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WrestleMania XIV Review

March 20, 2009 | Posted by Rob McNew
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WrestleMania XIV Review  

-3/29/1998 from Fleet Center in Boston, MA

-Hosted by Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler

15 Tag Team Battle Royal: Participants-Savio & Miguel, Jose & Jesus, Recon & Sniper, Bradshaw & Chainz, Mark Henry & D’Lo Brown, The Quebecers, The Rock N Roll Express, The Headbangers, Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor, Skull & 8-Ball, Steve Blackman & Flash Funk, The New Midnight Express, The Godwinns, The Legion of Doom

The winner of this battle royal would gain a title shot at Unforgiven in April. The Legion of Doom would be making their return, after teasing a split a few weeks earlier, with Sunny. They would be rechristened LOD 2000 the next night. Of course it’s a big brawl to start. The rules are when one member of team gets eliminated both guys have to go. Savio Vega is the first to go eliminating both him and Miguel. Kurrgan runs out and eliminates his former Truth Commission teammates Sniper and Recon. Barry Windham who was feuding with Bradshaw at the time runs down and eliminates Chainz to get rid of him and Bradshaw. Jacques of the Quebecers getting tossed eliminating them, and also Kama Mustafa gets thrown out eliminating him and Faarooq. Ricky Morton gets thrown out as the camera keeps missing the eliminations but that takes care of the Rock N Roll Express. Bob Holly of the New Midnight Express tosses Thrasher eliminating the Headbangers. Henry Godwinn takes care of Mark Henry, and Bart Gunn throws out Scott Taylor. That takes care of Henry and D’Lo as well as the future Too Cool. We’re down to the final four as we have Skull & 8-Ball, The Godwinns, The New Midnight Express, and The LOD. Skull gets tossed, but comes back in and throws out Phineas. That leaves just LOD and the Midnight Express. The Godwinns decide to take out their frustrations by taking out Hawk and Animal with slop buckets. Animal gets tossed out of the ring through the ropes leaving Hawk in the ring with the Midnights. They come close to throwing out Hawk, but he fights back temporarily. Bob rakes the eyes and they try to toss Hawk again, but Animal is back in makes the save. Animal delivers a powerslam to Bart, and Hawk gets a big boot for Bob. Clotheslines send both men over the top giving the LOD the win at 8:20. As soon as you heard “Ooooh what a rush” you knew who was winning this thing. This was supposed to re-invent LOD for the 21st century, but it just didn’t get over like they would have thought, and Hawk’s real life troubles intervened.

Winners: The Legion of Doom (Eliminates The Midnight Express *1/2)

WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: Aguila vs. TAKA Michinoku ©

Aguila would eventually become Essa Rios when he lost the mask. TAKA hits a shoulderblock, and Aguila comes back with a hurracanrana and spinning heel kick sending TAKA to the floor. Aguila comes outside with a baseball slide, and then goes to the top rope with a moonsault for TAKA on the floor. They fight over a suplex on the apron, with TAKA sliding down the back and dropkicking Aguila to the floor. TAKA springboards to the top rope and splashes down on Aguila. Back inside TAKA delivers a pair of dropkicks for two, and charges at Aguila getting a backdrop to the floor. TAKA gets back on the apron and delivers a forearm to the face. He goes to the top rope, but gets armdragged off by Aguila who then springboards to the top rope and comes down with another armdrag. Aguila grabs a wristlock and springboards off the top rope taking TAKA all the way to the floor. Aguila delivers a corkscrew plancha to the floor, and slides back inside. Back inside TAKA springboards to the top rope and misses a moonsault. Aguila goes to the top and his moonsault connects for two. TAKA comes back with a forearm and heads to the top rope again for a splash, but Aguila counters by getting the knees up. Aguila sets TAKA on the top rope and delivers a hurracanrana to the floor. TAKA reverses an Irish whip and follows Aguila in with an elbow. TAKA connects with a missile dropkick and calls for the Michinoku drivers, which is countered into a hurracanrana attempt. TAKA counters that into a powerbomb, and heads to the top rope for a moonsault, which misses. Rollup gets two for Aguila, and he heads to the top rope again. TAKA meets him on the way down with a missile dropkick, and follows up with a Michinoku driver, which finishes at 5:56. Tremendous action, but unfortunately the WWF never gave us a reason to care about it.

