WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event (March 1, 1986)


Saturday Night Live will not be seen tonight so we can bring you this special previously taped presentation of Saturday Night’s Main Event. Saturday Night Live will return next week with John Lithgow and Mr. Mister…

We begin tonight with Mr. T working over a heavy bag. Mean Gene shows up to ask him about his upcoming match tonight with Bob Orton. Mr. T calls Mean Gene a fool for interrupting a man during his workout and then says that when he gets done with Bob Orton he’s going to look like Mean Gene.

We get the opening video package and then go to our hosts for the evening: Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Vince sort of stumbles through a rundown of the card. We got two big championship matches tonight. Don Muraco going up against Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship and the British Bulldogs will face the Dream Team for the Tag Team titles.

We also have King Kong Bundy in action against Steve Gatorwolf, Adrian Adonis going up against the Junkyard Dog, and Mr. T taking on Bob Orton in a boxing match, plus the world premiere of Hulk Hogan’s new music video.

Meanwhile in February of 1986…

Hulk Hogan shows up on Piper’s Pit to answer Bob Orton’s open challenge to face anyone who’s ever competed in the WWF in a boxing match. Bob Orton has about a million nicknames. Here on top of the standard issue “Ace,” “Cowboy,” and “Ace Cowboy,” he’s  also “Battling” Bob Orton and “Boxing” Bob Orton.

Hogan says his friend wants a shot at Orton. Piper is amazed that Hogan has a friend, but allows him to sign the contract nonetheless. Piper looks at the contract and is shocked to see the name on the line is none other than Mr. T!

“I pity you fool!” shouts Hulk Hogan.

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

Geno is standing by with Ace Cowboy Battling Boxing Bob Orton and Roddy Piper. Piper mocks Mr. T for being seen in public with Boy George and says that he’s no hero to the children.

“This ain’t Rocky 148 brother!” shouts Roddy Piper.

Meanwhile Backstage…

T’s getting his fists taped up. We see some footage recorded from early today with Mr. T sparring with a dude and then get an interview Mean Gene conducted with Mr. T. T predicts that Orton won’t last two or three rounds with him and promises to “knock that chump out.”

Mean Gene decides to talk some shit to Mr. T and begins, “We saw you in Rocky III…”

Mr. T cuts him off to say, “That was just a movie man! This is real!”

Mr. T owns so hard here as he continues to go off on Mean Gene and shout about knocking fools out.

Match 1: Bob Orton (w/ Roddy Pipper) vs. Mr. T
Boxing Match

Piper taunts Mr. T before the bell and Orton attacks T before the bell while he has his back turned. The bell rings and the match gets underway. Orton and T trade punches. On occasion Orton grabs T while they’re in the ropes or in the corner.

This causes Ventura to declare at one point, “That’s what I’m looking for…a little rough stuff in the corner.”

Towards the end of the round Orton thumbs Mr. T in the eye. The ref has trainers check on T. T insists he’s good to go and the match restarts with T hammering away on Orton until the bell rings, signalling the end of the round. As Mr. T turns his back to Orton to head back to his corner, Orton, ever the dastardly heel, cheapshots him.

The second round begins with Orton acting cocky. Mr. T takes control so Piper gets up on the apron to distract the ref. Orton knees T in the gut and starts clubbering on him. The dudes in Mr. T’s corner are screaming at the ref, thus further distracting him and allowing Orton to hold T up so Piper can take a swing at him.

Mr. T ducks and Piper inadvertently takes out Orton. T runs wild and knocks Piper off the apron and then catches Orton with a haymaker that sends him flying over the top rope. A bit later Orton rolls back into the ring but the bell rings and Mr. T is declared the winner. I’m not certain if Orton got counted out or was considered to be knocked out from the punch…either way he couldn’t answer the ten count and T won.

Post-match Piper strips down to his wrestling trunks and gets in the ring to have a face off with Mr. T. Orton attacks T from behind and he and Piper proceed to double team Mr. T. Piper then begins to whip Mr. T with his belt.

“It’s like Roots 2!” says Jesse Ventura, just in case you were wondering if this was racist or not.

Mr. T’s cornermen come in with stools to make the save and run off Piper and Orton. They help T to his feet, but he immediately goes after them.

Winner: Mr. T

The actually boxing was pretty mediocre, but compared to the Brawl For All shit I’ve been watching as of late it was fantastic. That being said the post match attack was really well done and lead directly to the match between Piper and Mr. T at WrestleMania 2 which was always one of my favorites as a small lad. [**]

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

Mean Gene has Mr. T with him and asks, “What happened out there?”

