September 10, 2007
Matt Peddycord

WWF WrestleMania VIII
April 5, 1992
Indianapolis, IN
Hoosier Dome

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Ric Flair (1/19/1992)
Intercontinental Champion: Roddy Piper (1/19/1992)
World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (2/7/1992)

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan!

Country music singer Reba McEntire sings the national anthem.

Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Sensational Sherri)

Both men made big changes to their personas in the last six months. Tito finally let go of his Strike Force gear and began sporting a matador outfit. As for Shawn, he superkicked his long-time partner Marty Jannetty on the “Barber Shop” and then THREW him through the glass window to turn full-blown heel. He’s now cockier than ever and got himself a girlfriend who just so happens to be in LOVE with him. By this point though, Tito was used as enhancement talent and he’s just here to get the cocky new heel over as a legit challenger to the IC belt. Shoving contest to start leads to a Tito crossbody for two. Shawn runs the ropes a bit after a headlock and winds up taking a clothesline out to the floor. Back in, Tito grabs another headlock. Shawn escapes again, but flips out of the corner one too many times and turns around into a right hand. More headlockage leads to Shawn ducking low and gets caught in an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Tito tries that headlock thing again and Shawn winds up throwing him out over the top rope and to the floor. Sherri surprisingly doesn’t get in a cheap shot as Santana crawls back in the ring. Shawn delivers a backbreaker and then grabs a chinlock. Tito elbows out, but runs into a superkick. Remember, this is 1992, so it’s not his finisher yet. He goes for the TEARDROP SUPLEX, but Tito punches out. After some back and forth blows, Tito connects with the FLYING JALAPENO that knocks Shawn out to the floor! Tito brings him back in for a slingshot shoulderblock for 1-2-NO! The momentum of a knee-lift lands Shawn face-first in the turnbuckle and then into an inverted atomic drop. Another FLYING JALAPENO puts Shawn back on the floor. Once he’s on the apron, Tito tries to slam him back in, but Shawn hooks the ropes and falls on top for 1-2-3. (10:40) Ehh. It was okay. The buildup was pretty good, but the finish was awkward. **½

Gene Okerlund brings out the LOD, who are making their first appearance since they lost the tag belts. They’re back, and for the first time in the WWF, they’ve got Paul Ellering with them! OHH WHAT A RUSH!

Jake Roberts vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)

This was Jake’s last WWF match until he made his return in 1996. Also, Undertaker has undergone a face turn after saving Elizabeth from taking a steel chair shot to the face from Roberts on the last SNME, and the crowd seems to really be taking a liking to him. Roberts uses the stick-and-run strategy on Taker to start. Taker gets knocked out to the floor, but he lands on his feet like always and drags Roberts out for the inevitable shoulder-first posting job. Back in, Jake pounds away, but Taker turns the tables on him and cross-corner whips Jake around. Taker chokes away and then hits the Jumping Lariat. TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER? No! Roberts slips out and hits the DDT out of nowhere. It’s over. Or not. Paul Bearer lifts up the urn to give Taker that extra boost of energy to do a Zombie Sit-up. Roberts doesn’t let it bother him though, so he drills Taker with the Short-Arm Clothesline and delivers another DDT! Bearer lifts up the urn again, so Roberts goes out after him and tries to get that urn away from him. It’s too late though! Taker is up and right behind him to put a stop to the heist. Taker turns him around and gives Jake a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER on the floor! Heenan thinks Jake’s neck is broken! Back in, the three-count is academic. (6:44) Quite the face pop for the Deadman. Taker is now 2-0 at Wrestlemania. *½

In the back, IC Champ Roddy Piper and challenger Bret Hart get into a competitive little tiff before their big match.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart

Bret wants his belt back and Piper has it. It’s nothing personal-he just wants his belt back, and he’d go through his mom if that’s what it takes to get it back around his waist. Lots of staring at each other to start. They trade armdrags to one-up each other, which seems customary in big-time WWF matches. Piper tries to outwrestle Bret, but Bret is just too good to lose that battle. Especially to a brawler like Piper. Bret supposedly hurts his shoulder on the way down off a dropkick, so Piper kindly backs off, but it’s just a trick for Bret to sneak in a small package for 1-2-NO! Piper is obviously pissed and slaps the CRAP out of Bret. They go to the floor for a sick bump. Piper’s the first guy back in and actually holds the ropes down for Bret to come back in the ring. But then Piper points out Bret’s boot is untied, and cheapshots him. Running bulldog by Piper busts Bret open. When Piper turns Bret over for a cover, you can see the blood stain, which is a cool visual. Cover gets two. Piper controls with open shots until Bret fires back and comes off the ropes with a diving forearm that puts Piper out on the floor. Back in, we get a double-KO spot. Piper heads up top, but Bret stops that and slams Piper down by his hair on the mat. Inverted atomic drop and a suplex gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret follows that up with a backbreaker and then goes for the SHARPSHOOTER, but Piper blocks Bret’s foot with his hands. Bret gives him a vertical elbow drop instead and then comes off the middle-rope for another elbow, but Piper gets his boot up. They trade blows on their knees and then they fight up until Piper shoves Bret off into the referee. Piper takes Bret to the floor and slams his bloody face into the steel steps. He rolls the beaten down Bret back in the ring and then grabs the ring bell. He gets back in and has second thoughts about bashing the bell over his head. Piper’s ethics kick in and he decides not to do it and grabs the SLEEPER HOLD instead. Bret then walks over to the corner and kicks off the ropes to fall on top of Piper WHILE STILL IN THE HOLD to get the 1-2-3. (13:52) Just a fantastic story told in that ring. Not only one of Piper’s finest matches, but also one of Bret’s best as well, which is really saying something. Piper looked like he was going to turn on Bret at the end, but he thought better of it and awards Bret with the IC belt. ****

Bobby Heenan introduces to the world live via satellite LEX LUGER as the newest addition to Vince McMahon’s World Bodybuilding Federation. Lex is doing the same character that he was in WCW before he left. He’s the most genetically gifted athlete in the world and all that jazz. He probably would have been the next (and last) WBF Champion, but fate ruled him a bad hand and he was out of action until ‘93 because of a motorcycle accident.

Big Bossman, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter & Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Nasty Boys, The Mountie & Repo Man (w/Jimmy Hart)

It’s filler time. “Family Feud” host Ray Combs does the ring introductions. He just basically pisses off the heels with silly little jokes and then has to get the heck out of dodge when they all run after him. The faces clean house and chant “USA!” a bunch. Sags and Duggan start things off once it gets to one-on-one. Duggan controls and then tags in Slaughter, but Sags goes to the eyes and brings him across into the heel corner. Knobs tags in, but Slaughter comes back with clotheslines and tags in Bossman. He then misses a corner charge and Repo gets a tag. Bossman misses another splash, so Repo jumps on his back. He does it one time too many though and Bossman punches him in the balls for it. Nose-guarded Virgil tags in and hits a flying crossbody for 1-2-NO! Mountie sneaks in and levels Virgil with a clothesline though. Duggan and Bossman come in, which just gets Virgil QUADRUPLE-TEAMED! Sags gets a tag and delivers a pumphandle slam for 1-2-NO! Mountie tags and wants to splash Virgil off the middle-rope, but then doesn’t see Bossman standing there to catch him for a spinebuster. It turns into a free-for-all, leaving Virgil alone with the Nasties. Sags slips on the taped-knucks and hits Knobs by accident. Duggan knocks Sags out of the ring while Virgil covers Knobs for 1-2-3. (6:35) Yep, this was definitely filler. Fairly entertaining though. ¾*

We go to the locker room with Sean Mooney who is standing by with WWF World Champ Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect. They can’t wait to post Liz’s nudie pics up on the big screen in the Hoosier Dome. WOOOO!

WWF World Champion Ric Flair (w/Mr. Perfect) vs. Randy Savage

The master of mind games, Ric Flair, REALLY screwed with Savage on this one. I mean, making up doctored photos with him and Elizabeth together? Savage is already a little nuts, but Elizabeth has always been his hot button. WrestleMania 5, Ric? Have you seen it? Honestly though, it made for some good TV and we finally got to see two of the best ever in the ring at the same time while still somewhat at their primes with a huge conflict and a title on the line. Savage beats up Flair in the entry way to start, but Perfect stops that and slams Savage’s face on the mats at ringside. Savage chases Perfect around and then heads into the ring to meet Flair with elbows and clotheslines until he backs the ref away and then charges into a backdrop, which takes him back out to the floor. Flair follows him out and rams his back into the apron. Back in, Flair puts the boots to him and then gives him a stalling suplex for 1-2-NO! Back suplex follows and gets 1-2-NO! Flair then whips him from corner-to-corner and chops him down for two, then hits the rolling knee drop. Savage rolls out, but Flair follows and rams him spine-first again into the apron. Back in again, Flair gives Savage another stalling suplex for 1-2-NO! Flair cross-corner whips Savage some more and kicks away, but then Savage fires back and hits a neckbreaker out of nowhere. Flair goes the eyes and climbs up top, which is 99.999999% of the time a bad idea for him. Of course, this time was no different. Savage delivers a backdrop and a clothesline, and then whips Flair in for the Flair Flip. He runs down the apron and quickly comes off the top, but Savage is there to clothesline him on the way down for 1-2-NO! Savage clotheslines Flair to the floor and follows him out with a flying double-ax handle. The camera misses the Flair Flop on the mat. Flair’s busted open by the way, so Savage slams him face-first into the steel steps and then runs him into the ringpost for another Flair Flop. Back in, Savage connects with a flying double-ax handle for 1-2-NO! The crowd can’t freakin’ BELIEVE it and they start to boo. Savage now goes for the kill with the MACHO ELBOW DROP and gets 1-2-NO! WHAT? Perfect crawls half-way into the ring and yanks Savage off of Flair. He goes after Perfect and chases him into the ring. The ref gets in between the two and he’s naturally bumped while Savage has Perfect by his tie. Hebner’s not hurt too badly though, because he gets Perfect out of the ring. Must have ate his Wheaties that morning. Meanwhile, Flair slips on some taped-knucks from his trunks and KO’s Savage. Flair then sneaks Perfect the knucks and covers Savage for 1-2-NO! Flair’s getting frustrated. Crowd chants “Macho” a WHOLE bunch. Hebner backs Flair away to reprimand him for choking on Savage. While that’s happening, Perfect jabs Savage in the knee with a steel chair! That cues Elizabeth to come to her hubbie’s aid, but the other Hebner and Shane McMahon plead with her to return to the dressing room. Flair works the leg like a mad man while the suits at ringside are begging Elizabeth to leave ringside. FIGURE-FOUR is on in the middle of the ring! Perfect is helping out with some leverage, but it’s not enough to keep Savage from reversing the hold! Nevertheless, the damage has been done. Flair goes for a slam, but Savage counters with an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Flair chops away while Elizabeth is freaking out at ringside. Flair hits the shin breaker and then pounds on the knee, but then Savage blocks a punch and rolls up Flair with a handful of tights for 1-2-3!! (18:02) The Hoosier Dome EXPLODES! We’ve got a NEW WWF Champion! After the match, Flair grabs Elizabeth for a quick smooch, and gets slapped to the other side of the ring. Savage of course leaps at Flair and the suits jump on him immediately. Perfect punches away the security as Flair continues his assault on Savage. Oh, this ain’t over. ****¼

Sean Mooney meets back up with Flair and Perfect for some comments on what happened out there. Perfect complains that Savage had grab a handful of tights to pin Flair. Heenan comes by to be all pissed off with Perfect and Flair. They take some potshots on Liz and then demand a rematch. WOOOO!

Savage can barely stand (AWESOME SELLJOB!), as he cuts a promo on Flair saying there will be a next time.

Tatanka vs. Rick Martel

Tatanka’s is around six months into his WWF tenure and Martel is enhancement talent at this point. You can pretty much already figure out who’s winning this one. Nobody really cared about Tatanka until around 1993, as he really didn’t get pushed until then. Tatanka no-sells everything until he gets tossed out HARD on the floor. Back in, Martel hits a backbreaker and heads up top, but Tatanka trips him up and chops away. Martel catches him ducking low off a whip, but Tatanka comes back with a crossbody for the win. (4:33) Nothing to it. ¼*

WWF World Tag Team Champions Money Inc. (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Natural Disasters

