Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #9

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #9 – January 1987 – Taped from Hartford, CT. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. – Opening match, WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Paul Orndorff. I’ve seen this a million times, so I’ll just grab the review from a previous Coliseum Video rant.  (Very Brock Lesnar-ish of me.) By this point, Orndorff had lost to Hogan so many times that they needed to give it a rest for about 6 months anyway. This is from SNME, and it has a rather famous finish. Paul attacks right away, and whips him with the belt, but can’t get out the door. Boogie-Woogie Elbows and again he can’t get out. Paul keeps dropping elbows and climbs, but Hogan grabs the hair to stop him, leading Jesse Ventura into one of his funniest lines ever: “Hogan would not be the champion if Mr. Wonderful was bald!” Back in the cage, Hogan chokes him out with the headband and climbs, but Orndorff pulls him down. More choking. They fight for the door, and Hogan comes back. Hogan slugs him down, but Danny Davis locks the door. Vince is aghast. Jesse has a more reasoned perspective on it: “Well, what do you want, the door left open all the time?” (A motivated Jesse Ventura was just awesome.)  Orndorff goes low and drops an elbow, and both guys crawl for the cage and ram each other into it. Both guys climb opposite sides of the cage.and exit at the same time. Joey Marella says Hogan wins, Davis says Orndroff wins, and I think that since Davis is still alive his opinion should count. (Too soon.)  Sadly, the match MUST CONTINUE. So back in we go, and Orndorff drops an elbow from the top. He keeps on him with kneedrops, a short-arm clothesline and a fistdrop, but it’s Hulk up time. Hogan unleashes some chops and sends Paul to the cage a few times, drawing blood. Legdrop and after the requisite beating up of the helpless manager, Hogan exits, stage left, to win at 12:44. Pretty good for a WWF cage match, and the simultaneous exit finish was definitely the talk around the water fountain the next day in school, at least at my school. (In all fairness, I hung out with a bunch of nerds.)  They go over the replays afterwards, where Jesse insists that Orndorff won because “Hogan’s knees were bent and Orndorff’s were straight”, which I don’t get at all. (I’ve had it explained to me before and my eyes still glaze over like I’m John McClane doing the water bottle puzzle in Die Hard 3.)  (Hogan d. Orndorff, escape from cage, **1/2) – Intercontinental title: Randy Savage v. George Steele. Steele clobbers him from behind and chokes him down, then gets a couple of slams. George waves for someone to comes out of the back, which allows Savage to take over. Savage quickly goes up, but Ricky Steamboat returns from the dead, or at least his throat injury, and Savage freaks out. (Hey, I’d love to turn on the Network and be able to call up that original Savage-Steamboat match.  Whoops, sorry, can’t do that.)  Steele dumps him and then kidnaps Elizabeth, and we take a break. Lots of stalling as Animal is gone, and Steamboat chases Savage around the ring until George returns from taking a piss or whatever he was doing. He gives Savage some turnbuckle stuffing, but gets shoved into the exposed steel. Normally that would end things, but this is the long-form tonight. Savage chokes him out, so Steele bites him in retaliation. Savage tries a sleeper, so Steele bites his arm. Steele then produces his nebulous foreign object, and shoves the ref, so Savage clocks him with the bell to FINALLY finish. (Savage d. Steele, bell — pin, 8:07, DUD) This was all running around and choking and stalling and shit. But it set up the big showdown between Steamboat and Savage, so huzzah. – Junkyard Dog v. Harley Race. Speaking of WM3 setup matches, here’s another. Race had just recently been crowned King, which is arrogant for normal people but actually kind of modest for wrestlers. Just look at HHH. Race punches Dog down for two and adds a high knee. Kneedrop gets two. Dog reverses him into the post and headbutts him down, but Race comes back with a belly-to-belly and falling headbutt. This is of course ill-advised, because black people have hard heads in the world of wrestling. Race ends up on the floor, and Dog steals the crown and robe, which is pretty silly. He also stops to beat up Bobby Heenan, which never leads to good things, and indeed Race hits him with an elbow off the top and they double-team JYD for the DQ. WEAK. (Dog d. Race, DQ, 3:56, 1/4*) Too short to be worth much.  (Not like the eventual Wrestlemania match was any longer or better.)  – Adrian Adonis v. Roddy Piper. This show seems very familiar. Piper hiptosses him and ties him in the ropes, then whips him into the corner. He goes to work on the arm, but Adonis gets a cheapshot. Piper slugs him down and they tumble out, where Adrian sprays perfume in his eyes for the countout win. (Adonis d. Piper, countout, 3:43, *) Never really got going, and again it was just a setup for WM3. – Blackjack Mulligan v. Jimmy Jack Funk. This was the start of Mulligan’s short WWF tenure. Total squash, nuff said. (Mulligan d. Funk, back elbow — pin, 2:26, 1/4*) He was in and gone before anyone noticed. The Pulse: Hogan v. Orndorff is legendary and will be included on the upcoming Hogan 4-disc DVD set, so the rest is superfluous and worthless as a result.  (What 4-disc set is that?  He’s had a couple of 3-disc ones but I don’t believe this match ever made it to a DVD anthology outside of the SNME one.)