So clearly, he already WAS the top guy, and people rallied behind him long before the monster opposition in Andre. What's more, Andre, to my knowledge, wasn't even a big factor in the W.W.F until right before that big feud. I could be wrong, because I didn't watch a ton of wrestling from that era. I've tried, and I try to lock my hands on anything I can get ahold of.. but from a Pay per view, mega television stand-point.. I seen NO Andre, except for something I recall with Big John Studd, that may or may not have happened pre-Hogan/Andre.
And all in all, if Hogan was half as great and big as everyone blows loads over claiming he is.. then he never needed "that one defining match", because his entire career roughly from beginning to end, was it in general. Hogan's look, his charisma, his character, his overall presense was what pushed Hogan over. Not Andre, and not 3 years after they'd decided to surround the entire company around Hogan.
Be Happy, Have Faith, Believe That ALL Things Are Possible
Andre was kind of like Taker is now. No he wasn't really a factor in the title hunt, but no one forgot that he was there. A big part of the buildup to the match was Andre was finally deciding to ask for the title shot. It was like everyone knew he could be champion if he wanted to but he just never went for it. Right now, Taker could be put into the title picture and hardly anyone would complain, but he doesn't need to be.
It's true that Hogan was teh top guy, but so was Bret for a few years before he began to get the respect he deserved. It wasn't until he put on the mind blowing matches with Shawn, Austin, Owen and Taker that people started treating him like the true superstar that he was. Had he beaten Hogan or one of the other big stars at the beginning of his time on top, Hart would have been viewed as a legit main eventer far earlier than he already was. It was like he was a main eventer in training for his first two years or so on top.
KB got it right. The Hogan v. Andre match is important because without it, we don't have Hogan like we do today. Andre could've went shoot on him and ended it, and possibly derailed his career. He could've won any other way, and it would've been boring. But, because he slammed Andre, on the grandest stage of them all, he was solidified as the man to beat.
Like Flair always said, "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." Hogan ebat the man at WrestleMania 3.
WrestleMania IV was special to me because I have always been a Randy Savage fan and to see him go through some great talent to win the World's Championship was a thrill and an honor for me! A lot of people dislikes WM4 but it still stands out as one of my favorite ones ever, maybe even top 5, and I will never forget being 8 years old and jumping up and down when Randy pinned DeBiase for the big win. Those days are solid gold to me....
"Keeping it Kayfabe since I began watching in 1984."
Current ROH World Champion - Nigel McGuinnes
Current IWGP Heavyweight Champion - Hiroshi Tanahashi
Current GHC Heavyweight Champion - Jun Akiyama
Current WWE World Heavyweight Champion - Edge
Current WWE Champion - Triple H
Date: April 2, 1989
Location: Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
America The Beautiful: Rockin Robin
This show is more or less the WWF waking up and realizing that not announcing your main event until 20 minutes before it happens isn’t really a good idea. The tagline for this show was very simple: The Mega Powers Explode! Simple concept that’s as old as wrestling itself: Hogan helps Savage become champion, Hogan gets the spotlight even without the belt, Savage’s jealousy gets the best of him and he snaps over a certain incident.
In this case, the incident was on my first birthday in a tag match with Akeem and Big Boss Man against the Mega Powers. Savage got tossed through the ropes and landed on Elizabeth. Hogan carried her back to get help and Savage was left all alone. They argue in the back with Savage cutting the best promo of his life as all of the anger he had stored up inside him erupts and he attacks Hogan to set up this showdown for the gold. Liz says she’s going to try to remain neutral in the main event.
The Women’s Champion sings America the Beautiful and does an ok job at it. Kind of a bland voice though.
Haku vs. Hercules
This match is part of a very unnoticed storyline where Hercules was part of the Heenan Family but was then “sold” to Ted DiBiase. This upset him and Hercules said he was a free man. He went on a small war with Heenan’s stable and I guess you’d call this the climax of that. The feud was nothing at all and it went nowhere as Hercules just wasn’t over at all. This is a power vs. power match that pleasantly surprised me as it has a fair amount of solid wrestling on it and not just all power.
The powder blue tights just don’t do it for a guy with the name of Hercules. Donald Trump is in the front row again which makes sense as he owns the place. Haku is really getting outworked here. Hercules’ offense is a lot more diverse as opposed to chops and bearhugs with a kick thrown in here and there. That’s kind of the storyline of this whole match too and you can see that in the ending.
Haku is the King of Wrestling here and for some reason that isn't on the line in this match. It was an odd kind of semi-title where you would be proclaimed king and get to wear a crown and have a bunch of muscle jobbers bring you out on a throne but other than that it never really went anywhere. Savage got it and held it for like a year or so and it more or less died after that.
This is about as bland as you can get but it's surprisingly decent. Hercules worked better as a face because here he has something to fight for in his own pride. Back when he was a heel he had nothing special about him and was just a generic henchman. He's more interesting and well rounded here though which is what a turn is supposed to accomplish.
Hercules lands a belly to back suplex into a bridge but shoots his shoulder up to avoid the double pin, which was exactly the same thing he lost to the year before. That’s a very subtle touch to his character that a lot of people don’t realize. It shows that he’s capable of learning something new and has adapted a new style over the last year.
Rating: C-. There’s a story here and there’s some decent action, but at the end of it all it’s just not that great. Good and not boring, but not great. This wasn't much at all from a ring work standpoint but it was surprisingly good. I'm not sure why I like this match but I kind of always have and while it's certainly an odd choice to open Wrestlemania with, it's not bad.
In the back we see a team called the Rockers. This Marty Jannetty guy is a freaking STUD. I could see this guy winning something like the IC title, maybe some tag titles or something like that. His partner just does nothing for me though as he’s bland as hell.
Twin Towers vs. The Rockers
Twin Towers are Big Bossman and Akeem, aka the One Man Gang in case you weren’t sure. Rockers had been around for a few months at this point but as they would wind up doing for their whole run they were still trying to find themselves as a team.
This is about as simple of a story as you can get: power vs. speed and it works fairly well here. Akeem seriously may be the greatest gimmick of all time. For those of you that don’t know, One Man Gang and his manager Slick found out that he was of African descent, despite being the palest Caucasian you’ll ever find.
He starts embracing his African roots and doing these weird dances and wearing weird outfits. To see him doing this is just hilarious and something that you should check out for a good laugh and I’d like to give whoever thought it up a ham sandwich.
Cool spot where Bossman has Jannetty up in a bear hug position and Akeem just slams into him. Simple yet effective. Jannetty gets his ass handed to him the majority of the match. Slick screaming about how a black referee would count faster and wouldn’t cheat is just such a great touch when his wrestlers are whiter than snow.
Becca shouldn’t watch this match as Akeem just about kills Shawn with one of the best clotheslines I’ve ever seen. Bossman kills him even worse with a spinning powerbomb and then a splash by Akeem and Shawn is finally given a break as the pin goes down.
Rating: C. This was a solid performance by the Rockers but they really didn’t stand much of a chance. Some good spots make this quite passable though. What's with the back to back generic matches to start off the biggest show of the year though? Is this really the best they could find?
Ted DiBiase is rich and likes to talk about it. He’s also got a new belt that he likes showing off.
Ted DiBiase vs. Brutus Beefcake
Hearing DiBiase having different homes for each season is just a perfect touch to the gimmick that makes him so much more fun to hate. Still say he’s the best heel of all time. Brutus finally has his awesome music here. Jesse describes Brutus’ pants perfectly: it looks like a grenade went off in his pockets. Ted talks to Trump before we start.
What exactly did Brutus expect to do with those huge hedge clippers? This is a balance of the sleepers. According to Gorilla this is one of the reasons the fans are here for. Something tells me that's not the case. DiBiase cheats almost immediately as the heel he is. What a fall he's taken in a year. From the main event to this. Wow.
We get a pretty nice back and forth sequence to start as both guys are moving pretty well out there. Jesse drops some names as they slug it out. It's turned into a standard kick and punch match which isn't interesting or anything but it fills in time pretty well I suppose.
DiBiase gets a nice shot off the middle rope but doesn't cover or anything. Why do that anyway? No one gets pins off moves like those anyway. Brutus gets a small package for two. Double clothesline and Ted gets up first. There's the Million Dollar Dream but Beefcake gets the rope. More kicking and punching sets up Beefcake's sleeper. Virgil gets Beefcake on the floor and DiBiase follows, leading to a double countout. Gorilla kind of scoffs at the ending.
Rating: D+. They were just kind of there. Pretty boring too. Nothing interesting here at all. I’ve always loved the falling punch DiBiase used. Just something sweet about it. This is power versus technician but it just doesn’t come off that way. Beefcake was supposed to be a power guy I think but he wasn’t that good at it. It’s also not a power move to use a sleeper. Yeah this match was pretty weak.
There used to be a thing called the Bagels and Biceps Brunch. What the point of this was, I’m not sure but it apparently was a tradition. The Bushwackers, one of which licked my face at a house show, are about to face the Rougeaus.
Bushwackers vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
The Rougeau’s music of We’re All American Boys is nothing short of bad ass. Just an awesome song and one of Jimmy Hart’s great touches. The Bushwackers are just out there even by today’s standards. How these guys lasted nearly 6 years in a completely different gimmick than they started with is beyond me.
The Battering Ram is one of the dumbest yet most awesome moves I’ve ever seen. Now this is a match that I remember only one thing about. During a scoop slam, Luke of the Bushwackers clearly rubs Ray Rougeau crotch. It’s not on accident either. He puts his hand there and rubs up and down. Just a disturbing sight.
Other than that this is nothing but a comedy match. The 80s were so awesome in the area of tag wrestling that they even managed to have jobber tag teams on a regular basis. There's nothing going on here with the Bushwackers running around for a minute, the Rougeaus controlling for two minutes and the finish. To end this in a hurry, Bushwackers win with their rib breaker move.
Rating: D-. The crotch rub never fails to surprise me. Just not something I want to think about. The match completely sucked though and just never went anywhere at all. What is with all these fillers? DiBiase vs. Beefcake is by far the biggest matchup so far and even it is nothing special and could have been on any house show that year. Weak show so far and a weak match here.
Sean Mooney, one of my all time favorite broadcasters gets licked by a Bushwacker while talking to some fans in a pointless segment.
Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer
Yes that’s Owen Hart under the mask. This is another match that is more or less just there for the sake of being there but it should be pretty good. Perfect is still undefeated here. Jesse thinks this is going to be tremendous. Hennig gets a nice hiptoss to start.
He slaps the Blazer and doesn't get drilled as a result for some reason. Ah there's the slap and Owen speeds things up a bit. And then we slow them right back down. Baseball slide hits Perfect. Owen was WAY ahead of his time here as he could move like no one else could and was busting out Japanese and European stuff which was unheard of in America at this time.
Blazer is dominating here as Perfect has no idea what to do with him. BIG top rope splash eats knees though. That looked awesome as he got way up in the air and nailed the knees perfectly. Jesse has a surprise for Gorilla.
