TJR Retro: WWE WrestleMania 5 Review

WWE WrestleMania V
April 2, 1989
Atlantic City, New Jersey

The friendship of World Champion Randy Savage and challenger Hulk Hogan disintegrated after a year of being the most dominant force in wrestling history. Savage was jealous of how close Hogan was getting to Elizabeth, so Randy turned heel on him. It was a huge deal at the time and set the stage for an epic main event at the fifth WrestleMania.

It was the second WrestleMania in a row held at Trump Plaza in Atlantic, New Jersey. It’s the only time that’s ever happened and likely will ever happen. It’s another four hour PPV so like I said during the WrestleMania 4 write-up it won’t be detailed play by play in the write-ups although I will hit on the key points as always. I am not a fan of these early WrestleManias being this long. The version I have on disc is from the WWE 24/7 channel, so there could be some edits from the original disc.


“The World Wrestling Federation: What the world is watching.” That was the tag line they were using in those days. Then Vince McMahon did a cheesy voiceover like only he can by saying that the Mega-Powers had exploded while cheesy 1989 graphics show us an explosion. Graphics sure have come a long way, huh?

The event takes place at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, which of course is owned by Donald Trump. We are welcomed to the show by announcer Gorilla Monsoon, who busts out his “you can cut the tension with a knife” line very early. The announcers for the event are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura who are a very good pairing.

The WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin sang America the Beautiful. She did not do a very good job. Sorry Robin, but it’s true. Jesse Ventura ripped her for it. As he should. Jesse is great.

The first match is King Haku with Bobby Heenan. He’s carried down to the ring on his throne. His opponent is Hercules, who was now a babyface.

King Haku w/Bobby Heenan vs. Hercules
They exchange power moves early. Hercules wins that battle with a clothesline that sends Haku over the top rope to the floor. Hercules brings him back in with a suplex. He’s furious with his former manager Bobby Heenan, so he chases him on the floor. Haku follows him outside the ring and hits a clothesline on Hercules. Back in the ring, Haku hits two sloppy backbreakers for two. Haku puts him in a bearhug. Hercules breaks out after about a minute, but Haku stops his comeback with a chop to the throat. Hercules gets whipped in and comes back with a crossbody for two. He avoids a Haku charge, which leads to Hercules coming back with power offense including clotheslines because that’s what Hercules loved to do. A powerslam gets two for Hercules. Hercules goes to the top, leaps off with a double axe and that’s countered by a superkick to the face by Haku. Haku goes to the top for a splash, Hercules moves, so Haku crashes into the mat. Hercules hits a backdrop suplex. That finishes it at 6:55.
Winner: Hercules

Analysis: *1/2 It was fine. My opinion is it’s better to start a PPV off with a fast paced match. This was not fast paced although Hercules did have a good comeback to win the match.

In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to The Rockers – Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels. That Michaels guy might have a big future. You think? They don’t say that much except to say that they’re ready.

The Twin Towers (Akeem & The Big Boss Man) w/Slick vs. The Rockers
The Towers are large men, especially Akeem the African Dream. At the WrestleManias prior to this he wrestled as the One Man Gang. I’ll be referring to his partner as BBM. The Rockers start the match off using their speed with Michaels hitting and running away. The dancing of Akeem is legendary. Akeem loves dancing so much that when Michaels puts him in an arm wringer, he feels like dancing. I love how there’s a map of Africa on the back of Akeem’s outfit. After all the fast paced offense, Akeem & BBM squash Jannetty literally. Most of the offense of the Twin Towers involves splashing. Jannetty tries to fight back, but the big guys continue to dominate. Marty avoids another splash and he moves out of the way so Akeem splashes Boss Man. Michaels tagged in and they double teamed Akeem for a great nearfall. Then Akeem decided that was enough, so he took Michaels’ head off with a clothesline. Boss Man went to the top, missing a big splash that looked very awkward. More teamwork by the Rockers to double team the Towers. They each went on a turnbuckle and went for dropkicks on Boss Man. Marty’s connected while Shawn’s missed because he jumped a little bit later. Akeem saves his partner from a pinfall attempt by Michaels. Shawn jumps off the top, Boss Man catches him and puts him down with a powerbomb. Akeem hit a big splash to win it for his team at 8:02.
Winners: The Twin Towers

Analysis: *3/4 This was the first WrestleMania for Michaels, Jannetty & Boss Man. All did pretty well. Michaels was a bumping machine as usual. Akeem looked tired after the match. He was not a fan of running, which is what he did a few times here.

