Here’s Part 2 of our WrestleMania Retrospective series, looking back at past WrestleMania events as we march towards WrestleMania 29 on April 7th.
WrestleMania II (1986)
Date: April 7, 1986
Venues: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Rosemont Horizon, Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Attendance: 40,085 (Combined)
America The Beautiful: Ray Charles ( in Uniondale, NY)
Hall Of Famers: Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, George “The Animal” Steel “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, The Fabulous Moolah, Nikolai Volkoff Andre the Giant, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Tony Atlas, Bret Hart, The Iron Sheik, Pedro Morales, *Bruno Sammartino, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hulk Hogan
With the success of WrestleMania the year prior, Vince McMahon was looking to make things, bigger and better. Instead of holding WrestleMania II at one venue, the second installment of what was to become an annual tradition was held in 3 separate venues, with each venue hosting it’s own main event. Giant screens broadcasted the action of the other arenas. This marked the very first WresteMania to be shown on Pay-Per-View. Customers had to go and pick up converter boxes to watch the unscrambled channel.
The main feud heading into WrestleMania 2 was between Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy, with the two battling over the WWF Championship. On March 1, when Hogan was about to pin Don Muraco in a match, King Kong Bundy ran into the ring and—with Muraco’s help—initiated a 2-on-1 assault on Hogan, repeatedly crushing him with his body weight (with a move called the “Avalanche”) to break his ribs. Hogan had a “very serious ” injury, while Bundy challenged Hogan for the title. With revenge on his mind, Hogan decided not to heed his doctor’s advice and accepted the challenge; a match was then booked between the two in a steel cage for the WWF title
Mr. T took on Roddy Piper in a boxing match. Piper who was the top heel in the WWF in 1984, joined Paul Orndorff and Cowboy Bob Orton to feud with Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania. Piper & Mr. T reignited their fued in 1986 after their real-life hatred for each other became public. The WWF, never shy to back away from turning real life issues into story line exploited the angle. Piper disliked Mr. T because he was an actor and unskilled wrestling ability. In response, Mr. T became a special WWF boxer and began competing in boxing matches. On the March 1 Saturday Night’s Main Event, Mr. T defeated Cowboy Bob Orton in a boxing match. After the match, Piper distracted Mr. T, allowing Orton to attack from behind and start a 2-on-1 assault. Mr. T then demanded revenge, leading to his boxing match against Piper.
Often when you see highlights of WrestleMania II you’ll see footage of the 20-man Battle Royal that took place in Chicago, IL. The battle royal, won by Andre The Giant, consisted of both WWF wrestlers and NFL stars of the 80’s. William “The Refigurater” Perry was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame for his involvement in this match.
WrestleMania II Results
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale NY
Commentator: Vince McMahon
• Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco fought to a double countout
• WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage pinned George Steel
• Jake Roberts pinned George Wells
• Mr. T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match via DQ in Round #3
Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Gene Okerlund
• The Fabulous Moolah defeated Velvet McIntyre via pin to retain the WWF Women’s title
• Corporal Kirschner defeated Nikolai Volkoff in a flag match
• Andre the Giant won a 20-man Battle Royal of wrestlers and NFL stars: Jimbo Covert, Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin, William Perry, Ted Arcidi, Tony Atlas, Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, B. Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Hillbilly Jim, The Iron Sheik, King Tonga, Pedro Morales, Bruno Sammartino, Danny Spivey and Big John Studd lastly eliminating Bret Hart
• The British Bulldogs defeated The Dream Team to become the NEW WWF Tag Team Champions
L.A Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jesse Ventura & Lord Alfred Hayes
• Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules Hernandez
• Adrian Adonis defeated Uncle Elmer
• Steel Cage Match: Hulk Hogan defeated King Kong Bundy when Hogan escaped the cage.