Tag Archives: DX

Top 10 Wrestlers of the Attitude Era (late 1990s/early 2000s)

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!

Number 10.  –  Ken Shamrock

UFC legend Ken Shamrock came to the WWE in 1997, debuting on Monday Night Raw in February of that year to referee a submission match between Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13. Afterward, he began to wrestle full-time, engaged in various feuds, won the 1998 King of the Ring tournament and captured the Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships. It’s not just his accomplishments that made him in the list, it was his ruthless attitude that’s aways entertaining to watch whenever he snaps and goes berserk. There really no wilder character than “The Most Dangerous Man in the World.” I really dug the Ken Shamrock character because he was the wildest babyface of all time! With a character like that, you would of’ve think that he gone far in his wrestling career. Unfortunately, that was not the case because the bookers didn’t really give him a whole lot of TV time, he was shoved in too many mid-card feuds, and we never really had an Austin vs. Ken Shamrock match, that would have been a chaotic fight!  After he left the WWE in 1999, Shamrock returned to MMA and UFC. He also made appearances in Ring of Honor, TNA and Juggalo Championship Wrestling. Today, he still has the occasional fight, with his last bout being in 2010. Would Ken Shamrock been a big wrestling star? He would have because nobody had the temper like he did and whenever he snaps, get ready for the ride of your life!

Number 9.  –  The Dudley Boys

 This the best Tag Team of this era. This is the only Tag Team that won the WWF Tag Team Championship, World Tag Team Championship, WCW Tag Team Championship, ECW Tag Team Championship, and TNA Tag Team Championship. The two “brothers” from Dudleyville are the most decorated tag team within recent years, having won 23 tag team championships within every organization they’ve been in. Anything that you want to see in Hardcore wrestling in the Tag Team division, the Dudley Boys always deliver! The Dudleys are the most famous wrestlers to make use of tables during their matches as part of their gimmick and being part of the historic double TLC matches for the WWF Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam 2001 and Wrestlemania X-7 against the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian. Let’s not forget that they’ve created the created Tag Team finishing maneuver called the Dudley Death Drop (3D) that still can’t be matched. The Dudley Boys are completely impulsive but we love them for being responsible for brining life back to the Tag Team division and no other tag team has lasted long together as these two!

Number 8.  –  The Undertaker

One of the best things of the Attitude era was that they took the dead man gimmick and update him to a much darker and more demonic direction before the gimmick became an outdated Halloween spook. It all made the tables turn when Undertaker faced Shawn Michaels in the first Hell in a Cell at Bad Blood ’97 and his brother Kane debuts and cost him his match. The back story of the Kane character is that Undertaker set his family house on fire as child leaving all of his family members to burn, except that Kane survived and wanted nothing more than revenge. Throughout 1998, Kane and Undertaker had a fierce rivalry together at Wrestlemania 14, having two Hell in a Cell matches, an Inferno match, and so many wars together that went on and off as brothers. It was the second biggest rivalry of the company in 1998 only right behind Austin vs. McMahon. Hell, he even threw Mankind off the Hell in a Cell twice and made history! Of course the darkest part of the Undertaker character was when he began his own faction called the Ministry of Darkness. In 1999, Undertaker was the biggest heel of the WWF and wanted to destroy McMahon and Austin. Part of the reason why I can’t put Undertaker higher on the list is because that Ministry of Darkness storyline went too far by having him to be in a weak Hell in a Cell match with Big Boss Man at Wrestlemania 15 and having Vince McMahon as the higher power of the Ministry of Darkness into the Corporate Ministry was bar-non-stupid. It pushed him into mid card status and became tag team champion with Big Show. And yet the worst part of all is…

…(sigh) his American Badass Biker gimmick. I’m not at all a fan of Biker Undertaker because all of the mystique of a deadly character made tremendous storytelling and as a biker, why keep the name “Undertaker” who buries his victims, not become a member of a Harley Davidson bike gang. It would take four years after this immediate change to bring back the “Dead Man” because I did no like this character trying to compete against Stone Cold Steve Austin’s badass character.

Number 7.  –  Chris Jericho

One of WCW’s most talented stars never made it outside of the mid-card zone, but when Y2J made it to the WWF, the bookers pushed him as far as they could. After Shawn Michaels retire, we never could imagine another wrestler could match up to his stature, but Jericho delivered everything that we’ve waited from WCW. Jericho just had the attitude, charisma, and flying-technical skills that made him one for the millions.  The moment when he made his WWF debut during the millennium countdown was some of the best debuts ever in company. Jericho didn’t disappoint his potential. He kept giving off some of the hardest hitting matches, craziest technicality, and cut the wildest promos. He was a despicable heel (reminiscing to Rowdy Roddy Piper) but was a lovable babyface. He knew how to control people’s emotions and almost every impact he delivers causes a huge reaction. I especially love it when he constantly mocks Stephanie McMahon making it a fierce rivalry between rebel and spoiled brat. Chris Jericho’s rebellious behavior and undying ego got his popularity rising to the top faster than any mid-carder in this era. And to even add more credibility to Chris Jericho’s resume, he was the first ever WWF Undesputed Champion (winning the WWF Championship and WCW World Heavyweight Championship) from The Rock and Austin. I can’t imagine a harder working wrestler than Chris Jericho. He started as the lion heart into Raw is Jericho that ran rampant throughout the years!

Number 6.  –  Kane

Kane, back when he used to have mystique, was some of the most fierce and feared competitors of the whole roster. At one point in time, he really was scarier than the Undertaker reminiscing to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When Kane wore his mask and hides his burned face, you know something terrible is going to happen. At one point in time (1997-2001) Kane was just an unstoppable monster that had only very little wrestlers could take down. Scariest part is that he’s the brother of the Undertaker (kayfabe). It’s the scariest backstory that any wrestler in the history of wrestling where the two brothers had a rough childhood, and Kane was horribly burnt in a fire. He had to wear a mask and a full bodysuit because of the scars that covered his body. No wrestler in their right mind would want to face him. At Wrestlemania 14 he was the very first opponent that was this close to end the Undertaker’s streak. Hell, he had an undying hatred for Undertaker that they would go far as to burning each other in an Inferno Match. He was the devil’s favorite demon, and capable of annihilating his opponents while showing no sign of remorse… and then they became tag team partners more times than not. Kane, even though he was incredibly mysterious and disturbing, had a lot of memorable moments such as teaming with X-Pac as a tag team and ended up in betrayal, taking Stone Cold’s WWF Championship (for a single day), and so many more. I would love to put Kane higher, but Kane today lost a lot of credibility since he took off his mask and did an awful miscarriage storyline with Lita, Matt Hardy, and Gene Snitsky. It’s because we really miss the mystery of Kane so much that it made going back to attitude era so worth it all.

Number 5.  –  Kurt Angle

It’s not every day that we get an athlete from different sport enter the wrestling world and make it his new profession. After winning a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics — with a broken neck, no less — celebrated amateur wrestler Kurt Angle would find his way to WWE in late 1999. Clad all in red, white and blue, Angle attributed his success to his “Three I’s” (intensity, integrity and intelligence), all the while lambasting members of the WWF who did not live by his example. Remember, this was the era where wrestling is filled with so many tough guys and hardcore wrestlers willing to bash anyone’s heads, and then Kurt Angle came along and made himself an idiotic character who thinks America still wants their hero to be patriotic, standards, and believe in the American dream. He’s one of the most lovable wrestling characters I’ve ever seen in wrestling where it just made himself look gullible and laughable. Angle was frequently responsible for some of the most humorous moments of the era, including his association with Edge & Christian (as a member of “Team ECK”), strumming the ol’ guitar with Austin, getting annoyed when the crowd chants “What?,” and his Texas Rattlesnake–esque milk truck assault on The Alliance in 2001. But as much as you like to laugh at his character, remember we’re dealing with an olympic gold medalist here. Kurt Angle reintroduced the technicality that once was lost in the WWF since they departed their ways from the New Generation Era. Even though Kurt Angle stole the moves from the likes of Ken Shamrock, he delivered physical moves that no other wrestler in the roster was doing; suplexes, german suplex, choke holds, dynamic slams, and so many more that categorize to the technical side of wrestling. Because he was so damn talented it pushed him a lot faster than any other wrestler at the time winning the Intercontinental Championship & European Championship (as EuroContinental Champion), King of the Ring, and even the WWF Championship within just a year since his wrestling debut. Not that many rookie was went as far as Kurt did and he still stands as one of the top stars in the wrestling world. There is no individual that deserved as much as he did and still to this day he put a good name in professional wrestling.

Number 4.  –  D-Generation-X

I simply couldn’t choose just one of these wrestlers in this faction to be in the list so I decided to just place all of the members into one list… except for Shawn Michaels. A lot of people considers D-Generation X as rip-offs of the WCW’s New World World, but what DX has over NWO is the right amount of members that all are stars in their own right. In a matter of fact, each of these members were big stars instead of being overshadowed by rank. Admittedly, this faction started just to save Shawn Michael’s ass from losing since the Kliq were no longer around. But after Shawn Michaels retired after Wrestlemania 14, Triple H was left bringing back X-Pac from WCW and made the New Age Outlaws a big deal. Meanwhile, Chyna became a bigger star instead of just being Hunter’s bodyguard and made history of becoming the first Woman to be Intercontinental Champion. DX ever some of the best parts of watch Monday Night Raw because of their over the top segments and shoots that were perverted, surprising, and extreme. In a matter of fact, let’s take a look at each of the members.

Triple H – No longer was he that stupid Hunter Hearsh Helmsley high clansman character, he was a top notch badass who done a better job as leader than Shawn Michaels ever did. What became a faction for Shawn’s ego turned into an iconic stable of Attitude where he lead and kept the groups strong and united. Being the master genius that he always is, he not only made DX popular in the ring, but also outside of the ring as well! Who can ever forget their trip to New York City, Invading WCW, and shouting “Leeets Get Ready To Suck It!” It’s crazy that he wasn’t just living in the times, the times was living with him. He made this sexual revolution a reality by starting small when Shawn Michaels left into a pop culture phenomenon and there’s a reason why he’s the CEO of the WWE today!

Chyna – The 9th Wonder of the World isn’t just a nickname, it’s a reputation earn by the hardest working woman in the wrestling world. She did what no other woman wrestler accomplished since and after. First woman ever to win Intercontinental Champion twice, enter the Royal Rumble, and wrestle so many men and beating them. She was extremely reminiscent to Xena and once she broke out that persona of just being Triple H’s bodyguard and lover, she became an unstoppable force. Not only that, she made muscular women accepted to the public where she can be jacked-up while looking sexual at the same time. It’s definitely hard for male wrestlers and audiences alike to not focus on the garments that she wore, but it was part of her feminine dominance that ran full force in her wrestling career. It’s funny that she’s still continues the D-Generation X ways today by becoming a pornstar… If you ain’t down with that! We got two words for ya! SUCK IT!!!

X-Pac – If there’s any member of D-Generation X that was not only as loyal, but the spirit of this entity, it has to be X-Pac. This character change was so much better than his 123 Kid gimmick and his Syxx character in the NWO. Even when DX broke up in Wrestlemania 15, he still continues the cross chops and kept the intro music with New Age Outlaws and Kane. Even today, since he hasn’t came back to the WWE roster, he still carries the essence of DX and I never seen anyone that is reluctant to the changes in the wrestling world today like Shawn Waltman. He does more cross chops, shouts “Suck It”, and even X-Factor & Bronco Buster his opponents more than anyone in the faction and without him, DX would have faded away and never have a reunion.

New Age Outlaws – These are are arguably the best tag team in the WWF and are suitable for this team than anyone else in the roster. As stated, D-Generation X made the mid-card a special attraction in the Attitude Era and these guys are responsible for it. Their “oh you didn’t know?” catchphrase popped crowds across the country, and fans chanted along with the pre-match spiel of “Road Dogg” Jesse James each and every night. 

D-Generation-X was the sexual revolution of professional wrestling doing that iconic DX-chop and broken so many rules that television refuses to air.  Even when Triple H disbanded the faction at Wrestlemania 15, X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn continued the DX tradition; keeping fans aware that the faction’s popularity is still alive and well. And we finally got D-Generation-X back when Triple H married Stephanie McMahon and begun the McMahon-Hemsley Era (just without Chyna around). D-Generation-X was the biggest thing in Attitude Era, and it wouldn’t’ the same without them.  They’ve made mid-card and main events special whenever they’re involved in these shows. If you ain’t down with that we got two words for ya! SUCK IT!!!

Number 3.  –  Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon 

I just can’t separate these two because they were really made for each other than any other rivalry in wrestling history. These two are responsible for bringing back the WWF from being defeated by WCW in the Monday Night Wars by simply putting the most intense rivalry ever seen in television. Ever since Vince McMahon screwed Bret in the Montreal Screwjob, the whole world knew how big his ego is. It was genius for him to face the consequences and exploit that ego to create controversy. And for an individual that could push that ego into full force was the new face of the WWF, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin did what Bret Hart should have done, and that’s break every rules that McMahon created and Austin not only did that, but he made it extremely personal. Stone Cold is the polar opposite of Vince where he swears, fights dirty, and drinks constantly making Vince lose all of his temper to wage war on Stone Cold since he was incapable of putting him caged up from being so reckless. Austin always foiled Vince’s plans and rarely does Vince reign supreme. They are the most important feud in WWF history because it was everything we hate about our bosses and have Stone Cold to represent the common man who stands up against the higher ranks. These two have so many damn memorable moments that it’s worth going back to watching them grind each other’s gears from 1997 all the way to 2000. Austin’s rebellious behavior is what made the Crash TV movement so popular, not just WWF. And night after night after night Vince would just love to piss off fans and Austin comes back to get even. Sometimes a feud is not just about the matches they have, but the segments and events that they’ve done together. The chemistry between the two is the ultimate measuring stick of what makes a wrestling feud great. Sure you can place Austin as his own spot on the list as the greatest of all time, but all of his other feuds didn’t make him an all time great, his hatred and battles with Vince McMahon did! That’s why they’ both made it in the list together. For two consecutive years these two were recognized as the best rivalry of the professional wrestling world and still to this day we get a chance to see Austin to continue to ruin Vince’s life. People still pay money to see it and it never get old! No other rivalry can ever say the same thing.

Number 2.  –  Mankind

I’m so much of a Mankind fan that I just went crazy for this character. It was genius to make what once an extremely dark character into a gullible hardcore nut that had so much brain damage. Wether if you like Mankind, Dude Love, or Cactus Jack, Mick Foley brought ECW hardcore wrestling style to the New Generation Era that lowly evolved into Attitude. He became a huge attraction of the WWF when he took the hardest bumps and faced the most violent matches. Without him, this Crash TV image that the Attitude Era needed wouldn’t’ get so many audiences tune in and bring out their vicarious behavior. Part of what made Attitude work is that it showed that anyone can be a star and Mankind accomplished that dream. The reason why I put Mankind over all of Mick Foley’s characters is because the Mankind persona was iconic, gullible, and lovable all at once. We all feel sorry for Mankind who had a heart of gold to damage his body but we love him for doing it for our own entertainment. Who can ever forget all the times he knocked people out with Mr. Socko, being the first ever Hardcore Champion, tossed off the Hell in a Cell with Undertaker twice, Rock This is Your Life (highest rated episode of Raw), and taking more high risk moves and crash landed harder than any one else in the ring? He was the happy-go getter of a roster filled with badasses. He was the most different of all the wrestlers, appearing like a human Crash Test Dummy! Sure Austin vs. McMahon got people tuning into the product and Austin started the Attitude Era in King of the Ring 1996, but the night that Mankind won the WWF Championship was when WWF started beating WCW in the ratings! Without that historic episode of Raw is War, who knows how would WWF beat WCW in the Monday Night Wars. And yet, he didn’t even stop the gaining ratings when he did the Rock This Is Your Life segment that still stands as the highest rated episode of Raw history! Not even Stone Cold Steve Austin drew as much money as Foley did! Mankind  is one of the most important figures of the whole WWE product and WCW would probably destroy WWF without his involvement of the company. We sympathized, we laughed, we were in awe, and we amazed with almost everything Mick Foley succeeded and it’s a darn shame people forgot about that. Nobody has ever took as many stunts and bumps as Mankind and for that we honor Foley as God for never giving up after all the beatings that he has received for the WWE!

Number 1.  –  The Rock

There was no doubt in my mind that The Rock had to be number 1 on this list. Sure a lot of fans would have argued that Stone Cold Steve Austin is a better wrestler, but Steve Austin wasn’t the best of his time. There were too many big fishes in the pond and The Rock did a lot more for the Attitude Era as whole than Austin ever did. Austin’s whole purpose was to fight Vince and he went absent in mid 1999 leaving the Rock to carry the company. And The Rock not only had the Attitude era right behind him, but also became the biggest star that the WWE has ever had. The Rock started out as an outdated smiling babyface that was behind the times, became a member of the hated Nation of Domination, became the corporate champion when he won The Survivor Series 1998 tournament, teamed up with Mankind as Rock n’ Sock Connection, and broke free as the greatest single wrestler since Hulk Hogan. You simply can’t argue with all of the iconic aspects of the Rock’s character like him raising his eye brows, raising his right fist in the air as he stand on the mid rope, mocking his opponents, and shouting “If You Smell What The Rock… Is Cookin’!” That is single handedly the best catch phrase in all of wrestling and none after it could even come close. And whenever he cuts promos, he makes it like he’s the resurrection of Muhammad Ali. He’s not all talk, he’s also brutal in the ring. The Rock had some of the best move sets as well like his iconic Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow that still continues to raise people off their seats and yell for Rocky! The way The Rock moves is incredibly where he keeps jumping back to his feet and sometimes when he gives someone a pump, he poses out with reaction.  While a lot of the characters in the Attitude Era look like trash hardcore wrestlers, The Rock dressed with class while still with the crash tv times. Everything that the Rock does is purely entertaining and very little wrestlers out there could ever match up to him. Even though Vince McMahon brought the best out of Stone Cold, The Rock brought the best out of everybody else and still managed to beat many of them. The Rock also has a talent for everything that can keep everyone interested no matter what, that’s why he’s a big Hollywood movie star today. Not only that, but almost everything he does creates as significance to the WWF product. If you disagree, how about the term Smackdown he used a lot that became a word in the webster’s dictionary and a secondary weekly show to compete against WCW’s Thunder? Almost everything that the Rock did is memorable and it’s the reason why he’s so famous around the world. If anything The Rock deserves all the credibility given to him and he deserves nothing more than to be the best wrestler of the attitude era and possibly the best WWE wrestler of all time!

Related Articles
Advertisements

Wrestlemania 14 Review

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.

The Top Lister’s Score for Wrestlemania 14:

                    6/5

Related Articles