It’s April 5, 1992! Are you ready for WrestleMania VIII? A huge double main event tonight, as Sid Justice faces Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair defends the WWF Championship against Macho Man Randy Savage! I know I’m ready! Let’s go!
Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Indianapolis, Indiana! He’s with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and tells us that all of the gold is on the line tonight. Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper defends against Bret Hart, and Money Inc. take on the Natural Disasters with the Tag Team Championships on the line! But first, Reba McEntyre is here to perform “America The Beautiful!”
Bobby Heenan is the king of the segues, saying that “Arriba” McEntyre is Tito Santana’s sister. Tito is in our opening contest, as El Matador takes on Shawn Michaels, who is accompanied by Sensational Sherri. Santana controls the early going with a headlock. Michaels tries to show his smarts by grabbing the rope on an irish whip and avoiding Santana, but gets clotheslined over the top for his trouble. Then Tito goes straight back to the headlock. Here in 1992 this makes for a good wrestling match. I wonder if we’ll still feel that way in 2012. Michaels finally gets out, and sends Tito over the top and crashing to the floor. When the action gets back in the ring, Santana hits a slingshot shoulder tackle. It’s all Santana so far. He hits El Paso de la Muerte but Michaels rolls out of the ring. Michaels winds up winning by grabbing the ropes when Santana tries to get him back in, then falling on Santana for the pin.
Hall of Famer count: 6 (Heenan, Monsoon, Santana, Michaels, Sherri, and Howard Finkel)
Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by, and brings up The Legion of Doom, who bring up Paul Ellering. It was Ellering who first brought the LOD together. Then they became the greatest team of all time. It’s revenge that unite them once again. Heed his words, this is the beginning of the end, for Ellering has not come to get rich, but to get even. Animal says since day one, the LOD has looked all adversity in the face, and they’ve beat everybody. Now Jimmy Hart cheats on his own team. He’s the lowest scum on the planet, and they’ll get revenge on him for losing the titles. How will DiBiase and IRS feel when 75,000 people chant LOD? Hawk says they’ve been a runaway train with nobody driving. Scary. But scarier now, Paul Ellering is driving the train. The last link of the chain makes it whole again. And all of these people know where their heart lays when it comes to tag teams, and their heart lays with you. That’s why they’re the best. Ellering says all the tag teams should ask themselves if the going up is worth the coming down. They earn their money the old fashioned way, they beat people for it. When his boys are good, they’re very bad. And when they’re bad, they’re very bad. Animal says they don’t care who it is, they won’t let down the Legion of Doomers or anybody else. Oh what a rush.
Hall of Famer count: 10 (adding Okerlund, Ellering, Animal and Hawk)
Backstage, Sean Mooney is with Jake The Snake Roberts. He asks about rumors that Jake Roberts will bring a snake to the ring. Jake says Jack Tunney wouldn’t let Roberts bring a snake to the ring because he doesn’t know how to have fun. The smartest man always wins, says Roberts as we watch a clip of him locking The Undertaker’s hand in a coffin on a recent episode of The Funeral Parlor and attacking him with a chair. The DDT is where it lays. So what will Undertaker do when Roberts gets what he wants from Undertaker? He’ll put the final nail in Undertaker’s coffin. Trust him.
Roberts is out first for the match, sans snake. The bell tolls, and Paul Bearer leads The Undertaker to the ring. Undertaker stalks Jake after the bell rings. Roberts tries to stick and move, but his shots seem to have no effect on the dead man. He clotheslines Undertaker over the top, but Undertaker lands on his feet. He starts taking it to Roberts on the outside. Jake tries to take control as they return to the ring, but it doesn’t last long. Undertaker works a very slow, methodical pace, dominating The Snake. Jake is a slippery snake though, he manages to turn a move around into the DDT, but before Jake can capitalize, Undertaker sits up. Jake hits the short arm clothesline, and Undertaker sits right up again. Jake hits a second DDT. Undertaker sits up again as Jake turns his attention to Paul Bearer on the outside. Roberts nails Bearer, but gets tombstoned by The Undertaker on the concrete floor. Undertaker rolls Roberts back into the ring and pins him for the victory. Undertaker gets his second WrestleMania win in as many matches!
