[PPV Recap] ‘WWF WrestleMania VIII’ – Hogan vs. Sid, Savage vs. Flair, Piper vs. Hart

Date: April 5, 1992
Venue: The Hoosier Dome (Indianapolis, IN)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan

WrestleMania VIII features a “double main event” as Ric Flair defends the WWF Championship against Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan takes on Sid Justice in Hogan’s “final match”. Lots of quotations going on here folks. Also on the show Roddy Piper defends the Intercontinental Championship against Bret Hart, a newly babyface Undertaker faces off against former friend Jake Roberts, and much more! I don’t think I’ve watched this since the live PPV and I was five back then, so let’s see how it holds up now.

CHAMPION ROLL-CALL

  • WWF CHAMPION: ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
  • WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
  • WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Money Inc. (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & IRS)

THE LINEUP

  • Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels (***)
  • The Undertaker vs. Jake Roberts (*¼)
  • Roddy Piper [c] vs. Bret Hart for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (***¾)
  • Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, Big Boss Man, & Virgil vs. The Mountie, Repo Man, & The Nasty Boys (*½)
  • Ric Flair [c] vs. Randy Savage for the WWF CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
  • Tatanka vs. Rick Martel (**)
  • Money Inc. [c] vs. The Natural Disasters for the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (¾*)
  • Owen Hart vs. Skinner (NR)
  • Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice (DUD)

*****

Vince McMahon narrates the opening video highlighting the big matches scheduled for tonight. I wish I had at least 1/10th the energy he used to have in these opening videos.

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes the home audience as we pan around the Hoosier Dome. It looks really cool, almost WrestleMania III-like but with less people.

-Cut to the ring where country music star Reba McEntire gives us her rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. One guy in the audience has a tiny American flag and mouths along the words looking like a f*cking serial killer. That was unnerving. McEntire rocked it though, for real. Bobby Heenan calls her ‘Arriba McEntire’ and says she’s Tito’s sister. That was pretty good.

‘El Matador’ Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels [w/ Sensational Sherri]

Santana got repackaged as a Matador in late-1991, a stupid gimmick to put on such an accomplished wrestler…and a gimmick I thought was super cool as a kid so maybe I’m just being an idiot right now. Michaels famously turned heel in late-1991 as well, dissolving The Rockers by tossing partner Marty Jannetty through a window during a ‘Barber Shop’ segment on TV. He’s now an egotistical heartthrob, with Sherri as his lusty manager/singer of his theme song. According to Gorilla, Michaels has challenged the winner of Piper/Hart later tonight to a future Intercontinental Championship match.

Santana jaw jacks at Michaels and gets punched for his troubles. Santana ducks a clothesline and connects with a crossbody but Michaels kicks out at two. Santana with a headlock, hanging on through an irish whip attempt. Monsoon pimps the 1-900 number for tonight, don’t forget to get your parent’s permission before calling. Santana leap frogs over Michaels and clotheslines him out to the floor as the crowd goes wild. Sherri immediately checks on her man. Michaels gets to the apron, Santana pulls him in with a side headlock. Lots of empty seats in the upper deck, apparently not everyone has filed in yet. Michaels escapes and works Santana over in the corner, Santana reverses an irish whip but Michaels floats over and continues the attack. Michaels tries a float-over again but Santana is ready for it and decks him, leading into a side headlock takeover. Michaels escapes, Santana rolls him up with an inside cradle for the 1…2…Michaels kicks out and Santana goes back to the side headlock. Michaels escapes again via irish whip and uses Santana’s own momentum to send him crashing to the floor. Michaels connects with a backbreaker for a two-count and immediately transitions into a reverse chinlock.

The crowd wakes Santana up but he runs right into SWEET CHIN MU-actually it’s just a ‘crescent kick’ at this point and not the finisher. Michaels goes for the Side Suplex, his actual finisher at this point (weeeeird) but Santana escapes with a right hand and catches Michaels with a Flying Forearm, sending him out to the floor. Santana follows him out, ramming Michaels into the ring steps and rolling him back in. Santana belts Michaels with a slingshot something or another into a knee lift and inverted atomic drop that Michaels sells beautifully. Santana hits a second Flying Forearm, Michaels rolls out once more. Santana brings Michaels to the apron and picks him up, Michaels uses the top rope to reverse momentum and land on top for the 1…2…3.

Shawn Michaels defeated Tito Santana via pinfall after countering a slam with a lateral press (10:39)

  • A solid opening match that really only suffered in the early stages due to the side headlock spot going on for longer than I would have liked. That’s a personal preference thing though. Otherwise the action was great, Michaels sold beautifully, and Santana overcame that stupid Matador gimmick to show just how good he still was in the ring at that point. The finish didn’t make a ton of sense but I’ll let that slide. Also how weird is it to see Michaels with a non-Superkick finisher? Early HBK has some quirks. (***)

’Mean’ Gene Okerlund is on an interview stage inside the arena. His guests? The Legion of Doom and their longtime pre-WWF manager Paul Ellering. Ellering says revenge has united them once again, and this is the beginning of the end. Animal calls Jimmy Hart the lowest scum on the planet and vow revenge for losing the Tag Team Titles to Money Inc. Hawk says they’ve been a runaway train, but now they’ve got Ellering here to drive it. Back to Ellering who says the LOD is great because they dare to be great and they earn their money by beating people for it. Ellering calls himself the ‘procurator of destruction’ and will propel LOD back to the Tag Team Titles. This went on longer than it needed to, but goddamn I love Paul Ellering so I’ll let slide.

-Cut to an interview conducted earlier today between Sean Mooney and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. We get footage of Roberts locking Undertaker’s hand in a casket and DDTing Paul Bearer during a Funeral Parlor segment. Roberts asks Undertaker what he’ll do when he gets what he wants tonight with the DDT, and vows to put the final nail in his coffin. Trust him.

The Undertaker [w/ Paul Bearer] vs. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts

Roberts and Undertaker rolled together as a terrifying duo until Undertaker prevented him from hitting Miss Elizabeth with a chair backstage. Now Undertaker is a babyface undead zombie and I love that recapping pro wrestling shows allows me to say things like that. This ends Roberts’ first WWF run, as he held up Vince for more money backstage prior to making his way out for the contest, then hightailed it out and went to WCW soon after. Guess who wins this one.

Roberts sticks and moves, clotheslining Taker out to the floor but he lands on his feet. Taker pulls Roberts out to the floor and sends him crashing into the steel post. Roberts catches Taker with a kneelift as he re-enters the ring followed by a pair of right hands. Taker blocks an irish whip and catches Roberts with an uppercut and a whip into the corner. Taker goozles him back into the corner and goes a chokin’. More chokes and thrust chops under the chin leading to the patented leaping clothesline that pops the crowd. Roberts escapes the Tombstone and counters with the DDT. Instead of covering, Roberts gloats and this gives Taker time to sit up like Michael Myers. Roberts with a short-arm clothesline, Taker sits right up again and Roberts hits a second DDT. Roberts once again decides not to cover and goes after Bearer on the outside. Taker sits up and hits Roberts with a Tombstone ON THE FLOOR. Taker rolls in the unconscious Roberts and covers for the 1…2…3.

The Undertaker defeated Jake Roberts via pinfall with the Tombstone (6:41)

  • There wasn’t a lot to do and Roberts was pretty much checked out anyway, leading to a pretty dull match outside of that Tombstone on the floor at the end. Was what it was, gave Undertaker a big win over an established top-level guy and cementing his babyface status, but I wasn’t a fan of the match itself. (*¼)

-’Mean’ Gene is backstage with Bret Hart and his opponent IC Champ Roddy Piper. Piper loves the Hart Family and how he’s known Bret since he was a little kid. Bret has no time for fun and trips down memory lane, all he cares about is winning the Intercontinental Championship. Piper and Bret start arguing, Okerlund caught in the middle.

WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper [c] vs. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart

Piper won the Intercontinental Championship, his only singles  gold in the WWF, at the 1992 Royal Rumble by defeating The Mountie. Hart, who lost the title to The Mountie due to being sick while defending, is here to get his belt back. These two have known each other for years and have been friends, but in the end there ain’t no such thing as friendship when there’s a championship involved.

