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WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #10 – March 14, 1987

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #10 – March 14, 1987

Welcome back to another classic recap, as we continue our journey through the SNME series. Tonight’s episode is one of my very favorites, as we continue the road to Wrestlemania III. This episode takes place 15 days before the biggest event of the year. With this year’s Wrestlemania taking place in the Pontiac Silverdome, and the expectation of one to largest audiences ever, Vince McMahon knew he had to book something huge. So, Vince decided the match that would sell out the Dome was going to be The World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant, who was undefeated in story line. Also in the story line was that they never faced, they did in the early 80s with Hulk as the heel, and that Andre had never been slammed, which he had been by Harley Race and Tony Atlas among others. So on an episode of Piper’s Pit, Hulk Hogan was presented a trophy for his three years as champ; next week Andre received a smaller trophy for being undefeated, the following week Jesse promised Piper he would deliver Andre the next week. The big day came, as Hulk, Piper and Jesse waited to find why Andre was so upset, Andre came out with hated Hogan rival Bobby Heenan. Hulk asked what he was doing and why, Andre said he had never been given a title shot, and proceeded to rip Hulk’s shirt and cross off. This put the wheels in motion for the biggest match in Wrestlemania history, as Hulk and Andre were ready to face off, but first they were going to meet in a twenty man battle royal on tonight’s show. Also in moments leading to Wrestlemania Jake Roberts, who hosted his show, called the Snake Pit, had newcomer Honky Tonk Man and manager Jimmy Hart on the show. HTM was scared of snakes, and Jake taunted him, causing HTM to run away, only to come up behind Jake and hit him with a guitar, turning Jake face in the process. Randy Savage & Ricky Steamboat continued their feud, which I covered in the last recap, and would finally face off one on one for the IC title at Wrestlemania, as Savage was still the IC title and was holding off the Animal, who would have one last chance tonight. In the tag team division, new champions were crowned on January 26th, as the Hart Foundation beat the British Bulldogs for the belts. However this match was not without controversy as referee Danny Davis, who had been favoring the heels for a few months now, allowed a large amount of double teaming from the Harts. At the start of the match Dynamite Kid was knocked out with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and spent the entire match on the floor, where Davis kept checking on. This allowed the Hart Foundation to destroy Davey Boy Smith and win the titles, in truth Dynamite had been having back issues and needed time off, so a title change was done. The following week president Jack Tunney suspended Danny Davis for life, and Jimmy Hart took Danny under his week and made him a member of the Foundation. This setup the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis v. The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana, who had been screwed out of his IC title last summer when Davis ignored Savage using a foreign object. One finally notable feud was between Adrian Adonis and Rowdy Roddy Piper, which has been featured in the last two SNMEs. Piper announced this would be his final match, and it would be hair v. hair, with the loser leaving bald. Also feuding were Hercules & Billy Jack Haynes over the full nelson, Harley Race & JYD over the crown, plus there had been issues between the former tag champions Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake, which would come to a head at Wrestlemania. With all this amazing history, this brings us to Saturday Night’s Main Event, from Detroit, Michigan!

Hulk Hogan opens the show and says in the battle royal, he has no friends and he plans to get a hold of Andre the Giant for ripping the cross off his neck. Hulk says it’s survival of the fittest and he’s focused on the Giant. Heenan and Andre say Hulk will have his eyes on Andre, but Andre will have his hands on Hulk. Elizabeth says tonight she is the prize in the Steele and Savage match, if Steele wins he gets the IC title and Elizabeth. Jimmy Hart and the new tag champions, promise tonight will be the first and last time their opponents will team up. Jake Roberts says Damien has not eaten in over a month, and will feast on King Kong Bundy. We go to our opening, which sadly has generic music, as this is from the 24/7 feed, curses.

