It's WRESTLEMANIA. And to kick off the show is Willy Nelson to sing America The Beautiful. While wearing a Hogan bandanna, Bret Hart sunglasses, and child sized WWF Championship. Jim Duggan and Gorilla Monsoon are going to call the show? Please tell me that isn't accurate. This can't be right.
TO THE MOON. Sean is with the Rockers, who are going to be facing the Faces of Fear tonight.
The Rockers vs Haku/Barbarian
This is what I'm talking about. FOF vs Rockers sounds AWESOME on paper. Especially ultra SWOLL Barb and Meng before he got kind of shitty unless in squashes. Haku and HBK begin. This is kind of weird from the start. HBK's speed is too much for Haku, and then Barb runs in with a double clothesline...and the Rockers are doing double superkicks to both about 10 seconds later. Odd. It's fucking crazy how massive Barb was at this point. He was huge in the NWA, and he's like 30% bigger in the WWF. Some nasty chops from the FoF. And RNR Express spots from the Rockers. Marty ends up as the FIP. Poor Marty gets hit in the FACE with a Barb lariat. Barb hits the dope "catch a flying crossbody with a powerslam" spot, which I'm always a fan of. Hot tag to HBK. HBK is like...the same size as Haku. No one really considered Haku to be a small dude. Rockers pinned Haku after a missile dropkick and top rope crossbody. Thankfully, Bobby Heenan will be replacing Duggan for the rest of the show. HBK immediately singles out VLAD THE SUPER FAN on the floor. Just straight up ignoring this other dude, leaving him hanging. Lol.
TO THE MEAN GENE. The celebrities are out tonight. Alex Trebek, Marla Maples, and Regis Philbin. Gene makes both wet pussy and boner jokes, which was quite weird. Then he and Trebek do an Abbot and Costello routine.
Dino Bravo vs The Texas Tornado
Dino attacks Kerry before the bell. Dino looks like he's about to pop. He also looks like he can barely wrestle. Not that he was ever good, but he's quite bad here. As is Kerry. Dino waits too long to cover after the side slam. "Boss Man's mother could have counted that fast!" Kerry wins with the discus punch in a terrible match. Even by WWF standars at the time.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Bulldog gets his response promo. There is no bull, in this British Bulldog.
TO THE MOON. Slick and the Warlord are going to collar the British Bulldog. Warlord's biceps are legitimately bigger than Sean Mooney's head.
The Warlord vs British Bulldog
This is like...steroids: the match. Jesus Christ both of these guys are massive. How do you even function at that size? Despite the two massive dudes, this is a speed vs power match. Warlord is just...so impressive. How did that dude not get a short main event run with Hogan? LOOK AT HIM. His muscularity. His masculinity. His vascularity. And it's not like he was terrible in the ring. He could have easily done a solid Hogan formula match. Strike battle! The ease with which Warlord picked up Davey for a belly to belly is insane. Bulldog had to be a solid 275 or more. Warlord picked him up like a baby. Bulldog's standing dropkick is no joke, either. I'm into this. Two giant fucking dudes doing cool shit. A nice story of Bulldog not being able to lift or even knock Warlord down. The full nelson is on! Bulldog eventually powers out of it and is finally able to get Warlord up for the powerslam and win. And you really see the size difference on the slam. Bulldog looks tiny holding Warlord, and Bulldog was at his PEAK of swollocity.
TO THE MOON. The Hart Foundation's titles look especially gold tonight. The Nasty Boys aren't nasty...they're SCUM.
TO THE NASTY GENE. Fuck the Nasty Boys.
