October 3, 2009
Steve Riddle

Wrestlemania VI
April 1st, 1990
Toronto Skydome
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Guests in order of appearance: Robert Goulet, Rona Barrett, Steve Allen, and Mary Tyler Moore

Dark Match:

1. Paul Roma defeats the Brooklyn Brawler.

Fun Fact: The referee for the dark match was a young Shane McMahon.

Actual Show:

We see the opening video for Wrestlemania VI.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

Farewell: Aside from his appearance at Summerslam in 1999, this is Jesse Ventura’s last WWF PPV. He was released later in the year after a dispute with Vince. He would jump to WCW in 1992 and be their color commentator until 1994. He would also have a storied career in politics, becoming a mayor and in 1998, the governor of Minnesota. Jesse “The Body” Ventura was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 by his son, Tyrel.

Robert Goulet performs the Canadian National Anthem.

1. “The Model” Rick Martel forces “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware to submit to the Boston Crab at 5:30.

Analysis: Our opener is a nice match to build a new heel. Martel has been slowly evolving his character into a very arrogant, cocky persona. Koko continues on in his role of putting new guys over and getting hi snice payday for doing so. The Model wins pretty easily in what would be the first of several squashes we will see throughout the night. This match is a good opener. Grade: 2.5

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Colossal Connection and Bobby Heenan.

Sean Mooney interviews Demolition.

2. Demolition defeat the Colossal Connection (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) when Ax pinned Haku at 9:15 to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Analysis: Our first title match is a solid one. Demolition get a HUGE pop as they enter the arena. The match is decent, as Haku actually is in the ring for all nine minutes. The end is nice as Andre gets caught in the ropes while Haku gets pinned. After the match, Andre turns face once more by assulting Heenan and Haku and leaving in the cart by himself. It was a great swan song for Andre in his last PPV match. As for Demolition, this is their height as a team, as the next year they would add a new member and face a challenge from the greatest tag team of all time. Grade: 3.5 (2 for match, 5 for story and pops).

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Earthquake and Jimmy Hart.

3. Earthquake (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) pins Hercules with a sit-down splash at 4:54.

WM Debut: Earthquake

Analysis: This was our second heel squash of the night. Quake has been on a major role destorying Superstars and sending them to the hospital. He was being prepped for his biggest push over the summer. Herc has fallen far on the face side of the ladder, but would receive one final push over the summer. Grade: 1.5

Rona Barrett interviews Miss Elizabeth.

Sean Mooney interviews Brutus Beefcake.

4. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake pins Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius) after a ring post shot at 7:47.

Fun Fact: This is Mr. Perfect’s first TV loss.

Analysis: After about two months of attacks since the Royal Rumble, these two finally square off, and it is a very solid affair. Perfect is perfect as always, and Beefcake has what would be the best match of his career. These two tear the house down for eight minutes before Brutus gets the win, ending the “Perfect Streak”. Beefer then finishes what he started at the Rumble with the Genius’ hair. These two were set to square off again at Summerslam for a big prize, but more on why that didn’t happen. For now, Beefcake wins a nice match. Grade: 3

We see the history between Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Roddy Piper.

5. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown wrestle to a double countout at 6:47.

The Buildup: This feud began when these men eliminated each other from the Royal Rumble. They would trade jabs as this match was made.

Analysis: A disappointing match. It was cool seeing Piper with his body painted half black. The buildup was good, but the match failed to deliver. Damn shame, because these two could have tore the house down with a good old fashioned brawl. Either way, both get counted out and the feud sputters to an end with no definitive winner. Brown moves to a new feud and Piper moves to the commentary table. Grade: 1

We see Steve Allen in the bathroom with the Bolsheviks.

6. The Hart Foundation defeat the Bolsheviks when Bret pins Boris Zhukov at :18.

Analysis: Our third squash, only this time it’s a face squash. The Harts are back on top as the number one contenders, having challenged the winners of the tag title match. On the other side, the Bolsheviks are finished as a team as Nikolai would have an attitude change and Boris would become a jobber. The Harts get a quick win and are heading for a showdown with Demolition. Grade: 1

We see a promo for Wrestlemania VII at the LA Memorial Colesium.

