Wrestlemania Count-Up – #6: The Ultimate Challenge

Wrestlemania 6
Date: April 1, 1990
Location: SkyDome, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: 67,678
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
O Canada: Robert Goulet

If you remember what I said in the last review about WM 5 being the first standard WM, this one is the first standard blockbuster Wrestlemania. This Mania has the truly huge show atmosphere to it and there are two main reasons for it. Number one is the crowd is massive. At over 67,000 people, this would be the second biggest crowd for a Wrestlemania for the next 11 years.

Second, you had the second biggest Wrestlemania Main event of all time which was title for title. Absolutely no one knew who to pick in this match. That to me is what makes a match at least a notch higher up. Also the actual look of the show changed. If you watch 4 and 5, you see the older look to it.

I’m not sure how to put it into words but if you watch either of them and then 6 one after another you’ll see what I mean. 6 simply looks much newer. I know that it’s a year later, but the jump is a huge difference. The card is long and while there’s some filler, it’s good filler. I’m a sucker for this show but I’ll try to be objective.

To begin with, one of the most memorable things about this show is the opening. It shows the night sky and talks about the constellations in it. Eventually we get to constellations of Hogan and Warrior. Vince’s booming voice over this scene makes the show and the match just seem epic.

Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Martel

Ok so not every match can be great. The newest WWE HOF member still makes me shake my head. Martel is a better choice than he is but that’s a topic for another thread. This is the WM debut of Martel’s Model gimmick. For this show the ring carts from WM 3 are back. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re small motorized carts that the wrestlers ride to the ring in. Kind of a cool idea.

I assume they’re used to prevent people from having to make the very long walk to the ring. You can tell how great Koko is. Gorilla’s line talking about how good he is: “He’s proven he can take anybody to the limit.” Read as, he can’t beat anyone. Koko only stands 5’8. Never knew how short he was. Martel is only 6’0 but it looks pretty funny to see the tiny face like that.

They actually thought this was the best possible opening match for Wrestle-freaking-Mania? Really? Frankie was always kind of cool. Martel jumps him to start and Koko is in trouble early on. Koko had a decent dropkick and that’s about it. Yet he’s in the Hall of Fame and Randy Savage isn’t. Amazing.

Martel sends him to the floor and Koko is in trouble. Ha I said that just as Gorilla did. The crowd starts a small boring chant and I can’t say I blame them. Boston Crab is blocked early. In the clipped version the first Boston Crab attempt is shown going on as Martel turns him towards the ropes and he winds up in the middle of the ring with it. Odd indeed.

Koko hits a pair of flying headbutts that just look awful. On the third one in one of the dumbest spots I’ve ever seen, he fakes the headbutt and after a second, Martel falls anyway. I could get that he was bracing himself and fell or something, but Koko gets a long two out of it. WOW. Missed cross body leads to the Boston Crab for the submission.

Rating: D. This was a squash and a bad one. Koko truly is bad in the ring. He’s bland and for whatever reason was popular. Bad way to start a show. Koko was one of those guys in the 80s that wasn’t any good but was pushed on occasion as a midcard threat anyway and more or less was a jobber to the stars. Weak opening match.

Andre and Haku, the Colossal Connection, are called the Colostomy Connection by Gene. Heenan says if you want to talk about evacuation…Wow again. They say they’re going to eliminate Demolition. Gene, as they leave: “The Colossal Connection, they’re anything but regular guys.” My goodness.

Demolition wants to destroy and demolish the Connection and take the belts back.

Tag Titles: Demolition vs. The Colossal Connection

This is Demolition’s rematch from when the Connection beat them in I believe December. It was also their chance to become three time tag champions. The crowd chants Weasel at Heenan which sounds great in this huge arena. This match is absolutely nothing but power all around. In something that I never realized before and someone correct me if I’m wrong but this was Andre’s last televised WWF match.

Andre jumps them to start and the challengers are in trouble early. Apparently the Harts want a shot at the winners. Smash and Haku officially start us off. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing the Islander a lot. Those big screens in the back are rather cool.

Andre only pops in every once in awhile to throw punches and choke. The perk of him being so freaking huge is that a simple move like one of those is enough to take a guy down and have it look very realistic.

