*** Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***
WrestleMania VI: The Ultimate Challenge
April 1, 1990
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura
1) Rick Martel defeats Koko B. Ware with a Boston Crab at 5:30
Fun Fact: In the late part of 1989, Rick Martel took on the new narcissistic role of “The Model”. He would come to the ring wearing a sweater or sports coat with a large button proclaiming, “Yes, I am a Model”. He would also carry an atomizer with his fictional brand of cologne, “Arrogance”, which he would spray in his opponents eyes to blind them during and after matches.
Scott: We fire up one of the most memorable shows ever with a standard opener involving two great workers. Koko is your typical Vince guy that worked his butt off, defeated jobbers but put the bigger guys over. Meanwhile Martel is cruising as one of the best heels on the roster. The opening of this show may be one of the greatest ever. From Vince talking about space and the main event, to Gorilla and Jesse all jacked up during their intros. This is a typical old school opener, as Gorilla and Jesse get their feet wet for the evening while Martel cheap shots Koko at the beginning before both men go back and forth. Early on our broadcast team is a little more civil than they were last year at WrestleMania V when the two of them wanted to strangle each other by the main event. It makes me sad knowing this is Jesse’s last show, but he will have some great moments to go out with. Martel tries to get the Boston Crab on to finish it but Koko gets to the ropes. Koko recovers and hits some soft flying headbutts to gain control. Koko misses a blind cross body and Martel cranks the Boston Crab for the win. It’s a sloppy opener but Martel gets the win and moves on. Grade: *1/2
Justin: I could watch the opening video of this show on an endless loop. What a masterpiece. And what an arena. The fairly new SkyDome looked glorious, decked out in a dark blue tone and jam packed with 67,000 rabid fans, you could tell immediately that this should would be something special. And I am not sure if there is a better way to kick off a show of this magnitude than with “Do the Bird” blaring through the stadium as Koko B. Ware and Frankie ride to the ring. And yes…ride, because the motorized carts are back as well! Somehow, Gorilla doesn’t know who Axl Rose is and when Jesse clarifies he goes “Oh, that Axl!” Give me a break! Koko is squaring off with Rick Martel, who is really settling in nicely to his Model gimmick. He now carries an atomizer with his own personal cologne, Arrogance, and has permed his hair nicely as well. Just like a year ago, our first match starts with a lot of aggression as Martel jumps Koko off the bell and starts to hammer away. Koko would make a quick comeback and get the crowd fired up with some dropkicks and a nice blind cross body off the middle rope before sending Martel to the floor. The Model would recover and start to work over Koko’s back, trying to soften him up for the Boston Crab. And a moment later he would go for it, but Koko did his best to block the hold until eventually reaching the ropes. After breaking that, Koko would rally and use some headbutts and right hands to rock Martel, even picking up a two count. Playing off the spot earlier in the match, Koko again tried the blind cross body, but this time Martel ducked it and then quickly pounced and turned Koko into the Crab for the win. The match was as basic as it gets with a couple of nice moments and some good psychology with the cross body at the end. Martel rolls on. Grade: *
2) Demolition defeats the Colossal Connection to win WWF Tag Team Titles when Smash pins Haku after the Decapitation Device at 9:13
Fun Fact I: Haku and Andre the Giant defeated Demolition on 12/13 in Huntsville, Alabama to win the titles. It’s the first known championship Andre has ever won in his illustrious career (not counting the 20 seconds he was WWF Champion in early 1988).
Fun Fact II: After a storied wrestling career, WrestleMania VI would be the final PPV match for Andre the Giant. He would continue to make sporadic appearances in WWF events in 1990 and 1991, including appearances at WrestleMania VII and SummerSlam ‘91, but would not appear as a wrestler in another PPV match for the WWF. Andre would spend the remainder of his in-ring career in All Japan Pro Wrestling in Japan and in the Universal Wrestling Association in Mexico. Andre would pass away on January 23, 1993 at the age of 46 in France. Andre’s final PPV record was 4-8-1. He was 0-2 at Royal Rumble, 2-3-1 at WrestleMania, 0-2 at SummerSlam and 2-1 at Survivor Series.
Fun Fact III: According to some reports at the time, the Bushwhackers were penciled in to challenge the Colossal Connection in the months leading up to the event.
Scott: This match was a foregone conclusion here, but it’s the total package here that makes it memorable. It’s very clear by now that Andre the Giant is way past his prime and his body is breaking down. He barely moves now and after winning the titles it seemed like Haku did a majority of the work while Andre would throw some chops and kicks here and there. Demolition is trying to make history here as the first three-time tag team champions, but they’re struggling early. Haku is doing yeoman’s work while Andre would stick in a couple jabs from the apron and Bobby Heenan would snap off the occasional slap to the face from ringside. The wide shots of the arena during this match are something to behold, almost as insane as the Silverdome three years earlier. With newer technology this may not be as big but it looks much prettier. The heels are dominating most of the match while Andre in essence has worked entirely from the outside. Demolition tries to make the comebacks but the champions cut them off at the pass every time. Smash makes a comeback but the match overall is pretty sloppy. The climax comes when Andre has Smash held and Haku goes for the thrust kick but misses and hits Andre. The Giant gets tangled in the ropes and after the Decapitation Device the SkyDome roof is literally blown off the place. We have new, three-time Tag Team Champions as Ax and Smash head out of the arena. But then, the extra post-match fun. Bobby Heenan is chewing out Andre for costing the team the match and then he slaps the Giant. BIG MISTAKE. “The Boss” gives the Brain the business back and then takes out Haku. The crowd is going crazy as what I’ve been waiting for has finally happened. It was time for Andre to be a babyface again on his way out the door. Maybe one of my five favorite moments in WrestleMania history, from beginning to end. We had a tremendous Tag title match in terms of pomp and circumstance but the heart-warming babyface turn of Andre the Giant is a lasting moment for me. Grade: ****
