Let’s continue my look back 30 years ago to the original WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden by running down the big matches on March 31, 1985. Please check my prior posts in this series about the build-up for WrestleMania and a review of the preliminary matches on the supercard.
- Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik defeat Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo to win the WWF Tag Team Title – The match was short, but all action and was probably the best in-ring performance of this Mania. Captain Lou Albano accompanied the babyfaces to the ring, while Classy Freddie Blassie managed Sheik and Volkoff. Jesse “The Body” Ventura, on color commentary with Gorilla Monsoon, actually claimed Volkoff was a former Olympian. There were some great, simple spots in the match, including Sheik accidentally dropkicking Volkoff (I’m not sure I ever saw Sheik do another dropkick since then) and a high backdrop by Rotundo. Fans at the time buzzed about the ending, when Sheik broke Blassie’s cane over Windham’s back, leading to the title change. Interesting to note that Rotundo performed in the original WrestleMania, and this year his son, Bray Wyatt, faces the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31.
- Andre the Giant defeats Big John Studd in the $15,000 bodyslam challenge – The rules were simple: If Andre slammed Studd, he would win $15,000 in cash in a duffel bag; if Studd wasn’t slammed, Andre had to retire. As you might imagine, this was the typical slow match these two often did, with the prerequisite
rest holdbearhug from Andre. The slam came out of nowhere, and then Andre attempted to throw the cash to the crowd, but Studd’s manager, Bobby Heenan, ran up and stole the bag from Andre. The crowd went nuts at the end of the match after getting the slam they wanted.
Chris Jericho again posted an excellent podcast, this time with WWE legend Hulk Hogan in a two-parter.
I suppose I should first mention that Hogan has a penchant for outright lying and rewriting history whenever he does interviews. That’s how Hulk operates, so any of his stories must be scrutinized.
That said, Hogan told Jericho about when Vince McMahon approached him to be the flag bearer for McMahon’s national expansion plans. Hogan said he agreed less because of Vince’s big ambitions and more to get back to Madison Square Garden and the Northeast wrestling scene that the WWF had long ruled over.
“I felt whether [the expansion] would work or not, I wanted to go back to New York,” he said. “If you’re a wrestler, the biggest you can get is to wrestle in the Garden.”Embed from Getty Images
“That Northeast, that’s wrestling up there. That’s where Continue reading
I’ve got to hand it to Chris Jericho: He conducted an awesome podcast with WWE exec and multi-time champion Triple H about his early days in wrestling and getting hired by the WWE.Embed from Getty Images
One of my favorite parts of the interview was when Triple H briefly talked about watching pro wrestling on TV in his youth. Triple H is 45 and grew up in southern New Hampshire, so it will be no surprise Continue reading
The memories of Bruno Sammartino – you know, that guy who isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame – cracked me up recently.
Sammartino gave a great interview on Wrestling Observer Radio on November 3, during which he brought up a sore spot that anyone who listened to Vince McMahon as play-by-play announcer could relate to: McMahon never knew the names of wrestling moves.
This lapse was always a problem with Continue reading
Talk of Randy Orton’s arm injury (broken forearm, separated shoulder, who knows) made me wonder whether his dad, Cowboy Bob Orton, would dust off the cast he wore for 18 months or so in the 1980s.
The elder Orton really broke his arm in 1985, but typical of wrestling, they exaggerated things, Continue reading
Sorry for the lapse in posts, but I lost a loser leaves town match back on April 19 and didn’t have any luck coming back under a hood as “Boston Garden Loge” or something like that.
While the loser leaves town match has been a staple in wrestling for eons, I don’t recall it ever getting much play in the 1980s in the WWF. It was one of those gimmicks Continue reading
With all the Internet chatter about the WWE’s Chris Jericho and Hurricane Helms being arrested for public drunkeness, I couldn’t help but think the police who responded were lucky they didn’t instead have to arrest Ken Patera and Mr. Saito.
Back in 1984, Patera and Saito were apparently upset that a McDonald’s in Wisconsin was closed for the night and wouldn’t serve them food. Patera hurled a boulder through the restaurant’s window and the pair went back to the hotel. Police soon came looking for them, and a brawl broke out. As Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer wrote recently Continue reading