4/2/89

Presidential Terror Dome

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Commentators: Gorilla and Jesse

Image result for WrestleMania 5 Poster

  • We start with WWF Women’s Champion Rockin Robin to sing “America the Beautiful”. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t good. Thank God Stephanie McMahon eventually comes along and saves women’s wrestling for the world. Praise be to Stephanie!

 

King Haku (with Bobby Heenan) vs Hercules

Brain earns his money as soon as he grabs the mic in that ugly ass Eddie Murphy jacket. The heat is unreal. Haku jumps Herc to start with some chops and kicks. That didn’t work out for him as well as he thought because Herc countered back with a hiptoss,one man flapjack and clothesline over and out before Haku can respond. Hercules stays on fire with a suplex back in and a few big elbows before I remember this character is a moron and he goes after Brain. That goes about as well as you would think and Haku starts working the back. Time to hit the bearhug. Both guys are blown the hell up at this point. Herc escapes and hits a crossbody for 2. Haku tries to respond with a crossbody of his own  but misses. Her fires up with some clotheslines and a powerslam for 2. Herc then goes Lucha and tries something from the top only to get a superkick from Haku. Haku then tries his own ropework but misses a diving headbutt. One back suplex and it was over. This was fine but nothing you would want to sit through a lot. I forgot how much I liked Herc’s punches though.

Winner: Hercules gets the shoulder up and a back suplex for the pin.

 

  • Mean Gene is back with the Rockers. I don’t want to say they were on drugs but Shawn was awfully sweaty for a guy just standing there.

 

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Jive Soul Bro was the only reason for this match.

The Twin Towers (Akeem and the Big Boss Man) (with Slick) vs The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)

Gorilla said the Rockers were “Tag Team Specialists” but for some reason I heard it as COCAINE specialists…probably both correct. The Rockers started out hot with quick tags, double teams and cheap shots on the big guys. They keep doing well until the Boss Man makes a bling tag and the Towers squash Marty. Poor Marty continues to be made into a pancake by the Towers with a big Double Avalanche in the corner. Slick “What we need is a black referee!” I bet he wouldn’t get to ref the Hogan match. The Towers finally miss a double team and the hot tag is made to Shawn. Shawn is on fire until Akeem tries to murder him with a clothesline. Boss Man misses a top rope splash and the Rockers start back with the double teams. Shawn got a little too fancy though and gets caught off the top with a powerbomb by the Boss Man. One 747 later and that’s all she wrote. This was a fun little vs big contest. The Rockers hung in there with them pretty well considering the time period.

Winner: The Towers got the win after a 747 splash from Akeem on Mr. WrestleMania.

 

  • Tony Schiavone is with the Million Dollar Man and Virgil. Beefcake has not shot apparently.
  • Ted shakes the future President’s hand before the match. Watch those hands Ted.

 

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This should have been the entire match.

“Million Dollar Champion” Ted Dibiase (with Virgil) vs Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Brutus has a top 10 all time mullet in this period. Holy crap. Beefcake starts out running all over ted. He kicks his ass with basic stuff and sends him to the floor to stall a couple of times. Dibiase finally gains control when Virgil gets involved. He drops a nice double ax handle off the second rope for a 2 count. Beefcake manages to block Dibiase with a small package for his own 2. Ted gets a suplex to try and regain momentum but both guys nail a double clothesline to slow the match down. Ted nails another suplex and gets the Million Dollar Dream locked in until Brutus makes the ropes. Ted tries to ram Beefcakes head into the buckles but that only fires him up. The Sleeper is locked in by the Barber but Virgil once again plays a factor. Beefcake goes after Virgil on the floor which causes Ted to follow where they brawl to finish this off. It was fine but nothing super memorable from either guy really.

Winner: Double count out.

 

  • After the match Beefcake catches Virgil in the sleeper and chases off both guys with the clippers. At least I get to hear that sweet Brutus music twice in one show. I loved that crap as a kid.
  • Alfred Hayes joined the Bushwhackers at the WrestleMania brunch. Hilarity ensued. I guess.

