Wrestlemania XI – Whaddya Say?

For only the second time in Wrestlemania history, the WWF/WWE champion was not in the main event in Wrestlemania XI. You had a former champion in Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels, the future champion, and neither guy was in the main event. Well just who was in the main event for this Wrestlemania? The first guy was Bam Bam Bigelow. And the second? Old LT himself, Lawrence Taylor. This program was initially supposed to help Bigelow’s career. Even by losing to an NFL superstar, Bigelow was supposed to actually gain from the rub and become a regular main eventer.

It was one of the least inspired Wrestlemania cards at least as far as ring work was concerned. Usually there is one “showstopper” match that carries the rest of the card. Sometimes, there’s more than one. But this year, there wasn’t one quality wrestling match. The one expected to at least be half decent was the Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund “I Quit/Submission” grudge match. Roddy Piper was announced as the surprise guest referee. Here’s where this match went wrong. Originally announced as a submission match where the only way you can win is to submit your opponent, Piper, on the fly, turned the match into an “I Quit” match. Hart wouldn’t even have Backlund in a submission hold and Piper would yell, “Whaddya say?” and you’d hear a pissed off Backlund yell, “no!” as if to say, “If you understood the rules, you wouldn’t be asking me this question.” It was a garbled mess and one of the few matches in his career where it seemed Bret Hart didn’t really have control. There’s another more famous match where he didn’t have control, but we won’t go there. The match ended with Hart finally submitting Backlund in his own chicken wing submission finisher, but to the audience, you couldn’t really tell if Backlund submitted or not. It was just an awful match.

The other match that had a chance to be decent was the match for the title. Shawn Michaels was the heel challenger facing Diesel. Throughout the entire PPV, Nick Tuturo who was on NYPD Blue, went on the look out for Pamela Anderson who was supposed to be there but turned up AWOL. She was supposed to be under the arm of Shawn Michaels according to him. Instead, he walked out with former Playmate Of The Year Jenny McCarthy. Finally when Nash walked to the ring, Pam came out with him, hair fairly messy and all. I imagine that was to imply that she was with Big Daddy Cool the entire time. The match itself wasn’t horrible, but only because Michaels didn’t let it be. Diesel will probably go down as the worst champ in WWE/WWF history as he couldn’t wrestle to save his life and he had average charisma for a supposedly funny and entertaining guy. Michaels lost the match and his shot at the belt because his bodyguard, Sycho Sid Vicious had the ref outside when Michaels had Diesel pinned inside the ring. Diesel then walked away with both women.

Razor Ramon beat Intercontinental Champ, Jeff Jarrett by disqualification in a match where the Roadie and the 123 Kid continually interfered. The match could’ve been good, but both guys were off their game. Ramon could have a good match with a good wrestler and in this instance Jarrett wasn’t good enough to carry him to a show stealing kind of match. It was good for the second match of the night after a horrible opener which was Lex Luger and the British Bulldog as the Allied Forces facing Eli & Jacob Blu.

When you put the Undertaker in the ring with someone that is basically immobile, it is never good. While Taker can work great matches with guys who can move, when he wrestles someone like King Kong Bundy, it’s not going to be good. I always had a soft spot in my heart for Bundy because he was the first heel that legitimately scared me when I was younger. But here, almost 10 years later after I first saw him, he wasn’t as effective. The Taker pretty much put the boots to him and won. There was an odd story line with the Million Dollar Man and his Million Dollar Corporation stealing the Undertaker’s urn, but I don’t even want to go back and research what it was all about.

The late, great Owen Hart was the lone bright spot in the tag team championship match where he and his mystery partner who happened to be Yokozuna, beat The Smoking Gunns in a match that was inspired when Hart was in the ring and uninspired when he was not. It was the first taste of gold for Hart at the time.

Like I wrote earlier, Bam Bam Bigelow wrestled Lawrence Taylor in the main event. Taylor had his NFL team with Ken Norton, Ricky Jackson and other NFL defensive players at ringside. Bigelow was a part of the a fore mentioned Million Dollar Corporation and his cronies were ringside as well. Taylor even came out with Salt and Pepa’s who performed Whatta Man with new LT lyrics. The match looked like an event more so than an actual match and even though you could see LT’s athletic ability shine through, the match was a let down from a wrestling standpoint. LT threw forearms and at one time attempted a power bomb, but failed. Bigelow sold huge for the football star so the match wasn’t a waste. You had to cringe just a little to see Bigelow fly all over the ring for Taylor like he was Hulk Hogan. In the end, the crowd went home happy as the football player won and did so with the great charisma he showed on the football field.

Allied Powers defeated Eli & Jacob Blu via pinfall
Razor Ramon beat Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett by DQ
Undertaker pinned King Kong Bundy
Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund in an “I Quit” Match
Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Smoking Gunns for the Tag Team Championship
World Wrestling Entertainment Champion Diesel defeated Shawn Michaels via pinfall
Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via pinfall

Photo shared via creative commons through wikipedia

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  1. Deepthroat Ghoul

    I’m really curious as to why Lex Luger didn’t have some sort of blowoff against Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation at this event instead of being involved in a meaningless tag match.

    They could have easily done Luger vs. Tatanka, or even Luger & Bulldog vs. Tatanka & IRS.

  2. You should check out our WrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast series (just put that in the search box). There are many Mania match-ups that seem to be set up for no reason whatsoever and we talk about that.

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