Reliving Wrestlemania – Wrestlemania VI

WrestleMania VI

For the first time ever, Vince McMahon held Wrestlemania outside of the United States in Toronto, Canada in the then-new Skydome (or “Rogers Centre” as it’s called now). Over 67,000 people attended, breaking the venue’s attendance record.

A lot had changed between Wrestlemania V and now.

Well…let’s get the obvious out of the way: Hogan just ran over Savage for his rematches and stomped all over any sort of association match. He was World Champ for the entire year and never lost. And, then, The Ultimate Warrior, who had won his Intercontinental Title back from Rick Rude at SummerSlam in 1989 and never coughed it up again, met Hogan, one on one, for the first time ever. For the next few months, after battling to a stalemate, the two friends would clash as one would save the other’s butt. After a match, Mr. Perfect and The Genius attacked Hogan and Warrior and Warrior cleared the ring, accidentally knocking Hogan down in the process. Following that, the Warrior went head to head against Earthquake and was about to hit a huge splash but Hogan saved Warrior – which the Warrior did not like. He wanted to win on his own. After that, Warrior returned the favor and saved Hogan from Earthquake but Hogan didn’t like that. The two nearly went at it but Warrior backed off and ran back to the locker room.

After that, Hogan offered up the “Ultimate Challenge” – who’s universe was more powerful? The Warrior’s or the Hulkster’s?

In February of 1990, then-President Jack Tunney approved it as a main event…and, then, two weeks later, said that it would not ONLY be the main event…but that it would be Champion vs. Champion, title for title with both belts on the line – Hogan’s WWF Championship and the Warrior’s Intercontinental Title.

In other notable matches:

The Tag Team Championship was on the line again. Before Wrestlemania VI, Andre the Giant and Haku joined forces under Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and became “The Colossal Connection”. After the Brain Busters dropped the titles to Demolition, they lost the titles in the winter of ’89 to Heenan’s new team. Demolition would challenge again for the tag titles in this match.

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake would take on the “undefeated-on-TV” Mr. Perfect. The winner, of course, would cut the loser’s hair.

In an absolute hate-filled grudge match, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper would face off against Bad News Brown.

Rick Martel, a year after he and Tito Santana parted ways would become “The Model” Rick Martel and he would take on Koko B. Ware.

Tito Santana, his former partner, would take on The Barbarian.

A year after dropping the WWF Title, the newly-dubbed “Macho King” Randy Savage would team up with his manager, Sensational Queen Sherri to take on Dusty Rhodes and his manager, Sapphire.

And, finally, Ted DiBiase would defend his “Million Dollar Championship” against Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

The event starts with Vince McMahon showing a cheesy, animated “galaxy” where the constellations resemble Hogan and the Warrior. The crowd is NUTS.

Jesse “The Body” Ventura is back with Gorilla Monsoon for the commentary for the sixth straight year.

The Canadian National Anthem, “O Canada” is sung by singer/actor Robert Goulet. He does a beautiful job. That’s one of my favorite sung anthems.

MATCH #1: “Birdman” Koko B. Ware vs. Rick “The Model” Martel
Martel attacks first and beats Koko in the corner. He tries to rush Koko at one point but Koko kicks Martel. Surprisingly, Koko looks good here and begins to kick ass inside the ring with some beautiful standing dropkicks and some high-flying moves including a beautiful cross body block. Martel has a beautiful technical style as does Koko but Martel’s is more refined. Martel, at one point, attempts to turn the Boston Crab but Koko gets to the ropes and Martel is forced to break the hold. Koko comes back and hits some brawler punches and a nice kick to the face. He calls for two flying headbutts and hits them both. Koko tries for a crossbody again but misses Martel entirely. Martel tries for the Boston Crab and, this time, he gets it. Koko submits.
WINNER: Rick Martel and his Rick Rude 80’s fro via Boston Crab
GRADE: C+. Typical audience-warmer.

