Classic Wrestling Review: WrestleMania V

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

WrestleMania V

April 2, 1989

Trump Plaza (Atlantic City Convention Hall)

Atlantic City, New Jersey

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For the second year in a row, WrestleMania is taking place in Trump Plaza. The WWF signed a deal to do back-to-back shows at the venue. This would be the first and only time that this would be done for a WrestleMania. The primary storyline for this show was the breakup, or explosion as Vince puts it, of the Mega Powers. Tensions had been building for months and things finally came to a head on the February 3rd edition of The Main Event. The Mega Powers faced The Twin Towers in a match. Savage was thrown out of the ring and accidentally landed on Elizabeth. Hogan took it upon himself to help her to the back, while Savage continued fighting. Savage saw this and became angry. Hogan returned to the match, but Savage slapped him and walked away. Hogan managed to pull out a victory and then headed to the trainer’s room to find Savage. Randy was arguing with Elizabeth when Hogan arrived and asked him what was his problem. Savage accused Hogan of scheming to get his title and then accused him of having lust in his eyes for Elizabeth. Hogan begged Elizabeth to talk some sense into Randy and that was the last straw for Savage. He attacked Hogan with the title belt and beat on him while Elizabeth screamed for help. Elizabeth even tried to place herself between Savage and Hogan, which Randy saw as a betrayal. He threatened both of them until officials arrived to send Savage out of the room. Savage would spend the next few weeks building his case against Hogan. He showed footage of Hogan being overly friendly with Elizabeth, such as the footage from Survivor Series that I mentioned in my review of that show. Randy now claimed to hate Hogan and a match was set up between the two for WrestleMania.

The show opens with a shot of a red stormy sky. Some sexy smooth jazz plays, as Vince McMahon tells us that the Mega Powers EXPLODE at WrestleMania V. Gorilla Monsoon welcomes everyone to the show and says that you can cut the electricity with a knife. I’m pretty sure that would be extremely dangerous.

The Fink then introduces Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin to sing “America the Beautiful”. Someone told Vince that Robin could sing, so he chose her to do the honors. I’m not sure if they were playing a rib on Vince because Robin’s rendition is not very good. Jesse Ventura makes fun of her after she finishes. He tells her not to quit her day job.

Hercules vs. King Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Haku is carried down the ramp on his platform. I would not want to be the guys carrying him. Not only did they have to deal with the weight, they also had to keep from tripping on that long ramp. Fink introduces him. Originally he had said “King Tonga” by accident, but they dubbed in the correct name on the network. Heenan gets a mic and tells the crowd to show respect by bowing to the king, but no one listens. Hercules comes out next and clears the ring by swinging his chain around, but Haku jumps him when he attempts to put the chain away.

Haku chops him into the corner, but Hercules reverses a whip and hits a hip toss and a slam before pressing him into the air and letting him fall. Herc then clotheslines Haku out of the ring. He catches him at the ropes and suplexes him inside before hitting a couple of elbow drops. Unfortunately, he gets distracted by Heenan and decides to chase him around the ring. Haku follows and clotheslines Hercules before ramming him into the apron and throwing him back inside. He then hits a couple of backbreakers on Herc and gets a 2 count. When that doesn’t work, he locks in a bear hug. Hercules breaks the hold, but Haku kicks him and chokes him on the ropes. Herc ducks a clothesline and hits a cross body for another 2 count before going to the top rope. He dives, but Haku hits a thrust kick. Haku then goes to the top, but he misses a splash and Hercules hits a back suplex with a bridge. Both men’s shoulders are down, but Herc rolls to the side before the 3 count, so he gets the win.

It was an okay opener, but it wasn’t great. I feel like I’ve seen this ending too much lately. WCW had used it on their last show, as well.

Winner: Hercules

Mean Gene is backstage with The Rockers. Gorilla introduces them as Shawn Michaels and The Rockers. I see they’re already grooming Shawn as the star of the team. Gene says that they’re moments away from a match with the Twin Towers. A hoarse-voiced Shawn replies that all the talking is over with. Then why is he talking? He tells Gene that everyone says the Towers can’t be beat, but they’re going to show them something they’ve never seen. What’s going to happen when the Towers try to catch greased lightning? Marty then says they’re taking on the biggest team in wrestling. He says that to win they’re going to have to rock n’ roll, strut and stroll, and slam and jam. He finishes by saying they’re ready and yelling, “GREASED LIGHTNING!”

The Twin Towers (w/ Slick) vs. The Rockers

The Towers made their way to the ring during the promo. You could hear their music playing. Akeem and Slick dance, while Boss Man stands there looking intimidating. The Rockers come out next and the Towers attempt to jump them, but they move and lure them out of the ring before knocking them off the apron.

