Thursday, March 7, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 07 - WWF Wrestlemania VII (1991)

Date: March 24th, 1991
Venue: Los Angeles Sports Arena - Los Angeles, CA
Attendance: 16,158

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

We went from Skydome to the LA Sports Arena... a much smaller arena setting.

So you've probably heard the story before; Wrestlemania VII was supposed to take place in a much larger stadium setting, but due to lagging ticket sales, they had to switch to a smaller venue. Of course, the official WWF reasoning was that there was a bomb threat and thus we needed to switch arenas where there would presumably be tighter security. Keyword being presumably.

And why would there be a bomb threat? Because the main event for this show was Hulk Hogan challenging for the WWF title against the defending champion Sgt. Slaughter - yes, the long-time wrestling representative to G.I. Joe and as Real American as can be, one day turned his back on America to join the Iraqi cause... because this was during that whole Gulf War thing and naturally, Vince wanted to exploit that action of sorts. You could shit on him for it, but this is perfectly in line with his character. There is no low that he won't capitalize on if it meant he could make a few bucks in the process.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) defeated The Barbarian and Haku in a fine opening match that was more a showcase for the former Midnight Rockers, though Barbarian and Haku held their own as the monsters for the small dudes to overcome.

Kerry Von Erich pinned Dino Bravo. Yes, that Kerry Von Erich of the famous Von Erich clan actually competed at a Wrestlemania... and this was his only Mania match... and it was with Dino Fucking Bravo... I'd make some dark joke right about now, but I won't bother.

Davey Boy Smith pinned Warlord in a good old-fashioned meat-slapping hoss fight.

The Nasty Boys defeated WWF Tag-Team Champions The Hart Foundation with a Helmet shot to Anvil to win the titles. Pretty good tag match and probably one of the better Nasty Boys matches I've seen... and I've not seen much where I was like, "That was awesome." Still haven't, but this came close enough.

Jake Roberts pinned Rick Martel in a Blindfold match. Yes, both guys wear hoods that blind them and the match is shit as a result. I also like that despite being a heel, Martel is such a sportsman that he wouldn't lift his hood up every so often to see where Jake is. Bad match and unfortunately, it wouldn't be the only Blindfold match.

The Undertaker pinned Jimmy Snuka in what is essentially a glorified squah to send the Superfly packing and begin what would become a legendary winning streak.

Ultimate Warrior pinned the "Macho King" Randy Savage in a retirement match that would see Savage forced to retire, stabbed in the back by Sheryl, and eventually reunite with Elizabeth to turn back face... and eventually, we'd get the fake wedding thing and Macho would come out of retirement eventually. Another classic match and once again, both guys did their parts to put together a fine showing, particularly the moment where Warrior is questioning his ability to put away the Macho King after a kick out of his usual finish... the mere shoulder block ending the career of the great Macho King is kind of a lame ending, but fortunately, that ending wouldn't last.

Koji Kitao and Genichiro Tenryu defeated Demolition Smash and Crush... yes, they replaced Ax with Crush and this would be Demolition's last hurrah, as Smash would become the Repo Man and Crush would become... Crush, the Hawaii Man.

Big Bossman defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect via DQ due to Andre whacking Perfect with the IC title and outside interference from a bunch of people.

Earthquake pinned Greg Valentine. It didn't last long.

The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) defeated Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma) in less than a minute. Paul Roma would go on to be a Horseman and here he is getting pinned in a minute.

Virgil defeated Ted DiBiase via countout when Roddy Piper used his walking stick gimmick to pull on a rope causing DiBiase tip over and fall outside. This was a nothing match with a nothing finish, but their Summerslam match where Virgil would "win" the Million Dollar Belt is yards better than this.

The Mountie pinned Tito Santana in a minute-plus. I almost feel sorry for Tito at this point; his only win at Mania was at the inaugural event over some masked dude and from there, he did nothing but stare into the lights above. If there is any consolation, he'd eventually undergo a gimmick change into El Matador and he'd win a match at Wrestlemania IX. Unfortunately, it turned out to not only be his last match, but it has never been televised to this day... well, that's underwhelming.

Hulk Hogan defeated WWF Champion Sgt Slaughter to win the title. For what it was, it was alright and Slaughter was methodical in his offense that I never got the impression that he was "over the hill" as some have said the match was alright for what it was and certain had its share of intensity. If anything, Hogan winning the title was a feel-good moment for those who could stomach it.

Wrestlemania VII could've used a bit more trimming of the card - a lot of short matches that really didn't need to be there and could easily have been skipped. On the flip side, there's a couple good matches on here aside from the two giant headlining matches, so it wasn't all bad. I didn't mind this show, but it didn't need to be go long.

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