As we turn 2016 into 2017, it is appropriate to look back to a show that also aired on New Year’s Eve (sort of, more on that later) and on the precipice of the wrestling world being changed forever. I already covered the episode after this one, but let’s take a look at what preceded it.
The theme song of this time is “Cruise Control” by the Dixie Dregs and is now also my ringtone. It would be replaced with an instrumental from Michael Jackson’s Thriller in about 2 ½ months. This version ends with Backlund holding the belt amidst the fake mob, and maybe we’ll find out something on that front today. Our hosts are Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson, who offer the same old platitudes in telling us what’s coming up, no sign of perhaps a shocking announcement or anything like that. Continue reading WWF Championship Wrestling – 12/31/1983
It has now been over a full year since I started this sojourn through all the WWF Saturday Night Main Event shows and I hope at this point next year I will have wrapped with the weird FOX editions from 1992. But for now, we are at Thanksgiving weekend 1988, two days after the Survivor Series. Of course this was taped ten days before that PPV and it wasn’t referenced at all on the show. No newly turned Demolition is what that means since that would be tough to explain to the live crowd in Sacramento at the Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings. On the night this aired, the Kings lost to the New Jersey Nets at Arco to drop to 1-9 on the year.
Despite being in a less glamourous part of California, Jesse Ventura reminds you that he is a Hollywood star and that makes him more important than Vince McMahon. He also says he’s got a better physique than Vince, who no doubt took that shit personally. I appreciate their dynamic so much more now than I did 15-20 years ago. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #18 – 11/26/1988
It’s December so like I did last month for Survivor Series, I will do the same for a few Starrcades. For all my wrestling nerd-dom, I have never seen Starrcade 1985, the first ‘Cade from Jim Crockett Promotions after the purchase of the Saturday Night TBS timeslot from the WWF in March of that year. While on closed circuit only, the show was held in two cities: Greensboro and Atlanta, both with longstanding Thanksgiving wrestling traditions.
The main event is the same as the prior year: Dusty Rhodes challenging Ric Flair for the NWA World title. But there seems to be more heat around this one; Flair is a true heel aligned with the Horsemen, having broken Dusty’s leg in a famous beatdown in Atlanta’s Omni. But would something else steal the show? Spoiler: yes. Continue reading Reflections: Starrcade 1985 (The Gathering)
It was probably the wrong time to attempt this with business starting to tank, but WWF tried a non-holiday midweek PPV with This Tuesday in Texas, aired on December 3, 1991 (25 years ago as this is posted!) only 6 days after Survivor Series. While it did 400,000 buys which doesn’t seem bad on its face, the result was disappointing since the show only cost $14.99 so the dollar take wasn’t that good.
However, the reduced price meant it was an easy sell to my parents. The shame is that my original VHS of the show is long lost. This was a somewhat mysterious show over the years because the show was not released on a standalone tape, instead crammed onto Coliseum Video’s WWF Supertape ’92. Then again, all the matches from the PPV (except Hogan-Undertaker) aired on Prime Time Wrestling in late 91/early 92 so whatever. Continue reading WWF This Tuesday in Texas – 12/03/1991
Change was in the air at the 1991 Survivor Series, and not just because the show was moved off Thanksgiving to the night before. Not only was the Ultimate Warrior experiment over, but Warrior himself was banished. And here comes Ric Flair coming in with the NWA title calling himself the “real world champion”. I think it’s best summed up by looking at the 10/21/1991 Superstars taping from Fort Wayne, Indiana because big things were happening: Continue reading Reflections on 1991 Survivor Series – The Gravest Challenge
The only reason why I feel the need to make football picks after a week off is anyone who reads this is owed my thoughts so they can go opposite of that and win money. A few thoughts first:
I am loath to talk about fantasy leagues and teams, etc. But one of the NFL Wins Pools (totally different because I invented the concept) I’m in is crazy competitive right now. The score (total wins) right now is: 30-29.5-29-28.5-28. Gotta love all those ties.
The NFL ratings were only up last week because it was an incredible slate of games from 1 PM all the way to Sunday Night. ESPN still gets the shaft on their Monday night schedule, but that’s okay because ESPN sucks.
I have a confession about the 1990 Survivor Series. I bought the show, or at least got my parents to buy it for me. I skipped WrestleMania 6 and SummerSlam, so why did I come back? Like many, I wanted to see what was in the giant egg figuring that something built up that much was going to be awesome. So yeah, that’s my story. How about the rest of the 1990 Survivor Series from Hartford, CT? Continue reading Reflections on 1990 Survivor Series
It was going to be so perfect. NXT was coming to the Boston area again and raise the flag on my old stomping grounds at Boston University. Well, sort of…since Agganis Arena wasn’t there when I was. I took the day off from work too. Then you get a tooth infection, you’re on medication and you desperately try to reach your dentist before seeing him at 4 PM and you schedule a root canal for Monday of Thanksgiving week. Eh, whatever. I was more annoyed about traffic going into Boston, particularly in one rotary/roundabout where cars were moving at 8 different angles.
I must admit I wasn’t too excited about the show on my way in. My cynicism toward WWE and NXT has gone way up since the split in July which led to NXT being decimated. The connection isn’t there with much of the talent. Asuka and Samoa Joe were already stars before they ever got there. The only connection I feel is with Revival since they truly built themselves up in the last 12-18 months. Continue reading Dispatches from NXT Boston, 11/17/2016
If you like wrestling shows that start with Jake Roberts making out with his then-wife Cheryl, then this is the show for you. If you like seeing a close up of Rick Rude’s crotch, well, that’s the second thing seen on the October 1988 episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. A lot of moving pieces on this show from Baltimore, Maryland. Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are the hosts and Jesse immediately compares Vince to hapless then-VP candidate Dan Quayle. For those who don’t know, Quayle is the guy who misspelled “potato” during an elementary school visit by adding an “E” to the end. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – 10/29/1988
I was able to see every WWF PPV live in the calendar year 1989. That’s the 1st PPV Royal Rumble, WrestleMania 5, SummerSlam, and yes, the No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie show. Oh and this Survivor Series from Chicago, where the only thing people seem to remember is Tully Blanchard being pulled and replaced by Bobby Heenan. Something more must have happened, because I took 2 1/2 pages of notes on this! Continue reading Reflections on 1989 Survivor Series