Chris' Blog

Saturday Night’s Main Event – January 4, 1986

With the start of the new year the WWF kicks it off with Saturday Night’s Main Event. The WWF was about a year into it’s biggest boom of all time, as we’re about nine months removed from the inaugural Wrestlemania and three months away from Wrestlemania II. Hulk-a-Mania has dominated the WWF for almost two years and was showing no signs of slowing down, meanwhile Tito Santana had what he thought was firm grasp on the WWF Intercontinental Title. In the tag team scene the Dream Team had been running roughshod over the over teams including the Killer Bees and The New US Express, but a new team was getting ready to take over. As 1986 begins we start heading into the build up to Wrestlemania, but the show really doesn’t take shape till the next show, however we do have a Terry Funk versus Hulk Hogan match to headline, so that should be amazing.

We’re coming from Florida as Hulk Hogan as at poolside with Mene Gene and making a drink of some sort. Hulk says it’s Python Protein Drink, and gives it to Gene who drinks it and can’t stop posing. We see the Hillbillies floating in the pool and Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura surrounded by bikini babes as we go to the classic SNME opening video. Vince McMahon welcomes us to SNME and Florida and says we will have more fun in the sun but first let’s go over tonight’s matches. We got a Peace Match, a Tag Match, and the World Heavyweight Title match. Jesse joins Vince and talks about how he was attacked by the Hillbillies at the last SNME and tonight he has partners to take out the Hillbillies. Jesse makes a bunch of sports references and Vince says he’s glad not to have Jesse on commentary. Jesse says he has a replacement and brings out Bobby Heenan, who makes his SNME commentary debut. Heenan says he hopes he can live up to Jesse’s high standards as they send it to Mene Gene. Gene is with Roddy Piper and Bob Orton, as Piper makes fun of the Hillbillies and says he’s not worried about them. Piper says they started it and Jesse pats Gene on the head and says the Hillbillies are going down as we go to our first match.

1. Roddy Piper, Bob Orton & Jesse Ventura v. Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer & Cousin Luke

Sadly no “Don’t Go Messing With a Country Boy” as they get generic fiddle music instead, that sucks. Bobby says they should be forced to wear wrestling gear not the overalls, as Jesse and Elmer start. Jesse rakes the eyes and clobbers the bigger man, Elmer fights back and staggers Jesse. Jesse bounces off the turnbuckle and gets chokes then rammed into Jim’s boot. Jim tagged in and into the side headlock, Jesse fires him in and gets a knee in then brings in Piper. Piper allows a tag and Luke in, Piper offers a handshake and Luke kicks him in the gut but gets caught in the corner. Orton tagged in and a double elbow takes down Luke, Piper back in and they double team Luke. Piper spits at Jim and drives Luke into Orton’s boot, Orton tagged back in and peppers Luke, who headbutts Orton but Jesse tags himself in. Jesse with a snapmare and then steps on Luke’s face before tagging Piper back in. Piper slaps Luke and the pokes him in the eye as the heels continue with fast tags to stun Luke. Luke finally overpowers Orton and tags in Jim, but the ref missed it thanks to Jesse. Piper in but misses and Elmer gets the legal tag and a slugfest ensues and Elmer with a bearhug but Piper rakes the eyes and all six men are in. The heels bail out quickly as we go to commercial, we come back and and all six still brawling as Heenan blames the Hillbillies for causing this. Order restored as Piper headbutts Jim who shrugs it off and cranks the arm of Piper. Piper paintbrushes Jim who works the arm harder but Piper makes it to his corner and they triple team Jim. Jesse in and unloads on Jim, the heels go back to the fast tags but Jim fights free and tags in Luke who hammers Piper and takes out all the heels. Luke goes for a slam but Piper slides behind and locks on the sleeper. All six in again and Elmer crushes Jesse in the corner as Orton cracks Luke with the cast and the referee misses it. The referee counts out Luke via the sleeper and the heels quickly bail out with the cheap win. 3/5 a fun six man that was actually a lot better then expected given that the Hillbillies were not great and Jesse was pretty much retired. They kept it at a fast pace with lots of chaos and fast tags to maintain the excitement, nice start to the show.

1. Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura and Bob Orton defeat Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer & Cousin Luke ***

Jesse joins Heenan and Vince and says he thinks he was amazing and Vince could be replaced by Heenan. Jesse would love to see Vince unemployed as we go back to Gene outside at a water slide. Jimmy Hart facing Junkyard Dog in a water slide challenge, Jimmy says he can’t out wrestle him but he’s going to prove he’s a better man. Jimmy gets screwed as Dog goes first and wins, as Jesse is furious about that as he heads to poolside with Terry Funk. Funk says tonight he’s going to beat Hulk Hogan and he wants a tan for the cover of Sports Illustrated and he’s going to fry Hogan with his branding iron. We get a clip from Denver as Hulk faces Funk and had the match won but Jimmy distracts the ref and Funk smashes Hogan with the branding iron to get the countout victory. Terry then brands Hogan, and claims he’s the champion. Gene is with Hogan in the arena, and Hogan has no scars from the branding iron, how’s that happen? Wait, is the branding iron fake? Hogan says tonight he has someone to prevent Jimmy Hart from interfering as he brings in his corner man, Junkyard Dog and they head to the ring.

