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WWF WrestleMania (Repost)

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by Grappleholic

This review was originally written on 12/20/09.

That’s right, the first WrestleMania.  This is the beginning of my endeavor to watch every WWF and WCW PPV ever, possibly with ECW and TNA thrown in.  Oh, and I should mention that most of the WrestleManias I’ll be watching are from the WrestleMania anthology that WWE put out a few years ago.

Which of course means we get the WWE open.  Plain Jane opening video showing the matches on the card tonight, since this is 1985, a year and a half before yours truly was born.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are on commentary.  We are LIVE from Madison Square Garden!  Howard Finkel is the ring announcer.  Mean Gene Okerlund sings the national anthem.

Lord Alfred Hayes talks about the first match.  Cut to Mean Gene’s pre-taped interviews with Tito Santana and The Executioner.

The Executioner vs. Tito Santana.  Lock up, run the ropes, then Tito hits a backdrop and a dropkick that sends The Executioner out of the ring.  They lock up again and Tito grabs a headlock.  He walks up the ropes and uses the leverage to take Executioner down.  Neat.  Executioner attacks Tito’s injured leg, as he promised he would earlier.  Tito turns an attempted leg hold into a nifty cradle for 2.  Executioner looks completely out classed.  He finally manages to backdrop Tito, then hits a bodyslam, then goes up to.  Tito recovers and throws him off, then goes for a big splash, but Executioner gets his knees up.  Executioner goes for the leg again, but Tito sends him out of the ring, then suplex/slams him back in.  Tito hits a flying forearm, then applies the figure-four leglock for the win at 4:49.  See, Tito is chasing Greg Valentine’s Intercontinental Title, so he’s putting the champ on notice by using his own hold.

Lord Alfred throws it to pre-taped interviews for the next match, with S.D. Jones and King Kong Bundy, with Jimmy Hart.

King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. S.D. Jones.  Bundy with a bear hug, then rams Jones into the corner.  Avalanche in the corner followed by a big splash for the pin in 24 seconds.  The time is announced as 9 seconds.  Their stop watch is defective.

Mean Gene is back with pre-taped interviews with Matt Borne and Ricky Steamboat.

Matt Borne vs. Ricky Steamboat.  Lock up.  Steamboat leap frogs Borne, then hits some of his karate chops.  Steamboat grabs a headlock.  Borne gets out of it.  Steamboat grabs it again.  Borne fights out and Steamboat gives him an atomic drop.  Borne hits an inverted atomic drop and gets the advantage briefly.  Steamboat hits him with more karate chops.  Steamboat with the headlock again.  Borne backs him into the corner and lands some knees to the gut, then a belly to belly suplex.  Borne lands a vertical suplex for 2.  They trade blows.  Steamboat gets the better of it and drops Borne.  Steamboat hits a backdrop suplex and a swinging neckbreaker, then a pair of knee drops for 2.  Borne comes back and gets dropped with a shoulder block.  Steamboat comes off the top with a diving crossbody for the pin at 4:38.  Good basic wrestling match.

Lord Alfred throws it to Mean Gene again, for interviews with David Sammartino (with his dad) and Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant).

Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. David Sammartino (w/ Bruno Sammartino).  Beefcake stalls forever.  They finally lock up.  Beefcake overpowers David, who is extremely short and stocky.  David shoves Brutus on the next lock up, then hits a drop toe hold.  Brutus with an amateur takedown.  They roll around, then Brutus bails for a moment.  More basic stuff back inside.  Brutus claws the eyes and hits a slam, but David turns it into an arm hold.  Nice.  Brutus takes David over with a side headlock.  The match quickens a bit.  Sammartino works Beefcake’s leg.  Sammartino with a spinning toe hold.  Beefcake kicks him away, but Sammartino grabs another leg hold.  Brutus takes over and gets some heat on Sammartino.  David hits a back body drop.  They trade punches.  Sammartino with a suplex for 2.  Valiant attacks David on the outside.  Bruno gets involved.  Clusterfuck ensues.  It’s a double DQ at 11:44.  The Sammartinos get rid of the heels.  Why the fuck does David Sammartino warrant more time than Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat COMBINED?

Once again, Lord Alfred —> Mean Gene.  Gene interviews the Intercontinental Champion, Greg Valentine, and his challenger, Junkyard Dog.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog.  Lots of stalling early on.  Valentine drops JYD with an elbow, then misses a knee drop.  JYD headbutts him out of the ring.  The Hammer hammers JYD and attacks his leg, softening him up for the figure-four.  When he goes for it, JYD kicks him away.  JYD with some headbutts that knock the champ loopy and causes him to take Flair face flop.  Jimmy Hart distracts the referee.  JYD grabs him.  Hammer tries to nail JYD, but clocks Hart instead.  JYD beats up Valentine, but Valentine trips him up and gets the Flair pin at 6:00.  Tito Santana comes out to tell the referee that Valentine’s feet were on the ropes.  The referee continues the match.  Valentine refuses to come back in the ring, so JYD wins by count-out at 6:55, but Valentine keeps the title.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene for the Tag title match, as the U.S. Express of Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda defend against The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.

Volkoff sings the Soviet national anthem before the match.  Sheik chimes in with “Russia numbah one, Iran numbah one, USA hack puh!”