Feeling out process to start as both men trade armdrags. Hart sends Piper to the floor, Piper angrily re-enters the ring and loses his cool by spitting at the Hitman. Test of strength, Piper counters into an armbar but Hart quickly counters with a wristlock. Piper tries repeatedly to break it but gets sent to the mat, Hart transitioning into a hammerlock. Hart ducks a clothesline and connects with a dropkick, Hart plays possum with a hurt shoulder and rolls Piper up with an inside cradle for the 1…2…an angry Piper kicks out and slaps Hart across the face for the disrespect. Hart catches Piper with a clothesline and both men (eventually) tumble to the floor. BOTH MEN HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE. Piper gets back in first and opens the ropes for Hart to re-enter, which the Hitman does without being attacked. It looks like a great moment of sportsmanship until Piper drops Hart with A SUCKER PUNCH and goes on the offensive, Hart getting busted open in the process. Piper connects with a bulldog, leaving a big ol’ red mark on the canvas, for the 1…2…not yet. Piper with a kneelift for the 1…2…Hart kicks out again. Hart catches Piper with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Piper kicks out and unloads with a series of jabs to Hart’s open head wound for the 1…2…Hart still has some fight left in him. Hart belts Piper with a running forearm that sends the champ out to the floor. Piper runs back in and both men go down with a double clothesline. Piper’s head is on top of Hart but the ref doesn’t make a count as Monsoon tries to explain it away (Heenan is confused though, and rightly so).

Piper goes to the top (?!?), Hart crotches him and drops him face-first on the canvas. Inverted atomic drop into a vertical suplex for the 1…2…Piper kicks out. Side Russian Legsweep for the 1…2…Piper kicks out again. Undeterred, Hart connects with a backbreaker and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Piper blocks it with his hands so the Hitman drops an elbow to daze the champ. Hart comes flying off the middle buckle right into the big boot of the Rowdy One. Hart with a side headlock, they bump the ref, and Piper sends Hart to the floor with a clothesline. Piper rams Hart into the steps and rolls him back in, then grabs the timekeeper’s bell! Piper teases using the bell on Hart, but has second thoughts and goes for a Sleeperhold instead. Hart kicks off the top turnbuckle and turns it into a roll-up, shifting his weight, for the 1…2…3!

Bret Hart defeated Roddy Piper [c] via pinfall to win the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (13:50)

  • Hart mentions in his autobiography that due to the WWF’s anti-blood policy at the time, he secretly bladed himself to get some juice for this match and no one was ever the wiser (until he came clean obviously). I made it a point to look for this moment and to Hart’s credit I couldn’t see it happen either. Might be the best incognito blade job in wrestling history, and a good call as it added some good drama to an already great match. I love this one a lot, and this might be Piper’s best WWF match ever or at least the best I’ve seen. Hart did great as a scrappy underdog trying to conquer the wiley veteran who barely ever lost clean, and Piper giving him said clean win did a lot to elevate him even further. Man I miss when Intercontinental Title matches mattered and had great matches/stories like this. (***¾)

Piper helps Hart to his feet and puts the title around the new champ’s waist.

-Cut to the announce table where Heenan conducts a satellite interview with the latest addition to the World BODYBUILDING Federation: Lex Luger. My god, I forgot he was supposed to do bodybuilding sh*t. Luger puts over Heenan and calls Monsoon fat (he’s FAT!), and says he’s the most anatomically perfect specimen on the planet. Luger shows off some of the goods, complete with WBF tank top, saying this is why they call him ‘The Total Package’. Luger finishes things by chugging a glass of milk, and announces he will debut on June 13th. Luger would end up getting in a motorcycle accident and never, uh, competing I guess in a WBF event, and would be back in the ring come January 1993 as The Narccisist.

The Mountie, Repo Man, and The Nasty Boys cut a promo on their upcoming opponents. Obviously Repo Man is the best part, I’m not a crazy person.

-Said opponents Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, Big Boss Man, and Virgil (complete with face mask due to a broken nose administered by Sid Justice) have a rebuttal.

