*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***
Saturday Night’s Main Event VI – 5/3/86
May 3, 1986
Providence Civic Center
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan
1) Hulk Hogan & Junkyard Dog defeat Terry & Dory Funk when Hogan pins Terry with a legdrop at 13:30
Fun Fact: This would be the farewell match for Terry Funk from the Federation for twelve years. During his time away, he would go back to the NWA and see the transformation into WCW. In the mid 90s he would become more “extreme” as he battle in an infamous King of the Death Match tournament in Japan and would become a champion in ECW. Dory Funk would remain in the WWF and would team with Jimmy Jack Funk, who was billed as his brother despite having not relation to the Funk family.
Scott: I remember the big ad in my TV Guide and getting big time pumped up for this match. I’ve been saying all along that JYD is the #2 babyface in the company, and for the first time in SNME history the top two babyfaces are teaming together. It was smart to have the World Champion go first, as since the show started at 11:30pm, people may start to fade by the later portion of the show. So they wanted everybody tuned in right at the start of the show. I thought at this point Hogan stuck with the yellow and red but he wore the alternate white tights this time. Jesse Ventura isn’t around on this evening, so Bobby Heenan comes in to rip Vince every 30 seconds, and he quickly calls Haiti Kid a “dirty little midget”. As these shows have progressed it seems they’ve avoided some of the longer vignettes in between matches and given the matches a little more time. The babyfaces were dominating the action until Jimmy Hart smacked Haiti Kid (who seconded our heroes to the ring) with the Funks’ branding iron. Eh, just another midget in the way. Even though Dory Funk was well into the twilight of his career he was definitely still a workable body in the ring and kept up his end of the team’s work to match his brother’s histrionics. This match has more than its share of action outside the ring but they brawl on the floor and the faces regain control. Funk goes for something on the top rope in the climax but he misses and JYD tags into Hogan and he finishes the match off with big boot and legdrop. After the match the heels beat down Haiti Kid down. They try to brand him but Hogan saves him and the heels beg off. Well the workers do, but Jimmy Hart gets his just desserts by the Haiti Kid. Surprisingly the JYD gets his theme played as we go to break, as I was anticipating Real American. This was a really fun opener with decent in ring work but a lot of action everywhere. Grade: **1/2
JT: For the sixth straight Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hulk Hogan is in action. This time around, he is competing in a tag team match, hooking up with another SNME mainstay in Junkyard Dog to go to war with the wild Funk Brothers. Of course, Hogan bested Terry in a previous installment, but the feud didn’t end there. And of course, we can go back a bit further to refresh ourselves on the issues between Terry and the Dog as well. Those carried on at WrestleMania II where the Funks cheated to beat JYD and Tito Santana. Jesse Ventura isn’t around tonight so we will have our first full SNME without the Body. In his place is Bobby Heenan, ensuring a similar level of enjoyment from the booth. In a funny bit, we see locker room footage of the Funks practicing tossing Jimmy Hart’s megaphone to each other, playing off that Mania finish. Hogan & Dog brought the Haiti Kid out with them as I assume they wanted to attempt to offset Hart. The Funks tried to attack before the bell, but JYD slammed them both down and Hogan dropped down and did JYD’s headbutts on both to knock them to the floor. Cute spot. Kid also got involved quickly, yanking Hart off the apron and keeping him on the floor. Terry would briefly grab control but JYD brought that to a quick end when he shot Terry hard into the corner where he rattled his shoulder into the ring post. On the floor, Terry chased Kid around as Heenan called him a “dirty little midget”. A lot of stooging from the Funks followed as they bumped all over the place, square danced and criss crossed as Hogan and JYD dominated. Heenan is fantastic here, slipping digs in left and right, like calling JYD “illiterate” off the cuff. He followed that up by saying Kid could do 250 sit-ups under a Chevy. The Funks finally trapped JYD in the corner and double teamed him to swing control. Even Kid got the shit end of the stick when Hart pelted him with the branding iron, clubbing him out cold. As JYD dragged him to safety, Terry came over and stomped his head. JYD vanished, carrying Kid to the back, leaving Hogan to work over both brothers. Hoss would eventually knock Hogan to the floor, where Terry met him by jabbing his rehabbed ribs with the iron. As Funk shot him into the guard rail, JYD reemerged to make the save. This match has been some wild fun. JYD got caught and worked over back in the ring as Kid returned and led the crowd in a loud “JYD” chant. Heenan is on fire. The Dog would eventually wriggle free and tag in Hogan, who almost immediately dropped a leg on Terry for the win. After the bell, the Funks held up Kid so Hart could smack him but before they could brand him, Hogan made the save. This was quite fun with a manic pace and some wild fighting in and out of the ring. The crowd was amped up too and the whole thing just had a great unpredictable air about it. The Funks are so fun to watch in this role and with Hogan and JYD this crazy over, it melded into a termed atmosphere. Grade: ***
2) King Kong Bundy defeats Uncle Elmer with an elbow drop at 2:35
Fun Fact: This was a battle of big men who had recorded the last two “fastest recorded matches” in WWF history. Buddy’s record was recorded at WrestleMania I with a nine second win over SD Jones (which bell-to-bell was 24 seconds). Just seven months later, Uncle Elmer would beat the record with a win over Jerry Valiant at SNME II in six seconds (which bell-to-bell was 12 seconds). Maybe during this period someone should have bought the time keeper a Timex.
