And the first mixed tag in WWF history.
Date: April 1, 1990
Location: SkyDome, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jesse Ventura, Gorilla Monsoon
Time for another historic main event and in this case it’s probably Hogan’s best match ever. After Hogan basically beat every heel in the company, the only thing left to do was to have someone new come into the main event. At the Royal Rumble, only Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior were left in the ring at one point. The fans erupted and we had Wrestlemania 6. That’s the only match of note on the card so let’s get to it.
The opening video is set in space with a bunch of constellations. Vince does a voiceover and talks about how the two strongest beings in the universe are Hogan and Warrior. That’s different if nothing else.
Robert Goulet sings O Canada.
Rick Martel vs. Koko B. Ware
Martel is now a model and THE RING CARTS ARE BACK!!! Rick jumps Koko to start things off and the beating is on fast. Koko comes out of the corner with a cross body for two and a dropkick to stagger Martel even more. Martel heads to the floor, only to be dragged right back in. He sends Koko to the floor though and things slow down a bit. Rick pounds away on the back and hits a middle rope shot to the back. A backbreaker looks to set up the Boston Crab but Koko makes the rope. Some rams into the corner don’t work because Koko is black you see. A middle rope cross body misses and this time the Crab ends Ware.
Rating: D+. Not much of an opener here but it was decent enough I guess. This would have been a dark match today I would guess. The interesting thing here is what you got on the clipped version. On that edition, the first Boston Crab was clipped to the ending of the second one. See how dangerous that stuff can be?
Gene is with the tag team champions Haku and Andre (the Colossal Connection), calling the Colostomy Connection. Heenan: “Well if you want to talk evacuation….” They say they’ll beat Demolition. Gene: “The Colossal Connection: they’re anything but regular guys.”
Demolition says they’re going to take out the Connection and take the titles. Ax wants to chop them down like trees while Smash wants to put them in a tractor trailer and push them over a cliff. Our heroes ladies and gentlemen!
Tag Titles: Colossal Connection vs. Demolition
Only the challengers get an entrance. Andre is old and banged up here but they gave him a token title at the end of his career. The champions, the Connection, takes over to start as it’s Haku vs. Smash to get us going. Off to Ax to pound away but Andre comes in to break it up. Smash will have none of that and the beating continues on Haku with the challengers taking turns on him.
Haku and Smash fight over a backslide for awhile until Andre breaks it up. Demolition keeps control though and Haku gets beaten on even more. Andre finally cheats enough to let the give the champions the advantage. The giant headbutts Ax from the apron for a very delayed two before Haku rams Ax’s head into Andre’s head for two more. This was during the time when Andre would be officially in for about 15 seconds which was all he was capable of anymore.
Off to the Tongan nerve hold by Haku for a bit before Andre chokes in the corner. Andre hasn’t actually been in the match yet. A shoulder breaker gets two for Haku but he misses a charge into the corner. Hot tag brings in Smash to clean house and a flying forearm gets two. Everything breaks down and Andre is taken down by a double clothesline. Haku accidentally superkicks Andre into the ropes and the Decapitator gives Demolition their third tag titles.
Rating: C-. This was decent stuff but it was basically a handicap match. Andre was just too old to do much else after this and I don’t think he ever had another match in the WWF. Demolition would go on to have a summer long reign before turning heel and losing the titles to the now face Hart Foundation. Decent stuff here and the fans loved it.
Heenan, ever the brilliant man, yells at Andre and SLAPS HIM IN THE FACE! Andre grabs him by the face and smacks him around, blocks Haku’s superkick like it’s a baby’s hand, knocks Haku into the ring cart, changes his mind and kicks Haku out of the cart and leaves to a huge ovation. This was a good way to go out for Andre as he showed he could still beat up a lot of people with ease. Good stuff.
Jimmy Hart thinks there’s going to be an earthquake in Toronto. Earthquake is ready for Hercules.
Hercules vs. Earthquake
Earthquake misses a charge into the corner to start and Hercules pounds away on him. The big man heads to the floor before coming back in for a test of strength. Hercules goes down almost immediately and Earthquake is in control. The non-disaster comes back with some clotheslines but for reasons of general stupidity, Hercules tries a torture rack which goes as well as you would expect on someone who weighs 468. Two Earthquakes end Hercules.
