WWF WrestleMania VIII

April 5, 1992

From the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, IN

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan

 

Reba McIntyre starts off by singing the Star Spangled Banner.

 

El Matador vs. Shawn Michaels w/ Sensational Sherri

Gorilla notes how Shawn has already challenged the winner of the Intercontinental Title match. Shawn gets in Matador’s face and pokes his chest but ends up getting hit. Matador ducks a clothesline and comes back with a crossbody that gets two. Matador hits Shawn again then works a side headlock before sending Shawn outside with a clothesline. Matador brings Shawn back inside with another headlock. Shawn cheap shots Matador after a break in the corner then fires away. Shawn floats over in the corner and hits more punches but tries it again and Matador was ready. Matador grabs another headlock and works that on the mat for a while. Matador almost puts Shawn away with a small package then goes back to the headlock as we are off to an electrifying start. Shawn sidesteps Matador and tosses him outside then takes a breather. Back inside, Shawn hits a backbreaker for two then uses a chinlock. The crowd gets behind Matador as he escapes but Shawn catches him with a super kick with Sherri screaming for a pin. Matador blocks a teardrop suplex attempt but ducks his head for a back drop and is kicked in the face. Matador comes back with a flying forearm that knocks Shawn outside then heads out and rams him into the steps. Matador rolls Shawn for a slingshot shoulder block then Shawn starts bumping around all over the place. Matador hits the El Paso de Muerte but Shawn rolls outside. Matador then tries to bring Shawn in from the apron with a slam but Shawn grabs the ropes then falls on top and gets the win in an awkward spot as Heenan claims Matador hit his head off of the mat on the way down (10:37) **.

Thoughts: Given the talent involved this was a disappointing match. It was wrestled like a basic house show match (slow-paced until the final minutes) but the finish was lame to begin with and the execution was terrible. With Shawn being billed as the #1 contender to the Intercontinental Title he was not going to lose, especially to a directionless gimmick like El Matador.

 

Gorilla plugs the WrestleMania Hotline.

 

Gene Okerlund brings out the Legion of Doom and making his WWF debut, Paul Ellering. It barely gets a reaction. We hear from Ellering saying that he has returned and was the man who brought the LoD together and made them the greatest team of all-time. Ellering then says its the beginning of the end as he has come to get even. The LoD then call out Jimmy Hart & Money Inc. and that they are now scarier than ever with Ellering. The company squandered a lot of things with the LoD and bringing back Ellering was a way to salvage the act. This promo though went on forever and was not particularly good to begin with and babyface managers have a poor track record in the WWF and a heel turn seemed unlikely since there was a serious lack of babyface teams.

 

Sean Mooney is backstage with Jake Roberts. He asks Jake about the rumors he will bring out a snake to the ring. We then see clips of the Undertaker/Jake feud as Jake says its not always the biggest man that wins and promises this is all foreplay until he hits the DDT. We end with a closeup on Jake’s face as he possesses quite the evil look.

 

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer

Jake punches away but it does not have any effect. He sends Undertaker over the top rope but Undertaker lands on his feet then pulls Jake outside. Undertaker beats on Jake but is caught with a knee smash as he returns to the ring. Jake lands more punches but fails to Irish whip Undertaker out of the corner. Undertaker chokes out Jake after whipping him into the corner. We get more choking from Undertaker then he hits an elbow drop. Undertaker hits a flying clothesline but soon after that Jake surprises him with a DDT as the crowd cheers. However, the Undertaker sits up and the crowd cheers louder. Jake hits a short-arm clothesline but Undertaker sits up again. Jake hits another DDT then goes after Bearer but Undertaker sits up again and heads out to hit a tombstone on the floor then rolls Jake back inside and covers for the win (6:41) *.

