Wrestlemania Count-Up – #7: Can’t You Keep The War Going Just A Few More Months?

Wrestlemania 7
Date: March 24, 1991
Location: Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 16,158
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan
America The Beautiful: Willie Nelson

Now this was a most interesting show and one that I’ve always liked for some reason. The theme for this show was Stars and Stripes in light of the Gulf War. At the Royal Rumble, Sergeant Slaughter had won the WWF Title with the help of the Macho Man by beating the Ultimate Warrior.

Slaughter was an Iraqi sympathizer and therefore, the epitome of evil at the time. It was clear that a Real American would have to rise up to confront him and take the title back. Fortunately, the WWF had the realest of all Real Americans in Mr. Hulk Hogan.

Your other big match was the previously mentioned Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage. These two would meet on this show in a career ending match. There’s also Mr. Perfect vs. Big Bossman for the IC belt and the Nasty Boys vs. The Harts for the tag belts.

We see the Rockers talking about how the Rockers are going to beat their opponents which is about the same interview that they did for their entire time in the WWF. This is close to the end of the Rockers’ run which mainly is because you can really see the star in Shawn begging to be let out.

The Rockers vs. Haku/Barbarian

Due to Heenan managing the heels, we get Hacksaw Jim Duggan on commentary. Duggan is dressed like Uncle Sam which works fine for him. After running down the two main matches for a bit it’s time to set started. Shawn vs. Haku opens us up here. It’s your basic power vs. speed match to start which means it’s solid all things considered.

Everyone is in maybe 90 seconds in though and we get to an interesting part: the Rockers hit a double superkick to both guys, and the heels are up in maybe 4 seconds. In other words, Sweet Chin Music did nothing at all. Was it a technique thing that made them better later on? I’ve never gotten that. Off to Barbarian vs. Marty now which sounds painfully bad.

Sunset flip doesn’t work for Marty but Barbarian punches mat instead. The Rockers were rather awesome at this point which is always cool to see. Now we get to the majority of the match as Marty plays….well Marty, taking a BIG beating from the monsters. It amazes me how these guys could have the same formula so often and make it work so many times (and yes I know the Expresses did it first).

We get the bearhug as Marty is reeling. Granted it might be that he’s stoned or drunk but we have no evidence thereof. Granted it’s Marty so him being sober would be most odd indeed. Did Barbarian ever not have steady work? Marty manages to get free but misses a second rope cross body and is caught in a SLICK powerslam to crush him for no cover.

Barbarian misses a top rope headbutt though and amazingly his Samoan head is actually hurt. It does the needed job though as here comes Shawn off the hot tag. Shawn manages to fight off both guys for far longer than you would expect him to. A thumb in the eye doesn’t get Haku anywhere as Shawn gets a sunset flip for two.

Everyone comes in again and the Rockers wake up with double teams all around. They unleash the high stuff (remember it’s Marty out there) and a cross body from Shawn gets the win. Very fun match here and it worked rather well. Duggan leaves since Heenan is going to take over on commentary now.

Rating: B. This was the perfect opener. There’s not much of importance here and that works well. You don’t want your fans to get emotionally invested in the first match and get them worn out in the early going. This match was fun, fast paced, and not too serious. Perfect choice for the opener. On a side note, this makes Shawn 1-2 at WM.

We see Alex Trebek, Regis Philbin and some ugly woman who are the celebrities for WM 7. Seriously, Alex Trebek? Regis I can understand, but this is the best you can do, in Los Angeles? That can’t be a good thing. They really have nothing to say of note.

Texas Tornado vs. Dino Bravo

This should be interesting. Power vs. power here so it’s likely not going to be that good. Bravo uses the absolute worst atomic drop I’ve ever seen. He just drops Tornado and it’s very sad indeed. Bravo hits his finisher and no one really is surprised when Tornado kicks out.

This is one of those matches that is on there for the purposes of filling in the card and everyone knows it. Bravo is LONG past his point of usefulness and Von Erich just never clicked in this company past a hot debut period. This is nothing at all and it knows it’s nothing at all.

