March 24, 1991
Live from Los Angeles, CA
Announced attendance: 16.158 (capacity: ca 16.740)
PPV buyrate: 400.000
Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the seventh WrestleMania in WWF history. One that was originally supposed to happen at the much bigger Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with a seating capacity of nearly 100.000 people, but got changed to the Los Angeles Memorial Arena due to
shitty ticket sales bomb threats due to the Sgt. Slaughter storyline… allegedly.
This WrestleMania features the aforementioned Sgt. Slaughter putting his WWF Championship up for grabs in the main-event against Hulk Hogan, while ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior go to war in a retirement match. Elsewhere, The Nasty Boys challenge the Hart Foundation for the tag straps, The Big Bossman challenges Mr. Perfect for the IC title, The Undertaker makes his first ever WrestleMania appearance, and much more.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into WrestleMania VII:
- WWF Champion: Sgt. Slaughter [champion since Jan. 19th 1991 – previous champion: The Ultimate Warrior]
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Mr. Perfect [champion since Nov. 19th 1990 – previous champion: ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich)
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) [champions since Aug. 27th 1990 – previous champions: Demolition)
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan (apart from a few matches)
Willie Nelson performs America the Beautiful this year
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. Haku & The Barbarian(w/ Bobby Heenan)
This is one of the exceptions where Heenan is replaced on commentary, since he’s at ringside managing members of his “family”. In this case, Gorilla is joined by Jim Duggan. Easy check on the biggest show of the year. Michaels and Haku kick things off, with Haku in control to start. Haku throws Michaels into the buckle a number of times, uses the ropes to block an O’Connor roll before eventually walking into Michaels’ flying shoulderblock. Haku briefly takes back control, only for Michaels to tag in Jannetty. We get some Rockers double-team action with a double hiptoss, double elbowdrop, double kip up… and Barbarian comes in and just kills them with a massive clothesline. Barbarian tries another one, but misses and the Rockers respond with a double superkick to clean house. The heels bail for some advice from Heenan. That advice? “If you ever have a broken neck and they ask you to work with Warrior, SAY NO”. The heels take control back inside, until Michaels comes in and dropkicks Barbarian’s back to help Jannetty complete a hurricanrana.
Double headbutt by the Heenan guys puts them back in the driver’s seat, as now Haku comes in. Jannetty tries a hurricanrana on him as well and Michaels once again tries to come in, this time with the ref stopping him, allowing Barbarian to come in from the other side and yank Jannetty by the hair on the top rope, throat-first. Elbow by Haku and it’s back to Barbarian for a gorilla press slam, as Jannetty continues to play Ricky Morton. A cheapshot to Michaels brings him in and gets the ref distracted, which allows Haku to come in for some choking. They collide on a criss cross with Jannetty falling on top and getting two. That looked like some clear miscommunication, but Haku quickly covers that up with a couple of AWESOME backbreakers. Tag to Barbarian, who simply pins Marty and gets two. We hit the bearhug next, followed by a hard whip into the buckle by Barbarian. Jannetty gets his boot up on a blind charge and goes up, only to jump right into a powerslam by Barbarian. Now it’s Barbarian who goes up for the flying headbutt, but he finds no water in the pool.
Haku gets the tag and he tries to avoid the hot tag to Michaels, but Jannetty manages to crawl his way there first. Hot tag Michaels and he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE! Flying back elbow takes Haku down and he pounds away in the corner. Barbarian tries to jump him from behind, but Michaels sees him and meets him with a high crossbody. Swinging neckbreaker on Haku gets two. Haku thumbs the eyes and Michaels can’t get a sunset flip, but Jannetty comes in with a clothesline and to help Michaels complete it, but Barbarian breaks up the pin and IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN CALI. The Rockers run wild and clean house with a double dropkick on Barbarian and a double clothesline on Haku. They both go up, with Jannetty hitting a missile dropkick followed by a Michaels high crossbody for the win at 10:33.
- Rating: This was probably the best choice for the opener. Exciting nonstop action for the most part, with some incredible bumping by both Rockers. The finishing sequence in particular looked pretty cool and had the crowd on the edge of their seats, and overall the whole match was quite good. Also, on an individual note, another strong PPV match featuring The Barbarian. ***1/4
Meanwhile, CELEBRITY TIME! Mean Gene is backstage with Regis Philbin, Alex Trebek and Marla Maples. Marla wants to be the first woman to ever interview a man in the locker room, which had just been done in WCW at the prior month’s WrestleWar PPV, with Stan Hansen kicking Missy Hyatt out of the dressing room.
