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Wrestlemania X

"Ten years in the making?  What a load of horse-shit!" - my friend Matt after watching the show

Alright, it wasn't that bad.  In fact, the tenth annual Wrestlemania features two legendary matches that people still talk about today.  But does the good outweigh the bad?

At this point in the company, Hogan was gone for good.  Yokozuna spent half the year as champion, which was unheard of at the time (to have a heel with the title that long.)  The buildup to this one occured at the '94 Royal Rumble when Bret Hart and Lex Luger eliminated each other at the same time.  They were declared "co-winners" of the rumble, but the winner got a shot at the title at Wrestlemania.  Who would get it?  They decided to give them both shots in two separate matches, because apparently the concept of a "triple threat match" was still foreign to them at the time.  So they held a coin flip on Raw with the winner (Luger) getting the first shot, and loser (Hart) getting the 2nd shot (Bret also had to have another match to even the odds.) 

This show was the first big attempt at a statement by the WWF saying "we can make it without Hulk Hogan!" 

Wrestlemania X (March 20, 1994)

We're live from the home of the first one, Madison Square Garden in NYC.  Since it's the tenth anniversary, they really get the nostalgia going with old clips and junk.  And of course, Hogan is one of the first things we see.  Our hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.  Little Richard starts us off with "America the Beautiful" which he clearly lip-synchs.  Why?  Is that a hard song to sing live or something?  At least he didn't do a retarded jig and then run off the stage and blame his band for playing the wrong song.

Match 1: Bret Hart vs Owen Hart

And we start things off with arguably the greatest opening match in the history of wrestling!  I'm sure you all know the setup and the match...Owen starts feeling jealous of Bret's accomplishments and greasy hair and wants some damn recognition, so he challenges his brother to a match which Bret...rejects.  Oh, SNAP!  Bret didn't want to fight Owen, so he convinced him to team up and challenge for the tag titles at the Royal Rumble.  But during the match Bret hurt his leg and eventually the referee stopped the match to avoid further injury.  Owen wasn't too pleased and while Bret struggled to get up, Owen kicked him in the leg and he fell back down!  Wow, that wasn't very brotherly of him.  So anyway, Bret then accepted the challenge and the match was ON.  And what can you say about it?  A classic 5-star techincal masterpiece of a match if there ever was one.  Owen was on his game here and acting like a total dick, and they carried each other to an awesome opening match in front of the MSG faithful.  Owen gets the shocking upset pin after Bret attempted a victory roll while sitting on Owen's shoulders.  Instead, Owen simply sat down on top of Bret's shoulders and got the 3-count. 

Match 2: Doink and Dink the Clowns vs Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon

I think Bigelow refers to this point as "that time Vince made me fight a fuckin' retarded clown and his midget asshole buddy on the biggest show of the year for no reason" on the shoot interview.  So yeah, this match blows.  Doink sucked as a good guy, and calling this a "mixed" tag match and making Vachon fight Dink was a little insulting to Luna, who I know can kick my ass.  Bigelow and Luna win in pretty much a squash.  Good for them.

Match 3: Falls Count Anywhere: Randy Savage vs Crush

Crush brought Savage out of another "retirement" by turning on him and growing an evil goatee.  I think that was the start that sort of thing, where a guy would turn heel just by growing a goatee and looking more sinister.  Lots of guys do it now, so if anything Crush can call himself an innovator.  I'm sure that will do his hawaiian heart proud, as he's probably going through the want-ads looking to see if anyone's selling a used toaster or something these days.  Anyway, this match has weird rules, as it's falls count anywhere, but when you get a pin, the guy has 60 seconds to get back into the ring.  So really, a fall would have to take place outside the ring for it to make sense.  Anyway, these two have a decent brawl with an innovative ending...they fight to the dressing room area, where they find a mini-scaffold type device and Savage ties Crush's legs to the thing, throws the other end of the rope around the top and makes a pulley; hanging Crush upside down!  I learned how to do that in my 6th grade science class, but we didn't use it on people...that I know of anyway.  Savage wins and then goes back to commentating, before going over to WCW with Hogan later in the year.

Match 4: Women's Championship: Alundra Blayze vs Lelani Kai

Blayze was former WCW valet/wrestler Madusa.  They brought her over to try to revive the women's division.  And no one else.  So apparently the plan was for her to fight Luna Vachon 100 times.  They did bring in some older has-beens from the past, such as Lelani Kai.  But that does not a good match make.  Alundra wins with a german suplex.  Blayze wasn't the greatest wrestler or anything, but she had big boobs so it's not like I was gonna NOT watch or anything.

Match 5: Tag Team Championship:  The Quebecers vs Men On A Mission

Oh God, not Men On A Mission.  The Quebecers were Jacques "The Mountie" Rougeau and Pierre "Not yet wearing a creepy eyepatch and calling himself a pirate" Ouelette.  I guess the WWF took a lot of shit from the real Canadian mounties for the portrayal of the Mountie character, so Vince stuck Rougeau with a partner, got rid of the shock sticks, kept the same mountie outfits and dubbed them "the Quebecers."  Genius, I tells ya.  And the less said about Men On A Mission the better.  Seriously, what the hell where they thinking?  And what was their mission anyway?  Bunch of fat "rappers" dressed up in purple and they couldn't even rap good!  Anyhoo, the Quebecers get counted out and keep their titles.  Let's move on, shall we?

Match 6: WWF Championship Match #1: Yokozuna vs Lex Luger

It's suprising how long Yoko kept that damn title for being a heel.  Luger was in the middle of his lame "Made in the USA" gimmick where they literally put him on a bus and sent him around the country to meet people and talk about being patriotic and junk.  They announced before the show that the two main events would have two separate suprise guest referees.  The ref for this match?  Mr. Perfect, returning from an injury or something.  So that was cool anyway.  They also brought back the "celebrity guest" idea, but for this year and the next year they totally beat it into the ground; adding like 4-5 "celebrities" per show.  For this match, the guest ring announcer is Donnie Wahlberg, older brother of Marky Mark and former New Kid.  The guest timekeeper is Rhonda somebody...I think she hosted a show on the USA network.  So we're definately into the A-listers here as you can tell.  Anyway, these two have their typical match where Luger gets beat up but makes the comeback at the end.  But wait a minute, it appears that our guest referee still has a bug up his ass about last year's Wrestlemania where Luger cheated to beat him, so after getting shoved by Luger for refusing to count a pinfall attempt, Perfect DQ's Luger and his title dreams are crushed faster than a pile of walnuts at my ex-girlfriend's house.

Match 7: Earthquake vs Adam Bomb

Wasn't "Adam Bomb" the name of one of the "Garbage Pail Kids?"  Remember those cards?  Oh yeah, while I was thinking about that Earthquake just won with the atomic butt splash.  Match lasted 30 seconds.

Match 8: IC Championship, Ladder Match:  Razor Ramon vs Shawn Micheals

You may have heard of this one, too.  Shawn was IC champion but he was "suspended" for a month and they took the title from him.  Razor then won the IC title, but when HBK came back he claimed he was never defeated so he was still the champ (and in fact, he still had his title belt so there were now two of them) so they decided to put them in a ladder match for the undisputed title.  These two have another classic as they each find innovative ways to beat each other senseless with the ladder.  This pretty much laid the groundwork for all kinds of hardcore and ladder matches in the future.  Razor ends up winning after tipping over the ladder with HBK on top, causing him to crotch himself on the top rope, and then get hooked in the ropes!  Awesome match.

Main Event: WWF Champsionship Match #2:  Yokozuna vs Bret Hart

Hey, give the big guy props, he's 550 pounds and he defended the title twice in the same night.  The suprise guest ref for this match was...Roddy Piper.  Hey, he was away for a couple of years so it was cool to see him again I guess.  Special ring announcer was a drunk Burt Reynolds (is there any other kind?) and the guest timekeeper was Jennie Garth from 90210.  Whoa, they got Kelly Taylor to ring the bell?  Sign me the hell up!  So Yoko again makes a strong showing and beats the hell out of Bret until his big babyface comeback.  The twist this time is that once Yoko gets the upper hand again he goes up for his bonzai drop...and he slips off the rope, falls backwards and knocks himself out!  Bret covers and finally gets his title back.  Kind of a weird finish there, as Bret didn't really "beat" Yoko; Yoko beat himself by being a clumsy doofus.  So he went all year basically only being defeated twice, once by Hogan in a fluke 20 second match at WM last year, and this year by Bret when he fell off the ropes!  Anyway, the ring fills up after the match with all the good guys (including McMahon) and congratulate Hart and raise him above their shoulders.  In a great touch right at the very end, Owen walks down the aisle and gives everyone in the ring a look that says "what the hell, man?  I get the victory of my life over my own brother and he goes out and steals the spotlight from me AGAIN??" 

Match of the night: Toss-up between Bret/Owen and Razor/Shawn...I'll go with the ladder match

Mark-out moment of the night:  Watching the ladder match and what those two guys did to each other

Summary:  If you read between the lines this is one of the rare times Vince McMahon makes a public apology and admits he's wrong...when Bret Hart won the title here and had that celebration with all the boys Vince may as well just said "Sorry I didn't believe in you, Bret.  I was wrong, here's your title back, go carry the company for awhile."  There's only one other time I can think of that happening again and it involved another Canadian and conveniently it took place another ten years later...

So at the beginning I said when you judge this show you gotta think does the good outweigh the bad?  After all, we had two classic 5-star matches on the same show (first time that's EVER happened) but man was there a lot of crap.  And for the first time, the crap started being embarassing as opposed to just bad or dumb.  So I'll spilt the difference and say it was an okay show, at least better than last year.  But I'm already not looking forward to the next two shows...

***1/2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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