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Review: WWF WrestleMania VIII, from Indianapolis, Indiana, 4/5/1992.

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One of my favorite shows...a must-watch.

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The national anthem was performed by Reba McEntire. When I was a kid and watched this, my mom liked that.

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El Matador vs. Shawn Michaels w/Sensational Sherri is the first match...

 

Blow-by-blow: Of course, El Matador is Tito Santana. Not like I had to tell you that. The version of Shawn's theme that Sherri sings is the best. Both push each other at the start of the bout, and Tito gives Shawn a crossbody for 2. They push again and Tito puts Shawn in a headlock, before clotheslining him over the top rope. Tito brings Shawn in with a headlock, but Shawn breaks the hold at the corner with a few shouldercharges. Tito misses a charge to the corner, but in a smart move, he fakes another charge, and takes Shawn down with a headlock right after. Another headlock takedown by Tito gets 2, as does an inside cradle. Shawn tosses Tito over the top on a charge attempt, and gives him a backbreaker for 2 when back inside the ring. To the chinlock we go, but when Tito makes a comeback attempt, Shawn superkicks him. Shawn goes for a side suplex, but Tito counters and gives Shawn the FLYING JALAPENO, to knock Shawn out of the ring. Tito rams Shawn into the steel steps, and on the inside, he gives him a kneelift. An inverted atomic drop follows, as does ANOTHER flying forearm, this time to the back of the head. Shawn bails and Tito tries to bring him in with a slam, but Shawn uses the top rope for initial leverage and picks up the pinfall victory at 10:38. After the match, after Shawn's posing, Bobby Heenan says, "there's the star of the 90's." No kiddin'.

 

Match Analysis: A good opener, by WrestleMania standards. You know, many other WrestleMania's have lesser openers than this, hence the "good" title. I'll give it **3/4. The WWF must've thought highly of this match, because they put Shawn up against Randy Savage on the UK-only PPV that occured soon after the event.

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The LEGION OF DOOM come to a little interview set-up for (obviously) an interview, with Gene Okerlund. Paul Ellering's being introduced, they talk about destruction and other nonsense that I don't entirely comprehend. That's all.

 

Sean Mooney is with Jake Roberts in the back, for another interview. The past footage shown highlights when Jake shut the Undertaker's hand inside of a casket on Paul Bearer's "Funeral Parlor" interview segment. Jake hit him a few times with a chair, too. Anyway, this is a great promo. Like almost every other big match promo Jake gave. Jack Tunney said that the snake will not be allowed at ringside, so Jake will do this alone.

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Jake Roberts vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer. A grudge match.

 

Blow-by-blow: These are two of my favorite characters, so I'm biased. I didn't realize how great Jake's new entrance music was until I watched this match. Roberts tries to avoid Taker's attacks, and he does, by clotheslining Taker over the top rope. Taker pulls Roberts to the outside, and rams him into the ringpost, before sending him back in. Taker chokes Roberts for a really LONG time, before giving him an elbowdrop. Taker follows it up with a flying clothesline, but Jake responds with the DDT. After taunting and a few cheers, Jake gives Taker a short clothesline. ANOTHER DDT follows, and Jake goes to the outside to chase Paul Bearer. Taker sits up and makes his way to the outside, where he gives Jake a TOMBSTONE, before rolling Jake back into the ring for the three count at 6:42.

 

Match Analysis: Taker squash to even further establish him as a main event player...otherwise, there's nothing to see here. Notable for the end of Jake's WWF run and that's it. *.

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Time for copy & paste....but there's a promo with both men that I find to be one of the funniest I've seen. "Love the way your mama used to make them sammidges."

 

It's Bret Hart vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Championship. I deleted all the other nonsense that I put in the title when I first posted this, I don't know what I was thinking.

