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WWF WrestleMania 2
April 7th 1986
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Rosemount Horizon, Chicago, Illionis
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Announcers: Vince McMahon/ Susan St. James (New York) Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund & Cathy Lee Crosby (Illionis) Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes & Elvira (Los Angeles)
Attendance: 40,085 (combined)
Buy rate: 319,000 (Closed circuit television)
Yes, you’ve read that right. WrestleMania 2 made history by emanated from 3 different venues. Each venue had 4 matches (an hour worth of action) and other arenas could watch what was happening at each venue on giant cinema style screens. The celebrity guest were out in full once again, some of which were serving as commentators. I guess the idea of broadcasting from 3 different venues sounds like a good idea on paper but in reality, it wasn’t a good idea but more on that later. Like WrestleMania 1, I’ll be reviewing the tag classics version of this show.
We get a basic video package of the WrestleMania 2 logo and the cities it will take place at. I’m aware that Ray Charles sang the national anthem but it’s not included on the DVD. Instead we go straight to our opening contest from the New York part of the show.
Don Muraco /w/ Mr Fuji vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff is the babyface here after what went down after the first WrestleMania. His face run didn’t last that long though. We heard comments from both guys during the start of the match, basic 1980’s face/heel comments. A lock-up to start as both men push and grunt a lot to try to get an advantage, but no dice. They have one more go at it, and Orndorff gets a headlock. Muraco counters and gets a slam for a 1 count. Tables are quickly turned as Orndorff gets his own slam and then makes fun of Mr. Fuji’s heritage by using his fingers to make his eyes slanted. Susan claims that it will only get Fuji mad, thanks for the insight. They trade slams and then Orndorff works the arm. Muraco eventually Samoan drops out of an armbar. They fight out to the floor and we wind up with a double-countout for our first bout. Fans clearly didn’t like the outcome and their chants of “bullshit” reflected that.
Winner: Double Count Out
Rating: ½ *
A slow paced match which isn’t right for an opening match. These guys had no chemistry together and nothing seemed to fit. The ending was poor and I honestly don’t blame for the fans for chanting “bullshit”. Heck, I would have joined in too!
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Macho Man Randy Savage © /w/ Elizabeth vs. George “The Animal” Steele
Macho was the arrogant heel champion who treated Elizabeth like dirt. Steele was in love with Elizabeth, much to Randy’s annoyance. Susan offers Savage some relationship advice on how to treat Elizabeth better. I guess we’re thankfully for having her in the commentary booth huh? Savage wants nothing to with Steele to start, as he spends a good ninety seconds avoiding Steele. He finally gets caught in the ropes and George chews on Savage’s calf muscle. Actually he’s just biting Savage’s boot, but Savage sells it anyway. Back in, Steele choke-lifts Savage, but then Elizabeth steps within his peripheral vision. Steele gets distracted and stomped on while being tied up in the ropes. Savage comes off the top with something that resembled a crossbody block for two. Steele comes back and tosses Savage out to the floor, but gets distracted by Elizabeth again. Savage crawls underneath the ring to the other side and comes up behind Steele and nails him with a high knee. Nevertheless, Steele blocks a clothesline with more biting. Savage bails and grabs a bouquet of flowers from somebody at ringside and nails Steele with them. Steele bites some more and rubs the flowers in Savage’s face. He eats a turnbuckle and rakes Savage in the face with the stuffing, that was Steele’s gimmick in case you didn’t know. Savage rolls out to the floor to escape but Steele follows him out. Once Steele comes over by Elizabeth, Savage is able to scurry up to the top and dive off with a double-ax. Susan points out how Elizabeth can be a great weapon for Savage, she’s so hasn’t seen a WWF event prior to this has she? Back in, Savage heads up top once again for the MACHO ELBOW and connects! 1, 2, NO! Steele attacks Savage in the corner, but Savage is able to roll him up by using the ropes to retain the title. Steel goes for another turnbuckle pad and chases the ref to the locker room area.
Winner and STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion: Macho Man Randy Savage via pinfall
Rating: ½ *
The idea was that Savage wanted nothing to do with George and acted like a chicken shit cowardly heel for the most part. Steele kicked out of his finisher but Savage was smart enough to find another way to win. Despite the poor opponent, you could see glimpses of excellences from the Macho Man who will provide more moments in the upcoming ‘Manias. It’s only the second match into the event and already I’m sick of Susan St. James’ commentary. She was fucking brutal!
