Wrestlemania 6 is a show I've always been curious about, as it's one of the earliest examples of WWF's biggest shows being used to crown new stars and end long standing runs. So let's get it done and see if any of this holds up!
Intro: Warrior and Hogan are constellations in space and McMahon does his best Carl Sagan before plugging the main event. This was fucking awesome.
Robert Goulet sings "O Canada": Probably the best musical performance I've ever heard at a wrestling show.
Koko has momentum until he doesn't, he fights back, but misses a crossbody and gets locked in the Boston Crab for the win for the Model. Other than Koko looking a little slow in some sequences and a bit of a wet fart finish, this is a perfectly acceptable Mania opener.
Mean Gene Oakerlund interviews the Colossal Connection: Awesome. Gene calls them the Colostomy connection. After bullying Gene about his joke, Bobby brings it around into a promo about evacuation and sewage, which Andre visibly chuckles at. Together, the two big guys say they will ELIMINATE Demolition, and cackle evily like cartoon henchmen
Sean Mooney interviews Demolition: Meh. Ax cuts an acceptable promo about cutting the big guys down to size, while Smash blatantly steals from The Ultimate Warrior's playbook by threatening to crash a vehicle with them in it.
The Colossal Connection (c) (Haku and Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan) vs Demolition (Ax and Smash)
The champions get jobber entrances. It's okay though, they start with the heat and basically don't lose it until the hot tag, during which . A miscue causes Haku to kick Andre and get him tied up in the ropes. Demolition hits the Demolition Decapitation on Haku to win. Andre never tagged in
This match in a vaccum was a poorly disguised handicap match. BUT, I think with the limitations they were given, they did as good a job with the story as they possibly could have. and certainly told a more compelling story than the opener.
Post match: Heenan makes the mistake of berating and smacking Andre, Andre fires back on Heenan and Haku and steals the ring cart. This was a fun sendoff to a legend.
Gene Oakerlund interviews Earthquake and Jimmy Hart: Fantastic, loud 80s heel promo
Hercules sells the Earthquake tantrum at the start of the match by stumbling and falling, awesome. This was about the only thing worth reporting. Earthquake wins.
no rating, squash
Post match: Earthquake hits Herc with another Butt Splash because he's ruthless.
Rona Barrett interviews Miss Elizabeth: Terrible, she basically telegraphs her involvement in the mixed tag match tonight in about five times the time it'd take to just say that.
Sean Mooney interviews Brutus Beefcake: Terrible. Brutus says that his opponent tonight, Mr.Perfect, can't be perfect, because no one is REALLY perfect. This, and some first grade level puns about the act of cutting something make this seem like a Make-Believe Land segment on "Mr.Rogers' Neighborhood"
Perfect goes for an axe handle while Brutus' back is turned and he somehow ends up laying across his back. We get a fun brawl in the corner as Perfect bumps like a boss for Beefer. More bumping by Perfect. Now we're stalling, and it's not presented like Perfect is intentionally doing so, but Beefer has to pose and Perfect is waiting like a geek. Perfect takes the advantage when things are more measured and traditionally wrestling based, which is a cool bit of story, but Beefer is immediately back on the offense. Luckily this means we get more bumping by Perfect. Beefer makes a non-chalant cover and Perfect gets out before 1, which was awesome. Stop me if you've heard this before, more bumping by Perfect, and as Perfect leaps into the air off a clothesline, I now realize Perfect is just trying to entertain himself. Mr.Perfect wacks Beefer with the Genius' scroll while the ref is distracted, and it's not the finish? Some stomps and a necksnap (to which some smarks hold up '10' signs, foreshadowing Tye Dillinger by 25 years) yield a 2 1/2 count. Jesse corrects Gorilla on the difference between 180 degrees and 360 and that's such a pet peeve of mine when people get it wrong and I popped. Perfect beats on Beefer forever, but Beefer hits a catapult into the post out of nowhere and wins.
This is so 80s it's actually depressing. Take the guy who can't/doesn't want to work give him all the offense while the heel bumps forever, and the face wins out of nowhere. Other than the bumping by Perfect, this was a horrible match.
