WWE Wrestlemania VI
Apr. 1, 1990
Koko B. Ware vs. Rick "The Model" Martel
Martel and former partner Tito Santana had just ended their year-long feud, just in time so that neither man had a feud going into this PPV. Smart booking, eh? For some reason, Slick isn't with Martel. I'm fairly sure that Slick joined up with Martel after WM Five and stayed with him until late 1990. Maybe I'm wrong though.
Martel is doing a lot of heel tactics, while Koko does his standard selling. Koko is thrown to the outside and nearly hits the stand that Frankie (The bird) was on. Back inside, Martel locks in the Boston Crab (Or, for you WCW fans, the Montreal Crab), but Koko makes it to the ropes. Martel tries to hit Koko's head on the turnbuckle, but once again, rule No. 1 of wrestling states that all African Americans and Islanders have very thick heads.
Koko headbutts Martel. Martel ducks a flying cross body and locks in the Boston Crab again. Koko gives up and Martel wins his first (and last) singles Wrestlemania match. Nothing special here. Koko was a JTTS while Martel would drift in and out of being a serious mid-card heel. Without any build, this match is extremely forgettable. At least the right man won. Six Minutes. 1.5 Stars.
Backstage, Bobby Heenan and his tag-team champions, The Colossal Connection, plug their next match. I gotta admit, the Colossal Connection is a pretty badass name.
Elsewhere, Sean Mooney interviews Demolition. Ax wants to cut down the big tree that is Andre, while Smash wants to push the champs off of a cliff. Mooney points out the obvious that it sounds like more like a demolition derby than a wrestling match.
The Colossal Connection (c) w/ Bobby Hennan vs. Demolition - Tag Team Titles Match
The Colossal Connection are Haku and Andre the Giant, in case you're wondering. Looking back at '89, I'm assuming that the original Tag Team Titles match was Demolition vs The Brainbusters. However, once Tully failed a drug test and Arn went back to WCW, the WWE needed a new top, heel team.
The easiest thing to do was to take fellow Heenan family members, Haku and Andre, and have them replace the 'Busters. In December '89, Haku and Andre defeated Demolition for the tag-team titles. Since then, both teams had been fighting. With Andre in no condition to wrestle, Haku is in the match the entire time.
However, Andre gets in a few cheap shots now and then to Ax to help make it believable that the match is as long as it is. Haku misses a kick and nails Andre. Andre is tied up in the ropes as Demolition hits their finisher (Elbow/backbreaker combo) to win back their tag titles.
Postmatch has Bobby Heenan yelling at Andre until finally slapping Andre. Uh oh. Andre slaps Heenan around and blocks another side kick from Haku. Haku and Hennan tries to flee by going on the Wrestlemania cart (Which I loved and I wish they did more often), but Andre throws them off forcing his former allies to walk to the back.
They worked around Andre's health condition the best they could. Haku was talented enough to hold the match together on his end, while Andre at least had some involvement. Andre turning on Heenan got some nice pop and is the thing that is most remembered for the match. Better than it should have been, but a huge step down from what Demolition vs Brainbusters would of been. 10 Minutes. Two Stars.
Backstage, Earthquake jumps around and yells at Hercules. 'Quake had very stereotypical "I'm going to yell in a deep voice about how I'm going to beat you up" mic skills.
Hercules vs. Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart
The only background I can think of for this match was Hercules was one of the strongest man in the WWE, while Earthquake was quickly becoming one of the more feared. Hercules tries going power for power, but he's no matched for the formerly known Canadian Earthquake.
Herc hurts his back once he tries for the Back Breaker (Torture Rack). It's all 'Quake after that. A big elbow gives way for the Earthquake Splash to get Earthquake his first Wrestlemania victory.
Fun little fact, Earthquake was undefeated at Wrestlemania with a record of 4-0. Sadly, that's the only fun thing about this match. This was nothing more than a way of making Quake look good on his way to feuding with Hulk Hogan later on in the year. Having it be power vs power was just asking for the match to be terrible.
