Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 24 July 2014

PPV Review: WWF King of the Ring 1994

WWF / WWE: King of the Ring 1994 - Event poster
June 19, 1994
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland


In the wake of the epic Wrestlemania X, the World Wrestling Federation rolled into Baltimore with its second annual King of the Ring pay per view, a show which accomplished the impressive task of simultaneously presenting some of the best and worst moments of wrestling in 1994.

In many ways an official launch of the company's New Generation brand, an attempt to sever the last ties to the Hogan era and focus on younger talent, the 1994 King of the Ring was headlined by Wrestlemania I star Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, who made his pro debut in 1970.

As if that wasn't enough to cause some serious head-scratching, the show also featured former football player Art Donovan and his now infamous job on commentary.


How much does this guy weigh? Let's find out.

King of the Ring pre-show
I've already posted a video of the 1994 King of the Ring PPV pre-show, but in case you've got better things to do with your life than watch all that (and let's face it, you do), here's a few highlights:

Vince McMahon and Randy Savage showed us how each of the eight tournament competitors made their way into the finals. Savage predicted that Bam Bam Bigelow would use osmosis of all things to defeat Razor Ramon, and that Jeff Jarrett would get the better of the 123 Kid.

I thought you had money on the 123 Kid,' McMahon reminded Savage.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Randy Savage and Vince McMahon predict the winners
'I did,' admitted the Macho Man. 'I lost.'

A fresh-faced Johnny Polo interviewed Mabel, who promised to win the tournament (maybe next year, big guy), and we got a look at the back-story between Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and his challenger, Diesel.

With little else of note going on, besides Art Donovan predicting a win for Razor Ramon, it was on with the show.

Welcome to King of the Ring 1994
As the camera took us on a brief tour of Baltimore, Gorilla Monsoon set the scene for tonight's show and introduced a scene in which all eight competitors in tonight's tournament argued against over who would be crowned King of the Ring 1994, each man moving his name around a board containing tonight's brackets.

Todd Peckenpaw (Johnny Polo's name for our favourite goofy mic-man) then gave us a run down of tonight's show before we had a 'very special rendition' of the Star Spangled Banner by Blackfoot frontman Rickey Medlocke which was actually pretty terrible right to the very end. I haven't listened to much Blackfoot, and if that's the kind of vocal performance I can expect, I don't think I want to.

With that out the way, our commentary trio of Savage, Monsoon and Donovan welcomed us properly, and it was on with the action.

King of the Ring Quarter Final - Match 1
Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon) vs. Razor Ramon
Appearing in the opening match for the second year in a row, Razor Ramon clashed with King of the Ring 1993 finalist, Bam Bam Bigelow in first round action.

Repeating their efforts of the previous year, both men delivered a solid performance to create a good opening round match.

Having punished The Bad Guy in a torture rack, The Beast From the East scaled the top rope, only to be hauled off by his opponent and pinned for a three count.
Your winner: Razor Ramon (advances to the semi-finals)

Backstage, Mabel gave his second backstage interview of the evening, this time joined by Pettengill and his first-round opponent, I.R.S. Each man vowed to be the other in a standard pre-match spat.

King of the Ring Quarter Final - Match 2
'Randy, is this one of the wrestlers? He looks like a business man!' exclaimed Art Donovan as I.R.S made his way to the ring and berated the Baltimore tax cheats.

Presenting our first How much does this guy weight? of the evening, the actual in-ring action was far better than you might imagine, mostly thanks to the efforts of the always-impressive tax man.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, gimmick aside, Schyster normally gave us a good show when he stepped between the rings, and I'd be perfectly happy to watch any match he's involved in.

Speaking or Irwin, he went over much-hyped favourite Mabel by using a finish far too similiar to the one used in the previous match. Mabel climbed the turnbuckles, Irwin shook the ropes, Mabel fell, Irwin pinned him.
Your winner: I.R.S (advances to the semi-finals)

Up next, we saw a pre-taped Colliseum Home Video exclusive in which Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji told the camera men to hurry up in their locker room to hype the upcoming tag team title match pitting Crush & Yokozuna against reigning champions The Headshrinkers.

Cornette shooed then shooed the camera men away just as quickly, and that was that.

King of the Ring Quarter Final - Match 3
Tatanka vs. Owen Hart

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Owen Hart battled Tatanka in the first round
The problem with trying to cram a three-round tournament along with other key matches on to one card, is that many of the actual tournament matches go too short to actually stand out as being anything special.

Still, each competitor so far did the best they could with what they had, and both Tatanka and Owen Hart were no exception.

