(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
April 7, 1986
Nassau Coliseum, Rosemont Horizon, & Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Uniondale, NY, Chicago, IL, & Los Angeles, CA
Vince McMahon: “Anything you can do I can do better!”
Jim Crockett: “No, you can’t!”
Vince McMahon: “Yes, I can!”
Vince McMahon continues his “bigger is better” campaign by one-upping Crockett and holding WrestleMania 2 in three venues. Thankfully both companies would soon move away from this escalation. The show opens with a WrestleMania graphic and a dramatic voice that says, “WrestleMania 2. What the world has come to!” This makes it sound like something ominous. It feels like we’re in some sort of post-apocalypse where men and women have come to settle their differences in a wrestling ring. Look what mankind has done! This is what the world has come to! Are you not sports entertained!? Hmm, perhaps I’ve inadvertently stumbled upon a new theory. Maybe wrestling is supposed to be set in some post-apocalyptic world and the nuclear fallout is why wrestling is so dang weird sometimes. It would certainly explain a few things on this show. Oh well, I digress. On with the review.
Vince McMahon is in the ring in New York. He welcomes us to WrestleMania and introduces a special guest commentator for the night, Susan Saint James. He calls her the number one actress of the time. She was in the middle of her run on Kate & Allie, but the main reason she was there was that she’s married to Dick Ebersol. Dick had a working relationship with the WWF, so I’m sure he recommended her for the role. Vince then introduces Ray Charles to sing “America the Beautiful”, but the way he says his name makes it sound more like “Ray Chaub”.
Ray does a pretty good rendition of the song, but the first few seconds are filled with audio feedback and a nearly dead microphone. The issues are quickly fixed and we get footage of patriotic scenes as he sings. There are shots of Kennedy and MLK, but the footage ends on a shot of Hulk Hogan since we all know he is the most patriotic man who ever lived!
Next, we go to Mean Gene Okerlund, who is in Chicago. He talks a little about the battle royal between NFL and WWF stars. He then introduces a pre-taped interview with Roddy Piper, who is with Bob Orton Jr. and Lou Duva. Lou awkwardly holds the mic as Piper cuts a rather odd promo. He talks about how he grew his hair long so that no one would mistake him for Mr. T. He talks about how Mr. T got Joe Frazier to train him and asks if someone is ribbing him. He then says that if Mr. T can knock him out then he will retire from wrestling, tiddlywinks, and even girls. He then finishes with a questionable comment about how he would never shave his head like an Indian or paint himself black. Well, I’ll remember that when we get to WrestleMania VI.
The Magnificent Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Paul Orndorff
The first match is back in New York. We get some pretaped interviews with the two men as the match starts, but they apparently forgot to add the inset picture. All we get is the audio, which is awkward. Muraco calls Orndorff the embarrassment of WrestleMania 1. Orndorff talks about how he’s been going to the gym more than ever. Neither promo is very thrilling.
The match starts off with some back and forth action between the two and dueling body slams. They follow it up with some dueling Irish whips. Susan Saint James doesn’t talk much on commentary, other than to say “alright” when something big happens. Orndorff out-wrestles Muraco and keeps reversing his attempts to fight back. Don starts sweating quite a lot early on and Vince points it out on commentary. Orndorff then works on Don’s arm for awhile and Susan says that he’s using “ancient Chinese techniques”. This comment might have come after a moment which was edited out of the WWE Network version of the show. Orndorff chose to make a rather racist gesture at Mr. Fuji, where he pulled his eyes into a slant with his thumbs. Muraco eventually powers out with a Samoan Drop and the two men end up trading punches in the corner. Muraco tries to throw Paul out of the ring, but he gets caught up in the ropes. The two men end up brawling to the outside and the ref gives us one of the fastest 10 counts I’ve ever seen for a double count out ending. Orndorff grabs a chair and threatens to use it, as Vince says that he might be disqualified. Apparently, Vince didn’t notice that they had been counted out. The fans start chanting “Bullshit”, which prompts Vince to comment that they don’t like the outcome. Orndorff poses in the ring and Susan says that he’s declared himself the winner.
This wasn’t much of a match. This is the second WWF show in a row that I’ve reviewed where Orndorff is involved in a double count out. Is this becoming a habit with him? I hope not.
