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Saturday Night’s Main Event (10.4.1986) Review

February 24, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
WWE Saturday Night's Main Event WWF SNME
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Saturday Night’s Main Event (10.4.1986) Review  

Originally wrote this review from a blurry old traded tape in 2009. Adding new thoughts to it as needed while watching it on WWE Network.

-Taped at the Coliseum in Richfield, OH on September 13, 1986 and aired October 4 on NBC.

-Cold open promo from Jesse Ventura, hyping this as a big return for him. This is yet another reason for Vince to just seeth when he thinks of Jesse, as Jesse quit the company after Wrestlemania 2, and after a few months, word of Jesse’s departure reached NBC and NBC cared badly enough to hold any future SNMEs until Vince got him back.

-We also hear from Jake Roberts standing in his underwear in the shower, Dream Team, The Wizard, Paul Orndorff, and Hulk Hogan. If there’s any wisdom to be taken from this montage, it’s the wise words of Johnny V: “Boo-boo-boop!”

-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. Your hot scoop to open the show is that Roddy Piper’s doctor has advised him not to wrestle tonight. This takes us to Piper’s Pit, where Adrian Adonis masterminded an attack on Hot Rod’s leg.

-Backstage, Piper tells his doctor to go deliver a baby, ‘cause he’s gonna wrestle!…It sounds cooler when Piper says it.

-We look at Paul Orndorff’s betrayal of Hulk Hogan. Weird choice of audio mixing here, as it sounds like they ADDED cheers for Orndorff’s piledriver.

-Hulk Hogan cuts a promo, acknowledging that Orndorff’s been getting a handful of cheers during the feud. He then refers to himself as “old, battered, broken-down”…in 1986.

-Paul Orndorff vows to rip out Hogan’s tongue and hang it on his new title belt. Now THAT’s trash talk.

WORLD TITLE: HULK HOGAN (Champion) vs. “Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Bobby Heenan)
-Mean Gene stops Hulk on the way to the ring to request an interview, and Hulk picks him up and moves him out of the way to walk straight to the ring. I wonder what points Gene thought Hogan would cover that he didn’t cover in the two promos he already cut tonight.

-Hogan charges and misses and fists are exchanged. Hogan wins that battle and Heenan goes to the apron, giving Orndorff an opening to clothesline Hogan to the floor. He pounces out there, but Hogan rams his face into the canvas and shoves him back into the ring. Another observation from watching this from a pristine master copy: they post-produced the HELL out of this, with piped-in cheers so loud that you can barely hear the impact of anything on the mat. You can also hear cuts in the audio, as they’re apparently switching between different tracks of crowd sweetening every time they made an edit. It’s really jarring.

-Chops and punches thrown by Hogan, and he takes Orndorff on a tour of the turnbuckles. Headbutt and an Irish whip bring Heenan back to the apron, and Hogan punches him off (sold with a marvelous dive off the apron by Heenan). Orndorff attacks from behind again and takes pretty good care off Hogan. Hulk sells an elbow drop so dramatically that he rolls out of the ring and lands on top of Mel Phillips. Faster then Mel can thank him for doing so, Orndorff attacks again and brings Hogan into the ring. No, no, I’m just kidding, Mel wasn’t like that. For one thing, Hulk was an adult.

-Elbow gets a two-count. Orndorff bites Hogan and suplexes him for another two-count. Orndorff stomps Hogan, but Hogan comes back with a kneelift and a slam. He goes for the legdrop, but Heenan hooks the leg. Hogan can anticipate this time and dodges the attack from Orndorff, sending him to the floor. Meanwhile, Joey Marella has called for a herd of Rent-a-Cops to get Heenan out of the building, and they literally carry Heenan by his arms and legs backstage and lock him in a room as we go to a commercial break.

-Back to Hogan chasing Orndorff around the ring, but Orndorff takes advantage with a kneedrop when Hogan follows him back into the ring. Elbow followed by a choke. Another elbow gets a two-count. Short clothesline and Orndorff signals for the piledriver. Hogan backdrops out. Orndorff starts throwing punches and kicks desperately, but falls victim to a full-blown Hulk-Up. Clothesline by Hulk and he celebrates with a stupid little dance that he should never ever do again. Hogan starts to go for a piledriver when “some fat sweathog” from the front row jumps the barricade and attacks Hogan from behind. It turns out to be Adrian Adonis, and it’s a two-on-one attack on Hogan. The presence of Adrian Adonis brings Roddy Piper to the ring with his crutch and he shatters Adonis’ arm with the weapon, clears the ring of Orndorff…and then takes a swing at Hogan! Hogan & Piper stare each other down, and Piper drops his crutch and limps away from the ring. Hogan tells the referee to give the crutch back to Piper and then does his post-match ritual. 1 for 1. Good brawl with fun booking.

-Creepy promo from Jake in the shower; they discuss the match at The Big Event where Steamboat won clean as a sheet and Roberts insists that he can’t remember the match. GREAT joke from Jake to finish things.

JAKE: If you believe that Ricky Steamboat can beat me, you should just go back to selling encyclopedias.
GENE: I never sold encyclopedias.
JAKE: Couldn’t do that either, huh?

RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT (with his pet dragon) vs. JAKE “The Snake” ROBERTS (with Damien the snake)
-I don’t recall Steamboat ever giving his dragon a name. Let’s just call him Carl.