Justin: Two years after winning the WWF Tag Titles for the first time, Demolition goes for the three-peat as they challenge the team that defeated them for the gold back in December. Andre & Haku had become quite the dominant team, with Haku carrying the workload and Andre finishing dudes off. The prematch promos were great here, with the classic Gene Okerlund “Colostomy Connection” line. This was a really cool feud just based on the look of each team alone. Despite his deteriorating condition, Andre was still really impressive as he stood towering in the ring. And Demolition looked quite badass as they rode to the ring in their full spiked leather, pointing ominously at the ring. We continue the early aggression as the champs come right at Demolition as the bell sounds. As things settled down, Smash would kick things off by punishing Haku. Demolition would quick tag, laying the wood early as the crowd got on Bobby Heenan’s case. Haku would turn things around and began to punish the back of Ax, spiking him with a stiff backbreaker. This was a really nice spotlight moment for Haku, who had a fairly aimless 1989 after losing the crown. While Haku worked the whole match to this point, he would use Andre as a weapon, dragging Ax into the corner and letting the Giant get a shot or two in. The heat here built very organically, with some really simple tricks executed by the Connection and well timed comeback attempts by Ax. By the time Smash tagged in, the crowd was really rocking. He quickly beat the piss out of Haku and almost got the win until Andre came in for the save. He wasn’t able to do much damage, though, as he got double teamed and hammered with a clothesline. He shook that off and grabbed Smash from behind, but things went haywire when Haku accidentally kicked Andre in the face and drove him into the ropes, where he got tied up. Heenan frantically tried to untie him and the crowd was going insane as Demolition dropped Haku across the top rope with a stun gun and then polished him off with the Decapitation Device to a monster pop. What a moment! This was easily Demolition’s peak and their last great moment as a team. The match is fairly forgettable but the finish is what WrestleMania is all about. The build, the crowd and the pop for the win was tremendous. After the match, a pissed off Heenan stomps around the ring and gets in Andre’s face, blaming him for the loss and then smacking him across the face. Andre didn’t dig that at all, so he grabbed Bobby and paint bushed him around. He would then toss Haku aside and ride off into the sunset one last time. I love that the Toronto crowd gave him a hero’s farewell too, erasing his three year heel run with just a few minutes of love and adoration. Andre has been a staple of these reviews and it will be weird to move on without him, but this was a great way for the big man to go out. I think the two big moments and the crowd heat outweigh the pedestrian work in this one, so the grade gets inflated a bit. Grade: ***1/2
3) Earthquake defeats Hercules with the Earthquake Splash at 4:52
Scott: We begin a few matches that were meant strictly for character advancement. Hercules is a serviceable mid-card babyface and a perfect opponent for the big time heel from Canada. They took the “Canadian” off his name and took the Canadian flag off his tights, so as not to make all Canadians heels and so that Earthquake doesn’t get cheered here or other Canadian venues. Hercules bobbed and weaved through the match using speed but made a big mistake trying to go for the backbreaker and Earthquake took him over, hit the butt drop and gets the victory. He adds another Aftershock for good measure. This is an effective squash for the victory, but not the last time we see Earthquake tonight. Grade: **
Justin: I really like the pacing of this show early on, as we alternate between big matches with feuds built in and effective semi-squashes to help establish up and coming stars. Hercules has really been stuck in neutral for a while now, not even entering into any sort of real feud since his battles with Ted DiBiase over a year ago. He did get a nice spot in the Rumble, but otherwise he has been forgettable. Here, he gets a tough draw as he has to battle the unstoppable monster Earthquake. The big man has been marching through opponents since his debut and had recently been involved in an issue with the Ultimate Warrior, alongside his buddy Dino Bravo. Jesse notes that this will be Quake’s toughest challenge to date, but we shall see. Another quick start as Quake comes right at Hercules, but the Mighty One ducked it and started to stick and move, rating Quake enough to send him to the floor to regroup. Quake had such a gnarly, nasty look and you could see why they had plans for him as a top heel. Quake would use his size to wear Herc down, starting with easily winning a test of strength. Herc does do a pretty good glazed eyed sell and it works well here when Quake is squishing him in the corner. Herc started to mount a comeback but for some asinine reason, he attempts his backbreaker and that backfires badly as Quake didn’t budge before hammering Herc with an elbow. He would follow that with the Earthquake Splash to pick up the easy win. Oh, and a second one as well for good measure. Effective squash here to set Quake up for his big run. Grade: 1/2*
*** Backstage, gossip reporter Rona Barrett interviews Miss Elizabeth, who has pretty much been off TV since SummerSlam 1989. She mentions that her involvement with the company has been in an advisory role and talks about how she always fears about hurting her fans. She is considering returning to ringside soon and promises to be more active than ever. ***
4) Brutus Beefcake defeats Mr. Perfect when Beefcake slingshots Mr. Perfect into the corner and his head bounces off the post at 7:48
Fun Fact: The feud between Brutus Beekcake and Mr. Perfect began at the 1990 Royal Rumble. Beekcake was wrestling The Genius, who was Mr. Perfect’s manager. During the match, Beefcake was put into a headlock by The Genius which was countered by Beefcake who pushed The Genius into the referee and knocked him out. While the referee was out, Beefcake went to cut The Genius’ hair, but was stopped when Mr. Perfect came out and attacked Beefcake. When the referee came to, he disqualified both Beefcake and The Genius. After the match, Mr. Perfect took a chair and hit Beefcake in the ribs. Both wrestlers were riding big pushes into this match. Mr. Perfect was also carrying a perfect record with him, dating back to his debut in the WWF in 1988.
