March 20, 1994
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Tagline: “Ten Years in the Making”
Runtime: 2 hours, 43 minutes
RS: We have made it to the 10th WrestleMania! We’re back where it all began, Madison Square Garden! We open with a lovely montage of the first event, then get hit in the face with the anthem of 90’s wrestling.
TH: We never thought we’d get this far. We’d like to thank our moms (RIP) who encouraged us to believe in ourselves, and our wives, who encouraged us to do something other than watch wrestling and to occasionally shower. #Blessed
RS: Despite the glitz and glamour, WWF is facing some serious issues, including the leaking of talent to WCW. Fan favorites Big Boss Man, Sid Justice, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, The Nasty Boys, Rick Rude, Bobby Heenan, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Jim Duggan, Sensational Sherri, The Barbarian, and Typhoon have all jumped ship. Even Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart made their first appearances on WCW television in March of 1994 after practically disappearing from WWF after Hogan’s loss to Yokozuna at the 1993 King of the Ring. By the end of 1994, Macho Man would join his “pal” Hogan in WCW. In fact, WrestleMania X marks Savage’s last televised match with WWF. Giant Gonzales, a dominant and terrifying monster who chloroformed the Undertaker at WrestleMania IX, has left as well, making his way to New Japan. And this is Earthquake’s last ‘Mania, as he joined WCW in May of 1994.
This WrestleMania also marks the start of “the Kliq” of Shawn Michaels, “Diesel” Kevin Nash, “Razor Ramon” Scott Hall, and “1-2-3 Kid” Sean Waltman. This backstage group would begin to wield incredible power and influence on the direction of the WWF and its storylines. They became so powerful that even when Hall and Nash left WWF for WCW, they continued to dictate major storylines and talent pushes in both companies through the stables D-Generation-X in WWF and nWo in WCW. They’d book their own matches and anyone who crossed them eventually found themselves unemployed. The Kliq was influential in that Bullet Club members, like the Young Bucks and Adam Cole, used the original hand signal the Kliq used and referred to themselves as the “SuperKliq,” a subgroup of Bullet Club.
The Undertaker is conspicuously absent from the card after falling to Yokozuna in a casket match, where he was buried by every heel in the locker room in dramatic fashion at The Royal Rumble. At that same Rumble, Bret Hart and Lex Luger managed to tie for the win of the battle royal match, granting both men title shots at WrestleMania 10. The decision was made that Lex and Yokozuna would fight and Bret would face whoever was champion after that.
TH: Well said, Rich! This definitely feels like a turning point, with the end of the Hogan era and a switch to smaller wrestlers with more moves and fewer muscles on top of their muscles. (With the exception of Lex Luger, who’s completely tanned and jacked AND wearing stars & stripes trunks, fulfilling the Hulk Hogan role in his own way.) I definitely appreciate the nostalgic feel here, with recaps of all previous nine WrestleManias as the night proceeds, as well as the return of the high-powered celebrity guests. I do miss Mean Gene, and I wonder what happened to Jim Ross, who made his WM debut on the announcers’ table last time, though I’m psyched for the introduction of Jerry “The King” Lawler. It’s also our very first WrestleMania without any sort of Tito Santana match or appearance, so I’ll be emailing my therapist about that.
RS: The show kicks off with Little Richard singing “America, The Beautiful” over the video montage of Americana they’ve played multiple times since WrestleMania I over the years. Little Richard really brings it home! Let’s get into it.
- The Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard & Jimmy Del Ray), with Jim Cornett vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) (dark match)
TH: Once again we’ve got a dark match to start the show, marking the second WrestleMania dark match for the Bushwhackers (and their second loss). As always, if you find footage of this one out there on the interwebs, please drop us a line! We’re always up for some Bushwhacker head-licking action. Rich was licked by a Bushwhacker one time. #neverforget
RS: Did I ever tell you the story how I was licked…?
- Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart
RS: After months of refusing to fight Owen, Bret finally capitulates and gives Owen his shot. Owen is so worked up, he’s celebrating every little victory. Both of these guys are amazing technicians. Bret gets in his classic early maneuver of slinging his opponent out of the ring. I do not like Vince McMahon on commentary. I never have. He’s too excited, too loud, and never shuts up. The crowd gets eerily quiet during an armbar — it’s scary to hear a sold out MSG that quiet. Owen and Bret are really telling a story with this match and this is a great way to start this show. Owen is trying to control his years of rage from being in Bret’s shadow, while Bret is trying to hold back and only do enough to win. There’s a brilliant use of reversals in this match to convey the brotherly rivalry. Owen lands a devastating piledriver on Bret. Amazing spot of each fighter countering each other’s attempts at locking in the sharpshooter. As the match goes on, Bret realizes he needs to increase his intensity to beat Owen and Bret becomes more and more desperate. Owen locks in a super cool looking side figure four leglock — it’s quite creative. The ultimate little brother revenge, locking in the sharpshooter on Bret. Bret muscles out, reverses, but Owen’s got the rope. Bret tries some sort of high risk sunset flip from the top rope, but gets rolled up by Owen for the three count.
TH: Whew, that was a ride. Two absolute technicians in the ring, as Rich said, and I loved the chains of reversals. I also love something about brothers facing off in the ring, especially two as talented as these guys. This match makes me sad that Owen was taken from us so early. There’s some amazing moves (a HUGE suplex and that piledriver from Owen) and Bret runs through his “five moves of doom” but still can’t get the pin. Twenty minutes pass and we’re on the edge of our seats for the whole thing. Definitely a top ten moment for our first ten WrestleManias, and we’re just getting started.
RS: For some reason Sy Sperling (“He’s not just the founder of Hair Club for Men, he’s also a client!”) is here to introduce a no-longer-bald Howard Finkel. I’m a bit confused.
TH: This probably won’t hold up well for The Kids Today.
- Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon vs. Doink the Clown and DInk the Clown, Mixed tag team match
TH: We believe this is Ray Licarneli (aka Ray Apollo) under the Doink makeup here. Original Doink Matt Osborne (aka Maniac Matt Borne from way back in the first WrestleMania!) was canned by the WWF for drugs in 1993; Steve Lombardi, was playing Doink around this time, but seems to have been fully into his Brooklyn Brawler character by 1993-1994, which leaves Licarneli as the Most Likely to Doinkceed. I’mma start using “Doink” to replace various words in my everyday speech. Let’s doink it on over to Rich to doink this match down for us.
RS: I don’t know what Bam Bam did to piss off WWF management. He was a finalist and had an impressive match against Bret Hart in the main event of the first King of the Ring tournament, but here he’s relegated to a feud and gimmick match with Doink the Clown. Doink pulled off an amazing prank on Bam Bam at Survivor Series: Bam Bam said his team of four would face four Doink the Clowns. But, it turned out it was the Bushwhackers and the Men on a Mission dressed as the four Doinks, and the original Doink was never even in the match. Hilarious. This is the first appearance of a little person wrestler since WrestleMania III. This is also the first woman in a match since Sapphire and Sherri at WrestleMania VI. If you ever wanted to see a strong, technically skilled woman beat on a little person, this is the match for you. I wish this wasn’t a mixed tag because Bam Bam and Doink are putting on a real show alone. But, after the match, the extended fight has some weird botches in it that really sour this one for me.
RS: Oh look, a Bill Clinton impersonator sitting in a private box with Jack Tunney and…IRS? The 90s were weird.
TH: When they cut to the announcers’ table, Lawler is not wearing a shirt under his king’s cape and he is uncomfortably hairy.
- “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Crush, with Mr. Fuji, Falls Count Anywhere match
RS: There’s a HUGE pop for Macho Man. In this match each fighter, after being knocked out of the ring, has 60 seconds to return to the ring after being pinned. At this point, Crush has turned heel because Macho had encouraged him to enter the Yokozuna body slam challenge, where he hurt himself, but Macho failed to contact him like a friend should during recuperation. Negative Bro Points. Obviously, Crush then befriends Yokozuna instead. There’s not much technicality to this match, mostly just some stiff spots. I think Crush’s head really does bounce off the ring post at one point. This match, at this point, is probably the edgiest match at a WrestleMania so far. Macho pins, and then ties Crush’s feet and hoists him up in some random scaffolding that seems to have been set up just for this purpose. I suspect he was supposed to stay hoisted but he just drops down. Macho seems to be bleeding from his mouth. Gingivitis is rampant in the WWF.
