The Mega Powers Explode! That was the tagline for the 1989 Wrestlemania V PPV. And this is a Wrestlemania V review. So what do we know about this card coming off the back of the Royal Rumble PPV? Well Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage finally fell out and as a result headline this pay per view. It would seem that Hogan doesn’t like faces becoming as popular as him so he suggests turning them heel, see Paul Orndorff, Andre The Giant and now Randy Savage. Randy got jealous of Hogans relationship with Miss Elizabeth and because of that snapped and challenged the Hulkster at Wrestlemania. It’s the first time that the two go one on one on pay per view so I’m looking forward to that one.
Besides that, Rick Rude gets an Intercontinental title match against Ultimate Warrior in a feud that has been based around their bodies and Bobby Heenans lust for gold. Demolition are the longest reigning champions in the WWF as it stands (by minutes) and finally defend their titles against The Powers Of Pain of whom they’ve been feuding with for a long time. Mr Fuji will also be involved in that one.
Besides that, Hercules gets a match with one of Heenans guys, Haku, Brutus Beefcake gets a push with a match against Ted Dibiase. The Bushwhackers and Ronnie Garvien get their first taste of a proper PPV match whilst there are no less than 5 tag team matches on a 14 match card. Jake Roberts also gets his hands on Andre The Giant, the man afraid of snakes.
So lets get started. Gorilla Monsoon quickly introduces us into the show and we’re straight into it, down to ringside!
King Haku vs. Hercules
Well up first we have two guys who were inevitably going to clash at some point due to being stuck in the midcard for so long. Haku has been on a good roll since going solo having become King, was the last man to be eliminated from his Survivor Series match and then beat Harley Race at the Rumble. Hercules however is still looking for his first victory on PPV having made his PPV debut at Wrestlemania II.
It’s a quick start with Haku attacking Hercules before the bell but Hercules quickly comes back and takes Haku out. Hercules takes a break to go after Bobby Heenan, his ex manager who is at ringside with the King. Hercules turned face because Heenan sold him to Ted Dibiase as a slave. Anyway, Hercules and Haku go toe to toe back in the ring and it’s Hercules with the advantage. Herc hits a nice looking powerslam. He makes the mistake of going up top and Haku hits him with a thrust kick. Haku then misses a move off the top himself. Hercules then hits a german suplex and bridges it for the big (and unexpected) win to kick off Wrestlemania V!
The Twin Towers (Big Boss Man & Akeem) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Boss Man and Akeem have spent the last six months main eventing so this is a big big match for The Rockers. It’s two big men against two quick smaller guys. Michaels and Boss Man start the match with Shawn flying around like a ping pong ball. I like the Akeem gimmick, ridiculous as it is. I also like The Rockers as a tag team. They won’t get a tag title shot whilst fellow face team Demolition have the belts though. Lots of double teaming and quick tags from The Twin Towers and it’s Jannetty feeling the brunt of it. This is a Wrestlemania debut for all of these guys (unless you count Akeems spell as One Man Gang last year). The Boss Man is still largely overweight.
Akeem accidentally nails the Boss Man which allowed Jannetty to tag Michaels! The Rockers with some double team moves now which the referee seems to not want to count. Wow, Akeem smashes Michaels with a big clothesline. Big Boss Man goes up top and misses a big splash. Michaels can’t get the three count though. A double dropkick knocks Akeem off the apron and then a double flying dropkick off the top knocks over The Boss Man. Although Jannetty looks like he missed. Michaels off top again and Boss Man nails a big powerbomb. The first powerbomb I’ve seen on PPV. Akeem with the big splash now and the three count which picks up the big win for The Twin Towers.
Backstage to Ted Dibiase now and he’s got some words for Brutus Beefcake. Interesting that they havent continued the Beefcake/Honky Tonk Man feud into Wrestlemania. Good promo from Dibiase who now has his Million Dollar belt.
