October 3rd, 1985: Uncle Elmer and Joyce Saturday Night’s Main Event
Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim featured prominently in the very first edition of The Thread Count: A Fashionable History of Wrestling Hillbillies. As it turns out, their formal wear wasn’t much different: Jim managed to put on a shirt this time, and even wore a striped tie that matched Elmer’s.
As we go through more weddings, you can almost see a steady decline in the decor. This was only the second televised wedding, so things had yet to shift to the plain white lattice archway with some tulle tied or draped around it. This wedding arch is surprisingly quite beautiful, which is nice when you consider that this wedding was actually real. See, Elmer told Vince McMahon that he wished to marry Joyce Stazko, his long-time sweetheart. McMahon, who would obviously never, ever use a real-life situation for the personal gain of his company, showed a rare lapse in character convincing Elmer to have an on-screen wedding to further a few kayfabe angles. Despite Roddy Piper’s interruption, this is very much the ceremony for Elmer and Joyce.
Joyce’s dress is again one of those dresses that is so very clearly from the eighties. While it may not have the mutton sleeves of Diana’s dress, the cathedral train and pearl-laden tiara are pure Princess of Wales. The rest, however, harkens back to the first royal dress mentioned – that of Grace Kelly. The cinched waist, and sweetheart neckline under a lace overlay are two of the most recognizable elements of Kelly’s dress. Just like the innovation of a finisher or style of wrestling has ripple effects through it’s history, so did these two legendary dresses. Even the flower girls’ puffed sleeves and flower crowns are straight out of Diana’s wedding photos.
Like the previous wedding, the guest list boasts some prestigious guests. Andre the Giant (in red trunks and boots) and Hulk Hogan served as ushers, and Captain Lou made his second wedding appearance. Lou sported a full tux this time, unlike Leaping Lanny Poffo, who was basically just naked the whole time:
I was tempted to give Hogan the Best Dressed nod for his sleevless tuxedo shirt-bowtie combo that he paired with extraordinary not-quite-tights-but-still-so-shiny pants and his best formal weight belt, but then this guy showed up:
Tiny Tim is no stranger to televised weddings, nor the WWF. His speech is actually really sweet, and like Elmer’s hands shaking during the ring exchange, just a nice little genuine moment from a guy in a satin baby blue suit covered in balloons toting a ukulele.