I’m doing a few different things with this Wrestlemania recap. By this time Wrestlemania had become a big deal, as had Wrestlemania Debuts, so from here on I’ll be keeping track of Wrestlemania Debuts. A few people of note who debuted at Wrestlemanias prior to this: Bret Hart and “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania II, Ted DiBiase & The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania IV.
Prior to Wrestlemania V, the gold had gotten between the Mega Powers, with the two men’s egos both backstage and on screen colliding, leading to a heel turn by Savage. Furthermore, the Intercontinental Title, once held by Honky Tonk Man in his legendary title reign, was lost to the Ultimate Warrior in about 45 seconds, completely burying HTM. Finally, the Hart Foundation turned face, and turned on their former manager, Jimmy Hart. Furthermore, Ted DiBiase, after continually failing to win or buy the WWF Heavyweight Championship, decided to introduce his own belt instead – the diamond-encrusted Million Dollar Championship. Also, Demolition turned face when Mr. Fuji turned on them, instead siding with the tag team of the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord).
Now, we come to April 2, 1989, and Wrestlemania V, again returning to Trump Plaza at Atlantic City. Leading us in, singing “America The Beautiful” is WWF Women’s Champion, Rockin’ Robin. While she works her way through the song the song, let’s think for a moment. Rockin’ Robin is the WWF Women’s Champion. She’s not defending the belt. She is, however, singing “America The Beautiful” which has previously been sung by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.
Our hosts this evening are once again Jesse “The Body” Ventura on color commentary and Gorilla Monsoon doing Play-by-play announcing, as we go to our opening match.
King Haku (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Hercules
After King Harley Race left the WWF, Haku (who was also managed by Heenan) inherited his gimmick. I don’t recall if he won the King of the Ring as part of the process. Herc, on the other hand, was sacked from the Heenan Family and turned face.
Haku gets Herc from behind, but Herc regains control early on and gets some big offense on Haku. Herc clotheslines Haku out of the ring. Herc hits a couple of elbow-drops on Haku before Heenan provokes Herc, causing him to come out and attack chase after Heenan, allowing Haku to sneak up Herc and take him out. Haku gets a 2-count off a repeated backbreaker (2 backbreakers in a row. Haku locks on a bear-hug, but Herc manages to power out before Haku hits a low blow and chokes Herc on the ropes. Herc sent for a ride, reverses and hits a high-cross body for 2. Haku gets whipped to the corner, reverses and goes for a springboard cross body but Herc ducks. Herc regains control with a series of lariats. Herc hits a powerslam for 2. Herc goes up top and goes for a flying double-axe handle but Haku hits a crescent kick to the mush. Herc goes behind and bridges a belly-to-back suplex for the pin.
Winner: Hercules by pinfall with a bridging Belly-To-Back Suplex at 6:49.
Rating: *** – Herc finally gets a decent match… but to be fair that’s because Haku carried the match.
We then go backstage to Gene Okerlund with The Rockers – Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, making their Wrestlemania debut. To be honest, I couldn’t recognize Michaels at first because of his hair. I wonder if HBK looks back on his look in this promo and laughs at it the way Bono does at his mullet from the 80s.
The Twin Towers (The Big Boss Man & Akeem – w/ Slick) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Akeem is One Man Gang, but with a new gimmick – that OMG was actually black and was trying to embrace his African heritage with the help of Slick. That’s another for the Wrestlecrap archive (if it’s not there already). Big Boss Man, also making his Wrestlemania debut, has a prison-guard-turned-pro-wrestler gimmick, which, in this rare case, is actually slightly accurate.
