WrestleMania V was the fifth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and closed-circuit TV event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on April 2, 1989, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[Note 1]
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||April 2, 1989|
|City||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Venue||Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall|
|Tagline(s)||The Mega Powers Explode|
The main event was Hulk Hogan versus Randy Savage for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship billed "The Mega Powers Explode" which Hogan won after a leg drop. Miss Elizabeth was at ringside in a neutral corner for the first half of the main event prior to the referee sending her to the locker room area. The undercard included matches pitting Rick Rude against The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) against Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man and Demolition (Ax and Smash) against Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji in a handicap match for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
WrestleMania IV and V are the only two WrestleManias to be held at the same venue for two consecutive years. Run-DMC performed a WrestleMania Rap for the audience. Other celebrity guests in attendance included Donald Trump, whose Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was the main sponsor of the event, and Morton Downey Jr.
The main feud heading into WrestleMania was between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, with the two battling over the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan and Savage first crossed paths on the Saturday Night's Main Event XII. Savage got a shot at The Honky Tonk Man's Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship but was attacked by The Hart Foundation; Hogan came to Savage's rescue, thus solidifying Savage's face turn. At WrestleMania IV, Savage defeated "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in a tournament final to win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship with help from Hogan and Hogan soon after came into the ring to congratulate Savage. Soon after, the duo formed a tag team known as The Mega Powers. They feuded with many heel tag teams throughout the entire year and were a successful team. Mega Powers ruled and dominated the WWF for several months. However, their domination and tag team began to break up in early 1989 as tensions slowly began to build between the two. This all began on the Saturday Night's Main Event XIX, when Hogan was mercilessly beaten by The Twin Towers after his match with Akeem. Savage came out and cleared the ring with a steel chair. Elizabeth took Hogan to the backstage which angered Savage. He thought that he was a third wheel, and this was the beginning of the breakup of Mega Powers, as Savage was angry that his wife Miss Elizabeth was used by Hogan as his manager. He confronted her about the issue but she took Hogan to the backstage. Problems increased further in the Royal Rumble match where Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage as he was trying to eliminate Bad News Brown. On February 3 at The Main Event II, Hogan and Savage faced The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Boss Man) in a tag team match that would set up the Mega Powers' breakup. During a key point in the match, Savage was thrown out of the ring onto Elizabeth, knocking her unconscious. Hogan carried her to the back, leaving Savage to fend for himself in the ring against the much larger Akeem and Big Bossman; Hogan eventually returned, but Savage slapped him in the face and took the belt in his hand and turned heel by abandoning Hogan. Despite this, Hogan managed to pick up the win. After Savage attacked Hogan in the medical area of the arena (to seal Savage's heel turn), Hogan challenged Savage to a match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, which Savage accepted.
The second main feud heading into WrestleMania was between "Ravishing" Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior over the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. Rude and Warrior were booked to face each other in a "Super Posedown" at Royal Rumble in January 1989. The winner had to be decided by a fan reaction, where Warrior won the posedown. After the posedown, a furious and angry Rude attacked Warrior. This led to a feud between the two and an Intercontinental Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania.
The other main match on the undercard was Demolition (Ax and Smash) versus The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) and Mr. Fuji in a handicap match for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Demolition was a dominant heel tag team since its debut in early 1987. They defeated Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel) for the titles at WrestleMania IV. They had a successful feud with The Hart Foundation during their early reign. In the summer of 1988, a powerhouse babyface tag team The Powers of Pain debuted and feuded with Demolition over the tag titles. At Survivor Series, Demolition's manager Mr. Fuji turned on them after causing them to lose their Survivor Series match, culminating in a double turn as Demolition turned babyfaces and Powers of Pain turned heels. Powers of Pain made Mr. Fuji their manager, leading to their WrestleMania encounter with Demolition for the tag titles in a 3-on-2 handicap match.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts and André the Giant began their feud in the fall of 1988 after André interfered in one of Roberts' matches against Rude. When Roberts retrieved his snake, Damien, from his bag, André became distressed, then petrified at the sight of the snake. When it became apparent André was deathly afraid of the snake, Roberts threw the snake onto André, causing him to collapse to the mat and pass out from a (kayfabe) heart attack. André recovered and swore revenge. Meanwhile, Andre's longtime adversary, Big John Studd returned to the WWF in late 1988, rejected a "welcome back" from longtime manager Bobby "the Brain" Heenan and, in becoming a face, said he was coming after André. The André-Roberts feud, meanwhile, continued into early 1989 and eventually, Studd agreed to become the special guest referee for their match at WrestleMania.
