March 23, 2009
Wrestlemania X, March 20, 1994, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry ďThe KingĒ Lawler, who is returning after an extended absence due to rape charges which were subsequently dropped.
Here we are now at Wrestlemania X, one of my personal favourites. Itís also the first one of the post-Hogan era as the WWF entered a somewhat dark period where they tried several different guys in the role of top babyface, but no one could quite capture the magic like Hogan did. The latest experiment at this point was Lex Luger, who was turned into an All-American patriotic hero last summer with the intention of building up to him winning the belt here. The angle was that he would only get one shot at WWF Champion Yokozuna, which he won on a count out back at Summerslam, and the build would continue until he had to win the Royal Rumble to get another shot. But Lugerís popularity didnít take off as they hoped, so they hedged their bets at the Rumble by having him and Bret Hart, who realistically was the top babyface in the company, although not really pushed like it, do a tie finish at the Rumble. The result is that for our main event here we have a mini tournament for the WWF Title. Luger won a coin toss to get the first shot at Yoko, while Bret would then meet whoever came out of that match as Champion later in the show. In the interests of fairness though, Bret also has to wrestle a match earlier in the card, which he will do in the opener against his brother Owen. So letís get right on with that one, shall we?
Opening Match: Owen Hart vs. Bret ďHitmanĒ Hart
This feud kicked off back at Survivor Series when Bret and Owen, along with brothers Bruce and Keith teamed up against Shawn Michaels and the Knights. Owen was the only Hart brother eliminated when he ran into Bret on the apron and got rolled up, and he came back out afterwards and got in a shoving match with Bret. They patched things up though and came together to challenge the Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble. Bret suffered a knee injury during the match, but rather then tagging Owen when he had the chance, he kept going at the referee ended up stopping the match. Owen again blamed Bret for the loss, and this time outright turned on him, kicking his leg out from underneath his leg as he put it (no one ever accused Owen of being a great promo guy). So the result is we have this match, with the younger brother Owen, who really was nothing more than a prelim guy prior to this issue, attempting to jump out of the shadows of his older and more successful brother. They lockup and break, which Owen then celebrates in a spot I absolutely love for reasons I canít even really explain. They then go into a chain wrestling sequence, with Bret just managing to be a step ahead most of the way. After getting tossed, Owen is right back in and smacks Bret, but then backs off. Another chain wrestling sequence sees Bret control again with Owen having to resort to hair pulling. Bretís corner whip is reversed, but he comes back over and gets a rollup for 2. After more trading holds, Bret gets him coming off the ropes with a monkey flip and clotheslines him out. He goes out and gets Owen back in where a crucifix gets 2. Owen gets fired off and hits a spin kick to finally take control. He stomps Bret to the floor where he rams Bretís back to the post. Back in the ring he hits a backbreaker and the hooks a camel clutch, but Bret manages to escape. Bret comes off the ropes, but runs into a belly to belly suplex for 2. Corner whip is reversed, but Owen leaps and comes off with a crossbody, which Bret then rolls through for 2, but Owen gets right back on him. Bret falls on top after a slam attempt for 2, but then goes out to the floor. Owen tries to suplex him in, but Bret slips out and hits a German suplex for 2. Legdrop gets another 2 for Bret, as does a small package. Owen then counters a backbreaker into a Tombstone piledriver, which was okay since Undertaker at this point was missing and presumed dead so his move was up for grabs. Owen goes up, but misses a splash. Bret gets an inverted atomic drop, and then clotheslines him for 2. Russian legsweep gets yet another 2, then he follows with a backbreaker and the 2nd rope elbow, but Owen kicks out again. Bret catches an attempted boot, but of course thatís the setup for the ensiguiri, which hits. Owen tries the Sharpshooter, but Bret blocks it and tries to hook it himself, but Owen avoids it too. Owen gets a rollup for 2, and then gets sent to the floor on the kickout. From the ring, Bret gets him with a