Wrestlemania VII
March 24, 1991
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Coliseum Sports Arena

Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

Wrestlemania VII was billed as the Stars and Stripes Wrestlemania, as the WWF capatalized on the unfortunate goings on in the world and used them to create their own emotionally charged storylines. In 1990, with the United States firmly in the middle of the Gulf War in Iraq, Sgt. Slaughter made his return to the WWF... as an advocate of the Iraqi government and Saddam Hussein. Can you say instant massive heel heat? Here our country was at war and Slaughter was walking around supporting the country we were fighting against, praising Saddam and denouncing America at every available opportunity. At the 1991 Royal Rumble, Slaughter won the WWF Title from the Ultimate Warrior (with help from Warrior rival "Macho King" Randy Savage) and proclaimed that as Champion, the WWF would now play by "his set of rules". Hulk Hogan, Real American #1, took exception to Slaughterís views and was set to challenge Slaughter for the Title at Wrestlemania VII, in what would not only be a Title match, but a match about American pride as well. The Gulf War just so happened to end shortly before Wrestlemania and the good olí USA came out on top, so Wrestlemania VII was the perfect time to blow off the Slaughter storyline. Hence the Star-Spangled Wrestlemania.

The original plan was to have the show in the storied L.A. Coliseum, home of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, and a venue which once held over 100,000 fans for a Yankees vs. Dodgers exhibition game. Drooling at those numbers, the WWF was set to invade the Coliseum for Wrestlemania, but they had to move the show to the Sports Arena due to extenuating circumstances. Something about a "bomb threat" (and oh yeah, a serious lack of ticket sales). Nevertheless, Wrestlemania VII was set to go down in the city of angels.

Now then, Willie Nelson makes his way out to sing America The Beautiful. Willie is wearing an array of WWF merchandise including one of those foam children size World Title belts around his waist. I never understood those belts. The Intercontinental and Tag Team ones very much resmbled the actual belts, but the World one looked absolutely nothing like the World Title; it was a different design entirely. Anyway, Willie belts out America The Beautiful- more on Mr. Nelson later.

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan comes down in a ridiculous red, white, and blue outfit to commentate the first match with Gorilla since Bobby Heenanís team of the Barbarian & Haku is in the opening match.

Sean Mooney is backstage with The Rockers, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty.

The Rockers vs. The Barbarian & Haku
The Rockers are hot at this point; it was their peak and many including me thought they deserved a Title reign before finally splitting at the end of the year. ĎTwas not to be. The Rockers control early with their speed and blatant double teaming. Double hiptosses, elbows, and crescent kicks all around. Heenan regroups his men and the Barbarian begins to work over Jannetty. Duggan is actually making some sense announcing this thing. Jannetty gets up on Barbarianís shoulders but Barbarian catches him. Michaels comes in and dropkicks him in the back as Marty turns it into a nice hurricanrana. Haku tags in and the Rockers try the same move again, but this time Barbarian beats them to the punch and hotshots Martyís neck across the top rope. I wish Michaels was the one getting pounded on here so he could make the hot tag and Gorilla could say "Marty goes bananas". But, no, itís Marty getting pummeled. The Barbarian goes for a top rope headbutt, but Jannetty moves out of harm's way. Hot tag to Michaels, who roughs up Haku and then the Barbarian. All four men come in, and Shawn and Marty connect with a double dropkick to the Barbarian to send him to the floor. In the ring, Jannetty nails a dropkick off the top rope to Haku, followed by Michaels off the top in the adjacent corner for a high cross body for the three count at 10:33. ***. Itís the Rockers, so itís gotta be at least that good.

Mean Gene is backstage and carries a decent skit with the guest celebrities, Regis Philbin, Marla Maples, and Alex Trebek.

The Brain has joined Gorilla at the ringside broadcast table.

The Texas Tornado vs. Dino Bravo
Both men are currently dead. Heenan is all riled up about the last match so heís very excitable and he and Gorilla are on here. Bravo hits the Side Suplex, but a cover only gets 2. Great finisher. Tornado comes back and gets the Claw and Tornado Punch for the three in short order. Even better finisher. 2:11, 1/2*

Sean Mooney is with The Warlord and Slick.

