If you harken back to a few diaries ago, I discussed Vince McMahon’s questionable tactics to ensure that Survivor Series 1987 was a bigger success than Starrcade the same day. In the second battle between Vince and Jim Crockett Promotions, the Royal Rumble, broadcasted on the USA Network, trounced the Bunkhouse Stampede in every conceivable way.
Having already lost the war, JCP managed to take a battle near the end.
Clash of the Champions 1 was a fantastic show that skyrocketed Sting to the national consciousness and provided a thoroughly entertaining show for free. Sadly, WrestleMania IV is the show I will be reviewing today.
Hopefully reviewing Clash of the Champions 1, as well as all of the other COTC and possibly Saturday Night’s Main Events, is my partner-in-crime to view this PPV, Rich. It was the last wrestling show I watched in the same room with him before we left Gainesville. Needless to say, the CiCi’s Pizza and Jersey Shore puzzle beforehand was the highlight of the evening.
PAY PER VIEW NUMBER FOURTEEN- WWF WRESTLEMANIA IV
Written on 7/24/14
THE FIRST THING YOU SEE: Naturally, emanating from Trump Plaza, we have to start with a WWF SLOT MACHINE. It spits out WWF coins and stock music leads us into those tacky ass lights hanging from the ceiling. Trump Plaza looks like a circus tent.
-Mean Gene is in the ring and welcomes Gladys Knight minus the Pips to sing America the Beautiful. Knight’s jacket looks like a racecar driver’s if he fell in a pool of glitter. Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, Gladys isn’t. This rendition is a little bleating.
-A trophy is carried to the ring and the Hart Foundation follow it. Cut to Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, decked out like Crocodile Dundee, introducing the show officially. Wrestlers continue to randomly walk out, with Ken Patera’s robe being the highlight. Bob Uecker enthusiastically joins the commentary duo and hilariously mentions that this is the first time he has had an option renewed. The trio banter back and forth successfully so that the battle royal participants have time to enter.
-Rich: “So, this PPV was Vacant/Abeyance’s debut?”
-Every participant is introduced to the live crowd. Normally, I’d run them all down, but what will follow is hectic enough. It will be like a surprise when you read the names below as they are eliminated.
MATCH NUMBER ONE: TWENTY MAN BATTLE ROYAL
-George Steele is still on the arena floor.
-Sika looks like he borrowed Jimmy Snuka’s long tights. Also, SIKA?!?!
-Thirty seconds in and this is already worse than the WrestleMania 2 battle royal. SAM HOUSTON is the 1st man eliminated by Danny Davis after only 43 seconds and SIKA is the 2nd man eliminated ten seconds later.
-Nobody in the crowd is making any noise. Is someone holding a “QUIET” sign like in golf?
-Gorilla once again talks about hating battle royals. Uecker starts talking about Vanna White. Mary Hart is going to be pissed.
-JIM NEIDHART is the 3rd man eliminated by George Steele from the floor and B. BRIAN BLAIR is the 4th man eliminated after three close calls by Bad News Brown.
-Less than four minutes in and seven guys have left already. RAY ROUGEAU and JIM BRUNEZLL are the 5th and 6th men eliminated by one another and RON BASS is the 7th man eliminated by JYD.
-Nobody can count the amount of people left in the ring.
-HILLBILLY JIM is the 8th man eliminated by Boris Zhukov and DANNY DAVIS is the 9th man eliminated eliciting a big pop even though Paul Roma was the culprit. JIM POWERS is the 10th man eliminated and I heard a lady fart.
-Harley Race has quite a loving embrace of JYD’s head.
-USA! USA! US---oh, shit. NIKOLAI VOLKOFF and BORIS ZHUKOV are the 11th and 12th men eliminated by KEN PATERA, who is the 13th man eliminated.
-I guess we should throw GEORGE STEELE out as the 14th man eliminated now because he isn’t at ringside anymore?
-I won’t complain about battle royal nowadays anymore. JACQUES ROUGEAU is the 15th man eliminated by HARLEY RACE, who is the 16th man eliminated by JYD. I notice that Harley Race looks like Rich with blonde hair…in 40 years. Nah, make it four years.
