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Old 07-09-2014, 06:30 PM   #101
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

WrestleMania III
March 27, 1987 - Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI


- I always thought Aretha's rendition of America the Beautiful was GOAT over Ray Charles'. Maybe it was the venue. Of course, this venue makes a lot of things better.

- Suffice to say the guest commentators were just a smidge better than the year before. Maybe because they didn't do a whole lot of commentating, but they certainly added a lot more to the broadcast when they were on than anyone from WrestleMania 2. Bob Uecker could commentate any Mania he wants as far as I'm concerned.

Can-Am Connection vs. Magnificent Muraco and Cowboy Bob Orton **1/2
Sounds so weird to head Gorilla call Orton as having "excellence of execution". Very solid, if too short, opener obviously designed to showcase the Can-Ams; the heat segment you would normally expect was unusually short. Martel and Zenk looked extremely good, they would have been the obvious choice to dethrone the Harts had Zenk not left the company.

Billy Jerk Haynes vs. Hercules **
Decent match, better than I expected. Good psychology by both throughout, setting each other up for the full nelson. Double countout really made the most sense, a pin wouldn't have been satisfying given the buildup (I loved Herc picking Haynes up at 2 on a pin attempt) and either man submitting would have been horrible for them.

Mixed tag: King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver and The Haiti Kid 1/2*
"Don't Go Messin' With a Country Boy" is the first dubbing casualty of the night, kind of, as you can still hear it underneath the generic banjo music they stuck in. You thought Mr. Wonderful's freefall down the card last year was bad? King Kong Bundy has gone from a main event cage match to wrestling with midgets. Half star entirely for the iconic moment where Bundy slams and elbowdrops Little Beaver to Jesse's eternal delight.

Loser must bow: King Harley Race vs. Junkyard Dog *1/2
Not bad, they didn't get much time for some reason. Notable mostly for Harley's crazy bumps, like the attempted flying headbutt out to the floor. I'm constantly amazed at how over JYD was despite not being used very prominently. I loved Jesse rightly calling out Gorilla for cheering the Dog cheapshotting Race after bowing.

Dream Team vs. Rougeau Brothers *3/4
Another one that was fun while it lasted but too short, plus Heenan coming into the booth took away from the action (although was quite entertaining). I love watching the Rougeaus. To this day, I don't understand why the Dream Team went over when they were breaking up.

Hair vs. hair: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Adorable Adrian Adonis ***
Wildly enjoyable for reasons other than the wrestling, I LOVED this feud as a kid. And so did the crowd, second biggest pop of the night after Hogan. Plus we get introduced to Brutus Beefcake's most enduring gimmick. Nice of Roddy not to beat the hell out of the fan who jumped the barricade to celebrate with him. Jesse constantly no-selling Gorilla reminding everyone that Adonis used to be his tag team partner was funny as hell.

Hart Foundation and Danny Davis vs. British Bulldogs and Tito Santana ***1/4
I liked the concept of this match, as all three of the faces were cheated out of their titles by crooked ref Davis. Also, three of the five best workers in the company in one match doesn't hurt, even if Dynamite was hobbled by the back injury. Jesse comes down to be introduced to the crowd, then makes off with Mathilda. That was never adequately explained to me. Davis was used perfectly, drawing heat for a couple of quick tag sequences and then finally getting caught and murdered by the faces. I'm a little surprised that the heels went over given the six-man non-title setup. Still, really entertaining.

Butch Reed vs. Koko B. Ware *
More weird dubbing as Koko comes out to "Piledriver", which wasn't released until later that year. Jesse debuts his "you know, the B stands for Buckwheat" joke for a worldwide audience. OK match, nothing special, but then you don't want to do anything to burn out the crowd before the next match. Santana comes back out to beat up Slick post-match, was he feuding with him at the time?

