WWF Saturday Night's Main Event XI

Taped from South Bend, IN

Airdate: May 2, 1987 (taped 4/28)

Attendance: 9,345 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

For all of my SNME faithful readers, here is a present for you. There’s an additional present at the end of my reflection too. Stay tuned!

Savage opens the program by cutting a promo on Steele and their lumberjack match.

Meanwhile, Steamboat is ready to melt Hercules’ chain.

In the next promo, the Hart Foundation will cause nightmares for the British Bulldogs.

Duggan is ready to crack his 2x4 on Volkoff if he sings the Soviet National Anthem tonight.

Heenan, wearing a neck brace, with Andre the Giant promises us to show how Andre the Giant became the WWF champion at WrestleMania III. Andre adds “I am the champion!”

On another note, Hogan refutes Heenan’s conspiracy theory and will prove it tonight.

Opening montage.

To explain the neck brace, we revisit Superstars from “earlier today” where Heenan had a debate with Ken Patera (taped 4/23), but Patera basically leashed Heenan and then tugged HARD spraining Heenan’s neck. OUCH!

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Mr. Fuji who now manages Kamala (with Kim Chee). I guess King Curtis couldn’t cut the mustard.

Prior to the first match, we revisit the Snake Pit involving the Honkytonk Man. Please revisit my WrestleMania III reflection to view this segment.

Afterward, Okerlund interviews Roberts.

Match 1: Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Kamala (w/ Mr. Fuji & Kim Chee)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: While the crowd loved Roberts, Kamala doesn’t entertain me very well.

After the match, Kim Chee unmasks to reveal himself as the Honkytonk Man. With Roberts still down on the mat, the Honkytonk Man delivers a pair of elbow drops. Afterward, he gives Roberts Shake, Rattle, & Roll then gets on the microphone to thank the audience to a chorus of boos.

Highlight package from WrestleMania III.

Prior to the next match, Okerlund attempts to interview Steele backstage. All Steele could mutter is “Elizabeth” and “nice.”

The Honkytonk Man and Kim Chee then come down to the ring together. Who is that masked man? Anyway, Okerlund tries to explain it until Steamboat and Steele interrupt him.

After Steele makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Savage (with Elizabeth). Savage intimidates Elizabeth to call him “champ.” Ric Flair would beg to differ.

Match 2 (lumberjack): “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) versus George “The Animal” Steele (w/ Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Thank God that this feud is over. Steele’s matches may entertain the kids but not me. Savage, as always, came to play and performed well.

After the match, Steamboat comes in and nails Savage then Hercules hammers Steamboat from behind. Suddenly, all the lumberjacks enter the ring and brawl with one another. With taped ribs, Roberts enters the ring with Damian and scatters everybody from the ring. The only soul left is Kim Chee upon whom Roberts gets his revenge by tossing Damian onto him.

In an “exclusive interview,” Okerlund speaks with Heenan and Andre. While Heenan feels the WWF brass is disingenuous, Andre feels “cheated.” Footage from the title match at WM III is shown. Simply put, Heenan claims that Marella counted to three after the failed slam attempt, and he either wants the belt for Andre or, at the very least, a rematch. Stay tuned!

Before the next match begins, Okerlund interviews the Hart Foundation with Hart and Davis.

Match 3 for the WWF tag team titles (2 out 3 falls): The Hart Foundation (champions w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the British Bulldogs (w/ Tito Santana & Matilda)


First fall:

Second fall:

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Wait a minute! They won the first fall by DQ. Does that count?

As the crowd comes unglued, Finkel announces that due to the DQ, the Hart Foundation cannot lose the titles. SNEAKY! CLEVER! BRILLIANT!

Next, from an undisclosed location, Okerlund interviews Hogan. Again, we revisit the title match from WM III with Hogan’s comments.

As we see Hercules already in the ring, Okerlund interviews Steamboat backstage.

Match 4 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (champion) versus Hercules (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Without Savage’s involvement, this match could have been a whole lot worse.

