ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 4

Previously on On the Card: Best WrestleMania match followed by basically every midcard Mania match ever.

Another ad for In Your House 14. April 20th. Blaze it.

Another shill for Sky Sports and a lovely shot of Vlad and Faith No More Guy wearing a BWO t-shirt.

Oh Shawn! The sexy boy returns to shake hands with all the kids. He’s a great lad. A great, drug fuelled lad. The audience won’t let go of him. Potential riot erupting here. Shawn pops into the ring… no, he won’t, he goes around to the announcers, clearly winged off his tits. The music replays and his second round of hand-shakes is far faster. Finally, he enters the ring, the lights dim and he hits his pose, considers taking off his jacket, but the farty pyro hits before he has a chance to. What a guy. Another shot of Vlad in the audience and a sign saying, “Vince McMahon is God.” No. He wrestled God.

Backstage, Sid hits a whispery shouty promo. We all know how this match is going to go, but this is before the streak, really. Since his introduction in Survivor Series 1990, Undertaker has been undefeated at the five WrestleManias he has attended – VII, VIII, IX, XI, XII (he did not attend X due to injury) – and this includes his abortion of a match against Giant Gonzales, which he was knocked out in.

In the arena, Undertaker starts his entrance which is not as long as the entrances that he has had in the past. The announcers are (rightly) silent and should be any time this cunt turns up. Brilliant shot of the Taker through the smoke, the crowd being lit now and again by the strobe. He gets to the ring and finally, people can talk.

Shawn is winged off his tits as JR references the streak. He says that he has, “Never lost at WrestleMania as the Undertaker.” But he has never fought at WrestleMania as anyone other than the Undertaker.

Sid’s music hits and he heads down to the ring, finally getting the boos he deserves. He is huge. JR tells us that Sycho Sid is not afraid of the dark. Shawn says that he, however, is afraid of the dark. Fair play, Shawn. You’re also afraid of coming down though, aren’t you? JR tells us that this is going to be a slobberknocker and it probably is. Ten years later, at No Way Out 2007, Shawn will fight Undertaker alongside Batista and Cena. They also have one of the best Royal Rumble finishes at Rumble 2007.

The SID pyro burns itself out.

No Disqualification match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 21:19.

The two men square off. Bret Hart comes out, killing any heat. He enters the ring, gets the mic and gives off to Shawn, saying he has a “pussyfoot injury… stay out of this match.” Bret then says he is no longer friends with Taker. Sid pisses himself laughing as Bret aims on him, calling him a fraud and that he deserves the championship. Earl Hebner looks on as Sid kills the heat by powerbombing Bret in the centre of the ring. He takes the mic and tells Bret to get out of the ring. His heel-turn is complete. Sid then shouts, “Hobble on, crybaby!” Undertaker takes the time to attack Sid and the bell rings again to restart the match. Once again, brother, both men need to be in their corner before the bell goes.

Taker jumps at Sid in the corner. Michaels says, “Bret talks about being screwed. I’ll tell you what, the Undertaker has been given the shaft and never complained.” Undertaker goes for the Old School and jumps at Sid in the corner. He is caught and held in a big bearhug. Brilliant. Both men have a wee sit for a while. Both King and Shawn argue for a while. Good. This bearhug goes on… for… ever… It’s the main event at WrestleMania, by Christ. Some battering and then more bearhugs. My God.

Taker is thrown out of the ring, lands on his feet and is kicked into the French announcer’s table along with Carlos Carbrera. Sid points at Earl and says, “Shut up!” He does this twice. Sid tosses Taker through the table but it just falls over. Vince finally tells us that this match is no disqualification. Pin attempt mid-ring. Failure. Shawn puts over Taker and says that it’s hard to see when he’s hurt because he doesn’t show any emotion. Sid hits the Camel Clutch on Taker, breaks back, makes humble. Sid goes to the top rope, hits the double axe handle and Taker is rolling over, fighting back, bopping Sid with great big punches.

Irish whip rehearsal and a lovely powerslam from Sid followed by three pin attempts in a row. Mon Sid. Big old leg drop. Sid has Taker in the corner and looks to be biting his face. Sid, are you biting people now? No DQ or no no DQ, that’s awful. Taker hits the jumping punch and Sid gets the Deadman in the corner. Taker throws Sid out, rolls out after him and throws him into the crowd for about the fifth time tonight. The pair trade punches over the barricade and smacks Sid’s head off the steps. Taker goes for the high elbow, misses and the two men have a wee lie down for a while. Hard body shots from Taker followed by a big powerslam, sexy 69 pin attempt and fail. JR states that this match will not be won by a lateral press or punch, but by something bigger.

Nerve pinch by Taker and Sid is on his feet, fighting back. Taker clotheslines Sid down, pin attempt and fail. Earl Hebner isn’t doing a fine job tonight. Both men double boot each other and fall down go boom. Sid is up first, hammering Taker on the back with both fists. Sid looks worried. He goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double axe handle on Taker. JR wonders, after Sid kicks Taker, “if there is a heart in that body.” Another axe handle, another pin attempt, another fail. After Taker kicks out again, King quips that it must be demotivating to continually be denied a win. “It must do something to Sid’s mind… if he has a mind.”