-Then Family Feud host, the late Ray Combs, is here to handle the in-ring introductions between these two teams who are already in the ring. He totally dumps on the heels, blaming the ‘survey’ he conducted among the crowd. It’s actually pretty funny. Combs gets in one last dig and the heels chase him out of the ring, the faces attacking them from behind.

‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, The Big Boss Man, & Virgil vs. The Mountie, Repo Man, & The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) [w/ ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart]

Chaos to start, the faces clearing the ring and Duggan revving up the crowd with a ‘USA’ chant. Apparently Family Feud will feature a WWF vs. WBF episode soon, which I may YouTube later because that sounds potentially hilarious. Order is restored, Duggan belts Sags with a pair of clotheslines followed by an atomic drop. Slaughter, who MAIN EVENTED last year, tags in as does Knobbs on the heel side. Slaughter reverses a corner Irish whip and connects with a gutbuster followed by a double stomp. Boss Man gets the tag and drops Knobbs with a big boot followed by a wind-up uppercut. Boss Man misses a corner splash and in tags Repo. Boss Man ducks a clothesline, Repo trips him up and connects with a couple of splashes to the back. He goes for a third, Boss Man counters with a FIST TO THE NUTS and Virgil gets the tag. Virgil catches Repo with a crossbody and covers for longer than three, but the ref stops counting so The Nasty Boys can pretend to break it up. That was awkward. Repo connects with a back suplex and goads Duggan into the ring so the heels can go a clobberin’. Sags connects with a pumphandle slam but Virgil kicks out of the lateral press. Mountie tags in and heads to the top, but ends up flying right into the interfering Boss Man’s arms who connects with a spinebuster. An eight man brawl breaks out Sags tries to hit Virgil with his face mask but accidentally hits Knobbs instead and Virgil covers for the 1…2…3.

Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, The Big Boss Man, & Virgil defeated The Mountie, Repo Man, & The Nasty Boys when Virgil pinned Brian Knobbs following HEEL MISCOMMUNICATION (6:31)

  • Ray Combs’ opening bit was the best part of this whole thing, tbh. The match itself was chaotic nonsense and felt like a tack-on to get these folks on the show, but they did what they could I guess. Just seemed very pointless and filler-y which was a disservice to SOME of the wrestlers in this match. I think this is Slaughter’s final WrestleMania match outside of the X-7 gimmick battle royal too; what a way to go out. (*½)

-Mooney is in the locker room with Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect. Perfect has a giant poster board; apparently it’s a very scandalous photo of Miss Elizabeth they’re going to show off after Flair wins. Flair has confidence to spare, which isn’t surprising.

-’Mean’ Gene is outside the locker room of Randy Savage, who is refusing interviews ahead of his match. WrestleMania V all over again, really.

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair [c] [w/ Mr. Perfect] vs. ‘The Macho Man’ Randy Savage

For the first time since 1985 the WWF Championship is not going on last at WrestleMania. It’s still a “main event” technically but in a MSG house show sense. Initially all signs pointed to Hogan/Flair as the main event of this show but due to poor reaction to their house show matches, the WWF changed course. Flair’s been playing mind games with Savage for months now, showing off photos of he and Elizabeth and saying that he dated her long before Savage met her. A cringe-y ass way to have a feud in 2019 but I assume it worked back then. I was five years old at the time so I’m not the best judge of this.

Flair tries to immediately bail, Savage attacks him until Perfect pulls him off. Savage ducks a clothesline and connects with one of his own to Flair, followed by a knee that sends him flying into the corner. Savage with the count-a-long corner rights, Flair tries to counter with an inverted atomic drop but Savage counters and drops him with a right. Savage connects with a back elbow, Flair kicks out at two. Savage charges, Flair backdrops him out to the floor. Savage got A LOT of height on that one. Flair follows Savage out and sends him kidney-first into the apron. Flair continues going to work, including a beautiful delayed vertical suplex, as Heenan goes nuts on commentary. God I love Heenan’s commentary during Flair matches. Flair continues to focus on the lower back of The Macho Man, which would make sense if his finishing move was a Boston Crab buuuuut it’s not. Flair suplexes Savage back into the ring and covers for the 1…2…Savage emphatically kicks out and Flair argues about the speed of the count. Savage fights back with a series of jabs and a reverse neckbreaker. Flair pokes Savage in the eye and heads to the top, Savage slams him off because OF COURSE HE DOES and the crowd loves it. Savage continues his comeback with a pair of clotheslines and Flair begs for mercy (he doesn’t get it).