 

Blow-by-blow: Thankfully, they show the pre-match promo. I'll review that when the whole event is posted. Bret's in his all pink attire, and I don't know who the referee is. Both men trade armdrags before Piper takes Bret down to the canvas. Piper has his arms locked around Bret, and Bret runs and ducks down so that Piper goes out under the top rope. Clever. Piper spits at Bret to establish that he'll be playing the heel tonight, then we have a test of strength. Piper chops Bret after they exchange armwringers, and he rams Bret into the turnbuckle. Piper chops him more, and Bret gets a running dropkick. Bret plays possum on the canvas, holding his shoulder, then rolls Piper up for a 2 count. I think that's the first time he did that in the WWF, I'm not sure though. Piper slaps him, and now IT'S ON. Bret crossbody's Piper to the floor (see what I said about Piper liking that spot) even though it took a while for both men to get to the floor, and Piper holds the ring ropes open so that Bret can come back in. What a guy. Piper makes the referee check Bret for weapons, and Piper slugs Bret in the face with his left hand as Bret's head is down, so obviously, Bret couldn't see him. Wink, wink. Bret blades off the punch (blading was a no-no at the time) and Piper rams his head into the buckle. Piper with a bulldog that gets two and a dropkick for 2, but Bret comes back with a sunset flip for 2. Piper with some lefts and rights for 2, then a Bret flying forearm puts Piper out of the ring. Piper comes back in and both men clothesline each other. Piper goes up to the top as Bret is playing possum AGAIN, and he drapes Piper's feet on the ropes, then rams his face into the canvas. Here comes the usual, Bret with a inverted atomic drop, suplex, russian leg sweep and backbreaker, but Piper blocks the SHARPSHOOTER. Bret goes up to the 2nd rope for his elbowdrop, but he eats Piper's boot on the way down. The two combatants trade punches from their knees (I was going to say "trade blows from their knees," but for some reason, I didn't. Hopefully you can make sense of it.) and Piper rams Bret into the referee. Piper clotheslines Bret out, then rams him into the steel steps. Piper grabs the ringbell, but thinks better of using it. Cause he's a good guy at heart, 'ya know? He tosses the bell out and puts Bret in a sleeper hold, but Bret kicks the turnbuckle pad in the corner, and the momentum puts Bret on top of Piper for the 3 count, and the win, at 13:50. I can't describe the finish any better than that, sorry. It was like Bret-Austin at Survivor Series 1996.

 

Match Analysis: I won't say too much, but this match is WAY underrated. I don't see what keeps this from being a great match, considering that most people don't put it in that category. It told a great story, and moreover, helped launch Bret on his push that culminated in him winning the WWF title later in the year. Would it have been the same had Bret beaten the Mountie (or insert mid-card heel here) at WM 8 to get the title back? No, of course it wouldn't have. ****1/4. One of my favorite matches.

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Bobby Heenan introduces LEX LUGER, from the World Bodybuilding Federation. MWHAHAHAHAHA. Luger calls Gorilla Monsoon "fat," so Gorilla jumps out of his seat. That was funny. Then Luger drinks a glass of milk, because it does a body good.

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The next match is an 8-man tag, as the Nasty Boys, the Repo Man and the Mountie are taking on Jim Duggan, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, and the BIG Bossman. Before the match, the heel side cuts one of the funniest promos I've ever seen. You must see it. Anyhow, Ray Combs of Family Feud fame does this little comedy bit on the heels, saying that he surveyed 100 people. They chased him out of the ring when he finished the speech up.

 

Blow-by-blow: Everyone brawls, and all the heels get clotheslined, before bailing to the outside. WAIT A SECOND, Bobby Heenan has a special announcement. SHAWN MICHAELS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. Ok, now back to the action. Duggan and Sags start the match, and after a Duggan clothesline, Sgt. Slaughter tags in. Knobbs also tags in, and Slaughter gives him a chestbreaker. A back elbow follows, and Bossman tags in. Bossman misses a charge to the corner though, so Repo Man comes into the match. Bossman gives him a shoulderblock, but he misses a splash. Repo tries to jump on Bossman, but Bossman quickly turns over and punches him in the nuts. Ouch. Virgil tags in and gives Repo a dropkick, then a crossbody off the top rope for 2. The Mountie punches Virgil in the head so that Repo can gain control, and Repo does, with a back suplex. Now everyone brawls, Sarge hits Knobbs with a roll of tape, and Virgil pins Knobbs for the victory at 6:32.

