episode 1. Original air date: May 11, 1985. Filmed May 10, 1985.
From the Nassau Veterans Memorial Colliseum, Uniondale New York. After a wild and chaotic holiday season, I have been struggling to get myself too invested in the blog. I would put on PPVs and just nothing was inspiring me to do the work for a full review treatment. Bad shows are more fun to lampoon, but not fun to watch. Great shows are fun to watch, but not as much fun to review. I needed something in wrestling that could balance my needs.
And what better than an episode-by-episode breakdown of the greatest wrestling television ever made, the World Wrestling Federation's Saturday Night's Main Event. Coming right off the heels of the first Wrestlemania, SNME would be crucial in building the growing WWF fanbase, bringing network tv and Vince McMahon's travelling circus together and reaching some ofthe biggest audiences in the history of television.
But what made SNME so great? Better than any wrestling television program before or since? Let's see if we can find out.
on this date May 11, 1985: the number one song in America according to Billboard was "Crazy for You" by Madonna and the number one movie in America was "Code of Silence," starring WWF Survivor Series '94 hero, Chuck Norris.
I watched this wonderful program on the soon-to-be no more WWE Network, as Vince finds a way to make his product available to millions of people who couldn't care less, put more money into his own pocket, and not have to pay royalties to his indentured servants via NBC Universal and their streaming service, Peacock. So before the program begins, we are treated to an advertisement for the WWE Network original, Broken Skull Sessions, One More Round, with the Undertaker. I watched it but don't remember much besides Taker is old, Austin isn't a great interviewer, and I miss the Undertaker who didn't talk.
The actual show opens with Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter. Lauper is using her month's of pro wrestling experience to coach up Richter and advises her on how to deal with Fabulous Moolah. Shockingly, she neglects to mention the possibility of being captured and human trafficked by the legend of ladies' wrestling.
Cut to Mr. T and the "Immortal" Hulk Hogan. They pity the fools.
That brings us to the actual opening credits. Legendary theme song "Obsession" by Animotion plays and I turn my tv all the way up. We get highlight clips from the stars that we will be seeing on the show tonight, Hulk, Piper, Richter, Moolah, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, the U.S. Express, Junkyard Dog, Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T. Very 1985.
"Welcome to the Nassau County Colliseum," Vince McMahon bellows incorrectly. He is our host, being joined by Jesse "The Body" Ventura, sporting a lovey pink number.
Howard Finkel is in the ring and he introduces the tag team champions, Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, and their manager, "Classy" Freddie Blassie. This will be a six-man tag team affair, and the heel team has George "The Animal" Steele on their squad. Gene Okerland interviews the opponents, Ricky Steamboat, teaming with the U.S. Express and their manager, Captain Lou Albano. Lou threatens Blassie, and Windham cuts a terrible promo. In the ring, Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem for heat. U.S. Express and the Dragon are announced and they head to the squared Circle. They have poorly dubbed in theme music, I believe because they were using "Real American" at the time and WWE wants us to forget that Hogan used to use "Eye of the Tiger."
Gene interviews Blassie and camp about betraying the Animal, they blame him for the loss.
Back in the ring, we are set up for Piper's Pit. Roddy is in the ring with his bodyguard, "Cowboy" Bob "Ace" Orton. Why he had two monikers was never explained to me (Editor's Note: I think it was because Piper described Cowboy Bob as his "Ace in the hole"). Piper's guest on the program is Paul Orndorff, in white short-shorts and no shirt. "Hot Rod" condescendingly tells Mr. Wonderful he wants to talk to him about what happened at Wrestlemania, but Orndorff cuts him off. He calls Orton a "dunce" and instructs him to get into the corner. Roddy Piper is essentially the pro wrestling Bill Murray. Orndorff refuses to stay calm. He is also a horrible promo. Piper tries his best, but this segment is rough. Piper attacks, but Orndorff is ready and returns fire. Orton joins in and the heels take the advantage, but Mr. T runs in to make the save and officially turn Mr. Wonderful babyface, alligning him firmly with Hogan and T. This union should last a long, long time. J/K, Paul will turn on Hulk within the year and they will have a massive money drawing program throughout 1986.
Mean Gene is with the Hulkster, but he would rather talk about his mom than what just occurred on Piper's Pit.
It's Main Event time! Right in the middle of the program, of course. "Cowboy" Bob is already in the ring, Piper in his corner. Finkel introduces Hogan, and he has "Real American" dubbed in, completely removing the crowd reaction. I guess you'll have to take my word for it, Hogan was very, very over.
We go to commercial and return for the start of the title match.
Commercial break, return to a graphic highlighting the Ladies' title match. Wendi Richter is defending against the Fabulous Moolah, who is 200 years old in 1985.
Gene is with Moolah. Moolah is tired of Cyndi Lauper. The Fabulous one has negotiated with the management to have Lauper barred from ringside. I assume she gave Tunney a free night's stay at Moolah's bunny ranch, but it is never specifically stated.
Gene is with Lauper and Richter now. Also, a goofy long-haired man is with them and never introduced or explained (Editor's Note: probably Dave Wolfe, Lauper's real-life manager and boyfriend). Lauper says "Wrestlingmania" yet is still a better promo than most of the people on this particular show.
After the break we see Lauper watching the match from a tv monitor. In the ring, Moolah wails on Richter looking saggy and bored. Richter is awkward. Moolah's offense isn't flashy, but it is believable. Wendi gets brief flurries of moves, but quickly looks lost. Moolah attempts a slam but Wendi rolls her up for the small package and wins. Really?
Wendi Richter defeats The Fabulous Moolah
1/2 *. Cyndi Lauper and the strange man return to the ring and celebrate with the champion.
Vince pitches to commercial by just yelling "Junkyard Dog!"
We return and Gene is with the Junkyard Dog and a woman who is allegedly his mother. She looks younger than he does.
Vince pitches to a commercial, letting us know that Cyndi Lauper's Mother's Day surprise is coming up next.
The stars are backstage, party decorations abound, everyone awkwardly lined up, almost like this isn't a party at all. Gene, JYD, JYD's mom, some unidentified child, Iron Sheik, Volkoff, Blassie, Blassie's "mom", Captain Lou, Hulk and Hulk's mom, Richter, Lauper, and Lauper's mom all attending this soiree.
JYD is happy to be with his mom. Iron Shiek is tired of Cyndi Lauper. Volkoff tells us his mother lives in Moscow. Blassie has a bizarre incest fetish but judging by porn site top hits, he doesnt appear to be alone. Capt. Lou reads a poem. Hulk's mom is grateful, and Hulk himself is humble. Lauper is happy to be with her mom and Wendi. Wendi says "Happy Mother's Day" to her own mother, who didn't want anything to do with this carnival nonsense. Moolah does a run in on the party dressed like the robot from "Short Circuit." She is mad she wasn't invited even though she is a mother (and also "mother like figure" to numerous young lady wrestlers). Moolah calls Lauper's mom a toilet, and a kerfuffle breaks out, the end result being Moolah and Okerlund with a face full of cake.
Final commercial break, we return to Vince and Jesse signing off. End credits roll over a slow motion replay of Hogan making his ring entrance, nothing particularly interesting in the credits themselves.
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