WWF WrestleMania X
by Scrooge McSuck
Pre-Show Notes: Johnny Polo and Todd Pettingill walk around the arena running down the card and trying to get interview. We get a WrestleMania rap from Men on a Mission hyping up the card, and in between it all, we see clips of the Bushwackers vs. Heavenly Bodies dark match, which sees the Bodies pull off the victory. HUZZAH TO THE HEAVENLY BODIES! And with that, it's time for the PPV.
10 years after the first WrestleMania, and the show is still going strong. To honor the anniversary, WrestleMania returns to Madison Square Garden. You all know what that means... we get the cool (for its time) entrance with the doors leading out of the locker room formed in the shape of an "X" and slide open... hey, it was 1994. Cut them some slack! Before we get to the arena, the show opens with brief clips from the first WrestleMania. No names are mentioned, but visible are Hulk Hogan, Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, and Roddy Piper.
- Little Richard, the... uh... King of Rock & Roll, sings America the Beautiful. Or whatever. He sings the first time through and is obviously lip sync'ing to a previous recording. Then him and a bunch of people from the Greek Orthodox Church (not really) start singing in a Rock N' Roll style version. What a way to open WrestleMania X! Commentary for this historic event is handled by Vince McMahon and the returning Jerry Lawler, who was busy with a fake lawsuit from some lying bimbo.
- Bret "Hitman" Hart (Calgary, Alberta... 234 lbs.) vs. "The Rocket" Owen Hart (Calgary, Alberta... 227 lbs.):
It was not too long ago where problems began to surface between the two. During the Family Feud match at the 1993 Survivor Series, a face miscommunication caused the elimination of Owen from the match, the only elimination of the Hart Brothers. Owen went on to challenge Bret to a match, but Bret refused, saying he would never wrestle his brother (4 years later, and we got the Super-natural version of the same storyline). Things appeared to be patched up, and the Harts were scheduled to challenge the Quebecers for the Tag Titles. When Bret decided against tagging out, his attempt to win the match cost them the titles when the referee stopped the match due to Bret's injured knee. Afterwards, Owen laid into Bret for his selfish act, then we got the kick seen 'round the world. Bret still refused to accept a match, but a flip of the coin changed all that. Since Bret and Luger both won the Rumble match, they had to flip a coin to see who wrestled when. If Luger got the 1st shot, Bret would have to wrestle a suitable opponent... Owen. If Bret got the 1st shot, then Luger fights Crush. Just guess who lost it. And now you know the rest of the story.
With all of that finally out of the way, we head to the ring. The ring announcer teases the crowd, going through with his "from Calgary, Alberta, Canada" shtick like he's introducing Bret... then Owen comes out. Everyone kinda gets up to cheer then sits right back down in a matter of a second. Everyone knows the story of the match, but I'll just say it's one of the best matches from a technical stand point, but in the excitement level, I wouldn't call it my favorite match ever. Nothing but some good old fashion wrestling for 20 minutes, with Owen playing the arrogant heel trying to show up his brother, while the "good" brother just does his best to keep the match clean. We get flashbacks of the Rumble, as Bret injures his knee mid-match, allowing Owen to attack like a shark catching the scent of blood. Owen with several lengthy submission sequences, but Bret won't give up! Comeback time for the Hitman! In a flashback to KOTR '93, Bret heads to the top rope to position himself for a victory roll, but can't complete the move, and Owen lands on top, hooking the legs for the biggest upset in WrestleMania history at 20:21. At this point, Owen was nothing more than a midcard joke who rarely ever beat anyone worth a damn, and here he is beating the former World, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Champion as clean as can be. Although Bret's selling was a bit shady during the last few minutes, it shouldn't effect the rating, and the feud would continue, throwing in more family members like the returning Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. I feel bad for the poor suckers who have to follow this one. (*****)
- WrestleMania 2 Moment: The 20-Man Battle Royale featuring NFL Players, held in Chicago, IL. When THAT is the best moment of a WrestleMania, you know it sucks. And it doesn't help that this was back when Vince ignored everyone who was on bad terms with him or working with the enemy, as you'll notice in WrestleMania's to come.
- Doink & Dink The Clowns (Combined 342 lbs.) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon (Combined 524 lbs.):
Before the match begins, Sy Sperling introduces us to the new Howard Finkel, who is sporting a nice hair piece. Too bad he never wore it again after this. Really lame feud here, as Doink turned face and just out of nowhere started pestering Bigelow. Doink also debuts a new look for this, no doubt to hide the fact yet another person was playing him. It was probably Ray Lichachelli or whatever, but the hell if I remember anymore. Not a very good match, but for comedy purposes, it's not too bad. Definitely better than the last Mixed Tag Match at WrestleMania. Cut to the finish where Bam Bam counters a back suplex with a cross body/splash thing, then finishes the Doinkster off with the top rope headbutt at 6:10. Afterwards the bad people try to get their hands on little Dink, but they're unsuccessful. Then out of nowhere, we cut to the balcony where we see "Bill Clinton" (and I.R.S. behind him) waving to the crowd. OH THE HILARITY! I bet Vince is a Republican, since he never makes fun of George Dubya and hates hillbillies. (3/4*)
- WrestleMania III Moment: Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant have their classic face off. What, no Body Slam? WHAT A RIP OFF!
- Falls Count Anywhere Match:
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (Sarasota, FL... 245 lbs.) vs. Crush (Kona, Hawaii... 322 lbs.) (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Unusual rules for this match. While falls count anywhere, it's also under goofy Texas Deatmatch rules, but instead of a 10 count, the person who loses a fall has 60 seconds to return to the ring. I guess that rules out someone being pinned in the ring, right? This one goes back to July 12th, 1993, when Yokozuna squashed Crush like a Hawaiian bug with 4 Banzai Drops. Crush blamed Savage for the attack, questioning why he didn't come help him before all of them (Savage was banned from interfering by Jack Tunney). On the October 18th, 1993 Raw, Crush returned, sporting an evil goatee, and taking Mr. Fuji on as his manager again (Fuji managed him when he was part of Demolition, but that was never mentioned). A beatdown resulted on Savage, and now it's PERSONAL!
Savage tries a sneak attack in the aisle, but Crush has Superhuman Coconut Crushing Power™, and quickly pins Savage after dropping him face first across the security railing at the 46 second mark. Savage makes it back in the ring though, despite the interference of Mr. Fuji. Crush controls for a while longer, but stupidly tries to throw a white power substance in Savage's face. Savage kicks the stuff back into Crush's face instead, and quickly finishes him off with the flying elbow drop at 4:31. Crush makes it back in the ring though, with a little help from being drenched with water. they brawl around the ring and into the crowd, until Savage mops the floor with Crush, beats him senseless, makes the cover at 8:09, then ties him up so he can't make it back. Savage easily wins the match for good at 9:43. Savage beats up on Fuji for good measure. This marked the end of Savage's in-ring career in the WWF, as he went on as a permanent broadcaster before leaving for WCW in December. Good match for Savage's Swan-song, but nothing truely memorable. (**1/2)
- WrestleMania IV Moment: Speaking of Randy Savage, he went through four different opponents in one night en route to winning the vacant WWF World Championship. No names are mentioned, but he beat Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, the One Man Gang, and Ted Dibiase in that order, for all zero of you who don't know that.
- WWF Womens Championship Match:
Alundra Blayze (Tampa, FL... 128 lbs.) vs. Leilani Kai (Hawaii... 165 lbs.):
For those wondering "what the fuck?", the only reason Leilani Kai is in this is because she was part of the Womens Championship match at the 1st WrestleMania. Originally, they had Blayze announced to defend against someone called Debbie Combs on the WrestleMania Report, but a week later, changed it to "Alundra Blayze defends the title." If you thought Kai was a dog in 1985, 1994 isn't treating her much better, as she completely changed her look to ugly long red hair and black tights and body stockings. Quick and inoffensive match despite the uglyness of both participants, with Blayze retaining the title following a German Suplex at 3:25. Blayze's next challenger would thankfully be someone with talent, Bull Nakano. After the match, we cut to the crowd and see Nikolai Volkoff (same suit), Capt. Lou Albano, Classy Freddy Blassie, The Fabulous Moolah, and Mae Young looking on and rambling to each other. (*1/4)
- WrestleMania V Moment: Roddy Piper puts out Morton Downey Jr.'s fire after blowing smoke in his face one too many times. I guess they wanted to keep the amount of Hogan shown to a minimum, since he wasn't exactly on good terms with McMahon at this point.
- WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Quebecers © (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Men On a Mission (w/ Oscar):
(Jacques & Pierre vs. Mabel & Mo)
For the three of you who don't remember, Johnny Polo would gain much better fame as Raven in ECW (and eventually WCW and WWF). Not much in terms of backstory to this one. Men on a Mission were the most over babyface team (compared to the likes of the Bushwackers and Smoking Gunns), so huzzah. The usual pre-match rapping from Oscar... AND IT'S VLADIMIR! Sorry, it's a rule that for every MSG review I do, I have to mention him at least once. The Quebecers barely get an entrance, since we cut backstage to an Interview between Shawn Michaels, Burt Reynolds, and Rhonda Shear. If you have any idea who the latter is, I congratulate you. To my surprise, this isn't too bad of a match, considering Men on a Mission sucked and Jacques Rougeau was well past his prime. Still nothing great, but the lack of resting and a super hot crowd makes it more enjoyable. Too bad we get a lame finish, as MOM squashes Pierre outside of the ring, and pick up the cheap Count-Out victory at 7:43. MOM would get rematches down the line, but their only title reign occured overseas and was never broadcasted here in the states. That's a shame too, since I was wondering if the rumors that Mabel was too fat to get off of Pierre were correct, and that was the only reason the title change happend. (**)
- WrestleMania VI Moment: The Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan to hold both the World and Intercontinental Titles at the same time. Oh! Hogan being looked upon negatively here!
- WWF World Championship Match #1:
Yokozuna (Japan... 568 lbs.) (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Lex Luger (Atlanta, GA):
Lots of backstory to this match. Back on July 4th, 1993, Yokozuna challenged any American to slam him during a special event held on the U.S.S. Intrepid. Out of nowhere arrived Lex Luger, who was still being promoted as heel "the Narcissist." Luger eventually "slammed" Yokozuna (more like Yokozuna jumping into the air and falling in place), and that was good enough for Luger to DEMAND a title shot at SummerSlam. He got the shot he wanted, and a clause in the contract stated it would be his one and only shot at the title. Luger, choke artist of the century, won, but by count-out. After fans protested Luger's non-involvement in the Rumble match, Jack Tunney relented and let him participate. Luger co-won with Bret, and a coin toss later lands us here.
Special stipulations for both title matches: A special referee is hand picked by an unknown person, probably the heels. In this case, it's Mr. Perfect, making his first appearence since vanishing off the face of the earth before Survivor Series '93. For those with short memories, Luger cheated to beat Perfect at WrestleMania IX. Donny Walberg does the introductions, and sounds like he actually wants to be there. The match begins... and it's a stinker. While their SummerSlam '93 was surprisingly good and one of Yokozuna's best matches ever, this one isn't even close to it. Resting galore, and Yokozuna is sucking wind harder than ever 5 minutes in. Luger manages to Hulk-Up, but Perfect disqualifies him for getting a bit too physical with him at 14:40. LEX SCREWED LEX! This was setting up a Perfect/Luger feud, including promos hyping the WrestleMania Revenge Tour during the Event Center, but Perfect wasn't cleared to compete, and was replaced by Crush. Just a little fact for everyone. (DUD)
- WrestleMania VII Moment: Jake Roberts and Rick Martel go at it in a Blindfold Match. I'll just pretend Savage/Warrior didn't happen...
- Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Adam Bomb is a replacement for Ludvig Borga, who still was on the injured list due to a serious ankle injury that occured during a match with Rick Steiner at Madison Square Garden on January 17th. No introductions here, as Wippleman bad mouths the Fink until he shoves the little rat down. Adam Bomb rushes out to fight his managers battle, but out comes Earthquake and the match is on! Earthquake pounds on Bomb, plants him with a powerslam, then finishes him off with the Vertical Splash at the 34 second mark... yup, that was the entire match. Earthquake sure had a good WrestleMania streak. He squashed Hercules at WM 6, squashed Valentine at WM 7, no-sold Money Inc. at WM 8, and now squashed Adam Bomb at WM 10. Much like earlier WM's where matches were super rushed, they went on to have a rematch a few weeks later on Raw that was a few minutes longer, but not much better. Same finish, too. (DUD)
- WrestleMania VIII Moment: The Undertaker makes his entrance... COME THE FUCK ON! Bret/Piper, Savage/Flair, Warrior Returning, Tatanka dancing, and anything else on that show was more fucking memorable than THAT!
