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WrestleMania 2: Insert Electric Boogaloo Pun Here

-Returning from my sofa and Olevia flat-screen on a snowed in afternoon, it’s time to sit back and take in the sequel to the original WWE WrestleMania, oddly enough called WrestleMania 2. Tagline for the event: “What the World Has Come To”.

-And indeed, it’s come to this: three venues, three time zones, one night, one event, more bad 80’s perms. Honestly, I love looking at these craptastic hairstyles as if it were my life’s calling. Show me somebody with a head that looks like a brillo pad and I’m infatuated to the point of oblivion. Sometimes I just don’t get myself.

-It was April 7, 1986, the only WrestleMania to ever take place on a Monday. Unless you want to count all the WrestleManias that aired live in England that spilled over into the early Monday morning hours. Remember when Jim Ross used to thank the fans in the UK for staying up late? Why did they stop doing that? No wonder England didn’t back us in the Iraq War.

-Things kick off in the Eastern time zone, at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, home of the world’s most disinterested fans. Well, they cheer the Islanders, so there’s your reason. Our first hosts are the splendorly Vince McMahon, along with actress Susan St. James. St. James, it should be noted, is extra cordial with McMahon. That’s because she had no idea that fifteen years later, Vince would basically coerce her husband into footing half the bill for the failed XFL. Her husband? Dick Ebersol of NBC! No lie. Her husband is the man who had many nasty things to say about Conan O’Brien’s NBC exit, sparking further outrage over the late night fracas. Vince should have Susan host Raw in some city the same day that there’s an “I’m With Coco” rally going. There’s some free press for ya, Vinnie Mac.

-If you own this event on video or DVD, tell me: that guy in the crowd behind Vince when Vince opens the show in the ring: is that Andy Dick? I’m almost positive that it is.

-Truly epic stuff: Ray Charles kicking off the show with his rendition of “America the Beautiful”. Makes you proud to be an American. In fact, I’m in an extra patriotic mood now, thanks to Ray. That was just nice.

-Meanwhile, Rowdy Roddy Piper assures us that if he doesn’t beat Mr. T in their boxing match tonight, he’ll give up women, but not Bob Orton. That’s a relief. Same sex relationships are an important part of being patriotic. It’s a civil liberty, you know. I still feel patriotic.

-We open things with Paul Orndorff taking on Don Muraco, managed by the understated-yet-awesome Mr. Fuji. Geez, poor Orndorff. Demoted to the opener after headlining the previous year? This goes a long way in explaining his bitterness, as well as his brutal training style at the WCW Power Plant. If I were a trainee, I’d make a t-shirt that said “I was a main eventer for 15 minutes and all I got was this shirt and a messed up arm”. Then I’d pay Mike Sanders $20 to wear it. I hated Mike Sanders.

-For some reason, each man’s pre-match comments are dubbed over the first minute of the match. TNA can do that AND fire Jeremy Borash to save money. Someone tell Bischoff the good news. Also, Orndorff slants his eyes to mock Mr. Fuji. Well, I *was* feeling patriotic….

-And…it’s a double countout. Hey, the Long Island fans are actually making noise! They’re chanting a word that can’t be printed on the Camel Clutch Blog, but hey! It’s noise! Also, appearance #2 for Howard Finkel. Just wanted to note that.

-Mr. T and Smokin’ Joe Frazier cut a rebuttal promo. Not enough “fool” to be of note.

-Yes, it’s Macho Man! YES, HE HAS ELIZABETH! Crap….he’s facing George Steele.

-Yes, it’s the Intercontinental Title match as Randy Savage defends against George Steele, with the story being that kind-hearted Steele lusted after Elizabeth. So it’s basically Mickie loves Trish, but way uglier and creepier. Poor Liz.

-So here’s the match: a bunch of chasing around, followed by Steele gnawing Savage’s ankle. This delights Susan, who actually screams “ALRIGHT GEORGE, EAT HIS LEG!”. I DEMAND that she replace Lawler on Raw. You’d look forward to Raw every Monday, with the award-winning combo of “Eating Vintage” on commentary. Admit it.

-Savage can’t even do his normal schtick in this one, hitting a crappy cross body and having to sell such deadly weapons as a bouquet of flowers and turnbuckle stuffing. What is this? At one point, Savage crawled under the ring, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if Hornswoggle popped out the other side. Just awful.

-Susan: “This isn’t Macho’s shining fight”. To say the least, Sue.

-Steele has the balls to kick out of the Savage Elbow, but not a corner takedown. Savage wins, hooray, let’s just move on.

