Induction: Wrestlemania XI – The Grandest Stage of the Mall

84 Submitted by on Sat, 02 April 2016, 02:00

WWF, 1995

When it comes to ranking the top ten Wrestlemanias of all time, Wrestlemania XI doesn’t exactly spring to mind, and this was true even in 1995, when there were only 11 Manias to begin with.

The first thing you’ll notice about Wrestlemania XI is that its intro recalls moments from every Wrestlemania to date, but precisely zero of those moments have anything to do with wrestling. Instead, the focus is on the celebrities at those past events (except for Wrestlemania IX, the previously-inducted “toga party” whose only celebrity was Natalie Cole, who happened to be in the audience).WMIX 1
WMIX 2Yes, according to the video montage, Mary Hart’s entrance on a motorized wrestling ring at Wrestlemania III was more memorable than Hogan-Andre or Steamboat-Savage.
I would guess that this was done deliberately so as not to remind viewers of how much better the matches were at Wrestlemanias past and to instead focus on that year’s celebrity involvement, but XI’s star power was pretty dismal, especially in retrospect. Sure, there was Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson…WMIX 3
WMIX 4…but there was also tween heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas…
…Playboy playmate/MTV bimbo/future anti-vaccine fear-monger Jenny McCarthy…

“Yo kid, remind me to wash this hand.”

WMIX 6…and Nicholas Turturro, at best the fourth most recognizable figure on NYPD Blue (behind Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, and Dennis Franz’s ass).
We can’t forget “musical guests” Salt ‘N’ Pepa, although WWE would prefer that you did, considering that they removed the group’s performance in later video releases to avoid paying royalties.WMIX 7
WMIX 8Of course, there was also Lawrence Taylor’s “all-pro team” consisting of former football players/future WCW wrestlers, pictured here with WWF champion Diesel, who in just four months had transformed from leather-clad badass to a seven-foot Jonathan Taylor Thomas with a goatee. Just look at Nash here. Don’t you think this pose would be more fitting of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor’s pre-teen son?
Then there was the venue. Wrestlemania III was held in the 78,000 — I mean, 93,000-capacity Pontiac Silverdome, VI was held in the Sky Dome, VIII was held in the Hoosier Dome, and X, just like the first Wrestlemania, was held in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. 1995’s biggest event would be held in an arena connected to a shopping mall, and unlike Eric Bischoff and the first Nitro, Vince didn’t have the excuse of having to shill Hulk Hogan brand Spaghetti-O’s when he picked the location.WMIX 9
WMIX 10To make matters worse, the whole event was plagued by technical difficulties, which was evident in the very first minute of the live broadcast when the microphone picked up only the last few seconds of Vince McMahon’s introduction of America The Beautiful. Speaking of which, in keeping with the low-budget theme of the year’s Wrestlemania, Vince selected a Special Olympian to sing the patriotic song. I will refrain from making a joke about a blind person being lucky for not being able to see the crappy Wrestlemania card. I have better taste than that, and Blade Braxton already made that joke about Ray Charles at Wrestlemania II. I will say this, though: her operatic rendition was a million times better than Rockin’ Robin’s at Wrestlemania V.
Kicking off the in-ring action were the Allied Powers, the infamous pairing of Lex Luger and the British Bulldog. As a kid, I thought that the two teammates were a perfect fit, seeing as they were both strong and they both wore their respective countries’ flags on their crotches.WMIX 11
Lex Luger figure fourNot until I was a little older did I realize that Davey Boy’s technical skill did not mesh at all with Lex’s, um, lesser technical skill. And speaking of not meshing well, take a listen to their team theme music, a mash-up of “Rue Britannia” and Luger’s “Eye of the Tiger” soundalike. Also, I swear Howard Finkel billed them with a total combined weight of 918 pounds.
The Powers were selected to open the card after having teamed once before against Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow earlier in the year. It wasn’t exactly the worst main event match in Raw history; no, it actually ended in a double-DQ and was restarted later in the night, making it the two worst main event matches in Raw history. Their opponents on this night would for no reason in particular be the Harris Brothers’ most recent personas, the Blu Twins, managed by Uncle Zebekiah (years before he used his last name, “Coulter” and started managing Jack Swagger). It did sound like a decent WWF Superstars main event on paper, but then again, this was supposed to be the biggest show of the year, one that people paid money to see rather than simply turn on their local UHF station on a Saturday afternoon.WMIX 12
WMIX 13You’ve got to feel for Lex Luger a little here, though. The year before, he was wrestling for the WWF title, while this year he would be curtain-jerking against two Berzerker lookalikes. He didn’t even get a Wrestlemania match out of his interminable feud with the Million Dollar Corporation and Tatanka. “Lex Loser” indeed.
The Allied Powers demonstrated their tag team coordination right off the bat when they went for dual powerslams and Lex slammed his opponent onto the Bulldog’s head. Still, the Powers made short work of the Blus despite their rampant use of Twin Magic.allied powers
WMIX 14Vince then sent us backstage to Nicholas Turturro in Pamela Anderson’s dressing room, but when we saw the NYPD Blue actor, it’s obvious that 1) his mic didn’t work, and 2) he was in the Million Dollar Corporation’s dressing room. Nikolai Volkoff was somehow still employed at this point, but the WWF never took the obvious step of having him represent the USSR as the third member of the Allied Powers.
Moving on from that stellar interview, Intercontinental champion Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie make their entrance before we catch a word from the 123 Kid. And by, “a word,” I’m almost being literal, as most of his promo wasn’t picked up on his microphone.WMIX 16
WMIX 17The Kid would be in Razor’s corner to counteract The Roadie’s interference in the fast-paced match with so many near-falls that Vince McMahon declared the match over via pinfall, no joke, at least half a dozen times. The Roadie tried to land cheap shots every chance he got, but the Kid was always able to fight him off… until one time he wasn’t paying attention and the Roadie broke up the Razor’s Edge, drawing a disqualification. And that, ladies and gentlemen (okay, this is Wrestlecrap, so probably just gentlemen), is why you will never hear about the “Double J-Razor classic.”
Still, Jarrett had a bloody nose by the end of the match…WMIX 18
WMIX 19…which must have satisfied the one fan in attendance who expected to see blood at a WWF event in 1995.
The four-man feud was supposed to continue at the next month’s In Your House pay-per-view, but The Kid suffered an injury that was presumably not as serious as the torn anus he is nursing at the time of this writing. Instead, Razor beat Jarrett and The Roadie in a handicap match and never won the title back from Double J (except for one time at a house show, but that was an accident).