Dino Bravo(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich
Bravo attacks before the bell and we get a slugfest to start, won by Bravo with a clothesline over the top as he dumps Von Erich. Bravo follows him outside and rams his head into the apron. However, Von Erich turns things around back in with an atomic drop and a clothesline. Tornado pounds away in the corner and tries the HEADSQUEEZING CLAW OF DEVASTATING TORTURE already, but Bravo uses his power to block it and chops away in the corner. A Von Erich blind charge meets Dino’s boot, who follows it up with a couple of elbowdrops and gets two. Tornado criss crosses but walks into Bravo’s sideslam for a rare nearfall. Bravo goes up with the flying double axehandle, but a second try meets Von Erich’s CLAW OF DEATH. Mucho squeezing follows and the Tornado Punch puts Dino Bravo away at 3:11.
- Rating: I wasn’t expecting much from a match between two guys who were on such a downfall in both their professional and personal lives (both would tragically be dead less than two years later), but it was kept short and thus didn’t suck. Short and inoffensive, I’ve seen way worse. *
Meanwhile, The Warlord says nobody can break his full nelson hold, and The British Bulldog will be no exception. Elsewhere, Davey Boy Smith says he can and he will – now we know where another Dog got his whole gimmick from! – Davey also promises a running powerslam for Warlord tonight.
The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord(w/ Slick)
Before the bell, Gorilla starts with the usual ‘don’t expect much from this match’ shtick, which is like an early apology for how shitty this match can be. BOWLING SHOE UGLY is the metaphor you’re looking for there, Gorilla! A number of shoulderblocks are no-sold by both men, until Davey Boy puts the pedal to the metal with three consecutive shoulderblocks and dumps him for a huge pop. Back in, Warlord takes over with the CLUBBING BLOWS and Davey goes for a crucifix pin, but Warlord uses his strength to block it and turns it into a samoan drop. A series of elbowdrops get two. Warlord follows it up with more CLUBBING BLOWS OF DOOM before locking in a bearhug. This is like the living definition of a broomstick match!
Bulldog fights out of that but walks into a stungun for two. They get into a slugfest, won by Warlord who follows it up with a belly to belly suplex. Warlord works a chinlock, with Davey doing a great selljob and keeping the crowd awake as he tries to fight back. Bulldog eventually escapes with a headbutt and then hits an AWESOME dropkick with a half-assed selljob by Warlord. Bulldog rams Warlord’s head into the buckle a few times and a crossbody gets two. Davey tries a piledriver, blocked by Warlord with a backdrop, which Bulldog blocks with a sunset flip, also blocked by Warlord who sits down for the pin, which is ALSO blocked by Bulldog who rolls over into his own pin for two. If Vince had been on commentary here this is the exact spot where he’d be declaring it a SEE SAW MATCHUP BACK AND FORTH! Bulldog eats boot on a blind charge and Warlord starts calling for the full nelson. Warlord gets it but Davey Boy powers out of it. Warlord goes for a powerslam instead, but Bulldog lands on his feet and turns it into his own running powerslam for a loud pop and the win at 8:15.
- Rating: Major props to Davey Boy Smith, he had his working boots on and managed to get a pretty good match out of Warlord, one of my least favorite wrestlers of this generation, if not the very best of his whole career. Call it a miracle if you want but I actually liked this one. Much much MUCH better than I expected. ***
Meanwhile, The Nasty Boys yell a lot and promise to win the tag belts. Elsewhere, The Hart Foundation don’t think they’re nasty enough to take the straps.
WWF World Tag Team Championship – The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)(c) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)(w/ Jimmy Hart)
The Nasties got this shot by winning a tag battle royal on TV shortly before the event, with Power & Glory eliminating the Road Warriors in the end and literally gifting the Nasty Boys the title match, which also gave us LOD vs. P&G on this show. More on that one later. Bret and Sags lock up to start, and the latter takes over thanks to a cheapshot in the corner until Bret just runs him over with a FANTASTIC Thesz Press (by gawd) and he pounds away. Knobbs runs in and he eats an atomic drop as Bret cleans house and gets a big reaction. Bret slingshots Sags from the apron back inside, where he blocks a boot and takes him down for the abdominal stomp. Knobbs gets the tag but he wants Anvil instead, and Bret obliges.
