WrestleMania V seems to be one of the least liked WrestleManias. The reviews are pretty negative, despite what seems, on paper at least, to be a pretty great main event. Does WrestleMania V deserve to be forgotten? Let’s find out.
We’re back in Atlantic City, but there are no slot machine graphics. We go to the ring and ‘America, the Beautiful’ will be sung by the Women’s Champion, Rockin’ Robin. Robin gets a nice pop, but her singing isn’t the best and she looks uncomfortable. The video montage is lovely, as always.
Hercules vs King Haku (wth Bobby Heenan)
Our first match is King Haku, with Bobby Heenan, vs the mighty Hercules. I don’t remember why Haku is a king, but he looks nice in the regalia. He’s greeted with boos from the fans. Heenan takes the mic and tries to tell the fans to bow to King Haku. The fans aren’t having it. Hercules is out next to a really nice pop. Hercules swings the chain around and everyone bails out.
This was a really good starter. Hercules was a really good wrestler, especially for as jacked as he was. Haku was very good and both guys looked great.
Winner: Hercules by pinfall.
Highlights: There were a couple of high-flying moves that were surprising for such big guys.
Thoughts: I liked this match. There was solid, good wrestling and both guys did a great job. Only regret is that Hercules didn’t get his hands on Heenan, but since Heenan was going to be part of several matches, that’s understandable.
We go to the locker room, Mean Gene is interviewing the Rockers. Both guys are super excited to be there. HBK says this the moment of truth and that they’re going to show the Twin Towers a thing or two. Jannetty pipes up and says that just coming out intact would be enough, considering that they’re up against two huge guys, but they would like to win.
Comments: It’s always funny to see future big stars when they’re just starting out and this interview with HBK and Jannetty was no exception. Knowing what was down the road for HBK, seeing him at his first WrestleMania was fun. Oh, the places you’re going to go, young man.
Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man) with Slick vs the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)
The Twin Towers are already in the ring and the crowd boos. This team is weird. The Rockers get an okay pop, but I don’t think they’ve been in the WWF very long. The ladies seem to like the Rockers.
This was a really good match. Rockers looked great, even in defeat. It’s too bad that they never officially won the Tag Titles.
Winner: The Twin Towers by pinfall.
Highlights: HBK and Akeem’s dance off, who knew HBK could moonwalk? HBK is always fun to watch, he’s like a terrier that thinks he’s a Rottweiler.
Thoughts: I’m not sure what One Man Gang did to deserve the Akeem gimmick, but it couldn’t have been this bad. He looked ridiculous. The match sort of looked like two grown men playing with kids.
We go back to the locker room where Tony Schiavone is interviewing the Million Dollar Man. Virgil’s there, looking like he’d rather be doing something else. DiBiase says that he’s been waiting for WrestleMania V because he’s going to be with his elite friends, and name drops a few, and they’ll watch him demolish Beefcake. He claims to spend thousands on the cheap bleach job he’s got and that Beefcake isn’t going near him with his ‘grubby’ hands. He calls himself the greatest athlete in the WWF and cites the Million Dollar Championship belt as proof.
Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake vs Ted DiBiase (with Virgil)
DiBiase comes out to boos and glad-hands some wealthy people at ringside. Beefcake comes out to a nice pop and he’s got the clippers with him, judging by the bag.
This was a really good match. The difference in styles really worked and both guys looked really good. There was a lot back and forth.
Winner: Both men are counted out, but continue to duke it out on the floor until Beefcake runs DiBiase into the post and chases Virgil into the ring. Virgil tries to fight, but gets an atomic drop for his efforts. Beefcake slaps a sleeper on him, DiBiase tries to get the jump, but Beefcakes sees it and punches DiBiase and scoop slams him before going for the clippers. DiBiase scrams and pull Virgil out with him, surprisingly.
Highlights: Brutus countering the Million Dollar dream by getting into the ropes was nice.
