Powell's WrestleMania 4 review: 14-man tournament for the vacant WWF Championship, Strike Force vs. Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship, 20-man battle royal

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Powell's WrestleMania 4 review: 14-man tournament for the vacant WWF Championship, Strike Force vs. Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship, 20-man battle royal
2014-04-03 12:31:24

WrestleMania 4 took place on March 27, 1988. This review was written in March 2014. We will post additional reviews of past WrestleMania events in the future.

WrestleMania 4 (March 27, 1988)
Atlantic City, New Jersey at Trump Plaza
Aired on pay-per-view

Powell's POV: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the WWF Title was held up. It all went down during a big angle that played out on NBC. Andre the Giant beat Hulk Hogan in a WrestleMania 3 rematch, but only because of a twin referee angle involving Dave and Earl Hebner. Andre was paid off by Ted DiBiase, so Andre gave The Million Dollar Man the title after he won it. WWE President Jack Tunney stripped DiBiase of the title, and set up the tournament. This show was opposed by the first Clash of Champions event that aired on TBS. The Clash featured Ric Flair vs. Sting and was widely regarded as the superior show.

Gene Okerlund welcomed viewers to WrestleMania 4. He introduced Gladys Knight, who performed "America the Beautiful" as patriotic images were shown on the screen...

Powell's POV: No Pips? Weak. Look them up, kids.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura checked in on commentary as referees brought a large trophy to the ring for the battle royal. Bob Uecker joined the broadcast team and boasted that it was his second year in a row at the event...

1. 20-Man Battle Royal. The participants were The Rougeau Brothers, The Young Stallions, The Hart Foundation, Junk Yard Dog, Sika, Bad News Brown, Danny Davis, The Killer Bees, Sam Houston, Ken Patera, Ron Bass, Harley Race, The Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, and George Steele.

Steele started the match on the outside and was eventually tossed by the refs. After JYD eliminated Race, the final four were JYD, Paul Roma of the Stallions, Brown, and Bret Hart. Roma was eliminated by Brown. Bret grabbed JYD from behind and Brown went for a clothesline, but JYD broke free and Brown clotheslined Hart. Monsoon called it a double cross and Ventura corrected him.

Brown and Hart doubled up on JYD. They got together and Brown whispered a plan into Hart's ear. Ventura said the match might be made for Brown because he's from Harlem and it's like a typical Saturday night. The heels eliminated JYD and the fans booed. Hart and Brown celebrated together, then Brown hit the Ghetto Blaster kick to Hart's head from behind. Brown worked over Hart for a bit and then eliminated him. After the match, Hart attacked Brown and then stomped on the trophy repeatedly...

Bad News Brown won a 20-man battle royal in 10:40.

Powell's POV: Yes, this was the first "get everyone on the show" battle royal. Much like WrestleMania 30, there was a trophy at stake. This one wasn't called the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal only because it would have been awkward since he wasn't dead yet. This was the first step of the Hart Foundation turning babyface. I remember it working with me at the time, but watching it now it made Hart look like a bit of a dope. They were both heels and he was the one gloating when Brown hit him from behind. I don't know what his character thought was going to happen.

Uecker left the broadcast team and said he was going to find Vanna White...

Howard Finkel explained the rules of the WWF Title tournament to the live crowd. Robin Leach was introduced. He read a proclamation for the title tournament and ended it by saying, "I'm Robin Leach and I do know why"...

Powell's POV: White was the co-host of Wheel of Fortune for many years (and probably still is for all I know). Leach was the host of the syndicated show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Leach was spoofed on Saturday Night Live by Dana Carvey with the line "I'm Robin Leach, I'm yelling, and I don't know why" so Leach's closing line was just a play on that.

2. Hacksaw Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil, Andre the Giant) in the first round of the WWF Title tournament. The announcers played up the question of whether Andre, who was working with DiBiase, would give up the title if he won it. Duggan got the better of DiBiase early with clotheslines and punches. Duggan suffered a bloody lip at some point. In the end, Andre tripped Duggan as he was setting up for his finisher, then punched him. DiBiase pinned Duggan moments later...

Ted DiBiase defeated Hacksaw Duggan in 4:45 in to advance in the WWF Title tournament.

Backstage, Gene Okerlund interviewed Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, who cut a promo about this Intercontinental Title match against Honky Tonk Man. Beefcake threatened to cut Hart's hair...

