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Saturday Night's Main Event

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Saturday Night's Main Event is a professional wrestling television program that aired occasionally from 1985 to 1991, under the World Wrestling Federation banner on NBC in place of Saturday Night Live. It returned to the air on March 18, 2006, in an 8:00 p.m. EST time slot. It was also on ESPN Radio with a start time of 7:35 EST.

At the time of the original airing it was a rare example of professional wrestling being broadcast on an over-the-air commercial television network after the 1950s. It coincided with and contributed to, the apogee of the " 1980s wrestling golden age " of professional wrestling in the United States. After leaving NBC in 1991 it aired twice on Fox Broadcasting Company in 1992 before disappearing for over a decade.

When WWE's flagship show, WWE Monday Night RAW returned to the USA Network in 2005, Saturday Night's Main Event was revived in 2006 as a "special series" to air on occasion on NBC as part of a deal between WWE and NBC Universal. The RAW, SmackDown!, and ECW brand rosters are now featured on the show.

Original run (1985-1992)

Saturday Night's Main Event debuted on May 11, 1985 in the late-night time slot normally assigned to reruns of the NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live. Then-SNL executive producer Dick Ebersol had made a deal with WWF owner Vince McMahon to produce the show, after Ebersol had seen the high ratings that two WWF specials drew on MTV in 1984-85.

Although the show aired infrequently, it did, starting in 1986, settle into a predictable pattern of airdates: New Year's weekend, an episode in March, an episode in late April/early May, an episode in late September/early October, and Thanksgiving weekend. 1989 & 1990 both offered episodes in July promoted as "Summertime Bonus Editions."

Saturday Night's Main Event was a tremendous ratings success for NBC during its heyday, most notably on the March 14, 1987 show, which drew an 11.6 rating, which to this day remains the highest rating any show has ever done in that time slot. That show was headlined by a battle royal featuring Hulk Hogan and André the Giant, who were slated to face each other two weeks later at WrestleMania III. As Hogan rarely wrestled on the WWF syndicated and cable television shows, Saturday Night's Main Event was the program on free television where most viewers were able to see him in action.

The success of Saturday Night's Main Event led to several Friday night prime time specials, known as The Main Event. The first of these, on February 5, 1988 featured a WrestleMania III rematch between Hogan and André and drew 33 million viewers and a 15.2 rating, which is still the highest-rated television show in professional wrestling history.

While ratings remained strong through 1990, they began to fall shortly thereafter; one factor was that Los Angeles NBC O&O KNBC opted to air a news bulletin over the February 1, 1991 episode of The Main Event as well. With Ebersol having been promoted to head of NBC Sports and NBC losing interest in wrestling, Saturday Night's Main Event was dropped, its final NBC airing being on April 27, 1991.

FOX picked up the show, but it was only shown twice on that network, and the final Saturday Night's Main Event of the original run was broadcast on October 27, 1992.

For much of its history, Saturday Night's Main Event was hosted by McMahon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura with the occasional use of Bobby Heenan in 1986 and 1987. In 1990, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper replaced Ventura as McMahon's broadcast partner when Ventura left the WWF. On the two episodes that aired on FOX, Heenan served as McMahon's partner.

The opening theme song for the original version was "Obsession" by Animotion with the closing theme being "Take Me Home" by Phil Collins, and also the beginning of "Take on Me" from a-ha was used for show bumpers. In 1992, both songs were replaced by original theme music for the two episodes that aired on FOX.

Revived run (2006 - 2008)

Saturday Night's Main Event returned to NBC on March 18, 2006, in a prime-time slot. The opening theme song for the revived run was Boom by P.O.D.. The announce team for the first show of the 2006 return consisted of Jim Ross on play-by-play, with Jerry "the King" Lawler, and Tazz as color commentators. Although the show took place in Detroit, it did not air on the local NBC affiliate WDIV-TV due to obligations to air a Detroit Pistons road game. The episode aired on WMYD (then known as WDWB) at the scheduled time slot. The July 15, 2006 show had Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross (from RAW), Michael Cole and JBL (from SmackDown!), and Joey Styles and Tazz (from ECW), commentating on their respective brand's matches. For the June 2, 2007 episode, the commentary team consisted of Cole and Lawler. The third edition to the revived SNME, however, was taped on May 28, 2007 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario (the first Saturday Night's Main Event to be taped in Canada) alongside a RAW broadcast and aired on June 2 at 11:30pm EST. An audio feed was carried on ESPN Radio, beginning at 11 p.m. The 4th edition of SNME since the revival took place on August 18, 2007 in New York City at Madison Square Garden. It was taped alongside RAW (on August 13, 2007).Due to time differences it aired in the United Kingdom before it aired in the United States. The commentary team consisted of Jim Ross, Michael Cole, JBL and later Tazz.

