Welcome to WrestleMania!
This Inaugural event was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York drawing 22,000 fans. It was also shown on Closed Circuit Television (How many people remember that?). Nine matches including three Title matches made up this historic card.
This would be the culmination of the Rock N' Wrestling relationship that the WWF had started with MTV in mid-1984. Vince McMahon (Owner of WWF/E) wanted to produce an event like no other that would bring celebrities and wrestling together. He did just that with appearances by Muhammed Ali, Liberace, The Rockettes, Cyndi Lauper and New York Yankees manager Billy Martin. Mr. T was also going to be in the Main Event. He put all of his and WWF's resources into this event. If this huge show had failed (which it most certainly did not because WWE just presented WrestleMania 30) McMahon most likely would have lost his company and also would have had to declare bankruptcy.
To promote WrestleMania the WWF aired wrestling matches on MTV and also had Hulk Hogan and Mr. T on all the morning talk and news shows and even had them host Saturday Night Live before the event. Closed Circuit TV would make or break the WWF's survival. Being shown in arenas and theatres across the United States WrestleMania became the largest showing of an event on Closed Circuit TV at the time with over a million viewers.
All photos on this Lens taken by myself Otto Phillips.
See how WrestleMania was created
Now you can own this remarkably candid Blu-Ray DVD about how WrestleMania has become one of the biggest pop-culture events of the year.
It has hosted the biggest stars, biggest celebrities and biggest matches. This riveting story is told from the gamble of the premiere event to the week long entertainment extravaganza we know today.
Tito Santana vs The Executioner
The first WrestleMania match pits the former Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana against the then undefeated masked Executioner.
The two lock-up with the Masked Man grabbing a HEADLOCK. Santana pushes Executioner to the ropes for a BACK-BODY-DROP followed by a DROP-KICK that sends Executioner over the top rope. The two lock again in the ring with Santana grabbing a HEADLOCK this time. Executioner PUNCHES at Santana's leg but Santana answers with PUNCHES to the head and a head first slam to the mat. Executioner with a KICK to the mid-section and then rams Santana's head into the turnbuckle followed by a HEADBUTT and a KNEE to the mid-section. Another KICK to the mid-section and a STEP-OVER-TOE-HOLD by Executioner but Santana's turn it over for a pin attempt and a two count.
Santana fights back with KICKS and PUNCHES then a whip to the turnbuckle. Santana tries for an EARBUSTER but gets a BACK-BODY-DROP and a BODYSLAM. The Executioner goes to the top rope but Santana is up and is there for a BIG-BODY-SLAM. Santana goes for a big SPLASH but Executioner gets the legs up. Executioner executes a BUTT-DROP onto the leg but Santana KICKS Executioner over the top rope again.
Santana BODYSLAMS the masked man back into the ring and delivers a FLYING-FOREARM and then puts his opponent in the FIGURE-FOUR-LEGLOCK. It doesn't take long for the Executioner to submit and give Santana the victory.
Winner of the match: Tito Santana.
Was Tito Santana a better Singles wrestler or Tag-Team wrestler?
Special Delivery Jones vs King Kong Bundy w/"The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart
The bell sounds and Jones comes off the ropes but Bundy catches him in a BEARHUG. Bundy then rams Jones into the turnbuckle. Jones gets to his feet and is met with an AVALANCHE from Bundy followed by a SPLASH and a cover for the 1-2-3.
Unbelievably this match only took 9 seconds and is still a record for the shortest match in WrestleMania history!
Winner of the match: King Kong Bundy.
Were you surprised at how quickly Bundy disposed of Jones?
Ricky Steamboat vs Matt Borne
The two lock-up and Borne goes off the ropes and is met with a KNIFE-EDGE-CHOP to the chest followed by a CHOP to the head and a SNAP-MARE into a REVERSE-CHIN-LOCK. HEADLOCK by Steamboat and Borne flips him over but Steamboat comes back with an ATOMIC-DROP then right back to the HEADLOCK. Borne gets out of it with an INVERTED-ATOMIC-DROP then a KNEE-LIFT followed by a FOREARM to the head the PUNCHES as they move to the corner. Borne whips Steamboat to the turnbuckle but Steamboat answers with HEAD-SCISSORS and a KICK to the head followed by a TOMAHAWK-CHOP from the second rope then a CHOP.
