WWF WrestleMania 13 Results
March 23, 1997
Chicago, Illinois (Rosemont Horizon)
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
A video kicks off the show highlighting all the celebrities, glitz, and glamour of past WrestleMania shows. This year hatred and anger engulf the show. WrestleMania is about a time of rejoicing, but none of the men tonight will be smiling.
We go live into the arena to see a fireworks display. Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show.
Footage is shown of the original Blackjacks in 1975. Todd Pettengill is backstage with The New Blackjacks. Pettengill mentions the winning team in this elimination match coming up will get a WWF Tag Team Championship match on Raw Is War. Blackjack Windham says they’ll be victorious in the Blackjack tradition. Blackjack Bradshaw says the Blackjacks will ride again.
No. 1 Contenders Tag Team Elimination Match
The Godwinns (Henry O. and Phineas I.) w/ Hillbilly Jim vs. The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) vs. Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon vs. The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Bradshaw and Blackjack Windham)
A big brawl breaks out with all four teams to start the match. The smoke eventually clears and it’s Henry O. Godwinn against Blackjack Bradshaw to start. Bradshaw clubs and kicks Henry. Bradshaw has a whip reversed, and Henry clotheslines him down. Henry applies a side headlock and tags Thrasher in. Thrasher clubs away at Bradshaw, but Bradshaw soon big boots him down. Bradshaw bits a pumphandle slam and tags Phineas in. Bradshaw clubs Phineas before leaving. Thrasher punches at Phineas before having a whip reversed. Phineas hits a back body drop and tags Mosh in. Mosh has to face Thrasher now. They trade punches and do a butt bump before dancing. Thrasher tags in Phil LaFon. The Headbangers hit LaFon with a double-team flapjack. Mosh kicks LaFon, but LaFon comes back with a snap suplex. LaFon quickly hits Mosh with a mule kick. Blackjack Windham tags in, but LaFon hits him with a northern lights suplex for a two count. Doug Furnas tags in and hits Windham with a hurricanrana for a near fall. Furnas goes for a leapfrog, but Windham catches him and slams him down before dropping a leg. Windham sends Furnas into Bradshaw’s boot. Bradshaw tags in. The New Blackjacks hit a double-team shoulder block. Bradshaw goes for a hellacious lariat, but Furnas ducks it. Furnas dropkicks Bradshaw out of the ring. Furnas tries to suplex him into the ring, but Windham attacks. Bradshaw then suplexes Furnas out of the ring. Bradshaw clubs Furnas. LaFon and Furnas start brawling with the New Blackjacks. During the melee, Bradshaw shoves the referee down. The New Blackjacks have been disqualified. Furnas and LaFon get counted out as well.
The New Blackjacks have been eliminated.
Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon have been eliminated.
In the ring, Henry slams Thrasher. Phineas tags in, and Henry scoop slams him onto Thrasher. Phineas attacks the neck before hitting a delayed vertical suplex. Mosh breaks up the pin. Henry tags in and clubs Thrasher. Henry applies a side headlock, but Thrasher sends him to the corner. Henry quickly turns him and punches. Henry viciously clubs Thrasher in the corner and hits a snapmare for a two count. Phineas tags in and head-butts Thrasher. They spit in each other’s face before throwing punches. Phineas clotheslines Thrasher in the corner before tagging Henry back in. Henry hits a big splash for a near fall. Mosh tags in and clubs Henry. Henry kicks Mosh in the face and sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. The momentum sends Henry over the top rope as well.
Mosh snaps Henry off the top rope, sending him back to the floor. Mosh pulls him up to the apron and hits a springboard clothesline down to the floor. Mosh screams that everyone knows they’re getting the titles. Thrasher goes to the top rope, and Mosh throws him off the top rope to the floor onto Henry. Thrasher puts Henry in the ring, and Mosh picks up a near fall. The Headbangers send Henry into the ropes for a double-team clothesline. Thrasher goes to the top rope and goes for a moonsault, but Henry moves.
Mosh and Phineas tags in. Phineas scoop slams both Headbangers. Phineas sends Mosh into the ropes for a back elbow before clotheslining Thrasher over the top rope. Phineas sets up for a Slop Drop on Mosh and stalls. Thrasher clotheslines him down to break it up. Henry runs in and attacks Thrasher. Mosh hits Phineas with the Mosh Pit (Diving Seated Senton) for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: The Headbangers
The Headbangers are now the No. 1 Contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championships and will face the champions tomorrow night on Raw Is War.