-PAUL ROMA is the 17th man eliminated for some ungodly reason, so thank Bad News Brown for that. The double team by the original BNB and Bret begins on JYD.
-Bret trying to high-five Bad News confirms his whiteness.
-This is a Stampede Wrestling heavy end to this match.
-JYD is the 18th man eliminated by the heels and the purse is discussed by the commentators as possibly being split.
-Ghetto Blast that Canuck!
-Bret…please. If there is such a thing as time travel, read this and go back so you can stop doing that turnbuckle bump!
-Also, make sure this match still ends this way so your babyface turn can start.
WINNER: Bad News Brown at 9:43 by last eliminating Bret Hart
-The trophy is presented to Bad News and it is taller than him, but anorexic looking. Bret dropkicks BNB from behind and smashes the trophy to bits, resembling a tantrum ten years down the line. Seriously, this was a weird way to turn Bret Hart face.
FINAL WORD: This was a waste of the 30 minutes of time and effort that was spent gluing that trophy together.
-Uecker leaves the booth to look for Vanna and FInkel talks in the ring while the announcers talk over him, explaining the tournament’s rules. Robin Leach is introduced in the ring to little reaction and he reads an “official proclamation” from a scroll about the tournament. He reads it and then bolts from the ring, looking like he is ready to get that check in his hand already.
-Hacksaw enters without any music, but with a big HOOOOOOOOOOOO. Once again, until it is beaten by something else, Jim Duggan’s eye is the LVP of the PPV. Still also without music is Ted DiBiase, who enters with Virgil and Andre.
MATCH NUMBER TWO: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND- Jim Duggan vs Ted DiBiase w/Virgil and Andre the Giant
-Talk of a potential DiBiase/Andre match later in the tournament is discussed. Rich would rather discuss how great Ted’s hair is.
-Great is also the way to describe DiBiase’s big atomic drop sell over the top rope.
-First Stampede Wrestling, now Mid-South! Vince doesn’t trust his own guys (not that he really has any).
-Duggan never takes a flat back bump.
-I wouldn’t call it a “kisser” on Duggan.
-CROOKED SUNSET FLIP BY HACKSAW!!! Rich says he just followed his eyes.
-I love DiBiase’s front flip after getting caught jumping off the ropes.
-The ref is like an angry shopkeeper.
-Andre’s catcher’s mitt of a hand trips Duggan and that is enough.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase in 5:02 after a fist drop.
-Rich: “Are Andre’s suspenders just suspension cables?”
FINAL WORD: That is about as good of a match you can get Hacksaw in, especially duration-wise.
-Mean Gene is backstage with Brutus Beefcake, who is “looking for gold.” Now, he just wants cash for gold.
-Whose bright idea was it to put Ed Leslie in pink? Anyways, Beefcake cuts a promo sounding like Val Venis and is really too attached to his clippers. Man, what a freaking overachiever. LVP of the PPV thus far.
-Dino Bravo in putrid green tights and a crappy rign jacket is already in the ring. Gladiator music hits? Don Muraco enters wearing a tye-dye shirt and accompanied by Billy Graham. The award for man who looks most like a frog goes to…DON MURACO!!! The award for man who looks most like a flea market lady, complete with cane, goes to…BILLY GRAHAM!!!
MATCH NUMBER THREE: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND- Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin vs Don Muraco w/Billy Graham
-Holy veins, Rock!
-Rich: “Dino Bravo looks like a Doublemint commercial.”
-Everything is just so…THICK. (I like big butts and I cannot lie. Well, crap. Let’s try it, huh?)
-Yeesh…Muraco tries a Vader Bomb/Jeff Hardy elbow from the second rope and it sucks worse than the hip tosses and arm drags that follow. Don Muraco is the new LVP of the PPV.
-Graham looks like he is selling herbal remedies he doesn’t even use at ringside.
-Muraco gets hung up in the ropes like Mick Foley when he lost his ear.
