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WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #1 – May 11, 1985
January 13, 2010, 7:40 pm
Filed under: SNME | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #1 – May 11, 1985

Welcome to my first Retro Recap, I had planned to start with one of my favorite PPVs of all time, ECW One Night Stand 05, but my DVD won’t play. So until I find a new copy of ONS that will have to be put on the back burner. Instead we’re going to go through the entire Saturday Night’s Main Event collection. Not the DVD release that WWE put out a couple years ago, but the original episodes that aired on NBC in the 80’s. I have the full set, and plan to cover all of these great shows. With the current product being as bad as it is, I felt the need to go back to a simpler time. A time when wrestling was fun, and the backstage politics were known to very few people. Not like now where everyone knows everything that goes on backstage and who’s buddies with whom.

Now for those who don’t remember SNME, this was pretty much the only way to see the World Champion on TV. Back in those days you would never see a World Title match on the weekly shows, and very rarely would the champ even be on the show for an interview. Back then we had squash matches, with the occasional midcard match as our main event. With only one or two PPV’s a year, SNME quickly became the only place to see the best wrestlers of the WWF and world title matches on TV. This is the very first SNME, which took place about 6 weeks after the first Wrestlemania, so going in we had Hulk Hogan as World Champion, Greg Valentine as IC Champ and Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff as tag team champions. Yes, back then there were only three titles, well and the woman’s title, which was held by Wendi Richter, not at all like it is now where we have eight titles. Back then the titles actually meant something, and a title change was huge news. Enough reminiscing about the glory days, as it’s time for Saturday Night’s Main Event!!!

We open SNME with a Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter promo as they are talking about the feud with Moolah. From there we go to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as they hype up tonight’s main event, Hulk Hogan defending the title against Cowboy Bob Orton, Randy’s dad. Vince McMahon, when we thought of him as just an announcer, along with Jesse Ventura welcome us to Long Island, New York as they recap the card for tonight.

1. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George “The Animal” Steele v. Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo. After the introduction of the heel team, we go back to Mene Gene who’s with the face team along with Captain Lou Albano. Gene asks Windham about the loss at Wrestlemania, to which Windham replies that he has the best team ever for tonight and they’ll take care of business. Albano threatens to take out Classy Freddie Blassie, the manager of the heel team, as we go back to Howard Finkel who asks everyone to rise for Volkoff’s singing. I always loved this part, Volkoff doing the Russian anthem was always hilarious, then Sheik does the classic “Russia Number One, Iran Number One, USA ah phooey!” That is just legendary, as Finkel introduces the face team, who come out to Bruce Springsteen’s hit, “Born in the USA”, never see that nowadays, anyone in WWE coming out to the biggest hit on the radio at the time. The ref takes a while to get everyone out of the ring, as both teams have managers. We start with Barry Windham & Iron Sheik, Sheik not nearly so round back then, as they lock up and wind up in the ropes. Sheik goes for the cheap shot, and countered, as Windham whipped in, but takes Sheik down with the shoulderblock. Sheik with a nice leapfrog, into a hip toss, as Windham slams the Sheik down and winds the arm up and tags in Rotundo who comes off the top rope. Steamboat quickly tagged in and off the top as well, as they work over the arm of the Iron Sheik. Steamboat and Mike with a double elbow, as Mike legal man in and drops an elbow on Sheik for a near fall. Rotunda with a headlock, into an armbar, as Mike tags in Steamboat who hits a chop on Sheik, but gets whipped in. Sheik locks in the classic abdominal stretch, countered into a hip toss, as Steamboat hip tosses all three heels, and chaos breaks loose as all six men in the ring. The All American Team chases out the heels as we go to commercial, we come back and Steamboat working the arm of the Sheik, and hits a powerslam on the Sheik. Steamboat hits a nice missile dropkick and follows with the cross body, but Nikolai makes the save and Windham takes out Volkoff. Sheik makes the tag to Volkoff, and Steamboat with the karate chops then tags in Windham, and a double dropkick from Windham and Steamboat for a near fall. Rotunda and Windham with a double elbow, as Rotunda now in with a pair of legdrops, and Steele breaks the pin attempt. Volkoff catches Rotundo not looking, but Rotunda with a roll up, then a backslide, and now both men in the corner as we get a clean break. Windham comes in and hits a nice sunset flip for a near fall, as the Animal is tagged in. Windham and Steele exchange punches, but when Steele goes for a tag Sheik and Volkoff bail. Windham rolls up George from behind for the win. 3.5/5 nice six man tag, keeping Steele out till end was a good idea as he was never a great wrestler. Sheik worked the majority for his team, which is a good idea as he was the skilled member, while Volkoff was the power man. As the faces celebrate their win, Steele goes and tears apart the turnbuckle pad, classic, but then Sheik and Volkoff attack Steele from behind, but Steele fights off the champions. Albano comes in; he was the former manager of Steele, and tries to calm down the Animal. This was Steele’s face turn, which he stayed as till his retirement in the late 80’s. We go to Mene Gene with the tag champions and Freddie Blassie, Blassie calls Steele crazy as a fruitcake, as Steele goes after the champions. Albano tries to control George and get him to the back.

