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WWE WrestleMania 13 (Revisited)- March 23, 1997

by Scrooge McSuck

WrestleMania 13

Presented LIVE on Pay-Per-View on March 23rd, 1997, from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, IL (also home for the middle portion of WrestleMania 2). Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. We've hit the basement as far as WrestleMania interest goes, as this show did a reported number of 237,000 buys, not only making it 20% drop from the previous year's sad numbers but is (until the Network era) the least bought WrestleMania of all time. Yes, fewer than WrestleMania 2 when PPV was still in a limited number of homes, and they were selling the show as a closed-circuit theater experience.

Free For All Match: Flash Funk (w/ The Funkettes) vs. Billy Gunn:

According to early local advertisement, Funk was penciled in for a match with "Diesel", but that was around the time of the Royal Rumble, and you take things like that with a grain of salt. Funk milks his entrance for all it's worth, and Billy rushes in and immediately starts pounding away to kick off the action. Whip to the ropes and Billy with an elbow. Flash lands on his feet countering a back body-drop, hits Billy with a Super-Kick, and takes him over with an arm drag. Funk with a standing heel kick and dropkick, sending Gunn out of the ring. Back inside, Billy sends Flash chest-first into the turnbuckle and takes him off the top with a sloppy looking back suplex for two. Whip and Funk with a twisting sunset flip out of the corner for two. Billy cuts him off with a clothesline as we see highlights from Raw where Shamrock made Billy look like a chump. Billy showboats and gets rolled up for two. Gunn with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Flash rolls away from the flying leg drop and fires off a series of right hands. Billy cuts him off again, hitting the Rocker Dropper for two. Whip is reversed and Funk with a spinning heel kick for two. Funk straddles Billy across the top turnbuckle and takes him off with an avalanche sunset flip for two. Billy brings up the knees to counter the moonsault and finishes with a Tornado DDT at 7:04. Nothing special outside a couple of decent false finishes. *

Todd Pettengill gets an interview from the Nation of Domination. Faarooq is holding a noose to sell the level of violence we might see in the Chicago Street Fight. Jim Ross is still hanging his hat on the "dressed as you are aspect", and at least Faarooq is into that suggestion.

With the clock ticking down the final minutes before the PPV kicks off properly, the lights go out and we hear from the Undertaker over the public address system. ORDER WRESTLEMANIA 13! PLEASE! We promise to make it up to you next year! Can you believe they're still using the "WrestleMania" song first used in 1993?

The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon vs. The New Blackjacks vs. The Headbangers:

This is Elimination Rules, with the winning team earning a future shot at the Tag Team Champion. After weeks of a bunch of heatless teams going to Double DQ and Count-Outs, is it any wonder that this is an ice-cold match to open the PPV with? Good to see Hillbilly Jim at ringside after missing most of TV lately. I'm just hitting fast-forward to ignore the annoying dubbed over theme in place of "Don't Go Messing with a Country Boy." I do have the VHS version of this show sitting around, but why bother inconveniencing myself with that. Unfortunately, Brian Pillman isn't on commentary to call Furnas and LaFon boring. Vince shows us a random clip of the original Blackjacks from 1975. Why?! We have a donnybrook as soon as the NEW Blackjacks hit the ring. Things settle down with Henry and Bradshaw in the ring. Whip is reversed and Henry nails him with a hard clothesline. Thrasher tags in, pounding across the back. Whip is reversed and Bradshaw lands a boot to the face. He finally takes off his vest and slams Thrasher down pump-handle style. Bradshaw tags in Phineas and decks him for the hell of it. Phineas with a back body-drop and tags in Mosh to face his partner. They tease fighting, meet in the middle and dance before Thrasher tags in LaFon. Whip and the Headbangers with a flapjack. LaFon blocks a suplex and takes Mosh over with a snap suplex of his own. Windham tags in and gets caught in a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Furnas in with a Franken-Steiner for two. Crisscross and Windham catches Furnas in midair with a powerslam. Whip and the Blackjacks with a double shoulder block. Furnas ducks the Lariat and sends Bradshaw to the floor with a dropkick. The Blackjacks, Furnas, and LaFon brawl at ringside and both teams are eliminated at 4:46. Vince calls it a Double DQ, but we only saw Bradshaw put his hands on a referee. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Henry works over Thrasher. Phineas wrings Thrasher's ears between his knees and takes him over with a delayed vertical suplex. Henry sends him to the corner and puts on the breaks in what looked like a blown spot. He audibles with a forearm and snaps Thrasher over for a two-count. Thrasher no-sells a headbutt from Phineas and they trade spit and right hands. Whip to the corner and Phineas charges in with a clothesline. Henry with a big splash for two. Mosh tags back in and gets sent over the top rope with a clothesline. Back inside, Mosh hangs Henry up across the top rope, followed by a diving body press over the top rope. Thrasher wants in on the fun and gets rocket launched onto Henry at ringside. Back inside, the Headbangers hit a double clothesline as Vince is puzzled at what "White Zombie" is. Thrasher misses a moonsault, allowing Henry to get to his corner. Phineas gets the lukewarm tag and runs wild with right hands and slams. Thrasher gets sent over the top rope with a clothesline but recovers to save Mosh from the Slop Drop. Henry works Thrasher over in the corner while Mosh hits the Stage Dive on Phineas for three at 11:40 to a decent pop (decent based on the lack of reactions for most of the match). Just like the last Chicago WrestleMania, the first decision of the night is a lame double cop-out, so hurray for continuity. The Godwinns and Headbangers had an OK match after that, but nothing that screams "WrestleMania." *½