Mike’s Thoughts: The rules of this match were so stupid. How can two partners be tagged in and forced to face each other? That makes absolutely no sense. They’d be working against their own common interest since if one is pinned, the entire team is gone. How that made it through the booking committee, I’ll never know. It was amazing that moments later Jerry Lawler asked what if one partner beat the other – would they both have to leave? Vince McMahon had to just guffaw and said it wasn’t a good hypothetical. That kind of stupidity kind of sums up this match nicely. It was bad. By the way, The Headbangers won the Tag Title match by DQ the next night on Raw Is War, so after all this they didn’t even win the titles. Waste of time. Also odd to me to have a match on WrestleMania that sets up a match on Raw. Isn’t WrestleMania supposed to be the be all, end all?
An advertisement for In Your House on April 20 plays.
The Honky Tonk Man is in the ring. Captain Lou Albano is shown at ringside along with Arnold Skaaland. HTM joins commentary and sings his theme song. Tony Atlas is also shown.
WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Sultan w/ The Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund vs. Rocky Maivia (c)
The bell rings, and The Iron Sheik waves the Iranian Flag at ringside. Maivia goes face-to-face with The Sultan. They shove each other before Maivia punches him. Sultan reverses a whip and shoulder blocks him down. Maivia kips up and punches him. Sultan reverses a whip to the corner, but Maivia clotheslines him down before hitting a pair of dropkicks to send him out of the ring. The Iron Sheik checks on The Sultan at ringside. Bob Backlund comes over to give advice as well.
A ”Rocky Sucks” chant lightly picks up. Sultan pulls Maivia out of the ring, so Maivia punches away at him. Sultan leans against the ring post but moves when Maivia tries for a clothesline. Sultan gets Maivia in the ring and clubs away at him. Sultan sends him into the ropes for a clothesline. Sultan hits a throat thrust to take him down before stomping him. Maivia soon blocks a punch, but Sultan grabs him by the throat and throws him to the corner before clotheslining him down for a two count. The Sultan quickly goes to a nerve hold. Another “Rocky Sucks” chant picks up. HTM is criticizing Rocky Maivia for not finishing this match. Maivia punches out and ducks a clothesline, but Sultan turns him inside out with a knee to the midsection. Sultan hits a backbreaker and goes to the top rope. Sultan hits a flying head-butt and taunts the crowd. Sultan covers him with one arm for a two count. Sultan sends him into the ropes, but Maivia comes back with a sunset flip attempt. Sultan doesn’t go down and chokes him. Maivia breaks out, but Sultan head-butts him and hits a belly-to-belly side suplex for a near fall. Sultan applies a chin lock and cinches it in. Maivia fights it but begins to fade. The referee checks on his arm, but it doesn’t fall the third time. The crowd boos as Maivia fights up and punches out. Maivia hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and they wipe each other out with a double clothesline. They’re both down for a bit, but Maivia soon rolls over and covers for a two count.
Sultan clubs the back, but Maivia begins to fire up. Maivia punches Sultan back and takes him down. Maivia connects with a dropkick before sending Sultan into the ropes and kicking him. Maivia uppercuts him and hits a belly-to-belly side suplex for a near fall. Sultan sends him into the ropes, but Maivia floats through and hits a DDT. Maivia gets himself pumped up and goes to the top rope for a diving cross-body block, but Iron Sheik is distracting the referee. Sultan gets up, but Maivia cuts off the blindside and kicks him in the face. Maivia hits the ropes, but Sultan drops him with a thrust kick for a near fall. Sultan hits a big piledriver for another near fall. Sultan goes for a scoop slam, but Maivia gets out and rolls him up for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia
Jim Ross interviews Rocky Maivia at ringside, but Sultan immediately attacks Maivia from behind. JR is knocked over. Sultan this Maivia with the Intercontinental Championship. Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund get shots in on Maivia as well. Sultan hits a top rope splash on Maivia. The Iron Sheik then applies the Camel Clutch to Maivia.
All of a sudden, Rocky Johnson runs in and attacks Sheik with some jabs while doing the Ali shuffle. Johnson scares Iron Sheik back, so Sultan hits him with the Iranian flag. They choke Johnson with the flagpole and rip his shirt off. Maivia attacks Sultan and punches him out of the ring. Maivia grabs Sheik and gives him a scoop slam. Johnson then grabs Sheik and gives him a scoop slam as well. Finally, father and son punch Sheik out of the ring. Maivia and Johnson embrace in the ring.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was not a good match at all. Just straight up boring. It’s amazing that less than two years later Rocky Maivia would be The Rock, one of the hottest stars in the business, main eventing WrestleMania. You can tell even here he has all the talent and the look here, but it obviously wasn’t coming together yet. Still, he’d only been doing it for maybe two years at this point. The Sultan character was a big nothing-burger, but he’d eventually become Rikishi. The Rock kind of mirrors Steve Austin, who had a less than auspicious WrestleMania debut the year before and would also go on to be a megastar. I sometimes wonder how both those guys would have fared if they had been given scripted promos. Something inside them clicked character-wise to send them both to the top and the machine got behind them. Their characters were an extension of themselves, not something created in a writing room. That’s the key.
