Countdown to Wrestlemania 27! (pt.1 of 3)
by, 03-19-2011 at 02:08 PM (4541 Views)
I recently acquired the new "True Story of Wrestlemania" and while every other Monday and Friday night I turn off my TV disappointed, I've always had this theory that whenever I buy a WWE DVD I will NEVER be disappointed. After watching the documentary on the DVD I was NOT disappointed and actually feel hyped up for Wrestlemania in 3 weeks!
So in honor of Wrestlemania 27 and the new WWE DVD I felt a creative surge of energy to take a look back at the matches that MADE Wrestlemania what it is today. Now before you write this off as a "Best Of..." list, let me make this clear, IT'S NOT!
The following 3 installments are the matches that I feel "stole" their respective Wrestlemania's. Now I won't lie some of these WILL be obvious (WM3) and some of these WILL be the closing match (WM26). I will be starting at Wrestlemania I in 1985 and go all the way to Wrestlemania X in 1994 this week. Next Saturday I will go from Wrestlemania XI to Wrestlemania XX. Finally the Saturday BEFORE Wrestlemania 27 I will go from Wrestlemania 21 to Wrestlemania 26 AND give my predictions on what match will steal the show at Wrestlemania 27.
Wrestlemania I (1985)
Hulk Hogan and Mr.T vs. Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper
So after watching the ENTIRE first Wrestlemania in it's entirety let me say that if you've never seen there's really no NEED to unless your a wrestling enthusiast. Wrestlemania I is truly a LANDMARK in wrestling history, but not so much for it's match content. This match, really isn't the greatest match ever, hell that Donald Trump vs. Rosie O' Donlad match on RAW was a little better, but the match up truly was the greatest on the card that night and "stole the show" (you'll see this phrase a lot).
Wrestlemania II (1986)
The Dream Team (Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) <c> vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid)
WWF Tag Team Championship
Wrestlemania II was a little harder to find a "show stealing" match because again, this Wrestlemania was a little bland. But after watching the event in full, the match that really kept me entertained with this tag team match. The Bulldogs truly are one of the most UNDER RATED tag teams of all time, and this match proves it perfectly. And in the midst of a card that was full of gimmicks (Battle Royals, Boxing Matches, and Cage Matches) this match is truly a great tag team WRESTLING match.
Wrestlemania III (1987)
"Macho Man" Randy Savage <c> vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Wrestlemania III was built around Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan. We all know this, and to be honest we all know that Steamboat and Savage STOLE this entire card with their EPIC EPIC encounter for what was once the most prestigious title ever. Savage/Steamboat started the trend at Wrestlemania III that ONE MATCH has to steal the show. And every year since then one match has. If you've NEVER seen Savage/Steamboat at WM III, you need to.
Wrestlemania IV (1988)
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude
Wrestlemania IV, the 14 man Tournament to crown a new WWF Champion...WHAT A CLUSTER F*&^! If you've never seen THIS Wrestlemania, I suggest you don't. The crowd is dead most of the night, and to be honest it's quite a confusing execution, BUT if you don't watch any of Wrestlemania IV, at least take the time out to watch this 15 minute draw classic between two of the most under rated superstars in the history of WWF/E history. Both men truly give it their all in this one. And while Rude is NOT the greatest in the ring and neither is Roberts the physiology is there and this match proves it. And if you doubt that these two men are great, it should be noted here that Rude/Roberts was the LONGEST match up of the night at 15 minutes. And when you're on a card with 16 matches all together, 15 minutes is a LONG TIME.
Wrestlemania V (1989)
"Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning vs. The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart)
So when Vince McMahon makes a mistake, he's gotta know it right? Well bringing Wrestlemania V BACK to Trump Plaza was a HUGE one, because again the crowd is pretty much dead. And even though this match up is actually short (clocking in at only 5 minutes and 30 seconds) these 2 guys were WAY before their time. Blazer and Henning tore down the house in a short time, and if given the right amount of time this match COULD'VE lived in Wrestlemania history, instead it's limited to a hidden gem.
