could have been a huge babyface eventually. Back inside, Dog bodyslams Funk and pops off his trademark doggy-style headbutts as Funk does his punchdrunk selling routine and bails out to the floor. The fans chant “JYD” as Funk climbs the guardrail and threatens to come into the crowd, but security stops him and Terrible Terry returns to the ring. Hart tries to trip up JYD from ringside, so JYD comes out to grab the skinny manager and Funk charges from behind, but Dog turns and back-bodydrops Funk on the bare floor, no mats or anything. That’s gotta hurt. The Mouth Of The South helps the Funker back in and he unleashes a series of punches for a two-count on JYD before clamping on a sleeperhold. JYD grabs the ropes to break it and applies a sleeper of his own, but Hart hops up on the apron and Dog releases Funk in order to dump Jimmy into the ring and drag him away from the ropes. While the referee is distracted with that, Funk cracks JYD with the megaphone and covers him for the three-count. Afterwards, Funk tries to brand JYD, but the Dog stops him and knocks Funk through the ropes with the branding iron. JYD finally gets his hands on Jimmy Hart and decks him with a right hand before Funk tries to pull Hart out to ringside, but JYD pulls Jimmy’s pants off and brands his ass. That had a whole different meaning to my young mind in a pre-Oz world.

– Mean Gene Pumpkin is on the scene in the “party room” for the late Halloween party and introduces the two teams in tonight’s Halloween competition: for the heels it’s Randy Savage & Elizabeth as Tarzan & Jane, the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff as Batman & Robin, Bobby Heenan, & King Kong Bundy as Abe Lincoln, while the faces are represented by Tito Santana as Zorro (I wonder if that’s the same Zorro costume Eddie Guerrero wore on the 2002 SmackDown Halloween), Hulk Hogan as Hercules, the Hillbillies as the Three Musketeers, & Captain Lou Albano as Julius Caesar. The first matchup of the competition pits Albano vs. Bundy in a Pie Eating Contest and the two grotesquely obese behemoths scarf back pie after pie as their teammates cheer them on until time finally runs out and Okerlund declares Captain Lou the winner. Bundy throws a pie in Albano’s face and Albano just asks for another piece of pie as we go to break.

– We see the footage of Roddy Piper interrupting Uncle Elmer’s wedding the previous month in the Meadowlands including Jesse’s “two carp” line before we go to the ring for Piper’s Pit as Piper & Bob Orton greet the Hillbillies and Hot Rod suggests that every day is Halloween for them. Piper asks inappropriate questions about Elmer and his new bride until Hillbilly Jim stands up to Piper and scolds him for saying the things he said about the wedding. In classic heel fashion, Piper blames Jesse but adds that he agrees with what he said and Jim calls out Jesse, who removes his jacket at the broadcast booth and marches into the ring. The Body explains that he calls it the way he sees it and refuses to back down on his comments as Piper asks if the Hillbillies came to fight and shoves Cousin Junior, who trips over Orton crouched behind him. Jim punches Orton through the ropes and chases Piper off before Ventura escapes and Elmer stomps on his hat. This built up a six-man for the next Main Event, which is cool because I always thought Piper & Ventura had great chemistry on the mic together and complemented each other well.

– Back to the party room as Junk Yard Dog has joined the party in a mummy costume and Mean Gene Pumpkin hosts the Great Pumpkin Dunk pitting Heenan against Cousin Junior, who arrives fresh from Piper’s Pit and bobs for mini-pumpkins in a vat of chocolate with the Brain. In the end, Heenan wins with 7 pumpkins to Junior’s 4 and he celebrates as we go to break.

– In the arena, Mean Gene interviews Heenan, Bundy, & Studd as they promise victory before marching off.

– Mean Gene interviews Albano, Hogan, & Andre, but once again when the Hulkster mentions the Heenan Family cheating to beat Andre, the Giant cuts him off and states they’ve talked enough as it’s time to wrestle. What a prick Hogan is… Andre clearly didn’t want to discuss it earlier and yet Hogan brings it up again. This kind of stuff is why even as a young mark I hated Hogan.

– Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant & Hulk Hogan

Lou Albano is in the Superface Dream Team’s corner to counteract Bobby Heenan as Hogan can’t knock down Bundy with a shoulderblock, so he levels the behemoth with a flying kneelift off the ropes for a one-count and tries to lift him for a bodyslam, but Bundy is TOO FUCKING FAT and he pounds Hogan. Hogan mounts a comeback and tags Andre as Vince makes me look twice when he says “the big boss man” is stepping over the top rope. Andre practices for his future heel run by choking Bundy with his own singlet while the referee does nothing, which Jesse points out. And that, folks, is one of the reasons Jesse is the best color commentator of all time. Hogan tags in and lands a double-axhandle off the middle turnbuckle on Bundy, but gets caught in the Heenan Family corner and mauled as Studd gets the tag. Hogan badly f*cks up an atomic drop and tags Andre, who hammers Studd in the corner and nails the ref when he tries to stop him. Bundy comes in for the save and Hogan helps Andre clean house as a young Joey “Gorilla Jr.” Marella arrives to replace the injured ref. WHAT?! If that was a heel who hit the ref, it would’ve been a disqualification.

When we come back from break, Studd gets pinballed by the faces and Andre tags Hogan as Jesse points out what I just said. Heh. Vince is sure it was an accident as Hogan clotheslines Studd and tags Andre back in to knock Studd out through the ropes with a big boot. Andre goes out to the apron to follow Big John, but Bundy blindsides him and the Giant’s arms get tangled in the ropes while Studd trips the Hulkster from ringside and Bundy splashes the WWF World Champion. Bundy & Studd batter Andre until Hogan revives and cleans house as ring announcer Howard Finkel announces that Hogan & Andre win via disqualification. Afterwards, Mean Gene comes in for an interview as Andre bellows that he hasn’t had enough and Hogan alludes AGAIN to the Heenan Family beating down the Giant 2-on-1. No wonder Andre turned on him eventually. Andre brushes it off this time, though, and celebrates with Hogan.

– Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage & Elizabeth and chauvinistically asks point-blank why he would choose a woman manager, so the Macho Man answers that he must be either blind or stupid. Okerlund suddenly understands as Elizabeth explains that she got into wrestling just to help Randy and Okerlund notes that it’s unusual for a newcomer to get a title shot so quickly, but Savage claims he’s ready and they head off. As they leave, Gene checks out Liz’s ass and Vince snaps him back to reality from the broadcast booth.

– WWF Intercontinental Title: Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Tito Santana [champion]

In a move that would OUTRAGE internet smarks if such a beast existed at the time, the WWF Intercontinental Champion’s entrance takes place during the commercial break and isn’t even shown, while the challenger’s entrance was shown in its entirety just before the break. Jesse believes that “Chico” Santana’s title is in more jeopardy than ever as they lock up and Santana pushes Savage against the ropes, so Savage cheapshots him with a punch and takes control with a snapmare and a kneedrop. Santana ducks an elbow and hiptosses Savage, but misses an elbowdrop and Savage dives off the middle turnbuckle with a flying double-axhandle for a two-count. Savage works a chinlock and yanks Tito’s hair to prevent him from escaping, but Santana fights out and Savage cracks him with an elbowsmash. The Macho Man leaps off the top turnbuckle, but Santana catches him with a fist to the gut and stomps away as the fans cheer him on. Santana fires off a series of punches and runs off the ropes, but Savage bails out to the floor so Santana follows him out and chases him around ringside until Savage slides back inside first and knocks Tito off the apron when he tries to get in. Tito blocks a piledriver on the floor so Savage smacks him with a kneelift and the referee calls for the bell, ruling the decision a double-countout. Nonetheless, Santana punches Savage and returns to the ring to celebrate with his belt while the Macho Man & Elizabeth stay at ringside.

– Backstage, Mr. Fuji grinds his knuckles into his temples and makes faces that look like he’s trying to pass a 10-pound shit (I know, I’ve used the same tactic) while elsewhere, Ricky Steamboat prepares for their Kung Fu Challenge by chopping boards in half.

