WrestleMania 38 is now 21 days away and I decided as a hype for the event, why not review every WrestleMania to date? First up is WrestleMania V, which was held in the Boardwalk Hall (Or Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, as it was commonly referred to during the event) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fun fact, this WrestleMania 5 actually had made $1.7M at the box office and made $1.6M in advance ticket sales, toppling WrestleMania 3 numbers.
Who commentated the event?
Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.
Now, I love how the WrestleMania V intro video starts as Vince McMahon says that The Mega Powers Explode (Marketing the Randy Savage Hulk Hogan Main Event). Both Ventura and Monsoon both welcome everybody to WrestleMania 5. Once the package ended both hyped up how exciting it is that the event is here. So next up came the singing of America the beautiful and it was sung by Rockin Robin who was the WWE Women’s Champion at the time.
Match #1 Hercules vs King Haku w/Bobby Heenan
Haku became King because Harley Race suffered a real life abdominal injury and gave him the crown. When Race was healthy they had a match at Royal Rumble and Haku won the match. That would be Harley Race’s last WWE PPV match. Hercules became face after Bobby Heenan sold his contract to Ted Dibiase and then had a long feud with Dibiase.
So this match starts with both doing power moves as both wresters are powerhouses. So Haku gets clotheslined and Hercules immediately chases Bobby Heenan to get his revenge. Bobby Heenan evades once Haku recovers and attack Hercules. So both go back to the ring and Haku hits these terrible backbreakers. I don’t know if they were botched or not but it looked awful. So Hercules is coming back after a few chops by Haku and he hits a crossbody on Haku. Hercules then hits a clothsline and trice hitting a double ax handle on Haku who hits a superkick. Finish came when Hercules hits a backdrop suplex and gets the pin at 6:57. Not a great match and there were a few botches in this matchup but it was not awful.
My 5 Star Rating: (2/5)
Match #2 The Twin Towers (Akeem & The Big Boss Man) w/Slick vs. The Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels)
If you don’t know Akeem was the One Man Gang but they decided to undergo a gimmick change as now he was referred to as Akeem the African Dream. I am not a fan of this gimmick at all and obviously there would be no chance this gimmick would get approved if it came out anytime this year.
So this matchup is the large men (Twin Towers) vs the smaller underdogs of the Rockers. So the Rockers obviously use their strength in Speed and the Twin Towers strength is in power. The Rockers use fast pace offense to start the match and take advantage. The Power of Akeem and Big Boss Man then take advantage of Marty Jannetty . So The Twin Towers take over going to work on Jannetty but he counters a splash in the corner. I have to say this now but there are way too many splashes that the Twin Towers do in this matchup and it is honestly kind of ridiculous. So Shawn Michaels gets tagged in and both Marty and Shawn team work to take down the Bossman and Akeem for a near fall pin. So Akeem recovers and my goodness he hits a nasty looking clothesline to Shawn Michaels. I seriously winced seeing that it was that nasty and I thought Michaels got hurt with that clothesline. So Akeem tags in Big Boss Man who goes to the top rope and misses an awful looking splash. It’s not only the Twin Towers that botch moves but the Rockers both this tag team double dropkick that absolutely concussed Big Boss Man. So finish of the Match is where Akeem Saves Bossman from the pin and when Bossman recovers he hits a nice reversal powerbomb on Shawn Michaels and Akeem comes in and hits his splash then pins Michaels at 8:02
That was a pretty likable and good match by both teams. There were plenty of botches by both sides but it told a nice story. Well done by both teams. By the way If it looked like Shawn Michaels was out of it or looked hurt apparently he was dealing with an extreme hangover as he apparently was drinking until 4am on WrestleMania Day and did not get any sleep.
My 5 Star Rating: (3.5/5)
Match #3 Brutus Beefcake vs Ted DiBiase w/Virgil
I love Ted DibBase’s Million Dollar Championship belt as It looks so awesome. It just fits his character having that belt. So this match began with Brutus giving Dibiase a back body drop that eventually got him out of the ring. So next DiBiase goes in the ring and Brutus once again is on offense hitting many bodyslams resulting in Dibiase once again out of the ring. So Virgil gets involved tripping him and Dibiase hits his trademark punch. So Ted takes advantage and even locks a Million Dollar Dream on Brutus. Finish of the match Brutus escapes the hold and eventually hits a sleeper hold. Virgil seeing DiBiase struggles decides to distract Brutus resulting in both being out of the ring. Ted Dibiase and Brutus battle on the outside and it results in a double count-out in 10:01. I mean it is not the best match and it fell flat but It was an enjoyable watch. The crowd was dead throughout this matchup.
