Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF WrestleMania V

Live from Atlantic City, NJ

Airdate: April 2, 1989

Attendance:  18,946 (17,500 paid)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Can the dissolution of the MegaPowers lead to a worthwhile main event? Let’s find out!

WWF Women’s champion Rockin’ Robin sings “America the Beautiful.” Without question, it was infinitely shorter than Aretha Franklin’s national anthem on Thanksgiving.

Match 1: King Haku (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Hercules

Highlights:

  • After King Haku made his entrance, Heenan asked the Atlantic City faithful to genuflect in the King’s honor. You can guess how well that worked.
  • While Hercules kept his eyes on Heenan, King Haku ambushed him from behind.
  • Upon reversing an Irish whip, Hercules gave King Haku a hip toss and a slam.
  • He then gave King Haku a face plant and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
  • With King Haku on the apron, Hercules brought him in via a vertical suplex.
  • After a pair of elbow drops, he sauntered after Heenan, but King Haku clotheslined him.
  • He then rammed Hercules back-first twice into the apron.
  • Back in the ring, King Haku gave Hercules a pair of backbreakers as President-elect Donald Trump was shown in the front row.
  • Next, King Haku applied a bear hug, but Hercules broke the hold.
  • After King Haku missed a chop, Hercules hit a cross body block for 2 and reversed a cross-corner whip.
  • As a result, King Haku leaped to the second turnbuckle but missed a cross body block as Hercules ducked.
  • After a knee lift, Hercules delivered a pair of clotheslines followed by a powerslam for 2.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a thrust kick on the way down.
  • King Haku then mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a splash.
  • As King Haku missed a haymaker, Hercules hooked a belly-to-back suplex with a bridge.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hercules won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Adequate match that the Atlantic City faithful enjoyed.

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Rockers. Michaels’ voice is very hoarse, but nevertheless the Rockers are ready. Perhaps Michaels should have grabbed a bloody Mary from the casino before suiting up.

Match 2: The Rockers versus the Twin Towers (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • I guess my request for the Rockers to face the Brain Busters was denied.
  • Bossman placed Michaels atop the top turnbuckle, got distracted by Jannetty, and ate a missile dropkick from Michaels.
  • After a couple exchanges of tags, Michaels mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Akeem.
  • Marty tagged in and lowered the boom again on Akeem.
  • Shortly after, Akeem gave Michaels a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • While Bossman tagged in, Akeem reversed an Irish whip and created a Jannetty sandwich with his partner. That will ruin your weekend.
  • After a head butt, Bossman gave Jannetty the running guillotine.
  • Akeem tagged in and gave Jannetty a Bossman-assisted splash against the ropes.
  • The Twin Towers then gave Jannetty a double-team avalanche. I hope Jannetty’s bacon didn’t make a second appearance after that.
  • After some heel miscommunication, Jannetty tagged out to Michaels who dropkicked Akeem on his way into the ring.
  • He then gave Akeem the ten-punch count-along.
  • While the Rockers gave Akeem a series of cross-corner whips, they both mounted the same second turnbuckle and delivered a double shoulder block. That only got 2 with a HUGE kick-out.
  • Akeem then reversed an Irish whip and LEVELED Michaels with a clothesline. It earned a 360° sell by Michaels. Woohoo!
  • Bossman tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed a splash.
  • Michaels attempted a huracanrana and received some help as Jannetty school-boyed Bossman.
  • The Rockers then gave Akeem a double dropkick as he stood on the apron. Wake up!
  • Afterward, the Rockers mounted adjacent top turnbuckles and hit a double missile dropkick to Bossman. That only got 2 thanks to a save by Akeem.
  • Akeem then tossed Jannetty over the top rope to the floor as Michaels mounted the top turnbuckle again.
  • He tried another huracanrana but ate a powerbomb instead.
  • Akeem tagged in, hit Air Africa (747), and got the pin.

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Why wasn’t this the opener? The Rockers could have used the underdog formula to rile up the crowd. Regardless, the Rockers, especially Michaels, made this match much better than I anticipated.

Holy promotional jumps, Batman! It’s Tony Schiavone! Back in the locker room, he interviews DiBiase with Virgil.

