Location: The Skydome in Toronto, Ontario
Date: April 1, 1990.
Commentary: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura
Oh, my God, Jesse’s clean shaven! We go to the ring for the Canadian National Anthem, sung by Robert Goulet, and we’ve brought back the carts for this event too.
Koko B. Ware vs. “The Model” Rick Martel
Martel blitzes Koko at the bell and forces him into the corner. Martel dominates him for a but, before Koko gets whipped into the corner and hits a springboard cross body for 2, followed by sa series of standing drop kicks and a back drop. I’ve just noticed that Koko’s gotten noticeably bigger since Wrestlemania III. Some of that is muscle, but some of that also appears to be flab.
After Martel kicks out, Koko lets him get to his feet before giving him a Lariat that knocks him out of the ring. Koko lets Martel get back in before going for a series of running shoulder blocks, hitting the first, but the second is reversed Martel, who throws him out of the ring. Martel taunts Koko for a bit, before going out, working over Koko a bit, then rolling back and waiting for him to come in.
Martel dominates Koko some more. Body slam for 2. Martel continues working over Koko. Kidneybreaker by Martel, leading in to an at tempt for the Boston Crab. Koko tries to bridge the move and manages to work his way to the ropes. Koko gets back to his feet, and Martel tries a series of head smashes into the turnbuckle, but Koko turns the tables on him. Koko hits a series of running headbutts, connecting with 2 before Martel Flair-flops before the 3rd, for a 2 count. Koko then gets whipped to the corner by Martel, and goes for the springboard cross-body again, but this time Martel sees it coming and ducks.
As an aside, have you ever noticed that almost no one ever capitalizes on Naich’s Flair-flops?Anyway, Martel taunts for a bit before going for the Boston Crab again and locks it on, and Koko B. Ware submits (with, I might add, the first submission win at a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania I).
Winner: “The Model” Rick Martel by submission with the Boston Crab at 5:31.
Rating: ** – Not great – both men have done better in the past.
We then go backstage to Gene Okerlund for an interview with the World Tag Team Champions – The Colossal Connection (Haku and Andre The Giant), and their manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. In an amusing “Freudian” slip, Gene mis-names them as the Colostomy Connection. . Heenan, being a sport, rolls with it and makes it a running metaphor for his promo. We then go to Demolition for their promo response with Sean Mooney
WWF World Tag Team Championship – The Colossal Connection (Andre The Giant & Haku – w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) © vs. Demolition (Axe & Smash)
The Colossi force Demolition out of the ring early, before it gets narrowed down to Smash and Haku. Smash regains control, and then works over Haku, before tagging in Axe who continues the offense. I’m going to use this moment (while Haku finds himself Heel in Peril) to coin a new wrestling trope – “The Demolition Effect.” When a Heel Team finds its members becoming the Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (if not shut down entirely), rather then generally dominating as you would expect with standard tag match psychology, then they’ve found themselves on the receiving end of the Demolition Effect.
Meanwhile, Haku tried to regain control with a thumb to the eye, got it reversed into a backslide by Smash, and is now trying to reverse that into a Backslide of his own. Smash finally pulls of his backslide, but Andre breaks up the pin. Axe gets tagged in and continues the offense, before Haku finally shuts him down with a chop to the throat. Haku hits a back breaker on Axe and gets a 2-count. The Colossal Connection appears to have finally overcome the Demolition Effect. Andre headbutts Axe a bit while the Ref’s back is turned, and Haku gets the cover, but the distracted ref backfires, and by the time he starts counting, Axe manages to kick out at 2. Axe finds himself being the Ricky Morton, a Wrestlemania first for Demolition.
Haku works over Axe for several more minutes before hitting a shoulder breaker for 2. Haku whips Axe in the corner, goes for the corner splash, but Axe gets the boot up and hits a big Lariat out of the corner. Axe finally makes the Tag to Smash, and Robert Gibson Smash is a Casa! En! Fuego! Demolition double-teams Andre and then Haku. Andre locks a full nelson on Smash to allow Haku to land a super-kick, but Smash drops down, causing Andre to get hit and get tied up in the ropes. Demolition hits a double-Stun Gun on Haku, and then goes for the Demolition Decapitation for 3.