TH: As independent contractors, most wrestlers probably lacked dental insurance, Rich. One of the things we’ve noticed already with this WrestleMania is that the storylines are longer and more involved, as opposed to simple feuds that get settled with a single blowoff match. With a full complement of pay per views at this point — in 1993 the WWF added King of the Ring to the original “Big Four” of WrestleMania, Survivor Series, Summerslam, and Royal Rumble — there are more frequent opportunities to create, advance, complicate, and/or resolve storylines. So by the time we get to our tenth WrestleMania there’s a little more back story to each match to, um, wrestle with.
Anyway, on to this match. Crush has traded his Hawaii orange for red, white, and black, dyed hair, and some weird Warlord-esque makeup. If only Macho Man had been a better bro, this could all have been avoided. At the start Crush grabs Randy in the aisle, lifts him over his head like a bag of ice, and drops him chest first onto the steel barricade like me smashing that same bag of ice on the driveway before I put it in the cooler at the Memorial Day cookout. I am still learning how to write proper similes; hope I did that right. Mr. Fuji looks awesome in his robes, waving the Japanese flag which he uses to attack Macho Man as he’s getting back into the ring, so that Savage just barely rolls in at the count of one. There’s an awesome flying elbow off the top rope for Randy, who then rolls Crush out of the ring for the second fall on the floor, ringside. Now it’s Crush’s turn to barely make the ten count to get back in the ring — Fuji has to pour water on his head to rouse him, which made me laugh. There’s a scary back body drop to toss Randy out of the ring, shades of his Air Macho Man moment against Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII. They take the fight back up the aisle and to the backstage area, which currently happens like twice weekly on AEW Dynamite. I’m highly suspicious of that scaffolding that Macho uses to hang up Crush — first, it doesn’t appear they’re doing any actual work in this area that would require scaffolding. Second, it doesn’t appear to be OSHA-compliant. I hope the Bill Clinton stand-in will make some calls about that from the president’s box.
RS: Well, it’s time to interview “Bill Clinton.” It’s a bad impersonator. Also, I really don’t like Todd Petingill. Not just because he was an asshole to me at a show when I was a kid.
- Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai, WWF Women’s Championship match
TH: We’ve been missing a women’s match from most of the last WrestleManias, though they’ve been regular features of the other annual pay per views at this point. Leilani Kai sets a new record for us with the longest gap in appearances — we last saw her in the original WrestleMania. She looks a bit rusty here and this is a quick match with some awkward moves, Blayze retaining the women’s title belt. Disappointing.
RS: Right, this is actually the first women’s match since WrestleMania 2. The commentary is focused specifically only on their looks, so not much has changed. Alundra of course is going to win and does. So, why not just have Bam Bam fight Doink one on one and have Luna Vachon challenge Alundra Blayze for the belt. You know, have a real match instead of a squash match? Why bother having a Women’s Champion if you’re only going to have her fight an old timer at WrestleMania? Interestingly, it appears that WWF only had three women on the full time roster at the time of the show. The third was Bull Nakano. Now THAT would have been a great women’s match for this card.
- Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo), with Oscar vs. The Quebecers (Jacques & Pierre), with Johnny Polo, WWF Tag Team Championship match
RS: From the Anthropology Division of All the WrestleManias, here we have WWF’s interpretation of Black culture vs. their version of French Canadian culture. Though there is no appropriation here, it’s still weird. I was never a fan of Mabel but his moves are definitely impactful due to his size. The only one in this match I ever liked was Johnny Polo. Not much here to report, match-wise, but the tradition continues — we end in a countout.
