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Wrestlemania Countdown: 5

(And now for your reading pleasure, THREE different versions of the same crappy show!)

The Netcop Retro Rant for Wrestlemania V

- Live from Atlantic City, New Jersey, just like the year before, original airdate April 2/1989.

(Memories of this show:  Sitting in the upper deck of the PNE Coliseum in Vancouver with a bored crowd only there to see Hogan v. Savage.  As I recall, they didn’t even have extra screens set up for this, they just showed it on the scoreboard screens.)

- Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.

- Opening match: King Haku v. Hercules.

Haku was still being semi-pushed and Hercules was in his eternal state of limbo. It goes back and forth for about two minutes and then Herc hits a belly-to-back for the pin. This was severely clipped because I remember it being longer and more boring while watching it live in 89. The clipped version was pretty watchable. **1/2  (That was some succinct recapping right there.  And yeah, turns out the full version really was terrible.) 

- The Rockers v. Big Bossman & Akeem.

The Rockers were hungover like shit here, and Jannetty was stoned. (Shawn’s brutally honest recollections of this match, and especially the night before, on his various shoot interviews are all pretty funny.)  Rockers stay out of the way with quick moves until Jannetty gets caught with a bearhug and pounded by the Towers. Michaels gets the hot tag and the Rockers double team Akeem with a double shoulderblock. Akeem catches Michaels with a deadly clothesline that draws "OOooohs". Rockers come back with a double dropkick from the top on Bossman, but Michaels takes another shitkicking and gets powerbombed off a rana attempt, then splashed and pinned by Akeem. Fun big v. little match. **  (I find it weird that they really didn’t have any specific plans for the Towers after their part in the Megapowers split.  They went over so strong here that it should have been a tag title push as a result, and they just kind of tooled around the midcard as house show challengers for Demolition before breaking up.) 

- Brutus Beefcake v. Ted Dibiase.

Stalling to start, then a slugfest and Dibiase takes over and destroys Beefcake. Beefcake escapes the Million Dollar Dream and comes back, hooking his own sleeper. Virgil baits him out of the ring, Dibiase chases, and we have a double-countout. Standard PrimeTime Wrestling main event. *1/4 Virgil gets beat up after the decision. This really had no place on PPV except to remind everyone that both guys are still around.  (1989’s Kane v. Orton, in other words, except that we didn’t get three rematches with escalating stips on the next PPVs afterwards.) 

- The Fabulous Rougeaus v. The Sheepwhackers.

Case in point, this match. Gorilla and Jesse have a hilarious discussion about which of them was retired first. Rougeaus double-team Luke right off the bat and control for most of the match. Luke does something vaguely resembling selling. Jacques tries to start a "USA" chant but the crowd isn't buying. Rougeaus celebrate after their abdominal-stretch/superkick combo and Butch sneaks in and they do the battering ram and stomach breaker on Jacques for the upset win. 1/4*  (Not really an upset since the Rougeaus weren’t winning much at this point anyway.) 

- Curt Hennig v. The Blue Blazer.

This was the debut of the style of tights Hennig still wears to this day. (Well, not anymore.  Sad face.)  Hennig pulls out the first MAN-SIZED bump, going over the top on a dropkick, then Blazer baseball slides him. Back in and Owen with some more wrestling sequences to keep control. Nasty spot as Owen goes for a Money Shot but lands, unsupported, right on Hennig's knees. Match is clipped to Owen getting a crucifix for two, but Hennig gets the Perfectplex for the win. Good match. ***1/2  (Eh, not that good.) 

- Gratuitous washed-up celebrity appearance: Run DMC does a song. I’ve got that damn DX remix stuck in my head yet again now. (Exactly what this bloated show needed:  Pop culture footnotes using up TV time to rap for no reason.  Run DMC at least ended up coming back years later and even got into the Hall of Fame [Rock N Roll, not WWE], but they were definitely last year’s news at this point.  Now Tone Loc, that’s what all the kids were into in 1989.) 

- WWF World tag team title, handicap match: Demolition v. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji.

The Demos were at the height of their power and popularity here. The match itself was set up by the Demos getting double-crossed by Fuji at the Survivor Series. (More evidence of the decompressed nature of the time, as this came five months after their initial angle.)  Standard Demos-Powers match, with Fuji of course getting cheap shots in now and then. Crowd doesn't care about this one. Fuji misses a big move off the top ad Ax makes the hot tag to Smash. Chaos erupts and Fuji goes for the CEREMONIAL SALT OF DOOM, which misses, and Fuji is left alone with the Demos. Mr. Fuji, RIP. Demos retain. 1/4*

- Dino Bravo v. Ronnie Garvin.

After the intros, Finkel introduces Jimmy Snuka, who wanders out, takes a bow, then leaves. Well, that was pointless.  (Indeed, what a weird interlude that was.  However, I’d like to think that somewhere teenaged Michael Cole was getting excited that Snuka had a daughter named Tamina.)  Much like this match, as Bravo proceeds to squash Garvin. Garvin comes back with some token offense but Bravo inevitably gets the side suplex for the pin. Not horrible or anything. *  (Yes it was!  Geez, 1999 Scott, this is WRESTLEMANIA!  Step up the snark!) 

- The Brainbusters v. Strike Force.

Martel had his ass kicked by Demolition so severely that he was put on the shelf for 10 months, and this is his comeback match. Fantastic little NWA-style match to start, as Strike Force pulls out some great double-teams and get their finishers on the Busters early. Santana accidentally hits Martel and knocks him off the apron, and Rick proceeds to do a 5-minute melodramatic oversell of a shot to the head. But there would be a point. Tito takes an absolute shitkicking from the heels as they cheat outrageously. Tito slams Arn off the top and crawls over with his last breath to tag Martel...who promptly walks out on him, drawing a huge heel pop. The result is academic, as the Busters finish Tito with a SWEET spike piledriver for the pin. Bitchin match. ***3/4

- Piper's Pit with Brother Love.

