Floyd’s Rant for Wrestemania IV
To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to this show for 2 reasons:
1) It’s not really that good.
2) It’s loooonnngggggggggggggggg (~4 hrs.)
This year after Hogan was pinned cleanly by Andre (fuck you Hogan, you lost, the ref counted 3… live with it), Andre gave/sold the World title belt to Ted Dibiase. The WWF wouldn’t allow it so they declared the title vacant and set up a tournament for the title. I thought the tournament was a great idea but unfortunately all the matches were way to short to be any good.
Show opens and Ventura says how excited he is is for this event and how happy he is to be calling the show with Monsoon rather than Vince McMahon (who he always argued with in SNME). Bob Uecker is here! Awesome, let the jokes begin! He gives a glare to Ventura. Ventura responds by silently holding his fist in front of the Uke’s face.
0. 20-Man Battle Royal – Participants: Sika, Danny Davis, The Killer Bees, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, The Rougeau’s, The hart Foundation, The Young Stallions, Ken Patera, Outlaw Ron Bass, Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, Harley Race and George Steele.
Bob Uecker is guest commentator for this match, and he’s pretty hilarious with Ventura. For some reason George “the Animal” Steele starts the match outside the ring and apparently he’s eliminated without even being in the match!?! Maybe he couldn’t take a bump over the ropes ala Iron Sheik in WM 17. Uke says he’s got a date with Vanna White but Ventura says she’s in love with him. It’s weird seeing Ken Patera without blonde/white hair. Final 5: JYD, Harley Race, Bad News Allen, Bret Hart, Paul Roma. Harley takes a 360 bump to be eliminated. Bad News takes care of Roma. Stampede buddies Bad News and Bret Hart team up and after awhile they eventually eliminates JYD. They shake hands and celebrate, looks like their gonna split the win-money and trophy. BUT IT’S A SWERVE!!!! Bad news with a ghetto-blaster to Bret and he dumps him for the win. Bad news receives the trophy and looks pleased until Hart comes back in and smashes the trophy to pieces!! *
I heard this was the beginning of Hart’s singles push, but after discovering they were getting rid of Neidheart, he opted to stay tag teaming for 3 more years. Uke leaves to find Vanna White. After he leaves Ventura says he knows right where she is.
1. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (w/ servant Virgil and Andre the Giant) – Although I’ve never seen one, I’ve heard these two had some tremendous matches in their Mid-South feud. Let’s see how this one turns out. Funny story, Virgil was named that because it was the first name of their competition’s head booker Dusty Rhodes. Years later Virgil went to WCW and was renamed Vincent, after Vince McMahon. There’s also an interesting rumor on how Virgil got his job but I don’t believe it and good taste prevents me from telling it. Dibiase starts slow but then they start brawling and Duggan wins that, DiBiase takes a nasty bump to the outside. Dibiase’s awesome, he gets better every time I see his matches. Back and forth and Dibiase gets the advantage. Duggan gets a sunset-flip and Ventura is amazed that dumb-ass Duggan actually pulled a move like that out of his ass. Ventura: “Only at Wrestlemania can I be amazed….” Eventually Duggan comes back but Andre cheats and knocks Duggan out for the DiBiase pin. Andre earned his $$ from Ted that match. Wow tons better than I remember but still nothing special. *1/2
2. Dino Bravo (w/ manager Frenchy Martin) Vs. “Da Rock” Don Muraco (w/ training-supplements-supplier “Superstar” Billy Graham) – Ha WTF is Muraco’s music from? It sounds like a 60’s Hercules movie theme that Mystery Science Theatre 3000 shows. 2 big dudes here. Muraco makes a few early mistakes but the commentators cover for him nicely. Once again Ventura tries to explain the Dino Bravo bench press record that he “helped” on. Bravo kicks Muraco off into the ropes.. into a freakin’ hangman’s noose!!! Whoa!… Bravo with a piledriver, nice once too! Ref bump!! Bravo hits his finishing move, the ref goes over and…….. it looks like Muraco won by DQ!?! WTF!?!?! Aha I didn’t notice it like the commentators but Bravo used the ref as a shield drawing the DQ. This match was also alot better than I remember too. But still only *
Kickass promo where Jimmy Hart and Honkytonk put down Uke again. Ain’t no love for the Uke tonight?
3. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat – This is a come-back of sort as Steamboat took a long time off from the WWF are being pissed at McMahon. He brings his son to the ring, Ventura says he’s got cheeks bigger than Bundy. This should be a good one. Steamboat starts off fast and gets his trademark arm drags. Lotsa quick pins for 2, with Steamboat reversing all of Valentine’s moves and we’re back on the arm. Ventura says his pal Barry Blaustein (Director of “Beyond The Mat”) thinks Steamboat’s gonna win the tournament. Valentine’s in the driver seat now and lays the hammer down. Monsoon says: “The external proximal protuberance”, Ventura asks: “What the fuck did you just say?” So Monsoon says “that lump on the back of your head”. Donald Trump is ringside. His wife looks thrilled to be there (not). If I was Steamboat or Valentine I’d take a backdrop over the railing on ‘em. Hammer’s beating the crap out of Steamboat. Chopfest! Back and forth action until Steamboat hits a high cross body, which Valentine’s reverses it for the pin and a small upset! Really good match for the short time allocated. *** Steamboat thanks the fans before he leaves. About 9 months later Steamboat is the NWA World Champion and putting on some of the greatest matches of all-time with Ric Flair.
4. :”The Natural” Butch Reed (w/ manager “Da Doctor O’ Style” Slick) Vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage (w/ luggage Elizabeth) – Da Slickster dance! Much like Dynamite Kid and Terry Funk, Slick was ahead of his time baby!
Ventura’s glad (as am I) that McMahon isn’t doing commentary as he’s worse than Jerry Lawler when it comes to Elizabeth. Seriously it’s no wonder Savage used to be super over-protective with her with Vince’s horny-ass hanging around. Savage tries to use his quickness but Reed uses his power to get the edge. Reed takes smack to Elizabeth, enabling Savage to hit the Flair-slam from the top! Quicker than you can blink he’s on the top rope and gets the elbow drop for the win! 1/2*
Back to the Uke with Bobby Heenan & The Islanders. Heenan puts him down. Yet more Uker hate is unleashed on this show
5. The One man gang (w /manger Slick) Vs. “Bam Bam” Bigalow (w/ Lord Oliver Humperfink)– One Man Gang had a nice run in World Class against the Von Erichs (Hope I thinking of the right guy). He went on too become Akeem the Dream. Bam Bam is a incredibly underrated wrestler. I think the only due he got in the U.S. was a brief run in ECW. One Man Gang starts off quick until Bigalow comes back. High cross body by 350+ Bam Bam! Bam Bam goes to the ropes and Slick accidentally slightly touched the ropes and Bigalow went flying out. Bigalow, what a clumsy Ox. Bell rings? Uhhhh.. Count out win by One Man Gang? Hmmmmm.. That would be fine except Bam Bam got back into the ring in ohhh in about 2 seconds??? Ah well whatever, One Man Gang advances. 1/2*
6. “Ravishing” Ric Rude Vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/ drinking buddy “Damian”) – This is a great opening round match because they were startinjg the feud. Rude’s gimmick was kissing women in the audience. Well one time he kissed Roberts wife so Roberts went ballistic. Rude responded by spray painting Jake’s wife ion his tights. Pretty intense and innovative stuff for its day. Ventura says Rude is the winner of the Jesse “the Body” award. Monsoon asks “What about Ultimate Warrior?” Ventura says: ”His face is too ugly. Looks count too..” Rude’s pretty awesome, he started off terrible but every year he got better and better in every facet of wrestling until he was a great bumper and probably WCW’s best heel until his career-ending injury.
