Coliseum Corner: WWF’s Iconic Main Events of The 80s

September 26, 2013 by Dan Duffy

Coliseum Corner is back with Iconic Main Events of the ’80s!

WDN Coliseum Corner

As Coliseum Video released its first videos in 1985, some of these iconic main event matches were featured. During this time, Hulk Hogan was usually in all main events. He was the main attraction everywhere he went and every star he worked with would make lots of money. Hogan is arguably the reason why WWE still exists, in terms of the worldwide exposure he garnered and the new ground he broke. This isn’t a Hulk Hogan tribute, it’s purely what ’80s WWF consisted of in main events–and they were great.

Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (Saturday Night’s Main Event – October 5, 1985)

WWF Coliseum Video Saturday Nights Main Event Greatest Hits

During the ’80s, there was no shortage of antagonists who would denounce “The Good Ol’ USA”. Nikolai Volkoff, a Russian Patriot, would sing his native anthem thus angering American fans and their heroes alike. Hulk Hogan the face and ultimate American patriot of the WWF would be the Russian’s opponent in what would be a heated match. Hogan defeated Volkoff and shined his boots with the Russian Flag before waving the Stars and Stripes to the delight of screaming Hulkamaniacs.

WWE Nikolai Volkoff

Junkyard Dog vs. Randy Savage (The Wrestling Classic – November 7, 1985)

The Wrestling Classic was the very first WWF Pay-Per-View event. The card consisted of a sixteen man tournament and Hulk Hogan defending his WWF Title against Roddy Piper. Hulk defeated Piper by disqualification. The tournament featured such superstars as the British Bulldogs, Ricky Steamboat, Bob Orton and Terry Funk. The tournament final and main event hosted JYD and Savage competing to be the Wrestling Classic winner. The end came when Junkyard Dog back dropped Savage over the top rope, who couldn’t make it back into the ring, giving JYD the count-out victory.

WWF The Wrestling Classic Randy Savage

Hulk Hogan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (The Big Event – August 28, 1986)

WWF The Big Event Coliseum Video

In what would be a record breaking outdoor attendance (at the time) of 74,000 in Toronto, Hulk Hogan defended his WWF Championship against his former friend and turncoat “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.

Orndorff had grown tired of constant jibes from other wrestlers– even being called Hulk Jr. by Adrian Adonis. In a tag match against John Studd and King Kong Bundy, the Hulkster and Wonderful accidently collided. Orndorff seemed angry and refused to come to Hogan’s aid. It seemed he’d had a change of heart and chased off their opponents. He helped up Hulk before clotheslining him back down, ending their friendship immediately.

At The Big Event the two rivals put on a brutal exhibition of hard shots in which both men at times threw legitimate punches. Hulk Hogan would of course take the victory sending the 74,000 Canadian fans home happy.


Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III – March 29, 1987)

WWF WrestleMania 3 VHS Cover

For years Andre and Hogan had been friends. Hulk had said that he looked up to Andre and couldn’t understand why the Giant would challenge him for his title. The challenge took place on an episode of Piper’s Pit where Andre, a crowd favourite, appeared with the villainous manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, while Hulk was being interviewed. To the shock of many, Andre ripped off Hogan’s crucifix and sternly told Hogan that he wanted a championship match. Hogan became angry and eventually agreed to the match.

In front of 93,173 fans the main event of WrestleMania III saw these two Superstars lock eyes in the centre of the ring as Gorilla Monsoon said on commentary “The Irresistible force meets the Immovable Object”. The match was iconic and is still relevant today. Hulk Hogan slammed and leg-dropped the “Evil Giant” for the gigantic victory in front of a gigantic crowd.

WWE Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant WrestleMania 3

These main events were real classics, still significant today. The Superstars of today watched these matches and were inspired. The ’80s were what really made wrestling “worldwide” and main events like these were what led us to love wrestling then and wrestling now.

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3 Comments left on this article...

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  1. kevin truax says:

    it is funny I still have it on vhs!

  2. LP1 says:

    It’s a common misconception, even by some of the writers, that The Wrestling Classic was the very first WWF pay-per-view event. While it may have been the first advertised pay-per-view event, it was actually WrestleMania 1 that was the first PPV event. Mania 1, seven months before The Wrestling Classic, was indeed available on PPV in test markets on several cable providers. It wasn’t available across the board as most cable systems in 1985 were not set up yet to handle PPV orders. In fact, even The Wrestling Classic(and WrestleMania 2 for that matter)while pushed heavily as a PPV event was not fully available nationwide on all cable systems. It wasn’t until WrestleMania III that pay-per-view had become a standard of all cable systems.

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