Even the Roadie doesn’t want you watching Wrestlemania XI.

WMIX 20Next, we were taken backstage once again to Nick Turturro, who had to re-do his previous interview and pretend like he had just found Jenny McCarthy in the green room.
Jenny offered up a lukewarm assessment of the Supreme Fighting Machine Kama before she and Nick were joined by Shawn Michaels and his new bodyguard. Sycho Sid told the viewers at home that Diesel’s dreams had “become to nightmares.”

Turturro didn’t ask Sid any softball questions.

WMIX 22Next up was the King Kong Bundy-Undertaker match, which centered around The Million Dollar Corporation stealing the Undertaker’s urn. Jerry Lawler reminded us of Bundy’s pin of SD Jones in “nine seconds,” which was considerably shorter than the actual 24-second duration of that match and unfortunately waaaaaay shorter than this snoozer. Vince mentioned the Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania record, which at this point stood at a whopping 3-0.
Certified A-lister Larry Young was the special referee on this night, April 2nd, 1995, which coincidentally marked the end of the Major League Baseball strike (which was the only reason Young got this gig in the first place).WMIX 23
urn takerkama kickThe only remotely entertaining aspect of this match was the fight over the urn, the source of The Undertaker’s power, which for some reason The Million Dollar Man brought to ringside instead of locking in a safe deposit box in one of his many mansions. The Undertaker merely walked up to DiBiase and took it out of his hands, then passed it to Bearer, only for DiBiase to get Kama to kick Bearer and grab the urn in one fell swoop. Kama then giddily told JR that he would melt the urn into a chain, further stretching out this feud until Summerslam. Oh, and Undertaker won after a bodyslam and a clothesline, after which Bundy promptly rolled out of the ring and walked backstage rather perturbed. Four and O! Woo!
Nicholas Turturro still couldn’t find Pam Anderson backstage, so he got the next best thing: Mongo McMichael! He then walked in on JTT beating Bob Backlund at chess. The former WWWF champion then drilled the Home Improvement star on the capital of Honduras, to which he answered, “Tegucigapla.” Wrong, it’s “Tegucigalpa,” moron!WMIX 25

His long absence was intended for him to lose weight. It didn’t work.

Owen Hart then came to the ring for the second tag team match of the night, this time for the tag team titles. Jerry Lawler claimed to have told the sound man to cue up his mystery partner’s music, leading Vince McMahon to jokingly accuse Lawler of causing all the sound problems. This has been cited as fact on Wrestlemania XI’s Wikipedia page. Owen revealed his mystery partner to be Yokozuna, who had not been seen since losing to The Undertaker in a casket match at Survivor Series. Truth be told, Yoko had already lost to Taker in 42 straight casket matches on the house show circuit, but I suppose that 43rd loss was the last straw.
The heel team beat the cowboys after an okay match (high praise for this particular event), to which the grown-ups in the front rows responded with approval. No celebration, though, could compare with that of Owen Hart, who pinned Billy Gunn after a Banzai Drop from Yoko.owen celebrates
WMIX 27Backstage, Todd Pettengill and his mighty mullet interviewed Bam Bam Bigelow, who vowed to the Toddster that he would not be known as the man who lost to Lawrence Taylor. I would hope not, as that’s the kind of infamy that would ruin your career.
Next came what was sure to be an all-time classic, Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund in an I Quit match. Just over four months before, the two had competed in an underrated classic at Survivor Series, so their rematch on the grandest stage of them all would go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever, right? Well, dear reader, neither you nor I nor the audience counted on three things: a live microphone, special referee Roddy Piper sticking said microphone in the wrestlers’ faces every ten seconds and asking “Whaddaya say?!”, and the entire match consisting of the two wrestlers taking turns applying submission holds, psychology be damned.WMIX 28
WMIX 29To top it all off, Bob Backlund never even said, “I Quit,” but rather screamed, “Gaaaaaahhh!” into the microphone before Roddy declared Bret Hart the winner. No wonder Hart called the match his worst ever in his autobiography (obviously written before Wrestlemania 26). Roddy Piper hadn’t been involved in such crap since he tried putting over the Gobbledygooker on commentary, coincidentally in the Hartford Civic Center.What’s worse, Vince couldn’t even answer a simple trivia question about the Wrestlemania from three years prior. Actually, that still wasn’t nearly as bad as the match itself, but it was pretty pathetic.
We got yet another update from Turturro, whose microphone worked 95% of the time this time, to tell us that Pamela Anderson was nowhere to be found. Todd Pettengill then conducted an interview with a broken microphone. Let me rephrase that: he conducted an interview with Diesel using a broken microphone (although an interview with a microphone would probably have been much more effective at building the title match up). Diesel forgot that he was still the WWF champ before suddenly snapping from calm and collected to angry and shouting.WMIX 30
WMIX 31Come title match time, challenger Shawn Michaels was accompanied not by Pamela Anderson, but by another stunning blonde, and in addition to Sycho Sid, Shawn had Jenny McCarthy on his arm. I guess she was the booby prize.
Diesel then brought out Pamela herself before playing Goliath to Shawn Michaels’s David. A Goliath we were supposed to cheer for, by the way.WMIX 32

That fan misspelled “Sycho Sid.” Sort of.

Instead, the same fans who rooted for Owen and Yoko cheered for Shawn at every chance and even chanted Sid’s name before he ever got involved in the match.
Softball Sid of all people should have been an expert at underhanded tactics, but when he finally attempted to cheap-shot Diesel outside the ring, Earl Hebner jumped off the ring apron and twisted his ankle… I think. All the cameramen at ringside failed to catch this key moment in the match.

Along the way, Shawn suffered the obligatory Wrestlemania pantsing.

two countIn the meantime, Shawn superkicked Diesel and had him legitimately pinned (he’s the heel, by the way), but when Hebner at last got back in the ring to make the count, Diesel got his shoulder up a split second before the count of… two. Kevin Nash never really had a flair for the dramatic.
Sid then tore off the top turnbuckle, which would come back to haunt Michaels when he was slingshot by Diesel directly into the… second turnbuckle. Close enough.slingshot
jackknifeDiesel then hit the jackknife, depositing HBK onto his butt, which was apparently still painful enough to put him down for a three-count.
Botches and all, it was still Kevin Nash’s best non-Bret Hart match ever, so he celebrated in style with two chicks at the same time. But this was 1995 WWF, so he had to bring the kid sidekick and the goofball into the ring, too.WMIX 35
WMIX 36Backstage, Shawn correctly claimed to deserve to be champion, while Sid complained that there should have been two referees. Who does he think he is, Gorilla Monsoon? I’m just glad that Mrs. Eudy didn’t suffer a miscarriage of Justice back in 1960.
Next up, Salt ‘N’ Pepa definitely did not perform “Whatta Man,” and we instead saw the entrances of the main event’s de facto lumberjacks, The Million Dollar Corporation and Lawrence Taylor’s All-Pro team.WMIX 37
WMIX 39Bam Bam charged at Salt ‘N’ Pepa for the derogatory lyrics that the group never sang about him in the performance that never happened.
I remember hearing people complain about this match years after it happened, and I couldn’t understand what the big deal was, until I actually saw the PPV on tape and realized that for some reason it was the main event of the whole night, and not an undercard match sandwiched between Bundy-Taker and the Smoking Gunns.WMIX 40
forearm smashAlthough the main event got off to a fiery start, things started going south about two minutes in when LT got visibly winded. From then on, Lawrence Taylor spent the entire match doing a single move, a forearm smash. Granted, it was a pretty good forearm smash, but outside of a PWI poll from the 80s, nobody cares how well-executed your forearm smash is.
LT was supposedly trained by Diesel, but when it came time to do Diesel’s trademarked jackknife, Taylor flubbed it completely. Hmmm… botched jackknife, two moves total… maybe he was trained by Kevin Nash.alleged jackknife
WMIX 41In a classic call-back move, just as it looked like Bigelow had the match in the bag, the lights suddenly went out, and who else but The Undertaker himself would come back and cost Ted Dibiase, Bam Bam, and the Million Dollar Corporation the main event, taking back his stolen urn in the process! No, just kidding. None of that happened. Instead, LT came back from behind to beat Bam Bam with, you guessed it, a forearm smash.
(Speaking of what-ifs, if this match had taken place just four years later, the WWF could have justified Bigelow’s loss by booking an angle where LT had paid off Kama to send some of his hos to Bam Bam’s hotel room and tire him out the night before, but that sort of risqué angle is the kind of thing you just can’t make up) WMIX 42
WMIX 43To make the ending of this Wrestlemania even more anti-climactic, LT’s victory celebration has had the Salt ‘N’ Pepa music removed from it on video releases, meaning that future generations will believe that after LT won the big one, he celebrated in near-silence from the audience. Which is probably what happened, come to think of it, but at least there was music played over top of it.

So in summary, this Wrestlemania saw an Allied Powers match, a DQ finish in a title match, Bret Hart’s worst match ever, a title match relegated to secondary status, and a main event where a football player beat a mid-carder, all emanating from the same shopping complex where the Gobbledygooker hatched from his egg. While that might seem like crap to you, there is actually a very good reason to consider Wrestlemania XI one of the greatest Manias of all time, and it comes from none other than the chairman himself, Vince McMahon:


Vince, can you hear us?


I’m sorry, we seem to be having technical difficulties that prevent us from hearing from Mr. McMahon at the moment. So yeah, this event was just crap.

Written by

Art has been writing inductions for WrestleCrap since 2012. He also writes reviews of old Monday Night Raws, posted here every other Sunday. You can find his old reviews at the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at:
84 Responses to "Induction: Wrestlemania XI – The Grandest Stage of the Mall"
  1. Drew says:

    This was a really lackluster Wrestlemania. Even watching it live as a youngster I remember being underwhelmed. Was really looking forward to Bret-Backlund II but even that was a dud.

  2. RD Reynolds says:

    LOOONG overdue induction! Thank you, Art – great work!!

  3. Oh yeah, I remember being really disappointed with this WrestleMania. Thanks for inducting it, Art. I’ve been bugging R.D to do this one for years!

    Here’s the Whatta Man video if you want to travel back to 1994 and hear the song:

  4. TV's Mr. Neil says:

    This show SUUUUUUCKED!

    It’s pretty sad that the best match of the evening was probably Yoko and Owen vs the Gunns, though I much prefer their rematch from months later on Raw, when Yokozuna *accidentally* splashed Owen Hart, allowing the Gunns to pick up the victory.

  5. Forest George says:

    Finally! Somebody called the Blu Brothers – The Berserker twins.

  6. Gonzo says:

    This is what nearly turned me off wrestling for life.. God it was awful on so many levels

    • Al Lobama says:

      The day Diesel appeared on Raw as the new WWF Title WAS the day I stopped watching wrestling. It made absolutely no sense to me that a guy I was booing at Survivor Series two days earlier was now (thanks to a lackluster face turn) suddenly the number one good guy in the company and I literally turned off my TV in frustration. It wasn’t until two years later that I gave the WWF a second chance.

  7. Stephen says:

    Ah, a Wrestlemania induction. It feels like my birthday.

  8. carl zayas says:

    I remember seeing this event for free on a preveiw before WM12…it almost made me tell my mom to forget about ordering that PPV…but you know, the allure of the idea of Piper and Goldust was too much to resist.

  9. Peter says:

    Hahaha, this is a great induction. I liked the Allied Powers as a kid, but even then I thought them facing the Harris twins was more a pre-show event. I think what I remembered most was Owen Hart winning his first title. I was pretty happy, and judging from the gif, so was he.

  10. s1mon86 says:

    I can’t wait for WMXXV’s induction now

    • YVRay says:

      I don’t think the entire event deserves an induction- Money in the Bank was great as usual (even if Christian should have won it), we got a pleasant surprise from Ricky Steamboat, Jericho put a celeb over while still looking pretty strong for beating the shit out of four legends single-handedly, Matt vs. Jeff was fine, Undertaker vs. Shawn is a classic, even Cena vs. Edge vs. Show was watchable.

      The only craptastic parts were the Women’s Battle Royale and the main event, but Orton vs. Triple H was just boring, not an atrocity. Everything in the show had a saving grace except that god-awful Battle Royale, but it can just be its own induction. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a weak show overall, but not wrestlecrap.

  11. IC says:

    You know, as bad as this was, it was still more memorable than the last couple of WMs, which all seem to blend together.
    Just to add to the technical difficulties part, I remember my PPV lost video feed of 95% of the Hart/Backlund match.
    So yeah, this goes down with 9 and 27 as a bottom of the barrel Wrestlemania.

  12. Chunkylover53 says:

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for that inductions for years now. Covered it greatly.

  13. Down With OPC says:

    Didn’t the original VHS release have WrestleMania: The Arcade Game tips at the end?

  14. By the way; I absolutely love the puny sub-title of the title of this induction.

  15. Alan says:

    Hilarious induction! I watched this live on PPV & have the actual PPV on VHS in a box somewhere, never to be played again. Owen & Yoko’s title win was the best match on this card by far.

  16. patricko says:

    Dutch Mantell wrote about the ‘Mania match in one of his books and on his blog.

    Not too surprisingly, it was day of the event, and they didn’t have an end for their match.
    He basically had to sit the four guys down, and work the match out for them, with biggest obstacles being Luger’s and Davey’s huge egos. Good read if you feel like checking it out on his blog. (I assume it’s still there…)

  17. Rory says:

    The “Miscarriage of Justice” pun is just superb. Excelsior to you.

  18. Joseph S. Hasan says:

    In HBK’s book, he says it was Vince that insisted on the early kickout in the Shawn-Diesel match (and that he fought against it).

    • Al Lobama says:

      And as Bret pointed out in his book, it was that kick out (and the entire spot of Shawn having the match won after the super kick) that stole whatever heat Diesel had right out from under him and made Shawn a babyface.

    • MIB says:

      HBK also reiterated this on the recent “Mr. Wrestlemania” DVD.

      He said Vince insisted that Nash kick out of Sweet Chin Music at the one count and they both argued against this, with Shawn saying the crowd would hate it but Vince put his foot down. While Nash defied this a little by kicking out on the two count, sure enough the crowd hated it.

  19. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I think the fairest way to rank Manias in Crappiness would be to award points for any competitors, feuds, segments, commentators, interviewers and shit celebrities that appear who have been Crapped in the past – naturally any Mania with Michael Cole on instantly gets 1000 points…

  20. Al Lobama says:

    Kevin Nash claims in his first KC shoot interview that Shawn purposely botched the Jackknife in an attempt to make him (as the man executing the move) look bad and steal his spot as top babyface. After seeing Shawn “accidentally” miss the exposed top turnbuckle in GIF form, I’m inclined to agree that Shawn was deliberately trying to show up his supposed best friend. I’m no Diesel fan, but when have you EVER seen Shawn Michaels take a bump that bad before? It had to have been deliberate

  21. Kent Barnes says:

    I’m glad this was inducted because I’ve always thought it was the worst WM of them all. This makes WM 9 look like a masterpiece. Everything about XI sucks, the matches, the arena, how much more underwhelming could it get? Everytime I’ve forced myself to watch this heap of bollocks I thought I was watching an episode of Superstars. I do agree with the person who wrote how the last few WM’s have blended together and all seem the same. It’s a stale concept as a whole and I think it’s really been exposed since the endless huge stadium shows took full effect.

  22. TMS says:

    I’d completely forgotten about this WrestleMania (or actually, forgotten about how crappy it was). Thanks for the memories? Seriously though, I remember going to a friends house to watch it (we all pitched in to cover the PPV cost), and we spent the whole night making fun of how bad it was. The most common thing we said all night was “They should be paying US to watch this s**t!”

  23. Jack Mehoff says:

    I watched this not too long ago and I just imagined Vince drowning kittens and puppies after all those technical difficulties.

  24. Sean Bateman says:

    twp Wrestlecrapmanias in

  25. Dan Sheldon says:

    Luger’s trunks are the worst trunks in wrestling history and could be inducted on their own LOL

  26. Dustin DuNicDustin NicholsholDustin NicholssDustDUstin says:

    I remember watching it on PPV, and the feed went out just a couple minutes into the Hart/Backlund match. When it came back on, Hart had just won and broke the chicken wing.

  27. Doc 902714 says:

    For the record the singer of America the Beautiful was special Olympian Kathy Huey but she was only a last-minute replacement for the band that was supposed to sing at the event. Their name escapes me at this moment. But they pulled a no-show. Hey, who could blame them?

    • Jeremy says:

      I think their name was Fishbone (yes, my memory remembers seeing Fishbone interviewed on Superstars in 1995)

  28. HogandDiss the Ice Cream with an ingnorant kick. says:

    This PPV had that stupid standard issue Wrestlemania theme. I HATE that song.

  29. Mike says:

    Is it bad that in WWE 12 I had a stable partially based on the Allied Powers and also partially based on Luger’s “All Americans” Survivor Series team?

  30. lightning116 says:

    Oh wow. THIS WrestleMania.

    People still wanna say that the last couple of Manias were bad? I beg to differ. WM11 makes 9 and 27 look like WM3, 17, 24 and 28 combined. And the ninth one wasn’t so bad and while 27 was bad, it was better than 11 by far.

  31. YN J Green says:

    Great stuff, Art O’Donnell. I was recommended to your work by your brother…Dave O’Donnell.

    Never was aware of the technical problems, as I have managed to avoid Mania 11 my whole life (the only one I’ve ever missed).

    Honored to say I’ve watched a few PPV’s with Mr. O’Donnell myself back in the Padonia days!

  32. Oh, she’s blind? That explains her outfit…

  33. Evan Waters says:

    I just recently got WWE 2k14 and I’m reallllly curious as to what the “Wrestlemania Moment” will be for this one.

    • John C says:

      A technical difficulty, which is also the term used for whenever Lex tried the figure four on Flair.

  34. Guest says:

    Jesus Christ this was a hideous PPV.

  35. MWeyer says:

    Not the worst Mania (IX has that honor) but yeah, pretty rough and remember the Apter mags saying it only got merit as it was the same month as WCW’s atrocious Uncensored PPV. And if you want more proof of how much crap the PWI Awards are, just note they “voted” Nash vs Michaels Match of the Year for 1995.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but the 90s was largely HORRIBLE for WrestleMania. The 2000s might not have had a better than average WM yet, but it hasn’t had anything as terrible as IX-XIII either (though at least one of the last four could probably give VII and/or XV a run for their money).

    And were the Blu Twins supposed to be amish or something? Have they been inducted yet?

    • Justin Henry says:

      do you mean the 2010s? Because X7, XIX, XX, XXI, and XXII were all varying degrees of awesome.

      For the 2010s, I’ll say XXVI was mostly good

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, my mistake, that was a typo. I meant the 2010s.

        And I’m surprised that you didn’t include XVIII with the awesome 2000s WMs. That was one of the best as far as I’m concerned.

  37. AK says:

    “Of course, there was also Lawrence Taylor’s “all-pro team” consisting of former football players/future WCW wrestlers, pictured here with WWF champion Diesel, who in just four months had transformed from leather-clad badass to a seven-foot Jonathan Taylor Thomas with a goatee. Just look at Nash here. Don’t you think this pose would be more fitting of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor’s pre-teen son?”

    I didn’t need to read the rest of the induction. This paragraph along with the accompanying picture made this quite possibly my favourite induction on Wrestlecrap ever.

    Of course I read the rest of the induction and it was still brilliant. However for me, the JTT-Diesel mashup is the Wrestlecrap equivalent of Savage vs. Steamboat.

    Plus seeing Owen Hart happy in gif form is always great too.

  38. Drew says:

    Anybody else think it was weird that Steve Mongo McMichael was at WrestleMania XI and then not long after showed up in WCW as an announcer/member of the 4 Horsemen? That never sat right with me.

  39. Saint Stryfe (@saintstryfe) says:

    I go to the Hartford Civic Center (now called the XL Center, for XL Energy) frequently for the Hartford Wolfpack (the AHL farm team of the New York Rangers of the NHL), formally the home of the Hartford Whalers.

    The arena is absolutely a dump. It’s relatively large for an AHL arena but it’s tiny for an NHL Arena. It’s got lousy concessions, and the floor is ancient. The ice is terrible (a good indicator of how the arena is cared for). It’s connected by a concourse that feels like you’re in a giant boiler room. with celings about 10 feet tall. It feels like a giant hall way connecting a gym locker room to the workout floor.

    One time I took my brother to a game and had a wonderful time, but I jokingly said “I can’t believe this place held a Wrestlemania” and he didn’t believe me. I had to pull up Wiki to prove it to him. He just didn’t beleive a Wrestlemania could have been held in such a dump.

    And remember, at the time the owner of the Wolfpack had actually changed the name to try and get a new NHL Franchise , calling them the Connecticut Whale. So this was AFTER the place had been cleaned up. It is simply a mournful place. Especially this season with how Hartford played.

    • Zigglypuff says:

      Are there even any plans to replace it? I imagine there’s a bit of support for an NHL team to come back to Hartford, right? (Please tell me there is, I’d love to see the Whalers back.) There’s no way the NHL would let them play in the same dingy dump that chased the original team away 20 years ago, unless it was part time while the new arena was being built.

  40. KatieVicstoriasSecret says:

    I’m semi-proud to say I attended this Mania! The best part of the whole weekend was Axxess; got to witness a live Heartbreak Hotel with HBK and Bret Hart where they basically spent the entire time kidding each other. Mania itself was so bad that we walked out in disgust after the HBK/Diesel match. Michaels was so over and Diesel’s reign so dull that everyone thought the changeover would happened. When it didn’t, the LT match was a moot point.

    Y’know whoever was responsible for audio that night got canned before they hit TV the next day.

  41. Ze Frenchie says:

    Gotta give credit where it’s due… Even if the match was Crap-worthy, the Beast from the East did his best to carry LT to something better than any other superstar on the roster could have. Imagine if it had been Diesel instead…

  42. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    This is one of my most favorite inductions in the 15 year history of the site. Well done, Art!

  43. John Q Occupier says:

    Knowing how far Vince has been removed from reality at times, I’m surprised he didn’t try to get this guy to sub for Fishbone…

  44. Pérez84 says:

    That Kama’s kick on Bearer looks stiff as fuck………

  45. Zigglypuff says:

    I can’t stop laughing at Backlund’s stupid scream. “GAAAAHHH!!”

  46. Anonymous says:

    “consisting of former football players/future WCW wrestlers”

    Best line in the article.

  47. DarthPitch says:

    Nicholas Turturro. He’d later go own to be better known as John Turturro’s brother who isn’t Tony Shalhoub.

    But hey, Vince at least got in, what for him, would be an up-to-date culture reference: The Allied Powers beating up some Nazis.

  48. Anonymous says:

    The best part of this show was Salt in cut-offs (or whatever she was wearing there) followed immediately by Lee and McCarthy (in that order).

    Nothing else of value here at all.

  49. Wade Preston says:

    You are right about Jacob and Eli Blu were Berzerker lookalikes, but you forgot to mention they were named after SNL characters. On top of the crappy opening match, they gave away a Luger/Tatanka cage match on TV for free the week before.

  50. Deepthroat Ghoul says:

    Here’s what the card for WrestleMania XI SHOULD’VE been, using the roster and feuds at the time:

    1.The New Headshrinkers (with Capt. Lou Albano & Afa) vs. The Blu Brothers (with Uncle Zebekiah)
    [These two teams had a brief feud on a couple episodes of Raw and Wrestling Challenge in February and March, so it makes sense for them to get on this card for a quick PPV payday, with the Blu’s getting the win]

    2.Jeff Jarrett (with The Roadie) vs. Razor Ramon (with The 1-2-3 Kid) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
    [We’re keeping this match in, and you can still have Razor win by DQ.]

    3.Davey Boy Smith & The Smoking Gunns vs. Irwin R. Schyster, King Kong Bundy, & Nikolai Volkoff (with Ted DiBiase)
    [Just get six guys on the card, and Bulldog and the Gunns get the win when Bulldog pins Volkoff with the running powerslam; Charles Wright still makes his WWF return, but as Papa Shango instead of Kama the Supreme Fighting Machine, and he can still feud with Taker throughout the spring and summer of 1995, culminating in their casket match at SummerSlam that year as Taker vs. Shango instead of Taker vs. Kama; imagine the back-and-forth mind games between these two.]

    4.Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze for the WWF Women’s Championship
    [This match was held on Raw the night after, but it would make more sense to have it take place at WrestleMania with Alundra winning back the title, and then you can have Bertha Faye make her debut the next night on Raw by attacking Alundra during an interview.]

    5.Lex Luger vs. Tatanka (with Ted DiBiase) in a steel cage match
    [This feud had been building since SummerSlam and Survivor Series in 1994, so the blow-off should happen here, and after the match, DiBiase berates Tatanka, who tries to attack him, only for Luger to return to the ring, beat down Tatanka, and shake hands with DiBiase, thus cementing Luger’s heel turn so he can feud with Diesel, Shawn, Bret, and Taker.]

    6.The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly vs. Hakushi & Yokozuna (with Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) for the WWF Tag-Team Championship
    [Kid and Holly should’ve had a longer title reign, and Hakushi would’ve also been a suitable partner for Yoko; we can still have Hakushi and Yoko win the titles here, and then go on to In Your House #1 to defend against the Gunns.]

    7.The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (with Ted DiBiase)
    [Since Taker is feuding with the Million Dollar Corporation, it makes sense for him to battle their crown jewel, who would obviously be Bigelow.]

    8.Diesel (with Lawrence Taylor) vs. Shawn Michaels (with Sycho Sid) for the WWF World Championship
    [Instead of wrestling Bigelow, L.T. can be in Diesel’s corner to counter Sid.]

    9.Adam Bomb vs. Kwang (with Harvey Wippleman)
    [Just a quick toilet break match to cool down the crowd between Diesel vs. HBK and Bret vs. Owen, and allow Bomb to get the win so Kwang can disappear off TV and come back as Savio Vega at In Your House #1.]

    10.Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (with Bob Backlund) in a No DQ match with Roddy Piper as the guest referee
    [I know that this match was held on the Raw prior to the PPV, but it should’ve occured here, and the finish could involve Backlund trying to interfere, only for Piper to knock him the holy hell out, and Bret manages to make Owen submit to the Sharpshooter, thus bringing an end to their year-long feud.]

    So, what do you think?

    • CP says:

      You have ADAM BOMB AND KWANG in the semi main ahead of the WWF title match? This is Wrestlemania, not Raw.

      Papa Shango didn’t work as a character and why would the WWF bring him out after two years?

      You seriously have Waltman and Holly keeping the belts instead of giving them to the best team on the roster? And Hakushi and Yokozuna? Talk about random assed teaming for no reason.

      You do realize that Bam Bam attacked LT at the Rumble, right? And that he wouldn’t have been involved in WrestleMania at all otherwise, right?

      Your booking is bad and you should feel bad.

      • Roland Smitts says:

        Believe it or not, having a midcard match before the main was once common at WM. Look at VI, VII and VIII. The matches preceding Hogan’s are midcard galore. Hell MSG cards used to have lower card bouts often CLOSE the card, with the main two matches before.

      • Bahamut says:

        OK CP, I’m gonna pick some really big holes in your response:

        “You have ADAM BOMB AND KWANG in the semi main ahead of the WWF title match? This is WrestleMania, not Raw.”

        Yes, but like Roland Smith said, a lot of PPV’s during the earlier WrestleMania’s always had toilet break matches before the main event, so the crowd can cool down between Diesel vs. HBK, and Bret vs. Owen.

        “Papa Shango didn’t work as a character and why would the WWF bring him out after two years?”

        Well, WWF originally were planning to reveal Shango as the one who was controlling Bob Backlund with his voodoo magic.

        “You seriously have Waltman and Holly keeping the belts instead of giving them to the best team on the roster? And Hakushi and Yokozuna? Talk about random assed teaming for no reason.”

        Actually, there is a good reason for the Yoko/Hakushi teamup: because their gimmicks click together since you have a Samoan pretending to be Japanese, teaming with an actual Japanese star. Also, putting them up against Kid and Holly can result in Kid and Hakushi exchanging high-flying moves, and Holly and Yoko exchanging stiff punches.

        “You do realize that Bam Bam attacked LT at the Rumble, right? And that he wouldn’t have been involved in WrestleMania at all otherwise, right?”

        Yes, Deepthroat Ghoul is aware of that; he, like everyone else, thinks that L.T. would’ve been better off as a cornerman for Diesel in his title match against HBK.

        “Your booking is bad and you should feel bad.”

        I don’t see YOU coming up with anything, Carrot Top.

        So, in conclusion, Deepthroat Ghoul certainly used his noodle to come up with a better WrestleMania XI, and YOU should feel bad for your butthurt crybaby response!

        • Deepthroat Ghoul says:

          Thank you, Bahamut. I couldn’t have put it better myself

          CP, your comment is bad and you should feel bad, because my booking is good and I feel really good.

    • Ze Frenchie says:

      Not too shabby, though I would personally switch #3 and #9. Not a big fan of “popcorn matches” so close to the ME.

  51. Geoff says:

    By JOVE, that lineup makes a lot more sense than what any writer at WWE could come up with. You should apply to be a writer over there taking Freddie’s place.

  52. James says:

    Stevie Richards, Bob Holly, and Hayden Christensen were the musical guests at this Mania.

  53. Mister Forth says:

    Instead of Salt ‘n Peppa, Network airings should have Artie Lange’s announcing of Lawrence Taylor’s activities. Heck, make that a show somewhere. Ratings.

  54. Geoff says:

    Hayden Christenson… can…sing? I’m…. so….sorry….

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