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  • Connor Ewens

Every WWE Golden Era PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 1/3

Here we are again. Now that I have conquered the mass of PPVs that ECW and WCW have offered, a real beast of a challenge is on my hands. Every WWE PPV/PLE ever. Over 450 shows that is. Bloody tonnes. Not only is that an insane amount of wrestling to try and order from worst to best, but there has been so many changes inside and outside of wrestling across the decades that it's really difficult to try and compare shows from the 80s to shows from nowadays. Match quality has significantly improved across the decades as well as the ideology, backstage politics and fan investment/interaction. So, for fairness and my own sanity, I think ranking generation by generation is a much better way to tackle this.

When an era starts and begins is open for interpretation, our journey of WWE PPVs begins with the inaugural Wrestlemania, but when does it end? Many would consider Wrestlemania VIII because it was advertised as Hulk Hogan's farewell (which it never ended up being). Some consider it to be Wrestlemania IX when Hogan squashes Yokozuna to much criticism, the final coffin nail for the mass popularity for the Hulkster in the WWF. Many would claim the infamous steroid trial is the transitional period from the Golden Age to the New Generation as the WWF focused on leaner, athletic performers over their larger than life superheroes. I see logic behind all of these. I think Hulk Hogan's actual WWF departure was the official end of the Golden Era, without him there was no Golden Era in Vince's bag of muscular boys. That means the last show on the timeline for this series will be King of the Ring 1993, a nice round 30 shows to cover across 2 entries. Nice and digestible. Which show will be hailed as the Golden Age's Magnum Opus? Which show will be regarded as an offence to wrestling history? Let's find out as we rank and review every PPV from WWE's Golden Era of wrestling.

Honourable Mention

We have 1 honourable mention, though it's barely honourable. The show is titled "No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie". This was a PPV event held on December 12th 1989. There's a few reasons I'm not including this in the rankings. Most obviously, because the entire show is a full length movie and then 1 main event match. No Holds Barred is a stinky bad movie featuring Hulk Hogan as Rip. If you enjoy movies that are so bad they're funny, this could be the one for you. It was critically panned but didn't perform too badly commercially. The film also has some wrestling cameos such as Gene Okerlund, Stan Hansen and even Marcus Bagwell. You may know of the infamous "dookie?" like dropped by Hogan in this godawful movie. The singular match on the show was a Steel Cage tag match, Hulk Hogan and his BFF Brutus Beefcake vs Randy Savage & Zeus, the latter being the main antagonist in the movie. It's a really uninteresting match, the crowd were into it but it was significantly worse than their encounter at Summerslam and that was average at best. I'd give it a 1 star rating. Another reason I'm not ranking this is because the match was actually a pre-record from a taping of Wrestling Challenge. Why did people buy this PPV? I guess Hulkamania was at peak popularity at this time. So whilst this isn't officially part of the rankings, have peace of mind that if it was, it would end up in last place anyways. On with the show!

30) Wrestlemania IX, April 4th 1993. 20%

Well shit. Fun fact, out of every single WWE show I have rewatched and rated to prepare for these WWE R'N'Rs, this is the second lowest rated show of all time, only being beaten by a show where a man LITERALLY DIED. This was a historic show as it was the first 'Mania to be held outdoors. 17,000 hopefuls packed into Caesar's Palace excited for the "world's largest toga party". WWE leaned a little too hard on the Caesar gimmick for this cheesey, Roman themed event. Wrestlemania IX was also the first event we saw Jim Ross as a part of the WWE, debuting in his finest toga. I wonder if JR had any second thoughts about leaving WCW when this was the first show he worked. Bam Bam Bigelow vs Kamala was scheduled for this show but it was pulled due to time restraints, which I have no problem with because Kamala absolutely sucks.

Let's start with the good and work our way down....hang on I'm still looking. Okay I can't find anything good but there are some things that weren't bad. The best match of the night came from the Headshrinkers and the Steiner brothers who had a solid power vs power tag match. Shawn Michaels opened Wrestlemania for the third year in a row by defending his Intercontinental championship against Tanaka. The match was well worked but it went far too long with many rest holds and moments of lull, then it ended in a count out which was rather disappointing. Everything else on this show suuuuucks. A boring Lex Luger match couldn't even be saved by Mr Perfect. Razor Ramon beat Bob Backlund in about 3 minutes and it wasn't even a dominant squash victory for him. Crush and Doink wrestled a lifeless match that the crowd didn't care about until a second Doink appeared. Commentary tried to sell this as an "illusion" even though we literally saw 2 Doinks stood in front of us. That's not magic, that's stupid. Hulk Hogan and his best friend Brutus Beefcake aka the Mega Maniacs defeated Money Inc. for the tag titles, except they didn't because another referee disqualified them cos Hogan used a titanium face mask as a weapon. Hulk & Beef maintained their babyface status by attacking the referee...for DQing them...for cheating. 20 minutes wasted. Hulk also wrestled this match with a shiny black eye, rumoured to be caused by Randy Savage who popped him a jab because he thought his main squeeze Miss Elizabeth was cheating with him.

The two most infamous drizzles of shit from this show are yet to come. We have Undertaker's worst ever Wrestlemania match, thanks to Giant Gonzalez. The big man was a failed WCW project that Vince saw and tried to make make work, by dressing him up in a laughable body suit with airbrushed muscles and bushy hair, as if Bigfoot fell into a combine harvester. Only 7 minutes, but an offensively bad match that Taker initially loses, until a reversed decision when the referee realises Gonzalez used chloroform to knock out the Deadman. This is not even fun bad, it's just bad. Lastly, our main event sees Bret Hart defend the WWE title against Royal Rumble winner Yokozuna. Hart works his ass off to try salvage the match but it could only be so good against an out of shape Yoko. After 8 minutes Yokozuna took the match home early (allegedly according to Bret) as he defeated Hart to become the new world champion. Post-match, Hogan comes out in aid of Hart because Mr Fuji screwed him over, but instead of helping he baits Yokozuna into a title shot right here, right now! Hogan puts Yokozuna away in 22 seconds, for the most underwhelming, terrible finish to a Wrestlemania, maybe ever? It's certainly in the conversation. Usually I wouldn't give a match so short a rating, but Hogan winning AGAIN really exposed McMahon's reliance on Hogan and reluctance to build new upcoming main eventers. The worst Wrestlemania ever. The worst WWE PPV ever.

Tatanka defeats Shawn Michaels (c) by count out, IC Championship. **1/4

The Steiners (Rick & Scott) defeat The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu). **1/2 (MOTN)

Doink the Clown defeats Crush. 3/4*

Razor Ramon defeats Bob Backlund. 1/4*

Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & IRS) (c) defeat Mega Maniacs (Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake) by DQ, Tag Championships. 1/2*

Lex Luger defeats Mr Perfect. *

Undertaker defeats Giant Gonzalez by DQ. nil

Yokozuna defeats Bret Hart (c), WWF Championship. *3/4

Hulk Hogan defeats Yokozuna (c), WWF Championship. nil

29) Wrestlemania IV, March 27th 1988. 22.8%

The fourth annual Wrestlemania was uniquely sold on three major points. The show was hailed from Trump Plaza because the show was sponsored by future US president big Donald, but the event was actually being held at Boardwalk Hall. Secondly, the show would be a 4-hour spectacular and finally an 14-man tournament for the recently vacated WWE championship. Andre the Giant cheaply defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWE title and shortly after "sold" it to Ted DiBiase. Unfortunately, Ted's reign is not officially recongised because WWF president Jack Tunney vacated the title due to the change not taking place in a sanctioned contest. A tournament was set up with Andre & Hogan both given byes to face each other in the quarter-finals, a rematch from the previous years 'Mania main event. As well as the full tournament, we have 5 other unrelated matches meaning the total matches by show close was 16. That is insanely excessive, causing nearly every match on this card to be utter hogwash. This show was indeed 4 hours long but it was far from a spectacle.

