PPV FLASHBACK: WrestleMania 13
Hello again everyone and welcome to the next chapter of WWE PPV history, the much maligned WrestleMania 13. I am RajahWWF's own Jason and I will be your host for the next three hours of wrestling fun.
Before we go a step further, I'd just like to thank Pete for all the hard work he did on the PPV Flashbacks to this point. This may make me the biggest geek that ever lived, but I've literally spent hours at a time going through his work and reliving (and in some cases learning about) the storied history of WWE's PPV extravaganzas. I've even purchased a few shows based on Pete's wonderful flashbacks. So I would be remiss if I didn't praise and thank Pete for his awesome work to this point. You should too.
WrestleMania 13 is nigh universally renowned as the worst WM of all time. I'm inclined to agree with that assessment overall, but there are some things to cherish even on this show. It features the last WM appearance of Bret Hart and the first of The Rock, albeit not nearly in the form we know him today. Other than that...well, let's just get to the show.
The date is March 23, 1997. We are in the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois. Vince McMahon, Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jim Ross are at ringside for the first three-man team to call a WM since WrestleMania VIII. For trivia buffs, J.R. was also a member of that three-man team, calling his first WWE PPV alongside Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage.
A video package details the history of WrestleMania set against the rather dark tone of this year's event.
The WrestleMania theme that's now used for Linda McMahon plays as Vince opens the show in his best "announcer Vince" voice. This would be his last WM as an announcer.
The Godwinns w/Hillbilly Jim vs. The Headbangers vs. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon vs. The New Blackjacks in a Four-Team Elimination Match
-You can tag to anyone in this match and once one man is pinned or submits, the team is gone. The winner gets a tag team title match the next night on RAW. Todd Pettingil interviews the New Blackjacks in the back as footage of the original Blackjacks is shown. Barry Windham's father, Blackjack Mulligan, was a member of the original team. Chaos reigns at the start until it settles into Henry Godwinn and Blackjack Bradshaw (yes, that Bradshaw). Henry gets the best of things and tags in Thrasher. Bradshaw drops Thrasher with a pump handle slam and tags Phineas in. Phineas tags Mosh in and the Headbangers are supposed to go at it, but they just mosh instead. "I don't know what that is," says Vince. Heh. LaFon and Bradshaw go for a bit before Furnas tags in and wows the crowd with a hurracuranna, which was still rare in WWE as late as 1997. The Blackjacks work on Furnas both in and out of the ring. Referee Mike Chioda goes out to break it up and gets shoved down by Bradshaw, so he disqualifies BOTH teams. Wha...? Oh well, there goes the uniqueness of the match. It's down to the Godwinns and the Headbangers as the pig farmers work Thrasher over. This is The Headbangers first WM. Thrasher was a TV jobber under his real name of Glenn Ruth for a few years before teaming up with Chaz Warrington to form the Headbangers. The commentators, who seem to have lost interest, make jokes about the Bangers' attire and the Godwinns' associations with farm animals. Mosh and Henry spill to the outside. Mosh beats Henry back in and then throws his partner off the top and onto Godwinn. Thrasher misses a moonsault back on the inside and all four men get into it. As Henry and Thrasher battle in the corner, Mosh comes off the top with a Stage Dive on Phineas and gets the 1-2-3 at 10:40. That was painless I guess, but they didn't use the elimination gimmick at all since two teams got wiped out at once to start. Dopey booking. *1/2
-HERE are YOUR Winners: The Headbangers
A very blatant edit job leads to The Honky Tonk Man doing his thing in the ring. Vince points out that Hall of Fame managers Capt. Lou Albano and Arnold Skaaland are at ringside. Lawler invites Honky over to the announce table for commentary. "You guys are close, you'd think you were cousins," shoots JR. Hee Hee.
