Clash of the Main Events: Diary Entry #3
I apologize in advance for the mistimed opportunity to sync this episode up perfectly with the holiday it’s themed after. Based off of the thumbnail I see, this next episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event embraces the spirit of Halloween. All I know going into this episode is that The Iron Sheik is dressed like Batman and, frankly, that’s kind of all I need/want to know.
I would have loved to posted a link to this article with the hashtag #HalloweekCreep2k14 (a movement started by our friends on the Dilettante Ball podcast and explained on our own Blank Slate podcast. But alas, the holiday season caught up with me, and I simply couldn’t find the time. What was so important that I couldn’t watch wrestling from 29 years ago and write about it until now?
November 16th, 2014
Despite my qualifications and longing for dat Cube Life, the traditional job hunt has proved arduous. It’s time I’ve taken fate into my own hands. Thanks to a good look from my buddy Bryce, I’ve been working on narrating several audio books. I’ve even started treating it like a real 9-to-5 and have been keeping responsible adult hours. I started doing those just before Halloween came around. My roommate Robert and I threw a bomb-ass Halloween party complete with candy, candles, and a Ouija board. The apartment is totally not haunted. Though, I never thought to try and channel wrestlers that have passed on to the other side. I may just save that experience for the #HalloweenCreep2k15.
#3 – SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT: NOVEMBER 2, 1985
THE FIRST THING YOU SEE: Bobby Heenan’s face in a vat of chocolate, and pumpkins practicing for the pumpkin dunking contest later in the night. ‘Nuff said.
-Hogan cuts a promo for his tag match later in the night that has more sass in it than the last three Madea movies.
-Roddy Piper is dressed as “Super Roddy” and Jesse Ventura is not in a costume.
-Terry Funk promo with Jimmy Hart in which everybody in the room is covered with Funk’s chewing tobacco spit.
-After the open, Vince McMahon welcomes us to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the camera cuts to THE THING THAT WILL DESTROY MY DREAMS FOREVER.
-Vince runs down what we’re going to see tonight, and then we’re given a recap of the nefarious doings of Terry Funk and what he did to The Junkyard Dog the last time they met up.
MATCH NUMBER ONE: Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart v. The Junkyard Dog
-From the SECOND the match starts with JYD getting the early upper-hand, the crowd goes bonkers and starts throwing crap in the ring.
-This hard cam view is going to be tough to get used to. From the earlier shots of the crowd, this arena looks so steep it looks like there are just chairs bolted to walls.
-Wow. Funk covers JYD for a very slow two-count, and the ref still had to hold his hand back before the three because JYD was late on the kick-out.
-Manager shenanigans ensue as JYD is ready to take this win. Funk gets a hold of the megaphone while the ref is dealing with Hart. Funk shellacs The Dog over the head with it for the…
WINNER: Terry Funk by pinfall.
-Funk attempts to brand JYD with his branding iron, and JYD stops it with his bare hands. Logic Leap: Funk has a magical metal that keeps intense heat for long periods of time AND The Junkyard Dog can not burn his hands off by touching it.
-More hijinks lead to Jimmy Hart losing his pants and getting branded by JYD. I don’t remember Jimmy dealing with those wounds on ‘Legends House.’
FINAL WORD: Quick, painless, and it got the crowd hyped.
-PIE EATING CONTEST! Now we’re playing at my speed!
-Everyone’s costume here is very important:
-Macho Man Randy Savage as Tarzan (first SNME appearance)
-Elizabeth as Jane
-Nikolai Volkoff as Robin (had a WWF Championship match in the last SNME episode, is now is a sidekick/The Iron Sheik’s ward)
-Bobby Heenan as Davey Crockett
-King Kong Bundy as Abraham Lincoln (with a cape)
-The Iron Sheik as Batman
-Tito Santana as Zorro (1. C’MON and 2. There’s NO WAY IN HELL anyone producing this scene recognized the significance of Zorro next to Batman)
-Hulk Hogan as Hercules
-Uncle Elmer, Cousin Junior, and Hillbilly Jim as The Three Musketeers
-Captain Lou Albano as Julius Caesar
-Mean Gene Okerlund as The Great Pumpkin
MATCH NUMBER TWO: Pie Eating Contest – Captain Lou Albano v. King Kong Bundy
-Mean Gene awkwardly starts the contest, allowing Captain Lou out to a little bit of an early start, but Bundy makes up ground like he may have eaten pie before.
-This is the most legitimate and passionately fought contest the WWE may have ever put on.
-The dramatic editing, while effective, didn’t allow for me to accurately assess who was winning down the stretch. However, as time ran out, we see a leaning stack of empty pie tins in front of…
WINNER: Captain Lou Albano by eating more pies in 90 seconds.
-Bundy, in a rage, shoves his last remaining pie in Captain Lou’s face. This makes little difference.
-When asked what he thought of all this, Captain Lou said something I’ve said countless: “Give me another piece of pie, Gene.”