Thoughts: I liked this match. Beefcake looked really good, Virgil took a nice bump, crowd got to see DiBiase get his a little.
We go to Lord Alfred Hayes who is doing a pre-recorded interview with the Bushwhackers at the annual WrestleMania brunch. The Bushwhackers have the worst table manners and they keep talking with their mouths full. Hayes is failing to keep a straight face and ends the interview.
The Bushwhackers vs The Fabulous Rougeaus (with Jimmy Hart)
Rougeaus are out first and the crowd boos loudly, not believing that the Rougeaus are from Memphis. Bushwhackers out next to loud cheers. One of the Bushwhackers chases Jimmy Hart and gets his lovely jacket.
This was just a weird one. The contrast in styles worked…sort of, but it seemed like a poor use of the Rougeaus.
Winner: Bushwhackers by pinfall after ramming Raymond.
Highlights: Bushwhackers getting Jimmy Hart’s jacket.
Thoughts: Well, that happened. I loved the Bushwhackers when I was a kid, but now it’s just ‘WTAF’ a I watching.
Sean Mooney is on the floor interviewing fans and gets licked by the Bushwhackers for his efforts. He’s a good sport about it, at least.
Mr. Perfect vs The Blue Blazer
Mr. Perfect is out to loud boos, though it looks weird to not see Heenan with him. The Blue Blazer is out net to an okay cheer. His music is really generic. Blue Blazer appears to be the late, great Owen Hart.
To no one’s shock, this was a great match. Perfect and Blazer looked great. Perfect’s perfect streak is preserved, but it was more out of luck than being better than Blazer
Winner: Mr. Perfect by pinfall
Highlights: The match was a great highlight. Ventura taking time to say hi to his kids was sweet.
Thoughts: My match of the night so far. Definitely a hidden gem kind of match. It wasn’t quite a show stealer, but it was an excellent effort by both men.
Ventura announces his ‘surprise’, which seems to be announcing that he’s there so the crowd can cheer for him. Monsoon is not impressed.
We go back Lord Alfred Hayes in a pre-recorded segment at the 5k run. Mr. Fuji enters the race, still in his suit and says that he did it to prove that the Powers of Pain will win the Tag Team Championship. Mr. Fuji starts before everyone else. Of course, they don’t show him running the whole race, just part of it.
Run DMC comes out to raucous applause and performs the ‘WrestleMania Rap’.
We get our first feud video recap. This one highlights the issues between the Powers of Pain and Demolition, starting with Survivor Series.
We go to Mean Gene, who interviewing Demolition. Okerlund asks about the upcoming match. Smash says that they’re in their war gear and ready for the match. All they have to do is knock teeth down throats.
WWF Tag Team Championship Handicap Match: Demolition vs The Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji
The Powers of Pain and Fuji are already in the ring to loud boos. Fuji actually looks in reasonable shape. Demolition comes out to loud cheers. It’s not clear if Fuji will become champion if the Powers of Pain were to win.
This was a surprisingly good match. It wasn’t pretty, but it was good. Fuji’s spots were good and everyone looked great.
Highlights: The sound the crowd made when Fuji missed the move off the top turnbuckle. Fuji missing with the salt and hitting the Warlord instead. Demolition getting their hands on Fuji and making history by holding the Tag Belts for a full year.
Thoughts: I have to admit to being surprised by how good this was.
We go to Tony Schiavone, who is outside the Macho Man’s dressing room, and from the sound of it, Savage is trashing the place. Savage comes out, attacks the camera and says that he doesn’t want to be interviewed and that he’s ready for Hulk Hogan.
Dino Bravo (with Frenchy Martin) vs Ronnie Garvin
Bravo and Frency are coming out to the ring to loud boos. Garvin is already in the ring to an okay pop, certainly not what Garvin would be used to getting from an NWA/WCW crowd.
For some reason, Jimmy Snuka comes out, to a quite nice pop. Not sure why he’s there, but the crowd seems happy to see him.
