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Wrestlemania 2

So a year passes and the WWF grows in popularity.  They have a full year of Saturday Night's Main Event shows broadcasted, Saturday morning cartoons, actions figures, you name it.  So the time was just about right for the 2nd annual "greatest wrestling extravaganza of all time."  It was around this time that I started watching wrestling on a regular basis.  As a nine-year-old I guess I thought it was pretty much real, but I don't remember caring that much when I figured out it wasn't.  For some reason I just liked watching those shows on Saturday mornings.  And it's not like I had anything better to do.

Wrestlemania 2  (April 7, 1986)

This year's festivities took place from three different locations:  New York (Nassau Colliseum), Chicago (Rosemont Horizon), and Los Angeles (LA Sports Arena)  It still makes my head hurt when I try to figure out how the times zones worked and how they all synched up together time-wise.  (Did the people in LA see their matches first and then watched the rest on monitors or vice-versa?) This of course was such a brilliant idea that they NEVER did it again.

We kick things off in New York, as Ray Charles sings "America the Beautiful."  Alright, that's slightly better than Mean Gene Okerlund, I'll give 'em that.  Our commentators for the New York portion are Vince McMahon and Susan St. James, from Kate & Allie fame.  Wonder what she's doing these days?  Probably either porn or those made-for-cable movies on Lifetime where she plays women with breast cancer who overcome the odds.

Match 1: Paul Orndorff vs The Magnificent Murraco

Wow, from main eventing the first one to working the opening match against the star of "Fuji Vice" and "Fuji General!"  (If you don't get that referrence, believe me you don't want to.)  These guys basically do a few minutes of some back-and-forth stuff until they both tumble out of the ring, brawl and take a double count-out.  Yeah, that's a GREAT way to open up a show.  Fans are so happy they chant "bullshit" over and over.

Match 2: IC Championship:  "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs George "The Animal" Steele 

I'm sure you know the story with this one, Steele's in love with Savage's manager Elizabeth.  I'd to thank Elizabeth personally for giving me my first brush with something resembling an erection.  It was either her or the chick from Weird Science, I can't remember anymore.  What I'm really trying to say is that Elizabeth was freaking beautiful.  Anyway, Steele's entire offense consists of biting, chasing Savage around the ring, and eating turnbuckles.  Savage wins after pinning Steele with the proverbial "feet on the ropes" bit.  How is that supposed to give a guy extra leverage, anyway?  The other guy can still raise his shoulders the same way, right?  My head hurts.

Match 3:  George Wells vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts

If you don't know who Wells is, don't worry.  Neither does he.  I think he was a football player.  Anyway, he looks like a fat, mildly retarded Vin Diesel.  You know, that joke would've had the same effect if I had just said Vin Diesel now that I think about it.  Anyway, Wells kicks Roberts' ass for a few minutes but then Jake busts out the DDT and wins.

Match 4: Boxing Match:  Mr. T vs Roddy Piper

Joan Rivers is the guest ring announcer.  She even looked like a skeleton back in 1986.  After hearing Piper interviews over the last several years, I got the feeling he really hated Mr. T and the fact that he was an actor getting into his world.  Piper also noted that Vince asked him to pull back his punches so he wouldn't actually hurt T.  But Piper's also cerifiably insane these days so who knows the truth.  I'm sure Mr. T was a prima donna, but he was also a big reason the WWF got so big back then, so you gotta give him props.  These two have quite the entertaining little boxing match, which lasts about 4 rounds until Piper snaps and throws T to the ground and starts wrestling him.  T wins by DQ.

Now we go out to Chicago for the next portion.  The announcers are Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby, who they tell me is a celebrity of some kind.  Sounds good to me.

Match 5: Women's Championship:  Fabulous Moolah vs Velvet McIntyre

Moolah won the title back from Wendi Richter earlier in the year.  Richter was involved in the original "Bret Hart Montreal Screwjob" incident, as Vince tried to get her to sign a contract before a match at a TV taping, and she didn't want to yet.  So Vince had Moolah go out under a mask as the "Spider Lady" and basically pin her for the title even though Richter didn't know what was happening and kicked out.  Richter pretty much disappeared after that.  Anyway, this match lasts like a minute, with Moolah winning by...sitting on her, I don't know.