George Wells vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
George is a jobber plain, and simple, but he did play football in the CFL. Roberts was the heel in this match and was also fairly new in the company too. Welles controls to start until Roberts throws him out to the floor. Back in, Welles catches Roberts with a shoulder block and then whips Roberts from corner to corner. He connects with the Headscissors and follows up with a knee lift. Welles hits a powerslam, but Roberts kicks out at two. Roberts bails to the outside (or “slithers” you know, like a Snake as Vince puts it) so he can be the first man back in the ring to nail Welles with a knee-lift through the ropes. Roberts hits the DDT and it’s over. Roberts got virtually no offense before the finish, which really puts over the DDT. Welles gets wrapped up by Damien afterwards.
Winner: Jake The Snake Roberts via pinfall
It was basic booking. Roberts hardly got any offence in for the finish and he finished Wells off with the DDT “out of nowhere” which puts over the DDT as a devastating move which has the ability to knock you out. It was a good match in the sense that it helps get over Jake’s character.
We cut to a video recap of the Piper/ Mr T feud. Backstage, Piper did a promo with Bob Orton and Lou Duva about the upcoming match. Piper vowed to retire from wrestling (boxing, tiddlewinks, everything) if he failed to beat T. Mr T, along with Joe Frazier & The Haiti Kid, talks about how Piper shaved Haiti’s hair and how he’s doing it for him. The Haiti Kid was a midget, nothing special about the guy.
Rowdy Roddy Piper /w/ Bob Orton & Lou Duva vs. Mr T /w/ Joe Frazier & The Haiti Kid
Piper went from main-eventing ‘Mania the following year to competing on the 5th match of the card. Both guys have gloves on and this match will follow the same rules as you would expect in a Boxing match.
Round one seemed pretty realistic. Piper got in his cheap shots on nearly every break and even gives the ref the universal “up yours” sign. They start pulling their punches in the second round. However, T goes down with a minute left in the second round. Piper won’t stay in a neutral corner long enough for the ref to count T out. He’s up at eight. The crowd turns on T and chants “Roddy!” for the last thirty seconds of the round. During the break, Orton throws a bucket of water on T and Frazier. Within the first minute of round three, T wallops Piper good in the corner and had this been real, the fight would’ve been over right there. Piper gets to his feet at the count of eight. Another shot from T puts Piper out on the floor, which also would’ve been a knockout blow in a real fight. By round four, Piper gets frustrated and throws his stool at T. A slugfest ends with the referee getting shoved down by Piper and T getting slammed to call for the disqualification.
Winner: Mr T by DQ
It was so slow and fans weren’t into it and when they were, they started cheering for Piper! Piper has mentioned in many interviews that Mr T kept on landing stiff shots throughout hence why he threw his chair at him. Mr T never again appeared at WrestleMania after this.
That’s the end of the New York part of the show; Susan St James was awful as commentator. She clearly didn’t have a clue what was going on at times. Up next, it’s Chicago. The commentary team are Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund and Cathy Lee Crosby.
The Fabulous Moolah © vs. Velvet McIntyre
Moolah attacks from behind to start, but McIntyre uses her quickness to hit Moolah with some dropkicks. McIntyre misses a top-rope splash and Moolah covers her for the pin to retain her title
Winner and STILL WWF Women’s Champion: The Fabulous Moolah via pinfall
Yes it was that short and yes, it was that bad! Worse than a 2011-2012 Divas match. Such a poor finish too!
Nikolai Volkoff (USSR) vs. Corporal Kirschner (USA)
The winner gets to wave their country’s flag at the end. As with most matches with Nikolai at this time, the crowd heat is good because of his gimmick. Sure, it’s cheap heat, but it is effective. Volkoff starts the match with several knees and tosses Corporal outside to the floor and rams his head into the ring post. We actually get some blood and the Corporal fires back when the action returns inside the ring to a nice pop. The ref gets bumped, and Blassie tries to get the cane to Volkoff, but Corporal intercepts and uses it to get the pin.
Winner: Corporal Kirschner via pinfall
Rating: ½ *
Booked badly and was way too slow at times. It was your typical “New York” style match. Corporal Kirschner was actually the ‘new’ Sgt Slaughter but it never worked out. He left the WWF not long after this.
Up next is the 20 man battle royal involving NFL football players and WWF Superstars. The guest referees are Dick Butkus (Chicago Bears) & Too Tall Jones (Atlanta Falcons).
