April 22, 2006
Eric Drews

Saturday Night’s Main Event #1
May 10, 1985
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY
Televised May 11, 1985 on NBC (8.8 rating; approx. 7,471,200 viewers)

After the huge success of the inaugural WrestleMania, the WWF was thrust into mainstream popularity in the United States. Always the opportunist, WWF owner Vince McMahon and NBC Sports Director Dick Ebersol combined to launch Saturday Night’s Main Event. It would air on NBC a few Saturdays a year in the timeslot of the NBC hit program, Saturday Night Live. Vince McMahon now had the opportunity to present his “Rock ‘n Wrestling” to the largest possible audience and make his WWF SuperStars household names.

On May 11,1985, seven and a half million people tuned in to see the WWF and witness the birth of the greatest wrestling television program of all time.

We begin with words from Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Ritcher about their match tonight. Then the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T have some fightin’ words for Hulk’s challenger tonight, Cowboy Bob Orton, and his corner man Rowdy Roddy Piper. And with that we go into the intro accompanied with the song Obsession. So cool!

Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura are our hosts. They’re moving their lips excitedly, but no sound is coming out. WTF!? I do believe I have the worst copy of this episode ever! Hopefully the sound will return as we roll into our first match.

WWF Tag Team Champions Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik and George “the Animal” Steele (w/Classie Freddie Blassie)
Vs.
US Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo) and Ricky Steamboat w/Capt. Lou Albano

Mean Gene Okerland is with the US Express and their partner tonight, Ricky Steamboat. They talk about WrestleMania and how they wanted a title match tonight. US Express’ manager Capt. Lou Albano says he’ll make sure Freddie Blassie won’t get involved.

Of course Volkoff begins by requesting to sing the Soviet National Anthem and Sheik follows with “Russia, number 1. Iran, number 1. USA, hackt tuey!” I’m not sure if that’s how you spell the spiting noise, but that’s how it sounds. Born in the USA rocks the Nassau Coliseum as the US Express and Steamboat make their entrance. Windham and Rotundo lost the titles to Sheik and Volkoff at WrestleMania and want revenge. Steamboat has yet to become “The Dragon” and we see George “the Animal” Steele in the twilight of his heel run. Ironically, Steamboat and the Animal would become best buds in the years to come as they feud with the “Macho Man” who is still in Memphis. Anyways here’s the match.

Sheik will start with Windham. The ring has a white ring skirt for the only time in SNME history for those who care. Windham controls first with a side headlock and follows with a shoulder block and hip toss. Sheik lands in the wrong part of town and gets walloped by Steamboat and slammed by Windham. US Express and Steamboat take turns working on Sheik’s arm. Double elbow by Steamboat and Rotundo followed by a slam and elbow for two. Tag to Steamer with some chops. Ricky whips Sheik but gets caught in an abdominal stretch. Ricky counters with a hip toss, then hip tosses the interfering Volkoff and Steele and the faces take the ring. I would guess the crowd is wild but my audio is out again.

We get back from a commercial break and the heels are still outside. A commercial break is like 3 minutes. You’d think they would’ve gotten counted out by now. Anyway, Sheik is STILL the legal man and is STILL getting his arm worked over until Steamboat gives him a beautiful powerslam. Steamboat follows with a top rope missle dropkick and a flying body press for a pin, but Volkoff breaks it up. Sheik FINALLY tags to Volkoff who immediately gets chopped by Steamboat who then tags Windham. So much for being in peril! Windham and Steamboat hit a double dropkick for 2. Tag to Rotundo. USE hit a double elbow followed by 2 Rotundo leg drops for a cover that Steele breaks up. Rotundo goes to confront Steele and gets blindsided by Volkoff. Do we have our face in peril now? Nope. Rotundo counters a slam attempt by Volkoff and rolls him up for 2. Backslide by Rotundo for 2. Weird Sunset flip but Volkoff is in the ropes. Tag to Windham and he nearly sunset filps Volkoff out of the ring. Windham breaks it and simply allows Volkoff to tag Steele. Steele wiggles toward Windham who immediately gets the offensive by hammering away on Steele. Steele no-sells and tries to tag, but the champs abandon him. Steele is confused and gets rolled up by Windham for the 1…2…3. Since I had no audio I will say the match was about 6:34. Steele tries to eat a turnbuckle but is attacked by Volkoff and Sheik. Steele fights them off and is consoled by Capt. Lou Albano. Mean Gene is in the aisle trying to interview Sheik and Volkoff, but I still have no audio so I don’t know what is said.

