Saturday, 13 September 2014

PPV REVIEW: WWF Wrestlemania XI

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Event poster
April 2, 1995
Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut 

Depending on who you speak to, the eleventh annual Wrestlemania was either among the best or the worst of the World Wrestling Federation's flagship event. 

Featuring a pro football player in the main event, and perhaps more focus on the celebrity guests than any of the actual in-ring competitors, Wrestlemania 11 certainly provided enough opportunity for criticism. Though by the same token, there was enough to enjoy here to prevent it slipping into Worst. Show. Ever. territory.

What went down? Let's find out.

Wrestlemania XI....staring a bunch of non-wrestlers
To cement the idea that tonight was less about the wrestlers themselves and more about the involvement of singers, actors, sportsmen and other celebrities, our opening video package told us that 'the revolutionary force in sports entertainment continues, with Wrestlemania.' whilst we were treated to a look back at some of the stars who had graced the World Wrestling Federation with their presence over the last ten years.

So we had shots of Cyndi Lauper running backstage with Wendi Richter, Muhamed Ali and Liberace from Wrestlemania 1, folks too vast and numerous to name from Manias two and three, Bob Barker and Vanna White's appearance at Wrestlemania 4, Run DMC busting out their Wrestlemania Rap at the fifth event, Donald Trump, Willie Nelson, Chuck Norris and others from six and seven and so on.

Since Wrestlemania 9 was so devoid of star power, our video here had Jim Ross and an elephant in place of any bonafide celebs.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas with Lex Luger and British Bulldog
Then, just to hammer home what this event was really about, we were were informed that Wrestlemania 11 would be staring (not featuring, but staring), the likes of Royal Rumble 1995 beauty Pamela Anderson, Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement, Jenny McCartney, and Nicholas Turturro. 

Salt-n-Pepa were our musical guests (shown backstage fawning over Bret 'The Hitman' Hart) and Lawrence Taylor's All Pro Team (including noneother than future WCW United States Champion Steve 'Mongo' McMichael) were also in the house.

Our stars of the show fully introduced, it was time to pan in to the Hartford Civic Centre and a haunting rendition of America the Beautiful by a Special Olympian whose name I couldn't quite catch and haven't been able to find since. Whoever she was, she did one of the best versions of the song ever heard at a pro wrestling event.

What is Wrestlemania?
It was a much more somber Vince McMahon who welcomed us to tonight's show along with broadcast colleague Jerry 'The King' Lawler. The trademark Welcome every-wan! growl was gone, replaced by Vince explaining just what Wrestlemania actually was.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon were our commentators for the show
Clearly appealing to the casual observers drawn to the show by the celebrity involvement, Vince told us that Wrestlemania was 'the standard of excellence in sports entertainment' rather than, you know, a pro wrestling event.

Lawler too hyped the show for -in McMahon's words- those joining us for the very first time, by likening the company's biggest event to a Broadway show.

With all that out of the way then, it was on to the ring for our opening match.

The Allied Powers (British Bulldog & Leg Luger) vs. The Blu Brothers (Jacob & Eli Blu w/ Uncle Zebekiah)
As far removed from his run as The Next Big Thing as he would ever get in the World Wrestling Federation, Lex Luger was about to see out his final days in the WWF in a makeshift tag team with Davey Boy Smith.

Sure, this team had promise, and could have added some much needed levity to the company's flailing tag scene had the Bulldog not soon turned heel and Luger gone back to WCW, but alas, it wasn't to be.

Tonight, The Allied Powers, complete with their admittedly awesome theme music, made their official debut in a match against The Blu Brothers, who later fans might better recall as Skull & 8-Ball, The Harris Brothers, or whatever they were called when they had Vince Russo's back in WCW.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Davey Boy Smith The British Bulldog celebrates after The Allied Power beat The Blu Brothers
As the Blu twins' manager Uncle Zebekiah (known today as the guy who manages Jack Swagger) looked on at ringside, all four men went at it in a decent, if hardly spectacular, opening affair.

Over in less than seven minutes, the bulk of the match saw the good guys take control before Davey Boy rolled up one of the twins for a quick three count.
Your Winners: The Allied Powers

As Bulldog and Luger celebrated a victorious debut, Jim Ross caught up with a frustrated Uncle Zeb and The Blu Brothers making their way backstage.

'Well, it looks like your plan backfired,' Ross goaded, prompting Zeb to say something about being hornswoggled before storming backstage.