Todd Pettengill is backstage with Ken Shamrock, who will be refereeing the Submission Match with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret “Hitman” Hart later tonight. Footage is shown from this past Monday’s Raw Is War where Shamrock put Billy Gunn in an arm bar and an ankle lock. Shamrock says he wasn’t trying to hurt Gunn. He just wanted Gunn to know who he was. Pettengill says Austin and Hart both said they’d come after Shamrock if he gets in their way. Shamrock says he’s here to referee because he knows submissions. He’ll raise the winner’s hand and will not be intimidated.
Doc Hendrix is backstage with Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna. Hendrix asks about Helmsley’s relationship with Chyna. Helmsley says it’s none of Hendrix’s business. Hendrix asks about Goldust. Helmsley says they big loser will be Marlena. Her special talent had better be running with Chyna at ringside.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Chyna vs. Goldust w/ Marlena
Goldust crouches down and looks at Helmsley before popping up and clotheslining him down. Goldust hits a second clothesline and punches away at him. Helmsley reveres a whip, but Goldust drops down and uppercuts him. Goldust gets him in the corner and does the 10 punches. Goldust spat at Chyna and kissed Helmsley. Goldust hits an inverted atomic drop and clotheslines him out of the ring. Goldust pulls him up to the apron and punches him in the face. Goldust slides under the bottom rope and uppercuts him. Helmsley gets tied up in the ropes. Goldust gets on the apron and kicks him in the face. Goldust bounces him off the ring post and clotheslines him into the ring. Goldust sends him into the ropes, but Helmsley comes back with a facebuster. Helmsley hits the ropes, but Goldust takes him down with a scoop powerslam. Goldust goes to the top rope, but Helmsley cuts him off. Helmsley goes for a superplex, but Goldust fights it. Helmsley then gives him a front superplex to the floor. Goldust’s face bounces off the apron.
Helmsley gets Goldust in the ring and goes to the top rope for a diving punch. Helmsley puts him in the corner and rips the bodysuit open to chop the chest. Helmsley stomps away at him in the corner before the referee steps in. Helmsley then taunts Marlena at ringside. Helmsley whips him hard into the opposite corner, and Goldust collapses in pain. Helmsley sends him hard into the corner again before kicking him and hitting a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Helmsley then applies an abdominal stretch. Helmsley holds the ropes to get more leverage, but the referee catches him. Goldust hits a hip toss to get out. Goldust hits the ropes and ducks a clothesline, but Helmsley soon hits a high knee to the chest for a near fall. Helmsley then applies a chin lock. Helmsley takes him down and covers for another near fall. Helmsley continues trying to pin, but Goldust won’t stay down. Goldust soon drives his shin into Helmsley’s groin, but Helmsley fights back and connects with a suplex. Helmsley taunts the crowd and drops a knee for yet another near fall. Goldust puts a hand up and tries to get the crowd going. Helmsley punches him, but Goldust turns him around and punches away at him in the corner. Goldust sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and takes a DDT. Helmsley sends him into the ropes, but Goldust catches him with a backslide pin for a two count. Goldust executes a small package for a two count. Helmsley then clotheslines him down.
Goldust goes for a scoop slam, but Helmsley’s weight takes him down for a two count. Helmsley sends him into the ropes, but Goldust hits a running cross-body block for a two count. Goldust hits the ropes, but he clunks heads with Helmsley. Both are down. Helmsley goes to the top rope and jumps off, but Goldust jumps up and butt bumps him out of midair. Goldust struggles to get up, and he sidesteps an avalanche from Helmsley. Helmsley hits the ropes at an ugly angle. Goldust punches him back a few times before sending him into the ropes for a back body drop. Goldust bounces him off the turnbuckle before whipping him hard into the corner to roll him up. Goldust follows up with a bulldog for a near fall.