In a little over eight minutes, The Rocket took the fight to his Native American opponent in an exciting battle that had the crowds hooked.

Part way through this one, we got a cut-away to the backstage area, where Razor Ramon and I.R.S were eager to kick off their semi-final match early. It was, thankfully, only a momentary distraction from the contest in the ring.

Following a gripping burst of action, the younger Hart sibling reversed a sunset flip attempt to make it to the next round.
Your winner: Owen Hart (advances to the semi-finals)

Backstage, Todd Pettengill spoke with Intercontinental Champion Diesel and his buddy Shawn Michaels.

'I got two words to say to you Bret Hart,' Big Daddy Cool bellowed 'JACK KNIFE! It's happened before, and it'll happen again.'

Questioned over whether they were concerned about the hyped appeearance of a Hart family member in the champion's corner, HBK dismissed any anxiety by claiming that nobody in Bret's family liked him anyway.

King of the Ring Quarter Final - Match 4
123 Kid vs. Jeff Jarrett

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Jeff Jarrett lost to the 123 Kid, then beat him up!Our fourth and final Quarter Final match saw plucky underdog 123 Kid taking on country singer Jeff Jarrett in another short-yet-enjoyable affair.

Lighting up the crowd with a few impassioned bursts of offence, the future X-Pac spent the majority of the contest absorbing punishment from the future TNA Wrestling founder.

Sensing victory, a cocky Double J went for the figure four leglock, only to be rolled up in a small package and pinned.
Your winner: 123 Kid (advances to the semi-final)

Irate at this loss, Jarrett yelled at the referee before taking out his frustrations on the Kid, drilling him with three piledrivers and several splashes from the top rope, despite the involvement of several referees and road agents.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: The results after the first round
With the crowd hot at the despicable Jarrett's actions, Double J stormed backstage, leaving the commentators to wonder whether 123 Kid would be able to compete in the semi-final against Owen Hart.

The New Generation
Touting their New Generation campaign, we were next shown a video comparing old cars to new cars, and old superstars such as Hulk Hogan and the Iron Shiek to newer talent like Ramon and Owen Hart.

I'll remind you again, not that you need reminding, that this show was headlined by Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler. More of that later

Pettengill interviews Bret Hart
World Wrestling Federation Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart fluffed his way through another promo in which he claimed to have the perfect move to defeat any superstar, and refused to reveal which member of his family would be in his corner.

Rare has been the time I've seen a Hitman promo that he didn't manage to mess up in some way.

World Wrestling Federation Championship match
WWF Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart (w/ Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart) vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Diesel (w/ Shawn Michaels)
I have to say, there's something surreal, and almost comical, about seeing Shawn Michaels going through his whole 'Sexy Boy' routine to the sound of roaring engines and shrieking horns that was Diesel's first WWF theme music.

Not that the announcers paid much attention to him, they were far too busy speculating on which member of the champion's family would be in his corner. Keith Hart? Nope? Bruce Hart? Nope.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Todd Pettengill interviews WWF Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart
Try Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart, The Hitman's brother-in-law and former tag team partner made his return to the WWF to level the playing field in our title contest.

With that out of the way, what we were left with was a thrilling main event match heavy on both impact and drama.

As you might expect, it was a story in which the wily champion put his skill and quickness against the brute force of the giant challenger. A simple story maybe, but one that worked, especially with the added delight of watching Shawn Michaels dash around the ringside area in his role of Diesel's second, and in seeing The Anvil exhaust himself by chasing the cocky Michaels around the ring.

With the crowd lapping up their every move, all four men worked together to produce a thoroughly entertaining bout that must surely count among Kevin Nash's finest moments.

Just when it looked like Big Daddy Cool might become our new champion following an impressive Jackknife Powerbomb, The Anvil stormed the ring and clobbered him with a clothesline, awarding the challenger the match by DQ.
Your winner by disqualification: Diesel (Bret Hart retains the title)

His deed done, Neidhart stormed to the back, leaving his erstwhile Hart Foundation partner to suffer a beating at the hands of Michaels and Diesel.

Pettengill interviews The King
Given that Roddy Piper failed to appear before a live crowd in the build-up to tonight's main event (a factor that many claim played a key part in the show's abysmal buyrate), most of the hype was left up to Jerry Lawler.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Jerry Lawler rants about his opponent Roddy Piper
Having taunted and mocked his rival for weeks on WWF programming, Lawler told Pettengill that Piper had retired once, and would be forced to do so again after The King had finished with him. Lawler also mocked Piper's vow to donate his winnings to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canda.