The Sultan w/The Iron Sheik and Mr. Bob Backlund vs. Rocky Maivia [c] for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
-The Sultan is the man known today as Rikishi (and formerly as Headshrinker Fatu) in a silly Arabian get-up. Thirteen years earlier, The Sultan's managers battled each other for the WWF Championship in a match that saw the just mentioned Skaaland, as Backlund's manager, throw in the towel and give the championship to the Sheik. How's that for historical trivia? I notice that Rocky's music has a couple of elements that are still present in his theme today. Tony Atlas, former tag team partner of Maivia's father Rocky Johnson, is shown in the crowd. The Sultan asserts himself with power at the start but a Rocky dropkick sends him to the outside. Rocky posts his shoulder on the outside and we go back into the ring. Honky Tonk is all over Rocky on commentary. Kinda odd. Sultan takes his time going to work on Maivia and gets two with an arrogant chest press pin. Sultan rests with a nerve hold. Sultan lands a backbreaker and goes to the top to land a headbutt, but he waits an eternity to make the cover and Rocky is out at two. Lawler and Honky Tonk are really hammering home that Maivia is a rookie and nothing but a fluke champion. Sultan settles into another rest hold, this time a reverse chinlock. Crowd starts to turn and a few "Boring" chants are heard. Rocky fights up, but the crowd doesn't seem to care. The handwriting is already on the wall for the goodie-goodie face Rocky character it seems. A double clothesline sends both men down. Referee Earl Hebner gets to eight before Maivia rolls over to make a cover, but the Sultan is out at two. They slug it out and Rocky scores a dropkick. Belly-to-belly by Rocky gets two. Float-over DDT by Rocky and he goes to the top. Maivia scores a cross body block off the top, but the Iron Sheik has the referee distracted. Rocky clears the Sheik off the apron, but the Sultan sneaks in with a stiff kick and another arrogant cover. Maivia kicks out. Sultan works a piledriver, but Rocky still gets the shoulder up. Maivia gets to his feet and scores a surprise roll-up to get the win and keep his title at 9:47. Well that was underwhelming. **
-HERE is YOUR Winner and STILL the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia
Ross tries to gets the word from Rocky after the match, but The Sultan immediately attacks Maivia. Sultan throws Rocky into the ring and he, Sheik and Backlund all go to work on the youngster until Maivia's dad Rocky Johnson shows up to try to make the save. The Sultan crowns Johnson with the Iranian flag, but Rocky Jr. gets to his feet to clear the ring. Father and son take turns bodyslamming The Iron Sheik and all is well at last. Awww...Kind of a nice moment actually.
Todd Pettingil gets the word from the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Ken Shamrock, who will referee the Submission Match later tonight. They review an altercation Shamrock had with Billy Gunn on RAW. Ken says he won't be intimidated by Bret Hart or Stone Cold Steve Austin later tonight.
Meanwhile, Dok Hendrix is with Hunter Hearst-Helmsley and Chyna. Hunter guarantees victory over Goldust and tells Marlena to look out for Chyna.
