In the supreme act of one-upmanship, due to Starrcade ’85 emanating from two locations, WrestleMania II emanated from THREE locations! If they keep this up, Starrcade ’86 could emanate from Tokyo AND London simultaneously.

Location one:

Live from Uniondale, NY

Airdate: April 7, 1986

Attendance: 16,585

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Susan St. James

Vince is in the ring and says “Welcome to WrestleMania!” That particular sound bite would be captured and replayed on numerous WWE DVDs as well as on the WWE Network. He then introduces his guest color commentator for the evening—Susan St. James. Who, you ask? Not only was she an actress who played Allie in the successful CBS sitcom Kate & Allie but also was NBC producer Dick Ebersol’s wife. You do the math!

Ray Charles performs “America the Beautiful” in his own unique way.

Next, “Mean” Gene Okerlund addresses us from Rosemont, IL.

Back in New York, boxing trainer Lou Duva introduces “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who informs us that he’s down to 219 lbs. He also announces that if he gets knocked out, he’ll retire from everything enjoyable in life including wrestling and tiddlywinks. He then runs down Mr. T.

Match 1: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff versus the Magnificent Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Four minutes for that crappy finish? Moving along.

After the match, referee Dick Kroll prevents Orndorff from nailing Muraco with a plastic chair. A very loud and justifiable “BULLSHIT” chant emanates from the Long Island crowd.

Mr. T cuts a promo alongside “Smokin’” Joe Frazier and the Haiti Kid.

Prior to the match, a promo by Savage from earlier today was shown.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champion w/ Elizabeth) versus George “The Animal” Steele


Rating: **

Summary: The crowd response and Savage’s aerial ability were the highlights of this match.

After the match, Steele eats another turnbuckle to console himself then chases the anonymous referee backstage.

Back in Chicago, Okerlund interviews Big John Studd and Bill Fralic. The big men are at each other’s throats.

Match 3: Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus George Wells


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Great selling by Roberts here, but isn’t he a heel?

After the match, Roberts grabs the bag containing his python. Roberts then wrapped the python all over Wells. Out of fear, Wells was frothing at the mouth. According to Vince, Roberts is still undefeated (in the WWF). I added the last part because, upon further review, with the last part included, McMahon is correct.

We revisit the ending to the boxing match from SNME where Piper & Orton got the best of Mr. T.

In Los Angeles, Jesse “The Body” Ventura interviews WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Despite the ribs being hurt, Hogan vows to defend his title tonight.

Back in the ring, ring announcer Howard Finkel recognizes the guest ring announcer for the next match—Joan Rivers. She announces the judges: New Jersey Nets center “Chocolate Thunder” Darryl Dawkins, Cab Calloway, and G. Gordon Liddy. For those unaware, back in 1971, Liddy was a chief operative in the Watergate scandal. It’s so nice that McMahon wants to give a convicted felon a second chance. What a swell guy! Rivers then announces the guest timekeeper—Herb of Burger King commercial fame.

Match 4 (boxing): “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (w/ “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Lou Duva) versus Mr. T (w/ “Smokin’ Joe Frazier & The Haiti Kid)


Rating: NONE

Summary: This is a complete farce for publicity’s sake. No other explanation is necessary.

After the “match,” not only do Piper and Mr. T need to be separated but also Duva and Frazier. As Lutz raises Mr. T’s hand in victory, Piper attacks Mr. T.

Location two:

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: April 7, 1986

Attendance: 9,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby

For those unaware, Crosby was famous for being the one of the hosts of That’s Incredible alongside John Davidson and pro football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

Match 5 for the WWF Women’s title: The Fabulous Moolah (champion) versus Velvet McIntyre


Rating: *

Summary: Needless to say, but hair mares don’t generate snowflakes.

While Monsoon and Okerlund sit at the broadcast table wearing their headsets, Crosby doesn’t want to mess up her hair so she has the microphone in front of her while the “SPARE” headset sat out in the open in front of her. Oops.

Match 6 (flag): Corporal Kirchner versus Nikolai Volkoff (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie)


Rating: *

Summary: Neither blood nor xenophobia could save this one. To say Kirchner was a poor man’s Sgt. Slaughter would be an insult to Slaughter.

