After the monumental WrestleMania III that saw Hulk Hogan defeat Andre the Giant in an iconic moment, the WWE had the tough task of putting on a better event at WrestleMania IV. The WWE decided to have a 14-man tournament for the vacant WWE Heavyweight Championship, which was won by "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
On a recent episode of his Something To Wrestle podcast, former WWE producer Bruce Prichard discussed some behind-the-scenes stories leading up to the event. Prichard said backstage officials began discussing the event when they found out Hulk Hogan would be taking some time off to shoot a movie.
"The first time I heard about it was on November, December of 1987," Prichard said. "When we were getting ready to plan and that the announcement was being made of the main event on the live show of NBC, and that was going to be taking the championship off of Hulk Hogan, and Hogan was going to be doing a movie in the summer of 1988."
Prichard also discussed WWF Magazine spoiling the winner of the championship prior to WrestleMania IV. He said it was a mistake by the magazine's editor and nobody noticed it, so from that point on he had to proofread the magazine before it went into production.
"Well, [Former WWF Magazine editor] Ed Ricciuti was reprimanded for it and got in trouble for it. He was the editor of the magazine. What they fail to point out and flies into the face of 'rumor and innuendo' that The Honky Tonk Man refused to do a job to Randy Savage so we switched since this magazine went into production in January. OK, so, conspiracy theorists, explain that one. It was a mistake," Prichard said. "It was a mistake that somebody in the magazine did and nobody caught it, and because of this mistake, unfortunately, I had to proofread the magazine going forward after it for somebody from the pro wrestling side to read it because it was people that were in publications and not always in tune to what they were doing, and they had information."
After Savage won the title, Hogan came to the ring to celebrate with him. Prichard said Savage was happy to get a rub from Hogan and didn't feel like he was stealing his spotlight or anything like that. Savage appreciated that Hogan was willing to pass the torch to him.
"Randy Savage was fine with it because he wanted the endorsement," Prichard said. "For Randy, looking at that, was a passing of the torch as well, for Hulk Hogan to be out there and endorse him. Plus, it was a prelude to prepare you for next year's big event (WrestleMania V)."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.