(HONORABLE MENTION: Macho Man vs. Hogan was a great match as well if you enjoy 80's style wrestling.)
Wrestlemania VI (1990)
Hulk Hogan <c> vs. The Ultimate Warrior <c>
WWF Intercontinetal Championship
So if the Triple Threat match was invented before 1990 the only name that could've made this match bigger would've been Savage. Warrior and Hogan in a CLASSIC 1980's wrestling match that truly is an amazing feat to watch. Sure it's full of closelines and body slams, but the emotion that these two put into it was amazing. This match NO DOUBT took the gold in 1990.
Wrestlemania VII (1991)
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty) vs. The Barbarian and Haku
It's not often that the opening match up will be the best on the card, but in this case it really was. This match was a great fast paced match with The Rockers selling the strength and power of Barbarian and Haku to a T. And in their final Wrestlemania appearance The Rockers take the show in a true tag team art fashion
Wrestlemania VII (1992)
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs.. Roddy Piper <c>
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Before I became a wrestling fanatic I never knew WHY Hot Rod was considered a great, I just knew that he was an old timer who needed to be cheered when he appeared on RAW. After watching Hart/Piper at WM 8 for again one of the most prestigious titles at the time, you can see why he was one of the top draws. He and Hart tear down the dome on a night when, two huge matches took place. But after watching this performance by Bret AND after becoming the very first man to pin Roddy Piper in YEARS, Hart went on to headline Summerslam that year in London with Bulldog, and then win the WWF title. Is that coincidence? Hell no!
(HONORABLE MENTION: Flair vs. Savage, SHOULD have closed the show! Instead we were bored with Hogan and Justice)
Wrestlemania IX (1993)
The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu)
It's not often Scott Steiner will be on a "best of" compilation unless of course he and his brother Rick were teaming up. The Steiners and Headshrinkers were in what a lot of people called a "throw away" match, a match that was meant for guys to go take a piss. But in a match that clocks in at 14 minutes and 22 seconds I don't think that was the case. These two teams were big and bad but all four guys extremely athletic. The Steiner Brothers are the only tag team to win the WWF,WCW,and IWGP Tag Titles BEFORE WCW was bought out, and there's a reason for that. This match proves it.
(HONORABLE MENTION: Shawn Michaels vs. Tantanka for the IC opened the PPV and was a GREAT match proving 2 things: 1. The IC title was STILL the most prestigious title around 2.) Shawn Michaels would be a player to come for a long time)
Wrestlemania X (1994)
Razor Ramon <c> vs. Shawn Michaels <c>
WWF Intercontinental Championship
The entire wrestling world was in a slump. Nobody cared about it. Buy rates and attendance were below average. Yet here at Wrestlemania X came the match of the decade. Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon will be in the Hall of Fame IF FOR NO OTHER REASON this match at least. These two guys stole the show, and maybe the next ten shows afterwards due to this match. Before Jeff Hardy there was HBK and before Edge there was Razor Ramon. These two guys tore down the house at WM 10 and proved 2 things (similar to the 2 things HBK proved at LAST years Wrestlemania)1. HBK would be a player for a long time to come and 2.) The Intercontinental title held the most prestige. Scott Hall could've been WWF Champion. He COULD'VE been a main player, but the lust for money power and booze took it all away from him.
(HONORABLE MENTION: Bret vs. Owen Hart in the GREATEST opening match ever! The longest on the card that night. Bret Hart won the WWF title from Yokozuna later that night, but if you ask me Bret vs. Owen was the better match BY FAR and I will remember THAT match over the Yokozuna match.
Should also be noted here that this Wrestlemania was the first HARD one to decide because when I started this journey Bret vs. Owen had this slot.)
Next Saturday I'll have the second installment of this "COUNTDOWN" Wrestlemania 11-20.