Saturday Night’s Main Event #2: Time For A Wedding!

Saturday Night’s Main Event #2
Date: October 5, 1985
Location: Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 8,000
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

One of the best things about the first episode of this series was how few names were used. There was the opening six man tag, the four wrestlers (and Mr. T.) in the Piper’s Pit and title match, the girls and Junkyard Dog. That leaves a huge cast of characters to look at in upcoming episodes and that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. This episode has several of the people on the first show but also a bunch of other names that we haven’t seen yet. Let’s get to it.

Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie promise to take the WWF World Title back to Russia and then push the missile button to destroy us all. Volkoff and Sheik have lost the Tag Team Titles to the US Express, who have since lost them to the Dream Team, who we’ll be seeing later.

Hulk Hogan tells America not to worry.

Hillbilly Jim, Cousin Luke and Uncle Elmer (the resident hillbillies) are ready for Elmer’s wedding and the reception later tonight. Piper comes in and mocks the whole thing.

Opening sequence, again with different people than last time but still ending with Hogan.

Vince and Jesse run down the card. Ventura thinks the wedding is going to be boring.

WWF World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff

We get the Russian national anthem and Real American Hulk Hogan actually doesn’t interrupt. Instead we get an on the floor promo from Hogan, who hates seeing the Russian flag flying in an American ring. He’ll be carrying the Stars and Stripes to the ring and promises that it’s the only flag you’ll see after the match is over. Hogan actually comes to the ring to Stars and Stripes Forever instead of Real American in a nice touch.

The evil Russian jumps the champ before the bell and chokes him with a shirt. Hogan blocks a ram into the buckle though and hammers away in the corner before nailing a hard running clothesline. Some headbutts and right hands put Volkoff down again and a boot to the chest puts him onto the timekeeper’s table. Volkoff lands on the bell, causing it to ring in a funny bit.

Nikolai sends Hulk into the post to take over though and stomps away on the back inside. The gorilla press (not the full version) backbreaker plants Hogan but Volkoff doesn’t go for the cover. Hulk powers out of an over the shoulder backbreaker but Nikolai pounds him back down again. A slam gets two and it’s Hulk Up time. Hulk avoids a charge in the corner and the big leg is enough to retain the title.

Rating: D+. Again, the idea here was to get Hogan on free TV but this was short and dull for the most part. Volkoff was pretty much just a strong oaf who could talk about how great Russia was and then get beaten up by a real American. It was a simpler time, but it would have been nice to have someone that could have had a better match than Volkoff.

Hogan spits on the Russian flag and throws it on the ground.

Post break Hogan says he’d love to beat up Volkoff again and calls him baby doll. Hogan is ready for the wedding as well.

The bride is getting ready.

The Hillbillies aren’t worried about anything they have to do tonight.

Jerry Valiant vs. Uncle Elmer

The bell rings, Elmer slams him and gets the pin. It barely broke ten seconds and is announced as a new record of six seconds.

We see the King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones match from Wrestlemania I that held the old record of nine seconds, even though it was more like twenty one. I still don’t know how they got nine out of that.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is here and it’s really not treated as that big of a deal.

It’s time for Jesse Ventura’s Body Shop interview segment. His guest is Bobby Heenan, who has issued a $50,000 bounty on the head of former client Paul Orndorff. Heenan suggests that Orndorff just retire instead of try to fight back.

Orndorff doesn’t think the bounty is anything to worry about and laughs at the idea that Piper is already spending the money.

Piper says he’ll rip Heenan’s throat out if he doesn’t pay off. Tonight he can make some money and get rid of someone he can’t stand. He also doesn’t think Elmer should get married because it means he could reproduce and who would want that?

Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff

Piper comes out to a full pipe and drums band. It’s a brawl to start with Piper going right at it like the fighting villain that he is. A boot to the face puts Orndorff down and Piper rams his head into the mat over and over. Orndorff comes back and hammers away before they start ripping at each others’ faces. Piper keeps stomping away as the fans all stand up to look at something in the audience.

The guys head outside with Orndorff throwing a chair back inside but coming in with a shot to the head. A belly to back suplex drops Roddy but he comes back with a poke to the eye and a kneelift. They hit heads and Orndorff gets up first, nailing a cross body to take both guys outside. Neither guy cares about the count and they brawl up the aisle for the double countout.

Rating: C+. Really fun brawl here with both guys beating the tar out of each other until they went to the appropriate ending. In theory this sets up a big series of matches on house shows where they could have a real winner. These two had great chemistry together and this was very fun stuff.

It’s time for the wedding with Okerlund playing the organ and Uncle Elmer in his overalls and a tie. The wrestlers are the wedding party with Andre in his tights and Hogan in a sleeveless shirt and bow tie. The minister calls the groom Uncle Elmer and everything goes fine until Elmer can’t understand the minister and messes up the vows.

