Mega Powers Running Wild!

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Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Fabulous Moolah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fabulous Moolah. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 April 2020

EVENT REVIEW: Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - title graphic
May 10, 1985 (aired May 11, 1985)
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

Say what you will about Wrestlemania 36, there's one thing we can all probably agree on:

The Firefly Fun House match was batsh*t crazy.

Full of references to wrestling's past, the John Cena/Bray Wyatt was a montage of retro mayhem from start to finish.

In between the Ruthless Aggression callbacks and that bizarre nod to the nWo, one scene, in particular, cast our stars in the full-on eighties glory of one Saturday Night's Main Event.

And if that isn't a good enough reason to dive back to 1985 and review the first-ever edition of the WWF's occasional NBC special, I don't know what is.







Let's get to it.

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Cyndi Lauper and Wendi RichterWe began tonight's show with words from the biggest stars of the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection.

First, Wendi Richter received a pep talk from her manager, Cyndi Lauper. That wily ring veteran Lauper encouraged the women's champion to avoid getting her hair pulled and 'keep [her] trunk strong.' in her match tonight with The Fabulous Moolah.

Then, Hulk Hogan let us know that Mr T would be in his corner for his upcoming match with Bob Orton Jr.

This was followed by a delightful eighties intro, complete with shots of the company's biggest stars hitting their best moves while the fantastic theme song Obsession by Animotion played on.


Our announcers tonight were the incomparable duo of Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

While McMahon was pumped for Hogan's title defence against Orton, Ventura seemed more excited about the six man tag team match that was about to take place.

The U.S Express are Fired Up

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mean Gene interviews Ricky Steamboat and The Midnight Express
Before we got to the action, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by for an interview with Barry Windham, Mike Rotunda and Ricky Steamboat.

Windham was upset that their match tonight wasn't for the tag team titles while Captain Lou warned the heel manager Classie Freddie Blassie to stay out of his way.

As old-school eighties promos went, this was good stuff.

Six-Man Tag Team Match
George 'The Animal' Steel and WWF Tag Team Champions The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Classie Freddie Blassie) vs. Ricky Steamboat and The U.S Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda)

Thank goodness for the talent of the babyfaces or this match would have been a disaster.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - The Iron Sheik and Nikoali Volkoff teamed with George Steele in the opening match
People scolded the decision to put The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a match at the ill-fated Heroes of Wrestling PPV because they were in such poor shape then, but here, 14 years earlier, they honestly weren't much better.

At one point, Ricky Steamboat hit both men with a pair of arm drags and I'd be surprised if either man went more than a millimetre off the floor.

Still, Steamboat, Windham, and Rotunda made up for it with their talent and popularity.

After a short but serviceable match, Volkoff and Sheik abandoned their partner George Steel (who was entirely miscast as a heel), leaving him to get rolled up by Windham and pinned.
Your Winners: The U.S Express and Ricky Steamboat

Post-match, Sheik and Volkoff attacked Steele, but he fought back and saw them off before seeking solace in the embrace of his former manager, Lou Albano, effectively turning face again.

As the dastardly heels made their way backstage, they were stopped by Gene Okerlund who demanded an explanation.

Blassie declared that Steele hadn't made the tag when he was supposed to because -insult of all insults- he was a fruitcake.

Harsh, Blassie, way harsh.

Piper's Pit

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Paul Orndorff was a guest on Piper's Pit
Up next, we returned to the ring were "two of the baddest dudes in the World Wrestling Federation" (Vince's words), Rowdy Roddy Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton were standing by an episode of Piper's Pit.

Their guest this evening was Piper's Wrestlemania 1 tag team partner, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. The two got together to discuss their big 'Mania loss to Mr T. & Hulk Hogan. Of course, I say discuss, what I really mean is that Piper called Orndorff a loser and blamed him for the big loss.

Naturally, Mr. Wonderful attacked, turning babyface in the process, but was outnumbered and eventually overwhelmed by Piper and Orton.

Not all of Rowdy Roddy's Piper's Pit segments have aged well, but this was good stuff, especially when Orndorff responded to Piper's invitation to sit down by saying "ladies first," getting a huge pop from the live crowd.

This is For My Mother Brother

With that out of the way, Piper and Orton stayed in the ring, waiting for Orton's big title shot against The Hulkster. Before he got to the ring, Hogan gave an interview to Mean Gene. With Mother's Day coming up, Hogan dedicated his match to his Mother Brother though I assume he meant, you know, his mother, brother.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan (w/ Mr. T) vs. Ace Cowboy Bob Orton

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mr T was in Hulk Hogan's corner for a match against Bob Orton
The match itself was your typical Hulk Hogan 1980s title defence with most of the actual excitement turned down a few notches.

