Friendship torn apart describes one half of tonights main event between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice whilst The Flair/Savage affair outlines the other. Because on this show we have a double main event. Which basically means Hulk Hogan isn’t involved in the World title picture so his match has to be seen as a joint main event. The top match is between WWF Champion Ric Flair who won the title in the 1992 Royal Rumble match against number one contender Macho Man Randy Savage. This feud revolves around Miss Elizabeth who Flair claims to have been seeing and he has the pictures to prove it. The other main event is Hulk Hogan against Sid Justice. Sid turned on Hogan at The Royal Rumble and those two former friend clash tonight.
We can also expect an Intercontinental title match between childhood friends, babyfaces Rowdy Roddy Piper who also won the gold at The Royal Rumble and Bret Hart who lost the title to The Mountie a few days before the rumble. The tag team titles will also be on the line as Money Inc who beat The Legion Of Doom on a house show for the belts meet The Natural Disasters who recently dumped their manager Jimmy Hart because of how he got Money Inc a title shot.
The Undertaker and Jake Roberts have also had a breaking up and now fan favourite Undertaker takes on Roberts to seek revenge. Native American Tatanka has debuted in the WWF since the last PPV and tonight he makes his PPV debut against Skinner who has lost all three of his PPV outings.
There have been a lot of departures since The Royal Rumble 1992. Thankfully nobody with too much talent has gone but who has left? Well….Jim Neidhart, Pat Tanaka, Haku, The Barbarian, Greg Valentine, Nikolai Volkoff, Jimmy Snuka, Hercules and The Warlord have all gone. None of those guys were known for their high quality matches so they won’t be huge losses. Neidhart is the biggest suprise as he’d just started teaming with Owen Hart. None of the others had been involved in any major storylines for a while.
Vince McMahon’s voice kicks off the show with a run down of tonights main events. Ric Flair against Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan against Sid Justice! We then go to Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan who tell us that all the gold in the WWF is up for grabs. Roddy Piper against Bret Hart and Ted Dibiase and I.R.S take on The Natural Disasters. And now time for the national anthem to be sung by Riva McIntyre. Or is it Rita? No idea.
“El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels
Well this is Shawn Michaels first major PPV match since turning heel and he’s up against the guy that has put over newcomers such as The Mountie and Ric Flair in the past year. It should be a fast paced match to start off the show. Shawn Michaels now has Sensational Sherri in his corner which is great for him as she has only managed the likes of main eventers Randy Savage and Ted Dibiase before. Tito starts the match quickly, shoving Michaels and hitting a high cross body. Santana has appeared on every Wrestlemania so far, only Hulk Hogan can claim the same. It’s all Tito in the early going as he tightens a headlock on the cocky upstart. This is Michaels first singles pay per view match (besides the Royal Rumble). Michaels eventually gets the upper hand after leapfrogging an irish whip but that doesn’t last long. Santana has a new lease of life under his new gimmick and he’s had a lot more exposure on pay per view. Even the sparsely filled Tuesday in Texas featured a tag match involving El Matador goes to show that he is held in high regard.
Santana has the headlock on for way too long, it certainly wouldn’t go down well in this day and age. Michaels manages to throw him out of the ring and Sherri just stares at him. A cheap shot is expected but doesn’t happen. It’s Michaels turn to lock on a headlock now. Shawn follows that up with the crescent kick that later becomes known as “Sweet Chin Music” but it doesn’t end this match. Tito bounces off the ropes and hits the trademark flying forearm! Sadly for Santana, Michaels falls out of the ring so the match continues. Tito throws Shawn back in the ring and hits a nice slingshot shoulder block that Bobby Heenan calls “the flying burrito”. Lovely casual racism. It’s all El Matador now and the crowd are right behind him. In a bizarre ending to the match, Santana scoops Michaels up for a slam but Shawn grabs the ropes and falls on top of the former Intercontinental champion, pinning him for the three. It looked like Sherri was suposed to grabs his leg, but she didn’t. Odd finish to a match that I felt could have been much better.