Hunter Hearst-Helmsley w/Chyna vs. Goldust w/Marlena
-The issue here is apparently Hunter's unwanted advances toward Marlena. Both these guys are good technicians, but in a match built on "personal issues" we're not likely to see much of that here. Indeed, Goldust starts fast with a lot of brawling and clotheslines Hunter to the outside after an inverted atomic drop. Hunter gets tied up in the ropes on the outside and Goldie hammers away before clotheslining Helmsley back in. Hunter finally gets into the match with his facebuster, but Goldust responds with a tight powerslam. Goldie to the top, but Hunter cuts him off and dumps him to the outside. Hunter retrieves Goldust and then comes off the top with a clothesline for two from referee Mike Chioda. Helmsley stomps the hell out of Goldust in the corner and draws some heel heat. Lawler makes a very funny joke, saying they filmed the movie Gorillas in the Mist in Chyna's shower. A Hunter neckbreaker gets two before Helmsley cinches in the abdominal stretch. Hunter goes to the ropes for leverage, but Chioda sees it and Goldie hip tosses out. Hunter works a nice key lock arm submission and uses it to bring Goldust to the mat for a few near falls. Goldust goes low with a knee to escape but Hunter recovers with a vertical suplex. Another near fall for Hunter after a knee drop. Goldust manages a cross body block before a double shoulder block sends both men down. Hunter goes to the top, but he eats Goldie's rear end on the dive. Eww. Both men are down again. Goldust dodges a corner charge and Hunter goes forehead first into the buckle. Ouch. Backdrop by Goldie. Hunter Flair flips in the corner and gets bulldogged for two when he staggers back into the ring. Goldust sets up for the Curtain Call as Chyna stalks Marlena. Hunter counters and looks for the Pedigree, but Goldust backdrops out. Goldust looks for the Curtain Call again, but he sees Chyna moving in on Marlena and goes after her. Marlena gets up on the apron. Hunter knees Goldie into Marlena, who falls into the waiting arms of Chyna. Chyna whips Marlena around like a rag doll as Hunter hooks the Pedigree in on Goldust to get the 1-2-3 at 13:18. That was long and pretty pointless considering a title wasn't even involved. Today a match like this wouldn't even get on a PPV, let alone a WrestleMania. It shows how desperate WWE was for good midcard feuds at the time. Had this match been for the IC title instead of the forced Rocky Maivia push match we got, it would have meant a little more. But as it is it's a *1/2 bore. Next.
-HERE is YOUR Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Another clip job and we cut directly to...
Vader & Mankind w/Paul Bearer vs. The British Bulldog & Owen Hart [c] for the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
-Vince refers to the 18,000 in attendance. Compare that to what they bring in for WrestleMania these days (and in the 80s and early 90s) and you realize how pathetic WWE was at this point in time. Ross tries to stir the pot with the champs before the match, asking Owen about negative comments he's made about his partner in recent weeks. Owen denies it, but does take the time to say he's the leader of the team. Bulldog also holds the European Championship at this point. He was the first man to win that title. Mankind had an extended feud with The Undertaker, so he's kind of slumming it here in a team with Vader, who never really got it together in WWE after making an initial impact. Vader batters Owen to the mat in the corner at the start. Vader uses his power on offense, but Owen uses his speed to evade a lot more moves than Vader manages to land. Vader finally floors Owen and goes for the Vaderbomb, but Bulldog breaks it up. All four men battle with the champs getting the better of things. It settles into Bulldog and Mankind with Mick selling Davey Boy's offense like crazy. Bulldog hits his suplex on Mankind and then hosses Vader up in it as well when the big man tries to interfere. Wow. Davey rests with a reverse chinlock and he and Mick plan the next spot. Vader low bridges Davey on a whip and the Bulldog topples to the outside. The heels use the urn on Davey Boy as referee Jack Doen restrains Owen. Bulldog crawls back in and gets suplexed by Vader for two. Vader adds an avalanche and then comes off the second rope with a splash, but Davey Boy still kicks out at two. Mankind tags in and continues the heat segment with a backdrop. They double-team Bulldog as the ref keeps Owen at bay. Vader goes to the second rope and dives, but Bulldog turns it into a nice slam and tags Owen. Hart uses his speed to keep Vader off balance and gets two with a cross body block off the top. Vader manages to slow it down and he and Mankind double-team Owen on the outside with the Cactus Elbow. Mankind hangman's Owen over the top and he falls to the floor in front of his parents Stu and Helen, who are in the first row. Back in the ring, Owen turns a Mankind neckbreaker into a DDT, but Mick regains the advantage. Owen takes a Bret bump in the corner and gets two on Mankind after a spinning heel kick. Vader tags in and it's more slow, battering offense. Mankind tags in and tosses Owen to the outside, but Hart works a belly-to-belly on the floor to turn the tide. Owen regains the ring and finally makes the tag. Davey Boy goes nuts on Mankind and tosses him hard into the buckles. Bulldog goes for the running powerslam, but Mankind catches him with the Mandible Claw. They spill to the outside (and land on their heads) as Owen and Vader battle in the ring. Mankind never lets go of the claw and the referee counts them both out at 16:12 to end the match. If Owen & Davey Boy were going to keep the titles anyway, I'm not sure why this had to be a draw finish. Even if Vader & Mankind had gone over via DQ or count out to protect the monster heels from taking a loss, Owen & Davey would have kept the titles and it would have made the Headbangers chances look better the next night. Oh well, this match was better than the first three, but still nothing special. **
-The referee has ruled this match a Double Countout.
