Throwback Thursday: WrestleMania X

This week’s Throwback Thursday heads back to 1994 in the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden for the tenth edition of the biggest event in sports entertainment, WrestleMania.

Although we witnessed two WWE Championship matches at WrestleMania X, it was a brother vs brother showdown and an epic Ladder match that stole the show.

We will start at the beginning and you won’t find a better WrestleMania opening match than Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart’s back and forth battle with younger brother Owen Hart.

Both men showed off their athletic ability and mat wrestling skills in a back and forth start to the match and it was the older of the brothers that scored the first big move of the match when Bret monkey flipped Owen in the ropes before clotheslining him to the outside.

The Hitman continue his dominance going to work on his younger brother’s arm but Owen finally got a shot in on Bret with a spinning heel kick, before slamming his older brother back first into the ringpost.

Owen continued to work on Bret’s back with the back breaker and a camel clutch but Hitman pulled the momentum back in his favour with a belly to belly suplex and reversed Owen’s crossbody into a pin attempt.

They showed off brilliant chemistry with each man countering a suplex attempt and while Bret was stunned by Owen’s german suplex, Hitman kicked out at two in another near fall before Owen had a close call of his own as Bret countered a suplex into a small package.

Owen Hart hit a vicious tombstone piledriver on The Hitman but Bret then avoided his brother’s diving headbutt, before he nailed his younger brother with an atomic drop and a Russian leg sweep to swing the momentum back in his favour.

Both men escaped the other’s sharpshooter attempt as the bout continued to swing back and forth but when Bret tweaked his knee after a springboard dive onto Owen on the outside, Owen began to take advantage of the injury.

After escaping Owen’s Figure 4 Leg Lock, Bret began to fight back hitting a bulldog, piledriver and a superplex on his brother but each time Owen managed to stay alive on Bret’s pin attempts.

Owen needed a low blow to escape Bret Hart’s sleeper hold and locked Bret in his own sharpshooter, but The Hitman reversed it into his own sharpshooter. Unfortunately for him, Owen was too close to the ropes as he was forced to break the hold.

This brilliant match came to a close when Owen countered Bret’s victory into a roll up to bag a huge victory over his brother in a match that is regarded as one of the best in WrestleMania history.

Despite the crushing loss and a knee injury, Bret Hart had to recompose himself for the main event as he ended the night on a high when he defeated Yokozuna to become a two-time WWE Champion.

It was also Yokozuna’s second match of the night as the WWE Champion had earlier retained his title after a DQ win over Lex Luger before stepping into the ring with the other co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble match.

Bret Hart lsot to brother Owen before going on to beat Yokozuna for the WWE title image: wwe.com

Bret Hart lost to brother Owen before going on to beat Yokozuna for the WWE title
image: wwe.com

In the first WWE Championship encounter it was Luger who started strongly against the 600 pounder, after Yokozuna missed a big elbow drop and Luger nailed him with a flying crossbody for a close near fall.

However, one shot from Yokozuna’s massive right hand pulled the match in the champion’s favour and he began to wear Luger down with shot after shot and locked him in a lengthy nerve hold submission.

Luger hit Yokozuna with a number of elbows but then ran into Yokozuna’s belly to belly, before Luger began to rally after sending Yokozuna face first in the exposed turnbuckle.

Three clotheslines from Luger finally got Yokozuna off his feet and managed to scoop slam Yokozuna at the second time of asking. He nailed interfering manager Mr Fuji and Jim Cornette but Luger then found himself screwed by special guest referee Mr Pefect.

Mr Pefect refused to make the count and after Luger put his hands on the official, Mr Perfect called for the bell to award Yokozuna a DQ victory much to the sold out crowd’s disappointment.

The match was not the greatest encounter you will ever see and the DQ victory for Yokozuna just made it a whole lot worse. Thankfully justice was done by Bret Hart in the main event, but this WWE title match was not much better.

Yokozuna went straight for The Hitman who hobbled out to the ring and the champion began to build some momentum by choking Hart on the ring ropes, which did not go down too well with guest referee Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Hart avoided Yokozuna’s splash and drove him face first into the mat and after finally getting him off his feet with a huge shot to the back, he made the pin only for Jim Cornette to pull out referee Piper, who nailed the manager with a right hand.

Hart suffered a huge leg drop from the Samoan and after beating Piper’s very fast ten count after being dumped to the outside, he began to rally when Yokozuna missed his corner splash.

Hart scored a number of near falls after a bulldog from the top rope and a diving forearm, but then got caught in mid-air by the champion who hit the belly to belly suplex on The Hitman.

He set him up for the Banzai drop but after losing his balance on the ropes, he fell and hit his head on the mat to allow Bret Hart make the winning pinfall and become the new WWE Champion.

It was slightly better than the first WWE Title match as Hart deservingly left Madison Square Garden after two gruelling matches and a brilliant performance from the Canadian, although the finish to the match was slightly underwhelming.

WrestleMania X also witnessed a historic Ladder match as Shawn Michaels put in a great performance, but came up short against Razor Ramon who left WrestleMania as the Undisputed Intercontinental Champion.

Just moments into the match, Michael lost an advantage when bodyguard Diesel was sent to the back by referee Earl Hebner for a clothesline to the Ramon on the outside.

The Bad Guy sent Michaels flying in the turnbuckle and over to the floor but his decision to remove the protective padding from the floor backfired when HBK reversed the Razor’s Edge and sent Ramon crashing to the concrete.

Ramon was in further agony when Michaels baseball slid the ladder into Ramon’s mid section and repeatedly done so before smashing it over the champion’s back.

Razor stopped Michaels from climbing up the ladder by pantsing HBK, but he did not seem too bothered by the exposure as he hit a diving elbow off the ladder, before an amazing splash from the top of the ladder onto Ramon.

