Classic Wrestling Review: WrestleMania VI

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

WrestleMania VI

April 1, 1990

Sky Dome

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is a long show, so I’ll try to keep the intro brief. The Hogan/Warrior feud had been building for months. After the Rumble, Jack Tunney announced that Hogan and Warrior would face each other at WrestleMania and both men’s titles would be on the line. It would be title for title, with the winner walking out with both belts. It would mark the first time that two babyfaces faced each other in the main event of a Mania. This show would also be the first time that WrestleMania was held outside of the United States, as it would be held in the Sky Dome in Toronto.

The show opens with a shot of constellations in the sky. Vince McMahon talks about strange and powerful forces. He calls Hogan and Warrior the most powerful of those forces and then nearly wrecks his throat by screaming about the Ultimate Challenge!! Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura welcome everyone to what Gorilla calls the greatest wrestling extravaganza of all time. Jesse compares it to the Super Bowl, World Series, and even the Rolling Stones.

The Fink then introduces singer, Robert Goulet, to sing the Canadian national anthem. He does a pretty good rendition while they show shots of rolling fields, mountains, waterfalls, and forests. I’ve always liked Canada’s anthem. It’s a pretty good song.

Rick the Model Martel vs. Koko B. Ware (w/ Frankie)

I’m not sure why Martel and Santana aren’t facing each other on this show. They’ve been building to a singles match for a while. I figured they would blow off that feud here and move them on to other things. If I didn’t know they were planning a match between them at SummerSlam, I’d think they had given up on the feud. I’ve got a bad feeling they will regret waiting. Koko is out first, with Frankie, the parrot. The first thing I notice is that the ring carts from WrestleMania III are back! Martel is out next and he has an atomizer full of his new cologne, “Arrogance”. He sprays both himself and the crowd with it.

Martel begins the match by jumping Koko while the ref checks his boots. He gets an early advantage until Koko hits a springboard cross body, a couple of dropkicks, and a back drop. He knocks Martel out of the ring and dances for a bit, but Martel eventually sends Koko over the top rope. He takes over the match and focuses his attack on Koko’s lower back before going for the Boston Crab. Koko reaches the ropes, but Martel keeps up the attack. Koko eventually starts to shake off Martel’s attacks and catches Rick ducking for a back drop. Ware then tries another springboard cross body, but Martel ducks and locks him in a Boston Crab for the submission win.

It was a very basic match. It felt like something you would see on Superstars. Martel’s work on Koko’s back was mostly clubbing forearms and kicks. It wasn’t very thrilling for an opener. They should have gone with Tito/Martel.

Winner: Rick Martel (3:51)

Mean Gene is backstage with the tag champs, The Colossal Connection. He calls them the “Colostomy Connection”, which is gross. Heenan calls him out on it, but Gene plays innocent. Bobby says they can talk about evacuation because they’re going to take Demolition to the treatment plant. Bobby then asks Haku and Andre how they’re going to treat Demolition. They try to say, “We’re going to eliminate them,” in sync, but their timing is off a bit. Heenan then takes his team and leaves, while Gene cracks a joke about them being anything but regular guys.

Next, Sean Mooney is with Demolition for a rebuttal. He asks them if they heard the comments and Ax says that they did, while Smash makes faces at the camera. He also says they call him the Ax because he can cut down the biggest redwood and shear the limbs off the Polynesian oak. He’s going to yell timber as they fall. Smash then says he wants to throw the Colossal Connection in the back of a tractor-trailer and drive them off a cliff. So, he’s threatening to murder them? Mooney replies that it sounds like a demolition derby. How did no one ever make a gimmick match for Demolition with that name?? Demolition then finishes by talking about demolishing and destroying. Smash says the only thing that will be salvageable will be the metal they’ll use to forge new tag team belts.

Tag Team Title Match: Demolition vs. The Colossal Connection (c) (w/ Bobby Heenan)

The Colossal Connection is already in the ring. The Fink introduces them while Gorilla talks about Demolition “three-peating” by becoming three-time tag champs. Jesse isn’t impressed by Gorilla’s new word. Gorilla and Jesse then joke about Andre bulking up for this match. Demolition comes out next and Haku jogs in place. It looks like he’s almost dancing to the theme music. Demolition takes off their entrance gear, but The Colossal Connection attacks them from behind.

Haku and Smash soon get into a slug-fest that Smash wins. Demolition take control with double teaming and a deadly head vice! Andre breaks up their pin attempts with some kicks, but he remains on the apron. Haku finally takes control with a throat chop and a backbreaker. He wears down Ax and even lets Heenan get in some shots. The Connection keeps Ax in trouble in their corner and Andre uses a ref distraction to choke him with the tag rope. Ax finally gets a foot up on a corner charge and tags Smash, who hits a back elbow and a back drop to Haku. Andre decides to enter the ring, but Demolition double team both men. The ref becomes distracted by trying to regain control, so Andre grabs Smash. Haku goes to kick him, but Smash moves and Haku kicks Andre by mistake. Andre falls into the ropes and gets tied up, which opens the door for Demolition to hit the decapitation for the win.

This was a decent enough match. Haku had to do all the work because of Andre’s condition, but they found enough stuff for Andre to do. The match served its purpose well because the real story is what happens afterward.

