Saturday 26 September 2020

WWF Wrestlemania XI Review


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that misses LOD more than the wrestling world! It’s WWF Wrestlemania XI which is all about the celebrities apparently because there is no hype for any of the matches, it is more of let’s look at how many big names we can get into one arena for one event. Anyways, the big matches for Wrestlemania XI include Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow, these two locked up at The Royal Rumble briefly as Bigelow shoved LT but now they clash inside of the ring. It’s not as big as Mr. T and Bigelow is no Hogan but this is 1995 for you. We have The Undertaker vs King Kong Bundy, IRS stole the urn and Bundy laid out Taker at Royal Rumble setting the stage for this massive match. For the WWF Championship, Shawn Michaels who won The 1995 Royal Rumble will face Diesel in a clash between former friends while Owen Hart promises a surprise partner and Bret Hart looks for revenge against Bob Backlund.


The Allied Powers (Lex Luger & British Bulldog) vs The Blu Brothers W/ Uncle Zebekiah

Jacob & Eli try to attack The Allied Powers, Bulldog and Luger nail clotheslines, powerslams and more clotheslines. Jacob and Bulldog start the match officially, Jacob eats a massive suplex for two. Knee by Jacob, tag to Eli. Bulldog gets the better of the duo again with a clothesline, side headlock from Bulldog. Eli misses a clothesline but Jacob clubs Bulldog from the apron, tag to Jacob. Right hand to the ribs from Jacob, Bulldog has a small package behind the referee’s back as Luger is with the referee. Eli saves Jacob, Jacob tags out to Eli. Sidewalk slam for two, tag to Jacob. Double big boot, Bulldog fights back and nails a clothesline. The Brothers switch places, boot to the face of Bulldog.



Let’s say this is Jacob, Jacob takes Bulldog to the corner. Bulldog boots away Jacob, Jacob clubs down Bulldog to maintain control. Tag to Eli, double beatdown from the brothers Blu. Scoop slam and Eli is on the middle rope, middle rope elbow drop misses. Tag to Luger, right hands from Luger. Big knee-lift, massive clothesline from Luger. Powerslam from Luger, Eli is smacked off the apron. Flying Forearm on Eli, Jacob makes the save. Bulldog comes in, this match is breaking down, Zebekiah was on the apron. The twins change places, perplexing Luger but Bulldog blind-tags in and nails a diving sunset flip for the win.



It was fine, nothing memorable. Bulldog continues to impress since his return, if they can maintain that kind of momentum, they would be an impressive team in the tag team division that is sorely lacking some sort of spark. Can’t help but think Bulldog should be in some sort of battle with Owen Hart or Neidhart considering the feud that had been going on, shame that we do not get to see that match. Luger feels like everything just does not matter, I mean where is the Crush feud? It seems they never recovered from the collapsed Mr. Perfect feud.


Winners: Allied Powers over Blu Brothers via Diving Sunset Flip!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Jeff Jarrett © W/ The Roadie vs Razor Ramon W/ 1-2-3 Kid

Rematch from the rumble, Ramon pummels Jarrett with right hands. Ramon continues to be over big time with the WWF fans, surely they will see that Ramon needs more than the IC Championship. Jarrett eats a massive right from Ramon, Jarrett’s leapfrog does not fool Ramon who clotheslines the champion to the floor. Jarrett is stalling, Jarrett trips up Ramon. Whip to the corner is countered, Jarrett cannot nail the sunset flip as Ramon thumps Jarrett with a right hand. Two for Ramon, Irish whip reversal and Jarrett is punched into The Roadie. Razor’s Edge but Roadie pulls down Jarrett, saving his friend.



Jarrett tries running away, Kid blocks Jarrett escaping. Roll-up from Ramon for two, Ramon is sent to the buckle hard off an Irish whip. Jarrett drives his knee across the throat using the middle rope, Roadie chokes Jarrett behind the referee’s back. Roadie’s head is bounced off the ring-post and Jarrett is sent tumbling to the floor. Ramon lowers his head off an Irish whip, Jarrett nails the neck-breaker and two nice dropkicks. Strut from Jarrett, Ramon is whipped into two buckles before Jarrett misses an enzuigiri. Ramon tries an elbow drop, Jarrett dodges and gets a two before clamping on a sleeper. Elbows from Ramon, backslide for two. Clothesline from Jarrett for two, Ramon fires back with right hands before Jarrett whips Ramon into a proper sleeper.