WINNERS: US Express and Ricky Steamboat by pinfall

Match Analysis: This match was basically a squash match and a bad one at that. Sheik and Volkoff come off as two guys that wouldn’t hurt a fly, even if they tried! The only thing of note was what I guess was the face turn of George “the Animal” Steele, but with no audio, it made no sense. This match made me appreciate commentary more than I already did. What a terrible way to start the SNME series. DUD.

Next is Piper’s Pit, which I’ll tragically have to skip through since I have no audio. From what I can see, Paul Orndorff is the guest, Piper pisses him off, Orndoff attacks Piper and tries to give him a piledriver, Orton hits Orndorff with the cast and Mr. T comes down to make the save.

Next is an interview with the Hulkster. All I get is a short sound blurb about Mother’s Day.

WWF Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan w/Mr. T vs. Cowboy Bob Orton w/ Roddy Piper

From how it looks, Piper and Orton never left the ring after Pipers Pit. Hogan hits the ring after his interview. We go to break and when we return, Mr. T is in the ring and he and Hogan rip each other’s shirts off. I think these two have become too good of friends since WrestleMania. The match starts when Orton attacks Hogan before the bell, with his chaps still on. Man this doesn’t sound like wrestling anymore. Slugfest ensues. I bet you $50 that Hogan comes out on top. Pay up! Orton flees and Hogan chases and throws the Cowboy back into the ring. Backdrop by Hogan followed by 3 slams and that’s enough for Orton as he flees the ring again. Orton consults with Piper as Hogan talks with T. Orton’s back in and catches Hulk with a knee to the breadbasket. Orton tries a corner clothesline, but the Hulk moves and grabs an armbar. Hogan works over the arm for a while until Orton catches Hulk with a dropkick (more like two knees to the face, pretty sweet actually!). Orton hammers Hulk with knees and right hands. Orton hits an atomic drop and a fist drop each for two. Orton drives Hogan’s face into the mat and keeps elbowing Hogan repeatedly until Hogan has had enough. Hogan “Hulks Up” but instead of going for the normal big boot and leg drop, he goes clothesline then elbow drop for only 2! Orton is still reeling however. Hogan with the corner mount punches, but gets caught with a reverse atomic drop. I can’t believe Orton survived the Hulk up, in ’85 no less! Orton tries for a superplex(?!) but Hogan fights him off. Hulk hits an elbow off the 1st rope (weak) and follows it up nicely with the legdrop for the 1…2…wait! Piper socks Hogan one in the noggin causing a DQ at 6:50. Piper stomps away on Hogan until Mr. T wakes up from his nap and decides to help his buddy. He drives Piper into the corner, but is attacked from behind by Orton. Piper and Orton now set their sights on Hogan, but before they can administer a beat down, Orndorff comes out to even the odds. Mr. T gets back up and the heels flee. Hogan and Mr. T raise Orndorff’s hands and embrace their new “friend”.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan by DQ

Match Analysis: Not a terrible match. I’m a little surprised Hogan didn’t get the pinfall victory. This was a fun match that advanced Piper and Mr. T and established Orndorff as the good ole’ boy who is all about the prayers, the trainin’ and the vitamins…for now. *

When we get back from break, Hogan, Mr. T and Orndorff are still posing in the ring. I got a quick blurb of Eye of the Tiger playing and that’s about it.

To Mean Gene now who is interviewing the Fabulous Moolah about her Women’s Title match with Wendi Ritcher later tonight. Now I’m glad I don’t have audio! We see footage of the Brawl to End it All when Cyndi Lauper hits Moolah with a purse before Moolah says something and heads to the ring.

