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WWF Saturday Night's Main Event - May 2, 1987

by Erick Von Erich

Originally taped on April 28,1987 from the Joyce Convention Center in South Bend, Indiana. Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura, with backstage interviews from "Mean" Gene Okerlund. It's the WWF's first high-profile show since the events of WrestleMania III. We get opening promos from OH YEAH, the Macho Man Randy Savage, who is here to end it "once and for all" with George "The Animal" Steele...in a lumberjack match. Ricky Steamboat then announces he'll defend his newly-won Intercontinental Title for the first time, tonight. Plus words from the Hart Foundation, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. Hogan says he'll show an "exclusive" of how he beat Andre at WrestleMania III, while Bobby "the Brain" Heenan (and Andre) will show footage claiming that Andre is still "undefeated" and the real champion. Finally, we get footage from "earlier today", showing how Ken Patera brutalized Heenan, causing him to wear a neckbrace! But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let's get down to ringside for...

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Kamala (w/Mr.Fuji & Kim Chee)

Fuji has just recently taken over Kamala's contract and claims he can help him with his fear of snakes. I'm not sure, but Kamala may have been the first "big jugbutt afraid of Damien" character for the WWF; a path later followed by Andre the Giant and Earthquake. Jake hits the ring and tosses Damien in, causing Kamala to bolt. Jake has to put Damien back in the bag (with referee Joey Marella helping out), which allows Kamala to return and chop him in the back. Whip to the ropes and Kamala with a reverse thrust kick. Jake fights back with some rights, but Kamala chops him in the throat. Belly-slap, headbutt, then a Bearhug Happens. Jake breaks it by stomping on the toes, and Kamala over-sells it with all the panache of Shemp Howard. Jake tries kicking the same leg, but Kamala takes over with his usual chops and chokes. Jake lures him outside and catches Kamala with a kneelift on the way back in. Jake then jumps from the second turnbuckle with a flying knee. Really? Air Snake?! Jake signals for the DDT, which is Fuji's cue to get on the apron and distract Marella. Kim Chee runs in and hits Jake with a clothesline. Kamala off the ropes for the Big Splash and that scores the 3. The heels celebrate and Kim CHee begins removing his jacket.. revealing a distinctive jumpsuit. Jesse: "what a classy dresser Kim Chee is! Look at those threads!" The mask comes off and it's... The Honky Tonk Man! The fans REALLY start boo'ing, now! Honky beats away on Jake, then hits the Shake Rattle n' Roll. Sure, it was Kamala, but a nice screwjob finish and a huge heat vehicle for Honky.

Lumberjack Match:
George "The Animal" Steele vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)

Egads. I feel ridiculuous, as I keep thinking every match these two have had on SNME will he their blow-off! Dammit. End this already. Thankfully, the announcers bill this as the FINAL match between them. Let's do a quick lumberjack role call: the Hart Foundation & Danny Davis, the British Bulldogs, Tito Santana, Rick Martel & Tom Zenk, Kim Chee, Honky Tonk Man, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Hercules, Ricky Steamboat, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. George actually comes out with Steamboat, with the latter's intro music playing. Once in the ring, Herc takes a swipe at Steamboat's leg and they have a mild face-off. George is enamored with Liz's entrance, so Macho attacks before the bell. George responds and sends him racing outside. Kim Chee and Hercules try to give Macho a break, but the Bulldogs and Santana run over to throw him back in. The match is little more than choking, eye gouging and a few shots, with Macho going out 3 or 4 times. George goes out and the faces actually do their job and push him back in. Macho lands his top-rope double axehandle, then throws out for the Harts, Sheik & Volkoff to put the boots to him. Hacksaw makes the save, chacing Sheik & Volkoff into the ring. Two more refs arrive and order Hacksaw to leave the ring area, as we go to commercial break.

George slams Macho, then messes with the turnbuckle stuffing. Macho delivers a vertical suplex; almost like a hip-toss due to George's immobility; then tosses him out again. Macho is flung in front of Steamboat, so they brawl for a bit until Herc interferes. Everyone brawls on the outside, so Danny Davis sneaks in and brains George with the ringbell. Macho then flies off the top rope with his big elbow and scores the pin. Everyone enters the ring for a big ol' brawl, until Jake the Snake arrives with Damien to clear the ring. Damien then "chokes" Kim Chee. Garbage match, but it made full use of the lumberjack stipulation; including skirmishes for the Harts/Bulldogs , Hacksaw vs. Sheik/Vokoff, Steamboat vs. Herc and capped off with Jake attempting to get back at Honky Tonk.

A Very Special Promo From Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan

Basically it's "in case you missed WrestleMania III". Heenan shows a clip from the early-going, where Andre almost pinned Hogan; a clip which they used to keep things burning between these two until February 1988. Aside from that claim, it's a basic recap and feud reset.

WWF Tag Team Championship (2/3 Falls):
Hart Foundation (c) (w/Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis) vs. British Bulldogs (w/Tito Santana & Matilda)

Bret "Hitman" Hart & Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart vs. Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid Matilda is ... OFF THE CHAIN... and attacks Jimmy Hart, biting a piece out of his pants. I think the gimmick was that they stuck a steak in Jimmy's pants and megaphone or something.
First Fall: Davey Boy and Hitman start off by trading arm-wringers. Davey does his usual kip-up routien to escape and presses Hitman's art into the air for a slam. Hitman does his own kip-up and takes down Davey with a headlock. They hit the ropes, so Davey drops down to deliver a monkey-flip and goes right back to Hitman's arm. To the ropes again and Davey floats under the arms and gets his trademark crucifix pin attempt for a 2 count. Kneelift from Hitman turns the tide and brings in Anvil. Harts cut-off the ring to work on Davey until Hitman eats boot. Dynamite finally tags in, with his usual snap-suplex awesomeness for 2. "Headbutt, Dynamite", then Anvil enters the ring for some non-stop double-teaming. Tito chases Danny Davis all over ringside as a mild case of pandemonium breaks out. Bell sounds as the Harts are disqualified for double-teaming, giving the first fall to the Bulldogs.

Second Fall: Harts start off double-teaming on Dynamite, including their version of the Demolition Decapitation for 2. Hitman applies a front facelock, then the Harts change places in FRONT OF THE REFEREE, Joey Marella. C'mon, that's not even trying. The usual Hart Foundation Referee Distraction Schtick follows, until Davey Boy decides to hop down and chase Davis. Anvil thumps away on Dynamite, then HItman comes in and misses a press into the ropes. Hot tag to Davey, who nails Anvil with two dropkicks and a back-elbow off the ropes. Charging clothesline gets 2, followed by a big verticla suplex for another deuce. Heel miscommunication sends Hitman flying to the floor. Tito races in and knocks Davis off the apron! Davey gorilla-presses Dynamite onto Anvil for 1..2..3!! New champs? Nope. Howard Finkel is there to announce the Bulldogs as winners, but not newwwwww tag team champions. Jesse reminds everybody watching that since the first fall ended in a disqualification, the titles could not change hands. About what you'd expect from these teams; not as much variety as their 85/86 matches, as they had both settled into a formual by this time and mixed in their trademark spots. It's more fuel to the Bulldogs/Harts feuds as the heels continue their sneaky ways and hold onto the belts, despite getting a tushy-kicking.

WWF Intercontinental Champion:
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Hercules (w/Bobby Heenan)

Dragon gives one of his typically cheesy WWF interviews about "breathing fire". Subplot has Macho Man watching on a monitor in the locker room, saying that he wants Steamboat and the IC title for himself. In the ring, they start quick with some very animated chops and clubs. Whip to the ropes, but Steamer slides between Herc's legs, hits two dropkicks and sends him outside. Steamer follows him out and delivers an atomic drop. Back in, Herc takes over and decapitates Steamer with a nice clothesline. Steamer hits a swinging neckbreaker, then Herc pokes the eyes and applies the full nelson. Macho sprints down and grabs Herc's leg to break it up. Herc then tries a big splash off the top, but Steamer gets the knees up. Excellent slam from Herc, but he misses an elbowdrop. Spinach Comeback for Steamer with an endless series of chops. Reverse atomic drop from Herc, then Heenan tosses him his chain. Herc chokes out Steamboat with the chain, drawing the disqualification. Macho approves and argues with Herc in the walkway. Macho walks in to the ring, as if he's checking on Steamboat, then goes up top and lands the big elbow, just to be an asshole!

Drama with Macho Man aside, this was a sub par match for Steamboat. Herc actually looked better in there and Steamer did little more than chop; but that was usually his modus operandi in the WWF for 1987. In fact, the ending and beatdown from Macho Man would've had more significance had Steamboat not asked for a leave of absence and their program faded away. For reasons like this, Steamboat will probably always remain one of the most intriguing; yet frustrating; wrestlers of the late 80's.

A Very Special Mean Gene Ringside Interview with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

Hacksaw is seated ringside and proclaims: "I love the USA and hate anybody who doesn't!" Gee, how nice. Hacksaw's been barred from the ringside area, but he just happens to have bought a front-row ticket and promises to prevent Nikolai Volkoff from singing the "Russian National Anthem". So he was involved in the first match, but after getting tossed he wandered out to the box office and just happened to score an unsold front-row ticket? Hey, maybe there was a diehard Bulldogs fan in the front row who left the show after that match, then sold his ticket to Hacksaw on his way out of the building.

Can-Am Connection vs. Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik (w/Slick)

Of course, to the shock of absolutely nobody, Volkoff tries to sing the anthem, prompting Hacksaw to hop the rail and storm the ring. Commercial break and when we come back, Hacksaw has returned to his seat. Rick Martel starts with Volkoff, flipping out of the corner with a reverse somersault and landing a drop-kick. Tag-off to Tom Zenk for a double hip-toss on Sheik. Zenk puts his head down, right into Sheik's infamous boot. Yup, there's the gut-wrench suplex from Sheik for a 2 count. Follow-up vertical suplex also gets 2. Volkoff with a series of kicks, then back to Sheik for a belly-to-belly and an abdominal stretch. Big charging clothesline (Iranian Scimitar?), then Sheik tosses Zenk out through the ropes. Volkoff runs over and dumps Martel, for good measure. Bad guys double-team Zenk right in front of Hacksaw. Hacksaw gets miffed, enters the ring again and in the commotion Zenk rolls-up Sheik off the ropes to score the 3 count. After the bell, the bad guys put the boots to Hacksaw until the Can-Ams make the save. Well... match was nothing, as it was just Zenk getting a thumpin' and a continuation of the Hacksaw vs. Evil Foreigners feud.

Vince and Jesse sum up the card, each playing their respective heel and babyface role. Credits roll and that's that.

Why'd You Watch This?
I guess you could call this the "WrestleMania III Revenge Tour". It sorta' fills the national in on what's been going on in the WWF since March. Sure, Andre and Hogan tell you what's been going on, but the matches actually show you. There's not a minute of wasted space in this broadcast. The Macho/George match stinks, but the lumberjack stipulation makes it entertaining. Overall another excellent effort for SNME, as this episode is probably in the top 3 or 4 of the entire series.

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