Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mania Memories: Proof Sequels Aren't Better

Bundy vs. Hogan (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I think of all the Wrestlemanias, the second installment of the show may have been one of the worst.  It's the only Wrestlemania in the nearly 30 year history of the event to be held on a Monday.  It's also the only Mania to broadcast from three different arenas in three different states (New York, Illinois, and California).

Wrestlemania 2 was also the most packed with "celebrity" appearances.  Because there were three different venues, each one had guest ring announcers, time keepers, and commentators.  We got some of the "flavor of the month" stars like Herb from Burger King (who remembers him?), Clara Peller (Where's the Beef?), and Cathy Lee Crosby from That's Incredible.  There was also a battle royal featuring six NFL football players, along with a handful of celebrity referees.

George Wells and Damien
I don't want to beat up Wrestlemania 2 too badly.  But with matches like George Wells vs. Jake "the Snake" Roberts, Uncle Elmer vs. Adrian Adonis, and Hercules vs. Ricky Steamboat; it's easy to see how this could be panned by some critics.  Of course, the original Mania had some squash matches too, but this was the follow up, this should have taken it a step up.  I've read that Steamboat was originally supposed to wrestle Bret Hart (according to the book Hitman, so take it for what it's worth).  I think that match would have totally stolen the show.

The Bulldogs reign supreme
I think the highlight of Wrestlemania 2 for me was the British Bulldogs winning the world tag team titles from Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake.  The Bulldogs are my all time favorite team, and seeing how hard they'd worked to get to that match and then finally win the gold was truly a mark out moment for me.  They had not just Capt. Lou Albano in their corner, but celebrity rocker Ozzy Osbourne as well.  Of course, I was 13 at the time, so Hulk Hogan beating King Kong Bundy in that classic blue steel cage match was also a favorite moment of mine.

Savage comes crashing down
I also liked it when Roddy Piper got disqualified in his boxing match with Mr. T.  Although I wasn't the biggest Hot Rod fan at the time, I wasn't crazy about Mr. T's involvement for a second year in a row, and in a boxing match no less.  Randy Savage made his Wrestlemania debut on the card by pinning George "The Animal" Steele.  Again, not a great match considering this was for the Intercontinental title, but Savage and Steele were engaged in a feud not just for the belt, but the affection of Miss Elizabeth.  Savage of course won on both accounts.

Andre dumps the Foundation
Andre the Giant reigned supreme in the battle royal, last dumping the Hart Foundation to the arena floor at the Rosemont Horizon.  As much hype as the football players got leading up to this battle royal, I thought for sure William "the Refrigerator" Perry would have lasted a lot longer.  Instead, he was eliminated by Big John Studd, which I then thought might lead to some sort of follow up angle, but this was in a time before weekly multi-hour shows and monthly pay per views (in fact, Wrestlemania was it), so I guess they ended it that night.

I'm curious to hear what you thought of the second Wrestlemania.  Where do you rank it in comparison to other shows?  Post your thoughts here or on the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook wall.

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