WWF WrestleMania IV

WWE open.

“The World Wrestling Federation: What The World Is Watching!”  WrestleMania IV!  We are LIVE from the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey!

Mean Gene Okerlund welcomes us to WrestleMania IV!  He introduces Gladys Knight to sing “America The Beautiful.”

The referees carry a huge ass trophy to the ring.  It will be presented to the winner of the Battle Royal.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are the announcers.  They talk about what’s on tap for tonight.  Bob Uecker is back, too.

Battle Royal featuring The Hart Foundation of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart, The Young Stallions of Paul Roma & Jim Powers, Sika, Danny Davis, The Killer Bees of Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, The Rougeau Brothers of Jacques & Raymond, Ken Patera, Ron Bass, Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks of Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov, Hillbilly Jim, King Harley Race, and George “The Animal” Steele.  Everybody brawls, except Steele, who is just wandering around at ringside.  Sam Houston gets eliminated, followed quickly by Sika.  Volkoff almost eliminates Brunzell, the one of the Rougeaus almost does too.  Steele keeps fucking with Neidhart, and pulls him out of the ring over the top to eliminate him.  Brunzell got eliminated somewhere in there.  Raymond Rougeau and Brian Blair get eliminated in the same motion.  JYD eliminates Bass.  Zhukov and/or Hart eliminate Hillbilly Jim.  Roma eliminates Davis.  Somebody eliminates Jim Powers.  Race and JYD trade headbutts.  Volkoff, Patera, and Zhukov get eliminated in short order.  Jacques gets eliminated.  JYD eliminates Race.  Brown eliminates Roma.  Hart holds JYD for Brown, but JYD ducks and Hart gets hit.  JYD does his headbutts on the ground.  Hart and Brown double team JYD, then talk strategy.  JYD fights them both, but he’s overcome by superior numbers.  Hart and Brown bundle JYD out.  They act like they’re going to split the win, then Brown drops Hart with a kick, kicks his ass, then throws him out to win it in 9:47.  Hart, pissed that Brown double crossed him, dropkicks him out of the ring and smashes the trophy.

Howard Finkel explains tonight’s tournament for the vacant WWF Championship.  He introduces Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous to read a scroll about it.

WWF Championship Tournament – Round 1: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Ted Dibiase (w/ Andre the Giant & Virgil).  They lock up.  Dibiase backs Duggan into the corner and breaks clean.  Repeat, but this time Dibiase tries a cheap shot and Duggan cuts him off.  They trade punches.  Duggan hits an atomic drop and sends Dibiase out of the ring in a hilarious bump.  Dibiase goes on the offensive until Duggan drops him with a clothesline.  Duggan punches Dibiase in the corner, then runs into Dibiase’s boot in the opposite corner.  Dibiase goes to work.  Duggan fights back, but Dibiase rakes his eyes.  Duggan gets a sunset flip for 2.  Dibiase catches Duggan with a knee to the middle, then a fist drop.  Dibiase goes for a suplex, but Duggan reverses it.  Dibiase comes off the middle rope and gets caught with a shot to the gut.  Duggan gets rolling and goes for the three point clothesline, but Andre grabs his leg.  Dibiase hits him from behind, then finishes him with a fist drop in 5:03.  It was a fun little match.

Mean Gene interviews Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.  Gene admires his “package.”

WWE Championship Tournament – Round 1: Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. “The Rock” Don Muraco (w/ “Superstar” Billy Graham).  They lock up, break, lock up again.  Bravo shoves Muraco into the corner and wails on him.  Muraco comes back and hits a half assed Vader Bomb into an elbow drop.  Bravo hits a couple of elbow drops, then a gutwrench suplex.  Muraco fights back and works on Bravo’s leg some.  Muraco works a spinning toe hold.  Bravo kicks Muraco away and Muraco gets hung in the ropes.  Bravo hits a piledriver, takes too long to cover, and only gets 2.  Bravo goes for another one, but Muraco backdrops him.  Double clothesline spot.  Muraco makes a comeback, but accidentally kills the ref in the process.  Bravo hits his side suplex and covers.  The referee taps him on the back three times, so Bravo thinks he won.  The ref was calling for the DQ.  Muraco wins by DQ in 4:54 because Bravo pulled the referee in front of him.  This match was lame and had a lame finish to boot.