Match Analysis: Just one of those "get everyone on the show" tag matches. Nothing wrong with that. 1/2*.

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Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair are with Sean Mooney, and they're also in possession of a photo of Miss Elizabeth. Who knows what's inside the envelope. They plan to unveil it on the big screen when Flair wins.

 

Randy Savage's door is shut for Gene Okerlund, he grants no interviews before this match.

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And now, one part of the co-main event, this being Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair w/Mr. Perfect for the WWF Championship.

 

Blow-by-blow: Lots of bad blood here. Macho's wearing gold...foreshadowing, perhaps? Savage chases Flair around the ring, and attacks him in the aisle, before Perfect can pull Savage off of Flair. Flair gets Savage inside the ring, but Savage clotheslines Flair and knees him in the back. Savage goes up for a 10 punch, but Flair tries to bring him down with an inverted atomic drop, only to be clotheslined. Savage gives Flair a back elbow for 2, but on a charge at Flair, Flair backdrops Savage all the way to the floor. Yo. Savage's back hit the apron on the way down, so this looked a bit more rough than the other times that Savage took this move. Flair chops away and rams Savage into the apron before bringing Savage back in, where he gives Savage a suplex for 2. A Flair back suplex also gets a 2 count, as does a cover after a few chops. Flair gives Savage a kneedrop, then sends him outside, ramming him back-first into the ring apron. Then with Savage on the ring apron, he suplexes him in, for a 2 count. Savage finally comes back with a neckbreaker after a few punches, then Flair goes up to the top. Flair gets slammed down to the canvas, and then given a backdrop. 2 clotheslines follow as does a Flair flip, then Savage clotheslines Flair when Flair's on the apron, for a 2 count. Savage clotheslines Flair over the top, then goes all BOMBS AWAY down to the floor. Flair gets rammed to the steps as he's bleeding, and Savage gives Flair a suplex, on the floor. In we go, and Savage gives Flair a double axhandle for 2. Savage goes up again, and this time, he gives Flair the FLYING ELBOWDROP. Perfect pulls Savage out of the ring on the cover, so Savage chases Perfect. Perfect tosses an INTERNATIONAL object to Flair (had to wait long as possible to pull out that phrase), thusly, Flair hits Savage with it. The cover only gets 2. Perfect hits Savage in the back with a chair as the referee is distracted, which brings Elizabeth down to the ring. Flair begins to work on Savage's leg, with a kneebreaker and the FIGURE-FOUR LEGLOCK, as he uses Perfect for leverage. Savage reverses the hold as the referee spots the cheating, and when both stand up, Savage cradles Flair for 2. Flair tries to give Savage a kneebreaker, but Savage flips over and rolls up Flair while HOLDING THE TIGHTS for the THREE COUNT at 18:05. OMG, TWO TIME WWF CHAMPION MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE. Bobby Heenan says that he absolutely MUST leave the commentary position, and he does. Elizabeth came into the ring to celebrate, and now, Flair's making a move towards her. He kisses her, she slaps him. Savage enters the picture, and begins to beat the shit out of Flair, at least until officials intervene. Of course, Savage and Elizabeth celebrate, to end the show. OH WAIT, we've still got a whole lot more.

 

Match Analysis: Would've been the perfect moment to end a show on, amirite? Too bad it didn't. The things that knock this match down are the same things that knock Flair vs. Hogan at Bash '94 down, although to a lesser extent. Yeah, there is a ton of overbooking in this. Much of it is completely unnecessary. As for what is unnecessary, I don't really need to say, I'd rather have other people figure it out. The only part I believe isn't excess is Liz coming down to the ring. You can get there other ways than with Flair knocking Savage cold with a foreign object. Still, ****1/4. A damn good wrestling match, despite all of that. The overbooking wasn't what made the match great.

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Sean Mooney is with Mr. Perfect, Bobby Heenan, and Ric Flair, cause Flair has a LOT to say. Flair says that Savage is going to be claiming many falsehoods now, and that's what they are, false. The crazed look in Flair's eyes is the best thing on this entire show. Just being honest.

 

Mean Gene is with Savage, and this isn't over at all. He wants Elizabeth to take the title and go, then he says he'll do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get a hold of Flair. I'm still pissed that we didn't get a proper blowoff to this feud.

