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Nickrjís rant for Wrestlemania IV

 

This event aired on March 27 1988 at the Trump Plaza Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It featured a 14 man single elimination tournament for the vacant WWF title.

 

Gladyis Knight sings America The Beautiful and she wasnít bad, but she had to go into My Country Tis Of Thee as well.

 

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura with Bob Uecker doing commentary for the opening match. Heís got his eye out on Vanna White

 

20 Man Invitational Battle Royal

The winner gets a 7 foot trophy and it features everyone who wasnít involved in the tournament or in a feud. The participants are The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers), Sika, Dangerous Danny Davis, The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell), Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond), Ken Patera, Ron Bass, The Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks(Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zukoff), Hillbilly Jim, Harley Race and George Steele. Now to the match

 

Everyone starts by brawling with each other. Pretty usual for a battle royal. Danny Davis eliminates Sam Houston as 4 or 5 guys eliminate Sika. George Steele is still outside the ring as he never got in. Blair almost goes flying over the top. Steele pulls Neidhart out of the match. Blair goes flying off the apron and into the rail and out of the match. Brunzell eliminates Raymond but is eliminated by Jacques. JYD eliminates Bass and the officals finally get Steele out of the ringside area for not getting in. Zhukoff and Brown eliminate Jim. Roma eliminates Davis. Brown eliminates Powers. JYD and Race rekindle their rivalry from Wrestlemania III. Patera eliminates Volkoff as well as Zhukoff but heís dumped over by Brown. Race elminates Jacques but then is eliminated by JYD. Down to four men. Roma, Brown, JYD and Bret. Roma is eliminated by Brown and Brown and Bret try to double team JYD but it backfires and JYD starts firing back with some headbutts but he is caught in a double team now. JYD starts firing back again but Brown catches him and they eventually eliminate JYD. Bret and Brown celebrate in the ring but then Brown nails Bret with the Ghetto Blaster and he eliminates Bret at 9:43 to win the Battle Royal. A boring one at that 3/4*. Bad News Brown then celebrates in the ring with the 7 foot trophy but Bret comes back in and attacks Brown and destroys the trophy. A start of the face turn of the Hart Foundation as shortly thereafter they would fire Jimmy Hart

 

Now to the tournament which started when Andre The Giant pinned Hulk Hogan on Feburary 5th 1988 thanks to the twin referees fiasco but then he gave the belt to the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Jack Tunney then decided to strip Dibiase of the title and he would put it up in a single elimination tournament.

 

Here are the first round matches

Jim Duggan VS Ted Dibiase

Don Muraco VS Dino Bravo

Greg Valentine VS Ricky Steamboat

Butch Reed VS Randy Savage

One Man Gang VS Bam Bam Bigelow

Jake Roberts VS Rick Rude

 

1st round time limits are 15 minutes, 2nd round is 20, 3rd round is 30 and final round is one fall to a finish.

 

Jim Duggan VS Ted Dibiase (with Virgil and Andre The Giant)

They tie up to start and Dibiase backs Duggan into the corner. They tie up again and Duggan starts firing some right hands. Duggan hits an atomic drop which sends Dibiase outside the ring. Dibiase starts firing back with some rights but gets nailed by a clothesline. Duggan does the 10 punch count in the corner but runs into a boot in the other one. Dibiase goes to work on Duggan. He hits a double ax handle for 2. Duggan does a sunset flip for 2! Dibiase comes back with a knee and a fistdrop. Duggan blocks and reverses a suplex attempt. Dibiase gets caught from the 2nd rope. Duggan hits a clothesline and a slam and tries the 3 point stance but Andre grabs the leg from the outside and gets nailed by him and a knee from Dibiase and Dibiase gets the pin at 5:01. Not a bad opening match of the tournament but not that good either *1/2

 

Don Muraco (with Billy Graham) VS Dino Bravo (with Frenchy Martin)

