I’m going to go back through these and update some stuff since this is the weirdest Mania week ever. 1-5 anyway. Enjoy them. I know everyone is bored.
March 31, 1985
New York, New York
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
- The Fink introduces “Mean” Gene Okerlund to sing the National Anthem…he wasn’t the worst I’ve ever heard.
- “Lord” Alfred Hayes (with the actual Program) spouts nonsense about the first match. Alfred contributes both jack and shit to this presentation and it only annoys me further as we go along. Expect bitterness to come.
- Gene is with Erik Estrada…sorry, I’ve been told that’s Tito Santana. Tito cuts a very bland promo about his upcoming match against the ever so “mysterious” Executioner.
- Gene is now with Buddy Rose…er the “mysterious” and “undefeated” Executioner who proceeds to cut a worse promo. Not a hot start on the mic guys.
Tito Santana v The Executioner
This is an answer to a trivia question and little else. Tito hit a nice flying forearm but other than that this match was more plain than a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread. Also Buddy Rose being in the first WrestleMania just seems wrong. 0-1
Winner: Tito gets the submission victory with the Figure Four.
- Alfred continues to steal his paycheck by boring me about the next match.
- Gene is with S.D. Jones who says that he is ready! Spoiler Alert…he wasn’t.
- King Kong Bundy has a retort that is also not very good. Scripted promos aren’t ALWAYS a bad thing.
S.D. Jones v King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart)
This was the Kayfabe fastest match in WrestleMania history for a long time with a fake time of 9 seconds. The actual match consisted of a bear hug, a Avalanche and a splash, so it was about 30 seconds in actuality. It wasn’t much but at least it was memorable. i’m going to give it a point purely for historical significance and not match quality, of which really there was none. 1-2
Winner: Bundy killed him with an Avalanche and splash in record time.
- Gene is with Matt Bourne, who I feel needs a more colorful gimmick. Something REALLY colorful.
- Gene tries to walk Ricky Steamboat through an interview next and fails. Luckily Steamboat was freaking JACKED so talking wasn’t a necessity.
Matt Bourne (or Borne on the graphic) v Ricky Steamboat
Have you ever watched a match where you knew there wasn’t technically wrong but nothing stood out in any way what so ever? My actual notes just said “solid,basic and short” I didn’t even make anymore Doink the Clown jokes. That being said, Ricky was in phenomenal shape and I’m not surprised that Vince wanted to push him. Eh, lets call it 2-3 just for funzies.
Winner: Ricky got the pin via flying crossbody.
- Lord Alfred continues to ruin my day by reading the damn program and pretending to be an expert.
- Gene is with David and Bruno Sammartino, the string of shit interviews continues.
- Gene continues to try and walk people through interviews, this time Beefcake and “Luscious” Johnny . Gene should get Alfred’s paycheck for the night.
Brutus Beefcake (w/”Luscious” Johnny V) v David Sammartino (w/Bruno)
For some reason when you hear about the greatest matches in WrestleMania history this match is never mentioned. The reason for this is because it is a steaming pile of shit with a side of shit sauce. David was awful and only had a job because of his dad, I’m talking George Gulas bad (he didn’t have a terrible physique though). Beefcake looked incredible but didn’t develop any skill until about 1990. If not for Bruno outside the ring this would have had no place on the card. The pop he got was amazing. 2-4
Winner: Double DQ after all four men begin to brawl.
- Hey it’s Alfred! Did he have incriminating pictures of Vince?
- Gene gets his first halfway decent interview with “The Hammer”, who is looking like the Dollar store brand Ric Flair tonight.
- JYD ends that streak in a hurry.
Intercontinental Championship: (C) Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) v the Junk Yard Dog
I’ll have “Grab Them Cakes” stuck in my head for another month now. JYD was over as hell and Greg was always an underrated performer so this wasn’t a bad match. Jimmy even got in on the act with a nice bump to the floor. Nice change of pace after that last match. The ending with Valentine using his feet on the ropes would have been fine without the extra gaga. 3-5
Winner: JYD gets the victory via count out after the ref reverses his decision due to Tito Santana being a tattle tail. Really, bitch move bro.
- Eat shit Alfred.
- Gene with Sheik, Volkoff and Blassie so you can guess how that went.