Technical Difficulties #1
Vince and Lawler next told us we were going backstage where Nicholas Turturro was with Pam Anderson in her dressing room.

Instead, we got Turturro backstage in the Million Dollar Corporation's dressing room, (Gerald Brisco was there too for some reason). As the corporation laughed and joked among themselves, Jenny McCartney swooned on screen and wrapped herself around the guy from NYPD Blue.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Jenny McCartney and NYPD Blue's Nicholas Turturro backstage with The Million Dollar Corporation
The kicker? There was no sound to any of this, so we had no idea what was actually supposed to be happening or why Turturro and McCartney were hanging out with Ted Dibiase and his men.

That took us back to Vince and Jerry, who hyped the appearance of Lawrence Taylor and his football player buddies at tonight's event.

'Football,' explained Lawler. 'Is where eleven men spend a lot of hours trying to move a small object a hundred yards. It's just like the Post Office.'

All the while, The Allied Powers' theme music continued to play.

It's as this point that we should mention the sheer abundance of ringside photographers at this event. Not since King of the Ring 1993, when their presence was merely a gimmick in the Hulk Hogan/Yokozuna title match, has this writer seen so many snappers circling the ring. Clearly, the celebrity effect was working.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon
As reigning champion Jeff Jarrett and his Roadie made their way to the ring, McMahon reminded us just how the country music wannabe won the gold at the 1995 Royal Rumble.

That took us to a pre-match promo, again with dodgy sound quality, in which 123 Kid spoke on Razor Ramon's behalf. The Kid claimed that Razor was ready, and that if the Roadie got involved, the 123 Kid would be there to see him off.

Heading to the ring, The Bad Guy and his cornerman wasted no time in charging after the heels, clearning the ring long enough for Razor's trademark pyro before the match really got under way.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - 123 Kid and Razor Ramon prepare for Razor's Intercontinental title match against Jeff Jarrett
And it was, much as their initial Rumble encounter, a pretty solid contest.

The involvement of 123 Kid and the Roadie on the outside only added to the excitement generating between the ropes by both champion and challenger, who had the crowd eating out of the palm of their collective hand.

In the second longest match on the show, Razor took the fight to his opponent with a flury of aggressive tactics, only to be thwarted at every turn by The Roadie.

Jarrett was no slouch either, using skill and speed to counter the brash brawling style of his challenger.

Towards the end of this utterly enjoyable title match, The Bad Guy looked set to reclaim his title, setting up J-E-DOUBLE-F for the Razor's Edge. That was enough to prompt a Roadie run-in, and a disqualification courtesy of referee Tim White.

Ramon won the match, but Jarrett would live to defend his title another day.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Razor Ramon (Jeff Jarrett retains the Intercontinental Championship)

In the post-match, Jarrett and his lackey delivered an epic beatdown to Razor and The Kid until a gaggle of zebras broke it up.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Jim Ross interviews Jeff Jarrett following the latter's Intercontinental title match against Razor Ramon
Jarrett then made his way towards the back, but not before being railroaded by an antagonistic Jim Ross, who declared that Jarrett should be ashamed of himself.

On the contrary, a bloody Jarrett declared himself to be the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, then marched off backstage, presumably to deal with a gimmick infringement lawsuit filed by The Honky Tonk Man.

Backstage we went once again, where finally the audio problems had been taken care of and Nicholas Turturro, still in the Corporation locker room, was able to explain that Pamela Anderson was nowhere to be found. Instead, he was hanging out with Jenny McCartney.

Even though McCartney must have clearly been in the room the whole time in order to come on camera at the right moment, Dibiase's goons acted like it was the first time they'd seen her. Almost immediately Kama The Surpreme Fighting Machine came over, standing so close to the MTV babe and ogling her in a way that cried out SEX PEST. He was soon joined by the likes of Nikolai Volkoff and King Kong Bundy, not that McCartney was pleased to see any of them.

A smile did fall across her face however at the sight of the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, who claimed that everything was fine, and that Pamela Anderson would be later walking to the ring with HBK, and walking out with the new World Wrestling Federation Champion.

Sid Justice, or just plain old Sid as he was known at this point, was there too. Michaels had introduced The Master and The Ruler of the World as his new bodyguard sometime between his Royal Rumble victory and his title shot tonight.

