1) Hercules v. King Haku- 4
We have two big brawny dudes, one thinks he's a mythical hero and the other a Samoan king wearing something Wart (from Mario 2 fame) wouldn't be caught dead in. Incidentally, Haku has always been my favorite of the Samoan heritage wrestlers over the years, he's not big on selling but he takes a licking and keeps on kicking. Herc does these one arm whip-ins that I blasted in a previous Mania- well they continue to suck ass here. Haku with a sick backbreaker and looked like Herc had no idea how to sell the move. They had some false finishes surprisingly and the savate kick counter from the top, while creative, looked like the equivalent of a pile of dog vomit. They use the same finish from Herc's Mania 4 match, guess it was the only one he could remember. Love Heenan's lavendar jacket though.
2) Twin Towers v. Rockers- 5
Michael's first Mania match, if you're counting. Gorilla Monsoon describes Jannetty piecing up Akeem who was napping on the apron as "Rather exciting and innovative." Always delivers a classic line. This match just geled well, Rockers had a good amount of time to show off fancy double teams, such as double shoulderblock from the top and double top rope dropkick, which was a crazy misfire. Michaels takes his first crazy shot in Mania with a sick sell from an Akeem clothesline. Bossman hits a powerbomb on Shawn from the top and 747 and we out. Almost recommendable if a little lengthier.
3) Ted Dibiase v. Brutus Beefcake- 3
Old Teddy takes a hell of a backdrop, have to say that. Match had two big names in, for the time, and the crowd enjoyed what they saw besides the match wasn't too great. Beefcake's moveset is limited at best and there's only so much believability in Dibiase bumping his off for the weirdo. Nice slugfest broke out during the middle, but I would have loved Stan Hansen to wander in and show them how to brawl. Small package near fall got biggest pop except the showing of the shears, Whole final was heatless and fell flatter than a Crash Test Dummy from a roof.
4) Fabulous Rougeaus v. Bushwhackers- 1
Extraordinarily sloppy match with no direction, in a lot of ways, capsulates most Mania matches. Many are brief, devoid of much action and unsatisfactory, like a frozen Hershey's candy bar, or jerking off to old Sable photos from 98 Raw magazines. Jimmy Hart pulls out his pre=requisite comedy spot and the match became a complete mess 2 minutes in. Luke took a cool bump into the corner in the highlight for me, as this one wound up with bad refing, legal man issues abound and a putrid double clothesline that was sold badly and executed even worse.
5) Mr. Perfect v. Blue Blazer- 5
Ventura states right from the get-go this could be a show stealer. It's so abundantly clear how ahead of his time Owen Hart was with his athletic counter wrestling and high flying. Hennig could work the proverbial broomstick to a good match so this, albeit short, match was pleasing to the eye. Highlights include Hennig's crazy sell over the tope rope for a dropkick, Blazer's crucifix near fall and Hennig's KO punch that most assuredly would black out Lidell these days. This as an IC Title match with 15 minutes would be astounding.
6) Demolition v. Powers of Pain/ Mr. Fuji (Tag Team Title)- 3
A power match that didn't bother exceeding expectations. Demolition must have been electric jackhammers in another life because all they seemed to do was swing their fists downwards. But they were reasonbly spry for their size and body type. Barbarian threw some nasty kicks, probably akin to some other nasty things he'd be doing to some of New Jersey's finest hookers in a seedy motel room later that night, with facepaint on. Fuji just looked plain old and he attempted some move off the top that gave me a good chuckle. You could see Ax & Smash taking it easy on Fuji in the ring for the finish too. Get me some good tag shit and shelf this thing for good.
7) Dino Bravo v. Ronnie Garvin- 2
"Hands of Stone " made to look like "Jobber of Suck" here. Shameful really, probably because he was NWA champion Vince gave the order to look like a complete moron in this match. Bravo just batted him around like a giant cat with a ball of yarn except for a few of those legendary right hands and chops. Bravo wins with a sidwalk slam and Garvin hits his big spots after the match.
8) Brainbusters v. Strike Force- 4
You could see the talent level rise a few notches here, as Blanchard and Anderson were born to be a team. Within 20 seconds they've already cut the ring in half and used 2 double team moves behind ref's back. But, they still give them their famous Horsemen weak heels routine, incl. a double figure four- possibly a shot at Flair? Who knows, who cares. Tito was on fire, and pulled off a nice bridge up with Tully, which you never see in undercard matches. Arn has so many great tag spots to use, his Benny Hill -like reach for the tag, then gets tag in corner and holds opponent down for partner to do damage. Guy's a fucking Hall of Famer, so just induct his ass already, Vince. Martel quits match and this was big news at the time, done subtlely too, not like what today's production would be. Sick Spiked piledriver for the end.