Piper is introduced first with a huge introduction from Finkel, but Brother Love comes out wearing a kilt, and proceeds to do the best Piper imitation I've ever heard, "interviewing" himself. Morton Downey Jr. comes out next and runs down Brother Love while puffing on cigarettes non-stop. If you don't know who Downey is, don't worry, you're not alone -- his fifteen minutes of fame were up faster than John Wayne Bobbit's. (That was a timely reference in 1999, more or less.)  Piper finally comes out and takes over, humiliating Love and ripping off his kilt, which sends him scurrying back to the dressing room. That leaves Downey, who has been throwing cancer sticks at Piper the whole time. Downey gets a wicked verbal jab in at Piper. Piper: "Why do you call yourself Morton Downey Jr.?" Morton: "That's the name your mama gave me." More sparring, and after a bunch of smoke being blown in Piper's face, Piper finds a fire extinguisher and sprays it on Downey. Pretty funny stuff.  (But again, what was the fucking POINT?)

- Jake Roberts v. Andre the Giant.

This was during the "Andre is afraid of snakes" period. John Studd is the special referee. They lumber around for a while and then overbooking takes over as the snake gets pulled out and Ted Dibiase runs in. Studd brawls with Andre and Dibiase brawls with Roberts and the whole thing is a big wash. DUD

- The Hart Foundation v. Greg Valentine & Honky Tonk Man.

Another filler match. Things go back and forth aimlessly for a bit and then a pier-six erupts, during which Bret gets the megaphone and bops HTM for the pin. Bleh. 1/2*

- Intercontinental title match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude.

(I was totally not buying Rude as any kind of a contender at this point, which is probably why it was such a masterstroke to put him over Warrior.)  Longer than usual match for Warrior, as he misses a splash and hits Rude's knees, giving Rude control. BEARHUG OF DOOM bores the crowd before Warrior makes his superman(iac) comeback, clotheslining Rude over the top rope. He suplexes Rude back in, but Heenan pulls out the most cliched cheap screwjob in history (although I'd never seen it at the time), hooking Warrior's leg and resulting in a Rude pinfall, much to the disgust of the crowd. Who would have EVER thought that Warrior would lose at that point? Heenan gets clobbered by the Warrior after the match, which comes back to haunt him later. 1/2*

- Hacksaw Duggan v. Bad News Brown.

The infamous "snot hanging out of his nose" match, so named because Duggan has, well, I’m sure you can guess. A typical Duggan brawl, once again to fill time in an already bloated PPV, which ends in both guys grabbing weapons for a double DQ. Whatever. DUD  (Sadly this should have been pretty awesome given the brawling abilities of both guys.  As a house show main event with 10 minutes and a bunch of garbagy spots, they could have had something.) 

- Bobby Heenan v. Terry Taylor.

Because Heenan was beat up by Warrior, the match lasts 10 seconds as Heenan misses a charge and gets pinned by Taylor. DUD. The Brooklyn Brawler attacks Taylor after the match.  (Did we REALLY need this here?  Would the bored casino zombies have rioted if they only got 120 matches instead of 121?) 

- WWF World title match: Randy Savage v. Hulk Hogan.

Miss Elizabeth is in a neutral corner. And one year after winning the title in his building, it all comes full circle as Savage defends against Hogan. Btw, the champion should NEVER enter first. Jesse points that out, too, a couple of minutes after I typed that. Savage is just drawing unreal heel heat. He's my hero. Chase erupts during the feeling out period, and Savage hides behind Liz. I'm surprised Hogan didn't hit her. (I think I was confusing him with Lex Luger.)  Hogan tries some wrestling (!) and Savage cheats like a motherfucker to take over. Hairpulling, thumb to the eye, you name it. Scott Steiner, take note, that is the proper way to work it in. Savage works on the arm until Hogan tosses him out of the ring to break. Hogan comes back with his limited offense but puts his head down and Savage clobbers him, and Hogan blades. Another mini-comeback by Hogan fails and Savage knees Hogan into the corner. Jesse is in his glory cheering for Savage. Hogan hulks up and does the corner comeback, but his arm is still hurting. Savage takes a MAN-SIZED bump as Hogan slams him over the top to the floor. Liz helps him up and Savage takes a swing at her. Hogan and Savage brawl on the floor, and Hogan tries to do a battering ram job on Savage into the post. Liz blocks his path and Hogan ends up getting shoved into the post. Savage starts jawing with Liz, and Hebner finally has had enough and sends her back to the dressing room. Savage drops the double-axehandle to Hogan, ramming his head into the barricade. Crowd is getting into Savage. Necksnap and elbow on the apron throatfirst to work on the neck, then a kneedrop. Only gets two. Back to the Memphis stuff as Savage chokes Hulk out with the tape. Again, if used in moderation, it works. Savage chokes Hulk out, and then drops the big elbow...but Hogan no-sells. Hulk up. THREE PUNCHES OF DOOM, then the big foot, and the STINKY GIANT-KILLING LEGDROP and Hogan has his precious title back for a second time. "The crowd goes nuts" is putting it mildly. I was totally upset by this match the first time I saw it, but the more I watch it from a distance, the more I like it. I think it stands as one of Hogan's best matches. **** Jesse goes off on a shoot-like rant during the posedown about what an egomaniac Hogan is and how he'll stoop to any level to get his own way. Amen, Jess.

The Bottom Line: Hey, cut out the filler and you've got three killer matches and some fun stuff. A truly epic show to end the year-long Megapowers storyline and send everyone home happy. Hogan *had* to go over, no other ending would be justifiable. (Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Savage was on fire as a heel, they should have had Liz’s involvement lead to the DQ finish so that Savage could continue running roughshod with the title.  Then Hogan could get his big win at Summerslam instead.)  I liked the show, others disagree. I'm sure I'll get disagreement for my Wrestlemania VI rant, which is coming up in the next few days, too.

Recommended show.

(And now, a SECOND version of the Coliseum video rant done a few years later, as I’m now doing proper match times and recaps.) 

The SmarK Retro Re-Rant for Wrestlemania V

- This is the hacked-up Coliseum Video version I’m reviewing, for those who like to keep track of these things and may wonder why the matches are shorter than they remember.

- Live from Atlantic City, NJ.

- Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura.

- Opening match: King Haku v. Hercules.

Kind of an odd choice for an opener. Hercules was coming off his face turn after being “bought” by Ted Dibiase and started sucking up to the Megapowers for the rub, until they self-destructed. Whoops. Haku attacks from behind to start, but Herc comes back with a hiptoss and a slam. Faceplant and he goes after Heenan, but of course gets jumped. Back in, he comes back with a kneelift and some clotheslines, making me think that Haku’s whole heat segment was edited out. Powerslam gets two. Herc goes up but gets superkicked on the way down, and Haku follows with a flying headbutt that misses. Herc finishes with a backdrop suplex at 2:52. This was edited down to nothing, basically. ½*

- Big Bossman & Akeem v. The Rockers.