 

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond) (with Jimmy Hart) vs The Bushwhackers

I love the Rougeaus theme song and the crowd loves the Bushwhackers so there was something for everybody. Poor Jimmy almost loses his jacket to the BW’s until the Rougeaus make the save. Poor Jimmy ends up taking a bump anyway. The Whackers hit a battering ram early to take control but the Rougeaus regroup. Once back in the brothers take control for a couple of minutes but then fall victim to the absolute geniuses that were the men from New Zealand. This was all comedy and not much else. You can’t hate on it too much because the crowd loved it.

Winner: The Bushwhackers got the pin on Raymond after the Battering Ram/Gutbuster Combo.

 

  • Sean Mooney is in the crowd but gets in the path of the Bushwhackers and finds himself licked.

 

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Insert sad face emoji here.

Mr. Perfect vs The Blue Blazer

Well, this match makes me sad. I must have only seen the cut up version of this match because it is a lot longer than I remember it being. Perfect starts with a biel and some disrespect early. Blazer doesn’t take to kindly to that and takes over with a drop toe hold, multiple slams and a dropkick that sends the perfect one to the floor. Blazer stays in control until he goes up top and takes a splash to the gut. Perfect then takes over and attacks the back. Perfect doesn’t keep control fro long because the Blazer fights back with a powerslam, belly to belly and a crucifix all for consecutive 2 counts. The last one got him though and Perfect was able to thwart the upset. The version I saw of this match for most of my life had Blazer hitting like 2 moves and taking the Perfect-plex but this was not that match. Blazer was in offense for 75% of this version and it was a lot better than I remembered. The Network rules sometimes.

Winner: Perfect got the victory after a huge forearm and the Perfect-plex.

 

  • Jesse poses before his adoring crowd.
  • Alfred covers the 5k run that Fuji was participating in earlier in the day.
  • Run-DMC give the world the “WrestleMania Rap”. Somehow there wasn’t world peace immediately following.
  • We get a recap of the demolition and Powers of Pain feud and double turn.
  • Mean Gene is with Demolition who threaten the POP and Fuji. I don’t care if they were a Road Warriors rip off or not, the damn ROAD WARRIORS were rip offs. Demolition was a better in ring team, period. Fight me.

 

WWF Tag Team Championship/2 on 3 handicap: (C) Demolition (Ax and Smash) vs The Powers of Pain (Barbarian and the Warlord) and Mr. Fuji

This was the first ever handicap match in the Federation for the titles. The Demos dominate early with quick tags on both Warlord and the Barbarian. The momentum only changed when Ax tried to go after Fuji. The POP dominate for a few minutes with some basic power stuff and even get Fuji involved in the action. Fuji goes up and either misses a senton or a legdrop (whatever it was it missed and looked like shit) and Ax was able to tag out after a missed clothesline from Warlord. Smash comes in and lays a beat down on the POP until a big brawl erupts between everyone. Fuji tries for the salt throw but Smash moves and it hits the Warlord. Once Fuji was alone with Demolition it was all over but the crying. This was not the best matchup. I don’t remember a good Powers of Pain match ever and the Demos were not the team to carry other powerhouses to greatness. Fuji didn’t help.

Winner: Demolition got the win after hitting the Decapitation on Fuji.

 

  • Tony Schiavone is outside Macho Man’s dressing room and that is not a place you would want to be at that point.

 

“Canada’s Strongest Man” Dino Bravo (with Frenchie Martin)  vs “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin

Before we get started they waste some more time on this show by introducing Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. He walks down to the ring, remembers he killed someone (allegedly) and walks back out. Riveting. Finally we get under way with Bravo jumping Garvin from behind while he tries to throw his towel into the crowd. He keeps control with his severely limited offense and I try to stay awake. Finally Garvin gets into it with some punches and chops. He even manages to get a 2 count after having a piledriver reversed. He got a little cocky though and walked into an inverted atomic drop and then the finish. This match was awesome when Garvin was punching. Sadly that wasn’t the entire match. should have been cut for time.

