Brett Mix’s- WWF Wrestlemania 13 Review:
“The thing about it is, when Austin left here, 18,000 fans were chanting Austin, Austin, and that is a testament to the man’s guts…” -Jim Ross
-WWF Wrestlemania 13 took place on Sunday, March 23rd, 1997 at the Rosemont Horizon in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois in front of 18,197 fans.
-This was the 13th Annual WWF Wrestlemania event.
-The main feud heading into Wrestlemania 13 was between Steve Austin and Bret Hart who had arguably one of the best feuds of all time going at the time. The other main attraction was the WWF title match between Champion Sid and The Undertaker.
-Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler did commentary as a tandem for the first and only time at this event.
-Some feel this event was the official start of the Attitude Era with the famous Steve Austin-Bret Hart double switch.
-This event did a horrid buyrate for a Wrestlemania (lowest in history for Mania) but that would all change the following year.
-Before the event aired live on pay-per-view (PPV), Billy Gunn defeated Flash Funk at Free for All at 7:05.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) vs The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw) vs The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) (with Hillbilly Jim) vs Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon in a Four-way tag team elimination match with the winner recieving a tag title shot the next night on Raw is War
To start Wrestlemania 13: “Heat”, we get a four-way, single elimination style tag team match.
Tag Team matches have always seemed to be the foundation of what McMahon loves to open shows with, and why not as they are usually always fast paced and full of action and not so much story which is sometimes all you need to get the live fans settled in.
With this being “Wrestlemania”, it’s a bit underwhelming but there was a time when not every Wrestlemania seemed like the be all, end all show of the year and 1997 was definitely a period of time which seemed just like that. This (much like 1995) felt like it could of been a Raw with the atmosphere and card.
Here are the rules, any tag can be made to anyone and when a man is eliminated through any of the four basic decisions, his team is then eliminated. Simple enough.
Windham and Bradshaw just loved the old school and now hall of fame Blackjacks so they just had to re-invent the idea. Henry Godwin starts in with Blackjack Bradshaw. Bradshaw with a high knee and off the ropes he is clotheslined down by Henry O. Godwin with a standing side headlock tags in Thrasher. Thrasher drops hard down on Bradshaw. Bradshaw lifts his boot catching Thrasher coming in. Bradshaw with a pump handleslam to Thrasher. In comes Phineas Godwin off a tag from Bradshaw. Thrasher caught Phineas in the gut and he fights back, Thrasher rakes the eyes. Off the ropes a back bodydrop by Phineas to Thrasher. Mosh tagged in by Phineas and now Mosh has to wrestle Thrasher. The crowd laugh as the two go at it a bit and then bump into one another before doing there version of “rocking out.”
Lafon tagged in by Thrasher and now he hits Mosh with a vertical suplex. A spinning heel kick to Mosh and now Windham is tagged in. Phil Lafon tags in Furnas who drops Windham with a nice headscissors. A leapfrog is reversed by Blackjack Windham in mid-air who turns it into a powerslam. A high boot by Bradshaw caught Furnas in the corner and both Blackjacks double teamed him into the ropes and they both delivered a double shoulderblock. Furnas carries Bradshaw to the outside and went to suplex him into the ring but Bradshaw suplexed Furnas from inside the ring out over the apron to the floor with some help from his partner Barry Windham on the apron. Some brawling breaks out on the floor between Furnas and Lafon.
The bell rings and all of the sudden the Blackjacks have eliminated themselves due to a DQ from Blackjack Bradshaw.
Now the officials countout Furnas and Lafon.
Pretty sloppy how this broke down.
Meanwhile we’re down to two teams in The Godwinns and The Headbangers. Henry with a front facelock on Thrasher and he holds him up in the air for a few seconds showing the great display of power. Henry with a righthand to Thrasher and sends him back first to the buckle. Henry scoop slams Thrasher to the mat and a two count is scored. In comes Phineas Godwin who continued to drop blows to the back of Thrasher. Phineas lands a headbutt but Thrasher spits on him. A slugfest breaks out and a high knee is landed from Phineas. A clothesline to Thrasher as he came crashing into him in the corner. Henry Godwin with a slam in the corner landing on Thrasher. Thrasher rakes the eyes of Henry and finally makes a tag into Mosh. Mosh irishwhips Henry to the side but he ends up clotheslining Mosh out all the way to the floor. Mosh breaks the count and drops Henry throat first on the top rope as he falls to the floor. Mosh lands a right to Henry outside on the ring apron. Mosh then springboards himself off the corner of the ring out to Henry on the apron levelling him to the floor in the spot of the Match. Mosh poses for the camera and makes a funny face while Thrasher then repeats his move nailing Henry out on the floor. Thrasher tags back in the match in control of Henry Godwin as the Headbangers land a double clothesline. In control is Thrasher who drags Henry to the mid-ring. Thrasher with a moonsault off the top and Henry slides out of the way. In comes Mosh and Phineas at the same time and Phineas slams Mosh and then Thrasher. Phineas Godwin lands a reverse elbow shot to Mosh and clotheslines Thrasher over the top rope out to the floor. Phineas goes for a Slop Drop on Mosh but in runs Thrasher and he takes down Phineas Godwin. Mosh drops on top of Phineas from the corner with a vertical version of the bombs away which apparently was originated by Ray Stevens.
Mosh gets the three.
Interesting move, not a very interesting match.
So in the end Mosh of the Headbangers put away Phineas Godwin at 10:39 to win the match to a good pop, the Headbangers now got a tag title shot the next night on Raw is War.
This match was a decent tag opener, nothing more.
It did its job but was rather sloppy throughout. At least it ended on a positive note.
2) Rocky Maivia (c) vs The Sultan (with Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
The Greatest IC Champion (according to him) of all time, The HonkyTonk Man did special commentary for this match.
Lawler was pretty hysterical throughout the duration of this one ripping on the man we’d all know as “The Rock” who was so Green here and hated by just about everybody, despite the WWF`s big attempt at trying to get him over as a babyface.