Post match:Terrible. They tease Perfect's hair getting cut, Genius steals the clippers, gets Sleepered and his hair cut because we can't make Perfect look bad.
Bad News Brown vs Roddy Piper recap: Face eliminates heel from the Rumble. Heel re-enters Rumble and eliminates babyface. They fight about it. Yawn.
Gorilla shits on the concept of wrestling in general by wondering why this match didn't take place in a lobby or parking lot. We then throw to
"That" Roddy Piper interview: Yeah. This is the blackface one. I like how someone decided a simple midcard match needed this level of bullshit. Piper is at his coke induced wackiest here, making no sense and burying his opponent because he can.
I like the idea of a feud not ending at Mania, or using Mania as a chapter in it, as issues between different groups of human beings have different beginning and end points, but the match itself stank
Steve Allen and the Bolsheviks in the bathroom: Steve has a piano and is playing goofy insulting songs when the Russians want the National Anthem. This is the kind of stuff my grandpa would've found funny, and as such it gets a thumbs up from me.
I like how in the background you can see Anvil getting more and more upset, with Bret trying to cool him down, and when Anvil finally snaps and attacks Volkoff it takes a second for him to follow suit and hit Boris. They hit The Hart Attack and win. This was a squash in which the babyfaces managed to get character over in 17 seconds.
No rating, excellent squash
Wrestlemania 7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum advertisement: (Insert a clip of Nelson Muntz going "HA HA" here.)
Tito Santana interview: Meh. Gene asks Tito, who transitioned out of tag team competition how he thinks The Barbarian, who transitioned out of tag team competition will do. This was great. Tito then cuts a "try my best" jobber promo. This was bad.
Tito bumps around immobile big lug Barbarian and actually gets some interesting hope spots in, but Tito ends up selling for very, very basic power moves. They do the "can't knock me down spot", Barbarian gets knocked down, and he sells a top rope axe handle like they're going to do it again, and it looks bush league. Tito hits his finish, but Brain puts Barb's foot on the ropes. Tito telegraphs Barb sneaking up on him when Bobby distracts making Barb look like the biggest goof in the world. They bumble through an " O'Connor Roll countered into a hot shot" spot, Barb hits the flying clothesline and wins.
Tito looks like a geek because he can't win with his finish, Barb looks like a geek because he can't do anything. This was just a failure on all levels, but Tito working his ass off takes this out of Dudsville by a lot.
Macho/Sherri vs Dusty/Sapphire video package: Little bit of a fun fact, Sapphire is actually from my hometown and was something of a matriarch in the black community here until she passed. So, bless this woman's heart, but she just looks so out of place here, but the people love her and are enraptured by this feud, so thumbs up.
Dusty and Sapphire promo: Standard Dusty awesomeness, and you can tell Sapphire adores him, Dusty alludes to Elizabeth
Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire (w/Elizabeth) vs "Macho King" Randy Savage and Queen Sherri
I know Macho King doesn't get a lot of airtime in the grand retrospective of his career, and I get that, because everyone wants to remember fun babyface Macho with Elizabeth. But this HAS to be the best "King" gimmick in wrestling. Sherri in particular looks like the evil queen from Snow White, which Gorilla backs up.
This is a match in which every second of it is choreographed, with lots of the heels being run into each other. And you know what? It works! There's something to be appreciated about the smoke and mirrors that only the WWF/E can provide. Unfortunately, I guess in trying to keep in character, Macho isn't very focused. He'll beat up on Dusty, then go to harass Sapphire, and Sherri has to beat up on Dusty outside the ring to keep things from grinding to complete halt. The ref counts a Sherri pin on Dusty even though the rules were painfully explained at the beginning. Also they do the one on one standoff between the women again even though they blew that spot the first time Elizabeth gets involved twice allowing Sapphire to roll up Sherri for the win. Gotta give credit to them for paying off the interview earlier I guess
This match was way better than it had right to be especially considering Sapphire looked untrained. Despite a level of tightness you don't often see in WWE matches of the time, the screws did come off a bit towards the end. Also, I can't beliieve I'm saying this, but this is the best match of the night so far
Post match: Good. Macho runs in with the scepter but Dusty fights back and the heels bug off. The faces dance to "American Dream"
Bobby Heenan interview with Mean Gene: This is the "You listen to me, you go to the top. You don't listen to me, you're never heard from again" interview that they use for everything on him. This was just filler.