Gorilla and Jesse hype Wrestlemania VII.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Tito Santana.

7. The Barbarian (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) pins Tito Santana with a clothesline off the top rope at 4:33.

Fun Fact: The Powers of Pain split up shortly before this event. Barbarian is with Heenan while the Warlord would hook up with Slick. Legend has it when the Road Warriors were in negotitations to come to the WWF, they demanded the POP split up because they look like Road Warrior rip offs.

Analysis: Squash number four of the night, although it is a good squash. After the POP split, Barbarian went to Bobby Heenan and debuts as a singles wrestler here, though he is still sporting his POP look. He would get a makeover as the year went along. Tito continues his roll of putting talent over, selling all the power moves of Barbarian including the clothesline off the top. Solid 4 minute affair. Grade: 2.5

We see the history of the mixed tag match.

Sean Mooney interviews Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire.

8. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeat “Macho King” Randy Savage and “Sensantional Queen” Sherri when Sapphire pins Sherri at 7:31.

WM Debuts: Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire

Fun Fact: This is the first mixed tag match in WWF history.

Analysis: A nice little affair. Rhodes is still riding high as he gets a great pop coming to the ring. Savage has reached his lowest point in his career, but he would get things back on track. I have to give it up for Sherri for putting Sapphire over considering Sapphire was not a wrestler. Rhodes and Sapphire get the win, but they would head for another heated rivalry. A good match that is carried completely by Jesse’s great commentary on what would be his last PPV until 1999. Grade: 2

We see a promo for Wrestlemania VII at the LA Memorial Colesium.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Bobby Heenan.

Gorilla and Jesse interview Rona Barrett.

Sean Mooney interviews Randy Savage and Sherri.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Demolition.

Gorilla and Jesse recap the first part of Wrestlemania.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan.

Sean Mooney interviews Ultimate Warrior.

9. The Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji) defeat the Rockers by countout at 7:36.

Debuts #1 and 2: The Orient Express are Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato. Tanaka started in the CWA and gained success in the AWA as part of Badd Company with Paul Diamond. Sato made a name for himself in the NWA and his native Japan before coming to the WWF. They were brought in as Mr. Fuji’s new team after the POP were split up.

WM Debuts: The Orient Express

Analysis: What could have been a great match is just an average match. The Express make a nice debut, although many believe that Badd Company should have stayed together (Diamond came over to the WWF with Tanaka, but was made a jobber). The Rockers for some reasons just went at half speed and the match suffered because of it. The Express win cheap and these two continue to feud, including having a rematch at next year’s Royal Rumble. Grade: 2

Steve Allen interviews Rhythm and Blues.

10. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan pins Dino Bravo (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and Earthquake) after a 2x4 shot at 4:15.

Analysis: A pretty poor match. Bravo was now simply riding Earthquake’s coat tails which he would do for the rest of his tenure. Duggan goes back to his old style of a match, while Jesse is ripping Duggan for having an American flag and not a Canadian flag. Either way, Duggan wins, but Quake squashes him after the match to continue his run. Grade: 1.5

We see the history of the next match.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Jake Roberts.

11. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil) defeats Jake “The Snake” Roberts by countout at 11:53.

The Buildup: Dibiase took Roberts out with the Million Dollar Dream over the summer of 1989 (that was in storyline, in real life Roberts had legal troubles). Roberts returned late in the year. These two continued to feud until Jake stole Dibiase’s Million Dollar Belt. This match was made and the winner would get the Million Dollar Belt.

Fun Fact: This is the PPV debut of Ted Dibiase’s theme “All About the Money”.

