For the first time in years, more classic WrestleMania DVD’s have been released by WWE Home Video.  Matthew Roberts takes a quick look at four of the new releases.


    Back in the days when WrestleMania could be a genuine turning point for the promotion (as opposed to, generally, the annual celebration of the WWE machine that it is now), this was certainly a turning point.  It was the official coronation of the WWE’s new MEGAstar Stone Cold Steve Austin and the bargain acquisition (all things told) of Mike Tyson made sure that the eyes of the wider world were on the WWE as well. 

    And the WWE certainly threw everything they could out there (at a time when, lets not forget, WCW was still ahead in the ratings).  A fifteen team battle royale kicked things off and if it was obvious that LOD 2000 (who were accompanied by Sunny and were the only team to get a mega entrance) where going to win and the match itself was your bog standard battle royale where nothing much of note happened the spectacle of thirty men rumbling away certainly made for a great visual for any new or lapsed fans tuning in.

    The Light Heavyweight Title battle between TAKA Michinoku and Aguila was all action, even if the knowledge that the WWE couldn’t care less about the division pervaded as usual.  The two packed all they could into the six minutes or so they were given. Triple H and Owen Hart had a decent battle over the European Title, even if it all did seem like just another way of Vince sticking it to the Hart Family.  Both of those matches, though, at the time couldn’t hold a candle to the Mixed Tag Match between Goldust & Luna and Marc Mero & Sable.  Hindsight would go on to prove that it was to be all smoke and mirrors but a hot crowd and some carefully chosen spots made Sable look like the greatest thing to hit the women’s division in decades.  It really was that impressive. 

    The Intercontinental Title match between Ken Shamrock and The Rock was decent but hampered by a distinctly non-WrestleMania non-finish of Shamrock winning and then having the decision reversed and the fact that the match itself went five minutes.  At least the WWE waited until the day after Mania to reverse the decision in the Tag Team Title match between Cactus Jack & Chainsaw “Terry Funk” Charlie and the New Age Outlaws.  This Dumpster Match was great wild fun, as you would expect, and obviously, we all knew about the “illegal dumpster” rule that meant that Jack and Charlie’s title win had to be reversed.

    Kane against The Undertaker was definitely a spectacle.  The feud that had been rumbling since Hell in a Cell the previous year without the two ever having a match and this meant that anticipation was high.  It was too long for what it was, but the WWE did a remarkable job of giving the Undertaker the win but still keeping Kane strong and giving hope that he wouldn’t simply be another in a long line of giant victims for the Dead Man.  Though I doubt anyone at the time would have envisioned Kane having quite the career longevity he did.

    All that REALLY mattered tonight was the WWE Championship Match.  Rumour has it Shawn Michaels was contemplating not doing the job (it goes as far as The Undertaker apparently taping up his fists and telling Shawn that he would have him to answer to if he didn’t) but I’m inclined to believe that despite his serious back injury (he wouldn’t wrestle for the WWE for four years after this match) and his obvious annoyance that he was about to be officially superseded as “the man” in WWE Shawn was merely playing his usual mid 1990’s games.  The match itself was good rather than great but in the circumstances that’s no surprise. Say what you want about HBK in this era, but on a night when he should have been lying in bed at home he gave one hell of a performance.  Of course it was overshadowed, quite rightly, by Austin’s win and first World Title.  As we watch WWE in 2021 it’s difficult to imagine anyone ever having quite the coronation again. 

    Although it has it’s peaks and troughs, WrestleMania XIV is a very good show and an entertaining watch.  Nothing is really bad and most is entertaining. 

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