Match 6: Flag Match:  Corporal Kirshner vs Nikolai Volcoff

Winner gets to raise their flag high.  Just in case we forget where they're from I guess.  This one lasts about a minute as well (were they running long or something?) and the Corporal pins Volcoff after intercepting Fred Blassie's cane and walloping poor Nikolai with it.  Sort of poetic justice after last year, eh?  Kirshner of course went on to greater fame recently when wwe.com announced that he was dead.  Even though he wasn't.  So that was funny, anyway.

Match 7:  Battle Royal, wrestlers vs football players

This was the headline match in Chicago, as they held a 20 man battle royal and included a bunch of football players, several of which were from the local champs the Chicago Bears.  Atlanta Falcon Bill Fralic was quite the badass I must say, he could've made it as a wrestler.  Of course, Refridgerator Perry is in this thing, and provides some cool moments, as he collides with Big John Studd and KILLS the Hart Foundation with a body tackle!  Studd eventually throws Perry out, but the Fridge suckers him over and pulls him out as well.  It comes down to Andre the Giant and the Hart Foundation, as Bret and Neidhart double-team the ol' Giant, but Andre overcomes the odds and tosses them out to win the thing.

Match 8: Tag Team Championship:  Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake vs The British Bulldogs

Now we're talking!  Every kid I knew loved the Bulldogs.  Valentine was still awesome here, as the Bulldogs procede to beat the ever living shit out of him for 10 minutes with all kinds of suplexes and whathaveyous.  Beefcake doesn't drag the thing down very much either.  Davey Boy ends up throwing Valentine right into the Dynamite Kid's head in the corner, which knocks both guys out as Davey pins him for the titles.  Ozzy Osbourne was in the corner of the Bulldogs, and being 1986 and all, he still had roughly 45% of his brain cells left.

We're off to LA now, with Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira.  Was Elvira washed up in 1986 or was she still somewhat popular?  Who cares, I can't stop looking at her damn rack anyway.  It should be noted that Jesse's microphone was messed up for this the whole time, so it sounds like he's broadcasting from the inside of a toilet.

Match 9:  Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs Hercules Hernandez

Hercules looks weird here with long hair.  Mr. Excitement CW Mayher had a great thought about Hercules...how funny would it have been if his gimmick was that he was delusional and thought he was the real Hercules?  Anyway, Steamboat wins his 2nd Wrestlemania match in a row with the flying body press off the top rope.

Match 10: Uncle Elmer vs Adrian Adonis

Adonis was in full drag queen mode at this point.  See, I saw this shit as a kid and it didn't affect me at all.  I just saw him as a weird fat guy that dressed up in pink.  Sometimes kids can just see stuff and not have their damn world cave in on them, alright?  Anyway, Uncle Elmer was another big fat guy that hung around with Hillbilly Jim.  Needless to say the match isn't great.  Adonis wins...because...he was less fat...I guess.

Match 11: Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana vs Terry & Hoss Funk

Yes sir, Terry Funk made an early Wrestlemania apperance here.  Back then he would've been...48 years old?  Terry was in full "get the crap kicked out of you and fly out of the ring every 30 seconds" mode and he and JYD had the big feud going for this one.  To show even back then what a maniac he was, Funk was even slammed through a table by the JYD!  Sure it didn't break, but it was frickin' cool for back then.  Elvira makes a vague comment about wanting to see these guys' cocks.  Thank God Vince Russo wasn't booking yet.  Anyway, the Funks win when Terry smacks JYD in the head with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.

Main Event: Cage Match, WWF Championship:  Hulk Hogan vs King Kong Bundy

The human penis gets the main event, as he broke Hogan's ribs on SNME to set this up.  Tommy Lasorda was the guest announcer, Ricky Shroeder was the guest timekeeper, and Robert somebody was guest referee.  Robert Urich?  Robert Conrad?  Robert Wagner?  One of those damn Roberts.  Of course, Hogan wins by slamming Bundy, climbing out of the cage and leaving him a bloody mess.  First time I ever saw a wrestler bleed in a wrestling match.  While not totally freaking me out, I gotta admit it made me worried about Bundy's welfare at least.

Match of the night:  Bulldogs vs Valentine & Beefcake

Mark-out moment of the night: Watching Refridgerator Perry plow through the Hart Foundation and the Chicago crowd erupting.

Summary:  Well, most of the matches sucked, and the time zone thing meant we had to listen to people like Lord Alfred Hayes and Cathy Lee Crosby call matches, but it was okay I guess.  Luckily the next year it got REALLY good...

**1/2 stars


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