WWE WrestleMania 5 Review
The friendship of WWE Champion Randy Savage and challenger Hulk Hogan disintegrated after a year of being the most dominant force in wrestling history and that led them to WrestleMania 5.
Savage was jealous of how close Hogan was getting to Elizabeth, so Randy turned heel on him. It was a huge deal at the time and set the stage for an epic main event at the fifth WrestleMania.
It was the second WrestleMania in a row held at Trump Plaza in Atlantic, New Jersey. It’s the only time that’s ever happened and likely will ever happen. It’s another nearly four-hour PPV like the year before.
This show was very successful with 767,000 PPV buys in the US/Canada. That was the largest number they did for a WrestleMania until 1999, which was when WWE was in the Attitude Era with Steve Austin as their top guy. In other words, it took ten years to top this number. That’s impressive. It showed how much fans were invested in the Hogan-Savage story.
WWE WrestleMania V
April 2, 1989
Boardwalk Hall (Trump Plaza) in Atlantic City, New Jersey
“The World Wrestling Federation: What the world is watching.” That was the tag line they were using in those days. Vince McMahon did a cheesy voiceover like only he can by saying that the Mega-Powers had exploded while cheesy 1989 graphics show us an explosion. Graphics sure have come a long way, huh?
The event took place at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, which of course was owned by Donald Trump. We were welcomed to the show by announcer Gorilla Monsoon, who busts out his “you can cut the tension with a knife” line very early. The announcers for the event were Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura, who are a very good pairing.
The WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin sang America the Beautiful. She did not do a very good job. Sorry Robin, but it’s true. Jesse Ventura ripped her for it. As he should. Jesse is great.
King Haku w/Bobby Heenan vs. Hercules
They exchanged power moves early. Hercules wins that battle with a clothesline that sent Haku over the top rope to the floor. Hercules brought him back in with a suplex. Herc was furious with his former manager Bobby Heenan, so he chased him on the floor. Haku followed him outside the ring and hit a clothesline on Hercules. Back in the ring, Haku hit two sloppy backbreakers for two. Haku put him in a bearhug. Hercules broke out after about a minute, but Haku stopped his comeback with a chop to the throat. Hercules got whipped in and came back with a cross body block for two. Hercules avoided a Haku charge, which led to Hercules coming back with power offense including clotheslines because that’s what Hercules loved to do. A powerslam got two for Hercules. Hercules went to the top, jumped off with a double ax handle and that was countered by a superkick to the face by Haku. Haku went to the top for a splash, Hercules moved, so Haku crashed into the mat. Hercules hit a backdrop suplex. That finishes it at 6:55.
Winner by pinfall: Hercules
Analysis: *1/2 It was fine. My opinion is that it’s better to start a PPV off with a fast-paced match. This was not fast-paced although Hercules did have a good comeback to win the match.
In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to The Rockers – Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels. That Michaels guy might have a big future. Do you think? They didn’t say that much except to say that they’re ready.
The Twin Towers (Akeem & The Big Boss Man) w/Slick vs. The Rockers
The Towers were large men, especially Akeem the African Dream. At the WrestleManias prior to this, he wrestled as the One Man Gang. The Rockers started the match off using their speed with Michaels hitting and running away. The dancing of Akeem was legendary. Akeem loved dancing so much that when Michaels puts him in an arm wringer, he felt like dancing. I love how there’s a map of Africa on the back of Akeem’s outfit. After all the fast-paced offense, Akeem & BBM squash Jannetty literally. Most of the offense of the Twin Towers involved splashing. Jannetty tried to fight back, but the big guys continue to dominate. Marty avoided another splash and he moved out of the way so Akeem splashed Boss Man. Michaels tagged in and they double-teamed Akeem for a great nearfall. Akeem decided that was enough, so he took Michaels’ head off with a clothesline. Boss Man went to the top, missing a big splash that looked very awkward. More teamwork by the Rockers to double team the Towers. They each went on a turnbuckle and went for dropkicks on Boss Man. Marty’s dropkick connected while Shawn’s missed because he jumped a little bit later. Akeem saved his partner from a pinfall attempt by Michaels. Shawn jumped off the top, Boss Man caught him and put him down with a powerbomb. Akeem hit a big splash to win it for his team at 8:02.
