As stated in my last Wrestlemania 12 review that Wrestlemania became like the Star Trek movies where one year it’s good, the next year was bad. Since Wrestlemania 12 was one of the best ones, we’re back to the bad ones. Though this Wrestlemania was really a lackluster show, there was just one match that everyone still to this day talks about. The rivalry between Stone Cold and Bret Hart was incredibly intense where Hart represents the traditions of the New Generation where everything is played by the rules and is clean while Stone Cold was for the soon to be Attitude Era where there is no rules and rebellious. A lot has changed since Wrestlemania 12 was the short-lived New Generation Era just ended and stars like Kevin Nash and Razor Ramon left to WCW to start the ever so popular New World Order. Meanwhile, the WWF finally started to pick up with the times and stopped this tradition where of babyfaces and heels to who’s the toughest guy that can beat the next guy. This Wrestlemania shows that times has changed but the better question is, is it for the better or worse?
The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) vs. The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw) vs. The Godwinns (with Hillbilly Jim) vs. Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon – It seems like the tag team devision seems to be the opener of the Wrestlemania because already it has been 3 consecutive Wrestlemanias where tag matches needed to get over with. This is the first Wrestlemania where the four corner elimination match was started and the rules is that if a tag team gets pinned or submitted they’re sent out of the ring until the last mast team standing will win the WWF Tag Team Championship. With so many wrestlers in the way, there are expectations of being chaotic. It was an unique booking decision to have the Blackjacks and Furan & Lafon to be both eliminated by countout leaving The Godwinns and Headbangers left. Mosh took that risk of dive towards Godwinns for the victory and became the winners of this match. It was a decent tag team, but nobody remembers this opening match.
Match Score: 2/5
Rocky Maivia (c) vs The Sultan (with Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) – Ever since his debut at Survivor Series, the Rock rose faster than anyone in the WWF and up to this point in just several months, he comes in as the Intercontinental Champion. However, I would wish for the Rock to have a better opponent than the forgettable Sultan. Sultan’s wrestling skills was so limited to the basic submission holds to drag the match in its entirety till the Rock was able to get back in control and do all the fast moves that we love to see in the early days of the Maivia years. The match was really unmemorable where the commentators had to make the match interesting by talking about him being a third generation superstar and his relations to Rocky Johnson. Which by the way, Rocky Johnson comes in to the rescue when Bob Backlund and the Iron Sheik became to gang up on the Rock. It’s a match that didn’t need to be this long and the Rock wasn’t credible yet to have a match that took this long to finish.
Match Score: 1/5
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) defeated Goldust (with Marlena) – Both of these men had a memorable moment in last year’s Wrestlemania; Goldust was in the WWF’s first hardcore match and Triple H lost under 2 minutes. Both of those accomplishments that they’ve made here are way better than this match here. Again, it’s another wrestling match where the match is incredibly slow, the story here is not interesting, and there’s a lack of soul in this match. Sure the match had great moves, but there’s big difference between making it effective and making it dry and the whole match felt incredibly dried out. This match does not deserve to be close the 15 minute mark. The only thing that was note worthy was when Terri Runnels tried to get involved and then fell on Chyna getting bear hugged while Triple H used the pedigree on Goldust for the win. It was a tiresome match that made me wish Triple H could set aside his ego and as for another 2 minute squash match with Ultimate Warrior
Match Score: 1/5
Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) vs. Mankind and Vader (with Paul Bearer) – This was a very good Tag team match were these physical technicians (now brother in-law) takes on a monstrous tag team. This is Mick Foley’s Wrestlemania debut here and he was a decent tag team with Vader. Owen was so talented in handling these two brawlers and Davy Boy Smith was able to give a variety of suplexes and slams to the same two freaks. I loved the chemistry that these two tag teams had that offered some of the best out of this division. So was Mankind and Vader when they want to do unique team work like that carry and diving elbow drop in the ringside shows potential with the two. This was an interesting finish where the legal men where counted out and the non-legal men kept the fight in the right. The fight was so intense that they forgot the rules, but after so many of those babyface tags we’ve had in so many tag team machos shows how much we forgot the rules of begin the legal man. Unfortunately this match ended in a double countout and should have had a better finish for the these four men.
