The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Three

March 19th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , , , ,

Before getting to today’s installment of the countdown, I should mention that a couple months ago, reader Bearnt! emailed me, hoping that I was planning on doing this whole write-up. I wasn’t sure if I was up for it at the time, but considering I ended up doing it, he was nice enough to reward me for it. How? By uploading the Mountie/Repo Man/Nasty Boys promo from Wrestlemania 8 onto YouTube! What a guy.

I think my favorite part is Repo Man showing up out of nowhere and Mountie happily telling him, “You scared me.”


Date: March 31, 1985
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Notable Debuts: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Ricky Steamboat, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Howard Finkel, Tito Santana, the Iron Sheik, King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, Jimmy Snuka, Brutus Beefcake

The very first Wrestlemania! The granddaddy of the granddaddy of them all! Using the media hype that came with schmoozing with MTV and creating the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, Vince McMahon gambled a whole lot of money on his closed circuit TV experiment. Obviously, it worked. While it’s a fine start, the whole concept won’t truly hit its stride for another couple shows. It’s still interesting to watch.

The Atmosphere

You could do a Mystery Science Theater deal on the non-wrestling aspects of the show pretty easily. A lot of the show is laughable. It starts off with a shot of the WWF logo, a shot of New York City and a pair of photos based on the upcoming matches. There’s no vocal announcement to identify who we’re seeing; only music. These aren’t even good pictures! It looks like photos on the wrestlers’ Facebook pages that they thought were too lacking in quality to be used for their profiles.

Lord Alfred Hayes is normally shown by the entrance with the wrestlers for the next match passing him by and barely acknowledging him. Hayes is incredibly awkward throughout, timidly reading from cue cards as if Vince is going to have his family killed if he fucks it up.

The way the pre-match promos are done is really out there. “Mean” Gene would look to his left and interview Wrestler A. Wrestler A would stare into the camera and start ranting to Wrestler B about what he’s going to do to him. Once he’s done, Gene would turn to his right where Wrestler B has been standing the whole time! Wrestler B would pull off a similar promo without either guy bringing up how they’re only five feet away from each other when making threats. They also occasionally spoil the winners by not having them cut promos before the match, as they’re being saved for AFTER the match.

Most of the promos aren’t bad, especially “Classy” Freddie Blassie’s, but the Andre the Giant one is really funny. He enthusiastically talks to “Mean” Gene about his win for too long and they end up cutting him off mid-speech.

But the worst thing about the show? The annoying bell! Good God! They keep ringing it for no reason and it never stops!

The Matches

The very first match is Tito Santana vs. the Executioner. Oddly enough, this Wrestlemania match is considered setup for an eventual Santana/Valentine match. Santana works very well here. Executioner? Not so much. Tito does his damnedest and makes it exciting, winning the match with a Flying Forearm followed by the Figure Four. The Executioner is no longer undefeated and Tito Santana is ready to step up and face Greg Valentine. Hm. If only there was some kind of mega event they could have used for such a high-profile match.

King Kong Bundy absolutely destroys Special Delivery Jones in one of the matches this show is mostly known for. He catches SD with a bearhug, slams him into the corner, hits an Avalanche and does a splash to finish him off. The actual match time? 23 seconds. To this day the company insists that the match was 9 seconds long. I could buy trying to pass Andre as undefeated and never having been bodyslammed, but a lot of people watching can count, you know!

”Maniac” Matt Bourne goes up against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Best match so far, considering both guys can go. It starts off fast and enthusiastic and keeps going for as long as the match goes. Sadly, it only lasts a couple minutes. Bourne tosses in some nice suplex work and Steamboat ends up winning with a crossbody off the top.

Brutus Beefcake faces David Samartino, who is accompanied by his legendary father Bruno. Beefcake is mentioned as being from Parts Unknown. Of all the people to get that label, they use Beefcake? He’s not some kind of mysterious nutjob. He’s just a charismatic jerk.

Beefcake’s charisma is all that keeps this watchable. It isn’t bad in the beginning when Samartino is outwrestling Beefcake and making a fool out of him, but then he starts applying crap submission holds for a lot of the match and it becomes extremely boring. At the very least, you can see sparks in Beefcake’s performance that make you understand that some people probably saw him as the future of the business.

