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By Robert Garver on 8/2/2017 9:30 AM

10 WrestleMania Main Events That Would Have Been Better As Fatal Four-Ways
By Robert R. Garver

Recently, as a fantasy booking exercise, I thought of what it would be like if every WrestleMania main event had been a Fatal Four-Way – if they all had the frantic pace and unpredictability of a multi-man match. Some made the transition better than others. The Hogan/Andre main event of WrestleMania III, for example, worked because it was The Unstoppable Force meeting The Immovable Object without interference from two other variables. But in some cases, they most definitely worked, to the point where I don’t know why WWE didn’t do some of these in the first place.

A few rules I set for myself: The matches are elimination rules. The championship du jour has to be on the line. The matches have to include all original participants and be won by the original winner (unless the match had two winners, in which case only one of them could win the new match). This isn’t an exercise where I get to say “Hulk Hogan had too many title reigns, let’s do something about that.” It is simply a matter of making the matches more interesting while still having the same outcome. With that in
mind, here are ten WrestleMania main events that would have been better as Fatal Four-Ways.

WrestleMania I (1985)
What We Got: Hulk Hogan (champion) and Mr. T beating “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in a tag team match.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Hogan vs. Mr. T vs. Piper vs. Orndorff

Reasoning: Blah, the first WrestleMania culminated in a tag team match without the title on the line? No good, make it a title match and make it every man for himself. Not only could Hogan lose the title, he might lose it to a non-wrestling celebrity in Mr. T. Think of the suspense there. Alas, we wouldn’t get anything that earth-shattering. Piper and Mr. T spill to the outside and get counted out, setting up their boxing match the following year, while Hogan pins Orndorff after botched interference from “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Same ending, just higher stakes in getting there. You can even have Mr. T knock out Piper
outside the ring and then come in and join Hogan in a babyface celebration, even though only Hogan’s win was official.

WrestleMania IV (1989)
What We Got: “Macho Man” Randy Savage beating “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in the finals of a tournament to fill the vacant championship, a tournament that earlier saw Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant eliminate each other via double disqualification.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Hogan vs. Andre vs. Savage vs. DiBiase

Reasoning: Hogan stuck his nose in this match anyway, might as well have him be an official participant and throw in Andre to even things up for the heels. Hogan and Andre still take each other out with disqualifying chairshots (I know Fatal Four-Way matches are usually No Disqualification, but this was before the stipulation was being applied, so a disqualification over a chairshot wouldn’t be unreasonable) but now in the main event instead of midway through the show. Savage of course then goes on to beat DiBiase. But now the seeds of jealousy within the Mega Powers are planted even earlier, as Savage wins the match and the championship at the unintentional expense of his partner Hogan.

WrestleMania VIII (1992)
What We Got: Randy Savage beating Ric Flair for the championship in the undercard, and Hulk Hogan defeating Sid Justice by disqualification in the main event.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Flair vs. Hogan vs. Savage vs. Sid.

Reasoning: The original card is unacceptable on so many levels, from the championship match being on the undercard to the unproven Sid in the non-title main event to the disqualification finish to a freakin’ WrestleMania. Best to throw these guys in a blender with more focus on the title. Sid gets eliminated first by Hogan. Irate, Sid cheap-shots Hogan, causing him to get pinned by Flair in a sort of reverse of the finish of the 1992 Royal Rumble (except this time we’re not supposed to cheer for the sore loser). Sid
then drags Hogan outside the ring and beats him down with the help of the meddling Papa Shango. It’s two-on- one, with Flair and Savage still attending to their own business inside the ring. Ultimate Warrior returns to drive off Sid and Shango, and helps Hogan to the back. Savage goes on to beat Flair with the match in the prominent position it deserves.

WrestleMania X (1994)
What We Got: Bret “The Hitman” Hart beating Yokozuna for the championship in the main event. Earlier matches on the card saw Yokozuna retain the championship against Lex Luger and Bret lose to his brother Owen in the opening match.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Yokozuna vs. Luger vs. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

Reasoning: I can’t stand Bret getting a championship main event after losing clean earlier in the evening.    Let everyone who fought a main-eventer that night be in the main event here. Luger can be disqualified and throw a tantrum that takes away the attention of the referee. Owen gets what would be a clean pin on his Bret, but the ref is too tied up with Luger to notice. He goes over to the melee only to walk into a bodyslam by Yokozuna for the pin. Eventually the irate Luger and Owen are cleared away, leaving Bret to beat Yokozuna for the championship. Owen seethes that he had his brother pinned, which escalates their feud, leading to the cage match at Summerslam.

