WWF WrestleMania XII Results
March 31, 1996
Anaheim, California (Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim)
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
A video kicks off the show highlighting the build to the Iron Man Match for the WWF Championship. Bret “Hitman” Hart will defend the title against Shawn Michaels for one hour.
Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show. They talk about Undertaker vs. Diesel, Ultimate Warrior returning, and the Hollywood Backlot Brawl.
Footage is shown of Jim Cornette turning on Yokozuna on the February 5 edition of Monday Night RAW.
Vader, Owen Hart, and The British Bulldog w/ Jim Cornette vs. Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/ Mr. Fuji
If Yokozuna’s team wins, he will get five minutes alone with Jim Cornette.
Yokozuna and Vader get into a shoving match as the bell rings. Yokozuna punches away at him. The rest of the competitors all brawl as well. Roberts and Johnson clear Hart and Bulldog from the ring. Yokozuna clotheslines Vader down before clotheslining him over the top rope. Johnson then hits Vader with a running plancha! Hart and Bulldog pull Jonson off Vader.
In the ring, Vader and Yokozuna lock up. Vader viciously punches Yokozuna in the face, but Yokozuna powers him to the corner. Owen Hart tags in and dropkicks Yokozuna to no avail. Hart ducks a clothesline, but Yokozuna catches him on the backend. Yokozuna slowly charges Hart, but Bulldog pushes Hart out of the way. Bulldog and Hart stomp Yokozuna down. Vader tags back in and knocks Johnson down. Hart rakes Yokozuna’s eyes while the referee’s back is turned. Vader punches Yokozuna a few times in the corner before pummeling him. Yokozuna collapses to the mat as Vader poses. Vader pulls Yokozuna up to his feet, but Yokozuna takes him down with a one-armed slam.
Johnson and Bulldog tag in. Johnson punches Bulldog and Hart down. Johnson sends Bulldog into the ropes for a slam. All of a sudden, Vader attacks him from behind. Vader sends Johnson into the ropes, but Johnson counters with a sunset flip. Vader doesn’t go down and goes for a cannonball, but Johnson moves. Johnson then hits the ropes and hits a big diving clothesline. Johnson powers Vader to the corner, but Bulldog, the legal man, attacks him from behind. Johnson quickly comes back with a scoop slam before trying for a Pearl River Plunge. Jim Cornette distracts the referee as Hart hits Johnson with a missile dropkick. Hart stays in and stomps Johnson before dropping an elbow. Hart punches Johnson in the face before hitting an enzuigiri. Vader tags in and hits a big splash. Vader sends him into the ropes for an avalanche. Hart tags in and punches Johnson. Hart hits the ropes and goes for a clothesline, but Johnson doesn’t go down. Hart hits the ropes again, but Johnson clotheslines him down.
Jake Roberts tags in and punches away at Hart before forearming him down. Roberts knocks Bulldog down before hitting Hart with a short-arm clothesline. The crowd is chanting, “DDT.” Hart holds the ropes to avoid it. Roberts whips him hard to the corner, but Hart knees him down. Bulldog tags in and stomps and punches Roberts. Bulldog applies a front facelock. Roberts fights up and wrenches the arm, but Bulldog knocks him to the corner. Vader tags in and viciously punches away at Roberts. Vader then clotheslines Roberts down. Vader sends him to the corner and avalanches him. Vader clotheslines Roberts again and taunts the crowd. Hart tags back in and scoop slams Roberts. Hart comes off the top rope with a diving elbow drop for a near fall. Hart applies a surfboard stretch to Roberts. Bulldog tags in and stomps Roberts. Bulldog scoops Roberts up and hits a Running Powerslam for a near fall. Bulldog is shocked. Vader tags in and hits a big splash for a near fall. Bulldog tags in and hits the ropes for an elbow drop, but Roberts moves.