Hall of Famer count: 12 (adding 2014 inductees Roberts and Bearer)
Mean Gene is with Bret Hart and Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper, who face each other tonight for the title. Piper says he’s known Bret since he was a kid, and that he wasn’t potty trained until he was 7. He goes to pinch Bret’s cheek, Bret says to keep his hands to himself. Bret says he only cares about one thing. Piper’s got it, and Hart’s going to take it. Piper says they should take it to the ring.
Hitman is out first, and as is tradition, the Champion, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper follows. Bret gives his sunglasses to a young fan in the audience, and we’re underway! This should be a classic. They get technical in the early going. Piper winds up spitting at Hart out of frustration, but they get back to the technical stuff pretty quickly. Piper tries to chop his way out of an arm ringer, but to no avail. Piper finally gets out, but catches a dropkick. Hart seems to have hurt his arm, but it’s all a ploy, and he rolls up Piper for a two count. Hart hits a cross body on Piper that sends both men over the top rope and to the floor. Piper holds the ropes for Hart to get back in the ring. The referee tells Piper to wait a second for Hart to tie his boot, but Piper decks him with a right hand. I think he may have busted Hart open. Piper hits a bulldog. Hart is definitely bleeding. Piper bites him, trying to open up that cut. Hart comes up with a sunset flip for a two count, but it’s all Piper at this point. The two start exchanging right hands, and Hart sends Piper to the floor with a flying forearm. They take each other down with a double clothesline. Hart plays possum again and knocks Piper off of the top rope. He takes control of the match, hitting atomic drops and suplexes. He scores a two with the side Russian leg sweep. He goes for the Sharpshooter, but Piper blocks it. Piper gets the boot up on Hart’s second rope elbow drop attempt. Piper inadvertently shoves Hart into the referee. The match winds up on the outside while the ref is out. Piper slams Bret’s face into the steel steps, then grabs the ring bell. Piper looks to hit Hart with the bell, but decides against it. Heenan says “what the hell, use the bell!” He throws the bell out of the ring and locks a sleeper in on Hart, who uses the ropes to push himself over on top of Piper, scoring a three count for the win and the Intercontinental Championship! What a match!
Hall of Famer count: 14 (adding Piper and Hart)
Bobby Heenan throws it to the newest WBF star, Lex Luger, who is at home in Atlanta. Luger puts over Bobby Heenan. He says he’s the most genetically gifted and anatomically perfect human being on the planet, so he’s going to win the WBF Championship. He flexes a bit and then drinks a protein shake.
The Mountie, the Nasty Boys, and Repo Man cut a promo backstage about their upcoming 8 man tag. Virgil, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, and Big Boss Man cut a promo from elsewhere backstage.
Ray Combs from Family Feud is the guest ring announcer for this match, and all 8 competitors are in the match. He says he asked 100 people to describe each man. The Mountie, a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear. Or a lot of other words. As a law enforcement officer, he does the work of three men – Curly, Larry, and Moe. Repo Man – No one can call him two faced, because if he was he’d darn sure be wearing the other one right now. His parents were disappointed when they saw him – they were hoping for a boy. The Nasty Boys – two men sharing one brain. When it comes to their success in wrestling, there’s just one word you can wrap it up in. Lucky. The bad guys go after Combs, and this match is underway. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jimmy Hart in the corner of the Nastys, Mountie, and Repo Man. Shawn Michaels has left the building, according to Bobby Heenan. The last match was an instant classic. This one will likely not be. So far, the only thing interesting about this match is that Boss Man punched Repo Man in the balls. Everything gets all crazy, and somewhere along the way, Virgil pins Brian Knobbs and wins the match for his team.
Hall of Famer count: 17 (adding Jimmy Hart, Duggan & Slaughter)
Sean Mooney is with Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, who have the picture of Miss Elizabeth that they promised to put up on the big screen at the Hoosier Dome. Flair says that after Savage takes the worst beating of his life, Mr Perfect will be waving the picture of Liz on the big screen. He offers Liz one last shot at Space Mountain. Gene Okerlund is outside of the locker room of Macho Man Randy Savage, who refused to give him an interview.