HEADLOCK again by Steamboat into a FRONT-FACE-LOCK as Borne goes to the corner and KNEES Steamboat in the mid-section then a BELLY-TO-BELLY-SUPLEX. Borne then hits with a SNAP-SUPLEX and a cover for a one count. Borne hits Steamboat with PUNCHES while Steamboat hits Borne with CHOPS. Steamboat hits more CHOPS then a BELLY-TO-BACK-SUPLEX followed by a NECK-BREAKER then a CHOP to the head. KNEE-DROP by Steamboat and a cover for a two count. THUMB-TO-THE-EYE by Borne and a whip to the ropes but Steamboat counters by two FISTS to the head. Steamboat climbs to the top rope and comes with a FLYING-CROSS-BODY and a cover for the 1-2-3.
Winner of the match: Ricky Steamboat.
Was Ricky Steamboat a better Singles wrestler or Tag-Team wrestler?
David Sammartino w/"The Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake w/"Luscious" Johnny Valiant
The two lock-up and Beefcake shoves Sammartino into the corner. Another lock-up and this its Sammartino shoving Beefcake into the turnbuckle followed by a SINGLE-LEG-TAKEDOWN. Another lock-up with the two exchanging WAIST-LOCKS until Beefcake ends up outside the ring. They lock-up again and Sammartino puts Beefcake in an ARMBAR then onto the mat with a FRONT-FACE-LOCK as Beefcake gets to the ropes to break the hold. Lock-up and ARMBAR again by Sammartino and Beefcake goes for a BODYSLAM but Sammartino keeps the ARMBAR on! KNEE-DROP on the arm of Beefcake.
A lock-up and HEADLOCK by Beefcake. Sammartino shoves Beefcake to the ropes but Beefcake scores with a SHOULDER-BLOCK then a HIP-TOSS but Sammartino reacts with a KICK-UP. SINGLE-LEG-TAKEDOWN by Sammartino into a DOUBLE-LEG-TOE-HOLD. ANKLE-LOCK now by Sammartino but Beefcake gets out with a KICK to the head but Sammartino goes right back to the ANKLE-LOCK. SPINNING-TOE-HOLD by Sammartino as Beefcake KICKS Sammartino in the head but once again Sammartino goes right back to an ANKLE-LOCK. THUMB-TO-THE-EYE by Beefcake as he gets out of the ANKLE-LOCK. FOREARM and a BACK-BODY-DROP by Beefcake followed by FOREARMS to the chest and head of Sammartino. BODYSLAM by Beefcake then a KICK to the head followed by more FOREARMS and an ELBOW to the mouth. Whip to the turnbuckle by Beefcake and he follows that up with more ELBOWS to the face of Sammartino and KNEES to the mid-section. FOREARMS in the corner by Beefcake as he whips Sammartino to the corner but Sammartino reverses and catches Beefcake with a BACK-BODY-DROP. Slugfest ensues with both men landing PUNCHES and Sammartino gaining the upper hand. Whip to the ropes and Sammartino hits with a KICK to the mid-section followed by a KNEE to the head then a SUPLEX and a cover for a two count. HEADBUTT to the mid-section by Beefcake and then he throws Sammartino outside the ring.
Valiant BODYSLAMS David as Bruno comes to his son's aid by ramming Valiant's head on the apron and throwing Valiant in the ring. Bruno follows but is attacked by Beefcake but David comes back in and now all four men are brawling with each other. Valiant and Beefacke get thrown out of the ring by the Sammartino's as the bell rings putting an end to the match.
Match ends as a Double-Disqualification.
Was David Sammartino forever doomed to be in his Father's shadow?
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match
(C) Greg "The Hammer" Valentine w/"The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart vs The Junkyard Dog
The bell sounds and the two lock-up with JYD getting an ARMBAR and then HEADBUTTS to the arm of the Champion. Whip to the ropes by Valentine and he goes for a KICK but JYD grabs the leg spins him around and connects with a PUNCH to the face. KNEE to the mid-section followed by an ELBOW to the head by Valentine. He tries for a FOREARM-SMASH but JYD moves and proceeds with HEADBUTTS on the mat and Valentine goes outside the ropes.