Vader and Yokozuna tag in. Yokozuna punches Vader back to the corner and wildly punches him down. Yokozuna avalanches Vader before punching Hart and Bulldog down. Yokozuna then bangs their heads together. Yokozuna then takes Bulldog down with a Samoan Drop. Roberts tags in and goes for a DDT on Hart, but Bulldog breaks it up. Johnson quickly knocks Bulldog out of the ring. Roberts then hits Hart with the DDT! The referee is checking on Johnson and Bulldog at ringside. Jim Cornette gets in the ring and hits Roberts with the tennis racket. Roberts teases a DDT on Cornette, but Vader wipes him out with a wild avalanche. Vader follows up with a Vader Bomb on Roberts for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Vader, Owen Hart, and The British Bulldog
Mike’s Thoughts: Not a terrible match considering it was centered around Vader and Yokozuna, who was enormous at this point. It was really on Owen and Bulldog to keep the match together and they did an admirable job. Jake Roberts was way out of shape and Ahmed Johnson was green as grass. This would have been a better match if they shaved a few minutes off it.
Video Package: Hollywood Backlot Brawl
Marlena is shown watching the monitor to see the results of the Hollywood Backlot Brawl.
Hollywood Backlot Brawl
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
Roddy Piper is shown waiting in a Hollywood Backlot with a baseball bat. A Gold Cadillac shows up and starts screeching toward Piper. Piper takes out a firehose and sprays it at the car. Piper takes the bat and smashes the driver’s window. Goldust escapes out the passenger’s window. Piper smashes the back windshield and tries to slide over the hood, but he’s slipping because it’s so wet. Piper grabs Goldust and chokes him with the bat. Piper swings the bat and nearly kills him with a bat to the skull. Piper slams Goldust’s face off a catering table before smashing a garbage can on his head. Piper then sends him headfirst into a dumpster. Piper takes a garbage can and throws it at Goldust. Goldust appears to be bleeding from the head. Piper then sends him headfirst into a dumpster before spraying him with the firehose. Piper slams him on the hood of the Gold Cadillac before hitting a sloppy scoop slam on the hood. Piper drops a first on the hood of the car and hits a stiff punch. Piper viciously punches him in the face. Goldust low blows him and sends him headfirst into the dumpster. Goldust gets in the Gold Cadillac and backs up, but he hits a white Ford Bronco. Goldust then hits Piper with the car! Piper is on the hood of the car as Goldust drives forward. Piper rolls off the hood, and Goldust speeds off. Piper maniacally runs toward the Ford Bronco and gets in. Piper drives off after Goldust.
To be continued…
Mike’s Thoughts: Part One of the Hollywood Backlot Brawl was ridiculously violent. Those punches Piper was throwing at Goldust were absolutely vicious. Weapon shots and hard-way blood… the whole nine yards. Obviously, Piper jumping in the White Ford Bronco shows they want to take the tacky route and do a play on the OJ Simpson chase, which at this point had recently happened. There’s no low road WWF hasn’t taken at some point.
Doc Hendrix is backstage with Savio Vega. Footage is shown of Stone Cold Steve Austin putting the Million Dollar Dream on Vega. Vega says Austin better prepare for the fight of his life.
Stone Cold Steve Austin w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs. Savio Vega
Austin quickly attacks Vega as he’s getting in the ring. Vega punches back at him, and they’re brawling now. Vega sends Austin into the ropes for a sidewalk slam. Vega punches away at Austin, but Austin turns him over. They roll out of the ring and continue brawling. Vega chops him down and bounces him off the apron. Vega chops the chest and chases Ted DiBiase. Austin tries to attack from behind, but Vega chops him down. Vega gets Austin in the ring and sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Austin kicks Vega and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Austin then clubs him in the face with a double axe handle. Austin stomps away at Vega for a two count. Austin applies an arm bar. Austin yanks at the arm and applies a hammerlock. Vega elbows him and backflips over him. Austin avoids a spin kick, but Vega superkicks him for a two count.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is on the cellular phone from the Ford Bronco. Piper is here for a street fight and Goldust hasn’t seen anything yet. Police sirens are heard in the background.
Austin hits a snapmare on Vega and applies a chin lock. Vega gets out and tries for a clothesline, but his arm is too hurt. Austin clips the knees and attacks the arm before putting the arm bar back on.
Piper calls back into the show. Piper says he is here to fight, but he doesn’t care if Goldust is done. He’s going to make a man out of this “fruitcake.”
Back in the ring, Austin slams Vega on his arm and stomps him. Austin sends him into the ropes, but Vega hits a running cross-body for a two count. Austin connects with a Lou Thesz Press and punches for a near fall. They trade pinning attempt before struggling with a backslide pin. Austin then takes him down. Vega quickly wipes him out with a spin kick. Footage is shown of Roddy Piper’s White Ford Bronco driving on the highway is shown (it’s old footage from OJ Simpson). Austin rolls Vega up for a two count. Austin hits a scoop slam and goes to the top rope. Austin leaps, but Vega gets his boot up.
