Retro WrestleMania Review: WWE WrestleMania X

Craig Wilson

In keeping with our ‘Raw Rewind‘ series, today we head back 25 years to 20 March 1994 and take a look at all the goings on at WrestleMania X.

Champion Roll Call:

WWF Champion: Yokozuna
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Quebecers

We kick-off with a video showcasing moments from the very first WrestleMania, including Muhammed Ali, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan. It’s all to do with this event being 10 years in the making, you see.

We then cut to MSG and Vince McMahon introducing Little Richard to sing ‘America the Beautiful’.

Your announcers for this are Vince McMahon and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Match 1: Owen Hart vs. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart

I’ve written previously about this match, here, so no need to recap it again but it’s an incredible bout.

Winner: Owen Hart.

Overall: a fantastic 20 minutes of wrestling.

Post-match, Vince wonders if Bret’s heart was in that one. Todd Pettengill catches up with Owen backstage who claims he is now “the best there is, best there was and will be the best there ever will be” and calls himself a better man than his brother.

We get a ‘WrestleMania Moment’ as we head back to 1986 as the show came from three different venues, with the clip highlighting the WWF and NFL battle royal.

Bill Dunn, the ring announcer, introduces Sy Sperling, the hair consultant for WrestleMania X as we are about to see his work on Howard Finkel, who emerges with a full head of hair.

Match 2: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon vs. Doink and Dink

A “mixed tag” match here. Dink and Luna will fight and Doink and Bam Bam will fight. No other interaction allowed. Bam Bam attacks to start and sends his opponent down with a couple of shoulder barges before connecting with a dropkick. Doink is slammed to the mat but dodges a senton attempt and Doink punches away on his massive opponent.

Doink begins to work on the left arm as Vince wonders what would happen if Bam Bam got his hands on Dink. Doink runs into a back elbow but dodges an elbow drop and Dink is tagged in. The referee orders Bigelow out of the ring and here comes Luna.

Dink tries to run away from Luna and even lands a slap on her ass. But she gets her hands on him and nearly takes his head off with a leg drop on the ropes. He manages to dodge the second and gets a nearfall following an elbow drop. Dink runs around the ring but straight into her foot. Dink misses a top rope move and Luna rakes his back before slamming him to the mat.

Luna heads up to the top rope but Dink moves out of the way of a splash and both Bam Bam and Doink are back in. A running charge barely phases Bigelow, who manages to clothesline his opponent up and over the top rope. Dink enters the ring and dodges a dive from both Bigelow and Luna.

This gives time for Doink to recover and he re-enters the ring but a sunset flip is foiled when Bigelow crashes down on his chest. Bigelow connects with Doink’s boot in the corner but Doink fails to follow up with a top rope attack and is felled by a series of clotheslines. Bigelow hits the ropes and knocks Dink off the side.

Bigelow regains control quickly and works away on Doink before heading up top where he connects with a diving headbutt and that’s it.

Winners: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon via pinfall.

Overall: Was given as much time as it needed and did what it had to do..

Post-match, Dink attacks Bigelow but is caught by Luna who kicks him in the head. Luna slams Dink to the mat but Bam Bam misses a splash. Doink and the referee stop Bigelow getting his hands on Dink.

We cut to the crowd and a Bill Clinton impersonator is seated in front of I.R.S. Another WrestleMania Moment – this time WrestleMania III with clips of Hulk Hogan going face to face with Andre the Giant.

Match 3: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Crush (w/ Mr. Fuji)

This is a falls count anywhere match but you need to return to the ring within 60 seconds to win. Savage attacks Crush on the aisle, ramming him into the barricades. Crush quickly overpowers him hits an atomic drop and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the aisle before dropping Savage throat-first on the barricade. Now Crush gets into the ring and Savage has 60 seconds to get into the ring. Odd rules… Savage nearly makes it back but Fuji cracks the Japanese flag over Savage’s back. This leads to a countdown to 10 but Savage makes it in at two.

Crush attacks and connects with a legdrop with Savage’s head draped over the apron. Crush ties Savage’s feet in the turnbuckle and proceeds to punch away at his opponent’s midsection. With the referee helping Savage, Mr. Fuji hands Crush a packet of salt. Savage catches him and knocks the salt into Crush’s eyes. Savage connects with a couple of jabs then a running elbow. He follows up with a top rope axe handle and heads back up where he connects with his patented flying elbow. Instead of going for the cover, Savage shoves Crush to the outside and pins him. Crush has 60 seconds to get back into the ring.

