(Apologies if the font looks weird for this, as it was pulled from an old Word document containing four SNME rants in a compilation. Thus it’s also the point rating system rather than star ratings.)
A Saturday Night's Main Event Compilation Rant - Part Four
- Taped from Detroit, MI, March 1987.
- Your hosts are Vince & Jesse.
Tonight's stipulation du jour: Not only is the title on the line, but the lovely Elizabeth as well. You know, given all of McMahon's leering comments towards Liz over the years, I have to wonder if Linda actually watched these shows. (I’m pretty sure she overlooked a lot of shit.) I mean, sure we know NOW exactly how much of a perverted, dirty old man the Mr. McMahon persona has become, but it's really kinda creepy watching these tapes from 1987 where a supposedly babyface announcer is drooling over Elizabeth like some sicko in the park on a Sunday. Anyway, Savage attacks the Animal on the floor, which prompts Steamboat to come out and prevent any more such shenanigans. They brawl, and Savage gets jumped by Steele as he gets into the ring again. Steele battering-rams him into the turnbuckles and darnit if they don't look good enough to eat, so he does. Savage uses Steele's moment of indiscretion to nail him with a high knee from behind, then gets the flying axehandle and chokes him down. Steele chokes back and gets one up on the dirty trick barometer by blocking a clothesline with a bite to the arm. Another turnbuckle meets its tragic end in Steele's mouth, and he's just so darn happy about that situation that he stops and goes to visit Elizabeth, presumably to share some of it with her. Savage, obviously concerned about what turnbuckle stuffing will do to Liz's svelt figure, jumps Steele from behind and beats the crap out of him, then rolls in to win by countout at 4:31. Ballet, this ain't. 0 for 1. (The Animal was always a nice easy night off for Savage, plus it paid off at Wrestlemania III.)
- 20 Man Battle Royale:
I won't bother naming the participants, but there's 20 of them and Hogan & Andre are in there along with some JTTS cannon fodder for the most part. The storyline is of course that Hogan & Andre have been avoiding each other leading to Wrestlemania III, and here they are stuck together by fate in the same match with only 18 other guys separating them and destiny. All the Heenan heels swarm Hogan to start, but he comes back by promptly getting rid of Honky Tonk Man. Andre, obviously in a bad mood, jettisons fellow heel Sika. Next up for him: Haku and then Lanny Poffo, who blades himself on the way down to sell the force of Andre's headbutt. It actually gets out of control and he leaves huge pools of blood on the mats and gets stretchered out. (You know it’s 1987 because some dude is bleeding buckets on national TV in a BATTLE ROYALE.) Ron Bass & Butch Reed put aside cultural differences for the good of mankind, namely double-teaming Hulk Hogan, but obviously God is against them because Hogan tosses Bass soon after. Andre, meanwhile, gets rid of fellow Machine Blackjack Mulligan. Hogan stands up for the forces of capitalism and dumps Nikolai Volkoff. McCarthy would be proud. Andre gives B. Brian Blair a free ticket to the floor. Hercules & Orndorff again work Hogan over in the name of the Heenan family, but he escapes, and walks into Andre. The battle royale draws to a hushed stop, like the Queen Mother cutting a nasty fart at a coronation ceremony. (Feel free to work that one into everyday conversations.) Hogan breaks the awkward moment by throwing Orndorff out, but he was just a pawn in the complex chess game that is the squared circle, as Andre declares "Checkmate, chum!" and headbutts Hogan out of the match. (I feel like I was bored at that point.) The crowd is shocked and appalled. Andre gets back into the swing of things, getting rid of Jim Brunzell, but that gives everyone else left the chance to jump him and force him out of the ring by sheer numbers, leaving Ax as the sole member of the former Machines to be standing in the ring. Sadly, his revelry is broken by Hillbilly Jim sending him to meet the floor. Smash (Randy "Moondog Spot" Culley, not Barry "Repo Man" Darsow) (Nope, 1998 Scott, it was Darsow. He debuted in February.) quickly avenges the loss of his partner by dumping Jim out himself. Koko B. Ware dropkicks Reed out shortly after, leaving our final four as Koko, Smash, Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules. Hercules stomps Koko into Silly Putty and tosses him without breaking any significant sort of perspiration that I know of. Smash & Hercules double-team Haynes, but some inopportune miscommunication allows Hayes to backdrop Smash out. Heenan distracts Haynes, who goes after him like a moron, and Hercules eliminates him for the win at 10:53. If my play by play made it seem interesting or exciting in the least, I apologize, for that was not my intention. 0 for 2.
- Jake Roberts v. King Kong Bundy.
Jake works the arm to start, but gets clobbered. Jake uses his speed (er, running ability…) to keep away from Bundy, and then comes in for a headlock. Bundy tosses him into the ropes, but Jakes avoids contact again. Jake tries kicking at the leg, so Bundy gets sick of him and wants a test of strength. Why Jake would agree to this is beyond me, but he does. And he loses in about 3 seconds, as you'd expect. Bundy pounds away and goes for a facelock, but Jake kneelifts him and fires away with rights. Heenan steals the snake as we take a break, and return with Jake getting it back. Bundy attacks, however, and puts him down with a clothesline and two shoulderblocks. Blind charge misses, however, and Jake comes back. Clothesline, but the ref gets in Jake's way and gets a knee to the gut as a result. Bundy wins by DQ at 5:46. As thrilling to watch as to type. 0 for 3. (This show was actually a lot more fun than I made it sound. I tend to enjoy these more from a nostalgic POV these days when I’m rewatching them.)
- WWF tag team title match: The Hart Foundation v. Danny Spivey & Tito Santana.
Tito is subbing for the departed Mike Rotundo, and this is the Harts' "first title defense", which used to mean something in the days before guys won belts in dark matches. Spivey bodypresses Anvil for two. He gets clotheslined, but atomic drops him into a tag to Bret Hart. The faces double-team Bret and Tito slams him. Spivey comes in and gets two, but the Harts cheat and beat on him in the corner. Bret's backbreaker sets up Neidhart's slingshot splash in for two. Spivey fights back, but gets double-teamed again. Bret drops an elbow for two. False tag to Tito, but heel miscommunication allows the real tag. Tito hits the Flying Jalapeno on both Harts, but he chooses to go for the figure-four for some reason. This allows Danny Davis to sneak in, nail him with the megaphone, and put Bret on top for the pin at 5:20. Thankfully, despite booking stutter-steps like this, the Hart Foundation would go on to become one of the most dominant teams of the decade. This match sucked, though. 0 for 4. (Synchronicity: Their first title defense was against a team that subbed in Tito for a departed partner, and so was their last!)
- Ricky Steamboat v. The Iron Sheik.
Steamboat draws the death slot this time, lucky him. Sheik attacks to start, as Savage joins us on commentary. Sheik tosses the Dragon, but he comes back in and suplexes him for two. Chops and a hiptoss, and Steamboat hits the chinlock. They brawl out, and Sheik suplexes him in for two, as my tape runs out. Well, luckily for you I saw this show in 1987 and Steamboat goes on to win about a minute later. 0 for 5. (PROFESSIONALISM. Of course, at the time there was no YouTube to just look this stuff up on.)
The Bottom Line: This was not one of the better Main Events, to say the least. It was basically the "Hype the shit out of Wrestlemania III" show, and since that PPV did something like a 10.0 buyrate, I guess it worked.