5 Things I Learned From WrestleMania 1 (1985)
It is WrestleMania 1. It all begins here.
WrestleMania. It is the “Showcase of the Immortals”. It is the “Super Bowl of Wrestling”. It is apparently the time of year we hear another Flo Rida song. Needless to say, it is a time of year that many wrestling fans look forward to most. I think one of the biggest reasons why is the history around the event. We have had many memorable matches, moments and grand spectacle that you only get once a year.
With that in mind, I decided to go back and look at the earliest WrestleManias. How did this grand event that fills a football stadium get its start? Since I didn’t start watching until the late 1990’s, I never had a chance to see WrestleMania’s beginnings. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. I plan to look at a bunch of the early ones in the days to come before WrestleMania 33. So why not start at the beginning?
With all of this in mind, I present my list of the top five things I Learned From WrestleMania 1:
5. It Got Off to A Rough Start
Going back and watching the first WrestleMania shows you how far it has actually come. It started with Mean Gene singing the National Anthem. I do love Mean Gene, but that was not the best choice to launch the show. I see why they went with celebrities singing “American the Beautiful” going forward.
I will admit that I was shocked by the first match in WrestleMania history. The first match always can set the tone for the evening. But what was it on the first night in the famous Madison Square Garden? It was Tito Santana versus The Executioner. That is right. It was basically a popular babyface squashing a jobber. It was weird.
The insipid start continued with King Kong Bundy beating S.D. Jones in “nine seconds”. I say “nine seconds” because they told me so but even I can see it was clearly a lot more. It was closer to 23 seconds. I guess WWE thinks we cannot count or they screwed up the nine-second thing and wanted to continue to go with it regardless.
The ugliness continued with a young Ricky Steamboat beating another jobber called Matt Bourne (future Doink) in less than five minutes. Why book two jobber matches in the first three contests of your make or break pay-per-view? I guess only Vince knows for sure.