Neidhart stomps a mudhole in the corner and he goes to work on the arm. Unfortunately for him, he gets caught in the heel corner, which allows the Nasty Boys to take over. Neidhart comes back with a faceplant, though, and brings in Bret who just beats the living shit out of Sags in the corner. Some great solid punches there. Russian legsweep and the middle rope elbow, but Knobbs breaks up the pin and cheapshots Bret to turn things around. Sags follows it up with a clothesline and dumps Bret. Back in, Bret gets whipped into the corner for the classic Bret bump. And Knobbs goes to work on the back immediately with a backbreaker for two. He adds a knee to the back and works a rear chinlock to punish the back some more. Bret almost fights out of it, only for Knobbs to release the hold and sit on Bret’s injured back to keep him down. And back to the rear chinlock he goes. Strong psychology here.
Off to Sags, who goes right after the back himself with a rear chinlock of his own while sitting on the back, before hitting a neckbreaker for two. Sags goes back to the hold, but this time Bret fights back and breaks the hold with a neckbreaker of his own. However, Sags makes it to his corner first, and Knobbs prevents the hot tag and drops elbows on Bret’s back to keep him down. Bret soon slams him down though and goes for the tag yet again but now Sags runs in and gets a cheapshot on Anvil, allowing the heels to double-team Bret. Sags ends up eating buckle on a blind charge and Bret takes Knobbs down too with a clothesline. Bret finally reaches Neidhart for the hot tag, but the ref is busy with Knobbs and misses it. This allows Jimmy Hart to give Knobbs the megaphone, but Bret moves out of the way and he hits Sags instead.
HOT TAG ANVIL who powerslams one Nasty Boy into the other and then proceeds to run them over with a double clothesline. Another one on Knobbs gets two. Powerslam gets two more, with Sags breaking up the pin. That draws Bret in as well for a pursuit and the Nasty Boys collide, setting up Knobbs for the Hart Attack which gets the crowd on their feet. Hart Attack connects but the ref misses the pinfall due to Bret being in the ring, and Sags comes in for a shot with the megaphone to the back of Neidhart’s head. Sags simply puts one arm on top of Anvil for the win and the titles at 12:10.
- Rating: What an enjoyable match. Very good heat spot and psychology over Bret Hart’s injured back, who played Ricky Morton to perfection in this one. This match was designed to put Bret over right before his big singles push, and he got some awesome reactions throughout the whole bout. Also, sayonara Hart Foundation, who had a great run and went out on a great match, but it was indeed the right time to move on. ***1/2
Jake Roberts/Rick Martel feud recap, which started all the way back in October 1990 on The Brother Love Show, when Martel blinded Roberts with ‘Arrogance’ and put him out of action. Hence the blindfold match here, a stip that makes sense according to the build.
Meanwhile, Jake Roberts reminds us that a man only has five senses. But a snake? He has six. “We always do it better… in the dark”. Great promo as always.
Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel
Blind action to start with both of them going nowhere as expected. Roberts starts using the “I point and you react” strategy, which gets the crowd all fired up. That allows Roberts to actually reach Martel, who tries to crawl away at any costs, but then trips on Jake’s back. Martel chokes away and goes for a backdrop, with Roberts simply walking around him and avoiding it. Which brings up the question: why do people walk into it all the damn time in matches where THEY CAN ACTUALLY SEE!? But then again, nobody else has the sixth sense of a snake, I guess. From there we reach a stalemate. They slowly walk into each other’s backs, and Martel knocks himself out on the ropes on a blind charge. HAR HAR HAR.
Roberts points some more, but Martel finally gets smart and walks away when the people yells, avoiding Roberts and using the crowd reaction to lure Roberts and hit a powerslam. Elbowdrop follows, but Roberts had moved out of the way long before. And back to the chasing we go, with Martel this time grabbing the referee. Bobby Heenan smartly claims Martel should’ve put a shirt on after both had the blindfold on, which would’ve allowed him to lure Roberts into a false sense of security, thinking he was the ref. Whatever Heenan was getting paid, it was not enough. Back to stage A we go, with Roberts finally grabbing Martel, but he’s on the ropes and the ref forces the break. Heenan asks why the hell isn’t Martel getting the hood up and cheating, which is a pretty good point. You’re the heel and you fucking blinded Roberts during the build, why are you following the dumb rules of a simple match? Cheat, you idiot!