Sid goes top rope, Taker sits up, punches Sid and he falls on his balls. Taker pulls Sid off the turnbuckle for a powerslam. It’s Taker’s turn to go top rope and he hits the jumping clothesline. Pin attempt and fail. King says that they’re both reluctant to use their finisher unless it doesn’t work. Taker pulls his thumb over his throat, goes for the Tombstone and Sid reverses it into a Tombstone of his own. Taker pin and the Deadman kids out. Sid throws him out of the ring.

Big punches from Sid and Taker gets the chokeslam ready but Bret appears and hits Sid twice with a chair on the back. No disqualification here. Sid is thrown into the steel ring post spine first. Taker rolls Sid into the ring, chokeslams the big Brock Samson motherfucker to the canvas but Sid kicks out. Taker runs the ropes and falls from an attack to the knee from Sid. He goes for his powerbomb, but Bret is back… again. Sid gets guillotined by Bret, a Tombstone from Undertaker and the slowest pin count in the world leaves Undertaker the new World Heavyweight Champion in 21:19.

2017 comments:

Slow, no real storyline and Bret had to be relied upon to bring drama to this match.

1997 comments:

Not the best way to end this PPV, being honest.

Grade: B

The Phenom is “finally” WWF champ, despite having held the title back in 1991 for six days between Survivor Series and This Tuesday in Texas. Thunder and lightning hits as Vlad and Faith No More Guy cheer him on. Taker holds the belt up and that’s all she wrote.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I would love to nominated Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart for the best WrestleMania match so far.

Woman of the Matches: Chyna. No question.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Bret Hart

Best Spot: Stone Cold bleeding out in the Sharpshooter.

Hatches: This is the Attitude Era debut for Road Warrior Animal, Road Warrior Hawk, the ringside debut of Chyna, D’Lo Brown, Bob Backlund. JC Ice and Wolfie D were in the ring for once and Ken Shamrock was special guest ref. Mosh and Thrasher made their debuts as well.

Matches: The Headbangers are now number one contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championship and the champions, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog, retain their title; Rocky Maivia also retained his Intercontinental title; and The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid to begin his second reign as WWF World Heavyweight Champion.

Dispatches: Let’s see now here now. JC Ice and Wolfie D are gone from PPVs and Bob Backlund won’t reappear until the 2000 Royal Rumble. Hillbilly Jim and Sheiky Baby won’t reappear until the Gimmick Battle Royale at WrestleMania X-7. Mosh and Thrasher are gone until Ground Zero, Phil Lafon and Doug Furnas are gone until Survivor Series 1997, The Sultan won’t be back for two years and then he’ll be known as Rikishi, Sycho Sid is out until King of the Ring,

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Big Van Vader, Stone Cold (ineligible), Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Bret Hart for that amazing match.

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny, N/A, N/A.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Chyna, Chyna.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Chyna!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania, I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. Cheery.

  • Alejandro Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Mankind, May 15 1975 – June 29 2009; poisoning caused by drugs added to their drinks.
  • Andrés Alejandro Palomeque Gonzalez AKA Abismo Negro, July 1 1971 – March 22 2009; drowning.
  • Brian William Pillman, May 22 1962 – October 5 1997; heart attack caused by arteriosclerotic heart disease.
  • Captain Lou Albano, July 29 1933 – October 14 2009; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Joe Franklin in 1996.
  • Chris Candido AKA Skip of the Bodydonnas, March 21 1972 – April 28 2005; pneumonia due to blood clot after a broken leg caused by an injury in a steel cage match.
  • David “Davey Boy” Smith AKA The British Bulldog, November 27 1962 – May 18 2002; heart attack.
  • Doug Furnas, December 11 1959 – March 2 2012; hypertensive heart disease.
  • Gorilla Monsoon, June 4 1937 – October 6 1999; heart failure due to diabetes. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Jim Ross in 1994.
  • Héctor Solano Segura AKA Héctor Garza, June 12 1969 – May 26 2013; lung cancer.
  • James Brian Hellwig AKA The Ultimate Warrior, June 16 1959 – April 8 2014; heart attack caused by atheroscleroticcardiovascular disease.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Joan Marie Laurer AKA Chyna, December 27 1969 – April 20 2016; accidental overdose.
  • Mario Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Vader, December 18 1966 – January 23, 2016; death.
  • Michael Hegstrang AKA Road Warrior Hawk, January 26 1957 – October 19 2003; heart attack.
  • Owen Hart, May 7 1965 – May 23 1999; internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma from a fall during Over the Edge PPV event.
  • Pedro Aguayo Ramírez AKA Perrito Aguayo, July 23 1979 – March 21 2015; cardiac arrest caused by a cervical stroke from three fractured vertebrae.
  • Rodney Agatupu Anoa’i AKA Yokozuna, October 2 1966 – October 23 2000; pulmonary edema. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by The Usos and Rikishi in 2012.
  • Terry Ray Gordy AKA The Executioner, April 23 1961 – July 16 2001; heart attack caused by a blood clot. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by his brother Ray Gordy in 2016.
  • William Alvin Moody AKA Paul Bearer, April 10 1954 – March 5 2013; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Kane in 2014.

Closing Statements: Was Shane correct? Was it the best WrestleMania of all time? Nooooope. It was good and the Stone Cold/Bret Hart match was terrific, but the main event was weak and the undercard was unflattering. If you take out the Submission Match, the card was drizzling. With it in, it is merely very, very good.

On the Card will return on April 20 2017 with In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

 

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