Winner: Double Count Out
Mr. T is backstage wearing a candy striper robe. He’s with Joe Frazier and The Haiti Kid and Frazier is rubbing the Hell out of T’s shoulder. Mr. T says he doesn’t like to do a lot of talking, before proceeding to do just that. He says that if Piper does something dirty then so will he. Part of his promo is drowned out by Howard Finkel announcing the result of the last match and this seems to annoy T. He says that he’s ready, before throwing down the mic and walking away.
Intercontinental Title Match: Randy Savage (c) w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. George the Animal Steele
Savage’s great performance at the Wrestling Classic led to him getting a run with the Intercontinental Title. He won it from Tito Santana and is set to defend it here against Steele. The story going into this match is that Steele had become infatuated with Miss Elizabeth. Susan says that she’s pulling for George in this match because someone needs to teach Savage how to treat people better. We get an inset promo from Savage, as he makes his way to the ring. He tells us to “Freak out, freak out!” He says that when he’s done with Steele he will be saying, “Macho, you are the greatest in the world.” I’m pretty sure George isn’t articulate enough to say that. He then finishes by saying that Macho Madness is zeroing in on Steele.
George chases Savage out of the ring to start and Macho stalls for a bit. He grabs a chair and tries to intimidate Steele, but he’s unfazed. Savage keeps bailing to the outside, so George follows him and begins gnawing on Savage’s calf. Susan loves this and tells George to eat Macho’s leg. George ends up getting distracted by Elizabeth on the outside, so Macho ties him up in the ropes and beats on him. Randy ends up hitting a flying cross body onto Steele, but almost overshoots him. He makes a sloppy cover for a 2 count. George throws Savage to the floor, so Randy crawls under the ring and comes out the other side to jump him. Steele fights back by biting the arm, so Macho rakes the eyes. He then grabs a bouquet of flowers from ringside and hits Steele with them, but George gets them and thrashes Savage with the flowers. However, George gets hungry and goes for his normal snack of turnbuckle pads. He bites it open and starts rubbing the stuffing in Randy’s face. Steele gets distracted by Elizabeth again and Savage is able to slam him and hit the Flying Elbow, but Steele kicks out at 2. That’s rather odd to have George, of all people, kicking out of such an established finisher. Steele grabs Savage by the nose and dangerously tosses him into the corner, where Randy nearly lands on his head. The ref admonishes George, which gives Savage a chance to hit a double-leg takedown and pin Steele with his feet on the ropes. Savage then grabs his belt and high-tails it to the back with Elizabeth. Steele decides to drown his sorrows with another turnbuckle pad and ends up chasing the ref away when he tries to stop him.
This wasn’t a great match. Savage had to wrestle George’s style of match, which made it disappointing. I was never a fan of Steele or his antics. Randy did his best with what he had to work with and some of the spots were fun, but for the most part, I didn’t like it.
Winner: Randy Savage
Mean Gene is with Big John Studd and Bill Fralic of the Atlanta Falcons. Fralic blandly cuts a promo on Studd where he calls him “The dud”. Studd seems annoyed by his lack of charisma and cuts an over the top promo in return. He says that Bill has no class because he’s a football player. He then squashes a football with his hands, as Fink’s ring announcing interrupts them.
Back in New York, Vince asks Susan if she likes snakes. Vince! Don’t start being a creep again…oh, he was talking about Jake the Snake Roberts upcoming match. Susan says that she doesn’t like them, but she hopes they won’t have to see the snake tonight.
Jake the Snake Roberts vs. George Wells
Jake comes to the ring, with his snake bag in tow. Susan says that the first time she saw him she couldn’t believe that he was really going to pull out a snake. Oh Susan, just be glad you didn’t watch that Legends of Wrestling PPV. Then, you really would have been worried about him pulling out a snake.
Wells immediately attacks and back body drops Jake. He then tosses him out of the ring. They fight back inside and Jake does a leapfrog, but he gets taken down by a shoulder tackle. Wells whips him around and does a flying head scissors, so Jake calls for a time-out. Wells hits a knee-lift and a nice powerslam, but Jake fights back with a thumb to the eye. He bails out of the ring and catches Wells coming back in with a knee strike, before hitting the DDT and getting a 3 count. Jake grabs the bag after the match and releases the snake. He then wraps it around Wells’ neck and body, as Wells begins to froth at the mouth. Susan says that she hopes someone does this to Jake someday when he loses. The ref doesn’t do much to stop him, other than weakly ask him not to do it. Jake eventually pulls the snake off of him and then taunts the crowd.