This whole thing is pretty much just ok at best. Haku vs. Demolition isn’t a match I particularly care to see but it’s all they could do. I would kind of question putting the titles on the Connection simply to give Andre a title run in his career but it’s better than ignoring him I suppose. Axe gets beaten down for the majority of the match.

Haku wrestles almost all of the match here as Andre was in bad shape at this point. Haku accidentally superkicks Andre into the ropes and Demolition lands their finisher to pick up the titles. Post match, Heenan goes nuts on Andre in the corner, at one point clearly saying he’s the boss. Then in something that boggles even my smark mind, Bobby slaps him. The look on Andre’s face is nothing short of great.

He grabs Bobby by the throat and slaps him a few times and punches him. He catches Haku’s thrust kick and beats the heck out of him too. Heenan and Haku get thrown off the cart as Andre leaves on his own to the crowd losing their minds. The sad part though is how hunched over Andre is. Truly a sad sight.

Rating: C-. This was a fun little match that wasn’t entirely predictable. The post match stuff is even better than the match. Ticked off giants are just plain fun. It’s more or less just a way to give the fans something to cheer for which works fine I guess. Nothing special at all but fun.

In the back we see Earthquake and Jimmy Hart who says that there’s going to be an earthquake and Earthquake says Hercules will crumble.

Hercules vs. Earthquake

Do I have to watch this? Seriously, what are you expecting here? Quake is undefeated here and is putting people in the hospital left and right. He tries to jump Hercules to start and Herc pounds away with punches.

We get a test of strength and being a heel, Earthquake cheats after getting in trouble. He pounds away with fat man moves before Herc gets a shot in. After a bunch of big power shots he can’t take Earthquake off his feet.

And then like an IDIOT, Hercules tries for the backbreaker (torture rack) and gets drilled. You freaking deserve that for being stupid. A few shots put him down and the Earthquake Splash ends it. He deserves pain like that too.

Rating: D-. I liked Hercules, but this was just bad. It wasn’t quite a squash but it might as well have been. He beats Hercules up more afterwards and he deserves it for being stupid enough to try the Rack like that. Earthquake would be top heel by August.

Some old lady named Rona Barrett talks to Liz who is going to be more active in wrestling.

Brutus Beefcake is going to end Mr. Perfect’s “perfect” record. He shows off how sharp his scissors are by snipping at the paper the record is on and the paper doesn’t cut. Amazing indeed.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect.

Perfect beat the tar out of Beefcake at the Rumble so this is little more than a grudge match. Can’t beat that. That Brutus music is downright awesome. Gorilla STEALS Jesse’s line about Brutus looking like a hand grenade went off in his pocket. Wouldn’t that result in a bad leg injury?

They start off hard and fast again which is a tradition so far tonight. Brutus dominates to start, sending Perfect flying. He might still be undefeated here but I’m not sure. Things slow down a lot as we talk about conditioning.

Gorilla isn’t sure what the weak spot is on Hennig. I’d recommend hitting him in the face. Brutus goes for the sleeper as Mary Tyler Moore is here. This Mania is officially awesome. Genius slips the scroll to Perfect which gets two. I love that neck snap Perfect does. Beefcake makes his comeback and hits a slingshot into the post for the pin out of NOWHERE.

Rating: C. Compared to what’s come before it, this match is Steamboat and Savage. Brutus, for all his faults, wasn’t that bad in the ring. Having a guy with him like Hennig helped a lot, and this might be Brutus’ biggest win ever. The postmatch beatdown is very old school pink on pink action fun as well.

Post match the Genius gets a haircut for his troubles.

To say this match is interesting would be an understatement. We see a video recapping the buildup. This match came about because Piper eliminated Bad News from the Rumble and Bad News came back in and eliminated him. They fought to the back. For those that don’t know, Brown was legit. He is the only American heavyweight to win a medal in Olympic Judo, and also made Andre the Giant back down in a real fight in Japan after Andre made a racist joke. Anyway, 3 weeks after the Rumble, Bad News made a joke about Piper’s kilt which is just too far.