Nasty Boys vs Hart Foundation WWF Tag Team Championships
Shout out to Macaulay Culkin in the crowd. Also lol at cameras cutting to a US flag during the Hart Foundation's entrance. I mean, sure, there are American flags everywhere as that's the theme since Desert Storm had just wrapped up, but they cut to a dude in the crowd holding one. Bret starts the match, knocking the shit out of both Nasty Boys. THESZ PRESS RIGHT HAND RIGHT HAND AUSTIN AUSTIN. Harts really dominate the first half of the match. Almost squash territory for a while. Bret ended up as FIP. After multiple fake out cheating attempts, the Nasty's finally get to use Jimmy's helmet to steal the win. New champions. As far as Nasty Boys matches go, this is about as good as it could be. Bret was on some next level shit, and as this was the last time the Hart Foundation was a regular team (in America, at least), you can tell Bret was seizing his opportunity.
Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel Blindfold Match
This is great for live fans. Not so great for people watching at home. So much crowd interaction. The match is really built around it. Look, it's a silly gimmick match, but they made it work. Lesser guys would have had a terrible match instead of the pretty fun, interactive, entertaining make these two had. Jake won with the DDT.
TO THE MARLA. The Nasty Boyss are celebrating in the back with the Mountie, Dino Bravo, and Earthquake. Toxic Masculinity. Disgusting.
Jimmy Snuka vs The Undertaker
My favorite thing FOR SURE about the first couple years of Taker are the reaction shots of kids trying not to cry when he came out. The match itself is very short. Taker easily wins with the tombstone, begining his WM streak and taking the "phenom" moniker from Snuka in the process.
Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior Career Ending Match
Brain spots Miss Elizabeth in the crowd before the match starts. Warrior starts the match by...walking calmly to the ring, showing how seriously he's taking this match. Warrior's gear tells a story, with pictures of himself and Savage on his knee pads, and the back of his trunks saying "Means much more than this" with a picture of the championship. This is some legitimate warrior shit. Every move is measured and has meaning. Everything is part of the story. There is no moves for the sake of moves, no cute spots to pop the crowd. This is a Greek epic between two warriors. A story and match that could really only happen in the WWF in this specific time period. Two larger than life characters fighting for more than titles and livelihoods. It's something special. And it's wonderful. Warrior kicks out of FIVE flying elbows in a row. Normally, you'd think that is absolutely stupid. But here, it works. It makes sense. Warrior tapping into his destrucity and being willed on. And then Macho kicks out of the press slam/splash combo, which had never been done. Not even Hulk Hogan kicked out. The same powers that willed Warrior to kick out of the elbows seem to have abandoned him, as he looks to the heavens to question his gods. Warrior is having a crisis of faith. That's how big this match is. It's so deep that Warrior was going to walk out, feeling he no longer had his power or support from the gods. Savage attacked him, which is really the most dastardly of moves to attack a man during his crisis of faith. Warrior gets the message from his spirit world and defeats Randy Savage. Epic is a word that has been completely stripped of meaning online for years now. But this match is truely epic. Legendary figures clashing on the biggest world stage. After the match, Sherri would attack Savage. Liz jumped the railing to save Randy. They finally reunite, tears following from everyone. And for the first time, Randy holds the ropes open for Liz. If this had been an actual retirement match, it would have been the greatest send off of all time.
TO THE REGIS. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer are the guests. Lol, they start measuring Regis.
TO THE ALEX. Trebek is with Demolition and Fuji.
BACK TO THE REGIS. Regis Philbin interviewing Genichiro Tenryu at Wrestlemania. What a weird time 1991 was. The only thing they can talk about is Regis saying Japanese car manufacturers. And they think he's Kathy Lee. It was weird. And terrible.
BACK TO THE ALEX. He's with Jake and Damien. Damien loves Jeopardy. Faithful viewer.
Demolition vs Genichiro Tenryu/Koji Kitao
I'm super disappointed Tenryu didn't come out to his normal theme for this. Just that Tenryu is wrestling at WM is weird enough. Having his music would have been too much to handle. Tenryu terrorizes whoever takes his robe. Fans don't care about this, but that's not surprising. They don't know who Tenryu/Kitao are, and there is no storyline reason for this to be happening. Plus this is something of intermission for the show. Tenryu wins in a short match with a powerbomb on Smash. I believe this was the debut of the powerbomb in a WWF ring.