(After this match, B. Ware would largely job to up-and-coming talent. He’d be featured in several PPV events but his jobber status would remain intact. His final push involved him getting involved with Owen Hart and forming the tag team known as “High Energy” but they only wrestled one PPV match at Survivor Series and lost. Shortly thereafter, the team broke up after a full year because of an injury sustained by Hart. Koko would continue in full “jobber” status and eventually left the WWF in 1994. He would compete in the USWA (becoming their champ once) before going into semi-retirement in 1995. For a few years after, he would make promotional gimmick appearances. In 2009, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by The Honky Tonk Man.)
Backstage, Mean Gene talks to Haku, Andre, and Heenan. He calls them “The Colostomy Connection”. Sometimes, I wonder about Gene and his sense of humor.

Sean Mooney interviews Demolition. Axe talks about chopping down Andre and yelling “Timber”. Smash takes uncomfortable joy in visualizing “driving Andre off a cliff” and watching the car smash and explode at the bottom. Smash then says after the match, he’ll piss on the ashes with his spike-covered cock, they’ll be the new champs.

MATCH #2: The Colossal Connection (Haku & Andre the Giant) (champs) (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Demolition (Ax & Smash) (challengers) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
The champions, The Colossal Connection, are already in the ring and Demolition joins them. This match was actually pretty good, though I have to say, Haku carries most of it as Andre practically had glass knees here. Haku is incredible in the ring and utilizes a TON of martial arts moves, kicks, holds and reversals. The style is in direct contrast to Demolition’s aggressive, strong-man style. Haku kicks around Axe for what seems to be hours. There’s some great double-teaming on the part of the CC. They just completely dominate. It’s mainly Haku dragging Axe around and going through his entire closet of moves and then backing him into the corner where Andre destroys him. Repeat process. At one point, Axe hot-tags Smash who goes after Haku and knocks him around. Smash hits a HUGE back body drop on Haku. Andre tries to come in to get the save but Smash knocks him down. Andre tries to hold up Smash and Haku nails Andre by accident, instead. Demolition hits a clothesline and then hits “Decapitation” for the pin. The crowd goes nuts.
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: Demolition via Decaptiation
GRADE: C-. The match is kinda dull. Haku was in the ring for like 99 percent of it because Andre could hardly walk. After this match, Andre and Haku broke up their tag team and Haku would team up with The Barbarian. Andre would play a more silent role for the next couple of years, avoiding the ring and would be in the background. Demolition would introduce a third member by the name of “Crush” as a way for “Ax” (AKA Bill Eadie) to take an off-ramp into retirement and a backstage job with the company. He’d make one final appearance as “Ax” in late 1990 and leave the WWE after that. He would wrestle independently and even reunite with “Smash” 16 years later for a match.

Post-match, Demolition celebrates their THIRD title win as Heenan goes nuts, tearing into the ref, packing back and forth. Then he confronts Andre and starts yelling at him. Heenan really rails into him, even slapping Andre at one point. Andre grabs Heenan and Heenan starts to beg off. Andre slaps around Heenan then punches him. Haku positions behind Andre for a crescent kick but Andre catches his foot and beats the living crap out of Haku, headbutting him. Heenan and Haku try to get on the aisle cart but Andre kicks them both off. For the first time in three years, Andre becomes a face again and gets his Wrestlemania Moment.
Backstage, Mean Gene interviews Earthquake with Jimmy Hart.

A slight bit of history on Earthquake since this is his first Wrestlemania match: in 1989, former sumo-wrestler John Tenta would sign with the WWF and be called several different names leading up to Wrestlemania VI. At first, his name was simply “John Tenta”. By September of that year, it was “Earthquake Evans”. By the end of the year, it was “The Canadian Earthquake”…and by Wrestlemania, it was simply “Earthquake”. He was, mostly, billed as an unstoppable heel who could not be defeated by anybody. Except, Hulk Hogan, that is because Hulk Hogan can take anything including RPG’s and missiles.