Martin has got to be the worst manager Iíve ever seen in the WWF. This was two months after Jesse Ventura helped Dino Bravo to lift 700 pounds. Both men start by tying up and Bravo sends Muraco into the corner. Muraco comes back with a clothesline and a slam. He then does a sloppy move on the 2nd turnbuckle followed by a back drop and and armdrag but gets nailed by a clothesline. Bravo nails a couple of elbows and hits a gut wrench suplex. Bravo sends Muraco into the other corner but misses a knee and Muraco takes advantage. Muraco does a spinning toe hold and Graham starts going after Martin. Good for him. Muraco goes back to the toe hold but gets kicked into the ropes. Bravo hits a pile driver for 2 after wasting some time. Bravo tries another pile driver but gets backdropped. Both men clothesline each other. They get back up and fight each other and Murach hits a flying forearm and slams Bravo and tries to nail him again but Bravo pulls the ref in front of himself. Bravo hits the Sidewalk Slam but the ref taps Bravo and DQís him at 4:53. Pretty boring match here Ĺ*

 

Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart) VS Ricky Steamboat

Steamboat brings his son with him to ringside. Steamboat gets a side headlock and does an armbar followed by an armdrag. He works on the right arm and hits a kick followed by some chops. Steamboat is moving quickly and getting some close counts. Steamboat flips back in the ring and hits a crucifix for 2. Valentine comes back with some hard stuff. He slams him on the back of the head for 2. Steamboat comes out of an atomic drop and rams Valentine into the turnbuckle. He goes back to work on the right arm and shoulder. Valentine hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. He hits some chops on the outside. Steamboat comes back with some chops knocking down Valentine for 2. Valentine gets 2 ĺ on a spoiled move. Valentine hits a gut wrencher and sets up the Figure Four but gets kicked into the corner. They start chopping each other. Ricky sends Greg down and covers him for another 2. Valentine gets an eye rake followed by a shoulderbreaker for 2. Valentine goes to the top and hits an elbow and tries the Figure Four again but gets nailed. Steamboat is ramming Valentines face into the canvas and hits an elbow. He goes to the top and hits a flying chop for 2. He rams Valentineís face into the turnbuckle 10 times. Steamboat goes to the top and hits the flying bodypress but Valentine turns it over and pins Steamboat at 9:10. Alright match here **1/4 Steamboat salutes the crowd as he heads to the NWA shortly after this.

 

Butch Reed (with Slick) VS Randy Savage (with Elizabeth)

They tie up to start and Savage is rammed into the corner. Reed starts to work with the heavy artillery. Savage blocks the corner ram and reverses it. Reed reverses a suplex and hits an elbow for 2. Reed clotheslines Savage on the top rope. He hits an elbow and hits a fist drop from the 2nd rope. Savage kicks Reed in the head to take advantage but Reed hits a flying clothesline. He goes to the top rope and gives crap to Elizabeth and that allows Savage to catch Reed and slam him. Savage hits the flying elbow for the pin at 4:08. Ĺ*

 

One Man Gang (with Slick) VS Bam Bam Bigelow (with Oliver Humperdink)

They had to stick the two fat boys in the same match. Gang attacks Bam Bam at the bell. He misses a charge in the corner and Bam Bam takes control he hits a cross body for 2. Bam Bam continues to work on the Gang as the crowd is dying here. Bam Bam hits a flying headbutt and goes over the ropes and Slick pulls the top rope down sending Bam Bam to the outside. The Gang hammers on Bam Bam on the apron and the ref manages to count Bam Bam out at 2:59. DUD.