This was a glorified squash match, but strangely enough, Wells was on offense most of the time. I guess this was to sell that once Jake hits the DDT nothing else matters. Oddly enough, they didn’t call it the DDT yet. Vince simply called it a “maneuver”. Although to be fair, Vince calls everything a maneuver.
Winner: Jake Roberts
Next, we get a short recap of the Piper/Mr. T feud. They show footage of Piper challenging Mr. T to a fight after one of Mr. T’s boxing matches. Piper looks to throw punches, but Orton attacks T from behind and the two men beat him down.
Then, we go to Los Angeles, where Jesse Ventura is with Hulk Hogan. Jesse brings up Hogan’s injured ribs and says he can’t believe that Hogan would take a Cage Match with Bundy. Hogan says that he will defend his title whether his ribs are busted or not. He says that it’s everything that he believes in and it stands for America. Hogan then says that Mr. T will win his match because he’s fighting for what he believes in and Piper takes shortcuts, like some people, he says as he points at Ventura. Jesse smiles at this and tells Hogan that good guys don’t always finish first.
Boxing Match: Mr. T w/ Haiti Kid & Joe Frazier vs. Roddy Piper w/ Bob Orton & Lou Duva
It’s time for the main event of the New York portion of the show. Mr. T and Roddy Piper will have a boxing match. Fink introduces Joan Rivers to do the ring announcing. He calls her the premiere comedienne in the world. She introduces the special judges for the fight. First, she announces NBA player Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins. He gets into the ring and Joan audibly tells him to wave to the crowd. Don’t call your spots so loudly Joan! Have you been hanging out with Cena?? The next judge is Cab Calloway, whom Joan calls “The Hi-de-hi Man”. I think she meant “Hi-de-ho”. The third judge is G. Gordon Liddy, whom Joan calls “her favorite Watergate judge”. She then introduces the guest timekeeper, who is a man named Herb. I’m not sure who this guy is. He’s an older nerdy man in a suit. He stumbles over the ropes and dances a little jig. He reminds me of Jamison and that’s not a good thing. Joan then introduces the participants. It sounds like she announces Orton as “Orvan”. The ref then explains the rules to the men, but Mr. T refuses to look Piper in the face. Piper yells for him to look at him, so they go nose to nose and the ref says, “I don’t want any of that!”
Round 1 sees Piper throwing a lot of jabs and quick punches. The ref keeps having to warn him about cheap shots, so Piper gives the ref a rude gesture. Mr. T bobs and weaves around Piper’s punches and the two end up scuffling after the round ends. The corner-men get involved and Frazier grabs hold of Lou for a moment. Piper taunts T in his corner between rounds. Round 2 starts, but T complains that Piper has his face all greased up, so the ref makes him wipe off some of it. Piper comes out swinging, but T fights back. Piper dares T to bring it and gets him in trouble in the corner. Piper ends up knocking T down and tries to get in a kick while he’s on the mat. Mr. T gets a standing 8 count before they resume fighting. T goes down again right after the round ends and Piper gets a cheap shot. T has to be helped to his corner. Orton takes a bucket and throws water at Mr. T in between rounds. In Round 3 T corners Piper and knocks him down to a sitting position. He gets back up, but T knocks him clean out of the ring. Piper is back up and into the ring again by 9, but he can barely stand as the round ends. Piper then throws his stool at Mr. T between rounds. I mean an actual stool, not something else. In Round 4 the two of them start throwing wide and heavy punches at each other. The ref tries to step in, but Piper shoves him over. Piper has enough and picks Mr. T up and body slams him, so the ref calls for a disqualification. All of the corner-men run into the ring and chaos breaks loose. Piper tries to attack Mr. T, but he’s pulled away. He then bails out of the ring and mugs for the camera as he walks to the back.
