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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 VI

April 1, 1990
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Venue: Skydome
Announced Attendance: 67, 678

*Rick Martel forced Koko B. Ware to submit to a Boston Crab.

*Demolition defeated the Colossal Connection, Andre the Giant and Haku to win the WWF Tag Team championship. Andre was at the very end of his run here so Hake did most of the in-ring work. Demolition hit their finisher on Haku for the pin. Andre the Giant turns babyface again by laying out Haku and manager Bobby Heenan. It would be Andre's final Wrestlemania appearance inside the ring.

*The Earthquake pinned Hercules Hernandez in a short match. Hernandez is carried out on a stretcher after the match.

*Brutus Beefcake pinned Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig after a slingshot into the ringpost. This would "break" Hennig's perfect record within WWF's television storylines, although he had lost on house shows to both Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior prior to the PPV bout. Lanny Poffo, working under the name the Genius, managed Hennig.

*Roddy Piper, painted half black, fought Bad News Brown to a double countout. Piper would recount in his autobiography that the paint would take some time to come off, and he actually flew home painted half black.

*The Hart Foundation defeated The Bolsheviks in a quick match. Nikolai Volkoff attempts to sing the Russian National Anthem and is attacked with the Hart's hitting their Hart Attack finisher for a quick pin.

*The Barbarian pinned Tito Santana with a flying clothesline. Bobby Heenan would start as Barbarian's manager here for his singles run with the company.

*In a mixed tag match, Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire defeated Randy Savage and Sherri Martel. Miss Elizabeth is in Dusty's corner and sets up Sapphire's pin on Martel after interfering. It would be the last time we'd see Elizabeth until next year's Wrestlemania.

*The Orient Express, Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato defeated The Rockers by countout when Mr. Fuji tossed salt in the eyes of Marty Janetty and blinded him.

*Hacksaw Duggan pinned Dino Bravo after clobbering him with the trusty old 2 x 4. Earthquake laid out after the bout.

*Ted DiBiase defeated Jake Roberts to regain possession of his "Million Dollar Belt." DiBiase in a series of vignettes had the belt created because it was worth more than the WWF championship. Roberts had stolen it and kept it in his bag with Damien the snake. DiBiase hides under the ring after the match.

*Big Bossman, fresh off his turn as a babyface, pinned former Twin Towers partner Akeem with a sideslam. DiBiase attacked Bossman while he was on the floor during the bout. Bossman would go right into a feud with DiBiase because he couldn't be bribed to return the Million Dollar belt several weeks earlier.

Rhythm and Blues (Honkytonk Man and a jet black-dyed hair version of Greg Valentine) perform their new "single", only to be attacked by The Bushwhackers.

*Rick Rude pinned Jimmy Snuka with the Rude Awakening.

*WWF Intercontinental champion The Ultimate Warrior pinned WWF champion Hulk Hogan in a Title-For-Title bout. This is a great match the first time you watch it, as the crowd makes it just incredible. Years later, the same fans would create a similar atmosphere for Hogan's Wrestlemania return vs. The Rock. Hogan hurts his knee early and walks around the ring. Gorilla Monsoon actually says that it may have been dislocated during the match. Hogan locked on a side headlock. When Monsoon talked about what a dangerous hold it was, Ventura quipped, "Absolutely- ask Richard Belzer." as a nod to the lawsuit over Hogan dropping Belzer on his head when he passed out in a side headlock. Hogan missed his legdrop, setting up Warrior splashing him for the pin. In an unplanned moment, Hogan presented the belt to the Warrior, leaving as the sympathetic legend. The final visual of the show is plain awesome as Warrior celebrated with both championships and fireworks galore, while Hogan watches from his departing ring cart, the legend defeated.

Celebrities: Rona Barrett, a gossip reporter, did an interview with Miss Elizabeth....Steve Allen, future spokesman for the Parents Television Council, did a sketch rehearsing with The Bolsheviks singing in the men's room....Robert Goulet sang the Canadian national anthem to open the event.

