WWF Shotgun Saturday Night
was a professional wrestling
television program produced by the World Wrestling Federation
. It aired between 1997
and was a syndicated
show that featured matches with lower card wrestlers. Shotgun Saturday Night
was replaced by WWF Jakked
The show's original concept was unusual for its time, since it aired on late Saturday nights from various New York City nightspots. The promotion pushed the program as an "edgier" project than its normal weekly offerings.
Shotgun Saturday Night debuted on January 4, 1997 from the Webster Hall nightclub in New York. One of the most memorable moments of the debut episode occurred when Marlena climbed on the ring apron during a match between Goldust and The Sultan, and removed her top, causing the Sultan to be distracted and lose the match. Though she was wearing pasties, and though her back was facing the camera, this incident set the tone for WWF programming over the next several years.
Later episodes of Shotgun Saturday Night were broadcast from the All-Star Cafe in Times Square, the Mirage nightclub and New York Penn Station.
Unique elements to the show
There were several unique elements to the show that did not appear on any other WWF programming at the time. For example, due to the confining nature of the locales it was initially broadcast from, Shotgun Saturday Night
used a somewhat smaller ring than a standard twenty foot by twenty foot WWF ring. All three ring ropes were taped yellow; something that has not been replicated since. The on-screen bug
, which normally featured the WWF "New Generation" logo, was replaced by a Shotgun
-esque logo, with the WWF logo inside a police badge.
Eventually, Shotgun Saturday Night
lost its unique feel and stopped being broadcast live from NYC. An expletive laiden promo by Terry Funk
forced the WWF to drastically change the program's format. The show simply became an undercard taping (similar to HEAT
), although retaining its edgy broadcast look.
The show was commentated by Vince McMahon
in the beginning, with Jim Ross
and Brian Pillman
performing the same duties until mid-1997. Kevin Kelly
, Michael Cole
, Jim Cornette
and Vince Russo
also served as commentators. Stone Cold Steve Austin
also served as a surprise guest commentator on one episode.
The WWF also aired a similar syndicated show at the time called WWF Shotgun
, which aired in the afternoon and was more kid-friendly. The matches were shown in reverse order and had different commentators. Some stations carried both shows. This show was replaced with WWF Metal
In the New York market, the show went by a different name, WWF New York in 1997 and 1998, airing on WPIX and WPXN-TV. It was shown late at night, airing from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., Eastern time.
In March 1998, the WWF aired 11:Alive which aired the matches in the same order as WWF New York, but with different commentary that of course did not reference New York. The show aired at 11:00 AM on Saturdays and only lasted 4 episodes before being cancelled. The final episode aired on March 28, 1998 and was hosted by Michael Hayes in the WWF "Slam Jam" studio. No matches were aired and instead the show hyped the next day's WrestleMania XIV.