-JUMPING PILEDRIVER by Dino Bravo. Rich isn’t in a very good mood anymore. It’s only a two count.
-A double clothesline that surely inspired Hogan and Warrior backstage follows.
-The referee eats a second flying elbow by Muraco, thanks to Dino throwing him in the way.
-Dino’s finisher is a basic sidewalk slam. I don’t like anything about this. Thankfully, we are done.
WINNER: Don Muraco via DQ at 4:54
FINAL WORD: Do a puzzle, enrich your mind or take a dump instead of watching this match.
-Uecker is backstage in front of that awesome blue/gold country backdrop. Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man enter. I would summarize the promo, but it is pointless and uneventful.
-Greg Valentine is the ring, fixing his hair like a girl. Ricky Steamboat enters, holding little Richie Steamboat. Hey, he DID make it on a WWE PPV! I’m glad Ricky shows everyone the cause of his fall in one year’s time. Rich comments on the fact that everyone gets an animal, but Steamboat now has a baby. That rant ends when Rich sees BABY WRESTLING BOOTS. I think he finally wants a child now just to get it wrestling boots.
MATCH NUMBER FOUR: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND: Greg Valentine vs Ricky Steamboat w/Baby Richie
-This is already the best match on the show just because of Ricky’s speed.
-The ring is either thunderous or Hebner has loud ass hands.
-Sad botch as Steamboat dropkicks Greg in the back, Greg bounces off the ropes and Steamboat can’t manage to get the roll up in time. That would’ve been cool.
-Jesse adds great little details like the amount of pin attempts thus far.
-I’d relay the anatomy comment Gorilla just made, but I would have no idea where to start.
-God, Donald Trump looks so bored at ringside.
-Valentine hits Steamboat with the first Atomic Drop I’ve ever seen that looks legit painful. Steamboat is actually holding his butthole.
-Rich asks why Nailz never feuded with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. I counter with the question “why did they never team up?”
-It is a WrestleMania match with Ricky Steamboat, so great near falls have to ensue.
-A chop fest ends with a classic Valentine front bump.
-The Figure Four is constantly being thwarted.
-I love that seconds elapse in between Valentine getting hit and Valentine actually bumping.
-The lesson here is don’t have kids and be a wrestler.
WINNER: Greg Valentine in 9:10 after rolling through a top rope cross body.
-Steamboat waves to the crowd afterwards like nothing happened. I think he is waving good-bye.
FINAL WORD: Two professionals doing what they do best.
-Mean Gene interviews the British Bulldogs, Koko B. Ware and Matilda. The only two things to take away from this promo are Koko’s early attempt at Big E’s preacher voice and the knowledge that Dynamite Kid probably hated that dog.
-Butch Reed is in the ring while Slick stupidly dances without Jive Soul Bro playing. Macho Man enters with Elizabeth and they are matching in blue. How sweet.
MATCH NUMBER FIVE: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND- Butch Reed w/Slick vs Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth
-Reed throws some shitty kneelifts to start.
-Rich and I are currently on our second Super Pretzel each of the evening.
-Savage has got zero offense so far. Reed’s offense has consisted mostly of fist drops.
-I don’t think Butch Reed inspired Shelton Benjamin. Maybe he inspired Dolph Ziggler, though.
-Reed jaws with Liz as he climbs the top rope and Macho catches him like Ric Flair. The pop of the night thus far follows.
WINNER: Randy Savage in 4:07 with a flying elbow drop
FINAL WORD: I wish the offensive balance was different, but it was necessary for the story being told.
-I must say that the pace of this show is insane. It is bang, bang, bang, bang. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s jarring compared to other shows thus far.
-Ueucker does more shtick about Vanna White. This is being built up like the Gooker now. Bobby Heenan enters with the Islanders and the Brain knocks another simple promo out of the park. That said, Ueucker’s act is getting a little tiresome, even to me.
-The One Man Gang is in the ring because Slick was too lazy to walk backstage again. Nothing says Bam Bam Bigelow like a saxophone entrance theme!!! Bam Bam is accompanied by Oliver Humperdink, whose jacket looks like a kaleidoscope in Rich’s eyes. In my eyes, I want to see Rich wear that jacket before I die.
