WWE WrestleMania: The Complete Anthology - Volume 1 - (WrestleMania I-V)
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(Nov 01, 2005)
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Go back to the beginning of WrestleManias long, illustrious history and see where the phenomenon began. Watch as Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff and TV megastar Mr. T all tangle in the Main Event of the very first WrestleMania. See WWE Superstars take on the greats of the NFL in a unique Battle Royal at WrestleMania 2. Witness the legendary encounter between Hogan and Andre the Giant before 93,173 at WrestleMania III. Relive the 16-man WWE Championship tournament from WrestleMania IV. Experience the explosion of the MegaPowers at WrestleMania V. These classic moments and more can be found in WrestleManias first five years.
- Includes WrestleMania I-V
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Top customer reviews
This volume covers the first 5 WM's. I will go do the pain staking task of going through the matches. Also, because they were still The World Wrestling Federation at this time, I will refer to all titles with WWF and not WWE. Here we go:
Tito Santana Vs. The Executioner - Back in the day when the top stars got squash matches, Tito was put in with this masked man. Pretty much a squash match though The Executioner had his moments. Tito finishes the match with a figure-four leglock. A sign to his rival at the time Greg "The Hammer" Valentine who also used this hold.
S.D. Jones Vs. King Kong Bundy - In one of the squashes to end all squashes, The 450lb. KKB destroyed the late S.D. Jones. I dispute the 9 second claim but it was definitely well under 30 seconds! Even in this day and age, it is still awesome to view!
Matt Bourne Vs. Rick Steamboat - The future Doink The Clown took on the future "Dragon" as Steamboat had just came from Jim Crockett's NWA at the time. It was mostly a showcase for Ricky Steamboat but Bourne showed some skills as well. Steamboat ends this with a flying bodypress on Bourne (who clearly saw this yet tried to pretend he couldn't get out the way/quite hilarious actually)!
David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino Vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Johnny Valiant -Wrestling traditions collide here as the Sammartinos took on Johnny Valiant's Brutus Beefcake (who was not yet the Barber). I say wrestling traditions because Valiant has a lineage with brother Jimmy Valiant as tag team champions in WWF/WWE.
Anyway, this bout wasn't bad but nothing to remember except for the ending when Bruno got involved after Valiant bodyslammed David on the concrete. Quite frankly, even at the age he was at that point, Bruno was STILL better than his son or even some of the guys wrestling now! LOL!
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine Vs. The Junkyard Dog (WWF I-C Title Match) - A brawling match mostly with the wrestling coming from Valentine as he tried to set up his legs for his figure-four leglock. JYD relied, with great success, on brawling. Ends when Valentine gets an illegal pin on JYD but was quickly reversed when Tito Santana came down to protest. The ref restarted the match and counted out Valentine who was already half-way back to the locker room. This bout was basically used to further the Santana/Valentine feud.
Barry Windham/Mike Rotunda w/"Capt." Lou Albano Vs. Nikoli Volkoff & The Iron Sheik w/"Classy" Freddie Blassie (WWF World Tag Team Title Match) - Windham and Rotunda was the champs for this match as they defended their titles against the two grizzeled veterans. Youth was to the side of the champs while the challengers used rulebreaking and basic wrestling to gain their advantage. Ends when Windham gets cracked over the head with Blassie's cane and even partially hit Volkoff with it by mistake! Volkoff covers and we have new tag team champions. Check out the interview afterwards! Classic, funny stuff nowadays but major heat back then!
Andre The Giant Vs. Big John Studd - This was a match where the only way for Andre to win is to bodyslam Big John Studd. By doing so, Andre would win $15,000 but he also uped the ante by saying that if he failed to do so in this match, he would retire from wrestling. This is not a very good big man match as Andre was on the downside of his career but was still an attraction. Studd was a decent worker but wasn't known at a great wrestler. Still, this match got almost as much attention as the main event itself.
"The Eight Wonder Of The World" was one of the most beloved wrestlers at this point so there was no way he was going to lose this! Andre used a wise strategy and wore down Studd to the point that when he went for the slam, BJS couldn't block it! Andre won the match and saved his career in this one.
Wendi Richter w/Cyndi Lauper Vs. Lelani Kai w/The Fabulous Moolah (WWF Women's Title Match) - These two were the few women's wrestlers around in WWE as WWE women's wrestling wasn't as popular as it is now. Nothing extrodinary, mostly brawling. Ends when Richter reversed a flying bodypress attempt into a pin and regained the women's championship that she lost to Kai about a month or so earlier.