Match 7 (20-man battle royal):


WWF Superstars: Big John Studd, the “Golden Boy” Danny Spivey, Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, King Tonga, the Iron Sheik, Hillbilly Jim, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, and Andre the Giant

NFL players: Jimbo Covert (Chicago Bears), Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons), Russ Francis (San Francisco 49ers), Ernie Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers-retired), Harvey Martin (Dallas Cowboys), and William “The Refrigerator” Perry (Clemson University Chicago Bears)


Rating: NONE

Summary: There was little doubt that Andre would win. The commentary combined with the football talent made this a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be.

We return to New York as Vince & Susan interview Piper. To say Piper’s words were politically incorrect would be a blatant understatement. We revisit the end of the “boxing” match, and Piper gives his side of the story.

Back in Chicago, Okerlund interviews Covert who accuses Fralic of cheating. Okerlund then speaks with the Iron Sheik. Of course, he drops a “Gene Mean” into his interview.

We then revisit the end to the battle royal.

Match 8 for the WWF tag team titles: The Dream Team (w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant) versus the British Bulldogs (w/ Capt. Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne)


Rating: ****

Summary: Superb match that deserves a first-look by newcomers or another look by previous viewers. My only gripe was that Valentine was in for at least 90% of the match for the Dream team.

Upon completion of the match, the crowd comes UNGLUED for the Bulldogs’ victory. Along those lines, Ozzy is ecstatic for his team. Meanwhile, Smith tries to pick a dazed and probably concussed Dynamite Kid up off the floor.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews Albano who talks a million miles an hour. Ozzy shouts “British Bulldogs FOREVER!” Smith vows to stay in America since they won the belts. Unfortunately, the Dynamite Kid is in NO condition to speak.

We return to New York with Vince and Susan who prepare us for the Los Angeles portion of the show.

Location three:

Live from Los Angeles, CA

Airdate: April 7, 1986

Attendance: 14,500

Hosted by Lord Alfred Hayes, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Elvira, the “mistress of the dark”

Like a true horror queen, Elvira is ready for all of the violence. Attagirl!

Match 9: Hercules versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat


Rating: **1/2

Summary: When given a good opponent, a match involving Hernandez doesn’t suck.

Match 10: Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Uncle Elmer


Rating: ½*

Summary: If Adonis got sixty seconds of offense in this match, I’d be surprised. This would be Elmer’s last match in the WWF.

Backstage, Hayes interviews Hogan.

Match 11: Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana versus Terry & Hoss Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: ***

Summary: Tag formula worked here as the Funks stole this one. I’ll give an extra ½* for Terry’s selling of the knee after the match.

As the big blue cage is mounted, Okerlund broadcasts from Hogan’s private gym as the Hulkster performs stiff-legged dead lifts. We then revisit SNME where Bundy attacked Hogan damaging Hogan’s ribs. Afterwards, Okerlund interviews Dr. Bob Ponovich who along with Hillbilly Jim is assisting Hogan with his training. Ponovich states that Hogan should not compete as Hogan may have a herniated disc in his lower back. According to Ponovich, further damage to the area could result in permanent injury and/or surgery. With a hundred pound weight clamped to a chain, Hogan performs chin-ups. That’s over 400lbs! Hogan vows to take Bundy down in the steel cage.

Back at the arena, Ventura interviews Bundy with Heenan. It must be a special occasion as Bundy not only has his head shaved but also his eyebrows. According to Heenan, Bundymania will rule the world!

Elvira feeds it back to New York where Susan questions the validity of Bundymania.

Match 12 for the WWF World title (steel cage): Hulk Hogan (champion) versus King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)


Rating: ***

Summary: This was much better than I had anticipated. While not technically beautiful, it was very entertaining.

After the match, Heenan climbs into the cage and closes the door. Hogan pries it open and follows him inside. Heenan tries to escape, but Hogan nails him then rams him into the cage. Next, he gives Heenan an atomic drop sending him through the door down to the concrete floor.

To close out the show, Hogan poses as Ventura refers to him as an “egomaniac.”

Conclusion: Following last year’s success, this show was definitely a spectacle. With the celebrity involvement, the three venues, and the production values, this show was certainly entertaining. Is it a great WrestleMania? No, because while there were good matches, only the tag title match was superb/historical. Methinks in order to get WrestleMania over as a wrestling card that is bigger and better than ever, the WWF will have to improve the show even further next year.

See you for NWA Crockett Cup ‘86!

Buyrate: 7.00 (250,000 buys)

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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