Chyna approaches Marlena and scares her back. Goldust goes for a Curtain Call, but Helmsley flips through and tries for a Pedigree. Goldust counters with a catapult into the ropes before going for a Curtain Call. Goldust drops Helmsley and picks Marlena up onto the apron to protect her. Helmsley knees Goldust into Marlena, who falls off the apron into Chyna’s arms. Chyna ragdolls her around. In the ring, Helmsley connects with a devastating Pedigree for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Goldust slowly comes to after Helmsley and Chyna leaves the ring. He looks devastated at Marlena and cradles her. Goldust then carries her to the back.
Mike’s Thoughts: I actually thought this was a pretty good match. It died in the middle a little bit, but these guys worked nicely together and, most importantly, worked really hard in this. The finish was really good in this.
While British Bulldog and Owen Hart are making their way to the ring, JR interviews them. JR asks if Bulldog is upset Owen Hart said he was smarter than him. Hart says he was just trying to fire him up. JR asks who the leader is. They both say they are.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Vader and Mankind w/ Paul Bearer vs. The British Bulldog and Owen Hart (c’s)
It’ll be Owen Hart starting against Vader. Vader taunts the crowd a few times before locking up with Hart. Vader easily powers him to the corner and punches away at him. Vader head-butts him down before clubbing the chest. Vader hits him with some viciously forearms and taunts the crowd. Vader sends Hart into the ropes, but Hart slides through the legs and tries for a clothesline, but Vader doesn’t go down. Hart then hits the ropes again and hits a spinning leg kick. Hart goes into the ropes again, but Vade catches him and slams him down. Vader goes to drop an elbow, but Hart moves. Hart goes for a hurricanrana, but Vader counters into a nasty powerbomb. Vader pulls Hart to the corner and climbs to the second rope. British Bulldog quickly runs over and punches Vader. Mankind runs in and brings Bulldog into the ring the hard way before punching away at him. Mankind and Vader double-team the Bulldog. Bulldog soon comes back and takes them both down with a double clothesline. Hart then hits them with a double dropkick.
Bulldog and Mankind are in the match. Bulldog punches away at him before sending him hard into the corner. Bulldog stomps away at him in the corner before hitting a delayed vertical suplex. Vader runs in and attacks Bulldog, but Bulldog hits him with a release suplex. Bulldog then (sort of) throws him out of the ring. Bulldog hits Mankind with a snapmare for a chin lock. Mankind fights up and backs Bulldog into the ropes. Mankind whips him off, and Vader pulls the top rope down to get Bulldog out of the ring. Mankind goes outside, and Paul Bearer hands him the urn. Mankind charges, but Bulldog gives him a drop-toe-hold. The referee is admonishing Hart from getting in the ring. Vader grabs the urn and smashes Bulldog with it. Mankind gets in the ring and tags Vader in. Vader grabs Bulldog coming in the ring and connects with a suplex for a near fall. Vader punches Bulldog in the corner and sends him hard into the corner. Vader avalanches him in the corner. Vader goes to the second rope and connects with a diving splash for a near fall. Mankind tags in and signals for the Mandible Claw, but Bulldog gets away. Mankind forearms him down in the corner before hitting him with a running knee to the face. Mankind then drops a leg on the back of the head. Mankind sends him into the ropes and hits a back body drop. Vader tags back in and punches Bulldog down. Vader sends Bulldog into the ropes and avalanches him. Vader goes to the second rope and jumps, but Bulldog slams him out of midair.
Hart tags in and hits Vader with a missile dropkick. Vader reverses a whip into the ropes, but Hart goes for a sunset flip. Vader doesn’t go down and tries for a splash, but Hart moves. Hart goes to the top rope and hits a cross-body block for a near fall. Hart hits the ropes, but Vader annihilates him with an avalanche. Mankind gets in the ring and goads Bulldog into the ring. The referee yells at Bulldog. At ringside, Vader gives Hart a backbreaker while Mankind drops an elbow off the apron. Mankind gets Hart to his feet and floors him with a forearm. Mankind gets in the ring and pulls Hart to the apron. Mankind goes for a suplex into the ring, but Hart blocks it. They each try for a suplex before Mankind snaps him off the top rope. Mankind attacks Hart in front of Stu and Helen Hart at ringside. Mankind gets Hart in the ring and applies a chin lock. Hart fights up, but Mankind knees him. Mankind goes for a swinging neckbreaker, but Hart counters into a DDT. Hart hits the ropes and goes for a splash, but Mankind gets the knees up for a two count. Mankind sends Hart into the corner sternum-first and avalanches him. Hart then takes him out with a desperation spinning wheel kick for a two count. Vader tags in and punches Hart down. Vader waffles Hart with some nasty punches before hitting a head-butt to take him down. Vader goes for a suplex, but Hart gets out and hits a spinning heel kick to take Vader down. Vader quickly gets to his feet and drops an elbow for a two count. Mankind tags in and throws Hart out of the ring. The Bulldog tries to get in, but the referee stops him. Mankind charges Hart at ringside, but Hart hits him with a belly-to-belly side suplex on the floor. Hart gets in the ring and hits Mankind with an enzuigiri.