Winner: Demolition by pinfall with the Demolition Decapitation at 9:30 and are the new WWF World Tag Team Champions.
Rating: *** – Decent match, decent psychology, and for that matter, I like that they finally had someone overcome the Demolition Effect for once.
After the match Heenan chews out Andre. Heenan slaps Andre, and Andre grabs Heenan by the collar, which pisses Andre, and Andre slaps the spit off of Heenan, before kicking him out of the ring. Would this be the wrestling equivalent of “You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit”? Haku goes for super kick on Andre, only for Andre to catch it and work over Haku. I take it Andre is a face now.
We then go backstage for an Okerlund interview with “Earthquake” John Tenta (making his Wrestlemania debut) and his manager, Jimmy Hart. Tenta cuts a promo on Hercules. Apparently Tenta is the only natural disaster in the WWF.
Hercules vs. Earthquake (w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart)
Quake tries to blindside Herc, but Herc gets out of the way and gets some quick offense in. Apparently Quake’s lip has been bust open. They go for the test of strength, and apparently Herc is on the losing end. Quake takes control, and slowly deliberately works over Herc. The blood on Quake’s lip is a little more noticeable now.
Herc and Quake do the Puro Running Shoulder Block Spot. Basically, one man, Earthquake in this case, stands in the center of the ring while the other man, Herc, does a series of Running Shoulder Blocks against the center-man until either the center-man levels the running-man, or the running-man finally knocks the center-man on his keester. It’s kind of taken from sumo wrestling – not the bouncing off the ropes doing shoulder-blocks part, but rather the principal of the center-man being the immovable object, to a certain extent – fitting because Tenta, according to his Wikipedia bio, was a legitimate sumo-wrestler before he came to the WWF (he quit sumo wrestling because of the toll the ring surface was causing to his body, as well as a reluctance to have his tattoo removed). Tenta also probably picked up the spot in his time in AJPW.
Herc finally knocks Quake down to 1 knee after a series of lariats, and goes for a backbreaker, but Quake shuts him down. Quake drops an elbow on Herc, then hits the Earthquake Splash (seated senton) for the win.
Winner: Earthquake by pinfall with the Earthquake Splash at 4:51.
Rating: ** – Not a bad match, and the Puroresu spot was a nice touch, though American wrestling fans probably wouldn’t have picked up on it at the time.
After the match Earthquake hits the Aftershock (another Earthquake Splash after the match is over). We then go to an Rona Barrett interview with The Lovely Elizabeth, who has basically been fired by Randy Savage, and has taken on as her new client “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. By the way, this is Da Dweem’s Wrestlemania Debut. Meanwhile, Sean Mooney is interviewing Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, who is facing “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig this evening.
“Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig w/ “The Genius” Larry Poffo vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
This is the Wrestlemania debut of Randy Savage’s brother Larry. Anyway, I hope that Curt can get a good match out or Brutus. I happened to notice (since the wolf-whistling of some people in the audience alerted me) that Brutus has changed his tights design to one that drops the fishnets and has a mesh material (or something like that, something slightly translucent, but tinted pink) going from the back of the leg up to the thigh – an ominous foreshadowing of the Booty Man gimmick that Beefcake would get when he jumped ship to WCW. Also, coming in, Henning is undefeated.
Hennig goes for a sneak attack on Bruti, but Beefcake has it scouted, and they start brawling, before Brutus gains control, first forcing Curt out of the ring, and then when he comes back in, after some punches hitting an atomic drop that sends Curt flying out of the ring. While The Genius and Curt regroups, Brutus styles and profiles struts and cuts in the ring. Curt finally regains control with a little bit off offense, before Brutus regains control with a very, very hard whip in the corner. I’m starting to think that Curt might be over-selling it more than a little.
Brutus goes to put Curt away, but The Genius rolls a critical success on his distract roll, distracting both the ref and Brutus, dropping his metallic scroll-thingie, which Curt uses to clock Brutus while the Ref’s back is still turned. However, Curt fails to capitalize with a pin attempt. Instead Curt works over Brutus a bit first, so when Curt goes for a pin after a neck snapper he gets a 2-count.