In a promo that would never be allowed to air today, Piper is in the back and says he’s the Hot Rod, but at other times he’s the Hot Scot. At that point, he turns around and you see that half of his body is painted back right down the middle. After a brief karaoke of Billy Jean, Piper insults Brown’s looks in a funny promo and says he’s going to shut Bad News’ big mouth, but Brown doesn’t know if it’ll be Hot Rod or Hot Scot that does it.

I’m still not sure what the point of the whole painting thing was.

Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown

I think this is no DQ but I’m not sure. This isn’t so much a match as it is a fight. Very few wrestling moves and mainly punches and kicks but it was designed to be that way. The fighting is fun because it’s what these two are best at. Surprisingly Piper is ripped here in by far the best shape he’s ever been in.

Allegedly that paint took weeks to get off due to a rib from Andre and someone else. Not sure how true that is. Yeah there’s no wrestling at all here. Sometimes that’s a great thing though and here that’s exactly what this should be like.

The way Brown beats up Roddy and then Roddy just casually pokes him in the eye is great. Brown gets sent into exposed steel and is down. Piper pulls out a white glove as we continue the Michael Jackson theme night which I suppose is what the black and white thing is about. Match ends in a double count out and it means nothing. They continue brawling all the way up the ramp and into the back.

Rating: A. This match was nonstop fighting and was insanely fun. There was next to no wrestling in it but that that’s what made it great. I loved this match the first time I saw it and it’s still great. And yes that’s highly biased.

Steve Allen, the former Tonight Show host, is in a bathroom with a piano with the Bolsheviks practicing the Russian National Anthem. He makes a few jokes but finally says he’ll do the real Russian Anthem. He opens his mouth and a toilet flushes. Steve runs to save his own life.

Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks

The Harts want Demolition. This match literally lasts 19 seconds. Harts knock the Bolsheviks down during their singing, land the Hart Attack and it’s over.

Rating: N/A. What can I say about 19 seconds? Funny if nothing else. The pop for Hart is coming too. It’s not there yet but you can see the star in him. Granted that might be the Canada thing

Wrestlemania 7 is coming to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and there will be over 100,000 fans there!

Edit from the future: no there won’t be. Ticket sales bombed and they moved it to the Sports Arena in the same town which held about 16,000 people.

Barbarian vs. Tito Santana

Tito does a promo that I literally couldn’t pay attention to. This match screamed HOUSE SHOW to me. It’s two guys in a ring doing moves on each other. There’s little psychology and less meaning to most of it. It’s not bad wrestling, but there’s no spark to it at all. Santana is a great worker, but this match just did nothing for me.

Yeah this isn’t much at all. Santana does a bit, Barbarian hits the floor to hide a bit with Heenan, Jesse makes enchilada jokes, Barbarian comes back in, and we let the destruction begins. It’s not bad but at the same time this isn’t much at all. It’s not boring, but I wonder why this is on Wrestlemania. Barbarian wins with a clothesline off the top that was sweet looking.

Rating: D. Like I said, it’s not bad at all, but it just did nothing for me. I don’t get the need for this being on here though as Tito was destroyed both here and at Summerslam by the Powers of Pain. I guess I get the idea of having them get good matches (in theory) but really? This needed to be on Mania?

Next up is a recap of the upcoming mixed tag which I believe was a first at the time. Sapphire, as worthless of a person as there ever has been in wrestling, is shown beating up Sherri which just infuriates me, and Macho King feuding with the Common Man Dusty Rhodes. Fairly cool concept for a feud really, even though Dusty boarders on Communism in his promo. He also talks about having the Crown Jewel but no one knows what they mean.

Macho King and Queen Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire

The King having people carry him to the ring on the throne was always just insanely cool to me for some reason. The fun part of this for some reason was figuring out the women’s weight based on the male’s weights. Sherri at about 130-140 and Sapphire at 180-190, which Jesse says is impossible and I think I agree with him. The more Dusty promos I hear the more I like him. His mic work is great.

Dusty says that they have something Macho doesn’t have, which is the Crown Jewel. The Crown Jewel is none other than Elizabeth. For the first time in way too long, Savage absolutely loses it. The crowd pops louder than they’ve done all night as she goes to Dusty and Sapphire’s corner.

