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Monday, April 7, 1986
Part 1 – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
Vince McMahon and Susan St. James are on commentary.
Paul Orndorff and The Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji wrestled to a double-countout at 4:10. Total role reversal from last year’s show for Orndorff here, as one year ago, he was a heel in the main event and now he’s a babyface in the opener. Orndorff spends some time working the arm, but they get too close to the ropes and both men tumble out. They brawl out on the floor and both men are counted out. The fans are not impressed with that finish, and I don’t blame them. Almost nothing happened during the match anyway.
WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeats George Steele at 5:10 to retain the title. Savage has been the Champion since 2.8.86, and this is his fourth major defense. Savage stalls early, avoiding “The Animal.” Steele does his weird mannerisms and awkward offense, which is mostly biting. Even Savage appears off his game tonight, not that I blame him. A bouquet of flowers gets involved, with both men using it as a weapon. Steele gets bored and rips open a top turnbuckle. Savage hits the Savage Elbow but Steele kicks out. Steele backs Savage into the corner, but Savage scoops the legs and uses the ropes as leverage to get the pin. This was hot garbage, and a sad waste of the Macho Man on the biggest show of the year.
Jake Roberts defeats George Wells at 3:15. Wells attacks early and dominates “The Snake.” He works Roberts over and hits a picture perfect powerslam but it only gets two. Roberts seeks solace on the floor, and Wells chases. As they get back in the ring Roberts delivers a knee lift. One DDT later and Roberts is the winner. This was surprisingly spirited, and the Wells powerslam was dope. It was super short though.
Mr. T (w/ Joe Frazier & The Haiti Kid) defeats Roddy Piper) (w/ Bob Orton & Lou Duva) by disqualification at 10:15 in Round 4 of a Boxing Match. The judges here are Cab Calloway, Darryl Dawkins, and G. Gordon Liddy. If the idea of a completely worked boxing match on a wrestling show appeals to you, then by all means, this match is in your wheelhouse. For the rest of us, this is boring nonsense. Finally after what feels like an eternity, Piper saves us by delivering a bodyslam, giving Mr. T the disqualification win. There was just nothing about this that I would recommend for viewing.
Part 2 – Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL
Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund, Cathy Lee Crosby, and Ernie Ladd are on commentary.
WWF World Women’s Champion The Fabulous Moolah defeats Velvet McIntyre at 1:25 to retain the title. Moolah has been the Champion since 11.25.85, and this is her first defense. She attacks right away and throws McIntyre around the ring. McIntyre makes a comeback but misses a splash off the second rope. Moolah then kind of lightly falls on top of McIntyre, and despite the fact that McIntyre is in the ropes, the referee counts three. Even with its short running time, this was garbage.
Corporal Kirchner defeats Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie) in a Flag Match at 2:05. This is a brawl from the get-go, and they even take it to the floor. ECW! ECW! ECW! Back in the ring Kirchner unloads with right hands, and accidentally catches the referee in his back swing. Blassie tries to give Volkoff the cane, but Kirchner catches it and decks Volkoff to get the pin. At least they kept up a fast pace for the short amount of time they had.
Andre the Giant defeats B. Brian Blair, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic, Bret Hart, Bruno Sammartino, Dan Spivey, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin, Hillbilly Jim, The Iron Sheik, Jimbo Covert, Jim Brunzell, Jim Neidhart, King Tonga, Pedro Morales, Russ Francis, Ted Arcidi, Tony Atlas, and William Perry at 9:09 in a WWF & NFL Battle Royal. Dick Butkus and Ed Jones are special referees. Interesting to note that this is the only pay-per-view appearance for both Sammartino and Morales. Along with Sheik, that makes three of the first nine men to hold the WWE Championship in the ring. That’s kind of neat.
