Thursday, March 7, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 08 - WWF Wrestlemania VIII (1992)

Date: April 5th, 1992
Venue: Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, IN
Attendance: 62,167

(Note: The following post was written prior to the McMahon lawsuit from January 2024).

The first positive that you could say about Wrestlemania VIII is that no bomb threats or anything of the sort forced the event to move to a smaller venue due to low ticket sales, so we're back in a big stadium setting via the Hoosier Dome. Sadly, this would be the last time that Wrestlemania graced a large stadium setting for NINE YEARS before Wrestlemania X-Seven came along and took place in the Reliant Astrodome in Houston. Some people would say Caesar's Palace at Mania IX, but that's more of an outdoor arena setting and it's not even a large one.

It's been said that the big main event for this show was supposed to be Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair. Who said it? I don't recall, but it certainly should have been the case. However, due to circumstances beyond anyone's comprehension, we didn't get that match. Instead, we get Flair defending (and losing) his WWF championship to Randy Savage in a good, bloody affair and the main event match of Hulk Hogan getting a DQ win over Sid in what was built as Hogan's retirement match. If only...

Shawn Michaels (w/ Sherri) pinned Tito Santana in the opening match... and yes, once again, Tito is looking up in the sky. The match was alright; more of a showcase for Shawn than anything.

The Undertaker pinned Jake Roberts via Tombstone outside the ring with the head clearly not touching the floor. Not that I'd want that to happen, but if you're going to do something like that, it'd be best not to have a camera that makes this plainly obvious.

Bret "Hitman" Hart defeated Intercontinental Champion Rowdy Roddy Piper via roll-up to win the title. This was the tale of Piper struggling to go back to his old, dirty tricks, decided to keep it clean, and ultimately paying the price for it. And in a show of respect while teasing a possible turn, Piper straps the belt onto new champion Bret. It's not often you see Piper suffer a clean loss, but on the rare occasion that it happens, it feels like a big deal. A great match between two pros.

Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt Slaughter, and Jim Duggan defeated The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags), Repo Man, and The Mountie in an eight-man tag that Virgil pin Knobbs. This was a thing that happened.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage defeated WWF Champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair via a roll-up and a handful of tights to win the title. This was a match that started off a bit on the slow side of things, but picked up steam and started getting good. Flair and Savage always had good matches together despite some questionable outside bits and this stands out as their best outing.

Tatanka (Buffalo) defeated "The Model" Rick Martel in what was essentially a glorified squash. Next.

The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) defeated WWF Tag-Team Champions Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) (8:39) via countout after the champs walk out on the match; Money Inc. retain the titles. This was a thing that happened. And the finish was lame too.

Owen Hart squashes Skinner in a minute. Meh.

Hulk Hogan defeated Sid Justice via DQ for some reason... I guess Papa Shango came in and interfered, which prompted the DQ for some reason. I did find it odd that Sid kicked out of the Hogan legdrop; I'd imagine that didn't go over well with the Hulkster, brother. And yes, after the match, the Ultimate Warrior made his big return and kicked off all those rumors that the original Warrior died and this was some new guy playing the role. Sure, why not? Anyway, this was your typical Hulk Hogan match on the shittier side of things. And honestly, I don't know why this got top billing over the WWF title match since it was a nothing happening match. Sure, they billed it as "Hogan's Last Match" or whatever... but he's in there with Sid, for fuck's sake. For a Wrestlemania main event, this was very underwhelming.

I enjoyed Wrestlemania VIII a lot more than I thought I did. Bret/Piper and Savage/Flair are classic matches that hold up, Jake Roberts got a decent burial, and seeing Shawn develop into the talent he'd eventually become is something to behold. The main event sucked lemons and some of the undercard stuff isn't all that great, but the good stuff carried the show more than the bad stuff sunk it. A good show, I tell you.

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