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Dark Pegasus Video Review: WrestleMania VI Take Two

September 1, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: WrestleMania VI Take Two  

WrestleMania VI
by J.D. Dunn

This is the show that marks the end of Hulkamania as a force in American culture. I know. I know. There’s Survivor Series 1991, Royal Rumble 1992 and King of the Ring 1993 to argue for, but this is the show where they took the torch from Hogan and handed it to the Warrior. When they handed it back a year later, it just didn’t shine as brightly, and the hot period that the WWF had experienced from 1987-1990 was gone.

If you notice, the WWF’s worst period came at the same time JJ Dillon was in the front office. It started almost as soon as he got there, and they started to turn things around just after he left. I don’t know that the two things are necessarily related, but it’s a mighty strange coincidence.

  • April 1, 1990
  • Live from Toronto, Ontario.
  • Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura (in his last appearance for the WWF).

  • Opening Match: The Model vs. Koko B. Ware.
    Not what you’d call a great choice for the opener. Martel blindsides Koko on the pre-match patdown, but Koko fights back with a crossbody and a pair of dropkicks. Martel gets sent to the floor, but he sidesteps a charge and tosses Koko to the floor. Martel goes to work on Koko’s back and tries his Boston Crab. Koko makes the ropes and gets fired up, delivering a headbutt. He misses a crossbody, though, and Martel is able to finish with another Boston Crab at 5:29. One of the most vanilla openers you’ll ever see. 1/2*

  • WWF Tag Team Titles: The Colossal Connection (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Demolition.
    The Connection is Andre the Giant and Haku, who shockingly won the titles on an episode of Superstars (or maybe it was Wrestling Challenge). Both Andre and Ax are broken down here, but at least Ax is mobile. This would be Andre’s last match in the WWF and, I believe, the last babyface match for Demolition. Ax winds up playing face-in-peril throughout most of the match, which quickly turns it into Ax vs. Haku. Andre provides what he can but mostly minds his own business. Ax gets his boot up to block a charge and tags in Smash. Smash goes nuts on everyone to a big pop. Andre breaks up the Demos doubleteams, though. He and Haku try a doubleteam, but it backfires, and Haku kicks Andre into the ropes. Oops. The Demos finish Haku with the Decapitation at 9:14, reclaiming their tag titles. Heenan berates Andre for the loss, which has “bad idea” written all over it. Andre gets pissed and destroys Heenan and Haku to a big pop. Andre gets to leave the WWF as a babyface. Not a great match, but a lot of people remember this as a big markout moment. *1/4

  • Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Hercules.
    Bet that slave gig is looking a lot better now, huh, Herc? Earthquake was going by “Canadian Earthquake” up until this show, but they truncated it to avoid any patriotic fervor the Canucks might feel. Herc gets a few shots in, but Quake overpowers him. Hercules comes back with clotheslines but tries to get him up in the Torture Rack. Herc is more in need of a backup plan than anyone I’ve ever met. Quake drops a few elbows and finishes with the Earthquake splash (running vertical splash) at 4:53. Quake gives him another one to crush his sternum. You know, for fun. 1/4*

  • Mr. Perfect (w/The Genius) vs. Brutus Beefcake.
    Perfect has been demoted from Hogan to Beefcake, but that doesn’t stop him from bumping around like a maniac to put Beefer over. Perfect gets whipped from pillar to post, but the Genius distracts Beefcake to cut off the sleeper. That allows Perfect to smash Brutus with the Genius’ scroll. The necksnap gets two for Perfect, but he gets cocky (cockier) and talks too much trash. Beefcake is able to scoop him up and catapult him into the turnbuckle to pick up the win at 7:49. Yes, Brutus Beefcake ended Mr. Perfect’s unbeaten streak. Genius saves Mr. Perfect from a haircut and winds up getting one himself. Perfect would repay the Genius by dumping him and introducing Bobby Heenan as his manager a few weeks later. The match wasn’t that great, but Perfect’s bumping made it somewhat enjoyable. *1/2

  • Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown.
    This is the match where Piper made the ill-fated decision of painting half his body black. He actually tried to explain what he was thinking on his DVD, but the explanation just made me more confused – as usual with Piper. The great Gordi Whitelaw over at InsidePulse interviewed Bad News not too long before he died (Bad News, not Gordi), and Bad News said he didn’t approve of it but Vince and Piper thought it was hilarious. He said he didn’t care if Piper got his ass kicked because he was a racist anyway. Bad News rips off the turnbuckle pad, but Piper whips him with it. They both fall to the outside and brawl until the double countout at 6:37. I’m not sure why they even bothered with this since Piper never jobs, and Bad News couldn’t really afford the loss at that point. The brawling looked staged too for whatever reason (moreso than your average match). 1/4*

