Saturday Night’s Main Event #19 – 01/07/1989

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

Reflections: Starrcade 1985 (The Gathering)

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)