Winners: Demolition (New champions) (9:30)

An angry Heenan yells at the ref and then shouts at Andre. He starts poking Andre in the chest, but Andre tries to explain what happened. Heenan doesn’t think anyone can hear him, so he drops a couple of f-bombs that unfortunately get picked up by the mic. He then makes the mistake of slapping Andre, who has enough. Andre grabs Bobby and slaps him in return. I use that term loosely. He waved his hand around at him. He then punches Heenan and sends him out of the ring. Haku tries to kick Andre, but Andre catches his foot and knocks him out of the ring too. Andre then tosses both men out of the cart and rides it to the back while the fans cheer. This would be Andre’s final match. He would make sporadic appearances over the next year, but it’s the last time he wrestles. It’s fitting that they let Andre go out as a babyface. It’s a great moment for him.

Mean Gene interviews Earthquake and Jimmy Hart. He talks about the shakeup they just saw and compares it to Quake. Jimmy Hart says that all the scientists are predicting an earthquake, but they don’t know the magnitude. Quake bounces up and down while this is going on and then tells Hercules that even the strongest buildings crumble in an earthquake. He says he will knock the foundations out from under Hercules’ feet and Quake will be the only thing left standing. He then calls himself the only natural disaster in the WWF. Don’t worry, Quake. Typhoon will be around soon enough.

Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hercules

Hercules’ theme was playing throughout the Quake promo, so it’s no surprise that he’s already at the ring. Earthquake comes out next to his awesome theme. It’s just a rumbling sound with a driving drum beat, but I love it. Gorilla talks about how Quake has sent 28 men to the hospital and Jesse replies that’s generally what happens during an earthquake. Jimmy Hart tells the ref to make Hercules put his chain away and Quake tries to jump him when he does.

They fight into a corner and Herc punches away at him, but Hart distracts him so Quake can take a breather. Hercules managed to break Quake’s nose in the attack and you can see blood dripping down his face. Quake gets back into the ring and jumps up and down, which Herc sells by stumbling into the ropes. I love that Herc is acting like there’s actually an earthquake. Quake then calls for a test of strength and surprisingly wins it. He rams Herc into the corner and powers him around before giving the crowd a gun show. This made me laugh because Quake has no bicep definition. However, he makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop and gets clubbed. Hercules attempts to take Quake down and manages to get him to a knee before signaling for a rack. He tries, but Quake is too heavy. Quake elbows him and poses again. He then stomps around and hits his Earthquake Splash for the win.

Herc got enough offense to keep it from being a total squash, but this match was a showcase for Earthquake. It did its job well. You’d almost think that the WWF had big plans for Quake in 1990 or something.

Winner: Earthquake (4:52)

After the match, Quake tells Jimmy Hart to distract the ref and then hits an Aftershock on Hercules. Gorilla says that this is what’s sending people to the hospital. Quake finally leaves and Hercules slowly gets to his feet. He really should have stayed down longer.

Gossip columnist, Rona Barrett (no relation to Wade), is with Miss Elizabeth. They sit down for a nice chat and she calls Elizabeth quite stunning before asking where she’s been. Elizabeth claims she’s been working for the WWF in an advisory capacity. She says she hasn’t been active because she doesn’t want to disappoint her fans. Rona asks what she means and Liz explains that in the past she felt she couldn’t help enough. Rona says that the fans just want her presence at ringside. Liz hints that she might return soon enough and everyone will see a far more active Elizabeth than ever before. Hmm, is that foreshadowing? On a side note, I was surprised to discover that Rona Barrett is apparently still alive today.

Next, Sean Mooney is with Brutus Beefcake, who is perusing a sheet of paper. Sean asks what he’s doing and Beefcake replies that he’s checking out Mr. Perfect’s record. Is he doing a background check on him?? He calls Perfect’s record impressive, but he says that nobody is perfect. Everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. He then uses his clippers to cut up the paper while Mooney does his best not to flinch.

Brutus the Barber Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius)

The Genius is in the ring and he introduces Mr. Perfect, but he sadly doesn’t recite a poem. Gorilla talks about how he doesn’t like The Genius and it sounds like he means it. Jesse calls him jealous and jokes that Monsoon didn’t pass 9th Grade. Beefcake comes out next and Gorilla jabs back at Jesse by joking that Beefcake should give him a haircut. Jesse replies that he could take some off the top, which amuses Gorilla.

Perfect tries to jump Brutus, but they fight into the corner. Beefcake spends the next couple of minutes knocking Perfect around like a pinball. Perfect nearly goes into Shawn Michaels levels of overselling. Perfect tries to fight back, but Brutus whips him into the corner and he bounces into a flip. While Perfect continues doing his whirlwind impression, they show a shot of Mary Tyler Moore in the crowd. I wonder what she thinks of his selling. Perfect finally takes control when the Genius passes him the metal scroll and he hits Beefcake with it. He starts clocking Brutus in the “kisser” and the “bread basket”, as Gorilla puts it. He also hits a neck snap and starts toying with Beefcake. He keeps slapping him around, but he tries it one time too many and Beefcake catapults him into the ring post. Perfect is out cold, so Brutus pins him for the 3 count and gives Perfect his first televised loss.

I liked the story that they told, but there wasn’t much to the match. Perfect’s selling was a bit over the top. I wonder if it was a form of protest over losing. I don’t have an issue with Beefcake being the one to beat him, but sadly unforeseen circumstances will prevent the WWF from capitalizing on it. I will discuss that more in my SummerSlam review.

