WWE: WrestleMania XIV
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Mike Tyson is the special enforcer for a generation-defining match between Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin, ushering in The Attitude Era. The Brothers of Destruction, Kane & Undertaker, meet in the first match of their long and complicated history.
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I remember this PPV, WWF WrestleMania XIV was a good show where it defined the level of the attitude era. The Road Warriors return, Ken Shamrock snaps, Cactus Jack & Terry Funk vs. New Age Outlaws, Undertaker vs. Kane, and the crowning moment for Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I actually watched this live on PPV back in the day, because of high expectations and must see television. Now having to get this on DVD, and then WrestleMania Anthology Vol. 3 for a keepsake.
WWE WrestleMania: The Complete Anthology, Vol. III, 1995-1999 (WrestleMania XI-XV)
1.) 15 Man Tag Team #1 Contender Battle Royal
The show opened with 14 of the WWF's Tag Teams, surrounding the ring, awaiting the mystery team for the Battle Royal. The mystery team turned out to be none other than a resurrected Legion of Doom (now being referred as LOD 2000). And leading the LOD 2000 to the ring was Sunny who looked insanely hot in her own version of LOD attire. The only way to win was to throw your opponent over the top rope, which meant all 15 teams were in the ring at once. The final 2 teams were LOD and the New Midnight Express. LOD manage to eliminate them and win the match. A nice opener to welcome back the LOD and get the fans hyped for the night
A clip is shown of the Wrestlemania activities that happened over Wrestlemania weekend. I can honestly say that Wrestlemania weekend activities back in the day definitely out-beat Wrestlemania Axxess activities that happen today
2.) WWF Light Heavyweight Championship Match: Aguila vs Taka Michinoku (c)
Before the Cruiserweight Division was established in 2002, WWF had the Light Heavyweight Division. A very fast paced match with tons of cool, high-flying, technical moves that you'd expect from athletes such as Taka and Aguila (a.k.a. Essa Rios). Taka gets the win with the Michinoku Driver to retain the championship. A short but sweet match that was fun to watch. Taka Michinoku is a very underrated performer in my opinion. He really put on some awesome matches back then
Gennifer Flowers did a backstage interview with The Rock, asking him a bunch of hypothetical questions about how he'd run the country if he were in charge. The Rock answered with all self-conceited answers. Typical 90s cocky, heel Rock at his finest
3.) WWF European Championship Match: Triple H (c) w/Chyna vs Owen Hart
This was a tremendous bout between Owen and Triple H. This wasn't just a decent match but it was immense that told a story between the two. They had been trying to book Owen as a babyface and while it was working to an extent, they made him look weak during this feud. Sgt. Slaughter and Chyna were handcuffed together during this match to prevent Chyna from interfering. Owen's ankle was HHH's main focus in the match and Owen did an excellent job at selling the injury. Nearing the end of the match, Chyna sneakily throws powder in Slaughter's eyes, low blows Owen, followed by a Pedigree from Helmsley and the match is over. A very good all around match from Owen and Triple H
4.) Mixed Tag Team Match: Marc Mero and Sable vs Goldust and Luna
Not bad for an Intergender Tag Team match. All 4 participants got in on the action at some point. Sable was without a doubt the most popular diva in the WWF at this time, so it was easy to see why she got a louder reaction from the crowd than Mero, Luna, and Goldust. Sable gets the pinfall win over Luna with a TKO. Definitely a fine mixed Tag match. Sable would compete in another Mixed Tag match later that year at SummerSlam but it wasn't as good as this one
5.) WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: The Rock (c) w/D'Lo Brown, Kama, and Mark Henry) vs Ken Shamrock
This match didn't last too long which was somewhat of a disappointment, considering how great the build-up for the match was. The Rock stayed on the offense most of the match until Shamrock came in with an Ankle Lock at the end and caused Rock to tap out. Shamrock laid out all the other members of the Nation following the match and went right back to the Ankle Lock on The Rock. Faarooq ran down, supposedly to help The Rock but ended up leaving him high and dry. Because Shamrock refused to release the hold, the referee reversed the decision and The Rock won the title back. Basically this match was just solidify The Rock gimmick and continue the building feud between The Rock and Faarooq
6.) WWF Tag Team Championship Dumpster Match: Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie vs The New Age Outlaws (c)
Similar to the Chicago Street Fight at the previous year's Wrestlemania 13, this match had no disqualifications, no tags, and takes place all at once. With one of the most beloved Tag Team, The New Age Outlaws and 2 of the greatest hardcore wrestlers of all time, this match didn't fail to exceed fans' expectations--just like every other match that had happened so far. The match ends up going to the backstage area, where Cactus and Chainsaw win after using a forklift to dump The Outlaws into a dumpster. A really fun match to watch
Pete Rose came to the ring and talked smack about Boston and the Red Sox. Apparently Kane is fan of Boston because he came out and dropped Pete Rose on his head with a Tombstone Piledriver and the fans absolutely loved it! This would become a yearly thing for the next 2 Wrestlemanias
7.) Kane w/Paul Bearer vs The Undertaker
This was Kane and Undertaker's first time fighting each other and is undoubtedly the best match they've ever had with each other. When I first saw this match, I can honestly say that I thought Taker's streak would end. For the the first time ever, Undertaker fought someone who matched his power. This match outshined every other giant Undertaker had ever fought at Wrestlemania. Sycho Sid, Diesel, King Kong Bundy, and Giant Gonzalez. All the months of drama and anticipation, unfolded right before everyone's eyes. Undertaker manages to put Kane away with a third Tombstone, after Kane had kicked out of the last 2. It really helped preserve Kane's monster image....for the time being. A 5 star match from 2 of the best!
8.) WWF Championship Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Shawn Michaels (c) Special Enforcer: Mike Tyson
The build-up for this match was purely off the charts! When Mike Tyson was named the special enforcer, this match got all sorts of mainstream media attention. More than Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow at Wrestlemania 11 and more than Mr. T's appearance at Wrestlemania 1 and 2. The match was splendid and both put on a terrific showing. Once HHH and Chyna were banned, you knew Austin was winning. After countering, Sweet Chin Music into a Stunner, the match was over and Austin was the new WWF Champion! The crowd exploded as Ross screamed “Stone Cold, Stone Cold, Stone Cold!” After the match Tyson is bothered by Michaels so he drops him, Ross screams for Tyson! The HBK Era was over and the Austin Era began! A tremendous way to end a tremendous show!
WrestleMania makes it's way to the FleetCenter in Boston and was a direct reflection of the direction WWE was headed in during that time as this event was stamped "dX-Rated" as many of the superstars, matches, and celebrities had a range of "attitude" & controversy surrounding them from the appearance of Gennifer Flowers to an alternative rock version of "America The Beautiful" by the DX band. This event also featured the WrestleMania debuts of various superstars & legends like Mark Henry, Rock N' Roll Express, and Kane.
WWE Champion Shawn Michaels defended his title against Stone Cold Steve Austin with Mike Tyson, who had joined DX weeks earlier, as the special outside enforcer in what was a competitive match with extra special credit to Shawn Michaels who was wrestling with a back injury to the point where this was his first match since the Royal Rumble PPV months earlier. Undertaker returned to the ring for the first time since Royal Rumble with his streak at 6-0 against his brother Kane in their first time meeting that's been built for almost a year in a match that Jim Ross himself said on the commentary that Taker "has never ever been physically dominated as he's been here" while we also got a special interaction between Pete Rose & Kane before the match. Another attraction match was Tag Team Champions New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie in a Dumpster Match that was so hardcore that they went all around ringside to backstage brawling with everyone getting their share of hard hits & bumps to the point where a bruise on the side of Charlie's midsection was as big as a watermelon. Other matches include Intercontinental Champion The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock, Marc Mero & Sable vs. Goldust & Luna, European Champion Triple H vs. Owen Hart with Chyna handcuffed to Commissioner Slaughter, Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila in the only defense of this title in Mania history, and a 15 team battle royal that featured the debut of the "new" Legion Of Doom.
This was the event that officially marked the launch of the Attitude Era where WWE was going in the direction of being more controversial & directed towards a more "mature" audience with this show still having a strong in-action presence as this was one of those Mania's that was as perfect as you were able to get at that time with the only drawback being the disappointing Intercontinental Championship match. In the end, this NEEDS to be in your collection.