The two lock arms and Valentine scores with an ARMBAR then a FOREARM and another off the ropes that sends JYD to the mat. ELBOW to the mid-section by Valentine and then he stretches out the leg of JYD. HALF-BOSTON-CRAB attempt by Valentine and he STOMPS the leg of the Challenger then another KNEE to the mid-section. FIGURE-FOUR-LEGLOCK attempt by Valentine by JYD KICKS him away. The two exchange PUNCHES with JYD gaining the upper hand. Two big HEADBUTTS by JYD sends Valentine face first to the mat. Jimmy Hart gets up on the ring apron to distract the Referee and JYD comes over to get at Hart. Valentine comes from behind with a FOREARM but JYD moves and Hart is nailed. PUNCHES and HEADBUTTS by JYD but Valentine retaliates with a RAKE-OF-THE-FACE and a roll-up with his legs on the ropes for the 1-2-3. But wait, Tito Santana comes to the ring and explains to the Referee how Valentine pinned JYD and the Referee restarts the match! Valentine goes back tot he dressing room area and is counted out.
Winner of the match by Countout: The Junkyard Dog.
The Belt cannot change hands on a Countout so Valentine is still Intercontinental Champion.
Would have rather seen Valentine vs Santana for the Intercontinental Title?
WWF World Tag-Team Title Match
(C) The U.S. Express: Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo w/Captiain Lou Albano vs The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff w/"Classy" Freddie Blassie
Its Rotundo and Sheik starting it out. Sheik with a HEADLOCK as he's whipped to the ropes by Rotundo but its Rotundo that takes a SHOULDER-BLOCK but recovers with a HIP-TOSS then a DROPKICK followed by a BODYSLAM. Sheik goes to the wrong corner and gets nailed with a PUNCH to the face by Windham and into a HEADLOCK by Rotundo. Windham tags in and comes off the top rope with an ELBOW-SMASH followed by a LEGDROP to the mid-section. HEADLOCK by Windham but Sheik moves him to his corner where Volkoff grabs him and holds him but Windham moves and Sheik hits his own partner with a DROPKICK.
Volkoff tags in and HEADBUTTS Windham in the stomach twice before Windham grabs a HEADLOCK and tags in Rotundo. Rotundo whips Volkoff to the ropes and hits with an ELBOW followed by an ELBOW-DROP and a cover for a one count. WRIST-LOCK by Rotundo as he tags Windham back in and Windham once again comes off the top rope with a FOREARM-SMASH to Volkoff's arm. WRIST-LOCK by Windham as he tags back in Rotundo who comes off the top rope with an ELBOW to volkoff's arm. Volkoff fights back with ELBOWS of his own then he rams Rotundo's head into Sheik's waiting boot. Sheik tags in and gives Rotundo a BACK-BODY-DROP followed by an ELBOW-DROP and a cover for a two count. GUT-WRENCH-SUPLEX by Sheik for a cover and another two count. Sheik goes for a SUPLEX but Rotundo blocks it and delivers a SUPLEX of his own. Sheik rolls to tag in Volkoff who STOMPS at Rotundo before picking him up and CLOTHESLINING him on the top rope. Volkoff tries for a pin but Rotundo clamps on an ARMBAR but Volkoff powers out of It with PUNCHES and THRUSTS to the mid-section. Whip to the ropes and its Rotundo with a SUNSET-FLIP for a two count. STOMPS again by Volkoff followed by a KNEE to the mid-section and more STOMPS to the head. Volkoff rams Rotundo's head into Sheik's waiting boot in the corner. Volkoff holds Rotundo as Sheik comes in and KICKS him in the mid-section. ABDOMINABLE-STRETCH by Sheik while outside the ring Albano and Blassie jar at each other. Rotundo HIP-TOSSES out of it and tries to follow up with an ELBOW-DROP but Sheik moves and tags in Volkoff and he races in as Rotundo tags in Windham. Windham unloads PUNCHES to Volkoff then a DROPKICK and more PUNCHES as he leads Volkoff to the corner and gives him a BULLDOG for a cover but Sheik breaks it up. Rotundo comes in and DROPKICKS Sheik out of the ring. The Referee works on getting Rotundo out of the ring while Blassie gives Sheik his cane and Sheik hits Windham with it knocking Windham out. Volkoff covers Windham for the 1-2-3.
