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WWF Saturday Night's Main Event episode 30: Fox era begins with Hulk Hogan & Sid Justice vs. Ric Flair & Undertaker

SNME Logo

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

I gotta tell you that I wasn’t ready for Saturday Night’s Main Event’s jump in 1992. We got lots of familiar faces, lots of neon, a new logo, and a lot of TV show packed into just 46 minutes. I’m not sure what time this aired, but this is definitely a shorter edition than past Saturday editions.*

Update: A great reader reminded me that this marked the show's debut on Fox, which I thought came after 1992. NBC canceled SNME in 1991 and the show debuted in a one-hour format on Fox the following year in primetime as opposed to late night.

I’ll save my end of an era speech for next week, the final edition before SNME went on a 14-year hiatus.

If you’re new to these reviews (and if so, where have you been?), here’s the disclaimer: no star ratings, no snark, no deep evaluation of matches. These are the musings of a 37-year-old with a dream assignment: watching old WWF matches from his childhood on the WWE Network. Also, in the next few weeks, I will be setting up a page where all of the reviews will live for easy access.

- Airdate: February 8, 1992
- Taped: January 27, 1992
- Runtime: 46 minutes
- Location: Lubbock, TX | Lubbock Municipal Coliseum

What a difference a year makes as we have a new champion, and a brand new 90’s riffic logo, completely with a horrendous guitar riff.

Sid Justice 

That wasn’t the only change as Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan are live at ringside. Heenan is pushing the champion Ric Flair and later compares the recently-struck Elizabeth to his dog when he offers to give him a treat and then throws it away.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper vs. The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart)

McMahon tells us that Mountie is the shortest reigning I-C champion of all time at just two days. As Piper goes to the ring, he kisses a fan who apparently dressed in the dark. Heenan says, “There’s Piper giving a kiss to the queen of the Weight Watchers.” Ouch!

Roddy Piper Fan

Piper is all smiles for the Lubbock faithful. Hart gets involved early and gets clotheslined and rammed into Mountie’s head for his troubles. McMahon tells us the winner of this match goes on to defend against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania, leading to an inset interview with “The Hitman”. He says either guy is fine, but wants his belt back. Since we saw him years ago in the Hart Foundation, his mannerisms and aura are completely different. He looks like a top guy and talks like a top guy -- an evolution we’ve seen happen before our eyes.

Bret Hart

As Piper goes for a bulldog, Mountie shoves him into Joey Marella who hits the deck exposing white socks with black shoes and pants. Fashion faux pas! Hart scrambles to get a cup of water for Mountie who dumps it on Piper. Why? Because he’s going to attempt to electrocute him to the point of death on national TV.

He shocks Piper and we get the ridiculous dubbed in electricity noise. However, Piper gets right up and decks Mountie who throws the cattle prod in the air. Piper catches it, tosses out Hart, and shocks Mountie with what McMahon calls “the shock stick”, leading to the pin. Post match, Piper strips off two t-shirts he was wearing all match to reveal he had on a shock proof vest. Genius! Piper says to the camera, “Roddy don’t play that!” McMahon says, “Neither does Homey!” Good lord.

Roddy Piper

WWF World Champion Ric Flair (w/Mr. Perfect) & Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Hulk Hogan & Sid Justice

We go to the classic end of the ‘92 Royal Rumble with Hogan, Flair, and Sid Justice. This is where Justice tossed Hogan, Hogan grabbed his hand, and Flair tossed him out to win the title. This is all courtesy of Coliseum Video, of course. After the match, Hogan and Justice went nose to nose and Flair’s title win was essentially shoved to the side.

We then go to the Wrestlemania 8 presss conference where Jack Tunney announced the no. 1 contender for Flair’s title. I mean, just look at this scene:

Wrestlemania 8 Press Conference

Undertaker sitting at a press conference dais? Enough said. Amazing. I remember this whole thing from Superstars of Wrestling and dying to know who was getting the shot. Remember anticipation in wrestling? Tunney announced Hogan and Justice was furious, delivering a great heel promo to the media.

We go to a promo where Justice is a complete face and apologizes to Hogan for his actions. Undertaker and Paul Bearer are already in the ring as Flair and Mr. Perfect come out. The pattern remains consistent: if Hogan wasn’t wearing the title, the champion was made to feel secondary.

Back from break and Sean Mooney is with Hogan and Justice who are now buddy/buddy. As Hogan begins his promo, Justice just walks away. Hogan promises a special little surprise walking with him out to the ring. Is the Haiti Kid finally returning to SNME?!?! Sadly, no. It’s Brutus Beefcake with an incredible flowing mullet. I should also mention Hogan is wearing the ugly new SNME logo on a yellow shirt. What have they done with our show?