Liz is definitely good looking in blue. The genders have to match up here so that’s good. Sapphire is just horrible. One of her attacks is a hip into the other chick’s hips. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but GET BACK TO DUSTY!

Dusty does what he can here and it’s just not working for the most part. A lot of this is the girls doing what they can which isn’t much for the most part as they’re just not very good. Well Sherri is but she can’t work miracles. Savage destroys Dusty until the required big comeback makes the save.

This match is all over the place the entire match and it’s incredibly fun. Rhodes is at his best when he can just go crazy in a match and that’s what this is. Dusty is in the ring the entire time almost which is the best thing possible. Dusty is just on fire the whole time and Savage is his usual great self. Sapphire finally gets in the ring and proves my theory: she is awful. Sadly enough, she pins Sherri in a dark day for wrestling. Liz actually dances with Dusty and Sapphire to Common Man after the match.

Rating: D-. Sapphire literally drops this about a full letter grade. She was flat out awful and there is no reason she should have pinned Sherri at all. Dusty and Savage carry this to a decent grade though. It’s a sad day that Dusty Rhodes is the workhorse of his team but that was the case here.

Hey, did you know WM 7 will be in Los Angeles? Don’t know if the promo that aired earlier would get the message across or not.

Heenan is upset. Okerlund is all over the place tonight as he says, “Bobby Heenan where do you have the ba…guts to insult Andre the Giant?” You can clearly see Bobby almost lose it after that. He declares war on Andre and says he’ll be getting a new Heenan Family together.

That old woman from earlier is with Gorilla and Jesse in the back and yet again, I couldn’t care less. Allegedly there’s a clip of Jesse in a porn movie out there somewhere. Never heard anything about that and I don’t think it’s true.

Macho Man cuts a promo that makes literally no sense. I think it’s about Dusty Rhodes.

Demolition is glad to have won the titles in the fifth promo in a row. They say the Harts can bring it on.

In promo #6, Hogan cuts one of his most famous promos ever, telling Warrior that the power lies in the palm of his hand. He also says that he can save all of the Little Warriors with the training, the prayers and the vitamins. Hogan goes on to say that his Hulkamaniacs want to help them. Rewatching this, it’s clear that Hogan would lose. He mentions that the winner or the loser doesn’t matter, but what kind of winner or loser you are.

At the end of the show, he hands the belt to Warrior and holds up his hand, being a “good loser.” Wow it’s fun to see these in a different light. Also starting to wonder if “take your vitamins” is a tongue in cheek reference to taking steroids, but that might be a stretch.

Guess what’s next? Go on, guess. If you said Promo #7, I’ll get you a ham sandwich. In an equally famous promo, Warrior says that Hogan’s life can be lived through the Warrior, but it will be in the darkness. Everything is about accepting challenges, but Hogan has never met a challenge like him. He’s going to bring the Warriors and the Hulkamaniacs together as one.

Rockers vs. Orient Express

See, this is what I loved about the 80s and early 90s: the tag division was AWESOME. There were at least 8 distinctly gimmicked teams fighting all over the place. There were jobber teams, midcard teams and main event tag teams. These teams almost always had great matches together. They had a great one at the 91 Rumble so hopefully this holds up.

Tanaka vs. Jannetty opens us up. Surprisingly enough this is pretty fast paced to start. Fuji interferes with the cane to set up Marty as the Ricky Morton for this match. And never mind as Shawn is already back in. Tanaka takes him down with a cross body for no cover.

The fans are into this which is always a good sign. It’s actually Shawn as the face in peril here which is the custom of the Rockers. It’s weird to see the Rockers getting outworked. Marty comes in to more or less no pop which is odd.

The double teaming by the good guys begins and Tanaka takes a big old flipping flip off a double back drop. Fuji trips Janetty and salt goes into his eyes as he falls into the crowd. Are we sure he’s not just drunk? He gets counted out to let evil win the day.

Rating: C. Semi-filler, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. This is definitely the weakest of their feud which is saying a lot as this was sitll fine. Not a bad match but not great really. The ending more or less sucked but that isn’t incredibly bad. It set up a future match I guess but I wasn’t big on it.