Hulk Hogan & Mr. T w/"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka Vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff w/"Cowboy" Bob Orton - In this first main event in WrestleMania history, Hogan (who was WWF Champion at this point) teams with action actor Mr. T to take on two seasoned veterans in Piper and Paul Orndorff. Five of the six men in this match went on to be Hall Of Famers (Hogan, Snuka, Piper, Orton and Orndorff) and two of them (Snuka and Orton) have sons that now wrestle.
As for the match itself, it wasn't the greatest main event in WM history but it wasn't a bad one either as we have seen worse in the years since this one! Ends when a miscue from Orton cost his team the match! It also starts a face turn for Orndorff as he was abandoned by his partners Piper and Orton in this match.
While there would be better WrestleMania's after this, it was still the first and there will never be another first!
For this one, they decided to hold it in three different venues, copying what Jim Crockett did for Starrcade at the 1985 edition when he held it in two different cities with the other card shown on Closed Circuit TV. McMahon decided to up the ante by doing it from three venues. In retrospect, it was a rare miscue by McMahon as he couldn't outdo Crockett on that score plus the card overall wasn't that great! I'll look back on it anyway though.
"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff Vs. "The Magnificent One" Don Muraco - What should've been the best technical match on the card ended up being a near clusterf**k! If not for the overall talent of these two, this would've been the worst bout on the card. Its not bad but certainly below what these two were capable of at this point. Ends in a double countout or DQ.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts Vs. George Wells - In his first big event for the WWF, Jake Roberts took on WWF's answer to NWA/WCW's Rocky King! LOL! To be honest, George Wells had his moments but ultimately felt to "The Snake" and his DDT! He was even the recepiant of Damien!
"Macho Man" Randy Savage w/Ms. Elizabeth Vs. George "The Animal" Steele (WWF Intercontinental Title Match) - Not a good bout but it is an entertaining one nonetheless. Most of the comedy comes from Steele using unorthodox tactics against Savage. Ends when "Macho Man" gets in illegal pin on Steele to retain his title.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Vs. Mr. T (Boxing Match) - To be blunt, you'd be better off looking at the buildup to this match as it was better than the match itself! I mean, I know wrestling is a show and all but this was so painfully fake, I couldn't stand more than a few viewings! Thankfully, it ends after 4 rounds after Piper bodyslams T, causing a DQ! I think even Piper saw how bad this match was sucking and decided to end the pain!
Velvet McIntyre Vs. The Fabulous Moolah (WWF Women's Title Match) - I don't know how old Moolah was at this point but I will say this, she whooped McIntyre's a** in this one. Granted, Velvet did get her licks in and was honestly better than a lot of lady wrestlers at that period but tonight was Moolah's night as she pretty much defeated her in under (I think) two minutes!
Nikoli Volkoff Vs. Corporal Kirshner - In this match, the winner would be able to take the flags of both The United States Vs. Russia. This was a quick match, not even 5 minutes but it did have Kirshner bleed during this. In the end, Nikoli's manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie cost his man as he tried to throw him his cane BUT it was intercepted by Kirshner! He used it on Volkoff for the win. Worth one view for nostalgia.
The British Bulldogs w/Capt. Lou Albano Vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/Johnny Valiant (WWF World Tag Team Title Match) - A classic tag team matchup! This is a MUST VIEW on this volume! Even Brutus, who wasn't on the level of the Bulldogs or even Valentine, stepped up his game for this one. The tag team work of The Bulldogs was amazing.
On a side note, it was almost scary to watch The Dynamite Kid, mostly because of the recent memories to the late Chris Benoit. They resembled each other so much in both style, attitude in the ring and even looks it was scary at times to watch in an ironic way!
Back to the match, it ends when Dynamite sacrificed himself by signaling Davey Boy Smith to throw Valentine (who pulled up DBS after he had a sure pin) into his head while standing on the second rope! Dynamite, as a result, fell almost 15 feet to the concrete but Davey was able to get the pin! The Bulldogs won the tag team championships that night and cemented their place in WWF/WWE history! Valentine and Beefcake also deserves credit for putting on a great effort here as well.