-To Chicago, as Mean Gene hypes the 20 man battle royal by interviewing Big John Studd and Bill Fralic, who was a former offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons. If you’ve ever wondered what Howie Long would sound like with a lifelong meth addiction, Fralic’s your example.

-Next up in Long Island, Jake Roberts goes against Jobber Protection Program escapee George Wells. Just imagine a shaved Glen Davis with twice the beer gut, and a foot shorter. This is like Randy Orton taking on Tyler Reks at WrestleMania 26. Can you imagine?

-“The first time I saw the guy, I couldn’t believe he’d pull his snake out”. Thank you, Susan. Good to see you and your husband support WWE’s stance on family friendly programming.

-Roberts wins a pointless affair, and then drapes Damian around the prone jobber. There’s a rather disturbing amount of white slobber around Wells’ lips as he sells the disgust. Chances are, there’s a picture of that in Pat Patterson’s fireproof safe.

-Susan on the snake: “The referee was probably too scared to touch that thing!”. Don’t let Terry Garvin hear that, or the ref’ll be out of a job.

-Piper-Mr T video follows, then Jesse Ventura interviews The Hulkster. Say what you will about Vince, but he knows how to make even a bad event at least FEEL important. I’m actually psyched now, and I’ve hated this show the last seven times I’ve watched it. Damn you, Vince. Why DID I hate this show?

-Oh right. Joan Rivers is doing guest ring announcing. Excuse me while I perform a self-appendectomy with my salad fork….

-Here to judge the BOXING match are three men with no boxing experience: Darryl Dawkins (here to judge the heartlessness of either man), Cab Calloway (here to judge how far a career can fall), and G Gordon Liddy (judging how to go from being a convict to a radio personality). I know, they don’t make any sense, but neither does the fact that they’re JUDGING a BOXING match.

-Herb’s here too. Eh, screw it.

-Sidenote: how much do you think Joe Frazier got to work Mr. T’s corner, as compared to George Wells? I’d love to see the payouts for this show.

-Round 1: Susan’s not really trying, still bummed about Steele failing to beat Savage. Maybe his hairy chest reminds her of Dick Ebersol? Mr T works the Cus D’Amato “peek a boo” while the crowd groans in displeasure. I think I know what killed boxing: Vince McMahon! Wrestling still does great numbers, but boxing’s died off, right? He put out a joke boxing match on a (relatively) grand wrestling show and it blew boxing away! Then the Brawl For All KILLED it in the late 90’s by sucking even worse! DAMN YOU, VINCE!

-Round 2: Nothing really happening other than Piper scoring a knockdown on a half-efforted Mr. T. Susan’s pulling for T for some reason. Is it because he’s an actor on her husband’s network? Maybe.

-Round 3: Piper goes down twice, including once through the ropes. If this was WCW, wouldn’t Mr. T have been disqualified? After the round, Piper throws his stool at Mr. T. As in, the wooden thing you sit on, not…oh nevermind….

-Round 4: Unrealistic slugfest, followed by Piper bodyslamming Mr. T for the DQ. No, I’m fairly certain that I didn’t skip anything of note.

-Onto Chicago, at the Rosemont Horizon, where Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby handle the festivities. Glad to see Crosby’s not wearing a headset. Wouldn’t want to muss up the Marcy D’Arcy hair, afterall. Crosby thinks that the battle royal, featuring football players and wrestlers, is going to come down to “football vs. wrestling”. It’s this kind of insight that ensures Rachel Nichols and Molly Qerim jobs at ESPN.

-Up first, we have Fabulous Moolah and Velvet (Don’t EVER confuse me with Sky) McIntyre for the WWF Women’s Title. As a bonus, we have Mel Gibson and Yassir Arafat’s favorite sportscaster, Chet Coppock, doing ring announcing in a complete Mr. Kennedy-style, repeating the last names. Isn’t that special?

-And it’s over. Moolah wins. Add that to the string of four star matches in her career, for sure.

-Next, we have the “Flag Match”, between Cpl. Kirschner and Nikolai Volkoff, where the winner “gets to raise his colors high”. So if the loser tries to raise his country’s flag, does he get suspended indefinitely? This was never properly explained to us.

-Kirschner wins in about two minutes, due to McMahon’s edict that “neither Volkoff or Kirschner should ever work beyond two minutes”. And, according to the rules, Kirschner “raises his colors high” like any respectable, honest, dedicated patriot. Sadly, he doesn’t slant his eyes at Freddie Blassie, just for a goof.

