April 1, 1990
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
When Wrestlemania VI is mentioned, only two names come to mind: Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. The undercard for the show was pretty solid, but it's this main event that makes the show stand out years later. WWF Champion Hulk Hogan had long been the most popular wrestler in the world, but Intercontinental Champion Warrior's popularity was fast approaching that of Hogan, and this Title for Title match, dubbed the Ultimate Challenge, between the top two fan favorites in the company was booked as the main event of Wrestlemania. It's that simple.
Right off the bat, we're shown an awesome Ultimate Challenge promo narrated by Vince McMahon, in which both Hogan and the Warrior's figures are outlined as constellations in the sky. It might sound goofy, but it was pretty cool.
Robert Goulet sings the Canadian National Anthem after Howard Finkel encouraged the fans to "sing along" to explain why the lyrics were displayed on the big screen. The real reason they were up there was because Goulet was worried he'd forget the words.
Koko B. Ware vs. "The Model" Rick Martel
Since we're in the huge dome, the aisle way is very long like it was at Wrestlemania III, and little carts, in the form of mini-rings are used to transport the wrestlers down to the ring. This opener is obvioulsy Martel's match to win, since Koko never won a big match in his life, and Martel was in the midst of a decent heel push. Gorilla and Jesse marvel at the filled Skydome as Martel runs through the usual on Koko. A Koko comeback goes nowhere and Martel gets the Boston Crab for the submission win at 5:30. *1/4
Gene Okerlund talks to Tag Team Champions, Haku and Andre the Giant with their manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. In a symbolic manner, note that Haku is holding his Title belt, but Heenan is holding Andre's.
Sean Mooney is with Demolition.
Tag Team Titles: Demolition vs. Colossal Connection (Champions)
Demolition is incredibly over, as the crowd pops huge for their entrance. They're former two time Champs, going for their third. Andre & Haku went over them on Saturday Night's Main Event to win the straps, and this is Demolition's rematch. The Connection jumps them to start, but Ax and Smash succeed in double teaming Haku. Gorilla mentions that the Harts have already challenged the winners of this match. Andre comes in to break up a cover, but Demolition maintains their control until a Haku thrust kick finds its mark on Ax's throat. Andre gets some shots in from the apron while Haku continues a boring beatdown, complete with the dreaded nerve pinch. Smash finally gets the hot tag and goes nuts on Haku, who's been in the whole match for his team. Andre comes in without a tag and gets pummeled. He recovers, and holds Smash in place for a crescent kick, but Haku nails Andre by accident instead. Andre falls back and ends up tied up in the ropes, as the fans erupt, sensing the inevitable. Demolition nails Haku with the Demolition Decapitation and there's nothing Andre can do, as they cover for three to regain their Titles at 9:14. 3/4* Demolition is now three time Tag Team Champs, then an unprecedented feat. The fans pop huge. Demolition leaves with their Titles, and Andre finally manages to get out of the ropes. Heenan is pissed at Andre and yells at him, then SLAPS im in the face. Oooh, Andre didn't like that. He grabs Heenan and roughs him up a bit. Haku tries a crescent kick, but Andre catches him and nails him too. Haku and Heenan try to leave, a beaten mess, but Andre kicks them off the cart, and gets on himself, leaving the Skydome alone to a HUGE ovation. This was basically the deteriorated Andre's farewell and this was his obligatory face turn to send him out in style.
Gene is with Jimmy Hart and Earthquake. The big guy seems to take his name a bit too literally.
Hercules vs. Earthquake
Quake has sent 48 men to the hospital with his vertical splash finisher, and at a trim 468 lbs. was pretty tough to deal with in the ring. So of course, Herc does the stupidest thing he could possibly do and tries to lift the big guy into a backbreaker submission. Yeah, right. It obviously doesn't work, and Quake squashes him with the butt splash in short order at 4:54. 1/4* To add insult to injury, he hits an aftershock after the bell just to send a message. Quake, still undefeated, would feud with Hogan after this, while Hercules would begin the final stage of his WWF career, turning heel to form the tag team of Power and Glory with Paul Roma.