Vince McMahon welcomes us to Detroit, and introduces Jesse Ventura, whose wearing snakeskin. Vince talks about Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant being in the battle royal tonight, and we go to Gene with Hulk. Hulk says people ask why he’s in the battle royal tonight and should wait, as we see Hulk getting his shirt ripped off by Andre. Hulk says he will go after Andre anytime, anyplace and doesn’t care if Heenan’s men come after him. Hulk hopes to take out Andre and the entire Heenan family tonight, as Gene sends it back to Vince. We now get a recap of Savage and Steele from last month, as Steele kidnapped Elizabeth at the SNME, and tonight’s match the winner gets Elizabeth. Gene is with Elizabeth and Randy Savage, as Gene asks Elizabeth is she’s scared of Steele doing something tonight. Savage cuts her off and says he’s the Macho Man and not scared, as Gene asks Savage if she’s something more? Savage snaps and threatens Gene, and promises to pin Steele and hurt him real bad, as he sends Elizabeth down the aisle. Gene says no, she has to go alone last, as that’s the rules, and Savage says rules were made to be broken, like Gene’s neck. Savage heads down the aisle, as Gene is with Elizabeth, and George comes in and says manager. Gene says she is the manager of Savage, Steele says George’s manager, as Gene tries to explain the rules as Steele leaves. Gene tells Elizabeth the entire nation is behind her, as she head to ring, and Gene sends in back to Vince. Jesse says Gene was checking out Elizabeth’s rear!!!

1. Randy Savage v. George Steele. I love it; Elizabeth is sitting at ringside in a lifeguard chair. Steele goes over to Elizabeth, and Savage nails him with the double ax handle from the top rope to the floor. Savage tries to send Elizabeth back, and Steamboat appears in the aisle and stops Savage. Savage gets back in the ring, and backs into Steele, who nails Savage and starts to gnaw on him, the rams him into the turnbuckle. Steele charges Savage headfirst into the corner, and continues pounding Savage, who blindly almost hits the ref. Steele decided to stop and have a snack, as he rips the buckle open, and Savage catches him from behind with a big knee. Macho slams the Animal, and climbs the ropes, connecting with the double ax handle, as Savage opens up on the Animal. Steele grabs Savage by the nose, and gets a handful of boogers, as he twists Savage’s nose and gets him in the corner. George comes off the ropes, as Savage goes for a clothesline and Steele bites the arm, and then lifts Savage in a choke. Steele goes to have another turnbuckle, and offers some to Savage and the ref then goes to help Elizabeth off the chair. Savage attacks from behind, and rams the Animal into the barricade and hits Steele with the chair. Savage rolls in as the ref continues the count, and Steele gets counted out. 2/5 not a great match, but this was the blow off to the over a year long feud between them, and we knew Savage couldn’t lose as they already announced Savage v. Steamboat for Mania. After the match, Steele throws the chair in and rolls in the ring, but Savage charges with the title; however Steele catches Savage and pummels him before throwing him over the top rope. Steele holds the IC title high, as Vince says Elizabeth must be crying her eyes out; Steele hugs a poster of Elizabeth as we go to commercial.