For his part, Sid basically yelled down the camera about Big Daddy Cool Diesel having nightmares. Quite.

The Streak Continues...
King Kong Bundy (w/ The Million Dollar Man) vs. Ted Dibiase
WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - The Undertaker goes 'old school' on King Kong Bundy
As you may recall, Bundy and 'Taker had a staredown for the ages following the latter's battle with I.R.S at the Royal Rumble that January. It was this same event where Paul Bearer's urn had fallen into the hands of the Million Dollar Man.

That was enough to lead us to tonight, where the colossal Bundy made his first 'Mania appearance since Wrestlemania 3.

Most of the in-ring action here was your typical Undertaker vs. Big Dude affair, meaning it sucked pretty bad, but the story involving the urn was at least enough, for a couple of seconds at least, to prevent this from being a total dud.

Having beat up on his opponent a bit, 'Taker went outside and reclaimed the urn from the clutches of Ted Dibiase. Taking his time, he then strolled over to Bearer and returned the prop to its rightful owner, then went down on one knee and saluted Bearer, who raised the urn (complete with flashlight) high above his head.

Rather than take advantage of this distraction to, you know, attack his opponent or something, King Kong Bundy simply stood in the middle of the ring and watched on gormlessly.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Kama stole Paul Bearer's urn during the Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy match
Whilst this one going on, Dibiase stormed off backstage and returned seconds later with Kama The Surpreme Sex Pest. With The Phenom back in the ring trading sluggish offence with Mr. Five Count, Kama kicked Paul Bearer in the belly, took the urn back and stormed off again, telling Jim Ross that he was going to melt it down and make a chain out of it.

'That doesn't belong to you!' cried Ross, like a parent scolding a child, as Kama took his new toy backstage to go oggle over Jenny McCartney some more.

Back in the ring, absolutely nothing interesting happened. After a bit of kicking and punching, 'Taker delivered a clothesline to his opponent and went 4-0 at Wrestlemania.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Backstage, the guy from NYPD Blue told us that the hot girl from Baywatch had fallen out with Shawn Michaels and was currently nowhere to be found. Unable to interview Pamela Anderson, Turturro gave us absolutely the next best thing, an interview with Mongo McMichael.

Of course, he wasn't Mongo here, just plain old football star Steve McMichael, The future member of The Four Horsemen claimed he was looking for Kama (or baby doll, as Mongo called him), then stood back as the rest of his football buddies talked smack about the Million Dollar Corporation. One guy, whose  name I'm unsure of, asked if anybody had seen Tonka Toy, better known to you and me as Tatanka.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Steve 'Mongo' McMichael and the All Pro Team were gunning for the Million Dollar CorporationThat out of the way, Turturro wondered into a darkened room where Johnathan Taylor Thomas was busy whooping Mr. Bob Backlund at a game of chess.

'How can you play chess at a time like this?' shrieked Turturro.

I'll give you one thing, this segment was actually laugh-out-loud funny.

'Who's Pamela Anderson!?!' Backlund cried when Turturro asked if either chess player had seen the missing beauty. A second later, Thomas declared checkmate.

'That's what's wrong with society today!' Backlund screamed in response. 'All these young people, taking advantage of their elders.'

In an attempt to save face, the former two time WWF Champion quizzed his young adversary on the name of the 34th president of the United States and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Unsurprisingly, the Home Improvement star answered correctly, further infuriating Mr. Backlund.

'That's what's wrong with the WORLD! They think they know it all!' he yelled, before heading off to see if he'd have any better luck in a wrestling match against Bret Hart later on in the show.

Speaking of  whom,The Hitman's younger brother Owen Hart was up next, with the unveiling of his mystery partner.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) vs. Owen Hart and Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji)
WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - WWF Tag team champions The Smoking Gunns react to the announcement that Yokozuna was Owen Hart's mystery partner
In the weeks leading up to tonight's event, The King of Hart's had been promising a mystery partner to aid him in his attempt to dethrone reigning tag team champions.

Who should he pick? None other than another two-time former champion, Yokozuna. Boasting a lot more weight, and facial hair, than the last time we saw him (at Survivor Series 1994) Yoko waddled to the ring to engage in a great tag team title match with Owen and the Brothers Gunn.

Before he did though, we went backstage, where the champions gave their reaction to Yoko's surprise appearance. Both men admitted that the sumo star was the last person they thought they'd be facing that night.