dive, but in the process he re-aggravates the knee injury from the Rumble. Back in, Owen jumps right on the injury and works it relentlessly. He posts it a couple of times and even hooks a figure four. He gets a couple of two counts off of that as Bret fights it, but Bret eventually turns it over and the roll into the ropes for the break. Owen keeps on the leg, but falls in to his own trap when he catches a boot and Bret connects with an ensiguiri of his own. Bret sends Owen to the buckle, and he takes the chest first shot. Bret drops a leg for 2. A bulldog gets another 2, and then a piledriver still canít keep Owen down for the count. He sets Owen on top and hits a superplex, but once more Owen kicks out at 2.5. Bret goes to a sleeper now, but Owen makes the ropes and then back kicks him low on the break. Owen hooks the Sharpshooter, but Bret is able to break and reverse it. Owen is in the ropes though and gets out. Bretís corner whip is reversed. Owen charges, but Bret gets the boot up. Bret goes for the victory roll, but Owen blocks it, hooks the legs, and holds Bret down for the 3 count at 20:23. Great match and great storytelling. Itís another one of my personal favourites. *****
Howard Finkel gets introduced here with a brand new head of hair. I have to mention this because it does actually come into play later on.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon vs. Doink & Dink
This feud had been going on far longer then it had any right to and was in my opinion kind of a waste of Bigelow as he could have been used more effectively has a top level heel instead of feuding with a clown. Bigelow jumps Doink and takes him down with a couple of shoulderblocks. He then gets a dropkick and a slam, but misses a senton splash. Doink fires back, and then takes him down to an armbar. Bigelow is up and hits an elbow off an Irish whip, but misses when he tries to drop one. Tag to Dink, who acts like he wants a piece of Bigelow, but he lets Luna in. This part of the match is pretty embarrassing, and I canít believe anyone thought it might be a good idea. Luna chokes him on the ropes and hits a rope straddle, but a second try misses and Dink splashes her for 2. Dink tries a strategy of running circles around her, but gets kicked down. Luna misses an elbow, so Dink goes up, but misses whatever he was going for. Luna slams him and also goes up, but she misses too and both teams end up tagging. Bigelow controls again, and then clotheslines Doink to the floor. Dink comes in and manages to distract them long enough for Doink to get back. Doink tries a sunset flip on Bigelow, but gets sat on. Bigelow whips him to the corner, but Doink then gets the boot up and connects with a leaping DDT. He goes up, but misses the Whoopee Cushion. Bigelow hits a couple of clotheslines, and then while running the ropes, he knocks Dink off the apron. Doink tries a suplex, but Bigelow falls on top for 2. Bigelow then drops two headbutts and the big one off the top gets 3 at 6:11. Post match sees Dink back in issuing challenges to Bigelow, but he gets slammed and splashed by Luna. Ĺ*
Falls Count Anywhere Match: ďMacho ManĒ Randy Savage vs. Crush (w/Mr. Fuji)
Way back in July, Crush challenged Yokozuna for the WWF Championship on Raw, and not only ended up losing, but took multiple Banzai Drops after the match that put him on the shelf for several months. Randy Savage, who was on commentary and portrayed as Crushís friend made the save, but by that point the damage had been done. Crush returned a few months later and attacked Savage, blaming him for his injuries. He helped Yokozuna nail Savage with a Banzai Drop and joined up with Mr. Fuji to complete the heel turn. So that leads us here, to this falls count anywhere match, which is a little different from a normal one. The idea is to pin the opponent somewhere outside the ring. The person pinned is then given a sixty second count to make it back to the ring or they will be declared the loser. Savage jumps him in the aisle and rams him to the barrier, but Crush quickly comes back with an atomic drop and back breaker. He the drops Savage on the barrier and covers him for 3. Just as Savage is about to get back, Fuji nails him with the flag so they can milk it out to the last second, but Savage still make sit in. Crush sets him in the tree of woe, and goes to grab the salt, but Savage gets out and knocks it back in his face. Savage the drops the double ax and hits the big elbow before rolling Crush to the floor and pinning him for the fall. Crush remains out until Fuji dumps a pitcher of water on him and he makes in back in. Savage chokes him on the ropes, but then charges at him and gets backdropped out. They fight over the barrier where Crush nails a crescent kick. He tries a piledriver, but Savage backdrops out. He rams Crush into the wall and through a couple of doors then pins him for 3. As a sort of insurance, he hogties Crush and hangs him up, which doesnít quite work out that well, but in any case Crush fails to beat the count and Savage is declared the winner at 9:43. Three of those minutes were spent waiting for someone to get up, but when the action was on, it was actually pretty decent. *1/2