(The crowd is flipping off Mr. Perfect)
Gorilla: Thumbs down from this capacity crowd.
Me: Those fingers are up, Monsoon, and they’re not thumbs.
Curt regains control and starts working over Brutus. Brutus regains control with a double-leg takedown, and then a slingshot into the turnbuckle, which knocks out Perfect and allows Beefcake to get the pin, and the win.
Winner: Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake by pinfall after a slingshot into the corner at 7:47.
Rating: ** – Not a good match. Not terrible, but not good. If they’d given Curt a little more offense (particularly technical offense) then this might have qualified for a “***” but no higher.
After the match Brutus puts a sleeper on The Genius and then trims his hair, before a video package for the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown feud. The feud, basically, started when Piper eliminated Brown from the Royal Rumble, and Brown drug Piper over the top from the outside of the ring, eliminating Piper. Piper didn’t take kindly to this, nor when Brown later advised Piper to shave his legs because he didn’t look good in a “skirt”. Furthermore, Brown also played the race card, accusing Piper of being racist for reasons they don’t go into in the video package. We then go to an Okerlund Interview with Piper, who has the right half of his body painted black, though Piper plays it up like he’s got two personalities, Hot Rod or The Hot Scot (ala Two-Face, but without the acid). Something tells me the face-painting bit would not work out today.
Bad News Brown vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The two start out scrapping early on. Piper gets a high cross body for 2. They continue engaging in what is basically becoming a Pier 6 Brawl. Brown gets a series of near-falls off of chokes and elbow and fist drops. Piper produces a glove from his tights, puts it on and starts punching Brown with it on. Both men take the fight out of the ring, leading to both men getting counted out.
Winner: No Contest by double count-out at 5:45.
Rating: Dud – This was a match that needed to be a hardcore match or some variation thereof. Pier Six Brawl grudge matches don’t work well when the stipulations are such that both men can get counted out.
After the match Piper and Brown brawl to the back. Meanwhile, in the Locker Room, Steve Allen provides Piano accompaniment for Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov while they rehearse the Russian National Anthem. Allen, however, starts out with I Get A Kick Out Of You, working into Pop Goes The Weasel, and Chopsticks (with appropriate lyrical adjustments to reflect the scenario).
The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Bret “The Hitman” Hart) vs. The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov)
Bret and Jim finally have gotten the Black & Pink Tights that we’ve come to associate with The Hart Foundation (and particularly The Hitman), except for the absence of the wings-heart-and-skull logo that would later become associated with Bret. We also get the first Wrestlemania occurrence (that I’ve observed) of Bret giving his ski-goggles to a fan at ringside. Yes, I know they’re sunglasses but they look like ski-goggles.
The Hart Foundation blind-sides the Bolsheviks during their singing of the Russian National Anthem. They beat Volkoff out of the ring, land the Hart Attack (Jim locks the victim in a bear hug and raises his head and shoulders up so they’re above his. Bret then bounces off the ropes a few times to build up momentum, before hitting a LARIATOOOOO! on the victim) on Zhukov, and get the pin.
Winner: The Hart Foundation by pinfall with The Hart Attack at 0:17.
Rating: Dud – it’s a squash, and on an semi-established team like the Bolsheviks too. Bolsheviks, you have been Berried!
We get a brief video (narrated by a slightly hyperactive Vince McMahon) hyping that Wrestlemania VII will be at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. We then go backstage for an Okerlund Interview with Tito Santana.
The Barbarian (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Tito Santana
Barbarian and Tito lock up, with Barbarian taking control early on with some strikes. Tito manages to gain control briefly with a high-cross body for a 2-count. Tito continues to wear him down with some rest holds side headlocks. Tito gets a 2-count off what could best be described as a springboard seated senton onto a standing Barbarian (not quite Dropping The Dime, but close). Shoulder-breaker by Barbarian, and then Barbarian goes up and goes for a rope-walking elbow drop but Tito’s got it scouted. Tito regains control, and continues with a series of no-sold strikes and standing drop-kicks. Running forearm by Tito for 2 (with The Weasel putting Barbarian’s foot on the rope). The Barbarian levels Tito again, and Barbarian goes up top. Flying LARIATOOOO!!!!! 1! 2! 3!
