This isn't the best show as you all know, but like all others, it's going to be reviewed.
Gene Okerlund (now) introduces the show...and from New York, it's Vince McMahon and Susan St. James. America the Beautiful is sung by Ray Charles, and you can't say anything bad about that. Mean Gene says some things from Chicago, and before our first match, Roddy Piper has something to say about his boxing match against Mr. T. Nothing of note is said.
The first match on the card is Paul Orndorff vs. Don Muraco w/Mr. Fuji.
Blow-by-blow: These two have attributes which Vince loves. Big, and roided. Thus, they start the show off. Both say things via soundbyte at the beginning of the match, and here we go. Muraco and Orndorff slam each other, and after Orndorff's slam, he makes fun of Fuji's race. Cold. Muraco knees Orndorff and elbows him, but Orndorff whips Muraco into the buckle and backdrops him. An armdrag and drop toe-hold follow, as does an armbar. A Muraco armdrag doesn't break Orndorff's armbar, but a samoan drop does. They trade punches, and Orndorff gives Muraco an elbow. Both brawl to the outside, and we have a double countout at 4:33. Big "bullshit" chant follows, and yeah, those fans certainly have the right. This isn't a TV taping.
Match Analysis: Yeah, that was a terrible finish. Was going well until that point...*1/4.
Mr. T says that his fists are going to do the talking tonight, and now...
Here's George Steele vs. Macho Man Randy Savage w/Elizabeth for the Intercontinental Championship. But first, Randy Savage cuts a promo.
Blow-by-blow: To start, we have the typical beginning of match Steele nonsense. He chases Savage around the ring, and when back inside, he gives Savage a choketoss. He's infatuated with Liz, so Savage is able to take control. He gives Steele a crossbody off the top for a 2 count, so Steele dumps him to the outside. Macho sneaks in from the other side of the ring and attacks, but Steele bites him. Savage goes outside to grab some flowers, and after hitting Steele with them, Steele gets them and shoves them in Savage's face. Steele comes a little too close to Liz outside the ring, so Savage comes off the top with BOMBS AWAY. On the inside, he slams Steele and goes up to the top, coming off with the FLYING ELBOW. It only gets a 2 count (WTF?), so after a Steele missed charge, Savage covers him with his feet on the ropes for 3 at 7:08.
Match Analysis: Awful. Awful. Awful. On the basis of strictly wrestling, there were, uh, 6 wrestling moves, counting the rollup w/feet on ropes. Ain't good enough, and certainly worth negatives. -**.
Mean Gene is with Bill Fralic and Big John Studd in Chicago to talk about the battle royal, and of course, the two disagree on a few things. Back to New York we go...
For George Wells vs. Jake "the Snake" Roberts.
Blow-by-blow: Wells attacks Roberts to start the match, and backdrops him. Roberts tosses Wells out and fights him on the outside, until Wells tosses him back in. Wells shoulderblocks Roberts and headbutts him, then he whips him into the buckle. Wells gives him a flying headscissors, and a scoop slam. Wells gives Roberts a kneelift and powerslam, which gets a 2 count. Roberts bails to the outside, and when he comes back in, he gives Wells a kneelift. That's followed up by the DDT, for the 3 count at 3:07. Roberts takes Damien out of the bag, and puts him all over Wells. Gross.
Match Analysis: Simple Roberts squash. Nothing wrong there. *3/4.
There's some taped footage from the Mr. T/Roddy Piper feud, mostly featuring stuff that was in my last review.
Hulk Hogan's with Jesse Ventura in Los Angeles...yes, I marked to see Ventura interviewing Hogan. Hogan doesn't care about Jesse, BROTHER, only Bundy, BROTHER.
Howard Finkel is with a few celebrities, and with the use of wikipedia, I can tell you what all are famous for. Joan Rivers (obvious, don't need to say), is the guest ring announcer. The guest judges for this boxing match are Darryl Dawkins (basketball player), Cab Calloway (jazz singer), and G. Gordon Liddy (mastermind of first break-in during Watergate). The timekeeper is Herb (famous for some Burger King commercials). He's a nerd, you know.