Fun Fact II: We bid a fond farewell to Uncle Elmer as this will be his last televised match for the WWF. He would wrestle for the company until the end of May. He would continue to wrestle in Memphis and in the CWA before retiring from the ring in 1990. Elmer would die from kidney failure due to diabetes on July 1, 1992 at the age of 54.
Scott: The weigh-in before the match it utterly hilarious, with Uncle Elmer eating fried pig parts while a snorting pig noise goes in the background. Bobby is awesome here, ripping Elmer and his absurd dancing in the ring. Why we still deal with hillbillies is beyond me. Bundy is coming off his loss at WrestleMania II against Hogan in the cage, so he’s here to rebuild his character and get a win against someone equally his size. Elmer gets the early advantage with his terrible offense and butt bumps in the corner but Elmer misses a corner splash and hits the deck. Bundy hits a big elbow drop and gets the well deserved win. Can we get rid of these terrible hillbillies (and midgets for that matter) and move on to some other superstars? This match was crap. Grade: *
JT: I really love these shows just for all the random character building and enhancing pieces they do. Before this battle of the behemoths, we got to see the two of them weigh in on a giant industrial scale. While weighing in, Elmer was chowing down on fried hog parts from a massive bucket as Heenan noted he was a slob.The Brain continued to trash Elmer hard as he danced his way into the ring like a jackass. He also makes some great points about Bundy’s wrestling acumen and resume and decides to stay in the booth out of confidence. Elmer stood his ground to start but Bundy busted him down to his knees and kicked his ribs before choking him. Heenan is making this match, calling Elmer a “sow”. The hillbilly came back with some right hands to the gut and head, rocking Bundy into the corner. Elmer would miss a splash in the corner and Bundy quickly followed with an elbow drop for the win. Well, at least it was short. And Heenan was aces. Glad to see Bundy still getting some respect and a bit of a push post-Mania. Grade: 1/2*
3) Adrian Adonis defeats Paul Orndorff by disqualification at 12:00
Fun Fact: After WrestleMania II, Adrian Adonis began mocking Paul Orndorff, claiming he was little more than Hulk Hogan’s sidekick and calling him “Hulk Jr.” This leads to our match here.
Scott: The two awkward promos heading into this match were awesome, with Adonis talking to the Orndorff cutout and Orndorff and Mean Gene hanging out in the sauna all sweaty and uncomfortable. This could be a pretty solid match because say what we want about Adonis’ shape and character but he can still work a great match when he needs to. Orndorff had a pretty solid face run but he is probably the first victim of the “Hogan Title curse” as he really was hitting the glass ceiling because Hogan wasn’t dropping the title or turning heel anytime soon. Adonis is wrestling in a dress or, as Bobby was calling it, the hotel shower curtain. The match isn’t bad as Adonis actually looks more svelte than he had but perhaps it’s the shower curtain. Adonis was great at selling his opponent’s moves, for instance he takes an Orndorff dropkick and flies halfway across the ring to hit the ring post and put the move over strong. However Orndorff gets disqualified for pushing the referee and choking Adonis out with his dress. This was a surprising move, which means they felt more value for Adonis’ heel run than Orndorff’s face run. I was certain that Orndorff was going to win this match, but alas it didn’t happen. The match was fun but the result made me scratch my head. Grade: **
JT: And speaking of character development, we head backstage again where Adrian Adonis gushes over a cardboard cutout of Mr. Wonderful. He also threatens to crack his head open. Well then. Orndorff gets a nice reception from the Providence fans as we get a clip from earlier today when Gene Okerlund interviewed him in the sauna. Orndorff compares Adonis to Fabulous Moolah and says he “light in the loafers”. Back in the ring, Orndorff was red hot, beating on Adonis and chucking him hard out to the floor. Adonis didn’t even get his muumuu off yet. He would get dragged back in and sent flying back outside off a hard whip to the corner. I could watch Adonis bump all night. Adonis slowed things way down as he regrouped, keeping the muumuu on as Vince was aghast, commenting on how he had never seen anyone wrestle in a dress before. Orndorff worked an abdominal stretch as Heenan quipped that Adonis may be wearing a shower curtain. Adonis finally landed a shot and started to climb away but Orndorff ducked a charge and pitched him to the floor. Orndroff walked over and yanked Hart into the ring and then chucked him back out hard into Adonis. Orndroff would also show off his power with an airplane spin, but Adonis grabbed the rope and broke the hold. Things would spill to the floor, where Hart ran interference that allowed Adonis to clock Orndorff in the head with the megaphone. Adonis had some great heel mannerisms and facial expressions and really took right to this gimmick. After a few minutes of offense, Adonis got tangled in the ropes and then chucked into the corner. Orndorff would rip the dress off and choke Adonis viciously in the ropes, eventually shoving the referee down as well. And he would be disqualified for that. That was a great finish as Orndorff just snapped and was relentless in choking out Adonis. This could have been a pretty hot blood feud. The match was quite enjoyable with more great heat and some really good Adonis bumping fixed into some nice heat building and aggressive Orndorff offense. Grade: **
4) Jake Roberts wrestled Ricky Steamboat to a no contest when Roberts attacked Steamboat prior to the bell rang
Fun Fact: This match would be the beginning of a heated feud between Jake Roberts and Ricky Steamboat that would last into the fall of 1986. Steamboat was legit knocked unconscious by the DDT on the concrete, which added the extra element of realism to the feud.
Scott: We don’t get an official match here but we do get one of the craziest moments in SNME history. Jake Roberts attacks Ricky Steamboat before the match and then, in a move Steamboat wanted to take according to Jake’s DVD, the Snake DDTs Steamboat flush on the Providence Civic Center concrete. This instantly gave Jake tremendous heel heat as the beloved babyface is cheap shotted before the match and is out cold as Jake drops Damien on him, letting him slither over the prone Dragon’s body. Bobby is awesome, taunting Steamboat’s wife to help out her “pineapple picking husband”. This did everything that was needed: Made the fans wait for a big match, gave the Dragon sympathy and give The Snake huge heel heat. Grade: N/A
JT: Of course, there is never an official match here. But that was fine, because this was awesome. Before entering the arena, Ricky Steamboat chats with Okerlund, who notes that the Dragon is the first true test for the undefeated Jake Roberts. Jake had a great heel presence as he stalked to the ring, crowd revved up and a bit apprehensive of the snake. In a great twist, as Steamboat hopped on the apron, Roberts cracked him with a clothesline that knocked the Dragon to the floor. Roberts followed out and snapped him to the concrete with a nasty DDT. That was an insane bump and tremendous, instant heat for Roberts. Jack dumped Steamboat’s limp body into the ring and then unleashed Damien on him. Roberts wrapped it around Steamboat’s throat while the referee was helpless to stop it. Kudos for Steamboat for laying there and allowing this to go down. A bevy of officials finally drove Roberts from the ring but the damage was done. A fantastic, top flight angle with great work from both men. Grade: N/A
5) British Bulldogs defeat Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik to retain WWF Tag Team Titles in a Best of Three Falls match
Iron Sheik forces Davey Boy Smith to submit in the Camel Clutch at 1:28
Davey Boy Smith pins Nikolai Volkoff with a roll up at 5:58
Davey Boy Smith pins Iron Sheik with an inside cradle at 9:10
Fun Fact: Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff were seeking to regain the tag team championships they had been without since June 1985.
Fun Fact II: The Dynamite Kid had suffered a knee injury a month earlier at WrestleMania II, which resulted in Davey Boy Smith carrying the majority of this match.
Scott: Our new tag team champions have their first title defense here against one of 1985’s WWF Tag Teams of the Year. Sheik and Volkoff definitely have slipped off the radar as the year turned as newer, fresher teams have started to galvanize the tag division with actual tag teams instead of two singles guys put together. This is the last big run for Classy Freddie Blassie as he’s getting up there in years but he’s still an awesome heel manager in his jeweled outfits and cane. The match being two of three falls adds time and workrate to the match and it’s a perfect blend of power and speed. Iron Sheik was still a beast in the ring and Volkoff was pure power. Meanwhile the young and exciting Bulldogs are the best team in a while. They are an exciting combination of power and speed and clearly showing the tag division is evolving. Two out of three falls was the perfect stipulation for these teams and for it being the final match of the show it was a great ending. For those who hadn’t seen WrestleMania II (unless you watched on closed circuit or one of the lucky ones who had early PPV) noone had seen the Bulldogs’ epic win over the Dream Team after they lost to the former champions on the last SNME. Now they were the triumphant champions, complete with Johnny-come-lately manager Lou Albano, trying to pad his tag team champions stats. The match had some solid in-ring work and some great comedy spots, such as Volkoff celebrating two-counts and losing a fall in the process. The Providence crowd was red hot all show long and they were off the charts here as well. Davey Boy is wrestling a majority of the match while Dynamite (suffering from a knee injury) is on the apron for most of the match. He eventually does get tagged in and the champions survive the grizzled veterans and get the victory. This is a great example of boosting your new champions by taking on a past champion. Grade: **
JT: Before the match we get an interview with the new tag team champs and their hanger on manager, Lou Albano. Okerlund crediting that slob for the success of the Bulldogs is terrible. The Captain calls his charges the “finest gymnastic wrestlers of the modern era”. Tonight they are set for a best of three falls bout against the former champs, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik. This is a nice little challenge for the champs, a team that can hang in the ring and get dirty when needed, as we saw at the first WrestleMania. Nikolai immediately fell into trouble with both Bulldogs rattling him with headbutts but he tide turned when Volkoff dropped Smith across the top rope neck first. Sheik took quick advantage, taking Davey Boy over with a suplex and then locking on the camel clutch for a quick, shocking submission. That was quite the surprise and I would think the psychology is that Davey doesn’t tap as quickly if he didn’t have two more falls in his back pocket. Still, this certainly gave instant legitimacy to the challengers just a minute into the match. After a break, Sheik continued to put the hurting on Smith, nailing him with a clothesline before hooking in an abdominal stretch. Smith escaped but the challengers kept laying in the boots with a brief double team. Nikolai laid in some heavy blows while Sheik floated Smith over with a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Smith came back and nabbed a near fall on Sheik and then after fighting through some Freddie Blassie interference and a big Volkoff slam, Smith was able to even the odds after a back elbow and a roll up to pin the big Russian. In a funny moment, McMahon called Nikolai an idiot twice for celebrating a two count, which allowed the roll up. By this point, Smith has wrestled the whole match, which McMahon also kept taking him to task about. After a break, Vince notes that they were informed that Dynamite had a torn ligament in his knee, which is why Smith is wrestling the whole match. The challengers regained control and kept tagging in and out as they worked over the Bulldog. Vince noted that the Bulldogs vowed to be fighting champions and this is proof. Smith survived a Boston crab from Sheik and a backbreaker submission from Volkoff. However, he caught Sheik with a powerslam for a near fall before finally tagging in Dynamite. Sheik clobbered the Kid as he came in and trapped him in a bear hug, as did Volkoff after a tag. Sheik then followed with a camel clutch but Smith made the save and rolled up Sheik for the win, despite being the illegal man. Another fun match in a series of them tonight. I really dug the story with Dynamite being hurt and Smith gallantly wrestling most of the match by himself. It was a strong look for the champs as they live up to their vow of taking on all comers. Grade: **
Scott: We have a second straight SNME without any fluff pieces and although it was nice to have more storyline development I did miss some of the fun stuff that the early episodes had. The last episode needed to focus on the WrestleMania II build but this one was in that dead zone (although PPV schedules were not in focus as of yet) so bringing back a little of the comedy wouldn’t have hurt. The matches are definitely getting better and just when I thought I couldn’t get more awesome heel work on the last episode we get the incredible Roberts/Steamboat moment. Hopefully some of the fun stuff returns to really balance the show out. We get a solid installment for the second straight episode but as the year progresses allegiances change and some more fresh talent arrives. Final Grade: B
JT: After the Halloween installment, this has been my second favorite SNME to date. It was packed with really solid matches and a top notch angle in the middle of it. We didn’t have any running skits or themes, but the show hummed along nicely with strong interviews and lots of WrestleMania recaps mixed into the card. The opener was very high energy and set the tone right through an enjoyable final match. Even the Elmer/Bundy match was surprisingly decent. The Steamboat/Roberts angle is a classic and the Providence crowd stayed heated the whole way through the show. A strong outing coming off of Mania to set up the summer run for the company. Final Grade: B+