Michaels and Bossman start out. Marty distracts Bossman, allowing Michaels to hit a missile drop kick from behind. Bossman gets worked over a bit more before he tags in Akeem. Akeem dances his way over to Michaels, and Michaels responds with a Moonwalk. Michaels wrings Akeem’s arm, tags in Jannetty, and the two keep tagging in and out, while working over Akeem’s arm. Bossman manages to get the blind tag and finally regains control with Morton-er-Jannetty the legal man. After beating the snot out of Jannetty for a bit, Akeem goes for a avalanche on the ropes (with Bossman holding him), but Jannetty manages to slip out of the way, causing Akeem to level Bossman. Jannetty finally gets the tag to Michaels who is a house on fire! The Rockers double team Akeem, with Michaels getting a 2-count off a Double Flying Shoulder Block. However, once the ref regains control, Akeem levels Michaels with a big lariat. Bossman gets tagged in, goes up and goes for a big splash but misses, and Michaels gets 2. Bossman goes to powerbomb Michaels, but You Can’t Powerbomb Michaels! Jannetty and Michaels double-dropkick Akeem, and then land the Double Missile Dropkick on Big Boss Man. Michaels goes for the pin but Akeem breaks it up at 2. Michaels goes for a big seated senton on the standing Bossman, but Bossman reverses it into a Powerbomb (okay, so Maybe You Can Powerbomb Michaels). Bossman tags in Akeem, Akeem hits Air Africa (Standing Splash) and gets the pin.
Winner: The Twin Towers by pinfall with an Air Africa by Akeem at 8:07.
Rating: ** – Nice tag team work from The Rockers, not so much from the Twin Towers. Not a great match, but not horrible either… and frankly, if these guys never faced each other again we wouldn’t be missing anything.
We then go backstage to Tony Shiavone… yes, that Tony Shiavone. “Can’t tell the difference between a Spinebuster or a Sidewalk Slam” Tony Shiavone. Apparently Vince hired him away from Jim Crockett Promotions for a bit. He’s interviewing backstage, so I’m not complaining. Anyway, he’s interviewing “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (wearing the Million Dollar Championship) & Virgil. This is the first time I’ve actually seen the Million Dollar Championship being worn, and I have to say that the Million Dollar Belt blows every piece of bling I’ve ever seen a rapper wear out of the water.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil)
DiBiase and Beefcake both use a sleeper hold as their finishers. DiBiase admonishes Beefcake and Beefcake responds with a right hand and some big offense as Virgil clears the ring with the belt. Beefcake hits a big series of bodyslams before throwing DiBiase out of the ring. DiBiase regains control and gets a 2-count off a fist drop. DiBiase gets another 2-count off a jumping stomp. Beefcake tries to regain control with a small package but only gets 2. DiBiase locks on the Million Dollar Dream (DiBiase’s version of a sleeper hold) but Beefcake grabs the ropes. Then Beefcake locks on the sleeper, but Virgil drags Beefcake out of the ring and works him over while DiBiase distracts the ref. DiBiase follows Beefcake out of the ring and they fight on the outside, but they stay out there too long, as the ref calls for the bell.
Winner: None – Double Count-out at 10:02.
Rating: ** – Not a great match, again Beefcake just isn’t a good singles wrestler. DiBiase tried to carry him but ultimately he just couldn’t cover for the fact that Beefcake sucks horribly.
We then go to a previously recorded Interview with Lord Alfred Hayes at the Wrestlemania brunch with the Bushwhackers, hyping their match against the Fabulous Rougeaus.
The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond Rougeau – w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke Williams and Butch Miller)
This is the Wrestlemania debut of the Bushwhackers. Their gimmick can be summarized as “We’re from rural New Zealand, so we don’t know how to be ‘civilized’ and have a very strange walk.”. I’ll let the Kiwi’s of RPG.net decide what they think of that. Their ring attire may be familiar to fans of the Dudley Boys during their WWF run – Urban camo cargo pants, combat boots and muscle shirts.
