Rob Bartlett opens the show in an empty Manhattan Center. He’s looking for his co-hosts, oblivious that this special was being taped elsewhere. The empty arena rivals some WWF event attendance from this era.
We next see clips from the previous weekend where Bret Hart was attacked and squashed by Yokozuna during the contract signing for the Wrestlemania main event. Hart struggles to his feet as Sgt. Slaughter and other office goons keep Yoko at bay.
The audio is out of whack on this copy as Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon are drowned out by audience noise. I have no idea what’s up with that as this was taped right off of the USA network, commercials and all.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Yokozuna
Savage gets a huge ovation, making his benching for the big show all the more maddening. Still no commentary, which sucks. The fans are vociferously chanting “USA!”.
The men stall for a bit as Savage and Yoko both pose in far different manners. Savage uses his speed advantage to avoid Yoko, before deciding to just run into him. This leads him to crash to the mat in a heap. Yoko chucks Savage to the floor and batters his face into the stairs. This smaller Yokozuna is actually able to move around well, which helps really point out how his weight gain sunk his ability and career overall.
Yoko smashes Savage with a leg drop and the crowd gasps in horror. Macho avoids a follow up corner splash and scales the turnbuckles as the fans go absolutely crazy. A double axe handle fails to down Yoko, so Macho climbs up for another – only for Mr. Fuji to shove him off. Yoko hits a belly to belly to secure a relatively easy win in 6:37.
Yoko tries for a post-match banzai drop, only to miss it as Savage rolls away. Yoko then is knocked to the floor via a flying knee. A horde of officials keep Yoko from reentering as Macho Man struggles to his feet.
Macho Man was way over, and seemed to be perhaps set up to be a challenger to Yoko post-Mania with the way the match ended and the post match attack finished.
Podium interview: Mean Gene is with Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake and Jimmy Hart. Hogan spins in circles flexing. Hogan watched on in horror as Money Inc smashed Beefcake’s face during his return match. Hogan hopped on Beefcake’s motorcycle and raced around town in a blur until he found Beefcake watching the 3 Stooges at home with an ice pack on his broken nose.
Beefcake plans on leaving the scissors at home and just ripping the heel’s hair out. Hogan jumps back in talking about catching sharks and mermaids by hand, then shoving the tag titles in their mouths to protect the bathing beauties sitting around the pool where he plans on keeping the sharks. Must have been a bad batch of cocaine that caused this promo.
We see highlights of Lex Luger’s Royal Rumble debut and some clips of him knocking jobbers out with his “mysterious” forearm.
Mr. Perfect vs. Skinner
Skinner jumps Perfect as he plays to the audience. Skinner knocks him to the floor and puts the boots to Hennig. Perfect makes his comeback at which point they actually show the title screen and fast forward the match ahead. That’s unusual.
Perfect controls the next few minutes with some basic punching and such. Skinner uses his stuffed alligator paw to ever so briefly get one last gasp of offence. Hennig quickly snaps him up in the Perfect Plex for the pin. This was just a paint by numbers match.
Kamala vs. Kim Chee
Can you believe they gave this one away for free?!?! Slick cuts a promo on Kamala’s match at Mania against Bam Bam Bigelow. Slick introduces Kamala, but he doesn’t come out. Slick runs to the back as we hit up a brief commercial. Slick finds Kamala and leads him to the ring. Slick’s attempts to humanize Kamala must be failing as he’s stll carrying around his cannibal spear and mask, and has the chanting music.
Kamala is intimidated by Kim Chee, and fears fighting back as he’s attacked. Kamala figures out quickly that Kimchee is a geek and downs him with chops. A big splash is followed by mass confusion as Kamala doesn’t know how to properly cover a man for the pin after being in the business (kayfabe wise) for 10 years. Ugh.
WRESTLEMANIA: The music video! The opening line? “Are you ready for the Survivor Series!?!?!” Big Bossman gets a big part despite being out of the WWF since February, plus “Hacksaw” Duggan (who is not part of Mania) and the Nasty Boys (who finish up with the WWF within a few weeks of this making air.) An overall mess of a video from the normally on point WWF crew.
More “comedy” with Rob Bartlett not knowing the show is not being taped at the Manhattan Center.
WWF Hasbro commercial! It’s well out of date as the British Bulldog (fired 5 months earlier) gets a soundbite, plus Sgt. Slaughter is featured and he’s now retired. What a show this has been!
Mean Gene gives us the Wrestlemania report! Togas! Only 3 matches are mentioned – the double main event and Crush facing off with Doink.
The Undertaker vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow pursues the Taker as he strips of his clothes, laying the bad mouth on the Dead man. Bigelow gets in his face and throws blows once things get started. Taker uses a DROP TOE HOLD to down Bigelow and rips on his face with his hand. A DDT keeps Bigelow rattled.
A commercial interrupts and Taker is on the floor when we return. Bigelow hits Taker with several big slams and Undertaker keeps sitting up. Heenan is losing his mind over Taker being invincible. Taker continues to sit up, despite an arsenal of forearms and headbutts being driven into him. Bigelow is still showing no fear, but he is bewildered by the sight of Taker not selling any pain. Taker grabs him for a chokeslam and Bigelow says screw it and walks off, accepting a count-out loss at 7:39. Giant Gonzalez appears in the entryway, forcing Pat Patterson, JJ Dillon and others to jump in the middle. This was not terrible booking, as Bigelow looked strong even if he couldn’t hurt the Deadman.
A video game commercial offers the Legion of Doom, the Mountie and others who are no longer in the WWF.
Bret Hart gets a music video set to “Respect” by Aretha Franklin…and we’re out!
Matches that were on this show, but not my copy included Tatanka against George South, with HBK making his presence known. Plus, the Bushwackers and Beverly Brothers each picked a midget partner for some wacky six-man match that seems really random since their feud was a year ago….
Final thoughts: Some slight tweaking to the Mania card and it could’ve been saved from it’s status as one of the worst ever. For one, Macho Man should have faced Bret in the babyface respect match to put him over as the real deal. Then Yoko could have worked a rematch with Duggan stemming from Yoko injuring Duggan in January. Lastly, you hide the drugs from Marty Jannetty and put him in a rematch with Shawn Michaels and let them steal the show.