WRESTLEMANIA REVIEW: WMIV PART TWO

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When we return, Hulk Hogan delivers a classic promo about destroying the building that everyone's in and going swimming or something. It's all very good fun.

Jake 'the Snake' Roberts vs. Rick Rude

Rude baits the audience about how they're not as attractive as him and he's going to steal their women. I wonder how that would go down on WWE television today. It's a little dated. Jake comes out looking a bit like he could be Rude's dad or failed clone or something. They lock up with Damien in the foreground.

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As you can see above, Rude is wearing tights that sport some sort of alien woman's face staring out of his backside. The camerawork highlights just how deeply she peers into your soul throughout the match. All in all, this is the best match on the card so far but it never really kicks into high gear, and ends in a time limit draw. Good not great. One Man Gang gets a bye to the semi-finals as a result.

Afterwards we hear Vanna White's insipid thoughts on the bracket and get a little more info on whether she's going to sleep with Uecker or Ventura. She doesn't know who Uecker is.

Hercules vs. Ultimate Warrior

This is another match that can be pretty well summed up in one gif.

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That's about the long and short of it; lot of shouting, lot of banging into each other, lot of gurning and not a lot to get excited about. At least it wasn't very long I guess.

A Hogan vs. Andre hype video tells us we're about to get into the second round.

Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant

These two get a bye into the second round to ensure a rematch of their face-off at WrestleMania 3. I rather enjoyed this match for what it was in the early going, a crowd-pleasing mix of Hogan/Andre spots that they were probably very familiar with going through by this point. Then it all turns into a bit of a scrap before it really gets going. Double DQ in the end and both men are out of the tournament.

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Hogan poses and poses and poses after the match. Ventura rips into him, saying "I've never seen a guy be so excited about being eliminated from the chance to regain his world title." It's a good point. It's a weird one this, it impacts the tournament by getting two big names out of it, it plays up DiBiase 'buying' the title and it kind of sets in motion years of storyline for Hulk, but it's at the cost of the match itself. WrestleMania should be the end of a storyline, to me, and this just feels like it's doing work to keep narratives plugging along. And this is a rematch of perhaps the most famous 'Mania match of all time. Mixed feelings on it, really. It was good for a bit but then it all just seemed a bit workmanlike.

Don Muraco vs. The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase

It was about here where I started to realise why this WrestleMania isn't very well liked. Nearly every match on the card, in particular the tournament matches are so short that they never really get going, and their grasping at straws for any sort of real narrative in the matches themselves. This was mostly unremarkable apart from a kind of cool finish via hot shot.

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There's a cool Macho Man promo where he gives a thumbs up, and a Demolition promo where one of them (who knows which) has some really unsettling crazy eyes on. One Man Gang is brought out to celebrate the fact that he got a bye into the next round, good for him.

I really cannot stand Brutus so I hope it's OK if my brief thoughts on his match with the Honky Tonk Man are accompanied with Macho Man instead of any images of him. First off, Jimmy Hart was out yet again tonight as well as Peggy-Sue. Brutus came out snipping his scissors with that braindead look on his face again. Their match OK but the shenanigans-filled finish where Honky-Tonk got knocked out, then revived with a bucket of water, then Jimmy Hart got his hair cut and whatever else just irked me. A lot of nonsense really and I didn't care for it.

The Islanders and Bobby Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware and the British Bulldogs

This is a bit more like it. Some good tag action in the early going, and the business with Heenan in his dog-proof suit trying to avoid getting bitten by Matilda is good fun, as is him only tagging in to get a few shots in on whoever is being beaten down at the time. Heenan ends up getting the win by being deposited on Koko by the Islanders, then is chased out by the Bulldogs and their Bulldog. I'd have liked to have seen more.

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One Man Gang vs. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

Another costume change for Macho and Elizabeth and another short match. Once again, there's managerial involvement and One Man Gang ends up getting disqualified. Not much to talk about here but it did a good job of contributing to Macho's plight as he fights Gang, who's fresh having had a bye in the previous round. Macho goes on to the final to meet Ted DiBiase, who goes through on a bye also.

Demolition vs. Strike Force

Strike Force are a super generic team in white trunks but I still prefer that to the begimped Ax and Smash. This is another mediocre encounter and it's clear that the crowd are exhausted by this point. Far too many short matches on the card, perhaps as a result of the tournament structure, but it's a shame as many of them would have been far better with more time. The finish here involves managerial distraction, a ref bump and a foreign object, and results in NEW tag team champion in Demolition, but it's not a great match.

Next we have the conclusion to the storyline that's kept everyone glued to the show; Bob Eucker gets a kiss for Vanna White, achieving his boyhood dream. He proceeds to stumble over his introductions for the main event, clearly legit shook.

'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase

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Here we go, the title match at last. Andre is in Ted's corner once again, and makes his presence felt throughout. After being tripped and taken advantage of, Macho tells Elizabeth to go fetch Hulk from the back to even up the score.

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It's a bit of a shame that Andre and Hulk are such a focus of the main event, but I suppose it makes sense to give it all the star power it can get. Eventually Macho overcomes the odds when Hulk smacks Ted with a steel chair to give him the advantage. It's fair though, because Gorilla says that Andre did help out Ted a lot. Macho is the new champ! He won the tournament. I always thought that a tournament at 'Mania would be cool but having seen this I've changed my mind. Too many moving parts and not enough finishing off storylines. Tournaments still rule though, just keep them out of WrestleMania.

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Brad JonesComment