Our trip down Wrestlemania memory lane brings us to Wrestlemania 2, which was an ambitious project by Vince McMahon to bring three Wrestlemanias to three different time zones.
Date: April 7, 1986
Arena: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (New York); Rosemont Horizon (Chicago); Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (Los Angeles)
Attendance: 40,085 (Total)
SUMMARY: Wrestlemania 2 had three venues and three different cards. I could only imagine what was going on inside of Vince’s head when he came up with this idea. Each venue had a distinct feel to them with the hottest crowd being, understandably, the Chicago atmosphere. Mr. T and Roddy Piper had a “boxing” match to main event the New York portion. There was a inter-sport battle royal featuring pro football players and pro wrestlers to headline the Chicago part, and Hulk Hogan capped the show in Los Angeles with a steel cage match against King Kong Bundy. There were plenty of improvements from Wrestlemania 1 to further establish the reputation of the event.
MY ENJOYMENT RATING: C-plus on an adjusted scale given the era.
FAVORITE MATCH: British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) vs. The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine). It’s always safe to go with a Dynamite Kid match. The match had a strong flow and it earns my match of the night honors.
THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: The multiple venues create the spectacle that the event was attempting to create in the first show. The second Wrestlemania had plenty of bad to average matches with a few highlights. But anytime you have Dynamite Kid, Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage on a card, they typically perform at high levels and that’s always welcomed. Those guys, at their worst, are still better than most of the guys that were on the card.
THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: I’m still in the 80’s, right? I try really hard to give these cards the benefit of the doubt and understand that the WWF was different. The era was filled with hulking men who were limited by their size and the matches were short bouts that lacked intrigue and drama. I’m not sure if I’m missing something about this era that is likable, but I’m struggling with it. The epitome of what I’m talking about is the Adrian Adonis vs. Uncle Elmer match. Save yourself. You don’t have to watch it, but just take my word, it was cringe worthy.
RANDOM THOUGHT: If people still thought pro-wrestling wasn’t worked after the Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper boxing match, then I don’t think there is any convincing them otherwise.
MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: I enjoyed Wrestlemania 2 more than Wrestlemania. Remove the logistical nightmares with the multiple locations and so forth, Wrestlemania 2 was a better card. The show felt more focused than Wrestlemania and the matches were a better quality albeit slightly. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of bad on this card, but overall, Wrestlemania 2 was a much more entertaining show than its predecessor. Is that saying much though?
- Wrestlemania 2
- Wrestlemania 1 (Review)