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Wrestlemania VI

So another year passes and Hulk Hogan is still the champion.  The popularity of wrestling at this point was starting to go downhill a little, but it wouldn't hit rock bottom for a few more years.  During this last year it was actually hard to tell where Vince was gonna go with the main event, as Hogan was busy most of the year with his epic feud with his "No Holds Barred" co-star Zues.  So that was cool I guess.  Things became clearer at the '90 Royal Rumble when something happened that no one saw coming...

The Ultimate Warrior was in the midst of his second reign as IC Champion.  He entered the rumble and began tossing everyone he could out of the ring.  After a few more guys entered, Hogan made his entrance.  After a few more minutes of action, the ring started clearing out until there were two guys left...Hogan & The Warrior!  No one saw this coming, and the fans went nuts.  They fought back and forth until the next few guys entered, and that was that.  But the fans got a taste and that was all Vince needed to see he had an awesome main event on his hands.  For the first time ever, Wrestlemania would feature the two biggest fan favorites fighting against each other, in "The Ultimate Challenge."

Wrestlemania VI (April 1, 1990) 

We're live from Toronto at the Skydome.  Our announcers, unfortunately for the final time together, are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.  Jesse would later leave the WWF and enter the world of politics.  Robert Goulet starts us off with a stirring rendition of "Oh Canada."  I can't look at Goulet the same way ever since Will Ferrell starting making fun of him for no reason, other than the fact that it was really funny.

Match 1: Koko B. Ware vs "The Model" Rick Martel

Did Koko ever win any meaningful match?  I can't think of one.  Anyway, Martel was into his model phase, which meant he carried around his own fragrance.  Nope, it wasn't his nuts, it was called "arrogence."  Cute.  Anyway, Martel wins with the Boston Crab.

Match 2: Tag Team Championship:  Colosall Connection vs Demolition

Demolition is going for a 3-peat of the titles here, and they receive a massive ovation from all the canucks.  The Colosall Connection was Haku and Andre the Giant, who is so damn deteriorated by now that he can barely move.  Mean Gene actually gets in a funny line during the pre-match interview where he "accidentally" calls the team the "collostomy" connection, drawing the wrath of manager Bobby Heenan.  Demolition wins the titles for the third time after a decent match.  Andre never tagged in once.  After the match Heenan snaps and slaps Andre across the face!  Andre of course, isn't too happy about that turn of events, so he boots Heenan and Haku away and receives a standing ovation on his way out.  I think this ended up being his last match.

Match 3: Hercules vs Earthquake

Hey, its a WWF classic...power guy vs fat guy!  Apparently the mighty wrath of Hercules wasn't enough for a big hairy fat guy named after a national disaster.  Earthquake wins by...sitting on Hercules.  No, seriously.  That was his finisher.

Match 4: Brutus Beefcake vs Mr. Perfect

Beefcake was actually turning into a decent worker at this point, and putting him in there with Perfect couldn't hurt.  At this point Perfect has the Genius with him as his manager.  Beefcake cut the Genius' hair and Perfect snapped and took him out with a chair to set this up.  Good back and forth match between these two, with Beefcake pulling the upset when he slingshotted Perfect into the corner ring post and knocked him out.  After the match Beefcake cuts the Genius' hair again.  Okay, that was a bit gratuitous.

Match 5: Roddy Piper vs Bad News Brown

This is the infamous match where Piper painted half his body black.  Not at all offensive there, Roddy.  I don't even get what he was trying to say by doing that.  Probably nothing, just wanted to instigate.  These two hate each other and have a decent little brawl that ends up a double count-out.  Hey, it wouldn't be a Wrestlemania without a double count-out!  They fight all the way back to the dressing room, which is so far away at the Skydome that it takes them like fifteen damn minutes.

Match 6: Hart Foundation vs The Bolsheviks

The Harts were on the fast track to the tag titles, already challenging Demolition for a title match.  The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volcoff & Boris "the human cranium" Zuchov) try to sing the Russian national anthem, and of course the Harts attack them, nail the hart attack and get the win.  Match lasted twenty seconds.

Match 7: Tito Santana vs The Barbarian

Well, Tito was still winning matches every once in awhile, but he never won at Wrestlemania anymore.  They always put him in there with some monster heel they wanted to push.  Santana makes his usual good showing but the Barbarian puts him away with the flying clothesline.  Jesse spends the whole match making taco jokes about Santana.

Match 8: Mixed Tag: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs Macho King Randy Savage & Queen Sherry

First ever mixed tag match here, even though I'm not sure Sapphire can legally count as a woman.  Ok, that was rough, I apologize.  Jesse gets in a funny line during the intros, as Finkel announced the combined weight of Dusty & Sapphire as 450 lbs.  Jesse: "Wait, you're telling me Rhodes only weighs 200?  Cause I know damn well Sapphire weighs two and a half!"  Dusty & Sapphire have a suprise for Macho & Sherry, as they bring out Elizabeth, making her now yearly appearance.  Dusty & Sapphire get the win after Sapphire pins Sherry with help from Elizabeth, which was pretty shocking at the time, as Liz never got physically involved.  The only thing that ever got physically involved when Liz was down there was my hand and my dork.  Oops, gotta know when to stop typing things down.