Todd Pettingil narrates a video package chronicling the build-up to the upcoming Submission Match between Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was probably the last great story in WWE history. It was simple, compelling and somewhat based in reality. Austin's caustic personality was perfectly played against Bret's slow descent into frustration and, eventually...evil.
In the ring, Howard Finkel introduces Ken Shamrock as the special guest referee for the following contest.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart in a Submission Match
-This match is no count outs, no disqualification and now holds barred. You can only win by making your oppoent submit. Austin is out to a mixed reaction, this time next year he'd be the most over face in the company. Bret gets more cheers than boos as the fans give him the benefit of the doubt. Austin tackles Bret to the mat before the bell and hammers away. They tumble to the floor and slug it out. Shamrock doesn't follow, as he's only here to call for the bell in the event of a submission. Bret posts Austin's shoulder, but Stone Cold comes back by draping Bret's crotch over the guardrail. Austin clotheslines Hart into the crowd and they start to battle through the masses, this time with Shamrock in tow. Fighting in the stands was not really done at all in WWE at this time, so the fans and the announcers are pretty excited that it's happening here. Austin goes for a piledriver on the steps of an aisle, but Bret backdrops out. Bret drives Austin back toward the ring as Shamrock parts the sea of people for them. Bret knocks Austin back over the railing, but Stone Cold whips Hart hard into the steel ringside steps. Austin goes to the apron and drops an elbow on Bret's head. Bret manages to shove Austin into the toppled steps, but Austin pushes Bret back into the post.
They climb into the ring for the first time since the opening seconds of the match and Bret scores a swinging neckbreaker. Bret goes to work on Austin's legs as Vince derides him on commentary, saying that if Hart loses this match, he'll have some sort of excuse as to why. Bret kicks and pulls away at Austin's legs as Shamrock asks Stone Cold if he submits, but nothing doing. Austin gets some separation and nails the Stunner, but pinfalls don't count, so Austin uses the time to crawl away and recover. Bret comes around pretty quickly and catches Austin coming in. Bret drags Austin to the corner and wraps him in a figure-four leg lock around the ring post. Ouch. Shamrock checks, but Austin won't give. Bret turns Austin loose and grabs the ring bell, putting it on the apron. Remember it's there. Bret then brings a chair into the ring. Bret puts the chair around Austin's leg and goes to the top to break the ankle, but Austin springs up and crowns Hart with the chair before he can leap. Great pscholgy there as Austin basically tricked Bret into giving him the chair to use as a weapon. Austin hits Bret over the back with the chair and goes to work with a suplex. Austin lands Bret's elbow off the second rope as Ross takes a shot at Hulk Hogan (who was ruling WCW at the time) on commentary. Austin uses another of Bret's moves; the side Russian leg sweep and wraps Hart up in an octopus submission. Bret won't give, so Austin rearranges things into a Boston Crab. Shamrock is right there to check, but Hart won't give. Bret makes it to the bottom rope, and Austin has to turn him lose. Austin, looking for the ultimate humiliation, looks for the Sharpshooter, but Bret goes to the eyes to makes sure that doesn't happen. Hart with right hands, but Austin tosses him to the outside. Bret reverses a whip and Austin is sent headlong into the timekeeper's table. Austin is busted open. Hart sends him head first into the remaining steel steps and then the ring post. Bret takes his time putting Austin back inside the ring and hammers away directly on Stone Cold's head laceration. Hart scores his backbreaker and his elbow off the second rope. Bret retrieves the chair and rams it into Austin's knee brace several times. Bret looks for the Sharpshooter, but Austin, like Bret did earlier, goes to the eyes to break it up. Hart moves things to the corner and hammers away, but Stone Cold goes low. Crowd still seems evenly divided at this point. Bret takes his bump in the corner on a whip and Austin stomps a mud hole in him. Austin puts Hart on the top and lands a modified superplex, but the impact worsens his own bleeding head. Austin goes out and gets an electrical cord. He wraps it around Bret's neck on the apron, but Hart grabs the ring bell from the apron (where he'd left it earlier) and clocks Stone Cold over the head with it. An insurance policy paying off? You decide. Austin tumbles back into the ring and Bret immediately pounces on him with the Sharpshooter.