Flair tries another top rope move, Savage counters with a clothesline for the 1…2…FLAIR KICKS OUT and the crowd boos loudly. Savage sends Flair to the floor and follows up with a top rope double axhandle that sends the Nature Boy into the guardrail, busting him WIDE OPEN. Savage rams Flair into the post, Flair flops and Savage breaks the count so he can suplex him on the padded concrete. Savage focuses all of his attack on Flair’s open wound, connecting with a flying double axhandle once again for the 1…2…NO! Savage heads to the top and connects with the FLYING ELBOW for the 1…2…PERFECT PULLS HIM OUT TO THE FLOOR. Savage chases Perfect into the ring, the ref gets in between them and gets squished. Perfect tosses a foreign object to Flair, who belts him with it. Flair gives the object back to Perfect and covers for the 1…2…SAVAGE KICKS OUT! Flair distracts the ref, Perfect cracks Savage in the ribs with a steel chair. Out comes Miss Elizabeth, three officials trying to keep her away but failing. Why wasn’t she there before? Flair works on Savage’s left leg and applies the Figure Four Leglock in the center of the ring! Savage almost passes out but manages to reverse the hold. Flair quickly escapes and goes for a slam, Savage counters with an inside cradle for the 1…2…Flair kicks out. Flair beats on Savage, dedicating it to Miss Elizabeth, who is STILL BEING HASSLED by the officials for no reason. Savage belts Flair with a right and rolls him up, with a handful of tights, for the 1…2…3!

Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair [c] via pinfall with a roll-up to win the WWF CHAMPIONSHIP (18:02)

  • The crowd was absolutely rabid for this one and it helped make this match 100x better than it would have been otherwise. Flair and Savage had a heated contest, a knockdown drag-out brawl that perfectly matched their blood feud. It got a little chaotic around Miss Elizabeth once she showed up at ringside (if you remember why she wasn’t just allowed to be there, let me know because I can’t remember), but it only added to the drama. Helluva match, odd finish but I’ll take it. (****)

Flair kisses Liz, Liz slaps and shoves him and Savage goes on the attack until separated by a host of officials. Flair and Perfect get some cheap shots in while Savage is being held down (GREAT JOB, IDIOTS), and one guy now has blood all over his suit. That’s not going to come out, just ask Patrick Bateman. Flair and Perfect angrily stomp off to a chorus of boos. The Fink makes the finish official and Savage celebrates as best he can with the WWF Championship despite the hurt knee, complete with pyro! And we still got more to go? Fair enough.

-Sean Mooney is in the locker room with Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, & Bobby Heenan who has come down from the announce table to join his charges. They LOSE THEIR MINDS and Flair says they will regroup and get the title back, Flair threatening to sexually assault Liz with kisses whenever he wants. YIKES.

-Cut to ‘Mean’ Gene who’s with Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Savage says he has taken a piece of Flair but he wants the WHOLE THING so it looks like this feud isn’t over yet.

-Video recap of the feud between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice, including Sid’s destruction of the Barber Shop interview set and the destruction of various jobbers/Virgil. Apparently he brought his stretcher gimmick from WCW with him.

-The Lumbee Native American tribe from North Carolina is in the Hoosier Dome doing a war dance. Cut to Sean Mooney who’s in the locker room with Rick ‘The Model’ Martel. Martel says those ‘Indians’ have no class or fashion sense and there might not be a match because Tatanka is out SCALPING TICKETS. I get it. I don’t like it but I get it.

Tatanka vs. Rick ‘The Model’ Martel

The Lumbee tribe dance their way from ringside, which is COOL AS HELL. Tatanka forces Martel to bail to the floor after a series of offensive maneuvers. Heenan is still beside himself after what happened in the last match which is hilarious. Martel misses Tatanka in the corner and goes shoulder-first into the post, Tatanka goes to work on said arm. Martel tosses Tatanka to the floor, making a nice SPLAT sound. Martel connects with a backbreaker and takes his time heading to the top, allowing Tatanka to shake the ropes and crotch him on the strut. THOSE POOR JEWELS. Tatanka mounts his comeback with the usual babyface stuff as well as a tomahawk chop because he’s a Native American you see. Martel manages to get in a little more offense but is felled with a crossbody for the 1…2…3.