The Bushwhackers chase the Rougeaus and Jimmy Hart out of the ring early on. The Bushwhackers chase Jimmy and the Rougeaus out of the ring, but not before stealing Jimmy’s coat. The Rougeaus slide back in for the save and Jimmy quickly dashes in to retrieve his attire, but not fast enough as the Bushwhackers whip the Rougeaus into Jimmy, forcing him out of the ring, still, apparently without his coat. Butch puts Luke in a headlock and rams Luke’s head into Raymond Rougeau, in what is apparently called a Battering Ram. Luke is apparently the legal man for the Bushwhackers and goes for the pin, Jacques goes for a knee drop to break it up but Luke rolls out of the way, causing Jacques to hit Raymond. The Rougeaus double-team Luke, who appears to be the Ricky Morton for the Bushwhackers. Luke goes for the tag but Raymond chops Butch off the apron. Jacques locks an abdominal stretch on Luke. The Rougeaus spend a bit too much time posing for the crowd, so the Bushwhackers recover, and hit a Battering Ram on Luke, before hitting a double-stomach breaker and getting the pin.
Winner: The Bushwhackers by pinfall with a Double Stomachbreaker at 5:11.
Rating: Nice psychology and tag team wrestling from both sides. You know, the Bushwhackers could have done fine without the “stupid” part of the gimmick, just keep the “sheepherders from rural New Zealand that like to brawl” part and you could have done just fine.
After the match we go to Jason Mooney along the entrance aisle who was going to speak with some fans before the Bushwhackers came up and, basically, molested him (by molested we mean licked).
”Mr. Perfect” Curt Henning vs. The Blue Blazer
This is the Wrestlemania debut not only of Henning, but also of The Blue Blazer – or more specifically, Owen Hart.
Ventura says this is going to be a fantastic match and I certainly hope he’s right. Excellent chain wrestling between Owen and Curt. Owen does a beautiful flip-over counter from a hip toss to a series of body slams before drop-kicking Curt to the outside, and then hitting Curt with a baseball slide. Owen hits a series of European uppercuts before sending Curt back in and works over Curt with an armbar. Curt backs Owen and hits Owen with some big chops in the corner, before Owen breaks out and lands a hip toss. Another standing drop kick by Owen. Owen gets a backbreaker for 1. Another suplex for 1. Body slam by Owen and Owen goes up. Owen goes for a big splash, but Curt gets the knees up. Curt locks on a reverse chinlock. Curt releases the hold and whips Owen in the corner and goes for a running shoulder, but Owen gets a boot up. Powerslam by Owen for 1. Belly-to-belly suplex by Owen for 2. Owen gets a crucifix for 2. Owen’s too busy arguing with the ref to pay attention to Curt, so Curt gets the Perfect-Plex (Fisherman Suplex) for 3.
Winner: Mr. Perfect by pinfall with the Perfect-Plex at 5:47.
Rating: *** – I want re-match! Clap clap clap-clap-clap!
We then get a vignette for with Lord Hayes & Mr. Fuji, with Fuji participating in the 10 K run as part of Wrestlemania weekend, with Fuji cheating by giving himself a head start. After that we go to Run DMC performing the Wrestlemania Rap. (Run DMC would later perform a later version of D-X’s entrance music.) After this we get a brief video package involving Fuji’s betrayal of Demolition, the ensuing beat-down of Fuji, and Fuji joining forces with The Powers Of Pain. This leads to Gene Okerlund interview with Demolution
Handicap Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship – Demolition (Axe & Smash) (c) vs. The Powers of Pain (The Warlord, The Barbarian & Mr. Fuji)
So we’re getting the battle of the Road Warrior-alikes. I wonder, if the Powers of Pain win, will the WWF be adopting the Freebird Rule (that the tag team title can be defended by any 2-members of a 3-man team). Warlord and Axe start, with Axe tacking control early, before tagging in Smash. Demolition proceeds to get in some nice tag-team offense in. Smash briefly gets Morton’d, before Smash makes the tag to Axe, and the Barbarian ends up finding himself Heel-In-Peril. (What the hell do we call it when the Ricky Morton is a heel?)