Powerslam by Blazer gets two and a belly to belly gets two as well. Jesse thinks Perfect has Mania jitters. Crucifix gets two for Blazer. And then a big shot gets Perfect the advantage. Perfectplex gets the easy pin.
Rating: B-. Pretty solid little match here with both guys moving very well. It was speed/flying vs. technical style out there and it worked very well. It helps having two guys that can work a variety of styles. Perfect hit two moves the whole match which hurts this though. Still solid stuff and Owen looked awesome in this.
Yet again, Jesse is introduced to the crowd as a “major Hollywood star” (he had done some supporting roles in some fairly big movies like Predator). There was apparently a 5K run with Mr. Fuji, in tuxedo and bowler hat, running in a decent time. He’s in the handicap tag title match later on if you’re wondering what the hell this is for. He finishes without even breathing hard and Lord Alfred Hayes suspects shenanigans.
Now for something just completely out of place, Run DMC performs the Wrestlemania Rap. This thing goes on and on and on.
Tag Titles: Mr. Fuji and Powers of Pain vs. Demolition
Storyline on this: Demolition was by far and away the most dominant tag team the late 80s had ever seen. They held the titles for about a year and a half which is still the longest amount of time ever. They were brought in as heels around Wrestlemania 3 and won the belts at Wrestlemania 4. Sometime between 3 and 4, they got Mr. Fuji as a manager.
Over the course of the summer, the fans realized how truly bad ass Demolition was and they began to cheer them. Around the same time, the Powers of Pain, comprised of the Warlord and the Barbarian debuted as faces. The problem was more people liked Demolition than the PoP. So what was the solution you ask? The answer was the incredibly difficult and even rarer double turn.
At the 1988 Survivor Series, the teams had been feuding over the tag belts and were captains of their respective Survivor Series teams. Late in the match, Fuji pulled the top rope down and Smash fell over the ropes and landed on the floor. Ax got in Fuji’s face about it and Fuji answered with I’m The Boss! Demolition beat up Fuji and were counted out. The Powers of Pain helped him up and soon thereafter he was their manager.
So all of that leads us here to the showdown with Fuji and his team in a 3-2 match with Demolition for the tag titles. Fuji does what Heenan did last year with a shot here and a shot there, but at least with Fuji he had a very successful tagging career, including a reign that at the time was the longest in the history of the title. This match is what you would expect from it.
The formula is exactly what you would expect in a match like this. Demolition beats down the Powers, they beat them back, Fuji comes in and beats them up a bit, which is to say he kicks them twice, and then he runs away. This isn't anything we haven't seen a thousand times before and it's not particularly entertaining. Naturally it gets about 9 minutes.
Demolition holds their own but eventually gets beaten up by all three, until Fuji makes a mistake. He misses an elbow from the top rope which is impressive in its own right, then eventually throws salt that was his trademark but misses. He’s then hit with the Demolition Decapitation, which might be the worst double team move of all time, and pinned.
Rating: C-. I liked this match but then again I like Demolition. Fuji actually knew how to wrestle and was only in his early 50s at the time so he still could go in the ring to an extent. Demolition is a simple team at heart: beat the hell out of their opponents. That’s hard to mess up and they did it as well as any team ever did. The lack of drama hurts it a good deal though and it shows.
Tony Schiavone tries to talk to Macho Man but gets thrown out.
Ronny Garvin vs. Dino Bravo
Umm, ok? What the point to this match is I have no idea, but after the introductions, Jimmy Snuka is introduced to the crowd for some reason. Literally, they announce Bravo and Garvin, and then the Fink says there is a special guest tonight. Snuka comes out in full apparel and to his music and gets in the ring and poses. He has absolutely nothing to do with this match and isn’t seen again all night.
Anyway onto the match. I have never liked Ronny Garvin. The man just absolutely bores me to tears in the ring. How he became the NWA Champion and even defended it at Starrcade 87 is beyond me. Bravo was ok in the ring but just never really did it for me either. As I say that, Garvin puts on a sleeper which is perfect because I’m falling asleep watching this.
In a strange ending (Thank God) Garvin is up in the corner punching Bravo but gets caught with an atomic drop and is side suplexed to pin him. Garvin gets up and hits Bravo and then uses what has to be the stupidest finisher of all time on Bravo’s manager, the Garvin Stomp. Randy Orton I believe has used this recently. He starts at the arm and goes around the body stomping the opponent. Just looks bad.
Rating: F. I was bored to tears and don’t like either one. This is a biased rating and I could care less. This is a Ronnie Garvin match and therefore it sucks.
Strike Force vs. The Brainbusters
Strike Force (a breath of fresh air after that awful match that just aired) is teaming together for the first time in a long time. Martel was injured by Demolition and was gone for almost a year. In the time off, Santana wrestled in singles matches. Upon Martel’s return, he asked Tito to reform Strike Force which he eventually did. This is their first match back against Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. After this match, the Busters would go on to feud with Demolition over the tag belts.
It sounds wrong to hear Gorilla talking about a Horsemen match and calling them a couple of really tough dudes. Jesse and Gorilla bickering is always funny. it says a lot when Martel is by far the worst technician in a match. Big brawl to start and surprisingly Strike Force wins it.
Martel gets a very nice counter from a body scissors into the Boston Crab. That was impressive. Everything breaks down and Strike Force gets a pair of Figure Fours which has to be at least a mini-rib on the Horsemen.
And now we get the meat of the match as Tito accidentally drills Martel with his flying forearm and down he goes onto the floor. After about a minute Martel gets back up but he's all shaken up. The Busters work the referee and the tag rules like the masters that they are.
Santana keeps trying to come back and finally does by slamming Arn off the top. Yeah that has to be a rib. Tito finally gets away and goes for the tag but Martel won't tag and then leaves, heading to the dressing room.
Arn yells at Santana WHERE'S YOUR PARTNER to just be a dick. The ramp/aisle is really long here so it takes Martel like two minutes to get back. Tito fights back as well as he can but he's outnumbered and after a few minutes the spike piledriver ends it.
Rating: B-. Half tag and half handicap so it’s unique if nothing else. I always liked both teams and I like what I see here. The post match promo is solid too so it gets a good grade. Very interesting here as this obviously causes the split between the two. They would feud on and off for nearly two years after this with neither one really winning the feud. What’s forgotten in this is the Brainbusters. They are their usually great selves and but on a solid match.
Martel blames Tito and says it was Tito's idea to reform the team and all that jazz. This is his heel turn if you didn't get that. He wouldn't be a face again for like 8 years until he was in WCW.
This gets one of the biggest pops of the nights. One of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a long time from the Fink: I am pleased to introduce to you a man who needs no introduction. We get a really long intro for Piper and out comes the man that creeped me out more than anyone else as a kid: Brother Love.
Seriously, the guy had a red face. That’s just incredibly scary looking to a two year old. Throw in his voice and it’s just scary. His character was based on high energy Christian televangelists such as Jimmy Swaggert. You all might know him better as Bruce Pritchard who was a creative team member until a few months ago.
Love then says his guest on the Brother Love show is Rodney Piper. He then imitates Piper in something that is either dead on or awful and I can’t tell which. He asks questions as Love and takes his glasses off and changes chairs to be Piper. Then out comes the guest, Morton Downey Jr.
This show aired nearly 20 years ago and until I looked him up just seconds ago, I had no freaking clue who this guy was and I’ve seen this PPV at least 30 times. Turns out he was a talk show host that was the inspiration for Springer, Maury etc. His show was viewed as amazingly Right Wing based and he would often berate anyone that disagreed with him. He was later replaced by Rush Limbaugh.
Anyway, Downey is smoking a cigarette which Gorilla refers to as weed. This made my jaw drop. Gorilla said he was puffing on weed. Gorilla Monsoon isn’t supposed to talk about weed damn it! Downey trash talks with Brother Love until they’re interrupted by the Fink who says Piper really is here. Out comes Piper for his first WWF appearance in 2 years.
Piper talks down to Love because of the kilt that Love is wearing. He asks him questions but keeps pulling the mic away saying he doesn’t want to know that badly. I’d forgotten how funny Piper was in his prime. He turns his attention to Downey who is still smoking and keeps blowing smoke into Piper’s face which Piper doesn’t approve of. Downey keeps using the standard insults.
My favorite line: Piper mentions that Downey used to have warts all over his face. Piper: What did you with the warts? Downey: I gave them to a homeless warthog. Piper: (without missing a beat) I didn’t know your girlfriend was homeless. Downey calls Piper is a transvestite before blowing more smoke in his face.
Piper asks for a cig for himself. Downey turns to light it and for no reason at all, Piper has a fire extinguisher under his chair. In probably his second most famous bit after the coconut, Piper sprays him down and leaves.
About as appropriately as possible, Downey would die of lung cancer in 2001.
BREAKING NEWS-Hulk Hogan is making a movie! It’s called No Holds Barred. That movie truly was nine kinds of awesome.
Sean Mooney is talking to Donald Trump. Apparently WM 4 and 5 have been successes.
Jesse is PISSED OFF. Hogan is invading his territory because after he loses to Macho he needs a job. Jesse says he can drive his limo and storms off. Gorilla plugs the movie again and recaps the show so far. We get a video recapping the Mega Powers rise to glory and their split.
Hogan says he can’t believe how this all came about in just a year. He goes into another of his insane promos about everyone being swallowed up by the Earth when the Trump Towers fall apart. Makes little if any sense. Then he talks about winning the title.
Andre the Giant vs. Jake Roberts
Big John Studd is the referee here for no apparent reason. He comes out to what would become Jim Duggan’s music oddly enough. No real reason is given as to why he’s the referee here. Andre is back with Heenan. The point of this match is Andre is terrified of snakes.
This resulted in a scene on television where Andre had a “heart attack” when Jake put the snake on him, yet he’s wrestling again just a few months later. Remarkable. Around this time, Jake was insanely popular, arguably the third biggest face in the company after only Hogan and Warrior.
Somehow before the match starts one of the turnbuckle pads is off and Roberts gets slammed into it. Gorilla says that Jake is like David against Goliath and Jesse says David had to use a foreign object to beat him which makes me want to write the Bible from a wrestling perspective one day. In a funny bit Andre chokes Jake in the corner and Studd goes to count Andre and you literally can’t see Jake other than his feet. Jake stood 6’5.
It's your standard Andree match from this era. He just could not move to save his life at this point and was a complete shell of his former self. They do the tied up in the ropes spot and Andre is reeling. More pain and punishment goes in until Heenan gets the arm loose and here comes your unfriendly and not likely from your neighborhood Giant.
Something happens in this match that I’ve never been sure of. Andre is throwing shoulders to Jake’s ribs in the corner and falls backwards and down to one knee. He doesn’t hit his head on anything that I can see. Always thought that was just odd. Andre and Studd finally fight while DiBiase of all people runs out and steals the bag with the snake in it. Roberts catches him and throws the snake in the ring to get rid of Andre. Jake wins via DQ.
