In Cheap Pop, Three Man Booth Discuss Random Topics
with a Slight Historical Bend
Wrestlemania is the biggest show the WWE puts on each year. As the Superbowl of Wrestling, it aims to be the best wrestling show, period. However, when stacking Wrestlemanias up against one another, they get reduced to one quick descriptive blurbs. Wrestlemania 9: the One with the Togas; Wrestlemania 22: the One with the Good Divas Match; Wrestlemania 4: the One where Macho Man Wins. They’re like titles of Friends episodes. Not all the monikers are favorable or justified. Wrestlemania 8 is one of those. Our personal favorite Wrestlemania has the unfortunate sub-title “the One Wrestlemania that Wasn’t.”
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In 1992, the Road to Wrestlemania was shaping up to a truly unique marquee main event. The Royal Rumble Winner that year also became the WWF Champion. So when Ric Flair – recently arriving from NWA / WCW – outlasted 29 other Superstars and was in the ring for over an hour, the proclaimed “Real World’s Champion” became the WWF Champion. Worlds started to collide. Flair’s opponent for Wrestlemania should – naturally – be the last person eliminated from the Royal Rumble
Sid Justice Hulk Hogan.
Technically, the spot belonged to Sid Justice, aka Sid Vicious, “Flair v. Sid” sound like a match-up for Wrestlemania or for Clash of the Champions? C’mon, Jack Tunney did us all a favor by picking Hogan. Wrestlemania 8 was setting up to be the Franchise Player of the North, Hulk Hogan, square off against the Franchise Player of the South, Ric Flair. The Immortal One versus the Nature Boy. Hulkamania versus Flair Country. So the rumors go, they tried Hogan v. Flair in smaller venues along that Road to Wrestlemania, as a warmup. It didn’t work, apparently: Hogan and Flair were not living up to the fantasy warfare everyone imagined. So Wrestlemania 8 was changed to a double main event: Sid Justice versus Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair defending his WWF Championship against Macho Man Randy Savage.
Their reasons were sound for those two matches: Flair attacked the virtue of Savage’s wife, Miss Elizabeth, claiming that the two had been romantically linked in the past. If victorious, Flair was going to show some risque photos from their time together, ones not suitable for WWF magazine. This was done to further enrage the short-fused Randy Savage and distract him in his WWF Title Match against Flair. Meanwhile, Sid left Hogan midway through a tag team match because … um … well, Sid’s a jerk. That’s what we were given. This is that led to the “the One Wrestlemania that Wasn’t” nickname.
|Taken by ThreeManBooth at WWE Axxess 2012|
What Wrestlemania 8 should be known for as is “the one that passed the torch.” Three Superstars elevated that undercard: Shawn Michaels versus Tito Santana, The Undertaker versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Bret Hart versus Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Championship. Wrestlemania 8 is the first one where Shawn and Bret competed in singles competition, shedding the last of their tag team reputations. The Undertaker made his Wrestlemania debut a year before – against Jimmy Snuka – but this Wrestlemania was the first one where Taker competed at as a good guy, proving that the living dead man could be cheered by his fans while being feared by opponents. All three Superstars were victorious and the torch was passed; by Survivor Series, the WWF’s last Pay Per View of the year, Bret – now WWF Champion – faced Shawn – now Intercontinental Champion – in the Main Event. And The Undertaker debuted his first signature match, the Casket Match, against the Ugandan Giant Kamala.
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The WWE has done their best to correct themselves on this Wrestlemania 8 oversight. On the DVD cover, they highlight Wrestlemania 8 as the beginning of the Showstopper Shawn Michaels, even though he was the Showstarter on that night, whereas one Boother considers Bret v. Piper his favorite Wrestlemania match ever. But regardless, there is another reason why Wrestlemania 8 should not be overlooked. That was the first Wrestlemania for ThreeManBooth; without it, we would not have gone to Wrestlemania 28, our 1st time attending a Wrestlemania, and were thusly inspired to create ThreeManBooth.com.