2. Twenty Men Battle Royal. Your participants are Hillbilly Jim, Outlaw Ron Bass, Sika, Haku, Tama, Lanny Poffo, Hercules, Butch Reed, Paul Orndorff, Billy Jack Haynes, Koko B Ware, Nikolai Volkoff, Blackjack Mulligan, Ax, Smash, Honky Tonk Man, Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Andre the Giant and World Champion Hulk Hogan. This is one my favorite battle royals ever, so I’m probably going to be very biased, but I can’t help it, I remember this one so well. Not going to be easy to recap this match, but I’ll try and point out the eliminations at best. Jesse says when he was active he hated these matches, because the chance for injury was way too high with too many people flailing around. Vince talks about Andre being undefeated for the last fifteen years, as Gene is standing by with Andre and Heenan. Gene calls Heenan the insurance policy, Heenan says Hulk has hid from Andre, and will hid behind the other eighteen tonight. Andre has four words, “Hulk, I want you”, as Gene sends it back to Vince, as we see the more combatants for the battle royal come out, and I’m still trying to figure out which Smash is in the ring, Barry Darsow or the former Moondog, Randy Colley. Hulkster comes out, and the match starts quickly, with people ganging up on Hogan. Honky looks funny with suspenders on, as he was still tweaking the character at this point, and winds up the first one eliminated by the Hulkster. As people try to gang up on Hulk and Andre, who both fight out of the corners and Andre tosses Sika out with ease, as Ron Bass & Mulligan in the corner. Andre rams Mulligan and Hillbilly Jim’s heads together, and eliminates future partner Haku. Andre stalks Hogan, but Poffo gets in the way and gets headbutted and tossed with one hand, and Poffo is split wide open! Killer Bees save Hogan from Bass and Hercules, as Andre sends one Bee across the ring and pummels Mulligan. Poffo has to be stretchered out, as Reed and Bass slug it out. Koko and Volkoff continue where they left off last month, as they are going at it. Hogan backdrops Ron Bass out of the ring, while the Bees work over Tama, and Demolition double team Hillbilly Jim. Andre hip tosses Blackjack out while Hogan eliminates Volkoff. Orndorff and Hogan resume their feud, as Blair goes flying thanks to Andre, who then stands on Koko B Ware. Orndorff and Hercules double team Hulk, while Andre has Hillbilly in the corner. Andre slams Hillbilly and Billy Jack together, as Herc whips Hulk into Andre and they face off and everyone stops. Hulk pounds Andre, and Demolition get in the middle. Hulk tosses Paul, but gets caught by Andre who headbutts Hogan and tosses the Champion with ease!!! We see the replay, as the refs pull Hogan backstage as we go to commercial. We come back, as Andre is yelling at Hulk to come back, and Koko goes after Andre, who just tosses his aside. Brunzell runs at Andre and gets tossed, but now the rest of the men in the ring go after Andre, and it takes eight men to eliminate Andre! Hercules tosses Tama, as Jim eliminates Ax and Smash (Colley) tosses Jim out. We’re down to five, Haynes, Reed, Koko, Smash and Hercules. Reed whips Koko, but misses a clothesline and Koko dropkicks him out! Final four now, as Heenan tells Herc not to trust anyone, as we pair off with Koko and Herc, and Haynes and Smash. Smash rams Haynes into the turnbuckle, which is missing thanks to Steele earlier. Hercules lifts and slams Koko with ease, and now Haynes is getting double teamed by Smash and Hercules. Herc and Smash measuring Hayes and just pummel the big man. Haynes whipped in, and jumps over Herc and clotheslines Smash out. We’re down to Haynes and Herc, as Haynes opens up on Hercules, Heenan jumps on the apron. Heenan distracts Haynes, and Herc dumps him out for the big win!!! 3.75/5 a fun battle royal that showcased all the talent at the time. Hogan being eliminated was classic as Vince sounded like he was going to cry, and Poffo bled like a stuck pig. Quite the battle, very enjoyable. Gene is standing by with Andre, Gene asks Andre about his thoughts. Andre says it took eight men to get rid of him, but it only took one to eliminate Hogan. Heenan comes in and says we did it, as he points out it took one Giant to toss that “big pile of blond garbage”, and says Hulk hid behind everyone. Heenan vows Andre will stay undefeated and will win the World Title at Wrestlemania, as we see the replay of Hulk being eliminated. Once again back to Gene with Jake Roberts, who says he’s facing 400 pounds of pork tonight, and Damien is really hungry tonight. Jake says it will be different, and he likes being different. Gene says Damien may wind up flat tonight no that was about 4 years later!

