On This Day In Wrestling History: Wrestlemania V

Wrestlemania V

Craig Wilson

25 years ago on this day Trump Plaza was the venue, for the second consecutive year, for Wrestlemania 5. Plenty on the go here, The Mega Powers explode in the main event as Macho Man Randy Savage defends against Hulk Hogan,

Without further ado…

Year two at the Trump Plaza as the ‘Mega Powers Explode’.

WWF Women’s Champion Rockin Robin sings ‘America the Beautiful’ for some reason.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura handle the announcing duties for the show.

Match 1: King Haku (w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan) v Hercules

Heenan demands that the fans stand and show their appreciation to his charge. Few do. Here comes Hercules with the trumpets and his chain. He’s the good guy here. Haku attacks from behind which surprisingly doesn’t get a “Pearl Harbour job” remark from Monsoon. Oh wait, there it is. Apparently Haku can slap a bearhug on “with the best of them”.

Hercules mounts a combecak and gets a nearfall with a powerslam. His highrisk offene fails as he jumps straight into a thrust kick but Haku is unable to follow it up as he misses a diving headbutt. Hercules gets the win with a bridging German suplex.

Winner – Hercules via pinfall.

‘Mean Gene’ Okerlund is backstage with The Rockers ahead of their match with the Twin Towers (Akeem & Big Bossman).

Match 2: Twin Towers (w/ Slick) v The Rockers

The Rockers are firm favourites here and Michaels uses his speed advantage in the early stages to get the advantage over the Bossman. Quick tags from Marty and Shawn as they work on Akeem. Marty loses his team the advantage and the two big men work over Jannetty. Ventura says that Joe Marrella, the referee, has a tough time counting to five which gets the reaction from Monsoon that Ventura would have wanted.

Shawn gets the hot tag and a nearfall when the Rockers hit a pair of top rope shoulder tackles but Michaels runs into a clothesline that nearly takes his head off. He’s still able to get out of the way of a top rope splash from the Bossman. A pair of top rope dropkicks gets the Rockers another nearfall but Bossman catches Michaels coming off the top with a powerbomb and Akeem hits a running splash for the win.

Winners – Twin Towers via pinfall.

Tony Schiavone is backstage with The Million Dollar Man and Virgil speaking about Dibiase’s match with Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake. Monsoon wonders if Dibiase is so confident why isn’t the Million Dollar Belt on the line. Dibiase shows off his title to Donald Trump at ringside.

Match 3: The Million Dollar Man (w/ Virgil) v Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake

Beefcake no sells an eye gauge and sends the self proclaimed Million Dollar Champion to the outside. A couple of powerslams and a clothesline sends Dibiase back to the outside. Dibiase eventually gets the advantage thanks to outside interference from Virgil. Beefcake is able to get out of the Million Dollar Dream and apply a sleeper but is distracted by Virgil and sent to the outside by Dibiase. With Virgil distracting him, Dibiase clobbers him from behind and the two brawl on the outisde and are counted out. After the match, Beefcake grabs his sheers but Dibiase and Virgil flee the ring.

Winner – Double countout

Lord Alfred Hayes speaks from the Wrestlemania brunch where he speaks with the Bushwackers ahead of their match with the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers but both Luke and Butch are inaudible due to the food in their mouth.

Match 3: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (w/ Jimmy Hart) v The Bushwackers

Luke and Butch control the early stages but The Rougeaus fight back. The Bushwackers get the win with a double stomach buster on Raymond after hitting a battering ram. They celebrate by licking Sean Mooney who tries to interview them on the aisle.

Winners – really nobody but officially Luke and Butch.

Match 4: Mr. Perfect v The Blue Blazer

This is a great wee match, as you’d expect. Some great reversals and fast paced back and forth action. Perfect gets the advantage when he gets his knees up as Blazer flies from the top rope. Blazer gets his knees up as Perfect charges into the corner and gets a nearfall with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and with a crucifix. As The Blue Blazer questions the count, Perfect clocks him and hits a Perfect-plex for the three count.

Winner – Mr Perfect via pinfall

Alfred Hayes is at the start of the WWF 5 run. Hayes interviews Mr. Fuji who has just entered the run. I doubt he won, after all he’s dressed in his suit. He cheats and starts early and is very quickly overtaken. We are shown footage of him finishing the race.

We return as Howard Finkel introduces Run DMC who perform the awful Wrestlemania Rap.

Clips air showing the feud between The Powers of Pain and WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition including Mr. Fuji turning on Ax and Smash at Survivor Series 1988.

Match 5: WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition v Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji

First time the WWF tag titles have been defended under a handicap match stipulation. Fuji looks in great shape – clearly helped by his 5k training… Smash and Warlord start this one off. It won’t surprise you that there’s very little wrestling and a whole lot of brawling in this one. Fuji finally gets the tag but misses a top rope move and tags the Warlord back in. With the referee dealing with Ax and The Barbarian at ringside, the Warlord holds Smash for Fuji to throw salt but Smash ducks and the champs are able to hit Demolition Decapitation on Fuji for the win.

Winners and still WWF tag team Champions Ax and Smash, Demolition.

Schiavone tries to catch up with Macho Man backstage but the WWF Champion is furious and chases him away.

Match 6: Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) v ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin

Before this match can start Howard Finkel announces Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka who makes his way out, poses in the ring and then heads to the back. Another hard hitting encounter. The two trade blows before Garvin gets a nearfall with a rolling cradle pin. From nowhere Bravo hits the side suplex for the victory. After the bout, Garvin clears Bravo from the ring and hits the Garvin Stomp on Frenchy Martin.

Winner: Dino Bravo via pinfall.