Analysis: A decent match with great buildup but a pretty sad payoff. Roberts and Dibiase had been going back and forth over the last year. The fact that the belt was on the line helped with the intrigue of the match. There was solid action, and a fun moment when the crowd does the wave during the middle of the match (not the first time a Toronto crowd does the wave during a WWF PPV). The end was a little lame as the bookers felt Jake didn’t need the belt, but him losing by countout made no sense. Either way, Dibiase wins and his night is not over. Roberts gets his heat back with a DDT and passing Dibiase’s money out. Grade: 2.5

Sean Mooney interviews Akeem and Slick.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Big Bossman.

12. The Big Bossman pins “The African Dream” Akeem (w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick) with the sidewalk slam at 1:50.

Farewell: Aside from his appearance at Wrestlemania X-7’s Battle Royal, this is Akeem/One Man Gang’s last PPV. He would released later in the year. He jumped to WCW for a brief period, ans also made a brief appearance in ECW in 1998. He is currently semi-retired.

The Buildup: The Twin Towers finally split after Bossman refused a payout from Ted Dibiase to retrieve the Million Dollar Belt from Jake Roberts.

Analysis: Another squash, this time to establish a new face. Bossman had finally turned face earlier in the year and wins fairly easily, despite an attack before the match by Ted Dibiase. Akeem had a good run, but his time was up. Bossman wins and would have a brief feud with Dibiase before entering a new feud. Grade: 1.5

Sean Mooney is shown in the crowd of the Skydome and interviews Mary Tyler Moore.

Rhythm and Blues perform their song “Hunka, Hunka, Hunka, Honky Love” before being interrupted by the Bushwhackers.

Fun Fact: The driver of the pink Cadillac is a young Diamond Dallas Page.

We see a promo for Wrestlemania VII at the LA Memorial Colesium.

Howard Finkel announces a new Skydome record of 67,678.

Steve Allen joins the commentary booth for the next match.

13. “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) pins “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka with the Rude Awakening at 3:51.

Analysis: One more simple squash before the main event and to re-establish a heel. Rude has been on cruise control since losing the IC title and is prepping for the biggest push of his career. Snuka rolls on, putting over new and upcoming talent. Rude wins as we prepare for the main event. Grade: 2

We see the history of the main event.

14. The Ultimate Warrior pins Hulk Hogan with a splash at 22:50 to win the WWF Championship. The Warrior’s Intercontinental Championship was also on the line.

The Buildup: After their altercation at the Royal Rumble, these two saved each other and got into unique situations. The match was made and Jack Tunney announced it would be “title for title”, meaning both titles would be on the line.

Fun Fact: This match was named PWI’s 1990 Match of the Year and voted by the WWE Superstars as the ninth greatest match in Wrestlemania history.

Analysis: This match was dubbed “The Ultimate Challenge”, and it was indeed that. Both men were in the prime of their careers and just about equaled in popularity with the fans. It was almost inevitable that these two would face off. There was a special aura in the air, with both titles on the line and the crowd was off the hook, considering they just sat through 13 matches. Both men are limited in their wrestling ability, but they made up for it with power and crowd psychology, as the crowd was clearly split down the middle. In the end, Hogan misses the legdrop and one splash later Warrior holds both titles, though that wouldn’t last long. Hogan even does the gracious thing and hands the belt to Warrior, having Gorilla announce the phrase “The Hulkster has taken one giant step towards immortality” and he was right. Hulk would step away for a brief period and let the Warrior run with the ball. We will see if he is as successful as Hogan, but for now a great ending to an exciting Wrestlemania. Grade: 4.5

Warrior poses with both belts as Gorilla thanks us for watching.

Final Analysis: This Wrestlemania was a lot like WM III, a long card with many undercard matches and a major main event. While the undercard here was not as solid as III, the aura and size of the Skydome more than made up for it. This truly was the end of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Era, as we would head for the next era which sees a major drop in popularity for the product. I have to give one final shoutout for Jesse Ventura on this, his last PPV. He is truly one of the greatest of all time and his presence would be sorely missed, and it would be a long time before he had a good replacement. It would be a long time before we got a show like this, and if you haven’t seen, track it down. Final Grade: A+

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