Winner: STILL WWF Light Heavyweight Champion-TAKA Michinoku (Pinfall-Michinoku Driver **3/4)

-Gennifer Flowers, famous for accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, gets a now legendary interview with The Rock.

WWF European Championship: Triple H (w. Chyna) © vs. Owen Hart

The DX band plays Triple H down to the ring. Chyna has to be handcuffed to Commissioner Slaughter during this match to keep her from interfering. Owen was suffering from an ankle injury that was aggravated by Chyna a few weeks back allowing Triple H to win the European Title on Raw. Owen attacks right away with a double leg take down, and delivers a backdrop. Clothesline sends HHH into the corner, where Owen mounts and delivers a series of right. Hurracanrana gets two for Owen, and he hits the ropes and runs into an elbow from HHH. Owen rolls to the floor, and Chyna takes a shot, but Slaughter puts a stop to that. HHH tries to dive onto Owen, but misses and hits the guardrail. Back inside Owen goes for the sharpshooter, but Triple H goes to the eyes to stop that. Owen fires back and sends HHH into the ropes for a backdrop attempt, but a knee to the face stops that. HHH takes control firing Owen into the buckle, and delivers a series of chops. HHH stomps Owen in the corner, and sends Owen to the ropes delivering a high knee for two. Suplex connects for HHH, and a knee drop follows that. HHH fires Owen into the buckle, but Owen fights back Irish whipping HHH into the corner. Owen follows but runs into a boot and a DDT getting two for HHH. HHH finally goes to work on the injured ankle with a series of kicks and knee drop. HHH locks in a stepover toe hold, but Owen chops out of it. HHH goes right back to work on the ankle with the stepover toehold, and another kneedrop to the ankle. HHH kicks away at the ankle in the corner, but Owen fires back delivering a pair of shoulderblocks to HHH in the corner. Owen slides to the floor and crotches HHH on the ring post. Owen goes to the top connecting with a missile dropkick for two. Belly-to-belly suplex gets another two count for Owen, and he follows up with a spinning heel kick for two. An Irish whip to the corner is followed by an enzaguri for Owen. The kick injures his ankle, but Owen still has enough to cover for two. Owen goes for a hurracanrana, but it is countered into a powerbomb by HHH for two. Owen gets sat on the top rope, but he fights HHH off with a headbutt. Owen connects with a crossbody off the top for a two count. HHH reverses an Irish whip sending Owen to the corner and goes for the pedigree. Owen counters into a sharpshooter attempt, but HHH kicks him off into the corner. Owen inadvertently falls out of the corner however delivering a headbutt to the groin of HHH. Owen goes for the cover, but gets two. HHH hits the ropes and stops a backdrop attempt with a kick to the face. From there HHH tries again for the pedigree but Owen backdrops out of that. After a reversal sequence Owen eventually gets in position and locks in the sharpshooter. Chyna is able to squirm far enough from Slaughter to get HHH’s hand to the bottom rope. Owen pounds away at HHH, but Chyna finds some powder and fires it in the eyes of Slaughter. Owen goes over to check on the situation, but as HHH distracts the referee Chyna delivers a low blow to Owen. That sets up the pedigree from HHH and he retains at 11:30. Pretty good match that played up both the Chyna/Slaughter stipulation, and established the fact that it could be DX’s night.

Winner: STILL WWF European Champion-Triple H (Pinfall-Pedigree **1/2)

-Recap of the events leading to the mixed tag.

Mixed Tag Team Match: The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust & Luna vs. “Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable

Sable is actually the only babyface in this match, as her and Mero were basically doing a remake of the Liz/Savage storyline from the mid 80’s. JR actually mentions on commentary that this is the 3rd mixed tag in Wrestlemania history, and that Goldust’s father was in the first one. Goldust and Mero starts out, and Mero quickly hits a hurracanrana. Luna tags in, and of course that brings Sable in. Luna bails and they run around the ring. Luna slides in and tags Goldust back in. Goldust and Mero end up in the ring and Mero hits a backdrop. Tag to Sable who delivers a thrust kick to Goldust and then demands the tag to Luna. Luna wants nothing to do with her, so Mero tags back in. Mero sends Goldust into the corner, but charges into a boot. Clothesline connects for Goldust, and he follows up by dropping Mero down on the top rope. Goldust chokes Mero on the second rope, and sends him into the ropes. Mero comes off with a crossbody, which gets a two count. Mero goes for a backdrop, but Goldust stops that with a kick. Both men hit the ropes and they collide in the center putting both guys out. Luna and Sable finally tag in and this time they actually go as Sable hits a double leg takedown. Crowd goes batshit for this, as Sable biels Luna by her hair, and then clotheslines Luna over the top to the floor. Luna dives back in and tags Goldust who gets a forearm from Sable before she tags out to Mero. To the floor they go where Mero fires Goldust into the ringsteps. Back inside Mero tries to splash Goldust from the apron, but he gets the knees up. Sable goes after Goldust drawing the attention from the referee and allowing Mero to deliver a low blow. Mero goes for the TKO, but Goldust counters into a DDT. Goldust covers off that for two. A curtain call attempt by Goldust is countered by Mero who delivers a knee lift. Mero goes to the rope and delivers a springboard moonsault for a two count. Mero follows Goldust into the corner and gets an elbow. Goldust goes to the top rope, but Mero is able to crotch him. That allows Mero to deliver a top rope hurracanrana for two. Luna goes for a cheapshot from the apron on Mero, but Mero sees it coming. He threatens to hit her, but sees Goldust coming from behind and moves allowing Goldust to knock her to the floor. Mero rolls up Goldust for a two count. Mero sets up for the TKO and connects with it, but Luna makes the save. Luna jumps on the back of Mero backing him into his corner and Sable tags in. She tries to cover Goldust, but the ref is tied up with Mero and can’t count. Finally he is over to make the count, but Luna is coming off the top rope. Sable moves allowing Luna to splash Goldust. Sable powerbombs Luna from there, which gets a two count. Luna comes back and chokes out Sable on the second rope, but misses a charge attempt. Luna comes back with a shoulderblock, and goes for an Irish whip. Sable reverses the Irish Whip into a TKO, which gets the victory at 9:10. This was a really fun match, and far better than any of the other mixed tags. The crowd was insanely hot for the Sable-Luna stuff, and a hot crowd can do a lot for a match. Much better match than I remember.

Winners: “Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable (Sable pins Luna-TKO ***)

-Tennessee Lee introduces Jeff Jarrett who accompanies Gennifer Flowers who will serve as Guest Ring Announcer for the next match.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Rock (w. The Nation) © vs. Ken Shamrock

