Recap – Wrestlemania III


Wrestlemania III

As of Wrestlemania III, our champions coming in were

  • WWF World Champion: Hulk Hogan – still champion without any breaks in his reign.
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Randy (which I failed to note in my Wrestlemania II review) won the belt through shenangans involving then-referee Danny Davis.
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Bret “Hitman” Hart) – managed by “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. The Hart Foundation won the belts from the British Bulldogs through shenanigans involving ref Danny Davis. The two aforementioned incidents lead to Danny being suspended as a referee for “Life + 10 years” (kayfabe) with Danny becoming a heel wrestler, managed by Jimmy Hart.
  • WWF Woman’s Champion: Fabulous Moolah.

Also, the feuds of note, coming in.

  • Hercules and Billy Jack Hayes got in a feud over the Full Nelson, with the dispute being over which wrestler was better than the other at performing the hold.
  • Harley Race won the first King of the Ring tournament, started calling himself “King Harley Race” and started demanding that wrestlers bow to him. Junkyard Dog refused, this lead to a Loser Must Bow match between the 2.
  • After taking a leave of absence for a movie, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper found that Piper’s Pit had been replaced by Adrian Adonis’s “Flower Shop” Segment. Piper trashed the set, restarted the pit, and became embroiled in a feud with Adonis and his manager, Jimmy Hart.
  • Last, but certainly not least – in a surprising shock, Andre The Giant turned heel, aligning himself with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and with Andre attacking Hogan, ripping off his shirt and crucifix necklace.

Anyway, this year the event is being held at the Pontiac Silverdome, and, if I recall correctly, introduced the chariot thingies that would be used to carry wrestlers to the ring, rather then having to walk the long distance from the entrance area to the ring. Vince McMahon is in the ring, wearing his Mandelbrot Set tuxedo again, to introduce us to Wrestlemania 3 and introduce Aretha Franklin, who perform’s “America The Beautiful.” Continue reading “Recap – Wrestlemania III”

Recap – Wrestlemania II


Wrestlemania II
Part 1: New York

Much slicker opening video package this time, and we go first to Vince McMahon in the ring at the Nassau County Colosseum, in a subtle yet gaudy (if that’s possible) tux, and he introduces his co-color commentator, Susan Saint James. Oh God, this (Mrs. Saint James’ commentary) can’t end well. We then go to Ray Charles singing America The Beautiful.

Then, we go to Chicago and “Mean” Gene Oakerlund at the Rosemont Horizon arena, who introduces our next interview, back in New York, with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (with “Cowboy” Bob Orton) prepping for his boxing match with Mr. T. Piper promises that if Mr. T knocks him out he will retire from boxing, wrestling, twiddly-winks, and dating girls. Being that this is Piper we’re talking about, he’d probably get himself DQ’d before he let himself get KO’d. Finally, we go back to the ring for our first match. Continue reading “Recap – Wrestlemania II”

Recap – ROH: Road To The Title


Previously On Ring Of Honor…

At Round Robin Showndow: Low-Ki, American Dragon and Christopher Daniels, throughout the night, had their round-robin tournament. Daniels made Dragon tap, but tapped to Low-Ki, who in turn tapped to Dragon, leading Daniels to cut a promo saying that this settled nothing, and refused to wrestle unless the ROH Title is on the line (which is rather tricky since at the moment there wasn’t an ROH title). Additionally, Da Hit Squad squashed Prince Nana and “Towel Boy” Eric Tuttle, with the Christopher Street Connection running in for “the save” ultimately leading to a beat-down on Simply Luscious… again. Spanky gets a win over Jay Briscoe and the difficulties between Divine Storm (Chris Divine & Quiet Storm), The SAT (Joel & Jose Maximo) and Amazing Red and Brian XL after the Ultimate Elimination match at the last show lead to a 3-way tag between the 3 this time (in what is apparently another mindless spot-fest. ).

At A Night of Appreciation (for Eddie Guerrero): We learned the guy that HC Loc was talking to on the phone was fellow ECW Alum Tony DaVito. Da Hit Squad squashes the CSC again (with Luscious getting beat-down again). Jay Briscoe finally gets a win over ECW alum Tony Mamaluke. James Maritato debuts and beats Scoot Andrews and Xavier. AJ Styles debuts and gets beat by Low Ki. Loc and DaVito debut as the carnage crew and squash a couple of jobbers. Paul London makes his debut during the Texas Wrestling Acadamy gauntlet match between American Dragon, Spanky, Michael Shane, Paul London, and John Hope – which Spanky wins. For the main event, Eddie and Amazing Red beat the SAT – and after the match we get a quick Squash between Eddie and Brian XL (who Eddie nicknames Little Bow Wow), after Brian disrespects Eddie.

