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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Wrestlemania IV (3.27.1988)

June 11, 2018 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ted DiBiase Randy Savage WrestleMania IV Image Credit: WWE
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The Name on the Marquee: WWF Wrestlemania IV (3.27.1988)  

-Ahhh, back in the days when a four-hour Wrestlemania made people go “Damn, that went on way too long!”

-Originally aired on closed-circuit TV and pay-per-view, but NOT home TV, for the record, on March 27, 1988.

-Debut of the “What the woooooooorrrrrrrrllllld is watching!” intro.

-We are LIIIIIIIIVE from Trump Plaza.

-The Pipless Gladys Knight opens the show with “America the Beautiful.”

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura. Bob Uecker joins them for the opening match.

-Winner gets a trophy. Your line-up for this one: Hart Foundation, Young Stallions, Sika, Dangerous Danny Davis, Killer Bees, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, Rougeau Brothers, Ken Patera, Outlaw Ron Bass, Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, King Harley Race, and George “The Animal” Steele.

-Everybody brawls, except for George Steele, who just wanders around ringside. Sam Houston gets dumped right away by Danny Davis, so that thing is still going on, I guess. Sika follows shortly. George won’t get into the ring, which is observed by Gorilla & Jesse. Remember that.

-Steele yanks Anvil out of the ring by his goatee. Everybody keeps brawling and Raymond Rougeau & both Bees are eliminated in rapid succession. JYD tosses the Outlaw and George Steele attacks him. Jesse wonders why George won’t get into the ring and Gorilla argues that he WAS in the ring and he got eliminated really early. Are you high, dude?

-Hillbilly Jim is tossed as everybody puts over Danny Davis for lasting a whopping four minutes. Given that he can’t really wander around the ring in this type of match, that is amazing. A few more bodies get tossed in the meantime, including Danny the Iron Man. Ken Patera eliminates both Bolsheviks, and then Bad News tosses Patera. Harley Race eliminates Jacques and JYD avenges last year by eliminating Harley Race.

-Final four: Paul Roma, Bad News Brown, JYD, Bret Hart. Bad News tosses Roma without any trouble, and it becomes a handicap match with JYD fighting off the Stampede legends. JYD holds his own for a while, but Bret & Bad News gang up on him, even taking a time out to discuss strategy in a corner before beating on JYD a little more and dumping him.

-Bad News & Bret celebrate as co-winners and strut for a little while…and then Bad News pulls an Orndorff and KOs Bret with a ghetto blaster. He just beats & beats on Bret with no mercy and then dumps him to win the bout and take the trophy home. 0 for 1. Typical battle royal, with nobody involved really giving a damn.

-Post-match, Bret returns the favor and attacks Bad News from behind, then destroys his precious trophy, beginning his first, utterly forgettable singles push.

-Robin Leach reads an official proclamation to begin the tournament.

ROUND ONE: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. “Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Virgil & Andre the Giant)
-These guys have phenomenal chemistry together if Bill Watts is breathing down their necks.

-They trade punches and Duggan takes control with an atomic drop that sends DiBiase spilling to the floor. Back in the ring, DiBiase goes to the eyes and throws chops & punches. Duggan grounds him with a clothesline and then punches him in the corner. Irish whip by Duggan, but he runs into a boot and DiBiase punches him. Then he punches him. Stomps by DiBiase. Fistdrop gets two. They trade additional punches. Duggan gets a sunset flip for two, which SHOCKS Jesse. Kneelift and another fist by DiBiase. Dual for a suplex goes in Duggan’s favor. He declares DiBiase to be a son of a bitch and, bleeding hardway from the mouth from something, he punches DiBiase some more. Duggan goes for the three-point stance, but he does it right in front of Andre the Giant, which falls just short of grabbing the microphone and announcing, “Now it is time for Andre the Giant to interfere and cost me this match!” Andre hooks the leg, Duggan is distracted, DiBiase attacks from behind and gets the pin to advance. 0 for 2. Bill Watts, for the record, was some 2000 miles away at the time of this match.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Brutus Beefcake. “What a package!” Gene marvels. Brutus is ready for Honky Tonk Man & Jimmy Hart.

