Thursday, March 7, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 10 - WWF Wrestlemania X (1994)

Date: March 20th, 1994
Venue: Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Attendance: 18,065

(Note: The following post was written prior to the McMahon lawsuit from January 2024).

They call this ten years in the making... I call it blatant hyperbole... but not quite hyper hyperbole. Also, ten years in the making? We started planning for Wrestlemania in 1984? Really?

So Wrestlemania X returns to Madison Square Garden - site of the first Wrestlemania - and is often considered to be one of the best Wrestlemania cards put together... which is a fair statement to make if I'm being honest. I don't know if I'd go that far, but being sandwiched between an awful Wrestlemania IX and an awful Wrestlemania XI, I can see why people would be inclined to make that distinction. Still, this is a fine show with two WWF Title matches and two Bret Hart matches... and strangely, only one Lex Luger match. Cool.

Owen Hart defeated Bret "Hitman" Hart via roll-up in an awesome opening match that still holds up. The younger brother matching Bret move for move and eventually winning with a roll-up to give him that big win over Bret is a compelling story... and while Bret would eventually get the happy ending at the end of the show, this would put a damper in Bret's chances of success.

Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon defeated DOINK THE CLOWN and Dink (a little person version of DOINK THE CLOWN)... this was a thing that happened because I guess we couldn't find a female DOINK THE CLOWN for Luna to tussle with, so they gave her the HORNSWOGGLE version of DOINK THE CLOWN. Brilliant.

In what end up being his final Wrestlemania match ever, "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeated Crush in a Falls Count Anywhere match that saw Savage hang Crush by the feet with a piece of gym equipment to keep him from getting back in the ring, because apparently to win the match, you have to pin the other guy and keep him from getting back in the ring or something. Good lord, this was... something. Savage would eventually find himself in WCW by the end of the year, where he'd find new life wrestling Ric Flair matches and more.

WWF Women's Champion Alundra Blayze pinned Lelani Kai in a short match to retain the title. I'm sure I'm missing the bigger picture here because I haven't watched the shows, but anyone want to clue in on whether there's a specific reason for Lelani Kai getting a title match against Alundra? Or is this solely so we could have someone who was part of the first Wrestlemania and also still employed by the WWF to have a match? I'm not shitting on the idea; I thought it was a nice touch, but I'm wondering if there's more behind it. Anyway, the match is short and it is what it is, I suppose.

Men on a Mission (Mo and Mabel) defeated WWF Tag-Team Champions The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) (7:41) via countout when the Quebecers... this is a thing that happened.

WWF Champion Yokozuna defeated Lex Luger via DQ to retain the title when Luger pushed special ref Mr. Perfect, who promptly signaled for the bell to disqualify Luger on account of assaulting a WWF official. This is Perfect's revenge for his dirty loss to Luger last year, so really, when you think about it, Luger had it coming by fucking around with Perfect instead of, you know, trying to win the match. This also pretty much killed whatever main event spark that was left in Luger, as he would be bouncing around the lower ranks for the rest of his WWF run until a little show called Nitro came along... but that's neither here nor there.

Earthquake pinned Adam Bomb in thirty seconds. Glorified squash.

Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon defeated "Intercontinental Champion" Shawn Michaels in a ladder to match to retain the title and essentially be the undisputed IC champion. Some context is needed. Shawn was the IC champion for the better part of 93 until he was off TV. So there was a tournament to crown a new IC champion, which was won by Razor Ramon. Then Shawn came back and claimed to be the real champ since he never lost it; hence why there's two IC titles hanging in the rung. People have heaped loads of praise over this match and yes, this is, indeed, a superb ladder match if there ever was one... personally, I preferred their rematch at Summerslam a year later, but this is fine, too.

Bret "Hitman" Hart pinned WWF Champion Yokozuna to win the title. The finish was kind of weird because Yoko was about to go for his Banzai Drop off the top rope, but somehow slipped off, fell to the mat, and Bret rolled him up for the pinfall win. Roddy Piper was the special referee, for whatever that's worth. Not a bad match or anything and the right guy won, even if the finish was kinda shit. And then all the babyfaces come out to celebrate Bret's win and yes, they did this with Luger at Summerslam the year before, but the difference is that Bret actually won a title here, so none of these guys looked like total boobs. Meanwhile, standing along in the entryway is Owen Hart, distraught that the moment that people would be taking about was not his victory over "his dear brother" Bret, but that "his dear brother" Bret won the title and took the spotlight off Owen. Man, Bret Hart's a dick.

Yeah, that was Mania X... and yeah, that was a fine show if there ever was one. Not what I would call THE BEST of the bunch, but it certainly ranks up there. A superb Owen/Bret match (the first of many throughout the year), a legendary ladder match that people seem to like (but not as good as the Summerslam 1995 ladder match), the final Wrestlemania appearance of the Macho Man, and TWO WWF title matches (and no Hogan to spoil the mood in either) is among the various high points in a show that has few low points (which aren't all terrible, to be honest.) Anyone who can appreciate quality matches can sit through the mediocre (but still okay) stuff and watch the title matches, ladder match, and opening match more than make up for it.

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