The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #2 – 10.05.85
Let’s carry on with the second one!
Taped from East Rutherford, NJ, drawing 8000 and doing an 8.3 rating. No wonder they kept making these.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura, and Vince can’t even make it out of the introduction without a “notwithstanding” and several “and then from there”.
So in the cold open this time, Mean Gene lets us know that we’re on the brink of an INTERNATIONAL CRISIS, because it’s a flag match in the main event and if Volkoff wins, he’s going back to Russia and pushing the missile launch button. But don’t worry, kids, because Hulk Hogan won’t stand for any other flags flying in America!
Oh, also, hillbilly wedding upcoming. Roddy Piper isn’t terribly into the idea. You can’t say these don’t have something for everyone.
WWF title, flag match: Hulk Hogan v. Nikolai Volkoff
Oddly, despite Hogan’s representation of the Red White and Blue tonight, he’s wearing all white gear. Well that’s also fitting for him. Volkoff immediately attacks and pounds away on him and then chokes him out with his own shirt. Hulk quickly fights back with a corner clothesline and slugs away in the corner, then boots him to the floor, but gets sent into the post as a result of his needless cheating. Back in, Volkoff works the back as Vince is sensing victory for the communists, but then he hits the press slam backbreaker and yells at the crowd rather than going for the cover. So Hulk is out at one and he reverses a piledriver attempt, but Volkoff stomps him down using those ROUGH-HOUSE TACTICS that Vince hates so much. No scientific wrestling here! Hulk makes the comeback and dodges a blind charge, and drops the leg to finish at 5:21. *1/2 Nothing to the match, but it was pretty much the perfect fit for this kind of show, with a nothing guy who had name value that Hogan could steamroll, plus a simple storyline for casual fans to tune in and grasp right away. But then Hogan disrespects the Russian flag and shines his boots with it, which is pretty inexcusable. It’s not like Volkoff even did anything to warrant that! Also, we avoid the whole entrance music debacle this time because he’s using a patriotic marching band song instead of any of his other themes. It’s no Philouza, though.
Back at the entrance, Hulk is pretty sure that this victory secures the future of the United States forever. Of course he may be overstating things a bit.
Uncle Elmer and the other hillbillies join Mean Gene with words about the impending nuptials and match.
Uncle Elmer v. Gentleman Jerry Valiant
Well that’s a friggin’ random appearance. And Elmer slams him and pins him in 6 seconds. Anyway, Valiant was a Canadian longtime star who had worked as the brother of Bobby Heenan in various territories, which led to various connections with people thinking that Bobby was brothers with all of the Valiants even though none of them were actually related in the first place. But it’s wrestling, what can ya do?
Speaking of which, Bobby Heenan joins Jesse for the Body Shop segment in the ring, and he has decided to put a bounty of $50,000 on the head of Paul Orndorff. Because you just can’t get anything done for $25,000 these days, he notes. Bobby suggests that Paul just retire now and skip all the unpleasantness.
Paul Orndorff joins Mean Gene and he’s pretty sure anyone who wears a dress like Piper does isn’t man enough to collect the money. Gene: “Sounds like Piper is already planning on spending that money.” Orndorff: “What’s he spending the money on, MORE DRESSES?” Well played, sir.
Paul Orndorff v. Rowdy Roddy Piper
Amazingly, Paul (who is shirtless) turns around and leaves the interview area and suddenly his robe materializes on the way to the ring. WHAT IS THIS BLACK MAGIC? Anyway, even though there’s allegedly $50,000 on the line here, Vince is pretty sure that Heenan will just screw Piper out of the money if he tries to collect. Piper attacks and Orndorff immediately kicks his ass and beats on him from the mount and they slug it out on the mat. Piper gets a kind of DDT and puts the boots to him and now Vince is casting aspersions on Heenan’s bank making good on the cheque. Jesse clarifies that it’s a briefcase full of cash. They fight to the floor and Orndorff runs him into the table and then comes back in with an elbow off the top and atomic drop, but Piper uses a Greco-Roman eyepoke and takes over with a kneelift. Both guys collide and they’re down, but Piper recovers first and chokes him down, then goes for a splash and hits the knees. Orndorff hits a bodypress and they tumble to the floor and beat each other up until the double countout at 3:52. And they continue brawling all the way into the dressing rooms, as Piper locks himself in and we take a break. ***
Next up, Uncle Elmer gets married, in a legit wedding ceremony to his fiancé Joyce. Apparently Vince told Jesse to really lay into them on commentary, which he certainly does. And speaking of laying into them, Roddy Piper interrupts the ceremony and clarifies that everyone in the ring stinks and the whole ceremony is a joke. Brave guy to be doing that with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in the ring as groomsmen. They have the big kiss and Jesse declares it to be “like two carp in the river going after the same piece of corn”.
The Heenan Family joins Mean Gene, and they’ve got lots of grievances with Andre and tonight they’re putting a stop to it.
Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas v. King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd
Andre, still annoyed from the beating in Maple Leaf Gardens, immediately attacks Bundy and chokes him out with his own shoulder strap before laying into him in the corner. He rams Bundy’s head into Tony Atlas in a funny spot, because black people have hard heads according to science and/or wrestling and thus he’s not hurt by it you see, and Tony comes in with another headbutt on Bundy to send him out. Over to Studd and Atlas almost slams him, but no money today. Atlas misses a dropkick and Studd drops an elbow on him to take over, but then he goes to get in Andre’s face and gets headbutted as a result. Jesse calls it a dumb move, but it allows Bundy to hit a splash on Atlas behind the ref’s back so clearly it’s STUPID LIKE A FOX. But Andre gets the tag anyway so yeah, it was stupid, and Andre proceeds to whomping on Studd with a big boot. Studd bails and runs Atlas into the ringpost to get rid of him, and the heels double-team Andre in the ring until the ref calls for the bell at 4:29 for kicking too much ass. But then Hulk Hogan runs out and makes the save and Vince is like…
Hulk and Andre have words with Gene as you can see the crowd visibly filing out of the building. So I’m assuming this was the main event in the building and the show was taped out of order.
Meanwhile, Mean Gene takes a trip to the Detroit zoo, looking for George Steele after electroshock therapy went HORRIBLY WRONG on TNT. So Gene pitches all the setup lines and George does the punchlines (“What kind of tiger is this one, George?” “Detroit.”) before running into the jungle again.
WWF Tag team titles: Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake v. Leaping Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea
Yes, it’s the beginning of a grand SNME tradition, with new tag team champions making their FIRST TITLE DEFENSE against a pair of scrubs. Even though they had actually defended the belts several times on TV already, but the casual fanbase wouldn’t know that anyway. Poffo fights off both heels alone to start and hits Beefcake with a dropkick and a MOONSAULT for two. But then Valentine hits him with a cheapshot from behind and the Dream Team takes over in their corner while the US Express watches at ringside. Finally Poffo dives for the tag and brings in Garea for the hot tag and he gets a bodypress on Beefcake for two. But then Valentine clobbers him from behind and finishes with the figure-four at 3:20. *
And we close with the wedding reception to wrap up the show, as Vince interviews Hogan and Orndorff while Jesse sits at the table and bitches about the crappy wedding. And of course after a boring series of toasts, Jesse goes into the cake to end the show.
Next time: Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant v. King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd!
We’ve definitely seen better weddings in wrestling, and I don’t really get why this one was such a big deal at the time. Definitely a low-tier SNME as they continue figuring out the formula.