The Princess Retro Rant for Wrestlemania XIV

Why the hell not? Besides you guys gave me 4,500+ comments last night so you deserve a reward.

The Princess Retro Rant for Wrestlemania XIV

From the Fleetcenter (now TD Garden Center) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

The opening to this Wrestlemania was just great. The only
thing edited was “M&M Presents” since I guess sponsors don’t get a double
plug.


15-Team Tag Battle Royale

Yeah I’m not going to list off the teams, you can certainly look on Wikipedia
if you want. There are a lot of Boricuas and NoD members in there along with
some old favorites like The Headbangers, The Quebecers and The Rock & Roll
Express. Really I think this was just a match to highlight the WWF’s shitty tag
division at the time. The repackaged LOD get the final entrance as they were the
“mystery team”. They gave them an overhauled look and Sunny and called it LOD
2000. The crowd seemed to like it or like Sunny, who was still pretty cute in
1998 although the fall from grace was coming soon. People not involved in the
match like Kurrigan and Barry Windham entered to prolong feuds that no one gave
a shit about. Things slow down a bit as LOD, The Godwins, The New Midnight
Express and the DoA are left. Godwinns eliminate Skull or 8-Ball and the other
one eliminates the other Godwinn. The farmers come back in and drop the LOD
with their slop buckets so we are down to two. The New Midnight Express was a
short-lived and poorly-conceived team of Bob Holly and Bart Gunn. Not sure why
they couldn’t pay to bring in Bobby Eaton. Bob and Bart sucked but either one
of them with Bobby Eaton and at least there’s some credibility. The purist in
me thinks Bob Holly and Bobby Eaton might have been a solid tag team. Hell
Bobby Eaton and my herb garden could be a solid tag team. Anyway LOD wins and
whatever. No rating needed but outside of Sunny there wasn’t much to see here.

Good lord there are a shit ton of (insert statement) 3:16 signs here.

They show all of the Wrestlemania weekend festivities including the DX Public
Workout. FanFest and the Hall of Fame hadn’t been created yet but they were
close.


WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: TAKA Michinoku vs. Aguila

Aguila’s main contribution to the WWF and mainstream wrestling society was
being repackaged as Essa Rios with a new manager named Lita sometime in early
2000. So it’s safe to say Aguila was the most important wrestler in the
division’s short history for that reason alone. He also wrestled sans mask as
Papi Chulo sometimes. Aguila starts hot with a moonsault to the floor but TAKA
responds with a crazy top rope cross body to the floor. TAKA hits a few low
dropkicks for a two count but Aguila backdrops him to the floor. TAKA climbs
the ropes slowly and Aguila hits a top rope arm drag and does like three more
with various flips to get TAKA out of the ring and there he hits a crazy
running hands free corkscrew plancha. Fuck that. TAKA goes for a corkscrew moonsault
and misses but Aguila hits a traditional one for two. TAKA responds however but
his splash hits knees. Poor guy has no luck tonight. Aguila sets TAKA on the
ropes and hits a solid top rope hurricanrana. TAKA comes back with a top rope
missile dropkick but the Michinoku driver is countered into a frankstieiner
which is countered into a powerbomb for two. TAKA misses a moonsault and Aguila’s
la magistral gets two. Aguila goes for a top rope something and gets caught
with a dropkick and then the Michinoku Driver hits for the three count.

(TAKA def. Aguila, pinfall, **1/2, total spot fest but they didn’t look sloppy
doing it. Short and sweet).

Gennifer Flowers interviews The Rock during his beta testing phase. The
charisma is there but the content isn’t quite what it would become. His answer
on how to solve the homeless problem is pretty funny. Plenty of jokes about
oral sex too, of course.


WWF European Championship: HHH vs. Owen Hart

HHH gets his first live entrance and there would be many more to come. Chyna is
going to be handcuffed to Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter to hopefully foil her
interference plans. Crowd is loving Chyna standing up to Slaughter and threatening to
whip his ass. Owen catches HHH with his back turned and goes to town with a
back body drop and a big clothesline. A corner clothesline and 10 corner
punches from Owen. Frankensteiner gets two. HHH comes back with a back elbow
and gets Owen out of the ring. Chyna tries to take a shot but she’s got
Slaughter to contend with, meanwhile HHH tries to attack but eats post instead.
Back in the ring Owen catches HHH and goes for the sharpshooter but HHH rakes
the eyes. Owen lowers the head too early and HHH hits the old knee smasher. A
clothesline follows and HHH roughs up Owen in the corner. Back the the center
of the ring and the Harley Race knee hits and gets two. Suplex from HHH and the
CLASSIC knee drop follows. Owen tries to fight back but a blind charge eats
boot. DDT from HHH gets another near fall.

