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WRESTLEMANIA RETRO LOOKS BACK AT TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF WRESTLEMANIA HISTORY

By PWInsider.com Staff on 2011-04-03 09:13:00

WRESTLEMANIA VIII

April 5, 1992
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Venue: The Hoosier Dome
Announced Attendance: 62,167

*Shawn Michaels pinned Tito Santana. Michaels, wearing a white leather jacket that declared he is "Too sexy for this crowd", was well underway into his singles run as the Heartbreak Kid, managed by Sherri Martel.

*The Legion of Doom announce they have returned to the WWF during a live interview, this time flanked by longtime manager Paul Ellering.

*The Undertaker pinned Jake Roberts following a tombstone on the floor. Roberts hit UT with everything under the sun but UT simply kicked up. The crowd was heavily into Taker by now.

*Bret Hart pinned Roddy Piper to win the WWF Intercontinental championship in a good bout. Bret bled heavily after a bulldog with the idea that he tore his face up on the mat. They did a lot of great interviews building this one talking about how Roddy had known Bret since he was a child. The finish was Piper lock in a sleeper and Bret climb up the turnbuckles with his feet and push off, rolling over Piper, who was locked down for the pin. Really good back and forth bout, and one of the better ones of the latter part of Piper's WWF run.

They do a segment where Bobby Heenan interviewed former WCW champion Lex Luger in his first WWF televised appearance...to promote the World Bodybuilding Federation.

*Hacksaw Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter & Virgil & Big Bossman defeated The Nasty Boys & Repo Man & The Mountie when Virgil punned Brian Knobbs. The late Ray Combs, then host of game show Family Feud is the special guest ring announcer, taking shots at the heels.

*Randy Savage pinned Ric Flair to win the WWF championship in a tremendous bout. The feud was based on Flair doctoring photos to prove Elizabeth was his before she was Savage's. They had teased Flair was going to show dirty photos of Elizabeth on the Dome's big screen but it never happened. Flair bled heavily in the match. Flair works over Savage's knee to set up the figure four. It ends up with Savage hooking Flair's tights during a roll up for the pin. There are some awesome post match interviews with Flair, Curt Hennig and Savage as well.

*Tatanka pinned Rick Martel with a bodyblock.

*The Natural Disasters, Earthquake and Typhoon defeated WWF Tag Team champions Money, Inc. Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Shyster (Mike Rotunda) when the champions walked out to take a countout loss. Horrible ending.

*Owen Hart pinned Skinner (Steve Keirn) in about a minute with a rollup.

*Hulk Hogan defeated Sid Justice by DQ. Justice kicked out of Hogan's legdrop. Papa Shango attacked Hogan for the DQ, setting up the return of a smaller Ultimate Warrior for the save (theme music and all) for a climactic ending of Hogan and Warrior posing.

Celebrities: The aforementioned Ray Combs was only one of two celebrities on the show, the other being Reba McEntire who performed "America the Beautiful."

Notes: They had initially announced Hulk Hogan challenging Ric Flair for the WWF championship on television, to build to a storyline where a jealous Sid would attack Hogan to set up their grudge match. That bout and the Flair vs. Savage title match was billed as the first ever "Double Main Event" for Wrestlemania....They also teased heavily that Hulk Hogan would be retiring after this show. There was a lot of heat on the company due to the steroid stories that were swirling about around this time and the decision was made for Hogan to take a break....Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handed the announcing. It would be Monsoon's last Wrestlemania as an announcer as Jim Ross and Vince McMahon would take over starting the following year....In a dark match before the PPV went on the air, The Bushwhackers defeated The Beverly Brothers.

Jess McGrath: This was actually a good Wrestlemania. At the time, if WWF gave you two great matches (as they did here with Piper-Hart and Flair-Savage), it was a pretty good show. Hogan-Sid was not all that great, and the ending was a big-time letdown. The ref called for the DQ at the wrong moment, as I think the idea was that Papa Shango running in was going to be the finish. It all came off so flat. Crowd did pop big for the return of the Warrior though. About the Shango run-in: It made absolutely no sense at the time the PPV aired, since Shango had barely worked in the WWF by this point, and he wasn't managed by Harvey Whippleman (and as a side note, all you wrestling superstar wannabes out there, remember this - Harvey Whippleman has headlined Wrestlemania). They after the fact explained it when they aired a video on the syndicated shows of Shango burning a picture of Hogan's head, or some voodoo silliness like that.

Mike Johnson: There are two really great matches on this show in Piper vs. Bret and Flair vs. Savage. I really loved the Piper vs. Bret buildup, with each guys trying to get over on the other while talking about how they had known each other their entire lives. Beyond that, there isn't much else on this show. Hulk Hogan's act was really tired and needed a break. There were no real celebrities of note at the show either, which seemed like a step down from previous Wrestlemania events. The crowd looks great on tape but lacked the fever of the Pontiac Silverdome or Skydome crowds of the past.

Dave Scherer: I agree with Mike. There were two good matches on the show and a lot of junk. Looking back at all of the Manias we have recapped so far, it jumps out at me why at this time I was watching Japanese wrestling and Lucha Libre almost exclusively. The WWF was filled with a lot of junk at this time and we needed an alternative. Luckily, about a year later ECW started.

Buck Woodward: This was a very good show, with two matches I loved, and really helped get me back into enjoying WWE. The company was just loaded with talent at this point, with Savage, Piper, Flair, Hart, Hogan, Michaels, etc. And what helped make it so cool was that it was a mix of rising stars, established names, and guys who were having (what we thought were) their last big runs. ... I was so psyched to see the Legion Of Doom come in with Paul Ellering. Then WWF botched it with that stupid puppet. ... The Undertaker-Roberts match was a definite "passing of the torch", as was Hart-Piper, which I think is a highly underrated match. ... Lex Luger drank a protein shake. I know I was impressed. ... Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair will be getting a "Mat Classic" treatment from me very soon here on the site. ... As much as the Hogan-Sid finish was lame, the return of the Warrior was absolutely huge. ... Looking back, you really have to wonder why they didn't go with Hogan-Flair, even if Hogan was leaving. ... Interesting story, in that the State Athletic commision fined Flair for blading during his match, but did not fine Bret Hart, because they believed he really did get busted open.


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