Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Wrestlemania II - 1986

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Note - this is the 3rd in a series. My suggestion, go to "It begins" and read in chronological order.  Wrestlemania and the build for II is here

And hey - thanks for reading. Proud of you.

Wrestlemania II – 1986 (Chicago)(Dark – Rougeaus d. Lanny Poffo/Adrian Adonis)
-We’re gonna see a lot of Rougeaus. Same gimmick. I always loved how, even though they were legit brothers, when Jacques and Ray would hug, they got gay heat. This is the gayest dark match in wrestling history.

Gorilla/Jesse on the announce.

1. Killer Bees d. Muraco/Hercules
-Every show begins with an opening tag. Get used to it. Bees are doing the standard quick tagging babyface gimmick. Muraco/Herc are your stock heel power team. Brian Blair lost that election in Tampa, right? And how did Rick Steiner get on the school board? Who thought this was a good idea?

2. Legends Match: Andre the Giant d. Bruno Sammartino (Guest referee-Pedro Morales)
-No, this isn't workrate, but again, I'm limited to people who worked the card, and I didn't feel like using Russ Francis. Think of this as equivalent to the opening match at a big NOAH show. It'll be kept short - and eventually, when we have to use guys who are subpar workers, we'll make them bleed. There's enough juice in this match not to have to any extra, however. Andre took out David at I, prompting Bruno to come out of retirement for one last match. If there’s going to be a WWF legend crowned, he wants to be it. But Andre overwhelms him and takes his second legends win.

3. Hulk Hogan d. Paul Orndorff (w/ Mr. T)
- Hogan gets his heat back from the previous year. We keep Mr. T in the angle by turning him heel, the people will enjoy a little Thunderlips/Clubber Lang action. I bet they could get Carl Weathers to stand in Hogan's corner. Seriously, why did they have to kill Apollo? You don't kill The Count of Monte Fisto. Talia Shire you could have killed. Not Apollo.

4. Jake Roberts v. Greg Valentine
- Jake does his Jake thing. Hammer's a good introductory opponent, rarely had a bad match, he'd let Jake get in his stuff, DDT pinfall.

5. No DQ: Terry Funk d. Dory Funk, Jr.
- This is the first thing on the show that excites me; we let them do whatever they want; there isn't a garbage match on the show, so that makes some sense, but if they wanted to trade holds for 15 minutes, I'd watch that too. It's the Funks at Wrestlemania II, what's to complain about?

6. Tag Titles: Hart Foundation: Bret Hart/Davey Boy Smith (w/Anvil) d.
Recall the rules, winners from the previous PPV defend, when we add the remaining 3 PPVs, it avoids the result of Tito and Beefcake holding for a year, but there's no beef with Tito and 1986 Beefcake, they just aren't the Hart Foundation. Tito/Beefcake still the babyface tag champs. Davey Boy is a significant work upgrade over Neidhart. But Neidhart’s fun, so he replaces Jimmy (of whom I was never really a fan, he was awfully distracting) as the manager. Harts go over clean with the Hart Attack.  Neidhart is really a third man here, the Harts work in multiple combinations throughout the year.

7. IC: Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) d. Roddy Piper
Now we’re talking. Piper’s defending, over the course of the year, the fans turned him face, largely the way they did at the time. Randy’s doing his heel schtick and goes over clean with the big elbowdrop.

8. WWF Title: Dynamite Kid d. Ricky Steamboat
The best match in the two year WM history. The best match in company history to this point. The beauty part is Steamboat doesn’t carry the company, wrestling carries the company – specifically, this feud. Two of the greatest workers who ever lived, and while Dynamite in '86 wasn't Dynamite of '82, I'm guessing if given the chance to run at the top of the company, he gives what was left of his body. Steamboat is a pure babyface, one of the few top guys who never turned. And Dynamite’s a pure heel, although he never brought the act to the WWF – in Japan in ’83 he was going after Tiger Mask with a broken beer bottle. Not only that, but he was legit. nasty – Billington was drunk, coked up, roided up, popping painkillers, a complete pain in the ass in the back – and absolutely flat crazy-fearless in the ring. Everyone was scared to death of him and he was years ahead of his time in terms of work. They rip down the building and a heel walks out of WM with the strap. The Hart Foundation grabs the tag belts and the big strap, all 4 men hitting the turnbuckles and daring the fans to boo as the show ends.

The result? WM II, a terrible PPV, becomes a really, really good PPV. No need to thank me.

(Horsemen running hard all ’86, as we get to Starrcade, our new additions are the huge babyface tag the Road Warriors and the superconfident babyface Rude.)

Starrcade – 1986 Greensboro
NWA Title: Ric Flair d. Rick Rude
US Title: Tully Blanchard d. Hector Guerrero
Tags: Rock n Roll Express d. Midnight Express
Arn Anderson d. Dusty Rhodes

Ole Anderson d. Wahoo McDaniel
Brad Armstrong d. Ivan Koloff
Bubba Rogers d. Nikita Koloff
Road Warriors d. Ron Garvin/Jim Garvin

A year later, we're going to the Silverdome…we’ve broken up Tito and Beefcake over the course of the year, turning Brutus, except instead of giving him the shears, we're gonna give him a chainsaw. Their feud comes to a head at III. We’ve turned Piper back as he was heading off to go make movies and put him back with Hogan again. Piper does the Andy Kauffman gimmick, bigtiming Hogan and adopting the attitude that he doesn't really need to rekindle their feud, as it's beneath him. Piper's ducking Hogan over the course of the year, avoiding physical contact as much as possible with anyone, will serve to turn him, even despite a pretty rabid following in '87.

The Harts turn. The dynamic inside the Hart Foundation is that Dynamite is always pressing Bret and Davey Boy, always ribbing them, always putting them down - Dynamite's particularly brutal on Bret - insults his wrestling, his manhood. The Harts will tear down a house against any of the babyface tags at the time, and then Dynamite will rip into them. Dynamite, who continues feuding with Steamboat, has a particularly ugly attack against him - ideally, I'd like Steamboat's wife to take a bump from an attacking Dynamite - it's 1987, turning to Mania, if she'd just take a hard shove, that would be pretty good heat. I'd like her to take a headbutt from the top. That will be too much for the Harts, who will run in, and instead of aiding Dynamite, as he requests, they turn face. Dynamite repays the favor when, in a nontitle between the Harts and the Rougeaus, Dynamite interferes to give the Rougeaus the win - and get them the title shot at III.

Steamboat, shockingly, will look for revenge against Dynamite. Aren't they too small, someone might ask Vince, "That's ridiculous, what does a man's size have to do with his ability to work in the ring? Personally, I think wrestling fans enjoy the athleticism that the WWF brings to Pay Per View."

God bless Counterfactual Vince McMahon.

We've got the annual legend's match - this year is Andre against Harley Race - we hard sell Race's 7 NWA straps, as much as we can, we suggest that Race is the ultimate NWA legend.

We’ve also turned Savage. We'll do some Hogan/Savage v. Piper/Jake tags over the course of the year - I want to put Jake and Piper together a little bit, they seem crazy combustible, toss Savage into the mix, make them all travel together. Jake can do whatever he wants here, torment Liz, torment Randy - I think as we drive toward Mania this is a pretty hot feud.

We're going to the Silverdome for Wrestlemania III - it's the Dynamite/Steamboat rematch, Savage and Jake for the IC, the Harts defending against the Rougeaus, Piper's farewell match against Hogan, Tito against the chainsaw wielding Brutus Beefcake, Andre and Race in the Legends Match - Bigger, Better, Badder, it's Wrestlemania III!

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