Bob Uecker talks about Vanna White, who is around somewhere, then talks to The Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart.  Honky will be putting the Intercontinental Title against Brutus Beefcake tonight.

WWF Championship Tournament – Round 1: Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (w/ baby Richie Steamboat).  Steamboat carrying his son to the ring will be something they show when Richie debuts on WWE TV in the future, I’m sure.  They lock up, break, repeat.  Lock up again and do some awesome stuff.  Man, Steamboat has the most glorious arm drags ever.  Steamboat moves fast.  Valentine throws him over the top, but Steamboat skins the cat back in, dropkicks him, then fails at a crucifix.  Valentine beats up Steamboat.  Valentine goes for a backdrop suplex, but Steamboat lands his feet and rams Valentine into the turnbuckles.  Steamboat works on Valentine’s arm.  Valentine hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline, then elbows Steamboat in the head.  They show Donald Trump in the front row.  Steamboat goes for a body slam, but Valentine lands on top for 2.  Valentine hits a gut buster, then goes for the figure-four.  Steamboat kicks him into the turnbuckle.  They trade chops.  Valentine finally falls down.  Valentine hits a shoulder breaker for 2.  Valentine goes for the figure-four again, but Steamboat cuts him off, then rams his head into the mat.  Steamboat hits a diving chop, and Valentine takes a great delayed bump.  Cover only gets 2.  Steamboat rams Valentine’s head repeatedly into the turnbuckles, argues with the referee, then goes up top.  Steamboat hits a diving cross body, but Valentine rolls through and gets the pin in 9:11.  Good match.

Mean Gene interviews Koko B. Ware and The British Bulldogs, who have Matilda back after The Islanders and Bobby Heenan kidnapped her.  They say Matilda has been trained to go after weasels.  Heh.

WWF Championship Tournament – Round 1: “The Natural” Butch Reed (w/ Slick) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth).  Nothing happens, then they do a little bit.  Reed slow beats up Savage.  Savage fights back, but Reed reverses his suplex attempt.  Reed hits an elbow drop for 2.  Reed ponderously beats up Savage some more.  Reed hits Savage with a clothesline, talks at Elizabeth, then goes up top.  He spent too long fucking around.  Savage throws him off the top, then hits the diving elbow for the pin in 4:08.  It was fine when Savage was on offense, but unfortunately that was maybe 30 seconds of the match.

Uecker is backstage, still talking about Vanna White.  He talks to Bobby Heenan, with the Islanders.

WWF Championship Tournament – Round 1: The One Man Gang (w/ Slick) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Oliver Humperdink).  Gang jumps Bigelow and lumbers around, beating him up.  Bigelow hits a cartwheel splash for 2, then a cross body for 2.  Bigelow keeps rolling.  Bigelow hits a headbutt, then Slick low bridges him out of the ring.  Bigelow makes it to the apron, but that really ugly ref counts him out at 3:00.  Stupid.

Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan.  His promo turns very wacky.  “Thank God Donald Trump’s a Hulkamaniac!”  Something about the Trump Plaza falling into the ocean.  I don’t know.

Another shot of Trump in the front row.  They show Slick screwing Bigelow again.