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Now, we look at a flashback from the WrestleMania VIII press conference, in which Hulk Hogan was named the #1 contender. Sid Justice really didn't like that, as he stated in an interview. At Saturday Night's Main Event #30, he showed his true colors. During a match which featured he and Hulk Hogan taking on Ric Flair and the Undertaker, Sid left the Hulkster in the ring, while he was being worked over by the heels. Brutus Beefcake tried to get all tough with Sid and make him stay, but when Sid reached back to punch Beefcake, Beefcake let him go. Remember, Beefcake had a messed up face, unfortunately, Sid didn't punch him. Then the WWF would've had reason to keep Beefcake off TV forever.

 

To be fair, Beefcake didn't stick around much longer, because Sid destroyed the Barber Shop on Wrestling Challenge. Sid had shaving cream all over his face while he wrecked the place. Ok, now enough of the professional sounding writing. Lastly, we get to see a video of Sid destroying a bunch of jobbers, Virgil among them.

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Before this next match, Rick Martel cuts a promo, namely describing how "Indians" know nothing about fashion. Haha.

Obviously, the next match is "The Model" Rick Martel vs. Tatanka.

 

Blow-by-blow: Prior to the bout, some Native Americans were doing this little performance in the ring. Surely to keep the fans in the arena awake, because it was a long time between the end of the Savage match and the start of this one. The Model is one of my favorite gimmicks, like, ever. Does that make me a homosexual? Tatanka hiptosses Martel to start the match, then slams him twice, causing Martel to bail out. Martel comes back in and rams Tatanka into the warrior, but Tatanka returns the favor. Martel misses a charge to the corner, but he comes right back with a chokeslam. Martel tosses Tatanka over the top and brings him right back in for some reason, giving Tatanka a backbreaker inside of the ring. Tatanka gives Martel a backdrop as his comeback is being made, and then a tomahawk chop. Martel responds with a scoop slam and clothesline, but Tatanka gives Martel a crossbody for 3 at 4:31.

 

Match Analysis: Just like the 8-man tag. A match to fill out the card. Better than the other, though. *1/4.

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Sean Mooney is with Money Inc., and seeing as IRS knows it's tax time, they have a lot of collecting to do, from the Natural Disasters. The Disasters are with Mean Gene, and they blabber a whole bunch of nonsense. Why were these two babyfaces, again?

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The next contest is, of course, the NATURAL DISASTERS vs. Money Inc. w/Jimmy Hart for the WWF Tag Team Championships.

 

Blow-by-blow: Earthquake and IRS look like they're about to start the match, but really, they can't decide who's going to start. DiBiase comes into the match, but Earthquake tosses him into the buckle, then clotheslines DiBiase's partner to follow. Earthquake works on IRS and Typhoon comes in, giving IRS a hipblock. Typhoon steps on IRS' tie, and then rams him into the buckle multiple times, before missing a charge to the corner. DiBiase comes in and chops away, but Typhoon comes back with a headbutt. Typhoon misses a charge at DiBiase and goes over the top to the outside, where IRS rams him into the steps. Inside, and IRS gives Typhoon an elbowdrop for 2. Follow that up with a double back elbow, and a DiBiase axhandle off the 2nd rope for 2. Then there's a double collision, and Earthquake tags in, along with IRS. Earthquake gives him a clothesline and a scoop slam, before SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THIS VERY RING. Hart and DiBiase then pull IRS out, and leave, getting counted out at 8:37.

Match Analysis: Well, that sucked. BUT, it wasn't the worst tag title match at Mania. That's on the next show. 3/4* for a general waste of time.

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Mean Gene is with Brutus the Barber...uh, why? Brutus talks about HULKAMANIA, but I'm not listening.

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Owen Hart vs. Skinner is our before the main event filler...

 

Blow-by-blow: Right from the get-go, Skinner spits some chewing tobacco on Owen. GROSS. Skinner gives Owen a shoulerbreaker, and a reverse DDT for a 2 count. Skinner tosses Owen over the top, Owen skins the cat to come back in, and rolls Skinner up for 3 at 1:10.

