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 Saturday Night's Main Event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saturday Night's Main Event. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Event Review: Saturday Night's Main Event 2 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Event logo
October 3, 1985 (aired October 5th)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Following the success of the first Saturday Night's Main Event show five months earlier, the World Wrestling Federation returned to prime time television in October 1985 with a show that proved more than ever that Vince McMahon was always more interested in the entertainment aspect of his beloved sports entertainment.


Sure, tonight's show featured some wrestling, and we even sewed the seeds for the inevitable build to Wrestlemania 2, but for the most part, Saturday Night's Main Event 2 was focussed on a hillbilly wedding and George Steele hiding in a zoo.

Here's what went down:






Nikolai Volkoff Will Take the Title Back to the Soviet Union

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie
We began tonight's show with Mean Gene Okerlund interviewing Nikolai Volkoff and his manager, Classie Freddie Blassie.

Volkoff had a WWF Championship flag match against Hulk Hogan tonight so, naturally, he promised to win the title and take it back to his homeland.

Blassie warned us that Volkoff always meant what he said, which was supposed to be scary.

Offering a retort, his opponent, Hulk Hogan promised to stay true and defend the red, white, and blue tonight, because whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania and the US of A run wild on you, brother?

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse 'The Body' Ventura & Vince McMahon hosted the show
Our commentators for tonight's show were none other than Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura. We got the usual opening words from them, but not before Mean Gene gave us another pre-recorded interview.

This one was with Uncle Elmer, who would get legitimately married later on in the show, and his best man, Hillbilly Jim. The two were excited for tonight, so naturally, that evil villain Rowdy Roddy Piper had to interrupt their promo and rain on their parade.

Ventura was equally as unimpressed with the wedding, telling Vince that all he cared about was the wrestling.

Please Rise and Respect the Singing of the Soviet National Anthem

Nobody rose, of course, and nobody respected it, but Nikolai Volkoff sang anyway after which Hogan told Mean Gene how infuriated he was with Volkoff carrying "our enemy's flag" to the ring.

With all of that out of the way, it was finally down to ringside for our opening contest.

Flag Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan beat Nikolai Volkoff on the showThis was billed as a 'flag match,' but that didn't mean it was 'capture the flag' rules or anything like that. It was literally just a normal singles match which each man's flag propped up in the corner.

The match was a good effort by mid-1980s WWF standards, and that's what's important to remember here. Trying to watch these kinds of matches through the filter of modern pro wrestling is always going to make pretty much everything look crappy, so I'm trying not to do that as best I can.

Sure, there'll still be bad matches on these shows. Sometimes things just suck no matter how you look at it, but Hogan vs. Volkoff didn't.

It was a product of its time and it delighted the live audience. At one point, Hogan reversed a piledriver attempt with a simple back-body-drop, and the crowd exploded in a way that modern audiences don't when watching even the most intricate of high spots.

Predictably, Hogan put his opponent away after a few minutes of decent-for-the-time action.
Your Winner and still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan is interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund
Afterward, Hogan tore up the Soviet flag and used it to shine his boots just to ensure that there was some element of the flags being involved in this loosely-defined 'flag match.'

As Hogan celebrated, Vince McMahon encouraged us to stay tuned from more of the best in "wrestling and romance." Somewhere in Japan, Genichiro Tenryu suddenly had an idea.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Brother?

If you were a Hulkamaniac, this was the show for you.

Cutting his third promo of the show (and we were only fifteen minutes in), The Hulkster was stoked about his big victory and delivered a basic "I told you so," message to Nikolai. Hogan was also excited about the upcoming wedding because "it prove[d] wrestlers can be nice people."

You tell 'em, Hulk.

Uncle Elmer Ain't Worried

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer, Hillbilly Jim and Cousin Junior
Backstage, we saw Uncle Elmer's fiance, Joyce, getting ready for her wedding.