Winners by pinfall: The Twin Towers
Analysis: *3/4 This was the first WrestleMania for Michaels, Jannetty & Boss Man. All did pretty well. Michaels was a bumping machine as usual. Akeem looked tired after the match. He was not a fan of running, which is what he did a few times here. Anyway, they did this match to try to build up The Twin Towers as a dangerous team.
In the locker room, Tony Schiavone talked to Ted Dibiase and Virgil. Yes that Tony Schiavone. He was in WWE for about a year. Dibiase cut his usual promo about being rich while putting over his coveted Million Dollar Title that he barely defended.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase w/Virgil vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Prior to the match, Dibiase shook the hand of Donald Trump at ringside. He was the heel of course while Beefcake was the babyface barber. Dibiase’s Million Dollar Title was not on the line. Brutus started off on fire with a back body drop that sent Dibiase out of the ring for a breather. Back in the ring, Brutus hit three body slams in a row and a clothesline that sent Dibiase out to the floor once again. Back in the ring, Virgil held on to Brutus’ leg without the ref knowing so Dibiase floored him with a punch to the head. Ted knocked him down with a back elbow followed by his patented fist drop. Ted with a clothesline, then to the middle rope where he yelled at Brutus to get up and he got up so Ted could hit a double axehandle. I guess Brutus forgot that spot huh? Dibiase almost lost on a small package out of nowhere. Beefcake countered a suplex with one of his own as both guys are down. They did the double clothesline spot so both of them were on the mat once more. Dibiase hit a suplex. Dibiase with the Million Dollar Dream sleeper, but Brutus got to the ropes to get out of it. Brutus won a brawl and threw Dibiase’s head into the turnbuckle for the ten slams in the corner that babyfaces loved to do. Brutus with a sleeper hold. Virgil distracted him. Brutus went after Virgil, so Ted shoved him out to the floor. Dibiase followed him to the floor. They brawled. The ref counted them both out for the double countout at 10:01.
Match result: No winner due to Double Countout
Analysis: ** It was a fun match for 10 minutes. That’s what they needed to do more of. Instead most matches from this era were shorter and told less of a story. You can tell that Beefcake improved in the ring compared to how green he was the two years prior. Perhaps working with Dibiase helped a lot too.
Post match, Beefcake threw Dibiase into the ring post and Brutus went after Virgil. Brutus hit an atomic drop and clothesline on Virgil. Sleeper on Virgil. Ted went back in the ring to save his bodyguard. Brutus slammed Ted down. Brutus grabbed his ridiculously large scissors as Dibiase & Virgil bailed. Of course Brutus stopped the chase because once people leave the ring the other guy almost never follows as if it is too far to go.
They showed a clip from the brunch earlier in the day as Lord Alfred Hayes tried to talk to the Bushwhackers, who were eating. Hayes laughed. It wasn’t very funny.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers
The Rougeaus were heels here managed by Jimmy Hart and were billed from Memphis instead of Quebec. Watching grown men doing the Bushwhacker dance in the crowd was awkward. I have no memory of this match. I just hope it’s short. The Bushwhackers started off by throwing the Rougeaus into Hart in the ring much to the delight of the crowd. The Bushwhackers did the Battering Ram on Ray, Jacques tried to save his brother and ends up hitting him with a knee. The Rougeaus did a double team behind the ref’s back and focused on Luke. They hit an awful double clothesline. Wow this is brutal. The crowd was dead for it. They continued to double team on Luke. The ref told one of them to get out of the ring, so the Bushwhackers did a Battering Ram again and then a double gutbuster finished off Ray while Jacques was very close to breaking it up. That was an awful finish at 5:11.
