SideShowBob: How did I finally get to see this? My grandmother showed up with a bootleg on beta. It was a type of VCR. Yes the damn thing even had a remote on a wire like I mentioned in the last article…
So what do I remember of the build… For starters, Roddy Piper spent the full year being a total dick to Mr. T wherever they overlapped. Sometimes they would show up on each other’s sets. That’s called cross promotion my friends.. Piper on the stick was pure gold antagonizing T, he even shaved a midget, and we got a boxing match out of it, because you know, Clubber Lang… Also, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy teamed up under Bobby The Brain Heenan since the last Wrestlemania.. Which led to Bundy “avalanching” (a splash in the corner) Hogan several times, setting up their steel cage match. There was going to be the debut Wrestlemania match of Jake the Snake Roberts. George Steele was chasing another “rookie” Randy Savage and his valet Miss Elizabeth. George couldn’t talk, had a hairy back shaved head, green tongue, and of course head over heels for Elizabeth. People were huge into empathizing with the green tongued weirdo, but even in complete jerk mode, we just knew Savage was gonna be champ someday; He was just too good to really boo. In a move which I remember to be confusing at the time, The Bulldogs, with Ozzy Osbourne in their corner, were finally going to get their hands on Brutus Beefcake and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Confusing in the fact that this was the height of Ozzy vs PMRC type stuff and the Bulldogs were ‘good guys’ and Ozzy/his music was considered too dangerous for kids… Bulldogs watch out! Then there was the Battle Royale. Mainly I remember this because it was in Chicago, the Bears just won the Superbowl, and William “The Refrigerator” Perry was entering. Nobody knew what he might do but we were stoked he was a part of it. Also the conspiracy against #THELEGEND Iron Sheik continues. He was relegated to Chicago Battle Royale. I just know that fucking Hollywood blonde jabroni Hulk Hogan had something to do with this. Even Brian Blair was in the Battle Royale. He is not #SHEIKCLASS, but Sheik will get his hands on him soon enough. Speaking of this part being in Chicago, the 3 city idea was crazy. Not just for its time. Even now, this is ludicrous. I DARE them to attempt this ever again. The broadcasting logistics are nuts. But even worse, fans sitting in an empty arena for 2/3 of the match? No fucking way would this fly again. Fool me once, shame on you Vince… It took balls AND stupidity. And it was done once. And that was enough. All in all, it was a fun enough show, especially considering the previous year.
Chris: I just couldn’t with this. I know I criticized WM1 for being disjointed and unorganized but holy cow does Wrestlemania 2 take that proverbial cake. Three different locations would be a ballsy move regardless of what year it was and perhaps it would possibly work nowadays but I wouldn’t exactly put money on it. I’m just surprised, knowing how much of a control freak Vince is to have to be so far away from 2/3 of his biggest show. And then you put an actress on commentary for the first hour? I suppose cocaine really was big in the company back then. Beyond the 3 locations gimmick, there wasn’t much else that grabbed me here. Thank goodness Vince eventually got it together when it comes to putting together production for a major event. Book said events? He improved only to be seemingly regressing nowadays.
BD: WrestleMania II was held on a Monday. That kind of tells you everything you need to know, and there’s a reason why that was never done again.
WrestleMania II was held in three cities – two cities no one’s ever heard of, and LA. This meant that each city was treated to 4 matches apiece. That also tells you everything you need to know, and there’s a reason why that was also never done again.
There was a 20-man Battle Royal between wrestlers and football players. This worked about as well as you’d expect it to. There’s no actual wrestling until the last 3 minutes, when the football players and gone and Andre eliminates The Hart Foundation.
The main event was Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy for the title – Hogan defeated Bundy in November, and then Bundy did a run-in and broke Hogan’s ribs in March. Hogan, ignoring his doctor’s advice, agreed to fight Bundy in the cage. It’s a bizarrely and refreshingly simple, straightforward storyline for a WWE main event, so it’s too bad that the match is like dropping valium at two-thousand feet below sea level.
Another main-event feud was Roddy Piper and Mr. T, apparently based on their “real-life” hatred, and by “real” I mean “fake. Piper and others disliked Mr. T because he was an actor and was unskilled wrestling-wise. In response, Mr. T became a special WWE boxer and began competing in WWE boxing matches. Piper was disqualified for bodyslamming Mr. T in the fourth round, which is how you know the “real life” thing is bullshit. A second boxing match was not attempted at a WrestleMania until 15 years later – just long enough to let collective amnesia set in. Another one has not been attempted in the 18 years since.
So, expect to see a boxing angle on TNA programming sometime in the next 2 years.
Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery after watching this show.
Kue: The second ever Wrestlemania! And what a bucket of yuck it was. The company tried to innovate with the triple arena setup, which itself is definitely a cool and unique approach. But uniqueness can’t make up for a horrendous card full of dull matches. Savage/Steele was passable. Bulldogs/Dream Team was a good match. And that’s about it. Not even the star power of Mr. T or the NFL battle royale could save this event. If ever there was a defining sophomore slump in the realm of sports entertainment, Wrestlemania 2 is certainly it.
Joel: I will say this. Those who have heard my complaints about wresting in the past know that perhaps my biggest one is when companies will be too scared to even try anything new or different. Yeah, throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks isn’t a great way to run your creative but when they’re not even doing that, you start to crave the throwing, just to have some kind of change of pace.
Because of that, I am tempted to give WrestleMania 2 a bit of a pass on the whole three cities thing. It was at the very least different and never before attempted, and I can see where the marketing gets to have taglines like “Too Big For One City!” so there’s that. And they never did that again, so we know that everyone saw it was a bad idea and never tried to do it again. But it wasn’t really the only issue with this show.
Like WrestleMania I, the production values on the show are remarkably slapdash. We get ring announcements overlapping with pre taped interviews so it’s kind of hard to hear either one. There was still a remarkable lack of the pageantry that we’re used to seeing when it comes to WrestleMania. I also want to say that this main event feels like such a sad version of what we’re going to get to see next year. It’s almost like it took them three years to actually figure out what a WrestleMania Main Event was supposed to be like.
Best WrestleMania so Far: Probably still 1.
Tags: clashy ring attire, Hulk Hogan, king kong bundy, Mr. T, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, wrestlemania 2, WWF