Ramon breaks free but Jarrett slams Ramon to the mat by his hair, another reverse chin-lock. Ramon counters with a belly to back suplex, both men get to their feet only to bang heads. Both men take steps back and wind up for massive right hands, they both connect and both go down once more. Ramon covers for a close two, right hands from Ramon. Crossbody does not work as Jarrett walks into a fallaway slam for a close two, whip to the buckle. Roundhouse right from Ramon, Kid is shoved down by Jarrett for trying to interfere. Ramon is concerned for his friend and misses his middle rope bulldog. Ramon holds his knee and my goodness, we are going to work that body part!



Shin-breaker and Figure Four from the champion, great strategy from Double J. Ramon reverses the hold, the hold is eventually broken as Ramon hobbles towards Jarrett. Jarrett misses a right hand, Ramon places Jarrett on the buckle. Super Back-Suplex from Ramon, Ramon looks to the fans and Ramon calls for the end of this match. Razor’s Edge, Roadie chop-blocks Ramon and this match is over as Kid wipes out everyone with massive spinning heel kicks. Eventually, Jarrett and Roadie beat down The Kid and everyone is pulled apart by the referees.



I like when these two work together, one of the main reasons is Ramon clutching his knee and tweaking it actually plays into the match rather than a bump Ramon takes every match. However, it wasn’t really a focal point here as the match was over quite quickly after the injury was established. It is a bit strange because I mean, the knee did not heal after The Rumble so why did Jarrett not attack it constantly? Anyways, a DQ for a big championship at Wrestlemania is a strange one, maybe they have an idea down the road but the tag matches between these two could be exciting for sure. Chemistry is good between the two, the finish leaves me wanting more so not too bad from Ramon and Jarrett.


Winner: Razor Ramon over Jeff Jarrett via DQ!


The Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer vs King Kong Bundy W/ Ted Dibiase

Bundy attacked Taker at the Rumble, Taker wants revenge. Bundy misses a corner splash, Taker wants Old School early. Bundy is cracked in the head, clothesline staggers Bundy. Make it two, third clothesline knocks down Bundy. Bundy clotheslines Taker to the floor, Taker lands on his feet. Taker steals the urn from Dibiase and it’s back in the hands of Paul Bearer. It’s the simple things really as this gets a huge reaction from the fans, Dibiase is asking for backup for Bundy. Here comes Kama Mustafa, Paul Bearer is kicked down as Undertaker attacks Kama. Bundy allows Mustafa to escape with the urn, Taker does not stay down for long. Scoop slam and clothesline from Bundy, three clotheslines stagger The Deadman.



Bundy chokes Taker with his boot in the corner before applying a reverse chin-lock, Taker fights back but Bundy lands his Avalanche Splash. Bundy celebrates but Taker shakes it off my goodness, I do not believe it. Taker scoop slams Bundy after a boot, Flying Clothesline and Taker wins.



Best part of this match was Paul Bearer and the brief reunion with The Urn because this match was boring and a big load of nothing for a couple minutes. Bundy’s comical selling looks out of place in 1995, Bundy never did anything in this match nor did Taker. A Clothesline for the finish? Come on, this was a nothing Taker match like his last few matches to be honest, how long can they keep The Deadman from the WWF Championship?


(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Owen Hart & ???? vs The Smoking Gunns ©

Arguably the best part of the WWF in 1994 Owen Hart is in a championship match but it’s not the WWF Championship but rather the Tag Team Championships. Again, this is a disservice to Owen Hart who I feel deserves so much more because the man is almost untouchable, only Shawn Michaels stealing the show more often than Owen Hart. Owen Hart’s partner is none other than Yokozuna, what a team! The Smoking Gunns won the championships back from Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid, the upset from the Rumble meant nothing it seems.



Owen and Billy to start, clean break from Billy. Owen slaps Billy, side headlock from Billy. Billy slaps Owen back, arm-wringer and tag to Bart. Bart drops down on Owen’s arm before Owen slips out of the hold and rakes the eyes of Bart. Tag to Yokozuna, scoop slam from Yokozuna. Bart dodges the elbow drop, arm-wringer does not work though. Yokozuna tags in Owen, shoulder block from Owen before Bart lands two arm-drags. Tag to Billy, double Russian legsweep. Double dropkick to Yokozuna, Billy wrenches the arm of Owen. Quick tags from The Gunns, neck-breaker/belly to back suplex combination for two, Bart is in again.



Owen hits the buckle hard sternum-first, sidewalk slam and leg drop combination as Yokozuna distracts the referee. Owen kicks out at two, Owen escapes the powerslam. Blind tag from Yokozuna, drop toehold into a leg drop from the challengers. Owen rams Billy into the ring-post, Billy tries brawling with Yokozuna but Yokozuna throat thrusts Billy down. Shoulder claw from Yokozuna, Owen is tagged in and wants a missile dropkick.



