wrestling / Video Reviews

Kev’s RetrospectiveMania Series: WrestleMania VI

June 7, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Hulk Hogan Ultimate Warrior WrestleMania VI
WWF WrestleMania VI
April 1st, 1990 | Skydome in Toronto, Ontario | Attendance: 67,678

In 1989, the Mega Powers exploded. A year later, two megastars were set to collide. Billed as the “Ultimate Challenge,” the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan got the main event of WrestleMania with both the WWF and Intercontinental Titles on the line. It was a huge match and this was shaping up to be a huge Mania as they returned to a stadium over the tiny Trump Plaza. Of note, this is the first WrestleMania that I was alive for.

Where will it rank among the rest of the WrestleManias so far? We’ll find out here. As a reminder, I’m reliving these WrestleManias and rating them on a 1-10 scale in these seven categories. They’ll be ranked by their total score.

• Match quality – Self-explanatory. Will always be the longest section.
• Memorability – How memorable is the show?
• Historical significance – The impact the show had on wrestling
• Booking decisions – Did the event have logical booking decisions for the stories they told
• Presentation – Things like stage setup, video packages, commentary, etc.
• Pacing/Flow – How well is the show laid out? Does it drag or move along smoothly?
• Entertainment – The non-wrestling elements like promos, celebrity interaction, concerts, etc.


Match Quality

Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Martel ~ Martel’s hair was glorious here. The crowd was hot for this, ready to get the show started. Koko gave them stuff to cheer about with a torrid opening. Martel quickly turned things around and kept him down. Surprisingly, he didn’t make much of a babyface comeback and was beaten with the Boston Crab in a pretty quick 3:51. Mostly a squash. [*½]

WWF Tag Team Championship: The Colossal Connection [c] vs. Demolition ~ At this point, a tag team was certainly the best place for Andre. He could limit his time in the ring and let Haku handle the majority of the work. Most of this match didn’t do anything for me. A lot of it dragged because Demolition wasn’t great at the selling portion of things and with Andre being so limited, it came across like a dull singles match between Haku and Ax. That’s not an exciting prospect. Smash kept doing the whole “accidentally distract the ref while my partner gets beat up” thing we’re used to in these matches. The fans did pop for the Smash hot tag. Demolition Decapitation on Haku came shortly after for the finish at 9:14. A boring match until the final two minutes when it picked up. [*¾]

Earthquake vs. Hercules ~ Time to build up Earthquake as an opponent for Hulk Hogan later in the year. He tried to jump Hercules before the bell but the babyface knew it was coming. Once Earthquake got past that, we were supposed to believe he could beat Hercules in a test of strength. Like, he’s fat. Hercules is stronger. That’s clear, right? Outside of a few clotheslines and shoulder blocks from Hercules, Earthquake kind of dominates. He won with the splash in 4:52. Another squash. We don’t need multiple squashes on a Mania. [½*]

Brutus Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect ~ Mr. Perfect came into this undefeated. He failed at the pre-match attack just like Earthquake. As always, Perfect did everything he could to make his opponent look great. He bumped like a madman for even the simplest of Beefcake offense. It was overselling at points, but mostly fine. Perfect used The Genius’ clipboard to gain the upper hand. That portion of the match was also pretty solid. Then, the finish came from out of nowhere as Beefcake used a corner slingshot to end Perfect’s undefeated streak at the 7:48 mark. The best match of the show so far. Nothing too good as that out of nowhere finish was weak. Crowd was hot, though. [**¾]

Bad News Brown vs. Roddy Piper ~ Oh boy. Roddy Piper painted half of his body black for this one. Not good. These guys just spent the whole match brawling. Like, you’d be hard pressed to find any actual wrestling moves being done. Bad News Brown finally did one and it was the TRAPEZIUS HOLD. I hate that move. It is literally my least favorite in all of wrestling. Obviously, neither man was going to do the job here. They fought outside and got counted out in 6:48. That was the worst thing on the show so far. [¼*]

The Bolsheviks vs. The Hart Foundation ~ I’ve always hated the trope that babyfaces disrespected the national anthem of other countries. Gorilla Monsoon flat out said he wouldn’t stand for their anthem. Anyway, this is the famous match where the Foundation jumped the Bolsheviks during their entrance and squashed them with the Hart Attack in 0:18. [NR]