Boss Man and Shawn start the match. Boss Man places Shawn on the top turnbuckle and slaps him, but he mistakenly turns around to taunt Marty. Shawn hits a missile dropkick and then leaps over Boss Man to attack Akeem. Akeem tags into the match and struts, so Shawn answers by doing the moonwalk. The Rockers take control of the match by using quick tags to control Akeem. Akeem tries to fight out, but he misses a corner charge. However, he manages to tag out to Boss Man. Marty leaps over Akeem, but he lands in Boss Man’s arms for a bear hug. Boss Man slams him down and hits his running knee attack on the ropes before tagging Akeem again. Akeem splashes Marty and the Towers start using quick tags of their own to take control. They do some double teaming, including a double Avalanche in the corner, but Akeem accidentally ends up hitting Boss Man when Marty ducks an attack. Shawn tags in and hits 6 punches before he and Marty whip Akeem from corner to corner. They also hit a double shoulder block off the second turnbuckle, but Akeem ends up knocking Shawn for a loop with a clothesline. He tags Boss Man, who misses a splash off the top. Shawn goes for a hurricanrana and Boss Man tries to block it, but Marty comes in to do a schoolyard trip-up. The Rockers then go for a double missile dropkick, but Shawn is a bit late and misses his. Marty goes for a cover, but Akeem breaks it up and throws Marty outside the ring. Shawn then dives onto Boss Man, who catches him and hits a powerbomb before tagging Akeem. Akeem hits Air Africa and pins Shawn for the 3 count.

This was a decent match. I think it should have opened the show instead of Hercules/Haku, but it wasn’t my decision. It is nice to see the Towers get a win. Their program with Hogan and Savage is over, so the worry is that they would fade into obscurity.

Winners: The Twin Towers

Tony Schiavone is backstage. Wait, hold on a second. Did I accidentally switch to a WCW pay per view? What’s going on here? Apparently, Tony has jumped ship to the WWF. He’s with Ted DiBiase and Virgil and Ted now has his Million Dollar Title Belt around his waist. Since DiBiase failed to gain the WWF title, he had his own custom belt made. He went to a jeweler and had one made from gold and diamonds and proclaimed himself the Million Dollar Champion. The vignettes for this were made even better by the fact that Ted wore a Dracula cape the whole time. I’m not sure why, but it was a great look. Tony mentions that DiBiase will be facing Brutus Beefcake tonight. He says that Beefcake knows about strutting and cutting. DiBiase says he’s been anticipating this day for a long time because the crowd is filled with his people, the elite. He name drops Trump and Henry Kravis. He says they’re there to watch him demolish Beefcake. He spends thousands of dollars to be this groomed, so if Beefcake thinks he will cut his hair, think again. DiBiase then calls himself the greatest athlete in the WWF and says the gold and diamonds around his waist proves it. It shines brighter than any star in the WWF.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil)

DiBiase and Virgil make their way to the ring, but Ted doesn’t have his theme song yet. He shakes hands with Donald Trump when he arrives at ringside and Fink introduces Ted as the self-proclaimed Million Dollar Champion. Beefcake comes out next and he does have his new theme song now. He also has a special bag to carry his clippers and makes a show out of removing it. Jesse then makes a joke about Brutus giving Trump a haircut.

DiBiase taunts Brutus with the Million Dollar Belt, so Beefcake punches him and hits a back drop. He then hits a hip toss and another back drop, despite Ted trying to rake the eyes. DiBiase bails outside for a breather before getting back into the ring and hitting a knee strike. He clubs and chops Brutus into the corner, but Beefcake reverses a whip and hits a few body slams. Brutus then clotheslines DiBiase out of the ring and struts while Ted calls for a time-out. He gets back into the ring and the two men get into a slug-fest. Beefcake wins the exchange until Virgil grabs his leg and DiBiase beats him into the corner. He hits a back elbow and a fist drop for a 2 count. Then, he hits a clothesline and an axehandle off the second turnbuckle. He stomps him and covers for a 2 count before complaining to the ref about a slow count. Ted makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop, so Beefcake rolls him up for a 2. Beefcake keeps trying to fight back with a suplex reversal, but DiBiase is up first. Both men end up going to down to a double clothesline, but DiBiase still recovers first. He hits a suplex and locks in the Million Dollar Dream. Brutus gets to the ropes, but Ted waits until a 4 count to release the hold and Hebner admonishes him. Beefcake blocks and reverses an attempt to ram his head into the corner and grabs a sleeper hold. Virgil distracts him, so he releases the hold and Ted sends him to the floor. Virgil rams Brutus into the apron, but he fights back and chases him around the ring. DiBiase uses the opening to attack and they get into a slug-fest on the floor, but this leads to a double count out.

There was some decent stuff in this match, but the ending was lame. I guess they were trying to draw out this feud, but it doesn’t make the finish any less disappointing.

Winner: Double Count Out

After the match, Virgil tries to do another cheap shot, but Brutus chases him into the ring and hits an atomic drop. He then clotheslines him and locks in a sleeper hold. DiBiase tries to help, but Brutus attacks him and signals for the clippers. He gets them, but DiBiase grabs Virgil and escapes.

Next, they show a clip of Lord Alfred Hayes at the WrestleMania brunch. The Bushwhackers are stuffing their faces at a table and Hayes tries to get a word with them. He asks them about their match and they mumble that they’re ready through a mouthful of food. Alfred calls them offensive and asks how they will deal with the Rougeaus. They answer with some more unintelligible gibberish, so Alfred says he will return to a more civilized environment.

