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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One of My Finest Moments: Shotgun Saturday Night

March 13, 2007
One Of My Finest Moments
I came across screencaps of Shotgun Saturday Night from ten years ago.  This is a pretty awesome find for me personally.  My friends and I still remember/talk about/make fun of me for what happened at this show but none of us have it on videotape.  That's right, videotape.   This was 1997.
For a few weeks starting in January of '97, WWE, which was then still the WWF (World Wrestling Federation), decided to tape a weekly late night show from nightclubs and locations around New York City.  These Shotgun shows served as an experiment in having a grimy, intimate, risque feel mimicking ECW's setting.  Shotgun predated what eventually became the WWF Attitude era on Monday Night RAW.  Shotgun Saturday Night ran for only a few weeks; they were held in locations like World Famous Webster Hall and even Penn Station before the ill-fated live show in a saloon in Texas that featured Terry Funk.  It was at that show where Funk, given a live microphone, called announcer Todd Pettingill "a son of whore" amongst a flurry of other colorful expletives. Shotgun was then immediately canceled. 
Shotgun's brief life did contain some very important moments in wrestling history, however, and I don't mean Sunny's "sex video" with a giant tickle me Elmo.  It was at the Webster Hall show (which I also attended) in week three that the crowd attacked Rocky Maivia with "Die, Rocky, Die!" chants, which eventually lead to Maivia's heel turn and transformation into The Rock.  We all know how that turned out.
But an even more historic moment occured in the first episode of Shotgun, which I was at.  That was the fateful first time ever when the WWF experimented with nudity, having Marlena (Terri Runnels) take her top off to distract the Sultan in his match with Goldust
You wanna see a douchebag?  There I was/am clear as day, in the white Andre the Giant Obey! shirt and glasses on the right.  You can't miss me.  Look at me contorting like a boa constrictor past the guy in front to get a clear look at Terri Runnels' giant (pastied up, I now know) saline balloons.  The stupid look on my face: it's like I've never seen a pair of giant fake breasts before.  And I hadn't... at a wrestling show.  This was perhaps the height of my douchebaggery, and that's saying something.  Ah, precious memories.

Trivia:  My good buddy Bill Rosemann and I think Mark Bernado and Andy Ball of Marvel Comics were also at this show, but back in January of 1997, I didn't know them.  I met them months later.  They didn't have quite the view I had.