Date: 31st March, 1985
Venue: Madison Square Garden
City: New York City, NY
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Theme Song: “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
For the first WrestleMania, Vince McMahon began cross promoting with MTV. In addition, several celebrities like Muhammad Ali,Liberace and Cyndi Lauper also appeared during the build up to and at the event. The WWF aired two wrestling specials on MTV. The first one was The Brawl to End It All, aired on July 23, 1984, in which a match from a live Madison Square Garden broadcast was shown on MTV. Wendi Richter defeated The Fabulous Moolah to win the WWF Women’s Championship on the card, with Lauper on her side. At The War to Settle the Score, which aired on February 18, 1985, Leilani Kai, accompanied by Moolah, defeated Richter, again accompanied by Lauper, to win the Women’s Championship.
Two other championships were also defended at WrestleMania: the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Tag Team Championship. Prior to the event, Greg Valentine had feuded with Tito Santana over the belt. Valentine defeated Santana on September 24, 1984 for the championship. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham won the WWF Tag Team Championship three months before WrestleMania from the team ofAdrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch.
In the months leading up to the first WrestleMania, Roddy Piper began a talk-show segment on WWF television entitled “Piper’s Pit”. On one episode of the show, he hit Jimmy Snuka over the head with a coconut, leading to a feud between the two men. As part of the storyline, Piper recruited “Cowboy” Bob Orton to be his bodyguard. On another episode of Piper’s Pit, Piper spoke out against the burgeoning Rock ‘n’ Wrestlingconnection, which led to a confrontation with Hulk Hogan. In February 1985, the two men faced each other at The War to Settle the Score, where Hogan won by disqualification after interference by Paul Orndorff and Mr. T. Their on-going feud led to their match at WrestleMania.
As part of the promotion for the event, Hogan appeared on Hot Properties four days prior to WrestleMania, where he put host Richard Belzer into a front chinlock —a move that cuts off the flow of blood to the brain. Belzer, however, fell to the floor unconscious and began to bleed profusely. His injury required eight stitches. Belzer later sued Hogan for $5 million, but they eventually settled out of court. The night before WrestleMania, Hogan and Mr. T hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live to help promote the event.
Tito Santana defeated The Executioner (04:50)
King Kong Bundy (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Special Delivery Jones (00:24)
Ricky Steamboat defeated Matt Borne (04:38)
David Sammartino (with Bruno Sammartino) fought Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant) to a double disqualification (11:44)
The Junkyard Dog defeated Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (c) (with Jimmy Hart) via countout (06:55)
Tag Team Championship
Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik (with “Classy” Freddie Blassie) defeated The U.S. Express (c) (with Lou Albano) (06:56)
$15,000 Body Slam Challenge
Andre The Giant defeated Big John Studd (with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) (05:54)
Wendi Richter (with Cyndi Lauper) defeated Leilani Kai (c) (with The Fabulous Moolah) (06:12)
Special Guest Referees – Muhammad Ali & Pat Patterson
Hulk Hogan and Mr. T (with “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka) defeated “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (with “Cowboy” Bob Orton) (13:24)
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
Approximately three months after WrestleMania, Nikolai Volkoff and Iron Sheik lost the WWF Tag Team Championship back to The U.S. Express. They held the title until August, when the team of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine, later known as the Dream Team, became the new champions. The duo later feuded with The British Bulldogs. Valentine, however, lost his Intercontinental Championship back to Tito Santana after WrestleMania. Santana, whom Valentine had won the title from in September 1984, won the title back in a cage match, which is a standard wrestling match that takes place in a wrestling ring surrounded by a cage, on July 6, 1985—almost one year after their feud originally began.
After André the Giant defeated Big John Studd at the event, Studd formed a tag team with King Kong Bundy, and the duo faced André and Hulk Hogan on a number of occasions. Later, the team of Studd and Bundy teamed up in Handicap matches—a two against one wrestling match—against André, which renewed the feud between André and Studd.
In late 1985, Wendi Richter was defeated by The Fabulous Moolah, losing her WWF Women’s Championship in controversial fashion. Moolah, who wrestled as a masked female wrestler known as The Spider Lady, won the title after convincing an official to call the match in her favour, but Richter was unaware of the planned title change. Richter left the WWF shortly after, and Moolah held the title for approximately two years.
In a new storyline after WrestleMania, Roddy Piper began training Bob Orton as a boxer. Hulk Hogan accepted a challenge on the behalf of Mr. T to face Orton in a match on theFebruary 15, 1986 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event. After Mr. T won the match, Orton and Piper attacked him, leading to a boxing match at WrestleMania 2 between Piper and Mr. T. At the second annual WrestleMania, Piper was disqualified in the third round.