April 2, 1995! Are you ready for WrestleMania XI? Tonight we witness the showdown between Shawn Michaels and Diesel for the WWF Championship, and NFL great Lawrence Taylor steps into the squared circle with The Beast From The East, Bam Bam Bigelow! Let’s get to it!
The World Wrestling Federation. For over 50 years, the dominating force in sports entertainment continues with the tradition of WrestleMania! Starring Pamela Anderson, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jennifer McCarthy, Salt N Pepa, and Lawrence Taylor’s all star team!
There’s a Special Olympian here to sing “America The Beautiful,” but I didn’t catch her name because Vince McMahon’s mic wasn’t working right. (2014 Joe looked it up: it was Kathy Huey)
Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome and thank us for joining them for WrestleMania. Vince says it’s the standard of excellence in sports entertainment today and throws it to Howard Finkel to announce our opening contest. First up, it’s Lex Luger and The British Bulldog, The Allied Powers. Their opponents tonight are Jacob & Eli Blu, who are led to the ring by Uncle Zebekiah.
The match starts off with the Allied Powers dominating the Blu twins. The referee finally gets some order, and it’s The British Bulldog in there with what Vince McMahon believes to be Jacob Blu. You know, these guys’ tattoos are different. I’m sure somebody could tell Vince McMahon who has which. While I’m pontificating on that point, Luger rolls up one of the Blu brothers and pins him. Jim Ross asks Uncle Zebekiah if his plan backfired. Zebekiah says they pinned the wrong guy and got hornswoggled.
Hall of Famer count: 3 (Howard Finkel, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler)
Nick Turturro is in what is apparently Pamela Anderson’s dressing room, where Jenny McCarthy comes in. But we can’t hear shit, so it’s irrelevant. Jerry Lawler takes a crack at football, and Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett makes his way to the ring with The Roadie, who won the title from Razor Ramon when Ramon’s leg gave out from under him on a Razor’s Edge attempt. Razor and the 1-2-3 Kid are backstage. We can barely hear them. Somebody’s getting fired. Kid says he’ll take care of Roadie if he gets involved. Kid and Razor come out, and we’re set for our first title match of the night.
The bell rings after Razor runs off Jarrett but before his pyro goes off. Jarrett tries to use his speed to his advantage, but it doesn’t work out so well, and he soon escapes to the floor to regroup. Roadie tries to interfere but gets knocked off the apron when Razor nails Jarrett to send him crashing into Roadie. Roadie pulls Jarrett out of a Razor’s Edge attempt, and The Kid prevents Jarrett from leaving and getting counted out. Roadie’s interference is continually thwarted by Ramon. A lot of good back and forth action in this one, not really a lot of down time. The Kid tries to interfere, but Jarrett kicks him off and into the guardrail. Ramon’s knee is worked over, but in the end, it’s The Roadie causing the disqualification as he stops an attempt at a Razor’s Edge. So Razor wins, but Jarrett retains. The four men involved battle, with Jarrett and Roadie working over Ramon and The Kid. Finally, the ring fills up with WWF officials to break up the fight. Jim Ross asks him about his conduct. Jarrett says that Ramon “ain’t nothin’.”
Hall of Famer count: 4 (2014 inductee Razor Ramon)
Nick Turturro is in Pam Anderson’s dressing room. Well, that’s where he was, but she wasn’t. Jenny McCarthy comes in, and says she’s having a good time. Turturro asks Shawn Michaels where Anderson is. Michaels says he knows where she is and not to worry. Sid babbles on about Diesel’s fear.
Back in the arena, Ted DiBiase leads out King Kong Bundy. Todd Pettengil asks a football player in the audience who says everything will be fair in LT’s match later on. The lights go out, which causes Jerry Lawler to quip at Vince McMahon, “at least now your tuxedo finally looks good!” The Undertaker makes his way to the ring, lead by Paul Bearer. American League Umpire Larry Young is the referee for this match. DiBiase has Undertaker’s urn, which King Kong Bundy stole from him, so that’s why we’re having this match. It doesn’t take long for Undertaker to steal it back and give it to Paul Bearer. Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine, comes to the ring and nails Bearer, trying to steal the Urn back for DiBiase. Undertaker catches him, but Bundy nails him from behind, so Kama manages to take off with the urn. He tells Jim Ross that he’s going to take the urn, melt it down, put it on a chain and wear it around his neck. Bundy takes control of the match at this point. The Undertaker isn’t out of it by any means, but it’s certainly advantage Bundy. I get up to go to the bathroom, and when I come back, Undertaker has defeated Bundy. Four matches, four wins for The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Hall of Famer count: 7 (Michaels, DiBiase, and 2014 inductee Bearer)
Turturro is outside of Pamela Anderson’s dressing room. He says she and Shawn Michaels supposedly had an argument and she left the building. Steve McMichael says he doesn’t know where Pamela Anderson is but he’d like to know where Kama is. Turturro walks into another room, where Jonathan Taylor Thomas are playing chess. Bob Backlund doesn’t know who Pamela Anderson is. JTT wins the chess game. Backlund says kids take advantage of their elders, then asks JTT several questions, which he gets right, prompting Backlund to say these kids today think they know it all.