King`s commentary made it all feel worthwhile here.
It’s probably not a good thing this match happened in Chicago which is known to have a Smark like attitude throughout most of the crowd. They really ripped on Rocky in the match with chants of “Rocky Sucks.”
Tony Atlas is in attendance.
Rocky Maivia had won the IC title over Triple H at Thursday Raw Thursday just a couple of weeks before. Lawler says he is sick of hearing about Rocky Maivia and his old man Rocky Johnson, WHO CARES!?
McMahon says obviously some people care. I’d like to see who those people were at this time.
Sultan and Rocky the two cousins, stared at one another eye to eye before the bell rings, and then its showtime.
Rocky Maivia walks around the ring and a sign is held up in clear view that reads “Die Rocky Die”.
That was a bit much but its quite ironic seeing how much the guy was legitimately hated and then loved all in a span of two years. It’s beyond incredible actually.
Rocky Maivia does the strangest hand taunt to begin the match as the crowd boo. Off the ropes Sultan drops Rock with a shoulder block. Rock kicks up and drops righthands followed by a reverse elbow and then two dropkicks to the Sultan sending him to the floor. Rocky Maivia in control early.
Rocky Maivia dragged out by The Sultan and he is hit with rights but then Rock clotheslines the ring post as Sultan ducks. The Sultan then drops Rock’s arm on the steel barricade. Sultan drops the elbow to Rocky Maivia and sent for the ride Rock is on the recieving end of a clothesline by The Sultan. The Sultan drops a boot to the groin of Rocky Maivia. Sultan in control of Rock drops a clothesline and Sultan picks him up and then slaps on a Trapezius hold. “Rocky Sucks” breaks out some more.
Rock off the ropes runs into a knee put up by The Sultan. The Sultan drops Rock with a backbreaker in mid-ring. Sultan goes up top showing good agility for a big man drops a head down in the middle of the ring onto Rocky Maivia. Sultan gets a good ovation by surprise when he goes to pose at both sides of the ring due to how much Chicago was not a fan of one Rocky Maivia. The Sultan sends Rock to the ropes and off Rocky Maivia hits a sunset flip attempt on the Sultan but he does not go down due to him having the weight advantage on Rocky Maivia and instead elects to choke out Rock on the mat. The Sultan then with a chokehold on Rocky Maivia picks him up and Rock breaks it up but caught a shot to the mid-section. Sultan slaps on a bearhug and then a Roman throw into a Belly to Belly Suplex on Rocky Maivia. Sultan breaks his own pin count again at one as he lifts Rocky Maivia up and slaps on a sleeper in mid-ring.
The Sultan wearing down Rock and this gets a ton of heat from the crowd as it was beyond boring. Rock finally begins to fight out with some rights and off the ropes both men collide into one another with a double clothesline, a lot of impact as both men are down. The Sultan gets covered by Rocky Maivia who recovers first by Rocky surprisingly and then Sultan drops blows down on Rock and he starts to shake it off. Rocky Maivia to a chorus of boo’s fights back on Sultan. Rock posing like his dad with his offense then kicks at the Sultan and hits a belly to belly on the Sultan.
Rocky Maivia gets his face raked by Sultan and then off the ropes, Rock hits a tornado ddt. Rocky Maivia goes to the top rope and flies with a crossbody.
The Sheik got onto the ring apron and distracted the official. The Sultan creeped up behind him and then Rock landed rights to the Sultan. Sultan lands a thrust kick and Rock kicks out at two. Sultan dropped Rocky Maivia with a piledriver now and Rocky Maivia barely kicks out. Rocky Maivia with an inside cradle out of no where gets a three and Honkeytonk Man claims he grabbed the tights.
In the end Rock retained his title at 9:45 after he wins out of literally no where. Fans pop because its over and not because of who won.
After the match Rocky Johnson comes out to help his son and Vince who of course just loves Rocky Johnson loses it on commentary. Rocky Maivia slams the Sheik down to the mat and then hugs his dad. What a Wrestlemania moment!
This match was pretty terrible in every way, still some marks for the effort by a Green Rocky Maivia.
3) Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) vs Goldust (with Marlena)
Both men had manager’s here which was apart of the match’s story, and this was a nice little/forgotten feud in early 97 between two solid workers. Helmsley a good mat wrestler and Goldust a second generation guy with some experience and worked very well under the Goldust persona.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley says he can take Goldust “Any way he wants” in the pre-match interview. That’s interesting. Considering he just told Hendrix he didn’t need to know anything about him and Chyna also raised some eyebrows. This of course was when Chyna still looked like a full out man.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s voice back then was also interesting.
Goldust is in a squatting position as he plays some mindgames with Hunter before he immediately springs up and drops Hunter with a clothesline. A unique start to the match as Goldust unloads with a series of righthands. Off the ropes Goldust lands a bigtime uppercut to Helmsley. Goldust on top of Hunter drops a series of righthands on top of Triple H as the crowd cheer along and chant up to ten. Goldust drops Helmsley off the ropes with an inverted atomic drop followed by a clothesline out to the floor as Helmsley goes flying.
Goldust in complete control drops a fist to the esophagus and then drops a right to Helmsley with a slap as he baseball slides out and Hunter Hearst Helmsley is tied up in the ropes. Goldust getting some free shots in. Goldust with a high boot to the face of Helmsley out on the apron. Goldust slammed Hunter’s head into the top turnbuckle before he clotheslined him back into the ring. Goldust slaps Hunter in the corner and off the ropes Helmsley stops in mid-ring and buys himself a moment as he drives Goldust into his knee. Goldust regains momentum as he drops Hunter Hearst Helmsley with a powerslam off the ropes with a lot of tork. Goldust goes up high and Hunter Hearst Helmsley catches him with a righthand. Hunter Hearst Helmsley climbs up high and goes for a Superplex but Goldust hangs on. Again Goldust regains control as he drops a shot to Helmsley, but then Helmsley throws Goldust off the top turnbuckle and Goldust’s face hits the ring apron and he falls to the floor directly in front of Chyna.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley grabs Goldust on the outside and tosses him back inside the ring and now Helmsley gets to go to work for the first time in the match. Hunter Hearst Helmsley lands a clothesline and a quick nearfall. Goldust with the presence of mind to lift his left shoulder but is on the recieving end of a few slaps and chops in the corner from Helmsley who then begins to stomp on the Golden one. Helmsley irishwhipped Goldust hard back first to the buckle and now hits Goldust off the ropes with a swinging neckbreaker and another nearfall.
