WrestleMania 13: Birth of the Rattlesnake
Welcome everyone to the next edition of WrestleMania Rewind. As always, I take 3 hours out of my not so adventurous life to watch the past edition of WrestleMania and give my reviews and the event analysis. Last WrestleMania saw the Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels winning his first ever WWF Championship, after which Vince famously proclaimed that ‘The boyhood dream has come true’ for Shawn Michaels. It was one of the better WrestleManias, with Undertaker also having his best WrestleMania match till then against Diesel, who’d shortly leave the WWF for WCW.
Now, going into WrestleMania 13, the main feud was going to be Shawn Michaels taking on Bret Hart which would have been a way for Shawn to repay the favour to Bret, for putting him over the previous WrestleMania. That was always the idea, even going into last year’s PPV. Bret would put Shawn over, and Shawn would then repay Bret by putting him over at the next edition of WrestleMania. But mere months before WrestleMania 13, Shawn vacated the WWF title during his infamous ‘Losing his smile’ story, which everyone knew was bull. So the idea was nixed at the last moment and a new feud had to be started. At the Royal Rumble, Austin had cost Bret the Rumble match, sparking their feud. After Shawn vacated the title, Bret had won it in a 4 way, but lost it to Sid the next night after Austin interfered and cost Bret the match and the title. This set up their match at WrestleMania, which would be a submission match, with UFC legend Ken Shamrock being the special guest referee.
The main event saw Sid, who was the WWF Champion, taking on the Undertaker. The feud started after the Fatal 4 way when Hart won the title. As Taker was the last one to be eliminated, he was made the number 1 contender for the title at WrestleMania. The next night, Sid had won the title, and hence would go on to defend it against Taker. The other main thing about this WrestleMania was that a young rookie by the name of Rocky Maivia made his WrestleMania debut. He gained more fame with the name of Rock. Or also Dwayne Johnson, or the Tooth Fairy. Anyway, without further ado, let us get down to the reviews.
The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) defeated The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw), The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) (With Hillbilly Jim), and Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon in a Fatal 4 way to determine the #1 contenders for the WWF Tag team championship
The first match on the card was for the #1 contender spot for the WWF tag team championship. All teams started off the match. This was a period when Vince thought he was intelligent. The name of the Godwinns was Henry O. and Phineas I. Which made it Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn. In other words, HOG and PIG. Very clever eh? Not really, anyway. The match went for about 10 minutes. Blackjacks were eliminated first and Furnas and LaFon were disqualified. The end came when Mosh came down on Phineas from the top rope with a dive for the pin and the win for his team. Awful match to kick things off.
Rocky Maivia defeated The Sultan (With Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
WrestleMania debut of the future movie star. Rocky went into the event as the Intercontinental Champion. His first year in the WWF was eventful (Vince has a knack of pushing the second and third generation guys early in their careers), but the fans weren’t so impressed with Maivia. I’d say it was a great move for them to drop the Maivia name soon afterwards. Anyway, going back to the match, he took on the Sultan with THTM at the announcer’s table. Match went about 10 minutes, and the end came when Rocky rolled up Sultan for a win ‘out of nowhere!’ (Old Vince McMahon for those who didn’t know). Post match, THTM and Sultan attacked Rocky while Rocky’s dad made the save. Awful match. Rocky wasn’t polished yet, and Sultan made things worse.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (With Chyna) defeated Goldust (With Marlena)
A heel Hunter with Chyna took on Goldust, who had Marlena in his corner. Hunter apparently won a Slammy for ‘the best hair’. That’s nice, maybe next time we can see him win a Slammy for ‘being nosy’. For those who didn’t get the joke, never mind. A long match which went on for 15 minutes. End came when Hunter nailed a Pedigree and pinned Goldust for the win. A bad, boring match which is a norm of WrestleMania.
Owen Hart and The British Bulldog took on Mankind and Vader (With Paul Bearer) which ended in a double countout for the WWF Tag team championship
Owen and Davey were the tag team champions as the Hart Foundation was reformed soon after this. Paul Bearer was in Mankind’s corner, following a great feud with Undertaker. All the guys in this match were heels, so that confused the fans (As well as the logic behind the match). Anyway, the match went for over 16 minutes, and the end saw all the guys getting counted out by the referee. Owen and Davey retained the WWF tag team titles.
Bret Hart defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin via knockout in a submission match with Ken Shamrock as the special guest referee
Okay folks, arguably the greatest WrestleMania match of all time was next on the card. If you ask the pundits, they’d say that this match made Steve Austin, and rightfully so. The match had also seen one of the most rare occurrences when there was a swap between the good guy and the bad guy. Austin went in as the heel while Bret was the good guy. It was a 20 minute classic, and would go down as one of the best matches of all time in wrestling history. More than anything, the storytelling and the in–ring psychology in the match was off the charts. After 22 minutes, Bret locked the sharpshooter as a bleeding Austin laid there without giving up. Austin passed out due to the pain and Ken Shamrock ended the match, giving it to Bret. After the match, Bret still attacked a lifeless Austin, which led to Shamrock interfering. Bret walked away to boos from the crowd, as they supported a beaten down, bleeding Austin. Truly a memorable moment in WWF history, and an amazing match.
The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Ahmed Johnson defeated The Nation of Domination (Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega with Wolfie D, J.C. Ice, D’Lo Brown, and Clarence Mason)
The next match on the card featured the original Legion of Doom with Ahmed Johnson taking on the Nation of Domination. Faarooq was a former, and the first black WCW Heavyweight champion, so that added legitimacy to the group. Soon, another guy would join N.O.D, who was the Rock. Anyway, the match went for 10 minutes, which was okay considering it was a brawl. The end saw Ahmed using a 2×4 as a weapon, and clotheslining Crush. Animal took advantage of it and pinned him for the win. An average match before the main event.
The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid in a no DQ match for the WWF Championship
The match that headlined this WrestleMania was between Sid and the Undertaker. It was a mistake giving Sid 20 minutes for a match. The match was horrible thanks to the poor work rate of Sid. The last 5 minutes of the match made up for it though. End came when Undertaker Tombstone piledrived Sid for the pin and to win the WWF Championship for the second time in his career. The show ended with Taker celebrating.
Analysis: ** ½ (Out of 5 stars)
Most of the ratings were because of 2 things – a 5 star match between Austin and Hart, and for Taker’s victory. The rest of the PPV sucked. Not one of the top 5 WrestleManias. Still, the PPV holds its place in history purely because of the Hart–Austin classic. What a match that was, truly sensational! Anyway, that does it for this edition of WrestleMania Rewind. Join us again tomorrow as we cover the next edition on our way to this year’s WrestleMania.
Read the rest of the WrestleMania rewind series here