WWF Wrestlemania 8
It's a DOUBLE MAIN EVENT. IT's WRESTLEMANIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Vince's growl was next level that year, god damn. Welcome to the Hoosier Dome from "beautiful" downtown Indianapolis. Reba McEntire sings the national anthem, because you know, everyone in Indiana listens to country music.
Tito Santana vs Shawn Michaels
Fucking lol at going from the national anthem in a "conservative" state and immediately following it with a Mexican dressed as a Spanish bullfighter with traditional Mexican entrance music. Of course Tito got booed. So did HBK, so we're off to a great start. VLAD THE SUPERFAN IN THE HOUSE! Brain making daylight savings jokes hit too close to home. Tempers flare early on. Tito's experience is causing HBK a lot of trouble. Lots of headlock takeovers in this. HBK gets in control after throwing Tito over the top rope. He hits a superkick shortly after, which was still a transition/set up move to his actual finisher, the Teardrop suplex. Tito hit a slingshot variation of the flying burrito, which was pretty neat as this era didn't really have finisher variations. He hits a normal version, and HBK rolls to the floor, then falls on Tito when being pulled back into the ring for the win. Not even Sherri holding Tito's leg or anything. Odd. "This man's the star of the 90s, Monsoon."
TO THE MEAN GENE. LOD are the guests out on the arena floor. Gene soaks in the reaction for them. With them, for the first time in the WWF, is Precious Paul Ellering. "I have returned!" He came to get even. Which is weird, since no one in the WWF has done anything to him. Animal is very hot at Jimmy Hart. This goes on for a long time for a PPV interview. I'm not sure why this was done on the PPV to begin with.
TO THE MOON. Sean asks Jake Roberts about the rumors of Jake bringing a snake to the ring tonight. We're shown clips of Jake hitting Paul Bearer with the DDT and attacking Taker with a chair on the Funeral Parlor.
Jake Roberts vs The Undertaker
Why the fuck is The Undertaker so over in Indy? The fuck? 1992 Taker was still boring as fuck, and completely unengaging as a character. Jake was very, very tan for this match. Jake is definitely the star here, with his selling and reactions to Taker's complete lack of reaction to anything. This is pretty much entirely Jake throwing punches that Taker no sells, then Taker doing chokes. DDT OUTTA NOWHERE. Taker sits up. How hard is it to be a big dude who doesn't sell or react to anything? Another DDT. Jake takes this time to go fuck with Paul, and Taker ends up tombstoning him on the floor for it. He rolls Jake back in to pin him. The streak is now 2-0. I don't really agree with Taker shrugging off TWO DDTs, even if Jake didn't go for the pin on either of them. That was, arguably, the most protected move in the WWF for the past 7-8 years, and Taker essentially no selling it wasn't even portrayed as something big. It was like, "Of course that didn't do much to him, he's The Undertaker", which is a shitty way to treat something that should have been huge. But such is the shitty ass character of the Undertaker for all those years.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Roddy Piper and Bret Hart are the guests. Piper's grammar is so terrible. Piper gets things too fun and jokey, and Bret ain't having it. It gets very tense between the two former good friends.
Bret Hart vs Roddy Piper WWF Intercontinental Championship
Piper is very serious on his way to the ring. This is no longer a friendly rivalry. Now, this is face against face, but you have these two shoving and spitting at each other. It's fairly back and forth until Bret hurts his shoulder during a dropkick. SWERVE, he was baiting Piper into a small package! Piper slaps the shit out of Bret for it, then pays him back with a cheap shot of his own stopping the match for Bret to tie his boot and then drilling him in the face while he was tying it. And it busts Bret open something fierce. Bret didn't bleed a ton in his career, but every time he did was a memorable mess. Piper sticks to attacking the wound until Bret hits a stiff as shit running forearm. After a ref bump, Piper grabs the ring bell. He's very conflicted about using it. "Use it! Waffle him with it! Remember that old saying 'What the hell, use the bell!'? Give it to me, I'll hit him!" Lol, Brain. The crowd turning on Piper made him decide not to use it. He instead locks on the sleeper. Bret pushes off the turnbuckles and pins Piper. New champion! This is legit dope, and I can't believe how, as a dude with as long of a career as Piper, you can count the amount of good matches he had one one hand (with fingers to spare). Yet this was unequivocally dope. Not dope for a Piper match. It's just a good ass match. Piper helps Bret to the back after the match. A real passing of the torch moment.