The show opened with a 20-man battle royal for no reason except to kill 10 minutes and begin a face turn for Bret Hart. If you think some modern era battle royals are boring, don't challenge yourself to watch an 80's one. Our first round matches got underway; Ted DiBiase, Don Muraco, Randy Savage & One Man Gang all progressing to the next round in pretty bad matches but they're at least 5 minutes or less. Greg Valentine defeated Ricky Steamboat in the first round too, but they had quite a decent contest that blew everything else we have seen out of the water. The final first round match saw Jake Roberts and Rick Rude wrestle to a 15-minute time limit draw, probably the most painful match on this card for how soul-crushingly slow it was with zero pay off. The wrong match to go to a time limit. A brief respite from the tournament as Ultimate Warrior puts Hercules away in under 5 minutes, a star on the rise but this match was poorly worked.

Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan III, a marquee match that was predictably terrible and booked even worse, ending in a double disqualification eliminating both men. Not the worst match on the card, but that's like calling yourself the least racist Nazi. DiBiase & Savage won their matches whereas One Man Gang got a bye into the semi-finals. This also meant DiBiase got a bye past the semis and straight to the finals. Brutus Beefcake tried to take the IC title away from the Honky Tonk Man, but failed due to the Elvis Impersonator getting DQ'd when Jimmy Hart used his megaphone as a weapon. Bobby Heenan team with the Islanders to face Koko B. Ware & the British Bulldogs, a match that could have been decent if it was simply a standard tag. Of course, this had to be ruined by being more focused on Heenan and his feud with the Bulldog Matilda rather than the talented wrestlers in the ring. Randy Savage got past One Man Gang thanks to yet another disqualification to set up a meeting with DiBiase in the finals.

Demolition would knock off Strike Force in a decent tag match to win tag team gold, which would kick off their legendary long reign as champions which wouldn't be broken for almost 30 years. Finally the tournament came to an end as Randy Savage was able to overcome the odds to win the WWE championship and it's all thanks to Hulk Hogan, who of course steals his spotlight and celebrates in the ring with him to close the show. It was the best match of the night at least, but it wasn't remarkable. I will admit having Savage have to overcome 3 men whilst DiBiase just 3 before the finals was a good way to build your face star, but it's the only thing done right. Only two matches on the entire card exceed 10 minutes. 5 matches ended in a DQ or a count out. A bloated card with terrible booking and terrible wrestling.

Bad News Brown wins the Battle Royal. *

Ted DiBiase defeats Jim Duggan. *1/2

Don Muraco defeats Dino Bravo by DQ. 1/2*

Greg Valentine defeats Ricky Steamboat. **1/2

Randy Savage defeats Butch Reed. *1/4

One Man Gang defeats Bam Bam Bigelow by count out. nil

Jake Roberts vs Rick Rude goes to a time limit draw. 1/4*

Ultimate Warrior defeats Hercules. 1/4*

Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan ends in a double DQ. 1/2*

Ted DiBiase defeats Don Muraco. *3/4

Randy Savage defeats Greg Valentine. **1/4

Brutus Beefcake defeats Honky Tonk Man (c) by DQ, IC Championship. 3/4*

The Islanders (Haku & Tama) & Bobby Heenan defeat the British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) & Koko B. Ware. *

Randy Savage defeats One Man Gang by DQ. 1/2*

Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeat Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel) (c), Tag Championships. **

Randy Savage defeats Ted DiBiase, WWF Championship. **1/2 (MOTN)

28) Wrestlemania II, April 7th 1986. 23.8%

After the astounding success of the first ever Wrestlemania, Vince McMahon looked to repeat history a year later but on a much grander scale. The premier sporting event of the year would be hosted across 3 cities in New York, Illinois and California, all with their own marquee main event. Like the year prior the show was jam-packed with celebrity appearances such as Joe Frazier, Cab Calloway & Ozzy Osbourne. Each city had 4 matches that would be shown back to back. The problem with that is, those in attendance spend 2 of their 3 hours watching a TV screen which is not exactly bang for your buck. The show was considered a massive disappointment not only for it's poor production, but the plethora of poor matches throughout the night also.

We begin in New York at the Nassau Coliseum where the best thing here is a 3 minute win for Jake Roberts over George Wells. Everything else is pretty bad. A 5 minute match between Randy Savage and George Steele was more focused on Miss Elizabeth, Randy running away and Steele being animalistic for this to be anything worth watch. When Savage actually went on offence it was solid. The opener was a brutal 4 minute match between Don Muraco & Paul Orndorff, a match full of nothing ending with a double count out to be the worst Wrestlemania opener of all time. The worst match here though was yet to come, a boxing match between Mr T and Roddy Piper. Now I don't like it when boxing mixes with my wrestling, but this was particularly terrible. The referee didn't officiate the match appropriately at all, allowing blatant illegal tactics by Piper, including throwing a stool. He even just discarded Mr T's mouthguard! Eventually Piper gets mad, hits a bodyslam and now he gets DQd. A 15 minute waste of time, at least Piper's tartan boxing trunks were cool.

We head over to Illinois' Rosemont Horizon arena beginning with a 59 second squash win for the Fabulous Moolah against her championship challenger Velvet McIntyre. Even with such a short amount of time this was awfully worked. Chicago got it the worst unfortunately, having to watch another short but terrible match between Nikolai Volkoff and Corporal Kirchner, followed by a Battle Royal featuring both WWF and NFL representatives. Your average 80s Battle Royal with Andre the Giant winning. The most notable thing about the match was the name of the special guest referee, Dick Butkus. Yes, I am a grown-up. Chicago at least were treated to the best match of the evening, The British Bulldogs led by Ozzy Osbourne challenge the Dream Team for the tag titles. For the time, this was a very good tag match with a simple yet effective face vs heel dynamic. They limited Beefcake's involvement and focused on Davey, Dynamite & Valentine which was a great idea. Chicago deserved something worthwhile.

The LA Memorial Sports Arena is our final destination for the stronger third of the night, though nothing is exactly mind-blowing. Adrian Adonis vs Uncle Elmer was the only real stinker here but at least it was short. Ricky Steamboat vs Hercules Hernandez was a solidly worked match, as was the tag match between the Funk brothers and the team of Tito Santana and the Junkyard Dog. The JYD's offence was a little sucky at points but huge props to Santana and the Funks for being great workers, especially Terry for his crazy bumping. Main event time, Hulk Hogan defends the WWE title against King Kong Bundy inside the steel cage. I always liked the blue cage design. This is your very typical Hogan match. Early flurry, heel dominates, Hulk up, babyface victory. Simple yet effective because the crowd ate it up. Far from a classic way to end the night, but pretty much the same quality as the rest of the show.

Paul Orndorff vs The Magnificent Muraco ends in a double count out. nil

Randy Savage (c) defeats George Steele, IC Championship. 3/4*

Jake Roberts defeats George Wells. *1/2

Mr T defeats Roddy Piper by DQ, Boxing match. nil

Fabulous Moolah defeats Velvet McIntyre, Women's Championship. nil

Corporal Kirchner defeats Nikolai Volkoff. 1/4*

Andre the Giant wins the WWF x NFL Battle Royal. *

British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) defeat Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake) (c), Tag Championships. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Ricky Steamboat defeats Hercules Hernandez. **1/2

Adrian Adonis defeats Uncle Elmer. 1/2*

Terry & Hoss Funk defeat Tito Santana & Junkyard Dog. **3/4

Hulk Hogan defeats King Kong Bundy, Steel Cage, WWF Championship. *3/4

27) Survivor Series, November 27th 1991. 26%

We'll talk more about the origins the this event when we talk about the first one, but the annual Thanksgiving tradition of all multi-man matches was broken at this show with the first singles match in Survivor Series history. Another tradition broken was the day it was hosted on, being the first to be moved to Thanksgiving Eve, which they would continue until 1995. This would be an eventful night, unfortunately not a lot of it good though.

