1994 and it’s time for the Big Show. Not the horrible, why-won’t-he-retire Big Show, we’re talking about Wrestlemania X. Do you know how extreme this Wrestlemania is? So extreme that it featured a friggin kick ass ladder match.
This Wrestlemania takes place in Madison Square Garden, so they’ve come full circle.
1. Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Owen Hart
Before the match starts, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Vince McMahon discuss the upcoming event. The King has no shirt on and I’m pretty sure in any other industry on the planet that would be a sexual harassment suit.
Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart. I still remember originally watching this match and being blown away. Owen was frigging fantastic and his death was a tragedy.
The angle for this match was that Owen was sick of being overlooked in Bret’s shadow. As an added twist, Bret was also booked to fight Yokozuna for a title match.
Cementing his status as a bad guy and as Bret’s opposite, Owen ops to rip his sunglasses in half instead of giving them to a small child
The match kicks off with some capital-W wrestling. Lots of classic, traditional takedowns, quick escapes and fast moves. Owen is hamming it up for the audience, screaming at them after every move. They’re doing a great job of getting the crowd into the match.
Bret takes early control as the more experienced older brother. Bret tries to slow down the match with a couple hundred minutes of tedious arm bars, but Owen says “nah” and decides to put on an exiting show instead with a series of high impact moves.
This is a pretty quick paced match, it’s reminiscent of Macho Man vs. Ricky Steamboat in Wrestlemania III. It’s all power moves, fast reversals and counters. No one goes on a very long run, the entire match is a seesaw. The whole thing feels like the Hart brothers giving a giant “fuck you” to the talent in the WWE by putting on the most fantastic match of the decade.
Bret Hart dives over the top rope to hit Owen on the apron outside and hurts his knee. Bret loves a good “hurt knee” storyline. If Hogan’s finishing move is someone else applying the sleeper, Bret’s is breaking his knee. The next five minutes is just Owen playing Bret’s ligaments like banjo strings.
Sometimes though Bret forgets which knee is the bad one like this:
Bret really pumps the crowd up with a sweet superplex off the top rope and both Owen and Bret are down for the count. The momentum swings and Owen slaps on the sharpshooter, further damaging one of the knees, but I guess who cares which one? Not Bret?
The match ends right out of goddamn nowhere. Bret climbs on Owens shoulder for some reason and Owen collapses into a pin. It’s a clean win and Owen is cleanly put over. This entire match gave Owen’s career a huge push and it’s the exact bump he needed.
Overall: One of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time.
2. Bam Bam Bigalow and Luna Vachon vs. Doink the Clown and Dink the Clown
Yeah, so this match is a goddamn embarrassment and I’m not going to dignify it with a recap.
Overall: I have no idea who won this and I don’t care. The world is a poorer place with this match having existed
3. Randy Savage vs. Crush
This is a “falls count anywhere” match, so I’m expecting tons of action outside the ring. If you’re pinned, you have 60 seconds to make it back to the ring. At this point in his career, Macho Man is more tassle than man
The real question will be whether Macho Man can pull an actual wrestling match out of Crush. The answer will probably be no as Macho attacks Crush on the way to the ring with a flurry of fists and tassles. Crush press slams him into the gate and Macho is out. Crush gets the first pin and Macho crawls back to the ring.
Crush goes for a handful of Fuji Dust to the face, but Savage counters and the dust goes into Crush’s face. Macho has the upper hand and immediately goes to the top for the flying elbow.
Macho pushes Crush out of the ring and gets the second pin.
Not unexpectedly, the match spills out into the aisle outside the ring. They keep fighting and go all the way backstage into the dressing room and Macho gets the third pin.
Macho then ties up Crush int the scaffolding so that he can’t make it back to the ring. Although Crush barely moves anyways, so it was kind of pointless. Macho wins the match!
Overall: Kind of a weird match that doesn’t really showcase any of Macho’s strength’s as a wrestler, but I guess hides all of Crushes flaws?
4. Alundra Blaze vs. Leilani Kai
WWE, here’s a tip. You can’t just interject a woman’s match right out of goddamn nowhere. Who are either of these people?
I guess this is a perfectly serviceable match between two strangers who no one in Madison Square Garden has ever heard of or ever seen wrestle once.
Overall: Winner! Stranger 1!
5. Tag Team Championship – Man on a Mission (Mabel and Mo) vs. The Quebecers
I just realized that Man on a Mission is basically the 90’s version of Brand New Day
This is a pretty quick match, because
Brand New Day Man on a Mission are two massive, fat guys which means they don’t have a lot of stamina. Long time readers will recall how very little I care for big fat guy matches, so I can’t summon a lot of enthusiasm for this.
