Reviewing WrestleMania: WrestleMania VII
Credit: WWE

Reviewing WrestleMania: WrestleMania VII

We are currently on the road to WrestleMania 32! With 32 WrestleMania’s in the bag, why not take a moment to review the shows that lead up to the 32nd edition of the Granddaddy of them all? Today we take a moment to review the most patriotic WrestleMania- WrestleMania VII.

Lovell-Porter
Lovell Porter

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) - The Barbarian and Haku (with Bobby Heenan)

Before the match, the artist soon to be known as the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels delivers a surprisingly crappy promo. The Rockers version of Shawn Michaels should never, ever have a mic in front of him. They didn’t even give poor Marty Jannetty a chance to speak. Well, not that we are missing anything there, but still.

Even as a child it was obvious that when the bad guy(s) were already in the ring there is no way they were going to win the match. Guess who was already in the ring after the promo ends? Go on, guess!

The Barbarian and Haku got in their normal power spots. They were an underrated tag team in their day. The Rockers essentially use their speed to gain the advantage and the victory. This was a moderately entertaining match, but nothing to write home about.

Winner- The Rockers

Grade: 5/10

The original super kick party! Credit: WWE

Defining moment: Shawn Michaels getting the pin after a crossbody off the top. Seriously, how can you win a match with that? Maybe if it was the 1991 or something… oh, wait.

“The Texas Tornado” Kerry von Erich vs Dino Bravo (with Jimmy Hart)

Kerry von Erich’s entrance attire appears to have been run through a paper shredder. Also, who remembered that Dino Bravo was still in the WWF at this point? This was a pretty quick match. Bravo “jumped” off the second rope right into the iron claw of Von Erich. After an extended claw spot, Von Erich floors Bravo with his tornado punch thingie.

Winner- The Texas Tornado

Grade: 3/10

Defining Moment: This writer realizing he does not and will never understand Kerry Von Erich’s appeal.

There is a backstage segment with the Warlord and his manager “The Doctor of Style” Slick. The only reason this is worth mentioning is because of the following: why the hell is Slick managing Warlord? Slick is essentially a Mississippi pimp, and Warlord is… well… a… err cyborg? Makes no sense. It would make way more sense for Slick to manage a big fat white African guy who talks like Dusty Rhodes. Where can we find one of those…

Yeah... so this happened... Credit: WWE

The British Bulldog vs The Warlord (with Slick)

This match is exactly what you expect it to be. Each competitor trying to out power the other. Bulldog gets hip to the fact that he is faster than Warlord and attempts to use his speed to his advantage. Sound logic, but the Warlord grounds Bulldog, making his speed advantage null and void.

This is going to shock you, but this was actually a pretty fun match. Warlord isn't known for being a ring general by any stretch of the imagination, but with his power moves and Bulldog’s selling this writer couldn’t help but become somewhat invested in the outcome of the match. Warlord slaps on the full nelson, but Bulldog breaks it and flattens Warlord with the running power slam for the win.

Winner- The British Bulldog

Grade: 7/10

Defining Moment: Bulldog being the first person to break Warlords full nelson. This might be hard for you young whippersnappers to understand, but back in the late 80’s, the full nelson was still quite a legit finisher. Warlord was being pushed a bit at this time. Bulldog breaking the hold definitely helped legitimatize him as a singles competitor.

So… There is a Nasty Boys promo up next. You know what? The Nasty Boys are awful. The fact that they are even in the ring with the Hart Foundation is comical at best. It’s best to just act as if this never happened. Go on. Move on to the next paragraph. Shoo!

Tag Team Championship Match: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) (with Jimmy Hart) - The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) (c)

Early on the Hart Foundation are in firm control of the match. They literally beat the Nasty Boys from pillar to post. The Hart Foundation is always fun to watch, but its hard not to wonder what how this match was booked to happen. It was more than 20 years ago, so this writer would be hard-pressed to remember what led to this match. *googles ferociously * ok… there was no build the Nasty Boys won a seven-team battle royal to earn this tag title shot.