Owen Hart comes to the ring, and he introduces his new partner, Yokozuna! Yokozuna, as per usual, has Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette with him. Backstage, The Smoking Gunns say they’re ok with this surprise, because they’re going in the Tag Team Champions, and they’re leaving Tag Team Champions. Billy and Bart make their way to the ring, and the WWF Tag Team Championship is on the line! The Gunns hold their own with the much larger Yokozuna, but the challengers are in control of the match for a short while. With Owen as the legal man, the Gunns are able to take over and isolate him from Yokozuna. Billy gets Owen down and covers him, but Yokozuna distracts the referee. Yoko makes the blind tag and squashes Billy. Owen rams Billy into the ring post on the outside before rolling him back to Yokozuna. Eventually Billy knocks both Owen and Yoko down, getting the tag to Bart. Bart takes both down, but his advantage doesn’t last long. Billy gets tagged back in, but finds himself on the wrong end of a Banzai Drop from Yokozuna. Yoko disposes of an incoming Bart, tags in Owen, and Owen pins Billy to capture the tag team titles for himself and Yokozuna.
Hall of Famer count: 10 (Backlund, Yokozuna & Mr. Fuji)
Backstage, Todd Pettengil is with Bam Bam Bigelow. He throws it to a clip of Bam Bam shoving Lawrence Taylor at Royal Rumble, and the showdown in New York City the other day. Bigelow says he’s not worried about anything other than Bam Bam Bigelow, because he’s not going to be known as the man who lost to LT at WrestleMania. He’s got the Million Dollar Team watching his back to keep it one on one. It’s Bam Bam’s world, LT is just a flash in the pan. He’s not coming in here, and he’s not going to make a fool of Bigelow.
The following match is an I Quit Match. And the World Wrestling Federation has a special guest referee for this match – Rowdy Roddy Piper! Mr. Bob Backlund is introduced first. The crowd goes nuts for Bret “Hitman” Hart, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the photographers at ringside. These guys almost can’t get to the ring there’s so many of them. Hart dominates the early going. Piper repeatedly asks Backlund if he wants to quit, with no answer. Hart locks in a figure four, and various other leg holds. Backlund still refuses to give in. Backlund finally manages to gain some momentum, working over the arm of the Hitman, but Hart refuses to give in. After Hart goes crashing shoulder first into the ring post, Backlund locks in the Cross Face Chicken Wing. Backlund can’t take Hart down with it, and Hart reverses it. Hart does manage to take Backlund down with the move, and Backlund screams into the microphone, but I don’t think he actually said “I Quit.” Piper apparently thinks he did though, because the match is over and Bret Hart won. Jim Ross asks Bob Backlund about it. He asks Ross if he saw the light, because Backlund saw the light.
Hall of Famer count: 11 (Bret Hart)
Nick Turturro is backstage and can’t find Pamela Anderson. We’ve made some changes, but that’s all we know at this point.
Todd Pettengil is with WWF Champion Diesel. Diesel feels that he’s going to leave with the title. He knows what Sid’s role is because he’s played that role. Diesel is going to show everybody why he’s the WWF Champion.
Howard Finkel introduces Home Improvement‘s Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who is the guest timekeeper. Our guest ring announcer is NYPD Blue‘s Nicholas Turturro. Shawn Michaels is accompanied by Jenny McCarthy and Sid. Jerry Lawler hypothesizes that Michaels dumped Pamela Anderson. The WWF Champion, Diesel, makes his way to the ring, but motions to the back – where Pamela Anderson emerges. She accompanies the Champion to the ring.
Michaels gets backdropped over the top rope and to the floor before the match even starts. Diesel brings Anderson in the ring and raises her arm as his pyro goes off. The Champion’s momentum continues after the bell signals the start of the match. Michaels even gets dropped over the top rope and onto a photographer, who he tosses aside. Michaels turns things around, albeit momentarily, with a thumb to the eye. Michaels manages to dump Diesel to the floor, and then sends him ribs-first into the ringpost. Michaels splashes the big man from the ring apron. Back in the ring, Diesel can’t seem to get back into things. Michaels works him over with shots to the injured ribs and high-risk moves, but he can’t quite put him away. Diesel powers out of a couple of DDT attempts, and then catches Michaels trying to jump over him, but Michaels wiggles free and shoves the Champion ribs-first into the turnbuckle. Michaels tries to wear Diesel down with a sleeper, but Big Daddy Cool eventually snaps to and powers out of it. He takes control right back from the challenger, tossing him all around the ring. As the action spills out of the ring, Sid comes after Diesel, but the referee comes out to stop him, hurting his ankle in the process. Michaels hits the Superkick as they get back in the ring, but the referee is still down. Sid launches him back in, but Michaels only gets two after Diesel had enough time to recover. Sid takes off one of the turnbuckle pads, but Diesel takes Shawn down with a backdrop, but that takes just as much out of him as it does Michaels, who gets a two count. Diesel catches Michaels out of mid air and drops him with a side slam. Eventually, he hits the Jacknife, and Diesel is still the World Wrestling Federation Champion. Sid tells Jim Ross it’s not over, Michaels is not finished with Diesel. The Champ invites both Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy in the ring to celebrate with him. JTT and Turturro join in as well.