Owen tries to rally again but HHH gets to the ankle, which Owen had sprained
several weeks ago. Step over toe hold from HHH as we see BLOOD. Owen looks like
he’s bleeding hardway from the nose. Back to the ankle for HHH as Ross notes
that Owen just took his cast off today. Owen tries to rally again with some
wide punches. He corners HHH and drives a couple of shoulders. Blind charge but
Owen ducks the boot and butterflies HHH in the post. Top rope dropkick from Owen gets a near fall. Awesome belly to belly overhead suplex gets two. Leg lariat
gets two. Enziguri from Owen hits but he does it to the injured ankle. Finally
he gets two. Another franksteiner attempt is countered into a powerbomb for two.
HHH posts Owen but Owen fights back and hits a top rope cross body for two. HHH
reverses the corner whip and goes for the pedigree but Owen counters into the
sharpshooter, however HHH kicks away and Owen hits the corner and falls with
his head “accidentally” dropping down low on HHH. Another pedigree attempt is
successfully countered into the sharpshooter but Chyna helps HHH get to the
ropes as Slaughter proves to be useless. Owen with some ground and pound and
the ref pulls him off and that allows Chyna to throw powder in Slaughter’s
eyes. She gets a low blow on Owen and the pedigree hits this time for the three
count. Tim White uncuffs Chyna and she beats the shit out of Slaughter for good
measure. Geez….Owen would have been better off on his own.

(HHH def. Hart, ***3/4, really liked this match a LOT more after 15 years.
Great action and near falls galore.)

They do a video sequence to set up the mixed tag match. This is a strange one
as Marc Mero does a heel turn and aligns with Goldust only to turn back when
Goldust put his hands on Sable to break up a fight between her and Luna. Crowd
was absolutely feeling Sable when she started fighting back.


“Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable vs. TAFKA Goldust & Luna

Everyone knows how I feel about Mero’s “Marvelous” gimmick, it was truly
awesome and it sucks that he was so injured he couldn’t capitalize on it….that
and his now ex-wife kept powerbombing the shit out of him. Anyway, typical
mixed tag rules. The boys start and Mero with a head scissors take down and a
clothesline. Goldust tags Luna but she bails when Sable comes in and tags back
out. Tough luck. Boys time again and Mero back drops Goldust and tags Sable as
they pull a nice double team. Luna, once again, decides to take away from Sable
so it’s boys again and Mero does his boxing stuff but eats boot on a blind
charge and a big clothesline from Goldust. He gives Mero a hangman and Luna
adds a cheap shot. Mero back with a high cross body for two but he sets too
early and gets uppercut. Crowd wants Sable as the boys knock heads and start
the double count. Both tag and Sable with a double leg takedown and ground and pound on
Luna to a MASSIVE crowd pop. Holy shit I forgot how over she was. Hair whip for
Luna and Sable knocks out Goldust before clotheslining Luna over the top. She’s
on a fucking rampage. Luna makes the tag and Sable just punches Goldust out of
the ring. Mero sends him into the stairs and back in the ring but a slingshot
splash catches knees. Sable threatens Goldust which allows Mero to hit a low
blow but the TKO is countered into a DDT. Curtain call is countered into a knee
lift and Mero hits the Merosault for the first time in like a year, that’s a
springboard moonsault BTW. A blind charge hits elbow but Mero posts him and
hits a top rope frankensteiner for two! Man it sucks that he got injured
because he had the goods. Luna tries to get involved but more heel miscommunication
leads to a near fall. TKO hits but Luna stops the count so Sable tags in and
tries to pin Goldust her but the ref is distracted. Meanwhile Luna scales the
ropes but accidentally splashes Goldust. Powerbomb from Sable gets two. Luna
tries to choke as the crowd goes apeshit for Sable. They gotta send this home
quickly and shortly after I type that it’s TKO for Luna and a three count.
Story was that Sable was totally unprofessional and Luna and Dustin gave her
MUCH more than she deserved given how she acted. So in hindsight this is
annoying to watch but at the time they gave the people exactly what they wanted.
Mero’s face turn lasted until a week later I think.

(Mero/Sable def. Goldust/Luna, pinfall, ***1/4, damn near everything was clean
and Mero pulled out all his old stuff in his last good performance.)

Tennessee Lee (Rob Parker) introduces Gennifer Flowers and Jeff Jarrett. They
do a little spot that draws no response before she grabs the cue cards for her
ring introduction duties.


WWF Intercontinental Title: The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock

The Rock has Kama, D-Lo and Mark Henry with him but no Farooq. Shamrock goes to
town right away sending Rock to the floor. Rules state that Rock will lose the
title if he is DQ’ed. Shamrock follows the Rock outside and sends him into the railing.
Rock tries to send Shamrock into the steps but Shamrock reverses it. Rock
reverses a corner whip but gets clotheslined out of his boots. Ground and pound
from Shamrock but Rock sends him through the ropes. Rock follows him out and
sends him to the ring steps. Back in the ring and Rock hits the body slam and
the beta version of the People’s Elbow as it’s not officially named that yet.
Shamrock comes back and sends Rock over the top. Shamrock follows him out with
a clothesline and goes for a chair. He knocks the ref down and drops the chair
so the Rock hits him square in the face for two. Shamrock rallies back with an
elbow and a side leg kick. Powerslam from Shamrock gets two. Belly to belly
from Shamrock and it’s ankle lock time and Rock taps out immediately to a big
crowd pop.

(Shamrock def. Rock, submission, **, pretty easy work for Shamrock but he wouldn’t
get better until the Owen program.)

Shamrock with a belly to belly for D-Lo, one for Kama and an amazing one for
Mark Henry. And it’s back to the ankle lock for the Rock. Farooq comes down for
the save but nope he decides against it as the Rock is bleeding from the mouth.
Officials finally get Shamrock off the poor guy so he beats up three referees
and you see where this is going. Pat Patterson tries to calm Shamrock down as
the paramedics come out for the Rock. Referee overturns the decision because
Shamrock lost his fucking mind. So he goes back and beats up the Rock some
more.

(Rock def. Shamrock, referee decision to DQ, **, mostly a squash to give
Shamrock some heat).


Dumpster Match for WWF Tag Team Championship: New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack
& Chainsaw Charlie

Actually it’s not Charlie this night, he’s 100% Funk U baby. Rules are simple,
first team to end up in the dumpster loses. I’ll assume this is a no
disqualification match with Texas Tornado rules. Cactus sends Road Dogg into
the side of the dumpster and hits him with a running knee. Billy Gunn with a
hangman on Funk. Dogg hits Cactus with a cookie pan as Gunn chokes away at Funk
on the inside. Cactus goes for a running tumble and misses, damn near breaking
his neck. Gunn sends Funk into the railing and they back drop him into the
dumpster. One down. Dogg with a vertical Russian legsweep that sends Cactus’
head into the dumpster. Cactus into the dumpster and the Outlaws double team
Funk and send him in the dumpster. They try to close the dumpster but Cactus
fights out with a mandible claw. Funk revives himself and hits Gunn over the
head with a baking pan. Back in the ring, neckbreaker from Cactus, hangman
neckbreaker from Funk. Cactus sends Gunn to the floor and hits the Cactus elbow
from the apron to the floor. In the ring Funk with a DDT. Cactus pulls out a
ladder to a crowd pop. Cactus and Gunn fight on the ladder and end up in the
dumpster. Gunn powerbombs Funk into the dumpster and they double team Cactus
Jack. More brawling and a few replays of the ladder spot gets us to the Outlaws
fighting Cactus in the back. They send him into some plunder but he rallies
back with a chair. Double armed DDT to Gunn on a pallet and Funk returns with a
forklift. Cactus stacks the Outlaws on the forklift and they dump the Outlaws
in a second dumpster and seal it shut for the titles.

(Funk/Cactus def. Outlaws, dumpster diving, **1/4, silly brawling but nothing
too offensive.)

Video review of the Undertaker-Kane feud and Paul Bearer is pretty damn good
with the rhetoric in this one.

Pete Rose trolls the shit out of the Boston crowd and we discussed that a few
weeks ago, how ‘bout it?


Undertaker vs. Kane

The Undertaker’s entrance is pretty damn elaborate even by his lofty standards.
Face off to start and Kane no sells some of the Undertaker’s offense because he
doesn’t do that yet. Kane tries to overpower Undertaker but a blind charge eats
boot. Kane with a short-armed clothesline but the Undertaker no sells that and
we’re back at square one. Kane tries to get the Undertaker in the tree of woe
but he’s a little too tall for that to be effective so he goes to the choke.
Kane’s slow, plundering offense continues, he suplexes Undertaker on the ropes
and hits a top rope forearm that sends the dead man to the floor. Punch. Punch.
Punch. Punch. Punch. Occasional choke. Punch. Punch. No sell. Repeat.
Undertaker jumps on Kane’s shoulders but Kane gives him an electric chair that
looked awful and could have broke Mean Mark’s leg. Kane sends ‘Taker into the
steps and then uses the steps as a weapon a few times. Back in the ring, Kane
with a suplex and finally the Undertaker responds with a clothesline but Kane
hits the chokeslam for two. Chinlock time so I make a phone call. Finally
Undertaker dumps Kane to the floor but he doesn’t go down, ‘Taker boots him to
the floor and goes for the hands free plancha but Kane sends him into WWE
Deportes. Top rope clothesline from Kane gets a near fall. We evolve to a
slugfest and a rope sequence allows Undertaker to catch him into a tombstone
but Kane reverses it for a two count. Undertaker hulks up and hits Kane with a
clothesline and then a chokeslam as the crowd wakes up. Tombstone hits and gets
two. Undertaker hits a the big legdrop but Kane sits up so Undertaker
tombstones him again for a two count. Top rope clothesline from Undertaker and
the third tombstone finally sends Kane to pasture.