Both men are down, but they eventually get up. Vega punches Austin down before sending him into the ropes for a big chop. Vega sends Austin into the ropes for a back body drop. Vega clotheslines him down twice before going for a spin kick, but Austin ducks and the referee is wiped out. DiBiase puts the Million Dollar Championship in the ring. Austin goes for a Million Dollar Dream on Vega, but Vega superkicks him down. Vega checks on the referee. DiBiase distracts Vega, and Austin hits him with the belt. Austin pulls him out onto the apron and jumps off to hit him with the Million Dollar Belt. The referee is still down. Austin then applies the Million Dollar Dream. DiBiase wakes up the referee with a cup of soda. The referee checks on Vega, but his arm drops three times to end it.
Winner by Knockout: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Mike’s Thoughts: That’s about as nothing of a Stone Cold Steve Austin match that you’ll ever see. Obviously, we’re a few months away from Austin uttering the phrase that sent his career into the stratosphere (“Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”) so you can’t judge this too harshly. He was still finding himself. The constant cut-ins and distractions for the Hollywood Backlot Brawl shenanigans definitely didn’t do this any favors either.
Mr. Perfect is backstage with Diesel. Footage. Is shown from In Your House of The Undertaker pulling Diesel under the ring. Then we see footage from RAW of Diesel trying to get to Undertaker only for him to disappear. The next week Diesel looked at himself in a casket. Diesel says he doesn’t sweat the small or big things. Tonight, at WrestleMania, he’ll take “cool” of Undertaker. After that, Shawn Michaels is next.
We see quick footage of the White Ford Bronco driving through the streets.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Sable vs. The Ultimate Warrior
Helmsley attacks Warrior from behind and clubs him. Helmsley punches him and sends him into the ropes. Warrior ducks a clothesline, but Helmsley kicks him and connects with a Pedigree. Warrior immediately gets up and isn’t hurt by the move. Warrior punches him down and hits a trio of clotheslines. Warrior hits the ropes and connects with a diving shoulder tackle. Warrior presses Helmsley above his head and slams him down. Warrior follows up with a big splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Ultimate Warrior
Mike’s Thoughts: Probably one of the more interesting squash matches in wrestling history just for the two people involved. Warrior got an entrance fit for a hero’s return, one of the first really special entrances they ever did for a WrestleMania. The crowd was losing it for Warrior. It’s just hilarious that he squashed Triple H who would be super instrumental in bringing him back to WWE to get into the Hall of Fame shortly before Warrior’s untimely death. Hot start to Warrior’s super short 1996 run.
We go backstage to see Todd Pettengill. He’s backstage with “Wildman” Marc Mero. Mero says he’s waited five long years to get to the World Wrestling Federation. Today is the day he has arrived. What better date than on the Super Bowl of sports entertainment? Pettengill asks if Mero is up to the challenge. Helmsley bumps into Mero, and they get into a shoving match. Helmsley blames Sable for the loss and pushes Mero. Mero tackles him into a garage door, and they brawl.
More footage is shown of the Ford Bronco driving around. They’re on their way back to the arena.
Diesel vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
The bell rings, and they start brawling. Diesel sends him hard into the corner and hits a diving clothesline. Diesel elbows him in the corner before sending him hard to the opposite corner. Undertaker boots him back and hits a clothesline. Undertaker goes for an elbow drop, but Undertaker sits up. Diesel clotheslines him out of the ring, but Undertaker lands on his feet. Undertaker pulls him out of the ring and punches away at him. Diesel fights back and goes to bounce him off the steel steps, but Undertaker blocks it. Undertaker then bounces him off the steps. Diesel kicks Undertaker coming in the ring and sends him into the ropes. Undertaker uppercuts him and scoops him up, but Diesel gets out. Undertaker quickly takes him down with a running cross-body block for a two count. Undertaker punches and wrenches the arm before climbing the ropes. Undertaker walks on the top rope and jumps off with a club to the spine. Undertaker kicks him before trying for a diving lariat, but Diesel drops down. Undertaker hits the ropes hard.