The Bushwhackers vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (w/ Jimmy Hart)

The Rougeaus make their way to the ring and they have their great “All American Boys” theme song. They wave around little American flags, which annoys the crowd. The Bushwhackers then march their way to the ring while doing their weird arm waving walk. Jesse implies that they must be drunk. They then chase the Rougeaus and Jimmy out of the ring and manage to grab Hart’s jacket. They attempt to rip it apart, but the Rougeaus stop them. The Bushwhackers then whip the Rougeaus into Jimmy Hart, who falls out of the ring.

Luke and Raymond start the match and Raymond lures Luke into missing a fist drop. He makes the mistake of celebrating, so the Bushwhackers hit their battering ram. Jacques attempts to break up the pin, but Luke moves and he hits Raymond on accident. The Rougeaus decide to bail outside to regroup. Jacques re-enters the ring, but the ref gets distracted by the fact that Jacques’ boot is untied. Raymond uses the opening to run in and cheap shot Luke. The Rougeaus then double team him in their corner and whip him across the ring. Raymond lifts him up for a slam and Luke signals he’s ready by giving Ray a little squeeze, but his hand is placed in an unintended place. It is possible that it was intentional. I’m not judging. The Rougeaus then use another ref distraction for some more double teaming and they lock Luke in an abdominal stretch. Raymond flips into the ring and hits a kick before hugging Jacques. Unfortunately, this gives the Bushwhackers a chance to recover. They hit a battering ram and then hit a double gut buster for the win.

This was a harmless comedy match. I’ve never been a big fan of the Bushwhackers, but they kept this short. They’re okay in small doses.

Winners: The Bushwhackers

The Bushwhackers celebrate by licking each other’s heads and then head to the back. They pass Sean Mooney on the way. Sean is trying to interview some fans, so they lick Mooney and mug for the camera. Sean compares it to being licked by a dog.

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer

Mr. Perfect comes out first. He also doesn’t have his iconic theme song yet, but he has switched to wearing a singlet. The Blue Blazer, on the other hand, has a great sounding theme song. I am glad to see Owen Hart, but it’s bittersweet to see him in the Blue Blazer gimmick considering what happens in 1999. The Blazer does a backflip off the top rope when he enters the ring. Jesse then mentions seeing Perfect’s dad, Larry the Ax Hennig and Gorilla sounds a bit uncomfortable. I don’t think Jesse was supposed to mention that.

They start with a leapfrog spot, but Perfect blocks a hip toss and hits one of his own. He then shoves the Blazer into a corner and slaps him. He tries again, but the Blazer slaps him in return. Perfect tries another hip toss, but the Blazer lands on his feet. Blazer then hits a couple of body slams and dropkicks Perfect over the top rope. He hits a baseball slide, but he nearly crotches himself on the bottom rope in the process. They fight on the floor and the Blazer hits some European uppercuts before throwing Perfect into the ring. The Blazer grabs an armbar, but Perfect fights to his feet and whips him into the corner. The Blazer leaps over him and hits a dropkick and a backbreaker for a 1 count. The Blazer also hits a suplex and a slam before going for a flying splash. Perfect gets his knees into the Blazer’s gut and then starts attacking the ribs. He locks in a reverse chinlock, but the Blazer fights out of it. Perfect whips him from corner to corner, but the Blazer gets a foot up on a charge and hits a powerslam for another 1 count. He then hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a 2 count. He gets another 2 count off a crucifix pin, which causes a fan to laugh hysterically, for some reason. The Blazer complains about the count, but this leaves him open. Perfect hits a running forearm and then hits the Perfect Plex for the win.

There was some really good stuff in this match, but it was too short. I would have loved to see a longer match between them. Mr. Perfect was a great choice for an opponent for Owen at this show.

Winner: Mr. Perfect

Jesse tells Gorilla that he has a surprise for him. The Fink introduces Jesse to the crowd, so he stands on top of the announce table and poses to cheers. He leads the crowd in chanting his name and tells Gorilla that the whole world loves him. Gorilla jokes that Jesse better be careful not to fall.

Next, they show clips from the WrestleMania 5k Run. Lord Alfred Hayes is there and Mr. Fuji shows up in a full tuxedo. He says he’s entered the run to show up people and prove that he’s in great shape. He wants to show that the handicap match will be nothing for him. Fuji tries to get a head start, but the runners quickly overtake him. They cut to the end of the race and show Fuji crossing the finish line. It’s obvious that he didn’t run the entire race, but Hayes congratulates him, all the same. Alfred says that Fuji proved he’s in shape. Fuji says the Powers of Pain are in shape too and they will be tag team champions.

Then, Fink introduces Run DMC to do a WrestleMania rap. They get the fans to yell “WrestleMania” and clap. They do a couple of songs. They rap about being at WrestleMania and about piledrivers and body slams. It was an alright performance, but the acoustics in the building weren’t great. It was hard to hear clearly, at times.

They then recap the Demolition/Powers of Pain feud. They show clips from Survivor Series of Fuji turning on Demolition and joining the Powers of Pain. They also show clips from The Main Event of Fuji throwing salt in Ax’s eyes and the Powers of Pain attacking Demolition.