Tornado locks in his Claw Hold and after about ten seconds the announcers acknowledge it. He then hits the spinning punch of death to pin Bravo as there’s literally no commentary for about 10 more seconds. They really didn’t care and neither do I.

Rating: F. When Gorilla Monsoon, the man that likely cared as much about the WWF than anyone else has nothing to say, you know it sucks.

Slick and Warlord babble about beating up the British Bulldog

British Bulldog and his dog Winston say they can beat the Warlord. You know, if Davey hadn’t had that stupid mascot, he could have been legendary. Everything about him just screams GIVE ME THE TITLE! At least in this interview it does.

Warlord vs. British Bulldog

Warlord has that sweet half mask at this point. The Bulldog hails from Leeds. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Power vs. Power again here, but I’m not as worried as I was about the last one. Considering this is Stars and Stripes Wrestlemania, the Bulldog’s pops are insane. Heck those would be great pops anywhere.

He had the look, the talent, the moves, the fan support, everything he needed to be a mega star. What that never happened is beyond me, but I think it wore yellow and red. I’m really not wild on having back to back power vs. power matches but this is definitely an upgrade. Davey runs through Warlord to start us off here and sends him to the floor with some shoulder blocks.

Crucifix doesn’t work as Warlord counters into a Samoan Drop for no cover. Gorilla and Heenan are stealing the show. Heenan: “I was knighted by Queen Elizabeth you know.” Gorilla: “You keep this up I’ll have you crowned as well.” We get the loudest pop for a bearhug that I’ve EVER heard as this crowd is really quite hot. Total slugout here for the most part but it’s working.

Warlord gets a belly to belly out of nowhere to take Bulldog down and the crowd will not stop cheering. This is rather impressive. Warlord wastes time like the idiot that he is but for once it doesn’t cost him. On to the weakest chinlock I can remember in a very long time to waste some more time. Smith fights up and hits a VERY good dropkick to take over.

It amazes me how versatile he was at this time and wouldn’t get his big push for over a year and a half. Granted some of that was due to Flair showing up and changing the whole thing which can’t be blamed on Vince. Piledriver attempt by Davey is blocked into a backdrop into a sunset flip for two.

There’s the full nelson from Warlord out of nowhere and Davey is in trouble. He can’t lock in the fingers though so there’s a chance for escape for our hero. The fingers aren’t locked and Davey is able to bust out of it in a surprise which hadn’t been done before I don’t think. A second later, Davey picks Warlord up and walks around with him for a bit and DRILLS him with the powerslam to end it. This was a miracle.

Rating: B-. I liked it. Bulldog is completely carrying this match though and it’s clear who the top talent here is. By far and away Warlord’s best match ever and something that I probably have overrated. It’s awesome for some reason though and I think a lot of it is due to the crowd being WAY into this. Very fun match indeed.

Jimmy Hart and the most overrated tag team I’ve ever seen, the Nasty Boys, are going to take the tag titles by cracking the foundation. The Harts disagree. Neidhart is pretty good on the mic, but Hitman is clearly the star here. This was at the very end of their run as a tag team and Bret is like Shawn at this point: ready and just waiting to be told to go for it.

Tag Titles: Nasty Boys vs. Hart Foundation

For God knows why, Jimmy Hart is wearing a motorcycle helmet. Bret and Sags start us off here. Bret manages to beat up both guys on his own as you can see the singles push dripping and ready to come out. Anvil vs. Knobbs now. Who named these two guys? The Nasty Boys I mean. Anvil hammers away and Brian is in big trouble early on.

Both Harts have managed to clear the ring on their own which is always a cool thing to see. Back off to Bret again as it’s ALL Harts for about the first five minutes or so. Bret takes a clothesline though to send him to the floor. Anvil chases Jimmy and let’s talk about Hogan. To the shock of absolutely no one, Bret gets beaten on for the vast majority of the time he’s in, as is his custom.

Heenan tries to imitate Gorilla’s commentary when he gets all technical about body parts in a funny but too short bit. Sags gets a chinlock on Bret and cranks on it which gets him nowhere again. Knobbs plays Monkey See Monkey Do as he locks in the same move which gets him nowhere either.