Advertisement for the next In Your House on April 20th. No cute nickname given yet.

Captain Lou Albano and Arnold Skaaland are sitting in the front row. Jim Ross says Lou's been at the cocktail party since Thursday.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Rocky Maivia (c) vs. The Sultan (w/ The Iron Sheik & Mr. Bob Backlund)

Not much to this one, as the Sultan's entourage did a basic challenge to Maivia and poof, here we are. We've seen Tony Atlas appear several times to support Rocky, so maybe he'll get involved again, as he's also sitting in the front row. Honkytonk Man joins commentary, with Ross saying Lawler and Honky get along so well, you'd think they were cousins. The crowd doesn't respond well to Rocky trying to get them fired up. They trade blows and the Sultan lays him out with a shoulder tackle. Maivia nips up, unloads with more rights, and sends Sultan out of the ring following a pair of dropkicks. Loud "Rocky Sucks" chant. Rocky takes it to the floor and clotheslines the post for his effort. Back inside, Sultan works on the back and nails him off the ropes with a clothesline. Sultan grabs a nerve hold as we get our second "Rocky Sucks" chant. Maivia fights free but is cut off with a knee to the midsection. Sultan with a back breaker and a diving headbutt from the top rope. Is the Sultan trying to make a difference? He blocks a sunset flip, pulling Maivia to his feet and planting him with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Here's another rest hold, so Lawler makes fun of Rocky's speech from the Slammy Awards, saying it was so boring, Christopher Reeve got up and walked out. Rocky with body blows to break free and they meet in the middle with a double clothesline. Rocky starts shrugging off Sultan's strikes and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a near-fall. Whip to the ropes and Rocky hits the spin-around DDT. He climbs the ropes, and the flying body press connects, but the Sheik hops on the apron to distract the referee. Sultan lays Maivia out with a Super-Kick for two. Piledriver for another two-count. Rocky slips out of a slam and rolls Sultan up for three at 9:47. Post-match, the attack is on until Rocky Johnson runs in to make the save for his son. He starts getting worked over, so now Rocky saves his dad and the crowd really doesn't care about the Sultan, only for when the Sheik gets worked over. This is what they call a "WrestleMania Moment." This is also what they call a weak match that also feels like it doesn't belong on the biggest show of the year. I'm also unsure how you get your babyface over by having his retired father make the save. *

Todd Pettengill interviews Ken Shamrock about his role as the special referee. We see clips of him schooling Billy Gunn on the latest episode of Raw is War to put over his abilities.

Dok Hendrix interviews Hunter Hearst Helmsley. What is the relationship with Chyna? Helmsley says he doesn't need to know anything about it. Helmsley says the big loser tonight is Marlena. She had the chance and turned it down, so her special talent better be running from Chyna.

Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna):

Vince calls this a "most interesting match." HOW?! It's a standard grudge match, dating back to the weeks before the Royal Rumble when Helmsley started making unwanted advances towards Marlena. At Final Four, Chyna (then unnamed) made her debut, and twice assaulted Marlena, rag-dolling her in the process. Marlena surprisingly got involved in another altercation that led to Chyna tossing referees and Hall of Famer(tm) Pat Patterson in response. Goldust opens with a pair of clotheslines and short right hands. Whip is reversed and Goldust surprises Hunter with a drop-down uppercut. Goldust unloads with more rights in the corner and plants a kiss on Hunter. Whip to the ropes and Goldust with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a clothesline that sends Helmsley over the top rope. Hunter ends up trapped in the Andre Special(tm) and Goldust has no qualms about throwing punches with an unprotected opponent. Back inside, Helmsley counters a back body-drop with a knee to the face. Goldust ducks a clothesline and snaps Helmsley over with a powerslam. Hunter cuts him off climbing the ropes. Goldust blocks a super-plex but ends up being sent crashing to the arena floor.

Hunter sends Goldust back in the ring and comes off the top with a forearm for two. He unzips the bodysuit and lights Goldust up with knife-edge chops. Hard whip to the corner as noted heel Jerry Lawler makes a joke at Chyna's expense. Helmsley with a boot and swinging neck breaker for two. He slaps on an abdominal stretch, blatantly grabbing the ropes to force the hold broken. Goldust teases a comeback but is cut off with the running high knee. More jokes at Chyna's expense, with dated jokes about Mr. Ed coming from JIM ROSS of all people. Helmsley with a snap suplex and a knee across the forehead for two. Goldust fires off a flurry of rights in the corner but is cut off again, this time with a DDT. Whip and Goldust counters a hip toss with a back-slide for two. Inside cradle for two. Helmsley pops up and blasts Goldust with a clothesline. Goldust ducks a clothesline and hits a cross body press for two. Crisscross and they smack heads for a double-down. Helmsley recovers first and is met coming off the top with a blind hip attack. Helmsley misses another attack, charging into the turnbuckle. Whip and a BAAAACK body-drop, followed by the bulldog for two. Chyna finally starts making her move, slowly pursuing Marlena. Helmsley flips out of the Curtain Call. Goldust counters the Pedigree with a slingshot but gives up the Curtain Call to pull Marlena to the apron to safety (HA). Helmsley from behind with a knee, bumping the two and knocking Marlena into the arms of Chyna. She rag-dolls Marlena again while Helmsley finishes with the Pedigree at 14:29. If you're a fan of the babyfaces shining at the end, well, look elsewhere. Good match that I think would've gotten a little more respect at the time if the Goldust character wasn't looked down upon. ***

We get an iconic moment of Shawn Michaels goofing around on a laptop for the WWF America Online promotion. WRESTLEMANIA BAY-BAY!

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The British Bulldog & Owen Hart (c) vs. Vader & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer):

Where do we begin unpacking this one? Vader and Mankind started out as mismatched partners who couldn't get along despite the relationship under Paul Bearer, but this is less about the beef between two teams, but more between the brothers-in-law defending the belts. There has been tension for months, culminating in the Bulldog pinning Owen for the European Championship. Owen insists he's the leader and the brains of the team and would've won the belt if he was really trying. Owen and Vader start. Lockup into the corner and Vader unloads with rights and lefts. Whip to the ropes, Owen slides between the legs and takes Vader off his feet with a spinning heel kick. Vader catches a body press, planting Owen with a forward slam. He misses the follow-up elbow drop but recovers to counter a head-scissors with a powerbomb. He sets up for the Vader Bomb but Bulldog interrupts. Bulldog survives a 2-on-1 and lays both men out with a double clothesline. Owen adds a double dropkick, and the referee somehow permits a tag when both men are in the ring. Bulldog sends Mankind to the corner and takes him over with the delayed vertical suplex. Vader comes in and Bulldog gives him a suplex for his troubles. Lawler gives us an update on "Adrian", Mankind's fictional wife from the Rocky II universe. Vader pulls down the ropes, causing the Bulldog to take a spill to the floor. Bulldog avoids Mankind's attempt to use the urn, but Vader gets him on the offensive rebound.