Warlord tags in Barbarian, and Demolition works him over for a bit, before The Powers of Pain finally get control and decide to Ricky Morton Axe. Finally Fuji gets tagged in and Fuji pounds the crap out of Axe, before tagging in Warlord. Warlord gets a 2-count after a double-axe handle. Warlord powerslams Axe and Fuji goes up and goes for a top-rope leg drop but missed. Fuji tags in Barbarian before Axe can reach smash. Barbarian goes for a lariat, Axe ducks and responds with one of his own, and tags in Smash and comes in like a house-on-fire. Demolition Stun Guns Warlord on the top rope. All 5 men end up in the ring, and we get Smash held in an full nelson by Barbarian, and Axe fighting on the outside with Warlord, and Fuji in the ring with some salt. Fuji goes to throw the salt at Smash, but Axe manages to slip down and Warlord gets the salt to the face instead. Smash hits a big lariat on Fuji and sets up the Demolition Decapitation for 3.
Winner: Demolition wins by pinfall with the Demolition Decapitation at 8:53 and retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Rating: *** – A nice tag team match. For a tag team that can’t really wrestle, Demolition’s pretty good. The Powers of Pain did okay too, though I don’t think they could do well in solo contests.
Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. “Rugged” Ronny Garvin
Garvin is a face making his Wrestlemania debut, and is already in the ring before the heel arrives and doesn’t get a intro – squash. Before the start of the match, Jimmy Snucka comes down to ringside.
Dino attacks Garvin from behind. Dino hits a body-slam, followed by an elbow-drop and a series of shots to the kidneys of Garvin before catching Garvin in a bearhug. Garvin has had no offense to speak of. Dino gets a 2-count off a cocky pin. Garvin tries to escape from a powerbomb with blows to the head causing Dino to go down and Garvin to get a 2-count. (I’m not going to do the “You Can’t Powerbomb” thing here – I’ve already done it once, and I try to be consistent). Garvin starts to work up some basic offense on Dino, and the audience is just about dead. Rolling cradle on Dino for 2. Garvin locks a sleeper on Dino for a few seconds. Garvin goes for a piledriver, Dino reverses it into a backdrop which is reversed into a sunset flip for 2. Garvin goes for the mounted punches but Dino powers out and hits a Sidewalk Slam which Gorilla Monsoon, of all people, miscalls as a Side Suplex. Dino gets the cover and the pin.
Winner: Dino Bravo by pinfall with a Sidewalk Slam at 3:54.
Rating: ** – It was basically a squash.
After the match, Garvin beats down Frenchy Martin.
The Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson – w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana)
This is the Wrestlemania debut of Blanchard and Anderson (who were also 1/2 of the original Four Horsemen).
Martel and Tully start out. Great chain wrestling between the two. Both Brain Busters and members of Strike Force get in the ring, and duke it out for a bit, before we end up with Martel and Anderson. Martel gets a series of 2-counts before Anderson locks on a body-scissors, but Martel rolls it over into a Boston Crab, forcing Anderson to break out and tag in Tully, with Martel doing the same to Santana. Santana bulldogs Tully, and goes to lock on the Figure 4 Leglock, which must be an odd situation for Tully Blanchard. Santana locks it on, and Martel locks one on Anderson. Anderson thumbs Santana in the eye, forcing him to break his hold, and the ref makes Martel break his hold on Arn.
Santana goes for a backslide pin but Arn breaks it up. The Busters go for a double back drop but Santana has it scouted and gives them both a boot to the head (shoomp). Santana gets a small package on Tully, but Tully kicks out. Santana tags in Martel when Tully went for a atomic drop. Santana goes for a flying cross-body, but Tully ducks it, causing Santana to hit Martel instead. Furthermore the ref didn’t see the tag. Martel is out at ringside, leaving Santana alone in the ring with the Brain Busters. Tully tags in Arn. The Busters go for a double team move, (whipping Santana into Arn’s knee, stuck through the ropes), but Santana reverses it so Tully eats knee instead. Tully tags in Arn. Santana sunset flips Arn, but Arn’s too close to his corner and tags in Tully. Tito finally hits the cross-body on Tully but Tully kicks out at 2 and tags in Arn. Tito finds himself in the familiar position of the Ricky Morton (which, now that I think about it, he’s been in ever since Rick tagged him in. Anderson goes up top, but Tito catches him and throws him off. Tito goes to get the tag from Martel, but Martel releases the tag rope and walks away from the corner and leaves for the back, leaving Santana for the wolves – er, Brain Busters. Anderson hits the Spinebuster and tags in Tully, who struts, styles and profiles and gets caught with a fist to the face, followed by some quick offense which gets shut down by the Busters. Blanchard tags Anderson back in and the Busters hit the spike piledriver for the pin.