– In the party room, it looks like the Sheik & Volkoff are necking but Mean Gene Pumpkin informs us that this is final practice for the Pumpkin Pass competition and introduces a Roddy Piper video showing how he spent Halloween in his “rented American home”. The place is decorated as Piper prepares candy apples using bowling balls with sticks in them. If any kid fell for that trick, I’m sorry but they deserve to die. Vince McMahon suddenly appears in Piper’s kitchen with a microphone and notes that Piper has no indoor plumbing in his home, but Piper claims that running outside is quicker than flushing as he wraps bricks in tinfoil so they look like Hershey chocolate and vents his anger about kids ringing his doorbell. Piper prefers the “trick” in “trick or treat” and states that if they bother him once, they never bother him again as some trick-or-treaters ring his doorbell and one kid shushes the others by warning, “Remember last year?” Piper opens the door and the kids file right into his home (ah, the good old days when kids were dumb enough to enter a stranger’s house) as one is dressed like the Hulkster and Piper tries to stuff a “candy apple” into another child’s bag, but the bag breaks and candy spills on the floor. Piper goes all Gollum as he helps pick up the candy by hiding some under his kilt and hoards it for himself. The kids thank Mr. Piper and exit as we see that this skit actually has a punchline when the camera shows the kids outside noting that they planned this trick all year and hoping that Piper enjoys his chocolate-covered red peppers. Inside, Piper screams and drinks water from a flower vase as Vince exclaims, “Trick or treat, Roddy!” Cheesy as hell like almost everything else in the ’80s, but still funny to see.

– Vince interviews Hulk Hogan, who is back in his Hercules costume as he expresses pride in those kids for tricking the Rowdy Scot and claims it gives him faith in all of his little Hulkamaniacs around the world.

– Mean Gene interviews Mr. Fuji, who chops bricks and headbutts a board in half.

– After the break, we see footage from Summer 1985 of Fuji & Magnificent Muraco hanging Ricky Steamboat with a strap before Mean Gene interviews the Dragon, who stumbles through a promo as he repeats his nickname a few times and claims he’s said enough. No kidding.

– Kung Fu Challenge: Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

The Magnificent Muraco is in Fuji’s corner as Steamboat blocks the Devious One’s strikes and unleashes some strikes of his own, capped off by an enzuigiri. Fuji gets back up and kicks Steamboat in the leg, but Steamboat sells it like a lowblow and even Vince admits it was not a kick to the groin as Fuji drops a headbutt to the lower midsection. Is that really considered kung fu? Fuji throws a chop and a kick, but Steamboat responds with kicks and chops of his own until Fuji weakly slaps him in the stomach. Fuji applies the TONGAN DEATH GRIP and tosses Steamboat with it, which really looks horrible since it’s obvious Steamboat is basically holding Fuji’s wrist and throwing himself. Fuji remains in control until Steamboat reverses a vertical suplex and they are both down. Steamboat nails Fuji with a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle for the 1-2-3, but afterwards Muraco spews red mist in the Dragon’s face and they beat him down before leaving the ring.

– Vince & Jesse recap the Halloween Games so far with each team scoring one victory, making the Pumpkin Pass the rubber match. The idea is to hold a mini-pumpkin under your chin and pass it to a teammate, who must take it under his chin so that it looks like they’re making out, and so on and so forth. JYD passes to Tito, who passes to the Hillbillies, who pass to Albano, who drops it. The heels laugh and Vince states that it was 5 successful passes before sending it to Mean Gene Pumpkin as Jesse introduces “Super Rod” (Piper in his superhero costume) as a late entry on the heel squad. Bundy passes to Volkoff, who passes to Sheik, who passes to Elizabeth, who drops it when she tries to pass to Piper as the heels kept using the capes from their costumes to cover up their illegal tactics. Savage blames Elizabeth as Piper eggs him on and Okerlund doesn’t think it was entirely her fault.

– After the break, the party room has cleared and only Vince, Jesse, & Gene are left as the Body issues a challenge to the Hillbillies for the next Main Event. Following yet another break, highlights of the program are shown as the credits roll and Halloweenish music plays.

Afterthoughts: An entertaining seasonal offering that’s fun to watch around Halloween (24/7 aired it last year too) although none of the matches are very good and it was somewhat disappointing to me that the costumes weren’t worn in the arena at all, which affects the feeling of continuity. I realize that the Halloween segments were taped after the in-arena stuff but they still could have done it, since the Halloween festivities were mentioned in the arena interviews so the WWF obviously knew what was planned. Anyway, that’s a minor complaint as this was a good example of the direction the company was headed with more emphasis on the skits and angles than the actual matches themselves. I don’t agree with that direction myself, but it worked for the era and this show. Hey, it’s Halloween… everybody’s entitled to one good scare. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!