J.R. calls this the Bulldog's 9th WrestleMania appearance (it's the 7th, unless you count his match not happening at WrestleMania VIII). Back inside, Vader continues to punish the Bulldog in the corner. He crushes him with an avalanche and comes off the middle rope with a splash for two. Mankind with a series of short rights and a running knee to the face. Whip and Vader with a body block. He climbs the ropes again but gets caught with a slam. Owen with the hot tag, hitting a missile dropkick. He goes up again and hits a flying body press for two. Vader cuts him off, bulldozing him with a body block. They take it to the floor, with Mankind coming off the apron with an elbow as Vader rests Owen across the knee. Poor Owen gets worked over in front of his parents. Back inside, Owen spins through a neck breaker and hits a DDT. Vince (surprisingly) mentions "The Wrestling Classic" as the 1st PPV in this building. Sloppy spot in the corner as Owen takes the chest-first bump, but Mankind follows in and gets jarred, so Owen hits a spinning heel kick for two. Vader tags back in and pummels Owen. Mankind tosses him to the floor and gets caught coming around the corner with a belly-to-belly suplex. Back inside, Owen with an enzuigiri, finally getting the Bulldog back in. He runs wild as Vader tears off his mask to get pumped up. Mankind escapes the powerslam and applies the mandible claw. Vader and Owen go at it, knocking Mankind and Bulldog out of the ring in the process. Mankind keeps the hold applied, and we've got a DOUBLE COUNT-OUT at 16:09. Wow, what a cheap finish. The match was looking good, if a bit clunky, but COME ON... If rumors are true, there was intent to change the titles, but a last-minute change was made for the sake of a new creative direction. **¾

Submission Match: Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:

These two have been at each other's throat for the better part of 5-months now, including Austin costing Bret not only the Royal Rumble, but also was key in Bret's 4th WWF Championship reign ending after only 24-hours. How Austin was convinced to sign up for a match that easily favors Bret is anyone's guess, but here we are, with Ken Shamrock as the special referee to make sure there's no funny business. The pre-match hype package does a masterful job of blurring the lines of who the face and heel is. Maybe I'm wrong, but this might be the first time they had the glass shatter away for Austin's entrance (not that they used it that often). Vince notes a mixed reaction for Hart, but it's leaning harder as a babyface from what I can tell. No lockups here, as Austin rushes Bret and sweeps him off his feet. They take turns throwing mounted right hands, rolling to the outside in the process. The fight continues around ringside, with Austin going face-first into the post. Ausitn blocks a suplex attempt and straddles Bret across the guardrail before knocking him into the crowd with a clothesline. WOAH, IT'S ANGRY BOWL HAIRCUT KID! Austin follows, as does Shamrock, as they work their way through. Austin grabs some sodas from a concessions employee and dumps them on Bret. Austin teases a piledriver but Bret counters with a back body-drop on the concrete. Bret leads Austin back to ringside, dumping him over the guardrail and leaping off with a forearm. Whip is reversed with Bret thrown like a dart into the steel steps. Austin measures him up from the apron and dives up with a forearm as stat man J.R. calls this Bret's 12th WrestleMania (which is accurate this time). Austin grabs the steps, but Bret kicks the leg out from under him and throws a flurry of short rights. Austin cuts him off, using the tights to leverage throw Bret into the post.

They finally make it back in the ring, with Austin stomping on the hands. Whip to the ropes and Bret surprises Austin with his head down, taking him down with a swinging neck breaker. "If Bret Hart loses this match, you wonder what he'll come up with as an excuse." Bret with an elbow from the second rope and starts working on the left knee that is sporting a heavy brace. Shamrock asks if he wants to give up and gets a double bird in response. Vince's hopeful commentary that we'll see Bret "go back to his senses" after this is all over is admirable. Austin avoids a seated splash and nails Hart with a Stunner. Bret recovers first, continuing to target the knee and pulls off the ring post Figure-Four. Yeah, that's a BABYFACE reaction if I've ever heard one. This crowd just loves to see both men beating the hell out of each other. Lawler says Bret can turn Austin's leg into White Sox third basemen Robin Ventura, Austin won't submit. Bret fetches some toys, namely a chair and the ring bell. He wraps the chair around Austin's ankle and climbs, but Austin recovers and smashes the chair across the back of the Hitman's head! Austin pulls back and gives him another shot across the back. Hard whip to the corner and Austin with a suplex. He comes off the second rope with his signature elbow drop as we see the camera cut to Bret's daughter covering her eyes. Austin with a Russian leg sweep into a modified Octopus stretch. He gives that up and turns Bret over with a Boston Crab (big pop, by the way). Bret gets to the ropes, and I guess rope breaks are a thing in a no holds barred match. Austin teases a Sharpshooter, but Bret rakes the eyes to cut him off.