ROUND ONE: “The Rock” DON MURACO (with Superstar Billy Graham) vs. DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin)
-Don’s in tie-dye now. Jesse takes a moment to bury Bruno Sammartino on commentary, noting that Graham’s time as champion was no big deal because “he beat an easy champion.” Graham, meanwhile, cracks me up by sneaking up on Frenchy and jabbing him with his cane.

-Dino shoves Muraco into the corner and chops him hard. Muraco reverses a whip, slams him, and whiffs on a pump splash as badly as is humanly possible. Dino fights back and drops a couple of elbows. Gutwrench suplex by Dino, and then a few stomps. He rams Muraco into the turnbuckle and immediately begins moving much, MUCH slower. Dino charges at Muraco and goes knee-first into the turnbuckle. Muraco takes charge and works the knee. Dino stands up and crouches down so he can be in the correct position when Muraco comes after him with a forearm.

-Stepover toehold by Muraco. Frenchy tries to interfere, but Graham holds him off. Bravo kicks free and Muraco gets his head tied in the ropes, choking himself out. Once he’s loose, he gives Muraco his own piledriver, getting a two-count. Bravo tries another one but Muraco backdrops free. Double clothesline knocks out both men. Muraco recovers and hits a flying…well, elevated forearm. He tries again but hits the referee. Dino capitalizes with the side suplex. Referee taps Bravo’s arm instead of counting the pin for some reason, then calls for the bell. Official decision is a Muraco win by DQ. Instant replay reveals that on the ref bump, Bravo pulled the referee to use him as a human shield. 0 for 3. Bad match, but I’ll give them props for the finish. Dino was really subtle about his chicanery and it really did take a replay to see what he had done, so it was a neat surprise finish.

-Bob Uecker talks to Honky Tonk Man & Jimmy Hart. A friend of mine loves this promo because Honky concludes by promising to “backstroke up the Mississippi,” and to show he’s serious, he backstrokes his way off the set.

ROUND ONE: RICKY “The Dragon” STEAMBOAT vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Jimmy Hart)
-Ricky brings his baby to the ring, complete with matching outfits for father & son. The sight of this inspires Jesse to no end. He first speculates that Ricky plans on tagging the baby at the first sign of trouble, then wonders if Ricky thinks this is a battle royal and plans on throwing his baby over the top rope. Gorilla does his part, speculating that the baby doesn’t know where he is, but he knows it’s a happening.

-Both men jockey for position and Steamboat takes control with an armdrag. He works the arm from there and Gorilla notes that Valentine needs 15 minutes to get warmed up (and do a shot). Shoulderblock by Steamboat gets two. Second verse, same as the first. Steamboat tries it a third time and gets tossed over the top rope. He skins the cat back in and screws up a roll-up (with an audible groan from the crowd) for two.

-Forearms & elbows by the Hammer, then a hard chop. Valentine chokes away at Steamboat. Valentine attacks the external occipital protuberance and Jesse breaks up at Gorilla’s call of the action. Meanwhile, Steamboat rams Valentine into the turnbuckles and applies an armbar. Valentine gets free with an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Series of elbows by Valentine. Series of punches while Donald Trump looks on with a totally frozen facial expression.

-Steamboat tries a slam, but he collapses and Valentine lands on top for two. Stomachbreaker by Valentine and he decides that’s quite enough and goes for the figure four. Steamboat kicks free and sends Valentine into the turnbuckles. Hard, HARD chops are traded by both men and Steamboat wins that dual for two. Thumb to the eye by Valentine stops the comeback and a shoulderbreaker gets two. Valentine goes up top and connects with a Steamboatish chop between the eyes. He goes for a figure four again, and Steamboat chops free. He faceplants Valentine and follows with an elbow to the jaw. He goes to the top rope and connects with his own chop between the eyes…but it gets two, for the traditional “departing guy’s finisher is killed” spot.

-Steamboat rams Valentine into the turnbuckle and heads back up to the top rope for another go. He connects with bodypress, but Valentine rolls through and pins Steamboat to advance. Crowd’s a little surprised by that one. 1 for 4. Steamboat takes a bow and waves goodbye to the WWF fans, heading off for happier days elsewhere.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Koko B. Ware & the British Bulldogs. They have Matilda with them, talking about the specialized “weasel-hunting” training that they’ve put her through. Koko tells Matilda to “eat Bobby Heenan’s lunch.” Dude, you NEVER go ass-to-mouth at Wrestlemania! That’s a rule!