TO THE MOON. Brain and Perfect cut a promo, referencing the Rodney King beating, essentially saying they're going to make their own version with Boss Man as Rodney.
TO THE MEAN GENE. The Big Boss Man is about to bring hard times to Mr. Perfect.
Big Boss Man vs Mr. Perfect WWF Intercontinental Championship
Lord Al fills in for Brain on commentary for this match. Boss Man literally wipes his ass with Perfect's towel. Rude. HE SPAT IN HIS FACE. Perfect then does the Jannetty bump from a slap. On the floor. Boss Man is so fast for a dude his size. It's very impressive. Boss Man gets his belt involved, whipping the shit out of Perfect with it. The ref allowed it. Perfect does an interesting variation of the neck snap, doing it from the front while Boss Man is on his knees. It was basically a grounded Blockbuster. Boss Man fires up, but takes a nasty face first bump into the steps. As Brain gets his cheap shots in, ANDRE THE GIANT comes out to keep him in check. Andre grabs the belt. Perfect yells at him and gets blasted with it. Haku and Barb hit the ring to cause a DQ. Andre throws some punches and chops.
Mean Gene talks with Donald Trump out in the crowd. Oh shit. He's with Chuck Norris, the Fonz, and Lou Ferrigno. Chuck lets you know he's a real fan, name dropping Gorgeous George and Argentine Rocca.
Greg Valentine vs Earthquake
Quake wins in a very short match.
TO THE MOON. The Legion of Doom are going to murder Sour and Gory.
Power and Glory vs Legion of Doom
This match also starts before the bell. LOD wins in a match even shorter than the last one.
Ted DiBiase vs Virgil
Sold out Wrestlemania crowd chanting for Virgil. What a time 1991 was. Too bad Virgil is absolutely terrible. There is a lot of stalling, and a lot of bailing from Ted. The highlight of the match was him shoving a crippled Roddy Piper down. Then he got counted out fucking with him. Virgil wins! sherri comes out and she and Ted tear Piper's bad leg apart. Poor Danny Davis gets hit right in the balls with Piper's crutch. Lol. Piper struggles to get up, refusing help from anyone. Virgil wills him up, much like Piper willed Virgil to stand up for himself.
TO THE MOON. Sarge and Adnan say some shit.
The Mountie vs Tito Santana
Mountie wins in about 2 minutes with the shock stick.
TO THE MEAN BROTHERJACKDUDE. Hulk is never going to let Sgt. Slaughter hurt his Hulkamaniacs ever again, brother.
Hulk Hogan vs Sgt. Slaughter WWF Championship
Alex Trebek is the special ring announcer. Regis joins for commentary. Marla rings the bell. Lots of stalling from Sarge. Then he gets hit with a shoulder block that nearly knocks him over the top rope. From the mat. Pretty so-so main event. Sarge bumped like Mr. Perfect, Hulk got busted open and did Ric Flair spots, and won the title for AMERICA. During the pose down, Hulk wiped his blood with an American flag and threw it to someone in the crowd. What the fuck?
A very, very underrated WM. Warrior/Savage is, in my eyes, the greatest WWF match of all time. It's a match that only WWF could have produced with those two guys in that specific time. It couldn't have happened anywhere else in the world and it's perfect in every way. That alone would be enough to make it a memorable show. But this also has a decent enough main event, fun opening tag, a decent Nasty Boys match, a very fun Bulldog/Warrior match, FNP blindfold match, solid Boss Man/Perfect match, and Tenryu winning at WM with a powerbomb. It's a good show. It could have been cut down a bit, but it's WM and just about everyone on the roster worth a shit got a pay day.
Just for fun, I grabbed some screen shots of interesting looking pictures caused by flashbulbs: