WrestleMania VI was the World Wrestling Federation's (WWF) sixth WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event and the first to be held outside of the United States. It took place on April 1, 1990, at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with an announced attendance of 67,678 - then a record for the Skydome.
Aside from its record-breaking attendance, the event is arguably best remembered for "The Ultimate Challenge" – the main event match which saw Hulk Hogan (WWF World Heavyweight Champion) vs The Ultimate Warrior (WWF Intercontinental Champion), in which both championship titles were on the line. On February 3, 1990, a week after Hogan and Warrior crossed paths in the 1990 Royal Rumble Match, Hogan put forth "The Ultimate Challenge" to the Warrior, and had to know whether Hulkamania or the power of the Warrior was the strongest force in the World Wrestling Federation. On February 10, the match was officially announced as the main event of WrestleMania VI by WWF President Jack Tunney. On February 24, Tunney announced that both the WWF World Heavyweight Championship and WWF Intercontinental Championship would be on the line for the first-time ever during the match. At WrestleMania, Warrior won his sole World Heavyweight Championship.
At WrestleMania VI, Brutus Beefcake was the first person to pin Curt Hennig, aka Mr. Perfect in a televised match, thus ending Perfect's lengthy undefeated streak on television. Hennig had actually been beaten on house shows before WrestleMania, as the announcers said nothing about his "perfect record" during the match.
Celebrities in attendance
Edge, Christian, Lance Storm and Renee Young were in attendance. A young Stephen Amell, who would later star as Oliver Queen in the TV series Arrow and compete in a match at SummerSlam, was also in attendance. Mary Tyler Moore was sitting at ringside, and there was a backstage segment with Steve Allen and The Bolsheviks. Columnist Rona Barrett interviewed Miss Elizabeth at the event.
Aftermath and legacy
Because Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, Warrior was stripped of the Intercontinental title, as the rules prohibited any wrestler from holding onto more than one singles belt simultaneously. An eight-man tournament, conducted on the WWF's syndicated Superstars, was held, with Mr. Perfect winning the title by defeating Tito Santana in the finals.
As new WWF World Heavyweight Champion, The Ultimate Warrior would initially be a successful main event draw, with his main rival being "Ravishing" Rick Rude – a wrestler he had fought during much of 1989 over the Intercontinental Championship – during the spring and summer of 1990. Meanwhile, Hogan wrestled several matches in Japan shortly after WrestleMania VI but soon began feuding with the 470-pound Earthquake, with that feud heating up when Earthquake sneak-attacked Hogan on "The Brother Love Show" in May. Announcers explained that Hogan's injuries from the attack and the loss to Warrior both took such a huge toll on his fighting spirit that he wanted to retire, and viewers were persuaded to write Hogan to encourage him to return. Hogan would return by SummerSlam 1990 and got revenge on Earthquake, dominating him in matches that continued into early 1991.
Hogan later named The Ultimate Warrior as the person he most regretted putting over.
Immediately following the Colossal Connection's tag team championship loss to Demolition, manager Bobby "the Brain" Heenan began yelling at Andre the Giant in the ring, blaming him for the loss and slapping him in the face. Andre grabbed Heenan and knocked Heenan out of the ring; when Haku attempted to sneak-attack Andre, Andre caught his leg and knocked Haku from the ring, making Andre a face for the first time in three years. Although he toured Japan in April, this would prove to be Andre's last televised match in the WWF as real-life health problems with acromegaly were continuing to take their toll. Andre returned to the WWF late in 1990 for several non-wrestling appearances that continued into 1991; Andre's health would continue to decline, and he died January 27, 1993. Meanwhile, Demolition began a slow heel turn during the late spring and early summer of 1990, adding a third member Crush to the team; this was due to Bill Eadie (who competed as Ax) desiring to take a lesser active role in wrestling, and Crush and Smash would soon become the primary defenders of the belt.
This was Jesse Ventura's last stint as color commentator at a World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event. He continued his role as on-air color commentator for WWF Superstars through August 1990, at which time he left the company.
Hogan vs. Warrior II
At the Halloween Havoc pay-per-view event on October 25, 1998, the WWF's rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) pitted Hogan against Warrior once again: Hogan defeated Warrior with outside assistance, giving each man one victory apiece. The contest has garnered a legacy as one of the worst bouts in history, being vilified by critics, WCW president Eric Bischoff, and company announcer Gene Okerlund. Bischoff has disputed the rumor that he hired Warrior merely to give Hogan an opportunity to avenge his WrestleMania VI loss.
The event received mixed-to-positive reviews, though most reviewers praised the main event between Hogan and Warrior. John Powell was among the reviewers who praised the main event, calling it "A truly amazing match considering the limitations of both men, particularly Warrior." However, he went on to say, "The overall WrestleMania 6 card was softer than WrestleMania 5 card, but it was a better show that [sic] WrestleManias 1, 2, and 4." Rob McNew of 411mania was not enthusiastic about the event. Giving it a score of 4 out of 10, he said "The show was basically just a long drawn out mess just waiting to get to Hogan and Warrior." He gave the main event ***3/4. The Hulk Hogan-Ultimate Warrior match was named 1990's "Match of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine readers.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Paul Roma defeated The Brooklyn Brawler (n/a)
- Rick Martel defeated Koko B. Ware (3:51)
- Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeated The Colossal Connection (André the Giant & Haku) (c) (w/ Bobby Heenan) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship (9:30)
- Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Hercules (4:52)
- Brutus Beefcake defeated Mr. Perfect (w/ The Genius) (7:48)
- Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown fought to a double countout (6:48)
- The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeated The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) (0:19)
- The Barbarian (w/ Bobby Heenan) defeated Tito Santana (4:33)
- Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeated Randy Savage & Sensational Queen Sherri (7:52)
- The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) (w/ Mr. Fuji) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) (7:38)
- Jim Duggan defeated Dino Bravo (w/ Jimmy Hart & Earthquake) (04:15)
- Ted DiBiase (c) (w/ Virgil) defeated Jake Roberts by countout to retain his Million Dollar Championship (11:50)
- The Big Boss Man defeated Akeem (w/ Slick) (1:49)
- Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) defeated Jimmy Snuka (3:59)
- WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan to win the WWF Championship (22:51)
Other on-screen talent
DVD & Video Releases
- WrestleMania VI Official Site
- WrestleMania VI on WWE Network
- WrestleMania 6 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WrestleMania VI at Online World of Wrestling
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