Regardless, they were ready for a fight, and headed to the ring as Jerry Lawler reminded us that it was six years to the day that Owen made his Wrestlemania debut as The Blue Blazer (against Mr. Perfect at Wrestlemania 5).

Owen had come a long way since then, and played his part perfectly here, adding speed and agility in short bursts between his larger partner's brute strength and power. On the opposite side, The Smoking Gunns certainly held their own, but it wasn't to be there night.

Following nine-plus minutes of engrossing action, Yokozuna flattened the future Mr. Ass with the Banzai Drop, then tug out to allow Owen to claim the victory.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Yokozuna and Owen Hart


WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Owen Hart and Yokozuna beat The Smoking Gunns for the WWF tag team titles
After such an enjoyable match, Yoko looked visibly worn out, and spent much of the team's post-match celebration hanging out on the ropes trying to catch his breath, leaving Owen to jump up and down like an excited school boy and parade the first WWF championship he'd won since coming to the company since his debut seven years ago.

After a spot of promotional consideration courtesy of the Stridex Blimp (prompting Lawler to claim that the 123 Kid had acne), we went backstage to Todd Pettengill and Bam Bam Bigelow.

Pettengil reminded Bam Bam about his confrontation with Lawrence Taylor at the Royal Rumble, then insisted that most of the country were behind LT and had friends 'all over the arena.'

In response, Bigelow called LT 'a flash in the pan,' who wasn't going to make a fool out of him.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Todd Pettengill interviewed Bam Bam Bigelow about his match against Lawrence Taylor
See, even though this was 'one of the only times [He] has to look over [his] shoulder,' The Beast from the East wasn't worried. 'Mr. Dibiase' would take care of the All Pro Team, leaving him to care of, and defeat, the football player.

From there, we went -via McMahon & Lawler- to Howard Finkle, who gave us the rules of our upcoming submission match between Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and the pyschotic Mr. Bob Backlund.

Finkle also introduced WWF legend Rowdy Roddy Piper who, for the second year in a row, put in an appearance as the special guest referee in a Bret Hart Wrestlemania match. (Piper officiated the main event of Wrestlemania 10)

Submission match
Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Bob Backlund (Special referee: Rowdy Roddy Piper)
Your writer may  be in the majority when I say this, but the second Hart/Backlund wasn't half as memorable as their now infamous 'towel match.' at the previous years' Survivor Series.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart makes his way to the ring for a submission match against Bob Backlund
I'm not saying it wasn't as good (though to be fair, it wasn't), but it just seemed like two of the best technically-solid wrestlers on the roster at the time weren't given nearly enough time to really have the kind of match they were capable of.

As Bret got to work apparently trying to rip Backlund's face off, Jerry Lawler asked Vince McMahon who The Hitman had defeated for the Intercontinental Championship back at Wrestlemania 8.

After much goading, the owner of the World Wrestling Federation couldn't remember the match he himself had booked, and yelled 'BRITISH BULLDOG!' Lawler, naturally corrected the boss, reminding him that it was none other than our special guest referee for this match, Mr. Piper.

With that out of the way, we had a lot of time on our hands in which Bret basically dragged his opponent around the ring by the ankle and occasionally applied a submission hold.

That's all that seemed to happen for the longest time other than Piper thrusting the mic into Backlund's face to see if he wanted to quit.

Bob eventually made a comeback, and even went as far as to stalk The Hitman with his famous cross-face chickenwing, only for Hart to apply one of his own and get the win after Backlund garbled something into the microphone.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Bob Backlund told Jim Ross that he had 'seen the light' after his submission match loss to Bret Hart
Sure, this was fine for what it was, but with the majority of what little time they had spent on the mat, it was a far, far cry from their riveting Survivor Series match.
Your Winner: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

As The Hitman celebrated, Backlund staggered, dazed and confused, away from the ring, where he told Jim Ross that he had 'seen the light,' whatever that meant.

From there, we rejoined Nicholas Turturro, who said that Pamela Anderson had in fact left the building, and that some 'celebrity changes' had been made for tonight's WWF title match.

Speaking of which, that was next, but not before we had a word from the champion. After a few audio difficulties, Big Daddy Cool told Todd Pettengill that he was going to walk out of Wrestlemania still the WW Champion, despite any involvement from Sid.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Todd Pettengill talks to WWF Champion Diesel about his title defence against Shawn Michaels
Back to the ring, the celebrities got their official introduction tot the live crowd. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was our special guest timekeeper, and Nicholas Turturro, who had enjoyed more screen time on this show than anybody else, was revealed as the special guest ring announcer.