Beefcake’s manager Johnny Valiant gets David on the outside and bodyslams him. This causes Bruno to hit the ring and all four start going at it. It’s a double disqualification, but the Samartinos are the ones standing strong.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine defends the Intercontinental Championship against the Junkyard Dog. Like I mentioned earlier, this is lead-up to Santana/Valentine, so we know the JYD probably isn’t going to come out with the gold. But you know what the Dog does get? Theme music! Yeah, eat that, people of this era who aren’t Hogan and Wendy Richter!

I never got to see much of Junkyard Dog since he was before my time, but he always hit me as someone who had a ton of personality and weak in-ring skills, but he became especially watchable when put up against a good worker. Thank God for Greg Valentine. Valentine would work over Junkyard Dog and then miss an elbow drop, leaving him open for Junkyard Dog’s trademark crawling headbutts. He tries for the Figure Four, but gets kicked away. The Dog even tricks Valentine into elbowing Jimmy Hart off the apron. Valentine ends up getting a pin out of nowhere, but with hits legs on the ropes.

That’s all well and good, but then Tito Santana runs out to tell the referee what really went down. The referee, despite having absolutely zero proof, decides that he can trust Tito Santana (maybe he owed him a favor) and reverses the decision. The match will continue! Which means nothing, since Valentine just leaves and lets himself get counted out. Oh well.

The US Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) defend the Tag Team Championships against Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Originally, the US Express had “Born in the USA” playing them to the ring, but the company decided not to pony up the cash for the rights when the Wrestlemania DVD set came out. Amusingly enough, Jillian Hall made fun of them for that a year or so ago when they were scheduled to have a “Wrestlemania rematch” on Raw.

Volkoff does his routine where he sings the Russian National Anthem, which gets HUGE heat. The way he keeps it unfazed when getting pelted with garbage from all angles is impressive. Volkoff is the weak link of the four, but there’s nothing awful about his performance. With the Iron Sheik, I’m pleasantly surprised. I never realized how much speed and strength the guy had back in the day.

It’s a solid tag team affair to the point that I’d even call it the match of the night. Once Rotundo gets a hot tag to Windham, the whole thing becomes chaotic with all four guys in the ring. The Sheik is thrown out, but comes back in with his manager Blassie’s cane. He uses it on Windham while the ref isn’t looking and gets the pin and the belts. I knew Rotundo and Windham wouldn’t disappoint, but I’m genuinely surprised that the other guys kept up as much as they did.

Andre the Giant faces Big John Studd in a $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge. The point of this match is that Andre has to bodyslam Studd before either he loses, gets bodyslammed himself or the time limit expires. I think those are the rules. It’s never crystal clear. If he does, he gets a big bag of Bobby Heenan’s money. If he doesn’t, he has to retire. It begins with some decent brawling between the two, where Studd ends up rolling out. They only have precious moments before they’re both too tired to look exciting, so I enjoy what I can get.

Andre throttles Studd by the neck and to his credit, Studd does a good job selling and showing off mobility for a guy his size. He goes to bodyslam Andre, but can’t quite do it. The fans start up a loud, “SLAM!” chant for Andre. The excitement dies down when Studd puts Andre in a bearhug and they both take a nap. At least, that’s what it looks like. Andre forces his way out, kicks Studd a couple times in the legs and pulls off a bodyslam out of nowhere. He takes the money and starts tossing handfuls of it to the crowd until Heenan steals it away and bolts into the back.

Leilani Kai defends the Women’s Championship against Wendy Richter. Kai gets Fabulous Moolah in her corner while Richter gets Cyndi Lauper in hers. Surprisingly, they keep “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” as the theme in the DVD version. They’re willing to pay up for that song, but not Big Boss Man’s “Hard Time” or the Demolition theme? Ludicrous!

I can only describe this exhibition as a sloppy mayhem of a match. It’s best summed up in the opening moments where Kai backs Richter in a corner and tries for a punch. It gets blocked. Richter responds with a hilarious haymaker that sends Kai flying across the ring. It’s honestly one of the worst pro wrestling punches I’ve ever seen. The one cool spot in the match has Richter deliver leg scissors to Kai from the front. Kai grabs her by the hair and picks her up, then sets her down on her feet. Richter punches her back, grabs her and… well, then it goes back to sucking as they simply fall over.

Moolah gets involved by grabbing Richter’s hair from outside of the ring until Lauper makes the save. The end is incredibly sloppy. Kai hits a crossbody off the top and hits it. Richter is on her back for a beat and then rolls her over for a pin. There’s no momentum to make it look right. Gorilla Monsoon has to try his hardest to make sense of it during the replay.