WWF Championship Tournament – Round 1: Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Jake Roberts.  Rude cuts a promo, saying what’s under his robe is why “the odds are in [his] favorite.”  They lock up as Damien wriggles around in the bag.  Roberts rams Rude’s face into the mat.  Rude slams Roberts, then hammers him.  Repeat.  Roberts slams Rude a couple of times.  Rude ends up the corner with Damien and freaks out.  Roberts cranks on Rude’s arm.  Rude punches Roberts, but Roberts holds onto the wrist lock and grounds him.  Roberts his a knee off the middle rope and goes for the DDT, but Rude bails.  Heenan hugs him.  Back inside, Roberts works on Rude’s arm some more.  The run the ropes.  Roberts slams Rude again and goes for the knee lift, but Rude avoids it and puts the boots to him.  Rude hits a clothesline, swivels his hips, and hits an elbow drop for 2.  Rude works a chin lock.  Heenan distracts the referee to give Rude the chance to choke Roberts.  Roberts finally works his way out of it.  Rude hits a diving chop, then swivels his hips some more.  Rude hits a clothesline for 2.  Rude goes back to the chin lock.  Rude flapjacks Roberts and goes up top to hit a diving punch for 2, covers for another 2, then goes back to the chin lock.  Roberts backdrop suplexes him, but Rude keeps his old on, then covers for 2.  Rude stomps Roberts in the ropes.  I think I hear a “BORING!” chant developing.  Rude works the chin lock again.  This is boring.  Roberts finally breaks out with a jawbreaker, then makes his comeback.  Roberts hits a short range clothesline and goes for the DDT, but Rude runs him into the corner.  Roberts catches a charging Rude with a knee, then hits a gutbuster for 2.  Rude hits a backdrop suplex for 2.  Double clothesline spot.  Rude gets a 1 count.  Rude goes for the Flair pin in the corner, but the bell rings after 2.  It’s a 15:00 draw at 15:14.  Roberts runs Rude and Heenan off with Damien.  The match was good in the beginning and the end.  The middle part where they were just stalling for time was boring.

Mean Gene and Vanna White are at the big fancy tournament bracket.  Vanna gives her predictions for the second round.

Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior.  Hercules tries a shoulder block, to no effect.  Repeat.  They stare at each other, then shove each other.  They lock up and lumber around.  Warrior backs Hercules into the corner.  The ref makes them break and Herc gets a cheap shot in.  They brawl.  It’s bad.  Hercules backdrops Warrior out of the ring.  Warrior pulls Herc out and they brawl on the floor.  Back inside, more horrible brawling.  Warrior punches Herc in the corner.  Herc brings him out with an inverted atomic drop.  Herc avoids Warrior in the corner and locks in the full nelson.  Warrior kicks off the turnbuckles, then lifts his shoulder and gets the pin in 4:37.  Herc attacks Warrior after the match, then chokes him with his chain.  Warrior gets the chain and swings it around to run Herc off.  This sucked.  All of it.

Gorilla and Jesse talk, then we get an Andre/Hogan history package.

WWF Championship Tournament – Quarterfinal: Andre the Giant (w/ Ted Dibiase & Virgil) vs. Hulk Hogan.  Andre immediately goes on the attack.  He clobbers Hogan with huge blows.  Hogan fights back with forearms, then chokes DIbiase when he gets on the apron.  Hogan knocks Andre and Dibiase’s heads together.  Hogan chops Andre.  Andre gets tangled up in the ropes.  Hogan rips his shirt off and poses as Virgil and Dibiase free Andre.  Stupid Hogan.  Hogan knocks Andre down and hits 3 elbow drops for 2.  Andre chokes Hogan.  Andre chops Hogan, then clamps on a nerve hold.  Hogan fights back, then signals for the slam.  Virgil distracts the ref while Dibiase sneaks in and hits Hogan with a chair.  Hogan hits Andre with the chair IN FULL VIEW of the referee, who does NOTHING.  Andre hits Hogan with the chair, and the ref calls for the double DQ in 5:22.  This actively sucked.  Hogan chases Dibiase up the aisle.  Dibiase throws Virgil to Hogan.  Hogan suplex Virgil in the aisle.  Hogan comes back to the ring and body slams Andre.  Hogan does his posing routine.

Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage and Elizabeth.

WWF Championship Tournament – Quarterfinal: “The Rock” Don Muraco (w/ “Superstar” Billy Graham) vs. Ted Dibiase.  Dibiase doesn’t want to get in the ring.  Muraco brings him in the hard way.  Muraco hits a powerslam for 2.  Muraco hits a diving fist or chop for 2.  Muraco hits the Throwback, and generally continues beating up Dibiase.  Dibiase finally manages to defensively slingshot Muraco into the turnbuckles, then puts the boots to him.  Dibiase gets the heat on Muraco.  Except this crowd isn’t heated AT ALL.  Muraco avoids a falling elbow drop from the middle rope and makes his comeback.  Dibiase hot shots Muraco into the top rope for the pin in 5:36.  Fine little match.

Bob Uecker talks to Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji).

The One Man Gang and Slick are in the ring for Finkel’s announcement that Gang receives a BYE in this round because of the draw between Rude and Roberts.