It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. It was alright for a worked boxing match. They told a decent story with it, so I didn’t find it terrible. It’s not something I’d want to see all of the time, but for a one-time attraction, it wasn’t bad. It’s not like they did something as dumb as to have them go out there and have a legit boxing match. WWF wouldn’t do something that dumb until 12 years after this.
Winner: Mr. T (by DQ)
Vince and Susan then close out the New York portion of the show and send us over to Chicago.
Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Chicago and introduces Mean Gene. The two of them talk a little bit about the Battle Royal. Gene says it will come down to football vs. wrestling. Well yeah, that’s kind of the point. Gorilla then introduces the special guest commentator Cathy Lee Crosby. Cathy was a former tennis player and host of the show That’s Incredible.
Women’s Title Match: The Fabulous Moolah (c) vs. Velvet McIntyre
Moolah is now women’s champion after participating in the original screwjob. Long before the events of Montreal (more on that when we get to 1997), Wendi Richter was the victim of a screwjob. Wendi’s contract was coming to an end with WWF, but she was still women’s champion. Vince didn’t know whether she would be re-signing with them or not, so he put Wendi in a match with a masked wrestler named “Spider Lady”. Wendi was expecting a squash match, but she got rolled up and the ref counted to 3 despite her shoulder being off the mat. This was done to get the title off of her in case she left the company. Spider Lady was actually Moolah under a mask, so she was now champion and Wendi was understandably angry. Needless to say, she didn’t re-sign with the WWF.
Moolah jumps Velvet to start the match. She has to run around the ref to do so because he was in the way. She whips Velvet around by the hair a few times, but Velvet fights back with some drop kicks and a clothesline. Velvet then slams Moolah and goes for a splash off the second turnbuckle, but Moolah moves. Moolah pins her after the miss for a 3 count.
Well, that was quick. It looked like Velvet’s gear might have broken during the match, as she was trying to not fall out of her top after the pin. That might explain why the match ended so quickly. There wasn’t enough substance to form an opinion, but it was a Moolah match, so I don’t think we missed out on anything great.
Winner: The Fabulous Moolah
Gorilla, Gene, and Cathy talk about the upcoming matches, as the fans boo loudly for Volkoff entering the ring. Gene asks Cathy for her prediction on the Battle Royal. She says that she originally was going to pick one of the NFL players until she saw the wrestlers. She says that they’re huge.
Flag Match: Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie
Ring announcer Chet Coppock tells us that the winner of this match will have their country’s flag raised in celebration. Volkoff and Blassie are already in the ring and Freddie threatens Chet with his cane. He tells him to give Volkoff the mic so he can sing the Soviet national anthem. Volkoff begins singing, but the fans drown him out with boos. He almost finishes the song, but Kirchner’s music cuts him off at the last second. Kirchner walks to ringside while waving an American flag to great cheers.
Volkoff starts off the match with a surprising spin kick, for someone his size. He then hits some knee lifts and throws Kirchner to the outside. He rams him head-first into the ring post and starts biting at his forehead, but the ref doesn’t seem too bothered by this. Cathy asks if it’s fair, but all Gorilla says is that Volkoff is trying to rearrange his face. Volkoff slams him into the post again, but there is still no DQ. Nikolai gets back in the ring, while Blassie calls Kirchner a “yellow dog” and tells him to get back into the ring. Kirchner is visibly bleeding as he gets back into the ring. He fights with Volkoff and inadvertently knocks down the ref. Blassie uses the opportunity to throw his can into the ring, but Kirchner intercepts it and hits Volkoff in the head. He then pins Nikolai for a 3 count. Cathy seems a bit confused as to why the good guy cheated, but Gene says that Volkoff deserved it. Kirchner grabs the American flag and parades around ringside with it, while his music plays.
This was another nothing match. It seems odd to me that they would use blood in a flag match, especially with what happens in the Hogan/Bundy match. It didn’t really add to the match. It was kept short at least and it was there to play off the usual crowd heat for these USA vs. USSR matches. It served its purpose, I suppose.
Winner: Corporal Kirchner
WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal
Chet introduces Mean Gene to do the ring announcing for this match. Gene then introduces the special guests. First, he introduces the “Where’s the beef” lady, Clara Peller. He calls her “Claire” and she seems confused as to whether it’s her time or not. She misses the cue to say her signature line, so they move on to the next introduction. Gene introduces the special refs, which are Dick Butkus and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. He then introduces the participants.