Scott: After that debacle at the Royal Rumble, we see Mr. Cuttin’ & Struttin’ take on the Genius’ friend, the undefeated superstar. Mr. Perfect was screwed backstage at the Royal Rumble, so now he has to put his undefeated TV streak on the line against Brutus. This feud was supposed to be for Perfect to face Hulk Hogan but that was siphoned off after the Royal Rumble and due to the main event, Hogan had bigger priorities. So Hogan’s boy gets this feud, and Perfect is stuck in the mid-card. With the main event being two babyfaces, I wonder if the Warrior thing never happened would Perfect had won the World Title (maybe at the Rumble) and Hogan got it back here? That could have been a possibility. This match is OK with Perfect ducking and bobbing with the Genius outside, and Brutus trying to hook the sleeper on. At one point Genius leaves the metal scroll on the apron, and Perfect decks Brutus with it and he takes control. I thought he was going to win the match there but he continues to work Beefcake over. Gorilla and Jesse are in perfect comedic (and serious) symmetry during this match. Jesse keeps trying to trip Gorilla up and say he’s not smarter than the Genius. Wow Beefcake steals his boy Hogan’s tactic of holding on to his opponent’s leg while he’s down. Beefcake recovers and slingshots Mr. Perfect into the steel post, and out of nowhere Beefcake gets the victory from that. I remember being pretty shocked at that’s how the match ended. I always thought that was kind of a cheap victory but Perfect was paying dues I guess. Perfect will recover soon enough. The match itself was average but the result was the shock. Genius takes the clippers before Perfect can get shorn. Grade: **
Justin: The feud that kicked off in late 1989 comes to a head here as Brutus Beefcake finally gets his shot at revenge on Mr. Perfect. Of course, at the Rumble, Beefcake battled the Genius in a match that ended with Perfect pummeling him with a chair. Heading into this one, Beefcake vowed to shred Perfect’s perfect record. You can already feel the difference for both of these guys, especially compared to a year ago. Both feel much more elevated and like bigger, more established stars which bodes well for their 1990. Jesse takes a moment to say hi to Terry, Tyrel and Jade as per he is annual Mania custom. Perfect would waste no time (natch) at all but Beefer catches him and rattles him with a series of fists to the gut. Gorilla and Jesse arguing over the Genius was great and Gorilla gets in one of my favorite lines of the night with “Yeah, nothing’s easy for he Genius”. The match would reset a bit as Perfect stalled to slow Beefcake down. It didn’t quite work as Beefcake stayed hot and worked the lower back while mixing in some shots to the gut. Just when it looked like it may be a quick win for the Barber, the Genius tossed his scroll in the ring and distracted Joey Marella, which allowed Perfect to pick it up and smash Beefcake to finally cut down his momentum. “He’s not an idiot, he’s a genius!” I love how Perfect can go from getting his ass kicked to completely being cool and collected as he arrogantly stomps an opponent within seconds. The commentary gems continue as they argue about the difference between 180 and 360 degrees (Jesse was right, FWIW). Perfect would lay in a stiff chop and then start to play with Beefcake a bit, starting to take him lightly. He would start kicking him and slapping him around, taunting him as Beefcake pulled himself up by climbing up Perfect’s legs. And just when it looked like all was lost, Beefcake mustered the energy to pop up, scoop Perfect down and slingshot him into he steel post to pick up the victory and tear up the perfect record. Beefcake did a nice job selling post match, showing that he got lucky and was still quite out of it at the end of the match. The crowd dug that finish and were into the post match as well as Beefcake pantomimed that Perfect was going to get a trim. Genius tried to escape with the scissors, but Beefcake caught him and dragged him back into the ring where he got his hair cut for the second straight PPV. Jesse flipping out made this even better. Again, the match was really basic, but the heat was great and it was a memorably fun finish and huge win for Beefcake. Grade: **1/2
5) Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown wrestle to a double countout at 6:38
Fun Fact: During Roddy Piper’s entrance, Jesse Ventura makes some weird comment about he and Piper being tag team partners. Well, around the time of this show, Piper and Ventura had actually filmed a pilot for a TV show entitled “Tag Team,” where they played two cops.
Scott: This entire mess begins with Piper’s bizarre pre-match promo where he is half-painted in blackface. He then runs down Bad News’ facial features. I have no idea if Piper was coked up or something, but that promo was at Ultimate Warrior’s level of absurdity. I was getting excited at the fact that these two guys could put on one hell of a brawl and make this very entertaining. However when they start brawling, referee Danny Davis kept separating them. It happens three times in the first two minutes, and I honestly have no idea why it was booked like this. I think partially because it was the Federation era and the feud may have been ahead of its time. The match settles down and Bad News takes control with nerve holds and such but I think they should have just made this a stipulated Street Fight and went all out with weapons and what have you. Piper brings out a white glove that looks like something Michael Jackson wore in Billy Jean and the ref now seems to not care. We could have really had a special brawl here, but instead this was a dog and pony show that really never gets going and eventually they just brawl and gets counted out. I really don’t understand who backstage thought this entire thing made any sense at all but it didn’t. Grade: *1/2
Justin: After the powder keg was initially lit at the Royal Rumble, these two veteran brawls were set to explode here in Toronto. Before we even get to the ring though we get one of the most bizarre and questionable psychological tactics ever seen in wrestling. For some reason, Roddy Piper decided it was a shrewd idea to paint half of his body black and then mock all of Brown’s facial features in a manic promo. He dubbed the painted half the Hot Scot and threatened to shut Brown’s big mouth. All these years later and I still don’t know what the hell they were thinking here. Despite that, Piper riding to the ring with the bagpipes blaring was a pretty great visual. Jesse calls Piper his tag team partner, referencing their ill fated sitcom pilot that never saw the light of day. The two would brawl right away, rolling around the ring and trading fists. For some reason Danny Davis is super annoying here as he keeps breaking them up and forcing them to reset, which even pisses of Gorilla. The crowd is super into Roddy here as he starts laying in a flurry of rights. Brown would get some offense in, but it was pretty much just right hands and a nervehold. After some more aimless brawling, Piper put on a white glove and started hammering Brown with more fists. Jesse and Gorilla mention that it is a Michael Jackson glove, but I still don’t understand any of this. They would spill to the floor where chairs and the post got involved, eventually leading to a double countout. What a pointless affair that was. Outside of the crowd heat and the weird body paint, there was really nothing here. Grade: 1/2*
*** In one of WrestleMania’s finest moments of all time, Steve Allen and the Bolsheviks take part in a lounge act in the shower. The Russians want to hear their national anthem, but Allen plays other songs to piss them off until they explode over a toilet flushing. Classic greatness. ***
6) The Hart Foundation defeat the Bolsheviks when Bret Hart pins Boris Zhukov after the Hart Attack at :18
Scott: This match is nothing more than a squash to restrengthen the Harts’ position in the tag team rankings. After a year of floating around the roster and having great matches, the Pink and Black Attack dispose of the Russians in nothing flat and are ready for a shot at Demolition. Grade: DUD
Justin: The Hart Foundation are in a real weird place right now. They have really been very aimless for quite a while now, having shown very little progression over the last twelve months. And their match here seems like real pointless junk. But, it is a key one because it was the official launch of their climb back up the ladder. Before the bell, Jesse even notes that a win here would put the Harts right into title contention. The Bolsheviks start to sing their anthem but the Harts interrupt and beat them down before quickly finishing them off with the Hart Attack in just 18 seconds. Jesse isn’t happy but it was just what was needed for the Harts as they start their ascent to the top of the mountain. Grade: DUD
7) The Barbarian defeats Tito Santana with a Top Rope Clothesline at 4:32
Fun Fact: Just before WrestleMania, Mr. Fuji decided to split up the Powers of Pain and sell off their contracts. Fuji sold the Warlord to Slick and the Barbarian to Bobby Heenan. Both would receive makeovers, but Barbarian is still sporting his Powers of Pain look here.