Steve Allen is with Rhythm and Blues. Allen says he hasn’t been so excited since he heard Pee Wee Herman was straight. Good grief this show was pushing things for 1990.

Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo

Duggan waves the American flag in Canada. Well no one ever said he was intelligent. Jesse is impressed by the crowd as he should be. It’s huge. This is your standard power brawl and with Duggan in there, it’s likely not going to be that great. Surprising no one, it’s pretty dull.

The crowd is into it though so that’s good. Here’s some punching. And some kicking. Plus some more punching. Ooo it’s a back breaker. Yeah it’s one of those matches. Never been a fan of these matches but they’re trying…..ok not really but it sounds good.

Earthquake and Hart interfere of course. We get an argument about manager’s licenses and all that jazz which goes nowhere. Eventually the referee yells at him leading to a 2×4 to Bravo’s back and a pin. Post match Quake beats the heck out of Duggan.

Rating: D+. It was bad but they kept it short which was very smart. These two were thrown out there on a ton of Superstars shows which went nowhere. This was too short and it never went anywhere at all which doesn’t surprise me at all. Weak match and filler. It’s just not a good sign when there’s nothing to bring the crowd down from. You can tell they’re here for one match only.

Video package showing Jake Roberts stealing DiBiase’s Million Dollar Belt which happened over the course of about a year for some reason. Jake is in the back and cuts what might be one of the best promos I’ve ever seen. He starts by saying this is the biggest match in DiBiase’s career. At that moment I thought this was going to suck because 2 years ago he was main eventing WM for the World Title.

But then Jake started talking about DiBiase’s values and his life, and something impressive happened: I believed him. That my friends, is why Jake Roberts is considered great. He was able to make you believe something that wasn’t true. That is what psychology in wrestling is. He did something that made you believe in what he was trying to sell to you. Greatness indeed.

Ted DiBiase vs. Jake Roberts

If there are two better 80s performers that never got a real chance in the main event, I’d like to see them. Jake dominates at first and goes to town on DiBiase’s arm but as DiBiase pretends to bail, Jake gets caught by him. I hope this is a Canadian tradition and not a sign of boredom but the Wave begins in the SkyDome which really is an impressive sight in a crowd that big. I kind of see it as disrespectful though.

A wide shot shows that the ring is on a pedestal/platform kind of thing which really is cool. Jake immediately goes for the DDT but can’t get anywhere with it. This is your standard match between these guys with a LONG chinlock. These two fought time and time again, usually for the Million Dollar Belt, and it never went anywhere.

Jake makes his usual comeback and then gets taken down again. And there’s the chinlock again. Was Ted afraid to do much other than something like that? Apparently it’s to get through the Wave. Well that makes sense. Jake makes his comeback and still I will say that no one bumps as well as DiBiase does for his size. They go outside and DiBiase locks in the Dream again but goes into the post.

Virgil him back in before the 10 though and DiBiase gets the win. Post match Jake comes back and beats both men up, sending money flying everywhere. Virgil gets away with the money but Jake gets a picture perfect DDT on DiBiase and the fans explode. You can see the head slam off the mat and it looks great. Jake then hands out the real $100 bills that DiBiase dropped, including one to Hollywood legend Mary Tyler Moore.

Rating: C. Well they tried but the whole Wave = chinlock thing messed up a lot of their stuff. They tried as hard as they could but the crowd was against them here. This was a huge feud and DIBiase gets the title back via countout but whatever. The number of matches is hurting the show again.

In the back, we hear Slick talk about why Bossman turned face, which was because he wouldn’t be paid off by DiBiase to do his bidding, saying that he was a fair law enforcer. That split up the team of Bossman and Akeem so we get this match. Bossman, which is really a great gimmick, another great feature of the 80s, says that he’s proud to be an American. Great way to be a face buddy.

Akeem vs. Big Boss Man

Bossman’s eyes are sweet looking on the way to the ring. Before the match, DiBiase, the guy that tried to buy off Bossman in the fall, comes from under the ring and beats up Bossman so Akeem dominates to begin with. Bossman lands a great boot to the face though to break the momentum.