Our first 4v4 Survivor Series match sees Team Flair take on Team Piper. Flair joined the WWF in September after leaving WCW thanks to poor management. He infamously debuted carrying the WCW title and threatened he would carry it into Survivor Series. WCW threatened legal action so instead Flair held up a tag team championship at the event, which WWF would blur anyways to make it seem legit. Smart. The other 3 rivalries taking place in the elimination match is Virgil vs former master DiBiase, IC champion Bret Hart vs The Mountie and the British Bulldog vs Warlord. This was a good contest, a lot of talent in one match ought to do that. A pretty shit finished tarnishes this for me though. After Bulldog & Warlord were both eliminated earlier in the match, a 5 person brawl broke out and the referee disqualified them all. The only man not involved? Big Dick Ric Flair. Still, this would be better than anything else we saw on this night.

Team Slaughter vs Team Mustafa was the drizzling shits. An ugly 15-minute match with zero excitement, poor execution and weak booking. Absolutely nothing redeeming about this one. Team Slaughter win without a man eliminated because America. Slap bang in the middle of the card is our world title match between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker. Taker has been an unstoppable monster since debuting a year ago, looking to destroy Hulkamania and take the gold. This, as you can expect, was another standard Hogan match, ish. The usual brawling until Undertaker takes control. When Hogan looks about to comeback and retain, the overbooking begins. Ric Flair comes out to distract Hogan, Paul Bearer distracts the referee, eventually Flair slips a chair in the ring for Undertaker to deliver a tombstone onto. It didn't even make contact. A weak match but a significant one as Undertaker wins his first world title at 25 years old, the youngest ever at the time in WWE.

We close up with two more Survivor Series matches and they're barely worth talking about. Nasty Boys and Beverly Bros team up against Rockers & Bushwackers. A very mid match, absolutely carried by the Rockers, maybe that is why Shawn Michaels back was always so sore. The only thing to come from this was early signs of the Rockers breaking up, which commentary didn't even notice and botched the storytelling behind it. The main event was originally scheduled for 4v4, however both Roberts & Savage were pulled from the match by president Tunney over the famous snake biting angle. They were just building more hype to upcoming show This Tuesday in Texas. Legion of Doom & Big Bossman face Natural Disastera & IRS. Pretty lame this, a lot of big boys so this was a slow match like we were on the moon or something. Of course the LOD were the sole survivors, anyone who thought otherwise are just silly. A few important things happen on this show, but nothing worth watching.

Ric Flair, The Mountie, Ted DiBiase & Warlord defeat Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, British Bulldog & Virgil. **3/4 (MOTN)

Sgt. Slaughter, Jim Duggan, Texas Tornado & El Matador defeat Col. Mustafa, The Berzerker, Skinner & Hercules. nil

The Undertaker defeats Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship. 3/4*

Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) & Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) defeat The Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) & Bushwackers (Luke & Butch). **

Big Bossman & Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk) defeat Natural Disasters (Typhoon & Earthquake) & IRS. *

26) Wrestlemania, March 31st 1985. 30.6%

"The show of shows", "The grandaddy of them all", "The Colossal Tussle", "The Giant Triumph" "The Mans with Slams", "The Wrestle Nestle" or quite simply, Wrestlemania. The most historic event in the history of professional wrestling, the first ever wrestling PPV. After taking control of the WWWF from his father, Vince McMahon had a grand vision to turn his territory exclusive wrestling show into a national and even a global phenomenon. Vince quite simply staked EVERYTHING on this show. His company, his colleagues, his house, his livelihood. It was the largest calculated risk that was ever made and by god did it pay off. WWE is still around today and Wrestlemania is an even bigger monolith now than comprehendible for the time. It wasn't all just Vince and the wrestlers hard work that paid dividends. The likes of MTV and Cyndi Lauper were crucial for promoting the show amongst the mainstream media. Other celebrity appearances at the show included Mohammed Ali, Billy Martin and even fucking Liberace. It truly was a spectacle and no matter it's quality, it will be always remembered. How well does it hold up though?

The first ever Wrestlemania match saw Tito Santana dispatch the Executioner in short order, a nice fun babyface win to start. Aftewards, King Kong Bundy squashed SD Jones in what would be the shortest Wrestlemania match recorded at 9 seconds, not being beaten until Wrestlemania 32 when The Rock squashed Erick Rowan. Weirdly, that's a lie. It actually took about 24 seconds for the Bundy vs Jones squash to occur, but the announcers exaggerated the time and it stuck in the record books for some reason. The show ticked on with decent short matches such as Ricky Steamboat vs Matt Borne and Brutus Beefcake vs David Sammartino, his father Bruno getting a huge pop by the audience. The best match of the show came in the tag division, the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeating the US Express to win the gold to huge boos. Of course with all 80s wrestling, there was some unfavourable matches too. Greg Valentine kept ahold of his IC title by getting himself counted out against the JYD, who couldn't wrestle himself out of bed. Big John Studd faced Andre the Giant in a bodyslam challenge match, where you win by bodyslamming your opponent, if that wasn't obvious. Studd had $15,000 up for grabs, which is equivalent to about $40,000 today. Andre wagered his career against the money and won, earning the cash and throwing it among the masses. It was a slow and dull big man match but it got crowd reactions. The worst match came when Wendy Richter dethroned Leilani Kai for the WWF women's championship, a sloppy mess of a match but the story was more about Lauper getting one over Lou Albano and also being out in front of the crowd.

The huge marquee main event would be a celebrity featured match; Hulk Hogan teaming up with Mr T to face Paul Orndorff & Roddy Piper. There was so much tension surrounding this match. The boys didn't like Mr T that much, thinking he was disrespecting their business. Piper especially had a burning hatred for the future Snickers advocate. The roster and management also feared Mr T was going to bail on the main event amid all the tension. Hogan says Mr T was concerned that he was going to get shot on by Piper and Orndorff and was woried for his own safety out there. Alas, when it came time, everything went off without a hitch. A rowdy crowd 1000% invested in the blockbuster main event. Hogan and Mr T prevailed, the crowd roared, everyone was happy. The match itself isn't all that good, but it's iconic and important in ways that mean more than match quality.

Tito Santana defeats The Executioner. **

King Kong Bundy defeats SD Jones. NR

Ricky Steamboat defeats Matt Borne. **1/4

Brutus Beefcake vs David Sammartino ends in a double DQ. *1/2

Junkyard Dog defeats Greg Valentine by count out, IC Championship. 3/4*

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeat US Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo), Tag Championships. **1/2 (MOTN)

Andre the Giant defeats Big John Studd, $15,000 vs Career Bodyslam Challenge. *

Wendy Richter defeats Leilani Kai, Women's Championship. 1/4*

Hulk Hogan & Mr T defeat Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff. **

25) Wrestlemania V, April 2nd 1989. 31.2%

The fifth edition of Wrestlemania featured the usual array of talent you'd expect from an early 'Mania show, however the build for the overall card was largely lacklustre. Another overfilled show with 14 matches and only a couple of those had any substantial story built beforehand. Luckily, the show is saved by it's main event, being one of the greatest told stories of the Golden Era. The Mega Powers Explode!

There's a long road ahead before the much anticipated main event. A power-man match first as King Haku takes on Hercules. Haku dominates before Hercules makes a heroic comeback to win. Simple and short. The Rockers try to inject some life into the show when they take on the Twin Towers. This was better than expected, thanks to Michaels & Jannetty really put their working boots on even if they were supposedly hungover after partying the night before. The Towers go over as dominant heels. Ted DiBiase vs Brutus Beefcake next, an okay match with some great heel work by the Million Dollar Man. To be fair to Beef, he has improved as a worker from previous years but he's still not an exhilarating watch. Our first wet fart came from a 5 minute tag match between the Rougeau's and Bushwackers. Luke & Butch's comedy spots were offensively bad, like being forced to watch Jack & Jill. Mr Perfect and the Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) wrestle a very fun 5 minute match that deserved way more time. This would be the first time Mr Perfect wore the singlet we're so familiar with. After having something nice, Vince pisses all over our dinner plate with a pair of limp dick matches. Powers of Pain & Mr Fuji vs Demolition was a dead match, as was the following slog between Dino Bravo & Ronnie Garvin. The Brainbusters vs Strike Force was our first good match tonight, two teams of phenomenal wrestlers working a good match. This would mark the end of Strike Force, Martel turning heel and wanting to go it alone without "carrying Tito".