Rating: D. This is just a strange combination. Andre just didn’t mesh well with most because he was too damn big. Roberts tried his best but it didn’t go that well. Studd served no real purpose here at all either. They tried but it didn’t work that well.
Sherri will get the title back apparently and doesn’t like Liz at all.
Rhythm and Blues vs. The Hart Foundation
The newly face Harts face off with their old manager’s new team of Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine. To me this was just before Bret’s prime. He’s so smooth in the ring that I’m gaining a new respect for him. The announcers refer to Pat Patterson as a relic. That’s just amusing.
This is the most basic of basic tag matches I can remember in a long time. I mean NOTHING happens here. The faces start in control, the heels take over and dominate for a bit, then we get a hot tag and the finish begins.
Honky hits the Shake Rattle and Roll on Bret but he tags in Hammer for the figure four which clearly is a mistake. Back and forth and Jimmy tosses in the Megaphone which is intercepted. After a solid shot to Honky’s shoulder Neidhart pins him.
Rating: D+. Bret makes this one pretty good for a glorified squash. This went nowhere at all and it's MORE FILLER. We've had ONE match break ten minutes tonight: the Beefcake match got up to 10:01. That's saying a lot. Just another match that went absolutely nowhere at all.
We get a recap of the Warrior/Rude feud. It involves a posedown and a lot of talking.
Intercontinental Title: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior
The idea of this is the two competed for who had the best body. They had a pose off at the Royal Rumble and Rude attacked the Warrior with a steel exercise bar. Not much of a story but this was the second biggest match on the card.
For some reason that God alone knows, these two had freaks chemistry together. It’s rare to ever see a bad match between them. I have no idea why this is the case but that’s how it always was with them. To have one of the worst workers ever and another who’s character was great but in the ring wasn’t great but wasn’t bad either be able to put on such solid matches really is a strange thing.
Warrior beats the hell out of Rude early on. This is a damn good beating and Rude sells it like there's no tomorrow. Warrior works the back with some very powerful whip ins and a BIG bearhug. It looks like it's going to be a quick little match but a piledriver slows Warrior down and it’s Rude in control.
Rude’s back is injured but he stays in the game as long as he can. Rude beats on him for nearly four or five minutes as he becomes one of the only people to actually beat down the Warrior and have success at it.
And so much for that as Warrior makes his comeback but as he’s trying to suplex Rude back in Heenan hooks his leg and holds it for the pin and the huge upset. Heenan gets beaten up by Warrior afterwards and because Warrior was so bad in the ring he legitimately hurt Bobby in this.
Rating: B. While not the best workers and a weak story, they again manage to put on a good match. I didn’t give it the description it deserves but that’s really all there was to it. Very well done though. The freaky chemistry these two had continue and I have never gotten it at all.
Jim Duggan vs. Bad News Brown
This is the epitome of a filler. Nothing of note happens here at all as it’s a brawl that the announcers don’t care about at all. It’s about 3 minutes long and ends in a chair vs. 2x4 duel that Duggan wins.
Rating: F. No one cared and they knew it.
Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan
Backstory: Rooster, who has what to me is the worst gimmick of all time, (he literally acted like a rooster, complete with going cock-a-doodle-doo and strutting like one. He passed up the Mr. Perfect gimmick and got this instead) used to work for Heenan but Heenan said he wasn’t that good. This is the Rooster trying to get revenge.
Heenan comes out with the Brooklyn Brawler. This match literally doesn’t last a minute. Heenan jumps the Rooster and whips him into the corner. Rooster gets out of the way and Heenan hits the post and is covered for the pin. Brawler comes in and beats up Rooster who fights back and wins. Wow.
Rating: N/A. This was a total waste of time. But hey, the Brooklyn Brawler got PPV time!
We recap the WWF Title match. Hogan helped Savage win it a year ago and then more or less stole the spotlight for the next year. Liz got involved and Savage thought she was sleeping with Hogan. He went off on him on February 3 (I was turning 1) and turned heel, setting this up.
Hogan says Savage went crazy. That's just amusing. This is the promo where Hogan absolutely loses his mind and goes on a rant about the building being swallowed up by the Earth or something and Donald Trump being worried about falling into the ocean.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
They were trying to make this the second coming of Hogan/Andre but there was far less mystery of who was going to win. Liz is at ringside as an independent observer and she actually does just that: nothing. This match has the big match feel to it but looking back it was obvious which way it was going. Savage comes out first if that tells you anything.
Liz gets her own entrance and Jesse says she'll leave with whoever wins. Gorilla says that sounds smart to him. To say this match is huge is a dramatic understatement. Jesse: this is what the term main event is used for. This is the main event. He's absolutely right too as this drew INSANE money as they had built up the mega match between these two forever.
Hogan shoves Savage with ease and there he goes. The announcers argue about managers which is kind of funny. Savage keeps running in fear from Hogan and it's basic stuff so far. He throws Liz in front of a Hogan punch but Hulk stops in time.
There's Hogan's wrestling quota for the year as he uses a four move combination to break down Savage and get a front facelock. Savage overpowers him in a surprise by backdropping him. Savage takes over a bit by getting a top rope double axe in. The champion works the arm for some reason. LONG sequence with the arm and then a headlock as we fill in time.
Hogan gets an atomic drop to counter but misses an elbow drop. Hogan's eye was cut earlier on and it gets rammed into the buckle to open it up even worse. Savage slaps him and here comes Hulk. He slams Savage to the floor and Liz helps him up. They fight on the floor and Hogan gets rammed into the post.
Now Liz helps Hogan up. I guess she wants a double team later on. Hebner, the cock blocker that he is, throws Liz out. Savage hits the double axe off the top to send Hogan's throat into the railing. Steamboat was out for three months because of that. It doesn't even get two on Hogan. Savage slams him and there's the big elbow. Hogan shoves him off, three punches, big boot, big leg, you know the drill I think. Lots of posing ends the show.
Rating: C+. Well it's not bad, but the problem here is that it is completely underwhelming. This was supposed to be the biggest match ever and it's just pretty standard fort he most part. Hogan wins the title again and shrugs off Savage's best move. Not a fan of that at all but it's the 80s so what are you going to do?
Overall Rating: D+. This is the first of the second era of Wrestlemanias that follows the now traditional Wrestlemania formula. There’s some ok stuff on here and it probably has the oddestok card yet. Pretty much every big star is here, the titles have good matches, the midcard matches are bad, and you have the WM main event.
This show also has the first instance of setting the stage for the future. 1989 was the first year of the big four PPVs so there were other feuds that would be needing to be closed at big shows. Feuds like Hogan and Perfect which sparked Hogan and Warrior, Roberts against DiBiase, and the continuation of Warrior and Rude which led to Warrior against the Heenan Family all spawned from this.
You could arguably call this the first standard Wrestlemania, and I would just barely give it that name over WM 3. Overall this is pretty weak show and the problem with it is mainly the match lengths. TWO matches broke ten minutes and one went past 10:01. I used to really like this one but it doesn't hold up at all. Pretty bad show but it's watchable I suppose. That's about it.
I remember going into WM5 and rooting for Randy Savage to beat Hulk Hogan and I was crushed when it didn't happen, although I felt like it was not going to happen, but still. I also have fond memories of Rick Rude beating Ultimate Warrior for the IC title and for Jake Roberts -vs- Andre the Giant with BJS as the special guest referee. Overall this is one of my favorite WrestleMania's and if you watch close during Elizabeth's entrace, you will see a fan pat her on the ass and then one of her ushers goes back to yell at it, hehe classic stuff.
"Keeping it Kayfabe since I began watching in 1984."
Current ROH World Champion - Nigel McGuinnes
Current IWGP Heavyweight Champion - Hiroshi Tanahashi
Current GHC Heavyweight Champion - Jun Akiyama
Current WWE World Heavyweight Champion - Edge
Current WWE Champion - Triple H
Being the first WrestleMania that I had a chance to watch live, this one will always be among my favorites. There was some pretty crappy filler (Duggan v. Brown, Rooster v. Heenan), but the rest of the show was amazing, and the storylines were really showing through. The Hogan v. Macho match still holds up well for me though, but it's also been a while since I've seen it in it's entirety.
Date: April 1, 1990
Location: SkyDome, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
O Canada: Robert Goulet
If you remember what I said in the last review about WM 5 being the first standard WM, this one is the first standard blockbuster Wrestlemania. This Mania has the truly huge show atmosphere to it and there are two main reasons for it. Number one is the crowd is massive. At over 67,000 people, this would be the second biggest crowd for a Wrestlemania for the next 11 years.
Second, you had the second biggest Wrestlemania Main event of all time which was title for title. Absolutely no one knew who to pick in this match. That to me is what makes a match at least a notch higher up. Also the actual look of the show changed. If you watch 4 and 5, you see the older look to it.
I’m not sure how to put it into words but if you watch either of them and then 6 one after another you’ll see what I mean. 6 simply looks much newer. I know that it’s a year later, but the jump is a huge difference. The card is long and while there’s some filler, it’s good filler. I’m a sucker for this show but I’ll try to be objective.
To begin with, one of the most memorable things about this show is the opening. It shows the night sky and talks about the constellations in it. Eventually we get to constellations of Hogan and Warrior. Vince’s booming voice over this scene makes the show and the match just seem epic.
Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Martel
Ok so not every match can be great. The newest WWE HOF member still makes me shake my head. Martel is a better choice than he is but that’s a topic for another thread. This is the WM debut of Martel’s Model gimmick. For this show the ring carts from WM 3 are back. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re small motorized carts that the wrestlers ride to the ring in. Kind of a cool idea.
I assume they’re used to prevent people from having to make the very long walk to the ring. You can tell how great Koko is. Gorilla’s line talking about how good he is: “He’s proven he can take anybody to the limit.” Read as, he can’t beat anyone. Koko only stands 5’8. Never knew how short he was. Martel is only 6’0 but it looks pretty funny to see the tiny face like that.
They actually thought this was the best possible opening match for Wrestle-freaking-Mania? Really? Frankie was always kind of cool. Martel jumps him to start and Koko is in trouble early on. Koko had a decent dropkick and that's about it. Yet he's in the Hall of Fame and Randy Savage isn't. Amazing.
Martel sends him to the floor and Koko is in trouble. Ha I said that just as Gorilla did. The crowd starts a small boring chant and I can't say I blame them. Boston Crab is blocked early. In the clipped version the first Boston Crab attempt is shown going on as Martel turns him towards the ropes and he winds up in the middle of the ring with it. Odd indeed.
Koko hits a pair of flying headbutts that just look awful. On the third one in one of the dumbest spots I’ve ever seen, he fakes the headbutt and after a second, Martel falls anyway. I could get that he was bracing himself and fell or something, but Koko gets a long two out of it. WOW. Missed cross body leads to the Boston Crab for the submission.