Winner: The Brain Busters by pinfall with the spike piledriver at 9:15.
Rating: *** – A good tag match between two very good teams. I’d love to see these guys go a little longer (say, 5 more minutes).
We go backstage to Okerlund who is with Martel, who would like to take a moment to cement his heel turn. Okerlund is pissed off at Martel. By the way, we get this nice little pearl between Gorilla and Jesse after that interview.
Jesse: “Law’s are made to be broken” – that’s another Jesse Proberb.
Gorilla: I’m sorry I’m here to hear that.
Me: – Ooohh, burn.We go back to the ring, where the ring has been covered with a new… tartan themed covering, with a few chairs in the ring. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. It’s time for the triumphant return of…
In an amusing tease, Brother Love (another manager, with an obnoxious televangelist gimmick, who is making his Wrestlemania Debut) comes out first dressed as Piper. By dressed up I mean he’s painted hi face red and is wearing a kilt with suspenders instead of pants. And by kilt I mean a plaid skirt. Brother Love tries to hijack the Pit by playing both himself and Piper, and then introducing his other guest, Morton Downey Jr.. For those who don’t want to click the link, he’s the guy who played the obnoxious journalist in Predator 2, and acted pretty much the same way in real life. Brother Love asks a few questions before Piper Himself comes down, and Piper Is Not Amused. Piper hilariously confronts Brother Love while Downey flicks cigarette butts all over the ring.
As an hidden highlight by the way, Morton bounces a cigarette off of Piper’s head – so far they’ve all been hitting Brother Love or the mat, so Piper hasn’t really cared. Piper stops verbally ripping Brother Love a new one to pick up the cigarette and glare at it with outright contempt, before folding it in half with one hand and flicking it away. For that matter, Downey keeps attempting to do the equivalent of tearing a piece of paper slowly on stage to keep the audiences attention on him, and not on the actual actors on center stage, to the point that when his attempts to flick cigarettes around aren’t getting Love and Piper’s attention anymore, he lights a match and holds it between the two before it goes out, leading to Piper giving Downey himself a Glare Of Utter Contempt (and that one’s Probably A Shoot, Brother).
Piper tears his attention away from Brother Love to Downey, who has now earned his ire, and Downey blows smoke in his face several times after being asked not to, as well as insulting Piper’s mother (implying that he (Downey) is Piper’s biological brother by another father, which can be interpreted as a back-handed way of saying “Your mother is a slut”), and calling his kilt a skirt. Finally, Piper’s has enough and he can’t stand no more, so Piper blasts him in the face with a fire extinguisher. On his way back up the ramp, Piper indicates (via gesture) that Downey can kiss his ass.
We then to backstage to Okerlund who hypes the film “No Holds Barred” and gives us a trailer, which makes it appear to be the bastard child of a super hero film and a wrestling film. We get a brief interview with Donald Trump, and then a video package for the Savage-Hogan feud, into a Okerlund interview (and a long one) with Hogan on the feud. I think we’ve been going for half an hour since we had any actual wrestling on this show.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Andre The Giant (w/ Bobby Heenan) – Special Referee: Big John Studd
Andre attacks Roberts as soon as he gets in the ring, and rams Jake’s head into the turnbuckle… which happens to be conveniently missing a turnbuckle pad. We get another quotable quote from Gorilla and Ventura as Andre locks a sleeper on Jake.
(Gorilla and Ventura are discussing Jake’s chances – Jesse doesn’t think they’re good)
Gorilla: Well, have you heard the story of David & Goliath.