Gene is backstage with Demolition. He says they’re moments away from their title defense. Smash calls Fuji “Fuj the Stooge” and says they’re going to knock their teeth in. Ax then calls the Powers of Pain the “Three Stooges” and hopes they’re ready because they can’t hide forever. He says they’re going to the ring to do what they do best, demolish people. He then calls Fuji an overstuffed rat and says they’ll grab him around the neck and squeeze until his eyeballs pop out. That’s lovely.

Handicap Match for the Tag Team Titles: Demolition (c) vs. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji

This match is a handicap match because Fuji will be competing alongside the Powers of Pain, which makes it 3 vs. 2. The Powers of Pain and Fuji are in the ring already. Fink introduces them, but Demolition’s theme starts to play too early. They stop the music so that Fink can finish and then start it again. Jesse brings up the 5k run and Gorilla accuses Fuji of not really running the race. Demolition enter the ring and Fuji does a salt ritual before the match starts.

The Warlord and Ax start the match. It quickly devolves into a club-fest by Demolition. Smash and Ax tag in and out and take turns doing a neck vice to the Warlord. He manages to fight to his corner and tag Barbarian, but Barbarian is quickly in trouble in Demolition’s corner. They use quick tags to maintain control and go back to the neck vice. Barbarian takes control with a punch to the throat and tags the Warlord, but Demolition quickly take back control. He tags Ax, who goes after Fuji, but this opens the door for the Powers of Pain to take over the match. They take Ax into their corner and work him over for a bit. Fuji finally tags in, once Ax is down, and chops him. He takes advantage of a ref distraction to drop a headbutt into Ax’s crotch. He tags Barbarian and the Powers do some more double teaming. The Barbarian hits a powerslam, so that Fuji can try a splash, but Fuji misses it. The Warlord manages to prevent Ax from tagging, but only for a moment. Ax finally makes the tag and Smash cleans house. He slams both Powers and then Demolition drop the Warlord across the ropes. The ref becomes distracted, so Fuji tries to throw salt into Smash’s eyes. Smash moves and the salt goes into the Warlord’s eyes. Demolition then hit the decapitation on Fuji and pin him for the win.

This match was mostly punching and kicking. There was some decent storytelling, but it wasn’t a great match. Fuji did well for his age. It was okay for a one-time thing.

Winners: Demolition

Tony is standing outside Savage’s locker room. He says he’s going to try and get a word with him, but it sounds like Savage is losing his mind. He tries to open the door and an angry Randy tells him no interviews. Savage then shoves the cameraman over and runs down the hallway yelling, “I’ll knock you out! Come on Hulk Hogan. I’M READY!!!”

Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. Rugged Ronnie Garvin

Bravo and Frenchy make their way to the ring. Frenchy is carrying a Quebec flag and the fans take swipes at him. Garvin is already waiting in the ring. Fink does his introductions, but then he says he has a special guest to introduce. For some reason, he welcomes Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Jimmy comes out and shows the “I love you” sign to the crowd. He walks to the ring and enters to pose before leaving again.

Garvin attempts to throw his towel to the crowd, but Bravo jumps him from behind. Dino slams him and hits an elbow drop before clubbing him in the back. He chops and punches him before grabbing a bear hug and tossing him into the corner. Then, he shoulder blocks him a few times and pins him with only his foot, but he only gets a 2 count. Bravo catches Garvin and attempts a powerbomb, but Garvin punches him down to the mat for a 2 count. Garvin then hits a forearm for another 2 count. He chops Bravo into the corner and rams his head into the turnbuckles. Then, he does a rolling jackknife pin for a 2 count before attempting a sleeper hold. Bravo makes it to the ropes, so Garvin tries a piledriver instead. Bravo tries to back drop him out of it, but Garvin turns it into a sunset flip for another 2. Garvin goes for 10 punches, but Bravo turns it into an inverted atomic drop and hits his side slam to get the win.

This is another match that showed signs of good stuff but was too short. However, given the length of this show, it would have probably been better to not have it at all.

Winner: Dino Bravo

Bravo celebrates, but Garvin attacks him from behind. He then gets a hold of Frenchy Martin and hits him with the Garvin Stomp. Jesse says that he’s lost respect for Garvin because of the attack.

The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Strike Force

Bobby Heenan leads the Brain Busters to the ring. They don’t have a theme song, but Strike Force still have their “Girls in Cars” theme. Strike Force reformed after Martel returned from his injury, but I have a feeling it won’t last very long.

