The Rif Files

Sports – Films – Reviews – Life Stories – Video Games It's all here on The Rif Files.

WWF WrestleMania VII Review

WWF WrestleMania 7

March 24th 1991

LA Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California

Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon/ Bobby Heenan

Attendance: 16,158

Buyrate: 400,000

 

Originally, WrestleMania 7 was to be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which has a capacity of 93,607 which in turn could have made this WrestleMania to reach the 100,000 attendance figure. However, all of that had to change due to security threats directed towards the WWF Champion, Sgt Slaughter. Slaughter had been playing the role of an Iraqi follower. At the time, the Gulf War so you can imagine how touchy the subject was. Slaughter has mention on a number of occasions that he had to wear a bullet proof vest at all times because management were scared that someone would try to shoot him and that he had to have 24 hour security with him at all times. On one occasion, he was asked to burn the American flag but he refused point blank and instead burnt a “Hulk Rules” shirt. Hulk Hogan took exception at Slaughter’s actions and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania, but it wasn’t just for the WWF title, but for America’s pride too.

Also on this show is the career vs. career match between Macho King and the Ultimate Warrior, the best match in Warrior’s career, and it’s also the WrestleMania debut of the Undertaker and his legendary WrestleMania streak.

 

The tagline for this show is “Superstars and Stripes Forever”. We get the video to start with Vince McMahon yelling as we see clips of Hulk Hogan & Sgt Slaughter.

 

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to the show. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who is dressed in a red, white & blue outfit, is providing commentary for the opening contest since Bobby Heenan is on management duty.

 

The Barbarian & Haku /w/ Bobby Heenan vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)

The Rockers are hot at this point; it was their peak and many including me thought they deserved a Title reign before finally splitting at the beginning of ‘92. The Rockers control early with their speed and blatant double teaming. Double hiptosses, elbows, and crescent kicks all around. Heenan regroups his men and the Barbarian begins to work over Jannetty. Duggan is actually making some sense announcing this thing. Jannetty gets up on Barbarian’s shoulders but Barbarian catches him. Michaels comes in and dropkicks him in the back as Marty turns it into a nice hurricanrana. Haku tags in and the Rockers try the same move again, but this time Barbarian beats them to the punch and hotshots Marty’s neck across the top rope. I wish Michaels was the one getting pounded on here so he could make the hot tag and Gorilla could say “Marty goes bananas”. But, no, it’s Marty getting pummelled. The Barbarian goes for a top rope headbutt, but Jannetty moves out of harm’s way. Hot tag to Michaels, who roughs up Haku and then the Barbarian. All four men come in, and Shawn and Marty connect with a double dropkick to the Barbarian to send him to the floor. In the ring, Jannetty nails a dropkick off the top rope to Haku, followed by Michaels off the top in the adjacent corner for a high cross body for the victory.

Winners: The Rockers via pinfall

Rating: ***

Excellent opener, the best WrestleMania opener so far (The best ever isn’t too far away). The Rockers double team moves were great and the heel team allowed them to get a lot of offence in.

Shawn Michaels was already showing signs of just how good he was going to be in the future. Marty was also brought his game too. A great opener where the babyface team won in an exciting fashion.

 

Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by with this year’s celebrity guests. Regis Philbin, Marla Maples and Alex Trebek. Mean Gene: “My close friend, Alex Trebek”. Alex: “Thanks Jim”. I guess Alex doesn’t consider “Jim” to be a close friend after all.

 

Dino Bravo /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich

Kerry was a popular babyface and former Intercontinental Champion who was making his debut here at WrestleMania. Heenan is all riled up about the last match so he’s very excitable and he and Gorilla are on here. This is actually a pretty sad match when you consider what happened to both men. Bravo jump Kerry as he makes his way through the ropes and sends him over the top with a clothesline. They brawl on the floor, but once back in the ring Kerry hits an atomic-drop. He goes for the claw, but Bravo breaks and fires away some chops in the corner. A blind charge by Kerry eats boots, and they botch a spot. Bravo improvises by dropping some elbows to get a two count. Kerry gets caught with Bravo’s patented side suplex, but it only gets two. Bravo heads to the second rope, but gets caught in the claw on the way down. Kerry breaks to hit the discus punch and that gets the pin

Winner: The Texas Tornado via pinfall

Rating: *

A match designed to put over Kerry. It was basic stuff at the end of the day. This was his first and only WrestleMania. I always feel sad when watching this match due to the way both guys died. Dino was shot by the Canadian Mafia whiles Kerry shot himself in ’93.