Celebrity guest, Rena Barrett interviews Elizabeth. Rena who?
Mooney talks to Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, who admires Mr. Perfect's perfect "record", though I'm pretty sure it's just a regular piece of paper he's holding there. Brutus says that nobody is perfect and symbolically cuts up the piece of paper with his big shears. Is symbolism running rampant tonight, or what?
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect
Perfect had been feuding with Hogan a few months earlier, but gets Beefcake here because Hogan wouldn't job the Title to him. Perfect is in full overselling mode, as Beefcake dismantles him, and Perfect exaggerates everything as much as possible, selling a simple right hand like he's been shot. The Genuis distracts the ref and slides Perfect his scroll, allowing him to nail the Barber with it to turn the tide. Perfect's neck snap gets two, and Perfect has Beefcake well in hand. Always the cocky heel, Perfect toys with Brutus, and taunts him. He takes him lightly, and that proves to be his final error, as Beefcake takes his legs out from under him out of nowhere, and slingshots him into the steel post to knock him out cold. He covers for the three count on the motionless Perfect, and gets it at 7:49. Perfect's 18 month undefeated streak comes to an end, and this was the right way to do it. *1/2 A dazed Perfect bails after the match, but Beefcake does manage to grab the Genius and give him a haircut.
Roddy Piper/Bad News Brown video package.
Mean Gene is with Piper... who has the entire right side of his body painted black. For what purpose I'm not sure, however.
Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown
This whole match is one big ugly brawl. It finally spills to the floor where both men are counted out at 6:43. DUD. The match solved nothing, and they brawl to the back. I don't see why Piper couldn't have just gone over there, but as long as it's over, I don't care.
Steve Allen, who would later campaign against the WWF as a member of the PTC, seems to be having the time of his life here at Wrestlemania. He's seated at a piano conveniently located in the men's bathroom set to rehearse the Russian National Anthem with the Bolsheviks. He teases playing it, and then when he's finally about to, a toilet flushes and Boris Zukhov gets all bent out of shape. Funny bit.
Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks
As mentioned earlier, the Harts have alerady challenged the new Tag Team Champions. The Bolsheviks start to sing the Russian National Anthem, but the Harts get antsy and jump them mid-song. A Hart Attack later, and the Harts take the win at a near record 0:19. Something that short is obviously a DUD, but this quick win propelled the Harts back towards the top where they belonged. Major squash.
There's a blatant clip in the tape here.
Gene is with Wrestlemania veteran, Tito Santana.
Tito Santana vs. The Barbarian
I love Tito's music. Jesse and Gorilla spend most of the match doing a hilarious bit about Jesse's navy days in Mexico. Jess cracks himself up talking about Tito's preference of food. Hey, it was Ventura's last PPV with the WWF; it just wouldn't be right if he didn't deplete all the Tito Santana material he had left. In the ring, Santana hits the flying forearm and covers, but Heenan puts the Barbarian's foot on the ropes at two to save him. Barbarian comes back with a big clothesline off the top to score the pin at 4:32. Not bad by any stretch. *3/4 I always thought the Barbarian was one of the more talented and fun to watch big men.
Dusty Rhodes/Randy Savage video package.
Mooney is with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire, who promise they have enlisted the services of a "crowned jewel" to help them against the Macho King.
Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri
Dust and Sapphire got into a big scuffle with Savage and Sherri at the Royal Rumble, to set this up. This is the first gender mixed tag in WWF history. It was a big deal at the time, but is commonplace now. The rules are simple, but confining: The men can only be in there with each other, and the women can only be in there with each other. That's understandable, especially considering the year is 1990, but is it really logical? It means that as soon as you get one partner in trouble, you can't tag in your own partner because the fresh person for the other team would automatically have to come in, thus defeating the basic purpose of tag team wrestling. That's why I have a problem with mixed tags in general. Savage and Sherri take forever to get to the ring because the little cart their on really slows down on the way to the ring. I think it's busted or something, because a few officials kind of help it on its way down, and finally after about three minutes, they arrive at ringside. Gorilla and Jess dress it up well, however, because I've seen this show a dozen times and I didn't notice this until now. Come to think of it, this is the last match they use the carts for. Dust & Sapphire enter, and Jesse goes off on a hilarious tangent about their severly underestimated announced combined weight of 465 lbs. "Are you tellin' me that Rhodes is only 215, because I know damn well that Sapphire goes at least 250." OK, so that's not a direct quote, but it was something to that effect. Rhodes grabs the mic and introduces the "crowned jewel", Elizabeth, just to piss Savage off. Liz stays in the Rhodes corner, and the match begins, first with the men going, then the women. Sapphire nails Sherri with her ass several times to knock her down. Keep in mind that this is the former Ladies' Champion we're talking about. Savage finally manages to slow down Rhodes and hits his normal offense, including the axehandle from the top to the floor. Sherri gets a few shots in as well to add insult to injury. Dust comes back, however, actually knocking Sherri down in what Jesse argues was an illegal move. He has a point. The women end up legal, and Sherri ends up near the ropes where Elizabeth is standing on the floor. Liz shoves her by the hair, right into a Sapphire cradle, and Sapphire gets three at 7:32 to end it. Not exactly a classic, but a somewhat fun match. *1/2. Liz, Sapphire, and Dust get down to Rhodes' theme in the ring.
Gene Okerlund is with a still-flustered Bobby Heenan, who was embarassed by Andre the Giant earlier.
Gorilla and Jesse talk to Hollywood gossiper Rona Barrett (Rona who?). She apparently has XXX footage of Jess (eewwww), so Jess immediately sends it to...
Sean Mooney with a ranting Savage and Sherri. They go on and on about getting cheated out of the last match, and then my tape is edited right in the middle of the interview. What the hell?
Gorilla and Jesse reveal that we've just been cheated out of intermission. Damn editting.
Gene is with WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. Hulk offers to save the Ultimate Warrior and all his little Warriors, but closes by saying that it only matters if you're a good winner or a good loser, thus serving to cover his ass and guarantee his own loss later in the night.
Mooney is with Intercontinental Champion, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior says he comes not to destroy Hulkamania, but combine with it to take all the fans to new heights. Very, very, very strange, but good interview.
The Rockers vs. The Orient Express
The Rockers doubleteam early, but Mr. Fuji hooks the ropes on Marty Jannetty to allow the Orient some offense. Michaels tags in to get his beating until he's able to hot tag Marty back in. The Rockers doubleteam some more and both head upstairs, but Jannetty ends up becoming sidetracked and going after Fuji on the outside. He confronts Fuji, and Saito sneaks up from behind and blinds Jannetty with Fuji's ceremonial salt. Marty can't see where he's going, and actually ends up falling into the front row as he's counted out at 7:37. Huge upset. **1/2 They could put on a much better mach with more time, and did so at the 1991 Royal Rumble.
Steve Allen interviews the Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine for some laughs. They're performing later tonight, you know.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo
Earthquake is with Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart, and Gorilla copmlains, using the logic that he obviously has a wrestlers' license, so he can't have a managers' license and should thus be removed from ringside. The official, however, does not seem to care. The Canadian crowd is completely apathetic to Duggan's entrance, for obvious reasons. He seems confused as to what's wrong and tries to get the USA chant going. Moron. This is the basic dull match expected from those involved. Bravo tries using Duggan's 2X4 as a weapon behind the ref's back, but Duggan beats him to it, nails Bravo and gets the three at 4:15. 1/2* Quake comes in and absolutely squashes Hacksaw with three "earthquakes", the second of which he botches. Ouch.
Highlights of the Jake Roberts/Ted DiBiase feud are shown. On 5/5/89, DiBiase jumps him with the Million Dollar Dream to save Virgil from Jake's snake. Then in November, Jake responds by kicking DiBiase's ass.