We’ll just steer clear of the whole “Twin Towers” name, for obvious reasons of good taste. This was Shawn’s Wrestlemania debut. The Rockers dodge the big guys to start and then knock them off the apron with elbows. Shawn claimed in a shoot interview that he was stoned and drunk off his gourd for this match. Bossman powers Shawn up to the top, but Marty distracts him and allows Shawn to hit a missile dropkick. Shawn uses speed to hit both heels, and Marty comes in to work on Akeem’s arm. Akeem makes the blind tag to Bossman, who catches Marty in a bearhug, and they sandwich Marty with a splash. Ouch. Bossman gets the rope straddle and Akeem splashes Marty on the ropes and gets…funky? Bossman splashes Marty in the corner, and then Akeem splashes Bossman for added weight. That’s pretty innovative. Bossman pounds him down and rings his ears, and Akeem comes in, but hits Bossman by mistake. Hot tag Shawn, and he slugs away on Akeem. The Rockers do some double-teaming as they whip Akeem around the ring and hit a double-shoulderblock for two. Akeem shrugs it off and hits Shawn with a vicious clothesline, but Bossman misses a top rope splash and Shawn gets two. Shawn goes for a rana, and Marty trips up Bossman to help with the move, and the Rockers both go up for a double dropkick. That gets two. Akeem finally tosses Marty for lack of anything better to do with him, and Bossman reverses another rana attempt from Shawn with a powerbomb, and Akeem kills him dead with a splash at 6:58. Fun, fast-paced big v. little match with some crazy bumping from the Rockers. **

- Ted Dibiase v. Brutus Beefcake.

Dibiase’s Million Dollar Belt was the consolation prize for not winning the WWF title at Wrestlemania IV. I’m sure that helped him sleep at night. Beefcake’s push was somewhat stalled at this point, as he was floating aimlessly in the midcard. Much like most of the people on this show. Beefcake gets a cheapshot to start and backdrops Dibiase twice, and Ted bails. Back in, they slug it out, and Beefcake wins that fairly handily until Virgil trips him up. Dibiase does some choking as Jesse, future leader of a state, declares that “if you can’t win fair, cheat”. Somehow you KNEW he’d end up as a politician. Fistdrop gets two. Clothesline sets up an elbow off the middle rope that takes FOREVER. That would have been an easy edit. That gets two. He puts his head down, however, and Beefcake gets two off a cradle. Dibiase comes back with a suplex and gets the Million Dollar Dream, but Beefcake makes the ropes. Dibiase won’t break, so the ref pulls him off, and Beefcake makes the comeback. Dibiase eats some turnbuckle and Beefcake follows with the sleeper, but Virgil distracts him and they brawl outside for the double countout at 6:26. LAAAAAAAME. Poor Ted, in the World title finals one year and fighting a barber third from the bottom the next. It was actually going along fine before the rather abrupt finish. *3/4

- The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers v. The Bushwhackers.

The Bushwhackers were actually fairly new and novel at this point in terms of their usage in the WWF. Bushwhackers go after Jimmy’s coat to start, but the Rougeaus save it. Whew. They quickly lay out Luke and double-team him on a Boston crab, then bring him into their corner and Ray whips Luke into the corner. He goes up to the middle with a double sledge, and Jacques comes in with a back elbow, and the Rougeaus get something vaguely resembling a double clothesline. A double elbow sets up Jacques’ abdominal stretch, which is aided by Raymond’s superkick to the gut. The Bushwhackers break up their celebrating with a battering ram, and the double gutbuster gives Luke the pin at 3:57. Next, please. ½*

- Mr. Perfect v. The Blue Blazer.

If there was one gimmick I never wanted to see again, it’s the Blazer. Such is life. Perfect starts with some chops, but Blazer reverses a hiptoss into a pair of slams and a dropkick that puts Perfect on the floor. Blazer follows with a baseball slide and they head back in. Blazer dodges him in the corner and gets a hiptoss and another slam. Another dropkick sets up a backbreaker, for two. Armbar takedown gets one. Blazer goes up, but hits knees on a splash, and we have an obvious edit. Blazer gets a crucifix for two, but Perfect lays him out with a clothesline and it’s the Perfectplex to finish at 3:16. Brutally clipped, but the full version is a really good match. *1/2  (That’s quite the drop in match rating from my original rant.) 

- We’ll skip over the Run-DMC appearance. Man, another dead person making an appearance.

- WWF tag titles: Demolition v. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji.

This was the peak for Demolition’s popularity, after the double-turn with the Powers at Survivor Series. Warlord starts pounding on Ax, but gets it back in spades. Smash comes in and it’s CLUBBERING TIME. Warlord powers him into the heel corner, however, necessitating Smash fighting out. No problem, however. Back to the Demo corner, as Ax comes in with a clothesline on Barbarian, but Barbarian wins a slugfest with Smash. Back to the heel corner, as Warlord uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS, but gets nowhere, with Demolition quickly getting a double-team clothesline on him. However, Ax turns his back on Fuji and gets attacked by the Powers, and he’s YOUR face-in-peril. Fuji comes in and they work Ax over with a variety of clubbing moves. Barbarian gets a shoulderblock, and Warlord boots Ax down for two. Barbarian powerslams him and tags Fuji in, but he misses an elbow from the top. Warlord cuts off any potential tag, however, with a slam. Ax fights back, however, and makes the hot tag to Smash. Punches fly and Smash slams both Powers, and the Demos get a double-team necksnap on Warlord for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Fuji throws salt at Smash, but misses and hits Warlord, and the Demos finish with Decapitation on Fuji at 7:13. Punchy kicky crappy. *1/4

- Dino Bravo v. Rugged Ron Garvin.

Weird moment as Jimmy Snuka is re-introduced out of nowhere and does a lap of the ring after the ring introductions of these guys. (Fun fact:  Snuka now has a daughter who wrestles as a WWE sports entertainer, and her name is Tamina.)  Bravo lays out Garvin to start and drops an elbow, and goes to work on the back, then clubs him down. He goes to the bearhug and overpowers him for two. Garvin blocks a powerbomb and falls on top for two, however. Hands of Stone gets two. Garvin lays in chops and another knockout punch gets two. Sleeper, but Bravo makes the ropes. Piledriver is reversed by Bravo, but Garvin hangs on with a sunset flip for two. Garvin hits him with chops and pounds away in the corner, but Bravo comes out with an atomic drop and the sideslam finishes at 3:42. Who forgot to tell Garvin that Wrestlemania used to be about dogging it and blowing up 30 seconds in? Match wasn’t any GOOD, but Garvin actually seemed motivated for some bizarre reason. *

- Strike Force v. The Brainbusters.