Powell's POV: Awful promo.

3. Don "The Rock" Muraco (w/Superstar Billy Graham) vs. Dino Bravo (w/Frenchie Martin) in the first round of the WWF Title tournament. Muraco performed an awkward move off the second rope in the opening minute and Monsoon had to say he slipped. Bravo performed a nice gut-wrench suplex.

There was a spot later in the match where Muraco was kicked to the ropes and he intentionally hung himself up in the ropes. Bravo performed Muraco's piledriver finisher on him, but Muraco kicked out. Later, the referee was bumped by Muraco after Bravo pulled the referee in front of him. Bravo hit his side suplex finisher and went for the cover, but the referee called or bell...

Don Muraco beat Dino Bravo by DQ in 4:53 to advance in the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: Muraco was much more muscular than in his previous WrestleMania appearances. Two jacked up guys, lots of punching, lots of kicking. The Bravo and Martin act did nothing for me, and I was always disappointed in Bravo's WWF work. The finish didn't really click because the live crowd didn't seem to pick up on Bravo pulling the ref in front of him, which led to them booing when the referee wouldn't make the count for the heel.

Backstage, Uecker spoke about Vanna White. Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart showed up for their promo. "I don't think you're looking for Vanna White at all, I think you're looking for something else down here," Honky said. "You know what I'm talking about?" Honky cut a brief promo about his title match...

4. Greg Valentine vs. Ricky Steamboat in the first round of the WWF Title tournament. Steamboat brought his infant son to the ring with him. Steamboat's then-wife Bonnie showed up at ringside and took baby. Steamboat performed some crowd pleasing offense early, then Valentine took over and set up for the Figure Four, but Steamboat avoided it.

Valentine went for the Figure Four later, but Steamboat reached up and chopped him block it. Steamboat went up top and performed a chop on the way down for a two count. Steamboat slammed Valentine's head into the turnbuckle pad 11 times. The ref stepped between them and Steamboat threw him to the ground for some reason. Steamboat performed his top rope cross body block and Valentine rolled through and held onto the tights for the win...

Greg Valentine defeated Ricky Steamboat in 9:12 to advance in the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: Yes, the baby grew up to work in WWE developmental as Richie Steamboat. There was something about seeing Steamboat bring his son to the ring that didn't click with me even as a 15 year-old fan. It felt like his character was in happy dad mode rather than focussed on winning the title, which took me out of the moment. The match itself was the best of the show thus far, which isn't saying much, but I still enjoyed it. Steamboat was on his way out of the company. Ventura worked in a Barry Blaustein mention for the second consecutive WrestleMania. As noted in the WrestleMania 3 review, years later Blaustein released the pro wrestling documentary "Beyond the Mat."

A shot aired of Donald Trump sitting in the crowd. His hair was an f'n disaster even back in these days...

Backstage, Gene Okerlund interviewed The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware. Okerlund noted that Matilda the pet bulldog was back with the Bulldogs after being kidnapped by the Islanders. The Bulldogs said she went through special weasel training. Koko delivered a gospel preacher style promo...

5. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed (w/Slick) in a first round WWF Title tournament match. Monsoon and Ventura noted that the winner of this match would face Valentine in the second round.

Randy Savage defeated Butch Reed to advance in the WWF Title tournament in 5:07. Reed got some offense in. Late in the match, he jawed at Elizabeth, but Savage caught him on the top rope and slammed him to the mat. Savage followed up with the top rope elbow drop for the win. Ventura tries to play it off as if Elizabeth distracted Reed by possible "showing a little leg or whatever"...

Powell's POV: Wait, they deprived viewers of a Savage vs. Steamboat rematch at WrestleMania?!? Okay, so babyfaces didn't really work against babyfaces in this era of the WWF and Steamboat was leaving the company, but it does seem crazy in retrospect. The match was nothing special, but it was fun to see the crowd come to life for Savage's finisher.

Backstage, Uecker continued to obsess over Vanna White. Bobby Heenan and The Islanders entered the pictured for an interview...

Powell's POV: The Islanders were Haku and Tama (a/k/a Sam Fatu). Tama previously wrestled as the babyface Tonga Kid character.