Winners by pinfall: The Bushwhackers
Analysis: -* I don’t go negative stars much, but this is one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen. What a mess. When the comedy spots of the Bushwhackers don’t work it was tough to get through their matches.
On the floor, generic announcer Sean Mooney was trying to talk to the fans. As he was doing that, the Bushwhackers licked his face. Then he didn’t talk to the fans. Way to screw over the fans, Sean.
Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer
Perfect was fairly new here with an undefeated streak. The Blazer was Owen Hart. Two really good workers, so they could have a good match even if it’s short. Blazer used his speed to get the advantage early while the announcers tried to figure out who the Blazer was. Great hiplock counter by the Blazer followed by bodyslams, a dropkick and a baseball slide dropkick. Amazing speed by the Blazer. He followed up with a hiplock, bodyslam and another dropkick. He likes that sequence. Backbreaker gets two for the Blazer. To the top, the Blazer misses a top rope splash because Perfect got his knees up at the last second. Perfect put him in a reverse chinlock. Blazer countered a charge with a boot to the face followed by a powerslam. Beautiful belly to belly suplex for Blazer gets two. Crucifix pin gets two. Blazer complained to the ref, so Perfect hit a forearm shot and then the Perfectplex gets the three count for the win at 5:49.
Winner by pinfall: Mr. Perfect
Analysis: **1/2 That was a lot of fun for the time given. Two of my all-time favorites doing their thing. Perfect didn’t get a lot of offense, but he got the victory. The Blazer gimmick wouldn’t last that long for Owen. He’d be back soon as Owen Hart. You could see how good he was when he was on offense here.
Howard Finkel introduced Jesse Ventura at the commentary booth once again just like the year before. No posing this year, so that makes it better than the time waster it was the year prior.
They went to a pre-tape from Saturday where Lord Alfred Hayes was with a bunch of runners for a 5k race. Mr. Fuji was a late participant. Hayes talked to Fuji at the finish line. He said that the Powers of Pain would beat Demolition later. That was an odd segment.
Run DMC sang a WrestleMania rap. They were a very big group at the time, but I admit to hitting fast forward. The announcers loved it of course.
We get a clip from Survivor Series 1988 as Mr. Fuji turned on Demolition, who he was managing. Fuji attacked Ax with the cane, Smash saved his partner and Ax slammed Fuji on the concrete. It was smart of Demolition to turn face because they were getting face pops even a year earlier. Following that, the Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian) helped Fuji up and he became their manager. Demolition did a backstage promo calling Fuji “Fooge The Stooge.” I guess that counts as trash talk.
WWE Tag Team Titles: Demolition (Ax & Smash) vs. Powers of Pain (Barbarian & Warlord) and Mr. Fuji
Fuji was a part of the match as a wrestler. Demolition were the babyface tag team champs. They entered second here. Demolition worked over Warlord to start with some quick tags as each guy did their usual deal of punching the opponent. Warlord picked up Smash, brought him to his corner and tagged in Barbarian. Tag to Ax, who hit a clothesline and body slam on Barbarian. The crowd was very quiet. There were a lot of quick tags by Demolition. They continued to be in control as they hit a double clothesline on Warlord. The ref told Smash to leave the ring, so Barbarian hit a cheap kick on Ax without the ref seeing it. Mr. Fuji got the tag in, he hit a chop on Ax and then a headbutt to the stomach. Fuji was an ex-wrestler of course. Barbarian got the tag and hit the big boot to the face again as Ax was the babyface they were working on. Barbarian hit a powerslam, he tagged Fuji and he went to the top rope. He missed something, maybe a leg drop, as he quickly tagged out to bring in Warlord who hit a bodyslam. Ax put him down with a forearm and then made a hot tag to Smash. The crowd woke up a bit after he hit body slams on both guys. The match broke down, the ref worried about the guys outside the ring so inside the ring Warlord held Smash, Fuji got his “Fuji dust” and threw it into Smash’s face only for the Smasher to move out of the way so it hit Warlord in the face. Smash hit a clothesline on Fuji, then they hit the Demotion Decapitation finisher, which was the Ax elbow off the middle rope while Smash held him in a backbreaker position. That finished off Fuji at 7:50.