He’s down and trying to get his breath but then just snaps up like absolutely nothing is wrong with him. It looked REALLY bad. He goes off on Akeem and a few seconds later an amazing Bossman Slam considering Akeem’s size gets the pin. Post match, Bossman punches Slick.

Rating:N/A. Just another quickie and it gets nowhere at all.

Sean Mooney is in the crowd and asks if people are looking forward the Rhythm And Blues singing. Mary Tyler Moore is apparently a wrestling fan and I now love her even more than I did before.

Now we get the famous scene from this show: the Pink Cadillac carrying Rhythm And Blues. The reason this is famous? The owner and driver of the car is none other than future two time, two time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Diamond Dallas Page. He was just about to debut in WCW at the time. He actually might have already but if he had he had been there all of a month.

They perform their new song, Hunka Hunka Hunka Honkey Love (Word wants to murder me for that) and it’s bad. You can see Jimmy Hart is the only one that has a clue what he’s doing which makes sense.

For those of you that don’t know, Jimmy Hart was the main person responsible for all of the mind blowing songs used in the WWF in the 80s and early 90s. Back in the 60s he was lead singer for a band called the Gentrys that had a big hit called Keep On Dancing. They went on tour with the Beach Boys so apparently they had something going for them. Hart brought that legit talent to wrestling music and it worked really well.

For God knows what reason, the Bushwackers appear selling programs at ringside. Realizing that these are the worst disguises of all time, they pull them off and run off Rhythm and Blues before destroying their guitars. Kind of funny, more stupid though. The funniest part of this is Jesse referencing a CD and Gorilla doesn’t sound that sure as to what it is.

Yet again, WM 7 in Los Angeles. The sad thing is I remember the real commercials that had the ticket number in it that’s been edited out since. I could literally quote the ticket number in this if I wanted to. That’s kind of sad.

New SkyDome attendance record of 67,678 people. These announcements are always kind of cool to me. However, the fans seem completely uncaring about this.

Rick Rude vs. Jimmy Snuka

This match is pure filler before the main event. Steve Allen is on commentary here. Standard match here for these two. Back and forth which makes it a decent match. Snuka doing the hip swivel is funny if nothing else. Rude wins with a Rude Awakening. Steve Allen has some very funny lines in this and it boosted the match a lot. For those that may have forgotten, Allen was kind of like the Jay Leno of his time, just not quite as famous but very close to it.

Rating: C-. Funny and that’s it. No one cares as it’s time for Hogan vs. Warrior.

And now it’s time for the main event. First up of course is a recap though. It stated with the two of them saying nice things about each other in their promos and then they wound up being alone together in the Rumble. They do a nicely choreographed routine ending in a double clothesline, but DANG was it exciting to see it at the time. This would be like Hogan and Austin today.

A week later they were in a tag match with Mr. Perfect and his manager/partner the Genius. Hogan and Warrior win but afterwards the brawl continues. Hogan gets nailed by mistake with a Warrior clothesline. A month later Warrior is in trouble against Earthquake and Hogan makes the save after the match for Mania had been announced. Two weeks after that, same scenario, just switch Hogan and Warrior.

In other words, Earthquake was a very scary man. Hogan tries to get up and Warrior runs back and forth. Hogan has his back to him and Warrior raises his arm for a clothesline but stops dead. Then Hogan turns and puts his fists up. Warrior hits the ropes again, hops to the floor and runs away. Seriously, this guy was messed up at times.

Intercontinental Title/WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior

This was dubbed The Ultimate Challenge and both belts were on the line. Warrior’s music hits and I don’t ever recall a crowd going from dead to insane so quickly, at least not until Austin and the glass shattering began. Everything about this match is absolutely epic. Even the entrances just feel big if that makes sense. This is what Wrestlemania was supposed to end with and it works perfectly here.

Absolutely great job in building this up as face vs. face was very risky and still is hard to do today. Hogan’s ovation is clearly louder, but not by much. In one of the coolest scenes ever, Hogan’s music plays and as we pan from the crowd to the entry way, Warrior is seen standing on the middle rope doing his press slam motion. I marked out beyond belief just for the entrances.

