The next stop on our journey is in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for WWE’s third pay per view and the only one ever to be split across three cities giving the fans in each of these cities an hour show. The pay per view is Wrestlemania 2, WWE’s biggest show of the year so they’ll try and pull out all the stops.
But what’s gone down since the last pay per view? Well Hulk Hogan is still World Heavyweight champion. His year long rivalry with “Rowdy Roddy Piper” is over and he now has to deal with a much bigger threat in the form of King Kong Bundy. Bundy attacked Hogan on an episode of Saturday Nights Main Event and with Heenan by his side, he’ll get his shot against Hogan in the main event.
Randy Savage has beaten Tito Santana for the Intercontinental title and The Fabulous Moolah has taken the Womens title back from Wendy Richter. Both Savage and Moolah will defend their championships tonight. The Dream Team of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake are still tag team champions and will defend their titles later.
So without further ado let’s go off to the Nassau Coliseum in New York where Vince McMahon calls the action with Susan St James. I have no idea who she is either.
“Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. “Magnificent” Muraco
Well we’re straight into the action and it’s arguably WWE’s #2 face at the time and the man that main evented last years show Paul Orndorff against Don Muraco. Muraco was Intercontinental champion in 1984 and the reigning King Of The Ring but he seems to be coming to the end of his career. He looks slightly overweight and not as trim as he once was. We’re treated to the audio of an Orndorff interview as the match begins, which was very odd. Apparently Muraco said Orndorff will be embarrassed tonight like he was last year. Orndorff starts the match well and has a lot of intensity. Muraco doesn’t bring a lot so this match would have been far more dull with it.
Wonderful does the Japanese eyes at Mr Fuji, not sure he’d get away with that these days but it causes more racist chants from the crowd. Orndorff had the advantage for most of this match until it spilt outside where you could barely see them scrapping because of the poor lighting out there. Both men get counted out and the crowd give a “Bullshit” chant. I didn’t realise that happened back then. The Fink is about to announce the double count out but they go straight to the next match. Well, they did on my DVD anyway. This match was ok. Orndorff saved it a little and he seems quite over. He still looks like He-Man though.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) vs. George “The Animal” Steele – Intercontinental Title Match
Randy Savage won the Intercontinental title two months prior to Wrestlemania 2, defeating Tito Santana on Prime Team Wrestling with a little help from a foreign object. Savage now has to deal with the man who has a creepy crush on his manager, George Steele. Steele has this sort of camp style about him, I don’t know what it is. He creeps Savage out though and the champion keeps running away. Every time this match looks set to go Savage is out of there. He’s a badass but plays the coward so well. Eventually we get into this match and after a back and forth, Steel bites Savages calf! Apparently that’s legal and so the match continues.
We have a bit more back and forth with neither man getting the edge. Savage continues to leave the ring and this time crawls under it and attacks Steel from behind. I swear Savage has spent more time outside the ring than in it. Randy grabs some flowers from ringside and slaps Steele with them! Apparently that’s legal too and it doesn’t take long before Steele repays the favour. George Steele does his trademark biting of the turnbuckle leaving the fans happy for a moment but the hairy angel once again gets distracted by Miss Elizabeth and Savage takes advantage, powerslamming him and hitting the big elbow. Game over? Nope, Steele kicks out to the suprise of everyone. Savage then gets the cheeky win, pinning “The Animal” with his feet on the ropes. Savage remains champion in an ok match.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. George Wells
Jake made his debut in the WWF a month prior to Wrestlemania and is lucky enough to get his first pay per view match at the showcase of the immortals. He takes on a lesser known George Wells who also makes his PPV debut. All the information I can give you on Wells is that he’s a former American football player. He’s not bad in the ring to be honest, he starts the match off quickly and even takes Roberts down with a flying head scissors. George dominated the match really, not giving Roberts a say until the end where Jake hits his trademark DDT for the victory. The aftermath was what got the crowd going with Jakes snake being wrapped around Wells causing him to vomit. That was Geroge’s only PPV appearance and the match ratings for this one is mainly based on him.
We’re treated to a video package about Roddy Piper and Mr T and what led to their boxing match which is up next. We then have Piper backstage cutting a fantastic interview and Mr T talking smack with The Fink announcing over the top of him. That’s the second audio problem tonight.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Mr T – Boxing Match
That’s right, a boxing match. Piper comes out with Bob Orton whilst Mr T is with “Smoking” Joe Frazier. This is the main event for the crowd in New York so let’s hope it’s a good one. There was a genuine hatred between these two guys so the shots that look pretty stiff are actually that stiff. Piper has some cool tartan shorts. Piper really goes for it in the first couple of round. Mr T chooses to stay defensive. Piper definitely won the first round. And he knocks Mr T down in the second which wakes the crowd up a bit. The crowd chant for Piper, loving the cocky heel. Piper won the second round too if you ask me.
