WrestleMania 2 Reaction

WWE WrestleMania 2WrestleMania I was the biggest phenomenon at the time, possessing a niche of main event stars, big matches and celebrities.

Those who were there didn’t know just how big it would become until the very end. How would they possibly top that? With the only Pay-Per-View to come out of three different cities at the same time, coverage bouncing from one to the next in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The marquee matches were Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy in a steel cage for the WWE Championship, Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T in a boxing match and a 20-man over-the-top-rope Battle Royale featuring NFL players and WWE superstars.

With celebrity appearances from Ray Charles, Tommy Lasorda, Ozzy Ozzbourne and more, this was a night that confirmed WrestleMania is the tradition it has become.

 

 

 

 

(Aired 4/7/86)

The Breakdown

– Rowdy Roddy Piper’s first promo showed off his classic heel confidence and put over “Cowboy” Bob Orton as his trainer. Nothing really more than that here. You get that Piper is an all-around bad guy here though.

– The “Magnificent” Don Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji)-“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff match had promo sound bites playing over the in-ring action which was an iffy move, but it was what it was. The match itself was developing into something decent until things broke down outside the ring with chaos and confusion. The fans chanting “Bullshit” had to be rare in the 80’s, though this match suggests probably not.

– Mr. T’s promo was okay, though it was hard to pick it up due to Okerlund announcing the result from the previous match. Should’ve been frustrating for TV viewers.

– The George “The Animal” Steele-Randy “Macho Man” Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth) Intercontinental Championship match was in the midst of their memorable feud at the point where Savage was mistreating Elizabeth. Savage’s promo was average for his level. The match was mostly known for the random prominent use of flower bouquets and turnbuckle stuffing. This had the feeling of a “payoff” match, definitely. Savage getting the pinfall win with the ropes for leverage helped Steele look strongly sympathetic.

– The Bill Fralic-Big John Studd segment hyped the “WWE vs. NFL” aspect of the 20-man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale that was to come, with Studd ripping a football, you know, because that’s so powerful.

– The George Wells-Jake The Snake Roberts match worked a grittier pace than the last few matches, a welcome change to the show. Roberts won with the DDT and then resorted to his bag with the Python in it and put it on Wells, constricting him and making him foam at the mouth, a little much even for kayfabe purposes. Roberts had that aura of unpredictability when he appeared on screen with the snakes and this was all that and more.

– The first (of numerous) Hogan promo put over his injuries and motivation to put Bundy down, while also insulting Jesse “The Body” Ventura, which was about right.

– The Mr. T-Piper boxing match blurred the line between reality and fiction, going to four rounds with a controversial DQ victory to Mr. T. It was what it was. Piper was great throughout however – he was a heel ahead of his time.

– The Fabulous Moolah-Velvet McIntyre match for the Women’s Championship was a really quick match with Moolah retaining. Nothing memorable.

– The Flag match between Nikolai Volkoff (w/Classy Freddie Blassie) and Corporal Kirchner was your feel-good happy match with the American hero getting his moment. The people always go nuts for it. It must’ve been like crack back then for people.

– The 20-man over-the-top-rope battle Royale featuring Dick Biktus, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Jimbo Covert, Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin, Danny Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga, The Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes, The Killer Bees, Big John Studd, Fralic, The Hart Foundation, Russ Francis, Bruno Sammartino, William “Refrigerator” Perry and Andre The Giant was cutesy for the NFL player appearances which ended up with Andre winning by eliminating The Hart Foundation. Mainly celebrity filler that let the Giant gain a 2-0 Mania record at the time.

– Piper’s promo was pure heel bragging and he defended his reasoning for shoving the referee down.

– Covert’s promo said he got cheated in the battle Royale and Sheik bragged about himself or something like that. Random promos were really the thing back then. It’s odd.

– The Greg “The Hammer” Valentine/Brutus Beefcake (w/”Luscious” Johnny Valiant)-The British Bulldogs (w/Captain Lou Albano, Ozzy Ozzbourne) Tag Team Championship match was a generally crowd-pleasing match as pandemonium broke out upon the Bulldogs becoming new Champions. The postmatch comments from the winners weren’t anything memorable however.

– The Hercules Hernandez-Ricky The Dragon Steamboat match initially seemed like a squash but transitioned into a nitty-gritty bout as Steamboat fought his way to a hard victory. He should only know his true WrestleMania moment would be a year away.

– As for the “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/Jimmy Hart)-Uncle Elmer match – damn, Elmer looked like a ancestor of the Godwinn family. So, it’s a dancing hillbilly against a very flamboyant dress-wearing blonde man? Right… Either way, this ended up a win for Adonis even as he had his dress ripped off and emerged a victor even in pink leg warmers. How many people can say that they have that accolade under their belt?

– Hogan’s newest promo addressed his less-than-average health and he sold that he’d stand by his title no matter how he felt. This sounded like his earlier promo. Was there a purpose for it really?

– The Funk Brothers (w/Jimmy Hart)-Tito Santana/Junkyard Dog match was an average tag match perhaps up a notch slightly because of the performances of both Hart and Terry Funk. The action getting out of hand was solidly done and the heels won with a cheap trick.

– Hogan’s newest newest promo put over his weightlifting skills even though he was still hurt, saying he trained for five and a half weeks for the match. Bobby Heenan made some bold statements to back up Bundy, who also spoke for himself pretty good. This was a good final set-up.

– The World Championship steel cage match between Hogan and Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan) was your generic formulaic send-everyone-home-happy Hogan main event, enabling a big comeback to do just that. Hogan took out Heenan pretty well too.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– The Magnificent Don Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji) and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff wrestle to a Double-Countout 

– Intercontinental Championship – Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Champion) (w/Miss Elizabeth) def. George “The Animal” Steele via pinfall to retain

– Jake “The Snake” Roberts def. George Wells via pinfall

– Boxing Match – Mr. T (w/Joe Frazier, Haiti Kid) def. Rowdy Roddy Piper (w/Bob Orton, Lou Duva) in 4 rounds via DQ

– Women’s Championship – The Fabulous Moolah (Champion) def. Velvet McIntyre via pinfall to retain

– Flag Match – Corporal Kirchner def. Nikolai Volkoff (w/”Classy” Freddie Blassie) via pinfall

– 20-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale – Andre The Giant eliminates Bret Hart to win

– Tag Team Championships – The British Bulldogs (w/Captain Lou Albano) def. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine/Brutus Beefcake (Champions) (w/”Luscious” Johnny Valiant) via pinfall to become new Champions

– Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat def. Hercules Hernandez via pinfall

– “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/Jimmy Hart) def. Uncle Elmer via pinfall

– The Funk Brothers (w/Jimmy Hart) def. Tito Santana/Junkyard Dog via pinfall

– WWE Championship – Steel Cage – Hulk Hogan (Champion) def. King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) to retain 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 28-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on April 26, 2015, in Throwback PPVs, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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