Winner: The Barbarian by pinfall with a Flying Lariat at 4:33.
Rating: ** – Another meh match. Not surprised though.
We get a quick video package hyping the upcoming Mixed Tag Match of Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage & The Sensational Queen Sherri. (Savage adopted the title of “Macho King” after he won the King of the Ring.) Finally, we go to a Sean Mooney interview with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire.
Mixed Tag Match: “Macho King Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri vs. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/ The Lovely Miss Elizabeth)
As Sapphire and Dusty make their way down to the ring, we see a sign held up by some kids saying “Dusty & Sapphire”, printed on a dot-matrix printer, with the little side bits (with the holes) still intact. I now feel old. Anyway, Wrestlemania debuts of Sapphire, Dusty, and Sherri in a match. Quick summary of the rules of a mixed tag match – participants fight people of the same gender. If a guy tags in his female tag partner, the guy must leave the ring and his female tag partner must enter.
Anyway, Savage and Dusty start. Dusty takes control early on. Sherri comes in for a cheap shot against Dusty, but Dusty no sells it and backs Sherri into his corner, so Sapphire can get a shot at her. Savage goes up for a double axe handle, but Dusty catches him. Sherri runs in again, but Dusty tosses Randy at her. Dusy then tags in Sapphire and rolls out and tosses Sherri back in. Sapphire hits a series of hip bumps on Sherri before hitting an Airplane Spin slam for 1. Sapphire tags in Dusty, and in comes Savage. Savage gets worked over for a bit before he manages to send Dusty to the outside. Savage works over Dusty a little, and then goes up top and hits a pair of flying double-axe handle to the outside (with Sherri coming out and hitting Dusty a little.) Sapphire comes out and shields Dusty from a third, leading Savage to come down and toss her out of the way, before throwing Dusty into the ring and hitting a 3rd flying double axe-handle for a 2-count.
Savage manages to suplex Rhodes. While the ref’s back is turned, Savage takes his scepter and hits a flying foreign object-assisted double-axe handle. Savage fails to capitalize, instead going for a tag to Sherri, who hits a top-rope splash on Rhodes for a 2-count. Savage goes back up again for a 4th flying double axe-handle, but he Went To the Well Once Too Often ™ as Dusty catches him in the gut with a forearm. Dusty noggin-knocks Dusty and Savage. Dusty continues working over Savage, and Sherri applies a sleeper on Dusty, but Sapphire flips her over for a 2-count. (I’m not sure what else to call it).
So now, apparently, Sherri and Sapphire are now the legal women. Sherri slaps Sapphire and we have ourselves a cat fight. Sapphire trows Sherri back out and Elizabeth tosses her right back in. Sapphire hits a suplex and goes for a cover but only gets 2 before Savage breaks it up. Rhodes works over Savage, while Sapphire gets a roll-up on a distracted Sherri (who was arguing with Elizabeth) for 3.
Winner: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire by pinfall with a roll-up at 7:30.
Rating: ** – Okay psychology, but not good wrestling.
After the match, Dusty, Sapphire, and Elizabeth dance to Dusty’s entrance music. Does this mean that 2-Cool stole this from Dusty’s time in the WWF? Anyway, we go to Okerlund who is with Heenan. Okerlund compares the numerous defeats of Heenan Family members to the fall of the Berlin wall. We then go to Gorilla & Ventura, who interview Rona Barrett. Next we go to Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri, who are interviewed by Sean Mooney. Then, we go back to Okerlund, who interviews Demolition. It must be intermission. Okerlund then interviews Hogan who practically describes himself a Christ-like figure, coming to grant salvation to The Ultimate Warrior. I wonder if we’re going to get a Warrior Interview this Wrestlemania.