2. Piper’s Pit. This was always one of the best parts of WWF TV back in the 80s. Nobody could rile up a person quite the way Hot Rod could. Some of the most legendary moments of the 80’s took place on the Pit including Andre’s heel turn, Snuka getting hit with a coconut, Piper’s face turn, etc. Roddy Piper out there with Cowboy Bob Orton, as we get a recap from Wrestlemania, as Piper’s guest is Paul Orndorff. Piper and Orndorff lost to Hogan and T at Wrestlemania, when Orton accidentally cracked Orndorff with the cast. Paul starts out by telling Orton to get in the corner, Piper says Paul’s afraid of Bob and tells him to sit. Paul says ladies first, so Piper sits and says he feels sorry for Paul for being a loser, which causes Orndorff to stand over Piper. This prompts Orton to head over, and Paul yells at him to stay, which he does. Piper sits back down and tells Paul to sit down, which he finally does. Piper says it wasn’t his shoulders pinned to the ground, it was Orndorff’s. Paul asks Piper where he was after the match, Piper says doing his job fighting T. Piper tells Paul he lost his guts, and he took Paul under his wing. Paul says Piper’s been drinking too much of his bathwater, that just sounded odd. Piper says Paul’s a piece of garbage and he embarrassed Piper and Orton, they start shoving, and Piper says he’s taking his ball and leaving. Piper goes for the cheap shot and Orndorff takes him down, and then takes down Orton, Paul goes to piledrive Piper but Orton with the cast knocking Orndorff to the floor. Mr. T comes out to save Paul Orndorff, and helps Paul up and escorts him to the back as Piper and Orton calling out Orndorff. This takes us to Hulk Hogan with Mene Gene, as Hulk says this is typical of the dudes he needs to get rid of in the WWF. Hulk dedicates the match to his mom, and says he’s going to teach Orton a lesson. Gene asks about Orndorff, and Hulk says the Hulkamaniacs got behind Paul, and he can to. Classic Hulk Hogan interview from the 80’s.