Jesse: Yeah, but David used a foreign object.
Andre pounds the crap out of Jake for a while, before Jake finally gets some offense in with a chop, and a series of kicks that leads to an Andre Spot (Andre hooked in the ropes while Jake wails on him). Andre gets free and regains control with a one-handed choke. Andre works Jake over, finally knocking him out of the ring, and preventing him from getting back in just enough that Studd gets in his face. While Studd is chewing out Andre, Jake heads over and gets Damien (his snake) – still in his bag. However, before Jake can release Damien, Ted DiBiase and Virgil run in and swipe Damien, and then make a break for it, with Jake in hot pursuit. While Jake attacks DiBiase, Andre attacks Studd. As Andre chokes Studd, Jake retrieves Damien and returns to the ring, releasing him from the bag, causing Andre to panic and flee the ring (as all wrestlers, dontchaknow, are afraid of snakes.) Once Studd recovers, he calls for the DQ.
Winner: Jake “The Snake” Roberts by DQ, due to attacking the referee, at 9:40
Rating: ** – Not crap, not great, just meh.
After the match we go backstage with Tony Shiavone for an interview with Sensational Sherrie. I hate to sound catty, but that hair and makeup really don’t compliment her at all.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & The Honky Tonk Man (w/ “The Mouth Of The South” Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Bret “Hitman” Hart)
Anyway, Bret and HTM start. Hidden highlight from Bret – before he locks up with HTM, he eyes Jimmy, sort of like he’s trying to see what shenanigans Jimmy will pull, since he used to be managed by Jimmy. Nice chain wrestling between Bret and HTM. 2-count off a rolling cradle by Bret, leading to a pair of Atomic Drops, both inverted and regular. HTM tags in Greg, who gets his own Inverted Atomic Drop, and then a drop kick. Greg finds himself on the wrong side of the tracks.
Bret tags in Jim, and then sends Greg for the ride before slingshotting Jim over the top rope into a sort of flying shoulder tackle on Greg for a 2-count. Jim tags Bret back in. Bret hits a back-breaker and goes for his 2nd rope elbow but Greg has it scouted and avoids the move, gaining control. Greg hits a series of elbow and fist drops on Bret, before whipping Bret into hostile territory and tagging in HTM. Nice Fireman’s carry suplex by HTM. HTM tags in Greg again. Greg decides to mold Bret’s facial features into something more resembling Ricky Morton. HTM tagged back in and he hits the Shake, Rattle & Roll (neckbreaker), a Wrestlemania first for HTM. Rather then go for a pin though, HTM tags in Greg. Greg goes to lock on the figure four, but Bret counters out. Greg works Bret over a little more, before HTM gets tagged in and Bret regains control with a Cross-Body out of an Irish Whip for an 2-count, the kick out of which manages to send Bret under the bottom rope and onto the floor.
HTM tags in Val, and Val goes for an Irish whip which Bret avoids, and gets the tag to Jim, who comes in like a House! En! Fuego! Jim hits a big series of drop-kicks on both Greg and HTM. Greg regains control quickly with a thumb to the eye, allowing him to tag in HTM, who isn’t able to stop Jim from regaining control again and tagging in Bret. Bret gets a big body slam and then hits the 2nd rope elbow drop. Big vertical suplex by Bret for 2. Greg gets in a verbal altercation with the ref while Jim “borrows” Jimmy Hart’s megaphone (without asking, of course) and then tosses it to Bret who clocks HTM with it. Bret makes the cover and gets the pin.
Winner: The Hart Foundation by pinfall with a foreign object shot at 7:40.
Rating: *** – A very nice match, between 4 very good wrestlers. In another promotion and another time we could have gotten a clinic out of these men, but all things considered this was a decent match and nothing to scoff at.