In the locker room, Tony Schiavone talked to Ted Dibiase and Virgil. Yes that Tony Schiavone. He was in WWE for about a year. Dibiase cut his usual promo about being rich while putting over his coveted Million Dollar Title that he barely defended.

Ted Dibiase w/Virgil vs. Brutus Beefcake
Prior to the match, Dibiase shook the hand of Donald Trump at ringside. He was the heel of course while Beefcake was the babyface barber. Dibiase’s Million Dollar Title was not on the line of course. Brutus starts off on fire with a backdrop that sends Dibiase out of the ring for a breather. Back in the ring, Brutus hits three bodyslams in a row and a clothesline that sends Dibiase out to the floor once again. Back in the ring, Virgil held on to Brutus’ leg without the ref knowing so Dibiase floored him with a punch to the head. Ted knocked him down with a back elbow followed by his patented fist drop. Ted gets a clothesline, then to the middle rope where he yells at Brutus to get up and he gets up so Ted can hit a double axehandle. I guess Brutus forgot that spot huh? Dibiase almost lost on a small package out of nowhere. Beefcake counters a suplex with one of his own as both guys are down. They do the double clothesline spot so both are on the mat once more. Dibiase hits a suplex. Dibiase gets the Million Dollar Dream sleeper, but Brutus gets to the ropes to get out of it. Brutus wins a brawl and throws Dibiase’s head into the turnbuckle for the ten slams in the corner that babyfaces loved to do. Brutus hits his sleeper hold. Virgil distracts him. Brutus goes after him, so Ted shoves him out to the floor. Dibiase follows him to the floor. They brawl. The ref counts them both out for the double countout at 10:01.
No winner due to Double Countout

Post match, Beefcake throws Dibiase into the ring post. Then he goes after Virgil. He hits an atomic drop and clothesline on Virgil. Sleeper on Virgil. Ted goes back in the ring to save his bodyguard. Brutus slams Ted down. Brutus gets his ridiculously large scissors as Dibiase & Virgil bail. Of course Brutus stops the chase because once people leave the ring the other guy almost never follows as if it is too far to go.

Analysis: ** It was a fun match for 10 minutes. That’s what they needed to do more of. Instead most matches from this era were shorter and told less of a story. You can tell that Beefcake improved in the ring compared to how green he was the two years prior. Perhaps working with Dibiase helped a lot too. The post match shenanigans were okay.

They showed a clip from the brunch earlier in the day as Lord Alfred Hayes tried to talk to the Bushwhackers, who were eating. They say nothing because they were eating. Hayes laughs. It wasn’t very funny.

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers
The Rougeaus were heels here managed by Jimmy Hart and are billed from Memphis instead of Quebec like usual. Watching grown men doing the Bushwhacker dance in the crowd is awkward. I have no memory of this match. I just hope it’s short. The Bushwhackers start off by throwing the Rougeaus into Hart in the ring much to the delight of the crowd. The Bushwhackers do the Battering Ram on Ray, Jacques tries to save his brother and ends up hitting him with a knee. The Rougeaus double team behind the ref’s back and focus on Luke. They hit an awful double clothesline. Wow this is brutal. The crowd is dead for it. They continue to double team on Luke. The ref tells one of them to get out of the ring, so the Bushwhackers do a Battering Ram again and then a double gutbuster finishes off Ray while Jacques was very close to breaking it up. That was an awful finish at 5:11.
Winners: The Bushwhackers

Analysis: -* You know how I put DUD for bad matches? This was worse than that. I don’t go negative stars much, but this is one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen. What a mess. When the comedy spots of the Bushwhackers don’t work they are utterly useless.

