OSR: WWE WrestleMania 1 Review (1985)

WrestleMania 1 Review

Image result for transparent wrestlemania 1 logo

OSR: WWE WrestleMania 1 Review (1985)

Back on March 31st 1985, we bore witness to a WWE tradition. WrestleMania was born from Madison Square Garden. This was officially the beginning of the wrestling boom. Over 30 years later, this remains a WWE tradition. Now is the time to look back with the WrestleMania 1 Review. The event featured many of the stars of the time. The main event featured Hulk Hogan teaming with Mr T to battle Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Certainly a way to get WrestleMania going…

The show opened with a very basic stills promo showing the various matches from throughout the night, including some of the special guests for the event. We then went inside Madison Square Garden by the commentary team, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura. We then went to Howard Finkel, who introduced Gene Okerlund to sing (what the hell) “America the Beautiful”. Following on from this, we the first of many matches for the event took place.

1. Tito Santana vs. The Executioner

The match got underway with Santana initially in control of the match. The Executioner did gain control of the match , but Santana was able to regain the advantage again and eventually nail his patent Flying Forearm. This allowed him to lock in the Figure for the win in a credible opening match.

Winner: Tito Santana

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

2. King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Special Delivery Jones

With both men in the ring, the match quickly began. Bundy uses his power to squash Jones. In a matter of seconds, he picked up the win over Jones following a big splash. It did wonders for Bundy in helping to establish him, but it was overall slightly pointless.

Winner: King Kong Bundy

Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

3. Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne

Both men are introduced to the match, with Steamboat receiving a nice reaction. The match gets underway which was initially back and forth. Steamboat soon gains the control of the mach, eventually nailing a Flying Crossbody for the victory. An okay but short and forgettable match.

Winner: Ricky Steamboat

Match Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

4. David Sammartino (w/ Bruno Sammartino) vs. Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant)

With Beefcake and Valiant in the ring. David and Bruno then make their way to the ring. The focus is made all about Bruno who receives a tremendous reaction, whereas the actual competitors become an after thought.

The match gets underway, and was battled in a traditional way by David, whilst Beefcake uses a more aggressive and defensive style. Ultimately, this leads to a very contrasting style in the match, but one that doesn’t really work well with one another.

Valiant quickly attacked David, which causes Bruno to go after him leading to all four men brawling in the ring leading to a double disqualification for both competitors. The issue being by this point, the fans had lost interest and were only interested in Bruno.

Winner: No-Contest, Double Disqualification

Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

5. WWE Intercontinental Championship: Greg Valentine (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Junkyard Dog

Greg Valentine makes his way out first, receiving a nice chorus of boos whilst The JYD receives a pretty decent reaction. JYD was the dominant force in the early moments of the match, utilizing a series of his signature moves.

Valentine, nonetheless uses his ring awareness and capability to power back against JYD. However, the match was quickly over when he is counted out following an appearance from Tito Santana. Valentine was pretty decent whereas JYD was average. Ultimately, this match was nothing special.

Winner: The Junkyard Dog, via Countout

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

6. WWE Tag Team Championship: The U.S Express (c) (w/ Lou Albano) vs. The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie)

The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff are out in the ring first, and generate themselves a lot of heat through the Russian National Anthem before Sheik goes on a mini rant at those in attendance. The US Express are out next, receiving a great reaction.

The match gets started with Sheik and Volkoff in control briefly, until Sheik accidentally nails his partner with a dropkick. The reaction for The US Express was incredible, who use aerial tactics to control the match. Sheik and Volkoff have some brief offence, until the hot tag to Windham.

The US Express were exceptionally dominant throughout the match, but it is when The Sheik nails Windham with Blassie’s cane which allows the victory in a surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable match.

Winner: The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship

Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

7. $15,000 Body Slam Challenge: Big John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant

The possible outcomes for this match is teased by the announcers, as both competitors make their way to the ring with Andre receiving a tremendous reaction. Studd quickly goes for Andre, but is soon overcome by massive slaps and headbutts.

The match in itself was pretty diabolical, with no real moves just kicks and punches. Eventually nonetheless, Andre is able to pick up the win when he is able to slam Studd before tossing the $15,000 into the crowd.

Winner: Andre the Giant

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

8. WWE Women’s Championship: Leilani Kai (c) (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) vs. Wendi Richter (w/ Cyndi Lauper)

Both ladies and their managers are out in the ring, with Lauper and Richter getting very good reactions. The match is soon underway, with it being very technically sound with Leilani Kai in control of the match. Moolah becomes involved, grabbing Wendi by the hair but is soon stopped by Cyndi.

Wendi is able to fight pack, nailing Leilani with an almost aeroplane spin come slam. Leilani soon fights back again, nailing a crossbody which Wendi rolls through to get the pinfall. An average match, where Leilani clearly out wrestled Wendi.

Winner: Wendi Richter, to capture the WWE Women’s Championship

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

9. Hulk Hogan and Mr T (w/ Jimmy Snuka) vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (w/ Bob Orton) with Special Guest Referees: Muhammad Ali and Pat Patterson

Both teams made their way to the ring, with Hogan and Mr T receiving a tremendous reaction. Piper and Orndorff receive a very hostile reaction, thanks in part to the Bag Piper rendition. The overall atmosphere for this match was electric from the outset,

The match began with Piper and Mr T staring one another down, before Mr T does an aeroplane spin to Piper which infuriated him massively. This leads to a massive brawl between the competitors. Piper and Orndorff soon dominated the action, with Hogan being the victim.

Mr T soon received the tag, quickly taking out both Piper and Orndorff. Eventually, Hogan and Mr T pick up the win after Orton accidentally nailed Orndorff with his arm cast. The wrestling contest was average, but the electricity in the match made up for it.

Winner: Hulk Hogan and Mr T

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

Has it not being for the various names which appeared, it is difficult to work out how this show would be remembered. Unfortunately, in terms of in-ring quality, it was very much a washout. There was no particular standout matches from the show. The event itself is memorable enough to make it standout. However, the role of the manager was very clear throughout the event. The likes of Freddie Blassie, Lou Albano and The Fabulous Moolah certainly added a very different aspect to the matches they were present. 

The show will always standout for being the beginning of a tradition. It featured all of the notable superstars of the time within the WWE. The card was very much a who’s who of WWE superstars back in 1985. As long as there is no expectation for this event in terms of wrestling quality, then this show is definitely worth watching. Whilst it took taken several attempts to watch, it was still certainly worth the watch. This can be done as part of the 9.99 Subscription Fee to the WWE Network. Who created WrestleMania? Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper or Vince McMahon? Let the decision be made with the WWE WrestleMania 1 Review!

 What are the views of the WWE WrestleMania 1 Review? Tell us what you think!

Image Credit: FindYourInner.ca & TJR Wrestling.net

About Dave Harper 849 Articles
Dave Harper is a writer for Wrestling's Dirty Deeds. Born a Brummie, and proud of it...passionate about wrestling, family, friends, good cider and the railway (no I'm not a train spotter)

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