March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Stars, stripes and success

Nothing screams “I love America” like Wrestlemania, right? 

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Wrestlemania 7 (Results)

Date: March 24, 1991

Arena: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (Los Angeles, CA)

Attendance: 16,158

SUMMARY: Wrestlemania 7 was all about patriotism. The color scheme was red, white and blue. The main event featured Hulk Hogan, a man dubbed the “Real American,” taking on the original patriot turned Iraqi supporter, Sgt. Slaughter. After Slaughter claimed the WWF title from the Ultimate Warrior at the Royal Rumble, Slaughter and Hogan set forth on a storyline that drew interest because of how close it hit to home with Operation Desert Storm. People wanted nothing more than to see Hogan defeat the turncoat.

While Hogan was returning to the top of the card, the Ultimate Warrior and Macho King had their time to take on each other. Macho King wanted a title shot, something he was chasing from Wrestlemania 5. Ultimate Warrior refused, leading to match with Slaughter. Macho King felt slighted and cost Warrior the title. The two embarked on a feud, resulting in a “career-ending match.”

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: A-minus

FAVORITE MATCH: Macho King Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior. This match was great. The drama filled in the match was everything. The moment when Savage hits five elbow drops on Warrior only to have the Warrior kick out, much to the surprise of everyone. Warrior then hits his finisher, but Macho King kicks out. Warrior is distraught and begins doubting himself and in, albeit a little weird manner, starts threatening to walk out of the ring as retire for good. Then just as he’s going to walk away, Savage tries to crush Warrior’s throat in the same way that he did to Ricky Steamboat in the lead up to Wrestlemania 3. The Warrior recovers and finds the strength to hit three high intensity shoulder tackles to save his career. The post-match events added to this being my favorite match. Sherri was beating up Macho Man and kicking Macho Man while he was down, Miss Elizabeth sprints to the ring and tosses Sherri out. Savage sees Elizabeth, and after a two-year separation, Savage and Elizabeth reconcile, which brings females to tears.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: I love the Macho King vs. Warrior match obviously, but I also loved the Rick Martel vs. Jake Roberts blindfold match. The gimmick match worked so well with the storyline, and the execution was spot on. The match with its build of trying to feel around for the opponent provided comedy with Rick Martel, while giving the crowd easy cues to cheer Jake. The ending was great, since Jake’s finisher worked well with the quick strike action. The Hart Foundation match with the Nasty Boys was a strong match with plenty of false tags and other methods to really build up the hot tag. The match also put over Nasty Boys as champions. We also saw the Rockers – mainly Shawn Michaels – get their first Wrestlemania victory.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: Goodness, it took me a while to recover from the emotional investment of the Warrior vs. Savage match. There were still six matches to go before the main event started, and while there were some compelling stories involved in the back end, such as Virgil vs. Million Dollar Man, Heenan Family vs. the Big Boss Man and Andre the Giant, the matches had to follow the Warrior vs. Savage suffered greatly. This was also my introduction to Japanese pro wrestling, and sadly, it had to be a terrible match between revised Demolition and Tenryu and Koji Kitao. The card, while shorter than other cards, still had an obscene 14 matches.

ANGRY FIST: I can tell that the show has been edited to be a little more streamlined. They cut out a ridiculously pointless segment where they contemplated the usage of instant replay in pro wrestling.

RANDOM THOUGHT: “The Ultimate Warrior begins to doubt if he should continuing wrestling, and he overcomes it. Macho Man finds his true love. Virgil finds a sense of self-reliance, and motivates his best friend to get up after being knocked down. Hulk Hogan embodies the love for a country and patriotism. The most inspirational ‘Mania ever.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: Wrestlemania 7 easily surpasses Wrestlemania 5 as the top card so far. It suffered from the problem that Wrestlemania 6 did, but even that wasn’t as bad as Wrestlemania 6’s late-card fall off. There were enough compelling stories to justify putting those matches later in the card. It’s something the WWF (later WWE) figured out by properly pacing the card and knowing how to use lesser matches to cool down crowds after emotionally draining bouts. The main event wasn’t as great as Wrestlemania 5, but the rest of the card was a step better. This was a classic example of how a crowd can elevate a match. The crowd elevated the average main event between Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter into something much bigger. The crowd was firmly behind Hogan and it added so much to the match.

  1. Wrestlemania 7
  2. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
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