Match 3: The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) versus Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Highlights:

  • Before the match began, DiBiase shook hands with Trump. I wonder if he’ll become Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Politics aside, Beefcake gave DiBiase a back drop followed by a hip toss.
  • He then reversed an Irish whip and gave DiBiase another back drop.
  • A flustered DiBiase then sought refuge outside the ring.
  • Upon DiBiase’s return, Beefcake reversed a cross-corner whip and delivered a series of slams.
  • He then clotheslined DiBiase over the top rope to the floor.
  • Back in the ring, Beefcake nailed DiBiase against the ropes until Virgil tripped him.
  • DiBiase came back with a back elbow followed by a fist drop for 2.
  • After a clothesline, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle for 2.
  • Upon receiving an Irish whip, Beefcake hooked an inside cradle for 2.
  • Next, Beefcake blocked a vertical suplex and delivered one of his own.
  • Afterward, a double clothesline put both men down on the mat.
  • DiBiase then gave Beefcake a snap suplex and hooked the Million Dollar Dream.
  • However, Beefcake made the ropes to escape.
  • He then came back and gave DiBiase the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • As Beefcake applied the sleeper, Virgil got up on the apron to distract him.
  • When Beefcake fell for it, DiBiase nailed him from behind.
  • As DiBiase distracted referee Earl Hebner, Virgil gave Beefcake the business on the floor.
  • After Virgil rammed Beefcake face-first into the apron, Beefcake no-sold it, chased after Virgil, and got nailed by DiBiase.
  • Both men then brawled outside the ring until Hebner called for the bell.
  • Ring announcer Howard Finkel announced the match as a “draw.” I bet some of the Atlantic City faithful were anxious to play poker.

Rating: **

Summary: Horrible finish to a match with decent heat. I wonder why DiBiase couldn’t BUY a victory here.

After the match, DiBiase tries to ram Beefcake into the ring post, but he HITS THE POLE instead. Beefcake then chases after Virgil and catches him in the ring. He then gives Virgil an atomic drop followed by a clothesline. Next, Beefcake applies the sleeper, but DiBiase comes in. Sensing DiBiase’s return, Beefcake nails and slams him. When Beefcake retrieves his hedge clippers, DiBiase and Virgil head for higher ground.

At the WrestleMania brunch, Lord Alfred Hayes interviews a very hungry pair of Bushwhackers. As you would expect, they talk with their mouths full. How gauche!

Match 4: The Rougeaus (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Bushwhackers

Highlights:

  • As the Bushwhackers made their entrance, they removed Hart’s jacket.
  • When Hart tried to retrieve it, the Bushwhackers whipped the Rougeaus into him.
  • As Monsoon and Ventura discussed immigration, Raymond avoided a diving Butch after a leap frog.
  • Luke came in, and the Bushwhackers gave Raymond a battering ram using Butch’s noggin.
  • Monsoon and Ventura then took a trip down memory lane. Normally, I don’t report too often on the commentary, but the lack of action in this match dictates it.
  • While Luke occupied Freddie Sparta’s attention, the Rougeaus gave Butch a Boston crab with some stomps.
  • Raymond then gave Butch a HARD cross-corner whip injuring his back.
  • After a slam, Raymond mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Butch a double axe handle. Pay no attention to Butch’s appreciation for being slammed.
  • Nonetheless, Jacques tagged in and gave Butch a back elbow.
  • Behind Sparta’s back, the Rougeaus gave Butch a double chop for 2.
  • While Hart distracted the referee, the Rougeaus gave Butch another double chop.
  • Jacques then applied an abdominal stretch while unsuccessfully starting a “USA” chant.
  • Raymond tagged in and gave Butch a crescent kick to the midsection.
  • While the Rougeaus celebrated, the Bushwhackers gave Raymond another battering ram.
  • With Sparta occupied while putting Jacques in his corner, the Bushwhackers gave Raymond a double gutbuster.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Bushwhackers won.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  The Atlantic City faithful loved the Bushwhackers, but it seemed like the Rougeaus were just going through the motions. They must have been snubbed on a title push.

On their way back to the locker room, the Bushwhackers receive an impromptu interview from Sean Mooney. Unfortunately for Mooney, he got caught up in the Bushwhackers’ celebration and received numerous licks to the face by Luke. How unsanitary!