“You’re wrestling a guy that’s got a 500 lbs snake in the corner, so you cheat. Big deal.”Bobby Heenan
We get a stalemate once again, and at this point it’s about damn time we switch gears. Roberts grabs Martel with a side headlock, but then collides with Martel on a criss cross and knocks himself out of the ring. Martel follows him out there and grabs a chair, and uses it to hit… the ringpost. Okay, end this already. Roberts brings him back in but Martel hits a backbreaker and he goes for the Boston crab. Roberts powers out rather easily and then Martel just kinda walks into the DDT like the world’s biggest geek. Roberts tries to find him on the mat, does so and covers him for the win (THANK GOD) at 8:28. Roberts then destroys Martel’s ‘Arrogance’ and gives him Damian.
- Rating: Talk about the disappointment of the night. After such a strong feud that I enjoyed quite a lot, we get a comedy match for the blow-off that just kept going forever without changing gears and completely buried Martel. He looked like such a pussy heel, following all the rules and then walking into Jake’s finish like a dumbass. What an awful feud-ender, this sucked. 1/2*
Meanwhile, Marla Maples tries to interview The Nasty Boys in the dressing room but fails miserably because they’re insane. Yep, copy and paste from WCW’s segment with Stan Hansen & Missy Hyatt from the prior month’s WrestleWar PPV. Moving on.
THE DEBUT OF THE STREAK – The Undertaker(w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Jimmy Snuka
Undertaker actually gets a relatively small yet vocal pop after the first gong. UT slowly pounds away to start and he’s already on with the choking. Flying clothesline connects and a Snuka blind charge finds UT’s boot and dumps Snuka. So far, Paul Bearer likes what he sees. UT brings him back in with a vertical suplex off the apron but misses an elbowdrop, and now Paul Bearer turns his back to the action. Snuka gets his two cents in but UT completely no-sells it all and then moves out of the way of a Snuka flying bodypress, who ends up dumping himself. Snuka fights back with a slingshot but gets (sort of) caught in mid-air. Clearly a blown spot there. UT improvises by giving him an extra shot and then picks him right back up and finishes with the Tombstone Piledriver at 4:20.
- Rating: Botched ending aside, this did exactly what it had to do. Short and effective. The first WrestleMania win of MANY for Undertaker – who would’ve even dreamed back in 1991!? *1/4
Macho King/Ultimate Warrior feud recap – Savage started asking for a title shot in the fall of 1990, but got no answer and attacked Warrior after a WWF Title match with Ted DiBiase at SNME in November. Still with no answer, Savage asked Sherri to seduce Warrior and make him accept the title match, but Warrior still refused. It ended up costing Warrior’s title when Savage interfered twice in his match with Sgt. Slaughter later that night. Now with no title involved in their feud, the two were set to finally clash in a career-ending match!
Retirement Match – ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage(w/ Sensational ‘Queen’ Sherri) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
In her first appearance since the prior year’s WrestleMania, Miss Elizabeth is sitting in the crowd. For once Warrior actually walks into the ring, realizing the importance of this match. Big match feel here. Consider me hooked already. Savage slugs away to start but eventually walks right into a Warrior shoulderblock and he bails. Sherri takes the opportunity to get up on the apron and distract Warrior, allowing Savage to come up from the other side with a cheapshot, only for Warrior to hit a clothesline. Warrior picks up Savage and chokes him before dropping him with an atomic drop. And another one. Sherri has had enough of this and actually runs in, only for Warrior to slam Macho right onto her, which gets a loud pop.
Savage gets caught on the ropes à la André while Warrior pounds away, only for Macho to find himself free and hit the Macho clothesline. He goes up for the high crossbody, only to be caught in mid air by Warrior. Warrior then simply puts Savage back down and bitchslaps him. OH SHIT! Savage gets all worked up and leaves the ring, tossing a chair inside the ring to distract both the ref and Warrior, as he then jumps in with another cheapshot. Warrior soon takes back the driver’s seat, stomping a mudhole on Savage in the corner to the delight of the crowd. He completely misses a blind charge in the corner though, and goes knocks himself out on the outside. Sherri gets a few shots in while Savage has the ref distracted, and then Savage meets him there with the flying double axehandle. Sherri goes to work on Warrior some more, who then shoves Sherri for a big reaction, only for Savage to cheapshot him and send him into the ringpost. And Sherri gets another shot in just to add some insult to injury. Meanwhile, Gorilla has just been informed “this is the largest PPV audience in the history of PPV”. Cut the crap, guys.