Winners by pinfall: Demolition
Analysis: 3/4* I think the most exciting move of the whole match was a bodyslam. I wish I was joking. The crowd was dead for about seven minutes, only caring at the end when Demolition got their revenge on Fuji.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone tried to talk to the Macho Man, but the World Heavyweight Champion didn’t want to talk to anybody. He shoved the camera guy down.
Before the next match, they announced Jimmy Snuka. He had nothing to do with this match, but there he was anyway.
Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin vs. Ronnie Garvin
Bravo was the heel that entered with the Quebec flag. Bravo opened up with punches on Garvin and hit a bearhug. The crowd was dead quiet. Bravo hits a couple of shoulder blocks. After about two minutes, Garvin made a comeback with a forearm and a splash for two. Gorilla said “fans are in awe here” as his way to explain why the crowd is so quiet. That’s why Gorilla rules. He always knew what to say. Garvin hit a sleeper that didn’t work as Bravo made it to the ropes. Bravo countered a piledriver, but Garvin got a pinfall attempt for two after a rollup. Bravo got an atomic drop followed by his finishing move, a side slam. That’s enough for the win at 3:55.
Winner by pinfall: Dino Bravo
Analysis: 1/2* Boring match. The crowd knew it too. I don’t blame them for being quiet for this one.
After the match, Garvin attacked Bravo and gave the Garvin Stomp to Martin.
The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) vs. Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel)
Arn & Tully were more known for their NWA/WCW career, but they did have a decent run in WWE too. You’d also know both of them as being part of the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame class. They double teamed Martel. Strike Force came back with dropkicks. Martel got a two count on Anderson with a facebuster. Martel fought out of a body scissors and put Anderson in the Boston Crab, so Tully punched him in the face. Tully got the tag, so did Santana and he put him in a Figure Four while Martel also put Anderson in the Figure Four. Santana with a backslide on Blanchard for two, Arn saved him and then Tito with a cradle that Arn broke up. Santana tagged in Martel (ref didn’t see it), then he accidentally hit him with the flying forearm to send Martel out of the ring. Blanchard hit a dropkick and then they did a bunch of quick tags as they worked on Tito. Santana hit a crossbody on Blanchard for two as part of his comeback, but Arn slowed it down with a chinlock. Arn went to top, Tito blocked it and threw Arn off the top rope. Santana tried to tag in Martel. Rick did not extend his hand. Martel walked away while Jesse defended it by saying he was injured. Martel left. Arn beat on Tito in his corner while yelling at him to tag out. No partner. Poor Tito. Arn hit the spinebuster, arguably the best spinebuster in the history of the business. Tito fought of the corner, but it didn’t last too long as the Brain Busters continued to work on him. Spike Piledriver finishes off Tito at 9:13.
Winners by pinfall: The Brain Busters
Analysis: **3/4 This was good. Finally a match that doesn’t suck. It wasn’t a pure tag match since Martel bailed on Tito, but I was a big fan of the Brain Busters team. It’s a shame they didn’t last in WWE longer.
During an interview area in the back, Rick Martel said he was tired of carrying Tito. This led to his heel turn leading to his run as “The Model” Rick Martel.
The ring was set up for Piper’s Pit hosted by Roddy Piper of course. His music played to a huge ovation, but instead it was Brother Love aka Bruce Prichard wearing a kilt. Love did an over-the-top Piper impression because he was there to interview Roddy. As this was going on, the crowd started making some noise hoping Piper would be there. Instead, the guest Morton Downey Jr. made his way out. Love said he loves Downey. Morton said anybody that wears a skirt is not somebody he wants to love him. Finally, Roddy Piper came out to try to attempt to save this trainwreck segment. Ventura called them “three legitimate windbags” that were ready to get it on in there. Piper wondered if Love was the one that was supposed to take his show. Then he made a fat joke. Love said Piper can’t scare him, so Roddy yelled at him and Love jumped proving he is scared. Piper continued to trash talk Love and then ripped off Love’s kilt. Love bailed. Piper wemt over to Downey, who likedto smoke cigarettes. He was a heel. Piper was a face. They talked trash for a few minutes. Downey turned around, had a smoke and Piper used a fire extinguisher to knock him down. The fans popped. That’s the end of this nearly 20 minute segment that went way too long during this already long show.
Analysis: It took too long to get through all of that, but it led to a funny clip of Piper using the fire extinguisher leading to Downey doing a comedic bump to sell it.
They aired a commercial for the Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred. It was awful.
In the crowd, Sean Mooney interviewed Donald Trump who said it’s unbelievable to have WrestleMania there. He said “unbelievable” a couple of times. Trump’s hair wasn’t as bad as it would become later in his life.
At the announce table, Jesse cut a promo on Hogan because he’s doing a movie and Hollywood was Jesse’s home.
They aired clips highlighting the good days and bad days of the Hulk Hogan-Randy Savage relationship over the course of the year between WrestleMania 4 and 5. The big angle was from “The Main Event” in February when Savage went crashing into Elizabeth and Hulk ended up carrying her to the back. Later on, with Elizabeth getting looked at by doctors, Savage attacked Hogan. That set up the title match here.
In the interview area, Mean Gene interviewed Hulk Hogan. Hulk cut a four-minute promo summarizing everything that went down with Savage over the last year. It was another one of his promos about how the world is going to collapse just like the year before. Hulk said by the end of the night he’d be the WWF Champion once again. Whatcha gonna do, Macho Man?
Big John Studd walked to the ring as the referee of the match between Jake Roberts & Andre The Giant. He was in a babyface role here although he didn’t get much of a pop. Andre entered next along with Bobby Heenan. Jake Roberts was the babyface opponent.
Andre The Giant w/Bobby Heenan vs. Jake Roberts
Andre was in bad physical shape a year prior. He looked even worse here. To start the match, Andre rammed Jake’s head into the turnbuckle, which was exposed before the match. Ref Big John Studd didn’t really see it. Andre worked him over with his chops, chokes and headbutts because that was his offense. I loved the sideburns on Andre by the way. The crowd didn’t care for this, which was a sign of a bad crowd and also a sign that Andre was at the end of his career because he could always get reactions prior to this. Jake came back with a barrage of punches and a clothesline sends Andre into the ropes where he gets tied up. Andre always did that spot. Jake choked him. Following some Jake punches, Andre choked him down to the mat. They got back up, Jake stunned him a bit with some knees, even knocking him down thanks to the exposed turnbuckle pad. Andre chopped him so hard that Jake fell out of the ring. Every time Jake got on the apron, Andre knocked him down. Studd admonished him while the announcers argued about it. Jake grabbed the bag with his snake Damien. Andre hit Studd from behind. Dibiase ran out from the back, knocked Jake over and stole the snake bag. Jake managed to get the bag back from Dibiase. Meanwhile, in the ring, Andre choked Studd. Jake returned with the bag, he threw the snake in the ring and Andre moved faster than at any point in his life to get out of the ring. That looked like fear rather than selling. Andre’s face was hilarious. Jake ended up winning by DQ. Match went 9:37.
Winner via disqualification: Jake Roberts
Analysis: DUD Poor Andre. Big mistake to put him in a singles match that went nearly 10 minutes. They would team him up with Haku after this to hide his limitations, but he was obviously done at this point.
In the upper deck, Mooney talked to a fan. All the fan said was “Jake’s the best!” a few times. That was bad.
In the locker room, Tony Schiavone talked to Sensational Sherri. She talked about how she was going to get the Women’s Title and trash-talked Elizabeth saying that the Mega Powers would explode later on. She would become the manager of Randy Savage shortly after this.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart
Hart & Neidhart were the babyfaces here while HTM & Valentine would eventually be called Rhythm & Blues. Bret started it off early and uses the slingshot to bring in Neidhart who hit his shoulderblock on Valentine. Then he did his Anvile laugh. Nobody laughed better than Jim Neidhart. Bret missed an elbow drop on Valentine, who of course used his elbow-based offense. Valentine and Honky Tonk Man worked over Hart, which is the smart move because he’s one of the best wrestlers ever in terms of selling moves. Honky Tonk Man hit his Shake, Rattle & Roll neckbreaker on Hart. Instead of pinning, Honky tagged out to Valentine who wanted to put Hart in the Figure Four Leglock. Bret fought out of it and Valentine hit a stomach breaker. Bret with a cross body block on HTM for two, but he wasn’t able to turn it around until Valentine tagged in. Bret outsmarted him and he tagged in Neidhart. Neidhart used his power offense to get his team some momentum and then Bret got the tag with a suplex on HTM. Valentine broke it up. Neidhart chased after Jimmy Hart, then Neidhart got the Megaphone and threw it to Bret while the ref tried to get Valentine out of the ring. Bret hit Honky Tonk Man in the head with a megaphone for the pin and that’s the end of the match at 7:38.
Winners by pinfall: The Hart Foundation
Analysis: **1/4 Pretty good tag match here carried by the great Bret Hart. They got a decent amount of time and the right team got the win.
We get a video package highlighting the Ultimate Warrior/Rick Rude feud that included a posedown at the Royal Rumble. Who enjoys posedowns? Oh right Vince McMahon does. Rude attacked him when he was going to lose. Warrior went nuts.
Prior to the IC Title match, Rick Rude cut his usual promo about taking his robe off for the ladies in the crowd. I love the random crowd shots of women in the crowd. Rude’s tights had the Intercontinental Title imprinted on them. Ultimate Warrior, the IC champ, enters to a huge pop.
Intercontinental Title: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan
Jesse on Warrior: “This guy’s a lunatic.” Now that’s a shoot. Warrior started out with a lot of power moves. At least the crowd woke up a bit for Warrior, who was arguably the biggest rising star in the company at this point. After whipping Rude into the turnbuckles a few times, he puts him in the bearhug. The camera focused in on the back of Rude’s tights, which had Warrior’s face prominently featured. I don’t miss bearhug spots in today’s wrestling. Rude fought out of it and hit a missile dropkick. Warrior powered out of a pinfall attempt. He nailed a couple of body slams. Another bearhug. Yawn. Rude bit his way out of the bearhug and Warrior bit him back. Back body drop for Warrior. Warrior’s splash attempt was blocked by Rude’s knees. Rude hit a Russian legsweep that Gorilla called a neckbreaker. Usually Gorilla never gets a move wrong. Warrior powered out of a submission hold using the ropes to shake Rude loose. Warrior hit the flying shoulder tackle as well as a facebuster. Warrior hit a sloppy backbreaker and then Rude fell out of his arms as they went crashing into the ropes by the turnbuckle. That was awkward. Warrior with a clothesline and he threw Rude into the turnbuckle followed by a shoulderblock one more time. Another corner whip, Warrior went for a splash, Rude avoided it and Warrior crashed into the corner. Rude went for the Rude Awakening neckbreaker, but Warrior fought out and hit…guess what…a clothesline. Rude rolled to the floor, Warrior threw him back in and then clotheslined Rude out of the ring. Warrior suplexed Rude back in, but Heenan grabbed Warrior’s foot, Rude fell on top, the ref counted the pinfall in a way where he couldn’t see what Heenan was doing and that was good enough for the Rude win at 9:43.
Winner by pinfall: Rick Rude – New Intercontinental Champion
Analysis: **1/2 It was a better match than I remember it being. Warrior’s offense was your basic stuff, but Rude did a great job of selling and also fighting back when he had the chance to go on offense. The ending meant there would be rematches. They would have a long feud after this. The crowd popped huge for Warrior’s attack on Heenan.