The match goes to a slower pace with the methodical Hunter Hearst Helmsley in control and he slaps on an abdominal stretch to Goldust. This hold is slapped on longer then it had any right to be and Goldust grabbed ahold of the top rope for leverage to get out of the abdominal stretch with the best counter move to that hold, a hiplock.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley regains control landing a high running knee to the head of Goldust off the ropes. Hunter lifts the arm of Goldust down in the middle of the ring and slaps on a headlock to wear him down some more. Goldust rolls out and Hunter Hearst Helmsley tries to hold Goldust’s shoulders to the mat trying to force a pinfall. Chyna looks on as if to say “You should of put him away minutes ago…”
Hunter Hearst Helmsley hit with a vicious righthand. Goldust up but Hunter Hearst Helmsley slaps on a front facelock and turns it into a snapshot vertical suplex dropping the Golden one. Hunter Hearst Helmsley with a running kneedrop down to Goldust on the canvas and another two. Goldust reaches out for the crowd to get him back into the match. Hunter Hearst Helmsley grabs Goldust and in the corner drops another series of rights before Goldust turns the tide and drops vicious rights to the head of Helmsley. Hunter sent to the ride but he remains the aggressor as he drops Goldust with a ddt regaining some lost momentum. Hunter Hearst Helmsley attempts a hiplock but Goldust turns it into a backslide, Helmsley with a nearfall and then Goldust with one, both men up and Goldust hit with a clothesline, Hunter Hearst Helmsley drops his weight onto Goldust and manages another two count. Hunter Hearst Helmsley misses with a right and Goldust with a crossbody got a two. Goldust a standing side headlock, a leapfrog over Helmsley and then both men collide into one another. Both men get up nearing the ten count and Helmsley drops from the corner and Goldust backed into him flying in mid-air and Helmsley flies backwards. Goldust with an effective defensive move there with enough presence of mind to adapt to his environment and at the same time slow down a motivated Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Goldust throws a charging Helmsley into the turnbuckle. Goldust regaining some control as he needed it due to Hunter Hearst Helmsley dictating the pace throughout the match. Goldust with two hard slaps to Hemlsley and then a third. Hunter Hearst Helmsley to the ropes hit with a back bodydrop by Goldust. Goldust with another right and he drops Helmsley headfirst to the buckle, sent into the corner is swung upside down. Goldust lands a running bulldog ontop of Hunter Hearst Helmsley and almost a count of three but Hunter manages to kickout.
Chyna now eyes Marlena outside the ring.
Goldust meanwhile had Hunter Hearst Helmsley in position for a Curtain Call. Helmsley manages out and gives Goldust a shot and now a Pedigree was teased, Goldust countered it into a catapolt and then in position once more for a Curtain Call but he rops Helmsley when he sees Marlena trying to escape Chyna. Marlena is bounced by Helmsley off the apron into Chyna who squeezes her.
Just all of the sudden Marlena was knocked off the apron onto Chyna who holds her in her arms tossing her from side to side and that was a pretty interesting sight to see.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley who had Goldust temporarily distracted landed a Pedigree onto his opposition and got the three.
In the end Helmsley won the match at 14:28. Hunter Hearst Helmsley had control of most of the match so it was logical he’d win and with the ending of the match booked the way it was, it only made sense.
Unfortunately since the Heel (Helmsley) was in control of most of the match it had a slower pace to it, much slower then the even longer bout between the two at the 97 Rumble.
This slower match still had its fine moments and was worked quite well but nothing really more outside of that. No deep story outside of the decent action from two good workers.
4) Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) vs Mankind and Vader (with Paul Bearer) for the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
You’ve got to love the tag tandem of The Bulldog and Owen, always a pleasure to watch with how well there two styles flow together, made for an awesome team.
Definitely a contrast in styles against Vader and Foley here. This was Mick Foley’s Wrestlemania debut as he came into the WWF not long after the Wrestlemania the previous year.
Stu and Helen Hart watched this match, and the Bret match that followed from ringside.
Owen, being Owen during his entrance did something rather hilarious.
Jim Ross went up to the team who had been having troubles as a team from time to time as of late for a quick interview, asking who the Captain of the team was and behind Davey Boy’s back, Owen in his hilarious voice told Jim HE was the Captain.
Owen was coming off his second “Slammy Win” so was full off arrogance, which made you love to hate him.
Owen Hart was so full of life that its always bittersweet going back and looking at him, on one hand you appreciate it so much, on the otherhand you cant help but get saddened wondering what could of been.
Owen for the second straight year was going up against a person he teamed with the year before. Don’t follow? Owen teamed with Yokozuna at Wrestlemania Eleven then faced him in a six man tag at Wrestlemania 12, Owen teamed with Vader during that Six-Man tag and here at Wrestlemania 13 squared off with Vader to begin the match.
The bell rings.
Owen Hart goes to the mat to try and get Vader off his game but the man formally known as Big Van dropped some crushing blows to Owen in the corner with vicious rights and lefts. vader with more chops to Owen and more forearms to the chest. Vader in control of Owen attempting at perhaps isolating him from the Bulldog, Owen ducked under Vader twice before dropping him with a Spinning Heel Kick.
