Call it the dream WrestleMania match that never happened.
After Ric Flair won the Royal Rumble in 1992, a collision course with “The Nature Boy” and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII was more than in the cards for a match that would have been pipe dreams coming to fruition for pro-wrestling fans around the world.
One problem … the dream match never happened. Flair wound up dropping the then-World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight title to the “Macho Man” Randy Savage with Hulk Hogan defeating Sid Justice at that “Show of Shows” back in April 1992.
The question is why? Why didn’t the Flair/Hogan dream match happen at that WrestleMania? Well, it sort of depends who you ask. During two different shoot interviews, Hogan seemed to place the blame on WWE CEO Vince McMahon, while Flair thought it could have had more to do with Hulk wanting to tape the television show Thunder in Paradise. Somewhere in the middle is probably the actual story. Unless the real answer involved two of the biggest egos getting in the way of declaring a winner on “The Grandest Stage of Them All.”
“I don’t know. I was in my own world. I don’t mean to say, I didn’t have a clue on what was going on, but if I had anything to do with it not happening, it could have had a lot to do with what my personal relationship was like at that moment with Vince, what kind of personal relationship I was having at home — because that would screw me up sometimes,” Hogan said during a Wrestle2.com shoot interview, which was published on YouTube last October.
At one point during the interview, Hogan flat out says: “Vince just shut it down and switched gears on us.”
Meanwhile, in his own interview, Flair says the main event was never promised.
“I don’t know that was ever booked and that was never promised. That’s an illusion that people have,” Flair said. “When I got there, [McMahon] said that’s a possibility. But at the same time, I know Hulk wanted to go out and do the show Thunder in Paradise and they weren’t getting along and I guess they decided to go another way. To make sure, in case he left early, they put us in arenas all over the country several times. Some people said it was a cash flow problem. I’ve never heard an explanation, but it was never promised to me.”
Flair added that “it’s nothing that I lose sleep over,” although he admits it would have been huge had it happened at WrestleMania VIII. Yet, he was pleased with his match with Savage — as was a majority of the legions of pro-wrestling fans.
Still, the missed opportunity of having a Hogan-Flair main event at WrestleMania VIII and beyond is undeniable.
“For some reason, it just seemed like we could have done a year and a half, two years worth of business,” Hogan said, “just putting Hogan and Flair together and flipping the belt back and forth four or five times.”
Although the two legends would go on to fight several times, it was never on “The Grandest Stage of Them All.”