Yeah, the match is Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper in a boxing match. The wrestlers have Joe Frazier and Lou Duva in their corners, respectively. I'm going to save a ton of words, and use the fast-forward button. As we all know, Piper slams Mr. T with the referee down and gets disqualified. We can call this -*****. It's one of the worst matches I've ever seen. There's a postmatch brawl, and thankfully, this ends the worst portion of the show.
To Chicago we go, with Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund and Cathy Lee Crosby.
The first match on that portion of the card is Velvet McIntyre vs. Fabulous Moolah for the Ladies Title.
Blow-by-blow: Moolah snapmares McIntyre while pulling her hair, and clotheslines McIntyre as well. McIntyre comes back with two dropkicks and a back elbow, before a scoop slam. McIntyre goes up to the 2nd rope, but she misses a splash and Moolah pins her for 3 at the 58 second mark.
Match Analysis: *, standard fare, and too short to knock off or add to anyway.
The next bout was Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff w/Classy Freddie Blassie.
Blow-by-blow: Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem, which I love. Unfortunately, he doesn't get pelted with trash. Kirchner's dubbed music is comical. Enough of that though, as Volkoff starts the bout with a spin kick. Volkoff tosses Kirchner out and bites him, before ramming him into the ringpost. Kirchner bleeds and they go back in the ring, where Kirchner makes his comeback. Kirchner pushes the referee, then grabs Blassie's cane and hits Volkoff with it. That gets the pinfall at 1:35.
Match Analysis: Sucked. Too short. 1/2*.
For the battle royal, I'll pull something out of an old file. I've reviewed it before.
From WrestleMania 2 in Chicago, we have a battle royal, and the participants are Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Ted Arcidi, King Tonga, Hillbilly Jim, Big John Studd, Tony Atlas, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Danny Spivey, Pedro Morales, BRUNO Sammartino, the Iron Sheik, Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin, THE FRIDGE, and Andre the Giant.
This one really is impossible to review, unlike the one at the MSG show I reviewed a couple weeks ago (actually, it's been months, now). The total combined weight of the wrestlers involved...5,612 pounds. Yo. Order of elimination goes like this...Tonga, Covert, Holmes, Brunzell, Atlas, Morales, Martin, Arcidi (at this point, I notice that Fridge is wearing a thong. Gross.), Spivey, Blair and Hillbilly, Fralic, Sheik, Bruno, and then, it gets easier to review. Studd dumps Fridge, but Fridge pulls Studd out after a handshake. Bret, Francis, Neidhart and Andre are left, and a double dropkick by the Hart Foundation ties Andre up in the ropes, and then, Francis gets eliminated. Andre gives Bret a big boot, then rams the Harts heads into each other. Neidhart gets dumped, and then Andre press slams Bret to the floor, where he lands on Neidhart. Andre wins the battle royal, which was a given. 7/10, the uniqueness of having football players involved made it worth watching.
(P.S. I changed the rating to 7/10. Wasn't really as great as I first thought.)
The main event from Chicago is the British Bulldogs w/Captain Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne vs. The Dream Team w/Johnny V for the WWF Tag Titles. There is another referee on the outside, so no cheating.