3. Hulk Hogan v. Cowboy Bob Orton. Hulk comes out to the classic “Eye of the Tiger”, as this was just before the Real American song came out. The crowd is just going insane for Hogan; no one can get an ovation like Hulk did in the 80’s. Hulk points at Orton, then at Piper, as he does the classic hand to the ear, as we go to commercial. We come back, and Mr. T is there with Hogan as they rip each other’s shirts off, as the ref checks over Hogan, that’s something you don’t see any more. Bob slowly removes his chap, as Hulk turns his back, Orton goes for the cheapshots, but Hulk catches him and punches him out of the ring. Back in and Orton back dropped down, and then slammed three times by the Champion, as Orton slides back out of the ring. Orton slowly gets back in the ring, and hits a knee to the midsection of Hulk, but misses the charge in and Hulk with an arm twist, and bounces Orton’s cast off the ropes. Can see Hulk’s hair already thin at this point, as he continues working over the ‘bad’ arm of the Cowboy. Orton whips in Hogan and hits nice high knee to the chest of Hulk and then punts Hulk. Orton with the headlock and punches on Hogan, as Hogan on the ropes. Orton hits an atomic drop and goes for the cover, but Hulk kicks out with authority, so Orton the fist to the face of Hulk and tries for the pin again. Orton drives a knee to the face of Hulk Hogan, and slowly picks Hulk up before driving his face back into the mat, as Piper and T start to shout at each other. Hulk getting pounded down by the challenger, as Orton stands over Hulk. Jesse Ventura says Orton making a mistake going slow, as Hulk begins the Hulking Up sequence we all know and love. Hulk with the big clothesline and drops an elbow, guess he didn’t have the move sequence down at this point. Hulk with a head butt, then mounts Orton in the corner, but Orton drops Hulk across his knee. Orton has the advantage again; guess that was a false hulking up! Orton sets Hulk up for the superplex, but Hulk fights Orton off and drops an elbow to the top of the head, then drops the leg for the pin attempt. Piper pulls Hulk off of Orton for the DQ loss. 3.5/5 odd lead up to the legdrop, as Hulk did not do the big boot, made it feel weird. A very good match, even if the results were not a surprise to anyone, even back then. Mr. T comes in and pummels Piper in the corner, but Orton catches T from behind, as they corner the champion. Suddenly Paul Orndorff slides in the ring to save Hulk Hogan and Mr. T from Piper and Orton, as this would be Orndorff’s official face turn, as we go to commercial. We come back to Paul, Hulk and T posing in the ring, T looks tiny next to the Hulkster and Orndorff. Vince talking about how great Hulk is, as Jesse calls them the three egomaniacs. We now go to Capt. Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper, who was managing Wendi Richter, as this was the biggest part of the Rock and Wrestling Connection. Albano talks about how great Lauper is, as Mene Gene talks about Cyndi’s new music video for the Goonies movie. I always loved that movie, what a great 80s movie that is, as we get to see the video. Classic Rock and Wrestling moment as the video has Capt. Lou Albano, Roddy Piper, Freddie Blassie, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff and Fabulous Moolah. Nothing like seeing Volkoff milking a cow in a moving truck being driven by Moolah!!! Great, now I want to watch the Goonies movie, haven’t watched it in years, this is just great comedy. I love the fact that no one took themselves overly serious back then, seriously, watch Volkoff’s face in the video, he’s having so much fun. As is Sheik, Piper and Blassie, no one would be willing to look bad like this nowadays. All these guys currently take their character too serious, and need to have fun. The only one willing to do that currently is Jillian, who always looks like she’s just having fun. We go back to Albano and Lauper as Gene calls the video dynamite, as Piper comes in and says it was a great video. Piper and Lauper get in a shouting match, as Piper says his part was cut, as Gene tries to promo the next match.

4. Wendi Richter v. Fabulous Moolah. We go to Gene who’s with Moolah, with her legendary glasses, as Moolah says she’s tired of Cyndi Lauper’s interference as we see highlights from last year in MSG. Wow, a feud that lasts a year, nice, as Moolah says if Lauper is barred from ringside tonight. Gene sends it back to Vince & Jesse, as Moolah comes to the ring and back to Lauper with Gene, as Lauper says she is the manager of Wendi and she will be there. Lauper calls it Wrestlingmania!!!! Gene says Moolah said that Lauper has interfered in multiple matches; Lauper says Moolah has interfered when Leilani won the title from Wendi. This feud really did go a long time, but they kept it interesting the whole time, as Richter comes out to Cyndi Lauper’s hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! I always thought Cyndi Lauper was cute back then, Moolah never seemed to change, and she looks the same here as she did in 99! Howard reads off Moolah’s notice from the WWF higher ups, as Cyndi Lauper is banned from ringside during tonight’s match and has to leave ringside now. The crowd is booing loudly about this one, never see the crowd get this fired up for the women nowadays! We see Cyndi escorted from ringside as we go to commercial. We come back to see Cyndi watching the match at end of the aisle, that just looks weird, why not be watching it backstage at that point? Moolah starts with her offense, taking Wendi down by the hair and just laying a beatdown on Richter. Moolah chokes Wendi on the ropes, and slingshots her back, then throws Wendi to the floor as Moolah poses. Wendi tries to get in and gets kicked back down, and a kick for David Wolfe, Lauper’s manager, yes the manager had a manager! As Moolah is distracted Richter with a dropkick sending Moolah to the floor and Richter follows, shoving Moolah to the floor and pushes her back in. Moolah whips Wendi in and hits a backdrop for a one count; she follows up with a headbutt, as both girls fight on their knees. Richter back up and chokes Moolah on the ropes, Richter pulls Moolah off the ropes and drops her down, they do the spot again, but with Moolah face up this time. Wendi with a choke and Moolah responds with a chop to the throat and then kicks her in the chest. Moolah goes for a slam and Wendi rolls her up for the win. 2.75/5 better than most current diva matches, just more of a chokefest then a match. At least there didn’t seem to be any botches as opposed to the current girls. After the match Lauper sprints to the ring, or at least tries, but someone grabs her and won’t let go as security gets the person to let go of her arm. Richter and Lauper embrace in the ring as Moolah looks on disgusted. In a few months Richter would get the original Screwjob when Moolah, dressed as Spider Lady, rolls her up for a quick pin, and Richter is soon gone from the WWF. From here we go to Mene Gene with the JYD and his mom, and I really don’t understand Dog’s interview. Never could, but he was always able to fire up a crowd like no one else back in the day.

