WWE WrestleMania VI
April 1, 1990
By John Canton (@johnreport)
The sixth WrestleMania was very historic because it's the first time a WrestleMania was headlined by not only a babyface vs. babyface match, but also a title vs. title match. Instead of a villain to face the World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, it was the popular Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior, who was the fastest rising star in the company at the time.
The other historic thing about this WrestleMania was that it was the first one that took place outside of the United States of America. Even though I live two hours from Toronto and have attended about 15-20 wrestling shows in Toronto in my lifetime, I did not attend this WrestleMania. I didn't attend the one in 2002 either. I don't really have a good reason as to why I didn't go to this one when I was nearly 10 years old, but I remember watching it live with my older cousins. Like everybody else, I wanted to know who was going to win the Hogan/Warrior matchup.
The Skydome (now known as the Rogers Centre even though a lot of people still call it Skydome) opened during the 1989 baseball season, so this was one of the first major events to take place there. The building was a huge attraction mainly because of its retractable roof, which would be open or closed (or sometimes both during a game) based on the weather that day. The 67,678 people in attendance also made a lot of noise during the entire broadcast, which is always a good thing. As I'm sure you've heard by now, one of the people in attendance was Adam Copeland aka Edge. There's a shot of him in the crowd in the <i>True Story of WrestleMania</i> DVD. I can remember rooting for Warrior. I didn't hate Hogan. I just wanted Warrior to win because it would be something fresh. I didn't expect Hogan to lose. He almost never lost, so how could he lose here? That's why there was so much interest in this match. People thought Warrior could beat him.
The version I have on disc is from the WWE 24/7 channel, so hopefully nothing gets clipped from it. I don't think I've watched the full show on the disc although I remember watching in on tape through the years. Does anybody under 20 know what a videotape is? Google it, kids. Let's roll.
The opening montage is Vince McMahon doing a voiceover saying that the most powerful forces in the universe are going to collide as the Ultimate Warrior takes on Hulk Hogan.
The announcers are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, teaming once again as the main announcers for the fourth WrestleMania in a row. They were both a part of the trainwreck announce team of WrestleMania 2 and also were the team for WrestleMania 1 although Jesse wasn't heeling it up then. Jesse does his "I've been to the Super Bowl, I've been to the World Series, I've been to the Rolling Stones and one event surpasses them all - WrestleMania." He always said that line, but Jesse rocks so that's okay.
Robert Goulet sings O Canada. I wonder if Goulet is more famous for being a singer or for being parodied by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live?
The first match features Koko B Ware. The rings that take the wrestlers down to the ring have returned. They used them at WrestleMania 3 and brought them back here, which is fine by me. It's old school. I like it.
Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Martel
Martel was a heel here doing his gimmick as "The Model" that carries around the perfume known as "Arrogance." Martel jumps him to start, but Koko fights back with dropkicks, a backdrop and a clothesline to send The Model to the floor. Back in, Koko charged at him and Martel threw him over the top rope to the floor. Martel hit a suplex for two and a backbreaker. It's Boston Crab time, but Koko fights it off by making it to the ropes. Koko comes back with punches and a couple of flying headbutts for two. Martel reversed a whip into the corner, Koko went for a crossbody and after that missed Martel put him in the Boston Crab. Koko quit at 3:51.
Winner: Rick Martel
Analysis: 3/4* A squash match basically. Koko B Ware, who is one of the least deserving wrestlers in the WWE Hall of Fame, didn't win a lot of matches. Martel was on the rise, so it made sense for him to get the easy win here.
Mean Gene interviews Bobby Heenan and the tag team champions, The Colossal Connection, who were Haku & Andre The Giant. Sean Mooney interviewed Demolition, who were the babyface challengers. They're out to demolish and destroy.