20 man Battle Royal
Jimbo Covert (Chicago Bears), Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi (strongest man in the world), Harvey Martin (Dallas Cowboys), Dan Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga (later known as Haku/Meng), Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers), B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons), Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Russ Francis (San Francisco 49ers), Bruno Sammartino, William “Refrigerator” Perry (Chicago Bears) and Andre The Giant
Man, Fralic looks about as cocky as Randy Orton! Somebody in the WWF should’ve signed him up so he could job to Hogan! Everyone except for Andre and Studd try and dump these football guys out first so that they don’t get embarrassed and lose. Covert and Tonga get tossed first by Fralic. Seriously, Bill Fralic is the man. Sammartino flips Holmes out to the floor. Well, so much for that “steel curtain”. The Refrigerator hangs with Studd while Andre tries to toss out Fralic. Brunzell gets eliminated by what appeared to be Pedro Morales. Refrigerator breaks away from Studd and easily tosses out Tony Atlas, then goes back to Studd. This was common sense booking since we’re IN Chicago and Studd is the biggest heel in the match. Pedro Morales and Harvey Martin eliminate each other, followed by Ted Arcidi. Sheik sends Danny Spivey, B. Brian Blair and Hillbilly Jim all out to the floor within twenty seconds. Studd tosses out Fralic and takes some time to laugh at him. Sammartino ducks a blow from the Iron Sheik and tosses him out to the floor. Then, Studd pokes Sammartino in the eye and throws him out to the floor, Bruno was heading towards retirement at this stage in his career. Refrigerator Perry had had enough from the Hart Foundation and explodes on them with a tackle. They sell it like DEATH and the crowd eats it up. Studd wants a piece of Perry, so he suckers him in for a tackle and hiptosses him over the top rope to eliminate him. Perry wants a handshake from the floor to show that there’s no hard feelings, but then he yanks Studd out to the floor with him. Ernie Ladd : “I can’t believe it! Studd just fell for the oldest trick in the book!” We’re left with the final four: Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Russ Francis and Andre the Giant. Andre owns them all until he takes a double dropkick and gets tied up in the ropes. The Hart Foundation dumps Francis, but they can’t dump Andre. Bret runs into a boot out of the corner off a whip from Neidhart. Andre hits the double noggin knocker and boots Neidhart out to the floor. Bret climbs up top, but he gets caught and tossed out on top of Neidhart to give Andre the win.
Winner: Andre the Giant
To be honest, it was a pretty boring battle royal. Just a showcase for the NFL players. The eliminations came too fast with nothing going on in-between to make you care. It was pretty obvious that Andre was going to win; the battle royal was his gimmick. He won many of these matches during this era.
WWF Tag Team Championship
The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine) ©/w/ Luscious Johnny vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) /w/ Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy was in the corner of the Bulldogs, I guess he had no idea what was going on considering the amount of drugs he’d go through at this time. The Bulldogs were chasing after the titles for a long time and the fans were dying to seem them win the belts. Davey Boy and Valentine start things off with Davey controlling the arm. Dynamite tags in and delivers a snap suplex and tags in Smith. Valentine fights a stalling suplex, but Davey gets it anyway for 1, 2, NO! Davey Boy ducks low off a whip and gets HAMMERED in the back of the head. Valentine drops a headbutt to the groin and tags in Beefcake. Davey escapes a wristlock with a press slam and tags in Dynamite. He connects with a running clothesline for 1, 2, NO! Davey tags in and delivers a fisherman suplex for 1, 2, NO! Beefcake blind tags Valentine out of a front headlock and he comes down with a Hammer on Davey. He hits a suplex for 1, 2, NO! Valentine hooks on a chinlock to slow things down. Now Smith gets a blind tag to Dynamite out of headlock. Dynamite wins a slugfest and kills Valentine in the corner with shoulderblocks to the ribs for 1, 2, NO! A double running shoulderblock from the Bulldogs gets two on Valentine. Dynamite gets a sunset flip for 1, 2, NO! A backbreaker on Valentine gets two. Valentine comes back with a forearm and delivers a sick piledriver to Dynamite for 1, 2, NO! Valentine tries the Arn Anderson knucklelock pin spot, but hits a pair of knees instead. Valentine heads up top, but gets tossed down by Dynamite for two thanks to Beefcake. Smith comes in and rids the ring of Beefcake to set up a double-team press slam on Valentine, but he rolls out to escape. Dynamite brings Valentine back in the ring, but he gets nailed coming back into the ring. Davey tags in and hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM for 1, 2, NO! Davey hits a suplex for 1, 2, NO! Valentine ends Davey Boy’s momentum by reversing a whip and sending him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Beefcake tags in and works the hurt left shoulder of Davey. Davey tries to flip out of a hammerlock, but Beefcake slams him back down ON HIS ARM. Valentine tags back in and hits a shoulder breaker for 1, 2, NO! He lifts Davey off the canvas! Davey runs Valentine into Dynamite’s head and falls on top of Valentine for 1-2-3
Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The British Bulldog via pinfall
Thoroughly enjoyed this match. Valentine carried the load for the heel side as Beefcake was still pretty green and only got over because of his charisma (and his friendship with Hulk Hogan) Dynamite was brilliant! His Japanese style was evident throughout; Davey Boy deserves a special mention too. The fan reaction was what you would had have expected because of the build-up. The match was solid and I enjoyed the unique finish too.
