I still have no idea how my mother pulled this off. She was a single mom who worked several jobs and still managed to get WrestleMania tickets for her spoiled brat son. As you can see from the ticket stub in the photos below, she didn’t settle for the nosebleeds. In fact, a guy who would one day become President of the United States sat about 15 feet from us. I’ll be going to day 2 of WrestleMania in Tampa on Sunday… but it’ll never beat the memories of this day back when I was 15 years old at WrestleMania IV.
$150 for a ticket was a fortune back in '88. This would've been my first WrestleMania since 1988! Yup! I was there when Sarasota's own "Macho Man" Randy Savage won the World Wrestling Federation championship. I got to see Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and celebrities galore like Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White, Gladys Knight, and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" host Robin Leach. That ticket stub you see up there? Guess who was sitting in our section? Some real estate guy named Donald Trump. Wonder whatever happened to him.
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant headlined WrestleMania the year before. But Andre's health was in decline by this point. It was just a match during the tournament. Hulk and Andre only did this one match.
Final round of the tournament. Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.
Ah mom. Miss ya.
How mom pulled this off I'll never know. She worked so many jobs to make ends meet. Miss you Mum.
"Mean Gene" Okerlund, Robin Leach and Howard Finkel.
DiBiase vs. Savage in the main event for the belt!
And your winner... Macho Man Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth on his shoulders.
Celebration time with Macho Man, Elizabeth and Hulk
Andre The Giant looming
Randy "Macho Man" Savage about to win his first world championship.
Macho Man gets some help from Hulk Hogan
Magnificent Muraco accompanied by former champ Superstar Billy Graham
"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
Hoooooooooo! Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase vs Magnificent Muraco
Magnificent Muraco vs Dino Bravo I believe
Savage vs One Man Gang
Savage is down but not out
Bam Bam Bigelow vs One Man Gang... fun fact, before WrestleMania, my amazing mother rented a car so we could look for the pro wrestling school Bam Bam trained at. We knew it was SOMEWHERE in this small New Jersey town I can't think of the name of. There was no internet or GPS back then. We couldn't look up the address so we went driving around just looking for it for HOURS. We never found it. So I never became WWF champ.
Hulk vs Andre
Hulk Hogan KO's Virgil the Bodyguard
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake
Demolition about to become WWF Tag Team Champs over Strike Force
Tag team championship match
Defeated and no longer champs... I was happy. I always liked the bad guys!
Bret Hart, Bad News Brown and Junkyard Dog
Battle royal action
Battle royal time!
Lights down, crowd ready!
Lights on, crowd filling in.
"Mr Baseball" Bob Eucker I believe!
Gladys Knight sings the America The Beautiful.
Vanna White says hello.
Howard Finkel ready to get this thing started.
Trump Plaza was really just the Atlantic City Convention Center. Trump Plaza was just a hotel.
Took a walk around the arena when we arrived to get different shots like this.
These were all taken with my handy dandy Kodak Disc camera. Remember those? I loved mine.