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I’ve been looking forward to this ever since we started doing STRAIGHT SHOOT RETRO, and this Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 6pmET, it’s finally happening: We’re talking WrestleMania IV and the WWF Championship Tournament!
As always, myself and co-host Jeff Schiller will bring the historical background, the who’s who and copious amounts of jokes, so all you need to do is watch WrestleMania IV on the WWE Network before Wednesday, then RSVP and start submitting questions on the official event page.
Ways to watch/listen are below. Scroll down for more information on WrestleMania IV.
- Right here, on this very page, live or after-the-fact, through the embedded YouTube video right up above
- Over at the official Google Hangout event page, where you can watch live and even ask questions.
- On my official YouTube channel, where the video will continue to live after the event. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE.
- The morning after, via audio-only podcast versions of the show embedded above or on iTunes, Stitcher and PodOmatic.
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After kicking the ever-loving bejeezus out of his competitors down South during the simultaneously broadcast Survivor Series & Starrcade as well as Royal Rumble & Bunkhouse Stampede, Vince McMahon and WWF had a head of steam in 1988, dovetailing perfectly into WrestleMania IV. What made WrestleMania IV unique, however, is that there was no WWF Champion going into the event.
That’s because of some Ted DiBiase-orchestrated shenanigans on the first-ever episode of The Main Event (not to be confused with Saturday Night’s Main Event, which had been running beforehand). We’ll discuss this in more detail on the actual episode, but all you really need to know is that Andre beat Hogan for the title by way of a referee screwjob, then sold the belt to DiBiase. Kayfabe WWF President Jack Tunney wasn’t standing for it though, and called for a 14-man tournament at WrestleMania IV for the vacant title.
As you can imagine, the tournament included the best and the brightest in not only 1988 WWF, but the 1988 wrestling world at large. Oh, and Dino Bravo was there too. Check out the full list of participants, with spoilers removed, below:
- Hulk Hogan
- Andre the Giant
- Jim Duggan
- Ted DiBiase
- Don Muraco
- Dino Bravo
- Ricky Steamboat
- Greg Valentine
- Randy Savage
- Butch Reed
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- One Man Gang
- Jake Roberts
- Rick Rude
For a regular pay-per-view, maybe a 14-man tournament would be enough, but WrestleMania IV was a full four-hours long, so the card also included some pretty impressive match-ups. Oh, and also big wacky Battle Royal to start the show.
- 20-man Battle Royal featuring:
- B. Brian Blair
- Jim Brunzell
- Ron Bass
- Danny Davis
- Nikolai Volkoff
- Boris Zhukov
- Harley Race
- Junkyard Dog
- Bad News Brown
- Sam Houston
- Jim Neidhart
- Raymond Rougeau
- George Steele
- Hillbilly Jim
- Jim Powers
- Ken Patera
- Jacque Rougeau
- Paul Roma
- Bret Hart
- The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules with Bobby Heenan
- Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue vs. Brutus Beefcake
- The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) & Koko B. Ware vs. The Islanders (Haku & Tama) & Bobby Heenan
- WWF Tag Team Champions Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) vs. Demolition (Ax & Smash) with Mr. Fuji