Skydome in Toronto, awesome sight to see the 65,000 people they had there as the camera pans back for the initial shot. Famous crooner Robert Goulet (Goulet!) gives us "Oh, Canada" in that brisk but heartwarming tenor and we're off to the ring.
1) Koko B. Ware v. Rick Martel- 4
Still wish they would have marketed "Arrogance" as a fragrance; would have done great business in the 31-40 gay man population. Martel is super aggressive right from the beginning but loses steam pretty quickly. Koko's high flying was quite underrated I believe, especially for a portlier guy. Awesome dropkick and Martel eats several of them fervently, like me eating cheddar bay biscuits at your local Red Lobster. Speaking of crustaceans, they do a really good tease of Martel applying the Boston Crab. Besides forearms, Model's pretty empty on ideas. Koko looked good the whole way through but tapped to a very underwhelming Martel performance.
2) The Colossol Connection (Haku/ Andre the Giant) v. Demolition (Tag Team Titles)- 3
Despite the painted men getting their "3-peat" as Gorilla put it, this doesn't have a lot more going for it, although I believe this had to have been near Andre's last WWE match. Andre was a big non-factor here, only coming in a few times for quick spots. I give Haku big props for working the whole match by his lonesome, but it didn't add up to anything. Pace was extremely slow and I just couldn't get into Demolition's spirited comeback, complete with stiff clotheslines and all. Heenan was good in his role getting slapped around by Andre, but wasn't much of a tag match to speak of.
3) Earthquake v. Hercules- 2
A vehicle for the big man to get over, i found myself wondering "Does a guy that big need to use a thumb to the throat as an offensive move?" Quake has good movement for a tractor-trailer w/o wheels though. Herc threw some nice jabs, but this one left my head feeling as numb as after I watched "Napolean Dynamite." And did I mention the 1,000 times I had to hear people quote the movie afterwards?
4) Mr. Perfect v. Brutus Beefcake- 4
This is where Hennig's winning streak came to an end. Beefcake never lived up to his potential, as what they saw for him. To me, just being able to walk to the ring straight exceeded it. It's apparent, oh about 2.3 milliseconds, that Hennig is the far superior worker here, as Beefcake has trouble keeping up with a simple spot in the corner. Perfect looks like a gymnast doing a routine, as he bounces and flips all over the ring to the delight of the 60 some thousand Canucks in the audience. Henning takes control after using the Genuis' metal clipboard but stalls for like 5 minutes afterwards until Beefer double legs him into a slingshot for the surprise victory. Match had some potential with Hennig in the driver's seat but I think the way it was planned, became a wasted effort. Hennig's got one hell of a reverse knifedge , or chop for those of you not familiar with Gorilla Monsoon's lingo.
5) Bad News Brown v. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper- 2
I think Piper may have just been legally insane. This is Piper wearing black face thing where he painted half his body black. If anyone else would have done this, their career would have been over. Match is anything but, a lot of punching, and using a lot of energy in doing it but no real structure whatsoever to it. Piper brings out the Michael Jackson glove at one point and Ventura ponders it's legality- it's a freakin' glove with holes in it, you can see there's no object! Ends in a melee and one of Piper's better left forgotten Mania encounters.
6) Hart Foundation v. The Bolsheviks- 1
20 second squash for the hometown boys. Loved Bret counting into the camera as they got the win. Showoff.
7) Barbarian v. Tito Santana- 5
Never seen a stiff crossbody before. Both guys have great movement and match up surprisingly well. Watching this with my cousin and he gets excited to see one of his favorite bad guys as a kid show up in Barbarian, even if he is wearing a deer carcass. Tito has some solid punches, always looks like he's trying to hammer a guy's head into his neck. They play up the big man stuff but Titos' dropkicks are too much. Heenan plays his role perfectly, costing Tito the match then the Mexcian sensation gets beheaded with a flying clothesline. Really enjoyed this one.
