History of Wrestlemania with KB – Wrestlemania 5: Hogan vs. Savage….and that’s about it.

Wrestlemania 5
Date: April 2, 1989
Location: Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Attendance: 18,946
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
America The Beautiful: Rockin Robin

This show is more or less the WWF waking up and realizing that not announcing your main event until 20 minutes before it happens isn’t really a good idea. The tagline for this show was very simple: The Mega Powers Explode! Simple concept that’s as old as wrestling itself: Hogan helps Savage become champion, Hogan gets the spotlight even without the belt, Savage’s jealousy gets the best of him and he snaps over a certain incident.

In this case, the incident was on my first birthday in a tag match with Akeem and Big Boss Man against the Mega Powers. Savage got tossed through the ropes and landed on Elizabeth. Hogan carried her back to get help and Savage was left all alone. They argue in the back with Savage cutting the best promo of his life as all of the anger he had stored up inside him erupts and he attacks Hogan to set up this showdown for the gold. Liz says she’s going to try to remain neutral in the main event.

The Women’s Champion sings America the Beautiful and does an ok job at it. Kind of a bland voice though.

Haku vs. Hercules

This match is part of a very unnoticed storyline where Hercules was part of the Heenan Family but was then “sold” to Ted DiBiase. This upset him and Hercules said he was a free man. He went on a small war with Heenan’s stable and I guess you’d call this the climax of that. The feud was nothing at all and it went nowhere as Hercules just wasn’t over at all. This is a power vs. power match that pleasantly surprised me as it has a fair amount of solid wrestling on it and not just all power.

The powder blue tights just don’t do it for a guy with the name of Hercules. Donald Trump is in the front row again which makes sense as he owns the place. Haku is really getting outworked here. Hercules’ offense is a lot more diverse as opposed to chops and bearhugs with a kick thrown in here and there. That’s kind of the storyline of this whole match too and you can see that in the ending.

Haku is the King of Wrestling here and for some reason that isn’t on the line in this match. It was an odd kind of semi-title where you would be proclaimed king and get to wear a crown and have a bunch of muscle jobbers bring you out on a throne but other than that it never really went anywhere. Savage got it and held it for like a year or so and it more or less died after that.

This is about as bland as you can get but it’s surprisingly decent. Hercules worked better as a face because here he has something to fight for in his own pride. Back when he was a heel he had nothing special about him and was just a generic henchman. He’s more interesting and well rounded here though which is what a turn is supposed to accomplish.

Hercules lands a belly to back suplex into a bridge but shoots his shoulder up to avoid the double pin, which was exactly the same thing he lost to the year before. That’s a very subtle touch to his character that a lot of people don’t realize. It shows that he’s capable of learning something new and has adapted a new style over the last year.

Rating: C-. There’s a story here and there’s some decent action, but at the end of it all it’s just not that great. Good and not boring, but not great. This wasn’t much at all from a ring work standpoint but it was surprisingly good. I’m not sure why I like this match but I kind of always have and while it’s certainly an odd choice to open Wrestlemania with, it’s not bad.

In the back we see a team called the Rockers. This Marty Jannetty guy is a freaking STUD. I could see this guy winning something like the IC title, maybe some tag titles or something like that. His partner just does nothing for me though as he’s very bland.

Twin Towers vs. The Rockers

Twin Towers are Big Bossman and Akeem, aka the One Man Gang in case you weren’t sure. Rockers had been around for a few months at this point but as they would wind up doing for their whole run they were still trying to find themselves as a team.

This is about as simple of a story as you can get: power vs. speed and it works fairly well here. Akeem seriously may be the greatest gimmick of all time. For those of you that don’t know, One Man Gang and his manager Slick found out that he was of African descent, despite being the palest Caucasian you’ll ever find.

He starts embracing his African roots and doing these weird dances and wearing weird outfits. To see him doing this is just hilarious and something that you should check out for a good laugh and I’d like to give whoever thought it up a ham sandwich.