Martel was returning here after getting put out of commission by Demolition a year earlier. Martel starts with Tully and they work off a headlock, but Arn quickly knees Martel in the back. Martel fights out of the corner and Strike Force cleans house with dropkicks. Arn comes in and puts his head down, and Martel faceplants him for two. They do a knucklelock and Martel holds him on the mat, but Arn turns it into a bodyscissors. Martel turns him over into a Boston Crab, however, which is a nice counter. Tully thumbs him in the eye to break it up, drawing instant approval from Jesse. Santana tags in for a figure-four, and it’s the old double figure-fours spot. Yeah, but Martel & Santana are SO not the Rock N Rolls. Santana and Tully do a pinfall reversal sequence, but Arn saves. Tito cradles Tully for two. Martel comes in and Tito hits him with a flying forearm off a blind tag, by accident, and Martel is out on the floor. The Brainbusters now take over, as Arn pounds Tito and they work him over in the corner. Tito fights them off and goes for the tag, but Arn cuts it off. Sunset flip by Tito, but Arn tags Tully to escape and Blanchard gets two. Tito comes back with a cross body out of the corner for two, but the heels cut off the tag again. Arn goes to the rear chinlock, but Tito fights out, then charges and hits boot. Arn goes up, but gets slammed off, and Tito finally crawls over to his corner…but Martel is still selling the “injury”. Typical Quebecer drama queen. Tully keeps pounding on Tito, as Martel decides to take a walk, and the Busters kick the crap out of Santana and finish with the spike piledriver at 7:45. Felt like they were trying for an NWA-ish angle, but the match wasn’t long enough and there wasn’t enough heat on Santana for it to work within the context of the match. Martel turned heel in the post-match interview and became the Model soon after. **1/2  (Another conspicuous quality drop following a redo of the rant. )

- We blissfully skip past the dated and now-painfully unfunny segment with Roddy Piper, Brother Love, and Morton Downey Jr. Many of you are likely asking who Downey Jr. is, which would explain why it’s so dated. Bruce Pritchard’s Piper imitation is the only really funny thing there. The big joke revolves around Downey’s obnoxious chain-smoking and his refusal to quit. Piper sprays him with a fire extinguisher to show him the error of his ways, but lung cancer finished the job in 2001. Sometimes there’s just no fire extinguisher large enough, I guess.  (I think this was one of the rare cases where even the celebrities were dead only a few years after the show.) 

- Andre the Giant v. Jake Roberts.

This was the charming “Andre is afraid of snakes” storyline, and John Studd was the referee. This was going to lead to a big push for the returning Studd, with Andre presumably putting him over, but health problems forced Studd back into retirement again, and he died in 1993, along with Andre. Man, this is quite the depressing show, isn’t it? Not to mention Jake’s problems since then. Andre attacks Roberts to start and sends him into an exposed turnbuckle, then chokes away in the corner. Jake slugs back and Andre gets tied up in the ropes, as he was wont to do, allowing Jake to lay in some punishment. Andre escapes with a choke, and headbutts Jake down. He pounds away in the corner, but sells a knee that didn’t happen, and Jake comes back. That was weird. Andre goes down, but still slugs Jake out to the floor from his knees. Andre keeps knocking him off the apron, so Jake grabs the snake, triggering a fight between Studd and Andre. Then, to make it dumber, Ted Dibiase runs out and steals the snake, while Andre beats on Studd. Jake sneals his snake back and makes the save, and it’s a DQ win at 5:29. Andre was so sad to watch in these final years. -*

- The Hart Foundation v. Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine.

Talk about your filler matches. Bret starts with Honky and they fight over a lockup, and Bret slugs away on him and rolls him up for two. Atomic drop, both ways, and Honky retreats to tag Valentine. Hitman rolls him up, but Hammer blocks, so Bret tags Anvil in and he cleans house with shoulderblocks. That gets two on Valentine. Clothesline gets two. The Harts switch off on Honky and Bret drops the elbow, and suplexes him for two. Jimmy Hart distracts the ref, so the Harts grab his megaphone in retribution, nail Honky with it, and Bret gets the pin at 3:00. Like I said, filler. ¾*

- Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude.

This was the start of Rude actually being something worthwhile as a worker, to the shock of many. Warrior charges in with a shoulderblock, as Rude tried a knee to the gut, only to hit the belt. Warrior tosses him into the corner a few times, as Rude bumps like a freak. Warrior goes to a bearhug for god knows what reason, but Rude fights out by biting him. Warrior does the same right back. Backdrop and he goes for the splash, but Rude gets the knees up to block. Piledriver gets two. Jawbreaker, but Rude is too injured to swivel. Clothesline gets two. Rude goes to a surfboard, but Warrior powers out of it and clotheslines him. Warrior whips him around the ring, but misses a charge and splats in the corner. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out of it and clotheslines him. Rude bails to escape, but Warrior tosses him back in again. He clotheslines Rude out again and tries a suplex back in, but Heenan hooks the leg and Rude wins the title at 6:19. Pretty decent power match with a finish that was still innovative in terms of never being done on PPV before and thus new to the fans. ** Rude & Warrior would actually have WAY better matches later, including a great one at Summerslam 89, where Warrior regained the belt.

- Bad News Brown v. Hacksaw Duggan.

It’s the show that never ends! Just like the song, except with more steroids. Can you imagine booking this many matches these days? Bad News hammers away to start, but misses a charge and Duggan slugs back. Brown takes a walk, so Duggan slingshots him back in. Brown casually pounds him down again and headbutts him, but Duggan’s head is impervious to punishment and he stays up. There are times when I yearn for hardcore rules, and this is one of them. A garbage can would really break up the monotony right about now. Brown slugs him down and Duggan bails, so Brown whips him into the post. Back in, he goes for the Ghetto Blaster, but Duggan ducks and hits the three-point stance clothesline. Brown bails, totally no-selling it, and grabs a chair, but Duggan gets the board and it’s a duel for a double-DQ at 3:46. Yay, it’s OVER. DUD

- Bobby Heenan v. Terry Taylor.