Fuji pours water over his charge’s face and Crush gets in, thanks to Fuji, before the 10. Savage charges at Crush but is backdropped over the top rope and to the outside. Crush follows him and attacks Savage’s back. The pair brawl on the outside and Savage drives Crush head-first into the ringpost then steps. A clothesline then sends Crush into the crowd. Crush connects with an impressive looking superkick before attempting a piledriver but it’s countered with a backdrop.

The pair brawl into the backstage area. Savage pins Crush next to some rigging in the backstage area. Savage then ties Crush to the rigging with some cables and hangs him up before heading back to the ring, where he attacks Fuji.

Winner: Macho Man Randy Savage.

Overall: Surprisingly short given the build-up this one got but gave Savage a final WrestleMania win.

Todd Pettengill is now with the Clinton impersonator with Todd asking him about I.R.S., obviously…We get highlights from the weekend ‘Fanfest’ extravaganza ahead of WrestleMania. We see Savage has joined the fans watching nearby on closed-circuit TV. The next WrestleMania Moment is from WrestleMania 4 with Randy Savage winning the WWF Champion.

Match 4: WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai

Kai gets a jobber entrance despite being a former WWF women’s champion and women’s tag team champion. Lawler describes Kai is pretty as this one gets underway. A corner charge is countered with a sunset flip for a two for Blayze. She also counters a backdrop with a sunset flip. Kai the more powerful grabs Blayze by the throat and slams her to the mat. A slam gets Kai a two. Blayze hits a Hurricanrana for a two but Kai then tosses Blayze around by her hair before throwing her over the top rope.

Back in the ring, Kai continues to throw Blayze around by her hair then hits a double underhook suplex, of sorts, for a nearfall. Kai misses a clothesline but Blayze doesn’t and then connects with a spinning kick. Blayze hits a snap suplex for a two. It’s Kai’s turn to be tossed around by her hair and this gets Blaye a two. Kai misses a punch and Blayze hits a bridging German suplex for the win.

Winner: Blayze via pinfall.

Overall: A short match that had a series of moves but nothing much in the way of storyline or anything.

Post-match, we see Captain Lou Albano, Nikolai Volkoff, Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young at ringside. The latest WrestleMania Moment takes us to WrestleMania 5 and we see Roddy Piper interview, Robert Downey Jr. and Brother Love.

Todd tries to interview Rhonda Shears. Shawn Michaels attempts to crack onto her but is interrupted by Burt Reynolds who promises to take her to Fanfast.

Match 5: WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Men on a Mission (w/ Oscar)

The tag champs attack to start this one with the pair attempting to double team Mabel but he retaliates with a huge double clothesline. Pierre and Mo start this one off officially. Mo gets a nearfall with a crossbody. The challengers connect on Pierre with their drop toe hold and leg drop combo with Mabel making the cover. Another double team as they drop elbows on Pierre. But Jacques interrupts the count and takes over in the ring, without a tag. It’s time for the champions to double team with Jacques backbody dropping Pierre onto Mo for a nearfall. This continues with Jacques backbody dropping Pierre over the top rope onto Mo for another two. The pair then drop Mo throat-first across the top rope but again he kicks out at two. There’s a “Let’s go, Mo” chant as the champions take turns on working away on Mo.

Am not sure what he was attempting but Mo fells Jacques but fails to make the tag. Pierre comes off the top rope with a leg drop but Mo moves and finally makes the tag, as does Pierre. Jacques runs straight into a clothesline and Pierre eats a backbody drop. Mabel hits the Bossman Slam on Jacques before missing a corner charge on Pierre.

The champions attempt a double suplex but it appears to injure Mabel but they eventually manage it. Jacques helps senton Pierre onto Mabel but the big man kicks out at two. Pierre continues to pound on Mabel but one strike stops him in his tracks. A miscommunication stops the champions in their tracks and Mabel fells Pierre with a spinning heel kick.

Mabel drops Jacques with a short-arm clothesline. Mo and Mabel splash down on Jacques. Polo distracts the referee but Pierre hits Jacques when attempting to break the pin. Polo eventually drags his team out of the ring and they are counted out.

Winners: Men on a Mission via countout.

Overall: Not a great match at all and with a screwy ending. Missable.

