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

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

Airdate: November 29, 1986 (taped 11/15)

Attendance:  16,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

So, if you didn’t get enough of a wrestling fix on Thanksgiving with Starrcade ’86, the WWF broadcast SNME just two nights later.

Wearing the worst wig known to man, Ventura welcomes us to SNME.

Next, Roberts (with Damian) cuts a promo on Savage.

Following that, Savage (with Elizabeth) responds by chastising her about the belt being tarnished.

In addition, Koko B. Ware (with Frankie) runs down Nikolai Volkoff.

Predictably, Piper is rather happy about beating up his former sidekick Orton.

Educationally, the Hart Foundation instructs us on how to kill a bee.

And, finally, Hogan (with his 24-inch pythons) accepts Hercules’ challenge.

Vince and Jesse welcome us to the show while Vince makes wig jokes.

Backstage, “Mean’ Gene Okerlund gets the bejeezus scared out him by Roberts and Damian. Roberts informs Savage that he’s the one his mom always warned him about. Truer words were never spoken.

After taking a minute to collect himself, Okerlund interviews Savage (with Elizabeth) who’s ready to commit homicide on national TV. While I have always admired Savage, he truly was nuts.

Match 1 for the WWF Intercontinental title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Highlights:

  • Heel versus heel match? In the WWF? Who does the crowd root for?
  • Aha! The crowd enlightened me with a “DDT” chant.
  • Savage missed an elbow but got the heck outta Dodge when Roberts attempted the DDT.
  • After a boot to the midsection, Roberts made attempt #2 at the DDT but was thwarted.
  • Roberts reversed a cross-corner whip but ate knees upon his follow-through.
  • That earned Savage a 2 count.
  • Face plant earned another 2.
  • Knee drop by Savage got yet another 2.
  • Double axe handle got 2.
  • Another pinfall attempt by Savage got only 2 thanks to Roberts’ foot on the bottom rope.
  • Another double axe handle got a pair of near falls by Savage. Tenacious!
  • Savage tied Roberts in the ropes then tossed Damian (in the bag) under the ring.
  • Just as Savage returned to the ring, Roberts delivered a knee lift.
  • After Roberts retrieved Damian, he hit Savage with a short-arm clothesline.
  • That only got 2 thanks to Savage’s foot on the bottom rope. Turnabout is fair play after all.
  • While Vince and Jesse have zero idea on what Roberts just did, I do because Roberts gave Savage a gourdbuster.
  • Another pin attempt got 2 thanks to Savage’s foot on the bottom rope.
  • DDT attempt #3 misfired as Savage was in the ropes.
  • With both men on the floor, Savage used Elizabeth as a shield against Roberts. SNEAKY!
  • As Roberts tried to untie the bag containing Damian, Savage put a well-placed knee in Roberts’ back.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle to Roberts on the floor.
  • After tossing Roberts back into the ring, Savage remounted the top turnbuckle and delivered another double axe handle for 2.
  • Yet again, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a knuckle sandwich on the way down.
  • Referee Dave Hebner stepped between Savage and Roberts, so Savage tossed him down.
  • Hebner tried to separate them again, but Roberts shoved him through the ropes onto the timekeeper’s table.
  • As Savage tossed a chair into the ring, Hebner called for the bell.
  • He ruled the bout a double-disqualification.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Should the WWF decide to give Roberts a face turn, this would be the proper method.

After the match, Roberts tries to put Damian onto Savage, but the latter scurries out of the ring. If you look closely, “Stagger” Lee Marshall is shown briefly.

Next, we see a highlight involving Slick selling Hercules to Heenan. Hey! I thought the 14th Amendment put an end to such things! Nevertheless, Slick only deals in CASH so Heenan withdraws piles of it in exchange for Hercules’ contract.

Earlier tonight, Okerlund interviewed Hercules with Heenan who claimed to be the champion even before the match began.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews a giddy Hogan who’s happy to be home finally. Wait a minute! Hogan’s from Tampa! Regardless, we get the “this is where the power lies” spiel as he points to his palm.

Match 2 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus Hercules (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • Seemingly Hogan was winning a test of strength until a head butt by Hernandez turned the tide.
  • Hogan reversed a cross-corner whip and hit a clothesline.
  • Although he missed a clothesline, Hogan delivered a high knee immediately afterward.
  • Heenan baited Hogan into a chase, but Hogan delivered the big boot upon returning to the ring.
  • After a slam, Hogan missed an elbow drop.
  • HARD cross-corner whip by Hernandez hurt Hogan’ s back.
  • Bear hug by Hernandez was followed by a backbreaker.
  • Torture Rack by Hernandez, and Hogan submitted.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
  • Oh, wait, it’s just Jesse’s imagination. Hernandez put Hogan down prematurely.
  • Delayed pin attempt by Hernandez only got 2.
  • Hulk-up time!
  • Right hand off the ropes was followed by the Axe Bomber.
  • Big boot was followed by the leg drop.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hogan retained.

Rating: **

Summary: Typical Hogan match from this era. I’m sure Hernandez was not crying poor after his payout from this show.

Earlier today, Jesse interviews Orton and Hart. According to Orton, “Piper used me!” So THAT’S how Randy was conceived!

We revisit the prior friendship between Piper and Orton along with their previous shenanigans.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews an already sweaty Piper. Either a large amount of rats or cocaine has Piper all worked up. Piper refers to Muraco as “Fat Albert” then states “I was rowdy before rowdy was cool.” Truer words again.