 

Jake Roberts VS Ravishing Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan)

They tie up to start and Jake is rammed into the corner. Rude is rammed face first into the canvas though. Rude slams Jake twice and hits some right hands. Rude almost got caught by Damian. Jake goes to work on the right arm on Rude. He works on it forever. Rude runs into a knee and almost gets nailed by a DDT. Jake continues to work on the right arm of Rick. A Criss Cross occurs with Jake slamming Rude. Jake misses a knee lift and Rude takes advantage of it. Rude hits a chop for 2. Rude goes to the chinlock. Jake takes Rude over and Rude nails a chop from the 2nd rope. Rude hits a flying clothesline for 2 and he goes back to the chinlock. Jake gets up and gets caught in a press slam. Rude goes to the top and hits a flying chop for 2. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Rude goes to the chinlock again. Jake does a side slam but Rude hold on to the chinlock. Rude starts kicking Jake. He pins him for 2 and goes to the chinlock again. Jake nails Rude with a jaw jacker and Jake starts nailing some right hands and a back drop. He hits the short clothesline and tries for the DDT but gets rammed into the corner. Jake kicks Rude in the corner and hits a gut wrencher for 2. Rude hits a back suplex for 2. They clothesline each other. They get up and Rude tries to pin Jake with his feet on the ropes and the bell rings at 15:13 as the time expires meaning both men are eliminated from the tournament. The match really reeked though ľ*

 

Ultimate Warrior VS Hercules (with Bobby Heenan)

This is not a first round match and thank god it isnít. They both no sell a shoulderblock to start. They tie up into the corner and the Warrior nails some right hands. Warrior no sells two clotheslines before going down on a third one. Warrior hits a clothesline of his own and another one. Warrior gets backdropped onto the floor. He pulls Herc out and works on him. Warrior does the 10 punch count in the corner and takes an inverted atomic drop. Warrior runs into the corner and Herc hits the Full Nelson but the Warrior kicks off the ropes and pins Herc at 4:36. Really bad match here -*1/2

 

Here are the 2nd round matches

Hulk Hogan VS Andre The Giant (Both got first round byes)

Ted Dibiase VS Don Muraco

Greg Valentine VS Randy Savage

One Man Gang with BYE into 3rd round.

 

We get a look at the feud between Hulk and Andre. Andre challenges Hulk to a title match at Wrestlemania III and nearly pins Hulk in the opening minute. Late that year Ted Dibiase tries to buy the WWF title but Hulk refuses. Andre strangles Hogan after Hogan beats King Kong Bundy on SNME. Dibiase buys Andre from Bobby Heenan and Andre wins the title from Hogan thanks to the twin referees fiasco and gives it to Dibiase leading to the tournament. Both Hulk and Andre get first round byes in the tournament.

 

Hulk Hogan VS Andre The Giant (with Ted Dibiase and Virgil)

Hogan runs into the ring and Andre attacks him. Andre goes to work on him. Hogan starts hitting some shoulder blocks and attacks Dibiase and Hogan rams em both together. Hogan chops Andre into the ropes and he finally tears up his shirt. Dibiase and Virgil get Andre out of the ropes and Hogan knocks the Giant down to one knee. Hogan drops a few elbows but Andre catches him in a choke hold. He hits a head butt to Hoganís sternum and sits on his chest. Andre goes to a another choke hold and goes into the traps. Hogan gets up and breaks the hold and starts working on Andre. He tries to slam him but Dibiase nails him with a chair that only infuriates Hogan. Hogan and Andre fight for the chair and Hogan hits Andre with it. Andre then hits Hogan with the chair and the ref DQís both men at 5:21. JC -**1/2. Hogan then suplexes Virgil outside the ring and slams the Giant inside and does a 10 minute pose thing even though heís out of the tournament.

