WrestleMania 7: The dead awakens
Welcome to another edition of WrestleMania Rewind, as we continue on our journey towards this year’s WreslteMania, the 29th edition of the mega event. On our way, we look back at the past editions of WrestleManias, as I give my thoughts and analysis about them. Yesterday, I had covered the 6th annual edition of WrestleMania, which saw the rise of the Ultimate Warrior, who had won the ‘Winner takes all’ match against the Immortal One, Hulk Hogan, to become the new WWF Champion, while still holding the WWF Intercontinental champion.
The next edition of WrestleMania came back into the United States, and was live from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, in Los Angeles, California. An interesting fact about WrestleMania 7 was that it was originally scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but had to be shifted because of one of the guys participating in the main event of WrestleMania. It was at a time when America was at war (not surprisingly) and the entire arena was filled with red, white and blue. The main event saw the American hero Hulk Hogan taking on the WWF Champion Sgt. Slaughter, who had taken the role of an Iraqi sympathizer.
The tagline of the event also echoed the American patriotism, as it was called “Superstars and Stripes forever” (Cheesy and over the top, as always). The main feud going into the event was Hogan challenging Slaughter for the WWF title that Slaughter had won from the Warrior. During their match, Savage interfered, thus costing Warrior the match and the title. Hogan challenged Slaughter for a match when he realized Slaughter was defaming the United States. The second main bout saw Savage taking on Warrior, which was billed as a retirement match. After Savage cost Warrior his title, the two entered in a feud which culminated in a match at WrestleMania 7, with the loser retiring after the bout. This WrestleMania was also noteworthy for the WrestleMania debut of the Phenom, the Undertaker. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Willie Nelson opens the show by singing America the Beautiful, as always.
The Rockers defeated Haku and Barbarian (With Bobby Heenan)
Marty and that Shawn guy open the card with Haku and Barbarian. Fast paced match which goes to well over 10 minutes (How rare was that in the WWF?) Rockers are way over with the crowd now. The end came when Shawn came down with a cross body on Haku (Haku was known to be the toughest guy in wrestling history, just a fun trivia. No? Okay) for the pin and the win.
Heenan then joins Monsoon at the commentator’s desk (Yay!)
Texas Tornado defeated Dino Bravo (With Jimmy Hart)
Kerry Von Erich from the famous Von Erich family makes his WrestleMania debut as Texas Tornado against Bravo. A basic match to put Tornado over, who got the victory after hitting his finisher, Texas Tornado Punch on Dino. Incidentally, this was their last WrestleMania match, as Von Erich committed suicide 2 years later and Bravo was rumoured to be assassinated by the Drug Mafia, also after 2 years.
British Bulldog defeated Warlord (With Slick)
Davey was in the midst of his singles run as Dynamite left the company. A decent match, which saw Bulldog winning after delivering a running powerslam. This was when the WWF was pushing Davey, just wished they continued down the line.
The Nasty Boys (With Jimmy Hart) defeated The Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag team Championship
Here we have two men from the Hogan crew. Never really understood how Nasties could get into wrestling, from their abysmal attitude and talent. Anyway, the Hart Foundation had their last match as a team, as Bret was about to get pushed as a singles competitor. So they had to drop their titles, and they did so to the Nasty Boys, when Jimmy interfered and hit Neidhart with a helmet, for Knobbs to cover him for the pin and the win.
Jake Roberts defeated Rick Martel in a blindfold match
These kind of matches are hard to watch, as they are very slow and take up a lot of time. Jake received a great ovation while coming out, and the match went for a little under 10 minutes. Match ended when Jake hit his patented DDT on Martel
The Undertaker (With Paul Bearer) defeated Jimmy Snuka
Alright folks, the WrestleMania debut of the Deadman, the Undertaker. As a sad reminder, Paul Bearer passed away a couple of days ago, which is a great loss to the wrestling industry. I was a huge fan of Paul, and I hope he takes a cue from Taker’s line. Rest in peace William. Anyway, getting back to the match, it was a squash match to set up Taker’s status as a main eventer, as he’d soon win the WWF title. The crowd was in awe at Taker’s speed, being a big man himself. Match ended when Taker Tombstone piledrived Snuka, and went 1 – 0 at WrestleMania.
The Ultimate Warrior defeated Randy Savage (With Sensational Queen Sherri) in a retirement match
One of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history. Savage made Warrior look like a champ. Warrior kicked out of 5 Savage elbow drops! Savage kicked out of the Warrior’s splash as well. What a fantastic encounter! The end came when Warrior covered Savage for the decisive pinfall after consecutive shoulder blocks. The match went for over 20 minutes, and this is how you tell a story at WrestleMania. Post match, Sherri attacked Savage, and this led to Miss Elizabeth running down and saving Randy! Then Randy turned back and embraced Elizabeth. True WrestleMania moment here folks! He had her on his shoulders and they went back together. Wow, what a fantastic response from the crowd as they had tears in their eyes!
Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao defeated Demolition (With Mr. Fuji)
A standard, bad tag team match which saw Demolition being the heel team. Match ended when Tenryu powerbombed Smash.
Big Boss Man defeated Mr. Perfect (With Bobby Heenan) by DQ for the WWF IC title
A match to push Boss Man while the WWF didn’t want to take the IC title off Mr. Perfect, who’d eventually lose it to the one, the only, the Excellence of Execution, Bret Hart. Anyway, a good 10 minute show which ended when Haku and Barbarian ran out to attack Boss Man, while Andre made the save. Another ‘after 2 years’ fact – Andre passed away 2 years after this. Yeah, the birth of the 2-year curse.
Earthquake (With Jimmy Hart) defeated Greg Valentine
A squash match to build up Earthquake’s stake. Valentine is probably one of the most uncharismatic, boring guys I’ve seen. Anyway, match ended when Earthquake splashed Valentine for the pin and the win.
Legion of Doom defeated Power and Glory (Hercules and Roma with Slick)
The original L. O. D! They received a massive pop coming out. The match barely completed a minute when the Legion hit their finisher on Roma for the pin and the win. Hercules lost another match? What a surprise!
Virgil had turned face after going against Ted. This match was to put over Virgil without making Ted seem weak. End came when Ted refused to come into the ring as the ref counted him out. Piper was on crutches as he recently had met with a motorcycle accident. After the match, Ted attacked Virgil and Piper made the save. Sherri ran down and aided Ted, who used Piper’s crutches against him by beating him down. Virgil made the save as Ted and Sherri hightailed. Boy, I forgot how good a post match beat down really looks like.
The Mountie (With Jimmy Hart) defeated Tito Santana
A boring match that the fans really didn’t care about. A squash match to put Mountie over. People were waiting for the main event.
Hulk Hogan defeated Sgt. Slaughter (With General Adnan) for the WWF Championship
A good match with decent storytelling. Match went for about 20 minutes, and the end came when Hogan did his usual shtick of Hulking up, pointing finger, punches, big boot and the big leg drop. And we call Cena monotonous. Anyway, Hulk won the WWF championship and everything was rosy again in the organization.
Analysis: *** ½ (Out of 5 stars)
The highest rating among all the other WrestleManias that I covered. And this WM deserved it, because of Taker’s WM debut, and the Savage – Warrior classic. Boy, they told story like no one else, which will go down as one of the most iconic and historic moments in professional wrestling. This concludes another edition of WrestleMania Rewind. Join us tomorrow as we continue looking back at the past WrestleManias on our way to this year’s event.
Read the rest of the WrestleMania rewind series here