My 5 Star Rating: (2/5)
Match #4 The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch) defeated The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) w/Jimmy Hart
I am going to say it now but obviously this is clearly going to be a comedy match. Especially when the Bushwhackers are normally involved in a match. I love the tag team but a majority of their time wrestling they do comedy spots. So the match starts off with The Bushwhackers toying around with Jimmy Hart’s blazer and then throw the Rougeau brothers into Jimmy Hart. Then the Bushwhackers hit a battering ram finisher on Ray and I thought that was the end of the match but Jaques comes in to save his brother but accidentally hurts him. Refs then gets distracted and the Rougeaus take over on Luke. My favorite part of the match is the way Bushwhacker Luke took a bump after an Irish Whip to the corner. The Rougeaus then do a double team and mu goodness they did a terrible job with this awful looking double clothesline. Finish of the Match is where the Bushwhackers did a sloppy looking battering ram again and pinned Ray Rougeau at 5:38. I thought this matchup was completely terrible and full of nonsense. The match was heavily botched and the ending was just sloppy.
My 5 Star Rating: (0.5/5)
Match #5 Mr. Perfect vs The Blue Blazer
Fun Fact this match is the first time Mr. Perfect is wearing his singlet in a match. Mr Perfect was in the undefeated streak phase where he was Perfect and now lost a match to this point. The wrestler who was underneath the Blue Blazer mask was Owen Hart who is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. This is a short match that was used to get Mr. Perfect over but I really like this match a lot. So this match starts off with fantastic drip kicks and bodyslams by the Blue Blazer. Blue Blazer had a beautiful hiplock counter on Mr Perfect who extremely overselling and it is fantastic. So Perfect takes over after the Blue Blazer goes for a splash but Mr Perfect gets his knees up. Perfect then hits the Perfect Plex to give him the win at 5:38. I really like this match it had a great mission to make Perfect look strong with the win and My goodness is Owen Hart really good in the ring.
This was the last match for Owen Hart’s 1st stint with the WWE. He would return to the company in a few years though where there will be plenty of fantastic matches to watch with him.
My 5 Star Rating: (3/5)
Match #6 Demolition (Ax and Smash) vs The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) and Mr. Fuji in a Handicap Tag Team Championship match
Now I have to ask, Why is Mr Fuji in this match? Oh yeah someone needs to take the pin so The Powers of Pain don’t look weak. Now it makes a lot of sense and this match predictable. So this match came to be after Mr. Fuji betrayed Demolition during Survivor Series 1988 and The Power of Pain then came by pick Mr. Fuji up from the floor after being attacked by Demolition. So Mr. Fuji is now heel and Demolition is now face.
The Power of Pain entered the ring first and I think they look cool. Especially Warlord as I think he looks better than The Barbarian. So Demolition walk out and man they have an awesome gimmick, theme, and attire. So immediately Demolition goes after The Warlord as Smash keeps Smashing and Ax keeps well Ax handling Warlord. Warlord gets the tag to Barbarian and he as well gets beat up on mainly by Ax. Multiple quick tags take place until The Powers of Pain finally take over. Mr Fuji. I got to say I don’t know how old Fuji was in this matchup but he looked pretty good and still had plenty in the tank. Heck he took a nasty bump going to the top rope and missed I believe it was a leg drop (IDK it looked botched). He tagged in Warlord oh look finish of the match the ref got distracted with Ax and Barbarian out of the ring. So Warlord holds Smash so Mr Fuji would grab his salt/dust and threw it into Warlord’s face by accident. Warlord goes out of the ring and Demolition hits an Demolition Decapitation finisher and pins Mr Fuji to retain the title at 8:20. I mean it was an alright match but it could have been a lot better. Fuji looked pretty good but I would have not had him in this matchup as lets be real it made it a bit more predictable.
My 5 Star Rating: (2/5)
Match #7 Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin vs Ronnie Garvin
Okay so for some reason before the match starts Superfly Jimmy Snuka comes out poses and just leaves the ring. It was very strange and I don’t understand why this was done. I don’t even remember if we got a reason why in kayfabe this was done.
This is a squash match and to be honest I am not going to go long as this was made to have Dino Bravo look strong. I will fast forward to the finish as Dino Bravo wins with a sideslam suplex at 3:06. An angry Ronnie Garvin then decides to stomp on Frenchy Martin. On a side note this is Frenchy Martin’s last appearance in the WWE. This was a boring bathroom break match. Waste of time.
My 5 Star Rating: (0.5/5)
Match #8 The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) w/Bobby Heenan vs Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel)
I love all wrestlers in this matchup here. While The Brain busters did not have a long career in the WWE, I love there work where ever they were as singles or tag team. Heck their doing fantastic work as managers for AEW as well. Strike Force is even a great tag team as well. By the way this match was almost canceled last minute as Rick Martel had visa issues getting into the United States and almost missed WrestleMania. Luckily that did not happen which was very important (We will get to that) and this match went on as planned.
