April 5, 1992
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
This show is memorable for several reasons and to this day stands as one of the very best Wrestlemanias of all time. Not only is the action great, but this is the best show that Gorilla and the Brain ever put together from the broadcast booth. And since many consider them to be just about the best announcing duo of all time (myself included), it's safe to say that it doesn't get much better than this.
People are always asking me what my favorite PPV, or Wrestlemania, of all time is, and I can never answer. I've enjoyed so many shows for so many different reasons on so many different levels for so long now, that there isn't one speific event that stands above the rest. Wrestlemania X is one of my top favorites, and I love just about everything from 1992-1994. But I've always been strapped to name my clear cut favorite PPV of all time. Still, there's always been something about Wrestlemania VIII, some element, that has intrigued me. Popular opinion has Wrestlemania VIII as one of the better Wrestlemanias ever, but most would put at least three or four of them higher on their "best of" list. But for whatever reason, it's always had a special place with me. Maybe subconciously it is my favorite. It kind of has to be in order for me to go through the great lengths that I will to recap it in this much detail.
Case in point, this review will probably be much longer than others, since Gorilla and the Brain's comments deserve to be included in here as well. At times it was better just to listen to their funny back and forth squabbles, rather than focus on the in-ring action itself. But the fact that they did know when to lay off and call the action enabled them to carry the viewer through the down time and enhance the better moments even more. In my book, this was easily the best announced PPV that has ever hit the air.
Just to provide somewhat of a visual perspective, the Dome is filled nearly to capacity, and the ring is right in the center, under a huge structure. The aisle is long and curved, and meets ringside near the corner of the ring. The ceiling of the Dome is bright and white, and the whole atmosphere is visually impressive. The Hoosierdome isn't quite as big as the Silverdome, but comparisons can definitely be drawn.
Yes, this Flashback will be long, but I hope you will read the whole thing. Length doesn't necessarily equate with boredom. I only go very in depth to the play by play aspect of things for two matches, and both of those tell a wonderful story. With the announcers' comments, nothing will be too boring. For those of you that have never heard Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan on commentary, then you might not find everything all that funny or entertaining, but for those who can hear their voices in their heads and understand their characters and the stuff they used to do with each other on commentary, then I hope this will be a fun read. Of course to get the true great feeling of Wrestlemania VIII, you have to see the tape, but for those that have before, I'm sure they'll be able to picture it as they read along.
Reba McIntyre sings the National Anthem. "El Matador" Tito Santana's music begins to play as she is being escorted out of the ring and Heenan appears to be under the assumption that she is Tito's sister Arriba McIntyre. He then wonders if she'll be at Ric Flair's victory party tonight, as Gorilla comments that he likes Tito's music. To this Heenan says, "You probably like heartburn too." So right off the bat we've established Heenan's confidence in Flair and a comedy battle between Gorilla and the Brain. It would set the tone for the rest of the night.
"El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels
This is the second opening Wrestlemania match for both men, as Santana wrestled the opening contest at Wrestlemania I and Shawn did so as part of the Rockers at VII. Michaels comes out with his new look as the Boy Toy with Sherri by his side and his famous "I'm too sexy for this crowd" jacket. It had only been three months since he turned on long time tag team partner Marty Jannetty thus turning him heel, ending the Rockers for good, and putting Jannetty out of comission for several months. Gorilla and the Brain put him over as a future Intercontinental Champion right off the bat, and say that if there's going to be an Intercontinental Champion somewhere down the line, it's this guy. This was April and Michaels didn't even win the thing until November, but the seeds were obviously in place. The Brain mentions that Sherri looks good.
Gorilla: You should see your oculist.
Brain: There's nothing wrong with my feet.
Gorilla: I'm talking about your eyes.
Brain: You're just jeaulous because she turned you down.
In the ring, the arrogant Michaels is doing his standard routine, taking his sweet time to remove his jacket and pants before he is ready to start the match. When we finally get underway, they trade shoves and Tito controls with a side headlock.
Gorilla plugs the Wrestlemania phone hotline and Heenan rationalizes that Tito won't be on there because he can't speak English.
Michaels is clotheslined to the floor, then brought back in by Tito with the side headlock. Michaels tries to pull Tito's hair behind the ref's back, but it doesn't work until the third try. Shawn gets in some brief offense in the corner but soon Tito is back in control with the headlock. Michaels tries countering by rolling him on his side for the pinfall attempt but Tito won't let go. Up to their feet and Shawn tries a back suplex, but again Tito holds on and even tries to pin Michaels while holding him in the headlock.
Gorilla: Highly unlikely you'll pin anyone with a side headlock. In all my years I've never seen anyone pinned with a side headlock.
Brain (non-chalantly): I've pinned a couple of guys with it.
Brain: Sure, I could beat you a million different ways. I once had a guy give up during instructions.
Gorilla: Will you stop it?
Tito tenaciously keeps going back to the headlock. Michaels sends him off the ropes, then sidesteps him and propels Tito to the floor.
Brain: Kinda like Air Mexico, isn't it?
Michaels, now in control, hits a backbreaker and goes to a reverse chinlock. Santana climbs to his feet and uses three elbows to break the hold. He goes off the ropes and is caught with a crescent kick right in the mouth. At this point, the (super) kick is only a pattened move of Shawn's. He didn't begin using it as his finisher until a couple of years later. Heenan is impressed and notes that he bets he knocked a few of Tito's teeth out. "I guess there'll be no tacos tonight."
Michaels goes for the teardrop back suplex, his finisher at the time, but Tito counters. He hits the flying forearm, but it sends Shawn to the floor. Back in the ring, and he hits it again, but Shawn rolls to the floor once more. Shawn stumbles onto the apron where Tito tries to bodyslam him in, but in midair Michaels grabs the ropes and uses the leverage to fall on Tito and pick up the quick three count at 10:38. **1/4 Good choice for the opener.
This was the start of Michaels' singles push and Tito's fall from the 80's. As Michaels celebrates and goes back to the dressing room, Heenan talks about how Michaels will be wearing lots of gold and representing the WWF for many years to come. He even calls him "the star of the '90's." Wow, he called that one, huh?
Mean Gene brings out the Legion Of Doom to the interview stage for, what else, an interview. At this point LOD had just lost the Tag Titles to Money Inc. in a major upset. Paul Ellering was with Hawk and Animal and this was used to introduce him to WWF fans. By this time LOD's best WWF days were behind them and they'd be gone just six months later. They whine about Jimmy Hart and Money Inc. a bit and then Hawk tries to make some analogy about a runaway train. Whatever.
Sean Mooney is backstage with Jake "The Snake" Roberts. We see the clips from months earlier when Jake attacked the Undertaker during an episode of Paul Bearer's Funeral Parlor. With Taker's hand caught in a casket, he DDT'd Bearer, then proceeded to beat down a defenseless Taker with a steel chair.
