Nickrj’s rant for Wrestlemania
This groundbreaking event aired on March 31 1985 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
A video opens the show with Vince describing each match on the card and it is set to Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey (no singing just instrumental)
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.
Mean Gene Okerlund sings the National Anthem and sings it very quickly and poorly. Not as bad as Frank Drebin from the Naked Gun though. J
Opening Match: Tito Santana VS The Executioner (Buddy Rose)
The Executioner is undefeated at this point and Tito was between IC title reigns here. They start with a criss cross and Tito hits a backdrop and a dropkick sending Rose outside the ring. They tie up again and Santana controls a side headlock and takes him down using the top rope for 2 ½. He slams Rose’s face into the canvas and Rose is backed up into a corner. Executioner starts to turn the tables on Santana and hits a knee in the gut. He goes to work on the leg of Santana which Greg Valentine injured back in September 1984. Santana starts to work heavily on the Executioner and tries a ring my bell move but gets backdropped. Executioner slams Santana and goes to the top but gets slammed from the top. Santana tries a bodypress but Rose brings the knees up. Executioner sets Santana’s leg on the ropes but gets pushed to the outside. Back in Santana hits the flying forearm on Rose and slaps the figure four leglock for the submission at 4:48. Okay match to kick off Wrestlemania **
Bundy was pretty much a newcomer at this point and this match pretty much establishes himself as a monster heel in the WWF. As soon as the bell rings Jones tries to attack Bundy but gets caught in a Bear Hug and rammed into the corner. Bundy hits an Avalanche and a big splash finishes it at :23 even though they announced it at 9 seconds. DUD
Steamboat was a newcomer at this point after he was in the NWA. They tie up and feel each other out. Steamboat does two leap frogs and fakes a chop and then hits one. Steamboat goes to the chin lock comes out of a backdrop and goes back to the headlock. He comes out of another backdrop and hits an atomic drop and goes back to the headlock. Borne hits an inverted atomic drop to take control. Steamboat catches him in the corner and hits a chop near the chin. He goes back to the headlock. Borne takes control in the corner and hits a gut wrench suplex. He hits a snap suplex for 2. They both start exchanging chops and Steamboat gains the upper hand. Steamboat hits a back suplex and a reverse neck breaker followed by two kneedrops for a 2 count. Steamboat hits a flying tackle and goes to the top and hits a flying bodypress from the top for the pin at 4:37. Pretty good match here **1/4
David is the son of the Living Legend Bruno Samartino who gets a huge pop. They stall a bit before the bell rings and after. They tie up and Beefcake shoves David. They tie up again and David trips up Beefcake. They hook up again and Beefcake takes David down. David sends Beefcake to the outside. David trips up the leg and goes to the front facelock. Beefcake gets up and almost gets DQ’d touching the ref. David starts to work on the arm and gets slammed but David takes him over with the arm. Brutus takes David over with a side headlock. Brutus takes down David and gives a hiplock but gets kicked by David and David goes to a leglock. Brutus comes out by raking David with his forearm and starts to take control. He slams David works on the back. Brutus rams David into the turnbuckle and works him over there. David turns the tables by reversing an irish whip and a backdrop. Both men are hammering away at each other and David is winning it. David hits a suplex for 2. Brutus hits a headbutt and throws David to the outside where Johnny Valiant slams him on the floor Bruno comes in and works on Johnny inside the ring and it turns into a 4 man brawl and both men are DQ’d at 11:42. Boring match with a bad finish ¾*
Intercontental Title Match: Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart) VS The Junkyard Dog
JYD comes out to Another One Bites The Dust by Queen. JYD grabs the arm to start. Valentine tries a kick but gets caught by a right hand. Valentine turns the tables with a kneelift but misses a fistdrop and JYD hits some headbutts. A test of strength occurs and Valentine grabs the arms. Valentine hits some forearms and starts working on the legs to set up the figure four. He tries a half Boston Crab and stretches the leg some more. He tries the figure four but gets kicked off. Valentine works on JYD in the corner. JYD starts fighting back and hits 2 headbutts and Valentine does a flop. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron and gets caught by JYD and Valentine inadvertnaly naild Hart. JYD fires on Valentine but gets raked and Valentine covers JYD with his feet on the ropes and gets the pin at 5:58. But Tito Santana comes into the ring and tells the ref what happened so the ref restarts the match and since Valentine outside the ring he gets counted out at 6:54. This one stunk. ½*
Tag Team Title Match: Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo (with Capt. Lou Albano) VS Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (with Fred Blassie)
Volkoff sings the Soviet National Anthem and the crowd just goes nuts throwing objects in the ring. Windham and Rotundo come out to Born In The U.S.A by Bruce Springsteen.
