Top 5 Moments of Wrestlemania II
- The countdown to WrestleMania is on, and with 34 days until this year's Show of Shows, we have a look at the best moments of Wrestlemania II
Following the success of the first WrestleMania, Vince McMahon and the WWF would repeat the event a year later.
WrestleMania II was unique in that it was the first and last time that the event was held over three different cities, with a third of the card being held at New York City's Nassau Coliseum, a third of the matches at Chicago's Rosemont Horizon and the final third of the event held in Los Angeles' Memorial Sports Arena.
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The decision to split the event was heavily criticized and the following year's WrestleMania would return to the single city venue at the Pontiac Silverdome.
The action started in New York with Vince McMahon, a commentator at the time playing the role of host, in the ring and would introduce Ray Charles to sing America the Beautiful. The first of the in-ring action saw Don Muraco facing off against Paul Orndorff.
While Orndorff had wrestled in the previous years' Wrestlemania in the main event as a heel, he appeared in the opening match as a babyface.
Despite Orndorff controlling the majority of the match, it would eventually spill to the outside, with the two wrestlers trading shots at ringside.
The referee would count both men out, ending the match in a double count-out with the crowd chanting "b*llshit" at the finish.
This was followed quickly by the second match in the Nassau Coliseum between the 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and George 'the Animal' Steele for the Intercontinental Championship.
Savage, a heel at the time, spent the majority of the time going in and out of the ring to avoid Steele.
Whenever Steele would gain momentum in the bout, he would often shift his attention to Miss Elizabeth at ringside.
Steele would kick out of Savage's pin after the top rope Elbow drop, but would eventually fall after he was rolled up by Savage when Savage had his feet on the ropes.
The third match on the card had Jake 'The Snake' Roberts against George Wells. Roberts had made his debut in the WWF only a month before Wrestlemania and Wells would get the jump on him at the start of the match.
Roberts would eventually turn it around and defeat Wells after hitting him with his DDT. However, it would be the events after the match that would be more memorable.
After the victory, Roberts would take out his snake and wrap it around Wells. As the snake wrapped itself around Wells, he began to choke and foam at the mouth.
Finally, the New York main event was a boxing match between Roddy Piper and Mr. T. Much like their bout at the first WrestleMania, there was no shortage of celebrity participation, including guest ring announced Joan Rivers, with judges Darryl Dawkins, Cab Calloway, and G. Gordon Liddy.
The match itself was a unique spectacle as both Piper and Mr. T continued to clinch their way through the fight. Piper got the first knockdown of the fight towards the end of the second round.
The third round saw Piper get knocked down for the first time as both men began to tire. Piper would get knocked down for a second time in the round, this time also falling out of the ring but managed to recover before the 10-count.
The fourth round began with both Piper and Mr. T trading shots back and forth. During the fourth round, Piper shoved the referee, before lifting Mr. T up and body slamming the celebrity. The referee would stop the bout and award Mr. T the winner via Disqualification.
The action would then be thrown to Chicago's Rosemont Horizon for the second section of the card. The first match on the card was Velvet McIntyre challenging for the women's title against the champion the Fabulous Moolah.
Moolah had won the title from Wendi Richter in November the previous year. McIntyre would be pinned by Moolah after missing a top rope splash, but McIntyre had her foot on the ropes during the pinfall.
This was followed by a flag match between Corporal Kirchner and Nikolai Volkoff, who was accompanied to the ring by his manager, Freddie Blassie.
Volkoff interrupted the ring announcer to sing the Soviet National anthem, a tradition of his before matches. The anthem was subsequently interrupted by Kirchner's entrance. Within the first minutes, Kirchner inadvertently hit the referee.
With the referee down, Freddie Blassie attempted to help Volkoff by trying to pass the Soviet wrestler his cane. However, Kirchner intercepted the Cane and hit Volkoff with it, allowing him to get the pinfall victory.
The seventh match of the card and the third in the Chicago segment saw the 20-man WWF vs NFL Battle Royal. Aside from the participants, the WWF had also gotten legendary footballers Dick Butkus and Ed 'Too Tall' Jones as referees for the Battle Royal.
The match contained 14 Wrestlers and six former and present football players, including Bret Hart, Andre the Giant, William 'Refridgerator' Perry, and Bruno Sammartino. Naturally, the start of the battle royal was chaotic as the first couple of competitors were eliminated.
Towards the end of the Battle Royal, Francis and Perry were the last two NFL players, with Perry getting eliminated by Big John Studd only for Studd to be pulled over the top rope by Perry.
The last four of the Battle Royal was Andre the Giant, Jim Neidhart, Bret Hart, and the sole NFL player in Russ Francis.