Gene is with Jake, who cuts a great promo.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
Jesse just doesn't care since it's his last WWF show, and he takes the opportunity to go at it with Gorilla on commentary. Jake outsmarts DiBiase at the outset of the match, but Teddy dodges a kneelift to take control. Ventura insists Gorilla's eaten a hot dog during every single interview we've seen tonight. DiBiase works a front facelock, but the crowd remains really into the match and even get the wave going! Wow, I doubt you'll ever see a crowd do that during a resthold today. DiBiase releases the facelock and hits a piledriver for two, then hooks the Million Dollar Dream. Jake starts to fade, but the crowd rallies behind him and he makes it to the ropes. Jake makes the comeback, but Virgil pulls him to the floor. DiBiase gets the Dream out there, but Jake counters and posts him. Virgil throws DiBiase back in just in time, however, and it's Jake that gets counted out at 11:53. *** Post-match chicanery sees Jake hit the DDT on DiBiase, and steal his money. Jake proceeds to hand out American $100 bills to the fans at ringside (like the fans that can afford ringside seats need them), and hands one to Mary Tyler Moore, who's in the front row. Now there's someone that needs it. Yeeaah. Jake chases Virgil to the back with his snake.
Sean Mooney interviews Akeem and his manager Slick.
Gene is with Boss Man, making his PPV debut as a face. The storyline was that while he refused to take money from DiBiase, Slick and Akeem had no problem doing so, and being an honest law enforcement officer, this naturally angered him.
Big Boss Man vs. Akeem
The Twin Towers explode! As Boss Man is about to enter the ring, DiBiase comes out from under the ring, and blindsides him. There's nothing the ref can do since the match hasn't started yet, so DiBiase does a number on Boss Man, then feeds him into Akeem. Boss Man is severly weakened, so Akeem has no problem dominating him, but Boss Man surprises him with a quick Boss Man Slam for three at 1:51. DUD Boss Man nails Slick for godd measure before leaving.
Sean Mooney is in the crowd to talk to some ringside fans. The moral: Kids don't like Rythm N Blues. Mooney mentions that it was announced earlier that Wrestlemania VII would be held in the Los Angeles Coliseum. They edited out the original announcement for obvious reasons, but he mentions it here anyway, so what's the point? Mooney talks to Mary Tyler Moore, and while she actually does understand the concept of sports entertainment, it's very obvious that she has NO CLUE about any of the wrestlers and their gimmicks.
Honky and Valentine make their way to the ring in a pink cadillac, driven by the man you know today as Diamond Dallas Page. He was never actually under contract to the WWF, but he appears here. It's not a big deal or anything since the announcers never even mention the driver, and he's barely seen on the screen, but this is still one of those little known facts that people find interesting. Honky and Valentine perform their "latest hit single", 'Hunka Hunka Honky Love' in the ring. Hey, Honky's not bad, but Valentine is SO not playing that guitar. Hey Greg, here's a tip: If you want it to seem like you're playing the guitar, keep at least one hand on it at all times. After the song, Rythm N Blues thanks the crowd, but notices two vendors at ringside who turn out to be the Bushwackers. You know you've hit rock bottom when you're feuding with the Bushwackers. Butch and Luke storm the ring and break the Blues' instruments. Ooh, Honky ain't gonna like that.
There's a blatant edit job on the tape.
Howard Finkel announces the new Skydome attendance record of... 67,678.
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude
Steve Allen joins Gorilla and Jess on commentary for this one. Oh, great. That's why Jess was having fun during the DiBiase match; it was, in essence, his last chance. The main event is not the time and place for that, here they're joined by Allen, and the Boss Man match lasted all of two minutes. Dammit, Steve. He chimes in with some cheesy lines, including one about how the 2X4 Duggan used before was legal because it was not a foreign object; it was actually a Canadian 2X4. Heh. Snuka, whose tights remind Allen of his wifes' underwear, and Rude go back and forth until Snuka misses a second rope splash and Rude hits the Rude Awakening for three at 3:52. *1/4
We get psyched for the main event with a Hogan/Warrior viedo package. First they went at it in the Royal Rumble match, then Warrior accidentally nailed Hogan on Saturday Night's Main Event (a tactic brilliantly devised by Mr. Perfect and the Genius). On another SNME, Hogan saves Warrior from a heel beatdown, but Warrior's pride his hurt and he takes offense. On Wrestling Challenge, Warrior returns the favor and saves Hogan from Earthquake, thus upseting Hogan. Hey, that was some pretty decent hype back in 1990, even if it sounds totally unspectacular now.
