WrestleMania 10: Mania comes home
Hello everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of WrestleMania Rewind. After taking a day off, I get back to watching the past WrestleManias and give my reviews and analysis. The previous WrestleMania (WrestleMania 9 for those who haven’t been keeping the score) was one of the, if not the worst WrestleMania of all time (We’ll see if that’s true as we conclude this series, where I will highlight the best and the worst WrestleManias). So this WrestleMania had a lot of catching up to do. Also, the card for WrestleMania 10 had some impressive matches, and could potentially turn it around for the WWF.
Going into the mega event, the top feud was Bret and Luger taking on Yokozuna. Royal Rumble 1994 was the only occasion where there were two winners of the Rumble match (I know the same almost happened with Cena – Batista in ’05, but Batista won the Rumble after the restart). Anyway, it was later decided that both the men would get to face Yoko at WrestleMania, and a coin toss would settle who’d face Yoko first. Luger had won the coin toss, and would go on to face Yoko first, with Bret facing his brother, Owen Hart, with whom he was in a feud with, and the winner of Luger – Yoko would battle it out with Bret later in the night.
The other big match going into the annual extravaganza was for the WWF IC title. Shawn was the IC champion, when he was stripped of the title (Rumor has it that we was caught doing drugs, and he wouldn’t even drop the title to anyone, forcing the management to take action against him). And so, Razor had won the vacant WWF IC title, only for Michaels to return and claim himself to be the true WWF IC Champion. This was settled once and for all at WrestleMania 10 in a ladder match for the first time in WrestleMania history.
WrestleMania 10 happened at the Mecca of Sports and Entertainment, the first venue where WrestleMania started, Madison Square Garden in New York. Over 18,000 fans had turned up for the event (Very less compared to some of the previous WrestleManias, but the US economy was on a downward slope, and so it was expected). So without further ado, let us jump right in.
Little Richard opened the show with America the Beautiful.
Owen Hart defeated Bret Hart
Okay, I’m not going to lie. When I watched this match, I was excited like a little kid seeing a candy bar. Two of my favourite wrestlers (Not performers, wrestlers) opening the event. And boy, this was one of the best matches of all time! A lot of fans would relate to the Bret-Owen rivalry, because it connected with the fans. A lot of younger brothers would want to get out of their elder brother’s shadow, and that was what this match was all about. They were in a rivalry since December-January, which boiled down to their match at WrestleMania 10. Owen’s famous words of ‘Kicked your leg out of your leg’ still rings in peoples’ ears to this day. Anyway, the match itself was a smart wrestling fan’s dream! Absolutely fantastic. The match went up to 20 minutes, as the finish saw Owen countering his brother’s victory roll for a roll up for the 3 count! An amazing match and a well deserved win for the Little Rocket. I still remember watching this match for the first time many years ago. This was followed by another classic of theirs in a cage, but we’ll get to that later. It was a five star match right off the bat, and is undoubtedly the best opening match in PPV history! Also, before the match, Bret had a storyline knee injury. He continued to sell it, as he would face the winner of Luger-Yoko match for the WWF title later in the event.
Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon defeated Doink the Clown and Dink
I was more interested in Owen Hart’s post match interview. Anyway, the second match of the evening saw Bigelow teaming up with Luna against Doink, who was a good clown (Is there such a thing?) with his midget (Hey! I’m not discriminating) Dink. The match went for just over 6 minutes, and the finish saw Bigelow hitting the headbutt on Doink for the pin and the win. An okay match, considering WWF used it as a filler.
Randy Savage defeated Crush (With Mr. Fuji)
A loud reception for Savage, and very well deservedly so. The MSG crowd has always been known to be a smart crowd, and so, all the good workers have always been cheered (Including the man with no history who won the ’04 Rumble and the ’04 WrestleMania. Oh wait, wasn’t it Stevie Richards? We’ll, see in another 10 days’ time). Anyway, the concept of the match was, you had to pin your opponent, and then both had 60 seconds to get back in the ring. Yeah, that was actually the stipulation. Both the guys worked really hard in the match, and the end came after 9 minutes when Savage pinned Crush backstage and tied his legs with a rope, and thereby making it back to the ring in time as Crush couldn’t. Good work by Savage, but the match in itself was a fail.