Booking Earthquake against someone like Tito Santana would of had much better results. Luckily for Hercules, his career would temporary be revitalized when he turned heel in the summer to join up with Paul Roma to form Power and Glory. Five Minutes. One Star.
Mr Perfect w/ The Genius vs. Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake
This feud stemmed from the earlier Genuis/Beefcake feud. Once it was obvious that the Genius was no match for Beefcake, Perfect stepped in to help out his less-than-perfect little buddy.
Brutus starts off the match by throwing Perfect all around the ring. Hennig is overselling everything. Every turnbuckle whip is making him bounce feet away. By time Hennig took over, I already lost interest because of that. Perfect hits his trademark neck whip (not sure what it's really called).
Brutus bodyslams Hennig and catapults him to the turnbuckle. Perfect takes a Slaughter bump and Beefcake, with the school boy pin, gets the win. Postmatch has Beefcake cutting what's left of The Genius' hair (He already cut most at the Royal Rumble) while Hennig just walked away.
I don't know whether Hennig was just trying to overcompensate for working with a poor worker that Beefcake was, but the overselling killed this match. Up until this point, Hennig was undefeated.
The WWE had planned on keeping the feud going through to the summer, with Brutus winning the IC title off of Perfect, but once fate intervened and Brutus was injured, it stopped the feud for good. That just makes it even worse seeing how Hennig's first defeater was gone in a few months. Eight Minutes. 1.5 Stars.
Backstage, Mean Gene is with Roddy Piper. Roddy unveils Hot Scot, which is just the black painted half of his body. As for why Piper painted half of his body black, I think the generally regarded answer is that Piper is crazy and there is no real reason.
Bad News Brown vs Roddy Piper
This started off at the Royal Rumble, when Piper eliminated Brown. Upset about his elimination, BNB clotheslined Piper out of the ring. Both men would brawl to the back. Simple, yet I like it. They pick up right where they left off at the Rumble with some brawling...a lot of brawling.
Okay, in reality, the whole match is just one big brawl. Outside of the ring, they brawl some more until the ref counts them out. Postmatch has them...you guessed it, brawling some more to the back.
As much as I liked Bad News, a lot of his WWE PPV matches were the same. A lot of brawling and a lot of countouts. This was a fun brawl, but in realty, you don't pay money to see the same exact thing you got at the previous PPV.
After this, BNB would start a feud with Jake Roberts for the summer. IIRC, the match is virtually the same, but with Boss Man being ref, Roberts somehow won. Seven Minutes. 3/4 Star.
Backstage in the men's restroom, entertainer Steve Allen harasses The Bolsheviks by not playing the Russian National Anthem.
The Bolsheviks vs The Hart Foundation
The Bolsheviks were the talented Nikolai Volkoff and the equally untalented Boris Zhukov. Before the show, The Harts had challenged the Tag Team Champions (Whomever they may be) to a future title shot.
Just by that alone, I don't like the chances of the Russians. Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem before the match, only to be jumped by the Harts. Volkoff is thrown out of the ring and Zhukov is given the Hart Attack finisher to give the Hart Foundation the quick victory. Poor Boris didn't even take his jacket off.
Squash. Nothing more than another boost for the Harts on their way to the summer feud with Demolition. As talented as The Harts were, don't even bother putting them on the PPV if they're only going to be on for less than a minute. One Minute. 1/4 Star.
Tito Santana vs The Barbarian w/ Bobby Heenan
This would be the first major match for The Barbarian after joining up with Heenan after being with Mr Fuji for a year and a half (More on that later). Barbarian is still wearing his Powers of Pain gear though.
Tito tries flying around to avoid the power of The Barbarian. Tito hits his finisher, The Flying Forearm. That only gets two when Bobby Heenan puts Barb's foot on the bottom rope. Santana gets choked by the top rope when Barbarian ducks a rollup. Barbarian finishes Santana with a killer top rope clothesline. The clothesline was dare I say, Nigel quality in looking deadly.
