The year was 1988. A year into the heated rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, Andre shocked the WWE by winning the WWE Championship in controversial form on an episode of The Main Event that aired in February. Since the title change was under intense dispute when Andre almost immediately surrendered it over to Ted DiBiase, President Jack Tunney decided to vacate the title and award it to the winner of the 14-man tournament to be held at WrestleMania 4.
In the tournament, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant both automatically gained a seed in the quarter-finals, but had to face each other. Due to a double disqualification, they both were eliminated. This guaranteed that a brand new champion would be crowed at the event. As the tournament progressed, "Macho Man" Randy Savage gained the support from the fans as the favorite to win.
After victories against Butch Reed and Greg Valentine, Randy Savage had a tough test in trying to defeat the One Man Gang, who defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in under three minutes, as well as receiving a bye due to a time limit draw between Jake Roberts and Rick Rude. Savage defeated One Man Gang by disqualification, and advanced to the finals to face Ted DiBiase.
In triumphant fashion, Savage overcame the odds of a huge distraction from Andre the Giant with the help of Miss Elizabeth bringing out Hulk Hogan, and won his first WWE Championship.
WrestleMania 4 was a very creative concept to be featured on the biggest pay per view of the year. Although it was a gamble, it was successful, and will go down as one of the most unique WrestleMania events in its 30-year history. This was the start of a successful title reign, and also a career as a top superstar for Randy Savage.
It is also interesting to note that Ted DiBiase main-evented a WrestleMania, but never won a singles championship during his entire WWE career as the Million Dollar Man. Although Andre the Giant's title reign is considered official, DiBiase's is not. However, out of the three, Savage is the only person that has yet to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Classic build. Classic PPV.
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