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OOLD TYME RASSLIN' REVUE
WWF WrestleMania 11
March 30, 2005

by Adam Gutschmidt
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Believe or not, I am back for a second week in a row. I know, I’m as impressed as you are. Despite my schedule being as hectic as ever, I am in a pretty good mood right now. First, while I was home for spring break, I finally was able to find a copy of this review. That was a huge relief as I really didn’t want to have to sit through this one again and have to re-do the whole thing. Big shout out to my buddy Dan for helping me locate this one. I know you’ve been waiting a while to read what I had to say about this show, so I hope you enjoy it.
 

The second reason why I’m so happy is that I’ve accepted NC State’s offer to come there for my PhD. They’re giving me a full assistantship and I’ll be getting the opportunity to teach as well. I had the opportunity to visit there two weeks ago and I think I am going to be very happy spending the next four years there. If for nothing else, 

the climate alone will be a vast improvement over the crummy Ohio weather.

And finally, since I’m in such a good mood this week, I’ll help out a reader by giving him a quick plug. Alex Hutchinson wrote to me last week telling me about a book he’s written called ‘Backyard Empire’. It’s about a true extreme fed that went too far. If you have any interest in the world of backyard wrestling, you may want to check it out. Here’s a link.

I have yet to read it myself, but I’m hoping once things slow down for me this summer, I’ll get a chance and pick it up.

OK, that’s enough rambling for the week, let’s kick off Wrestlemania week with a look back at the granddaddy of them all from 10 years ago…

OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue for WWF Wrestlemania 11

- We begin with a package of all the B-list celebrities who’ve attended Wrestlemania the past 10 years. A nice retrospective but I’ve seen better.

Live from the lamest Wrestlemania site ever, the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT

Your commentators are Vince McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler

- Show opens with a Special Olympian singing America the Beautiful. This segment is rife with jokes, but I’d like to think that I’m above telling them.

Opening Match: The Allied Powers: Lex Luger and the British Bulldog vs. Jacob and Eli Blu

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Luger goes from fighting for the title last Wrestlemania to curtain-jerking here. He’s lucky to get this spot if you ask me. A slew of photographers surround the ring, which give a big-time feel to the event, despite Wrestlemania being in a much smaller venue this year. The Blus try and attack the Allied Powers from behind (A Pearl Harbor attack?) but the Powers catch them and clean house. Order is restored and the Bulldog goes against Eli. On the apron, Jacob hits a running Bulldog to give the Blus their first chance at being on offense. Bulldog gets Jacob in a small package, but the referee is distracted with Luger, who was probably complaining how he never got a fair chance in the main event. The Blus take advantage of being twins by going in and out of the ring without tagging. Eli takes too long setting up a second rope elbow and the Bulldog is able to move out of the way. The miss enables the Bulldog to make the hot tag to Luger. Luger takes it to Eli and nails him with the dreaded forearm. Jacob makes the save as Luger goes for the pin. The Blus once again switch putting the fresh one in. Jacob goes to powerbomb Luger in the face corner. Luger makes a blind tag and the Bulldog comes off the top rope and hits an ugly sunset flip on Jacob for the 3. Ending looked really botched.

Postmatch: JR talks with the Blus in the aisleway. Uncle Zebekiah vows revenge. Yeah, I’ll hold my breath for that rematch.

Bottom Line: Too short to be anything offensive. The execution here was poor though. This was a no-win situation as the Allied Powers weren’t elevated with this win, but a Blus win is totally unbelievable. A far cry from last year’s Wrestlemania opener. * ¾

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Jeff Jarrett (champ) vs. Razor Ramon

Razor’s buddy, The 1-2-3 Kid is in his corner to counteract The Roadie’s presence. Razor comes out and clears Jarrett and the Roadie out of the ring so he can mug for the camera while his fireworks go off. Remember pryo = over. Jarrett tries to do all sorts of moves, but Razor outsmarts him each time. A rollup by Razor gets 2. An early Razor’s Edge attempt is thwarted by The Roadie. Jarrett tries to leave but the Kid prevents that. Man, Jarrett is looking like a complete fool here. Razor goes for a backdrop, but Jarrett reverses it into a neckbreaker. Backslide by Razor gets 2. Jarrett manages to slap on a sleeper, but Razor quickly escapes. Both men collide and we have a double KO spot. A fallaway slam by Razor gets a nearfall. The Kid tries making a wish with Jarrett’s legs, but Jarrett shoves him into the barrier. That’ll teach him to meddle in other people’s affairs. Razor goes for a 2nd rope bulldog, but misses. This gives Jarrett an opening to lock in the figure four. Razor eventually reverses it leaving both men hurting. A back suplex by Razor puts Jarrett in trouble. As Razor gets Jarrett up for the Razor’s Edge, the Roadie comes in and clips Razor. This prompts the ref to call for the bell. A DQ finish mmm…mmm…my favorite.

Postmatch: All 4 men brawl with Jarrett and the Roadie ending out on top.

BL: Razor gave Jarrett nothing here, which was very disappointing. I guess Jarrett is going to be one of those joke champs. There were some sloppy transitions during the match and their Rumble match was better. Still this wasn’t terrible by any means. ** ½

- NYPD Blue’s Nick Turturro is in the Million Dollar Corporation’s lockeroom talking to Jenny McCarthy, Shawn Michaels and Sid, if that makes sense. This was a total train wreck of an interview segment, yet still 100x better than anything Pettingil has done in his WWF tenure.

King Kong Bundy vs. The Undertaker

This goes back to the Rumble where Bundy confronted the Undertaker while IRS stole the urn. This feud was so scintillating that I was almost torn away from watching my paint dry. Bundy charges, but Taker catches him and goes to work. Taker gets the ropewalk on Bundy but it doesn’t drop him. A trio of clotheslines by the Taker do knock him down though. Bundy gets back up and clotheslines Taker to the floor. Taker lands on his feet though and grabs the urn right out of the Million Dollar Man’s hands. Good, you’ve got the urn, can we just end this now? While Taker beats up Bundy, Dibiase calls down Kama, who beats up Paul Bearer and gets the urn right back. Noooo… Taker tries to stop Kama but Bundy attacks him, allowing Kama to escape. Now urnless, Taker is at the mercy of Bundy. A powerslam by Bundy gets 2. Bundy locks on a chinlock and Bearer tries a lame attempt to get the crowd alive. Taker no-sells Bundy’s avalanche. A powerslam and a big clothesline by Taker and just like that he pins him. Another out-of-nowhere win for the Undertaker.

BL: Well, the urn nonsense kept the crowd interested in an otherwise dull affair. My ennui grows stronger though with each month of this Undertaker vs. Corporation feud. Either they need to end it now or have someone from the Corporation actually get a win. ¾ *

- Turturro looks for Pamela Anderson but finds Lawrence Taylor’s All-Pro team. They prove why they are men of action and not of words. Turturro then finds Bob Backlund getting frustrated playing chess with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Backlund’s probably upset because he can’t figure out how this kid ever became a celebrity. Ray Bolger, now he was a celebrity!

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The Smoking Gunns (champs) vs. Owen Hart and a mystery partner

Owen picks Yokozuna as his partner because he’s a man who has beaten Bret before. That’s about as sound of strategy as I’ve ever heard. The Smoking Gunns start off working Owen’s arm. They don’t get too far before Owen tags in Yokozuna. Yoko stays in the ring for about 30 seconds before tagging back out. If this team has any chance of survival, Owen better have good endurance. The Gunns do some nice double team work to isolate Owen. After a tandem legdrop, Billy covers Owen but Yoko distracts the referee. Owen and Yoko do some nice double-teaming of their own with a nice drop toehold/legdrop combo. Owen rams Billy’s back into the post and then tosses him into the ring to face the wrath of Yoko. Yoko locks Billy in a resthold. As the ref checks on Billy, he accidentally drops his hand three times. Idiot. Vince tries to cover it up, but doesn’t do it well. Owen goes for a dropkick off the top rope but nails Yoko on accident. The miscue allows Billy to make the tag. Crowd doesn’t really seem to care. The Gunns try to double team Yoko but Owen knocks Bart to the floor and Yoko catches Billy in a belly to belly. Yoko drags Billy to the corner and hits him with the Banzai Drop to a face pop. Bart breaks up the pin though. Owen is tagged in and thinks about putting Billy in the Sharpshooter. He decides instead to just pin him and gets the 3 count along with a monster pop from the crowd. Owen’s first title!