6. One Man Gang (w/Slick) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) in a WWF Title tournament match. Bigelow was on a roll late when he ran the ropes and Slick pulled the top rope down, causing Bigelow to tumble to the floor. Bigelow fought Gang from the ring apron and was counted out...

One Man Gang beat Bam Bam Bigelow in 2:56 to advance in the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: Humperdink was brought in as a replacement for Captain Lou Albano. He was a good heel manager, but he never caught on in this role in the WWF. The finish of the match was really cheesy. In addition to being cheap and unsatisfying, it didn't even make sense. Shouldn't the referee have stopped his count since Gang was preventing Bigelow from getting back inside the ring? Maybe he realized how awful the matchup was and decided to spare us all.

Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Hulk Hogan, who said he was going to prove that he could beat Andre the Giant any place, any time. Hogan spoke about slamming Andre causing the fault line to break off. He said Andre and his next two opponents would fall into the ocean along with Donald Trump and all of the Hulkamaniacs. He said Trump will known enough to hang on to the top of Trump Plaza while holding his family in one arm. He said if Trump is a Hulkamaniac and can dog paddle to safety. Hogan then said that if Trump and the Hulkamaniacs run out of gas, they can climb onto his back and he will dog paddle them to safety. Hogan then did a simulated backstroke as he backed out of the camera view...

Powell's POV: What the fuck?

7. Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jake Roberts in a first round WWF Title tournament match. Rude did his usual pre-match male stripper schtick. About halfway through, the announcers telegraphed the finish by pointing out that the tournament matches had 15-minute time limits. Rude worked a long chin lock spot that went on so long that it drew some boring taunts from the crowd.

The chin lock spot finally concluded and Roberts worked in some of his signature offense. Jake went for the DDT, but Rude pushed him back into the corner to avoid it. Jake went right back on the offensive, but he was cut off with a suplex. The announcers brought up the time limit again. Monsoon admitted he had no clue how much time was left. In the end, Rude covered Roberts and put his feet on the ropes. The referee spotted the leverage spot and the bell rang for the time limit. Roberts chased off Rude with the snake. Ventura noted that with both Rude and Roberts out, One Man Gang got a pass to the semifinals...

Rick Rude fought Jake Roberts to a 15:00 draw.

Powell's POV: A disappointing match. I saw these guys work in person back in this era and their house show match was better. They kept the crowd engaged for the most part (aside from the boring taunts), but Monsoon and Ventura didn't do them any favors by bringing up the time limit. They really should have brought up the time limit more in the previous matches, and the match should have been laid out for more to happen as time was running out. The match was laid out poorly. I guess they thought the live crowd would be happy that Roode didn't get the win when he tried to use the ropes for leverage. It didn't help that the fans weren't even rewarded with a post match spot with Roberts putting Damien on Rude.

Backstage, Okerlund brought in Vanna White and they spoke about the tournament brackets. White offered her picks. Hogan and Andre had first-round byes and were slated to meet in the second round of the tournament...

8. Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules (w/Bobby Heenan). Warrior no-sold a punch over the referee in the corner and two clotheslines before Hercules finally took him down with a third clothesline. Warrior came right back. Monsoon noted that Heenan was digging in his pocket, but nothing came of it. Warrior hit ten punches on Hercules while standing on the second rope, but Hercules came out and slammed Warrior down on his knee.

Warrior charged at Hercules in the corner and Hercules moved. Hercules put Warrior in his Full Nelson finisher. Monsoon noted that Hercules didn't have his fingers locked. Warrior used his feet to push out off the top rope. He fell onto Hercules and the referee counted the pin. Hercules stood up acting like he won, but the referee awarded the match to Warrior. Hercules grabbed the big chain he wore to the ring and tried to choke Warrior, but Warrior blocked it and swung the chain around as Hercules headed backstage...

Ultimate Warrior defeated Hercules in 4:29.

Powell's POV: The program between Warrior and Hercules started roughly a month earlier, so they weren't ready to give the decisive payoff in this match, which explains why Warrior didn't go over strong.

A video package recapped the Hogan and Andre history from the year before, Ted DiBiase saying he would buy the WWF Championship, Hogan refusing to sell the title belt, Andre choking out Hogan on Saturday Night's Main Event, Andre vowing to deliver the "World World Wrestling Federation" title belt to him, and then the legendary Double Dave finish on "The Main Event" NBC special. The finish of the match was the referee counting to three even though Hogan had his shoulder up, and then it was revealed that longtime referee Dave Hebner's clone (twin brother Earl Hebner) actually counted the pin...

9. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (w/Ted DiBiase, Virgil) in a second round WWF Title tournament match. Big pop for Hogan, who was attacked by Andre as soon as he entered the ring. Andre threw punches, chops, and headbutts at Hogan. Hulk came back with running forearms. DiBiase stood on the apron and Hogan went after him, then rammed Andre's head into DiBiase's head.

Andre got tied up in the ropes. Hogan tore off his t-shirt and played to the crowd while DiBiase and Virgil got Andre loose. Hogan ran the ropes and threw punches at Andre, who eventually fell to one knee and eventually to the crowd. Andre came back by grabbing Hogan by the throat and choking him. Andre kicked at Hogan and then sat down on him, which drew a gasp from the crowd.

Andre choked Hogan and eventually wrapped his arm around Hogan's neck and forced him down to one knee. Referee Joey Marella (Gorilla Monsoon's son) checked Hogan's arm. As always, Hogan's arm fell twice and he stopped it the third time. Hogan fired punches at the head of Andre, then clotheslined him into the corner. Hogan motioned fo the slam.

Virgil stood up on the ring apron. Hogan went for a slam, but DiBiase entered the ring and struck him with a chair while the referee was distracted. Hogan got the chair and hit Andre with it. Andre returned fire moments later. Hogan hit Andre with the chair again. The bell rang at some point. Hogan went after DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase shoved Virgil at Hogan and then ran to the back. Hogan suplexed Virgil in the aisle.

Monsoon announced that Hogan and Andre had both been disqualified. Hogan slammed Andre. Ventura pointed out that it didn't matter because they were both eliminated from the tournament. Ventura added that the winner of DiBiase vs. Muraco would get a bye into the finals of the tournament. Hogan did his pose routine. Ventura asked why Hogan was posing when he was eliminated. Ventura questioned whether DiBiase was using Andre to eliminate Hogan. Monsoon no-sold the theory and said he didn't buy it...

Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant fought to a double DQ in 5:22.

Powell's POV: The magic of the Hogan vs. Andre match at WrestleMania 3 was gone. It still meant something to the live crowd, but it just wasn't nearly as hot a year later. Hogan had cooled off and the thrill of seeing Hogan vs. the supposedly undefeated Andre in what was billed as their first match (even though it was not) couldn't be replicated. I got a kick out of Ventura continuing to mock Hogan for posing even though he lost out on his chance to regain the championship. Funny stuff.

Backstage, Okerlund interviewed Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Savage said Hogan is a defeated man, not a cheated man. Savage spoke about having the blessing of Hogan and how one half of the Mega Powers was going to take it all. Okerlund asked if Savage would take it all. "I believe he is," she shyly responded...

10. Don Muraco (w/Billy Graham) vs. Ted DiBiase in the second round of the WWF Title tournament. Virgil didn't come out with DiBiase because he was selling the Hogan suplex. DiBiase jawed with Graham on the floor. Muraco reached over and pulled DiBiase into the ring. Muraco worked over DiBiase for the first few minutes of the match.

DiBiase came back and was on the offensive for a couple minutes, but he went for a reverse elbow drop off the second rope only to have Muraco move. Muraco worked over DiBiase with punches and a clothesline. DiBiase end up catching Muraco running the ropes and hot-shotted him on the top rope and then pinned him...

Ted DiBiase pinned Don Muraco in 5:44 to advance to the finals of the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: DiBiase really shined here. Muraco didn't seem to be interested or able to much more than punch and kick, but DiBiase bumped all over for him and his unique offense stood out in these days. In fairness to Muraco, he was a really good heel, but I never thought his in-ring work clicked as a babyface.

At the interview set, Uecker spoke more about looking for Vanna White. Demolition and Mr. Fuji showed up and cut a promo about their tag title match...

Powell's POV: Bill Eadie (Ax) and Barry Darsow (Smash) were good workers and their act was over, but I grew up on the Road Warriors and always resented this WWF knockoff act. As a 15 year-old kid, the Warriors looked like badasses, while Demolition looked like older guys wearing weird outfits that I would later compare to freaky S&M gear. I'm pretty sure Fuji's cane had a secret compartment for sex toys. No? That said, I'm surprised that the duo have not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame because they were a successful act even if they were impostors.