This match was not as good as I would have expected from Ronnie Garvin.
Winner: Dino Bravo by pinfall.
Highlights: Garvin attacking Bravo and Martin and getting a Garvin Stomp on Martin.
Thoughts: I’m really not sure what this match was about. Garvin never really got out of the box. Snuka showing up was really strange and the whole thing was ‘eh’.
We go right into the next match.
The Brain Busters (with Bobby Heenan) vs Strike Force
Brain Busters are on their way to the ring with Heenan to boos. Strike Force get a better pop.
Unsurprisingly, given the four men involved, this was a really good match. However, the point of this match seems to be to turn Martel heel.
Winner: Brainbusters by pinfall after Martel refuses to tag in and leaves Santana to his fate after Santana accidentally hits him after Blanchard ducked a crossbody.
Highlights: Stereo Figure Fours by Strike Force on former members of The Four Horsemen. Anderson getting caught on the turnbuckle and slammed is never not funny.
Thoughts: I liked this match, but I can’t say that Martel turning heel was a surprise. Monsoon and Ventura telegraphed it a little with their comments.
We go backstage where Mean Gene is confronting Martel over what happened. Martel says that, as far as he’s concerned, Santana got what he deserved and that he’s tired of carrying Santana and that Santana’s been riding his coattails. Okerlund angrily points out that Strike Force was supposed to be a team. Martel says that he’s sick of Santana, that Santana’s timing was off when he accidentally hit him (instead of Blanchard ducking). Okerlund’s had enough and ends the interview.
Piper’s Pit Segment
Next up is a special Piper’s Pit. ‘Piper’ comes out and it’s Brother Love and the crowd isn’t happy about it. Love starts out talking to an imaginary ‘Brother Rodney’ and making fun of Piper, which just makes the crowd angrier. Our guest is Morton Downey Jr (whoever that is). The crowd seems to like him and he’s puffing on a cigarette. Downey doesn’t seem impressed by Brother Love and is just a real jerk about the whole thing.
FINALLY, the real Piper comes out to save us all to a great pop, once the crowd realized it was actually Piper. Piper has that look where someone’s going to get it. Piper takes it to Brother Love, much to the crowd’s amusement. Downey seems put out at not being the center of attention.
As Piper takes it to Love, Downey gets sick of being ignored and throws a cigarette at Piper’s back, bad move. Piper ignores him for now and continues to rip apart Brother Love. Downey offers Love a cigarette and Piper looks about done with this nonsense. Piper finally strips Love down to his red briefs and turns his attention to Downey. Piper calls Downey ‘Morticia’. Downey seems to take Piper lightly because he’s not listening. Even Monsoon and Ventura know s**t’s about to go down. Downey makes the mistake of doing a ‘Your mama’ joke to Piper. Piper’s about to blow a couple of gaskets. Piper insults Downey’s girlfriend and it’s getting nasty. Piper, again, asks Downey to not blow smoke in his face. Downey replies that since Piper’s wearing a skirt, he doesn’t have to listen to him, another bad move. Piper tells him it’s a kilt and Downey spells it ‘killed’. Piper explains it to the crowd and slaps his knee, but his temper is getting short. He just compared Piper to a transvestite and the crowd is livid, and so is Piper. Piper, AGAIN, asks Downey to not smoke and blow the smoke in his face. Downey seems to comply and then deliberately blows the smoke in Piper’s face. Downey does it again, saying it’s good for ya (despite his smoker’s cough). As Downey turns away, thinking he’s won, Piper pulls up the third stool, revealing a fire extinguisher. He asks Downey for a smoke and blasts him with the fire extinguisher. Piper leaves in triumph.
Thoughts: This why you don’t bring in outsiders who don’t respect the business onto the show and let them talk. It says something about the feeling about Downey’s attitude that Ventura didn’t criticize what Piper did.
We go back to Mean Gene who is plugging ‘No Holds Barred’. This movie looked bad even in previews.