WWF Championship Tournament – Quarterfinal: Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth).  They lock up.  Valentine hammers Savage.  Savage fights back and hits a knee drop for 2.  Valentine beats up Savage some more.  Elbow drop gets 2.  Valentine hits a shoulder breaker for 2.  Valentine throws Savage out of the ring, then hits him with an elbow to the back of the head from the apron.  Valentine hits Savage with some chops.  Valentine continues to beat up Savage.  He goes for the figure-four, but Savage holds into the ropes.  Valentine hits a suplex for 2.  Savage starts fighting back and actually gets a small reaction from the crowd.  Savage slams Valentine, then hits a diving double axe handle.  Hart jumps on the apron to stop the count.  Savage lunges for him.  Valentine gets the offensive on Savage again, but Savage reverses a suplex attempt, then goes up and goes for another axe handle.  Valentine catches him with a blow to the middle.  Hart helps Valentine avoids a charging Savage in the ropes.  Valentine goes for the figure-four, but Savage turns it into an inside cradle for the pin in 6:07.  Good little match.

Mean Gene and Vanna White go over the brackets at the end of the second round.  Vanna still doesn’t know who Uecker is.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: The Honky Tonk Man (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue) vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.  They lock up.  Beefcake catches Honky’s foot, teases a punch, then hits an atomic drop.  Beefcake messes up Honky’s hair, so Honky bails.  Beefcake rams Honky’s head into the turnbuckles repeatedly.  He keeps doing a scissors motion with his fingers, I guess because he wants to cut Honky’s hair.  Beefcake hits a high knee and Honky bails again.  Beefcake pulls him back in and beats him up.  Honky avoids an elbow drop and puts the boots to Brutus.  Honky beats up Brutus.  Hart chokes Beefcake behind the referee’s back.  Honky grabs a front face lock, but decides to beat him up some more instead of going for his move.  Then he actually goes for the Shake, Rattle, & Roll, but Beefcake holds onto the ropes to avoid it and makes his comeback.  Beefcake locks in the sleeper hold.  Jimmy gets on the apron and nails the referee with the megaphone.  Beefcake puts Honky to sleep and thinks he won, then notices the referee is also sleeping.  Beefcake goes for his bag of barber equipment, but Hart gets it and tries to escape under the ring.  Beefcake drags him out and cuts some of Hart’s hair off.  Peggy Sue tries to wake Honky while some more referees try to wake the original referee.  Peggy throws water on Honky to wake him up.  Beefcake comes in with his shears, but referees hold him back.  Beefcake is announces as the winner by DQ in about 9 minutes (no bell).  Fun match.

Bob Uecker talks to Andre the Giant, then gets choked by Andre’s massive hands.

The Islanders & Bobby Heenan vs. The British Bulldogs (w/ Matilda) & Koko B. Ware (w/ Frankie).  Second missed bell in a row.  Is the time keeper in the toilet or something?  Dynamite schools Tama to start.  Davey Boy and Haku tag in.  Davey Boy hits a cross body for 2, then a body slam for 2.  Davey Boy gets a crucifix hold for 2.  Tama tags in and gets press slammed.  Haku tags in and beats up Smith.  Koko tags in and dropkicks Haku, then does an awesome headlock/leg scissors to the Islanders.  Haku beats up Dynamite, who tags in Heenan, wearing his silly dog proof suit.  Heenan puts the boots to Dynamite.  As soon as Dynamite responds, Heenan tags in Tama.  Tama slams Dynamite and goes for a Vader Bomb, but Dynamite gets his knees up.  Koko tags in and runs wild on the Islanders.  The Islanders get some heat on Koko, then tag in Heenan to get his licks in again.  Whatever letters are on the back of Koko’s tights are blurred out.  I think it’s “WWF.”  Koko whips Heenan into the turnbuckles, then dropkicks him.  The Islanders jump Koko and a clusterfuck ensues.  The Islanders slam Heenan on top of Koko for the pin in about 7 minutes.  Good little match.  Dynamite headbutts the Islanders, which is always a stupid move.  Davey Boy sicks Matilda on Heenan afterwards.

Finkel introduces Jesse Ventura.  It must have been in Jesse’s contract that he gets to pose at every WrestleMania.