Winner: Brutus Beefcake (7:48)

Perfect is still out cold, so Beefcake threatens to cut his hair. The Genius quietly snags the clippers and tries to leave, but Brutus spots him. He brings him back to the ring, but The Genius tries to escape. Brutus grabs him again and puts him in a sleeper hold before finishing the haircut he started at the Rumble. The story goes that The Genius didn’t know he would be getting another haircut, so his attempts to leave were legit. Randy Savage was quite angry with Brutus about this rib on The Genius.

Next, they recap the Piper/Bad News Brown feud. They show Piper and Brown eliminating each other from the Rumble and they show Brown mocking Piper for wearing a skirt.

Mean Gene is with Roddy Piper, who is doing his best only to let the camera see one side of his body. We soon discover why. Gene calls him the Hot Rod. Piper says you can call him that, but you can also call him the Hot Scot. He turns to show that the other half of his body is painted black. Remember back at WrestleMania 2 when Piper said he would never paint himself black? He’s at least half a liar now. He says he might be a little two-faced, but Bad News has one face and it needs customizing. He makes fun of Brown’s bug eyes, out of proportion ears, his schnozzola, and finally his mouth. He says that Brown has no trouble with his mouth but neither does Roddy. He also says that Brown has a big mouth and he’s going to shut it for him. The only question is, will it be the Hot Rod or the Hot Scot that does it. Piper then leaves and Gene says that he might have a split personality.

Bad News Brown vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

This match is infamous for Piper’s questionable decision to paint half his body black. He has claimed that he did it to light a fire under Brown, whom he thought was unmotivated. He’s also claimed that he was trying to champion all races, but I’m not sure how. The funny part of this story is how Andre the Giant and Arnold Skaaland played a prank on Roddy by dumping out the paint remover and replacing it with water. Piper spent the next week or so trying to get the paint off his body.

Bad News is already in the ring. Did he ever have theme music in the WWF? Piper comes out next and this time he uses the ring cart, unlike at Mania III. The camera shows a suspiciously well-made fan sign that says, “Piper for Prime Minister.” Jesse refers to Piper as his tag team partner, which is a reference to their failed TV show pilot. It was a buddy cop show starring the two men. I’ve seen clips and I wish it had been successful. Bad News is visibly angry about Piper’s body paint, which he reportedly didn’t know about until Piper made his entrance.

The two men start the match by brawling around the ring. The ref has to keep separating them, but they keep going at it. Brown attempts to take control with headbutts and a nerve hold, but they go back to brawling. Soon, they’re trading eye rakes and Bad News removes a turnbuckle pad. He tries to whip Roddy into it, but Piper reverses him. Piper then reaches into his tights and pulls out—a white glove. He places it on his black hand and Jesse complains that it shouldn’t be allowed. Gorilla says that referee Danny Davis must have checked it earlier. Hold on! I thought Davis was banned for life. So much for that! Piper punches Brown with the glove and knocks him out of the ring. They brawl on the floor and Brown accidentally punches the post. Piper attempts to use a chair, but he also hits the post. They continue brawling until the ref counts out both men and they brawl all the way to the back.

What a shock! These two brawled to a double count out? Do either of them ever job cleanly? This was a nothing brawl. I know it continues the feud, but I couldn’t care less.

Winner: Double Count Out (6:48)

Steve Allen is in the shower with The Bolsheviks. Whoa, that sounds like the start of something that isn’t appropriate for a wrestling show. Steve is at a piano and he claims the room has good acoustics for practicing the Russian national anthem. Nikolai Volkoff tells him to hit it, but Steve keeps playing the wrong song. He also makes a bunch of bad Russian puns and The Bolsheviks become angry. Steve finally agrees to play the correct song, but someone flushes a toilet and The Bolsheviks lose their cool. On a side note, has anyone noticed that all the celebrities on this show are about a generation behind? Vince trotted out his classic favorites for this one.

The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks

The Hart Foundation have already arrived in the ring, but their music is still playing. The Bolsheviks join them next, but they don’t get any music. They’re carrying Soviet flags, but the fans seem to be beyond caring about cheap Cold War heat. Bret leaves the ring to give his shades to a young fan. Is that the first time he has done this? Jesse didn’t realize what he was doing. The Bolsheviks then ask everyone to stand while they sing the Russian national anthem. Is Steve Allen not playing the music for them? What was the point of that last segment?

Bret and Anvil have enough of the singing and jump The Bolsheviks from behind. Jesse complains about the poor sportsmanship, while The Hart Foundation hit a quick Hart Attack and get the win.

That was more of a storyline than a match. It is the end of the Bolsheviks, as Boris would soon be let go and Nikolai would surprisingly be turned babyface. The match was simply a way of making The Hart Foundation look strong because they all but confirmed that they’re the next in line for the tag titles.

Winners: The Hart Foundation (19 Seconds)

Next, they show a commercial for WrestleMania VII. Vince claims it will take place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in front of 100,000 fans. I think we all know how that turns out, but I’ll discuss that when the time comes. Jesse and Gorilla talk about the event and Jesse says it will be in his hometown. Gorilla talks about Jesse inviting all of his friends, but Jesse says he will have to leave Grandma at home. I’ve got some bad news for Jesse. He won’t be around in the WWF for Mania VII. While they talk, The Barbarian makes his way to the ring with Bobby Heenan. He has no music. Could he not have kept the Powers of Pain theme? Gorilla then sends it to the back, where Mean Gene is with Tito Santana, whom Monsoon calls a sensation. What? Like a burning sensation?