Mr. T is irate to say the least and calls out Mean Gene’s dumbass question, “YOU SAW WHAT HAPPENED!” T goes on to say that he hasn’t gotten a whuppin’ like that since his mother laid into him when he was six years old. Mr. T yells about wanting Piper a bunch of times and then ends the interview by telling Mean Gene, “Shut up fool!” and walking off. I love Mr. T so much.

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

We’re back to Mean Gene who is now standing by with Bobby Heenan and King Kong Bundy. He wants to ask about Bundy’s upcoming match with Steve Gatorwolf, but Heenan and Bundy just yell about Hogan before saying that they’ll meet their contractual obligations in the ring tonight.

Match 2: Steve Gatorwolf vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Bundy goes right after Gatorwolf at the bell, smashing him with forearms. Bundy hits the Avalanche and then goes for the pin. ONE! TWO! THREE!

“FIVE!” screams Bundy as he hold up five fingers.

FOUR! FIVE! The bell rings, King Kong Bundy has won the match. He grabs the mic out of the ring announcer’s hand before he can announce the official results of the match and calls out Hogan before throwing the mic and heading to the back.

Winner: King Kong Bundy

A pretty standard issue (and this time quite literal) squash match. It did it’s job of making Bundy look like a monster and laying the seeds for an eventual match between Hogan and Bundy. [NR]

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

Okerlund’s got Don Muraco with him looking a bit flustered. He says that he’s annoyed that Mr. Fuji can’t be with him at ringside because he has the flu and promptly blames Hogan for it. Gene asks if it’s the Asian flu or the Hong Kong flu. Don Muraco sarcastically laughs at Gene’s casual racism.

“Does that mean you’ll be facing Hogan alone tonight?” asks Gene.

Muraco will not because Mr. Fuji arranged for a replacement his corner tonight. Bobby Heenan shows up as the replacement manager and talks some shit about Hogan.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Mr. Fuji, still in a suit and bowler hat, is laying down with an ice pack on his head and a hot water bottle on his gut. He moans and that’s the end of it.

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

Mean Gene interviews Hogan before he heads down to the ring. Hogan thinks that something fishy is going on with Fuji and Heenan and Muraco, but it doesn’t matter because he’s got thousands of Hulkamaniacs in the building watching his back.

Match 3: Don Muraco (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Hulk Hogan (c)

It’s time for Hulk Hogan’s mandatory 30 day title defense! Hogan comes out to “Real American,” decked out in yellow and red which has been a rarity during these Saturday Night’s Main Events (his knee pads are white instead of red though).

The match begins with Muraco raking Hogan’s back and laying into him with forearms and rights. Muraco goes for an Irish whip, but Hogan reverses it and backdrops Muraco and then proceeds to rake Muraco’s back a bunch of times, because Hogan doesn’t know how to wrestle as a babyface. He proves this when he randomly punches Bobby Heenan in the face for being up on the ring apron.

Hogan clotheslines Muraco in the corner and then hits him with an ATOMIC DROP that is so powerful that in causes Muraco to go up over the top rope and out to the floor. Hogan goes out after him and after some ringside fisticuffs Hogan rolls him back into the ring where the two proceed to have a center ring slugfest.

Hogan get Muraco in a bearhug that lasts a decade and a half before Muraco breaks free with a headbutt that sends Hogan to the mat. Muraco proceeds to kick Hogan a few times in the ribs and then scores a near fall after hitting Hogan with a kneedrop.

Muraco hit Hogan in the dick with a falling headbutt and then follows up with a Russian leg sweep. Muraco then goes up to the second rope and hits an Asian spike which Ventura says is the perfect set up for the piledriver. Muraco goes for a cover but only gets a two count. Hogan kicks out and begins to HULK UP.

He hits an elbow and the big boot and goes for the pin, but Heenan runs in and hits Hogan to cause a DQ. Hogan takes umbrage with this and grabs Heenan by the throat and hoists him up into the air, but King Kong Bundy hits the ring and attacks Hogan from behind.

Muraco gets Hogan by the wrists in the corner as Bundy hits him with four avalanches that lay Hogan out. The heels are not done though and Bundy hits a pair of splashes on the now prone Hogan (one to the front and one to the back) before the heels leave. Hogan is twitching in the ring as some referees, the British Bulldogs, and Pedro Morales hit the ring to check on Hogan and we go to break.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

The match was a sub-par 1980s Hulk Hogan match, but the post match beatdown was one of the finest beatdowns the WWE has ever done. Hogan was an unstoppable force, so to see him manhandled like this was completely shocking. This match, of course, would be the main impetus for the main event of WrestleMania 2 which was about a month away. [**]

Meanwhile in the Ring…

We return from break to see Hogan gets put on a stretcher with a neckbrace and is wheeled out of the arena to an ambulance waiting in the back. Okerlund tries to get word on Hogan’s condition and figure out what hospital he’s going to. Gorilla Monsoon is there yelling at people to get out of the way. He ends up riding in the back of the ambulance with Hogan.