ROUND ONE: RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. “The Natural” BUTCH REED (with Slick)
-Reed backs Savage into a corner and overwhelms him with kneelifts. Snapmare by Reed, then he rams Savage from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. Savage blocks & reverses; he tries a suplex, but Reed reverses that. Elbow by Reed gets two. Series of punches by Reed, then he sends Savage to the floor. Meanwhile Jesse declares Valentine’s win over Steamboat to be an “upset.” Yes, in the sense that the fans are fucking upset that they’re not getting the Savage/Steamboat rematch that you sort of hinted at in building the show.

-Reed charges at Savage and misses. Clothesline by the Natural, and he starts to head to the top rope to finish, but he pauses to taunt Elizabeth for a while. That gives Savage ample time to recover, and he Flair-slams the Natural, then connects with the flying elbow to win. Felt like a good feature bout on TV. 2 for 5.

-Bob Uecker talks to Bobby Heenan & the Islanders. Bobby & Bob trade barbs and actually leave me wishing this bit was longer.

ROUND ONE: BAM-BAM BIGELOW (with Oliver Humperdink) vs. ONE MAN GANG (with Slick)
-Although it was brief, I just realized three face managers at one time is probably a record for any wrestling promotion. God, I love Bam-Bam’s entrance theme.

-Gang attacks Bigelow in the corner and clubs him over the head and neck for a good while. Avalanche by the Gang. He goes for another one and misses. Cartwheel and a splash by Bam-Bam get two. Bodypress gets another two. Bam-Bam elbows Gang and follows with forearms and a headbutt. Clothesline and a headbutt by Bigelow. Another series of headbutts by Bam-Bam and he goes off the ropes for a splash, but Slick pulls the top rope down and Bam-Bam crashes to the floor. He gets counted out, and the Gang advances. 2 for 6. Granted, it happened this way because Bam-Bam injured his knee before the show, but still, being eliminated in the first round and losing such a short match on the biggest show of the year is a big switch for a guy who was being promoted as the next big thing only seven months ago.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Hulk Hogan. “THANK GOD DONALD TRUMP’S A HULKAMANIAC!!!” This one’s somewhere on YouTube if you want to have a look.

-Debuting tonight: Rude’s airbrushed tights and Jake’s entrance music.

-Lock-up goes Rude’s way and he poses to celebrate. Jake faceplants him and Rude gets upset and backs into the corner. Rude comes roaring back with a slam and another one. Jake with a series of slams of his own. He punches Rude right into Damien’s corner and Rude runs for his life and right into an arm wringer. Rude tries to fight it, but Jake hangs on. And he hangs on. And he hangs on.

-Rude finally gets free and throws punches. Jake takes advantage of a moment of distraction to give Rude a high knee from the second rope. Jake goes for a DDT and Rude runs away and into the arms of Bobby Heenan. I don’t know why this interests me, but there’s a moment on commentary where Gorilla notes that Bobby Heenan was instrumental in a campaign to ban the DDT and Jesse has to explain that, no, that was Jimmy Hart. Gorilla is sure that Bobby was involved somehow, though. Just as sure as George Steele got eliminated quickly in that battle royal.

-Rude gets the upper hand and pauses to pose, even as Heenan angrily screams at him not to waste any time. Clearing taking the advice to heart, Rude applies a headlock. The commentators discuss the importance of the time limit, giving away where we’re headed for this classic. Jake starts to get out of the headlock…but then he doesn’t. Jake finally breaks free and Rude comes off the second rope with a forearm. Rude pauses to pose again, then clotheslines him for two. Oh, cool, a bonus headlock. We couldn’t have THAT on home TV!

