Torch Flashbacks WWE WRESTLEMANIA COUNTDOWN - 1994 PPV Report (WM 10): Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon ladder match, Bret vs. Owen, Bret vs. Yokozuna
Mar 13, 2010 - 12:00:00 PM
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Leading up to WrestleMania 26 on March 28 in Arizona, we will be publishing a daily WrestleMania PPV flashback report going back to 1992 at WrestleMania 8. We'll be publishing one PPV flashback report around 12:00 p.m. CST every afternoon until this year's WrestleMania.
-- Thursday, Mar. 11 - WrestleMania 8 (1992): Hogan vs. Sid, Warrior run-in
-- Friday, Mar. 12 - WrestleMania 9 (1993): Hart vs. Yokozuna, Hogan wins title
-- Saturday, Mar. 13 - WrestleMania 10 (1994):
-- Sunday, Mar. 14 - WrestleMania 11 (1995):
-- Monday, Mar. 15 - WrestleMania 12 (1996):
-- Tuesday, Mar. 16 - WrestleMania 13 (1997):
-- Wednesday, Mar. 17 - WrestleMania 14 (1998):
-- Thursday, Mar. 18 - WrestleMania 15 (1999):
-- Friday, Mar. 19 - WrestleMania 16 (2000):
-- Saturday, Mar. 20 - WrestleMania 17 (2001):
-- Sunday, Mar. 21 - WrestleMania 18 (2002):
-- Monday, Mar. 22 - WrestleMania 19 (2003):
-- Tuesday, Mar. 23 - WrestleMania 20 (2004):
-- Wednesday, Mar. 24 - WrestleMania 21 (2005):
-- Thursday, Mar. 25 - WrestleMania 22 (2006):
-- Friday, Mar. 26 - WrestleMania 23 (2007):
-- Saturday, Mar. 27 - WrestleMania 24 (2008):
-- Sunday, Mar. 28 - WrestleMania 25 (2009):
-- Sunday, Mar. 28 - WrestleMania 26 Live Coverage
WrestleMania PPV Flashback Report - WM 10 (1994)
March 20, 1994
New York City at Madison Square Garden
Report by Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
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Headline: Michaels a human highlight film at WMX Subheadline: Loses in ladder match to Ramon in apparently his final match in the WWF after giving notice
In perhaps the best performance of his career, Shawn Michaels lost what could be his final WWF match to Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X. The ladder match for Ramon's Intercontinental Title was expected to be a decent match, but instead was a virtual unanimous choice as the best match of the night, rating five stars on many people's scale.
The ladder match was the talk of the wrestling world the next day, even though Bret Hart surprised many by winning the WWF Title, defeating Yokozuna in Wrestlemania's main event. Hart's victory means that original plans to make Lex Luger WWF Champion were dropped or the taping of Luger with the WWF title at a recent TV taping (which was expected to air in syndication next weekend) was a swerve to throw off fans who read results of TV tapings. Either way, the storyline surrounding Hart's victory was well done, ending with an in-ring celebration on par with Sting's first WCW Heavyweight Title victory celebration in Baltimore in July 1990 after defeating Flair.
Like Sting, Hart was carried on the shoulders of a crowd of fellow babyfaces. Burt Reynolds even hugged Hart after his victory. The first man to enter the ring to congratulate Hart was Lex Luger, who stood with his hands on his hips at first. After a tense moment hinting at a possible turn by Luger, Luger extended his hand and they shook hands.
This Wrestlemania is getting the best reviews of any Wrestlemania since the Torch META reader polls began in 1989.
Wrestlemania began with a hot match that turned out to be what is considered the second best match on the card and one of the three best Wrestlemania matches ever (along with the ladder match and Steamboat vs. Savage) - Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart. In a surprising and satisfying finish, and in a sign of gutsy booking, Owen pinned Bret cleanly after 20 minutes of great back-and-forth mat action and innovative highspots.
The biggest disappointment of the event came from Lex Luger, who put forth an even worse effort than in his match against Yokozuna at SummerSlam. The lowlight of Wrestlemania was a seven minutes segment during the Luger-Yokozuna match that was almost exclusively Yokozuna loosely applying a nerve hold on a half-asleep Luger.
The rest of the matches on the event reached or surpassed expectations, with the possible exception of Alundra Blayze vs. Lelani Kai, which wasn't as bad as most women's matches in the United States, but was well below their potential and other potential women's match-ups the WWF could have featured to boost the perception of the women's division in the United States.
Despite being an overall solid event from top to bottom, the dominant topic of conversation in wrestling circles Monday concerned Michaels's performance and speculation on where Michaels will go from here. He gave his notice to the WWF with his finish date being Wrestlemania. Sources say he reneged on his notice at one point, but then reconfirmed Wrestlemania would be his final date. The only indication as of press time is that he is taking time off again for personal reasons. There was also speculation that Michaels had an offer awaiting him at WCW which would better fit his financial desires and scheduling preferences.
Although unlikely the primary reason for his departure, Michaels, who at times is as cocky in real life as he is on camera, told fellow wrestlers late last summer that if he wasn't in the main event at Wrestlemania with the WWF Title at stake, he would quit the WWF. Could he simply be a man of his word?
Michaels quit the WWF last fall for personal reasons, not liking the WWF lifestyle of working so often on the road with so few days off. He gained weight and was generally considered unhappy with the schedule. If Michaels doesn't return to wrestling any time soon, his departure will be perceived on a different level but with some parallels to Michael Jordan's retirement. Both Jordan and Michaels quit while arguably the best in their given sport (Michaels was rated no. 9 in the Torch Yearbook "1993 Worldwide Top 100 Ratings," with Vader being the only full-time U.S.-based wrestler ahead of him).
Already, Vince McMahon has written off Michaels. The following night on Monday Night Raw, McMahon talked about Michaels in past-tense and said Diesel would likely pick up on the Intercontinental Title hunt where Michaels left off. If WCW signs Michaels, it could be a signing with more impact than Bobby Heenan, leading to an inevitable series of Ric Flair vs. Michaels bouts, among other dream match-ups.
MATCH RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
After a beautiful rendition (lip-synched) of "America the Beautiful" by Little Richard, Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler introduced the program. Then a recap aired of the Bret Hart-Owen Hart scenario.
(1) Owen Hart pinned Bret Hart at 20:21 when Owen sat out of a victory roll attempt by Bret for a clean pinfall. To begin the bout, both hooked up for a brief second, after which Owen gloated, although he hadn't done anything worthy of praise. Owen then kicked out of a head scissors by Bret and gloated again. The crowd booed. After Owen reached the ropes to break a go behind by Bret, the crowd booed. Owen then charged Bret, who shoved back at Owen. Owen then slapped Bret for the first non-wrestling exchange of the match. Bret then walked toward Owen, who ducked under the ropes. At 2:05, the two exchanged moves with Owen flipping and handstanding out of an armbar. At 3:04, Owen charged Bret and Bret leaped over him and rolled up Owen for the first near fall.
Owen left the ring but was dragged back by Bret. At 5:40, Owen hit Bret with a spin wheelkick, then rammed Bret into a steel post outside of the ring. At 6:58 Owen applied the camel clutch. After an offensive series by Owen, McMahon and Lawler speculated on Bret losing. At 8:53, Owen hit Bret with a belly to back bridge for a near fall. At 9:24, Bret small packaged Owen for a near fall. Owen then reversed a salto by Bret and tombstone piledrived him. Owen missed a top rope splash. At 10:40, Bret hit Owen with a series of near falls. The pace became somewhat methodical at this point, although executed with precision.
At 11:43, Owen hit an enziguiri, then attempted to apply the sharpshooter. Bret stopped it and attempted one of his own. Owen countered with a leg to shoulders roll-up for a near fall. Bret flew over the top rope after a bodyblock on Owen. Bret "injured" his knee upon his landing, so Owen went to work on it. Owen applied a modified figure-four leglock at 13:50 as a loud "Let's Go Bret" chant began. At 14:50, Owen applied a traditional figure-four leading to Bret getting his shoulders counted down for two two-counts. Bret then rolled over the figure-four and reached the ropes. Owen began working on Bret's knee, but ended up getting enziguiried by him. Bret swung Owen chest-first into the corner and dropped a knee on his chest for a near fall of his own at 16:50.