The Barbarian vs. Tito Santana ~ Although Tito Santana got the pre-match interview, you could tell this here to hype the Barbarian. The Powers of Pain split and he was now a singles guy with Bobby Heenan in his corner. This worked as a squash but Tito was high enough on the food chain to get in a fair amount of offense. Heenan put Barbarian’s foot on the ropes to save him from a possible loss. Then Tito took a somersault bump on a flying clothesline to lose in 4:33. I’ll be generous because of that bump. [*]

Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire vs. Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri ~ Before the match, Dusty Rhodes introduced Miss Elizabeth. It threw a wrench in Randy Savage’s plans as his history with her was still problematic. The match itself is a big step down for Savage. From show stealer at WM III to World Title win at WM IV to main event at WM V to this. It’s mostly a comedy tag. Savage and Rhodes did their best to keep it entertaining, while Sherri bumped for Sapphire. She ate the pin after Liz shoved her and Sapphire covered in 7:52. I’ve seen some call it a terrible match. I don’t think it is. It’s mildly entertaining and the crowd ate it up. [**]

The Orient Express vs. The Rockers ~ We got a pretty lengthy intermission of sorts before this. Lots of promos. These teams had some pretty good matches in the early 90s, though I don’t recall many against each other until Kato replaced Sato and they killed it at the Royal Rumble 1991. Anyway, this was a pretty fun match and arguably the best of the night to this point. It was worked at a fast pace and felt different from everything else on the show. The hot tag was worked to Shawn Michaels after Mr. Fuji helped his guys beat up Marty Jannetty. Unfortunately, this ended flatly when the Rockers got counted out in 7:38 after Jannetty had salt thrown in his eyes. With a better finish, this would’ve cracked three stars. [**¾]

Dino Bravo vs. Jim Duggan ~ A Jim Duggan match is usually bad. However, the crowd is normally into it as he was wildly popular. That doesn’t really fly in Canada since his whole gimmick was about the American flag and stuff. That meant the crowd kind of sat on their hands for this one and they did nothing to get them invested. Duggan intercepted a sliding 2×4 and used it for an underhanded victory in 4:15. A bad match that had no business being on this card. [DUD]

Million Dollar Championship: Ted Dibiase [c] vs. Jake Roberts ~ Weird to hear Gorilla Monsoon point out how the title isn’t legitimate. Seems like it is if it gets on your most important show of the year. Jake Roberts wanted Ted Dibiase to pay for all the misery he caused people over the years. It was given plenty of time and worked at a slow pace. That’s right up Roberts’ alley. The crowd was loud during this match but it was for the wave they got going. Commentary acted like it was for the match, but a wave isn’t usually a good sign. The highlight of this came from the piledriver Dibiase hit. Roberts took it like an RVD bump. He started his comeback shortly after by reeling off clotheslines. The crowd woke up for that. When Jake set up for the DDT, Virgil pulled him outside. Jake overpowered him, but got put in the Million Dollar Dream by Dibiase. Dibiase got back inside before ten to win via countout in 11:56. A decent match with a cheap finish. They just did a countout a few matches ago.[**½]

Akeem vs. Big Bossman ~ THE TWIN TOWERS COLLIDE! Ted Dibiase hid at ringside and attacked Bossman before the match. This feud began because Bossman refused to take money from him. Bossman fought back and hit Akeem with a pitiful looking atomic drop. From there, the Bossman Slam ended this in 1:49. A terrible match, but I won’t call it a DUD because it was kept under two minutes.[¼*]

Jimmy Snuka vs. Rick Rude ~ Look, it’s another relative squash. This was just here to get Rick Rude a win. He beat Ultimate Warrior last year and is now positioned to just run over Jimmy Snuka. Not much from the match as the Rude Awakening ended it in 3:51. Yawn. [¾*]

WWF and Intercontinental Championships: Hulk Hogan [c] vs. The Ultimate Warrior ~ A heavyweight fight. This was billed as the two most powerful entities in all of wrestling clashing on the biggest stage. They delivered a match fitting of that story. They came across so evenly matched. Almost everything they tried went to a stalemate. And yet, you got the sense Warrior had a slight advantage. For example, he popped up from a Hogan body slam with ease. When he returned the favor, Hogan got up, but struggled. I liked how Hogan seemed to notice that and got desperate. He took to wear down holds and tried things like a small package. He could sense that he was outmatched. Both guys got visual wins with the referee down, again cementing how close this match was. The finish saw Hogan come close to winning with the Leg Drop, only to miss. Warrior nailed the splash and got the three in 22:47. A main event that had the epic feel it needed to. It was dull at some points, keeping it from being truly great, but still one hell of a way to end the show. [***¾]

A tough one to call here. Perfect/Beefcake, Dibiase/Roberts, and Rockers/Express are all solid matches. There’s also a huge main event that is the second best in Mania history to this point. That’s more than a lot of Manias so far have given us. That being said, there is a TON of filler on this show. There are five or six squash matches on this card. Way too many for a WrestleMania. I’ll score this one right in the middle.