Billy moves and Owen drops Yokozuna by mistake, tag to Bart. Gorilla press slam to Owen, whip to Yokozuna but Yokozuna reverses the whip. Yokozuna lowers the head, Bart sends Yokozuna into the mat. Owen trips up Bart as Bart runs the ropes, Billy was tagged in before Bart hit the ropes. Belly to belly suplex from Yokozuna to Billy, Banzai Drop and Billy is squished. Bart makes the save, Bart is sent to the floor by Yokozuna. Owen is tagged in by Yokozuna, Owen covers Billy and we have new champions!



I will always be a fan of a little heel hiding behind a bigger heel in a tag setting, it’s a simple formula and when that little heel is as good as Owen Hart, you are in for a fun time. This setting can protect Yokozuna for sure considering how Yokozuna matches fall apart as the big man gets tired, the match itself was nothing to write home about but seeing Owen win a championship in the WWF and celebrate is so perfect for him.


Winners: Yokozuna & Owen Hart over The Smoking Gunns via Banzai Drop!


(I Quit Match) Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund (Special Guest Referee is Rowdy Roddy Piper)

A little step-up from their Survivor Series match, Bret Hart looks to defeat the man who defeated him for the WWF Championship. Backlund attacked Bret during his WWF Championship match at Royal Rumble while Bret attacked Backlund to aid his elimination in the Rumble match itself. Nice to see a conclusion to this feud, perhaps Owen vs Bret II would have been a better idea. Bret starts off hot, headbutt and hard Irish whips send Backlund all around the ring. Early sharpshooter attempt but Backlund is still in trouble, elbows from Bret. Bret continues to punish Backlund with a figure four, Backlund cannot find his feet.



Bret wrenches the leg of Backlund who is flailing around the ring, Piper interrupts constantly to ask if Backlund or Bret gives up. It’s quite annoying actually, Bret wrenches the leg while Backlund tries to get into this match. Bret destroys the knee with elbows and knees of his own, Backlund whacks Bret in the face with his own leg. Backlund wrenches the arm in the ropes, trying to rip it out of the socket. Bret avoids the chicken-wing, Backlund kicks the arm before Bret hits the buckle hard. Backlund cannot get the chicken-wing, Bret is caught in an arm-bar. Backlund continues to work the arm, Bret escapes for a scoop slam.



Right hands club down Backlund, massive back-breaker from The Hitman. Bret’s Rope Elbow Drop, Backlund does not give-up. Sharpshooter is almost applied but Backlund makes it to the ropes, Bret hammers Backlund with right hands. Backlund meets the buckle hard, Bret tries a corner spear. Backlund dodges, Bret smashes his shoulder into the ring-post. Bret holds onto the ropes, Backlund is so close and Backlund nearly has The Cross-face Chicken-Wing. Bret reverses the hold, Backlund quits to his own submission hold.



I don’t think there could be a satisfying pay-off to this feud, Backlund would not be able to deliver a match that could leave me satisfied due to the way he wrestles, I honestly think this is a waste of Bret too. I understand why they needed to do this match but I honestly did not care, having Piper there added nothing. It was unnecessary and Piper was getting on my nerves with the constant asking of “Do you quit?”. It was just too slow for me, disappointing and this Wrestlemania is starting to drag for me.


Winner: Bret Hart over Bob Backlund via I Quit!


(WWF Championship Match) Diesel © vs Shawn Michaels W/ Sycho Sid

Diesel came into the WWF as Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard, the big man from Detroit watched over HBK after HBK got rid of Sensational Sherri. Diesel saved Michaels many times whether it was Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon or Bret Hart, Big Daddy Cool was there to bail out Shawn Michaels. Diesel started competing, coming into 1994 Diesel was dominating. A stand-out performance in the Rumble and capturing the Intercontinental Championship were a few of his accolades before Diesel captured The WWF Championship. However, along the way Shawn Michaels had cost Diesel his IC Championship against Razor Ramon and had superkicked the big man at Survivor Series 1994 which led to this split. Shawn Michaels would win the Royal Rumble and this match was now inevitable.



Michaels comes in with punches, leaping over the big man and attempting an O’Connor roll but Diesel holds onto the ropes. Clothesline duck from Michaels before Diesel lands a huge forearm to the head. Arm-wringer from Michaels, Michaels works the arm before Diesel throws Michaels to the corner. Elbows and Diesel tosses Michaels across the ring. Huge back body-drop and Michaels is whipped over the top rope, Sid checks on Michaels. Michaels tries a cheap-shot but Diesel catches the big man, Michaels spits on Diesel. Diesel rushes in, right hands in the corner as Diesel shoves away the challenger. Elbow from Diesel, gorilla press slam does not come off as Michaels had worked the arm.