Another match with the sole purpose of making someone look good on their way of either a push or a new direction. Sadly, Santana was becoming a JTTS. A bit sloppy at times, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for it though.
I wish Barb would of used his Top Rope Headbutt though. I still can't understand why they didn't book Santana vs Martel. Given only five minutes, it would of been a lot of fun, meanwhile, Koko could of jobbed to Barbarian no problem. Five Minutes. Two Stars.
Backstage, Dusty Rhodes promises to reveal the Crown Jewel. Holy shit...Jimmy Rave at Wrestlemania?!!!!!!!?!!
Randy Savage and Sherri vs Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire w/ Miss Elizabeth - Mixed Tag Match
This would be the very first mixed tag in WWE history. And sadly, they wasted Randy Savage (a.k..a Mr. last year's world champion in it.) This feud had been going on since the Royal Rumble, when all four had a fight on the Brother Love Show.
Before the match, Dusty brings down the crown jewel, Miss Elizabeth. From the very beginning, Dusty and Sapphire are cheating more than the heels. Once the heels start cheating, Gorilla Monsoon has a problem with it. Sapphire uses her ass to shove Sherri down again and again. Miss Elizabeth grabs Sherri's hair and pushes her to trip over Sapphire. Sapphire picks up the pin.
Well, they were at least smart enough to have Sherri be in this. With Sapphire being as over as she was, Sherri could use her experience and help provide a few memorable moments. Besides that, there's nothing really to write about. Your typical mixed tag except for the fact that the fans really care. Frankly, I'm surprised they're not asleep by now after this kind of show. Eight Minutes. 1.5 Stars.
Backstage, celeb guest, Rhona Barrett implies that Jesse Ventura has a sex tape. Of course, being that this was 1990, she couldn't use those words.
Elsewhere in the building, Hulk Hogan promises to look after The Ultimate Warrior's fans after he beats Warrior. The Power is in the hand.
Elsewhere in the building, the Ultimate Warrior shoves Sean Mooney out of the camera angle, saying that Mooney isn't important enough to breathe the same air. Poor Mooney.
Warrior cuts one of his more famous promos where he repeats the name, "Hulk Hogan" a good dozen times. He's going to unite all of Hogan and his fans together as one. Aww.
The Rockers vs The Orient Express w/ Mr Fuji
Let's look back at Mr Fuji from '88 to now. He was the manager of the tag team champions, Demolition, until ditching them at Survivor Series '88 to go with Powers of Pain. Powers of Pain never won the tag titles, but they were always a top team.
Weeks before WM Six, Fuji sold The Warlord to Slick and Barbarian to Bobby Heenan. Why did he do such a thing? Because he had a brand new team of The Orient Express. This version of the Orient Express (Sato and Pat Tanaka) never won the tag titles and were never real challengers to the titles. Nice downgrade Fuji.
Tanaka backbody drops Jannetty, but Jannetty lands on his feet. Nice. Sato does absolutely nothing in the match. In fact, Tanaka was in the ring for several minutes before Sato is tagged in. Sato twists Marty's arm for a few seconds and then tags back out. Later on, Tanaka is back body dropped by Michaels. Tanaka was awesome at bumping though. So he's able to help make this semi-entertaining.
Mr Fuji distracts Marty with his cane. With Jannetty distracted, Sato throws salt in Marty's eyes. Marty can't see and falls over into the fans. The ref counts Jannetty out giving The Orient Express their only win on PPV.
Not nearly as good as their Royal Rumble match, but considering the WWE got smart and had Paul Diamond put on a mask and team with his old partner, Tanaka as the new Orient Express, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Compared to the rest of this PPV, this is fairly good. The finish hurts the match though. It doesn't help either that Gorilla Monsoon used the word lethargic during the commentating. Eight Minutes. 2.5 Stars.
