The Mega Powers EXPLODED at WrestleMania V, with Hogan taking his rightful place as WWE champion. But as the eighties ended and the nineties began, Vince McMahon started to look towards the future. Hulk Hogan was always going to be a bonafide draw, but hey, let’s get another guy up there too while business is still hot! Business was indeed still strong, but someone needed to gain enough momentum to be a top draw just like Hogan while the iron was still hot. Enter Ultimate Warrior. His fanbase had been strong over the last couple of years thanks to his look, charisma, and the fact that he almost never lost a match. He was quickly becoming the number two babyface in the promotion, so it would only make sense to make his Hogan’s successor.
At WrestleMania VI, the Ultimate Warrior, then Intercontinental champion, took on Hulk Hogan, then WWE champion, for both belts. The Ultimate Challenge, as it would soon be named, was on, and the question is, who would be walking out of the Toronto Skydome the WWE champion? And will the champion fade into the sunset, or will he find a way to get back to the top?
We start off the show with a cool constellation intro that shows Hogan and Warrior in the stars, then we kick it to Rene Goulet sings Oh Canada. Well, that’s true, we are in Canada. Very nice rendition.
Rick Martel vs. Koko B. Ware: Rick Martel is now Rick “The Model” Martel, because now he’s a model who sprays everyone with his blinding perfume Arrogance. No other reason for it, I guess. It’s the best thing ever, I should add. Koko starts off hot, but Martel takes him down. Koko went back on offense and in a weird sport, Koko went to punch him and Martel did something akin to the flair flop. Koko misses a move off the top rope and Martel gets the win with the Boston crab. A basic squash opener. *¼
Mean Gene is with the current tag team champions, the Colossal Connection, consisting of Andre the Giant and Haku. Demolition is headed straight to the treatment plant after tonight, they say. Sean Mooney is with Demolition. They all want to do specific things to the Colossal Connection pertaining to their name- Ax wants to chop them down like a redwood and Smash wants to see them smash together. Very to the point and logical goals here.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Colossal Connection © vs. Demolition: Heels jump them at the bell. Andre seems like he can’t even move around the ring, hanging by the ropes as Haku gets worked on. This was such a bad match. Andre just could not do anything except stand in the corner as Haku did the entire match, which was way too long given who’s involved. The crowd did get into Demolition’s comeback, at least. Andre finally got in the ring by grabbing Smash and setting up for a Haku superkick, but it connects to Andre again and he does his favorite arm tied up in the ropes spot as Demolition hit their finish on Haku and regain the tag team championships for a third time. At least people popped huge for the title switch. ½*
Bobby Heenan is livid after the match, and targets Andre for the loss. He ends up slapping Andre, which is a huge no-no. Andre paintbrushes him and sends him reeling. Haku tries to attack after, but Andre deals with him easily. This is pretty much his swan song as he doesn’t do much due to his deteriorating condition. He did appear back from time to time, doing important things such as spanking Sherri Martel to close out episodes of Prime Time Wrestling. I wish I had a gif.
Mean Gene is with Jimmy Hart and Earthquke. Earthquake proceeded to do a lot of earthquake puns and promised to shake Hercules’ world apart. Because he is named Earthquake, you see.
Hercules vs. Earthquake: This is a match WWE creative people at the time proposed for WRESTLEMANIA. This as well was too long for what it was designed to be. They started off hot, got pretty boring with lots of rest holds and tests of power type spots. Hercules made a comeback, but Earthquake cuts him off and hits the butt splash for the win. ¾*
Someone named Rona, who I guess was a bigger name in 1990 than 2014, interviews Elizabeth. She says it’s true, she’s taken on more of an advisory role lately. Who is she advising? Hogan? She was worried she couldn’t be more help in the outside, and says if she does return she’ll be more active than ever before. Very engaging.
Sean Mooney is with Brutus Beefcake. He says Mr. Perfect has a pretty impressive record, but everyone has flaws (boy he’d know) and tonight he’ll sever his record. I don’t know how one can do that. I think it was supposed to be a scissors pun.
