Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler
The ‘special enforcer’ Mike Tyson is introduced first with the DX Band playing his introduction music. He’s jeered to the ring. Stone Cold walking back stage is shown on the screens to a huge cheer only eclipsed by the one that greets his music.
Backstage Shawn says “this is for you Earl” before hitting the ringm again played to the ring by the DX band, with the European Champion HHH and Chyna in tow. Of course, this is essentially Michaels’ retirement match as after this it would take WWF/E fans a further four years to see him wrestle in the ring again after an injury caused by hitting his lower back on the casket at that year’s Royal Rumble.
Michaels is dancing around the ring until he is brought back down to earth when Austin shows him the fingers. The trade blows early before they run around the ring. Back in and Michaels is thrown from corner to corner before being back dropped onto his DX teammates.
The rattlesnake goes after him but is jumped from behind by HHH and thrown into the railings. Despite being witnessed by the referee it doesn’t cause a DQ, instead HHH and Chyna are sent to the back by the referee. Austin follows them up to the back and sends HHH into the band stand. In typically ‘Attitude Era’ style this quickly looks out of control as they use anything that isn’t nailed down to beat on each other.
They slowly make their way back to the ring and Austin is tossed back in ans Michaels goes up top but is caught coming off the top with a punch to the gut. Michaels then botches his trademark way to taking being whipped to the corner. Austin gets a two count from that before working on the arm. Michaels dodges a clothesline but is dropped throat first over the rope and gets a two.
Michaels escapes an early stunner attempt and makes it to the apron before being launched face first onto the announce table then face first into the ring steps. Michaels is thrown back in and Austin gets two two counts following a driving elbow off the ropes.
Rest hold is split by a jawbreaker from Michaels but his attempt to wrap Austin’s leg around the ring steps is countered and the two brawl at ringside and Stone Cold is back dropped into the fans at ringside and Michaels rattles Austin with the ring bell.
Back in and Austin is in control and punches on the prone Austin. The pain that Michaels is in is obvious with Michaels wincing and clutching at his back constantly and taking an age to do anything here. Michaels works on Austin in the corner then snap mares him out – a move that hurts his back – and works away again on Austin.
Austin attacks Michaels as the Champion taunts the crowd and throws him to the outside. Michaels counters attempts to bring him back into the ring and is successful this time in wrapping Austin’s knee around the ring post. Back in and Michaels continues to focus on Austin’s already injured left knee as Michaels taunts Jim Ross.
A figure four attempt is countered and Michaels is sent shoulder first into the turnbuckle and Austin rolls him up for a two. Michaels is back up first and continues to work away on Austin’s knee. Austin rolls to the outside and a baseball slide sends Michaels into Lawler and Ross’ lap before Tyson sends him back in. As Austin remonstrates with Tyson, a chop block sends the challenger back down. It’s fire four leglock time again and this time Michaels locks it in right in the centre of the ring. Michaels uses the ropes for leverage which gets Austin a series of near falls. Austin then drags him into the ring and flips Michaels over and they break the move.
Both men are back to their feet and it’s comeback time. Austin catapults Michaels face first into the ring post and gets a two count. Michaels’ sleeper is reversed as Austin rams him back into the corner, taking out the referee in the process. Michaels charges in and Austin tosses him head first into the corner. Michaels is then sent, again, from corner to corner as Austin stops a mud hole in Michaels.
Big back body drop before Michaels ducks a back elbow and hits a flying forearm of his own and both men are down. A nip up and Michaels is back up first and climbs the turnbuckle and hits the flying elbow drop but the referee is still down.
The band is warming up as Tyson looks on at ringside. Austin ducks the sweet chin music and attempts a stunner which is reversed but he catches Michaels’ superkick and hits a stunner and Tyson is in to make the count and the Austin era begins.
Post match Michaels goes nose to nose with Tyson and is laid out with a right hand before Austin and Tyson celebrate in the ring.
A great match considering the obvious pain that Shawn Michaels was in throughout. The significance of this outcome is massive as we officially enter the height of the Attitude and Austin eras and the WWF/E would never look back.
Within a few years of this event both ECW and WCW were out of business and Vince McMahon’s, by now, WWE once again ruled the roost after taking over their main competitors. In fact, one month after the event, Raw beat WCW Nitro in the ratings for the first time in 84 weeks.
Elsewhere on the card, we’d see superstars that featured on the Wrestlemania 14 undercard, such as HHH, The Rock and Mankind rise to the top and enjoy spells with the WWE Title. Wrestlemania 14 saw the passing of the torch from Shawn Michaels to Steve Austin and officially ushered in the Attitude era, a new direction for the WWF.