Mean Gene is with the British Bulldog, who cuts a much better promo, and his mascot of sorts, Winston.

The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord
The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object. These two would proceed to wrestle against one another a record one hundred and seventeen times throughout the year of 1991. Warlord is the king of the roids. The man is just so... THICK. At this point I swear his neck is about fourty six inches. Larry "The Ax" Hennig would be envious. To the match, they exchange some power stuff, and the Warlord counters a crucifix and controls with elbow drops and a bear hug. He hits a belly to belly suplex and then goes to a reverse chinlock. Bulldog powers out and makes the comeback. A crossbody gets two, but a Bulldog corner charge eats boot. Warlord goes for the Full Nelson, but Bulldog powers out and hits the Running Powerslam to finish it at 5:20. Not a bad match for two big guys. *1/4, which quite possibly makes it the Warlordís best ever in the singles game. Hey, all three faces have gone over so far. Arenít the heels due?...

Gene is with the Nasty Boys and Jimmy Hart. Knobbs and Sags yell a lot and blow snot in Geneís hanky.

Mooney is with WWF Tag Team Champions, the Hart Foundation.

Gorilla and Bobby talk about how the Nastys got this Title shot. They won the #1 contendership in a Battle Royale on WWF Superstars a few weeks earlier. It came down to them and the Legion of Doom, but Power & Glory, upset that the LOD had eliminated them, shoved Hawk off the top rope and the Nastys won the right to go to Wrestlemania to challenge for the Titles.

Tag Team Titles: Hart Foundation (Champions) vs. Nasty Boys
The Harts get a huge ovation upon their entrance and look awesome. McCauly Culkin is shown in the audience and Gorilla doesnít realize who it is at first but then picks up on it. Bret and Sags start off and Bret is quick to hit a Thesz Press. Shades of Austin... or Thesz, if you prefer. Hart dominates both Nastys. Sags tags Knobbs, who wants Niedhart. Bret obliges, tags the Anvil, and Niedhart goes crazy with a whip, a hiptoss, and a shoulderblock that sends him to the floor. The Harts have again cleared the ring. The Nastys regroup and breifly take the advantage in the ring, but Bret tags in and hits the Russian Legsweep, called a neckbreaker by Gorilla as he did for years. Knobbs comes in and blindsides Bret with a clothesline, then goes for the rear chinlock. Two comebacks fail and Knobbs tags in Sags who steps right in with a rear chinlock of his own. Knobbs comes back in and holds the rear chinlock. Sags tags back in and mixes it up a bit with an elbow drop and neckbreaker. Tag to Knobbs and he again goes for the rear chinlock, but Bretís had enough and counters. Sags comes in, but Bret clotheslines him and ducks a Knobb charge. Hot tag to Niedhart but the ref is busy getting a Nasty out of the ring and doesnít see it. Niedhart is pissed and the ref calms him down while Knobbs grabs Jimmy Hartís megaphone in hopes of leveling Bret with it, but misses, and levels Sags instead. Hot tag. Niedhart overpowers the Nastys but Sags breaks up a pin attempt prompting Bret to chase him on the floor. Back in, the Foundation hits the Hart Attack. The ref gets the illegal man, Bret, out of the ring while Jimmy throws the motorcycle helmet to Sags, who knocks Niedhart cold with it. Knobbs covers for the 1-2-3, and at 12:09 the Nasty Boys are Tag Team Champions. Terrificly wild ending. Both Nastys are dead tired but they celebrate like mad outside the ring. The crowd is stunned, and this would prove to be the end of the Hart Foundation, finished in part by the very man who was there for them at the beginning, Jimmy Hart. ***.

Afterwards Bret would embark on a singles push and would soar to the Intercontinental Title just a few months later. On Wrestlemania All Day Long, a story was told about the Nastys meeting up with Willie Nelson at a post-Wrestlemania party and being so out of it that they ended up giving him one of the Tag Title Belts as a gift. Apparently, the Belt was never seen again.

