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WrestleMania XI Review

March 17, 2009 | Posted by Rob McNew
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WrestleMania XI Review  

-4/2/1995 from Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT

-Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jerry “The King” Lawler

-Vince’s mic isn’t working as we come on the air as he attempts to introduce Special Olympian Kathy Huey who would sing “America The Beautiful” A sign of things to come.

Lex Luger & The British Bulldog vs. The Blu Brothers (w. Uncle Zebekiah)

The Blu Brothers are better known as Ron and Don Harris who played Skull and 8-Ball in the DOA a few years after this. Their manager Uncle Zebekiah is better known as Dutch Mantell who is now part of the TNA creative team. Four way brawl to start and Irish whips cause the Blu’s to collide. Bulldog and Luger both hit powerslams and clotheslines before a double back elbow connects on Jacob. Jacob starts with Bulldog. Vertical suplex connects for Bulldog, which gets a two count. A side headlock is quickly broken up by Jacob who tags in Eli. Bulldog hits the ropes and comes off with a double clothesline. Eli sends Bulldog into the ropes, and he ducks a clothesline but gets a shot from Jacob on the apron giving the Blus control. Jacob tags back in, and gets rolled up in a small package, but the ref is tied up with Luger and can’t count. Eli comes in and makes the save, and then tags into the match. Side suplex connects for Eli getting a two count. Jacob tags back in and they deliver a double big boot to Bulldog. Bulldog comes firing back with a clothesline sending Jacob to the floor. Eli switches up and delivers a big boot getting a two count. Irish whip sends Bulldog to the corner, but a charge from Eli meets the boot of Davey. Bulldog starts to go for the tag, but is stopped by Eli who then tags in Jacob. Bodyslam from Jacob sets up a second rope elbow drop attempt which misses. Luger makes the hot tag and comes in with a knee lift to Eli who also tagged in. Clothesline sets up a powerslam from Luger. Luger knocks Jacob off the apron, and delivers a bionic forearm to Eli. Jacob is in to make the save on the pin attempt, and gets chased off by Bulldog. Uncle Zeb distracts Luger, which allows Jacob to switch with Eli. Luger none the wiser goes to make the pin attempt and only gets two. Jacob quickly gains control and goes for a piledriver, but does so in the corner where Bulldog makes a tag. Bulldog comes off the top rope with a sunset flip, which picks up the pin at 6:35. If you want to know how far out of favor Luger fell in the WWF look at this match after watching Wrestlemania X. Regardless this match itself was a decent enough opener.

Winners: Lex Luger & The British Bulldog (Bulldog pins Jacob-Sunset Flip **1/4)

-Jim Ross catches up with Uncle Zeb in the aisle. At least that’s what I heard. There was no lighting so you couldn’t actually see them.

-Nicholas Turturo has a report from the Million Dollar Corporation’s locker room, but his mic doesn’t work. Wow this show is a trainwreck of technical difficulties so far. And I’m watching on a DVD that was released 10 years after the show aired.

-Razor and The 1-2-3 Kid check in with words, again more mic difficulties. This is like an original ECW show.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Jarrett © (w. The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon (w. The 1-2-3 Kid)