King of the Ring Semi Final - Match 1
Razor Ramon vs. I.R.S
In a rematch from their Intercontinental Championship clash earlier that year at the Royal Rumble, Razor and I.R.S started their semi-final contest on the outside, with The Bad guy getting the upperhand before his opponent turned things around with some dirty tactics.

With the crowd somewhat burned out from our previous encounter, this short bout felt completely flat, not that both men didn't do their best to turn things around.

After an uninspiring five minutes, Ramon advanced to the finals thanks to the Razor's Edge.
Your winner: Razor Ramon (advances to the final)

Backstage, a ticked-off Bret Hart stormed the corridors in search of Jim Neidhart. He was unable to find him, nor did anybody have much luck in finding the 123 Kid. The Toddster was supposed to have a pre-match interview with our semi-finalist, but having suffered at the hands of Jeff Jarrett earlier in the match, we were led to believe that the Kid might not make it to his upcoming clash with The Rocket.

Would he or wouldn't he?
King of the Ring Semi Final - Match 2
Owen Hart vs. 123 Kid
After stalling for what felt like forever, his music blaring over the PA with no sight of him, 123 Kid finally emerged, dragging his beaten up body down the ilse with a face that was a contorted mix of determination and pain.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: After a great, if short, match, Owen Hart defeated 123 Kid with a sharpshooter
The crowd were evidently happy to see the youngster, though not so much when Owen Hart dove over the top rope before the bell and splashed the crap out of his rival.

It took Hart less than four minutes to pick up the win, but damn what a four minutes they were. Relentless in their pace and holding nothing back, the two flipped, flopped and flew all over the ring in a brilliant little match well worth tracking down.

A Sharpshooter sent The Rocket through to the final.
Your winner: Owen Hart (advances to the final)

Cutting to the back, we finally got a live appearance from Rowdy Roddy Piper, in the process of pulling down his drawers.

'That's why I've got six kids,' scoffed Piper. 'First thing I do, take off my pants!' 

'there's no such thing as a king.'
WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Roddy Piper loves Hersheys chocolate
After a cheesy and bizarre plug for Hershey's chocolate, Piper finally addressed his upcoming opponent. Promising to first find the young fan who Lawler supposedly bullied into impersonating the Hot Rod on a recent show, Piper then promised to finish off Jerry, and claimed that

Let's hope Felipe VI of Spain doesn't hear about this.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu w/ Captain Lou Albano and Afa) vs. Yokozuna and Crush (w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji)
Yokozuna never really recovered after losing the WWF title at Wrestlemania 10, did he?

Here, he teamed Crush (another man who this writer believes could have achieved bigger things) in a tag team title match which, whilst entertaining for what it was, was a obvious demotion for Yoko, who had spent most of the previous year at the top of the card.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Afa leads WWF Tag Team Champions The Headshrinkers down to the ring for a match against Yokozuna and Crush
As was par for the course with this show, everybody brought their A-game, and though the bout did seem to drag at parts, there were enough bright spots to make it a decent watch.

With the heels taking charge Lex Luger, yet another guy whose WWF career didn't quite pan out as expected, made his way to ringside, distracting the challengers and allowing The Headshrinkers to retain the belts.
Your winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions: The Headshrinkers

Crush sought revenge by attacking Lex on the outside, only for the Headshrinkers to make the save and celebrate with Lex and his ghastly red, white and blue striped Lyrca outfit.

Back once more to our mate Todd, Pettengill interviewed Owen Hart, who promised to outdo his brother (1993's King of the Ring winner) by winning this year's competition.

King of the Ring Final
Owen Hart vs. Razor Ramon
WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Owen Hart vowed to become King
And so we made it to the final at last, as Owen Hart and Razor Ramon locked up to determine who would be crowned king.

Disappointingly, this was neither man's best outing on the show (that honour goes to Razor/Bam Bam and Owen/Kid), but was nonetheless a decent way to cap off the feud and put The Rocket over.

With Razor looking set for victory, Jim Neidhart returned to the ring, aligning himself with his former New Foundation partner by attacking Ramon on the outside.

A three count later, and Owen Hart was your new King of the Ring.
Your Winner and 1994 King of the Ring: Owen Hart

Owen and Jim celebrated by double-teaming The Bad Guy before heading for the coronation area (for lack of anything better to call it), where Todd Pettengill and WWF President Jack Tunney awaited.

As they made their way there, we cut to a reaction from Owen's brother Bret, standing by with fellow Canadian Ray Rougeau. 

'I can't believe what just happened, I don't have any comment,' was all The Hitman could say.

'I'm just thinking that the only motive [Neidhart] had for being in Bret's corner was to keep the title on Bret, hoping that Owen would get a shot in the future,' gushed Randy Savage, giving the whole point of the story away.