Gene calls Tito one of the most versatile performers because he has transitioned from a tag competitor to a singles competitor. He then asks if Santana’s opponent, The Barbarian, can do the same. Tito says he doesn’t know, but with that rodent manager of his, he’s a double threat. He also says that he will have to keep an eye on both of them, but he will survive. He closes by yelling, “ARRIBA!” It becomes more and more clear why Martel was the standout performer from Strike Force. This wasn’t a great promo.

The Barbarian (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Tito Santana

The Powers of Pain is no more. Mr. Fuji sold their contracts to Bobby Heenan and Slick and used the money to hire a new tag team. I will talk more about that later. I also have to ask again why Tito and Martel didn’t face each other. They could have had Barbarian face Koko instead.

Tito makes his way to the ring to a theme song that I never recall hearing. That shows how remarkable it is. Jesse implies that it reminds him of music he heard in a Mexican strip club. He also jokes that Tito should have sent Barbarian some Mexican food and he would have gotten a count out victory. Gorilla seems genuinely uncomfortable at that joke.

The Barbarian powers Tito into a corner, but Santana sticks and moves. Barbarian continues trying to overpower him, but Tito keeps using his quickness to outmaneuver him. He catches Barbarian with a cross body and tries to wear him down with holds. Barbarian manages to catch him with a big boot and a shoulder breaker, but he misses an elbow drop. Tito fires back with a dropkick, flying axehandle, and the flying forearm, but Heenan gets The Barbarian’s foot on the rope. Tito tries to go after Bobby, but The Barbarian attacks him. Tito tries to reverse a move, but Barbarian drives him head-first into the top rope. He then nearly turns Tito inside out with a flying clothesline off the top for the win.

It wasn’t a long match, but the action wasn’t too bad. However, I don’t understand why they would have Tito lose a match if they’re saving him for the blow-off to the Martel feud. Everything about this situation is backward.

Winner: The Barbarian (4:33)

Next, they recap the Mixed Tag Match feud. They show clips of the Brother Love Show from the Rumble. They also show clips from the Ultimate Challenge Special, where all four competitors got into a scuffle. Sapphire prevented Sherri from attacking Dusty and Dusty prevented Sherri from running away, which annoyed Jesse Ventura.

Sean Mooney is backstage with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. Sean introduces her as such, but Dusty corrects him and says it’s Sweet Sapphire. He says you won’t see common man, Dusty Rhodes, being carried to the ring and pretending to be king. He also says you won’t see Sapphire pretending to be queen. Sapphire replies that it’s because there ain’t no king and queen no more. Dusty then says that Savage and Sherri are missing the most important element in royalty, which is the crown jewel. Dusty claims they are going to show everyone what they mean, but they leave Mooney completely confused.

Mixed Tag Team Match: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. Macho King Randy Savage & Queen Sherri

This is a Mixed Tag Team Match, which means the men face the men and the women face the women. However, the WWF is usually pretty lax in enforcing those rules, as you will see. Savage and Sherri come out first and Randy poses all the way to the ring. Their cart moves about as slowly as possible, which is perfect for this entrance. Sherri is dressed like the evil queen from Snow White. Jesse jokes that Dusty & Sapphire could be the dwarves. Those dwarves—I mean Dusty & Sapphire, come out next and Jesse questions their announced combined weight. Dusty gets a mic and announces to the crowd that they have the crown jewel, which is Miss Elizabeth. She comes out to Savage’s theme and Randy is irate.

Dusty and Savage start the match and Rhodes keeps Randy down with elbows until Sherri tries to attack him. Sapphire grabs her by the hair and Dusty sends Savage crashing into Sherri. He tags Sapphire, who keeps Sherri down with hip attacks and a very slow airplane spin. Sherri tries to answer back with a slam, but Sapphire is too heavy. Dusty ends up letting Sapphire slap Randy and shoves Savage into Sherri again, but Savage finally takes control with a ref distraction. Sherri gets in some shots and Savage keeps hitting axehandles until Sapphire steps into the way. Savage pushes her down, so Elizabeth helps her to her feet. Savage keeps control with a surprising suplex and a shot with his sceptre, but Sherri demands a tag. She then hits a flying splash onto Dusty and the ref makes a 2 count, for some reason. So much for the rules! Dusty comes back and gives Randy and Sherri a double noggin’ knocker. Sherri jumps on Dusty’s back, so Sapphire pulls her down and gets a 1 count. Sapphire throws Sherri out of the ring and Liz rolls her back inside. Sherri tries to go after Liz, so Elizabeth shoves Sherri into a schoolyard trip-up and a roll-up for the 3 count by Sapphire. Jesse is so upset that he says, “That’s stuffed!!”

This was a pretty fun match. It wasn’t a technical marvel or anything, but it was entertaining. The only thing I didn’t like was the constant arguing between Jesse and Gorilla. It became tiresome.

Winners: Dusty & Sapphire (7:52)

Savage tries to attack after the match, but Dusty gets his sceptre and chases them away. Then, Dusty, Sapphire, and Elizabeth dance to Dusty’s music while Jesse complains some more.