On the floor, generic announcer Sean Mooney was trying to talk to the fans. As he was doing that, the Bushwhackers licked his face. Then he didn’t talk to the fans. Way to screw over the fans, Sean.

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer
Perfect was fairly new here with an undefeated streak. The Blazer was Owen Hart of course. Two really good workers, so they could have a good match even if it’s short. Blazer used his speed to get the advantage early while the announcers tried to figure out who the Blazer was. Great hiplock counter by the Blazer followed by bodyslams, a dropkick and a baseball slide dropkick. Amazing speed by the Blazer. He followed up with a hiplock, bodyslam and another dropkick. He likes that sequence. Backbreaker gets two for the Blazer. To the top, the Blazer misses a top rope splash because Perfect got his knees up at the last second. Perfect put him in a reverse chinlock. Blazer countered a charge with a boot to the face followed by a powerslam. Beautiful belly to belly suplex for Blazer gets two. Crucifix pin gets two. Blazer complained to the ref so Perfect hit a forearm shot and then the Perfectplex gets the three count for the win at 5:49.
Winner: Mr. Perfect

Analysis: **1/4 That was a lot of fun for the time they got. Two of my all-time favorites doing their thing. Perfect didn’t get a lot of offense, but he got the victory. The Blazer gimmick wouldn’t last that long for Owen. He’d be back soon as Owen Hart. You could see how good he was when he was on offense here.

Howard Finkel introduced Jesse Ventura at the announcers booth once again just like the year before. No posing this year, so that makes it better than the time waster it was the year prior.

They went to a pre-tape from Saturday where Lord Alfred Hayes was with a bunch of runners for a 5k race. Mr. Fuji was a late participant. Then Hayes talked to Fuji at the finish line. He said that the Powers of Pain would beat Demolition later. That was an odd segment.

Run DMC sang a WrestleMania rap. They were a very big group at the time, but I admit to hitting fast forward. The announcers loved it of course.

We get a clip from Survivor Series 1988 as Mr. Fuji turned on Demolition, who he was managing. Fuji attacked Ax with the cane, Smash saved his partner and Ax slammed Fuji on the concrete. It was smart of Demolition to turn face because they were getting face pops even a year earlier. Following that, the Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian) helped Fuji up and he became their manager. Demolition did a backstage promo calling Fuji “Fooge The Stooge.” I guess that counts as trash talk.

Tag Team Titles: Demolition (Ax & Smash) vs. Powers of Pain (Barbarian & Warlord) and Mr. Fuji
Fuji is a part of the match as a wrestler. Demolition were the babyface tag team champs. They entered second here. Warlord is one of the worst in-ring performers ever. None of these guys would be considered good workers. Demolition works over Warlord to start with some quick tags as each guy does their usual deal of punching the opponent. Warlord picked up Smash, brought him to his corner and tagged in Barbarian. Tag to Ax, who gets a clothesline and bodyslam on Barbarian. The crowd is very quiet. Lots of quick tags by Demolition. They continue to be in control as they hit a double clothesline on Warlord. Ref told Smash to leave the ring, so Barbarian hit a cheap kick on Ax without the ref seeing it. Mr. Fuji got the tag in, he hit a chop on Ax and then a headbutt to the stomach. Fuji was an ex-wrestler of course. Barbarian got the tag and hit the big boot to the face again as Ax was the babyface they were working on. Barbarian hit a powerslam, he tagged Fuji and he went to the top rope. He missed something, maybe a legdrop, as he quickly tagged out to bring in Warlord who hit a bodyslam. Ax put him down with a forearm and then made a hot tag to Smash. The crowd woke up a bit after he hit bodyslams on both guys. The match breaks down, the ref worries about the guys outside the ring so inside the ring Warlord holds Smash, Fuji gets his “Fuji dust” and throws it into Smash’s face only for the Smasher to move out of the way so it gets Warlord in the face. Smash hit a clothesline on Fuji, then they hit the Demotion Decapitation finisher, which was the Ax elbow off the middle rope while Smash held him in a backbreaker position. That finishes off Fuji at 7:50.
Winners: Demolition

