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Wrestlemania XII

Earlier today I had a dentist's appointment for a cleaning...first one in like five years.  If anything can compare with the pain of watching this show it's going to the dentist after not going for five years.

Wrestlemania XII (March 31, 1996)

We're live from Anaheim, CA at the Pond.  It was at this time they started having Wrestlemania at the Pond like every three years it seemed.  Probably because everyone wanted to go to Disney World before the show.  Our hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.  I have to also mention that they're still using the lame "Oh oh oh, Wrestlemania" theme song that sounds like it came from a Cavilles & Cole joint from 1990.  Yeah, it's 1996 and they're still using the damn thing.  Grunge has come and gone already, and the WWF still thinks Hammer's cool.

Match 1: Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson & Jake Roberts vs Vader, British Bulldog & Owen Hart

Vader came over from WCW where he was one of the biggest monster heels ever.  And he made a great debut, kicking the crap out of everyone at the Royal Rumble and then beating up then-president Gorilla Monsoon the next night on Raw!  So at least this was before his downward spiral, where he ended up turning into "nothin' but a fat piece of shit."  Yoko turned against Cornette and became a face so now we have the ugly sight of Mr. Fuji walking to the ring with an American flag.  And yes, you read that right...they brought back Jake the Snake around this time, even though by this point he was fat, bald and drunk.  Onto the match...it sucks.  There you go; you can't find better insight than that.  Vader wins with the Vaderbomb on a slobbering Roberts.

Match 2: Roddy Piper vs Goldust

This wasn't really a match as it was a "Hollywood Backlot Brawl."  They're in Anaheim...Hollywood's what?  50 miles away?  Anyway, Goldust was into his "creepy gay phase" at this time, before he became just "creepy."  Piper and Goldy fight outside somewhere, Piper hits him with a baseball bat & hoses him down until he gets in his car and drives away, running over Piper's stuntman on his way out.  Piper then follows and it's over...for the time being anyway.  During the next few matches they cut to "footage" of the chase on the highway, which looks remarkably like the footage of OJ Simpson's attempted getaway.  This was 1996.  It was like, two years old by then?  GOD!  They eventually end up back at the arena and fight some more.  I wish I could go back to the dentist after all that.

Match 3: Savio Vega vs Steve Austin

Viva Los Barriquas!  Austin still had Ted Dibiase with him and was the "million dollar champion" which of course meant nothing.  These two have a decent matchup but the crowd could care less.  Me too, actually.  Austin wins after nailing Savio with the million dollar belt TWICE, and then slapping on the million dollar dream.  Jesus, what did poor Savio do?  Oh yeah, he's Savio Vega.

Match 4: Ultimate Warrior vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Damn, I forgot about the Warrior's big comeback, which lasted all of three months.  They hyped it for weeks, and Triple H (before he was called Triple H) was chosen as his big comeback opponent.  Hunter brings a familiar looking blonde with him as his escort, Vince tells us her name is Sable.  She ever go on to do anything?  Anyway, the Warrior no-sells the pedigree, press slam, big splash, outta here.  Match lasted like two minutes.

Match 5: The Undertaker vs Diesel

Finally, something I want to watch again.  You can say what you want about Kevin Nash, but after that lame face run as champion he turned heel to become the most hated asshole on the roster for the last few months he was in the WWF.  Listening to the roar of the crowd as he made his entrance and watching him act like a dick and smile was awesome.  Undertaker was trying to make his way back into legitimacy after fighting fat slobs over his magical urn for the last 48 years.  And these two have a pretty good little match.  Diesel hits 'Taker with the jackknife, pauses to gloat and smile, and then hits it AGAIN.  And of course, Undertaker raises up, nails the tombstone and gets the win.  Diesel would have one more great match with HBK a month later and then take off with Razor Ramon over to WCW and change wrestling history.

Main Event: WWF Championship, Iron Man Match:  Bret Hart vs Shawn Micheals

What you say?  Time for the main event and it's only the sixth match?  Well, they decided to main event the biggest show of the year by having Hart & Micheals wrestle for 60 minutes.  Whoopie.  Bret was the champ again, but HBK was on the rise.  This match can be pointed to the start of the Hart/HBK real-life feud that of course culminated with Vince screwing Bret out of the title a year and a half later.  I'm not sure what the problem was here, besides the fact that neither one of them wanted to lose a fall to each other during the damn match.  So you got these two laying in rest holds for 45 minutes while they bust out a few cool moves every 5 minutes or so.  The match itself is technically great, but damn is it boring.  So it goes the distance with a compelling score of 0-0 so they declare overtime, and HBK finally nails the superkick and wins his first title.  This was tough to watch again.

Match of the night:  Undertaker/Diesel

Mark-out moment of the night:  The moment it ended

Summary:  Worst WM of all time, in my opinion.  But it is important, as it kicked off the HBK reign, Bret took six months off, and they let new blood (Vader, Mankind, Ahmed, etc.) get a shot after all the defections to WCW. 








comments (2) 03-13-2007

The People's Comments:

Just wanted to see if you were reading, Justin!

No... Disney Land not Disney World... *gesh*

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