Then, they show another WrestleMania VII commercial and it’s intermission time. That means it’s time for a long string of interview segments.

Mean Gene is with a disheveled Bobby Heenan. Gene says that members of the Heenan Family are falling like the Berlin Wall. He also says that Bobby is tougher to get along with than a mother-in-law. Heenan claims that Andre couldn’t think right because it takes too long for the blood to reach his brain. Gene replies, “Where do you get the ball—the nerve to hit Andre in the face?” Bobby responds that you take orders from him because he’s the head of the family. If you listen to him, you go to the top. If you don’t listen to him, you’re never heard from again. Then, Heenan loses his train of thought and Gene calls him out on it. Heenan gets angry and calls Andre lazy. He says he’s bringing in new family members that will listen.

Gorilla and Jesse are with Rona Barrett. Rona says she can’t believe she’s standing between two bookends like them. Gorilla then claims that Rona has some dirt on someone in the WWF and she replies that she has some incriminating video of Jesse. Ventura asks what she means and she implies that it’s of the adult variety. A nervous Jesse quickly throws it to Sean Mooney, who is with Savage and Sherri.

Randy and Sherri pace around, while Sherri squawks like a bird. Mooney says that Savage got more than he expected. Randy replies that he hit the nail on the head and he better get on the phone and call someone. He then says that suffering builds character and Rhodes is going to learn a lot of character. He also says the crown jewel doesn’t exist. Sean asks what the future holds for Savage and Randy says that it will never happen again. He tells Dusty that he sealed the nails on you know what. He then proclaims that he’s got him. He’s got all of them now!!

Next, Gene is with the new tag champs, Demolition. Smash talks about getting goosebumps from their victory. Gene brings up the Hart Foundation, but Ax wants to talk about winning the titles, first. Then, he says they can’t celebrate because of the Hart Foundation. However, he says that they will remain the champions.

Jesse and Gorilla recap the night so far and Gorilla tells Jesse that he watched Rona’s video. He tells Ventura not to worry because it wasn’t anything. After taking a quick breath, it’s back to the interviews.

Gene is with Hulk Hogan. Okerlund says, “Here comes the Ultimate Challenge!” Hogan responds that he doesn’t have to remind him. He talks about hovering over the Sky Dome and meeting stark raving Hulkamaniacs. He talks about how Warrior will be feeding off his energy and then proclaims that his palm is where the power lies. He also says that when he gets Warrior on his knees, he’s going to ask him if he wants to live forever. Thankfully, he doesn’t start singing the Queen song. He tells the Warrior to breathe his last breath into Hogan’s body. Is he trying to merge with him?? He then says that it’s not about whether you win or lose. It’s about what kind of winner and what kind of loser you are and he hopes the Warrior is a good loser. Does Hogan really have room to talk?

Mooney tries to interview The Warrior, but Warrior calls him a normie and shoves him out of the room. He then starts rambling about how no one can live forever, but ideas and beliefs can. He claims that people are questioning where “Hoak Hogan” is leading them. Is he talking about the wrestlers in the locker room? He then talks about darkness and sacrifice and promises to take what Hogan believes further than Hogan could. He didn’t come to destroy Hulkamania but to merge the Hulkamaniacs and Warriors into one. He says that the colors of Hulkamania are coming out of his pores and says he’s come to do no one no harm. So, does that mean he will do harm? Watch those double negatives, Warrior! He also says he will take what they believe to places it shall never have been. Huh?? If it shall never have been there, then that means he will fail, right? Ugh, my head hurts.

The Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The Rockers

As I mentioned earlier, Fuji sold the contracts of the Powers of Pain. He used that money to bring in his new tag team, The Orient Express. The team is comprised of Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato. Sato is from Japan, but Tanaka was born in Hawaii. What’s this? The WWF is portraying someone from the Pacific islands as a Japanese person? That’s unheard of! The Orient Express come out to some highly stereotypical Asian music and the crowd doesn’t seem to care. The Rockers are out next and they’re wearing outfits that appear to have been painted by Jackson Pollock. They also seem to have bought their gloves from the same place as Piper. Gorilla and Jesse talk about the tag team scene and Jesse claims to be the silent majority on the championship committee.

Jannetty and Tanaka start the match. The Rockers get an early advantage with some double team moves, but Fuji ends up low bridging Marty and hitting him with his cane. The Orient Express double team Jannetty for a while, but he flips over Tanaka and tags Shawn. Michaels maintains control until Tanaka kicks him in the back. The Express attack with a cross body and a knee drop off the top, but they only get a 2. They then try a dreaded double nerve hold and some double teaming, but Shawn manages to tag Marty. Jannetty fights off both men and hits a double noggin’ knocker. The Express then fall victim to some miscommunication and the Rockers hit a double back drop. They go to the top, but Fuji distracts Marty and lures him outside. Fuji drops his cane, while Tanaka distracts the ref, and Marty takes the bait. Sato uses the opening to throw powder in Jannetty’s eyes and Marty stumbles around ringside. He ends up taking a pratfall over the guardrail. Unfortunately, the ref has no choice but to count him out and give The Orient Express the win.

This was a pretty fun match and I surprisngly didn’t mind the finish. I think I liked it because Marty’s bump over the railing was so entertaining. It’s a good way to establish the new team without having The Rockers fully job to them.