For the NFL: Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin, & William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
For the WWF: Andre the Giant, Ted Arcidi, Tony Atlas, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Hillbilly Jim, The Iron Sheik, King Tonga, Pedro Morales, Bruno Sammartino, Dan Spivey, & Big John Studd.
The introductions take awhile. Perry gets the biggest reaction since he’s from Chicago. He impressively enters the ring over the top rope. Big Cat Ernie Ladd joins the commentary team for the match.
A few people gang up on Perry to start the match, but Jimbo saves him from elimination. Fralic manages to eliminate Jimbo and Tonga, while Andre and Studd get into a fight in the corner. Ernie Ladd says that the two men have heat. Andre manages to eliminate Harvey Martin and Ladd says that Andre taught him what it’s like to play football without a uniform. We get an exchange between Bret Hart and Bruno Sammartino. Imagine what that match would have been like! Studd ends up eliminating Fralic and tries to taunt him, but Bruno and Sheik interrupt him by having a brawl. Studd thumbs Bruno in the eye and eliminates him in retaliation. Studd also eliminates William Perry. Perry wants a handshake and Studd falls for it, so Perry pulls him out of the ring. We get down to a final four of Russ Francis, The Hart Foundation, and Andre the Giant. Bret and Anvil eliminate Russ and then go after Andre, but Andre gets a big boot. He then grabs Anvil by the goatee and punches him. Andre hits Anvil with a big boot and Jim takes a ridiculous nonsensical bump over the top rope. Andre then press slams Bret over the top and onto Anvil to get the win.
Much like most battle royals, this one only got interesting at the end. This is why I prefer the Royal Rumble format. It was nice to see Bret Hart be the last person eliminated. Even back then they could see that he would be a big star someday.
Winner: Andre the Giant
Vince and Susan are in New York with Piper. He doesn’t seem to have showered yet, as he sits down for an interview. He claims that Mr. T cheated by rubbing his “gnarly bristles” into his eyes. He then repeats his earlier line about not shaving his head like an Indian or painting himself black. Susan says that it all sounds like a lot of blarney to her. Vince shows Piper some footage from the match and Piper claims that he wasn’t cheating. He then laughs at the footage of him dropping T to the mat. Piper claims he was slipping in the ring because he kept stepping on T’s tongue. He then ends the promo by doing a short gorilla impression. I mean the animal, not the commentator. Roddy is quite racist tonight.
Back in Chicago, Gene is with Jimbo Covert, who claims he got cheated because Fralic threw him out from behind. Gene then turns to interview The Iron Sheik, who says he proved to “Americha” that wrestlers are better than football players.
Gorilla and Cathy then recap the battle royal and Cathy commends the football players for getting into the ring.
Tag Team Title Match: The British Bulldogs w/ Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne vs. The Dream Team (c) w/ Johnny Valiant
The Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake) are already in the ring. The ring announcer informs us that there will be two referees for this match, to ensure that there won’t be any outside interference. The Bulldogs then come to the ring to “Rule Britannia”, with Lou Albano and a rather intoxicated looking Ozzy Osbourne in tow. Cathy says, “That looks like Ozzy Osbourne!” You don’t say!? The Dream Team have a little huddle before the match starts.
Davey and Valentine start off by trading some forearm shots. They wrestle back and forth and take turns missing some attempted moves. Dynamite comes in next and uses his speed and crisp moves to keep Valentine down. He then tags Davey in to toss Valentine around the ring for a bit. Greg ends up bailing to the outside for a breather. He finally manages to tag out to Brutus, but Beefcake suffers much of the same. He is eventually able to power through a front facelock to get a tag. Gene asks Cathy if she remembers when Valentine’s dad wrestled. She says she doesn’t, but she does talk about Gorgeous George, so Gorilla quickly changes the subject. Valentine tries to slow down the pace of the match, but the Bulldogs use double team moves to regain control. Greg fights back and hits a front facing Tombstone for a 2 count. The Bulldogs fight back again and Davey looks to press slam Dynamite onto Valentine, but he moves. Davey then hits the running powerslam, but Greg kicks out at 2. What’s with people kicking out of finishers tonight? I thought that was more of a modern thing. The Dream Team end up reversing Davey into the corner, where he hits the post shoulder-first. They then spend the next few minutes working over Davey’s arm and shoulder. Valentine hits a shoulderbreaker, but chooses to pull Davey up before the 3 count. Davey fights back and Dynamite starts to climb to the top rope. Davey reverses Valentine and throws him head-first into Dynamite, who goes flying to the floor. Davey then pins Valentine for the 3 count, to win the titles. Dynamite is out cold on the floor, as Lou and Ozzy enter the ring to celebrate. Ozzy gets the mic and drunkenly yells, “BRITISH BULLDOGS FOREVER!!!” Cathy asks him if he will be in the Bulldogs corner again and he says, “Yeah…yeah.” Lou and Davey help Dynamite back into the ring and Davey gets the mic. He talks about how they said that they would stay in America if they won the titles, so it looks like they will be staying.