SCORE: 5.0





Who doesn’t remember the “Ultimate Challenge?” The clash between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior was larger than life for a reason. As big as Hogan/Savage was at WrestleMania V, it was nothing compared to this main event. This was massive and truly felt like two larger than life entities doing battle. The rest of the show is mostly forgettable outside of the Hart Foundation squash and Roddy Piper in half blackface. Not exactly fond memories. I’ll give it a high score because of that main event.

SCORE: 7.0



Historical Significance


A man won the main event of WrestleMania and walked out with both the WWF and Intercontinental Titles. That’s unfathomable. It was a historic moment that has withstood the test of time and has yet to be replicated. The impact might have been greater if Warrior stuck around longer than he did, but it was still a big deal. This show also has the tidbit of being the final WrestleMania match for Andre the Giant and it was cool that he went out with a babyface moment. Those are two big notes but the most notable bit of history on the rest of the show was Mr. Perfect’s winning streak ending. Still, I’ll give it a good score for the big stuff.

SCORE: 7.5



Booking Decisions


A lot of these early WrestleManias will struggle in this area for one reason. Lame finishes. I know that this era was all about keeping everyone strong but it’s WrestleMania. If there’s one night where a guy can take a loss, it should be here. The culmination of feuds. Some of the countout or DQ finishes were pointless. Like, why did the Rockers match have to end that way? My other major booking issue was having Mr. Perfect lose here. It felt anti-climactic and like a waste of his winning streak. Most matches at least had the right person winning.

SCORE: 5.0





The Skydome is a huge step up from Trump Plaza. We’re back to a show that feels like a big deal. 60,000+ in a gorgeous dome? What’s not to love. I liked how the intro was simple, yet effective. It was fine from a graphics perspective for the time period and got the point across. I dug the return of the entrance carts to make up for the long aisle. It also really added to the aura of the Ultimate Warrior when he ran instead of using a cart. Lastly, I want to again commend commentary. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura continue to be good, though this was their worst outing. A bit too much bickering and Jesse’s constant fat shaming of Sapphire was rough.

SCORE: 8.0





For the most part, this show followed a simple formula. They didn’t waste time with non-wrestling segments outside of the Rhythm and Blues song. Instead, it reverted back to doing a couple of short interviews and then a match. That works. There was a lengthy intermission that hurt the flow. I also think there were too many matches. I’m okay with 15 or so matches if they all matter. Too many here felt like filler or squashes. That’s not what I want on my WrestleMania.

SCORE: 5.5





This show didn’t do too much in the way of non-wrestling segments. To get the bad out of the way, I was not a fan of the Rhythm and Blues singing and the subsequent stuff involving the Bushwhackers. Put that on Saturday Night’s Main Event or something, not here. I also didn’t like the backstage segment where they insinuated that Jesse Ventura had an X-rated video tape out there. It wasn’t funny and didn’t entertain me. The Andre the Giant babyface turn and Jake Roberts post-match angle with Damien both came across well. The stuff that didn’t work here at least didn’t take up too much time, so I didn’t hate it.

SCORE: 6.0





The third best WrestleMania so far. It looked fantastic, has some truly memorable moments, and was mostly entertaining. The biggest knock against it was that the card was too filled with fluff. If you cut out the unimportant matches, we’d be talking about a much better show. Regardless, it is a show with a great main event, a few decent matches, and nothing more.

TOTAL: 44/70


WrestleMania Rankings
1. WrestleMania III – 55/70
2. WrestleMania I – 50/70
3. WrestleMania VI – 44/70
4. WrestleMania V – 39/70
5. WrestleMania VI – 32/70
6. WrestleMania 2 – 29/70


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WrestleMania 6, Kevin Pantoja