Bulldog tags in and clotheslines Mankind. Bulldog punches Vader trying to come in and knocks off his mask. Bulldog then slams Mankind’s head into Vader’s. Bulldog elbows Mankind down and sends him face-first into the ring post. Bulldog sends him sternum-first into the corner and tries for a Running Powerslam, but Mankind counters with a Mandible Claw! Hart runs in, so Vader big boots him down. Vader then avalanches Hart into Bulldog and Mankind, sending them both out of the ring. Mankind nearly lands on his head falling out of the ring! Mankind keeps the Mandible Claw applied at ringside, so the referee counts them both out.
The British Bulldog and Owen Hart retain the WWF Tag Team Championship
Vader sends Hart into the ring steps. Vader then goes over and pulls Mankind off Hart. Paul Bearer also has to convince Mankind to let Bulldog go. They walk off happy with the destruction they’ve caused.
Mike’s Thoughts: Actually, not a bad match at all. It went a little long – I’d say they could’ve shaved 5 minutes off it and been even better – but there was no excuse for that hideous finish. That’s about as garbage a way you can get out of a match as possible, especially after going 15 minutes. It’s WrestleMania. Try to be a little more creative. Thus far, other than Helmsley vs. Goldust, this show is a bust.
Video Package: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin in a Submission Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart
Special Guest Referee: Ken Shamrock
Austin tackles Hart and punches away at him at the sound of the bell. Hart turns him over and punches away at him. They roll out of the ring and brawl at ringside. They trade punches before Austin kicks him. Hart punches him back before sending him into the ring post. Hart goes for a suplex on the floor, but Austin counters into a front suplex to crotch him on the barricade. Austin clotheslines him off the barricade into the laps of Captain Lou Albano and Tony Atlas. They brawl in the crowd until Austin stomps him down. Austin drops him ribs-first on the barricade, but Hart soon comes back by bouncing him off the barricade. They continue to brawl into the crowd. Austin appears to set up for a piledriver, but Hart gives him a back body drop on the steps! Ken Shamrock is with them in the crowd trying to regain order. Hart punches Austin and throws him back to ringside. Hart stands on the barricade and comes off with a jumping forearm. Austin quickly reverses a whip into the steel steps. Austin gets on the apron and sizes Hart up. Austin comes off with a diving clothesline. Austin picks up the top half of the steel steps, but Hart kicks him down. Hart then punches away at Austin, but Austin drives him into the apron. Austin finally gets him in the ring.
Austin stomps Hart in the head before stomping the hand. Austin sends him into the ropes and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Hart goes to the second rope and connects with a diving elbow. Hart grabs the leg and stretches the hamstring. Hart lays the foot on the bottom rope and jumps on the leg. Austin tries to get up, but his knee gives out. Hart drops an elbow on the knee a few times before punching the knee. Hart again stretches the knee, and Austin is having a lot of trouble standing. Hart kicks him in the back of the knee and goes to jump on it, but Austin moves. Austin all of a sudden catches him with a Stone Cold Stunner! Austin pulls himself up to his feet after a few moments, but Hart kicks the knee out. Hart attacks the leg before pulling him to the ring post. Hart applies a Figure Four Leglock around the ring post! Austin screams in pain. Hart lets go and grabs the ring bell. Hart also grabs a steel chair.
Hart brings the weapons into the ring and puts the chair around Austin’s ankle. Hart goes to the top rope, but Austin gets up and cracks him in the skull with the chair! Hart falls to the mat. Austin gets up and hits him in the back with the chair before slamming him down. Austin whips him hard into the corner and hits a suplex. Austin goes to the second rope and hits a flying elbow drop. Austin stomps him in the midsection. Austin hits a side leg sweep before applying a modified arm bar. Austin soon lets go and applies a Boston Crab. Hart struggles and gets to the bottom rope. Shamrock forces the break. Austin sets up for a Sharpshooter, but Hart pokes him in the eyes. Hart fights back at Austin before hitting the ropes, but Austin sidesteps him and throws him out of the ring. Austin then taunts the crowd. Austin goes outside to grab him, but Hart sends him into the timekeeper’s area!