Hmmmmm… actually I guess that feud was after this match. Forget everything I wrote..:-) Jake gets the advantage and works da arm. Roberts goes for the DDT and Rude scurries out of the ring. Heenan hugs him. Rude back in and he takes control after a screwed up Robert’s knee drop. Lonnnnngggggggg wear-down sequence, lasting pretty much the entire match. Roberts finally gets out and they trade moves until the bell rings? Time limit draw! That means neither man advances. Nice start and good ending but really boring in the middle. * Jake tries to ram his snake in Rude’s face, but he escape beforehand. Mean gene asks Vanna White’s opinion on Bob Ukear. Vanna White: “Who?”
7. Non-Tournament match: Herculez Hernandez Vs. The Ultimate Warrior – Monsoons says the retard Warrior breaks the 220 record when he runs to the ring. Staredown and although I never see homophopic stuff in wrestling (like a lot of non-fans), I swear I thought Warrior was gonna give Herc an open mouthed kiss. But see queering don’t make the world work. Warrior tries to skin the cat on the ropes, but he ain’t no Steamboat. Both guys brawl outside the ring. Hercules is completely carrying this match. Herc with the full nelson, Warrior in desperation does the Bret Hart/Steve Austin sleeper-escape thingy in the corner and it ends up with Herc shoulder’s down for the 3 count!! Really not much here. ½*
8. Hulk “I won’t job to my best friend Andre cleanly” Hogan Vs. Andre the Giant (w/ bodyguard Virgil and executive consultant Ted DiBiase) – These guys received a bye from the first round because of the SNME controversy. Nice video package of the feud is shown. Anyway for those who don’t know here’s what went down. Andre/Hogan II took place at SNME in early 88. Andre had the Hulkster’s pinned, Hogan got his shoulder up, but the ref counted to 3 and Andre won the title!!!!!!! It seemed the ref was the “evil” twin brother of Earl Hepner, of Dave or I dunno whichever.. Anyway he was paid off and Andre gave the title to Ted Dibiase. GM Jack Tunney said no way and the title was vacated. That SNME match was voted PWI’s Best match of 1988 and although it was a horrendous match quality wise, the sheer markout value of seeing Hogan cry like a bitch (seriously it was hilarious!) in front of the largest TV audience ever for a wrestling match was well worth any awards given to it.
Hogan tries to cheapshot right away but Andre’s too quick for him. For absolutely no reason Hogan starts illegally attacking DiBaise and Virgil, jezz what a role model. Maybe it’s roid-rage and he has to beat up people smaller than him. Andre get’s tied upin the ropes, giving Hogan time to rip off his shirt and pose. Hogan gets some shots in but Andre stops him and starts to choke. Andre with the super slow-mo offense. Finally the “training-enhancers” kick in and Hulkster Hulks up!! He punches Andre in the corner and goes for the slam.. But DiBiase with the chairshot to his back! Hehe money , money, money.. Hogan hits Andre with the chair, Andre grabs it and hits Hogan as well (makes a nice “ding” sound off his skull too!). Bell rings. DOUBLE-DQ!!! Wow that was a HUGE upset for this. Hogan runs after DiBiase and Vigil eats a suplex in the floor from Hogan. A very sloppy, lazy and dangerous suplex too. Both guys are eliminated!! Well Andre certainly earned his money again tonight, he got rid of Hogan and took one for the team. That smart strategist DiBiase, his evil plan is working perfectly I tells yeah! Hogan poses for the fans, which lasts longer than the match. ½*
9. Ted DiBiase (w/ out Virgil) Vs. Don Muraco (w/ “Superstah” Bully Graham) – Muraco starts off fast and tries to get a quick pin to advance. Ventura says he taught former WWF Champ Billy Graham everything he knows. DiBiase reverses a move and Muraco is slingshot into the corner post. Now it’s all Dibiase until he misses a reverse top rope elbow. Back and forth and DiBiase gets a nice hotshot which gives him a clean win. Good match **
