This is the one that started it all, the original Wrestlemania that was either going to sink the company in one night or send it shooting into the stratosphere. History tells us which way that played out, but the show happened so long ago that I thought it’d be interesting to sit down and review it and see how it stacks up today. So here we go.
After a week off, Monday Night Raw is back and we’re ready for all the fallout from Wrestlemania 9! Rob Bartlett is (thankfully) nowhere to be seen, as our hosts are Vince McMahon and Macho Man Randy Savage! Oh yeah, and Hulk Hogan is the WWF Champion even though he wasn’t even scheduled to wrestle for the title! Just an aside, you know. Our main event this week pits two brother tag teams against one another as the Steiner Brothers take on the Beverly Brothers. Plus, Virgil takes on Bam Bam Bigelow, and Damien DeMento and Jerry Lawler are in action.
Monday Night Raw is back in the Manhattan Center! Vince McMahon, the Macho Man, and Rob Bartlett are back as our hosts! On tonight’s show, the Bushwhackers take on Repo Man & Damien DeMento, Kamala faces Doink the Clown, plus Tatanka Money, Inc are in action!
Last night’s Royal Rumble PPV has obviously garnered some pretty strong fan reactions, mostly negative. The fans reacting to Daniel Bryan’s quick and easy elimination pretty much destroyed the rest of the show, ruining Roman Reigns’ biggest career moment to the point that not even the Rock could save it. So many fans decided to cancel their subscriptions to the WWE Network over the booking that they actually crashed the page where you go to cancel your membership. After a day to reflect on the whole mess, I had a few quick thoughts to share on the entire situation.
Monday Night Raw goes on the road for the first time, as we’re at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York! On tonight’s show: Bob Backlund faces Papa Shango, the Nasty Boys take on the Headshrinkers, plus Razor Ramon and Typhoon in action, an interview with Giant Gonzalez and Harvey Wippleman, and more!
Bray Wyatt recently suffered an unexpected loss to Dean Ambrose on Monday Night Raw when, despite Seth Rollins’ music playing during the match as Rollins made his way to the ring, Ambrose kept wrestling and defeated Wyatt before Rollins even got close to the ring.
Hot on the heels of TNA’s announcement of their new deal with Destination America, TNA founder Jeff Jarrett has finally, after nearly a year of speculation, announced a TV deal for his fledgling GFW promotion. Starting in Janaury, they will air at 1 am on TV 55 in New York City, with the possibility of other overnight programming based on GFW’s ratings performance.
In addition the their existing programs training in-ring performers and production staff, WWE has announced that the Performance Center will also begin to train choreographers for the poses wrestlers do at the top of the ramp during their ring entrances.
The road to Wrestlemania IX continues as we return to the Manhattan Center for another episode of Monday Night Raw! Mr Perfect takes on “The Model” Rick Martel in tonight’s main event, Virgil & El Matador face Money, Inc, and more Rob Bartlett than any human can stomach!
Some of you who know a thing or two about amateur wrestling may have heard the name Dan Gable. He’s considered by many to be the greatest amateur wrestler in the history of the United States, winning multiple state high school championships, two NCAA Division I titles, the 1971 World Championships, and won the gold medal at the 1972 Olympics without giving up a single point in the tournament. He went on to become one of the most celebrated college and Olympic coaches in history, leading Iowa to 15 national championships in 21 seasons and guiding many wrestlers to national, World, and Olympic titles of their own. But for all his success, one loss haunts Gable to this day, one blight on what had up to that point been a perfect record.
The Honky Tonk Man made his career on a record that still stands today for the longest Intercontinental Title reign in history. For 454 days, the Honky Tonk Man managed to keep the second-most important title in the WWF around his waist before being squashed in under a minute by the Ultimate Warrior at Summerslam 88. While the impressive length of the reign is what most people remember, the thing that really made Honky’s IC Title reign unique was that he was a really crappy wrestler who should have been destroyed by nearly everyone he defended the title against.
The WWF upped the ante when they ran the third Summerslam PPV on August 27, 1990 at the Philadelphia Spectrum, bringing not one but two big main events. Hulk Hogan would take on the overwhelming power and girth of Earthquake, while the Ultimate Warrior defended the WWF Title in a steel cage against the one man who had even managed to beat him: Ravishing Rick Rude. Plus, the Hart Foundation challenges Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Title in a 2 out of 3 falls match, Mr Perfect defends the Intercontinental Title against newcomer Kerry Von Erich, and much more.
The WWF began a summer tradition on August 29, 1988 in Madison Square Garden when they ran the first ever Summerslam PPV in Madison Square Garden. The main event was a huge tag team match pitting Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage against Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in a match marketed as the Mega Powers vs the Mega Bucks. Also, the Honky Tonk Man may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew when he laid out an open challenge that was answered by an impressive newcomer called the Ultimate Warrior.
Following up on the success of the first Summerslam event the previous year, the WWF ran their second Summerslam PPV on August 28, 1989 at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The show was headlined by Hulk Hogan teaming with his good friend Brutus Beefcake to take on “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Zeus in a tag match, and also featured the Ultimate Warrior facing Rick Rude in a rematch for the Intercontinental Title, a pair of six man tags, and much more.
Every so often, a wrestler comes along that everyone takes one look at and right away sees big things in their future. They’re the complete package: athletic, a good look, strong promo skills, and that intangible charisma that immediately connects with fans. There’s no holding them back, and it’s just a matter of time until they take that big Superman leap over all the 1-As and become the megastar who will carry the business for years to come…except that they don’t.