There was never a better time to be a pro wrestling fan than during the period from 1996-2002, when WWF was in the midst of its legendary Attitude Era. This era of wrestling made it in number 4 of the best things of the 1990s and still to this day I can go back and watch any episode, segment, or match from the Attitude Era and remind myself why I am a wrestling fan. Though I do have a very soft spot for the New Generation Era, it was important for the company to change from the family-friendly image to keep up with the times. TV ratings were at an all-time high, it was cool to be a fan and you could find a good wrestling product on TV just about any time you wanted to. Sit through one three-hour episode of Monday Night Raw, and you’ll be longing for the old days, even if you weren’t a wrestling fan in the old days. This era captures everything that I truly miss about wrestling; proper storytelling, amazing in-ring work, varied match stipulations, and outrageous character that definitely felt bigger than life. Outlandish things were happening, but there was always a reason behind them, and the stories were most often very interesting. These are not just story lines, these were epic sagas that was happening in wrestling and never again did we ever felt the same with the media again. If that’s not enough, the matches in this era took risks. In the Attitude Era, WWE climbed back to the top of the wrestling world by taking chances. People got hit with chairs, set on fire, thrown off the top of gigantic structures and run over by cars on a weekly basis. All of these things kept my interest and mixed that up with a good story, you’re presented with the most awesome moments in life! Sure, The Attitude Era ripped off Extreme Championship Wrestling’s hardcore wrestling phenomenon, but for the fact that this single era brought the highest ratings that the WWE has ever had should tell you about the success and reception it deserved. And who do we have to thank for all that was given to us in the Attitude Era? None other than Vince McMahon. Sure, the man has done some of the most questionable decisions in the business, but starting this trend in wrestling was the best thing he’s ever done for the company and wrestling itself. This was an era of wrestling that was so innovative, captivating, and so entertaining, that it’s always worth coming back to. Wrestling fans to this day are still waiting for another era like this but unfortunately since WWE went back to the times of PG, not giving two shits about telling good stories, and over enthuses on pointless in-ring work more-so than anything else. As a result of seeing wrestling getting worse and worse, it makes going back to the Attitude Era a lot better than we remembered. And these are the ten wrestlers that are responsible for making the Attitude Era so great!
Since Wrestlemania 14, we’ve started to have fantastic episodes of Monday Night Raw where they’ve became the best thing to watch on television in the late-1990s. All of the sudden, many of the New Generation Era wrestlers where either out of the company (Shawn Michaels & Bret Hart) or they stuck with the company and evolved with the Attitude Era (Hardcore Holly, Triple H) where new stars have rose, story lines became more epic, and match quality was dramatic and well performed (even despite the more aggressive and violent style rather than the competitive direction). Because we were getting so many great Raw episodes and great PPV’s throughout 1998, how was the WWF going to deliver Wrestlemania 15? The problem however is that they couldn’t. Not to say that they can’t, but with all of the success and mind-blowing experiences that has happened almost every week for the company, I really don’t think you could have made show that was better than the PPV’s and episodes of Raw because this Wrestlemania, just didn’t feel like a Wrestlemania; it felt like an episode of Raw on steroids. What that means is that this show just threw in way too much in one singular night that just felt like a special episode than an actual Wrestlemania. And I’m here to tell you why this card, just couldn’t hold the same candle as to Wrestlemania 14.
Hardcore Holly vs. Billy Gunn (c) and Al Snow – Hardcore Match for Hardcore Championship – I really love the idea of the Hardcore Championship because it was a division where hardcore/trash wrestling is welcomed which is the backbone of the Attitude Era. This is a division where we get a taste of ECW in the WWF, however that doesn’t mean that ECW-style wrestling could make a Wrestlemania quality match. Even though that this was the very first Hardcore Championship match in a Wrestlemania, it just didn’t feel that welcomed. I mean, I certainly enjoyed the bumps that all these of these men took to represent a division, but it was not memorable. Everything that has been done in this match, has been done in that hardcore matches on RAW and even though I like the decision of having Hardcore Holly to win this match, it just felt underwhelming.