The first two men are eliminated at the same time, as Fralic and Tonga eliminate Covert, and from the other side Blair helps Fralic toss Tonga. Sammartino tosses Holmes. The Hart Foundation and Morales team up to dump Brunzell. “Refrigerator” Perry eliminates Atlas. Martin and Morales then eliminate each other. Hillbilly, Blair, and Spivey toss Arcidi to the floor. Sheiky baby gets rid of Spivey, Hillbilly, and Blair in short order. Studd teams up with Sheik to eliminate Fralic. Sammartino then tosses Sheik. Former WWF Champions collide! Studd eliminates Bruno, and then square off with The Fridge. Perry charges in but Stud catches him with an elbow and hiptosses him to the floor! Poor sport Perry offers a handshake and pulls Studd to the floor! That shouldn’t count! We’re down to the final four – Hart, Neidhart, Francis, and Andre. The Hart Foundation gets Andre tied up in the ropes and eliminate Francis with no interference. They double-team Andre, but that doesn’t get them too far. Andre hits Neidhart with a big boot to eliminate him, and then he press slams Hart to the floor to win the battle royal. This was a huge step up from everything else on the card. The football players at least gave this a unique feel, but aside from that it was pretty much like any other battle royal.
The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid, w/ Captain Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne) defeat WWF World Tag Team Champions The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine, w/ Johnny Valiant) to win the titles at 13:03. Beefcake and Valentine have been the Champions since 8.24.85, and this is their thirteenth major defense. The challengers dominate in the early going, using expert tag team tactics. Davey Boy actually uses a Perfect-Plex a full three years before Curt Hennig would use it in the WWF. But, if you’ve ever seen a Valentine match with Gorilla Monsoon on commentary (and believe me, I have), you know that The Hammer takes his time getting warmed up. Valentine picks Dynamite up for a piledriver, but falls to his knees instead, like an inverted Tombstone. It looks awesome, but only gets a two-count. After several momentum switches, Davey Boy reverses a whip, sending Valentine into Dynamite, who was on the second rope for some reason. The collision knocks Dynamite hard to the floor (stupid bump to take), and knocks Valentine out as well. Davey Boy falls on top to get the pin. This was good solid tag team wrestling, but the finish was weak and strange.
Part 3 – Los Angeles Sports Arena – Los Angeles, CA
Jesse Ventura, Elvira, and Lord Alfred Hayes are on commentary.
Ricky Steamboat defeats Hercules Hernandez at 7:34. Hercules attacks right away but Steamboat cuts him off and shows off his perfect armdrags. Steamboat works Hercules over for a short time, but the man named after a Greek God uses his power to slow the match down. Hercules goes up top for a splash but Steamboat gets his knee up. Steamboat then goes up top and hits a perfect Diving crossbody to get the pin. That was pedestrian, but Steamboat held it together nicely.
Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Uncle Elmer at 3:01. Elmer attacks right away and Adonis bumps like Curt Hennig on speed. Adonis endures a big more punishment, but manages to avoid a leg drop. He then goes up top and lands a flying elbow drop for the pin. Thank sweet fictional Jesus they kept this short. Even at three minutes it felt way too long.
The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk & Hoss Funk, w/ Jimmy Hart) defeat Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana at 11:42. The referee has difficulty maintaining order in the early going. Santana and JYD keep a fast pace going, while the Funks try to slow it down. Terry and Hoss use some shady tactics to take control, and “The Mouth of the South” interferes whenever he can. They isolate Santana in their half of the ring. When JYD gets the hot tag he comes in a house afire. The fight spills to the floor and JYD bodyslams Terry on a table! ECW! ECW! ECW! When the referee gets distracted, Hart tosses Terry the megaphone, and Terry hits JYD with it to get the pin. Good solid tag team formula stuff there, with a lazy finish.
WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeats King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart) in a Cage Match at 10:15 to retain the title. Robert Conrad is the special referee. Hogan has been the Champion since 1.23.84, and his title defenses are too numerous to count. Tommy Lasorda is the guest ring announcer, and Ricky Schroder is the guest timekeeper. Hogan is all over Bundy at the start, but he quickly gets cut off by the massive challenger. Bundy gets busted open thanks to the debuting blue cage bars, but he fights back and hits the Avalanche and the Big Splash but still can’t escape the cage. When Bundy hits his second avalanche, the Champion Hulks Up! Hogan reverses a whip and hits a huge powerslam! Hogan then delivers the Leg Drop. He goes to climb over the cage, and Bundy tries to stop him. Hogan knocks him down and then finishes climbing over to get the win. Standard 1980s Hogan v Monster match here, which is fine by me.
This is really a terrible show, easily one of the worst WrestleMania events ever. The main event is okay, the two tag team matches are pretty good, and the battle royal is fun enough. But the rest of the card is hot musty garbage. This is a show for completists only.
Tags: Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, king kong bundy, WrestleMania, WWE