Michaels was very much in control but it all changed when Ramon sent him crashing off the ladder and whipped the former Intercontinental Champion into it, before connecting the ladder with Michaels’ face.

Shawn Michaels and Rzor Ramon stole the show in WrestleMania;'s first ever Ladder match image:gmbsports.com

Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon stole the show in WrestleMania;’s first ever Ladder match
image:gmbsports.com

Michaels’ axe handle off the top rope prevented Ramon from retrieving the title belts and then both men slugged it out on top of the ladder, before Ramon suplexed Michaels from the ladder to the mat below.

After knocking Ramon off the ladder once again with a dropkick, Michaels nailed him with a superkick and a piledriver, before using the ladder in a splash from the top rope driving it into Ramon’s torso.

It looked like victory for HBK but after Ramon shoulder blocked the ladder to knock Michaels into the ropes, HBK’s leg got caught up in the ropes and while he managed to escape, he then got his arm stuck and Ramon climbed the ladder to victory.

With Owen Hart’s win over Bret Hart earlier in the night, Michaels and Ramon gave fans in Madison Square Garden another epic match and although it was Michaels offense that blew our minds, it was Ramon who stood ta top of the ladder with the two title belts.

There was two epic matches at WrestleMania X that are still regarded as two of the best matches in WWE history, but unfortunately the rest of the card failed to live long in the memory.

A bizarre Falls Count Anywhere match saw Randy Macho Man Savage overcome Crush in a short encounter, but the rules were a lot different that today;s version of a Falls Count Anywhere match.

The match started in the entrance way as Savage went right after Crush but after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tossing Savage into the railing, Crush score the pinfall. However the rules of this were that if you were pinned, you had 60 seconds to return to the ring to keep the match alive.

The stipulation did not work but we still got some decent wrestling moves from the Macho Man, as he avoided a salt attack handed to Crush by Mr Fuiji and nailed him with his elbow drop before a pin on the outside.

Fuji doused his client with water to help him beat the count but it was Savage who continued to dominate by throwing Crush face first into the ringpost and clotheslined him over the railing.

They went backstage where Savage scored what proved to be the winning pinfall after slamming him through a door and although Savage’s attempt to hang Crush upside down from an unusual apparatus failed, Crush did not beat the 60 second count to award Savage the win.

Men of a Mission’s quest to win WWE Tag Team Championship gold ended in disappointment as The Quebecers got it away with it in a countout loss to Mabel and Mo.

Mabel overcame an early onslaught from the champions with a double clothesline and the challengers began to build early momentum with Mo’s crossbody to Pierre and Mabel’s massive leg drop to the back of Jacques neck.

However, the momentum shifted when Jacques choked Mo with the tag rope and the Quebecers began to wear him down with double team moves. However he eventually made the hot tag to the near 500 pound Mabel after Pierre missed a diving leg drop.

Mabel rallied but then found himself on the receiving end of a double suplex by The Quebecers on their second attempt but Mabel struck back with a spinning heel kick and a stacked big splash on Jacques, before Johnny Polo distracted the referee until Oscar got his hands on him.

Mable and Mo also hit their stacked big splash onto Pierre on the outside but it proved costly for the challengers as Pierre got counted out to hand Men on a Mission the win but as we know the titles cannot change hands on a countout.

It was a decent Tag Team Championship that definitely had the crowd on their feet in a strong and fast paced finish to the bout, but the countout didn’t go down well in among the Madison Square Garden crowd.

Alundra Blayze also retained her Women’s Championship match in the first women’s title match at WrestleMania in nine years as Leilani Kai proved no match for the champion in a short affair.

Kai had Blayze on the back foot early on but the champion use her speed and skill to defeat the former champion with a clothesline, spinning heel kick and a vertical suplex before sealing the deal with a german suplex.

If Luger had captured the WWE title from Yokozuna, he would have faced Bret Hart in the main event image: wwe.com

If Luger had captured the WWE title, he would have faced Bret Hart in the main event
image: wwe.com

In an even shorter match, Earthquake made light work of Adam Bomb in just 35 seconds as he saved Howard Finkel from Bomb’s attack with a belly to belly, powerslam and the earthquake splash in a pointless encounter.

The final piece of action came in the form of Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon’s win over Doink and Dink the Clown’s a ridiculous mixed Tag Team match.

Four foot Dink just ran around the ring trying to avoid Luna but she finally got he hands on him with a scoop slam but there was more embarrassment for Luna when Dink moved from her splash, before Doink and Bam Bam were brought back into the match.

The action with Bam Bam and Doink was slightly better but this was far from a good match as Bam Bam picked up the victory with a flying headbutt to Doink.

There was some head scratching moments at WrestleMania X ,including the involvement of fake Bill Clinton, but the event will be remembered for two of WrestleMania’s greatest showdowns with Owen’s shock win over his brother Bret and a game changing Ladder match.

WrestleMania X

wrestlemaniax-1Date: 20 March 1994
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Attendance: 18, 065

The Results
1. Owen Hart df Bret Hart
2. Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon df Doink the Clown and Dink the Clown in a Mixed Tag Team match
3. Randy Savage df Crush in a Falls Count Anywhere match
4. Alundra Blayze df Leilani Kai to retain Women’s Championship
5. Men on a Mission df WWE Tag Team Champions The Quebecers by countout
6. Yokozuna df Lex Luger by DQ to retain WWE Championship with Mr. Perfect as special guest referee
7. Earthquake df Adam Bomb
8. Razor Ramon df Shawn Michaels in a Ladder match to retain Intercontinental Championship
9. Bret Hart df Yokozuna to become new WWE Champion, with Rowdy Roddy Piper as guest referee

Watch WrestleMania X on the WWE Network

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