Match Score: 3/5
Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (c) (with Debra) vs. D’Lo Brown and Test (with Ivory) – Tag Team Championship – It’s really unfortunate that this is Owen Hart’s last Wrestlemania appearance before he died in that accident later in that year. I mean Owen is a great partner for any Tag Team (just look up his partnership with Yokozuna in Wrestlemania 11) but I never liked the team up between him and Jeff Jerrett because they’re both overshadowed by Debra because we all want to look at her “puppies.” The reason why all of the sudden D’Lo Brown and Test are facing that Tag Team Champs because both of them won the 20 men Battle Royal on Sunday Night Heat before the start of this show to determine the number 1 contenders for the tag champs. Brown and Test has no chemistry together and it was incredibly odd to have them become a tag team. I honestly think that Test should have been a solo wrestler and he should have been a great of a star as an Austin, Rock, Mankind, and so forth. Thankfully this match went short because it has no real purpose than to… well, just be there. It was an akward finish where Debra and Ivory started having an argument at ringside, then Terri Runnels and Jaquiline came down to argue some more to get Test distracted in stopping the fight just to have D’Lo loose the pin. It was the right decision to have Owen and Jeff win, but it could have been better.
Match Score: 2/5
Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn – Brawl for All – I praise the Attitude Era as much as any wrestling fan, but I will have to agree that the Brawl for All concept has got to be one of the worst decisions that Vince McMahon has ever done. For those who don’t know, “Brawl for All” is a boxing tournament where the whole point was a shoot and they put many of the WWF wrestlers in this tournament. The problem here is that Wrestlers are there to perform, NOT TO BOX! Boxing and Wrestling has never worked; just look at Mr. T vs. Piper at Wrestlemania 2 or Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather. One of the most unforgivable things about the Brawl for All concept was the fact that it put a concussion on one of my favorite Wrestlers of all time, Dr. Death Steve Williams to retire out of the WWF. Steve Williams was supposed to be the next biggest opponent for Stone Cold Steve Austin, but because Bart Gunn had to put Williams out of action, just how is he going to deliver? By facing a “REAL” boxing champion like Butterbean… WHAT?! You honestly think that Bart Gunn could actually compete against a real boxing legend? He wouldn’t even last a fucking minute and I was right! Bart Gunn only lasted 35 seconds on the first round before the knockout and never again was Bart Gunn ever heard or seen in the WWF again. Brawl for All was career destroyer and because of this retarded stipulation Bart Gunn and Dr. Death had to pay for it. If there’s a list of all of the sins Vince McMahon that has been put on record before he ends up going to hell, this would be one of them!
Match Score: 0/5
Mankind vs. Paul Wight – Can you imagine that there was a point in time where Big Show wasn’t called the Big Show or “The Giant” but was called by his real name? The stipulation for this match was that the winner had to be the special guest referee for the main event of Austin vs. Rock. You should also remember that Mankind was Mick Foley’s most popular character in his career and probably his best character in wrestling. However, I just really dislike this match. This was a very slow match where nothing exciting was going on so that mean nothing memorable was going to happen. The match gotten so boring and slow that Big Show had to place two chairs in position together, only to have Mankind chokeslammed to those chairs. The right guy won, but it was a really dumb decision to make this a finish. At best this should have been a hardcore match so we could see the best of Mankind because really, Mankind was one of the most popular wrestlers in the Attitude Era because of his two iconic falls from the top of the Hell in a Cell with the Undertaker at King of the Ring ’98 and it was disappointing that Mankind didn’t get a Wrestlemania moment. You had to get Vince McMahon to come out there and argue with Big Show and it just left us there after he punched Vince to the ground just to get arrested.