 

Mean Gene Okerlund is interviewing Davey Boy Smith, who is now working under the name: “British Bulldog”. Davey Boy, who now has dreadlocks, looks a lot bigger than he ever did back in the late 80s. He had a new Bulldog mascot called Winston with him.

 

The Warlord /w/ Slick vs. British Bulldog

The Warlord looked fucking huge! I guess he’ll never pass a modern day wellness test. Bulldog wins the early power test, and Warlord bails. Again, this is a tremendously hot crowd, and makes even the crappiest match seem important. I love crowds like this. Bulldog goes for a crucifix, but Warlord drops him with what is basically a Samoan drop. The power match staple: a bearhug is locked in by the Warlord, and the crowd explodes. Awesome! Bulldog breaks, but rushes and gets dropped with a stungun of all things. Nice! They exchange blows and Warlord hits a bad ass belly to belly suplex. Damn. This has been a pretty decent power match so far. Things hit a lull though when we hit the chinlock. Luckily, this crowd stays with them every step of the way and rally Davey Boy. He powers his way to his feet and breaks with some elbows. Nice standing dropkick backs Warlord into the corner and we get the 10 count on buckle. Smith gets a cross body for a 2 count, and tries piledriver, but Warlord backdrops out, so Bulldog reverses that to a sunset flip that Warlord drops down for a two count. The full nelson gets locked in by the Warlord, but the fingers aren’t locked, and that proves to be important. It gives Davey the chance to power out of the move much to the crowds delight. Warlord tries a powerslam, but Bulldog slips off and is able to get his own powerslam for the pin.

Winner: British Bulldog via pinfall

Rating: **

Davey Boy looked absolutely knackered after the match. I don’t blame him. He worked his ass off to make such a poor worker like Warlord look good. After this Davey Boy would receive a solid singles push. I guess this match also put an end to the push Warlord was currently on.

 

Mean Gene is standing by with the Nasty Boys and Jimmy Hart. They did a lot of yelling throughout the interview. They even blew some snot in Gene’s hanky.

 

Camera cuts to Sean Mooney and the WWF Tag Team Champions, The Hart Foundation. Anvil did a lot of yelling. Bret says that the Nasty Boys don’t have the heart to win the titles.

 

WWF Tag Team Championship

The Nasty Boys /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The Hart Foundation© (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)

Macaulay Culkin is shown in the audience and Gorilla doesn’t realize who it is at first but then picks up on it. Bret and Sags start off and Bret is quick to hit a Thesz Press. Shades of Austin… or Thesz, if you prefer. Hart dominates both Nastys. Sags tags Knobbs, who wants Neidhart. Bret obliges, tags the Anvil, and Neidhart goes crazy with a whip, a hiptoss, and a shoulderblock that sends him to the floor. The Harts have again cleared the ring. The Nastys regroup and breifly take the advantage in the ring, but Bret tags in and hits the Russian Legsweep, called a neckbreaker by Gorilla as he did for years. Knobbs comes in and blindsides Bret with a clothesline, then goes for the rear chinlock. Two comebacks fail and Knobbs tags in Sags who steps right in with a rear chinlock of his own. Knobbs comes back in and holds the rear chinlock. Sags tags back in and mixes it up a bit with an elbow drop and neckbreaker. Tag to Knobbs and he again goes for the rear chinlock, but Bret’s had enough and counters. Sags comes in, but Bret clotheslines him and ducks a Knobb charge. Hot tag to Neidhart but the ref is busy getting a Nasty out of the ring and doesn’t see it. Neidhart is pissed and the ref calms him down while Knobbs grabs Jimmy Hart’s megaphone in hopes of leveling Bret with it, but misses, and levels Sags instead. Hot tag. Neidhart overpowers the Nastys but Sags breaks up a pin attempt prompting Bret to chase him on the floor. Back in, the Foundation hits the Hart Attack. The ref gets the illegal man, Bret, out of the ring while Jimmy throws the motorcycle helmet to Sags, who knocks Neidhart cold with it. Knobbs covers for the 1-2-3. The Nasty Boys celebrate with Jimmy Hart in an over the top manner which I found hilarious.

Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys via pinfall

Rating: ***

It was a fun tag match full of false tags, distractions, comebacks and a well worked finish.  Bret carried the match throughout and, much like Davey Boy from earlier on, looked completely knackered. Brian Knobbs also looked tired but he’s just unfit! To their credit, the Nasty Boys done well but they too and they’ve admitted on a number of occasions that this was their favourite match. This was the last time Bret would wrestle as part of the original Hart Foundation tag team. He would be on his own from here on out and deliver some classics along the way.

 

We are treated to a video package highlighting the feud between Jake Roberts and Rick Martel. Martel sprayed perfume in Jake’s eyes, causing him to go ‘blind’. Prior to the match, Jake cuts yet another great promo. The camera focuses on the eyes.

 

Blindfold Match

“The Model” Rick Martel vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

The refs put the blindfolds on each man and we’re underway. The crowd is obviously behind Roberts, so when he points in Martel’s direction the crowd cheers. Martel trips over Jake and they find each other momentarily, but Jake avoids a Martel whip in and they lose each other again. They back into each other but can’t hold on. Martel kicks away at the air. Martel finds Jake and slams him but a blind elbow misses horribly and Martel is frustrated. They each grab the ref and the Model almost attacks him. Jake stumbles around a lot and can’t tell where he is or where he’s going, so maybe this isn’t much of a stretch for him. Roberts grabs Martel but there’s a rope break. The crowd chants for the DDT. Martel crawls around only to find the ominous green bag with the snake in the corner. Jake grabs him and gets a headlock. Rick shoots him off the ropes and shoulderblocks him out. Martel climbs out and pokes at the air with a chair. He backs into the post, turns around and smacks it with the chair, hurting only himself. Back in, Martel hits a backbreaker and hooks the Boston Crab. Jake powers out, turns around, grabs for him and hits the DDT. He finds him for the cover and scores the pinfall.

Winner: Jake “The Snake” Roberts via pinfall

Rating: **

A lot of people frown on this match, not me though. It was highly entertaining and a great example of crowd interaction too. The build-up to the DDT was very well done.

 

In the locker room, Marla Maples was trying to interview the Nasty Boys, Jimmy Hart and the rest of Jimmy’s stable of wrestlers ended up celebrating. She didn’t really ask a question.

 

“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. The Undertaker /w/ Paul Bearer

This was Undertaker’s WrestleMania debut. He was a heel but got a good pop because the character was very over with the crowd. Snuka was the babyface who was coming towards the end of his career. It’s a squash match not just to put Taker over against a big name, but to manhandle him in the process. Heenan and Gorilla do some great commentary on Paul Bearer and speculate about what’s in the urn. Gorilla suggests that the Brain, broadcast journalist that he is, finds out what’s in there, but Bobby’s not about to do that. Taker dominates Snuka with chokes and punches and works in the flying clothesline and a suplex. The crowd “ohhhh” for the flying clothesline as they weren’t used to seeing big men do moves like that. Snuka tries to slingshot into the ring from the apron, and Taker catches him but loses his grip, sets him down, then picks him up again and Tombstones him for the win.

Winner: The Undertaker via pinfall

Rating: *

A squash match basically. It was slow but that’s okay as the slow style was a part of the Undertaker’s character at the time. Undertaker didn’t get knocked off his feet; he dominated the former WWF Champion which was pretty surprising in itself seeing a former world champion getting destroyed like that. It wasn’t a great match but it was historic as this was the beginning of the legendary undefeated streak.

 

Up next, it’s the career vs. career match between Macho King and Ultimate Warrior. The feud started at the Royal Rumble where Warrior refused to give Macho a shot at the title. Later on during his title defence against Slaughter, Savage cracked Warrior over the head with his sceptre, costing Warrior the match.

The announcers set up the match, going over the rules and basically putting over how this one is for all the marbles. Bobby Heenan notices that Elizabeth, Savage’s former valet and real life wife, is in the crowd. Macho King & Sherri get an over the top entrance that only Savage can pull off. Warrior walks-yes I said walks-down to the ring. Heenan questions it, suggesting that he’s worried about the upcoming match.

 

Career vs. Career

Macho King Randy Savage /w/ Queen Sherri vs. The Ultimate Warrior.

