WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania I

Mr. T hip tosses "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorf

Just as much as I love comics, I probably love professional wrestling. It seems the two go hand in hand. Some of the top guys in pro wrestling these days–like CM Punk–are avid comic book fans. Anyway, the biggest day in the wrestling world is coming up next week, WrestleMania 28. Thanks to my own collection and the local public library, I’ve been going through the past 27 events.

WrestleMania I was the first back in 1984. Watching this now just doesn’t seem that it was that big of a deal. The matches kind of blur together, and nothing really sticks out. The total time of the matches is approximately an hour. By today’s standards, is about the same in-ring time of an episode of Raw.

It just goes to show what a marketing juggernaut the WWF was back then. With a lot of celebrity involvement and promotion, they mad this the event for wrestling fans that year. If your sentimental for the early 1980s, you’ll enjoy this. Otherwise, it’s pretty skippable.

THE GOOD: Everyone involved acted like it was important, which helped make WrestleMania special.

THE BAD: The whole thing feels so dated. Not only the way the wrestlers perform, but even the celebrity guests. With the big names in attendance (and involvement) being Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T, it just feels so far removed.

BEST MATCH: Hands down, the main event which pitted the team of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorf. Ric Flair might have been having much better matches at the time, but this works well for what it is. Piper and Orndorf are cowardly villains, and the crowd loves it when Hulkamania goes wild at the end.