Match Score: 1/5
Road Dogg (c) vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust (with The Blue Meanie and Ryan Shamrock) vs. Val Venis – Four corners elimination match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship – This is just a match that was what is was, and I really don’t think none of these men, except for Ken Shamrock deserved to be Intercontinental Championship material. Unfortunately, this is another Wrestlemania where Ken Shamrock did not win the Intercontinental Championship to establish himself as a big star like Austin, Rock, and the rest. I will have to admit that all four of these men displayed a wonderful in-ring work in this card, but because Road Dogg came in as Intercontinental Champion and left the match with the same championship in hand, just shows how underwhelming another Wrestlemania match really is in this card
Match Score: 2/5
Kane (with Chyna) vs. Triple H – Out of all the matches in this card, this one here had the most well told story behind it. Triple H and his D-Generation-X army wage war against the corporation faction lead by Shane McMahon. Chyna betrayed Triple H and DX Army to join the Corporation. It was a fantastic set up for Wrestlemania,however I just didn’t agree with Triple H all of the sudden has to face Kane instead of Chyna, (she who’s responsible for this storyline to begin with). Of course he had to face the muscle of the heel faction, but Kane really deserved more as Undertaker’s brother than being a henchman for the corporation. However, my favorite part of this match, wasn’t even the match, it was the interference of a man in the chicken suit as Kane was heading in the ring. And surprise! Surprise! It’s Pete Rose! Oh My God! We got a chance to see him and Kane go at it in another Wrestlemania and that we did. Another tombstone in for Pete Rose at Wrestlemania. It was stupid to have him wear a Chicken Suit, but I loved it when Pete Rose kept getting that tombstone from Kane that I so wish that there was more of it. So is Pete Rose coming back for Kane again in the next Wrestlemania? Wait for the next Wrestlemania review…
Anyway, back on the match… well, it was just there. It was all just a slow-paced brawl that was absolutely forgettable. I still stand by my saying that it should have been Chyna vs. Triple H so that we could have a great match between two lovers that have equal strength and wrestling styles and most importantly, the WWF could have established Chyna as a real Wrestler instead of making her career boom later in 1999. It was a completely sloppy finish here that ended in a disqualification (for a match that lasted nearly 10 minutes) and had Chyna and Triple H back together in the end… Really! What was the whole point of having her betray Triple H in the first place?! So does this mean she’s back in D-Generation-X? Well… find out later in this review. Other than that, was a poorly booked match and a serious middle of the road for a Wrestlemania
Match Score: 2/5
Sable (c) vs. Tori – Women’s Championship – This was a match that was so bad that it was sexy. It means it’s a double edge sword here. As a heterosexual male, watch these two wrestle so badly was almost like a soft core porn with no sex involved, but at the other hand at a wrestling stand-point, this was probably the sloppiest match on Wrestlemania 15. It wasn’t Sable’s fault because she proved to be a fantastic and gifted wrestler that was able to take men down. The problem however is Tori (NOT Torrie Wilson). Tori is very inexperienced in wrestling and she just could not show any wrestling talent. Most of the time she just didn’t know how to follow Sable’s moves and ended up botching and made this a really poor match. None of the two could make their bumps look painful and effective which was a whole bore if you’re not laughing at the trips and botches that they’re making. It’s another match where it had a poor finish where the referee got knocked out, Nicole Bass came in the ring to take out Tori, and Sable retained her championship. The whole point of thinking of “so bad that it’s sexy” it is similar to Uma Thurman’s performance as Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin; it’s just there to turn men on and that’s the only thing this match succeeded, nothing more.
Match Score: 1/5
Shane McMahon (c) (with Test) vs. X-Pac – European Championship – I liked the idea of D-Generation-X vs. The Corporation, but Wrestlemania 15 should have been a big event between leader and leader. Shane McMahon is the leader of the match, but even though X-Pac wasn’t leader, he was the full representation of D-Generation-X (more so than Shawn Michaels and any DX member). This was a great match-up between the two because they both had similar wrestling abilities and size & weight making the best one on one match for this mid-card. The only problem is that Shane was overly-cowardly in this match. I know this whole match is Shane’s idea, but he could have done so much more in this match to make it more exciting instead of doing that chicken-shit gimmick. He only made this match good when X-Pac was down and that just tests our patience to have Pac to get back on his feet and do what he does best. It did took a while but it was worth watching this match for the athletic showman style of wrestling… until Triple H and Chyna came in the ring to betray X-Pac. This was around the time when the bookers wanted D-Generation-X gone and I hated this decision… Sure it was a great idea of having a face turn then a heel turn in one night for Chyna and Triple H, but one reason why I hated this Wrestlemania was just to end D-Generation-X. I did not like the idea of having Chyna and Hunter joining the corporation and help Shane win the match. All of that talented work in this match just flushed itself down the toilet because of this dumb booking. It was stupid! Even though DX was destroyed in this show, the spirit of D-Generation-X was carried with X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn who still does the suck-it gesture and shouts those two-words for ya. Other than that, we didn’t have D-Generation-X again until the McMahon-Hemsley Era when DX returned (just without Chyna). The only saving grace that this match did was to have Kane come back for revenge and made himself a babyface which later became partners with X-Pac later in 1999 (a really underrated tag team).