Now the main event. Hulk Hogan and Mr. T face “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. So strange to not have Hogan in a title match, especially since he’s the champ. Liberace, the guest timekeeper, gets to have his own extravagant entrance by dancing around with the Rockettes for no reason whatsoever except that it’s Wrestlemania. Muhammad Ali is brought in as the outside referee, meaning he gets to hang out outside the ring, break up one fight and then call it a day. Piper gets a marching band of bagpipe players to lead him to the ring. He also has “Cowboy” Bob Orton in his corner, wearing his trademark cast. To make up for that, Hogan and T have Jimmy Snuka in their corner.

The start plays up the crowd’s excitement by starting with Orndorff and Hogan in the ring. Without a single grapple, Orndorff decides to tag in Piper. Hogan tags in Mr. T. T and Piper have a badass staredown that leads to the two slapping the hell out of each other. Piper starts grappling and Mr. T does a commendable job keeping up. Mr. T is obviously going to be the weak link here since he isn’t a real wrestler, but his role is mainly downplayed and his few moments make him look good. Later in the match he pulls off some decent hip tosses and bodyslams.

The heels decide to leave for a bit, but Hogan breaks the referee’s count so that Piper and Orndorff change their mind. Hogan gets Piper with the Big Boot, propelling him out of the ring, followed up with Orndorff clotheslining Hogan out. On the outside, Piper cracks him with a chair to the back. Hogan spends a good chunk of the match as the face in peril until Orndorff misses an elbow from the top rope and Hogan makes the tag to T.

Things get busy and even Orton and Snuka get in the ring. Behind the ref’s back, Orndorff puts Hogan in a full nelson and Orton jumps off the top with his cast-covered arm out. Hogan twists himself and Orndorff gets clobbered instead. Orndorff is pinned and the other heels leave the ring without him in disgust. It sets up Orndorff’s face-turn, especially as Hogan and T seem genuinely compassionate about Orndorff’s well-being when he wakes up angry and confused. Orndorff leaves alone and the faces celebrate their win with an exhausted post-match promo.

At thirteen minutes, this is the longest match of the show. There’s a lot of odd things about this show, but I guess that was the style of the time. It’s not too memorable outside of being the first Wrestlemania, but it isn’t quite as bad as you’d expect.


Date: March 24, 1991
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California
Notable Debuts: The Undertaker, Crush, the Legion of Doom, Sergeant Slaughter

Wrestlemania 7 gets a bad rap for exploiting the Gulf War and rightfully so, but that’s part of the charm. More than any other Wrestlemania, it’s one big time capsule. Rodney King gets namedropped. Instead of signs, people hold up that old school accordion printer paper with the tear-away punched holes on the sides. This show is also famous for having to move to a smaller venue due to “bomb threats”, even though it’s really because they hadn’t sold nearly enough tickets. Hard to understand considering the show has like two billion matches on the card!

The Atmosphere

The whole war backdrop leads to one of the cooler looking setups in Wrestlemania history, where they take the classic logos and add a little red, white and blue all around. There are a TON of backstage interviews, mostly involving the celebrity guests Alex Trebek, Regis Phiblin and Marla Maples. Marla Maples, whose only claim to fame was being married to Donald Trump, does a big pile of nothing. Really. She just shows up to interview the Nasty Boys backstage and gets drowned out by the Hart Family hooting, hollering and breaking out the champagne. Bobby Heenan pranks around and gets Regis and Alex to take part in some awkward interviews. Alex has a really, really weird interview with Demolition (with Crush responding to the interview being over with, “GOOD!”) and gets scared away by Damian when trying to talk to Jake Roberts. Regis ends up getting measured for a casket by the Undertaker, then proceeds to pull off a really racist interview with Tenryu and Kitao where he would get reactions out of them by saying stuff like, “Toyota!” Regis also gets some use in the main event as a commentator.

Other interviews are fantastic. The Rockers have a brief moment where Shawn breaks from being a goody-two-shoes generic face and lets his asshole shelf shine through. You’ll have to take my word on it. The Warlord, Slick, Big Boss Man and Jake Roberts all give some kickass promos, but nothing compares to Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect promising to “Rodney King” Boss Man for the humanoids watching at home. There are still OTHER interviews that are less than stellar, such as Davey Boy Smith talking to his dog about his chances at winning. The last promo shown is Hogan’s, which is also bizarre. Hogan refers to himself as a Hulkamaniac (so he’s marking for himself?), says that Slaughter’s strategies have caused Hogan to pull a complete “360” and by referring to the time of day as “Wrestlemania 7” instead of “tonight”, he suggests that they pre-taped the interview long before the show. He even tears his shirt off even though he’s going to be wearing another shirt and tearing it off in the ring in about three minutes.