Match 3: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus “Cowboy” Bob Orton (w/ Jimmy Hart and Magnificent Muraco)

Highlights:

  • Muraco wore a kilt to spite Piper.
  • After Muraco baited Piper to hit him, referee Dave Hebner ejected Muraco from ringside.
  • Upon winning a slugfest with Orton, Piper delivered a bulldog.
  • A cross-corner whip by Piper resulted in an Orton flip.
  • Knee lift by Piper got 2.
  • Gutbuster by Orton got 2.
  • Elbow drop by Orton got another 2, but elbow drop #2 missed.
  • Hart grabbed Piper’s arms as Orton went to nail him. Piper moved, but Orton eased up before hitting his manager.
  • Double axe handle by Piper knocked Orton into Hart sending him down to the floor.
  • Rollup got the pin for Piper.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  As expected, Piper beat his flunky in a one-on-one match.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the victorious Piper.

“Taped earlier,” Okerlund interviewed the Hart Foundation with Hart.

Match 4: The Hart Foundation (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Killer Bees

Highlights:

  • Debut of the black and pink tights for the Hart Foundation here.
  • Brunzell ducked a Bret clothesline then delivered a high knee.
  • Blair tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and gave Bret an elbow smash to the arm.
  • As Blair held an arm bar, a prerecorded promo by the Bees wearing their masks aired.
  • Blair reversed a cross-corner whip by Bret who floated over and rolled Blair up.
  • Notwithstanding, Blair reversed the hold and got 2 on Bret. Nice!
  • Brunzell tagged in as the Bees gave Neidhart a double back elbow.
  • While Blair distracted referee Dave Hebner, Bret put a well-placed knee into Brunzell’s back.
  • Bret tagged back in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and gave Brunzell an elbow smash to the chest.
  • That earned Bret a pair of 2 counts.
  • Neidhart tagged back in and delivered an impressive standing dropkick to Brunzell.
  • As Bret distracted Hebner, Neidhart choked Brunzell with the tag rope. SNEAKY!
  • Backbreaker by Bret, but he missed an elbow drop.
  • He then tossed Brunzell between the ropes down to the floor.
  • Brunzell re-entered the ring via sunset flip and got 2 on Bret.
  • He then countered a European uppercut with a backslide for 2.
  • AWESOME dropkick by Brunzell to Bret led to a false tag.
  • As Hebner put Blair back into his corner, the Hart Foundation tossed Brunzell back outside the ring.
  • Neidhart then nailed Blair sending him down to the floor.
  • The Bees then hid under the apron and wore their masks.
  • SWITCHEROO as Blair nailed both members of the Hart Foundation.
  • Atomic drop by Blair was followed by Brunzell’s ringing of Bret’s bell.
  • Cross-corner whip by Blair to Neidhart sent him directly into Bret knocking him down to the floor.
  • Sleeper by Blair to Neidhart, but Brunzell distracted Hebner.
  • Simultaneously, Bret mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed Blair.
  • SWITCHEROO #2!
  • Bret tagged in but fell victim to an inside cradle.
  • 1-2-3!

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  While the ending was identical to the match at the Big Event, it was still entertaining.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Koko B. Ware who disses the Soviet Union.

“Taped earlier,” Jesse interviewed Volkoff with Slick who warned Ware that he preferred his birds “deep-fried.” Yikes!

Match 5: Knko B. Ware versus Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • To create nuclear heat, Volkoff sang the Soviet national anthem.
  • Once again, the WWE Network tried to play tricks with me by playing “Piledriver” as Koko’s entrance theme rather than Morris Day & the Time’s “The Bird.” The song hadn’t been recorded yet!
  • Slick provided distraction for Koko so that Volkoff could get the early advantage.
  • Cross-corner whip by Volkoff, but Ware leaped to the second turnbuckle and jumped over him.
  • Awkward flying headscissors/monkey flip by Ware preceded a pair of dropkicks.
  • Those got 2 for Ware.
  • Volkoff guillotined Ware on the top rope then slammed him.
  • Regrettably, he missed a knee drop.
  • Ware mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick for only 1.
  • Military press into a backbreaker by Volkoff only got 2 because Volkoff picked Ware up. Will it cost him?
  • Next, he slammed ware then sought consultation with Slick.
  • Seeing his opponent distracted, Ware rolled him up and got the pin.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Not a great SNME début for Ware here, but it showed a national audience that he was good enough to beat the big Soviet.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the victorious Hulkster.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Muraco with Mr. Fuji who sings “Dixie” extremely poorly. Those offended by the Confederacy are urged not to click on the link.

Match 6: Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji) versus “The Rebel” Dick Slater

Highlights:

  • Joined in progress as Muraco gave Slater a cross-corner whip.
  • Slater escaped an airplane spin and rolled Muraco up for 2.
  • After giving Muraco an elbow smash to the head, Slater delivered a back elbow off the ropes.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit an elbow smash, but only got 2 thanks to Fuji’s placement of Muraco’s leg on the bottom rope.
  • As Slater came off the ropes, Fuji tripped him.
  • Clothesline by Muraco who got the pin with his feet on the ropes.

Rating: *

Summary: Slater’s brief WWF run contained very few highlights.

Conclusion:  While not as good as the previous installment of this show, it was a fun show. If you’ve never seen it, make a point to do so. Continued viewing of this episode, however, may induce you to carry either parrots, snakes, or a bad wig.

See you for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event IX!

Rating: 9.70

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).