Sunday 6 March 2011

Looking Back at Wrestlemania - Part Two With Shaun Nichols

Wrestlemania V - This was where 'Megapowers Exploded' (Hogan and Savage), as the main event had Randy Savage defending the WWF title against his former partner. Their feud was built on Savage being paranoid about Hogan's intentions with his manager Miss Elizabeth and finally turned fully blown heel at a Saturday Night Main Event taping in February. Although he had the title since last year's Wrestlemania he was seen very much as the second man in the company behind Hogan. Hogan finally took what many saw as his rightful place as WWF Champion when he withstood all of Savage's big moves, hulked up hit the big boot and leg drop combo for his second WWF title. The semi main event was the Ultimate Warrior defending the I-C title against Rick Rude, imagine an I-C title match meaning something today. Again this was another feud that had been running for a while, at the previous Royal Rumble fans saw Warrior defeat Rude in a posedown where the winner was chosen by the fans. Rude had attacked him and that led to Wrestlemania V. Despite Warrior dominating large parts of the match it was Rude aided by his manager Bobby Heenan's interference that saw a new champion crowned. In other matches Demolition defeated the Powers of Pain & Mr Fuji, the Brain Busters (Arn & Tully) beat Strike Force, Mr Perfect beat the Blue Blazer (Owen Hart in his first run with the company) Jake Roberts beat Andre (a clear indication that Andre was in the past as a major player) and the Hart Foundation bested Rhythem & Blues.

Wrestlemania VI - The first Wrestlemania to be held outside of the US, took place in Tornoto and among the fans attending where future stars Edge, Lance Storm and Christian. This was of course the infamous Title vs Title main event pitting the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against the I-C Champion Ultimate Warrior. This was also clearly promoted as a one match card as there wasn't a lot else to be excited about. The main event was giving over 20 minutes which was twice as long as the next longest match. Considering who was involved it came across surprisingly well and the 67,000 fans were into the match from start to finish. In a move designed to create a new era in the WWF, Warrior took the title in decisive fashion and pinned Hogan clean. On the undercard Demolition won the WWF tag titles against Bobby Heenan's Colossal Connection (Andre & Haku), the Hart Foundation defeated the Bolsheviks in less than 20 seconds, and in one of the worst matches in Wrestlemania history Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire were victorious over Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri (it's amazing what can happen in 12 months for the career of Randy Savage). Depending how fond you are of Hogan vs Warrior match will determine if Wrestlemania VI is an average show or pretty bad one.

Wrestlemania VII - Like Wrestlemania V, this was pretty much booked as two match show, headlining and taking 'advantage' of the first Gulf War we had the patriotic Hulk Hogan attempting to regain the WWF title against Iraqi sympathiser Sgt Slaughter. The second match was a career vs career match pitting the Ultimate Warrior against the man who cost him the WWF title at the Royal Rumble event, Randy Savage. Stuart a while ago did a post regarding which main event made you a fan: Hogan vs Savage or Hogan vs Warrior. Although strictly it wasn't a main event a far better candidate would be Warrior 'ending' Savage's career. This had everything that any WWF fan could possibly want, a beloved babyface willing to risk everything to get rid of his most hated rival, great drama in the match, there is a point in the match where Savage nails Warrior with about five elbow drops from the top rope. When he finally goes for the cover the fans go crazy when Warrior kicks out. Finally when Savage is defeated and Sherri turns on him, the villain is finally redeemed when he re-unites with Miss Elizabeth too much crying and applause. On the other hand Hogan defeated Slaughter in a tedious and dull main event for the poular main event victory. On the undercard Jimmy Hart's Nasty Boys claim WWF tag team gold against the Hart Foundation, the Undertaker makes his Wrestlemania debut by quickly pinning Jimmy Snuka. Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel in a hilarious Blindfold match, Mr Perfect retained the I-C title against the Big Bossman although he lost by DQ. The Savage vs Warrior match is well worth checking out if you haven't see it before.

Wrestlemania VIII - Was the first Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania I to feature a main event without a title defence, here the main event was Sid facing Hulk Hogan with the origins of the feud coming from Sid not taking too kindly to Hogan costing him a chance to win the 1992 Rumble. It was the first main event which ended in a cheap finish when Sid was DQ'd when Papa Shango interfered and as a surprise the Ultimate Warrior made his return to save Hogan. Hogan quickly disappeared for several months. The show did feature a WWF title match pitting Ric Flair defending against the now active Randy Savage which was the fifth match on a nine match card. Savage was victorious to claim his second WWF title in a good but not great match. Match of the night went to Bret Hart's I-C title winning effort against Roddy Piper in a very good match. The Undertaker now a babyface secured his second Wrestlemania win against Jake Roberts, Shawn Michaels big solo push as a cocky heel was warming up nicely as he defeated Tito Santana. This show was in a lot of ways an underwhelming show but there would be far worse Wrestlemania events and I'll look some of the worst culprits in Part Three.

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