Legion of Doom are the highlight, with Hawk’s awesomely bad line, “Power and Glory! POWER and GLORY! When we’re done with you, you’re gonna be SOUR! …and GORY!”

Donald Trump, Chuck Norris, Henry Winkler and Lou Ferrigno are all shown hanging out together in attendance. New Mount Rushmore? Make it happen, Washington! While the atmosphere is fine for the most part, there is a snag that is thankfully removed from the DVD version of the event: Vince McMahon, George Steinbrenner and the Bushwackers going on for way too long about the pros and cons of instant replay. Uh, why?

The Matches

We’re off to a good start with The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty) vs. Haku and the Barbarian. With Heenan at ringside, his replacement on commentary is Hacksaw Jim Duggan, all decked out in a larger-than-life Uncle Sam ensemble. The two sides work really well with each other. In the beginning, Haku and Barbarian are able to keep up just enough to get tangled up in the Rockers’ fast-paced offense. When things slow down for them, they’re at least able to use the Rockers’ speed against them, like catching a quick Michaels with a powerslam. It makes both teams look good. Barbarian gives the high risk a try of his own and goes for a top-rope headbutt. He misses and the Rockers get a win through a top-rope dropkick from Marty and a top-rope crossbody from Shawn.

Then it’s Dino Bravo vs. “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich. This is where the event gets iffy. For what it is, it’s a decent showing. Dino heels it up by attacking Tornado before he can get his jacket off and they play up the drama of how critical Tornado’s Von Erich Claw is by having Dino evade it and later end up in it due to a top-rope attack gone bad. Tornado hits the Tornado Punch and gets the win. Like I said, it’s okay for what it is, but the match is barely over 3 minutes. There’s no angle between the two. There’s a lot of this at Wrestlemania 7. On the surface, it’s a good showcase of wrestling storylines reaching their climax. But under the surface is a spattering of quick nonsense matches that are hastily tossed together between guys who aren’t doing anything else. It’s a real feel of quantity over quality.

I might catch some flak for this, but I consider “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. the Warlord to be the best match at Wrestlemania 7. I’d even call it one of my all-time favorite matches, period. You’d think a match between two guys of that size would be a snoozer, but they deliver. The angle going in is simple but effective: despite Bulldog being so big and strong, the Warlord is bigger and seems to be stronger. Not only do people question that the Bulldog can escape the Warlord’s Full Nelson, but they also question if the Bulldog can pick the Warlord up for the running powerslam. Bulldog’s going into a match against a guy who appears to trump his main attributes and he’s going in with the threat of zero offense and defense when it comes to finishers.

What he does do is play up his speed. He’s still far more agile than the Warlord and uses that by shoulderblocking the hell out of him. Usually this spot would be used as a test of strength to show how evenly matched the two are, but Bulldog keeps hitting it quickly again and again from various angles to the point that the Warlord has to go down. Warlord himself adds to the match with a cute pinning sequence. Bulldog goes for a Sunset Flip and rather than fall on his back, Warlord falls to his knees so he’s pinning Bulldog down. Warlord flexes his arms out of dominance and Bulldog is able to use that piece of hubris to hook his free legs around the Warlord’s arms and bring him down for his own pin attempt. Late in the match, the Warlord gets Bulldog in the Full Nelson, but can’t quite lock his fingers together. Bulldog is able to break out of the hold to a huge pop and proves everyone wrong by picking up the Warlord and hitting the running powerslam for the win.

The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) defend the Tag Team Championship against the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags). When it’s Anvil in the ring, things are pretty exciting with he and Knobbs brawling. The surprising thing is that when Bret’s in there, things start to slow to a crawl. Maybe I can blame it on Sags or whatever, but it is weird that Bret does nothing of note in a match that exists to free him from tag team responsibilities so he can go forth on a singles career. There’s a spot where Sags accidentally hits Knobbs with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, leading to Knobbs getting hit with the Hart Attack, but Sags is able to nail Bret with Jimmy’s motorcycle helmet so that the Nasty Boys can get the win and steal the titles.