Rona Barrett with Monsoon and Jesse: One of the most hysterical live trainwrecks ever. She goes out of the way to say the WWF wrestlers have very clean images (HA) and then implies that there's a Jesse Ventura sex tape that she has footage of and is going to roll it right here! Jesse and Gorilla very quickly throw to....
Macho King and Sherri with Sean Mooney: Awesome Macho says "You better call somebody" (and a young Road Dogg took notes) and implies there will be more between them and their opponents, all while Sherri shrieks like a demon in the background.
Demolition interview with Mean Gene:: Meh, they're happy about winning and barely touch upon The Hart Foundaton
Gorilla and Jesse up at the commentary table: They immediately bury the whole "Jesse Ventura sex tape" angle.
Hulk Hogan interview with Mean Gene: Interesting. Hogan shills on the Skydome and lands all of his normal promo beats. He then starts waxing bullshit about how The Warrior is a corrupting force, and Hogan can save Warrior and all his fans by Warrior breathing his last breath into himself. I like the idea that they figured Hogan would get booed, so they play at the idea that Hogan has decided that Warrior is a problem. This makes no sense in the grand scheme, as they did the Mega Powers blow up with no blow up, but an interesting story beat nonetheless.
Ultimate Warrior interview with Sean Mooney: Warrior immediately shoos Mooney away saying that he doesn't deserve to breath the same air that Hogan and himself do. I like the idea that Warrior sees himself and Hogan as mythic gods. Warrior is on the same train of thought as Hogan about ideas and wanting to live forever, but he's going to take Hogan's ideas further than Hogan ever could, by bringing Hulkamaniacs and Warriors together . This MIGHT be Warrior's best promo in terms of it tying to a match
Lots of fast paste double teaming to start and we reset, Fuji interferes to get the heat. Marty flips out of a shoulder toss, tags in Shawn and we get a Double Superkick. The legal Express guy tags into his partner, stopping the babyface comeback dead. More moves and now Shawn makes the hot tag to Marty, and after a while, the heels miscue. Fuji blocks the double splash by whacking Marty with his cane. They tease Marty getting the cane, but he gets salt in the eyes, resulting in a double count out.
This match was absolutely nothing, but the guys worked their asses off, unfortunately the convoluted finish really leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Steve Allen interviews Rhythm 'n Blues: He buries RnB immediately, and makes a joke about "Not being this excited since I found out Pee Wee Herman was straight" when prompted with the idea of hearing Honky's new song. Haha what? RnB no sell all of Steve's jokes.
Duggan has the momentum until he runs into the turnbuckle and Dino takes control. Duggan Hulks up but Dino just takes control again. They tease the heels distracting the ref, but Duggan does and wins wth a pin.
This was short, but at least they told a story with the time they got.
Post match: Quake runs in and kills Hacksaw. Literally the only person who looks like a viable singles star at this very moment is Earthquake.
Roberts vs DiBiase video package: GREAT! This was a SIX MONTH feud substantiated by Dibiase attacking Jake from behind one time. Simpler times man.
Jake Roberts promo: AWESOME, possibly Jake's best
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase w/ Virgil
The tease the DDT and Million Dollar Fist Drop a few times, but Jake gets the momentum and works the arm. These guys are taking big bumps for momentum shifts. DiBiase gets the heat and starts working the neck. They cut away from this match to focus on the crowd doing The Wave, and Jesse calls attention to it. Anyway Jake fights out of the neck lock but Ted gets it back. Ted is masterful at working the crowd, and their tease of a sunset flip is AMAZING. Jake gets locked in The Million Dollar Dream, but Jake gets his foot on the ropes as he falls, brilliant, Jake kicks out at 2 in the middle after a pinfall in the ropes, amazing.. Jake makes his comeback, but Virgil districts, and a helps Dibiase in the ring to prevent a double count out to just get a regular count out win! Hooray! NOT!