Tatanka defeated Rick Martel via pinfall with a crossbody (4:32)

  • Tatanka was one of my favorites as a kid so you’ll be getting a lot of bias on my end whenever he pops up in a recap. Match was short but sweet, mostly a match to give the fans a breather after the emotional match before it. These two would continue to feud for most of 1992 and would have a better match than this at Survivor Series in November. I think. That’s how I remember it anyway. (**)

-Sean Mooney is in the locker room with Money Inc. and their manager Jimmy Hart. The Natural Disasters will be TAKEN.

-’Mean’ Gene is with The Natural Disasters, who are now babyfaces and it’s WEIRD. They have a special surprise for Jimmy Hart tonight.

WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Money Inc. (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [w/ ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart] vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)

The Disasters turned on their manager Jimmy Hart after Hart used their rematch against then-champions The Legion of Doom for Money Inc. instead. The problem is that they are HUGE and it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief for either one of them to go full Ricky Morton in a tag team match, but dammit the WWF was going to TRY.

Money Inc. make quick tags early, playing games with Earthquake before locking up. Quake throws DiBiase into the corner and poses, some of the crowd booing because it’s Earthquake and he turned Damien into burgers like a year ago. Wrestling fans NEVER FORGET. DiBiase with a couple of jabs, Quake reverses an Irish whip and clotheslines EVERYBODY. Typhoon walks in and we get us a double noggin knocker that clears the champs from the ring. IRS and Typhoon tag in, Typhoon takes him to them to the mat with a hip toss. IRS tries to escape the ring but Typhoon grabs him by the tie and belts him with a right hand. IRS dodges a corner splash and DiBiase immediately tags in to try and take advantage but gets sent into the corner off an Irish whip. Typhoon with a pair of headbutts, DiBiase dodges him and Typhoon (EVENTUALLY) sends himself out to the floor. Oooof that was ugly. Money Inc. go on the offensive, DiBiase burying a pair of knees to the skull and both men taking him down with a double clothesline. Front chancery from IRS, almost tags but DiBiase tags in and keeps him grounded. Typhoon and DiBiase take each other down with a double clothesline. Quake gets the lukewarm tag and goes to work on both Money Inc. members. All four men enter the ring, the Disasters whip Money Inc. into one another. Quake clotheslines DiBiase to the floor, Typhoon splashes IRS. Quake goes for the Earthquake Splash but Hart pulls IRS out to the floor before it can happen. Money Inc. take the titles and WALK OUT, giving the Disasters the win via countout. Uhhhh ok.

The Natural Disasters defeated Money Inc. [c] via countout; Money Inc. retains the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (8:38)

  • Well that sucked, but I’m not surprised. As I said before, The Natural Disasters just did not fit as babyfaces and the crowd didn’t seem all that ready to accept them as such yet. Plus they were facing Money Inc., who are categorically one of the most boring tag teams in WWF history, so there wasn’t much here plus had a dumb countout finish.  (¾*)

-’Mean’ Gene is backstage with Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake, the best friend of Hulk Hogan. Beefcake does his bff duties by putting over Hogan, saying that he’s the number one Hulkamaniac. THIS WAS A NECESSARY THING THAT HAPPENED.

‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart vs. Skinner

Hart backflips into the ring and Skinner immediately blinds him with a mouth full of tobacco spit. GROSS. Skinner connects with an inverted DDT and arrogantly covers for the 1…2…Hart kicks out. Skinner tosses Hart out, Hart skins the cat and rolls him up for the 1…2…3.