Michaels wants a suplex, Diesel plants Michaels with one of his own. Diesel knee-lifts Michaels to the floor, Sid checks on Michaels once more. Sid distracts Diesel, Michaels nails some big right hands after coming in from the apron. Sunset flip from Michaels does not work, Diesel lifts up Michaels for a two-handed choke toss. Michaels is crotched on the top rope, Diesel misses a big boot and Michaels clotheslines Diesel to the floor. Michaels lands a diving crossbody to the floor, wiping out the champion. Baseball slide from HBK, Diesel tries to send HBK into the ring-post but Michaels dodges with the champion clutching his ribs after the missed elbow. Michaels lands a big splash off the apron onto those damaged ribs.



Diesel survives the count-out but Michaels works the ribs with huge right hands, Diesel is down to one knee as Michaels kicks down the champion. Michaels is on the middle rope, diving bulldog from HBK. 1…2.. Diesel manages to power out, Michaels bounces Diesel’s head off the buckle. Diesel reverses an Irish whip to the opposite buckle but Michaels lands a massive elbow from the middle rope to stop a charging Diesel. Diving Elbow Drop into the ribs form HBK for a close two, Diesel stops the DDT by throwing off Michaels. Diesel does it once more, Diesel want snake eyes but Michaels shoves Diesel to the buckle. Sleeper from the smaller Michaels, Diesel sinks to a knee.



Diesel’s arm drops twice before Diesel shows sings of life, the champion will not give up on this night. Diesel has Michaels on his back, Diesel backs Michaels into the corner. Elbows to the face from Diesel, corner clothesline from Diesel. Another corner clothesline, snake eyes connects this time. Diesel drops his leg across the back of Michaels, Michaels flips to the apron and Diesel punches HBK to the floor. Michaels is begging for mercy, Diesel grabs HBK and lands massive forearms. Michaels is dropped again by a forearm, Diesel is on the floor with Michaels. The two brawl by the cameramen, the referee twists his angle off camera. Back in the ring, Diesel misses a clothesline and Michaels lands Sweet Chin Music.



Michaels cannot believe his luck, 1…2…. Diesel manages to kick out! Sid is not happy and Sid begins ripping at a turnbuckle pad. Michaels spots the exposed buckle, Diesel is dragged to the buckle but Diesel manages to land a massive belly to back suplex. Michaels crawls into the cover for a close two, Michaels is on the middle rope. Diesel stops the middle rope bulldog for a sidewalk slam, Diesel catapults Michael into the buckle. Forearms and a massive big boot from Diesel, Diesel calls for his finish. Jacknife Powerbomb and this match is over!



Well, that was an entertaining match for sure but I wouldn’t call it a great match. Diesel has looked great against Michaels and Bret, no surprise as two of them are considered the best workers in the company at the time. The opening minutes are done at a blistering pace but things do take a turn as things continue, Diesel sold the ribs well but I don’t know if I can buy into Diesel selling for Michaels like I did for The Hitman. Bret Hart went after the leg viciously both times while Michaels was much better selling and shining Diesel as opposed to being on offence. A really fun match that looks spectacular compared with the rest of this card for sure!


Winner: Diesel over Shawn Michaels via Jacknife Powerbomb!


Bam Bam Bigelow vs Lawrence Taylor

This feud kicked off as Royal Rumble as Bigelow lost his tag team championship match and decided to give LT the greatest wrestling shove I have ever seen as LT was shoved down on his ass. From that incident, this match would come to take place and not only is the match taking place at Wrestlemania, it’s your Wrestlemania main event. It’s hard to fathom, a wrestler and a celebrity main eventing Wrestlemania especially when it’s not Hulk Hogan involved but it certainly fits the theme of this Mania which from what I can tell is look at all the celebrities we have at Wrestlemania.



Pat Patterson is the referee, the two men talk trash with Bigelow shoving back LT. LT is smiling, this is how it is going to be for this main event. LT slaps the tastes out of Bigelow’s mouth, massive forearm and a knee to the face. Clothesline to the floor from LT, the crowd is into the match anyways. The Million Dollar Team surround Bigelow to offer advice, Patterson holds back LT. Bigelow misses a clothesline, bulldog from LT for two. Forearms from LT, huge toss from LT with Bigelow powdering to the floor once more. LT is outsmarted by Bigelow, LT is clubbed down by Bigelow. Big kick to the ribs, Bigelow stomps LT in the corner. Headbutts from Bigelow, boot choke from Bigelow.



