WrestleMania VIII was an interesting show. There were a few really cool matches, and a really confusing ending. What happened?
THE GOOD: Randy Savage had a great match with Ric Flair for the WWF Championship. Flair was talking trash about Savage’s wife, Miss Elizabeth, which set up this feud. Flair was being so scummy towards her the whole time, so you really REALLY wanted him to not only beat the tar out of Flair but take away the title. And he did. Another awesome WrestleMania moment from Savage.
THE BAD: The ending of the Hulk Hogan/Sid Justice match. Sid was so awesome, and Hogan wound up costing him the Royal Rumble, which made him go crazy. Rightfully. I was so sure that Sid would end Hulkamania once and for all. Unfortunately, the next day I found out at school that Hogan one and never got around to seeing this match. I just saw this for the first time this month and it is confusing. There’s a lot of confusion, Papa Shongo and the Ultimate Warrior get involved. Just craziness.
MATCH TO WATCH: Bret Hart beating Roddy Piper to win the Intercontinental Championship is the highlight of the event, if not the best match I’ve ever seen Piper in.
WrestleMania VII took place at the end of the Gulf War and American patriotism was at a fevered pitch. This was the most Americana themed WrestleMania, with its red, white and blue themed ring and advertising. The main event had Hulk Hogan challenging everyone’s favorite wrestler turned GI Joe toy turned Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Championship.
THE GOOD: The second half of WrestleMania VII is pretty good. For some reason, there’s a match pitting Demolition against the team of Japanese wrestling legend Genichiro Tenryu and former sumo wrestler Koji Kitao. For whatever reason, I’ve always been a fan of random foreign wrestlers showing up for one-shot appearances like this.
THE BAD: Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “The Model” Rick Martel had been feuding for a while, thanks to Martel attempting to blind Roberts with his personal cologne scent called Arrogance. How cool is that? Unfortunately this wasn’t, as it was a blindfold match. The two kind of stumbled around with bags over the head and this is fast forward-able.
MATCH TO WATCH: Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior stole the show with their match. The loser would have to retire from the WWF, so there was a lot of drama throughout. The ending had Warrior barely winning. After the match, Savage’s manager Sensational Sherri berated him, only for his previous manager the beloved Miss Elizabeth coming to the ring to stand up for him. The crowd went nuts with the two reuniting.
I really wished that Macho Man had beat Hulk Hogan. Oh well...
WrestleMania V was the big thing right around when I became hooked on professional wrestling. We had moved in with my grandmother for a bit, and this was the first time we had cable. Watching the feud between the two grow was epic.
But I’ll admit I was disappointed. When I was young I always preferred Macho Man and Roddy Piper to Hulk Hogan, so this was kind of a bummer to me.
THE GOOD: As a whole, it was decent but nothing too spectacular.
THE BAD: Did they really need to include the Red Rooster/Bobby Heenan match? It just felt like a time filler, and at most a break before the main event.
MATCH TO WATCH: Mr. Perfect and the Blue Blazer (a masked Owen Hat) have a really good match that is so different from anything else that was in the WWF at that time.
WrestleMania IV is awesome because the whole show is built around a one-night tournament for the vacant WWF title. Being that this is from 1988, you would assume that Hulk Hogan or Andre the Giant would be the winner. But in an amazing swerve, the two of them were eliminated in the first round!
THE GOOD: When I re-watched this for the first time in years, I had no idea how the tournament played out, save for the Andre/Hogan match. The unpredictable nature of a tournament really helped make this a fun show to watch.
THE BAD: Don Muraco versus Dino Bravo wasn’t so hot. I would have liked to see more Rick Rude, but those are the breaks. On the bright side, it gave us that awesome Rude/Jake Rogers feud.
MATCH TO WATCH: The final match of Randy Savage versus Ted DiBiase for the championship is great, and the crowd goes insane when Andre and Hogan get involved in the finish.