|Tagline(s)||What the World is Watching|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||March 27, 1988|
|City||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
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 fourteen-man tournament for the undisputed WWF Championship, where Randy Savage defeated Ted DiBiase to win the vacant title. The main matches on the undercard were a twenty-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.
The main feud (scripted rivalry) 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 the WWF for fifteen 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's speech was finished. In February, on an episode of Piper's Pit, 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 to a World Championship match at WrestleMania. He then 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 WWF record by scoop slamming the 520-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 plot involving a fake referee. André then began the shortest reign as WWF Champion with a reign of only 47 seconds as he sold the title to Ted DiBiase and received a large sum of money. Andre revealed, in an arena interview with Dibiase a few weeks before the event, that he planned to take a year off and go on a cruise with the money Dibiase was paying him once he secured the title for him, thereby providing the explanation as to why Andre would sell off the belt he had wanted himself at WrestleMania III just a year earlier. WWF President Jack Tunney, however, vacated the title and ordered it to be decided in a 14-man tournament at WrestleMania IV.
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
The event began with Gladys Knight singing a rendition of "America the Beautiful". The first match was a twenty-man battle royal with the winner to 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 with 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. It was the first step of The Hart Foundation (Hitman and The Anvil) turning babyface over the next few months.
Before the fourteen-man tournament for the WWF Championship then began, Robin Leach from the TV show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" read a special proclamation outlining the special circumstances that led to the WWF holding the tournament. 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, André 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' clotheslines. 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 with ten 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.
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 a 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 having wrestled 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 at the outset of the matchup. Beefcake hit Honky with a high knee, then missed an elbow drop on Honky, who took control with a second turnbuckle fist drop. He went for the Shake, Rattle & Roll on Beefcake but instead 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. Honky's manager Jimmy Hart hit the referee with his 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 via 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 landed some quick hits on Tama who tried to shake hands 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 pin but Haku kicked out again. Haku hit an arm wrench and tagged Tama. Tama grabbed Smith's arm and came out of it with a military press slam. Tama tagged in Haku who put Davey in a backbreaker but Smith flipped out of it and tagged in Koko. He hit Haku with a missile dropkick and a Frankensteiner. Dynamite tagged in and clotheslined Haku before ran into Haku's boot. Heenan tagged and stomped Dynamite before tagging in Tama. Tama hit a back body drop on Dynamite but missed a big splash. Tama tagged Haku while Dynamite tagged Koko. Heenan tagged in but was dropkicked in the corner by Koko, who the Islanders attacked. This prompted the Bulldogs to enter the ring. All six men brawled in the ring as the referee sent the Bulldogs to the corner while the Islanders picked up Heenan and threw him on top of Koko, leading to a pinfall win.
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 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. He fell to the outside as Savage connected with a diving double axe handle, Savage then went for a scoop slam. OMG's manager, Slick, began taunting Savages's valet, 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 attempted to jab him as he lay on the mat but Savage kept rolling away. The referee saw OMG using his cane and disqualified him and awarded the match to Savage. As a result of the win, 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 before Martel tagged in and applied an armbar but Ax headbutted him and tagged in Smash. Santana tagged in but was caught in a bear hug and was clotheslined by Ax. He hit a big scoop slam and suplexed 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 who dropkicked both Ax and Smash a number of times and applied a Boston crab on Smash. Santana grabbed Mr. Fuji up onto the apron, allowing Ax to get his manager's cane. He nailed Martel with it as Smash covered Martel for the pin. As a result, Demolition became the new WWF Tag Team Champions.
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.
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 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.
|1||Bad News Brown defeated nineteen other participants by last eliminating Bret Hart[Note 1]||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 (with Little Dragon)||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||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 (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) (c)||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 final for the vacant WWF Championship||09:27|
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
- 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.
|André the Giant||DDQ|
|André the Giant|
|One Man Gang||DQ|
|Bam Bam Bigelow||2:55|
|One Man Gang||CO|
|One Man Gang|
Pin-Pinfall; CO-Countout; DQ-Disqualification; DDQ-Double disqualification
- Although the event was promoted as being at the Trump Plaza, it was in fact held in the adjacent Boardwalk Hall.
- 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.
- Although Robin Leach was supposed to present the WWF World belt to the winner of the tournament (Savage), Hogan ended up grabbing the belt and presented it to Savage himself.
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- Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.10, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
- Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.11, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
- "Mega Powers Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- "Hulk Hogan & "Macho Man" Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and André the Giant w/ Virgil & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
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- "Hulk Hogan vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage – WWE Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- "Hulk Hogan & Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake w/ Elizabeth vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage & Zeus w/ Sensational Sherri". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
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