Match Score: 2/5
The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs. Big Boss Man – Hell in a Cell – I love the transformation of the Undertaker’s character since the Attitude Era begun from facing his brother Kane into becoming the leader of a faction called the Ministry of Darkness. It was an awesome heel turn where he made Vince McMahon look like a good guy and there was so many satanic imagery than any moment in wrestling. With this amazing evolution to the character, who’s next to face Undertaker? Big Boss Man?! It’s disappointing to never have Undertaker vs. Kane in a Hell in a Cell match (one-on-one) to culminate the brotherly rivalry. But all of the sudden, Big Boss Man was selected to be ‘Taker’s opponent for this Wrestlemania. I would have said Boss Man would have been at least a worthy opponent a long time ago during the Golden Era of Wrestling, but he has lot a TON of credibility since his last Wrestlemania match a long time ago. He really was Vince McMahon’s and the Corporation’s bitch. So how in the world was he worthy enough to be part of Undertaker’s undefeated streak? Let alone Hell in a Cell worthy? And speaking of Hell in a Cell… why didn’t this Wrestlemania make this Hell in a Cell match just as important, historical, and significant as the Hell in a Cell match when Mankind was toss off from the top of the Cell? It was like this Hell in a Cell was just tossed in their for the last minute before the show because they knew that the card was weak. This is no doubt the worth Hell in a Cell match of all time. We’re talking about a Hell in a Cell that had no story between the two, and nothing memorable from this match except for the hanging of Boss Man. The whole time we were just seeing just nightstick hits, handcuffing the Undertaker to the cage, and was a boring brawl. Hell in a Cell is a match of importance that was there to punish sheer top rivalries and this rivalry didn’t deserve any part of Hell in a Cell. The most discussing part of this match for me was to have Big Boss Man to be hanged on a rope as the Hell in a Cell assents up to the ceiling of the arena just to show shock value. The reason why I don’t like it is because it was there for shock value and because Big Boss Man passed away, I’m completely uncomfortable to see him pretend that he’s dead. Next Monday Night all of the sudden he’s alive and well… Talk about inconsistent and breaking any believability! The finish of this match went too far and even though Undertaker was a dark character, they just wanted to proof even more that Big Boss Man is less credible than he already was. I especially hate Michael Cole’s commentary when he said “Is it symbolic?!” What the fuck? He should have said “Somebody get him down!” After that handing, they had to cut to commercial break just to show that even if Boss Man did die from that stunt, that was horrible to see how insignificant a person’s life is to a commercial break… just horrible!
Match Score: 1/5
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (c) – No DQ for WWF Championship – After all the horrible matches that we all had to endure in horrible show, at least this main event almost save the show from being horrible. The Rock has already made himself a great wrestler and he deserved to become WWF Champion after winning it in the Survivor Series tournament. It was a great way to make a new star instead of just having Austin to be the top guy. Everyone still talks about how great Austin vs. Rock is because it was as epic as Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes, Hogan vs. Andre, and Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels. Out of all the bad booking in this card, this is the finale that did it right. This whole show as built up for having Austin to main event this Wrestlemania and it was hyped up well. We’re talking about Vince McMahon beating Austin in the Royal Rumble Match 1999, then Austin beating Vince in a cage match at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, using a beer truck to pour beer at Rock, Shane, and Vince McMahon… if none of that made you want to go see this Wrestlemania, I don’t know what will because it was the craziest time in the WWF’s history. This match funny delivered because it was a combination of hardcore wrestling, showmanship, and even technical brawls. Think about Wrestlemania main events and this match truly fits that picture. All the matches in this card felt more or less like an episode of Raw, but this was really Wrestlemania material here! I just couldn’t believe the punishment that these two where taking from landing on concrete floors, falling on a lights and other steel objects, and did everything to keep each other down. It was a very chaotic match were even many referees gets knocked out. Hell, even Vince McMahon had to come in and try to give the Rock the win because neither one of the men could put the other man down for the count. But thankfully, this is the match that threw in so much in a singular match, having Vince McMahon involved, Mankind return as special guest referee, so much mayhem happening, and finishers applied towards each other just to do everything they can to put the other over. Suddenly, that last stunner proved to be the most effective and it earned him another main event victory, but this time it’s Vince McMahon’s loss. I really think that this was the only good thing that came out in Wrestlemania 15. This proved to be one of my favorite main events in a Wrestlemania. It shows why Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were made for each other and they both face each other in 2 more Wrestlemanias in the future, but honestly, this is my favorite out of the three Rock vs. Austin Wrestlemania matches.
