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OO GUEST COLUMN  
WrestleMania 4: 14 Men, 1 WWF Title,
and 4 Different Outfits for Miss Elizabeth
November 13, 2003

by Adam Gutschmidt 
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Emanating from Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Your commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “the Body” Ventura

- A lot has happened since the WWF was last seen on PPV.  Ted Dibiase, looking to buy the world title from Hulk Hogan, opted to buy Andre the Giant’s contract and buy off a referee.  As a result, during the rematch between Hogan and Andre, the referee counted a pinfall for Andre, even though Hogan’s shoulders were up at 1.  Andre then gave Dibiase the title.  President Jack Tunney didn’t feel any of this was kosher and declared the title vacant.  That set up a 14 man tournament for this show to determine a new heavyweight champion.  Also, Hogan and Andre were given byes in the first round of the tourney and were set to fight each other in the second round.

- Gladys Knight sings ‘America the Beautiful’ as we fall further down the celebrity hierarchy with regards to Wrestlemania opening acts.

Opening Match: 20 Man Battle Royal featuring The Hart Foundation, Bad News Brown, The Young Stallions, Sika, Dangerous Danny Davis, The Killer Bees, Sam Houston, The Rougeau Brothers, Ken Patera, Outlaw Ron Bass, Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, King Harley Race, and George “the Animal” Steele

Bell rings and everyone goes at it, except Steele who just chills on the floor.  Bass and Davis team up to backdrop Houston out.  No big loss there.  Meanwhile, a handful of guys dump out Sika.  Volkoff tosses Brunzell over, but he hangs on and crawls back in.  Blair gets Davis up, which gets the crowd excited, but he can’t eliminate him.  Steele, still on the floor, trips up Neidhart.  Neidhart gives him static, so Steele pulls him out.  As the referees try to separate Neidhart and Steele, Brunzell is knocked out of the ring.  Gorilla assumes Steele is eliminated, even though he never got in.  Blair eliminates Ray Rougeau, so Jacques retaliates and eliminates Blair.  JYD clotheslines Bass to the floor.  Zukoff tosses Hillbilly Jim out and I have to call that an upset.  Roma picks up Davis and heaves him to the floor.  Big pop for that.  While Roma was busy doing that though, Bret eliminates his partner Powers.  Patera backdrops Volkoff out and then tries to do the same with Zukoff, but Bad News eliminates them both.  Race flips Jacques to the floor.  JYD clotheslines Race out to get payback for losing to him last Wrestlemania.  Our Final Four now are Bret, Roma, Bad News and JYD.  Roma is dispensed quickly by Bad News.  Bret and Bad News try teaming up against JYD, but their plan backfires.  JYD hits them both with his doggy-style headbutts.  Eventually though, the numbers game (the numbers game is a trademark of the Michael Cole School of Broadcasting) catches up with JYD and the heels eliminate him.  Bret and Bad News celebrate until Bad News double-crosses Bret and nails him with the Ghettoblaster.  After that, Bret is easy pickings for Bad News to eliminate him and win the battle royal.

Postmatch: Bret comes back in, dropkicks Bad News and then destroys his winner’s trophy.

Bottom Line: No sense in rating a battle royal but I will give them points for having a creative ending that will lead to future storylines.

Opening Round Match: Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase

Andre is accompanying Dibiase to ringside.  A slugfest leads to Dibiase getting an atomic drop and falling to the floor.  Dibiase tries chopping Duggan down, but Duggan comes firing back and gets a 10-punch count in the corner.  Duggan whips Dibiase across the ring and tries charging after him, but Dibiase boots him.  Dibiase now begins to systematically beat Duggan down.  An out-of-nowhere sunset flip by Duggan gets 2.  Duggan blocks a Dibiase suplex and hits one of his own.  Dibiase tries hitting something from the second rope, but Duggan nails him on his way down.  Duggan hits a powerslam and then signals for his 3 pt. stance clothesline.  As he goes for it, Andre trips him up.  Duggan tries going after Andre, which allows Dibiase to knee him from behind.  Dibiase follows it up with a fistdrop and picks up the pinfall to a smattering of cheers (one of them coming from me).

BL: A short match that had nothing extraordinary, but didn’t bore me either.  Plus, seeing Duggan get screwed always skews my views of a match more positively.  *

- Gene admires Beefcake and tells him “What a package!”  I’m just going to quietly walk away and hope to get that scene out of my mind.

Opening Round Match: “The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo

Bravo tries using some power to gain an upper hand, but Muraco gives it right back to him.  Muraco tries a move from the second rope, but Bravo was out of position, so Muraco had to change course midway through the move.  That was not pretty.  A missed hiptoss by Muraco allows Bravo to take over on offense.  Bravo goes for a running knee, but misses, so Muraco begins to work on his leg.  As Muraco gets a spinning toe hold on Bravo, Frenchy Martin begins to get on the apron, but Superstar Billy Graham chases him back down.  Eventually, Bravo shoves Muraco off and causes him to do a hangman.  I cringe whenever I see that move.  Bravo hits Muraco with his finisher, a piledriver, and surprisingly shows no effects from the work Muraco did on his leg.  A second piledriver attempt is blocked by Muraco.  Double clothesline sends both men to the mat.  Muraco goes for a flying forearm but Bravo pulls the referee in front and Muraco blasts him.  Bravo hits his side suplex and covers and the referee calls for the bell.  The referee has disqualified Bravo for pulling him.  Muraco advances.

BL: Some decent power stuff here but Bravo no-selling the leg was pretty poor.  The finish was neat and gave the crowd the first thing to really cheer for.  * ¾

- Bob Uecker trades insults with the Honky Tonk Man, but I’ve certainly heard better at your average schoolyard during recess.

Opening Round Match: Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat vs. Greg “the Hammer” Valentine

A couple of armdrags get Steamboat going.  He continues to work on Valentine’s arm until Valentine tosses him over the top rope.  Steamboat pulls himself back in and dropkicks Valentine from behind.  A knee to Steamboat’s gut allows Valentine to go on offense.  Valentine now begins to work on Steamboat’s neck.  Steamboat escapes a back suplex and shoves Valentine into the corner.  Smartly, Steamboat goes back to the arm.  An inverted atomic drop slows down Steamboat.  Steamboat tries for a slam, but Valentine falls on him and gets a 2 count.  Valentine now begins to set Steamboat up for the figure four.  As he tries to apply it, Steamboat shoves him off.  Chopfest is won by Steamboat.  Valentine thumbs Steamboat and then hits him with a shoulderbreaker.  That gets 2.  Valentine goes up top and hits Steamboat with an ax handle.  Once again, Steamboat blocks a figure four attempt.  Steamboat now goes up top and hits an ax handle of his own.  Valentine gets his head rammed into the turnbuckle ten times.  Steamboat goes up and hits the crossbody, but Valentine rolls through it, grabs Steamboat’s tights and gets the 1-2-3.

BL: Well, wrestling smarts had their proverbial wet dream disappear with that finish as they won’t get to see a Steamboat/Macho Man rematch.  The action here was solid enough but as always with Valentine in there, they didn’t break any speed records to do it.  **

- The Bulldogs say that Matilda is ready to go “weasel hunting.”  Heenan better hope she’s as drugged up as those dogs from Kennel in the Cell or else he could be in trouble.

Opening Round Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Natural Butch Reed

It’s Wrestlemania, so of course, Slick gets funky for us.  Reed backs Macho in the corner and begins to work on him.  Macho blocks getting his head rammed and then rams Reed’s head instead.  Reed blocks a Macho suplex and hits one of his own.  Reed really begins to dominate now as he drops a fist from the second rope to Macho’s cranium.  Putting his head down costs Reed as Macho begins to fire back.  Reed misses a charge in the corner, but drops Macho with a clothesline.  As he begins to go up top, Reed starts flirting with Elizabeth.  The distraction gives Macho enough time to get up and toss Reed off.  Macho then goes up, hits the big elbow and gets the victory.