Blow-by-blow: Davey and Valentine starts, with an elbow from Valentine. Valentine misses an elbowdrop, but he hiptosses Davey. Valentine misses a forearm, so Dynamite tags in. He rams Valentine into the buckle for a 2 count, and gives him a snap suplex. After an elbowdrop, Davey tags back in and gives Valentine a delayed vertical suplex, for a 2 count. Davey rams Valentine into the buckle, but Valentine comes back with an elbow and a headbutt below the belt, to put it kindly. Beefcake tags in and tries to work on Davey's arm, but Davey gives him a gorilla press slam. Dynamite tags in, and chops Beefcake for a 2 count. He cradles Beefcake for 2, and Davey tags in. Davey gives Beefcake a fisherman's suplex for 2, and then Valentine tags in. He comes off the top with a big chop, and gives Davey a suplex for 2. Valentine goes to a short chinlock, but Dynamite tags in and shouldercharges into Valentine for a 2 count. A double shoulderblock gets 2, as Beefcake breaks up the cover. Dynamite sunset-flips Valentine for 2, and gives him a backbreaker for 2. A kneedrop follows for 2, but Valentine comes back with a piledriver for 2. Gorilla Monsoon says that Ozzy is shaking at ringside...go figure. *Insert joke here* Valentine goes to the top, but Dynamite slams him off. The cover only gets one as they brawl, and Dynamite slams Valentine. Smith tries to gorilla press Dynamite onto Valentine, but Valentine gets out of the way. He clocks Dynamite from behind, but Davey tags in and gives Valentine the running powerslam for a 2 count. Davey suplexes Valentine for 2, but Valentine gains control when he rams Davey shoulder-first into the ringpost. Beefcake tags in and gives Davey a hammerlock, then he drops him on his head after raising him into the air. He rams Davey to the buckle, and tags in Valentine, who gives Davey a shoulderbreaker for 2. He pulls Davey up, but as Dynamite is perched on the top turnbuckle, Davey rams Valentine's head into Dynamite's, which gets the pinfall at 12:01. To say Dynamite took a huge bump down to the floor is an understatement. After the match, Davey, Ozzy and Lou Albano say a few things, basically how glad the Bulldogs are that they're champions, and that they'll stay around in the US to defend them.
Match Analysis: The one constant in all these good Dream Team matches is that Beefcake doesn't come in the match very much. I don't recall whether or not I said that before. I didn't think it was as good as the match from Saturday Night's Main Event. I would've given it ***1/2, but Dynamite's huge bump takes that up a notch. We're talking Mick Foley levels of bumpage there. ***3/4.
To Los Angeles we go, where Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Elvira are on commentary.
The first match from LA is Ricky Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez.
Blow-by-blow: Lee Marshall is the ring announcer. That's weird. Hercules attacks at the start, and rams Steamboat into the buckle. Steamboat comes back with a few armdrags, and holds onto Hercules with an armbar. Steamboat gives Hercules another armdrag, and a few elbowdrops to boot. Steamboat gives Hercules a back elbow and suplex, but Hercules gains control after ramming Steamboat into the turnbuckle. Hercules gives Steamboat a BIG clothesline, and drops him throat-first on the top rope. Steamboat tries a slam, but Hercules falls on top of him for 2. Hercules gives Steamboat two elbowdrops, and then poses, before a cover that gets 2. Hercules clotheslines Steamboat for 2, and gives him two gorilla press slams, before going to the top. Hercules dives off and onto Steamboat's knees, so Steamboat goes up top and gives him a crossbody for the victory at 7:31.
Match Analysis: Pretty good stuff. This should've been the match to open the show in New York. **1/2.
Uncle Elmer (ugh) vs. Adrian Adonis w/Jimmy Hart is the next bout...
Blow-by-blow: At the start, the crowd chants "faggot" towards Adonis. I larfed. Adonis is wearing a dress, at least until Elmer tears it off. Adonis hugs Jimmy Hart after being chased, and back inside, Elmer attacks him. He tosses Adonis towards the buckle, and Adonis goes upside-down, over and out. Back in, and an Elmer right puts Adonis out. Now Elmer tears off Adonis' dress, and he slingshots Adonis into the ring. Adonis gets tied in the ropes and beaten up, at least until he's untied. He comes back in and Elmer gives him an AVALANCHE, but he misses a big legdrop. Adrian goes to the top and gives Elmer a big splash, which gets the victory at 3:01.
Match Analysis: Haven't seen anything better from Elmer, but this was all Adonis anyway. Elmer just stood there and punched once in a while. *1/2.
Lord Alfred Hayes is with Hulk Hogan, well you know somethin' AWFUL ALFRED, BROTHER BROTHER BROTHER I'M GONNA WHIP BUNDY BROTHER.
The next matchup is a good one, which has the Funk Brothers w/Jimmy Hart taking on the Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana.