Match Score: 5/5
There are only three things that was memorable in this Wrestlemania; Butterbean knocking the fuck out of Bart Gunn, Kane once again tombstoning Pete Rose, and Austin vs. The Rock. If those are the only things worth to remember, that’s really not good! With all honesty, this Wrestlemania really wasn’t that bad, it did have more memorable things than Wrestlemania 13 (which was a one match show). It’s just the far that Wrestlemania 15 felt like a special episode of Raw, which made it feel like a middle of the road in comparison to all the other Wrestlemanias. Because it was the middle of the road is because some of the matches here really is just the stuff that we could have seen in an episode of Raw. If it wasn’t for the main event between Austin and the Rock, this would have been a complete disaster. There was so many thing thrown in this show and it just didn’t feel like special. We have four 2 out of 5 matches, three 1 out of 5 matches, and a singular 0 out of 5 match… arguably this has went down as some of the worst ‘Manias, but not “The” worst Wrestlemania because Austin and Rock saved the show. It’s very important to make all of the mid-cards just as important but when you’re making us wait for the main event to start after 2 hours of watching, you minus well just skip the show and just watch the main event because it really isn’t worth it. If you really want a Wrestlemania during the Attitude Era that really felt at all significant, just watch Wrestlemania 14. Hell, you can watch any other Pay-Per-View from the Attitude Era because this really was one of the worst the attitude era pay-per-views.
The Top Lister’s Score for Wrestlemania 15:
Wrestlemania 13 was the first Wrestlemania during the attitude era, however there were a lot of things missing in that card where there were a lot of unmemorable matches (except for Bret vs. Austin) and a lot of people lost interest with the WWF tuning into WCW instead. There hasn’t been a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 1 where Vince McMahon took the biggest risk for the WWF. Since WM 13, there has been a lot of negative responses for WWF where the company screwed Bret Hart in the Montreal Screwjob, lack of quality matches, and many top stars that used to be in the WWF are now in WCW, beating WWF in the ratings. 1997, despite how more qualitative the matches has became, was hurting the WWF financially and they needed to get back on their feet in order to survive. Coming into Wrestlemania 14 was a big risk to make to gather a bigger audience because of all the advertisements trying to get people into buy this show and also featuring “Iron” Mike Tyson of all people to be the special guest referee in the main event. The hype surrounding this event was going mad crazy having Stone Cold Steve Austin and Tyson starting a fight on an episode of Monday Night Raw that got a ton of people’s attention. The WWF has started the Attitude Era, but they needed a big bang to put this new era into full force. The WWF finally got caught up in the times again and went where Ted Turner and WCW could never go – like hardcore wrestling, profanity, violent matches, and explicit sexuality. There is a good reason why the Attitude Era is so loved by many and this was the show that not only popularized Wrestling once again, but also got the WWF to begin creating the times with this new movement. Wrestlemania 14 was a huge game changer and is the second most important Wrestlemania of all time, so let’s take a look at this card to see why!
15-Team Battle Royal – This was a Wrestlemania 2 style Battle Royal where 14 tag teams were determined, so bringing out the 15th team was the biggest surprise of all. Sunny (making her last Wrestlemania appearance) began introducing and managing the Legion of Doom making their return to the WWF. Their match here compared to their match in last year’s Wrestlemania was gold where they took on a lot of tag teams that are forgotten over the years. Though I’m against the rule of one of the teammate eliminated the partner in the ring has to leave. Considering that there were a lot of forgettable tag teams in late-1997/early 1998, it was confusing to know who side is on who’s. Though Bradshaw had to leave because his partner got eliminated, there were plenty of wrestlers that had their partners eliminated that still remained in the ring. It was definitely flawed considering that there are 30 men in the ring and there was so much going on at once that the Jim Ross and Jerry Lawer were confused on what’s going on. However I have to appreciate the final 2 teams where The Road Warrior survived this long to take on the Midnight Express. It was the right decision to have Hawk and Animal to win the match, making it a fantastic opening match already making this Wrestlemania to have a great start!