Shortly after Terry Taylor joined the WWF in the summer of 1988, he was packaged as "The Red Rooster" and, paired with Heenan as his manager, given a novice wrestler gimmick, someone who could not navigate his way through matches without constant instructions from Heenan. Eventually, the Red Rooster grew tired of Heenan's demeaning style of coaching and turned against him, becoming a face. Shortly thereafter, on an episode of Prime Time Wrestling, Heenan claimed to want to break off their relationship amicably but it was a ruse to set Rooster up to be ambushed by Heenan's new protégé, long-time enhancement talent Steve Lombardi, whom had just been reinvented as The Brooklyn Brawler.
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
The first match at WrestleMania V was between Hercules and King Haku. Haku attacked from behind to start, but Hercules used some power moves to get the advantage before he clotheslined Haku, sending him to the floor. He suplexed Haku in the ring and hit him a series of elbow drops. After dominating Haku, Hercules focused his attention on Haku's (and his own former) manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Haku nailed Hercules from behind and hit him with two backbreakers for a near-fall. Hercules avoided a diving splash by Haku and hit him with a knee lift. He hit a series of clotheslines and powerslammed Haku for a near-fall. He attempted a top rope maneuver but when he came down, Haku caught him with a savate kick. Hercules fell in the corner and Haku tried to open the middle rope as Hercules rolled away. Hercules ducked a clothesline and hit Haku with a bridging back suplex to win the match.
The second match was a tag team match between The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man) and The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty). Bossman slapped on Michaels in the corner and turned around to look on Jannetty but when he turned back, Michaels hit him a missile dropkick. He hit Akeem and Boss Man with flying forearm smashes before Bossman tagged in Akeem. The Rockers worked on Akeem's arm before he powered out and tagged Bossman. Jannetty tagged in and was hit with a leapfrog. Twin Towers took turns and beat Jannetty. He avoided a big splash by Akeem and tagged Michaels. Rockers hit Akeem with Double Flying Fists and Michaels tried a near-fall on Akeem. Akeem hit Michaels a lariat. Boss Man tagged in and tried to hit a corner body splash on Michaels but he sidestepped, getting a near-fall. They hit Akeem with a double dropkick and they hit Boss Man with a double missile dropkick. Akeem tagged in and dumped Jannetty. Michaels came off the top on Akeem but Boss Man powerbombed him. Akeem took advantage and hit Michaels with an Air Africa and pinned him to win the match.
The third match was a non-title match between Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, the self-proclaimed Million Dollar Champion. It was the first time DiBiase's Million Dollar Championship belt had appeared on pay-per-view. Prior to the match DiBiase glad-handed with event sponsor Donald Trump who was in attendance in the front row. Beefcake knocked DiBiase out on the floor before getting back into the ring. He pounded on DiBiase but Virgil caught Beefcake's foot. DiBiase hit him a clothesline and applied a chokehold on Beefcake, and followed it up with a Million Dollar Drop for a near-fall. He hit a middle rope diving back elbow drop on Beefcake for another near-fall. DiBiase hit him an Irish whip and had an inside cradle pinfall attempt on Beefcake. He tried to hit a vertical suplex on Beefcake but Beefcake countered it into a hanging suplex. DiBiase applied a Million Dollar Dream on Beefcake, who grabbed the ropes. He slammed DiBiase's face in the corner and applied a Barber's Chair (Sleeper) on DiBiase. Virgil hoped up on the apron, distracting Beefcake. Beefcake released DiBiase from the hold and went after Virgil. DiBiase nailed Beefcake from behind to the floor. The referee was busy with DiBiase while Virgil pounded on Beefcake but Beefcake no-sold and chased Virgil. DiBiase came from behind and nailed Beefcake. The two brawled outside the ring and were counted-out, resulting in a no contest. They continued to beat each other.
The fourth match was a tag team match between The Bushwhackers (Bushwhacker Luke and Bushwhacker Butch) and The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau). The Bushwhackers grabbed Rougeaus' manager Jimmy Hart's jacket but Rougeaus caught them and went on the attack. Luke and Raymond began the match and Luke missed a fist drop on Raymond, but Luke and Butch hit him a battering ram. Luke made the cover but Jacques came in and accidentally hit a knee drop on Raymond as he was going to hit Luke but Luke sidestepped. Rougeaus double-teamed Luke for a while as the referee was busy with Butch. They kicked Luke in the gut and then celebrated. They celebrated too much that Bushwhackers hit Raymond a battering ram and a rib breaker. Luke then pinned Raymond to win the match.
The fifth match was between Mr. Perfect and The Blue Blazer. Perfect beat on Blazer until Blazer flipped out of a hip toss. Blazer hit some moves on Perfect and went for a split-legged moonsault on Perfect, who hit Blazer with his knees. He applied a chinlock on Blazer but Blazer escaped and hit Perfect with a boot to the head. He followed it up with a powerslam and a belly to belly suplex for near-falls. He busted out of a crucifix and got another near-fall and then he began arguing with the referee. This helped Perfect to connect with a forearm club and a Perfectplex pinfall for the victory.
The sixth match was a WWF Tag Team Championship handicap match between Demolition (Ax and Smash) and The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) and their manager Mr. Fuji (himself a former WWF Tag Team Champion). In the beginning, Ax and Smash pounded on Warlord until Warlord backed Smash in their corner and tagged Barbarian. Smash fought back and tagged in Ax, who locked in a hammerlock on Barbarian. Fuji tagged in and hit a chop on Ax followed by a diving headbutt to the groin. He tagged in Warlord, who increased Ax's damage. Fuji tagged in and missed a Fuji Drop. Warlord cut Ax's tag with Smash, but was hit with a forearm club by Ax. Ax tagged in Smash. Ax dumped Barbarian while Smash beat up on Warlord. Mr. Fuji tried to throw salt previously hidden in his tights in Smash's eyes, but Smash ducked and Fiju accidentally threw salt in Warlord's eyes. Demolition then grabbed Fuji and hit him with the Demolition Decapitation and Ax pinned Fuji to win the match and retain the titles.
The seventh match was between "The World's Strongest Man" Dino Bravo and "Rugged" Ronnie Garvin. Bravo hit a series of forearm smashes in Garvin's back and applied a bearhug. Bravo threw him in the corner and hit him with a series of shoulder blocks. Garvin smashed Bravo's head in the turnbuckles a few times for a near-fall. He followed it up with a sleeper hold on Bravo but Bravo grabbed the ropes. Garvin tried to hit a piledriver. Bravo went for a back body drop but Garvin held on for a sunset flip pin for a near-fall. Garvin took him to the corner and went for ten-count-corner punches. Bravo countered with an inverted atomic drop and a sidewalk slam, followed by a pinfall victory. After the match, Bravo's manager Frenchy Martin attacked Garvin but received a Garvin Stomp for his troubles.