After the match we get a quick recap of the Ultimate Warrior/”Ravishing” Rick Rude feud – which could be summarized as Rick Rude was a sore loser in a pose-down against The Warrior, so he choked him out with a metal bar, causing Warrior to seek revenge. For all the faults of the modern wrestling business, we don’t have pose-downs anymore. We don’t start feuds with them, and we don’t end feuds with them (and for that matter, we don’t have feuds solely consist of them.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior (c)
Rude and Warrior start going at it even before the sound of the bell. Warrior goes for a lariat, Rude ducks it and goes for a knee to the gut, forgetting that Warrior is still wearing the belt. Warrior manhandles Rude. Not many wrestling moves, or holds, or even any noticeable power moves. Warrior just grabs Rude by the shoulders and tosses him across the ring. Warrior locks on a bear hug.
While Warrior has Rude locked in a rest hold (the bear hug) to stretch the match out a little, I’d like to point out Rude’s tights. Specifically the excellent airbrush job on both sides, the WWF Intercontinental title on the front, and the face of the Ultimate Warrior on the back, with the lips perfectly placed on the base of Rude’s bottom, almost as if to say, “Warrior can kiss my ass”. A very well done piece of artwork.
Rude now breaks out of the bear hug, and then delivers a hell of a missile drop-kick for .5 (translation: the only reason Warrior fell down after taking that move is because the laws of physics overruled his natural inclination not to sell – he’d no-sell gravity if he could get away with it). Rude locks the rest hold bear hug back on again. We get a weasel chant from the audience (they like Heenan more than Warrior)! Warrior gets tired of the bear hug and decides to bite Rude’s face instead. Warrior hits a back drop! We have an actual power move at about 4 minutes and 20 seconds in.
Warrior goes for the Warrior Splash, but Rude gets the knees up, which is not enough to keep Warrior on the mat for longer then 1 second, but does wind him enough to let Rude get up and get some offense in. Rude hits a few kicks and a piledriver. I smell a no-sell (well, a 2-count). Rude is selling the hell out of this match, to perhaps compensate for the certain lack of selling demonstrated by The Warrior. Rude locks on a sort of surf-board-ish hold on The Warrior that demonstrates that the veins in his arms are not only visible, but they’re huge! Warrior gets to the ropes and continues no-selling. Warrior regains control, works Rude over a bit, and then blows a backbreaker spot (in that he loses his balance) but that they manage to cover by having Rude send Warrior shoulder first into the ring post. Warrior sells this This stops Warrior for about 1 second before he returns to beating on Rude. Warrior clotheslines Rude inside out and onto the apron. Warrior suplexes Rude back in, but Heenan hangs on to Warriors feet, so Rude can work this into a cover and Warrior can’t break out.
Winner: Rick Rude wins by pinfall through shenanigans at 9:45 and is the new WWF Intercontinental Champion.
Rating: * – Rick Rude managed to save this match from 0 stars. He saved this match from Dud-dum. He sold for 2 men. I don’t think Warrior appreciates this – I doubt it. That said, this is an Ultimate Warrior match that ran on for almost 10 minutes. It should not have gone on this long. Boo. Hiss.
After the match, Heenan gets beat up by Warrior, who impressively botches a Press Slam, which while it doesn’t drop Heenan on his head or anything like that, it does drop him haphazardly on his tailbone, and Heenan is actually scheduled to wrestle tonight!
Bad News Brown vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
God, why do you hate me? Of course, Brown is going to lose because he disagrees with Duggan, and thus hates Freedom. Brown works Duggan over for a bit, and then Duggan releases a “Hoooo” and then starts working over Brown. Both men work each other over in what can best be described as a brawl. As yet I have not seen a single hold from either man. I’d say that if this was in ECW it probably wouldn’t suck, or at least if it was under some variant of hardcore/extreme rules. Here in the WWF, on the other hand, there’s no hope. Finally, Brown grabs a chair, Duggan grabs his 2×4, they start wailing on each other, and the ref mercifuly calls for the bell. Why do you hate Freedom, ref?
Winner: Double DQ at 3:45.
Rating: Dud – These men were men before their time, in the sense that in the halcyon days of the mid-to-late 90’s, with ECW and the rise of Hardcore, this match could have been tolerable. That said, Sandman vs. New Jack would be better than this.