Ted Dibiase is in the ring for Finkel’s announcement that he gets a BYE in the semifinals.  Why do they feel the need to bring the guys out for these announcements?

WWF Championship Tournament – Semifinal: The One Man Gang (w/ Slick) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth).  They lock up, with Gang overpowering Savage.  Savage grabs Gang by the beard and “clotheslines” him across the top rope.  Gang beats up Savage.  Gang gets a couple of 2 counts.  Gang slams Savage and goes for the splash, but Savage moves, avoids Gang in the corner, and makes a comeback.  Savage knocks Gang out of the ring and hits a diving axe handle to the outside.  Slick helps Gang get back in the ring.  Savage tries to slam Gang, fails, and gets choked.  Slick aggravates Elizabeth.  Savage chokes Slick.  Gang attacks Savage with Slick’s cane to cause the DQ in 4:12.  This was bad.  After the match, Savage hits a diving axe handle that causes Gang to squash Slick.

Flip over disc to continue!  I shall!

Mean Gene and Vanna White and the brackets board again.  Vanna leaves to go to ringside.  Bob Uecker shows up just after she left.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Strike Force (c) vs. Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji).  Smash smashes Martel.  My wit amuses me.  Tito comes in to dropkick Martel onto Smash.  Brief clusterfuck ensues.  Strike Force try to work over Smash’s arm.  Ax tags in and promptly gets arm dragged by Tito.  Strike Force tries their arm working strategy on Ax.  Smash tags in and gets his arm punished too.  Smash elevates Tito and Ax nails him.  Demolition gets the heat on Santana.  Martel gets the hot tag and runs wild.  Martel locks Smash in the Boston crab.  Santana stops Ax from interfering.  Mr. Fuji gets on the apron with his cane.  Tito chokes him.  Ax hits Martel with Fuji’s cane behind the referee’s back.  Smash pins Martel to win the titles in 8:02.  Fine match.

Finkel introduces the celebrities for the main event: Robin Leach, who will present the championship belt to the winner and guest ring announcer Bob Uecker, who introduces guest timekeeper Vanna White.

WWF Championship Tournament – Final: Ted Dibiase (w/ Andre the Giant) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth).  They lock up.  Crowd is dead.  Andre trips Savage behind the referee’s back.  They trade hammerlocks.  Savage hits a shoulder block, then Andre trips him again.  Dibiase works over Savage.  Savage blocks a sunset flip attempt and hits a clothesline for 2.  Dibiase beats up Savage some more.  Savage rallies.  The crowd pops a little bit when he hits a move.  Savage knocks Dibiase out of the ring and goes to the top, but Andre stands over Dibiase to protect him.  Savage confers with Elizabeth, who leaves.  Dibiase attacks Savage from behind and gives him a bunch of fist drops for 2.  Elizabeth comes back out with Hulk Hogan in tow.  Dibiase works a rear chin lock.  He lets go when he sees Hogan.  Hogan gets a chair and sits down in Macho’s corner.  Dibiase continues to beat on Savage.  Andre grabs Savage again and Hogan nails Andre.  Savage tries to fight back against Dibiase, but can’t get rolling.  Dibiase hits a suplex for 2.  Dibiase hits a gutwrench suplex for 2.  Dibiase goes up top, but Savage throws him off, then goes for the diving elbow drop, but Dibiase moves out of his way.  Dibiase locks in the Million Dollar Dream.  Andre distracts the referee.  Hogan sneaks in and hits Dibiase with the chair.  Savage hits the diving elbow drop for the pin in 9:18.  Okay match, but I’m sure they had a lot of matches that were way better than this.  This was mostly storyline, which is fine, I guess.  Savage, Liz, and Hogan celebrate.

Fun show.  This was one of the few old school tapes that one of my local video stores had when I first became a fan, so it’s a sentimental favorite of mine.

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One Response to “WWF WrestleMania IV”

  1. […] 1/24- NWA Bunkhouse Stampede / WWF Royal Rumble 1988 3/27- WWF WrestleMania IV 7/10- NWA Great American Bash 1988 8/29- WWF SummerSlam 1988 11/24- WWF Survivor Series 1988 12/13- […]

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