Owen Hart defeated Skinner via pinfall with an O’Connor Roll (1:10)

  • This is Hart’s brief singles run between tag teams, as he would join Koko B. Ware to form High Energy later in the year (or maybe even a few weeks after this). Not sure why this was needed as a buffer between the Tag Team Title match and the main event but whatever, it means that SKINNER MADE A WRESTLEMANIA PPV and that’s hilarious. (NR)

-’Mean’ Gene is in the locker room with Sid Justice and his manager, Harvey Whippleman. Justice cuts a yelly promo about Hulk Hogan, vowing to see to it himself that this is Hogan’s final match. Cue video footage of a previously recorded interview from March to WrestleMania between Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan. Hogan is non-committal about this being his final match. We cut back to Justice who CURSES Hogan and every Hulkamaniac.

‘The Immortal’ Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice [w/ Dr. Harvey Whippleman]

Sid attacks Hogan, but Hogan quickly rebounds and sends him out to the floor with a pair of right hands WHILE HIS THEME CONTINUES PLAYING. Sid gets to the apron, Hogan clotheslines him and rips the shirt as the Hulkamaniacs go wild.

Finally the song ends and the bell rings, crowd chanting for Hogan as Hogan begs Sid to get back in and face him like a man. Sid knees Hogan in the gut and goes a clubberin’. Hogan sends Sid to the floor once again with a pair of right hands, and teases leaving. That was the exact spot they did during Hogan’s entrance, c’mon. Sid calls for a test of strength and they lock knuckles, banging their chests together like MANLY MEN as they jockey for position. Sid brings Hogan to his knees, the crowd EVENTUALLY wills Hogan back to his feet but he gets backed into the corner and Sid drives a pair of knees to the gut. Hogan connects with a corner clothesline, Sid goozles him and connects with a ONE-HANDED CHOKESLAM on the Immortal one. Sid poses for the crowd instead of pinning him, talking to the camera and everything. They’ve already run out of stuff to do, MY GOD. Whippleman distracts the ref, Sid using his doctor bag to clobber Hogan on the floor. Sid rolls him in and applies A GODDAMN NERVE HOLD, almost daring me to hit fast-forward.

Hogan almost passes out after spending seven years in the hold, but the crowd wakes him up and he escapes with a whole lot of elbows to the gut. Before he can follow up Sid puts a stop to things with a sidewalk slam. Sid hits the Power Bomb for the 1…2…HOGAN KICKS OUT AND STARTS HULKING UP. Hogan does his thing and hits the Big Legdrop for the 1…2…SID KICKS OUT and Whippleman interferes, causing a DQ?

Hulk Hogan defeated Sid Justice via DQ (12:28)

  • From all accounts Papa Shango was supposed to interfere and cause the DQ but took FOREVER to get to the ring, forcing Sid to kick out of the Big Legdrop which NO ONE had done before. Whippleman interfered shortly after to get the DQ called, though to his credit it looked like he was trying before Sid had to kick out but the ref wasn’t having any of it. That was hilarious, but it doesn’t make up for how much of a trashbag this match was. No real redeeming qualities to it as it was a lot of stalling and weak-looking offense from both men. Just real embarrassing sh*t here and as of right now the worst (announced) Mania main event I have ever seen. Ughhhh. (DUD)

Papa Shango attacks Hogan from behind, missing his cue by a whole damn MINUTE. The 2-on-1 assault is broken up the returning ULTIMATE WARRIOR who clotheslines a patiently waiting Shango out to the floor. Sid attacks Warrior from behind with a chair but it does NOTHIN’ and Hogan clears Sid out of the ring. I damn near LOST MY MIND when I saw this happen live so my nostalgia is on overdrive. Hogan is announced as the winner and he embraces Warrior, who looks more like a human and less synthetic this go around. People thought Warrior had died and this was somebody else under the paint but NAH. Hogan and Warrior pose for the adoring crowd and pyro goes off all around them as the show ends.

*****

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Piper/Hart, Savage/Flair, and the Warrior’s surprise return were all tremendous, but the rest of the show is real bad including the “main event” which has to be one of, if not THE, worst main event in WrestleMania history. Absolute trash. The undercard is fine I guess, but outside of the matches I mentioned none of them are worth going back to check out in the slightest.

 

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: A less roided up Ultimate Warrior makes his surprise return. Ironic moment of the night is Sid having to kick out of the Legdrop because Papa Shango took seven hundred years to get to the ring and interfere.

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