Diesel grabs Undertaker, but Undertaker snaps him off the top rope. Paul Bearer loves what he is seeing. Undertaker punches Diesel over the top rope. Diesel staggers at ringside, so Undertaker goes outside and drives him spine-first into the ring post. Undertaker grabs a steel chair and swings, but Diesel ducks. Diesel then whips Undertaker into the metal barricade. Diesel lifts Undertaker up and drives him into the ring post. Diesel slides into the ring quickly to break the count. Diesel scoops Undertaker up and drives him into the ring post again. Diesel walks toward Paul Bearer, who looks frightened. Diesel gets in the ring, and the crowd loudly boos him. Undertaker slowly gets on the apron, but Diesel kicks him down to the floor.
Undertaker finally gets in the ring, so Diesel sends him into the ropes for a big boot. Diesel saunters around the ring a bit and punches away at Undertaker. A “Rest In Peace” chant picks up. Diesel punches Undertaker down and looks around. Diesel hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Diesel drops Undertaker face-first on the top turnbuckle before splashing him on the ropes. Diesel taunts the crowd, and they loudly boo him. Paul Bearer checks on Undertaker. Diesel knees Undertaker in the ribs a few times and punches him. Diesel whips him to the corner, but Undertaker elbows him back. Undertaker kicks and punches him. They then wipe each other out with dual big boots.
Both men are down. The referee is counting them down, but Undertaker sits up. Diesel gets to his feet and attacks Undertaker from behind. Diesel whips him hard into the corner and applies a bearhug. Diesel cinches it in, but Undertaker soon fights out. Diesel applies a side headlock, but Undertaker takes him down with a back suplex. Undertaker gets to his feet and drops an elbow. Undertaker goes to the top rope and hits a diving clothesline. Undertaker crawls over for a near fall. Undertaker sends Diesel into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Diesel then crushes Undertaker with a Jackknife Powerbomb! Diesel backs up and is smiling while talking trash. Diesel pokes Undertaker with his boot, but Undertaker sits up. Diesel punches him and hits a second Jackknife Powerbomb! Diesel walks around for a bit before dropping down for a pin, but Undertaker grabs him by the throat. Diesel punches the hand away, but Undertaker grabs him again. Diesel once again punches him away, but Undertaker grabs him by the throat a third time. Diesel swats him away and hits a back suplex. Undertaker sits up and gets to his feet. Diesel is frightened when he sees Undertaker standing. Undertaker punches him and hits the ropes hard for a diving clothesline. Undertaker grabs him by the throat and hits a Chokeslam. Undertaker gets to his feet and signals for the end. Undertaker connects with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: The Undertaker
Mike’s Thoughts: Win number five of the fabled streak. This is the first of the Streak matches that could be considered halfway decent, which just goes to show how poor the previous four WrestleMania matches were. The first part of the match was pretty good with the back and forth, but once Diesel hit him with the Jackknife Powerbomb and was just walking around, they really lost me (and the crowd for that matter). You knew what was coming and it wasn’t good. Good start, bad finish. Diesel was too busy playing cool heel.
Hollywood Backlot Brawl – Part Two
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
Todd Pettengill is in the security booth for the arena. All of a sudden, we see Goldust’s Gold Cadillac blow through the gate with the Ford Bronco on his tail. They drive into the garage, and Piper crashes the Bronco into the driver side of the Cadillac. Goldust escapes with Marlena. Piper is shown angrily looking for Goldust backstage. Pat Patterson is shown running off backstage. Diesel is also shown walking backstage not looking injured at all.
Piper is chasing Goldust down the aisle in the arena and drives him into the apron. They brawl in the ring, and Goldust gets the better of him. Goldust punches him down and slaps him in the face. Goldust attacks the leg that was injured earlier in the brawl. The crowd is loudly buzzing for Piper. Goldust poses and puts Piper’s head between his legs. Goldust grabs his backside, so Piper fights back. Goldust punches him down and chokes him with his shirt. Goldust chokes Piper with the shirt again and drops a first. Goldust slams Piper’s leg off the ring post and gets him in the ring. Piper collapses, so Goldust mounts him and rubs his body. Goldust then punches away at him. Goldust goes to kiss him, but Piper fights him off.
Goldust goes to the top rope, but Piper shakes the ropes to crotch him up there. Goldust head-butts him back before kissing him on the lips. Goldust punches him, but Piper isn’t feeling it. Piper looks disgusted. Piper gets furious and wildly punches away at Goldust before grabbing him by the crotch and taking him down! Piper knees him in the groin and spanks him. Piper then rips Goldust’s body suit off to reveal lingerie. Piper kisses Goldust on the lips and rips the remainder of the body suit off. Goldust is in a thong. Piper knees him in the groin again. Goldust gets out of the ring and runs off with Marlena.
Winner: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Mike’s Thoughts: Well that sure was something… Just gets weirder and weirder every time I see this show. I liked the first part of this match more than the second half. The stuff in the arena was just ugly. The whole premise of it is weird and extraordinarily outdated and cringey. I hate to do the retroactive morality thing here, but the whole impetus behind the original Goldust character being the ultimate villain was because he had homosexual tendencies and came off as androgynous. Piper was a face because he wanted to beat him up and make him a man. Cringey.
Video Package: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
Howard Finkel introduces WWF President Gorilla Monsoon. Monsoon is back to being the fulltime president of WWF. Finkel introduces Shawn Michaels, but only José Lothario comes out. Lothario waves to the crowd and gets in the ring. Lothario gets in the ring, stands on the bottom turnbuckle, and points at the rafters.
Shawn Michaels is standing on a ledge near the ceiling of the Arrowhead Pond! Michaels steps off and ziplines down into the crowd! Michaels gets into the ring and fireworks go off.
WWF Champion Bret Hart soon makes his entrance and gets in the ring. Fireworks go off as well. Gorilla Monsoon is in the ring as Referee Earl Hebner states the rules of the match.
WWF Championship – 60-minute Iron Man Match
Shawn Michaels w/ José Lothario vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart (c)
The bell rings, and they begin to circle the ring as the 60-minute excursion begins. They lock up, and Michaels powers him to the corner. Hart turns him around and gives a clean break. They circle the ring again and lock up, but Michaels knees him and hits a waistlock takedown. Hart turns it around, but Michaels quickly escapes. They lock up once again, and Hart applies a side headlock. Michaels drops down and throws Hart off. Hart applies another side headlock, but Michaels once again drops down and throws him off. They walk around the ring and lock up, and Michaels wrenches the arm. Hart twists out and applies a side headlock. Michaels tries to drop down and throw him off, but Hart cinches in and keeps the headlock on. Michaels fights up and tries to whip Hart off, but Hart keeps the side headlock applied. Michaels fights up again, and Hart hits a headlock takeover. Michaels’ shoulders are down for a count of one. Hart cinches in the headlock, and the clock shows we have 56:30 remaining. Hart hits another headlock takeover, and Michaels’ shoulders again get counted down for a one count. Michaels fights up and whips Hart off before hitting a hip toss. Hart kicks him away and hits a headlock takeover, but Michaels applies a head-scissor. Hart kips up out of it and hits a headlock takeover. Michaels tries to head-scissor him, but Hart stays away and cinches in the headlock. Michaels tries to roll him onto his shoulders, but Hart reverses his weight. 5 minutes have passed in this match. Michaels fights up and twists out of the headlock before taking Hart down. Hart immediately applies a front facelock, and Michaels punches the mat in frustration. Michaels fights up, and Hart hits another headlock takeover. Michaels fights up and punches out of the headlock. Michaels whips Hart into the ropes, drops down twice and hits a pair of arm drags.
Michaels applies an arm bar and knees the arm a few times. Michaels drops a leg on the arm and twists it. Hart fights up and tries to toss Michaels off, but Michaels keeps the arm bar applied. Bret Hart’s father, Stu Hart, and “Classy” Freddie Blassie are shown watching from ringside. Hart fights up and backs Michaels into the ropes. Michaels shoulder blocks him down and hits the ropes, but Hart hits a drop-toe-hold. Hart applies a side headlock, but Michaels twists out and applies a hammerlock. 51:30 remain in this match. Michaels cinches in the hammerlock before transitioning to an arm bar. Hart fights up and backs him to the corner. Hart punches and shoulders Michaels in the corner. Michaels turns him around and punches him. Hart reverses a whip to the corner and catches him trying a slingshot. Michaels then hits him with a head-scissor takeover that sends Hart out of the ring! Hart looks furious at ringside and thinks about his strategy. 10 minutes have passed in this match.
Hart gets in the ring, and Michaels wrenches the arm before taking him down. Hart twists out of an arm bar and whips him into the ropes. Hart quickly sends him over the top rope, but Michaels skins the cat and takes Hart down with an arm bar. Hart fights up and whips him off. Hart drops down and then hits a knee to the midsection to turn him inside out. Hart drops a head-butt before dropping a leg and applying a chin lock. Michaels quickly fights up and hits a jawbreaker. Michaels drops a leg and applies an arm bar. Michaels really cinches it in. Hart soon fights up and applies a side headlock. Michaels whips him off and goes for a leapfrog, but Hart catches him and slams him on the mat. Hart goes for a Sharpshooter, but Michaels immediately wiggles away and gets to the ropes. Hart then clotheslines him over the top rope. Hart uppercuts Michaels at ringside, but Michaels soon sends him into the ring post. Hart lands on Tony Chimel, who is assisting at ringside. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Hart moves and Michaels connects with Tony Chimel!
15 minutes have passed in the match. We’re a quarter of the way through. Hart punches Michaels and puts him back in the ring. Hart drops an elbow and goes back to the chin lock. Doctors are checking on Chimel at ringside. Hart elbows Michaels in the head and re-applies a chin lock. Michaels tries to fight out, but Hart keeps the headlock on. A stretcher is brought out for Chimel and he is carted off. Michaels fights up and arm drags Hart off before connecting with a stiff clothesline. Hart reverses a whip into the ropes and clotheslines Michaels down before going back to the chin lock. Michaels fights up and punches Hart in the midsection. Michaels hits the ropes, but Hart goes for a slam. Michaels gets out and goes for a roll-up, but Hart holds the ropes. Michaels quickly dropkicks him down, hits an arm drag, and applies an arm bar. Michaels stretches the arm and pulls on it. Hart’s shoulders are nearly counted down for a pin. 40 minutes remain in this match. Hart fights up and tries to get out, but Michaels takes him down. Hart’s shoulders are nearly pinned to the mat again. Michaels transitions into a hammerlock, but Hart starts to fight up. Hart backs him to the corner, and the referee orders a rope break. Hart viciously elbows Michaels in the face twice before delivering some uppercuts. Michaels reverses a whip and knees him in the midsection before sending him into the ring post shoulder-first. Michaels goes to the apron and snaps Hart’s arm into the post. Michaels gets back in the ring and hits a shoulder-breaker. Michaels goes to the second rope for a diving double axe handle. Michaels applies a hammerlock and connects with a scoop slam onto the injured arm. Michaels then applies a hammerlock and drives him into the corner. Michaels repeats the move on the opposite corner before clubbing him a few times. Hart punches back and sends him into the ropes, but Michaels counters back with an arm breaker. Michaels quickly applies an arm bar before kneeing the arm. Michaels goes back to the arm bar. Hart fights up and stomps out.
Michaels shoulders Hart in the corner and elbows him in the face. Michaels hits a snapmare and goes back to an arm bar. Michaels really cinches it in, but Hart fights up and hits a hotshot into the ropes. Hart grabs the legs and connects with a catapult. Both men are down with 32 minutes remaining. Hart goes over to Michaels and covers for a near fall. Michaels blocks a shot into the corner and bounces him a few times. Michaels goes for an avalanche in the corner, but Hart moves. Hart kicks him a few times in the midsection before hitting an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline for a near fall. Hart brings Michaels to the corner and hits a running bulldog. Hart goes to the top rope, but Michaels grabs him. Hart pulls at the hair and hits a (sort of) diving backbreaker. The referee is taken out on that exchange.
