February 28, 2004
WrestleMania Rewind: Hogan beats Sgt. Slaughter (WM7)
By STEVE SIMMONS - Toronto Sun
Hulk Hogan is in, the Hart Foundation is out, and Macho King Randy Savage is retired. For now.
That, in a nutshell, was WrestleMania VII, a made-in-America extravaganza of flag-waving and patriotism at the Los Angeles Sports Arena yesterday.
The event was highlighted not only by Hogan's victory over the villainous Sgt. Slaughter, but by the appearance of the lovely Miss Elizabeth, wrestling manageress without portfolio.
The three-hour, 45-minute exhibition of strength, science and soap opera culminated with the obvious: The good guy all-American, Hulk Hogan, beating up on that nefarious pro-Iraqi traitor Sgt. Slaughter to win back the World Wrestling Federation championship.
The victory for Hogan was apparent going in. The ending was pure WWF, though.
Hogan dominated early, was beaten to a bloody mess in the middle, before Slaughter draped an Iraqi flag over Hogan in an attempt to pin him.
The flag woke Hogan into a frenzy-like `nothing-can-hurt-me' phase and the match ended seconds later, predictably with a leg drop, a press and a series of poses.
Hogan brought the sellout crowd to its feet, but he was not the only one to do so. It was a melancholy but spectacular day for fans of Macho King Savage, the former WWF champion who was the loser in a `Retirement Match' against the poor man's Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior. Savage, officially, is out of wrestling but the ending was WWF theatre at its best.
Savage, who was booed entering the ring, left to a resounding standing ovation when the lovely Miss Elizabeth, his real-life wife, suddenly appeared from nowhere to save him from sensational Scary Sherri's post-match beating. Savage had already been pinned by the Warrior at this time.
The appearance of Miss Elizabeth, yesterday's overall crowd favorite, proved a nice going-away present for the Macho Man, who apparently is going home to Florida to try and make some Macho children with Liz. Leaving the ring, the chauvinistic Savage lifted the ropes for Miss Elizabeth and the pair exited triumphantly, hand-in-hand.
Before the reunion of Savage and Elizabeth, the Hart Foundation, two-time holders of the WWF tag-team championship, had their belts taken from them. Using manager Jimmy Hart's motorcycle helmet as a prop, the Nasty Boys knocked Jim Neidhart unconscious, pinning him for the title.
In the other championship bout, Mr. Perfect retained his Intercontinental title when he was disqualified against the Big Boss Man. Fellow Heenan-family members Haku and Barbarian interfered with the bout, causing the disqualification.
In another bout, Virgil won a decision over Ted DiBiase, who was counted out. The bout ended with DiBiase pounding an injured Roddy Piper with crutches.