Heenan is still injured from Warrior beating him up after the Rude match, so it’s a quick pinfall for Taylor at 0:30 after a whip into the corner. DUD Brooklyn Brawler attacks afterwards to kick off THAT epic opening-match C-show feud.

- WWF title: Randy Savage v. Hulk Hogan.

Jesse’s pre-match rant for Savage and against Hogan is awesome stuff. Savage bails to start and plays some headgames, but loses a lockup. He bails again and simmers, and back in tries a headlock, but gets overpowered. He takes out his frustrations with a tirade on Elizabeth, which sets off Jesse again. Back to the headlock, but Savage decides to duck out again. Hogan chases him this time, so Savage hides behind Liz. Hogan thinks it’s unfair, but then this coming from the guy who beats up women and has no problem using weapons in a sanctioned match. Hogan now does a bit of chain wrestling to take Savage down with a headlock, but Savage suplexes out of it. Hogan pops up and starts punching, then starts on the arm, but Savage goes to the eye and heads up. Double axehandle gets two. Savage grabs an armbar and keeps Hogan on the mat, but he fights up, so Macho uses what little hair there is to regain control. Hogan pulls the tights to dump Savage, and then tosses him back in. Jesse is so on the money here, jumping all over every little thing Hogan does. Hogan rams him into the turnbuckles and clotheslines him to set up the elbowdrops. Savage kicks him in the head to come back and gets the lariat for two, however. We hit the chinlock as Hogan starts bleeding. Hulk fights out and overpowers Savage, then follows with an atomic drop, but misses the elbow. Savage nails him from behind with a knee, into a rollup for two. He whips him around as Hogan bleeds, and then stomps on the hands for good measure. Hogan revives and rams Savage into the turnbuckle, then slugs away in the corner. Corner clothesline, but he hurts his arm on the move. Psychology? In a HOGAN MATCH? He javelins Savage over the top, which draws a sympathetic Liz over to tend to him. Savage offers her a backhand, however. That’ll learn her. They brawl outside as Savage keeps on the cut, but Hogan comes back and tries to ram Savage into the post. Liz prevents it, so Savage does it to Hogan. That’s thinking. The ref has had enough of Liz, so she gets sent to the back. Savage, meanwhile, hits Hogan with the double axehandle to the floor, driving him into the railing. Back in, he necksnaps him and chokes him on the ropes, working the throat with an elbow. Kneedrop gets two. Savage moves onto the wrist tape to choke him down (impressing Jesse greatly) then just uses his hands to put him out. Hogan is dead, so Savage goes up to finish him off with the flying elbow…but Hogan kicks out at two. Shit, every time I watch it, it’s the same thing. But I can keep hoping. Hulk up, three punches, big boot, legdrop, and Hogan wins his second title at 17:53. Not really as good as the initial drama made it seem to be, but still filled with good old fashioned pro wrestling dramatics and the like. Would have been nice to get a longer heat segment for Savage and REALLY make Hogan out to be toast, however. ***

The Bottom Line:

Most people remember 9 as the runaway winner of worst WM ever, but this one is pretty bad, and incredibly long, filled with literally nothing but filler matches and the occasional big angle. It was like a house show from hell or something. The main event is quite good for a Hogan match, so if you’ve never seen it, it’s worth a look. The rest, not so much, except as a historical curiosity.

Recommendation to avoid.

(So now it’s getting worse with a redo.  What will happen when I review the FULL atrocity?  Find out now!)

The SmarK Retro Re-Rant for WWE Wrestlemania V

- For those who remember the fourth Wrestlemania as the WWE's version of Heaven's Gate in terms of length and money made, it's got nothing on the fifth one for sheer length. It didn't seem so long back when I first watched it, probably because I was only 15 and I had a much longer attention span for stuff like this back then. I originally ranted off the hacked-up Coliseum video version, which was missing an HOUR of stuff, so it's nice to finally have the full PPV version in all its 220 minute glory. The length might be taxing the storage systems of 24/7, however, because there's some pixellization every few seconds that's kinda annoying.

- By the way, if there's formatting issues with this rant, it's because I had to re-install OpenOffice when I upgraded to Vista this weekend, and I'm still working out the kinks and trying to get it back exactly the way I had it when I left it.  (The formatting issues are also because this is a crappy new format rant, a stylistic decision that I have since regretted more than Miz deciding not to catch R-Truth that one time.  I also regretted upgrading to Vista, although I’m cheap and don’t want to bother going to Windows 7 at this point so I’ve been using it ever since.) 

- Live from Atlantic City, NJ, at Trump Plaza, owned by some guy who we probably will never hear from again.

- Your hosts are Gorilla & Jesse

Opening match: King Haku v. Hercules

Haku gets an attack from behind to start and slugs Herc into the corner, but Jesse has no sympathy for him. Herc quickly comes back with a slam and faceplant, and a clotheslines puts Haku on the floor. Suplex back in and Herc drops elbows. Hercules, who was adopted by the MegaPowers shortly before they exploded, is like the poor kid left out in the cold in a divorce proceeding. I blame his eventual death on the angst caused by his abandonment. WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE GREEK GODS? (Man, Hercules as the third Megapower.  That was right up there with Disco Inferno joining the nWo as far as stupid ideas went.)  Anyway, Haku comes back with a cheapshot and gets a backbreaker for two. He goes to a bearhug that I know for a fact was edited out of the home video version, so already it's like watching the director's cut of Alexander, as I appreciate the true genius of what they were trying to say with it already. It's like Hercules is life, and the bearhug is modern society, squeezing the breath out of us every day, man. (In all fairness, I’ve been told the director’s cut of Alexander is somewhat more worth watching than the one version I did sit through, but I’ll never spend the 4 hours to find out.)  Herc powers out and Haku chokes him on the ropes, although I'm not sure what the allegory is supposed to be there. Herc comes back with a crossbody for two, but Haku cuts off the comeback with an elbow, but then whiffs on a bodypress attempt of his own. Hercules slugs back and gets a powrslam for two, but goes up and lands on a superkick. Haku goes up and misses his own move, and Hercules finishes with a backdrop suplex.

