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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania IV

If you have already read my fantasy booking of Wrestlemania IV, don't fret, this will be a completely fresh take on the whole show. If you haven't please go check it out after you've read this, I really liked the job I did. Wrestlemania IV had a ridiculous 16 match card full of mediocre matches and very little standing out. Savage's crowning achievement was great but little else is. Far too many competitors in the WWF title tournament. Who really believed the likes of Butch Reed or One Man Gang was going to win? Here is what the bloated card was like:

20-man Battle Royal

Ted DiBiase vs Jim Duggan, Round 1

Don Muraco vs Dino Bravo, Round 1

Greg Valentine vs Ricky Steamboat, Round 1

Randy Savage vs Butch Reed, Round 1

One Man Gang vs Bam Bam Bigelow, Round 1

Jake Roberts vs Rick Rude, Round 1

Ultimate Warrior vs Hercules

Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant, QF

Ted DiBiase vs Don Muraco, QF

Randy Savage vs Greg Valentine, QF

Honky Tonk Man (c) vs Brutus Beefcake, IC Championship

Islanders & Bobby Heenan vs British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware

Randy Savage vs One Man Gang, SF

Strike Force (c) vs Demolition, Tag Championships

Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase, WWF Championship


Not only too many matches, but too many bad matches. In my review and ranking of it, only 4 matches received ** or higher, 6 of them were less than a *. I've got a lot of work to do. WWE, for the second time, here is how I would have done it.


Small bit of admin beforehand. Andre wins the title from Hogan at the Main Event in February. Shortly after posing with the title, DiBiase tries to buy the title but Andre says no, he can wrestle for it right now! This is a quick face turn tease for Andre but it doesn't last long, as the bell rings Andre gets down on the mat and DiBiase pins him quickly to become the WWF Champion. He hands over a stacked briefcase of cash before gloating as world champion. DiBiase deserves an actually recognised reign as world champion. President Jack Tunney is angry and demands DiBiase defends the world title against Hulk Hogan at WWF's MSG show on the 22nd of February. Hogan has DiBiase rattled, but of couse with the help of Andre DiBiase gets disqualified and holds on to his championship. DiBiase cuts a promo where he refuses to defend his title against any challenger, he deserves to be champion and no one should challenge him. Tunney uses this to set up a 16-man tournament at Wrestlemania IV where every participant has an opportunity to walk out as the world champion. Ahead of the show the bracket is revealed like this:

Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan

Ted DiBiase vs Dynamite Kid

Rick Rude vs Brutus Beefcake

Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith

Bam Bam Bigelow vs Honky Tonk Man

Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage

Jake Roberts vs Haku

Greg Valentine vs ???


Ted DiBiase is going into the event as the current WWF champion. It is not vacated.


After the usual 'America the Beautiful' opening we jump straight into the WWF tournament first round. We open with Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage, closing out a trilogy of consecutive Wrestlemania matches between the two. This time, both guys are faces. A near 15 minute match, the finish sees Savage roll into a pin after taking Steamboat's big crossbody, a reverse of how I booked Steamboat to win at Wrestlemania III. Savage wins, both men shake hands and pose to the crowd, ending their feud with respect.


Next up is Jake Roberts vs Haku. Roberts is in control a lot but he is constantly fighting off interference from Haku's tag partner Tama and his manager Bobby Heenan. The numbers game is too much and Haku gets a cheap win over the snake man.


Ted DiBiase vs Dynamite Kid. The athletic Brit gives his all but Ted DiBiase is a smart heel, using a Virgil distraction to get a pinfall. He clutches onto his WWF title tightly.


Rick Rude takes on Brutus Beefcake. Keep this one nice and short, Beefcake tries his best Hogan impression by powering up from offence but he is not as good as Hogan is he. Rude catches him with the Rude Awakening for a clean win, 3 heel wins in a row.


Another shorter match next as Bam Bam Bigelow takes on the current IC champion Honky Tonk Man. The Elvis impersonator cuts a little promo backstage where he promises for the first time ever, he will be the IC & WWF champion at the same time. He doesn't realise he is in there with Bigelow though. He tries to cheat but Bigelow is so powerful. Bam Bam has it won with a huge somersault, Jimmy Hart rolls the Tonk out of there before a pinfall and he gets counted out as he leaves.


Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith, yes please. Give them both at least 10 minutes for a very early teaser of the brilliance they would produce in 4 years time at Summerslam. Hart cuts a promo beforehand where he wants to go out there and do this on his own, he wants to prove himself. A clean win here, Davey is disappointed but Hart helps him up, they shake hands and hug. Hart is slowly becoming face.


Two matches left, both of them are going to be similar to how I booked this show originally because I feel like they are necessities at this point. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant wrestle to a double count out. Andre and DiBiase reveal this was the master plan all along to eliminate the Hulkster from the tournament.


The final match sees Greg Valentine await his mystery opponent, he cuts a promo saying he doesn't care who it is, he will defeat them. Out comes Roddy Piper. Huge ovation, Piper was in and around the company at the time and willing to compete, WWF chose not to. This doesn't go too long, Piper fires up after some offence and makes Valentine submit to the rear naked choke.