Scott: Before this match we get a promo for WrestleMania VII next year in Los Angeles. So sad, because Jesse said he would be in Hollywood with his friends. We wish he was. Anyway, this is another character enhancing match. The Powers of Pain have been split up and Mr. Fuji has sold off both guys. Bobby Heenan buys the more talented guy in Barbarian and gets him a match here. The match is pretty standard TV fare but the funny part of this is Gorilla and Jesse making Mexican food jokes during the quiet part of the match. Also, the fact that after all this time Jesse still calls Santana “Chico” is pretty hilarious. The match ends with Barbarian hitting a vicious clothesline off the top rope to Chico for the victory. Barbarian becomes a new singles heel on the roster and an impressive showing by both men. Grade: **
Justin: The Powers of Pain are officially no more as Mr. Fuji split them up and sold them off shortly before this show. Bobby Heenan purchased the Barbarian and rolls him out here. The big man is still in his PoP attire and face paint but will soon get a makeover. I like the prematch interview as Gene Okerlund asks Santana if Barbarian can make the same sort of transition to singles competition as Tito himself experienced. Cool question. Back in the arena, Jesse wastes no time lobbing racist insults “Chico’s” way, talking about his trips to Mexico and Tito’s gastrointestinal problem causing food. Tito got a quick flurry in as Jesse talked about how he needs to use his speed to have any chance here. He kept the offense coming, even leaping onto Barbarian’s shoulders and forcing him to the mat with right hands. The tide changed, though, when Tito charged wildly and ate a big boot as a result. From there, Barbarian started to methodically work him over, planting him with a shoulderbreaker but whiffing on an elbow drop off the middle rope. That let Tito right back in the match and the former tag champ rocked the big man with a pair of dropkicks and his flying forearm, but his pin attempt was thwarted by The Brain. That was Tito’s last chance to win it, as Barbarian hung him across the top rope and then followed with a great top rope clothesline that Tito sold beautifully. That was a quick match but pretty fun. I was surprised to see Tito take so much offense but both men looked good by the final bell. Grade: *
8) Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire defeat Randy Savage & Sensational Sherri when Sapphire pins Sherri after a School-Boy Roll-Up at 7:27
Fun Fact: After losing the WWF title at WrestleMania V, Randy Savage replaced Miss Elizabeth as his manager with Sensational Shari. In September 1989, Randy Savage defeated Jim Duggan to become the new “King of the WWF” at which time he began calling himself the “Macho King” Randy Savage. The duo began a feud with the “Common Man” Dusty Rhodes and his manager Sapphire. After some verbal sparring on WWF television, the two teams were put together for the first WWF mixed-tag team match.
Scott: Other than the main event, this may be Jesse Ventura’s finest moment on this night in Toronto. His commentating during this match couldn’t have been better. We have our historic first mixed tag team match. Savage and Sherri look regal as the crowd boos but I am cheering because Savage’s entrance will always be one of the greatest ever. Sadly Savage has been kind of lost in the roster shuffle since losing the tag main event at SummerSlam. Then the greatest Jesse moment, maybe ever, in his commentating history. When Finkel announces Rhodes & Sapphire as weighing 465 pounds, Jesse goes bonkers and says “Rhodes only weighs 200 pounds??? 565 pounds I might buy!” I literally laugh out loud every time. Then Rhodes pulls the trump card out and it’s the lovely Miss Elizabeth, the First Lady of the WWF. Jesse absolutely can’t stand Sapphire, and rips her lack of dieting. Lines like “Has she ever heard of Slimfast?” and “Maybe Sardines and Oatmeal…” are Hall of Famers that will forever be immortalized. You can definitely tell Savage is still one of his personal favorites as he is ripping the Polka Dot pair to pieces for all of their alleged rulebreaking. This show is a great example of when Jesse actually cares about the guys in the ring (love or hate) and when he hits the cruise control button on other matches. I don’t know if he actually hates Rhodes and Sapphire or if he defends Savage that much no matter the opponent. After all the shenanigans, Sapphire rolls up Sherri for the victory. The match is average in-ring wise but the entire package, complete with Hall of Fame commentating, makes this “almost” five stars. Grade: ***
Justin: Back at the Rumble, we saw these four tussle on the set of the Brother Love Show so it was natural that it would spill over into the first ever PPV Mixed Tag Match. Even though it feels like such a step back for Randy Savage, this feud has always been a guilty pleasure of mine and I loved what assholes Savage and Sherri were throughout it. And their entrance is so grand, with the throne in the cart. In a fun prematch promo, Dusty and Sapphire promise they will have the crown jewel with them tonight, and that was revealed to be Miss Elizabeth, who rode out to a huge pop. As Team Rhodes rumbles to the ring, we get perhaps the greatest commentary in WWF history as Jesse just slaughters the rotund couple with vicious barb after vicious barb. The best is when he argues what their announced combined weight is, basically calling Sapphire a giant fat ass (“Because I know damn well Sapphire weighs two and a half!”). The pure hatred that Jesse has for Rhodes is off the chart, rivaled only by his hate of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. Dusty would take it to Savage early and they would tease the mixed tag aspect, having Sherri come in the ring but bail out. Jesse was set off even more when Rhodes put his hands on Sherri but tossing her in the ring after tagging in Sapphire. He talks about how he has read all the rules and Gorilla lands one of his best comebacks by explaining “but you never broke any of them?”. He also talks about how Sapphire has perfect hips for smashing her ass into Sherri as part of her offense. Her weight would happen again when Sherri tried to slam her but collapsed. The torture of Ventura continued as Sapphire slapped around Savage and Rhodes shoved Sherri into the corner. Savage took advantage of Dusty being distracted by knocking him to the floor and working him over, including a double axe handle off the top rope. Sapphire would try to protect Dusty but that led to Savage chucking her down by the hair to boos, other than the delight from Jesse. The royal couple continued to cheat as Savage smacked Dusty in the head with his scepter. Things broke down from there as all four got in the ring and scuffled around leading to Sherri and Sapphire going back at it again. After some interference from Liz, Sapphire was able to trip up Sherri and roll her up for the win. Jesse Status: Pissed off. After the match, Dusty, Sapphire and Liz would dance while Jesse fumed. The match was absolutely nothing, but the crowd was into it and the commentary was top notch, which bumps things up for me. Grade: **
9) The Orient Express defeat the Rockers when Marty Jannetty was counted out at 7:38
Fun Fact: In early 1990, Mr. Fuji broke up his team, the Powers of Pain, by selling off their individual contracts to Slick and Bobby Heenan. Mr. Fuji then brought in his newest team, The Orient Express, which was comprised of Pat Tanaka and Japanese import Akio Sato. Tanaka was a tag team specialist in the CWA and AWA, where he teamed with Paul Diamond in the team Badd Company. The duo won the AWA Tag Team Championship from The Midnight Rockers in March of 1988 before losing them one year later to the Olympians.