Cool spot where Bossman has Jannetty up in a bear hug position and Akeem just slams into him. Simple yet effective. Jannetty gets his head handed to him the majority of the match. Slick screaming about how a black referee would count faster and wouldn’t cheat is just such a great touch when his wrestlers are whiter than snow.

Becca shouldn’t watch this match as Akeem just about kills Shawn with one of the best clotheslines I’ve ever seen. Bossman kills him even worse with a spinning powerbomb and then a splash by Akeem and Shawn is finally given a break as the pin goes down.

Rating: C. This was a solid performance by the Rockers but they really didn’t stand much of a chance. Some good spots make this quite passable though. What’s with the back to back generic matches to start off the biggest show of the year though? Is this really the best they could find?

Ted DiBiase is rich and likes to talk about it. He’s also got a new belt that he likes showing off.

Ted DiBiase vs. Brutus Beefcake

Hearing DiBiase having different homes for each season is just a perfect touch to the gimmick that makes him so much more fun to hate. Still say he’s the best heel of all time. Brutus finally has his awesome music here. Jesse describes Brutus’ pants perfectly: it looks like a grenade went off in his pockets. Ted talks to Trump before we start.

What exactly did Brutus expect to do with those huge hedge clippers? This is a balance of the sleepers. According to Gorilla this is one of the reasons the fans are here for. Something tells me that’s not the case. DiBiase cheats almost immediately as the heel he is. What a fall he’s taken in a year. From the main event to this. Wow.

We get a pretty nice back and forth sequence to start as both guys are moving pretty well out there. Jesse drops some names as they slug it out. It’s turned into a standard kick and punch match which isn’t interesting or anything but it fills in time pretty well I suppose.

DiBiase gets a nice shot off the middle rope but doesn’t cover or anything. Why do that anyway? No one gets pins off moves like those anyway. Brutus gets a small package for two. Double clothesline and Ted gets up first. There’s the Million Dollar Dream but Beefcake gets the rope. More kicking and punching sets up Beefcake’s sleeper. Virgil gets Beefcake on the floor and DiBiase follows, leading to a double countout. Gorilla kind of scoffs at the ending.

Rating: D+. They were just kind of there. Pretty boring too. Nothing interesting here at all. I’ve always loved the falling punch DiBiase used. Just something sweet about it. This is power versus technician but it just doesn’t come off that way. Beefcake was supposed to be a power guy I think but he wasn’t that good at it. It’s also not a power move to use a sleeper. Yeah this match was pretty weak.

There used to be a thing called the Bagels and Biceps Brunch. What the point of this was, I’m not sure but it apparently was a tradition. The Bushwackers, one of which licked my face at a house show, are about to face the Rougeaus.

Bushwackers vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The Rougeau’s music of We’re All American Boys is nothing short of amazing. Just an awesome song and one of Jimmy Hart’s great touches. The Bushwackers are just out there even by today’s standards. How these guys lasted nearly 6 years in a completely different gimmick than they started with is beyond me.

The Battering Ram is one of the dumbest yet most awesome moves I’ve ever seen. Now this is a match that I remember only one thing about. During a scoop slam, Luke of the Bushwackers clearly rubs Ray Rougeau crotch. It’s not on accident either. He puts his hand there and rubs up and down. Just a disturbing sight.

Other than that this is nothing but a comedy match. The 80s were so awesome in the area of tag wrestling that they even managed to have jobber tag teams on a regular basis. There’s nothing going on here with the Bushwackers running around for a minute, the Rougeaus controlling for two minutes and the finish. To end this in a hurry, Bushwackers win with their rib breaker move.

Rating: D-. The crotch rub never fails to surprise me. Just not something I want to think about. The match completely sucked though and just never went anywhere at all. What is with all these fillers? DiBiase vs. Beefcake is by far the biggest matchup so far and even it is nothing special and could have been on any house show that year. Weak show so far and a weak match here.

Sean Mooney, one of my all time favorite broadcasters gets licked by a Bushwacker while talking to some fans in a pointless segment.