FINAL WORD: As the two-time undisputed, reigning, defending McArthur High School Pie Eating Contest Champion during Mu Alpha Theta’s Pi Week in 2004 & 2005, this segment brought back a lot of fond memories for me. As the runner-up in the 2007 & 2008 Theater Strike Force Pie Eating Contest to promote the 12 Hours of Improv event, I identified with King Kong Bundy. I think he got off to an unfair start and made a valiant effort to come back. Nothing to be ashamed of there, Kong. MVP of the show thus far.
-I guess Piper’s Pit may be able to follow that segment.
-Roddy’s guests are Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, and Cousin Junior. I think this is the first and only bench used on Piper’s Pit.
-Uncle Elmer calls out Jesse Ventura for the comments made during his wedding the previous month.
-This segments ends with really nothing but hillbillies stomping on Ventura’s beret.
-Back to the Halloween party and the real action.
-Two hundred gallons of chocolate syrup and a bunch of pumpkins are in a trough for the Great Pumpkin Dunk.
-We’re joined by JYD dressed as a mummy.
-I have no idea of the rules for a “pumpkin dunk” either, so we’re all on the same page here. Bobbing for Apples rules are in effect.
MATCH NUMBER THREE: The Great Pumpkin Dunk - Bobby “The Brain” Heenan w/ Randy Savage & Elizabeth v. Cousin Junior w/ Tito Santana & The Junkyard Dog
-Just at a glance, you would have to think that Cousin Junior has the natural ability to win this…
WINNER: Bobby Heenan by collecting seven mini pumpkins with his mouth in 60 seconds compared to Cousin Junior’s four.
-The defeated look on Cousin Junior’s face while he wiped away chocolate syrup may be one of the saddest things I’ve seen. Please don’t slow it down, set it to “Love Hurts” by Nazareth, and tweet it to me @RichCami. I’ll break down in tears. LVP of the Show.
-Oh, great. Crowd-side promos could only mean one thing . . . We’ve got an actual wrestling match coming up next. BOOOOO!!!
MATCH NUMBER FOUR: Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan v. Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant w/ Captain Lou Albano
-Goodness gracious, King Kong Bundy may be the most nimble performer in this match.
-Hindsight obviously being 20/20, this is amazing/refreshing to see seedlings of the next two WrestleManias being planted and nurtured in this one match.
-HOGAN FROM THE SECOND ROPE! HOGAN FROM THE SECOND ROPE! It’s like he’s taking the nimble comment I made personally.
-The Hulkster’s always been an innovator. Just like the way he tried to innovate that hybrid back body drop with an atomic drop that just turned into one big directionless fall on Big John Studd.
-Ref bump and things have broken down already. Let’s call it 2:30 into this match. This also led to one of the best reasons for a commercial break during a match I’ve heard in wrestling: waiting for a replacement referee. This was undoubtedly the only reason for the bump, and I am willing to bet this doesn’t figure into the ending of the match.
-We’re back from commercial as Hogan tags Andre in, which prompts Vince to say, “Here comes the big boss man,” which in turn prompts me to imagine Andre the Giant as a regular cop in Georgia.
-Andre gets caught up in the ropes like usual, except this time on the outside towards the hard cam. Hogan getting tripped up leads to the double team from Studd and Bundy resulting in the…
WINNERS: Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant via disqualification.
-Hogan and Andre finally get their shit together and regain the upper hand to clear the ring. Alas, too late.
-Mean Gene in the ring asks Andre on his thoughts, and I wish I could play Andre’s quote of “I didn’t get enough!” every time I’m at a buffet and someone wants to leave way too early.
FINAL WORD: That was a super-quick schmoz match that the live crowd was super hot for, and it seems like the story between those four could have kept being told. The post-match interview was solid as well. As much footage as the WWE shows on documentaries to establish that the Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant characters were best friends, I don’t think they ever use this piece, which is a shame because I kind of bought into it in the moment. I won’t go as far as to say I was moved, but I definitely believed that these two guys cared about each other.
-Coming up next is an Intercontinental Title match with Tito Santana and Randy Savage. This episode is Savage’s first look on SNME and, as mentioned before, was dressed as Tarzan earlier in the show. If that happened today, the collective IWC would lose their shit and for no reason. He worked out just fine. Please keep that in mind when Sami Zayn is actually revealed to be The Bunny.
-I’m puking at the thought of how many Jezebel articles would be written today about the relationship between Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
-A graphic pops up previewing a Kung Fu Challenge. This episode just speaks to me.
-Savage enters the ring and we blackout and in from commercial to your current Intercontinental Champion in the ring following the challenger and with no entrance. I know that doesn’t always mean something today, but let’s call this a telegraph, OK?
MATCH NUMBER FIVE: WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion Tito Santana v. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth
-I am pretty psyched for this match. Don’t be surprised if the next thing you see it the result because I just get lost in watching.