Howard Finkel announced that One Man Gang had a bye to go to the semifinals of the tournament due to the Rude vs. Roberts draw. Gang and Slick celebrated in the ring briefly...

11. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) in the second-round of the WWF Title tournament. Savage sold for Valentine early on. Valentine targeted Savage's knee. Savage came back aggressively and hit a double ax-handle. Valentine benefitted from a Hart distraction, but when he went for the Figure Four, Savage caught him countered into a small package for the win...

Randy Savage pinned Greg Valentine in 6:06 to advance in the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: A rare moment of good booking in the title tournament. Savage needed to take some punishment before getting the win. He never looked truly vulnerable in this match and I think everyone in the building could see the finals coming a mile away, but it helped the story they were telling that Savage took some abuse in this match.

Okerlund and Vanna White spoke in front of the tournament bracket...

12. The Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart, Peggy Sue) vs. Brutus Beefcake for the Intercontinental Title. Peggy Sue was Sherri Martel. Ventura said hello to Terri, Tyrell, and Jade (his family). Late in the match, Honky went for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll finisher, but Beefcake held onto the ropes.

Brutus backdropped Honky, kicked him a couple times, and then applied the sleeper. Hart hit the referee with the megaphone for the DQ. Like a dope, Beefcake celebrated as if he won for a moment. Once he realized what happened, Beefcake signaled that he was going to cut Honky's hair. Hart tried to run off with Beefcake's bag of scissors, but Beefcake caught him and cut some of his hair off. Peggy woke up Honky with cold water so he could avoid having his hair cut...

Brutus Beefcake beat Honky Tonk Man by DQ in 6:00.

Powell's POV: Sherri's identity was hardly a secret as she had worked as Sherri Martel in the company prior to putting on the wig and shades and acting Hogan's girlfriend. The match was rough, but the fans enjoyed Beefcake's schtick and Honky bumped more in that match that he has in his last 2,000 indy matches combined. God bless him.

Backstage, Uecker expressed concern over not being able to find Vanna White. Andre showed up and boasted that DiBiase paid him to keep Hogan out of the tournament. Andre said Hulkamania was over and he laughed. Uecker told Andre to get his foot off his shoulder. Andre grabbed Uecker with both hands around the neck and Uecker sold it in an over the top manner...

Powell's POV: The clip of Andre choking Uecker has been shown a million times since then on WWE television.

13. The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware vs. The Islanders and Bobby Heenan. The Bulldogs brought their bulldog mascot Matilda to the ring. Heenan wore protective gear to protect him from Matilda. Funny. The dog chased Heenan out of the ring. Koko had his parrot Frankie on his perch at ringside. The Islanders and the Bulldogs did the early work and the crowd was into fast paced action.

Heenan checked in when his opponents were weary and tagged out when they showed signs of life. In the end, the Islanders picked up Heenan and dropped him onto Koko with a splash for the win. Afterward, Davey Boy Smith had Matilda chase after Heenan. The cameraman fell down while running after them. Davey picked up the confused dog and put her on top of Heenan at one point...

The Islanders and Bobby Heenan beat The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware in 7:30.

Ring announcer Howard Finkel introduced Jesse Ventura, who stood up and posed for the crowd on a platform next to the broadcast both. The crowd cheered for Jesse as he hammed it up with poses and then blew kisses. He told Monsoon he doesn't have to take a backseat to Hogan in posing. He said the crowd was so loud he might have to come out of retirement...

It was announced that Ted DiBiase had a bye into the finals of the tournament...

14. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. One Man Gang (w/Slick) in the semifinals of the WWE Title tournament. Savage wore his third different ring gear of the night and Elizabeth wore her third different dress. It was all Gang early, but Savage avoided a corner splash. Savage followed up with a double ax-handle off the top rope and onto Gang on the floor. Slick rolled Gang back inside the ring.

Gang came back by lifting Savage into the air by the throat. Slick harassed Elizabeth. Gang ended up with Slick's cane and slammed it over Savage's back, which the ref missed. Gang slammed the cane at Savage a few times, but Savage rolled out of the way each time. Still, the referee disqualified One Man Gang. After the match, Savage performed a double ax-handle off the top onto both Gang and Slick...