TO ATLANTA. Brain introduces us to the next WBF Champion, Lex Luger. That's not Lex's house, unless he's decorated his house like an early 90s budget hotel room. Now, the story here is that Lex couldn't wrestle for the WWF for X amount of months after leaving WCW, so Vince signed him to the WBF to get around that. Lex would do a lot of co-hosting duties for the TV show (BodyStars), but was injured in a motorcycle wreck before he could do any competing. By the time he was ready to come back, the WBF was defunct and he could wrestle for Titan. Lex chugs a glass of milk. It does a body good, you know.
TO THE BACK. The Mountie and Nasty Boys (holy shit what a miserable team) are talking about a tag match when THE REPO MAN also shows up. Fuck. Nasty Boys, Mountie, and Repo Man. FUCK. Elsewhere, Boss Man, Jim Duggan, Virgil, and Sgt. Slaughter cut their own promo. This match makes me sad and it hasn't even happened yet.
Nasty Boys/The Mountie/Repo Man vs Big Boss Man/Jim Duggan/Virgil/Sgt. Slaughter
Man. Fuck. Ray Combs (the worst Family Feud host of all time) is the guest announcer for this, and he makes a bunch of really terrible jokes about the heel team. This is just terrible. Virgil pinned Knobs after Sags accidentally blasted Knobs in the face with Virgil's protective nose guard. Awful.
TO THE MOON. Mr. Perfect is with Ric Flair, and he has a poster of Liz. They're going to show it on the big screens after the match. WHOOOO!
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene is outside of Macho's locker room, but never actually gets any words with him.
Ric Flair vs Randy Savage WWF Championship
Part of the the double main event, the actual title match is not even 90 mins into the show, and Ric Flair (the champion) comes out first. WHOOO! Macho is in probably my favorite of his outfits, all black and gold. I guess until now I didn't realize it might be pandering to Purdue fans, especially since I grew up in an IU family. Macho attacks Ric on the floor, and Perfect throws Savage around. Macho dominates with fists and clotheslines until Ric backdrops him over the top rope. That'd be a DQ in the NWA, god damn it. Was it ever a DQ in any version of Capitol/WWWF/WWF? I don't recall it even in matches from the 1970s. After that backdrop, Ric completely dominates. "Keep your mouth shut, punk!" This is extra weird to me, because I saw the different approach all together that Flair had with the Tenryu match in 1992. He wrestled like it was 1982 in that match. This is very much in line with the Flair Formula. Well, the Flair/Macho formula, as this was basically their blue print for every match they'd have for the rest of the 90s. Besides my favorite match of theirs at GAB 1995, which doesn't follow the formula. Fans are PISSED at an extremely close near fall for Savage. Flair blatantly blades after being knocked into the guardrail. Is there anyone worse at blading than Ric Flair. I legit can't think of a more obvious blader than him. Even Dusty and Austin (both pretty bad at it) weren't as attention drawingly obvious as Ric Flair. It's interesting that the two title matches had blade jobs, since Vince was pretty against it. Piper/Bret insisted it was hardway, but Flair ended up being fined for this match. Perfect breaks up the pin after the flying elbow. Earl Hebner, being the shitty ref he is, somehow completely missed it. Perfect throws an international object to Flair, who decks Macho. But Randy kicks out! "What is going on? WHAT is going on?!" I agree, Brain. This shit stopped making sense a while ago. Perfect drills Macho in the ribs/leg with a chair. This brings Liz out. Dave Hebner and Shane McMahon try to keep her away from ringside, but they do a terrible job of that. Flair being Flair, doesn't start doing leg work until about 15 minutes into the match. Savage fights out of the figure four, while Brain is screaming to see Liz's nude pictures. Small package OUTTA NOWHERE...gets a 2 count. However, a school boy OUTTA NOWHERE gets the win. New champion! I've seen a lot of Savage/Flair matches, and this is probably the most overrated one of them all. There is really no story or flow at all. Post match sees Ric force himself on Liz, only to get slapped by Liz and attacked by Randy. Then Flair/Perfect put the boots to Macho while refs and officials try to keep them separated (while actually clearly holding Randy down so Flair can stomp him).