The eighth match was a tag team match between the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) with Bobby Heenan in their corner, and Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel). Martel and Blanchard fought out before Anderson hit Martel with his knee in the back. Brain Busters tried to double-team him but he fought out of their corner. Strike Force hit Brain Busters with dropkicks, sending them to the floor. Back in the ring, Anderson was hit with an Irish whip and then he received a rolling spinebuster for a near-fall. Anderson went for a body scissors on Martel but Martel turned it into a Boston crab. Blanchard interfered and hit Martel with an eye rake. Blanchard tagged in while Santana grabbed Martel receiving a blind tag. He hit Blanchard with a bulldog and then slapped in a figure four leglock. Martel also applied the figure four leglock on Anderson. Santana got a near-fall with a back slide on Blanchard. He went to the top rope and hit a flying forearm smash on Blanchard. Blanchard ducked and Santana accidentally hit Martel. Brain Busters took advantage and double-teamed Santana. He fought out and crawled to tag Martel but he refused and walked away, turning heel. Anderson and Blanchard hit Santana with a spike piledriver. Anderson got a pin on Santana, getting the victory, and breaking up Strike Force.
Next was a Piper's Pit segment with Morton Downey Jr. as the guest. Before Rowdy Roddy Piper could interview Morton, Brother Love came out dressed as Piper and impersonated him. The real Piper then came out and got rid of Brother Love by ripping Brother Love's kilt off. After Morton blew constant smoke from his cigarette into Piper's face during the interview (despite Piper's repeated requests not to), finally, Piper put out the cigarette and Morton with a fire extinguisher.
The ninth match was between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and André the Giant (with Bobby Heenan), with Big John Studd as the Special Guest Referee. Studd and André were longtime enemies, and spent a great deal of time jawing back and forth at each other. As Roberts was making his way down to the ring, behind Studd's back André had discretely removed one of the top turnbuckle pads exposing the steel ring underneath. André started the match by grabbing Roberts as he rolled into the ring and running his head into the exposed steel turnbuckle. He then pounded on Roberts until Roberts fought back and went on the attack. André got tied up in the ropes and Roberts took full advantage and got his snake Damien (in the storyline, André was deathly afraid of snakes though in reality he actually had some snakes as pets on his ranch) and attempted to throw him on a struggling and terrified André, but Studd stopped Roberts. André took advantage and broke free out of the ropes and applied a chokehold on Roberts. He went for a shoulder block on Roberts in the corner but accidentally hit a headbutt on the turnbuckle pad. Roberts hit André with a knee lift and drove him into the exposed turnbuckle. André chopped Roberts on the floor and knocked him on the apron before having a confrontation with Studd. Ted DiBiase and Virgil came out and attempted to steal Damien but Roberts got Damien back. In the ring, André hit Studd with a cheap shot from behind and began to choke Studd with the strap of his tights, thus getting disqualified. Despite having won the match, Roberts tossed Damien in the ring to save Studd from André, who hightailed it out of the ring to get away from the snake.
The tenth match was a tag team match between The Hart Foundation (Bret "Hitman" Hart" and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart) and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man (with manager Jimmy Hart). Neidhart hit Valentine with a slingshot shoulder block for a near-fall. Honky tagged in but got nailed by Neidhart. Hart tagged in and connected with a backbreaker on Honky but missed a double axe handle middle rope elbow drop. Honky had the match won as he hit Hart with a Shake, Rattle N' Roll but he tagged in Valentine instead of pinning Hart. Valentine slapped in the figure four leglock on Hart. Hart crawled out of it but then he received a Gutbuster by Honky. Hart managed to hit a flying crossbody on Honky. Valentine tagged in and blocked a roll-up by Hart. Hart rolled out and tagged Neidhart. Neidhart dropkicked both Valentine and Honky and then hit Valentine with a shoulder block and made a cover. Honky made the save. A lariat on Valentine got another near-fall for Neidhart. Hart and Honky tagged in. Valentine ran in and nailed Neidhart on the apron. The referee was busy with taking out Valentine. Neidhart took advantage and handed Bret Hart, Jimmy Hart's megaphone. Hart knocked Honky with it and pinned him to win the matchup.