BL: Elizabeth proves what an asset she is despite Jesse saying early in the match how he’d rather have Slick as a manager.  I would rather have had this be a squash since it was so short, but at least Macho moves on.  ½*

- Uecker stumbles over all of his words and fails to make a complete thought as he tries to make a crack at Heenan.  Heenan shows him up by smoothly delivering a line about how Uecker would have had more votes for the Hall of Fame, but he [Uecker] ran out of stamps.  That’s why they call him the Brain.

Opening Round Match: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. One Man Gang

Gang attack Bigelow before the bell and the managers flee.  It’s all Gang until he misses a splash in the corner and then gets hit with a shouldertackle.  A crossbody by Bigelow gets 2.  Bigelow pelts Gang with a series of headbutts.  Slick pulls down the top rope as Bigelow was going off it, which causes the big man to fall to the floor.  Gang and Bigelow battle on the apron and before Bigelow can fully get back in the ring, the referee counts him out.  Weak ending.

BL: After his showing at Survivor Series, I would have thought that Bigelow would go further than the first round.  On top of the weak ending, these two didn’t do anything with the time they were given.  ½ *

- Hogan mentions in his rant to Gene that when he slams Andre, the Trump Plaza will sink into the ocean.  He also says that when that happens, he hopes that Donald Trump will drop his materialistic possessions and save his family.  I think the odds on One Man Gang winning the title are better than Trump choosing family over fortune.

Opening Round Match: Jake “the Snake” Roberts vs. Ravishing Rick Rude

Jake slams Rude’s face to the mat, which doesn’t make Rude too happy at all.  Rude gets slammed right by Damien, which freaks him out, natch.  Now Jake begins to work on Rude’s left arm.  Rude backs Jake into the corner, but when Rude charges Jake lifts a knee.  Rude goes for the DDT, but Rude bails to the floor.  Crisscross sequence ends with Jake slamming Rude.  Rude dodges a running kneelift to put him back on offense.  A reverse chinlock is applied by Rude as Heenan yells, “Don’t waste time.”  A clothesline by Rude gets 2.  Rude goes up top and hits a fistdrop, despite Jake being way on the other side of the ring.  A nonchalant cover gets a nearfall for Rude.  Rude continues to go back to the reverse chinlock.  Crowd is turning on this match very quickly.  Jake jacks Rude’s jaw to break the hold.  Now Jake gets his second wind and backdrops Rude.  A short-arm clothesline by Jake sets up Rude for the DDT, but Rude shoves Jake back to the corner before he can hit it.  Both men are hitting big moves now but can’t keep the other man down.  A double clothesline sends both men to the mat.  Rude lures Jake to the corner and pins him with his feet on the ropes but the bell rings when the ref counts two.  The time limit expired before the pinfall, therefore neither man advances.

BL: A horribly boring match.  I know they were supposed to go 15 minutes, but they didn’t need to spend 10 of them with Jake in a reverse chinlock.  The finish was kinda interesting because you weren’t sure how they were going to rule it, but by that point nobody cared.  *

- Gene and Vanna White go over what’s happened in the tournament so far.  This is proof as to why she just turns letters on Wheel of Fortune.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules

The announcers recap the brackets while these two have a stalemate with their power moves.  It takes three big clotheslines from Hercules to knock down the Warrior.  Warrior is back up and drops Hercules with only one clothesline.  Stop the match; we’ve got a winner right there.  Hercules backdrops Warrior to the floor, so Warrior responds by pulling Hercules out there with him.  The two brawl briefly before going back inside.  Hercules keeps hitting the Warrior, but he no-sells everything.  Warrior gets a 10-punch count on Hercules with a reverse atomic drop.  Warrior misses a charge, which allows Hercules to lock on the full nelson.  Warrior walks up the ropes and falls back ala a German suplex.  Referee counts both men’s shoulders, but the Warrior gets his up before the 3 count to get the win.

Postmatch: Hercules jumps the Warrior and tries to choke him with his chain, but Warrior escapes and takes the chain.