I just realized that they swapped out one of the Quebecers. It’s now Jacques and Pierre. What happened to Raymond?
The Quebecers do their damnedest to put on a match. Most of the offense is against Mo because he is the least fat of of the two. Mabel gets the tag and comes in for a bunch of fat guy moves. Turnbuckle slams, pushes, fat punches, etc. Impressively the Quebecers manage a double suplex on Mabel and the ring shifts a little.
They still can’t get the pin though. The match deteriorates into a slug fest because when you wrestle a big fat guy, you have to go to the lowest-skill wrestling move. I think the match is nearly over because neither of Men on a Mission can breathe and if the match continues longer I legitimately think they’ll die.
Abruptly, they kick the Quebecers out of the ring and win by countout. That’s… always a great way to end Wrestlemania matches? I guess?
Overall: I’m glad that match is over!
6. Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna vs. Lex Lugar
Remember when they couldn’t decide who won the 1994 Royal Rumble? Well, this match is the outcome. Lugar gets a shot at the title and then Bret gets a shot at the title.
The guest referee is Mr. Perfect!
Lex Lugar comes out and Vince McMahon audibly orgasms into the microphone. It’s super uncomfortable. He loves Lex so much and so desperately wants him to be the next Hulk Hogan.
I’m not expecting too much from this match. Yokozuna has an impressive toolkit for a big fat guy, but it’s still pretty limited. Lex Lugar basically has nothing. This whole match is going to be punches and kicks.
Following the standard template set by Hogan / King Kong Bundy, Lugar goes for a slam and can’t pull it off. This thing is basically a shot for shot remake of Andre / Hogan at Wrestlemania 3.
I yawned my way through the match. There’s not a ton to say here, it’s exactly what you’d expect. Here is a sample:
1:34:19: Yokozuna starts choke hold
1:36:48: Lugar breaks choke hold
1:37:28: Yokozuna starts 2nd choke hold
1:38:47: Lugar breaks 2nd choke hold
1:39:37: Yokozuna starts 3rd goddamn choke hold
1:40:15: Lugar breaks 3rd goddamn choke hold
1:40:36: A FOURTH FUCKING CHOKE HOLD
1:41:56: Lugar breaks out a final (?) time?
Lugar explodes like a house of fire, gets the slam on Yokozuna and hits him with the forearm. On the mic, McMahon creams all over his suit. Lugar pulls the managers into the ring and beats them up. Yokozuna is out, but Perfect won’t count the pin while the managers are unconscious in the ring. Lugar pushes Mr. Perfect and Mr. Perfect disqualifies him.
Overall: WWE, the reigning champion in quality booking
7. Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb
As I was setting up for this match, it ended.
Overall: WWE sure had a ton of fat guys on the roster in 1994
8. Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels
By today’s standards, this is a pretty tame ladder match, but this was one of the first ones and without this match, there’s no TLC matches and there’s no legendary matches with the Hardy’s. This match started Shawn Michael’s legend as “Mr. Wrestlemania.” He and Razor basically stole the show with this one.
This match has also been referred to as “Shawn Michaels vs. a ladder.”
The first 10 minutes of the match has no ladder at all. There’s some good bumps and falls, but pretty standard.
Michaels finally gets the ladder and the match really picks up. Again, all this stuff seems tame now, but this was the first time a mainstream audience had seen anything like this and they are just losing their minds through the match.
After that bum flash, the action really picks up. Most of the big spots are Shawn Michaels, with Razor Ramon just sort of being there. The crowd honestly loses their minds after every bump, it’s fantastic.
They both climb up to attempt to grab the belts.
Ramon nearly has the belts, but Michaels drop kicks the ladder and hits some sweet chin music. A piledriver follows up and Michaels looks like he has the match, but he gets his legs caught in the ropes and Ramon manages to get the belt.
Overall: Great match
9. Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart
Special guest referee for this one? Rowdy Roddy Piper. Gang, I bet he’s going to interfere somehow.
The match gets off to a pretty quick start with Yokozuna going on the immediate offensive. He throws Hart around like a rag doll. It’s pretty one sided. Piper is all up in Yokozuna’s face to stop the whole thing from being a blowout.
Hart really can’t mount any offence outside of punches and kicks. He’s too small and Yokozuna is too big. The whole match is basically Bret getting the shit kicked out of him.
The ending is garbage. Yoko climbs up for the splash and…. just loses his balance. Bret Hart just sits there and does nothing and gets the pin.
Overall: A so so Wrestlemania. I remember liking the Bret / Yokozuna match a lot better when I was younger.