5 Things I learned from WrestleMania 2 (1986)
It is proof sequels are worse than the originals.
WrestleMania 2. You know that old saying that the sequel is never as good as the original? Well, that certainly is true in this case. WrestleMania 2 is strange in every sense of the word. It took place on a Monday. It strangely took place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles on the same night. It even had the ‘Where’s the Beef?’ Lady. Sigh.
In my experience of watching the earliest WrestleManias, this was a very painful watch. It was the case of throwing everything at the wall and hoping that something stuck. It rarely did. Mercifully it does get a lot better in the years to come. Next year in fact.
With all of this in mind, I present my list of the top five things I learned from WrestleMania 2:
#5 I hate celebrity commentators
Vince really likes having celebrities at WrestleMania. Sometimes at the expense of his own wrestlers, he will use their star power to try to bring mainstream attention to the product. This might have made sense in the first WrestleMania but it goes way overboard in the second one.
The following “celebrities” were a part of the show and in some cases, it was as a timekeeper, announcer or even wrestler. They were: Joe Frazier, Cab Calloway, G. Gordan Liddy, Joan Rivers, Ray Charles, Herb, Clara Peller, Dick Butkus, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Ricky Schroder, Robert Conrad, Tommy Lasorda, Russ Francis, Ozzy Osbourne and William “The Refridgedor” Perry.
It was amazing Vince had any time for actual wrestlers with all these names involved. But nothing compares to the horror of the celebrity commentators.
Vince McMahon called the New York portion of the show with actress Susan St James. If you want I could suggest a drinking game for you. Drink every single time Susan says the phrase “Uh Oh.” If you do you will be drunk or dead by the second match. I found myself reaching for the remote on many occasions for that important mute button.
It got “better” in Chicago with reality host Cathy Lee Crosby joining Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene doing commentary. Her input consisted of saying, “I have never seen anything like this before!” That is great to know. It makes a really important contribution on a WrestleMania night to have someone who has never watched live wrestling.
Elvira calls the Los Angeles portion of the show with Jesse Ventura and Lord Alfred Hayes. She does the best because she sticks to her Elvira routine and gets some good set-up from Jesse. That being said, having three inexperienced commentators who may not even be wrestling fans is a very painful experience. Uh Oh indeed.