We took a break from the action with a Piper's Pit, the Hot Rod making his first televised WWF appearance in two years. It was originally supposed to be a one off but a month later Piper was back wrestling the circuit in a feud with DiBiase. This segment featured Brother Love and talk show host Morton Downey Jr (no relation to Iron Man). It went a little long but the fans were happy to see Roddy return and kick ass. There is also this funny interaction between Sean Mooney & special attendee Donald Trump, Mooney accidentally calling him "Jonald Day Trump". Poor Andre had to wrestle for nearly 10 minutes in a singles match, so you can imagine how good that went. Bad News Brown vs Jim Duggan was almost as terrible if it wasn't a mere 3 minutes long. The Hart Foundation defeated Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine in a good tag match, only let down by it's lack of time. The second of our third title matches tonight sees the Ultimate Warrior defend his IC Championship against Rick Rude. Average sums this up best. Rude wasn't known for always having exciting matches and Warrior was very limited in the ring. Rude winning was a bit of a shock but they would continue this feud through Summer. Our penultimate match sees the Red Rooster squash Bobby Heenan in 30 seconds, I'm not going to rate it because it was a suitable way to end the feud between the chicken and the weasel.

A mediocre show but finally after 5 Wrestlemania's, we get a good main event match. A story with a year of building and storytelling. They became close friends and tag partners, until Savage grew slowly more and more jealous of Hogan and his status, as well as his friendship with Miss Elizabeth. Eventually, Savage snapped and attacked Hogan whilst he recieved medical attention. Looking back, in the feud there are some justifiable reasons for Savage to be pissed. Hogan did hog his spotlight and I would be concerned about his "handling" with Elizabeth too. Still, he's the hero I guess. This was a very good match in both wrestling and storytelling. Savage worked hard and credit to Hogan for selling well for him. Elizabeth was on the outside for the fist half of draw intrigued but eventually she was sent to the back. Hogan of course triumphed here, some say Vince thought Savage wasn't cutting it as their top star, even though they were selling out shows under his title reign. He was far more successful than Warrior was. A standout epic-feel match to close a bad show that was lacking celebrity involvement and enough competent workers to create something compelling.

Hercules defeats King Haku. *

Twin Towers (Akeem & Big Bossman) defeat The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty). **1/4

Brutus Beefcake vs Ted DiBiase ends in a double count out. *3/4

Bushwackers (Luke & Butch) defeat Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacque & Raymond). nil

Mr Perfect defeats Blue Blazer. **1/2

Demotion (Ax & Smash) (c) defeat Powers of Pain (Barbarian & Warlord) & Mr Fuji, 3-2 Handicap, Tag Championships. 3/4*

Dino Bravo defeats Ronnie Garvin. 1/2*

Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) defeat Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel). ***

Jake Roberts defeats Andre the Giant by DQ. nil

Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeat Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine. **3/4

Rick Rude defeats Ultimate Warrior (c), IC Championship. **

Bad News Brown vs Jim Duggan ends in a double DQ. 1/4*

Red Rooster defeats Bobby Heenan. NR

Hulk Hogan defeats Randy Savage (c), WWF Championship. ***1/2 (MOTN)

24) Summerslam, August 27th 1990. 31.7%

1990 was seen as a transitional period within the WWF and this show is a great example of it. No longer was the Hulkster on top as the number one babyface and no longer was he hogging the main event spotlight. The Ultimate Warrior has since stepped up to be WWF's new larger than life hero. While the Hogan vs Warrior clash was an epic one, the following title reign was disappointing and did not rake in good attendance numbers. Originally planned for this show was a match between Mr Perfect and Brutus Beefcake over the IC championship, however Brutus was involved in an almost career-ending parasailing accident that shattered his face into more pieces than my Nan's favourite jigsaw. Brutus was almost replaced by Davey Boy Smith but instead the match would feature a Von Erich sibling.

The first third of the show is hardly worth watching. The opener featured an injured Shawn Michaels who got injured a few weeks prior at a house show, blowing out his ACL. He sold well and cheered on his partner Jannetty who valiantly lost what was essentially a handicap match. Mr Perfect vs Texas Tornado (aka Kerry Von Erich) was well worked but far too short, though the crowd went mental when the Tornado scored the huge victory. Another unforeseen injury put Rick Martel on the shelf, meaning we got Warlord vs Tito Santana which is about as exciting as you can concieve. Sensational Sherri defeats Sapphire via forfeit as the latter does not come to the ring at all. A very questionable booking decision that we would see develope later on in the night. Thankfully, we have the Harts and Demolition to rely on to save the show thus far. Smash & Crush defend their tag team titles in a 2-out-of-3-falls match. Like most 2/3 fall matches from ye ol' days, you can expect the heels to take advantage and the faces to fight from underneath to try and win. That's what we see and its a very good formula to follow. Crush attacking the referee to break up a pinfall attempt made him look real silly, but it doesn't damage what is easily the best match on the night. When the heels seem to have it won, the LOD come out to prevent cheating and cheat themselves, helping the Harts win the match and the tag gold. Another explosive crowd reaction.

After a lot of time killing with various interviews and such, we're treated to a trio or terrible. Jake Roberts vs Bad News Brown was dull with a lame DQ finish, Big Boss Man was the special referee and added absolutely nothing to the contest. Jim Duggan and newly US-sympathiser Nikolai Volkoff defeat the Orient Express in quick fashion, but being quick did not make it painless. The Dusty Rhodes story continued after Ted DiBiase revealed he had bought Sapphire away from him, ahead of his singles match with Savage. They go for about 2 minutes before Savage wins via Sherri interference. The whole DiBiase angle was redundant as Sapphire would be gone soon then Dusty would be out less than 6 months later after being unhappy with the bad booking. I don't blame him. So that leaves us with our two headline matches. Hulk Hogan vs Earthquake, a basic paint by numbers Hogan match, then Ultimate Warrior vs Rick Rude, a basic paint by numbers steel cage match. The Hogan match was very slow, but the fans bit on every moment so I can't deny it worked. They built well to the big slam by Hulk on the 400 pounder. Hogan won and was saved by Big Boss Man from the heels, I think they had big plans for Boss Man but they never materialised. Warrior vs Rude was decent, but not on par with their match a year prior. Rude was in control a lot like expected but Warrior overpowers to win. It was a fine match. It would be Rude's last WWE PPV match as he would soon be injured and also unhappy due to payoff disagreements with Vince so he would jump to WCW in 1991, one of the earlier line crossings before the company war was even underway.

Power & Glory (Paul Roma & Hercules) defeat The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty). **1/4

Texas Tornado defeats Mr Perfect (c), IC Championship. *3/4

Queen Sherri defeats Sapphire by forfeit. NR

Warlord defeats Tito Santana. *

Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeat Demolition (Crush & Smash) (c), 2-out-of-3 falls, Tag Championships. ***1/2 (MOTN)

Jake Roberts defeats Bad News Brown by DQ. 3/4*

Jim Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff defeat The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka). nil

Randy Savage defeats Dusty Rhodes. 1/2*

Hulk Hogan defeats Earthquake by count out. **

Ultimate Warrior (c) defeats Rick Rude, Steel Cage, WWF Championship. **1/2

23) Wrestlemania VII, March 24th 1991. 31.8%

Ah yes, the craziest Wrestlemania from the era. As the wrestling boom was coming to an end and ticket sales were starting to decrease, Vince and co took a huge swing to work with a real life crisis of the Gulf War that happened just months prior to this show. Sgt Slaughter turned heel the previous summer and became an Iraqi sympathiser, whilst the very real issues between the US and Iraq were ongoing. Big yikes. This was a very patriotic themed show and who could they possibly call on to be the hero of America, to take down the evil Iraqi's? None other than CEO of Pastamania of course! WWE even went as far as to say that due to fears of a bombing, they moved Wrestlemania to a smaller venue. That, is so fucked up. Of course it wasn't the real reason, which would be revealed as dwindling ticket sales. It's a real shame about this show being an old fart in a jar, because there are some significant moments in history taking place at this event. 14 matches in this one, because why the fuck not.