Neckbreaker gets two for Sags as it’s so cute to see him try to wrestle out there. He REALLY likes that chinlock as we see it again. Now Knobbs try it again. They’ve probably spent 3-4 minutes on that chinlock over and over again. We get the oldest and one of the best tag moves in the books as Anvil gets the tag but it isn’t seen.

Heel miscommunication sets up the REAL hot tag and Neidhart cleans house. The Harts were awesome as a team and it’s a shame they’re not credited more than they are. I know they’re considered great but you don’t hear them talked about much anymore, or at least not enough for my liking.

Everything breaks down one more time and it’s a Hart Attack for Knobbs. And there comes the infamous Megaphone as Anvil is getting rid of Sags. Knobbs gets the pin on Bret to steal the titles. Jimmy’s near orgasm where he rolls all over the ground and kicks his feet and kisses the title is pretty hilarious stuff.

Rating: C-. They were trying, but you can’t sell the Nastys going over the Harts to me no matter what. I think this was their last time teaming together as well as Bret went for singles competition after this. The Nastys held the titles over the Summer before losing them at Summerslam to the LOD in their first title reign. Not terrible but the Nastys have never done it for me at all.

We recap Roberts vs. Martel. Now this match is 90% backstory. Jake Roberts was on the Brother Love Show and for some reason that was never explained, Rick Martel came out and sprayed Jake’s bag with Arrogance, his cologne that he carried everywhere with him and when Jake went to stop him, Jake got hit in the eye with it, allegedly blinding him.

I’ve always assumed Jake had an injury or something because he was out nearly 8 months over this. He finally came back to feud with Martel, and this was the match in which he would get his revenge. To play up on the blindness, both men’s heads have hoods over them from which they allegedly couldn’t see. This was voted worst match of the year I believe and I think I know why.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel

Remember, neither guy can allegedly see here. Jake looks somewhat drunk here. Let the stupidity begin as the crowd has to tell them where the other guy is. No contact a minute in. Their feet touch a bit and Martel falls over Jake as we’re in a glorified comedy match. We get proof they can see as Martel sets for a backdrop and Jake runs around him. In a kayfabe sense, why would ANYONE do that?

They back into each other and then charge and miss each other. This is so painfully stupid I can’t imagine what the person that came up with it was on. Must have been a bondage enthusiast. Martel gets a slam as the biggest move of the first three and a half minutes then misses an elbow. Heenan starts repeating Monsoon in a funny bit.

Martel finds the referee twice in a row which gets him nowhere of course. Jake does a thing where he runs his finger around the ring and the crowd cheers when he points at Martel. Now he’s clapping. How are we five minutes into this already? Heenan: why doesn’t Martel peak? Gorilla: that’s cheating! Heenan: so what??? That’s an excellent point actually.

Apparently the snake now weighs 500lbs according to Heenan. The fans chant DDT. I think they want the pesticide to kill themselves. It must be a better treatment than having to watch this. Martel runs into the bag in the corner and we STILL have had a total of maybe 20 seconds of contact in over six minutes of the match. I can’t refer to it as wrestling or action as it has been neither.

Jake gets a headlock and is sent to the floor off a counter. Heenan: HEY MARTEL! HE’S ON THE FLOOR! Martel, like an idiot, goes to the floor and grabs a chair which he pokes around with. He swings the chair at a post and hurts his hand. They finally find each other, I think out of boredom. Boston Crab goes on and Jake is in trouble. Never mind as he kicks him off and gets the DDT to finally end this mess.

Rating: F. What they were thinking here I don’t have a clue, but this was just a terrible match. The fans were into it for some reason but for almost 10 minutes they do nothing but hunt for each other or land a punch or two here and there. Just a complete waste of time.

That woman from earlier is in the locker room as the Nastys celebrate. What is the point of this again?

Undertaker vs. Jimmy Snuka

And so it began. You know where this goes. No promos or anything as Taker was just squashing people at this point. We start with a LONG staredown and again no contact. Bearer is as freaky looking as ever. Taker drills Snuka and we’re finally getting going here. The jumping clothesline takes Snuka down and it’s one sided already.