- The U.S. Express and Captain Lou have a bland retort. Wow, the interviews were pre-taped and still sucked balls.
- Volkoff sings the Soviet National Anthem (better voice than Gene) while the Sheik adds his usual spiel.
World Tag Team Championships: (C) The U.S. Express (Barry Windham/Mike Rotundo w/”Captain” Lou Albano) v the Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie)
The crowd was crazy for the Express and were pissed when they lost the belts. The heel side’s slow plodding offense didn’t help the match quality, especially since the babyfaces could work their asses off. This is just another answer to a trivia question and wasn’t actively awful, but it seemed to be booked just to have a title change. The Express deserved better. Eh, 3-6.
Winner: Volkoff pinned Barry after a shot with a cane by the Sheik.
- Gene is with the new champs as Sheik calling him “Gene Mean” is the highlight of the interview.
- Alfred continues to suck.
- Gene talk the Body Slam match with Studd and Brain. Even Bobby didn’t bring the skills like normal. Once again, everyone dogs the written promos but maybe Vince went back, watched this and said “never again”.
$15,000 Body Slam Challenge (If Andre can’t slam Studd he has to retire): “Big” John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan) v Andre the Giant
This was another example of something being set up as a moment rather than a match. The crowd was nuts for Andre but the match itself was nothing to write home about. When Andre hit that body slam the place exploded and you completely forget the garbage that came before it. Heenan stealing the bag of money back after the win was picture perfect “Brain” and another in a long list of reasons he was the greatest. I mean, the ending didn’t make this good though. 3-7
Winner: Andre slammed Studd for the win.
- Gene is with Andre who cuts a promo you can’t understand and continues to cut it after the camera is off him. Who cares? Andre was a world wide treasure and there will never be anything else like him.
- Alfred is sexually assaulted by Kai and Moolah.
- Gene interviews Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper in one of the most 1980’s sentences I’ll ever type.
- Gene interviews Moolah and Kai as I continue to wonder how Moolah ever became a star. Kai was supposed to be from Hawaii but sounded like she lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky for 45 years before that.
Women’s Championship: (C) Leilani Kai (w/ “Fabulous” Moolah) v Wendi Richter (w/ Cyndi Lauper and David Wolff)
The fact that Lauper is not in the Hall of Fame is a ridiculous omission. Without her the “Rock and Wrestling Connection” has no rock, no publicity, no extra fans and probably no WrestleMania. This was every 1980’s women’s match you will ever see, everything was super basic and kinda boring. The pop for Wendi’s win was huge though and that’s all that matters in the end. Still no point though 3-8.
Winner: Richter got the win on a roll through off a body press by Kai.
- Gene is with the new champ and her gang. The only thing I can see is all of the lipstick on Lauper’s teeth.
- Fink introduces us to the special Ring announcer, former Yankee great Billy Martin.
- Billy introduces us to the guest time keeper Liberace who dances with some of the Rockettes. There were people who DID NOT KNOW HE WAS GAY.
- Guest referee Muhammad Ali is introduced to a huge “Ali!” chant.
- The bagpipes begin and so does the introductions for our main event competitors.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper/”Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ “Cowboy” Bob Orton) vs WWE Champion Hulk Hogan/Mr. T (w/ Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka)
This is yet another example of why Hogan is a legend in the wrestling business. The pop he gets is unnatural and the noise lasts for the entirety of the match. The hatred for Piper is palpable and a tribute to what he contributed to this feud as well. Was the match good? Eh, but it really didn’t have to be. It was fine and contributed yet another special moment to this already historic night. The ending with the babyfaces celebrating with all of the celebrities was everything Vince wanted it to be and made this night the special event he wanted. I’ll give this one a point but it’s a history point. 4-9
Winner: Hogan pinned Orndorff after he was hit with Orton’s cast.
- Gene is with the winners. T is so blown up he can’t speak. Hogan cuts his usual 80’s Hogan promo but with a little more excitement than normal. Snuka spouts gibberish.
- Jesse and Gorilla say goodbye while wearing the world’s ugliest tuxes.
Overall Thoughts: It is the first WrestleMania, do you really need my endorsement? Go see it for the historical value and just consider it a bigger than average house show and you won’t be disappointed. Even if you don’t like this one, they make 30+ more so get used to it.
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