Sean Mooney is meeting with the sponsor of WrestleMania. The owner of the casino says that he’s very honored to have the WWF there and that it’s been a big boon to business and that he hopes WWF will come back.
Ventura is mad that Hogan’s doing a movie and encroaching on Ventura’s territory, despite Hogan having already done a movie long before ‘No Holds Barred’.
We get a recap of how the Mega Powers came to be and how things broke down, including the infamous Saturday Night’s Main Event.
We go to Mean Gene, who is with Hogan and he mentions what happened last year. Hogan agrees and says that if you’d told him that he and Savage would be locking at WrestleMania V, he’d have called that person a liar. He then says he should’ve seen it coming and that Savage made him believe that he was all in and that Savage was jealous and angry that he couldn’t be the man that the Hulkamaniacs wanted him to be and that his jealousy over Hulkamania and Elizabeth is what really tore them apart. Says the owner of the arena was worried about the foundation when the Mega Powers exploded. He then says his Hulkamaniacs are survivors and that he doesn’t care what Savage wants, he just wants Savage’s best so that there are no excuses.
Comments: That was a good promo for Hogan and continues the story that Savage’s turn was a surprise.
We’re back in the ring and Finkel introduces our special guest referee: Big John Studd. Studd looks good in a ref’s shirt.
Jake Roberts vs Andre the Giant (with Bobby Heenan)
Andre is out first with Bobby Heenan. Andre’s sporting mutton chops from ‘The Princess Bride’. Andre and Studd trade words. Jake’s out next to a nice pop.
This was not a pretty match and no one expected it to be. Studd did an okay job as ref, but he let stuff go. Andre’s performance was even worse than at WrestleMania III.
Winner: Jake Roberts by disqualification after Andre deliberately hits Studd from behind. DiBiase tries to take off with Damien while Andre chokes Studd. Jake throws Damien into the ring and Andre bails out.
Highlights: Jake hurting his hand on Andre’s head. Andre and Studd getting into it and Andre deciding he doesn’t have to listen to Studd.
Thoughts: This match was awful. Roberts and Andre really tried, but there was nothing saving this match.
Sean Mooney interviews a fan that’s a big Jake Roberts fan.
We go to Tony Schiavone, who is interviewing Sensational Sherri. Sherri throws some shade at Rockin’ Robin’s singing and wrestling skills. Sherri says that she’ll be taking the title back from Rockin’ Robin when she’s ready. She also throws shade at Elizabeth and says she’s not beautiful and that she (Sherri) is beautiful and vicious. Sherri thinks the destruction of the Mega Powers is funny and the interview ends.
Comments: This seems to be a set up of Sherri becoming Savage’s manager after WrestleMania V and the verbal feud with Elizabeth. There also seems to be a hint that Sherri had something to do with Savage’s turn.
Next up is another tag team match.
The Hart Foundation vs Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine and Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart)
Valentine, Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart are coming out to lukewarm boos. Hart Foundation gets a nice pop.
This match was solid and not much else. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a match featuring Bret Hart and Greg Valentine.
Winner: The Hart Foundation by pinfall
Highlights: Bret and Anvil breaking out some aerial moves was pretty good. Hart Foundation using Jimmy Hart’s megaphone against Honky Tonk Man for the pin was hilarious.
Thoughts: I liked this match. I loved seeing the Hart Foundation using heel tactics against heels and so did the crowd.
We get a recap of the feud between Rude and Ultimate Warrior, starting with the pose down at the Royal Rumble and Warrior blowing his stack.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Ultimate Warrior vs ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan)
Rude and Heenan are out first and Rude is getting a mixed reaction: Men are booing, women want to see the robe come off. Warrior comes out to a loud pop, running like demons are on his tail.
