Welcome everyone to my review of the sixth WrestleMania. Featuring the farewell of a WWF/wrestling legend, Roddy Piper in a VERY controversial match and of course the Ultimate Challenge between The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:
- WWF World Champion: Hulk Hogan
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Colossal Connection (André the Giant & Haku)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura
Live from Toronto, ON, Canada
Rick Martel vs. Koko B. Ware
Martel is already ‘the model’ at this point in his career. Martel misses a charge to start early on, with Koko bodypressing him out of the corner. Koko runs wild for a bit with a number of dropkicks followed by a backdrop to the floor. Martel turns things around with a suplex back inside and tries to follow up with the Boston crab, but Koko is too close to the ropes. Koko no-sells Martel ramming his head into the buckle and gets his brief hope spot. He misses a second bodypress though, and Martel’s Boston crab is academic this time around. Koko taps out after 3:51.
- Rating: This did what it had to do, and did it quickly. They did a solid job working over Martel’s Boston crab finish. *1/4
WWF World Tag Team Championship: The Colossal Connection (André the Giant & Haku)(c)(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Demolition (Ax & Smash)
Poor Andre was just done at this point in his career. Or life for that matter. Haku goes after the challengers to start, but Ax quickly pounds him down in classic Ax fashion. Smash comes in, only for Haku to go after his eyes and turn things around. They go into a test of strength over a backslide which is won by Smash, but Andre comes in to break up the cover. Off to Ax but Haku hits him right in the throat to stay in control. Haku’s savate kick sends Ax to the ropes with Andre adding a headbutt behind the referee’s back. Haku’s own headbutt gets two. Haku works a Samoan nerve hold, but Ax once again pounds his way out of there. Haku misses a charge and Ax finally makes the hot tag to Smash, who runs wild and connects with a crossbody for two. The babyfaces try Andre and that brings him in. Andre holds Smash for a Haku superkick, but he moves out of the way and Haku superkicks the Giant, who (shockingly!) gets tied in the ropes. With Andre not being able to do anything but look at the action, the challengers put Haku away with the Demolition Decapitation for the win and the titles at 9:30. Then after the match, Heenan blames Andre for the loss and actually slaps him. Andre beats up both heels and leaves alone on the ring cart, as a beloved legendary hero in what would be his final televised match in the WWF.
- Rating: The best part about this whole thing is Andre’s post-match babyface turn. Not that the match is bad , it’s watchable, but Andre can’t do anything and it’s ultimately a handicap match pretty much. Also, it’s really sad to see Andre out there in that condition. *1/2
Earthquake(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hercules
Hercules takes it to Earthquake to start. Earthquake bails and gets back in for a test of strength which he obviously wins and follows up with shoulderblocks. Herc comes back with a number of clothesline that Earthquake doesn’t sell. He finally takes Earthquake off one feet and tries the Torture Rack, but that obviously goes nowhere. Earthquake pounds him down and the Earthquake splash puts him away at 4:52.
- Rating: Very decent match that did exactly what it had to do. They wrestled a simple yet effective match designed to build up Earthquake for a future program with Hulk Hogan. Nice job by Hercules putting him over as a monster. **
Mr. Perfect(w/ The Genius) vs. Brutus Beefcake
Perfect cheapshots Beefcake to get the early advantage, but Beefcake sends Perfect flying over the top rope in classic Curt Hennig fashion. Back in for an atomic drop with Perfect taking another over-the-top bump. Perfect tries to cheat and turn things around, only for Beefcake to easily reverse and send Perfect flying to the outside once again. Back in for a Brutus clothesline and he’s thinking sleeper already, only for Genius to distract the ref and hand Perfect the paper scroll for a shot to Beefcake’s head to give Perfect control. Perfect hits the necksnap from behind and gets two. Perfect follows up with the kneelift but shows off a little bit more, which allows Beefcake to slingshot Perfect into the post for… the win? After over a year of building up the perfect record gimmick? His first loss comes via a f*cking slingshot? The match went 7:48.