TO THE MOON. Flair and Perfect throw a fit backstage. Brain also arrives. THERE'S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! RANDY PULLED THE TRUNKS! Ric looks absolutely insane with his poofy hair, crazy eyes, and all the blood.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene is with Randy and Liz. Macho gives zero fucks about cheating to win the match. ZERO FUCKS. This feud is not over. IT'S NOT OVER! Randy gives the title to Liz, but the rest of him belongs to Flair and Perfect.
TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE. At the WM press conferences, Hulk Hogan was named the number one contender to the WWF Championship. HOWEVER, Sid Vicious rightfully called out WWF President Jack Tunney as BOGUS, and soon after turned on Hogan in a tag match against Undertaker/Ric Flair. Then Sid destroyed the Barber Shop, and went on a path of destruction.
TO THE MOON. Sean speaks with Rick Martel, who shits all over the Indians' lack of fashion sense, then makes a scalping joke.
Tatanka vs Rick Martel
Oh, weird. Martel hits a chokeslam. Tatanka won with a crossbody in a boring match. Tatanka just wasn't good. Having seen him on the indies and comparing him to what else was out there, I can see why he was hired, but shit. His gear looked so cheap, too.
TO THE MOON. Money Inc. have the Natural Disasters' number, since Jimmy Hart knows all of their secrets.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Natural Disasters, just two big fat, sweaty dudes with mullets/skullets. Nothing weird about that.
Money Inc. vs Natural Disasters WWF Tag Team Championships
This is terrible. Very, very bad. Typhoon in particular is just brutal in this. And you're in luck, because he's in the ring for most of the match. Money Inc. walked out on the match, but retained the titles.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Brutus Beefcake, one of the "all time greats" in the WWF, is there to support his best friend, Hulk Hogan. This might be Hogan's last match, and he wants Hulk to know he supports him.
Owen Hart vs Skinner
Skinner attacks Owen as soon as he hits the ring. What a prick. Owen kicks out of Skinner's finish and quickly wins with a roll up. Lol. That's pretty much the whole match.
TO THE MEAN GENE. It's SID. SID. SID. And Harvey Whippleman. "NO! SHUT UP YOU FAT, BALD HEADED LITTLE OAF!" Sid is the master, and Hogan is but the learner. We're shown a sit down interview wit Hogan and Vince asking Hulk about the future of his career. Hulk won't know until he leaves the ring if it will be his last match or not. SID DON'T GIVE A DAMN.
Sid Justice vs Hulk Hogan
Can you believe Harvey Whippleman was doing announcements for the "Wrasslemania" main event? In front of 70K people? Sid's music is dope, though. This has one of Hulk's most iconic entrances, which has been used in pretty much every WM, Hogan, or WWF history vid ever since. Sid attacks as Hulk enters the ring. That didn't work for Skinner, dude. Do you think you're better than Skinner? Hulk fights him off, and for some reason, Hogan's music just keeps playing. They're loud as fuck for Hogan, especially considering how the business was dropping off hard at the time. This is your standard ass Hogan main event. There's an extended nerve hold sequence. That kind of says it all. Hogan takes the chokeslam and powerbomb, then HULKS UP. Sid kicks out of the leg drop, although Hulk kind of got up when Harvey got up on the apron. The match is thrown out. Papa Shango then shows up and attacks Hogan. As they double team him, THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR makes the save. They have the most awkward celebration to end the show.
Not a good show. Bret/Piper is great. Savage/Flair is whatever, very overrated in the history of WM and their feud in general. Everything else was passable to dogshit. The plan all along was for Hogan vs Flair for the title to headline the show, but their house show matches were doing disappointing numbers, so it got shelved fairly late into the build up. It wasn't until February or maybe even March before the match was officially changed to Sid/Hogan. Despite going from an arena to a stadium, this show had so much less pageantry and importance than the year before. And far fewer decent matches.
In a lot of ways, this was kind of the start of the New Generation, or at least the beginning of the end of the Golden Era/Hogan Years/Whatever the fuck you call it. Hogan, Piper, and Roberts left the company after this show. Hogan wouldn't return until next year's WM, Piper for 2 years, and Jake for 4. Warrior was gone before Survivor Series. Savage would be mostly benched come 1993, while Bret main evented the next 2 PPVs in 1992 (one with HBK). Sid would also be gone shortly after this show, I think by the end of the month.