- WWF Intercontinental Championship, Ladder Match:
Razor Ramon (Miami, FL... 287 lbs.) vs. Shawn Michaels (San Antonio, TX) (w/ Diesel):
Oh boy, I'm going to get shit for this match no matter which way I go with the rating. Back in September of '93, Shawn Michaels was pulled off of WWF events and stripped of the title due to a contract dispute. With the title up for grabs, everyone in the midcard was thrown in a battle royale, with Ramon eventually coming out on top by pinning Rick Martel, who was last in the ring with him. Since then, Michaels returned and was sporting around "his" Intercontinental Title, pretending he never lost it, and calling Razor a false champion. Both belts have been suspended above the ring, and this is a "first ever", except for the fact Bret Hart brought up the idea in 1992 to have a practice run with Shawn Michaels, and had been a gimmick as far back as 1982.
I really don't know how to describe this match to explain my rating. The ladder being used brings psychology to the match, but most of the offense is done in a slow, methodical pace, and everything is really quite tame compared to todays standards. I'm talking REALLY tame. The highspot of the match including the ladder is Shawn Michaels' splash from the top, which we have seen in every Shawn Michaels video blowjobs since it happend. Ramon plays the bitch of the match for the most part, but manages to overcome all the punishment by dropping Michaels into the ropes, tying him up in the process, and climbing up the ladder to grab both belts for the victory at 19:46. Some people still will pass this off a sa 5-star classic, but "influence" on later matches aside, this baby didn't age that well, thanks to spots becoming more insane each time to the point this looks boring. (***1/4)
- Backstage, The Head Shrinkers, Double J, Irwin R. Schyster, and Rick Martel argue about who will be the captain of their 10-man tag team... and the match is canceled because they couldn't decide. I would've rather taken the "no explanation" idea rather than something this lame.
- WrestleMania IX Moment: Yokozuna cheats to win the World Title from Bret Hart by throwing salt in his eyes. I guess that actually was the highlight of the show... ouch. Music videos follow hyping up Bret Hart and Yokozuna.
- WWF World Championship Match #2:
Yokozuna (Japan... 568 lbs.) (w/ Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart (Calgary, Alberta... 234 lbs.):
Special referee for this match is the returning "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, who hasn't been seen since SummerSlam '92. Much like Luger/Perfect, Bret/Piper also have a history, dating back to WrestleMania VIII, where Bret defeated Piper for the Intercontinental title. Guest ring announcer is Burt Reynolds, who doesn't seem fit to be talking on a live microphone (*glug glug glug*), and finally, Jenny Garth is the guest time keeper. I wonder how much WWF paid her to sit down and ring a bell twice. Yokozuna still looks winded, considering his match only ended 25 minutes ago. Bret Hart is still selling the knee from his match with Owen, a nice touch of continuity from him as usual. Not a good match, but Bret works around the limitations of Yokozuna as best as you can hope, and plays dead for most of the match. Bret throws everything at Yoko', but nothings enough, and Yokozuna plants Bret with a belly-to-belly suplex after catching him in midair. Nice spot right there by Yoko. He calls for the end, and heads up to the middle rope... but gets a little too arrogant, loses his balance, and falls on the back of his head! Bret Hart comes to, covers Yokozuna, and wins his 2nd of a would be 5 World Championships at 10:35 to a nice pop. Post-match celebration sees pretty much all of the babyfaces coming back to ringside to congratulate Bret. Next the celebrities, and finally other WWF personalities like Gorilla Monsoon, Pat Patterson, and Vince McMahon. Rumors are Bret was never told about this post-match celebration, and I kinda believe that, since Bret appears to have no clue what's going on. Great way to end the show and cover up a not-so-great match. (*1/2)
Final Thoughts: One of my personal favorite WrestleManias. The opener is one of the best in wrestling history, the Ladder match, while overrated, is still a pretty good match, MOM managed to have a good match, Randy Savage pulled a good match out of Crush's worthless ass, and Bret Hart won the title in the main event. All of that outweighs the bad (Earthquake's squash, the Mixed Tag, and Yoko/Luger), and gets a Solid Recommendation. Excuse me while I watch the finish of the PPV one more time.