Jim Duggan vs Dino Bravo w/ Jimmy Hart and Earthquake
Showing his intelligence, Duggan chants "U-S-A" on the way to the ring. The Toronto crowd actually boos him. This can't be a good sign for this match. Mindless wrestling until Jimmy Hart throws in the 2x4 to Bravo, but Duggan grabs it first. One 2x4 shot later, Duggan wins this forgettable match. Postmatch has Earthquake hitting the Earthquake Splash a few times. Uh...didn't we already see this earlier? Pointless time filler that it's only memorable part was a repeat from earlier. God, this PPV sucks. Four Minutes. 3/4 Star.
Backstage, Jake Roberts cuts perhaps his best promo ever.
Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs Jake Roberts - Million Dollar Title Match
What's this? A match with a backstory? Couldn't be. DiBiase had injured Roberts last year. A few months ago, Roberts stole the Million Dollar Title and kept it in Damien's bag. This feud has actually been in the works since May '89. Which I have to wonder, how is it that the WWE is able to put on a match which has been building for nearly 10 months, yet has so many no-build matches?
Sadly, the crowd has a hard time getting into this after such a depressing show thus far. They resort to doing the wave to entertain themselves. What makes it sad is that they're actually missing a damn fine match. Jake keeps trying the DDT, with DiBiase narrowly escaping each time.
Jake misses a knee lift and falls in a great looking spot. DiBiase is in control from then on. Million Dollar Dream almost gets Ted the win, but Jake wakes up. Short-armed closeline to Ted (Set up to the DDT). Virgil pulls DiBiase out of the ring. DiBiase locks in the Dream outside of the ring, but Jake rams his head in the post.
An out of it DiBiase is shoved back in the ring by Virgil to win by count out. Postmatch sees Jake DDT'ing DiBiase, giving away some of Ted's 100 bucks (One of which went to Mary Tyler Moore) and gets out Damien. Virgil gets Ted out of the ring before Jake can do anything though.
A great old fashion match. Had this been placed earlier in the card, the crowd would of been so much more into it. The finish is completely unneeded since we've already seen a couple count outs. Nice change of pace from the complete trash the PPV was delivering up until now. 12 Minutes. 3-1/4 Stars.
Backstage, The Slickster and Akeem talks about the monnneeyyyyy.
Elsewhere, Boss Man doesn't mind he's poor, but he refuses to take bribes.
The Big Boss Man vs Akeem w/ Slick
For a couple of years, Boss Man and Akeem were tag team partners. However, earlier in the year when Ted DiBiase tried to pay them to help him out, Boss Man refused. This lead to the split, with Boss Man turning face. On the way to the ring, Boss Man is attacked by Ted DiBiase, who was still out ring side. Bodyslammed on the outside and thrown back in before the match even begins.
Akeem powers Boss Man for most of the match. Boss Man catches Akeem with the Boss Slam out of no where to win the match. So this match actually has a backstory, but it gets less time than most of the matches? God, what was even the point of this? They would have a rematch on SNME later on in the month where it went longer than this. Pathetic. Two Minutes. 3/4 Star.
Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine comes out to the ring in a pink Cadillac driven by DDP to sing their new song. Valentine now has dyed black hair to look like Johnny Cash. In reality, Valentine looks very uncomfortable in this bomb of a new gimmick. Post song has The Bushwackers clearing ring and destroying the instruments.
Rick Rude w/ Bobby Hennan vs Jimmy Snuka
These two wrestled on opposite teams at the Survivor Series. Snuka imitates Rude's pose several times. Snuka misses a middle-rope splash. Rude with the Rude Awakening scores the win. Short and painless. This was yet another match to help build up someone. Rude would be wrestling for the World Title real soon. For a Snuka match, this was pretty good though. Nothing special, but I at least was entertained. Four Minutes. 1.5 Stars.
Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior - Title vs Title Match
With Zeus out, The Warrior was now pushed in the main event. These two had a legendary meeting during the Royal Rumble match that caused the fans to go apeshit. After that, they had several run-ins, mostly by helping each other when Earthquake attacked them. Each time, they teased an attack.