Rating: D. This was a squash and a bad one. Koko truly is bad in the ring. He’s bland and for whatever reason was popular. Bad way to start a show. Koko was one of those guys in the 80s that wasn't any good but was pushed on occasion as a midcard threat anyway and more or less was a jobber to the stars. Weak opening match.
Andre and Haku, the Colossal Connection, are called the Colostomy Connection by Gene. Heenan says if you want to talk about evacuation…Wow again. They say they’re going to eliminate Demolition. Gene, as they leave: “The Colossal Connection, they’re anything but regular guys.” My goodness.
Demolition wants to destroy and demolish the Connection and take the belts back.
Tag Titles: Demolition vs. The Colossal Connection
This is Demolition’s rematch from when the Connection beat them in I believe December. It was also their chance to become three time tag champions. The crowd chants Weasel at Heenan which sounds great in this huge arena. This match is absolutely nothing but power all around. In something that I never realized before and someone correct me if I’m wrong but this was Andre’s last televised WWF match.
Andre jumps them to start and the challengers are in trouble early. Apparently the Harts want a shot at the winners. Smash and Haku officially start us off. I have a feeling we'll be seeing the Islander a lot. Those big screens in the back are rather cool.
Andre only pops in every once in awhile to throw punches and choke. The perk of him being so freaking huge is that a simple move like one of those is enough to take a guy down and have it look very realistic.
This whole thing is pretty much just ok at best. Haku vs. Demolition isn't a match I particularly care to see but it's all they could do. I would kind of question putting the titles on the Connection simply to give Andre a title run in his career but it's better than ignoring him I suppose. Axe gets beaten down for the majority of the match.
Haku wrestles almost all of the match here as Andre was in bad shape at this point. Haku accidently superkicks Andre into the ropes and Demolition lands their finisher to pick up the titles. Post match, Heenan goes nuts on Andre in the corner, at one point clearly saying he’s the fucking boss. Then in something that boggles even my smark mind, Bobby slaps him. The look on Andre’s face is nothing short of great.
He grabs Bobby by the throat and slaps him a few times and punches him. He catches Haku’s thrust kick and beats the hell out of him too. Heenan and Haku get thrown off the cart as Andre leaves on his own to the crowd losing their minds. The sad part though is how hunched over Andre is. Truly a sad sight.
Rating: C-. This was a fun little match that wasn’t entirely predictable. The post match stuff is even better than the match. Ticked off giants are just plain fun. It's more or less just a way to give the fans something to cheer for which works fine I guess. Nothing special at all but fun.
In the back we see Earthquake and Jimmy Hart who says that there’s going to be an earthquake and Earthquake says Hercules will crumble.
Hercules vs. Earthquake
Do I have to watch this? Seriously, what are you expecting here? Quake is undefeated here and is putting people in the hospital left and right. He tries to jump Hercules to start and Herc pounds away with punches.
We get a test of strength and being a heel, Earthquake cheats after getting in trouble. He pounds away with fat man moves before Herc gets a shot in. After a bunch of big power shots he can't take Earthquake off his feet.
And then like an IDIOT, Hercules tries for the backbreaker (torture rack) and gets drilled. You freaking deserve that for being stupid. A few shots put him down and the Earthquake Splash ends it. He deserves pain like that too.
Rating: D-. I liked Hercules, but this was just bad. It wasn't quite a squash but it might as well have been. He beats Hercules up more afterwards and he deserves it for being stupid enough to try the Rack like that. Earthquake would be top heel by August.
Some old lady named Rona Barrett talks to Liz who is going to be more active in wrestling.
Brutus Beefcake is going to end Mr. Perfect’s “perfect” record. He shows off how sharp his scissors are by snipping at the paper the record is on and the paper doesn’t cut. Amazing indeed.
Brutus Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect.
Perfect beat the tar out of Beefcake at the Rumble so this is little more than a grudge match. Can't beat that. That Brutus music is downright awesome. Gorilla STEALS Jesse's line about Brutus looking like a hand grenade went off in his pocket. Wouldn't that result in a bad leg injury?
They start off hard and fast again which is a tradition so far tonight. Brutus dominates to start, sending Perfect flying. He might still be undefeated here but I'm not sure. Things slow down a lot as we talk about conditioning.
Gorilla isn't sure what the weak spot is on Hennig. I'd recommend hitting him in the face. Brutus goes for the sleeper as Mary Tyler Moore is here. This Mania is officially awesome. Genius slips the scroll to Perfect which gets two. I love that neck snap Perfect does. Beefcake makes his comeback and hits a slingshot into the post for the pin out of NOWHERE.
Rating: C. Compared to what’s come before it, this match is Steamboat and Savage. Brutus, for all his faults, wasn't that bad in the ring. Having a guy with him like Hennig helped a lot, and this might be Brutus’ biggest win ever. The postmatch beatdown is very old school pink on pink action fun as well.
Post match the Genius gets a haircut for his troubles.
To say this match is interesting would be an understatement. We see a video recapping the buildup. This match came about because Piper eliminated Bad News from the Rumble and Bad News came back in and eliminated him. They fought to the back. For those that don’t know, Brown was legit. He is the only American heavyweight to win a medal in Olympic Judo, and also made Andre the Giant back down in a real fight in Japan after Andre made a racist joke. Anyway, 3 weeks after the Rumble, Bad News made a joke about Piper’s kilt which is just too far.
In a promo that would never be allowed to air today, Piper is in the back and says he’s the Hot Rod, but at other times he’s the Hot Scot. At that point, he turns around and you see that half of his body is painted back right down the middle. After a brief karaoke of Billy Jean, Piper insults Brown’s looks in a funny promo and says he’s going to shut Bad News’ big mouth, but Brown doesn’t know if it’ll be Hot Rod or Hot Scot that does it.
I’m still not sure what the point of the whole painting thing was.
Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
I think this is no DQ but I’m not sure. This isn’t so much a match as it is a fight. Very few wrestling moves and mainly punches and kicks but it was designed to be that way. The fighting is fun because it’s what these two are best at. Surprisingly Piper is ripped here in by far the best shape he’s ever been in.
Allegedly that paint took weeks to get off due to a rib from Andre and someone else. Not sure how true that is. Yeah there's no wrestling at all here. Sometimes that's a great thing though and here that's exactly what this should be like.
The way Brown beats up Roddy and then Roddy just casually pokes him in the eye is great. Brown gets sent into exposed steel and is down. Piper pulls out a white glove as we continue the Michael Jackson theme night which I suppose is what the black and white thing is about. Match ends in a double count out and it means nothing. They continue brawling all the way up the ramp and into the back.
Rating: A. This match was nonstop fighting and was insanely fun. There was next to no wrestling in it but that that’s what made it great. I loved this match the first time I saw it and it’s still great. And yes that's highly biased.
Steve Allen, the former Tonight Show host, is in a bathroom with a piano with the Bolsheviks practicing the Russian National Anthem. He makes a few jokes but finally says he’ll do the real Russian Anthem. He opens his mouth and a toilet flushes. Steve runs to save his own life.
Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks
The Harts want Demolition. This match literally lasts 19 seconds. Harts knock the Bolsheviks down during their singing, land the Hart Attack and it’s over.
Rating: N/A. What can I say about 19 seconds? Funny if nothing else. The pop for Hart is coming too. It’s not there yet but you can see the star in him. Granted that might be the Canada thing
Wrestlemania 7 is coming to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and there will be over 100,000 fans there!
Edit from the future: no there won’t be. Ticket sales bombed and they moved it to the Sports Arena in the same town which held about 16,000 people.
Barbarian vs. Tito Santana
Tito does a promo that I literally couldn’t pay attention to. This match screamed HOUSE SHOW to me. It’s two guys in a ring doing moves on each other. There’s little psychology and less meaning to most of it. It’s not bad wrestling, but there’s no spark to it at all. Santana is a great worker, but this match just did nothing for me.
Yeah this isn't much at all. Santana does a bit, Barbarian hits the floor to hide a bit with Heenan, Jesse makes enchilada jokes, Barbarian comes back in, and we let the destruction begins. It's not bad but at the same time this isn't much at all.
It’s not boring, but I wonder why this is on Wrestlemania. Not even Tito’s nice ass in those white tights which I’ve always had a thing for can save this. Barbarian wins with a clothesline off the top that was sweet looking.
Rating: D. Like I said, it’s not bad at all, but it just did nothing for me. I don't get the need for this being on here though as Tito was destroyed both here and at Summerslam by the Powers of Pain. I guess I get the idea of having them get good matches (in theory) but really? This needed to be on Mania?
Next up is a recap of the upcoming mixed tag which I believe was a first at the time. Sapphire, as worthless of a person as there ever has been in wrestling, is shown beating up Sherri which just infuriates me, and Macho King feuding with the Common Man Dusty Rhodes. Fairly cool concept for a feud really, even though Dusty boarders on Communism in his promo. He also talks about having the Crown Jewel but no one knows what they mean.
Macho King and Queen Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire
The King having people carry him to the ring on the throne was always just insanely cool to me for some reason. The fun part of this for some reason was figuring out the women’s weight based on the male’s weights. Sherri at about 130-140 and Sapphire at 180-190, which Jesse says is impossible and I think I agree with him. The more Dusty promos I hear the more I like him. His mic work is great.
Dusty says that they have something Macho doesn’t have, which is the Crown Jewel. The Crown Jewel is none other than Elizabeth. For the first time in way too long, Savage absolutely loses it. The crowd pops louder than they’ve done all night as she goes to Dusty and Sapphire’s corner.
Liz is definitely good looking in blue. The genders have to match up here so that's good. Sapphire is just horrible. One of her attacks is a hip into the other chick's hips. I can't believe I'm going to say this but GET BACK TO DUSTY!
Dusty does what he can here and it's just not working for the most part. A lot of this is the girls doing what they can which isn't much for the most part as they're just not very good. Well Sherri is but she can't work miracles. Savage destroys Dusty until the required big comeback makes the save.
This match is all over the place the entire match and it’s incredibly fun. Rhodes is at his best when he can just go crazy in a match and that’s what this is. Dusty is in the ring the entire time almost which is the best thing possible. Dusty is just on fire the whole time and Savage is his usual great self. Sapphire finally gets in the ring and proves my theory: she is awful. Sadly enough, she pins Sherri in a dark day for wrestling. Liz actually dances with Dusty and Sapphire to Common Man after the match.
Rating: D-. Sapphire literally drops this about a full letter grade. She was flat out awful and there is no reason she should have pinned Sherri at all. Dusty and Savage carry this to a decent grade though. It's a sad day that Dusty Rhodes is the workhorse of his team but that was the case here.
Hey, did you know WM 7 will be in Los Angeles? Don’t know if the promo that aired earlier would get the message across or not.
