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WrestleMania VIII Review

March 14, 2009 | Posted by Rob McNew
7.5
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WrestleMania VIII Review  

-4/5/1992 at The Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, IN

-Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

-Reba McIntyre starts things off with The Star Spangled Banner.

”El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels (w. Sensational Sherri)

Tito gives a bow to Reba, and Brain theorizes that is his sister Arriba McIntyre. God bless the Brain. This would of course be the singles debut of Mr. Wrestlemania after three tag matches with The Rockers. Tito ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody for a quick two. Side headlock by Santana is locked in right away, but it is broken when Shawn reaches the ropes. Shawn gets hit with a clothesline from Santana sending him over the top to the floor. Tito brings Shawn in from the apron with a headlock. Shawn pushes Santana into the corner and delivers a pair of shoulderblocks and an elbow. Tito regains control after a right hand and another side headlock. Shawn tries to counter with an atomic drop, but Santana rolls through and keeps the headlock. Shawn pushes off and sends Tito into the ropes, but Santana comes through with a small package for two. Back to the headlock goes Santana. Shawn pushes off into the ropes again and this time fires Santana over the top to the floor. Back inside Shawn catches Tito off the ropes and hits a backbreaker for a two count. Shawn then goes to a chinlock of his own. Tito fights out and comes off the ropes, but runs into the not quite yet Sweet Chin Music. Shawn sets up for the teardrop suplex, but Tito punches out. Flying forearm connects for Santana sending Shawn to the floor. Tito follows to the floor and sends Shawn into the steps, before firing him back in the ring. Santana slingshots into the ring with a flying shoulderblock, and fires Shawn into the ropes. Knee lift and inverted atomic drop sets up Shawn for Tito’s new finisher El Paso De Malte but Shawn rolls to the floor. Tito tries to slam Shawn in from the apron, but Shawn grabs the ropes and comes down on Santana picking up the win at 10:40. Santana’s headlock-a-thon turned me off on this match. Shawn’s streak of show stopping performances wouldn’t begin for a few more years.

Winner: Shawn Michaels (Pinfall-Slam Counter **)

-Mean Gene interview’s The Legion of Doom and their new manager, an old face, Paul Ellering. Crowd was happy to see them, and it was a strong promo as usual, but it didn’t lead to anything.

-Sean Mooney gets a word with Jake Roberts as he needs to address the rumors that he will be bringing a snake to the ring. The storyline was that all reptiles have been barred from ringside following the Savage cobra attack in the fall.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. The Undertaker (w. Paul Bearer)

Jake delivers a punch sending Taker over the top to the floor, but Taker pulls Jake out with him and posts him. Jake rolls back in, and Taker follows, running into a knee lift. Jake whips Taker into the corner, but Taker quickly fires back with a right hand a whip of his own. Taker continues to choke out Jake in the corner, before another whip and more choking. Open handed upper cut is delivered to Jake, before another whip. Taker continues to choke, and then delivers an elbow drop. Taker comes off the ropes with a flying clothesline, and follows up with a tombstone attempt. Jake counters and DDT’s Taker out of nowhere. Taker sits up from it so Jake gives him a short clothesline and a DDT again. Again Taker is right back up. Jake goes out after Paul Bearer, but Taker stalks him and gives him a tombstone on the floor. Taker fires Jake back inside and pins him at 6:40. Total burial of Jake here, as he was headed to WCW. Years later Jake would admit to holding up Vince before this match for his release.

Winner: The Undertaker (Pinfall-Tombstone on the floor *1/2)

-Mean Gene interviews Piper and Bret on their upcoming match. Everything starts out hunky dory, but naturally tempers flare. Great promo.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper ©