BL: Another dull affair.  Why the Warrior didn’t out and out win that match is beyond me.  A cutesy finish doesn’t belong on a match like that.  ¾ *

- A video history of Hogan and Andre that basically puts pictures to the explanation I gave to you at the beginning of this review.  There I go doing more work than I needed to again.

Quarterfinal Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant

Hogan slides into the ring and Andre jumps him before the bell sounds.  It’s all Andre to begin, but soon Hogan fires back with a few forearms.  Dibiase gets on the apron, so Hogan rams his head with Andre’s.  Hogan chops Andre, who falls and gets caught in the ropes.  Andre gets free, only to have Hogan knock him down with a few clotheslines.  Hogan drops an elbow on Andre, but he grabs Hogan and begins to choke him.  Hogan fights back and knocks Andre to the corner.  As Hogan motions that he’s going to slam Andre, Virgil gets on the apron.  With the referee busy with Virgil, Dibiase nails Hogan with a chair.  Hogan no-sells it, grabs the chair and hits Andre with it.  A second chairshot is blocked by Andre, who then grabs the chair and nails Hogan with it.  Referee calls for the bell and disqualifies both men.

Postmatch: Hogan chases Dibiase and Virgil to the back and then comes back to slam Andre for a moral victory.

BL: That was a complete bullshit call as Hogan hit Andre with the chair first, but with this decision it gets rid of both of them, which doesn’t bother me at all.  This was no better than most of the sluggish matches we’ve seen here tonight, but the crowd electricity helped this one.  * ¾

- Macho tells Gene that Hogan is a good guy and was cheated.  Boy, how that tune would change a year later.

Quarterfinal Match: “The Rock” Don Muraco vs. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase

Dibiase jaws with Billy Graham on the floor so Muraco helps him in the ring by slamming him.  A powerslam by Muraco gets 2.  Dibiase has yet to get any offense or be able to escape Muraco’s onslaught.  Standing dropkick gets 2 for Muraco.  Dibiase crawls to the outside but Graham threatens to hit him with his cane so back inside Dibiase goes.  Muraco tries pulling Dibiase out of the corner, but Dibiase pulls him in and Muraco hits his head on the top of the post.  Dibiase now does his usual to wear down Muraco.  Muraco gets an opening by kicking Dibiase when he had his head down, but Muraco can’t capitalize.  Another opportunity for Muraco as he avoids Dibiase’s second rope elbow drop.  Muraco starts to comeback but as he charges Dibiase, Dibiase hits him with a stungun.  Dibiase covers and gets the 3 count.

BL: I’m stunned that after Dibiase got such a beating throughout that match that he won cleanly.  I guess since he cheated to get past Duggan, they didn’t want him going all the way to the finals by cheating.  Still waiting for a really good match tonight.  **

Quarterfinal Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Greg “the Hammer” Valentine

Valentine starts off giving Macho some rough turnbuckle treatment, but then Macho gives it right back.  A forearm from the top rope allows Valentine to take control.  A shoulderbreaker by Valentine gets 2.  Valentine tosses Macho to the floor and continues his attack there.  The neck has become the focus of Valentine’s game plan.  This has been a one-sided affair until Macho comes charging out of the corner and takes it to Valentine.  Double ax handle by Macho gets 2.  Macho blocks a Valentine suplex and gives him one instead.  As Macho comes off the top rope, he hits Valentine with a forearm, but gets nailed in the gut by Valentine as well.  Both men go down.  Macho charges at Valentine but misses.  Sensing an opening, Valentine goes for the figure four, but Macho small packages him for the victory.

