wrestling / Video Reviews

Kevin’s RetrospectiveMania Series: WrestleMania X

July 19, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WrestleMania X Shawn Michaels Razor Ramon
WWF WrestleMania X
March 20th, 1994 | Madison Square Garden in New York, New York | Attendance: 18,065

A decade after starting in Madison Square Garden, WrestleMania returned for the tenth installment. A lot has changed since 1993’s edition. Hulk Hogan is gone and the “New Generation” era is officially underway. The Royal Rumble had dual winners (Bret Hart and Lex Luger), setting up a convoluted situation where they’d both get title shots and potentially wrestle twice each. Throw in the first ever Ladder Match in WrestleMania history, the rise of Owen Hart, and the return of Randy Savage, and you’ve got a card I’m interested in.

Where will it rank among the rest of the WrestleManias so far? We’ll find out here. As a reminder, I’m reliving these WrestleManias and rating them on a 1-10 scale in these seven categories. They’ll be ranked by their total score.

• Match quality – Self-explanatory. Will always be the longest section.
• Memorability – How memorable is the show?
• Historical significance – The impact the show had on wrestling
• Booking decisions – Did the event have logical booking decisions for the stories they told
• Presentation – Things like stage setup, video packages, commentary, etc.
• Pacing/Flow – How well is the show laid out? Does it drag or move along smoothly?
• Entertainment – The non-wrestling elements like promos, celebrity interaction, concerts, etc.

 


 

Match Quality

 


Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart ~ The build for this match was outstanding. Due to that, the heat was off the charts for this. Every little thing they did got an insane reaction. Owen showed early that he could more than hang with his more accomplished brother on the mat. Bret was taken aback by this and pumped his fist when he finally got the upper hand. He knew he was in trouble. His confidence grew with that advantage. He’d get a near fall and confidently move to a submission. To turn the tide, Owen used his quickness and then resorted to submissions. He was out to prove a point. Owen had the higher impact stuff like a German suplex and a belly to belly. Still, he was too cocky and Bret rallied. He resorted to a dive outside and hit his knee, showing that he was doing stuff out of his element. Owen went after it, calling back to the Royal Rumble turn. Again, Bret rallied and I popped when Owen took the signature Bret sternum corner bump. Owen used a low blow to set up the Sharpshooter, which was again perfect for their story. In the end, Owen blocked a victory roll into his own pin for the upset win in 20:20. A wrestling clinic. They told the perfect story and it was paced out incredibly well. Each spot mattered and the bigger ones came at the best moments. The best opener in wrestling history. Our first perfect score in Mania history. [*****]

Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon vs. Doink and Dink ~ Quite the mixed tag match here. Bigelow and Doink handled most of the in ring work. It wasn’t all that great when they were in. This was no longer Matt Borne, so this was no longer an interesting Doink. What they did was ultimately fine and inoffensive. Luna and Dink were meant to be the comedy aspect but it wasn’t really funny. I did pop for a bump Dink took when he missed a move off the top rope though. With little fanfare, Bigelow got the pin with a headbutt on Doink in 6:09. Not a good comedy match, but at least it didn’t overstay its welcome. [*¼]


Falls Count Anywhere Match: Crush vs. Randy Savage ~ This wasn’t your traditional Falls Count Anywhere match. If you got a pin out of the ring, the downed wrestler had a minute to get back to the ring and the match would continue. Savage attacked Crush during his entrance, setting the tone for a match following a bitter feud. Both men traded pinfall wins but had their opponent make it back to the ring before the minute was up. The third fall saw them fight to the backstage area. There, Savage got a pin after weakly tossing Crush through a door. He walked away but came back and hogtied Crush to a scaffolding. It wasn’t a good job of it, but it was enough to prevent Crush from making it back to the ring, giving him the win in 9:49. A decent little brawl. The odd stipulation hurt the pacing though. [**½]