- Rating: The match was just getting going when it ended, but thing to be taken from this match is the horrible finish and even more horrible result. Instead of giving Perfect a win (or at least some kind of non-finish to keep the “perfect record”) and push him for a fresh feud with Warrior over the title in the summer, we had Warrior feuding with a man he had already faced and defeated 400 times the prior year in Rick Rude while Perfect started being beat like a drum until the back injury. This helped no one at all, in fact hurt a lot of people – including Warrior’s reign – and stands as one of the company’s dumbest decisions ever. *3/4
Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
Roddy Piper is half white and half black in another giant facepalm moment. I get they were going for equality here, but this is visually silly and not entertaining whatsoever. They get in an early slugfest that is won by Bad News after a cheapshot. Brown sends him into the buckle a number of times, which Piper no-sells before also no-selling a headbutt. Brown puts him down anyway and drops an elbow for two. Piper rakes the eyes only for Brown to do the same. Brown undoes the turnbuckle but ends up being the one eating the steel. Piper puts on a white glove and uses it on Brown to send him to the outside. Piper follows him for a slugfest on the outside and it’s a double countout draw at 6:48 as they take the fight all the way to the back.
- Rating: Where do I start? I already mentioned visually silly at the beginning of the review. This was horrible from bell-to-bell and that non-finish certainly helped. I won’t even mention the fact that Piper could have very well wrestled Rick Rude on this show, since they had a hot feud and all you know, because that would make me even more sad. I like both guys, but this was both horrible and pointless. DUD
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov)
The Russians sing the Russian national anthem only for the Harts to interrupt and finish Zhukov already with the Hart Attack at 0:19.
- Rating: An easy win for the Hart Foundation in Canada over the hated foreign heels. No rating because it was just literally just one move. N/R
Tito Santana vs. The Barbarian(w/ Bobby Heenan)
So the Powers of Pain are no more, and now Barbarian is a singles wrestler and a brand new member of the Heenan family. Barbarian overpowers Tito to start but Tito takes him down with a flying bodypress and gets two. Barbarian catches him with a big boot followed by a shoulderbreaker. He misses a middle rope elbowdrop though, and Tito hits the flying forearm but Heenan puts Barbarian’s foot on the ropes. The flying clothesline puts Santana away at 4:33.
- Rating: Watchable but geez this show is already dragging at this point. *1/2
Mixed Tag Team Match: Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire(w/ Miss Elizabeth)
The guy fights the guy and the girl fights the girl. Dusty brings out Elizabeth before the bell, just to get under Savage’s skin. This is pretty much Elizabeth’s first major appearance since the prior year’s WrestleMania. The guys start but Sherri is already coming in to interfere, but Dusty grabs both heels for a good looking double noggin knocker. Sapphire comes in for an awful airplane spin for two. Sherri tries a slam, but Sapphire is too heavy and falls on top of Sherri for two. Dusty gets the tag and holds Savage for a Sapphire slap, but Sherri comes in from behind with a knee to Dusty’s back. Dusty bails and Savage meets him on the outside with the flying double axehandle. Sapphire begs for mercy but Savage straight up shoves her down and hits a second flying double ax on Dusty for two back inside. A suplex gets two more. Savage manages to get a shot with the scepter behind the referee’s back, but tags in Sherri for some reason. Sherri splashes Dusty for two (what about the rules?) and Sapphire comes back in with a snapmare to Sherri for two. Sherri has had enough and she’s out of there, only for Elizabeth to put her back inside. Sapphire rolls her up and that’s it at 7:52.
- Rating: This was a big comedy match and there’s nothing wrong about that. It’s sad to see Randy Savage going from main-eventing and doing incredible house show business as the heel champion the prior year to this. It was okay. *
Meanwhile, everyone gets to cut a promo as this show just won’t end.
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka)(w/ Mr. Fuji)
So this is the infamous WrestleMania match in which the Rockers were completely fucked up after a night of partying. The Asians cheapshot the energetic babyfaces to start, but they clean house and follow that up with a dive to the delight of the crowd. Marty works a headlock on Tanaka back inside, but Tanaka dumps him and Sato sends him into the post to take over. Michaels comes in with a superkick on Tanaka (before it became a big deal for him), so a cheapshot followed by a Tanaka flying forearm turns things around. Off to Sato who comes in with a kneedrop for two. Michaels makes the hot tag to Marty who goes after Tanaka on the outside, but Fuji throws salt in his eyes and Jannetty falls over the rail into the crowd, not knowing where he is. That is enough for the count-out at 7:38.