WrestleMania 6 is the focus of the next WrestleMania Moment as we see footage from the Ultimate Challenge main event.

We are then introduced to the WrestleMania X celebrities for the next match: Rhonda Shear and Donnie Wahlberg. He then introduces us to the special guest referee for the next match: Mr. Perfect.

Match 6: WWF Champion Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and James E. Cornette) vs. Lex Luger

“USA, USA” chants from the fans at MSG. A slugfest to start this one off before a clothesline from Luger rocks Yokozuna but one from the champion fells the challenger but he misses an elbow drop. Lex takes it to the champ on the outside and drives his opponent head-first into the ring steps.

Lex re-enters the ring via the top rope and a crossbody, a move which gets him a two. He follows up with an elbow drop for another nearfall. Lawler complains that the referee is counting way too fast. Yokozuna quickly regains control with a series of chops. The champion misses a punch and Luger tries to slam him but Yokozuna falls on top of him for a two.

Yokozuna begins to kick the prone challenger before lifting him to his feet and sending him back down again with a headbutt. Yokozuna removes the turnbuckle cover. Luger fights back but is dropped by a thrust to the throat. A chop then sends Luger to the mat. Yokozuna applies a nerve-hold, in order to capture his breath after a fairly frantic start here.

To the soundtrack of “USA, USA” chants, Luger makes his way back onto his feet but is quickly sent back down to the mat. Yokozuna pounds away on Luger and reapplies the nerve-hold. Luger eventually gets back to his feet ut is sent hurtling out of the ring and to the outside. Back in and Yokozuna reapplies the nerve-hold.

Once again, Luger makes it back onto his feet and fights out of the submission but runs into a belly-to-belly suplex. The champion signals that its time to end this. He tries to ram Luger head-first into the exposed turnbuckle but he blocks it and rams Yokozuna head-first into the steel. He follows up with a series of running clothesline that eventually fell Yokozuna. He slams Yokozuna then connects with his running forearm. Cornette and Fuji try to interrupt and Luger cleans house. Perfect tries to clear the managers out of the ring, much to Luger’s annoyance. He shoves Perfect and he disqualifies Luger.

Winner: Yokozuna via DQ.

Overall: OK enough match although Yokozuna goes to the nerve-hold a lot. Screwy as hell finish, though.

“Bullshit” chants from the crowd as Todd Pettengill catches up with Mr. Perfect backstage. Luger rushes to the back and squares up with Perfect until officials break them up.

The latest WrestleMania Moment sees Jake ‘the snake’ Roberts and ‘The Model’ Rick Martel fight in a blindfold match.

Match 7: Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Earthquake

Wippleman insults ‘The Fink’ before the match starts and rips his suit. Wippleman is shoved over which brings out Bomb which, in turns, sees Earthquake charge to the ring and attack from behind. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex before hitting a big powerslam. This sets him up for his Earthquake Splash and that’s all she wrote.

Winner: Earthquake via pinfall.

Overall: Who did Adam Bomb piss off? Squash.

Todd Pettengill is backstage with Yokozuna and Cornette, the latter being thoroughly delighted with the performance of Perfect.

WrestleMania 8 is the next to feature in a WrestleMania Report as we take a look at the Undertaker.

Match 8: WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel)

Both Ramon’s real and Michaels bogus IC title hang above the ring as the two battle in a ladder match to crown the undisputed champion. Ramon blocks a hiptoss and hits a chokeslam on Michaels. However, he misses a couple of clotheslines and Michaels hits a neckbreaker on the champion.

Michaels using the champion’s momentum against him and sends Ramon hurtling through the ropes to the outside. There, Diesel attacks and hits a big clothesline. It was behind the referee’s back but Earl Hebner sends him to the back regardless.

Ramon re-enters the ring after a ferocious right hand. An Irish whip sends Michaels spinning into the turnbuckle before he’s clotheslined up and over to the outside. Ramon lifts up the padding at ringside but Michaels takes the fight back inside the ring. Michaels runs into another big right hand and sets up for the Razor’s Edge but Michaels backbody drops him over and onto the exposed concrete.

Michaels heads up the aisle and grabs the ladder as Ramon crawls back into the ring. Ramon cuts him off and tosses him back into the ring and also throws the ladders in. Michaels, however, baseball slides the ladder into Ramon’s midsection before ramming him face-first into the steps. Michaels again uses the ladders as a weapon and rams them into the gut of Ramon before hammering them across the back, including launching them at the champion.

