WrestleMania VI – The Ultimate Challenge

WrestleMania VI (1990)Event: WrestleMania VI
Date: April 1, 1990
Venue: SkyDome (Toronto, Ontario)
Attendance: 67,287

From the very beginning of this DVD you know you’re in for something special.  The intro is a voice over by Vince REALLY turning it on.  Images of a celestial Hogan and Warrior are shown and Vince booms about the “Ultimate Challenge”.  Gorilla and Jesse are back once again (though Ventura is sans mustache).  As we’re in Toronto, Bob Goulet sings the Canadian national anthem.  It’s weird to start a WrestleMania event without America The Beautiful.

Rick Martel defeated Koko B. Ware
This is a battle of terrible characters.  Koko’s one of my least favorite wrestlers of all time and The Model while a pretty decent wrestler he was never able to get over in my book.  Koko hits an early cross body and nearly gets the pin.  That said, he looks like a moron cause he’s clapping all the time.  Stop Koko… you look like a douche.  Model takes control when he throw Koko over the top rope.  He then follows up with a terrible looking double axe handle off the top.  Martel slaps on the Boston Crab and Koko quickly taps out.

WWF Tag Team Championship
Demolition (Ax and Smash) defeated The Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku) (c) (with Bobby Heenan)

Prior to the match we get a backstage interview with Mene Gene where he refers to the Connection as “The Colostomy Connection”.  That right there’s funny.  Gorilla makes a reference to a “Three-peat”.  This is right after when Pat Riley has trademarked the phrase.  Andre is in REALLY bad shape at this point and he essentially stands on the apron the entire match.  Even when Haku gains the upper hand he doesn’t tag Andre.  In retrospect this is probably two fold as Andre is a wreck plus it’s a nice tie in for the storyline.  Things go to hell and Andre comes into the ring.  He hold Smash so Haku can super kick him and he nails Andre instead.  Naturally, Andre gets tied up in the ropes (which he always does).  Demolition hits their finisher on Haku to take the titles.  Bobby Heenan is pissed at Andre after the match and slaps Andre.  This begins the final face turn for the Giant.  Andre rides out a hero of his last WrestleMania match (though he would go on to make a couple of appearances).

Earthquake (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Hercules
As Earthquake does his pre-match interview, you can hear Hercules’ music in the background.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… How does Earthquake have a job?  He’s a complete slob.  At this point, Earthquake is undefeated and according to Gorilla has sent 28 men to the hospitals.  Wow, I didn’t realize there were that many jobbers in the WWF!  Has Hercules EVER been above mid card status?  It’s too bad cause I really enjoyed him.  He’s a much better “big man” than most.  We start out with the classic “test of strength” back and forth.  A while later Hercules goes for his back breaker finisher… come on dude.  You know better than that.  Earthquake keeps “flexing” which pisses me off every time he does it.  I mean ol CHEWIE here has better arms that this dude.  Earthquake ends it with his “Balls To The Face” finisher.  Ugh.

At this point we get an interview with Miss Elizabeth talking about how she’s been away from wrestling for a while.  She says that she’s been working with the WWF in an advisory roll but that she’s been thinking about coming back to ringside.  She says that if she does return to ringside, “You’ll see a much more active Liz.”  So… we can pretty much guarantee that Liz will get involved somehow in the Macho match later in the show.

Brutus Beefcake defeated Mr. Perfect (with The Genius)
Before the next match we get a backstage interview with Beefcake.  Beefcake gets the upper hand early and he’s really putting it to Perfect.  Curt sells better than anyone in the history of the sport.  Perfect slows it down and we go into some good back and forth stuff for a couple of minutes.  Beefcake calls for the sleeper but the Genius gets up on the apron and drops his scroll.  Perfect nails Beefcake with his and gains the momentum in the match.  Gorilla notes that the pendulum has swung 360 degrees and Jesse corrects him… hilarious.  Beefcake slingshots Perfect into the corner and he hits the post “knocking him out”.  Beefcake gets the win ending the “perfect” streak.  The Genius runs into the ring and steals the clippers that Beefcake was going to use on Perfect.  Of course, The Genius gets a sleeper and a haircut for his trouble.

Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown fought to a double countout
Before the next match we get a nice recap.  Piper’s painted himself half black which always cracked me up.  Total WTF moment for sure.  He totally sounds like a 5 pack/day smoker the way he’s wheezing during this interview.  No entrance for Bad News on the DVD.  Ventura makes a crack about how someday he’s going to be president… close but not quite Governor.  Gorilla says (as he always does) that THIS is the best WrestleMania in history.  After getting slammed into the turnbuckle a few times, Piper “Pipes Up” and makes a nice comeback.  There’s almost no wrestling at all in this match.  After another beat down, Piper gains the upper hand once again by going with a poke to the eye.  Piper then goes into his tights for a “glove” which the ref apparently doesn’t care about.  This mercifully ends with a double countout and both men continue to fight all the way to the back.  This was a pretty piss poor match… feel free to skip over it.