Piper armdrags Bret out of a lockup to start. Bret returns the favor on a second lockup. Go behind takedown from Piper, but Bret is able to fire him to the floor. That incenses Piper, who charges into the ring and gets a shove from Bret. Piper spits on him as a bit of the heel Piper shows through. Test of strength is next, but Piper stops it with an armwringer. Bret counters that into one of his own. Piper tries to chop his way out of it to no avail. He fires Bret into the buckle and continues to chop, but Bret will not let go of the wristlock, and eventually turns it into a hammerlock. Piper finally comes up and sends Bret into ropes, but he comes off with a dropkick. Bret sells a shoulder injury and Piper checks on him, but Bret is playing possum and rolls him up with a small package. Piper is not happy with that and they trade slaps. Bret comes off the ropes with a crossbody, which sends both guys onto the floor. Piper gets in the ring first as Bret got the worst of the fall, so Piper offers to hold the ropes open for Bret. He lets Bret in, but then tells him his shoes are untied. Like an idiot Bret checks his shoes and gets waffled. Piper unloads with a series of right hands as Bret gets busted open. Bulldog connects by Piper, and that gets two. Piper bites away at the open wound, and fires Bret into the corner. Knee lift connects for Piper picking up a two count. Bret comes off the ropes with a sunset flip, which gets a two count. Piper comes back with a series of punches getting two. Bret comes off the ropes again this time with a flying forearm, which sends Piper to the floor. Back inside and both guys clothesline each other. Piper is first to his feet, and he heads to the top rope. Bret is playing possum again and he drags Piper off the top face planting him. Inverted atomic drop is followed by a snap suplex getting two for Bret. Side Russian Legsweep gets another two count. Backbreaker for Bret sets up a Sharpshooter attempt, but Piper is able to block that so he gets an elbow instead. Bret comes off the second rope but runs face first into the boot of Piper. They trade punches from their knees, with Bret gaining control with a headlock. Piper fires Bret into the referee taking him out. They go to the floor and Piper fires Bret into the steps. Bret is fired back in and Roddy gets the ring bell and takes it in the ring. Piper teases a heel turn, but thinks better of it throwing the bell out, and going for the sleeper instead. Bret counters the sleeper out of the corner into a pinning combo, which finishes giving Bret his second Intercontinental Title at 13:50. This was a really good match, but I think it maybe a tad overrated. Still a great match, just not the classic some make it out to be.

Winner: NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion-Bret “Hitman” Hart (Pinfall-Sleeper Counter ***1/2)

-Bobby and Gorilla interview Lex Luger via satellite from Atlanta. They talk about the WBF, which might have been Vince’s all time greatest fail. Even worse than the XFL.

-The participants in the eight man tag give their thoughts on the upcoming match.

The Mountie, Repo Man, & The Nasty Boys (w. “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs. The Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Family Feud host Ray Combs handles the ring introductions for this one. He tells a series of lame jokes directed at the heels until they attempt to attack him. The faces come to the rescue and deliver a quadruple clothesline sending all the heels to the floor. Finally things settle down and Duggan starts with Sags. Sags fires Duggan into the buckle, but comes off the ropes into a clothesline. Atomic drop from Duggan is followed by a tag to Slaughter. Sags gets a shot in allowing a tag to Knobs. Slaughter whips Knobs into the corner and delivers a clothesline and gutbuster. Double stomp and back elbow follow for Sarge before a tag to Bossman. He whips Knobs into the corner, but Knobs moves out of the way of a charge allowing him to tag in Repo Man. Repo comes in and whips Bossman to the ropes. Shoulderblock from Bossman connects, but he misses a big splash. Repo tries to come down on Bossman, but Bossman gets his fist up for a low blow. Tag to Virgil who delivers a dropkick and flying crossbody for two. Knobs breaks up the cover. Repo delivers a side suplex and tags in Sags. Slam from Sags gets two and he tags in Mountie. Mountie goes off the second rope but runs into a spinebuster from Bossman. All eight guys end up in the ring as things break loose. Everyone ends up on the floor except for the Nastys and Virgil. Knobs holds Virgil for Sags, but Virgil ducks out of the way and Sags nails Knobs allowing Virgil to pick up the pin for the face team at 6:32. Nothing special, but not terrible either.

Winners: The Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (Virgil pins Knobs-Sags Punch **)

-Sean Mooney gets a word with Ric Flair who promises to show the centerfold he has acquired of Elizabeth. Mean Gene is outside Savage’s locker room, but Savage is refusing interviews.