Match 5: Mr. Perfect versus the Blue Blazer

Highlights:

  • Perfect countered a hip toss by Blazer and delivered one of his own.
  • Blazer then countered a hip toss with a pair of slams and gave Perfect a standing dropkick that sent him over the top rope to the floor.
  • He then followed with a baseball slide.
  • Back in the ring, Perfect gave Blazer a cross-corner whip, but Blazer floated over during Perfect’s follow-through.
  • After a hip toss, Blazer slammed Perfect again and gave him another standing dropkick.
  • Next, Blazer hit a backbreaker but only got a 1-count.
  • After a slam, Blazer mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted a splash, but hit knees.
  • While Perfect held a reverse chin lock, Ventura gave a shout out to his family back home. Aw.
  • Perfect then gave Blazer a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • After a powerslam, Blazer got 2.
  • Upon giving Perfect a cross-corner whip, Blazer followed with a SWEET belly-to-belly suplex.
  • Can Blazer pull off the upset?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Perfect came back with a cross-corner whip, but Blazer hooked a crucifix pin and got another 2.
  • As Blazer questioned referee Tim White’s count, Perfect nailed him with the Ax.
  • He then hooked the Perfectplex.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Perfect won.

Rating: **

Summary:  For 1989, this was a very innovative style that would extend into the 90s. In addition, this was a fun match for the up-and-coming Owen Hart. Yet Perfect’s record was still “perfect.”

Finkel introduces a “major Hollywood star”—Jesse “The Body” Ventura– as the Atlantic City faithful chants “Jes-se.” Who’dathunkit that there would be two politicians with prominent roles in this show? If you count Linda McMahon, that would make three.

Yesterday morning on the Boardwalk, Lord Alfred Hayes described the 5k run with a notable “last-minute” entry—Mr. Fuji. Clad in his familiar tuxedo, Fuji’s ready for both the run and Powers of Pain’s title victory. After his “run,” Fuji cut a short promo on Demolition.

Run DMC tried their best to wake up the Atlantic City faithful. That proved to be “tricky.”

Next, we revisit Survivor Series when Fuji turned on Demolition and acquired the Powers of Pain. We then revisit the “Face-to-Face Special” on Prime Time Wrestling (taped 2/3) when Mr. Fuji threw salt into Ax’s eyes.

Back in Trump Plaza, Okerlund interviews Demolition.

Match 6 for the WWF tag team titles: Demolition (champions) versus the Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji

Highlights:

  • Ax reversed a cross-corner whip from Warlord and nailed him in the midsection.
  • Shortly after, Ax clotheslined and slammed Barbarian.
  • Smash tagged in and gave Barbarian a back elbow.
  • When Ax tagged in, Demolition gave Barbarian a double back elbow.
  • Warlord tagged in and gave Smash a double axe handle.
  • Next, Demolition gave Warlord a double clothesline.
  • While Smash distracted referee Earl Hebner, Fuji put the feet to Ax. I wonder if Odor Eaters sponsored WWF programming at the time.
  • Fuji tagged in and delivered a head butt to Ax’s midsection.
  • Barbarian tagged in and gave Ax a Mafia kick. Speaking of which, I wonder if this guy was in attendance.
  • He then gave Ax a flying shoulder block.
  • After Barbarian slammed Ax, Fuji tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed a guillotine leg drop.
  • Warlord tagged in and slammed Ax.
  • Upon missing a clothesline, Warlord received one from Ax.
  • Lukewarm tag to Smash as it barely registered with the Atlantic City faithful.
  • Demolition then guillotined Warlord using the top rope. That only got 2 thanks to a save by Barbarian.
  • While Hebner was occupied with Ax and Barbarian outside the ring, Fuji threw salt but hit Warlord instead of Smash.
  • Smash then clotheslined Fuji.
  • Finally, Demolition gave Fuji Demolition Decapitation.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Demolition retained.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Pedestrian big-man match with an obvious outcome. Moving along…

Backstage, Schiavone attempts to interview Savage, but the WWF Champion rebuffs him.

Match 7: Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) versus “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin

Highlights:

  • Before the match began, Finkel introduced—JIMMY “SUPERFLY” SNUKA!
  • When Garvin tossed his towel into the crowd, Bravo ambushed him from behind.
  • After a slam, Bravo hit a flying elbow drop.
  • He then applied a bear hug as the Atlantic City faithful chanted “U-S-A.” Wait a minute! Both wrestlers are from Quebec.
  • Upon giving Garvin a pair of shoulder blocks, Bravo tried an arrogant cover but only got 2. So THAT’S where Jericho stole it!
  • As Garvin came off the ropes, Bravo caught him. Garvin nailed him repeatedly sending Bravo down to the mat for 2.
  • He then nailed him again and got another 2.
  • Following that, he gave Bravo the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • Next, he hooked a somersault rollup and almost got 3.
  • Afterward, he applied a sleeper, but Bravo made the ropes.
  • He then attempted a piledriver, but Bravo countered with a back drop.
  • Immediately, Garvin hooked a sunset flip and got 2.
  • He then attempted the ten-punch count-along, but Bravo countered with an inverted atomic drop.
  • He then delivered a sidewalk slam and pinned Garvin.

