Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

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 Paul Orndorff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Orndorff. 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.




For other 1985 pro wrestling reviews see:
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.