The tenth WrestleMania saw Vince McMahon bring back the granddaddy of them all back “home” to New York City’s Madison Square Garden, which was the site of the first WrestleMania.
A lot of things had changed in the company over the course of ten years and this was the first Mania that would take place without Hulk Hogan as part of the show.
This event presented an interesting scenario that saw two World Title matches on the show. Due to Bret Hart and Lex Luger tying as the winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble, each man would be given a World Title match at WrestleMania. They did a coin toss won by Lex Luger, so he got the first title shot at Yokozuna. Whoever won that match would face Bret Hart in the main event of the show. Meanwhile, Bret had to face his younger brother Owen who had turned on Bret at the Royal Rumble. The reason they did that was because whoever won Lex/Yoko had to wrestle twice, so it was only fair for Bret to wrestle twice as well.
The other big story surrounded the Intercontinental Title. Shawn Michaels was the champion, but due to a contract dispute he was stripped of the title. Razor Ramon won the newly vacated title. Then Shawn came back, so they had two Intercontinental Titles. How would they settle it? In a ladder match where both titles would hang above the ring and the first man to pull them down would be the IC champ.
There was no Undertaker on this show due to injury. At the Royal Rumble, he lost to Yokozuna in a Casket Match due to the interference of 48 guys (okay so maybe it was less than that) and he didn’t come back until Summerslam 1994 to face the fake Undertaker. Both of those matches were truly awful. It was not a great year for Undertaker. He’d be back, of course.
I’ve seen the two great matches on this card many times over the years. I doubt I’m alone in saying that. Wrestling fans know how great they are.
WWE WrestleMania X
March 20, 1994
From Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
The video package to open the show highlighted the first WrestleMania from 1985 to give it a nostalgic feel, but then we saw images of Bret Hart, Lex Luger & Yokozuna before giving way to the generic WrestleMania music. At least they improved the intro a bit.
We got a nice arena shot of Madison Square Garden with the crowd erupting. In the ring, Vince McMahon welcomed us to WrestleMania 10. Vince introduced Little Richard to sing America the Beautiful. Take that, Johnny B Badd.
The announce team for the event was Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler, who was making his WrestleMania debut. He put over Yokozuna because he was in full heel mode here. Heel Lawler as an announcer was awesome. This was Vince’s first WrestleMania as the main play-by-play guy. He was a part of the team at WrestleMania 2, but that’s when they had three commentary teams on one show. Also, keep in mind that Vince wasn’t acknowledged as being the owner when he was announcing.
They showed clips to set up the Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart match. The video from Survivor Series 1993 focused in on Owen being the only member of his Hart Brothers team being eliminated. He was mad at Bret for it because he accidentally ran into him when he ran the ropes, which caused Owen to get pinned. Owen challenged Bret to match after that. Bret refused, saying he didn’t want to fight his brother. Later, they tried to get back together at Royal Rumble 1994 in a tag title match against the Quebecers. Bret had a knee injury, so the team lost and Owen attacked him after it while giving the awesome selfish speech towards Bret and the infamous “kicked your leg out of your leg” line. We got another promo from Owen saying that just because Bret was older didn’t make him better. I loved both guys, but I was rooting on Owen because I was a younger brother too. I wanted to see him win even though I didn’t think he would because Bret was already a top guy.
A fireworks display that included about five fireworks started us off. Way to go all out, Vince. Ring announcer Bill Dunn welcomed us to the first match. No Howard Finkel to start, but he was there. When he said “from Calgary, Alberta, Canada” the crowd was all excited. Instead of Bret, it was Owen. Owen ripped up some cheap Hitman shades. Bret’s music didn’t have the guitar riff at the beginning yet, but it was still a good song. His pop here was noticeably bigger than it was a year earlier in the main event in Las Vegas because he was a more established top guy at this point. Plus, the New York crowd was awesome.
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
They did a lot of posturing early with Owen celebrating every little thing he did while Bret was stoic in his approach. Owen gave him a waist lock, so Bret used his leverage to send Owen to the floor. Owen came back with a slap to the face. Owen grabbed a handful of hair to pull Bret to the mat following a wrist lock. Bret got a roll-up for two. Bret put him in a wristlock, Owen elbowed out, but Bret came back with a monkey flip and a clothesline that sent Owen to the floor. Bret threw Owen back in telling him to fight if that’s what he wanted. The intensity was awesome here. Owen shoved him, so Bret slapped him and covered for a two count. After another fast-paced sequence ended by Bret getting a crucifix pin for two. Owen came back with an awesome spinning heel kick that Vince called by saying “oh no right in the kisser!” Vince sucked at calling moves. Owen stomped on him so Bret rolled to the floor. Owen rammed him back first into the steel post. After a hard whip into the corner, Owen gave him a backbreaker followed by a Camel Clutch although it wasn’t applied that well. Bret fought out of it, but Owen came back with an awesome belly to belly suplex for two. Owen hit a crossbody although he couldn’t cover because Bret rolled through to cover him for two. Owen grabbed him in a chinlock. None of the submissions were long or drawn out like some matches where they slow the match down. In this case, they were done in a smart manner as a way to transition to the next sequence of moves. Owen went for a bodyslam, but Bret fell on top for a two count.