So Jimmy Hart turned on the Natural Disasters by selling their tag titles shot to Money Inc, which they took full advantage of and defeated LOD for the belts. As a result, the Disasters got rid of Jimmy and turned face. One lady in the audience has a “Natural Disasters Rule!” sign on like a piece of white construction paper. Apparently to this person, they don’t rule enough to get like a huge banner or for her to even spend 59 cents on poster board at Kmart and actually put some effort in her sign– no, she went with an 8x10 piece of paper to show her love for the Disasters, and even then she holds it at merely chest level. I’m sure they appreciate the support. DiBiase gets thrown around to start and when Money Inc try to double-team, they take a Double Noggin Knocker and escape to the floor. Back in, Typhoon pounds on IRS until he misses a charge and tags DiBiase. Typhoon uses his fat to control Ted until he misses a charge up against the ropes and falls out to the floor to meet IRS for some steel steps action. Back in again, Typhoon becomes fattie-in-peril for a while. False tag spot occurs, followed by a double-KO spot, to set up a rather lukewarm tag to Earthquake. The Disasters clean house on DiBiase. IRS takes a SPLASH from Typhoon to set up an EARTHQUAKE SPLASH, but Jimmy pulls IRS out just in the nick of time and the champs take the ten-count instead to live and fight another day. (7:38) What a lame finish. The match wasn’t too hot either. ½*

Owen Hart vs. Skinner

Skinner goes APE POOP on Owen to begin with and even hits the GATORBREAKER (inverted DDT; Scorpion Deathdrop), but Owen kicks out at two. Skinner tries to toss out Owen, but he skins-the-cat back in and rolls up Skinner off the ropes for 1-2-3. (1:09) How do you not love that Owen guy? Too short to mean anything. CRAP

Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice (w/Harvey Wippleman)

This might be the Hulkster’s last match because he’s bored, brother. The next time we hear him say he was bored, he did something drastic like turning heel in ’96. Sid tries to get in a cheapshot on Hulk before he can rip his shirt off, but NAH UH! Hogan beats him out of the ring and tears off that shirt for the “last time”. Now that the shirt has been torn, Sid gets back in the ring for the staredown. He goes low on Hulk and rips at his face, but Hogan fights back and pounds Sid back out to the floor with Harvey. Back in, Sid wants a test of strength. Hulk has to have the crowd’s permission though first. Okay, they’re down with it. The two egomaniacs lock up and trade control just like Hogan/Warrior two years before. When Sid starts to lose, he buries a knee into Hulk. Cross-corner whip is reversed and Hogan follows in for a clothesline. Hogan grabs after Harvey and then turns around into a chokeslam! They go to the floor where Harvey distracts the ref while Sid beats on Hulk with Harvey’s doctor bag. Yeah, Harvey was a nerdy looking doctor. That was his gimmick before he became a woman. Back in, Sid grabs the nerve hold. Hogan eventually elbows out, but Sid still manages to give him a side slam. Sid calls for the POWERBOMB and delivers! Cover, 1-2-NO! It’s HULK UP time! Hogan takes him corner-to-corner for turnbuckle smashes, hits the Big Boot, slams Sid, and connects with the LEGDROP! Cover, 1-2-NO! Sid kicks out and Harvey Wippleman is in the ring. Ref calls for the bell? (12:39) Hogan presses Harvey up and throws him at Sid, but he catches him and puts him down so he and Hulk can trade punches. Meanwhile, Papa Shango runs in and attacks Hogan! Who will save the Hulkster? Wait, I hear some very familiar music! Yes! That’s the Ultimate Warrior’s music, and here he comes running toward to Hogan’s aid! Shango takes a clothesline out to the floor while Sid sneaks up behind with a steel chair. Hogan winds up saving the Warrior and cleaning house on Sid so they can do some not gay-at-all bicep poses for the next several minutes of PPV air-time. Oh, by the way, Hogan wins by DQ. *

Final Thoughts: Ironic how we leave off WrestleMania 8 where WrestleMania 6 ended with Warrior being given an opportunity to take Hogan’s spotlight while he’s gone making a movie and enjoying the family life. This is personally my second-favorite of the first ten WrestleManias, if you really want to subcategorize. The core stuff that makes the show is excellent and the filler is real short and inoffensive. Thumbs up for WrestleMania 8!

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