-Up next, the 20 man battle royal with *gasp* introductions! You mean they’re not going to grind on Kid Rock when they come out? Would anything by funnier than Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart performing a sandwich dance on Kid Rock? Anything? Ok, I’m done.

-So we have Jim Covert of the Bears (huge hometown pop), Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas (HAW HAW HAW), Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin of the Dallas Cowboys, Dan Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga (Haku), Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Killer Bees, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic of the Atlanta Falcons, The Hart Foundation, Russ Francis of the San Francisco 49ers, Bruno Sammartino, William Perry of the Bears (HUGE pop), and Andre the Giant.

-So Perry’s a Hall of Famer, and Sammartino isn’t? Interesting.

-Ernie Ladd joins the commentary team, sounding exactly like Morgan Freeman after four Java monsters. Also lurking around ringside, a 16 year old Shane McMahon! Diggin’ the Scott Baio here there, Shane O’Mac. I’m immediately saddened by Haku getting tossed out. Why didn’t he just try to rip somebody’s eye out?

-Russ Francis seems really zealous in going after Andre. Betcha Andre didn’t invite him on Tim White’s drivealong after the show. Ernie Holmes gets dumped and Cathy Lee says “He’s out”. No name, just he. I’ll bet Cathy Lee never gets invited to the Steelers Super Bowl parades.

-Sayeth Ladd: “Bill Fralic doesn’t care for anybody!”. Or he’s just in Methenstein mode.

-I just realized that I’d spend some serious dough on a dual shoot interview with Sammartino and Sheik, as the former dumps out the latter. Crowd pops huge for Perry spear tackling both Harts. Can’t they do a battle royal NOW with NFL stars? Joey Porter and MVP can team up. So can R-Truth and Pacman Jones. They were former TNA Tag Champs, afterall.

-After Perry and Studd eliminate each other, the final four is Andre, Bret, Neidhart, and Francis, whose zealotry seems to have paid off. Nevermind, the Harts just dropped him like a Braylon Edwards completion attempt.

-You know the drill. Bye bye Anvil (via comical self-elimination), and bye bye Hitman. Andre reigns supreme! Next for Andre: paying Tim White $5000 to run over Russ Francis with the van.

-Meanwhile, Roddy Piper cuts his usual “racist, but you can’t tell because it’s incoherent” promo on Mr. T. By comparison, Paul Orndorff looks like Nelson Mandela. Just once, WWE needs to let Piper loose at the UN and introduce him to everyone. And film it.

-Rounding out the Chicago portion, the Dream Team of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake defend the tag straps against the British Bulldogs, who are seconded by Capt Lou and OZZY OSBOURNE. Now THAT’S impressive. All the Dream Team has is Johnny Valiant, who’s dressed like a Bohemian matador.

-WWE Did You Know? Ozzy outlived Albano. I don’t know if this is surprising or not.

-Monsoon asks what Ozzy can do for the Bulldogs. Besides be one HELL of a hook-up? Sorry for the jokiness here, because this is a great exhibition of tag team wrestling. The Bulldogs have their continuity, Valentine can work with anyone, and even Beefcake doesn’t look out of place. He even gets a swank hammerlock slam on Davey Boy. You know you’re in trouble when Beefcake hits a complicated move that nobody does anymore, even the indie spot monkeys.

-Uh oh, Valentine had the pin on Davey and pulled him up on 2. The law of wrestling states that he’s about to lose….and he does as Davey Boy sends him careening into Dynamite’s head (on the apron) and that’s enough for the pin. Albano, Davey, and Ozzy celebrate while Dynamite Kid may be legally dead on the concrete. Say, out of Albano, Davey, and Ozzy, which one do you think is the LEAST oblivious to his surroundings? Like, if you were on a road trip with those three and one of them has to drive, who do you prefer? Scary, isn’t it? Anyway, great match, as expected.

-To Los Angeles, where Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Elvira bring us the action. Mmm, Elvira. Has there ever been a hotter one trick pony on this planet? You know, besides Kim Kardashian? Mmm, Kim…..

-Kicking off this portion, we have Hercules Hernandez as the man who gets to be carried by Ricky Steamboat. Hey, did you know that this was supposed to be Steamboat vs. Bret Hart, but WWF thought that Hercules would be a better opponent? Boy, that Vince. He sure knows how to give people what they desire.

-Steamboat armdrags. Steamboat armdrags. Steamboat armdrags. It’s just so pretty!

-I have to say, Jesse Ventura’s doing a primo job of involving Elvira with the commentary, even if she has nothing more to say than lame comments about wrestler fashion. Lord Alfred’s mostly ignoring her. Maybe it’s for a reason. Maybe THAT’S why he’s wearing a white tux? Hmm…

-Elvira: “Steamboat looks like a wimp”. That just got her banned from the DVDVR boards.