Perfect leads the WWF Champion Ric Flair to the ring. Macho Man runs the length of the long aisle to the ring, running Flair and Perfect out of the ring. He chases Flair around the ring and attacks him before the bell. Perfect pulls Savage off of Flair and throws him to the floor. Savage goes after Perfect, and finally gets in the ring, where Flair is waiting for him. Flair’s ill gotten advantage doesn’t last long before Savage starts tearing into him. The referee admonishes Savage, giving Flair enough time to recover and counter an incoming Savage by backdropping him over the top rope. Flair takes control and slows the pace down to a more comfortable level for him. Flair is the dominant champion for a while, but eventually Savage starts firing back and drops Flair with a neckbreaker. Flair goes to the top rope, but Savage sends him crashing down to the canvas. Macho Man turns up the intensity and it seems like Flair can do nothing to stop it. Savage drops the flying elbow, but Mr. Perfect jumps in and pulls Savage out of the ring. The referee doesn’t disqualify Flair, however. Savage goes after Perfect, throwing some foreign object to Flair. Flair nails Savage with it, then sends the object back to Mr. Perfect all without the referee seeing it, but only manages to score a two count. Flair wails away on Savage, and as the referee admonishes him, Perfect hits Savage in the leg with a steel chair. Elizabeth comes out, despite pleas from WWF officials to stay in the back. Flair works over the leg of Savage, undoubtedly trying to set up for the figure four. Indeed, Flair locks in his signature hold, and gets added leverage from Mr. Perfect. Savage refuses to quit. He gets out of the Figure Four, but he’s wounded. He scores two with a small package, but Flair is in firm control of the match. He tells Elizabeth, “It’s for you baby!” Savage fires back, rolls up Flair, hooks the tights, and the referee counts three – we’ve got a new World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion! Flair goes after Eliabeth and plants a giant kiss on her. She slaps the shit out of him, and then Savage goes after him. But the big story here is that the Macho Man is the WWF Champion. Flair and Perfect continue to attack Savage after the match but the WWF officials at ringside finally get them to leave. Savage finally gets to his feet, and he and Elizabeth celebrate his second reign as WWF Champion!
Hall of Famer count: 19 (adding Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect)
Sean Mooney is attempting to talk to Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect backstage. Heenan comes in and tells them that Savage had the tights. Flair says we have a man who will walk around town claiming to be the real World’s Champion. They don’t cry over spilled milk, they reassemble the team. Savage did it once, now let’s see him do it again. Once means nothing to Flair’s career. They call Savage a cheater. Flair says he’ll get his title back, and every time he sees Liz he’s going to kiss those moist lips. Elsewhere, Gene Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Savage. Savage says it’s just a piece of what he wanted from Flair.
We get a look back at the WrestleMania VIII press conference, where Hulk Hogan was named number one contender for the WWF Championship, much to the chagrin of Sid Justice. A week later, Sid and Hogan were a tag team, taking on Undertaker and Ric Flair, but Sid leaves Hogan to fend for himself. The next day, Sid destroyed The Barber Shop in an effort to draw out Hulk Hogan. Then Sid destroyed a bunch of nobodies (yes, that includes Virgil).
In the ring, Tatanka’s fellow Native Americans are dancing. Backstage, Rick Martel says there might not even be a match because Tatanka is still out scalping tickets. Get it? Hahahaha. Martel makes his way to the ring, and then Tatanka comes out. He wasn’t out there dancing with his fellow natives, apparently. It’s a back and forth match, but The Model showboats a little too much, and Tatanka takes control after knocking him off the top rope. Tatanka picks up the win with a cross body and the pin.
Hall of Famer count: still 19 (Hogan will count later on when he’s actually live on the broadcast)
Sean Mooney is with Money, Inc., the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship. Jimmy Hart says he knows all of the Natural Disasters weaknesses. IRS says it’s tax time, so it’s time to pay up to Money Inc. Gene Okerlund is with Earthquake and Typhoon. They haven’t forgotten what Jimmy Hart did to them. The time for talking is done, they’re coming to get what’s rightfully theirs.
