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WrestleMania 2: 
Bigger, Badder...  Better?
October 23, 2003

by Adam Gutschmidt 
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Emanating from 3, count them, 3 different locations: the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York....   the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois..... and the L.A. Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.

Your commentators are: Vince McMahon and Susan St. James in New York.......  Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund and Cathy Lee Crosby in Chicago........  and Jesse “the Body” Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes and Elvira in Los Angeles.

- Vince kicks things off by introducing Ray Charles.  He sings “America the Beautiful” with a hotter mic than Bobbi and Marty Culp ever had.

- Mean Gene says hi from Chi-town and then intros pre-recorded comments by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper about his match tonight.  Piper says that if Mr. T can knock him out tonight, he would quit boxing, wrestling, tiddlywinks and women.  Sadly, I notice alcohol was not included in that list.

New York portion

Opening Match: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. “The Magnificent” Don Muraco

An interesting technique is used as the audio of the combatants’ promos is played as the match begins.  Things are pretty even to start as both men trade bodyslams.  Orndorff takes control with an armbar on Muraco.  Muraco breaks free with a Samoan drop.  A slugfest breaks out in the corner and both men tumble to the floor.  They continue to brawl on the outside until the referee counts both men out.  Already??  Evidently the crowd agrees with me as a loud “bullsh*t” chant starts.

Bottom Line: That match was insultingly short for that finish.  I’m not saying they’re capable of delivering ***** matches, but putting these two into such a short match is a waste of their talents.  Horrible opener.  ¼ *

- Mr. T begins his promo by saying he’s not much for talking.  He lets his fists do the talking.  He then proceeds to ramble on for another couple of minutes.  Meanwhile, you can hear in the background Howard Finkel’s announcement on the decision of the last match.  This is Wrestlemania 2 guys, all the production problems should be gone by now.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (champ) vs. George “the Animal” Steele

Steele begins to chase Macho, so he bails to the outside.  The chase goes on for a few minutes until Steele finally grabs Macho’s leg and starts to bite him.  As Steele begins to leer at Elizabeth, Macho takes the opportunity to nail him from behind.  Now in control, Macho hits a bodypress from the top rope.  Macho covers but Steele heaves him off on 2.  Steele blocks a clothesline by biting Macho’s arm.  Macho grabs a bouquet of flowers that were meant for Elizabeth and nails Steele with them.  Steele responds, of course, by biting.  Now Steele goes for more technical stuff like rubbing turnbuckle padding in Macho’s face.  Once again, Steele goes after Elizabeth and this time it allows Macho to hit him with a double ax handle from the top rope.  Macho follows that up with a body slam and the flying elbow but all that gets is a 2 count.  Steele beats up Macho in the corner so the referee begins to admonish him.  When Steele goes back to the corner, Macho grabs him and pins him putting his feet on the ropes.

Postmatch: Steele consoles himself by eating another turnbuckle and then chases the referee.

BL: Another poor finish.  They should have ended it with the Macho elbow.  There’s no reason to protect Steele as they should realize Macho is the future and George is not.  Luckily, Macho was able to overcome embarrassing matches like these.  *

- Vince sends it to Mean Gene who interviews the Atlanta Falcons’ Bill Fralic and Big John Studd.  Studd makes cheap cracks about football while Fralic calls Studd, “dud”.  Calling this a battle of half-wits would be an insult to half-wits everywhere.

Jake “the Snake” Roberts vs. George Wells

Don’t know who George Wells is?  Don’t worry, neither do his parents.  He tries making a name for himself by immediately attacking Jake as he enters the ring.  Jake leapfrogs Wells but then gets hit with a shouldertackle.  Wells takes Jake down with a headscissors.  This has been all Wells to begin.  A powerslam by Wells gets 2.  Jake slows Wells’ momentum with a rake to the eyes.  Wells gets baited to follow Jake, who then nails him with a kneelift.  Jake, then, hits Wells with the DDT and it’s all over.

Postmatch: Jake wraps his python around Wells’ neck as Vince and Susan shriek in horror.

BL: I really hate when they have one guy dominate a match and then have the other guy hit one move and be able to win.  It doesn’t help either man.  It also doesn’t endear fans, evidently, as they remained fairly quiet for the whole match. ¾ *

- We get a video package highlighting the Piper/ Mr. T feud.  I’m sure Piper had some great lines here but I couldn’t hear them because they were drowned out by Finkel saying Jake was the winner of the match.

- Now Vince throws it out to Los Angeles where Ventura interviews Hulk Hogan.  It’s a tossup as to who looks goofier; Ventura in his usual wacky outfit or Hogan with that bandana draped over one eye.

