Welcome to my new mini-series. In this six part series, I will notate five points of interest that are unique to every individual WrestleMania during it's three decade run. These are moments, matches, or facts that help that year's WrestleMania stick out from the rest. For the first entry in the series, I will cover WrestleMania 1 through WrestleMania 5.
WrestleMania (March 31, 1985)
- The various ways to watch WrestleMania or any pay per view for that matter nowadays is astounding when you look back to how it was done in the original showcase of the immortals. Back in 1985, WrestleMania was only able to be viewed via closed-circuit television. That didn't deter fans from watching, as over a million people watched it. This turned WrestleMania into the most watched event on closed-circuit television at the time. Solidifying it's place for years to come.
- More significant background to add, this was also during the age of the Rock N' Wrestling era. Utilizing MTVC to promote the event, as well as massive celebrities, was a huge part of the success of the show. The use of celebrities for publicity is nothing new, but WrestleMania was over flowing with Hollywood stars. Mr. T, Muhammad Ali , Billy Martin, Cyndi Larper, Liberace, and The Rockettes were all featured on the show.
- The first match ever in WrestleMania history was Tito Santana vs. The Executioner. Tito Santana won the contest after applying the figure four leglock on The Excutioner, and forcing him to submit. Looks like the iconic Flair finisher was famous before the Nature Boy.
- The first title defense was for the Intercontinental Championship between Junkyard Dog and then champion Greg Valentine, who was escorted to the ring by his manager Jimmy Hart. Greg Valentine would get the pin by using the ropes for leverage, but Tito Santana would have the referee restart the match by explaining what happened. Junkyard Dog would secure the victory by count out, but the title would not change hands.
- The main event was Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff. The rivalry was centered around the distaste Piper and Mr. T had for each other, and in the end, Hulk Hogan got the pin on Orndorff for the win. This would also be the only WrestleMania to not feature a world title match.
WrestleMania 2 (April 7, 1986)
- This is the only WrestleMania to not take place on a Sunday, but on a Monday. It also took place from three different cities: Uniondale in New York, Rosemont in Illinois, and Los Angeles in California.
- Randy Savage defended his Intercontinental Championship against George Steele. Savage came out the victor in the contest, but during the match George Steele kicked out after getting hit with the classic Savage elbow. This would mark the first time anyone had ever kicked out of Randy Savage's finisher.
- The first of thee main events was a boxing match between Roddy Piper and Mr. T. The match went into the fourth round, but ended at the 1:15 mark due to Piper body slamming Mr. T and getting himself disqualified.
- The second main event was for the tag titles. The British Bulldogs challenged the champions of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake aka the Dream Team. The titles would change hands at the end of the match and end the seven month championship reign.
- The third and final main event at WrestleMania 2 was between King Kong Bundy vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship in a Steel Cage. Hulk Hogan retained his title by escaping the cage. This would also be the only cage match to ever be featured at any WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 3 (March 29, 1987)
- This event set the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America at 93,173. This is viewed as the climax of the 1980's boom, and the record wouldn't be beaten until February 14, 2010 when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game broke the indoor sporting event record with an attendance of 108,713 at CowboysStadium.
- The pay per view revenue was estimated at $10.3 million. This would be another record setter for the time.
- The classic Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamnboat Intercontinental Championship Match occurred at this year's event. Many deem it the greatest Intercontinental Championship Match in WWE history.
- "The biggest main event in sports entertainment" pitted WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against Andre The Giant. With Hulk Hogan's now three year reign and Andre never being beaten, it was the closest thing to the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object.
- The iconic Andre The Giant body slam was created at this event, and this would also be the first lost Andre The Giant ever had in his career.
WrestleMania 4 (March 27, 1988)
- This WrestleMania almost entirely consisted of a 14-Man Tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. The title was vacated after Andre The Giant won the belt from Hulk Hogan and then sold the title to Ted DiBiase.
- WrestleMania 30 wouldn't be the first time a giant battle royal took place over a trophy. The first match of the night was a 20-Man Battle Royal that saw Bad News Brown eliminate Bret Hart for the win.
- This was the pay per view debut of The Ultimate Warrior. He took on Hercules in a contest that showcased his strength by breaking Hercules chains before securing the victory.
- Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude is the only match in WrestleMania history to go to a draw due to esceeding the time limit.
- The finals would feature Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar Man would receive an easier route than most as he got a pass due to Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan getting counted out. Randy Savage had to face four other competitors in order to get his first WWF Championship.
WrestleMania 5 (April 2, 1989)
- This would be the first pay per view to witness the Million Dollar Championship. It wouldn't be on the line, but Ted DiBiase wore it to the ring in his match against Brutus Beefcake.
- The iconic Piper's Pit segment with Morton Downey Jr. was at this year's WrestleMania. This was the moment Morton Downey Jr. kept blowing smoke in Roddy Piper's face, so he hit him with the fire extinguisher.
- The event was held at the Trump Plaza. This would be the only time WrestleMania was featured at the same venue two years in a row. They did include extra seating for WrestleMania 5.
- Rick Rude faced Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Championship. The classic feud saw the first pin fall loss for the Ultimate Warrior as Rick Rude captured the Intercontinental Championship that night.
- The main event was Randy Savage defending the WWF Championship against Hulk Hogan. The match and the entire WrestleMania event would be built as the explosion of the Mega Powers. A feud centered around Randy Savage's heel turn due to jealousy over Miss Elizabeth.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of my six part series. If you have any other moments or facts you believe should be shared or mentioned in this article, put them in the comments below, I know I missed some of your personal favorites. As always, have a good day.