The Rock had defeated Ken Shamrock by disqualification at The Royal Rumble after he had tricked the official into believing a foreign object that was found in Shamrock’s trunks was used by Shamrock. In reality of course The Rock put them there. All the Nation members with the exception of Faarooq accompany The Rock to the ring as they had been teasing dissention in The Nation for several weeks leading up to this. Also if Rock gets DQ’d he loses the title. Shamrock attacks at the bell with a kick and clothesline sending Rock to the floor. Rock heads down the aisle, but Shamrock follows him and brings him back to the ring. Shamrock goes back to stop the count, and then heads back out firing Rock into the ringsteps before heading back to the ring. Rock reverses an Irish whip into the corner, but Shamrock explodes out with a series of clothesline. Shamrock rams Rock’s head into the canvas, but Rock is able gain some semblance of control firing Shamrock to the floor. Rock slides outside and fires Shamrock into the ringsteps before sending Shamrock back inside. Bodyslam from The Rock sets up the people’s elbow, which gets a two count. Shamrock fires back and sends Rock flying over the top rope to the floor. Shamrock delivers a clothesline on the floor, and grabs a steel chair. He takes it into the ring, but gets a warning from the referee. The ref gets shoved down to the mat, and Rock delivers a brutal chairshot to the head. The ref gets up and Rock only gets two. Shamrock comes right back with a spinning heel kick and a powerslam for a two count. Belly-to-belly suplex allows Shamrock to lock in the ankle lock, which gets the quick tap out at 4:50. The Nation run in and all incur the wrath of suplexes from Shamrock. He locks the ankle lock back on, and Faarooq runs out, but won’t help. Several referees and agents come out to stop Shamrock and all get suplexes. Rock gets stretchered out, but the referee determines that due to the post match antics of Shamrock he was reversing his decision and awarding the decision to The Rock. Shamrock goes after Rock again knocks him off the stretcher before finally getting restrained. Pretty stupid finish that probably shouldn’t be used at Wrestlemania, but still was kind of necessary, as they wanted Rock to hold the title, but Shamrock had to go over the way the match was booked.

Winner: STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Rock (Disqualification-Reverse Decision *)

WWF Tag Team Championship Dumpster Match: Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. The New Age Outlaws ©

The Outlaws had thrown Cactus & Chainsaw of the stage in a dumpster a few months back on Raw. A dumpster match is basically a casket match using a dumpster instead of a casket. Charlie attacks Gunn on the floor, and Cactus pairs off with Road Dogg. Cactus fires Dogg into the dumpster and delivers a knee. Cactus goes to dump Dogg into the dumpster, but Dogg fires back with a cookie sheet. In the ring Gunn chokes Charlie down. Cactus dives off the apron, but misses flying into the dumpster. Gunn fires Charlie into the railing, and Dogg whips him into Gunn who backdrops him into the dumpster. Dogg gives Cactus a Russian Legsweep into the dumpster. The Outlaws slam the lid of the dumpster into both Cactus and Charlie, and they fire Cactus into the dumpster. Gunn delivers a few chops to Charlie and throw him into the dumpster. They go to shut the lids, but Cactus comes up and locks in the mandible claw to both Outlaws. Gunn gets away and delivers a cookie sheet to the head of Cactus to break the hold on Dogg. Charlie gets a hold of a cookie sheet and fights back as Dogg ends up back in the ring. Cactus and Funk both deliver neckbreakers, and Gunn goes to the floor. Cactus comes off the apron with a cookie sheet to Gunn. Cactus throws a pipe into the ring, and finds a ladder into the ring. They set up the ladder, and Cactus climbs but Billy comes in with a low blow to Charlie. Gunn goes up after Cactus, while Dogg delivers a shot with the sheet to Charlie which knocks both guys off the ladder and into the dumpster. Gunn gets rescued from the dumpster, and delivers a powerbomb on Chainsaw into the dumpster. The Outlaws fight with Cactus down the aisle and they head to the locker room leaving Charlie at ringside in the dumpster. Back in the locker room Cactus gets thrown into a food cart, and the Outlaws whip him into a Powerade cooler. Cactus comes back with a chair shot for both guys, and delivers a double arm DDT to Gunn on a forklift. Charlie has come back and is driving the forklift as Road Dogg gets thrown on the pallet. Charlie drives the forklift over to a dumpster in the back and they dump both Outlaws in the dumpster and close the lid. The ref calls it off at 10:05 and awards the match to Cactus and Chainsaw. Dusty finish would reverse the decision the next night on Raw as the dumpster that was used wasn’t the legal dumpster. Still on this night, a very entertaining garbage match. Pun intended.

Winner: NEW WWF Tag Team Champions-Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie (Forklift into dumpster ***)

-Recap of the events leading to Kane and Undertaker.