Shamrock is over immediately to ask for the submission but Stone Cold, in agony, won't give it to him. Crowd is chanting "Austin! Austin!" Stone Cold emits a primal scream and, with the supreme effort, breaks the Sharpshooter! That had NEVER been done in Bret Hart's main event run; he had beaten everyone in the company with that move. Bret, not shaken, quickly re-establishes the hold and this time really bears down. In a famous shot, the blood-soaked face of Austin looks directly into the camera as he screams. They'd later use that shot during the opening of RAW. Shamrock begs Austin for the submission as Stone Cold starts to fade, but it still doesn't come. Bret pulls Austin to the middle of the ring to ensure Austin doesn't get to the ropes, but Stone Cold has passed out. Shamrock screams at the unconscious Austin, trying to get the submission, but Stone Cold is out. With no other alternative, Shamrock calls for the bell at 22:07 to end the match, Bret Hart's run as the top face in the company and the "New Generation" era of WWE history at-large. My God, what a battle. ****1/2. It wasn't the greatest pure match of all time, but it was soaked in psychology and the story surrounding it was absolutely riveting. They did things that weren't done in WWE at that time and changed the course of both men's careers, as well as that of the entire company, at the same time. This match made Stone Cold Steve Austin in WWE and gave him the ball that he'd run with for the next three years as the top face in the company starting in 1998. Just an outstanding story overall.
-HERE is YOUR Winner: Bret "Hitman" Hart
But it's not over yet. Bret, unhappy that the crowd has come down on Austin's side, looks to take it out on the man himself. He tries to hook the Sharpshooter in on Stone Cold again, but Shamrock is there to stop him. Bret ignores Shamrock and goes for the hold anyway and Shamrock waistlocks him to the mat to a huge pop. Bret and Ken have a staredown, but nothing comes from it. Hart slowly leaves the ring to a chorus of boos and his journey to the dark side is complete.
On his way up the aisle Hart, always thinking, gives a hard high-five to one of the few fans that still wants one as if to say: There, see. SOMEone knows I'm still number one around here. Great bit of psychology that you'd only get from Bret Hart.
Meanwhile in the ring, Austin has comes around. He kicks Shamrock away from him when Ken tries to help him up. Shamrock leaves and referee Mike Chioda comes down to try to attend to Austin. Assuring the crowd that he's not going to be THAT kind of face, Austin Stuns Chioda (to a big pop) and staggers out of the ring on his own steam, a huge pool of his blood dominating the center of the ring. The crowd chants his name as he heads up the aisle.
The announcers put Austin over huge as a man's man and the toughest wrestler they've ever seen. They all make sure to point out that Bret Hart was AWARDED the match, Austin never submit. Vince apologizes for the brutal nature of the match, but all three announcers seem to know they've just seen something important.
Todd Pettingil is in the back with The Nation of Domination. Faarooq delivers a standard promo on Ahmed Johnson and the Legion of Doom, their opponents in the upcoming match. Whatever, we've seen the best this show has to offer.
