Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wrestle Mania II

April 7, 1986
Nassau Colisuem, Long Island, NY
Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL
Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA

First, one comment, Ray Charles performed an amazing rendition of "America, the Beautfiul" probably one of the best I can remember at a Mania.

1) "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff v. The Magnificent Muraco- 3
I like the originial "Rock"s selling, for a big guy, it's never over the top but he still takes great bumps. He's feeding himself to Orndorff's offense well, and working the armbar on defense better than Orndorff is working it on offense. Rock hits a killer Samoan drop that makes Dwayne Johnson's look like the Kibble he fed that bulldog in a tutu in his last Disney flop (no the one before the terrible remake about alien kids) The end just falls apart though, like a Whopper sandwhich. They bumble going over the top rope then do a Double Countout which promptly sends the raucous NY crowd into a loud "Bullshit" chant that Vince half acknowledges.

2) "Macho Man" Randy Savage v. George "The Animal" Steele (Intercontinental Title Match)- 4
I remember hating this match when I was a kid, never really being into all the goofy hijinx matches like this had to offer. Can't say I'm a fan even now but can appreciate the work put into this. Speaking of work, I'd love to work over Elizabeth's ears, neck and ample chest with my mouth because she was looking smoking hot here. Both guys are on with the psych game- they know exactly how to run this match. 2 big moves right from the start are Savage's high knee into Steele's face and the neck hang (popularized by WCW Wrestling for the NES) to Savage. Savage blows a flying bodypress early on and they stick to the comedy mainly after that. Stiff shot with a bouquet of flowers, that's a first. Another first is having a mid card guy kick out of a rising star's finisher which Steele easily throw's Savage off his cover from the flying elbow??? Well done harmless comedy though.

3) George Wells v. Jake "the Snake" Roberts- 4
Wells starts off with quick street fighting punches that rock Jake bad. Where the hell did this guy come from and more importantly, where did he go? His power game looks good, ex. shoulderblock, powerslam and Roberts is the right person to give some believable sells to them. Roberts timed the kneelift through the middle rope perfectly, kind of a squash but a competitive one. Wells bites down on some Alka Seltzer for the frothing effect after the match as Jake tries to get the python to wrap around Wells' neck but it's just not happening.

4) Mr. T v. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (Boxing Match)- 3
No real way to grade this , work rate wise, so we're purely going on entertainment value. 1st round was pretty dead even with both guys feeling each other out and taking no chances or showing off. 2nd round Piper lets a flurry loose on T and gets 2 knockdowns while looking quite good. T evens the score in the 3rd and Piper sells the knockdown like a wrestler would were he to find himself in a worked boxing match. T is completely blown up. 4th ends with the stool shot to T's knee cap (ouch!) and a sloppy bodyslam. Mildly entertaining but loved both guys just trading blows at the end. Always heard there was real heat between these two- wish they wouldn't have hid it so well, seemed more like mild disinterest.

5) Fabulous Moolah v. Velvet McIntyre (Women's Championship)- 3
Moolah starts out super aggressive, like an elderly Sabretooth with man tits. Velvet fights barefooted, always liked when white people wrestled like that. Great pace, Velvet met her demise when she missed a splash from the 2nd rope and her tiny "A" sized breast popped out. Moolah mounted her like a horny yak. Less than 2 minutes but action packed.

6) Nikolai Volkoff v. Corporal Kircshner (Flag Match)- 2
There's that damn heat machine Russian Anthem again!!! Volkoff starts the match by hitting a spin kick and burying a knee in Cpl.'s midsection. Cpl's punches are really exaggerated, gets posted outside and apparently has some blood (that "Mean" Gene notices) but I never saw it. Another quick one after an errant misthrow of the cane by Blassie. This one was for the America pop.

7) 20 Man NFL/ WWF Battle Royal, including Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Ernie Holmes, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Big John Studd, Tonga Kid, Ted Arcidi, Danny Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, Russ Francis, Pedro Morales, Iron Sheik, William "Refridgerator" Perry, Bruno Sammartino, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Harvey Martin, Tony Atlas & Andre the Giant- 5

Always thought this was a fun battle Royal, kind of light on punching and stuff and heavy on bear hugs and awkward grabbing and holding for long period of time. NFL guys didn't fare too well, most of them going out pretty quickly, but never realized till now they used several retired NFL players for this and god were they out of shape. Two nasty eliminations were to Bill Fralic & Big John Studd who are so tall when they flipped over their necks got caught under the bottom rope and snapped them back. Fridge looked to adapt to the wrestling style kind of easily, the Harts took a huge shoulder tackle from him at one point. Andre prevailed in the end but eliminating the Harts in easy fashion; still wish they would have shown where he chucks the trophy over his shoulder and shatters it in the aisleway.