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer

Yes that’s Owen Hart under the mask. This is another match that is more or less just there for the sake of being there but it should be pretty good. Perfect is still undefeated here. Jesse thinks this is going to be tremendous. Hennig gets a nice hiptoss to start.

He slaps the Blazer and doesn’t get drilled as a result for some reason. Ah there’s the slap and Owen speeds things up a bit. And then we slow them right back down. Baseball slide hits Perfect. Owen was WAY ahead of his time here as he could move like no one else could and was busting out Japanese and European stuff which was unheard of in America at this time.

Blazer is dominating here as Perfect has no idea what to do with him. BIG top rope splash eats knees though. That looked awesome as he got way up in the air and nailed the knees perfectly. Jesse has a surprise for Gorilla.

Powerslam by Blazer gets two and a belly to belly gets two as well. Jesse thinks Perfect has Mania jitters. Crucifix gets two for Blazer. And then a big shot gets Perfect the advantage. Perfectplex gets the easy pin.

Rating: B-. Pretty solid little match here with both guys moving very well. It was speed/flying vs. technical style out there and it worked very well. It helps having two guys that can work a variety of styles. Perfect hit two moves the whole match which hurts this though. Still solid stuff and Owen looked awesome in this.

Yet again, Jesse is introduced to the crowd as a “major Hollywood star” (he had done some supporting roles in some fairly big movies like Predator). There was apparently a 5K run with Mr. Fuji, in tuxedo and bowler hat, running in a decent time. He’s in the handicap tag title match later on if you’re wondering what the heck this is for. He finishes without even breathing hard and Lord Alfred Hayes suspects shenanigans.

Now for something just completely out of place, Run DMC performs the Wrestlemania Rap. This thing goes on and on and on.

Tag Titles: Mr. Fuji and Powers of Pain vs. Demolition

Storyline on this: Demolition was by far and away the most dominant tag team the late 80s had ever seen. They held the titles for about a year and a half which is still the longest amount of time ever. They were brought in as heels around Wrestlemania 3 and won the belts at Wrestlemania 4. Sometime between 3 and 4, they got Mr. Fuji as a manager.

Over the course of the summer, the fans realized how truly awesmoe Demolition was and they began to cheer them. Around the same time, the Powers of Pain, comprised of the Warlord and the Barbarian debuted as faces. The problem was more people liked Demolition than the PoP. So what was the solution you ask? The answer was the incredibly difficult and even rarer double turn.

At the 1988 Survivor Series, the teams had been feuding over the tag belts and were captains of their respective Survivor Series teams. Late in the match, Fuji pulled the top rope down and Smash fell over the ropes and landed on the floor. Ax got in Fuji’s face about it and Fuji answered with I’m The Boss! Demolition beat up Fuji and were counted out. The Powers of Pain helped him up and soon thereafter he was their manager.

So all of that leads us here to the showdown with Fuji and his team in a 3-2 match with Demolition for the tag titles. Fuji does what Heenan did last year with a shot here and a shot there, but at least with Fuji he had a very successful tagging career, including a reign that at the time was the longest in the history of the title. This match is what you would expect from it.

The formula is exactly what you would expect in a match like this. Demolition beats down the Powers, they beat them back, Fuji comes in and beats them up a bit, which is to say he kicks them twice, and then he runs away. This isn’t anything we haven’t seen a thousand times before and it’s not particularly entertaining. Naturally it gets about 9 minutes.

Demolition holds their own but eventually gets beaten up by all three, until Fuji makes a mistake. He misses an elbow from the top rope which is impressive in its own right, then eventually throws salt that was his trademark but misses. He’s then hit with the Demolition Decapitation, which might be the worst double team move of all time, and pinned.

Rating: C-. I liked this match but then again I like Demolition. Fuji actually knew how to wrestle and was only in his early 50s at the time so he still could go in the ring to an extent. Demolition is a simple team at heart: beat the tar out of their opponents. That’s hard to mess up and they did it as well as any team ever did. The lack of drama hurts it a good deal though and it shows.