Heenan tries to figure out the Urn which hasn’t been done in nearly 20 years so far but whatever. Gorilla says people with white coats and a net are coming after Bearer. That would be after his son actually but who’s counting? Snuka comes back with pure jobber offense that gets him a grand total of nowhere. He hotshots himself to the floor though and that should just about do it. Taker catches a springboard cross body and the Tombstone kills Jimmy with ease.

Rating: D+. This is mostly for historical significance as the match itself is nothing. It’s a squash and a fairly bad one at that. However, no one at the time knew what would come from this. Truly a piece of wrestling history and you have to wonder if anyone could have dreamed that this would be the first in a streak that got Taker what, three or four world titles at Mania? Remarkable.

We see a video package highlighting the events leading up to the Career Ending Match between Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior. Back when Warrior was champion, Macho Man wanted a title shot and he attacked Warrior to get one. Sherri, in one of the most sexually dripping promos of all time, literally gets on her knees and begs Warrior for a title shot. He says no.

At the 91 Rumble, Warrior defended against Sgt. Slaughter. Sherri came out and got Warrior to chase her, allowing Savage to beat him up. Warrior winds up coming back and almost winning, but here comes Sherri again. He reaches to grab her and Savage pops up and blasts him in the head with his scepter, allowing Slaughter to drop an elbow and pin him for the title. That brings us here.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage

If WM 6 was Warrior’s greatest match, this is his second greatest. Before the match though, Bobby Heenan sees none other than Miss Elizabeth sitting in the front row. She hadn’t been seen in the WWF in nearly a year at this point so this was very surprising. Amazingly enough, Heenan can spot her from at least 50 yards away, when the camera can barely recognize her 10 feet away. You have to love kayfabe.

Warrior walks to the ring which freaks everyone out. I’ve seen this match a few dozen times and it still works every single time. This feels totally epic which is exactly the idea. Warrior has the belt on the back of his tights which he never would win again. Feeling out process to start as of course Warrior has the power advantage.

Warrior overpowers him to start and controls early on, much like Hogan did to Savage two years ago. In case I forgot this is a career ending match. How in the world did I forget to say that? Sherri comes in so Warrior throws Savage at her to send her back to the floor. We hit the floor where Savage tries to play mind games by throwing in a chair. That gets him nowhere.

All Warrior so far but it’s incredibly early so it means nothing at all. Savage finally gets Warrior to make a mistake and Warrior is sent to the floor. Sherri keeps interfering but thankfully they don’t throw the match out because of it. This is the largest PPV audience ever which is laughable to think they could know that halfway through the show but whatever.

Warrior cranks it up again and then does something very odd (I’m shocked too). With Savage down on one knee and with his head down, Warrior goes for a flying tackle which more or less looks like a flying headbutt because Savage is still down. It was just weird looking and I have no idea what he was thinking at all. Anyway it lets Savage take over.

Double clothesline puts both guys down though. And now we pause to look at Sherri’s rather nice fighre. In a nice nod to Mania 3, Savage gets rolled up off a slam but there’s no referee due to Sherri. There goes said referee so it’s a free for all now. Sherri takes off the shoe and goes up but it hits Savage in the head by mistake.

Savage gets a rollup for two as Heenan says he can’t even talk anymore which Gorilla doesn’t even reply to. You can tell he’s into this. We now hit one of the more famous parts of the match as Savage goes up and hits FIVE elbow drops from the top when I think only Hogan and George Steele (yes that George Steele) had ever kicked out of one.

The reaction from Heenan to the kick out is absolutely excellent. Savage is SHOCKED. Warrior Hulks Up and hits four or five clotheslines to take Savage down. Gorilla Press and splash only get two though and now Warrior is SHOCKED. Warrior looks up into the sky to ask “his gods” about whether it’s his time to leave and he walks out.

Savage jumps him instead and brings him back and we go on. Warrior is draped across the barricade but Savage misses and is more or less dead on his feet. Warrior throws his body back in and hits a bunch of BIG shoulder blocks with Savage selling like no one else could, making himself look like a rag doll. He hits the floor three times and is just dead. Warrior puts his foot on the chest and is triumphant. That’s the basis for KB vs. Sabre for you OCW fans.