Heenan is upset. Okerlund is all over the place tonight as he says, “Bobby Heenan where do you have the ba…guts to insult Andre the Giant?” You can clearly see Bobby almost lose it after that. He declares war on Andre and says he’ll be getting a new Heenan Family together.
That old woman from earlier is with Gorilla and Jesse in the back and yet again, I couldn’t care less. Allegedly there’s a clip of Jesse in a porn movie out there somewhere. Never heard anything about that and I don’t think it’s true.
Macho Man cuts a promo that makes literally no sense. I think it’s about Dusty Rhodes.
Demolition is glad to have won the titles in the fifth promo in a row. They say the Harts can bring it on.
In promo #6, Hogan cuts one of his most famous promos ever, telling Warrior that the power lies in the palm of his hand. He also says that he can save all of the Little Warriors with the training, the prayers and the vitamins. Hogan goes on to say that his Hulkamaniacs want to help them. Rewatching this, it’s clear that Hogan would lose. He mentions that the winner or the loser doesn’t matter, but what kind of winner or loser you are.
At the end of the show, he hands the belt to Warrior and holds up his hand, being a “good loser.” Wow it’s fun to see these in a different light. Also starting to wonder if “take your vitamins” is a tongue in cheek reference to taking steroids, but that might be a stretch.
Guess what’s next? Go on, guess. If you said Promo #7, I’ll get you a ham sandwich. In an equally famous promo, Warrior says that Hogan’s life can be lived through the Warrior, but it will be in the darkness. Everything is about accepting challenges, but Hogan has never met a challenge like him. He’s going to bring the Warriors and the Hulkamaniacs together as one.
Rockers vs. Orient Express
See, this is what I loved about the 80s and early 90s: the tag division was AWESOME. There were at least 8 distinctly gimmicked teams fighting all over the place. There were jobber teams, midcard teams and main event tag teams. These teams almost always had great matches together. They had a great one at the 91 Rumble so hopefully this holds up.
Tanaka vs. Jannetty opens us up. Surprisingly enough this is pretty fast paced to start. Fuji interferes with the cane to set up Marty as the Ricky Morton for this match. And never mind as Shawn is already back in. Tanaka takes him down with a cross body for no cover.
The fans are into this which is always a good sign. It's actually Shawn as the face in peril here which is the custom of the Rockers. It's weird to see the Rockers getting outworked. Marty comes in to more or less no pop which is odd.
The double teaming by the good guys begins and Tanaka takes a big old flipping flip off a double back drop. Fuji trips Janetty and salt goes into his eyes as he falls into the crowd. Are we sure he's not just drunk? He gets counted out to let evil win the day.
Rating: C. Semi-filler, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. This is definitely the weakest of their feud which is saying a lot as this was sitll fine. Not a bad match but not great really. The ending more or less sucked but that isn't incredibly bad. It set up a future match I guess but I wasn't big on it.
Steve Allen is with Rhythm and Blues. Allen says he hasn’t been so excited since he heard Pee Wee Herman was straight. Good grief this show was pushing things for 1990.
Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo
Duggan waves the American flag in Canada. Well no one ever said he was intelligent. Jesse is impressed by the crowd as he should be. It’s huge. This is your standard power brawl and with Duggan in there, it’s likely not going to be that great. Surprising no one, it’s pretty dull.
The crowd is into it though so that’s good. Here's some punching. And some kicking. Plus some more punching. Ooo it's a back breaker. Yeah it's one of those matches. Never been a fan of these matches but they're trying.....ok not really but it sounds good.
Earthquake and Hart interfere of course. We get an argument about manager's licenses and all that jazz which goes nowhere. Eventually the referee yells at him leading to a 2x4 to Bravo’s back and a pin. Post match Quake beats the hell out of Duggan.
Rating: D+. It was bad but they kept it short which was very smart. These two were thrown out there on a ton of Superstars shows which went nowhere. This was too short and it never went anywhere at all which doesn't surprise me at all. Weak match and filler. It's just not a good sign when there's nothing to bring the crowd down from. You can tell they're here for one match only.
Video package showing Jake Roberts stealing DiBiase’s Million Dollar Belt which happened over the course of about a year for some reason. Jake is in the back and cuts what might be one of the best promos I’ve ever seen. He starts by saying this is the biggest match in DiBiase’s career. At that moment I thought this was going to suck because 2 years ago he was main eventing WM for the World Title.
But then Jake started talking about DiBiase’s values and his life, and something impressive happened: I believed him. That my friends, is why Jake Roberts is considered great. He was able to make you believe something that wasn’t true. That is what psychology in wrestling is. He did something that made you believe in what he was trying to sell to you. Greatness indeed.
Ted DiBiase vs. Jake Roberts
If there are two better 80s performers that never got a real chance in the main event, I’d like to see them. Jake dominates at first and goes to town on DiBiase’s arm but as DiBiase pretends to bail, Jake gets caught by him. I hope this is a Canadian tradition and not a sign of boredom but the Wave begins in the SkyDome which really is an impressive sight in a crowd that big. I kind of see it as disrespectful though.
A wide shot shows that the ring is on a pedestal/platform kind of thing which really is cool. Jake immediately goes for the DDT but can't get anywhere with it. This is your standard match between these guys with a LONG chinlock. These two fought time and time again, usually for the Million Dollar Belt, and it never went anywhere.
Jake makes his usual comeback and then gets taken down again. And there's the chinlock again. Was Ted afraid to do much other than something like that? Apparently it's to get through the Wave. Well that makes sense. Jake makes his comeback and still I will say that no one bumps as well as DiBiase does for his size. They go outside and DiBiase locks in the Dream again but goes into the post.
Virgil him back in before the 10 though and DiBiase gets the win. Post match Jake comes back and beats both men up, sending money flying everywhere. Virgil gets away with the money but Jake gets a picture perfect DDT on DiBiase and the fans explode. You can see the head slam off the mat and it looks great. Jake then hands out the real $100 bills that DiBiase dropped, including one to Hollywood legend Mary Tyler Moore.
Rating: C. Well they tried but the whole Wave = chinlock thing messed up a lot of their stuff. They tried as hard as they could but the crowd was against them here. This was a huge feud and DIBiase gets the title back via countout but whatever. The number of matches is hurting the show again.
In the back, we hear Slick talk about why Bossman turned face, which was because he wouldn’t be paid off by DiBiase to do his bidding, saying that he was a fair law enforcer. That split up the team of Bossman and Akeem so we get this match. Bossman, which is really a great gimmick, another great feature of the 80s, says that he’s proud to be an American. Great way to be a face buddy.
Akeem vs. Big Boss Man
Bossman’s eyes are sweet looking on the way to the ring. Before the match, DiBiase, the guy that tried to buy off Bossman in the fall, comes from under the ring and beats up Bossman so Akeem dominates to begin with. Bossman lands a great boot to the face though to break the momentum.
He’s down and trying to get his breath but then just snaps up like absolutely nothing is wrong with him. It looked REALLY bad. He goes off on Akeem and a few seconds later an amazing Bossman Slam considering Akeem’s size gets the pin. Post match, Bossman punches Slick.
Rating:N/A. Just another quickie and it gets nowhere at all.
Sean Mooney is in the crowd and asks if people are looking forward the Rhythm And Blues singing. Mary Tyler Moore is apparently a wrestling fan and I now love her even more than I did before.
Now we get the famous scene from this show: the Pink Cadillac carrying Rhythm And Blues. The reason this is famous? The owner and driver of the car is none other than future two time, two time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Diamond Dallas Page. He was just about to debut in WCW at the time. He actually might have already but if he had he had been there all of a month.
They perform their new song, Hunka Hunka Hunka Honkey Love (Word wants to murder me for that) and it’s bad. You can see Jimmy Hart is the only one that has a clue what he’s doing which makes sense.
For those of you that don’t know, Jimmy Hart was the main person responsible for all of the mind blowing songs used in the WWF in the 80s and early 90s. Back in the 60s he was lead singer for a band called the Gentrys that had a big hit called Keep On Dancing. They went on tour with the Beach Boys so apparently they had something going for them. Hart brought that legit talent to wrestling music and it worked really well.
For God knows what reason, the Bushwackers appear selling programs at ringside. Realizing that these are the worst disguises of all time, they pull them off and run off Rhythm and Blues before destroying their guitars. Kind of funny, more stupid though. The funniest part of this is Jesse referencing a CD and Gorilla doesn’t sound that sure as to what it is.
Yet again, WM 7 in Los Angeles. The sad thing is I remember the real commercials that had the ticket number in it that’s been edited out since. I could literally quote the ticket number in this if I wanted to. That’s kind of sad.
New SkyDome attendance record of 67,678 people. These announcements are always kind of cool to me. However, the fans seem completely uncaring about this.
Rick Rude vs. Jimmy Snuka
This match is pure filler before the main event. Steve Allen is on commentary here. Standard match here for these two. Back and forth which makes it a decent match. Snuka doing the hip swivel is funny if nothing else. Rude wins with a Rude Awakening. Steve Allen has some very funny lines in this and it boosted the match a lot. For those that may have forgotten, Allen was kind of like the Jay Leno of his time, just not quite as famous but very close to it.
Rating: C-. Funny and that's it. No one cares as it's time for Hogan vs. Warrior.
And now it’s time for the main event. First up of course is a recap though. It stated with the two of them saying nice things about each other in their promos and then they wound up being alone together in the Rumble. They do a nicely choreographed routine ending in a double clothesline, but DAMN was it exciting to see it at the time. This would be like Hogan and Austin today.
A week later they were in a tag match with Mr. Perfect and his manager/partner the Genius. Hogan and Warrior win but afterwards the brawl continues. Hogan gets nailed by mistake with a Warrior clothesline. A month later Warrior is in trouble against Earthquake and Hogan makes the save after the match for Mania had been announced. Two weeks after that, same scenario, just switch Hogan and Warrior.
In other words, Earthquake was a fucking bad ass. Hogan tries to get up and Warrior runs back and forth. Hogan has his back to him and Warrior raises his arm for a clothesline but stops dead. Then Hogan turns and puts his fists up. Warrior hits the ropes again, hops to the floor and runs away. Seriously, this guy was messed up at times.
Intercontinental Title/WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior
This was dubbed The Ultimate Challenge and both belts were on the line. Warrior’s music hits and I don’t ever recall a crowd going from dead to insane so quickly, at least not until Austin and the glass shattering began. Everything about this match is absolutely epic. Even the entrances just feel big if that makes sense. This is what Wrestlemania was supposed to end with and it works perfectly here.
Absolutely great job in building this up as face vs. face was very risky and still is hard to do today. Hogan’s ovation is clearly louder, but not by much. In one of the coolest scenes ever, Hogan’s music plays and as we pan from the crowd to the entry way, Warrior is seen standing on the middle rope doing his press slam motion. I marked out beyond belief just for the entrances.