WWF and Intercontinental Title: Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion) vs. Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Champion)
Both Titles are on the line, which in hindsight immediately gives away the outcome of the match. I mean the guy with the lesser Title will always win; just think about it. What would the point be if Hogan were to win the IC Title? Especially if, by yesterday's rules, he'd have to immediately surrender it anyway. That said...
Warrior makes his entrance first, followed by Hogan's. Both men get a huge pop, and Jesse observes that the crowd reaction is about 50/50, a toss up, the same as the match. Warrior runs to the ring, and Jesse sites that's the stupidest thing he could have done and he should have been conserving his energy for the match. The epic match starts with a staredown. Then they work the crowd as each attempts to gain a concrete advantage. Warrior wins a test of strength, but then Hogan comes back. A criss cross ends with a Hogan bodyslam. Warrior no-sells, they criss cross again, then Warrior slams the Hulkster. Warrior clotheslines Hogan to the floor, and Hulk complains to referee Earl Hebner of a knee injury. For awhile it looks bad, and the announcers speculate if he'll be able to continue, but Warrior goes out there and nails him before he can make a decision. They climb back in, and Hogan ignores the supposed serious knee injury for the rest of the match, which makes me wonder why they even decided to go with that spot at all in the first place. Hogan gets a small package for two, then gets another two after a clothesline and two more after a backbreaker. Hogan works a chinlock before a collision puts both men down. Warrior hulks up with three clotheslines and a shoulderblock, but instead of going for the press slam, he hits a suplex for two, then locks in a bearhug. Hogan escapes, runs the ropes, and the ref is bumped. Macho Warrior hits two double axehandles off the top rope, but Hogan is able to sidestep him on another shoulderblock attempt and drive his head into the mat. Hogan covers, but there's no ref. Warrior hits a back suplex and covers, but there's no ref. Hebner finally crawls over for a very slow two count. The crowd thought that one might be it. Hogan rolls up the Warrior for another slow two. They brawl outside for awhile, then take it back into the ring so they can go home. Warrior hits the gorilla press slam and the big splash, which he's used to put away all his opponents, but it only gets two. Hogan hulks up, hits the big boot and goes for the leg drop, but Warrior moves and Hogan misses. Warrior quickly gets to his feet, goes off the ropes for a splash, and gets the three on Hogan at 22:51. The Ultimate Warrior is the new WWF Champion, on top of being the Intercontinental Champion. Half of the crowd is going nuts and the other half is silent as Warrior celebrates. ***3/4 Hogan looks shocked and depressed, and starts to leave. He instead takes the WWF Title belt, hands it to the Warrior, and embraces him. Warrior and Hogan embrace in one of the true great moments in WWF history. Hogan leaves, saluting the Warrior, as he has seemingly passed the torch. Pat Patterson has stated that the Warrior was so happy and emotional that he was crying his eyes out in the locker room after this. An epic match and an epic moment in front of a huge crowd make for one of the best Wrestlemania memories of all time. These were the top two draws in the company, both were immensly popular, and after a war in the ring, they were able to become friends afterwards. It was a terrific story, largely in part because of the fact that the WWF had this match choreographed and practiced for weeks before the event. It's a good thing they did too, because the successful execution of it was unbelievable.
Wrestlemania VI Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 98:52
Average Match: 7:04
Average Match Rating: *1/4
Top Moments: Andre's last major appearance, Perfect's streak coming to an end, Steve Allen, DiBiase's smart tactics, and the fans being divided over Hogan and the Warrior
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