Saturday, April 16, 2016

Random Network Reviews: Saturday Night's Main Event 11/2/85

Saturday Night’s Main Event
November 2nd, 1985 | Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania

This show took place on October 31st, 1985 but was recorded and aired a few days later. It is the third Saturday Night’s Main Event in history.

It looks like the show as a Halloween theme as Bobby Heenan and Mean Gene are in costume. Gene is some sort of pumpkin while Heenan is Davey Crockett. We get multiple promos from Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk before the intro video. I won’t lie, this intro video is awesome.

Junkyard Dog vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Before the actual match, Mean Gene interviews both participants and we see some build up for the feud. JYD starts with a quick attack on Funk that Jesse Ventura instantly calls a cheap shot. I mean, it was, but Funk kind of had it coming. Funk misses an elbow so JYD hits some body slams. Funk is so disoriented that he nearly attacks Hart. JYD nails his trademark headbutts, which Funk oversells hilariously. Funk finally turns things around with a sleeper hold. The crowd is pretty vocal throughout this whole thing. JYD switches around but breaks it to go after Hart. Funk strikes him with the megaphone to steal it.

Winner: Terry Funk in 5:16
Really basic stuff here. Neither guys does anything of note, but the crowd was really hot, which helped the score. 

After the match, Terry Funk tries to brand Junkyard Dog, but he stops him. He then removes Jimmy Hart’s pants and brands his booty.

Mean Gene leads us in a pie eating contest of sorts. A ton of people are dressed up, but the Iron Sheik as Batman may be the greatest thing in history. Captain Lou Albano takes on King Kong Bundy in a pie eating contest. Lou wins so Bundy hits him in the face with a pie, which just makes him way more.

Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer and Cousin Junior are out to confront Roddy Piper about the way he interrupted Elmer’s wedding on the last Saturday Night’s Main Event. Piper is out with Bob Orton. Piper throws Jesse Ventura under the bus for the stuff he said, which leads to Ventura coming in. This leads to a standoff, where Hillbilly Jim and Uncle Elmer get Ventura stuck in the corner, but he is saved.

Mean Gene now leads us to a pumpkin dunk contest. Elizabeth dressed as the Mary Jane to Macho Man’s Tarzan is the highlight of the night. Bobby Heenan defeats Cousin Junior in the contest.

WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant w/ Captain Lou Albano vs. Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan
How does anyone believe the heels have a chance? In a preview of WrestleMania 2, Hulk Hogan starts with Bundy. They do the whole “CAN HE SLAM HIM? NO HE CAN’T” spot which will probably end with the slam. Andre the Giant gets tagged and Vince McMahon calls him the Big Boss Man on commentary. Now we know where he got Ray Traylor’s name. Hogan and Andre continue to trade working over both of their opponents. The crowd is MOLTEN hot. The referee gets knocked out, but a second one appears to take over. Andre gets caught in the ropes like always, allowing the heels to turn things around. They beat on Andre, leading to the DQ.

Winners via disqualification: Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan 8:00
A fun tag tea match all things considered. The crowd was even hotter here than for the opener and seeing Andre and Hulk dominate together was kind of fun. **¼

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Tito Santana (c) vs. Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth

Prior to the match, Macho Man is interviewed and while it is short, it’s great. Jesse Ventura instantly goes into calling the champion “Chico Santana”. Savage is in control early on, showing off his quickness and ability. Savage continues to hold serve, wearing down the champion. He goes for a double axe handle but Santana catches him in the midsection and starts to fire up. Savage runs outside to avoid a move, so Santana follows out. It leads to both men being counted out.

Double Countout in 4:08
I feel like there is a pretty good match to be had between these two but they weren’t given enough time here. The double countout finish protected both men but this never really got going.**

Footage airs of how Roddy Piper spends his Halloween. Vince McMahon asks how he spends Halloween in his native Scotland, leading to Piper going on a short rant about Native Americans. The 80’s were a different time. He also tricks kids instead of giving them treats. The kids end up tricking him, leaving him with chocolate covered red peppers. It’s all incredibly over the top, but kind of fun.

Kung Fu Challenge
Mr. Fuji w/ Magnificent Muraco vs. Ricky Steamboat

I’m honestly not entirely sure what makes this a Kung Fu Challenge. Jesse Ventura says he’s not sure if Ricky is impressive because he doesn’t know the ins and outs of karate. Fuji uses what is seemingly karate to get in some offense but Steamboat nails a suplex. THAT ISN’T KARATE! He goes up top and nails a missile dropkick to win.

Winner: Ricky Steamboat in 3:16
Hard to really rate that due to Mr. Fuji not being a full time wrestler. At least it was short and the right guy went over. *

After the match, Muraco sprays something in Ricky Steamboat’s eyes. It looks like blood. They then beat down on him before leaving.

Backstage, Mean Gene interviews Elizabeth dressed as Mary Jane and they practice the pumpkin pass. He gets way too close to here. Macho Man is probably pissed. The faces win the pumpkin pass, because Elizabeth messes up. It’s probably hard to do that when the cameraman is basically up your ass.

Overall: 5/10; Mediocre. These are relatively hard shows to rate, especially in this era. I tend to not focus 100% on the match quality and more if the show is enjoyable. This one was relatively fun. The Halloween stuff didn’t overstay its welcome and was usually fun. The big tag match and Intercontinental Title match were both decent, while the bookend matches struggled. I’d rank this in the middle of the pack. Next on “Random Network Reviews” will be WrestleMania XXVII!