Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #4

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #4 – January 1986 Well, to prepare for the return of SNME in March of 2006, reader Adam Nedeff sent me what can only be described as a SHITLOAD of shows unreviewed as of yet by myself. Sadly, the second and third SNMEs were pretty poor quality, video-wise, and weren’t really reviewable, but the fourth one looked good and had a pretty good card, too, so that’s where we’ll start. Much more to come in the weeks ahead. In return, please feel free to check out his site,, and boost his traffic.  (Not sure if his site is still around, but thanks for the tapes anyway!)    – Taped from Tampa, FL. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon, with Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura at various points. – Roddy Piper, Bob Orton & Jesse Ventura v. Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer and Cousin Luke. Jesse came out of retirement to put the hillbillies in their place, and then went right back into it again. Jesse gets to starts with Elmer and is forced to sell some of the worst looking offense this side of Loch Ness. Oh, wait. Piper comes in and gets Luke, and some double-teaming makes Luke the inbred hick in peril. Luke takes a lot but never really sells, just popping up after every move before making a hot tag to Elmer. He’s on Piper like glue, (I initially read that one as “He’s like Piper on glue” and was befuddled trying to picture that.) with a bearhug, and it’s BONZO GONZO time as we take a break. Back with everyone still brawling and Piper headbutting Jim into the heel corner. Luke comes in and cleans house with his one move — the double sledge — but Orton hits him with the cast to set up the finish. (Piper/Orton/Ventura d. Hillbillies, Piper sleeper — submission Luke, *) – Meanwhile, at a local water park, JYD cuts a typically unintelligible promo and beats Jimmy Hart on a waterslide under dubious conditions, then Terry Funk cuts a crazed promo against Sports Illustrated, threatening to beat up their photographers unless he gets the cover after beating Hulk Hogan tonight. Ah, 80s WWF.  (I don’t feel like I’m doing this part justice with my description of the insanity.)  – WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Terry Funk. Rare blue and red color scheme for Hulk tonight. Hogan gets the corner clothesline to start, and then dumps Funk with another one. Terry is in rare bumping form tonight, flailing like a ragdoll off everything. Back in and they do a subtle bit where Hogan steps on Funk’s back during a criss-cross, which sends Terry running again. They slug it out in the corner and Funk bumps out again, but Hogan brings him back in with a backdrop suplex for two. Funk stomps him down, but goes up and gets crotched. Vince calls this “poetic justice,” which shows he has about as much grasp of irony as Alanis does. Hogan gets the usual slam and elbows, but stops to go after Jimmy Hart, who hides under the ring. Vince makes this out as cowardice, but to paraphrase Jesse: He’s 120 pounds and he’s got Hogan and JYD chasing him, so can you blame the guy? Funk uses the distraction to choke Hogan down with the wrist tape. This sets up the piledriver, but it only gets two. Hulk Up, big boot, but Funk wisely takes a powder. Hogan tries another suplex back in, but this time Jimmy hits Hogan with the branding iron and Funk falls on top for two. He thinks that he’s won, however, and stops to go after the title belt, which allows Hogan to recover and hit a rare lariat (and a GOOD one, too) for the pin. (Hogan d. Funk, lariat — pin, 8:21, **1/2) Nice change in the formula for Hulk here.  (Frankly I’m shocked that the Hogan-Funk run wasn’t a bigger deal around the horn, especially given how hot that Funk was as a heel during the “crazy cowboy who beats up ring attendants” period.  Basically he got blown off here and left not long after getting shunted into the JYD feud.)  – Randy Savage v. George “The Animal” Steele. I almost typed “Intercontinental title” out of habit at the beginning there, but that didn’t happen until a month after this. This was, if you can believe it, the first match between these two, at least according to the commentary. It was also the beginning of Steele’s infatuation with Elizabeth. Steele tosses Savage right away and leers at Liz, which draws Savage’s wrath. Fun fact: The best worker in the match is the referee, a young man you may have heard of, named Dean Malenko. (Who has now inspired TWO silly gimmicks mocking him – Simon Dean and Simon Gotch.)  More running around until Steele goes for the turnbuckle and Savage mercifully finishes things quick with the flying axehandle. (Savage d. Steele, axehandle — pin, 3:11, DUD) Not even a match, as such. – “Peace Match”: Corporal Kirchner v. Nikolai Volkoff. After listening to the Corporal’s super-intense and whacked out pre-match promo, it becomes apparent why he was tapped to play Leatherface in Japan later on. Yikes, get this guy a role in a horror movie, stat. I mean, it’s a freakin’ WATER PARK, lighten up, dude. (I feel like it needs to be YouTubed to be appreciated, but I can’t find it.)  The idea here is that in the spirit of the Geneva Convention, they’ll both play nice. Kirchner takes it to the mat to start, and a wristlock turns into a stalemate. Volkoff rolls him over with a bridge for two, but gets rolled up for two. Volkoff tries overpowering him, but gets taken down with a hammerlock for two. Small package gets two for Kirchner. Volkoff fails to break clean on the ropes, however, and then finishes with a kneedrop. Commie F-----. (Volkoff d. Kirchner, kneedrop — pin, 4:22, *1/2) Despite being cleanly and decisively pinned, the Corporal still freaks out and attacks everyone. No “good sportsmanship” medal for you, dude. – Magnificent Muraco & Mr. Fuji v. Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog. Muraco’s drunken pre-match promo and Fuji’s followup about eating dogs is the kind of sloppy and stupid stuff that would never make it past editing these days. Muraco pounds JYD while Fuji attacks Steamboat outside. Fuji comes in and gets killed by the Dog, and Muraco gets slammed for two. Muraco looked his worst at this point, before a face turn and rehab brought him back to life again. The heels work JYD over in the corner, but Muraco misses a charge. Steamboat comes in and hits him with an enzuigiri, and a slingshot into Fuji, then gets a high cross for two. Fuji breaks that up, but is in way over his head and JYD finishes him. (Steamboat/Junkyard Dog d. Muraco/Fuji, JYD headbutt — pin Fuji, 5:13, *1/2) Paint by numbers stuff all the way. The Bottom Line: Actually not a bad wrestling show at all, with Hillbillies doing the job and Funk trying his best to carry Hogan to something worthwhile, plus Kirchner cutting a freaky promo that’s worth checking out to see if you can guess what drugs he was on at the time. (And yet he’s still alive.) Mildly recommended.