The third round belonged to Mr T though as he knocks Piper down and had the momentum for the rest of the round. This is a huge workout for these guys and you can see how tired they look. There’s nowhere to hide in a boxing match. Piper was punched to the outside in the third round, maybe to give him time to catch his breath. I make it 2-1 to Piper but things started getting out of hand. Piper throws his stool at Mr T before the forth round and during the forth he shoves the referee out of the way and then powerslams Mr T causing a DQ. I’m not going to rate this match as it’s difficult to rate against wrestling matches. It had its moments though.
So that’s it for New York. The fans there were treated to Orndorff, Savage, Steele, Jake Roberts, Piper and Mr T. The Intercontinental match was definitely the highlight for me. Next we’re off to Chicago where Gorilla Monsoon calls the action with Mene Gene Okerland and Cathy Lee Crosby. I have no idea who she is. Probably some light entertainment host in the US at the time.
The Fabulous Moolah (c) vs. Velvet McIntyre – Womens Title Match
Our second title match of the night is defended at Wrestlemania once more. Last year it Wendy Richter and Lelaini Kai and this year it’s arguably WWE’s biggest ever womens star Moolah defending her title against somebody I’ve never heard of. Well this was the shortest match of the night at 85 seconds. There was a quick back and forth, a very quick start from Moolah and the match finished shortly after when Velvet missed a big splash and Moolah pinned her, getting the three count despite McIntyre’s foot being draped on the bottom rope. The second title match of the evening results in the champion retaining.
Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff – Flag Match
Kirchner back for his second pay per view appearance whilst Volkoff makes it three out of three. They meet in a flag match in which you win by grabbing your flag. Or so I was lead to believe. I’ve just noticed that the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago has nice red mats outside the ring making it look a bit nicer than the Nassau Coliseum. Sorry, back to the match, it’s fairly back and forth and ends in two minutes when Freddie Blassie attempts to throw his cane to Volkoff after Kirchner has shoved the referee over. Kirchner grabs the cane though and smacks Nikolai with it before pinning him for the win. And here was me thinking he had to grab the flag to win. Forgettable.
20 Man Battle Royal featuring Big John Studd, Hillbilly Jim, Bret Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, “Jumping” Jim Brunzell, Brian Blair, Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Dan Spivey, King Tonga, The Iron Sheik, Bruno Sammartino, Andre The Giant & 6 NFL players.
This match was heavily promoted for this pay per view and stars some seasoned veterans like Tony Atlas and Bruno Sammartino as well as some young talents like Bret Hart and Dan Spivey. Dick Butkes and Too Tall Jones also featured as referees for this bout. The Hart Foundation wear blue and black and Andre wears yellow trunks much like his best bud Hulk Hogan. King Tonga later known as Haku is the first man to be eliminated. A lot of the filler talent like Brunzel, Atlas, Morales, Arcidi, Spivey and Blair followed. Sammartino managed to stay in there a while without actually doing anything. Upon typing that he eliminates The Iron Sheik.
A few eliminations later and we’re down to the final four. Andre, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart & NFL player Russ Francis. The Hart foundation dispose of Francis and are left with Andre. It’s a great rub for Bret and Jim to last this long but it is of course Andre who picks up the win continuing his epic win streak. This was an entertaining match with a few good spots. Studd and “The Refrigerator” had a good battle. Best match of the night thus far.
Rating: 6/10* joint match of the night.
The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (c)) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) – Tag Team Title Match
The final match in Chicago is for the tag team titles. Brutus and Valentine won the titles about six months ago from Rotunda and Windham and this is their first major defense. The Bulldogs are accompanied by Captain Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne! I like the Bulldogs, they feel like a real tag team not just two men thrown together. Apparently Beefcake was put with Valentine to improve him in-ring work. They don’t have a lot of chemistry though. Thhe Bulldogs dominate the early going, first Valentine and then Beefcake. They have a lot of chemistry and make quick tags to stay fresh. They really understand the tag team mentality.
Eventually Greg Valentine gets the upperhand and slows down what was a quick, exciting match. He locks in a sleeper much to the disappointment of anyone watching, Luckily Dynamite takes control and the action speeds up. Mene Gene states that “Ozzy Osbourne is shaking at ringside”, that’ll be the drugs Gene. The fans much like Ozzy are right behind the Bulldogs. It feels like Beefcake has barely been in the ring. Very different to tag matches these days where the heels will make quick tags to keep the advantage. Or maybe that was their instructions pre-match. Keep Beefcake out of the ring, he’s a liability.
Davey Boy hits his patented running powerslam but can’t score the three count. The match ends where bizarrely Davey Boy throws Valentines massive concrete head into Dynamite Kid. The two men butt heads and Kid goes flying off the apron. Davey makes the pin and Brutus trips over the ropes, unable to break the count. For the second time in two Wrestlemanias we have new tag team champions. Interestingly, this was the longest wrestling match of the night. A solid match.