Winners: The Orient Express (by Count Out) (7:38)

Steve Allen enters the locker room of Rhythm & Blues and finds them preparing for their performance. Honky says that Steve must be anxious to hear their new hit. Steve replies that he hasn’t been this excited since he heard Pee-Wee Herman was straight. He then compares Honky to Elvis—Elvis Costello, or was it Abbott & Costello? Honky ignores him and says their performance will be bigger than a Beatles reunion. Steve responds that it will be at least as big as Tiny Tim playing a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike. Valentine then claims they need to practice because they’re headed for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Steve says he will call and warn them they’re coming. Rhythm & Blues remain oblivious that they’re being mocked throughout this entire interview.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Jimmy Hart & Earthquake)

Bravo is already in the ring and he’s accompanied by Jimmy Hart & Earthquake, which annoys Gorilla. Monsoon claims that you can’t hold both a wrestler and manager license. Duggan comes out next and he still doesn’t have a theme song. Jesse calls him out for carrying an American flag in Canada. Even the fans are booing him for doing it. Duggan foolishly tries to get a “USA” chant going, which doesn’t work. Ha! I’m glad that Duggan’s shtick doesn’t work everywhere.

Bravo shoves Duggan around and the two men try to shoulder block each other. Duggan wins the exchange and knocks Bravo around and out of the ring. He also hits an atomic drop, but he misses a corner charge. Bravo then hits an inverted atomic drop and distracts the ref so Quake can get in some shots. Duggan tries to fight back, but he ducks for a back drop and gets kicked. Duggan finally gets a knee up on a corner charge and clotheslines Bravo a few times until Quake grabs his foot. The ref becomes distracted by Quake, so Bravo tries to get the 2×4. Duggan stops him and hits Dino with it. The ref turns just in time to make the 3 count.

This was a typical Duggan match, but it wasn’t terrible. They at least kept it short. It was mostly done to set up what happens after the match, so I’m okay with it.

Winner: Jim Duggan (4:15)

Quake attacks Duggan after the match and hits him with three straight Earthquake Splashes. Thankfully, Duggan stays down, unlike Hercules. Gorilla thinks that the third splash is a replay until Jesse corrects him.

Next, they recap the Jake Roberts/Ted DiBiase feud. They show DiBiase putting Jake down with a long Million Dollar Dream because Jake was giving away his money. Then, they show DiBiase daring Jake to come and get the Million Dollar Belt. Jake attacks him and picks up the belt to a great reaction.

DiBiase makes his way to the ring and he finally has his great theme song! They show the Million Dollar Belt in a box at ringside. Gorilla and Jesse argue over whether Roberts had a right to take it or not. Then, they go to Mean Gene.

Gene is with Jake the Snake Roberts. Jake talks about how it’s the biggest match of DiBiase’s career because everything he stands for is on the line. He says that all DiBiase has to do to get it back is go through him and Damien. He brings up all the times DiBiase has made people beg for money and how he humbled and humiliated them. Jake says that he’s going to make DiBiase get on his knees and beg. This time DiBiase will be humbled and humiliated and it’s fitting that Ted will be groveling for his own money. He says that DiBiase will be a victim of his own greed, wallowing in the muck of avarice. This was such a good promo. It’s one of my favorites that Jake did.

Million Dollar Championship Match: Ted DiBiase (c) (w/ Virgil) vs. Jake the Snake Roberts

DiBiase continues posing in the ring until Jake enters the arena. This feud has been going on for months. It came to a head when Jake stole the Million Dollar Belt and put it in Damien’s bag. He dared DiBiase to reach into the bag and get it back, but Ted was too scared. DiBiase tried to enlist the help of someone else, but I will talk about that before the next match.

The two of them shove each other and get into a slug-fest. Jake keeps going for the DDT, but DiBiase escapes each time. Jake opts to wear down Ted’s arm instead. He wrenches back on a hammerlock and tells DiBiase, “Say you will!” Is he going to start singing? Ted tries to reverse the move and they end up fighting outside. They re-enter the ring, but Jake makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop. DiBiase then sends him crashing into the corner on a missed knee-lift and begins wearing him down. The fans start doing the wave and Jesse acknowledges it, but he can’t get Gorilla to participate. Ted takes Jake outside and rams him into the post before bringing him inside and hitting a piledriver. He waits too long to cover him and Jake nearly gets a pin, but DiBiase answers back with the Million Dollar Dream. Jake fades, but he manages to get a foot on the rope. DiBiase then waits for an opening to do an axehandle and gets punched in the gut. Jake builds up to a short-arm clothesline and goes for the DDT, but Virgil pulls him out of the ring. Roberts slams Virgil, but DiBiase locks him in another Million Dollar Dream. Jake breaks it by sending Ted into the post, but Jake can’t re-enter the ring. Virgil grabs DiBiase and rolls him inside before the ten count, which gives DiBiase the win.

This was shaping up to be a good match until that disappointing finish. I get that they want to continue the feud, but this is the biggest show of the year. I hate seeing these non-finishes on WrestleMania.