The Nation of the Domination vs. The Legion of Doom & Ahmed Johnson in a Chicago Street Fight
-This is basically a hardcore match before there was a term for it. You can use any weapons you want and both teams have brought an assortment with them. LOD actually has the kitchen sink with them. Isn't that funny? There are no tags in the match. The Nation members in the match are Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega, but there are some assorted cronies around ringside as well. One of them is the man we know today as D'lo Brown, who here weighs about double what he does now. It's chaos in and around the ring at the start. The faces beat up all the Nation cronies before Animal sets Faarooq up for a piledriver on the French announce table, but he blows it and they just kind of fall off the table to the side. Savio goes to work with a garbage can in the ring as Animal blasts Faarooq with a fire extinguisher. Ross tries to put over the brutality to this WrestleMania, but this is just a silly, fragmented mess compared to what we've just seen. Ahmed slams Faarooq through the French announce table in a pretty stiff spot. The fire extinguisher is used again and this time it catches the announcers as well. Everyone moves into the ring where Savio wraps a noose around Ahmed's neck. Hawk double clotheslines Savio and Crush. Savio spills to the outside. Ahmed goes out and gets attacked by D'lo, who's referred to by Ross as "that other guy." Ahmed fights "that other guy" off, but Savio tosses him into the crowd and goes out after him. Meanwhile in the ring, Faarooq tries to hang Hawk and Crush nails Animal with a wrench. Savio and Ahmed return to ringside and all the cronies beat Johnson down. Faarooq gets pulled off the top and hits the floor on the fly. Ouch. Ahmed nooses Faarooq and pulls him into the ring, but the cronies free their leader. Johnson pulls Faarooq in and spinebusters him. Everyone ends up in the ring for a moment before Ahmed ends up in there alone with D'lo of all people. Johnson disposes of him and then the faces triple team Crush. LOD holds up a 2X4, Ahmed whips Crush into it and THAT's enough to get the 1-2-3 from referee Billy Silverman at 10:47. Well that was pointless and messy. *. Tons of weapons involved, no one blades and a reverse 2X4 shot ends it? Crap.
-HERE are YOUR Winners: Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom
After the match, the faces demolish the Nation's lackies. "That other guy" D'lo gets the Pearl River Plunge along the way.
Another obvious edit brings us to Shawn Michaels making his way down the aisle to do guest commentary. Shawn had been the WWF Champion heading into WrestleMania, but decided to opt out of the title picture with an "injury" rather than job the title back to Bret Hart a year after he'd beaten Bret in the first-ever Iron Man Match. That doesn't stop Shawn from coming out in time for the main event to a full entrance, high-fives and cheers from everyone in the house though. Lawler correctly points out that Michaels is making the main event about him rather than Sycho Syd and The Undertaker. Way to go, Heartbreak. Although in this case that might actually be a good thing.
Todd Pettingil gets the word from Sycho Syd in the locker room. Syd screams and hisses his way through a typical Syd interview. Let's just get this over with.
The Undertaker vs. Sycho Syd [c] for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
-Taker's entrance is pretty elaborate with lots of thunder and lightning effects. Ross recaps Taker's WrestleMania record, he's unbeaten starting with a squash of Hall of Famer "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka at WM VII. J.R. warns us this will not be a "technical masterpiece" in the understatement of the night. Referee Earl Hebner holds the belt aloft and we're off. Bret Hart immediately comes down to the ring and calls for the mic. The Hitman warns Michaels to stay where he is, (truthfully) saying his injury is faked. Vince holds Shawn back, but Michaels has no intention of getting up. Bret then verbally lays into both Syd and Taker, rightly calling Syd a phony champion. Syd has had enough and powerbombs Bret to a big pop. In theory that's dumb as Syd is the heel in this match, but the theme tonight is everyone hates Bret, so it makes sense on that basis. Of course, it also means that the WWF title is not involved in the main storyline of WrestleMania and that's NOT good. Officials help Hart to the back as Taker attacks Syd from behind and a second bell officially starts the match.
