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Dark Pegasus Video Review: WrestleMania 2 Take Two

July 28, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: WrestleMania 2 Take Two  

WrestleMania 2
by J.D. Dunn

In a move that can only be classified as sheer craziness, this WrestleMania was divided into three separate stages – one from New York city, one from Chicago, and one from Los Angeles.

Stage One:

  • April 5, 1986
  • Live from New York, N.Y..
  • Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Susan Saint James, wife of ex-NBC President Dick Ebersole. You may know her from such TV classics as “McMillan and Wife” and “Kate & Allie.” I will never look at her the same after “Family Guy.” If you don’t know the gag, don’t ask.
  • Roddy Piper makes a joke about “painting himself black,” which is exactly what he’d do four years later.
  • Opening Match: Paul Orndorff vs. Don Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji).
    Muraco helped King Kong Bundy injure poor Hulk Hogan’s ribs a few weeks before this, and he already had an association with Orndorff rival Bob Orton Jr., so this match was just a given. The bulk of the match is Muraco’s inability to get out of an armbar. Finally, he just counters to a Samoan Drop. They brawl into the corner and spill to the outside where both guys are counted out at 4:30. Horrible ending. The match wasn’t that great either. 3/4*

  • Intercontinental Title: Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. George Steele.
    Savage had just stolen the title from Tito Santana by using brass knuckles (and with a little help from evil referee Danny Davis, although we didn’t quite know it yet.) Steele, at this point, is in love with Elizabeth, and the rest just writes itself. Savage stalls forever and beats the Animal over the head with flowers. Steele rips open the turnbuckle pad and shoves the stuffing Savage’s face. SNAP INTO IT! Steele gives chase but stops to talk to Elizabeth. That allows Savage to hit the double ax-handle and the diving elbow drop. Steele kicks out of it, which was actually more common than they’d have you believe. Savage has to resort to scooping up Steel’s legs and getting the “Flair pin” at 7:07. Boring match, especially given what a roll Savage was on. I would have much rather seen Tito get his rematch. *1/4

  • Gene Okerlund joins us from Chicago to get a word with Atlanta Falcon Bill Fralic who argues with Big John Studd over who’s going to win the Battle Royal later tonight.
  • Jake Roberts vs. George Wells.
    Jake had just jumped over from Mid-South about a month earlier in one of the more controversial leaps. See, someone let it slip to a reporter that Jake was going to the WWF, so the reporter wrote (I believe it was for The Houston Chronicle) that Jake would lose to Dick Slater. Remember, this was back in the kayfabe era, so Bill Watts was PISSED. He gave Jake the title out of spite and to prove that wrestling was not fixed. It wasn’t as big a risk as you might think because no one really worked on a contract system then anyway. Jake would lose the title back to Slater and put Terry Taylor over on his way out. Obviously, this was back when Jake had class. Wells looks kind of like a pudgy Bobby Lashley. He doesn’t put up much of a fight and gets finished by the DDT at 3:04. Jake introduces Damien after the match. *

  • Boxing Match: Roddy Piper (w/Bob Orton Jr. & the Haiti Kid) vs. Mr. T (w/Lou Duva).
    Your judges are former New Jersey Net Darrell Dawkins, singer Cab Calloway and G. Gordon Liddy, and hey, could you get a more honest judge than Liddy? The B-list doesn’t end there are Joan Rivers serves as guest ring announcer and Herb from the Burger King commercials is the special time keeper. The rules are ten 3-minute rounds. You know what, I’m just gonna cut and paste because I don’t wanna watch this again.

    Round One: Roddy tries some jabs. Mr. T gets a few body blows in. Roddy takes a few cheapshots when the ref calls for a break. That’s pretty much the story for round one.

    Round Two: The ref makes Roddy wipe off the Vaseline on his head. Roddy gets in a few good shots, but they’re in the ropes. Roddy gets what looks like a low blow. T just covers up and lets Piper punch himself out. Roddy just starts hauling off with punches and knocks T down. Piper punches away at him as time expires in the round. Roddy gives him a little nudge after the bell.

    Round Three: Orton douses Piper’s crew with water just to be an asshole. Piper comes out of his corner with the Ali Shuffle. T swings at him clumsily but still gets him down. Piper gets knocked all the way out of the ring with a punch. Piper struggles back in and they bitchslap each other until time expires.

    Round Four: Piper throws his stool at T…no, I mean the stool he was sitting on. They come out throwing Haymakers at one another. Piper gets frustrated and slams Mr. T for the disqualification. The entourages get involved and separates them. Mr. T wins by DQ as the crowd boos the finish (10:15). Fairly entertaining. They should just start fixing real boxing matches…oh, wait a minute. **

    Stage Two:

  • Live from Chicago, Ill.
  • Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund and Cathy Lee Crosby.
  • WWF Women’s Title: Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre.
    I don’t know why they even bothered with this one. Moolah jumps her at the bell and snapmares her. Velvet hits a few dropkciks and slams her. Moolah avoids a body splash and covers for the win at 0:59. McIntyre’s leg was on the ropes, so it’s a controversial finish. 1/4*

  • Flag Match: Cpl. Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/Freddie Blassie).
    Volkoff hits a spin kick and throws Kirchner to the outside. He bites Kirchner’s head and rams him against the post, drawing blood. Back in, the ref gets bumped, so Blassie tosses in the cane. Kirchner intercepts and nails Volkoff with it for the win at 1:35. Hey, give them credit for working a ref bump in to a 90-second match. That’s dedication to sucking. Kirchner gets to wave the flag as if there were any doubt. 1/2*