Tag Team Titles: The Colossal Connection (Andre The Giant & Haku) w/Bobby Heenan vs. Demolition
The Connection jumps Smash early, but he fires back. Demolition works over Haku, who was later known as Meng in WCW. Smash was later known as The Repo Man among other gimmicks, but that's my favorite. There's a backslide test of strength between Haku and Smash that Smash wins. Andre breaks it up. Poor guy could barely walk at this point, much less wrestle. Haku gets control for his team with a punch to the throat followed by a backbreaker. Haku rammed Ax into Andre's head for a count of two thanks to Smash saving his partner. Normally partners tag in and out while they work over the babyface. Not here. Andre was so immobile at this point that he didn't tag in as Haku worked over Ax. Every once in a while he'd take him over to the corner where Andre would get a chop or headbutt in there. After a few minutes, Ax makes his babyface comeback with a boot to the face and a clothesline. Smash hits a back elbow followed by a back body drop and a forearm gets two. Demolition hits a clothesline on Haku and then a double clothesline on Andre followed by another clothesline on Haku. Andre holds Smash, Haku goes for a kick and Smash moves so Haku decks Andre, which sends the big guy into the ropes where he does his typical spot that sees him tied up in the ropes. The crowd cheerswildly. With Andre taken care of, Demolition hits their Decapitation for the pinfall on Haku at 9:30.
Winners: Demolition - New Tag Team Champions
Analysis: * A slow match obviously. It's not like Demolition were popular because of their awesome matches. The last two minutes were done really well and the crowd loved every second of it. This was Andre's last WrestleMania where he competed in a match. He died three years later.
Post match, Heenan yelled at Andre about losing. The crowd was yelling, rooting Andre on. Heenan slapped him, so Andre grabbed him by the throat and decked him. Andre kicked him out of the ring. Haku attacked Andre, but the Giant caught him and kicked him out of the ring too. The crowd cheered all of this as Andre turned babyface by knocking them both out of the cart. Big pop for Andre.
Mean Gene interviewed Jimmy Hart with Earthquake, who was fairly new around this point. He was another really big guy that was sweating profusely just doing a promo.
Earthquake w/Jimmy Hart vs. Hercules
Herc was the babyface, but not that popular based on the mild pop he got. The announcers mentioned that Earthquake was undefeated to this point as they claimed that he sent 28 men to the hospital so far. You think wrestling is cheesy now? It's got nothing on how they built up Earthquake. This was his biggest test because to this point he was basically feasting on jobbers for months. They do a test of strength spot that leads to Quake taking over with a big forearm to the back. Earthquake gets some shoulder blocks, but Hercules tries to come back and nearly puts him down with some clotheslines. It knocks Earthquake down to one knee. Hercules goes for the backbreaker, but Quake knocks him down and hits a big elbow. Earthquake starts the tremors, runs the ropes and hits the big splash for the win at 4:10.
Post match, Earthquake hits another big splash because he's a mean guy. Jesse calls it an aftershock. That's clever.
Analysis: 1/4* A squash match (literally) to put over Earthquake, whose push would continue after this.
A woman named Rona Barrett, a gossip reporter, interviews Miss Elizabeth asking what she's been up to. Elizabeth wasn't on TV regularly because Macho Man has been paired up with Sherri Martel. Elizabeth says she'd be back soon. Not exactly a thrilling interview here.
Backstage, Brutus Beefcake said he would cut up the perfect record of Mr. Perfect.
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect w/The Genius
The Genius introduces Perfect. Brutus gets a nice pop on his entrance. Perfect opens up with chops. Beefcake comes back with a punch that Perfect sells by going over the top to the floor because he's the man. The crowd was really loud for this one. Perfect was undefeated at this point while Beefcake was very popular. It was a good mix. Beefcake hits an atomic drop that sends Perfect to the floor again. Brutus whips him into the corner and Perfect sells it by doing a flip out of the corner. Brutus gets a clothesline to knock him down. They show Mary Tyler Moore in the crowd. The Genius jumped on the apron and dropped his "steel" scroll in the ring. Perfect grabbed it and hit Beefcake in the head with it to get control of the match. Perfect worked over his back to set him up for the Perfectplex while the crowd cheered for Beefcake. Perfect beat him down with a lot of slaps and punches while talking trash to him. The idea is he's overconfident. Beefcake did a double leg pickup, then gave him a slingshot to the corner and Perfect's head hit the ring post. Brutus covers for the win at 7:45.
Winner: Brutus Beefcake
Post match, Perfect sold it like he was knocked out. Brutus wanted to cut his hair, but The Genius grabbed the clippers. Beefcake chased him down. He threw The Genius in the ring while Perfect left the ring. The Genius was Lanny Poffo, the brother of Randy Savage. He put the sleeper on The Genius. Beefcake cut the hair of The Genius, much to the delight of the crowd. He had already cut some of his hair prior to WrestleMania.