  • Steve Allen, former talk show host, skeptic, and champion of quality programming butchers the Soviet National Anthem over the objections of the Bolsheviks.
  • The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks.
    The Harts have already laid out a challenge to Demolition, so this isn’t exactly in doubt. In fact, they attack during the Bolsheviks rendition of their national anthem and finish with the Hart attack at 0:18. Take that, country with a different economic system! 1/4*

  • The Barbarian (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Tito Santana.
    Mr. Fuji was bringing in his new team of the Orient Express, which meant he had a conflict of interests with his other team, the Powers of Pain. What do you do when you have too much of something? Strip it and sell it for parts! That’s exactly what Fuji did, selling the Barbarian to Heenan and the Warlord to Slick. Tito had just lost out in his year-long battle with former partner Rick “The Model” Martel and was settling into his role of enhancement talent. He gets a few token moves before running into a big boot. He comes back on offense and hits the flying forearm. Bobby puts Barbarian’s foot on the ropes, though. Barbie finishes with the flying clothesline at 4:33. All they were out there to do was make Barbarian look like a dominator, and Tito can sure do that. *

  • Mixed-Tag Match: Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. Randy Savage & Queen Sherri.
    Dusty introduces Elizabeth to be in the babyface corner. This is the first mixed tag in the WWF, and men can only face men in the interests of fairness. Sapphire uses the POWER OF ASS to dominate Sherri. Gotta hand it to Sherri for selling like that. Savage dominates Rhodes through most of the middle portion, so it’s kind of a face-in-peril situation only Savage can’t tag out because Dusty would automatically be allowed out of the ring. Sapphire tosses Sherri to the outside, so Liz tosses her back in and does the old playground shove. Sapphire finishes with the schoolgirl rollup at 7:32. Savage went from the main event…to this? 1/2*

  • Gossipmonger Rhona Barrett implies that Jesse Ventura might have a sex tape out there somewhere. Who on earth would want to see him and Adrian Adonis going at it? East-West Connection, indeed.
  • Hulk Hogan says he will save the Warrior’s soul.
  • Ultimate Warrior tells Mooney that he isn’t worthy of breathing the same air as the Warrior because he’s a mere mortal. Man, he really is a Republican. He even says, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.” Okay, he doesn’t say that exactly, but he says he wants to bring the Hulkamaniacs and the little Warriors together.
  • The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. The Rockers.
    This is the original version of the Express with AWA jobber Sato joining Tanaka instead of the infinitely better Bad Company reunification of Kato (Paul Diamond) and Tanaka that had the ****+ match with the Rockers at the 1991 Rumble. Apparently, this performance derailed a Rockers push that was in the offing because they’re so lethargic (Gorilla’s word, not mine). The Rockers pick things up a bit at the end until Fuji hits Marty with a cane shot. Janetty gives change but takes a facefull of salt from Sato. The Rockers get counted out at 7:36. I was overly generous on this one the first time around. *1/2

  • Dino Bravo (w/Jimmy Hart & Earthquake) vs. Jim Duggan.
    Duggan diverts brain power from trying to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to trying to start a “USA” chant. This was about what you’d expect. Both guys slug it out until Earthquake takes a cheapshot. Jimmy Hart tries to toss in the 2×4 to Bravo, but Duggan intercepts and wallops Bravo for the win at 4:15. Earthquake crushes Duggan’s chest after the match, setting up a feud with Hogan. 1/2*

  • Jake Roberts delivers his great “wallowing in the muck of avarice” promo.
  • Million Dollar Title: Jake Roberts vs Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil)
    These guys faced off hundreds of times over the years, going all the way back to Mid-South. Jake goes for the DDT a lot early, but Dibiase keeps sliding out. Jake eventually misses his kneelift, and Dibiase takes over with a front facelock. The fans get bored and start the wave. Dibiase hits a piledriver for two, but Jake reverses his cover for two. The Million Dollar Dream nearly gets the win, but Jake catches Dibiase with a fist to the gut as he’s coming off the top. Jake gets the short-arm clothesline to set up the DDT, but Virgil pulls him to the floor. Dibiase jumps Jake with the Dream again, but Jake rams them into the post. Virgil, ever the faithful lackey, tosses Dibiase back in to pick up the countout win at 11:54. The title isn’t actually recognized, so it can change on a countout – or, you know, by just taking the damn thing, which is how Jake wound up with it in the first place. Jake gives Dibiase a DDT after the match and leaves him in the ring. Hmm. This was surprisingly good. They had some snoozers around this time. **3/4