Out on the arena floor, Mean Gene asked Elmer himself whether he was more worried about his upcoming match with Gerry valiant or his impending nuptials.

Being a babyface and all, he wasn't worried about either, and when it came to the match, it would soon turn out he had no reason to be worried, either.

Uncle Elmer (w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior) vs. Gerry Valiant

About six months after this, Uncle Elmer would compete in what was literally the worst professional wrestling match this writer has ever seen - an absolute farce of a performance against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania 2.

That was the bad match against which all other bad matches are judged on this blog. No matter how much a bout sucks, as long as it doesn't suck as much as Elmer/Adonis, that's fine with me.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim about Elmer's wedding
Anyway, Elmer didn't have the chance to suck tonight. As soon as the bell rang, Valiant ran at him, but got slammed and pinned in six seconds flat.

That was it.
Your Winner: Uncle Elmer

Post-match, Howard Finkle announced that the six-second victory was a new WWF record, beating out the previous record set by King Kong Bundy in his win over S.D Jones at the first Wrestlemania.

Mean Gene then interviewed Elmer, who chuckled at his own quip that Valiant shouldn't have bothered taking his jacket off if he wasn't planning on staying. Haha.

The Bounty is Set

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse Ventura interviews Bobby Heenan in the ring
On an in-ring edition of The Body Shop (think Piper's Pit but with dumbells on the floor instead of a tartan rug), Jesse Ventura welcomed his guest, Paul Orndorff's former manager, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

Heenan declared that even though he had previously put a $25,000 bounty on the head of Mr. Wonderful, he was now upping that to $50,000 and would happily pay it to Roddy Piper if the Rowdy One could take out Orndorff in their upcoming match.

Out on the arena floor, the talking continued with Piper telling Mean Gene that he would gladly take out Orndorff, and would happily rip Heenan's head off if he refused to pay up.

Finally, we got some more wrestling.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews Roddy PiperMr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper 

This was the best match out of both Saturday Night's Main Event shows so far, and it wasn't even much of a match. Instead, Orndorff beat Piper senseless around the ring and on the arena floor until the referee threw the whole thing out as a double count-out in under five minutes.

Though that result may have put a dampener on things for some people, it was such a spirited brawl with such a hot crowd that it proved very enjoyable indeed.
Double-Count.

Post-match, the two brawled all the way to the backstage area where Piper locked himself in a dressing room to escape the wrath of Mr. Wonderful.

Uncle Elmer Gets Married

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce Stazko got married on the show
Despite being referred to as "Uncle Elmer" throughout the ceremony, this was apparently a legitimate wedding between Stan Frazier and Joyce Stazko. Unlike normal wrestling weddings that end in some kind of shenanigans, this one was relatively smooth except for the interruption of Roddy Piper.

Hot Rod had spent most of the show being very vocal about his disdain for these nuptials, so it was no surprise when he turned up during the whole "does anybody have any reason why these two should not be married?" deal. Piper had a reason, and that reason was that everybody stunk.

Wedding guest Hulk Hogan saw Piper off, leaving the rest of the ceremony to go unplanned.

As segments go, there's not much else to tell you about it other than the fact that Vince and Jesse talked over the whole thing and then repeatedly asked each other what was being said by the officiant. You know guys, if you just shut up and listen, you'd be able to hear it.

We're The Real Giants

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan interviewed by The Meanest Gene of Them All
After all that, we went to Mean Gene Okerlund who was standing by for an interview with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and his men, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.

The two wrestlers were mad about Andre The Giant calling himself a giant because, according to them, they were the real giants.

This was actually a fun 1980s heel promo in all its "We're very angry and shouty" glory.

Battle of the Giants
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant & Tony Atlas

Here, the two teams attempted to set a new world record for the least amount of wrestling in a wrestling match. They would have set the record too if Tony Atlas hadn't jumped around a bit during his ninety seconds of ring time.

On either side of that, Andre basically walked back and forth around the ring with King Kong Bundy. It wasn't very interesting, but let's be honest, this was never going to be a classic.