We look back at the Jake Roberts/Rick Martel feud. Martel sprayed arrogance in the eye of Jake which sets up this first ever Blindfold Match. Talk about your gimmick matches...

Jake cuts a typically great Jake promo backstage.

Blindfold Match: Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "The Model" Rick Martel
Many are under the assumption that this is the first, last, and only Blindfold Match in WWF history, but that is not the case as Martel actually beat Koko B. Ware in one in preparation to this. Jake was near the end of his face run and would turn heel shortly after this blowoff with Martel. This is the highlight of Martelís heel push as he never did much else with it. The refs put the blindfolds on each man and weíre underway. The crowd is obviously behind Roberts, so when he points in Martelís direction the crowd cheers. Martel trips over Jake and they find each other momentarily, but Jake avoids a Martel whip in and they lose each other again. They back into each other but canít hold on. Martel kicks away at the air. Martel finds Jake and slams him but a blind elbow misses horribly and Martel is frustrated. They each grab the ref and the Model almost attacks him. Jake stumbles around a lot and canít tell where he is or where heís going, so maybe this isnít much of a stretch for him. Roberts grabs Martel but thereís a rope break. The crowd chants for the DDT. Martel crawls around only to find the ominous green bag with the snake in the corner. Jake grabs him and gets a headlock. Rick shoots him off the ropes and shoulderblocks him out. Martel climbs out and pokes at the air with a chair. He backs into the post, turns around and smacks it with the chair, hurting only himself. Back in, Martel hits a backbreaker and hooks the Boston Crab. Jake powers out, turns around, grabs for him and hits the DDT. He finds him for the cover and scores the pinfall at 8:34. This is hard to rank as a regular match since itís not one, and thereís never been another famous one to compare it to. Many have bashed this, but I kind of like it. It was a good game of cat and mouse as each man struggled to find each other, and it had its funny moments as well, not to mention the interactive concept of getting the fans into it. Most importantly, it settled the feud once and for all. I give it **. It certainly wasn't as offensive as some make it out to be.

Marla Maples is in the locker room of the new Champions, the Nasty Boys. The Mounite, Dino Bravo, and Earthquake, Jimmy Hartís other protoges, are all congratulating them. There is much yelling and champaign. Chaotic scene.

"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. The Undertaker
This is Takerís first PPV singles match and itís a squash match not just to put Taker over against a big name, but to manhandle him in the process. Heenan and Gorilla do some great commentary on Paul Bearer and speculate about whatís in the urn. Gorilla suggests that the Brain, broadcast journalist that he is, finds out whatís in there, but Bobbyís not about to do that. Taker dominates Snuka with chokes and punches and works in the flying clothesline and a suplex. Snuka tries to slingshot into the ring from the apron, and Taker catches him but loses his grip, sets him down, then picks him up again and Tombstones him for the win at 4:19. The Tombstone was an especially stiff one, as Snukaís head clearly made contact with the mat. In later years, Taker would simply have his own knees hit the ground while his opponents head never reached all the way down to the mat. 3/4* which is about what it was supposed to be anyway.

We see a Savage/Warrior recap. At the Royal Rumble, the Warrior refused to give Savage a Title shot, so Savage twice blatantly interfered in Warriorís Title defense against Sgt. Slaughter the same night and cost him the Championship.

Career Match: The Ultimate Warrior vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage
This is for all the marbles. The loser must retire from the WWF. You lose, your career is over. Thereís no tomorrow. Before the match begins, Bobby Heenan conveniently spots Elizabeth, Savageís former valet of many years, in the stands.

Savage enters first, with his manager, Sensational Queen Sherri. The Warrior is conserving his strength, not running to the ring like that insane fool usually does. It should be noted that the previous year the Warrior did run to the ring down the much longer Skydome aisle before his all improtant World Title Match with Hulk Hogan and he won that one. See, at that time his match with Hogan was the most important match of his career and he had no problems running to the ring then, but this match is even more important than that, and he can't risk it. As both Warrior and Savage are former World Champions, Warriorís tights have the World Title on the back with the words "It Means Much More Than This" underneath. Heenan and Gorilla put over just how much is on the line here and completely stress the importance of what we're about to see. The hype is great. Both mens careers are on the line.

