WWE: WrestleMania XII
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In one of the truly unforgettable matches in WWE history, Shawn Michaels and Bret 'Hit Man' Hart headline in a one hour Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship. Two future WWE icons, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin, make their WrestleMania debuts.
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1.) Camp Cornette (British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and Vader w/Jim Cornette) vs Yokozuna, Jake the Snake Robers, and Ahmed Johnson
Yokozuna had recently turned on Jim Cornette after refusing to get along with Vader, thus starting Yoko's first face turn in the company. The main reason for this match was likely to build up the feud more between Vader and Yokozuna but threw in others as a Tag Team match to make it more interesting. It was okay for the most part. It gave Roberts, Ahmed Johnson, Owen, and Bulldog a chance to shine and get some time on the Wrestlemania card. Vader hits the Snake with a Vader Bomb to win the match
Rowdy Roddy Piper awaited Goldust in the backlot with a baseball in hand for their Backlot Brawl. Goldust arrived in the backlot, driving a gold 1980s Cadillac. Piper busted the windows out of the car and mayhem ensued. Piper got the offense the whole time throughout but Goldust sneaks in a low blow, hits Piper with his mobster car, and drives out....like a mobster. Piper hopped in his car and sped after Goldust! This was a really good way to warm fans up and give them a sneak peek at what to expect later on
2.) Stone Cold Steve Austin w/Ted Dibiase vs Savio Vega
This was a grudge match to be settled after Austin had recently turned on Savio Vega during a Tag Team match. The crowd was pretty quiet for this match but it was actually a good match. It had a tremendous blend of brawling, mat wrestling, and chain wrestling. A few point during the match, they had Rowdy Roddy Piper on the phone which unfortunately took away from the match. They even showed a video of a high speed chase between Goldust, Piper, and the police (which was actually footage of OJ Simpson's high speed police chase) Austin wins with the Million Dollar Dream, which had been locked on Savio for about 5 minutes since the referee had been knocked out. Austin keeps it locked on a little bit longer even after the match is over to show how ruthless he really was.
3.) Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Ultimate Warrior
Want to know what it means to bury a superstar? Watch this match and you'll know exactly what it means. Helmsley punches Warrior a few times before hitting him with the Pedigree. The Ultimate Warrior gets up and drops him with a right hand. Lawler can't believe it. McMahon puts over his power on commentary like it was going out of style. Warrior in his final Mania appearance scooped up Helmsley and dropped him and then came splashing into him knee first to the ribs. In the end The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley at 1:36 after he "Warrior'd Up". This match was basically over in no time obviosuly, a squash. Warrior should've put Helmsley over...but he didn't.
4.) Diesel vs The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
Because Taker and Diesel were both giant powehouses, this match lasts awhile and goes very slowly. Despite that, this match was pretty great given the style's of both guys and how well they were able to work this basic match type. Undertaker drops Diesel with a Tombstone and takes the prestigious Streak to 5-0. A little fact some people may not know is that Diesel was originally supposed to beat Undertaker but when WWF learned that he was planning on going to WCW after his contract expired, they went back on their plans because they didn't want someone defecting to their rival to beat Taker at Wrestlemania
5.) Hollywood Backlot Brawl: Goldust vs Rowdy Roddy Piper
Immediately following the Diesel/Undertaker match, we go the outside where Piper chases Goldust into the back parking lot of the arena, both in their respective vehicles. Piper runs into Goldust's golden mobster Cadillac and stalks Goldust all the way to the ring. There was a goof shot of Diesel being shown walking in the back, following his match. This match got pretty disturbing. Goldust made sexual gestures at Piper, ripped his shirt off, felt his body, tired to kiss him, etc, etc. No I'm serious, he did all of this. If you're easily disturbed or freaked out by things, skip this match. Piper ends up stripping Goldust's bodysuit off to reveal some weird lingerie piece Goldust was wearing. Goldust runs out and Piper's music plays, giving everyone the impression that Piper won. The match started off interesting and became disturbing towards the end. Overall, it was an entertaining match to say the least. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing this was Piper's final in-ring Wrestlemania moment
6.) WWF Championship 60 Minute Iron Man Match: Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart (c)
Arguably two of the greatest wrestlers from the New Generation era and two of the greatest of all time was a dream match for most, competing for 60 minutes to determine who's the best and who should be WWF Champion. Shawn Michaels made his grand entrance, in what's probably his most memorable entrance in his entire career. Bret followed but couldn't compete with the entrance that Shawn Michaels had just gotten. After putting up a great match for over an hour, Hart and HBK were tied 0-0 so they go to sudden death where Shawn Michaels nails Bret with 2 Sweet Chin Musics and pins him to get the win and his first ever WWF Championship, thus beginning the Shawn Michaels Era. I don`t think there`s any denying that, that his match still stands as a technical clinic and one of the defining moments of the 1990s, the good in this match simply can`t be ignored. An all-time classic
WrestleMania returned to the west coast of Anaheim at the Arrowhead Pond for this edition of Mania that featured the WrestleMania debuts of various superstars & legends like Vader, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Sable, Goldust, Michael "Dok Hendrix" Hayes, and Steve Austin.
The main event for this WrestleMania was historic in so many ways as for the first time in national televised history that the WWE Championship would be defended in a one hour Iron Man match in Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels who was coming back from a string of setbacks dating back to the night after WrestleMania the previous year in what was gone down as not only a technical classic but also a match that planted the seeds for not only the professional rivalry but the off-screen personal issues between these two men. One of the most out of control matches in Mania history also occurred here as then-President Roddy Piper had a Hollywood Backlot Brawl against Goldust that started out in the backlot but ended up in the arena itself with footage in between the fight of a White Bronco car chase that most people remembered seeing before. Other matches include Diesel vs. Undertaker in a battle of big monsters & the first true threat to Undertaker's undefeated streak at that time in a battle that was Taker's strongest performance at Mania to this date, Ultimate Warrior making his return against Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega, and a six man tag featuring Vader & Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Ahmed Johnson & Jake Roberts & Yokozuna.
Despite the main event being the first of it's type, the undercard wasn't completely overshadowed by the fans or an afterthought by the company as each match was strong or designed to do it's job with the only negative thing I can say is that the Austin vs. Vega match being a backdrop to what was going on between Goldust & Piper to the point where it's underrated to this day. In the end,this one Mania worth going out of the way to see.