1-2-3 Kid is wearing what appears to be a pair of black silk pajamas, which is masquerading as a martial arts outfit of some kind. Warrants mentioning. Razor attacks at the bell sending Jarrett to the floor while the Kid sends Roadie packing. Back inside Jarrett hits the ropes and runs into a right hand for two. Razor then clotheslines Jarrett over the top and back to the floor. Jarrett trips Razor from the floor and slides back in. Jarrett goes for a sunset flip off the second rope, but its blocked by Ramon who gets a two count. Roadie gets on the apron to deliver a shot to Ramon, but an Irish whip is reversed. Jarrett is able to stop short of getting hit by Roadie, but Ramon knocks him off the apron anyhow. Rollup gets another two count for Razor, and he then sets up for the Razors Edge. The Roadie jumps up and pulls Jarrett down to stop that. Jarrett tries to take a walk, but the Karate Kid stops him in the aisle and tosses him back in the ring. Rollup for Ramon from there gets another two count. Jarrett reverses an Irish whip sending Ramon into the corner, and then chokes him out on the second rope. With the officials back turned Roadie chokes out Ramon some more. The Kid chases him off as Jarrett takes a charge at Ramon and comes up short. The Roadie is back on the apron to take a swing at Razor, but gets thrown into the buckle. Ramon then chucks Jarrett back over the top to the floor. Jarrett slides back in and hits the ropes delivering a swinging neckbreaker. A pair of dropkicks sets up Ramon on the second rope where Jarrett drops down on him. Irish whip to the corner sets up Razor for an enzaguri attempt, which misses. Jarrett regains control though and grabs a side headlock. Ramon elbows out of it, and gets a backslide for a two count. Clothesline from Jarrett returns the favor for a two count. Jarrett locks in a sleeper hold, but Ramon quickly shoves him off into the ropes. Jarrett is able to drive Ramon’s head back into the mat getting another two count before going back to the headlock. Ramon is able to counter of it with a side suplex and now both men are down. Ramon hits the ropes as Jarrett comes up and they collide in the center again putting them both down. Back up again, and they hit the ropes delivering a double punch again putting both guys down. Crowd gets restless after the third straight double knock out spot. Ramon drapes the arm over Jarrett for a two count. Back to their feet and a crossbody attempt by Jarrett is caught into a fallaway slam by Razor. Irish whip to the corner is followed by a discus punch from Ramon. The Kid tries to crotch Jarrett on the rail with the refs back turned, but Jarrett pushes away sending him into the railing. Ramon goes to the second rope for a bulldog attempt, but comes up empty as Jarrett moves. Jarrett delivers a kneebreaker to Ramon, which sets up the figure four. Ramon is able to turn the figure four over, and the ref sees Kid assisting Ramon which causes the break. Ramon sets Jarrett up on the top rope, and delivers a back suplex off the top. Razor calls for the Razors Edge, and gets him up in it, but The Roadie runs in and clips Ramon for the incredibly lame DQ at 13:32. Afterward Jarrett and Roadie beat on the Kid until Ramon can jump back in. Eventually everyone gets separated. This was an absolutely fantastic match for about the first 8 minutes. Then it slowed, then it got killed with a horrible DQ finish. This one could have been a classic the way it was going, but sadly its very forgettable due to booking.

Winner: Razor Ramon (Disqualification-Outside Interference/Jarrett retains title **1/2)

-Nicholas Turturro checks in with Jennifer McCarthy in the green room where she gets hit on by Shawn Michaels and Kama. Sid weighs in with his thoughts, which are enlightening as always.

-Todd Pettingill talks to former Chicago Bear Neil Anderson about LT’s chances.

King Kong Bundy (w. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase) vs. The Undertaker (w. Paul Bearer)

This would be victim number 4 of 16 if you were scoring at home. Dibiase’s Million Dollar Corporation had stolen Undertaker’s urn at Royal Rumble to set this one up. Vince McMahon mentions during Taker’s entrance that he has never lost at Wrestlemania, so that should settle that discussion. The first mention of the streak was at 3-0. Major League Baseball umpire Larry Young serves as guest referee for this one, as MLB was on strike and he needed work. Taker moves out of the way of a charge from Bundy and delivers an open handed upper cut. Not quite yet old school connects for Taker staggering Bundy. He follows up with three clotheslines to finally drop Bundy. Bundy gets right back up and delivers a clothesline sending Taker over the top to the floor. Taker lands on his feet right by Dibiase who was holding the urn. Taker grabs the urn from Dibiase and returns it to Bearer before heading back in. Dibiase heads down the aisle waving for someone to come down. Kama soon runs out while Taker is tied up in the corner with Bundy. Kama kicks Bearer and takes the urn, but Taker is quick to grab him as well. Bundy attacks Taker from behind which allows Kama to escape ringside with the urn. Jim Ross catches up with Kama in the aisle who says he is going to melt the urn down and make jewelry out of it. Meanwhile in the ring Bundy slams Taker, and delivers a clothesline sending Taker over the top to the floor. Taker slides back in but gets a boot from Bundy. Bundy continues by choking Taker out on the second rope, and goes for a snap mare, which is blocked. Bundy delivers a bodyslam and a knee drop getting a two count. Bundy locks in a side headlock, and follows up by whipping Taker to the buckle. Bundy charges into a big boot from Taker, and that is followed up by a bodyslam from the deadman. From there Taker finishes things with a flying clothesline at 6:38 to run the streak to four. Match was there to continue the Dibiase-Taker feud, and wasn’t very good.

