The Wrestling Book continues it’s deep dive into two editions of Wrestlemania Encyclopaedias published by WWE. The first one was published in 2001 but written in 2000 when WCW was still alive. It’s called The Official Insiders Story: Wrestlemania. It covers Wrestlemania 1-16. The other encyclopaedia is 30 years of Wrestlemania published after Wrestlemania 30. In our deep dives we look at the narratives of each Wrestlemania and how the narrative has changed and if the facts have been changed.
This article we look at Wrestlemania 4 and it’s the start of the relationship between the McMahon family, WWF and Donald Trump. Wrestlemania 4 is held at the Trump Plaza hotel and casino in Atlantic City.
The Official insiders Encyclopaedia book begins by discussing Dick Glover who was director of new business for WWF, the companies best research method in how to present and which way to take Wrestlemania forward is quoted as
‘firmly embedded in Vince McMahon’s guts, and it’s hard to go away from that.’
32 years later this may explain a lot on the up and downs with WWE and their success. The book discusses the ways to improve Wrestlemania for it’s 4th edition. It mentions they couldn’t have a bigger crowd or a better main event than the last show.
Mark Grossinger Etess is mentioned as the man who brought Wrestlemania to Atlantic City for the Hotel and Casino to try and cater to more of a family audience rather than their high rollers who would attend their boxing matches. Mark is named as the man who created the idea of what today is called Axxses but at Wrestlemania 4 it is known as Wrestlemania FanFest. It notes that Mark Grossinger Etess sadly died in a helicopter crash in the same year as Wrestlemania 4.
The show was a bigger success according to the book, they sold 600,000 pay per view and because the highest priced ticket was $150 dollars they were able to surpass the live-gate revenue. The pay per view buyrate is largely debated in this period just like the previous events. It is believed that this event did do a 6.5 buy rate. It lists all the celebrities to be involved with the event and how the show was built with a tournament for the Word Wrestling Federation Championship.
The book is high on praise for its treatment of WWF superstars and workers by the Trump Plaza. They were allowed to eat in the cafeteria and allowed to play on blackjack tables. There’s a story on how Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts again scared a celebrity with Damien. This time it was Ivana Trump who spilt wine all over her dress.
As for the tournament, it says it was a new time for a champion and that would be Macho Man Randy Savage. It mentions Hulk presenting Savage with the belt at the end of the show. The book also relates a story of how the WWF magazine went to on sale days earlier than normal by mistake and hit the shelves with Randy Savage on the front cover with the word ‘Champion’ above him. Apparently the office was depressed about this situation but Vince proclaimed everyone should ‘Just Keep Working’
The book skips over the tournament and doesn’t discuss the matches and results. It’s plain to see that it’s not important to them on how Wrestlemania is built. It’s all about celebrities and the work of McMahon and his advisors, it’s all about how they created Wrestlemania not the hard work and popularity of the wrestlers.
The 30 year history of Wrestlemania discusses the creation of Wrestlemania Fan Axxess and how it begun at this event. With regards to celebrities, where the first book discusses Trump and his associates, mainly mark Etts as it’s main priority, this book informs us that WWE has changed it philosophy on celebrities and that it was now the case that the celebrity had to be a right fit for WWE and only A-Listers would be a ideal pairing.
It covers the angle on how Hulk Hogan would drop the WWF Championship and that Wrestlemania would hold a tournament to crown a new champion. It moves on to the event itself and discusses the matches. It would discuss the battle royal featuring 20 WWF superstars. It gives a few sentences for the other matches taking place including Honky Tonk Man’s run with the Intercontinental Championship.
With regards to the tournament, it mentions the shock of Andre the Giant and Hogan being eliminated together in a count out. It portrays how important it is that we will definitely see a new WWF Champion on the evening. The man picked to be the new champion would be ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and the book finishes saying that the picture of Hogan presenting Savage the championship is still remembered today.
The 2001 edition of the book was more of a fun read this time but again with the absence of the main stars, it refuses to discuss them. Rather it makes stories out of the behind the scene happenings that is elevated beyond its need. The newest edition is full of filler for this event, doesn’t discuss any points but skims over the event with just enough information.
The next edition of the re-writing of Wrestlemania series sees us staying at the Trump Plaza as the mega powers explode!