This was FAR AND AWAY the best match on the card so far, and people clearly love Jake, so why not have him win and just win the belt back at an SMNE or have them trade at house shows even? Bleh. Good match ruined by a stinky finish.
Post match: Jake fires back, Virgil takes the belt but Jake gets the DDT anyway giving the fans Ted's money and lays stuffs some in Ted's mouth Virgil retrieves Ted just to makes sure the crowd gets nothing . Again, I ask, why not just have Jake win it?
Akeem and Slick interview with Sean Mooney: Slick is a horrible promo, but the gist of it is that Bossman refused money from Ted which split up The Twin Towers, and now Ted has basically put a bounty on Bossman's head for Akeem to collect.
Big Bossman interview with Mean Gene: AWESOME babyface promo.
Ted jumps Bossman at his entrance. Akeem gets all the momentum, A botched Reverse Atomic Drop starts his comeback. Akeem fires back briefly but Bossman hits The Bossman Slam for the win.
This was a bad squash, the pre-match nonsense was unnecessary
No rating, bad squash
Post match: Big Bossman punches Slick and no one cares
Sean Mooney's nightmare of a time in the crowd: He asks kids if they're ready to here Rhythm and Blues perform. A little boy is PISSED, shouting that they can't do anything and he doesn't know the name of the song. Mooney acts like this is a botch and finds a heel little girl who wants to see them perform AND knows the name of the song. He interviews Mary Tyler Moore. She clearly loves what she's seeing but sandbags Sean's questions where he wants there to be some back and forth
Rhythm and Blues perform "Honka Honka Honka Honkey Love": A trainwreck. Finkel nearly cracks up announcing them. Simiarly Gorilla breaks Jesse calling the girls "Honkettes" Gorilla yells "We're WASTING TIME HERE". It's cool also that the driver is DDP. '
Everyone is out of synch, and there's a super loud kazoo section, why was this here.?Also Honky purs and my skin nearly left my body The Bushwackers destroy the equipment. We're told RnB clobbered The Bushwackers, so why wasn't this a match? Monsoon also says "THEY'RE WACKIN HERE AT SKYDOME" which MIGHT be the best quote of all time.
Fink announces the attendance and then we get
This is your 2010 Divas Match of the evening, people just motoring through spots and not doing anything. Superfly completely undershoots a Superfly Splash and Rick hits The Rude Awakening for the win.
Ultimate Challenge recap: GREAT! A lot of implied and teased heelery but in fact they've saved each other from The Earthquake.
Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) vs Ultimate Warrior (WWF Intercontinental Champion)
I think people dog on this match now because they see two jacked up dudes doing big moves. But what this is was a 2019 main event here in 1990. Two people the crowd like with almost equal fandoms, going move for move, trading momentum, going move for move again, kicking out of big signature moves. even going as far as to trade visual pinfalls which you don't see a lot of But unlike today the crowd hung on to every second, jumping up and down whenever their wrestler of choice escaped defeat. The commentary was superb as well, Jesse was on fire with the calls, Gorilla was covering for botches, it was insane to think about how these two upped their game for this match. Really the only thing I didn't like was Hogan kicking out of the Press/Splash combo, but Warrior not getting the same opportunity with the Leg Drop, but eh, I guess they thought there was a plot thread to grab onto if they ever wanted to do this match again.
Post match: Hogan is up before Finkel can even make it official, which sucks, and there's way too much time between Hogan grabbing the belt and presenting it to Warrior for my liking. That said, a lot of people dog on the whole belt presentation aspect but I think this is one of the few times where it works. If you consider that Hulk was on TV with Macho for basically the entirety of his reign, he's been champion or near the title at this point for close to six years, this is a seriously big deal. Warrior celebrates with fireworks as we close out.
I would treat this show with a word of caution. If you feel like you can put Hogan vs Warrior in the context of 1990 and appreciate it for what it is, watch the main event and skip everything else. But, if your measuring stick for wrestling is work rate, then I'd consider skipping this show