Over to Mene Gene Okerland now who is joined by The Legion of Doom. The crowd are definitely behind them. Also with the LOD is long time manager Paul Ellering. He looks like a heel and sounds like a heel. Ellering says that this is the beginning of the end and he’s there for revenge. Animal then describes how Jimmy Hart is a scumbag for turning on his own team. Animal then says that the’re coming for Dibiase and I.R.S. and Hawk echoes those statements!
Now to Sean Mooney who is with Jake Roberts. We see a clip of Roberts DDT Paul Bearer and Roberts says that the biggest man doesn’t always win. He says he’ll put the final nail in Undertakers coffin……trust him.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. The Undertaker
Jake Roberts tends to have big matches at Wrestlemania and this one is no different. Undertaker has been pushed into the main event scene and has already been WWF Champion albeit for just over a week. Roberts is joint fourth for PPV appearances and joint fifth for PPV matches so he’s right up there. Jake is quick to start the match whilst Undertaker walks around like a zombie. The match soon goes outside and Undertaker throws Roberts into the ringpost. After a back and forth stage, Undertaker has the advantage and he hits a huge flying clothesline. Undertaker then sets up for the Tombstone but Roberts slips down the back and hits the DDT! Surely it’s over! But no, Undertaker sits up! Jake goes right after him and hits his trademark short arm clothesline and then hits another DDT! But he chooses not to pin the dead man, he decides to go after Paul Bearer! But Undertaker makes the save then hits the Tombstone outside of the ring!
‘Taker rolls Roberts back inside the ring and pins him to win the match! A quick match but one I was really in to. There was a lot of intensity and you got right behind Undertaker.
Backstage now to Mene Gene with Intercontinental champion “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Bret Hart. Piper reminisces to him and Bret Hart growing up, making jokes. But Bret Hart is super serious and is only interested in winning the Intercontinental title back.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (c) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart – Intercontinental title match
Both men seem popular in this one. You don’t often see babyfaces fight one another but this is an exception to the rule. Bret Hart lost the Intercontinental title to The Mountie at a house show whilst he had flu, Piper then beat The Mountie a few days later at The Royal Rumble and now Hart gets his rematch. This title has been defended on three pay per views in a row. These two were actually on the same team at Survivor Series, a match in which Ric Flair was the sole survivor. Hart throws Piper across the ring with an arm drag to start the match. Piper rplies with a single leg takedown and go behind but Hart sends him outside the ring. It gets quite heated between the two fan favourites. Bret Hart keeps Piper grounded with an arm bar. Hart is one of the best technical wrestlers of all time so expect plenty of that. Hart hits a dropkick but hurts his shoulder. But he was playing possum and rolls Piper up for a two count! It’s as if the two faces are trying to out-heel each other. This is backed-up with a sucker punch from Piper shortly after.
Piper hits a bulldog and gets a near fall. Hart is all in pink for this one but crimson starts to emerge from his face. Could’ve been from the bulldog or Pipers cheap shot. Piper hits some stiff shots. This has been a good mix of Bret Harts technical ability and Pipers brawling. Hart flapjacks Piper off the top then hits an inverted atomic drop and snap suplex that looks pretty stiff too. Hart goes for the sharpshooter but Roddy blocks it. Hart goes up to the second rope but Piper gets his foot up. Hart gets Piper in a headlock but the champion shoves Hart into the referee sending him down to the canvas. Piper then grabs the bell! He holds it above his head as Hart struggles to get to his feet but Piper can’t do it! There are boos from the crowd as Piper refuses to hit him but cheers when he throws it away! Piper gets his sleeper but Bret Hart uses his bodyweight to flip off the top buckle and pin Piper for the three count! We’ve got a new Intercontinental champion and it’s Bret Hart for the second time! Piper grabs the belt and hands it to his long time friend before the two man shake and Piper helps Hart up. Great match. The best of Pipers career as Hart continues to show how to put on a good match.
Rating: 8/10* Match Of The Night
Bobby Heenan now throws us to “The Total Package” Lex Luger who is the new face of the bodybuilding foundation. Luger looks huge in his chair. Lex calls Monsoon fat, harsh. Lex claims to have the best body on planet earth. He seems to be concentrating on bodybuilding competitions. Luger then gives us a little show under his shirt. He’s very tanned. And then a lady brings him a glass of milk. Jesus, this is bad.