Match Score: 4/5
Taka Michinoku (c) vs. Aguila – Light Heavywieght Championship – It’s ashame that the Light Heavyweight division in the WWF is very obscured and forgotten because it lost credibility because the parody Gilberg won it for over a year (not having any booking for that long) and there weren’t that many matches including the Light Heavyweight matches. It’s a shamed really because WCW did their Cruizerweight and international style wrestling incredibly well back in the day and WWF tried to do their take on this style of mid-card wrestling to include Aguila and Michinoku. This match was all in-ring work and highflying moves that perfectly works well. I wonder why nobody remembers this match because it was an incredibly well performed match. It’s a real surprise to find a match like this in a Wrestlemania card because you expect to see something like this in a WCW Starcade instead. I think that the Attitude Era would have welcomed this style of wrestling if only the bookers of the WWF could make great stories for this division and unfortunately, later in that year that had to give it to “Gilberg” and had to hold it over a year and have VERY little television appearances. Anyway, Taka Michinoku won the match and that’s left without anything to remember, unfortunately.
Match Score: 5/5
Triple H (c) (with Chyna) vs Owen Hart – European Championship – This was when Triple H started having an identity when he formed D-Generation-X with Shawn Michaels and it was a big improvement compared to all of his moments when he was simply Hunter Hearst Helmsley. As a result this match was so much better than his last year’s Wrestlemania match with Goldust, and it’s thanks to having Owen Hart as Hunter’s dance partner. The stipulation here is since Chyna has interfered with nearly all of Triple H’s matches, she’s now handcuffed to Sgt. Slaughter. The wrestling between Owen and Hunter was a nice and basic wrestling match, but I remember this match mostly for Owen Hart breaking his nose in the match, it was not a pretty sight. I did indeed enjoy the finish where Chyna grabbed power and tossed into Slaughter’s eyes and help interfere this match for Triple H’s win with a low blow to Owen. But I will say one thing about Owen here in this match, I was certainly surprised to see hims remain loyal to the WWF even though everyone in the Hart family despised what Vince McMahon did to Bret Hart in the Montreal Screwjob.
Match Score: 4/5
Marc Mero and Sable vs The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust and Luna – This was where the Goldust character was really loosing it’s consistency where now he’s called “The Artist Formerly Known” which is just not very good in my book. However, what was very good was how well Sable and her jealous husband Marc Mero carried out this match. Sable used to be the most popular woman in the WWF because not only was she incredibly attractive, but she had the attitude to perform great matches and the aggressiveness that no other woman had in the business at the time. This was the first time since Chyna’s debut where the women wrestlers did a much better job than the men she’s booked up with. Sable was so empowering that she simply got the crowd roaring in her control and that’s someone like a Hulk Hogan can do. Admittedly, it’s not much to say because Goldust and Luna were more or less a joke in this match, but it was all Sable showing that she’s not just a pretty face and because of it she won this match. It’s a shamed that her WWF career was so short-lived because she had sexual harassment problems with the WWF, but if she advanced her career, who knows more memorable she would have been today. This match really showed her potential and it’s impressive to watch a pretty face like her to be taken seriously.
