Hey, guys! So as a means to fill up content while we are in these struggling times, I figured I would start reviewing retro shows that you guys recommend, and one show that was requested for me to review was WrestleMania 14. With that said, here is my review of this show.
The Legion of Doom Win #1 Contender’s Tag Team Battle Royal
This one was sort of a blast from the past, seeing teams like the Nation of Domination, The Legion of Doom, The Midnight Express, The Headbangers, The Godwins and others. I’m normally not a fan of battle royals, and tag team battle royals sort of compound the issue because you kind of have just a bunch of guys bumbling and stumbling around. This was really no better. The LOD winning was good for the pop, but the match was kind of dull and anti-climatic to me. *
Taka Michinoku (C) def. Aguila – WWF Light Heavyweight Champiosnhip
So, I semi-forgot that the Light Heavyweight Championship was a title that existed for a while. A while back I actually thought that was a title WWE should consider bringing back. Also, it’s hard to believe that Aguila was 19 here. If we’re not counting Nicholas at WrestleMania 34, is he the youngest guy to ever compete in a WrestleMania title match?
The match definitely had a great energy to start with some high spots from both men, and there were some innovative moves from Aguila in particular. However, they were kind of fighting as though they were in a hurry. There wasn’t really enough time to let all of the moves sink in. A decent effort by these two, but ultimately too short for it to be memorable in any way. **
Triple H (C) def. Owen Hart – WWF European Championship
Ahh, the good old days when all of Triple H’s hair was actually on his head and not his chin. This was also before every Triple h match at WrestleMania didn’t have to go 25 minutes. This was definitely a well-worked match by both men and probably the first match on the card worth seeing again.
There was the simultaneous storytelling of Chyna trying to interfere, but Sgt. Slaughter keeping her at bay, and Owen’s ankle preventing him from hitting certain moves or not being able to pin in a timely manner. The way Chyna was eventually able to interfere on Triple H’s behalf was also pretty genius. Both men were able to get the crowd into it towards the end, and it resulted in a pretty good finish.
Definitely a high quality outing from both of these two. ***1/2
Marc Mero and Sable def. Goldust and Luna
I wasn’t expecting much out of this mixed tag, but this actually ended up being a pretty good sprint. Sable’s energy in this match was infectious, as the crowd roared whenever she got the tag and started to hit offense. I also loved Goldust selling her offense as well. Luna also played a good cowardly heel, and that’s what kind of made Sable easier to cheer for.
A surprisingly fun match that kept me relatively entertained the whole match through. Sable was definitely the MVP in this match. ***1/4
The Rock (C) def. Ken Shamrock by DQ – WWF Intercontinental Championship
I appreciate the attempt at a dusty finish here by making everyone believe Ken was walking out with the title, but this was absolutely not the way to do it. If you are going to reverse the decision, you should have had something take place DURING the actual match so that way when the Dusty finish happens, it makes sense.
How do you reverse the decision based on someone’s actions AFTER the match was already over? In addition, the original finish of the match was clean. This was the kind of finish that you should have done on an episode of RAW, not at WrestleMania.
The actual brawling before that was decent, but way too short. However, if you want something worth looking in this match, the visual of The Rock holding up the Intercontinental Championship while lying on his back on a stretcher is worth the price of admission. I did think this was a good moment for Shamrock to have though. *1/2
Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie def. The New Age Outlaws (C) – WWF Tag Team Championships (Dumpster Rules Match)
Man, I forgot about some of these special attraction matches that WWE used to have back in the day. But hey, if you put two crazy SOB’s like Funk and Foley, two guys who are willing to do anything to their bodies, in a match like this, you could get something pretty cool. I actually think the last variation of a dumpster match we saw was Braun Strowman against Kalisto back in 2016.
I gotta say, this match was also pretty fun to me. There was a perfect amount of whackiness and barbarism that put it over the top. Charlie hoarding NAO into a dumpster backstage put it over the top for me. It’s actually funny that the dumpster they put the NAO backstage was actually ruled ineligible the following night. Still fun for the moment, though. ***
Undertaker def. Kane
This is a very tough match to grade. Some people liked this big man match while others hated it. While I don’t think I necessarily hated this match, I did think it was way too slowly paced, especially for a match that was near 20 minutes and was one of the biggest attractions on the card.
I’m actually not entirely sure that Undertaker and Kane had the best of chemistry. Their match at WrestleMania 6 years later was passable, I suppose. But if you watched their series of matches in the fall of 2010 at Clash of Champions, Hell In a Cell and Bragging Rights, their deficiencies in competing against each other really shows.
The rest holds and the slow brawling wasn’t my cup of tea. The match length was 17 minutes but that feels misleading because a lot of it was just standing around and Kane performing headlocks. I suppose this was decent from a historical standpoint, but as an individual match, it’s hit or miss. That Undertaker dive was crazy, though. **1/4
Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Shawn Michaels (C) – WWF Championship
I believe this is the match where Undertaker threatened to harm HBK if he didn’t put Austin over, am I correct?
Anyways, this was a splendid main event that had all the bells and whistles to put over Stone Cold as the new face of the Attitude Era. It was sort of the passing of the torch as Shawn Michaels would essentially pass on the WWE Title, ending his era and him eventually going out of action for four years. In fact, this was the last time Shawn Michaels would hold the WWE Championship despite having plenty of matches after this.
The pacing of the match was excellent, the psychology was superb, the crowd brawling was entertaining, and the ending sequence was very well done. This was one of the more iconic matches in WWE history, and it ended with the right man winning. Some were fearing that HBK’s ego would get in the way, but fortunately, wiser heads prevailed here.
It was also very good because HBK had to adapt to a more mat based wrestling style and abandon all of the high-flying moves that made him who hew as in the mid-90s due to the injuries that he would suffer. Overall, a well done main event that sent the crowd home happy. ****1/4
In terms of where this WrestleMania ranks all time, it is probably more in the middle of the pack. There wasn’t anything actively terrible, the main event was very good and the under card had some quality showings and some surprise hidden gems. If you have a couple of hours to spare, I wouldn’t mind recommending this show, if just for the historical value alone. Thumbs up for WrestleMania 14.
Let me know which WWE PPV’s you’d like for me to review going forward.