Womenís Championship Match: Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai
The Womenís Title had recently been revived with the idea of building around the former Madusa, now known as Alundra Blayze as the top babyface. They trade a few shots to kick things off with Blayze getting a rollup for 2 and a sunset flip for 2. Kai gets a chokeslam, and then a bodyslam for 2. She sends Blayze off, but Blayze gets her with a rana for 2. Kai then gets some hairtosses and sends her to the floor. Back in, Kai uses more hairtosses and a double underhook suplex for 2. Irish whip, but Blayze ducks and then hits a clothesline. She then gets a spin kick and a suplex for 2. A coupe of hair tosses get 2 and then the German suplex finishes Kai off at 3:25. Blayze could wrestle, and they got some good results from the division when they brought Bull Nakano over from Japan later in the year, but for now we have to settle for her just doing her best with this relic from the Moolah stable which I think failed to produce a single quality wrestler. Ĺ*
WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The Quebecers (w/Johnny Polo) vs. Men On A Mission (w/Oscar)
Iím watching the Wrestlemania Anthology version here, and I am extremely disappointed to find out that ďWeíre Not The MountiesĒ has been edited out. That alone was half the fun of their matches. The Quebecers attack and double team Mabel, but he comes back with clotheslines on both. Mo and Pierre start the match for real with Mo getting a crossbody off the ropes for 2. Tag to Mabel who connects with a legdrop after Mo drop toeholds Pierre into position. Tag back to Mo and MOM hits a double elbow. Jacques comes in and stomps Mo with the champs able to take advantage of the confusion and switch off. Pierre them chokes him from the apron drawing Mabel in and setting up more cheating. Jacques hits a bodyslam and tags Pierre, who he then backdrops onto Mo for 2. He tosses Mo and then tags Jacques. Jacques then backdrops Pierre over the top on to Mo as heís on the floor. Pierre was quite the daredevil in his day. Back in, that gets 2. Tag back to Jacques and they hit Mo with a double stungun for 2. Tag to Pierre, who sends Mo off, but gets nailed with a dropkick. Pierre tags Jacques, who is able to cut the tag off. Bodyslam sets up a tag and a top rope legdrop from Pierre, but he misses and now Mo gets the tag to Mabel, and Pierre also tags back out. Mabel beats up both Quebecers anyways with a backdrop on Pierre and a Boss Man slam on Jacques. He tries to splash Pierre in the corner, but misses, so the Quebecers try a double suplex, but canít get it. They try again though and this time they are able to get him over which is pretty impressive. Le Cannonball hits, but only gets 2. Pierre and Mabel trade shots with Jacques coming back in and hooking a sleeper. Heel miscommunication occurs however and Jacques gets taken out by his own partner. Mabel gets a spin kick on Pierre and a short clothesline on Jacques. Tag to Mo, who goes up and rides Mabel down onto Jacques, who is still the illegal man, but Polo has the ref distracted just in case. Pierre gets clotheslined to the outside where Mabel splashes him on the floor so the champs decide just to stay there for the count out at 7:42. This was actually pretty good, but would have been better with an actual finish. **
WWF Championship Match: Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. Lex Luger