9) Andre the Giant v. Jake Roberts w/ Big John Studd as Guest Referee- 3
so Andre mauls Jake right from the get go like he was a Japanese prostitute trying to steal his wallet while he was busy taking a shit in the bathtub. Andre does his famous caught in rope spot and Roberts throttles him really violently; i'm sure he was picturing his gothic daughter at the time. Chokes & chops littered most of the match, but I think Roberts is a better opponent for Andre than Hogan was. He can give you that painful sell and can fly across the ring realistically to show off Andre's enormity. It's really sad because Andre goes down like a ton of bricks from a knee to the midsections, hurting his mystique, but he's so obviously in pain from it. The ending was a giant of a cluster as Dibiase stole the snake and Andre choked Studd out with his tights.
10) Greg Valentine/ Honky Tonk Man v. Hart Foundation- 5
2 good tag matches on 1 show? This could only be 80's WWE. I love watching Bret (yeah, i know that's really cliched) no wasted movement, everything crisp. Anvil shows he can fly better than the Hindenberg and gets a catapult shoulderblock off. Valentine throws some gnarly shots but almost 90% of Honky's offense is goofy looking garbage, arm twists to every single punch and then they don't connect that well. Anvil with the hot tag and breaks out his not often used dropkick. Killer lariats for the Jimmy Hart tandem and Neidhart didn't know much in the ring, but he knew how to swivel his hips to get the most out of a clothesline.....well, and how to braid a goatee. Harts pick up the win by using the megaphone because they so loved to have the heels get their comeuppance way more than clean wins in this time.
11) Ultimate Warrior v. "Ravishing" Rick Rude (Intercontinental Title Match)- 6
Welcome Ladies and Gents to the Rick Rude show! He begins by being flopped in the corner like a Death Row victim being fried in a stone walled room as a hick deputy chewing on a deep friend chicken thigh watches on , hitting the corners with way more Impact than TNA has ever fucking known. OH, PINK HOTNESS, all in your FACE! The sickest flying dropkick these baby brown's have seen in quite some time and he tears Warrior's head off with it. Highlight of the show right there and haven't even seen the final 3 matches yet. Warrior with long bearhug sequences, probably to stall for time, or for him to think up weird shit to say later on. Rude has done some of the most rigorous work on the whole show, taking back-cracking bumps on all of Warrior's power shit, and it's coming off really well. Rude has a devastating piledriver, but he's not known for it because it's top shelf stuff and he doesn't use it every match. A master in his own time. Oh shit, Warrior blew a backbreaker after figuring he'd do 2 in a row, i'm sure he's of the variety of people that don't walk and chew gum at the same time. It takes them a few minutes to set up the finish, which at this point is way overdone but was quite fresh here, as Rude takes multiple manly lariats that prove you can have big ones while sporting a puffed out mullet. Ventura gloats as Rude takes the belt and Heenan is left to contend with the aftermatch sloppiness guru known was Warrior.
12) Bad News Brown v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan- 2
Kind of reminded me of two gorillas pawing at each other over the food sat out in their preserve at the zoo, just a bunch of punches, some really outlandish selling by two old veterans. A battle of weapons ended it, chair v. 2x4 but i'd much rather see snake vs. mongoose, hell for that matter, Wolverine v. Sabretooth.
13) Bobby "the Brain" Heenan v. Red Rooster- 1
Brain took a nice corner bump then got pinned. Rooster cut an absurd promo beforehand, but we are talking about a grown man who believes he's a farm bird, so guess it wasn't out of context. Who was on the pipe when that shit was created?
14) Randy Savage v. Hulk Hogan (WWF Title Match)- 4
I'm leaning onto a 4 for this one when I think back, Hogan starts with nice go behind, Savage hooks on a headlock for no apparent reason and they give it a minute. Rest holds were used throughout the first 10 minutes with not a lot of thought behind them probably besides checking out the high roller hoes in the front row. Savage was hitting hard on every bump, but it felt like they were really stretching for time. Hogan apparently opened up hardway at some point, but bled little more than a skinned knee. Macho had a great high knee in his day, i'd argue better than Race or HHH, because he comes at you with velocity, truly offensive move, not just a whip in spot. Elizabeth actually made sense in the match and was doing her job well, still showing she loved Savage even though he was in complete Redneck abuse mode. Hogan took the axhandle onto the guard rail but camera shot showed him blocking it well ahead of time right after a quick word with the Donald. Savage stuck to working the throat, funny his moveset complemented the strategy well but kind of sapped me after he worked so hard just for Hogan to do the normal Hogan comeback and a simple legdrop for the win. Seen a match from MSG years back where Hogan juiced like one of the monsters from "Shadow of the Colossus" that was leagues better than this hackneyed compost.