Analysis: ** Weird finish. Crowd was hot for it, but the finish came out of nowhere with a move that didn't feel like a finisher. I remember loving Mr. Perfect at this time because he had such a cool gimmick, so when he lost to Beefcake here I was pissed off. This was his first loss on PPV or TV. It should have been a bigger name opponent, I think. Brutus is a close friend of Hogan as I'm sure a lot of people know. Did Hogan have an influence on the finish? I'm not sure. Perfect was a bumping machine, as usual.
We got clips that set up the Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown match that started at the 1990 Royal Rumble.
Backstage, Mean Gene talked to Roddy Piper. The left side of his body was regular Roddy, but the right side of his body was painted black. Then he cut a rambling promo about Bad News Brown.
Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
This is Piper's first WrestleMania match since WrestleMania 3 when he lost a retirement match. Piper's whole body is painted black on the right because he was doing a psych job apparently. They brawl from the beginning. That's the style of work that each guy was good at it. Brown continued to work him over with punches. Gorilla just busted out the term "breadbasket" for the stomach, which is a Gorilla-ism that I loved. Brown hit a bodyslam followed by an elbow. I think that slam was the first real move of the match. Piper went on offense after an eye poke, but Brown came back with an eye rake of his own and then he exposed the turnbuckle. Piper reversed a whip and Brown went crashing into the turnbuckle, taking the bump sternum first. Was that supposed to be head first and he just chose not to risk it? You decide. Piper went into his tights, pulled out a white glove (on his black hand) and nailed Brown with the right hand many times. Brown got knocked out to the floor, then he pulled Piper out to the floor and Piper avoided a punch on the floor. Piper missed with a chairshot. They continued to brawl as the match ended in a double countout at 6:48.
No winner due to countout
Analysis: * Not much of a match. It was more of an angle to set up future matches. If this match took place ten years later it would have been a hardcore match.
They went to a pre-tape with Steve Allen (a comedian) practicing the Soviet National Anthem with the Bolsheviks. He never got the song right, so the Bolsheviks were mad about it. Oh the comedy.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov)
Prior to the match, Nikolai sings the Soviet National Anthem. The Hart Foundation jumps them. Neidhart throws Volkoff out of the ring. They double team Zhukov. Neidhart holds him up and Bret nails him with the clothesline for the Hart Attack finisher at 0:19.
Winner: The Hart Foundation
After the match, Gorilla said they deserved a title shot while Jesse said it was cheap of them to jump the Bolsheviks before the bell.
Analysis: NR Needless to say, Bret had much longer and much better matches through the years.
They mentioned that WrestleMania 7 would be at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It didn't happen at that venue. We'll get to that next time.
Prior to the next match, Tito Santana talked about how he'd have to keep his eye on Bobby Heenan, but he will survive against the Barbarian.
Tito Santana vs. The Barbarian w/Bobby Heenan
Do I have to mention Tito was the babyface? He usually was. Tito used his speed to get a crossbody block for a pinfall attempt for two. Tito gets another two count after some punches to the head while Jesse makes Mexican jokes as usual. Barbarian slowed the momentum with a vicious boot to the head. The crowd isn't that into this one, which is understandable because it barely had any build to it. Tito got control back using his speed to avoid some moves and hit a couple of dropkicks to knock Barbarian down. Santana hit a double axe followed by the flying forearm, but Barbarian is near the ropes so Heenan puts his foot on the bottom rope. The ref saw the foot on the rope. Barbarian used avoided Tito's rollup attempt, which sent Tito down and Barbarian went to the top. Top rope clothesline. Ouch! Tito landed on the back of his head. That was so nasty the crowd let out a big "ohhhh!" when they saw it. That finishes it at 4:33.
Winner: The Barbarian
Analysis: * An easy win for Barbarian although Santana did get some decent offense in. That finishing clothesline was very impressive. I had forgotten about that.
They played a video to set up the mixed tag between Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. Randy Savage & Sherri. Backstage, Dusty and Sapphire talked about how they had the crown jewel for Randy & Sherri, whatever that means.
Instead of being the Macho Man, Randy was the Macho King here along with the Sensational Queen Sherri. The Savage entrance looked awesome and it seemed like his mobile ring was the slowest of them all. After Dusty entered the ring, he brought out Miss Elizabeth. That's the crown jewel that he meant earlier. She gets a big ovation. The story is that she was Savage's manager, but after Savage lost the World Title a year earlier he used Sherri as his manager.
