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WrestleMania IV
WrestleManiaIV
Promotional poster featuring André the Giant and Hulk Hogan
Tagline What the World is Watching
Theme(s) {{{theme}}}
Details
Promotion World Wrestling Federation
Brand(s)
Date March 27, 1988
Venue Trump Plaza
City Atlantic City, New Jersey
Attendance 18,165
Buyrate
Pay-per-view chronology
Survivor Series (1987) WrestleMania IV SummerSlam (1988)
WrestleMania chronology
WrestleMania III WrestleMania IV WrestleMania V
{{{event2}}} chronology
{{{lastevent3}}} WrestleMania IV {{{nextevent3}}}

WrestleMania IV was the fourth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on March 27, 1988 at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The main event was the finals of a 14-man tournament for the WWF Championship where Randy Savage defeated Ted DiBiase to win the vacant title. The main matches on the undercard were a 20-man battle royal won by Bad News Brown, Demolition (Ax and Smash) versus Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel) for the WWF Tag Team Championship, Brutus Beefcake versus The Honky Tonk Man for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and a 14-man tournament for the vacated WWF Championship.

BackgroundEdit

The main feud heading into WrestleMania was between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. In January 1987, Hogan was awarded a trophy for his third year as WWF Champion while Hogan's best friend André was awarded a smaller trophy than Hogan's, for being undefeated in WWF for 15 years. Hogan congratulated his friend and said that André was the real champion of superstars all around the world, but André exited the arena before Hogan could even finish. In February, Andre announced his new manager, Bobby Heenan, Hogan's longtime enemy. Hogan begged André to drop Heenan, but Andre refused. André said that he had come to challenge Hogan for the WWF title at WrestleMania. He ripped off Hogan's Hulkamania shirt and tore off Hulk's gold chain, turning heel. This culminated in their historic match at WrestleMania III in March, where Hogan defeated André to retain the title. During the match, he set a record by scoop slamming the 540-pound Frenchman. At the first Survivor Series in November, André, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude defeated Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow in a Survivor Series match. At the first Royal Rumble in January 1988, Hogan and André had their official contract signing for a WWF Championship rematch. Their rematch took place on the first-ever edition of The Main Event in February, where André controversially won the title from Hogan in a screwjob involving a fake referee. André became the shortest reigning WWF Champion with a reign of only 47 seconds as he sold the title to Ted DiBiase and received a large sum of money. WWF President Jack Tunney, however, vacated the title and ordered it to be decided in a 14-man tournament at WrestleMania IV.

EventEdit

The event began with Gladys Knight singing a rendition of "America the Beautiful". The first match was a 20-man battle royal and the winner would receive a large trophy. The participants were Bad News Brown, The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell), Danny Davis, George Steele, Harley Race, Hillbilly Jim, The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond), The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers), Junkyard Dog, Ken Patera, Ron Bass, Sam Houston, and Sika. After fourteen eliminations, the final six participants were Brown, Bret Hart, Roma, Race, Jacques Rougeau and JYD. Race hit a back body drop on Rougeau sending him over the top rope before JYD punched him over the top rope. Brown dumped out Roma as JYD was left to battle Hart and Brown. The duo double-teamed him and Hart caught JYD as Brown clotheslined JYD but JYD sidestepped and Hart was hit with the clothesline. JYD hit both men with several headbutts before they both decided to cooperate and they eliminated JYD. Hart decided that he and Brown would share the trophy but Brown betrayed him and hit him a Ghetto Blaster and pounded on him before eliminating him over the top rope to win the battle royal. Brown was presented with the trophy, but Hart attacked him from behind and broke the trophy, thus turning babyface.

The 14-man tournament for the WWF Championship began. In the first round, Ted DiBiase defeated Jim Duggan, Don Muraco defeated Dino Bravo by disqualification after Bravo pulled the referee in front of him, causing the ref to be hit by Muraco's finishing move, Randy Savage defeated Butch Reed, Greg Valentine defeated Ricky Steamboat, One Man Gang defeated Bam Bam Bigelow and Rick Rude fought Jake Roberts to a time limit draw. The winners advanced to the quarterfinals while Rude and Roberts were both eliminated from the tournament. As former champions, Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan were given a bye and directly qualified for the quarters.

In his pay-per-view (PPV) debut, The Ultimate Warrior faced Bobby Heenan's client Hercules. Warrior snapped Hercules' chain and chopped him in the corner. Hercules tried to fight back and he hit three clotheslines on Warrior, who no-sold Hercules' clothesline. Hercules fell to the mat each time during his unsuccessful clothesline attempts. The powerhouse Warrior countered a Hercules clothesline and hit a clothesline of his own. He pounded on Hercules outside the ring before reentering the ring where Warrior hit a forearm club. In the corner, Warrior hit him ten-count punches but Hercules made a comeback with an inverted atomic drop. He hit a half nelson suplex on Warrior who got his shoulder up first, as the referee counted, giving Warrior the win.

Greg Valentine

Greg Valentine, who faced Randy Savage in the quarterfinals of the WWF Championship tournament

The quarterfinals started as Hulk Hogan took on André the Giant. During the match, Hogan hit André in front of referee Joey Marella while André hit Hogan with the chair. After both men hit each other with the chair, they both were disqualified by Marella and as a result, they both were eliminated from the tournament. In the following matches, Ted DiBiase defeated Don Muraco and Randy Savage defeated Greg Valentine while One Man Gang received a bye in the quarter-finals, due to Rick Rude and Jake Roberts wrestling to a time limit draw in the first round. Brutus Beefcake took on Jimmy Hart's client WWF Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man for the title. The challenger connected with an atomic drop in the starting of the matchup. Beefcake hit Honky with a high knee. He missed an elbow drop on Honky, who took control with a second turnbuckle fist drop. He went for a Shake, Rattle & Roll on Beefcake but kneed him in the face. He went to the top rope to do some high-flying but Beefcake hooked the top rope and clotheslined Honky before applying a Sleeper hold on Honky. Honky's manager Jimmy Hart hit the referee with the megaphone. The bell didn't ring but it was announced that Beefcake won by disqualification, which meant that Honky was still the champion because a title does not change hands by a DQ.

The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and their manager Bobby Heenan took on British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) and Koko B. Ware. Dynamite hit some quick stuff on Tama. Tama tried a handshake with Dynamite but he catapulted Tama over the top rope. Smith tagged in but missed an elbow drop on Tama, allowing Tama to tag Haku. Smith hit a flying crossbody on Haku for a near-fall. Smith went for another near-fall but Haku kicked out again. Haku hit an arm wrench and tagged Tama. Tama grabbed Smith's arm who came out of it with a military press slam. Tama tagged in Haku. Haku put Davey in the backbreaker but Smith flipped out of it and tagged in Koko. He hit Haku with a missile dropkick and a frankensteiner on Islanders. Dynamite tagged in and clotheslined Haku before ran into a boot by Haku. Heenan tagged and hit boots on Dynamite before tagging in Tama. Tama hit a back body drop on Dynamite but missed a big splash. Tama tagged Haku and Dynamite tagged Koko. Koko ducked an Irish whip. Heenan tagged in but was dropkicked by Koko in the corner. Islanders attacked him. This prompted Bulldogs to enter the ring. All the six men brawled in the ring as the referee sent Bulldogs to the corner while Islanders picked up Heenan and threw him on top of Koko, leading to a pinfall win for Islanders and Bobby Heenan.

The semi-final match of the WWF Championship tournament began featuring Randy Savage against One Man Gang while Ted DiBiase received a bye in the semi-finals due to the double disqualification ending of Hulk Hogan versus André the Giant. Savage hit a Hotshot on OMG before the big OMG began his powerful moves. He overpowered Savage before he missed a big splash on Savage. He fell to the outside as Savage connected with a diving double axe handle. He went for a scoop slam on OMG. Slick began taunting Miss Elizabeth. She climbed to the apron to stay away from him. Slick jumped on the apron and handed OMG his cane. He nailed Savage with it and jabbed him on the mat several times but Savage kept rolling away. The referee saw OMG using his cane, so he disqualified OMG and awarded the match to Savage. As a result of winning, Savage advanced to the finals to face Ted DiBiase for the vacated WWF title. Before the final round, Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel) defended the WWF Tag Team Championship against Demolition (Ax and Smash). Smash nailed Martel before both teams began brawling in the ring. Strike Force hit Smash with a double back elbow for a near-fall. Santana applied an armbar on Ax. Martel tagged in and applied the armbar but Ax headbutted him and tagged in Smash. Santana tagged in but was caught into a bear hug and was clotheslined by Ax. He hit a big scoop slam on Santana. Smash suplexed the poor Santana. Ax tagged in but ducked off a low Irish whip. Santana hit a flying forearm smash on an interfering Smash and tagged in Martel. He dropkicked both Ax and Smash a number of times and applied a Boston crab on Smash. Santana grabbed Fuji up on the apron but Ax got the cane. He nailed Martel with it as Smash covered Martel for the pin. As a result, Demolition became the new WWF Tag Team Champions.

WMIVhogan

The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) celebrate

The main event was the tournament final for the vacant WWF Championship between Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase. Savage was tired due to his semifinal match against the big One Man Gang while DiBiase took advantage of his freshness as he had received a bye in the semifinals. He dominated most of the match but in the end, Savage made a comeback and tried to hit a Savage Elbow on DiBiase but DiBiase moved out of the way. He applied a Million Dollar Dream on Savage. With the referee distracted due to interference by André the Giant, Hogan (who had been brought down mid-match by Miss Elizabeth on request by Savage to neutralize Andre's presence) took advantage and nailed DiBiase with a steel chair. Savage climbed up the top rope for a second elbow drop attempt and this time, he successfully hit Savage Elbow. He followed it up with a pinfall victory. He won the tournament and vacant WWF Championship. After the match, Hogan, Miss Elizabeth and Savage celebrated Savage's WWF Championship win.

