This is the first Wrestlemania to take place out of the US borders! Toronto, Canada at the Skydome hosts this one. Due to a recent corporate buyout, it’s now called the Rogers Center, FYI.
1. Koko B Ware vs. The Model Rick Martel
How. How is Koko B Ware in the leadoff match for Wrestlemania VI?
Is it possible that this whole match exists just to put over the Model? Koko starts off on offense really quickly with some bird-based moves – a few dropkicks (after the mighty ostrich), a back body drop (pigeon) and a clothesline (pigeon again).
Martel quickly regains the upper hand, and the two finish off a very serviceable match that ends with Koko submitting to a Boston Crab
Overall: I guess crabs always beat birds?
2. Tag Team Championship: Andre The Giant and Haku vs. Demolition
With Andre as immobile as he is, this match is basically Haku vs. Demolition with occasional assistance from Andre. As always, I am confused by the entrance theme, because Demolition enters to some generic rock music. A random Facebook page informs me that on Colosseum video DVD’s they sometimes overdub the music. Well, this match is ruined.
Unsurprisingly, Haku kicks off the match. He quickly gains the upper hand. Him and Ax mess around for about 8 minutes or so, and it’s all pretty slow and plodding.
Smash eventually comes in and goes nuts. Him and Ax double team the Colossal Connection for awhile, knock Andre over and get the pin on Haku. Demolition take the belts for the third time.
At the match close, Bobby Heenan yells at Andre for being a slow, fat giant, and Andre gives him the old Giant punch for his troubles and then beats up Haku as an added bonus. Andre is a good guy again! He leaves the ring to cheers and accolades.
It occurs to me that Andre’s Wrestlemania record is 0-3 since he turned heel.
Overall: Andre was in the match for maybe 10 seconds.
3. Hercules vs. Earthquake
Earthquake makes his Wrestlemania debut, while Hercules makes his 5th. A quick scan shows that Herc is 2-2-1; lets see if he can pull off a win. I doubt it, I think this was when they were building Earthquake up as an unstoppable monster
Earthquake does not have a ton of stamina, so this match ends pretty quickly. Hercules does an okay job of putting up a fight, but Earthquake sits on him and gets the clean win. A close up looks like Herc must have caught Earthquake with a decent punch at some point in the match as Earthquake is bleeding
Overall: These are really tame starting matches.
4. Mr Perfect vs. Brutus the Barber Beefcake
I’m looking forward to seeing Perfect make this match watchable.
Brutus gets the quick upper hand on Perfect, but the tide turns after some interference from Lanny Poffo. Perfect really takes his time and spends a lot of the match slapping and pushing Beefcake. Out of nowhere, Beefcake does a slingshot into the turnbuckle and knocks Perfect unconscious. Beefcake (ugh) gets the pin. Then he drags Lanny Poffo into the ring, slaps on the sleeper and gives him a haircut.
Overall: Another quick, fast paced match. At least there’s not as much time to get bored
5. Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
This is the match set up at Royal Rumble 90. Piper paints his body half black and I’m not quite clear what the message is here. Maybe it’s just that he’s a huge fan of the original Star Trek?
Do you think the crowd understands whatever point he’s trying to make?
Anyway, there is nothing even close to wrestling in this match. They exchange a bunch of punches and kicks and bites. It’s a total street fight.
The match ends quickly with a double disqualification, and they brawl all the way back to the dressing room. Fun story – the body paint on Piper wouldn’t come off for three weeks
Overall: Meh. Interestingly, the longest fight has been just under 10 minutes. They are really keeping these bouts moving quickly. I wonder if they learned their lesson from the horrible Wrestlemania IV which seemed to last forever?
6. The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks
What I’m finding interesting about re-watching all these matches is how terrible my memory is. I really thought Bret Hart was a singles wrestler much earlier than this, but here we are 6 years after WM 1 and he’s still paired with Neidhart as a tag combo.
So while I was typing the above paragraph, the Hart Foundation won the match in like 17 seconds
Overall: Just when I thought the matches couldn’t get any faster…
7. The Barbarian vs. Tito Santana
Yes! Tito, my man! Against the Barbarian as a solo act – when did the Powers of Pain break up? I sure hope this match isn’t an excuse to put the Barbarian over as a singles wrestler. A wrestler of Tito’s caliber shouldn’t be used like that.
A quick scan shows me that while this is Tito’s 6th Wrestlemania, it’s actually only his 2nd singles match. He’s historically been with a tag team (JYD in WM2, Hart Foundation in WM 3) or in a Battle Royal (WM 4).
Tito starts off by teasing me with what I thought was going to be an awesome Flying Forearm….
.. but it turns out it was just a high cross body. But like three minutes later….
.. he nails it perfectly. Tito goes for the pin but Bobby Heenan interferes. Barbarian nails Tito with a flying clothesline off the top rope, nearly killing Tito and getting the win.
Overall: That was a great match, easily the best of Wrestlemania because it was Tito
8. Macho Man / King Randy Savage and Magnificent Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire
Is this what Macho Man has been reduced to? A mid-card, co-ed match against Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. As the match is starting, they announce Elizabeth and the crowd loses their minds. I guess she’s on the side of Dusty. Fine.