We open in great fashion, a fast-paced tag match between The Rockers, Barbarian & Haku with a feel-good babyface victory to get the crowd hyped. This would be Marty Jannetty's last Wrestlemania match, the Rockers would split soon after and he would fail to make it onto the Wrestlemania card again due to his own personal issues. Similarly, this show was Jim Neidhart's last Wrestlemania too. Hart Foundation lost their tag titles to the Nasty Boys in a fun tag team affair, the Nastys weren't very good in the ring but they were with good company. Similarly, Neidhart would fail to appear at Mania due to his own personal issues. There is very little else in the first half of the show worth even talking about. Texas Tornado got a quick dominant win, Bulldog vs Warlord was a better than expected powerhouse match, the blindfold match was weird spectacle that was great for audience participation but not for viewing. We do see the beginning of the legendary Undertaker undefeated streak at this show. It took a few years for Undertaker to have any matches worth watching, but this is a historical start to one of the greatest streaks in wrestling history. He squashes Jimmy Snuka in noteworthy fashion.

Our first of two marquee matches, a career vs career match between Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Savage wanted to try win his title back, Warrior refused to give him the opportunity so Savage cost him the title in his defence against Sgt. Slaughter. Warrior would demand a retirement match. I don't really know why Warrior kept refusing Savage, it kinda made him look weak overall. I really liked the different colour straps for the WWF title Warrior would use though. I liked that a lot. This was an absolute standout match, easily the best in Warrior's career. Savage does an amazing job working the match and selling like a pro for the Warrior. A beautiful blend of action and storytelling, with so many moments when it looked like it was all over then we'd see a big kickout. A brilliant match. Ultimate Warrior would win and Savage would have to retire, which lasted 4 months (or 6 days if you include his Japan tours with SWS). Afterwards, we saw the betrayal by Queen Sherri, the return of Miss Elizabeth and a heart-warming reunion to finish off a brilliantly told narrative, spanning two years. Wrestling is awesome.

However sometimes wrestling is not awesome. After one of the best Wrestlemania matches of the era, 5 of the following 7 matches I graded below 2 stars. To some them all up, they were badly worked and pretty short. DiBiase vs Virgil was a bit better thanks to Ted but it was still rather dull. Mr Perfect vs Big Boss Man was a solid 10 minute match, even if it did have a lame ass finish with the DQ. Time for our main though, because there is a lot to unpack. Vince felt that the WWE at the time was lacking a really big, despicable villain. He just recently brought back Sgt. Slaughter from a stint in the AWA and was given this highly volatile angle to work with. Hogan wasn't involved with the story at all until Slaughter became world champion AND Hogan won the Royal Rumble, as he would be named the number 1 contender. Slaughter and his "Iraqi friends" Adnan & Mustafa would deface the American flag, say mean things about America. Some real anti-eagle behaviour. Hogan would cite the real life war A LOT in his promos, even going as far to say Iraq will surrender when he defeats Slaughter. Now, I like when lines between real and fake are blurred, it can get very entertaining. This, while yes entertaining for me as a non-American and a non-Iraqi, is extremely problematic and distasteful to the real life tragedy going on. Anyway, this was your bog standard Hogan match as you'd expect. 20 fucking minutes of it. It was well booked I guess but damn it was very slow. Not as bad as I was expecting though. Slaughter just really was not a main event player, but WWE would definitely learn their lesson next year by not having a match between Hogan and someone who shouldn't be in the main event. Right?

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) defeat Barbarian & Haku. ***1/4

Texas Tornado defeats Dino Bravo. *

British Bulldog defeats Warlord. **1/4

Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs) defeat Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) (c), Tag Championships. ***

Jake Roberts defeats Rick Martel, Blindfold. 3/4*

The Undertaker defeats Jimmy Snuka. 1/2*

Ultimate Warrior defeats Randy Savage, Career vs Career. ****1/4 (MOTN)

Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Kitao defeat Demolition (Smash & Crush). 1/2*

Big Boss Man defeats Mr Perfect (c) by DQ, IC Championship. **1/2

Earthquake defeats Greg Valentine. 1/4*

Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk) defeat Power & Glory (Paul Roma & Hercules). 1/4*

Virgil defeats Ted DiBiase by count out. *1/2

The Mountie defeats Tito Santana. 1/4*

Hulk Hogan defeats Sgt. Slaughter (c), WWF Championship. **

22) Summerslam, August 29th 1988. 32.2%

"You never forget your first" they say. WWE will hope that isn't the case for this dirty dan of a show. After Vince began strong-arming his way into territories and TV deals, he was rubbing a lot of people up the wrong way, most importantly two people who became his biggest rivals. Jim Crockett and Ted Turner. After creating Survivor Series to compete with Starrcade, then the Royal Rumble to run against the Bunkhouse Stampede, Jim Crockett Promotions fought back by scheduling a Clash of the Champions on the same day as Wrestlemania IV. He knew he wouldn't win the ratings battle here, but he wanted to take a sizable chunk of revenue away from Vince's biggest event. Crockett had to file for bankruptcy but quickly had a buyer in media proprietor Ted Turner, who had revenge on his mind. After a smaller than expected gate for Wrestlemania IV, McMahon struck back by continuing to try monopolise wrestling on TV and PPV, including the creation of Summerslam.

The show got off to a good start, with a competitive tag match between the British Bulldogs and the Fabulous Rougeaus. It started slow and remained a steady pace as it went to a 20 minute time limit. A clear winner would have been a more effective start, but this was good nonetheless. It would be a little while before we saw anything else worth watching. Old timer Ken Patera fought Bad News Brown in a basic and lifeless brawl, Rick Rude defeated Junkyard Dog by DQ in a terrible match that was only there to further the Rude vs Roberts storyline. Rick Rude had the airbrushed tights with Jake Roberts' wife on them, some creative heel work. This would also be JYD's last WWE match. Summerslam would also see Don Muraco's last WWE match, he lost to Dino Bravo in the worst match of the night. Powers of Pain vs The Bolsheviks, Big Boss Man vs Koko B. Ware and Jake Roberts vs Hercules also happened, but they were weak to mid matches with little to talk about.

The most iconic match on this show comes with the Intercontinental championship, longest reigning champion until very recently Honky Tonk Man had held the title for 454 days going into this show. He has been ducking Ultimate Warrior in the past, he was originally scheduled to face Brutus Beefcake but he was injured and replaced by a mystery opponent. The Warrior runs out, destroys the HTM in 31 seconds and takes the title. A huge, memorable moment that I'm not going to grade because it was great. Demolition successfully defended their tag titles against the Hart Foundation in a good tag affair between two legendary teams. They would have a rematch 2 years later and it would be better than this.

The main event would be the Mega Powers vs the Mega Bucks. Savage & Hogan formed an almighty alliance following Wrestlemania IV, joining forces to defeat their common enemies. This was good, a little slow at times which can't be helped with an Andre the Giant match. Miss Elizabeth de-clothed her skirt to show off a red bikini bottom, which sounds like a weird thing to say now but back then it was a huge deal. Wrestling wasn't using women for sex appeal quite like it would in the late 90s, plus Elizabeth never did anything like this (until WCW) so it really felt like a big deal. She became the most over person in the main event because of it. Mega Powers won of course, but the big story seed planted was Savage's look of disdain when Hogan hugged Elizabeth. The slow burn heel turn has begun.