MATCH NUMBER SIX: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND- One Man Gang w/Slick vs Bam Bam Bigelow w/Oliver Humperdink
-This is the battle of the full-body tights featuring V-necks.
-Bam Bam does a cartwheel! Bam Bam does a shitty splash! Bam Bam does a shitty cross body! What an enigma!
-Rich would like to extend a challenge. He thinks he can do a cartwheel better than Bam Bam Bigelow. If you see Rich Camillucci out in public, he wants you to prove him wrong. Ask him to do a cartwheel and he will oblige.
-Bam Bam looks regressed from Survivor Series. He just hit a weird clothesline and OMG saved it by taking a flat back bump like a boss.
-Slick pulls the top rope down on BBB, who recovers and returns to the apron at the count of five. Gang keeps hitting him and the ref keeps counting. What?
WINNER: One Man Gang by countout in 2:59
-Bam Bam enters the ring at 10.5, Gang and Slick leave and we get another cartwheel followed by nothing.
FINAL WORD: I didn’t think it would be any good, but I thought it would be entertainingly bad, not inanely bad.
-Mean Gene is backstage with the Hulkster. This was his “man” phase as opposed to “brother”. It is somewhat focused until Hogan starts talking about people falling into the ocean. He threatens Trump, but says the Donald will forego his personal possessions to save his family. Huh? Hogan ends the promo by legitimately backstroking out of the picture.
-I need to fuck while Rick Rude’s music plays. Rude cuts his promo and mentions that it is a gamble to have all these women see him and not leave with him. He takes his robe off and show us what a real man looks like (on 1988 steroids.)
-Jake Roberts walks out, surely hung over and probably in $100,000 on the result of this match. Rich doesn’t want to fuck to this show.
MATCH NUMBER SEVEN: WWF TITLE TOURNEY FIRST ROUND- Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs Jake Roberts
-Trading bodyslams and snake fear start the match.
-Jake won’t relinquish a wrist lock, even while lying on the mat and Rude stands and tries to shake it off. Unique spot.
-Jake hits a knee from the second rope and cockteases the DDT.
-Criss Cross!!! Jump Jump!!! (Instead of JUST Baby Got Back, I’ll compromise with early 90s hip-hop classics).
-A missed knee lift gives Rude the advantage and he slaps on a chin lock.
-Trump’s wife has a wine glass. You have to be loaded and a bitch to get through wrestling, huh?
-It bothers me that Gorilla just calls Rude “Ravishing” as opposed to Rick or Rude.
-Rude throws Jake up in the air and I was expecting Swiss Death.
-Nice close up of a woman on Rude’s ass. It wasn’t Cheryl Roberts.
-Some boring catcalls ring out. As if Trump Plaza knows. That said, this chinlock has been slapped on repeatedly.
-Jake on offense starts to get the crowd back into it AKA wanting to see the DDT.
-Rude folds Jake up with a belly to back suplex. The pinfall attempts start coming on heavily and the time winds down closer after a double clothesline.
-Rude tries to cheat in the corner, sloppily, and the ref catches him. The bell rings. It wouldn’t be a tournament without one of these.
WINNER: Time Limit Draw in 15:14 (nice job, Mark Yeaton).
-Post match, Jake gets Damien and chases Rude and Heenan away. The commentators talk about the Gang getting a bye.
FINAL WORD: The right guys got time, but the guys spent the time the wrong way.
-Mean Gene is finally backstage with Vanna White. Vanna is enthusiastic as Gene shows off the bracket and gets her picks. Her analysis is GREAT. She literally calls Elizabeth a “woman person.”
-Hercules is the ring with his insensitive chains. The Ultimate Warrior runs out wearing a headband because he is just trying shit out. Rich asks if THIS is Kerry Von Erich.
MATCH NUMBER EIGHT: Hercules w/Bobby Heenan vs Ultimate Warrior
-They just run into each other to start.
-Now they are just pushing each other back and forth.
