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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Mike On The Mat: Wrestlemania, The Day After

Wrestlemania X8 has come and gone, and while at the time of writing this I have not viewed it yet, it’s a safe prediction that it’ll go down as a washed out show. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the past Wrestlemania highlights and some of the lowlights as well, just for fun.

The very first Wrestlemania was held in 1985 in the legendary Madison Square Garden. 1985 was a time when the side headlock ruled supreme and Hulkamania was coming into its own. Sadly, though, Vince McMahon and his staff didn’t quite have the concept of a mega-show down because, although it was certainly groundbreaking, the production values were terrible. Lord Alfred Hayes was just awful doing pre-match interviews, and Mean Gene Okerlund wasn’t much better. Missed cues were the norm for almost every bit during the show, and the matches weren’t much better. Why did I ever like Hogan? On the plus side, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura on commentary are always entertaining. And Andre body slams Big John Stud to win $15,000.

Fast forward four years to Wrestelmania IV, and we get little improvement in wrestling ability. The side headlock still reigns supreme. Whole blocks of matches are consumed by the rear chin-lock. I wonder how I ever got into wrestling a year later as I take a look at this video. It’s history, on the one hand, but the matches are tamed, very tame compared to what goes on today. Where’s the swantons and power-bombs?

This Wrestlemania featured a tournament for the world title featuring such names as Ted Dibiase, Macho Man, Jake the Snake “where’s my coke?” Roberts, Bam Bam Bigelow and Rick Rude. It also featured Hogan, who was rambling on about some earthquake wiping out the East Coast and Donald Trump saving his drowning children. That still gives me nightmares.

Two years later, Wrestlemania VI came to us from the Toronto Skydome (the same venue as this year’s show), at about the time I really started watching wrestling. I have fond memories of the whole buildup to Hogan vs. Warrior, and upon reviewing the tape of Wrestlemania VI, I wonder why. Their promos were absurd, and somehow Hogan equated their match to living forever by looking into his hand. The Warrior responded with some equally absurd metaphysical nonsense. The main event featured them in the infamous “crisscross of doom” and a lot of brutal punching action. Warrior won, in the end, and they shared a nauseating face on fake hug of good sportsmanship.

Wrestlemania X on the other hand was, on the whole, enjoyable. This second Wrestlemania from MSG featured two all-time great matches. The first was Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart, for family honor. The highlights of this match are too many to list in this limited space, but I will take the opportunity to mention Owen’s excellent belly-to-belly suplex to his brother towards the middle of the match. Rock needs to study that.

The other all time great match was the Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon ladder match for the Intercontinental title. This was one of the first ladder matches, and it stays with you. Watching Razor knock Shawn Michaels off the top of the ladder is still an awesome sight, even after all this time.

The last really memorable moment I’ll mention was the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match last year at Wrestelmania X7. This match was the greatest tag match in the history of the WWF as the Hardys, Dudleys and Christian and Edgepunished their bodies for 20 minutes going through tables, falling off ladders, whacking themselves with chairs and then going through more tables.

And of course this year we’re left with the question, does Kevin Nashactually wrestle or just waddle down to the ring with Hall and Hogan?

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