  • 20-Man Battle Royal.
    Not sure why, but this is one of the matches I remember most fondly. 10 NFLers. 10 WWFers. Your participants are Jimbo Covert, Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin, Danny Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga (Haku), The Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes, Jim Brunzell, Brian Blair, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Russ Francis, Bruno Sammartino, William “the Refrigerator” Perry and Andre the Giant. Winner gets to turn heel on Hogan. Andre and Studd renew acquaintances early. Everyone starts getting tossed in short order. The Harts doubleteam the Fridge. Studd and Andre pair off again. Fridge shoulderblocks both members of the Hart Foundation across the ring. Studd dares him to try that on him and then hits him with an elbow. There goes Perry. He offers a conciliatory handshake and then pulls Studd out. That leaves Andre, Bret, Neidhart and Russ Francis. The Harts tie up Andre and eliminate Francis. Then Step 23 comes as they have to get Andre over. They take turns whipping each other into the Giant until Andre gets his boot up right into the Hitman’s face. The Anvil gets hiptossed over, and Andre tosses Bret out right on top of him to pick up the win. **

  • WWF Tag Team Titles: The Dream Team (w/Johnny Valiant) vs. The British Bulldogs (w/Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne).
    Two referees in this one as per Gorilla Monsoon’s constant urging in tag matches. These two had an excellent knockdown-drag-out match at MSG a few weeks prior to this. Dynamite kid is AMPED, sprinting across the ring on simple exchanges and nailing Valentine with a shoulderblock. Beefcake doesn’t do much other than take punishment, but he does that quite well. He does work in a nice spot where Davey Boy tries to backflip to counter a hammerlock, so Brutus just lets him go in mid-move and lets him drop on his own arm. Hammer delivers a shoulderbreaker but picks Davey Boy up at two. Not a good idea, especially in a tag match, and especially not at the biggest event of the year. The Bulldogs finish with the old Minnesota Wrecking Crew ending, with Davey Boy tossing Valentine right into Dynamite’s head, knocking his own partner off the apron but picking up the win and the titles at 12:04. ***1/4

    Stage Three:

  • Live from Los Angeles, Cali.
  • Your hosts are Jesse Ventura, Elvira and Lord Alfred Hayes.
  • Ricky Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez.
    This was supposed to be Ricky facing Bret Hart and allowing the Hitman to make a name for himself in singles competition, but that idea got scrapped. That match eventually did go off on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event and wound up on Bret’s DVD. Herc is okay, an underappreciated power guy, but these two don’t have much chemistry together. Herc botches a hotshot. Ricky collapses under Herc’s weight for two. Herc shows him how it’s done with a press slam, but he gets greedy with a splash, and Ricky gets the knees up. Well, there’s a role reversal if ever I’ve seen one. Ricky finishes with the crossbody at 7:34. **

  • Adrian Adonis (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Uncle Elmer.
    Elmer is just a fat hillbilly. Adonis bumps around the ring for him like a trooper, but that doesn’t make him any less fat, nor any less of a hillbilly. Elmer avalanches him but misses a legdrop. Adonis finishes with a splash off the top at 3:00. Adonis was about four years too early for stardom because he was spent by the time Hulkamania rolled around. 1/2*

  • The Funks (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Tito Santana & The Junkyard Dog.
    This is an offshoot of the feud between Funk and JYD. I forget how Tito got dragged into this, but he’s here now and that’s all that’s important. Dory is going by “Hoss” for no particular reason. JYD dominates and chases Funk into the babyface corner where Tito nails him with an elbow. Dory shows he can still go a bit as he does a nice little sequence with Tito before getting hit with the Flying Forearm. Tito plays face-in-peril for a bit before firing back with rights and making the hot tag to JYD. Not sure why this match is so good. I just know that it is. JYD backdrops Terry to the floor and smacks Jimmy Hart in the mush. Tito locks Dory in the figure-four, but he’s not legal, so the ref tries to put Tito out. That allows Hart to toss the megaphone to Terry who nails JYD for the win at 11:44. Definitely a pleasant surprise. ***1/4

  • WWF Heavyweight Title, Steel Cage Match: Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan).
    Tommy Lasorda is your guest ring announcer. Future NYPD Blue-er Ricky Schroeder is the guest timekeeper. Robert Conrad of “Wild, Wild West” is your special guest referee. I used to live downtown! Hogan’s ribs are taped up, of course. Slugfest to start. Hogan wins that battle. He delivers the big boot, which staggers Bundy. Bundy goes for the gate, but Hogan tracks him down. Bundy gets a shot on the ribs to take over. Bundy goes for the door, but Hogan grabs his leg at the last possible second. Bundy rips Hogan’s bandages off and chokes him with it. He gets smart and ties Hogan to the ropes with his own bandage. Hogan gets untied just in time to keep Bundy from going out the door. Hogan throws him face-first into the bars. Bundy bleeds. Hogan rakes the back as Elvira begs for someone to stop the match. Hogan goes for a slam but collapses under the weight. Bundy goes for the door again, but Hogan catches him and strangles him down with the bandages. Elvira gets a good dig on Jesse, saying he’s just jealous because he doesn’t have his own cartoon. Bundy squashes Hogan with an avalanche and kills him dead with a splash. Bundy delivers another avalanche, but Hogan no-sells. A boot to the ribs. Nope. Not sold. Hogan powerslams him and delivers the leg drop. Heenan tries to keep him from climbing out, but it’s no use. Hogan scales the bars before Bundy can scurry out the door (10:18). Formula Hogan here. Hogan gives Bobby Heenan a beating after the match. *3/4

  • The 411: The two tag matches were good, and I liked the battle royal, but the wrestling was pretty bad as good wrestlers were paired up with bad wrestlers and expected to carry them. Outside of the Hogan and Piper matches, there weren't really that many memorable feuds involved either.

    Thumbs down here.

     
    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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