And now we go to The Mountie and The Nasty Boys. The Mountie has some words for Virgil and then in comes The Repo Man! The Nasty Boys are confident and they’ll be giving the other team the beating of their lives!
And now to Slaughter who has words for the heel team. Boss Man says they need to have their last meal because they’ll be serving hard time. Virgil has a mask on and says something then Duggan says the match is going to be a fight and their strategy is attack attack attack hoooooooooo!
The Big Boss Man, Sgt Slaughter, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Virgil vs. The Mountie, The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) & The Repo Man
Ray Combs in special guest ring announcer for this one. He claims The Mountie doesn’t know the word fear or many other words for that matter. He says nobody can call The Repo Man two faced because he’d surely wear the other one and The Nasty Boys are two men sharing one brain! The heels go after Ray allowing the babyface team to take advantage. When everything settles we start the match with Jim Duggan and Jerry Saggs. Wow, you look at the guys in this match and they seem to be thrown together to get them on the card, whilst last year Sgt Slaughter was in the main event, Boss Man was challenging for the Intercontinental title and The Nasty Boys were the tag team champions! Virgil was also in a high profile match against Dibiase. Lots of tags in this match, probably to get everyone involved in a short amount of time. The Repo Man gets the advantage on Big Boss Man.
All hell starts to break lose as The Mountie attacks Virgil from behind and then the Boss Man gets involved when he shouldn’t. He comes in and attacks The Mountie then everybody piles in! Virgils mask gets ripped off and Saggs goes to nail him with it but Virgil ducks and Saggs nails Knobbs! Virgil pins the Nasty Boy and gets the three count! A big win for four babyfaces on the decline.
Now backstage to Ric Flair and Mr Perfect who have a concealed picture of Flair and Miss Elizabeth that they have been threatening to show the world.
Ric Flair (c) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage – World Heavyweight Championship Match
Well this is the first time ever the World title hasn’t been defended at the end of the show. And that would have been because Hulk Hogan wanted his match to end the show. Flair won the Royal Rumble to win the title in a match where Savage was thrown out in the final four. The crowd are right behind Randy who last had the gold at Wrestlemania 5 where he lost it to Hogan. Savage has lost his last two Wrestlemania matches so he’ll be looking to turn this one around. Perfect gets involved right off the bat throwing Savage off Flair on the outside of the ring. Randy, all in gold, clothesline Flair to the mat and hits him with jabs! It’s all Savage in the early going much to the dislike of Bobby Heenan. There have been six WWF champion in the seven years that I have reviewed. Savage actually has the second longest reign after Hulk Hogan.
It’s all Flair now after he shoved Savage into the ring apron. Only Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior have successfully defended their world Title on pay per view. Ric Flair is looking to be the third. Bret Harts blood is still all over the ring canvas as Flair chops away on Savage. His knee drop always looks painful and Savage sells it like it is. Once again Savage goes to the outside. This was something he would do a lot early on in his career. Flair hits a stalling suplex to get the challenger back into the ring. This is Flairs first main event in the WWF. Savage is no stranger to them and only Hogan has main evented more PPVs up to now. Only Hulk Hogan and Tito Santana have had more pay per view matches than Savage. He finally starts his comeback with a neckbreaker on the champ. He follows it up with some left handed jabs and he throws Flair across the ring. We see some great cowardly tactics from Flair who wants no part of The Macho Man. Savage spits in his face which I think is a bit heelish. I don’t think anyone else has played a face and heel as well as Savage. Roddy Piper is the only one that springs to mind.
Savage sends Flair to the outside and then goes up top and nails the double axe handle! Vintage Savage. Flair is not bleeding profusely from the forehead. Back in the ring and Savage nails another double axe handle. Lots of boos as Flair kicks out. With Flair down, Randy goes up top and raises his arms in the air. He nails the fFlying Elbow but Perfect pulls Savage out of the ring! Savage goes after Perfect but as the referee gets rid of Perfect, he throws something to Flair and Flair nails Savage with it! But he can only get a two count! Perfect then nails Savage with a chair! But out comes Miss Elizabeth! Dave Hebner and Shane McMahon try to send her to the back but she doesn’t listen! Savage sells the leg and Perfect works it well and then locks on the figure four! I love how Flair’s blonde hair changes to a shade of crimson when he’s been busted wide open. Savage then reverses the figure four! But Flair gets out of it.
