“Welcome to WRESTLEMANIA!”
Vince McMahon had a dream. He had the profound idea to unite all of wrestling under one banner, to promote his wrestling shows from coast and coast and worldwide. Vince was going to run the greatest wrestling company in the history of the world, and in 1985, he developed the centerpiece of his plan: Wrestlemania.
Just hearing the name evokes so many images and memories. But in 1985, it was just a catchy name for a risky experiment. McMahon had spent millions of dollars to bring in the talent he needed to go national, to upgrade his television presentation, and to get his TV program syndicated nationally. Now he was going to try to broadcast a wrestling event nationally on closed circuit TV, and it wasn’t clear if anyone was going to show up. If they didn’t, he would be ruined financially and be lost to history as just another heir who couldn’t live up to his family name.
The gamble worked. Wrestlemania was a smashing success. And the show grew and grew to the spectacle it has become today: a show truly a year in the making, that fills football stadiums, that over a million people watch on pay-per-view in countries around the globe. There were hits and misses along the way, and I’m more than ready to document them.
For the next 31 days, I’ll be posting a review of each Wrestlemania. One per day. We’ll take the journey from the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden in 1985 all the way to Silicon Valley for Wrestlemania 31. We’re going all the way through the modern history of wrestling. We’re going to Wrestlemania.