Kane (w. Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker

Pete Rose comes out as special ring announcer and immediately turning heel on the Boston crowd making fun of their shortcomings in baseball. That leads to Kane coming out and tombstoning him starting a running gag for the next three Wrestlemanias. The druids make their Wrestlemania debut during Taker’s entrance. Famous staredown to start and Taker delivers a series of right hands driving Kane to the corner. Taker charges into an elbow, and gets thrown into the corner. Taker comes out quickly and fires away again. Kane whips Taker into the corner, but runs into a big boot. Taker goes for an Irish whip, but gets a clothesline from Kane. He sits right back up though and goes back to the right hands. Taker hits the ropes, but gets caught by Kane who sticks Taker in the corner upside down and kicks away. Irish whip sends Taker across to the other corner, and Kane follows in with a clothesline. Kane drops Taker on the top rope, and delivers a springboard forearm off the top sending Taker to the floor. Taker rolls back in, and Kane delivers an upper cut sending Taker to the corner. Taker hits the ropes, and ends up on Kane’s shoulders pounding him down, but Kane counters sending Taker crashing to the mat. To the floor they go, and Kane drops Taker down on the guardrail. Kane continues the assault firing Taker into the ringsteps, and then throws the ringsteps down on the back of Taker. Kane places Taker on the bottom half of the ringsteps and slams the top half on top of him. Kane goes into the ring, and Paul Bearer delivers a few cheapshots on the floor. Kane brings Taker back into the ring with a suplex, and rams Taker’s head into the top buckle. Taker gets whipped into the corner, and comes out with a clothesline to Kane. Taker hits the ropes, but runs into a chokeslam from Kane. Kane covers but lifts up Taker at two and goes to a side headlock. Taker fights out with a series of fists and delivers an uppercut to break the hold. Kane comes right back with a clothesline, and an elbow drop. Back to the headlock goes Kane, but Taker counters out this time by lifting Kane up and crotching him on the top rope. Taker sends Kane to the floor with a big boot, and then goes out after him with a tope over the top rope, which misses sending Taker through the Spanish Announce Table. Kane fires Taker back inside, and heads to the top rope delivering a flying clothesline for two. They trade blows in the middle of the ring, and Taker gets the better of it. Taker hits the ropes and ducks a clothesline. Taker goes for a tombstone, but Kane reverses into a tombstone of his own. It only gets a two count however. Taker comes firing back with a clothesline and a chokeslam. Tombstone connects for Taker, but Kane is out at two. Taker delivers a legdrop and another tombstone, but again Kane is out at two. Taker goes to the top rope and delivers a flying clothesline. A third tombstone connects, and Taker finally gets a three count at 17:02 to go to 7-0. After the match Kane attacks and delivers a tombstone on a steel chair. Really good big man match here. It was slow a bit in the middle, but did a great job of getting Kane over as a monster and a serious threat to Taker, while keeping Taker’s invincibility alive.

Winner: The Undertaker (Pinfall-Tombstone **3/4)

-Recap of the events leading to Shawn and Austin

WWF Championship: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (w. Triple H & Chyna) ©