BL: Well the winner was kinda obvious as the prospects of a Valentine/One Man Gang match would have caused a larger mass suicide than Heaven’s Gate.  The pacing of the match was odd as Valentine dominated most of it and then Macho would get these outbursts of offense out of nowhere.   * ¼

- Gene and Vanna do some more inane banter while looking over the brackets.  Was this a necessary segment?  I mean, Monsoon and Ventura have clearly explained what the upcoming matches look like throughout the telecast.  I sure can do without Vanna telling me how she feels Elizabeth is such an inspiration to the Macho Man.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Honky Tonk Man (champ) vs. Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake

Big stallfest to begin.  Beefcake assaults Honky physically and mentally as he nails him with an atomic drop and then messes up his hair.  Honky bails to the floor for a second time after Beefcake hits him with a high knee.  Beefcake pulls him back in though before he’s ready.  Honky rolls out of the way of a Beefcake elbow and then starts to put the boots to Beefcake.  It appears Honky is going to go for the Shake, Rattle & Roll, but opts to knee Beefcake instead.  Now he goes for it, but Beefcake holds onto the rope as Honky starts to swing.  Beefcake now fires back with lefts and rights.  Honky asks for mercy, but Beefcake just ran out.  Beefcake locks on the sleeper and Honky is fading fast.  Worried, Jimmy Hart calls the referee over and wallops him with the megaphone.  With Honky and the referee out cold, Beefcake decides to do some cutting, but Hart grabs the bag that has the clippers.  Beefcake catches Hart and starts to cut his hair.  Meanwhile, Peggy Sue tries to revive Honky and other officials try to wake the referee up.  Nothing else happens as Honky is revived and they announce Beefcake the winner via disqualification.

BL: Of the eleven matches so far tonight, only six have had pinfalls.  Within the confines of the tourney, I can be somewhat lenient but there should have definitely been a decisive win here.  Seeing Hart gets his haircut is not enough retribution for the cop-out finish.  ½ *

- Uecker chats with Andre and then comes the famous choking scene.  I think Andre just made Uecker the first ever human bobblehead doll.

The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware vs. The Islanders and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan

Heenan is wearing an attack dog suit and Jesse loves it.  Dynamite takes on both Islanders right away.  A slingshot to Toma put the heels in trouble early on.  Dynamite misses an elbow, allowing Toma to tag Haku.  Davey Boy misses a crucifix on Haku so he just powerslams him.  Then they repeat the spot this time with Davey Boy getting the crucifix for a 2 count.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  Toma tries working on Davey Boy’s arm, but Davey Boy powers out of it and press slams him.  Line of the night: Jesse: “Well it’s obvious Heenan’s saving himself, don’t you think Gorilla?”  Gorilla: “Yeah, for the senior prom.”  Tag made to Koko who nails Haku with a standing dropkick.  Haku catches Dynamite charging into the corner and then tags Heenan.  Heenan kicks Dynamite until he fires back and then Heenan immediately tags.  Toma tries hitting a move off the top rope but Dynamite gets his knees up.  Koko comes in and takes on both Islanders, until he puts his head down and Haku kicks him.  Heenan comes back in and delivers punishment like only the Brain can.  Koko reverses a whip and sends Heenan into the turnbuckle.  Then he hits him with a dropkick that causes Heenan to ram his shoulder into the post.  As Koko stalks his prey, the Islanders jump him from behind.  Now all six men are in.  The referee escorts the Bulldogs back to the corner, which allows the Islanders to slam Heenan on top of Koko.  The referee comes back and counts the pinfall.

Postmatch: Davey Boy sics Matilda on Heenan all the way up the aisle.

BL: It’s always a guilty pleasure to see Heenan pick up victories.  Speaking of victories, this match can claim one as it’s match of the night thus far, but not by much.  Solid action, but nothing memorable.  ** ¾

- Howard Finkel announces Ventura who gives the crowd some poses.  What, Gorilla isn’t going to join him?

Semifinal Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. One Man Gang

Despite having two matches under his belt, Macho is still able to use his speed to his advantage early on.  Gang rams Macho into the corner and slows him down.  After slamming Macho, Gang covers but Macho gets his foot on the ropes.  Gang goes for a splash and moves out of the way.  He tries for a splash in the corner and gets the same result.  Macho is able to knock the Gang to the floor and then hits him with an ax handle from the top rope.  Back inside, Macho tries to slam Gang and doesn’t even budge him.  As Gang chokes out Macho, Slick comes over and begins to harass Elizabeth.  Macho sees it and grabs Slick.  Slick tosses Gang the cane and he nails Macho with it.  Referee sees that activity and disqualifies the Gang.