The Hart Foundation hit the heart attack clothesline, but as the referee is distracted Saggs hits Neidhart in the back with Jimmy Hart’s motorcycle helmet. For some reason, this was enough to keep the almost 300 pound Neidhart down for a three count. Wrestling is all about suspension of disbelief, but come on!

Winners- The Nasty Boys

Grade: 6/10

Defining Moment: The weak finish killed what little momentum this match had.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts lets us know before the next match that snakes actually have six senses. For some reason unbeknownst to this writer and the rest of the world that means snakes do everything better. We all love Roberts, but what the bleepity bleep is he talking about?

Blindfold Match: Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel

This was way stupider than it looks. Credit: WWE

On paper, this match looks ridiculous. In actuality, it’s TOTALLY ridiculous. Please don’t misunderstand: one of the great things about wrestling is the totally ridiculous nature of most of it. Saying that might be a bit hypocritical considering my thoughts on the Hart Foundation - Nasty Boys match, but come on! The ending of that match was just insulting.

It is way more conceivable that Rick Martel would somehow be able to blind Jake Roberts with his perfume to the point where one of his corneas would turn opaque. It makes perfect sense for Robert’s cornea to return, and for him to decide the best way to get revenge is to fight the person who blinded him while blindfolded. Yup… way more believable. Sign me up for that!  

Who knew watching two grown men with bags on their heads fumbling around the ring would be so entertaining. The crowd participation definitely added to the fun. Well ok, it was mild to moderate fun. Roberts stumbles into Martel and DDTs him to put this one to bed.

Winner- Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Grade: 6/10

Defining Moment: Robert’s showing Bray Wyatt how a nonsensical promo is done.

The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) - “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

This match wasn’t announced if memory serves. Snuka managed very little offense in this match. Snuka botches a springboard, which allows Undertaker to hit the tombstone. That was pretty much it.

Winner- The Undertaker

Grade: 5/10

Defining Moment: Even though there wasn’t much to this match, it is still Undertakers first WrestleMania victory. That counts for something.

Retirement Match: The Ultimate Warrior vs “Macho King” Randy Savage (with Queen Sherri)

Its funny, Savage makes his way to the ring with all of the expected pomp and circumstance (pun intended). Warrior, however, walks to the ring as if he's in a funeral procession. Since both of their careers are on the line both competitors attacked each other with a ferocity that was really seen by either. It was obvious how this match would shake out, but you have to give Savage props for going so far out of his way to put Warrior over.

Warrior should have never eaten Savage's pizza rolls... Credit: WWE

At one point during the match, Savage attempted a top rope cross body, but Warrior catches him in midair. Warrior doesn’t slam him; Warrior stands him up and just slaps him in the face. This may sound silly but that move rubbed this writer the wrong way. It was the first of many subtle digs/slights of Savage during the match. There is putting someone over and then there is… well... what this was. Warrior destroyed Savage for 90% of the match.

Halfway through the match, Savage throws a chair into the ring. Without missing a beat Warrior is immediately drawn to the chair as if he were a cat and it was a laser pointer dot. Pretty funny stuff.

It would be impossible to talk about this match and not mention Queen Sherri’s efforts. This might as well been a handicap match; Sherri was as involved in this match as Warrior or Savage. Sherri is an underrated manager and an even more underrated wrestler.

Savage unloads five top rope elbow drops on Warrior. Warrior somehow manages to kick out. Savage continues his assault, but Warrior fires up and gorilla press slams Savage. Then a running splash by Warrior. Savage kicks out. The camera keeps panning towards Elizabeth in the crowd, which is a brilliant move by whoever is producing the show. The look of concern on her face humanizes both competitors.

