The WWF aired Wrestlemania VIII live on pay-per-view from the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, IN, in front of 62,167 fans who paid for their tickets, along with another 15,000 who were let in for free. This show was in many ways the end of a golden era, as Hulk Hogan wrestled his last match in the WWF for one year when he faced Sid Justice and the WWF’s popularity would take a major downturn in the coming months. The Ultimate Warrior made a save when Sid and Papa Shango were double-teaming Hogan, returning to the company after an eight-month absence in an attempt to soften the blow of losing Hogan for the foreseeable future. The Hulkster’s name had been tarnished through the ongoing steroid scandal and Vince McMahon felt that he needed some time away until the issue was calmed. The entrance aisle for this event was especially long, which caused Papa Shango to hit the ring late for his run-in and forcing Sid to kick out of Hogan’s legdrop, which many fans often thought was a shoot, even though it was not. Because of the long aisle, Warrior was also blown up by the time he hit the ring to make the save. In the co-main event, Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair in a ***1/2 match to win his second WWF World Title. Flair bladed during the match and received a strong tongue-lashing from Vince McMahon as a result. Also on the show, Bret Hart regained the WWF Intercontinental Title, defeating Roddy Piper in a ***3/4 match with an outstanding finish. The show was also notable for marking the first-ever WWF appearance of Lex Luger, who would be promoted not as a wrestler, but as a bodybuilder in Vince McMahon’s World Bodybuilding Federation. The show did just shy of 485,000 buys, and you can watch it on the WWE Network.
ECW aired its first-ever television show, which looked nearly unrecognizable compared to what the promotion would become with time. Stevie Wonderful and Jay Sulli were the hosts and the show kicked off with an altercation between Terry Funk and Eddie Gilbert to begin the build to ECW’s first major match. Also on the show, a hilarious music video aired of The Sandman in his initial surfer gimmick, to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Big Shot”.
New Japan Pro Wrestling held a card at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo that included a cameo from many of Michinoku Pro’s top wrestlers, as Jushin Liger teamed with Gran Hamada and El Samurai to face Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto and Taka Michinoku in a ***1/4 match. The New Japan juniors were expected to do an extended interpromotional feud with the wrestlers of Michinoku Pro, but the plans fell apart.
WCW Monday Nitro aired live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. In an attempt to freshen up the show, Nitro debuted a new set design, which Eric Bischoff strangely thought would deliver a 7.0 rating. The show was promoted in classic WCW fashion, as they took out an ad in USA Today that featured the new logo above the phrase “Looks Like Something A Bird Left On The Hood Of My Car”. While Bischoff’s predictions were a bit delusional, the show still drew a 4.3 rating, which was a big increase over the previous week’s 3.5. Meanwhile, on Monday Night RAW, the unlikely duo of Kane and X-Pac became WWF World Tag Team Champions, defeating Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett. To conclude the show, Steve Austin and the Big Show destroyed the Titantron, as the WWF would also be upgrading their set in the near future. This episode of RAW drew a 5.8 rating, a healthy victory over the “new” Nitro.