IC Title match: Randy "Macho Man" Savage [c] vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat *****
More dubbing: "Sirius" is of course dubbed out for generic music. One of these days I'd like to find Steamboat's WCW theme dubbed in here. I've seen this match so many times that I can recite every word of both prematch promos word for word. Liz looks absolutely SMOKING. What more is there to be said about this match? It's the greatest match ever up to this point in time, and should still be in anyone's top 10. The closing sequence is breathtaking, particularly now when all we get in big matches are finisher-fests. It holds up incredibly well even a quarter-century later, two fantastic workers in their primes just putting on an all-time classic. I've seen this at least 50 times and I can promise you I will never get tired of it.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Honky Tonk Man **1/2
Alice Cooper is in Jake's corner, a hundred times better second than Ozzy Osbourne for the Bulldogs the previous year. Great energy to start as Jake looked like he wanted to tear Honky apart for real. And I really wouldn't blame him after getting nailed by the non-gimmicked guitar. Typical cheap finish for Honky that would become his hallmark over the next year and a half as IC champion, but the crowd still gets their happy ending as Alice gets the snake on Jimmy Hart.

Killer Bees vs. The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff **1/4
Poor Slick couldn't even get changed after getting beat up by Tito. Hacksaw Jim Duggan runs in to break up the Russian national anthem, because FREEDOM and 'Murica and stuff.
Usual solid effort from Sheik and Volkoff, although I could've done with a better finish. Faces celebrating with another face who cost them a win always bugs me.

WWF World title: Hulk Hogan [c] vs. Andre the Giant
The recap of the feud reminded me of the great Piper's Pit with Ventura, worth a look on YouTube if you can still find it. Still can't believe how much garbage Andre got pelted with on his way to and from the ring. Of course, you can't judge this match by the wrestling, as Andre could barely move. Start of the match was very good, Hogan did a great job selling for Andre as he methodically took Hogan apart. It broke down in the middle with the multiple bearhugs, although the crowd was still into it. Hogan going for a piledriver was ridiculous and made for a poor visual when Andre could only gingerly backdrop him on the floor. And then, of course, the iconic finish that will live forever. You couldn't possibly be disappointed with how this came off. I'm actually not going to rate this, because this is a five-star match by every measure but the actual workrate.

Overall: 9.5/10
The WWF made a quantum leap forward with this show. It was nearly a perfect show in every respect, and may well go down as the most important PPV in wrestling history. Every wrestling fan needs to see this at least once.

Rankings so far:
WM3 - 9.5
WM1 - 4.5
WM2 - 3.5
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:34 PM   #102
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Despite the fact that they copped out and I at least picked something, moorobot and True North were both probably correct to refuse to rate Hogan/Andre.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:45 PM   #103
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I needed a way to get to sleep tonight, so I decided to start watching WrestleMania IV early.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:47 PM   #104
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

WrestleMania IV is tough sledding. For a show I rented and watched repeatedly as a kid, and absolutely loved, it really doesn't hold up today.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #105
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

1. WMIII
2. WMII
3. WM


Just a few comments:

I think the Hulk/Andre is the most anticipated match of all time.
I think Steamboat/Savage match is the GOAT.


The WWF did a great job of utilizing their new found media exposure to build a lot of story lines ahead of time, and let people get excited about the PPV which definitely gave this one a huge advantage over the first two.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:53 PM   #106
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Thumbs down Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

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I think the Hulk/Andre is the most anticipated match of all time.
Cena/Rock though. One year build-up for that epic encounter.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:03 AM   #107
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Cena/Rock though. One year build-up for that epic encounter.
1 year? Hogan/Andre was building since Hogan beat Sheik.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:24 AM   #108
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I was being facetious.

Last edited by .isolated; 07-11-2014 at 12:25 AM. Reason: leveled!
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:09 PM   #109
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Not a full review here, just a thought. I had youtubed Savage/Steamboat before the Network came out and was underwhelmed. But after watching the entire show and seeing how it fit into the rest of the card, it definitely shines brighter than everything around it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #110
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Wrestlemania 3 Review:

Not really much to say that hasn't already been said by pretty much everyone. This is just miles ahead of the first two WMs in pretty much every way possible. Even if it didn't have Savage/Steamboat and Hogan/Andre it would still be better than the first two. Whenever we do threads ranking matches I always say that Savage/Steamboat is overrated and doesn't hold up as well as other matches. While I still think that's true, I have a new found respect for this match. Wrestling a match like that in this time period was like Babe Ruth hitting 50 home runs when no one else was hitting 20. It's just so much better than everything else at that time that I now believe it is deserving of it's 5 star rating. Hogan body-slamming Andre is probably the greatest Wrestlemania moment of all time, and despite the match not being a technical masterpiece the atmosphere, build, and payoff makes it 5 stars. Overall I'm going to give Wrestlemania 3 a 7.5/10 rating.

