Sweet Goddess I love retro wrestling. In the 80s’, Saturday Night’s Main Event was THEE late-night television special to watch on the weekend. In 1985, the then called WWF (WWE) blew up all over mainstream and Hulkamania was indeed running wild all over our faces. From Saturday morning cartoons, live events, and the first ever Wrestlemania, there was no stopping the WWF train. When they threw in Saturday Night’s Main Event as a deal with SNL’s producers as a replacement for the NBC show reruns, ratings skyrocketed and it became a more regular airing for the network. While the shows were inconstant with an airing schedule in their premiere year, there was ONE particular episode that sated on my mind for years to come- and that was of course, the WWF HALLOWEEN PARTY that featured the infamous LAND OF 1000 DANCES!
The third ever Saturday Night’s Main Event was taped on October 31st, 1985 and aired on November 2nd with an insane Halloween party interjecting in-between matches; one being a Kung-Fu match between Ricky Steamboat and Mr. Fuji that is as entertaining as that sounds. The Halloween party hosed by a pumpkin donning Mean Gene turned into a competition of course between the faces and heels with the “good guys” being captained by Lou Albano (dressed as Julius Caesar) and his teammates Tito Santana (as Zorro), Hulk Hogan (as Hercules), Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, and Cousin Junior (as the Three Musketeers. Heenan (dressed as Davey Crockett but constantly mistaken for a weasel heh) was joined by Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth (as Tarzan and Jane), The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (as Batman and Robin), and King Kong Bundy (as Abraham Lincoln). The “games” consisted of bobbing for pumpkins, a pumpkin toss, and a hilarious pie-eating contest (seen below) that ends up in a food fight because why wouldn’t it!? The weasel, I mean, Davey Crockett Heenan easily beats Junior in the pumpkin bobbing (with that mouth is anyone surprised?) and Albano gluttonously defeats Bundy in the pie-eating segment- leaving the score 1-1 and all the Halloween Heavyweight Champion of games to be settled in the “pumpkin toss”.
I don’t know why the hell it’s called a pumpkin toss when the game consists of having teams of wrestlers pass a pumpkin underneath their chin. You know that game you do at middle school parties in a weird attempt to get close to the opposite sex? Well instead of that, you get a bunch of giant wrestlers in costumes trying to do it. It’s every bit as awkward as it sounds and I love every second of it. Anyway, the game ends when Elizabeth fumbles the gourd and Randy Savage scolds her in such a way you’d thought the woman killed Jesus or something.
While the Halloween party is ensuing in hilarity, we get to visit Roddy Piper in his “rented American home” and see how the rowdy one spends the spooky holiday with Vince McMahon there to interview and give us play by play deets. Like out of a Halloween urban legend joke, Piper wraps up bricks to make them look like giant chocolates, and bowling balls disguised as giant candy apples because hey, according to him the Scottish like to celebrate “the trick” in Trick or Treat. Trick or Treaters arrive, one dressed as the Hulkster so of course this pisses Roddy off. In typical Hot Rod behavior, Piper demeans them and tricks them into giving him their candy in exchange for his asinine-sized fake candy. It’s a total prick moment that showcases why we love to hate the guy and then karma rears it’s ugly head when the kids’ actually slipped him hot peppers disguised as candy. PRICELESS.
Finally, we end with The Land of 100 Dances that was a promotion tie-in for the Rock ‘N” Wrestling connection with MTV. With Meatloaf on the drums and Cyndi Lauper singing back-up, this superstar-filled wrestling WTF has become legendary and no better way to introduce this now nostalgic nugget of WWE history than during their Halloween special?! The thing that kills me is Mr. Wonderful kissing his fuckin’ biceps for the entire duration of the music video along with Piper sticking a Goonies movie promotion in there; as I’m sure you recall, the WWF and Cyndi Lauper did a massive promo for that film with the “Good Enough” video. Also another reason why Roddy is the goddamn GOAT. Fuck I miss that guy.
Anyways, here’s visual proof that this wasn’t some sort of fever dream we all had 36 years ago and a friendly reminder that “Hogan’s such a YOYO.”