Rating: A+. Combining the post match stuff with the match, this is easily the best segment to date in Wrestlemania history and is easily one of the best of all time. It’s a shame it’s almost forgotten today due to Vince’s vendettas against both guys. This is an absolute classic and DEFINITELY the best Mania match in a very long time. I’d put it maybe in the top five Mania matches in the WWF Era and easily top ten ever at this show. Great match and absolutely worth seeing.

The real memory of this match comes afterwards though in what is likely considered the most emotional moment in WWF history. Savage is still out cold in the ring and Sherri comes in and freaks out on him, saying that he ended her career too. Both commentators are saying to give him a break and that no one else, not even Hogan could have taken this kind of a beating and survived.

Sherri starts to kick him with her high heels when Savage couldn’t hold off a toddler at this point. With her beating Savage up, Miss Elizabeth jumps the guard rail and for the first time ever, attacks someone by throwing Sherri out of the ring as the crowd is stunned to see her. Savage tries to get up but doesn’t know who was beating on him. He turns to see Liz and almost falls to the ground again in shock.

The referee tells him it was Sherri kicking him and he’s even more confused. Liz opens her arms and after a few moments Savage hugs her as the crowd absolutely loses it. Savage puts her on his shoulders and there is nothing but cheering and crying from the crowd. Heenan is beside himself at “this sickening display.”

Finally they’re ready to leave and in the ultimate display of his love, Savage refuses to let Liz hold the ropes open for him as she did for years and instead holds them open for her, truly showing he’s a changed man. This is probably the best emotional moment ever at this point and still holds up to this day. Incredible stuff and again, definitely something worth seeing.

We go from one of the most emotional moments in wrestling history to… a debate on instant replay. Yes you read that right. Vince McMahon acts on moderator (C.M. > Vince) between Paul McGuire and George Steinbrenner of all people as they argue over instant replay.

During the debate, McGuire calls Steinbrenner a butt head, leading to Vince to call on his instant replay “officials” to review it. As this continues to spiral into udder stupidity, the Bushwackers are the officials. They say that there’s inconclusive evidence, therefore the insult stands. Finally this ends and we go back to the arena. This was somehow stupider than it sounds.

Trebek talks to Demolition who scares him off.

Regis talks to…….GENICHIRO TENRYU????? He’s here with Kitao who isn’t anyone special but I’ve heard of him. They can’t understand Regis.

Trebek is scared of Jake.
Demolition vs. Tenryu/Kitao

I know who the two Japanese wrestlers are, but why in the world are they on Wrestlemania? Demolition was little more than jobbers at this point. After they lost the titles to the Harts at Summerslam 90 Ax had left so this is Smash and Crush. They had also gotten Mr. Fuji back at this point.

Crush and Kitao start us off here. Kitao is a big old boy too. Fuji gets a cane shot in almost immediately as it looks like dominance from Demolition to start. Heenan makes Japanese jokes as this is mostly dominance. Somehow Kitao is named Fred. Tenryu comes in and avoids the Decapitator and hits a big powerbomb on Crush to…get the pin? WOW. This was Demolition’s last match too. Odd to say the list.

Rating: W. As in what were they thinking here? I know that Tenryu is a Japanese legend, but no one knew who he was at Wrestlemania. The crowd is silent when Demolition lost. This wasn’t even a loss but rather a squash. This whole match made absolutely zero sense.

Big Bossman says he’s coming for Heenan after he gets the IC Title.

Heenan says he’s not afraid of Bossman.

Intercontinental Title: Big Bossman vs. Mr. Perfect

Bossman is insanely over at this point having been running around with Hogan all through the second half of the year. Heenan had been talking trash about Bossman’s mama, and you don’t talk bad about a Southern boy’s mother. Bossman went to war with the Heenan Family and the only person left was their top wrestler, Mr. Perfect.

Considering Bossman weighs more than Kane, the stuff he can do in the ring is mind blowing. He moves like someone Chavo’s size. All signs point to this being the changing of the title. Perfect throws the towel at Boss Man so Boss Man spits at Perfect. Perfect’s selling goes insane of course and it works great. Boss Man throws some GREAT punches.