MATCH #3: Hercules vs. Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart)
The next match is Earthquake vs. Hercules. It’s good to see that Hercules had a good, fruitful career. I’ve enjoyed watching his matches for the last six events. He’s a decent wrestler. Earthquake hits the ring next after Hercules is introduced. The one thing I have to say about the commentary, by the way, is how they casually mispronounce common words. I’ve heard Ventura say “Look at this compacity crowd!” and I just heard Monsoon say, “Look at this bohemeth!” C’mon, guys…it’s called a dictionary. Earthquake attempts to rush Herc but he gets out of the way and Quake flies out of the ring. He challenges Herc to a test of strength which he accepts. I always hated these. Who cares if you can push down on somebody? Wrestle! Herc tries to power out of it but can’t as Quake is just a big dude. He tries to fire the crowd up but Quake breaks the hold and just forearms Herc into the ropes. Then he rams his head into the buckle. Then he hits Herc in the jaw. Then another butt into the buckle. Then he poses. Remind you of a giant orange dude who wears yellow? Quake tries for a body drop but Herc kicks him. Then Herc tries to take Quake down with some clotheslines and shoulderblocks but he can only knock Quake down to one knee. Herc tries for the backbreaker but Quake just knocks him down. Quake hits a HUGE elbow drop then poses. Then he goes for the Earthquake Splash and hits it easily. Pin for three.
WINNER: Earthquake via Earthquake Splash
GRADE: F. Quake was just an easy monster heel.

Post-match, Hart orders Quake to do it again and Quake obliges. Then he leaves.

Backstage, Rhona Barrett sits down to interview Elizabeth. I feel like I’m watching a scripted informercial.

Backstage, Sean Mooney interviews Brutus Beefcake. He says he can’t wait to cut his hair.

MATCH #4: Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius) vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
The Genius, FYI, is Larry Poffo, the real-life brother of Randy Savage. Brutus comes out next and chases Perfect and Genius from the ring. This match is pretty good so far. Beefcake’s strength and ring-savvy vs. Perfect’s technical skills. Brutus’s costumes get more and more flamboyant. He’s got a small patch covering his ass. He’s the only wrestler I know who could get away with hot pink spandex and fishnet. Mary Tyler Moore is, apparently, at ringside, next to a dude who could pass as a 20-something Ben Stein. At one point, Genius tosses his diploma frame into the ring and Perfect clocks Brutus in the head with it. The Genius is living proof that you can make a gimmick out of anything. What’s next, a college professor? Dabney Coleman? Perfect always looked nonchalant in his matches. He’s like the Joe Montana of the ring. His shoulders are always down. He looks like he’s walking through a bar, staring at women. The end comes after Perfect gets too comfy taunting Beefcake and tries to pick him up off the mat. Brutus slingshots Perfect into the buckle, knocking him out completely. Brutus gets a surprising pin.
WINNER: Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake via Slingshot
GRADE: C-. Light and fluffy match. Didn’t hurt. After this match, The Genius wrestled on the undercard for a short while until he became the manager of The Beverly Brothers. He would leave the WWF in late 1992. Three years later, he signed a contract with WCW, where he technically “worked” (he was rarely used) for the next four years. His wrestling has been kept to independent bookings but he has also written two books and is a motivational speaker.

Post-match, Genius tries to steal Beefcake’s scissors but Beefcake gets them back. As Perfect escapes from the ring, Beefcake abducts The Genius, who fights to get out but Brutus applies the Sleeper and Genius goes right to sleep. He ends up cutting Genius’s hair.
We get a promo before the upcoming match between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown.

Backstage, Mean Gene interviews Rowdy Roddy Piper and he’s funny as ev–WHAT THE FUCK?! Piper has painted half his body black…oh, dear…this was, obviously, some sort of statement…I guess. I’m still not entirely sure.