10 Round Boxing Match: Mr. T vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

We drag out the glut of lame celebrities for this “main event”.  Your guest ring announcer is Joan Rivers.  Your guest judges are “Chocolate Thunder” Darryl Dawkins, Cab Calloway and G. Gordon Liddy.  Your guess timekeeper is “Herb”, who I’m not familiar with but appears to be some early version of Jamison.  In Round 1, nothing much happens as they spend most of their time on the ropes.  In Round 2, Piper traps T in a corner and knocks him down for a 7 count.  In Round 3, T comes back strong, knocking Piper down twice.  In Round 4, both men let loose and swing away.  Piper gets frustrated, knocks the referee down and bodyslams T.  The referee automatically calls for a disqualification.

BL: Another weak finish in a seemingly endless string of them today.  I’m no boxing enthusiast, but I doubt they would find this to be a great bout.  Still the crowd dynamic made things interesting as they were split even, rooting for Mr. T and Piper.  Piper’s antics also prevented this bout from being a dull affair.  **

Chicago portion

WWF Women’s Championship Match: The Fabulous Moolah (champ) vs. Velvet McIntyre

Moolah wastes no time and immediately hits Velvet with a number of snapmares.  Velvet leapfrogs Moolah and then gets her with a dropkick.  After bodyslamming Moolah, Velvet goes up but misses a splash from the second rope.  Moolah covers and gets the very quick victory.  Replays shows that Velvet’s foot was on the ropes but I guess the referee didn’t see it and/or didn’t care.

BL: All right folks.  Nothing to see here.  Go back to your homes and let us clean up this mess.  DUD

Flag Match: Nikolai Volkoff vs. Corporal Kirchner

Volkoff kicks away at Kirchner to start things.  The fight spills to the floor where Volkoff continues to dominate.  Back inside, Kirchner starts to comeback, as he bleeds from the forehead.  One of Kirchner’s punches accidentally knocks down the referee.  Freddie Blassie tries seizing the opportunity and tosses his cane to Volkoff.  Kirchner intercepts the toss and cracks Volkoff with the cane.  That shot is enough for Kirchner to pick up the victory and raise Old Glory. 

BL: Yet another short match, but this one is passable given the cheap heat win.  A match like this is optimally using both men’s talents.  Despite being a quick match, Kirchner still managed to get busted open which added a little something extra.  *

20 Man Battle Royal

We once again scrape the bottom of the celebrity barrel to pull out Clare “Where’s the Beef” Peller for guest timekeeper and Dick Butkus and Ed “Too Tall” Jones as guest referees.  The participants are Jimbo Covert from the Chicago Bears, Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin from the Dallas Cowboys, Dan Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga, The Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes from the Pittsburg Steelers, The Killer Bees, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic from the Atlanta Falcons, The Hart Foundation, Russ Francis from the San Francisco 49ers, Bruno Sammartino, William “Refrigerator” Perry from the Chicago Bears and Andre the Giant.

Jimbo and King Tonga become the first casualties as they were dumped while beating each other up.  Sammartino tosses out Ernie Holmes and the football players are not faring so well thus far.  The Hart Foundation team up to eliminate Jumping Jim Brunzell.  Arcidi is put to the floor by the Fridge, which draws a big pop from the crowd.  Harvey Martin and Pedro Morales eliminate each other as they were brawling by the ropes.  A bunch of guys gang up to get rid of Atlas.  Spivey swings at the Sheik but he ducks and dumps him.  Then he goes over and eliminates Hillbilly Jim and B. Brian Blair.  Massive boos for those eliminations.  Now the Sheik joins Studd in tossing out Fralic.  The Sheik’s reign of terror finally ends as Sammartino comes over and dumps him out.  Sammartino tries his luck with Studd, but ends up getting hiptossed to the floor.  The Fridge blasts the Hart Foundation with a football tackle that sends them over but not out.  Crowd loved that one.  Studd baits the Fridge to tackle him and when Perry charges, Studd sidesteps him and tosses him out.  The Fridge offers Studd a handshake and pulls him out of the ring.  The Final Four are Andre, the Hart Foundation and Russ Francis.  Francis must have had a “meeting” with Pat Patterson before the match to still be around.  The Hart Foundation double dropkick Andre causing him to get tied up in the ropes.  With Andre detained, the Hart Foundation easily eliminate Francis.  The Foundation double-team Andre initially, but after Andre booted a charging Bret, he was able to divide and conquer the Foundation and win another battle royal.

BL: It was mostly a blah battle royal, but they wisely used the football stars to draw some decent heat for the match.  Giving Andre the win was a nice touch and logical as it probably would have taken the other 19 guys to get him up and over.  **

- We head back to New York where Vince chats with Piper.  Piper spouts off his usual un-PC comments which we’ve all come to know and love.