Immediately we have a fight where the Brain Busters tag team Martel and then both Santana and Martel counter with respective dropkicks. After a facebuster from Martel he immediately puts Arn Anderson in a Boston Crab but Tully gets Martel off of him. So Strike Force both put both of the Brain Busters in a figure four leglock. So Santana later tags in Martel and the ref does not see it but by accident Tito hits Martel with a flying forearm by accident. So later Tito has a comeback and tries to tag in Martel but he refuses to reach his hand for the tag. Martel then walks away and I love how Jesse Ventura says that Rick doesn’t want to involved because of the “injury” that Martel got from being hit by Tito Santana. Ventura was fantastic on commentary in this match. So finish of the match Arn Anderson hits this beautiful spinebuster and then the Brian Busters hit there spike piledriver finisher. The Brain Busters win pinning Tito Santana in 9:17.
This was a good match from the two teams. I love the story especially with Strike Force as the break up is here as Martel is interview and said he is done with carrying Tito on his back. This starts the feud between Tito and Martel. The right team won here and the finish was good. Overall thumbs up.
My 5 Star Rating: (3/5)
Pipers Pit Segment
Piper’s Pit is an interview segment featuring Wrestler Roddy Piper. It is known as one of the best interview segment shows in wrestling history. So this starts with Brother Love coming into the ring to do his interview wearing a kilt. Then Morton Downey Jr. came out who was the talk show host of the then popular Morton Downey jr. Show. Morton said anybody that wears a skirt is not somebody he wants to love him which immediately had Roddy Piper come out. Piper comes out making jokes to Brother Love and even ripped his kilt off. So Downey Jr. decides to smoke and Piper doesn’t like it and then Piper decides to use a fire extinguisher to stop him from smoking. In total This was way too long and way to ridiculous. But I still laugh every time Piper uses the fire extinguisher on Downey.
Match #9 Jake Roberts vs André the Giant w/Bobby Heenan
In this match the guest referee was Big John Studd who recently won the 1989 Royal Rumble match. Both wrestlers enter the ring and man it is just sad knowing how much pain Andre was in his final years as he could barley walk to the ring. So immediately to start the match Andre ram’s Jakes head in the exposed turnbuckle and okay two things. Obviously first Studd are going to do a DQ there as you clearly saw Andre do that and secound how in the world did that turnbuckle not get fixed before the match began? So Andre now goes to work on Jake for a long time in this match with his offense. Later jake comes back with a punches, clotheslines, and we get the Andre rope tied up spot. Jake then uses this opportunity to do offense including punches and a choke spot. So Andre gets out of it and both are on their feet. Jake hits Andre’s head on the exposed turnbuckle in front of Big John Studd who for some reason does not DQ him. Andre then hits Jake out of the ring and Studd goes face to face with Andre which leads to Andre hitting Studd. Ted DiBiase then comes out and tries to steal Damian (Jake’s snake. Jake eventually catches up to DiBiase reclaiming Damian and released the snake into the ring. I love how Andre moved fast to get out of the ring showing his fear of snakes via storyline and probably real life. Jake wins via DQ at 9:44. This was not a good match at all and this is an example of Andre just no longer having the physical shape to perform any one on one matches.
My 5 Star Rating: (1.5/5)
Match #10 The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) vs Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart
This match starts off between Bret Hart and Greg Valentine. Bret has a lot of offense and even hits a slingshot manuever tag team move with Jim Niedhart. So Valentine does a reversal from an elbow drop and tags un Honky. Both go to work on Bret Hart making him weak and Honky even hits his Shake, Rattle & Roll finisher. Honky does not in him but tags in Greg valentine who then puts his figure four leg lock on Hart. I like how their building up Bret here long term as he is clearly the future of the company. So Eventually Bret breaks out of it and after taking more offense from both of them he comes back and tags Niedhart. He hits some solid power moves on both Valentine and Honky. So Bret is back in working on Honky and gets distracted by Jimmy Hart. Jim Niedhart then chases him for a bit until he notices Honky go after the megaphone. Jim stops Honky from getting it and throws it to Bret hart who hits Honky with it. The ref does not see as he is distracted by Greg Valentine who is trying to get into the ring. Bret than pins Honky for the win at 7:40. I like this match it was very fun. I loved the booking of Bret in this match and it makes sense in how to properly book a match where both teams look good. I give it a thumbs up.
