Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: The card that started it all

The time from March leading into April is my favorite time of year. College basketball is reaching its climax. The NBA is picking up its end of season steam. Spring training brings hope to every baseball fan. 

It’s also Wrestlemania time. I’ve seen all 29 of the Wrestlemanias over the years, and I remember a lot of the good and bad ones. Last year, I attended Wrestlemania live and that was an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.

This year, I decided to embark on what I’m calling:  March to ‘Mania. In the days leading up to Wrestlemania 30, I will post my thoughts on the 29 previous events here in chronological order. I’m not the first person to do this, and I’m sure I’m not the only one doing it, but I’ve always wanted to try and spend the days leading up to Wrestlemania watching the shows that came before it. The reason why I’m doing this is because I remember all of the Wrestlemanias in bits and pieces, and some better than others. I have memories of some events that I thought were good and wanted to see if they still held up many years after I initially watched them.

I will also be ranking the events, and updating the rankings at the end of each card review.

So let’s begin the March to ‘Mania.

WM1

Wrestlemania 1

Date: March 31, 1985

Arena: Madison Square Garden

Attendance: 19,121

OVERALL SUMMARY: This is where it began. Other than that, there’s not much else to write about. The matches were short – seven matches went shorter than 7 minutes – and the match quality suffered quite considerably. It’s hard to put together a great story when the clock is ticking quickly and you have to get through the match quickly. Finishing sequences weren’t strong at all in this card, and many matches seemed to end right when it was going to pick up a little pace.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: C-minus on an adjusted scale given the era.

FAVORITE MATCH: King Kong Bundy vs. Special Delivery Jones. At least this made a modicum of sense in an effort to push King Kong Bundy, and it only took 24 seconds.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: It’s the first Wrestlemania, and the WWF does a good job at trying to put this over as a big deal. The celebrities involved in the card give the impression that it is. Credit to Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, they know how to brand this thing. You cannot under any circumstance discredit the importance – and success – of this card.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: All, yes all, matches were average. My notes were filled with the same words: average, plodding, unorganized and lacked flow. I tried my best to keep this card into perspective because it was in 1985, which was a far different from what I remember as a teen and an adult. Even with that in mind, the card was average. I was able to get through it, but it wasn’t anything impressive.

RANDOM THOUGHT: What did they pay Special Delivery Jones to do an “9-second” job? It was actually 24 seconds, and I think it took Bundy to nine seconds across the ring to walk to S.D. Jones.

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: Well this is the first Wrestlemania. So it will enjoy being the top Wrestlemania. At least for one day.

  1. Wrestlemania 1 (C-minus)

 

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