Austin is busted open and gushing blood. Hart punches away at Austin’s wound and throws him into the steps. Hart sends him face-first into the ring post before putting him in the ring. Hart drops some forearms on the neck before punching away at him. Hart connects with a backbreaker and comes off the second rope with an elbow drop. Hart grabs the steel chair and hits Austin in the injured knee a few times with the edge of the chair. Hart goes for a Sharpshooter, but Austin fights it and rakes the face. Hart punches away at Austin in the corner before Austin hits a desperation low blow!
Austin soon gets Hart to his feet and whips him hard sternum-first in the corner. Austin puts him back in the corner and stomps a mudhole before walking it dry. Austin puts Hart on the top rope and connects with a superplex. Austin continues to attack. His face is a crimson mask. Austin puts him on the apron and goes outside to grab a camera cable. Austin chokes him with the cable, so Hart grabs the ring bell and cracks him in the head with it. Hart gets in the ring and applies the Sharpshooter! Austin screams in pain and refuses to quit. Austin is in a pool of blood and looks to be fading away. Austin all of a sudden gets a burst of strength and pushes himself up with the blood pouring down his face. Hart falls over! Hart soon regains his footing and keeps the Sharpshooter applied. Shamrock checks on Austin, but he is unconscious. Shamrock signals for the bell!
Winner by Knockout: Bret “Hitman” Hart
Bret Hart angrily walks around the ring and looks around. All of a sudden, Hart grabs the unconscious Austin’s leg and kicks away at it. Austin is defenseless. Shamrock runs up and tries to pull Hart away, but he stays on Austin. Shamrock then grabs him in a waistlock and slams him down. Shamrock sizes up for a fight, but Hart walks off to loud boos.
Austin slowly comes to. A referee tries to help him to his feet, but Austin catches him with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin limps around, and the crowd chants his name. Austin looks out at the crowd and limps off to the back. The commentators talk about the amazing performance in that match as the camera zoom in on the pool of blood left in the ring.
Mike’s Thoughts: This is one of the greatest professional wrestling matches of all time in any company, period. From top to bottom, it was perfection. Austin and Hart killed each other in this one and told one hell of a story in the ring. The intensity was unreal. They also pulled off the ultra-rare double turn to perfection. The fans were booing Steve Austin and cheering Bret Hart. By the end the roles were reversed. Ring psychology on another level. You can’t teach this kind of stuff. You either have it or you don’t. I miss stories like this being told in the ring. This should be on anyone’s list of matches you must see if you’re a professional wrestling fan.
Todd Pettengill is backstage with The Nation of Domination consisting of Faarooq, Crush, Savio Vega, D’Lo Brown, Clarence Mason, J.C. Ice, and Wolfie D. Faarooq says the crooks and criminals are out. The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson will get what is coming to them.
WrestleMania XIV is coming to Boston next year.
Chicago Street Fight
The Nation of Domination (Faarooq, Crush, and Savio Vega) w/ Clarence Mason, D’Lo Brown, J.C. Ice, and Wolfie D vs. The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) and Ahmed Johnson
A brawl immediately breaks out with all six men. Johnson slams Crush, and he gets out of the ring. Wolfie D, J.C. Ice, and D’Lo Brown get in the ring all get slammed. They tried to do it in stereo, but Johnson had a hard time getting Brown up. Clarence Mason gets on the apron, and Johnson punches him off. Vega pulls Johnson out of the ring and attacks. Hawk comes up, and Vega and Crush double-team him. Faarooq hits Animal with a nightstick at ringside. Johnson all of a sudden does a summersault plancha over the barricade to the concrete on Crush. Animal hits Faarooq with a garbage can. Johnson takes Crush down at ringside. Animal attacks Faarooq with the nightstick. In the ring, Hawk has a 2×4 and swings at Vega, but he moves. Faarooq gets on a commentary table and brawls with Animal. Animal goes for a piledriver, but the table gives out!
In the ring, Vega is hitting Hawk with the 2×4. Crush has Johnson down. Faarooq gets hit with a fire extinguisher, which covers the commentators at ringside. Vega hits Johnson with a garbage can. Hawk knocks Vega out of the ring. Faarooq attacks Johnson with the nightstick and throws him out of the ring. Crush sends Animal into the ring steps. Johnson blocks a shot from Faarooq and hits him with the garbage can. Johnson then viciously slams Faarooq through a commentary table! Vega takes Johnson down, but Animal hits him with garbage can. A loud “LOD” chant fires up. Vega fights back, and the fire extinguisher is used. The commentators are coughing.