It’s hard to do, but they awakened the inner young fan in me, the Hulkamaniac that lurks inside my soul. One thing I’ve always wondered: when Warrior comes to the ring, he clearly has his symbol painted on his chest, yet 5 minutes into the match it’s gone without a trace. That’s too fast to have been knocked off and wouldn’t there be traces if it was sweated off?
Crowd is white hot for this. Both guys shove each other away. And now for the iconic moment of the match: the test of strength. Warrior puts Hogan down but Hogan comes back and puts Warrior down. Hogan gets a slam and Warrior pops up. Warrior gets a slam and Hogan doesn't pop up.
Hogan goes to the floor and holds his knee. This will NEVER be mentioned again after it gets better. The key thing here though: it lets Hogan be able to say that Warrior didn't beat him at his best. The referee keeps trying to protect Hogan and Warrior is like screw you short man.
Naturally Hogan is fine now so the knee thing is completely forgotten, never to be mentioned again. Hogan gets the worst chinlock ever to take over for awhile. He puts Warrior down and waits awhile before covering after a clothesline. Ok then.
Back to the chinlock now as this is going more or less nowhere at all. A belly to back suplex fills in the wrestling quota for tonight. He gets his fourth chinlock to fill in time. Double clothesline and both go down after Hogan has taken next to no punishment this whole time.
Warrior does an Undertaker sit up before Taker was around. Warrior Warriors Up and the bald man is in trouble. Bear hug goes on Hogan. There are FAR more rest holds in this than I remember. This one goes on for like two and a half minutes.
And down goes the referee. Hogan gets what would be a three count. Warrior gets what would be a three count. Warrior hammers away and manages to get the press slam and the splash for two as the fans are in shock.
He Hulks Up as Warrior pounds away on him. Three punches and a big boot set up the leg drop. The leg drop amazingly misses and Warrior hits a big splash and wins the title in one of the biggest shockers of all time.
Rating: A+. This match lived up to the amazing hype that it got and showed that Hogan could work a long match that wasn’t in his normal formula. It also showed that Warrior did indeed have the capabilities to wrestle well if given the right opponent, which he had also done with Rude. While I think Hogan should have kept the title, that doesn’t mean that it was a bad match, because it was great.
The finish made sense and didn’t make Hogan look weak but made Warrior look strong. That’s hard to do. I don’t know what I can say about this match that hasn’t already been said. For both men, it’s likely the match of their lives. They have nearly 68,000 people in the palms of their hands for nearly 23 minutes and it never lets up once. Everything is a small war and the crowd knows it. Every little thing in this match is done well and that makes it a classic.
Both men do their signature no pain things, and you literally didn’t know who was going to win. When Hogan hulked up, I truly believed for a split second he was going to win. That’s great work. The finish to this epic struggle came when Hogan missed the leg drop and Warrior splashed him for the pin, and wrestling changed forever. Jesse’s shout of THE WARRIOR’S WON THE TITLE is absolutely perfect.
After Hogan hands him the belt and steals a bit of the spotlight, the arena goes a bit darker and pyro goes off all over the place. The big screens show Warrior shaking the ropes with the belt in hand and it’s just amazing to look at. A great ending to a great match and show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a really hard decision for me because based on the main event, the Brown/Piper match and a few others, this show is really great to watch. However, there’s some flaws that keep it from being perfect. For one thing and I didn’t really touch on this, the time it took to get to the ring was just way too long. I know there’s not much they could do about that, but it really slowed things down at times.
Also, there were too many short matches. The card doesn’t need to have everyone on the card. Take the opener for example. That was a waste of nearly 10 minutes counting introductions. Finally, WAY too many backstage promos. We don’t need an interview before every match. It’s just overkill at that point. However, those are simply keeping a great show from being legendary.
This show had the real Wrestlemania feel to it and it shows. It was supposed to be an epic show and it lived up to it. The matches were for the most part good, stories were advanced, things were memorable, and it was fun. Definite recommendation here as so far, it’s the second best Mania and arguably the best along with 3. Los Angeles, here we come!
WrestleMania 6, man, I never would have thought that the Ultimate Warrior would have had a shot in hell at beating Hulk Hogan, I was so shocked I went to bed thinking that somehow, someway, the decision was going to be reversed and Hulk Hogan would get his title back, but it didn't happen.....
The mixed tag-team match between Dusty and Savage should have been a one on one bout instead, that was bogus.
"Keeping it Kayfabe since I began watching in 1984."
Current ROH World Champion - Nigel McGuinnes
Current IWGP Heavyweight Champion - Hiroshi Tanahashi
Current GHC Heavyweight Champion - Jun Akiyama
Current WWE World Heavyweight Champion - Edge
Current WWE Champion - Triple H
Date: March 24, 1991
Location: Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan
America The Beautiful: Willie Nelson
Now this was a most interesting show and one that I’ve always liked for some reason. The theme for this show was Stars and Stripes in light of the Gulf War. At the Royal Rumble, Sergeant Slaughter had won the WWF Title with the help of the Macho Man by beating the Ultimate Warrior.
Slaughter was an Iraqi sympathizer and therefore, the epitome of evil at the time. It was clear that a Real American would have to rise up to confront him and take the title back. Fortunately, the WWF had the realest of all Real Americans in Mr. Hulk Hogan.
Your other big match was the previously mentioned Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage. These two would meet on this show in a career ending match. There’s also Mr. Perfect vs. Big Bossman for the IC belt and the Nasty Boys vs. The Harts for the tag belts.
We see the Rockers talking about how the Rockers are going to beat their opponents which is about the same interview that they did for their entire time in the WWF. This is close to the end of the Rockers’ run which mainly is because you can really see the star in Shawn begging to be let out.
The Rockers vs. Haku/Barbarian
Due to Heenan managing the heels, we get Hacksaw Jim Duggan on commentary. Duggan is dressed like Uncle Sam which works fine for him. After running down the two main matches for a bit it’s time to set started. Shawn vs. Haku opens us up here. It’s your basic power vs. speed match to start which means it’s solid all things considered.
Everyone is in maybe 90 seconds in though and we get to an interesting part: the Rockers hit a double superkick to both guys, and the heels are up in maybe 4 seconds. In other words, Sweet Chin Music did nothing at all. Was it a technique thing that made them better later on? I’ve never gotten that. Off to Barbarian vs. Marty now which sounds painfully bad.
Sunset flip doesn’t work for Marty but Barbarian punches mat instead. The Rockers were rather awesome at this point which is always cool to see. Now we get to the majority of the match as Marty plays….well Marty, taking a BIG beating from the monsters. It amazes me how these guys could have the same formula so often and make it work so many times (and yes I know the Expresses did it first).
We get the bearhug as Marty is reeling. Granted it might be that he’s stoned or drunk but we have no evidence thereof. Granted it’s Marty so him being sober would be most odd indeed. Did Barbarian ever not have steady work? Marty manages to get free but misses a second rope cross body and is caught in a SLICK powerslam to crush him for no cover.
Barbarian misses a top rope headbutt though and amazingly his Samoan head is actually hurt. It does the needed job though as here comes Shawn off the hot tag. Shawn manages to fight off both guys for far longer than you would expect him to. A thumb in the eye doesn’t get Haku anywhere as Shawn gets a sunset flip for two.
Everyone comes in again and the Rockers wake up with double teams all around. They unleash the high stuff (remember it’s Marty out there) and a cross body from Shawn gets the win. Very fun match here and it worked rather well. Duggan leaves since Heenan is going to take over on commentary now.
Rating: B. This was the perfect opener. There’s not much of importance here and that works well. You don’t want your fans to get emotionally invested in the first match and get them worn out in the early going. This match was fun, fast paced, and not too serious. Perfect choice for the opener. On a side note, this makes Shawn 1-2 at WM.
We see Alex Trebek, Regis Philbin and some ugly woman who are the celebrities for WM 7. Seriously, Alex Trebek? Regis I can understand, but this is the best you can do, in Los Angeles? That can’t be a good thing. They really have nothing to say of note.
Texas Tornado vs. Dino Bravo
This should be interesting. Power vs. power here so it’s likely not going to be that good. Bravo uses the absolute worst atomic drop I’ve ever seen. He just drops Tornado and it’s very sad indeed. Bravo hits his finisher and no one really is surprised when Tornado kicks out.
This is one of those matches that is on there for the purposes of filling in the card and everyone knows it. Bravo is LONG past his point of usefulness and Von Erich just never clicked in this company past a hot debut period. This is nothing at all and it knows it’s nothing at all.
Tornado locks in his Claw Hold and after about ten seconds the announcers acknowledge it. He then hits the spinning punch of death to pin Bravo as there’s literally no commentary for about 10 more seconds. They really didn’t care and neither do I.
Rating: F. When Gorilla Monsoon, the man that likely cared as much about the WWF than anyone else has nothing to say, you know it sucks.
Slick and Warlord babble about beating up the British Bulldog
British Bulldog and his dog Winston say they can beat the Warlord. You know, if Davey hadn’t had that stupid mascot, he could have been legendary. Everything about him just screams GIVE ME THE DAMN TITLE! At least in this interview it does.
Warlord vs. British Bulldog
Warlord has that sweet as hell half mask at this point. The Bulldog hails from Leeds. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Power vs. Power again here, but I’m not as worried as I was about the last one. Considering this is Stars and Stripes Wrestlemania, the Bulldog’s pops are insane. Hell those would be great pops anywhere.
He had the look, the talent, the moves, the fan support, everything he needed to be a mega star. What that never happened is beyond me, but I think it wore yellow and red. I’m really not wild on having back to back power vs. power matches but this is definitely an upgrade. Davey runs through Warlord to start us off here and sends him to the floor with some shoulder blocks.
Crucifix doesn’t work as Warlord counters into a Samoan Drop for no cover. Gorilla and Heenan are stealing the show. Heenan: “I was knighted by Queen Elizabeth you know.” Gorilla: “You keep this up I’ll have you crowned as well.” We get the loudest pop for a bearhug that I’ve EVER heard as this crowd is really quite hot. Total slugout here for the most part but it’s working.
Warlord gets a belly to belly out of nowhere to take Bulldog down and the crowd will not stop cheering. This is rather impressive. Warlord wastes time like the idiot that he is but for once it doesn’t cost him. On to the weakest chinlock I can remember in a very long time to waste some more time. Smith fights up and hits a DAMN good dropkick to take over.
It amazes me how versatile he was at this time and wouldn’t get his big push for over a year and a half. Granted some of that was due to Flair showing up and changing the whole thing which can’t be blamed on Vince. Piledriver attempt by Davey is blocked into a backdrop into a sunset flip for two.
There’s the full nelson from Warlord out of nowhere and Davey is in trouble. He can’t lock in the fingers though so there’s a chance for escape for our hero. The fingers aren’t locked and Davey is able to bust out of it in a surprise which hadn’t been done before I don’t think. A second later, Davey picks Warlord up and walks around with him for a bit and DRILLS him with the powerslam to end it. This was a miracle.