Martel and Tully start the match. They trade some holds, but Arn knees Martel in the back. Rick gets in trouble in the Brain Buster corner and all four men end up in the ring. Strike Force hit a double dropkick, so the Brain Busters regroup on the outside. Arn re-enters the ring and ducks for a back drop, so Martel hits a facebuster and tries to press Arn’s shoulders to the mat. They fight for control until Arn grabs a body scissors. Martel manages to reverse it into a Boston Crab, but Tully reaches into the ring and pokes him in the eyes. Martel makes a blind tag, so Tito comes in and hits a bulldog. He then locks in a Figure Four, which draws Arn into the ring. Martel enters as well and they do a double Figure Four spot. Arn reaches over and rakes Tito’s eyes to break the hold. Tito and Tully then reverse through some pin attempts and the Brain Busters do some double teaming. Tito makes another blind tag, but he ends up accidentally hitting Martel with the flying forearm. Martel falls out of the ring and Arn takes control on Tito. Tito tries to fight back, but the Brain Busters tag in and out to stop him. Tito then tries a sunset flip and we get the famous “Aloha Arn” spot (shout out to OSW Review). Arn reaches every direction he can to regain his balance, which causes one fan to laugh loudly. Tito gets him over, but Arn tags Tully on the way. Tito manages to hit a cross body, but it’s not enough. Arn comes back into the match and they reverse back and forth, but Arn gets a knee up on a corner charge. Arn goes up top and Tito throws him into the ring before going for a tag, but Martel is too busy nursing his injury to tag him. Martel then decides that he’s had enough and leaves the match. He waves off Tito and walks to the back in frustration. The fans boo him for leaving. The Brain Busters beat Tito down for a while. Arn hits his spinebuster and tags Tully, who struts around the ring. Tito tries to fight back and goes for a monkey flip, but Arn blocks it and tags into the match. They then hit a double team spike piledriver for the win.

This was a pretty good match, but it existed mostly to set-up the Strike Force breakup. It did a good job of furthering that storyline and also made the Brain Busters look like killers. Now, we get the great model gimmick from Rick Martel.

Winners: The Brain Busters

Gene is with Martel. He demands an explanation from Rick. Martel says that Tito got what he deserves. He’s sick of carrying Tito around. He says he was doing well as a singles wrestler, but Tito wanted to ride his coattails. Gene tells him that he’s out of line, but Martel says he doesn’t want to be associated with Tito anymore. He tells Tito that he’s lucky he’s a gentleman because it could have been a lot worse.

Next, the ring is set up for an edition of Piper’s Pit. Fink gives a long-winded introduction for Rowdy Roddy Piper, but Brother Love comes out instead. Love is wearing a kilt and fans throw popcorn at him as he makes his way to the ring. He welcomes everyone to the Brother Love Show and says he has a special guest, Rodney Piper. Love then does an imitation of Piper that’s not half bad. He interviews himself and even switches seats with each question. Fink then introduces the real guest, Morton Downey Jr., who smokes a cigarette on his way to the ring. Love tells him that he loves him, but doesn’t like him. The feeling is mutual and Downey makes fun of him for wearing a skirt and being fat. Then, Fink introduces the real Roddy Piper, who comes to the ring with a scowl on his face. Piper says, “Hey stupid,” and is amused when Brother Love responds. He makes fun of Love’s knees and his skirt. He keeps asking him questions but cuts him off before he can answer. Love says that Piper doesn’t scare him, so Roddy yells and causes Love to jump. Piper has some more banter with Brother Love, while Downey starts throwing cigarettes at Roddy. Piper asks Love what’s under his kilt and then rips it off, so Love runs to the back in embarrassment. Piper then turns to Downey, who blows smoke in Roddy’s face. Piper asks him not to do that. Piper and Downey exchange jokes and jabs about each other’s parents. Piper ends up offending Downey, who gets in Roddy’s face and continues blowing smoke. Piper finally pretends to concede and asks Downey to fetch him a cigarette. Morton turns to get the cigarette, so Piper fetches a fire extinguisher. When Downey turns, Piper blasts him with the extinguisher and keeps spraying him. Downey grabs him by the foot, so he sprays him some more. Piper has claimed that he came close to hitting Downey with the extinguisher until Gorilla Monsoon yelled at him to stop. However, that would be impossible since Gorilla was up in the balcony. This segment went way too long and wasn’t that funny. I didn’t care for it.

Then, Gene has a special surprise. He introduces the trailer for Hulk Hogan’s new movie, No Holds Barred. They show the preview for this absolute masterpiece. It stars Hogan and Tiny “Zeus” Lister. There are even cameos by Stan Hansen and future WCW wrestler Ultimate Solution, who played Bane in Batman & Robin.

Sean Mooney is in the front row. He seems strangely nervous as he interviews Donald Trump. (I’ll refrain from making any political statements) He asks Trump what a show like this means to Atlantic City and the Trump organization. Trump says it has brought people from thousands of miles away and they’re honored to be there. Sean asks if the casinos have been busy and Trump says they’ve been packed. It’s a boon for the city. Sean then nervously thanks him. I wonder why he’s so fidgety.

They go back to Gorilla and Jesse and Jesse seems angry. He starts yelling at Hulk Hogan for moving in on his territory. Jesse says movies are his thing. He says that Hogan is only doing movies because he knows he will lose to Savage and needs a backup plan. He says there isn’t enough room in Hollywood for both of them and tells Hogan that if he wants a job he can drive Jesse’s limo. Jesse then storms off screen, as Gorilla recaps the night, so far.