- Rating: Despite everything that was going on with the Rockers on this night, the match was still pretty solid. They did what they could with seven minutes, and that was enough to have the best match of the night so far on this crap show. Nothing out of this world, just a solid tag match. **3/4
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo(w/ Jimmy Hart & Earthquake)
Duggan backdrops Bravo to starts and dumps Bravo with a clothesline. Back in, Bravo chokes away to take over. An elbowdrop gets two. Duggan tries to make a comeback but the heels at ringside get involved and Jimmy sneaks in the 2×4 for Bravo to use. Duggan ends up catching it instead and a shot behind the ref’s back is good for the pin at 4:15. Earthquake kills Duggan with three Earthquake splashes after the match to continue the build up for the Hogan program.
- Rating: Another nothing match on a show full of those. At least the post-match beatdown didn’t make it a complete waste of time. 1/2*
Ted DiBiase(w/ Virgil) vs. Jake Roberts
DiBiase’s unsactioned million dollar belt is on the line in this match. Roberts goes for the DDT already, but DiBiase escapes the front facelock hold and bails. Back in for a Roberts hiptoss into another DDT, but DiBiase blocks and runs away yet again. And another time. This would be great had it not been the eleventh match on this awful show. Roberts blocks a DiBiase charge and goes for the kneelift, blocked by DiBiase as Roberts goes down. Suddenly the crowd starts doing the wave to entertain themselves while DiBiase works a chinlock. They let the crowd get it all out of their system and stay in the hold. DiBiase tries to follow up with the Million Dollar Dream, but Roberts makes the ropes and DiBiase rolls through for two instead. DiBiase goes up but finds no water in the pool, and Roberts connects with the short-arm clothesline to set up the DDT. Virgil gets involved and draws Roberts to the outside, allowing DiBiase to cheapshot him from behind and get the count-out win at 11:50 to retain the fictional title. Roberts stands tall to close the show and unleashes Damian on the heels.
- Rating: This was a really solid match and decent enough, but the crowd was just too tired at this point after ten (YES TEN!) nothing undercard matches and were dying to jump to the main-event already. Decent match nonetheless. **
The Big Bossman vs. Akeem(w/ Slick)
Bossman has recently turned babyface and is going up against his fellow Twin Tower. DiBiase, who was still at ringside from the prior match, attacks Bossman during his entrance to set up a future program. That gives Akeem the edge to start, and an avalanche gets two. That goes nowhere though, as Bossman responds with an atomic drop, clothesline and Bossman Slam and that’s all at 1:49.
- Rating: At least it set up future business. And most importantly, it was short! 1/4*
Rick Rude(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Jimmy Snuka
Finally the last undercard match!!!! Now that I look at this and I see Rude in this position, it makes me wonder: why not just throw Snuka and Bad News as one of the 500 filler matches and DO RUDE VS PIPER? Some puzzles are not meant to be solved. Snuka pounds away to start and headbutts the ravishing abs. Rude bails and Snuka mocks the swivel, which allows Rude to suplex him and do it how it should be done. That obviously ends up working against him and earns him a slam followed by the flying headbutt. Rude moves out of the way though, and the Rude Awakening is academic at 3:59.
- Rating: Another short one, but fun and okay for what it was, I guess. *
Rhythm & Blues’ Concert – The Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine
Rhythm & Blues comes out in a pink car with Jimmy Hart and Diamond Dallas Page is driving. They perform until the Bushwhackers come out and beat them up.
Main-Event – WWF Intercontinental & WWF World Heavyweight Championships: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior
This is finally it. What everyone came here to see. They start off by staring at each other with Warrior laughing in Hogan’s face and the crowd is already going crazy. Early lockup is won by Warrior with a big shove to the corner. A second one is won by Hogan. Warrior asks for a test of strength and takes Hogan down as his fans go nuts, and then Hogan turns it around and powers Warrior down to make his fans happy. Warrior tries to fight back up to his feet, but Hogan legsweeps him down and drops an elbow for a one count. They run the ropes with Hogan slamming Warrior but it’s no-sold. Another criss cross ends with Warrior slamming Hogan, and Hogan actually sells it. Nice! Warrior follows that up with a clothesline that dumps Hogan right on his left leg, and he tells Earl Hebner “my knee’s gone, brother, but I’ll try and get back in”. Say what you want about Hogan, but he was great at this and could easily generate sympathy towards him.