Back in, a Savage neckbreaker is blocked by Warrior and turned into a backslide(!!!) for two. We get a stalemate and Savage SPITS IN WARRIOR’S FACE. Uh oh. Savage runs away while Sherri gets up on the other side, which is cue for another Savage cheapshot, but this time Warrior catches him coming in and takes him down with a clothesline. Warrior criss crosses like an idiot and knocks himself out on a flying shoulderblock that would never in a million years hit, and Savage gets two. Savage works a chinlock while Sherri is getting impatient on the outside. Her work has been incredible in this match, really selling the fact that she just can’t afford to lose Savage, her meal ticket. Warrior escapes the hold and they collide for a double KO spot, with Sherri trying to revive her man. The ref gets distracted with her again, this time missing a Warrior small package that gets a delayed two. Warrior stops to confront the ref, while Savage comes in and sends Warrior into the ref with a high knee to Warrior’s back.
Sherri takes advantage of this ref bump and climbs up to the top rope with her shoe in her hands, but Warrior moves out of the way and she knocks out Macho instead. Warrior chases Sherri and actually grabs her, but Savage comes in from behind with a roll up and nearly steals it. You can feel the panic in the building! Savage proceeds to whip Warrior into the buckle before slamming him throat-first on the top rope. Macho necksnap sets up a powerslam, which gets two. Savage goes up for the Macho Elbow and it connects. He goes up again with the crowd going BANANAS, teases a second one and actually drops another one. And another. He goes up AGAIN, this time really getting under the people’s skin, and drops a fourth one. For the fifth time he goes up, and it connects again. Savage finally pins him after five Macho Elbows for the academic one, two… NEARFALL!? The kickout gets a huge pop and Savage goes to work on Warrior some more, but heeee’s shaking! Warrior makes the comeback with the clotheslines, followed by the gorilla press slam and the Warrior Splash for …. TWOO!!! This crowd is just losing their collective shit at this point, and Warrior can’t believe it. He starts questioning his destiny and teases leaving while talking to himself on the apron, which is both stupid yet somehow believable since it’s the most Ultimate Warrior thing ever, and actually allows Savage to get back up and cheapshot him. Savage goes for another flying double axehandle, but Warrior moves out of the way and Savage knocks himself out on the railing. And now Warrior is feeling it again. Back in, Warrior runs him over with a flying shoulderblock and knocks Savage all the way down to the floor. He puts him back inside and does a second one, knocking Savage to the floor again. Savage is just done at this point, and Warrior brings him back in for a third flying shoulderblock. He drags Savage to the to the middle of the ring by the hair, puts one foot on Savage’s chest and ends his career at 20:47.
Warrior celebrates after the match, while Sherri is losing her mind at ringside. A furious Sherri gets in the ring and, having just lost her meal ticket, proceeds to beat up a defenseless Savage. Finally, having had enough of this, Elizabeth runs in and cleans house herself. Liz tries to touch Savage, but not knowing who it is, Savage tries to defend himself. She allows him to get back up to his feet, touches him a second time and Savage goes to fight back until… he sees Elizabeth. And then, with tears falling down her face, Savage hugs her and officially becomes the most beloved babyface wrestler in the whole world, just two minutes after being the most despised heel wanting to retire everyone’s hero. Savage and Elizabeth get back together in what probably is the most emotional moment in wrestling history, with shots of multiple people CRYING in the audience. Liz holds the ropes for Savage to leave the ring as usual, but he refuses and actually holds them for Liz, officially changing back from the “Macho King” to the “Macho Man” and getting the pop of the night. Now this is wrestling. This will always give me goosebumps no matter how many time passes, what a once in a lifetime worker Randy Savage was. Truly one of the best wrestlers of all time, class personified.
- Rating: This feeling can’t be described, this is truly one of the most special matches of all time. It’s incredible how Savage was able to carry Warrior to such a classic while also making the whole crowd cry a few minutes later. What a beautiful match, one of the best matches in WrestleMania history and easily the best in Warrior’s brief wrestling career. In case you’re wondering, Savage was indeed planning to retire for good and start a family after this, but Vince came calling later that year in need of big stars, since Hogan had one foot out and Warrior was gone. With that said and all things considering, with the benefit of hindsight and all that, it actually wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have Savage actually go over here. You know what, fuck it – I’m going full monty here, I simply love this match. *****
Meanwhile, the celebrities interview a few guys. I fast forward.