We get a brief reminder of the brackets entering the QFs:

Ted DiBiase (bye)

Rick Rude vs Bret Hart

Randy Savage vs Bam Bam Bigelow

Haku vs Roddy Piper


After a confident Ted DiBiase promo, we get Savage vs Bigelow. It is an intense back and forth, going maybe 5-10 minutes. Savage brings down Bigelow from the top rope and manages to pin him. It was a hard-hitting match and Savage looks pretty banged up.


Rick Rude takes on Bret Hart next. It is a technical back and forth, Hart outsmarts the heel though, transitioning from the Rude Awakening into a jacknife pin. Rude is angry and embarrassed so he kicks the shit out of the Hitman after the match. Hart struggles to get out of the ring.


Haku vs Roddy Piper goes down exactly like you'd expect. Haku is a vicious beatdown, Piper fights back and scores a win going into the semi-finals.


We take a brief break from the tournament for a segment, not a match, between Ultimate Warrior and Hercules. It is the second 'Full Nelson Challenge', this feud is a macho-off between two of WWF's strongest men. Hercules previously has managed to bring Warrior to his knees in the Full Nelson. He guarantees that the Ultimate Warrior cannot break his Full Nelson before passing out. Essentially, this is Chris Masters' Masterlock challenge. Warrior of course manages to fight through the pain and decks Hercules with his signature 4 or 5 moves. Fans liked him so this should be fine.


The first semi-final is Ted DiBiase vs Bret Hart. We don't see Bret initially, but then we see him limp down to the ring whilst medical staff try and convince him to sit this out. DiBiase mocks him and offers him some cash to turn around and leave. Hart thinks, before slapping DiBiase. He should be fully face now. He fights briefly but the injuries and fatigue is far too much against the fresher DiBiase. After only a couple of minutes DiBiase defeats Hart. He walks around the ring parading around the WWF championship.


Randy Savage takes on Roddy Piper. They have big staredown. Fun fact, these two only ever had 2 televised singles matches together and never on a big stage. Once on Nitro, once on some WWF taping in 1990. How did they never do this? Savage and Piper mix it up, it is incredibly even, it is almost counter for counter back and forth the entire match. Savage rolls out of Piper's signature choke into a pinning position and beats the Hot Rod. Piper is frustrated but he raises Savage's hand after the loss.


Final non-tournament match before the main event. It's the only thing from the real show that remains the exact same. Demolition overthrows Strike Force to becoming tag champions. We begin the dissent between Santana and Martel, leading to Martel's inevitable heel turn.


Main event time, an exhausted Randy Savage challenges for Ted DiBiase's WWF championship in the tournament finals. After a few minutes of Savage in charge, Andre the Giant comes down as does a handful of other heels that DiBiase has paid off to help him win the main event. We see Bad News Brown, Butch Reed, Don Muraco, Nikolai Volkoff and Iron Sheik all come and surround the ring. The odds are overwhelmingly stacked against Macho Man. Then we see Ricky Steamboat come out and take Muraco out and to the back. The Rougeau brothers come down and send Volkoff and Sheik to the back. Bigelow takes out Brown, Piper takes out Butch Reed. All that remain is DiBiase, Savage and Andre. Hulk Hogan then comes out, he brawls with Andre on the outside and out of the arena. Hogan does not come back out. Savage goes up and hits the big elbow drop for the 1-2-3. Savage wins his first world championship and celebrates with Miss Elizabeth.


Literally, no one else but Savage should really win here, other than Hogan he is the most over man in the company and he deserved his crowning achievement. As the show concludes, Hogan and Savage interact backstage and seem to be friends. Hogan says he is proud of him, but can't deny that he is jealous of him. Hogan says he must ask, he must lay out a challenge. This time next year, Wrestlemania V, let's have the biggest wrestling match of all time. Hogan vs Savage, may the best man win. Savage shakes his hand and would be happy too.


Maybe I'm wrong here, but I think with that match already set up a year in advance, it makes the whole narrative of the Mega Powers forming and exploding that but more tastier. Then Savage really has an excuse for claiming Hogan just wanted to win back is title. I like smart heels. Here is a brief card recap:


Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat, R1

Jake Roberts vs Haku, R1

Ted DiBiase vs Dynamite Kid, R1

Rick Rude vs Brutus Beefcake, R1

Bam Bam Bigelow vs Honky Tonk Man, R1

Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith, R1

Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant, R1

Greg Valentine vs Roddy Piper, R1

Randy Savage vs Bam Bam Bigelow, QF

Rick Rude vs Bret Hart, QF

Haku vs Roddy Piper, QF

Ted DiBiase vs Bret Hart, SF

Randy Savage vs Roddy Piper, SF

Strike Force (c) vs Demolition, Tag Championships

Ted DiBiase (c) vs Randy Savage, WWF Championship finals


Was it any good? Better or worse than my original rebooking? I think I might actually prefer this one a little more. That could be recency bias. Let me know and don't forget to check in tomorrow for another article. Cheers!

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