Meanwhile With Mean Gene Earlier in the Day…

We get a pre-recorded interview with the tag team champions and their manager at the entrance way to the arena. They talk about how they got beat by the Bulldogs, but how it was a non-title match so they didn’t care. That match gave them a chance to scout out the Bulldogs so now they were ready for them.

Meanwhile in February 1986…

We get highlights from the aforementioned non-title match won by the British Bulldogs.

Match 4: The British Bulldogs (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. The Dream Team (c) (w/ Johnny Valiant)

The Tag Team Championship is on the line here as The British Bulldogs and The Dream Team face off. The Dream Team come out to “We Are the Champions.” Vince McMahon does not seem to know who or what Queen are much to the disgust of Jesse Ventura.

Davey Boy and Valentine start off. Davey hits an atomic drop on Valentine that sends him into a headbutt from Dynamite Kid. Smith hits a headbutt of his own that sends Valentine to the mat.

Valentine heads out to the apron but Smith suplexes him back into the ring. The Bulldogs hits a double shoulder block on Valentine and Dynamite Kid follows up with headbutt that sends Valentine face first to the mat once more.

Valentine makes the tag, but Beefcake can’t get much going. Dyanmite beats on him for a bit before tagging out. Smith comes in and works over Beefcake’s arm for a bit before Beefcake makes the tag. Valentine comes in and is promptly press slammed by Smith and pinned for a near fall.

Dynamite is back in. He wrecks Valentine’s shit with a belly to back suplex that he follows up with a falling headbutt that’s good for two. Kid heads up to the middle rope and hits a flying knee drop. The champs seem to be in trouble.

Davey Boy Smith tags in and he and Valentine have a STRONG STYLE forearm battle. Smith decides he’s had enough of this elbow strike bullshit and drops Valentine with a dropkick that he follows up with an inside cradle that’s good for two.

Dynamite Kid is tagged back in and proceeds to murder Valentine with chops, but he gets cut off by Valentine who hits an INVERTED ATOMIC DROP. Valentine makes it back to his corner and tags in Beefcake.

Outside, Albano and Valiant have and altercation. This brings both teams out to support their respective managers as we go to commercials. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We come back from break as Dynamite Kid hits Beefcake with a missile dropkick. Smith hits a splash on Beefcake that earns him a two count. Beefcake fights back and makes the tag to Valentine. The champs stomp on Davey Boy and Valentine gets Smith in the Figure Four. Dynamite Kid comes in to break it up with a legdrop.

Valentine elbows Dynamite in the head and then heads up to the second rope and hits a flying elbow drop. Valentine makes the cover but only gets a two count. He hits a shoulder breaker for another near fall and then tags in Beefcake.

The Dream Team double teams Dynamite for a bit and Beefcake goes for another pin but Dynamite Kid kicks out at two. Valentine tags back in and drops the hammer! ONE! TWO! NO!

Valentine tries for the figure four again but Dynamite Kid kicks him off and sends Valentine headfirst into the top turnbuckle. Valentine heads up top but gets cut off by Dynamite Kid who brings him into the ring the hard way.

Kid goes up top himself and hits a missile dropkick on Valentine and makes the cover. Valentine manages to get his foot on the bottom rope at two. Both men are back to their feet. Dynamite Kid has a full head of steam and hits a running clothesline that takes Valentine out of his boots. Dynamite goes for another pin attempt. ONE! TWO! NO!

Dynamite Kid hits a snap suplex, but The Bootyman makes the save which brings in Davey Boy Smith. Smith takes out Beefcake with a dropkick to the outside. Back in the ring Valentine goes for a shoulder block but collides with the Dynamite Kid. Both men are out cold and collapse to the mat.

ONE! TWO! THREE! Valentine’s leg had apparently landed on top of Dynamite Kid when the two men got knocked out so he was therefore pinning him.

After the match, Beefcake attempts to revive Valentine.

Winners: The Dream Team

This was a fantastic tag team match. The Bulldogs dominated the match and the only reason the Dream Team retained the titles was because of a fluke collision. Why doesn’t the WWE do endings like this any more? This is way better than the random distraction roll up spot they seem to love so much now.

Like the first three matches on the card this would set up an encounter for WrestleMania 2, and the ending to this one really got the fans to buy into the idea that the Bulldogs, if given one more chance, could beat the Dream Team for the belts [***⅝]

Meanwhile at the Hospital…

Gene Okerlund is outside the hospital awaiting word on Hulk Hogan’s condition. He’s not allowed to go in or bring in cameras or audio equipment, but promises to give a report if there’s any new information.

