Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and Jim Neidhart are in the booth to conclude the tapings in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Vince McMahon and Randy Savage provide commentary for this episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, which was taped in Omaha, Nebraska on April 15. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 9,400, with 7,000 fans paying to attend. According to oswreview.com, the show drew a rating of 7.7. While it is impossible to compare to the prior edition because of a lack of data, this show outperformed the 7.2 rating that Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVII earned in July 1990. This would be the last Saturday Night’s Main Event to air on NBC until March 18, 2006.
Shockingly judging by these physiques, both of these guys are still alive today.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week, we have a big assortment of tag team matches, plus a couple of random one-off solo bouts! First off, it’s a very “1988 WWF” match, as the WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition face off against The Young Stallions on WWF Superstars! Then a 1993 match where the new Headshrinkers team faces off against the “1992 Job Squad” of Virgil & “El Matador” Tito Santana! And it’s nearly a ten minute match! Over to WCW, as my “Best of Mortis” series continues, as he tries to win the TV Title from Ultimo Dragon on a 1997 Nitro! A request, as Rick “The Model” Martel faces off against a jobber Paul Roma, who is REALLY gunning for a push, judging by his effort here! And finally, a throwaway WCW Worldwide match, as Vicious & Delicious (Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell) take on The Southern Posse!
DEMOLITION (Ax & Smash, w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. THE YOUNG STALLIONS (Paul Roma & Jim Powers):
(WWF Superstars, June 11th 1988)
* I’ve seen very little of the TV from this time period, but this should be fun. The Stallions were at the bottom of the babyface team pecking order, looking like IMMENSE dorks with their generic “Yay!” personalities. Demolition are the Tag Champs at this point (having beaten Strike Force at WrestleMania IV), but it’s non-title.
Sid: A 10/10 in “Look” if there ever was one, with physical charisma to match… it’s a shame he never figured out the other stuff.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! I have a wild assortment for you today, as I cover WWF, WCW, and even a really cool old-school match from Japan in 1974!
We start off with Sid’s big 1995 return, as he takes on newbie Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw in one of those bouts that is everything Sid is- quick, not highly-rated, yet completely awesome and drives the fans wild. Then it’s the strangest Clash of the JTTS Guys ever, as Virgil faces “El Matador” Tito Santana in the friendliest match ever in Spain! More of Buddy Landel’s weird WWF run, as he gets a jobber squash against a young Matt Hardy and showcases his stiff striking skills! Then it’s a Battle of the Brits in WCW, as Dave Taylor faces off against “British Bulldog” Davey-Boy Smith.
And finally, we hit Japan in 1974, as a 23-year old Jumbo Tsuruta with all of one year in the business faces the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco in a title fight! Come see just HOW GOOD Jumbo was with only a year in the business, and how much the ’70s style resembled the ’80s NWA one.
SID vs. JUSTIN “HAWK” BRADSHAW (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(WWF RAW, 1995-ish)
* Okay, HERE’s a wild one- Sid, freshly returned as a babyface out to help Shawn Michaels now that the Ultimate Warrior’s gone again, and he’s up against midcarder Bradshaw, not QUITE as protected as he’d be even a couple of years later. And in a perfect expression of Sid’s power, his borderline S-Tier charisma has the entire crowd eating out the palm of his hand, which tended to happen every time he debuted, even though he had weak promos and worse in-ring skill.
Gorilla Monsoon and Hacksaw Jim Duggan start the broadcast on commentary, which is taking place in Los Angeles, California. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 15,500. The show drew an estimated buyrate of 2.8 (an estimated 400,000 buys). This was a decline from the 3.8 buyrate of WrestleMania VI, with 150,000 fewer households buying the show versus the previous year, and marked the first time that fewer fans purchased a WrestleMania than the prior edition.
Willie Nelson does a nice rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Seriously though, this is an ALL-TIME wrestling look and it’s a shame they wasted it on a “Midcard JTTS” act.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This week, I have a classic case of a WCW “throw together two good workers and give them time!” throwaway match, as Mortis (Chris Kanyon) faces Juventud Guerrera on WCW Saturday Night! Then it’s the end of Rick “The Model” Martel’s WWF run as he faces “The Rocket” Owen Hart in one of Owen’s last babyface matches! The more WCW goodness as a rookie Tokyo Magnum on his learning excursion faces El Dandy!
Then we get another Steiner Brothers/Fire & Ice “just launch each other around the ring” match, and finally, an all-time dream bout of the Beverly Brothers facing the jobber Dream Team of Virgil and “El Matador” Tito Santana! Read on!
MORTIS (w/ James Vandenberg) vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA:
(WCW Saturday Night, Jan. 3rd 1998)
* Hey, an interesting one, actually! Kanyon in his “Mortis” identity vs. Juvie! This is back when Juventud was still masked (here his mask is an odd dark salmon color) and was kinda/sorta a job guy but sometimes not really? WCW’s midcard was strange because guys would alternate wins & losses randomly. Mortis looks AWESOME and holds up even more in retrospect- 99% of guys don’t look half as cool. The size difference here is profound, too.
Always interesting how Jericho, who looks like a normal-sized wrestler today, looks noticeably smaller than Mr. Perfect, whose WWF career was held back by his comparatively small size.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! We start off with a double-whammy, as there’s a pair of Chris Jericho vs. Curt Hennig matches from late-90s WCW! Hennig’s past his prime and Jericho wasn’t “made” yet, but see what these two can get going. Then we go to mid-90s WWF, as “The Narcissist” Lex Luger and “El Matador” Tito Santana fill TV time as Lex’s WWF career starts off! Then the Steiner Brothers go on a tear in 1998 WCW as they take on the nWo bottom-tier squad of Konnan & Vincent!