Just to be clear, any time the woman are in the ring, the match grinds to a screaming halt. Sherri (who is an actual wrestler) does a very admirable job trying to keep this looking like a real wrestling match, but this is what she’s dealing with:
The rest of this match is barely worthwhile recapping. It’s garbage and I’m sad for Randy Savage. Even the commentating is weirdly horrible for Jesse and Gorilla, they spend half the match arguing about who double teamed who first. Anyway, Dusty and Sapphire get the win with the help of the Elizabeth and the stupid crowd loves it
Overall: This match was the low point of Wrestlemania VI
9. The Orient Express (Sato and Pat Tanaka) vs. The Rockers
Well I have no idea who these two gentlemen with Mr. Fuji are. I’m sure the Rockers also have no idea, but gamely enter the match anyhow.
Lots of faced paced action to start off the match, with standard Rockers high-energy moves. They get the upper hand for a few seconds before Fuji interferes and the Orient Express have an offensive run on Marty Jannetty and then another one on Shawn Michaels. This match has so far been 100% Orient Express.
Eventually the Rockers get the upper hand and have another great run of high profile moves that the crowd is fairly apathetic to. Stupid, boring Canadian audience.
This one ends with a sweet hit of Fuji Dust. Man, I haven’t seen that in ages.
The Rockers get counted out after that. The Orient Express get the win
Overall: I’m generally underwhelmed by all these matches, but happy they’re so quick
10. Dino Bravo vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Okay, I’m at the point where I refuse to recap matches with Hacksuck. I’ve suffered enough I think. Watching these two clumsy morons wrestle is like watching two monster trucks smash into each other, but with less elegance.
Hacksuck manages to hit Dino with a 2×4 and gets the win. Jokes on him though as Earthquake comes into the ring to double team him. Him and Dino beat up Hacksuck for awhile and Earthquake gives him a bunch of fat splashes and it’s wonderful. I hope they turn his ribs to calcium powder
Overall: I sincerely can’t wait for Hacksucks last PPV
11. Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Ted Dibiase
Jake and Ted. Ted and Jake. One likes money, the other likes snakes. You add a peppy 70’s era Billy Joel song and you’ve got a classic sitcom right there.
This match is “electrifying”. So much so, that the Toronto audience entertains themselves by doing the wave for about 2 minutes. Jesse and Gorilla stop commentating on the match entirely and actually start covering that action in the audience instead. The crowd is deafening and I’m pretty sure none of them are watching the match.
After some more routine back and forth, the match ends with Virgil interfering which results in Jake getting counted out. Jake comes in afterwards and nails the DDT, but it’s too little, too late.
Overall: Really unsatisfying ending
12. Akeem vs. Big Boss Man
Huh. Akeem vs. The Big Boss Man. Is… is this meant to give the crowd a breather so they’re not out of energy? Like just book the shittiest match you can think of so everyone has time to grab drinks and hit the washroom?
Why are we cheering for the Big Boss Man now?
Holy smokes, this is a super long Wrestlemania. As always, I’m impatient for the main event. Come on you fat assholes, wrestle faster.
And as I type this, Boss Man pulls off the clean win with a side slam.
Overall: Hogan! Warrior! Coming up next!
13. Rick Rude vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Nope, not Hogan and Warrior. There’s still one more match. Jesus, this never ends. Before this match started, they have Honky Tonk Man come in and sing a song with Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine in a wig
Rude and Snuka to a pretty decent job in this match and keep the pace nice and quick, but it’s too much at this point. The matches are feeling pretty rushed as everyone impatiently waits for Hogan / Warrior to start. After about 5 minutes, Rude hits the Rude Awakening and gets the pin.
Overall: Good match, but there’s too many in this one
14. Intercontinental / Heavyweight Championship – Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Here’s what you need to know about this match. Hogan wasn’t convinced that Warrior should get the belt and that Warrior “possessed even less wrestling ability than Hogan”. Most importantly, a very young Adam Copeland was live in the Skydome to watch this unfold
This ends up being entertaining on the strength of personalities. The early match is all posturing – tests of strength, pushing, etc. This entire match reminds me of the Warrior / Rick Rude feuds from earlier in the earlier PPV’s. Warrior does okay when he has someone more talented carrying him
The match is designed to play to each of their talents. Lots of big, high impact power moves, coupled with a ton of rest holds – reverse chin locks, bear hugs, etc. Hogan’s Charisma mostly keeps this one entertaining – on the wrestling alone it’s a pretty dull match. It’s a 22 minute match and about 12 minutes are holds.
Interestingly, both men were technically “faces” at the time and the crowd started pretty evenly split between the two. While Warrior was getting his cheers, as the match progressed, the crowd was cheering louder and louder for Hogan
The match culminates with a series of near pins and no-counts after the ref was knocked out. The most surprising part is the ending where Hogan lost clean. No tricks, no cheats, no interference, just a clean pin for the Warrior
Overall: One of the great Wrestlemania matches