Reviewing WrestleMania: WrestleMania II
Credit: WWE

WrestleMania 2 was a unique event mainly because the show took place in three different venues. The first part of the show took place at the Nassau Coliseum, the second in the Rosemont Horizon, and the third in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Matches from the Nassau Coliseum- Commentary by Vince McMahon and Susan St. James.

Paul Orndorff vs The Magnificent Muraco (with Mr. Fuji)

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff as a face… Let’s put that in the big bucket of things we never need to see again. Seriously, the man’s nickname is "Mr. Wonderful". How can your gimmick be that you think you are better than everyone and we are supposed to buy that you are a face? *cough* Dolph Ziggler *cough*

Vince McMahon says we are going hear a few words from both competitors. Since it is currently 2016, this writer immediately expected a little screen to pop up that would show the wrestlers cutting their respective promos. The problem is it may currently be 2016 now, but this match happened back in 1986. Instead of the vid screens, we are accustom to, they literally just had the wrestlers do voice-overs. It was hilarious. Who knew this was a rap battle and not a wrestling match. We all know they had crazy match types back in the 80’s but this was ridiculous.

If you were wondering, Orndorff's bars blew Muraco’s out of the water. Wait…. This IS supposed to be a wrestling match? Err. Never mind.

Once the actual match starts it becomes clear it will not go down as an instant classic by any stretch of the imagination. Orndorff managed a few early power moves before they end up on the outside of the ring. The bell rings and there is mass confusion. It seems we just witnessed the fastest double count out in the history of pro wrestling. It’s hard not to wonder if there was more to this screwy finish than we were privy to. Was the finish botched or was this a classic case of WWE painting themselves into a corner and instead of having either wrestler do the favors, they decided on a quick out.

Winner- Double Count Out

Grade: 5/10

Defining moment in the match: Orndorff proving he is a lyrical gangsta with his sweet voice-over technique.

Backstage Mr. T is with "Smoking" Joe Frazier and Haiti Kid. Mr. T grabs the mic and goes on and on about his momma. Eventually, Kane walks out and escorts him off the sta… oops, my bad. I sat on my PS4 remote. Wrong Mr. T interview. Well if anything, the actual WrestleMania 2 Mr. T promo was just as nonsensical.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Macho Man Randy Savage (c) (with Miss Elizabeth) vs George "The Animal" Steele

Wait, for some reason when McMahon says we are going to hear a few words from Macho Man, and the little video screen pops up! What gives? Maybe Orndorff told McMahon his bars couldn't be contained by no stinking video screen! Or the production truck failed in a major way. The latter is more likely, but the former is a lot more fun so let's go with that.

How the heck did he kick out? Credit: WWE.com
How the heck did he kick out? Credit: WWE.com

Macho Man spent most of the match running away from Steele, which makes sense seeing as how Steele is a crazy person. Well, ok, a crazier person; Macho Man was basically certifiable as well. There wasn’t very much actual wrestling here, but there were a lot of fun bits with different props (a bouquet of flowers, the turnbuckle, Miss Elizabeth, you know the usual). Macho Man hits the top rope elbow, but Steele amazingly kicks out. Steele was so enamored by Miss Elizabeth, Macho was able to sneak a pin in on him with his feet on the ropes. Not sure which roll up was worst: Macho Man's or Stone Cold Steve Austin's on Owen Hart after he broke his neck.

Winner- Macho Man Randy Savage

Grade: 6/10

Defining moment in the match: Being able to stare at Miss Elizabeth (don’t look at me, you should have seen that coming).

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs George Wells

Had my fingers crossed that at this point Roberts would have his sweet entrance music, but much to my disappointment he did not. Right out of the gate, Wells is all over Roberts. Wells slams Roberts all over the ring. Wells even takes Roberts down with a flying head scissors, which is impressive seeing as how Wells is a massive man. At one point Roberts begs for a timeout. Roberts is going pretty far out of his way to make Wells look good. Roberts surprises Wells with a knee lift, followed by the DDT for the victory.