-GASP! A lock up!
-Two clotheslines are no sold by Warrior until Hercules finally knocks him down with the third. It only takes one clothesline to knock Herc down. Side note: every clothesline looks like shit.
-I got excited because I thought Warrior was going to skin the cat, but he reaches up and give Herc a wedgie instead.
-This has the coordination of a wedding planned specifically during a terrorist attack.
-Rich asks if 12 minutes have passed. It’s been less than four.
-Hercules tries for his full nelson, but Warrior counters. What ring savvy by Warrior!
WINNER: Ultimate Warrior in 4:40 after kicking off the corner in the full nelson onto Hercules and getting his shoulder up before three.
-Warrior is attacked after the bell, but recovers and rids the ring of the heels so he can swing Hercules’ chain over his head.
FINAL WORD: Performance enhancing drugs my ass.
-A quick edit before Gorilla and Jesse show Sugar Ray Leonard in the crowd. The Hulk and Andre feud is recapped from Piper’s Pit all the way until the Main Event screwjob with the two Hebners.
-Andre enters to his usual lack of entrance theme and DiBiase and Virgil accompany him. Real American blasts and Hulk enters with a weird gallop.
MATCH NUMBER NINE: WWF TITLE TOURNEY SECOND ROUND- Andre the Giant w/Ted DiBiase and Virgil vs Hulk Hogan
-How much did it pain Hogan to be on halfway through the show? Is he normally even in the building at this point?
-Andre jumps Hogan at the bell and chops and kicks away at Hulk, who responds with a typical comeback.
-Andre’s head is knocked into Ted’s and he winds up tied into the ropes. I’m glad he got his favorite spot in.
-Andre is at one knee and Rich begs for Hogan to do a shining wizard.
-While locked in a trapezius hold, it totally looks like Hogan is blowing Andre.
-Hogan gets back on offense and teases slamming Andre until Virgil distracts the ref. DiBiase runs in and hits Hulk with a chair. Classic no-sell from Hogan and then he hits Andre with the chair.
-The irresistible force and the immovable object fight over the chair and Andre hits Hogan, UNPROTECTED, with the chair backwards. Hogan gets the chair and hits Andre, UNPROTECTED, with a running chair shot, knocking Andre down. That was gross in every way possible.
WINNER: Double DQ in 5:21
-Hogan suplexes Virgil on the arena floor, but returns to the ring to slam Andre. That seemed so unimportant as opposed to last year.
-Is there such a thing as the Hogan rule? If you do something illegal, THEN your opponent does it within the next minute, does that mean that their action was greater than or equal to your action?
-Hogan still gets his posing in. He is really torn up about being eliminated. Is the show over?
-The sheer length of Hogan’s posing causes Rich to spit and pee. Did they seriously get Hogan to think that this was the end of the show?
FINAL WORD: What a motherfucking mess. At least it was kept short and there was stupid violence.
-Mean Gene is backstage interviewing Macho Man and Elizabeth, both now in pink. Savage brings the show back with a great promo and Liz sells being petrified from Randy in a great way. Let’s call Macho MVP of the PPV at the moment and I like his chances from here.
-Muraco enters with a new tye-dye shirt and Graham in a gawdy pink jacket. What a waste of money on these costume changes. DiBiase doesn’t even bother.
MATCH NUMBER TEN: WWF TITLE TOURNEY SECOND ROUND- Ted DiBiase vs Don Muraco w/Billy Graham
-Muraco starts hot with drilling Ted’s head into the turnbuckle, a solid clothesline and a good powerslam. His whips into the ropes are still the shits.
-The Rock hits a dropkick that wasn’t as crappy as I was anticipating.
-You know what? DiBiase is getting some decent work out of Muraco. He did that same for Duggan. He blatantly doesn’t suck. He is the new MVP of the PPV.
-The crowd is dead silent. Is this Ted DiBiase vs Don Muraco or Curt Hawkins vs JTG at WrestleMania?
-A nice backwards elbow drop attempt from the second rope by DiBiase misses and he proceeds to bump his ass off for Muraco’s following offense.