Hail to the king, baby
WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Owen Hart  became King
The memorable King of the Ring coronation ceremony then began, with Owen refusing to be crowned by Jack Tunney, and instead asked for 'the only person in my family that I can trust, my main man Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart' to do the honours.

With the power quickly going to his head, Hart ordered Todd to get down on one knee whilst The Anvil handed Owen his crown, cape and scepter.

Adopting a monicker that would serve him for most of his run, Owen declared that his first proclamation as King was that from now on, we should refer to him as The King of Harts.

After what felt like the 10th recap of the Piper/Lawler feud, we finally got to our main event, where Roddy Piper hoped to win some money for the sick kids and shut Jerry Lawler up once and for all.

Rowdy Roddy Piper (w/ a 'fan' dressed up like him) vs. Jerry 'The King' Lawler
If this had been centered somewhere in the mid-card, or at least before the tournament final, it might have gone down a little better. Instead, with both your writer and the Baltimore crowd en route to burn out, it felt like a poor way to end a show.




Doing his best to build up the heat before the bell, Lawler took to the microphone to insult the crowd and the 'sick brats' in Canada.

'I'm not going to give any of my winnings to those brats, or any of you peons' Lawler boasted in the most disposable act ever committed in a wrestling ring. Ooh, Jerry, you evil bastard.

Of course, Piper had a nice reception for his first WWF PPV match since his Intercontinental classic against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania VIII. Not only did Piper bring a full bagpipe band with him, he also had the 'fan' who did such a spot on impression of impersonating him on Raw.

WWF / WWE - King of the Ring 1994: Roddy Piper and the 'fan' who did a great impression of him
Entering the ring, Piper took to the mic himself to quote his famous line from They Live.

'Lawler, I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum,' he began before turning to the mic to the fan.
'And I'm all outa bubblegum Lawler, you ugly son-of-a-god-damn-goat.' 

The 'kid' (as the commentary team referred to him), was often the most entertaining thing about this match, getting involved here and there and distracting Lawler from the action.

Ten minutes of whatever later, the fan helped Piper pin The King, and earn some money for those poor, sick kids.
Your winner: Rowdy Roddy Piper

Cutting backstage, HBK consoled a distraught Diesel by promising him that he would win the WWF title eventually. By the time the year was out, Michaels' prediction would come true.

Though the Diesel/Hart title clash stood out by a mile as the highlight of the show, followed by the short exchange between eventual King of the Ring winner Owen Hart and his opponent the 123 Kid, there was a lot of enjoyable stuff on this show to make it well worth watching. Heck, i you feel like it, switch off after Owen declares himself the 'King of Harts.' Unless of course, you're the kind of old-school fan you have to believe the WWF were attempting to lure back with their Piper/Lawler main event.
As for Art Donovan's contributions to the commentary team, truth be told I found it more funny than outright bad, and had to wonder if his blatant lack of knowledge about the product could have actually served some purpose on a free TV show. 
Think about it, what a better way to simply and clearly explain the characters and the structure of professional wrestling by having guys like Savage and Monsoon answer such riveting questions as 'Who's the guy with the American flag?'
Maybe I'm alone on that one, but that's another matter for another day. Right now, it's on to Summerslam 1994. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

ARCHIVED WRITING: Favourite Wrestling Moments - When The Hitman Battled The Dead Man

I’ve been reminiscing today; thinking way back to September 20th 1997.

[This is an archived post originally published on the website of a magazine I worked for as a journalist back in 2009.]

That day, I found myself at the Birmingham N.E.C along with my best friend and fellow mark, Dale, and the roster of what was then called the World Wrestling Federation, for the company’s only British date that year, One Night Only.

It was a memorable show for many reasons, not least of which being the controversial finish to the Shawn Michaels/Davey Boy Smith European title match which lay the foundations to what would later become D-Generation-X.

Though for this writer, the most memorable encounter that night took place between Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and The Undertaker.

Though the Excellence of Execution was in the throes of his anti-American gimmick at the time, he was nonetheless a firm fan-favourite over in good old blighty, whilst the ever-popular Phenom was killing time between dropping the world title and doing battle with his soon-to-debut brother, Kane.

Between them, the two legends produced a fantastic 28 minute match that swept those of us in the N.E.C along in a wave of emotion.

Though I’ve forgotten most of the actual in-ring action from that night (this was twelve years ago after all!), I do firmly remember the enthusiastic crowd being split down the middle as Bret an ‘Taker went back and forth in an intense contest which roared to a gripping finale.

I also remember the sign.

In keeping with the spirit of attending a live pro wrestling event, Dale and I had decided that we had to take some sort of sign which we could wave in the air in a vain attempt at getting on camera.

We did get on camera, though not with the sign which is a shame, because it was awesome.

Dale was convincing in his argument that we should pledge our allegiance to the dark side and show our support to The Undertaker.

I didn’t need much persuading. Undertaker had always been entertaining, and as good as Bret Hart was, there had always been someone else who pipped him to the post at the top of my ‘favourite wrestler’ list.

So we grabbed a big piece of card, drew ‘Taker’s symbol on it permanent marker and stuck on a picture of the Dead Man himself.

But I just couldn’t stop there.

I’ve always been of the creative persuasion (which is probably how I ended up writing for a living), and in the days leading up to WWF’s One Night Only, I worked tirelessly on that sign; adding in black stars and more stuck on pictures.

Every night after school, with excitement about the event building, I’d work on that beast until I’d finally created an epic piece of art. When September 20th came, we packed it in my dad’s car and headed off to watch some wrestling.

The match began.

Defending WWF Champion, Bret Hart and former champion, The Undertaker locked up and embarked on an oft-forgotten classic. Dale and I roared our approval for the man in black, waving the sign proudly in the air before Dale got bored and left all the waving about to yours truly.

And then something changed.

As all good matches should do, the Hitman/Undertaker clash drew the crowd in and it wasn’t only easy to make an emotional investment, it was unavoidable. Though as Dale continued to route for the Man from the Darkside, I found myself taken in by the plight of the Hitman in his battle to regain the gold and resenting The Undertaker.

I screamed and yelled for Bret to fight back, to hang on in there, to win the match (hey, I was only 13!), and then I remembered the sign, that work of art I’d put so many hours into.

So I threw it on the floor and, in anger at Undertaker’s latest big move, stomped it raw and disowned it.

Looking back, I’ve never been more glad that I was there for that match. Two months later, Bret was gone from WWF in the wake of Survivor Series ’97, though not before finally converting this long-time naysayer into a bonafide Hitman fan.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WWF KING OF THE RING 1994 PRE-SHOW

Well, after reviewing Wrestlemania X, I was hoping to keep going in chronilogical order, and next tackle WWF King of the Ring 1994.

Then I realised that I don't actually own a copy of this event, and can't seem to get hold of one without buying the Tagged Classics DVD set. Until I can track down King of the Ring 1994 then, here's the preview show I found on Youtube.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

PPV REVIEW: WWF Wrestlemania 10

WWF/ WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Event poster
March 20, 1994
Madison Square Garden, New York

The World Wrestling Federation which returned to Madison Square Garden for Wrestlemania X in 1994 was an entirely different entity than the one which had kick-started the group's rise to prominence in the same building only nine years earlier

Gone were the halcyon days of the rock 'n' wrestling connection, Hulkamania and Lord Alfred Hayes, replaced instead by a company struggling to recompose itself in the wake of The Steroid Trial and a mass exodus of the company's biggest stars. 

Whereas 1993 mainly bridged the gap between the old and the new, 1994 really was the year that the New Generation really came into its own, with the tenth Wrestlemania serving as a showcase of things to come.

Here's what went down.

Wrestlemania rewind
Our show opened with a sentimental lookback at Wrestlemania I in 1985, complete with overly soppy music and slow-mo visuals, before the modern era took over with tonight's opening graphics, and a theme tune that most newer fans think of as Linda McMahon's signiture track, but which to this writer will always be the definitive Wrestlemania theme.

The camera panned over a rambunctious crowd, eventually finding Vince McMahon in the center of the ring, trademark growl in tow, welcoming everyone to the show.

With the ring surrounded by a choir whose outfits were as bright-red as McMahon's bow-tie, the WWF Chairman introduced our first special guest for the evening, Marc Mero.

Oh no, wait. That's the actual Little Richard, who treated New York fans to an admittedly decent rendition of America the Beautiful. 

With that out of the way, McMahon introduced his co-host for the evening, Jerry 'The King' Lawler. Basking in the glow of MSG, Lawler enthused about watching Yokozuna leave the arena still WWF Champion.

Brother against Brother
McMahon then introduced us to a recap video, in which Todd Pettengil reminded us of the saga between Bret and Owen Hart, starting at Survivor Series 1993, taking us via the 1994 Royal Rumble and eventually bringing us to tonight, where a recently-turned Rocket finally got his chance to square off against The Hitman.