The Chicago part is done (thank God) and we head off to Los Angeles. The commentators are Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira, she had big boobs.
Hercules Hernandez vs. Ricky Steamboat
Hercules had been on WWF television for maybe four months at this point. He attacks at the bell, but Steamboat quickly fights back with chops and armdrags. Steamboat’s armdrags are the best ever! Elvira & Jesse mock Ricky’s attire like the heels that they are! Steamboat is doing everything he can to get a good match out of Herc. Steamboat hits a suplex and returns to an armbar. Hercules fights out and drops Steamboat with a hard clothesline. Hercules stomps away and then delivers a hotshot. Steamboat tries to come back with a slam, but Hercules falls on top for 1, 2, NO! Hercules slows the match down and gets a two count off of a pair of elbow drops. Hercules takes a pair of chops from Steamboat, but then connects with another clothesline. Hercules goes up top, but Steamboat gets hits knees up to block. Steamboat heads up top and hits the FLYING CROSSBODY for the win.
Winner: Ricky Steamboat via pinfall
Rating; ** ½
A solid match which isn’t a surprise with Steamboat involved. Hercules was a decent worker, much better than most big men in the company at the time. The only criticism I would give it that it felt rushed and the comeback could have been better. Steamboat was a rising star at the time and one year later, he’ll be involved in one of the greatest matches in wrestling history. It’s also worth mentioning that Steamboat seems to be a lot thinner than what he was last year.
Adorable Adrian Adonis /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Uncle Elmer.
Adonis was a former tag team partner of Jesse Ventura and his former gimmick was a biker gimmick. Now he’s the Adorable one who prances around with camp mannerisms. Uncle Elmer was a stereotype hillbilly in overalls. Much like those guys out of the film ‘Deliverance’. Adonis sells like mad for Elmer to start, but then he puts Elmer down with just one jab. However, Elmer reverses a whip and splashes Adonis in the corner. Elmer misses a legdrop, so Adonis hits a fist drop from the top for the three-count
Winner: Adorable Adrian Adonis via pinfall
A complete waste of time. Glad it was short too. Before his weight gain, Adonis was a pretty decent wrestler, now he’s just a shell of his former self.
The Funk Brothers (Hoss & Terry) /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Junkyard Dog/ Tito Santana
Hoss Funk is Dory Funk, don’t know why they call him that. Early on, the faces take control with Terry taking several bumps out to the floor. Tito and Hoss go for a bit, and a FLYING JALAPENO gets the 1, 2, NO! Terry makes the save and then gets pummeled by Tito. Next up, Hoss and Tito criss-cross the ropes until Terry nails Tito from behind so that they can go to work. They dump Tito so Jimmy Hart can get in his kicks, Elvira questions why he’s doing that. So much for her being a heel announcer. JYD tosses Tito back in and Terry gives him a suplex for 1, 2, NO! Terry tries another, but Tito counters into one of his own. Double-KO spot sends Terry into his corner to tag in Hoss. Double-arm suplex on Tito gets two. Terry tags back in for a double-team clothesline and a jumping leg drop that gets two. Terry tries another one, but Tito rolls out of the way. Terry tries to block Tito’s attempt at a tag, but no can do. HOT TAG TO JYD! DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Hoss gets dumped, but then Terry wraps some wrist tape around JYD’s neck while Jimmy Hart hops up on the apron to keep Dave Hebner busy. JYD headbutts out of it and sends Terry out to the floor. He follows Terry out and slams him on a table! I love Funk’s crazy selling. Back in, JYD nails Jimmy Hart on the apron and then cradles up Terry for a near-fall. Tito comes in and nails Hoss and puts him in the FIGURE-FOUR! Neither man is legal, so Hebner breaks it up. During all the shenanigans, Jimmy is able to toss the megaphone to Terry! He nails JYD with it and then covers for the three count!