Yep, we are. Sean Mooney gets this… honor. Mooney gets tossed away by the Woyah, as he’s just a “normal.” Warrior doesn’t just cut a promo, he wanders back and forth through the locker room, and gesticulates dramatically. In other words, he’s a ham. From what I can piece together, he’s not going to destroy Hulkamania, he’s going to join it with the Warriors and rule all of New York, Can You Dig Ittttttttt – er, wait, wrong movie. Yeah, he’s rambling and nearly incomprehensible, though at least parts of this promo made some vague semblance of sense.
The Orient Express (Sato and Tanaka w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
This is the Wrestlemania Debut of the Orient Express (and both members).
Jannetty and Tanaka start. Great tag team wrestling by both teams. The Rockers send the Express to the outside, and then hit slingshot planchas on both. Tanaka and Jannetty lock back up again. Tanaka whips Jannetty and Fuji hooks the top rope with his cane to send Marty to the outside, where he an Tanaka work Jannetty over. Tanaka tags Sato, who works over Marty a little and tags Tanaka back in, before Marty manages to make the tag. Double Sweet Chin Music by the Rockers.
Michaels bodyslams Tanaka and then hits a backdrop before Sato gets tagged in. Michaels hits a big neckbreaker. Michaels gets whipped to the ropes and Tanaka catches him with a kick. Sato connects with a gutwrench stomach breaker. Tanaka comes back in, hits a flying cross-body. Sato gets tagged in, gets a big flying knee drop for 2, then works the Trapezius over before tagging in Tanaka. Tanaka works Michaels over a bit (and is probably thinking “I thought Marty was supposed to be the Ricky Morton”).
Shawn manages to floor Tanaka with a standing drop kick, and barely manages to make the tag, and Marty comes in like a house on fire. Big Back elbow on Tanaka, followed by a double noggin knocker. Marty covers Tanaka, gets 2, rolls out of the way as Sato goes for an elbow, causing Tanaka to get hit instead of Marty. Sato gets double-drop kicked out of the ring and Tanaka gets double back-dropped. Marty goes up, as does Shawn. Fuji hits Marty in the leg with his cane, and Marty goes to pursue, but gets caught in the face with salt by Marty. Marty stumbles over the railing to the outside, which I guess makes this Take A Rocker Home Night at the Skydome. Finally, the ref counts out Marty.
Winner: The Orient Express by count-out at 7:36.
Rating: *** – Some nice tag wrestling. I would have liked to have gotten a finish though.
We then go backstage to Steve Allen, who is with Rhythm & Blues (Honky Tonk Man & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine).
Dino Bravo (w/ “The Mouth Of The South” Jimmy Hart & Earthquake) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Start: 2:07:56. Finish: 2:12:08.
I’m expecting a Bizarro World reaction here, since Duggan is from the US and is a True American, and Dino’s from Quebec. I’m not getting it considering that the crowd is loving Duggan, and chanting along with the Hoooos but not the USA chants (for obvious reasons). I would hope that in modern Canada, the audience would have a little more sense and boo Duggan.
Duggan takes control early on with a lot of strikes and not a lot of actual wrestling. Duggan hits a back drop and sends Dino out of the ring, sends him back in, and hits an Atomic Drop. Bravo regains control with a big plate of chops. Duggan needs to cut back by the way, he’s putting on weight. Bravo hits an elbow drop for 2. Duggan finally regains control with a couple of punches, but Dino takes control back with a knee lift. Both men trade offense. Duggan hits a series of lariats on Dino. Duggan goes for the 3-Point-Stance tackle, but Earthquake grabs his leg. Earthquake and Duggan scrap for a bit, and the ref tries to break it up, while Jimmy grabs Duggan’s 2-by-4 and tosses it to Dino. However, Duggan gets the wood first, clocks Dino with it, and gets the pin.
Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan by pinfall with a foreign object shot at 4:12
Rating: * – Not a good match, not a good match at all. Duggan, frankly, sucks.
After the match, Earthquake cleans Duggan’s clock, and we get a video package for the Ted DiBiase & Jake Roberts feud and an Okerlund interview with Jake.
Million Dollar Championship Match – “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake and Ted start out with some even offense, before Roberts finally takes control, working over Jake’s arm. DiBiase reverses it, but Jake uses DiBiase’s momentum to send him out of the ring. Jake sends Ted back in, and works him over a bit, before he misses a high knee, allowing Jake to regain control. While Ted’s got Jake in a side headlock we’re getting The Wave in the Skydome.