'The Rocket' Owen Hart vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart
Yes, this match really was as good as you've heard.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Owen Hart battled his brother Bret in a classic opening match
Starting off in the early going with Owen countering his brother's every attempt at asserting himself, this one very quickly ascended into the all-time classic fans still rave about some 20 years later.

With McMahon and Lawler divided over which brother was 'ahead on points,' Bret eventually got the better of his brother with a stiff clothesline to the outside.

The Hitman continued with a couple of nearfalls and a series of arm-bars straight of Chris Jericho's Man of 1004 holds playbook. It wasn't long before Owen regained the advantage, abandoning the technical wrestling approach employed in the early moments and attacking his older sibling on the outside.

Back and forth they went, each man taking turns to punish the other in a thrilling contest well deserving of its five-star status.

Towards the climax, Bret dove over the top rope onto Owen, yet damaged his knee in the process. Back inside the ring, The Rocket took advantage by kicking Bret's leg out of his leg again and working over the injured knee, but still the resilient Hitman battled on.

Eventually making a comeback, The Hitman took control, shooting his brother face-first into the corner and dropping a leg for a two count. A bulldog and a piledriver followed, yet when Hart attempted a victory roll from the top rope, the younger Hart countered, pinning the former champion's shoulders to the mat for a three count.

From build-up to execution, all the way to the dramatic finale, this was a practically flawless match which transformed Owen Hart into a bonafide star.
Your Winner: Owen Hart

Backstage, Owen Hart, complete with an ugly glob of spit plastered to his cheek, fluffed another promo as he basked in his victory and doubted Bret's chances of winning the title later on in the show.

In another Wrestlemania flashback, Gorilla Monsoon reminded us of the near-disaster that was Wrestlemania II.

Howard's hair
WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Howard Finkle got a new head of hair
Given the WWF's youth-orientated output at the time, our next segment was bizarre to say the least. Sy Sperling, president of hair restoration companny Hair Club for Men, introduced his latest client, Howard Finkle.

Sporting a spiffy new wig, Finkle looked so delighted with his new faux-do that he failed to remember his cue in introducing our next match.

Mixed Tag Team Match: 
Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon vs. Doink & Dink
There's much to suggest that this would be a pretty terrible outing, but that was actually far from the case.

Employing the usual mix-tag rules that saw Doink squaring off with Bam Bam and his mini-me partner battling Luna, this was actually a fun little bout that got better when the former duo were leading the action. Dink and Luna played their parts well too, and though this was far from a must-see attraction, the short time-frame and smart booking did make it at least enjoyable.

The heels won when Bam Bam planted the clown with a flying headbutt for a three count.
Your Winners: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon

Bridging the gap between matches, Gorilla Monsoon took us back to Wrestlemania III, and the memorable showdown between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant.

Falls Count Anywhere match:
'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. Crush (w/ Mr. Fuji)
As a ten year-old boy, I thought this match was the greatest thing I'd ever seen. It was do different, so unique, so awesome.

Now, as a 30 year-old man who really should be doing something better with his life than watching pro wrestling, I view Savage vs. Crush in an altogether different light.

Perhaps your jaded reviewer is just much more cynical in his old age, but this one really didn't age well.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Randy Savage hangs Crush upside down in their Last Man Standing Match
With brief bursts of high-impact brawling, interspersed with nothing happening at all, Wrestlemania's first Falls Count Anywhere was far from either man's finest hour.

Eschewing the rules of your usual arena-wide skirmish, this one had the added plot device of a wrestler having 60 seconds to return to the ring after being pinned. If he made it, the match would continue. Thus, we had as much time in which one man waited patiently for the return of the other, as we did any actual wrestling taking place.

Gradually making their way backstage, Crush (who looked more like he was back in Demolition than at any other time in his solo-run), was eventually pinned by the Macho Man. A throng of curious onlookers then watched as Savage tied up his opponent in a weird, ominous device that looked as though its sole purpose was to hang a pro wrestler upside down.

Since Crush was unable to make it back to the ring in the allotted time, Randy Savage won his final WWF match.
Your winner: Macho Man Randy Savage

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - 'Bill Clinton' enjoyed the show with IRS
In another weird skit, Todd Pettengill interviewed a Bill Clinton look-alike as I.R.S sat behind Mr. President. With the mic then thrust in his face, Irwin told The Toddster that he was delighted to be helping out the big man with his taxes. Alrighty then.

A brief respite then came in the form of a look back at that weekend's Fan Axxess event, where fans could enjoy such festivities as having Mike Chioda deliver a three-count as you pinned your brother, getting your photo taken inside a coffin with Paul Bearer and appearing on camera with Captain Lou Albano.