After the assault on Ramon, Michaels sets up the ladders in the middle of the ring and begins to climb but Ramon catches his ankles. Michaels kicks him down then flies off the ladder and connects with an elbow drop. He sets up the ladders in the corner and slams Ramon in the middle of the ring. Michaels climbs up the ladder and connects with a huge splash, earning “unbelievable” claims from McMahon.

Michaels again sets up the ladders under the titles but Ramon is back on his feet and tips the ladders over, sending Michaels hurtling into the ropes. They get back onto their feet but there’s a clash of heads and both are down. Michaels is first on his feet and sets the ladders up n the corner. He attempts to Irish whip Ramon into them but it’s reversed and Michaels hurtles into the ladders and over the top rope to the outside.

He takes the ladders outside the ring and uses them to attack Michaels before slingshotting the former IC Champion into them. Ramon tosses the challenger back in and drills him with the ladders, sending Michaels back out of the ring again. Ramon sets up the ladders in the middle of the ring and slowly climbs. Michaels dives off the top rope, knocking Ramon off the ladders but the ladders onto Michaels.

Both men are climbing up a side of the ladder in the middle of the ring. They reach the top and trade blows. Ramon slams Michaels off the ladders but the ladders fall, sending Ramon to the mat also. Ramon sets them back up and climbs as Michaels makes his way back to his feet and dropkicks the ladder, sending the champion tumbling to the mat.

Michaels hits a superkick on Ramon as the commentators wonder if he’s finished. Michaels signals for the Razor’s Edge but instead hits a piledriver. Michaels scales the turnbuckle holding the ladder and drives it onto Ramon. Michaels sets up the ladder over his opponent and begins to climb. However, somehow Razor is back up and shoulder charges the ladder sending Michaels groin-first onto the top rope and eventually finds his foot tangled in the ropes. Ramon grabs the ladders, sets them up and begins to climb and retrieves the titles before falling to the mat.

Winner: And undisputed WWF Intercontinental champion Razor Ramon.

Overall: Absolutely sensational match.

We head backstage ahead of the proposed 10-man tag team match. We’re in the heels dressing room as they argue amongst themselves as to who should be captain. Vince says that it looks like we won’t have that match as they can’t decide who the captain is. In fact, all to do with timekeeping.

The Million Dollar Man then chats to the Bill Clinton impersonator in the Presidential Box. WrestleMania 9 features in the final WrestleMania Moment – the world’s largest toga party!

Burt Reynolds, the guest announcer, introduces us to Rowdy Roddy Piper – the guest referee.

Match 9: WWF Champion Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and James E. Cornette) vs. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.

Hart limps to the ring and is attacked by Yokozuna before he can even step foot into the ring. Yokozuna fells Hart with a huge chop then picks him up and slams him to the mat. Hart attempts to mount a comeback but misses a dropkick attempt and finds himself back on the mat.

Yokozuna attempts a running splash but Hart manages to move out of the way at the last second. Hart pounds away with a series of punches then a headbutt which sends both men down – that old Samoan head, I guess…

Hart continues to pound away but a thrust to the throat stops him. However, Hart continues to pound away on the champion and it takes Cornette pulling Piper out of the ring to stop the three count. Piper wipes out Cornette, leaving Fuji to check on him.

Yokozuna hits a huge leg drop on Hart in the middle of the ring. Hart gets to his feet but is thrown over the top rope by Yokozuna and the referee starts to count. Hart makes it in at nine. Yokozuna attempts a running charge but misses and Hart comes off the second rope with a bulldog for a two and three-quarters…

Hart comes off the second turnbuckle with a driving elbow for another nearfall. Hart hammers away on the head of the champion before connecting with a running clothesline, which gets another nearfall. Hart comes off the second rope again but straight into a belly-to-belly suplex. Yokozuna signals for the Banzai Drop. However, Yokozuna loses his balance and falls, allowing Hart to cover for the win.

Winner: and new WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart via pinfall.

Overall: Bit of a slow affair but fits into the story of them being exhausted after earlier efforts. Solid, if unspectacular, match.

Post-match, Yokozuna chases Roddy Piper to the back before the babyfaces head out from the dressing room to celebrate with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. Lex Luger is first out and they have a staredown before shaking hands and hugging. Luger and Ramon lift Hart onto their shoulders as the celebs pour into the ring, too.