Analysis: 3/4* I think the most exciting move of the whole match was a bodyslam. I wish I was joking. Crowd was dead for about seven minutes, only caring at the end when Demolition got their revenge on Fuji.

Backstage, Tony Schiavone tried to talk to the Macho Man, but the World Heavyweight Champion didn’t want to talk to anybody. He shoved the camera guy down.

Before the next match, they announced Jimmy Snuka. He had nothing to do with this match, but there he was anyway.

Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin vs. Ronnie Garvin
Bravo is the heel. He enters with the Quebec flag. He opens up with punches on Garvin and hits a bearhug. The crowd is dead quiet. Bravo hits a couple of shoulderblocks. After about two minutes, Garvin makes a comeback with a forearm and a splash for two. Gorilla says “fans are in awe here” as his way to explain why the crowd is so quiet. That’s why Gorilla rules. He always knew what to say. Garvin hit a sleeper that didn’t work as Bravo made it to the ropes. Bravo countered a piledriver, but Garvin got a pinfall attempt for two after a rollup. Bravo got an atomic drop followed by his finishing move, a side slam. That’s enough for the win at 3:55.
Winner: Dino Bravo

After the match, Garvin attacked Bravo and gave the Garvin Stomp to Martin.

Analysis: 1/2* Boring match. Crowd knew it too. I don’t blame them for being quiet for this one.

The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) vs. Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel)
Arn & Tully were more known for their NWA/WCW career, but they did have a decent run in WWE too. You’d also know both of them as being part of the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame class. They double team Martel. He fights out of it, Tito helps him out and they hit dropkicks on each guy. Martel gets a two count on Anderson with a facebuster. Martel fought out of a body scissors and put Anderson in the Boston Crab, so Tully punched him in the face. Tully got the tag, so did Santana and he put him in the Figure Four wile Martel also put Anderson in the Figure Four. Santana gets a backslide on Blanchard for two, Arn saves him and then Tony gets a cradle that Arn breaks up. Santana tagged in Martel (ref didn’t see it), then he accidentally hit him with the flying forearm to send Martel out of the ring. Blanchard hit a dropkick and then they did a bunch of quick tags as they worked on Tito. Santana hit a crossbody on Blanchard for two as part of his comeback, but Arn slowed it down with a chinlock. Arn went to top, Tito blocked it and threw Arn off the top rope. Santana tried to tag in Martel. Rick did not extend his hand. He walked away while Jesse defended it by saying he was injured. Martel left. Arn beats on Tito in his corner, yelling him to tag out. No partner. Poor Tito. Arn hit the spinebuster, arguably the best spinebuster in the history of the business. Tito fought of the corner, but it didn’t last too long as the Brain Busters continued to work on him. Spike Piledriver finishes off Tito at 9:13.
Winners: The Brain Busters

Analysis: **1/4 Finally a match that doesn’t suck. It wasn’t a pure tag match since Martel bailed on Tito, but I was a big fan of the Brain Busters team. It’s a shame they didn’t last in WWE longer.

In the interview area in the back, Rick Martel said he was tired of carrying Tito. This led to his heel turn leading to his run as “The Model” Rick Martel.