Winner- Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Grade: 6/10

Defining moment in the match: Roberts bumping like a champ all over the place.

In Los Angeles, Jesse “The Body” Ventura is with Hulk Hogan. Hogan will face King Kong Bundy later tonight. This was a fairly short promo, but it was a fun interaction between the super heel Ventura and the uber face Hogan. Oh, and as expected, Ventura looks totally ridiculous. Do not skip this promo if anything just to look at Ventura’s hilarious outfit.

Mr. T (with Joe Frazier and Haiti Kid) vs Rowdy Roddy Piper (with Bob Orton and Lou Duva)

Mr. T gets in the ring, grabs the mic and starts telling the crowd how much he loves his momma. Piper runs up to him, yells, “Tiger Uppercut” and knocks off Mr. T’s head. McMahon yells, "Flawless victory" and this PPV ends on a high note. Ok, that didn’t happen, but man it would have been fun to see. Boxing has no place in wrestling, but the legitimate hatred between Piper and Mr. T at least added an air of “is this a shoot or is this a work”.

Randomly during a break in the action Susan St. James tells McMahon that she is all wet… Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

WAKE UP!! Credit: WWE
WAKE UP!! Credit: WWE

Throughout the match, Piper was the more aggressive of the two. Piper pounds on Mr. T until Mr. T crumbles to the mat. Mr. T manages to get back on his feet. In the following rounds, Mr. T gets the better of Piper. As the battle rages on, it degenerates into a full-on slugfest. Both competitors lose their mouthpieces. Piper gets frustrated, pushes the referee and bodyslams Mr. T.

Winner- Mr. T (by DQ)

Grade: 6/10

Defining moment in the match: The dastardly deeds by Roddy Piper. Piper exemplified what it used to mean to be a villain. That truly is a lost art.

Matches from the Rosemont Horizon - Commentary by Gorilla Monsoon and Gene Okerlund. Kathy Lee Crosby

WWF Women’s Title Match: The Fabulous Moolah (c) vs Velvet McIntyre

If you have never seen a Fabulous Moolah match, this isn’t the one you want to watch. Moolah is a vicious competitor and she starts off hot. Whipping McIntyre by her hair all over the ring. McIntyre manages to hit a dropkick but she ends up getting pinned after missing a splash off the top rope. This match was less than two minutes. Very disappointing.

Winner- The Fabulous Moolah

Grade: 4/10

Defining moment in the match: This writer wondering if it would have been more exciting to have a V8

Corporal Kirchner vs Nikolai Volkoff (with Freddie Blassie)

Volkoff is a regular house of fire to start the match. Kirchner interrupted Volkoff’s singing of the Soviet National Anthem so that all the motivation Volkoff needed. During the beat down, the ref gets knocked down. Blassie tries to throw Volkoff his cane, but Kirchner intercepts it and clocks Volkoff with it for the win.

Winner- Corporal Kirchner

Grade: 5/10

Defining moment in the match: Considering this was another three-minute match, there really wasn’t anything to write home about here. The only thought that comes to mind is the following: how did Corporal Kirchner end up in Japan wrestling as (Super) Leatherface? Talk about playing two very different sides of a coin.

WWF vs. NFL 20-man Battle Royal

Since battle royals are tough to call and at this point I am ready to jump off a bridge watching this show, we are going to focus on this writer's random thoughts as the match progresses.

Bombs away! Credit: WWE
Bombs away! Credit: WWE

- At one point Dan Spivey was known as “Golden Boy” Danny Spivey… Let that just sink in for a second.

- Hillbilly Jim must have found the hillbilly fountain of youth because he still looks the same now as he did in 1986.

- His name is not “King Tonga”, damn it! His name is freaking MENG!!!

- No one had as much heat as the Iron Sheik on the way to the ring.

- Jeez, Danny Spivey looks like a deflated version of 80’s Hulk Hogan

- Never understood Big John Studds appeal… Ever.