-Jake back suplexes his way to freedom, but Rude puts the boots to him and drops an elbow for two. Headlock the Third and this crowd has had just about enough, as even the comped folks who have never seen wrestling before are now fully aware that whatever this is, it sucks. “Boring” chant comes and goes until Jake finally breaks free and throws punches at Rude. Backdrop by the Snake, then a short clothesline. Jake tries a DDT but Rude backs him into the corner. Rude charges and runs into a knee. Stomachbreaker by Jake gets a two-count. Back suplex by Rude out of nowhere gets two. Double clothesline KOs both men. Rude recovers first for a quick two-count. Rude tries a Flair pin in the corner and gets two with both men on the ropes, but before the referee can count three, the bell sounds for the time limit, and both men are eliminated. Jake chases Rude & Heenan out of the ring with Damien. 2 for 7. Terrible.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Vanna White. Gene mentions that Bob Uecker is looking for her, and Vanna has no idea who that is. Vanna checks out the quarterfinal brackets and gives her predictions.

-Revisiting the bloated nature of the card, here’s a match that could have easily been left out. The whole build was a single TV angle involving a tug of war, followed by weeks of promos about said tug of war. I really don’t see anybody ordering this show for this match and they probably could have just burned it off on a Saturday Night’s Main Event. The harshest thing I think I’ve ever read from Dave Meltzer comes from his pre-show predictions for this event: “My prediction: Neither man lives to see 50.”

-Shoving and pushing until Warrior just gets fed up and throws punches and chops. Hercules tries to mount some offense, and it takes three clotheslines to take the Warrior off his feet. A single clothesline topples Hercules. And another clothesline. Warrior tries to press slam Hercules and screws it up. He charges at Hercules and Hercules tries to backdrop him over the top rope and that ends up being an uphill struggle too. Warrior eventually goes over the top rope, and in a scary moment, it appears that he’s actually going to attempt to skin the cat back in, but good sense prevails and he just settles for getting beaten up on the floor.

-Hercules gets in some more offense until Warrior fights back with a series of punches. Inverted atomic drop by Hercules keeps things in his favor. Warrior misses a charge and Hercules applies the full nelson. Warrior climbs the ropes and pushes himself backwards to fall on top of Hercules, and it’s the world-famous “double pin and one guy rolls his shoulder” finish. Warrior gets the win and steals the chain from Hercules after the match. Ugh. 2 for 8. And yes, Meltzer ended up being half-right, so find something else to post.

-Intermission time: The concession stands are now open at all the closed-circuit locations! The official Wrestlemania t-shirt and “baseball-style cap” are now available, as well as the souvenir key tag and souvenir program.

-Hey everybody, it’s Sugar Ray Leonard!

-We take a look back at the Hogan-Andre saga, January 1987-February 1988.

-Hogan charges the ring and Andre is ready for him, attacking immediately with chops and headbutts. Hogan begins throwing forearms at Andre and that dazes him a little, so DiBiase heads up to the apron to help. Hogan strangles him and noggin-knocks him with the Giant. Series of chops causes Andre to stagger backward and get tangled in the ropes, and Hogan pauses to celebrate.

-DiBiase & Virgil untie Andre and Hogan goes right back to work with right hands until Andre just gradually tumbles over. Series of elbow drops by Hogan. Andre does something semi-smart, just taking the blow but holding onto Hogan when he tries to get back up so he can choke him. Andre gets back to his feet and puts the boots to Hogan. Another chokehold by Andre. Hogan starts to fade, so Andre turns it into a nerve hold to try and get a submission. Hogan hulks up from there and clotheslines the Giant. Virgil distracts the referee as DiBiase heads in with a folding chair and attacks Hogan with it. The referee turns around to see Hogan and Andre trading chairshots (with Andre’s shot on Hogan sounding particularly painful) and the referee calls for the bell to make it a double disqualification. 2 for 9.

-Post-match, DiBiase runs away, so Hogan settles for suplexing Virgil on the floor, then running back to the ring and slamming Andre the Giant. Hogan does his post-match celebration antics, which Gorilla justifies by saying that he succeeded in eliminating the Giant.

-Gene Okerlund talks to Randy Savage. He’s disappointed that his friend Hulk got eliminated, but he and Elizabeth plan on going all the way for their fellow Mega-Power.

QUARTERFINAL: “The Rock” DON MURACO (with Superstar Billy Graham) vs. “The Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE
-DiBiase shows up alone and Muraco is smelling blood, so he attacks DiBiase on the apron, brings him inside, and attacks him some more. Powerslam gets two. Punches and an elbow by the Rock, and a second-rope forearm gets another two. Turnbuckle shot by Muraco, and he snaps DiBiase’s neck. DiBiase tries to hide in the corner, but gets London bridged. Dropkick by Muraco gets two.

