Hard to believe that 20 years ago, (April 2, 1989) Wrestlemania V was held in Atlantic City. Seems like just yesterday that my sister and I cheered on Hulk Hogan to victory over then-champion Macho Man Randy Savage. (Although truthfully I was also rooting for Savage because Hogan was such a do-gooder and for once it would be nice to see the bad guy win.)
The year before, Wrestlemania IV had also been held at Trump Plaza (in reality, it was Boardwalk Hall dressed up with Trump signage) and while my sister and I begged our father to take us, he said that tickets were impossible to get but promised if the World Wrestling Entertainment (back then known as World Wrestling Federation) ever came back to town, we would go. Naturally, he never could have guessed that a year later, it was announced that Wrestlemania would be held in Atlantic City again.
True to his word – and probably with some regret – my father got three tickets to the show and took us to watch the nearly four hour event. My mother decided to sit this one out.
That of course set in motion my addiction to the “Super Bowl of Wrestling” which – even though the product is piss-poor these days – will have me watching this Sunday for Wrestlemania XXV.
Wrestlemania has never been held back-to-back in the same city and venue. This little factoid is often overlooked when people talk about the history of Atlantic City and the Boardwalk Hall – which up until a few years ago was also the home of Miss America.
While I’m sure historians will continue to overlook this, for me it was awesome to have the biggest pro-wrestling event held (almost) right in my backyard.