After Bret went to the floor momentarily, Owen hit him with a perfect bridging German Suplex for two. Owen went for a suplex. Bret countered it with an inside cradle for two. Another awesome sequence of moves saw Owen catch Bret and he gave him a tombstone piledriver. He dropped to his knees in this instance, unlike the Summerslam 1997 match against Steve Austin where he dropped to his butt and injured Austin. It was safer to do the move on your knees. Owen went to the top, went for a headbutt and Bret moved as both guys were down while ref Earl Hebner counted them down. Bret hit an atomic drop followed by a clothesline for two. Russian legsweep gets two for Bret. Backbreaker for Bret followed by his elbow off the second rope. Those were the patented moves of Bret Hart. He thought that was it, but the pinfall only got him two. Bret hit him with an enziguiri. Each guy went for a Sharpshooter. Neither one worked. The idea was they knew how to get out of the hold. Owen got another nearfall. Bret kicked him out of the ring and he followed up with a pescado to the floor, which is when you use the ropes to propel yourself over the top into a crossbody. Bret grabbed his knee in pain. It was the same knee that Bret had hurt at the Royal Rumble, so it was great storytelling to have the injury return. Owen focused on the knee. He rammed it into the ring post multiple times. Owen continued to work on the knee, hitting a nice dragon screw leg whip and then he talked trash while Bret was screaming in pain. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Bret” in support of their hero. Owen slapped on the Figure Four Leglock. He had his arms raised in the air while he did it too. I loved all the heel mannerisms Owen did where he would celebrate every little thing. Bret was able to get to the ropes. Owen kicked away at the knee, but Bret came back with an enziguiri of his own. The crowd loved that. Vince didn’t call many of the moves. He just said “what a matchup” every once in a while. Bret whipped Owen in and Owen did the Bret-like sternum first bump into the corner that led to a two count for Bret. Bulldog for the Hitman for two. Piledriver for Bret gets two. This was an awesome comeback sequence. It made the match even again. Bret put Owen on the top rope and gave him a superplex, which was a very big spot in these days. That got another nearfall. I should have counted the nearfalls here like I did for Savage/Steamboat because there have been a lot. Bret grabbed a sleeper, Owen made it to the ropes, the ref tried to break it up and while he was looking up, Owen hit his brother with a low blow using his right foot in a backward kicking motion. Awesome spot! Sharpshooter for Owen! Bret powered out and he put the Sharpshooter on Owen, but Owen was able to get to the ropes quickly. Bret whipped Owen into the corner, Bret booted him in the face and jumped on Owen’s shoulders. Bret went for a victory roll, but Owen dropped down, covered, put his hands on the mat and the ref counted the one…two…three! Owen wins at 20:21!
Winner by pinfall: Owen Hart
Analysis: ***** Five stars out of five. This was the defining match for me as a smart fan. I wasn’t even 14 yet, but I had an older cousin that smartened me up to the business. I started to pay more attention to the spots in the match, the timing of the moves, the pacing and the chemistry of the combatants. It’s what we call workrate. I thought for sure Bret was going to win. Owen was still a midcarder who hadn’t even cracked the IC title level yet while Bret had already main evented the previous WrestleMania and been a World Champion. What we got was a 20-minute technical wrestling clinic that was contested mostly in the ring (there were a couple of out-of-ring moments) providing us with a match that will live on forever as a classic. My favorite part was the finish when Owen countered Bret for the win. I was so happy for Owen. I’m a younger brother. My older brother and I fought quite a bit as a lot of kids do. It felt like Owen’s victory was a victory for me too, as cheesy as that sounds. It’s like rooting for an underdog sports team that comes through in the biggest game of their life. That’s what this was because Owen won the biggest match of his life. I’ll never get tired of watching this match. The best opening match in WrestleMania history.
