Actual main event: Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice
What the main event should have been: Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan
What I don’t want here is people to look at this and think that I didn’t or still don’t love the WWE Championship match we got from Randy Savage and Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII. If I’m keeping the entire card as is, that obviously should have gone on last and not that dumpster fire that was Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice that featured a run-in by Papa Shango. Just think about that for a minute … freaking Papa Shango causing a screwy finish in the WrestleMania main event. And he couldn’t even get down there on time, which made Sid have to kick out of the leg drop. Just awful. The Savage-Flair match was phenomenal but such a big opportunity was missed here.
Think about it. You’ve got arguably the two biggest icons professional wrestling had ever seen in Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. The Nature Boy had finally left WCW in 1991 to come to WWE and actually brought the Big Gold Belt with him. Hogan was the WWE Champion at the time and the story was just writing itself. Who was the best? Who was the real world champion? People had wanted to see this match for years, and it was finally going to happen. Flair costing Hogan the title at Survivor Series was a perfect lead-in, even if Hogan won it back a few days later but then had to vacate it due to all the controversy. Flair went on to win the Royal Rumble and the WWE Championship, and it’s even better.
WWE even went so far as to name Hulk Hogan the number one contender on television, and the match seemed to be on. Not so fast. Apparently, reaction from Hogan-Flair matches on house shows was overwhelmingly negative and things were changed. Flair would now take on Savage and Hogan would take on Sid Justice, yet another big man he had problems with, starting at the Royal Rumble. WHAT??!! You’ve got Hogan and Flair and you’re going to let a couple of house shows dictate the main event of WrestleMania, a main event that was years in the making? You don’t think Hogan and Flair would have stepped it up for the biggest show of the year?
To this day, even the people involved still can’t understand why this didn’t happen, and I’m right there with them. Again, the Savage-Flair story was great and their match in Indianapolis was fantastic. But WrestleMania VIII had a chance to make history and it just didn’t happen. Flair and Hogan would finally meet in WCW at Bash in the Beach in 1994, and the match was fine. It just could have happened two years earlier on the grandest stage of ’em all, and that has to go down as one of the biggest missed opportunities in WWE history.