Vader caught Owen off the ropes and slammed him to the mat. Vader off the ropes goes for an elbow drop but Owen outsmarts him. Owen off the ropes instead of making a tag to Bulldog he is caught up high by Vader who drops Owen with a powerbomb.
Two heel tagteams going at it, the fans in favor of Owen and the Bulldog clearly.
Vader dragged Owen to the corner of the ring and goes up high for a vader Bomb attempt but The British Bulldog stopped him. Foley runs in and goes after Davey Boy and Bulldog is attacked by both Mankind and Vader. Bulldog sent to the ropes ducks a clothesline by Vader and Mankind and then drops them both with one on his own. Owen jumps off the top taking out Vader. Mankind tags with Owen as Bulldog irishwhipped Mankind to the corner of the ring and then stomps on him. Bulldog with a front facelock on Foley into a standing vertical suplex quite powerful as you’d suspect from Davey Boy Smith. Vader then gets powerslammed by Bulldog who looked like he was in trouble for a moment. Bulldog with forearm shots to Mankind followed by a snapmare. Bulldog slaps a sleeper on Foley in mid-ring and Mick fights back, Vader then pulls the top rope down sending The British Bulldog flying out of the ring. Mankind with the Urn goes after Davey Boy but he brilliantly hits a drop toehold sending Foley down and of course at the same time avoding contact. Vader attacks Bulldog on the floor. Owen checks on him which is a relief for anyone doubting the team of Owen and The British Bulldog.
The British Bulldog right back in and Vader hits a vertical suplex and gets a two. Vader unleashed shots to Davey Boy Smith in the corner before sending him crashing into the corner and Vader splashes him in the corner. Vader splashes on top of Bulldog from the top and Bulldog kicks out. Mankind in and he beats on Davey Boy Smith. Mankind drives his knee into the head of Smith in the corner. Mankind drops a leg on top of Bulldog’s head. Mankind with a back bodydrop to Smith off the ropes. Vader in again as Foley tags him in. Vader and Mankind isolating Davey Boy Smith. Vader irishwhips Bulldog to the ropes and he splashes him with both arms in mid-ring sending him to the mat. Vader comes off the top and Bulldog in mid-air turns it into a powerslam. Bulldog looking to Owen for the tag and he gets it. Hart beats on Vader with a dropkick and then a sunset flip attempt goes sour but Vader drops on his ass as owen moves in time. Owen with a crossbody off the top and Lawler suggests he should get another Slammy for that move. Vader drops Owen as he comes crashing down this time. The man they call Vader tosses Hart to the outside. Vader beats on Owen on the floor, Mankind drops an elbow to Owen from the outside ring apron. Mankind with another right to Owen Hart and as he tried to come back in on the apron, Mankind clotheslines him neck first across the top rope as he falls back to the floor. Mankind chokes out Owen with a Claw on the floor in front of Stu and Helen.
Lawler is beyond hilarious when Ross says “Be Careful King, Stu might take you to the Dungeon.” Then Lawler responds “STU!?!?!?”
Mankind on Owen back in the ring hitting him with a powerslam off the ropes. Owen crashes into the turnbuckle chest first and as Mankind charged at him Owen was able to score with a heel kick, this looked rather sloppy. Owen in trouble as Mankind and Vader double team him a bit in the corner. Vader lands another series of righthands to Hart in the corner. Vader attempting to isolate Owen this time as he was the smaller man of the two, always a good solid strategy for tag wrestling, Owen though hits Vader with a Spinning Heel Kick utilizing his quickness. Vader gets up and drops Owen down and then drops an elbow. Foley back in and he knocks Owen to the outside of the ring. Mankind runs towards Owen and he hits a belly to belly suplex on Foley down on the mat. Owen with an Enziguri (like only he could) to Mankind. Owen tags in Bulldog and he lands a clothesline on Foley and Vader. Bulldog slams both guys heads together and then Bulldog drops Mankind again. Bulldog sends Foley hard into the corner with a ton of power. Bulldog again with a hard throw to Foley. Bulldog goes for a Powerslam but Foley drops down and slaps on the Claw. Vader unmasked now charged towards Owen. Manking with the claw on The British Bulldog gets knocked out of the ring still applying the Claw as Vader irishwhipped Owen Hart into both of them. It is a big mess everywhere.
The bell rings and the fans boo.
In the end Bulldog and Owen retained the tag titles by countout at 16:08.
This match should of had a better ending because it was quite good in parts, unfortunately it didn’t.
5) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret “Hitman” Hart in a Submission Match with Special Referee- Ken Shamrock
Steve Austin calls this the match of his career, and for very good reason.
In my estimation it’s the greatest match in history and is widely accepted around the wrestling world as the greatest match of all time, let alone at a Wrestlemania also…
This was the match that features the famous “double-switch.” It was groundbreaking at the time and helped influence a new Attitude in the federation and in the career of one Steve Austin.
By this time both Bret Hart and Steve Austin were involved in perhaps the greatest feud in the history of Pro-Wrestling which is why the stage was ultimately set so well for this one match here. I definitely consider this the best feud in Wrestling history.
Shamrock was introduced as the Guest Ref because he knew Submission and earlier he let us know he will not be intimidated during the match.
Bret needed to win this match basically to keep his spot, and Austin was on fire at the time so there was a lot of drama and suspense involved.
The fans were ready for this one as they woke up from the Coma they had been in since the start of the show at the beginning of this match.
Austin posed with a ton of “Attitude” to a stellar ovation on the top turnbuckle. This is a tremendous entrance.
Arguably Austin’s best ever with the famous “Austin 3:16” Glass Shattering upon arrival.
Steve rips a fans sign on his way to the ring proving he still doesen’t care if you’re going to cheer him.
Bret comes out to a mixed reaction, Chicago was still full of loads of fans who still respected the Hitman. McMahon puts over his new attitude lately.
Austin wastes no time getting this one started.