After Andre the Giant got tied up in the ropes, the Hart Foundation worked together to eliminate Francis, leaving the Hart Foundation alone in the ring with the giant.
Andre would eliminate Neidhart followed by Hart to win the Battle Royal. The final match of the Chicago portion of the event was for the tag team titles, with the British Bulldogs taking on the Dream Team.
While the title holding Dream Team started in the ring, the British Bulldogs were escorted to the ring by their manager Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne.
Greg Valentine and Davey Boy Smith would start in the ring for their respective teams. The wrestling style between the two teams was much smoother and more closely resembled the modern day product.
The match was marked with power moves, quick reversals, and quick tags. The British Bulldogs worked particularly smoothly and were absolutely ahead of their time.
Valentine looked like he had the match won after hitting the Dynamite Kid with a piledriver but only managed a two count.
The momentum would swing back and forth with each side having control at various stages of the match, but the Dream Team would take control towards the end of the match, making frequent tags back and forth.
As Valentine went to slam Smith's head into the turnbuckle, Smith managed to turn it around slamming Valentine into Dynamite kid. Smith would take advantage and pin Valentine for the win and became the new tag team champions.
Finally, the last section of the event took place in Los Angeles' Sports Memorial Arena. The first fight to take place would be between Hercules Hernandez against Ricky 'the Dragon' Steamboat.
Steamboat used his speed and agility against the bigger Hernandez. Steamboat would dominate the start of the proceedings, but Hernandez would slowly establish his dominance through his powerhouse style.
Hernandez would go up to the top to perform a move from the top rope but would be caught by Steamboat. Steamboat would quickly go up to the Turnbuckle and hit Hernandez with a diving crossbody for the pinfall victory.
The next match in the ring was between Adrian Adonis, who was accompanied by Stu Hart, going against Uncle Elmer.
Elmer was a part of the Hillbilly stable that also included WWE Hall of Famer Hillbilly Jim. Elmer would dominate Adonis, throwing him around the ring, with Adonis overselling all of Elmer's moves.
The momentum would shift as Elmer missed a splash and Adonis would climb the turnbuckle and hit Elmer with a splash for the win. The two heavyweights moved around the ring very haphazardly, contrasting sharply with the Tag Team title match and Steamboat's match.
The penultimate match of the card saw Terry Funk and his brother Hoss take on the team of the Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana.
Hoss Funk, better known as Dory Funk Jr, started in the ring against the Junkyard Dog, but both teams would make quick tags to bring in Tito Santana and Terry Funk. The Funks frequently escaped to the outside to escape the team of Santana and the Junkyard Dog.
After a while, the Funks established their dominance and isolated Santana in the ring, using their manager Jimmy Hart both as a way to distract the referee and to kick Santana when he was out of the ring.
Eventually, Santana would make it back to his corner and tag the Junkyard Dog back into the match. With the referee distracted, Jimmy Hart would throw his megaphone to Terry Funk, who in turn hit Junkyard Dog with the megaphone to get the win.
The final match of the evening and the Main Event of both the Los Angeles segment and Wrestlemania itself was a WWF title match between King Kong Bundy and Hulk Hogan in a steel cage.
Hogan came into the match with injured ribs following an attack on Hogan by Bundy and Don Muraco following a title match between Hogan and Muraco. As a result of the attack, Hogan had his ribs heavily strapped as he came into the cage match.
Despite Bundy having a big size advantage, Hogan would get the early advantage, Irish whipping Bundy across the ring. Bundy would take advantage of Hogan's rib's to swing the momentum his way early in the match.
Hogan would eventually climb out of the cage to retain his title. After the match was over, Hogan caught Heenan in the cage and savagely attacked the heel manager, slamming him into the cage wall and hitting him with an atomic drop to close out the night.
You can see the review of previous Wrestlemania moments here:
#5 Andre the Giant wins the WWF vs NFL Battle Royal
Andre the Giant was a legend in the WWF, and will always be a legend to the wrestling community.
At Wrestlemania II, Andre the Giant was involved in the NFL versus WWF battle Royal. Naturally, the Giant was able to outlast the 19 other opponents to win the battle royal.
Despite Andre's size advantage over the rest of the competitors, Andre only eliminated the final two to win the event, spending most of the time in the Battle Royal in the corner of the ring, avoiding being eliminated.
In the final 4, Andre was left with NFL Footballer Russ Francis and the two members of the Hart Foundation, Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart.
While Andre got himself tied up in the ropes, Hart and Neidhart worked together to eliminate the final footballer in the battle royal before turning their attention to the giant. Andre would eliminate Neidhart before taking Hart off the top turnbuckle and throwing him out of the ring and onto Neidhart.
Despite the Battle Royal lasting over nine minutes, Andre was clearly laboring by the end of the match and was in significant discomfort.