Brutus Beefcake Mullet

McMahon and Beefcake discuss that this is Beefcake’s first appearance since the parasailing accident that destroyed his face. For the era, there’s a lot of star power in this one. I think I remember seeing this on a house show a long time ago. Hogan is delivering hip tosses galore and running wild. It’s so strange seeing this version of ‘Taker with barely any tattoos, the long red hair, and the gray gloves.

There was lots and lots of double teaming which definitely hurt the flow for as much chaos as it added. After another Hogan comeback, he cups his ear to the crowd and Justice gives him a WTF look which signals what’s to come.

Flair puts on the figure four and Hogan was supposedly reaching for the tag, causing Justice to turn around and adjust his knee brace. His facial expression completely changes and the turn is on. Hogan bodyslams Flair off the top and starts crawling toward Justice for the tag. Justice made no effort to reach out, slowly wrapping the tag rope around his hand instead.

Finally, Hogan got to the corner and Justice jumped off the ring apron as he went for the tag. Beefcake yanked Justice back and threatened to hit him, but because of his face, he didn’t. Heenan joked, “It will be just like a hockey game. There’ll be a faceoff!”

The heels worked over Hogan and tossed Earl Hebner for the DQ. Beefcake then decided to get in there so he could distract and eventually evade Flair and Taker. Hogan recovered and cleaned house as Beefcake cheered and looked like a complete idiot. Post-match, Hogan is more concerned with Beefcake’s face and we get a shot of a kid ripping up his Justice sign. Young rage!

Sid Justice Fan

Mooney is with Justice and wants to know what’s going on. Justice says he doesn’t need any friends and is still pissed at Tunney for giving Hogan the title shot at “RASSLEMania”. He gives his “man that rules the world” bit and reiterates that Hogan couldn’t beat Flair on his best day and couldn’t beat him at his worst.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund is with Hogan and Beefcake. Hogan says that Justice knows nothing about friendship and is nothing but a liar, man. He reiterates what we just saw and thanks the Beefer for his friendship. Beefer says that Hogan was a friend and alludes that he gave him a blood transfusion while in the hospital. Alright then. Hogan dedicates the title match at Mania to Beefcake.

Friendships, Hogan, and Saturday Night’s Main Event just don’t mix.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter vs. The Beverley Brothers (w/The Genius)

Well, this match came out of nowhere. Slaughter is now back to being a complete babyface, so all that pro-Iraq stuff is water under the bridge for Duggan. Genius’ scroll gets involved quickly as Slaughter nails Blake in the face with it, leading to the Duggan 3-Point Stance shoulderblock for the pin. This match was, like, three minutes. I would have much rather preferred a Flair promo.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage

We go to Superstars of Wrestling in November 1991 where Roberts’ cobra started gnawing on Savage’s arm. We then go to Tuesday In Texas where Roberts punched Elizabeth in the face.

Randy Savage Snakebite

Roberts does a quick promo and says if Elizabeth shows up tonight, “some things are worth doing twice”. We get back from break and Roberts is walking to the ring sans any snake which is an odd look. Gene is with a very neon-clad Savage who delivers a very pro-women promo. He’s come full circle since pushing Liz into the pool wayyyy back on the 4th edition of SNME. Savage rips off his sunglasses and says it’s time for Roberts to find out how insane he really is.

McMahon asks Heenan what he would do if someone slapped his wife. Heenan said she should be “folding towers and raking the yard”. As it should have been, this is a brawl that went in and outside the ring. Savage opened up a cut on Roberts’ nose that probably was an accident, but made it feel more real.

Savage went to the top rope, but Roberts hit him in the gut on the way down. Roberts hit the DDT clean and instead of pinning Savage, he waited for him to get up to deliver more punishment. Short-arm clothesline and he calls for another DDT, but they’re too close to the ropes and Roberts get back bodydropped over the top. More brawling and Savage hits the big elbow on the inside of the ring for the clean pin.

Savage isn’t done though and wants to hit another elbow. Refs and guys in suits unsuccessfully stop him, however. Savage then goes back to ‘87 and goes for a ring bell, but Roberts gets away. Elizabeth then runs down to ringside and is all smiles. So, wouldn’t she have just passed Roberts in the hallway?

As I type, that question gets answered as Roberts is peering out through the curtain. Just like that, the show is over. What the what?*

*Update: From the same astute reader as above: "After SNME went off the air, Jake tried to jump Randy & Elizabeth as they entered the backstage area but The Undertaker intervened. The footage of this backstage incident aired the following weekend on WWF Superstars."

Jake Roberts

The final SNME of the 90s awaits. Are you ready to walk through the darkness with me? See you next Saturday!