We are now one week away from the 29th edition of Wrestlemania – the biggest and grandest PPV in the history of the wrestling industry. For almost three decades Wrestlemania has been the scene of some of wrestling’s greatest feuds and most memorable moments. Stars have been made and careers etched in the annals of time. But as big as it has become the original Wrestlemania was far from being “The Grandest Stage of ‘em all” as it has become know. It wasn’t even given full national PPV exposure! Unbelievable when you think of how huge the event is today.
For those of you that are new to WWE or perhaps weren’t around when it all began What Culture show’s its age and goes back to 1985 to bring you a full run down of all 28 previous Wrestlemanias. If this doesn’t get you in the mood for this year’s event then nothing will.
Wrestlemania I – March 31, 1985
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York City
Described as ‘The Greatest Wrestling Event of All Time’ the original Wrestlemania didn’t even have its top title on the line in the main event. Broadcast for the first time on PPV to most of America the event was the brainchild of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Jr. in an attempt to boost the then WWF’s standing in the wrestling wars against rival Jim Crockett who had already broadcast the successful Starcade PPV back in 1983. The difference between Crockett and McMahon though was Vince’s keen eye for main stream integration. Whereas Starcade was a wrestling purists event Wrestlemania would be a way to mix the world of professional wrestling with the mainstream darlings of 1980′s pop culture.
The event itself featured nine wrestling matches and three title defences including Greg Valentine hanginging on to his Intercontinental championship and The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff defeating The US Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo) for the Tag Team straps. The other title match of the evening was more about Cyndi Lauper than the actual wrestlers as she helped Wendi Richter become Women’s champion by defeating Leilanni Kai (managed by Fabulous Moolah). Other matches included Tito Santana defeating The Executioner (Buddy Rose), Ricky Steamboat defeating Matt Borne (Evil Doink) and Andre the Giant defeating Big John Studd in a Bodyslam Challenge.
The main event featured then champion Hulk Hogan teaming with none other than Mr T against Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff. As you can imagine the match was far from a wrestling classic but id deliver the excitement and thrills the fans of the ’80′s were looking for. The same could be said for the event itself. Despite only having 1 hour of actual in ring action the event was deemed enough of a success to try again one year later.
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