Arm wringers are exchanged and Steamboat gets the early advantage with chops and a backdrop. Armdrag into an armbar. Press slam gets a two-count. Another armdrag by Steamboat. Armbar as we establish that Roberts is afraid of Carl. He’s more concerned with the bag in Steamboat’s corner than he his with escaping the hold. Slingshot by Steamboat and he heads to the top rope for a splash, but Roberts raises the knees. Roberts starts to go for Damien, but changes his mind when he sees Steamboat crawling toward Carl. Roberts works the abs of Steamboat and fires punches his way. Short clothesline gets a two-count. Slam by Roberts and he works the ribs with kneedrops. Blatant chokehold by Roberts. Steamboat starts to come back with chops but Roberts cuts him off with a kneelift. Uppercut by Roberts staggers Steamboat for a two-count. Inverted atomic drop by Roberts. He goes for a clothesline, but Steamboat hooks the arm and turns it into a crucifix for the three-count. Post-match, Roberts sends Steamboat to the floor and rams him into the post. Roberts goes for Damien, but Steamboat whips out his dragon, and Jake runs for his life. Good, fast-paced battle to end the feud. 2 for 2. Steamboat ALSO does an ill-advised post-match dance.

-Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan in the locker room. Notable only for the hilariously deceptive camera angle they use here that makes Hogan look about eight feet tall.

-Jesse Ventura introduces himself to Slick while wearing a Buckwheat t-shirt.

-Pedro is subbing for Rowdy Roddy Piper, but during the ring intros, Piper hobbles to the ring and aims his crutch straight for Pedro’s head. Pedro takes the hint and goes to the locker room, so…

Sheik attempts to attack at the bell, but Piper breaks the crutch over his back (and watching on the Network reveals that Piper went all-in with that crutch shot and Sheik has a massive welt across his back). Piper goes for Slick and Slick does a funny run from Piper. Sheik chokes Piper with his own t-shirt and kicks the injured knee. He attempts a suplex, but Piper reverses it to an inside cradle for the win. 2 for 3. Less than a minute for this?

-Roddy Piper cuts a hilarious promo against Adrian Adonis in the locker room, basically calling him out for having moobs.

-In hindsight, the Dream Team story is really weird, because creatively, the company was just DONE with them after Wrestlemania 2, but for some reason, they wouldn’t just break up the team, so they spent an entire damn year telling this story of the Dream Team being emotionally rattled by losing at Wrestlemania 2 and struggling to rebuild.

-FALL ONE: Dynamite and Valentine start and Valentine gets pinballed with headbutts to start. He backs Dynamite into a corner and immediately attacks the legs. Beefcake tags in and suplexes Dynamite. Dynamite is able to make the tag and Davey Boy works the arm with a wristlock and hammerlock. Beefcake reverses and stomps him down. Valentine returns with an elbow from the top rope for a two-count. Arm wringer by Valentine is broken with the help of a forearm. Beefcake tags in and keeps up the punishment. Valentine returns, but so does Dynamite and Valentine gets dropped with a chop. Forearms by Dynamite, but Valentine stops the momentum with an inverted atomic drop. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Clothesline gets two. Beefcake returns with a series of elbows for two. Valentine tags in and Dynamite keeps up with him until Valentine locks in a figure-four to take the first fall.

-FALL TWO: Valentine keeps attacking the leg and goes for the figure four again, but Dynamite kicks him away and Beefcake tags in. Beefcake attacks the leg and the Dream Team double-teams Dynamite. Backbreaker by Beefcake gets two. Valentine drops the elbow and slams Dynamite. He goes to the second rope but misses the elbow, and in comes Davey Boy. Clotheslines, headbutts, and dropkicks, oh my, followed by the delayed suplex for two. Running powerslam by Davey Boy and Beefcake runs in but gets hung up the fireman’s carry. Dynamite Kid dives off Beefcake’s back with a headbutt to tie the match.

-FALL THREE: Valentine & Dynamite start again and Valentine goes to the leg again. Fisticuffs are exchanged and Dynamite takes Valentine down with a chop. Snap suplex by Dynamite, but he misses a falling headbutt and Valentine capitalizes with an elbow for two. Front facelock by Valentine is broken by Davey Boy. Double-teaming by the Dream Team gets a two-count that would have been three if Davey Boy hadn’t been jawing with the referee. Davey Boy tags in and Beefcake is ready for him, firing a series of forearms into the back. Backdrop and a clothesline get a two-count. Beefcake chokes Davey Boy for a two-count. Backdrop is countered with a sunset flip by Davey Boy for two. More double-teaming in the corner and Valentine tags in and drops the knee a few times. Suplex by Valentine gets a two. Beefcake tags in with a high knee, but Dynamite breaks the pin and it’s a pier sixer. Beefcake misses a running knee and Davey Boy ties him up with a Perfectplex to get the deciding pin and retain the belts. 3 for 4. Terrific stuff!

LEAPING LANNY POFFO vs. KAMALA (with Kimchee & The Wizard)
-Kicks and chops by Kamala from every direction. Poffo gets his token offense, but a shot to the eyes turns the tide. Splash finishes things. 3 for 5.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Good show that has that extra element of just feeling like a LOT of fun. I smiled watching this.