After Savage kicks out of Warriors finish, Warrior looks confused. You would think someone threw a chair into the ring or something.  Warrior points to the heavens and tries to leave the ring, but the referee explains to him that he would be forfeiting the match in doing so. The look of shock/awe/confusions on Warrior’s face was priceless. The only thing missing here was “This Can’t Be Life” by Jay-Z playing over the loudspeakers. Warrior shoulder blocks Savage three times and pins him with his foot on his chest. Yes, you read that correctly. Three shoulder blocks and a foot on the chest.

Obviously Savage had to have been ok with the finish for it to go down that way. He may have been ok, but this writer isn’t. Never mind the fact that he was “retired” by quite frankly a lesser opponent the manner in which it happened in left a lot to be desired. Weak finishing sequence and downright disrespectful pinning combination took away from the match. After winning, Warrior puts his entrance attire back on (what!?) and gets back in the ring and puts his foot on Savage's chest one more time just in case we didn’t get it the first time (double what!?!?).

Guess Warrior really wanted those pizza rolls. Credit: WWE

Winner- Ultimate Warrior

Grade: 8/10

Defining moment: Finish aside, the defining moment here is obviously Elizabeth running down to save Savage from the vengeful Queen Sherri.

Genichiro Tenryu and Kōji Kitao defeated Demolition (Smash and Crush) (with Mr. Fuji)

This match looked fun on paper until it became apparent that we were getting Demolition-lite. The Smash and Crush version of Demolition never really clicked. Demolition worked over Kitao for most of the match. Demolition almost hit decapitation, but Kitao breaks it up. Tenryu powerbombs Smash for the three count

Winners- Genichiro  Tenryu and Kōji Kitao 

Grade: 4/10

Defining Moment: Wondering how many racist comments Heenan could get in during the commentary of the match. Spoiler alert: 157

Intercontinental Championship match: Big Boss Man vs Mr. Perfect (c) (with Bobby Heenan)

Before the match starts, Perfect tosses his towel at Boss Man. Boss Man catches it, wipes his butt with it and throws it in Perfect’s face. Fun fact: Boss Man was super over back in the 90s. Boss Man spent most of the match tossing Perfect around like a rag doll, before taking off his belt and whipping Perfect with it. Perfect turns the tables after wrapping Boss Man’s belt around his fist and decking Boss Man with it. Perfect sold every move by Boss Man as if a grenade exploded near him.

André the Giant walks down to the ring and stalks Heenen. Perfect tries to get in André’s face, but André clocks him with the title belt. The match ends in a disqualification due to the Haku and the Barbarian running in and attacking Boss Man in front of the referee.

Winner- Big Boss Man (DQ)

Grade: 7/10

Defining Moment: The surprising walk-in (heh) by André. Totally forgot about him getting involved in the match. It’s hard not to have a soft spot for The Giant.

Earthquake (with Jimmy Hart) - Greg Valentine

Valentine managed way more offense in this match than you would expect. If memory serves, Earthquake was in the middle of a push so the fact that Valentine was able to get Earthquake off his feet is shocking. Earthquake needed a distraction from Jimmy Hart to set up the Earthquake splash for the victory.

Winner- Earthquake

Grade: 4/10

Defining Moment: Greg Valentine’s hair. Seriously, is that Prell? He must use Prell. You know what? Valentine might be more of an Herbal Essences kind of guy.

The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) - Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma) (with Slick)

Power and Glory cost the Legion of Doom a shot at the WWF tag team titles. So… yeah… Power and Glory were survived by Reverend Slick and a German Shepherd they both shared. Power (formally known as Hercules before being power slammed so hard his body exploded) and Glory (formally known as Paul Roma before being decapitated by the doomsday device)... wait, we are spending way to much time on the dearly departed Power and Glory. Just know that this match didn’t last long at all.

...and its gone! Credit: WWE

Winners- The Legion of Doom

Grade: 10/10 (only b/c this PPV has entirely too many matches and I am ready to jump out a window if it goes on any longer)

Defining Moment: Shao Khan yelling, “finish him!” right before Paul Roma’s head popped off.