The bell’s gone and Warrior manhandles the King from the start, but Savage is resilient and connects with a clothesline. He heads up top and tries a crossbody but Warrior catches him and… places him down on his feet and slaps him. Macho is steamed and goes outside the ring where he grabs a chair. He tosses it into the ring, hops back in, and then instead of going for it, opts to punch an un-expecting Warrior instead. A brilliant ploy, but his advantage doesn’t last long as Warrior soon gets the better of him. Warrior beats the crap out of Savage in the corner but then misses a charge and spills to the floor. Savage heads up top and measures him with the axehandle all the way from the top rope to the arena floor. Sherri tries to rough up the Warrior, causing him to shove her to the ground. The distraction, though, allows Savage to attack from behind and send Warrior flying into the post. Back in the ring, Savage attempts a neckbreaker, but Warrior counters with a backslide. Savage backs off and spits in the face of the Warrior. Warrior answers with a strong clothesline but then misses a huge shoulder tackle when Savage sidesteps him and Warrior’s face slams into the mat. Two count for Macho. Savage then goes to a reverse chinlock to wear down the injured Warrior, but Warrior powers out and hits a clothesline. Both men get up and go off the ropes and a double clothesline results. Sherri tries desperately to revive Savage. She actually tries to climb in the ring and Earl Hebner, the ref, has to tell her to get out. Meanwhile, Warrior gets to his feet and traps Macho in a small package. When the ref finally turns around to see the cover, it only gets two.

Warrior argues about the count with the ref and Savage plants a knee in his back, sending Warrior forward into the ref. Now Hebner is out cold. Savage holds the Warrior as Sherri takes off her shoe and climbs to the top rope. She tries to strike Warrior with it, but the Warrior moves, and it’s Savage that takes the loaded shoe to the head. Sherri is forced to distract the Warrior until Savage comes to. As he finally does, so does the ref and a quick Savage roll up gets two. Savage takes Warrior to the buckles. Heenan talks about how everything is on the line for these two men. You lose this match, you wake up tomorrow, and what do you do? Your job, your livelihood, your career, all you’ve ever known, will be over. They can be a second away from losing it all at any given moment.

Savage now clotheslines Warrior’s throat over the top rope, then bodyslams him for a two count. Now he heads up top for the Flying Elbow… and connects. But he’s not finished yet. Savage goes up for a second elbow… and connects. OK, that ought to do it, but let’s try a third just to be sure. But Warrior’s out anyway, so why not make it four? And once you’ve done four, you just have to do five. And that’s exactly what Macho did. FIVE Flying Elbow Drops and Savage finally covers Warrior. One, two, KICKOUT. Savage is stunned. The crowd go nuts. I guess most of them thought it was over too. If that didn’t finish him, what will? Warrior hulks up and shakes the ropes. He levels Savage with three clotheslines in rapid succession. Gorilla press slam, big splash… KICKOUT. I thought that was it! Warrior cannot believe it. Only Hogan had ever kicked out of the Warrior’s finishing series, and even he ended up later getting pinned with the splash. Now both Savage and Warrior have kicked out of each other’s finishers. Warrior is shocked. He looks to the sky for a reason and actually starts to leave the ring. He’s questioning if this was meant to be, is he supposed to retire! He’s on the apron debating his position and after much deliberation and many warnings from Hebner that “This is it”, Savage solves his problem for him by nailing him from behind, sending him to the floor.

On the floor, Savage drapes Warrior’s throat over the barricade, and a la the Steamboat incident, heads for the top rope. Sherri tries to hold Warrior in place for good measure, but Warrior tosses her aside, then catches Savage with a shot to the gut on the way down, a blow which Savage would have a tough time recovering from. Seeing his fallen opponent, Warrior now has no doubt that he should stay and fight. He tosses Macho into the ring and brings him to his feet, though by this point Savage can barely stand. Warrior bounces off the ropes and hits a big shoulder tackle. The impact sends Savage to the floor. Warrior again brings him in, again sets him up, and again hits a shoulder tackle, again sending Savage to the outside. Once more, Warrior brings him in and hits a third shoulder tackle. Macho falls to the floor, and Warrior throws him back in one last time. Then, in the centre of the ring, he places one foot on Savage’s chest. 1-2-3, and Randy Savage’s career is history.

Winner: The Ultimate Warrior

Rating: *****

An unbelievably emotional draining match, and with their careers on the line, every minute was thrilling. Savage was the better worker no doubt, but Warrior also had his moments too which is rare considering the average quality of Warrior’s matches. Warrior’s greatest match ever! This is a match that truly does stand the test of time. The match lasted for 20 minutes and it told quite a story, but that would only be half of it….