BL: It was no classic but a fun little match. It will be remembered as a great moment in Owen’s career more than anything. The face pop for their win was a pleasant surprise. Let’s face it, no matter what year it is, people hate Billy Gunn. ** ¾

- I wish I was both blind and deaf as I’m forced to listen to Todd and Bam Bam talk, while looking at Todd wearing these ridiculous headphones and Bam Bam missing one of his front teeth.

“I Quit” Match: Bret “the Hitman” Hart vs. Mr. Bob Backlund

Rowdy Roddy Piper is announced as the special guest referee. The winner here must force the loser to say, “I quit” into the microphone. Bret pounds away on Backlund to start. Backlund blocks an early Sharpshooter attempt. Roddy Piper is asking Backlund if he quits even when he isn’t in a submission move. Backlund escapes another Sharpshooter attempt but can’t avoid a figure four by Bret. Piper asks Backlund if he submits, but Bob says no. Trivia note: We cut to a split screen to show the only time a WWF Pay Per View had a German announce team. Bret keeps on working Backlund’s leg but he refuses to quit. Backlund comes right back though and starts to wear down Bret’s arm. Bret escapes Backlund’s armbar and tries to put on the Sharpshooter to no avail. Backlund avoids a charge and Bret rams his shoulder into the post. Very uncharacteristic of Bret. Sensing an opening Backlund goes right for the crossface chicken wing. Backlund can’t quite get it locked in, allowing Bret to reverse it and put the chicken wing on him. Piper holds the mic by Backlund and he grunts. According to Piper that counts as an “I quit” and Bret wins.

BL: Chalk this up as a blown opportunity. The addition of Piper ruined this match. His constant need for attention and laughs prevented this from being the technical classic it could have been. Plus, they hardly gave that much time for this match. I wonder why…oh yeah…the celebrity match. There was some good stuff but we’ll never know what could have been. ***

- Turturro announces that Pamela Anderson has seemingly left the building and there has been some reassignment for the celebrities. Now accompanying Shawn Michaels…Bea Arthur!

- Todd gets Diesel’s final thoughts before his title match. Diesel, of course, stumbles during his promo and tries covering it up by talking louder and angrier. I would like to see a politician try that tactic one day.

WWF Championship Match: Diesel (champ) vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn is accompanied to the ring by Jenny McCarthy and Sid. I’d say Jenny is the crazier of the two, but she never attacked anyone with a squeegee to my knowledge. Diesel brings Hootie McBoob (Pamela Anderson) to ringside to show he’s more of a man. Shawn takes a man-sized bump before the bell rings by being backdropped to the floor so Diesel can pose for his pryo. Shawn uses his quickness to his advantage early on until Diesel levels him with a forearm. Diesel launches Shawn really high with a back bodydrop. After flipping out of the ring, Shawn lands on a photographer. Frustrated, Shawn tosses the guy away from ringside. Well at least he didn’t give him a Rodman. Shawn has the bump machine set on suicidal tonight. After missing a big boot, Diesel is clotheslined to the floor. Shawn goes up top and hits a bodypress on Diesel on the floor. After being thrown into the post, Diesel lies on the floor holding his ribs for an unusually long time. A bulldog off the second rope gets a 2 count for Shawn. This is one strange crowd as they have chanted for Diesel, Shawn and Sid already. Shawn plants an elbow from the top rope into Diesel’s back, but it still only gets a 2 count. Diesel goes for Snake Eyes, but Shawn reverses it. A sleeper is applied by Shawn. Diesel frees himself and finally gets the Snake Eyes he wanted originally. The two brawl briefly on the floor. Back inside, Shawn tries to escape, but Diesel catches him providing us with the obligatory Shawn ass-shot. Shawn hits the superkick but there’s no referee because Earl Hebner hurt his ankle on the floor trying to reprimand Sid. Sid tosses Hebner back in, but he can only register a 2 count. Diesel catches Shawn coming off the top rope and hits him with a side slam. A slingshot by Diesel was supposed to send Shawn into an exposed turnbuckle, but they were too far away and Shawn hits the second turnbuckle instead. Diesel starts mounting a comeback, which is received by a mixed crowd reaction. A sloppy jackknife is enough to put away Shawn and allow Diesel to retain his title.