In the CWA, Akio Sato teamed with Tarzan Goto and won the CWA/AWA International Tag Team Championship five times. As a singles wrestler, Sato won and held the Central States heavyweight championship until the CWA closed its doors. He then went on to wrestle in the AWA, where he was nicknamed the “Asian Assassin” and wrestled as a heel. The newly formed Orient Express made their WWF debut on the 3/3 episode of Superstars (taped 2/13).
Scott: After a series of interviews, we debut a new tag team to reboot the division a bit. Mr. Fuji needs a new team after selling off the Powers of Pain, so he heads back to his homeland to grab a couple of expert technicians. Actually Pat Tanaka was in the AWA with Paul Diamond in the great team Bad Company. I had never seen Sato before this match but I was always curious when a new tag team debuted. The Rockers were moving up the tag team ladder but hadn’t really sniffed any title shots yet and with the babyface Demolition the new champions, a title shot maybe a ways off. The match is very deliberate as the Orients surprisingly slowed the pace down here. Gorilla says the Rockers seem lethargic during the match and that may also be the reason the match is slower than it was expected to be. On the outside, Marty Jannetty goes after Fuji but Sato throws salt in the eyes and as he’s flailing around he gets counted out. So this was meant to make neither side job but gives the newer heels a little boost. This was definitely a disappointment because based on the talent it should have been better. Grade **
Justin: As we mentioned earlier, Mr. Fuji broke up and sold off the Powers of Pain and to fill that void he brought in a new team: The Orient Express. Both Sato and Tanaka were AWA imports as that promotion was on its last legs. Of course, the early highlight of this unit was the fantastic theme music and pimp red robes and tights. On paper, this looked like a strong matchup as both teams were very good in the ring and matched up well. Jesse echoes those exact sentiments as I type them. Things started a bit slow with Jannetty and Sato feeling each other out before Sato caught him in the corner and Tanaka drilled him with a back elbow. The Rockers got it back together and started taking to the air and double teaming, playing to their strengths. Fuji stood useless at ringside as always, just pointing his cane weakly at his charges as they recovered on the floor. Fuji would get in action a moment later, yanking down the top rope and causing Jannetty to tumble to the outside. The Orients would began double teaming as Jesse and Gorilla discussed the benefits of the Express being able to communicate in Japanese. In one of the best spots of the night, Jannetty stuck an awesome landing after a Tanaka back body drop. He came over with some serious velocity and somehow still twisted around to his feet. Michaels would tag in but didn’t fair much better as the Orients continued to look much sharper as a unit, including Tanaka connecting on a crisp forearm to a charging Michaels. Shawn found an opening with a big clothesline on Tanaka and was able to capitalize and make the tag off of that. Gorilla calls out the Rockers for looking lethargic and I used to agree but I actually think they looked better here than I used to give them credit for in the past. They would start to clean house, rattling Tanaka with a dropkick to knock him outside. As both Rockers ascended to the top rope, Fuji reached up and smacked Jannetty with his cane, causing him to come down for a confrontation. As Marty stalked The Fuj, Sato came from behind and hurled a ball of salt in his eyes, causing Jannetty to be counted out. Well, I will say this match held up much better for me this time around than in the past. I always thought it was sluggish and bland, but the Orients worked really well as a team and showed off some good offense while the Rockers timed their comebacks nicely and showed some good fire at the end. The Orients get a nice win as they get their feet set in the Federation. Grade: **1/2
10) Jim Duggan pins Dino Bravo after Duggan uses the 2×4 at 4:14
Scott: Well here is our second Earthquake sighting of the evening. We have a mid-card filler match here simply to set up what would go down after the match. Duggan has really not jobbed at all on TV since debuting almost three years ago and here he’s working over the Canadian Strongman. Gorilla and Jesse are sniping about Gorilla being drunk and having mustard all over his tux. Jesse says he hates Duggan because he’s ugly. And here I thought I was the only one. There really isn’t much more to say about this match until the end. As usual, Duggan cheats with his 2X4 (which of course Gorilla justifies) to win the match but FINALLY some vindication for us Duggan haters. In comes Earthquake, who works Hacksaw over with some big elbows and then three big Earthquake splashes. This is the first time we’ve seen Duggan left lying in the ring after a match. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier at the end of a nothing mid-card match. Grade: **
Justin: We continue to truck along through the mid card with a match between two stalwarts of the division that have warred off and on for almost two years now. Jesse calls Duggan an idiot immediately for chanting “USA” to rally the Canadian fans. They do seem a bit apathetic to him, and you can even hear a smattering of boos in places. It is interesting that they matched him with a Canadian here in Toronto, they must have known it could dilute his pops a bit. Earthquake is back out for the second time tonight, as he is now backing up Bravo at ringside. Duggan wastes no time in unloading the heavy artillery as he pounds Bravo with big right hands before clotheslining him to the floor. Bravo would get owned until some distraction at ringside gave him a chance to wrest away control. Jesse is really starting to get testy with Gorilla, saying he is a mess from stuffing hot dogs in his face and missing the action. He then tells us how he hates Hacksaw because he is so ugly. Awesome. Bravo would pick up a couple of near falls before Duggan rallied with clotheslines. Before he could hit his finisher, Quake hooked his leg and broke it up. As the referee was distracted with them, Jimmy Hart dumped the 2×4 in the ring, but it would backfire when Duggan grabbed it first and pelted Bravo in the back to win the match. The Hart Family would get the last laugh as Quake jumped Duggan after the bell and beat him down with elbows and splashes. This was another big step in the development of Quake to set him up for a big summer run. The match was nothing, but this was all just a chance to get Quake more shine by laying out a second guy on the night. Grade: 1/2*
11) Ted DiBiase defeats Jake Roberts by countout to win the Million Dollar Title at 11:52
Fun Fact I: This PPV marks the debut of one of the most beloved and recognizable wrestling theme songs of all time: Ted DiBiase’s “It’s All About the Money.”
Fun Fact II: DiBiase and Roberts have been feuding since the spring of 1989 where Roberts was put out of action for several months with a neck injury. The injury was there to cover some legal issues Roberts was experiencing. Roberts returned prior to Survivor Series 1989 and was on the Hulkamaniacs team against the team captained by DiBiase. During the match, DiBiase pinned Roberts before being pinned himself by Hogan. After the Royal Rumble, Roberts stole the Million Dollar Belt and kept it in his bag where he dared DiBiase or Virgil to reach into the bag to retrieve it. This lead us to the match here where the Million Dollar Belt is on the line.