(Hercules d. Haku, suplex -- pin, 6:55, **) They actually bothered editing that down for home video? Not a bad opener, but this crowd is not wrestling fans, it's gamblers and businessmen.  (Maybe they should fly them in for John Cena matches, it might get him over.  He already tells jokes like a bad motivational speaker anyway, so this is the kind of crowd that might actually cheer for him with enough booze.) 

Backstage, the coked-up Rockers give their motivational interview before they get squashed. Shawn's voice is so wasted from partying the night before that he can barely talk.

The Twin Towers v. The Rockers

For some reason, "Jive Soul Bro" is edited out. Were they dumb enough not to secure the rights to their OWN music? The Rockers run away to start, and opt for a sucker punch before Shawn starts with Bossman. Bossman puts him on the top and bitchslaps him, but gets dropkicked for his troubles and Shawn hits both of them and runs away again. Over to Akeem, as Shawn mocks his dancing and then the Rockers trade off and work on the arm. Shawn has said in previous interviews that he was so drunk that he could barely stand up here, so I'd say he's doing remarkably well thus far. The Rockers keep switching off on the arm, but Bossman gets the blind tag and they sandwich Marty to take over. Bossman gets the running choke and Akeem avalanches him on the ropes, which is ugly but effective offense. And now the Towers are all about the tag team continuity, switching off and splashing Marty in the corner in tandem. Marty fights back, but Bossman clobbers him down again and it's over to Akeem, who accidentally runs into Bossman to allow the hot tag to Shawn. He fires away in the corner and the Rockers team up for a nice double shoulderblock that gets two on Akeem. Shawn walks into a clothesline and does a 180 sell off it, as Shawn is out to single-handedly steal the show tonight. Bossman misses a flying splash and Shawn reverses a powerbomb attempt with the help of Marty, and the Rockers team up for a pair of missile dropkicks on the Bossman as well. Shawn goes up again, but this time he falls prey to the powerbomb on the way down, and Akeem splashes him to finish.

(The Twin Towers d. The Rockers, Akeem splash -- pin Shawn Michaels, 8:02, **) Shawn may have been wasted, but even at 25% he's still got enough to carry things by bumping for three.  (This rating has been remarkably consistent across all three versions, oddly enough.) 

Ted Dibiase v. Brutus Beefcake

Odd that they never did a full-on feud with these two, as they seemed like they'd have a good dynamic together. (Or they could team up as The Wealthy Barber!)  Brutus attacks and hiptosses Dibiase to start, and follows with a backdrop that sends Ted out of the ring to regroup. Back in, Dibiase opts for the cheapshot and throws some chops in the corner, but Beefcake comes back with slams and it's another trip to the floor. Back in and Dibiase tries slugging it out with Beefcake, but quickly loses that battle, and it's Plan C: Virgil trips him up and Dibiase chokes him down. Well, as Jesse would say, win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat. Dibase pounds away in the corner and elbows him down as the crowd dozes, and the fistdrop gets two. Elbow off the middle rope gets two, but Beefcake gets a quick cradle for two. They fight over a suplex and Beefcake gets that, and they clothesline each other for the double KO. Dibiase recovers first with a suplex and it's time for the Million Dollar Dream, but Brutus makes the ropes right away. Brutus comes back and rams him into the turnbuckles, and now irony strikes Dibiase as he falls prey to a sleeper. Truly epic. Virgil distracts him and Beefcake gives chase, which results in a brawl on the floor until the inevitable double countout.

(Ted Dibiase draw Brutus Beefcake, DCOR, 9:58, **) Technically fine, but the crowd was dead and there wasn't any real flow to the match.

Meanwhile, Lord Al Hayes interviews the Bushwackers at the annual brunch, and hilarity ensues.

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers v. The Sheepfuckers

Jesse accuses the Bushwackers of being on "the juice", although he's referring to booze in this case. Still, there's an out-of-context remark for you. Rougeaus attack to save Jimmy Hart's jacket, but they get whipped into each other and bail. Raymond offers a handshake to Luke and then jumps him, so Butch runs in and returns the favor. Battering Ram for Ramond, but Jacques saves and they bail again. The crowd won't even respond to the Bushwackers, which at least shows they're intelligent. The Rougeaus get a quick double-team on Luke and Ray hits him with an axehandle off the middle, and we get a quick double-team clothesline for two. They do the abdominal stretch / superkick spot, and that gets no reaction from the crowd of corpses either. Bushwackers sneak in with a Battering Ram and double gutbuster while they celebrate.

(The Bushwackers d. The Rougeaus, Luke gutbuster -- pin Raymond, 5:10, DUD) Wasn't even much of a comedy match.

Mr. Perfect v. The Blue Blazer

Debut of the classic tights for Hennig here, as he had been wearing short ones up until this point. Perfect grabs a headlock to start and hiptosses the Blazer, and they trade slaps in the corner. Blazer reverses out of a hiptoss attempt and slams him, and dropkicks him to the floor, following with a baseball slide. To the floor as Blazer throws some forearms out there, and he works the arm back in the ring. Perfect tries his own hiptoss reversal, but Blazer does his classic block-and-reverse of THAT, and a dropkick and backbreaker gets two. Northern Lights suplex gets two. To the top, but a flying splash hits knees, and Perfect goes to work on the back. Perfect charges and hits boot, and Blazer follows with a powerslam for two and gets the nice belly to belly for two. Crucifix gets two. He argues with the ref, however, and Perfect clobbers him and finishes with the Perfectplex.

(Mr. Perfect d. The Blue Blazer, Perfectplex -- pin, 5:51, **1/4) Not the classic I remembered as a kid.  (Yup, that one keeps dropping too.) 

And now, just because the show wasn't going to run long enough as it is, Jesse stops to pose for the fans. I have no idea what the point of this was.

Speaking of pointless, let's take you back to the annual 5K run, which Mr. Fuji cheats to win. Well, that's why the good lord invented fast forward.

And speaking of fast-forward, here's Run DMC, and there they go.

