Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wrestlemania Flashback: The British Bulldogs Become Champions

The second installment of Wrestlemania took place at three different arenas in April of 1986. While Hulk Hogan-King Kong Bundy in a steel cage match; a battle royale featuring N.F.L. players and wrestlers; and a boxing match between Mr. T and Rowdy Roddy Piper were all the rage, there was one bout that for the wrestling purest, stood tallest.

That match was when the upstart British Bulldogs (the late Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid) defeated W.W.E. Tag Team Champions Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus Beefcake to become new champions. The Bulldogs had their manager Captain Lou Albano and rocker Ozzy Osbourne in their corner, while the “Dream Team” had their manager “Luscious” Johnny Valiant on their side of the ring.

This match saw a mixing of several different styles: the sheer power of Smith, the lighting speed of the Dynamite Kid, the methodical aggression of Valentine, and the all-around athleticism of the young Brutus. The bout also included a second referee to keep an eye on the “bad guys.”

The Bulldogs (pictured atop this post) were victorious and in doing so had finally overtaken the “Dream Team” to take home the tag team gold. I saw this matchup recently on WWE 24/7 and all I can say is that it is one that really went under the radar.

That particular Wrestlemania was the most overdone in terms of celebrity involvement – I mean William “The Refrigerator” Perry in a wrestling ring? But there were some otherwise very good matches.

For me, this match was the best of the show.

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