And then we get to one of the more infamous matches of this PPV: Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “The Model” Rock Martel in a Blindfold Match. Without any context, this would come off as one of the worst matches ever, but I have a soft spot for it due to the angle surrounding it. For MONTHS, the Jake vs. Model rivalry wasn’t based on Jake wanting to beat the Model or pin him or any of that. We, the fans, didn’t care either. We just wanted to see Jake get his hands on him. Those kinds of storylines are few and far between. The idea of putting them both in blindfolds (that they could obviously see through) makes this the perfect blow-off match. The suspense isn’t in who’s going to win, but in how long it’s going to take for Jake to get at the Model.

I’m not saying it’s a good match. Oh, hell no. It starts to drag a few minutes in after the fun and unique aspects of the match die down. One of which being Jake pointing around the ring with the crowd helping out by cheering whenever he’s pointing directly at the Model. There’s also some comedy, like Model accidentally getting too close to Jake’s pet snake Damian, the time he almost murders the referee until realizing he has a shirt on and a more memorable spot where he’s outside the ring with a steel chair. He backs into the corner post, thinks it’s Jake, slams the chair hard and freaks out over his hurt fingers. Eventually, Jake gets his revenge by hitting the DDT, pinning the Model and draping Damian over him.

Oh, and another thing that’s weird about that match: very early on, Jake tries to roll up the Model for a pin. Why? This is a grudge match!

The Undertaker debuts against Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. It’s a glorified squash match is what it is. Undertaker dominates for the most part. When Snuka gets the advantage, the Undertaker no-sells everything and then ducks a crossbody attempt. Snuka tries another crossbody and is caught. It looks like an attempt to reverse it into a Tombstone Piledriver is botched and Undertaker lets him down to try it again. The big winning streak begins here. Also of note is that the commentators keep referring to Superfly as “The Phenom”. What an odd coincidence.

The first of the double main event happens with The Ultimate Warrior vs. “The Macho King” Randy Savage in a Career-Ending Match. Whoever loses has to go. Bobby Heenan is quick to point out that a very sad Miss Elizabeth is in the crowd. Savage has a completely kickass intro, where he and Queen Sherri sit on their thrones as a half dozen jobbers carry them to the ring. The match, presumably booked by Savage himself, is good stuff all around. Early on, Warrior shoves Savage into Sherri, taking her out of the match for a bit. Savage goes for a top rope attack, but Warrior catches him… only to set him back down on his feet and slap the utter taste out of his mouth!

Sherri is able to interfere (all while showing way too much ass to the camera), which distracts Warrior enough that Savage can nail him from behind on various occasions. The only real problem with the match is a moment where Warrior runs across the ropes too many times to go for a jumping shoulderblock, even though Savage is barely even on his knees, which is awkwardly dodged. Or one could argue that there’s a problem with Randy Savage hitting his top-rope elbow drop FIVE TIMES and having the Warrior kick out.

To make it slightly more fair, Warrior hits all his finishers on Savage and is shaken to the core that Savage kicks out. Warrior then goes into a daze, asking the gods above if his career isn’t meant to continue. As he contemplates leaving the match, Sherri tries to hold him down over the metal barrier on the outside as Savage goes for a top rope axe-handle. Warrior dodges it and finishes Savage off with three running shoulder blocks with enough power to blast Savage out of the ring. Warrior gets the pin by placing one foot on Savage’s chest and lives to be crazy as a career for another day. Sherri attacks Savage for his failure, only for Elizabeth to run into the ring and fight her off. Savage and Elizabeth are reunited, Savage turns face and a whole lot of fans in the crowd get WAAAAAY to into it.

Like you reading this review, this is the moment where watching the show you realize, “Shit, we still have seven matches to go!”

Demolition (Smash and Crush) vs. Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao is another one of those matches that just didn’t need to be there. It’s a short match, but a sloppy one too. Tenryu is okay at points, but Kitao working with Demolition isn’t the easiest thing to watch. Tenryu wins by hitting a powerbomb. For Wrestlemania 7, it’s a revolutionary move, but Tenryu hits it so softly and without any impact that it’s hard to care.

Mr. Perfect defends the Intercontinental Title against the Big Boss Man, which is another highlight match. The two have great chemistry and enough joint charisma to fill a volcano. I have no idea if that statement makes sense, but I stand by it. As the match opens, Mr. Perfect tries to taunt Boss Man by throwing his towel at him. Boss Man proceeds to wipe his ass with the towel, smack Perfect with it and spit on him. Damn!