-DiBiase tries to take a break on the floor, so Graham swings his cane to chase him back inside. Muraco just keeps wailing on DiBiase. Muraco tries to London bridge him again, but DiBiase pulls backward a little bit and causes Muraco to fly foreward and hit the top of the post. DiBiase chokes and stomps Muraco. Clothesline gets two. Kneelift by DiBiase, then a fistdrop. Another one gets two. Muraco chokes away while legendary angry referee Jack Kruger drops about 40 pounds of rage in the back of his pants.

-Backward falling elbow by DiBiase misses and Muraco whips him. Shoulderblock by Muraco. He goes for another one, but DiBiase catches him and stunguns him on the top rope. Surprisingly, that’s all he needs, and he pins Muraco clean as a sheet. 3 for 10. Good little battle.

-Bob Uecker talks to Demolition. Bad things are about to happen to Strike Force.

-One Man Gang comes to the ring so Howard Finkel can announce that he has a bye to the semi-finals. Hey, who says that smarks didn’t exist before the internet?

HOWARD FINKEL: …Therefore, the One Man Gang will not wrestle in this round.
SINGLE, VERY LOUD FAN: Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!

RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Jimmy Hart)
-Gorilla & Jesse go into full-blown bullshit mode about how it’s so hard to hear each other over the deafening ovation of the crowd and how this 20,000+ crowd sounds more like 50,000. On the presumption that 50,000 fans have ever been pumped full of turkey and valium for a supercard in the past, yes, that’s probably what they would sound like.

-Forearms and elbows are traded. Savage snapmares the Hammer and drops a knee for two. Shot between the eyes by Hebner and Valentine scales the ropes for a forearm. Elbow by Valentine gets two. Shoulderbreaker by the Hammer gets another two. He tosses Savage over the top and onto the floor. Elbow off the apron by Valentine. Series of chops and a shot to the barricade for good measure by Valentine. Valentine just keeps beating on Savage on the apron. Valentine has now wrestled a combined total of over 15 minutes, so Savage is as fucked as fucked can be.

-Valentine works the leg and tries for the figure four, but Savage is able to grab the ropes. Valentine suplexes Savage and gives him a backbreaker for two. Savage shows some fire out of nowhere and fires Valentine into the turnbuckles and slams him down. He bolts for the top rope and hits a double-axehandle for two. Jimmy Hart distracts Savage long enough for Valentine to make a full recovery and attack Savage. Attempted suplex is reversed by Savage and he goes to the top again. Valentine gives him a shot to the stomach and then collapses, so both men are out of it.

-Savage gets to his feet first and tries the Bossman leg drop, but Valentine rolls out of the way and Savage crotches himself on the ropes. Valentine tries to finish with the figure four, but Savage turns it into a cradle for a sudden three count. Whew. Good battle that left me wanting more. 4 for 11.

-Mean Gene & Vanna recap the brackets for the semi-finals.

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: HONKY TONK MAN (Champion, with Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue) vs. BRUTUS “The Barber” BEEFCAKE
-Hello to Terri, Tyrell, and Jade.

-Honky gets the early advantage, but Brutus reverses a boot to an atomic drop and gives Honky a Dutch rub, messing up Honky’s hair. Honky goes to the floor and complains to the referee about the offense. Back in, Honky goes after the eyes, but can’t take advantage and Beefcake fires him into the turnbuckles. High knee by Brutus and Honky goes to the floor to regroup. Beefcake goes for a backdrop, Honky tries to counter with a kick, but Beefcake anticipates and gets out of the way. Honky mounts a comeback and puts the boots to Beefcake. Snapmare and a fistdrop by Honky. He stomps away at Brutus and Jimmy Hart steps in to offer a choke behind the referee’s back. A truly silly spot sees Honky go for the Shake, Rattle, & Roll in the middle of the ring, but he’s not happy with it and brings Brutus over to the ropes to do the move, and naturally, Beefcake uses the ropes to break it.