The Champions are out first for this one. Second time that’s happened tonight. Ted DiBiase starts off with Earthquake. He certainly can’t match strength with the big man. Earthquake takes out both DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster. You know, I’d like to get a suit airbrushed like Jimmy Hart. It’s all Disasters in the early going. DiBiase ducks an oncoming Typhoon, sending the big man crashing over the top rope. This turns things into Money Inc’s favor, and they use frequent tags to isolate Typhoon in their corner. Eventually, Typoon gets to Earthquake, and the Disasters turn things back in their favor. They dump DiBiase, and Typhoon splashes IRS. Earthquake is legal though, and he goes for the Earthquake splash, but DiBiase and Hart pull IRS out, and Money Inc take a hike. They lose by count-out, but they don’t lose the titles.
Hall of Famer count: 20 (adding DiBiase)
Mean Gene is with Brutus The Barber Beefcake. Beefcake is best friends with Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s been giving all of his life, and Beefcake is only here to cheer for Hogan.
Back in the ring, we’ve got a match between Skinner and Owen Hart about to start. Skinner spits tobacco in the face of Owen to start the match. He nails a shoulder breaker and wails away on The Rocket. Skinner hits the Gatorbreaker, but Owen kicks out. Skinner tries to send Owen over the top, but Owen skins the cat, then rolls Skinner up and gets the three count.
Hall of Famer count: still 20
Mean Gene is with Sid and Harvey Wippleman. Sid says it won’t be a barnburner, it’ll be Hogan’s last match, and Sid will see to that. Hogan needs to remember one thing – that Sid is the master, and Hogan is but the learner. Okerlund says we’ve never heard from Hogan that he was retiring. Vince McMahon even asked him about it. Hogan doesn’t really give him a direct answer. Sid doesn’t care. The only thing to remember is that Sid Justice is the man who ended Hulkamania. He curses Hogan and every Hulkamania because he rules the world.
Harvey Wippleman steals the microphone from Howard Finkel and announces Sid Justice. Fink gets the mic back and introduces Hulk Hogan. Hogan attacks Sid before the bell, but Sid won’t back down. The match starts and Sid goes on the offensive. The fans are solidly behind the Hulkster in this one, and Hogan feeds off of that energy, scoring with a couple of punches to send Sid reeling to the outside to regroup. They go for a test of strength, and Sid seems to overpower Hogan. Hogan, however, starts drawing energy from the fans and fights his way back up, but Sid backs him into the corner. Hogan reverses an Irish whip, and hits a clothesline before turning his attention to Wippleman. Sid chokeslams Hogan off the distraction. Sid says “do unto the man what he would do unto you. But do it first.” Sid slows the match to a crawl as he takes his time working over Hogan. Sid uses a submission hold to wear down Hogan. The referee checks the arm. It drops once. Twice. But not the third time. Hogan starts coming back to life and elbows his way out of the hold – but Sid drops him with a side slam. Sid drops Hogan with a powerbomb, but Hogan kicks out with authority and starts Hulking up. Three punches to the face, then Hogan slams Sid’s face off of two turnbuckles. He hits a big boot, but Sid doesn’t go down. Hogan slams him and drops the leg, but Sid kicks out! Wippleman gets in the ring, and the referee calls for the bell. Hogan throws Wippleman at Sid. Papa Shango comes down to the ring while all of this is going on and attacks Hogan from behind. Shango and Sid double team Hogan, but The Ultimate Warrior comes out to make the save! He takes out Papa Shango. Sid hits him with a chair. Hogan snatches the chair from Sid, and Sid takes off. Warrior and Hogan stand tall in the middle of the ring to end WrestleMania 8! Hogan holds up a sign that says “Bring Back The Warrior!” that I noticed was painted on the back of a Metallica poster.
Hall of Famer count: 22 (adding Hogan and 2014 inductee Ultimate Warrior)
Thoughts: Not a bad PPV. Not a ton of filler here, which is always good. Warrior looks distinctly smaller than people remember, likely because he quit doing steroids at this time – but this is about the time that the rumor started that the original Warrior died. I hate that rumor. So many people have heard it, but nobody’s told them it’s not true, so I get stuck hearing about it all the time. So for the last time, Jim Hellwig has always been, and will always be the Ultimate Warrior. The end. I get to watch WrestleMania 9 tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound like fun?!?
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