Rating: DUD

Summary: The highlight of the match was the return of Snuka.

After the match, Garvin nails Bravo sending him between the ropes to the floor. He then gives Martin the Garvin stomp. RIP Martin.

Match 8: The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Strike Force

Highlights:

  • Martel’s back! He had suffered a concussion and injured his back ten months prior. I wonder if Santana contacted him during his convalescence.
  • As Martel came off the ropes, Arn put a knee in his back. SNEAKY!
  • After Martel escaped the Busters’ corner, all four men were in the ring.
  • Strike Force then gave the Busters stereo dropkicks.
  • Martel then countered a back drop from Arn with a face plant for 2.
  • He then countered a leg scissors with a Boston crab, but Blanchard made the save.
  • Unbeknownst to Blanchard, Santana tagged in and gave him a bulldog.
  • He then applied the figure-four leg lock to Blanchard. When Arn tried to save his partner, Martel came in to apply the same hold to him.
  • Santana then hooked a backslide but only got 2 thanks to a save by Arn.
  • Next, the Busters attempted a double back drop, but Santana hooked Blanchard in an inside cradle. Referee Joey Marella noticed Arn wasn’t in his corner so he didn’t make a count.
  • As Blanchard gave Santana an atomic drop, Santana tagged out.
  • Santana came off the ropes to deliver a flying forearm, but Blanchard ducked.
  • Instead, Santana accidentally hit Martel with it sending him to the floor. Cue ominous music.
  • Blanchard responded with a dropkick and tagged in Arn.
  • Santana then hooked a sunset flip on Arn who tagged out before getting pinned. Clever!
  • Blanchard then gave Santana a cross-corner whip, but Santana leaped to the second turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
  • Following that, he reversed a cross-corner whip but ate knee on his follow-through.
  • Arn then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Santana caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • When Santana attempted to tag out, Martel walked down the apron and left the ring.
  • I smell something.
  • Meanwhile, Arn delivered a SPINEBUSTER to Santana.
  • The Busters then gave Santana a spike piledriver.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Busters won.

Rating: ***

Summary: Instead of a Rockers-Busters rematch, we get this. I feel cheated. Regardless, it was a good match for the Busters.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Martel who calls Santana a “loser” and “doesn’t want to be associated with him” any longer. WE HAVE A HEEL TURN! I knew I smelled something. Next time, Santana, call your buddy when he’s laid up.

PIPER’S PIT: As Finkel makes his introduction, Brother Love comes out dressed in a kilt. Love then impersonates Piper to a tee in a faux interview. As the Atlantic City faithful chants “ROD-DY,” Finkel introduces Morton Downey, Jr. For those unaware, Downey was a talk-show host before they became a cliché.

Right off the bat, Downey runs down Love at every turn. Finkel then introduces “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who tells Love that he has “industrial disease.” HA! In another funny bit, Love tells Piper that he can’t scare him, but Piper scares the bejeezus out of him immediately afterwards. In the meantime, Downey continues to sit there and smoke.

As Piper makes fun of Love for being “Scotch,” Downey tosses cigarettes at him. Piper then rips Love’s kilt right off him sending him scurrying backstage.

Piper then turns his attention to Downey who blows smoke in his face. While they trade insults, Downey continues to blow smoke in Piper’s face. When Piper asks for a cigarette, he pulls out a fire extinguisher and douses Downey with it. What a colossal waste of time.

Backstage, Okerlund shills the movie No Holds Barred. The trailer is then shown.

At ringside, Mooney interviews Donald Trump. I’m surprised Mooney didn’t ask him about the USFL.

Ventura then cuts a promo on Hogan for invading his territory (Hollywood, not Minnesota).

