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Showing posts with label Uncle Elmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uncle Elmer. 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.




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For other Saturday Night's Main Event 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.