  • The Big Bossman vs. Akeem (w/Slick).
    In yet another Mid-South rematch, these two are meeting again three years after One Man Gang replaced Big Bubba Rogers as the lead heel in the UWF. This is nowhere on the level of that match, which was really pretty good. Dibiase is still at ringside and pissed at the Bossman for refusing a bribe a few weeks earlier, so he blindsides Bossman, giving Akeem the advantage. It doesn’t matter, though, because Bossman quickly turns the tables and finishes with the Bossman slam at 1:49. Akeem wouldn’t last much longer in the WWF and would show up in WCW several years later as a friend of Hogan. Ironically, George Gray, the man who played Akeem, would go on to be a prison guard. 1/4*

  • Rhythm & Blues perform their smash hit “Hunka, Hunka Honky Love.” I’ll assume Honky is the post-Army service Elvis while Valentine is the older, dead-on-the-toilet Elvis. That’s Diamond Dallas Page as their driver, btw. The Bushwhackers break up the festivities, setting up the tag feud that “could main even any arena in the country.”TM
  • Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jimmy Snuka.
    Rude is on his way to a big main event push – in WCW. He actually did make it to the main event of Summerslam before rightly realizing that it was just going to go back to Hogan versus the “furreners” once the war started. Snuka controls early and mocks Rude’s gyrations. Snuka goes up, but Rude closes the gap, and Snuka is forced to jump over him. A diving headbutt misses, and Rude is able to finish with the Rude Awakening at 3:50. 3/4*

  • WWF Heavyweight Title, Intercontinental Title: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior.
    Gargantuan staredown to start. They take turns shoving each other to the corners. Warrior calls for a test of strength. Warrior wins the first round to a HUGE pop, forcing Hogan to his knees. Hogan powers up and forces Warrior down. Crowd cheers for that too. Warrior forces his way back up. Neither man moves off a shoulderblock. They crisscross, and Hogan gets a slam. Warrior no-sells and calls on the power of the warriors. They do it again, and Warrior gets a slam. Warrior clotheslines Hogan over the top, injuring Hogan’s knee. Warrior goes out and stomps on it. He shoves Hogan back in, and they start raking each other’s eyes. Hogan attacks while the Warrior is arguing with the ref. Hogan gets some mounted punches in the corner. Hogan drops an elbow and applies a facelock. That segues to a small package for two. Hogan, with a clothesline, gets two. A backbreaker gets two. Hogan slaps on a chinlock. Very loose there, probably so Warrior can catch his wind. Hulk gets two off a backdrop suplex and goes back to the chinlock. Warrior elbows out of it, and they double clothesline each other. They tease a double countdown, before the Warrior makes it to the ropes. Hogan starts pounding on him, but Warrior no-sells. Warrior begins to dominate. Clothesline. Clothesline. Clothesline. Whip to the buckle. Whip to the buckle. He snaps Hogan over with a suplex for two. Warrior settles down with a bearhug. Hogan fades but fights out of it. Hogan drops down as Warrior charges, and Warrior accidentally knocks out Hebner. Warrior delivers a pair of double ax-handles off the top. He charges, but Hogan spikes his face down into the mat on a diving shoulderblock. Hogan covers, but the ref is still out. Warrior backdrop suplexes Hogan. Hebner…crawls…over. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO!!! Hogan schoolboys Warrior, but Hebner is out of position. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! A reverse elbow sends the Warrior to the floor. Back in, Warrior clotheslines him and delivers the PRESS SLAM! SPLASH! ONE, TWO, THRE-NOOOO!!!! Hogan kicks out! He Hulks up and delivers the big boot. The leg drop MISSES! Warrior with the splash. ONE, TWO, THREE!! (22:53) Amazing effort from both guys. Smartly booked and historic. This was Hogan’s first (and arguably only) attempt at putting over a new man for the WWF. It didn’t work in the long run, and that’s probably one of the reasons he’s rarely done it since. But for this one night, it’s great to see Hogan surrender the spotlight to the next generation of babyface. ****
  • The 411: The main event gives this show a legendary status that it doesn't really deserve (unless you're a really big fan of Edge trivia). Outside of the Dibiase/Jake match, the other matches are squashes and/or downright horrible. The main event is available on the Hogan DVD among others, so pick that up instead.

    Thumbs down.

     
    Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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