Thoughts: This was built up a lot on TV but really was not any good at all. Undertaker got the dominant win after a tombstone to the floor but the real story was what took place backstage. Jake quit stating he was promised a position as booker then passed over when the company fired Pat Patterson & Terry Garvin. Bret Hart said that he was told by the company prior to WrestleMania that he would be feuding with Jake Roberts after WrestleMania and beating him at SummerSlam but that all changed.

 

Okerlund is now backstage with both Roddy Piper and Bret Hart. Piper once again tells Bret how much he loves his family and that he remembers Bret as a little baby. However, Bret is less than impressed. Piper then tells Bret that he wants to be a hero and a hotshot but Bret says all he cares about his winning back the belt. Bret touches the belt but Piper shoves him back and they get face-to-face.

 

WWF Intercontinental Title: Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Roddy Piper (c)

Piper takes Bret down with an arm drag to start but Bret returns the favor. Bret then runs Piper outside as Piper is furious. Piper spits at Bret after getting shoved then they work a test-of-strength. Bret works the arm as the announcers talk about the upcoming European tour. Bret dropkicks Piper but hurts his shoulder on the landing. Piper looks over with concern but Bret takes him down with a small package for two. Piper then slaps Bret then they lock up once again. Bret tries a crossbody but his momentum takes both men outside in a messy spot. Piper then invites Bret back into the ring then cheap shots him once he gets inside. Piper beats down Bret then hits a running bulldog from the corner but Bret kicks out at two as Bret is now busted open. Piper bites Bret’s forehead then slaps him around before using a knee lift for another nearfall. Bret comes back with a sunset flip that gets two but Piper gets up swinging. Piper covers but Bret kicks out again then Bret starts fighting back and sends Piper through the ropes with a flying forearm. Piper returns then we get a double clothesline as both men are down. Piper is up first then heads up top but Bret knocks him down and takes him off with a facebuster. Bret uses a snap suplex then gets a few other nearfalls before trying for the Sharpshooter. Piper grabs Bret’s foot but Bret stomps Piper and comes off the middle rope with an elbow drop but eats boot as both men are down. They slug it out from their knees then Piper accidentally shoves Bret into the referee. Piper send Bret outside with a clothesline and heads out to ram him into the steps. Piper now grabs the ring bell and heads inside as the ref is still out. Piper is about to hit Bret but has second thoughts as he sees Bret with blood covering his face. Piper tosses the belt aside and catches Bret in a sleeper as the ref finally gets up. Bret then pushes his feet off of the turnbuckle and goes on top of Piper and gets the win (13:50) ****1/4. After the match, Piper puts the belt over Bret’s shoulder then pulls him up and puts the belt across his waist.

Thoughts: For my money this was the best match on the show. They told a great story and the work was tight minus one spot at the beginning. And Bret said that Piper laid out the match to him and it was the same match he wanted to work. Piper also told Bret that adding “color” who enhance the match so Bret said he bladed and no one knew then the two had a pull-apart backstage to make people think it was hard way.

 

We are now shown Lex Luger at hone via satelitte. Lex said he is watching the show and puts over Heenan’s broadcast skills but cannot say the same for the “fat guy” sitting next to him. Luger then talks about the WBF and puts over some of the competitors but that they all pale in comparison to himself. Heenan then wants to see a preview but Luger said he is usually modest but takes off his shirt and shows his body and a WBF tank top and holy shit is he jacked. Luger then speaks about nutrition and has a girl in a WBF shirt give him a glass of milk. Luger did a great job coming off as a conceited bodybuilder

 

The competitors of the eight man tag match hype up the match. Ray Combs then introduces the competitors of the next match as he insults the heels.