At 19:04, Bret hit a solid bodyblock, then an awesome piledriver. Bret then placed Owen on the top rope and gave him a top rope superplex to a big pop. Bret forearmed Owen, Owen missed with a right roundhouse. Bret then applied the sleeper. Owen mulekicked Bret in the groin and at 19:20 applied the sharpshooter. Bret powered out of it, shoving Owen into the ropes. At 20:21, Owen pinned Bret by falling out of a victory roll by Bret and landing on him with a roll-up for a pin. Owen looked shock, then taunted a dismayed Bret after the match. Owen then gave a great post-match interview. Near-perfect execution throughout the match, which had the pace been slightly more intense and less methodical at times, would have been even better. Overall, though, a clinic of a scientific wrestling match with a storyline and great ring psychology. (****1/4)
(2) Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon beat Doink & Dink when Bigelow pinned Doink after a top rope headbutt at 6:09. While Luna and Dink were in the ring, they put together entertaining comedy spots. Bigelow and Doink's work was solid, as well, for the most part. After the match, Bigelow and Luna went for a double splash on Dink. Dink was supposed to move, but Luna landed on him as he rolled away. Luna, breaking storyline, shoved him in anger and after a moment of disorder, all left the ring. Nothing wrong with this match. A solid dose of comedy, but not overdone. (*3/4)
Between matches, a Bill Clinton look-alike waved to the crowd. He sat next to Jack Tunney and in front of I.R.S. and Ted DiBiase. A plug for the 900 number aired with a shot of Stan Lane talking to Bret Hart live on the hotline. A Wrestlemania Moment aired with scenes of the Hulk Hogan -Andre the Giant staredown at III.
(3) Randy Savage defeated Crush in a falls count anywhere match at 9:49 when Crush could not answer the 60 second count after Savage pinned him in a back hallway of the Garden. Savage charged Crush as he approached the ring, but Crush took over offense and scored an early pinfall at 0:43. Savage answered the 60 second count, which did a good job establishing the rules early. Savage hit Crush with a top rope hammerfist and elbow drop leading to a pin at 4:28. Crush answered the 60 second count after Fuji poured water on his face. The brawl went down the aisle to scaffolding in a hallway in the Garden. Savage pinned Crush there, then tied him with a strap and attempted to hang him from the scaffolding. Although his knot didn't hold and Crush fell to the floor, he was unable to answer the 60 second count. This was about what you would expect. The intensity of the brawl was on par with the intensity of the interviews leading up to the match. Solid action. (**1/2)
Between matches, Todd Pettengill interviewed "President Clinton" and I.R.S. FanFest highlights aired. A live shot aired of Randy Savage entering the Paramount, which appeared to be packed, for the closed-circuit airing next door. In a Wrestlemania IV moment, Savage's four finishers en route to winning the title tournament aired.
(4) Alundra Blayze pinned Lelani Kai at 3:20 after a belly-to-back bridge pin. This was not an embarrassment to women's wrestling as so many U.S. women division matches have been in recent times. Blayze showed a few hot moves, but overall a short, barely decent match. (*)
(5) Men on a Mission beat The Quebecers by countout at 7:41. This was better than most probably expected it to be, with M.O.M. carrying their load without seriously injuring anyone in the process. The highlight, just edging out Pierre's Jimmy Del Ray-like flying moves over the top rope to the floor, was The Quebecers' double vertical suplex of Mabel. At 6:31, Mabel hit Pierre with a falling spin wheel kick, then clotheslined Jacques. Mo tagged in and dropped Mabel on Jacques. The action spilled outside of the ring where The Quebecers were counted out. (**)
Between matches, in a Wrestlemania VI Moment, scenes of Warrior vs. Hogan aired. The Luger vs. Yokozuna feud was recapped. Donny Wahlberg from NKOTB (formerly "New Kids on the Block") was booed during ring introductions for the next match. He announced Mr. Perfect as the guest referee who came to the ring to cheers, although not enormous cheers.