Then it’s a very “1990s WCW TV” match, as Scott Norton faces jobber Jim Powers! And finally, a “Throwaway Saturday Night Trios Match” starring Juventud Guerrera, La Parka & Silver King vs. Super Calo, Hector Garza & Lizmark Jr.! Which is interesting mainly because it has a REALLY awkward bit thanks to a mid-match injury and some improv.
CURT HENNIG (w/ Ravishing Rick Rude) vs. CHRIS JERICHO:
(WCW Nitro, Dec. 29th 1997)
* The post-Starrcade doldrums of WCW are here! Hennig faces off against Cruiserweight star Jericho. Jericho at this point was still his Generic Peppy Babyface incarnation, but was far less manic than when he came down to that Mammoth song, using the “Evenflow” ripoff and coming down with… this odd kinda random grin on his face. Like he’s being sarcastic a bit? It’s really weird and hard to read. He’s in black with yellow lightning bolts, while Hennig’s in blue.
Nothing says “Dream Matches” like the Ugandan Giant!
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, we take a look at Jake Roberts vs. Kamala on Saturday Night’s Main Event in 1987! Then it’s a double-whammy of a generic TV match that would be a big Dream Match only three years later- Bland babyface Chris Jericho vs. Bland excursion-era Yuji Nagata on WCW TV in two separate meaningless matches! Scott Norton, brand new to WCW, takes on Tom “Z-Man” Zenk! The Smoking Gunns make their debut on WWF television, taking on the horrifyingly-bad duo of Damian Demento & The Brooklyn Brawler (poor Damian!)! Then it’s the Headshrinkers taking on another makeshift team- Bob Backlund and “El Matador” Tito Santana! And finally “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. The Repo Man in a throwaway “Wait, these guys were still around in early 1993?” match!
JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS vs. KAMALA (w/ Mr. Fuji & Kim Chee):
(WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event, 1987)
* A YouTube video less than 10 minutes and it’s Jake/Kamala- I can see the screwjob coming a mile away, but still. They’re doing a “black guy is terrified of snakes” bit with Kamala, about which Gene scolds Fuji for signing the match, but Fuji (Kamala’s new manager here) says it won’t be an issue. Gene noticeably shaking the microphone while looking at Damien is a great bit of business- what a pro. This is shortly after the Honky Tonk Man blasted Jake with a real guitar on the Snake Pit, absolutely DESTROYING him legit (and holy god does that look bad). Jake’s got black tights with a blue snake graphic around them.
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan man the studio for tonight’s show. Monsoon announces that February 18 will be the date of the new format of Prime Time Wrestling, making this the last Prime Time show with Monsoon and Heenan at a desk.
The Hart Foundation-Orient Express match from Wrestling Challenge begins the show.
The Battle Royal: in an era of jobber vs. jobber matches making up almost all TV wrestling, this iwas the only way to get to see a TON of big stars in one place!
It’s another Dream Matches column! This time I find a Battle Royal from 1992 with a very unexpected victor! A 40-man battle royal with an incredible SEVENTEEN jobbers getting paydays, and extended runs by guys like Kato and a beyond-done Texas Tornado! Read on!
I also find some disparate stuff- Crush vs. Damian Demento from a 1992 WWF Mania, as I find an incredible smorgasbord of horrible low-grade matches on that program! Essa Rios vs. Jeff Hardy from 2000, as the Hardyz push REALLY starts to get in gear and “Team Extreme” is ready to form! WCW midcard glory as Glacier faces Lash Leroux! Then it’s a request, as we see a very young MIKE AWESOME in late ’80s WCW, as he faces the “Z-Man” Tom Zenk! And finally, some throwaway lucha stuff as Juventud Guerrera & Super Calo face Silver King & El Dandy in a match that ends in a REAL mess of miscommunication!
(Bret Hart, The British Bulldog, Sgt. Slaughter, Rick “The Model” Martel, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, I.R.S., The Nasty Boys, “El Matador” Tito Santana, “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, Virgil, High Energy, Skinner, The Beverly Brothers, The Berzerker, Kato, Jim Powers, Barry Horowitz, Jumping Jim Brunzell, Duane Gill, Joe Milano, Rick Johnson, John/Tom Star, J.K. Goodman, Chico Martinez, Bob Bradley, Bruce Mitchell, Bob Knight, Terry Davis, Joe McMullen, Al Tucker, Barry Hardy, Nick Danger, Scott Palontonio?)
(WWF Prime Time, July 6th 1992)
* Okay, so while Scott Keith HATES Battle Royals, I LOVE them. I mean, in an era where your weekly main event was like Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Koko B. Ware, seeing THIRTY GUYS in one match? That was incredible! Plus it was fun to see guys go out almost in the exact order of importance. This one’s a real mish-mash of the most “1992” acts possible, including Kato as a singles act, the Beverlies, High Energy & Skinner. I don’t recognize most of the seventeen (!) jobbers, but there’s a pudgy short guy in a red singlet who is AMAZINGLY bad-looking, and Johnson is some huge, ripped dude. Bruce & Bob look like a tag team in matching black tights & white boots. LOL some asshole fan on the right is grabbing all the babyfaces by the arm and not letting go, resulting in a bunch of dudes (Virgil, Kerry) spinning around, probably giving him an earful.
Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper are in charge of commentary, broadcasting live from Miami, Florida. According to profightdb.com, the show drew a crowd of 16,000. On pay-per-view the show drew a buyrate of 2.4, the equivalent of 440,000 buys. This was an increase over the previous year’s show, which drew a 2.0 buyrate (260,000 buys).
Since the Gulf War had commenced days earlier, the WWF plays the national anthem for the crowd. Piper is also amped up, wearing a yellow ribbon around his arm for the troops watching the show from the Middle East.