Friday, April 4, 2014

This Week in Sid History: Sid Faces Hogan in the MAIN EVENT of WrestleMania

Sid's nostrils had their own WrestleMania moment.

We’ve finally reached the other Sid WrestleMania match. We did his title match against the Undertaker, but now is the time to do his first ever WrestleMania main event. For this edition, we go all the way back to WrestleMania VIII, which took place at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis on April 5, 1992.

WrestleMania VIII was billed at the time as a double main event. Presumably, this was the starting point of WWF/E claiming to have more than one main event on a card. Technicalities could be argued all day, but at the end of the day, Sid Justice versus Hulk Hogan was the main event, while the WWF title match between Ric Flair and Macho Man Randy Savage was the semi main event. In fact, three matches went on in between Flair/Savage and Sid/Hogan. Tatanka/Rick Martel, Money Inc./Natural Disasters (WWF tag title match), and Owen Hart/Skinner all went on after Flair/Savage, but before Sid/Hogan. I’m not interested in hearing about that double main event crap.

I’d like to imagine a world where Flair and Savage is the main event ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE in the world. This would have been the main event in any promotion. We’re talking about two of the best wrestlers of all-time. It should have been the main event on this card. But sadly, it wasn’t the case. I understand that this might have been one of Hogan’s last WrestleMania’s (at the time.) And yeah, I understand the context of the whole steroids issue in the company at the time. WHATEVER! I’m done with this rant. ONTO THE SID MATCH…

(For what it’s worth, I don’t really care to delve much into why they didn’t do Hogan vs. Flair. made mention of it this week. Also the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has some notes on the story. According to the WON, as part of an attempt to bring Sid in, he was promised a WrestleMania main event with Hogan. This was before Flair left WCW. I recommend you read the new edition. Now onto the Sid match.)

Sid’s first WrestleMania main event. I hope he got a good payday for being in that match. We’ve covered the Sid-Hogan feud a couple of times leading up to this post. It started at the Royal Rumble when Sid eliminated Hogan, who in turn helped Flair eliminate Sid. They made up briefly, before Sid betrayed Hogan again on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Originally, the WrestleMania main event was supposed to be Flair vs. Hogan. But hey, things change.

Since Sid became mortal enemies with Hogan, he added a new manager in DOCTOR Harvey Wippleman. I’ve always felt it would be wise to have a doctor as a manager. If you get hurt, the doctor is there to help patch up. Plus, the doctor could use a stethoscope to choke out your opponent while you distract the referee….I MEAN...monitor your opponent’s heart rate. Because your doctor cares.

Enough with the tangents…

Dr. Wippleman was given the honor of introducing Sid to the 62,167 (SOURCE: Wrestling Observer) fans in attendance at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan were on commentary at the time. Heenan told Monsoon that he heard Monsoon use the moniker “Sycho” Sid. I guess that was the birth of the Sycho moniker. If there was an earlier reference to the name, I haven’t heard it.

Hogan entered the arena to a large pop. Before he can get all the way in the ring, Sid attacked him while his song was still playing. I might...I American Made more than Real American (Slate Pitch Alert). It wasn’t long though as Hogan recovered and knocked Sid out of the ring. Sid tried to get back in the ring, but Hogan did the Sheamus spot over the rope, nearly knocking Sid off the apron. Sid got up, but Hogan knocked him down again. With Sid on the ground re-grouping, Hogan ripped his shirt off as Real American continued. The song ended and the bell rang.

Eventually, Sid got back in the ring and the two had a brief staredown before our hero attacked the Hulkster. Hogan recovered and knocked Sid out of the ring again. Sid briefly left ringside as Dr. Wippleman offered advice, like any good corner person in his position.

Less than a minute later, Sid was back in the ring and challenged Hogan to a test of strength match. Sid got the upperhand and kept Hogan on the mat, maintaining the advantage. The crowd made noises, as a way of getting Hogan back into the match. Hogan rose and tried to get back to a neutral position, but Sid held on and pushed the Hulkster back into the corner. Hogan reversed an irish whip and clotheslined Sid in the corner. Dr. Wippleman distracted Hogan briefly, allowing Sid to regain his composure. Sid grabbed Hogan and chokeslammed him.

The momentum stayed in Sid’s favor as the two were on the floor. With Dr. Wippleman addressing his concerns with the referee, Sid grabbed hold of the doctor’s bag and used it to attack Hogan. SId noted to the cameraman that he was enjoying the match. The two got back in the ring as Sid worked to wear down Hogan. “GIVE IT UP, HULK! GIVE IT UP,” Sid yelled at Hogan. Hogan tried to Hulk Up and briefly escaped the clutches of Sid. However, a sidewalk slam halted the Hogan momentum.

Sid picked up Hogan and powerbombed him, which led to Hogan flopping like a fish on land. With Hogan in pain, Sid went for the cover, got just a two-count as Hogan kicked out and Hulked Up. Hogan attacked and took advantage, pounding him with punches, smacking Sid’s head against the corner and delivering the big boot. Hogan then picked up Sid and bodyslammed him as Heenan noted it was the first time Sid was off of his feet.

Next thing you know, Hogan goes for the leg drop and the cover. 1...2...KICKOUT! Yes folks, Sid kicked out of the Hogan leg drop. This gave Sid his immortality and nobody can take that away...EVER! Sid was made that day and nobody will ever forget the day he kicked out of a Hogan leg drop. Remember this moment, kids!

Dr. Wippleman got in the ring after the kickout as Hogan walked over and grabbed hold of the Doc. The bell rang for a disqualification as Hogan picked up Dr. Wippleman and tossed him into Sid’s arms. Thank goodness Sid was there. I’m somewhat certain Hogan tried to seriously injure Dr. Wippleman, which would have been terrible.

Out of nowhere, Papa Shango ran down the long entrance way, which was like three miles long. Sid and Hogan continued to battle back and forth as finally Papa Shango made his way into the ring. Sid and Shango double-team Hogan and tie him into the ropes. Sid left the ring to get a weapon when a familiar song was played. The Ultimate Warrior ran down the three-mile long entrance way (4.66 40-yard dash) and saved Hogan from Sid and Shango. The two celebrated in the ring as Sid left and didn’t get to partake in the pose-down featuring lots of pyro.

Apparently, this was a way to set up Sid and the Ultimate Warrior for a feud, but Sid wasn’t in the company long after his first WrestleMania Main Event.

That was all of Sid’s matches at WrestleMania. He participated in a third Mania match, although it was as a cornerman for the Diesel-Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania XI. The story itself can be covered another time.

Hopefully you guys enjoy WrestleMania this weekend, whether you’re watching it in the Superdome, on pay-per-view, or on the WWE Network.