Winner: Ted DiBiase (by Count Out) (11:50)

DiBiase then grabs the Million Dollar Belt and Jesse explains that it can change hands on a count out because it’s not sanctioned. Jake enters the ring and clotheslines both men, which sends one hundred dollar bills flying. Virgil grabs the Million Dollar Belt and runs, so Jake hits the DDT on DiBiase. He then takes the money and starts handing it to fans, including Mary Tyler Moore. He also stuffs one of the bills into DiBiase’s mouth and goes for Damien, but Virgil saves DiBiase. Jake decides to chase Virgil instead.

Sean Mooney is with Akeem and Slick. He says that the split of the Twin Towers began when Boss Man refused to accept money from DiBiase. Slick says that money is what it’s all about and he’s the happiest man in the world because DiBiase recaptured his belt. He also claims that DiBiase paid him and Akeem to take out Boss Man. Akeem speaks next and says that there are two things that don’t last long. One is dogs that chase cars and the other is law officers who don’t take the money.

Next, Gene is with The Big Boss Man, who calls DiBiase scum. He claims that he doesn’t take money from scum or anybody. He then says he’s proud to walk to the ring without a skinny pimp manager and a tribal reject that’s too fat to fit in the pot. Most of all, he’s proud to be an American. He then walks away with a comical growl.

The Big Boss Man vs. Akeem (w/ Slick)

The Twin Towers are no more. As Vince McMahon would put it, The Twin Towers expl—oh god, what am I saying!? Um, let’s move on. As you might have gathered, The Big Boss Man turned babyface. DiBiase enlisted the help of Boss Man to get his Million Dollar Belt back from Jake Roberts. Boss Man grabbed Damien’s bag and brought it to DiBiase, but he discovered that DiBiase had paid for his services. Boss Man inexplicably grew a conscience and refused to take a bribe from Ted. He declared that he couldn’t be bought and returned Damien’s bag to Jake. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s good to see Boss Man turn face.

Akeem comes out first with Slick and Gorilla questions his billed weight. Jesse says that Slick is looking dapper, while Slick dances in the ring. Boss Man is out next and he already has his “Hard Times” theme song. I love that theme. Jesse jokes that Boss Man looks like a cop who pulled over Gorilla. Then, they show another one of those suspiciously professional looking fan signs that says, “Boss Man can’t be bought.” When Boss Man arrives at ringside, he’s jumped by Ted DiBiase, who was lying in wait. The bell hasn’t rung yet, so the ref can’t disqualify Akeem. DiBiase attacks him and rolls him into the ring.

Akeem whips Boss Man into a corner and hits an avalanche splash, but he only gets a 2 count. He then attacks with elbows and crushes Boss Man in the corner. He goes for 10 punches next, but Boss Man—sort of turns it into an inverted atomic drop. Boss Man then whips him from corner to corner and hits a clothesline. He misses another one, but he catches Akeem in the Boss Man Slam for the quick victory.

Poor Akeem. He lost in a couple of minutes after having a prone Boss Man thrown to him. This really made Akeem look bad, but it made Boss Man look great. It’s obvious which one is going to be pushed. The match wasn’t long enough to really rate. It was what it was.

Winner: Big Boss Man (1:49)

Slick tries to attack after the match, but Boss Man grabs him. Slick begs for mercy, but Boss Man punches him and sends him to the floor.

Next, Sean Mooney is in the crowd. He asks some kid about Rhythm & Blues and the kid has a hilarious reaction. He seems disgusted and says that they can’t sing, dance, or do anything. Sean asks if he knows the name of their new song and the kid says he doesn’t care. Sean moves to another kid and she seems more willing to talk. She actually knows the name of the song. Sean then talks to Mary Tyler Moore, who says that wrestling is the best of athletics and theater. I’m sure Vince loved that line. Sean asks her about Rhythm & Blues, and she pretends to know who they are.

The Fink introduces Rhythm & Blues, which is Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine, who now has black hair. They ride to the ring on the back of a convertible pink Cadillac. The Honkettes are in the front seat and a familiar face is driving the car. It’s Diamond Dallas Page!! I’m being serious. He loaned the WWF his car on the condition that he got to drive them to the ring. Jimmy Hart holds up a gold record, which Gorilla can’t believe is real. Gorilla and Jesse have a good laugh about the Honkettes, while Rhythm & Blues enter the ring. Honky gets the mic and pretends that everyone wants to hear their new song, “A Hunka Hunka Honky Love”. They start performing and The Honkettes are both out of tune and out of sync. Valentine’s mic isn’t even working and he’s doing the worst job of pretending to play guitar that I’ve ever seen. Honky gives his usual mediocre performance. They finish and the fans boo, which makes Honky think they want to hear it again. However, he spots some vendors at ringside and gets upset. On closer inspection, he realizes that they aren’t vendors. It’s The Bushwhackers in disguise. They enter the ring and run off Rhythm & Blues before smashing their guitars to the delight of the crowd. Gorilla jokes that if you hung Valentine for being a good singer, you’d hang an innocent man.

The Bushwhackers leave and The Fink announces that the WWF has set an attendance record for the Sky Dome. That’s not difficult since the building is only a year old.

Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Jimmy Superfly Snuka

Rick Rude comes out with Bobby Heenan, who seems to be in a better mood. During his entrance, Steve Allen joins the commentary booth. He says he’s never heard such cheering, booing, and catcalling. He proves he’s been watching by bringing up Duggan using a 2×4 earlier. He says it’s not a foreign object because it was Canadian wood. Snuka is out next to almost no reaction. Did the fans care about him at this point? Steve Allen certainly doesn’t care because he makes fun of Snuka for being ugly. Sadly, Rude doesn’t bother doing his usual spiel. I guess even he knows this match is a throwaway bout.