Winners of the Match and New WWF World Tag-Team Champions: The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.
Was Dan Spivey a good replacement for Barry Windham in the U.S. Express?
$15,000 BodySlam Challenge Match
Andre The Giant vs Big John Studd w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
In order to win this match you must BODYSLAM your opponent. Big John Studd put up $15,000 saying that if Andre could slam him he would get the money. Andre put up his career saying that if Studd could slam him he would retire from wrestling forever.
The bell sounds and Studd attacks from behind with DOUBLE-AXE-HANDLES across Andre's massive back then PUNCHES and FOREARMS. Andre fights back with KNIFE-EDGE-CHOPS and a HEADBUTT which sends Studd outside the ring. Andre CHOKES Studd in the corner then drives Studd's head into his knee. PUNCH to the head by Andre followed by BUTT-BUMPS into the corner. Studd with a KICK to the mid-section then he tries to BODYSLAM Andre but Andre blocks it and gives Studd a KNEE followed by a CHOP then into a BEARHUG. Andre with FOREARMS to the back of Studd followed by a CHIN-LOCK then a HEADLOCK. PUNCHES to the body and head by Andre as he tries to soften Studd up to BODYSLAM him. Andre with a HEADBUTT then an ARMBAR. Whip to the ropes by Andre as he tries for a BACK-BODY-DROP that Studd counters with a KICK but Andre catches Studd's boot and Andre PUNCHES Studd in the head and starts KICKING Studd in the legs. ELBOW and CHOPS by Andre then he KICKS at Studd's legs and then he picks Studd up and BODYSLAMS him!
After the match Andre gets the bag of money and starts throwing it to the crowd. He throws a good chunk of it but Bobby Heenan snatches it and he and Studd get away.
Winner of the Match: Andre The Giant.
Was Andre The Giant better as a Good Guy or a Bad Guy
WWF Women's World Title Match
(C) Leilani Kai w/ The Fabulous Moolah vs Wendi Richter w/Cyndi Lauper
The two ladies lock-up with Richter delivering a FOREARM then an ARM-DRAG into an ARMBAR but Kai gets out of it with a KICKOUT. They lock-up again and this Kai strikes with an ARM-DRAG-TAKEDOWN into an ARMBAR of her own. Richter reverses the ARMBAR. Kai answers with a SNAP-MARE using Richter's long hair and a cover for a two count. WRIST-LOCK applied by Kai and she grabs Richter by the hair and yanks her down to the mat. STOMP to the arm by Kai but Richter fights back with PUNCHES and FOREARMS. Kai gets the advantage back with PUNCHES of her own then rams Richter's head into the turnbuckle. SNAP-MARE by Kai as she pulls at the hair of Richter then CHOKES her. Richter clamps on a BODY-SCISSORS then a FOREARM and a cover for a two count. SMALL-PACKAGE for another two count. Kai fights back with a KICK and a SNAP-MARE using Richter's hair then a whip to the turnbuckle but Richter gets her feet up for a DOUBLE-LEG-KICK on Kai then a cover for a two count. They go into the ropes and Moolah grabs Richter by the hair from outside the ring while Kai distracts the Referee. Lauper comes over and puts a stop to that.
Kai whips Richter to the ropes and scores with a KICK to the mid-section but Richter fights back with PUNCHES to the mid-section of Kai. Richter lifts Kai up for an AIRPLANE-SPIN but ends up delivering a DEATH-DROP and a cover for a two count. Whip to the turnbuckle by Richter but this time Kai gets her legs up for a DOUBLE-KNEE-LIFT. STOMPS to the head by Kai for a cover and a two count. Kai picks up Richter and delivers a BACK-BREAKER followed by a cover for a two count. BODYSLAM by the Champion and she goes to the top rope and comes off with a HIGH-CROSS-BODY but Richter uses the momentum to flip Kai over and covers for the 1-2-3!
Winner and New WWF Women's Champion: Wendi Richter.