After about four minutes, the lack of action came to an unspectacular finish with a disqualification win for the babyfaces.
Your Winners: Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas

The heels continued to attack the victors after the bell, prompting a Hulk Hogan To the Rescue run in.

George of the Jungle

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - George Steele does his elephant impression for Mean Gene
After a brief in-ring promo from Hogan in which he said nothing of note, we went to a pre-recorded clip in which Mean Gene Okerlund arrived at a zoo in a tiger-print jeep that even Joe Exotic would find embarrassing.

Okerlund's mission was to find George 'The Animal' Steele who, he told us, 'the whole world had been looking for.'

If you recall, Steele had been turned on by his partners Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first Saturday Night's Main Event and ended up reconciling with Captain Lou Albano.

The reconciliation led to that Wrestlecap-worthy episode of Tuesday Night Titans where Lou tried to cure Steele of his mental difficulties by having him hypnotized by 'Dr. Sigmund Zif.'

IT even worked, temporarily, but an overload of the funky brain thing they stuck on Steele's head overloaded, causing The Animal to be crazier than ever. Since then, he'd been hiding out in this zoo pointing at camels, and Mean Gene had come to find him.

Nothing happened here. They walked around looking at animals. Gene said the name of them and then George said which WWF performer they reminded him of. (Hippo = King Kong Bundy, weasel = Heenan, obviously). It was relatively entertaining, sure, but nowhere near on the level of that insane Sigmund Zif angle.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dream Team Brutus Beefcake & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and their manager, Johnny Valiant)
Before the match, we were reminded of the time the Dream Team stole a victory over the U.S Express. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham would be out on the front row to watch this match, presumedly to size up Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake for an upcoming title match, but in a fun pre-match promo, the champs insisted that they didn't care one way or another.

They were the true champions and, to them, that was all that mattered.

The match itself was about as fun as a three-and-a-half-minute match could get in the 1980s, with Lanny Poffo and Tony Garea jumping about the place to make the champs look impressive.

Unfortunately, no amount of leaping for Lanny and his partner would help the challengers on this night. Valentine locked Garea in his patented figure-four, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: the Dream team

Finally, we went to the wedding reception for Uncle Elmer which was an interesting experience to say the least.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce at their wedding reception
Still wearing his wrestling attire (seriously, imagine being at a wedding reception in your undies), Lanny Poffo read a poem dedicated to the happy couple before singer Tiny Tim randomly turned up and gave Elmer one of his famous ukeleles.

Next, Jesse Ventura decided that he was going to read a poem too though, naturally, his was all about how terrible an idea it was to mix wrestling and romance.

Never one to let anybody else have the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus for the final part of tonight's show. Still sitting at Uncle Elmer & Joyce's wedding reception, he told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan.

At the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team up with Andre The Giant to face King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

I wonder how that turned out.

Never one to let anyone else take the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus of the penultimate spot of Uncle Elmer's wedding reception. He told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan and at the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team with Andre The Giant to take on King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

Finally, Uncle Elmer and his beautiful bride Joyce had their first dance as the credits rolled, and Saturday Night's Main Event 2 came to an end.







If you're a wrestling purist only interested in five-star matches and lashings of #WORKRATE,  then you probably won't find much to enjoy by diving back to the second Saturday Night's Main Event special. 

Sure, the main event tag team title match was fun, but this wasn't really a wrestling show as much as it was a show about wrestlers. In particular, it was a show about a hillbilly wrestler getting married, with a B-story that would prove to set up Wrestlemania 2's main event.

By rescuing Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas from the clutches of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan would establish himself a rivalry with Bundy and the two would go onto to have a cage match at the aforementioned 'Mania.

If you're interested in checking out the review of that show, you can do so here. Otherwise, thanks for reading.




For other 1985 pro wrestling reviews see:
For other Saturday Night's Main Event reviews, see:
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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:
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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.