Backstory: The Ultimate Warrior won the WWF Championship back at Wrestlemania VI, and his title reign was a royal failure. The WWF decided to capitalize on the emerging Gulf War, having Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter win the belt from Warrior (with Randy Savage's help). He did the Evil Foreigner routine for months, showcasing Arabian-style boots that had been allegedly shipped to him personally by Saddam Hussein, waving the Iraqi flag around in the ring, and generally being the most hated man in wrestling.
Slaughter has said that he legitimately feared for his life several times while playing this character, as it was in ridiculously bad taste and many fans thought he really was an Iraqi sympathizer. He received numerous death threats and was attacked on several occasions.
Anyway, Hulk Hogan, Super American And All Around Great Guy, challenged Slaughter for the title at Wrestlemania VII.
And we're LIVE from Los Angeles, California at the LA Sports Arena. The event had originally been booked at the Memorial Coliseum, but a "bomb threat" that was actually just the WWF covering for atrocious ticket sales led to the switch to the much smaller arena. The hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan.
Match 1: The Rockers v. Haku & Barbarian. Pretty good choice for the opener. This was at the height of The Rockers' popularity, and just a few months before they'd break up. The Rockers
carry the heels to a watchable match; Shawn Michaels gets the pin after a body press off the top rope.
Interview segment with Regis Philbin (yes, kids, he existed before Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), Marla Maples, and Alex Trebek.
Match 2: Kerry Von Erich v. Dino Bravo. Both guys were pretty much on their last legs with the WWF. Sadly, both guys would also be dead within a few years. Von Erich takes the victory
after the discus punch (he spins a round a lot and punches the other guy).
Match 3: The Warlord v. The British Bulldog. Ah, the match the world had been waiting for with baited breath! Okay, you caught me, not really. Bulldog wins with a powerslam. Moving right along...
Match 4: The Hart Foundation v. The Nasty Boys for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Why Vince McMahon picked up the Nasty Boys from WCW I'll never know. The Hart Foundation carry the Nasties to a decent match despite their best efforts to turn it into a stinker. Interference by Jimmy Hart leads to the Nasty Boys winning the titles.
Match 5: Rick Martel v. Jake Roberts in a Blindfold Match. And I was hoping I'd never have to watch this match again. Roberts had been blinded weeks earlier when Martel sprayed his custom perfume in his eyes, so this match "symbolizes Jake's blindness at the hands of Martel" or some other symbolism that was just dumb enough to sound like a good idea at the time. Both guys wander around the ring groping for each other for 95% of the match. No, really, there's no contact until the end, when Roberts powers out of a Boston Crab attempt and hits the DDT for the victory.
Match 6: Jimmy Snuka v. The Undertaker. The Undertaker had just debuted at the previous Survivor Series, and so veteran fan favorite Snuka got fed to him to get 'Taker over as a monster. It worked. 'Taker wins it with the tombstone piledriver.
Match 7: The Ultimate Warrior v. Randy Savage in a Retirement Match. Ultimate Warrior's best match, ever. Warrior has custom tights and kneepads for the event with airbrushed sketches of Savage and himself on them. Funny moment as after Warrior tries everything in his arsenal (that's right! All three moves he knows!) and nothing works, he starts talking to his hands and looking up to the sky asking, "WHY???" The crowd is ultra-hot for the entire match, too. Savage eventually loses this match and is forced to retire, but reunites with Miss Elizabeth after the match and turns babyface in one of the most emotional moments in wrestling. It would lead to the two being
married (only in the storyline—the two had actually been married for years) at SummerSlam.
Match 8: Demolition v. Genichiro Tenyru & Koji Kitao. This is Demolition's last match! Smash would become the Repo Man and Crush would become a singles wrestler soon afterwards. Short, pointless match, Tenryu pins Smash after a powerbomb. I have no idea what Tenyru and Kitao were doing in the WWF or why they're at Wrestlemania.
Match 9: Mr. Perfect v. Big Bossman for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. And who can forget the "legendary" backstory to this match?! For the record, Bobby Heenan started insulting the Bossman's mother months earlier, leading Bossman to run through Hennan's entire stable—building
up to this match. Andre the Giant makes an appearance! He hadn't been seen in the WWF since Wrestlemania VI, if I remember correctly. He comes down to help out the Bossman after Heenan helps Perfect double-team him. Ends in a DQ anyway as the rest of Hennan's stable runs in.
Match 10: Earthquake v. Greg Valentine. Wow, I *never* remember Valentine being a face. Earthquake was being super-pushed here in preparation for a feud with Hulk Hogan, and he goes over easily here.
Match 11: Legion of Doom v. Power & Glory. Yet ANOTHER squash, as LOD wins in under 30 seconds with the Doomsday Device. Why all these squashes at a Wrestlemania?!
Match 12: Ted DiBiase v. Virgil. Ha ha! After YEARS of abuse as DiBiase's man-servant, Virgil FINALLY turned on Ted at the Royal Rumble, turning into a pretty popular face and terrorizing
DiBiase at every opportunity. Rowdy Roddy Piper, on crutches after hip replacement surgery, is in Virgil's corner. Ends when Virgil gets a count-out win, which was possibly the worst ending they could have booked. Nonetheless, entertaining.
Match 13: The Mountie v. Tito Santana. This is the second match from the top?! And guess what, it's another squash. This was just after Mountie's debut, so they feed veteran crowd favorite
Santana to him to build him up. Do you notice a theme on the night? Mountie wins easily after zapping Santana with his cattle prod.
Sgt. Slaughter v. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. USA! USA! BAD evil foreign menace! BAD! A marginally watchable match, as the possibility of Hogan NOT going over here was so
utterly low that this match is completely anticlimactic. Crowd eats it up, I guess, but suffice it to say that Hogan regains the WWF Championship after his usual routine.
This isn't a bad card per se, but the unusual number of squashes and the weak main event tends to give it a reputation as one of the worse Wrestlemanias. The Savage/Warrior match is the highlight of the card by far, featuring great wrestling as well as big historical significance.