Macho King Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire
It's mixed tag rules so the guys had to wrestle eachother while the women had to wrestle eachother. Sherri is of course one of the best female performers ever while Sapphire was very green. Dusty starts off with Savage, elbowing him down. He tagged in Sapphire, who used her giant ass to knock Sherri down a couple of times. Then she gave Sherri the slowest airplane slam for a pinfall attempt of two. Sherri went for a slam, but Sapphire's too fat so she fell on top. Sapphire tagged out so the guys went at it again. Rhodes held Savage so that Sapphire could slap him. Sherri attacked Dusty, he turned his back and Macho Man kneed him in the back, sending Dusty to the floor. Savage hit a double axe off the top to the floor, which was a regular Savage move. Sherri hit Rhodes with a knee. Savage went to the top again and hit another double axe to the floor where he hit Dusty in the back. He went up one more time, but this time Sapphire stood in the way. He threw her down and then he rolled Dusty into the ring. He hit a double on Dusty in the center of the ring. Suplex by Savage. Sherri distracted the ref, so Savage got his scepter and hit Rhodes in the back with it. Crowd is freaking out about all of this. They were loud for this one. Sherri hit a top rope splash on Rhodes. He kicked out easily. Dusty avoided a Savage attack with a punch to the gut and then did a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER~! to Savage & Sherri. Dusty worked on Randy with elbows while Sherri attacked some more. Sapphire tagged herself in. Sherri went to the floor to avoid her, Elizabeth threw her back in and Sapphire hit a sloppy suplex for two. Macho saved his partner. Dusty took care of him. Sherri went to yell at Elizabeth, so Sapphire went down on all fours, Liz shoved Sherri back and Sapphire covered for the pinfall win at 7:52.
Winners: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire
After the match, Savage tried to attack with the scepter one more time. Rhodes fought him off as Savage and Sherri bailed. The crowd loved this match.
Analysis: ** Not the classic that Savage was used to having at WrestleMania, but still a lot of fun and Elizabeth getting involved in the finish was the right call. Sherri was such a good heel. Sapphire didn't belong in the ring, but Sherri did her best to make her look credible. I would have preferred a 10-15 minute match between Rhodes & Savage because that could have been good. There was nothing wrong with this, though. The crowd loved it.
They mentioned WrestleMania 7 being held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum once again.
Backstage, Mean Gene talked to Bobby Heenan. He complained about Andre not taking orders for him.
They did a segment backstage with Gorilla & Jesse talking to Rona Barrett, who was an entertainment gossip reporter. Waste of time.
In the locker room, Sean Mooney talked to Savage and a screaming Sherri, who were both very angry. Savage said he will never embarrassed again. "I got ya. I got all of you now." Sherri screamed during the entire one minute interview. She was a screamer, that's for sure.
Backstage, Gene talked to Demolition with the tag team titles. They mentioned the Hart Foundation being contenders for the title.
They went back to Gorilla and Jesse to waste more time. All of these promos were part of the mid-show intermission.
Backstage, Gene talked to Hulk Hogan. Hulk told the Warrior that when he hears the noise in the building it's the power of his people. When he gets Warriors on his knees, he's going to ask him if he wants to live forever. The Hulkamaniacs can turn his darkness into light. "It's not whether you win or lose, the only thing that matters is what kind of winner you are or what kind of loser you are." Then he hoped Ultimate Warrior was a good loser. I think those words said a lot about what was to come. Hogan saying "it's not whether you win or lose" is only something he would say on a night where he was doing a job. Smart guy. Have to give it to him.