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The U.S. Express (c) (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie).  Rotunda starts with Sheik.  Sheik gets the better of it at first, until Rotunda hits a hip toss and a dropkick, then a slam, then Windham decks him, then Rotunda takes him over with a side headlock.  Tag to Windham, who comes off the top with an elbow to Sheik’s back.  Sheik accidentally dropkicks Volkoff on the apron.  He apologizes, and tags out.  Rotunda back in.  He takes down Volkoff with a forearm for 2.  The champs make quick tags and work Volkoff’s arm.  Volkoff rams Rotunda into Sheik’s boot, then tags Sheik back in.  Sheik with a back body drop, then an elbow for 2.  Sheik with a side suplex for 2.  Rotunda hits a suplex on Sheik.  Sheik tags out to Volkoff, who prevents Rotunda from tagging out.  Rotunda with a sunset flip for 2.  Volkoff knees Rotunda in the gut, then rams him into Sheik’s boot again.  Sheik tags in and applies an abdominal stretch as Albano and Blassie argue outside.  Rotunda hip tosses his way out of it.  Tag to Volkoff.  Rotunda makes the hot tag to Windham.  Windham hits a bulldog on Volkoff and covers, but Sheik saves.  Rotunda comes in and sends Sheik out of the ring.  Sheik whacks Windham with Blassie’s cane, allowing Volkoff to get the pin at 6:55.  There you have it, the first title change in WrestleMania history.

Mean Gene interviews the new champions.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene to interview Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan.  Studd puts up $15,000 against Andre the Giant’s career in a slam match.

$15,000 Slam Match: Big John Studd (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant.  Studd jumps Andre to start the match.  Andre responds by chopping him with his massive hands.  Studd bails.  When he comes back in, Andre chokes him, then punches him in the gut and knees him in the face.  Andre continues to hammer Studd.  Studd hits a knee and tries to slam him.  Nope.  Andre with a bear hug.  Studd gets out of it.  Andre with a headlock, then a punch to the face.  Andre continues to beat up Studd.  Studd tries a kick, but Andre catches his leg and punches him in the face again.  Andre throws some kicks at Studd, then slams him for the win at 5:54.  Andre starts throwing the money to the crowd.  Heenan sneaks in, steals the bag of money, and runs away.

Mean Gene interviews a victorious Andre.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene for the Women’s Title match.

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Leilani Kai (c) (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) vs. Wendi Richter (w/ Cyndi Lauper).  Lock up, cat fight, ridiculous bump by Kai off of a half assed chop from Richter.  Nice bit of chain wrestling as Richter works Kai’s arm.  Kai snapmares out of it and covers for a quick 2.  Kai works Richter’s arm a bit.  Kai chokes Richter.  Richter uses her legs to squeeze Kai’s middle.  Kai picks her up by the hair.  They trade blows.  Richter half asses an inside cradle for 2.  Richter starts making a comeback until Moolah grabs her and pulls her hair.  Lauper stops her.  Kai with a kick to the sternum.  Richter fights back and hits a reverse F-U type move for 2.  Kai with a backbreaker for 2.  Kai slams Richter and comes off the top with a crossbody.  Richter rolls through and gets the pin to regain the title at 6:13.  Moolah face plants trying to get into the ring.  Heh.  Richter and Lauper celebrate.

Mean Gene interviews the new champion.  Richter can’t talk for shit and Lauper’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

Finkel introduces the guest ring announcer for the main event, Billy Martin.  Martin introduces the other celebrities involved with the main event.  Liberace, the guest timekeeper, dances with four of the Rockettes.  Muhammed Ali is the special outside referee, while Pat Patterson will be the referee in the ring.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ “Cowboy” Bob Orton) vs. WWF Champion Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (w/ Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka).  Hogan and Orndorff start, but Piper requests the tag before any contact is made.  Mr. T wants Piper, so Hogan makes the tag.  They slap each other, then Piper wrestles him to the ground.  Mr. T escapes.  T picks up Piper into a Fireman’s carry, then drops him.  The heels beat up T.  Match turns into a clusterfuck for a minute until Muhammed Ali restores order.  The heels start to leave.  Hogan won’t let Patterson count them out.  They come back in and get their knoggins knocked by Hogan and Mr. T.  Hogan does a number on them and hits an atomic drop on Piper, then beats his head against the mat.  Tag to T and a double clothesline to Piper.  T slams Piper, then hip tosses Orndorff.  Another slam to Piper, headbutt to Orndorff, and a tag to Hogan.  Hogan big boots Piper ourt of the ring.  Orndorff clotheslines Hogan out of the ring.  Piper hits Hogan with a chair.  The heels work over Hogan.  Mr. T tries to save, but is restrained by Patterson.  Piper and Orndorff with a double atomic drop to Hogan.  Ali to restores order again.  Hogan, oddly, plays face in peril.  Hogan blocks a diving knee drop from Orndorff and makes the hot tag to Mr. T.  The bad guys beat up Mr. T.  Orndorff and T wrestle sloppily to the ground.  Tag to Piper, who locks Mr. T in a front facelock.  T powers out and tags Hogan, who cleans house.  Orndorff hits a backdrop suplex on Hogan.  Orton tries to run in and gets headbutted by Snuka.  Orton comes off the top rope and accidentally nails Orndorff with the cast.  Hogan gets the pin on Orndorff  to win it in 13:33.  Orndorff wakes up to find himself alone with the faces.  T tries to offer him a handshake, but Hogan is like “No.”  The babyfaces celebrate their win.

Mean Gene interviews the victors.

Gorilla and Jesse have some final comments, then the closing credits.

So that was the inaugural WrestleMania.  The WWF was certainly a very different place in 1985.  This show as the biggest thing to ever happen in wrestling at the time, but looking at it through 2009 eyes, it’s hard to see why.  A few of the matches were decent, with Steamboat/Borne being match of the night.

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