DiBiase sends Jake outside the ring, works him over a bit there, and then sends him back in and hits a piledriver. DiBiase stops to taunt, goes for a cocky pin, gets 2 and Jake reverses it into a 2-count of his own. DiBiase locks on the Million Dollar Dream on Roberts, but Robert gets a foot on the ropes. DiBiase goes for a pin, gets 2 before Roberts gets a foot on the rope again. DiBiase gets 2-count off one more pin attempt, and DiBiase goes up top, goes for a double axe-handle but Roberts has it scouted. The audience is chanting DDT. Roberts hit a series of lariats and clotheslines on DiBiase before signaling for the clotehsline. DiBiase hangs on to the ref, and Virgil drags Roberts out of the ring. Roberts clocks Virgil. DiBiase locks the Million Dollar Dream on Roberts on the outside for a few seconds before rolling back into the ring to beat the count.
Winner: “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase by count-out at 11:50 and is the new Million Dollar Champion.
Rating: *** – I couldn’t see much more of the match, frankly – the camera was paying too much attention to the wave.
After the match, DiBiase gets beat down by Roberts, with the DDT. We then go backstage to Mooney who interviews Slick & Akeem, who split with Big Boss Man after Bossman turned face after refusing to take Ted DiBiase’s money. Finally, we get an Okerlund interview with the Big Boss Man.
Akeem (w/ Slick) vs. Big Boss Man
Prior to the match, DiBiase clotheslines Boss Man and smacks him around a little bit. Boss man finally gets sent in, and apparently the match has started, though I didn’t hear a bell. Akeem smacks him around, But Bossman regains control and smacks Akeem from pillar to post. As it is, I just noticed that Big Boss Man has the confederate flag on his right sleeve – take that as you will. Boss Man hits the Boss Man Slam (spinning side powerslam) and gets the pin.
Winner: Big Boss Man by pinfall with the Boss Man Slam at (time=I don’t have a bloody clue).
Rating: Dud – A bad match, with little pacing.
After the match, we get a musical performance by Rhythm and Blues, and are driven down to the ring in a pink caddy. Side note, this is technically the Wrestlemania debut (though in a non-wrestling capacity) of Page Falkenberg, as the driver of the Caddy. He would later become more well known as “Diamond” Dallas Page. In short, the song “Honky Love” sucks. I just kept the thing muted. The nice thing about modern wrestling, is if we had something like this in the Modern WWF or in ECW, it would be cut short with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (or 911 if this was old-school ECW) coming down to the ring and giving just about all the participants involved a Stunner or Chokeslam, respectively. Though, in this case, it gets interrupted after getting most of the way through the song by the Bushwhackers. Rhythm & Blues make a break for it, and the Bushwhackers decide to do their Pete Townshend impression with Rhythm & Blues guitars. We get this surreal shot of the crowd with hundreds of fans doing the Bushwhackers Arm Marching Gesture Thing, with a bunch of guys in the lower left corner of the screen wearing tuxedos with Ultimate Warrior Facepaint on.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
For this match we are joined on color commentary by Steve Allen. This is Snuka’s first Wrestlemania match. Rude (who is more tan then Snuka) takes control early on. Snuka is more muscular then Rude. He’s more muscular than he was when he had his famous cage match with Don Muraco! He’s Scott Steinered! Snucka dropkicks Rude clean out of the ring. Rude goes for a sunset flip but Snucka hangs on to the top rope. Rude regains control wit ha snap suplex, and hits a big back drop of his own.
Steve Allen: I like Jimmy Snuka because he’s wearing my wife’s underwear.
Rude hits a shoulder tackle on Snuka and then Snuka hits one of his own. Snuka goes up top for the Splash, but Rude gets up so Shuka aborts with a leap over Rude. Snuka continues to work over Rude. Snuka plants Rude with a big bodyslam and goes back up, goes for the flying headbutt, but Rude sat up and Snuka eats canvas. Rude connects with the Rude Awakening (shoulder neckbreaker), a Wrestlemania first, and gets the pin.