In the locker room, The Ultimate Warrior shoved Sean Mooney out of the way so he could talk to the camera on his own. He said physically none of us can live forever. Then he spoke about the beliefs. I don't know what the hell he's talking about. Warrior says he's come to take what Hulk believes in. He's not there to destroy Hulkamania, but to bring the Warriors and Hulkamaniacs together as one. Then he talks with his back to the camera. That's not very productive. The idea is that he's ready. And that he's insane. But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) w/Mr. Fuji vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
This is the second WrestleMania for that Michaels kid. The Rockers are babyfaces of course. Their bright yellow outfits make me want to write this one with sunglasses on. Jannetty starts with Tanaka, Marty gets a body slam and the Rockers double team on the Express. The sequence ends with the Rockers hitting vaulting body presses onto their opponents on the floor. Tanaka whipped Marty in, so Fuji used his cane to pull the ropes down. Sato rams Jannetty's head into the post as the Express isolates Marty in their corner. Marty avoids a backdrop, tags in Shawn and the Rockers get a double superkick on Tanaka that was not yet music of the sweet chin variety. Michaels hits a back body drop on Tanaka, who quickly tags in Sato. Michaels hit a neckbreaker. More heel tactics from the Express as Tanaka hit Michaels in the back as he was running the ropes. Nice flying forearm from Tanaka that looked like it legit dazed Shawn. Sato hit a knee drop off the top for a two count. Michaels came back with a clothesline on Tanaka, who took a flip bump to make it look much better. Jannetty gets the hot tag and takes care of both guys with the DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER~! Rockers dropkick Sato out. Double back body drop on Tanaka. Rockers to the top, Fuji hit Jannetty in the leg, ref clearly saw it and did nothing about it. Jannetty grabs the cane, chases Fuji and Sato runs up from behind Jannetty with a pile of Fuji dust. He throws it in Marty's face as everybody reading this hopefully makes some kind of "white stuff in Jannetty's nose" kind of joke. The ref counts Marty out as he stumbles over the barricade, crashing into the front row. That was a hell of a bump. Ref counts him out at 7:38.
Winners: The Orient Express via countout
Analysis: **3/4 That was a very exciting match. It lacked a good finish, though, so that hurts the rating obviously. To this point there was nothing great in the WrestleMania career of Shawn Michaels although obviously that would change in the years ahead. These teams had an awesome tag match at the 1991 Royal Rumble with Kato (Paul Diamond in mask) taking the place of Sato. I remember that 1991 Rumble match very well. This one isn't on that level.
Backstage, comedian Steve Allen talked to Rhythm & Blues aka the Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine. They were practicing some music on their guitars. Waste of time.
Speaking of a waste of time, Dino Bravo was in the ring. Jimmy Hart and Earthquake are with him. We did not need that closeup of Earthquake's backside.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo w/Jimmy Hart & Earthquake
Hacksaw's USA chant really doesn't work in Canada, so he sticks with yelling "HO!" for the most part. He did a USA chant that again didn't work. He was in a match against a Canadian. Hacksaw gets a back drop and clotheslines Bravo out of the ring. Back in the ring, Hacksaw gets an atomic drop and some punches in the corner in the turnbuckle. Duggan misses a charge, so Bravo knocks him down with some punches. Jesse yells at Gorilla for eating too many hotdogs. That was more entertaining than this work as Bravo went for a choke. Elbow gets two for Bravo. Hacksaw comes back with punches. Bravo knocks him back down with a kick. A corner charge misses and Duggan hits three clotheslines. He goes into the three point stance. He sets up for a finisher that's a clothesline after he hit three successive clotheslines. Earthquake got involved, Hart slid the 2x4 to Bravo, but Duggan saw it and hit Bravo in the back with it. That's good enough for the pinfall win at 4:15.
Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Post match, Earthquake attacked Duggan with multiple elbow drops. He followed that up with the Earthquake Splash to completely destroy Duggan. Then he hits two more splashes just for fun.
Analysis: DUD Bad match. The work was very poor. In the end, it was designed to put Earthquake over more than either of the two guys in the match.
Backstage, Gene talked to Jake Roberts. He cut an awesome promo that shows why he's one of the best talkers in the history of wrestling. The Million Dollar Title was on the line. If Ted wanted it then he had to go through Damien. He said he'd get revenge for all of the things Dibiase put fans through. Roberts called him a victim of greed. You can check out the fantastic 90 second promo here if you'd like.