Lord Alfred Hayes gets an opposing point of view from The Undertaker and Paul Bearer, in the basement of the Hoosierdome.
The Undertaker vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake gets some significant heel heat as he slithers his way into the ring. The bell tolls, and the Undertaker enters to a huge pop. Taker is so intimidating that the look on Jake's face almost makes it seem like it's over before the match even starts.
Gorilla: With The Undertaker, there's always that eerie smell of phremeldahyde whenever you're around him.
Brain: I thought that was your cologne.
Gorilla: Will you stop it?
Brain: You buy that cheap stuff all the time just so you can get a free comb.
Gorilla: I'll have you taken out of here.
Brain: I'll ask you to leave. I'm Indiana's favorite Bobby. I could've gotten that high school team a win last night, not the guy they had running the ship.
Gorilla: You couldn't even carry Bobby Knight's towel.
Jake jabs at the Undertaker, and moves around, but none of the punches effect Taker. One shot sends Taker over the top to the floor, but Taker lands on his feet and drags Jake out under the bottom rope. He violently posts Jake. The crowd is very hot. Jake crawls in and catches the Undertaker with a knee lift as he follows. They trade whips, and Taker chokes Jake out.
Brian (exasperated): What is in that urn?
Gorilla: You're the guy that's supposed to figure that out! Aren't you a broadcast journalist?
Brain: I don't want to open up that urn. Do you know how Paul Bearer got that urn?
Gorilla: I'm afraid to ask.
Brain: He earned it.
Gorilla: Oh brother.
Okay, so that last exchange was kind of corny, but Bobby was on fire, just annoying and being a general pain to Monsoon at every possible turn. Next he complains of an Undertaker chokehold.
Gorilla: Why don't you go down there and referree?
Brain (quickly): I'm needed here.
The Undertaker drops an elbow. The flying clothesline gets a big pop. Taker goes to scoop him for the Tombstone, but Jake goes behind and nails a DDT out of nowhere. Surprisingly good heel pop for that one. Jake struggles to his feet, and Taker sits up. Just to put this in perspective, the DDT was put over as a much more dangerous move, back then, and it was usually enough to not only get the three for Jake, but enough to knock his opponents out for minutes after the match. Taker sits up like it was nothing. Jake hits the short clothesline, then another DDT. That time he got all of it. Paul Bearer holds the urn up, urging Taker to sit up, so Jake goes to the floor to confront him. Taker is out on his back, but he suddenly sits up, unbenounced to Jake, and follows Jake to the outside. He comes up behind him, lifts him up in the Tombstone, and delivers it right there on the arena floor. He rolls him in and scores the academic pinfall at 6:37. Fun squash. *3/4 This was Jake's final WWF match before heading off for an unsuccessful stint in WCW. He wouldn't return to the WWF until 1996, at which point he was a shell of his former himself. Taker went on to embark on a decade of destruction.
Mean Gene Okerlund is backstage with Intercontinental Champion Rowdy Roddy Piper on his right, and challenger Bret "Hitman" Hart on his left, both of whom are babyfaces. Seeing as how this is one of my very favorite interviews in wrestling history, and the story it tells plants the seeds for the psychology employed and the story told in the match, I saw fit to transcribe the entire thing.
Gene: Here's another first at a Wrestlemania of firsts. As a matter of fact, this is the first time these two men are meeting for the WWF Intercontinental Title. Champion, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and his opponent, former IC Champion himself, number one contender, Bret "Hitman" Hart. Gentleman, we have arrived.
Piper (his usual jubilant self): We, we have arrived and ya know, I gotta say, first of all, I gotta tell ya how much I loves your family. I've gotta tell ya how much I loves your mother. I know you (turns towards camera), I known this guy since he was the idle of a grasshopper. (Bret smiles) I remember when they were changing his potty pants, I remember when… course he wasn't potty trained till he was seven, but everybody's got their problems. (turns towards Bret) Remember tyin' bows in our shoes when we were kids? (to camera) Course his shoes were always tied together- doesn't matter! Doesn't matter to me cause I remember when Mrs. Hart would come out and make them sandwiches. She'd slap on that bologna, and- only one piece of bologna? Doesn't matter, I was hungry! Then she'd come up to her son and… (Piper reaches up to squeeze Bret's cheeks, and Bret brushes his arm away)
Bret: Look at yourself.
Piper (now without a sense of humor): Oh this is nice. Here I am trying to have a little bit of fun, put you at ease, gonna have a nice contest, and you want to be a hero all of a sudden, you want to be a hot shot, you want your belt, is that the idea?
(At this point, Piper starts reaching his hand under the Title belt which is around his waist, and you can tell he's fiddling around with something down there.)
Bret (in a serious tone): Look, all I care about is one thing; I want to win the Intercontinental Belt. You've got it; I'm gonna take it. (Bret taps the Title around Piper's waist)
Piper (now serious): You keep your hands to yourself. (Piper brushes Bret back.)
Bret: You wanna do this here?
Piper: You damn betcha... why do it here when I could have a million people watch me rip your head off? (Piper turns to leave, but Bret grabs him, turns him around, and makes a fist.)
Bret: Woulda had ya.
Piper: (Piper pulls his hand out from under the Title. The belt from his kilt is wrapped around his hand.) No you wouldn't have.
Bret retreats to make his way to the ring. Gene starts to wrap up the interview and hype the match while Piper gloats over him.
Piper: (looking in the direction of Bret, who is now off-camera) Bye bye. Bye bye. Bye bye! I don't think so! Not today! (Rips the Title off his waist, slings it over his shoulder, and points to it) She be mine!
Gene: Oh my.
Intercontinental Title: Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper (Champion)
Bret, decked out in all pink, makes his way out first to a nice ovation. Piper comes out second, the Title back around his waist. The Hoosierdome crowd pops bigtime for him, and tons of flashbulbs go off. Gorilla analyzes the match. He thinks it will be a brawl, but Heenan thinks they'll wrestle around a bit first and feel each other out.
Brain: Have they ever met before in a ring? I don't know that.
Gorilla: You don't know a lot of things for a broadcast journalist.
Brain: I didn't care to find out. How do you like that, Mr. Know-It-All? Don't you have a banana to peel or something?
Bret and Piper go nose to nose and do the staredown in the center of the ring.
Brain: Are they saying anything?
Gorilla: Nope, just looking.
Brain: Two ugly people just looking at each other. That's fun.
Gorilla brings up Piper's past success in the Golden Gloves.
Brain: Ah, that amateur punk stuff.
Gorilla: Amateur punk stuff?
Brain: You don't get paid for that, do you?
Brain: Yeah, amateur punk stuff.
Bret and Piper finally lock up after psyching each other out, and Piper takes him down with an armdrag. Bret pauses to assess the situation. Heenan asks Gorilla how he'd go about the match if he were Bret Hart, and how he'd handle things if he were Piper. Gorilla answers, then asks Bobby the same question. Piper and Bret lock up again, and this time, Bret armdrags Piper.