Blow-by-blow: I'm not going to call Dory Funk "Hoss Funk." We'll just call him Dory. Terry throws a chair into the ring, but Dory and JYD are going to start the match. They lock-up, and Terry falls into the ring while trying to grab JYD, so JYD slams them both. The Funks bail, and when getting back in, it's Santana taking on Terry. Terry chops away, until Santana clotheslines him over the top rope. Santana dropkicks Dory a few times, until Terry gets back into the ring. JYD tags in, and rams Terry into the buckle a whole bunch. JYD headbutts Terry for a 2 count, and tosses him over the top rope after the cover. Dory and Santana come in, and Santana gives Dory the FLYING JALAPENO for 2. Santana and Dory do a criss-cross, at least until Terry knees Santana in the back. Terry tosses Tito out so Jimmy Hart can kick him, but eventually, JYD stops that. He chases Hart away and puts Santana back in the ring, where Terry suplexes him for a 2 count. The referee pushes Terry when Terry gets a little rude, and we have a double collision. Dory comes in and gives Santana a double underhook suplex for 2, and Terry tags back in. A double clothesline and legdrop follows, for a 2 count. Terry misses a second legdrop, which allows JYD to tag in. He cleans house, until Terry chokes him with the tag rope. JYD backdrops Terry to the floor (GIANT BUMP), and then he slams him through a table. WHOA. JYD clocks Hart, as Santana puts the FIGURE-FOUR LEGLOCK on Dory, but Terry wallops JYD upside his head with the megaphone. Obviously, that allows him to get the pinfall, and the time was 11:43.
Match Analysis: Hell yes. That was fun. On most other shows, this is the best tag match. On most, but on this one, no. Still great. ***1/4.
Before the main event, there's a Bundy/Hogan feud recap. Hogan's lifting weights and talking to MEAN GENE, but afterward, we have another promo....
It's King Kong Bundy and Bobby Heenan, who are talking to Jesse Ventura. Routine "I am the next WWF Champ" stuff.
Yeah, the last match on the card is King Kong Bundy w/Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan in a STEEL CAGE match for the WWF Championship. Tommy Lasorda is your ring announcer, and who cares about the rest.
Blow-by-blow: Hogan attacks and chokes King Kong Bundy with the strap on his ring attire, before ramming Bundy into the cage. Hogan clotheslines Bundy and hits him with a running elbow, so Bundy goes to Hogan's injured ribs. Bundy slams Hogan and puts his boot in his face, before going for the cage door. He can't make it out, so instead, he slams Hogan into the cage. Back to the door he goes, but he can't make it out. Bundy un-tapes Hogan's ribs, and chokes him with the tape. Bundy ties Hogan in the ropes with the tape, but he can't make it out the door, as Hogan pulls him back in. Hogan takes Bundy to the buckle and gives him a back elbow, then he rams Bundy into the cage. Bundy bleeds as Heenan covers up his forehead, and Hogan punches away. Hogan rakes Bundy's back, before ramming him into the cage two more times. He tries to slam Bundy, but Bundy falls on top of him. The door's open, but Bundy can't make it over. Hogan tries to choke him with the tape, but Bundy gives him an eye gouge. He takes Hogan to the corner, and gives him the AVALANCHE. A BIG SPLASH and another AVALANCHE follows, and now, time to HULK UP BROTHER. Powerslam, DROP THE FUCKIN' LEG, over the top of the cage and out, after knocking Bundy back down to the canvas, at 10:17. Heenan's stuck inside the cage, then Hogan comes in and tosses him into the cage. End of show, with Hogan posing.
Match Analysis: A standard cage match to be sure, but for some reason, I enjoy this even more the more often I see it. **1/4. Sloppy bladejob from Bundy takes it down a bit.
Rating: Bad. I have to change my standards for terrible. We'll make it 2 negative star matches and nothing at or over ***. If there are 3 negative star matches, we'll say nothing at or over ***1/2 gets a terrible rating. Anyway, this is probably the 3rd worst WrestleMania. I think 9 and 15 are the only ones which are worse.
Best Segment: The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team.
Worst Segment: The "boxing" match.
RAW and Nitro from 6/16/97 will be up next.