Rankings:
Wrestlemania 3- 7.5
Wrestlemania 2- 4
Wrestlemania 1- 3
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:08 PM   #111
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread



Wrestlemania 4: March 28th, 1988 from Atlantic City, New Jersey





Spoiler:


Rankings will remain open until after Raw on July 21st.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:16 PM   #112
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

WrestleMania IV

Battle Royal: This thing where George Steele never enters the ring, paying off in absolutely nothing, has always baffled me. Again I don't much enjoy battle royals where every participant is in to start out, since it feels like a bit of pointless waiting until the field thins, but as far as traditional battle royals go this one was mildly entertaining. *1/2

First Round: Ted DiBiase vs. Jim Duggan: Apparently these two put on a classic hardcore brawl in their pre-WWF days (I haven't been able to find a copy of it), but no such luck here. Still, this isn't bad. Both wrestlers highly over, DiBiase sold well and did what he could with the match. **1/4

First Round: Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo: This music that's dubbed over Muraco's Jesus Christ Superstar entrance music sucks. I loved that as an entrance theme. Anyway, sweet piledriver by Bravo here, and while I expected this match to suck upon rewatch it wasn't too bad. *1/2

First Round: Greg Valentine vs. Ricky Steamboat: Decent enough match, hoped for a bit better from it but it was solid. Shame that they didn't let the Dragon go over here to set up Savage-Steamboat II. **1/4

First Round: Randy Savage vs. Butch Reed: I don't really like this match. Surely they could have let Savage look legitimately clearly stronger than at least one of his opponents in this tournament, and this would have been an easy spot to do it in. Instead he just sort of wins on Reed's mistake. Meh. Action was nothing special either. *

First Round: The One Man Gang vs. Bam Bam Bigelow: Only one of these two guys could work. Unfortunately he's the one who lost. This match was short and botchtastic, the ending was dumb and wasn't executed well either. Brutally bad. 0*

Shoutout to the funny promo in this spot that birthed this gif:


First Round: Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude: This is a historically atrocious match. I have nothing nice to say about it. I put it below Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T, let's put it that way. Pretty amazing considering that it didn't have a silly stipulation or anything. 0*

The first round was going reasonably well until those last two matches. Holy ****.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules: Bad as well. Clotheslinefest with no particular psychology behind it. Decent idea for a final spot. 1/2*

Second Round: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant: Really stupid match (we're on a bad run here) with a really stupid ending. All it had going for it was a hot crowd. 1/4*

Note: Gorilla Monsoon was really bad about using "literally" in a sentence when he didn't mean something literally.

Second Round: Ted DiBiase vs. Don Muraco: Match is just okay, though I like putting DiBiase over 100% clean here and I liked the finishing spot. *1/4

Second Round: Randy Savage vs. Greg Valentine: I think I've hated on this match's ending before, but I actually think I like it. By a small amount, this might be my favorite match to this point in the tournament. **1/2

IC Title: Honky Tonk Man (c) vs. Brutus Beefcake: It blew my mind years after childhood to find out that Peggy Sue was Sensational Sherri. This match is yet another really bad one. 1/4*

The Islanders & Bobby Heenan vs. The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware: I like Heenan's safety outfit. Thought the action here was reasonably enjoyable, some fun spots with both Davey and Koko against the Islanders. Think you have to put the babyfaces over here given the angle involved though. Two years running with the British Bulldogs jobbing to Danny Davis and Bobby Heenan now, and this was the end of Dynamite Kid at WrestleMania. **

Semifinals: Randy Savage vs. The One Man Gang: Not good. Showed flashes of how they could do it optimally, but they didn't follow that pattern for the entirety of the four minutes. I also think you should let Savage pin him here. 3/4*

Tag Team Titles: Strike Force (c) vs. Demolition: Match was meh, but Demolition reaching the top of the mountain (and getting a good pop for it despite being heels) is a fun moment at least. *1/2

WWF Title: Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase: Solid match, great and satisfying moment to see Savage complete the tournament win to an insane pop. While the match is no classic, I think that the atmosphere and the importance of the moment make this a default choice for match of the night. **3/4

Overall: This is a really hard show to sit through. It was the longest Mania to date, with the most matches, and not a single great one in the bunch. It sure delivered some awful ones though. Seeing Savage win the title is awesome, but the process of getting there was a pretty painful one. Savage reaching the mountaintop is still probably barely enough to keep it above the first two for me though.