We then revisit WrestleMania IV when Savage won the WWF title. Next, we revisit Summerslam ’88 as the MegaPowers defeated the MegaBucks. Following that, we revisit Survivor Series as Hogan pinned Haku. After that, we revisit SNME XIX when Savage rescued Elizabeth from the Twin Towers. As if that wasn’t enough, we get footage from Superstars when Bossman interfered in a Savage versus Akeem match (taped 1/3, aired 1/21). During the match, Hogan ran in to even the odds by slamming both Twin Towers. Lastly, we get the finish to Main Event II when the meltdown of the MegaPowers transpired.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Hogan who rambles senselessly during his promo on Savage. Bartender, I’ll have what he’s having.

Match 9: Andre the Giant (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Highlights:

  • Big John Studd was the special guest referee for this match.
  • As Roberts made his entrance, André ambushed and rammed him face-first into an exposed turnbuckle. OUCH!
  • Much to Studd’s chagrin, André SQUISHED Roberts in the corner.
  • Roberts came back with a clothesline that tied André up in the ropes.
  • After he caught André with a couple of knee lifts, Roberts rammed him into the exposed turnbuckle.
  • André came back with a chop that sent Roberts between the ropes to the floor.
  • When André wouldn’t let Roberts back into the ring, Roberts grabbed his bag.
  • As Studd tried to prevent Roberts from bringing in Damien, André shoved Studd in the back.
  • Immediately, Studd retaliated with a shove to André.
  • While Roberts untied the bag, DiBiase ran out, nailed him, and removed the bag from ringside.
  • Roberts caught up with DiBiase in the aisle and hammered him. Meanwhile, André grabbed Studd.
  • As André choked Studd, Roberts released Damian from the bag scattering André from the ring.
  • Studd called for the bell disqualifying André.

Rating: *

Summary: If the crowd didn’t love Roberts, this match would get nothing and like it.

In the balcony, Mooney sits next to a fan who loves Roberts. Well, he was enjoying a Coke with a smile.

In the locker room, Schiavone interviews “Sensational” Sherri who runs down Rockin’ Robin then turns her attention toward Elizabeth.

Match 10: The Honkytonk Man & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Hart Foundation

Highlights:

  • The Honkytonk Man reversed an Irish whip, but Bret rolled him up for 2.
  • After Honkytonk Man missed a haymaker, Bret gave him an atomic drop followed by an inverted atomic drop.
  • Valentine tagged in and received both an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick from Bret.
  • As Bret gave Valentine an Irish whip, he gave Neidhart a slingshot into Valentine. That got 2.
  • Bret then gave Valentine a backbreaker, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed an elbow drop.
  • Valentine came back with a pair of elbow drops.
  • Honkytonk Man tagged in and distracted referee Freddie Sparta. Simultaneously, Valentine choked Bret in the heel corner.
  • While Honkytonk Man delivered a pair of elbow drops, Valentine tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Bret.
  • He then gave Bret an elbow smash followed by an inverted atomic drop.
  • Honkytonk Man tagged in and gave Bret the Shake, Rattle, and Roll.
  • In lieu of covering Bret, Honkytonk Man tagged in Valentine.
  • After Valentine adjusted his shin pad, he attempted a figure-four leg lock, but Bret tossed him aside.
  • Upon giving Bret a gutbuster, Valentine got 2.
  • Honkytonk Man then missed a back elbow as Bret came off the ropes with a cross body block for 2.
  • Hot tag Neidhart.
  • After giving Valentine a shoulder block, Neidhart got 2 thanks to a save by Honkytonk Man.
  • Upon missing a pair of clotheslines, Valentine got LEVELED by a clothesline from Neidhart for another 2 thanks to another save by Honkytonk Man.
  • Speaking of whom, Honkytonk Man tagged in but received a slam from Bret.
  • Next, Bret mounted the second turnbuckle and hit an elbow smash.
  • He then gave Honkytonk Man a snap suplex and got 2 thanks to a save by Valentine.
  • While Valentine distracted Sparta, Neidhart chased Hart away from his megaphone and tossed it to Bret.
  • As you might expect, Bret WALLOPED Honkytonk Man into the middle of 1992 with it.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ***

Summary: Great showcase of Bret’s arsenal and selling ability. Also, I believe bigger things are on the horizon for the heel team going forward.

We then revisit the pose down between Ultimate Warrior and Rude from the Royal Rumble.

