Bring it Back!: Shotgun Saturday Night

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August 15, 2012

The Undertaker descends the escalator on Shotgun Saturday Night.

Do you ever wish you could cross paths with The Undertaker in a train station? Is it your dream to be in the middle of a barfight with two of the toughest Texans ever, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Terry Funk? Would you want to go clubbing with the deranged Mankind?

If any of those situations sound like something you’d be down for, then Shotgun Saturday Night would have been the show for you. An edgier twist on the normal WWE programming, the live late-night broadcast put the WWE Universe right in the middle of New York City’s bustling nightlife. It was, perhaps, the most unique show WWE ever produced, putting fans closer to the action than ever before. It took the Superstars out of Madison Square Garden and into a Fight Club–like atmosphere in locales like Webster Hall and the now-closed Official All-Star Café in Times Square. (PHOTOS | WATCH VIDEO PLAYLIST)

"It's one of my favorite shows ever!" Zack Ryder told WWE Classics. "It was live from New York, it was dark, it was edgy. I was always excited to watch it."

Shotgun Saturday Night dropped a ring in bars and nightclubs around The Big Apple, giving the night owls of the WWE Universe the opportunity to see their favorites in a more intimate environment. Fans were often right at the edge of the ring apron. The program debuted on Jan. 4, 1997, from the Mirage Nightclub with two very unlikely tandems squaring off in the big city. Henry and Phineas Godwinn, the pig farmers from Arkansas, faced off against Mother Smucker and Sister Angelica, Brother Love’s debuting Flying Nuns. Though The Nuns looked impressive, picking up a victory in their debut, they were arrested the following week for inappropriate behavior on 42nd and Broadway and were never heard from again.

“I remember I stayed up for the first one and it was so awesome,” Curt Hawkins said. “I wanted to make sure I did that every week, but when you’re a little kid it’s tough to stay up late at night. If not, I always had a VHS ready to go to press record and pass out.”

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