Warrior follows him to the floor and goes after the leg while Hogan is still down, which gets a brief negative reaction. See what I was saying! Back in with Warrior going after the leg and Hogan rams the eyes to escape. Hulk Hogan, hero to millions! That allows Hogan to hit a clothesline followed by a couple of elbowdrops with the knee suddenly being perfect. Gorilla covers that up on commentary by saying “he might have just temporarily dislocated his patella and it popped back into place” which covers up Hogan’s horrible selljob. God bless you, Gorilla. Hogan works a headlock as poor Warrior is completely tired at this point already. Small package gets two and back to the chinlock we go. Hogan pounds him down as Warrior is still completely out of gas and a shoulderbreaker gets two. Back suplex gets two. Back to the chinlock and Warrior finally starts showing some fire and shaking his head and hands while in the hold. A number of elbows to Hogan’s midsection breaks the hold and it’s a double clothesline for the double KO spot. Hebner does the double count and actually gets to nine (damn) before Warrior starts shaking his way back up. Warrior runs wild with the clotheslines and a suplex gets two. Warrior works a bearhug. Hogan slugs his way out of it and Warrior criss crosses for a shoulderbreaker, but Hogan moves and instead it’s a ref bump.
Warrior goes up(!) for a flying double axehandle and BOY HE’S SHAKING! He runs the ropes back and forth and finally tries a shoulderbreaker but Hogan moves and faceplants him. Hogan rolls over and actually gets a visual pinfall win but there’s no ref. Hogan complains to the fans and turns his back, and now it’s Warrior getting a visual pinfall off a backdrop suplex. The ref gets back to life and does the really slow and dramatic Hebner count with the whole crowd standing up (gotta love it) but Hogan kicks at two. Hogan slugs Warrior and rolls him up, but Hebner is still not 100% and it only gets two. These nearfalls are starting to get REALLY hot. Hogan whips Warrior into the ropes and meets him with a shoulderblock that sends Warrior over the top rope to the floor. They slug it out on the outside and Warrior sends Hogan’s face into the post. Warrior rolls him back in for a clothesline. Warrior follows that up with a half-assed version of the Gorilla Press – Warrior has no energy left at this point – into the Warrior Splash for… TWO? Whaaat? The crowd goes bananas as it’s Hulk Up time brother. Off the ropes for the big boot followed by the big leg… but Warrior is out of the way. Warrior Splash puts Hogan away and gives Warrior both titles at 24:51. Hogan personally hands Warrior the WWF World title belt and hugs him while crying. See what I mean about being able to work everyone and generate sympathy?! Warrior celebrates with pyro while the cameras follow a defeated Hogan and the commentators say “Hogan has taken a giant step towards immortality.” Oh, and Warrior is there too, don’t forget. Oops sorry champ!
- Rating: This was a fantastic WrestleMania main-event, Warrior sucking wind aside. I personally consider this match as Hogan’s finest hour inside the wrestling ropes, as he did a tremendous job carrying the match – which is usually the heels’ job to do so – despite Warrior’s obvious in-ring limitations. I enjoyed the simple yet effective spots such as Warrior no-selling the slam only for Hogan to then immediately sell one and put him over. The crowd was hot all the time, even before they touched, and those nearfalls at the end got them out of their seats. It’s not a perfect wrestling match, not even close, but it will sure capture your imagination and get you lost in the moment. Great stuff. ***3/4
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Watch the main-event and ignore the rest. That’s the best advice I could possibly give you! Absolutely horrible, long and boring show full of filler matches and a classic main-event that will still be talked about for generations to come. There are a couple of decent and/or average matches on the undercard, such as the Rockers’ match, but I wouldn’t bother. Stick with the main-event and you’ll be fine! 3/10
For feedback/comments, e-mail me at email@example.com
You can read about how my point system works here.
|The Ultimate Warrior||3.75||1||1||1 for retaining IC title|
2 for winning WWF title
|Ax||1.5||1||2 for winning a title|
0.5 for winning the fall
|Smash||1.5||1||2 for winning a title||4.5|
|Sapphire||1||1||0.5 for winning the fall||2.5|
|Hulk Hogan||3.75||-1||1||-2 for dropping a title||1.75|
|Bret Hart||1||0.5 for winning the fall||1.5|
|The Big Bossman||0.25||1||1.25|
|Koko B. Ware||1.25||-1||0.25|
Bad News Brown
|Sensational Sherri||1||-1||-0.5 for losing the fall||-0.5|
|André the Giant||1.5||-1||-2 for dropping a title||-1.5|
|Haku||1.5||-1||-2 for dropping a title|
-0.5 for losing the fall
I hope you enjoyed the review. Make sure you don’t miss the next reviews, with an edition of WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event coming up, followed by NWA/WCW’s Capitol Combat PPV. Stay safe!