My 5 Star Rating: (3/5)
Match #11 Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs The Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Championship
This was a match when looking at the card I was excited about. Especially as Rick Rude is a fantastic worker and The Ultimate Warrior is a fantastic character. By the way Rick Rude’s tights are fantastic with the intercontinental belt in the front and Warrior in the back. It looks so cool. So this match starts off with Warrior showing his power throwing Rick Rude in the corner many times. Warrior then puts Rick Rude in a bearhug. Rude then fights out hits a dropkick for a pin but Warrior Kicks out. Warrior gives Rude a few powerslams and once again gets put into a bearhug. Warrior tries the big splash and Rude counters. Rude then comes back and hits a piledriver on Warrior. Rude tries to finish it with a Rude awakening but Warrior powers out of it and hits a clothesline out of the match. Finish of the match is when Warrior tried suplexing Rude into the ring then Bobby Heenan grabs his foot and Rude pins Warrior and we have a new intercontinental champion as rude wins at 9:36. This was not a terrible match but it was okay. The match continues the feud between the two and the finish made sense. I can’t grade it a 3 star match as it became sloppy at times so i will give it a 2.5 stars out of 5. Post match Warrior went after Rude and Heenan. Rude escaped but Bobby Heenan did not and Warrior gave him a botched Gorilla Press Slam. By the way remember in WrestleMania 2 where he almost got fired for missing PPV as he almost missed it due to a neck injury. Well that botched press slam by Warrior re-injured Heenan’s neck and he once again had to get surgery on it. Great.
My 5 Star Rating: (2.5/5)
Match #12 Bad News Brown vs. Jim Duggan
I am not going long with this match. This is a bathroom break match. Basically both try to hit each other and gain a bit with their offense most of the match. Then each other both tried hitting their respective finishers but both get frustrated. Bad News Brown grabs a chair and Hacksaw Jim Duggan grabs his 2×4. Both hit each other and it results in a double DQ in 3:49. This was a waste of time and honestly should have been cut from the pay per view.
My 5 Star Rating: (0.5/5)
Match #13 The Red Rooster vs Bobby Heenan w/ The Brooklyn Brawler
Again I am not going long with this match at all. Ok let’s get this out of the way now, Who thought it was a good idea to have Terry Taylor’s gimmick as a Red Rooster? It is a terrible decision as Terry Taylor was very talented during his Jim Crockett/Mid-South/WCW days. Was this match necessary at WrestleMania? So I am not even going to discuss the match Red Rooster wins in 31 seconds. By the way kudos to Bobby Heenan wrestling as like I said earlier he again had gotten injured as a result of the Post match of Warrior vs Rude. This match should have never happened and should have been cut from the PPV as well. Moving on.
My 5 Star Rating: (0/5)
Match #14 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth in in both corners representing both. For the WWE Championship.
The Mega Powers Explode!! Sorry I couldn’t resist the intro for WrestleMania this year was so awesome. It is time for the main event with Hulk Hogan facing off against Randy Savage. So the match starts off with heel savage posing and stalling before the match like every heel does. Then Hogan whips randy out of the ring where immediately he hides behind Miss Elizabeth. I like the beginning of this match as the Savage does a great job acting as the cowardly heel. So they both go back into the ring and both have a battle to see who gets more offense. Savage pulls Hogans hair and he responds by throwing him to the turnbuckle. Savage then counters an elbow by hitting him in a running knee and resulting in a rollup with Savage grabbing the tights but Hogan kicks out. Savage starts slapping Hogan in the face and Hogan starts to wake up and Hulk picks up Savage and throws him to the floor which looked like it had to of hurt. Macho landed awkwardly but looked to be okay. Elizabeth checked on him but he looked okay. Hulk now visibly busted open gets checked out by Elizabeth but she gets thrown out of the match by the referee. So Now Savage went to the top rope and hit his vintage ax handle to the outside of the ring. So both are back in the ring and Hogan starts selling as if his throat was injured. Savage continues to work on the throat throughout the match. I love how Randy wraps of hiss wrist tape and chokes Hogan as it shows his desperation to put away Hogan. So Savage then hits his flying elbow drop and covers Hogan who kicks out at two. Hogan Hulks up and the crowd erupts. He does his usual routine of throwing punches, whip, boot and leg drop where he now pins Randy Savage for the win at 17:54. Hogan is the new WWE Champion. I love this match easily the best one of the night in my opinion. I loved the booking and the finish I was fine with. MVP was Randy Savage he did a fantastic job in his role. There is a reason why this is one of the most classic WrestleMania matches of all time.
My 5 Star Rating: (4/5)
Definitely a better WrestleMania than last year. The crowd was exciting most of the event. There is a lot to love about especially Hogan-Savage, Twin Towers-Rockers, Perfect-Blue Blazer, Strike Force-The Brain Busters and etc. But there were some negatives including the many throwaway matches (Rooster-Heenan, Bad News-Duggan Match, & Garvin-Bravo), the whole Bushwhacker comedy match, Beefcake-DiBiase, and etc. But I give this show a thumbs up overall.
Im going to give WrestleMania V a B