3. King Kong Bundy v. Jake Roberts. They lock up, and Jake with an armbar, but Bundy hammers his way out. Jake pulls back, and then comes right back and gets caught in the corner. Jake reverses, and Bundy runs out of the corner, due to Damien being in that corner. Jake with a side headlock and Bundy whips him in, Jake holds the ropes, angering the big man. Another lockup, and Bundy grabs the arm of Jake, Jake comes back with a series of knees on Bundy to break the hold. Jake goes for a test of strength with Bundy, and gets powered down easily, for a near fall. Jake kicks his way back up, and Bundy back on the Snake and rams him into the turnbuckle. Bundy hammers Jake in the corner, as Heenan cheers his man on, Bundy with a headlock to wear out Jake and hammers the back, Bundy whips Jake in, and Jake comes back with the kneelift. Jake with a series of rights and left to knock the big man down, and Jake goes for Damien, but Bundy grabs the ankle of Jake. Heenan suddenly strikes and grabs Damien and runs with him, Jake kicks Bundy off and chases Heenan down the aisle as we go to commercial. We come back, as Jake is coming back down the aisle with Damien and puts him back in the corner. Jake rolls back in, and Bundy stomps Jake, then whips Jake in and hits a vicious running clothesline. Bundy waits for Jake to get up, and runs over him once again; he waits for Jake and nails another shoulderblock. As Jake gets up, Bundy runs at him again, and Jake avoids contact as Bundy hits the turnbuckles! Jake back up and opens up on the big man, and hits a running clothesline. Jake goes for Damien, and the ref tries to stop him and gets a knee to the stomach, drawing a DQ. 3/5 was a good match, till the cheap ending. After the match Bundy continues to pound on Jake and slams him down, Bundy off the ropes goes to drop and elbow, but Jake rolls out of the way. Jake nails Bundy with the DDT, knocking the big man out cold, and now goes for Damien as the crowd is going crazy. Heenan helps Bundy get out of the ring, as the ref stops Jake, who throws Damien on the ref, as Bundy and Heenan run down the aisle. We now get highlights of the Hart Foundation winning the tag team titles from January, as Gene is standing by with the Hart Foundation. Gene says if it wasn’t for Davis, the Bulldogs would still be champions, Jimmy says tonight they will have a ref at ringside, Danny Davis who comes out in referee stripes!

4. Hart Foundation v. Tito Santana & Danny Spivey. Spivey would later play the character Waylon Mercy, which was cool gimmick, but at this point was basically a jobber. Tito was looking for tag partner, and basically floated through the midcard till teaming with Rick Martel in the summer of 87. Spivey and Neidhart start out, and Spivey with a side headlock gets whipped in and catches Neidhart in a cross body for a quick near fall. Spivey whipped in, but Neidhart clotheslines Spivey down, but Spivey back up atomic drops Neidhart in his corner. Neidhart tags Bret in, and Spivey continues the offense, and tags Tito, as they double team Bret. Tito whipped in, Bret leapfrogs, turns around and gets slammed. Spivey back in with a nice shoulderblock, and a cover but Anvil breaks it, and Hart tags in Anvil. Anvil pounds on Spivey and hotshots Danny down. Bret tagged back in, as they work over Spivey, Hart with a sideslam, and Neidhart tagged in and catapulted on top of Spivey for a near fall. Hart tagged back in, and they double team Spivey again, as Bret chokes Spivey, Tito tries to save his partner, and this gives Hart Foundation a chance to double team. Spivey tries to tag, but Bret with a facelock holds Spivey. Spivey tags Tito, but Neidhart had the ref distracted, so it didn’t count. Neidhart holds Spivey, while the ref tries to get Tito back in the corner, Bret off the ropes and Spivey moves and Bret hits Neidhart. Spivey makes the tag, and Tito whips Bret chest first into the buckle, and dropkicks Neidhart and punches Davis. Santana nails Bret with the flying forearm, and applies a figure four, as Davis has the megaphone, the ref distracted by Anvil and Spivey; Davis hits Tito with the megaphone. Bret covers Danny Spivey for the win. 2.75/5 basically just a chance to show off the new champions, and give Davis a chance to interfere. Was good for what is was, but not great. Gene with Steamboat now, as he asks Steamboat about his injury from Savage. Steamboat says he knows people go after his injury, but he breathes fire.