Scoop slam from Bigelow, LT dodges the falling headbutt. Massive clothesline from LT, LT runs into a spinebuster from Bigelow. Bigelow plants LT in the corner,  LT blocks the oncoming Bigelow. Another spinebuster into the corner, LT is choked using the middle rope. Headbutt from Bigelow, LT backs Bigelow to the corner though. Bigelow rakes the eyes of LT, make it two eye rakes. Boston crab from Bigelow, transition into a single leg before Bigelow drags LT back to the middle of the ring. LT throws another wild forearm before LT delivers a belly to back suplex out of nowhere. Bigelow regains control with falling headbutts to LT, massive leg drop from Bigelow.



Bigelow climbs to the top rope, Diving Moonsault from Bigelow. Bigelow clutches his knee off the moonsault, this delays the pin-fall attempt and when Bigelow does cover LT, LT manages to kick out at two. Bigelow ducks his head off an Irish whip, LT manages to gut-wrench suplex Bigelow. Bigelow measures LT and waffles him with an enzuigiri. Falling headbutt from Bigelow, make it two.



Bigelow stands in front of LT’s teammates before Bigelow decides to climb to the top rope. Diving Headbutt finds the mark but LT manages to kick out of the headbutt, LT tees off with massive forearms. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, another running forearm, make it two. LT is climbing to the middle rope, Diving Forearm and LT picks up the win.



As far as celebrity matches go, this was good. LT throws a mean forearm and LT wipes out Bigelow, Bigelow makes LT look great in the beginning with such big bumps for LT but it’s crazy to think that this was The Wrestlemania Main Event. You were definitely not going to recapture Mr. T vs Piper and the crowd reaction I think tells you all you need to know. An initial yes this is great before the fans just quiet down and your Wrestlemania goes off the air without that much fanfare.


Winner: Lawrence Taylor over Bam Bam Bigelow via Diving Forearm!


That was WWF’s Wrestlemania XI, a poor showing from the WWF when all things are considered. What I did like about this Wrestlemania is they trimmed the fat of having every superstar earn a payday, they give you the big matches and nothing else. However, the emphasis was on how many celebrities showed up and we even have a celebrity in the main event, the show was just not that great. Allied Powers vs Blu Brothers kicks us off and it’s fine, two babyfaces who had not a chance in hell of losing, Bulldog looks great but Luger is the hot-tag and Luger feels like Summerslam 1993 was ten years ago because the fans are just not as hot for Luger like before. Anyways, it’s a nothing tag match that has an abrupt finish that catches the fans and myself off guard. We move onto Razor Ramon vs Jeff Jarrett. Ramon and Jarrett have good chemistry, they work well with one another and adding in the element of the 1-2-3 Kid doing insane things only works in this match’s favour. I would like to see these two do battle again as they work so well with one another but a DQ finish at Wrestlemania in a big championship is a tough pill to swallow.


Undertaker vs Bundy was comically bad, Bundy’s time has long since passed to get away with what he was doing inside of that ring. Taker has another opponent that I would rather skip through for matches and surprise surprise, this match was awful. Smoking Gunns vs Owen & Yokozuna was another nothing match, a great moment for Owen Hart but beyond that, the match was mostly boring. Things do not improve with Bret vs Backlund, their styles clash and it’s a boring mess. I can’t help but think we could have Owen and Bret involved in the main event or a rematch to see who was the better Hart. It seems like both were wasted at Mania.


Finally, we have Diesel vs Shawn Michaels and LT vs Bam Bam Bigelow. Diesel and Michaels have an entertaining match, I don’t know if I can buy into Michaels dominating Diesel like Bret would when Bret would chop down Diesel through attacks on the leg. However, Michaels shines when bumping and making Big Daddy Cool look like the WWF Champion that he is, fun but I think I needed more drama. Felt the finish was a little flat too, Diesel just nailed his comeback and delivered a terrible Jacknife Powerbomb. The main event was fine for a celebrity match, it gets hurt by the fact that it closed Wrestlemania. Bigelow as much as I love him was nowhere near the top of the card and deserving of this spot. Neither was LT, it was insane but that’s where the WWF was in 1995. That’s two pay per views now and I have to start looking at In Your House PPVs so this could be a long year. Overall, this is a disappointing Wrestlemania compared to the year prior, there’s a lot of talent breaking through but everyone needs to start firing on all cylinders or this could be a difficult year to watch through. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!


No comments:

Post a Comment