It’s hard to do, but they awakened the inner young fan in me, the Hulkamaniac that lurks inside my soul. One thing I’ve always wondered: when Warrior comes to the ring, he clearly has his symbol painted on his chest, yet 5 minutes into the match it’s gone without a trace. That’s too fast to have been knocked off and wouldn’t there be traces if it was sweated off?

Crowd is white hot for this. Both guys shove each other away. And now for the iconic moment of the match: the test of strength. Warrior puts Hogan down but Hogan comes back and puts Warrior down. Hogan gets a slam and Warrior pops up. Warrior gets a slam and Hogan doesn’t pop up.

Hogan goes to the floor and holds his knee. This will NEVER be mentioned again after it gets better. The key thing here though: it lets Hogan be able to say that Warrior didn’t beat him at his best. The referee keeps trying to protect Hogan and Warrior is like screw you short man.

Naturally Hogan is fine now so the knee thing is completely forgotten, never to be mentioned again. Hogan gets the worst chinlock ever to take over for awhile. He puts Warrior down and waits awhile before covering after a clothesline. Ok then.

Back to the chinlock now as this is going more or less nowhere at all. A belly to back suplex fills in the wrestling quota for tonight. He gets his fourth chinlock to fill in time. Double clothesline and both go down after Hogan has taken next to no punishment this whole time.

Warrior does an Undertaker sit up before Taker was around. Warrior Warriors Up and the bald man is in trouble. Bear hug goes on Hogan. There are FAR more rest holds in this than I remember. This one goes on for like two and a half minutes.

And down goes the referee. Hogan gets what would be a three count. Warrior gets what would be a three count. Warrior hammers away and manages to get the press slam and the splash for two as the fans are in shock.

He Hulks Up as Warrior pounds away on him. Three punches and a big boot set up the leg drop. The leg drop amazingly misses and Warrior hits a big splash and wins the title in one of the biggest shockers of all time.

Rating: A+. This match lived up to the amazing hype that it got and showed that Hogan could work a long match that wasn’t in his normal formula. It also showed that Warrior did indeed have the capabilities to wrestle well if given the right opponent, which he had also done with Rude. While I think Hogan should have kept the title, that doesn’t mean that it was a bad match, because it was great.

The finish made sense and didn’t make Hogan look weak but made Warrior look strong. That’s hard to do. I don’t know what I can say about this match that hasn’t already been said. For both men, it’s likely the match of their lives. They have nearly 68,000 people in the palms of their hands for nearly 23 minutes and it never lets up once. Everything is a small war and the crowd knows it. Every little thing in this match is done well and that makes it a classic.

Both men do their signature no pain things, and you literally didn’t know who was going to win. When Hogan hulked up, I truly believed for a split second he was going to win. That’s great work. The finish to this epic struggle came when Hogan missed the leg drop and Warrior splashed him for the pin, and wrestling changed forever. Jesse’s shout of THE WARRIOR’S WON THE TITLE is absolutely perfect.

After Hogan hands him the belt and steals a bit of the spotlight, the arena goes a bit darker and pyro goes off all over the place. The big screens show Warrior shaking the ropes with the belt in hand and it’s just amazing to look at. A great ending to a great match and show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a really hard decision for me because based on the main event, the Brown/Piper match and a few others, this show is really great to watch. However, there’s some flaws that keep it from being perfect. For one thing and I didn’t really touch on this, the time it took to get to the ring was just way too long. I know there’s not much they could do about that, but it really slowed things down at times.

Also, there were too many short matches. The card doesn’t need to have everyone on the card. Take the opener for example. That was a waste of nearly 10 minutes counting introductions. Finally, WAY too many backstage promos. We don’t need an interview before every match. It’s just overkill at that point. However, those are simply keeping a great show from being legendary.

This show had the real Wrestlemania feel to it and it shows. It was supposed to be an epic show and it lived up to it. The matches were for the most part good, stories were advanced, things were memorable, and it was fun. Definite recommendation here as so far, it’s the second best Mania and arguably the best along with 3. Los Angeles, here we come!

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