Classic PPV: WrestleMania VIII
by, 11-28-2011 at 10:25 AM (2146 Views)
The end of an era in many ways. This was the first Mania to be held outdoors, some icon's would never again or make a WrestleMania appearance for some time and some future icon's would stamp their mark on the end of a classic period and be new stars. This ladies and gentlemen, was WrestleMania 8, coming from the Hoosier Dome in Phoenix.
Ah! The good old days. Vince McMahon screaming the introductions to the show, that ultra 80's theme tune for WrestleMania, The Brain and Monsoon using their superb voices and shock and horror, promoting Natural Disasters v Money Inc. and Jake The Snake v Undertaker before anything else (Why not promote mid card for once?). This WrestleManka had the introduction of an unbelievable "lighted" stage. This was the official last WrestleMania of the unparallelled cartoon era. And as an 8 year old boy, I was enthralled.
I often scratch my head at this, as it seems to be a forgotten WrestleMania. Why I don't know, but it's time to remember. You can see how long ago this was by the amount of bad haircuts sported in the crowd.
Shawn Michaels v El Matador
Tito Santana was involved in the very first WrestleMania (maybe the first ever Mania match, I don't remember) so he could be considered a legend at this stage. This is HBK right smack bang at the start of his singles run, a big deal being made of him being he heartbreak kid.
A really good match, with some fun racist jokes as per usual thrown in by the Brain when referencing Tito, No doubt prompting Gorilla to utter "will you stop", as he probably did several times throughout the night. This went about 10 minutes, and Tito put over HBK for the first of many singles WrestleMania victories, Heenan put over HBK as "star of the 90's", how right he was. Sherry was a brilliant extra catalyst of some extra heat for Shawn of course.. Colourful start to a colourful show. 3 out of 5
Legion of Doom return
LOD returned at Mania 8, not in a wrestling capacity, but this was a good excuse to throw in a couple of huge fan favourites. And Paul Ellering made his WWF debut. Again, very colourful stuff going on for the cartoon era. While I'm on colourful, this of course included the classic "Mean Gene" Okerlund. Their target were Money Inc., who everybody hated.
Undertaker v Jake "The Snake" Roberts
This was the last Mania with Jake The Snake in his prime, four years later he appeared at Mania again but he was bloated, out of shape. Roberts cut one of his unbelievable promo's before this match, just in case people were not up to speed on why these two were feuding.
This was Jake Robert's' second last Mania match, and Undertaker was only 1-0 at the time of this, and had just turned face. He was hugely over of course, it was a character that started off as a heel, perfect to what Hogan was up against, but would spend most of his legendary career as a genuine fan favourite.
Jake got what he had coming for turning his back on Taker, and Taker tombstoned him on the ground before rolling him up for the pin.
Amongst many gigantic stars of this era, what set The Undertaker aside was not only his indestructablle gimmick, but also his unbelievable athleticism. 3 out of 5
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper v Bret "Hitman" Hart for the Intercontinental Title
Before this match the two shared a promo bigging up the match. This was a great example of how great face and heel commentators are, Monsoon face and Brain eternal heel. The whole match consisted of Brain chomping at the bit for someone to turn on the other.
A great match that was full to the brim with psychology, a true mania classic. Hot Rod going into this Mania with the title put over the title huge and Bret Hart himself. Crowd was hot for this. 4 out of 5
A promo for the future "Narcissist" Lex Luger next. What a dick lol.
Next promo was as colourful as ever. Nasty Boys, Mountie and REEEEEEPO Man bigging up their 8 Man Tag against Slaughter, Hacksaw, Boss Man and Virgil, who would reciprocate in kind with their own promo.
8 Man Tag
Nothing more than a filler match but a good excuse to get some extra characters on this show, after all, the federation lived by all its characters back then. Everybody was over back then. Went about 5 minutes, was fun for what it was, and got the face team a win. 3 out of 5
"Macho Man" Randy Savage v Ric Flair for the WWF Title
We go to a promo with Sean Mooney, a very good backstage interviewer at the time doing a promo with Flair and Mr Perfect.
The big story here was that Flair had a centrefold of the lovely Miss Elisabeth that he was going to show to the world at WrestleMania. Macho Man didn't like this fact. Oh and he may as well challenge for the title seeing as Flairs the champ.
Flair was new to WWF but was over huge as a heel, whereas Randy Savage was over huge as a face and second only to Hogan, but miles ahead of anyone else, even if the whole roster was incredibly over.
The very first main event in this Mania, it was a truly great match. Real old school match, and I loved it. Ther is a good argument that this instead of Harty-Piper stole the show. Mr Perfect was the perfect heel scumbag trying to cost Savage the match here. I would say this watch MOTN though however no doubt, and Macho Man won to get his second wwf belt.
Great aftermath here too with loads going on until Howard Finkel epic "AND YOUR NEW CHAMPION" line. Fans loved Macho and Elisabeth.
After promo with Flair, Perfect and Heenan that was gold. Mean Gene followed up with Macho and Elisabeth. Brilliant times.
For Everything, this gets 5 out of 5
After, a promo video, cheesy as hell promoting the other main event later on that night.
Rick "The Model" Martel v Tatanka
I loved Rick Martel. Brilliant heel, he was a huge asset to WWF in the old days. Tatanka was hugely over as a face, and was undefeated. No surprise as Tatanka got the win early on. 2 out of 5
Money Inc. v Natural Disasters for the Tag Team titles
Backstage interview with Million Dollar Man, IRS and Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart, before cutting to the challengers Natural Disasters to hype up the next match.
I loved the natural Disasters. This was a time when I didn't really appreciate in ring ability over charaters, and from the scale of the organisation it was predominatnly about characters anyway.
Earthquake was over huge ever since he became a threat to Hogan years before, Tugboat found his niche as Typhoon and Earthquake's tag partner and Million Dollar Man would be forever over and IRS being paired with him certainly jelped him. Match went a few minutes with Money Inc continuing their title reign as they would for a long ime, only because they heelinshly got themselves counted out.
Skinner v Rocket Owen Hart
Megashort due to time constraints, with "The Rocket" getting the pin.
Hulk Hogan v Sid Justice
Sid did a great job of "acting" like a psycho at this time. whatever you thought about Sid, he did have a connection with fans. Hulk Hogan had probably his most epic entrance ever here for his "retirement" match. Hulk Hogan's real american tune really was the most epic part of WWF for a long long time. Hulk Hogan and Sid could never wrestler well, but they did what they could, the whole match was about Hogan overcoming Sid. Papa Shango got involved and got Sid DQ'ed, and they were beating him down until... Ultimate Warrior legged it to the ring, evened the odds, and was back in WWF to take Hogan's place presumably. A memorable moment to end WrestleMania, and truly the end of an era.
3 out of 5
Fun show, here is the link tp part 1 which can easily access the rest of the show.