TH: There is A LOT going on here, visually and auditorily: There’s a rapping manager, Oscar (nee Greg Girard) who’s not half bad on the mic. Mo and Mabel have some memorable gold and purple getups — Mabel’s outfit looks like some kind of half-assed genie costume, and both men’s outfits say “Whoomp there it is” on them. 90s! The Quebecers are wearing variations on The Mountie’s RCMP uniform, simplified to look like the version you’d buy at Spirit Halloween in an abandoned Sears. Wrestling-wise, I agree with Rich that there’s not much to talk about. There’s an impressive slam of Mo by Jacques, and another cool spot with Jacques tossing Pierre out of the ring onto Mo. Johnny Polo interferes, and Men on a Mission get the win. Onward.
- Yokozuna, with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette vs. Lex Luger, WWF Championship Match, with guest referee Mr. Perfect
TH: We’ve got another WrestleMania with a double main event, and I’m always thrilled to have a chance to see Yokozuna work. Being a main event, there’s a parade of C-list celebrities before the match: guest timekeeper Rhonda Shear, who you probably don’t remember as the host of USA Network’s Up All Night, and guest announcer/New Kid on the Block/lesser Wahlberg Donnie Wahlberg, who looks 15 and is sporting a nose ring. Guest referee Mr. Perfect seems to be wearing his referee pajamas and is still chewing his gum. I wonder if he had the same piece of gum through his whole career? Now that would have been a gimmick AND they could have put the gum in the Hall of Fame when all was said and done. Yoko makes his way to the ring with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette, who’s dressed like Sgt. Pepper for some reason. Yokozuna is massive and impressive, billed at 568 pounds, and his quiet, contemplative Japanese entrance music is such a great touch. You don’t need fireworks and guitars when you look like that — just walk slowly, quietly, and let the fans take you in. Lex seems to have picked up Hogan’s patriotic schtick, wearing stars & stripes on his crotch (ahem, U.S. Flag Code) and with red, white, and blue fireworks over the arena. What did I just say? Luger has muscles on top of his muscles and his mullet is dope. Lawler tells us, “Let me tell you what the American way is, putting Arabian oil in Japanese cars.” I don’t know if he’s trying to be a heel or if this is genuine political commentary.
TH: Let’s get to the match. Yoko takes a huge bump missing an elbow drop, and straight falls out of the ring. Luger hits a nice cross body from the top rope and a near pin. Luger goes for a slam and Yoko falls on top of him, Hogan-Andre-at-WrestleMania III-style, and he barely avoids getting pinned. Yoko does the pressure point move for a loooong time; New Hogan “hulks up” but doesn’t get anywhere. There’s a beautiful flying clothesline from Lex and a resulting bump from Yoko. Dang, I could watch Yokozuna all day and I’m glad we get a real second match from him this time as our main-main event. Let’s doink this over to Rich!
RS: I’d note that Luger no longer enters to “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Vince McMahon has multiple orgasms seeing Lex come out. He looks good — Lex looks like they had made a porno version of Captain America. It hurts so much how they’re just like, “Hogan is gone, Luger, you’re Hogan now.” Mr. Perfect, the guest referee, looks impressive in his full-body referee outfit. McMahon is such a bad announcer. Before the ref hits a one count, Vince is screaming he got the 3-count and won, but then shouts “NO!” Jim Cornette is looking dapper too, in his gold and black leather coat with shoulder pads and a gold tennis racket. Yoko is also looking impressive. Luger just isn’t very compelling to me in this match; his face isn’t really selling stuff. Yoko looks like he’s trying to tell the story but Luger, by contrast, just looks emotionless. Yoko brilliantly sells a shot to a bare turnbuckle. Luger repeats his body slam from the USS Intrepid July 5 special event. Perfect is distracted by Cornette and Fuji after Yoko is taken out by the bionic elbow. Luger ends up disqualified because he pushes Mr. Perfect for not counting. Ooh, a “bullshit” chant. I agree, but I do love a good chant.
- Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb, with Harvey Wippleman
RS: Two guys I really liked, but here we get Atom Bomb being squashed. This match is like 15 seconds. Maybe. Though short, we still got some unfortunate shots of Earthquake’s fault lines.