(6) Yokozuna (mgd. by Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) defeated Lex Luger by disqualification at 14:40. The opening minutes of this match were solid, beginning with a staredown at 1:00. Luger and Yokozuna exchanged punches. Luger ducked a clothesline and hit Yokozuna with a clothesline of his own, but Yokozuna quickly rebounded with a one-arm slam as Luger came off the ropes. Luger came back and hit Yokozuna, who fell out of the ring. At 2:25, Luger hit Yokozuna with a strong top rope bodyblock and high elbow drop for a near fall. At 3:19, Luger attempted to slam Yokozuna, but fell backward and kicked out at two. Yokozuna then stomped Luger, and both punched out their timecards and entered into a nerve hold, which began at 4:43 and was broken at 12:18, with one interruption for a brief flurry outside of the ring. At 12:27, Yokozuna belly-to-back suplexed Luger. Luger rammed Yokozuna into the turnbuckle that Yokozuna exposed earlier in the match. A loud "USA" chant began as the members of the crowd nudged each other awake. Luger slammed Yokozuna at 13:35. Cornette got on the ring apron. Luger swung Cornette into the ring, then hit Fuji. With both managers lying in the ring, Luger covered Yokozuna. Perfect, suspiciously preoccupied with getting the managers out of the ring, ignored the cover. Luger protested, lightly shoving Perfect. Perfect then called for the bell at 14:40, disqualifying Luger for the shove. After the match, Luger and Perfect got into a heated exchange backstage. The post-match angle was the highlight of the match. The early action and well-executed angle at the finish kept this from being a total dud. (3/4*)
Between matches, the 900 number was plugged again. In a Wrestlemania VIII moment, scenes of the Jake Roberts-Rick Martel blindfold match aired.
(7) Earthquake pinned Adam Bomb at 0:35. Before the match, Harvey Whippleman made fun of Howard Finkle's new "Hair Club for Men" look. Finkle shoved Whippleman. Bomb ran to the ring and grabbed Whippleman. In order to solidify Earthquake as the babyface, he ran to make the save and disposed of bomb after a belly-to-belly, powerslam, and sit-splash. (NR)
Between matches, Pettengill interviewed Cornette with Fuji and Yokozuna. Cornette gave another of his WWF style monologues. A Wrestlemania VIII Moment aired with a scene of The Undertaker, the only hint of him on the entire program.
(8) Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels in a ladder match at 18:44 when Ramon climbed the ladder and pulled both Intercontinental Title belts off of the hoop suspended from the ceiling. This was one of the better matches you will ever see, thanks to the greatness of Michaels and the near-perfect steady performance by Ramon. After some hot early exchanges, the referee sent Diesel back to the locker room at 2:30 for hitting Ramon outside of the ring. Ramon swung Michaels into a corner. Michaels Flair-flipped into it and then bounced back, landing on his feet. When the action spilled to the floor, Ramon lifted the padding. Michaels ended up backdropping Ramon from the ring to the floor onto the cement.
At 4:37, Michaels grabbed the ladder from the entry aisle. Ramon stopped Michaels, then tried to bring it into the ring himself. Michaels slid into the ladder, which was resting on the apron, thus the ladder rammed into Ramon. Michaels attacked Ramon outside of the ring. Inside the ring, Michaels rammed the narrow end of the ladder into Ramon's throat at 6:19. After a few more ladder moves into Ramon, Michaels stood on the ladder and began climbing.
As Michaels reached the belt, Ramon tried to stop him by pulling him down, but he grabbed Michaels's tights, exposing his entire butt. Michaels dropped an elbow onto Ramon from the ladder, then pulled up the back of his tights. He climbed the ladder again and splashed Ramon after diving off the seventh step. At 9:01, he began another ascent, but Ramon tipped over the ladder and Michaels hot-shotted his neck on the top rope from the top of the ladder and bounced into the air and to the mat.
Michaels rose for a fast criss-cross ending with a double collision. Michaels rose and swung Ramon into the ladder in the corner, but Ramon reversed and Michaels flipped over the top rope to the floor. Ramon rammed the ladder into Michaels twice at ringside and then set the ladder next to the ring. Ramon sling-shotted Michaels into the ladder. Michaels grabbed the ladder and fell backward to the floor. At 12:30, after Ramon climbed the ladder, Michaels dove off the top rope into him, knocking him off the sixth step of the ladder. At 13:55, both climbed opposite sides. They exchanged punches three times before Ramon incredibly vertical suplexed Michaels off of the top of the ladder, well above the height of the top rope. Ramon, off balance, fell to the mat, appearing to legitimately hurt his knee and twist the ladder. Michaels dropkicked the ladder as Ramon climbed it. Ramon fell as the ladder teetered. Michaels then tipped the ladder onto Ramon.