This was a great match, but that ending was a little odd. Davey purposefully used Dynamite for the win, despite the fact that it hurt him. It seems like the kind of thing they would do to set-up a breakup of the team, but they would stay together for a while.
Winners: The British Bulldogs (New Champions)
Next, we go back to New York briefly. Vince and Susan talk about the tag title match and she says it was fantastic. Vince then asks her for her prediction on the Hogan/Bundy match and she says that Hulk will win.
Then, we go to Los Angeles for the final portion of the show. Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred, and Elvira welcome us. (Please, keep Alfred away from Elvira!) Elvira tells us that it’s great to be around so much flesh and violence.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez
Tony the Tiger is in the ring to announce the participants. No, I’m being serious. The ring announcer is good ol’ “Stagger” Lee Marshall, who is the voice of Tony the Tiger. I didn’t even realize he worked for the WWF at any point. I always remembered him from WCW.
Hercules jumps Steamboat to start, but Ricky does a couple of baseball slides between Herc’s legs. He then catches him with some chops and arm drags. Steamboat works the arm for a bit, as Elvira heels out on commentary by saying Ricky looks like a wimp with that scarf tied around his thigh. Hercules ends up taking control with a stiff looking clothesline. He powers Ricky around the ring for awhile, but he doesn’t hook the leg on pins and takes time to pose. Hercules tries a splash off the top, but Steamboat gets his knees up. Steamboat then hits a flying cross body off the top for a 3 count. The ref’s count was slightly fast and Jesse is quick to point it out on commentary. Hercules is mad at the ref and Elvira calls him “one angry dude”.
This was a short match, but it was decent enough. I think it did a good enough job showcasing the two men for a short match, but it felt like something you’d see more on TV than on a WrestleMania.
Winner: Ricky Steamboat
Adorable Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Uncle Elmer
Adonis has had quite the gimmick change since we saw him last. He has now adopted a precursor to the Goldust gimmick. He’s playing the role of an openly gay wrestler who uses this fact to get into his opponent’s head. Adonis plays the role a lot more campy as opposed to Goldust’s creepy take on it. He comes to the ring wearing what looks like a moo-moo, with a bow on top of his head. The fans start chanting…something I won’t repeat. Jimmy Hart sprays him with perfume, as Elmer walks to the ring to what sounds like edited music on the network. It’s just a generic hillbilly theme. Elmer gets into the ring and does a little dance before mocking Adrian by prancing. Hart then tries to spray Uncle Elmer with the perfume, but Elmer chases him and Adrian out of the ring.
Adrian comes back in and Elmer immediately attacks. He whips Adrian into the corner, where Adonis attempts a Flair bump, but falls over. Elmer then clotheslines him and he falls to the floor. He gets knocked out of the ring a second time, so he chooses to rest on the floor for a moment. He tries to go back inside, but Elmer catches him and rips his moo-moo, before slingshotting him into the ring. He then hits Adonis with a chest bump and Adrian falls into the ropes. He ends up tied up in them. Hart has to help him get loose, as the ref does nothing. Adrian fights back and sheds what’s left of the moo-moo, as Elvira hilariously begs him to put it back on. Elmer reverses Adrian into the corner and hits a running splash. He then goes for a leg drop but misses. Adonis then goes up top and hits a flying fist drop and pins him for a 3 count. He then places the bow on Elmer’s back and prances around the ring to celebrate. He attacks Elmer for good measure and Elvira says that she could never trust a man who wears pink leg warmers.