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
This is a big match for Beefcake who goes up against the man who main evented much of 1988. I’m not the biggest Brutus fan but he’s been around since the first Wrestlemania and is deserved of a push. This is certainly his biggest match to date on PPV whilst it’s probably Dibiases lowest match. Some bright colours on show with Dibiases green, Brutus’ gold and Virgils pink. Beefcake straight into it as Dibiase chats some smack. Both men exchange right hands and Brutus seems to come out of that on top. Virgil gets involved, grabbing The Barbers leg. Dibiase with the advantage hitting some of his trademark falling fists. Both of these men looking for their first win since Wrestlemania last year.
Beefcake has fought on every Wrestlemania so far which is some achievement. Million Dollar man locks on the Million Dollar Dream now but Beefcake gets to the ropes. Beefcake gives the sign for a sleeper of his own and he locks it on. Virgil jumps up to the apron, distracting Beefcake and when Dibiase sends him to the outside, Virgil gets involved again. Dibiase goes to the outside where he and Beefcake slug it out and the referee counts them both out! It’s a draw! That finish definitely gets the thumbs down from me. After the match Brutus gets his hair clippers but Dibiase and Virgil manage to escape.
Backstage to “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Bobby starts us off telling Rude he’ll be winning the title. Rude is confident too.
The Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond Rougeaus & Jacques Rougeaus) vs. The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke)
Well it seems the feud between The Rougeaus and The Hart Foundation is over. New tag team on the block The Bushwhackers make their Wrestlemania debut against a team that haven’t won on pay per view since The Big Event back in 1986. All four men start the match and Jimmy Hart gets sandwiched between The Rougeaus! The referee loses control of this match from the beginning with The Rougeaus double teaming The Bushwhackers from the bell. I’m not sure which Bushwhacker is in and the commentators don’t seem to know either. The Rougeaus continue their double teaming none the less. Jacques tries to start a USA chant which I still find hilarious.
The brothers hug and as they do The Bushwhackers set up the Battering Ram and hit Raymond with it and then a double stomach breaker! They hook the leg and get the three count! It’s a bit of an upset but the Bushwhackers pick up the big win and The Rougeaus continue their PPV losing streak!
Mr Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer
Perfect comes out to no music and he is followed by The Blue Blazer who comes out dressed in his super hero outfit to some 80’s bouncy music. Perfect is a slow riser in the WWF and this is both of these guys first singles match on pay per view. The Blazer starts off well, dropkicking Perfect to the outside then nailing him with a baseball slide. This definitely feels like the new era of WWF now. Some nice reversals on show in this match. Perfect has new ring gear, a singlet as opposed to tights. Blazer goes up top and attempts a splash but Perfect gets his knees up. Perfect hits the Perfect-plex and it’s enough for a three count! Mr Perfect picks up his first win on pay per view.
Backstage to Strike Force who are reunting tonight to take on The Brain Busters. They’re cut off though to go back to ringside. And in the ring now it’s Run DMC! They’re doing a Wrestlemania rap which is pretty entertaining but didn’t need to be in the ring.
Backstage to Mr Perfect now who’s happy with his big win from earlier. Interestingly Mene Gene says that Bret Hart wants a piece of Mr Perfect. Could this be the start of a singles run for Bret?
Mr Fuji & The Powers Of Pain (The Warlord & Barbarian) vs. Demolition (c) (Ax & Smash) – Tag Team Championship Handicap match
Demolition looks badass in their entrance attire. I like the masks. This is a Wrestlemania debut for The Powers of Pain and an in ring PPV debut for Mr Fuji. This match has been in the making since Summerslam last year. There’s a great storyline behind it with Fuji turning his back on Demolition and siding with the Powers Of Pain. Ax starts the match with The Warlord. Ax takes Warlord down in the early going and tags in Smash. Smash is the personality of the team as he tags out to Ax and in comes the Barbarian. Demolition have been by far my favourite tag team champions so far. No sign of Mr Fuji getting involved yet. The heels take the advantage after some sneaky tactics.
And Fuji comes in! He takes it to Ax who is helpless on the ground and in comes The Barbarian. The Barbarian hits his big shoulder block and tags The Warlord. Quick tags from the challengers. Mr Fuji goes up top and misses a senton! Hot tag to Smash now who takes it to everyone! All four men in the ring now and Mr Fuji attempts to throw some salt in Smash’s eyes but the champion ducks and Warlord gets it in the face.Smash holds Fuji in place and Ax nails him from the top rope with an elbow. Three count and it’s over, the awesome Demolition retain the belts!