 

…Post-match, Sherri is furious with Savage for losing because it would mean the end of her too (at least in theory). She began to kick away at Macho. Elizabeth, who was sitting at ringside, hops over the barrier and throws Sherri out of the ring. The crowd went nuts over that; they weren’t used to seeing Elizabeth get physical. Elizabeth tries to help Savage up; he threw his hand up thinking that it was Sherri. When he turned around he was shocked and confused to see Elizabeth. This facial expression was top class. He looked as if he’d seen a ghost!  Elizabeth is crying. After a few moments, they embrace and the fans go nuts. Some of the fans are even crying too. It was truly an emotional scene. Savage holds the ropes open for Liz, as she had done for him for so many years, and then Savage gives one last series of turnbuckle salutes for the crowd. They then leave hand in hand, reunited after more than two years. Perfect storytelling.

 

Koji Kitao & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Demolition (Crush & Smash) /w/ Mr. Fuji

The crowd was pretty much dead after the emotion of Savage & Elizabeth reuniting. Demolition is, at this point, a shell of their former selves, as Axe is now completely gone and Crush has replaced him. Smash is just months away from becoming Repo Man. No one cares about this match which justifies its positioning. Tenryu pins Smash with a powerbomb.

Winners: Koji Kitao & Genichiro Tenryu via pinfall

Rating; DUD

Seemed a bit odd to have Demolition lose to a team that wasn’t around for long.

 

In the interview area, Mean Gene is with the Big Boss Man. Boss Man says that Mr Perfect and Bobby Heenan will pay for what they said about his “momma”.

Camera cuts to Sean Mooney and his guest, WWF Intercontinental Champion, Mr Perfect and Bobby Heenan. Perfect says that there’s no way Big Boss Man will leave with the Intercontinental Championship.

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship

Big Boss Man vs. Mr Perfect © /w/ Bobby Heenan.

Lord Alfred Hayes is filling in on commentary. Lord Alfred Hayes joins Gorilla for commentary. Oh boy. Duggan actually did a better job than him. Boss Man is surprisingly quicker than Perfect, despite being much larger, and uses it to his advantage. They trade punches and jabs, then take turns hitting each other with Boss Man’s belt. Perfect holds him in an abominable stretch for a while but releases it and hits a standing dropkick followed by a snap mare and his patented neck snap. The Perfect-Plex is set up, but Boss Man counters with a small package. Perfect responds by coming back with an awesome reverse neck snap, for lack of a better name. Sweet. Boss Man recovers and the action spills to the floor as a Boss Man right hand gets a classic Curt oversell and he flies over the top rope. On the floor, Perfect launches Boss Man into the steel steps. As Heenan kicks him while he’s down, the legendary (and ex-Heenan stooge) Andre the Giant comes down the aisle. As Perfect takes off a turnbuckle pad in the ring, Andre takes the Intercontinental Title belt and begins stalking Heenan. Perfect sticks his head through the ropes to confront Andre about why he has the belt and Andre clocks him with it. Perfect goes flying backwards and Boss Man crawls over to cover him but Perfect somehow manages to kick out. The Barbarian and Haku run in and jump Boss Man to cause a DQ. Post match, Andre took care of Perfect while Boss Man attacked Haku & Barbarian. Then Andre got some shots in on Haku & Barbarian. The Heenan Family retreated.

Winner: The Big Boss Man via DQ

Rating: **

I remember being pumped up for this one because I was such a fan of Boss Man as a kid. The finish was crap. They didn’t want to take the title off Perfect so this was a way of getting out of it whiles allowing Boss Man a chance to celebrate. Boss Man had lost a ton of weight since the previous year.

 

Earthquake vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

Valentine had just dumped Jimmy Hart and turned face to set this up. Quake’s feud with Hogan was long over and he didn’t have much else to do anyway, as he had not yet formed a tag team with Typhoon. Valentine hits some elbows and goes for the Figure Four, but the legs are too big. Jimmy jumps on the apron and distracts Hammer. You’d think after being with Jimmy for so many years, Greg would know what he’s up to. Quake seizes the opportunity and hits a powerslam and the earthquake and it’s over.

Winner: Earthquake via pinfall

Rating: *

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was just a match designed to put Earthquake over.

 

Sean Mooney is interviewing the Legion of Doom. They were making their WrestleMania debut and be facing Power & Glory, who cost them a tag title shot.