Scott: This feud goes back to WrestleMania V, when DiBiase stole Damien during the Roberts/Andre match in Atlantic City. The promo Jake fires off before this match may be the greatest promo ever, and one that young wrestlers should watch constantly if they want to learn the art of adding psychology to your promos. “Wallowing…in the muck…of averice.” Man what good stuff. Now there are two expert workers in the ring that can work a great combination of brawling and technical knowhow but for some reason there seems to be a lack of chemistry. DiBiase was very deliberate in his work here, taking out Roberts’ neck to prepare for the Million Dollar Dream. Jesse is commenting on the wave going around the SkyDome, and it’s almost annoying Gorilla because it’s acknowledging that this match is kind of boring. They are stumbling around the ring for a long time, until finally they get back in and DiBiase hooks the Dream on. Jake is fighting it and gets his foot on the ropes. Jake makes a comeback and the crowd is starting to stir a bit, without doing the wave. Jake hits the short clothesline, which is usually the set-up for the DDT. Virgil interferes and Jake leaves the ring. Both men brawl on the outside and DiBiase slides back in the ring and wins by countout. DiBiase’s awesome theme (which debuts here) blasts in the SkyDome and the crowd is kind of stunned. This is a mild upset, because you’d think Jake should have won the climax on such a long feud. Very strange, and ends what wasn’t a great match. DiBiase gets DDT’d as Virgil runs off with the title, then returns to take DiBiase. Grade: **
Justin: This feud has been raging since last May and this match was one of the most hyped heading in, as you have two tremendous veterans throwing down in a big money match to cap a long feud. It was certainly set up to be a potential show stealer. Two things of note before the match starts: 1) Jake Roberts’ fantastic promo with his “Wallowing in the muck of avarice” capping it off, and 2) The debut of DiBiase’s iconic theme music. I also love Jake’s awesome purple tights here, which we haven’t yet seen on PPV. The Snake had stolen DiBiase’s prized Million Dollar Title so it is on the line here, which was a cool plot device to use the belt that had been just a prop since its inception. Jake comes out of the gate hot and almost grabs an early DDT, but DiBiase slid out to the floor to avoid it. Jake would work the arm as Gorilla talked about the danger Virgil posed at ringside, which aids an already tough opponent. DiBiase was having a really hard time getting going as Jake kept him completely off balance. It took a really shrewd move by Ted to slow down the Snake. As Jake came in for his patented kneelift, DiBiase side stepped him and sent him careening into the corner and hard to the mat. Jesse is still harassing poor Gorilla over the hot dogs. DiBiase started to soften Jake up for the Million Dollar Dream, stomping away before hooking a front facelock. While he had that cinched in, the Skydome crowd started to do the wave. I can’t decide whether I love or hate that it happened, but it did make for a pretty cool atmosphere. DiBiase landed a big blow by spiking Jake down with a nice piledriver, targeting that repaired neck. That directly set up DiBiase hooking in the Million Dollar Dream and the crowd starting to rally like crazy. There is an awesome camera shot here as Jake was fighting the Dream and we could see the hold on the big screen in the sky right over their heads. Jake reached the ropes but he was much too injured so DiBiase went right back at him. Unfortunately for the Million Dollar Man, he made that one crucial mistake he always tends to make in big matches as he stalled way to long and headed to the ropes. Thanks to the delay, Jake recovered and caught him with a shot to the gut. From there, Jake went into his usual repertoire, but he also took just a bit too long to go for the DDT, giving Ted a chance to recover. That gave Virgil an opening to pull Jake to the floor. Jake would slam Virgil, but DiBiase followed them out and hooked the Dream on. Roberts ran DiBiase into the post, but Virgil rolled him back inside as Roberts was counted out. Man, I don’t know how to feel about that finish. I mean, get not wanting to beat Roberts and DiBiase needed to get his belt back and he badly needed a big win too, as he usually comes up short in these spots. I guess I can let it slide. After the bout, Jake attacks but Virgil escapes with the title. Roberts would finally top Ted with the DDT and then gave away his money to fans, and Mary Tyler Moore, at ringside. I enjoyed this match much more this time around than I have in the past. Expectations were really high initially and they didn’t reach them, but if you go in with a clean slate, it is pretty solid affair. Both guys worked a good pace and a smart match and the crowd was super into everything. The psychology was really good, as you would expect, and that led to perfect timing to keep the fans engaged. DiBiase gets his diamond belt back but Jake gets the last laugh. Grade: ***
12) Big Boss Man defeats Akeem with the Boss Man Slam at 1:54
Fun Fact I: On the February 3rd Superstars (taped 1/2), Jake Roberts was facing Ted DiBiase (who had Virgil and Slick in his corner). A few minutes into the match, Big Boss Man came to ringside, beat Roberts down, handcuffed him to the ropes and stole back the Million Dollar Belt for DiBiase. Immediately after the match, Slick, DiBiase and Boss Man appeared on the Brother Love Show. Boss Man was about to present DiBiase with the belt, but he then realized DiBiase had paid Slick for Boss Man’s services. Boss Man freaked out, informed the world that he stood for law and order and could never be bought. He took the belt, returned it to Jake and walked off a new man. The battle of the former Twin Towers was then set up for Wrestlemania, and would mark Boss Man’s first PPV as a face.
Fun Fact II: Sadly, outside of his brief appearance at WrestleMania X-7, WrestleMania VI would be Akeem/One Man Gang’s final PPV appearance. His final record is 3-8. He was 0-3 at the Royal Rumble, 2-3 at WrestleMania, 0-1 at SummerSlam and 1-1 at Survivor Series.
Scott: For my PIC Justin, this marks the sad end of the Twin Towers. Big Boss Man turns face after not accepting money for doing deeds. So the Towers split and face each other one on one here. This was as quick as the Hart Foundation match earlier in the night, and I assume the Akeem character had served its purpose because he lies down pretty quickly here. Boss Man is now a babyface but before the match Ted DiBiase, who was lingering around the ring after his match with Jake, clotheslines Boss Man out of nowhere and works him over before the match. Akeem has the momentum early but Boss Man turns it around quickly and eventually gets the win. This one was no shock and was done swiftly. Boss Man branches out to bigger and better things after this show. Grade: **
Justin: My beating heart be still. A WrestleMania singles match for my main man Akeem. And he gets to speak in the prematch promo! And a lengthy twirl through Jive Soul Bro thanks to the long entrance way! So great. The Towers split up in February when Big Boss Man refused to do Slick’s bidding when Ted DiBiase paid them to take back the Million Dollar Title from Jake Roberts. Once he found out the money was involved, he returned the belt to Roberts and walked out on his manager and partner. It also set up a ready made post-Mania feud with DiBiase that Boss Man brings up in his promo. Oh, it is also set in motion by DiBiase, who stayed hiding at ringside after his match just so he could level Boss Man with a clothesline as he got in the ring. Very cool booking there. Another iconic theme song debuts here as Boss Man has Hard Times to accompany him already. Akeem took immediate advantage, squashing Boss Man in the corner and using his weight to work him over, picking up a near fall. Ventura is really unloading on Gorilla now, just spewing all sorts of venom along with more hot dog jokes. Boss Man would come right back, lay in a big clothesline and quickly finish Akeem off with a sidewalk slam to crush my dreams and end the Dream’s night and PPV career in the blink of an eye. Boss Man is now set up for his run with DiBiase, putting his past fully behind him. Fare thee well, Akeem. May you dance forever. Grade: 1/2*
*** Rhythm & Blues, a new team comprised of Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine, Jimmy Hart and a couple of Honkettes ride down to the ring in a swank Pink Cadillac to debut their brand new single Hunka, Hunka, Hunka Honky Love. After they are done singing, they get annoyed by a couple of merchandise vendors at ringside. The vendors are exposed to be the Bushwhackers, who then run R&B off and smash their equipment, ruining their concert. As an aside, the Cadillac is driven by former AWA manager Diamond Dallas Page, who owned the car. ***
*** Howard Finkel announces the attendance of 67,678, which is a Skydome record. ***
13) Rick Rude defeats Jimmy Snuka with a Rude Awakening at 3:42
Scott: Steve Allen joins Gorilla & Jesse for this throwaway match to precede the PPV. Rude has really been floating aimlessly since losing the Intercontinental Title back at SummerSlam. He had a feud with Roddy Piper that (other than the team match at Survivor Series) didn’t really pass the house show circuit. They had a cage match at MSG that’s on Piper’s DVD that isn’t too bad. The banter with the announcers is the highlight of this quick and painless match. Rude wins but then prepares for some changes, but his run from his debut in 1987 to now has had its highlights and lowlights. Grade: **
Justin: It has been quite the slide into aimlessness for the Ravishing One. After breaking out a year ago he was primed for a big 1989, and he delivered on that. However, since the calendar changed, he hasn’t had much going on and that is evidenced here as he is sandwiched in before the main event with a random match against Jimmy Snuka, who now seems to solely exist to wrestle aimless heels on PPV. In a nice touch, Steve Allen hops in on commentary for this one and he is pretty funny throughout. Snuka outworked Rude early on but Rude bided his time until Snuka gave him an opening, which he took advantage of with a nice snap suplex. It was all pretty paint-by-numbers from there as they wrestled a compressed version of a match they would normally have. Rude finally finished him with a Rude Awakening, picking up a quiet win as he looks to reestablish himself on the roster. Grade: *
14) WWF Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan to win WWF World Title in a Title vs. Title Match with a Big Splash at 22:47
Fun Fact I: This started at the Royal Rumble on January 21, when at one point in the Rumble, Warrior and Hogan were in the ring alone. It was obviously a test to see how this would go over with the fans. Well, it went over big so the hype machine started. On the January 27 Saturday Night’s Main Event (taped from January 3) Hogan and Warrior defeated Mr. Perfect and the Genius in a tag team match. Eventually, Hogan was out of the ring and Warrior was double teamed. Hogan came back in the ring to help, but when Hogan grabbed Warrior’s shoulder to help, Warrior thought he was Perfect or Genius and clotheslined him. The miscommunication led to a nose-to-nose confrontation. On February 14 in Tucson on Wrestling Challenge, Hogan came in to save Warrior from an attack by Earthquake. On an edition of The Main Event February 23 in Detroit, Hogan again saved Warrior from Earthquake after a match against Dino Bravo. There was also an edition of Superstars when Warrior saved Hogan from Earthquake, including almost clotheslining him again. A show called Ultimate Challenge Special aired on March 26 (taped from March 7) which had the official WrestleMania VI contract signing for the biggest PPV match since Hogan squared off with Andre the Giant three years earlier.
Fun Fact II: According to wrestling lore, every move of this match was planned out in great detail, and they actually ran through the match several times before the big event.
Scott: Well after that average undercard with some memorable moments and several forgettable matches, we get to the main event that everyone is waiting for. The two most popular guys in the promotion going head to head with all the gold on the line. I was just assuming when I watched it live that Hogan was going to retain the title, but then again what the hell was he going to do with the Intercontinental Title? That may have been a clue as to what was happening here. They begin with some shoving and then they do Jesse’s famed Greco-Roman Knuckle Lock. This goes on for a few minutes while each guy gets the advantage. You can definitely tell this match was meticulously planned out by both guys ahead of time. For Hogan, the emotions are different than three years ago against Andre. Hogan is the experienced champion and Warrior is the one trying to prove himself. Hogan was in that position in Pontiac. Then a moment that caused everyone to gasp. Warrior clotheslines Hogan over the top rope, and the next camera shot has Hogan clutching his left knee. Hogan’s selling it pretty good, so much so that I thought he was really hurt. Boy that would have sucked. Thankfully Hogan’s back to full strength a few minutes later. Hogan takes the reins of the match here and starts working Warrior over. In what would be Jesse Ventura’s final PPV match, he and Gorilla are doing a fabulous job selling this thing to the hilt, just like Hogan/Andre in 1987. Jesse makes a good point that this is the first time Hogan gets frustrated with the referee over slow counts and such. Warrior fights back from a headlock but eventually they knock each other out on clotheslines, ala their moment at the Royal Rumble. Warrior then gets a flurry of moves and the crowd is going crazy, as I’m really not sure if anybody knew who was really going to win this. Warrior gets Hogan in a bear hug which I found interesting since Warrior is the smaller guy of the pair. This takes up a few minutes as Gorilla and Jesse calling it straight down the middle. Hogan’s arm almost drops to three but he fights back and eventually breaks the hold, and then we have what I thought maybe the match didn’t need: A ref bump. Hebner goes down when Warrior is inadvertently whipped into him. So Hogan and Warrior each get phantom three counts, but I honestly don’t know why that was needed in this match. Maybe to add some drama or a few minutes to the match, but the referee woke up and we get back to business.
