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Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #7

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #7 – October 1986 – Taped from Cleveland, OH – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura – Fun fact: This was my first ever SNME, as I was 12 years old and determined to stay up until midnight to see if Paul Orndorff could beat Hulk Hogan.  (Spoiler:  He couldn’t.)  – WWF title match: Hulk Hogan v. Paul Orndorff. Of course, this was the first in a series of MANY matches between them in 1986, triggered by Orndorff’s famous heel turn in August 1986. (Well, first televised.  The Big Event was of course the first one.)  Hogan no-sells Paul’s punches and goes after the Brain, but gets dumped as a result. Back in, Hogan slugs away again and follows with a corner clothesline, but goes after Bobby “The Decoy” Heenan and gets clobbered. Orndorff drops a knee. Hogan then sells it so dramatically that he rolls out of the ring and into the timekeeper. Orndorff chokes him down and follows with a running knee to keep him on the floor. Back in, Orndorff drops another knee and slugs Hogan down for two. Suplex gets two. Hogan pops up with a running knee, but Heenan grabs his ankle. This time Orndorff misses his ambush and lands on the floor, and we take a break as Heenan gets sent to the back. Back with Orndorff blindsiding Hulk after a chase. Elbowdrop gets two. Short-arm clothesline sets up the PILEDRIVER OF DEATH, but Hogan backdrops out of it and it’s Hulk Up time. Punch, punch, punch, elbow, and then Hulk shows his poetic side, hitting a short-arm clothesline of his own. Sadly, before he can demonstrate the shitty way to do a piledriver, Adrian Adonis runs in. (Hogan d. Orndorff, Adonis run-in — DQ, 10:41, **) Newly turned Roddy Piper makes the save, still selling the leg that was injured by Adonis. Usual Hogan-Orndorff match here. – Ricky Steamboat v. Jake Roberts. Round two. They trade wristlocks and Dragon chops the shit out of Roberts and gets two. Steamboat goes to the arm, but Roberts escapes, so Dragon faceplants him for two. They do a chase and Jake walks into another armdrag. He escapes and then misses a blind charge, and Dragon catapults him into the corner. Steamboat goes up and hits knee, however. Gutbuster gets two for Jake. He goes to work on the ribs and follows with the short-arm clothesline for two. Jake chokes him down and gets the kneelift for two. Steamer comes back, but an inverted atomic drop ends that. Dragon keeps coming and a crucifix ends it. (Steamboat d. Roberts, crucifix — pin, 6:13, **1/4) This was cut off WAAAAY too short, just as it was getting good. – The Iron Sheik v. Rowdy Roddy Piper. With Piper’s leg presumably too bad to continue wrestling tonight, Pedro Morales is inserted as a replacement, but Piper makes a miraculous return from the dressing room and sends him packing. Slick makes his SNME debut as Sheik’s new manager. Piper breaks his crutch over the Sheik, but goes for Slick and gets kicked in the bad leg. Sheik goes for a suplex, but Piper reverses for the pin. (Piper d. Sheik, rollup — pin, 0:42, DUD)  (This era of Piper was weird in retrospect for me as a fan, because I never really knew him as the crazy heel.  My first exposure to him was the Rock N Wrestling cartoon, and by the time I was watching him actually wrestle in the ring he was making his return as a babyface and feuding with Adrian Adonis.  It was only much later in my life that I started associating him with the main event heel version of himself.)  – WWF tag titles: The British Bulldogs v. The Dream Team. Another 2/3 falls match. Hammer gets pinballed by the Bulldogs to start, but pounds the Kid in the corner. Beefcake comes in with a suplex, but Davey comes in and works the arm. Beefcake reverses him down and brings him to the heel corner, where Hammer comes off the top with a forearm and gets two. Beefcake stomps him down for two. Quick tag to the Kid, however, and he chops Valentine down, but eats an atomic drop. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Forearm gets two. Back to Beefer, who pounds the Kid down for two. They collide and Valentine takes advantage with the figure-four, and Dynamite submits at 4:52. We take a break and return with Valentine trying another figure-four on DK, but Kid kicks out. Dream Team double-teams the leg, and another double-team gets two for Beefcake. Backbreaker gets two. Back to the Hammer, who tries a middle-rope elbow, but misses. Hot tag Davey Boy, and he headbutts Valentine down and follows with a delayed suplex for two. Powerslam sets up a crazy Bulldog double-team, with Davey putting Beefcake in a fireman’s carry, and then Dynamite jumping off the top rope, onto Beefcake on Davey’s shoulders, and using that momentum to hit a diving headbutt onto Valentine. Needless to say, that ties things up at 9:26. Third fall sees Valentine going for the now-injured knee of Dynamite, but the Kid snap suplexes him and then misses a headbutt. Hammer pounds him down for two, and draws Smith in for some double-teaming behind the ref’s back, which gets two. Back to the leg, but Kid makes the hot tag. Beefcake cuts that off and backdrops Davey Boy for two. Clothesline gets two. Headbutt down low gets two. Davey comes back with a sunset flip for two. Hammer necksnaps him and comes in with kneedrops, and a delayed suplex gets two. Beefcake gets the high knee for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Davey pulls out a Perfectplex of all things, and that finishes. (Bulldogs d. Dream Team, Davey Boy Smith fisherman’s suplex — pin Brutus Beefcake, 15:19, ***3/4) Probably the best SNME match ever up until that point. Seriously, find it and check it out if you can. – Kamala v. Leaping Lanny Poffo. Uh, yeah. (Kamala d. Poffo, splash — pin, 1:35, DUD) The Bottom Line: Hogan v. Orndorff on free TV for the first time? Crazed interviews from Roddy Piper? The debut of Slick? Bulldogs and Dream Team tearing shit up? Get all this!