Five-Star Match of the Week: "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase - WWE Championship Tournament Finals, WrestleMania IV
Every Wednesday, WWE Classics and Greatest Matches team up with your favorite Superstars to bring you the Five-Star Match of the Week. We ask a Superstar in the WWE locker room to select one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and WWE.com brings you that full-length match, uncut.
When we approached WWE's resident master of the 450 Splash to select a classic bout for Five-Star Match of the Week, Justin Gabriel was adamant about his choice. "One of my favorite matches ever is 'The Million Dollar Man' vs. 'Macho Man,' " Gabriel said. "It was the final at WrestleMania IV for the WWE Title."
On the first-ever edition of The Main Event in February 1988, Andre the Giant controversially defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship in a rematch from their historic clash at WrestleMania III. Andre immediately sold the title to "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, but WWE President Jack Tunney nullified this transaction. Instead, he announced the title would be vacated with a new champion being crowned in an unprecedented 14-man tournament at WrestleMania IV. ( MORE "MILLION DOLLAR MAN")
Hogan and Andre met once again in the quarterfinals, but eliminated each other in a double disqualification. This created an opening for DiBiase to perhaps finally win the coveted WWE Championship. But it also allowed for the ascent of a new main event star, Randy Savage.
"It's funny that it's a match that stands out in my mind," Gabriel said of Savage and DiBiase's meeting in the final. "I've watched it more than any other match." And for good reason.
Heading into the match, "Macho Man" was exhausted from three grueling bouts that evening against Butch Reed, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and One Man Gang. DiBiase had received a bye through the semifinals due to the Hogan-Andre double-elimination, and dominated the majority of the contest against Savage. But "Macho" wasn't through. The legendary flier climbed to the turnbuckle, nailed his iconic elbow drop and pinned "The Million Dollar Man" to win his first WWE Championship in one of the most memorable moments in WrestleMania history. ( MORE "MACHO MAN")
"That's the match that got me hooked on wrestling," Gabriel told WWE.com. "I had it on a VHS tape, and I watched that match so many times, the tape broke. It was the first-ever WWE match that aired on South African TV. Back in the day, they only started airing main events, and that was the very first one." Not a bad way to start. ( MORE JUSTIN GABRIEL)
PREVIOUS FIVE-STAR MATCHES:
Oct. 3, 2012: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XII
Oct. 10, 2012: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Halloween Havoc 1997
Oct. 17, 2012: Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout
Oct. 24, 2012: CM Punk vs. John Cena, Money in the Bank 2001