Wrestlemania 7 was the first pay per view that my family ordered as we had gotten cable television not long before this… As a matter of fact, we tried getting the Rumble before this but had a problem with our cable connection as it had just been installed so we got the tape (remember those?) of the show the next day. Thus, I was pretty excited about the idea of watching a WWF pay per view live. Understand that the early 90s was during a period of time in which there wasn’t Monday Night Raw every week with high profile matches pitting main eventer against main eventer. You had Saturday Night’s Main Event every other month or so but other than that, WWF television consisted of Saturday and Sunday morning programs, as well as prime time wrestling, centered around promos and preliminary matches. This made the pay per views feel so much more important as their were only four a year & they were your only real chance to see high profile matches.
The main reason why I was so excited that we were going to be getting Wrestlemania 7 live on pay per view was that this meant that I would finally get to watch the countdown show, I’d get to see the matches as they were happening and I wouldn’t have to wait until they got the event at Blockbuster or depend on my father’s friend, this was amazing! This was also the beginning of watching WWF Pay Per Views together as a family, a tradition that continued for many years. My dad would spend the day bar be cuing, my mom would make dessert and it would be the one night my sister and I were able to have candy and soda.
At the time, I was a huge Hulkamaniac, as I assume any four year old would be. It seems looking back that Hulk Hogan was probably a bigger star in the 80s but in 1991, at least in my eyes he was still all the rage. I remember Hogan was also everywhere, I distinctly remember that there was a special that ran on Nickelodeon at the time called “Stories From Growing Up” and it played constantly. The special was about Hulk Hogan and how he used to be fat and got made fun of growing up. It was ridiculous but I feel like I watched it every time it was on TV. You can watch that at the link below.
I also remember in 1991 being stuck in a Kids R Us with my mom as we had a flat tire and so we were stuck there for hours. On the television, they kept playing all of these little commercials promoting items in the store. One of the commercials featured Hulk Hogan and was a little of the Real American music video and then Hulk showed up to shill the WWE merchandise they had which included an awesome bedding set that I got later that year. I had an absolute blast being stuck in the kids R Us because of this commercial and I remember doing everything I could to do my best Hogan impression I was entertaining customers and store security the whole day.
Thus, going into Wrestlemania 7, I was really happy to see that Hulk Hogan would be coming to his country’s defense against the evil Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter. I remember i thought Slaughter’s win at Royal Rumble that year came out of nowhere and I hated seeing a bad guy walk around as the WWF champion.
I remember my father saying as that show began, “Wait what happened to the LA Coliseum?” which was a good question because WWF was really pushing the Coliseum hard especially at the Rumble that year. I don’t recall it ever being revealed that Mania 7’s location was going to be changed to the LA Memorial Arena.
As for the show itself, I believe this was the last year for a while that they still put a ton of matches on the card in an effort to get everyone on the show, with an insane 14 matches. That said, I did think that the matches helped the show fly right by as no match seemed to go too long. This also was during the period of time where the Rockers were kicking off most WWE shows and getting the crowd hot with a great fast paced match, similar to the ways that the Usos are used today. On this night they faced Haku and the Barbarian, a match I love to this day. Aside from the top two matches, Warrior & Savage and Hogan & Slaughter, I remember being most excited Virgil vs. Ted Dibiase, believe it not. I felt that they did a great job in, again, letting a long story unfold, that this match had a ton of heat behind it.
As for the two top matches, Warrior and Savage really stole the show for me. The fact that Randy Savage hit five top rope elbow drops and they still weren’t enough to put the Ultimate Warrior away, just made Warrior seem so unstoppable. If you couple that match with the excellent post match reunion between the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth that left members of the crowd crying, I’d say that this would be the type of match & moment I’d suggest anyone to watch if they were wondering what makes Wrestlemania so special.
Of course though, in the end, I was just happy to see the Hulkster back on top as the WWF World Heavyweight Champion after a full year away from the belt. On paper this may not read as a classic but if you go back and watch that match, Slaughter was so good in his role, especially with General Adnan in his corner, that he had so much heat. Further than that, Sgt. Slaughter does a great job bumping his ass off and really selling for Hogan. Thus, maybe it’s just the nostalgia of this being my first ever Wrestlemania I saw on pay per view or what, but I loved this match and really enjoyed this Wrestlemania.
Next time we’ll take a look at Wrestlemania 8 which really brought a lot of change to the WWF. Plus I’ll throw in a fun story about my first WWF live event and how scared I was about Papa Shango.