WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #6 (5.4.86) review
May 3, 1986 (Taped: May 1. 1986)
We’re in Providence, Rhode Island. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan. Trying to find this on the Network was so, so hard. If you search SNME you get episode #5, then #3, #1, #2. These used to be in date order but not anymore. Then it’s the modern episodes and I kept scrolling and just couldn’t find it. I eventually found it by searching for the British Bulldogs and I had to scroll for a while under those results to actually get it. Sort you shit out, WWE! Vince promises footage of the Hogan-Bundy cage match from WrestleMania 2. Can we not?
The Funk Brothers vs. Hulk Hogan & Junkyard Dog
This is, both amazingly and tragically, the last match of Terry’s mid-80s WWF run. He’d head back to Japan before retiring (again) and making the movie Roadhouse*. This is also sadly the introduction of Jesse Barr as Jimmy Jack Funk. The more I think about this, the more I think the whole thing is a rib on Fritz Von Erich for making up a fictional relative. They keep this match real simple. It’s the two mega over babyfaces throwing the heels around. The Funks, and Jimmy Hart, are great at bumping around and getting the match over. Terry has added so much to these shows that he’s been a part of. While Dory, or Hoss as he was dubbed in WWF, was fun he was nowhere near as much fun as Terry.
*If you’ve never seen Roadhouse, then stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it.
Heenan is in form tonight and is firing off one-liners like they’re going out of fashion. Not everything lands but he’s firing on all cylinders. I love that the Funks can’t get anything going and the only heat they get is Jimmy Hart “harpooning that little specimen” as he nails Haiti Kid with the branding iron. They threaten to get heat on Hogan by going after his ribs but Hogan backdrops Terry on the floor and that’s the end of that. They briefly pick off JYD but it’s only so Hogan can get a hot tag. Terry immediately eats the legdrop and that’ll do it. This was rapid. This is a prime example of how good heels don’t need to get anything during a match to get over. ***
Incidentally, this was JYD’s last chance to get one over on Terry Funk before Terry left the company and they had Hogan pin him. It’s funny now, but I can imagine how frustrating this must have been if you were watching everything develop in real time.
King Kong Bundy vs. Uncle Elmer
This is dubbed the “Battle of the Big Boys”. I’m giggling. Elmer, during the weigh in, is eating from a big bucket of “fried pig parts”. As Elmer gets beaten to his knees Heenan says he “looks like the Hindenburg in denim”. Oh, the humanity! It’s a shame we don’t have Dusty Rhodes on comms for this one because “THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY!” Elmer misses in the corner and gets elbow dropped for the L. Luckily Elmer keeps the fried pig parts down. The match was quite bad but mercifully short, so I’ll give it a pass.
Adrian Adonis is busy backstage enjoying a cut out of Paul Orndorff. Hairdresser Jimmy Hart is yet another elite version of Jimmy Hart. What a worker. Elsewhere. Orndorff warms up (literally) in a sauna and tells us he’s facing the “blimp and the wimp” tonight.
Paul Orndorff vs. Adrian Adonis
Adonis, like Terry Funk earlier, is intent on bumping like crazy to get this whole shebang over. Heenan is accepting of Adonis’ personal choices, but Vince thinks he looks stupid. Hey, says it all really. A lot of Vince’s flamboyant gimmick choices say more about his sexual issues than anything else.
Speaking of bumping, Jimmy Hart is doing double time tonight. Having taken a beating from Hogan and JYD, he’s out here getting thrown around by Mr Wonderful too. They devolve into a heat segment, which is unfortunate as Adonis and Jimmy bumping all over the place was great. Adonis makes some extraordinary bumping decisions. Including a back flip over the rope where he ties himself up and a bump sideways into the corner to set up the finish. Orndorff rips the dress off and chokes Adonis so the ref calls for the DQ. **¾
Interesting to note Paul Orndorff’s increasing frustration at his situation here. He couldn’t get by Adonis without getting disqualified. He’s a real hot head and it must be getting clear to him that he needs to turn back to the dark side. Hogan palling around with JYD instead of him, the guy who actually runs out and saves Hogan, must be annoying too. It’s all bubbling under.
We go to the pre-tape where Okerlund interviewed Hogan in the arena before people got in. A wild-eyed Hogan yells to the camera about fighting for HulkaMania and we get clips from the cage match against Bundy from WM2. Hogan vows revenge, although he did already beat Bundy and bloodied him in the process. I guess he’s mad he didn’t get to pin Bundy thanks to the cage match stipulation. I don’t blame him, brother, you need to get the clean wins.
Elsewhere, Ricky Steamboat tells us he won’t tolerate Jake Roberts draping his snake over unconscious opponents. Ahem.
Jake Roberts vs. Ricky Steamboat
Heenan calls Steamboat a “pineapple farmer”. What an insult. Jake jumps ahead of the bell and DDT’s Steamboat on the floor.
Ricky looks fucked so Jake chucks the python on him. This was pure mid 80s evil from Jake. Steamboat does a stretcher job and sets up an awesome blood feud.
Two out of Three Falls
WWF Tag Team Championship
British Bulldogs (c) vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
Bulldogs just won the belts at WrestleMania 2, and this is their first title defence. Sheik & Volkoff were the champions about a year ago, but Sheik’s stock has fallen a lot since then. DK has made the bizarre decision to turn up in red trunks. Davey has his title winning baby blues on. Sheik drills Davey with a high angle back suplex and the camel clutch makes it 1-0 heels.
Vince is peak useless here, not even knowing the name of an Abdominal Stretch. This is pretty basic stuff, mate. I don’t know a bunch of wrestler’s ‘signature’ move names but that one is a tap in. The match is crippled by DK coming in hurt, so they just leave Davey in there for the bulk of it under the auspices of ‘heel heat’. Volkoff thinks he has it won (“that idiot” – Vince) so Davey rolls him up for 1-1.
Vince confirms that DK has a torn-up knee, which is why he’s not tagged in. DK eventually tags in and limps across the ring into a couple of bearhugs. The heels are very protective of DK here and he takes a bump gingerly. Davey sneaks in blind and rolls up Sheik to retain. I have no idea why they had this match on at all given Dynamite’s injury and knowing he was hurt to then do 2 out of 3 falls? Perplexing.
This is a really good SNME. Maybe the best to this point. Two of the four matches were particularly good (Funks tag, Orndorff-Adonis), Bundy-Elmer was at least short and there’s a great Roberts-Steamboat angle. Unlike other early SNME they don’t try and work in silly entertainment bits and celebrity cameos, it’s just a pure wrestling show.
I’m amazed this has a worse cagematch rating than AWA WrestleRock. If you gave me the choice between the two, I would watch this four times and throw the AWA show in the bin.