-What a nice counter by the Million Dollar Man. I didn’t think he knew how to win clean.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase in 5:35 after a Stun Gun
FINAL WORD: DiBiase is doing the Lord’s work on this show by making two stiffs look decent.
-Uecker is still looking for Vanna backstage and gets Demolition instead. Ax’s face makes me think of Stardust. Never the less, both Ax and Smash have too much glitter on.
-Gang is in the ring to receive his bye. Why he had to come to the ring for it is beyond me. Valentine and Savage follow. The rainbow design inside Macho’s robe is a sweet touch.
MATCH NUMBER ELEVEN: WWF TITLE TOURNEY SECOND ROUND- Greg Valentine vs Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth
-In the second round of this tournament, there are only four guys left and Macho is the only babyface left.
-Can we talk about the crappy yellow/gold carpet in the aisle?
-This has been very meticulous thus far.
-I’ve been watching Rich pack more than this match. It has been a long show. I look back at the screen and Greg hits a sloppy suplex and backbreaker.
-Valentine is a lazy, cheap bastard for not changing his tights.
-Valentine almost takes a header on a suplex.
-Valentine’s bumps are so comfortable looking. It looks like he is falling on a mattress every time.
-The figure four is his downfall again!
WINNER: Randy Savage in 6:08 after countering the figure four with a small package.
FINAL WORD: I wasn’t paying that much attention and I have it ranked as the third best match thus far.
-Mean Gene is with Vanna, who is pretending to not know who Uecker is. She still likes Hulk to win the tournament even though he has been eliminated. Is that a precursor to WrestleMania IX? I find it weird that Gene doesn’t let Vanna ever discuss the One Man Gang.
-Cool, Cocky and Bad brings Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue (Sensational Sherri) out to lead Honky Tonk Man to the ring. Jesse reiterates his skill vs luck analysis of Honky. Rich thinks it would be great if Cherry was built as Peggy Sue’s daughter. Beefcake enters without music, wild eyes and another stupid outfit.
MATCH NUMBER TWELVE: IC TITLE MATCH- Honky Tonk Man (Champion) w/Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue vs Brutus Beefcake
-I’m glad Jesse always picks the most boring time to say hello to his kids.
-As offense, Beefcake messes up Honky’s hair. Rich: “You know, the WORKHORSE TITLE!”
-You know it is a bad PPV when Gorilla and Jesse are starting to kayfabe get along.
-Beefcake with the HIGH KNEE. HINEY. Get it? Whoops…too soon.
-Beefcake’s faces are just as bad as Lex Luger’s noises.
-I always forget that Brutus’ finisher is the sleeper. Honky fights it off in a great way and Hart distracts the ref. Honky fades and Hart hits the ref with the megaphone. Beefcake, being an idiot, relinquishes the hold and starts to celebrate.
-Ignoring the upcoming decision, chases Jimmy Hart and start to cut his hair on the floor.
-Peggy Sue dumps water on Honky to revive him as a group of referees attend to the fallen on. Beefcake enters and might poke an eye out with those sheers.
WINNER: Brutus Beefcake in 9:11 by DQ (and that is a guess because there was never a final bell)
-Gorilla talks about a “trim job”. That is one letter away from being totally uncomfortable.
FINAL WORD: I can’t believe I have four more matches to watch.
-Uecker could be arrested for stalking at this point, looking for Vanna and getting Andre the Giant instead. The best line on this show has been Uecker asking Andre to get his foot off of his shoulder. Andre responds with that “foot” by choking Uecker. That was the best match of the night so far.
-The Islanders enter with Bobby Heenan in a full attack dog trainer jacket. What a great image. Bulldogs and birds and Koko and real dogs! Heenan flies out of the ring to avoid Matilda.
MATCH NUMBER THIRTEEN: The Islanders and Bobby Heenan vs The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware
-There are two perches at ringside.
-No official bell is rung again. Did someone steal it?
-Dynamite Kid comes out hot with a sick double chop to Tama’s throat and a catapult into the turnbuckle. Don’t ruin other people’s lives like your own!