More Analysis: It’s a technical wrestling masterpiece. They barely left the ring. When they did it was only to do a few spots, but they went right back in the ring and fought it out to see who the better man was. In the end, Owen won with a counter move as he outsmarted his older brother. Perfect way to end the match because it put over how clever Owen was and it didn’t hurt Bret much at all. Owen was incredible as the heel in the match. He nailed all the heel mannerisms perfectly. I’ll never forget the visual of Owen after the match when he staggered back to his feet and held up three fingers to the ref as if to ask: “Did I do it?” He was in shock. We were in shock. Looking back at it now, that’s a great sell by Owen to put over how much of a surprise the win was even to him. What’s really cool about it is this was their first match together. A lot of times when guys work at a WrestleMania, they might have matches at live events to get used to eachother first. Not Owen and Bret. This was the first match they had and it was in MSG at WrestleMania. The booking was brilliant. A clean win for Owen was the perfect way to do it. I’m sure that WWE may have contemplated having Bret go over and then Owen attack him after the match. That would have been fine, but this was better because the win meant so much to Owen’s career.
In August of 2014, I had the pleasure of having Bret Hart on my TJRWrestling Radio show and specifically asked him about the match with Owen because it is one of my favorites. Here’s a summary of what he said:
“We had one match put together before we got to The Garden. I remember it was the Thursday or Friday before we left for WrestleMania I called him up and we went through the match at my dad’s house. The match we were going to present was going to be a classic match with Owen as a bit of a babyface. The more I thought about it the more I realized the consequence of the mistake of being wrong. There was a strong possibility that Owen was going to become the babyface in the match and we changed it so I told Owen he had to be the heel for sure. I told him: ‘You need to do everything you can to be the villain and you cannot mess this up for yourself. If you turn babyface that’s not what they want they want to do with you. You’ve got to get over as a heel.’”
“At the end of the night when I’m in the ring being paraded around by the faces and Owen was staring at me you could see his look on his face and if you really read closer into his eyes you could see how happy he was. He was so over as a heel and so proud of his life. It was the biggest night of his life at that time. It was a big thing for me to see that he succeeded that night.”
Lawler put it best after the match ended: “The world is in shock right now!” He was right. This was a huge upset. Owen celebrated by trash-talking right in Bret’s face. It’s a shame nobody told Owen that he had a gob of spit on the side of his mouth because it would have made his shining moment that much better. Post match, Bret was frustrated about the loss and was still selling the knee injury because nobody sold injuries better than Bret.
Backstage, Todd Pettengill talked to Owen. “I’m feeling great. I’m up on cloud nine. Bret Hart, brother, I said it all along. Now I am the best there is, the best there was and I am gonna be the best there ever will be brother. I beat you tonight…Madison Square Garden. I said it all along, Bret. And now…now maybe I’ll start getting the recognition I deserve because I’m a better man than you Hitman! Here at WrestleMania, I beat you and this is a great moment for me, Bret.” Todd asked Owen if he thought Bret could come back later on to win the World Title. Owen said he didn’t think he could because of the beating he just gave Bret.
Analysis: A fun promo although like I said I wish somebody told him about the spit on the side of his mouth. Owen would go on to win King of the Ring and main event Summerslam after this. It was the best year of his career.
They showed a video of WrestleMania 2. It was short. That’s for the best. It was not a very good show.
The president of the Hair Club for Men was introduced. He turned his back to the hard camera. Oops. He introduced us to his latest creation, Howard Finkel. The Fink had hair. It looked hilarious.
Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon vs. Doink & Dink
Bigelow & Luna were the heels while Doink was a babyface. Dink? He was a little person. Bigelow jumped Doink early, knocking him down with shoulderblocks and then Bigelow hit a nice dropkick. Doink took control with a hard whip into the corner. Doink tagged in Dink, which meant Luna had to tag in. He slapped her in the ass for some comedy spots. Men on women violence isn’t okay, but little person on woman is okay. Dink ran around in a circle so Luna kicked her in the stomach. Good for her. Dink to the top rope and he missed everything. She gave him a body slam and she missed a splash from the top as Doink & Bam Bam tagged in. Bigelow clotheslined Doink over the top to the floor. Doink went for a sunset flip, but Bigelow blocked it by sitting on him. He’s fat, so it was an effective move. Doink came back with an impressive leaping DDT. Wow, that was pretty awesome. Doink went to the top for the Whoopie Cushion, but Bigelow moved. Vince: “What a matchup.” That’s what he said for the first match, which was great. Not so much here, Vince. Bigelow ran the ropes and accidentally knocked Dink over. Doink went for a back suplex, but Bigelow was too fat so he fell on top of him for two. Bigelow hit the top rope headbutt for the pinfall win at 6:09.
Winners by pinfall: Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon
Analysis: *1/2 It was an okay match that would have been better if it was just Bam Bam vs. Doink. They had some good chemistry. The Luna and Dink spots weren’t that bad, though.
Post match, the heels worked on Dink. Bam Bam missed a splash, but Luna didn’t miss Dink. I think Vince enjoyed saying “Dink” too much. Doink got back and everybody left. That was an odd post match attack. Somebody messed up there.
