Joel: It is perhaps unfair to WrestleMania VIII, but the show often ends up getting to compared to the WrestleMania that could have been. This was without question the moment in history where we should have had a Hogan vs. Flair main event at WrestleMania. It’s the main event we never got from that era that should have happened. It was clearly on the card at one point, but for whatever happened it didn’t come to fruition. It’s a shame that WrestleMania VIII has become known as the one where a match didn’t happen, because it’s actually been one of the best WrestleManias so far, and that is because of the undercard matches. First of all, I subscribe to the theory that their is only one true main event on a show. This whole co-main event thing doesn’t quite work for me. They really tried to make it feel like there were two main events on this card, with having both “main events” featured on the promotional poster and having two different taglines for the show, one for each match. But at the end of the day, one of those matches was displayed above the other on the poster, and one of those matches went on last. That’s how main events work. But the main event that wasn’t actually the main event was a really strong match. Ending was off, but come on, it’s Randy Savage and Ric Flair. That felt like a WrestleMania match.
So far the feeling of WrestleMania has been that there’s a Main Event that features Hogan and usually maybe one more match on the card that’s really worth your time, usually the Intercontinental Championship match. It’s not that the rest of the matches are bad, but the do tend to fall somewhere around forgettable at best. Even WrestleMania III only had two matches really worth talking about at the end of the day. WrestleMania VIII is the first time that the whole show feels like a WrestleMania event. While I won’t go along with the idea that there were two main events, the fact that they were trying to treat a match in the middle of the card like it was a big deal really helped to up the importance of the show as a whole. Both Shawn Michaels and Undertaker had their best WrestleMania matches to date, And Bret Hart and Roddy Piper almost stole the whole show for a minute there with their championship match. The show felt “eventy” which is something that WrestleMania has struggled to accomplish up until this point.
Best WrestleMania so far: I’m going with this one. VIII.
Kue: This card was actually pretty decent, all the way until the atrocious fake main event involving Sid and Hogan. I literally had to watch the match in two 5 minute increments in order to space out the suck. That said, the true main event, Savage/Flair, was a fantastic match. I always feel as though the Flair/Savage chemistry wasn’t showcased often enough. At the very least, it was showcased in the one involving immortals.
Mr. Wrestlemania debuted in singles competition against Tito Santana (screw “El Matador”) and proved that he could wrestle circles around the more well-known names in pro-wrestling. Taker continued his streak against a recent documentary film star. Bret and Roddy had a hell of an entertaining match. And my favorite name for a tag team, Money f’n Inc., found themselves on the losing end of the most “eh” match on the card.
All in all, decent Mania.
Sanders: Wrestlemania 8 is probably my favorite in the first decade of the show’s existence and it’s almost entirely due to the Bret Hart/Roddy Piper and Ric Flair/Randy Savage matches. Sure, the real money would have been in a Flair/Hogan match instead of them finally doing that on WCW television years later especially since they were pushing the possibility of Hulk retiring so much that year. So it comes down to is it worth losing out on a Flair/Savage match just so we don’t end up with a Hogan/Sid main event? I don’t always know how to answer that because Flair/Savage is almost worth having to sit through a Hogan/Sid main event. Almost. And yes, the idea of having co-main events is laughable, especially when one seems to take place in the middle of the card but WWF sold the idea way better than WWE currently does. WWE’s current strategy to do that is “hey, it’s the co-main event. You believe us, right? No? Eh, screw off, who cares?”Undertaker continues his streak and Shawn Michaels is competing in Wrestlemania as a singles wrestler. All is right in the world.
BD: WrestleMania 8 is the last in the longest string of good WrestleMania’s ever. 3-8 were good. There are definitely good ones still coming, just not that many in a row ever again.
Roddy Piper’s best match ever was on this card. That’s right, Roddy Piper had a good match… against Bret Hart. I put this up there with Savage Steamboat at 3 but rarely hear it mentioned with the same esteem. Really good stuff there.
Another amazing match took place between Flair and Savage, and this remains one of my favorite all-time matches between both guys. Just amazing stuff, and it would be Flair’s only Mania before returning to the company 10 years later. Not Flair’s best match in his prime, but if WWE could only get one Mania match out of him in his prime, this was one of the best ones to get.
Hogan Sid was a huge chore, built off the “retirement” of Hogan. See WM7 for how well retirement works in wrestling – and people had started to sour on Hogan anyway. The big story here was the return of my favorite wrestler AT THE TIME AS A CHILD – The Ultimate “don’t have an orgasm, honey” Warrior. That was the main finish to the match, although Warrior had been gone less than 9 months. In keeping with this tradition, Hogan’s “retirement” lasted less than a year as well.
The crowd pop Warrior gets IS insane though. Almost worth it for that alone.
Tags: clashy ring attire, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Ric Flair, sid vicious, wrestlemaia 8, WWF