Ok, we covered the build for this one in the intro, so letís get right on with the match. Both Championship matches are to have special guest referees, and for this match here we have the returning Mr. Perfect, last seen just prior to the Survivor Series. Luger starts off taking it to Yoko and nails a clothesline. He comes off the ropes, but this time runs into a Yoko clothesline. Yoko then misses an elbow and Luger knocks him to the floor where he drops a double ax. Yoko nails him, but Luger blocks a shot to the stairs and rams Yoko in twice. Back in the ring, Luger goes up and comes off with a bodypress for 2. He drops an elbow for another 2, but not Yoko gets a shot to the throat to take over. After some choking, Luger comes back with a slam attempt, but Yoko falls on top for 2. Yoko takes the time to pull the turnbuckle pad off and then chops Luger back down. Now we go to the nerve hold and that lasts for quite awhile. Luger fights out only to run into a bodyblock and we go right back to the hold. Yoko then tosses Lex, but when he gets back in, we go again to the nerve hold. The arm drops twice and Luger starts a comeback, but runs right into a belly to belly suplex. Yoko goes to ram him to the exposed buckle, but Luger blocks it and Yoko gets rammed instead. It takes a boot to the face and then three clotheslines to knock Yoko down. With Yoko back up, now Luger gets the bodyslam. He sets up the bionic forearm, which hits and he appears to have it won, but Cornette is on the apron, so he slings him in the ring. He then takes a shot a Fuji as well before covering, but Perfect wonít count with the managers in the ring. Luger gives Perfect a little shove to get his attention, but Perfect uses that as cause to disqualify Luger at 14:40. Yoko retains and will go on to defend again against Bret Hart later on. Perfect cuts a promo backstage explaining his actions which Luger then interrupts and a pull apart ensues. Obviously this was meant to lead to a feud between them, but Perfect was gone just as quickly as he returned and nothing ended up coming of it. All it did end up doing was signaling that the Lex Luger experiment was over. He would flounder in the mid card for the next year and a half or so before heading back to WCW. DUD
Adam Bomb (w/Harvey Wippleman) vs. Earthquake
Harvey comes out first to introduce his man, but decided to stop and insult The Fink about his new hair first. Finkel finally has enough and shoved Harvey down which draws Bomb out. Quake soon follows and the match is on. Itís not much of a match though as Quake hits a belly to belly suplex, powerslam, and the Quake Splash for the 3 count at 0:35. This was probably the victim of time constraints. DUD
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel)
Back in the fall, Shawn was suspended while holding the IC Title, and was stripped of it. Razor won the match that filled the vacancy, but when Shawn ended up coming back, he still had his belt with him as well, and since he had never actually lost the Title it set up a natural issue over who is the true champion. That will all get settled here in what is only the second ladder match in company history, and the first one to be televised. They start out trading holds with Shawn then coming off the ropes. He canít get a hiptoss, but Razor does get a chokeslam. Shawn then ducks an Irish whip and gets a swinging neckbreaker. Razor recovers and rams Shawn to the buckle, then nails a shoulderblock. He charges, but gets tossed to the floor where Diesel takes him out with a clothesline. The ref ejects Diesel from ringside over his objections so now we can go one on one. Razor gets back on Shawn sending him to the corner for his flipjob, and then he clotheslines Shawn to the floor. Razor pulls up the mats, but Shawn goes to the eyes so nothing comes of it yet. They get back in where Shawnís whip is reversed and Razor nails him. He sets up the Razorís Edge, but Shawn backdrops him over the top to the floor where heís struck by the hand of irony as he lands right where he pulled the mats back. Razor sells it big which gives Shawn the chance to go for the ladder, but Razor then make it back and nails him. Razor goes for the ladder himself, and sets it on the apron, so Shawn baseball slides it right into him. Shawn then finally gets the ladder in the ring and uses it to work Razor over. He then turns his attention to climbing, but Razor pulls him down by the tights, giving us a full view of Shawnís ass, but Shawn is able to kick him off and drop an elbow. Shawn then sets the ladder in the corner and slams Razor. He goes up the ladder and splashes him from nearly the top in a spot that would be replayed for years until Jeff Hardy started doing things that made it look like nothing special at all. Shawn climbs for the belts, but Razor tips the ladder over. Razor gets fired off and they collide. Shawn is up first and sets the ladder in the corner, but his whip is reversed and he goes into it instead and out to the floor. Razor brings the ladder with and nails Shawn a couple of times. He then sets it against the apron and slingshots Shawn into it with Shawn