Rating: B-. I liked it. Bulldog is completely carrying this match though and it’s clear who the top talent here is. By far and away Warlord’s best match ever and something that I probably have overrated. It’s awesome for some reason though and I think a lot of it is due to the crowd being WAY into this. Very fun match indeed.
Jimmy Hart and the most overrated tag team I’ve ever seen, the Nasty Boys, are going to take the tag titles by cracking the foundation. The Harts disagree. Neidhart is pretty good on the mic, but Hitman is clearly the star here. This was at the very end of their run as a tag team and Bret is like Shawn at this point: ready and just waiting to be told to go for it.
Tag Titles: Nasty Boys vs. Hart Foundation
For God knows why, Jimmy Hart is wearing a motorcycle helmet. Bret and Sags start us off here. Bret manages to beat up both guys on his own as you can see the singles push dripping and ready to come out. Anvil vs. Knobbs now. Who named these two guys? The Nasty Boys I mean. Anvil hammers away and Brian is in big trouble early on.
Both Harts have managed to clear the ring on their own which is always a cool thing to see. Back off to Bret again as it’s ALL Harts for about the first five minutes or so. Bret takes a clothesline though to send him to the floor. Anvil chases Jimmy and let’s talk about Hogan. To the shock of absolutely no one, Bret gets beaten on for the vast majority of the time he’s in, as is his custom.
Heenan tries to imitate Gorilla’s commentary when he gets all technical about body parts in a funny but too short bit. Sags gets a chinlock on Bret and cranks on it which gets him nowhere again. Knobbs plays Monkey See Monkey Do as he locks in the same move which gets him nowhere either.
Neckbreaker gets two for Sags as it’s so cute to see him try to wrestle out there. He REALLY likes that chinlock as we see it again. Now Knobbs try it again. They’ve probably spent 3-4 minutes on that damn chinlock over and over again. We get the oldest and one of the best tag moves in the books as Anvil gets the tag but it isn’t seen.
Heel miscommunication sets up the REAL hot tag and Neidhart cleans house. The Harts were awesome as a team and it’s a shame they’re not credited more than they are. I know they’re considered great but you don’t hear them talked about much anymore, or at least not enough for my liking.
Everything breaks down one more time and it’s a Hart Attack for Knobbs. And there comes the infamous Megaphone as Anvil is getting rid of Sags. Knobbs gets the pin on Bret to steal the titles. Jimmy’s near orgasm where he rolls all over the ground and kicks his feet and kisses the title is pretty hilarious stuff.
Rating: C-. They were trying, but you can’t sell the Nastys going over the Harts to me no matter what. I think this was their last time teaming together as well as Bret went for singles competition after this. The Nastys held the titles over the Summer before losing them at Summerslam to the LOD in their first title reign. Not terrible but the Nastys have never done it for me at all.
We recap Roberts vs. Martel. Now this match is 90% backstory. Jake Roberts was on the Brother Love Show and for some reason that was never explained, Rick Martel came out and sprayed Jake’s bag with Arrogance, his cologne that he carried everywhere with him and when Jake went to stop him, Jake got hit in the eye with it, allegedly blinding him.
I’ve always assumed Jake had an injury or something because he was out nearly 8 months over this. He finally came back to feud with Martel, and this was the match in which he would get his revenge. To play up on the blindness, both men’s heads have hoods over them from which they allegedly couldn’t see. This was voted worst match of the year I believe and I think I know why.
Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel
Remember, neither guy can allegedly see here. Jake looks somewhat drunk here. Let the stupidity begin as the crowd has to tell them where the other guy is. No contact a minute in. Their feet touch a bit and Martel falls over Jake as we’re in a glorified comedy match. We get proof they can see as Martel sets for a backdrop and Jake runs around him. In a kayfabe sense, why would ANYONE do that?
They back into each other and then charge and miss each other. This is so painfully stupid I can’t imagine what the person that came up with it was on. Must have been a bondage enthusiast. Martel gets a slam as the biggest move of the first three and a half minutes then misses an elbow. Heenan starts repeating Monsoon in a funny bit.
Martel finds the referee twice in a row which gets him nowhere of course. Jake does a thing where he runs his finger around the ring and the crowd cheers when he points at Martel. Now he’s clapping. How are we five minutes into this already? Heenan: why doesn’t Martel peak? Gorilla: that’s cheating! Heenan: so what??? That’s an excellent point actually.
Apparently the snake now weighs 500lbs according to Heenan. The fans chant DDT. I think they want the pesticide to kill themselves. It must be a better treatment than having to watch this. Martel runs into the bag in the corner and we STILL have had a total of maybe 20 seconds of contact in over six minutes of the match. I can’t refer to it as wrestling or action as it has been neither.
Jake gets a headlock and is sent to the floor off a counter. Heenan: HEY MARTEL! HE’S ON THE FLOOR! Martel, like an idiot, goes to the floor and grabs a chair which he pokes around with. He swings the chair at a post and hurts his hand. They finally find each other, I think out of boredom. Boston Crab goes on and Jake is in trouble. Never mind as he kicks him off and gets the DDT to finally end this mess.
Rating: F. What they were thinking here I don’t have a clue, but this was just a terrible match. The fans were into it for some reason but for almost 10 minutes they do nothing but hunt for each other or land a punch or two here and there. Just a complete waste of time.
That woman from earlier is in the locker room as the Nastys celebrate. What is the point of this again?
Undertaker vs. Jimmy Snuka
And so it began. You know where this goes. No promos or anything as Taker was just squashing people at this point. We start with a LONG staredown and again no contact. Bearer is as freaky looking as ever. Taker drills Snuka and we’re finally getting going here. The jumping clothesline takes Snuka down and it’s one sided already.
Heenan tries to figure out the Urn which hasn’t been done in nearly 20 years so far but whatever. Gorilla says people with white coats and a net are coming after Bearer. That would be after his son actually but who’s counting? Snuka comes back with pure jobber offense that gets him a grand total of nowhere. He hotshots himself to the floor though and that should just about do it. Taker catches a springboard cross body and the Tombstone kills Jimmy with ease.
Rating: D+. This is mostly for historical significance as the match itself is nothing. It’s a squash and a fairly bad one at that. However, no one at the time knew what would come from this. Truly a piece of wrestling history and you have to wonder if anyone could have dreamed that this would be the first in a streak that got Taker what, three or four world titles at Mania? Remarkable.
We see a video package highlighting the events leading up to the Career Ending Match between Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior. Back when Warrior was champion, Macho Man wanted a title shot and he attacked Warrior to get one. Sherri, in one of the most sexually dripping promos of all time, literally gets on her knees and begs Warrior for a title shot. He says no.
At the 91 Rumble, Warrior defended against Sgt. Slaughter. Sherri came out and got Warrior to chase her, allowing Savage to beat him up. Warrior winds up coming back and almost winning, but here comes Sherri again. He reaches to grab her and Savage pops up and blasts him in the head with his scepter, allowing Slaughter to drop an elbow and pin him for the title. That brings us here.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage
If WM 6 was Warrior’s greatest match, this is his second greatest. Before the match though, Bobby Heenan sees none other than Miss Elizabeth sitting in the front row. She hadn’t been seen in the WWF in nearly a year at this point so this was very surprising. Amazingly enough, Heenan can spot her from at least 50 yards away, when the camera can barely recognize her 10 feet away. You have to love kayfabe.
Warrior walks to the ring which freaks everyone out. I’ve seen this match a few dozen times and it still works every single time. This feels totally epic which is exactly the idea. Warrior has the belt on the ass of his tights which he never would win again. Feeling out process to start as of course Warrior has the power advantage.
Warrior overpowers him to start and controls early on, much like Hogan did to Savage two years ago. In case I forgot this is a career ending match. How in the world did I forget to say that? Sherri comes in so Warrior throws Savage at her to send her back to the floor. We hit the floor where Savage tries to play mind games by throwing in a chair. That gets him nowhere.
All Warrior so far but it’s incredibly early so it means nothing at all. Savage finally gets Warrior to make a mistake and Warrior is sent to the floor. Sherri keeps interfering but thankfully they don’t throw the match out because of it. This is the largest PPV audience ever which is laughable to think they could know that halfway through the show but whatever.
Warrior cranks it up again and then does something very odd (I’m shocked too). With Savage down on one knee and with his head down, Warrior goes for a flying tackle which more or less looks like a flying headbutt because Savage is still down. It was just weird as hell looking and I have no idea what he was thinking at all. Anyway it lets Savage take over.
Double clothesline puts both guys down though. And now we pause to look at Sherri’s rather nice ass. In a nice nod to Mania 3, Savage gets rolled up off a slam but there’s no referee due to Sherri. There goes said referee so it’s a free for all now. Sherri takes off the shoe and goes up but it hits Savage in the head by mistake.
Savage gets a rollup for two as Heenan says he can’t even talk anymore which Gorilla doesn’t even reply to. You can tell he’s into this. We now hit one of the more famous parts of the match as Savage goes up and hits FIVE elbow drops from the top when I think only Hogan and George Steele (yes that George Steele) had ever kicked out of one.
The reaction from Heenan to the kick out is absolutely excellent. Savage is SHOCKED. Warrior Hulks Up and hits four or five clotheslines to take Savage down. Gorilla Press and splash only get two though and now Warrior is SHOCKED. Warrior looks up into the sky to ask “his gods” about whether it’s his time to leave and he walks out.
Savage jumps him instead and brings him back and we go on. Warrior is draped across the barricade but Savage misses and is more or less dead on his feet. Warrior throws his body back in and hits a bunch of BIG shoulder blocks with Savage selling like no one else could, making himself look like a rag doll. He hits the floor three times and is just dead. Warrior puts his foot on the chest and is triumphant. That’s the basis for KB vs. Sabre for you OCW fans.
Rating: A+. Combining the post match stuff with the match, this is easily the best segment to date in Wrestlemania history and is easily one of the best of all time. It’s a shame it’s almost forgotten today due to Vince’s vendettas against both guys. This is an absolute classic and DEFINITELY the best Mania match in a very long time. I’d put it maybe in the top five Mania matches in the WWF Era and easily top ten ever at this show. Great match and absolutely worth seeing.
The real memory of this match comes afterwards though in what is likely considered the most emotional moment in WWF history. Savage is still out cold in the ring and Sherri comes in and freaks out on him, saying that he ended her career too. Both commentators are saying to give him a break and that no one else, not even Hogan could have taken this kind of a beating and survived.
Sherri starts to kick him with her high heels when Savage couldn’t hold off a toddler at this point. With her beating Savage up, Miss Elizabeth jumps the guard rail and for the first time ever, attacks someone by throwing Sherri out of the ring as the crowd is stunned to see her. Savage tries to get up but doesn’t know who was beating on him. He turns to see Liz and almost falls to the ground again in shock.