Who was the greatest Women's Wrestler ever?
The Main Event
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T w/"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff w/ "Ace" Cowboy Bob Orton
For this Match Billy Martin was the guest ring announcer, Muhammed Ali was a guest Referee (outside the ring) and Liberace was the guest Timekeeper. The Introductions are complete and we are set for the Main Event.
Its Orndorff and Hogan to start the match. But wait Orndorff tags Piper in to start the match instead. Wait once again as Mr. T sees Piper in the ring and wants at him bad so Hogan tags T in to start the match.
The two meet in the center of the ring and stand nose to nose. They SLAP each other in the face numerous times before Piper gives T a KICK to the stomach and takes him down to the mat. T fights to get up and finally does. They lock-up and T shoves Piper off. T lifts Piper in a FIREMEN'S-CARRY and drops him to the mat. Piper charges at T and rushes him to the corner where Orndorff is waiting and the two rulebreakers double-team T. Hogan comes over and now all four men are brawling in the ring. Orton climbs to the ring apron, Ali comes into the ring and Snuka perches himself on the top turnbuckle. Piper, Orndorff and Orton go outside the ring to regroup while Hogan, T and Snuka stay in the ring. The three bad guys make like they are leaving but very quickly reconsider.
Piper and Orndorff charge the ring and all four men are brawling again. Hogan and T ram Piper and Orndorff's heads together and its Hogan giving Piper PUNCHES in the corner. Hogan whips Piper to the corner and follows with a CLOTHESLINE. Orndorff comes in and Piper and Orndorff have their heads rammed together again. ATOMIC-DROP by Hogan followed by Hogan BOUNCING Piper's head on the mat. The two RAKE each others faces as Hogan tags in T and they give Piper a DOUBLE-CLOTHESLINE. T BODYSLAMS Piper and gives Orndorff a HIP-TOSS. Orndorff gets a PUNCH from Hogan while T BODYSLAMS Piper once again then T gives Orndorff a HEADBUTT. T rams Piper's head into Hogan's KNEE and tags the WWF World Champion in. Hogan comes in and a slugfest ensues between Hogan and Piper. Whip to the ropes by Hogan and he connects with a BOOT to the face that sends Piper over the top rope. In the ring from behind Orndorff CLOTHESLINES Hogan outside the ring. Piper hits Hogan with a chair which brings Ali over to separate the two.
Orndorff rams Hogan's head on the apron sending Hogan back in the ring. RAKE across the eyes by Piper and Orndorff CHOKES him on the ropes. They maul Hogan in their corner which T in to try and save his partner. DOUBLE-ATOMIC-DROP by Piper and Orndorff followed by a KNEE-DROP and STOMPS to the head by Orndorff. KNEE-DROP and a SUPLEX by Orndorff then he tags Piper back in. PUNCHES by Piper then a KNEE-LIFT and a cover for a two count. Piper tags Orndorff back in and Orndorff comes off the top rope with an ELBOW to the neck then a cover for a two count. Orndorff with a BACK-BREAKER then he goes to the top rope again but misses and Hogan tags in T. Mr. T comes in and RAKES both men's faces then he pushes Orndorff to the corner and unloads with furious PUNCHES before Piper attacks from behind and the two STOMP at T. Orndorff keeps T on the mat preventing him from tagging in Hogan. Piper comes in and KICKS T in the mid-section followed by a FRONT-FACE-LOCK. T gets to his feet and manages to tag in Hogan who comes in like a house of fire with PUNCHES to both Piper and Orndorff. Hogan rams their heads together once again. PUNCHES by Hogan but Orndorff answers with a BELLY-TO-BACK-SUPLEX. Piper distracts the Referee so Orton comes in but gets met by Snuka and receives a HEADBUTT sending him over the top rope. The Referee then turn his attention to getting Snuka out of the ring leaving Orton to climb to the top rope. Orndorff holds Hogan as Orton flies but Hogan moves and Orton hits Orndorff in the head with his cast!
Mr. T holds Piper while Snuka takes care of Orton with Hogan covering Orndorff for the 1-2-3.
Winners of the Match: WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Could Mr. T have made it as a Wrestler or should he have stayed with Acting?
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