- Back in Chicago, Gene gets Jimbo Covert and Iron Sheik’s thoughts on the Battle Royal.  I’ll save you the suspense and let you know they say nothing of interest.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Greg “the Hammer” Valentine and Brutus Beefcake vs. The British Bulldogs

Ozzy Osbourne is a special cornerman for the Bulldogs.  Davey Boy and Valentine slug it out with neither man gaining a real advantage.  Dynamite is tagged in and goes to work on Valentine’s head.  Faces are making frequent tags here in the opening minutes.  A delayed suplex by Davey Boy gets 2.  Valentine clobbers Davey Boy when he puts his head down and then tags Beefcake.  Beefcake tries working on Davey Boy’s arm without much success.  Small package gets 2 for Dynamite.  Fisherman’s suplex by Davey Boy gives the Bulldogs another nearfall.  Davey Boy foolishly allows Beefcake into his corner where he makes a tag.  Valentine hits Davey Boy with a suplex and then slows him down with a reverse chinlock.  Now Valentine returns the favor and stupidly allows Davey Boy into his corner for a tag.  Dynamite just pounds away on Valentine unmercilessly.  Sensing he’s in trouble, Valentine waves for Beefcake to come in and help him, but Beefcake isn’t much assistance.  A sunset flip by Dynamite gets 2.  Valentine finally gets some offense by nailing Dynamite with a piledriver.  Dynamite catches Valentine on the top rope and tosses him off.  As Dynamite covers, Valentine once again motions for Beefcake, but Davey Boy heads him off this time.  All four men brawl briefly.  Davey Boy hits Valentine with the running powerslam, but somehow Valentine still kicks out at 2.  Valentine whips Davey Boy to the corner where he rams his shoulder into the post.  The heels now work on said shoulder.  A shouldertackle by Valentine, who then covers but picks Davey Boy up at 2.  Valentine has been on defense for nearly the entire match, yet he has the ego to pick Davey Boy up at 2?  I hope he pays for that.  Sure enough, he does as shortly after that Davey Boy whips Valentine to the corner, where Dynamite headbutts him.  Davey Boy covers and gets the pinfall.  It should be noted that when Valentine and Dynamite butted heads, Dynamite fell to the floor and seemed to be knocked for a loop as he couldn’t even make it in the ring to celebrate.

BL: An odd match that had the Bulldogs in control from almost start to finish.  As I noted above, I don’t know why Valentine picked up Davey Boy near the end as it didn’t fit into the context of the match.  I wonder if Beefcake was injured because he hardly was involved.  **

Los Angeles portion

Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez

Hercules jumps Steamboat as the bell rings to gain an early advantage.  Steamboat uses his quickness to get right back into it.  The arm becomes the primary focus of Steamboat’s attack.  After a lengthy sequence of Steamboat working on Hercules’ arm, Hercules turns the tide by ramming Steamboat’s head and then hitting him with a huge clothesline.  Hercules catches Steamboat coming off the ropes and drops him throat-first onto the top rope.  Steamboat tries a bodyslam but Hercules falls on him.  A pair of elbows by Hercules gets a 2 count.  Steamboat tries coming back with some chops, but Hercules sends him right back down with a clothesline.  Hercules tries a splash from the top rope but Steamboat gets his knees up.  Steamboat then goes up and hits his bodypress which gets a 3 count.

BL: A very good outing as the match flowed back-and-forth nicely.  I would have liked it if Hercules had sold the arm more considering how long Steamboat worked on it, but I won’t be too nitpicky.  ** ¾

Adorable Adrian Adonis vs. Uncle Elmer

Jimmy Hart sprays Elmer with perfume, so Elmer commences attack on Adonis.  Elmer punches Adonis so hard that he falls down himself.  A dazed Adonis takes a breather on the floor.  As soon as Adonis is ready to get back in, Elmer knocks him right back out.  Elmer begins to rip Adonis’ dress and I’m wondering what Elmer’s intentions are here.  A belly bump by Elmer causes Adonis to fall back and get tied in the ropes.  Once freed, Adonis gets a few shots in on Elmer’s midsection.  That offense is fleeting as Elmer comes back and avalanches Adonis in the corner.  Elmer goes for a legdrop but whiffs.  Taking advantage of this, Adonis goes up and hits Elmer with a splash.  Adonis arrogantly covers and still gets a three count.

BL: There isn’t much more that I can say her that I didn’t say in the Jake Roberts/George Wells match.  Once again one man dominates the match only to lose after one move by his opponent.  This one was a little better only because Adonis is such a heat machine that it’s fun to see him get beat up.  * ¼

- Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Hogan about his title match.  Another Hogan promo?  One is a bit much for me.  How about talking to King Kong Bundy?  He might have something to say considering, you know, HE’S IN THE MATCH TOO!