WWF Championship: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair © (w. Mr. Perfect) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Flair won the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble, and was set to face Hogan, but Sid attacked Hogan so they decided to face off instead. Meanwhile Flair showed some doctored footage of him and Elizabeth, which of course caused Savage to go nuts. Savage sprits to the ring to get at Flair, and chases him to the floor. Finally Savage attacks Flair in the aisle, but Perfect pulls Savage off of him and back to the ringside area. Flair is able to get into the ring as Savage is pre-occupied chasing Flair around the ring. Back inside Savage hits a clothesline, and follows up with a knee to the back. Savage counters an inverted atomic drop attempt, and hits a clothesline. Back elbow from Savage out of the corner gets a two count. Savage charges at Flair again, but gets a backdrop sending him all the way to the floor. Flair follows him to the floor and delivers a chop and rams Savage into the apron. Action heads back inside as Flair puts the boots to Savage. Flair chops away at Savage in the corner, and delivers a suplex. That gets a two count so Flair goes to a side suplex, which gets another two count. Whip to the corner by Flair is followed by a chop for another two count. Knee drop connects for Flair who then stomps Savage to the floor. Flair follows and rams Savage into the ring apron. Flair suplexes Savage back into the ring getting a two count. Flair continues the assault whipping Savage to the corner, and stomping away at Savage. Savage finally gets some offense firing out of the corner after a Flair chop, and then coming off the ropes with a reverse neckbreaker. Flair comes off the ropes, but Savage blocks the punch attempt with a series of punches of his own. Flair goes to the eyes, and then goes to the top rope, but of course gets slammed off. Flair begs off to no avail and Savage whips him into the corner and backdrops him coming out. Pair of clotheslines from Savage, as Flair continues to beg off. Savage whips Flair into the corner as he does the spot where he flips over and runs down to the other corner for a top rope move. Flair actually gets off the top, but gets met with a right hand getting two for Savage. Savage continues by clotheslining Flair over the top rope, then coming off the top rope with a double axe handle. That sends Flair into the barricade and he blades. Savage fires Flair into the steps and the post which nets a Flair flop on the floor. Savage suplexes Flair on the floor and heads back inside. He fires Flair back in, and continues to pound away at the head of Flair. Savage goes to the top rope and delivers another double axe handle getting a two count. Bodyslam connects as Savage goes to the top for the elbow, which connects. Perfect breaks up the count, but pulling Savage off of Flair. Savage chases Perfect into the ring and the ref gets in the middle of them. In the skirmish Perfect slips Flair a foreign object, which he uses to blast Savage with. That picks up two, but gives Flair control of the match back. Flair ties up the referee so Perfect can deliver a chair shot to Savage’s knee. Miss Elizabeth heads to the ring as agents (including a young Shane McMahon) plea with her to stay in the back. Meanwhile Flair continues to work over Savage’s knee. Flair locks in the figure four leglock on Savage as officials continue to plea with Liz to go to the back. Savage is able to turn over the move and Flair finally breaks the hold. Savage gets a small package picking up a two count. Savage sells the knee brilliantly putting no weight on it at all. Flair delivers a knee breaker on Savage, and holds his legs. Savage ducks a punch from Flair and rolls him up with a handful of trunks to win his 2nd WWF Championship at 18:02. Afterward Flair gives Liz a bloody kiss causing Savage to go apeshit and attack him. Flair and Perfect get the best of Savage after the bell, but officials are able to pull them off. Savage tries to get at Flair, but finally he is able to calm down enough so he and Liz can celebrate. Absolutely tremendous match. What else would you expect from these two. My only complaint would be the rollup finish, but everything else was done to near perfection.

Winner: NEW WWF Champion-“Macho Man” Randy Savage (Pinfall-Rollup ****3/4)

-Sean Mooney interviews Flair and Perfect who complain about the handful of trunks, which of course ignores the roughly 700 rules infractions they committed during the match. Mean Gene gets a response from the new Champion. Savage chimes in with a totally whacked out insane promo. Perfect.

-Recap of the events leading to Sid and Hogan.

-Sean Mooney has a word with Rick Martel on his upcoming match with Tatanka

”The Model” Rick Martel vs. Tatanka

Martel attacks early in the corner with a series of knees. Tatanka fires back with a hip toss and a pair of body slams sending Martel to the floor. Back inside Martel tries to ram Tatanka into the corner, but gets it himself. Martel charges into the corner, but Tatanka moves and he shoulderblocks the post. Arm wringer is locked in by Tatanka and is followed up by an armdrag attempt. Martel counters and slams Tatanka down, before firing him to the floor. Martel follows him out and delivers some stomps before firing him back inside. Backbreaker from Martel connects, and he goes to the top rope. Tatanka crotches him though, and then delivers a pair of chops. Backdrop out of the corner is followed by a tomahawk chop. Martel blocks another backdrop attempt with a kick. A clothesline follows Bodyslam by Martel. Tatanka comes off the ropes after ducking a clothesline and hits a crossbody, which finishes rather abruptly at 4:30. Nothing much to see here, just a match to establish Tatanka.