The eleventh match was a WWF Intercontinental Championship match between defending champion The Ultimate Warrior and "Ravishing" Rick Rude with Bobby Heenan in his corner. As the Warrior was doing his usual running entrance, Rude tried to jump start the match by attempting a knee to Warrior's stomach, only to find that the Warrior was still wearing the Intercontinental belt and hurt his knee with no effect to the champion. Warrior then shoved Rude into the corner 3 times from mid-ring before slapping on a bearhug. Rude hit a missile dropkick on Warrior and went for a cover, but Warrior no-sold and grabbed a second bearhug on Rude. Rude bit but Warrior hit him with a back body drop. He went for a Warrior Splash but Rude hit his knees on Warrior. Rude followed with a back to belly piledriver and got a near-fall on the champion. Rude hit a jawbreaker on Warrior and clotheslined him for a near-fall. He hit Warrior with a Russian legsweep and got another near-fall. Rude hooked on a surfboard but Warrior grabbed the ropes. He powered out hitting Rude with a running shoulder block. He delivered Rude a backbreaker and tried to lift him up, but dropped him clumsily in the ropes. Warrior hit Rude a series of Irish whips in every corner. He missed a Warrior Splash. Rude went for a Rude Awakening but Warrior powered out and clotheslined Rude to the apron. He tried to suplex him back into the ring, but just before he completed the move Bobby Heenan pulled Warrior's leg out from under him, which caused Rude to fall on top of the champion, and held onto it so the weakened Warrior could not escape as Rude pinned him. Rude won the match and became new WWF Intercontinental Champion in what was Warrior's first pinfall loss in the WWF. Following the match, an enraged Warrior chased Heenan around and into the ring and hit him with a gorilla press drop.
The twelfth match was between "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Bad News Brown. The powerhouse Brown dominated Duggan in the early goings but missed a charge in the corner. Duggan hit him a series of punches. Brown hit Duggan an Irish whip and smashed his head into the turnbuckles but Duggan no-sold. Duggan hit Brown a series of shoulder blocks before getting slugged. They went to the floor where Duggan was whipped shoulder-first into the ringpost. Brown hit Duggan a Ghetto Blaster but Duggan avoided it and instead hit his three-point stance clothesline. Brown fell to the floor and tossed a chair into the ring. Meanwhile, Duggan got his 2x4. They both hit each other with foreign objects. The referee disqualified both men, as the match resulted in a double disqualification.
The thirteenth match and the final match on the undercard was between The Red Rooster and his former manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in a rare in-ring appearance as a wrestler. Accompanying Heenan to the ring was the Brooklyn Brawler. As the match began, Heenan (still favoring his ribs due to his prior run-in with The Warrior), immediately covered on Rooster but failed. Rooster tried to hit Heenan with an Irish whip but Heenan reversed it into his own. He missed a charge on Rooster and ran shoulder-first into the ringpost. Rooster pinned him and won the match in just thirty-one seconds. After the match, Rooster was attacked by the Brawler, but this had little effect on the Rooster who soon got the upper hand and chased the Brawler from the ring.