- Bill Fralic has the look of a legit pro wrestler. It’s a bit surprising McMahon didn’t try to lure him to work for the WWE full time.

- The Hart Foundation is the greatest tag team in the history of the WWE. If you don’t agree, it’s ok. Everyone is wrong now and again.

- The Refrigerator William Perry was by far the most over person in the match. André the Giant was a close second.

- The crowd popped hard when André and Studd locked up.

- The crowd also went nuts when Studd tosses Refrigerator Perry over the top rope.

- Studd falling for the old, “I want a handshake while I’m on the outside of the ring during a battle royal and I am obviously going to pull you over the top rope bit “ (say that three times fast) was silly.

- André the Giant manages to dump out both members of the Hart Foundation because, you know, science.

Winner- André the Giant

Grade: 7/10

Defining moment in the match: watching crazy @$$ Dan Spivey try to act like a classic white meat babyface. Seriously, between MC. Orndorff and the real American Dan Spivey, this PPV is like Bizzaro world. Imagine if instead of Spivey’s Waylon Mercy character Bray Wyatt drew his inspiration from “Golden Boy”. Ugh… Wyatt would be the eater of prayers and vitamins instead of worlds.

WWF Tag Team Title Match: The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) (with Ozzy Osbourne and Captain Lou Albano) vs The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) (c) (with Johnny Valiant)

It's impossible to could cover a match featuring Luscious Johnny V and not go off on a tangent about one of the funniest promos this writer has ever seen.

Watching Dynamite and Davey Boy work is and always will be a thing of beauty. The crispness of their slams/suplexes leaves nothing to be desired. Say what you will about Dynamite as a person, but as a wrestler, the late Chris Benoit picked the right person to pattern his style after. Valentine has always been underrated in this writer’s opinion.

Anyone else finds the pairing of Beefcake and Valentine strange?

Beefcake wasn’t exactly a catch-as-catch-can expert… or was he? Not exactly sure what the heck catch–as-catch-can means, but it sounds good when Jim Ross says it.

This tag match has been by far the best match of the night. The match went back and forth and included a slew of exciting high spots. This writer never gets tired of seeing Davy Boy’s running power slam. Davey Boy pushes Valentine head first into Dynamite, as he is perched on the top rope. Dynamite goes flying to the outside as Davey boy falls on the prone body of Valentine for the three count.

Winners- The British Bulldogs

Grade: 8/10

Defining moment in the match: Davey Boy turning Beefcake’s armbar into a gorilla press slam. Impressive stuff.

New tag champs! Credit: WWE
New tag champs! Credit: WWE

Matches from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena- Commentary by Lord Alfred Hayes, Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Mistress Elvira

Ricky “ The Dragon” Steamboat vs Hercules Hernandez

Funny… I don’t remember Hernandez rocking the He-Man inspired entrance attire. How did they not get sued? Hernandez rushes Steamboat as soon as the bell rings. Steamboat surprises Hernandez with multiple deep armdrags and a standing armbar. Hernandez and Steamboat trade reversals. This match ran at a much higher pace than a match featuring Hernandez would be expected to.

Both Ventura and Elvira suggest that Hernandez needs to start cheating to take control of this match again. Who knew Elvira would be a natural heel. Steamboat gets the dupe after a flying cross body off the top rope.

Winner- Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Grade: 7/10

Defining moment in the match: Steamboat lighting Hernandez up with multiple, scintillating knife-edge chops.

Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart) - Uncle Elmer

Uncle Elmer… wrestled? Fun fact #1: Not only did he wrestle, Uncle Elmer was super over with the Los Angeles crowd. Fun fact #2 Uncle Elmer is a dead ringer for Dom DeLuise.

Uncle Elmer is a regular house of fire as soon as the bell rings. At one point Uncle Elmer hits Adonis so hard he falls over himself (yes, you read that right). After a brief exchange, Uncle Elmer missed a leg drop. Adonis goes up top and crushes Uncle Elmer with a diving fist drop for the win.

Winner- Adrian Adonis

Grade: 3/10

Defining moment in the match: Elvira’s commentary was pretty hilarious.

Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with Hulk Hogan. Question: Did Hogan ever have a full head of hair? The world will never know. In any event, Hogan tells us that Bundy may have put him in the hospital before but that isn’t going to stop him from climbing out of the cage and winning the match.

Terry Funk and Hoss Funk (with Jimmy Hart) - Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana

JYD and Santana take turns slamming the Funks over and over again. Both Hoss and Terry retreat to the outside after the hot start by JYD and Santana. Side note: why the heck are they calling Dory Funk, Hoss Funk? So strange. JYD takes Terry by the head and slams him into almost ever turnbuckle in the ring. So far the team of Santana and JYD are quite literally beating the Funks from pillar to post.

The Thump! Credit: WWE
The Thump! Credit: WWE

The Funks take control after a crisscross into a knee to the back by Terry Funk. Jimmy Hart berates Santana via his megaphone as Terry puts the boots to him. After JYD get the hot tag, Terry Funk tries to choke JYD with his wrist tape. This has no effect on JYD. JYD back body drops Terry Funk over the top rope. JYD follows Terry Funk and body slams him through a table next to the ring. Hoss breaks up the pin attempt. Santana grabs Hoss and puts him in the figure four… for some reason. During the confusion, Jimmy Hart tosses Terry Funk the megaphone and he clocks JYD with it for the win.

Winners- Terry and Hoss Funk

Grade: 7/10

Defining moment in the match: How over everything JYD did was with the crowd. He could have been reading the phone book and the crowd would go crazy for it. JYD was almost as over as Hulk Hogan. Can’t help but wonder if McMahon misses a huge opportunity with JYD.

Mean Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan. For some reason, Hogan is working out in the background. They air a video package that recounts King Kong Bundy’s assault on Hogan during “Saturday Night’s Main Event”.

Hulk Hogan (c) - King Kong Bundy (with Bobby Heenan)

Hogan jumps all over Bundy as soon as the bell rings. Hogan is in firm control until Bundy attacks Hogan’s injured Ribs. Bundy removes Hogan’s waist tape and chokes him with it. Bundy ties Hogan to the ring rope with the tape and tries to exit the cage door. Hogan breaks the tape and stops Bundy from leaving. Hogan is supposed to be the face here, but he is essentially the only competitor utilizing the steel cage. After a few well-placed headshots into the cage, Bundy is busted wide open. The wrath of Hogan has Bundy wearing the proverbial crimson mask. Did anyone see that coming?

Weeeeeee! Credit: WWE
Weeeeeee! Credit: WWE

Hogan attempts a body slam, but Bundy lands on top of Hogan. So far Hogan’s strategy has been flawless, but that wasn’t a smart move. Bundy avalanches Hogan in the corner. Bundy follows that up with his death-from-above-standing splash. Bundy almost makes it out of the cage, but Hogan once again stops him. Bundy avalanches Hogan again, but Hogan Hulks up. Hogan body slams Bundy. Hogan hits the leg drop as well. Bundy tries to stop Hogan from climbing over the top of the cage, but to no avail. Hogan makes it to the floor.

Winner- Hulk Hogan

Grade: 7/10

Defining moment in the match: Watching Hulk Hogan go sickhouse on King Kong Bundy. Seriously, that was a pretty vicious beating.

After the match, Hogan beats up Bobby Heenan.

This PPV was a mixed bag, to say the least. Some of the names/matches on the card don’t make a lot of sense when you put in into the perspective of what we expect a WrestleMania card to be. Honestly, most of these matches are matches you would see on Saturday morning Superstars or Sunday afternoon Challenge. In addition to that, more than 70% of the card suffers due to the screwy finishes and quick run times. It’s hard to become invested in a match if the wrestlers are only given two minutes and a count out finish to work with.

That said the matches that actually had time (the tag team title match, the Funks - JYD, and the main event cage match) were fun to watch. With 12 matches on the card thought it would be impossible to rate the overall show very highly.

Overall Grade: 5/10

Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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