Back to Wrestlemania, Randy Savage claimed that we hadn't seen anything yet, before diving into the crowd at Madison Square Garden's Paramount theatre, were more fans were watching the action on close-circuit TV.

This took us to another Wrestlemania flashback, this time the Macho Man's WWF title win at Wrestlemania IV.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship match:
WWF Women's Champion Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai
As far as I can tell, challenger Leilani Kai was the only active competitor to wrestle in a match at both Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 10.

Here, she put up a valliant effort against reigning champion Alundra Blayze in a short match that was enjoyable whilst it happened, and then instantly forgettable once it was over.

Since the whole return of the WWF women's division was built to revolve around the woman once known as Madusa, it should come as no surprise that Blayze retained her title, using a bridging German suplex as her weapon of choice.
Your winner and still WWF Women's Champion: Alundra Blaze

As Alundra celebrated her victory, cameras cut to ringside where former champion The Fabulous Moolah was seen watching on, alongside notable veterans such as Mae Young and Nikolai Volkoff.

Another recap followed, as Monsoon took us back to Wrestlemania IV, and that weird, overly long segment featuring Roddy Piper, Brother Love, and that guy with the cigarette.

Whoomp! There's Rhonda! 
WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Shawn Michaels and Burt Reynolds
After Men on a Mission's rabble-rousing entrance, in anticipation of their upcoming tag title clash against The Quebecer's, Todd Pettengill was shown backstage with some woman called Rhonda Sheer, who fawned over Shawn Michaels. That was, until Burt Reynolds turned up, and she turned her attentions to him instead.

Burt then told us that he wanted to go to Fanfest. Apparently nobody told him it had already ended.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers (Jaques and Pierre w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo w/ Oscar)

An entertaining bout from the outset, all four men did the best with what they had to put on a good show that really rejuvenated the New York crowd.

There was little to this match to make it stand out from any other countless tag team encounters, with Mo playing the babyface-in-peril to the Quebecer's nefarious heels, before big, bad Mabel eventually made the hot tag and began bullying everybody with his bulk.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - 20 years before Daniel Bryan, Johnny Polo began his own Wrestlemania "YES! YES! YES!" chant
A true highlight came when the champions managed to lift the massive Mabel up for a double suplex. This drew a loud roar from the crowd whilst, on the outside, manager Johnny Polo predated Daniel Bryan by 20 years and burst into his own chant of YES! YES! YES!.

Men on a Mission eventually won the match by countout, and celebrated with the tag team titles afterwards as though they'd won the things. Polo tried to get the babyfaces to give the belts back, but they completely ignored him. Intentional or not, that was pretty funny.
Your winners via countout: Men on a Mission (Quebecers retain the tag team titles)

Off to Wrestlemania VI next, and the Champion vs. Champion match between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. Weird, since I don't believe either man was on great terms with the company at the time.

Special guest celebrities
In the run up to our first title match, our special guest celebrities were introduced. Rhonda Sheer was our special guest timekeeper, and Mark Whalberg's older brother would be our ring announcer. Oh, Curt Hennig showed up to referee, too.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Match
WWF Champion Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Lex Luger
Special guest referee: Mr. Perfect
In the opening moments of the match, nothing happened. I mean, literally, nothing. Lex Luger walked around the ring whilst Yokouna got himself ready to compete and Mr. Perfect kind of looked on, uninterested.

Eventually, champ and challenger met in the centre of the ring, exchanging verbal taunts and open-handed slaps before brawling to the outside.

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Lex Luger battled Yokozuna for the WWF title
Back in the ring, Luger took took to the top rope, nailing his opponent with an admittedly impressive flying crossbody.

What transpired from there was a match every bit as good as it could be given who was involved. Not a classic by any means, but a solid championship match in which both competitors played their roles well.

After absorbing some brutal punishment from the champion, Luger fought back with gusto, eventually knowing down Yoko for what would have been a three count, had Perfect not suddenly turned heel.

With both Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji laying prone in the ring at the hands of Luger, Perfect ignored Lex's pin attempt and instead focussed on reviving the two managers. Understandably aggrieved, Luger grabbed Perfect's shirt to get his attention. That was the last straw for the corrupt official, who promptly disqualified Luger.
Your winner by disqualification and still WWF Champion: Yokozuna

'Listen to this crowd, they know exactly how they feel about that result,' exclaimed Vince McMahon, as the New York crowd errupted with a very loud, very clear chant of BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Mr. Perfect was the special referee for Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna
Bullshit it may have been, but it was an exciting ending to a good match, and culminated in Luger confronting Perfect backstage.