Winner: Dino picked up the win following his devastating side suplex that couldn’t break a fucking egg. I think this show is starting to make me bitter.

 

  • Garvin is a poor sport after the match and punches Dino out from behind and then beats up Frenchie Martin. What a sore loser.

 

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I love the Busters and Strike Force sucked.

The Brainbusters (Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson) (with Bobby Heenan) vs Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel)

Rick starts out hot and is even able to overcome Arn trying to cheat. Kids if you like the Revival take a look at the Brainbusters and realize where they stole all their shit from. Strike Force is in this thing early with some tandem moves liked dropkicks and Figure 4’s (straight up Rock & Roll Express match). Tito gets in there and the Busters take over on him. He makes a blind tag but tries to follow it up with a flying forearm that nails Tito. That’s when the real show starts. The Busters dominate Tito and every time he almost makes a tag they cut him off. When he finally makes it to his corner Rick walks away and then leaves him alone to face his fate. Brilliant heel turn and the fact that the Busters were such cocky jerks after made it that much better. Arn even tossed Tito into the corner where Martel was to rub it in. What an awesome dick. Good match, great story.

Winner: The Brainbusters nailed the spike piledriver on Tito for the finish.

 

  • Gene is with Rick who cuts a pretty fired up heel promo even with the accent.

 

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Ugh.
  • Next up we get Pipers Pit. I love Roddy Piper, I really do… but man did this show not need this at all. If you’ve never seen it, Brother Love ends up in his undies and Morton Downey Jr. (An apparent Jerry Springer type talk show dick) gets a fire extinguisher blast to the face after blowing smoke at Piper. There, I saved you 20 minutes. Downey was the fucking worst, glad I never caught his garbage ass show. Piper deserved better.
  • Alright! More filler! Gene gives us the world premiere of the No Holds Barred trailer. That movie was terrible AND awesome at the same time.
  • Sean Mooney interviews the future President of this great nation and not one single mother fucker in that building would have believed that shit, nor anyone watching live on PPV. What a weird world.
  • Jesse gets hot about Hogan trying to take his turf. Don’t worry Jesse, you will be OK.
  • A lengthy video package on the history of the Mega Powers.
  • Hogan cuts a coked up promo with Mean Gene. My favorite part was the dude that got in trouble over some shit he said in a sex tape with a buddies wife acting like Macho was crazy and jealous. Sure Hulk, you’d never lust after anyone. What a dick.
  • Finally we get back to some action but before that I want to add that when I was a kid I always sided with Gorilla. As an adult I realize I was a dumb little bastard and everything Jesse says is mostly true while Gorilla is a homer in the worst possible way. Oh yeah, wrestling.

 

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Jake trying to fight off his demons.

Andre the Giant (with Bobby Heenan) vs Jake “the Snake” Roberts/ Guest Referee Big John Studd

This was in Andre’s deathly afraid of snakes period. It was also in his, shouldn’t be anywhere near a fucking ring because he couldn’t move period. Knowing the pain he was in at this point in his life makes this hard to watch. Andre jumps Jake before the bell and rams him into an exposed turnbuckle. Other than some hope spots Andre beats him down for a few minutes until he gets caught in the ropes like always. Jake looked ridiculous trying to fight Andre even watching it now. You just can’t buy it. Andre eventually knocks him out of the ring and keeps him there which draws the ire of Studd and they get into it. Jake goes for the bag but Dibiase and Virgil come down to try and steal it. Jake gets it back and saved Studd from an Andre ass whipping. This was a fucking mess and another thing that probably could have been off this show. Poor Andre man.

Winner: Jake won by DQ after Andre shoved Studd from behind.

 

  • Sean Mooney is with the fans and the dud he is with is both drunk and a huge Jake Roberts fan. Mostly drunk though.
  • Tony is with Sensational Sherri (who looks dynamite without that makeup , don’t fight me on that) who calls out Rockin Robin. She also plants the seed by talking shit to Elizabeth. Sherri was awesome.