After the match, Warrior went after Heenan while Rude left. Warrior gave Heenan a Gorilla Press Slam much to the delight of the fans.
Bad News Brown vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Brown jumped Duggan early, but Hacksaw used his power to clothesline him down. Brown took off. Gorilla: “It’s quite a walk from here to Harlem, I’ll tell you that.” I think he would drive. Just a guess. Brown returned with some punches and he tried to weaken Hacksaw by ramming his head into the turnbuckle, but Hacksaw’s an idiot so hitting him in the head didn’t really hurt him. The announcers point out that we haven’t seen a wrestling move as of yet. That’s true. Brown threw him out of the ring and then he whipped Duggan into the steel post. Brown went for his Ghetto Blaster finisher, but Duggan moved. Hacksaw hit his clothesline out of the 3 point stance. Brown left the ring, grabbed a chair and they had a chair vs. 2×4 weapon. The ref DQ’d both guys as they had a duel with weapons. Hacksaw won the duel, then hit him with an atomic drop and he used the 2×4 to clothesline Brown, who left the ring. Match went 3:46.
Match Result: No winner due to a double disqualification
Analysis: 1/4* Awful match. At least it was short. That’s all I can really say.
In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to the Red Rooster (Terry Taylor) who made a lot of rooster references. One of the worst ideas for a gimmick ever. No question about it. He was getting revenge on Heenan because Bobby used to manage him. It’s amazing that the Red Rooster got the second last match at a WrestleMania, but it was here as a comedy match so no big deal really.
Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan w/Brooklyn Brawler
Heenan was hurt earlier by Warrior, but he’s in his ring gear for it. Brawler was in his corner. Rooster attacked with fists early. Heenan charged in the corner, Rooster moved, Heenan hit the middle turnbuckle and Rooster covered for the pinfall victory at 0:29.
Winner: Red Rooster
Analysis: DUD As I said a few times during this show, at least it was short.
Post match, Brawler attacked Rooster sending him out of the ring. When Rooster recovered, Brawler bailed. What a thrill.
In the interview area, Mean Gene talked to Elizabeth. She said she’ll be in a neutral corner and she’ll continue to support both men. She’ll pray that neither man is seriously injured.
Sean Mooney talked to fans in the crowd. Everybody said Hogan would win. He said the fans thought it would be a split decision. He is deaf apparently.
The crowd reacted in a huge way to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage upon his entrance. There were boos, but there was cheering too. It’s more of what you’d call a superstar pop. After Macho Man’s entrance, Elizabeth walked out to ringside using Macho Man’s music. She was in a neutral corner, but she was using Randy’s entrance music while he wondered what she was doing. Jesse complains that the challenger usually comes out first instead of how they did it here with the champion out first. Hogan entered to a loud pop with his “Hulk Rules” shirt. The crowd woke up a bit although they weren’t as loud as they were a year earlier.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan
Savage stalled at the beginning. Hogan knocked him down with a shoulderblock so Savage bailed to the floor. Savage grabbed a headlock, Hogan whipped him and Randy ran around the ring where he hid behind Elizabeth. Savage did a great job as a cowardly heel. Back in the ring, Hogan got a headlock that Savage countered with a backdrop suplex. Hogan decked him after a series of punches. Savage came back and he hit a double axe off the top for a count of two. Savage worked over the left arm. Hogan used the trunks to throw Savage out to the floor. It was his revenge for Savage pulling him down with his hair. Hogan rammed Savage into the turnbuckles a few times, hit a clothesline and hit a couple of elbows. Following a whip into the ropes, Savage got a clothesline. Hogan had a cut around his eye although it wasn’t bad. After a chinlock, Hogan elbowed his way out and then used a shoulderblock to put Savage down. Hogan hit an atomic drop. Hogan missed an elbow so Savage hit him with the running knee into the back that leads to a rollup with the tights for two. That was an excellent sequence of moves there. Savage whipped him hard into the turnbuckle. Hogan went down, grabbing Savage’s foot. The match was being worked at Savage’s pace and it looked like Hulk was tired due to the pace of the match. Savage slapped him in the face. That woke Hulk up. Hulk nailed Savage with punches followed by a hard clothesline in the corner. Hogan picked up Savage and slammed him over the top rope to the floor. Damn. That’s a big fall there. Savage landed on his back. Elizabeth tended to him, but he told her to leave. Savage gouged the eye that was cut open. Hogan wanted to ram Savage into the post. Elizabeth stopped it. Savage slipped out and shoved Hogan into the post. Then Elizabeth tended to Hogan as Randy told her to leave again. The ref told Elizabeth to leave, so that factor is gone. Savage went to the top and hit his patented double axe to Hogan on the floor. Hogan sold it as if his throat got hit on the guard rail.
Back in the ring, Savage used the ropes to clothesline Hogan’s throat. With Hogan draped across the middle ropes, Savage splashed him on the back. Savage continued to work on the throat with an elbow. It’s good psychology since his finishing move is an elbow to the throat. Savage hit a knee drop to the throat. Savage took off some of his wrist tape and choked Hogan with it. Savage blatantly choked Hulk with his hands. With Hogan out, Savage went to the top and he hit the Flying Elbow Drop and Randy covered. Hogan shoved him off. Hulk Up time. You should know the drill here. Savage threw some punches, Hogan felt the energy of the crowd, threw punches of his own, whip in, boot to the face and the big leg drop by Hogan finishes it for the pinfall win at 17:54.
Winner: Hulk Hogan – New World Heavyweight Champion
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good title match with an epic feel to it. Savage worked his ass off here, working at such a fast pace and making everything click. Hogan did a good job of selling, making Savage look credible and I don’t think he even did one of his back rakes, so that was nice to see. It was a good thing that Hogan wasn’t on offense very much because that’s when his matches really start to suck. Savage was in control for much of it, which was the right way to do it. It was a big deal when Hogan kicked out of the flying elbow too because nobody ever kicked out of that move. Fun match.
The show ended with Hogan posing for the fans.
This event had a runtime of 3:40:19 on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– It was Hogan’s best WrestleMania match during the prime of his career (along with his match one year later), so that was a highlight of this show. Savage did his part to carry the match as I said. They had great chemistry together.
– There were barely any celebrities at this show. I didn’t miss them.
– They really didn’t have enough talent on the roster to carry a four hour show. There were far too many short matches that were also really bad too.
– The crowd sucked. At WrestleMania 4 in the same venue they made a lot more noise. The card being weak is probably a big factor.
– If I could pick one match to have more time it would have been Mr. Perfect vs. the Blue Blazer. They put on a show in the limited time they had.
Best Match: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – Not a classic by any means, but the best match on this show for sure.
Worst Match: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. The Bushwhackers – Painful to watch. Really.
Most Memorable Moment: I’m going with Andre the Giant’s face when Jake threw the snake into the ring. Have you ever seen a 500 pound man look like he was going to crap his pants? That was the face. Hilarious.
1. Randy Savage – Third Mania in a row where he’s my top star. Think he’s one of the best ever? Oh yeah dig it!
2. Hulk Hogan – Did a good job although I think he had trouble keeping up with the speed of Savage.
3. Rick Rude – He wasn’t just a jacked up dude. He was an athlete capable of good matches.
4. Mr. Perfect – Nice work in his WrestleMania debut.
5. Bret Hart – Carried his tag match. It was decent for the time they were given.
Show rating (out of 10): 4
I guess I forgot how bad this show was. I used to have fond memories of this one for some reason, but the only thing worth remembering was the main event. Most of the show was forgettable.
The rating of four puts it in the same range with WrestleMania 2 as far as being the worst of the five WrestleManias to this point. In terms of a ranking, I’ll put it ahead because the main event of this show was much better than that one. Make no mistake, though, WrestleMania 5 was a bad show.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.