I for one canít help but realize that if Sherri and Macho were smart, theyíd simply have Sherri run in and punch Savage causing a DQ for the Warrior, giving Savage the win, and forcing the Warrior into retirement. But that wouldnít have been nearly as fun, now would it?

The bellís gone and Warrior mandhandles the King from the start, but Savage is resiliant and connects with a clothesline. He heads up top and tries a crossbody but Warrior catches him and... lets him down on his feet and SLAPS him. Macho is steamed and goes outside the ring where he grabs a chair. He tosses it into the ring, hops back in, and then instead of going for it, opts to punch an unexpecting Warrior instead. A brilliant ploy, but his advantage doesnít last long as Warrior soon gets the better of him. Warrior beats the crap out of Savage in the corner but then misses a charge and spills to the floor. Savage heads up top and measures him with the axehandle all the way from the top rope to the arena floor. Sherri tries to rough up the Warrior, causing him to shove her to the ground. The distraction, though, allows Savage to attack from behind and send Warrior flying into the post. Back in the ring, Savage attempts a neckbreaker, but Warrior counters with a backslide. Savage backs off and spits in the face of the Warrior. Warrior answers with a strong clothesline but then misses a huge shoulder tackle when Savage sidesteps him and Warriorís face slams into the mat. Two count for Macho. Savage then goes to a reverse chinlock to wear down the injured Warrior, but Warrior powers out and hits a clothesline. Both men get up and go off the ropes and a double clothelsine results. Sherri tries desperately to revive Savage. She actually tries to climb in the ring and Earl Hebner, the ref, has to tell her to get out. Meanwhile, Warrior gets to his feet and traps Macho in a small package. When the ref finally turns around to see the cover, it only gets two.

Warrior argues about the count with the ref and Savage plants a knee in his back, sending Warrior forward into the ref. Now Hebner is out cold. Savage holds the Warrior as Sherri takes off her shoe and climbs to the top rope. She tries to strike Warrior with it, but the Ultimate One moves, and itís Savage that takes the loaded shoe to the head. Sherri is forced to distract the Warrior until Savage comes to. As he finally does, so does the ref and a quick Savage roll up gets two. Savage takes Warrior to the buckles. Heenan talks about how EVERYTHING is on the line for these two men. You lose this match, you wake up tomorrow, and what do you do? Your job, your livelyhood, your career, all youíve ever known, will be over. They can be a second away from losing it all at any given moment.

Savage now clotheslines Warriorís throat over the top rope, a pattened move of his I've dubbed a "ropeline", then bodyslams him for a two count. Now he heads up top for the Flying Elbow... and connects. But heís not finished yet. Savage goes up for a second elbow... and connects. OK, that oughta do it, but letís try a third just to be sure. But Warriorís out anyway, so why not make it four? And once youíve done four, you just have to do five. And thatís exactly what Macho did. FIVE Flying Elbow Drops and Savage finally covers Warrior. One, two, KICKOUT. Savage is stunned. If that didnít finish him, what will? Warrior hulks up and shakes the ropes. He levels Savage with three clotheslines in rapid succession. Gorilla press slam, big splash... KICKOUT. Warrior cannot believe it. Only Hogan had ever kicked out of the Warriorís finishing series, and even he ended up later getting pinned with the splash. Now both Savage and Warrior have kicked out of each others finishers. Warrior is shocked. He looks to the sky for a reason and actually starts to leave the ring. Heís on the apron debating his position and after much deliberation and many warnings from Hebner that "This is it", Savage solves his problem for him by nailing him from behind, sending him to the floor.