Demolition (Crush & Smash) vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Kitao
I feel bad for these guys having to follow that last match. Now add in the fact that you have two babyfaces that the crowd just doesn’t recognize, and the result is thousands of people getting up and using this match to go the bathroom. The Demos attack before the bell as Crush goes to work on Kitao. The latter fights back but a Smash distraction gives Fuji the chance to hit Kitao with the cane. Demolition pound away with the CLUBBING BLOWS OF DEATH while the fans in the front rows have literally disappeared. This match might’ve added nothing to this show, but I’m sure the guy selling hot dogs was thankful. We get a long heat
less spot, until Smash charges into a Kitao clothesline, who makes the “hot” tag to Tenryu. He runs wild for a while, slams Smash but misses a flying elbow and eats a clothesline instead. Crush adds a backbreaker and Smash hits a backdrop suplex. They set him up for Demolition Decapitation, but Kitao shoves Crush off the top and the crowd still doesn’t care. Tenryu then thankfully finishes Smash with an enziguiri and a powerbomb at 4:44. Oh Demolition, how the mighty have fallen…
- Rating: Complete filler to let the people go to take a piss after the Savage/Warrior retirement match. This was boring and quite pointless. 1/4*
Meanwhile, The Big Bossman doesn’t like it when people talk about his mother like Bobby Heenan did. Tonight, he’s gonna pay. Elsewhere, Mr. Perfect & Bobby Heenan mock Bossman some more. Perfect says he’s not afraid of Bossman, in fact he’s cool as a cat.
WWF Intercontinental Championship – Mr. Perfect(c)(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Big Bossman
Replacing Heenan on commentary for this one is Lord Alfred Hayes. Bossman spits in Perfect’s face to start, who slaps him in return. Perfect bails and mocks the fans in the front row, only for Bossman to follow him and slap him even harder, turning him inside out. Back in, Bossman swings Perfect around by the hair, who is already bumping all over the place determined to turn this into something special. Perfect whips Bossman into the corner, who goes out and back in from the other side of the post like Corbin. Bossman misses a clothesline, but Perfect eats boot on a blind charge and now Bossman does hit the clothesline. And then he dumps Perfect over the top and to the floor. Back in, a Bossman charge only finds turnbuckle but Bossman manages to whip Perfect into the opposite corner, who takes it with a somersault out of the corner (or a 360, if you ask Gorilla). Bossman splashes him in the corner and then hits him with his belt, which somehow isn’t a DQ. Perfect responds by wrapping the belt around his fist and he pounds away with it. All is fair in love and WrestleMania, says I.
Perfect chops Bossman with a little extra mustard on it, which only pisses him off even more, and they get into it a slugfest. Perfect wins that one by whipping Bossman hard into the buckle, and he goes to work on the back with a vicious reverse chinlock that almost puts Bossman in a bridge position. And Perfect adds some rope grabbing just to be a dick. Abdominal stretch follows, and Heenan wants the timekeeper to ring the bell. Unfortunately for him this isn’t Montreal and neither is Bret Hart in the ring, so his orders are rudely ignored. Perfect dropkick gets two. Another vicious chop is followed by the Perfect necksnap, and he’s thinking Perfectplex. He goes for it but Bossman blocks and cradles him for two. Perfect hits the AWESOME reverse Perfect necksnap that he already did in their SNME match in late 1990, literally snapping Bossman’s back in half. It gets two. Perfect goes up for the Vertical Whatever That Always Misses and guess what… he misses. I’m shocked too.
Bossman sends Perfect from one corner into the other, but the usual Perfect ball shattering isn’t completed, so Bossman goes outside and does it himself. Back in, Bossman uppercuts Perfect right back to the floor. He follows him again but turns his attention to Heenan, allowing Perfect to come in from behind and send Bossman into the stairs. Heenan takes this moment to add his own wussy shots on Bossman, and HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT DRAWS ANDRÉ THE GIANT IN! And Heenan wants no part of André, no sir. André grabs the IC belt which distracts Perfect, and actually hits Perfect with it behind the ref’s back. Bossman goes for the cheap pin but it only gets two. Cue the rest of the Heenan family in for the DQ at 10:46. André and Bossman clean house like French maids and celebrate together to close the segment.