Match 11 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior (champion) versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • As Warrior made his entrance, he came off the ropes. Trying to be SNEAKY, Rude attempted a knee to the midsection but hit the belt. OUCH!
  • Warrior then gave Rude a HARD cross-corner whip injuring his back.
  • Seeing how successful that was, Warrior gave him two more. Overkill must not be in Warrior’s vocabulary.
  • He then applied a bear hug, but Rude escaped with an eye rake.
  • Next, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick. Amazing!
  • Warrior came back with a pair of slams and reapplied the bear hug.
  • As the Atlantic City faithful chanted “Weasel” at Heenan, Rude raked Warrior’s eyes again to escape.
  • After a back drop, Warrior attempted a splash but hit knees.
  • Rude then hit a piledriver and got 2.
  • He then gave Warrior a jaw breaker, tried to swivel his hips, but winced in pain.
  • After a clothesline, Rude got another 2.
  • He then gave Warrior a side Russian leg sweep and got yet another 2.
  • Warrior came back with a flying shoulder block and a pair of face plants.
  • After a backbreaker, Warrior clumsily dumped Rude by the ropes. WTF?
  • Regardless, he then gave Rude a clothesline.
  • Upon giving Rude another cross-corner whip, Warrior delivered a shoulder block sending Rude flying backward.
  • After yet another cross-corner whip, Warrior came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Rude then attempted the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powered out of it.
  • Afterward, he clotheslined Rude over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Rude returned to the apron, Warrior attempted to bring him in via vertical suplex.
  • However, Heenan grabbed one of Warrior’s boots allowing Rude to land on top.
  • Heenan then held Warrior’s boot out of referee Joey Marella’s eyesight.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Wait a minute! That was the finish to the Murdoch-Orton match at Clash VI. Who stole the other promotion’s booking sheets? Anyway, Rude made Warrior look really good here and won the title in the process.

After the match, Warrior saunters after Heenan, catches him in the ring, military-presses him, and drops him like a bad habit. OUCH! Perhaps Heenan will forfeit his upcoming match due to injury.

Match 12: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus Bad News Brown

Highlights:

  • After he attacked Duggan at the bell, Brown gave him a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Duggan responded with a cross-corner whip of his own followed by a clothesline.
  • A frustrated Brown contemplated walking out on the match before getting tossed back into the ring the hard way.
  • Brown then gave Duggan a head butt that sent Duggan to the floor.
  • Brown joined and made him HIT THE POLE!
  • Back in the ring, Brown attempted the Ghetto Blaster, but Duggan ducked.
  • Duggan then hit the three-point clothesline, but Brown exited the ring.
  • He then grabbed a steel chair as Duggan grabbed his 2×4.
  • Referee Tim White then called for the bell disqualifying both wrestlers.

Rating: *

Summary: The Atlantic City faithful loved Duggan. Otherwise, this match was worthless and unnecessary.

After the match, it’s obvious that Duggan needs some cold relief as Ventura mentions the copious amounts of snot hanging on Duggan’s mustache. YUCK!

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the Rooster. What a waste of Taylor’s talent.

Match 13: The Red Rooster versus Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (w/ the Brooklyn Brawler)

Highlights:

  • Don’t expect a 60-minute classic here.
  • Heenan reversed a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Rooster won.

Rating: DUD

Summary: While the previous injury explained Heenan’s loss, at least this was quick and painless.

After the match, the Brawler nails Rooster with a clothesline from behind before being chased away.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Elizabeth who states she will be in a neutral corner.

Back in the locker room, Schiavone informs us that all the wrestlers have left to watch the main event.

Meanwhile, Mooney polls the Atlantic City faithful as to the winner. I wonder what the political scientists’ thoughts were on this one.

Match 14 for the WWF title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champion) versus Hulk Hogan

Highlights:

