Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event IV!

Taped from Tampa, FL

Airdate: January 4, 1986 (taped 12/19/85)

Attendance:  not given

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan/Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Out by the swimming pool, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan mixes a concoction called

a “python protein drink” while conversing with “Mean” Gene Okerlund. The latter takes a swig and quivers all over then flexes his biceps. HA!

In the meantime, the hillbillies are inner-tubing in the Gulf of Mexico while “Rowdy” Roddy Piper spies on them with binoculars. Alongside him, while getting a rub down from a gaggle of lovely women, is Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Piper vows to rid the WWF of Uncle Elmer.

Back in the Sun Dome, McMahon welcomes us to the show and runs down the card, Ventura interrupts to hype his match coming up next. Since Ventura won’t be available for commentary during his match, he introduces Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as his replacement.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Piper and Bob Orton. Piper runs down the hillbillies.

After a brief trip down SNME memory lane, Okerlund interviews the hillbillies.

Match 1: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, & Jesse “The Body” Ventura versus Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, and Cousin Luke

Highlights:

  • A shot to the top of Ventura’s head by Uncle Elmer knocked Ventura silly.
  • A second one sent Ventura face-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • Uncle Elmer then gave Ventura a standing choke.
  • Hillbilly Jim tagged in but ate a knee to the midsection from Ventura.
  • Piper tagged in, but Jim tagged out to Cousin Luke.
  • Double back elbow by Piper and Orton to Cousin Luke.
  • Tremendous knee lift by Piper to Cousin Luke preceded some frequent tags by the heels.
  • Following a Piper eye poke, Orton came off the top turnbuckle and delivered an elbow to the head of Cousin Luke.
  • False tag as Ventura occupied referee Dave Hebner’s attention.
  • After a brief slugfest, Uncle Elmer applied a bear hug to Piper.
  • Once Piper broke the hold, all six men were in the ring.
  • A pair of double axe handles by Cousin Luke sent Ventura to the floor to regroup.
  • A pair of head butts seemingly had Piper in control; however, a third one was no-sold by Hillbilly Jim.
  • Cousin Luke cleaned house then gave Piper another double axe handle to the back of the neck.
  • Piper escaped a slam and applied a sleeper.
  • Hillbilly Jim tried to come in, but Orton gave him a dropkick.
  • As Cousin Luke escaped the sleeper, Uncle Elmer SQUISHED Ventura in the corner repeatedly.
  • While Hillbilly Jim occupied Hebner’s attention, Orton WHACKED Cousin Luke in the back of the head with his cast.
  • Piper reapplied the sleeper and got the win for his team.

Rating: **

Summary: Chicanery by the heels stole this one. It’s great to see Ventura in the ring.

Back at what appears to be Adventure Island, Junkyard Dog easily beats Jimmy Hart in a waterslide contest. Immediately afterwards, Ventura interviews Funk who complains about Hogan’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

In a special report, Monsoon describes a match from “last month” (11/27) between Hogan and Funk. As Hart distracts referee David Hebner, Funk knocks Hogan silly with his branding iron. After the match, Funk brands the WWF champion. When Funk realizes that he didn’t win the title, he tossed Hebner outside the ring like a bag of garbage.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Hogan. The WWF champion informs us that JYD will be in his corner tonight. Speaking of the Dog, JYD notifies us that he’s going to be closer to Hart than his BVDs. Thanks for the TMI, JYD.

Match 2 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion w/ JYD) versus Terry Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Highlights:

  • As Hogan ripped his t-shirt, JYD muscled Hart into a seat at ringside.
  • After giving Funk a cross-corner whip, Hogan delivered a clothesline.
  • Ventura referred to Funk as “middle-aged and crazy.” Just how long was he “middle-aged and crazy?” It seems like decades.
  • Clothesline by Hogan sent Funk over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • As Hogan ran the ropes, he kept stepping on Funk’s back until Funk literally fell onto the timekeeper.
  • Funk threw a plastic chair into the ring. Subsequently, Hogan sat down.
  • Upon giving Funk a cross-corner whip, a Funk flip occurred.
  • Belly-to-back suplex by Hogan only got 2.
  • A pair of head butts by Funk was followed by his trick knee. Referee Dave Hebner didn’t see it.
  • Funk mounted the top turnbuckle, but Hogan shook the ropes sending Funk down to the mat.
  • Atomic drop by Hogan followed by an axe bomber.
  • Elbow drop by Hogan, but Hart tried to trip him as he came off the ropes.
  • Hogan went after him, so Hart ran until he was between Hogan and JYD.
  • He then hid underneath the ring.
  • When Hogan returned to the ring, Funk choked him with the tag rope.
  • Piledriver by Funk got 1-2-NO!
  • The infamous Hebner slow count must run in the family.
  • Hulk-up time!
  • Back elbow by Hogan followed by the big boot sent Funk to the apron.
  • Hogan tried to suplex Funk back into the ring, but Hart tripped him.
  • With Funk atop Hogan, Funk only got a 2 count due to Hogan’s leg being on the bottom rope.
  • Outside the ring, JYD gave Hart a head butt.
  • Clothesline by Hogan got the pin.