Hogan attacked Orton's cast-covered arm for a while, the Cowboy cheated his way to an advantage and beat up on the champion, then Hogan blocked a superplex attempt, pushed Orton to the ma, legdropped him and pinned him. It wasn't much, but it was fairly inoffensive at least.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

Afterwards, the heels attacked the faces, but  Paul Orndorff came to the rescue, cementing his face turn.

Cyndi Lauper is Banned From Ringside

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Mean Gene interviews the old Fabulous Moolah
Before our big women's title match, challenger The Fabulous Moolah told Mean Gene that due to Cyndi Lauper constantly getting involved in Wendi Richter's matches, WWF officials had banned the singer from ringside. What's more, Moolah had the official paperwork to prove it.

Offering a response, Cyndi wanted to remind us about Moolah interfering in Richter's match  at "Wrestling Mania." She was, of course, talking about her beating Leilani Kai for the title at Wrestlemania 1.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Wendi Richter (w/ David Wolff) vs. The Fabulous Moolah

Lauper made her way to the ring anyway but was ordered away from ringside and forced to watch the match on a tiny monitor while her manager, David Wolff, hung around at ringside doing nothing of note.

The match was fairly poor, at least compared to the fun outing Richer had with Kai at 'Mania, but still, this was a different time and the standards were completely different.

After a few minutes of very litle excitement, Richter rolled up Moolah to retain her title.
Your Winner and Still Women's Champion: Wendi Richter

Out in the entranceway, Junkyard Dog told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was bring his mom, Bertha, with him for his upcoming match.

The Duke of Dorchester, Pete Doherty vs. Junkyard Dog (w/ His Mother)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Junkyard Dog brought his mother Bertha to the ring
On obvious squash match, this was made all the better by the fact that Pete Doherty was one of the more entertaining jobbers of his time, always boasting enough personality to mask the fact that very little of note actually happened from a wrestling perspective.

To the shock of absolutely noone, JYD slammed Doherty to the mat after just a few minutes and pinned him clean.
Your Winner: Junkyard Dog

Aftewards, the JYD and his momma boogied out in the ring

Cyndi Lauper's Mother's Day Party

Out in the back, Cyndi Lauper hosted a Mother's Day party. Well, they called it a party, it was more a bunch of wrestlers and some of their moms (or fake mom stand-ins) all stood side-by-side in a line like they were in the weirdest police line-up ever.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1 (1985) - Jesse Venture & Vince McMahon called the show
Freddie Blassie came with a young woman who he claimed to be his mother yet was clearly 30 years his junior, a gag that Jerry Lawler would later use at In Your House 1 ten years later.

Meanwhile, Cyndi Lauper's mom told Mean Gene that she was glad the party was happening because now moms the world over could be recognised for the hard work they do, as though her daughter was the one who had invented the very concept of Mother's Day.

Finally, The Fabulous Moolah stormed in, irate at not being invited to the party, and got into a shouting match with Lauper.

In keeping with that ancient pro wrestling tradition which states that any time there is a cake, somebody's face must destroy it, the segment finished with a skirmish that led to both Moolah and Mean Gene going through the cake.






So, that was that. This is normally the point in these reviews were I wrap things up with some kind of final statement about the quality of the show, but it seems almost unfair to do that here.

Saturday Night's Main Event was very much a product of its time. It wasn't meant to stand the test of time as some landmark moment in history - it was meant to fill a bit of time when NBC weren't airing Saturday Night Live and entertain a few people, and to that end, it did it's job.

Sure, the match quality may not have been very remarkable, but at least the whole thing made much more sense than whatever the Firefly Fun House was supposed to be.




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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1987

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 - POSTER

Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio.
November 26, 1987


Teams of five strive to survive as the World Wrestling Federation presents a brand new Pay Per View concept designed as much to harm the rival NWA Starrcade PPV as anything else.

The original Coliseum Home Video release of this was heavily, and often badly edited. Sadly, that just so happens to be the version we're watching today. Still, let's see what went down, shall we?

Welcome to the Survivor Series! 

Following an excruciatingly cheesy, incredibly 80's opening mostly consisting of Wrestlemania II clips played over jazz music (yes, jazz music), it was up to the legendary duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura  to welcome us to the show and run down the rules of the Survivor Series matches.






Shake, Rattle & Roll, baby!

If there's one puzzling thing about early Survivor Series shows, it's that everybody seemed to be on crack in the pre-match promos. 

As they grouped together to say a few words about how they would destroy their opponents, every combatant would abandon their usual personalities in favor of some kind of maniacal, half-crazed hysteric.