Stone Cold Steve Austin’s stare to the side catches one off gaurd as he looks in disgust and moves his head directly towards Bret and tackles him down. Once on the mat (not even a second later) Austin unloads on the Hitman with a series of rights, McMahon points out that Bret is quite good in this aspect of Wrestling as well.
Bret’s punches are definitely as good as Steve’s.
Hart and Austin back and forth in the ultimate slugfest to begin this one, many confuse this match as a Street Fight for the reason it basically was treated like one from the opening bell.
This spelled out the hatred both men had for one another and that it was “Wrestlemania Baby” as Lawler points out as the two icons exchange hard righthands in front of the “Wrestlemania” banner placed appropriately in front of both men on the ring apron as they battle on the floor.
Steve Austin was in his prime here and you could argue the Hitman was as well.
Stone Cold Steve Austin with The Hitman Bret Hart on the floor not giving each other an inch as they continue to take it to one another out on the floor with the Windy City looking on.
Bret Hart gives a shot to Austin back as he sends Steve right into the ring post and you can hear that one. Austin gets Bret back by dropping him on his groin on the steel railing. Austin clotheslines Bret down to the floor as he charged at him from the corner outside of the ring.
The Rattlesnake drags The Hitman into the crowd. Ross calls it brutal, the crowd are loving it. Austin drops the Hitman chest first onto the boards, this was where the Chicago Blackhawks played hockey. Bret in the crowd gives Steve a punch square in the jaw. Hart venting months and months of frustration out on Austin, McMahon said this is what Wrestlemania is all about, little did he know this would be the all time Classic that it now is when first saying that statement.
The Hitman back bodydropped Austin down onto the steps as he smacks against the concrete floor, the camera does its best job at tracking both individuals. Thankfully they bring the action back towards the ring where these two can really master there craft. Hart tosses Austin over the steel railing hard to the floor, shows good agility by standing on top of the fence and dropping the elbow onto Austin. Steve though on the floor irishwhipped the Hitman hard into the steel steps and he came crashing right into them. Stone Cold flipped off the Hitman from the apron and came crashing down into Bret on the floor.
Unbelievable action and carnage thus far.
Bret stops Austin by the steps and drops Steve on his back onto the floor before jabbing rights into Austin’s head, Steve hangs onto Bret’s trunk and sends him crashing into the ring post. Austin throws Bret back in and Austin sells the leg beginning to limp. Still, Stone Cold kicks at Hart down on the canvas. Austin irishwhipped Bret to the ropes but Hart retaliated by countering Austin and hitting a swinging neckbreaker.
Some boo’s are heard with Bret’s offense, after the neckbreaker he drops an elbow from the corner down on top of Austin. Bret lifts up the legs of Austin and he rips on the Hamstring some more swinging Steve’s bad leg back. Hart the master technician continued to disect the injured leg of Austin which had him temporarily out of action in early 1997.
Bret’s brain was half his brilliance.
Bret methodically went to work on the bad leg of Austin as if he was a big man like Kevin Nash or The Undertaker. Hart then swings Austin’s leg to the mat as he goes flying. The Hitman relentless in his attack and his focus was in full motion as he kicks at Steve who is struggling to just stand.
Stone Cold out of no where catches the Hitman with a Stone Cold Stunner, to a great pop.
If there is one criticism in this match its how Hart only takes about twenty seconds to get back up and then he goes right back to work on Austin’s legs after having just recieved his stunner, but Bret was going on pure hatred.
The Hitman then slapped on a Leglock around the ring post as Bret leaned back on the mat outside on the floor for additional leverage. Steve’s beyond in a bad way now after Hart’s figure four. Bret Hart tossed Austin back inside the ring. Hart grabs a ringbell. Now Bret with two folding chairs and McMahon is unintentionally hilarious with his “Oh no…”
Bret then stomps on Austin’s leg and folds the chair around the bad leg of Austin. Bret goes up to the top turnbuckle and Austin takes it off. Austin then swings at Bret nailing him off the top turnbuckle with the chair, and Bret comes crashing down to the mat and the crowd just roar.
Lawler screams out “It’s Wrestlemania Baby!” Austin again swings at Bret with the chair knowing he was a desperate man as he was barely able to stand on one of his legs. Stone Cold knew this ruthless nature was the only way to survive in this environment. Austin back in control whipping Hart to the buckle as he crashed in hard. Austin then with a vertical suplex to Bret following up the punishment to the back of Bret.
Austin mocked the Hitman from the top rope with his pose.
Austin dropped the elbow from the corner onto Bret and then he kicks him in the lower abdominal region. Bret’s daughter covers her eyes at ringside.
Austin with a Side Russian Legsweep into a modified armbar with Bret’s neck gripped to one side. Austin did some homework coming in.
Steve stretching the neck of Bret while he torks on the arm, and eventually is forced to let go. Stu at ringside looks concerned.
Austin applied a Boston Crab to the Hitman!
Chicago roars, The Hitman tells Shamrock “No.”
Austin still folds Hart’s legs back and applied additional pressure to the bruised lowerback of the Hitman. Shamrock in Austin’s face now.
I love how Ross still continued to sympathize for Bret claiming he isn’t a coward.
Now Austin went for the Sharpshooter and half the place loves it. Austin then gets his eyes raked by the Hitman down on the mat as Bret started to foreshadow signs of dirty wrestling.
Bret lands some hard shots on the Rattlesnake now as he regained some lost momentum!
The Hitman taking it to Steve Austin now with hard rights, landing each time which only took more and more out of the Texas Rattlesnake.
The Hitman now charges at Austin but he brilliantly improvises and elevated the Hitman to the floor. Half the crowd on one side of the ring cheer Austin and hold up signs that read things like “Bret Who!” as they continue to roar.
Hart on the outside irishwhipped Austin who came limping towards him into the timekeeper’s table. Austin violently crashes into the fence which is critical to the match’s story as Stone Cold is bloodied.
