WrestleMania XIV review

By Linden Walker

The momentum has shifted.

We open with a video package featuring some dubious history. I mean, I really don’t think the belt did much for Andre the Giant but whatever.

Your broadcast team is Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

Live from Boston, Massachusetts.

15 Team Tag Team Battle Royal – Farooq & Kama are introduced and then we head to the official opening. Road Warriors are out next, returning as the mystery team and repackaged as L.O.D. 2000 managed by Sunny. Animal now has shorts, and they’ve lost their trademark hair cuts. They also now are wearing catcher’s gear. Outside, Jim Cornette discusses strategy with the new Midnight Express. That was a gimmick born out of Vince McMahon’s cluelessness. Basically, while the writing team was traveling to a show, every time they stopped someone would ask Cornette where the Midnight Express were. Vince, not really getting the gimmick, says “if they want a Midnight Express let’s give ‘em a Midnight Express” and then said “we’re not doing anything with Bob Holly & Bart Gunn so we’ll repackage them” and a colossal flop was born. Godwins, Quebeccers, Skull & 8-Ball, Mark Henry & D-Lo, the Rock-n-Roll Express, Steve Blackman & Flash Funk (as your “huh?” team), Savio Vega & Miguel Perez, Bradshaw & Chainz (what?), Sniper & Recon, Too Cool, Headbangers and I guess someone else are your teams. Savio & Miguel go out first. I think the missing team may be Los Boriquas #3 & # 4. Whatever their names were, hell the numbers thing worked for the Samoans and we knew who they were. Kurgan runs out and eliminates Sniper & Recon. Those sound like they should be names of Transformers or something. Barry Windham then runs in and eliminates Chainz (Brian Lee) to keep heat on his program with Bradshaw. Jacques Rougeau goes out followed by D-Lo Brown. Ricky Morton’s mullet goes out next and since its 1998 the girls no longer cry. Los Boriquas Team #2 of Latino Nation are gone followed by the Headbangers. Mark Henry forgot to leave and he gets tossed about 5 minutes after D-Lo. Scott Taylor goes and Lawler is pissed. Godwins, DOA, LOD & MX are your final four. They just said the winner gets a title shot at Unforgiven. One of the Harris boys goes next and then P.I.G gets tossed. The Godwins go all angry Hillbilly and nail the LOD with their buckets of steel. So now it’s the worst version of the Road Warriors vs. Midnight Express EVER! These new MX have lightning on their tights for some reason. Bodacious Bob & Hardcore Sparky get clothes lined out at the same time for the anticlimactic LOD win.

Taka Michunoku vs. Mr. Aguila for the Light Heavyweight Title – or is it Papi Chulo, or is it Essa Rios? They all look alike to me. This is another sad attempt to try and counter WCW’s cruiserweight division. The WWF never understood it and never got it right. Lots of flippy stuff and then Taka finishes off a short match with a Michinoku driver. I’ve seen better on Thunder.

Gennifer Flowers interviews the Rock – She’s some broad who banged Clinton before he was elected and then used it for her 15 minutes which were actually only about 9 minutes of fame. Rock is awesome and comes off like a total prick.

HHHw/Chyna vs. Owen Hart for the European Title – Chyna is handcuffed to Commissioner Slaughter at ringside. The DX Band plays HHH to the ring. Originally the plan was for a massive Owen vs. HBK program after Montreal but Shawn decided he didn’t want to do it and passed it down to his little buddy Hunter pissing away a ton of money. Well, handcuffing Chyna to Slaughter was useless as she manages to interfere anyway with the aid of a handful of powder. Hunter beats Owen clean with a pedigree to win a good match and then Chyna punks out Slaughter for good measure. ***+

Goldust & Luna Vachon vs. Marc Mero & Sable – If I recall correctly, they teamed them up about a month before Mania in order to then have them turn on each other to set this up and get Sable on the show. They show Vinny Pazienza in the crowd. Other than Mero, I can’t stand everyone in this match especially Luna. Ross mentions the Mania 6 mixed tag with Dusty & Sapphire and then gives us a run down of the Vachon family tree. Goldust is wearing silver and red for some reason. Kind of seems pointless for someone named “Goldust”. This is actually pretty good for this kind of match and the crowd is hot for the cat fight spots. JR drops a Mr. Wrestling II reference. Mero gets a huracanrana for two and then heel miscommunication leads to another 2 count. Finally a TKO and then Luna makes the save (late) and Mero tags Sable in. She gets a visual fall on Goldust and then moves out of the way of a Luna splash from the top. Power bomb gets 2 and the crowd chants “Sable”. Sable then gets a TKO of her own for the win. ***

Tennessee Lee is out to introduce Gennifer Flowers and Jeff Jarrett – Nobody cares about any of them.