MATCH #5: Bad News Brown vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Rowdy enjoys the ride to the ring. Brown is in the ring, waiting for Roddy to get to the ring. Ventura says he’s gonna be biased here and root for Piper since they were one-time tag team partners. This match was an absolute hate-fuck between the two performers. Brown was a noted badass in real-life, as was Piper and I almost wonder just how much of this was fake and how much was real. The match begins with a lock-up that ends up on the mat. From there, it just becomes a brawl. There are punches, kicks, reversals, eye rakes, Brown being cheap, using chokes, Piper being cheap and using eye pokes…it’s pure insanity. After a little bit of time, Piper puts on a funny-looking glove and just starts clock Brown with it. At one point, Brown goes outside the ring and Piper goes after him. Danny Davis stops him but, fuck that, Piper just tosses Davis aside and follows him. Brown goes after Piper and nearly decks him in the face but misses and hits the steel post instead. Piper’s had it and goes for a chair. He swings and misses and hits the post and both wrestlers are counted out. The battle all the way back to the locker room.
WINNER: Nobody. Double countout.
GRADE: D+. A huge letdown. This is right up the alley of both guys. After Wrestlemania, Brown didn’t see much more action and, after SummerSlam that same year (1990), he left the WWF, complaining that Vince McMahon had promised to, eventually, make him the “first black champion”. He would wrestle, independently, for the next nine years. In 2007, Brown complained that he was suffering from chest pains and would succumb to a major heart attack minutes later. He was 63 years old. 

Backstage, Steve Allen plays piano in a Skydome bathroom. He’s supposed to be “rehearsing the Soviet National Anthem” with The Bolsheviks, Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov. He plays a couple songs that aren’t it. Then another…then, he says he’s really gonna play it this time and somebody flushes a toilet, interrupting them.

MATCH #6: The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
You know, the more I say their names, the more the Bolsheviks sound like badass hockey players. I dunno. Anyhow, the Harts are already in the ring and waiting for the Bols to get there. Of course, it’s now time to sing the Soviet National Anthem. We hear like maybe 30 seconds of this and I think the conversation goes like this:

Hart: “What the fuck?”
Neidhart: “Yeah, this sucks.”
Hart: “Should we…?”
Neidhart: “Yeah, fuck ’em.”

The Harts just take out the Bolsheviks in seconds with the Hart Attack and get the pin. Not much of a match.
WINNERS: The Hart Foundation via Hart Attack
GRADE: F. Man…famous for the quick finish but I had forgotten how much needless filler Wrestlemania has. After this Wrestlemania, Zhukov (who, unlike Volkoff, was a real-life American) would quit the WWF in late 1990. He would wrestle independently and retire six years later. Volkoff was a different story. He would become a face and feud with Zhukov. Following this feud, he would feud with Sgt. Slaughter but would leave in 1992 after a decline in popularity. He would reappear a couple of years later in 1994 and wrestle sporadically after that. 
After the match, there’s an ad for Wrestlemania VII at “The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum”. This actually never happened due to weather.

Bobby Heenan escorts The Barbarian out to face Tito Santana. Tito calls The Barbarian “the most incredible physical specimen he has ever wrestled”.

MATCH #7: Tito Santana vs. The Barbarian (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
More useless filler. I have to say, I still don’t understand the whole “Chico” thing from Ventura. I know this is Ventura’s attempt to show that he’s a heel but it’s really a dick/racist thing to do. The match is actually pretty decent. Barbarian has so much power and Santana so much agility. It’s a match of speed vs. brawn. Barbarian hits a big boot at one point which practically takes Santana’s head off. It’s incredibly to watch. Barbarian even tries for a second-rope elbow drop which looks, suspiciously like Undertaker’s “Old School”. Santana nearly gets a pin from a Flying Forearm but Heenan puts Barbarian’s foot on the ropes and keeps him from losing. The end comes when Barbarian hits the Flying Clothesline from the top rope.
WINNER: The Barbarian via Flying Clothesline
GRADE: D+. Tito was pretty much a jobber from Wrestlemania V onward. This wasn’t a surprise.