 

The Mountie & Nasty Boys w/ Jimmy Hart & Repo Man vs. Big Bossman & Virgil & Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter

The match starts with the faces attacking the heels after the heels went after Combs. Heenan plugs the WWF vs. WBF Family Feud show on May 11th. The crowd chants USA as the heels have been cleared from the ring. Heenan then announces that Shawn Michaels has left the building as Duggan gets the crowd behind him. Duggan clotheslines Sags a few times and hits an atomic drop. Slaughter tags in but gets poked in the eye. Knobbs beats on Slaughter in the corner but Slaughter comes back with a clothesline and a gutbuster. Bossman tags in and beats on Knobbs until he misses a charge in the corner. Repo Man targets the back but accidentally crotches himself on Bossman’s fist. Virgil tags in and he dropkicks Repo Man then hits a crossbody for two. Mountie attacks Virgil from behind. The heels cut off the ring as Heenan shits on the state of Indiana. Mountie comes off of the top but Bossman was there to catch him then the match breaks down with Sags accidentally decking Knobbs with Virgil’s face protector then Virgil covers for the win (6:31) 1/2*.

Thoughts: A unneeded match on the card and the execution stunk. Just a way to get people on the card.

 

Mooney is backstage with Mr. Perfect & Ric Flair. Perfect holds up the centerfold of Elizabeth but we only see the back. Flair tells Randy Savage that after taking the worst beating of his life he should look up to the big screen to see the centerfold. Flair then tells Elizabeth she will have one last shot at Space Mountain.

 

Okerlund is outside of Savage’s dressing room but says Savage is not granting interviews at this time. Okerlund says he could either be preparing for the match or dealing with the fact this centerfold could be displayed.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Ric Flair (c) w/ Mr. Perfect vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Savage runs to the ring as Flair bails. Savage then chases Flair up the aisle and beats him down. Perfect grabs Savage from behind and throws him down. Savage chases Perfect around then gets into the ring as Flair hits a chop. Savage comes back with a clothesline then fires away in the corner. Savage counters an inverted atomic drop then hits a clothesline. Savage gets two with a back elbow smash then grabs Flair by the face. Flair is able to send Savage over the top rope with a back drop then he rolls outside and drives Savage’s back into the apron. Back inside, Flair stomps away. Flair then hits a delayed vertical suplex for a two count as Heenan accuses referee Earl Hebner for a slow count. Flair once again beats on Savage outside of the ring as Heenan cracks jokes about Elizabeth. Flair suplexes Savage back inside and gets two. Flair stomps away in the corner but Savage fights back. Savage hits a neckbreaker as both men are down. Savage is up and fires away but Flair thumbs him in the eye. Savage then tosses Flair off of the top rope as we now see Flair begging for mercy. Savage runs wild then almost puts Flair away after clotheslining him in midair in a spot that Savage mistimed. Flair is clotheslined outside then Savage flies out with a double axe handle. Savage runs Flair into the post as Flair is busted open with Heenan concerned. Savage suplexes Flair on the floor then brings him inside and hammers away. Savage heads up top for another flying double axe handle but that only gets two. Savage then heads up top and hits a flying elbow drop but Perfect pulls Savage outside. Savage chases Perfect around and into the ring but the ref steps in between. The ref accidentally goes down but Perfect was able to toss something from his pocket and give it to Flair. Savage tries to pick up Flair but gets nailed then Flair gives the object back and covers but Savage just barely kicks out. Flair’s forehead is covered in blood then he fires away. Flair distracts the ref and that allows Perfect to hit Savage with a chair. Elizabeth now heads down to the ring despite the objection of a few officials. Flair targets the leg to set up for the figure four. Flair puts on the hold as Elizabeth refuses to leave despite being surrounded by several officials as Heenan screams for the pictures to be shown. Savage tries to turn over the figure four but Perfect holds Flair’s hand. The ref kicks away Perfect’s hand as the hold breaks. Savage uses a small package for two but Flair goes back to attacking the leg. Flair then tells Elizabeth this is for her as he chops away on Savage. Flair hits a shinbreaker and holds on to the leg but Savage blocks anything else from happening and spins Flair around and uses a rollup for the win (18:01) ****. After the match, Flair kisses Elizabeth on the lips. Elizabeth then slaps Flair then Savage beats the crap out of him too. Flair gets up and lands more shots as Savage was surrounded by officials. The officials and Flair & Perfect finally leave the ring as Savage celebrates with Elizabeth.