Roddy Piper interrupts and says there’s no room for romance in wrestling. That goes nowhere as the wedding goes on without any major hitch. This went on for a good while and never really did anything of note. In theory it was supposed to be funny but it never reached that point. From what I’ve read, this was an actual wedding rather than just a storyline.

Some pigs and chickens are running around the reception area.

Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Heenan’s pair of giants, say they’re going to prove that they’re the real giants of wrestling instead of Andre. They recently cut Andre’s hair to give him his best remembered look.

Tony Atlas/Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd/King King Bundy

Atlas is a power wrestler. This was set up when Andre was beaten down by the giants, so Atlas is here to help him out. Andre chokes Bundy to start and takes him into the corner for some big hip shots. Off to Atlas who is easily knocked over with a shoulder but avoids a splash. Studd comes in and drills Tony with a shoulder of his own but gets rocked by some headbutts.

Tony misses a dropkick though and John stomps away. Bundy gets in a cheap shot when Andre goes after Studd, but Tony crawls over for the tag a few seconds later. We get an awkward sequence as Andre doesn’t seem sure of what to do before he just lays on Studd against the ropes. A big boot sends John outside but Bundy comes in with a cheap shot. Studd rams Atlas into the post and the giants double team Andre for a double DQ.

Rating: D+. Not much to this one but it was designed to set up something later on. At the end of the day, Atlas just wasn’t much of a partner for Andre as he needed someone a bit bigger to hang in there with monsters like Bundy and Studd. The match wasn’t anything to see but it advanced a major story.

Hogan comes in to save his old friend Andre, setting up another showdown later on.

Gene Okerlund, in safari gear, is on a hunt. Granted the tiger print jeep doesn’t do much for his camouflage. Apparently he’s hunting for George Steele and has been told to look in the Detroit Zoological Park. Steele is right there and hasn’t been seen since undergoing shock treatment, which gave him the ability to speak for a few moments before another shock turned him back to his normal self. He and Gene look at some animals, including a tiger (Steele: “Detroit!”), a weasel (“Heenan!”) and a hippopotamus (“Bundy!”). George runs off into some bushes. I miss these segments outside the arena as they make things a bit more interesting.

The new Tag Team Champions the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) are willing to fight anyone. We see a clip of Brutus blinding Barry Windham to win the titles. Barry and Rotundo will be sitting ringside for the match.

Tag Team Titles: Dream Team vs. Tony Garea/Lanny Poffo

Garea is an old timer and five time Tag Team Champion. Poffo is more famous as the Genius and Randy Savage’s brother. Valentine easily slams Lanny down and works on a headlock before tagging in Brutus. Poffy quickly fights back and drops both guys before getting two off a moonsault to Beefcake. The champs work over Poffo in the corner but he finally dives over and tags in Garea. Tony speeds things up for a bit and takes over until Beefcake gets in a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Valentine to put on the Figure Four to retain the titles. Windham and Rotundo didn’t do a thing.

Rating: D+. Total squash again here with the champs never being in anything resembling danger. Then again they were in there against a couple of jobbers so the ending never was in much doubt. The division was about to take off in another year or so with the Dream Team being one of the last teams of the old era.

We go to the wedding reception where Jesse is writing a poem for the bride and groom. Hogan thinks this could launch Elmer to the top of the WWF. Lou Albano is eating with Cousin Luke and tries to teach him some manners. Poffo, still sweaty and in his gear, reads a poem of his own for the couple, ending it with a plug for NBC. Hillbilly Jim says he’s open for dinner invites every Sunday.

There’s a special guest: Tiny Tim! Who is that you ask? Well he’s a guy who had a novelty song called Tiptoe Through The Tulips which he sang while playing his ukelele. Tim was involved in a nationally televised wedding before this and has been mentioned throughout the night. He gives Elmer a ukelele and that’s it for Tim tonight.

Jesse reads his poem and calls the whole thing wrong. Wrestling and romance don’t belong together so all the good guys throw him into a cake to end the show.

After a break, Vince announces Hogan/Andre vs. Bundy/Studd on the next show, a month from tonight. Hogan is excited about the match and we go to our last break before dancing ends the show.

Overall Rating: D. This one really didn’t do it for me as most of it was based around the wedding and it really wasn’t all that entertaining. Why should I care about a comedy character getting married on national TV? It comes off like nothing but a ratings ploy, which really shouldn’t be necessary on the second show of a series.

The wrestling wasn’t much better here as most of the matches were either really quick or just there to set up something later on down the line. Thankfully it’s a short line with only a month before the next episode. The Hogan and Andre team is going to wind up being something important, but we’re a good way off from that. Bad episode here though.

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