The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event – 11.02.85
We’re immediately getting more into the formula that we know and love, as we get quick backstage promos from Hogan and Andre, Roddy Piper, and Terry Funk with “Tubular Bells” in the background instead of the more familiar bassline. It’s Halloween, you see.
Taped from Hershey, PA, drawing 8000 and a 6.8 rating.
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Terry Funk v. Junkyard Dog
We actually get clips of JYD v. Funk from MSG to build this up, with Funk beating the Dog down with the branding iron, along with the famous clip from Championship Wrestling where Funk attacks Mel Philips. Funk was SCARY when I was a kid, so they did an effective job with him in this role at the time. Dog immediately attacks Funk on the apron and hauls him in for a beating, then lures him onto the top rope and crotches him while Jimmy Hart hides under the ring in terror. Funk bails, having not even had the chance to remove his chaps yet, and comes back in for a slam, but misses an elbow. Dog slams him to the floor as Funk is taking some impressive bumps tonight, but then heads back in and gets slammed again. Funk keeps bumping for JYD and bails to the apron again. Back in, Jimmy Hart trips up the Dog, so JYD chases him and then Funk tries to ambush him and ends up getting backdropped on the floor. Funk is just carrying this on his back. Back in, Funk slugs him down for two and gets the sleeper, but Dog makes the ropes and gets his own. But then Jimmy takes the ref, Funk gets the megaphone, and Funk puts him down and out for the pin at 5:21. Vince was going hard on the “Funk could get a title shot based on this win!” stuff all match, so you can guess what the December show had to offer for a main event. Poor Terry takes one more crazy bump, falling out of the ring and through a table at ringside while running away from the angry Dog, and then poor Jimmy Hart gets his pants pulled off and his ass branded by the Dog. Dog did nothing but Funk was working his ass off here. **1/2
Pie-Eating Contest: Yes, it’s Halloween celebration time, with Lou Albano facing King Kong Bundy while everyone watches on in their wacky costumes. Shiek and Volkoff as Batman and Robin is pretty funny, actually. Captain Lou triumphs in this one to give the babyface side the first win, for those keeping track.
Piper’s Pit with special guests, the Hillbillies. Piper wants to know how the wedding night went, and if they’ve thought about family planning at all. So they bring out Jesse Ventura to answer for his insults, and this quickly degenerates into a “Let’s Fight!” / “Them’s fighting words!” argument and the heels run away. There was nothing to this and it was just a rushed segment to set up next month’s six-man.
Pumpkin Bobbing Contest: We get Bobby Heenan against Cousin Junior this time. Randy Savage as official bag holder and cheerleader for Bobby is the clear highlight of the segment. Bobby Heenan wins to even things up for the heel side and we need a RUBBER MATCH later in the show.
Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant v. King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd
So it’s the SNME debut of the Hulk ’86 belt, although “Real American” is dubbed over top of what I assume is the Rock N Wrestling TV show theme that Hogan was using at the time. Hulk quickly hits Bundy with a high knee for two and goes for a slam, but Bundy grabs the ropes to block and beats him down. Hulk fires back with the corner clothesline and it’s over to Andre, whom Vince dubs “The Big Bossman”. Ironically Andre is not about law and order and immediately cheats, choking out Bundy with his own strap. Over to Hogan, but he gets caught in the Heenan Family corner and worked over. But then Studd tries an elbow and Hulk catches him with an atomic drop and brings Andre back in for some chops. But the ref gets backhanded by accident and goes FLYING, and everyone comes in for the brawl until the babyfaces clean house and we take a break.
Back with a new referee and Andre working on Studd with a bearhug. Jesse rightly points out the bullshit involved in the ref getting knocked out cold without a DQ being called. Andre hits Studd with a big boot and chases him to the floor, but manages to get caught in the ropes, which allows Bundy to hit Hogan with a splash and THAT is finally enough for this ref to call for a DQ at 7:41. Oh sure, you can literally bitchslap the ref into unconsciousness and that’s fine, but double-team a guy in the ropes and it’s a DQ? No wonder everyone thought Tunney was on the take from Hogan. ** Andre is NOT FINISHED with the heels and wants them to come back and get some more, and our heroes reaffirm their friendship and bond, which will surely last forever and could probably only be torn asunder if Vince could somehow sell 90,000 tickets for a match between them.
Intercontinental title: Tito Santana v. Randy Savage
Mean Gene’s question for Randy before the match: “Randy Savage, I’ve gotta ask…why the woman manager?” Surprisingly, Macho Man lets him live after that bullshit question. The balls on that guy. Savage hides in the ropes, but then slugs Tito down and drops the knee. Tito comes back with a hiptoss, but misses an elbow and Savage FLIES to the top rope with the double axehandle for two. Savage goes to a chinlock and pops up to the top again, but Tito hits him on the way down and makes the comeback as he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE. They fight to the floor and slug it out, but Savage suckers him to the apron and then tries a piledriver on the floor. And that’s enough for a double countout at 4:10. That’s bullshit, Savage was clearly in the ring way before the count on Tito was over. Unfortunately this one went nowhere here, but they’d have WAY better ones. *1/2 Savage exploded onto the show like a star, though.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fuji and Ricky Steamboat get psyched up for their KUNG FU CHALLENGE.
Meanwhile, Roddy Piper chats with Vince McMahon in his “rented American home” as he prepares for Halloween. Roddy is busy wrapping up a bowling ball like a candy apple and covering bricks with aluminum foil to make “chocolate bars”. You see, that’s how they do it in Scotland. So the kids come to the door and Piper steals their candy and gives them a bag of candy corn instead. Now that’s diabolical. Meanwhile Vince just stands watching this, but then we get the payoff, as the kids reveal that they left him “chocolate covered red peppers”. Not the best Piper skit from TNT but still pretty funny.
KUNG FU CHALLENGE: Ricky Steamboat v. Mr. Fuji
Steamboat is still sore from getting hung by Magnificent Muraco and all. Anyway, what we have here is clearly the direct precursor to UFC and mixed martial arts in general. In fact Fuji looks kind of like Joe Son. They wave their arms around to show how many martial arts they know and exchange chops, but Fuji uses a TONGAN DEATH GRIP and somehow manages to throw Ricky across the ring with it. I feel like physics would disagree with that one. Fuji tries a suplex and Steamboat reverses to his own and then finishes him off with the missile dropkick at 3:12. I don’t know what distinguished this as a “Kung Fu Challenge” but at least it had a clean finish. And of course Muraco comes in for the beatdown afterwards as we throw to the Halloween competition. *
Pumpkin Pass Contest:
I love Jesse’s matter of fact analysis of the pie-eating contest earlier: “Of course Lou Albano won, he’s a big fat slob”. Sadly, Elizabeth drops the pumpkin to lose the contest for the heels, but her Tarzan costume and blatant ass shot from the director mean we’re ALL winners.
I dunno, this one had a smoking lineup coming in, but the finishes were all bad and I wasn’t into the Halloween theme. Lots of it just felt like time filler, like recycling the Piper skit from TNT.