We’re just over a week away from the milestone 30th edition of WWE’s WrestleMania pay-per-view and as we continue to travel down the road to WrestleMania XXX, we will continue to look back at some of the legendary moments in WrestleMania history.
WrestleMania II took place on April 7, 1986. A few things were unique about this event. First and foremost, it was the only WrestleMania in history that did not take place on a Sunday, as April 7th in 1986 was actually a Monday. Secondly, the event took place live from three different locations, each with their own main event and supporting undercard.
For those who know their history, they know that the multiple-location idea wasn’t exactly pioneered by WWE, as Starrcade ’85 was actually held in two locations. The 1986 edition of Starrcade took place in both Greensboro, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, with one of the main events taking place in a steel cage (Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum T.A. in an “I Quit” Steel Cage Match).
WrestleMania II took place in the top three media markets in the country, as Hulk Hogan competed in a steel cage match against King Kong Bundy in the main event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena show (Los Angeles, California), Mr. T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper competed in a boxing match in the main event of the Nassau Coliseum show (Uniondale, New York) and the main event at the Rosemont Horizon show (Chicago, Illinois) featured a battle royal with many NFL players competing in the match, most notably local Chicago sports mega-star William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
Each venue not only had a main event, but each featured a World Championship match as well. The L.A. show of course had Hogan defending the WWF Heavyweight Championship against Bundy in a cage, the N.Y. show had “Macho Man” Randy Savage (in his WrestleMania debut) defending the WWF Intercontinental Championship against George “The Animal” Steele and the Chicago show had The Dream Team (Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) defending the WWF Tag-Team Championships against The British Bulldogs, as well as The Fabulous Moolah defending the WWF Women’s Championship against Velvet McIntyre.
In addition to the three venues and Monday date, another historical note of significance regarding WrestleMania II was that it was the first time a WrestleMania was made available on national pay-per-view. The first WrestleMania event in 1985 had some pay-per-view availability, but was mainly a closed-circuit television offering.
While WrestleMania I had the benefit of some big co-promoted events with MTV (The Brawl To End It All and The War To Settle The Score) to help set the stage, WrestleMania II had the benefit of NBC, as due to the success of WrestleMania I, NBC decided to air “Saturday Night’s Main Event” as a replacement for legendary sketch-comedy show “Saturday Night Live.”
Many who witnessed the second WrestleMania felt that it wasn’t up to the standards of WrestleMania I, or many of the WrestleMania shows that would follow, but it was another solid step in the right direction, as the next year an event would be held at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan that would truly take WWE to the next level and forever cement the legacy of WrestleMania that continues to this day.
For those who missed our look back at the first WrestleMania, check out WrestleMania Moments: Celebs Kick-Start History. Be sure to keep an eye out for more “WrestleMania Moments” features as we head into next Sunday’s WrestleMania XXX pay-per-view event.
Until then, thanks for stopping by and as always, don’t forget to leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also hit me up directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.