Austin has been busted wide open in a bad way. Steve is bleeding like all hell and Lawler claims he has blood on him from the booth. Hart vicious in his attack grabs a bloodied, limping mess in Austin and slammed him head first into the steps which opens the big cut on the Rattlesnake.
This has become a war!
Hart sends a bloodied Rattlesnake into the ring post. Austin dripping blood is down on his stomach as the Hitman kicks at Stone Cold. Bret Hart continued to unload righthands on the cranium of a down and out Austin who still didn’t want to give up. Bret Hart lands a backbreaker on Austin. Bret from the corner of the ring drops an elbow down onto Austin from the corner of the ring. Hart with a chair drops it continually on the knee brace of Austin. Bret Hart like a vicious animal is out of control trying to take out the leg of Austin.
Bret went for a Sharpshooter and Austin in desperate fashion all bloodied still managed to rake his face. Stone Cold hammered on in the corner of the ring by Bret. Hart kicked at by Austin right in the groin in the corner as Steve Austin buys himself a break even if just for the moment. Stone Cold reached up and he was barely able to stand. Steve Austin grabs Hart by the hair and from the corner irishwhipped him sternum first to the opposite side with all he had.
Austin showing he could go with the best of him repeatedly kicks at Hart in the corner showing he is the toughest son of a bitch in the industry, barely able to stand, can’t see because of the blood but he still managed to fight back. Austin sets Bret up high on the top turnbuckle and goes for a Superplex and he lands it off the top, Austin fell on the back of his head as well so Steve wasn’t able to capitalize and slap a submission hold on the Hitman. The camera zooms in on Steve and the place “Ooooh” because of the brutal imagery.
Steve goes outside and grabs an electrical cord and he attempts to choke him out. Bret from the ring apron grabs ahold of a timekeeper’s bell and just rang Austin’s head with it and he falls back. Austin’s already bloody face now just got a last crushing blow.
Bret locked the Sharpshooter on Steve who refused to give up but screamed in pain. Shamrock asked Austin he would quit, but The Rattlesnake didn’t give in. McMahon says no one could blame Austin if he quit by this point.
Everything Bret had done to this point all took its toll.
The blood continued to poor down Austin’s face who was in a world of pain, but through it all, bad legs and all would not submit to the best submission wrestler in the game. Which took guts, which you couldn’t help but admire. Austin losing blood and his ability to stay in the match. Everyone in Chi Town roaring on in suspense.
Even though he’d never admit it, Steve Austin had enough of this as hid body shut down. Everyone stood to watch what they knew was something special. Austin broke the Sharpshooter screams Ross but he didn’t, he was only close.
Austin tried everything he could to reach the ropes, Ross claims he can’t understand how Austin hasn’t given up.
In the end Bret was declared the winner at 22:05 after Shamrock rang the bell due to Austin being “out of it” despite not quitting help protecting his badass/toughest SOB image.
Ross screams “Austin never gave up! Austin never gave up! Austin has passed out, from the pain!” as Hart’s theme plays loud while the crowd reject what looked like a Ruthless Hitman character now by this point. Ross claims it will be a tough act to follow and he was just talking about the night. Arguably no one has topped this match to this day. Hart going full Heel now attacks the Hitman who was bloodied and out until Shamrock hit a waistlock on Hart which got a great reaction. Bret refusing to fight goes to leave and everyone boos Bret who looks on as if he can’t believe it. Bret flips off a fan in the entrance way.
After the match, Austin a bloody mess who had just been to hell and back limps out not asking for any assistance keeping the “tough SOB” image.
Fans chant “Austin” and a legend is born. This would help Steve move more then a few Austin 3:16 shirts and it became the highest selling shirt in history. Steve Austin meanwhile would go on his way to become the biggest draw in the history of the business. Talk about a revolutionary match which is both significant and at the same time by all means great. Probably the most exciting match of all time and a strong argument can be made that it is all-around the very best as well. It’s definitely the best War Pro-Wrestling has ever seen, a non-stop full throttle back and forth tilt from the very best in the peak of there career’s in perhaps the greatest feud the business has ever seen.
Can anymore be said?
6) The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Ahmed Johnson vs The Nation of Domination (Crush, Faarooq and Savio Vega) (with Wolfie D, J.C. Ice and Clarence Mason) in a Six-man tag team Chicago Street Fight
Ross did say in the last match it’d be tough for anything to follow the last match but surprisingly enough this one comes off as a lot of fun.
What is Ahmed doing with spikes, or teaming with the LOD for that matter? Anyways, that’s irrelevant I guess.
What we have here is a very fun match.
It’s a Chicago Street Fight, and the whole event now looks like the setting of an ECW event with carnage everywhere after that last match and now here with all hell breaking loose.
Sid and The Undertaker were damned as it was, putting those two after THESE two violent matches probably wasn’t the best thing to do when looking back on it now.
Action is underway in a big way, after Ahmed and the Warriors take of the Spike Vests a slugfest from all six breaks out and the bell rings.
Farooq, Savio Vega and Crush (back when both were still members and not creating there own stable’s) help out. The rappers now get there taste of the Chicago Street Fight as they are powerslammed.
Ross screams out that there will be no tags in this match. I think everyone here was fired up just watching the Hart-Austin war.
Animal has a nightstick bat at him from Farooq. Ahmed Johnson flips over the security railing onto Crush all the way to the floor. Road Warrior Animal then plants a trashcan at Farooq. Animal and Ahmed clean house with the trashcan and the place loves it. Road Warrior Hawk inside the ring beats on Savio Vega and now with a 2×4 he goes for Savio and he misses but was able to get the stick back in his grasp after it flies in the air.
Outside the ring Animal and Farooq brawl on top of an announce table. Animal sets up Farooq for a piledriver on top of the table and he drives Farooq right through or his best attempt to anyway, it doesen’t break and Farooq’s safety was obviously the best interest here. Inside the ring Crush and Savio Vega battled Ahmed and Hawk. Farooq hit in the face with the Fire Extinguisher and the smoke is everywhere. Hawk drops Savio Vega after a hard shot to him with the trashcan lid placed directly on top of him. Ahmed Johnson drops Farooq outside the ring.