WrestleMania XI (1995)
What We Got: Diesel retaining the championship against Shawn Michaels in the undercard, with Lex Luger and Davey Boy Smith easily winning the tag match that opened the show.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Diesel vs. Michaels vs. Luger vs. Smith

Reasoning: The Diesel/Michaels match is fine, I just think Luger and Smith deserved better, given how over they were. Add them to the main event and give them some dignity. Make Diesel and Michaels work together for a little while fighting off the Allied Powers, an uneasy rekindling of their old friendship that would add a layer of complexity to their feud. A double elimination occurs when Diesel pins Luger and Michaels pins Smith simultaneously. Then Diesel and Michaels finish the match with Diesel retaining.

Above all, this should be the main event. Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow was a fun diversion, but it belonged in the midcard even with the celebrity appeal.

WrestleMania XIII (1997)
What We Got: The Undertaker beat Sid Vicious for the championship in the main event of a card that was dominated by the Bret Hart/Steve Austin “I Quit” match. Elsewhere, Mankind and Vader fought to a double countout in a tag title match against Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Sid vs. Undertaker vs. Mankind vs. Vader

Reasoning: I was tempted to add Hart and Austin to this match since they were practically the main event anyway, but those two needed to settle their differences one-on- one. With that match stealing the show, the main event needs to be beefed up, and the hefty Mankind and Vader will certainly do that. Sid, as the least interesting participant, can get eliminated first, and we can be enthralled by the allure of a new champion. Mankind can be eliminated next, and Vader can come oh so close to taking over the world before falling to Undertaker. Oh, and Undertaker can score all three pins in the name of etching his
WrestleMania legacy.

WrestleMania XV (1999)
What We Got: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin beating The Rock for the championship in the main event, while Mankind and The Big Show squabbled over a referee spot on the undercard.

Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Rock vs. Austin vs. Mankind vs. Big Show

Reasoning: Nobody cared about the referee spot. Mankind was enormously over in 1999 and he deserved the main event. Big Show can be added in the name of evening things out for The Corporaion. But he’s the first one eliminated when Mankind scores a surprise pinfall. Show then proceeds to beat Mankind mercilessly so that he falls victim to Corporate Champion The Rock. Vince McMahon then comes out to berate Big Show for losing so early, and this leads to Big Show punching Vince and being arrested turning face in the process. With the match now down to Rock and Austin, Austin pulls out the victory.

WrestleMania XXV (2009)
What We Got: Triple H retaining the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in what many consider the weakest WrestleMania main event of all time.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Triple H vs. Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase

Reasoning: Triple H vs. Orton had been done several times already, and there was no point in doing it again on the Grandest Stage of Them All. But WWE really wanted to do this feud, so I think a good compromise would be adding Rhodes and DiBiase of Orton’s Legacy stable. The Royal Rumble that year came down to these four, with Orton eliminating Triple H for the win after Triple H eliminated the two henchmen. Orton thinks he can rely on safety in numbers, but Rhodes and DiBiase want the championship for themselves. Miscommunication and in-fighting result in Rhodes and DiBiase being
eliminated before Orton himself falls to Triple H.

WrestleMania XXVII (2011)
What We Got: The Miz retaining the championship against John Cena with interference from The Rock, which helped set up the Cena/Rock match a year later.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Miz vs. Cena vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth

Reasoning: This match is all about that interference from The Rock, but there’s no reason it has to be so wimpy otherwise. Throw in Morrison to do some his show-stealing parkour before getting eliminated.   Throw in R-Truth so he can get eliminated and go crazy, setting up his splendid 2011 heel run. Do  something to make this match more interesting en route to The Rock allowing Miz to beat Cena.

WrestleMania XXX (2014)
What We Got: Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista in a Triple Threat Match for the championship, after earlier in the evening defeating Triple H just to qualify for the main event.
Proposed Fatal Four-Way: Orton vs. Batista vs. Triple H vs. Bryan

Reasoning: Both Bryan matches were tremendous, but it seems weird to eliminate Authority/Evolutio mastermind Triple H in the first match of the evening. I say combine the three stablemates and really stack the deck against Bryan. Orton can be eliminated first so we get the promise of a new champion.   Batista can go next, and then Bryan can finally cut the head off The Authority with an exhausting victory over Triple H.

Robert Garver is movie critic and wrestling fan originally from Hershey, PA. More of his work can be found online at Feedback is welcome at