January 29, 2011
Well it was 14 years after the fact but I finally sat down to watch WrestleMania 13 for the very first time. This will be the first Mania review that I do where I had never seen any of the show before. This will also be the case for 14 thru 16 so they should be a lot of fun too.
Mania 13 was from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago and had no celebrity guests what so ever. It was pretty much just a straight up show with Vince, JR, and Jerry Lawler doing commentary. There were only 7 matches on this show so all of the matches got time and in most cases that was not really for the better. Perhaps with the heat of the angles at the time these matches were better but on the whole I was not overwhelmed with this show. I guess I should just jump in to the match by match.
Godwins vs. Headbangers vs. Furnas & LaFond vs. New Black Jacks: This was a 4 way elimination #1 contenderís match which was just a bad idea and a cluster of a match. The problem with this match was that you could tag in anyone you wanted which created the possibility of partners being in the match together, which meant if one of them pinned the other they would both be eliminated. This is of course very stupid and that scenario did happen in the match and when the announcers started talking about it Vince just declared it was very confusing and moved on. They did a crappy double DQ/Countout thing to get rid of the Black Jacks and Furnas & LaFond effectively eliminating the better workers from the match, leading to a poorly executed finish which the Head Bangers won. This was not a good match.
Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan (IC Title Match): Honky Tonk Man was in on commentary for this match and Iím not entirely sure why. No idea if he made a brief return run in WWE at this point or what. This was nothing special and Rock was very young here. This match was also the start of the wasted big moves pattern on this show. For the finish Rock kicked out of a piledriver and then immediately did a go behind and won with a school boy and poped up completely no selling the piledriver. Not like they were the first or last guys to do this stuff and I may have done it at one point in my career too but I hated it. There was a post match beat down so Rocky Johnson could make the save and stand tall with his son at the end. A fairly boring match to be honest.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/Chyna vs. Guldust w/Marlena: I thought this match was the second best match on the show, both guys worked hard and I enjoyed this one. They did do a completely wasted DDT spot but the match had a lot of quick nearfalls and a well executed finish involving both women. Marlena looked like she was getting killed when Chyna rag dolled her on the finish. Good stuff.
Vader & Mankind vs. Davey & Owen (Tag Title Match): I generally like all 4 of these guys but I did not like this match. It went way too long. I know it was only 16 minutes but it felt like way more than that. They kind of did triple heat in this match so I was begging for a finish by the end and ended up with a crappy double count out. This was a bad match and it too had a completely wasted DDT spot in the middle.
Bret Hart Ė Steve Austin (Submission Match): Ken Shamrock was the guest referee in this match and my God was he jacked for this one; he was huge. Iíve had people tell me I needed to watch this match for years, and believe it or not this was the first time I ever saw it. This match was great. It had pacing, flow, intensity, and story. This is what wrestling is supposed to be and I absolutely loved it. To nit pick I think Ken could have done a better job on the finish checking Steveís arm to better illustrate that he was unconscious. Just a great match obviously the best on this show.
Road Warriors & Ahmed vs. Nation of Domination (Chicago Street Fight): This was a big sloppy free for all clustered brawl, which for the most part was what the crowd wanted but watching it 14 years after the fact it was just a mess. I liked the Nations big entrance and the crowd came unglued for the post match double Doomsday Device, but other than that I did not like this match. The 3 legal men for the Nation were Ron Simmons, Crush and Savio Vega but pretty much everyone was involved in the match. Not sure if it was just the camera work or what but Crush did nothing in the match except take the finish.
Psycho Sid vs. The Undertaker (WWE Title match): Shawn was out for commentary in this match and Bret came down and got involved a couple times. I wish Shawn and Bret would have gotten more involved because this was not a good match. Sidís selling was almost non-existent (in his defense itís not like he often had to sell in matches) and his first flurry of offense was a several minute long Bear Hug. This match went 21 minutes and got quite boring by the end. In the end Taker pinned Sid with the tombstone to become WWE Champ, and I donít ever need to see Sid in a 20+ minute singles match again.
I donít know whether to give this show a thumbs down or a thumbs in the middle. There were only two matches I liked, the HHH Ė Goldust match which was good and the Bret -Austin match which was awesome, but that seems to be the case more often than not with WrestleManias. As much as everyone considers WrestleMania the Event on the year, up until this point at least, they have not often been stellar shows.