Gorilla: What would you do if you were the Hitman?
Brain: Well, I'd have my agent buy it (the Title) for me. And if that didn't work I'd waffle him out back with a tire iron. I'd get it some way, any way I could.
The comments he makes during this match give tremendous insight to the character of Bobby Heenan, and his philosophy on life. If you'd never heard Bobby Heenan before, you'd have a great understanding of him just listening to him during this match alone. They lockup for a third time, and Piper goes to a go behind waistlock on Bret. Bret tries to escape, then runs towards the ropes, quickly changes directions, and uses his momentum to propel Piper off him and through the ropes to the floor. Piper gets all riled up. He storms in, and gets in Bret's face, so Bret shoves him away, and Piper spits in his face.
Brain: A real Champion wouldn't spit, he'd eye gouge him… I remember when I was Champion, Monsoon.
Gorilla: Champion of what?!
Brain: The neighborhood.
Gorilla: The only gold you ever had was in your teeth.
Brain: There's no gold in my teeth.
Piper offers a test of strength, and Bret obliges. Once in it, Piper goes to a stepover, and arm ringers Bret, but Bret is quick to reverse to one of his own. He hammers away at the arm.
Brain: I'll tell ya, there's nothing like Wrestlemania, is there Monsoon?
Gorilla: Absolutely not.
Brain: We agreed on something.
Gorilla: Uh-oh. We're in trouble now.
Brain: I'm getting outta here.
Piper chops away at Bret, but Hart holds on to the arm ringer tenaciously. Piper takes his head to the turnbuckle, but Bret still holds on, and takes Piper down to the mat. Piper sends Bret off the ropes, finally breaking the hold, and Bret dropkicks him, but appears to land awkwardly on his own arm. He sells the injury, and the ref checks it out, telling Piper to back off. Piper approaches, and Bret small packages him out of nowhere. Piper kicks out at two. Bret was playing possum all along. It was a dirty trick, and Heenan loves it. "What a great move." Piper gets up, pissed, and slaps him in the face. Bret shoves him, and they lock it up again. Bret goes off the ropes and tries a crossbody, but Piper catches him, and they both spill through the ropes and to the floor. Piper is the first to get back in the ring, and he holds the ropes open for Bret in a kind gesture. Bret cautiously comes in, and Piper lets him back in cleanly. Good to see Roddy can be the bigger man. The crowd pops the show of sportsmanship. They size each other up again, and Piper notices that Bret's boot is untied. Bret bends over to tie it, and Piper sucker punches him right in the mouth. Piper kicks away and connects on several punches. Bret blades, and Piper bulldogs him. That gets a two count. Piper takes him to the buckle, then hits a kneelift for two. He whips Bret into the ropes, but Bret tries a sunset flip. Piper kicks out at two, then gets up, frustrated, and jabs away at the Hitman. He gets one more two count. Bret fights back with some fists of his own, and a flying forearm sends Piper to the floor. Piper runs back in and they hit each other with a double clothesline.
Notice how Gorilla and Bobby aren't being as cute with each other anymore because now the match is heating up? That's the real mark of good commentators. They jaw back and forth all they want when not much is going on, but when it starts to get important, all their focus is on the match. That's why they add so much to each match instead of detracting from it. Anyway, Piper gets to his feet first and heads up top. Bret looks to be down and out, but he suddenly pops up, nails Hot Rod on top, and drags him out over the ring by his head, while his feet still hang from the top rope. From that position, he smashes his face down into the mat. Ouch. The crowd is getting progressively hotter here. Bret hits an inverted atomic drop and a snap suplex for two, then a side russian legsweep for two more. Bret's face is completely covered with crimson. He hits the backbreaker, then goes for the Sharpshooter, but Piper blocks it by wiggling around, so Bret shifts his body around and drops an elbow on his face. Now he's not moving so much anymore. Bret goes to the second turnbuckle on the inside, and measures him with the elbow. Piper gets to his knees, and they slug it out, both on their knees in the middle of the ring. They get up, and Piper whips Bret into the ref, accidentally, knocking him down. Piper clotheslines Bret to the floor, then takes his bloddied head to the steps, and throws him back in. Roddy heads over to the timekeeper's table, and takes the ring bell. He climbs back in the ring, and holds it above his head, ready to clobber Bret with it. The crowd starts to let him know that wouldn't be right, and he stares back at them, having second thoughts. Bret grabs at Piper's legs, completely defenseless. Heenan is on the edge of his seat. "Use it, use it! Waffle him with it! Remember the old saying: what the hell, use the bell!" Piper has the crowd in the palm of his hands, and after much contemplating, finally puts it down to a big pop. "What a sickening display," says a disappointed Brain. Piper ducks a Bret roundhouse right, and hooks the sleeper, his finisher. The crowd is on their feet, louder than ever before. The ref starts to come to. Bret positions them so that they're facing the corner, and when he's close enough, he jumps up and pushes off the top turnbuckle with his feet, and flips backwards as Piper falls down on his back. The end result is an awesome innovative pinning combination, and the ref is there to make the three count. Bret Hart becomes a two time Intercontinental Champion at 13:41. Howard Finkel announces the winner, and Piper presents Bret with the Title himself. They shake hands and hug, much to the dismay of the Brain. Piper puts the strap around Bret's waist, and they leave the ring together. Believe it or not, this was Piper's only pinfall loss in the WWF. He certainly put the Hitman over huge. ****3/4 for one hell of a match. A unique match, and a wonderful story, perfectly told. I know the environment and the screaming fans helped it, as did the exceptional commentary, but this match remains one of my favorite to this day. It's not a traditional match of the year candidate, but it was sure as hell awesome for what it was.
Just to review: The first three matches have put Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and The Undertaker over huge. They would go on to be the top three WWF stars of the 90's, and this show helped to put them over three stars of the 80's, Santana, Jake, and Piper. And people say this show had no long-lasting historical value.
"Live" via satelitte from Atlanta, Georgia, Gorilla and Heenan talk to Lex Luger, who just signed with the World Bodybuilding Federation. This was the start of Vince trying to cross-promote the WWF with the WBF, and the whole WBF side of things flopped horribly. Luger would end up debuting as a WWF wrestler in early 1993.
The Mountie, Repo Man, and The Nasty Boys offer up some words for their opponents later today.
The Big Boss Man, Sgt. Slaughter, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and Virgil retort.
