The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #2 (October 1985)
– Well, this works out well, because this was one of the SNME shows that I got from a reader which was unwatchable in the form sent, which basically means that with this one I’ll have almost the entire run of SNME finished with. Most of this show was already covered in the “Best of Saturday Night’s Main Event” Coliseum video that I reviewed many moons ago, but we’ll do the show for the heck of it.
– We start with on-the-floor promos from Hogan and Volkoff, in stark contrast to the style of promo that would define the show in later years.
– Tragically, “Obsession” is deleted from history and replaced with a generic theme song. That’s just WRONG. Pay Animotion the $5 that the song probably costs these days and do it right.
– Taped from The Meadowlands in Jersey.
– Hosted by Vince & Jesse.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Nikolai Volkoff
I really didn’t like the 85 WWF title belt, as the NWA had already fashioned their National and TV titles to look exactly the same and it really robbed the WWF belt of any special aura it might have had. The rare all-white apparel for Hogan here. Volkoff attacks to start and gets hit with a corner clothesline as a result, and Hogan follows with the running clothesline and drops elbows. They fight to the floor and Hogan meets the post, which allows Volkoff to work the back in the ring. This sets up the backbreaker press, but Volkoff stops to gloat about the superiority of communism. Hogan kicks out at two as a result, so Volkoff whips him into the corner and tries to finish with a piledriver, but Hulk backdrops out of it. Volkoff utilizes the clubbing forearms and slams him for two, but it’s hulk up time. He does the big comeback off a BODYSLAM? Punch, punch, legdrop, goodbye at 5:16. Hulk, classy guy as ever, shines his shoes with the Russian flag and spits on it. Well, it was a simpler time. *1/2
Uncle Elmer v. Jerry Valiant
Speaking of simple, it’s hillbilly time! Elmer knocks him down, splashes him, and pins him in 7 seconds. DUD This is actually announced as a new record, beating the fictitious record set by King Kong Bundy at the first Wrestlemania, but this would be forgotten immediately after and Bundy’s “9 seconds” (actually closer to 30) would be the only “record” mentioned again.
– And now, the Body Shop, with special guest Bobby Heenan. He’s got a bounty on former client Paul Orndorff, you know. Good thing Paul is a forgiving enough guy to rejoin the Heenan Family six months after this. Don’t think the bounty angle went anywhere, either.
Paul Orndorff v. Rowdy Roddy Piper
Slugfest to start and Piper punts him and stomps him on the mat, drawing a surprisingly strong babyface reaction for it. Orndorff tackles him and tries biting, and they fight it out on the mat. Piper slugs him down and out, and they brawl on the floor, and Orndorff comes in with a flying elbow into a backdrop suplex on Piper. Piper goes back to his favorite eye-poke to slow him down, and they collide, allowing Piper to choke him out. An out of character splash attempt hits knee and Orndorff comes back, but they tumble out for the double countout at 3:44. You know, I’ve seen two matches between these two from this era, both of which ended in crazy double-countouts and left me wanting more. It’s a shame that they never got a proper blowoff match, because they had crazy awesome chemistry together.
– And now one of those ones I never “got” — the wedding of Uncle Elmer, which was supposed to be this defining camp moment for the WWF but just totally fell flat. Roddy Piper objects, but the wedding goes on regardless.
Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas v. John Studd & King Kong Bundy
Andre is still pissed about the whole Toronto attack and haircut thing. Andre chokes out Bundy pretty quickly and pounds him with forearms in the corner, and brings Tony Atlas in. Bundy misses an elbow and Tony headbutts him into the corner, so Studd comes in and knocks him down before Atlas headbutts him, too. This guy’s in the Hall of Fame? Dropkick misses by a mile and Studd stomps away, but Andre gets some shots in from the apron to slow him up. Bundy smartly slips in with a splash on Atlas (well, as stealthy as Bundy can be), but Atlas still manages to tag Andre and the heels are in trouble. He pounds on Studd and sends him out of the ring with a big boot, but Bundy attacks from behind. Atlas gets wiped out on the floor and the heels double-team Andre until the DQ is called at 4:25. And…..here comes Hulk to save. Sorry, did someone say “Cha-ching”? I thought I heard that for some reason. Decent enough match. *1/2
– Time filling segment sees Mean Gene touring the zoo with George Steele to reinforce the face turn.
WWF World tag titles: Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake v. Leaping Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea
This is the soon-to-be traditional first title defense on SNME. Valentine works a headlock on Poffo to start as we see Windham & Rotundo watching from ringside. Poffo fights off both champions and slams Beefcake into a moonsault (called “Whoa yeah!” by Vince) for two. Hammer makes the save and clobbers Poffo, leaving him for Beefcake to pound on. Valentine keeps him from tagging Garea and Beefcake gets a slam for two. Hot tag Garea out of nowhere and he’s a house of firey dropkicks, but only gets two on Beefcake. Blind charge hits elbow, however, and Valentine drops the elbow and finishes with the figure-four to retain at 3:31. Total squash. *
– Uncle Elmer’s wedding reception eats up the last 10 minutes of the show in totally boring fashion, during the time when no one is watching anyway.
Much like Saturday Night Live, watch the first half hour or so and then stop. Recommendation to avoid.