20 Man Battle Royal - This featured several mid-level WWF superstars of the day and NFL players including Ed "Too Tall" Jones and "Refrigerator" William Perry. It ends when Andre The Giant eliminates a tag team that you may have heard of named The Hart Foundation *wink*! LOL! Not a bad match.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat Vs. Hercules Hernandez - In one of his biggest bouts, Hercules took on the legendary Ricky Steamboat and surprisingly kept up with him! Steamboat, of course, was on his game and made Hernandez look better than he really was. Steamboat gets the duke at the end after several near falls from the late Hernandez.
"Adorable" Adrian Adonis Vs.Uncle Elmer - This, quite bluntly, was a BUTT UGLY match! The late Adrian Adonis, at this point, shed his tough guy image to "come out of the closet"! Discreetly speaking, he was a version of Goldust! Elmer (who is also deceased) was just a big guy with some straight up moves to crush you but nothing eye blowing! In the end, Adonis used his superior speed and skills to finally get the win over Elmer.
Terry Funk & Hoss Funk (Dory Funk, Jr.) Vs. The Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana - This was a wild tag team match. The total opposite of Bulldogs Vs. Beefcake/Valentine but still very good! You had the science guys that could brawl in "Hoss" Funk and Santana and then you had their partners who were just straight brawlers in Terry Funk and the late JYD! This was the climax of the JYD Vs. Terry Funk feud and this also saw Terry suffer one of his many knee injuries in the win over Santana and The Dog.
Hulk Hogan Vs. King Kong Bundy (WWF World Title Match in a Steel Cage) - While not the worst main event in WM history, we've seen better! Even the tag team main event the year before was better! Bundy is/was just a body who had even less skill than Hogan! Still, the crowd got what they came to see and that was Hogan get revenge on Bundy for a rib injury suffered weeks earlier on Saturday Night's Main Event. Hogan even gets to rough up Heenan a bit during this!
Overall, WrestleMania 2 wasn't a bad effort but it certainly wasn't one of the best WrestleMania's. Watch it for the Chicago portion featuring the WWF World Tag Team Title match and the Battle Royal and the Los Angeles portion for Steamboat/Hernandez and the wild tag team match with The Funks Vs. JYD/Santana.
While there have been great wrestling cards, this one is the only other one that will live in my heart until the day The Lord calls me home! In case you are wondering, the other one is the NWA's Starrcade '85!
This was in the Pontiac Silverdome and drew the legendary figure of 93,173 people! One of the largest indoor records of all time! All because of one match....Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre The Giant!
But there was more than just Hulk & Andre. Check it out:
The Cam-Am Connection (Rick Martel/Tom Zenk) Vs. Don "The Magnificent One" Muroco & "Cowboy" Bob Orton - This one was the team of Zenk and Martel against this team of veteran rulebreakers. While Muroco and Orton had their moments, this was more of a display for The Can-Ams. Ends when a miscue between Orton and Muroco allows the Can-Ams to get the pin on Muroco.
Billy Jack Haynes VS. Hercules Hernandez - Two of the best built men in wrestling (at that time) went at it here. This wasn't a classic match by any means rather it was a stretched out "test of strength" between these two with hard hits traded back and forth! Ends when both men are counted out of the ring but Hernandez got the last laugh when he clocked BJH with his steel chain, busting him open and leaving him laying bloody after using his version of the full nelson!
King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebroke & Little Tokyo Vs. Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver & The Hati Kid - In this mixed tag team match, this was pretty much for laughs though the final part of this match wasn't funny, even by today's hardcore standards. By that, I mean Bundy squashed Little Beaver after he interfered one too many times in the match with a bodyslam and an elbowdrop! It ticked off even Bundy's partners in this match! By the way, Hillbilly's team won but they didn't look like victors here.
The Junkyard Dog Vs. Harley Race - In this match, JYD took on the former seven time NWA title holder Harley Race in a match where the loser must bow to the winner! This was a short one but it features some surprising wrestling from JYD including an adominal stretch. Ends when Race hooks a very strong belly to belly suplex on the very thick JYD for the win. JYD, after bowing to Race, got the last laugh and ended up walking out with Race's cape and crown! LOL!
The Rougeau Brothers Vs. The Dream Team (Greg "The Hammer" Valentine/Brutus Beefcake) - This was a short tag team bout which was used more so to turn Beefcake into a face while bringing together Valentine and the late Dino Bravo. As for the match itself, it was pretty good but not the best but it did what it was supposed to do.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Vs. "Adorable" Adrian Adonis (Loser gets his head shaved) - In this one, Piper retired from wrestling for the first time to pursue a movie career. In this one, he took on rival Adonis and it also introduced Beefcake as a face for the first time as he helped "The Rowdy Scot" to a win over "The Adorable One." A pretty good contest with some hard shots at times.