Back in the ring, Vega attacks Johnson with the garbage can. Vega grabs a rope and wraps it around Johnson’s neck. The rope has a noose on it! Crush comes over to help. The ring canvas, by the way, is still covered in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s blood. Hawk clotheslines Vega and Faarooq. Hawk grabs a trash can and hits Faarooq before knocking Vega out of the ring. Crush blindsides Hawk and snaps him off the ropes. Johnson low blows Brown at ringside. Animal hits Faarooq with a large metal sign. Vega gets Johnson over the barricade and brawls with him in the crowd. Animal hits Faarooq with the sign. Faarooq then gets Hawk with the noose and pulls on it! Crush hits Animal in the back with a wrench. Johnson is getting triple-teamed at ringside. Faarooq gets on the ropes to hang Hawk, but Hawk pulls him down to the floor! Faarooq landed badly on his shoulder. Johnson pulls Faarooq into the ring with the noose, but the rest of the Nation of Domination helps remove it. Johnson slams Faarooq while Hawk sprays Crush at ringside with the fire extinguisher. The Nation of Domination comes in and overwhelms everyone. All of a sudden, LOD clears the ring and hits Crush with the Doomsday Device! Johnson has the 2×4 and hits Crush for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson
Wolfie D, J.C. Ice, and D’Lo Brown run in. Johnson hits Brown with a Pearl River Plunge! Johnson and Animal life up J.C. Ice and Wolfie D and hit a Double Doomsday Device! The crowd roars in approval.
Mike’s Thoughts: That was a ridiculously wild brawl that was equal parts completely entertaining and out of control. I totally forgot about this match and I don’t think it gets enough love for being such a wild, hardcore match. It probably got overlooked because of what ECW was doing at the time, but this was really good and worth checking out if you have the time. I also completely forgot Crush was in the Nation of Domination.
Shawn Michaels makes his entrance and spends a long time high fiving and mugging with fans. He’ll be on commentary for the main event of the evening.
Todd Pettengill is backstage with WWF Champion Sycho Sid. Sid is laughing. Sid says WrestleMania is the biggest event in the world. Tonight, darkness falls. He’s the only person not afraid of the dark or The Undertaker. Sid says he is the ruler of the world.
The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid (c)
The bell rings, and they go face-to-face. Bret “Hitman” Hart makes his way down to the ring and gets inside! The crowd boos him. Hart grabs a microphone. Hart calls out Shawn Michaels. Hart tells Michaels to take his “pussyfoot injury” and find his smile. Michaels better stay out of this match. After Undertaker slammed the door on his head, it broke their friendship. Now it’s a whole new set of rules. As for Sid, everyone in this building knows that the WWF Championship belongs to him. Sid is a fraud. Sid went from laughing to infuriated. Hart says everyone knows he is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Sid kicks Hart and hits him with a Powerbomb! Sid grabs the microphone and tells Hart to take his whining ass out of here. Referees come down to retrieve Hart and drag him out of the ring.
Undertaker attacks Sid from behind, and the bell rings to officially start this match. Sid reverses a whip to the corner, but Undertaker big boots him back. Undertaker punches away at him and knees him in the midsection. Undertaker backs up before avalanching Sid. Undertaker connects with a scoop slam for a two count. Undertaker wrenches the arm and pulls him to the corner. Undertaker climbs the ropes and walks on the top rope before jumping off and clubbing the back. Undertaker puts him in the corner and avalanches him, but Sid catches him and applies a bearhug. Sid brings Undertaker down to a knee. Undertaker soon fights up, but Sid cinches it in. Sid soon lets go and clubs away at the back before going back to the bearhug. Sid lets go again and clubs the back. Sid then applies the bearhug for a third time. Undertaker gets out with a clap. Sid quickly big boots him and clotheslines him out of the ring, but Undertaker lands on his feet. Undertaker tries to pull Sid out of the ring, but Sid kicks him back and over the commentary table. Undertaker looks like he landed on his head. Sid drops Undertaker on the barricade twice. Residue from the fire extinguisher from the last match is all over ringside. Sid slams Undertaker on the table before slamming him into the ring post. Sid gets him in the ring for a near fall.