Meanwhile All Over the United States…

We get a shot of the crowd as Vince, from off camera says that one of the reasons Hogan was here tonight was debut he’s new music video, “Real America.” He may not be in the building anymore due to the heinous attack from King Kong Bundy, but the show must go on…

Earlier This Evening With Mean Gene…

Mean Gene interviewed Adorable Adrian Adonis and Jimmy Hart about their upcoming match against the JYD.  Gene asks about Adonis’ black eye which causes Adonis to talk about walking up one morning and being “Mrs. Adonis.” I think the reality was Adonis was a dick to people and Dan Spivey kicked this shit out of him backstage, but I might be wrong.

He also talks about fighting German Shepherds and Jimmy Hart says that they’ve got a big surprise for JYD tonight in their match.

Match 5: Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog

Dog comes out to “Another One Bites the Dust.” There’s a dude ringside facing the hard camera with a huge sign that says, “Junk the Fag.” Oh the 80s!

The match begins with JYD backing Adonis into the corner and then tossing him halfway across the ring using Adonis’ own sashes. Junkyard Dog whips Adonis into the corner, causing the Adorable One to hit the ringpost shoulder first.

JYD headbutts Adonis causing him to get tied up in the ropes. Adonis gets free and is standing on the apron so JYD brings him in the hard way. The JYD turns Adonis inside out with a clothesline and goes for a cover, getting a two count.

Adonis starts to mount a comeback and demurely slaps JYD. The Dog then proceeds to whip Adonis into the corner, causing him to flip over the turnbuckle Ric Flair style and land outside of the ring on the concrete floor.

Adonis huddles with Hart on the outside so JYD just headbutts Hart, causing both the Mouth of the South and Adrian Adonis to go into the steel guardrail. The crowd is solidly behind the JYD and chanting for him as he pulls Adonis into the ring. Hart attempts to pull Adonis back out, but ends up getting pulled into the ring by the Dog.

JYD levels Adonis with a headbutt and then goes after JYD who hauls ass. The Junkyard Dog catches Jimmy Hart and whips him into Adrian Adonis, causing both men to go over the top rope and bump hard on the concrete floor below.

Back in the ring JYD gets a near fall off a punch, but Adonis manages to get his foot up on the second rope. The ref checks on Adonis and JYD tries to follow up with a headbutt but gets tripped up by Jimmy Hart and ends up eating the canvass.

Adonis distracts the ref, allowing Jimmy Hart to tie JYD to the bottom rope with one Adonis’ scarves and work him over. Adonis then chokes out the JYD and refuses to break the hold. The ref takes matters into his own hands and makes Adonis break the hold by grabbing his hair and pulling him off the Dog.

Adonis hits a running knee drop and goes for a pin, scoring a near fall. He then gets JYD up for a piledriver. REF BUMP!  Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron with the megaphone. Adonis goes to run the Dog headfirst into the megaphone but the Junkyard Dog reverses it and it’s Adonis that ends up getting his noggin knocked.

The ref comes back to life just in time to see the JYD to make the cover. ONE! TWO! THREE! Junyard Dog wins!

After the match, Adonis nails JYD in the back with the megaphone and then has a temper tantrum in the ring.

Winner: Junkyard Dog

Of all the wrestling matches I’ve seen in my life, this certainly was one of them. Nothing terrible happened here, but it wasn’t really that good either. Adonis sold pretty well for JYD and JYD didn’t botch anything which is about the best I can say for this one. [*]

Meanwhile at the Hospital…

Gene Okerlund interviews the emergency room physician regarding Hogan’s condition. According to the doctor, Hogan has sustained injuries to his lower back, neck, and ribs, but there don’t appear to be any internal injuries.

Meanwhile at the Arena…

Ventura and McMahon recap the events of the night and McMahon says that Hogan is going to be released from the hospital shortly. Ventura opines that, “Hogan has more guts than brains.”

McMahon tells us that the next Saturday Night’s Main Event will be on May 3rd and the credits roll.

Final Thoughts

It’s weird. This was probably the first genuinely good Saturday Night’s Main Event. It set up big angles that would get paid off at WrestleMania 2, and had a pretty great tag team match that was miles better than pretty much every other Saturday Night’s Main Event match to date, but I felt like it was lacking something.

Tonight’s installment was more or less serious wrestling from top to bottom, which was not what Saturday Night’s Main Event had been. Sure you’d get some serious stuff, but you’d also get a coked up Roddy Piper stealing candy from small children and Macho Man at the waterslide park. Outside of the “Real American” music video tonight’s installment was pretty much all seriousness.

Like I said, it’s a good show and well worth watching if you want to see pretty much all the build to WrestleMania 2, but it’s missing the campiness of the earlier episodes, which surprisingly turned out to be more important than I thought it was in my overall enjoyment of Saturday Night’s Main Event.


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