Really now, with Hogan vs Warrior, you didn't need some huge backstory. The crowd is fully awake and loud during the entire match. Warrior shoves Hogan in the corner. Oooohhhh. Hogan shoves Warrior in the corner. Oooohhh. Test of strength has Warrior winning at first until Hogan gets Warriors on his knees. They're barely doing anything, but the crowd is very loud.
Warrior hits the rope, but Hogan doesn't move from a shoulder block. Hogan repeats, but Warrior doesn't move. Some crisscrossing with Hogan bodyslamming Warrior. Warrior no sells. More crisscrossing with Warrior bodyslamming Hogan. Hogan shows some pain. Oooohhh. Warrior clotheslines Hogan out of the ring. Hogan appears to have injured his knee. Warrior does the smart thing and kicks at Hogan's leg on the outside.
Back inside the ring, Hogan hobbles around as they take turns raking each others eyes. Hogan stops selling the leg (Personally, I like the theory of Hogan faking it so that he could get out of the ring and escape Warrior for a bit) and hits an eight count of punches in the corner.
Hogan with the small package (Well how about that?) on Warrior gets two. Hogan locks in a side headlock. Belly to back suplex by Hogan. Jesse greatly talks about how this is a wear down hold and will help in the latter portions of the match. Warrior powers out of it and they double clothesline each other.
Back up, Hogan tries punching Warrior, but Warrior is in his Warrior mood (Basically, Hulking up) so he no-sells everything. Warrior hits some clotheslines and a Belly to Back Suplex to get a two count. Warrior locks in a bearhug. Hogan seems to be out of it, but wakes up before the three. Hogan powers out of it. Warrior hits the ropes and accidentally hits the ref with a flying shoulderblock. O snap.
Warrior heads to the top rope twice to nail some Double Ax Handles. Warrior goes for another running shoulder block, but Hogan moves out of the way and Warrior tastes mat. Hogan covers...1...2...3...4...5...the ref is still down. Hogan doesn't know what to do and doesn't see Warrior coming up behind him. Warrior suplexes Hogan. 1...2...3...4..5....finally the ref wakes up to start counting, but Hogan kicks out at two.
Warrior is thrown out of the ring, and Hogan smartly goes after him. Back inside, Warrior hits another clotheslines and presses Hogan. Big Splash by Warrior. ONE....Two...NO Hogan kicked out. I don't believe anyone had kicked out of Warrior's finishing move before. Hulk starts Hulking Up. Hogan shakes his finger at Warrior and hits the Big Boot. The Legdrop is missed. Warrior hits the ropes and nails another Splash on Hogan. One...Two...THREE. Warrior wins after two splashes. Postmatch has Hogan giving Warrior the belt as the celebrations begins.
Easily, one of the biggest and best WM matches at this point. Both men did a great job of using their own move sets, yet being entertaining enough to make the fans care every minute. The biggest mistake the WWE ever did was not doing a rematch.
Everything was there for one. Hogan had Warrior beat. Warrior never kicked out of Hogan's finisher. Hogan kicked out of Warrior's finisher the first time. But for whatever reason, they never pulled the trigger. To this day, the only WM main events that can really compare to this in how big it is is Hogan vs Andre and Austin vs Rock (WM 17). Easily, a top 10 WM match ever. 23 Minutes. 4.5 Stars.
It's funny how one match can give fans such a false sense of reality about a show. This show had one great match, one good one, one decent one and the rest was pure trash. It wasn't even well booked trash for the most part. Too many count outs, too many zero-backstory matches, and too many time-filler matches.
This was a sign of the times though. 1990 was a huge set down in every PPV compared to 1989. 1990 had a grand total of 3 (!) MOTYC quality matches (Warrior/Hogan, RR Match, and Harts vs Demolition 2/3 Falls). That's down right pathetic. With Hogan vs Warrior out on several DVDs, this show is totally missable. If you can though, try hunting down Jake Roberts promo and the match.
Best Match: The Ultimate Warrior vs Hulk Hogan
Worst Match: Bolsheviks vs Hart Foundation
Overall Grade: D+
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