It might have taken place on April Fool’s Day, but WrestleMania VI was no joke when WWF Champion Hulk Hogan locked up with Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior in a winner-take-all match at the Toronto Skydome. By 1990, both Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior epitomized what wrestling traditionalists (which typically meant anyone who wasn’t a WWF fan) saw as everything wrong with the contemporary product. Both men were musclebound mammoths whose limited in-ring skills made it embarassing to be a wrestling fan (at least that’s what they claimed. Meanwhile, the WWF was making money hand over fist and the WWF seemed to be incapable of doing any wrong).
Thus when the WWF set things up for a rare babyface vs. babyface match at WrestleMania VI featuring its two greatest stars, critics couldn’t wait to laugh when both men dropped a collective deuce in the ring. Unfortunately for WWF naysayers, the joke turned out to be on them as the match went an incredible 20 m inutes with each Superstar putting in incredible performances. While Hogan has had better matches, this was one of his best and as for the Warrior, the title shot with Hogan was the man from Parts Unknown’s shining moment.
However people felt about Hogan and the Warrior, few people would argue that their main event bout at WrestleMania VI was a true WrestleMania moment. The idea of a ten-minute match between Hogan and the Warrior (neither man known for their superior cardiovascular training) seemed laughable and the idea of putting either one into a twenty-minute seemed to border on criminal negligence. Nonetheless, Pat Patterson crafted a masterpiece of mat mayhem as fans had no idea who would win or that either man was capable of working such a good match.
WrestleMania VI’s main event remains one of the best in WWE history, even for fans unaccustomed to wrestling from the Rock-n-Wrestling Era (roughly 1984-1990). Don’t believe me? Check it out.