On the floor, Savage drapes Warriorís throat over the barricade, and a la the Steamboat incident, heads for the top rope. Sherri tries to hold Warrior in place for good measure, but Warrior tosses her aside, then catches Savage with a shot to the gut on the way down, a blow which Savage would have a tough time recovering from. Seeing his fallen opponent, Warrior now has no doubt that he should stay and fight. He tosses Macho into the ring and brings him to his feet, though by this point Savage can barely stand. Warrior bounces off the ropes and hits a big shoulder tackle. The impact sends Savage to the floor. Warrior again brings him in, again sets him up, and again hits a shoulder tackle, again sending Savage to the outside. Once more, Warrior brings him in and hits a third shoulder tackle. Macho falls to the floor, and Warrior throws him back in one last time. Then, in the center of the ring, he places one foot on Savageís chest. 1-2-3, and Randy Savageís career is history. ****1/2. Unbelievably emotionally draining match, and with their careers on the line, every minute was thrilling. Warrior is victorious. The end was booked terrificly. All too often matches end with a back and forth series, but here, Warrior just simply had Savage out on his feet. Bobby Heenan was in the middle of making a point when he realized there was a pinfall being counted, and it was over just like that. Great performance from both Warrior and Savage. The match was 20:47 and over those twenty minutes they told quite a story. But that would only be the half of it.

After the match Sherri is furious at Savage for losing and kicks him while heís still down and out. Elizabeth, watching from the stands, can no longer stand it, hops the barrier, rushes ringside, and tosses Sherri out of the ring. Savage doesnít know whatís just happened and gets to his feet, only to see Elizabeth. Savage is shocked and confused. Liz is crying. After much staring, Savage finally embraces her and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. Many fans are shown crying. Truly an emotional scene. Savage holds the ropes open for Liz, as she had done for him for so many years, and then Savage gives one last series of turnbuckle salutes for the crowd. They then leave hand in hand, reunited after more than two years.

After an emotionally draining situation like that, nothing can possibly follow it up, which is why there are a convenient number of squash matches before the World Title Match. All too often on todayís PPVís, the two or three top matches are saved for late in the night and occur in succession. By the final match the crowd is worn out. It used to be that matches like this were half way through the card, and then the main event is saved for the end, thus giving the crowd time to recover. Thankfully, however, this type of booking isn't dead, as at No Way Out 2001, we were treated to Triple H and Steve Austin beating the hell out of each other in a classic in the middle of the card, two full matches prior to a WWF Title Match between The Rock and Kurt Angle. Neither match would have been as effective if they were held back to back.

Mean Gene talks about what an emotional scene we just saw. He then talks about how the NFL just brought in instant replay and ponders whether the WWF should consider the same. We are shown a precrecorded debate on instant replay in the WWF between Vince McMahon, George Steinbrenner, and Paul McGuire. George is for instant replay but thinks that if the replay official takes too long he should be fired. McGuire is on the other hand, against this "instant replay crap". Steinbrenner says that the regular officials should simply be fired if they canít do their jobs, to which McGuire calls him a butthead. The discussion gets heated from there and turns from mildly amusing to a little weird, as the end somehow sees George trying to fire the Bushwackers, Luke and Butch.

Monsoon and Heenan talk about what has just transpired with Randy Savage and Elizabeth, and hype whatís yet to come.

Regis tries to interview the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. They say nothing but instead take out a tape measure and begin to methodically measure Regis. Taker then relays the measurements to Bearer. Pretty funny, as Regis becomes more than a bit concerned.

Alex Trebek is with Jake and Damien. Alex is scared of the snake and ends up running away.

Heenan brags that heís the one that set up the preceeding interviews.

Tenryu & Kitao vs. Demolition
Coming off the Savage/Warrior match, the crappiest match of the night should be placed here. It is. Demolition is, at this point, a shell of their former selves, as Ax is now completely gone and Crush has replaced him. Smash is just months away from becoming Repo Man. No one cares about this match which justifies its positioning. Tenryu pins Smash with a powerbomb at 4:42 and Demolition is history, though I have to wonder about the point of putting over two Japanese guys youíre never going to use again at Wrestlemania. The only highlight of this match is the brilliant commentating of Heenan and Gorilla. 1/4*

The Brain leaves ringside to tend to Mr. Perfect.

Gene is with the Big Boss Man who vows to become the new Intercontinental Champion. Heenan and Perfect had been ridiculing his mother for quite some time now, and this was the culimination of the Boss Man's long feud with the Heenan Family.