5. Ricky Steamboat v. Iron Sheik. Before the match Savage appears on the ring apron and wants Steamboat, as the refs try to send Savage to the back. Sheik jumps Dragon and chokes him down, as Savage joins Vince and Jesse. Sheik rams Dragon into his curly boots, and whips him over the top, but Dragon comes back in, slides under Sheik and hits a belly to back Suplex. Steamboat with a chop, takes the former champion down, and clamps on a side headlock. Sheik whips him in and Steamboat back with a shoulderblock. Off the ropes again, and Sheik with a nice leapfrog, but Steamboat with an armdrag, then into a rear chinlock. Both men wind up outside, and Steamboat rammed into the vintage wooden stairs. Sheik back in and poses, as Steamboat slowly comes in, Sheik catches him and Suplexes him back in. Sheik was still an amazing wrestler at this point, as Steamboat tries to fire back, but Sheik with an abdominal stretch. Ricky tries to get the crowd fired up, and hiptosses Sheik over, and drops a knee, then slams Sheik. Steamboat to the top rope, and hits a chop across the head of Sheik for the win! 3.25/5 for a quick match, this was very good, along with Savage on commentary. Two of my favorites in one match, makes for a good match!! Savage points at Steamboat and throws down the headset and takes off his jacket. Steamboat tells Savage to come in the ring, and Savage picks up the chair, as Steamboat tries to make his way to the announce booth. Back to Gene with Hulk Hogan in the showers, and we can still hear water running, or Hogan’s peeing! Hulk says you don’t stab fans and friends in the back to be a Champ, he asks if Andre’s life was a lie. Hulk says he had a chance to test the fifteen years of undefeated obesity, whatever that means! Hulk says next time they lock up, Andre will feel the power of Hulk-a-maniacs, and Andre needs to face him face to face. Gene sends it back to Vince and Jesse, as we go to commercial. When we come back, we get a nice tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper, set to Frank Sinatra’s classic “My Way”, one of the best tributes ever. Piper talks about how wrestling kept him out of jail, and he loves the business but wants to give 110% to acting. Vince and Jesse recap the night, as Jesse says Andre got the best of Hogan tonight, and Vince calls it a cheap shot. They thank the crowd and close the show, as we get generic music showing Hulk being eliminated from the Battle Royal.

Match Recap

1. Randy Savage beat George Steele by countout in 4:30 2/5
2. Hercules won a twenty man battle royal in 11:16 3.75/5
3. King Kong Bundy beat Jake Roberts by DQ in 6:14 3/5
4. The Hart Foundation beat Danny Spivey & Tito Santana in 5:31 2.75/5
5. Ricky Steamboat pinned Iron Sheik in 3:29 3.25/5

Surprisingly it held up well, twenty three years later. The Savage/Steele match was good for what it was, and ended the lengthy feud and built Savage/Steamboat up. The Battle Royal was lots of fun to watch and nice seeing lots of the current stars at one time. Bundy/Jake was ok, but could’ve been better with an actual ending, not like Bundy losing would’ve done much to him. Could’ve had HTM even get involved, something decisive. The Tag match was ok, but better opponents would’ve been nice. They should have had Tito and Spivey in the battle royal and Harts v. Islanders for the match. Steamboat/Sheik was a good match, between two of my favorite wrestlers, and continued to add heat to the Steamboat/Savage feud, which would go on to be the greatest match in Wrestlemania history! This show did a great job building up some of the hot feuds for Wrestlemania. Our next SNME comes to us about five weeks after Wrestlemania III, and is headlined by the rematch for the tag titles, should be great. See you tomorrow with the RAW report!

Savage/Steele

Battle Royal

Bundy/Roberts

Harts/Spivey & Santana

Steamboat/Sheik

Piper Tribute

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