The Big Boss Man, Sgt. Slaughter, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & Virgil vs. The Mountie, The Nasty Boys & Repo Man
This is pretty much a way to get eight midcarders with nothing else to do on the card, but it worked out alright because it was well documented that all four faces were friendly with each other, and the Mountie and Nastys were both in Jimmy Hart's stable. The introductions are clipped, and Ray Combs, host of Family Feud, who has since committed suicide, is in the ring to introduce the participants based on surveys he did with the Hoosierdome crowd earlier in the day. He begins with the heels, and does corny intros of each, starting with the Mountie. "The Mountie doesn't know the meaning of the word fear… in fact, there's a lot of words he doesn't know the meaning of." The look on Jacques Rougeau's face makes that moment memorable alone. "As a law enforcement officer," continues Combs, "he does the work of three men; Larry, Curly, and Moe." The Mountie's teammates hold him back, as Combs moves onto introduce Repo Man. "No one can call him two-faced, because if he was, he'd darn sure be wearing the other one right now... but Repo Man was an unwanted child... his parents were hoping for a boy." Repo shoots Combs quite the look through his lone ranger mask, and the crowd just laughs at him. The insults for the Nasty Boys are somewhat less creative, as Combs talks about two men sharing one brain, and their success in wrestling being chalked up to one thing; luck. The heels go after Combs, who quickly bails, and the bell rings as the eight participants start brawling.
The faces hit a quadruple clothesline to clear the heels out of the ring. Cool. Heenan plugs that the week of May 11, the WWF will be competing against the WBF on Family Feud. "I'm gonna win all the money, Monsoon." The faces beat up Jerry Sags, as Heenan debuts his special announcement on PPV. "Excuse me, I've just been informed by the people in the back that Shawn Michaels… has left the building!" "Who cares?" gripes Gorilla. This match is just here as a busy match while the announcers can go back and forth with each other, talk about how great Bret/Piper was, and how great Savage/Flair will be. Boss Man hits a big boot on Brian Knobbs as the face team continues to dominate. Gorilla talks about the WWF's upcoming World Tour and lists a bunch of the countries they'll be attending.
Gorilla: ...England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and more.
Brain: Maybe even Newark.
Brain: That's a foreign country. So is Indianapolis if you think about it.
Boss Man misses a charge and Repo works him over briefly. He stands over the Boss Man and jumps up, driving himself into Boss Man's back. "One more time!" he shouts in his completely exaggerated, over the top Repo Man voice. He leaps to do the move again, but Boss Man spins around so he's facing up, and sticks his fist up, leaving Repo's groin to make a crash landing on it. Ouch. Repo sells it perfectly. Brain: "Uh-oh, he just repoed himself." Boss Man tags Virgil in. Virg still has a nose guard on his face at this point, after Sid Justice snapped and broke his nose during a squash match. Virgil hits a crossbody for two before Knobbs and the Mountie save. Repo sneaks up behind him and hits a back suplex, then suckers Duggan into the ring (not exactly a difficult feat) while the heels beatdown Virgil. Sags hits a pumphandle slam. The crowd starts a USA chant for whatever reason. I guess Duggan is pumping them up.
Brain: "You know why they're chanting USA? There's a rumor Indianapolis is a foreign country."
Gorilla (as if Heenan was being the most serious guy in the world): It is not!
The Mountie climbs to the second rope over a foreign Virgil, looks up into the air, and yells his trademark catchphrase, "IYAAAMMM DA MOOUUNNTTIIEE!". Meanwhile, Boss Man illegally comes into the ring, and when the Mountie jumps off, Boss Man plants him with a spine buster, triggering an eight man brawl.
Gorilla: I don't know who the legal guy is in there.
Brain: Danny Davis, the referree.
Amongst the chaos, the Nastys pry the mask off Virgil and try to nail him with it, but Virg ducks and Sags accidentally hits Knobbs. Duggan clotheslines Sags to the floor, and Virgil covers Knobbs for the three at 6:28. The good guys go over, and the crowd cheers, including Vladimir, who's there in the lower section as usual. *
Some background on the Ric Flair/Randy Savage feud: Flair won the WWF Title by winning the Royal Rumble. Weeks later, at the Wrestlemania press conference, Hulk Hogan was named as the #1 contender, but he went on to wrestle a match against his rival Sid Justice instead, so the Title shot was given to the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Flair wasn't too enthused about having Savage as an opponent, so he began making allegations and implications that Elizabeth, Savage's wife, was actually an old flame of his. He went as far as to doctor some pictures in WWF magazine, to show him whining and dining Liz. It was all a big psychout to mess with Savage's head and his marriage, and give him one more thing to worry about instead of winning the WWF Title. Flair promised that at Wrestlemania, he would bring his prized centerfold of Elizabeth, and put it up on the big screen, for the whole world to see.
Sean Mooney is in the locker room of WWF Champion Ric Flair, decked out in his red robe tonight, and his Executive Consultant, Mr. Perfect. They appear to be confident. Perfect is holding a large poster board, the back of which is facing the camera. He and Flair admire it at various intervals.
Mooney: Mr. Perfect, Champion, Ric Flair, this is it. We're just moments away from the-
Perfect: Shut up, Mooney! This is what it's all about! The prize photo of your old lady, Savage. The one we're gonna put up on the big screen in the Hoosierdome so everybody can see what she looks like. We've had it all taken care of. We took out all of the flaws. She's as close to perfect as she's gonna get.
Flair: Oh, and believe me, this is the real deal. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Wrestlemania VIII. It's Indianapolis, Indiana. It's bright lights, it's the big city, it's long limousines. It's women lined up for a block to take a shot at the Champ and Mr. Perfect, but most of all, it's Randy Savage's attempt to walk the aisle to defend the honor of his lady, and to try and capture the most coveted trophy of them all, the World Wrestling Federation Championship. Randy, after taking the worst beating of your life, keep this in mind. When you're flat on your back, look up to the big screen, because Mr. Perfect will be waving the foldout of Liz, and pal, she's all the way live. And then, Liz, to top it off, you've got one last shot, baby, at space mountain.
Perfect: Did I come through or what, Champ?
Flair: Ooh yeah. Woooo!
Mean Gene Okerlund is in front of Randy Savage's locker room door. Savage isn't granting any interviews at this time. He's preoccupied with Flair, Elizabeth, the centerfold, and the Title. There's so much for him to think about.
We cut back to the arena, and Howard Finkel announces the Title match as being next. Ric Flair's music hits, and he and Perfect (minus the centerfold) stroll to the ring, confidently, down the long Hoosierdome aisle. Flair is in all his glory here. Bobby Heenan has been waiting for this for months. He "wooos" along with Flair's music.
Brain: You know, if you want to be fair to Flair, then you've gotta be fair and say that's a heck of a robe. Only a man as fair as Flair would show up at Wrestlemania-
Gorilla: Would you stop it?
Already, Gorilla is pissed at him, and that was the confident Bobby. He hasn't even started with the real stuff yet.
We cut backstage to Lord Alfred Hayes for a Coliseum exclusive. He has caught up with the Macho Man in his locker room. Savage is pacing back and forth, and it's clear that the intensity level is high. This match is for Elizabeth.