Sid kicks away at Undertaker before applying a camel clutch. Sid jumps on the lower back and goes to the second rope for a diving double axe handle. Sid taunts the crowd. Undertaker punches back at Sid before head-butting him. Undertaker bounces him in the corner before having a whip into the ropes reversed. Sid connects with a scoop powerslam for a near fall. Sid covers two more times for the same result. Sid drops a leg on the Undertaker for a near fall. Sid angrily covers again for a two count. Sid stretches Undertaker on the ropes before whipping him into the ropes. Undertaker ducks a clothesline and hits a flipping lariat! Sid quickly gets up, but Undertaker knocks him out of the ring. Undertaker goes outside and throws Sid over the barricade. They punch away at each other before Undertaker pulls Sid back to ringside. Undertaker bounces him off the steel steps. Undertaker goes for an elbow drop, but Sid moves. Sid then applies a chin lock. Undertaker soon fights up and hits an uppercut before punching away at the midsection. Sid rakes the face and hits the ropes, but Undertaker hits a scoop powerslam for a near fall. Undertaker grabs the trapezius and applies a nerve hold. Sid fights out and punches him. Sid sends him into the ropes and tries for a big boot, but Undertaker blocks it and clotheslines him down for a two count. Undertaker sends him into the ropes, and they wipe each other out with double big boots!
Both men are being counted down by the referee. Sid soon comes to and covers Undertaker for a near fall. Sid clubs the back and goes to the second rope. Sid connects with a double axe handle and stands over him. Sid goes back to the second rope and hits a diving clothesline. Sid walks around before covering for a near fall. Sid goes back to the second rope and jumps, but Undertaker punches him out of midair. Undertaker kicks him in the midsection, but Sid rakes the eyes before hitting a scoop slam. Sid goes to the top rope, but Undertaker sits up and uppercuts him. Undertaker punches away at him on the top rope before slamming him down to the canvas. Undertaker goes to the top rope and hits a diving lariat! Undertaker covers for a near fall. Undertaker signals for the end. Undertaker scoops him up, but Sid slides off and bends backwards to lift him. Sid hits Undertaker with a Tombstone Piledriver and covers, but Undertaker kicks out! Sid throws Undertaker to the floor. Sid follows him out and punches away at him. All of a sudden, Bret Hart comes from behind and hits Sid with a steel chair twice! Referees and officials drag Hart away.
Undertaker drives Sid into the ring post and puts him in the ring. Undertaker grabs him by the throat and hits a Chokeslam for a near fall. Sid reverses a whip into the ropes and goes for a flipping lariat, but Sid ducks. Sid sets up for a Powerbomb, but Hart comes back to ringside. Hart snaps him off the top rope. Sid stumbles into Undertaker, who hits him with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win!
Winner by Pinfall and new WWF Champion: The Undertaker
Undertaker holds the WWF Championship up and celebrates with the Creatures of the Night. Undertaker kneels with the title and the lights turn purple. Undertaker holds the title up as the show comes to an end.
Mike’s Thoughts: Bad WrestleMania main event. Undertaker’s string of facing rough opponents at WrestleMania continues. His match against Diesel wasn’t terrible, but the psychology was awful. The other opponents were either immobile (Gonzalez and Bundy), old (Snuka), or being buried on the way out (Roberts). Here it was just rest holds galore. They needed Bret Hart to come out just to make this interesting. What a weird and anticlimactic way for the Undertaker to win the WWF Championship by hitting a Tombstone Piledriver following direct interference from Bret Hart in front of the referee. For a babyface, that came off as completely cheap. Then again, they were switching the title like a hot potato at this time so title changes didn’t mean much.
Overall, this was not a good WrestleMania by any stretch, but somehow buried in the monotony of WWF in early 1997, there is the crown jewel of professional wrestling: the Submission Match with Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin. It’s not hyperbole when I mention how great this match was. In many ways it saved this show, but in a larger sense it saved WWF altogether. It would be another year of getting whooped by WCW, but Stone Cold Steve Austin as a babyface, which officially started on this show, would take this company to heights never before seen and haven’t been seen since. I’m really looking forward to recapping WrestleMania 14 on the next retro recap.
Quick Match Results
— The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) def. The Godwinns (Henry O. and Phineas I.), Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon, and The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Bradshaw)
— Rocky Maivia def. The Sultan to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship
— Hunter Hearst Helmsley def. Goldust
— Vader and Mankind vs. The British Bulldog and Owen Hart went to a DCO for the WWF Tag Team Championship
— Bret “Hitman” Hart def. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Submission Match
— The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) and Ahmed Johnson def. The Nation of Domination (Faarooq, Crush, and Savio Vega) in a Chicago Street Fight
— The Undertaker def. Sycho Sid to win the WWF Championship
Thanks for reading!