World tag team titles: Demolition v. The Powers of Pain & Mr Fuji

Oh good grief, we've apparently lost all the songs from the Piledriver record, as "Demolition" is wiped from history, too. OK, who sued and won this time? Ax pounds on Warlord to start, finally getting a teenie reaction from the crowd, and the Demos add a double-team beating and Smash chinlocks him. Ax adds his own chinlock. You know, they must have sweetened the video version's crowd noise, because I don't remember the show being this dead. I mean, this crowd isn't popping for ANYTHING. Barbarian comes in and gets smashed by Smash, and axed by Ax. Smash elbows him down and they add a double-elbow, and Ax goes to the neck vice. Barbarian comes back with a chop to Smash, but Warlord can't follow up, which results in the champs hitting him with a double clothesline. Ax goes after Fuji, however, and gets hit from behind to turn the tide. Fuji finally tags in and chops Ax down, then adds his falling headbutt. Over to Barbarian, who starts working the back and boots Ax down. Jumping clothesline and Warlord comes in and stays on the back, choking him down for two. Barbarian powerslams him into a Fuji flying splash, but it misses and it looks like the hot tag until Warlord cuts it off. Smash gets it anyway, although the crowd doesn't care, and he clotheslines everyone. They clothesline him on the top rope and Smash gets two, but Fuji comes in, armed with salt. And maybe pepper, I'm not sure. However, it goes awry, and Demolition Decapitation ends it.

(Demolition d. The Powers of Pain & Fuji, Ax Decapitation -- pin Fuji, 8:45, *) Well, this was watchable, I suppose. I can definitely understand the crowd apathy to the guys punching and kicking each other for 8 minutes, however.

Dino Bravo v. Ronnie Garvin

Jimmy Snuka makes an utterly pointless appearance after the introductions. (Don’t forget that Tamina is his daughter!)  Bravo attacks to start and chops Garvin down, and grabs a quick bearhug. Shoulderblock gets two. Garvin blocks a powerbomb attempt by slugging Bravo down, and a splash gets two. Sleeper and piledriver get two, and he throws chops in the corner. He slugs away in the corner, and Bravo brings him out with an atomic drop, and the sideslam finishes quick.

(Dino Bravo d. Ronnie Garvin, sideslam -- pin, 3:55, 1/2*) Garvin seemed game, but this was going nowhere fast.

The Brainbusters v. Strike Force

Martel grabs a headlock on Tully to start, and then fights off a double-team attempt in the heel corner. Strike Force adds a double dropkick to put the heels on the floor, but Arn quickly regroups. Martel faceplants him for two and they fight over the knucklelock, but Arn catches him with a bodyscissors. Martel wisely tries to turn him over into the Boston Crab, but Tully pokes him in the eyes to break it up. Jesse's all about that one. Tito comes in and it's old double figure-four spot, which the Busters quickly escape from. Tully and Tito do a bridge/backslide spot, which gets two for Tito, and he cradles Tully for two. Blind tag, but Tito hits Martel with the forearm by mistake, and Tully dropkicks Tito to take over. Arn comes in and elbows him in the gut, but Tito fights them off and goes for a tag...but Martel is being a drama queen and selling the "injury". Tito keeps fighting with a sunset flip on Arn for two, but Tully breaks it up and gets two. Tito gets a bodypress for two, but Arn slows him down with a rear chinlock. Tito fights out and goes for the tag again, but Martel isn't feeling it and walks away from the tag. And the match. Typical Frenchman, running away from a fight. The Busters go to work on Tito. Tito fights them off, but goes for a monkey flip on Tully and gets splatted as a result, and it's ye olde Spike Piledriver to end his comeback.

(The Brainbusters d. Strike Force, Anderson piledriver -- pin Santana, 9:13, **1/2) This crowd is really bringing me down, man. This one actually seemed better in clipped form, with better crowd reactions dubbed in.

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm skipping through the Piper/Brother Love/Morton Downey Jr. trainwreck. Hey, it's my column. This was definitely 15 minutes that could have been excised quite easily from the show.

And now, a sneak preview of No Holds Barred. Thank god this is cut out of the video version.

Sean Mooney interviews Donald Trump, back when he was all wooden and couldn't act. Oh, wait.

Apparently we're in an intermission now, because we go into time-filler overdrive with a recap of the Megapowers angle and a rather lengthy Hogan interview.

Jake Roberts v. Andre The Giant

Special ref here is John Studd. Andre attacks to start and rams Jake into a conveniently missing turnbuckle, and quickly tries choking him out. Jake goes for the snake, but Andre grabs him in a chokehold again. Jesse has a funny line here, noting that David beat Goliath with a foreign object. That's a wrestling mentality for you. Andre leans on Jake in the corner, which is about as lazy as you can get, offensively speaking. More choking and Andre uses his butt as a weapon, and chokes away again. Jake slugs back and Andre gets tied in the ropes as a result, which allows Jake to do his own choking. But not for long, because Andre is the master of choking. And choke he does! And did I mention the choking? Because there's quite a lot of it. Jake comes back with punches and sends Andre into the bare turnbuckle, but Andre chops him right out of the ring. Andre won't let him in, and the camera's closeup of the ring apron reveals that they were so cheap as to recycle the skirts from Wrestlemania IV, simply by removing the "I" from the roman numeral. Studd and Andre get into a shoving match, while Ted Dibiase steals the snake, and Andre attacks Studd to draw the rather obvious DQ and set up the big feud that never happened. The recovered snake sends Andre fleeing.

(Jake Roberts d. Andre The Giant, DQ, 9:39, DUD) Studd's face turn just didn't work, and Andre was pretty far gone by this point.

The Hart Foundation v. Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine

Jimmy Hart's team were not yet Rhythm & Blues, and this was just thrown together as yet another in the endless parade of matches to fill time before the main event. Bret starts with Honky and rolls him up for two, and follows with an atomic drop both ways to send him scurrying back to the corner. Hammer comes in and takes the atomic drop, and Bret dropkicks him, which sets up the pinball spot in the face corner. Nice timing as Bret whips Hammer and then slingshots Anvil in on the rebound for a shoulderblock, which gets two. Bret with the backbreaker and middle rope elbow, but it misses and Valentine drops his own elbows. They do some choking in the corner and Honk drops a fist and a series of elbows, and it's over to Hammer for a top rope forearm and an elbow to the back of the head. He gets his own atomic drop and Honky adds Shake Rattle N Roll, but he allows Valentine to try the figure-four instead of pinning him. Bret thumbs the eye to block, so Hammer keeps coming with a gutbuster and brings Honky back in. Bret fights back with a crossbody for two, but lands on the floor when Honky kicks out, and it's back to Hammer again. Bret tries a rollup, but actually just fakes him out and makes the hot tag to Neidhart instead. Shoulderblock on Valentine gets two. Nice clothesline gets two. Hammer thumbs the eyes to stop the offense, but Honky misses a fistdrop and the Harts go to work on him, as Bret drops his elbow and adds a suplex for two. Valentine saves and cleans house, but Neidhart steals the megaphone and Bret nails Honky Tonk with it to finish. Bret screwed Wayne Ferris!

