July 14, 2023

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #2 (10.5.85) review 

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #2 (10.5.85) review 


Taped: October 3, 1985 

We’re in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Brendan Byrne Arena. If you’re scratching your head at that place name, it’s the Meadowlands Arena before it changed its name. From 1981-1996 it was the Brenan Byrne Arena, named after the former governor of New Jersey. Hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. We get a quick interview with Nikolai Volkoff ahead of his title match tonight and says when he goes back to Russia with the belt HE MIGHT PRESS THE BUTTON. Did he just threaten to nuke the United States?  

We also catch up with Uncle Elmer who’s getting married tonight. It’s a night of romance and wrestling!  

Ventura isn’t impressed and says the wedding has no place on this show. Jesse: Internet Hipster before the internet.  


WWF World Championship 

Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Nikolai Volkoff 

There’s a lot of flag shagging here. Can you imagine Volkoff winning the belt here? Unthinkable. They do run the Hogan formula though with Volkoff beating the crap out of him. They’ve found a match he can do without looking bad. However, the match leans heavily on the heel being able to work a dominant match and Volkoff can’t do that. Hogan mounts his standard comeback and the legdrop finishes. You know how it works. The Hogan formula worked ok here. He just had to get beaten up for five minutes before hulking up. In terms of quality, it was not great, but it was over as shit.  


Uncle Elmer vs. Jerry Valiant 

Vince’s obsession with ‘country boys’ was bordering on weird. Do you like he went home and danced around the house in dungarees? Did that do it for him? Hillbilly Jim and dancing Cousin Junior are out here. Elmer is dogshit but all he does is slam Valiant for the win. Official time is 6 seconds, which means it’s faster than Bundy-SD Jones at WrestleMania. The Bundy record would continue to be cited after this though, so maybe they just thought Uncle Elmer was shit. 


We look into the crowd and Arnold Schwarzenegger is here. WWF had that celebrity involvement nearby at all times. That’s what made it the hip show to watch in 1985. Mainly because of all the celebrities hanging around New York and how hot the product was.  


The Body Shop: Bobby Heenan 

Heenan has put a bounty on Paul Orndorff. The whole segment is drowned out by some jay-brone blowing a slide-whistle in the crowd. Ventura looks furious. We cut straight to Orndorff who says some dude in a dress can’t beat him. Uh, it’s a skirt mate.  


Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper 

Piper has a whole Emerald Society Pipers band playing him to the ring and Orndorff is fucking steaming about it. Vince calls Heenan’s bounty “confederate money”. I’ve never seen anyone so obsessed with the south in my life. Piper “hits” a “DDT” in this. I’m not sure that was what he was going for. They head outside and brawl around ringside and the crowd eat this shit up.  

It’s a hell of a match. They beat the shit out of each other, do a wonderful crossbody out of the ring and the ref counts them both out. The fight continues into the backstage area.  

This whole thing was badass. They knew what they were doing here. Logically they would have done a big blow off for this feud on PPV but WrestleMania II was still six months away. 


Uncle Elmer Wedding 

Apparently, they couldn’t get the right to fake a wedding in New Jersey, so this is a legitimate wedding.  

Imagine getting married in fucking dungarees? It’s in front of 20,000 people though. Personally, I was happier getting married in front of the 20 people I got married in front of. Some waste of air in the arena manages to pelt Elmer’s wife with garbage during the ceremony. Hey, I know you don’t like it but how’s about you just don’t be a massive shit-stain brother. I guess they couldn’t know it was a real wedding but fuck off.   

Anyway, Piper comes out here to disrupt but Hogan yells at him to leave. We get the reception afterwards and HAHA, there are a bunch of farmyard animals because he’s a country boy!  


King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas 

Studd rambles pre-match about how Andre can’t slam him. Ugh, he already did mate? This is a major issue for Vince McMahon as Andre bullies the smaller Bundy, who’s going to fight Hogan at WM2.  

The whole Andre-Studd shit continues and it’s not good. The heels double team Andre and that’s a DQ. That’s a soft call from the ref. Hogan runs in for the save. This happily reinforces the Hogan-Andre connection plus establishes either Studd or Bundy as the next man in line for Hogan. 


Video Control takes us to Gene Okerlund. He’s gone looking for George Steele at the Detroit Zoo.  

Okerlund and Steele monkey about and make fun of the Detroit Tigers, Bobby Heenan and such.  


WWF Tag Team Championship 

The Dream Team (c) vs. Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea 

The Dream Team (Valentine & Beefcake) have stolen the tag belts off the US Express. This whole angle is ‘can Greg Valentine get anything over’. Vince did this repeatedly over the years. He gets someone good and puts them in a shit situation to see how good they really are. Here saddling Hammer with the dreadful Brutus Beefcake. Hammer beats Garea with the Figure Four and we can quickly get out of here. Match was nothing.  


We get footage from the wedding reception where Vince tells Ventura to shut up. Lanny Poffo gives us a wedding poem, and everyone applauds. They bring out Tiny Tim*, which is the first time Joyce (Elmer’s bride) has smiled all night, to gift her a banjo. She must hate wrestling.  


*Tiny Tim was a famous ukulele player. He recorded “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”.


Ventura plays his face and gets thrown into the cake.  


The 411: 

As with the first SNME, this is a brisk affair where they get over all their big guns (Hogan, Andre, Piper, Orndorff etc) and end the show with a party. A lack of celebrities (Tiny Tim, and Arnie sat in the crowd barely count) this time around and the in ring was noticeably less exciting but nevertheless, this was a fun hour of pro-wrestling from Vince. His product is cleaner and stylistically better for TV than anything else in wrestling in 1985. He’s made clear attempts to make production the focal point and is driving the show with characters, rather than workers.  

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