Million Dollar Title: Jake Roberts vs. Ted Dibiase w/Virgil
There was good build to this and they were upper midcarders, so the crowd was into it right from the beginning. Ted's the heel as usual while Roberts was a popular face although like I say all the time I liked him better as a heel. Jake goes for the DDT early, but Ted escapes. Jake gets control with an arm bar followed by a series of knees into the arm. This arm bar lasted a long time. Ted went for one of his own, but Jake outsmarted him, ducked down and Dibiase went out to the floor. Roberts rolled him back in only for Ted to meet him with an elbow to the back of the head. Roberts goes for the high knee, but Ted moves out of the way and throws him into the turnbuckle. Jake crashes hard to the mat. Dibiase grabs a front facelock. They are really working at a slower pace than I can remember. The camera pans the crowd to show the people doing a wave, which is a cool thing for a crowd to do although it also means the match in the ring is pretty boring. I can't argue with the crowd about that. Jake is sent to the floor. Dibiase rams Roberts' shoulder against the ring post and then they roll back in. Dibiase hits a piledriver. That move is now banned in WWE. It was a traditional move back then for a lot of people. Dibiase covered for two, Jake countered that into two of his own and the crowd woke up for that nearfall. Dibiase slapped on the Million Dollar Dream sleeper as Roberts tried his best to fight it off. Jake made it to the ropes. Dibiase pinned for a count of two. Roberts made a comeback with a punch to the gut followed by a clothesline and an atomic drop. Popular move in those days huh? Another clothesline for Roberts and then a back body drop to wake up the crowd even more. Jake hit his patented short arm clothesline, which was the setup for the DDT. Virgil pulled Roberts to the floor. Jake gave him a bodyslam on the floor. Dibiase put Jake in the Million Dollar Dream on the floor. Jake got out of it by driving Ted into the ring post. Virgil rolled Ted back in. The ref counted Jake out, so Ted won the match at 11:50. That was the slowest ten count I've ever seen.
Winner: Ted Dibiase via countout
After the match, Jake ended up hitting the DDT on Dibiase much to the delight of the crowd. Then he threw money into the crowd. They loved that even more. He brought the snake Damien out, but Ted & Virgil avoided that attack by Roberts.
Analysis: **1/4 The match got a good amount of time. It was such a slow pace at times, though. Like I said doing the wave during a match isn't a great sign. Still, they picked it up for the finishing sequence. That's the second countout finish in the last three matches. At an event like WrestleMania it would have been smarter to have better ending sequences. If Jake's going to get the last laugh, why not let him win the match? Looking back on this now, it was a fine match, but I would have expected better from workers of this caliber.
These four hour shows are really taking their toll on me. I hit FF all the way to the next match.
The next match was the Big Boss Man vs. Akeem. Before the match, Ted Dibiase was still around ringside and he attacked Boss Man. The story was that Dibiase tried to buy Boss Man, but he refused so it ended up turning him face.
Big Boss Man vs. Akeem w/Slick
These two were a part of the Twin Towers tag team. With Boss Man beat up, Akeem attacked him with his splash in the corner. More squashing. Akeem gingerly went to the middle ropes to throw some punches in the corner. Bossman hit an awkward atomic drop to make the comeback. Boss Man whipped him into the turnbuckles a few times and then hit a clothesline. He whips him in one more time, Akeem ducks an elbow and Boss Man finishes him up with the Boss Man Slam at 1:49.
Winner: Big Boss Man
Post match, Boss Man punches Slick in the face. The crowd liked that.
Analysis: DUD At least it was short. Boss Man showed a lot of fire here. He did well.
Sean Mooney talked to people in the crowd even Mary Tyler Moore. She doesn't offer much. I wish I hit FF through more of that.
The bell rang and Howard Finkel introduced Rhythm & Blue to sing their new song. The most noteworthy thing about this is that the guy driving the car ended up being known as Diamond Dallas Page. The more you know. This was an awful segment. Greg Valentine looked so out of place too. After HTM's atrocious singing, the Bushwhackers showed up and cleared them of the ring. Then the Bushwhackers destroyed the guitars. That's a shame.
Howard Finkel announced the attendance for the event: 67,678 people.
Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs. Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy was the face of course. He was pretty old by this point. Rude was one of the better workers of this period. Rude jumps him early, but Superfly comes back with a backdrop and a dropkick sends Rude to the floor. Rude hits a nice snap suplex. Rude hits a back body drop. Everybody did a back body drop show on this show, it seems. They do a nice exchange of avoiding moves that ends with Snuka hitting a headbutt to Rude. Snuka goes to the top, but Rude gets back to his feet so Jimmy leaps over him. Jimmy gives him a body slam. Snuka goes to the middle rope for the splash. He used to go to the top for that. Rude hit his Rude Awakening neckbreaker for the win at 3:29.
Winner: Rick Rude
Analysis: * It was similar to a lot of other matches on this show. It was just a way to put Rude over.
Finally it's time for the main event. They showed a lot of clips that built up to the match. There were a number of situations where they were on the same team and ended up attacking eachother accidentally.