Thoughts: The match was excellent but too much interference from Perfect and Elizabeth running down to ringside and what followed kept it from being a classic. And Savage was not as crisp as usual. He work was a step below where it had been for big PPV matches. The build up to this centerfold never had a payoff either but the end made it clear that this feud is far from over. Flair himself talked about Savage wanting him to come down to Florida to practice the match and how both Savage and Elizabeth told him separately about their relationship being on the rocks. Flair also said that Vince pulled him aside after the match and told him he does something stupid every time he is close to greatness in referencing the blade job. Odd, as Bret said that Flair was fined for blading in his match. I do have to say I liked Bret vs. Piper a tiny bit more than this match.

 

Backstage, Mooney is with Flair and Perfect. Flair still has blood in his hair. Perfect accuses Savage of holding the trunks then Heenan comes in and confirms. Flair then says one loss means nothing and wants to see Savage do it again as Perfect does commentary on the replay as we see Savage in fact hold the trunks. Flair then says again that they will regroup together and tells Savage it might not be tomorrow or the day after but he will beat him bad then kiss his old lady. Great, pissed off promo by Flair.

 

Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Savage, who is still limping. Savage is asked about the win as Savage said the belt is what makes him tick and he took that piece from him but still has not been beat up properly and wants the whole package. Savage is then asked if he is vindicated. Savage gives the belt to Elizabeth and says its her’s before ordering her to leave then Savage rips his shirt and says this is for Flair & Perfect.

 

The five minute intermission is now.

 

Video package on the Sid/Hogan feud.

 

We now see Indians dancing in the ring. They are from Tatanka’s own tribe. After that we see Mooney interview Rick Martel as Martel calls out the Indians for not having any class and says Tatanka is out there “scalping” tickets.

 

“The Model” Rick Martel vs. Tatanka

Martel beats on Tatanka in the corner to start. Tatanka then catches Martel with an hip toss and a pair of slams before Martel bails. Gorilla yells at Heenan for being a liar over not being upset about Flair. Both men go back-and-forth then Tatanka works the arm. Martel tosses Tatanka outside then works the back. Martel heads up top but Tatanka knocks him off then hits a few chops. Tatanka runs wild then soon after that hits a crossbody for the win (4:31) *1/2. After the match, Tatanka dances around at ringside and celebrates with the fans.

Thoughts: The action was decent while it lasted but the finish was abrupt and it barely got a reaction. Its clear they are trying to build up Tatanka for something bigger though.

 

We hear from both Money Inc. & Jimmy Hart and the Natural Disasters as they hype up the Tag Team Title match.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match: Money Inc. (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Natural Disasters

Earthquake overpowers DiBiase to start. The Disasters then clear the ring then they work the arm of IRS. Typhoon whips IRS into the corner and hits ten turnbuckle smashes but misses an avalanche. DiBiase tags in and hits some chops in the corner. Typhoon messes up a few spots with DiBiase and spills outside where IRS rams his face off of the steps. Typhoon is rolled back inside as IRS enters and works a front facelock. DiBiase is back in and we get a double clothesline spot. Tag to Earthquake but the crowd does not care as he beats on IRS in the corner. Earthquake now cleans house then the match breaks down. The Disasters use a double noggin knocker before dumping DiBiase outside. Typhoon splashes IRS then Earthquake sets up for his splash but Hart jumps in the ring and pulls out IRS and Money Inc. leaves and gets counted out (8:36) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Christ, this was terrible. Typhoon put on the worst performance of the night and the match had no heat not only because the match itself sucked but mainly due to the Disasters not being over one bit as a babyface team. According to Typhoon, the ref told them to “go home” right when they got into the ring but DiBiase said fuck that and they worked the match and met a pissed off Vince McMahon when they went behind the curtain.