World Wrestling Federation championship match
WWF Champion Diesel (accompanied by Pamela Anderson) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sid and accompanied by Jenny McCartney)
With his planned escort having apparently vacated the Hartford Civic Centre, Shawn Michaels went with Plan B, making his way to the ring arm-in-arm with Jenny McCartney as Sid followed close behind.

When the champion was announced, it turned out that he had found Pamela Anderson, and brought her to the ring with him.

Before Diesel's music had even finished playing, he threw HBK out of the ring, then brought Pam back between the ropes for a bit of pre-match posing.

The bell rang, the match was on, and oh, was it ever on.

In what would prove to be Nash's only Wrestlemania title match, and the first of several for his former best friend HBK, the two erstwhile tag team champions went at it in an absolute fantastic twenty minute barnstormer.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 11 - Shawn Michaels was accompanied to the ring for his WWF title match by Sid and MTV's Jenny McCartneyThings started pretty slowly, with the champion tossing his smaller adversary around the ring and back over the ropes, where Shawn almost flattened one of the many ringside photographers before dragging him out of the way, presumably for the snapper's own safety.

Heading back to the ring, HBK took control, but not for long.

Both men went back and forth several times, dragging the crowd along for one hell of a ride that was halted only occasionally by big Sid jumping up on the apron to distract Big Daddy Cool.

As the match went on, more photographers took a mauling at the hands of HBK, but again, whenever he did, it was pretty obvious he was trying to move the guy out of the way before he got seriously hurt.

After one of the best matches we'd see from the WWF all year (which isn't really saying much), the challenger delivered a superkick to the champion, and looked to have the match won, only to find that his own bodyguard had injured referee Earl Hebner outside the ring.

By the time Hebner got back to the ring, Diesel was able to kick out of Michaels' pin attempt and regain the advantage, taking him down with some heavy impact moves before hitting the Jackknife Powerbomb.

A three count later, and Kevin Nash was the first man since Hulk Hogan at 1987's Wrestlemania III to walk into Wrestlemania as champion, and walk out the same way.
Your winner and still WWF Champion: Big Daddy Cool Diesel

Michaels was carried to the back by Sid, who told Jim Ross that Diesel had not seen the last of the Heartbreak Kid. Meanwhile, Diesel invited all the celebs into the ring for some post-match celebrations.


Backstage, Todd Pettengill caught up with an irate Shawn Michaels and Sid. HBK reminded us all that he had in fact knocked Big Daddy Cool down for a three count, even though the referee was unable to administer the official pin fall.

Sid, for his part, kind of ranted and raved a lot and again promised that his man would get his day in the WWF son.

Finally, it was on to our main event.

We first got the introductions of the Million Dollar Corporation and the All Pro Team, the latter of whom took over the ring and saw off a potential attack from the heels.

WWF vs. NFL
Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ The Million Dollar Corporation) vs. Lawrence Taylor (with the All Pro Team)
When the excitement died down, Bam Bam swaggered out, wearing a leather jacket which he then took off, waved at Salt-n-Peppa, put back on for about five seconds, then took off again once he got to the ring.

Yeah.

LT then made his way out to the ring with the same dude who so hilariously yelled out 'HE'S CRAZY THAT GUY!'  back at the Royal Rumble.  All the while, the girls from Salt-N-Peppa kind of just danced around, and at this point, I'm not even sure why they were there.

Let's be honest, this was not a technical wrestling classic, but then it was never supposed to be. As pure spectacle though, it was nothing short of thoroughly entertaining.

With Pat Patterson officiating, Taylor kept most of his offence to nothing more complex than a series of shoulder barges and flying forearms. Nor was he afraid to absorb a fair amount of punishment from The Beast from The East, most of which he sold believably.

Add in a few outside skirmishes between the Million Dollar Corporation and Taylor's All Pro Team, and what we had here was a fun main event.

Towards the finish, Bam Bam jumped off the top rope with a moonsault, only to 'hurt his knee' on impact, rendering him unable to make an adequate cover.