Mr. Perfect vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake: This was alright. This crowd is so hot for everything it’s like night and day compared to the last two shows. Beefcake wasn’t good, but Perfect took some good bumps and looked like the most athletic guy here up to this point. So because he’s actually like, athletic, he in fact lost after Beefcake slingshotted him into the corner and rolled him up. Rumor has it that this was probably a favor to someone since a certain someone else will be losing later tonight. **
Beefcake looks to cut Perfect’s hair after because, well, he’s a douche, but The Genius, in his everlasting wisdom, takes his shears and runs away. Unfortunately, Beefcake catches up to him. Perfect scurries away as Genius falls asleep via sleeper and gets his hair cut. Ventura, much like myself, are disgusted by these actions. Shouldn’t he be fined? Gorilla Monsoon says that this is “extra curricular” after the match stuff so it’s fine. Ok, then I don’t want to hear it when someone lays someone out after a match and I hear “what a miscarriage of justice”, homie.
Roddy Piper did a promo in half blackface and made several racial remarks towards Bad News Brown. Keep in mind Piper is the babyface. Keep in mind this was 1990. 24 years later I think people are still asking what the hell he was thinking here.
Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown: Piper was being so obnoxious with his getup I was begging Bad News Brown to kick his ass. They did indeed have a brawl, and it was…there. Towards the end of the match Piper takes out a glove designed to look like Michael Jacksons and starts beating him with it. This is all perfectly legal, well, because It ends up in a double countout, a great finish. DUD
They did a skit with Steve Allen and the Bolsheviks in the shower, well, because. They wanted him to play the Soviet national anthem, but he instead played silly songs. Then the shower started. A barrel of laughs.
The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks: The faces acted like jerks as the heels sang their song. Gorilla said he would stand up only if they sang good. Ventura asks what does that have to do with anything. He had no answer. Gorilla was really coming off as biased here while Ventura was the smart, logical one. The heels were jumped by the faces and lost quickly via a Hart Attack. NR
WrestleMania VII is coming to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they say! It didn’t.
Tito Santana vs. The Barbarian: Tito’s music is so awesome. This match was solid, too. It was mostly Tito on offense but Barbarian looked strong in the spots he did, which were not many. He stops Tito’s momentum by going through the ropes, Tito colliding into him, then decapitates him with a clothesline off the middle rope for the win. And no bones about it, that clothesline spot looked sick- Tito landed right on his head and it probably wasn’t fun times for him that night. *¾
Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire promo. They’re ready to beat the King and Queen tonight. Dusty, polka dots and all, promised a “crown jewel”. What does that entail?
Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire vs. Macho King Randy Savage and Queen Sherri: Dusty’s crown jewel, in fact, was Savage’s former manager Elizabeth, who was in their corner. Lots of comedy spots involving Macho Man and Sherri colliding into one another. Sapphire and Sherri wrestled and I must say, Sapphire’s offense was reminiscent of Jenna Morasca’s. In other words, ungodly terrible. Savage was going for another sledge off the top rope but Sapphire got in the way. Savage meanly shoved her to the floor as he continued offense on Rhodes. While the ref is distracted, Savage hits Dusty with the scepter. Sherri and Sapphire are in and when Sherri makes it to the outside, Elizabeth actually grabs her and throws her into the ring! She lived up true to her word! She was distracting Sherri when Sherri fell over Sapphire and got rolled up for the three count. Nothing match but kind of entertaining for what it was. ¾*
After the match, Dusty dispatched the heels and they danced. Even Ms. Elizabeth got down! It was incredibly awkward, of course. I wish I could find the gif (again).
Jesse and Gorilla were with Rona Barrett. Oh there you go, that was the Rona from earlier. I guess she’s a gossip columnist, which I guess is what people looked at in the days before TMZ. She insinuated Jesse Ventura was in an adult film. They were going to show footage, but then they went to the Macho King and Sherri, who were incensed. Savage said suffering builds character and he’ll get Dusty eventually.
Mean Gene is with Demolition. Ax said they knew they’d win the belts, and there would be doubters but they made it through. The Hart Foundation’s name was brought up, but were quickly dismissed by Ax. I think this started the motions towards a heel turn for them as they’d be feuding with the Harts not too long after this.
Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior promos. Both were largely incoherent so I won’t describe them in great detail. But you know what? They were fun. Hogan did his usual deal, and Warrior was his usual incoherent self, but at least you could tell they were energized and enthused about their upcoming matchup.
The Rockers vs. The Orient Express: Basic match, but a lot better than others on the card. Orient Express get the heat after Mr. Fuji uses the cane on Marty to get the heat on the Rockers. They make their comeback, including giving Tanaka a huge back body drop, and look to hit their double team finish. Fuji, however, interferes again, using the cane on Jannetty. He’s had enough, so he starts confronting Fuji. Sato, however, comes up from behind and blinds Janetty with the powder. He is so blinded he trips over the guardrail and onto the crowd. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not, but that was awesome. What’s not awesome, however, is that the Rockers end up losing via count out, so the Orient Express wins. **¼
Steve Allen is back, this time ready to interview Rhythm and Blues. The jist of this was that Steve Allen said Honky Tonk Man reminded him of Elvis and that their band stunk. About as interesting as it sounds.
Dino Bravo vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan: Jesse Ventura says he just plain doesn’t like Duggan because he’s ugly. Umm, there’s a myriad of other reasons, homie. This was a back and forth contest and it actually wasn’t that terrible. Sloppy, sure, but it had action. Duggan became distracted by Earthquake, who was in Dino’s cornet. Jimmy Hart throws the 2×4 to Bravo and goes to use it, but Duggan grabs it and hits Dino in the back with it. The bump Bravo takes for it is amazing. He gets pinned shortly after. *¾
Earthquake demolishes Duggan after the match, laying him out with three Earthquake splashes. “Oh no, someone stop him” I said in the most deadpan manner possible while watching this.
Jake Roberts promo. Promises that it’ll be Ted DiBiase who’s begging for his own money after he gets through with him tonight. This was way better than how I described it.
Ted DiBiase vs. Jake the Snake Roberts: This is for the Million Dollar championship. The match itself is fine, but the crowd is mostly interested in doing the wave. Seriously. Even the announcers point this out as the crowd in the Skydome, in fact, DO THE WAVE. Eventually that’s dropped and they have a match that’s very heated. Roberts hits DiBiase in the gut as he was going for a sledge and does his comeback. Virgil grabs him and drags him out to the floor as Roberts lays him out, but DiBiase gets the sleeper, lays him out and rolls back in for the count out win. The crowd was really loud, and the work here was fine, but eh. **
Jake Roberts lays him out with a DDT and celebrates like he won anyway, passing DiBiase’s money to the crowd and stuffing a bill down his throat. He even gives money to Mary Tyler Moore, who is in the crowd as well. So I guess everyone wins despite him losing!
Sean Mooney is with Akeem and Slick, who hype their upcoming match with Bossman. Makes remarks about DiBiase’s money. Big Bossman says that he’s proud to be American and he’ll take care of Akeem tonight.
Big Bossman vs. Akeem: I was going to say something, but in hindsight the tag team name “Twin Towers” was kind of…umm…yeaaaaah. Let’s just say I can’t use the same verbiage as when another tag team split up the previous year. DiBiase, who was still lurking around after the last match, jumps Bossman while he’s still in the outside and posts him. Akeem goes to the top rope and starts mounting punches and you should have seen the effort this took on his part. Bossman makes a comeback and hits Akeem with the Boss Man slam for the pinfall. ¾*
Bossman lays out Slick after the match, I guess now ridding himself of his former allies and now solely focusing on DiBiase.
Sean Mooney is in the crowd asking people about Rhythm and Blues’ latest hit single. One boy doesn’t give a flip. A little girl is excited. The real reason they’re out here, however, is to interview Mary Tyler Moore who is in the crowd. She’s excited to be here, she says. Sean Mooney asks Mary Tyler Moore about Honky Tonk Man and Rythym and Blues and it’s obvious she has zero clue about them. Oops! He then makes sure to mention her character Mary Richards as they throw it to ringside. Geeks.
Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine and a slew of extras come out and perform “Hunka Hunka Hunka Honky Love”. They sang. It sounded like it was right out of 1957, so I guess it worked. Then the Bushwackers, dressed as merch sellers, come out and destroy their instruments because they’re assholes. Felt like a huge waste of time.
New Skydome attendance record! 67,678 is the announced number. I checked to see if the record still stands. The newly named Rogers Centre (what is with all of these arenas getting sponsored names? Skydome is such a cooler name) in fact has had that record broken. And what broke it? Another show we’ll be getting to later in fact- WrestleMania X8 in 2002!
Rick Rude vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka: Steve Allen was on commentary. He said maybe two things during the entire match. He was not the greatest celebrity guest of all time. Mostly a hot back and forth contest. Superfly misses the splash, Rude hits the Rude awakening and that’s it. **
Recap of the events leading to this match. Warrior and Hogan had an exchange at the Royal Rumble. They win a tag match later at Saturday Night’s Main Event, but Warrior accidentally clotheslines Hogan. Later, Warrior has a match against Earthquake but Hulk Hogan comes out to make the save. This leads to a match with Hulk Hogan taking on Earthquake (who is wearing the ugliest brown tights imaginable) as Warrior comes in and helps him. Warrior hits the ring like he’s going to clothesline him, but doesn’t, then runs away. Mind games or something, I guess.
Title for Title: Ultimate Warrior (IC Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion): The IC champion facing the WWE champion was something that never happened before, you see. They kept saying it was 50/50 and all that, but it was obvious Hogan got the bigger pop coming out. The match starts with Warrior SHOVING Hulk Hogan. He then wants to do a “Greco Roman Knuckle Lock”, which is basically the test of strength spot, which they do and Warrior actually wins. Hogan escapes and hits an elbow but Warrior kicks out at one. Warrior clotheslines him out the ring but Hogan starts selling his leg. He makes it back in on time, but Warrior know starts working on the leg. Warrior starts yakking at the referee but this wakes up Hogan and he mounts a comeback. Fans keep chanting “Hogan”. Never heard Warrior’s name. Warrior mounts a comeback, leading to a double clothesline spot. He slows it down with a long bearhug. Hogan does the finger wag and it’s comebackamania! But wait, REF BUMP. Warrior sledges him twice but misses a tackle. Hogan makes sure to do a visual cover and fast count. BUT WAIT. Warrior hits a back suplex and makes a visual pin as well. The ref wakes up and Hogan kicks out of another pinfall attempt. Warrior tumbles out of the ring as Warrior gives him a post shot. Warrior hits the gorilla press slam, but Hogan kicks out and HULKS UP. Hogan hits the boot and goes for the legdrop, but Warrior dodges, gets up and hits a splash for the three count! This was about as good as a match as you’ll get between Hogan and Warrior, as evidenced by the return bout eight years later. ***¼
Hogan, who made sure to kick out at 3.000001, dramatically sold he lost the title in the most cartoonish way possible. Hey, this was his first clean loss in I don’t know how long, so maybe he just forgot how to sell a loss that wasn’t a count out, DQ or had interference. Hogan grabs the title and heads back to the ring. He pauses for a moment, then hands the title to Warrior and raises his hand as he exits the ring. Pyro goes off as Warrior holds both championships in the air, with Hogan getting back on the motorized cart and making his exit looking sad as the show goes off the air.
This was largely a one match show. Take that away and it was largely no good. The undercard isn’t much to write home about at all, aside from maybe Tito’s huge clothesline bump. Everything was either passable, forgettable or bad. But hey, the main event delivered big time. It was well booked and both guys looked great for the most part. This was all designed to put the Ultimate Warrior as the top babyface. It was the right time to do it, and all things considered he was the guy to do it with. But in the end, something didn’t work out. Business with him wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great like Hogan’s either. For a title run that was designed to last for possibly years, it ended at the Royal Rumble when Savage cost Warrior the title. Sgt. Slaughter would win the championship, now an evil Iraqi who wished doom upon America. You’d think Warrior would want a rematch to win back the title. Nope, instead someone else would be coming back for the title, brother, and he’d be defending America, jack.