BL: Oh come on!  Another DQ? They’re really exposing themselves by having all of these guys DQed.  Why would they purposefully lose when they have a chance to become champion?  Match was slow and plodding as you would expect when One Man Gang dominates it.  ¼ *

- Once again we visit Gene and Vanna, but she then leaves for ringside.  Uecker then arrives thinking he’s finally found her.  In my opinion, Uecker’s quest to find Vanna ranks right up there with Leslie Nielsen’s quest to find the real Undertaker as great compelling PPV stories.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Strike Force (champs) vs. Demolition

Smash, per his name, smashes Martel to begin.  All four men are in and Strike Force uses double-team moves to their advantage.  Quick tags by Strike Force allow them to work on Ax’s arm.  Demolition give Santana a taste of his own medicine by double-teaming him behind the referee’s back.  Now it’s Demolition who is making the frequent tags.  A powerslam by Ax gets 2.  Santana now appears to be your ethnic pretty boy-in-distress.  Smash misses an elbow but recovers quickly enough to prevent Santana from tagging.  Crowd is completely dead.  Well I guess seven indecisive finishes will do that to an audience.  Out of nowhere, Santana hits the flying forearm on Ax.  Hot tag is made to Martel who handles Ax and Smash.  Martel locks the Boston Crab on Smash while Santana holds back Ax and Mister Fuji.  As the referee tries to deal with Santana and Fuji, Ax takes Fuji’s cane and hits Martel across the back of the neck.  Smash covers and picks up the win.  New champions.

BL: Standard tag fare here.  The finish was pretty crazy, but without crowd energy behind it, it was tough for me to enjoy it more.  Demolition was already getting face reaction for that win.  ** ¼

WWF Championship Match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ Robin Leech drunkenly brings down the WWF title.  Uecker hackishly announces the participants.  Vanna skankily keeps the time.  Macho and Elizabeth have worn four different matching outfits tonight; blue, pink, black and white.  Andre is accompanying Dibiase to ringside.  A lockup leads to Macho elbowing Dibiase.  But as Macho goes to attack Dibiase further, Andre trips him.  That draws a “Hogan” chant from the crowd.  Macho hits a shoulderblock and as he goes for a second, Andre trips him again.  Dibiase now is able to take over on offense.  Macho blocks a sunset flip by punching Dibiase.  After more punishment from Dibiase, Macho tries to comeback with his patented “drop the guy on the top rope” move.  I wish that had a name.  Macho knocks Dibiase to the floor and tries to go up top to hit a move but Andre stands in front of Dibiase, blocking him.  As a result, Macho goes over to Elizabeth and whispers something to her.  As Dibiase locks a reverse chinlock on Macho, Elizabeth comes back with Hogan.  Finally, this crowd has woken up.  Andre begins to choke Macho, so Hogan comes over and puts an end to that.  A suplex by Dibiase gets 2.  Dibiase goes up top but Macho slams him off.  Macho immediately goes up, tries the big elbow, but misses.  Dibiase locks the Million Dollar Dream on and as Macho goes for the ropes, Andre pulls them away.  The referee goes to admonish Andre, which allows Hogan to nail Dibiase with a chair.  Macho gets up, realizes Dibiase is down, hits the big elbow and gets the pinfall.  Macho is now the undisputed champion of the world.

BL: A well worked match finally.  And the outside interference was acceptable here given the storyline.  Plus, it added some more energy to the live crowd.  A great moment for Macho to wrestle four times and become champion.  *** ¼

Final Thought: I can’t really recommend this show as most matches are short, lifeless affairs.  This could have been done a whole lot better but they opted to go cheap in a lot of the finishes.  If you’re a Macho Man fan though, check it out as it’s a great moment in his career.

Next time, forget the MegaPowers and the MegaBucks, I’m all about the MegaStriptease.   

E-MAIL ADAM
BROWSE THE OO FEATURES ARCHIVE


  
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PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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