The Funk Brothers vs. Tito Santana and Junkyard Dog

The Funks try an early double team but it backfires and JYD takes them both out.  Santana gets chopped down by Terry but comes back and clotheslines him to the floor.  Terry looks like he’s drunk out there.  JYD and Terry trade fisticuffs with JYD winning the battle.  Terry now is getting his head rammed so many times that the turnbuckle pad is starting to come loose.  A cover by JYD is broken up by Hoss.  Santana blasts Hoss with the flying forearm and this time it’s Terry who makes the save.  Criss-cross sequence between Hoss and Santana ends when Terry nails Santana from the apron.  Hoss dumps Santana to the floor where Jimmy Hart gets a few kicks in on him.  Terry hits Santana with a suplex and gets a 2 count.  A second one is blocked and reversed by Santana.  Heels are now getting frequent tags to work over Santana.  A missed legdrop by Terry gives Santana a chance to fight back.  Santana crawls and dodges Terry to finally make the hot tag.  Nice job to really charge the crowd up for that tag.  JYD now takes on both Funks with ease.  Terry tries choking JYD with a strap but JYD headbutts him.  JYD then backdrops Terry to the floor.  That was a sick bump.  On the floor, JYD slams Terry onto the timekeepers table.  Geez, this is getting crazy.  Back inside, JYD grabs Jimmy and gives him a shot.  A small package by JYD gets 2 on Terry.  Santana slaps the figure four on Hoss even though neither are legal.  With all the mass confusion, Jimmy is able to toss Terry the megaphone and he nails JYD with it.  That’s enough to give the Funks the cheap victory.

BL: Match of the night honors so far.  Some good fast-paced action early on, followed by a crazy and brutal finish.  Terry took some wicked bumps and appeared to have legitimally hurt his knee by the end of the match.  Good stuff all around and it kept the crowd entertained all the way through.  *** ½

- A video package highlighting the reasons for the Hogan/Bundy match and it includes yet another promo by Hogan, this time with Mean Gene.  “The ribs are hurtin brutha, but I have to defend my title, dude.”  Yeah, we get it already.

- Finally we hear from Bundy who is interviewed by Ventura.  Bundy says that history shows that whenever he and Hogan meet, Hogan gets hurt.  He’s basing this on one incident, mind you.  I’m gonna need a little bit more proof than that.  Now if he said everytime Hogan gives a promo I get hurt, then he would be onto something.

Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan (champ) vs. King Kong Bundy

We get our final slew of celebrities as Tommy Lasorda plays ring announcer, Ricky Schroeder plays timekeeper and Robert Conrad plays referee.  A slugfest breaks out right away with Hogan winning it.  Hogan gives Bundy a big boot, but it only dazes him.  It’s all Hogan to start and he’s giving him everything he’s got, yet Bundy won’t drop.  Bundy blocks Hogan’s attempt to ram his head in the cage and then nails Hogan in the back.  Bundy begins to tear off the bandages on Hogan’s ribs.  Bundy ties Hogan to the ropes with the bandages and tries to escape but Hogan gets free and makes another save.  Gaining a second wind, Hogan throws Bundy into the cage.  Bundy then blatantly blades while Heenan conveniently puts his hand in a spot so the cameraman won’t catch it.  Hogan is giving Bundy some rough cage treatment.  Going for a slam proves to be a dumb move for Hogan as Bundy falls on him.  Bundy now goes for the door but Hogan stops him by choking him with his bandages.  Fighting back, Bundy hits Hogan with the Avalanche and big splash.  Bundy goes for a second Avalanche, but Hogan no-sells it and then slams Bundy.  Hogan hits the legdrop and starts to leave the cage.  Heenan stalls Hogan long enough for Bundy to come over.  Hogan shrugs Bundy off though and climbs over for the win.

Postmatch: Hogan traps Heenan in the cage and roughs him up a bit.

BL: Nothing inherently wrong here, but nothing stood out as memorable either.  They did everything you would expect given the setup (i.e. attack Hogan’s ribs, throw each other into the cage.)  But they failed to go beyond that.  I supposed since it was Hogan and Bundy fighting, we shouldn’t have asked for more.  * ¾

Final Thoughts: I really liked the three locations concept, but I don’t think the WWF did the best job with it.  Production for the show was pretty piss poor.  The multitude of “Where are they now?” celebrities is pretty laughable today.  As for the matches, most were pretty lackluster.  Sadly, this is a forgettable Wrestlemania.  If you decide to check it out, don’t expect much.

Next time, the Silverdome sets the gold standard…

Until then, keep surviving inside the squared circle of life.    


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