British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) vs the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) goes to a time limit draw. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Bad News Brown defeats Ken Patera. 3/4*

Rick Rude defeats Junkyard Dog by DQ. 1/4*

Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian) defeat The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov & Nikolai Volkoff). *

Ultimate Warrior defeats Honky Tonk Man (c), IC Championship. NR

Dino Bravo defeats Don Muraco. nil

Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeat Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), Tag Championships. ***

Big Boss Man defeats Koko B. Ware. *1/2

Jake Roberts defeats Hercules. **

Mega Powers (Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan) defeat Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant). **3/4

21) The Wrestling Classic, November 7th 1985. 33.4%

After the astounding success of the first ever Wrestlemania, Vince McMahon tried to cash in big time on the PPV model by announcing series of 5 PPV's titled WrestleVision. The first ever was the held in November with the most prestigious tournament ever devised, followed by 4 more specials in 1986. This could be considered as patient zero for McMahon's future PPV plans when he introduced the In Your House series. The Wrestling Classic was held as planned as WWF's second ever PPV event, but the 4 other announced WrestleVision shows never took place. Overall, the Wrestling Classic was seen as a failure, which I guess is what happens when you have 15 matches scheduled within 2 hours. As well as the 16-man tournament, we would see Hulk Hogan take on his bitter rival Roddy Piper with the world championship on the line, their rivalry only escalating since the main event of Wrestlemania.

I still found this a somewhat tolerable watch, manly because I'm a fiend for a tournament format. However, there is a significant lack of match quality throughout the show. Not a single match on the card went over 10 minutes. 3 matches were shorter than 60 seconds. The longest match was the final which went for 9 minutes. I'll be here all day talking about every match up so I'll cover the "highlights". Dynamite Kid had the shortest match of the night, knocking of Nikolai Volkoff in 9 seconds. Steamboat vs Davey Boy Smith was great for just shy of 3 minutes but unfortunately a legit injury forced the match into a forfeit win for the dragon. The worst matches of the night are both under a minute and both feature Moondog Spot, who is honestly one of the worst wrestlers I have ever seen, but I'll give the benefit of doubt that he is past his prime. Tito Santana vs Magnificent Muraco was a solid match that deserved more time, Tito picking up a kayfabe injury that would continue on into the next round. The best matches would unsurprisingly feature Dynamite Kid, Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage. Adrian Adonis vs Dynamite was a good match, the latter having a great showing throughout the night. Savage vs Steamboat was a little teaser of what we could expect from them in less than 2 years time.

Randy Savage defeated Dynamite Kid in a good semi-final match, whilst Junkyard Dog got a bye thanks to a draw between Santana & Orndorff. I know, how heroic for the hero to sit out matches. It's because he is old and shit. In our tournament finals, babyface JYD triumphs over the Macho Man, defeating him by...count out. How thrilling. Unfortunately, the WWF title match wasn't much better. A 7 minute brawl with another lame DQ finish, but not too surprising since Piper refused to be pinned for so long. There are some flashes of good wrestling in here, but the whole event is shoddily booked and poorly structured, the competent workers barely given the time to create something worth watching. 6 matches with a screwy finish is excessive, though one was due to injury which is no ones fault.

Adrian Adonis defeats Corporal Kirchner. *

Dynamite Kid defeats Nikolai Volkoff. NR

Randy Savage defeats Ivan Putski. *1/4

Ricky Steamboat defeats Davey Boy Smith by forfeit. **1/4

Junkyard Dog defeats Iron Sheik. 1/2*

Moondog Spot defeats Terry Funk by count out. nil

Tito Santana defeats Magnificent Muraco. **1/2

Paul Orndorff defeats Cowboy Bob Orton by DQ. **1/2

Dynamite Kid defeats Adrian Adonis. ***

Randy Savage defeats Ricky Steamboat. ***

Junkyard Dog defeats Moondog Spot. nil

Tito Santana vs Paul Orndorff ends in a double count out. *

Hulk Hogan (c) defeats Roddy Piper by DQ, WWF Championship. *1/2

Randy Savage defeats Dynamite Kid. *** (MOTN)

Junkyard Dog defeats Randy Savage by count out. **

20) Survivor Series, November 25th 1992. 34.4%

You could certainly sense trouble in the water for the WWF come late-'92. This Survivor Series felt stripped of it's personality thanks to a bare bone roster with few reliable talent. This show only features one elimination multi-man tag match. Spoiler, it's not very good. With the rise a number of scandals, Hogan seemingly MIA, more wrestlers were shown the door. Ultimate Warrior and Davey Boy Smith were both fired shortly before this show due to their use of illegal growth hormones from England. However, this show was partially saved by a couple of talent the Fed still had that were integral to their programming. The Undertaker was getiing more popular everytime he was on screen. Ric Flair was still around though he would soon be returning to his home turf of WCW. Finally, the main event scene was taken care by two of WWF's fastest rising stars, who would cement their legacy over the rest of the decade. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.

There is very little to praise about this show. The opener between the Headshrinkers & High Energy was a decent tag match mostly thanks to Owen Hart being full of fire but he would ultimately be defeated easily by the Samoans. The second tag match of the night on paper had classic written all over it; Ric Flair & Razor Ramon vs Mr Perfect & Randy Savage. They got ample time to work a good tag match, but all 4 guys are primarily great singles wrestlers. I would like to rate this higher but a vintage overbooked DQ finish taints this one. The crowd were hot for it, Mr Perfect was hurriedly turned face due to the firings and the fans seem to be on board with it. Everything else on the show before our main event, is far from great. Nailz and Big Bossman fought over a night stick in a terrible prison themed rivalry. Nailz could be in my Mount Rushmore of Wrestling Crap. Martel vs Tanaka got far too much time and was incredibly boring. Yokozuna made his PPV debut by squashing Virgil in about 3 minutes. Good dominant booking, with a lack of large, muscular wrestlers due to the steroid scandal, Vince started hiring just large wrestlers. Yoko would have a very successful '93.

The only elimination tag match we had was pretty damn boring, a Clash of the midcarders with little fan investment. It was far from the worst thing on the show though. That achievement would go to the first ever televised WWE casket match between the Undertaker and Kamala. The Ugandan giant is also a shoe in for my crappy Mount Rushmore. This is mercifully only 5 minutes long, but it still should have never existed. Props to Undertaker who worked with a shoulder injury, and also had to carry 380 pounds of racial insensitivity. This is ugly, an unfortunately historical significant match that should not be remembered. At least the show ends on a positive, Bret Hart defends his world title against the IC champion Shawn Michaels. This was just a couple years before both men's peak period (HBK's first peak period before his naughties return). HBK's first PPV main event and he proved he deserved to be there. They get over 25 minutes to work and they have such great chemistry. These two would have a far more memorable match 5 years later for much more shocking reasons, but this one is a forgotten great match by the WWF'd two best workers. This show was the first ever WWE PPV to end with a submission victory.

Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) defeat High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware). **1/4

Big Bossman defeats Nailz, Nightstick on a Pole. *

Tatanka defeats Rick Martel. *1/2

Randy Savage & Mr Perfect defeat Ric Flair & Razor Ramon by DQ. ***

Yokozuna defeats Virgil. *

Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) & Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs) defeat Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & IRS) & Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake). *1/4

Undertaker defeats Kamala, Coffin match. nil

Bret Hart (c) defeats Shawn Michaels, WWF Championship. ***3/4 (MOTN)

19) Wrestlemania VIII, April 5th 1992. 34.4%

If it wasn't for two amazing matches on this card, thsi show could have been the worst in WWE's long history. Wrestlemania 8 didn't struggle quite as much as the previous years flagship event, but ticket sales were not great heading into McMahon's April extravaganza. over 15,000 tickets were given away for free to fill out their crowd, which is far from successful. I could confidently say that if WWE decided to run Hogan vs Flair for the first time, they would have had a sell out on their hands. Unfortunately, egos and politics prevailed over business sense. Instead, we're treat to the first of many terrible Sid main event matches. Hooray.

What was good on this show? Well, only 3 things. First, the near 20 minute opener between Shawn Michaels and Tito Santana was a decent contest that ran a bit too long, but it highlighted just how much potential HBK had in his pocket. I imagine that the plan was to see Michaels face off against former ally Jannetty at the show, but shortly after the famous Barbershop segment, Jannetty was arrested for an altercation with a police officer as well as possession of cocaine. The second best thing on the show by a country mile was the WWF championship, slap bang in the middle of the card. Ric Flair defended against Randy Savage in a highly emotional match that also involved Miss Elizabeth. Flair was at his despicable best, Savage was at his sympathetic best, the crowd bought everything they sold. Top tier wrestling and storytelling. Flair was fined after the match for blading, which surprises absolutely no one. He was not good at hiding is blade job. Someone who was good at hiding a blade job was the excellence of execution Bret Hart, who managed to managed to hide his blading as an in-match incident, claiming a worked punch accidentally bust him open. Pipe vs Hart was a fantastic fight over the Intercontinental championship with both men trying to prove their better than the other. Piper resisting cheating out of respect was a great touch. Hart would go over and Roddy would cement him as the future of the business.

What is wrong with the rest of the show? Nothing is good! Seriously, the next best thing was a dominant win for Undertaker over Jake Roberts that was well booked but not too exciting. Roberts used the match to leverage getting his release from the company, he would soon leave to feud with Sting in Atlanta. Owen Hart vs Skinner wasn't bad, since Hart win in about a minute. Everything else is lame. A boring 8-man tag, a boring rematch between Tatanka and Martel, a poorly worked and booked tag team title contest. None of it though is as bad as the main event, Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice. I know I rag on Hogan being weak in the ring, but Sid made him look like Kazuchika Okada in there. Sid is terrible, one of the worst wrestlers to make it so big in the business. After 10 minutes of abhorrent action, Hogan dropped the leg drop on Sid and Papa Shango came out to break the pin, causing a disqualification, or at least that was the plan. The spooky voodoo Godfather missed his cue, meaning that Sid actually kicked out of the leg drop to save kayfabe being exposed in front of 60,000 people. Shango eventually ran out, caused a DQ and we saw a returning Ultimate Warrior to save Hogan for a happy ending, sort of. Up for debate as the worst Wrestlemania main event match of all time, it's a shame the event will be remembered for it's embarrassing conclusion rather than the two excellent matches earlier in the night.

Shawn Michaels defeats Tito Santana. **1/2

The Undertaker defeats Jake Roberts. *1/2

Bret Hart defeats Roddy Piper (c), IC Championship. ****1/4 (MOTN)

Big Bossman, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter & Jim Duggan defeat The Mountie, Repo Man & Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs). *

Randy Savage defeats Ric Flair (c), WWF Championship. ****

Tatanka defeats Rick Martel. *1/4

Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeat Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & IRS) (c) by count out, Tag Championships. 3/4*

Owen Hart defeats Skinner. 1/4*

Hulk Hogan defeats Sid Justice by DQ. nil

18) Wrestlemania VI, April 1st 1990. 34.6%

In a 14 match card of course there are other smaller stories that have been built in the lead up to the show of shows, but there is only one match that anyone really cared about on this night. The winner takes all dream match between the IC champion and the WWF champion. Ultimate vs Immortal. The power of the Warrior vs Hulkamania. The first Wrestlemania held outside of the US of A (Canada) would play host to the Ultimate Challenge, as well as an undercard full of mid to mediocre matches.

The first half of the show was rough going, with the best match coming from Mr Perfect (unsurprisingly) and Brutus Beefcake (surprisingly) in a fine match with a weird screwy finish, Brutus would hand Mr Perfect his first ever televised loss, which is hilarious. The rest is either too short to be good, or is simply just not good. Demolition defeated the Colossal Connection for the tag titles, leading to Andre the Giant turning face for the first time in 3 years. This would also be Andre's last televised match, only 3 years later he would unfortunately pass away. Possibly the most infamous match on the card is between Roddy Piper vs Bad News Brown. The match itself is unremarkable at best. The feud though, based around "championing all people", saw Piper come out in half black-face, which is now unavailable to watch on the WWE Network for understandable reasons. Piper was ribbed wben doing this, using strong-ass paint that he supposedly struggled to remove for 3 weeks. I would never leave the house. Ever. The second show was lacking real quality too. Dusty Rhodes wrestled his one and only Wrestlemania match, tagging with Sapphire against Randy Savage & Queen Sherri. It really should have just been a singles, Sapphire added nothing to this entire feud. The crowd loved it though. The second best match of the night comes from Orient Express vs Rockers, a good tag match only ruined by a weak count out finish. DiBiase vs Roberts suffered the same fate, good wrestling but a poor count out finish. The booking is all over the place on this show, as was the wrestling,

As much as I'd love to tell you about a shit JIm Duggan match or an ugly Akeem match, let's just talk about the one great thing this show had. The main event. Hogan had held the world title since defeating Savage at Wrestlemania, Warrior held the IC since Summerslam when he beat Rick Rude. Both men the two most dominant faces in the company, first crossing paths in the 1990 Royal Rumble. The crowd reacted HARD for it and they were equally excited for the prospect of a singles match. A title vs title was booked for the first time ever. Now, a 20+ minute match between these two on paper should have flopped. Neither man were particularly talented in the ring as wrestlers, both men had egos as large as galaxies, it seemed destined to fail. It absolutely did not. This was sports entertainment at it's finest. It was booked so well, both men looked equally matched and impossible to beat. This is probably Hogan's best singles match, definitely from his peak WWE run. It ran a little long sure but it had such an epic god-mode feel to it that we barely see nowadays. Warrior just managed to keep Hogan down for 3, who literally kicked out a moment after the 3, which people criticise him for but I think it shows how close the match was. Warrior goes over, Hulk didn't want to because he thought he wouold flop as the top guy. Somehow, Hogan was correct, but hey he did the job so fair play.

Rick Martel defeats Koko B. Ware. **

Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeat Colossal Connection (Andre the Giant & Haku) (c), Tag Championships. **

Earthquake defeats Hercules. *

Brutus Beefcake defeats Mr Perfect. **1/2

Roddy Piper vs Bad News Brown ends in a double count out. *

Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeat Bolsheviks (Nikolai Koloff & Boris Zhukov). NR

Barbarian defeats Tito Santana. *1/2

Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire defeat Randy Savage & Queen Sherri. *3/4

Orient Express (Sato & Pat Tanaka) defeat The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) by count out. **3/4

Jim Duggan defeats Dino Bravo. nil

Ted DiBiase (c) defeats Virgil by count out, Million Dollar Championship. **1/2

Big Bossman defeats Akeem. 1/4*

Rick Rude defeats Jimmy Snuka. *1/4

Ultimate Warrior (c) defeats Hulk Hogan (c), IC & WWF Championships. **** (MOTN)

17) The Big Event, August 28th 1986. 35%

BONUS SHOW! Whilst not an offical PPV event, the Big Event was a special event in front of a record outdoor attendance (at the time) of over 74,000. It was the Summer following Wrestlemania II, the WWF was booming and Vince wanted to continue extending their reach across the States and Canada by selling out the Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Canada. None of the feuds at Wrestlemania II continued through to the Big Event, but an old rivalry was renewed for the main event as former friends Orndorff & Hogan would be at odds once more. Jake Roberts debuted for WWF not long before Wrestlemania and he would enter his first major feud for the Fed against Ricky Steamboat. For being a taped event unlike the rest of the shows in this ranking, it was not as bad as I was expecting it to be, but still not good.

