Underrated Wrestlemanias: Part 1

Some of you reading this might think that despite my fondness of wrestling, and praise for the institution that is Wrestlemania, I’ve been overly critical and despite a glowing review of one match at Wrestlemania X I’ve not written many positive words about the ‘the superbowl of wrestling’.

Well, that’s coming to an end now. Perhaps am just more bitter and grumbly than I thought! Anyway, time to look at a vastly underrated Wrestlemania. Namely, Wrestlemania 7.

This is very much an event that stands the test of time with some stellar performances and stand out matches throughout the card. Whilst the main event between Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan left a lot to be desire, primarily due to the timing of events, there were some absolutely fantastic matches on the night.

Whilst not a fan of him, the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak started at that event when he was put over by Jimmy Snuka, the Hart Foundation dropped their titles to the Nasty Boys in a move that resulted in Bret Hart becoming a singles competitor and the Ultimate Warrior had a match that was certainly the greatest of his career in the retirement match against Macho King Randy Savage.

One thing is for sure about events, and certainly Wrestlemania’s, of that era, you sure got your money’s worth in terms of matches. Excluding the dark match ahead of the broadcast, there were fourteen matches on the card from the opening bout between the Rockers and Haku & the Barbarian to the Hulkster beating Sgt. Slaughter for the world title at the climax of the 3 hour event. Naturally, there was of course some filler as the then WWF attempted to get virtually everyone on the card that night.

I alluded earlier to some filler on the card but some of these matches are probably better described as squash matches with six matches coming in under the 5 minute mark but there is some gold. The opening match is a really fun Wrestlemania opener. I always thought both Haku and the Barbarian were much underrated and a match against the Rockers was always going to be fairly good, and it was.Whilst some matches are unforgettable, the Mountie v Tito Santana, shockingly the match before the main event, isn’t often remembered nor is the bout between the Earthquake and the now face Greg ‘the Hammer’ Valentine. That said, there is some great historical moments littered throughout the evening. Virgil made up for years of abuse by beating Ted DiBiase, the Legion of Doom made their Wrestlemania debut, The Big Boss Man, after working his way through the Heenan family, finally got to Mr. Perfect and the event also marked the final time Demolition appeared on a PPV.

Whilst the Nasty Boys weren’t much as a team, they didn’t mount much in the way of an offence that was anything of any real note, the fact that Bret’s solo push came so soon after this marks this bout as having much historical significance. Of course, at the next PPV Bret would beat Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental title and the Nasty Boys would lose their titles to the Legion of Doom.

Whilst Hogan defeated Slaughter in a victory for the USA, it was Savage v the Warrior that stole all the plaudits and the show. Their retirement match is up there as one of the finest matches in WWF history and I’d advise anyone with 20 minutes to kill to watch this match. During the course of the match, Savage hits a staggering five top rope elbow drops but the Warrior kicks out and eventually ‘retires’ the Macho King. The wrestling was fantastic and the storyline afterwards was just as good. After realising her meal-ticket was gone, Sensational Sherri turned on Savage which led to him reuniting with Miss Elizabeth. THIS IS A WRESTLEMANIA MOMENT. The Macho King retires and the Macho Man returns. Elizabeth holds the ropes for Savage; he stops her and holds the ropes for her. Savage celebrates to cheers of the fans.

Everything that follows this suffers as a result including the main event where Slaughter loses his World Title to the Hulkster in an end that was never in any doubt now that the war was over.

Watching this again sorta makes me remember how much I loved wrestling at the start of the nineties. I’d advise anyone that gets the chance to watch this event or at least the Savage v Warrior match. Most wrestling fans probably don’t think that the Warrior ever had a really good match. Well, he did and it was on this night.

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