Thursday, July 10, 2014

WWE Network World Tour: WrestleMania VIII

After the 1992 Royal Rumble, the pieces were set into place for the wrestling nerd dream match of the century. Hell, for a hot second, the WWF looked like they'd even pull it off, too, as they aired a fake "press conference" where fake WWF President Jack Tunney named Hulk Hogan as the #1 contender to Ric Flair's newly-won WWF World Championship. For once, Hogan's incessant need to headline every goddamn show he was ever on was working to my advantage, as i wanted to see Hogan/Flair as much as anyone. WrestleMania VIII was going to be MINT.

Hey, wait.

So....about that. If you venture out into Internetlandia, you can find myriad reasons for why the WWF quickly reshuffled their WrestleMania VIII plans. Hogan and Flair had been wrestling at house shows and the reactions were tepid (not that they were built up as anything more special than "Hogan's fighting this guy this month"). Vince McMahon decided the match was "five years too late" (well, whose fault was that, Mr. Drain-The-Territories-of-all-Their-Talent?). Vince didn't want to push Flair as a champion on Hogan's level (which is a ridiculous assertion, as they built him up as a "real world's champion" with an acknowledged pre-WWF career). Whatever the reason, what we eventually got was a "double main event" of Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice (who thought that, as the last man eliminated in the Rumble, he should have been #1 contender, and thus took his frustration out on Mr. I-Headline-Every-'Mania Hogan, which...understandable), and Flair ended up defending his title against Randy "Macho Man" Savage, which was sure to be a better match than Hogan/Flair anyway. I mean, if you're going to pair these four dudes off, let the two real workers put on a clinic while the two muscleheads punch each other for 12 minutes elsewhere on the show. This makes sense. So yes, let's make up an angle where Flair produces doctored photos of himself hanging out with Miss Elizabeth and have him claim that "she was mine before she was yours, Savage!" Because, let's be honest--that's pretty fucking funny. Flair's ladies' man character going full heel, unable to handle the fact that for once his opponent is the one with the stunningly hot lady at his side, and not him! His ego cannot process this, for he is Space Mountain and there is not a female alive that does not want to strap in for the ride! He will refer to said lady as property and exhibit questionable sorta-misogynist behavior, for he is a dastardly heel champion (and knows that Savage has a famously jealous streak when it comes to Liz to boot, so it's a brilliant psychological strategy as well)! Honestly, it's hard to argue with the WWF here; this really probably was the right call. Throw in an Intercontinental title match with Roddy Piper defending against Bret "Hitman" Hart, and we have at least two potentially stupidawesome matches to watch here. So let's get on with it!