8) Greg Valentine/ Brutus Beefcake v. British Bulldogs (WWF Tag Team Titles)- 7

You can feel a change in the style of match this is from the rest of the show. Hard hitting, physical style and the fans and announcers are eating it up instead of the usual comedy stuff and goofy characters. All the guys except Beefcake are using really damaging suplexes throughout the match. Hammer uses same break pace tactics as in Mania I, diving outside and such; he also works most of the match himself. Heels are giving up some good near falls to the challengers who keep the pressure on with quick moves and powerful offense. Valentine trades blows with both men, my favorite instance is a near slap box match between he & Dynamite, with Hammer succumbing to the tough little shit's brutal forearms to the face. I like Hammer's ode to D-von with the leg shakes after he gets a knee dropped into his forehead. He throws in a sick piledriver that looks reminiscent of a shitty move DDP used to use like a piledriver except this one he dropped Dynamite directly on his thick skull. Hammer has enough after taking Flair bump from top rope, they start working the hammerlock on Davey Boy after that. The finish is crazy but directed by future TNA cameramen where Dynamite sacrifices himself and gets rammed into Hammer then flies to the floor outside, but you don't see how he landed. Big win for the Bulldogs and this is easily match of the night.

9) Hercules Hernandez v. Ricky Steamboat- 6
A great mesh of styles here, aggressive powergame matched up with Dragon's expressive selling and quick pace. The fans were just eating up everything Steamboat did, much like on Raw last week. Herc was trying to keep up with Dragon's quick sequences and you saw enough of a mix of different things that it kept the match interesting, like several reverse whip-in's, tilt a whirl escapes and other nifty tricks. Both guys were using a great amount of energy, but Steamboat's looked replenishible. Herc nailed 2 vicious clotheslines during the 3rd act that had Dragon reeling, as well as a stun gun. The finish came off really well and was built up sufficiently with Steamboat being punished leading up to the breathtaking flying body press like only he can execute.

10) Adrian Adonis v. Uncle Elmer- 4
God Adonis looks absoutely hideous. Elmer gets a big pop from the L.A. crowd, surprising. He mocks Adonis' overtly gay actions and I feel like I"ve just been transported to an Indy show in southern Georgia where JC Ice will work Semi-main doing his racist hating. Adonis is all over the ring, taking liberally dangerous bumps just to appease a crowd who could give a shit less if he jobs to the gigantic, and probably heart failure risking Elmer. Elmer stumbled over after throwing a lazy punch in a hilarious moment. Adonis hits about 2 offensive moves and Elmer is done for the night, mostly comedy but entertaining nonetheless.

11) Terry & Dory Funk v. Junkyard Dog/ Tito Santana- 6
Typical Terry Funk made this match so much more than just filler and it began when he was fucking with Lee Marshall (who was ring announcing) and the ref. He was being a wild man, falling over the ropes randomly, feeding himself to vicious Tito punches. Dory showed off his famous Euro uppercuts as often as he could when not trying to corral Terry back in the corner. Tito & JYD both can have hot tags that are well worth seeing and the Funks give them everything they have to make them work, which they do. Terry sells a near fall he got with a suplex well. I'm sure Vince was hoping this was a throwaway right before the main , but it's fun, it's unpredictable and the crowd loves to see the Funk's get their asses handed to them. Terry takes a huge backdrop all the way to the concrete below courtesy of the "Juker" as Gorilla Monsoon lovingly refers to the Dog as. Turns into a wild Southern brawl outside complete with Terry taking a table bump. Misdirection for the finish a little off, but a minor tiff in a largely fulfilling and madhouse brawl.

12) Hulk Hogan v. King Kong Bundy ( WWF Title Steel Cage Match)- 5
Hogan starts out rough, just how Linda used to like it, but it makes sense for this because it's a hate filled feud and Bundy is taking his licks. His flabby chest makes great noise when Hogan chops or clotheslines it. I still imagine how strange he looked with hair when he was down in Texas getting his ass beat nightly by Brody & the Von Erichs. Bundy has some appropriate facial reactions too. I assumed Hogan playing the hurt ribs would give him the chance to lay low and do some convulsive selling and go really low impact wit this one and it goes according to plan for a while but Hogan actually gets a whole beatdown section where Bundy is his bitch and gets some juice. It's funny because Bobby Heenan reaches through the cage and it's pretty obvious he's blading Bundy's head and for some reason the camera just stays on them. Bundy is just the star of this fucking show- love that he tries to escape the cage 4 times in the first 5 minutes. He also takes a Ron Simmons-esque powerslam and a free fall bump from the top rope to the mat en route to a losing effort but he made Hogan a lot of money on this night.

II= 43%
III= 39%
I= 32%

No comments: