Ask any wrestling fan what the greatest year in the history of the business is and you’ll hear a few answers. The years 1997-98 saw the explosion of wrestling into mainstream culture, 1984 saw the WWF expansion along with several strong territories. I’ll guarantee that under Family Feud rules (ask 100 people) that the number one answer would be 1989. The NWA (WCW) had classic Ric Flair feuds with Ricky Steamboat and Terry Funk, along with the emergence of Sting and the Great Muta. Territories like Memphis and World Class were running interesting angles. Japan saw the legendary Jumbo Tsuruta-Genichiro Tenryu matches. And of course, the WWF machine hummed along starting with a Saturday Night’s Main Event on the first Saturday of the year.
But first, a personal story about this show. I never saw this until the WWE Network came along even though I was watching religiously 28 years ago. As a lad of 9, I wasn’t staying up until 11:30 PM ET to see the show live so we would run the VHS on a timer. However, my father messed up and it never taped and I was furious that I missed the hair vs hair blowoff between Brutus Beefcake and Outlaw Ron Bass. Such are the priorities of youth. (Four years later, my father accidentally taped over Larry Bird Night with something, probably a game show. But he made good and purchased the commercial VHS, which I still have.) Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #19 – 01/07/1989
In lieu of a goofy intro, let’s get right to the part of Pat Patterson’s book with the most interest: his time in WWF as Vince McMahon’s right hand man.
The third match with Backlund along with the famous match with Slaughter I had later were my greatest moments as a wrestler.
Patterson in the book is very proud of his series with Backlund at Madison Square Garden because of the quality of the matches combined with the fact that it was a four match and not the usual three match series that would go countout-DQ-blowoff. The Slaughter “Alley Fight” match from May 1981 is one of those matches that is as good as everyone says it is. Pat wears the iconic “I Love NY” shirt during the bout. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 3: (1980s WWF Edition)
Big changes on the March 1988 Saturday Night’s Main Event: Hulk Hogan no longer is the champion! However on this show, he has an issue with Race. No, not people of color but King Harley Race. WrestleMania 4 is coming and many other key players are here: Andre the Giant, Ted DiBiase, Randy Savage, and even tournament entrants One Man Gang and Greg Valentine. The show from Nashville kicks off with Vince McMahon saying that he’s from the South! Jeez, didn’t expect that from the guy who put hillbilly gimmicks on many southerners and was rather ashamed of his roots. Co-host Jesse Ventura rips on Vince and says he has a red neck. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #15 – 03/12/1988
In life, sometimes it’s not what you do and more who you know. It is probably a smart play to attach yourself to the hip of the guy who would become the biggest name in the history of the business. And that is the story of Ed Leslie, aka Brutus the Barber Beefcake in the WWF, the subject of this week’s Model Year Wrestler for the year 1989.