 

Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) /w/ Slick vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

This would be the only WrestleMania match the Legion of Doom would ever wrestle in their first WWF stint which I find surprising. The ref never got control from the beginning, as all four men started out in the ring. Doomsday Device on Roma. Yes, it was that short!

Winners: Legion of Doom via pinfall

Rating: ½ *

The Doomsday Device was an awesome finisher. Dominant match for the LOD.

 

We get clips of the Virgil/ Dibiase feud. Virgil was the long-time servant of Dibiase, turned on him at the Royal Rumble. Roddy Piper trained Virgil for this match.

 

Million Dollar Championship

Ted Dibiase ©vs. Virgil /w/ Rowdy Roddy Piper

Piper is on crutches from a motorcycling accident (or as Heenan said “got his skirt stuck in his tricycle”, which is properly true). Virgil starts out on fire with punches and Dibiase bails to regroup. Dibiase uses some wrestling to battle back, than lays in some chops. An elbow, clothesline, and a piledriver get two, as does a suplex and a gutwrench suplex. Dibiase then makes the mistake of tossing Virgil to the outside, following him out, and shoving Piper, the cripple, to the floor. He powerslams Virgil inside the ring for another near fall, but when he goes off the ropes, Piper pulls them down with his crutch, sending Dibiase tumbling to the floor. Teddy gets up and punches Piper, but the ref counts him out, and Virgil picks up the win. Dibiase is disgusted. After the match, Dibiase gets Virgil in the Million Dollar Dream. Piper tries to make the save but Dibiase hits him with his own crutch. Sherri comes out, apparently forming an alliance of some sort with Dibiase, and they destroy Piper’s knee before Virgil makes the save. Piper won’t accept help to stand up. Virgil grabs the mic and tells him to get up. He finally helps him to his feet and out of the ring.

Winner: Virgil via countout

Rating: * ½

Virgil was clearly limited here and it showed throughout. He did improve throughout the year as the feud with Dibiase progressed.

 

Clips were shown of the Slaughter/ Hogan rivalry. Sean Mooney is with Slaughter and General Adnan.  The interview was a corny as fuck, gimmicked interview.

 

The Mountie /w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Tito Santana

Santana hit his flying forearm early. He went to the floor where he rammed Mountie’s head into Hart’s. Santana hit an atomic drop followed by a punch to knock Tito down. The ref told Tito to back away from Mountie when he was in the ropes, so Mountie got his Taser and zapped Tito in the stomach.

Winner: The Mountie via pinfall

Rating: Dud

This could have been better but time restrains hampered that. Fans weren’t into it; they were ready for the main event.

 

Mean Gene is with the challenger, Hulk Hogan. He says that Sgt Slaughter doesn’t know what kind of battle plan he has in store, bother!

 

The Fink introduces the special celebrity ring announcer, time keeper, and commentator, Alex Trebek, Marla Maples, and Regis Philbin, respectively.

 

WWF Championship

Sgt Slaughter ©/w/ General Adnan vs. Hulk Hogan

The momentum shifts various times for the first ten minutes, but Hogan is generally getting the better of Sarge with backdrops, an atomic drop, and even a slingshot. He then (stupidly) goes up top, but Slaughter catches him and slams him. That was smart, Hogan. Slaughter is now in full and total control of the challenger. He uses a chair on the outside and chokes him out with cables, almost intentionally trying to get himself DQ’ed. Slaughter works on the back, setting up for the Camel Clutch. He first uses a Boston Crab, but Hogan manages to get to the ropes to break the hold. Sarge drives his knee into Hogan’s back from the top rope and covers, but for some reason, Adnan, his own manager, distracts the ref thus preventing him from counting the pinfall. I guess he mistimed his spot there. With the ref still distracted, Sgt grabs a chair and serves it up in Hogan’s face. When we see Hogan’s face again there’s a ridiculous amount of blood, much more than would be caused by a simple chair shot. Slaughter finally locks the Camel Clutch on a bloody Hogan in the middle of the ring. Hogan is able to power out despite the fact that it would be pretty impossible for someone to stand up while still in that hold. Slaughter shoves Hogan into the corner, grabs the Iraqi flag and covers him, but only gets two and Hogan begins to Hulk up. He notices the own crimson on his face and tears the evil flag apart, then delivers the Big Boot and Leg Drop in short order to get the three count at 20:24. Slaughter , actually kicks out after the three, sensibly selling that Hogan barely got him instead of selling a silly leg drop like a knockout.

Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan via pinfall

Rating: **

I found this match to be enjoyable but it was sloppy in places. The heel spots could have been a lot better though. To this day, I’m confused about Adnan distracting the ref during a Slaughter pin attempt. Why did that happen? I guess he mistimed his spot, thinking it was the spot with the chair/ blade job. Credit to both guys for working hard throughout.

 

A bloody Hogan goes on to celebrate with the Title and the American flag. This is his third WWF Title, unprecedented at the time. He wipes his bloody face with the US flag of a fan and tosses it back to him. Gee, that was nice… I guess.

 

Random thoughts

  • The Savage/ Warrior match was amazing. The booking was terrific and the storytelling was first class. Randy’s face was priceless when he saw Elizabeth in the ring. I guess Vince was buzzing about getting those shots of the fans crying. Everyone involved deserve the highest praise possible. Randy, Elizabeth and Sherri left us too soon, they had amazing chemistry together.
  • I remember showing my teenage cousins Undertaker matches from this era; they found it hilarious seeing him with red hair and pale skin. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come, and its great re-watching Paul Bearer too with all of his camp mannerisms. It’s cool re-watching early Undertaker.
  • The blindfold match is a match that receives a lot of unfair criticism. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure there wasn’t a lot of action but the crowd involvement was excellent. Rick Martel has said in many interviews that he’s pleased with the way the match turned out.
  • Another match I enjoyed with the main event, Slaughter v Hogan. It wasn’t an epic by any means but they were both smart workers who always delivered.
  • Just imagine if this WrestleMania was held at LA Memorial Coliseum as originally planned. It would have been the first WrestleMania to have had a 100,000+ attendance. Will there ever be 100,000 at WrestleMania? Yes, I also believe that’s something Vince wants to see too.

 

Best match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho King Randy Savage – Amazing in every way.

Worst match: Koji Kitao & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Demolition – The crowd didn’t care. Demolition were a shadow of their former selves.

WrestleMania moment: Elizabeth & Savage re-unite – They had fans crying, that was real emotion which you couldn’t fake. Storytelling at it’s absolutely best.

 

Top 5 Superstars

1. Macho King Randy Savage – Back at the top after missing out from the top 5 last year. Well deserved.

2. Hulk Hogan – It was a great effort, the blood was rare too.

3. Ultimate Warrior – His best match ever, it was all downhill from here.

4. Bret Hart – Carried the tag match. Would breakout as the singles star.

5. Sgt Slaughter – A bit sloppy at times but still had a solid showing in his WrestleMania debut.

 

Updated rankings chart:

Hulk Hogan – 25pts

Macho Man Randy Savage – 23pts

Ricky Steamboat – 10pts

Ultimate Warrior – 7pts

Dynamite Kid/ Roddy Piper/Rick Rude/ Ted Dibiase – 5pts

Terry Funk/ Bret Hart – 4pts

Tito Santana/Andre the Giant- 3pts

Greg Valentine-2pts

Sgt Slaughter – 1pt

 

Overall Show Rating (out of 10): 6.5

I loved this show as a youngster and I still love it today. The undercard matches were pretty good with some excellent performances from talents such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Davey Boy Smith, Big Boss Man and Mr Perfect. I was great for nostalgia reliving Undertaker’s WrestleMania debut and I’m looking forward to re-watching the debuts of the future main guys like Austin, Rocky, Triple H, Mankind, John Cena, Edge and more. Of course, the Savage/ Warrior match will be the highlight of the event but the main event also held its own.

 

WrestleMania Rankings so far:

WrestleMania 3 – 7

WrestleMania 7 – 6.5

WrestleMania 6 – 6

WrestleMania 1 – 4.5

WrestleMania 5 – 4

WrestleMania 4 – 3.5

WrestleMania 2 – 3

 

Up Next: Ric Flair makes his WrestleMania debut whiles Hulkamania is starting to run down at WrestleMania VIII

Advertisements

2 comments on “WWF WrestleMania VII Review

  1. youngmatthewisraw
    February 12, 2014

    Really enjoyed your review. Can’t wait for the next one

    • Rif Rasslin Inc
      February 12, 2014

      Thanks for your comment, Matt. The next one (WrestleMania VIII) will be up on Saturday.
      *RIF

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: