“the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Boston, Massachusetts.
Team Battle Royal: The Legion of Doom
(w/Sunny) win by eliminating The New Midnight Express at 8:19:
the last one prior to this that I recall was held in 1991 when the Nasty Boys
won and earned a title shot at WrestleMania VII. This is the only tag team battle royal in
WrestleMania history and is the third battle royal to be contested at the event
and the first since WrestleMania IV. The
rules for this type of battle royal is that when your partner is eliminated
then you have to exit the ring. The
other teams in this include the Headbangers, Too Much, the Rock N’ Roll
Express, the New Midnight Express, Faarooq & Kama Mustafa, D-Lo Brown &
Mark Henry, the Disciples of Apocalypse, the Quebecers, the Godwinns, the Truth
Commission, Savio Vega & Miguel Perez, Jose & Jesus, Steve Blackman &
Flash Funk (??!?!), and Bradshaw & Chainz.
There’s lots of interference in this battle royal, as Kurrgan eliminates
the Truth Commission and Barry Windham comes out and tosses Chainz. The referees seemingly miss all of this. The Legion of Doom are repackaged here with
Sunny, wearing futuristic skull helmets, and this match just serves to
reintroduce them and position them as top contenders in the tag division
again. However, as the old saying goes
you can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig. The Godwinns blast the Legion of Doom with
buckets because that feud lingers on despite the best wishes of the audience,
but it does no good as the LOD go over in their last WrestleMania appearance
and earn a tag team title shot at next month’s Unforgiven pay-per-view. This would have been better with fewer teams
and it was just guys randomly trading punches.
The crowd liked the LOD going over, though. Rating: *
talk about the DX Public Workout, where Steve Austin ended up tied in the ropes
and Mike Tyson and Shawn Michaels kissed him on the forehead. Other WrestleMania festivities are shown.
Championship Match: Taka Michinoku
(Champion) beats Aguila with a Michinoku Driver at 5:19:
unbecoming of WrestleMania, but he did not get a lot of television time prior
to this event. Both men flip around a
lot, but there’s very little psychology to speak of and the Boston crowd does
not respond well to the match. Of
course, they might respond better if the WWF gave them a reason to care about
this division. After some really obvious
spot positioning and weak striking, Michinoku catches Aguila with a dropkick
when Aguila dives off the second rope and defends the title. This was the swan song of the light
heavyweight division, as Michinoku would not defend the title at another
pay-per-view until October and Gillberg held the title by the end of the year. Rating: *½
interviews the Intercontinental Champion the Rock. The Rock cuts a hilarious interview where he
demands to be called “the People’s Champion” and says he does not care about
the homeless as long as they stay off his property. He makes some jokes about the judicial system
and interns “oral” role in his theoretical White House.
Championship Match: Triple H (Champion
w/Chyna) pins Owen Hart with a Pedigree at 11:27:
injured ankle. Triple H gets a live
musical entrance because the D-Generation X band is present this evening. Chyna is also handcuffed to Commissioner
Slaughter during this match. Now logic
would suggest that Owen gets his revenge here after being outwitted and duped
by Triple H at every turn during their three month feud. However, that is not to be as Chyna drags
Slaughter to ringside to help Triple H puts his hand on the rope to break a
Sharpshooter and then tosses powder in Slaughter’s eyes, which enables her to
low blow Owen and help Triple H retain the title. This built into a really solid match after a
slow and awkward start and this resulted in Owen permanently being relegated to
midcard status for the rest of his WWF run.
After the match, Chyna tosses Slaughter into the crowd to continue
getting heat and put an end to the DX-Slaughter angle for good. Rating: ***¼
Sable-Goldust & Luna Vachon feud.
Match: “Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable
beat The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust & Luna Vachon when Sable pins
Luna after a TKO at 9:11:
history if you count men and women and not the Doink/Dink-Bam Bam Bigelow/Luna
match from WrestleMania X. This is
Mero’s first and only WrestleMania match and he sheds the jealous heel persona
to be more of a traditional babyface in this bout. The big question entering this match is
whether Sable could wrestle and she is very protected to make her look great. When she tears into Luna the place explodes
and Luna does a good job bumping for her.
It is puzzling booking to have Luna run away from Sable based on her run
with Bam Bam Bigelow in 1993-1994, but that is par for the course regarding
most WWF heels. Sable even gets in a few
shots on Goldust and the crowd goes wild for a Sable powerbomb. Mero acts like a small kid after the bell,
celebrating as if he got the winning pin.
Well booked and entertaining bout that disguised Sable’s weaknesses and played
the crowd like a fiddle. Who would have
imagined sixteen years ago that in 2014 Goldust would be a tag team champion,
Sable would be married to a former UFC champion, Mero would be preaching the
virtues of Christianity, and Luna would no longer be with us? Rating: ***
introduces Gennifer Flowers, who is accompanied down the aisle by Jeff
Jarrett. Flowers tells Jarrett that he’s
great and then does the guest ring announcing duties for the next match.
Championship Match: The Rock (Champion
w/The Nation of Domination) beats Ken Shamrock by reverse decision at 4:48:
poster. Since Commissioner Slaughter was
disabled by Chyna a few matches ago the Nation is allowed to congregate around
ringside for this one. If the Rock gets
disqualified in this then he loses the title, but the announcers never bring
that up and it never factors into the match.
Shamrock takes another sick shot with a chair in this match, causing me
to question his sanity, but he shakes it off and snaps. The Rock submits to the ankle lock, but Shamrock
beats up the entire Nation and reapplies the ankle lock. Faarooq runs out, but he decides not to help
the Rock, thereby continuing that issue.
WWF officials run out to stop Shamrock, but that just leads to many of
them getting belly-to-belly suplexed.
All of this causes the initial decision to be reversed and as the Rock
is carried out on a stretcher he hoists up the Intercontinental title in
victory. After hearing of the decision,
Shamrock tosses the Rock off the stretcher and tosses him through the
D-Generation X band’s equipment. This
was just a standard RAW match and the Dusty finishes in this feud hurt
Shamrock’s heat because he never managed to win the title from the Rock. Rating: **
television audience that this has become the highest grossing event in the
history of Boston, resulting in over $1,000,000 in ticket revenue.
for the WWF Tag Team Championship:
Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie beat The New Age Outlaws to win the
titles at 10:02:
the Road Dogg’s introduction for the Outlaws.
Terry Funk does not bother to wear the typical Chainsaw Charlie attire
for this one. The crowd is pretty
subdued until Cactus pulls out a ladder and works up an “ECW” chant. Gunn and Cactus take a crazy bump off the
ladder into the dumpster and Funk takes a crazy bump from a spike powerbomb off
the apron into the dumpster, but that does not end things as the battle goes
backstage. Cactus lays out both of the
Outlaws on a forklift and Funk takes control of it and forces the Outlaws into
a backstage dumpster to seemingly win the titles. However, they did not use the official
dumpster at ringside, so that might become a point of contention from the
Outlaws by the next RAW. Fun brawl,
although the finish defied logic with the Outlaws just laying on the forklift
and somehow being forced off of there by Funk’s driving. Rating: **½
hypes the Undertaker-Kane match.
out and turns heel by running down the Boston Red Sox, which may go over the
head of later viewers since the Red Sox have won three World Series since this
event. Rose is supposed to do guest ring
announcing duties, but Kane Tombstone’s Rose to a huge reaction thereby starting
a running WrestleMania gag. Rose does a
stretcher job and acts like he’s dead.
Now THIS is what a celebrity appearance is all about.
defeats Kane (w/Paul Bearer) with three Tombstones at 16:58:
months of build we finally get this match between Kane and the only force in
the WWF that can stop him: his brother
the Undertaker. The Undertaker gets an
awesome entrance with druids holding lighted torches along the aisle. I know at the time of this match that some of
my friends were looking forward to this match more than the Shawn
Michaels-Steve Austin main event. This
is nowhere near a great technical encounter, but it is definitely a spectacle
because of how well Kane has been built since his debut and the Undertaker’s zombie
reputation. Kane dominates most of the
match, with a really long chinlock spot in the middle, but the Undertaker kicks
out of a Tombstone and rallies as Bearer damns him at ringside. However, it takes three Tombstones for the
Undertaker to put Kane down for good. I
remember this match being much better than this, so it has not aged well, a
fact not helped by these two fighting many more times after this. Still, it had some nice storytelling with the
Undertaker having to use everything in his arsenal to put Kane down for a three
count and that is enough for me to give it another ½*. Rating: *½
Bearer throws a chair into the ring and stomps on a fatigued Undertaker. The Undertaker recovers to deck Bearer, but
Kane smashes him with the chair and Tombstones him on it to show that this feud
will continue. The Undertaker sits up,
though, as Kane and Bearer go to the backstage area.
white commercial that shows Gorilla Monsoon, Classie Freddie Blassie, and
Killer Kowalski, all of whom have died by now, hypes the Attitude Era.
hypes the Shawn Michaels-Steve Austin main event.
Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeats
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (Champion w/D-Generation X) with a Stone
Cold Stunner to win the title at 20:01:
out to be the guest enforcer and he jaws with Austin after Austin makes his
entrance. As the readers of this review
are aware, Michaels back was really messed up for this match and he had not
wrestled since defending the title against the Undertaker at the Royal
Rumble. This would be his last match
until SummerSlam 2002. Triple H attacks
Austin in the early going, so he and Chyna end up getting tossed from ringside. If you read Michaels face during this match
you can tell that he is in a lot of pain, but that does not stop him from
incorporating his usual offensive arsenal like the flying forearm, kip up, and flying
elbow or being tossed with reckless abandon over the top rope. Attitude Era brawling by the DX band and by
the timekeeper’s table also helps mask some of Michaels limitations. Michaels opts to spend the match working the
leg and Tyson turns a blind eye to his cheating, like holding the ropes during
a figure-four spot. The referee is
bumped out of a sleeper spot, but when Austin catches Michaels with a Stunner
after he blocks Sweet Chin Music, Tyson slides into the ring and counts the
fall. I wish we could have seen a
healthy Michaels against Austin because that would have garnered a higher
rating, but kudos to Michaels for fighting through his injury and doing the
job. Rating: ***½
Austin tosses Tyson an Austin 3:16 shirt and Tyson displays it for the
audience. Michaels gets up and
interrogates Tyson about this shift of loyalties and that leads to Tyson
knocking him out to pay off the angle.
Tyson then drapes Austin’s shirt over Michaels before walking to the
backstage area with the new champion.
card and things picked up after that point.
The show had a lot of “WrestleMania moments” and more than most
WrestleManias: Austin winning the title,
Sable getting in the ring and TKOing Luna, Pete Rose getting Tombstoned by
Kane, and the Undertaker using three Tombstones to beat Kane. The WWF’s intelligent booking also paid off
with this show since the midcard matches generated more crowd reaction and,
unlike WCW, they put the title cleanly on the guy that the fans wanted. It also generated the highest WrestleMania
buyrate since WrestleMania VIII in 1992 and reversed a five year decline in
WrestleMania buyrates for the company. I
like to see the Michaels-Austin match as the passing of the torch from the New
Generation to the Attitude Era and it is arguably one of the most important
matches in the history of the company, on the level of Iron Sheik-Hulk Hogan in
2.3 (+1.6 from previous year)