We see Owen Hart makes his way out to ringside. The faces encourage him to enter the ring but he shakes his head before Tony Garea sends him to the back to a chorus of jeers. The show ends with Hart celebrating in the ring.

This remains one of my favourite WrestleManias. In the opening match and the ladder match, two 10/10 matches. There’s a lot to enjoy here.

Overall score –5/5

 

6 thoughts on “Retro WrestleMania Review: WWE WrestleMania X

  1. After 25 years (yikes!) this still really holds up. Everybody heaps praise on Bret vs Owen and the Ladder match, and rightfully so. Gotta give some love to the WWF title storyline that ran throughout the night as well…not particularly great matches, but it told a very compelling story and set up feuds that would run through the following months. Macho vs Crush has always been a guilty pleasure too…again, not a great match but it was different for the time and a lot of fun. Great Wrestlemania!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always had a fondness for the Savage and Crush match despite not being the best of matches. But i really enjoyed it during my binge of 90’s WWF last year. Watching Raw each week, all the PPV’s etc. Made me see just how much work went into the feud, how the two unlike the Raw’s of today, didn’t engage in any match until X. Seven months of tensions building, of Crush’s heel turn. Savage being banned from the announcement table, being cost the WWF title. Savage as always investing every passion, every emotion into his promos.

      All of it built right to where i was so pumped and into it when Savage ran at Crush to start the match. Of seeing Crush being hung up, Finks countdown for Savages final PPV win. Knowing Savage was gone by the end of the year and never would appear on WWF TV again. All of adds in the emotions to it and concludes a storyline i really got into. That’s something WWF did right throughout Wrestlemania X for the most part. Despite most matches not being technically brilliant, spot filled etc.

      Even the Bam Bam Doink match felt something from me because they had built it over six months and the tanking of Doink’s character in that period.

      Bret and Owen’s opening match still is i think the best opening in Wrestlemania history. For the technical fest that the two brothers showed, of how this was the next chapter in their brilliant feud throughout 94, not the end of it. Of the upset Owen got that gave him his moment that WWE denies many wrestlers today at their biggest PPV. It’s a match that any potential wrestler needs to watch to see how to pace a match, how to sell moves, how to sell wrestling psychology you name it.

      What can be said about the ladder match that hasn’t already been said? This was and still is such a wonderful case of how brilliant Shawn was in the ring, of how he would sell many bumps, of how athletically gifted he was. Such a shame he was a complete asshat back then.

      Same with Scott who often isn’t given the credit he deserves for how he carried himself throughout the match, of how both use the ladder throughout it all from Shawn’s still mesmerising frog splash, to Scott’s use of it as a weapon. To Shawn accidentally mooning the audience at the top of it. To the way Scott climbs the ladder to reach the titles to advance the next feud between Scott and Nash while Shawn rests up for most of the year on injuries he had.

      A great story i heard was that the two went over their time limit, which is why the ten man tag match didn’t happen. Once they got back stage, Savage lambasted them for going over the limit and costing the other guys their Wrestlemania appearance and pay. But still congratulated them all the same for pulling off a 5 star match.

      The WWF title stuff, yeah it was what it was. Lex and Yoko match was never going to be anything special. Obliviously that was more about setting up another Perfect and Lex feud that never came about because of Perfect’s back playing up again and his insurance refusing to sanction his ring return.

      Bret and Yoko obviously suffered from the two being knackered from their matches. The ending has always made me wondered why they went with Yoko losing his balance (i think the implication was that Lex’s forearm earlier int he night had left Yoko dizzy) and Bret just covering him. When they could have have him put the sharpshooter on him to make him submit.

      But the crowd reaction and the wonderful feeling of seeing Bret champion again after the previous year shit by Hogan, of him winning KOTR 93, of feuding with King and his brother Owen. Of the celebrations that followed and Owen’s wonderful appearance during it saves it and leaves us with much more to come from it. seals Wrestlemania X as one of my favourites if not my personal favourite Wrestlemania.

      Like

  2. WrestleMania X is one I enjoyed for the Macho/Crush match as well as Bret Hart finally becoming the WWE Champion. Yet, it was the 2 classics in Bret vs. Owen and the IC ladder match that really set the bar for what WrestleMania should be in terms of match quality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Raw Rewind: 21 March 1994 | Ring the Damn Bell

  4. Pingback: Raw Rewind: 21 March 1994 | Ring the Damn Bell

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