 

Okerlund is with Brutus Beefcake. Okerlund says he is Hogan’s best friend as Beefcake confirms. Beefcake says Hogan always kept his dignity and held his head high as he talks about Hogan being a giving man. Beefcake then says Hulkamania will live forever.

 

Owen Hart vs. Skinner

Skinner spits tobacco in Hart’s face as he did a backflip off the top rope. Skinner then hits a shoulder breaker and roughs up Hart for a bit. Skinner hits an inverted DDT but Hart kicks out at two then Skinner hits a few headbutts but taunts the crowd as Hart skinned-the-cat then Hart uses a reverse rollup for the win (1:10) 1/4*.

Thoughts: The Bulldog vs. Berzerker match got cut for time because the show ran long so they rushed this match out. Nothing much to say about this one.

 

We get a video package about the WWF Fan Club

 

Okerlund is backsage with Sid Justice & Harvey Whippleman. Sid calls Okerlund a “fat, balding little oaf.” Sid tells Hogan to remember that he is the Master of the Universe and promises it will in fact be Hogan’s last match. We then are shown Vince asking Hogan if its his last match but Sid does not give a damn about Hogan’s memories and the only thing to remember is that he ended Hulkamania. Sid also curses every Hulkamaniac and says he rules the world.

 

Sid Justice w/ Harvey Whippleman vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan is attacked by Sid during his entrance but Hogan fights back and knocks Sid outside as his music keeps playing. Sid cheap shots Hogan when the bell rings then fishhooks him in the corner. Sid taunts the crowd then Hogan fights back and knocks Sid outside. Sid walks halfway up the aisle and regroups with Whippleman. Sid returns and challenges Hogan to a test-of-strength as they battle over that. Sid gets Hogan on his knees then Hogan finally hulks up and gets to his feet as the crowd cheers. Sid backs Hogan into the corner and lands a few knee smashes but Hogan comes back with a clothesline. Whippleman distracts Hogan then Sid catches Hogan with a chokeslam and taunts the crowd as he see fans clapping. Sid looks into the camera and talks trash then works a nerve hold for a long time. Hogan finally gets up but Sid hits a side slam. Sid now hits a powerbomb but Hogan kicks out at two then hulks up. Sid lands a few kicks but they have zero effect. Hogan fires away then hits a big boot before hitting a slam. Hogan then hits a leg drop but Sid kicks out of that. Whippleman is in the ring and the ref rings the bell for the DQ as Hogan tosses Whippleman at Sid, but Sid made the catch. Papa Shango now runs out and attacks Hogan from behind as its 2 vs. 1. However, we now hear the Ultimate Warrior’s music as he runs out as the crowd goes nuts. Warrior clotheslines Shango outside then he keeps shaking the ropes as Sid attacks. Sid is about to hit Warrior with a chair but he is stopped by Hogan as we hear from Finkel that Hogan won by DQ (12:26) 1/2*. Hogan and Warrior celebrate as Heenan says Sid had Hogan beat.

Thoughts: After Sid promising to kill off Hulkamania and the story whether or not Hogan will retire both men proceeded to wrestle the most boring match possible. It centered around a nerve hold. The DQ finish was also terrible. For reasons unknown, Shango ran out and attacked Hogan. It was random and did not get much of a reaction at all but the return of the Ultimate Warrior worked. The crowd went bonkers for the guy. Warrior was noticeably slimmer too. The end with Hogan and Warrior celebrating actually felt more like a torch-passing moment than the finish of WrestleMania VI when you factor the crowd going nuts for Warrior and the story of Hogan possibly retiring and how he was losing popularity among fans. And it appears said Sid vs. Warrior is our new top feud.

 

Final Thoughts: This ended up being a two match show that fell off of a cliff after Flair vs. Savage. Sid/Hogan and Undertaker/Jake were incredibly disappointing and the undercard was forgettable at best. It also felt like the end of an era as Hogan was gone the rest of the year as were other top card talent on the show.