 

Ted Dibiase VS Don Muraco

Muraco grabs Dibiase before the bell and slams him inside the ring. He hits a power slam for 2. Muraco hits an elbow and hits a knee drop from the top rope. Muraco snaps Dibiaseís head back. Muraco hits a standing drop kick for 2. Dibiase does a nice move in the corner to take advantage and he starts going after Muraco by choking him. Dibiase hits a clothesline for 2. Dibiase hits another fistdrop and works on Muraco some more. Dibiase hits some chops but gets kicked in the head. But Dibiase continues to take control and slams Muraco. He misses a backwards elbow from the 2nd rope. Muraco goes to work on the corner and nails a clothesline. Muraco hits a shoulderblock but gets clotheslined on the top rope and pinned by Dibiase at 5:34 and Dibiase advances into the finals. *

 

Greg Valentine VS Randy Savage

Valentine takes advantage in the early going pounding on Savage in the corner. Savage comes back and hits a snap mare for 2. Valentines gets a right hand and hits an elbow from the top rope. He hits another elbow for 2. Valentine hits a shoulderbreaker for another 2. He throws Savage over the top rope and hits an elbow. Valentine rams him into the steel railing. Valentine continues to work on Savage inside and outside. Valentine sets up for the Figure Four but Savage reaches the ropes. Valentine hits a suplex for 2. He hits a back breaker for another 2. Savage hits an elbow and slams Valentine and hits a double ax handle from the top rope for 2 and goes after Jimmy Hart. Valentine takes control again but takes a suplex. Savage goes to the top but gets caught by a shot. Savage misses a sitting butt splash on the ropes. Valentine goes for the Figure Four but Savage cradles him for the pin at 6:06. Okayish match *1/2.

 

Intercontental Title Match: Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue) VS Brutus Beefcake

Peggy Sue is Sherri Martel. They tie up and Honky gets some shots off. Brutus grabs the leg and hits an atomic drop. Brutus tries to mess up Honkyís hair in the process. Beefcake repeatedly rams Honkyís head into the corner. Beefcake hits a high knee on Honky. Beefcake misses an elbow and Honky takes control. Honky hits a snap mare followed by an elbow. Honky allows Jimmy Hart to choke Beefcake a little. Honky goes for Shake Rattle and Roll but chooses not to. He goes for it again but Beefcake hooks the ropes. Beefcake comes back with some right hands and a backdrop. Beefcake hits the sleeper but Jimmy Hart nails the ref with his megaphone. Beefcake puts out Honky but he hasnít won the match. Beefcake sees the ref is down and decides to do some cutting but Jimmy steals his shears and tries to hide under the ring but Beefcake catches him. Beefcake decides to cut Jimmyís hair while Peggy Sue dumps water on Honky inside the ring. Beefcake is announced the DQ winner at 9:16. Another mess of a match. DUD

 

The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and Bobby Heenan VS The British Bulldogs and Koko B Ware

This was a feud that happened after Heenan steals the Bulldogs mascot Matilda. Heenan is wearing a dog jump suit here in this match. The bell never rings to start this match. Dynamite Kid hip tosses both Isles to start. He gives Tama a couple of backdrops. He slingshots him outside the ring. Davey Boy Smith misses an elbow and Haku comes in and takes a cross body for 2. Davey slams Haku for 1. He does a crucifix for 2. Haku grabs the arm and tags Tama. Tama takes a press slam. Haku comes back in and hits an elbow. Koko comes in for the first time and hits a dropkick and nails Tama on the outside. Koko takes both Isles over. Dynamite comes back in and hits a clothesline. Dynamite gets kicked in the corner by Haku and tags Heenan in the dog suit outfit and kicks away at Dynamite. He takes a shot and tags Tama who back drops Dynamite. Tama slams Dynamite but gets caught when he does a Vader Bomb. Koko comes back in and hits a backdrop and headbutts Haku. Koko gets kicked in the head though and takes a clothesline. Tama comes back in and hits a flying chop from the top rope. Heenan comes back in and starts kicking Koko. Koko powers out of a traps hold and he rams Heenan into the corner. The Isles double team Koko to start a six man brawl. The Isles slams Heenan on Koko and he gets the pin at 7:34. *3/4 afterwards Matlida takes a bite out of Heenan.

 

We go to the third round. Ted Dibiase advances to the finals with a bye and Randy Savage will face the One Man Gang.