Then, they recap the Mega Powers feud. They show clips of Savage winning the title at last year’s WrestleMania. They show clips from SummerSlam and Survivor Series. They also show clips of Hogan and Savage saving each other from the Twin Towers. Next, they show the breakup angle from The Main Event.

Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan. Hogan says that one year ago, he and the Macho Man were best friends. If you would have told him that they would be facing each other a year later, he would have called you a liar. He says that as the Mega Powers grew, the mania was ahead of the madness. He thought Savage believed in the demandments and was in his corner and that’s why they stayed together so long. Gene brings up Savage attacking the Hulkamaniacs and Hogan says that Savage also put Elizabeth between them because Savage was eaten by jealousy. He then says that what really tore them apart was that Randy was jealous of Hulkamania. He calls Savage a cheap shot artist and accuses him of always being on the outside wanting to attack. Then, Hogan says that Trump has had seismologists checking Trump Plaza because when the Mega Powers blast off, the foundation will be in danger. He says that he doesn’t care where Savage stands or what he believes in. He only cares if Savage is ready because when he puts Savage on his knees, he wants him to realize he beat him at his best. Watcha gonna do!? Hogan doesn’t come off very well in this promo. I like that they’re telling two sides to this story where both men are convinced they are in the right, but Hogan frankly sounds like the egomaniac here.

Jake the Snake Roberts vs. Andre the Giant (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Finally, they go back to some matches. The Fink introduces the special ref for this match, Big John Studd. This is what he got for winning the Rumble. Studd comes to the ring to what would eventually become Duggan’s theme. Andre enters next with Heenan and Andre stares down Studd. They have some words with each other, as Jake makes his way to the ring. Jake looks a little emotional, for some reason.

Andre jumps Jake immediately and we see that he’s removed one of the turnbuckle pads. He rams Jake into the exposed buckle and stomps him before grabbing a headlock. Jake elbows his way out of the hold and tries to go for Damien, but Andre grabs another headlock. Jake punches his way out and the two men have a slug-fest, but Andre squashes him into the corner. Studd admonishes Andre, but he ignores him and chokes Roberts. He keeps breaking at the 4 count, but he goes back to the choke. Andre then stomps on him and clubs him into a corner, but Jake fights back and hits a clothesline. Andre ends up tied in the ropes, so Jake starts choking him and Studd warns him to stop. Jake punches Andre’s head, but it hurts his hand and Andre gets free of the ropes. Andre headbutts him and grabs a double nerve hold. Jake tries to fight out again, but Andre headbutts the back of his head. He fights him into a corner and headbutts Jake’s midsection. Andre sells like Jake got a knee up, but someone missed their cue. Andre ends up chopping Jake out of the ring and attacks each time he tries to re-enter, so Studd argues with Andre. Jake takes the opportunity to grab Damien’s bag, but Studd warns him not to do it. Andre seizes the opportunity to attack Studd and the two get into a shoving match. Ted DiBiase and Virgil choose this moment to arrive and steal Damien’s bag, so Jake chases them down the aisle. In the ring, Andre starts choking Studd with his singlet strap, but Jake retrieves Damien and throws him into the ring. Andre bails outside, as Studd declares Jake the winner by DQ.

This match was slow and not that great. It did a decent job of telling a story, but it wasn’t that fun to watch. There were about three different feuds involved here. The Andre/Studd feud wouldn’t pan out very far because Studd would soon be gone.

Winner: Jake Roberts (by DQ)

Sean Mooney is in the crowd and asks a fan for his thoughts on the match. The fan simply says, “Jake is the best,” over and over again.

Tony is in the locker room with Sensational Sherri. She makes fun of Rockin’ Robin’s singing. She says that Robin can’t sing any more than she can wrestle. She then brings up Miss Elizabeth and laughs about the fact that the Mega Powers are going to explode. This is foreshadowing Sherri’s future plans with Savage.

The Hart Foundation vs. The Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Honky and Valentine make their way to the ring with Jimmy Hart. They haven’t started using the Rhythm & Blues name yet. The Hart Foundation are out next (RIP Anvil). Bret is wearing his new wrap-around sunglasses, but he hasn’t started giving them to fans yet.

Bret and Honky start the match and trade punches. Honky attempts a back drop, but Bret drops behind him and rolls him up for a quick pin attempt. He then hits two atomic drops, both regular and inverted. Valentine tags into the match and gets the same, as well as a dropkick. Anvil then tags in and Bret slingshots him into a shoulder block. Bret comes back into the match and hits a backbreaker, but he misses his elbow drop. Valentine then whips him into the corner, so he can double team him. Honky and Valentine use a ref distraction to work him over in the corner and choke him with the tag rope. They continue using quick tags to keep Bret subdued. Honky taunts Anvil with some dancing and then surprisingly hits the Shake, Rattle, & Roll, but he doesn’t cover him. He tags Valentine instead and Greg goes for a Figure Four. Bret flips him over, but he can’t make a tag. Valentine hits a gutbuster for a 2 count and then tags Honky again. Bret hits a cross body, but Honky sends him out of the ring. Bret then fights back and finally gets a tag. Anvil cleans house with a dropkick and shoulder block. He ducks a couple of clotheslines and hits one of his own, but the pin attempt is broken up. Honky comes in and misses a fist drop, so Anvil rams him into the corner and tags Bret. Bret hits a slam, elbow drop, and a suplex, but Valentine stops the pin attempt. Jimmy Hart tries to get involved, so Anvil chases him away and grabs the megaphone. He tosses it to Bret while the ref is distracted, so Bret hits Honky and pins him for the 3 count.