10. Randy “Macho man” Savage Vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ manager Jimmy “Da Mouth of the South” Hart). - Dang you know if Steamboat had won, this would’ve been Savage/Steamboat II! All well…Savage starts quick but The Hammer lays the pain down soon. Big chops and Valentine rams Savage into the outside railing. Monsoon says Elizabeth looks worried but I swear every emotion she shows looks exactly the same… boredom.. Valentine goes for his finisher, the Figure-Four, but Savage gets to the ropes. Savage makes a good comeback but the hammer soon stops that. Figure-Four attempt, turned into a small package for a 3 count, Savage wins! Another good round 2 match. **
11. INTER-CONTINENTAL TITLE: The Honkytonk Man (w/ manager Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue) Vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake – An enthusiastic Sherri Martel is Peggy Sue byteway, and is a good dancer too! Interesting story about this match: Honky was set to lose his I-C title to Savage at Wrestlemania 4. Honky somehow convined McMahon/refused-to-job-the-title, so Mcmahon instead put Savage in the World title tournament. For the tragic end to this story read the last match in this review.
One of Brutus’s offensive moves is messing up Honky’s hair. You know I never really got Brutus’s barber gimmick. I mean I’d freak out and run too if a roided-up shirtless psycho was running after me with a pair of hedge-trimmers. But I mean what’s next? A plumber? A garbage man? A… Oh wait…Maybe prima donna Brutus thinks a haircut is the worst thing you an do to a person.… Anyway the match is pretty much all Brutus and eventually he gets the sleeper hold! Honky’s out! But Jimmy Hart knocks out the ref!!!! Hehehehe, that’s pretty smart. Brutus signals for a Honky haircut but Jimmy grabs the bag and runs off until Bruti catches him. He cuts some hair offa him! Peggy Sue throws water on Honky to wake him up, and they all flee the ring, Honky’s the loser but still da champ. * Hey I bet Bad News, Koko and Butch Reed had fun calling Honkytonk man “Honky” in the locker room. :-)
Andre says he doesn’t matter he lost cause Hogan’s out, DiBiase’s in, and that’s all that matters. Andre put his hand on Uke’s shoulder. Uke asks Andre to take his foot off his shoulder please. Andre chokes Uke awhile then leaves.
12. The Islanders (Haku & Tama) & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Vs. The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware (w /managers Matlida the dog and Frankie the bird) – Heenan comes out in an attack-dog uniform to protect himself, pretty smart. I think Heenan dog napped Matlida to set up this feud. And whatever he did to the dog in his house, … stays in his house.. I always thought the Islanders were a good team, with Tama (The Tonga Kid) being a great bumper. But the WWF’s tag division was so deep at this time they were regulated as a B and C team along with other decent teams like the Young Stallions and The Killer Bees. Anyway expect these last few match reviews to be short as I’m getting burned out by this show.. Back and forth action with all the guys minus Heenan. Once AGAIN crippled Dynamite is the face in peril, which makes no sense to me. Heenan gets some cheap shots ala Danny Davis from last year, then bails. Hot tag to Koko and he cleans house until a Haku crescent kick to da jaw. Heenan gets some rib shots on Koko. But Heenan gets posted! Now all 6 guys get in the ring and with some illegal double-teaming, an unconscious Heenan gets the pin on Koko!! Hennan’s undefeated at Wrestlemania!! Davey boy sicks Cujo-like Matlida on Heenan, but the dog just playfully licks him, and you can see Davey boy laughing at it all. *1/2.