Match Score: 3/5
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart – Submission Match – I will always say that the Wrestlemania 12 match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels is the most overrated match in wrestling history. It is the Titanic of wrestling, where no matter how hard you try to convince me that it’s the greatest, the reasons will always be irrelevant. Bret Hart has redeemed himself by putting on a much better wrestling match with his best rival Stone Cold Steve Austin. Now if you want to talk bloody matches, here’s one for you. It would be on this night that Austin would truly become “Stone Cold” and begin his march to the top of the WWF. This match would be one much different than their Survivor Series match they had a long time ago and it continue to get intense as Austin keeps brawling Bret and screwing him over a Royal Rumble victory. In the fact this was less of a wrestling match and more of a street fight. Bret Hart came in as the face and Stone Cold was the heel, but after this match, which Bret Hart was declared the winner, their roles switched and made Stone Cold Steve Austin the star that he is today. This match was filled with the use of outside objects and Austin was cut open and bleeding from his head by the end of the match. This match was certainly not Hart’s specialty, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the match. “The Hitman” was just as ruthless and cold as Austin on this night, eventually leading to the unforgettable Shapshooter that would leave “Stone Cold” unconscious and bloody in the middle of the ring. Although Austin never said the words “I quit,” he passed out from the pain and loss of blood, so referee Ken Shamrock declared Hart the winner. Austin may not have won the match, but his performance made him the new top guy in the company because he had the determination to pass out with loss of blood instead of quitting. Badass! This match sparked the ‘Attitude Era’ and was the birth of Stone Cold Steve Austin as the face of the company. Austin being locked in the Sharpshooter with blood pouring down his face is an image forever etched in the memories of wrestling fans everywhere.
Match Score: 6/5
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 Road Warrior had a missed opportunity to have a great wrestlemania match at Wrestlemania VIII and haven’t’ been booked till now. It was fantastic to have a hardcore tornado tag match with Ahmed (underrated wrestler) to battle against the Nation. This wasn’t a wrestling match, it was a hardcore match, but it was a pretty sloppy one but it was there to wet everyone’s beak if they couldn’t get enough out of the last match. I probably should have liked this match more, but this match didn’t really offer anything special outside of using weapons and table crashing. Of course the right guys won and it was a chaotic match, but I think it’s healthy to start saying there’s just too much on what’s going on, but regardless, it was what it was. Highly entertaining, but nothing worth coming back to.
Match Score: 3/5
The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid (c) – WWF ChampionshipThis was Undertaker’s very first Wrestlemania streak and he proved that he can take on guys just as big as him as he defeated Diesel in last year’s Wrestlemania, but unlike his match with Kevin Nash, Sid just wasn’t a good dance partner for ‘Taker. The problem about his match was that the story wasn’t anywhere as big and Bret Hart tries so hard to get so much heel heat by interrupting the main event. This part of the show was too much where he comes in trying to bring heat on Shawn Michaels (at commentator because of his injury), Undertaker, and Sid. All of the sudden Sid used the Powerbomb on Bret to get him out of the ring, but ‘Taker didn’t want to waist any time to get in the match (thank God!). As for the match, it wasn’t that physical, it wasn’t that memorable, and it was just soulless. Again, this is another main event that Sid ruins like Wrestlemania VIII because of his lack of wrestling skills. This still is a much better match than Wrestlemania 8’s main event, but it’s so boring to see Sid’s wrestling. But this match isn’t entirely Sid’s caught because Undertaker chooses to make the match longer by giving him the equal amount of match-dragging submissions that should be the heel’s job. The only thing remotely exciting about this match was that Sid used the Tombstone on Undertaker, but he kicked out. And to make matters worse, Bret Hart had to come back to the ring by attacking Sid for revenge which let Taker to use the Tomb Stone for the victory. I have no idea why Bret has to continue to get involved with this match and just be done with his match after the “I Quit” match, but no we had to make this weird, clustered finish. Sure The Undertaker deserved to win the main event but This match was just so slow and it wasn’t near as good as last year’s Taker match. I really did not like this match. It was predictable, incredibly dull, and a just went as long as Austin vs. Bret that deserved that length. A really dried up Wrestlemania main event for sure
Match Score: 1/5
If this Wrestlemania didn’t have that legendary Stone Cold vs Bret Hart submission match, this could have been a really unmemorable Wrestlemania. Part of the problem is because all of the matches in the card reaches in the over-ten minute mark which really show how slow the momentum really is when you have mid-carders who doesn’t deserve that much air time, especially in a Wrestlemana. The Hart vs. Austin match is the prime definition of a one match sone because of the stipulation, shock value, and impact made it worth it, which is seriously lacking in all the other matches. Regardless, the rest of the show was terribly forgettable. This was a terrible WrestleMania overall to sit through, but that match alone saves it from being the worst of all time. The I Quit match made significant contributions to the business in starting the famous Attitude Era. Everything that wasn’t Stone Cold vs. Bret Hart is simply forgettable. Even a 6 out of 5 scored match still couldn’t save the show as lackluster that couldn’t back up with a consistent qualitative line of matches. Nobody wants looks back at this show and even if it did, where’s substance in coming back to the show in its entirety?
The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 13:
- Wrestlemania Reviews
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemanias
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Underrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Overrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemanias of All Time
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemania Matches