Backstage to Slick and The Twin Towers who want a piece of Demolition. That would be a big clash between two big teams, looking forward to seeing that clash, Summerslam maybe?
Dino Bravo vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
Well I expected Bravo to be up against Jim Duggan for this one but obviously not. Mene Gene then announces a special guest and it’s “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. I don’t think he’s been seen since Wrestlemania 1. Odd that he’s coming out now though. He gets in the ring, milks it, then leaves. Random. Bravo then attacks Garvin from behind and gets the early advantage. Garvin made his PPV debut in the Royal Rumble so this is his singles debut. Dino Bravo who has been on a roll as of late with wins at Survivor Series and Summerslam continues to take it to Ronnie. Frenchy Martin watches on as Garvin turns the tables.
The crowd aren’t into this match except for the odd “USA” chant. Gorilla says the crowd are in awe, I think not. Garvin gets a few near falls and then locks in a sleeper. Bravo nips over to the ropes though. Ronnie tries for a piledriver but Bravo reverses it. Bravo nails Ronnie with an atomic drop and then a side suplex for the win! Bravo continues his roll but gets attacked after the bell by Rugged Ronnie who then turns his attention to Frenchy Martin.
The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) vs. Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana)
Strike Force come out grinning from ear to ear whilst the Brain Busters look pissed off. This is the fourth tag team match of the night which just goes to show how good the tag division is right now. Tully and Arn in red start the match well but Martel is explosive taking both men down. All four men in now and Strike Force nail dropkicks in stereo. Bobby Heenan looking for his first win of the night after Haku lost to Hercules earlier. Martel with Arn down now and attempting a Boston Crab and gets it but Tully breaks it up. Blanchard and Santana in now. Santana locks in the figure four and Martel does the same to Anderson! They get broken up and it’s back to Santana and Blanchard.
Martel tags himself in and as Santana goes for his trademark flying forearm, Blanchard ducks and Santana nails Martel! For some reason it’s Santana as the main man though and he tries a pin on Anderson who tags in Tully. This match is a quick pace with lots of quick tags from The Brain Busters. Tito takes a beating for a while until he manages to throw Anderson off the top rope. Tito crawls over to Martel but Rick walks away from the tag! He then walks to the back, annoyed with his partner. Back in the ring Tully and Arn take it to Santana. The Brain Busters hit an awesome looking spike piledriver which is enough to put Santana away for the three. Controversial!
Backstage to Martel who says he’s been carrying Santana for too long. Strike Force are over!
Well we expect to see the return of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the man who’s been gone for two years but instead, out comes Brother Love in a kilt! Brother Love comes out and says he has a special guest, Brother Rodney! Love then does his best Roddy Piper impression, which actually isn’t that bad. Some generic 80’s music then hits and out comes Marton Downey Junior. He comes out smoking a cigarette and high fives Brother Love. Brother Love tells Marton that he loves him and Marton lights up another cigarette. Mene Gene then announces “Rowdy” Roddy Piper again and this time, out he comes! Roddy comes straight out and talks some smack to Brother Love while Marton Downey Jr takes his socks off and throws them out to the crowd. Odd. Brother Love isn’t a fighter, he’s a lover. Morton throws cigarettes at Piper to pass the time in what is a bit of a car crash return for Roddy Piper. Piper rips off Brother Loves kilt in one of the more disturbing Wrestlemania moment and Love runs to the back. Piper isn’t happy with Downey smoking in his face. Downey then uses a “mom” joke on Piper and winds him up even more. Piper replies with a girlfriend joke. These two look like they really don’t like each other. And I’m not a fan of Downey either. He keeps blowing smoke in Pipers face and this isn’t going to end well. And it doesn’t! Piper sprays Downey with a fire extinguisher and thankfully, it’s over.
To a package of The Mega Powers! We see their formation at Wrestlemania last year and the end of their match at Summerslam. Then to Survivor Series where they were victorious. Funny how both Summerslam and Survivor Series ended with Hogans music despite Savage being the champion. Now to Saturday Nights Main Event with Savage saving Hogan and Superstars with Hogan saving Savage. And finally The Main Event where Hogan carried Elizabeth to the back and Savage slapped him.
And now backstage to Hulk Hogan who is as intense as always. He can’t believe what’s happened with Randy Savage and thinks the Mania was ahead of the Madness. Apparently Donald Trump has sent out a team of “seismecologists” to make sure the foundations of the Trump Tower are ok. There’s going to be an explosion tonight!
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Andre The Giant – Special Guest Referee – Big John Studd
Studd comes out first to what I’m sure is Jim Duggans music. Interesting that Studd has gone from winning the Royal Rumble to being a special guest referee. The rumble seems to be more of a curse than anything else. Andre is out next with Bobby Heenan to no music. Roberts comes out and Andre attacks him before the bell, smashing him into the corner which doesn’t have a turnbuckle pad! Jake comes back and clotheslines the big man causing Andre to get tied up in the ropes! This match has been six months in the making and feels like a big match. Back and forth now and Andre knocks Roberts to the outside. Andre hasn’t won on PPV since Survivor Series 87 but I can see him doing the job to Jake in this one. Andre and Studd now getting up in each others face.
Jake goes to grab the snake but Heenan calls for someone and out comes The Million Dollar Man who grabs the snake! Meanwhile Andre choked out the special guest referee. Jake grabs the snake from Dibiase and throws it into the ring and Andre runs off. The bell then rings and Jake Roberts is announced the winner by disqualification!
The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) vs. Honky Tonk Man & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
The Hart Foundation looking for back to back PPV victories. Honky and Valentine make their tag team debut with Jimmy Hart in their corner. Honky Tonk and The Hitman start it off. But both men make tags and Neidhart jumps around with dropkicks. I can’t get over how many tag matches we’ve had tonight. Bret and Honky back in and it’s Bret with the advantage, hitting his second rope knee drop. When all hell breaks loose Neidhart chucks his partner the megaphone who nails Honky Tonk Man with it. He gets the three count. I get the feeling this match could have been better if it was given more time.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. The Ultimate Warrior (c) – Intercontinental Title Match
Rude treats us to a promo pre-match, one for all those high rolling Atlantic City sweat-hogs. Rick unveils his tights that have the Intercontinental title imprinted on. They get straight into this one as Ultimate Warrior enters the ring. Warrior then throws Rude into the corner three times. The pace then slows down as Warrior locks in a bear hug. This is the champions first defense on pay per view. Rude is an awesome opponent too. The bear hug is broken and Warrior goes back to work on his challenger. He goes for his trademark splash but Rude gets his knees up. It’s Rudes turn to get some offence in now and he nails a big piledriver. Warrior in his yellow trunks kicks out. On Heenans quest to get gold, this could be his best chance. Rude hits a big clothesline but he’s selling the knee.
Warrior now back into it hitting Rude with a clothesline. He then goes back to throwing Rick across the ring. Warrior attempts a splash in the corner but Rick gets out the way and goes for Rude Awakening but the champion powers out of it and hits a big clothesline, knocking the challenger out of the ring. Warrior throws him right back into the ring and then clotheslines him back out! Warrior picks him up onto the apron and tries to suplex him back in but Heenan grabs the leg and Rude falls on top of Warrior. With Heenan still grabbing Warriors leg, the referee counts 3 and Rick Rude wins the match and the title! Warrior gets revenge after the bell on Heenan but the story here is the new Intercontinental champion, “Ravishing” Rick Rude!
Bad News Brown vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
This is an interesting match up. Brown won at Wrestlemania and Summerslam last year and wasn’t pinned at Survivor Series either. Duggan won his match at Royal Rumble this year so it’s two at the top end of the mid card. Both men slug it out in the beginning and Brown retreats after Duggan clotheslines him to the outside. Bad News gets back in and has to deal with Duggans “Hoooooooo” every few minutes. This is a match between two brawlers. Brown can’t seem to take Duggan down. It’s back and forth with both men jabbing and throwing. Brown now headbutts Duggan to the outside and then throws him into the steel post before throwing him back into the ring. Brown goes for the Ghetto Blaster but Duggan ducks and then nails him with the three point stance, sending him to the outside! Brown grabs a steel chair and brings it into the ring and Duggan grabs his 2×4. Both men use their weapons and the bell rings, presumably a double disqualification! And yes it is!
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan vs The Red Rooster
Bobby Heenan in action next! This is actually his third match on pay per view and he’s won his last two. Heenan comes out with The Brooklyn Brawler and the Rooster struts down afterwards. Heenan used to manage the Rooster and seemed to ditch him at Survivor Series.Rooster makes short work of Heenan, sidestepping his spear sending him into the post and then pinning him for the three. Heenans 100% record is gone. The Brawler steps in after the match and attacks the Red Rooster before high-tailing it.
Miss Elizabeth backstage now. She’s going to be in a mutual corner supporting both men. She hopes that neither man will be seriously injured.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) vs. Hulk Hogan – World Heavyweight Championship Match
No Wrestlemania main event has been without one of these guys and now they go head to head. The crowd are thoroughly behind Hulk Hogan in this one. He throws Savage across the ring to start with showing who is the more powerful of the two. Savage uses his old school heel tactics and climbs out of the ring. He climbs back in and then out again, this time putting Elizabeth in front of him as Hogan comes after him. Savage is such a good heel and is very easy to hate. Neither man gets the advantage for too long. This is Randy Savage’s first PPV title defense. Randy goes up top and hits the double axe handle, taking Hogan down for a near fall. Savage to the arm bar now. Hogan grabs the trunks of Savage and throws him to the outside. It’s Hogan with the advantage now, taking the champ down with a big clothesline.
The Hulkster is now bleeding, I’m not sure why but he’s bleeding just above the eye. Randy locks on a sleeper which slows the match back down. The match won’t end with a sleeper though and Hogan gets out of it. He doesn’t have the advantage for long now though as it’s the champ back on top. Savage starts celebrating though and Hogan gets up and takes Randy down. With Savage on the outside Elizabeth checks on the champ but he doesn’t want any part of it. The two men brawl on the outside and Hogan goes to smash Savage into the post but Miss Elizabeth stands in the way. This gives Randy chance to slip down and dropkick Hogan into the post! Savage chases Elizabeth to the back and how there hasn’t been a count out by now I don’t know.
Savage up top now and hits the big double axe handle to the outside on Hulk. Hogan guillotines his neck on the barricade giving Savage a new target. Randy powerslams him in the middle of the ring and gets a near fall. Randy goes up top now and nails The Big Elbow! But Hogan kicks out! And the former champ Hulks up. The Trump Plaza starts to liven up now, getting behind Hogan. He hits the big boot and the legdrop and it’s over! Hulk Hogan is the new World Heavyweight champion! Hogan closes out the show celebrating to Real American and the crowd love it as always.
Rating: 7.25/10* Match Of The Night
Well that was a very interesting pay per view. It was 14 matches in total plus a Pipers Pit segment. Some of it was forgettable. I didn’t see the point in Bad News Brown and Jim Duggan if it wasn’t going to have a decisive winner. Jake Roberts and Andre was really disappointing. I couldn’t bring myself to care about Dino Bravo and Ronnie Garvin. The opener wasn’t memorable nor was The Rougeaus/Bushwhackers and Heenan/Rooster seems pointless too. I think they maybe tried to squeeze too much into this one and as a result, match quality suffered. There was no Harley Race, Ron Bass, The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware. There was some good to come out of the pay per view. Hogan and Savage put on a solid main event. I enjoyed the Twin Towers and Rockers match and Rude and Warrior didn’t put on a terrible match either.
So going into Summerslam, Hogan is the World champion, Rick Rude the Intercontinental Champion and Demolition hold on to the Tag titles. I feel that Wrestlemania V was the beginning of a new era for WWF, gone were the old school types of Don Muraco, JYD, Ken Patera and such. I think this PPV would have been given a much higher score if matches like Perfect/Blazer and Hart Foundation/Honky & Valentine were given more time.
Overall Rating: 43/100 (Ranked 9th out of 12)