 

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart) vs The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman”  Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)

Ah yes, the Beta-version of Rhythm and Blues. Bret and Honky start but it didn’t go well for Honky. He took a regular and inverted version of an atomic drop which he sold like death. The Harts make a couple of quick tags but Honky makes the corner and the Hammer is in to lay in some shots. We get a small cheap heat segment in the heel corner and Honky is now in control of Bret. He nails the Shake, Rattle and Roll but tags Valentine instead of going for the pin. Gorilla’s head exploded on commentary. A figure four attempt is blocked but Hammer still gets a gutbuster on the Hitman. Bret gets a crossbody coming off the ropes and makes the hot tag to Anvil. The big man is on a roll with shoulder blocks and standing dropkicks. That poor guy was always underrated as to what he could pull off in his prime. Valentine tries the eye poke but the Harts kept control anyway. Bret with some of the usual, in this case a vertical suplex and second rope elbow. We get a brawl and Hammer accidentally distracts the ref and allows Honky to catch the beating he deserved via some Hart cheating. The Hammer and Honky team were in desperate need of direction around this time and Rythym and Blues wasn’t too much of an improvement to be frank. The Harts were kinda stuck on the tag team treadmill themselves for a while after this. Bret’s book said they weren’t supposed to be a team for much longer and Bret was going to win the world title 11 times by beating Hogan by submission on every show. He didn’t say that but you can totally buy that he did though. The match was perfectly acceptable wrestling. Once again the show didn’t need it.

Winner: The Harts got the win after a megaphone shot on Honky.

 

  • We get a recap of the Super Posedown from the Royal Rumble. One of the nameless officials looked like Bockwinkel. Definitely bumped pretty well.

 

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Intercontinental Championship: (C) Ultimate Warrior vs “Ravishing” Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan)

Rude and his breathtaking hair try to jump start the match early with a knee to Warrior’s gut. Unfortunately he forgot Warrior still had the belt on. Rude bumps around like a maniac in this one. Warrior shows the offense early with his pose, simple move, pose repeat strategy. It’s like if Scott Steiner wrestled HHH in 03 and forgot how to suplex. Warrior goes to the bearhug early. Must be exhausted from the 100 meter dash 5 minutes ago. Rude gets out of the dreaded rest hold with an eye rake and nails a great missile dropkick that the Warrior essentially no sold. Warrior goes back to the bearhug and then expands his moveset by biting Rude. He then hits every rope to nail a splash but Rude got the knees up. Rude gets a sweet piledriver but can’t make the cover right away. The poor man can’t even swivel his hips. Sad day for all the ladies in the house. He gets a half assed side Russian legsweep (which Gorilla calls a a neckbreaker) and we hit the rest hold again. Warrior makes the ropes and shakes the shit out of them. The dude is gone and can’t move hardly. He nails a flying shoulder tackle and 2 crappy facebusters before barely hitting a backbreaker. He then (even though he can barely stand from being blown up) tries a slam on Rude but kinda stumble/throws/drops the poor bastard out of the ring. Rude needed hazard pay for this shit. Clothesline and a missed Stinger Splash in the corner give rude a second to breathe. The Rude Awakening is blocked by the power of the exhausted dude in facepaint. Warrior clotheslines Rude and then tosses him to the floor and then right back in. He clotheslines him out one more time and makes the mistake of suplexing him back in right in front of the Brain. That’s all she wrote. The Warrior was fucking awful in this thing. He did like 5 moves for the entire contest and 2 of those were damn bearhugs because he couldn’t breathe. I know he was jacked but there wasn’t anyone else on the roster Vince thought could carry the ball? Poor Rude. Also, how was this the first Heenan Family championship? Seems ridiculous in retrospect. Anyway, what I wanted to say this match sucked and you shouldn’t watch it. I thought nostalgia would carry the day but I was wrong.

Winner: Rude wins via Heenan holding Warrior’s leg down on the suplex attempt. Rude’s only Intercontinental Championship.

 

  • After the match that sore loser maniac chases poor Bobby and drops him like a sack of crap on a press attempt because he was exhausted. Wow Warrior.

 

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WAR!