Perfect bumps like crazy for Boss Man and the match is so electric that I wonder why Boss Man’s face run never took off as well as I feel it should have. Andre the Giant, who hasn’t appeared in the WWF since the previous Wrestlemania, lumbers over to cause trouble for Mr. Perfect. I would rate this match as high as Bulldog/Warlord if it wasn’t for the complete clusterfuck ending where Haku and the Barbarian interfere and get Perfect DQ’d. They all brawl on the outside, mainly due to Andre’s unfortunate inability to get into the ring. Boss Man gets his final win against the Heenan Family, which is more important than the Intercontinental Title that escapes his grasp. Plus it adds to the idea that Sergeant Slaughter might get himself DQ’d in his match against Hogan later on.

Earthquake vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine is a quick squash match, but in a way that still gives Valentine some respect. There is a point where he is able to hit the Figure Four on Earthquake, but Jimmy Hart distracts him and Earthquake takes advantage. Even after the match, when Earthquake goes for a second Earthquake Splash, Valentine is able to roll out of the ring and save himself.

Now, Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) vs. Power and Glory (Hercules Hernandez and Paul Roma), on the other hand? THAT is a real squash. The entire match lasts less than a minute, ending with the Doomsday Device. What started out as a grudge match becomes the bookers saying, “Don’t be so down over the Nasty Boys being the champs. You still have LOD! See? Power and Glory never stood a chance!”

”The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. Virgil is merely okay. It’s another big feud where Virgil – helped out by his injured mentor Roddy Piper – has stepped up against his former boss and has regained his dignity in the process. Virgil plays up his boxing style in the beginning and once the tide turns to Dibiase’s side, the match flows all right. Dibiase goes to the outside and attacks Piper. Shortly after, Piper uses a crutch to pull down the top rope as Dibiase flies over it. Dibiase is counted out and Virgil gets the win.

The ending sequence is something that helps out everyone. Virgil gets a victory. Sensational Sherri arrives to help Dibiase beat down Piper, which both retains Dibiase’s heat and gives Sherri a new direction. Once they’re gone, Virgil yells at Piper to, “GET UP!” Doing so gives some heat towards Piper. Everybody wins.

Say what you will about the wrestling quality and amount of matches, this Wrestlemania has some top-notch booking.

That is, if you ignore the extremely short match of Tito Santana vs. The Mountie. Tito decimates Mountie early on with his Flying Forearm and continues to punish him, but Mountie gets him in the gut with his cattle prod when the ref isn’t looking. That’s it! Match over!

Time for the main event of Sergeant Slaughter defending the WWF Title against Hulk Hogan. We’ve thrilled at watching Hogan fight monsters who dwarf him. We’ve sat on the edge of our seats to see him fight those who rival him in style and rank. Now… we get him fighting a dumpy, over-the-hill, bald guy in an embarrassing gimmick. This is a horrible main event. Horrible. Even with all the heat in the lead-up, it doesn’t pay off. I mean, the match starts off with AGGRESSIVE LOCKUPS! Seriously? Slaughter sells well enough at times, but he also gives Hogan the weakest chairshot I can recall.

Hogan’s been hyping that he’s going after Slaughter with a “new set of rules”, but he does the same match as always. Even when you look past the lack of energy in 80% of the match, a lot of it makes zero sense. Slaughter puts Hogan in the Boston Crab with the ropes only INCHES to the side. It’s the most ridiculous excuse at suspense and even Regis is wondering why Hogan doesn’t just touch the rope that’s completely in reach. Then there’s a point where Slaughter can get a pin on Hogan, but his manager General Adnan is distracting the ref. For what reason? If anything, the match at least has a cool double-stomp from the top-rope by Slaughter. The end has Slaughter drape the Iraqi flag over Hogan’s bloody body and go for the pin. Hogan kicks out, Hulks out and hits his trademarks before getting the win. America wins! Yay!

If they dropped a bunch of the lesser matches, dropped the main event and made Warrior/Savage about the title, this would have been an absolute classic.

Day One (#25-24)
Day Two (#23-22)
Day Three (#21-20)
Day Four (#19-18)
Day Five (#17-16)
Day Six (#15-14)
Day Seven (#13-12)
Day Eight (#11-10)
Day Nine (#9-8)
Day Ten (#7-6)
Day Eleven (#5-4)
Day Twelve (3-1)

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3 comments to “The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Three”

  1. If I recall, the reasoning behind the blindfold match was that Martel had BLINDED Jake with his perfume spray (top five wrestling weapon, no doubt) so in order to make the match fair they both wore blindfolds. I was eight years old and I remember thinking Jake had to really be blind because when he took off his sunglasses he was wearing these white contact lenses.