TH: Before the bell Quake attacks Adam Bomb, hits him with a belly to belly suplex, carries him around and into a power slam, then lands the sit-down splash. Quick and decisive win! Quake seems to have become a face. It took me longer to write this than it did to watch the match.
- Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels, with Diesel, Ladder Match for the Undisputed WWF Intercontinental Championship
TH: Our first WrestleMania ladder match! Michaels is still rocking his Heartbreak Kid gimmick and he looks like a bargain basement Chippendale. Scott Hall is so greasy and gross, toothpick in his mouth. He looks like he was basted with olive oil before hitting the ring. He hands his gold necklaces to an official at ringside, then throws his toothpick at him. All heel moves, obviously, but judging by the crowd’s reaction throughout this match he seems to be the face here, which is confusing to me.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this — these two are absolute studs at the top of their respective games. Early on, Diesel gets tossed from ringside for being a dick and (I think?) for making unfortunate sunglasses choices. Razor socks Michaels in the kisser and spit flies everywhere, which makes me very uncomfortable in our current COVID-informed reality. Michaels dumps Razor to the concrete floor and makes the first attempt for the ladder, which he uses to beat the everloving hell out of Razor, even throwing it at his back. I love it. Shawn eventually starts climbing and Razor pulls down his tights so we get a pretty clear shot of Shawn’s ass and Vince has to take a moment and get a tissue. Shawn, not to be distracted, pushes Razor off and drops a bare-assed elbow on him before bothering to hike his pants back up. In another spot, Razor tips the ladder while Shawn is climbing, dumping him chest-first onto the top rope. That had to hurt like a bitch; he’s lucky he didn’t break all his ribs. With the ladder propped in one corner, Razor reverses a whip and Shawn does the Ric Flair flip-over-the-post thing like a goddamned maniac. Now it’s Razor’s turn to beat the crap out of Shawn with the ladder. There are so many breathtaking spots in the match I won’t run them all down, but bear with me for just two more: in one, Shawn sets up the ladder, sits on the top step, and tips it over, riding it to the mat as it falls on Razor, like Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Dr. Strangelove; in another, Razor tips the ladder to dump Shawn nuts-first onto the top rope, which he transitions into getting his leg tied up in the rope, dangling helplessly while Razor climbs once more, gets the belts, and falls to the mat, victorious. Ho-lee Shit.
RS: The first WrestleMania ladder match and an instant classic. Before this match, Shawn Michaels was suspended for real due to steroid use, but was brought back. When he returned, they did the classic angle of him still claiming to have his Intercontinental Championship. During his absence, Razor Ramon had won the championship. Obviously, the only way to settle this is to hang both belts 20 feet above the ring and they can fight over a ladder to reach them. Diesel gets involved early but is thrown out by the ref. Shawn is really flopping around, ragdolling his body to sell Razor’s hits. The first use of the ladder of the match draws a visceral moan from the crowd. As Razor gets cracked by the ladder, you can see a dude with a massive pole of cotton candy in the background for a very surreal perspective of the action. With the ladder in place, the belts look a little high. Shawn drops an elbow from the top of the ladder which devastated the crowd. This match is even more brutal than Macho Man vs Crush. They are working stiff. Razor’s punches sound like gunshots. The ladder is warped and definitely not OSHA approved anymore. We see why future ladder matches always feature a plethora of ladders. Both men are falling from tremendous heights. Shawn spectacularly gets his leg caught in the ropes after falling from the very top of the ladder, allowing Razor to grab the belt and fall to the ground in exhaustion. What an incredible match.
RS: There’s mention of a 10-man tag match, but then the camera cuts to the heel team arguing over who is going to be captain, then Vince announces the match is cancelled because of that. It’s all confusing. Remember the “The Kliq?” Well, this match was cancelled because Razor and Shawn ignored the referee’s cue to end the match, so they went long, causing this 10-man tag match to be cancelled.
- Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette, WWF Championship match, with guest referee Roddy Piper
RS: Another event where WWF has Bret fight multiple matches. At King of the Ring this same year he’s in 3 matches; at the Royal Rumble, he’s in a tag match and then the Rumble. And now, Bret has to fight his brother and then still face the monstrous Yokozuna. The bell rings and both men look like they’ve already been fighting for 20 minutes. For someone his size, I bet Yoko has sweated off 30 lbs tonight. It’s impressive he can do a second match. Guest referee Roddy Piper is very assertive in this match, just as someone would expect from a racist attention hog. (TH: LOL) It is amazing how the crowd loves a fighter who was never a face, and has, for the post part, been an actual asshole. Bret Hart dodges a Banzai drop and Hart scores the pin! What a great finish. No Hogan run-in for a quick challenge right? God damn.
TH: Before the match, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase is in the presidential box with the Clinton impersonator. He drops his favorite line, “Everybody’s got a price,” and “Bill Clinton” responds, “I don’t want to get into politics.” Whut? We start with some nice Hitman clips, including some great black and white footage of him as a kid, wrestling under Stu Hart’s tutelage. Now for the Yokozuna clips, including him power slamming pretty much everyone in the entire WWE universe. Lawler is convinced the guest referee is going to be Owen Hart, but guest announcer Burt Reynolds announces guest referee Roddy Piper, who gets a big pop and looks great. We get some clarification on what Jim Cornette is doing here — apparently he’s Yoko’s “American spokesperson.” Got it. I get to enjoy Yokozuna’s entrance and music again, which makes me feel like I’m at the spa. Yoko gets so much traction out of the moves he misses, like the big splash here. It leaves the crowd wondering what would happen if he’d actually landed the move. Pain and suffering, most likely. Bret headbutts Yoko and knocks himself silly, and Yoko teeters on his giant legs before dropping onto his butt like a toddler. Cornette pulls Piper out of the ring while he’s counting on Yoko and Piper knocks him cold for his troubles. Lol. The crowd rewards him with a “Rowdy” chant. Sigh. Yoko misses a huge avalanche and Bret capitalizes with a bulldog from the second rope, then a great clothesline. In a beautiful move, Bret jumps off the second rope and Yoko catches him and reverses it into a power slam. He drags Bret to the corner like a hunter dragging a deer, but when he goes for the Banzai drop he loses his balance and drops backwards into the ring, and Bret covers for the win and the title. Wow!
Yoko chases Piper from the ring, leaving Bret to celebrate (once he wakes up.) Lex Luger comes down for a tense moment, then a congratulatory handshake. Piper, Razor Ramon, Burt Reynolds, Tatanka, 1-2-3 Kid, Macho Man, Donnie Wahlberg, Gorilla Monsoon, and Jack Tunney all come down to celebrate. Owen comes down to the aisle to fume and stare at his brother. Macho Man motions him toward the ring but Owen stalks off again, setting up their continuing feud. The guys pick Bret up on their shoulders — this is clearly a big moment for Bret and for us as we move on to the 90s. In case we’re not getting it, Vince shouts: “Ladies and gentlemen, a Brand. New. Era! You are witnessing the blast off of the next decade in the World Wrestling Federation!” Vince only talks in exclamation points.
TH: There were some amazing matches in this one — Owen vs. Bret, Shawn vs. Razor in the ladder match, Bret vs. Yokozuna — so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Shawn vs. Razor sucks up a lot of oxygen and delivers some amazing highs, but it’s also a match made up of (basically) high risk stunts. So I’m picking Owen vs. Bret as my best match. Two all-time greats, working so smoothly together and really telling a story of sibling rivalry. A+ would watch again.
RS: I will totally take the bait and pick the ladder match. It’s such a shocking match compared to everything from the previous nine WrestleManias. It also really moved the needle in WWF match style and expectations. It was also the first match where I ever saw my dad forget that it wasn’t real when we watched this together in 1994.
RS: Luger vs Yokozuna. Luger looks lazy and is doing no favors to help Yokozuna get over. And now that Luger has assumed the Hogan role, I must shit on him nonstop.
TH: Overall there are far fewer duds in this WrestleMania than in past events. I would rate the Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Doink mixed tag match and the women’s match as lowlights. I’ll pick the mixed tag match as the worst, just because it wastes the talents of its performers the most.