Mean Gene is now with Wendi Ritcher, Cyndi Lauper and Lauper’s manager/boyfriend/whatever David something. We get footage of WrestleMania with the heading “Madison Square Garden: February 1985” Wow! Not only do they miss an opportunity to plug WrestleMania (had to have been the only time) but also they said it took place in FEBRUARY! So begins the history of the WWF’s inability to get their own dates right.

WWF Women’s Championship
The Fabulous Moolah (Challenger) vs. Champion Wendi Ritcher w/ Cyndi Lauper

Howard Finkle is reading some contract. After he reads it, Cyndi Lauper is sent back to the Locker room so I’m guessing she’s either barred from ringside or from the WWF all together. If you want to know the specifics of this situation (or anything in WWF/E history) check out the ridiculously, hideously, obscenely large and detailed ring results section of this fine website.

After we return from commercial break we see Cyndi Lauper watching a monitor, but it’s not even in the back. It’s still in the actual arena part. I’m confused. It doesn’t help that I have no audio. The match begins with Moolah getting the upper hand with an eye gouge, followed by another and yet another. I will say that Wendi Ritcher was pretty hot. Moolah continues with the dirty tactics and throws Wendi to the outside. Moolah taunts on the 1st rope allowing Wendi to get back in and dropkick her over the top. Wendi throws Moolah back in, but gets put right back down with a kick and a backdrop. A basic catfight ensues with a lot of eye gouging, choking on the ropes and things of that nature. The next real move attempted is a slam by Moolah, which is reversed by Wendi into a small package for the win at 3:20. Cyndi runs to the ring to celebrate with Wendi and David what’s his name.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Wendi Ritcher

Match Analysis: Vince was really pushing the Women’s Division hard with the “Rock ‘N Wrestling” format. Cyndi Lauper would be gone soon and so would Wendi Ritcher. I suggest Bret Hart should take notes on her departure. That match was short and sour. ¼*

When we get back from break, we have an interview with the Junkyard Dog and his mom. They probably talk about Mothers Day.

Pete Doherty vs. Junkyard Dog w/ His Mom

Pete Doherty is in the ring and seems as happy as one can be before getting squashed. In the event I had audio, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” would play and the crowd would erupt but I’ll have to pretend. JYD gets a chair for Mrs. Dog and attacks Doherty on the apron. A JYD headbutt sends Doherty into the ring. JYD hits a forearm and a clothesline sending Pete scurrying to the outside. JYD won’t have that and grabs Pete and hangs him by his hair. Ouch! Pete looks to have said something to Mrs. Dog and JYD makes him pay. Pete tries some right hands, but JYD no sells. He hits a snapmare and his signature rolling headbutts on all fours sending Doherty outside again. Doherty climbs to the top rope to get in, but gets thrown off of course. JYD hits some headbutts, toys around a little and hits Doherty with the THUMP powerslam for the 1…2…3 at 3:15. JYD brings his mom in for a post victory dance.

WINNER: Junkyard Dog

Match Analysis: Your basic squash match. DUD

After a commercial break where in the back for what was called “Cyndi Laupers Mother’s Day Surprise”. A lot wrestlers are there, heels and faces, standing next to each other. That’s very awkward and borderline breaches kayfabe rules. Moolah comes out and that seems to piss off Lauper and Moolah and Mean Gene end up getting pushed into a big cake. Bwahahahahahaha!

Vince and Jesse wrap up the show and I wish I could hear them. Roll the credits.

Show Analysis: For the first Saturday Night’s Main Event, I thought the matches were below average. Of the four matches, two were squashes (one obvious, one not as obvious) but a decent WWF title match (considering it’s TV) and some fun stuff in between. I really wish I could’ve heard Piper’s Pit. There was two face turns, by George “the Animal” Steele and Paul Orndorff, so I guess it was sort of historic. I would say if you’re into this era, it’s probably not for the match quality anyway. If you can get this show for a reasonable price I’d say go for it, but make sure it has sound!

Thanks for reading. Next time, I’ll review the 2nd Saturday Night’s Main Event with sound and all!

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