The referee tells him it was Sherri kicking him and he’s even more confused. Liz opens her arms and after a few moments Savage hugs her as the crowd absolutely loses it. Savage puts her on his shoulders and there is nothing but cheering and crying from the crowd. Heenan is beside himself at “this sickening display.”
Finally they’re ready to leave and in the ultimate display of his love, Savage refuses to let Liz hold the ropes open for him as she did for years and instead holds them open for her, truly showing he’s a changed man. This is probably the best emotional moment ever at this point and still holds up to this day. Incredible stuff and again, definitely something worth seeing.
We go from one of the most emotional moments in wrestling history to… a debate on instant replay. Yes you read that right. Vince McMahon acts on moderator (C.M. > Vince) between Paul McGuire and George Steinbrenner of all people as they argue over instant replay.
During the debate, McGuire calls Steinbrenner a butt head, leading to Vince to call on his instant replay “officials” to review it. As this continues to spiral into udder stupidity, the Bushwackers are the officials. They say that there’s inconclusive evidence, therefore the insult stands. Finally this ends and we go back to the arena. This was somehow stupider than it sounds.
Trebek talks to Demolition who scares him off.
Regis talks to…….GENICHIRO TENRYU????? He’s here with Kitao who isn’t anyone special but I’ve heard of him. They can’t understand Regis.
Trebek is scared of Jake.
Demolition vs. Tenryu/Kitao
I know who the two Japanese wrestlers are, but why in the hell are they on Wrestlemania? Demolition was little more than jobbers at this point. After they lost the titles to the Harts at Summerslam 90 Ax had left so this is Smash and Crush. They had also gotten Mr. Fuji back at this point.
Crush and Kitao start us off here. Kitao is a big old boy too. Fuji gets a cane shot in almost immediately as it looks like dominance from Demolition to start. Heenan makes Japanese jokes as this is mostly dominance. Somehow Kitao is named Fred. Tenryu comes in and avoids the Decapitator and hits a big powerbomb on Crush to…get the pin? WOW. This was Demolition’s last match too. Odd as hell.
Rating: W. As in what were they thinking here? I know that Tenryu is a Japanese legend, but no one knew who he was at Wrestlemania. The crowd is silent when Demolition lost. This wasn’t even a loss but rather a squash. This whole match made absolutely zero sense.
Big Bossman says he’s coming for Heenan after he gets the IC Title.
Heenan says he’s not afraid of Bossman.
Intercontinental Title: Big Bossman vs. Mr. Perfect
Bossman is insanely over at this point having been running around with Hogan all through the second half of the year. Heenan had been talking trash about Bossman’s mama, and you don’t talk bad about a Southern boy’s mother. Bossman went to war with the Heenan Family and the only person left was their top wrestler, Mr. Perfect.
Considering Bossman weighs more than Kane, the stuff he can do in the ring is mind blowing. He moves like someone Chavo’s size. All signs point to this being the changing of the title. Perfect throws the towel at Boss Man so Boss Man spits at Perfect. Perfect’s selling goes insane of course and it works great. Boss Man throws some GREAT punches.
I feel like I’m watching a match on fast forward. A charge misses though and we slow things WAY down all of a sudden. Boss Man pulls his belt out which is allegedly a foreign object but I’m not sure how. It would seem perfectly legal to me as he brought it in with him didn’t he? There’s the abdominal stretch as the belt didn’t get Boss Man very far at all.
There’s that neck snap from Perfect which is always fun to see. Perfectplex is blocked though but Boss Man can’t get anything going at all. Perfect gets a reverse neck snap which we would more or less call a Blockbuster today. He goes up but does the jump into the boot spot to set up Boss Man’s comeback.
Perfect gets the tar punched out of him which doesn’t take much as I don’t think there’s much tar in him for the most part. Boss Man rams into the steps though and Heenan gets some shots in. The crowd pops like a cherry though as here comes Andre. Heenan LOSES IT and Andre grabs the belt just because he wants to. He DRILLS Perfect with it but the Heenan Family runs in for the save before Boss Man can get the title. The overly large faces clear the ring. Odd finish.
Rating: C-. This again is historic as it’s Andre’s last WM appearance. It really is sad to see him in such physically bad shape. He would be dead in less than two years, just after the debut of Monday Night Raw, I believe the day of the third show. For the life of me I do not get why Boss Man didn’t get the title here as every single sign on the planet would have pointed to it. No clue what the reasoning was here though.
We see Bossman and Andre saying that the war with Heenan isn’t over. Actually it was.
The following people are here and talked to by Gene:
Lou Ferrigno (the Incredible Hulk)
Henry Winkler (FONZIE!!!!!)
What an odd grouping indeed.
Earthquake vs. Greg Valentine
This is about as close to nothing as you can get. Hammer gets in a few elbows and then goes down with ease to the Earthquake splash. It was a squash that somehow went three minutes but you get the idea. There was a powerslam thrown in there somewhere. Hammer did manage to get Quake down and go for the Figure Four but it went nowhere. Why in the world is Valentine a face anyway?
Rating: N/A. Very little here and to have someone as good as Valentine reach this point in his career is kind of sad. Total squash despite the fact that Earthquake was about to become a tag team guy with Tugboat.
The LOD want the belts from the Nastys and they’re going to make Power and Glory sour and gory.
Legion of Doom vs. Power and Glory
This match lasts less than a minute as LOD destroy Hercules and Paul “I was a Horsemen damnit” Roma. Back to back squashes though? Really? Match ran 59 seconds somehow and the Doomsday Device ended it.
Rating: N/A. The only thing keeping this above failing is the LOD’s music. They were so over it’s not even funny.
We recap the events leading up to DiBiase and Virgil. Over the years, Virgil did every disgusting thing that DiBiase told him to do and finally he snapped. Roddy Piper began encouraging him and we get to this match. At the Rumble Virgil and DiBiase had been a team and Virgil got pinned. DiBiase blamed him and told him to wrap the belt around his waist, but Virgil hit him with it instead.
Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase
DiBiase rarely ever lost at this point so this was viewed as a squash. Virgil actually goes on for ten minutes. Roddy Piper is in his corner on crutches as he had recently been in a motorcycle wreck. Virgil tags DiBiase with punches to start which are about all he’s got. DiBiase hits the floor as he’s all frustrated now.
Back in the ring and DiBiase takes down Virgil with a clothesline to get control for a bit. The common idea here was that Virgil couldn’t wrestle but he had been trained and was a regular wrestler in the indies before he came to WWF and had at least two matches before this one in a WWF ring. DiBiase gets a Piledriver as Virgil is in trouble.
Beautiful gutwrench suplex gets two. DiBiase sends him to the floor and then yells at Piper. He kicks out the crutch from under his leg to send him down because he’s a bad man. Piper hooks the top rope and Piper hits the floor. More yelling and shoving of men on crutches ends this though as we have a countout with Virgil winning in a shock.
Rating: C-. This feud was years in the making and the emotion was there, but it was on way too late in the card and the people wanted to see Hogan. Having Virgil get the win was huge though.
Slaughter and General Adnan, a.k.a. the Iron Sheik, say that there’s a new set of rules, and there’s a chance he might accidently get counted out or DQed tonight.
The Mountie vs. Tito Santana
No point at all to this one but we’ll throw it in here to fill in some time. Tito runs Mountie around for a few seconds, Mountie can barely do anything, Jimmy slis him the shock stick and Mountie uses it on Santana and pins him. Absolutely no one gives a damn and neither do I. Only significance is Santana continues to have been at every Wrestlemania thus far which I think only Hogan is the other person to do so.
Rating: N/A. Nothing special here as it was a pure filler.
We finally get to the recap for Hogan and Slaughter. The main idea is that Slaughter is threatening to lose on purpose so Hogan doesn’t win the title. Slaughter is an Iraqi sympathizer so the feud was based off Operation Desert Storm, or as it’s more commonly known, the Gulf War. Pay no attention to the fact that the war was already over by this point.
WWF World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Hmm. I think I may have to bet on this Slaughter guy. It seems likely that he’s going to win it as I think this Hogan chap is overmatched. Is there any reason as to why Alex Trebek is the guest announcer here? I mean dude, IT’S ALEX TREBEK! Anyway, Hogan of course is absolutely insanely over but that pop would start to die off rather soon.
Regis is on commentary for this which is even weirder. Long feeling out process as they feel out each other’s power. Hogan sends him to the floor which gets him a few good shots in. Slaughter begs off back in the ring but gets an eye rake like the evil….American that he is. Yeah this was kind of a weird setup. Heenan keeps talking about some party he’s having on Prime Time Wrestling.
Slaughter in control now as Regis shows that he has zero business being a commentator on the main event of Mania, as he has nothing to say. That’s not his fault of course, but he is just kind of there. No one wants to come to Bobby’s party. That’s rather amusing indeed. Hogan takes over again and does more or less nothing special at all.
A knee to the back sends Slaughter into the buckle. A slingshot makes him completely miss the post but we’ll say it hit anyway. After a good long beating, Hogan shows how stupid he can be and goes up to the middle rope which doesn’t work. He more or less no sells the shot Slaughter gets on him and goes to the top? What the hell??? Adnan interferes and Hogan pulls a Flair in a funny spot.
Slaughter Cannon sends Hogan to the floor. He beats the tar out of Hogan with a chair on the floor which gets him somewhere for a change. The referee won’t count him out or DQ him though. Well that’s certainly nice of him isn’t it? Back in the ring now with Slaughter hooking a Boston Crab after pounding away for awhile on the back.
You know this hold would look a bit more realistic and painful if Hogan wasn’t just barely beneath the rope and that by moving maybe 8 inches up the hold would be broken. Granted that might just be me overthinking this. Slaughter works on the back forever and gets a chair shot to the head to bust open Hulk. Can we please just get to him breaking the camel clutch and getting the title back?
THANK YOU! Slaughter gets his UNBREAKABLE, yes UNBREAKABLE I SAY, hold on Hogan who of course, just like he did to the Sheik, breaks it. Slaughter gets him down again (to humble him perhaps?) and drapes the Iraqi flag over him because he is a very stupid man. Hogan kicks out and you can fill in the blanks yourself.
Rating: C+. Easily more about symbolism, but there was one major flaw: the war was already over when this match took place. It was like TNA in levels of being behind the times. This was a fairly decent match though and I thought it worked well enough for what it was supposed to do. The Hogan pop was starting to die off though and it would become much clearer in the future.
Overall Rating: C. This really isn’t one of the great Manias but it has one of the best moments of all time. The problem in this Mania is the mid card is just awful. The big midcard match ended in a DQ and was a way to get Andre on the show. There’s just nothing here and with Savage stealing the show from Hogan again, it hurts the show a bit.
The complete lack of drama in the main event doesn’t help things either as Slaughter spent all night talking about losing on purpose and you never once see that in the main event. It’s not a bad show, but it’s far from great. Watch it for the Savage and Hogan matches and if you just need to kill some time, the opener.
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