2. Hulk Hogan v. Terry Funk

Junkyard Dog grabs Jimmy and forces him into a chair at ringside and tells him not to move as Funk gets in the ring. They lock up and in the corner, Hogan shoots Funk out and hits the corner clothesline sending Funk to the floor. Funk slowly gets back in the ring and another lockup and Funk unloads with chops but Hulk shoots him in and trips Funk then clotheslines him over the top rope. Junkyard chases Jimmy back to his chair as Funk staggers back in the ring. Hogan with the side headlock and gets shot in, Funk drops down and Hogan runs over him before kicking him to the outside. Funk rolls to the cement and throws a chair in the ring, Hulk catches it and sits down. Funk again gets back in the ring and chops Hogan across the chest, but Hulk reverses and hammers the challenger in the corner then tosses him to the opposite corner, Funk over the ropes to the apron and Hulk brings him back in the hard way. Hogan with a belly to back suplex for the pin and gets two, Funk comes back with headbutts and a side headlock and kicks Hogan in the groin which the ref misses. Funk climbs the ropes but Hogan shakes the ropes and Funk lands groin first on the turnbuckle. Hogan with an atomic drop and a headbutt, then sends Funk in, Hogan with the clothesline and a big elbow drop. Hogan gets sent in and Hart grabs the leg, Hogan goes after him and he’s cornered by the Junkyard Dog so he runs under the ring. Hogan gets back in and Funk has something around Hulk’s neck and is choking him out, Hart distracts the ref and Funk tosses the rope aside. Funk hits the piledriver and covers for the near fall, as Jesse screams it was a slow count and Funk was screwed. Funk stomps on Hogan who begins to Hulk up and Funk jabs at Hogan who comes back with the rights. Irish whip and a big elbow then the big boot which sends Funk to the apron, Hulk with the suplex and Jimmy nails Hogan, Funk falls on top for the near fall as Hogan has a foot on the ropes. Junkyard Dog nails Jimmy which distracts Funk, who turns around and eats a clothesline from Hogan and gets pinned. 3.5/5 a chaotic brawl which was much faster paced then the normal Hogan match as Funk was hardcore before hardcore was cool.

2. Hulk Hogan pinned Terry Funk ***1/2

Mene Gene is with World Champion Hulk Hogan who tells Terry Funk he has not had enough and to come back. Junkyard Dog says he is Deputy Dog as we see Terry Funk dragging Jimmy backstage. We get clips of George Steele first getting shock treatment and then at the zoo, and now playing in the water with Captain Lou Albano. Gene asks if he’s ready for tonight and Lou says he’s ready to go. Jesse is with Randy Savage and Elizabeth, and they are up high above a pool. Savage says he is not scared of an animal and he’s going to teach Elizabeth to swim as the throws her in the pool. Good reason to put Elizabeth in a bathing suit.

3. Randy Savage v. George Steele

This is the first match between them and George goes right over to Elizabeth and rubs his head on her. Albano pulls Steele away from Elizabeth, sad that all four in this match are dead, that’s just depressing. The bell rings and Savage quickly bails out as he’s not sure what to make of Steele, as they finally lock up and Steele bites him and tosses Savage over the top to the cement floor. Steele gives chase but gets distracted by Elizabeth, Savage on the top rope breaks Steele from his spell as Albano yells at him to focus on the match. Steele gets caught in the corner but he fights out with a big punch and a couple kicks to send Savage outside, Savage pulls Steele out and they slug it out. Savage runs from Steele and pulls Elizabeth in front of him, Steele chases Savage back in and slams Savage before eating the turnbuckle, then feeds a handful to Savage who rolls out. Steele is covered in the stuffing but again distracted by Elizabeth, this allows Savage to hit the double ax handle and covers for the win, even though Steele’s leg is under the rope. 1.5/5 a lot of stalling and running with little in ring action, as expected from Steele. Although it’s always nice to see a Savage match, and Elizabeth looked amazing as she always did.

3. Randy Savage pinned George Steele *1/2

We now get a recap video of 1985, which shows clips of all sorts of awesome footage from 1985 including Hogan, Mr T, Bob Orton, Roddy Piper, Junkyard Dog, Andre and many others. Sadly the original music has been removed and it’s some generic soft rock garbage. Jesse is furious as he is missing in the video and blames Vince McMahon and Dick Ebersol. Gene is with Nikolai Volkoff and Fred Blassie, Nikolai says Russians are peaceful and this is the first step. Iron Sheik pops up just to spout his usual catchphrase and Blassie gets cut off. We get a video of Corporal Kirchner and then we see him do a zip line.