I feel like I’m watching a match on fast forward. A charge misses though and we slow things WAY down all of a sudden. Boss Man pulls his belt out which is allegedly a foreign object but I’m not sure how. It would seem perfectly legal to me as he brought it in with him didn’t he? There’s the abdominal stretch as the belt didn’t get Boss Man very far at all.

There’s that neck snap from Perfect which is always fun to see. Perfectplex is blocked though but Boss Man can’t get anything going at all. Perfect gets a reverse neck snap which we would more or less call a Blockbuster today. He goes up but does the jump into the boot spot to set up Boss Man’s comeback.

Perfect gets the tar punched out of him which doesn’t take much as I don’t think there’s much tar in him for the most part. Boss Man rams into the steps though and Heenan gets some shots in. The crowd pops like a cherry though as here comes Andre. Heenan LOSES IT and Andre grabs the belt just because he wants to. He DRILLS Perfect with it but the Heenan Family runs in for the save before Boss Man can get the title. The overly large faces clear the ring. Odd finish.
Rating: C-. This again is historic as it’s Andre’s last WM appearance. It really is sad to see him in such physically bad shape. He would be dead in less than two years, just after the debut of Monday Night Raw, I believe the day of the third show. For the life of me I do not get why Boss Man didn’t get the title here as every single sign on the planet would have pointed to it. No clue what the reasoning was here though.

We see Bossman and Andre saying that the war with Heenan isn’t over. Actually it was.

The following people are here and talked to by Gene:

Lou Ferrigno (the Incredible Hulk)

Donald Trump

Chuck Norris

Henry Winkler (FONZIE!!!!!)

What an odd grouping indeed.
Earthquake vs. Greg Valentine

This is about as close to nothing as you can get. Hammer gets in a few elbows and then goes down with ease to the Earthquake splash. It was a squash that somehow went three minutes but you get the idea. There was a powerslam thrown in there somewhere. Hammer did manage to get Quake down and go for the Figure Four but it went nowhere. Why in the world is Valentine a face anyway?

Rating: N/A. Very little here and to have someone as good as Valentine reach this point in his career is kind of sad. Total squash despite the fact that Earthquake was about to become a tag team guy with Tugboat.

The LOD want the belts from the Nastys and they’re going to make Power and Glory sour and gory.

Legion of Doom vs. Power and Glory

This match lasts less than a minute as LOD destroy Hercules and Paul “I was a Horsemen blast it” Roma. Back to back squashes though? Really? Match ran 59 seconds somehow and the Doomsday Device ended it.

Rating: N/A. The only thing keeping this above failing is the LOD’s music. They were so over it’s not even funny.

We recap the events leading up to DiBiase and Virgil. Over the years, Virgil did every disgusting thing that DiBiase told him to do and finally he snapped. Roddy Piper began encouraging him and we get to this match. At the Rumble Virgil and DiBiase had been a team and Virgil got pinned. DiBiase blamed him and told him to wrap the belt around his waist, but Virgil hit him with it instead.

Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase

DiBiase rarely ever lost at this point so this was viewed as a squash. Virgil actually goes on for ten minutes. Roddy Piper is in his corner on crutches as he had recently been in a motorcycle wreck. Virgil tags DiBiase with punches to start which are about all he’s got. DiBiase hits the floor as he’s all frustrated now.

Back in the ring and DiBiase takes down Virgil with a clothesline to get control for a bit. The common idea here was that Virgil couldn’t wrestle but he had been trained and was a regular wrestler in the indies before he came to WWF and had at least two matches before this one in a WWF ring. DiBiase gets a Piledriver as Virgil is in trouble.

Beautiful gutwrench suplex gets two. DiBiase sends him to the floor and then yells at Piper. He kicks out the crutch from under his leg to send him down because he’s a bad man. Piper hooks the top rope and Piper hits the floor. More yelling and shoving of men on crutches ends this though as we have a countout with Virgil winning in a shock.

Rating: C-. This feud was years in the making and the emotion was there, but it was on way too late in the card and the people wanted to see Hogan. Having Virgil get the win was huge though.