Match 7: The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan) v Strike Force

Ah Tito Santana and Rick Martel are teaming up again. How nice. Tag match pitting two teams that have held the gold before. Martel nearly has the win with a Boston Crab on Arn but Tully thumbs him in the eye to break it up. Nice spot with Santana having Blanchard in a figure-four and Martel applying a Boston Crab again on Anderson. Strike Force have another blind tag and Tully ducks a flying forearm and Santana drills his own partner with the move. Santana finally gets to his own corner but Martel refuses to make the tag and walks off. The Brain Busters hit the spike piledriver for the win.

Winners: The Brain Busters

Mean Gene catches up with Martel backstage with Martel saying that he’s sick of carrying Santana.

Pipers Pit with Robert Downey Jr and Brother Love. Love comes out first and does a reasonable enough impression of Piper before Downey comes out and then Piper himself. This really rubbish segment ends when Piper sprays a fire extinguisher in Downey Jr’s face after asking him several times to stop blowing smoke in his face.

We are then “treated” to a preview of ‘No Holds Barred’ before Sean Mooney catches up with Donald Trump.

A lengthy video airs showing how Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan went from being friends to being enemies.

Match 8: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts v Andre the Giant (w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan) with Big John Studd as the special guest referee

Andre drives Roberts face first into the exposed turnbuckle and applies a chokehold. It’s all Andre as he prevents his opponent from being able to get his hands on Damien. Roberts is able to mount a comeback and a shoulder charge sends Andre tumbling into the ropes where he becomes tangled. Andre is able to break free from the ropes and regains the advantage until he connects with the exposed turnbuckle. Andre and Andre argue in the ring. When Studd stops Jake from bringing in the snake, Andre attacks the referee from behind. DiBiase hits ringside and steals Damien as Andre chokes out Studd in the ring until Jake tosses the snake into the ring.

Winner: Jake Roberts by DQ.

Schiavone then interviews Sensational Sherri backstage who cuts a promo on Rockin’ Robin and Miss Elizabeth.

Match 9: The Honky Tonk Man & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) v The Hart Foundation

Honky and Bret start this one with ‘The Hitman’ getting an early nearfall with a roll-up. Jimmy Hart’s duo get the upper-hand with Honky hitting the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ but tagging in Valentine instead of going for the pin. ‘The Hammer’ attempts the figure-four but Hart reverses and makes the tag. With the referee distracted by Valentine and Hart, ‘The Hitman’ hits Honky with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone for the win.

Winners: The Hart Foundation

Clips air from the 1989 Royal Rumble and the pose-down between Warrior and Rude.

Match 10: Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior v ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan)

Rude attempts an early sneak attack but injures himself with a high knee to Warrior who still has the IC title round his waist. The early few minutes of this seem to be all about the Warrior having a bearhug on Rude. The challenger eventually breaks the hold and hits a piledriver and neckbreaker in quick succession. Warrior shakes the ropes and mounts a comeback. He tosses Rude about the ring and hits a shoulder block that sends the challenger hurtling back into the corner but misses a follow up corner charge. Rude Awakening by Warrior powers out of it. Warrior attempts to suplex Rude from the outside by Heenan grabs Warrior’s foot and keeps hold of it as Rude falls on the champion and picks up the win.

Winner and new Intercontinental Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude.

Match 11: Bad News Brown v ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan

Bad News attacks from the start but misses a corner charge and Duggan hits a clothesline which prompts Bad News to walk out. He eventually makes his way back to the ring and takes the fight to Duggan on the outside. Back in and Bad News sets up for the ‘Ghetto Blaster’ but Duggan ducks and hits his 3 Point Charge that sends his opponent out of the ring. Bad News grabs a chair and Duggan grabs his 2×4 and they continue to brawl even after the referee calls for the bell.

Winner: Double DQ.

Match 12: The Red Rooster v Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan (w/ The Brooklyn Brawler)

Poor Terry Taylor… That said, he picks up the win here in super fast fashion after Heenan goes head first into the steel post.

Winner: The Red Rooster.

Match 13: WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage v Hulk Hogan

Miss Elizabeth gets her own entrance. Ventura openly tears into Hogan on commentary and is clearly supporting the champion in this one. Hogan uses his power to frustrate Savage early on in this one with the champion bailing out to the floor. He hits a back suplex to get out of a headlock but the challenger is quick to recover. Hogan, never slow to avoid heel-esque manoeuvres, uses the trunks to counter the hair pull and flings Savage to the floor. Hogan misses an elbow which Savage celebrates just as Hogan comes back and hits a corner clothesline. Hogan slams Savage over the top rope to the floor in another WrestleMania moment. Miss Elizabeth attempts to come to the champion’s aid at ringside but he swings at her. The two fight it out at ringside and Hogan tries to launch the champion into the ringpost but Liz stops him but that allows Savage to fire Hogan into the post. Earl Hebner sends her to the back as Savage drops the axe handle off the top to the floor over the barricade. Savage clotheslines Hogan off the top rope and chokes him with his wrist tape. The champion goes up and hits his trademark elbow but the challenger kicks out, Hulks up, and hits the big boot and leg drop combo for the win.

Overall: 6/10. This was a long show with plenty of matches. It was all about the main, event however. There was a lot of filler on the undercard. That’s not to say there weren’t a few gems – including the Mr. Perfect v Blue Blazer bout. Plus there was the big Intercontinental Title switch.


3 thoughts on “On This Day In Wrestling History: Wrestlemania V

  1. Pingback: Remembering The Ultimate Warrior | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. This was such a great year in pro wrestling, 1989! What a main event..The Mega Powers exploded that night. Hogan being the biggest player in pro wrestling at the time. Macho man was amazing in the ring. It came together great. Of coarse my favorite wrestler the Ultimate Warrior battled Rick Rude in a I.C title match. So many great matches. Probably in my top 5 manias of all time.


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