Tuesday, January 27, 2015

30 Days of WrestleMania: Looking back at WrestleMania I

Because of the WWE Network, fans can now watch every single WrestleMania from start to finish.

30 Days of WrestleMania: Looking back at WrestleMania I

Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 31, 1985. (AP Photo)
Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 31, 1985. (AP Photo)

Because of the WWE Network, fans can now watch every single WrestleMania from start to finish.

So, for 30 days leading up to WrestleMania XXX, we will take an extensive look back at each event from the very first, to the most recent.

WrestleMania

Date: March 31, 1985

Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

Attendance: 19,121

Match Results:

Tito Santana def. The Executioner

David Sammartino w/ Bruno Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant went to no contest

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat def Matt Borne

King Kong Bundy w/ Jimmy Hart def. Special Delivery Jones

Bodyslam challenge - Andre the Giant def. Big John Studd w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Intercontinental Championship - Junkyard Dog def. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart via count-out

World Tag Team Championships – Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik w/ Classy Freddie Blassie def. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham

Women’s Championship – Wendi Richter w/ Cyndi Lauper def. Leilani Kai w/ Fabulous Moolah

Hulk Hogan & Mr. T w/ “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka def. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff w/ Cowboy Bob Orton

Observations:

- It’s become a tradition for “America the Beautiful” to be sung at the start of WrestleMania every year. These days, WWE usually lands a big name with real singing talent to do the honors. Names like Aretha Franklin, Fantasia and Ray Charles are just a few that comes to mind. But for the first WrestleMania, “Mean” Gene Okerlund sung the national anthem, not “America the Beautiful”.  As most could imagine, Okerlund did as good as he possibly could have.

- King Kong Bundy squashed Special Delivery Jones in nine seconds during the event. There have been short matches in WrestleManias to follow, but you don’t see too many more total squash matches from the event anymore.

- There were pre-taped interviews with the wrestlers before nearly every match. It added a nice touch to the production and is something the WWE has gotten far away from in recent years. It has replaced these with very well done and cinematic video packages. These are a nice touch, but nothing beats the raw emotion of pre-match interview.

- Another lost aspect of production was Lord Alfred Hayes setting up each match. It’s always nice to hear his voice again. This aspect of the production isn’t something that necessarily has to come back, but it would be nice to see every so often just to shake up the routine a little bit.

- Bruno Sammartino got one of the biggest pops of the night and completely overshadowed his son David Sammartino during his match. David Sammartino was a nice talent, but just didn’t possess the “it” factor his legendary father had.

- The people in Madison Square Garden went ballistic when Nikolai Volkoff sung the Soviet Union national anthem. The fans were throwing trash into the ring and making all kinds of obscene gestures toward him. Volkoff did this before nearly all of his matches, but I’d have to imagine that was one of the biggest reactions he had garnered during that time period.

- The main event for the show was good and did exactly what it was supposed to do, but there too many moving parts for that match. It’s already a lot going on with four men in the match, but then you add one man in each corner and Muhammad Ali punching people outside of the ring and there was a lot going on. I know that Vince McMahon wanted to stack the deck so he could get a good return on his investment, but boy was that a cluster.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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