Tony Schiavone tries to talk to Macho Man but gets thrown out.

Ronny Garvin vs. Dino Bravo

Umm, ok? What the point to this match is I have no idea, but after the introductions, Jimmy Snuka is introduced to the crowd for some reason. Literally, they announce Bravo and Garvin, and then the Fink says there is a special guest tonight. Snuka comes out in full apparel and to his music and gets in the ring and poses. He has absolutely nothing to do with this match and isn’t seen again all night.

Anyway onto the match. I have never liked Ronny Garvin. The man just absolutely bores me to tears in the ring. How he became the NWA Champion and even defended it at Starrcade 87 is beyond me. Bravo was ok in the ring but just never really did it for me either. As I say that, Garvin puts on a sleeper which is perfect because I’m falling asleep watching this.

In a strange ending (Thank God) Garvin is up in the corner punching Bravo but gets caught with an atomic drop and is side suplexed to pin him. Garvin gets up and hits Bravo and then uses what has to be the stupidest finisher of all time on Bravo’s manager, the Garvin Stomp. Randy Orton I believe has used this recently. He starts at the arm and goes around the body stomping the opponent. Just looks bad.

Rating: F. I was bored to tears and don’t like either one. This is a biased rating and I could care less. This is a Ronnie Garvin match and therefore it sucks.

Strike Force vs. The Brainbusters

Strike Force (a breath of fresh air after that awful match that just aired) is teaming together for the first time in a long time. Martel was injured by Demolition and was gone for almost a year. In the time off, Santana wrestled in singles matches. Upon Martel’s return, he asked Tito to reform Strike Force which he eventually did. This is their first match back against Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. After this match, the Busters would go on to feud with Demolition over the tag belts.

It sounds wrong to hear Gorilla talking about a Horsemen match and calling them a couple of really tough dudes. Jesse and Gorilla bickering is always funny. it says a lot when Martel is by far the worst technician in a match. Big brawl to start and surprisingly Strike Force wins it.

Martel gets a very nice counter from a body scissors into the Boston Crab. That was impressive. Everything breaks down and Strike Force gets a pair of Figure Fours which has to be at least a mini-rib on the Horsemen.

And now we get the meat of the match as Tito accidentally drills Martel with his flying forearm and down he goes onto the floor. After about a minute Martel gets back up but he’s all shaken up. The Busters work the referee and the tag rules like the masters that they are.

Santana keeps trying to come back and finally does by slamming Arn off the top. Yeah that has to be a rib. Tito finally gets away and goes for the tag but Martel won’t tag and then leaves, heading to the dressing room.

Arn yells at Santana WHERE’S YOUR PARTNER to just be a jerk. The ramp/aisle is really long here so it takes Martel like two minutes to get back. Tito fights back as well as he can but he’s outnumbered and after a few minutes the spike piledriver ends it.

Rating: B-. Half tag and half handicap so it’s unique if nothing else. I always liked both teams and I like what I see here. The post match promo is solid too so it gets a good grade. Very interesting here as this obviously causes the split between the two. They would feud on and off for nearly two years after this with neither one really winning the feud. What’s forgotten in this is the Brainbusters. They are their usually great selves and but on a solid match.

Martel blames Tito and says it was Tito’s idea to reform the team and all that jazz. This is his heel turn if you didn’t get that. He wouldn’t be a face again for like 8 years until he was in WCW.

Piper’s Pit

This gets one of the biggest pops of the nights. One of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a long time from the Fink: I am pleased to introduce to you a man who needs no introduction. We get a really long intro for Piper and out comes the man that creeped me out more than anyone else as a kid: Brother Love.

Seriously, the guy had a red face. That’s just incredibly scary looking to a two year old. Throw in his voice and it’s just scary. His character was based on high energy Christian televangelists such as Jimmy Swaggert. You all might know him better as Bruce Pritchard who was a creative team member until a few months ago.

Love then says his guest on the Brother Love show is Rodney Piper. He then imitates Piper in something that is either dead on or awful and I can’t tell which. He asks questions as Love and takes his glasses off and changes chairs to be Piper. Then out comes the guest, Morton Downey Jr.