Winner: The Undertaker (Pinfall-Flying Clothesline ½*)

-Nicholas Turturro continues on the trail of the missing Pamela Anderson, but runs into future Horseman Steve McMichael, Reggie White, and the rest of LT’s all pro team. He then finds Bob Backlund playing chess with Home Improvement’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (w. Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) vs. The Smoking Gunns ©

Yokozuna was Owen’s mystery opponent here to challenge the Gunns making his first appearance since losing to Undertaker at Survivor Series. Yoko had bloated up to over 600 pounds at this point. Owen and Billy start things off. Billy smacks Owen and grabs an arm wringer before tagging in Bart. Owen goes to the eyes and tags in Yoko. Bart ducks a clothesline and runs into a bodyslam. Yoko goes to drop an elbow, but misses. Bart grabs an arm, but a thrust to the throat puts a stop to that. Yoko tags Owen back in who goes back to the armbar. Owen hits the ropes and delivers a shoulderblock. Again off the ropes Owen runs into a pair of arm drags before Billy tags back in. Double side Russian legsweep puts Owen down and a double dropkick sends Yoko to the floor. Owen gets slingshotted in from the apron, and Bart tags back in. Back suplex is set up and a tag made to Billy who finishes the suplex with a neckbreaker. Another quick tag to Bart whips Owen sternum first into the corner getting a two count. Tag to Billy, and a double team side suplex-legdrop combo gets two thanks to a slow count due to a distraction from Yoko. Owen hits the ropes and tags Yoko. Drop toehold from Owen sets up a legdrop from Yoko. Billy rolls to the floor, and Owen jumps down to ram his back into the ringpost. Owen rolls Billy into the ring, and Yoko delivers a headbutt. Billy fires back with a few shots, but gets caught with a knife-edge. Yoko grabs a trapezes nerve pinch, and Billy begins to fade but gets a second wind. Yoko holds Billy for Owen to deliver a dropkick off the top, but Billy moves causing Owen to hit Yoko. Hot tag to Bart who comes in with a press slam to Owen. Bart hits the ropes and drives the back of Yoko’s head to the mat. Tag to Billy as both Gunns hit the ropes. Owen pulls the top rope down causing Bart to go over the top to the floor, and Billy gets hit with a belly-to-belly suplex. Yoko hits the banzai drop on Billy, but Bart is able to make the save. Bart fires away at Yoko, but gets quickly backdropped over the top to the floor. Tag to Owen who starts to put the sharpshooter on Billy, but realizes he’s still out from the Banzai drop so he just covers for the pin and the titles at 9:39. Owen’s post match celebration is great as he jumps for joy, but the match is just kind of bleh.

Winners: NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Yokozuna (Owen pins Billy-Banzai Drop **)

-Todd Pettingill talks to Bam Bam Bigelow as they reset the Royal Rumble incident with LT that set up tonight’s main event.

I Quit Match: Mr. Bob Backlund vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper serves as guest referee for this one. Backlund defeated Bret to win the WWF Title back at Survivor Series in a submission match where Bret’s mother Helen threw in the towel. This would be the rematch with the “I Quit” stipulation forcing one of them to actually submit. Bret pounds away at Backlund in the corner, and quickly whips him into the opposite corner. Headbutt and elbow puts Backlund down, and Bret goes for a sharpshooter early. Backlund shoves him off so Bret drops an elbow on him. Bret fires Backlund into the corner and chokes him out on the second rope. Piper gets really annoying very quick screaming “WHADDYA SAY?!?!” every few seconds into the mic. Bret goes back to the sharpshooter, but Backlund rolls through. Bret then locks in a figure four in the center of the ring. Backlund turns the hold over so Bret rolls through to the ropes to break. Bret grabs the leg again and drops down on it grapevining the foot. Backlund is able to sit up and kick the face of Bret to break it. Backlund goes to work in the corner working the arm, before stalking for the crossface chicken wing. Bret turns away before Backlund locks it in, and Backlund then whips him into the buckle. Backlund drops down into an armbar takedown, and turns it into a hammerlock. Backlund delivers an elbow to the face, and then grabs another armbar. Bret slams out of the armbar, and delivers a backbreaker. Second rope elbow connects for Bret, and then he goes for the sharpshooter. Backlund is able to turn to the ropes again to stop the hold. Irish whip sends Backlund into the corner, but Bret’s charge comes up empty as he shoulderblocks the ring post. Backlund then stalks and locks in the crossface chicken wing. Bret reverses the hold into a crossface chicken wing of his own, and is able to drop down with it and Backlund submits at 9:34. Bret said in his book this is his least favorite match, and I can see why. This is nothing compared to the Survivor Series match, and Backlund even botched the ending by not saying “I quit” but rather just screaming “yeah.” This was as bad of a match as you could possibly imagine these two having with each other.

Winner: Bret “Hitman” Hart (Submission-Crossface Chicken Wing *)

-After the match Jim Ross catches up with a crazed Bob Backlund who says he saw a light.

-Nicholas Turturro still can’t find Pamela Anderson. He says she’s left the building, and they’ve had to reassign the celebs.

-Todd Pettingill catches up with WWF Champion Diesel. More technical difficulties as Pettingill has to grab another mic. Diesel even botches his lines saying he’s going to regain the title, before catching himself.

WWF Championship: Shawn Michaels (w. Sid & Jenny McCarthy) vs. Diesel © (w. Pamela Anderson)

Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement serves as guest timekeeper while NYPD: Blue’s Nicholas Turturro serves as the guest ring announcer. Shawn Michaels by virtue of winning the Royal Rumble was to have Pamela Anderson in his corner, but she left him so he got Jenny McCarthy instead. I think Shawn got the better end of the deal. Never fear, Pam shows up in Diesel’s corner. Shawn tries to jump Diesel before the bell, but gets backdropped over the top to the floor. That allows Diesel to invite Pam into the ring with him for his pyro. Shawn attacks early, and ducks a clothesline and elbow. A rollup attempt is blocked so Shawn hits the ropes again and runs into a forearm. Shawn grabs a wristlock and punches away at the arm, but quickly gets thrown into the corner. Shawn hits the ropes again and gets backdropped. To the corner again, and this time Shawn goes flying over the top to the floor onto a cameraman who gets manhandled for his trouble. Sid tries a distraction, but it doesn’t work as Diesel turns around to give Shawn a forearm as he tries a sneak attack. Shawn tries to mount the second rope for some punches but gets thrown off twice. A press slam attempt from Diesel is stopped by Shawn with a rake to the eyes. Shawn goes for a suplex, but Diesel counters into a suplex of his own. A knee from Diesel sends Shawn to the floor again in the middle of a hoard of cameramen. I hadn’t mentioned it yet, but due to the large amount of mainstream press this show got due to the LT match there were a ton of photographers at ringside making this look somewhat like one of those mid 80’s shows at MSG. Diesel grabs Shawn and puts him on the apron, but Shawn rakes the eyes and slides back in the ring. Shawn hits the ropes and goes for a sunset flip, but Diesel stops it and picks Shawn up in a choke straddling him on the top rope. Shawn ducks a big boot, and clotheslines Diesel over the top to the floor. Shawn goes to the top rope and delivers a crossbody all the way to the floor. Shawn rolls back inside and delivers a baseball slid. A second baseball slide misses, but Diesel’s attempt at an elbow to Shawn comes up empty as he hits the ringpost instead. Shawn breaks the count, and then heads back outside delivering a splash off the apron to the floor. Shawn distracts the official to break the count, and Diesel finally rolls back in. Shawn delivers a boot to the head, and follows up with a few stomps to the face. To the second rope he goes and comes off with a bulldog getting a two count. Knee lift connects for Shawn, and a right hand puts Diesel back down to the mat. Shawn springboards off the second rope and delivers a back elbow for two. A series of double axe handles are followed up with a few knees to the back for Shawn. He heads to the top rope and delivers the elbow drop to the lower back picking up a two count. Shawn goes for a DDT twice, but both times Diesel throws him away. Shawn tries a leapfrog out of the corner, but gets caught by Diesel. He slides down the back however and throws Diesel into the corner. Shawn hops on his back and locks in a sleeper from there. Diesel’s arm drops twice before getting a second wind on the third try. He stands up and rams Shawn back first into the corner. Diesel delivers a pair of back elbows to Shawn before a clothesline follows a whip to the corner. After another corner clothesline Diesel delivers a snake eyes and Shawn comes down with his neck across the second rope. Diesel charges and drops down on Shawn before whipping him over the top to the apron. A clothesline sends Shawn to the floor, and Diesel goes on the pursuit. They both end up back in the ring, and Diesel finally catches him with a series of forearms. Shawn bails again, and Diesel follows. The official hops down to keep Sid from interfering and twists his ankle. Back inside the ring Shawn delivers sweet chin music and covers but there is no referee. Sid fires the referee back in the ring, and Shawn covers again, but Diesel kicks out at two. According to Kevin Nash’s shoot interview Diesel was supposed to kick out with authority at just a one count, but they went against Vince’s wishes because they didn’t want to kill Shawn’s finisher. It’s Nash’s version of the truth though, so take it with a grain of salt. Sid cuts the turnbuckle pad off exposing the steel. Shawn goes for it, but Diesel gets a back suplex instead putting both men down. Shawn drapes an arm over Diesel but only gets a two count. Shawn climbs to the second rope and dives at Diesel, but gets caught in a sidewalk slam. Diesel scoops Shawn’s legs and delivers a slingshot to the exposed corner, but they were too far away and Shawn only hits the second buckle, which is still padded. Back to their feet and Shawn runs into a big boot as Diesel begins to do his Hogan impression by hulking up. Jacknife finishes from there at 20:34 to retain. They had a classic going for a while until things slowed down near the end with the ref bump and few blown spots. Probably one of Nash’s best matches ever, although the No Holds Barred match a little over a year later in Omaha would top this one. After the match Diesel celebrates will all the celebs.

