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WrestleMania VII

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WrestleMania VII: SuperStars And Stripes Forever! was the seventh annual WrestleMania event from the World Wrestling Federation, held on March 24, 1991, at Los Angeles Sports Arena, in Los Angeles, California. Willie Nelson sang "America The Beautiful."

MatchesEdit

Provided verbatim from WWF Magazine, June 1991, page 30:

Road to WrestleManiaEdit

  • For all intents and purposes, the Road to WrestleMania started at the Royal Rumble in 1991. At the event, Randy Savage cost The Ultimate Warrior his World title, which directly set up their retirement match at WrestleMania. Additionally, Hulk Hogan won the Royal Rumble match itself, so he was unofficially rewarded with a title shot at WrestleMania (getting a title shot at WrestleMania for winning the Royal Rumble would become official two years later).
  • Sergeant Slaughter returned to the WWF as an Iraqi sympathizer in Summer 1990 before earning a title shot against The Ultimate Warrior at the Royal Rumble. By virtue of Savage's interference, Slaughter won the WWF World title. WWF President Jack Tunney named Hulk Hogan as the challenger from a list of potential candidates that included Warrior, Savage, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
  • For months, Bobby Heenan had been mocking the Big Boss Man's mother. Originally scheduled to spark a program with Rick Rude before he left the WWF, Boss Man instead feuded with The Brain himself for several months, going through each member of the Heenan Family before facing the WWF Intercontinental champion Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania. Prior to the match, Andre the Giant made an unofficial return to the WWF (he was announced as the first participant for the Royal Rumble, but he was pulled from the match after breaking his leg), ready to settle a score with Heenan for slapping him in Toronto the prior year.
  • Relative newcomers The Nasty Boys earned their title match by winning a battle royal on WWF Superstars. The battle royal also included The Rockers, Orient Express, Demolition, Power & Glory, and Legion of Doom. After LOD eliminated Power & Glory, Paul Roma eliminated Hawk illegally, giving the Nasty Boys the title shot, as well as setting up a grudge match between LOD and Power & Glory.
  • Shortly after SummerSlam '90, Jake The Snake Roberts was blinded by Rick The Model Martel when he 'inadvertently' sprayed his new cologne Arrogance into the eyes of The Snake. The two men led their respective teams into battle at Survivor Series 1990, and this match was the final payoff of their long-running feud.
  • In a money-driven power trip, Ted DiBiase became more & more degrading to his long-time bodyguard Virgil. At the 1991 Royal Rumble, Roddy Piper claimed to have had lunch with Virgil that afternoon, telling him what things were more valuable than money. As a result, Ted DiBiase and Virgil split after their tag match that evening. Piper was in Virgil's corner for their WrestleMania match.
  • Greg "The Hammer" Valentine under Jimmy Hart's guidance for many years until he inadvertently struck Valentine with his trademark megaphone. Valentine fired Jimmy Hart, so Hart put his biggest charge (Earthquake) against Valentine for revenge. For some reason, the "grudge" aspect of this match was downplayed.

Additional NotesEdit

  • The event was originally scheduled for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but the WWF moved it to the neighboring LA Sports Arena due to "security issues" surrounding Persian Gulf War and Operation: Desert Storm. In WrestleMania: The Official Insider's Story, it was written "the company's enthusiasm for (Slaughter/Hogan) waned in late January when war broke out and the United States began bombing Iraq. American servicemen were being killed overseas, and suddenly a well-paced, smart promotion seemed to be bordering on bad taste. But we were stuck with it."
  • While Sgt. Slaughter allegedly had received death threats, most analysts pointed to lackluster ticket sales as the true motivation for the change in venues. By the time the event was moved to a new venue, only 16,000 tickets had been sold (WWF was anticipating a crowd of 90,000 to attend).
  • This was the first WrestleMania event to not feature Jesse The Body Ventura with Gorilla Monsoon. Bobby The Brain Heenan provided color commentary for most of the matches. Hacksaw Jim Duggan did color for the opening match and Lord Alfred Hayes filled in for Heenan during the WWF Intercontinental title match in which The Brain was ringside.
  • Regarding the Davey Boy Smith/Warlord match, "this match has special stipulations," according to the official WrestleMania VII program. "Each man can win only by using his own special finishing maneuver. This mean that the British Bulldog will be deemed victorious only if he can trap the Warlord in a running powerslam. The Warlord, on the other hand, must rely on his full nelson to win the match." That stipulation was never communicated on WWF programming.
  • The Undertaker's win over Jimmy Snuka started the most impressive win streak in WWFE history as he has remained undefeated at WrestleMania events through Wrestlemania XXVII with a perfect record of 19-0.

The AftermathEdit

  • Hulk Hogan remained champion until Survivor Series 1991 when he lost the title to Undertaker, only to win it back the following week under controversial circumstances. In the months following this WrestleMania, Sgt. Slaughter challenged Hulkster in several Desert Storm Rules matches (no disqualification) but he was unsuccessful. Their feud ended at SummerSlam '91 when Hogan & Warrior beat the Triangle of Terror in a 3:2 handicap match. By the end of the year, Slaughter rededicated himself to the United States of America.
  • The Hart Foundation had a rematch with the Nasty Boys at Madison Square Garden before they ventured their separate ways. Bret won the WWF Intercontinental championship in August 1991 and Jim The Anvil Neidhart returned to the tag ranks with Owen Hart as his partner by the end of the year.
  • The Nasty Boys lost the titles to Legion of Doom at SummerSlam '91.
  • Ted DiBiase and Virgil continued their feud through the end of the year. Virgil beat DiBiase at SummerSlam '91 to win the Million Dollar Championship, but DiBiase regained the title just before Survivor Series 1991 with help from The Repo Man. After the match, Tito Santana (recently repackaged as "El Matador") made the save from a post-match beatdown. Ted DiBiase & The Repo Man beat Virgil & El Matador at the last WWF pay-per-view of the year.
  • Two days after the conclusion of his program with Rick Martel, Jake The Snake Roberts entered a feud with the Earthquake after he killed his long-time pet snake Damien. The short-lived program led to a heel turn as Roberts started training Warrior for a feud with Undertaker (since Jake knew death, having recently lost his snake). The training sessions were a swerve and Jake Roberts double-crossed Warrior.
  • The Ultimate Warrior left the WWF at SummerSlam '91 when he held the company up for more money since he was unsatisfied with the WrestleMania VII payoff. Randy Savage was reinstated shortly thereafter in order to substitute Warrrior in his budding program with Jake The Snake Roberts.
  • In a sad twist of fate, both Kerry Von Erich and Dino Bravo were dead within two years of their WrestleMania VII match. Likewise, Andre the Giant passed away in January 1993.

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