At 15:36, Michaels mocked Ramon and set him up for the Razor's Edge, but piledrived him instead. Michaels kept the ladder folded flat and dove off the top rope with the ladder base as the fulcrum and splashed Ramon with force. He then opened the ladder over a fallen Ramon. At 18:03, he reached for the belts, but Ramon tipped the ladder and Michaels flew off of the top rung of the ladder to the top rope, with one leg on either side, crotching himself. Michaels's leg got caught in the ropes as Ramon climbed the ladder and grabbed the belts for victory, then fell straight to the mat. The referee laid the belts on Ramon's stomach. A moment later, Ramon climbed the ladder and displayed both belts. (*****)
Between matches, Pettengill interviewed "President Clinton" and Ted DiBiase. In a Wrestlemania IX moment, Fuji threw salt into Bret Hart's eyes. McMahon announced that since the heel side of the ten-man tag match can't agree on who will be captain, there will be no match. Actually, it was cancelled due to time constraints. The great Bret Hart video (to Tom Petty) aired followed by a new Yokozuna video.
(9) Bret Hart pinned Yokozuna to capture the WWF Title at 10:28. Roddy Piper was announced as the special referee. Yokozuna attacked Hart before the bell. Early on, Piper argued with Yokozuna over a strict five-second break-count. Piper hit Cornette after he was on the ring apron. Yokozuna dominated offense until he missed a splash at 2:40. At 3:15, a headbutt by Hart sent Yokozuna to the mat for the first time. During the match, McMahon and Lawler speculated that Piper might turn like Perfect did. At 8:03, Yokozuna missed a corner splash and Hart hit him with a bulldog from the second rope for a near fall at 8:15. After a flying clothesline, Hart gained another near fall. At 9:37, Yokozuna caught Hart coming off the top rope and turned Hart into a powerslam. Yokozuna then went to the corner for a bonsai splash, but lost his balance and fell to the mat. Hart rolled onto Yokozuna and covered him for the pin. After the match, Bret celebrated with babyfaces in mid-ring as Owen looked on from the aisle.
Overall, a solid conclusion to Wrestlemania, but it fell victim to having to follow the ladder match, which few matches could do successfully. The ten-man tag would have been valuable padding had time allowed. It was an okay bout, but could have been better. A refreshing, clean ending. (***)
Jerry Lawler on Mabel: "I heard when he was a baby, he had to be baptized at Sea World."
Jerry Lawler on Razor Ramon: "I hear his doctor writes his prescriptions with spray paint."
Vince McMahon just as Shawn Michaels pulled his tights up after full-mooning the crowd: "You might say Shawn Michaels has made a you know what of himself."
Ted DiBiase to Bill Clinton look-alike: "You would have to agree, Mr. President, everyone has a price for the Million Dollar Man."
"President Clinton" in response: "I'm here to enjoy myself. I'd really rather not comment on that now."
Vince McMahon after Bret Hart pinned Yokozuna: "We are witnessing the blast off of the next decade of the World Wrestling Federation."
Vince McMahon on Bret Hart: "The pink and black attack."
Jerry Lawler speculating on Bret Hart's mother watching Wrestlemania: "She's about two inches away from the TV screen. That's the only way she can see. And she's got her hearing aid turned all the way up."
Jerry Lawler on Stu and Helen Hart claiming Bret Hart protected Owen when they were kids: "I wouldn't believe them if their tongues were notarized."
Jerry Lawler: "I was hoping Stu Hart would be here. I wanted to see him in his orthopedic tuxedo."
Owen Hart after beating Bret: "After the beating I gave you, there's no hope in the world for you in the title match."
Vince McMahon: "Dink is a powerhouse in his own right."
Jerry Lawler: "It looks like Doink and Dink came up a little short, if you know what I mean."
"President Clinton" to I.R.S. concerning Whitewater: "It's no secret we are having some problems right now, but Irwin and I have had a talk and I think we'll be able to work things out."
Jerry Lawler during Crush vs. Randy Savage: "This is a dog eat dog business and right now Savage is wearing Milk Bone underwear."
Jerry Lawler: "Alundra Blayze looks like she could star in a TV western... if she had two more legs."
Jerry Lawler on Alundra Blayze's victory: "No, I wasn't impressed. I'm more impressed. I'm more impressed Fabulous Moolah's still kicking."
Lawler on M.O.M.: "You got to weigh these guys on a Richter scale."
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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