WrestleMania Rankings
1. WrestleMania III
2. WrestleMania IV
3. WrestleMania
4. WrestleMania 2

Last edited by LKJ; 07-14-2014 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #113
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Cliffs: this is sux

That said, in my insistence that negativity not drive down participation ITT, I'll definitely vouch for WrestleMania V as a considerably better show. WrestleMania IV is the low point for at least five years.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:42 PM   #114
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No mention of Jack Tunney's speech before hand huh? Nobody played a President of a company better than him.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:51 PM   #115
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I only remember Robin Leach's speech.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:45 AM   #116
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

-They should not start with the Battle Royal. It should be used to break up the singles tourney matches instead. The ending is pretty cool and you can see in these Manias that Bret Hart was being built long before he was a singles wrestler. 1*

-The announcing is much worse with several botches by Gorilla early.

-Ted vs. Duggan-At this point the crowd is interested. This is a good pairing. Duggan was such a contrast to Ted. This should have been the opening match. 3*

-Dino vs. Muraco This isn’t terrible. The top notch commentary is back. 2*

-Steamboat vs. Valentine-Hard for Steamboat to have a bad match, even after what the company did to him between 3 and 4. The commentary is bad again. The Hammer was not especially good. The outcome of this made the outcome of the next round painfully obvious as well, and tormented the fans who wanted to see Savage vs. Steamboat in a rematch. 2*

-Savage vs. Reed. Macho is so over. The commentary is good again. Maybe something was making the commentary awkward at times (e.g. Vince barking at them). Below average match. 1 1/2*

-Absurd promo by Hogan that created that famous GIF. Way too silly to help build the most anticipated match of the card for most.

-Rude vs. Jake Big names, terrible match. 0*

-Warrior vs. Hercules-The banter between announcers gets old and even repetitive here. But the match isn’t too terrible 2*

-Hogan vs. Andre-The crowd is hot. This is actually fun and appropriately short. Not every match on the card has to be a technical masterpiece as long as it is enjoyable in some fashion. 2 ˝*

-Ted vs. Don Muraco-This is a good match. Muraco does a good clean job to the newcomer to the organization and wrestles about as well as he could at this point 3*

-Savage vs. Valentine-The very definition of meh in a key match for the federation due to the soon to be champ being involved. 2*

-Honky vs. Brutus- Very dull match between two guys that were over due to gimmicks and booking as opposed to in ring talent. Near botch of a move being done too far from the ropes made worse by the announcers going on and on about it. 1*

-Bulldogs+Ware vs. Islanders+Heenan-The crowd isn’t that involved in this after the grueling past two matches despite Heenan getting good heat earlier on. All they seem to care about is Bobby getting beat up. The pin in the match is interesting but the dog doesn’t exactly go after the Brain as they apparently planned it would. 1*

-I think I really did forget Bam Bam and Gang. So should you.

-Savage vs. Gang. I don’t think Gang or Valentine were over or pushed enough to be booked to face Savage in this tournament (and of course Reed was very far from ideal). This is booking somebody who has main evented hundreds of events in the past few years for the company (Intercontinental title matches headlined a lot of cards if Hogan wasn’t on the card at the time) and was being built even more going against basic midcarders. The match is just awful overall. Zero stars.

In a better world, Savage vs. Steamboat face each other in the semis for the right to face Ted, both being realistic opponents for Ted and realistic championship contenders. Steamboat puts him over clean on the way out of the company. The only thing I can say in defense of the company is that they booked Savage as something of an underdog champ for the most part so maybe they didn’t want him to look strong.

-Strike Force vs. Demolition

If memory serves, Strike Force was super over at this time, so the dead crowd is really damning. The crowd actually seems to favor Demolition so perhaps it just wasn’t Strike Force’s demographics. All the youngsters and women are out by this time in the show. This match is alright. Some good tag team work early on. I don’t think dirty endings are automatically bad and this one was executed reasonably well given that 6 people had to all cooperate to make it happen. 2 ˝*

Savage vs. Ted

-The fans go crazy chanting for Hogan with Andre interfering. Is this textbook 5* match stuff? No, but it is knowing your audience, who apparently are more interested in Andre vs. Hogan and managers than anything else. That said, it overshadows this younger competitors and the world title. I remember being a kid and thinking Hogan and Andre were bigger than the title here. Maybe that’s not a good thing. Or maybe ultimately it is fine since they can be expected to get a chance to win the belt soon enough.
The fans go wild even when Savage just has Liz go to the back. Shortly after, a huge Hogan chant. Again, not following the book, but hugely effective.