We get the intros. Warrior ran down to the ring like usual. The crowd loved him. Hulk Hogan got a bigger pop than Warrior's although both were huge. He walked to the ring.
World Heavyweight Title & Intercontinental Title Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Huge staredown to start the match. The crowd was screaming during all of it. They shove eachother early, then they do a couple of lockups that each guy wins one time. Then it's test of strength time. Warrior won the first part of it, putting Hogan on his knees. Hulk fought back. He ended up putting Warrior on his knees, which led to a famous picture that has made its rounds over the internet through the years. That test of strength lasted a few minutes. Hogan tripped him up for a two count. Gorilla busts out his "irresistible force meeting the immovable object" line. They did the criss-cross in the ring. Hogan got a body slam. They criss-crossed again and Warrior got a slam. Warrior hit a clothesline to send Hulk out to the floor. Hogan was limping on the floor, so Warrior broke the count and kicked him in the knee a few times. Hogan tells the ref that he blew his knee out. Warrior rolls him back in. They eye rake eachother multiple teams. Hogan fights back, no longer selling the knee. Hulk hit a clothesline in the corner and then the ten punches to the head of Warrior. Hulk hits a couple of elbow drops for two. Gorilla tries to say that his knee popped back into place. Good way to say that Hulk stopped selling it. Hulk nailed him with a clothesline for two. The crowd is loud for everything. It reminds me of WrestleMania 3 in a lot of ways. Hogan gets a backbreaker for two followed by a chinlock. Back up, Hogan hit a backdrop suplex. That's the most devastating move in his arsenal. Back to the chinlock. A minute later, Warrior fights back with some elbows to the gut. They do the double clothesline spot, which puts both guys down on the mat.
The ref counts both guys down in the middle of the ring. Jesse thinks it will be a double countout. Most sane people disagree. The crowd is going wild simply for the two guys laying on their back. Warrior's face paint is pretty much gone now as he's the first one to sit up. Warrior shakes ropes to feel the power of his Warriors. Hogan attacks him, but Warrior doesn't feel any of it. He puts him down with punches and a couple of clotheslines. He hits another clothesline. Warrior whipped him into two turnbuckles, which put Hogan down. Warrior hit a vertical suplex for two. I think that's his most impressive wrestling move. Warrior puts him in the bearhug. It's a three minute bearhug. Hulk fights out of it with punches to the face. Warrior runs the ropes, Hogan drops down and Warrior goes crashing into the ref. Warrior goes to the top rope. He hits a double axe to the head. He hits another double axe to the head. Warrior charges in for his flying shoulderblock, but Hogan avoids it. Hogan covers, but there's no ref. Hogan slaps the mat three times to tell us that should have been it. Warrior gets back up and hits a back suplex on Hogan. Still no ref. He slaps the mat three times. Slowly, the ref gets back into it, he counts the pinfall one...two...and no...Hogan got his shoulder up. That was an awesome nearfall. Hogan hit a shot to the eye followed by a rollup for two of his own because the ref was out of position. The announcers are yelling because it's so loud in the building. Hogan hits a back elbow to send Warrior out of the ring. Hogan gives him a headbutt. Warrior recovers first and throws Hogan into the steel post. Back in, Warrior hits a clothesline. Gorilla Press time, but he doesn't have a good grip or maybe Hulk's too big. He drops him down and follows it up with a splash onto the back of Hogan. He rolls him over. I remember as a kid thinking this was it, but when you watch it a bunch of times you can see Hulk put his hands in position to where he can shove Warrior off easily. At the count of two, Hulk shoves him off. It's Hulk Up time. Warrior throws punches, Hulk gets back to his feet and points his finger in the face of the Warrior. YOU! Punches to the face are followed by the big boot. The Hogan legdrop misses. What? It missed. I can remember freaking out at that point. That legdrop never missed. Warrior hits the big splash. One...two...three. Hogan kicked out right as the hand of ref Earl Hebner hit the mat. He wasn't going to lay down for more than three. Warrior wins at 22:47.
Winner: The Ultimate Warrior - New World Heavyweight Champion
Post match, Warrior celebrated like crazy and the crowd went wild for him. Hogan dropped to his knees and pointed up at the sky. Hogan grabbed the World Heavyweight Title. He gave it to Warrior. Then they embraced in the ring. Gorilla busted out the famous line: "The Hulkster has just taken one giant step towards immortality." Hulk left. Warrior celebrated. The announcers put over Hulk Hogan after the match saying they believed Hulkamania would live forever. It was smart. Warrior won, but Hogan didn't look like a loser because it was done in a way where they both looked strong.
