Joel: WrestleMania VII was the proud to be an American one. I know that this was in direct response the Gulf War, which was happening at the time, but watching these things pretty much back to back, makes it feel like they are trying to make up for being in Canada last year by doubling down on all of the America this time around. The ring ropes are red, white, and blue. There are American flags EVERYWHERE! Even the poster of the event was a picture of Hulk Hogan waving an American Flag. (Some promotional posters featured a stare-down between Hogan and Slaughter, but even those had an American flag background.
At least this time around it feels like there are two big matches instead of just the one main event match that we’ve had for the past handful of WrestleManias. Obviously the show itself cares the most about the Main Event (after all that’s where all the American patriotism is coming from here). It wasn’t terrible but still felt like a bit of a step back from Hogan and Warrior last year, and Hogan vs. Randy Savage the year before that. If the match could have been about five minutes shorter that would have helped.
The other big dea match came midway through the card and was the retirement match between Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man. You know what? The whole bit with Miss Elizabeth? The whole finding her in the crowd and cutting back to her? Totally worked on me. Having the tearful reunion in the ring after the match? Knowing that this has been a storyline that’s pretty much been going on for close to three years? Yeah, that got me. That was a great way to bring those characters together, a great way to send off Randy Savage (as long as we’re going to keep pretending it was actually a retirement match.) In a WrestleMania that felt very orchestrated to play on the fan’s emotions, that felt like a very real moment on the show.
Best WrestleMania so far: Still III.
Kue: This particular Mania is packed with more landmark moments than any before it. That, and xenophobia-based main event.
The Hogan/Slaughter collision had quite the simple, yet effective storyline behind it, making the drama of the match that much more impactful and capping the night with a feel-good ‘Murica victory. But the true shining moment was the loss of Macho Man against the Warrior, forcing him to retire, yet ending his story with arguably the most emotional Mania moment to date: his reunion with Miss Elizabeth.
Other noteworthy moments include the beginning of the incredible streak of the Undertaker, beginning with Snuka, who couldn’t put down the Deadman (is that in poor taste?). The Hart Foundation relinquished the tag titles to The Nasty Boys, ending their partnership in the process and making way for Bret’s singles run. The Bulldog had a decent match with the Warlord. The Rockers continued showcasing their awesomeness, this time against the horribly named Faces of Fear.
This was an enjoyable Mania, and definitely one with many memorable moments
Sanders: It seems as if Savage’s role for a while in the first few Wrestlemanias was to have match in the middle-ish of the card to keep the fans into the show overall so that they’re not asleep by the time the main event comes around. I mean, Wrestlemania IV essentially rested solely on Randy’s shoulders. And that’s the case here in Wrestlemania VII because WWE wasn’t going to let Macho Man vs Ultimate Warrior be the main event even though the proverbial torched had been half-assed passed to both men at one point, that honor went to yet another Hogan match BUT this time, AMERICA!
There’s a part of me that wants to make fun of the people in the crowd that were so emotionally involved in the Macho Man/Elizabeth reunion because that’s the easy thing to do but that’s kinda the high that we as wrestling fans are almost always chasing? We’re always waiting for that next moment that grabs your emotions by the throat and temporarily making you forget that everything is scripted. And sure, a love story might not be your particular cup of tea but it was a really good payoff to that large portion of the audience that does like that kind of stuff. And the reason is grabs you is because of the patience that it must’ve taken to pull it off. I’m not saying that this was planned out years in advance but it was clearly planned in advanced more than anything else WWE has done in the last few years. Man, this really makes the whole Rusev/Lana/Ziggler/Summer thing seem that much more absurd, huh?
BD: I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say this, but WrestleMania 7, once again, is better than the ones that preceded it. If you’re keeping score, everything after 3 has gotten better and better, and it continues here (don’t worry, it’s going downhill after the next couple and won’t pick back up for… uh, a while.)
The event was actually quite small by WWE’s standards – WrestleMania VII was originally scheduled to be held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but the WWE decided to move the event to the adjacent Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The WWF’s stated reason for the venue change was that it had security concerns in the wake of Sgt. Slaughter’s portrayal of an Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War. In actuality, poor advanced ticket sales indicated the company would have major difficulty filling the estimated 100,000 seats available. The announced attendance of WrestleMania VII was 16,158.
The main draw of this was obviously the retirement match between Warrior and Savage because no one really knew what would happen because the internet wasn’t a thing yet. Of course, when they put Elizabeth, who hadn’t been seen with Savage in years, in the audience… everyone pretty much knew where it was going. They definitely should have saved that surprise for the end. Other than that, and the fact that Savage was reinstated by the end of that very same year anyway, the buildup was simple and flawless. Warrior and Savage hated each other’s guts, Savage cost him the title and Warrior wanted to break his fucking neck, but would settle for him never wrestling again (or for 6 months) AND, remember, this was before the general wrestling-watching public realized that retirement is an entirely redundant concept in wrestling. Seriously, it is. That’s the rule now, and all there are is exceptions to that rule like Shawn Michaels and… well that’s kind of it, but you get the idea. Again, the match was better than any Warrior match ever, almost to where Savage must have gone up to him and been like “Hey. This is important. Do not fuck this up. No look at me. I’m serious. I will kill you if you fuck this up.” The reunion with Elizabeth had the crowd in LEGIT tears, and I don’t know any other time WWE has managed to do that without “retiring” someone or after one of their wrestlers died.
Hogan / Slaughter? Also… surprisingly good. I mean, it’s Hogan and Slaughter. The sheer fact that the 2 of them managed to put on something decent might actually be what is bringing this match up to acceptable for me, but either way. Of course, it was the first “MURICA!!!!” thing WWE had done in a while, and they pulled out all the stops, making Slaughter an Iraqi sympathizer. Of course, if this angle were done today, WWE’s sponsors would flip and they’d pull the angle, hopefully before some redneck with a gun named Lars who sleeps at the Oregon Wildlife Refuge would shoot him on YouTube and Ted Cruz was like “let’s hear Lars’ side of the story before we jump to conclusions.” Actually, Trump actually attended WrestleMania 7, so he’d have been on hand to say it in person.
The other really hot feud going into this WrestleMania was Virgil and Ted DiBiase after several years of the most racist thing ever on WWE television. Virgil would actually beat DiBiase, but DiBiase won the feud because… well, you know why. For more on this, check out the Ricky Velez segment “racism in wrestling” that aired on The Nightly Show last year. It’s the best thing ever AND FEATURES VIRGIL. Virgil defends racism in wrestling and makes Velez a wrestler called “The Border Jumper” (despite being Puerto Rican, which he points out and Virgil says “same thing” and Ricky is like “It’s not. It’s really not. Ricky makes tshirts that says “Winning used to be your job, but I’m taking your job” and “I mow your daughters lawn”. It’s on YouTube, if you can’t find it, mention that in the comments and I’ll find it for you.
Nasty Boys / Hart Foundation was also 100% better than you’d expect any match that features The Nasty Boys and Jim Neidhart to be. Undertaker made his WM debut and beat Jimmy Snuka and would not lose until Brock Lesnar kicked his shit in 23 years later. There were also 2 random guys from Japan promotion “Super World Of Sports” that actually BEAT WWE talent, Demolition – something else that would be totally unheard of today. This was because WWE co-promoted several cards in Japan with the group, including two Tokyo Dome shows.
We at TRA recommend.
Tags: clashy ring attire, Classy ring attire, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter, Trashy Ring Attire, Ultimate Warrior, WWF