MATCH #8: “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/ Miss Elizabeth) in a Mixed Tag Team Match
Watching this match is painful. I don’t know what’s worse – watching Rhodes jiggle his hips or Sapphire pretentiously bouncing around the ring like Muhammad Ali and then butt-bumping Sherri with her hips. I’ve never seen Savage fall as low as this. The end comes when Sherri tries to lunge at Elizabeth outside the ring. Elizabeth grabs her hair and shoves her back and she falls over Sapphire’s body. Sapphire pins her for the three-count. Ugh.
WINNERS: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire via pin.
GRADE: F. This was, possibly, the worst match in Wrestlemania history. Savage, practically buried after his match with Hogan, could not get a decent feud…and this was the result. Dusty was hired by McMahon as some big fat idiot called “The Common Man”…a giant fat guy with black tights and yellow polka dots. “Sapphire” was a black woman who, for some reason, was hired by McMahon to “manage” him. She was his “common woman”. Seems so ironic when they introduced Miss Elizabeth to help out with their match. I mean, you have a guy with actual talent who was a Main Eventer and HEADLINING Wrestlemania for four years straight along with a former woman’s champ taking on a dumb fat guy with an even dumber manager, both with no talent to save their lives.After this match, Rhodes and Savage continued to feud until Sapphire began to receive mysterious gifts in the mail. This angle came to a head at SummerSlam in 1990 when the person sending the gifts was revealed to be Ted DiBiase. DiBiase was gonna feud with Dusty but nobody really cared. Sapphire left the WWF after this mainly because she liked the story with her and Dusty and didn’t like the new angle with DiBiase. Dusty also expressed a huge disinterest in her character. She would pass away 6 years later of a heart attack. Dusty would leave in 1991, wrestle elsewhere, and would, eventually, be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 by his sons, Cody and Dustin.
We get several interviews after this: Savage and Sherri venting, some bullshit with a celeb I don’t know or care about, Heenan regarding losing the tag titles, Demolition about gaining them, Hulk Hogan yacking about the Ultimate Warrior and then, The Warrior answering back. Or shouting back. I have no idea. After 9 of them, they all gel together and then you somehow get Elizabeth flexing her muscles while talking about crying herself to sleep about losing the tag titles to two huge people.

The way the Warrior cuts promos is like this: picture Homer Simpson with a nice, fit, muscular body and hair and talking. Now picture Hogan on testosterone and shouting loudly in a monosyllabic manner. There. You have The Warrior.

MATCH #9: The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
I have to say, this match just had “badass” written all over it. Both teams are just about the same – lightweight, agile and incredibly skilled in martial arts which included so many reversals. Watching the match was like watching two sets of Charlie Chaplin-like teams work magic. Michaels and Jannetty working together warmed my heart. I really enjoyed The Rockers. As I’ve stated, they really should have gotten a greater push. The Express was another tag team that should have gotten a greater push and I think, if Sato had not left the WWF, they might have gone places. The match is, actually, a clinic in how to run a tag match. The only reason it’s not perfect is because this really isn’t OE at its best. We’d have to wait another few years for that when the Rockers would face the OE at the 1991 Royal Rumble. The end comes when Jannetty gets hit in the face with salts outside the ring, thrown by Tanaka. This results in Jannetty being counted out. The Express wins. A good match with a disappointing ending.
WINNERS: The Orient Express via Countout.
GRADE: B-. Loses a full letter grade due to the schlock ending. It’s been said the Rockers were high as kites here. I have no idea. After this match, The Orient Express would only appear in two more PPV events: SummerSlam and Survivor Series. After that, Sato would leave and retire. He’d be replaced with a white dude (covered in a luchadore mask) who would wrestle as “Kato”. They would have some decent matches together (including one against the Rockers and another against The New Foundation) but would eventually be phased out shorty after 1992 began.
Post-match, Steve Allen interviews Rhythm & Blues and makes some really cheesy jokes.

MATCH #10: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Jimmy Hart & Earthquake)
I am really surprised this match wasn’t better. (All right, Other Matt, give me the pills.) Bravo was made to look like an ass by Duggan who, himself, is a giant ass (in the ring, that is.). Hart interferes at one point, as does Earthquake. Duggan grabs the 2×4 and knocks out Bravo, getting the pin.
WINNER: Duggan via cheating
GRADE: F. Crap, crap, crap. After this match, Duggan wouldn’t wrestle at Wrestlemania again but would continue as a face throughout his career in house shows and several PPV events. He would leave the WWF in 1993 and not return until the mid-2000’s. He wrestles, occasionally, on the independent circuits. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, in 2011, by Ted DiBiase.