This was not very good, but I will give Adonis credit for bumping around like a boss to make Elmer look as good as possible. It’s impressive for someone Adonis’ size to bump like that. The primary reason for this match was to get over Adonis’ new character as legitimate despite the campiness of the gimmick.
Winner: Adrian Adonis
Lord Alfred is backstage with Hulk Hogan. He says that it’s rumored that Hogan isn’t 100%, but Hogan says that’s nothing but rumors. He says that he’s been taking it one day at a time and he would get in that cage even if he had to crawl to ringside with one arm. He talks about his long ride in the ambulance, which he calls a coffin. He then says that he feels sorry for Bundy because he’s going to take away his pride. He finishes by begging Heenan to stick his nose into his business. Throughout the promo, we can hear a strange siren in the background. I almost expected Scott Steiner to appear.
The Funk Brothers w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana
Jimmy Hart is with the Funks in the ring and we find out that it is him who is playing the siren on his megaphone. JYD and Tito come to the ring and run Hart and the Funks out of it. Terry Funk is mad, so he grabs a chair and tosses it into the ring. He goes for another one, but when he sees Tito with the first chair he throws it down. Lee Marshall announces the participants and it appears that Dory Funk Jr. is wrestling under the name “Hoss” at this event.
Hoss and JYD start the match. Hoss gets control and Terry goes to attack JYD from the apron, but he moves and Terry falls into the ring. JYD body slams both men in turn and the Funks roll to the outside to regroup. Terry and Tito then enter the match and Terry chops and elbows him to the ropes. Terry misses a move and gets clotheslined to the outside, where he starts throwing wild punches at the air. Terry gets back in and JYD starts ramming Terry’s head into the turnbuckles 10 times. He does this twice until the turnbuckle pad starts coming loose. JYD then tosses him to the outside, where Hoss comes over to help him. Hoss tags into the match, but Tito and JYD double team him, until Hoss fights back with a big knee and some clubbing forearms. Tito fights back and hits the flying forearm, but Terry breaks up the pin. The two men then do a criss-cross, but Terry holds down the rope and Tito hurts his back. They then toss Tito outside, where Hart puts the boots to him. Elvira asks why they don’t send Jimmy to the back. Tito manages to reverse a suplex and Elvira gets excited about someone’s trunks coming loose. The Funks regain control over who Lord Alfred refers to as “Nelson Santana”. Nelson…I mean Tito manages to outmaneuver Terry and make the hot tag. JYD comes in like a house of fire, but Terry tries to choke him with a rope. JYD ends up back body dropping Terry to the outside and then slams him on a table, but for some reason, it’s not a DQ. Hart tries to interfere again, but JYD takes him out. All four men end up in the ring and the Funks use the distraction to hit JYD with Hart’s megaphone and get the win. Alfred calls it a “travesty of justice”.
This was a fun match. It’s always enjoyable to watch Terry Funk. He’s so animated and entertaining that you can’t help but like him. Well, I guess I should say that it was fun to watch him back then. Seeing him still wrestle occasionally as he gets older starts to become more sad than fun.
Winners: The Funk Brothers
The crowd cheers as the ring crew bring out sections of the cage. Alfred says that it is specially reinforced. Is this the first time the WWF used the blue bar cage? Jesse asks Elvira if the cage reminds her of her house and she laughs.
Next, we get some pre-taped footage of Hogan rehabbing his injuries. He has his ribs taped, which in wrestling terms means he has bandages around his belly. Apparently, wrestlers have extra ribs the extend all the way to the hips. I’ll just refer to these as “wrestler ribs”, from now on. We are shown footage of Bundy’s attack on Hogan from Saturday Night’s Main Event. Don Muraco holds Hogan in the corner, while Bundy hits him with three Avalanche Splashes followed by two more splashes on the mat. Hogan is in the gym with Hillbilly Jim and his personal doctor. He’s lifting weights, as Gene tries to get a word with him. Hogan’s doctor says that he’s advised Hogan not to do the match because he has a herniated disc in his back. Hogan then decides to do what he calls “Heavy chins”, which are chin-ups done with a weight draped over his neck. It’s obvious that he’s standing on the floor, but the camera does a good job of not showing this. Hogan says he will do a thousand of them to be ready to beat Bundy. He then says that he feels no pain and fears no man.