-The Islanders are definitely in some sweet ass tights. Koko’s tights simply read “WWF” on the ass.
-Rich and I talk about the possibility of UFC in 1988. If it existed, Haku would definitely not be a wrestler and would definitely be undefeated to this day.
-Koko busts out a sweet headscissors/headlock combination on the Islanders.
-Heenan is almost crying in fear on the apron.
-No one is brawling on the arena floor because they are scared of stepping in animal shit.
-Heenan’s motions in the giant jacket make him appear to have motioned for the People’s Elbow at one point.
-Rich wants to get Koko B. Ware in the same room as Chris Andersen and Manny Fresh.
-That was definitely the highest I’ve ever seen Bobby Heenan!
WINNER: Bobby Heenan pins Koko B. Ware at 7:31 after the Islanders double press slam him onto Koko.
-Davey and Matilda chase Heenan up in the aisle. The dog is basically thrown onto Heenan and nothing really happens because dogs and wrestling don’t mix (as we will see at Unforgiven 1999).
FINAL WORD: At the very least, that match had two or three spots that were good and the action was concise and accurate.
-The Fink announces Jesse to the live crowd and he poses in front of the WrestleMania banner to a big pop. Gorilla encourages Jesse to jump AKA commit suicide.
-DiBiase’s bye is announced to the live crowd and the Gang enters followed by Macho Man in his classic greenish black robe that I use for my Created Wrestler in every game now.
MATCH NUMBER FOURTEEN: WWF TITLE TOURNEY SEMIFINAL- One Man Gang w/Slick vs Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth
-I think Slick is wearing a hat formerly worn by Devo.
-Macho grabs Gang’s beard and jumps over the top rope.
-Savage takes the heat and avoids the 747 splash. He stays on the offensive by jabbing and moving and then nails the flying axe handle to the outside.
-Slick appears to haggle with Liz for money at ringside. Rich: “Goddamn stereotypes.”
-Savage goes after Slick, who passes his cane along to the Gang. OMG swings and misses a bunch…conveniently while the ref’s back is turned. He finally hits when the ref turns around.
WINNER: Randy Savage by DQ in 4:12 when One Man Gang hits him with Slick’s cane.
-Post match, Savage axe handles Gang onto Slick while they were hugging for no reason.
FINAL WORD: Move it along, people. Nothing to see here.
-Gene talks to Vanna one more time before she heads to ringside. Uecker comes in as soon as she leaves, just missing her. THE COMEDY!!! He says something about Vance White. I don’t care.
-Demolition walks to the ring with Mr. Fuji, who looks very determined. Strike Force runs out to Girls in Cars, which is awesome but completely unfitting for them. At least there are no lyrics.
MATCH NUMBER FIFTEEN: WWF TAG TITLE MATCH- Demolition w/Mr. Fuji vs Strike Force (Champions)
-The crowd hoots and hollers at Smash repeated axe handles.
-The action breaks down quickly with a good double team by Strike Force. Demolition follows soon thereafter with a Hart Attack-like move except Ax stood still for the clothesline on the apron.
-Jesse hits his classic taco line about Tito.
-The crowd is really getting into Demolition. They are either bored or just revolting against pretty boys.
-Ax is always the loudest stomper.
-Martel is on fire on this hot tag.
-Martel slaps the Boston Crab on Smash, but Fuji gets his cane to Ax. Fuji pays the price by getting hit by Tito.
-Canes might be the new MVP of the PPV.
WINNER: Smash pins Rick Martel at 8:02 to win the titles after Ax hits Martel with Fuji’s cane.
FINAL WORD: I didn’t write a whole lot, but that was enjoyable for a little tag match. I wouldn’t expect Trump Plaza as a rebelling crowd, either.
-Finally…the finals. Crappy piano music brings Robin Leach out. He is carrying out the new title belt and moves it around constantly, letting all of the audience get their prints all over the shiny new belt. He wants to leave so bad. Screw you, rat fink looking prude. LVP of the PPV.
