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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown

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DAY 9

The second round of the tournament begins with Andre-Hogan II.  You can clearly tell this is one of the reasons fPOTUS wanted to "host" this event because this (and Warrior's entrance) were the only times he's actually looked in the direction of the ring for any extended period of time.  

The production is also very weird.  Because *this* is when they show why we're doing this tournament in the first place.  Clearly showing the difference in this show being for the hardcore fans (because knowledge of the product is expected) and today's casual fan approach (where they'd tell you what and why this is happening before the first match).  Also, the recap is done right after Andre surrenders the title to DiBiase, and none of the Jack Tunney stuff aft.... Oh wait.  Does Vince hate Tunney now enough to cut him out of the PPV?  

Regardless, it's funny to hear them talk about Andre being 7'4" and Hogan being 6'8" because I'm 6' tall and...

But anyway, it's a COMPLETE horseshit Double DQ as Hogan blatantly hits Andre with the steel chair first.  Also, the funniest moment of this match is Hogan's inability to get through the curtain to get into the arena and a clearly annoyed Vince having to pull the curtain for him.  That was great.  

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Hogan was a shoot 6'4" (worked height anywhere between 6'6" and 6'8") before his spine crumbled to powder. He's much shorter now.

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WrestleMania IV is a really strange show for me. It was one of the very few shows I had on VHS as a kid, so I've seen it more often than damn near every other show ever, and it's got a warm blanket of nostalgia comfort for me.

But, objectively... It's boring as fuck

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2 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

WrestleMania IV is a really strange show for me. It was one of the very few shows I had on VHS as a kid, so I've seen it more often than damn near every other show ever, and it's got a warm blanket of nostalgia comfort for me.

But, objectively... It's boring as fuck

I'm telling you...the concept of two (count em two!) tapes was because they knew it was not a good show and needed some type of selling point.

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WrestleMania V is somehow even longer (though it at least has a few more highpoints)

Thankfully they backed off the long ass shows after V until X7 (and then we have the current shows...)

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WM V is the one I've seen more than any other and it's a good show!  I'll post more about it when Dolf gets to it 

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The second round continues with DiBiase and Muraco.  It's clear at this point that DiBiase is half-speeding to have something left for the Finals. It's also clear that Muraco is half-assing it, to have something left for the after party.  I'll note at this point, how irritating it is for the wrestlers to be playing very specifically to the future POTUS.  He's sitting at the back of the ring (hard-camera-wise) and so they're all going back there, doing spots outside the ring directly in front of him.  It's a bad setup and don't remember right now if Mania V does the same thing.  Anyway, it's annoying.  DiBiase wins and goes to the Finals. 

Savage/Valentine is on now.  And the fact that this got 6 minutes makes me so sad.  Respect to the Savages for packing 4 separate matching outfits for the card.  Especially with Vince, whomst in the height of his cocaine binges probably changed the booking of this tournament 12 times before we got what we got. Even in 1988, I can't imagine how much it cost to check all that needed luggage. 

At this point they do some interviews and One Man Gang actually going to the ring for the tennis tournament-style walkover.  DiBiase would get one later on.   They seriously could've shaved off 10 minutes by making this an announcement or having a physical bracket available for people to just look at in the arena.

Final match of the ride is the IC Title match between Honky Tonk Man and Brutus Beefcake. The match itself was mercifully short, and even then it managed to be boring. Frankly, the best thing about this match was Peggy Sue. 

KvTuH.jpg?q=50&fit=crop&w=740&h=831

Who you may know as Sensational Sherri.   And I'm banning whoever on this board is not a stan for Sherri.  

This ends Day 9. 

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Day 10

Okay, let's wrap this fucker up.  

6 Man Action next as the British Bulldogs/Koko B. Ware are up against The Islanders and Bobby The Brain.  This was prompted by the Islanders dognapping Matlida in an angle I vaguely remember from childhood.  Anyway, this is a showcase for how much Bobby Heenan ruled the world.  He's in a dog handler suit like this little English Bulldog was an 80lb. (or 35 kilograms for those of you who hate freedom) Pit Bull.  He only comes into the match when someone is down and out and eventually gets caught in one of his tricks and gets his ass beat. . . And of course, steals the pin at the end.  And then gets "mauled" by Matilda after clearly beckoning her with something. 

No one can hold a candle to The Brain.  Except Stokely. 