The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana Vs. The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis - The story in this one was that Davis, as a referee, cost both The Bulldogs and Santana their titles at different times in the past year. Now, the English/Mexican team of Davey Boy Smith, The Dynamite Kid and Tito Santana had a chance at revenge on Davis and were willing to take on Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart to do it!
The Harts (particularly Bret) & Tito Santana carried this bout in my opinion to be a pretty good six man. When they did get their hands on Davis, they put a pretty good beating on him but in an ironic twist, it was Davis that got the win for his team when he nailed one of the Bulldogs with Jimmy Hart's megaphone!
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat Vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) - I won't talk much about this match because no words I can give it can do it justice! Its one of the greatest pro wrestling matches of all time! Not just in WrestleMania history but in wrestling history, PERIOD! This is another MUST VIEW for this set!
Koko B. Ware Vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed - In a rare bout with two African-American stars, the flashy Koko took on long time veteran Butch Reed. It was an okay bout but the real action happened at the end when Tito Santana unexpectedly showed up to thrash Reed's manager Slick after Slick attacked Koko after the match!
Jake "The Snake" Roberts Vs. The Honky Tonk Man - Probably the most famous match in the career of "The Snake" because it was in front of the record setting crowd. It was not a great match but watchable. Like many matches on this card, the real action came after the match when Jimmy Hart was mugged by Jake's snake Damien with the help of rocker Alice Cooper! By the way, HTM won the match.
The Killer Bees Vs. Nikoli Volkoff & The Iron Sheik w/Slick - This one saw action before the bout as Volkoff tried to sing the Russian National Anthem but was stopped by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan! As for the match itself, it wasn't bad and was a good calm down match before the main event. Ends when Duggan gets the Bees DQ'ed after Duggan nailed The Sheik with his 2 X 4 as he had one of the Bees in his dreaded Camel Clutch!
Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre The Giant (WWF World Title Match) - Let me say this, I respect what Hulk Hogan and Andre has meant to this business and they do deserve their legendary status. That being said, this main event was not a good match but the fans make it memorable because I don't think they were quiet the whole time during this bout! It does produce a memory that'll live with me forever as Hogan body slammed the over 500lb. Andre to get the win following his legdrop.
This card, as a whole is one card I can watch again and again and is still one of my favorite memories as a young man.
Coming off of WrestleMania 3, this one had the unenviable task of following it and, to be honest, there was NO WAY it could! Thus, this ended up being one of the worst WM's ever. The only thing I would recommend watching this one for at all is the WWF World Title Tournament, particularly the bouts with Randy "Macho Man" Savage as he did go on to win the tournament. The only other tournament matches I would recommend viewing are these three:
Ricky Steamboat Vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - This was a great one on one match up and took place prior to Steamboat returning to the NWA and his legendary 1989 program with Ric Flair. Ends when "The Hammer" pulled out a win to advance.
Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre The Giant - This was a match set up for the quarterfinals as both men were given a bye in the first round. This isn't a good match and definitely lower than their WM III match! I would recommend watching this just because it does have an effect on the outcome of the tournament.
Don "The Rock" Muroco Vs. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase - Another good bout as Muroco (in arguably the best shape of his career) took on Dibiase who was without his bodyguard Virgil. Ends when Dibiase gets a rare clean pin on Muroco.
These three, along with all four Savage matches, are the only ones from the tournament I would recommend viewing. The non-tournament matches are not very good and I fell asleep on many of them! LOL! Skip the non-tourney matches!
This one was still below III but a step or two above IV. Here is my view on it:
Hercules Vs. Haku - While not Bret Hart Vs. Owen Hart, this one wasn't a bad opener at all. Hercules gets a surprise win using a wrestling move! A back suplex into a bridge for the win!
The Rockers Vs. The Twin Towers - The team of Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty took on the late Big Bossman & Akeem (One Man Gang) in this one. The Rockers aquitted themselves well despite being outweighed by at least 400lbs. combined weight! Still, it was too much to overcome as The Bossman and Akeem squashed The Rockers at the end! Good tag team bout with some high impact spots.
"The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase w/Virgil Vs. Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake - Not a good bout but watchable. Dibiase definitely carried this one! Ends in a double countout.