Randy Savage VS One Man Gang

They tie up and the Gang drags Savage around. Savage clotheslines Gang by the beard but gets caught in the corner. Gang goes to town on Savage. Gang is choking Savage out in the corner with his foot. Gang slams Savage for 2. Gang drops an elbow for another 2. Gang misses a big splash and a charge in the corner and Savage starts going to work hitting some quick shots. He hits a double ax handle outside the ring. They go back in and Savage tries to slam the Gang but the Gang is JUST TOO FAT. Slick bad mouths Elizabeth and diverts the ref to her. In the meantime the Gang gets the cane and tries to nail Savage with it and the ref catches it and DQís the Gang at 4:11. DUD. Savage nails Gang from the top and the Gang crushes Slick.

 

Tag Team Title Match: Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) VS Demolition (with Mr. Fuji)

The crowd is so bored at this point they donít have any enthusiasm to cheer Strike Force when they come down. Smash starts with Martel and starts pounding away. Smash catches Martel and a four men brawl erupts. Strike Force double teams Smash. Martel goes to work on the right arm and Santana nails an elbow on it. Ax comes in and gets arm dragged. Martel comes back in and continues to work on the arm of Ax. Smash comes back in and gets hiptossed. Santana comes back in and continues to work on the arm but gets caught in a bear hug and nailed by Ax on the outside. Demoliton starts working on Santana. Ax comes back in and hits a power slam for 2. Smash comes back in and roughs up Santana some more. Smash hits a suplex for 2. Smash slams Santana and misses an elbow. Santana hits Ax but Smash drags him. Santana hits the flying forearm on Ax and manages to tag Martel. Martel goes to work on both members of Demoliton. Martel hits the Boston Crab on Smash but Santana comes in and pounds on Ax and hits the Flying Forearm and nail Mr. Fuji who drops the cane for Ax who nails Martel in the neck with it and Smash pins Martel at 8:00. Demoliton is the new tag team champions. One of the better matches of the night **.

 

WWF Title Match: Ted Dibiase (with Andre The Giant) VS Randy Savage

Robin Leach of LifeStyles of the Rich and Famous brings out the WWF title. Bob Uecker is the Ring Announcer and Vanna White is the timekeeper and gives a kiss to Uecker. Both Men start by tying up in the corner and Andre trips Savage on the outside. They tie up again and Savage gets a hammerlock. Savage hits a shoulderblock and Andre trips Savage again. Dibiase gets an arm wringer and sends Savage into the corner and starts chopping him. He hits a clothesline for 2. Dibiase does a sunset flip but canít get him over. Savage clotheslines Dibiase for 2. Dibiase starts going to work on Savage. He hits an elbow. Savage comes back with an elbow and clotheslines him on the top rope. He sends Dibiase to the outside and goes to the top but Andre stands over Dibiase and tells Savage to jump. Savage tells Elizabeth to go to the locker room. Dibiase takes advantage of this with a few fistdrops. Dibiase does a snapmare into a chinlock and Elizabeth comes back out with Hulk Hogan who grabs a chair and sits at ringside. Dibiase continues to work over Savage in the corner. Andre grabs Savage but Hogan is there to meet him. Dibiase hits a clothesline followed by an elbow for 2. Dibiase hits another suplex for 2. Dibiase hits a gut wrench suplex for 2. Dibiase slams Savage and goes to the outside and gets caught and slammed by Savage. Savage goes to the top and misses the flying elbow. Dibiase does the million dollar dream and Hogan comes into the ring and nails Dibiase with his chair. Savage goes up to the top and nails the flying elbow for the pin at 9:16 to become the new WWF champion. Best match of the night ***

 

Summary: Wrestlemania Four? You might as well call this Wrestlemania BORE! Only 3 matches out of 16 were able to crack ** or more and two other matches were negative stars. It was nice to see Savage bounce back and win the WWF title one year after the most heartbreaking loss of his career. Still I wouldnít waste time with this RECOMMENDATION TO AVOID