World Title: "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (Champion)
It's time for one half of the big double main event. Back in the ring, Flair takes off his robe. "Where are the pictures?" demands Bobby. "I wanna see the pictures. I wanna see the staple marks on her stomach from the centerfold." Savage's music plays, and the crowd goes crazy. He hurries towards the ring, and Flair bails while Savage, dressed in black and gold, salutes the crowd. Savage hops over the top rope to the floor, and chases Flair, who is slowly retreating down the aisle. Savage blindsides him in the aisle, pounds his head into the ground, and the bell rings to officially get the match underway. Perfect pulls Savage off Flair, and forces him to the ringside area, shoving him to the ground. Flair makes his way back into the ring, while Savage stares down Perfect with unbelievably intense eyes, and starts to stalk him on the outside. He finally climbs in the ring, where Flair meets him with a chop. Flair whips Savage into the ropes, but Macho ducks an elbow and connects with a clothesline. A Savage high knee to the back sends Flair into the corner, where Randy jabs away with fists. The early going is all Savage, and Gorilla lets Heenan know it.
Gorilla: I warned you weeks ago, Brain, that this whole thing could backfire on you.
Brain: It's not going to backfire. He's not trying to wrestle him, he's trying to fight the man and take him out. He's not gonna win the Title that way.
Savage starts the ten punches in the corner, and the crowd begins to count along, but at four, Flair charges out, and tries and inverted atomic drop on the Macho Man. Savage blocks it and delivers another clothesline. Savage whips Flair into the corner, then hits a standing elbow. Flair goes down, and Savage gets the first two count of the match. Savage gouges the eyes, but Flair has the ropes, and referee Earl Hebner makes him break the hold. Savage charges, but Flair dips his shoulder and takes him out of the ring with a huge backdrop. Nice bump by Randy. Flair follows him to the floor and chops away before ramming his back into the ring apron. Bobby cheers on Slick Ric, but his emotions are still running high and he struggles to put two thoughts together.
Brain: Savage is going to have to pin him, or make him give up, but Flair is not a quitter, and he's too good to be pinned. He walked through twenty-nine men at the Royal Rumble to become WWF Champion, not a punk like Savage because his old lady was with Flair a long long time ago. You think he is gonna come here, in front of this audience, and take the belt? Forget it.
Flair calmly walks up the steps to get back into the ring while Savage crawls in under the bottom rope. Flair chops Savage and kicks him. A suplex gets two, as does a back suplex. Bobby gets frustrated.
Brain: An eighty year old woman could've counted faster than Hebner.
Gorilla: What are you upset about, Brain? Your guy is in control!
Brain: Get this chair outta my way. Let me stand up. I need room to move.
Flair, firmly in control, whips Savage to the buckle twice, and puts him down with a chop. Another two count. The Champ drives a kneedrop into Savage's face, and stomps him out of the ring to the floor. Bobby is now a little more confident.
Brain: Gimme one, Monsoon.
Brain: Gimme one. Woooo! Come on, spit that banana out and do it. Woooo!
Flair drives Savage's back into the apron again and punches away at him. He suplexes him back into the ring for another two. There's a buzz in the crowd. They're becoming antsy for a Macho Man comeback. Flair whips him to the buckle and punches him while Heenan rips on Elizabeth. Flair chops him in the corner, and Savage explodes with a right hand, his first offense in minutes. The crowd pops for it, but Flair chops back. Savage hits another right hand. Flair chops him one more time, and this time Savage comes back with a flurry of fists. Flair whips Savage into the ropes, but puts his head down, and Savage catches him with a swinging neckbreaker. Heenan gets scared for the first time all match.
Brain: Get up! Get up! Get him up, Perfect! Get him up! Somebody get me something to drink. Get me some water.
Flair goes off the ropes, but Savage battles him with fists. Flair eye gouges him and goes to the top rope. Savage gets over there quickly, however, and slams him off. The crowd is getting very hot now, and the noise only increases as the match goes on. Heenan advises Flair to take a walk and get out of the ring. Savage whips Flair to the buckles and gives him a big backdrop. After two clotheslines, Flair gets to his knees and begs off, and Savage spits on him. Savage whips Flair into the corner, and the Champ 'Flair Flips' over the top, ends up on the apron, and in one smooth motion runs to the adjacent corner, goes to the top rope, jumps off, and gets clotheslined by Savage on the way down. Flair is completely out of it. Savage covers, but Flair manages to kick out at two. The crowd thought that was it. Heenan screams "No" about twelve times in five seconds. Perfect and Heenan are both sweating. Perfect takes the jacket of his suit off. Savage clotheslines Flair over the top to the floor, then heads up to the top turnbuckle and flies all the way to the floor with a double axehandle. The impact sends Flair flying forward into the ringside barricade, and his head makes contact with the steel. Flair does a great bladejob, then gets up, walks around and falls flat on his face. Savage takes Flair's head to the post, with Heenan screaming for a DQ the whole time. Flair flops onto his face again. Savage suplexes him on the floor. Flair is now bleeding profusely. Heenan begs them to stop the match. Savage tosses him back in, and punches him. He goes up top, and a dazed Flair walks right into an axehandle. He gets a dramatic two count, nearly giving the crowd and Bobby Heenan a heart attack. Savage bodyslams Flair and goes to the top rope again. Bobby pleads for someone to do something. Savage points to the sky and hits the Flying Elbow. The Hoosierdome is loud. Savage covers. 1-2-… and Mr. Perfect grabs him by the ankle and drags him off Flair and out of the ring. This was long before that spot was played out. The crowd turns verbally violent against Mr. Perfect. The finishing Elbow had been building for five minutes and they were ready for a new Champion, but Perfect just ruined the whole thing for them. Savage confronts Perfect on the floor.
The ref tries to separate them, and Randy spits in Perfect's face. He goes after Perfect, and Perfect rolls in the ring. Savage follows, and they finally come face to face near the ropes with Hebner in between. Savage grabs him by his tie and brings him down to his knees, but while no one is looking, Perfect reaches into his pocket and tosses something to Ric Flair. Savage lets go of him, and the ref takes Perfect out of the ring, while Flair nails Savage with the foreign object. Perfect makes his way back around to the other side of the ring, and Flair slyly hands it back to Perfect. He covers Savage, and only gets two, but it's a weak kickout. Flair distracts the ref while Perfect grabs a steel chair and nails Savage in the knee with it. Heenan is shouting. The fans are screaming. And then it gets loud, because Elizabeth, sick of all the blatant cheating going on, starts to make her way to ringside, despite two WWF officials (Dave Hebner and Shane McMahon) trying to restrain her. She stands in Randy's corner and starts to cheer him on. Flair works over Savage's knee in the ring, much to Bobby's delight, then slaps on the Figure Four Leglock. Flair gets a two count with the Figure Four, as Savage writhes in pain. Flair's face is a crimson red. It matches his tights and boots. More officials try to take Elizabeth away, but she's staying. This is mayhem. Flair gets another dramatic two count. Flair reaches up and slaps Savage in the face just to add insult to injury, then reaches back to Mr. Perfect for extra leverage on the Figure Four. Savage tries to turn over to reverse the hold, but Mr. Perfect won't let go of Flair. Hebner realizes what's going on, and kicks his hand away, allowing Savage to turn it over and reverse the pressure to Flair's knee. Flair breaks the hold.