It was all rather strange.

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 -  TEAM HONKY TONK MAN

Case in point here as The Honky Tonk Man laid into new fan-favorite Macho Man Randy Savage and even threatened to shake, rattle and roll Elizabeth again (having previously pushed her to the ground in a previous assault).

All the while, team-mates Hercules, 'Dangerous' Danny Davis, Ron 'Outlaw' Bass and 'King' Harley Race, along with managers Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Jimmy Hart snarled and jeered and acted, well...like they'd just taken a large amount of Class-A drugs.

Things were not much different when the Macho Man and his team took to the mic to offer a rebuttal, basically threatening to kick everybody's ass before the show finally took to the ring.

5 v 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Honky Tonk Man (Team Captain), Hercules, 'Dangerous' Danny Davis, 'Outlaw' Ron Bass, 'King' Harley Race vs. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan.

And so, after their now legendary Wrestlemania III encounter, The Dragon and The Macho Man found themselves on the same team in this battle of WWF's premier mid-carders of the time.

Yet enough of that for now. 

Hercules and Brutus Beefcake kicked off the match with an exchange every bit as awkward as 'The Barber's' ill-fitting yellow and black ring attire. Clearly going nowhere fast with Herc, Bruti brought Danny Davis into the affray to play whipping-boy for the babyface team; each of Beefcake's allies taking it in turns to lay the damage to the former official.

As the fast-paced action continued, it was ultimately Jim Duggan and Harley Race who were the first men out of the contest. The heated rival battled to the outside and continued to batter each other with clobbering blows as the referee counted to ten, eliminating both men.

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 -  MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE

The good guys continued to gain the advantage with Brutus taking out Ron Bass with a high-knee to put the scores at 4-3 to the good guys. 

Ah, who doesn't pine for the days when a knee to the chops could lead to a pinfall?

The match, which is actually better on second viewing than your writer originally thought, continued with the villains gaining some measure of revenge. Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man planted Beefcake with the Shake, Rattle and Roll to even the scores.

As the pace began to drop just slightly, the good guys eventually took out Hercules and Danny Davis, leaving HTM alone to face three of his biggest rivals in Steamboat, Savage, and Roberts.

Rather than do that, however, the cowardly champion simply grabbed his belt and walked to the back, leading to a count-out elimination and a win for the heroes.

And thus ended the first ever Survivor Series match, a contest which at times did seem rushed and awkward, but was actually a really enjoyable opener featuring several Hall of Fame-worthy stars.
Winners and sole survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts

Following the contest, Ventura and Monsoon wondered aloud as to why Honky decided to bail, killing time til the next contest.

Women's 5 v 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Sensational Sherri (team captain), Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, Dawn Marie & Donna Christanello vs. The Fabulous Moolah (team captain), Rockin' Robin, The Jumping Bomb Angels and Velvet McIntyre

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 -  SENSATIONAL SHERRI

First things first, let's get the typical male aesthetic viewpoint out of the way, shall we? 

Yes, WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri looked damn fine here, Fabulous Moolah looked as old here as she did during her late-90s comeback and well, yeah, your reviewer has always had something of a soft spot for Rockin' Robin.

All that aside, this was as good a women's wrestling match as you'll ever see; the action moved at a solid pace and there was barely a dull moment to be found.

The babyface team made short work of Dawn Marie (not that one) and Donna Christanello, the latter being taken out thanks to a quick roll up from Irish-born McIntyre before Robin took got rid of the former thanks to a flying cross-body.

This left women's champion Sherri and women's tag title holders The Glamour Girls (Martin and Kai) to hold their own against five opponents.

And hold their own they did. 

Sherri took the action to Rockin Robin, taking her out with a wicked suplex before Moolah, working as a babyface despite a lengthy career as a heel, succumbed to a weak-looking double clothesline to leave the contest.

As the match wore on and fatigue set in, the remaining six girls slowed the pace yet continued to deliver a dramatic, entertaining contest. 

McIntyre eliminated Sherri with another roll-up before exiting the contest herself thanks to a hard Electric Chair.

Down to The Glamour Girls vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels, the four remaining combatants closed the contest on a high note with a series of beautiful exchanges before the Angels eliminated their rivals to win the contest and lead to their memorable tag title match at the 1988 Royal Rumble.
Your Winners and sole survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels.

Heading to the back for another crack-addled interview, Bobby Heenan spoke on behalf of The Hart Foundation and the four other teams making up their Survivor Series squad.

Speaking on behalf of the Strike Force team, Tito Santana offered a response as his equally as excited teammates went loco in the background. 

Neither man said anything of note.

