Batista, John Cena & Cryme Tyme vs. Kane, JBL, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
For many years, Saturday Night's Main Event was the defining television for professional wrestling.
Whereas the weekly syndicated shows were more frequent and readily available to the masses, Saturday Night's Main Event was a special that featured competitive matches, storyline developments and acted as a prime time showcase for the top names in the WWF.
Without SNME as a broadcast vehicle, it can be argued that the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior wouldn't have been as successful as they were.
To compile our field, we poured through all 36 specials. This included the initial 24 episodes that ran on NBC from 1985 to 1991; the five annual specials between 1988 and 1991 dubbed The Main Event because they didn't air on Saturday nights; the two episodes that aired on Fox in 1992, and the five episodes that aired on NBC from 2006 to 2008. Only televised matches were considered (e.g. no dark matches or bouts filmed for other television programs).
In compiling a list of the Top 50 Saturday Night's Main Event Matches, we looked at the following criteria:
What was truly unique about them?
How historically significant was the match to WWF/E?
Was the match a good showcase for what the wrestler or character could do?
How did the result help to advance WWF/E storylines?
Note: Several of these matches happened on more than one episode fo SNME, so we have consolidated those into a single entry.
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
On November 25, 1989, The Ultimate Warrior defended his Intercontinental Championship against Andre The Giant. Despite giving up a significant height and weight advantage, The Warrior managed to dominate the 7"4 Andre, until his manager Bobby Heenan interfered for Andre, causing a disqualification loss.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre The Giant
Jake The Snake Roberts had only recently turned face when he took on Kamala on May 2, 1987. Kamala won the match in fairly short order thanks to his longtime handler Kim Chee. However, Kim Chee then took off his mask and pith hat to reveal he was The Honky Tonk Man, Roberts' rival at the time.