Mike Tyson serves as Special Guest Enforcer for this match. Tyson had joined DX a few weeks earlier. The pop Austin gets is absolutely off the charts. Shawn dedicates the match to Earl Hebner who was in intensive care after suffering a brain aneurysm the weekend of the show. Shawn is famously wrestling this match with a serious back injury that would keep him out of action until Summerlsam 2002. Shawn prances around a bit at the outset, and that earns him the double bird from Austin. Shawn bails to the floor, and Austin chases. Back into the ring Shawn ducks a clothesline, but gets hit with one on the way back. Shawn gets rammed into the buckle, and tries to bail but Austin puts a stop to that with a handful of trunks. Austin then backdrops Shawn over the top with his bare ass exposed to the world. Austin follows him to the floor, but HHH attacks from behind and rams him into the ringpost. The referee makes the call not to disqualify Shawn, but rather to eject HHH and Chyna. Austin goes after HHH and Chyna in the aisle, but turns into a clothesline from Shawn back by the DX band. Shawn delivers a shot with the cymbals from the drum set and then whips Austin into the dumpster. Shawn walks Austin back to the ring, and heads to the top rope. Austin catches him with a shot on the way down, and Irish whips him into the corner. Shawn hits the ropes and runs into an inverted atomic drop for two. Austin grabs a wristlock, but Shawn gains control with a thumb to the eye. Shawn hits the ropes, but Austin catches him in a waist lock and drops him on the top rope. Austin goes for the stunner, but Shawn bails to the apron. Austin clotheslines Shawn onto the announce table and goes out after him. Austin fires Shawn into the ringsteps and then sets him up on the apron delivering a pair of elbows. Back inside Austin deliver the FU elbow drop for a two count. Austin grabs a side headlock, but Shawn comes out of it with a jawbreaker. Shawn rolls to the floor, and he drags Austin to the ring post. Austin is able to pull back though sending Shawn face first into the post. Austin fires Shawn into the guardrail, and tries a charge but gets backdropped into the crowd. Shawn nails Austin with the ring bell sending Austin back over to the arena floor. Shawn fires Austin back inside and delivers a double axe handle. Shawn mounts on top of Austin, as you can really start to tell how bad Shawn is hurt by his facial expressions. Shawn fires Austin into the buckle, and snap mares him back to the middle before mounting again with a series of strikes. Shawn delivers a stomp to the gut of Austin, and stops to give the fans the double bird. That allows Austin to come storming back with a double leg takedown and a series of strikes before firing Shawn to the floor. Austin goes to follow him out, but Shawn takes the legs out from under him and drags him over to the ring post. Shawn posts Austin’s knee on the ring post three times, and heads back inside. Shawn drives the left knee of Austin into the mat, and follows up with a series of kicks to the injured knee. Single leg takedown by Shawn sets up a figure four attempt, but Austin kicks off sending Shawn into the post. Austin rolls up for two, and Shawn goes right back on the offense driving Austin’s leg into the mat. Shawn sets Austin’s leg on the bottom rope, and drops down on it a few times. Austin rolls to the floor, but gets a baseball slide from Shawn sending him into the announce table. Tyson throws Austin back into the ring, and Shawn clips Austin’s knee. Shawn locks in a figure four leglock, and grabs the ropes for leverage. Austin eventually is able to roll the hold over, and Shawn gets to the ropes to break. Austin grabs a double leg take down and catapults Shawn into the ring post. A rollup gets two for Austin. He hits the ropes, but runs into a sleeper from Shawn. Austin backs Shawn into the corner, and the ref gets caught in the middle taking him out. Shawn charges at Austin, and gets thrown into the turnbuckle. Austin stomps a mudhole in the corner, and sends Shawn to the ropes delivering a backdrop. Shawn ducks a back elbow off the ropes and delivers a flying forearm. Shawn nips up and heads to the top rope delivering the elbow drop. Shawn starts to tune up the band, but Austin ducks the chin music. Austin goes for the stunner, but Shawn blocks that sending Austin to the ropes. Austin comes off the ropes and catches a boot from Shawn, spins him around, and this time delivers the stunner. Austin makes the cover, and Mike Tyson counts the three giving Austin his first World Title at 20:07. After the match Shawn gets in Tyson’s face about the double cross and gets knocked out. This is a highly, highly underrated match. Had Shawn been healthy they probably would have gotten to five stars. Still the unbelievable performance of Shawn with a back that was fucked up beyond all recognition is one of the all time great performances in wrestling history. It’s a historic match, because it kicked off the attitude era and gave Austin his first title, but it should be remembered for the performance of the Showstopper.

Winner: NEW WWF Champion-“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (Pinfall-Stone Cold Stunner ****1/2)

The 411: This was a far better show than I remember it being. The only match that really sucked wasn’t very long, and even then it helped cement The Rock’s heel character. The historic first meeting of Kane and Undertaker is far better than it has any right being, and the main event truly delivered as Shawn Michaels turned in arguably the most gutsy performance of his career.
 
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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