This show aired nearly 20 years ago and until I looked him up just seconds ago, I had no freaking clue who this guy was and I’ve seen this PPV at least 30 times. Turns out he was a talk show host that was the inspiration for Springer, Maury etc. His show was viewed as amazingly Right Wing based and he would often berate anyone that disagreed with him. He was later replaced by Rush Limbaugh.

Anyway, Downey is smoking a cigarette which Gorilla refers to as weed. This made my jaw drop. Gorilla said he was puffing on weed. Gorilla Monsoon isn’t supposed to talk about weed blast it! Downey trash talks with Brother Love until they’re interrupted by the Fink who says Piper really is here. Out comes Piper for his first WWF appearance in 2 years.

Piper talks down to Love because of the kilt that Love is wearing. He asks him questions but keeps pulling the mic away saying he doesn’t want to know that badly. I’d forgotten how funny Piper was in his prime. He turns his attention to Downey who is still smoking and keeps blowing smoke into Piper’s face which Piper doesn’t approve of. Downey keeps using the standard insults.

My favorite line: Piper mentions that Downey used to have warts all over his face. Piper: What did you with the warts? Downey: I gave them to a homeless warthog. Piper: (without missing a beat) I didn’t know your girlfriend was homeless. Downey calls Piper is a transvestite before blowing more smoke in his face.

Piper asks for a cig for himself. Downey turns to light it and for no reason at all, Piper has a fire extinguisher under his chair. In probably his second most famous bit after the coconut, Piper sprays him down and leaves.

About as appropriately as possible, Downey would die of lung cancer in 2001.

BREAKING NEWS-Hulk Hogan is making a movie! It’s called No Holds Barred. That movie truly was nine kinds of awesome.

Sean Mooney is talking to Donald Trump. Apparently WM 4 and 5 have been successes.

Jesse is PISSED OFF. Hogan is invading his territory because after he loses to Macho he needs a job. Jesse says he can drive his limo and storms off. Gorilla plugs the movie again and recaps the show so far. We get a video recapping the Mega Powers rise to glory and their split.

Hogan says he can’t believe how this all came about in just a year. He goes into another of his insane promos about everyone being swallowed up by the Earth when the Trump Towers fall apart. Makes little if any sense. Then he talks about winning the title.

Andre the Giant vs. Jake Roberts

Big John Studd is the referee here for no apparent reason. He comes out to what would become Jim Duggan’s music oddly enough. No real reason is given as to why he’s the referee here. Andre is back with Heenan. The point of this match is Andre is terrified of snakes.

This resulted in a scene on television where Andre had a “heart attack” when Jake put the snake on him, yet he’s wrestling again just a few months later. Remarkable. Around this time, Jake was insanely popular, arguably the third biggest face in the company after only Hogan and Warrior.

Somehow before the match starts one of the turnbuckle pads is off and Roberts gets slammed into it. Gorilla says that Jake is like David against Goliath and Jesse says David had to use a foreign object to beat him which makes me want to write the Bible from a wrestling perspective one day. In a funny bit Andre chokes Jake in the corner and Studd goes to count Andre and you literally can’t see Jake other than his feet. Jake stood 6’5.

It’s your standard Andree match from this era. He just could not move to save his life at this point and was a complete shell of his former self. They do the tied up in the ropes spot and Andre is reeling. More pain and punishment goes in until Heenan gets the arm loose and here comes your unfriendly and not likely from your neighborhood Giant.

Something happens in this match that I’ve never been sure of. Andre is throwing shoulders to Jake’s ribs in the corner and falls backwards and down to one knee. He doesn’t hit his head on anything that I can see. Always thought that was just odd. Andre and Studd finally fight while DiBiase of all people runs out and steals the bag with the snake in it. Roberts catches him and throws the snake in the ring to get rid of Andre. Jake wins via DQ.

