WM Top 25: #13 – Hogan versus Warrior, WrestleMania VI

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It’s no coincidence or surprise that this is the third entry in a row on this countdown highlighting a combination of Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior as from 1989 – 1991 they were arguably the WWF’s three biggest stars. It was only natural that they would all meet in some combination on the grand stage of WrestleMania.

WrestleMania VI was held on the first day of April in front of a packed house in Toronto, Ontario at the massive SkyDome. The main event was WWF World Champion versus WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior, the biggest match that the WWF could conceivably put together at that time in history. In the WWF’s warped sports logic, being their Intercontinental Champion meant you were the number two guy in the company, and the automatic number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

This match would pit Title against Title, as the winner would win both belts. Add to the mix that Hogan and Warrior were also the company’s two most popular wrestlers at the time and you had a recipe for success. It was like two superheroes colliding center ring.

Neither man was known for their high-quality matches but in order to make sure the match delivered it was laid out in detail by wrestling guru Pat Patterson. It was essential that the two put on an entertaining match as they were expected to carry the pay per view. The match ended up being one of the better efforts for either man as they battled for over twenty minutes, trading the advantage back and forth. The crowd cheered wildly for both men but you clearly hear the split, as half the crowd put their support behind Hogan and the other half for Warrior.

But in the end it was The Ultimate Warrior who stood tall at the end as he kicked out of Hogan’s patented leg drop and got the victory after a big splash. The two men embraced after a hard-fought battle. Hogan then did the sportsmanlike thing and handed his World Title to the new Champion and left the ring to let Warrior have his moment. Warrior was the first man in history to hold both the Intercontinental and World Championships simultaneously. It made him look like a true superstar. He would relinquish the Intercontinental Title in order to concentrate on defending the World Title.

It was a great moment as the company was able to successfully create a new star with Ultimate Warrior. He was a new hero for fans to get behind, an alternative for those fans (like me) who were not fans of Hogan or were tired of seeing him as the main guy.

Warrior didn’t take off as the face of the WWF like the company had hoped as Hogan was back as the World Champion just a year later, but Warrior’s win did establish him as a main event threat for the duration of his career.

An interesting little tidbit about that night was that somewhere in that massive SkyDome, a 12 year-old kid named Adam Copeland was sitting there watching his hero Hulk Hogan go down in defeat. Copeland, a lifelong wrestling fan, would go on to grow up and become a pro wrestler himself. Today he is better known as “Edge.” He would return to the SkyDome twelve years later in order to compete at WrestleMania X8. And as luck would have it, his hero Hulk Hogan once again was wrestling in the main event. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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