then falling back with the ladder on top. They get back in, but Razor uses the ladder to knock Shawn right back out. Razor climbs, with Shan making it back to the top rope and coming off to knock it over, but it falls on him in the process. Both guys climb now, trading shots on the way up. Razor is able to toss Shawn off, but canít maintain his balance and goes over as well. Razor gets set up again and climbs, but Shawn dropkicks it over and then drops it on him for good measure. Shawn connects with a Superkick, but itís not yet his finisher so it lacks effect. He follows up with a piledriver, then goes up and rides the ladder down onto Razor. He climbs again, but Razor knocks the ladder over and Shawnís foot gets hooked in the ropes on the way down. Now the crowd is going nuts as hey sense the finish, so Razor climbs as Shawn struggles to free himself. He gets the foot out, but then the arm gets caught and Razor has enough time to get both belts down and become the undisputed Intercontinental Champion at 18:48. Awesome match, and any points it may lose on viewing it today from certain things being topped over the years are gained back simply because without this match most of what came after would probably never have happened. It was also a career making match for both guys, Shawn in particular. *****
We had one more scheduled match here, a ten man tag featuring Rick Martel, Jeff Jarrett, IRS and The Headshrinkers against Tatanka, Sparky Plugg, the 1-2-3 Kid, and the Smoking Gunns, but it gets cancelled due to the show running long and we get a quick shot of the heel team arguing over their teamís captaincy to establish a kayfabe reason. The match would actually happen a few weeks later on Raw in case you were worried.
Main Event, WWF Championship Match: Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret ďHitmanĒ Hart
Bret comes in still selling the knee injury from earlier, while Yoko seems to be suffering no ill effects from the bionic forearm he took in the match with Luger. Burt Reynolds is the guest ring announcer here which I only want to mention because Bret has noted in his book that of all the paid celebrities heís ever seen involved in Wrestlemania, Reynolds was by far the most legitimately excited to be there as apparently he is, or at least was a huge fan. Our guest referee here for this match is Rowdy Roddy Piper, which causes Lawler to try and build an issue of the fact that Bret defeated him two years ago, but nothing comes of it. Yoko jumps Bret as he enters the ring. Bret fires back, but his shots have little effect. Yoko controls with stomps and a slam before Bret comes back again with a dropkick, but a second try misses and Yoko starts choking him on the ropes. Cornette gets on the apron, with Pier going for him, but Cornette escapes. Yoko misses a splash which allows Bret to take over. He takes Yoko down with some headbutts and then rams his head to the mat. More punches from Bret knock Yoko down again and he covers for 2 as Cornette pulls Piper out of the ring, so Piper nails him. Yoko takes back control with a headbutt and legdrop. He keeps working Bret over with stomps, kicks, and chops, but a butt splash in the corner misses, allowing Bret to nail a bulldog for 2. 2nd rope elbow also gets 2, as does a clothesline. Bret goes to the 2nd rope again, but gets caught coming off and hit with a belly to belly suplex. Yoko sets him up for the Banzai Drop, but loses his balance and falls back. Bret covers and gets the 3 count to regain the WWF Championship at 10:33. Not a good match or anything, and Iím not a fan of the finish, but as a Bret Hart fan Iím more than happy to see him get what was probably the biggest moment of his career, winning the WWF Title at Wrestlemania in Madison Square Garden. Lex Luger comes in to congratulate Bret on his win and is soon followed by most of the other babyfaces and celebrities who hoist Bret on their shoulders. Owen Hart looks on from the aisle as the show comes to a close. *
Well, two ***** matches speak for themselves and earn this show one of the biggest thumbs ups you can get. The main event is great for me too as a Bret Hart fan, as it was looking like Vince was going to give in to the fans and go with Bret as The Guy. Of course Vince ended up using Bretís run to get someone else ready for the spot, but thatís an issue for another day. Thumbs way up and a highest recommendation for Wrestlemania X.
And so that leaves only one more Wrestlemania for me to go to complete the entire collection; The biggest one of them all, Wrestlemania III. Watch for it next week!