Virgil (with Roddy Piper) - “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase 

Ted DiBiase is an insanely underrated performer, both in the ring and on the microphone. It’s a shame he never won a singles title in the WWE. It’s also shameful that he is in a match against Virgil at WrestleMania. Listen this may have been a hot angle back in the day, but looking back at it Virgil was just too terrible to make any of this stuff believable. Think about it: why would they insert Roddy Piper into the proceedings if they thought Virgil could carry it on his own?

Virgil is supposed to be a boxer but his punches look awful. RVD’s punches look more convincing. There was a funny spot were Virgil tries to give Piper dap, but Piper had no idea what to do so he just grabs his hand and shakes it. DiBiase attacks Piper, which leads to DiBiase getting counted out. After the match, DiBiase attacks Piper and Virgil with the help of Queen Sherri.

Winner- Virgil

Grade: 3/10

Defining Moment: Seriously?

The Mountie (with Jimmy Hart) - Tito Santana

Tito Santana gets the early advantage, but The Mountie shocks him with the shock stick to get the win.

Winner- The Mountie

Grade: 2/10

Defining Moment: Again, seriously??

Mean Gene Okerlund is backstage with Hulk Hogan. Hogan tells Sgt. Slaughter that he is a big meanie (sorry, Hogan’s 90s tough talk is the equivalent of a five-year-old trying to roast you on the playground during recess) for burning a Hulkamania shirt on Superstars the week before.

WWF World Title Match: Hulk Hogan vs Sgt. Slaughter (c) (with General Adnan)

Before the match starts Hogan chases Slaughter all around ringside. Once the referee regains control of the match, Hogan tries to maul Slaughter. They end up in the corner jocking for position. This wouldn’t be a Hogan match if he didn’t employ heel tactics; Hogan pushes the referee down on two occasions. Why? Just because that’s why. Hogan manhandles Slaughter for the first few minutes. Slaughter bounces around the ring, in the same manner, The Rock did every time he faced Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the day.

Hogan is firmly in control until General Adnan gets involved. Slaughter beats down Hogan and then puts him in the Boston crab. Hogan gets to the rope, but Slaughter thinks Hogan submitted. Once Slaughter realizes the match isn’t over he continues the assault. Slaughter drops a knee to Hogan’s back from the top rope. While the referee is distracted Slaughter hits Hogan in the head with a chair, which bust Hogan wide open. Slaughter locks in the camel clutch as blood pours from Hogan’s head.

This really should be on a t-shirt. Credit: WWE

Hogan stands up with Slaughter on his back but Hogan ends up getting driven chest first into the turnbuckle. Slaughter drapes the Iraq flag on Hogan’s chest and pins Hogan. Hogan kicks out with authority. Hogan tears the flag in half (isn’t that illegal?) and Hulks up on Slaughter. Hogan lands the big boot, followed by the leg drop for the win. After the match, Hogan grabs the American flag and waves it. Gorilla Monsoon exclaims that the war is now officially over. As soon as Monsoon said that the military in Iraq dropped their weapons and went home… at least that’s how this writer wants to picture it in his head.

Winner- Hulk Hogan

Grade 7/10

Defining Moment: The image of Hogan in the camel clutch bleeding profusely. Before Bret Hart was able to get blood from a stone, Sgt. Slaughter was able to get blood from an immortal.

Overall WrestleMania VII was a moderately entertaining show. It didn’t suffer from the same pitfalls as the last WrestleMania this writer reviewed, but it was far from a perfect show. The one to watch here is definitely the Ultimate Warrior - Macho King match. It had all of the drama and excitement that most fans look for in a match. Just look past the utter disrespect Warrior showed at the end of the match. It’s hard not to ding the PPV's overall grade because there were so many matches on the card that A) had no business being on a WrestleMania (why the hell is Dino Bravo - Kerry Von Erich on the card?) and B) had nonsensical placement on the card.

Overall Grade: 6/10

Check out our Review of WrestleMania II!

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

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