The only semi-final is now Savage and the One Man Gang. Savage is also half-assing this too and thankfully this ends quickly.  Randy/Liz's white outfits were amazing.

Strike Force vs Demolition.  Oh hells yeah, now we're talking.  It should be noted, that even with the audio sweetening, the crowd has a very clear favorite... and it ain't Strike Force.  They wouldn't turn face until late November(!) which speaks to how much slower they were to react to the crowd back in these days.  Anyway, Ax brains Martel with Fuji's cane and Demolition win their first tag team championship.  This clearly pleases the blonde kid in the front row who's jumped out of his seat when the Dems got the belts.  I'm pretty sure that's Eric Trump.  

 

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The tournament and this show end with the Grand Finals of Savage vs DiBiase.  This was a weird match, as the overlapping angles and personalities are all making this an utter disaster to watch without being immersed in the product at the time.  They're doing their best to build Macho as the new champ, but the first half of the match is literally setting up Hogan coming out to even the odds with Andre.  BTW, a delightful piece of trolling on Andre's part is he's standing *directly* in front of Trump.  So even if he wanted to watch, he couldn't. 

So we know what happens, Hogan clobbers (and I mean he fucking LAYS IT IN) DiBiase with a steel chair, causing Macho's win to be a little tainted. Savage is celebrating winning the title with Hogan and Elizabeth in the ring.  It's been so long, I can't remember if Randy being annoyed Hogan stayed in the ring for the whole thing was a shoot or just setting up the eventual Mania V angle. If I had a guess, I'd quote Bob Ross, "There are no mistakes, just happy accidents."  As it is, as I was watching, I just thought, I was actually annoyed at Hogan as a kid, but now I kind of get he was doing a passing the torch moment (which he never did).  

Macho with Elizabeth on his shoulder is one of the most iconic moments in history and I did smile big when I saw it again.  

---

All in all, I'll say breaking this show up into 45-60 minute chunks made this look a LOT better in retrospect.  There wasn't anything really good wrestling-wise, but the big angles were set up for the future... the angles that were here delivered for the most part... and Savage was the new flagship of the WWE.  

Until the next year.... 

I begin Mania V tonight.  

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On 4/4/2020 at 7:33 PM, Brian Fowler said:

WrestleMania IV is a really strange show for me. It was one of the very few shows I had on VHS as a kid, so I've seen it more often than damn near every other show ever, and it's got a warm blanket of nostalgia comfort for me.

But, objectively... It's boring as fuck

Same. I vividly remember asking for it for Christmas because I figured I was getting the most bang for my buck.

Strike Force v Demolition remains my favourite match from the show 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Final match of the ride is the IC Title match between Honky Tonk Man and Brutus Beefcake. The match itself was mercifully short, and even then it managed to be boring. Frankly, the best thing about this match was Peggy Sue. 

Fun fact: referee Jimmy Korderas gets knocked out cold at the end. Not from the megaphone shot itself, but the face first bump on the mat.

Edited by PetrolCB

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They should have done at least one face vs face and heel vs heel match in the tournament. I'd have done Savage vs Steamboat in the 2nd round with Savage getting his win back and have Bret go over a babyface in the first round, getting a bye in the second and falling to DiBiase in the semifinal in a hard fought match, getting the fans behind him for his face turn at the next set of tapings when he and Neidhart fire Jimmy Hart. 

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Prichard addressed the Savage-Steamboat II rumors in this interview

(I should also mention how much I hate seeing "This guy SHOOTS ABOUT this!" video titles)

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DAY 11

WRESTLEMANIA V

And we're back at (not) Trump Plaza and now Vince lets you know exactly what the hyper-focus of this show is going to be, as THE MEGAPOWERS EXPLODE~~~~

Hercules starts us off showing that Finn Balor isn't the only one who can be... forward presenting. His opponent is His Royal Majesty, Haku, of house Fifita, wielder of the club of bullets, defender of weasels, and master of the Tongan Death Grip, first of his name.  Long may he reign.  Herc wins a relatively short affair, as I think they had some kinda of plan for him to be an IC level challenger, but he was quickly irrelevant after this. 

Heh, I still remember one of my first pro wrestling bulletin board interactions being some guy who said Marty Jannetty was the more talented guy on the Rockers. So, yes, here's Shawn Michaels debut on a Mania actually cutting a hell of a promo ahead of losing to the Twin Towers.  And now some thoughts about that... well, for obvious reasons, the name Twin Towers can never, EVER be used again, but damned if that wasn't a fucking awesome name for a pair of big guys.  To a man, every bear friend I have that's 35 and up, knows the Big Boss Man and actively had a crush on him.  Yours truly was no different.   