Winner: Tatanka (Pinfall-Crossbody *)

-Sean Mooney talks to Money Inc about the upcoming match with the Disasters. Mean Gene gets the reply from the big men.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Money, Inc. © (w. “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs. The Natural Disasters

Disasters had recently turned face after Jimmy Hart sold their title shot to Money, Inc. Quake starts with Dibiase, and fires him into the corner. Dibiase goes for an armbar, but gets shoved down. Dibiase gives Quake a knee, but gets fired into the ropes and gets a clothesline. IRS comes in and gets a clothesline of his own. Typhoon comes in and it’s the dreaded double noggin knocker for the champs as they bail to the floor. Back inside and IRS takes his chances with Quake. Quake grabs an armwringer and tags in Typhoon. He delivers a hiptoss to IRS, and IRS tries to bail, but Typhoon stops him by stepping on his tie. Typhoon rams IRS into the buckle 10 times and goes for an avalanche, but IRS moves out of the way and tags in Dibiase. Typhoon quickly gains control of Dibiase, and hits the ropes for a crossbody, but Dibiase moves and Typhoon goes flying over the top. IRS fires him into the steps on the outside as Money, Inc. take control. Dibiase tags IRS and they deliver a double clothesline for two. Dibiase tags back in and gets some shots in. After another quick tag to IRS they send Typhoon into the ropes and hit a double back elbow. Front facelock is applied by IRS, and Typhoon is able to push into the corner getting the tag to Quake. Unfortuantely the referee is tied up with Dibiase and doesn’t see it. Dibiase tags in himself and continues to pound on Typhoon. Finally a double clothesline spot allows the hot tag to Quake who drives the shoulders into IRS. All four men end up in the ring and the Disasters whip the champs into each other. IRS gets hit with the Typhoon splash and that sets him up for the Earthquake splash. Dibiase pulls IRS out of the ring, and Dibiase takes the belts and the intentional count out to save the titles at 8:39. God I hate that finish, but it does work for good heat.

Winners: The Natural Disasters (Count Out/Money Inc. Retains Titles **)

-Mean Gene interviews Brutus Beefcake to get his thoughts on potentially Hogan’s final match…Hogan would go on to win eight more World Titles.

Skinner vs. “The Rocket” Owen Hart

Skinner spits his chaw in Owen’s face right off the bat. Shoulderbreaker is followed by a headbutt for the Alligator Man. Skinner hits a reverse DDT which gets a two count. He fires Owen over the top, but Owen skins the cat and comes back in with a rollup, which finishes at 1:09. Well that was pointless.

Winner: “The Rocket” Owen Hart (Pinfall-Rollup ¼*)

-Mean Gene catches up Sid Justice who famously calls him a “Fat, bald headed, little oaf”

Sid Justice (w. Harvey Whippleman) vs. Hulk Hogan

Sid attacks before the bell, but Hogan fights him off sending him to the floor. All this while the music was still playing. Sid attacks with the boots once the bell rings and quickly gains control. Sid sends Hogan to the ropes and drops down, but Hogan puts on the breaks and hammers Justice sending him to the floor. Back inside Sid asks for a test of strength, which Hogan obliges. Sid takes control early powering Hogan down. Hogan comes up finally, but Sid turns it around on Hogan and breaks it with a knee. Hogan reverses a whip attempt into the corner, and sends Sid in. He follows with a clothesline, but goes after Whippleman. That distraction allows Sid to hit a chokeslam to regain control. Sid continues to slowly, very slowly, pound away at Hogan eventually kicking him to the floor. Harvey distracts the ref allowing Sid to hit Hogan with the doctor’s bag. Back inside Sid goes to the nerve pinch. That almost puts Hogan out, but the hand of course doesn’t drop the third time. Hogan fights to his feet and elbows out of the hold, but gets a side suplex from Sid. Sid calls for the power bomb, and delivers it. Hogan is out at two. Hulk up commences, and the usual looks to finish, except it doesn’t. See Papa Shango was supposed to run and break up the pin for the DQ, but his missed his queue so Sid kicks out of the legdrop. Harvey Whippleman comes in and really does nothing but that draws the DQ at 12:32. Hogan and Sid continue to brawl as Papa Shango finally gets to the ring to attack Hogan. They tie Hogan in the ropes as Sid goes to grab a chair, but that’s…that’s…that’s THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR’S MUSIC!!! Warrior hits the ring as the place goes absolutely bat shit and him and Hogan clean house. Huge surprise that somewhat redeems the absolutely god awful match the people had to endure. Great moment, but the match blew.

Winner: Hulk Hogan (Disqualification-Outside Interference ½*)

The 411: Great show for the first half, but the second half really drags it down. Piper-Bret is great and Savage-Flair is a classic. Everything after the title match is pretty meh, but the Warrior run in is a great moment. All in all it’s a good fun show that is very rewatchable. I think it gets a little too much praise sometimes, but still one of the better Manias.
 
Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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Rob McNew

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