Slaughter and General Adnan, a.k.a. the Iron Sheik, say that there’s a new set of rules, and there’s a chance he might accidentally get counted out or DQed tonight.

The Mountie vs. Tito Santana

No point at all to this one but we’ll throw it in here to fill in some time. Tito runs Mountie around for a few seconds, Mountie can barely do anything, Jimmy slis him the shock stick and Mountie uses it on Santana and pins him. Absolutely no one cares and neither do I. Only significance is Santana continues to have been at every Wrestlemania thus far which I think only Hogan is the other person to do so.

Rating: N/A. Nothing special here as it was a pure filler.

We finally get to the recap for Hogan and Slaughter. The main idea is that Slaughter is threatening to lose on purpose so Hogan doesn’t win the title. Slaughter is an Iraqi sympathizer so the feud was based off Operation Desert Storm, or as it’s more commonly known, the Gulf War. Pay no attention to the fact that the war was already over by this point.

WWF World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Hmm. I think I may have to bet on this Slaughter guy. It seems likely that he’s going to win it as I think this Hogan chap is overmatched. Is there any reason as to why Alex Trebek is the guest announcer here? I mean dude, IT’S ALEX TREBEK! Anyway, Hogan of course is absolutely insanely over but that pop would start to die off rather soon.

Regis is on commentary for this which is even weirder. Long feeling out process as they feel out each other’s power. Hogan sends him to the floor which gets him a few good shots in. Slaughter begs off back in the ring but gets an eye rake like the evil….American that he is. Yeah this was kind of a weird setup. Heenan keeps talking about some party he’s having on Prime Time Wrestling.

Slaughter in control now as Regis shows that he has zero business being a commentator on the main event of Mania, as he has nothing to say. That’s not his fault of course, but he is just kind of there. No one wants to come to Bobby’s party. That’s rather amusing indeed. Hogan takes over again and does more or less nothing special at all.

A knee to the back sends Slaughter into the buckle. A slingshot makes him completely miss the post but we’ll say it hit anyway. After a good long beating, Hogan shows how stupid he can be and goes up to the middle rope which doesn’t work. He more or less no sells the shot Slaughter gets on him and goes to the top? What the heck??? Adnan interferes and Hogan pulls a Flair in a funny spot.

Slaughter Cannon sends Hogan to the floor. He beats the tar out of Hogan with a chair on the floor which gets him somewhere for a change. The referee won’t count him out or DQ him though. Well that’s certainly nice of him isn’t it? Back in the ring now with Slaughter hooking a Boston Crab after pounding away for awhile on the back.

You know this hold would look a bit more realistic and painful if Hogan wasn’t just barely beneath the rope and that by moving maybe 8 inches up the hold would be broken. Granted that might just be me overthinking this. Slaughter works on the back forever and gets a chair shot to the head to bust open Hulk. Can we please just get to him breaking the camel clutch and getting the title back?

THANK YOU! Slaughter gets his UNBREAKABLE, yes UNBREAKABLE I SAY, hold on Hogan who of course, just like he did to the Sheik, breaks it. Slaughter gets him down again (to humble him perhaps?) and drapes the Iraqi flag over him because he is a very stupid man. Hogan kicks out and you can fill in the blanks yourself.

Rating: C+. Easily more about symbolism, but there was one major flaw: the war was already over when this match took place. It was like TNA in levels of being behind the times. This was a fairly decent match though and I thought it worked well enough for what it was supposed to do. The Hogan pop was starting to die off though and it would become much clearer in the future.

Overall Rating: C. This really isn’t one of the great Manias but it has one of the best moments of all time. The problem in this Mania is the mid card is just awful. The big midcard match ended in a DQ and was a way to get Andre on the show. There’s just nothing here and with Savage stealing the show from Hogan again, it hurts the show a bit.

The complete lack of drama in the main event doesn’t help things either as Slaughter spent all night talking about losing on purpose and you never once see that in the main event. It’s not a bad show, but it’s far from great. Watch it for the Savage and Hogan matches and if you just need to kill some time, the opener.

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