5. Pete Doherty v. JYD. Pete was called the Duke of Dorchester, and basically was a jobber as he very rarely won. I remember he did commentary on a few MSG house shows and had the gravelliest voice I ever heard. JYD comes out to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”, later he’d have “Grab Them Cakes” as his theme. Pete tries a cheap shot and eats a headbutt, JYD starts to pound on Pete, and whips him in, catching him with a huge clothesline. Vince calls Dog one of the most popular guys, and he was too, he always used to bring kids in after his match to dance with him. Pete tries to bail out, and Dog catches him by the hair and pulls him back up, as Pete gets too close to Mama Dog, and JYD throws Pete back in. Pete punches Dog in the head, which of course does nothing. JYD with the snap mare then follows with the four legged headbutts he was known for doing. Pete bails out, as Dog is distracted Pete climbs the ropes, but Dog catches him and tosses him halfway across the ring. JYD now goes to his vintage headbutts, and Doherty goes tumbling down, JYD follows with an atomic drop and picks up Pete. JYD nails Pete with the Thump, his powerslam finisher, for the win. 2/5 squash match, as the JYD just destroyed Pete and was just a way to get him on the show. Still a fun little match, as JYD had so much charisma, JYD dances with his mom after the match as the crowd is cheering for JYD. We go backstage to all the wrestlers together for a Mother’s Day party. Gene talks with JYD, Sheik, Volkoff and Blassie. Blassie introduces his mom, who looks about 20 years old; Lawler would steal the same shtick about 10 years later. Gene moves on to Hulk Hogan, who’s with his mother, and Cyndi Lauper and her mom along with Wendi Richter. Hilarious seeing the faces and heels in the same room, as Moolah comes storming in the room and says she wasn’t invited. Moolah gets in Lauper’s mom’s face and calls Lauper a scarecrow. Lauper and Richter throw Moolah and Gene into the cake, as Moolah throws cake at Lauper and falls on her ass. Gene throws it back to Jesse and Vince, as Vince asks Jesse what his highlight is. Jesse says seeing Orton and Piper annihilate Orndorff, as Jesse says Hulk victory was tainted and he broke every rule. Vince closes the show by thanking the fans, as Eye of the Tiger starts to play over the credits. Remember when wrestling shows ended with credits for all the people who do all the work, guess Vince wants all the credit for himself now.

Match Recap

1. Barry Windham, Mike Rotundo & Ricky Steamboat beat Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele in 6:30 3.5/5
2. Hulk Hogan beat Cowboy Bob Orton by disqualification in 6:54 3.5/5
3. Wendi Richter rolled up Fabulous Moolah in 4:00 2.75/5
4. JYD squashed Pete Doherty in3:15 2/5

Overall a great first episode of SNME, as this was the WWF’s first attempt at a TV Show on a network, and it came off really good. The matches may not have been spectacular, but they were entertaining, which back then was the important thing. Even JYD’s squash match was fun to watch, and honestly better than most matches currently in WWE. Maybe I just miss the old shows, but this was so much more fun to watch then this week’s RAW. It was just a bunch of fun matches with some goofy stuff in between and lots of entertainment. That’s all we ask of the WWE is entertain us damn it. Hope you enjoyed my first SNME recap, and episode 2 is coming up. Please leave feedback if you read this far, thanks.

Here’s some of the matches, courtesy of Youtube. Enjoy!

The opening 6-man tag in 2 parts

The World Title Match

The Womens Title Match

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