Both guys get some quick two counts, as this is turning into a MUCH better match than anybody probably thought. Both guys start brawling on the outside but then Warrior pitches Hogan into the ring. He looks like he’s about to finish the match off with his Gorilla Press/Splash finisher but Hogan kicks out and we get the Hulking Up and what everyone expected to be the predictable finish. Hogan fights off the punches, the finger waving, the right hands, the boot to the face. He goes for the legdrop, and Warrior got out of the way. Warrior hits the splash and gets the three count. I remember staring at the TV screen, absolutely stunned. Stunned with my mouth wide open. My buddy Tom who was a die-hard Ultimate Warrior fan was going bonkers and I literally couldn’t speak. Not only did Hogan lose the match and lose his title, he lost CLEAN. No shenanigans or anything. CLEAN. I handed my buddy the $5 on the bet we made and went home still dumbfounded at what I just watched. That visual of Warrior standing on the turnbuckles with the fireworks going off, while Hogan was in the dark riding away on the little ring is a visual that stands the test of time. This was an incredible match that PWI awarded Match of the Year in 1990. What a main event. Grade: ****1/2
Justin: WrestleMania is known for mega main events and iconic moments featuring legendary superstars. And this is one of the biggest and best examples of why that is true. Three years since Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant packed the Silverdome with 93,000 fans, Hogan does it again here against the Ultimate Warrior. The Skydome is bursting at the seems and ready to explode during the entrances, ready to let loose for this mammoth Title vs. Title match between two true icons. Hogan vs. Savage was a big match a year ago, but the Trump Plaza atmosphere limited how memorable that match and moment could really be. Like the Silverdome, the Skydome adds an extra intangible to the affair. And the fans were fantastic, having sat through 13 matches, but just as hot as ever for this clash. The build up to this had been picture perfect, with minimal contact and tons of hype, including a really fun contract signing on Prime Time Wrestling. It was also tremendous that both major titles were on the line here, really giving up that feeling that the two bet in the company were about to throw down. Right off the bell we get an epic test of strength with each man winning a round to crazy pops. This is so simple and so effective already. The whole early part of the match is them trading moves, shaking them off, resetting and doing it again, just showing how equal they were. That is some great storytelling early on to help hammer home what a big match this was. Warrior gets the first real advantage, clothesline Hogan to the floor and the Hulkster would mess up his knee on the way down. Hogan would limp around before collapsing and to his credit, Warrior went right out and attacked the injury. I love how, even though he hates both men, Jesse respects the gravity of the match by bemoaning that it could end early due to injury. Hogan would make it back in and fight through it, rallying back and sending Warrior crashing into the corner, where he met him with a clothesline. Jesse would crack off another great line when Hogan hooked on a front facelock and Gorilla talked about how vicious the move could be and the Body retorted “sure, ask Richard Belzer!” Great stuff. Hogan pulled out all the stops here, even busting out a small package for a near fall as well a nice back suplex. He would continue to wear Warrior down, working a rear chinlock in and grinding him down. It is a bit jarring watching Hogan use holds and work in a heel role controlling the match, but it made for a fresh match.
Warrior would even things up when both men colliding on a double clothesline, which pretty much resets the match and evens things back up. And the crowd could sense it. Hogan would get a dose of his own medicine as Warrior Hulked Up right in his face, shrugging off the champion’s blows while shaking the ropes. Warrior would hit a suplex and then lock in a tight bear hug. Hogan would bust loose but in the ensuing fracas, the referee got wiped out, leading to a real air of uncertainty. With Hebner still down, Hogan would get a visual pin after spiking Warrior to the mat on a missed shoulderblock. Warrior would get one as well, continuing the thread of equality that has been baked into this feud since the jump. They would spill to the floor, where Hogan ate the post, but quickly both slid back inside. Warrior would list Hogan up and hit his gorilla press into big splash combo but Hogan kicked out to a huge pop. And at that moment, as Hogan Hulked up and rattled Warrior with right hands, it totally seemed like he would dispatch of yet another challenger to continue reigning as champion. He followed with the big boot…but then whiffed on the legdrop! What? Warrior popped up, hit the splash and won the match in a fantastically memorable moment. The Skydome erupted as Gorilla and Jesse gushed over what we just saw. Warrior celebrated his magnificent win, the first man to cleanly pin Hulk Hogan on WWF TV since Hogan’s 1983 return. Hogan would grab his title and hand it to Warrior before embracing him, officially passing the torch before walking off into the sunset. What a match. What a moment. What a WrestleMania Main Event. The Warrior Era has begun. Grade: ****
Scott: This is easily one of the most memorable shows in WWF history. This is one of those shows that you always remember fondly because like WrestleMania III it had that special feel with the massive SkyDome crowd and the epic main event. There wasn’t a Savage/Steamboat match to steal the show but there are some memorable moments on the undercard, like the comedic debacle of the mixed tag and Demolition’s historic third tag title win. For the first time in the PPV era Hulk Hogan legitimately took a back seat for someone else to shine. Could the Ultimate Warrior grab the mantle of the company and take it to the 90s? Time will tell, but for now let’s bask in the moment and smile on what is one of those PPVs that stands on its own in history. Final Grade: A
Justin: I see all my snowflakes above. I know how few of them there are across a robust 14 match card. Yet, I don’t care. This show completely holds up as being really fun to watch. It is much more streamlined and better set up than previous years, with shorter bell-to-bell times and less fluff in between bouts. Everything flowed quickly from segment to segment, especially compared to a year earlier, which was stuffed from top to bottom with tons of stuff dragging throughout. Even the Rhythm & Blues segment here moved really quickly as opposed to the never ending Piper’s Pit and Run DMC performance from Atlantic City. The fans were unreal all night, staying molten hot and buying into everything, right through the main event. The commentary is top notch and arguably the best for a WWF PPV to date. Gorilla and Jesse were locked in and dominant from the open to the close. It is really sad that this marks the end of Jesse’s PPV run. The shows won’t be the same without his intelligence, insight, humor, confidence and rage. We even got some big theme debuts for Rick Martel, Big Boss Man and Ted DiBiase, with songs that were legendary for wrestling fans of the era. The card was loaded with big moments, wild pops and memorable characters and feuds. The main event is the stuff of legend and the bout delivered on the hype and build. It was a true passing of the torch as the company now rests in the hands of the Ultimate Warrior. Sometimes, a supershow is about more than workrate and can deliver on the back of intangibles and moments. This is one of them. Final Grade: A+
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