Todd Pettengil says it was unbelievable. Michaels says he had Diesel out cold. He proved tonight that he’s the best. Sid says there’s always more than one umpire in the World Series, there should have been more than one referee tonight because it cost Shawn the match.
Hall of Famer count: Still 11
Salt-N-Pepa perform “Whatta Man” in honor of Lawrence Taylor.
The Million Dollar Corporation make their way out. King Kong Bundy, Tatanka, Nikolai Volkoff, Kama, Irwin R Schyster, and Ted DiBiase. LT’s All-Pro Team come out. They are Ken Norton, Jr., Chris Spielman, Ricky Jackson, Carl Banks, Steve McMichael, and Reggie White. Vince points out that the referee for this one is Pat Patterson. The All-Pros dare the Corporation to get in the ring, but prevent them from doing so. Bam Bam Bigelow is the first actual participant in this match to be introduced. He charges at Salt-N-Pepa, who are still on the stage by the entrance.
The two men stare each other down. Bigelow shoves LT. LT slaps Bigelow, and we’re underway. LT hits a shoulder tackle on Bigelow and then clotheslines him out of the ring. Bam Bam tries to splash LT in the corner but LT moves. He takes Bigelow down with a bulldog. Bam Bam finally gets control of the match, working over Taylor with kicks and headbutts. He continues to work over the inexperienced former NFL star, locking him in a submission hold. Taylor finally gets to the ropes and Bam Bam has to let him go. Bam Bam absorbs a forearm to the chin, but LT drops Bigelow with a side suplex. His comeback only lasts those two moves, however, as Bam Bam gets right back on the offensive. Bam Bam hits a moonsault but hurts his knee and is therefore unable to capitalize. LT manages to turn things around with a Jacknife, but only scores a two. Bam Bam again goes back on offense, keeping LT down in the ring. He tries to climb the turnbuckle near the All Pros, but they momentarily block him. He gets up to the top and drops a headbutt on LT, only scoring a two count. Taylor gets up to the second rope and nails Bigelow with a flying forearm and gets the three count! His all-pro team lift him on their shoulders. DiBiase berates Bigelow as they had back to the locker room. LT’s son gets in the ring to celebrate with his Dad.
Then the show just kind of fades to black. The end.
Hall of Famer count: 13 (Volkoff, Patterson)
Thoughts: I think the proper end of this show was a highlight package set to Salt-N-Pepa’s performance, but for what it’s worth, that’s been cut from the WWE Network version. I might want to pay the $3 or whatever on Google Play just to see if their version has it or not. I’d doubt it since it’s probably a rights fees thing, but I’m curious. I think I have the PPV version on tape somewhere back at my place too, so it’s irrelevant anyway. It wasn’t a bad show though. Much closer to the WrestleManias of today, card-wise, than those before it. Not a terrible show, nothing special. Big one coming up tomorrow – WrestleMania XII, which will also be the last of the WrestleMania Week reviews for me. Sunday’s big podcast is the Sunday entry to the show. I may also do a WWE 2K14 sim of WrestleMania as JT did with WWE 13 last year. We’ll see. Later folks!
Tags: Billy, Bob Backlund, Bret Hart, Bret Hitman Hart, chess, Chris Spielman, Eli Blu, guest ring announcer, Howard Finkel, Irwin R Schyster, Jacob Blu, Jennifer McCarthy, Jenny Mccarthy, Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Jim Ross, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Kama, Kathy Huey, Ken Norton, Lawrence Taylor, Lex Luger, Million Dollar Corporation, National Football League, Nfl, Nicholas Turturro, Nick Turturro, Nikolai Volkoff, Owen Hart, Pam Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Pat Patterson, Paul Bearer, Professional Wrestling, Reggie White, Ricky Jackson, Royal Rumble, Salt-N-Pepa, Shawn Michaels, Steve McMichael, Ted Dibiase, The Allied Powers, The Smoking Gunns, the World Series, Todd Pettengil, Undertaker, Undertaker at WrestleMania, Vince McMahon, World Wrestling Federation, Wrestlemania, WrestleMania XI, Wwe Hall Of Fame, Yokozuna