AftermathEdit

Main article: The Mega Powers

After Randy Savage won the vacant WWF Championship at WrestleMania, with the help of Hulk Hogan, the duo formed a very successful tag team The Mega Powers, which ruled the WWF for 12 months. Ted DiBiase and André the Giant also formed a tag team known as The Mega Bucks. The two teams battled each other, culminating in a tag team main event at the inaugural SummerSlam, where Savage and Hogan won. Their next feud was with The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Bossman), whom they defeated on February 3, 1989 edition of The Main Event. Savage turned heel by abandoning Hogan to fend himself alone against Twin Towers. Hogan managed to pick up the victory. This culminated in Savage defending the title in the main event of WrestleMania V, which was dubbed "Mega Powers Explode". Hogan defeated Savage, ending his reign which lasted 371 days. Hogan formed a tag team with Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake in summer of 1989 to feud with Savage and Hogan's "real-life" enemy Zeus. At SummerSlam, Hogan and Beefcake beat Savage and Zeus in a tag team match. A rematch occurred between the two teams under a steel cage at No Holds Barred.

ResultsEdit

# Results Stipulations Times
1 Bad News Brown defeated nineteen other participants by last eliminating Bret Hart.The other participants included were: Boris Zhukov, Brian Blair, Danny Davis, George Steele, Harley Race, Hillbilly Jim, Jacques Rougeau, Jim Brunzell, Jim Neidhart, Jim Powers, Junkyard Dog, Ken Patera, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Roma, Raymond Rougeau, Ron Bass, Sam Houston, and Sika. 20-man battle royal 10:40
2 Ted DiBiase (with Virgil and André the Giant) defeated Jim Duggan. First round tournament match 04:54
3 Don Muraco (with Billy Graham) defeated Dino Bravo (with Frenchy Martin) by disqualification. First round tournament match 04:53
4 Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Ricky Steamboat. First round tournament match 09:12
5 Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated Butch Reed (with Slick). First round tournament match 05:07
6 One Man Gang (with Slick) defeated Bam Bam Bigelow (with Oliver Humperdink) by countout. First round tournament match 02:56
7 Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan) and Jake Roberts fought to a time-limit draw. First round tournament match 15:00
8 The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hercules (with Bobby Heenan). Singles match 04:29
9 Hulk Hogan and André the Giant (with Ted DiBiase and Virgil) fought to a double disqualification. Quarter-final tournament match 05:22
10 Ted DiBiase defeated Don Muraco (with Billy Graham). Quarter-final tournament match 05:44
11 Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart). Quarter-final tournament match 06:06
12 Brutus Beefcake defeated The Honky Tonk Man (c) (with Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue) by disqualification. Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship 06:30
13 The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and Bobby Heenan defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and Koko B. Ware. Six-man tag team match 07:30
14 Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated One Man Gang (with Slick) by disqualification. Semi-final tournament match 04:05
15 Demolition (Ax and Smash) (with Mr. Fuji) defeated Strike Force (c) (Rick Martel and Tito Santana). Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship 12:33
16 Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth and Hulk Hogan) defeated Ted DiBiase (with André the Giant). Tournament finals match for the vacant WWF Championship 09:27

Tournament bracketEdit

  First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                                     
        
        
   Hulk Hogan   5:23    
 
   André the Giant DDQ  
    
      
   BYE  
   Ted DiBiase  
 Jim Duggan   5:02    
 Ted DiBiase Pin  
   Ted DiBiase 5:35
 
   Don Muraco Pin  
 Don Muraco 4:54
 Dino Bravo DQ  
   Ted DiBiase   9:27  
   Randy Savage      Pin
 Ricky Steamboat 9:11  
 Greg Valentine Pin  
   Greg Valentine 6:07
 
   Randy Savage Pin  
 Randy Savage Pin
 Butch Reed 4:09  
   Randy Savage   4:35  
   One Man Gang       DQ  
 Bam Bam Bigelow   2:55  
 One Man Gang CO  
   One Man Gang    
 
   BYE  
 Jake Roberts 15:00
 Rick Rude Draw  
Pin-Pinfall; CO-Countout; DQ-Disqualification; DDQ-Double disqualification

Other on-screen talentEdit

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees
Other
  • Vanna White

NotesEdit

  • Gladys Knight sang a rendition of "America the Beautiful" before the show.
  • This WrestleMania featured 16 matches, more than any other WrestleMania to date.
  • WrestleMania IV and V are the only two WrestleManias to be held at the same venue for two consecutive years.
  • Hulk Hogan and André the Giant went to a draw by double disqualification in this event. This would be Hogan's first WrestleMania match in which a disqualification occurred. This was Hogan's first and only time going to a draw at WrestleMania. Hogan and Andre also have the distinction of being the first two wrestlers in the history of the event to have a WrestleMania rematch. They had wrestled each other the previous year at WrestleMania III in what many deem the most famous wrestling contest of all time.

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