Bret starts throwing more rights, but Austin side-steps a charge, sending him through the ropes. Austin follows and tries sending Bret to the guardrail, but Bret reverses, sending Austin crashing into the steel instead. When we get a shot at Austin's face, he's bleeding all over the place. Back inside, Bret targets the cut with boots and mounted right hands. Bret with a back breaker and second rope elbow drop. He picks up the chair and starts smashing the injured knee with it, eventually depositing it out of the ring. He fights for the Sharpshooter but Austin blocks with a rake of the eyes. Bret remains in control, punishing Austin in the corner. Austin throws a desperation kick, landing square between the legs. Austin uses the ropes to pull himself to his feet and sends Bret crashing chest-first into the corner. He picks Bret up, tosses him into the corner, and stomps a mud hole. He straddles Bret across the top turnbuckle and brings him down with a super-plex. Austin exits, grabbing some ringside cords. He chokes Bret out, but Bret finds the bell he introduced earlier in the match and smashes it across Austin's head to break free. Bret picks the leg and turns Austin over with the Sharpshooter. Austin fights for his life, giving us the iconic visual of Austin's face covered in blood, screaming in pain, unwilling to surrender. He fights with every bit of energy left in his body to push Bret off his back, but the hold isn't completely broken, as Bret re-positions and sits back with it again. Austin finally passes out, and with no other choice, Ken Shamrock rings the bell at 22:05, awarding the victory to Bret Hart. Bret doesn't accept in a sportsman-like way, attacking the leg and teasing another Sharpshooter until Shamrock forces him off, throwing him down with a waist-lock. Austin eventually regains consciousness and gives a Stunner to Mike Chioda for the audacity of trying to help him. This was an outstanding performance as it happened live, and nearly 25-years later, holds up just the same, and rightfully deserves its place among the greatest matches in not only WrestleMania history, but WWE history as well. *****

Chicago Street Fight: Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom vs. The Nation of Domination:

Good luck following that last match! Jim Ross warns we might see everything but the kitchen sink in this one. The Ahmed and Nation feud is long overdue for a blow-off, and thankfully we got LOD in there to make this a Six-Man instead of the original idea of Ahmed vs. Faarooq in a one-on-one rematch from the Royal Rumble. Though Faarooq, Savio, and Crush are the key Nation members, the entire Nation is free to get involved. Ahmed and the LOD wear the studded shoulder pads in a sign of unity, and Hawk literally brings the kitchen sink with him. YES! 5-stars right there (just kidding). The Nation attacks from behind but the LOD and Ahmed clear. D'Lo and PG-13 run in to take some bumps and even poor Clarence Mason gets knocked off the apron. Hawk isn't shy kicking Savio low while Faarooq works Animal over with a nightstick. Crush gets knocked over the rail and Ahmed follows with a somersault plancha?! He tosses Crush back to ringside and dives over again before smacking him across the back with a trash can. Faarooq and Animal fight on as Rinky Dink table and we get the world's ugliest piledriver that sees both men lose their balance and fall to the floor. Animal tries to make up for it by blasting a fire extinguisher in Faarooq's face. Ahmed fights off a triple-team at ringside while Hawk keeps working over Savio. Ahmed slams Faarooq through the table but has little time to enjoy it as Savio lays him out with a standing heel kick. Back in the ring, Savio gets the noose around Ahmed's neck and the ringside Nation members choke him out. It's OK, it's D'Lo and Clarence doing it, so it's not racially insensitive. Meanwhile, Hawk lays out Savio and Faarooq with a double clothesline but is cut off by Crush. Ahmed frees himself and punts D'Lo low. Animal whacks Faarooq across the head with a large traffic sign. Now it's Hawk getting choked with the noose while the PG-13 guys get some cheap shots on him. Faarooq climbs the ropes and Hawk yanks him down for a splat on the floor that we almost miss! Don't worry, double feature has us covered. Ahmed has the noose wrapped around Faarooq, but Savio saves. Hawk gives everyone a taste of the fire extinguisher. Ahmed hits the spine-buster on Faarooq, but the entire Nation runs in to prevent the Pearl River Plunge. The ring is cleared and the LOD hit Crush with the Doomsday Device. Ahmed uses the 2x4 to clothesline Crush and that's good for three at 10:47. The Nation attacks after the bell, but Ahmed and the LOD clean house, giving D'Lo a Pearl River Plunge and both members of PG-13 the Doomsday Device. This was a chaotic brawl, and I loved every second (minus the piledriver gone wrong). Probably better remembered had it not followed Austin vs. Bret. ***½