Rating: D. This is just a strange combination. Andre just didn’t mesh well with most because he was too big. Roberts tried his best but it didn’t go that well. Studd served no real purpose here at all either. They tried but it didn’t work that well.

Sherri will get the title back apparently and doesn’t like Liz at all.

Rhythm and Blues vs. The Hart Foundation

The newly face Harts face off with their old manager’s new team of Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine. To me this was just before Bret’s prime. He’s so smooth in the ring that I’m gaining a new respect for him. The announcers refer to Pat Patterson as a relic. That’s just amusing.

This is the most basic of basic tag matches I can remember in a long time. I mean NOTHING happens here. The faces start in control, the heels take over and dominate for a bit, then we get a hot tag and the finish begins.

Honky hits the Shake Rattle and Roll on Bret but he tags in Hammer for the figure four which clearly is a mistake. Back and forth and Jimmy tosses in the Megaphone which is intercepted. After a solid shot to Honky’s shoulder Neidhart pins him.

Rating: D+. Bret makes this one pretty good for a glorified squash. This went nowhere at all and it’s MORE FILLER. We’ve had ONE match break ten minutes tonight: the Beefcake match got up to 10:01. That’s saying a lot. Just another match that went absolutely nowhere at all.

We get a recap of the Warrior/Rude feud. It involves a posedown and a lot of talking.

Intercontinental Title: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior

The idea of this is the two competed for who had the best body. They had a pose off at the Royal Rumble and Rude attacked the Warrior with a steel exercise bar. Not much of a story but this was the second biggest match on the card.

For some reason that God alone knows, these two had freaks chemistry together. It’s rare to ever see a bad match between them. I have no idea why this is the case but that’s how it always was with them. To have one of the worst workers ever and another who’s character was great but in the ring wasn’t great but wasn’t bad either be able to put on such solid matches really is a strange thing.

Warrior beats the tar out of Rude early on. This is a solid beating and Rude sells it like there’s no tomorrow. Warrior works the back with some very powerful whip ins and a BIG bearhug. It looks like it’s going to be a quick little match but a piledriver slows Warrior down and it’s Rude in control.

Rude’s back is injured but he stays in the game as long as he can. Rude beats on him for nearly four or five minutes as he becomes one of the only people to actually beat down the Warrior and have success at it.

And so much for that as Warrior makes his comeback but as he’s trying to suplex Rude back in Heenan hooks his leg and holds it for the pin and the huge upset. Heenan gets beaten up by Warrior afterwards and because Warrior was so bad in the ring he legitimately hurt Bobby in this.

Rating: B. While not the best workers and a weak story, they again manage to put on a good match. I didn’t give it the description it deserves but that’s really all there was to it. Very well done though. The freaky chemistry these two had continue and I have never gotten it at all.

Jim Duggan vs. Bad News Brown

This is the epitome of a filler. Nothing of note happens here at all as it’s a brawl that the announcers don’t care about at all. It’s about 3 minutes long and ends in a chair vs. 2×4 duel that Duggan wins.

Rating: F. No one cared and they knew it.

Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan

Backstory: Rooster, who has what to me is the worst gimmick of all time, (he literally acted like a rooster, complete with going cock-a-doodle-doo and strutting like one. He passed up the Mr. Perfect gimmick and got this instead) used to work for Heenan but Heenan said he wasn’t that good. This is the Rooster trying to get revenge.

Heenan comes out with the Brooklyn Brawler. This match literally doesn’t last a minute. Heenan jumps the Rooster and whips him into the corner. Rooster gets out of the way and Heenan hits the post and is covered for the pin. Brawler comes in and beats up Rooster who fights back and wins. Wow.

Rating: N/A. This was a total waste of time. But hey, the Brooklyn Brawler got PPV time!

We recap the WWF Title match. Hogan helped Savage win it a year ago and then more or less stole the spotlight for the next year. Liz got involved and Savage thought she was sleeping with Hogan. He went off on him on February 3 (I was turning 1) and turned heel, setting this up.