We go backstage with Gene Okerlund with the Red Rooster, who is wrestling Heenan.
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (w/ The Brooklyn Brawler) vs. The Red Rooster
Start: 24:48. Finish: 25:10
This is the Wrestlemania debut of Terry Taylor (The Red Rooster) and the Brooklyn Brawler. What’s that I smell? It smells like… squash! Heenan gets no offense to speak of. When he does try offense, specifically a shoulder block in the corner), Taylor avoids it and then gets the pin.
Winner: The Red Rooster by pinfall at :32.
Rating: Dud – A no contest and a squash. Why?
We then to backstage to Okerlund who has an interview with The Lovely Elizabeth, who speaks! Elizabeth has her first Wrestlemania promo!
WWF Heavyweight Championship: “Macho Man” Randy Savage © vs. Hulk Hogan
It’s been a year since Hulk Hogan passed the torch to Macho Man after he beat DiBiase for the title. Now, it’s time for Hogan to ask for that torch back, for the first time. Macho stalls for time before locking up. Finally they lock up, and Hogan shoves Savage across the ring. They lock up again, Savage locks on a side headlock but gets sent for the ride and gets caught by a shoulder-block. Savage plays mind games with Hogan. Hogan actually uses some wrestling moves for once, transitioning from a drop-toe-hold to a front facelock.
Side suplex by Savage. Savage goes with a standing elbow drop but Hogan has it scouted and hits a series of punches. Hogan starts to work the arm of Savage before getting hit with a thumb to the eye. Savage goes up top and hits a flying double axe-handle for 2. Savage starts working over Hogan’s arm. Hogan finally breaks the hold by tossing Savage out of the ring. Hogan tosses Savage right back in and beats Savage from pillar to post. Hogan clotheslines Savages head off before hitting a series of elbow drops on Savage. Savage regains control with a thumb to the eye, and then hits a lariat for 2 that busts Hogan open. Savage locks on a sleeper.
Hogan breaks out and hits a shoulder block and then catches a kick and spins Savage around for an atomic drop, goes for the Leg Drop, but misses. Savage sends Hogan to the turnbuckle that was missing a pad and goes for a rollup for 2. Savage continues working over Hogan, and then slaps the spit out of Hogan’s mouth, invoking a Hulk Up. Hogan power-slams Savage clean out of the ring. Elizabeth helps Savage to his feet, and he confronts her, with Hogan coming out for the save. Both men brawl on the outside. Hogan picks up savage for a shoulder slam into the ring post, but Elizabeth prevents him from making the attack, allowing slip off and post Hogan. Elizabeth gets sent to the back by Hebner, with Hogan still on the outside. Savage goes back up and hits a flying double-axe handle on Hogan, and then rolls him back in the ring.
Savage guillotines Hogan on the top rope and then gets Hogan with a bronco buster on the 2nd rope. Savage bodyslams Hogan and hits a knee drop for 2. Savage pulls the tape off his wrist and chokes Hogan briefly behind the refs back. Savage then blatantly chokes Hogan, then goes up top for the Flying Elbow and connects. Savage gets the cover but Hogan kicks out at 2 and Hulks up. Torch please, Randy. Big Boot. Bionic Leg Drop. 3 Count.
Winner: Hulk Hogan by pinfall at 17:53 and is the new WWF Heavyweight Champion.
Rating: **** – Not a bad match actually, and I’d say that’s Hogan’s best match I’ve seen so far.
Well, that’s the show. A few little awards I’d like to give out after the show:
- I Don’t Get No Respect Award: Jimmy Hart: Not only did none of his guys win any matches, he got smacked round a couple times too.
- Dud of the night: Bad News Brown vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. At least Heenan vs. Rooster was an amusing squash. This was just a pointless no-contest.
- The Atlas Award for carrying the match: Rick Rude, because Warrior sucks.
- Best Pleasant Surprise: Hogan using wrestling holds.