They get up, and Savage hits a small package out of nowhere, but Flair kicks out at two. The crowd thought that was the finish. Flair kicks Savage's knee and backs him into the corner. He looks down at Elizabeth, and yells, "This is for you, baby." He chops Savage again, and goes to a kneebreaker to further wear down the knee before he tries for the Figure Four again. Flair holds Savage's left leg in the air, so that he's standing only on his right leg, and gives a big "Woooo!" to the crowd. He goes to punch Savage, but the Macho Man blocks, connects with a right hand of his own, grabs a handful of tights, and rolls up a surprised Flair for the three count at an incredible 17:58. The crowd goes insane. Heenan can't believe it. "No, no, no, no, no. He used the trunks! He had a handful of trunks! What the hell is goin' on here?!" Elizabeth gets in the ring and runs over to her limping husband. Earl Hebner gives Savage the Title, and Heenan can't take it anymore. "I've gotta get outta here. I've gotta get to Ric Flair." Perfect gets in the ref's face about the decision, while Flair, shocked, walks over to Liz and starts to give her a piece of his mind. "What about me? What about me, huh?" He grabs her and kisses her on the lips. A dazed Savage looks up, sees it, goes blind with rage, and jumps all over Flair, attacking him. The officials and referees try to separate them. Flair shoves them down and ends up getting some cheap shots in on Macho. Perfect scores a kick to the groin area. The officials have Flair's blood all over their suits. Flair's white hair has become red and is matted to his head. Flair and Perfect finally leave and walk down the aisle. The officials hold Savage down, and ring announcer, Howard Finkel, finally makes the announcement everyone has been waiting for. "Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout, and once again, World Wrestling Federation Champion, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage". Savage gets to his feet, hugs Elizabeth, and holds the belt up high. The crowd pops huge, and Savage's music finally starts to play. Fireworks go off, as Savage limps down the aisle with Elizabeth and the WWF Title.
An awesome, awesome match. ***** It might not have been a typical five star match, and maybe the in-ring action itself wasn't quite that high, but the great story and emotion involved, as well as all the other factors, make this match a classic in my opinion. Sure, if two midcarders had the same match move for move, it wouldn't be on that level, but this is Savage and Flair, and they made it all come together and work like a charm. I've had to have seen this match a hundred times, and I still never get tired of it. That tells me that the full five stars is justified.
Gorilla sends it to Sean Mooney, in the locker room of Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect.
Mooney: Well, thank you, Gorilla. This is a tough assignment. I'm going to attempt to get comments from the now former World Wrestling Federation Champion, Ric Flair, and his Exec-
Perfect (all bent out of shape): Shut up, Mooney! This is the way it is: "Macho Man" Randy Savage, you call yourself Macho? Well what's so macho about… I'm not gonna stand here and say anything that isn't true, Macho Man. You had a hand full of trunks. What an injustice. The trunks were up, the stupid referee.. a bad job of officiating, I'll tell you what. (Bobby Heenan storms onto the set) Bobby, you saw what happened, didn't you?
Heenan (completely winded): I just got down from the booth. He had your tights. I saw it. It's on camera. It's on tape. There's nothing to worry about.
Perfect: Yes, there is something to worry about.
Heenan: Well, I know, I just meant...
Mooney: What about the tactics that Ric Flair used that were questionable?
Flair (eerily calm): What we have right now, is a man that'll walk around town tonight, claiming to be the Real World's Champion. Claiming to be, the second-time WWF Heavyweight Champion. He'll be claiming it all, and most of all, he'll be claiming the love of that jezebell, Elizabeth. Now Savage, unlike a lot of people in the greatest sport of 'em all, we don't cry over spilled milk. We reassemble a team. The money (Heenan), the brains (Perfect), the nucleus (Flair), and we say to our opponent, ya did it once. Now, let us see ya do it again. One time means nothing to my career. Tell 'em, Mr. Perfect.
Perfect: I'll tell ya what, one time means nothing, Macho Man. Like your old lady, you are now damaged goods. This man (Flair) has never taken a shortcut in the world of wrestling. You, Macho Man, have taken a shortcut. You had a handful of tights. We were out there, we were wrestling. This man was the greatest World Wrestling Federation Champion of all time.
Heenan: He is the greatest.
(The replay of the pinfall is shown.)
Perfect: Here it comes.
Heenan: Look at that handful of tights. That's a Champion? He cheated. He doesn't deserve to have the Title.
Perfect: Just like his old lady, a CHEATER!
Mooney: Well, the way it stands right now, there is a new WWF Ch-
Flair: Let me make this clear right now. We regroup together. Where I go, Prefect goes. It's all monitored by Heenan. It might be tomorrow, it might not be tomorrow, but I'm gonna beat you, and I'm gonna beat you bad. And every time I see your old lady, I'm gonna kiss her on those moist wet lips. Woooo!
Perfect: Tell 'em, Champ!
(Heenan, still frustrated, knocks a pay phone off the wall, and the three leave.)
Mooney: As you know, this is not a very safe place to be. I'm outta here. Let's go over to Mean Gene Okerlund.
Gene: Thank you very much, Sean Mooney. With me right now is the new World Wrestling Federation Champion, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, along with the first lady, Miss Elizabeth. Now some might say, Macho Man, that that was a questionable victory. You heard them talking about the tights and so forth.
Savage (physically drained, but still emotionally charged): Why do I care? I don't care. That's okay. That's just a piece of what I wanted from you, Ric Flair. This (belt) is what makes you tick, Ric Flair, what makes you tick from the inside and out, and I just took a piece of you. You haven't been beat up properly. But this isn't all I want from you, Ric Flair. I want the whole Nature Boy. I want the whole Flair package! You call yourself the real WWF Champion, well I guess I am now. And what you did to Elizabeth… I thought you couldn't make me any madder than I was before I went into the ring, but somehow you did it. Impossible, yeeah. Now I'm gonna get the rest of him. I'll get him in a street parking lot. It doesn't even matter to me, yeah. I'll do anything to win, and if I didn't prove it, I'll prove it next time. Oooh yeah. (He turns to Liz.) Let's go.
Gene: Wait a minute, if I may-
Savage: Yeah, if you may what?
Gene: Elizabeth, after what happened here at Wrestlemania, the fact that Randy defeated Ric Flair for the WWF Title, in light of all the allegations and everything that's been going on the past couple of months, do you feel at this time that you have been at all vindicated?
Savage: Wait a minute. This is yours. Take it and go. (He gives the Title to Elizabeth and motions for her to leave.) And this (Savage rips his shirt off), is yours, Ric Flair. You can have all of me next time! Mr. Perfect, you're not perfect, I'm not perfect, nobody's Perfect. I'm outta here. Oooh yeah! Just a piece!