Ross claims this is now a historic Wrestlemania. Farooq then gets driven through a table by Ahmed Johnson. Animal drops a trash can onto vega. It is hilarious hearing McMahon, Lawler and Ross choke on the smoke as there broadcast booth was placed right in the middle of the action.
Ahmed Johnson is choked with a rope in mid-ring, absolute chaos everywhere as the fans continue chanting LOD. D-Lo Brown chokes out Ahmed Johnson with the rope. Hawk ducks a clothesline by the Nation and drops Farooq and Savio Vega with one. Crush smacks Hawk with a trashcan and then chokes him over the top rope. Ahmed gets out of his predicament and D-Lo lands rights outside the ring to Ahmed. Ahmed Johnson fights off Savio on the outside, the Road Warriors take apart Farooq inside the ring. Savio flips Ahmed over the steel barricade. Ahmed Johnson tosses Savio around where the fans are as Farooq begins to hang Hawk with a rope. Crush stops Animal with a wrench. Unbelievable and quite humerous at times.
Ahmed Johnson being triple teamed on the outside by the Nation. Farooq up high continues to choke out the LOD. Ahmed is being disected outside the ring. Crush drops a forearm to the spine of Road Warrior Animal. A replay shows Farooq on the top of the turnbuckle and a Road Warrior dragging Farooq as he flies out to the floor thanks to the rope. Ahmed drags Farooq, that was quite the rivalry back in this day.
Savio Vega with a snapmare inside the ring down onto Ahmed and he chokes him out some more. Outside the ring Animal, Crush, Hawk, everyone continues to beat the living hell out of each other and the Fire Extinguisher goes off for the third time by the announce booth and they absolutely hate it. Everybody jumps on Ahmed Johnson, D-Lo comes in the ring and delivered shots to Ahmed. Hawk from the top drops Crush with a Doomsday Device as Animal held him up high. Ahmed Johnson with Hawk runs the 2×4 into Crush and they get a three.
In the end at 10:45 the team of LOD and Ahmed won the Street Fight after all hell broke loose.
Not long after this Farooq would kick both Vega and Crush out of the Nation and get guys like The Rock, D-Lo Brown, Kama among others. Vega and Crush formed there own stable’s afterwards like Los Boricuas, and the DOA respectively.
This match was a ton of fun, and at just over ten minutes, it wasn’t overly long either.
A load of quality, and it really was entertaining for its time. A perfect choice to follow Austin-Hart.
7) Main Event- The Undertaker vs Sycho Sid (c) in a NO DQ Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
Shawn Michaels does special commentary for this match, and gets in-ring pyro’s to boot, which Lawler questions.
Michaels added some entertainment to the match. Much needed entertainment from the commentary booth.
After Sid and Taker come out and go toe to toe out walks Bret to a chorus of boo’s from the Windy City.
Bret Hart gets on the mic and takes a shot at Shawn and his “injury” and Vince feels obligated to hold Shawn back. Bret then rips on Undertaker and Sid.
Sid then drops Bret Hart with a big shot and gives him a powerbomb. Sid tells him to take his crying ass out of the building to a good pop. Sid says he is going to kick Undertaker’s ass and he jumps Sid from behind and the bell rings.
The Undertaker kicks at Sid in the corner and delivers a right hand. The Undertaker reverse irishwhipped into the corner by Sid but Taker delivers a boot to the face and gets Sid back in the corner so he dishes out more shots. The Undertaker splashed Sid in the corner of the ring. The Undertaker slams Sid to the mat and Taker slaps on an arm-ringe and performs Old School with great agility as always. The Undertaker with another splash on Sid in the corner but showing great strength is the Master and Ruler of the World as he slaps on a bearhug in mid ring to the Deadman. Sid wears down Undertaker and he begins to fall to the mat. The Undertaker tried to find anything to escape but Sid just remembers what he did to Hulk Hogan in the main event of Wrestlemania 8 and decided to do it again here.
And what was it? Besides boring us all to death it was a bearhug as a weardown hold. Sid drops a hard forearm to the lower back and the kidney region of the Deadman, and he squeezes Taker some more before pushing him out to the floor but Taker lands on his feet on the floor. Once Sid comes to the floor he shoved The Undertaker down by the French broadcasters. Sid drops Taker abdomen first across the steel railing. Sid drops him once more, the setting is unbelievable by this point in the night after all the carnage that has took place. Sid drops The Undertaker on top of the broken table, Ross being clever says it looks like the set of Twister.
Sid shoves The Undertaker back inside the squared circle and after a bit of the rough stuff he goes for a three, scores a nearfall. The Undertaker back up but Sid drops more pressure to his spine, Taker did his best to fight back but found himself now stuck in a camel clutch slapped on by Sycho Sid.
Sid now drops his bodyweight on top of Taker’s lowerback in the camel clutch. Sid then drops off the top with a hard shot to Taker. Sid catches a big shot by the Deadman as he fires back with his quick hands. The Undertaker reversed into the ropes and Sid hits a powerslam which added additional pressure to the lowerback. Sid yells out “Goddamn it!” as he only gets a series of two counts. Sid with The Undertaker placed on the canvas hits a legdrop and got another two. Sid desperate to retain his title at any chance he gets.
Sycho Sid chokes out Undertaker in the corner of the ring. The Undertaker lands a flying clothesline on Sid off the ropes.
Michaels tries to be a comedian letting us all know Bret doesen’t like him. Sid though drops The Undertaker back down in the corner with a series of slower shots, Taker headbutts Sid as a defense and takes Sid out of the ring to the floor. The Undertaker slides out and follows Sid as the Deadman is now in control. The Undertaker tosses Sid over the railing to the concrete floor. The Undertaker and Sid engage in a slugfest on the floor. Undertaker off the ropes drops an elbow but it hits the mat as Sid moves out of the way, Sid now slaps on a reverse chinlock. Sid has this locked in for awhile until The Undertaker fights back and goes to work on the Traps to slow down the big man.
