The First Wrestlemania
I will tell you of my memories of the first time I watched Wrestlemania in 1985
Wow has it been 23 years already? The date was March 31, 1985. The place Madison Square Garden in New York City. I was 6 years old and a couple of months later my brother rented Wrestlemania from the video store. Now this article is not the history of Wrestlemania but my memory of it so I am only going to give you my experience of when i was 6 years old.
I was very excited as I am a huge wrestling fan. The first match that took place was Tito Santana a former Intercontinental champion coming back from a leg injury facing off against The Executioner a newcomer to the WWF.The match was average but i was warming up because I knew it would get better. Tito Santana won the contest via a submission.
A match I was looking foreward to was the bodyslam match between the legendary Andre The Giant facing off against Big John Studd managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. The only way to win was to bodyslam the other, if Andre won, he would get $15,000. But if he lost, Andre would have to retire. The match went back and forth but Andre prevailed and bodyslamed John Studd. He took the money and threw some to the crowd before Bobby Heenan jumped in the ring and took his money back.
Another match ta gave me fond memories was an Intercontinental title match with champion Greg "The Hammer" Valentine going against TheJunkyard Dog. It still gives m goosebumps remembering when JYD came ou to Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust". At first Greg Valentine won with his eet on the ropesbutTito Santana came in and explained wat happened to the referee. The ref restarted the match but Valentine ecided he did not want to continue and left, thus JYD won via countout. Unfortunately he didn't win the title as you can only win it by pinfall or submission.
The next match I want to talk about is the tag team championship match with the champions Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo (aka The U.S. Express) against Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (w/Freddie Blassie). The U.S. Express came out to the tune of Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen. This was the only match that made me sad because The U.S. Express lost the titles. But I will never forget the reaction of the fans when they came out.
Now the next 2 matches I want to talk about are the reasons I am writing this article. First is the women's title match pitting champion Leilani Kai (w/The Fabulous Moolah) against Wendi Richter (w/Cyndi Lauper). This was an important match Cindy Lauper introduced the WWf fans to the MTV generation. They come out to "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", and again the crowd goes nuts over this. The match was so much fun as we saw Cindy get physical (no pun intended for you Olivia Newton John fans) outside the ring. Wendy came out the victor and new champion by rolling through a flying body press into a pinning combination. I will never forget the way Wendy and Cindy celebrated and danced around while Girls Just Want To Have Fun is playing.
The last match I want to talk about is the main event with WWF champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (w/Jimmy Snuka) going against the very hated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (w/Cowboy Bob Orton). Many celebrities came out for the match and had a role. The great Liberace was the timekeeper. He came out with the Rockettes and did a dance number. Then there was New York Yankee legend Billy Martin who was the ring announcer. Finally the referee on the outside was the one and only Muhammad Ali. Piper's team came out with the NYC police playing the bagpipes and with a smirk on his face. Then the roof literally blew off as The Eye Of The Tiger was playing and hogan's team came out. Now this was not a match as this was an all out brawl wih hogan's team coming out on top.
Ah yes so many memories, this is when i became a hardcore wrestling fan which I am still today at 29 years old. Who would ever thought back then that there would be a Wrestlemania 24? I will always remember the first Wrestlemania and whether u like it or not it has a special place in the 80's.
Full Wrestlemania results are:
Tito Santana defeated The Executioner (4:50)
King Kong Bundy (w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Special Delivery Jones (0:09)
Ricky Steamboat defeated Matt Borne (4:37)
David Sammartino (w/Bruno Sammartino) fought Brutus Beefcake (w/Johnny Valiant) to a double-disqualification (12:43)
The Junkyard Dog defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) by countout (7:05)
Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (w/Freddie Blassie) defeated The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) (w/Lou Albano) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship (6:55)
Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) in a $15,000 Body Slam match (5:53)
Wendi Richter (w/Cyndi Lauper) defeated Leilani Kai (w/The Fabulous Moolah) to win the WWF Women's Championship (6:12)
Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (w/Jimmy Snuka) defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff (w/Cowboy Bob Orton) (w/ Muhammad Ali as guest outside referee) (13:13)
Well that is it. My memory of the first Wrestlemania, it put wrestling on the mainstream map and brought people into the rock 'n' wrestling era. If by chance you come across a VHS of Wrestlemania, I recommend you get, not the dvd as they edited alot of the music. There are many Wrestlemanias aster this as I said 24 in fact. Some were better and some were not but this one is true history. Be well, brother.
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