WrestleMania 2: Hulkamania runs wild!
Yesterday, we launched a new series called the ‘Wrestlemania Rewind’, looking back at all the past Wrestlemanias. We had covered the initial edition of the global phenomenon, the birth of Wrestlemania with Wrestlemania 1. Continuing our journey with the Wrestlemania Rewind, tonight, we look at the second edition in 1986. This edition was special in more ways than one. After the huge success and the major wave of popularity and media attention Wrestlemania 1 had given to the WWF and Vince McMahon, Vince decided to continue with the annual extravaganza.
Wrestlemania 1 started the ‘Rock n Wrestling’ connection in the WWF. WWF was taken to bigger and better places, and so, following up the previous year’s success was always going to be a challenge. Wrestlemania 2 took place in three venues, with each venue having one main event bout. This was unheard of on PPVs, as the PPV was branched into three venues, which was done to generate maximum revenue and gates. This edition of Wrestlemania was also testing the waters for WWF and Vince McMahon, as it was the first event to be shown on Pay Per View. This also has been the only Wrestlemania to have happened on a Monday.
Leading up to the big event, there were three main feuds. One was for the WWF Championship. Hogan became the face of the WWF, and was the WWF Champion when King Kong Bundy attacked Hogan, setting up a grudge match at Wrestlemania, which was a steel cage match. The second main feud was between Roddy Piper and Hogan’s buddy, Mr. T. The story behind the feud stemmed from real life issues between Piper and Mr. T. Piper generally disliked Mr. T, as he was taking the spotlight being a non wrestler, and this was threaded into the storylines, leading to a match between the two, which was a boxing match. The third main feud going into the big event was for the WWF Tag team championship, between the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) and the British Bulldogs (Davey Smith and Dynamite Kid). Background of this match was that the Bulldogs were unable to beat the Dream Team both times they met, which led to one final match at Wrestlemania. If the Bulldogs lose the match, they wouldn’t get another shot at the WWF Tag team titles.
Since Wrestlemania took place in three venues, they were each main evented by one bout, with the other matches filling the under card. So without further ado, let us take a look at the matches that took place at each of the venue.
New York – Nassau Coliseum:
Paul Orndorff took on ‘The Magnificent’ Don Muraco in a match that ended in a no contest.
The opening bout of the card was a match between ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco, which ended in a no contest when both the grapplers were counted out.
Randy Savage (With Miss Elizabeth) defeated George Steele for the WWF Intercontinental title.
The second match of the evening saw the prestigious WWF Intercontinental title being defended by Randy Savage, against George Steele. The match saw the first instance when someone kicked out of the patented Savage elbow drop. Savage retained the title when he rolled up Steele for the pin with his feet on the ropes for leverage.
Jake Roberts defeated George Wells.
Jake ‘The Snake’ faced Wells in the third match, defeating him with his patented DDT.
The Main event of the evening saw the ‘Hot Rod’ Roddy Piper taking on Mr. T, which was billed as a real life grudge match. The two faced off in a boxing match, with boxing veteran Joe Frazier in Mr. T’s corner, and Lou Duva in Piper’s. The match ended when Piper was disqualified for body slamming Mr. T.
Chicago – Rosemont Horizon:
Fabulous Moolah defeated Velvet McIntyre to retain the WWF Women’s title.
The first match of the Chicago event saw Moolah defending her WWF woman’s title against Velvet. Match came to an end when Moolah took advantage of an error by Velvet and pinned her for the win.
Corporal Kirchner defeated Nikolai Volkoff (With Freddie Blassie) in a flag match
Kirchner took on Volkoff in the second match of the night, and won the bout when he caught Blassie’s cane and hit Volkoff with it.
20 man battle royal:
British Bulldogs (With Ozzy Osbourne and Lou Albano) defeated Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles.
The match saw Black Sabbath’s lead singer Ozzy Osbourne getting involved, being in the Bulldogs’ corner. Bulldogs won the match and the WWF tag team championship when Smith pinned Greg Valentine.
Los Angeles – Memorial Sports Arena:
Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules
The first match of the third event saw ‘The Dragon’ taking on Hercules. Ricky won the match when Hercules missed a flying body press, and Ricky hit a body press of his own for the pin and the win.
Adrian Adonis (With Jimmy Hart) defeated Uncle Elmer
The second bout of the event saw ‘The Adorable’ Adonis defeating Uncle Elmer, with a diving headbutt.
Terry and Hoss Funk (With Jimmy Hart) defeated JYD and Tito Santana
Jimmy played a pivotal in second straight match when he interfered for Terry to hit JYD with Hart’s microphone for the pin and the victory.
Hulk Hogan defeated King Kong Bundy (With Bobby Heenan) for the WWF Championship in a Steel Cage match
In the only steel cage match in the history of Wrestlemania, Hogan faced King Kong Bundy. Background of the match was how Bundy injured Hogan, and Hogan still faced the mammoth and came out on top, when he climbed out of the steel cage to retain the title. He later assaulted Bobby Heenan to close the show.
Analysis: *1/2 (Out of 5 stars)
The PPV was an over kill, since it was done in three different venues. Ray Charles even performed ‘America the Beautiful’ to open the PPV in New York. The PPV was monumental for the career of Davey Smith, who won the WWF tag team championship with Dynamite Kid.
Also, the PPV was an over kill regarding celebrities. Because of the huge success of Wrestlemania 1, Vince decided stacking more celebrities would do wonders for Wrestlemania 2. This was arguably one of the worst Wrestlemanias of all time. A terribly boring, long show finally coming to an end. Ironical that the article comes to an end too? We don’t think so, as we continue with our Wrestlemania Rewind. Do join us tomorrow as we look back at the next edition, Wrestlemania 3. Till then, have a nice day folks!