Saturday Night’s Main Event from May 1986 was as notable for who wasn’t there than for who was. Jesse Ventura was not on commentary, busy with filming Predator and he wasn’t seen again for several months. Ventura was brought back to the WWF at the insistence of NBC executives, who saw him as a key piece of the show. Taking his place alongside Vince McMahon for this show in Providence, RI was Bobby Heenan, who was not the comedian he would become in the early 90s working with Gorilla Monsoon. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #6 – 05/03/1986
Mid-South Wrestling: it’s fannnn-tastic! We dive into 1986 for a show from Tulsa, OK. The first thing I noticed on this show was how the lighting was much better; clearly some cues had been taken from WWF’s efforts in 1985. Our hosts are Bill Watts and Joel Watts and the latter is totally sucking up to his dad when he actually gets to talk. Bill plugs the Crockett Cup and the upcoming name change of the promotion in two weeks (which would be the Universal Wrestling Federation), while Joel tries to talk but keeps looking away. Good times, and our main event is Koko Ware vs Eddie Gilbert. Continue reading Mid-South Wrestling – 03/03/1986
The 5th Saturday Night’s Main Event show took place about 5 weeks before Wrestlemania 2 and was used to build angles leading up to the big show. Not much to this show: Mr. T faces Bob Orton in a boxing match, Hulk Hogan defends the world title against the Magnificent Muraco, and the British Bulldog challenge the Dream Team for the tag team titles. The sit was Phoenix, AZ with hosts Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #5 – 03/01/1986
It’s hard to imagine a time when Lorne Michaels lacked clout at NBC since he now controls the entire late night landscape of the network. In late 1985, he returned to oversee Saturday Night Live after a five year hiatus and was rebuilding the show with an entirely new cast that included some names that would be much bigger in the future like Joan Cusack and Robert Downey Jr. The only survivors of the disastrous season were Dennis Miller, Jon Lovitz, and Nora Dunn. Their season premiere was pushed back until after this show and they would be preempted by Saturday Night’s Main Event somewhat regularly in 1986, angering Lorne since he was trying to rebuild his great institution. Anyway, onto to the wrestling show which was taped on Halloween in Hershey, PA. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #3 – 11/02/1985
Old school fans seem to love Mid-South wrestling for their storytelling in the year 1984 so a peek at the 03/30/1984 episode added to WWE Network is needed post haste. Very excited at the top when I see the hosts are Jim Ross and 22 year old Jim Cornette, who is filling in for Bill Watts today in part because Corny has been crossing the Cowboy left and right lately. Cornette is very upset with Ross because he is not talking enough about his Midnight Express and what they have been doing recently.
Footage is shown from an earlier show of the Midnights with a celebratory cake, and when there is cake near a wrestling ring we all know what happens next. As he is cutting the cake, the Rock and Roll Express run out and shove Cornette’s face into the cake and he is none too pleased about it, threatening to sue the world for how he has been wronged. Continue reading Mid-South Wrestling 03/30/1984
The 1988 Bunkhouse Stampede has an interesting back story with regard to the WWF/Crockett war on two fronts. This was Crockett’s 2nd PPV, the first being ’87 Starrcade which was foiled by Vince counter programming the first Survivor Series. The Stampede was in January 1988, same night as WWF’s first Royal Rumble, a different kind of specialty battle royal. This event was also held in Nassau Coliseum, where Crockett had started running events. There was a great show there in November 1987, so there was hope of making hay in the NY market. Why they created such a “southern” card, I’ll never know. Also, telling people the correct time of the show would have been nice (PPV said 6 pm, show started at 7 pm, and the tickets said 8 PM)
This might be a losing battle here, but anytime new/”old” stuff is on the WWE Network, I want to watch. Today it is AWA from 01/24/1988 at their taping home at the Showboat in Las Vegas. Don’t go looking for it on maps because the property became Castaways in 2000, closed in 2004 when I was living out in Vegas, and is now just a large empty lot.