Gene: Alright, thank you very much "Macho Man" Randy Savage. We're in Indianapolis, we're in the Hossierdome; this is Wrestlemania VIII.
A video package of the festivities of the Wrestlemania VIII weekend is shown.
We first see the Mountie, the Nasty Boys, Sherri, and Jimmy Hart singing on stage.
Next up is the look alike contest. The co-winners are Paul Bearer and Big Boss Man impersonators. The Bushwackers are there to give them a celebratory licking, so maybe they're actually the co-losers.
Mean Gene talks to Hulk Hogan at a reception. Hogan says that he'll be taking time off after Wrestlemania, but when he comes back he'll be going after the WWF Title. Yeah, no kidding.
Finally, at the Wrestlemania brunch, the fans have a little Q & A session with the wrestlers. On the face side of the table are Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan, and on the heel side are former rivals Jake Roberts and Rick Martel. Someone asks Martel where he buys his expensive clothes, so Martel stands up and does some posing for the crowd. "Now let's see Duggan," he cracks. Then Slaughter retorts with the ultimate comeback. "Hey Martel, who dressed you, Vince McMahon?" Ouch.
A Coliseum Video exclusive captures Randy Savage and Elizabeth in a hallway backstage. Savage is still ranting about Flair, but it's all good, cause he's got the belt. I should point out that with the style of wrestling today, all this great stuff never would've happened, because they would've had Liz turn on Savage and join Flair for real. But these were simpler times, and sometimes less is more.
Tatanka vs. "The Model" Rick Martel
Back out at the ring, Rick Martel's music hits, as Gorilla welcomes Bobby Heenan back to the broadcast booth.
Gorilla: Brain, I didn't think you were coming back. I thought you were history.
Brain: I'll explain to you the situation momentarily.
Gorilla: I know the situation.
Brain: I don't wanna discuss it right now.
Gorilla: You lost your meal ticket. Tricky Ric ran out of tricks.
At this point, Tatanka's music hits, and he runs to ringside where there are ten authentic Lumbee Indians to support him at ringside. They start this really annoying Indian chant during the match.
Gorilla: A real Native American, Tatanka, and his Lumbee Indian tribe from North Carolina. What a future for this youngster.
The match gets underway, and although I've probably "seen" it a hundred times, I've never really seen it at all, you know? The whole match I opt to instead concentrate solely on Gorilla and Heenan's announcing. No matter how many times I sit down to say, "This time I'm going to watch the actual match", I never can. But that's okay, because there's a reason this match is following the great Savage/Flair affair.
Brain (calmly): Monsoon, I just got back from talking with Ric Flair. I'm gonna make a statement, I'm gonna make it now, I'm gonna make it clear and to the point. You saw it, I saw it, millions of people saw it. Savage had a handful of trunks when he used it to pin Ric Flair. Now a lesser person would quit, they would scream, they would make excuses. We're going to regroup and we're going to get the Title back. It's just a matter of time. If we're going to be upset, if we're going to act emotional, well then we're just going to defeat ourselves. We're going to look at this as a positive message, we're going to go forward, and we're going to take the Title, and we're going to take Mr. Savage out eventually. It's just a matter of time and conversation.
Gorilla: Yeah, and how many of you is it gonna take to do that?
Brain: Doesn't matter, Monsoon. We'll get the job done.
Gorilla: Mr. Perfect spent as much time in the ring as Ric Flair did!
Brain: You discuss that with them. I'm a broadcast journalist-
Gorilla: You're a liar!
Brain: ...I'm a financial consultant-
Gorilla (really egging him on): You're a liar!
Brain (getting increasingly upset and losing his composure): ...And I'm gonna sit right here and do my job like the gentleman I am-
Gorilla: You're a liar!
Brain: ...And if you don't like that, you can-
Gorilla: You're a liar!
Brain: ...get out of here and take your microphone and your headset and you know what you can do with it! You're not gonna get me upset!
Gorilla: Don't jump. It's a long way down.
Brain: Put 'em up!
Brain: Put 'em up!
Gorilla: The Brain has really lost it, folks.
Bobby takes a few seconds to calm down a little.
Brain: I'm gonna calm down and do my job like a professional. (Focusing on the match for the first time since it's started-) Where do those Lumpy Indians come from anyway?
Gorilla: Lumbee- not lumpy.
Brain: I thought they were Lumpy.
Gorilla: They're from North Carolina.
Brain: You know those indians only need about three hundred miles and they're home.
Gorilla: So? What does that mean?
Brain: Well, they live in Cleveland. Ever hear of the Cleveland Indians?
Gorilla: They're from North Carolina!
Martel throws Tatanka over the top rope to the floor.
Gorilla: Ric Flair (yes, he said Flair, but Bobby didn't catch the reference, so Gorilla throws it in again later) certainly giving this youngster a wrestling lesson, throwing him out to the floor.
Brain: Instead of being thrown out of the ring, he should've done the pitching.
Gorilla: Who should have done the pitching?
Brain: T-T-T-T-Ta-tanka. But then again if the Indians had better pitching they'd be a better team.
Gorilla: Why don't you stop?
Brain: Did you ever say hello to Tatanka?
Brain: Did you do it properly?
Brain: You said, "Hey-how-are-ya, hey-how-are-ya"?
Gorilla: Aw, he doesn't do that.
Gorilla continues calling the match.
Gorilla: ...by the Model Rick Flair, or Martel, I should say. I just have Flair on my mind.
Brain: Well get it off your mind, we're on to other things now. Be a professional.
Gorilla: I can't help it. Things have a way of backfiring in every phase of life. I'm just glad I was a part of it at the Hoosierdome, a part of Wrestlemania VIII, to see history made here-
Brain: I wish I'd never come to Indiana.
Tatanka gets a crossbody on Martel and pins him with it out of nowhere at 4:16. Bobby is in shock that the newcomer has just beaten a seasoned veteran like Rick Martel. Not a horrible match, but it was somewhat limited by time constraints and its spot on the card. *1/4 I love the commentary, in case you couldn't tell.
Sean Mooney talks to the Tag Team Champions, Money Incorporated, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster, with manager "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. That's a lot of names.
Mean Gene gets pumped up with the Natural Disasters, Earthquake and Typhoon, who have recently dumped Hart as their manager (because all his time was occupied with Money Inc. and he wouldn't give the Disasters a Title shot) and turned face in the process.
Tag Team Titles: The Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc. (Champions)
As Money Inc. heads to the ring, the director takes a shot of a fan in the audience that's holding up several bills, a la Ted DiBiase. Only thing is, instead of hundreds, he's sporting six brand new George Washington's. Bobby is quick to have some fun.
Brain: Can you imagine that humaniod with six one dollar bills? If you're gonna flash money, flash some hundreds.