Piper’s Pit
The ring was set up for Piper’s Pit hosted by Roddy Piper of course. His music played to a huge ovation, but instead it was Brother Love aka Bruce Prichard wearing a kilt. Love does an over the top Piper impression because he was there to interview Roddy. As this is going on, the crowd starts making some noise hoping Piper would be there. Instead, the guest Morton Downey Jr. makes his way out. Love tells him he loves Downey. Morton says anybody that wears a skirt is not somebody he wants to love him. Finally, Piper comes out to try to attempt to save this trainwreck segment. Ventura called them “three legitimate windbags” that were ready to get it on in there. Piper wonders if Love was the one that was supposed to take his show. Then he makes a fat joke. Love says Piper can’t scare him, so Roddy yells at him and Love jumps proving he is scared. He continues to trash talk him and then rips off his kilt. Love bails. Piper goes over to Downey, who likes to smoke cigarettes. He was a heel. Piper was a face. They talked trash for a few minutes. Downey turned around, had a smoke and Piper used a fire extinguisher to knock him down. That’s the end of this nearly 20 minute segment that went way too long during this already long show.

They aired a commercial for the Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred. It was awful.

In the crowd, Sean Mooney interviewed Donald Trump who says it’s unbelievable to have WrestleMania there. He said “unbelievable” a couple of times. His hair isn’t as bad as it would become later in his life.

At the announce table, Jesse cuts a promo on Hogan because he’s doing a movie and that Hollywood is Jesse’s home.

They aired clips highlighting the good days and bad days of the Hulk Hogan-Randy Savage relationship over the course of the year between WrestleMania 4 and 5. The big angle was from “The Main Event” in February when Savage went crashing into Elizabeth and Hulk ended up carrying her to the back. Later on, with Elizabeth getting looked at by doctors, Savage attacked Hogan. That set up the title match here.

In the interview area, Mean Gene interviewed Hogan. He cut a four minute promo summarizing everything that went down with Savage over the last year. It’s another one of his promos about how the world is going to collapse just like the year before. He said by the end of the night he’d be the WWF Champion once again. Whatcha gonna do Macho Man?

Big John Studd walks to the ring as the referee of the match between Jake Roberts & Andre The Giant. He’s in a babyface role here although he didn’t get much of a pop. Andre entered next along with Bobby Heenan. Jake Roberts was the babyface opponent.

Andre The Giant w/Bobby Heenan vs. Jake Roberts
Andre was in bad physical shape a year prior. He looked even worse here. To start the match, Andre rammed Jake’s head into the turnbuckle, which was exposed before the match. Ref Big John Studd didn’t really see it. Andre works him over with his chops, chokes and headbutts because that was his offense. I love the sideburns on Andre by the way. The crowd didn’t care for this, which is again a sign of a bad crowd and also a sign that Andre was at the end of his career because he could always get reactions prior to this. Jake came back with a barrage of punches and a clothesline sends Andre into the ropes where he gets tied up. Andre always did that spot. Jake choked him. Following some Jake punches, Andre choked him down to the mat. They get back up, Jake stuns him a bit with some knees, even knocking him down thanks to the exposed turnbuckle pad. Andre chopped him so hard that Jake fell out of the ring. Every time Jake got on the apron, Andre knocked him down. Studd admonished him while the announcers argued about it. Jake grabbed the bag with his snake Damien. Andre hit Studd from behind and then he shoved Andre. Dibiase runs out from the back, knocks Jake over and steals the snake bag. They fight with Jake getting the bag. Meanwhile in the ring, Andre chokes Studd. Jake returns with the bag, he throws the snake in the ring and Andre moves faster than at any point in his life. That looked like fear rather than selling. Andre’s face was hilarious. Jake ends up winning by DQ. Match went 9:37.
Winner via disqualification: Jake Roberts

Analysis: DUD Poor Andre. Big mistake to put him in a singles match that went nearly 10 minutes. They would team him up with Haku after this to hide his limitations, but he was obviously done at this point.

In the upper deck, Mooney talked to a fan. All the fan said was “Jake’s the best!” a few times. That was bad.

In the locker room, Tony Schiavone talked to Sensational Sherri. She talked about how she was going to get the Women’s Title and trash talked Elizabeth saying that the Mega Powers would explode later on. She’d be the manager of Randy Savage shortly after this.

