3/20/2016 0 Comments
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Here on WrestleMania Recall, I will be ranking my top 31 favorite matches in WWE WrestleMania history. A new installment will be posted every day in the month of March, culminating with my No. 1 favorite match on Thursday, March 31st, mere days before WrestleMania 32. Each article will offer an in-depth look at each match and an analysis of why it is among my favorites.
As you have probably noticed by this point in the series, there aren't many matches from the early installments of WrestleMania. There were a handful of classic contests, but they are far and few between, and even then I don't consider all of them favorites of mine. For example, and please don't burn me at the stake for this, but Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat will not be a part of "WrestleMania Recall." To say it was an amazing match is an understatement, but it's simply not one of my favorite 'Mania matches.
This matchup between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, however, is among the elite on this exclusive list. WrestleMania 6 isn't looked back on too fondly as being a stellar show, but of the first ten WrestleManias, I enjoyed it more than most of the others. The Canada crowd was raucous for a majority of the evening, and although there were an excessive amount of matches on the card, the near-four hour extravaganza was worth it for the exhilarating main event championship clash.
From the moment he arrived on the WWE scene in 1987, Warrior was on absolute fire. He quickly captured the hearts of the fans with his unparalleled energy and flamboyant colors, racing to the ring like a bat out of hell. He built an incredible fan following throughout 1988 and 1989 by winning the Intercontinental Championship on two occasions, and by early 1990, it was apparent there was only one thing left for him to conquer: the WWE Championship, as well as Hulk Hogan by association.
They clashed for the first time ever toward the end of the 1990 Royal Rumble match and it was a spectacular scene. You could tell everyone in attendance was anxious to see the two titans finally come in contact, but before one could score an edge over the other, they were interrupted by whoever the next entrant was. It was like two ships passing in the night. Hogan had a hand in Warrior's elimination from the bout, setting the stage for their epic encounter at The Show of Shows.
For the first five WrestleManias, Hogan was virtually unbeatable. He overcame every obstacle as WWE Champion, but Warrior posed an entirely different and unprecedented challenge. Technically, Hogan's tournament match with Andre the Giant at WrestleMania 4 ended in a double disqualification, but he didn't lose, so leading into WrestleMania 6, Hogan was unpinned on the grand stage. Warrior wasn't undefeated in singles competition, but he did have major momentum on his side.
Hogan vs. Warrior is a prime example of a match that didn't need to be a five star wrestling clinic in order to be special. The build-up was phenomenal, the dynamic was surreal, and there was genuine excitement over who would come out on top. As beloved as the leader of Hulkamania was, the SkyDome was Warrior country that night. The Canada crowd was invested in everything they did as they went blow for blow and dished out all of their signature maneuvers.
Neither Warrior or Hogan were the greatest wrestlers in the world, so logic would state that their match would have been hot garbage, yet somehow it was the exact opposite. Warrior scored arguably one of the biggest victories of all-time when he beat Hogan in clean fashion and emerged as both the WWE and Intercontinental Champion. Even if you aren't a fan of '80s wrestling, you'll likely love the hell out of this match as much as I did. You won't find that type of electricity anywhere else.
SEE ALSO: "WrestleMania Recall, Match #13: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, WrestleMania 31"
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