- Rating: Good match here, with two hungry wrestlers determined to put on a show in front an excited crowd. I would’ve liked a clean finish, of course, but it makes sense to keep the IC title on Perfect. And also Bossman got his hands on Heenan, which is who he was feuding with in particular, not Perfect. Good action as well, with Perfect superbly working over Bossman’s back. Good effort. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Mean Gene interviews Donald Trump and Chuck Norris. Fast Forward City.
Earthquake(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Greg Valentine
Valentine had originally left the WWF shortly after his Rhythm & Blues partner Honky Tonk Man left in January 1991, but he was quickly brought back and made it to WrestleMania. Earthquake casually picks him up and slams him to start, and gets two. Quake eats buckle on a blind charge and Hammer hammers away in the corner. He gives Earthquake some spaghetti legs, and he actually knocks him down with a flying elbow. Elbowdrop sets up the figure four, but Quake’s too big and he can’t lock it in. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron for the distraction, and Quake drops the big fat elbow. The tremors set up the earthquake and that’s all she wrote for Hammer at 3:14.
- Rating: An extended squash, but it was effective. *
Meanwhile, the Road Warriors know they would’ve been challenging the Harts if it wasn’t for Power & Glory. Tonight, they pay for that, what a rush. (Heenan: “what a bunch of crybabies”)
Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) vs. Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma)(w/ Slick)
P&G jump the LOD before the bell but quickly eat a double clothesline from Hawk. Roma slams Animal and he goes up, but Animal catches him with a powerslam in mid-air. Doomsday Device follows and it’s already thanks for coming Power & Glory at 0:59.
- Rating: Oh, what a rush. N/R (no rating)
Ted DiBiase vs. Virgil(w/ Roddy Piper)
After the epic Virgil face turn at the Royal Rumble, here we are. Piper is in Virgil’s corner to help carry him both in promos and in charisma. Let’s be honest, everyone wanted to see the turn but there’s a reason why Virgil went nowhere once the feud ended. Piper is on crutches, apparently due to a motorcycle accident, according to Gorilla. I’ll take his word on that one. Virgil is dancing like Brock Lesnar to start for some reason, which Gorilla calls “fancy footwork”. I won’t take his word on that one. Virgil “slugs” away with some incredibly wussy shots, with poor DiBiase having to sell them and try to get Virgil over. DiBiase bails and Virgil continues with the weird dancing. What the fuck is up with him, did he steal Shawn Michaels’ drugs that night?
Back in, DiBiase tries to get a shot but Virgil blocks and responds with some more wussy punches of his own. Now I know who inspired Shane McMahon on wanting to become a “wrestler”. DiBiase bails some more but he gets dumped with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Back in, DiBiase hits a clothesline but walks into a Virgil elbow that gets two. And DiBiase stalls some more. DiBiase finally turns things around with a drop toehold and he chops away in the corner. Piledriver gets two. Suplex gets two more. Gutwrench suplex gets two. DiBiase dumps Virgil and shoves the injured Piper before hitting a powerslam on Virgil back inside. Piper uses his crutches to hold the top ropes down and knocks DiBiase to the outside, only for DiBiase to beat him up some more. But the ref is counting and Virgil gets it via count-out at 7:41. DiBiase doesn’t like that stupid decision and puts Virgil in the Million Dollar Dream, only for Piper to hit him with the crutch. But then out comes Sensational Sherri, having apparently been bought by DiBiase after Savage’s loss in the retirement match earlier, and DiBiase destroys Piper’s leg with the crutch to get his heat back.
- Rating: Major props to DiBiase who actually carried Virgil to a decent match, which could’ve been better had Virgil taken the situation seriously instead of acting like a goofball in the first few minutes. DiBiase did his best, but he’s only human and there’s no way he could’ve put Virgil’s bad looking potatoes over. These two would have a much better match later down the road, which we’ll be discussing soon! **
Meanwhile, it’s Sgt. Slaughter‘s rules.
The Mountie(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Tito Santana
Tito hits the flying jalapeno already, but Mountie saves himself by rolling to the outside. Santana gets an atomic drop back inside, but Mountie shocks Tito with the stick behind the ref’s back and that’s enough to beat poor Tito at 1:21.
- Rating: Onto the main event. N/R (no rating)
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan cuts one last promo before the main event.