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart
Hart & Neidhart were the babyfaces here while HTM & Valentine would eventually be called Rhythm & Blues. Bret starts it off early and uses the slingshot to bring in Neidhart who hits his shoulderblock on Valentine. Then he does his laugh. Nobody laughed better than Jim Neidhart. Bret misses an elbow drop on Valentine, who of course uses his elbow based offense. Valentine and Honky Tonk Man work over Hart, which is the smart move because he’s one of the best wrestlers ever in terms of selling moves. Honky Tonk Man hits his Shake, Rattle & Roll neckbreaker on Hart. Instead of pinning, he tags out to Valentine who wants to put Hart in the Figure Four. Bret fights out of it and kicks out of two after a stomach breaker. Bret gets a crossbody on HTM for two, but he isn’t able to turn it around until Valentine tags in. Bret outsmarts him and he tags in Neidhart. Neidhart uses his power offense to get his team some momentum and then Bret gets the tag. Suplex on HTM. Valentine breaks it up. Neidhart chases after Jimmy Hart, then he gets the Megaphone and throws it into Bret while the ref tries to get Valentine out of the ring. Bret hits Honky Tonk Man in the head with a megaphone and that’s the end of the match at 7:38.
Winners: The Hart Foundation

Analysis: **1/4 Pretty good tag match here carried by the great Bret Hart.

We get a video package highlighting the Ultimate Warrior/Rick Rude feud that included a posedown at the Royal Rumble. Who enjoys posedowns? Oh right Vince McMahon does. Rude attacked him when he was going to lose. Warrior went nuts.

Prior to the IC Title match, Rick Rude cuts his usual promo about taking his robe off for the ladies in the crowd. I love the random crowd shots of women in the crowd. His tights have the Intercontinental Title imprinted on it. Ultimate Warrior, the IC champ, enters to a huge pop.

Intercontinental Title: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan
Jesse on Warrior: “This guy’s a lunatic.” Now that’s a shoot. Warrior starts out with a lot of power moves. At least the crowd has woken up a bit for Warrior, who was arguably the biggest rising star in the company at this point. After whipping Rude into the turnbuckles a few times, he puts him in the bearhug. The camera focuses in on the back of Rude’s tights, which had Warrior’s face prominently featured. I don’t miss bearhug spots in today’s wrestling. Rude fought out of it and hit a missile dropkick. Warrior powers out of a pinfall attempt. He nails a couple of bodyslams. Another bearhug. Yawn. Rude bites his way out of the bearhug and Warrior bites him back. Backdrop for Warrior. Warrior’s splash attempt is blocked by Rude’s knees. Rude hit a Russian legsweep that Gorilla called a neckbreaker. Usually Gorilla never gets a move wrong. Warrior powered out of a submission hold using the ropes to shake Rude loose. Warrior hits the flying shoulder tackle as well as a facebuster. Warrior hits a sloppy backbreaker and then Rude falls out of his arms as they go crashing into the ropes by the turnbuckle. That was awkward. Warrior gets a clothesline and throws Rude into the turnbuckle followed by a shoulderblock one more time. Another corner whip, Warrior goes for a splash, Rude evades it and Warrior crashes into the corner. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening neckbreaker, but Warrior fights out and hits…guess what…a clothesline. Rude rolls to the floor, Warrior throws him back in and then clotheslines Rude out of the ring. Warrior suplexes Rude back in, but Heenan grabs Warrior’s foot, Rude falls on top, the ref counts the pinfall in a way where he can’t see what Heenan is doing and that’s good enough for the Rude win at 9:43.
Winner: Rick Rude – New Intercontinental Champion

After the match, Warrior went after Heenan while Rude left. Warrior gave him a Gorilla Press Slam much to the delight of the fans.

