Saturday Nights Main Event

There’s never been anything quite like Saturday Night’s Main Event for great Saturday night entertainment. I became aware of it after it had already begun its run, and didn’t even get to get my first live glimpse of one.

My first was on Saturday night May 1, 1986. I didn’t have a TV in my room, so I slept in my dad’s spot in his bed since he was out of town. He had a little black and white TV on the nightstand beside the bed. I tried hard to stay awake to watch it, but I didn’t make it. I had fallen asleep before it started. It was probably the news that did me in.

But I woke up just in time to see what was supposed to be the start of a Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts match. Ricky Steamboat was my favorite wrestler at the time, and I was always excited whenever I got a chance to see him on TV. Unfortunately for 8-year-old me, the match didn’t really happen, because Jake attacked before the match and nailed Steamboat with the DDT on the concrete floor. I was super pissed! While I hated that I didn’t get to see an actual match, the angle did lead to some good ones down the line.

The next big event I can really recall from SNME was the Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff cage match from January 1987. I wrote about it in depth over at TRN last year, so I’m not going to go into much detail here. But I did want to share that I knew that match was happening that night, but my excitement level got turned up to 11 while watching The Golden Girls, as one of the commercials was a short promo from Hogan with the cage in the foreground. That was awesome.

And then in March 1987, the episode that featured a battle royal as a way to hype the upcoming Wrestlemania 3. Hogan and Andre went at it in that battle royal, and the whole thing was awesome.

There were numerous other memorable moments to be enjoyed through the years on Saturday Night’s Main Event, and every now and then on Saturday nights, I get really nostalgic for it. TOnight is one of those nights.

2 thoughts on “Saturday Nights Main Event

  1. What an exciting time! I think the Main Event broadcasts were quarterly, but it seemed like a whole year passed between each one. It was always a battle, trying to stay up for each one.

    The one I’ll never forget is probably the most famous. When Ted DiBiase paid for another ref to have extensive cosmetic surgery to look like Dave Hebner and cost Hulk Hogan his championship. Those Hebners, always screwing people.

    • The one you refer to was not a Saturday Night’s Main Event. It was simply titled The Main Event and was shown in prime time on Friday night, February 5, 1988. Those prime-time specials aired once a year for a few years and were used to push that year’s Wrestlemania. The 1989 event was where Randy Savage turned on Hulk Hogan to set up their Wrestlemania IV main event. The one in 1990 featured Hogan vs. Savage, and Mike Tyson was supposed to be the special guest referee, but he lost to Buster Douglas the week before and backed out of being the ref. So Vince went and got Buster Douglas to do it instead.

      But yes, the twin referee angle was very memorable.

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