Somewhat Dangerous Game

Scott–

I was wondering if you knew what the dirtsheet/proto-smark scuttlebutt was during the run-up to Wrestlemania IV. Was Savage coming out on top the plan from the get-go, or was that the Golden Era equivalent of a swerve?

​You must be new here, because this is a REALLY famous story. Ted Dibiase was the original choice to win the tournament and in fact the bracketing was initially set up to put him over in the finals, but about a week after the initial tournament was announced they rearranged it to make Savage the heavy favorite instead. Original plans would have seen Savage beat Honky Tonk Man at The Main Event to win the IC title, but Honky wouldn’t do the job on that show and threatened to walk with the title, so Vince rearranged plans and gave Savage the big belt instead after initially promising it to Dibiase.

The Observer said outright that Savage was winning weeks beforehand, so it was no big secret at that point. The issue where the tournament was announced was one of my favorite Dave-isms from the old Observers, in that he does a full issue of stuff and then quickly scrawls "Tournament for the WWF title announced" in pen at the very end to make deadline. ​