Thursday, March 7, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 06 - WWF Wrestlemania VI (1990)

April 1st, 1990
Skydome - Toronto, ON
Attendance: 67,678

(Note: The following post was written prior to the McMahon lawsuit from January 2024).

I had originally described Wrestlemania VI as being a one-match show. The main event title for title contest pitting reigning World champion Hulk Hogan against the reigning Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior was the only thing on this show that mattered. On this here show - the first Wrestlemania to take place outside of the U.S. and the first since Wrestlemania III to take place in a proper stadium rather than the dining hall that is Trump Plaza or whatever it's called these days -

Taking place in Toronto, you had Hulk Hogan taking on the Ultimate Warrior. You had Warrior defeating Hogan and winning his only world title... well, if you had to do something bold and daring, it had to be in Canada because heaven forbid Hulk Fucking Hogan would lose a match at Wrestlemania taking place in the United States during his prime.

Rick Martel pinned Koko B. Ware in a short opening match... and yay, they brought back the ring carts! Good call, whoever had the idea to bring back the ring carts!

Demolition (Ax and Smash) defeated The Colossal Connection (Andre the Giant and Haku) to win the titles. Haku had missed a kick on one of the Demos and hit Andre instead, which followed with Demos hitting their finish to win the titles. Bobby Heenan would rail on Andre, who mash Brain's Brains in and, after catching Haku's foolish side kick, takes him out for good measure, thus turning him into a crowd favorite. Andre wasn't doing much at this point, leaving the other three to do most of the match. It is what it is.

Earthquake squashed Hercules... both literally and figuratively... and he squashed Herc so bad that they did the stretcher job with Herc. I like that every time Earthquake hits the ground, the camera shakes. That's a nice touch for a match that was better than I was expecting.

Brutus Beefcake pinned Mr. Perfect in a perfectly acceptable little wrestling match that is followed by Brutus chopping the Genius' lovely mane of hair. Now I realize that's his schtick, but man, Brother Bruti is such a dick.

Bad News Brown and Roddy Piper had a match that ended with both guys brawling on the outside to eventually get counted out. Yes, this ended in a double countout. And yes, this is the match with half-blackface Roddy Piper. Even back in the day, long before I knew about the negative connotations of blackface, I was like "What the fuck is wrong with this guy?" Apparently, this was scrubbed from the Network so as to not offend anyone... all the while we have shows featuring Chris Benoit, who committed much more heinous things that painting one side of his face black... and mind you, I don't approve of any scrubbing or editing of the original material; this stuff should be presented as it was originally and if there's any content that doesn't quite hit the family friendly mark, start the show with a viewer discretion warning. But I digress.

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zuhkov) in a match that barely lasted 20 seconds. This is followed by the Barbarian adding to Tito Santana's continuing streak of Wrestlemania loses.

Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire defeated Randy Savage and Sherri Martel in a mixed tag match... and Elizabeth was also there. Sapphire wassn't the most versatile talent, but she did what she did well enough and the men did their bits just fine. This match is depressing, not because of anything in it, but because of the knowledge that everyone involved in this match are currently deceased.

The Orient Express (Sato and Tanaka) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) via count out when Marty is tossed on the outisde and gets salt from Mr. Fuji for good measure, keeping him from beating the count. Not a great match.

Jim Duggan pinned Dino Bravo... the less said, the better.

Ted DiBiase defeated Jake Roberts via countout when both men fought on the outside and DiBiaise beat the count. Apparently, this was for DiBiase's Million Dollar Championship belt, which is one of the nicer gimmick titles I've seen. The match was fine, but yeah, another countout finish at Wrestlemania? Seriously?

Big Boss Man pinned Akeem in a short match.

Rick Rude pinned Jimmy Snuka in a slightly less short match. Snuka was basically on cruise control at this point, which is fine because Rick Rude needs fodder to challenge for the World title at some point. I'll admit that I was surprised that Rude still had long hair, because I figured he would've chopped it off by this point, but I guess that's yet to come.

Intercontinental Champion The ULTIMATE Warrior defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan in a Title For Title Match to win his only World title. Whatever you want to say about Hulk Hogan as a worker or human or whatever, give the guy his due; he did everything in his power and thensome to try and make Warrior out into a legitimate threat and eventual successor to the top of the mountain that he had been residing on these past few years. This was truly a clash of titans in the main event and the crowd easily ate every moment that popped up. From the stare-off to the kick-outs to the eventual pinfall that would down Hulkamania for the count (or several months, at least), you had a highly energetic crowd that ate everything up... until Warrior won, at which point everyone was happy to see a new champion, but sad to see Hogan go... oops.

Wrestlemania VI, much like Wrestlemania V, was pretty much a one-match show. It was all about Hogan vs. Warrior and all things considered, it's certainly an interesting experiment. And while the undercard is an example of hit and miss, the main event at least delivered on the drama and intensity... and the wrestling was not that bad either considering the participants. Not a bad show, actually. It has its moments, but really, it was all about one match.

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