Winner: STILL WWF Champion-Diesel (Pinfall-Jacknife ***3/4)

-Jim Ross talks to Sid and Shawn in the aisle. Sid promises Shawn isn’t done with Diesel.

-Pettingill talks to Shawn in the locker room, and he rightfully claims he had Diesel beat.

-Salt N Pepa perform a special version of “Whatta Man” for LT

Bam Bam Bigelow (w. King Kong Bundy, Tatanka, Nikolai Volkoff, Kama, Irwin R. Schyster, & “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase) vs. Lawrence Taylor (w. Ken Norton, Chris Spielman, Ricky Jackson, Carl Banks, Steve McMichael, & Reggie White)

Pat Patterson serves as guest referee in this match. Taylor attacks early with a smack and a forearm. He follows that up with a clothesline sending Bigelow over the top to the floor. Bigelow tries an avalanche as he comes back in, but Taylor moves and delivers a bulldog for two. A trio of forearms connect for Taylor and that is followed by a biel sending Bigelow to the floor again. Taylor hops out to the floor and a shoving match starts between the two teams at ringside. Bigelow rolls back in during the melee and Taylor follows getting stomped on the way in. Bam Bam delivers a kick to the ribs and stomps away at Taylor in the corner. Bigelow connects with a pair of headbutts then chokes out Taylor with his boot. Bodyslam connects for Bigelow setting up a diving headbutt, which misses. Taylor comes back with a forearm, and charges at Bam Bam but gets caught and thrown into the corner. Bigelow continues the assault by choking Taylor on the middle rope. LT pushes Bigelow into the corner, but gets shoved back to the center of the ring. Bigelow locks in a Boston Crab, and turns it into a toehold before Taylor gets to the ropes. Cross toehold is locked in by Bigelow again, but again LT gets to the ropes. Taylor fights back with a forearm, and then delivers a back suplex. Bam Bam is first to his feet though and delivers a double axe handle. A pair of diving headbutts connect, and are followed by a legdrop. Bigelow goes to the top rope for a moonsault which connects, but he injures his knee in the process. The delay allows Taylor to kick out at two. They both get to their feet, and LT hits the ropes and delivers a sloppy looking jackknife for two. Bigelow comes back with a ghetto blaster and a pair of diving headbutts. Bam Bam goes to the top again this time for the top rope headbutt which connects, but Taylor is out again at two. Taylor comes firing back with a forearm and three shoulderblocks in the corner. Two running forearms set Taylor up for a trip to the top rope. From there he delivers with a top rope forearm, which finishes at 11:43. So I always hear about how great Taylor was in this match by celebrity standards, which admittedly isn’t too high, but I really didn’t see anything that impressed me too much. Match was entertaining enough, and the crowd was into it, but it was very sloppy.

Winner: Lawrence Taylor (Pinfall-Top Rope Forearm *)

The 411: Never has a Wrestlemania felt less like a Wrestlemania than this one. You might as well rename the show Wrestlemania: In Your House. A football player and a midcarder go at it in the main event over a World Title match. The whole thing just showed how bad things was in the WWF in 1995. In my opinion that was the worst year creatively in WWF history, and this show was a classic example of it. It may not be the worst Wrestlemania ever, but it’s certainly the most forgettable.
 
Final Score:  3.0   [ Bad ]  legend

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