The Undertaker now attempting to weardown Sid, the fans get on the match as some small Boring chants are heard.
Sid gets out and both men collide into one another. Sid drops the axehandle down on the spine of the Deadman which had been worked on, now from the corner of the ring he drops onto The Undertaker. Sid from the corner again with a weak clothesline to the Deadman off the top rope. Sid a bit frustrated as he keeps getting two counts. Sid showing more desperation goes up top but The Undertaker sits up. The Undertaker caught Sid up high and he drops to his groin and caught a hard right from the Deadman.
The Undertaker with Sid up high slams him back down to the mat. Sid sits up as The Undertaker gets aerial and Taker lands a flying clothesline from up high. The Undertaker buys himself a moment but hesitated to cover Sid, when he did he gets just a two count. The Undertaker signals for the end and the place loves it obviously.
The Undertaker goes for a Tombstone Piledriver to the Champion but Sid lands on his feet having reversed it, Sid drops The Undertaker with his own move. Sid covers him but only gets a two as the place roads, Sid looks concerned. The Undertaker elevated through the middle ropes by Sid and The Undertaker lands violently on the floor area. Sid with a hard right to Taker.
Bret Hart comes back with a chair and he nails Sid in the back twice. Ross questions if the Hitman has lost his mind. Shawn says Bret can’t take it because the spotlight isn’t on him. I love Lawler using “That’s the pot calling the kettle black.” Perfect timing King.
Sid shoved back first into the steel and then back into the ring. The Deadman hits a chokeslam on Sid. The Undertaker goes for a three but Sid kicks out.
The Undertaker now with Sid against the ropes is reversed into the ropes himself, The Undertaker dives out at Sid but he ducks out of the way dodging the clothesline. Sid now goes for his Powerbomb, Bret runs back and Michaels hilariously yells “Jesus.”
This distracted Sid who went to Bret on the apron, he turned around did Sid and found himself in a Tombstone from the Deadman which did the job.
In the end Undertaker finally put Sycho Sid away after a Tombstone at 21:19 to become the new WWF Champion.
Taker celebrated with the gold as the lights go out.
Taker walked off with the belt, as the fans applauded.
A very nice moment to end a pretty bad show.
However this match was one of the worst Main Events ever at a Wrestlemania but not the very worst, some of the work here was rather solid and in the end the fans got what they want with Taker taking home the title.
Final Rating for WWF Wrestlemania 13 = 4.5/10
This Mania is the definition of a one match card. Sure there might of been a couple of gems other then the defining classic on this event but the one match was so far ahead of everything else, it can be defined as a one match card. If it wasn`t for the Submission match this event would be about a 1 out of 10 but since it does have it, it will get at least three more points. Only get this show if you want all of the Mania`s in your collection or you don`t own Austin-Bret from the Hitman`s DVD, it`s that simple.
While listening to their review, here’s what the good folks at the New Generation Project Podcast came up with for a better card for WrestleMania 13:
1.Davey Boy Smith vs. Owen Hart in the Grand Final of the WWF European Championship Tournament [Said tournament was good, but the grand final should’ve happened on this PPV instead of that Raw in Germany; this would be a suitable opener, and Bulldog still wins the title and holds it until One Night Only later that year.]
2.The New Blackjacks vs. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon in a #1 Contenders match for the WWF Tag-Team Championship [Just take out the Headbangers and the Godwinns, and let Furnas, LaFon, Bradshaw, and Windham have a hell of a tag match.]
3.Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) vs. Goldust (with Marlena) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship [We’re keeping this match in, only Helmsley doesn’t lose the IC Title to Rocky, thus raising the stakes in this blow-off match with Goldust.]
4.Rocky Maivia vs. Mankind (with Paul Bearer) [This filler match gives both the Blue Chipper and the former Piano-Playing Prodigy something to do.]
5.Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom vs. The Nation of Domination in a Chicago Street Fight [Second match we’re keeping in, and Ahmed and LOD still win, except Ahmed pins Faarooq, thus ending their feud.]
6.The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid vs. Vader in a #1 Contenders triple threat match for the WWF World Championship [Taker vs. Sid is kept in, we throw Vader into the mix, and you can have a battle of the giants with Taker winning.]
7.Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin in a submission match for the WWF World Championship with Ken Shamrock as the guest referee [Fourth and final match we will keep in, as this would be the main event, and Bret actually holds onto the World Title after In Your House #13: Final Four instead of dropping it to Sid immediately; both the finish of Bret rendering Austin unconscious with the Sharpshooter and the double turn still occur.]
Also, you can have any one of these matches take place on the Free for All:
1.Billy Gunn vs. Bart Gunn
2.The Sultan (with Bob Backlund & The Iron Sheik) vs. Flash Funk
3.The Godwinns (with Hillbilly Jim) vs. The Headbangers
Thanks, but Bret, Austin and Foley work wonders with Taker as well as Orton and Batista to a lesser extent. ass those names to the list.
People always talk about Taker’s big Run.. but let’s face it. Most of his matches are duds (esp. earlier matches and his big man matches), with the later ones becoming better, though he needs a HHH, Michaels, Edge to carry him.
Great analysis on the Bret Hart and Stone Cold match. Once thing to remember is it took the experience, historical experience, authenticity and credibility of a Bret Hart and move that was over as the SharpShooter that provided the bedrock that made Stone Cold in this match.
I would go as far as to say that the Sultan/Rocky Maivia match was one of the worst IC title matches in Wrestlemania history up until that point. The IC title match had up until that time been one of the best matches on the card.
Also, I would have given a higher rating to Goldust/HHH. That was much better than I expected it would be, but then again maybe it just shined beside the rest of this lousy card.
Sid/Undertaker surpassed only by Sid/Hogan as worst Wrestlemania main event.