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WrestleMania IV

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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 Hotel and Casino 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.


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 Fabulous Rougeaus (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, 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.

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 wreslting 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.

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 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.


Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Tournament bracket

  First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
 Hulk Hogan  
   Hulk Hogan 5:23  
   Andre the Giant DDQ  
 Andre the Giant
   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 4:09
 Butch Reed Pin  
   Randy Savage 4:35
   One Man Gang DQ  
 Bam Bam Bigelow 2:55  
 One Man Gang CO  
   One Man Gang
 Jake Roberts 15:00
 Rick Rude Draw  

Other on-screen talent

Ring announcer

Also See

DVD Release

External Links

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History of WrestleMania
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I (1985)II (1986)III (1987)IV (1988)V (1989)VI (1990)VII (1991)VIII (1992)IX (1993)X (1994)XI (1995)XII (1996)XIII (1997)XIV (1998)XV (1999)XVI (2000)XVII (2001)XVIII (2002)XIX (2003)XX (2004)XXI (2005)XXII (2006)XXIII (2007)XXIV (2008)XXV (2009)XXVI (2010)XXVII (2011)XXVIII (2012)XXIX (2013)XXX (2014)XXXI (2015)XXXII (2016)XXXIII (2017)
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I (1985)II (1986)III (1987)IV (1988)V (1989)VI (1990)VII (1991)VIII (1992)IX (1993)X (1994)XI (1995)XII (1996)XIII (1997)XIV (1998)XV (1999)XVI (2000)XVII (2001)XVIII (2002)XIX (2003)XX (2004)XXI (2005)XXII (2006)XXIII (2007)XXIV (2008)XXV (2009)XXVI (2010)XXVII (2011)XXVIII (2012)XXIX (2013)XXX (2014)XXXI (2015)XXXII (2016)XXXIII (2017)
1988 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views
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