Post-match, Duggan is absolutely taken apart by Earthquake, giving him three straight Earthquake Splashes. Game over. At least it was short.

MATCH #11: “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (champion) (w/ Virgil) vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (challenger) for the Million Dollar Championship
The next match is Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Ted DiBiase for “The Million Dollar Belt”. The two hate each other. This should be good. These two wrestlers are pretty technical. Jake is more down and dirty but DiBiase is incredible at adapting to this style of work. I have to say, at this point, Ventura and Monsoon’s announcing becomes incredibly grating and I wonder if Ventura was just getting tired of things. Snake and Roberts’ match is good but the fans really seem to become bored and actually start doing “The Wave”. It doesn’t heat up until DiBiase hits a huge piledriver. He goes for the pin which is reversed into a two-count pin by the Snake. DiBiase ends up locking in The Million Dollar Dream. Jake tries to grab the ropes but can’t. Eventually, he gets his foot on the ropes. DiBiase tries for another cover but only gets two. The end comes when DiBiase tries to hit a move off the ropes and misses. Jake hits a huge clothesline and a reverse atomic drop. He hits his short clothesline and then calls for the DDT but Virgil interferes. Snake hits him and slams him. DiBiase hits the Dream but Snake escapes. Virgil helps DiBiase up and pushes him back in before the ref gets to ten.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase via countout.
GRADE: B-. Not bad. Just wish it hadn’t ended that way. Way too many matches were settled like this early on.

Post-match, Jake comes in and beats the living fuck out of both wrestlers, hitting the DDT, and giving away DiBiase’s money. He even gives a 100 to Mary Tyler Moore. Then he drags out Damien but Virgil comes in and pulls DiBiase out of there. Snake just grabs Damien and chases the two to the backstage area.

Backstage, we have Sean Mooney with Akeem and Slick. Slick is near-unintelligible as he pumps up Akeem. Boss Man, by this point, had turned face after learning that DiBiase was paying Slick for his services. He was offended because “the law can’t be bought”.

MATCH #12: Akeem (w/ Slick) vs. The Big Boss Man
So we get two huge guys who beat The Rockers last year against one another this year. Boss Man actually looks pumped coming down the aisle. Before the match can get started, DiBiase, beats the shit out of Boss Man. I have no idea where he came from but there he was. In the ring, Akeem kinda manhandles Boss Man before Boss Man takes over, tossing Akeem around and then clotheslining him. Boss Man hits the Hard Time Slam and wins.
WINNER: Boss Man via Hard Time
GRADE: F. This was for storyline and nothing more. After this match, Akeem just faded out and wrestled independently.

Post-match, Slick gets involved. Ruh-roh. Boss Man slugs him.
Rhythm & Blues come out to sing “Hunka Hunka Honky Love”…oh joy. This goes on FAR too long. I mean, FAR too long. After it’s done, HTM tries to get the confused crowd to hear them singing it again. Instead, Luke and Butch of the Bushwhackers break everything up…then grab the guitars and grunt with them. Then they wreck them. This is worse than watching Saved By the Bell, lemme tell ya’. 