Bad News Brown vs “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

I still feel Brown would be over as hell these days. That guy was mean as shit. Plus I would inevitably hear a story about Low Ki acting like a big shot around him and getting his brains stomped in. Duggan would still be Duggan. Remember that shoot interview where Jim Cornette studied every Kevin Nash match counting moves and got to 5 with the hair flip? That was this match until the end. Punch, kick, eye rake, headbutt clothesline. Thank Jeebus it was short.

Winner: Double DQ when Brown grabbed a chair and Jim grabbed his wood…er…2×4.

 

  • Duggan ran Bad News off after the match with a wad of snot hanging out of his nose. Gross.
  • Gene, in what had a to be a career highlight, interviews the Red Rooster. Poor Terry Taylor.

 

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (with Brooklyn Brawler) vs Red Rooster

See Winner… I got nothing.

Winner: Rooster got a quick win after Heenan rammed his shoulder into the post. This was nothing. Tell me that they couldn’t have cut 5 matches from this show and made it better. 

 

  • Brawler attacks Rooster after the match and RR makes his own save.
  • Gene is backstage with Liz who looks gorgeous, but never did learn to talk very well.
  • Tony is in the other empty locker room for no real reason.
  • Mooney is in the crowd…we needed a longer show I guess.

 

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He should have kept the belt forever.

WWE Championship: (C) “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan (Miss Elizabeth in a Neutral Corner)

Easily one of the biggest match ups of all time. Savage enters first and I still agree with Jesse and think that is disrespectful to the belt. Savage stalls at first but then locks up and Hogan shows off the power advantage. The crowd is nuts for this. Savage pays way too much attention to Liz and runs around a lot in the beginning. He then uses Liz as a shield to keep Hogan at bay. They really didn’t want any cheers for Randy here. Hogan does his “wrestling sequence” that he breaks out on occasion with the reversal, drop toehold and front facelock. Randy is able to nail a belly to back but Hogan no sells that and lands some punches. Randy rakes the eyes and nails the double ax for 2. Savage then goes to the arm and stays in control for a minute by pulling Hogan’s “hair”. This makes Hogan mad and he throws Savage face first to the floor by his tights. Back in Hogan rams him into a couple of buckles, drops some elbows and then rakes his eyes with his boot. What a jerk. Hogan goes for the back body drop but Randy blocks it with a kick and now Hulk is busted open. Savage takes Hulk to chinlock city. Hogan tries to fight back but makes a mistake and gets rolled up by Savage with a handful of tights for 2. Hogan crawls to Savage’s feet and Jesse is in all his glory talking shit on commentary. Savage then kinda screws up by slapping Hogan’s face. That got him punched several times and then slammed from inside the ring to the damn floor. Savage was nuts. Liz starts to get involved but Randy wants no part of it and she gets Hulk rammed into the buckle and herself tossed by the ref. Savage nails the double ax from the top rope onto the floor and Hogan does his best Steamboat impression while holding his throat. Savage uses the top rope clothesline thing and jumps on Hogan’s throat in the ropes to stay in control. He then nails a slam on the big man for 2. Savage then remembers he wrestled in Memphis and uses the wrist tape to choke the shit out of Hulk. Then he says “screw that” and just straight up chokes him down in front of the referee. Savage then heads to the top and nails a beautiful big elbow and then…you know the rest. This is one of the best matches of Hogan’s career and the only thing about it I have a complaint about is Savage not keeping the belt a bit longer because he sure as hell earned it. This match almost made the other 4 hours worth sitting through.

Winner: Hogan won with the Usual and claimed his 2nd WWF Championship.

 

Overall Thoughts: You can never go home again can you? When i was a kid this was one of my favorite shows and now…wow. When I was younger I always rented the Coliseum Home Video version of this event and it was way shorter, plus I didn’t know crap about the sport other than Hulk Hogan won. So life was good. Now sadly I realize that there is a lot of good in this show but I’m afraid the bad may out weigh it. I have the review done and I don’t think I will ever watch the thing in full ever again. The end of an era I guess. 

 

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