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Old 06-17-2014, 10:24 PM   #1
Dylan
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Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread



In this thread we will watch and rank on a scale of 1-10 a Wrestlemania each week starting with Wrestlemania 1 and ending with Wrestlemania 30. Everyone is encouraged to post why they came up with the ranking they did. At the end of Raw each week rankings will be closed and we will move on to the next Wrestlemania.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread



Wrestlemania 1 March 30th, 1985 from Madison Square Garden in New York City:

1. Tito Santana vs. The Executioner
2. King Kong Bundy (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Special Delivery Jones
3. Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne
4. David Sammartino (with Bruno Sammartino)vs. Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant)
5. The Junkyard Dog vs. Greg Valentine (c) (with Jimmy Hart) Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
6. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (with Freddie Blassie) vs. The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) (c) (with Lou Albano) Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship
7. André the Giant vs. Big John Studd (with Bobby Heenan) Body Slam Challenge
8. Wendi Richter (with Cyndi Lauper) vs. Leilani Kai (c) (with The Fabulous Moolah) Singles match for the WWF Women's Championship
9. Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (with Jimmy Snuka) vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (with Bob Orton)

Since this is the first one I want to keep it open a little longer than I normally will. So rankings will stay open until after Raw finishes on June 30th.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I like this idea. I've not seen quite a few WrestleMania's (1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 18-24).
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #4
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I watched, didn't rank(but there are certainly some stinkers) all of them before Mania XXX this year. I don't think I will watch them all again but I will chime in from time to time.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

In, will try to rewatch Mania I this weekend.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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I'm trying to get through WM 1 now but it's pretty tough. These old matches and promos are so bad. So far Ventura on commentary has been the best part. He makes some of these unwatchable matches watchable.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

It's easily the toughest one to rank because there's very little good in terms of matches, and yet it was highly successful financially and thus made it possible to even have the next 29+ that followed. Vince was definitely all-in on that one.

If WM I's show was swapped in for one years later, it would be one of the worst, but as it is I'm inclined to rate it above other bad ones (while still rating it pretty low) just because of historical value.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
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In to review this weekend
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:00 AM   #11
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Doubt I have time for this.

WM1 has to score extra points for being the first of its kind though.

+ MR T.

We all thought he was cool back then.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

started WM1 last night. executioner's promo was quite the start to the event.

when i was like 13 i got a VHS box set of all wrestlemanias through whatever year it was, probably wm13. i assume i've watched these oldies before but didn't remember anything from wm1 i've seen thus far.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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I haven't finished yet but so far Steamboat/Borne is my favorite match. I feel like if they had gotten more time they could have put on a 4 star match, I was always a big fan of both of them.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Review of WrestleMania

1. Tito Santana defeated The Executioner - One-sided, and relatively unspectacular. Seems like the intent was for Tito to quasi-squash so a decent match for what it was meant to be. 1 3/4 stars.

2. King Kong Bundy (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Special Delivery Jones - Squash match. N/A stars.

3. Ricky Steamboat defeated Matt Borne - Really enjoyed this match though it was a bit short. First promos of the night that weren't painful to listen to. 3 stars.

4. David Sammartino (with Bruno Sammartino) fought Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant) to a double disqualification - Surprisingly decent. David was better than I was expecting, though my expectations were low. Crowd was visibly pumped to see Bruno. Beefcake and Valiant portrayed heel roles pretty well. 1 3/4 stars.

5. The Junkyard Dog defeated Greg Valentine (c) (with Jimmy Hart) by countout - JYD's entrance is the first time we get music. He's really over with the crowd. Not a terrible match but fairly slow-paced and boring. Ending was pretty bad - did the referee just take Santana's word that Valentine had his feet on the ropes? 1 3/4 stars.

6. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (with Freddie Blassie) defeated The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) (c) - Best match of the night - very fast-paced and exciting. I thought everyone was pretty good in the ring but was especially impressed by Sheik's promos and ability to draw heat. Textbook heel stuff but he really did a great job here. Nice to see Blassie and Albano. 3 stars.

7. André the Giant defeated Big John Studd (with Bobby Heenan) - Awful. 0 stars.

8. Wendi Richter (with Cyndi Lauper) defeated Leilani Kai (c) (with The Fabulous Moolah) - I actually thought this was decent. Fairly fast-paced though it might have only seemed that way due to the rest of the card. Crowd seems into it. I think this would stack up just fine against a modern-day Diva match. Bad, poorly executed and unbelievable ending sequence. 2 stars.

9. Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (with Jimmy Snuka) defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (with Bob Orton) - Not my cup of tea. In-ring action was pretty substandard but with Orndoff, Hogan and Mr. T in there you can't expect much. Mr. T actually moved around pretty well, all things considered. Piper does a good job selling. Somewhat overbooked. 1 1/2 stars.

Summary

I enjoyed this PPV more than I thought I would. Ventura's commentary and Okerlund were very good. Alfred Hayes was basically as bad as you can get. Aside from Monsoon's praises, for the first eight matches I had a hard time distinguishing the event from your typical '80s WWF event as all of the star power was saved for the Hogan match. Billy Martin, Liberace, and Ali were nice touches and the crowd really seemed to appreciate them being there. From a pure wrestling perspective, I think the card ages pretty well. Unfortunately, the best matches (Steamboat/Borne and Volkoff/Sheik/U.S. Express) were a bit on the short side.

Nothing to rank it up against so for the time being the original WrestleMania reigns supreme in my rankings:

1. WM 1

Last edited by diskoteque; 06-19-2014 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Watched 1 yesterday.

- everybody is fat. Yet everybody seemed to be claiming to be 50 lbs heavier than they really are.

- Tag champ march only thing that didn't feel painfully dated.

- Andre March was all the garbage.

- Mean Gene is really good.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #16
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Only 45 minutes in, but I'm pretty tilted at the claim that Bundy's match is only 9 seconds long, a new record. Does this ever get corrected by an official scorer.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:33 PM   #17
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

WrestleMania I

As long as they were bringing in celebs, I guess I don't know why Mean Gene sang the national anthem.

Tito Santana vs. The Executioner: So if your angle to make this match intriguing is that The Executioner is some dark and mysterious unknown, you don't hand him a mic before the match to cut a really bad promo. He lost whatever he had going right there.

Action in this match was a bit generic, but I found it kind of fun. Was a solid way to open the card. **

King Kong Bundy vs. S.D. Jones: I don't mind them going insta-squash here. N/A for rating though obviously. Also calling that a nine-second match was obviously a joke; I don't know why they didn't abandon ship on announcing that when it very clearly lasted considerably longer.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne: Solid action, pretty enjoyable. Too short, and I wish Steamboat spent less time clinging to a side headlock if he knew they were getting less than five minutes. Still, probably a partial notch up from Santana-Executioner. **1/4

David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake: I loved how Jesse would put over even the midcard matches at Mania. "The loser of this match will almost certainly have their career set back by six months to a year." I remember him periodically making these comments on big shows over the years and it really did help the match seem more important. Of course, the comment had truth to it too, since pushes and angles developed a lot more slowly back in the 80s and if they're putting you under on the midcard of the big show then they probably didn't have immediate plans for you.

That little commentary aside, this match was pretty dull, and it's crazy that they gave these guys more time than the first three matches combined since neither of these wrestlers could really go in the ring and they spent a lot of the match stalling out their allotted time. Having the feel-good Sammartino father/son moment makes plenty of sense on Mania, but they basically could have done this match in the 3-4 minutes they restricted Santana-Executioner and Steamboat-Borne to. 1/2*

IC Title: Greg Valentine (c) vs. JYD: Early-to-mid-80s Greg Valentine looks like he was a pretty decent character. He was as dull as dishwater by the time I started watching in the late 80s…he was just some generic guy who was there. Was always a decent hand in the ring though.

Match is meh. Dusty-ish finish is silly. Seems to me that on the inaugural WrestleMania they should have worked in a babyface title change; Tito over Valentine would have worked very well, since they did that for the title not long after this and it's almost like they used WrestleMania to build up to a house show title win. As for this, 3/4*

Tag Titles: Windham and Rotundo (c) vs. Volkoff & Iron Sheik: Can't say I remembered this one being so fun, but I enjoyed it a decent bit. Good pace, hot crowd, history in the tag division back when the tag division was a real thing. My favorite match of the show. ***

Bodyslam Match: Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd: Obviously pretty damn slow and plodding; Andre was already significantly broken-down by this point. The final moment of the match is gratifying, and it's a fun lasting image to have Andre throwing the money out into the crowd before Heenan snags the bag of money away, but the match itself is nothing. 1/4*

Women's Title: Leilani Kei (c) vs. Wendi Richter: Aside from having a hot crowd, which showed that the rock & wrestling thing was working well, this was pretty bad. Botched ending makes it even worse. 1/4*

Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff: Hogan's late hot tag to Mr. T may have been the least successful hot tag I can remember. T was down at the mercy of the heels within 10 seconds. Anyway, match was sort of a mess with only a couple of fleeting worthwhile moments. I remember it being more watchable than this. *1/2

Overall: The show, up through Sheik and Volkoff's tag title win, was pretty good. It petered out after that and I didn't enjoy much during the last few matches.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:52 AM   #18
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I would be curious to see who else was part of the WWF lineup back then to see who didn't make it because some of these matches were just awful.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:16 PM   #19
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Honestly, not many. Tony Atlas and Hillbilly Jim come to mind, but neither of them would have improved the match quality much. The Bulldogs and Harts either weren't there yet or had just gotten there. I don't think the talent raids had really gotten into full swing by that point.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:39 PM   #20
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
Seems to me that on the inaugural WrestleMania they should have worked in a babyface title change
Well, they did. I would even go so far as to speculate they did this finish to protect the one title change they had as a big moment.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:30 PM   #21
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by True North View Post
Honestly, not many. Tony Atlas and Hillbilly Jim come to mind, but neither of them would have improved the match quality much. The Bulldogs and Harts either weren't there yet or had just gotten there. I don't think the talent raids had really gotten into full swing by that point.

Muraco, Fuji, Adonis? Not having Snuka in a match seemed kind of weak to me especially with his superfly off the top rope in a marquee event like this. Just goes to show if you build it they will come.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #22
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

The matches:

Tito Santana vs. Executioner *1/2
Not bad opener. Tito could always be depended on to deliver a good match. Prematch promos were hilarious, you have a guy from parts unknown, weight unknown, and he cuts a promo on how he's going to go after Tito's leg? Certainly not what you'd call a Blow Away interview.

King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones DUD
I had it at 23 seconds, FWIW.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne **1/2
Borne is a good hand, as we saw with Doink, and Steamboat, of course, is Steamboat. This could have been even better if they gave them some time.

David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake *1/2
I thought this wasn't terrible by mid 80s standards. Obviously, this was just to get Bruno out there in front of the Garden crowd. Smart move, fans were into it.

IC Title: Greg Valentine [c] vs. Junkyard Dog *1/4
Meh. Dusty Finish takes points away, plus I hate when they have faces celebrating a countout or DQ win like that.

Tag Titles: Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo [c] vs. Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff ***
I kinda miss the days when you could get a stiff like Volkoff over just by getting him to badly sing the Soviet anthem before every match. Match of the night, obviously. Tag team wrestling was where it was at in the mid-late 80s WWF.

$15,000 vs. career, bodyslam match: Big John Studd vs. Andre the Giant -**
Next.

Women's Title: Leilani Kai [c] vs. Wendi Richter *1/2
I have to say, I was into this, despite the botched finish. I can see why this was one of the keys of the MTV partnership, the crowd just exploded when the music hit and Cyndi and Wendi came out.

Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff **
This was OK. I rated it up due to the atmosphere more than anything. Mr. T was not a decent wrestler by any stretch.

Comments:

- Commentary, of course, was excellent. Gorilla and Jesse really improved the broadcast, very capably calling the action and explaining why things were happening, as opposed to mostly ignoring the action in favour of storylines, as we get today. They made the worse matches tolerable and the good ones even better. Jesse seemed to be playing it mostly straight with a very subtle heel edge, which was interesting.

- Lord Alfred Hayes is the worst there is, the worst there was, and the worst there ever will be. And what was with putting him right in front of where the wrestlers went after leaving the ring?

- When did they figure out that Beefcake was from San Francisco?

- Not part of the actual show, but I hate the dubbing for the most part. Dubbing in "Real American" over "Eye of the Tiger" messed up the crowd reaction. The US Express' dubbed music was awful -- I mean, obviously you can't use "Born in the U.S.A.", but at least give them something decent. I was surprised they have the rights to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".

Overall rating: 5/10
Thumbs solidly in the middle. Not much great, not much truly terrible. Certainly better than the next one.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #23
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How did JYD get away with Another One Bites the Dust?
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:28 PM   #24
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They've paid for rights here and there over time.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:46 PM   #25
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

They dubbed over that one as well, with "Grab Them Cakes." That one bugged me because they cut out the commentary while the song was playing. Also, those overdubbed intros by the Fink are the worst.
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