Winners: The Funk Brothers via pinfall
Rating: ** ½
The crowd hated the finish but there was no denying that it was a fun match. It showed everything that makes tag team wrestling fun. I want to reserve special praise for Terry Funk, his selling was excellent. He bumped around like it was going out of fashion. Crazy guy.
Up next is the main event. A video package is playing highlighting the events leading up to this match. Hogan injured his ribs from a Bundy attack so the odds were stacked against him!
Steel Cage Match
King Kong Bundy /w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan ©
They are using the blue steel cage for this one. It’s “escape the cage” rules, so no pinfalls or submissions here. Hogan is the babyface WWE Champion while Bundy’s the gigantic heel challenger. Hogan starts off with punches and then hits a boot to the face. The crowd is going crazy for Hogan. He was ridiculously over at this point in his career, which isn’t really news because everybody knows that. Hogan hit a clothesline that almost knocked Bundy down, but he couldn’t do it. Bundy blocked Hogan’s attempt to throw him into the cage and he countered with shots to the ribs. Bundy worked over the ribs, which were taped up due to the attack at Saturday Night’s Main Event prior to this. Bundy asked for the door to open. Hogan grabbed him by the leg to prevent it. Bundy picked up Hogan and slammed him against the cage. Hogan prevented another escape. Bundy took the tape off Hogan’s ribs and choked Hulk with it. Then he tied Hogan to the ropes with the tape. Hulk fought out of it to prevent another escape attempt by Bundy. Hulk attacked with right hands of his own as well as a hard whip into the turnbuckle. He rammed Bundy into the “iron bars” according to Hayes while Jesse called them “iron steel.” Meanwhile, Bundy is bleeding. Very rare to see blood even in those days.
Hogan works on the wound of Bundy with big right hands to the cut. Elvira wonders why they can’t stop this as Jesse explains it can only happen when they exit the cage. Elvira sucks…possibly literally. Hogan continues to attack Bundy, using the cage as a weapon. Hogan goes for a body slam, but Bundy’s too big and he crashes on top. Bundy tries to leave through the door. Hogan stops it by using the tape to choke him. Bundy rakes him in the eyes and hits the big Avalanche splash in the corner. Then he gets the Big Splash in the middle of the ring. The crowd gasps because that’s his finishing move. Bundy tries to crawl out, but Hulk has the energy to bring him back in. Bundy does the Avalanche again, Hogan no sells it and he begins to Hulk up! Hogan hits a big powerslam on Bundy, which was a big deal at this time because Bundy was a very fat man and he very left his feet. Then he gets the leg drop treatment. Hogan tries to climb out. Heenan’s blocking him. Bundy grabs his leg. Hogan kicks him off. Hogan climbs over the cage and touches down for the victory.
Winner and STILL WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan
Rating: * 1/2
Hogan was mega over at this point and his popularity would continue to grow in the coming years. I always felt that Hogan always done well in those “up against the odds” situations and it was demonstrated here. All the spots where he prevented Bundy from escaping were well executed. A typical Hogan match in short.
Post-match, Hogan locks himself in the cage with Bobby Heenan. Bundy is on the outside still recovering from the match. Hogan hits an atomic drop on Bobby as he took the bump all the way to the outside of the ring.
Best match: The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team – A solid tag team match, something I wish could be emulated today.
Worst match: The Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre – This was brutal. The only thing I like was Monsoon’s comment about Velvet “with her mouth wide open”!
WrestleMania moment: The Bulldogs winning the titles. They chased after the titles for so long and the fans were pleased when they finally won them.
1. Dynamite Kid – Performed well in the tag match. Shame how his career ended.
2. Terry Funk – A bumping machine. Absolutely amazing he was.
3. Ricky Steamboat – Showed just why he was the best of his time in such a short match.
4. Macho Man Randy Savage – Showed flashes of brilliance against a limited worker like Steele.
5. Hulk Hogan – He did well in the main event. Always does well in the big matches.
Here is the ranking for the top 5 so far:
1. Hulk Hogan/ Ricky Steamboat – 6pts
2. Dynamite Kid – 5pts
3. Roddy Piper/ Terry Funk – 4pts
4. Macho Man Randy Savage/ Tito Santana- 3pts
5. Greg Valentine – 1pt
Overall Show Rating (out of 10): 3
The big matches were disappointing and failed to deliver. The two tag team matches were the highlights of the show but having 8 bad matches on a 12 match show is a cause for concern. The celebrity commentators were brutal and had no product knowledge whatsoever! Hey, even Jim Crockett knew having three different venues was a bad idea!
WrestleMania 1 – 4
WrestleMania 2 – 3
Up Next: WWF WrestleMania 3 (Monday)