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

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event VII

Taped from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: October 4, 1986 (taped 9/13)

Attendance:  21,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

First, Jesse welcomes us to the show and notes that the pleasure is all ours. Woohoo!

Meanwhile, Roberts cuts a promo with Damian in the shower. Thank goodness he’s wearing his trunks.

In the meantime, Valentine tells us his Dream Team will regain the tag titles and send the “dogs to the pound.”

Afterwards, King Curtis Iaukea yells about the freshly acquired Kamala to the WWF.

Next, while Orndorff poses in the mirror, Heenan states that “Mr. Wonderful” will be the new WWF champion.

In the last of the opening segments, Hogan refers to Orndorff as “Benedict Arnold.” That’s funny because I don’t recall Orndorff wearing a tricorne.

As Vince and Jesse discuss tonight’s matches, Jesse is wearing a “Buckwheat” t-shirt. Since this program preempted Saturday Night Live on a regular basis, it’s only fitting that they incorporated great ideas from them.

Anyways, “Mean” Gene Okerlund is in the locker room interviewing “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Let’s revisit Piper’s return to the WWF: First, he thanks Adrian Adonis for subbing for him during his hiatus (aired 8/16, taped 8/5). Second, Piper serves notice that Piper’s Pit is returning (aired 9/6, taped 8/26). Third, Adonis challenges Piper to a debate over whose show is better (aired 9/13, taped 8/26). Fourth, Adonis, Orton, and Muraco attack Piper injuring his left leg, humiliate him, and destroy Piper’s Pit (aired 9/27, taped 9/16). Finally, as a means of retribution, Piper destroys the Flower Shop once and for all (aired 10/4, taped 9/16). THAT’S how to build a face turn. During the interview, an “injured” Piper vows to wrestle against doctor’s orders. Why not? He was injured three days AFTER this taping.

After we see the piledriver that solidified Orndorff’s heel turn, Hogan cuts a promo about loyalty and trust.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Orndorff and Heenan. They’re ready to take the title from Hogan.

Match 1 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • Just to piss off Hogan and his fans, Orndorff came to the ring using Hogan’s music.
  • After Hogan nailed Orndorff sending him down to the mat, Heenan jumped up on the apron then down immediately to avoid Hogan’s fury.
  • Orndorff then clotheslined Hogan over the top rope to the floor.
  • Hogan blocked being rammed into the apron then rammed Orndorff instead.
  • After a cross-corner whip, Hogan delivered a clothesline.
  • Heenan jumped onto the apron again, but Hogan got him this time.
  • As Orndorff punished Hogan, the champion fell out of the ring and directly onto the timekeeper.
  • Shot to the throat by Orndorff got 2.
  • Vertical suplex by Orndorff got another 2.
  • After reversing an Irish whip, Hogan delivered a high knee.
  • Upon slamming Orndorff, Hogan tried to come off the ropes, but Heenan grabbed him by the boot.
  • Orndorff charged at Hogan but sailed over the top rope to the floor.
  • Police officers then grabbed Heenan and escorted him away from the ring.
  • Backbreaker by Orndorff followed by an elbow drop got 2.
  • Clothesline by Orndorff who then signaled for the piledriver.
  • Piledriver attempt thwarted by a back drop.
  • Hulk up time!
  • Axe bomber by Hogan was followed by a payback clothesline.
  • He then signaled for the piledriver, but Adonis ran in and attacked Hogan.
  • Referee Joey Marella called for the bell.
  • Hogan won by DQ and retained the title.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  The feud of the year continues. I wonder how it will climax. Yeah…I know…that’s what she said.

After the match, Piper hobbles to the ring as Adonis and Orndorff double-team Hogan. He then WALLOPS Adonis with the crutch sending him over the top rope to the floor. Piper swings the crutch wildly and almost nails Hogan. The champion gets ready to nail Piper but relents. To appease the huge crowd, Hogan poses to a raucous reaction.

Prior to the next match, Okerlund interviews Roberts with Damian in the shower. We revisit the DDT on the concrete floor perpetrated by Roberts then the finish to their match at the Big Event.

Earlier tonight, Steamboat cut an interview with a Komodo dragon.

Match 2: Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Highlights:

  • Leap frog was followed by a face plant by Steamboat and got 2.
  • Cross-corner whip by Roberts, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • After giving Roberts a catapult to the corner, Steamboat mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Top rope splash hit knees however.
  • Each man crawled to his corner in pursuit of his bag.
  • Before Steamboat could release the dragon, Roberts cut him off.
  • Gutbuster by Roberts only got 2.
  • Short-arm clothesline got another 2.
  • Knee lift by Roberts followed by a snap mare got 2.
  • Inverted atomic drop by Roberts seemingly had “The Snake” in control…
  • …until Steamboat hooked the crucifix and got the pin.

Rating: ***

Summary: I must give credit where it’s due. Steamboat found intriguing ways to win matches.

After the match, Roberts puts a well-placed knee into Steamboat’s back sending him between the ropes to the floor. Upon ramming Steamboat’s back into the ring post three times, Roberts tosses him back in and goes for his bag. When he brings Damian over to Steamboat, he must retreat because Steamboat unleashes his dragon. As Steamboat charges, Roberts heads for higher ground.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Hogan who uses a judicial analogy to cut his promo.

Earlier today, Jesse interviews Slick and the Iron Sheik outside the arena as they exit a white limousine.

Pedro Morales comes out for the next match, but Piper hobbles to the ring and shoos Morales away.

Match 3: Pedro Morales “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus the Iron Sheik (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • Piper nails Sheik with the crutch to start the match. Now that’s gonna leave a mark!
  • He then scares the bejeezus out of Slick to chase him down to the floor.
  • Piper countered a vertical suplex with an inside cradle that secured the pin.
  • Although he’s quite the fan favorite, Piper grabbed the tights to let us know that he’s not 100% squeaky clean.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  The match needed to be short more than likely because Piper’s ring stamina needed more grease. Pitting him against the Sheik instantly caused the crowd to side with him.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the Dream Team with Valiant. We then revisit the ending to the tag title match at WrestleMania 2 where the Dream Team lost their belts. The former champs inform us that they are ready to regain them.

Back in another locker room, Okerlund interviews an exhausted Piper who dumps an ICE-COLD Coke® on himself. He then cuts an insane promo on Adonis. Can someone check the caffeine content of that soda PLEASE?

Earlier today, Okerlund interviewed the British Bulldogs in a quick segment.

Match 4 for the WWF tag team titles (2 out of 3 falls): The British Bulldogs (champions) versus the Dream Team (w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant)

Highlights:

First fall:

  • Valentine attempted to kick the Kid in the midsection, but the Kid grabbed the boot, whirled Valentine around, and gave him an atomic drop.
  • After receiving head butts from both Smith and the Kid, a Valentine flop occurred.
  • Beefcake tagged in and gave the Kid a vertical suplex.
  • Valentine tagged back in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Smith.
  • Elbow drop got 2 on Smith.
  • Knee lift by Beefcake got another 2.
  • Inverted atomic drop by Valentine to the Kid was followed by a shoulder breaker.
  • That got 2 for the challengers.
  • Clothesline by Valentine got another 2.
  • Valentine countered a snap suplex by the Kid with a shot to his left leg.
  • He then hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • Beefcake stopped Smith from making the save forcing the Kid to submit.
  • The Dream Team led one fall to zero.

Between falls, Okerlund reports that Adonis has a possible shoulder separation thanks to the earlier crutch shot by Piper. Ventura refutes the claim of shoulder separation due to the area where Piper actually hit Adonis.

Second fall:

  • As the next fall began, Valentine attempted to reapply the figure-four leg lock to the Kid but was kicked off.
  • While Smith distracted the referee, the Dream Team made a wish with the Kid’s legs. OUCH!
  • Once again, Smith distracted the referee so Valentine nailed the Kid with a forearm as Beefcake restrained him.
  • That got 2 for Beefcake.
  • Military press backbreaker got another 2 for Beefcake.
  • After a slam, Valentine mounted the second turnbuckle but missed an elbow drop.
  • Hot tag Smith.
  • Running clothesline by Smith to Valentine was followed by a dropkick to Beefcake.
  • Next, Smith delivered a head butt then a delayed vertical suplex obtaining a 2 count.
  • Running powerslam by Smith received no count as Beefcake came in.
  • Smith immediately put him in a fireman’s carry so that the Kid could mount the top turnbuckle, jump onto Beefcake’s back, and deliver a diving head butt to Valentine. Wow!
  • 1-2-3.
  • The match was tied one fall apiece.

Third fall:

  • Snap suplex by the Kid to Valentine, but he missed the diving head butt.
  • As Valentine received another 2 count on the Kid, Jesse informed us that Adonis suffered a “shattered elbow.” Yikes!
  • During a false tag, Beefcake mounted the second turnbuckle and lowered the boom on the Kid. Nice sell by the Kid as he went down HARD.
  • Do we have new champions?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Figure-four attempt #3 was thwarted by the Kid.
  • Hot tag Smith.
  • Back drop from Beefcake to Smith only got 2.
  • Clothesline by Beefcake got another 2 count.
  • Head butt to the abdomen got yet another near fall.
  • Sunset flip by Smith got 2 thanks to a save by Valentine.
  • Vertical suplex by Valentine got 2 on Smith.
  • High knee from Beefcake only got 2 thanks a save by the Kid.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • Cross-corner whip by Beefcake to Smith, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Fisherman’s suplex by Smith got the pin on Beefcake.
  • The champs retained.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Superb match between these teams. The only thing missing was the impending drama with the near falls. This was definitely a match to stay up late back in ’86.

Earlier today, Okerlund interviewed King Curtis Iaukea “The Wizard” with Kamala.

Match 5: Kamala (w/ “The Wizard” & Kim Chee) versus “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Highlights:

  • Poffo avoided a chop in the corner and celebrated with a cartwheel.
  • Chop off the ropes was followed by a kick to the head by Kamala.
  • After a standing choke, Kamala beat his belly like a bongo drum.
  • Kamala missed a chop, and Poffo made a comeback albeit a brief one.
  • After a slam, Kamala hit the splash and got the pin.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the returning Kamala.

After the match, Kamala mounts the top turnbuckle, but the commercial break robs us of seeing any further shenanigans.

Conclusion:  This is a MUST WATCH episode as the feuds between Hogan-Orndorff, Piper-Adonis, and Roberts-Steamboat are both well-written and advanced during the show. In addition, a practically flawless two out of three falls match for the tag team titles blows anything else seen on a national level in 1986 out of the water.

See you for NWA Starrcade ‘86!

Rating: 9.40

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