Ted seems a bit tired but Savage seems fine, despite doing a lot more during the evening.
3 stars

When you search for Wrestlemania IV on the WWE Network, the actual event inevitably turns up last in the results. As if they are hoping you won’t see it and watch. However, the in ring action actually is not worse than Wrestlemania III outside of Savage/Steamboat. The tournament format, the order of the matches, and the lower quality of announcing I think will detract from the experience for some. However, I actually strongly prefer tournaments over bad storylines or no storylines. Unfortunately for IV, III had great storylines leading up to the event in addition to a much better atmosphere. I’d love to find out what happened between 3+4 to destroy the building, booking and writing; just the decision making generally.


WM III>>IV>I>II but I might need more thought.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:48 AM   #117
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Just wanted to add I went ahead and watched 4 and 5 and I have to say that the AC crowd was pretty terrible. Most of the people in the crowd were not real fans, I think it adds to the lackluster atmosphere.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #118
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Crowd is definitely terrible at 4 and 5. They do go crazy for Savage's win at the end of 4, but that's the only big pop that I can remember.

I did enjoy 5 quite a bit more than 4 though, in spite of a lame crowd. It's just as long but has enough good/watchable matches to never feel like a chore to get through. That Rude/Roberts marathon in 4 REALLY sucks the life out of me as a viewer. I remember that even as a little kid I would fast forward through that match when I would rent the event. My initial viewing, and this last viewing, are the only times I ever watched that match in full.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #119
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

At IV the crowd seems interested in Hogan and Savage, watching managers get beat up, and repeating "hoooo" when Duggan says it over and over, and not much else. Definitely a casual fan type crowd at best.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:33 PM   #120
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

I never understood why they went back the following year until I read about how happy they were with Trump as a business partner. He was really energetic about promoting it. IV was the first one with the fanfest-type activities that would eventually become Axxess. I guess they figured the crowd didn't matter as much, which is a shame considering how epic Savage/Hogan would've been in a larger venue.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #121
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Quote:
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First Round: Randy Savage vs. Butch Reed: I don't really like this match. Surely they could have let Savage look legitimately clearly stronger than at least one of his opponents in this tournament, and this would have been an easy spot to do it in. Instead he just sort of wins on Reed's mistake. Meh. Action was nothing special either. *
Savage is one of my all-time fav's but this was sorta his whole career when he was the face tbh. Like I remember a match vs Skinner where he just sorta gets punked for most of the match & his comeback is a bodyslam that sets up the elbow.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #122
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

They booked him a bit stronger in the post-reinstatement part of his babyface career IMO. He got in a fine proportion of offense against the likes of Jake Roberts, Ric Flair, and Ultimate Warrior in 1992.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:17 PM   #123
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They booked him a bit stronger in the post-reinstatement part of his babyface career IMO. He got in a fine proportion of offense against the likes of Jake Roberts, Ric Flair, and Ultimate Warrior in 1992.
Yeah, I think there was a sea change around that time where they realized not every top face needed to be booked like Hogan.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:12 PM   #124
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

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However, the in ring action actually is not worse than Wrestlemania III outside of Savage/Steamboat.
I definitely disagree with this, by the way. I think that even if you lift Savage/Steamboat out, III peaks at a higher level (Piper-Adonis from WM III beats out anything on WM IV IMO), and that IV bottoms out at a lower level (in that III doesn't have a 15-minute match from the pit of hell between two guys who shouldn't ever have that awful of a match against each other).

Certainly enjoyed your writeup though in spite of some disagreements.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:28 PM   #125
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Re: Wrestlemania Rewatch & Ranking Thread

Looks like I'm a little lower on Adonis vs. Piper and Haynes vs. Herc than everybody else. Not surprising to see disagreement about those matches, because they are a bit unorthodox.

After watching Rude and Roberts recently I asked myself "Was it really that bad"? and just sort of sat there in disbelief. Perhaps Rude got some bad weed or ran out and Jake was on a bender.
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