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov)
Silly little vignette backstage with the Bolsheviks before the match which lasts longer than the match itself.  The Harts attack while Volkoff sings his national anthem.  They throw him out of the ring and hit Zhukov with their finisher for a super quick win.  AWESOME.

The Barbarian (with Bobby Heenan) defeated Tito Santana
Good lord… Arriba!  Tito’s playing the “weak” guy but he’s pretty ripped up here as well.  The Barbarian does look awesome but he’s still nothing compared to the roided up muscle heads of today (Batista, HHH, etc.)  A big boot to the face puts Tito down but he manages to come back and hit a pretty damn good looking forearm to the face.  He would have won the match if it wasn’t for Bobby putting Barb’s foot on the ropes before the three count.  A few minutes later, Barbarian hits a clothesline off the top rope that nearly turns Tito inside out.  Easy pin at that point.

Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated Randy Savage and Sensational Queen Sherri
At this point in his career, Dusty is doing the “common man” gig.  He’s all kinds of crazy.  Macho out first with Sheri by his side.  It’s really weird to see him without Liz there… hmm.  I wonder if she’ll return today?  I would really be a coincidence seeing as she did that interview previously.  Rhodes and Sapphire hit the ring announced as weighing in at 465.  Yeah… right.  Seriously, where in the FUCK did they find this woman and why is she wrestling?  She’s one step removed from Gabourey Sidibe in Precious.  Anyhow, Liz makes her “surprise” appearance and is in the corner of Rhodes and Sapphire for the match.  Quick start to the match and Dusty takes advantage after catching Savage off the top.  The women come in and Sapphire quite literally bounces around for a couple of minutes.  She goes for an airplane spin on Sherri… an AIRPLANE SPIN.  Sherri comes back and goes for an ill-times body slam which of course she can’t complete.  The guys come back in and Savage takes over.  He hits a double axe handle off the top twice and Dusty is in big trouble.  Sapphire comes to his aid and Savage tosses her aside.  Liz comes over to help step in the way.  Savage hits Rhodes with his king scepter but doesn’t go for the cover.  Sapphire is a complete waste here but does manage to throw Sherri out of the ring.  Liz dumps her back in, pulls Sherri’s hair and allows Sapphire to get the pin.  Liz, Dusty and Sapphire “dance” after the match.  Absolutely piss poor wrestling but mildly entertaining for that “car wreck” factor.

At this point we get a few interview segments.  Jesse and Gorilla talking about some “adult footage”, Sherri and Macho King essentially yelling at the camera, Demolition talking about their big win and how the Hart Foundation are waiting for them.  Next up is Hogan.  Pretty typical stuff here what with Hulkamania running wild and all.  Hogan does say that its not whether you win or lose but what kind of winner or loser you are.  I had never caught this before so knowing what I know it was a pretty interesting statement.  Over to the Warrior for his interview.  He’s basically on acid at this point talking about living forever, beliefs and how Hulkamania can live through the Warrior.

The Orient Express (Sato and Tanaka) (with Mr. Fuji) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) by countout
The Orient Express comes to the ring, you can totally tell that Gorilla isn’t interesting in this match.  The Rockers come down and Shawn is starting to get quite a bit bigger.  Who the hell are the Orient Express?  Anyhow, Shawn takes over but he’s obviously not “HBK” quite yet.  Tanaka get a kick to Shawn’s back and Shawn goes face in peril for a few minutes.  Finally Shawn makes a big tag and Jannetty cleans house.  The Rockers go up to the top to hit their tandem dropkicks off the top but Fuji grabs Jannetty’s leg and then hits him with the dreaded “salt to the eyes”.  Marty sells it like he’s got daggers in his eyes and literally walks OVER the guardrail into the crowd getting counted out in the process.

Jim Duggan defeated Dino Bravo (with Jimmy Hart and Earthquake)
Hacksaw comes to the ring and he’s sticking with the USA chant.  Someone should tell ol Duggan that he’s is in Toronto.  This one isn’t worth watching nor is it worth recapping.  Duggan gets the win when Jimmy throws the 2×4 to Bravo but Duggan grabs it and nails him with it.  Duggan gets his ass beat after the match by Earthquake complete with the “balls to the face” finisher.  Total snoozefest.