Now, Akeem. . .  

Akeem was a... boundary pushing... gimmick, even in 1989.  I'm sitting there riding and trying to process what I'm seeing. This huge white guy shucking and jiving like he's a cartoon pimp -- with a black guy outside doing a pimp gimmick!  I cannot decide if this is fucking racist... or fucking brilliant.  Seriously.  I think what's breaking my brain is the fact that Gang really GOES FOR IT.  Unapologetic about shucking in EVERY movement.  He's poured himself into this gimmick and if nothing else, as a performer, that's admirable.   

Look, I completely, completely understand the cringe and racism in this whole thing.  The problem of a guy from South Carolina playing a character who thinks he's from Africa.  But damn it, sometimes wrestling is supposed to be fun.  Akeem was fun as fuck. 

Guys I think the Firefly Funhouse Match broke my brain... 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

His opponent is His Royal Majesty, Haku, of house Fifita, wielder of the club of bullets, defender of weasels, and master of the Tongan Death Grip, first of his name.  Long may he reign.

That is absolutely A+ introduction if there ever was one.  Well done.  And that Rockers/Twin Towers match will be known for not just being a great match but also for the insane clothesline that Akeem did.  Need to go back and watch that.

Edited by NikoBaltimore

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I was thinking about Boss Man a few days ago when I was watching the triangle match from Fall Brawl 94.  I always remembered him losing a ton of weight when he came back for his second WWE run, but dude actually dropped a lot of it even before he went back to WCW too. Twin Towers Boss Man was massive and, like, lost 60+ pounds at some point. Now I'm not sure when that was exactly.

As for WMV, it was the tag matches that always stood out to me. In particular given WWE's track record with tag team wrestling, there were 5 tag matches on this show and 4 of them were pretty good. 

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I grew up in Greenwich Village, and have always been comfortable if not fascinated by subcultures, especially gay culture and subcultures. I worked in clubs alongside my queer brothers and sister for most of my wild years. However, I never appreciated the gay/wrestling crossover until I worked the day bartending shift at a Chicago leather bar. Some of the monitors showed porn, but I was allowed to play my own tapes on the rest, and it was usually pro wrestling, which was received enthusiastically by the patrons. Almost all of the older customers loved wrestling in their younger days and most still followed it. Brother, there was a goldmine of stories and it helped my tips too. It helped me be able to see that there were different ways to watch wrestling, and that you could watch with different perspectives simultaneously. Those grizzled leathermen knew their grappling as well, and I learned how to wield several different kinds of whips. Amerika: what a country!

- RAF

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@Dolfan in NYC for whatever reason the board just now notified me that you referenced me in a comment, but you think I'm a Michigander?

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I think Bossman lost the weight right around the time of his face turn in late 89 or early 90.

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2 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

I think Bossman lost the weight right around the time of his face turn in late 89 or early 90.

He was still a bit heavy at WM VI. The stuff with Hogan around The SummerSlam is when it started to get a bit more noticeable. He got into really good shape by then end of the year. 

I still believe they should've given him the IC title at Mania VII. They could've easily had Perfect win it back before the match with Hart.

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Posted (edited)

No fooling: The rumour at the time was that Akeem was Vince attempting to make fun of Dusty. Presumably the thought process was something along the lines of "Dusty is a big white guy getting hugely over by acting like a bad-movie-stereotype of a black man..." 

Edited by gordi
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7 minutes ago, gordi said:

No fooling: The rumour at the time was that Akeem was Vince attempting to make fun of Dusty. Presumably the thought process was something along the lines of "Dusty is a big white guy getting hugely over by acting like a bad-movie-stereotype of a black man..." 

They ended up facing each other too...

 

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8 hours ago, NikoBaltimore said:

That is absolutely A+ introduction if there ever was one.  Well done.  And that Rockers/Twin Towers match will be known for not just being a great match but also for the insane clothesline that Bossman did.  Need to go back and watch that.

The clothesline was from Akeem.

 

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I think if he hit the first one it would've been as bad if not worse, just look how fast and hard he threw that arm.

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I could never get tired of watching Akeem clothesline Michaels.

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