Mooney is with Perfect and Heenan.

Intercontinental Title: The Big Boss Man vs. Mr. Perfect (Champion)
Lord Alfred Hayes joins Gorilla for commentary. Oh boy. Duggan actually did a better job than him. Boss Man is surprisingly quicker than Perfect, despite being much larger, and uses it to his advantage. They trade punches and jabs, then take turns hitting each other with Boss Manís belt. Perfect holds him in an abdominable stretch for awhile but releases it and hits a standing dropkick followed by a snap mare and his pattened neck snap. The Perfect-Plex is set up, but Boss Man counters with a small package. Perfect responds by coming back with an awesome reverse neck snap, for lack of a better name. Sweet. Boss Man recovers and the action spills to the floor as a Boss Man right hand gets a classic Curt oversell and he flies over the top rope. On the floor, Perfect launches Boss Man into the steel steps. As Heenan kicks him while heís down, the legendary (and ex-Heenan stooge) Andre the Giant comes down the aisle. As Perfect takes off a turnbuckle pad in the ring, Andre takes the Intercontinental Title belt and begins stalking Heenan. Perfect sticks his head through the ropes to confront Andre about why he has the belt and Andre non-chalantly clocks him with it. Perfect goes flying backwards and Boss Man crawls over to cover him but Perfect somehow manages to kick out. The Barbarian and Haku run in and jump Boss Man to cause a DQ at 10:46 to save Perfectís Title. Many had picked Boss Man to win the Title here, as they had been building to it for months, but I guess it wasnít to be. Boss Man and Andre shake hands. A friend in need is a friend indeed. **

Mean Gene is in the stands with Donald Trump, who hopes Wrestlemania will return to his Trump Plaza soon. This was 1991 and it hasnít happened yet. Chuck Norris is next on the quick interview line; heíd be seen again at Survivor Series 1994. Henry Winkler is happy the "Ultimate Warrior got his ultimate win", and the former Mr. Universe, Lou Ferrigno is in attendance as well. Isn't it fun to know that the Fonz is an Ultimate Warrior fan?

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Earthquake
Valentine had just dumped Jimmy Hart and turned face to set this up. Quakeís feud with Hogan was long over and he didnít have much else to do anyway, as he had not yet formed a tag team with Typhoon. Valentine hits some elbows and goes for the Figure Four, but the legs are too big. Jimmy jumps on the apron and distarcts Hammer. Youíd think after being with Jimmy for so many years, Greg would know what heís up to. Quake seizes the opportunity and hits a powerslam and the earthquake and itís over at 3:19. 1/2* He goes for an aftershock, but Valentine rolls out of the ring.

Legion Of Doom vs. Power & Glory
This is Herculesís sixth and final Wrestlemania. This would be the only Wrestlemania match the Legion Of Doom would ever wrestle in their first WWF stint (they would return to Wrestlemania at Wrestlemania 13 after a six year absence), and it would be a quickie. The ref never got control from the beginning, as all four men started out in the ring. Doomsday Device on Roma at 0:59 and the LOD win in their only Wrestlemania appearance... before they went completely downhill, that is. Total squash. DUD

Virgil vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
Virgil, longtime servant of DiBiase, finally had enough of DiBiaseís orders at the 1991 Royal Rumble. Shortly after, the injured Rowdy Roddy Piper (who was involved in a "motorcycle accident") started training Virgil in preparation for this Wrestlemania showdown. Virg starts out on fire with punches and DiBiase bails to regroup. DiBiase uses some wrestling to battle back, then lays in some chops. An elbow, clothesline, and a piledriver get two, as does a suplex and a gutwrench suplex. DiBiase then makes the mistake of tossing Virgil to the outside, following him out, and shoving Piper, the cripple, to the floor. He powerslams Virgil inside the ring for another near fall, but when he goes off the ropes, Piper pulls them down with his crutch, sending DiBiase tumbling to the floor. Teddy gets up and punches Piper, but the ref counts him out, and Virgil picks up the win. DiBiase is disgusted. 7:39, *

After the match, DiBiase gets Virgil in the Million Dollar Dream. Piper tries to make the save but DiBiase hits him with his own crutch. Sherri comes out, apparently forming an alliance of some sort with DiBiase, and they destroy Piperís knee before Virgil makes the save. Piper wonít accept help to stand up. Virgil grabs the mic and tells him to get up. He finally helps him to his feet and out of the ring.