The Rock w/D-Lo, Kama & Mark Henry vs. Ken Shamrock for the IC Title – They brawl to the floor and bounce off the stairs some. Shamrock gets the ultimate fighting steel chair but throws down the referee and the Rock steals the chair and then KO’s Shamrock with it. He kicks out at 2. He comes back and gets the ankle lock for the tap out and the title. He beats down the Nation and then ends a stand off with Mark Henry with a belly to belly. He puts the Rock back in the ankle lock and then Farooq teases a save but then bails leaving the Rock to fend for himself. Rock is bleeding from the mouth. A bunch of referees come in for the save and he beats them all up too. Rock is taken out on a stretcher. Then they reverse the decision by disqualifying Shamrock for his post match antics. Rock is holding up the belt while on the stretcher which pisses off Shamrock even further so he dumps him off and beats the crap out of him some more. This was too short.

Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. New Age Outlaws in a Dumpster Match for the Tag Team Titles – Chainsaw is Terry Funk with panty hose on his head in what even he calls a stupid idea. Business picks up when Cactus gets a ladder. He and Mr. Ass climb it and then Road Dogg hits Funk with some plunder sending him back into the ladder and knocking them into the dumpster. For the record the Outlaws were not in DX yet. They power bomb Funk into the dumpster. They brawl to the back where Funk uses a fork lift to drop the Outlaws in a dumpster for the win. Silly finish to a silly gimmick match.

Howard Finkel introduces the guest ring announcer Pete Rose by calling him a “future Hall of Famer”. Wanna Bet? He heels on the Boston crowd but he was getting booed right out of the shoot. Kane comes out and Tombstones him.

Kane w/Paul Bearer vs. Undertaker – Top scientists have yet to develop the necessary technology to decipher this story. Maybe someday they will invent a decoder ring and mankind will finally have some answers. Cliff’s Notes version—Paul Bearer was working in Taker’s family’s funeral home and banged Mamataker resulting in the young red bastard Kane. Undertaker then burned down the home, killing their parents and Kane was sent to an asylum. However, the WWE does not do “murder”. Kane then escapes, to go to wrestling school and falls in love with Katie Vick who dies. Later, HHH would dig up her corpse and fuck it on TV. WWE does do necrophilia. Taker becomes a wrestler, names himself Cain the Undertaker in tribute to his “dead” brother and hires Paul Bearer as his manager. Years and many bad matches later, Bearer and Taker have a falling out and then he returns to TV calling him a murderer. Kane debuts and they feud, then love each other, then feud some more. They go all “Itchy & Scratchy” on us for a few years and a bunch of bad matches ensue. Somewhere along the line, their parents are dug up and there is a pin fall on their bones. Taker & Bearer make up but then the Undertaker kills him by burying him in concrete. Kane loses his mask, gets and loses a voice box, Sarataker is stalked by DDP, Ministry, Corporate Ministry, Fake Kane, Fake Undertaker, urns, super powers, hell, fire, brimstone, red boogers, terrorists, motorcycles, MMA … Yada, Yada, Yada and we are at today where they are two old dudes who sit around playing gin in the park. Here’s the first big match. Taker goes through the Spanish announce table and all 3 announcers take a bump. Kane almost drops Taker on a Tombstone attempt but pulls him up and gets one for 2. Taker gets a Tombstone and Kane kicks out. Then another and he does again. Clothesline from the top and a 3rd pile driver finishes. This sucked. After the match Kane takes out the Undertaker with a Tombstone on a chair. He sits up and I don’t care.

Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin with special referee Mike Tyson – Bischoff had first crack at Tyson and decided he was too expensive. Shawn hurt his back at the Rumble and this was his first match since and last for 4 years. Marvin Hagler is shown in the crowd. On the way out HHH flips the bird at the camera. The ref sends HHH & Chyna to the back. Michaels is laying it all on the floor as he’s taking many big bumps on his back. Ref bump and Austin takes over. Shawn comes back and heads to the top and drops the big elbow. No ref in sight so HBK goes for the super kick. Austin ducks, goes for the Stunner, Shawn blocks and shoots him in but Austin blocks the super kick and gets the Stunner for the win and the title as Tyson counts three. Tyson then proves to be a fair weather fan by putting on an Austin shirt. Michaels annoyed at his lack of style, gets in his face and in knocked out. ***+

Well the main event is quite historic and a good match plus it brought us that classic TV moment where Vince asked Tyson who his favorite wrestler was and then had to maintain a straight face when Tyson said “Bruno Sammartino”. However, the rest of the show is very mediocre. Watch the main event to see the end of the original Shawn Michaels era and you can skip the rest.

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