13. The One Man Gang (w/ manager Slickstah) Vs. Randy “Macho man” Savage (w/ manager Elizabeth) - One Man Gang got a bye so he’s only wrestled once while Savage has twice. The gang has a huge weight/power advantage. It’s all One man Gang as he kills Savage until Savage with a top rope axe handle. Savage tries to bodyslam Gang, dumb move.. My man Slick gives the bad mouth to Elizabeth, treating her like one of his ho’s who owe him money. One man gang tries to cheat using Slick’s pimp-stick cane, but the ref sees it and DQ’s him! * Gang breaks the cane over Savages head after the match. But Macho gets pay back, dropping an axe handle on gang who splashes poor Slick into a stain on the ring.
14. TAG TEAM TITLES: Strike Force (Chico Santana & Rick Martel) Vs. Demolition (Axe & Smash w/ manager Mr. Fuji) – Demolition started off as a pathetic Road-Warrior’s rip-off, but managed to make their own reputation with their hard work and turned out to be a pretty decent tag team. Demolition proves to be too powerful so Strike Force uses their quickness. Big illegal clothesline give Demolition the advantage and Chico’s getting mauled! Ventura says “I bet Chico wished he was back in Tijuana selling tacos right now”. Classic smart heel wrestling by Demolition. Flying Jalapeno out of nowhere!!!!! Chico makes the hot-tag to Martel who’s a Canadian House O’ fire! He knocks Ax out of the ring and clamps on his dreaded Stan-Hansen Boston Crab on Smash! The ref is busy with Fuji-san and Ax wallops Martel with Fuji’s Cane of Instant Death. 1,2,3 Demolition are the new tag team champs! **1/2
Round 4 – Da Finals
MAIN EVENT TIME!!!!!
World title security guard: Robin Leech (he used to have a show snooping in rich people’s houses)
Front-seat warmer: Donald Trump (Rich dude and adulterer)
Guest announcer and Mr. Baseball: Bob Uker
Guest time-keeper and In Ekcellant spellar: Vanna White
15. WORLD TITLE MATCH: Randy “Macho Man” Savage (w/ manager and lover Elizabeth) Vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ insurance policy Andre the Giant) – Vanna White gives Donald Trump a kiss right in front of his wife. Hehe. Uke gets a kiss too and starts shaking like Hulk Hogan. He’s Hulking up! No wait, he’s fainting… Ted DiBiase got a bye while Savage has fought 3 times so far.
Right off the bat Andre grabs Savage’s leg. Andre does it again, and is pretty good at hiding it. The odds are stacked against Savage!! Savage tries the outside top-rope axe-handle but Andre stands between them. Savage tells Elizabeth it’s too dangerous out here so he sends her to the back. Eventually DiBiase gets the advantage and wears down the already exhausted Savage.. Elizabeth returns with … Hulk Hogan!! Actually I’m pretty sure Elizabeth was going to get George Steele but Hogan laid him out in the back so he could be in another Wrestlemania main event. Andre tries another illegal move but this time Hogan stops him
Meanwhile DiBiase gets the Million-Dollar Dream on!! (Sleeper –hold) It’s over! Ring the bell!! Savage is asleep!! New champ!…………… And then when the ref’s back is turned with Andre, Hogan illegally comes in and waffles DiBiase with the chair!!!!!!!!! DiBiase’s out! Savage goes up, hits the elbow, NEW CHAMP! These guys are perfect opponents but there was no time to have a good match here, plus the emphasis was switched to Hogan/Andre. ** Now here’s the end to the Honkytonk story: since he refused to lose the title, Savage was put into the tournament to win the World title. If Honky had jobbed the title to Savage as originally planned, DiBiase was set to win the World title from Hogan. Instead, because of Honky, DiBiase never became a World Champion.:-(
Thank God this is over. I love seeing these old Wrestlemania’s and all but this show was loooongggg and didn’t have any stand out matches. I’m going to take 2 aspirins and go outside to get some sun.
WM 4 Grade:
Total star rating: 21.5
Total matches: 16
Show Average: *1/2