WrestleMania XII headed to the Anaheim Pond in California with one of WrestleMania’s greatest matches taking centre stage, as Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart battled it out in a 60 minute Ironman match.
Date: March 31, 1996
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA
1. Owen Hart, British Bulldog and Vader df Yokozuna, Jake Roberts and Ahmed Johnson in a Six-man Tag Team match
2. Roddy Piper df Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl
3. The Ringmaster df Savio Vega
4. Ultimate Warrior df Hunter Hearst Hemsley
5. Undertaker df Diesel
6. Shawn Michaels df Bret Hart in a 60-minute Ironman match to become new WWE Champion.
Gallery (all images credited to wwe.com)
5 Facts about WrestleMania XII
1. WrestleMania XII featured the first ever Ironman match as Shawn Michaels won his first WWE Championship with victory over Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. It was tied 0-0 after 60 minutes but after commissioner Gorilla Monsoon declared their must be a winner, Shawn Michaels superkicked Hart to capture his first WWE Championship. Hart and Michaels only met the morning of the WrestleMania for three hours to plan out the Ironman match. In this meeting, Hart and HBK agreed not to shake hands after the match to build for a potential rematch. However, Michaels claimed Hart would not shake his hand, while Hart says that Michaels told referee Earl Hebner to make Hart get out of the ring and called him “a piece of sh*t.”
2. WrestleMania XII also featured a unique Hollywood Backlot Brawl between Rowdy Roddy Piper and WrestleMania debutant Goldust. However, the backstage footage was actually recorded three weeks before WrestleMania. During the match, Piper chased Goldust in his car although the actual footage was from the LAPD freeway chase involving OJ Simpson. The original plan was for Goldust to face Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Championship in a Street Fight, but these plans were scrapped when Ramon signed for WCW and was suspended for six weeks after failing a drugs test.
3. For the first time in four years, Ultimate Warrior returned to WrestleMania as Linda McMahon convinced Warrior to return to the company for a squash victory over WrestleMania debutant Hunter Hearst Hemsley. During the match, Warrior got straight back up from Hemsley’s pedigree despite Gerald Brisco and Triple H’s attempts to persuade Warrior to have a more competitive match. However, Warrior would not comply and did not sell the pedigree as originally planned.
4. Along with Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin made his WrestleMania debut under the name of ‘The Ringmaster’ as he defeated Savio Vega. While it was a first WrestleMania both The Game and Austin, it was the last for Yokozuna and Jake Roberts. It was also Diesel’s final ever WrestleMania match, as he lost to The Undertaker before moving to WCW.
5. This was the third time the event came to the state of California as WrestleMania XII was held in the Anaheim Pond. WrestleMania would return to the Pond just four years later for WrestleMania 2000. In WrestleMania history, California has hosted the most WrestleMania’s with six taking place in Golden State having hosted WrestleMania 2, VII, XII, 2000, 21 and 31.