Savage manages to small package Flair but the champion kicks out. Miss Elizabeth turning on Savage in this one would be one of the biggest heel turns ever! flair goes back to work on Savage but Randy rolls him up and grabs the tights and gets the three count! Randy Savage wins the World Heavyweight title! The end came out of nowhere and was way too abrupt. But none the less, Randy Savage win the match and the title. After the match Flair kisses Elizabeth but gets a slap in return! Randy then goes after Flair as mayhem ensues! Lots of officials in black trousers and white trainers try to break it up. Eventually Flair and Perfect leave and Savage is helped back up to his feet. The new champion then celebrates with his title and wife.
Backstage to Flair now who cuts an awesome promo about re-assembling his team and going back after Savage. He says Savage did it once but that means nothing, let’s see him do it again. Flair and Perfect say that Savage took a shortcut and pulled the tights. Heenan joins them and echoes what they say. Perfect says that just like his lady, Savage is a cheater.
Now to Savage who is still mad about Flair has put Elizabeth through. He still wants a piece of Flair and everybody else associated with them. Not the happy celebration promo you would expect!
Now there’s a five minute break! Wrestlemania will resume in five minutes.
And we are back watdching the Wrestlemania VIII press conference where Hogan was named number one contender for the WWF title. Sid wasn’t happy about not being named then in a tag team match, Sid left his partner, Hogan and told Hogan to help himself. Then we see Sid smash up the Barber Shop and then jobber after jobber on a path of destruction. Sid is an awesome heel.
Now back in the ring are some Native Americans dancing around the ring. And we go backstage to Ric Martel who says the Indians have no sense of style. He takes on Tatanka.
Rick Martel vs. Tatanka
You’d have to go back nearly 18 months to find Rick Martels last pay per view win and that was a Survivor Series match as team captain of The Visionaries. Tatanka is his opponent tonight and Tatanka is making his pay per view debut. The war chant continues outside the ring as the bell rings. Tatanka starts well, bodyslamming Martel all over the shop. I’m definitely a mark for Martel who considering he’s been around since Wrestlemania 3, hasn’t wracked up that many pay per view appearances. The Model throws Tatanka out of the ring to the outside then lays the boots in. Martel has the advantage now as he hits a backbreaker then goes up top but the native american brings him down hard. It’s all Tatanka now as he chops Martel repeatedly. The match ends soon after as Tatanka pins him following a high cross body.
Backstage now to Jimmy Hart and the tag team champions, Money Incorporated. Jimmy Hart knows all of The Natural Disasters weakness’s. Dibiase and I.R.S are confident as we go to Mene Gene with the challengers. Typhoon says he has a special suprise for Jimmy Hart and Earthquake says it’s time to get what’s rightfully theirs.
Money Inc (c) (I.R.S & “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
This is actually Ted Dibiases first title in the WWF. They take on the recently faced turned Natural Disasters who have been chasing the gold since Summerslam last year. And it was Summerslam last year that I.R.S last won on pay per view. I.R.S starts the match against Earthquake who is having a face run for the first time in his WWF career. Shyster then tags out to Dibiase. I read that LOD dropped the titles and didn’t compete on this show because Hawk was injured. Quake takes Dibiase down and it’s not long before all four men are in the ring and not long until Money Inc are sent packing. Jimmy Hart hasn’t had a great night so far as his team lost earlier in the night. Typhoon is tagged in now as is IRS. Typhoon throws him around like a ragdoll. Typhoon actually has one of the best records for match ratings. In comes veteran Dibiase and Money Inc just can’t get the upper hand. That is until Dibiase ducks a clothesline and Typhoon goes flying out of the ring.
Outside of the ring, I.R.S slams Typhoons face off the steps. This gives Money Inc the advantage and they manage to ground Typhoon. The tag titles have actually changed hands on the last two Wrestlemania events. Dibiase gets a near fall on Typhoon but the big man needs to make the hot tag. Typhoon hits a desperation clothesline and this could be the moment! Here he comes! I.R.S is also tagged in and Earthquake takes him down then takes Dibiase down and all four men are in the ring! The Disasters send Money Inc into one another then they dispose of Ted Dibiase. Typhoon down I.R.S then splashes him! Earthquake then sets up for the Earthquake splash but Jimmy Hart pulls him out of the ring! Dibiase and I.R.S grab the tag team title belts and walk to the back! They lose the match by countout! The Natural Disasters win a tag title match by count out for the second PPV running!