This leads us to ROH: Road To The Title – a tournament to determine who has a shot at being ROH Heavyweight Champion at the following event. Continue reading “Recap – ROH: Road To The Title”

Recap – Wrestlemania I


The Background

(This Wikipedia article was used to fill in the gaps in my memory).

In 1985, the territorial era was starting to come to a close, though nobody quite knew it yet. Previously, the wrestling business was the primary domain of a series of regional territories, which typically operated under the umbrella of a wrestling alliance to handle talent agreements and with an overall title which could then be used to help promote events at subsidiary promotions. Among the dominant umbrella organizations were Verne Gange’s American Wrestling Alliance (which tended to run shows in the Mid-west-Great Lakes area, and the National Wrestling Alliance, which was strong in the South.

However, by 1985, the subsidiary promotions were starting to become overshadowed by their parent organizations, as the parent organizations began setting up cable television deals which could get their programming available to broader markets – or to be more accurate, promotions with cable television deals getting the champion. Georgia Championship Wrestling with it’s World Championship wrestling programming got the National Wrestling Alliance title. The American Wrestling Alliance had always been focused around Verne Gange’s promotion in Minnesota, which had a television deal through ESPN.

The other major promotion to have a cable television deal was the Vincent K. McMahon Jr.’s World Wrestling Federation (formerly the World Wide Wrestling Federation), through USA. However, what Vince did that made the WWF so different is he basically ignored the territorial bounders. Rather to limiting themselves to the North-eastern area of the US, under VKM’s leadership, the WWF began poaching talent from other promotions (most notably Hulk Hogan from the AWA), as part of Vince’s broader plan to take the promotion to a national level. To do this however, would cost a lot of money… so to get that money Vince would have to take wrestling mainstream.

His plan: Wrestlemania – a national Pay-Per-View event featuring not only wrestlers, but celebreties who would be recognized by home audiences. To get those celebs, he set up a deal with MTV to run two MTV specific WWF events – The Brawl to End It All and The War to Settle The Score. The latter event featured Wendi Richter (accompanied by Cyndi Lauper) beating The Fabulous Moolah to win the Women’s Championship, only to be attacked by Lelani Kai, setting up another title match on the second event, where Kai beat Richter with assistance by Moolah.

Also, at The War To Settle The Score, Hulk Hogan (accompanied to the ring by Capt. Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper) faced Rowdy Roddy Piper, with Hogan winning by DQ due to interferance by Paul Orndorff. As Piper left, he tripped Lauper, causing Mr. T (who had a ringside seat) to jump the railing to come to her rescue, setting up the main event of Mr. T and Hogan vs. Piper and Orndorff

The event was broadcast in Pay Per View in those areas, but otherwise broadcast on Closed Circuit TV at various theaters across the country. Additional celebs taking part in the event (in one form or another) included Liberace, the Rockettes, and Mohammed Ali.

The future success of the WWF rode on this night, on Vince’s concept of a super-bowl of wrestling…

Continue reading “Recap – Wrestlemania I”

Recap – ROH: The Era of Honor Begins


ROH: The Era of Honor Begins

Background:
ECW was dead to begin with. Prior to its demise, one of its main distributors for tapes of its events was RF Video, run by Rob Feinstein, who had made a fair amount of cash distributing video of events of independent wrestling promotions, including ECW (which became their biggest seller). To boost revenues following , Feinstein started a new promotion to fill the gap left by ECW’s demise, using both ECW alumni who were not currently under exclusive contract with WWE (or other promotions) and young candidates from wrestling schools like Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Acadamy. As a change from the ECW style, and to differentiate itself from the WWE, and from promotions local to South Philadelphia which had co-opted the ECW style (CZW, XPW*) central to the concept of Ring of Honor was the “Code of Honor” rules which, Kayfabe-wise, all wrestlers were supposed to follow, be they faces or heels.

Now, not all wrestlers did this, and at least one wrestler made it his gimmick not to follow it. However, this was ROH’s big thing at first, they run it down in the event, so I might as well get it out of the way now before I start the summary.

The Code of Honor (as of Era of Honor Begins)

  1. You must shake hands before and after every match.
  2. No outside interference — no interfering in others’ matches or having others interfere on your behalf.
  3. No sneak attacks
  4. No harming the officials.
  5. Do not get yourself disqualified

Now that I got that out of the way, time for… The Event Continue reading “Recap – ROH: The Era of Honor Begins”