Rude jumps Snuka to begin, but he misses a dropkick. Snuka presses him into the air and then back drops him before mocking his hip swivel. He then knocks Rude outside, but Rick attempts a sunset flip. Snuka blocks it by grabbing the ropes. However, he makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop and Rude suplexes him before doing a proper hip swivel. Rude then wears him down with forearms and a back drop, but he ducks his head and pays for it. Snuka headbutts him and goes to the top, but Rude moves. Snuka slams him and goes to the top again, but he misses a diving headbutt. Rude then hits the Rude Awakening and picks up the win.

This wasn’t much of a match. Much like with Earthquake, they’re simply making Rude look strong because they have plans for him later in the year. Rude seemed pretty bored with this match because he barely even celebrated.

Winner: Rick Rude (3:59)

Next, they recap the Hogan/Warrior feud. They show the face-off in the Rumble and they show clips from Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Warrior accidentally clotheslined Hogan after a match. Then, they show Hogan saving Warrior from Earthquake at The Main Event. The Warrior takes exception to Hogan’s help and yells at him. Next, they show Warrior return the favor by helping Hogan against Quake. Hogan shoves the Warrior away, so Warrior teases clotheslining him. He stops short and then leaves the arena.

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

It’s finally time for the main event. The Warrior comes out first. He doesn’t ride in a ring cart. He opts to run to the ring instead and Jesse calls it a mistake. Hogan also refuses to use the cart, but he walks to the ring. He picks up a fan’s sign that says, “Hulk Rules,” but he hands it back to the wrong fan. Both men pose in the ring and then come face-to-face while Hebner explains the rules.

They start the match by shoving each other around and then Warrior calls for a test of strength. It begins as a stalemate, but both men trade off control of the knucklelock. Hogan gets Warrior down and we get the infamous camera shot that makes it look like Warrior is—um, servicing Hogan. Then, they trade shoulder blocks and do some criss-cross action. They also trade body slams before Warrior clotheslines Hogan out of the ring. He lands hard and claims his knee is injured. He says, “My knee is gone, brother.” No it’s not. It’s right there on your leg! Warrior ends up throwing him into the ring and they start trading eye rakes. Jesse loves that it’s become a dirty fight. Hogan takes control with a front facelock and Jesse jokes that Gorilla should ask Richard Belzer about that move. Hogan continues wearing down Warrior with a backbreaker, back suplex, and a loose chinlock, but Warrior recovers. Both men eventually go down to a double clothesline and Warrior starts hulking-up. He clotheslines Hogan multiple times and whips him from corner to corner before grabbing a long bear hug. Hogan fights back and Warrior goes for a shoulder block, but he accidentally takes out Hebner. The two of them then trade off pin attempts, but there’s no ref. They continue fighting in and out of the ring until Warrior press slams Hogan and hits the splash. He covers but Hogan kicks out and hulks-up. Hogan hits the big boot, but he misses the leg drop!! Warrior immediately answers with another running splash and gets the 3 count. Hogan kicks out just a second too late.

This was a great main event. It’s easily Warrior’s best match and one of Hogan’s best. Thankfully, the two of them reportedly rehearsed the match to get it right. I am a bit annoyed by Hogan kicking out just after the 3 count. Even when he loses clean, he still has to get his shine. However, it didn’t ruin the match.

Winner: The Ultimate Warrior (New Champion) (22:51)

After the match, The Warrior celebrates in the corner. I want to clear up a long-standing rumor about the post-match stuff. People love to claim that Hogan tried to steal Warrior’s spotlight by grabbing the WWF Title and handing it to him, but you can see the truth if you watch closely. Hebner has both belts in his hand after the bell and tries to hand them to Warrior, but Warrior whispers something to him. Earl returns the WWF title to ringside and then Hogan retrieves it. The plan was for Hogan to hand him the belt. It was Hebner who almost messed up the plan. Bruce Prichard has confirmed, on his podcast, that it was planned. I dislike Hogan’s grandstanding as much as anyone, but this wasn’t one of those instances.

Warrior continues posing as fireworks explode. Hogan rides to the back on a ring cart and the two men salute each other. Gorilla then says goodnight while Warrior continues his celebration.

Final thoughts:

This was a fun show. It didn’t have a lot of stellar matches, but there were a lot of good moments and a great main event. It did suffer from being a bit too long, but it’s nowhere near as bad as modern WrestleMania. It is nice to see Hogan lose cleanly since it doesn’t happen often. However, the story goes that Hogan was already telling people that Warrior would fail as champion by the time he got to the back. That’s typical Hulk Hogan. Sadly, he was kind of right in this instance, but we’ll get to that soon enough.

Thank you for reading. Be sure the like and follow the Facebook page for this blog by clicking here. You can also follow the Twitter account by clicking here. I would love to hear your feedback.

My next review is WCW’s Capital Combat ‘90: The Return of Robocop! Yes, I’m being serious about that last part. It’s going to be a fun one.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I chronologically review NWA/WCW and WWF/WWE PPVs on the WWE Network. I put out a new review every Saturday. Like and Follow the Facebook page for this blog here: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicWrestlingReview. Also, follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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