The Fabulous Rougeaus Vs. The Bushwackers - One of the most dull tag team bouts ever! Watch once and skip!
Mr. Perfect Vs. The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) - This was Owen Hart's debut at WrestleMania as he took on Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig in a very underrated bout. These two, for the short time they were given, put on a very good match that could've been great if given more time. Ends when Hennig traps The Blazer in his "Perfect" plex! May both men rest in peace! We miss you!
Demolition Vs. The Powers Of Pain & Mr. Fuji (WWF World Tag Team Title Match) - This was a two against three bout for the tag straps. Mostly brawling, it was entertaining with Demolition getting revenge on their former manager Mr. Fuji! They retain in this one.
Dino Bravo Vs. Ron Garvin - One of the stiffest matches I've ever seen. Bravo had the power but Garvin was one of those old schoolers that would kick your behind if you let him! Ends when Bravo gets a clean win with his side suplex. Garvin gets the last laugh though when he gets Bravo's manager Frenchie Martin in his "Garvin Stomp." A move still used occassionally by WWE star Randy Orton.
The Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard/Arn Anderson) Vs. Strike Force (Tito Santana/Rick Martel) - A great tag team bout that was done more NWA style than WWF! This, however, was a set up for Martel's heel turn and eventual turn into "The Model." Up until that point though, it was a classic tag team match that (as I said) looked like it should've been at Jim Crockett's Starrcade or The Great American Bash rather than WrestleMania. Worth a look or two.
At this point, there was a classic Piper's Pit with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper facing off with Brother Love (Bruce Prichard) & Morton Downy, Jr. Piper, of course, ends up getting the last laugh on both men and a great way to break the action.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts Vs. Andre The Giant - For this one, Big John Studd was assigned as the special referee for this bout. This one wasn't a great match as Andre pretty much dominated Jake for the majority of it until Jake managed to ram Andre's head into an exposed turnbuckle to get a brief advantage. Ends when Andre attacks Studd and Dibiase interferes, which begins the program between Roberts and Ted.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & The Honky Tonk Man Vs. The Hart Foundation -A pretty good tag team bout that saw good teamwork from both sides. Ends when Jimmy Hart's attempt at interference backfires as Bret Hart nails HTM with the megaphone!
"Ravishing" Rick Rude Vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WWF Intercontinental Title Match) - Not many could get a good match out of The Ultimate Warrior but the late Rick Rude was one of those guys! He really sold Warrior's moves and carried him to a pretty good bout while making himself look good too. In the end, being a heel, he had his manager Bobby "The Brain" Hennan interfere. Allowing Rude to get the pin and the I-C belt. Warrior gets his revenge after the match when he puts Heenan in his gorilla press slam which would have a factor later in the night.
Bad News Brown Vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan - Just a short brawl. Worth one look.
"Red Rooster" Terry Taylor Vs. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan w/The Brooklyn Brawler - This wasn't even a match as I don't think it lasted a minute! Add the fact that Heenan was already beat up from the Ultimate Warrior earlier and his chances of winning was zero! This one was also worth one look.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage Vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF World Title Match) - One year after Savage captured the title, he now faced off with the man that helped him win the belt in Hulk Hogan. Adding to the drama was the fact that Ms. Elizabeth was going to be in a neutral corner and you had a good main event. Savage DEFINITELY carried this one though I will give Hogan credit, he attempted some wrestling early on in the match to break things up from his usual brawling style.
In the end, Hogan wins after getting beat down by Savage. While these two would face off for the remainder of 1989 and a few years later in WCW, this was the apex of Savage/Hogan in my view.
Overall, this is a good volume for nostalgia if nothing else! The MUST SEE on here is WrestleMania III as well as a few matches and moments from all the other WM's on this volume and with the great price that Amazon is selling them at, how can you pass this up!? Get them all while the gettin' is good!
that was in 1985 and here it is 2014 and it is still going strong... this is a great way to see the first five manias in one great package,
see piper and mr.t box, randy savage fight for his i.c. belt and his woman with the animal george steel, hulk and andre set the bar for all other main events at wrestlemania to come after it, macho winning his first wwf then title, then to loose it to his once friend hogan a year later..... this is what dreams are made of..... WRESTLEMANIA some of the funnest and most athletic drama's ever told.
Of course the date to return and get any kind of refund had expired. All the other discs are working fine expect this one!
The particular one was 100% guaranteed and purchase through Amazon. Surprising as the other two volumes from other vendor were fine.