After the match, Hercules keeps yanking the chain around Steamboat’s neck as Savage observes the dastardliness. Once Hercules leaves, Savage comes into the ring and turns him over. Is he saving him? Has he had a change of heart? Nope, he mounts the top turnbuckle and hits the big elbow. Cool! A heartless Savage is a good Savage in my book.

At ringside, Okerlund interviews Duggan. Xenophobia at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

As Sheik and Volkoff come to the ring, a pre-recorded promo by Slick airs.

Match 5: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Slick) versus the Can-Am Connection


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Fluke pin by the Can-Am connection helped the crowd enjoy the match after the heat segment.

After the match, Sheik and Volkoff attack Duggan. With the assistance of the Can-Am connection, Duggan clears the ring while holding his 2x4.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: On May 26, 1987, Duggan and Sheik were arrested by New Jersey State Police after working in Asbury Park. While both Sheik and Duggan were cited for drug possession, Duggan was also cited for DUI. Of course, since Duggan was a face and Sheik was a heel, both were subsequently fired for breaking kayfabe.

Conclusion: Five weeks after WrestleMania III, the WWF used SNME as a fallout show, and I enjoyed the controversial angle between Hulk and Andre. Could a rematch be looming? In addition, Savage’s involvement was crisp and awesome. On the other hand, there are equal or better (if not longer) Hart Foundation-Bulldogs matches than the match they had here. I’m torn on the recommendation, so I’ll say skip it unless you love Randy Savage.

Rating: 9.50

IN OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK IN WRESTLING HISTORY: The AWA held Superclash II in San Francisco, CA on this very date, but had only 2,800 people in attendance. I believe most of these matches ended up on the AWA show for ESPN, but let’s run down the card, and then I’ll review the AWA World title match:

  1. Sheik Adnan Al-Kassie pinned Buck”Rock’n’Roll” Zumhofe.
  2. DJ Peterson drew with Super Ninja in 15 minutes.
  3. Sherri Martel retained the AWA Women’s title by defeating Madusa Micelli.
  4. AWA World title match (see below.)
  5. The Midnight Rockers & Ray Stevens (who may have promoted the show) beat “Playboy” Buddy Rose, “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers, & Kevin Kelly.
  6. “The Mountain from Stone Mountain” Jerry Blackwell defeated Boris Zhukoff.
  7. In the main event, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka & 49ers tight end Russ Francis beat the Terrorist (Brian Knobbs) & the Mercenary (Ron Fuller).

Match 4 for the AWA World title: Nick Bockwinkel (champion) versus Curt Hennig


Rating: ****

Summary: Unable to beat Bockwinkel fair and square, Hennig did whatever he could to win the title here. You can see the distinct differences in styles between Hennig and Bockwinkel. The latter retired soon after, but not before getting revenge on Zbyszko.

After the match, Zbyszko congratulates Hennig in the ring as Ray Stevens comes in to talk with referee Gary Derusha. Stevens points out that there are dimes scattered all over the mat and accuses Zbyszko of passing them to Hennig to use as a weapon. While Blackburn and Zbyszko debate the ruling on this match, DeRusha tries to take the belt from Hennig but not without reprisal. The official announcement is that the belt is held up. A vociferous San Francisco faithful sings a resounding chorus of “BULLSHIT” on that decision.

Furthermore, Trongard interviews Blackburn who confirms the decision. Next, Trongard interviews Bockwinkel who confirms that he lost consciousness suddenly at the end of the match. He also states that Stevens pulled Zbyszko’s hand causing dimes to fly all over the place. Perhaps Zbyszko needs to make a phone call. Nevertheless, Hennig gets in Bockwinkel’s face. When Trongard interviews Hennig, Zbyszko puts words in DeRusha’s mouth then Hennig nails DeRusha to shut him up. To end the segment, Zbyszko pleads Hennig’s case.

In an effort to save face and avoid a recurrence of the fallout from Super Sunday, the AWA deemed Hennig the AWA World Champion.

See you for WCCW Parade of Champions ’87 (which took place the day after these shows)!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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