Million Dollar Championship
Ted DiBiase (c) (with Virgil) defeated Jake Roberts by countout

The Million Dollar belt is on the line here for the first and I believe only time.  Jake goes for a quick win with the DDT after about 12 seconds.  DiBiase is out of the ring quickly.  Jake goes for it a couple more times in the next minute or so.  He gets frustrated and decides to slow things down and takes over with a hammer lock.  Million Dollar Man takes over after Jake makes a mistake and really slows down the tempo.  The fans get a wave going in the arena.  Silly Canadians.  That said, it doesn’t say much for what they think of the match.  DiBiase hits a pile driver but doesn’t go for the cover right away.  He hooks in the Million Dollar Dream and it looks like it’s going to be over.  Jake makes it to the ropes.  DiBiase stays on him and after a couple of near falls, he goes to the top ropes but gets caught.  Jake takes over and signals for the DDT.  Virgil pulls Jake out of the ring before he can slap it on and DiBiase follows him out.  Virgil dumps Million Dollar Man back in and Jake gets counted out.  After the match, Virgil grabs the Million Dollar belt and takes off.  Jake finally sinks in the DDT and plants DiBiase right in the middle of the ring.  Virgil comes back to save the day before Jake can drape Damien over Million Dollar Man.  Decent little match even though it was a bit predictable.

The Big Boss Man defeated Akeem (with Slick)
Million Dollar Man is still out after getting his DDT in the previous match and he proceeds to beat the hell out of Big Boss Man before the match starts.  Akeem then comes down and proceeds to continue the beating for the first couple of minutes of the match.  Boss Man reverses it and sends him back and forth between the turnbuckles multiple times and then hits his sidewalk slam finisher (always loved that move!) for the win.

A waste of a segment follows with Sean Mooney, Mary Tyler Moore and Rhythm and Blues  (Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine).  The Bushwackers come out and beat the hell out of… the instruments.  Fast forward.

Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan) defeated Jimmy Snuka
Snuka literally struts like a chicken on his way to the ring.  This is a nice little match with some good back and forth action.  Snuka misses off the second rope and Rude hits his finisher for the victory.  Speaking of nice finishers… this one always looked BRUTAL.  Not sure how he didn’t kill someone doing it.

WWF Intercontinental Championship and WWF Championship
The Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Champion) defeated Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion)

Warrior Blows HoganThis is one of my Top 10 Favorite WrestleMania matches of all time!  Warrior walks to the ring which he never does.  Hogan does his typical entrance.  A classic back and forth “test of strength” at the beginning of the match.  Need to show just how even they really are.  Warrior wins the knuckle showdown and it totally looks like Hogan’s BLOWING the Warrior.  Of course, Hogan makes his way back to his feet and takes the upper hand.  In a beautiful juvenile twist, now Hogan’s getting the suck job.  After all of this, they do some criss crossing in the ring and take turns slamming one another.  Warrior puts Hogan over the top and Hogan busts up his knee.  After about 2 minutes, Hogan takes over and is walking fine.  The crowd is totally behind Hogan and he’s in control of the match using some rest holds.  Jess talks about how they are “wear down” holds… No shit Jesse.  Classic double clothesline and Warrior comes out on top.  Warrior goes to the rope shake and hits a couple of big clotheslines on Hogan.  Bearhug after that to take a break.  Hogan’s arm drops twice and Hogan comes back.  Ref gets bumped and Warrior hits 2 double axe handles and then misses his shoulder block.  Hogan covers Warrior and has him pinned for like a day.  Warrior hits a back suplex and pins Hogan for the same day.  Warrior finally hits a weak gorilla press followed by a huge splash and we’ve got a ref to make the count.  Hogan kicks out and “Hulks Up”.  He hits the big boot but misses the leg drop finisher.  Warrior follows with a splash to get the victory.  Hogan hands the belt to the Warrior and they hug it out to show good sportsmanship.  OUTSTANDING match!

General Thoughts

  • I love it when Gorilla talks about “winner’s money” and “loser’s money”.  This is obviously WAY before the concept of a “smart” wrestling fan.
  • During this show, it’s announced that WrestleMania VII will be held at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.  In actuality it was held at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.
  • Did Tito Santana ever win a singles match at WrestleMania?
  • I totally don’t remember Hogan hurting himself in the title match.  In my memory he put Warrior over clean in the ring.
  • This is the last time that Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura hosted together.

7 thoughts on “WrestleMania VI – The Ultimate Challenge

  1. Isn’t that the truth? I’m obviously not done with all my recaps yet, but I’m pretty sure that Tito NEVER won a match at a Mania… Here’s to the flying burrito!

  2. I don’t think he ever got over the ass kicking he took against Demolition at WMIV when him and Rick Martel lost the belts.

  3. According to Wikipedia (which of course is always right):
    “Santana, along with only Hulk Hogan, holds the unique distinction of appearing in the first nine WrestleManias, accumulating a 2-7 record during that time. Officially he is recognized only for the first eight Wrestlemanias and a 1-7 record as the match against Papa Shango at WrestleMania IX was dark.”

  4. I would guess they gave it to Tito, seeing as though they probably knew it would be his last match at a WM. I just wish i could watch it somewhere, it’s not even on YouTube.

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