Sean Mooney is with WWF Champion Sgt. Slaughter and General Adnon. Adnon says something in Iraqi and Slaughter takes us through the video package of his feud with Hogan. Slaughter stresses that Hogan has to beat him, not the other way around. He could get himself DQíed or counted out and still keep the Title.

Tito Santana vs. The Mountie
This could have been pretty good, but time was running out and it turned out to be a quickie. The Mountie uses the cattleprod on Tito for the pin at 1:23. Match had no time to put anything together. 1/4* After being electrified, Tito clutches his stomach, and Heenan tries to cover up the illegal tactics of the Mountie by claiming, "I believe it was something he ate." After this crushing loss, Tito would do some soul searching in his "homeland" and transform into the humiliating "El Matador".

Mean Gene is with Hulk Hogan.

The Fink introduces the special celebrity ring announcer, time keeper, and commentator, Alex Trebek, Marla Maples, and Regis Philbin, respectively.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter (Champion)
Heenan, for some reason, picks the main event to start hyping his upcoming TV show. He says everyone will be there and asks Regis if heíll come. Regis tells him he bets Kathie Lee would love to come to which Heenan quickly replies, "Sorry, weíre full."

Anyway, to the match at hand. The momentum shifts various times for the first ten minutes, but Hogan is generally getting the better of Sarge with backdrops, an atomic drop, and even a slingshot. He then (stupidly) goes up top, but Slaughter catches him and slams him. That was smart, Hogan. Slaughter is now in full and total control of the challenger. He uses a chair on the outside and chokes him out with cables, almost intentionally tyring to get himself DQ'ed. Sarge works on the back, setting up for the Camel Clutch. He first uses a Boston Crab, but Hogan manages to get to the ropes to break the hold. Sarge drives his knee into Hoganís back from the top rope and covers, but for some reason, Adnon, his own manager, distracts the ref thus preventing him from counting the pinfall. With the ref still distracted, Sarge grabs a chair and serves it up in Hoganís face, allowing Hulk to blade on camera. OK, maybe itís not too blatant, but if youíre looking for it, itís not hard to see. When we see Hoganís face again thereís a ridiculous amount of blood, much more than would be caused by a simple chair shot. Slaughter finally locks the Camel Clutch on a bloody Hogan in the middle of the ring. Hogan is able to power out despite the fact that it would be pretty impossible for someone to stand up while still in that hold. Slaughter shoves Hogan into the corner, grabs the Iraqi flag and covers him, but only gets two and Hogan begins to Hulk up. He notices the own crimson on his face and tears the evil flag apart, then delivers the Big Boot and Leg Drop in short order to get the three count at 20:24. Sarge, pro that he is, actually kicks out after the three, sensibly selling that Hogan barely got him instead of selling a silly leg drop like a knockout. A bloody Hogan goes on to celebrate with the Title and the American flag. This is his third WWF Title, unprecedented at the time. He wipes his bloody face with the US flag of a fan and tosses it back to him. Gee, that was nice... I guess. **1/4

Wrestlemania VII was the last of what I refer to as the "cookie cutter" Wrestlemania's that boasted over a dozen matches, many of them squashes in between a few major Title matches. This show is worth viewing for the spectacular Warrior/Savage match alone, and other fun stuff with Perfect, Hogan, and The Harts certainly doesn't hurt either.

Wrestlemania VII Key Stats
Matches: 14
Total Wrestling: 113:05
Average Match: 8:05
Average Match Rating: *1/2
Top Moments: The end of the Harts, the unbelievable Career Match, the Savage/Liz reunion, Andre's unexpected appearance, Hogan and the USA as #1

If you have any questions or comments on this review, direct all mail to kayfabe@rajahwwf.com. ÔĽŅ