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The Complete History of the WWE Championship - Part 5

Shawn Michaels: Boyhood dream came true at WrestleMania XII
Shawn Michaels: Boyhood dream came true at WrestleMania XII
Paul Benson
Modified 11 Aug 2019, 00:44 IST
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Vince McMahon's quest to find a replacement for Hulk Hogan was far more problematic than he had envisioned. McMahon had attempted and failed to replicate the Hogan success story with The Ultimate Warrior, Sycho Sid and Bret Hart. All, to varying degrees, had failed.

McMahon attempted to relive the Hogan character exactly by re-imagining the Narcissist Lex Luger character as an All-American hero, you know, just like Hogan.

However, although Luger matched up to Hogan in terms of in-ring skill, he lacked the other intangibles that the Hulkster had in abundance and failed to make an emotional attachment to the ticket-buying public. By all accounts, Luger's previous persona of the Narcissist was closer to his real-life personality.

When Luger failed to wrest the WWE Championship from Yokozuna at the 1993 SummerSlam event, when he had promised he would win, his stock fell with the fans.

On that same card, Hart had contested a superheated match with Jerry Lawler. This came just two months after Hart had fought three times in one night to win the 1993 King of the Ring tournament in equally superlative, but impressively different bouts versus Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and Bam Bam Bigelow.

When the time came to formulate the final plans for WrestleMania X, WWE booked both Luger and Hart to co-win the 1994 Royal Rumble match.

In the said bout, Luger was loudly jeered and Hart cheered passionately. WWE noted the crowd response. Luger was out and Hart was in. The WWE fanbase had made their choice. Hart was their man. McMahon would give the "Hitman" another chance.

In part 5 of my series - part 1part 2, part 3 and part 4 can be found here - I will cover the reigns of Bret "Hitman" Hart through to Sycho Sid's first run as champion.

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Published 11 Aug 2019, 00:44 IST
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