The show started averagely with a basic tag match between the Killer Bees (a silly name) and the Funk brothers. After though, we were exposed to a cruciatus curse of match, King Tonga and the Magnificent Muraco "wrestling" to a 20 minute time limit. Drinking game, waterfall your drink through every rest hold. You'll be Jeff Hardy at Victory Road levels of wasted before the final bell. The card continued wih a series of short, uninspiring matches with your usual midcard talent, very little substance to them all. We finally get something worth sinking out teeth into, Jake Roberts vs Ricky Steamboat. This was a 'Snake Pit' match, a No Disqualification match themed around Jake's chilling persona. Previously on a Saturday Night's main event, Roberts attacked Steamboat with a DDT on the concrete and tried to put his pet snake Damien into his mouth. They had a series of matches and this is one of them. Easily the best thing on the show so far, a blood-feud well demonstrated through their attempts to murder each other.

After a boring clash between Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules Hernandez, we are treated to another good match, featuring some home town heroes. The Canadian team of Jacques & Raymond Rougeau face Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake. A very good tag contest, made even more exciting with the mass Canadian fan base cheering on their local favourites. The Dream Team are on top heading into the closing stages, but a flash sunset flip pinfall by Raymond gets a quick pin and the entire stadium erupts like Vesuvius at the result. Quality tag wrestling, far superior to their rematch we would see at Wrestlemania III. Harley Race dispatches Pedro Morales in 3 minutes before our big main event. The Hogan vs Orndorff feud was very well done. Paula turned face after Wrestlemania I and got popular and seemed content, however disdain started building once again. He was being compared to Hogan as an inferior copycat as well as heels saying Hogan isn't his real friend. Eventually Orndorff snapped, betraying his friend and turning evil once again. He begin mocking Hogan, coming out to his theme music, berating him in promos. This run is probably some of the best work Orndorff did in his career. This is a good match I would rate 3 stars but it loses points due to your usual screwy DQ finish. I could not be a wrestling fan in the 80s with how many screwy finishes there are. I'd feel unsatisfied all the time. This was good though, a bit different because Hogan was outclassed almost constantly throughout the match. Anytime Hogan gets back in it he is distracted by Heenan doing heel things. Eventually a weak DQ is called for Orndorff attacking the referee (even though he was pushed into him by Hogan). Orndorff beat down, Hogan fights back to send the crowd home happy before Orndorff reemerges for a second beat down. This entire event is a glorified house show, but it has a few highlights if your a stan for golden era wrestling.

Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair) defeat Jimmy Jack Funk & Hoss Funk. **

Magnificent Muraco vs King Tonga ends in a time limit draw. 3/4*

Ted Arcidi defeats Tony Garea. 1/4*

Junkyard Dog defeats Adrian Adonis by count out. *

Dick Slater defeats Iron Mike Sharpe. *

Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd defeat The Machines (Super & Big Machine) & Captain Lou Albano by DQ. *1/4

Ricky Steamboat defeats Jake Roberts. ***1/2

Billy Jack Haynes defeats Hercules Hernandez. *1/2

Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond) defeat Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake). ***1/2 (MOTN)

Harley Race defeats Pedro Morales. *3/4

Hulk Hogan (c) defeats Paul Orndorff by DQ, WWF Championship. **3/4

16) Wrestlemania III, March 19th, 1987. 37.5%

I don't know if you have been keeping track, but this is the last Wrestlemania we will be talking about from this era. Wrestlemania III is the best Wrestlemania from the Golden Age and it doesn't even crack the top 15. That is actually quite shocking, but there is some logic to it. While yes wrestling is the main attraction, the entire event of Wrestlemania is almost like a festival. It's one big giant party full of pageantry and showmanship that the wrestling quality sometimes plays second fiddle. The main event is the perfect example. Hogan vs Andre is a monumental attraction, one of the biggest main events in wrestling history and it had absolutely zero chance of being good. Other shows have a lot more breathing room to work good matches, but Wrestlemania is about making a statement. Apparently, two men on this card didn't get that memo and decided to put on one of the best matches in company history on this night in the Silverdome.

The largest wrestling event in history opened with one of the best renditions of America the Beautiful by Aretha Franklin, who nearly didn't make it to the arena in time due to how bad the traffic was for the event. Our opening contest was a solid tag match, the Can-Am Connection vs Muraco & Bob Orton. Martel and Zenk were a great team, destined for great things until Zenk abruptly walked out on the company. This was a fun 5 minute match. Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules was a decent power match with a weak double count out finish. The worst match of the night came from a midget showcase. Anyone who has followed WWE long enough knows that Vince McMahon finds little people very funny. King Kong Bundy and two of his little friends faced Hillbilly Jim and two of his little friends. This was pretty terrible, as you could imagine, but lucky for us it's short. Bundy legit elbow drops little Beaver even though it wasn't planned because the other midgets missed their cue. Whilst initially a funny moment, Beaver's career would come to an end shortly after due to the move. After a pair of weak matches, we get Roddy Piper's "retirement" match, a hair vs hair match against Adrian Adonis. It's just an average match but the crowd response was huge, massively in support of the rowdy one. Piper wins his "last match" and tries to shave Adonis' head, though the clippers he used were terrible and barely cut though the thick blonde locks of the loser.

Our first good match sees crooked former referee Danny Davis team with the Hart Foundation against the British Bulldogs and Tito Santana. Originally planned as a tag title match, Dynamite Kid was in a bad way due to a back injury so the 6-man was set up to take the edge off him. He was in very good company, the other competitors worked hard and this was an early sign of Bret's future star power. Butch Reed vs Koko B. Ware was short and bad so let's skip right past to the best thing on the show. You already know. Savage vs Steamboat. It's a classic that holds up today, a ground-breaking match unlike anything we've seen from the WWF. A controversial opinion here, I don't think it holds up as amazingly as others think. You're justified if you think this is a 5 star classic, you have a lot of support in that but I think it is just shy. This was a show stealer, so much apparently both guys got minor backstage heat for showing up the main event. There are so many things I can say but you should just watch this if you haven't already. This match arguably launched Savage into his world championship reign down the line.

Following a pair of meh matches, it is time for the biggest match of the decade. The irresistible force meets the immovable object. An expertly crafted story, even if it was based off a lie. Andre was billed as being undefeated in over 15 years and received an award for it. Hogan also received an award for his championship success, champion for almost 3 years at the time. When Andre finally returned from injury, he was flanked by Heenan on the famous Piper's Pit segment, tearing Hogan's shirt and demanding a title match. A battle royal saw Andre eliminate Hogan on his own, and 15 men needed to eliminate the 8th wonder of the world. Before their main event clash, Andre infamously drank 14 bottles of wine because of how much pain he was in. Hogan and the producers weren't even sure if Andre was going to be able to do it, with Paul Orndorff on standby in case he was incapable. After medicating himself and getting Hogan to hang out with him, Andre managed to get himself to the ring for the match. So, the match isn't good okay? However, I'm going to be very kind to this one because of how historic and important it was. Andre put in a Herculean effort to work over 10 minutes here, Hogan put in a great effort also to work a somewhat watchable match. This match is so memorable, with the most iconic image of Hogan bodyslamming the Giant. It's rumoured by Hogan that Andre didn't even agree to losing cleanly right until it was time for the finish. Hogan's victory garners one of the biggest pops ever. A monumental moment that a star rating doesn't really do justice. The most iconic show from the Golden Era.

Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) defeat Magnificent Muraco & Bob Orton. **1/2

Billy Jack Haynes vs Hercules ends in a double count out. *3/4

Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver defeat King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook by DQ. nil

Harley Race defeats Junkyard Dog, Loser must bow. *

Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake) defeat Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond). *3/4

Roddy Piper defeats Adrian Adonis, Hair vs Hair. **

Danny Davis & Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeat Tito Santana & British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith). ***

Butch Reed defeats Koko B. Ware. 1/2*

Ricky Steamboat defeats Randy Savage (c), IC Championship. ****3/4 (MOTN)

Honky Tonk Man defeats Jake Roberts. **1/4

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeat Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell) by DQ. *1/2

Hulk Hogan (c) defeats Andre the Giant, WWF Championship. **

Part 1 in the books, check in this time next week for the second part where we will cover the very best from the Golden Age. Cheers for reading, take it easy.


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