The Wrestling Book continues it’s deep dive into two editions of Wrestlemania Encyclopaedias published by WWE. The first one was published in 2001 but written in 2000 when WCW was still alive. It’s called The Official Insiders Story: Wrestlemania. It covers Wrestlemania 1-16. The other encyclopaedia is 30 years of Wrestlemania published after Wrestlemania 30. In our deep dives we look at the narratives of each Wrestlemania and how the narrative has changed and if the facts have been changed. This article we look at Wrestlemania 5 and WWE continue it’s partnership with Donald Trump and return to Atlantic City.
‘it had always been an unspoken rule that Wrestlemania would move to a different site each year’
the Insiders story of Wrestlemania begins it’s tale of Wrestlemania 5 comparing itself to the Super Bowl. It criticises the NFL for using the same venues on a cycle every few years for the Super Bowl, but the plan for Wrestlemania was to be in different cites every spring, trying to attract new fans in different markets.
In 1989 though that all changed when Trump fought hard to get the WWF back to Atlantic City once again. The Atlantic City Convention Centre found room for 2,000 extra seats. This abled WWF to set a new attendance record for the venue with 20,369. With demand for tickets so great, other sites in the city held closed circuit parties to accommodate fans and VIPs who couldn’t get tickets for the event. Also Pay Per View sales increased by 200,000 for this Wrestlemania.
The book discusses a change of attitude within the company. It’s focus on celebrities had changed with Wrestlemania V having rap group Run-DMC and controversial talk show host Morton Downey Jr. It mentions that Sean Mooney was signed to WWF as a announcer and presenter. This would be his first Wrestlemania and it states that his interview with Donald Trump is possibly the worst interview in Wrestlemania history. McMahon would give Mooney this advise.
‘Go back out there and have some fun!’
The book covers Roddy Piper segment with Morton Downey Jr and notes that Downey understood the wrestling business. It recaps the segment and informs us that it was Downey’s suggestion that Piper use the fire extinguisher on him to put out his cigarette. It’s another part of this book where it discusses the celebrity involvement and not the wrestler or even some of the undercard.
The book does discuss the main event of the show… The Mega powers explode. It recaps a small part of the history of the year long build before going into detail on Savage is relationship with Mrs Elizabeth. It mentions how Randy was always on edge regarding who would be near Elizabeth and how protective he was. It recalls the story of doing photo shoots with guests backstage at Wrestlemania and Randy always made sure he was in the middle of the photo. Putting himself between the guest and his wife. It feels like it goes out of it’s way to show Savage in a bad light over his relationship with Elizabeth.
The book then discusses what great athletes Savage and Hogan were and how great the match was. It mentions how the match was built up to be a great comeback for Hogan. It actually calls Hogan comeback ‘predictable’ but brilliant at the same time. The book finishes saying
‘And even though we didn’t know it at the time, it was also the last time we would see the image of the invincible Hulk Hogan.’
What about Wrestlemania 7 when he defeats Slaughter or Wrestlemania 9?
As we move to the 30 years of Wrestlemania book which was published after Wrestlemania 30. It mentions that the first ever Summerslam took place in between Wrestlemanias and the show along with Survivor Series played a big part in the build to the main event.
Regarding the return to Atlantic City, the book suggests that cities had started bidding to host the show but a conversation with Trump convinced McMahon it should head back to Atlantic City. Donald Trump is quoted as saying
‘We did so well in Atlantic City with Wrestlemania IV that our customers demanded that we bring WWE back for Wrestlemania V’
The book discusses all matches on the show and highlights superstars who would are not in the main event role. It discusses the brain busters being apart of WWE, Shawn Michaels’ Wrestlemania debut along with Mr Perfect who made his debut too. It also mentions the role Bret Hart had in his match teaming with Jim Neidhart against Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man.
It describes the Andre the Giant match against Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts with Big John Studd as the special guest ref. It mentions Andres’ fear of snakes and how Roberts used that to his advantage in the build up and in the match itself.
It has a small section on the Intercontinental championship match between Rick Rude and Ultimate Warrior where it states that for the first time the Royal Rumble foreshadowed a Wrestlemania match, At the Rumble they had a Super Posedown. What it fails to mention with Wrestlemania VI on the horizon is that Warrior lost the match.
In an interesting difference between the books is that the 2001 edition says that there was no ‘bad blood’ between Hogan and Savage backstage but this new edition with 15 years of hindsight, it notes that Hogan and Savage had a tumultuous relationship away from the ring.
The newer addition also states that the first video game was released to coincide with this Wrestlemania, released on the Nintendo Entertainment System named ‘Wrestlemania’.
The books finishes with a paragraph praising the first five Wrestlemania where over 200,000 fans had attended and over a million watched the show via closed-circuit and pay per view.
Once again their is a vast difference in books on its perspective of what made Wrestlemania. But not only does the earlier book not mention other matches, it fails to bring up the part that Mr. Wrestlemania made his first appearance along with Mr. Perfect. It also hasn’t mentioned once the man who would defeat Hulk Hogan in the main event of the next show… The Ultimate Warrior. Instead it focuses on the celebrity involvement and how higher ups created the popularity of Wrestlemania. The 30 years of Wresltemania book discusses every match and how Donald Trumps relationship had grown with WWE by this point, it had been able to gather quotes from him regarding the shows.
In part 7 we take a look at the next part of the 30 years of Wrestlemania where they have a section on Mr. Wrestlemania himself Shawn Michaels.