 

Match Analysis: Uh, good while it lasted? *.

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Now, the big hype for the big match.

 

Harvey Wippleman and Sid are with Mean Gene, talking about how he's the master, and how Sid rules the world. He says it's Hogan's last match. We see a video of Vince McMahon thanking Hogan for what he's given to the WWF, and that Hogan doesn't know whether or not this is his last match. Then we cut back to Sid, and Sid says he doesn't really care what Hogan had to say, cause he RULES THE WORLD.

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Of course, the main event is NOW, and that's Sid Justice w/Harvey Wippleman vs. Hulk Hogan.

 

Blow-by-blow: Harvey's at the ring to introduce Sid, during which Gorilla Monsoon says that he calls Sid, "Psycho Sid." Ha. Sid attacks Hogan at the beginning of the bout, but in response Hogan knocks Sid out of the ring and keeps him out. A big clothesline follows, so Hogan tears his shirt. Crowd is going batshit at the moment, so the two wrestlers stare down. Sid gives Hogan a knee and a rake of the face, but Hogan responds with a few rights that knock Sid out of the ring. Now we go to a LONG TEST OF STRENGTH, that Sid wins when he knees Hogan. Sid gives Hogan a big chokeslam (to a positive reaction), and he cuts a promo during the middle of the match. MWAHAHAHA. Sid punches Hogan in the kidney, then hits him with Harvey's doctor bag on the outside, twice, before sending Hogan in for the NERVE HOLD. Super, super long on that, but Sid ends Hogan's little rally with a sidewalk slam. Sid gives Hogan the POWERBOMB, and of course, it only gets 2. HULK-UP, big boot, SLAM, DROP THE FUCKIN' LEG, but Hogan only gets a 2 count. As we all know, Papa Shango was supposed to run into the ring. He did not. Not only did he not, he wasn't even close to getting there in time. Harvey runs into the match to get Hogan DQ'd at 12:26, so Hogan tosses Harvey onto Sid. Sid stands there like an idiot waiting for Shango, and when Shango finally gets there, he and Sid attack Hogan. The ULTIMATE WARRIOR'S music hits, and then the place really goes nuts. Bobby Heenan does too, and now, the Warrior cleans house. A chairshot from Sid does absolutely nothing, so he bails out. Now Warrior and Hogan pose to end the show.

 

Match Analysis: See, now that I've watched it again, I can understand why people said that Kerry Von Erich was the Ultimate Warrior. No lie when I say that I could not tell the difference during that run-in. Match was absolutely terrible. 1/2*. The Warrior run-in is something I watch multiple times whenever I watch the show. Can't help it, mostly because I love to hear Heenan's reaction.

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Rating: Great. Two ****+ matches equals great. Not the best WrestleMania up to that point, but close.

 

Best Segment: Uh, I prefer Bret vs. Piper to the rest. Maybe I'm alone on that.

 

Worst Segment: I have to pick something...the 8-man tag wasn't the worst, because of Ray Combs' funny little comedy routine. LOD's promo was.

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WrestleMania IX review will be up sometime. With the NCAA tournament occuring, who knows when.

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I watched WMVIII during the summer of 1992 all the time, I don't even know how many times I watched Piper/Hart yet I don't think I ever didn't FF the tag title match after my first viewing. This is also one of the very, very, very few VHS tapes I still own. I don't even own a VCR but I kept the live taping of this show because I loved the show and that summer that much.

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Regarding Tito, it's not like they hid his name as Fink announced it during the entrance.

 

It's hard to choose between the IC and world title matches.

 

Agreed on the awesomeness of Piper in the pre-match interview. I like his gestures during the sandwich comment.

 

So if you don't rank this as the best Wrestlemania up until that point, which one do you?

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WM III is slightly better, I believe. Better build has a lot to do with that, as many more matches were built up to and blown off. Wrestling wise, yeah, WM VIII is probably better, although I won't go as far as to say it's the best in that category. WM VII is really good as well.

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I figured that it would be III. It was my first PPV (CCTV, whatever) so it has a special place in my heart.

 

This might be corny, but I like the subtlety of the arena gradually growing darker throughout the night at III.

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