-Brutus lights into Honky with punches from there and locks in the sleeper. Honky passes out, but before the referee can check the arm, Jimmy Hart comes to the apron and KOs him. Honky’s out cold and Brutus sees the unconscious referee and realizes he’s not going to win the title, so he goes to the floor, pins Jimmy Hart against the stairs, and cuts his hair. Back in the ring, Peggy Sue dumps a pitcher of water onto Honky’s face to revive him, and they leave the arena as the Fink just arbitrarily declares Beefcake the winner without a bell or a conscious referee. Awful match, by the way. 4 for 12.

-Classic promo sees Andre the Giant strangle Bob Uecker, complete with a marvelous sell from Mr. Baseball.

Bobby Heenan’s big surprise is that he’s wearing a heavily-padded attack dog trainer’s outfit to offset the threat of the returning Matilda.

-Dynamite hiptosses both Islanders. He backdrops Tama until Tama asks for a handshake. Dynamite simply boots him down and slingshots him into the post and onto the floor. Back in the ring, Davey Boy misses an elbow and Haku steps in to battle it out. Shoulderblocks go nowhere and a bodypress gives Davey Boy a two-count. Slam gets another two. Crucifix gets another two. Snapmare and a headlock by Davey Boy. Haku gets free and and wrings the arm. Tama tags in and does the same. Davey Boy calmly picks him up and press slams him. Chops & elbows while Gorilla whips out a weird joke about Heenan ”saving himself for senior prom.”

-Koko dropkicks Haku and reverses an attempted double-team to take out both Islanders. Jesse is getting equally punch drunk on commentary and says that Heenan’s dog trainer outfit makes him look like a Chinaman.

-Heenan finally tags in and attacks Dynamite, making use of the little metal buckles all over the outfit for added emphasis to his punches. Heenan also looks like the cook on Bonanza when he’s dressed like a dog trainer.

-Dynamite plays face-in-peril until tagging in Koko, although you can’t really call it a hot tag because that would imply that the crowd is still actively watching. They’re actually bringing down the lights during this match to keep you from noticing a steady line of people heading for the exit.

-Heenan tags in and punches away at Koko with his possibly-illegal outfit, oh, and Heenan also looks like Jack Tunney in that outfit. Koko gets fired up and sends Heenan crashing into the turnbuckles, then dropkicks him into the post. It turns into a donnybrook and the referee reprimands the Bulldogs, which gives the Islanders an opening to double-team Koko, then slam Heenan on top of Koko for the three-count. Dead, disappointing match with no flow. 4 for 13. Matilda chases Heenan to the back.

-Just because this show is crying out for filler material, Jesse Ventura does some muscleman poses to entertain the crowd. Saddest thing about it is, he actually gets the pop of the night for it.

SEMI-FINAL: RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. ONE MAN GANG (with Slick)
-Gang backs Savage into a corner, but Savage fires the first shot. He grabs Gang by the beard and uses it to snap Gang’s neck over the top rope. He tries for a front facelock, but Gang overpowers him and backs him into the corner. Clubbing blows by the Gang. He chokes Savage and slams him for a two-count. Elbow gets another two. Slam by the Gang, but an attempted splash misses. He charges at Savage for an avalanche but misses. Savage begins doing hit-and-run offense and that works for him. Gang falls to the floor and takes the double axehandle between the eyes while he’s out there.

-Back in the ring, Savage tries for a slam and that fails miserably. Meanwhile at ringside, Slick threatens Elizabeth and nearly slaps her, which wakes the crowd up. Referee deals with Elizabeth while Gang borrows Slick’s cane and tries to administer a beating with it. He misses every blow, but the referee manages to turn around to see his many attempts, and Savage goes to the finals on a DQ. 4 for 14. Another blah match. Cute post-match spot sees Slick consoling the Gang in the ring with a hug, so Savage sneaks in and hits Gang so hard that he falls on top of the Slickster and kills him.

-Vanna & Gene talk about the finals and Vanna shows herself out, just as a breathless Bob Uecker arrives for her. Bob is heartbroken, and Gene really drives home the disappointment by telling Bob that Vanna didn’t really want to see him anyway. Shortly after this, Bob was also inducted into the Blueballs Hall of Fame.

