#136 – Shotgun Saturday Night, January 11, 1997

Dre and Black Cat revisit the beginning of the Attitude Era before Steve Austin was everywhere and the WWF was getting their ass kick by WCW every week in the television ratings to review a very unique syndicated show run out of bars called Shotgun Saturday Night. Please support the Old School Wrestling Podcast by visiting oldschoolwrestlingpodcast.com where you can find links to all of our great products. We now offer all of our box sets and bonus episodes from all three seasons on our premium digital download site. We’ll see you…..at the matches!

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10 Comments

  1. More Gimmicks Needed says:

    Shotgun Saturday Night was fun for a minute. One lasting memory is from that Penn Station episode where Hunter Hearst Helmsley takes on the Undertaker in a falls count anywhere match and Taker ends up hitting the tombstone for the win on a moving escalator. I think Taker wore his street clothes for this match which was jeans, a leather vest and a bandana in what would be a preview of his “American Badass” gimmick a few years later. I think some of those Shotgun quick cut opening videos were re-cut into the DX titontron video later that year.

    I loved the madlibs segment. I’m putting in my request for madlibs from Dusty Rhodes, Macho Man or the Ultimate Warrior.

    Keep it up guys. Thanks.

  2. Kyle says:

    Being a 13 year old at the time and fully entrenched in everything wrestling, I was so pumped when they announced the debut of SHOTTTTGUNNN SATUURDAAY NIGHTTT in late 96/early 97. The concept and hype videos made it seem like it was going to be WWF’s answer to ECW with smaller venues, hard hitting action and risque behavior.
    We had gotten ECW TV in Boston about 6 months prior to this (a life changing event) which aired at 1am on friday nights. SSN was slated to air at 1am on Saturday nights, so this led to even more speculation in my head that it had to be something EXTREME if they had to air it so late.
    Needless to say, after watching the first couple episodes of SSN, I gave up. It was hokey, and just came off as corny and lacking any sort of authenticity that made their ECW counterpart seem so cutting edge. (In retrospect, you guys are right, it totally reeks of Vince Russo!)
    I couldnt help but just compare everything from SSN to a cut-rate ECW. Instead of Sabu, we got the Sultan. Instead of the Eliminators, we got the Headbangers. It just seemed so contrived. Good idea in theory, really poor execution.
    I will say, despite all of this, I was scared shitless when seeing the Undertaker piledrive HHH on the escalator, that HHH’s hair would get sucked in, his scalp ripped off, and cause a truly EXTREME moment. E-C-W! E-C-W!

  3. More Gimmicks Needed says:

    Retraction to my first comment. Just saw a clip from that Triple H vs Undertaker match. Taker did hit the tombstone on the escalator but it was after he had been DQed for hitting Hunter with the IC title belt. Also Taker was just wearing his typical wrestling attire from that era, not his American Badass street clothes. Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit would have to wait I suppose.

  4. I only ever watched one episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, I think the Boston channel that aired it put it on at like midnight or 1 am. Even at 14 I couldn’t stay up that late. I usually tried to set my Tasmanian Devil old school alarm clock (the ones that wound up and had the little hammer that hit the two bells on either side) to try and wake up to watch.

    And what luck I had! The one and only Shotgun Saturday Night that I ever saw “live” was the one where Marlena showed her golden globes to the Sultan, at least I think it was the Sultan, I wasn’t really paying attention to anything other that Marlena’s bare back.

    This was a great time in wrestling to be a teenage, male fan. The edgy “Raw” magazine always had a sizzling female pictorial (or one with Marlena and pudgy Goldust covered in gold spray paint). What Woman was to Dre and the Black Cat, Sunny, Sable, Marlena, The Kat, and Jacqueline were to me.

    So that’s my memory of Shotgun Saturday Night, thanks for another great show, and I’ll be working on my recipe for Thanksgiving at the Crocketts!

  5. R Smith says:

    I never got Shotgun Saturday Night in my town, perhaps due to being deep in WCW territory (under the long shadow of the Omni, with all of the clocks set to Turner Time).

    I remember seeing clips of the Undertake piledriving Triple H on the escalator, as well as Ahmed Johnson delivering the Pearl River Plunge on the hood of a car. These images were so bizarre that years later it was possible to believe that I had just imagined the whole thing. Looking back in hindsight, it definitely looks like an attempt to channel ECW.