Saturday Night's Main Event dates and venues

Event Taped Date Airdate Venue City
Saturday Night's Main Event I May 10, 1985 May 11, 1985 Nassau Coliseum Long Island, New York
Saturday Night's Main Event II October 3, 1985 October 5, 1985 Meadowlands Arena East Rutherford, New Jersey
Saturday Night's Main Event III October 31, 1985 November 2, 1985 Hersheypark Arena Hershey, Pennsylvania
Saturday Night's Main Event IV December 19, 1985 January 4, 1986 The Sundome Tampa, Florida
Saturday Night's Main Event V February 16, 1986 March 1, 1986 Veterans Memorial Coliseum Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday Night's Main Event VI May 1, 1986 May 3, 1986 Providence Civic Center Providence, Rhode Island
Saturday Night's Main Event VII September 13, 1986 October 4, 1986 Richfield Coliseum Richfield, Ohio
Saturday Night's Main Event VIII November 15, 1986 November 29, 1986 Los Angeles Sports Arena Los Angeles, California
Saturday Night's Main Event IX December 14, 1986 January 3, 1987 Hartford Civic Center Hartford, Connecticut
Saturday Night's Main Event X February 21, 1987 March 14, 1987 Joe Louis Arena Detroit, Michigan
Saturday Night's Main Event XI April 28, 1987 May 2, 1987 Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center South Bend, Indiana
Saturday Night's Main Event XII September 23, 1987 October 3, 1987 Hersheypark Arena Hershey, Pennsylvania
Saturday Night's Main Event XIII November 11, 1987 November 28, 1987 Seattle Coliseum Seattle, Washington
Saturday Night's Main Event XIV December 7, 1987 January 2, 1988 Capitol Centre Landover, Maryland
Saturday Night's Main Event XV March 7, 1988 MArch 12, 1988 Nashville Municipal Auditorium Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday Night's Main Event XVI April 22, 1988 April 30, 1988 Springfield Civic Center Springfield, Massachusetts
Saturday Night's Main Event XVII October 25, 1988 October 29, 1988 Baltimore Arena Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday Night's Main Event XVIII November 16, 1988 November 26, 1988 Arco Arena Sacramento, California
Saturday Night's Main Event XIX December 7, 1988 January 7, 1989 The Sundome Tampa, Florida
Saturday Night's Main Event XX February 16, 1989 March 11, 1989 Hersheypark Arena Hershey, Pennsylvania
Saturday Night's Main Event XXI April 25, 1989 May 27, 1989 Veterans Auditorium Des Moines, Iowa
Saturday Night's Main Event XXII July 18, 1989 July 29, 1989 Centrum Worchester, Massachusetts
Saturday Night's Main Event XXIII September 21, 1989 October 14, 1989 Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday Night's Main Event XXIV October 31, 1989 November 25, 1989 Expocentre Topeka, Kansas
Saturday Night's Main Event XXV January 3, 1990 January 27, 1990 UTC Arena Chattanooga, Tennessee
Saturday Night's Main Event XXVI April 23, 1990 April 28, 1990 Frank Erwin Center Austin, Texas
Saturday Night's Main Event XXVII July 16, 1990 July 28, 1990 Omaha Civic Center Omaha, Nebraska
Saturday Night's Main Event XXVIII September 18, 1990 October 13, 1990 Toledo Sports Arena Toledo, Ohio
Saturday Night's Main Event XXIX April 15, 1991 April 27, 1991 Omaha Civic Auditorium Omaha, Nebraska
Saturday Night's Main Event XXX January 27, 1992 February 8, 1992 Lubbock Municipal Coliseum Lubbock, Texas
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXI October 27, 1992 November 14, 1992 Hullman Center Terra Haute, Indiana
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXII March 18, 2006 March 16, 2006 Cobo Hall Detroit, Michigan
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXIII July 15, 2006 July 15, 2006 American Airlines Center Dallas, Texas
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXIV May 28, 2007 June 2, 2007 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXV August 13, 2007 August 18, 2007 Madison Square Garden New York, New York
Saturday Night's Main Event XXXVI July 28, 2008 August 2, 2008 Verizon Center Washington, D.C.

External links

Video

WWE The Best Of Saturday Night's Main Event (2009) - Home Video Trailer01:01

WWE The Best Of Saturday Night's Main Event (2009) - Home Video Trailer

Logos

Saturday Night's Main Event
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