Analysis: **1/2 It was a better match than I remember it being. Warrior’s offense was your basic stuff, but Rude did a great job of selling and also fighting back when he had the chance to go on offense. The ending meant there would be rematches. They would have a long feud after this. The crowd popped huge for Warrior’s attack on Heenan.

Bad News Brown vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Brown’s the heel obviously. He jumped Duggan early, but Hacksaw used his power to clothesline him down. Brown took off. Gorilla: “It’s quite a walk from here to Harlem, I’ll tell you that.” I think he would drive. Just a guess. Brown returned with some punches and he tried to weaken Hacksaw by ramming his head into the turnbuckle, but Hacksaw’s an idiot so hitting him in the head doesn’t really hurt him. The announcers point out that we haven’t seen a wrestling move as of yet. That’s true. Brown throws him out of the ring and then he whips him into the steel post. Brown went for his Ghetto Blaster finisher, but Duggan moved. Hacksaw hit his clothesline out of the 3 point stance. Brown left the ring, grabbed a chair and they had a chair vs. 2×4 weapon. The ref DQ’d both guys as they had a duel with weapons. Hacksaw won the duel, then hit him with an atomic drop and he used the 2×4 to clothesline Brown, who left the ring. Match went 3:46.
No winner due to a double disqualification

Analysis: 1/4* Awful match. At least it was short.

In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to the Red Rooster (Terry Taylor) who made a lot of rooster references. One of the worst ideas for a gimmick ever. No question about it. He was getting revenge on Heenan because Bobby used to manage him. It’s amazing that the Red Rooster got the second last match at a WrestleMania, but it’s here as a comedy match so no big deal really.

Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan w/Brooklyn Brawler
Heenan was hurt earlier by Warrior, but he’s in his ring gear for it. Brawler was in his corner. Rooster attacked with fists early. Heenan charged in the corner, Rooster moved, Heenan hit the middle turnbuckle and Rooster covered for the pinfall victory at 0:29.
Winner: Red Rooster

Post match, Brawler attacked Rooster sending him out of the ring. When Rooster recovered, Brawler bailed. What a thrill.

Analysis: DUD As I said a few times during this show, at least it was short.

In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to Elizabeth. She said she’ll be in a neutral corner and she’ll continue to support both men. She’ll pray that neither man is seriously injured.

Sean Mooney talked to fans in the crowd. Everybody said Hogan. He said the fans thought it would be a split decision. He is deaf apparently.

The crowd reacts in a huge way to the World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage upon his entrance. There are boos, but they are cheering too. It’s more of what you’d call a superstar pop. After Macho Man’s entrance, Elizabeth walks out to ringside using Macho Man’s music. She’s in a neutral corner, but she is using Randy’s entrance music while he wonders what she’s doing. Jesse complains that the challenger usually comes out first instead of how they did it here with the champion out first. Hogan enters to a loud pop with his “Hulk Rules” shirt. The crowd woke up a bit although they aren’t as loud as they were a year earlier.

World Heavyweight Title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan
Savage stalls at the beginning. Hogan knocks him down with a shoulderblock so Savage bails to the floor. Savage grabbed a headlock, Hogan whipped him and Randy ran around the ring where he hid behind Elizabeth. Savage did a great job as a cowardly heel. Back in the ring, Hogan got a headlock that Savage countered with a backdrop suplex. Hogan decked him after a series of punches. Savage came back and he hit a double axe off the top for a count of two. Savage worked over the left arm. Hogan used the trunks to throw Savage out to the floor. It was his revenge for Savage pulling him down with his hair. Hogan rammed Savage into the turnbuckles a few times, hit a clothesline and hit a couple of elbows. Following a whip into the ropes, Savage got a clothesline. Hogan had a cut around his eye although it wasn’t bad. After a chinlock, Hogan elbowed his way out and then used a shoulderblock to put Savage down. Hogan hit an atomic drop. Hogan missed an elbow so Savage hit him with the running knee into the back that leads to a rollup with the tights for two. That was an excellent sequence of moves there. Savage whips him hard into the turnbuckle. Hogan goes down, grabbing Savage’s foot. Hulk looks tired. The match was being worked ay Savage’s pace and it looked like Hulk was tired due to the pace of the match. Savage slapped him in the face. That woke Hulk up. He nailed Savage with punches followed by a hard clothesline in the corner. Hogan picked up Savage and slammed him over the top rope to the floor. Damn. That’s a big fall there. Savage landed on his back. Elizabeth tended to him, but he told her to leave. Savage gouged the eye that was cut open. Hogan wanted to ram Savage into the post. Elizabeth stopped it. Savage slipped out and shoved Hogan into the post. Then Elizabeth tended to Hogan as Randy told her to leave again. The ref told Elizabeth to leave, so that factor is gone. Savage went to the top and hit his patented double axe to Hogan on the floor. Hogan sold it as if his throat got hit on the guard rail.