WWF Women’s Championship: Alundra Blayze [c] vs. Leilani Kai ~ The first Women’s Title match on a Mania since back in 1986. Strange to see Leilani Kai back in action. Lawler said Alundra Blayze had a million dollar body and a ten cent face. Ouch. There wasn’t a lot to this match. They did stuff that nobody cared about and none of it was really that interesting. Blayze retained with a German suplex in 3:20. Just here to get Blayze a win. [*]


WWF Tag Team Championship: The Quebecers [c] vs. Men on a Mission ~ And people have the audacity to act like tag team wrestling is dead in the current WWE. I’m not saying it’s amazing, but we always get something better than this. I say that as someone who liked the Quebecers. Mo took the heat segment because he was too terrible to get in any real offense. The crowd woke up a bit for Mabel’s hot tag. He and Mo hit their finisher, but Johnny Polo and Oscar got into it at ringside which distracted the referee. Pierre got splashed outside and was counted out in 7:41. Not completely awful, but not worth watching. [*½]

WWF Championship: Yokozuna [c] vs. Lex Luger ~ A returning Mr. Perfect served as guest referee. When you think about a Yokozuna match, you usually think of something slow and plodding. He just wasn’t a guy built for high octane stuff. Now take that and apply it to a case where he’d have to wrestle twice in one night. Yokozuna put almost no effort into this match, choosing to preserve energy for later. Luger started hot but once Yokozuna took over, this stalled. The dreaded NERVE HOLD lasted forever. Eventually, Luger fired up with SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES and the crowd was on their feet. He had it won but Perfect didn’t count and instead focused on Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji, who Luger knocked out. Luger shoved him out of anger and Perfect called for the DQ in 14:40. We waited that long for that finish? Awful match. [DUD]


Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake ~ The lack of push for Adam Bomb has always been puzzling to me. The WWF was low on muscle guys after the steroid scandal. Adam Bomb had a great look and fit that role. Instead, he was kind of just there. And here, he got jobbed out to Earthquake in 32 seconds. [NR]

WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Razor Ramon [c] vs. Shawn Michaels ~ The second match on the card held in high esteem. Shawn was stripped of the title due to suspension and Razor won the vacant strap. Shawn returned with his title, so two belts hung above the ring. These guys took a few minutes to bring the ladder into play but I liked it. With this being the first televised WWF ladder match, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be too eager to use it. When they did, the uses of it made sense. Since this wasn’t common, the crowd reacted perfectly to even the smallest of uses of the ladder as a weapon. This was paced in a way that was back and forth, with neither man having a clear upper hand. That’s important for this kind of setting. It could’ve gone either way. Shawn provided the IICONIC moments with his ladder dives. They still get replayed in video packages over 20 years later. The finish was fitting as Shawn got knocked off the ladder and crotched himself on the ropes. His leg got trapped in the ropes and when he got that free, his hand got stuck. Razor retrieved the title in 18:47. A stellar match that was groundbreaking at the time. It’s not as exciting as ladder matches today, but they did some impressive and innovative things, setting the standard going forward. [****½]


WWF Championship: Yokozuna [c] vs. Bret Hart ~ I totally forgot the main event had to follow the ladder match. Yikes. Roddy Piper served as guest referee this time. I came in with zero expectations because Yokozuna looked gassed in the match against Luger. He did a bit more this time around, not completely dragging the match down. Bret bumped pretty well for him. Most importantly, the crowd was more behind Bret’s offense than they were for Luger’s. When Bret made his comeback, he came close to winning a handful of times. The bulldog near fall sounded like three. Yokozuna stopped him with a belly to belly suplex and went for the Banzai Drop. Bret moved as Yokozuna slipped off the ropes and covered him to win the title in 10:38. Better than their match last year but that finish was once again lame. [**¼]

Even if the rest of the card isn’t good, you can’t really badmouth a card that has two legitimate classics. Bret/Owen was the best Mania match to this point and the best opener in history, while HBK/Razor was a legendary contest that was highly influential. I got enough of a kick out of Crush/Savage and Bret/Yoko to keep this show as a strong positive in terms of match quality.