8) "Macho King" Randy Savage/ "Sensational Queen" Sherri v. Dusty Rhodes/ Sapphire- 2
Man this one was a big old load of that horse manure Dusty cleaned up in those old American Dream promos. Brings back Liz for a nostalgia pop but pretty lackluster. Watching Saphirre trying to work is like watching a drunk horse loaded on pills trying to stick it's cock into a sorority sister down in Mexico all hopped up on whiffledusters. Dusty takes the majority of the abuse, actually laying on the side of the apron for a good 4 minutes as Savage and Sherri just continue to pour offense onto him, as he does nothing. Fun novelty at the time but compare it to the intergender stuff World Class was doing with Austin & Adams at that time and it doesn't even stand in ankle deep water next to it.
9) Orient Express v. The Rockers- 5
Good opening sequence sets the pace for a frenetic match, but Orients slow it down. Tanaka is a hell of a worker, not familiar with his partner, but he's a short pudgy Japanese dude who can't fly so not high expectations. Killer stomach breaker by Sato and I eat my words, along with some crab rangoon i just cooked in the oven. Really tasty and ups my enjoyment of this match. Tag situations are done right, and Tanaka has a flying forearm that just scentillates, just go ahead and mark out for it sight unseen. Ending is a CO<>
10) Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. Dino Bravo- 2
If you like seeing two ugly dudes exchange strikes and sell like cartoon characters, this is better than Bumfights but not as good as an old episode of WMAC Masters.
11) Ted Dibiase v. Jake Roberts (Million Dollar Title match)- 6
Ring placement plays such a big part in matches and it's really cool watching two guys who know what spot they need to be in to get the most out of their actions. Another aspect of this is control & confidence, two things that truly signify a veteran presence in the ring and both men exude both. Watch the part where Roberts has Ted down and starts dropping knees, over and over again into his folded back arm, same time he's working the crowd, just complete control over the whole situation. Roberts misses his big kneelift and takes crazy bump. Dibiase is so fun to watch because he has so much to play off of here, Damien and avoiding the DDT. Crowd makes this feel like a big match, a giant wave is started all over the arena during slow portion on upper and lower levels and makes the match feel that much more special. Ventura is loving it, calls it out several times. And with one piledriver Dibiase stops the whole crowd's momentum and brings them back into the match, giving Jake a ton of support when he mounts his comeback. The finish made sense with Dibiase's character, plus the big face payback after the match but wasn't thrilled with the countout thing. But, you know what, i still have to recommend this one, especially if your a student of the game. There's just so much to absorb here.
12) Akeem v. Big Bossman- 1
Dibiase still lurked at ringside and does a number on Bossman before the bell rings. Doesn't matter though because halfway through this, he "feels no pain" and starts no selling everything before hitting a decent Bossman slam for the win. Extremely short. I know Brian won't like this seeing one of his old school favorites jobbed out so quickly.
13) Ravishing Rick Rude v. Superfly Jimmy Snuka- 3
This played out a lot like Rude v. Warrior from the Mania prior, with Rude's athleticism and work ethic on display. Match felt really rushed, as if they were told to shorten their match way up. Both guys were just moving the whole time with quick sells for everything so they could move onto the next spot. Snuka seemed to get lost trying to pull of the fin. Won't see this on any upcoming comp tapes from the NHO crew, I would venture to say.
14) Hulk Hogan v. Ultimate Warrior (WWF Title v. IC Title)- 5
Whole beginning is Power v. Power, just a sign of the times. Would this match have played out as well if the steroid scandal was going on? Should have had George Zahorian as Guest Timekeepr (sorry, dated reference.) You can see watching this one was planned meticulously, so many loose ends that could go wrong if not. The crowd is eating it up though, hand over fist. Hogan plays smart for his end, goes for a lot of covers, hits a move, covers, then back to chinlock. And he starts selling his desperation later on- still not sure what the feigned knee thing was for, probably another excuse why he lost. Warrior's clothesline spree was weak sauce though. Layout was really simple but a lot of the filler was meaningless and meandering. The finish sequence was pretty routine but the crowd response was phenomenal. Has that big match feel still but still doesn't hold a candle to Hogan- Andre in my book.