Welcome back to the satellite heroes! Today we rocket back to a bedroom in the early 1980s and get to experience something revolutionary..a place where heroes live, where larger than life giants do battle every Saturday morning. Where champions are born and the weak face swift defeat…looks like we are intercepting the communication now..
Uploading WWF Superstars!
Transmission date 1986:
There was always a sense of anticipation and innocence about growing up in the 80s and Saturday Mornings. Not only were we treated to a non stop onslaught of cartoons like He-Man, Superfriend’s, Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons, and GI Joe, but to cap off the morning there was WWF Superstars Of Wrestling. In our market it aired at 12:30pm and was easily the highlight of my Saturday Morning.
Wrestling really grew as a passion for me in 1986 during the build to Wrestlemania 2. One Saturday night I had fallen asleep on my bed only to wake in the early hours of the morning and Saturday Nights Main Event was on my screen. A big muscled up blonde guy named Hulk Hogan was being beaten down by a monster of a bad guy called King Kong Bundy. Hogan was double teamed on that night and the show ended with Hogan possibly suffering a serious rib “injury” after several diabolical “Avalanche” corner splashes from the mighty Bundy. I was hooked. I jumped into WWF Superstars from there. 1987 wrestling became a true passion of mine. I would tune in faithfully every Saturday Morning to catch Superstars. I would see on my screen these larger than life “SuperStars” who would obliterate some poor jobber every week. Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, George “The Animal” Steel, The HonkyTonk Man, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and hundreds of others invaded my screen every weekend..wrestling was my life.
The show was hosted by a arrogant braggart Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and a hapless announcer named Vince McMahon. Life was simple. Vince would cheer blatantly the “Good Guys” and Jesse would root intolerably for the “Bad Guys”. The story lines and characters that inhabited the show were clearly defined gimmicks that came to life. We had Dragons, Snakes, Animals, Birdmen, and British Bulldogs. We knew who to cheer and who to boo.
We had our champion of the day the larger than life Hulk Hogan, who was a superhero in the biggest sense of the word. he “Trained, said his prayers, and ate his vitamins”. Hulk Hogan could not be beaten. We was the WWF champion. Hogan usually appeared on Superstars in interview segments and rarely appeared live. It was a very special occasion for Hulk to be present at the Superstars taping’s but when he did it was electric. He would fight off a dastardly horde of “Bad guys” like King King Bundy, Hercules Hernandez, Paul “Mr Wonderful” Orndorff, but his primary antagonist was Andre “The Giant”. Superstars was like a paid advertisement for the bigger shows. Rarely did we have main event matches usually the show featured the under card wrestlers fighting “Jobbers”. The main event stars were held off TV and usually appeared in taped interviews and update segments.
Superstars featured a number of Interview segments..there was Pipers Pit, The Flower Shop, The Snake Pit, The Barber Shop, The Funeral Parlor, and The Brother Love Show to name a few of the more important ones. These interview segments are where feuds would be built, friends would be come enemies, and lovers scorned. These segments helped move the story lines forward outside of in ring action.
As Saturday Morning Cartoons slowly eroded by more reality based shows like Saved By The Bell, the Saturday Morning Cartoon generation slowly went away with it. Saturday Mornings were no longer a destination for the 90s generation of kids, along with them came the end of many classic 80s cartoon franchises and sadly WWF Superstars who by the late 90s had degenerated into a highlights show for the new main show Monday Night RAW .
I will never forget the passion that my friends and I had for this show. The many arguement’s over who would beat who in our dream matches. Who were the best tag teams? Who was going to win at Wrestlemania. Wrestling was escapism at its best. These days the business has changed, everyone is clear on the fact that wrestling is entertainment, fans know every move a storyline writer will make and the element of surprise has been all but eliminated. I prefer “My era” of wrestling, a time of innocence and where heroes were heroes and bad guys wreaked havoc. Where the Birdman , the Snakes, The Dragons, the Animals, and The Hulkamaniac,s lived. It was a period of change and a revolution in the industry and I lived it. We watched the early builds to Wrestlemania’s, we watch WWF change the way we did Pro wrestling. Ask Jack Tunney!
Even though I no longer have my Macho Man Randy Savage T-shirt, I have since taken down my posters, and put away my action figures I look back with fond memories on my favorite Tv show as a kid and hope that my kids will find wrestling or what ever their passion would be and enjoy something as special as I did. I am a wrestling fan to this day, and that may not be the “Cool” thing to say these days in the UFC era, but I am a wrestling fan and proud of it,..Brother!
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For all the fanboy’s out there I have included my top six WWF Superstars happenings with the help of the fine folks at Youtube. Big thanks to the original uploader’s..
6. Roddy Piper shuts down the flowershop. Before there was Goldust there was Adrian Adonis and he made the mistake of stealing Pipers show Pipers Pit. It does not go well for Adonis.
5. The Hart Foundation vs. The British Bulldogs. This match made me so mad I literally hit my TV set. My favorite tag team at the time were the British Bulldogs and they were in the process of defending the WWF Tag Team titles against their nemesis The Hart Foundation,
4. Randy Savage injures Ricky The Dragon Steamboat. The infamous crushed larynx!! This was the build up the the classic Wrestlemania 3 classic!
3. Strikeforce vs. the Hart Foundation. New tag team champions! Finally someone puts those Harts in their place!
2. Mr Wonderful turns on Hulk Hogan. Paul Orndorff violently turns heel on his “Friend” Hulk Hogan.This would be the first of Hogan broken friendships a trend that would continue far into 2012! This was the one that was done the best!
1. Hogan and Andre on Pipers Pit. This was the defining feud of the 80s Hogan and Andre would main event Wrestlemania 3 and wrestle again on Wrestlemania 4. This was the shocking moment when the Giant turned on his best friend. This is a good portion of Superstars but the Hogan Andre situation begins at the 5:11 mark.