One half-hour has passed in this match. Halfway through! Hart checks on Earl Hebner, who is coming to. Michaels reverses a whip into the ropes and connects with a scoop powerslam for a near fall. Michaels sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Hart connects with a piledriver for a near fall. Jerry Lawler cannot believe Michaels kicked out of a piledriver. Hart drops a leg and goes to the top rope. Michaels punches him in the face and slams him off the top rope. Michaels hits a hurricanrana and punches him in the head a few times. Michaels sends him into the ropes, but Hart holds the ropes. Michaels punches Hart and this a backbreaker for a near fall. Michaels sends him into the ropes and stuns Hart with a back elbow. Michaels teases Sweet Chin Music, but Hart gets out of the ring. Michaels quickly goes to the top rope and catches Hart walking around ringside with a cross-body block to the floor! Michaels gets in the ring and looks for a count-out to get the first decision of the match. Michaels then goes outside and throws Hart into the ring. Michaels goes to the top rope and hits a cross-body block, but Hart rolls through and picks up a near fall! Michaels reverses a whip into the ropes and goes for a hip toss, but Hart blocks it. They go for a backslide and struggle. Michaels flips through and catches him with a small package for a near fall. Michaels quickly elbows him in the head. Michaels sends him into the ropes and kicks him before hitting a PerfectPlex for a near fall. Michaels sends Hart into the ropes and applies a sleeper hold. Hart backs Michaels to the corner, but Michaels quickly hops back on him with a sleeper hold. The referee checks on Hart’s arms, but he holds it up. Hart fights up and tries to back him into the corner, but Michaels throws him there. Michaels applies a sleeper hold again, but Hart gets out and goes for a back suplex. Michaels flips through and elbows him in the face. Michaels kicks him back and whips him hard into the corner. Michaels charges, but Hart gives him a back body drop over the top rope to the floor! Michaels hits a cameraman coming down!
The referee starts counting Michaels out, but Hart goes outside and picks him up. Hart drives him into the ring post spine-first. Hart picks up Michaels and throws him into the ring. Hart clubs him down and head-butts the lower back. Hart whips Michaels hard into the corner, goes to the second rope, and drops an elbow on the lower back. Hart sends Michaels into the ropes and connects with a backbreaker. Hart drops a leg and clubs him. 20 minutes are left in the match. Hart climbs the ropes and jumps on Michaels’ back. Hart whips him into the corner and turns him inside out. Hart then connects with a back superplex for a near fall! Hart applies a modified camel clutch and stretches him out. Hart holds it on for a while, but Michaels fights up. Michaels elbows out, hits the ropes, and connects with a sunset flip for a. two count. Hart quickly clubs him down before putting him on the top rope. Michaels punches him back and jumps off, but Hart punches him in the midsection. Hart connects with a side leg sweep for a near fall. Hart bounces him in the corner before whipping him hard into the opposite corner. The momentum throws Michaels out of the ring, and his leg clips José Lothario as he comes down! Hart poses for the crowd before going outside. Hart whips Michaels into the steps, and Lothario is wiped out again! Hart puts Michaels in the ring and yells at Lothario.
45 minutes have passed. We’re three-quarters of the way through this match. Hart connects with a belly-to-belly side suplex for a near fall. Hart punches him, but Michaels fights back. They trade punches before Hart takes him back down. Hart uppercuts Michaels in the corner a few times and goes for a suplex, but Michaels gets out and rolls him up. Hart kicks out at two. The kickout sends Michaels out of the ring. Hart hits the ropes and hits Michaels with a suicide dive! Hart thinks about it and gets back in the ring looking for a count-out. There still hasn’t been a fall for either man in this match. The referee slowly begins counting Michaels out, but he gets on the apron. Hart goes for a suplex into the ring, but Michaels gets out. Hart reverses and catches Michaels with a German Suplex for a near fall.
Michaels forearms at him, but Hart viciously punches back. Hart stomps him in the face before bringing him to his feet and head-butting him down. Hart drops to his knees in exhaustion. 10 minutes remain in this match. They have been wrestling for 50 minutes. Hart applies the modified camel clutch again. Hart holds it on for a bit. 9 minutes remain. Michaels begins fighting up with 8:30 remaining. Hart holds him down. Finally, Michaels gets to his feet with 8 minutes left. Michaels elbows out, hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and they wipe each other out with a double clothesline. Hart gets to his feet and pulls Michaels up. They trade punches before Hart puts Michaels on the top rope. Hart connects with a top rope superplex! Hart is too exhausted to immediately follow up. Hart gets to his feet and goes for a Sharpshooter, but Michaels kicks him in the face to keep him away. Hart sets up for a Figure Four Leglock, but Hart changes his mind and applies a single leg crab. Michaels quickly gets to the ropes. Hart holds it on for a few more moments to increase the damage. Hart crushes the spine with a backbreaker.