Ten Team 10 v 10 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Hart Foundation (team captains), Demolition, The Islanders, The Dream Team and The Bolsheviks vs. Strike Force, The Killer Bees, The British Bulldogs, The Rougeaus and The Young Stallions.


If I've mentioned any of the other bouts on this card being fast-paced, ignore it. Or at least, take my word for it that, as fast as they were, the furious pace of this twenty-man match makes every other contest seem like it was moving in slow-motion.

The rules here are that when one member of a team is eliminated, both men have to hit the showers, and so it was that after Boris Zhukov ate a flying forearm from Santana, The Bolsheviks were out of the running.

Wasting absolutely no time, the action picked up just a second later with Demolition Axe charging the ring to beat up on 'Chico.'

Tagging in and out almost every thirty seconds, each combatant had the opportunity to step between the ropes and showcase their wares at some point in this exhilarating, if someone crowded penultimate contest.

One of your writer's favorite teams, The Islanders again showcased why they were perhaps one of the more underrated teams during the glory days of the WWF tag team division while the Rougeaus and The Bulldogs (the latter of whom didn't even have their elimination from the match recorded on video due to the aforementioned editing from Coliseum Home Video) also shined here.

Yet ultimately, once most of the teams had been kicked out of the contest, it was down to The Islanders to hold their own against The Killer Bees and The Young Stallions.

Credit where credit is due, Haku and Tama took it to the babyfaces, though they were no match for Jim Brunzel and Briann Blair's old routine of suddenly donning masks, confusing everyone insight (including some viewers!) and scoring the win for their team.
Your Winners and Sole Survivors: The Killer Bees and The Young Stallions

Out in the back, Andre The Giant, flanked by his team, claimed to be out for Hulk Hogan's soul as we began to build to tonight's main event.


WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 -TEAM ANDRE THE GIANT

In reply, an animated Hogan riled up his already excitable partners, claiming that they were hungry and that 'the food chain doesn't matter.' Whatever that means.


Anyway, main event time.

5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Andre the Giant (Team Captain), Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and 'The Natural' Butch Reed vs. Hulk Hogan (Team Captain), Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Ordorf and Don 'The Rock' Muraco.

Stepping into a WWF ring for the first time since his losing effort against The Hulkster at Wrestlemania III, Andre The Giant lead his team into a surprisingly enthralling main event.

Ravishing Rick Rude and Don Muraco kicked off this entertaining contest, The Rock trading ring time with his partners as each one laid into the relative newcomer Rude. But it was Butch Reed, thanks to the Legdrop of Doom from Hogan, who was the first man sent packing for the bad guys.

Sensing an opportunity, Andre stepped through the ropes to finally extract some revenge on Hogan, only for the referee to mistake Hulk's celebratory high-five with Ken Patera for a tag and insist that Patera, not Hogan, continue the match.

Why Hogan didn't just tag back in again is anyone's guess, but alas it was Patera who continued the action against King Kong Bundy, the latter tagging in after Andre made it known he had no interest in anyone who wasn't the WWF Champion.

Following some dramatic back-and-forth action, the heels evened the scores when One Man Gang eliminated Patera, and continued to gain the advantage shortly after thanks to a Rude pinfall on Paul Orndorff.

The pace quickened, with quick successive eliminations for Rude and Muraco, leaving Hogan and Bigelow against Bundy, Andre, and The Gang.

It was from this moment on that Bam Bam Bigelow really came into his own. 

Easily the surprise star of the match, The Beast from the East looked more than comfortable as he and Hogan looked to turn the tide against the behemoths on the opposite side of the ring.

Things took a turn for the worse for Bam Bam as Hogan tussled on the outside of the ring with King Kong Bundy and was ultimately counted out, leaving his partner alone against his three larger opponents.

A undoubted star on the rise, with impressive agility, charisma and that intangible star quality, Bigelow put forth a valiant effort, managing to eliminate both Bundy and One Man Gang before finally falling victim to Andre the Giant.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant

Stealing the spotlight and sending the crowd home happy, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan then returned to the ring, smacked Andre upside the head with the title belt and posed before the crowd.

In the closing moments, Bobby Heenan insisted that if Hogan wanted a rematch against The Giant, all he would have to do is sign the contract. 

More of that at Royal Rumble 1988.






And so the first ever Survivor Series event was in the history books. Hardly the most memorable or historically significant event ever (apart from it being the first one), this was nonetheless a fun, action-packed show which gave just about everybody on the roster a chance to shine and managed to create enough variation out of four matches with the exact same concept. It's not hard to see from watching this event just why Vince McMahon decided to return to Survivor Series year after year.



Retro Pro Wrestling

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