The main event was for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship between defending champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan with their manager Miss Elizabeth in a neutral corner. The match was billed as "The Mega Powers Explode". Hogan hit Savage with a shoulder block to send him out to the floor. Savage returned to the ring and applied a headlock on Hogan before pounding him in face. Hogan shoved Savage again, but Savage grabbed and went to the floor. Hogan chased Savage around the ringside before Savage hid behind Miss Elizabeth. Savage went back in the ring and began taunting Hogan. Hogan applied a headlock and hit Savage with a drop toe hold. He slapped a front facelock on Savage, which Savage countered into a back suplex. The champion hit a double axe handle from the top rope on Hogan for a near-fall. Savage applied an armbar on Hogan until Hogan yanked Savage out to the floor. Hogan threw Savage back in the ring and smashed him in the turnbuckle and followed with a running clothesline, a series of elbow drops and a big boot. He received an Irish whip and a clothesline by Savage. Savage got a near-fall. Savage hooked on a chinlock on Hogan until Hogan hit his elbow and hit Savage with an atomic drop but missed an elbow drop. Savage took advantage and hit Hogan a knee in the corner. Savage hit him Irish whips in every corner before he began posing. Hogan hit Savage a series of punches and a corner clothesline, sending him out. Elizabeth checked on Savage, but he pushed her away. Hogan lifted Savage in the shoulder and tried to ram him in the ringpost but Elizabeth prevented Hogan from doing this. Savage took advantage and slipped off and rammed Hogan into the ringpost. The referee Dave Hebner then sent Elizabeth to the backstage. As Hogan was getting up, Savage hit him a diving double axe handle. Savage hit Hogan a hotshot. He drove his elbow into Hogan's throat on the apron, damaging Hogan's throat. Savage hit a knee drop on Hogan, getting a near-fall. He went to the top rope and hit a Savage Elbow. He did a pinfall attempt on Hogan, but Hogan hulked up and hit Savage with punches, big boot and a leg drop for the victory and his second WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Hulk Hogan continued his feud with Randy Savage. WWF financed a movie in 1989 titled No Holds Barred which starred Hogan as the lead character Rip and Tom Lister, Jr. acted as the villain Zeus. In the movie, Rip defeats Zeus. This movie led to a feud between Hogan and Zeus in the WWF because Zeus wanted to take revenge from Hogan of the movie in real-life. He was billed in the WWF as Zeus and he formed an alliance with Savage. Hogan's best friend Brutus Beefcake joined him in the war. This led to a tag team main event at SummerSlam, where Hogan and Beefcake defeated Zeus and Savage. The rivalry continued until the No Holds Barred pay-per-view, where Hogan and Beefcake beat Zeus and Savage in a steel cage match, thus ending the rivalry with Zeus. After the No Holds Barred cage match, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan would meet one last time in a WrestleMania V rematch for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship on The Main Event III. The pinfall was counted by new heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas, who then punched Savage out post-match after Savage slapped Douglas in the face.
Savage, meanwhile, found a new manager. After the WrestleMania broadcast went off the air, Gene Okerlund attempted to interview Miss Elizabeth. Sensational Sherri interrupted the interview along with Savage, which caused Hogan to get involved and fall victim to a steel chair shot from the dethroned champion. From then on until WrestleMania VII, Sherri served as Savage's manager and after Savage defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan to become King of the World Wrestling Federation in September 1989, she became known as Sensational Queen Sherri.
Rick Martel turned heel and eventually transformed into "The Model", breaking up Strike Force and feuded with now former partner Tito Santana. Martel and fellow French Canadians The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) defeated Santana and The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) at SummerSlam.
Rick Rude defended his Intercontinental Championship primarily against The Ultimate Warrior, but also against other faces as Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Jimmy Snuka. Later in the summer of 1989, Rude began badmouthing Roddy Piper, and Piper would play a key role in Rude's ultimate title loss back to The Ultimate Warrior.
With a successful Tag Team Championship defense, Demolition moved on to new feuds with The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man) and the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard). Demolition would eventually lose the titles to Anderson and Blanchard on Saturday Night's Main Event XXII (taped July 18, 1989) following interference from André the Giant; Demolition's reign was 478 days, which remains the longest uninterrupted reign in the history of the classic WWF World Tag Team Championship which was decommissioned in 2010. (The previous 370 day record of The Valiant Brothers was eclipsed on the actual day of Wrestlemania V.) It was also the longest reign with any tag team championship in WWWF/WWF/WWE history until the record was broken in 2016 by WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day. Meanwhile, the Powers of Pain would lose their push and eventually settled into mid-card matches, feuding with teams such as The Bushwhackers and The Rockers until they were eventually split up in early 1990.
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