  • The champion came out first? That’s NOT tradition!
  • After Savage made his entrance, Elizabeth made hers (to Savage’s music) with numerous members of security along with Pat Patterson. At least we know he won’t hit on Elizabeth.
  • When Hogan made his entrance, Ventura chided him for his lust for Elizabeth.
  • Savage baited Hogan to chase him until he put Elizabeth between them. The scoundrel!
  • Believe it or not, Hogan then used a drop toe hold followed by a front face lock. I thought he misplaced all of his wrestling style on American soil.
  • Savage then countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex but missed an elbow drop.
  • Upon escaping an arm bar, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle for 2.
  • While the Atlantic City faithful chanted “Hogan,” the Hulkster used leverage to send Savage between the ropes to the floor.
  • After returning Savage to the ring, Hogan hit the Axe Bomber followed by a pair of elbow drops.
  • Savage came back with a clothesline and got 2.
  • Hogan was BUSTED OPEN!
  • As an insult to both the AWA and NWA, Monsoon claimed that a “championship match wouldn’t be stopped for a cut over the eye.” Somewhere in Minnesota, Verne Gagne allegedly destroyed his living room. Additionally, Jim Crockett couldn’t be reached for comment.
  • Meanwhile, Hogan gave Savage an atomic drop but missed an elbow drop.
  • Savage came back with a knee to the back followed by a rollup for 2.
  • As Savage wasted time, Hogan came back with the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • He then gave Savage a cross-corner whip followed by a clothesline.
  • Next, he slammed Savage over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Elizabeth tried to help him, Savage admonished her for it.
  • After Savage failed to ram Hogan into the steel railing and the apron, Hogan rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • He then attempted to ram Savage shoulder-first into the ring post, but Elizabeth prevented him from doing so.
  • Savage then escaped and made Hogan HIT THE POLE!
  • After Savage manhandled Elizabeth down the aisle, referee Dave Hebner ejected her from ringside.
  • Savage then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Hogan on the floor with a double axe handle.
  • In what appeared to be a dig at NWA World champion Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hogan clutched his throat but carried on.
  • Back in the ring, Savage guillotined Hogan using the top rope.
  • He then gave Hogan the running guillotine.
  • In the meantime, Ventura’s ready for the end of “Puke-a-mania.”
  • After a slam, Savage hit a knee drop for 2.
  • He then used his elbow tape to choke Hogan. How dastardly!
  • Afterward, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the big elbow.
  • Savage retained.
  • Hmmm…I don’t recall that finish. What happened?
  • 1-2-NO as Hogan kicked out with authority!
  • It’s Hulk-up time!
  • Hogan then hit the big boot and leg drop.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: ****

Summary: I understand that due to the release of No Holds Barred, Hogan needed to be not only WWF champion but also the face of the franchise. On the other hand, Savage wasn’t the flavor-of-the-month villain archetype because Savage’s heel turn and machinations were tremendously successful. Having said that, there’s no way WrestleMania V ends with a heel victory.

After the match, Hogan poses to the cheers from the Atlantic City faithful.

Conclusion:  On a supershow scale, it’s one of the WWF’s better shows by this point in time. As the WWF’s Super Bowl/World Series, it only falls in comparison to WrestleMania III while topping I, II, and IV.

As a wrestling fan, I didn’t see this show live. Having heard the results, I was upset that Savage had lost the title because I was (and still am) a tremendous fan. With that being said, I enjoyed Clash VI more than this show for obvious reasons. I can only wonder what’s in store for pro wrestling during the rest of 1989.

Stay tuned for NWA WrestleWar ‘89!

Rating: 5.90

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.

  • Mr.Snrub

    Still one of my all-time favorite main events.

    When Jesse says that this match is what the word main event was meant for he wasn’t kidding.

  • Empian

    Looking back at these old PPV’s it’s obvious to see that Michaels was the clear star of The Rockers (and presented as so) while watching it at the time it felt like they were very much on an even footing.

    It’s not quite a Harts situation – where one guy is clearly there to help the other guy get over (which is fine – Bret was the talent) – but it’s not far away.

  • Best_in_the_World

    Great read!

  • MrMaye

    Still love this show, one of my top 5 favorite Wrestlemanias.

  • The Silver Fox

    3, 5, 2, 1, 4 would be my Wrestlemania rankings at this point.

    • Sexy Miz

      3, 2, 5, 4, 1

      • JasonMK

        3, 5, 4, 1, 2

    • JJ

      3, 1, 4, 5, 2

  • Dino Bravo Sucks

    14 freaking matches?! And somehow, someway, Dino Bravo managed to have the worst out of all of them (yes, his was worse than the Red Rooster due to how long that abomination went on).

    God, he was the worst. The absolute worst.

    Dino Bravo Sucks.

    • JJ

      So in essence you are telling me that you don’t care for Dino Bravo at all… Interesting…

      • Dino Bravo Sucks

        I do not care for him. Not in the slightest. You might say that he is beyond reproach, and there are no redeeming qualities about him.

  • TooDarkMark

    I had watched wrestling before, but watching this Mania got me really into wrestling. I remember genuinely being angry that Heenan cheated Warrior out of the belt, and became an instant Warrior mark, at least until Mania VI and suddenly I didn’t care about him anymore.

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