-Every time I watch an attempted piledriver where the guy can’t lift his opponent up all the way, it’s like vomit making it’s way up to my mouth and stopping right at the back of my throat. I can sense the bile coming, but nothing horrendous actually happened.
DRAW: Randy Savage and Tito Santana draw after a double count out.
FINAL WORD: That’s a decent way to keep this feud going in 1985. I’d just keep watching for the sheer athleticism and excitement of (for the most part) both competitors involved. This on it’s own, though . . . not so much.
-KUNG FU CHALLENGE TIME! A solid 20 seconds was just spent on an extreme close up of Mr. Fuji screwing his knuckles into his temples.
-Or not? After Fuji, we cut to Ricky Steamboat breaking some boards, cut to commercial, and then a HIGHLY DISTURBING shot of what looks like The Iron Sheik going in for a kiss with Nikolai Volkoff. It’s not disturbing because they may kiss, but it’s the sweatiness and concentration on Sheik’s face that caught me entirely off-guard. Anyway, the explanation here is that they’re practicing for the final contest of the evening, the Pumpkin Pass.
-This episode has started moving so fast and random. We’re now at Roddy Piper’s “Rented American” house to see how he prepared for Halloween, so I’m not complaining ‘cause the potential for this segment is through the roof.
-OK. I’m just going to report what I see. Piper is putting sticks in bowling balls, wrapping bricks in aluminum foil, and slips in a racist rant (as he is wont to do) when Vince mentions “native” Scotland.
-Trick-or-treaters have shown up, and now Roddy Piper is in a room with five children. What’s the worst that could happen???
-The kid dressed up as Hulk Hogan looks like he’s in the Kidz Bop version of Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”
-FINALLY we’re getting the Kung Fu Challenge.
-But first, how about some footage of Mr. Fuji and Don Muraco trying to hang Ricky Steamboat?
MATCH NUMBER SIX: Kung Fu Challenge - Mr. Fuji w/ Don Muraco v. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
-The rules of the match have yet to be explained. We’re just told they’re going to be “different,” so I guess we’re going to wing it.
-Between all these chops and kicks, this match technically qualifies as the first ROH match in recorded history.
-A suplex in a Kung Fu Challenge. Just sayin’.
WINNER: Ricky Steamboat pins Mr. Fuji after a top rope dropkick (in a KUNG FU CHALLENGE)
-Muraco comes in the ring immediately after the match is over and blasts Steamboat with the Red Mist.
FINAL WORD: I can’t help but feel a little ripped off. Even if the match was fine (which it totally was), I was advertised one thing and got the same thing as everything else. Boo.
-Finally, we head to the finals of the Halloween competition. This is for all the prestige, glory, and honor in the business.
MATCH SEVEN: Pumpkin Pass – Team Babyfaces v. Team Heels
-JYD passes to Tito Santana (who TOTALLY uses his hands and Jesse rightfully calls him out on it), Santana passes to Cousin Junior, Junior passes to Hillbilly Jim, Jim passes to Captain Lou, and Captain Lou DROPS THE PUMPKIN on the way to Hulk Hogan! With five successful passes, the height difference between Captain Lou and Hogan would have probably been the death nail of that run anyway.
-King King Bundy passes to Nikolai Volkoff, Volkoff passes to The Iron Sheik, Sheiky-baby passes to Miss Elizabeth, Liz DROPS THE PUMPKIN on the way to Roddy Piper. With the way Savage was breathing down Piper’s neck, I would have dropped it too! After Savage chews out Elizabeth…
WINNERS: The Good Guys win the Pumpkin Pass and the Halloween Competition 2-1.
FINAL WORD: I can honestly say this was an exciting and entertaining competition to watch. No irony in sight.
-We close the show with Jesse Ventura calling out The Hillbillies on behalf of himself and Roddy Piper for the next edition of SNME.
THE LAST THING YOU SEE: Hillbilly Jim in the ring and Uncle Elmer pointing at Jesse Ventura’s hat.
THE WRAP UP
FINAL MVP OF THE SHOW: King Kong Bundy
FINAL LVP OF THE SHOW: Cousin Junior
MY FAVORITE SEGMENT: Pie Eating Contest
MY LEAST FAVORITE SEGMENT: Kung Fu Challenge
WWE HALL OF FAMERS ON THE SHOW: 18 (Bobby Heenan, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura, Terry Funk, Jimmy Hart, The Junkyard Dog, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, Tito Santana, Captain Lou Albano, Cowboy Bob Orton, Big John Studd, Andre the Giant, Ricky Steamboat, Mr. Fuji, and Don Muraco)
FINAL THOUGHT: This is the epitome of a show that is NOT for the wrestling purist, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining as all hell. As programming that’s taking the timeslot of Saturday Night Live in the offseason, I’m for it. OF COURSE RICH RECOMMENDS.
NEXT TIME: It seems we may get Jesse Ventura in the ring and another title defense from Champion Hulk Hogan.