Another look back to years past, this time we saw the terrible blindfold match from Wrestlemania VII between Jake Roberts and Rick Martel.

Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake
So, here's what happened:

Howard Finkle introduced Adam Bomb's manager, Harvey Wippleman. Wippleman stole the microphone and berrated Finkle with a series of very grownup insults including 'Big nose, monkey face and bannana nose.'

Wippleman then tore Finkle's tuxedo, causing Fink push Harvey on his butt. Adam Bomb himself then came to his manager's aid and grabbed Finkle by the throat. Earthquake, took Bomb to the floor, sat on him and pinned him.

That was that. Not much point in it, I'll give you that, but it was a distraction from the more serious bouts at least.
Your winner: Earthquake

WWF / WWE: Wrestlemania 10 - Jim Cornette cut an awesome promo on behalf of WWF Champion Yokozuna
Backstage, Pettengill met with WWF Champion Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette. 'Yokozuna is still the champion and that's all you need to know, petting zoo.' said Cornette, before cutting a scathing promo against Bret Hart. It was, as you might expect, pretty awesome.

A Wrestlemania VIII flashback took us to Indianapolis and an appearance from The Undertaker.

Obviously there would be no Undertaker appearance this year, what with him dying at the Royal Rumble and everything.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship match:
WWF Champion Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel) 
In another major highlight on an all-round entertaining show, Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels took it right to each other in the early going, both men seemingly desperate to declare themselves as the true Intercontinental Champion.

Following a squabble with referee Earl Hebner, Michaels' bodyguard Diesel was expelled to the lockeroom in the early going, leaving both men to after the vacant championship in an utterly gripping contest that delivered on all levels.

WWF / WWE Wrestlemania 10 - Razor Ramon makes his way to the ring for an epic ladder match against Shawn Michaels
With thrilling spots and action aplenty, Michaels/Razor 1 was rivaled only by the earlier Hart/Hart encounter in vying for the of honour of match of the night, if not the year.

Giving it absolutely everything they had, the two Kliq buddies produce a great match which ultimately ended when Michaels took a tumble off the ladder and got his foot caught in the ropes, giving The Bad Guy ample time to scale the rungs and retrive the belt.
Your winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon

Up next, we were supposed to have a big tag team match. Backstage, the heel contingent, consisting of Rick Martel, I.R.S, Jeff Jarrett and The Headshrinkers couldn't agree on who would be the team captain, which apparently meant we wouldn't be having the match at all.

Back out in the arena, Ted Dibiase told Bill Clinton that everybody had a price for the Million Dollar Man.

Our final Wrestlemania rewind of the evening brought us the World's Largest Toga Party at Wrestlemania IX, and Bret Hart getting shafted out of the WWF title.

WWF / WWE Wrestlemania 10 - Razor Ramon makes his way to the ring for an epic ladder match against Shawn Michaels
A great video package, recounting The Hitman's rise to the top of the WWF, and his subsequent feud with Yokozuna, led us nicely into our main event of the evening.

Special guest schlebs
Before the actual action began, we got our special guest time keeper, some blonde from Beverley Hills 90210, and our special guest ring announcer, Mr. Bruce Reynolds himself.

Recieving a thunderous ovation from the MSG faithful, Rowdy Roddy Piper was introduced as our special guest referee.

World Wrestling Federation Championship match:
WWF Champion Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart
Having scraped by an earlier challenge from Lex Luger thanks to nefarious shennanigans from Mr. Perfect, Yoko returned to the front line to do battle with fan-favourite Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.

Like a true pro, Bret sold his leg injury from earlier in the evening all the way through this enjoyable championship clash.

WWF / WWE Wrestlemania 10 - Yokozuna charges at Bret Hart in their main event match
Once again, the champion dominated, but there was to be no repeat of their main event a year earlier. This time, Hart came up with the win after Yoko, still dizzy from the challenger's offence, fell off the top rope in attempting his Banzai Drop. Bret made the cover, Piper made the count, and we had a new WWF Champion.
Your winner and NEW WWF Champion: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart 

Celebrating in ring, Hart was soon joined by a visibly disappointed Lex Luger, along with Randy Savage and other top babyfaces, who celebrated with the new champion as the show went off the air.

And so we reached the end of the show, but the beginning of a whole new era in the World Wrestling Federation. With Owen Hart emerging as a true star, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon significantly raising their stock, and The Hitman leading the charge, things were looking promising for fans. 
An all round good show with few, if any, major duds, only the opening Hart Brothers clash and the IC Title ladder match are real must-see matchups, but this was by far one of the better Wrestlemanias the company had produced so far, and is a pretty enjoyable watch from start to finish. 

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.