-Cross body wins it for Steamboat, just like last year. Lee Marshall announces the winner, as I wonder what ever happened to “Stagger Lee”. Wait, actually, no. I don’t.

-Next up, Adrian Adonis vs. Uncle Elmer in a match that would NOT take place in 2010. Can you imagine a pre-match video with these two with a Shinedown song dubbed over it? Though Elmer’s classy enough to do a prissy dance to mock the “gay” Adonis before the match. This might cost Linda a few votes.

-Bad match, but at least Adonis is bumping for six people here. Unfortunately, Elmer’s about a dozen on his own, so it’s still coming up short. Nice to see that Adrian got his leg warmers from the Edyta Sliwinska collection.

-Diving headbutt finishes Elmer, and not a minute too soon. Actually, it’s about three minutes late. There’s a reason that no one clamors for Elmer to be in the Hall of Fame. He’s no Johnny Rodz.

-Finally, a match I can get behind: Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana against The Funk Brothers, Terry and Dory (known here as Hoss). JYD has “Grab Them Cakes”, which makes me sad. WE WANT QUEEN! Maybe Adonis filled the non-hetero quota for the night?

-Terry Funk is just great. You never hear a bad word about him, as he bumps off of anything that Tito and JYD throw his way. How could Dory be so bland and dry by comparison? If they were the Hardyz, Terry would definitely be Jeff. That means Dory would spend 17 hours a day on the internet, while simultaneously playing a game of “How many calories is too many?”.

-Dog headbutts! The comedy equivalent of Steamboat armdrags! Good times are had!

-TERRY FUNK THROUGH A TABLE! Attention, ECW: your big “contribution” to pro wrestling was already done in WWF during the Rock n Wrestling Era. God, if Heyman owes WWF royalties, he’ll NEVER get out of debt!

-Megaphone shot on Dog leads to the Funks victory. Elvira’s expert analysis on Terry: “That dude looks hurt”. Thank you, Elvira.

-While the blue bar steel cage is assembled for the main event, we go to a training video for Hulk Hogan, as he’s set to defend the WWF Title against King Kong Bundy. This is fascinating, because his training partner is Hillbilly Jim, wearing overalls. Now THAT’S kayfabe. You don’t see Iron Sheik in costume going through an airport terminal, do you? Actually, I kinda do wanna see that.

-Celebrities for the LA portion include Tommy Lasorda (ring announcer), Robert Conrad (outside official), and a mulleted Ricky Schroder (timekeeper). Is this a taping of Hollywood Squares? Where’s Shadoe Stevens?

-Typical Hogan match, except this time he’s wearing the DDP Memorial Rib Tape, although Bundy tears it off. Elvira first calls the tape “clothes”, and then a “belt”. Why is she discussing fashion when she doesn’t know what athletic tape is? She’s owed a Diamond Cutter.

-Bundy goes hard into the cage off of a Hogan head slam, and then we get a little bit of color! Add this to “4000 matches that won’t be on WWE 24/7 until after the Connecticut midterms”. By the way, Ventura’s not only carrying Elvira, but he’s carrying Hayes as well. There’s so many fans who won’t admit it, but Ventura was definitely better than Heenan in the booth. Period.

-Fun sequence, as Hogan takes an avalanche and splash, before no selling a second avalanche and powerslam on KKB. Not a bodyslam, a POWERslam. God, Bundy could work. Great talker too, as evidenced earlier in the night. Maybe the most underrated 400+ pounder of his time.

-Finally, Hogan kicks Bundy off the top rope and climbs out for the win, and then beats up Bobby Heenan as a bonus. I think every PPV event should have ended with a babyface tearing Heenan to shreds. It was just good fun.

-Vince and Susan wrap things up. God, Susan’s like VD. You think you’re done with her, and there she is! I can’t imagine why she was never asked back.

-CYNIC SAYS: From a 2010 standpoint, not a good show. If you’re a devoted fan, there’s no doubt this will either invoke nostalgic feelings, or, like the original show, be a good way to learn about wrestling history. It had to be weird to actually be AT one of the shows, given there was just four matches at each. Maybe WWE could try this with NY and LA in the future, two shows in one night and volley back and forth?

Still, if you’ve never seen the show before, give it a look. Wouldn’t kill ya.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at WrestleCrap.com and ColdHardFootballFacts.com. He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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Justin Henry

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at WrestleCrap.com and ColdHardFootballFacts.com. He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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