Match Score: 4/5
The Rock (c) vs. Ken Shamrock – Intercontinental Championship – I love this match. I consider this one of the defining moments of both The Rock’s and Shamrock’s wrestling careers. It was a wise booking decision to make The Rock one of the biggest heels in the WWF and evolve him from the generic Rocky Marvia that wasn’t going anywhere. This was a very chaotic match between two competitors where Shamrock earned the name “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” to have a great rivalry with the Nation of Domination’s leader. Ken Shamrock really showed his power in this match because he was able to cream The Rock and still took on Kama Mustafa, Mark Henry & D’Lo Brown who were there on ringside. Even though the Rock fought back with all he had, it was not enough to keep Shamrock down. It was pleasurable to see The Rock getting what he deserved considering how hated he was in the WWF and even had ex-leader of the Nation of Domination to betray The Rock before he tapped out to Shamrock’s ankle lock. But it was not enough for Ken Shamrock because he was going batshit crazy not only still beating up the Rock and what’s left in the Nation, but also the referees and the bodyguards as well that lead him to suddenly get stripped out of the Intercontinental Championship and still remained to the Rock just to get more heat as a heel. This was a very well done match that just made both of these men bigger stars, but in the end it was the Rock became the bigger star out of the two.
Match Score: 5/5
Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. The New Age Outlaws (c) – Dumpster Match for the Tag Team Championship – Foley and Funk are the most iconic hardcore legends in the wrestling world and they both had great chemistry together, both rivals and tag teams. This was a fantastic hardcore match where the object of the game was to put both members in the dumpster and close the lids to win the match. It was a crazy match that was totally fun. Both teams tried everything to put both opponents in the dumpster that they’ve included all sorts of non-wrestling objects as weapons and also included a ladder where Mick Foley and Billy Gunn both fell from the ladder to the dumpster. The brawl went so insane that they brought the fight backstage just to find another dumpster just to not only put New Age Outlaws in there, but seal the lids with a crater to win the Tag Team Championships, and deservedly so. The attitude era needed these two ECW stars to show what hardcore wrestling’s about and since then the attitude era continued this tradition that started in ECW.
Match Score: 5/5
Undertaker vs. Kane (with Paul Bearer) – The Undertaker was having a very easy Wrestlemania streak in his earlier years in his WWF career, until he finally faced guys like Diesel that was his size. Then he faced Sid for the WWF Championship in last year’s Wrestlemania, but the toughest opponent of all had to be his brother Kane. The on-and-off rivalry between these two brothers was incredibly dark and more well written. This was around the time where the WWF wanted the Attitude era to give the Undertaker to a much darker direction and what better way than to have his brother Kane to comeback for revenge for burning his parents alive as a child only having Kane as the only survivor. Kane was a hell of a scary wrestler, and back there was a mystic with both Taker and Kane, it was epic. Kane made an amazing debut by interfering Undertaker in the very first Hell in a Cell match, Taker tried to make peace with his brother, then got breathed again when he was put in the casket in the Casket Match in Royal Rumble 1998 to have the casket on fire. This was a very personal match between the two, so we were all looking forward to seeing this match. But right before the match, the infamous Pete Rose came in just to bash Boston. Then suddenly, Kane interrupted Rose’s cut and Tombstoned him on the live crowd. It was simply epic to witness a celebrity getting squashed like that on television and the Wreslemania tradition of having Pete Rose getting Tombstoned by Kane in the next Wrestlemania was gold, but they should have had more of it. But the match between Kane and Undertaker (though they both had better matches later in the 1998) it was outstanding. I never had seen the Undertaker this vulnerable which uprises Kane’s intimidation, his character, and mystic. For the first time ever, I thought that Kane was going to break Undertaker’s streak because at this time he was the closest to defeat Undertaker at Wrestlemania. There was a series of Tombstones, chokeslams, brawls, nearfalls, and hard hits that really look like it would hurt. I still will never forget that Undertaker took a suicide dive over the top rope and landed on the Spanish announcer’s table. Even though Undertaker defeated Kane in three tombstones, it was interesting to see Taker still getting hurt in the aftermath of the match showing that even though he won the battle the war is not over. The build up for this match went on since Bad Blood 1997, and after Wrestlemania 14, these two still kept fighting each other in the Inferno Match at Unforgiven, a Hell in a Cell matches in Monday Night Raw, and even getting involved with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WWF Championship. No doubt was this the second best rivalry of the WWF in 1998 (behind Austin vs. McMahon) and it continued to evolve both of those characters, even though it became inconsistent as they continue this trend over the years. Despite how inconstant Kane and Undertaker has became in the later years, this very match has got to be one of their best when they desperately hated each other like Cane and Able.
Match Score: 6/5
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (c) – WWF Championship – This was the match that set the standard of what the Attitude was all about. Shawn Michaels was infamous for being responsible for the Montreal Screwjob and he had no sympathy for what he has done to Bret Hart. The only man left that was worthy of facing The Heartbreak Kid at a Wrestlemania main event was the man who did not tap out when he face Bret Hart in last year’s wrestlemania; Stone Cold Steve Austin. Because Austin showed how much of a badass he was passing out in the sharpshooter and started to piss Vince McMahon in the later years, got his popularity rising up and this was the match that he needed to forever establish himself as the all time great! Austin set himself for trouble when he got the whole D-Generation-X, Vince McMahon, and even Mike Tyson to go against him, how’s able to win this match? The answer, do what Stone Cold does best. Shawn Michaels was also in some serious shit when he injured himself in that Casket Match against the Undertaker at Royal Rumble 1998 and it didn’t look like he was going to last very long in this match. Surprisingly enough, he managed to keep up with the match and did his best to keep Austin down. For a man with an injured back, Shawn was able to move just like he normally did. Austin was really rough on Michaels where he was brawling him away and the crowd was cheering with all their might for Austin to win. It was insane that Triple H and Chyna interfered in the match to save Shawn but was sent out of the ringside area to continue their one on one fight. Then there was that one instance where Austin Irish whipped Shawn to the corner but Shawn failed to to the backflip that he normally did just to hurt his back even more. At first it didn’t look like it was going to continue the match, similar to Stone Cold’s broken neck incident, but amazing Shawn got back up on his feet trying to get ready for his Sweat Chin Music. Just when he was about to apply that kick, Austin reversed it to go for a stunner, then Shawn reversed it to do that kick again, but Austin grabbed hold of his leg, taunted him, and did the Stunner. Then suddenly, Mike Tyson came in the ring and fast counted for Austin’s victory. Instantly, as that three count has hit, Jim Ross shouted “Austin! Austin! Austin! The Austin Era has begun!” and right he was. Shawn represent the New Generation Era and all of his prick-ish times that he has done to the wrestlers backstage was forever over because he had to retire for that broken back (which he did deserve for that Montreal Screwjob) and the times had to continue with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the face of the company. 1998 was the year of Austin and McMahon as their rivalry really brought back the audience to tune back into the WWF’s product. The best part of the whole match was the aftermath when Shawn got back to call betrayal to Mike Tyson only to get punched square in the face and lie flat on the floor. This was the right booking for the right winner and it was certainly one hell of a memorable Wrestlemania moment!
Match Score: 6/5
This has to go down as some of the best Wrestlemania of all time. There was not a single bad match in this card, but instead each of these matches represented aspects of the Attitude Era and what is to come for the WWF after this show. There are so many things that made the Attitude Era the most beloved time of Wrestling and it’s all thanks to this very Wrestling show. There was so much hype and build up leading to this show that blew everyone away, only to have the WWF to deliver even more stuff like this in their later years. New stars were being made, more memorable moments were created, and even more surprises that forever leaves us with an undying impression. In my humble opinion, this has got to be the best Wrestlemania during the Attitude Era because of the quality we were getting from this very show. Because of the main event, Stone Cold Steve Austin is some of the biggest names of the wrestling world and still to this day he continues make everyone excited which is what wrestling is seriously lacking today. There was not a single bad match on this show – it was really consistent with starting out with three 4 out of 5 matches, three 5 out of 5 matches, and two 6 out of 5 matches towards the end. This, and Wrestlemania X, are the only Wrestlemanias that has two 6 out of 5 matches in their card! That should tell you why this show is a must see for everyone, not just wrestling fans! The only negative about this show is that the main band singing this show, Chris Warren (the guy who made the theme song for D-Generation-X) and his band played horribly when they played “America” and everyone in the stadium booed them. If that’s the only thing that’s flawed that has nothing to do with any the matches should tell you how good this show really is! Nobody can ever take away the historical significance, the meaning of this show, and what it represents. It really represents that the WWF was trying to find a direction and finally nailed it and went full force for many years to come. Like Wrestlemania 3 that took wrestling to an entirely different stratosphere, Wrestlemania 14 was that moment in time that did it once again and helped the company to be later to be once again the king of professional wrestling again.