(The Hart Foundation d. Honky Tonk & Valentine, Bret megaphone -- pin Honky, 7:39, **1/2) This was actually quite a solid tag match in its uncut form, although the finish should have been stronger.

WWF Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude

Common sense at the time said that Warrior squashes him like a bug, but in hindsight Rude needed to go over in order to get to the next level. Rude tries to knee Warrior in the gut on the way in, but Warrior is still wearing the belt and thus outsmarts him. Warrior tosses Rude around like a ragdoll as Rude is all about the bumps tonight, and the crowd FINALLY wakes up. Warrior smartly opts to whip Rude into the corners without following up by charging, and then calmly bearhugs him. He's thinking for once. Rude goes to the eyes to break and then scoots up top with a missile dropkick, but Warrior no-sells and slams him instead. Man, Rude is just bouncing around out there like a superball tonight. Back to the bearhug, but this time the ref prevents Rude from going to the eyes,which offends Jesse on several levels. Finally Rude slugs out on his own merits, so Warrior bites him and adds a backdrop. Big splash hits knee, however, and Rude takes over. Piledriver gets two for Rude. Sadly, his back is so injured that he can't even swivel. Clothesline gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Rude goes to a surfboard, but Warrior fights to the ropes and hulks up. Shoulderblock and faceplant set up a backbreaker, and he follows with a clothesline after a weird blown spot in the corner. He goes back to whipping Rude around, this time following up with a charge, and missing as a result. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out of it and clotheslines him again. Rude bails and Warrior sends him back in, then dumps him with a clothesline. He suplexes Rude back in, but Heenan grabs the foot for the famous finish, and we have an upset, to the delight of Jesse.

(Rick Rude d. Ultimate Warrior, outside interference -- pin, 9:41, ***) They would have better matches, but this was the first sign that Rude was more than the pretty boy arrogant heel in the ring, as he more than carried his end of the match and actually got the crowd into it.

Bad News Brown v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

To put this in perspective, we are now at the three hour mark for the show, which is beyond all sanity for a crowd this dead with an undercard this meaningless. Brown attacks to start, but Duggan slugs back and clotheslines him out of the ring. Brown regroups and lays Duggan out with a forearm back in the ring, and slugs away in the corner. Duggan fires back with shoulders in the corner, so Brown slugs him down again. They brawl outside as Jesse notes that if one of them tries a hold, they might win it. Brown wins that fight and tries the Ghetto Blaster, but Duggan comes back with the three-point stance and they fight outside again, as Brown grabs a chair and Duggan grabs his 2x4.

(Jim Duggan draw Bad News Brown, DDQ, 3:46, 1/2*) C'mon, just get to the main event already.

Red Rooster v. Bobby Heenan

One last quickie before the match people actually paid to see. I think someone should sue and make them dub out the Rooster's ridiculous theme song. Rooster whips Bobby into the corner and pins him.

(Red Rooster d. Bobby Heenan, corner whip -- pin, 0:28, DUD) This was what it was.

WWF World title: Randy Savage v. Hulk Hogan

This of course was the biggest match in the history of history at that point, drawing millions of dollars on PPV after being built up for years. Savage dodges Hogan and plays some mindgames to start, and Hogan overpowers him on the lockup. Savage grabs a headlock, but gets overpowered again and bails. As any good man would do, he hides behind Liz, and Jesse approves. Back in, Hogan takes him down with a drop toehold to meet his wrestling quota for the night, but Savage suplexes out of his headlock. Hogan quickly recovers and slugs away, and starts working on the arm, so Savage goes to the eyes and drops the axehandle for two. Savage takes it to the mat with an armbar. Some really slick hair-pulling behind the ref's back follows, but it's wasted when Hogan dumps him to break the hold. That was some quality cheating by Savage. Back in, Savage eats turnbuckle and Hogan drops him with a clothesline, into the elbows, but Savage clotheslines him for two. Savage grabs a chinlock while Hogan bleeds, but he fights out and blocks a big boot with an atomic drop. Hogan misses the elbow and Savage sends him into the corner with a high knee, and that gets two. Savage goes to work on the cut and stomps on the fingers, but that just gets Hogan mad, and he comes back with some shots in the corner and the corner clothesline. Hogan, sportsman, dumps Savage over the top and Liz tries to assist him, but Savage is an independent guy and doesn't want help. Hogan follows him out for the brawl, showing he was probably in cahoots with Liz all along, and she prevents him from sending Savage into the post, which allows Savage to turn the tables and give Hogan the same treatment. Liz keeps getting involved, so the ref sends her back to the dressing room as we hit a dead spot. With no more distractions, Savage gets down to business, dropping Hogan with the axehandle to the floor before they head back in. Necksnap and Savage goes to work on the throat, choking him on the ropes and adding an elbow to the throat. Kneedrop gets two. Savage goes for broke, choking him out with the tape, and things look bad for the challenger. He goes with the straight choke and heads up to finish with the big elbow, and really I can't stand to finish the review because it just hurts every damn time I watch it.

(Hulk Hogan d. Randy Savage, legdrop -- pin, 17:53, ***) It was somewhat epic, but the crowd was just so dead and they couldn't live up to the hype no matter what they went with. This one was such a heated feud that it needed something more akin to the current main event brawling style, and really they just went out there and did a Hogan match. Of course, at the time it made perfect sense to put Hogan over clean and send Savage down a different path with Sherri, but my god, Savage was on such a hot streak as a heel that they could have drawn MILLIONS by screwing Hulk out of the belt here and building up the chase to the rematch at Summerslam. But hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

The Pulse:

Wow, editing really is important, because the home video version is eons better than the ultra-dull and seemingly endless live PPV version, which stretches 3 hours and 40 minutes and feels like it's never going to end. Still, bless 24/7 for at least giving fans to see the uncut version for themselves. Probably one of the worst Wrestlemanias in this form, although the shorter version that used to be more widely available is quite enjoyable for the most part.

Strong recommendation to avoid.


  1. I absolutely loved this show and the whole era in general. 1987-1989 WWF and NWA/WCW was amazing to me, and will probably always be my favorite era.


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