Back in the ring, Savage used the ropes to clothesline Hogan’s throat. With Hogan draped across the middle ropes, Savage splashed him in the back. He continued to work on the throat with an elbow. It’s good psychology since his finishing move is an elbow to the throat. Savage hits a knee drop to the throat. He takes off some of his wrist tapes and chokes Hogan with it. Savage blatantly choked him with his hands. With Hogan out, Savage to the top and he hits the Flying Elbow. He covers. Hogan shoves him off. Hulk Up time. You should know the drill here. Savage throws punches, Hogan feels the energy of the crowd, throws punches of his own, whip in, boot to the face and the big leg drop finishes it at 17:54.
Winner: Hulk Hogan – New World Heavyweight Champion

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a very good title match with an epic feel to it. Savage worked his ass off here, working at such a fast pace and making everything click. Hogan did a good job of selling, making Savage look credible and I don’t think he even did one of his back rakes, so that was nice to see. It was a good thing that Hogan wasn’t on offense very much because that’s when his matches really start to suck. Savage was in control for much of it, which was the right way to do it. It was a big deal when Hogan kicked out of the flying elbow too because nobody ever kicked out of that move. Fun match.

The show ended with Hogan posing for the fans.


– It was Hogan’s best WrestleMania match during the prime of his career, so that was a highlight of this show. Savage did his part to carry the match as I said. They had great chemistry together.

– There were barely any celebrities at this show. I didn’t miss them.

– They really didn’t have enough talent on the roster to carry a four hour show. There were far too many short matches that were also really bad too.

– The crowd sucked. At WrestleMania 4 in the same venue they made a lot more noise. Perhaps there were more adults here that didn’t care to make noise the way a younger crowd would.

– If I could pick one match to have more time it would have been Mr. Perfect vs. the Blue Blazer. They put on a show in the limited time they had.

Best Match: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – Not a classic by any means, but the best match on this show for sure.

Worst Match: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. The Bushwhackers – Painful to watch. Really.

Most Memorable Moment: I’m going with Andre the Giant’s face when Jake threw the snake into the ring. Have you ever seen a 500 pound man look like he was going to crap his pants? That was the face. Hilarious.

Five Stars:
1. Randy Savage – Third Mania in a row where he’s my top star. Think he’s one of the best ever? Oh yeah dig it!
2. Hulk Hogan – Did a good job although I think he had trouble keeping up with the speed of Savage.
3. Rick Rude – He wasn’t just a jacked up dude. He was an athlete capable of good matches.
4. Mr. Perfect – Nice work in his WrestleMania debut.
5. Bret Hart – Carried his tag match. It was decent for the time they were given.

Show rating (out of 10): 4

I guess I forgot how bad this show was. I used to have fond memories of this one for some reason, but the only thing worth remembering was the main event. Everything else was forgettable.

The rating of four puts in a tie with WrestleMania 2 as far as being the worst of the five WrestleManias to this point. In terms of a ranking I’ll put it ahead because the main event of this show was much better than that one. Make no mistake, though, WrestleMania 5 was a bad show.

John Canton

Twitter @johnreport