5 minutes remain in this match. Hart goes to the second rope and jumps, but Michaels gets his boots up! Michaels soon dropkicks him to the corner and hits a running forearm. Michaels then whips him hard sternum-first into the corner. 4 minutes left! Michaels crawls over and picks him up. Hart reverses a whip into the ropes, but Michaels hits a flying forearm. Michaels kips up, and the crowd cheers him. Michaels stomps the face and sends Hart into the ropes for a jumping back elbow. Michaels connects with a scoop slam and goes to the top rope for a double axe handle for a near fall. Less than 3 minutes remain. Michaels connects with a suplex and goes to the top rope for a diving elbow drop to pick up a near fall. Michaels whips Hart into the ropes, kicks him, and hits a gutwrench sit-out powerbomb!
2 minutes remain. Michaels connects with a moonsault block for a near fall. Hart reverses a whip to the corner, but Michaels boots him back. Michaels goes for a flying hurricanrana and sort of connects with it for a near fall. Michaels connects with a scoop slam, and Michaels collapses in exhaustion. 1 minutes remains! The crowd is really buzzing here. Michaels slowly climbs the ropes and jumps off, but Hart counters into the Sharpshooter! Hart cinches it in! 20 seconds remain! Michaels screams in pain but won’t submit. 5 seconds… 4… 3… 2… 1! The bell rings!
WWF President Gorilla Monsoon gets in the ring. Bret Hart grabs the WWF Championship and walks off as the match went to a Time Limit Draw. Monsoon talks to the referee and the ring announcer. Howard Finkel says the 60-minute time limit has expired, but the match has been ordered to continue under sudden death rules! There must be a winner! Hart is absolutely furious as he walks back to the ring. Hart gets in the ring and shouts at Monsoon.
Sudden Death Rules
The bell rings, and Hart punches Michaels in the lower back a few times. Hart angrily knees him in the back before sending him into the ropes for a back body drop. Hart connects with a backbreaker before whipping him into the corner. Michaels slingshots over him and connects with Sweet Chin Music! Both men are down. Michaels is so tired that Hart is the first one to start stirring. Hart struggles to get to his feet. Michaels gets up and connects with a second Sweet Chin Music to win the WWF Championship!
Winner by Pinfall and new WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels
The crowd loudly cheers, and Shawn Michaels is in disbelief. Bret Hart angrily walks around the ring. Michaels shouts at the referee to tell him to have Hart and José Lothario get out of the ring. Hart angrily goes to the back. Michaels is handed the WWF Championship, and he kisses it. The referee raises his arm in victory and fireworks go off above the ring. Michaels thanks the fans in attendance and poses in the ring. Lothario gets in the ring and embraces Michaels. Michaels goes outside and shakes hands with Stu Hart at ringside.
A video package highlights everything we saw at WrestleMania tonight.
Mike’s Thoughts: It was definitely a gutsy call to have Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart go a legitimate one hour in the WrestleMania main event. My hat is always off to both men for doing their best to pull it off. They really did pull off a heck of a match. The commentary by McMahon and Lawler was really spot on and added a lot as they sat in rest holds for a good portion of this. Watching live in the arena must have been pretty boring though. Felt like every 10-15 minutes they would do something big and then go back to relaxing. The first probably 45 minutes was a good match. As it got to the end it picked up nicely and ended with a great celebration for Shawn Michaels.
It’s a great concept, but not one I can ever imagine them doing again. I know they did some 60-minute Iron Man Matches after, but it hasn’t been done since 2009. Since then it’s been 30-minute ones. The last one with Rollins and Ziggler was a disaster with the crowd making a mockery of it with the clock. The days of the 60-minute Iron Man Match are pretty much over.
Overall this was a much improved WrestleMania from the year before. Other than Austin vs. Vega, which was totally dead, all the matches were entertaining or at least interesting. Thanks for reading another retro recap!
Quick Match Results
— Vader, Owen Hart, and The British Bulldog def. Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts
— Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Savio Vega via Knockout
— The Ultimate Warrior def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
— The Undertaker def. Diesel
— “Rowdy” Roddy Piper def. Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl
— Shawn Michaels def. Bret “Hitman” Hart in Sudden Death Overtime in a 60-minute Iron Man Match to win the WWF Championship
Thanks for reading!