Brutus Beefcake is Hulk Hogans best friend.
Owen Hart vs. Skinner
Owen Hart now persuing a singles career after tag team partner Jim Neidhart left the WWF. Skinner, looking for his first PPV victory on the fourth time of asking attacks Owen Hart before the bell just after he did a backflip off the top buckle. Skinner hits a reverse DDT but The Rocket kicks out. Skinners last singles match on PPV was against Owens brother, Bret. Owen rolls up Skinner and it’s over! Hart wins in a short amount of time!
Backstage to Sid Justice now who is with manager Harvey Wippleman. Sid starts by calling Mene Gene a fat, bald headed little oaf. Sid says Hogan need to remember that he is the master. Then we see a clip of Hogan who isn’t sure if he’s wrestling his last ever match. Sid doesn’t give a damn about Hulk Hogan though, he just wants to be remembered as the man that finished Hulkamania.
Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice
Harvey Wippleman takes the microphone off The Fink to announce his client, The Master Of The World, Sid Justice. Hogan comes out and sadly hi just isn’t as popular as he used to be. Sid attacks him before the bell though as his music is still playing. Hogan knocks Sid out of the ring and gets chance to do some posing. The match finally gets underway and Sid starts well, taking Hogan down. Sid is very methodical and slow in his approach. Sid once again has Hogan down to his knees in a test of strength but The Hulkster powers back. Wippleman gets involved and it’s enough time for Hogan to get distracted and Sid to chokeslam him into the mat. Hogan has only ever lost one match at Wrestlemania and that was to The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6. This is Sids first singles match on pay per view. Sid sends Hulk to the outside and then smashes him with a doctors bag! The referee doesn’t see it though. Hogan is really struggling as Sid locks on a painful looking hold on Hogans shoulder. Gorilla says that he’s never seen Hogan manhandled this way but he’s obviously forgotten about the beatings he got from the likes of Andre The Giant, Sgt Slaughter and The Undertaker.
A side slam keeps Hogan grounded. Hogan then motions for the powerbomb, this could be game over for The Hulkster. And he hits it! But Hogan kicks out! And Hogan is Hulking up! The comeback is on as Hogan slams Sids face off the turnbuckles then hits the big boot. Hulk motions for a powerslam and he nails it. Hulk then bounces off the ropes and drops the leg but Sid kicks out! Has anybody ever kicked out of that before? Wippleman gets involved and it’s a disqualification! Now who’s this? It’s Papa Shango! Shango comes in and helps out Sid, tying Hogan up in the ropes. But as Sid goes outside to get a chair what’s this? It’s Ultimate Warriors music! And here he comes! He clears the ring of Papa Shango but Sid hits him with a chair! Hogan grabs the chair off him and Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior are left celebrating in the ring!
And that was my Wrestlemania VIII review. It’s worth noting that a scheduled match between The British Bulldog and The Bezerker was cut because of time restraints. Overall this was a decent show. It was actually the best overall Wrestlemania we’ve seen so far. The main reason for that is because of much fewer matches. There were 14 matches at Wrestlemania VII and only 9 at this one. So the matches we saw were much longer and the quality was better. The Bret Hart/Roddy Piper match was fantastic and Bret Hart once again showed his quality on the big stage. The Savage/Flair was also a memorable encounter filled with emotion. Everything else was around the middle ground with nothing too awful. The Shawn Michaels/ Tito Santana match could have been a lot better I feel. The roster was thinned out which is why there weren’t as many matches but I feel a lot of the top quality was still active and so the show was a good one. Randy Savage is an awesome WWF Champion so it’ll be nice to see where we go with him whilst Bret Hart is a good Intercontinental champion and I also like Money Inc as the tag team champions. They have the potential to be very good champions. With both 1992 shows being in the top 4 shows of all time it shows that the quality is getting much better in the WWF.
Overall Rating: 55/100 (Ranked Joint 3rd out of 27)