This match was better than last year’s trainwreck with Hercules, Warrior seems to have learned to do the moves correctly, but this was still a rough outing. Some of the whips into the corner looked like they legit hurt Rude’s back,
Winner: Ravishing Rick Rude by pinfall after Heenan pulled Warrior’s leg out from under him and held onto it. Warrior chases Heenan into the ring, punches him and press slams him, very sloppily.
Highlights: As usual, Rick Rude’s selling was about the only saving grace of this match
Thoughts: That match happened and I’m glad it’s over.
Bad News Brown vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Bad News Brown is on his way to the ring to boos, and doesn’t seem to really care. Duggan comes out to loud cheers.
This match was bowling shoe ugly, to quote Jim Ross. There was no finesse or technical precision, it was just a fight.
Winner: Both men are disqualified and continue fighting. Duggan finally gives Bad News an atomic drop and uses the 2×4 to push him out of the ring.
Thoughts: Another ‘Well, that happened’ matches
Mean Gene is with the Red Rooster. Rooster says he’s going to teach Heenan to lose and that there will be nothing left of the Weasel when the Rooster’s done.
The Red Rooster vs Bobby Heenan (with the Brooklyn Brawler)
Heenan’s out first, looking sore, and the Brooklyn Brawler is with him. The Red Rooster gets a nice pop
This match was short and sweet. Heenan didn’t really have a prayer, though he got in one Irish whip.
Winner: Red Rooster by pinfall. Brawler attacks from behind and beats Rooster up. Rooster chases Brawler and Heenan out of the ring, but looks as mad as wet hen (yeah, I went there)
Thoughts: Whoever made Terry Taylor the Red Rooster must’ve been mad at him for something. That gimmick was awful. The match was okay, Taylor took care of Heenan and the crowd got to see Heenan get beat up.
Mean Gene is with Miss Elizabeth. Elizabeth says this is very difficult and that she’ll be in a neutral corner, rather than side with Savage or Hogan, but she’ll support them both. She thinks it’s unfortunate that Savage and Hogan think they have to settle this in the ring and that she prays that neither of them will seriously injured in this match.
Comments: Well, now I see why Elizabeth never did much talking as a manager. She looked very awkward and uncomfortable, which was probably the point.
We go to Tony Schiavone , who says the locker room has cleared out so the wrestlers can watch the match.
Sean Mooney is taking a poll with fans and the decision split.
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage vs Hulk Hogan
Savage is out to a mixed reaction. Miss Elizabeth is out next, she’s got more security than Savage does, Pat Patterson right behind her to protect her. Savage isn’t happy about this, and tells Elizabeth to go to the back. Hogan comes out last to a loud pop. Hogan seems to have missed his cue.
This was a great match in my opinion. Hogan and Savage really brought out the best in each other. Elizabeth’s bid to stay neutral wasn’t going to last, but it was interesting.
Winner: Hulk Hogan by pinfall
Highlights: Elizabeth coming out surrounded by security, but being protected by Pat Patterson was funny.
Thoughts: I liked this match okay, it’s not my favorite, but it didn’t suck. It’s too bad that it was on a mediocre card.
Overall Comments: So, does WrestleMania V deserve its rotten reputation? Well, it wasn’t a total trainwreck, but it definitely wasn’t good. The collision of the Mega Powers was great, but the rest of the card was more misses than hits.
Stinkers : Lord, where do I start? This card was full of stinkers. I think the worst offenders were Roberts/Andre, Bushwhackers/Rougeaus, and Warrior/Rude.
The ‘Eh’: Hart Foundation vs Honky Tonk Man and Greg ‘TheHammer’ Valentine was good on paper, but boring in practice, same with Bravo/Garvin.
Celebrities: The Morton Downey thing was awful, I have no idea why he was on there and if your attitude is so rotten that the heel commentator won’t defend you, there’s a problem
Match of the Night: Mr. Perfect vs The Blue Blazer, hands down.
Final Thoughts: While I don’t think this WrestleMania wasn’t great, I don’t think it was the worst ever. We saw a Hall of Fame career start and there were a few bright spots.