Alundra Blayze defeated Leilani Kai for the WWF Women’s championship
The fourth match on the card was for the WWF Women’s championship. Blayze, who was the then Women’s champion, took on Kai, the challenger. A basic match to put Blayze over. She won the match after a bridging German simplex just above the 3 minute mark.
Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo with Oscar) defeated The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre with Johnny Polo) via countout for the WWF Tag team championship
Looking at the match, it isn’t wrong to say that it would be a colossal fail (Pun? No? Okay). A very average, okay, bad match which gave me the bathroom break I so badly needed. Mabel and Mo won the match after 7 minutes when the tag champs retreated, thus getting counted out on purpose. Although Men on a Mission won, The Quebecers were still the tag champs as titles couldn’t change hands due to DQ or count outs.
Yokozuna (With Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) defeated Lex Luger by DQ for the WWF Championship
Okay, getting down to business now. The first WWF match of the night, and Mr. Perfect was the special guest referee. This match showed why Bret is considered to be one of the very best workers in the business. Not many can make a good match out of a big guy like Yoko, and this match was abysmal. It was terrible to watch, and the only good part was when Lex tried to make a comeback towards the ending of the match. Luger knocked down the managers and put his hands on Perfect, who called for the bell and disqualified Luger after almost 15 minutes. Brutal match. This meant Bret would face Yoko for the WWF Championship as the night ends.
Earthquake defeated Adam Bomb (With Harvey Wippleman)
A very short match (Thank you Vince!) as Earthquake dominated Adam and finished the match within 30 seconds with his splash. Nothing else to say.
Okay folks, this was the match that made Shawn Michaels. Arguably one of the greatest matches of all time, one of the greatest ladder matches of all time, along with one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time. No matter how many WrestleManias may happen, this will stand out as one of the best. This match put Shawn in the WWF title picture, and elevated his status in the WWF. This was the match that gave Shawn so much fan following, and is one match that no matter how old you are, or how much you’ve followed wrestling, still stands out as one of the best. Going into the match, Shawn was with his bodyguard Diesel (Kevin Nash for those who didn’t know) and brought his own version of IC belt which he claimed he didn’t lose, and Razor came out with his IC title, which was the legit one, and he was over with the fans. What followed was a classic, and since I won’t describe the match, I urge all the fans to go back and see it along with Bret-Owen encounter. A five star classic with some iconic moments, like Shawn’s leap from the ladder onto Razor for a splash. The match ended as Shawn’s leg got tangled between the ropes, as Razor climbed up and retrieved the IC titles after 19 minutes. What a match! Amazing.
It’s also noteworthy that Undertaker didn’t participate in this edition of WrestleMania, as he was out with an injury.
Bret Hart defeated Yokozuna (With Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) for the WWF Championship with Roddy Piper as the guest referee
The last match of the evening saw an injured Bret taking on a tired Yokozuna, which only spelt for a boring, slow match. But as only Bret can do, he made the match interesting. Piper was the special guest referee, so that made things interesting as well. The match ended just after the 10 minute mark when Yoko slipped and fell from the second rope, and Bret covered him for the win, and to become the new WWF Champion! The crowd erupted following his victory, which was great to see. The evening closed as all the babyfaces came out to celebrate with Bret, in a true ‘passing of the torch’ moment. There were no more Hogans, no more Flairs, and as the event would later see, no more Savages. Bret took the company on his shoulders from this moment. Lex and Razor had Bret on their shoulders as Savage embraced Bret. A great WrestleMania moment, as Owen stared at his brother from the ramp. I love Owen Hart, that guy was one of the best of all time.
Analysis: **** ¼ (Out of 5)
Yes folks, the highest rated WrestleMania till now. A great card which included two of the best matches of all time! What a historic WrestleMania this was, especially from the last edition of WrestleMania. Anyway, this brings us to the end of this edition of WrestleMania. Join us tomorrow as we look at the next edition, as we continue our journey towards WrestleMania 29.
Read the rest of the WrestleMania rewind series here