SCORE: 7.5

 


 

Memorability

 


When a show features two all-time great matches, it’s bound to be memorable. There are so many moments from the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon match that are remembered fondly to this day. Even if better ladder matches have come around since then, you always recall the one that set the stage for the rest. Bret Hart’s WWF Title win was also a memorable moment, especially when the babyfaces came out to celebrate with him. I’d also rank Owen Hart’s big win as a major moment that withstood the test of time. All in all, quite the memorable event.

SCORE: 8.0

 


 

Historical Significance

 


The obvious historical piece of this show was the ladder match. It’s a big deal to be the first televised ladder match because that has gone on to become one of the most consistent gimmick matches the company runs. We also had the historic bit of Bret Hart capturing his second WWF Title and giving us a feel good way to end the show. This unfortunately marked the final WrestleMania for Randy Savage. That’s a big deal because he’s been such a key part of the show since 1986. He didn’t go out in the highest of fashions, but it’s still notable. It also marked the first Falls Count Anywhere match in Mania history.

SCORE: 7.5

 


 

Booking Decisions

 


For the most part, I’d say this show was well booked. Lex Luger choking once again ultimately hurt him but Bret Hart being the guy to walk out of the show as champion. Owen beating Bret was a genius move as well. It legitimized him and set up a future challenger for Bret’s title. Razor and Savage both vanquished heels for feel good moments. That all worked. The Tag Title finish wasn’t good, but they kept the cheap finishes to a minimum on this show. Also, Earthquake squashing Adam Bomb was a bad idea. Those are only a few issues on a show that was handled well.

SCORE: 8.5

 


 

Presentation

 


Once again, not having WrestleMania in a stadium or even outside held it back in terms of presentation. However, Madison Square Garden is different from other arenas this size. There’s something special about it. I’ve always appreciated the setup, so it doesn’t lose much for not being somewhere fancier. I liked the 10 years ago video package and the clips to the history of Mania after a decade were well done. The Vince McMahon/Jerry Lawler commentary team was quite the step down from Heenan and Monsoon. That aspect suffered a fair amount.

SCORE: 6.0


 

Pacing/Flow

 


Like last year’s show, this one clocked in at under three hours. It’s always going to be easy for a show like that to flow smoothly. This had the added benefit of none of the matches really dragging outside of Luger/Yokozuna. The only matches to go over 15 minutes were the two stellar ones and again, other than the first WWF Title contest, everything felt brisk. The only other thing that held this section back was the weird celebrity stuff.

SCORE: 8.5


 

Entertainment

 


I feel like this event had more celebrity involvement than almost any other WrestleMania. You had relatively big names like Burt Reynolds, Jennie Garth, and Donnie Wahlberg. Rhonda Shear was kind of a notable name at the time. Of course, bringing in Sy Sperling for a Howard Finkel Hair Club for Men joke felt lackluster. I did like using Little Richard for the “America the Beautiful.” He gave one of the better performances so far. The use of the fake Bill Clinton in the crowd was one of those things that Vince McMahon found hilarious, but nobody else seemed to. I’d call this one a mixed bag.

SCORE: 6.0

 


 

Overall

 


WrestleMania X officially holds the number two spot in my rankings up to this point. The card gets a huge boost from two incredible matches and the show scores at least a 6.0 in every category. A big step up from last year and it helped usher in a lot of what the 90s stood for in the company.

TOTAL: 52/70

 

WrestleMania Rankings
1. WrestleMania III – 55/70
2. WrestleMania X – 52/70
3. WrestleMania VIII – 50.5/70
4. WrestleMania I – 50/70
5. WrestleMania VII – 46/70
6. WrestleMania VI – 44/70
7. WrestleMania V – 39/70
8. WrestleMania IV – 32/70
8. WrestleMania IX – 31.5/70
10. WrestleMania II – 29/70

article topics :

WrestleMania 10, Kevin Pantoja