-Smash smashes Martel down and then tries to slam him, only for Tito to block it. That leads to a four-man brawl in the ring and Strike Force winds up clearing Ax from the ring and double-teaming Smash. Strike Force works Smash’s arm. Ax tags in and they work his arm too. Smash returns and Demolition hits a move similar to a Hart Attack in the corner and wail on him for a while.

-Powerslam by Ax gets two. Tito tries to punch back but takes a boot to the head. Smash suplexes Tito and the crowd has been surprisingly awake and cheering for Demolition through this entire match. Ax axes Tito a little bit, but Tito gets the flying forearm out of nowhere and both guys are out. Double tags and Martel lights into Smash. He takes care of both opponents easily and clamps the Boston crab on Smash. Ax tries to break it but gets pounded down by Tito and blasted with another flying forearm. Fuji comes up to the apron and Tito turns his attention to beating the shit out of him. Fuji drops his cane in the process and Ax grabs it and KOs Martel with it. Smash recovers and rolls over to get the pin and capture the belts. Good-not-greatish match that accomplished everything it wanted to. 5 for 15.

-Robin Leach comes to ringside with the WWF Championship belt.

-Bob Uecker comes to the ring and gets a hug from a drunk man before security can get to him.

-Vanna White arrives and gives Bob the kiss he’s been waiting for the entire night.

TOURNAMENT FINAL: RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. “Million Dollar Man” TED DIBIASE (with Andre the Giant)
-DiBiase backs Savage into a corner and Andre trips him up. Crowd already sees where this is going, and a “Hogan” chant erupts while the entire crowd stands up and watches the curtain. Shoulderblock by Savage. He goes for another one, but Andre trips him again. That causes the “Hogan” chant to get a little bit louder.

-Arm wringers are traded and DiBiase takes control with punches and chops. Elbow to the head by DiBiase, followed by a clothesline for two. Shoulderblock by DiBiase, but a sunset flip is counted by a punch from Savage. Clothesline by Savage gets two and DiBiase takes a break to talk strategy with Andre. It must have worked because he gets the clear advantage after that with boots and an elbow. Savage comes off the ropes with an elbow of his own and snaps DiBiase’s neck over the top rope (which DiBiase sells fabulously). High knee sends DiBiase out of the ring and DiBiase goes for the top rope axehandle, but Andre steps in front of DiBiase to protect him. Savage backs off, which makes him a dumbass because if Andre attacks him in this situation, he’ll win the tournament.

-Savage instead runs over to the corner and whispers something to Liz, since he can’t seem to take a shit without getting help from her after turning face. Elizabeth runs away and commentary immediately turns hilarious, as Jesse says “You know, we’ve seen Elizabeth do this before.” And after a few seconds of silence, Jesse clarifies, “But maybe the Macho Man is sending her back for her own safety.” So Jesse, in the span of five seconds, points out how predictable the booking has been, and then tries weakly to put the horse back in the barn. And there’s your moment of the night.

-DiBiase continues the ass-kicking while the “Hogan” chant is just getting deafening. Elizabeth returns with Hogan, delighting everybody while surprising nobody. DiBiase beats on Savage in the corner and Andre tries to add a little extra damage, but Hogan runs over and attacks the Giant to stop that. Suplex by DiBiase gets two. Gutwrench gets two. Slam by DiBiase and he goes to the top. DiBiase Flair-slams him and goes for the flying elbow, but DiBiase moves out of the way and Savage crashes. DiBiase debuts the Million Dollar Dream to try and finish this; Savage makes it to the ropes but Andre pulls the rope away. The referee turns his back to reprimand the big guy and Hogan sneaks in to KO DiBiase with a chair. Savage goes to the top one more time, and the flying elbow wins the match, the tournament, and the belt. 6 for 16. Good match, but the crowd saw everything that was coming, and their SNME match was actually a lot better.

-Post-match. Savage celebrates, Elizabeth cries, Hogan celebrates, and they all shake hands about 40 times

The final score: review Bad
The 411
The good matches are mostly nothing to phone home about. Recommended for history and recommended if you're a Randy Savage fan. Failing that though, it's just four hours of guys coasting through the biggest show of the year.

article topics :

WrestleMania 4, WWE, WWF, Adam Nedeff