4. Nikolai Volkoff v. Corporal Kirchner

Nikolai asks us to all rise for his singing of the Soviet National Anthem and it’s just glorious, but then gets cut off by Kirchner and his music. They shake hands before the bell and circle each other, a lock up and into the ropes and we get a clean break. Another lockup and to the ropes for another clean break, as they promised to keep this clean and scientific as Volkoff with rear take down, but Kirchner rolls through to an armbar. Volkoff breaks but gets caught in a side headlock takeover, Volkoff tries to power out but Kirchner holds his own and into the ropes for a surprising clean break. Volkoff with another rear take down into a bridge for a near fall. Volkoff goes for a slam but Kirchner reverses into the sunset flip which he botches, in the corner for another clean break. Jesse is stunned by how clean this has been as Kirchner back to the side headlock into a hammerlock, Volkoff breaks and does a nice cartwheel. Volkoff off the ropes gets caught back in the hammerlock, but Volkoff goes for a slam and Kirchner counters to a small package. Into the ropes and this time Volkoff with a low headbutt and backbreaker before dropping the knee across the face for the win. 3.25/5 a much better match then I expect, as Kirchner was really not that bad in the ring. Volkoff had a lot of talent and ability for his size, and the cartwheel was very impressive. After the match Kirchner attacks Sheik and Volkoff, slamming Sheik and then slams their heads together cleaning the ring.

4. Nikolai Volkoff pins Corporal Kirchner ***1/4

We get a clip of Ricky Steamboat being hung by Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji from a house show. We then go to Gene with Don & Fuji, Don says he’s not worried as Fuji talks about eating dogs, gross. After the heels head to the ring, Gene is with Steamboat and Junkyard Dog, and Gene says Steamboat has been attacked constantly to which Steamboat says he has not been beaten though.

5. Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog v. Don Muraco & Mr. Fuji

Steamboat and Dog come out to Grab Them Cakes, as Fuji & Muraco wait patiently. After the commercial we have all four slugging it out in the ring and Fuji tosses Steamboat. Muraco works over the Dog, as Fuji slams Steamboat on the cement. Muraco gets whipped in and backdropped, but Dog misses the headbutt and Fuji tagged in. Fuji goes for the karate moves but Dog slams him and Fuji begs off, but Dog keeps a hold of him. Fuji jabs him in the throat and tags Muraco who gets slammed, Muraco staggers into the wrong corner and gets blasted by Steamboat. Dog with the headbutt and Muraco falls into his corner, tagging in Fuji who chops and kicks Dog down. Muraco back in and unloads on Dog but a piledriver attempt doesn’t go well. Fuji back in and drops the headbutt to the lower midsection before making another tag. Been all Fuji & Muraco as Dog is getting destroyed, Dog to the corner but Muraco misses the charge and Steamboat finally in. Steamboat chops Muraco in the corner and a shot for Fuji as well. Steamboat with an enziguri gets a near fall, Muraco slingshot into Fuji. Flying bodypress from Steamboat gets a near fall as Fuji saves the match, Dog tagged back in and headbutts Fuji for three. 2/5 was a fast paced and short match, which saved it. Would’ve been better just Muraco versus Steamboat, but still watchable.

5. Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog pinned Don Muraco & Mr Fuji **

Vince says we had fun in the sun, and Jesse says it was a great night. Jesse says the greatest thing tonight was Jesse being the first commentator to step in the ring. Vince thanks everyone and wishes the viewers a happy new year. We get the closing video with the wrong highlights, it’s the highlights from the first Saturday Night’s Main Event and not this one, that’s a major mistake on the network.


1. Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura and Bob Orton defeat Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer & Cousin Luke ***

2. Hulk Hogan pinned Terry Funk ***1/2

3. Randy Savage pinned George Steele *1/2

4. Nikolai Volkoff pins Corporal Kirchner ***1/4

5. Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog pinned Don Muraco & Mr Fuji **

Saturday Night’s Main Event continues to put together a great show with a solid mix of matches featuring all the big stars. That’s what made this show so good in the day, it was the only way to see the stars facing each other and any of the champions, unlike now where we see the same matches for months. This was a solid show with some good quality matches, so much fun to relive classic shows like this and see when wrestling was at it’s most fun. We’re continuing the Saturday Night’s Main Event fun as that is what is coming up next, with the big build to Wrestlemania II taking place and then Wrestlemania II follows. Should be a fun next few shows, undecided on watching the AWA Wrestlerock show, never seen it before so I might follow Wrestlemania II with that.


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