Hogan says Savage went crazy. That’s just amusing. This is the promo where Hogan absolutely loses his mind and goes on a rant about the building being swallowed up by the Earth or something and Donald Trump being worried about falling into the ocean.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage

They were trying to make this the second coming of Hogan/Andre but there was far less mystery of who was going to win. Liz is at ringside as an independent observer and she actually does just that: nothing. This match has the big match feel to it but looking back it was obvious which way it was going. Savage comes out first if that tells you anything.

Liz gets her own entrance and Jesse says she’ll leave with whoever wins. Gorilla says that sounds smart to him. To say this match is huge is a dramatic understatement. Jesse: this is what the term main event is used for. This is the main event. He’s absolutely right too as this drew INSANE money as they had built up the mega match between these two forever.

Hogan shoves Savage with ease and there he goes. The announcers argue about managers which is kind of funny. Savage keeps running in fear from Hogan and it’s basic stuff so far. He throws Liz in front of a Hogan punch but Hulk stops in time.

There’s Hogan’s wrestling quota for the year as he uses a four move combination to break down Savage and get a front facelock. Savage overpowers him in a surprise by backdropping him. Savage takes over a bit by getting a top rope double axe in. The champion works the arm for some reason. LONG sequence with the arm and then a headlock as we fill in time.

Hogan gets an atomic drop to counter but misses an elbow drop. Hogan’s eye was cut earlier on and it gets rammed into the buckle to open it up even worse. Savage slaps him and here comes Hulk. He slams Savage to the floor and Liz helps him up. They fight on the floor and Hogan gets rammed into the post.

Now Liz helps Hogan up. I guess she wants a double team later on. Hebner, the cock blocker that he is, throws Liz out. Savage hits the double axe off the top to send Hogan’s throat into the railing. Steamboat was out for three months because of that. It doesn’t even get two on Hogan. Savage slams him and there’s the big elbow. Hogan shoves him off, three punches, big boot, big leg, you know the drill I think. Lots of posing ends the show.

Rating: C+. Well it’s not bad, but the problem here is that it is completely underwhelming. This was supposed to be the biggest match ever and it’s just pretty standard fort he most part. Hogan wins the title again and shrugs off Savage’s best move. Not a fan of that at all but it’s the 80s so what are you going to do?

Overall Rating: D+. This is the first of the second era of Wrestlemanias that follows the now traditional Wrestlemania formula. There’s some ok stuff on here and it probably has the oddestok card yet. Pretty much every big star is here, the titles have good matches, the midcard matches are bad, and you have the WM main event.

This show also has the first instance of setting the stage for the future. 1989 was the first year of the big four PPVs so there were other feuds that would be needing to be closed at big shows. Feuds like Hogan and Perfect which sparked Hogan and Warrior, Roberts against DiBiase, and the continuation of Warrior and Rude which led to Warrior against the Heenan Family all spawned from this.

You could arguably call this the first standard Wrestlemania, and I would just barely give it that name over WM 3. Overall this is pretty weak show and the problem with it is mainly the match lengths. TWO matches broke ten minutes and one went past 10:01. I used to really like this one but it doesn’t hold up at all. Pretty bad show but it’s watchable I suppose. That’s about it.

4 comments

  1. noahconstrictor says:

    Great review, KB. 2 things.

    1. Is No Holds Barred really that good?

    2. I found the video of One Man Gang becoming Akeem. I nearly pissed myself laughing. Here’s the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAWJbjrzUYA

    klunderbunker Reply:

    1. It’s something a lot of wrestling fans should see, just for the pure comedy of it. It’s an action film with bits of comedy much like other 80s action films. Wrestling fans will love it though.

    2. Seen that many times. It’s hilarious.

    noahconstrictor Reply:

    Cool. I think my friend has it, so I’ll check it out sometime.

    I wish WWE’s comedy was as funny as the One Man Gang to Akeem. The only truly funny comedy comes from Santino, and he’s a legit wrestler according to kayfabe.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Back in the 80s those skits were very common. Check out the Best of SNME for more of them. Some absolutely hilarious stuff on there. Great DVD too.