Rating:  **1/2

Summary: Close call for Hogan there. Funk definitely had a chance to win the title here.

After the match, Funk takes Hebner to task for his loss including shoving him into the steel railing. He then tossed a pair of plastic chairs into the ring.

After a commercial break, Funk towed a distraught Hart back to the dressing room. In the ring, Okerlund interviews Hogan and JYD.

We revisit some scenes involving Steele then Okerlund interviews the “Animal” along with Capt. Lou Albano at Adventure Island. Meanwhile, Steele holds a rubber duck.

In another part of the park, Ventura interviews Savage with Elizabeth. Savage then tosses a scared Elizabeth into the pool. The scoundrel!

Match 3: George “The Animal” Steele (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth)

Highlights:

  • As Savage spoke with some fans at ringside, Steele nicely hit on Elizabeth. If you think it’s out of character for a heel Savage to do that, both he and Hogan were local to the show due to Tampa being sixty miles north of Sarasota.
  • 25-year-old Dean Malenko was the referee for this match. He even had ice in his veins back then.
  • Steele’s antics immediately chased Savage from the ring.
  • When Savage returned, Steele tossed him over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • Like most men, Steele was mesmerized by Elizabeth’s beauty.
  • Savage ran around the ring with Steele hot on his tracks until Savage placed Elizabeth in front of him.
  • Back in the ring, Steele slammed Savage then ate the top turnbuckle.
  • Savage tried to attack him but ate turnbuckle stuffing instead. Probably needed gravy.
  • While Steele was preoccupied with staring at Elizabeth, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and gave him a double axe handle.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Savage made the most out of this match as he possibly could.

Back at Adventure Island, Okerlund was listening to music on headphones then told Hogan that he was ready for the music video for the highlights of 1985 in the WWF.

After the video, Ventura takes exception to not being in the video even going to the extent of insulting Dick Ebersol. Tsk, tsk, Body. After all, he’s the one putting you on broadcast TV.

At the entrance, “Gene Mean” interviews Volkoff and the Iron Sheik.

Back at Adventure Island, Ventura interviews Kirchner. The latter then zip-lines into the pool.

Match 4 (Peace): Corporal Kirchner versus Nikolai Volkoff (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie & the Iron Sheik)

Highlights:

  • In an effort to create nuclear heat, Volkoff sang the Soviet national anthem.
  • Amazingly, Volkoff kept the action clean in the beginning.
  • Roll-up with a bridge got 2 for Volkoff.
  • Kirchner escaped a slam attempt and rolled Volkoff up off the ropes for only a one count.
  • Cartwheel by Volkoff was followed by a shoulder block.
  • Kirchner countered another slam attempt with an inside cradle for 2.
  • After finally not breaking clean on the ropes, Volkoff guillotined Kirchner on the top rope.
  • Knee drop by Volkoff got the pin.

Rating: **

Summary:  It took a dirty underhanded trick for Volkoff to sneak a win in this match.

After the match, Kirchner attacks both Volkoff and the Sheik and rams their heads together. I don’t think this rivalry is over.

Back at Adventure Island, Muraco has a surfboard and a few women on his arm. Truly magnificent!

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Muraco and Fuji. The latter wants to put the JYD in a rice cooker. HA!

After the heels enter the ring, Okerlund interviews Steamboat and JYD.

Match 5: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Junkyard Dog versus the Magnificent Muraco & Mr. Fuji

Highlights:

  • “Grab them Cakes” brought the babyfaces to the ring.
  • Simultaneously, Muraco dropped a knee on JYD as Fuji sent Steamboat over the top rope to the apron.
  • On the floor, Fuji slammed Steamboat.
  • JYD reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Muraco a back drop.
  • After JYD missed a diving head butt, Fuji chopped him.
  • Immediately, JYD came back by slamming Fuji.
  • Slam of Muraco by JYD got 2.
  • Following an elbow drop, Muraco attempted a piledriver but received another back drop.
  • Fuji cut off the tag then delivered a head butt to JYD’s abdomen.
  • After giving JYD a cross-corner whip, Muraco rammed his shoulder into the ring post on his follow-through.
  • Hot tag Steamboat.
  • A series of chops and an enziguri put Muraco down on the mat.
  • Catapult by Steamboat sent Muraco directly into Fuji.
  • Steamboat then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the flying body press, but only got 2. Fuji made the save.
  • After JYD tagged back in, he gave Fuji a head butt and got the pin.

Rating: **

Summary:  JYD sold well, but Steamboat’s involvement after the hot tag contained most of the excitement in the match.

After the match, Steamboat continues the attack on Muraco until the latter exits the ring to regroup. As referee Dave Hebner restrains Steamboat, Muraco nails him.

Before going off the air, Ventura challenges any other commentator to lace up the boots and hit the ring just like Ventura did tonight.

Conclusion:  This was a much more exciting episode than previous incarnations. While the wrestling wasn’t spectacular, it was definitely enjoyable. Sink your teeth into this one.

See you for NWA Superstars of the Superstation!

TV Rating: 10.40

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