Gorilla: Hey, that could be a lot of money to some people.
Brian: Well if they would've gotten an education they'd make more money. They're losers.
See kids, the Brain encourages you to go to college. In the last match, Heenan was pissed off after Flair's lost, but now he's put it behind him and he's just having fun. As the Disasters enter, there's a shot of a lady (standing next to the famous "crying woman" from Wrestlemania VII) holding a "Natural Disasters Rule" sign. Bobby isn't amused. "She should be home doing the dishes or she wouldn't have time to be making stupid cards like that. Bimbo." Heenan talks about the crowd and nearly cracks himself up. Gorilla ribs him about Flair again, so Bobby defers. "How about the size of this Earthquake?"
Gorilla: I understand the unemployment lines will be open tomorrow.
Brain: Maybe that humanoid with the six bucks will be there; I won't.
The match gets underway and Earthquake outmuscles DiBiase a few times. IRS comes in and the faces go crazy with clotheslines and take them both out of the ring. Money Inc. bails to regroup. Seems like every DiBiase match went that way. The topic of Jimmy and the Disasters comes up, and Heenan applauds Jimmy's actions.
Gorilla: So in other words, you think anytime that you have the opportunity to stick it to someone, you should?
Brain: I'm glad you agree with me.
Gorilla: Well I'm glad, because the Macho Man stuck it to Ric Flair.
Brain: Well I think you can stick it.
Typhoon misses an avalanche and DiBiase gets in a few nice chops. They do an ugly reversal sequence, then Typhoon tries to squash DiBiase against the ropes, but DiBiase ducks and Typhoon runs into the ropes and clearly propels himself over to try to salvage at least some part of that sloppy, horribly executed spot. It didn't work. Irwin takes his head to the steps on the floor and tosses him back in to DiBiase. Money Inc. gets in a few double teams, including a double clothesline and a double elbow. IRS holds a front facelock while Gorilla and Heenan jaw some more. It's good stuff, but not good enough to type out here. Even I have my limits. IRS and Typhoon clothesline each other for a double knockout spot. Typhoon gets the hot tag to Earthquake. All four men end up in the ring, and Earthquake clotheslines DiBiase out to the floor. Typhoon splashes IRS, and Quake sets up to finish him off, but Jimmy Hart and DiBiase reach in and drag him out of the ring to save him. They decide they've had enough, take the belts, and start to leave, as the Disasters look on, dumbfounded. Break the count, morons. Money Inc. takes the deliberate countout at 8:36 to save their Titles, though the Disasters win the match. 1/4* A lame finish, no doubt, but those were the type of Champions Money Inc. were.
Gene talks to noted Hulk Hogan ass-kisser, Brutus Beefcake, about the second half of that big double main event.
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Skinner
We return from the Beefcake interview with Skinner already in the ring and Owen just about there. The announcers are in the middle of a good-natured exchange.
Gorilla: ...and you're the cheapest guy I know.
Brain: I'm thrifty.
Owen flips into the ring, and Skinner jumps him right off the bat with a shot of tobacco juice to the face. He hits a shoulderbreaker and a headbutt, then nails his Gatorbreaker neckbreaker (his finisher). He covers, but it only gets two. Skinner tries to throw him to the floor, but Owen skins the cat back in, sneaks up from behind him, and executes a perfect rollup off the ropes for the quick win at 1:01. Too short to be anything but a DUD.
WWF Fan Club advertisement.
Mean Gene Okerlund talks to Sid Justice and Harvey Wippleman. This is the height of Sid's character, as the guy is truly a madman, a real nutcase, with no regard for anyone but himself. He doesn't give a damn about Hogan or the Hulkamaniacs, and he says he'll make sure this is Hogan's last match.
Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice
The second half of the big double main event. Sid enters first, followed by Hulk Hogan. The Hoosierdome erupts for Hogan, and the flashbulbs go off like crazy as he makes his way to the ring. Sid jumps him as he enters the ring, and they do a quick sequence with Hogan's Real American music still playing all the while. Hogan sends Sid to the floor with a few right hands and then rips off his shirt to the delight of the crowd. Sid tries to get back in, but Hogan nails him off the apron three times. He poses, alone in the ring, with his music still playing. It finally stops, the bell rings, and Sid climbs back in. The crowd gets very loud with a big "Hogan" chant. Sid and Hulk do the staredown in the middle of the ring and Sid kicks him in the gut. He punches and kicks away, but Hogan puts him back on the floor with some punches. Sid comes in and demands a test of strength, to which Hogan obliges. Sid wins it and holds Hogan in it for a few minutes, but Hogan regains his vertical base and breaks the hold. He whips Sid into the corner and follows in with a clothesline, but Harvey Wippleman distracts him, and Hogan walks right into a Sid one-handed chokeslam. Sid puts him on the floor and nails him with Harvey's doctor's bag while Harvey distracts the referee. Gorilla and Heenan aren't really arguing here since there's nothing left to argue about, and this is being implied as what is potentially Hogan's last match. They're actually doing an excellent job of calling the match.
Back inside the ring, Sid goes to a nerve hold. Hogan battles out, but Sid side suplexes him. He goes for the Powerbomb to finish things off, and hits it, but Hogan kicks out at two in classic Hulk fashion, and starts to hulk up. The crowd goes crazy as Hogan scores with three fists and takes Sid's head to two opposite turnbuckles. He whips him in and hits the big boot, but Sid doesn't go down. Hogan bodyslams him, then drops the leg and covers, as Harvey gets on the apron. Sid kicks out at two, to the shock of everyone, including Hogan. Hogan roughs up Harvey and throws him at Sid, as Hebner rings the bell for the DQ at 12:29. 1/2* Sid and Hogan brawl, and Papa Shango of all people comes down to help Sid beatdown Hogan, two on one. Sid goes to get a steel chair, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the Ultimate Warrior's music starts playing. To say that the entire crowd was shocked would be an understatement. Warrior runs down the aisle and clotheslines Shango out of the ring as the crowd goes insane. Sid nails the Warrior with a chair, but Hogan saves on another chairshot attempt, and clears the ring of Justice. The smoke clears and everyone realizes what just happened. Hogan acts as surprised as everyone else. The Warrior had been gone for six months and had returned to save the man that he'd wrestled against two years ago at Wrestlemania. Hogan's music starts to play, and Hogan and the Warrior embrace, then do some posing for the crowd. Hogan grabs a sign from a ringside fan that reads "Bring Back The Warrior". Fireworks go off, as the show comes to a close. That was by far the biggest and best surprise ending there had ever been. Absolutely no one expected that, and it was a terrific moment for all to see. Hulkamania and Hulk Hogan are alive and well, and not only did we not lose a hero, but we gained one back as well.
And thus concludes Wrestlemania VIII, a truly spectacular Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania VIII Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 82:47
Average Match: 9:12
Average Match Rating: *3/4
Top Moments: For me, this entire show is spectacular
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