He tried again, this time with a flying headbutt, only for Taylor to kick out and mount a comeback with more fists and flying forearms, including one from the second rope that earned him the three count.
Your Winner: Lawrence Taylor

As Taylor's men (and his son), got the victor back to his feet, Ted Dibiase derided Bam Bam Bigelow all the way to the lockroom, calling him an embarrassment and a disappointment.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, my copy of WWF Wrestlemania 11 came to an end.

So, was this one of the best or worst Wrestlemania's of all time? It was hardly either. Though certainly not a show I'd recommend you run out and watch right this moment, it nonetheless had its moments, including the WWF Championship match, our football vs. wrestling main event, and that funny bit with Bob Backlund. I don't think the idea of an NFL star going over a pro wrestler was all that bad either, at least not the way it was executed here. Taylor took a good whupin' from Bigelow, and only narrowly emerged with his hand raised. 
One thing that does puzzle me, is that I clearly remember watching this show when it took place, and recall Salt-N-Peppa singing 'What a Man' as LT's theme music. I'm assuming that since that isn't on this WWE edited version that I have, it was a separate segment that they cut out altogether, or they simple couldn't get a license to use it beyond the big event.
And with that, I'll get on with tracking down the first In Your House event for our next review, but before I do, let me leave you with one more thing to consider:
Steve 'Mongo' McMichael was part of a Wrestlemania main event.

2 comments:

Wow, spotted lots of little typos and grammar errors in this. Sorry folks, will edit ASAP!

Here’s what the card for WrestleMania XI SHOULD'VE been, using the roster and feuds at the time:

1.The New Headshrinkers (with Capt. Lou Albano & Afa) vs. The Blu Brothers (with Uncle Zebekiah) [these two teams had a brief feud on a couple episodes of Raw and Wrestling Challenge in February and March, so it makes sense for them to get on this card for a quick PPV payday]

2.Jeff Jarrett (with The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Championship [we’re keeping this match in, and you can still have Razor win by DQ]

3.Davey Boy Smith & The Smoking Gunns vs. Irwin R. Schyster, King Kong Bundy, & Nikolai Volkoff (with Ted DiBiase) [just get six guys on the card, and Bulldog and the Gunns get the win when Bulldog pins Volkoff; Charles Wright still makes his WWF return, but as Papa Shango instead of Kama, and he can still feud with Taker through the spring and summer of 1995, culminating in their casket match at SummerSlam that year as Taker vs. Shango instead of Taker vs. Kama; imagine the back-and-forth mind games between these two]

4.Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze for the WWF Women’s Championship [this match was held on Raw the night after, but it would made more sense to have it take place at WrestleMania with Alundra winning back the title, and then you can have Bertha Faye make her debut the next night on Raw by attacking Alundra during an interview]

5.Lex Luger vs. Tatanka (with Ted DiBiase) in a steel cage match [this feud had been building since SummerSlam and Survivor Series in 1994, so the blow-off should happen here, and after the match, DiBiase berates Tatanka, who tries to attack him, only for Luger to return to the ring, beat down Tatanka, and shake hands with DiBiase, thus cementing Luger’s heel turn so he can feud with Diesel, Shawn, Bret, and Taker]

6.The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly vs. Hakushi & Yokozuna (with Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) for the WWF Tag-Team Championship [Kid and Holly should’ve had a longer title reign, and Hakushi would’ve also been a suitable partner for Yoko; we can still have Hakushi and Yoko win the titles here, and then go on to In Your House #1 to defend against the Gunns]

7.The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (with Ted DiBiase) [since Taker is feuding with the Million Dollar Corporation, it makes sense for him to battle their crown jewel, who would obviously be Bigelow]

8.Diesel (with Lawrence Taylor) vs. Shawn Michaels (with Sycho Sid) for the WWF World Championship [instead of wrestling Bigelow, L.T. can be in Diesel’s corner to counter Sid]

9.Adam Bomb vs. Kwang (with Harvey Wippleman) [just a quick deathspot match to cool down the crowd between Diesel vs. HBK and Bret vs. Owen, and allow Bomb to get the win so Kwang can disappear off TV and come back as Savio Vega at In Your House #1]

10.Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (with Bob Backlund) in a No DQ match with Roddy Piper as the guest referee [I know that this match was held on the Raw prior to the PPV, but it should’ve occured here, and the finish could involve Backlund trying to interfere, only for Piper to knock him the holy hell out, and Bret manages to make Owen submit to the Sharpshooter, thus bringing an end to their year-long feud]

So, what do you think?

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