-Finkel announces Uecker as the guest ring announcer. Bob enters to the fattest version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Some fan with a cigarette comes out to hug Uecker, who doesn’t seem to mind at all.
-Uecker announces Vanna to the largest reaction of the past two hours. I’m honestly shocked she has never been replaced on Wheel of Fortune. Bob Barker would have a hot piece of ass turning those letters every other year. Vanna kisses Bob on the cheek and that payoff wasn’t worth the bad comedy.
-DiBiase walks out with Andre to little reaction. Macho and Liz enter to their fourth great pop in their fourth great outfit. I’m 70% sure I saw a Los Pollos Hermanos shirt in the crowd. If some time paradox is discovered in WrestleMania 4, you will be too tired to give a fuck to notice at this point.
MATCH NUMBER SIXTEEN: VACANT WWF TITLE MATCH- Ted DiBiase w/Andre the Giant vs Randy Savage w/Miss Elizabeth
-Andre is the boss of calmly sweeping an opponent’s leg. He has done it twice tonight already.
-The crowd is chanting for Hogan. STOP IT!!!
-Ted and Randy are at a good pace so far, better than any other match. There are constant pin attempts.
-The crowd is thankfully invested after knowing this was probably going to be the final one hour into the show.
-DiBiase furthers his MVP of the PPV case with a great bouncing bump, briefly standing on his head during the sell.
-Andre protects Ted from a flying axe handle and Macho sends Liz to get the man. Cue the Botchamania music.
-Liz returns with Hogan in workout pants. It’s almost like he is a totally separate entity now.
-Hulk grabs a chair and Rich manages to cowboy boots me.
-DiBiase hits a textbook suplex and follows with an even more textbook gutwrench.
-Nice false finish as Macho misses the flying elbow.
-Hogan, the quintessential babyface, hits DiBiase in the back with a chair while he has Savage in the Million Dollar Dream. Andre had the ref distracted for no reason.
WINNER: Randy Savage in 9:18 to win the WWF Title after a flying elbow drop.
FINAL WORD: After fifteen matches, the two best wrestlers on the show managed to save some good stuff for the end.
-Hogan almost hits the ref with a chair after the bell while Savage sells exhaustion and the accomplishment greatly. Liz cries and the moment feels real now.
-Rich: “Hogan’s actions make me second guess all of the lessons I ever learned as a child.” The one lesson Hogan taught us during the formation and crumbling of the MegaPowers is O.P.P, man (yeah, you know me…and Terry Bollea).
-We waited three and a half hours for one cool moment. Randy gives Liz the title and puts her on his shoulder while Hogan won’t leave the ring. He even grabs one of Macho’s foam fingers and uses it.
-No time for recaps, Gorilla and Jesse say so long.
THE LAST IMAGE: Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth on his shoulder and Hulk Hogan pointing at them.
THE WRAP UP
FINAL MVP of PPV: Randy Savage wrestled four times, but Ted DiBiase impressed me more in one less match by carrying people and bumping around like a maniac.
FINAL LVP of PPV: There was so much crap, but Robin Leach bothered me the most for some reason.
MY FAVORITE MATCH: Ted DiBiase vs Randy Savage
MY LEAST FAVORITE MATCH: Hercules vs Ultimate Warrior
WWE HALL OF FAMERS IN ACTION: 17 (George Steele, Nikolai Volkoff, Harley Race, Junk Yard Dog, Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bobby Heenan, Koko B. Ware, Tito Santana)
DEARLY DEPARTED IN ACTION: 10 (Junk Yard Dog, Bad News Brown, Dino Bravo, Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rick Rude, Ultimate Warrior, Hercules, Andre the Giant, Davey Boy Smith)
FINAL THOUGHT: I know that WrestleMania is four hours long now, but it shouldn’t be that long in 1988…with so many short, crappy matches crammed in front of an unenthusiastic crowd. I feel bored subjecting Rich to this along with me. MULLET DOESN’T RECOMMEND
NEXT TIME: An entire tour becomes one show with the NWA’s Great American Bash. With Dusty Rhodes involved, there will be pork belly wishes and refried bean dreams.