Winner: “Ravishing” Rick Rude by pinfall with the Rude Awakening at 3:50.
Rating: *** – Okay, though I would have preferred Snuka in his prime over Big Poppa Pump Snuka.
Steve heads to the back as we get a recap video for the Ultimate Challenge.
Title For Title Match – The Ultimate Warrior (WWF Intercontinental Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF World Heavyweight Champion).
The crowd is pumped for a match that has the potential to stink the building up to high heaven. They may want to open the roof to let the smell out. The two men give each other a shove and lock up. Warrior shoves Hogan away, and then vice versa. Is it just me, or is it that even though Hogan’s bigger, Warrior looks more ‘roided. Warrior and Hogan go for a test of strength. Hogan is brought to his knees, but powers his way back up, and then forces the Warrior down. Warrior forces his way back to his feet, and Hogan uses an armlock to bring down the Warrior and goes for the elbow drop for 2. Hogan and Warrior criss-cross and Hogan gets a bodyslam that is no sold. Warrior gets a slam on Hogan, who does sell. Warrior clotheslines Hogan to the floor. Hogan sells this like death (rather with a injured left knee). Warrior goes out and stomps on Hogan a bit to stop the count.
Warrior tosses Hogan back in the ring. Warrior works over Hogan’s knee a little. Hogan regains control with some big right hands and offense, and apparently Hogan has decided to stop selling the knee. Hogan gets Warrior in the turnbuckle and hits the mounted punches. Gorilla does a good job compensating for Hogan’s sudden cession of selling the knee. Hogan hits 3 elbows for 2. Hogan locks on a front facelock into a small package for 2. Hogan continues working over the Warrior. Hogan bounces off the ropes… LARIATOOOO!!! 1! 2! Kick out!
Hogan hits a backbreaker for another 2. Hogan’s got a reverse chinlock applied. . Hogan hits a suplex for 2. Hogan locks the reverse chinlock on once again. Warrior powers out of the hold with a series of big elbows to the gut, and Warrior bounces off the ropes, and both men end up Lariat/Clothesling each other (Hogan’s was a clothesline because he was stationary, Warrior’s is a Lariat because he was running). Ref Dave Hebner starts counting. He reaches 9 before Warrior sits up. Warrior is Warrior-ing up on the ropes (his power-up no-sell thing). Warrior hits a series of lariats on Hogan. Hogan gets whipped from pillar to post. The face paint is off the face of Warrior from all the sweat and blows to the face. Warrior gets 2 off a suplex.
Warrior applies a rest hold bear-hug, which is probably the only hold the Warrior knows. Hogan hulks out of the hold. Warrior bounces off the ropes, Hogan ducks and we get a ref bump. Warrior hits a series of flying double-axe handles on Hogan. Warrior goes for a tackle and blows the spot misses. Hogan gets the cover, but Hebner’s still out. Belly to back suplex by the Warrior. Warrior gets the cover, but Hebner’s still out. Hebner comes to just in time for Hogan to kick out. Hogan gets a roll-up but Warrior kicks out at 2. Hogan back-elbows Warrior clean out of the ring. Both men fight on the outside. They finally roll back in to avoid the 10 count.
Warrior hits a weak looking clothesline, and signals for the press slam. Warrior hits the gorilla press slam and the Warrior Splash, but Hogan kicks out! Now Hogan Hulks Up! Hogan connects with the big boot and goes for the leg drop, misses. Warrior goes for the splash again and gets the pin!
Winner: The Ultimate Warrior by pinfall with the Warrior Splash at 23:54, and retains the WWF Intercontinental Championship, and is the new WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Rating: *** – Perfectly acceptable Wrestling, which is more then you’d expect from any match with Ultimate Warrior.
After the match, Hogan presents Warrior with the World Championship, puts over Warrior (and Warrior puts over Hogan) and Hogan walks to the back. We get our first Wrestlemania championship victory pyro. Hell, we get our first Wrestlemania pyro.
Overall: *** – Not a great card, but not a crap card either. So far, Wrestlemania has been fairly mediocre, which, considering it’s meant to be the “Super Bowl of Wrestling” is not a good sign.