BL: This got off to a real hot start. Both men went at it so hard though that they both ended up legitimately hurting themselves and causing the match to slow down. Those ringside photographers did not help matters at all. Still this was probably Diesel best match to date. *** ½

- Todd gets Shawn and Sid’s thoughts on the loss. Typical “I got screwed by lousy officiating” heel promo here. Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective.

- We’re “treated” to a performance by some more Special Olympians. Oh I’m sorry, it’s actually Salt-n-Pepa, who do a version of “What a Man” dealing with Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow. This is mind-numbing bad. You know how true wrestling fans rarely get embarrassed by the product? This is one of those times.

Crappy Celebrity Main Event: Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Bam Bam is accompanied by the Million Dollar Corporation consisting of King Kong Bundy, Tatanka, IRS, Nikolai Volkof, Kama and the Million Dollar Man. LT is accompanied by his All-Pro Team consisting of Ken Norton Jr., Chris Spielman, Rickey Jackson, Carl Banks, Steve McMichael (yes, that Steve McMichael) and Reggie White. Ironic note: The leaders of both teams, Dibiase and Reggie White turned to religion after the end of their careers. I’m sure this match had a lot to do with it. Pat Patterson is the referee for this match. I’m sure he’ll have no problem getting physical with any members of the All-Pro team if they step out of line. We get a tense stare down and then they trade slaps. LT gives Bam Bam a forearm, a knee and then clotheslines him to the floor. Big pop for that. Bam Bam continues to get tossed around by LT. A lot of stalling by Bam Bam on the floor, so LT comes out after him. They tease a brawl between the two squads. Back inside, Bam Bam gains the upper hand by putting the boots to LT. Lawler is using every single bad football pun he can think of. Bam Bam locks in a Boston Crab and then switches to the more painful half-crab. LT gets the ropes and then hits a back suplex out of nowhere. Coming right back though, Bam Bam hits a couple of headbutts. Bam Bam goes up and hits an awkward looking moonsault. He can’t cover though because he seems to have hurt his knee. Finally, Bam Bam crawls over but only gets 2. Back up, LT catches Bam Bam with his head down and slams him. That gets a long 2. Bam Bam slows LT’s momentum with a standing enziguri. The top rope headbutt gives Bam Bam a nearfall. While Bam Bam wastes time arguing with Pat Patterson, LT is able to get up and go on the attack. LT nails Bam Bam with a forearm off the second rope and that finishes off Bam Bam for good.

BL: Given the participants this wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was slow and textbook but I’ll cut them some slack. Certainly not worthy of being the main event of Wrestlemania though. Bam Bam was evidently convinced that by doing this match it would send him straight to the top and it did. Straight to the top of the “Who cares” pile. **

Final Thought: Vince had really high hopes that the LT match was going to bring in a lot of new viewers. He was so focused on that, he forgot about setting up the rest of the card with well thought out feuds. There were only seven matches on the card and most were pretty short. What was there was ok (sans the Taker match) but this was a rather underwhelming Wrestlemania.

Next time, WANTED: One smile…If found, please contact Shawn Michaels.

Until then, thanks for stopping by the OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue

E-MAIL ADAM
BROWSE THE OOLD TYME ARCHIVES

Originally from Cleveland, Adam is now a graduate student at the University of Dayton who is looking to make a couple extra bucks writing this column. What do you mean Rick doesn't pay his columnists?


  
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