    One fateful night, I happened to be watching the Prevue Channel, and Shotgun Saturday night showed up in the 1 AM slot of one of my local stations. This turned out to be some sort of mistake, as I was met with a rerun of Jerry Springer instead…wait, did I just mention the Prevue Channel? I have not thought about that in at least 15 years. Endless scrolling screens with static local ads and elevator music in the background…and this was considered a cutting-edge alternative to TV Guide. To quote Dre: what a dated concept. I existed in this time…

    I think this line of thinking just drove my mind into a Schiavonean state of existential panic. I think I’m going to lie down for a while…

  6. Crapgame13 says:

    Yeah, most of what’s needed saying (ECW wannabe) was said

    Wanted to bring up one note re: Farooq/Sunny. I don’t think her saying Farooq wasn’t her type was due to the black thing, but rather a callback to when Sunny managed Farooq back pre-Nation of Domination when he had the stupid “Captain Freedom” (tm The Running Man) gladiator gimmick and was playing up the Mandingo racebaiting aspect of large black man with blonde white girl angle.

  7. halfblackrazorback says:

    Wasn’t Brian Pillman involved in some Shotgun Saturday angles as well?

  8. left handed cigarette says:

    The frenzy the NYC events caused on the streets of people trying to get on camera or walking into the middle of a wrestling match like the Penn Station episode were a part of the direction change after several weeks. Only insane 90s Vince would plop his talent in the midst of boozed up crowds with little chance of tight security.

  9. Elliot says:

    I watched that Sunny segment with my jaw on the floor. I want to give it the benefit of the doubt and say they were trolling pervy WWF fans, but I don’t think they were that smart.

    I wish you had talked about the Honky Tonk Man dueting with Todd Pettengill and some random fan who was given a microphone. Whenever he did “live” performances, Honky Tonk just could not stay on beat, with Wrestlemania 6 being a prime example. But this performance makes WM 6 look like Hank Williams at his finest. Honky Tonk clearly cannot hear the music being piped through the loudspeakers, so he’s just hopeless. Thank God for Todd Pettengill holding down the beat, and “Thank God for Todd Pettengill” is something I never thought I would say.

  10. Zeppo Ramone says:

    First and foremost, thank you both for the excellent podcast. I was late to the party, having only learned about the show from The A.V. Club’s Podmass feature about a year or so ago, but I’ve been a regular listener ever since.

    I was thrilled when I saw the subject line of this show as the early, stand-alone episodes of Shotgun Saturday Night hold a special little place in my heart (or, y’know, the heart of my wrasslin’ fandom). The episode you covered aired a week to the day before my 14th birthday and, at the time, I was still pretty firmly in the WWF camp. I would switch the channel on Monday nights if the cruisers were on but otherwise, I was pretty stubbornly watching RAW.

    My (admittedly weak) argument for remaining with Stamford was sort of three-headed. I had starting watching wrestling during ’92, when the WWF was just putting out what I thought was a much better product, so that’s where I made my initial emotional investment. And despite (or perhaps, because of) the NWO, I felt like the main-event scene in the WWF was stronger. The biggest factor, however, had to do with the fact that WWF programming in late ’96/early ’97 seemed to be the manifestation of a series of deranged fever-dreams that Vince was suffering through while WCW stepped harder and harder on his temple. It was hours of back-to-the-wall, swing-blindly desperation delivered neatly through our television sets every week. Shotgun Saturday Night represented some of the best, worst and best of the worst of it.

    As others mentioned, it was a lame and garish attempt at appropriating the ECW aesthetic and you were dead on in noting that it’s got Russo-stink all over it. What really gets me though was just how half-thought-out and rushed every single aspect of the show seemed to be. How this show made it from the boardroom to air is beyond me.

    If you can find early broadcasts of some of the other shows that the WWF launched around the time, you’ll notice the same thing. WWF Livewire was initially launched in late ’96 as a live Saturday or Sunday morning call-in show before it was quickly flipped to a recap show. Sleepy-eyed wrestlers would appear in the Stamford studios and take questions from callers while trying to keep kayfabe. While I haven’t seen the footage in nearly 18 years, I still have an incredibly vivid memory of Faarooq and Clarence Mason being completely caught off guard by an exceedingly angry young woman who took them to task for appropriating the Nation of Islam into a wrestling gimmick. The wide-eyed, pant-shitting response of, “WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. NO, MA’AM! NOT AT ALL WHAT WE’RE DOING. NO, NO, NO! WE WOULD NEVER!” remains one of my favorite moments in WWF history.

    Shotgun Saturday Night, Livewire and their ilk might represent the closest the company ever came to finally going right off the rails.

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