Immediately after the match, a Bill Clinton imposter was shown in the crowd. Irwin R. Schyster was sitting behind him while WWF President Jack Tunney was sitting beside him.
They had a quick clip of WrestleMania 3, showing the Andre/Hogan faceoff. The clips were only about 30 seconds long as Gorilla Monsoon talked over them.
The next match was a Falls Count Anywhere match. Randy Savage entered to a very loud pop. Well deserved. He was the biggest legend in the company at the time, so the MSG crowd showed him a lot of respect. The rules for the match were that you had to pin your opponent and then your opponent had 60 seconds to get back into the ring.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy Savage vs. Crush
Savage attacked Crush early, but Crush overpowered him as he hit a backbreaker. Crush gave him a gorilla press that ended with Savage’s neck going across the top of the guard rail. Crush pinned him there. Finkel announced him as the winner of the fall while Savage had 60 seconds to get back into the ring. With Savage close to getting back in, Fuji hit Savage in the back with the Japanese flag. Savage made it back in with two seconds left. Crush continued to overpower him, hanging him upside down in the corner. Fuji handed Crush some “Fuji Dust” that the ref missed and then Savage shoved the dust into Crush’s face. Savage hit the double axhandle. He gave him a body slam and went to the top rope for the Flying Elbow. Savage shoved him out to the floor where he covered him for the pinfall. Crush had 60 seconds to get back into the ring. With 20 seconds left, Fuji dumped water on Crush’s face and he made it back in with two seconds left. Back in, Savage charged at Crush and Crush gave him a back body drop to the floor. Huge bump by Savage there. Randy was 42 at this time. Savage hit a clothesline that knocked Crush over the railing. Crush came back with a side kick while Savage countered a piledriver with a back drop. Savage rammed him into doors in the backstage area. He covered him for three. They had some apparatus backstage with some rope wire. Savage tied him up by his feet, so Crush couldn’t walk. Savage made it back to the ring. Crush did not. Savage won at 9:49.
Winner: Randy Savage
Analysis: **1/4 On paper, it sounded like a good idea for a match. In execution, the concept was flawed a bit. They worked hard though. The crowd loved Savage and I liked the finish because it was unique. Randy would never wrestle at a WrestleMania again after competing at 8 of the first 10 WrestleManias.
In the crowd, Todd Pettengill talked to impostor Bill Clinton. He said he’d work things out with IRS. The crowd reacted more to IRS speaking than it did for fake Clinton. Irwin congratulated Clinton for raising taxes.
We got clips of the fanfest from the weekend. Then they showed Savage celebrating with the fans.
They had clips of WrestleMania 4 and the story of Randy Savage winning his first World Title.
Women’s Title: Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai
Blayze was the babyface champion. She was also known as Madusa in WCW although this is pre boob job for her. You’re lucky you have me to notice these things. She was a very good women’s wrestler. Kai was good too, but she was 44 at this point and not as good as she was in her prime. This was the company’s attempt to restart the women’s division. Nice mullet hair for referee Mike Chioda, who is still around. Blayze got some athletic pinfall attempts by using her speed. The crowd wasn’t into it that much. Kai got a bodyslam for two. Blayze hit an awesome hurricanrana for two. That was pretty sweet. Kai put her done with some hair whips. Nice gutwrench suplex for Kai. Blayze came back with a clothesline and a spinning back kick to the face. Suplex got two for Blayze. Lawler liked calling Blayze ugly. Blayze hit a bridging German Suplex to win the match at 3:20.
Winner by pinfall: Alundra Blayze
Analysis: * A basic match to put the focus on Blayze as the champion of the women’s division. She hit some impressive moves.
They showed the clips of WrestleMania 5, which focused on the Piper/Downey segment that was painful because of how long it went.
Vince: “Somebody’s going to rock the house, I can tell you that.” That’s his way of telling us that Men on a Mission were in the building. They walked to the ring with Oscar singing a rap while Mo & Mabel were the wrestlers. Mabel was later known as Viscera. He was a giant man. The crowd loved them while Vince acted like he was hip.
Backstage, Pettengill talked to actress Ronda “Cleavage” Shear who starred on “Up All Night” on USA Network. I added her nickname because that’s all I enjoyed about her. Shawn Michaels hit on her. Then Burt Reynolds showed up, so she fawned all over him.
Tag Team Titles: The Quebecers (Jacques & Pierre) vs. Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo)
Quebecers consisted of Jacques Rougeau aka The Mountie and Pierre while Polo is best known as Raven. The Quebecers attacked early, but Mabel knocked them both down with a double clothesline. Mabel hit a leg drop to the back of the head of Pierre. The champs were able to dominate Mo without the ref seeing it. Mo and Mabel had “Whoomp There It is” on their outfits. It was a saying in those days. The 90s were fun, kids. Jacques gave Pierre a backdrop so that he landed on Mo. Then Jacques gave him a backdrop over the top rope which saw Pierre land on Mo on the floor. Double stun gun by the champs got two. The crowd didn’t care too much about this although they did pop for Mabel. Mo hit a flying senton and a tag, but the ref didn’t see it so the heels tried to double team. Pierre missed a leg drop off the top while Mo tagged in Mabel, who dominated both guys. Nice side slam to Jacques followed by a charge in the corner that Pierre avoided. After failing the first time, the Quebecers hit a double suplex on Mabel while Polo celebrated. Raven looks funny when he’s sober. Mabel kicked out of a tag team move. Pierre accidentally hit Jacques in teh head. Mabel came back with a spin kick. Wow, that was impressive. Mabel looked so tired. The ref was distracted during a pinfall attempt by MOM. Mo used Mabel to crush Pierre on the floor. Polo pulled Jacques out of the ring. Ref counted the champs out. Men on a Mission won by countout at 7:14 although The Quebecers were still the tag champs.
Winners: Men on a Mission by countout
Analysis: *1/4 Bad match. The crowd didn’t care for most of it. I don’t blame them. They did wake up after Mabel got the hot tag, but the finish was awful. The timing seemed off there too.
The WrestleMania 6 clip focused on the Hogan/Warrior match.
They brought out some celebrities like Ronda Shear as the guest timekeeper and Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids of the Block as the ring announcer. He brought out the guest referee for the match, Mr. Perfect. Perfect was cheered here. The champion Yokozuna entered along with Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji at a weight of 568 pounds apparently. Vince was yelling for Luger, who was sporting the USA tights. The Lex Express gimmick didn’t really work in the summer of 1993, but they sure tried hard. He got fireworks during his entrance.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: Yokozuna w/Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette vs. Lex Luger
Luger started off with a clothesline, but Yoko hit him with a clothesline of his own and Lex went down hard. Lex recovered to knock Yoko out of the ring with a punch. He rammed Yoko’s head into the steel steps two times. Back in the ring, Luger hit a crossbody off the top that got him two. Lex tried to bodyslam him, which was a big deal in the summer of 1993, but Yoko fell on top this time. Yoko took a turnbuckle pad off. Yoko put on the trapezius hold. Nice “Lex Loser” sign in the crowd. Not a lot of signs at this show. Luger was in the hold for over two minutes. It felt like ten minutes. Boring. Luger fought out of it, but Yoko put him down again with a knee to the stomach. Back to the trapezius hold. Another two minutes of that. Yoko threw him out of the ring. Lex stumbled into the guard rail. I guess that’s where he wanted Yoko to throw him. For a third time, Yoko puts him in the same hold, grabbing Luger’s shoulder. Way too much of this move. Luger got up with punches, but Yoko knocked him back down and went back to the same hold where he grabbed Luger’s shoulder. More than half the match at this point had been Yoko holding onto that hold. Lex fought out of it, ran the ropes and Yoko dropped him with a belly to belly suplex. Luger blocked a head smash into the exposed turnbuckle and Lex threw him into the exposed steel. Luger hit a clothesline followed by another one. Luger hit a body slam as the crowd woke up. Luger hit the flying forearm to the head with the idea that there was metal in his arm so it was lethal. Cornette and Fuji jumped on the apron. Luger knocked them down. Perfect tried to get Cornette and Fuji out of the ring. Lex covered. Perfect didn’t count. Luger shoved him. Perfect called for the bell, disqualifying Lex Luger at 14:40.
Winner via DQ: Yokozuna
Analysis: 1/2* That was a difficult match to watch. You could tell Yoko wanted to take it easy because he was working twice in one night and that wasn’t going to be easy for a guy his size. The only good part was the last two minutes when Lex made his comeback, but it wasn’t enough to save this terrible match. These two never had good matches together.
The crowd was chanting “bullshit” after the match. That result meant that it would be Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart in the main event later in the show. Post match, Pettengill talked to Perfect. He said Luger shouldn’t be touching an official. Luger showed up asking him for an explanation. Perfect said Luger threw the managers into the ring and touched Perfect. A bunch of officials broke it up as they continued to argue. I noticed a young Tony Chimel back there.
The clip of WrestleMania 7 focused on the Roberts/Martel Blindfold Match. Yawn. Should have been about Savage reuniting with Elizabeth.
Prior to the next match, manager Harvey Wippleman ripped on ring announcer Howard Finkel. Fink shoved Wippleman down. Adam Bomb ran down to the ring. Earthquake showed up.
Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb
Earthquake was the face here. Quake hit a belly to belly suplex followed by a power slam. He hit the big splash for the win at 0:32.
Winner by pinfall: Earthquake
Analysis: NR Thanks for making it so short.
In the locker room, Jim Cornette spoke for Yokozuna. He thought Perfect did a wonderful job of refereeing, pointing out that the refs were agreed to by both guys. Cornette cut a great promo about how Bret had to come back after losing to his own brother and from a painful knee injury. The camera focused in on Yokozuna’s face as he stared into it with a lot of intensity. Yoko looked winded just standing there.
The WrestleMania 8 clip focused on the Undertaker. I guess they didn’t want to put over Ultimate Warrior’s return huh?
This wasn’t technically the first ladder match in WWF history (Shawn and Bret had one at a TV taping released for home video), but it was the first one that would be seen by a worldwide audience at a show like WrestleMania. Michaels walked out with his bodyguard Diesel, who you might know as Kevin Nash. Michaels theme song lasted nearly 20 years. That’s impressive. I loved Razor Ramon’s theme music. Shawn walked around the ladder while Razor walked under it, not fearing the jinx of walking under a ladder.
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon
Michaels got a thumb to the eye and Razor came back with a chokeslam variation. Michaels hit a neckbreaker. Razor hit a shoulder block and then Michaels dumped him out to the floor where Diesel decked him with a clothesline. After seeing that, referee Earl Hebner ejected Diesel from ringside to the delight of the crowd. Razor whipped Michaels into the corner where Shawn did his upside down flip leading to Ramon hitting a clothesline to send Michaels to the floor. Ramon lifted up the mat around the ring to expose the floor underneath it. Michaels threw him back in the ring before he could do anything. Razor hit him with a right hand and set him up for a Razor’s Edge. Shawn countered and Razor crashed on the exposed floor right on his left arm and shoulder. That was a painful looking bump. Michaels grabbed the red ladder that was set up in the aisle. Razor decked him in the face with a punch, so Shawn went into the ring and gave a dropkick to the latter, which hit Ramon in the stomach. In the ring, Michaels used the top of the ladder to ram Razor in the stomach with it. Shawn jammed him in the chest with the ladder one more time and then hit him in the back with it. With Razor propped up against the ropes, Michaels threw the ladder into Razor’s back. Shawn climbed up, Razor stopped him by holding onto his tights and Shawn’s butt was exposed. Michaels ended up hitting an elbow drop. Time for an iconic spot. After Michaels slammed Razor down, he set the ladder up in the corner, he climbed to the top and leaped onto Razor with a huge splash from the second rung at the top of the ladder. That was an amazing visual right there. Michaels climbed again, Razor got up, shoved the ladder and Michaels went crashing throat first on the top rope, which caused him to bounce off the ropes and both guys were down. They got back up, ran the ropes and collided headfirst for the double KO spot.
Back to their feet, Michaels propped the ladder in the corner. Razor reversed a whip, so Michaels took the bump by going face first into the ladder and flying over the top to the floor. Not too many could take that bump like Michaels. Ramon brought the ladder outside the ring where he used it as a weapon to attack Michaels again. Razor hit a slingshot into the ladder that was propped up against the ring and Michaels took the bump all the way to the floor just to show off even more. In the ring, Razor hit Shawn in the face with the edge of the ladder. The crowd was going wild while Razor struggled to open up the ladder. Razor climbed up the ladder, Michaels got up to the top rope and hit a double ax off the top. Then the ladder fell on top of Michaels. I doubt that last part was the plan, but it was a nice accident. Each guy climbed the ladder on opposite sides. They slugged it out. Razor gave him a suplex off the ladder. Great spot there. Razor climbed again so Michaels dropkicked the ladder and Razor fell off while the ladder was still up with both guys down on the mat. Just for fun, Michaels threw the ladder onto Razor one more time. After a whip into the ropes, Michaels hit a superkick. Michaels hit a sick piledriver. Michaels used the ladder as the weapon by putting his weight on one side and driving it down on Razor’s body. Michaels climbed the ladder while Ramon was under it, which wasn’t the greatest strategy when you think about it. Here’s the finish. Ramon gave a shoulderblock to the ladder while Michaels was on it and Michaels crotched himself on the top rope. Then Shawn casually put his right foot between the ropes, used his hand to pull the top rope down and magically his right foot was tied in the top rope. Now you know why they took Diesel out of the match. He wasn’t there to save him. When Shawn got his leg free, his hand was tied up. That was probably his way of delaying it while Razor climbed. The crowd was cheering wildly while Razor climbed and he grabbed both titles to win the match at 18:47 as Shawn finally freed himself just a few seconds too late.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion – Razor Ramon
Analysis: ***** Another five star match on this show. I think it’s one of those matches that every wrestling fan has seen or should see. They took some crazy bumps considering it was 1994. I know that 18 years later we’re used to some of these more extreme bumps, but if you think of what they did here it was pretty incredible. They really worked the match in a back and forth way with each guy getting the advantage at different times. Michaels’ bumping was incredible, but you have to give it to Razor too. He worked his ass off and kept up with Michaels’ pace. It was such an innovative match because the majority of the audience had not seen anything like it before. They used the ladder as a weapon in a lot of different ways. Shawn bounced off that thing as if it was the most painful object known to man, which helped push the match as a physically painful match. It got the right amount of time too. There were no flaws in this match. It set the template for all future ladder matches and most would argue that it has never been topped. Every wrestler should study this match. Every fan should watch it. Simply put, this ladder match is one of the most iconic matches in the history of the wrestling business and it always will be.
More Analysis: It was a great match for Michaels because it elevated him to another level. He was a very good in-ring performer for years before this, but he had yet to have that breakout match. After this, people thought of him as the Ladder Match guy and the incredible athlete that could have an amazing match with anybody. You could tell he was on his way to being a main eventer. The match did a lot for Razor too because it raised his star power, which helped him when he jumped to WCW two years later. He had flirted as a main event talent for a bit before this, but he never really broke through. He was always an upper midcard wrestler that came close to the top. When people look at his career all these years later, this is still the match they talk about the most. It’s a testament to how good he was. I think the right guy got the win in the match as well. The Ladder Match was this new concept that was different from everything we had seen before. Putting over the face in Ramon was the smart thing to do because it made the fans happy. Give fans something to be excited about with a new match – that’s how it should be. For me personally, this match was a huge deal because it was the moment where Shawn Michaels became my favorite wrestler and he ended up becoming my favorite wrestler ever. His athleticism wowed me. The risks he would take were spectacular. My favorite wrestler was always Randy Savage prior to this, but I knew Randy was old and it was time for me to pick a new favorite. After this match, that favorite became Shawn Michaels.
There was going to be a ten-man tag match, but it got cut due to time. They did a backstage segment where the heel team was arguing with eachother. The match was supposed to be The Smoking Gunns, 1-2-3 Kid, Sparky Plugg & Tatanka vs. Jeff Jarrett, IRS, The Headshrinkers and Rick Martel. I don’t think anybody was too sad that it was cut.
In the crowd, Pettengill talked to fake Clinton as well as Ted Dibiase, who showed up.
The WrestleMania 9 clip focused on the Yokozuna win over Bret Hart. They didn’t show the Hulk Hogan title win.
Prior to the main event, they aired a video package on Bret Hart’s rise to the top of the company as well as Yokozuna’s success. Let’s just say their video packages would improve a lot over the years.
They introduced Burt Reynolds as the ring announcer, who could have been drunk here, and Jennie Garth of Beverly Hills 90210 was the guest timekeeper. The special ref for the match was Roddy Piper. Piper was a babyface ref here. The crowd loved him, popping huge for the Hot Rod. It was one of the biggest pops of the night for sure. The World Champion Yokozuna was introduced first, which was rare because usually, the champion goes last. Huge ovation for Bret Hart, who was still limping due to the left knee injury. Like I said, nobody sold an injury better.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart
This was the rematch from a year earlier except this time Bret was the challenger. Yoko jumped him before the bell as Piper signaled for the match to begin. Yoko hid a body slam. Bret missed a dropkick. Yoko dominated the action by choking Bret on the middle rope. Yoko hit a headbutt, but a big splash missed as Bret rolled out of the way. Bret came back with headbutts of his own, which knocked Yoko to the mat. Bret was still hurting though. They were both selling as if the match had been very long at this point although they were doing that because they worked earlier. Back to their feet, Bret knocked him down with a combination of punches as well as a double axe to the back. Cornette pulled piper out of the ring when he was counting a pinfall. Piper decked Cornette outside the ring. Yoko looked legit tired here. Yoko choked him on the mat. Yoko argued with Piper, who was wearing a “No Fear” t-shirt. Yoko hit a leg drop. Then he rested some more. Yoko threw Bret out to the floor. Bret was barely on his feet during the entire match. Yoko missed a charge into the corner and crashed as first. Bret came back with a bulldog off the middle rope that got him a two count. Bret hit his elbow drop off the middle rope for two. Hart hit the Hart Attack clothesline. I call it that because the way he took the bump was with his butt after he hit the move, which is how he did it during the Hart Foundation days. Bret grabbed his knee after his pinfall attempt failed. Sell those injuries! Bret went to the middle rope, Yoko caught him and put him down with a really fat belly to belly to suplex. The crowd was devastated. Yoko set him up in the corner going for the Banzai Drop. He climbed to the middle rope and lost his balance. Thank God Bret moved there. Yoko grabbed his head. Bret covered for the one…two…three at 10:38.
Winner by pinfall and New World Heavyweight Champion – Bret Hart
Analysis: *1/4 It wasn’t great as a match. Yoko was legit tired while Hart was selling that he was hurt, so the pace of the match was really slow. The response when Bret won was pretty awesome and it made up for the match being below standard.
Post match, Yokozuna ran after Roddy Piper. Bret was still down on the mat with the WWE Title on his chest. Vince went into his speech about how this was a new generation (no more Hogan so it was true) as his way of putting Bret over as the top guy. Lex Luger showed up in the ring while Lawler wondered what they would do. Lex shook his hand. Piper showed up to raise Bret’s hand. The other babyface wrestlers entered the ring to celebrate with Bret. When Macho Man came out, he gave Bret a big hug. Vince got excited for Ronda Shear’s boobs coming back out there. He probably had no idea who she was either, but then somebody must have shown him a pic and he decided to put her on the show. Razor & Lex put Bret on their shoulders to celebrate. There’s Pat Patterson in the ring too.
Then we saw Owen Hart standing in the aisle way looking at his brother in the ring as the World Champion. He stared at Bret, who continued to celebrate. There’s your Summerslam main event in a steel cage or at least that cheaper blue cage. Bret continued to celebrate with the other wrestlers while fireworks went off. Great moment to end the show.
This event has a runtime of 2:43:57 on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– I loved the booking of the show. Bret’s title win was the perfect way to end it as he got his WrestleMania moment. The loss earlier to Owen gave Owen a legitimate gripe because he beat the guy that was crowned the new champion. A lot of people hated the double win at the 1994 Royal Rumble. I didn’t like it either. The way they booked it worked because not only did it give Bret his WrestleMania moment, it also set up the future main event angle for Summerslam. The only negative of the concept was that it forced Yokozuna to work twice, which probably wasn’t a good idea.
– It was great that Bret lost clean to his brother. If it was a tainted win it would have meant less. It gave Owen the credibility he needed to be taken as a top guy later in the year. I’m glad there wasn’t a shady finish to it. That means so much when the underdog loses clean to the more established guy.
– I’ve probably seen the ladder match over ten times in my life. I can recite most of the spots off the top of my head. There’s a match at WrestleMania 13 where I can say the same thing. It’s like watching my favorite episode of Seinfeld or The Simpsons dozens of times while never getting sick of it. Every time I watch I learn to appreciate it even more. This was the match that really put Shawn Michaels on the map and made people really take notice of him if they weren’t already. It did a lot for Razor too because it raised his star power, which helped him when he jumped to WCW two years later.
– The Luger/Yokozuna match did not feel like a major match. It was a stinker. Yoko was never a great worker by any means, but he had a rough night here. You could tell he had a tough time moving around.
– The NYC crowd was awesome. There’s something right when it comes to New York City hosting a WrestleMania. They’re the best.
Best Match: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – I hate picking only one of the two great matches, but if I have to pick just one I’d say this one was better.
Worst Match: Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna – I honestly think that Yoko had him in that trapezius nerve hold for about 8 minutes. So boring.
Most Memorable Moment: Bret Hart’s World Title win – I could have picked Owen’s upset win, Shawn’s splash off the ladder or Razor’s win after Shawn got tied in the ropes, but I went with Bret’s win because he put on such a great performance the whole night.
1. Shawn Michaels – The night he really earned the name of The Showstopper don’t you think?
2. Bret Hart – Two matches with one of them being a clean loss to his brother that did wonders for his brother. Plus he got his WrestleMania moment.
3. Owen Hart – Best night of his career, I think it’s fair to say that.
4. Razor Ramon – Best match of his career along with the rematch at Summerslam 1995. Michaels brought out the best in him.
5. Randy Savage – His last WrestleMania. Not his best match, but without him I wouldn’t be the fan that I am.
How can I really rank the top four? I put Shawn at the top because I said their match was better, but I had to honor the others too.
Show rating (out of 10): 7.5
The tenth WrestleMania earned the highest rating among the first ten events. Believe it or not, I forgot how much I loved this show. As mentioned, I’ve watched the two five star matches a lot of times over the years. I usually just skipped the rest of the show. It’s not that bad as a whole. Sure, some of the matches stunk, but they weren’t that bad really. There aren’t many shows in the history of the business where you can say there were two five star matches. In my opinion, WrestleMania 10 delivered two of them.
Lastly, to Randy Savage I say thank you for all of the WrestleMania memories. It’s a shame that he never got to return for a Hall of Fame send-off when he was alive, but it is what it is and Randy did get the Hall of Fame induction after he passed away. Without him, WrestleMania wouldn’t be the special event it has become. Rest in peace, Macho Man. Dig it.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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