Oh Sh!t Moment
TH: Again, TONS of them in this event, thanks to that ladder match and the double appearances by both Bret and Yokozuna. I’m going to say that virtually everything Yokozuna does in the ring is an “oh shit” moment for me. He’s so huge and yet still so athletic that it boggles my mind. RIP Agatupu Rodney Anoa’i, aka Yokozuna.
RS: When Michaels gets knocked off the ladder and manages to get his leg tangled in the ropes, dangling and struggling like a dolphin in a tuna net absolutely blew my mind. I still can’t tell if that was somehow intentional or just a very fortunate creation of an amazing spot.
RS: Man, this is tough. Its such a better show than pretty much everything before it, but not perfect. I think I have to push the limits and say 4.75 out of 5. Yoko and Bret gave a great end to the show even with them both being in their second match. Bret and Owen have a great grudge match that you just know isn’t the end. The only drags are the mixed tag match, Vince on the calls, and “Bill Clinton.”
TH: I’m giving this a 4.5. It’s a very strong event from start to finish. The pacing is great (no big intermission lag as in previous WrestleManias), the matchups are (for the most part) good to great, the duds are rare, and there’s only one countout. On the mic, I’m adding a few points for Jerry Lawler, and subtracting a few points for Vince, so that’s a wash. Bret and Owen Hart, Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Randy Savage, (hell, even Earthquake) give some impressive performances. They’ve cut a lot of the racism that we’ve noted in past WrestleManias and, the most important factor of all, NO HULK HOGAN!
With ten WrestleManias in the bag, we’ll take a look back in our next post to recap this first decade, run down some of the highlights and lowlights, and look forward to what’s coming next!
Charles “Bam Bam” Bigelow, d. 2007
Howard Finkel, d. 2020
Crush (Brian Adams), d. 2007
Jimmy Del Ray (Heavenly Bodies), d. 2014
Earthquake (John Tenta), d. 2006
Fabulous Moolah (Mary Lillian Ellison), d. 2007
Mr. Fuji (Harry Fujiwara), d. 2016
Owen Hart, d. 1999
Ray Licarneli (Doink the Clown), d. 2010
Little Richard (Richard Penniman), d.
Mabel (Nelson Frazier, Jr.), d. 2014
Joey Marella, d. 1994
Gorilla Monsoon (Robert “Gino” Marello), d. 1999
Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), d. 2003
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Roderick Toombs), d. 2015
Burt Reynolds, d. 2018
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (Randy Poffo), d. 2011
Sy Sperling, d. 2020
Luna Vachon (Gertrude Vachon), d. 2010
Nikolai Volkoff (Josip Hrvoje Peruzovic), d. 2018
Yokozuna (Agatupu Rodney Anoa’i), d. 2000
6 thoughts on “WrestleMania X”
Hi, Rich & Tim.
It occurs to me that there are no statistics invoked in your coverage of wrestling. Numbers are important to me in my own sports fandom – primarily basketball and football – and the sportswriters I follow tend to build arguments based more on math than “the eye test” or “narratives”. Has wrestling also undergone its own “analytics movement”, either in front of the cameras or behind the scenes?
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Hey RNL – Thanks for the question! Not that we’re aware of, though occasionally “stats” will come into play. The one that comes to mind is Tatanka’s epic “undefeated” run between 1991 and 1993 (in a true wrestling twist, he wasn’t actually undefeated; he had lost at least a few at untelevised “house shows.”) Similarly, Andre the Giant was celebrated for going “undefeated” for 15 years, though he had lost plenty in the territory days. Most recently, the AEW promotion has been keeping track of win/loss records for its wrestlers, with those stats used as justification for someone being a tougher opponent, deserving of a title shot, etc. But when wins/losses are predetermined, obviously it doesn’t have any “real” weight. One of the most reliable indicators of a wrestler’s success is merch sales — it’s perhaps the only tangible measure of how “over” a particular performer is with fans. We’ve been keeping some stats on the WrestleManias as we’ve watched — wins/losses, heel/face wins, dirty/clean finishes, and countouts/disqualifications, and we’ll run some of those down in our retrospective post for WM1-10, so if you like stats make sure you come back for that!