This match was okay, but it was slightly disappointing for these two teams. I was surprised to see the Hart Foundation cheat to win, but it fits the storyline of Jimmy Hart using the same tactics on them.

Winners: The Hart Foundation

They then quickly recap the Warrior/Rude feud by showing clips of the posedown from the Rumble.

Intercontinental Title Match: Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior (c)

Rick Rude makes his way to the ring with Heenan, as some female fans look amused. Rude gets a mic and tells all the high rollin’ Atlantic City sweat hogs to keep the noise down while he takes off his robe and shows the ladies the sexiest man alive. He removes his robe to reveal airbrushed tights with the Intercontinental Title painted on the front and an unflattering picture of the Warrior on the back. The Warrior comes out next and runs down the ramp. He’s lucky he didn’t trip.

Rude attempts a clothesline when the Warrior enters, but the Warrior ducks it. Rude then attempts a knee to the gut, but he forgot that Warrior was still wearing the belt and it hurts his knee. Warrior then shoves him into the corner repeatedly and whips him from corner to corner. He locks Rude in a bear hug. The ref checks the arm, but Rude breaks the hold by poking the Warrior in the eyes. Rude hits a missile dropkick, but Warrior powers out at the 1 count and slams Rick a couple of times. He then grabs another bear hug and we get a shot of Heenan playing pocket pool again. Rude tries to poke the eyes again, but the ref catches him and grabs his arm both times he attempts it. Rick finally breaks the hold by biting Warrior’s head, so Warrior returns the favor and hits a back drop. The Warrior then tries to end it with a running splash, but Rude gets his knees up into the gut. Rude hits a piledriver, but he’s slow to make the cover and only gets a 2 count. He then hits a jawbreaker and tries to swivel his hips, but he sells the lower back pain. Then, he hits a clothesline and a Russian leg sweep for a couple of 2 counts. He tries a bow and arrow stretch next, but Warrior powers his way to the ropes and shakes them to break Rude’s grip. Warrior then hits a flying shoulder tackle and a couple of facebusters. He hits a backbreaker and goes for a second one, but he loses his balance and drops Rude. He tries to make up for this by whipping Rude around, but he misses a corner splash and Rude goes for the Rude Awakening. Warrior powers out of the move and hits a clothesline. He hits another one that sends Rude to the apron and goes for a suplex, but Heenan trips him. Heenan then holds down Warrior’s foot while Rude pins him for a 3 count and the title.

This was easily the Warrior’s best match so far. They did a good job telling a story and the ending was a good way to have Rude win without the Warrior looking weak.

Winner: Rick Rude (New champion)

Rude collects his belt and starts to leave, but the Warrior grabs Heenan. He attacks him and then nearly kills Bobby with a sloppy press slam. Heenan has said in interviews that this move aggravated his existing neck issues. He was quite angry with Warrior for being so reckless.

Bad News Brown vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

You can tell the show is running long because they waste no time in moving on to the next match. Neither man has theme music, but Duggan walks to the ring to a chorus of “HO!!” from the fans.

Brown jumps Duggan as he enters the ring and punches him down to the mat. Duggan fights back and clotheslines Brown, so Bad News bails outside and threatens to leave. He reluctantly gets back on the apron, so Duggan slingshots him back into the ring. Duggan makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop and Brown clubs him, headbutts him and rams him into the corner. They trade punches, but Brown rakes the eyes and fights him into the corner again. Duggan reverses and shoulders Brown into the turnbuckles, but he gets in an argument with the ref. Brown takes advantage of the opening and punches him. He knocks Duggan down and out of the ring and drives him into the post before tossing him back inside. He then goes for a running Ghetto Blaster, but Duggan ducks and hits his running clothesline. He knocks Brown to the floor in the process, so Brown grabs a chair. Duggan answers by grabbing his 2×4 and they start dueling, so the ref throws out the match. They continue fighting and Duggan hits him with the 2×4, so Bad News leaves and heads to the back. Duggan celebrates with snot hanging from his nose.

This was pretty much a waste of time. Neither of these guys is known for losing cleanly, so it’s no surprise that this match ended the way it did.

Winner: Double DQ

Mean Gene is with the Red Rooster, who has taken to behaving like an actual rooster. I guess this is a rib on him for not taking the gimmick seriously. Gene brings up that Heenan used to manage Rooster, so it’s the teacher versus the student. Rooster says he’s going to teach Heenan something that Bobby never taught him, how to lose. He says that Heenan called him limited, but he’s going to show him that’s not true. He can’t wait to get his rooster claws into that weasel hide. When he’s done, it will be a great day in the barnyard and everyone will be going cock-a-doodle-doo. I feel bad for him because this gimmick is a death nail.

The Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan (w/ The Brooklyn Brawler)

Heenan got tired of the Rooster losing all of the time, so he turned on him. Rooster then challenged him to a match, so Heenan enlisted the help of the Brooklyn Brawler to watch his back. I’m not sure why Heenan would look to an even bigger jobber for help. Heenan makes his way to the ring with the Brawler and he’s obviously in pain from earlier. The Red Rooster is out next and his music is ridiculous. It even has rooster crowing. Heenan removes his jacket and pants and it looks like he’s wearing a shrunken version of Andre’s gear.

Heenan immediately begs off into the corner, but Rooster rams him into the turnbuckles and whips him around the ring. Heenan tries to reverse it, but he misses a corner charge and bounces off the turnbuckles. The Rooster covers him for a quick 3 count to mercifully end this.

I don’t know if the match was always supposed to be this short or if they shortened it because Heenan was hurt, but either way, I’m glad it wasn’t long. It was too short to really rate. It served its purpose.

Winner: The Red Rooster

Gene is backstage with Miss Elizabeth. He talks about the main event and says it has to be difficult for her. She says she will be in a neutral corner and will continue to support both men. She says it’s unfortunate that they feel they have to resolve their differences this way and she can only hope and pray that no one gets hurt. The promo was kind of awkward, but it fits the story that she’s distraught.

Tony is in an empty locker room and he says that all the wrestlers have left to go watch the main event. Then, Sean Mooney is in the crowd and asks the fans for some predictions. The fans yell out the names of both men and nearly mob poor Mooney.

WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (c)

Savage comes out first. (BOO!) The champion should come out second. Jesse congratulates Savage on a year-long reign and refers to Hogan as “The Luster”. Elizabeth comes out next to Savage’s theme, which annoys Randy. Jesse calls her a gold digger for sitting in a neutral corner and waiting to see who wins. The WWF learned from last year and gave Elizabeth an escort so the fans wouldn’t grab her. Hogan then comes out next and his theme starts in the middle, for some reason. Jesse rightfully complains about the challenger coming out second. Hogan enters the ring and chases Savage out of it before posing for the crowd.

Savage stalls a lot to start the match. There are a few lock-ups, but Savage keeps bailing outside. He eventually lures Hogan to the floor and then uses Elizabeth as a shield. He then holds the ropes open for Hogan to enter and they lock-up again. Hogan surprisingly does a spinning drop toe hold and grabs a headlock, but Savage suplexes him. They fight back and forth and Savage rakes the eyes before hitting a flying axehandle for a 2 count. Savage then goes to an armbar and keeps pulling Hogan down by the hair. Hogan breaks free by pulling Savage through the ropes by the tights. He then throws Savage back inside and whips him from corner to corner before hitting a running clothesline and some elbows. Hogan then ducks for a back drop, so Savage attacks and grabs a sleeper hold. The camera gets a shot of Hogan’s face and you can see that he’s bleeding above his eye. Savage turns it into a headlock, but Hogan fights to his feet and elbows his way out of the hold. Hogan tries to fight back, but Savage takes control again and punches at Hogan’s cut. He then slaps him, but it only wakes up Hogan. Hulk rams Savage into the turnbuckles and punches him before slamming him over the top rope. Elizabeth comes to check on Randy, but he brushes her away and yells at her. Hogan comes out to attack, but Savage goes after the cut again. Hogan fights back and attempts to send Savage into the post, but Elizabeth blocks the way. Savage reverses it and sends Hogan into the post, so Elizabeth checks on him, as well. Savage sees this and becomes angry. He pulls Elizabeth away and intimidates her, so Hebner comes over and orders her to go to the back before things get worse. Savage then comes off the top with a flying axehandle that sends Hogan into the guardrail. He sends him back inside and continues the assault on Hogan’s throat. He chokes him with his wrist tape and elbows him in the neck. He then chokes him out, goes to the top rope, and hits his flying elbow drop. He covers, but Hogan kicks out at 1 and hulks up. Savage’s punches don’t work. Hogan hits his big boot and leg drop before covering for the 3 count.

This was a great main event. It was easily Hogan’s best match that I’ve covered so far. I was slightly annoyed that Hogan would kick out at 1 on Savage’s elbow drop but other than that it was good.

Winner: Hulk Hogan (New champion)

Savage is in disbelief as Hogan puts on the belt and poses for the crowd. Randy heads to the back without incident and Hogan spends the next few minutes posing some more. Jesse, once again, threatens to come out of retirement and take out Hogan. They show a replay of the finish and Jesse tries to claim that Hogan pulled the tights, but Gorilla ignores him. Gorilla then says goodnight, as the show comes to a close.

Final thoughts:

This was a really good show, but it was way too long. They could have cut out some of the more pointless matches and trimmed some time off of it. Also, some of the non-wrestling segments could have been shorter. However, I would still call it a very solid show.

Thank you again for reading. Check out the Facebook page for this blog by clicking here. You can leave a comment below in the comment section. It’s under the article links. Also, follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78. I would love to hear your feedback on either Facebook or Twitter.

My next review will be WCW’s Wrestle War ‘89.


Written by Paul Matthews

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