Thursday, December 25, 2014

30 Days of WrestleMania: Looking back at WrestleMania V

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

30 Days of WrestleMania: Looking back at WrestleMania V

Randy "Macho Man" Savage, top, has challenger Hulk Hogan in a headlock during the main event for Wresltemania V in Atlantic City, N.J. (B. Vartan Boyajian/AP file)
Randy "Macho Man" Savage, top, has challenger Hulk Hogan in a headlock during the main event for Wresltemania V in Atlantic City, N.J. (B. Vartan Boyajian/AP file)

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.

Here's the WrestleManias we've covered so far:

WM I | WM II | WM III | WM IV |

WrestleMania V

Date: April 2, 1989

Venue: Trump Plaza (Boardwalk Hall), Atlantic City, N.J.

Attendance: 20, 369

Match Results:

Hercules def. King Haku w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

The Twin Towers w/Slick def. The Rockers

“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/Virgil vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake went to a double count-out

The Bushwackers def. The Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart

Mr. Perfect def. Blue Blazer

World Tag Team Championship – Demolition (Ax & Smash) def. Powers of Pain (The Warlord & The Barbarian) & Mr. Fuji

Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin def. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin

The Brain Busters w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan def/ Strike Force

Jake “The Snake” Roberts def. Andre the Giant w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan via disqualification (Big John Studd was special guest referee)

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) def. Honky Tonk Man & Greg “The Hammer Valentine w/Jimmy Hart

Intercontinental Championship – “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan def. Ultimate Warrior

Bad News Brown vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan went to a no contest

The Red Rooster def. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

WWE Championship – Hulk Hogan def. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/Elizabeth in neutral corner

Observations:

- The explosion of the Mega Powers was and still is one of the greatest angles in wrestling history. Unfortunately, an angle of this magnitude will probably never happen again. This angle was built over the course of an entire year, starting at WrestleMania IV in March of 1988, reached a climax in February of 1989 and finally came to an close at WrestleMania V. It was great. WWE tried to build up the first Rock-John Cena match over the course of an entire year, but it didn’t have the story arch this program had. With that feud, we all knew that they would meet at some point. With Hogan and Savage, there were subtle hints dropped along the way before Savage had finally had enough of Hogan’s lustful eyes. This took place during a time when WWE would book its programs months in advance. It doesn’t quite do that anymore for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that there’s so much time to fill. Back then, WWE had to worry about four pay-per-views: WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Summerslam and Survivor Series and the occasional Saturday Night’s Main Event. Today, there’s seemingly a pay-per-view every two weeks. Not to mention all of the free television it has to worry about.

- The outcome of Hogan winning the title was probably spoiled a little bit by WWE airing the trailer of “No Holds Barred” during the show, which starred him. It kind of made sense for him to be the champion when the movie was released.

- WrestleMania V was the first and only time the event was held in the same venue two years in a row. Donald Trump somehow coaxed Vince McMahon to bring the marquee event back to Atlantic City. From an aesthetics standpoint, the event suffered because it looked exactly like WrestleMania IV. WWE didn’t do a whole lot to distinguish between the two.

- This was the WrestleMania debut for a lot of big names that people eventually grew to love, including Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), Shawn Michaels, and Owen Hart. Hart wrestled against Perfect under the Blue Blazer gimmick, the same gimmick he tragically died under in 1999.

- “Rowdy” Roddy Piper returned from his acting stint and did a Piper’s Pit segment with Brother Love and Morton Downey Jr. This turned into the infamous clip of Piper spraying Downey with a fire extinguisher because he kept blowing cigarette smoke in his face. It was actually kind of funny seeing Downey smoke a cigarette in a public building like the Trump Plaza because that is far from allowed in arenas today.

- WWE trotted out Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, who didn’t do anything besides walk down the aisle. Snuka had been away from WWE for four years because of a multitude of issues, including a controversial night in a Lehigh Valley hotel room in which the details are still being uncovered until this day.

- Terry Taylor worked his first WrestleMania under the Red Rooster gimmick, which was awful. I don’t know what Vince McMahon was thinking when he gave Taylor, a man who once challenged Ric Flair for the National Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship in front 40,000 people in the Superdome, a gimmick like that. He was literally supposed to be a rooster. He wore red and gelled his hair up like one. He even did rooster sound effects. It was awful. He beat Bobby Heenan in 30 seconds at the event, which didn’t do him any favors because Heenan was a manager, so no one even cared.

- Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard also made their WrestleMania debut as The Brain Busters. The two were already stars in the NWA as members of the Four Horsemen, but probably never worked in front of a bigger worldwide audience to that point than they did on this night. Anderson and Blanchard went against Strike Force that night, who split during the match after Rick Martel turned his back on Tito Santana.

- WWE didn’t get a celebrity to sing “America the Beautiful” for this WrestleMania. Instead, WWE Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin sung an okay rendition of the song. However, Run DMC did perform a special “WrestleMania rap” during the show.

- If you watch the show closely, you’ll see multiple wrestlers trip on a step as they came down the aisle. None of them seemed ready for this and it made for some entertaining moments during some entrances. The problem was that there was a flat walkway, which suddenly took a step down. That step down caught the wrestlers off guard time and time again.

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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