Taker with a Stinger Splash and a slam for a near fall. Taker goes to the top for what is known today as "Old School," but Syd turns another corner splash into a bear hug. Let the resting begin. Michaels and Lawler spar on commentary in the absence of anything to talk about. Syd clotheslines Taker to the outside and drives him through the Spanish announce table. Two down, one to go. Syd slams Taker onto what's left of the table as Vince tells us WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has made this a No Holds Barred Match. Syd gets a near fall back on the inside. Syd rests again, this time with a modified camel clutch. Syd comes off the second rope with an ax handle and now the crowd boos him. Undertaker mounts a comeback, but Syd cuts it off with a powerslam for a pair of near falls. Syd drops the big leg and gets two. Taker comes back with his flying clothesline, but it doesn't do much as Syd goes back to work. Lawler makes an astute observation, saying that they may be afraid to hit their finisher for fear that the other guy will kick out, and THEN what? They go outside where Taker flips Syd into the crowd, but doesn't go out after him. Back inside, Syd dodges the elbow drop and resorts to another rest hold, a reverse chinlock. Meanwhile, Vince tries to get SHAWN over on commentary. No one cares about this match. Taker fights back with a flurry of punches and a powerslam, but he's too weak to make the cover. He finally does, but Syd is out at two. Now it's the Dead Man who wastes time with a nerve hold. I think I hear some "Boring" chants, but that may just be the voices in my head. Taker counters a big boot and clotheslines Syd down for two. A double big boot spot sends both men down. The referee gets to five before Syd makes the cover for two. Syd hits the ax handle off the second rope again and then uses a clothesline from the same position. Syd gets two before going to the second rope for a third time, but Taker finally catches him in the gut with a right hand on the way down. Syd quickly regains control with a slam and this time goes to the top, but Undertaker sits up and cuts him off. Taker slams Syd off the top and then goes up himself for a flying clothesline that would later be one of his "brother's" signature moves. Taker covers, but only gets two. Undertaker looks for the Tombstone, but Syd reverses and delivers the move himself. 1-2-Taker kicks out. Syd is stunned, but recovers and tosses Taker to the outside. They battle on the floor and here comes Bret Hart again. The Hitman smashes Syd in the back with a steel chair before referees and officials arrive to move him back up the aisle. Undertaker takes advantage by driving Syd's back into the ring post and we go back inside. Chokeslam! 1-2-Syd gets the shoulder up. Syd ducks a flying clothesline and goes for the powerbomb, but here comes Bret aGAIN. Syd goes after Hart, but Bret hangmans him over the top rope. Syd staggers back to the waiting Undertaker, who scoops him up for the Tombstone. 1-2-3. The Undertaker wins the match and the WWF Championship at 21:23 for the first time in six years. The match was weak, *1/2, but the Bret shenanigans made it somewhat more watchable. It also made Taker's win less than a mandate, but that's another story.
-HERE is YOUR Winner and the NEW World Wrestling Federation Champion: The Undertaker
Taker poses with the title to pretty major cheers as Shawn Michaels annoyingly applauds him from ringside. Vince wraps the show and that's that.
There you have it, folks. The worst WrestleMania in WWE history. The undercard was extremely weak and the WWF title match was by no means the main event. Ironically, if everything was the same and they switched the card positions of Bret/Austin and Syd/Taker, I think the show would have a much better reputation. It wouldn't have been the first time a WM didn't end with the WWF title match and everyone HAD to know the Submission Match was the match everyone wanted to see and would be the highpoint of the show.
Oh well, what're you gonna do...?
WrestleMania 13 Stats:
Total Running Time: 162.43
Actual Wrestling: 104:12
Number of Matches: 7
Average Match Rating: **
Highlights: Rocky's WM debut, the fantastic Bret/Austin match, Austin's emergence as a face and Bret's interference in the "main event."
And that's it. I hope you all enjoyed this, my first PPV Flashback. My name is Jason. Good night.
If you have any questions or comments on this review, direct all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.