Main Event – WWF Championship – Sgt. Slaughter(c)(w/ Gen. Adnan) vs. Hulk Hogan
And here we are, Hogan challenging Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Championship one year after the classic main event with Warrior. That reign turned out to be a bit of a flop though, so Slaughter was used to transition it right back to Hulk. Lockup gets things underway and Hogan shoves Slaughter as we get the big ‘USA’ chants already. Shoulderblock is no-sold by Sarge but a second one puts him down, and Slaughter bails. Hogan follows him out there but gets attacked by Adnan and distracted, allowing Sarge to come up from behind with a lame chairshot to the back that Hogan no-sells. Sarge lures Hogan back inside, where he turns things around with a thumb to the eye but misses an elbow eventually. Hogan with a clothesline and even Adnan eats a shot, as Hogan goes back to work on Slaughter with an atomic drop that gets two. Hogan rams Sarge’s head into the buckle and backdrops him out of the corner. Another whip to the corner for Sarge, this time with a great bump from him. Hogan adds a catapult into the buckle, as Hogan just continues the punishment on Slaughter.
Hogan with a corner clothesline and he pounds away. Another corner clothesline gets two. He goes up(!) but Adnan distracts him, so Hogan slams him and drops a few elbows instead. Hogan goes up once again but gets slammed off and dumped. Sarge with a chairshot to Hogan’s back on the floor and he chokes him out with the TV cable, drawing the Hogan chants. Back in, Sarge goes to work on the back and a backbreaker gets two. Slaughter puts him in a Boston Crab but Hogan makes the ropes. Slaughter drops some knees to the back to continue the punishment. He goes up for a flying stomp to the back, and for some reason Adnan distracts the ref while Slaughter is pinning Hogan, which still gets a delayed two. What the fuck was that? Adnan distracts the ref some more, this time in his man’s favour, as he hits the distraction to hit a chairshot to Hogan’s face for two. And Hogan is bleeding. Slaughter goes for the camel clutch on the bloody Hogan, but he releases the hold so he can stomp the back some more. And back to the camel clutch. Hogan powers out like in the match with Iron Sheik in 84, but Slaughter shows he studied that tape as he releases the hold in time and rams Hogan into the buckle. Slaughter brings in the Iraqi flag, drops it in Hogan’s face and covers him for two. Hogan rips the flag apart and he starts hulking up. The usual sets up the big boot and the big leg for the win and the title at 20:26. Hogan then celebrates with the belt and the American flag to end the show.
- Rating: This match is sometimes overlooked, but it’s actually a pretty good main event. The crowd was obviously hot for Hogan as expected, but there was some good psychology over Hogan’s back near the end. Slaughter did a great job here as well, playing his role well and putting Hogan over. A good match. ***
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Overall, I’d say there is a lot to appreciate from this WrestleMania. Starting with the opener, which was exciting and exactly what you want from an opening bout. Davey/Warlord shocked me the most, as it was actually pretty good as well. There’s also Perfect/Bossman, Harts/Nasties or Hogan/Slaughter, which were all enjoyable. And then there’s Warrior/Savage, which is simply beautiful. Roberts/Martel was a huge disappointment and there were some pointless squash matches as well, but it was still a good show. An all-timer compared to the last couple of WrestleManias. 6/10
For comments and/or feedback, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more about my point system click here
|Hulk Hogan||3||1||1||+2 for winning a title||7|
|Jerry Sags||3.5||1||–||+2 for winning a title|
+0.5 for winning the fall
|Brian Knobbs||3.5||1||–||+2 for winning a title||6.5|
|The Ultimate Warrior||5||1||–||–||6|
|Shawn Michaels||3.25||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||4.75|
|The British Bulldog||3||1||–||–||4|
|Mr. Perfect||3.25||-0.5||–||+1 for retaining a title||3.75|
|The Big Bossman||3.25||0.5||–||–||3.75|
|The Texas Tornado||1||1||–||–||2|
|Haku||3.25||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||1.75|
|Genichiro Tenryu||0.25||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||1.75|
|Animal||–||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||1.5|
|Sgt. Slaughter||3||-1||1||-2 for losing a title||1|
|Smash||0.25||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||-1.25|
|Paul Roma||–||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||-1.5|
Thank you so much for your time. Don’t miss the next reviews, as we start a brand new “season” in the WWF with WrestleMania VII now behind us. Over on the WCW side of things, SuperBrawl is coming up next. Once again, thank you so much, and stay safe!