WWF Championship Match:
Sycho Sid (c) vs. The Undertaker:

You know there's 0% chance of Sid leaving with the belt, so not only is the outcome predictable, but there's little reason to care and the match is all but guaranteed to be sub-par. Shawn Michaels gets the big introduction as he joins the commentary team for this match. Undertaker is wearing the old gray trim gear for the occasion. Jim Ross notes he has never lost at a WrestleMania (a measly 5-0 at this point). After over 10-minutes of entrances, the match is delayed by the uninvited appearance of Bret Hart (thankfully without music or official introduction). He calls Michaels a phony faker and tells him to take his pussyfoot injury and find his smile. As for the Undertaker, when he slammed the door on his head, he slammed the door on his friendship, and there's a new set of rules. Michaels chirps that it's been a while since anyone has been Bret's friend. Sid laughs off Bret's tantrum, decks him with a right hand and plants him with a Powerbomb, much to the delight of Michaels. Now Sid grabs the microphone, telling Bret to get his whining a$$ out of here.

With all that out of the way (almost 15-minutes!), Undertaker attacks from behind as Sid continues to taunt Bret. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Sid meets a boot charging in. Undertaker tosses him into the corner, unloading with rights and lefts, followed by a stinger splash and slam for two. Taker wraps the arm and walks the ropes for a clothesline across the back. Sid catches a dive into the corner and holds on with a bearhug. Sid briefly let go of the hold to pound on the back, then goes right back to it. Glad to see Sid brought his working boots tonight (SARCASM). Taker breaks free by smacking the ears. Sid nails him off the ropes with a boot and sends him over the top and crashing over the Spanish announcer's table. Sid follows, dropping Taker across the guardrail. Vince says we've got a note from Gorilla Monsoon: THIS IS A NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH. WHA?!?! Meanwhile, Sid slams Taker across the table while Earl Hebner stands around with his thumb up his butt. Back inside, Sid continues to do very little, sitting across the back with a camel clutch. Sid makes an uncharacteristic move to the middle rope and hits a double axe-handle. There's a sign facing the hard camera that says, "bum me a smoke Dino". That can't be a Dino Bravo reference in 1997, can it? Sid comes out of the corner with a big leg drop for two.

Lawler says he has an update on Bret: He's whining about something. Whip to the ropes and Taker with the diving lariat. He uses the tights to send Sid out of the ring, tossing him over the guardrail. That poor guardrail is working overtime tonight. Back in the ring, Sid avoids an elbow drop and grabs another rest hold. Taker escapes, throwing rights and lefts to the body. Sid goes to the eyes but gets caught off the ropes with a powerslam for two. Oh GOD, Taker grabs a nerve hold to really put me to sleep. Sid fights free but is laid out with a clothesline for two. Whip and they do the goofiest, most contrived double-down as both men hit a big boot. I swear the crowd did a collective groan. Sid with another flying axe-handle, followed by a clothesline from the second rope. Someone who looks that awkward coming off the ropes probably shouldn't be doing those moves. Sid cuts off a comeback with an eye rake and slam. Taker sits up, straddling Sid across the top turnbuckle. Taker brings him down with a slam and comes off the top with a clothesline for two. He signals for the Tombstone, but Sid counters and hits a Tombstone of his own for a near-fall. They take it to the floor, and here's Bret from out of nowhere, smashing Sid across the back with a chair. Shawn calls him bitter for not being in the spotlight. Back inside, Taker with the chokeslam but Sid kicks out at two. Whip is reversed and Taker misses the diving lariat. Sid sets up for the Powerbomb and here's Bret again! He hangs Sid across the top rope and Taker finishes him with the Tombstone at 21:22. This just kept going. It started bad, went long enough to get decent, then went too long and fell back to being mostly bad, with a last-minute change to the rules so late the crowd wasn't made aware and must've been baffled why Bret was free to interfere as much as he did at the end. Oh well, Undertaker winning felt like a good moment. *¼

Final Thoughts: Not nearly as poor of a show as I remembered it being, though it does have a lot of flaws and suffers from having a few matches that don't feel like they belong at WrestleMania, even with only 7 matches featured on the PPV proper. Bret vs. Austin is an all-time classic and a must-see for all fans, which almost makes up for the poor Main Event and some lackluster matches and finishes. I don't think it belongs in the conversation of a "Worst" Mania of all-time, but there's little that stands out other than that match and the Chicago Street Fight.

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