(After this, Rhythm & Blues didn’t see any Tag Team titles and broke up in 1990. Aren’t you just shocked? HTM would leave the WWF in 1991 after a brief announcing stint. He went to WCW three years later, but had major issues with WCW’s President, Eric Bischoff and was fired quickly, much to Bischoff’s delight: in his tell-all book, he mentions that he got a kick out of firing him. HTM responded that it had also been “an honor” since Bischoff was famous for firing good people. He made a quick one-year return to the WWF in 1997 and managed Billy Gunn.)
MATCH #13: “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
Before this, Howard Finkel says that the attendance is around 67,000 people. Rude’s got long hair here. Thought I would point that out. The match is pretty quick. Snuka is incredible. He’s got great strength and beats Rude up and around the ring. Rude tries a nice sunset flip but Snuka powers out. He ends up hitting a suplex instead. Rude looks bored, really. You can tell he’s mailing it in at one point, during a body drop. Snuka tries for the big splash but just jumps over Rude. Rude gets slammed and Snuka misses his splash again. Rude hits the Rude Awakening and wins it.
WINNER: Rick Rude via Rude Awakening
GRADE: C-. Decent match but not really necessary. Heenan actually says something to Rude after this but I don’t know what it is. Something about this just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what happened but Rude just does not look happy. In any case, Rude would have a feud against Rowdy Roddy Piper but would, eventually, get a MAJOR push and face Warrior again in 1990 at SummerSlam in a cage match for his WWF Championship. Rude, however, failed to win the title and he would leave the WWF shortly after that. Like most wrestlers who left the WWF, Rude went to WCW for a few years. In 1996, he had a brief stint with Extreme Championship Wrestling and would return to the WWF in 1997. He would work The Survivor Series and, though he was not involved in it, would witness the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Angry, he left the WWF again and spent the remainder of his career with the nWo Wolfpac in WCW until 1998. On April 20th, 1999, Rick Rude passed away at the age of 40 years old. Autopsy results showed that he was on mixed medications and that he had overdosed. Additionally, Rude was an avid steroid user.

We see the lead-up to the match between Hogan and Warrior. This is so incredibly lame. It’s like watching Hogan vs. Hogan on JOLT Cola.

Warrior out first. Hogan out second.

MATCH #14: The Ultimate Warrior (IC Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and WWF Championship
The match is incredible only because of the star power of the two performers. It’s not technical and is, mainly, a match of two muscleheads, but it’s memorable mainly because the two are evenly matched. Then they do the idiotic “criss-cross” run. This is actually pretty cool. When Hogan slams Warrior, he no-sells and gets up. The crowd was behind both men. The reason this match is better than most of Hogan’s other matches is because Warrior is Hogan’s equal. The two were awesome in the ring together. Unlike matches where Hogan was just being beaten up and came back, Hogan took over and beat Warrior. The two would get the upper hand, back and forth. There were some close falls. There were incredible power-filled moves. This was, plainly, a match for the ages. For the first time, Wrestlemania saw a REAL main event. This wasn’t Hogan vs. an unstoppable monster, this was two great wrestlers going for it all for the sake of the audience. For the first time, this didn’t feel like Hogan’s ego taking over. The ref gets knocked out at one point and the Warrior hits the top ropes. The Warrior hits a double axe handle, then another. He tries for his shoulderblock but misses completely. Hogan covers…but the ref isn’t awake. The Warrior gets up and hits a huge back suplex and hits a cover on Hogan…but, again, the ref is out. Warrior wakes him up…1…2…Hogan gets a shoulder up. Hogan revereses a pin but can’t get the fall as the ref is way out of position. The match is just incredible. This is the match that Hogan SHOULD have wrestled a long time ago. The end goes like this: Warrior press slams Hogan and hits the HUGE Splash: 1…2…no fall. Hogan goes invincible. Warrior tries to strike but Hogan no-sells. He punches and hits the big boot, goes for the leg drop…AND MISSES! Warrior retaliates with his Big Splash and wins the title! It IS worth noting that Hogan looks like he tried to kick out as IF he wanted to NOT lose clean but, whatever. New champ.
WINNER: The Ultimate Warrior via Splash
GRADE: A+, all the way. This was Hogan’s best match. The Warrior would have his a year later.

Post-match, Hogan gets his belt and walks back into the ring with it…he looks miserable. He walks right to Warrior…and hands him the title and raises the Warrior’s hand in victory. Warrior raises two belts in the air.

We go off the air like this as Hogan leaves Toronto without the title.

See you next Wrestlemania…

OVERALL: B-. There’s still a lot of crap that just floats around through this one.

— Matt

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