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The Best and Worst Moment of WrestleMania 1

Mike Chin
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

WrestleMania 1 offered one of the earliest spectacles of the Vincent Kennedy McMahon era of promoting WWE.
WrestleMania 1 offered one of the earliest spectacles of the Vincent Kennedy McMahon era of promoting WWE.

In the mythology of WWE, the original WrestleMania represented a profound gamble. The fledgling company put all of its resources on the line amidst a national expansion, relying not so much on pay per view as a closed circuit television broadcast to draw an audience.

WrestleMania 1 wasn’t the kind of stacked card that would become synonymous with the annual event, but it did show glimmers of what the event would become for featuring the brightest stars the company had to offer, media-ready highlights, and a liberal dose of celebrity involvement to lure in a more casual audience.

This article takes a look back at the best and worst moments of WrestleMania 1.

Best Moment: Hulk Hogan and Mr. T celebrate

Hulk Hogan and Mr. T were a dream team for WWE in 1985.
Hulk Hogan and Mr. T were a dream team for WWE in 1985.

WWE made a major score when it brought Mr. T under its umbrella in the mid-1980s. He was not only a major celebrity at the time, but athletic and a guy who genuinely looked like he could hold his own in a fight, making him a near ideal fit for what WWE was doing at the time.

While T wasn’t exactly a marvel in the ring, he performed competently for what WWE asked of him at WrestleMania 1. Put him alongside arguably the most over wrestler of all time in Hulk Hogan, and position them opposite two successful main event heels in Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff, and WWE was set up for a very successful main event by the standards of the era. When Hogan and T celebrated after their victory, it felt a lot like WWE itself celebrating this new era as a worldwide entertainment powerhouse.


Worst Moment: David Sammartino is outshone by his father

It was sad that David Sammartino couldn't match his legendary father's legacy; WrestleMania 2 called their dynamic into sharp relief.
It was sad that David Sammartino couldn't match his legendary father's legacy; WrestleMania 2 called their dynamic into sharp relief.

While second-generation stars tend to enjoy advantages in breaking into the wrestling business and getting a look from major promotions, they often as not proceed to struggle under comparisons to their parents. David Sammartino is a prime example of this dynamic, relative to his iconic father Bruno.

David’s match against Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania 1 wasn’t especially terrible, but it was utterly forgettable and mostly served as a set up for Bruno, who was in David’s corner, to come to his son’s aid against the heels in the aftermath. The scene underscored David’s limitations and reinforced that he never would live up to his dad’s legacy. The moment is all the more sad given that Bruno vocally rejected WWE’s direction at the time. He was ostensibly there just help his son get more attention but wound up mostly overshadowing him.

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