Rating: D. Quick and easy here as Earthquake was clearly being built up as a huge monster for either Hogan or Warrior. He could certainly move very quickly for a guy his size and he had the talking ability to back it up. Earthquake is often forgotten as a quality monster which is a shame because the guy was pretty awesome.
Some celebrity interviewer is with Liz who says she’ll be around more often in the future from now on. Not really but whatever.
Brutus Beefcake thinks Mr. Perfect’s record looks pretty good. Tonight, he’s going to make it imperfect.
Brutus Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect
This is one of the biggest matches on the card. Beefcake starts fast and punches Perfect to the floor with a single right hand. Back in and another punch sends Perfect flying over the top rope again. Brutus pounds away some more and Perfect gets to do his over the top bumping. A running clothesline puts Perfect down and Beefcake calls for the sleeper as Mary Tyler Moore of all people is here.
Perfect’s manager the Genius (the original Damien Sandow. They both even did cartwheels) slides in his metal scroll to Perfect and a shot to the head gives Mr. control. Perfect pounds away with some slow shots to the chest but the fans are staying into this. Beefcake comes back with the required slingshot into the required head first into the post bump by Perfect which is enough for the win out of nowhere.
Rating: C-. The crowd carried this one as Beefcake wasn’t a great worker but he had more charisma than he knew what to do with. Perfect was a leading candidate to face Hogan here so he was certainly a top heel. The match wasn’t great but it was more than enough to fire the crowd up again here. Granted the crowd is already white hot so no complaints here.
Post match Brutus goes to cut Perfect’s hair but Genius steals the clippers. Beefcake chases down the worthless Genius for a sleeper and a haircut. Brutus’ SWEET music is playing the whole time on top of that.
Now it’s time for one of the weirdest matches you’ll ever see. We recap Bad News Brown vs. Roddy Piper which started with a double elimination and a brawl at the Rumble. That’s all well and good. We go to Piper in the back where Piper says some people call him Hot Rod but then he turns around to show that half of his body is painted black. That side is called Hot Scot and you can hear the racial issues building from here. Apparently it was something about Michael Jackson.
Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
An interesting point here is that both guys are legit black belts in judo with Brown being an Olympic bronze medalist in the sport. They immediately take it to the mat in a fist fight until Piper gets two off a cross body of all things. The referee (former heel wrestler Danny Davis) keeps separating them so Brown takes over by sending Piper’s head into the buckle. He yells at Piper for trying to be black and it’s off to a nerve hold.
Brown slugs him down a few times and drops an elbow for two. Somewhere in there a buckle pad is ripped off and it’s Brown going chest first into said buckle. Piper pulls out a single white glove (Brown wore a single black one) and a bunch of punches send Brown to the floor. Piper swings a chair but hits the post and it’s a double countout.
Rating: D. Instead of a brawl or something entertaining, this was much more of a bizarre spectacle than anything else. Brown would be gone soon after this while Piper would shift into the broadcast booth to take over for Jesse. The fight was a lot weaker because of how much stuff there was to distract from the action which is never a good thing.
Steve Allen, former host of the Tonight Show, is playing a piano in the bathroom as the Bolsheviks rehearse the Russian national anthem. Jokes are made and they’re not that funny.
Hart Foundation vs. Bolsheviks
National anthem, Canadian assault, Hart Attack to Boris, pin in about 20 seconds.
Go to Mania 7 in Los Angeles where there will be over 100,000 fans! Or not because of “terrorism threats” so we’re going to a smaller place! Pay no attention to the fact that it was reported that Vince couldn’t sell the place out so they moved the event!
Tito is ready for Barbarian and Heenan.
The Barbarian vs. Tito Santana
This is Bobby Heenan’s debut as Barbarian’s manager. Barbarian takes him into the corner to start but Tito comes back with punches to send Barbie to the floor. Back in and a big hip toss puts Tito down but Santana comes back with right hands to the head for two. They run the ropes and Barbarian kicks Santana’s head off to take over. When all else fails, kick the other guy in the face.
Barbarian misses a middle rope elbow but Tito can’t take him down with a dropkick. The flying forearm takes Barbarian down but Heenan puts his foot on the rope. Barbarian slugs him down and goes up top for a BIG clothesline off the top (and a SWEET bump from Tito) for the pin.
Rating: C-. The shot at the end makes up for most of the match sucking. Tito looked like he was dead out there and the flip backwards made it look even better. This was just a way to set up Barbarian as a singles guy which went absolutely nowhere. The guy stayed employed over the years if nothing else though so he’s got something up on a lot of people. Tito was officially a jobber to the stars at this point.
We recap Dusty/Sapphire vs. Macho/Sherri. This started at the Rumble where Brother Love insulted Sapphire and a brawl broke out with Savage and Rhodes. Sherri started attacking Rhodes on TV and a fourway brawl broke out there too.
Rhodes and Sapphire are ready for the mixed tag and say they have the crown jewel, whatever that is.
Dusty Rhodes/Sapphire vs. Queen Sherri/Randy Savage
Savage is the King at this point. This is the first mixed tag in company history according to Fink. I don’t know if that’s true but I don’t know of another preceding it. Dusty and Sapphire are introduced at 465lbs. Jesse: “Are you telling me Dusty only weighs 200?” Dusty says cut the music because he’s got the crown jewel: Elizabeth. Savage FREAKS (I think. It’s kind of hard to tell with him) and Jesse is on one of his famous rants.
The genders have to match here so the guys start things off. Sherri tries to interfere but Sapphire makes the save. Dusty throws Sherri into Savage and we’re off to the women. Sapphire shakes her hips into Sherri and hooks an airplane spin for bad measure. Sherri tries a slam which goes as well as you would expect it to. Off to the men again with Sapphire getting in a few slaps from the apron.
The guys go to the floor but Savage runs back in for a top rope ax handle to the floor. He hits it again for good measure but Sapphire gets in the way of the third jump. Back in and Randy hits a suplex for two and drops Rhodes with a shot to the head with the scepter. Sherri hits a top rope splash for two on Dusty because the rules don’t matter I guess. Everything breaks down with Sapphire taking over on Sherri. Liz sends Sherri back inside and it’s a schoolgirl win for Sapphire on the Queen.
Rating: D. Another mess here that was there more for the spectacle than anything else. Most of this show isn’t that good all around and this was another good example. Sapphire continues to be pretty much there as a sight gag but thankfully she would be gone later on in the summer. Not much to see here for the most part.
Liz, Sapphire and Dusty dance.
Another Mania 7 ad.
Bobby Heenan is nearly speechless over Andre beating him up.
Rona Barrett is your usual celebrity that is out of place on a wrestling show.
Savage and Sherri freak out a lot.
Demolition celebrates their title win. This must be intermission. They’re ready for the Hart Foundation.
Now we get one of those famous interviews that is still talked about today. Hogan talks about getting energy from all of the Hulkamaniacs and says that THIS is where the power lies. He’s going to get Warrior down on his knees and ask him if he wants to live forever. Apparently he and the Hulkamaniacs can bring all of the Little Warriors into the light. Hogan: “It doesn’t matter whether you win or whether you lose.” He’s already setting the stage for the loss.
Warrior throws Sean Mooney away, saying Sean doesn’t deserve to breathe his air. He goes on one of his usual rants about how no one can live forever but Hogan’s beliefs can live through him. He talks about darkness and beliefs that come with any and all challenges. Tonight is about merging the Hulkamaniacs and the Warriors together. Warrior may be insane, but he’s really not that much worse than Hogan when you think about it.
Orient Express vs. Rockers
Jannetty and Tanaka start things off and the Rockers take over with their usual speed stuff. Double teaming sends the Express out to the floor before things settle down a bit. Mr. Fuji hooks the top rope, sending Marty out to the floor. Back in again and Jannetty escapes a backdrop and makes the tag off to Shawn. A double superkick puts Tanaka down so it’s off to Sato. Tanaka kicks Shawn in the back and the Rockers are in trouble again.
A gutbuster gets two for Tanaka and a big kick to the face puts Shawn down again. Sato hits a top rope knee drop and it’s off to a nerve hold. Shawn comes back with a big old clothesline and a diving tag to Marty. Things speed up and we get some heel miscommunication. A big backdrop puts Tanaka down but Fuji breaks up the double fist. Marty goes after him and gets salt in the eyes for his efforts. He stumbles into the barricade and that’s a countout.
Rating: C+. Decent tag match here which would be topped by about a mile at the Rumble. These guys needed more time than this and a better finish to be awesome so this one was just ok. The Rockers would start getting awesome in a hurry after this with nearly two years before their famous split. The Express would only have a handful of PPV matches ever and this is the most recent that I’ve seen.
Rhythm and Blues are in the back with Steve Allen cracking jokes at their expense. Greg Valentine as a guitar playing rocker is just wrong.
Dino Bravo vs. Jim Duggan
These two feuded for a long time. Earthquake is here with Dino, sending Gorilla into a rant about how you can’t be a wrestler and a manager. Kazarian would disagree. Jesse brings up how stupid it is to bring an American flag to Canada (against a Canadian at that). This is power vs. power and AMERICAN power takes over early on, sending Bravo out to the floor.
Back in and Duggan misses a charge into the buckle and Dino slugs him down. Jesse: “I don’t like Hacksaw.” Gorilla: “Why not?” Jesse: “He’s so ugly.” Jim comes back with three clotheslines but has to fight off Earthquake. In the distraction he hits Bravo with the board for the pin.
Rating: D. Another filler match, another match that sucked. Duggan was there to get crushed by Earthquake post match. Bravo was a decent lackey and midcard heel for people to beat up, but as usual he was going to lose no matter what he did out there. Except to Ronnie Garvin last year because Garvin sucks.
Duggan gets crushed by Earthquake post match.
We recap DiBiase vs. Roberts. Ted choked him out in MAY and then six months later Jake came after him. I’ve heard of slow builds but this is ridiculous. Roberts held up the belt and that’s about it.
Roberts says he’s going to make Ted beg for mercy.
Million Dollar Title: Ted DiBiase vs. Jake Roberts
DiBiase is quickly sent to the floor as Jesse criticizes Gorilla’s hot dog consumption. The DDT is escaped twice and Ted takes a breather on the floor. Back in and Jake grabs a hammerlock before driving some knees into the arm. Off to another hammerlock as Gorilla starts talking anatomy. Jake has to chase off Virgil though and Ted gets in a shot as Roberts comes back in. Roberts misses a running knee lift and Ted takes over.
Off to a front facelock by DiBiase as the fans are doing The Wave. It goes on for a good while as Ted sends Roberts’ arm into the post. A piledriver puts Jake down but DiBiase doesn’t cover. Off to the Million Dollar Dream for a bit but Jake gets his foot on the ropes. Jake comes back with an atomic drop and a clothesline followed by a backdrop for no cover. The DDT is loaded up but Virgil makes a save, pulling Jake to the floor when the referee isn’t looking. They head to the floor where the Million Dollar Dream is put on again. Jake sends DiBiase into the post but Ted gets back inside anyway to retain.
Rating: C-. This match took a long time to get going but the crowd was into this match for the most part. Apparently DiBiase wins the title even on a countout because this is a non-sanctioned belt. Gorilla thinks DiBiase doesn’t deserve the title because he didn’t earn it, but Jesse says Ted does because Ted paid for it. Point to Jesse.
Jake beats up Virgil and DiBiase because he can with Ted taking a DDT. Roberts shoves some money in Ted’s mouth for fun.
Slick says life is all about money so he’s happy that DiBiase has paid off Akeem to take out Big Boss Man. DiBiase had asked Boss Man to get the belt back from Roberts but since there was no crime, Boss Man turned face for being offered a bribe.
Boss Man doesn’t have much to say.
Big Boss Man vs. Akeem
Boss Man’s face as he rides to the ring is almost scary. DiBiase is waiting at ringside and jumps Boss Man before the bell. Wait apparently it did ring but the referee didn’t care. Good to know. Anyway Akeem pounds away on Boss Man but gets caught in an atomic drop out of the corner. The Boss Man Slam ends this in less than two minutes.
The fans don’t care about Rhythm and Blues.
Mary Tyler Moore likes Wrestlemania.
Here’s Rhythm and Blues to perform Hunka Hunka Hunka Honky Love. The only thing of note here is future WCW World Champion Diamond Dallas Page as the man driving the pink Cadillac into the arena. The Bushwhackers pop up in vendor costumes to beat up the band and break guitars.
The attendance record is announced: 67,678.
Rick Rude vs. Jimmy Snuka
Rude now has straight hair and is all tough instead of being a comedy guy. Steve Allen comes in to do commentary for no apparent reason. Snuka takes over to start with some shots to the head, only to have Rude suplex him down with ease to take over. Jimmy comes back by ramming Rude’s face into the mat, only to get poked in the eye for his efforts. Snuka misses something off the top and jumps into a punch to the ribs. The Rude Awakening ends this quick.
Rating: D. This was there to set up Rude as a threat to the new champion after the main event tonight. That would lead to Summerslam and a main event title match, but that would be about it for Rude in the WWF. Snuka wouldn’t do much here at all and was a total jobber to the stars after this one.
We recap Hogan vs. Warrior. They wound up being the only two guys in the ring at one point in the Rumble and the reaction to their fight was great. They then had some run-ins on SNME and the Main Event and that’s about it. This is much more about a battle of respect and they certainly don’t hate each other.
WWF World Title/Intercontinental Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
This is title for title. It’s one of those matches where both guys are built up to the point that neither can lose and the fans are completely split on who they want to win. That’s REALLY hard to pull off and I don’t remember a better execution of something like this ever before. The shot of Warrior on the ropes doing his pose as Hogan comes to the ring still sends chills up my back.
They stare each other down and both guys shove the other into the corner. We get the famous test of strength with Warrior taking over to start. Jesse is STUNNED but Hogan fights back up and takes Warrior down to his knees, giving us one of the most popular .gif’s in the history of the internet (implied oral sex if you’re not familiar). Hogan trips Warrior down and drops an elbow for one but Warrior pops up and no sells a slam. Warrior slams Hogan down and clotheslines him to the floor where Hogan might have hurt his knee.
Back in and the brawl is on with Hogan’s knee being fine and not ever mentioned again. Hulk takes over and pounds away at Warrior’s head before getting two off a pair of elbow drops. Off to a front facelock and a small package for two. Hogan hooks a chinlock and pounds away on Ultimate’s head. After a brief break we’re right back to the chinlock followed by a belly to back suplex for two for Hulk.
There’s chinlock #3 and you’re not likely to ever hear the fans freak out as much from someone fighting out of a chinlock as you get here for Warrior. A double clothesline puts both guys down and Hebner counts VERY slowly, which is the right idea here. Warrior grabs the ropes and starts Warrioring Up before hitting some clotheslines. A suplex gets two for Warrior and it’s off to a bearhug on Hulk.
Hogan fights out of the hold with some solid rights to the head but on the breakup, the referee is taken down. Warrior hits a pair of ax handles off the top and starts to get fired up. The shoulder block misses though and Hulk drives him head first into the mat, but there’s no referee. Warrior suplexes Hogan down but there’s still no count. A rollup gets a VERY close two for Hogan and it’s time for the punches.
An elbow sends Warrior out to the floor and Hogan gets posted. Back in and Warrior snaps off some clotheslines followed by the gorilla press into the splash. That gets two and it’s time to Hulk Up. Hogan pounds away and hits the big boot, but the legdrop misses. Warrior hits a fast splash for the surprise pin to win the title and shock the world.
Rating: A. That’s likely high but the crowd here REALLY helps this one. This is a match that just works and there’s almost no other way to put it. I don’t think there’s much of an argument over this not being Hogan’s best match ever and it’s easily Warrior’s first or second best ever depending on your taste about next year’s entry. Either way, this is a great match and one of those matches you have to see at some point as part of being a fan.
Hogan hands Warrior the belt and leaves in the cart, partially stealing the spotlight but it’s not as bad as I remember.
Overall Rating: C+. This is one of those shows that is completely dependent on the main event. Other than that there’s almost nothing here at all, although there’s nothing that horrible. It’s mainly a big group of random(ish) matches with stories to most of them, but almost none of them are anything of note. Still though, it’s pretty fun stuff overall and the main event is must see. It’s not a great show or anything but it’s worth checking out.
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