Notes: The first International Wrestlemania set a then-Skydome attendance record....The theme to the show was "The Ultimate Challenge" based around the main event....WWF was turned down by all of the Skydome-related companies to sponsor and co-promote the event, to the point that the Toronto Blue Jays declined allowing WWF to use their ticketing system to sell tickets.....The late Jack Tunney had a lot to do with local promotions for the event....Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura were the announcers for the show. This would be Ventura's final appearance at a Wrestlemania as commentator as he parted ways with the company soon after....A dark match on the show saw Paul Roma defeat The Brooklyn Brawler....The ring carts from Wrestlemania III returned for this show, the last time (thus far) that they have been used for a Wrestlemania event....Yes, that's none other than future WCW World champion Diamond Dallas Page driving a pink Cadillac (which he owned) to bring Honkytonk Man and Greg Valentine to the ring....Future WWE star Edge attended the show as a fan, sitting 11th row.

Ultimate Warrior On His Main Event at Wrestlemania VI: "I'm really proud of that match, it was the highlight of my wrestling career and one of the best matches of all time. Hogan and I only got together once before the match. He lived in Florida and there was an old wrestling school down there and we walked through an outline of the match once. We went over it again before the show and then got into the ring and did it. The chemistry between us was just natural. We didn't have a big creative team and writing staff back then, so it was left to the two guys to work out the match. It was still choreographed, but there was a lot more shooting from the hip. People often say to me "when did you practice", but the practice was being on the road every night." (London Star Interview, June 2004

Buck Woodward: Buck: This whole show was built around Hogan-Warrior, and it drew a huge crowd, but it was (and still is) painfully obvious that they hardly paid any attention to the undercard. ... I don't think Andre even tagged in during his match. His back was in horrible shape at this point, and soon after this, Vince McMahon made a deal with Giant Baba so Andre could go over to All Japan for a few tours, where he worked tag matches as part of a "dream team" with Baba. ... Brutus Beefcake was not the person I expected to break Hennig's "perfect record". I thought for sure it would be Warrior or Hogan. ... Piper and Brown could have had a great feud, but WWE dropped the ball with it. I don't think they even had a rematch. ... The Hart Foundation were the winners of the "really fast Mania match" award this year, invented by King Kong Bundy at the first Mania. ... A stranger sight than Dusty Rhodes, Sapphire and Miss Elizabeth dancing in the ring you will never see. ... I remember DiBiase vs. Roberts and Rude vs. Snuka as being decent matches, and the announcers put over hard that Rude would be next in line to challenge for the World Title. ... Warrior vs. Hogan was, arguably, the best match Warrior would ever have. The two worked on it in a gym for several weeks, and all the pieces came together. ... I remember Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon doing an outstanding job calling the main event, because for the first time, there was no heel/face dynamic for them to do their usual routine with. They had to call it differently than any other WWF match.

Jess McGrath: Much like Mania 5, this was a one-match show. And just like Mania 5, that match delivered. But, unlike Mania 5, if you went back today and watched Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior, you would be quite disappointed. Hogan-Savage held up much better than Hogan-Warrior. But at the time, it was a tremendous match. I remember being shocked at how interesting it was. I think what made it in part was that they went so long; I was figuring on a quick match like Hogan-Andre from three Manias before. Instead they surpassed the twenty minute mark, and it was really entertaining the whole way. Another thing that can't be underestimated is how big that finish was. Hogan NEVER missed the legdrop, and nobody ever kicked out of it. Even more of a shock than if somebody kicked out of the pedigree today, let's say. Not really much to say about the rest of the show. Quite a contrast when Robert Goulet finished up his anthem and they went right into Koko B. Ware's "Bird Bird Bird" song, or whatever it was that they called it.

Mike Johnson: This was a one match show and the match delivered as the WWF did a rare babyface vs. babyface match. While Warrior was being positioned as the new king of the mountain, he lasted less than a year in the role....This show began a huge push for Rick Rude as the Warrior's first real challenger, based on his Wrestlemania victory the previous year....There was a lot of filler on the show and much of it wasn't pleasant....Interesting to note that the Canadian stars (Dino Bravo, Earthquake, etc.) still worked as villains despite the hometown advantage.

Dave Scherer: I remember two things totally jumping out at me for this show. First and foremost, I never thought I would see Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior have a great match, but they did. As Mike said, it was a one match show and man, that one match delivered in a big, big way. The match was booked perfectly as well, with Hogan symbolically passing the torch to the new top guy. I also loved the aura that eminated from booking the show at Skydome. It gave the company's big show a big show feel, the first of its kind since Mania 3 in Pontiac.


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