WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #11 (5.2.87) review
May 2, 1987 (Taped: April 28, 1987)
We’re in South Bend, Indiana. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. This is the SNME that deals with the fallout from WrestleMania III. Hogan and Andre were left on the non-televised part of the show as to not further damage the giant’s mystique. On tap for this evening; Randy Savage vs. George Steele. The Macho Man trying to get a measure of revenge for his IC title loss and Steele is still obsessed with Miss Elizabeth. The British Bulldogs get a title shot at the Hart Foundation. Considering how screwy their title loss was, this is a long overdue but obviously Dynamite Kid has been injured. Ricky Steamboat defends his IC title against Hercules and another match if time permits etc.
Jesse Ventura is dressed perfectly normally today. A blue vest with tassels, a red feather boa and a sparkly silver tinsel wig. He looks like a Christmas decoration. It’s sad what a brother will do to cover up his baldness. Speaking of bald, Gene Okerlund turns up to interview Kamala, who can’t speak English. I’m sorry that you’re bald Gene. You a motherfuckin g. Keep slayin boi. Good fuckin yard.
Kamala vs. Jake Roberts
Jake has had a rough few months. First Honky Tonk Man broke a guitar over his head, permanently fucking up his neck and then he didn’t even beat Honky at WrestleMania III. Now he’s saddled with Kamala on TV. Jake works around Kamala’s shortcomings by going after Kamala’s bare feet. People forget that Jake is a tall man. Kamala towered over people in the bush leagues. Jake’s roughly the same height.
Kim Chee is noticeably more animated this evening. Excited to be on TV, or is it something else? He does make me laugh when he pushes a visibly sluggish Kamala around the ring, chasing Jake. The finish here is awesome. Jake absolutely murders Kamala with a knee lift. It slaps. Fuji distracts, Kim Chee jumps in there to blindside Jake and Kamala finishes with a sick running splash. The match wasn’t up to much but the finish was good. Kim Chee pulls off his gear and it’s the Honky Tonk Man. He’s cool, he’s cocky, he’s bad. This segment was actually good. How to utilise Kamala, ladies and gentlemen.
George Steele vs. Randy Savage
Steele doesn’t understand what a lumberjack match is, so Ricky Steamboat helps him out. Dipshit Duggan runs into the ring before we start and waves around his wood. Fuck off, mate. You’re supposed to be on the floor. Savage cuts a promo. “Vengeance is mine!” He says Steele cost him the belt at WrestleMania and he’s still steaming about Steele kidnapping Liz last year. That was six months ago! Back when the WWF did long term storytelling.
Dipshit Duggan ends up jumping into the ring again. Just fuck off, it’s not about you. Duggan’s man-baby character in the WWF is one of the most insufferable pieces of shit I’ve ever had to write about. He’s worse than Hogan! Savage gets into a fight with Steamboat, which draws everyone across and allows Danny Davis to clock Steele with the ring bell. Big Elbow finishes and Savage “ends the feud”. Well, it’s about time. The match was good. Lots of energy from Savage. Steele’s business was kept to a minimum. **½
Post match: there’s a huge brawl with everyone involved. Jake Roberts runs down with Damien out to clear it. Brooklyn Brawler (Kim Chee) does a sensational job of wrestling Damien before the snake slides out of the ring. Some tremendous visuals during this.
Video Control gives us an interview with Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant. Andre says he was cheated, and Heenan calls the referee’s biased. Heenan pulls up his footage from WrestleMania III. Heenan’s claim is that the initial failed slam from Hogan was a three count. I mean, it wasn’t.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Hart Foundation (c) vs. British Bulldogs
Two out of three falls. Jimmy Hart has a hell of a match with Matilda before we get underway. I’m starting to convince myself that Jimmy is the GOAT of managers. Davey Boy takes the bulk of the match. I can only assume Dynamite Kid is still hurt. The Harts double team Dynamite, Danny Davis gives Davey a kicking on the floor and Tito Santana has to run in to make a save. The ref DQs the Harts for all this bullshit and it’s 1-0 Bulldogs. That was a chaotic conclusion to the first fall.
Dynamite spends most of fall #2 being beaten up. He doesn’t take many bumps and gets no offence in. He’s clearly still suffering from injuries. They keep the action going for a good ten minutes. Lots of moving parts all working to create an overall theme of excitement. Davey throws Dynamite onto Anvil and they win! What? Wait, what? Jesse Ventura says you can’t win a title on a DQ and because there was a DQ in the first fall, the belts don’t change hands. Oh, man, that’s not accurate at all. When you’re in 2 out 3 falls, the deciding fall is the key one and the final fall was clean. Bulldogs got screwed here.
Poor Dynamite Kid broke his nose for nothing. The match had a lot of action and intensity. For a ten minute sprint, they got a lot in. Especially involving the extra bodies. It was a good use of Tito Santana and Danny Davis to embellish the in-ring. Call it ***.
Video Control takes us to Hulk Hogan to rebuke Andre’s accusations about the false finish. Hogan addresses the near fall and says he wasn’t sure until he saw the referee signal it was a two count. Hogan is up for a rematch, but nobody is stripping him of the title, brother. That doesn’t work for me.
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Hercules
Savage is backstage, cheering on Ricky Steamboat. Why? Because he wants to beat Steamboat himself! Fuck Hercules. “I’m thinking of myself and only myself!”
Savage gets so worked up, with Steamboat trapped in the full nelson, that he runs out here and stops Hercules from winning. Bobby Heenan has seen enough, throws the chain in and Hercules takes Steamboat apart with the chain, going after that throat that Savage injured. This is the start of a long road babyface for Randy Savage. It starts off as a selfish intention but it’ll grow from there. Just as I type that, Savage drops the Big Elbow on the fallen Steamboat and celebrates with “his” belt. Wonderful.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Can-Am Connection
Jim Duggan has gotten around his ban by buying a ticket for ringside. Slick stands by his wrestlers right to party…the Communist Party.
Volkoff sings the Soviet anthem so Dipshit Duggan leaps over the rail, into the ring and attacks him. Ventura rightly points out if it was the “land of the free” Volkoff would be allowed to sing the anthem. Anyway, Duggan was banned from ringside and turned up anyway. He also is allowed to return to his seat at ringside. Fuck this guy. The “land of the free” only seems to apply to big loudmouth Americans. But that’s true isn’t it? What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
Back in the match poor Zenky baby takes the beatdown. Dipshit Duggan jumps into the ring again and a distracted Sheik gets rolled up for the L. The match never really got started. It was all about Duggan and Volkoff. Luckily Duggan gets the shit kicked out of him after the match.
As per usual SNME represents the best of the WWF at the time. Which means Harts-Bulldogs and lots of Randy Savage! I cannot argue with those numbers. I almost wish there were more SNME so I could just watch those and skip over the various house shows I’ve been watching in between in order to get an idea of what the WWF was like in between major shows. In 1987, they only ran two ‘major’ shows so it’s necessary to touch base with the product in between. SNME is an ideal way of doing that. A great show, always on point. Never lingering on anything for too long.