Match 9: The Rockers vs The Orient Express

Mr. Fuji brought in the Express (Sato & Tanaka) because...they were all from Japan, I don't know.  Of course these two teams have a good match, but the sinister Fuji ends up tripping Jannetty (who somehow didn't manage to get fired before, during, or after the show) and Sato whips some evil salt in his eyes while he's outside the ring.  Jannetty, blinded, walks over the guard rail into the crowd and gets counted out.  I'm sure he's done that at a house show a time or two, but that was probably due to hooch.

Match 10: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Dino Bravo

Duggan, being the brainiac that he is, brings the American flag down to the ring and tries to start his usual "USA! USA!" chant.  They're in Canada, you know.  And HE'S the good guy.  That doesn't go over too well, but it's not like they booed him out of the building or anything.  Dino is actually from Canada, but he's a dick so the crowd doesn't give him a hometown boy sympathy pop.  Bravo has his buddy Earthquake with him, who starts arguing with the ref, allowing Duggan to smack Bravo in the back with his 2x4 to get the win.  Jesus, he tried to get Canadians to chant "USA!" and he has to cheat to win?  What the hell is this?  Earthquake squashes Duggan after the match by sitting on him THREE times.  Damn, if this wasn't Canada they'd have his ass arrested for that.

Match 11: Jake Roberts vs Ted Dibiase

Big buildup for this one, as Dibiase taunted Roberts with the million dollar belt, only to have the Snake run into the ring and take it away.  He started sticking the belt in the bag with his snake so Dibiase couldn't get it back.  Dibiase finally enlisted the help of the Big Bossman to get the belt back from Roberts, but when Dibiase revealed that he paid Slick for the Bossman's services, the Bossman snapped and said he didn't take bribes and gave the belt back to Jake!  So this match is for the million dollar belt.  Good long match here, which the crowd tried to take over in the middle by doing the damn wave!  I think that's the only time I can remember that actually happening.  Both levels of the Skydome did the wave, it was pretty weird.  I wonder if that was the crowd saying "we're bored" or that "we're idiots, let's do the wave!"  Probably a little of both.  Anyhoo, Dibiase posts Roberts outside the ring, Virgil throws Dibiase back in and he wins by a countout, reclaiming the belt, since you can win it by any means since it was a non-sanctioned belt.  Roberts knocks Dibiase out with the DDT after the match and gives his money away to people at ringside.  If those bastards can afford ringside seats, they don't need $100 dollar bills.

Match 12: Big Bossman vs Akeem

Dibiase does something really cool and stays at ringside hiding under the ring, and attacks the Bossman during his entrance!  That was pretty cool.  Then the match happens, which was pretty crap.  Bossman wins in a few minutes with the bossman slam.  Convenient that his finisher had his own name with it, eh?

The highlight of the night happens now, as Rhythm & Blues (Honkytonk Man and Greg Valentine) join us to sing some crappy song.  Yippee.  The only thing of note here is seeing a young Diamond Dallas Page drive the group to the ring for some reason.  What, did he think being chauffeur for a crappy tag team was going to lead to his big break or something?  Actually after this he went to WCW and pretty much did the same thing with the Freebirds, never mind.

Match 13: Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs Ravishing Rick Rude

Old comedian Steve Allen did guest commentary here, and he also did a few kinda funny interviews throughout the night.  Robert Goulet and Steve Allen, wow they brought in the heavy hitters for this one!  Snuka returned at the previous Wrestlemania (think I forgot to mention that, but he did nothing so who cares) and Rude was on his way to challenging for the world title.  For some reason on my DVD they edit out a joke Steve Allen made about how ugly Snuka was.  It wasn't even that funny, why did they edit it out?  I don't remember it being racist or anything.  Oh well, Rude wins with the rude awakening.

Main Event: Title for title: Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior

Probably the biggest main event since Hogan/Giant at the Silverdome.  Going into this one, I don't think anyone knew who was going to win.  And the way they booked the match was awesome, as Hogan & Warrior pretty much went back and forth with every move combo they had.  It was certainly one of the more exciting matches because you never knew where they were gonna go with it.  The Warrior ends up pressing Hogan over his head (amazing since he was sucking wind and was in there for 20 minutes already) and gives him the splash, but Hogan hulks up.  At this point everyone figured it'd be over, as he hit the big boot, but MISSES the leg drop, and Warrior nails the splash to win the world title!  One of the greatest finishes in WM history.  Hogan took some time off while giving the Warrior a chance to carry the company for awhile. 

Match of the night: Main event

Mark-out moment of the night: Watching Hogan miss the leg drop, the first time he ever did that

Summary: Pretty good show here, as it seems like anytime they went across the border it ended up being a good show.  Pretty important from a history standpoint too, as I think they were seeing if the WWF could survive without Hogan on top for awhile.  Of course they ran back to him the following year.

***1/2


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