Before Raw, Saturday Night's Main Event was WWF's primetime draw. You knew it was a big deal because there were hardly ever any jobbers to be found. For all intents and purposes, this was a show devoted to main events. Obviously, not every match could feature top-card talent (as I'm about to prove), but the heavyweights were safe bets. This episode - dated April 15, 1991 - was the penultimate SNME, unless you count the 2006 run. The whole thing is groovy, so I'm bypassing the pros/cons format.
~ We inaugurate the proceedings with Sgt. Slaughter (flanked by Sheiky and Mustafa) squaring off against The Ultimate Warrior. It's a rematch from their title bout at the Royal Rumble, and amazingly, it's a solid contest. Warrior seems to be cooperating (!). There is decent selling here. The babyface beatdown is well-executed, though I was hoping for a clean win. The icing on the cake? The Undertaker rising from a ringside coffin...FUCK YES. Hogan tries to make the save, and I have to give him credit for putting over 'Taker as a legitimate graveyard phantom. Dude looks scared shitless.
~ The Nasty Boys defend their tag straps against The Bushwackers. It figures that I would select an episode that spotlights two of my least favorite tag teams. Don't get me wrong; it's a serviceable back-and-forth; it's just that there were so many teams to choose from. Hell, I'd take Power and Glory over Knobbs/Saggs (quite possibly the luckiest motherfuckers in the business).
~ Look, it's a random battle royale! No stipulation. I tend to forget that battle royales didn't always need stipulations. Anyway, the final four will bamboozle your circuits. Shawn Michaels (in Rocker mode), Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Mr. Perfect (the winner...thank Christ) and The Warlord. Hogan was eliminated halfway, but to be fair, it fostered storyline progression. On a sidenote, Jake the Snake's pre-entrance promo is badass.
~ Bret Hart versus Ted DiBiase is easily the zenith of the night. Fucking perfection, but it ends too soon with a double disqualification. This should have lasted 20 minutes. The time was available, but Vince allocated those inestimable minutes to Tito Santana (post-Strike Force, pre-El Matador) and The Mountie. Oh, how I wish I was kidding.
And that's all she wrote. Highly efficient programming. In my fact-based opinion, they should strip Raw down to one hour. Cut the fat. You know I'm right.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 1:00 PM