Induction: The Wrestlemania X Ladder Match: Hardware Heaven ’94

23 Submitted by on Mon, 01 April 2013, 00:00

A guest post written by Art0Donnell’s cousin, KofiJ0hnson

WWF, 1994

Wrestlemania is supposed to be the biggest and best event of the year in the world of wrestling, but what happens when Vince McMahon runs out of exciting ideas and instead decides to build title matches around household items? The answer: the ladder match.

match graphic Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels had been engaged in a bitter feud over who was, in fact, the true Intercontinental champion, so the WWF naturally pitted the two against each other in a match to see who could climb up a ladder the fastest. No, you didn’t read that wrong. The big selling point of this match is that it resembled something from a job interview for Home Depot. Surprisingly, Vince Russo would not book for the WWF until several years later.
Shawn Michaels brought Kevin “Diesel” Nash to ringside as his backup, but as soon as the former Oz knocked down Razor, he got ejected from ringside. In a match with no disqualifications. Nash gladly accepted his paycheck for two minutes of work as soon as he got backstage. Smart man.
diesel out
razor ladder Need further proof that this match was Wrestlecrap? Remember that the object of the match was to climb the ladder to get the two belts hanging above the ring. Instead, the two men used the ladder as a weapon. What would have happened had the ladder broken? I guess the two wrestlers would have had to jump up really high to reach the titles, seeing as there was only one ladder.
That’s another thing: whereas the bookers of modern ladder matches have had the good sense to include at least half a dozen ladders in every match, this one only had a single ladder, meaning that if a ladder was on the outside of the ring, Shawn or Razor had to literally drag it to the center of the ring and set it up, rather than merely grabbing another ladder out from under the ring whenever the ladder wasn’t already perfectly positioned under the suspended belts. ladder drag

wm 23

Six years ago today (April 1st, 2007), Matt Hardy needed a second ladder after the first one wasn’t perfectly centered.

so many ladders Imagine if in football, your team had to intercept a pass, receive a punt, or tackle the other team before you even got the chance to score a touchdown, rather than simply take one of the many spare balls on the sidelines whenever your team didn’t have possession.
Also due to the lack of ladders, Razor and Shawn were pretty much handcuffed when it came to setting up the really contrived high spots featuring multiple ladders that are a trademark of the superior, modern ladder match. matt swagger
 chokeslampiledriver  Instead, Razor-Shawn flowed like a wrestling match, which made the highlight reel pale in comparison to that of the Money in the Bank matches.
Instead of Shawn and Razor pulling off suicidal high spots that hurt them as much as their opponent, they had to resort to simply hurting their opponents. Oh yeah, and there were three different announce tables at ringside, and not a single one was broken, let alone carefully stacked on top of other tables in the middle of the match. ladder ride ladder splash
shawn butt Have no fear, though, for what the match lacked in high spots, it more than made up for in HBK ass. Yes, we were “treated” to Shawn Michael’s butt in the middle of a Wrestlemania title match.
Another reason this match sucked: it ran way too long, bumping the scheduled ten-man tag match off the card and onto Monday Night Raw. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about ten guys missing out on the spotlight at the biggest show of the year… 10 man
nervehold 2 …but what is a kick in the head is that the ten or so extra minutes wasted on this ladder match could have been allotted to the dreadfully short Yokozuna-Lex Luger match. The extra Yokozuna nervehold or two would have etched that match into the history books as an all-time classic.
Razor won the match after Shawn got caught in the ropes and could not free himself in time, despite hilariously flailing around. Shouldn’t Earl Hebner have stopped the match and made Razor untie the Heartbreak Kid, like in Guerrero-Test at Wrestlemania 17? shawn escape
ladder botch Regardless, the match came to a merciful end, and was later followed up by a marginally better rematch featuring two ladders and much more realistic action, such as multiple blown spots, another feature sorely lacking in the original.

 

All in all, Wrestlemania X showcased an inane match worthy of Russo but without the goofball comedy (Shawn’s butt cheeks excepted). Bottom line: when it comes down to which was worse, the Viagra-on-a-pole match or this Razor-Shawn bout, I choose the ladder!