Rotundo starts off with the Sheik. Sheik with a side headlock and a shoulderblock. Rotundo counters with a hip toss and a drop kick. Rotundo goes to the side headlock but Shiek cradles him for 2. Windham comes in and hits an top rope elbow. Windham with a side headlock and gets dragged into the wrong corner. Volkoff holds Windham but he ducks and Shiek drop kicks his own partner. Rotundo comes back in and elbows Volkoff for 1 only. He goes back to work on the arm. Windham comes in and hits another top rope elbow followed by an arm wringer. Rotundo comes in and gets caught by an elbow and is dragged into the wrong corner and gets rammed into the Sheik’s curved boot. Shiek hits a backdrop and an elbow for 2 ½. Albano and Blassie almost get at it on the outside. Shiek with an ab stretch but Rotundo hip tosses him out. Both men get tags and Windham goes to town on Volkoff. He hits the bulldog but the Shiek interrupts the count. A four man brawl erupts and the Sheik hits Windham from behind with Blassie’s cane and Volkoff gets the pin to become new tag team champs at 5:01. Short match but it was both Windham and Rotundo tried very hard giving it ***. Windham and Rotundo would win back the titles from Volkoff and the Shiek a couple of months later.
$15,000 Body Slam Match: Big John Studd (with Bobby Heenan) VS Andre The Giant
Whoever slams the other person first wins the money but if Andre is slammed he must retire from wrestling. These two men were huge. Studd was 6’11’’ 364 lbs. Andre was 7’5’’ 476 lbs. Studd goes to work on Andre at the bell. Andre comes back with some chops and hits a headbutt and knocks Studd outside the ring. Studd comes back in and Andre chokes out Studd in the corner and the crowd is loving it. Andre is using is weight to wear down Studd in the corner and Studd tries to slam Andre but Andre blocks it. Andre goes to the bear hug. Studd gets and eye rake but not enough to break it. Andre goes to a side headlock. He nails a couple more right hands and hits a headbutt. Andre works on the arm and shoulder. Studd tries to kick him in the head but Andre grabs it and hits him. Studd is rammed into the corner again and is kicked in the legs. Andre picks up Studd and slams him at 5:51. Hey I could’ve listened to Madonna’s Live To Tell in that same time frame. DUD. Afterwards Andre grabs the money and tosses it to the crowd but his future manager Bobby Heenan steals it from him.
This is a rematch from when Kai won the title from Richter. Richter comes out to Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun. They tie up in the ropes to start. Wendi blocks a right hand and hits one of her own. They take each other over a couple of times and Wendi does a power move with the hands. Kai does a side headlock for 2. Kai goes to the right arm of Richter and takes her down. Kai takes her down by the hair again. Kai drags Wendi into the corner and takes her down again and does a choke hold. Wendi takes Kai down and covers her for two. Kai does a snap mare by the hair. Kai charges at Richter into the corner but Wendi kicks her off for 2. Moolah grabs Richter on the ropes and Lauper comes over to help her woman. Kai takes control of the match but Richter starts fighting back and drops her on a fireman’s carry for 2. Kai hits a double knee lift on Richter in the corner. Kai hits a back breaker for 2 ½. Kai slams Richter and goes to the top and goes for a bodypress but Wendi turns her over for the pin at 6:12 to become the new Woman’s Champion. Okayish match here **.
Main Event: Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (With Jimmy Snuka) VS Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (with Cowboy Bob Orton)
Billy Martin is announced as the ring announcer. Liberace is the guest time keeper and he does a dance with the Rockettes. and Muhammed Ali is introduced as an outside referee. Piper and Orndorff come out after some bagpipe people come out. Hogan and T come out to Suvivor’s Eye Of The Tiger. Liberace rings the bell and then rings a little bell. Hogan starts out with Orndorff but Piper wants to start it off. Mr. T wants in and Hogan gives him the favor. Piper and T staredown in the middle of the ring. They slap each other and Piper takes down T. T tries to come out of some moves by Piper and does so. They tie up and T shoves off Piper. T picks up Piper in a fireman’s carry and drops him. T gets in the wrong corner and it turns into a four man brawl and both referees inside try to stop it. Piper and Orndorff want to bail out on the match but Hogan wants them back in. They do come back in and another 4 way brawl erupts. Both Orndorff and Piper get rammed. Hogan does an atomic drop on Piper and bouncing his head off the canvas. T comes in and they both hit a double clothesline. T slams Piper and hip tosses Orndorff. Hogan comes back in and dominates Piper and kicks him outside the ring. Orndorff comes in and nails Hogan with an object in his hand to the outside. Piper hits a chair to the back of Hogan. Orndorff throws Hogan back inside and Piper starts taking control now. He chokes Hogan down in the corner. T tries to come in and stop it but the ref has to bring him out allowing a double atomic drop on Hogan. Orndorff drops some knees on Hogan. Orndorff hits a suplex. Roddy Piper comes back in and starts nailing some right hands and covers him for 2. Orndorff comes back in and hits an elbow from the top for 2. Orndorff goes to the top and misses a flying knee. T gets the hot tag and goes to work on both Piper and Orndorff. But it turns into a double team immedieatly. Orndorff tries some moves on T. Piper comes in and does a front face lock. T manages to tag Hogan and Hogan works on both heels. Orndorff hits a back suplex however and Snuka comes in the ring and nails Orton. Orndorff does a full nelson and Piper tries to nail him and T stops him. Orton comes on the top rope and tries to nail Hogan with the cast but Hogan ducks and Orndorff takes the blow and Hogan gets the pin at 13:23. Good Brawling type match to close the show ***1/4.
The show closes with the end credits set to Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.
Summary: Well this was the first Wrestlemania and it sure had its ups and downs. However the MSG crowd was hot as usual. And this show set the stage for what the sure wrestling PPV show should be. RECOMMENDED
BTW how many popular songs did I mention in this rant?