Analysis: ***3/4 I loved it 22 years ago. I love it today. Neither of these guys is going to be considered a great in-ring performer, but they really delivered an above average match here. They booked it in a way where it came off like an even match. Each guy had their moments of strength. Each guy was also pinned without the ref being up. Hogan went for his big move, he missed it and Warrior capitalized to win the match...barely. I like it. It felt like a heavyweight boxing match featuring two men at the top of their game going toe to toe. My complaints were that some of the spots like the test of strength and bearhug went a little too long, but it's not like they lost the crowd. Over the years, the word came out that the mastermind behind the match was Pat Patterson, who was a key Vince McMahon associate in this era. Apparently he intricately booked the match with both guys by planning literally every spot. This was the best WrestleMania match of Hogan's illustrious career as the unquestionable top guy (I gave WM5 vs. Savage a rating of ***1/4). It's only the second best match in Warrior's career because the best one would happen a year later. For as much as I may criticize Hogan & Warrior even to this day for a lot of questionable things they've said and done in their careers, I give them a lot of credit for delivering a great match on the grandest stage of them all.
To end the show, the Ultimate Warrior continued to celebrate as fireworks went off in the Skydome. The crowd was loud for all of it. The nearly four hour show ended there.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
- Hulk Hogan losing clean simply did not happen. It was a shock to a lot of people to see the Ultimate Warrior win this match in the fashion that he did. Hogan losing was a Vince McMahon way of seeing if somebody else could carry the company. Warrior did a decent job as champion, but didn't last the entire year. One year later it was Hogan in the spot again.
- I think the match that drew the second largest pops was the Dusty/Sapphire vs. Savage/Sherri match. Sure, a lot of people will make fun of the Sapphire story as they should, but if you listen to the crowd they loved this match. Elizabeth hitting Sherri was a huge moment because she rarely got physically involved in matches. It was an entertaining match, more so than I remembered.
- Great crowd. It was a big change from the stale crowd at WrestleMania 5. I think it was the perfect example of the right show for the right crowd in the right place. Right?
- The countout finishes were lame. I think a show like WrestleMania should be about delivering quality finishes rather than doing countouts in three of the matches. That's a little much, I think.
- This was the last WrestleMania for the Monsoon/Ventura announce team. The Monsoon/Heenan team is more remembered from this era, but these two always did a very good job.
Best Match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan - No question about it. It was the biggest match, they got the most time and to their credit they delivered the goods. The crowd loved all of it too.
Worst Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo - I don't know what was worse: the match or Hacksaw trying to do a USA chant in Toronto? You decide.
Most Memorable Moment: Ultimate Warrior pinning Hulk Hogan - Nothing on this show can top that. It's one of the most iconic moments in wresting history. It's not as big as Hogan beating Andre, but it's very close.
1. Hulk Hogan - He put Warrior over clean right in the center of the ring. I'm still amazed by that.
2. Ultimate Warrior - I'm sure most are surprised by it, but the Warrior did a great job too.
3. Jake Roberts - Can I put a guy here because of a promo? Yep. I just did.
4. Jesse Ventura - His last WrestleMania. After re-watching these events my appreciation for Jesse went up.
5. Andre The Giant - His last WrestleMania match. I don't care if it was brief. He gets it based on career achievement. His impact is immeasurable.
It's so weird not listing Macho Man as one of the stars. I guess I could have given him a spot, but his match wasn't the show stealer that we would expect from him. He would be back in this spot at WrestleMania 7, I can promise you that. That's one of my favorite matches ever.
Show rating (out of 10): 6
It was a step up from the previous two WrestleManias. I'll never forget the Warrior/Hogan match. I've seen it dozens of times. The spots still work. It was booked perfectly. The rest of the card had some bad matches as well as the same problem from previous WrestleManias in that there were too many matches that were way too short. However, there were some decent ones featuring quality wrestlers like Ted Dibiase, Jake Roberts, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect and Rick Rude to name a few. In front of a dead crowd, maybe the show would have been worse. In front of this crowd, it was slightly above average at least to me.
Now, can somebody explain to me what the Ultimate Warrior was saying in his promo? Oh right. Nobody can.
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John Canton email@example.com