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WRESTLEMANIA RETRO LOOKS BACK AT TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF WRESTLEMANIA HISTORY

By PWInsider.com Staff on 2011-04-03 09:13:00

WRESTLEMANIA V

April 2, 1989

Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Arena: Atlantic City Convention Center
Announced Attendance: 20,369

RESULTS

*Hercules Hernandez pinned King Haku with a belly-to-back suplex. Ring announcer Howard Finkel made a rare mistake here, announcing "King Tonga" when Haku came to the ring.

*The Twin Towers, The Big Bossman and Akeem defeated The Rockers, Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty. The storyline of the match saw the Rockers use their speed to try and evade the monsters, but Akeem (the One Man Gang after finding his African roots...seriously) splashed Shawn for the pin. Good match.

*Ted DiBiase fought Brutus Beefcake to a double countout. Beefcake laid out Virgil after the match.

*The Bushwhackers defeated The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers when Butch Miller pinned Jacques Rougeau with the Battering Ram. Announcers Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon argued over who was the first to retire during the match, which is pretty amusing.

*Mr. Perfect pinned The Blue Blazer with the Perfect Plex. Short match but worth checking out as it's a lot of fun and pretty historical. Five years later, Owen would be headlining against Bret Hart while Curt Hennig would have a huge heel run in the early 1990s.

*In a Handicap match, WWF Tag Team champions Demolition defeated The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji in a handicap match. This was the blowoff of the feud that started at the Survivor Series a few months earlier with a double turn.

*Dino Bravo pinned Ronnie Garvin with a sidesuplex. Short but decent. Jimmy Snuka comes out before the match, announced as returning to the promotion for the first time since 1985. Snuka would never return to the heights of his first run.

*The Brainbusters, Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson defeat Strike Force, Tito Santana and Rick Martel. Martel was returning from a neck injury that led to a 9-10 month layoff. Santana hits him with the flying forearm by accident. Martel walks out on him, leaving the former Horsemen to hit a spike piledriver for the pin. Martel would cut a heel promo backstage after the match to set up a feud with Santana. A really good match.

Roddy Piper returned to do a Piper's Pit segment with Brother Love and Morton Downey Jr. You will either love or hate this. Downey and Love come out first. Love has a kilt on and is mocking Piper. Roddy finally comes out and rips apart Love, tearing off the kilt. Roddy then turns his attention to the cigarette smoking Downey, culminating with shooting him in the face with a fire extinguisher. If you watch Piper leaving, Downey is held back from killing him, but it's all a work- Downey suggested the entire idea. For some reason, this segment is edited off many of the more recent versions of this show's video release.

*Jake Roberts defeated Andre the Giant with Big John Studd as the special referee. The promotion was building to Studd vs. Andre but it never came to be as Studd soon left the company for the last time. The gimmick here was Andre was afraid of snakes and even fainted on Saturday Night's Main Event when Roberts put his snake on him. Ted DiBiase got involved to set up a feud with Roberts, which concluded a year later at Wrestlemania VI.

*The Hart Foundation defeated Greg Valentine and the HonkyTonk Man.

*Rick Rude pinned The Ultimate Warrior to win the WWF Intercontinental championship. Warrior suplexed Rude, with Heenan grabbing his leg so Rude collapsed atop of him while Heenan held the leg to prevent a kickup. Warrior destroyed Heenan after the bout. This match would eventually be the basis for Rude challenging Warrior at Summerslam 1990.

*Hacksaw Duggan fought Bad Bews Brown to a quick double disqualification when both guys use foreign objects. Too short to be anything of note.

*The Red Rooster pinned Bobby Heenan in 10 seconds. Wrestlecrap rejoiced.

*Hulk Hogan pinned Randy Savage with a legdrop to win the WWF championship in a great 20 minute bout. Savage beat Hogan down early with Hogan bleeding. Miss Elizabeth is in a neutral corner, but eventually gets sent to the back by the referee. A tremendous match, probably the highlight of Hogan from an in ring standpoint during this era.

CELEBRITIES: Rap group Run DMC was brought in for a Wrestlemania rap....talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. was used in the Piper's Pit segment....Donald Trump returned for another visit as well.

Notes: The Atlantic City Convention Center became the first venue to host Wrestlemania twice....Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura were your hosts again.....The show featured the Wrestlemania debuts of Owen Hart and Curt Hennig.....The show also featured the debut of future Wrestlemania main eventer Shawn Michaels....The theme to the show was "The Mega-Powers Explode"....In all print advertising for the show, Hogan vs. Savage was pushed heavily along with the tag like "the return of Rowdy Roddy Piper"....The show took place the same weekend as Daylight's Savings Time with ads noting, "Be sure to spring ahead to Wrestlemania time!"....Like the year before, the NWA presented a Clash of the Champions event live on TBS. This event was headlined by a Best of Three Falls bout with NWA World champion Ricky Steamboat defending against Ric Flair in an amazing 55 minute match that still is remembered as one of the best matches of the 1980s decade.

Buck Woodward: WWE really suffered with the crowd on this one. Unlike Mania IV, I think this was much more of a typical "Atlantic City event" crowd, meaning they were gonna go nuts for Hogan, and not much else. ... I remember being really disappointed that the Mr. Perfect vs. Blue Blazer match was so short. ... Looking back, it is weird what matches were given ten minutes (Bushwackers-Rougeaus, Beefcake-DiBiase) and what matches were given barely a few minutes (Duggan-Brown, Garvin-Bravo) ... I was kind of bummed that the Brainbusters vs. Strike Force match ended up being an angle. Tully & Arn vs. Santana & Martel could have been a hot tag match. ... I marked out for Piper running off Downey and Brother Love. ... If I recall correctly, Hacksaw Duggan had a large wad of, well, snot, hanging out of his nose for part of his match with Bad News Brown. ... I remember being amazed that Hogan did a drop toe hold and a hammerlock during the main event. ... Run DMC was so there to "cash a check", doing a pretty lifeless rap. Men On A Mission did a better job five years later. ... This would mark the end of my big "Pay-per-view Party" era, as it seemed my friends were getting less and less interested in the product, especially Hogan being on top again. ... I believe this marked the only Wrestlemania that a wrestler sang the National Anthem, as Woman's Champion Rockin' Robin performed at the start of the show.

Mike Johnson: This was one of the more enjoyable Wrestlemanias. The main event of Hogan vs. Savage was tremendous, with one year of a build and really, they could have booked either guy to win and had the right booking decision. The addition of the mystery of where Elizabeth would end up was good as well. There was a lot of interesting stuff underneath including the only Wrestlemania appearances of Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson, the start of Rick Martel's heel run as "The Model", the Mania debut of Owen Hart, and tons more. I enjoyed the Roddy Piper segment as well. Much better than the previous year's Wrestlemania in the same venue.

Jess McGrath: I wouldn't put this near the top of the list for Manias, but there were certainly worse ones. (The previous year's edition comes to mind.) Hogan-Savage was an excellent match... not only in terms of what they did in the ring, but the way the crowd hung with it start to finish... absolutely what a promoter would be looking for in terms of people following a storyline and really being into it. It can't be said enough how great of a job they did building that match up. Nothing else on the show was really all that memorable, although that's not to say it wasn't satisfactory. Unlike Mike, I didn't really care for the Piper segment. I remember watching it at the time and thinking, "When is this ever going to end?"

Dave Scherer: I could pretty much just write what I did about Mania 4. This show was also in Atlantic City, close to my home and I didn't go. This was better than the previous year's show and I did watch it live, but I was a much bigger fan of WCW at this point in time. With that said, the high point for me was seeing Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard appear on a WrestleMania.


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