 

KofiJ0hnson is a long-time wrestling fan famous for his series of essays on why ECW 2006 was better than the original. He is happy to explain (especially immediately after a pay-per-view) why you should cheer for John Cena, not because you like his matches or his character, but because he is good for WWE’s shareholders. Feel free to write to his PO Box and share your favorite matches with KofiJ0hnson so that he can explain to you why they suck. Kofi does not have an email address, because wrestling fans who use the internet are idiots.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
23 Responses to "Induction: The Wrestlemania X Ladder Match: Hardware Heaven ’94"
  1. A Gang Of Field Mice says:

    About time somebody gave this match what it deserves.

  2. Jay "The Brain" Mann's Evil Twin says:

    I know some people will say this is ridiculous, but I completely agree with you, KofiJ0hnson. You make extremely valid points. I don’t know why anyone would want to watch people climbing a ladder for 20 or so minutes. If I wanted to see that, I’d have someone change the light bulb!

    You love ECW 2006 too? Man, you and I have so much in common. We need to talk some time.

  3. No Pants Mafia says:

    This was genius.

  4. The Last Doink says:

    Only a fool would like this match. I mean who the hell cares about the Intercontinental title anyway, those matches should be lower on the card where less prestigious SHOULD be defended. RD is an even bigger fool for not inducting this earlier.

  5. Adam Cota says:

    *wiping tears* Oh, I love Wrestlecrap…

  6. Jay "The Brain" Mann's Evil Twin says:

    YOU’RE SO MUCH SMARTER THAN US FOR REALIZING THIS! I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T SEE IT SOONER! YOU’RE SO AWESOME FOR NOT PLAYING ALONG!

    Seriously, get a sense of humor.

  7. Rose Harmon says:

    This was so well-written that I almost didn’t get the joke.

  8. John says:

    How about a follow up with Savage-Crush best falls count anywhere match or Bret-Owen being worst opening match ever. And the far superior Quebecers-M.O.M. tag team title match over The Dream Team-Bulldogs in Mania 2.

  9. Rory says:

    I don’t think Wrestlecrap would insult our intelligence like that. According to Wikipedia this match didn’t happen in the Attitude Era, which means it was probably crap and it featured a guy I’ve never heard of. CRAP!

  10. RD Reynolds says:

    Bob Holly legit hated the match, because they went over their time que and thus cost I think 10 guys out of a WM pay day. No foolin’!

  11. Forest George says:

    Worst April Fools induction ever.

    I mean a April fools joke is supposed to fool people. Nobody would ever call the Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair ladder match crap on any day, but April Fools Day.

  12. Joseph S. Hasan says:

    The Rick Martel fan delegation protests this WrestleMania!

  13. Mister Forth says:

    I loved the humor, but I found it to have a good point about what modern ladder matches sorely lack.

  14. Lyle says:

    Apparantly Bret Hart was upset with Shawn because the finish was his (Bret’s) idea and he’d asked Shawn not to use it. But Shawn did anyway.

    Shawn Michaels really was ahead of his time. He was screwing Bret before screwing Bret became popular.

  15. Whlteshadow says:

    I am disappointed at the people that actually took this article seriously. Just look at the date it was posted or his football analogy

  16. RD Reynolds says:

    “Kofi does not have an email address, because wrestling fans who use the internet are idiots.” = BRILLIANT.

  17. James S says:

    This match was pretty influential, but I don’t disagree that there weren’t goofy moment moments in this match. For it’s time, it was pretty groundbreaking.

  18. John Darc says:

    Before I realized this was an April Fool’s prank, I thought this was going to be an induction of that second ladder match they had with no real buildup and no plot reason to exist.

    • JV says:

      Gorilla Monsoon was the People’s WWE President and decided to make it a ladder match, damnit! That’s all the story you need!

  19. KHill says:

    This was clever. It took me a minute to realize the sarcasm. I just hope the people praising your “truth” are in on the joke. Actually, I don’t. Because that makes it even funnier.

  20. Sohn Gena says:

    This comment is clearly an April Fools joke, but some of the comments slating the match actually appear to think it was a serious induction, making themselves look incredibly stupid as well as ill-informed on wrestling psychology.

  21. TheTEThe Rev says:

    Clearly an April Fools joke

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