Randy Savage defeated One Man Gang by DQ in 4:05 to advance to the finals of the WWF Title tournament.

Powell's POV: This is one of the strangest tournaments ever booked. Maybe Vince McMahon has flashbacks to how awful this tournament was whenever someone brings up the idea of bringing back the King of the Ring tournament. Savage essentially slides into the finals, didn't take any real punishment here, nor did he gain any momentum. Awful.

15. Strike Force vs. Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Strike Force was Rick Martel and Tito Santana. Neither team got a very good reaction, possibly because the crowd was worn out by the lengthy and lousy card. Late in the match, Martel had Smash caught in a Boston Crab. The referee got caught up getting Tito out of the ring. Santana punched Fuji and he dropped his cane, then Ax hit Martel with the cane. Smash covered Santana and the referee, who was bumped for some reason, recovered and made the three count...

Demolition defeated Strike Force in 12:33 to win the WWF Tag Team Titles.

Powell's POV: You had to know a title change was coming when Strike Force didn't get any promo time during the show and was barely even mentioned prior to this match. WrestleMania 4 had to set a record for most cane shots or at least most attempted cane shots.

Howard Finkel introduced the celebrities Robin Leach carries the WWF Championship out and let fans touch it as he walked by them. Bob Uecker made his entrance to serve as the ring announcer. He introduced Vanna White as the guest timekeeper. She made her entrance and then walked over and greeted Trump. Uecker hammed it up while walking her around the ring and then when she kissed him on the cheek. Uecker read from a sheet of paper while introducing the main event...

16. Ted DiBiase (w/Andre the Giant) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) for the vacant WWF Title. Andre tripped Savage as he was bouncing off the ropes early. The fans immediately called for Hulk Hogan and looked to the entrance area, but Hogan didn't come out. Andre tripped Savage again. DiBiase tried to drop an elbow on Savage, but he avoided it and immediately pointed at Andre.

After DiBiase had a run of offense, Savage took control and sent DiBiase to the floor. Savage went up top for a move, but Andre stood in the way. Savage gave Elizabeth orders and she ran to the back. The fans changed for Hogan. Elizabeth returned with Hogan as the match continued in the ring. Hogan grabbed a chair and set it in Savage's corner and took a seat.

As DiBiase distracted the referee, Andre reached through the ropes and pulled Savage toward him. Hogan ran over and punched Andre. Hogan went back to his corner and watched intently and shouted support for Savage. A short time later, Savage went for his top rope elbow finisher, but DiBiase avoided it.

DiBiase applied the sleeper. The referee got caught up bickering with Andre. Hogan snuck inside the ring and hit DiBiase with a chair to break up the pin. Savage went to the top rope and hit his elbow drop to win the match an become the WWF Champion. Afterward, Hogan, Savage, and Elizabeth celebrated. Savage put Elizabeth on his shoulders and Hogan gave her the belt. Savage and Hogan shook hands and the WWE Network version of the show cut out quickly...

Randy Savage defeated Ted DiBiase to win the WWF Title in 9:27.

Powell's POV: WrestleMania 4 was really bad. If you're a certain age then you may have magical memories of how great it was when Randy Savage won the title for the first time, but this was just a bad show and a horribly booked and overly complicated title tournament. WrestleMania 2 was bad, but not this bad. It was a huge step back from the Silver Dome to Trump Plaza, and it didn't help that Trump sat in the front row seemingly with a stick up his ass most of the time.

I remember watching this show live with my friends and being excited about the tournament, yet losing interest and flipping over to the Clash of Champions show way more than we intended when the night started. It's amazing I continued to watch wrestling after this lousy show. It was billed as a four-hour extravaganza and the WWE Network version an a little over three and a half hours. I'm not complaining, nor would I have complained if the show had run under the three hour mark despite the four-hour advertising.

That's not to say the main event was bad. It wasn't the great match that Savage and DiBiase could have had and it was a bit much that Hogan's chair shot played such a big part in the finish, but it felt like a moment when Savage won. The fans were definitely into the idea of Hogan getting involved in the match, and his endorsement of Savage was huge at the time. The post match scene with Savage putting Elizabeth on his shoulders while she held the belt is a timeless shot. A happy ending to an otherwise disappointing event.




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02/08 Prowrestling.net All Access Daily Podcast - Daniel Bryan announces his retirement, ROH production upgrades and new television possibilities

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