The fans in Chicago have been treated to two good matches and two bad ones. The battle royal was a lot of fun and the tag title match was a solid outing. They got to see three of their beloved babyfaces win so they should be pleased. Next we’re off to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena for the final hour of the show. Heel colour commentator Jesse Ventura calls the action with Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandes
Match number one in LA and match number nine of the night features Steamboat against rookie and PPV debuting Hercules. I want to quickly note that Hernandes looks like future WWE star Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore. Anyway Steamboat gets the early advantage with his trademark deep armdrags. Ventura states that the winner of this should be inline for a future Intercontinental title shot. Well I think that’s what he said anyway, his mic is so muffled you can barely make out what he’s saying. There are quite a few submissions in this match which bore me ever so slightly.
There’s a back and forth before Hercules gets the advantage using some big power moves. Hercules would go to the top and attempt a splash just for “The Dragon” to get his knees up. Steamboat goes up top and hits a standing crossbody for the win. I’d like to see Steamboat use a proper finisher, it’s what he’s really missing right now. This match was ok but the two really didn’t click and they botched a few spots.
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis vs. Uncle Elmer
Adonis gets camper every time I see him. He’s now wearing make up and wearing a dress. It looks like a womans nightey.Humiliating. Interesting that Uncle Elmer gets the match with Adonis and not Hillbilly Jim. Adonis looks like he’s put a lot of weight on too. This match was short. It should’ve been shorter because Adonis was outside the ring for ages and should’ve been counted out. None the less it looked to be over when Elmer avalanche’d Adonis in the corner but it ends with a big splash off the top rope from Adonis. Adrian gets the big win. Personally I would have had this match in Chicago and the “Flag Match” in LA.
The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk & Dory “Hoss” Funk Jr) vs. Tito Santana & Junkyard Dog
Jimmy Hart who accompanied Adonis stays at ringside with The Funks for this one. That must be why these two matches were in the same city. Santana and JYD are solid midcarders in the WWE at this point and serve a good purpose. JYD is really over and the fans chant his name before the bell has even gone. The Dog replies by clearing the ring of the Funks. He and Santana start well but eventually the Funks get the edge and Jimmy Hart gets a few stomps in himself. Jimmy was great in this match, I love the megaphone. Elvira has no idea what the names are of the competitors. Well, I take that back, she mentions Santana but doesn’t know JYD or Jimmy Hart.
It’s fairly back and forth this match with all four men gets some offence in. The Funks dominate Santana for a while until he makes the hot tag to Junkyard Dog and the crowd go nuts. The hot tag is just one of those things that gets the crowd on their feet. To get the advantage Terry Funk chokes JYD with some tape which apparently isn’t a disqualification. Hmmm, random siren. JYD ups the ante, slamming Terry Funk into a table. Funk loves it. The match ends when Terry smashes Jimmy Harts megaphone into Junkyard Dog before rolling him over and pinning him for the win. I really like Terry Funk at this point, they could have really utilised him.
You’d think this would put the Funks in with a shout of the tag team titles. Strangely this match was the second longest of the night (by 3 seconds) and longer than the main event between Hogan and Bundy.
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. King Kong Bundy – Cage match for WWE World Heavyweight Title
It’s main event time and tonight Hogan defends his World title against King Kong Bundy. A fine contender who is undefeated on pay per view up to this point. Hogan starts explosively and the fans lap it up. People really bought into Hogan and he really knew how to work the crowd. Bundy gets some offence in and it’s pretty back and forth. Hulkster uses the cage to his advantage, smashing Bundys head into it at every given chance. Bundy gets some momentum and takes off Hogans bandages, a great heel move. Hulk responds by throwing Bundy into the cage and this time busting him wide open. Bundy’s blood leaks out with every right hand that Hogan gives him. Brutal.
King Kong Bundy gets the advantage once more, whipping Hulk into the corner before running into him at top speed and nailing his finisher, the avalanche! Surely it’s over! No, of course it’s not as Hogan no sells it. Hulk then nails him with a big bodyslam before running off the ropes and hitting him with the big leg drop! Hulk then climbs the cage and drops down to retain his belt. He then climbs back in the cage to get hold of Bobby Heenan and give him a beatdown to close the show.
Rating: 6/10* joint match of the night
Well that was it folks. PPV #3 and Wrestlemania #2. The highlights were definitely the battle royal, the main event and the two tag matches. They were all given time to flourish. The boxing match was different and a meh, I could have lived without it. The shorter matches served their purpose but I was glad to see all four titles defended. This PPV wasn’t quite as good as last years Wrestlemania but was better than the previous PPV, Wrestling Classic.
Overall rating: 41/100 (#2 out of 3)