Jesse is backstage with Heenan and Bundy. Heenan says he’s the proudest man in the world because Bundy will be the new champion. Jesse says that he’s worried because Bundy’s “beautiful face” is on the line in a cage match. Bundy then says that every time he’s attacked Hogan, Hulk has been left laying. He tells them to fire up the ambulances because it will happen again. He says that he’s the dominant force in wrestling. Heenan then says that Hogan will be in pieces after tonight and Bundy finishes by saying they will turn L.A. on its ear.
Then, we go back to Vince and Susan. Susan says, “Bundymania? Give me a break!” Vince tells her that the cage will be reinforced and that something has to give. Vince then says that stranger things have happened than Bundy being WWF champ and Susan replies, “Yeah, like Elvira.”
Cage Match for the WWF Title: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan
Lee Marshall introduces the guest ring announcer, Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. Tommy then introduces guest timekeeper, actor Ricky Schroder. Next, he introduces the special ref, actor Robert Conrad. Tommy lists off Conrad’s TV shows, but he mistakenly says “Centennial” instead of “Sentinel”. Tommy then introduces the participants. Bundy enters the ring with Heenan and Ricky Schroder gives Bundy a pat on the back, which he ignores. Hogan is out next and he enters the cage by climbing to the top, where he rips his t-shirt.
The two men trade punches to start. Hogan chops him into the ropes and hits a big boot, but Bundy doesn’t go down. Bundy then goes for the door, but Hogan stops him and uses Bundy’s own singlet strap to choke him. Elvira likens the match to a horror movie she would present on her show. Hogan continues punching and clubbing Bundy, but he still won’t go down. Bundy ends up going to the ribs to take control of the match. He clubs, kicks, and slams Hogan, before standing on his head. He then goes for the door again, but Hogan grabs him. Referee Dave Hebner has to warn Heenan to stay away from the door. Meanwhile, Bundy slams Hogan back-first into the cage and goes for the door, but Hogan grabs him again. Bundy starts ripping off Hogan’s bandages and Elvira gets excited for a second because she thinks Bundy is stripping him. He chokes Hogan with the bandages and tries to tie Hogan to the ropes with them, but doesn’t do a great job. Hogan breaks free and stops Bundy from escaping, before slamming Bundy’s head into the cage. Heenan does his best to block the camera from catching Bundy blading and we soon see that Bundy is bleeding from the head, which excites Elvira. Hogan slams Bundy into the cage a few times and then goes for a slam, but his back gives out. Bundy tries to escape again, but Hogan chokes him with the bandages. Bundy fights back and hits an Avalanche Splash and a splash on the mat. He goes to escape again, but Hogan hulks up and grabs him by the leg. Bundy manages to hit another Avalanche, but Hogan completely no-sells it and slams him. He then hits the leg drop and goes to climb out over the top, but Bundy stops him. Hogan knocks him off of the turnbuckles to the mat and then goes to climb out again. Bundy scurries for the door, but it’s too late, as Hogan drops to the floor for the win. Afterward, Hogan chases Heenan into the cage and batters him for a bit, before posing in the cage as his music plays. On commentary, Jesse says that someday Hogan will have a showdown with him. Elvira says that if Jesse can win that she’ll go out with him.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this. It wasn’t outstanding, but I thought it was fairly decent. It was interesting that they used blood in the match, as I thought they were very much anti-blood at this point. Unlike the match earlier, I think the blood added to this match.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Jesse then says goodbye to everyone and throws it back to Vince and Susan in New York. Vince says he hopes that everyone enjoyed WrestleMania 2 and bids us all goodnight.
This wasn’t a great show, but I would say it was better than WrestleMania 1. It was definitely better than The Wrestling Classic, but not by much. I’m glad that they ditched the idea of running 3 venues after this. It wasn’t a good idea. There is nothing on this show that you should go out of your way to watch, but there are a couple of matches that were okay. The Bulldogs match was good and the Funks match was good too. Thankfully, WrestleManias would pick up in quality from here.
Thank you for reading. Next up will be The Big Event.
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