PWTorch Livecast Wednesday – Pat McNeill & Jim Valley “Wayback Playback” special (Nov. 25, 2015)

Wednesday PWTorch Livecast
Pat McNeill Pre-Thanksgiving Special
Special Guest: PWTorch contributor Jim Valley
Aired Live: November 25, 2015


Recap by Dominic DeAngelo


– Wayback Playback Episode: Saturday Night’s Main Event, May 11, 1985.


(14:55) Beginning of SNME
(17:40) The U.S. Express & Ricky Steamboat vs. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and George Steele
(30:20) Piper’s Pit w/Bob Orton & Paul Orndorff
(35:45) Hogan interview segment / Hulk Hogan vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
(47:50) Fabulous Moolah vs. Wendi Richter for the WWF Ladies Championship
(58:00) Junkyard Dog vs. Pete Doherty


– Pat & Jim run down the history of this episode: it was taped on the day before the actual episode aired. Jim says it’s an unusual episode, because it was the first episode, Hulk Hogan even introduced himself. Pat also plays the original Saturday Night’s Main Event theme, “Obsession” by Animotion.

– WWF was also doing a B-Show in Pittsburgh: the two main matches were Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine and Bruno & David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake & Johnny Valiant.

– WWF wrestlers were also on a New Japan Tour, which featured Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Jimmy Snuka & Andre The Giant in the main event.

– JCP was in Richmond: Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA for the TV title and the Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant vs. Superstar Billy Graham in a cage match.

– FCW on May 10: Wahoo McDaniel & Blackjack Mulligan vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Missing Link. Ric Flair vs. Mike Graham for the NWA Heavyweight Title.

– WCCW: Kevin & Mike Von Erich vs. Gino Hernandez & Steve Williams, and the main event was was Chris Adams vs. One Man Gang.

– AWA: Salt Lake City, Utah. “Crusher” Jerry Blackwell vs. Sheik Adnan Al Kaisse, and the main event was Sgt. Slaughter & Curt & Larry Hennig vs. Road Warriors & Paul Ellering.

– #1 Song: “We Are The World” by USA for Africa, #1 Book: “Thinner” by Richard Bachman, and #1 Movie: “Code of Silence” with Chuck Norris.

– College Basketball: Villanova upset Georgetown. In the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup.

SNME Episode Recap

The show opens with Cyndi Lauper giving wrestling advice to Wendi Richter. Jim finds it interesting they didn’t start the show with Hogan.

– Jim says SNL was in a rebuilding year and that was one of the reasons that they plugged SNME into the time slot.

The U.S. Express (Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham) & Ricky Steamboat (with Lou Albano) vs. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele (with Freddie Blassie).

– Jim talks about how Lou Albano has a haircut due to all the movie and television roles he was getting at the time.

– Jim assumes the U.S. Express’s theme at the time was “Born in the U.S.A” since it was dubbed over with WWE’s generic music.

– Pat points out that George Steele used to be a school teacher and Jim adds that he was only teaching part time until he discovered that pro wrestling was more lucrative.

– Jim says this was peak Barry Windham from look to ring work (1984-89). Pat mentions in 1986 he had a big year with Crockett Promotions.

– Jim thinks for a first match this is a good choice. You had the patriotic gimmick which was perfect for the Reagan Era and three really good workers. Very good match for a very casual audience.

– Pat makes mention that this episode got a rating of 8.1 – something unfathomable for today’s WWE’ product.

– Jim always noticed that Hogan was used in the first match to start off future SNME (much like SNL skits – the main attraction is on first).

– When WWF Superstars would air, they wouldn’t mention that SNME was on NBC since there were competing networks.

– Jim believes Barry came into the WWE first, who had a bit of a singles run, and then came Rotunda.

– Jim mentioned that George once said in an interview that his face turn was impromptu, but that couldn’t have been the case, especially since he had a post match interview afterward.

Piper’s Pit (and “Cowboy” Bob Orton) with Paul Orndorff

– Jim mentions that it was this May (1985) when Piper went to do Don Owens’s Portland show even though he was still under contract with WWF at the time, which was a bold move on Piper’s part.

– Pat and Jim talk about how Piper sold for Orndorff in this segment even though Piper didn’t do that a lot for people.

– Mr. T runs to the aid of Orndorff and Pat believes this is during the halfway point of The A Team

Hogan Interview / Hulk Hogan vs. Bob Orton

– Jim states that Hogan is wearing the WWF Championship belt that had all of the former champions names engraved on it.

– Jim corrects his “Born In The USA” assumption and thinks Pat was right in saying that the U.S. Express came out to “Real American” while Hogan came out to “Eye of The Tiger.”

– Jim and Pat comment on how good of a wrestler Bob Orton was. He was very respected.

– Jim thinks the table at the side of the ring was for the state athletic commission and doctors. Pat also says the referees used were part of the commission too. Jim says instead of the SAC handling pro wrestling in Washington, it’s the Licensing Board, which also does boxing and MMA.

– Pat & Jim are both curious if Mr. T’s mother is in the audience.

– Pat thinks he spotted Kevin Dunn on-screen (not kidding)

– Piper didn’t sell for Mr. T whatsoever.

Fabulous Moolah vs. Wendi Richter for WWF Ladies Championship.

– Pat and Jim mock the parchment paper they used to decree the title match.

– Jim says that Wendi Richter was one of Moolah’s girls. She was trained and booked by Moolah, which Pat says was like every other woman wrestler at the time.

– WWF wanted to sign Richter at a lesser deal, but they did something akin to the Montreal Screwjob with her at Madison Square Garden.

Junkyard Dog (with Bertha Ritter) vs. Pete Doherty

– Pete Doherty actually did commentary a couple of times. Jim believes he was with Bruce Prichard and Mike McGuirk.

– Jim and Pat agree that Pete Doherty was a classic enhancement guy.

– Jim says this is the peak of JYD’s national popularity, but not his career (which was during his Mid South Wrestling days).

– There were other matches that didn’t air at this event, one being Big John Studd vs. Tony Garea.

– Bob Cook is next week’s Livecast guest.


6 out of 10: This was a fun dabble into the Torch’s Wayback Playback format, which is typically exclusive to PWTorch VIP members. I enjoyed hearing the factoids and quips Pat and Jim threw out during the event, despite not even watching the show while I was listening. Both clearly are well-versed in wrestling history and trivia, so I certainly learned something while rocking the earbuds. This is a very cool change of pace for all non-VIP members and something that every wrestling fan born in the ’80s or earlier should try out at least once (so here’s your opportunity, freeloaders).

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