(Undertaker def. Kane, pinfall, *1/2, boring as hell)

Post match Kane tombstones Undertaker on a chair. Still boring as hell.

Video review of the main event is mostly centered around this Mike Tyson fella.


WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin

Mike Tyson is your special enforcer and god bless him it looks like he’s having
the time of his life. The camera shows Steve Austin making that walk from the
dressing room and then the glass breaks and the pop is huge. The Tyson-Austin
face off makes me wonder how much more money they would have gotten if they
just ran with that match instead. Now we see Michaels, along with DX, take the
walk. HHH tells the camera he’s number one and Shawn says “this is for you
world” (actually he says Earl, as in Earl Hebner, which makes sense because he was sick…world didn’t make sense). Live music entrance for HBK just adds to the pre-match package.

HBK starts with a little stick and move stuff, mostly to frustrate the
challenger but Austin hits a huge axe and sends Michaels into the buckle twice
and back drops him to the floor where HHH shields some of the crazy bump. HHH
quickly gets involved and sends Austin into the railing which gets the referee’s
attention. He forces them to leave ringside and Austin attacks HHH as he leaves
but he walks into an HBK clothesline. Michaels grabs a cymbal stand and hits
Austin with it, then sends him into the side of a dumpster. Back to the ring
and Austin catches Michaels coming off the ropes and sends him flipping into
the buckle. Inverted atomic drop by Austin and it gets two. Austin goes to the arm
and later hits a stun gun for two. Stunner attempt is foiled but Austin sends
Michaels from the ring apron to the WWF Americana table. Ouch. Austin sends
Michaels into the steps and gives him a couple of elbows. Back in the ring,
elbow drop to the back of the head and then the FU elbow gets two. Chinlock by
Austin but Michaels counters with a jawbreaker.

HBK decides to go for the leg but Austin uses leverage and sends Michaels to
the post but Michaels back drops Austin over the security railing and hits him
with the timekeeper’s bell. Michaels clearly laboring in pain now as the
adrenaline and cortisone shots are wearing off. Back in the ring and Michaels
with some ground and pound. Snapmare from Michaels and he thinks about doing
something else but thinks better of it and goes back to the leg. Michaels flips
off the crowd and that wakes Austin up, who tackles Michaels and sends him
flying over the top rope. Michaels back to the leg and he wraps it around the
post this time. Back in the ring and Michaels continues the leg work but Austin
gets a near fall on a cradle. Back to the leg for HBK and he hits a sit down
splash on the leg that looks like it hurts him more than Austin. The challenger
takes a powder and HBK hits him with a baseball slide. Tyson sends Austin back
in the ring and HBK clips him from behind and slaps on the figure four. After a
couple of minutes Austin turns it over and forces the break.

Austin rallies again and catapults Michaels into the post and gets a rollup for
two. Sleeper hold by HBK. Austin tries to fight out and they accidentally
eliminate the referee. Austin back in control with a back body drop but
Michaels answers back with the flying forearm. Michaels slowly climbs the ropes and hits the big elbow although it’s clear he can barely move. Probably
got the go home sign a little early as HBK goes sweet chin music and Austin
counters into the stunner, HBK fights the first one off but the second one hits
and it’s time for a new era with Tyson making the three count. Austin and Tyson
make up and HBK is left laying.

(Austin def. Michaels, pinfall, ****, tremendous effort given what both men
were going through. Had they been 100 percent I have no doubts it would have
been a five-star match but they did all they could and made it work.)


The Bottom Line:
Kevin Nash said on Stone Cold’s podcast that Kevin Sullivan
predicted the WCW’s demise after watching this card. Hard to say exactly what
made this card work so well, maybe it was the fact that Michaels’ loss and his
departure from the promotion due to injury eliminated the last real remnants of
everything that had happened in 1996 and 1997. No matter whose side you were on
everyone could start fresh and there was no doubt that the right guy was chosen
to move forward. There wasn’t that one great match and not many “Wrestlemania
moments” but Wrestlemania XIV and the following night on RAW let the world know
that the WWF wasn’t going anywhere.