It's once again time for the event that has taken the wrestling world by storm, and that is the Ring Rust Radio fantasy draft. RRR's panelists have engaged in drafts involving superstars from some of the greatest eras in wrestling history, and this one will utilize wrestlers from the nWo Era in 1996 and 1997.
That means that stars such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and so many others were available to be taken. After 25 rounds of unpredictable action, all four panelists crafted a card using the wrestlers that they selected.
Your job is to vote on who did the best job between them. There is no question that every card has its merits and its drawbacks, but there must be a winner. Feel free to vote and tune in to Ring Rust Radio on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET to find out who reigned supreme.
Donald Wood—Extreme Championship Wrestling
|ECW Barely Legal|
|ECW Championship Submission Match ||Steve Austin (c) vs. Ric Flair|
|Hell in a Cell Match||Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Kane w/ Paul Bearer|
|ECW Tag Team Championship Match||New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) (c) vs. Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) vs. The Eliminators (Perry Saturn & John Kronus)|
|ECW Television Championship Match ||Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Taz|
|Barbed Wire Match||Terry Funk vs. Sabu|
|Steve Williams vs. Arn Anderson|
|The Giant vs. Ken Shamrock w/ Paul Heyman|
|Dark Match||Rick Martel and Marc Mero w/ Sable vs. Jeff Jarrett and D'Lo Brown|
Note: Winners in Italics
Dark Match: Rick Martel and Marc Mero w/ Sable vs. Jeff Jarrett and D'Lo Brown
The show starts off with a dark match just built to get the crowd whipped into a frenzy. The heels Rick Martel and Marc Mero with Sable come out to take on the face team of strange bedfellows in Jeff Jarrett and D'Lo Brown. The in-ring action gets the fans on the side of the good guys and they triumph to the chagrin of the fans.
The Giant vs. Ken Shamrock w/ Paul Heyman
The Giant has dominated ECW since arriving on the scene, and after issuing an open challenge to anyone in the world, Commissioner Paul Heyman said that he would answer the call. After weeks of threatening Heyman, The Giant hits the ring and demands his challenger. Heyman hits the ramp and with a sly smile reveals that it’s The World’s Most Dangerous Man KEN SHAMROCK! Shamrock hits the ring, brutalizes The Giant and forces him to tap out to the ankle lock in just over two minutes.
Steve Williams vs. Arn Anderson
After the quick opener, the ECW fans will be treated to a hard-hitting, old-school battle between Dr. Death Steve Williams and Arn Anderson. In a brutal in-ring war, it will be Williams continuing his ten-year winning streak against a bona-fide legend.
Terry Funk vs. Sabu
After Williams and Anderson start the brutality, the blood and gore is taken the next level when Sabu squares off against Terry Funk in a barb wire death match. This would be a rematch of this brutal match, and Sabu would get the full rub from Funk in the wildest match of the night.
ECW Television Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Taz
After becoming the ultimate arrogant heel and defending the title successfully for the last eight months, Diamond Dallas Page had become one of the most hated men in ECW. After dodging Taz throughout his championship reign – teasing a potential feud along the way – Heyman finally made this match for the pay-per-view. Taz will get his redemption and take the TV title.
ECW Tag Team Championship: New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) vs. Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) vs. The Eliminators (Perry Saturn & John Kronus)
In the ultimate interpromotional tag team match, the ECW tag team champions The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) defend their title against the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Saggs) and The Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus). The Eliminators add the high flying, the Nasty Boys add the hardcore and The New Age Outlaws add the charisma. The face champions retain.
Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Kane w/ Paul Bearer
After debuting as Paul Bearer’s son and laying waste to ECW, it was the Macho Man Randy Savage that stood up to Kane during one of his attacks. Kane and Bearer turned their focus on Macho Man and his valet Miss Elizabeth, going as far as kidnapping her and holding her hostage. Savage got his match, but Kane added the Hell in a Cell stipulation in the weeks leading to the bout. With Elizabeth being held by Bearer outside the cage, Savage fights valiantly and eventually breaks the door open to rescue his wife. After a chase that results in Kane, Savage and Elizabeth in the ring, Miss Elizabeth drops to her knees and low blows Savage into a chokeslam from Kane. Macho Man takes the loss, and the stable of Kane, Miss Elizabeth and Paul Bearer walk away as a major threat against the ECW world champion.
ECW Championship: Steve Austin vs. Ric Flair
Steve Austin has taken ECW by storm with his brash attitude and unpredictable antics, and after beating Ric Flair for the championship, this is the wrestling legend’s only rematch. After a classic singles match that saw Flair tap out to his own figure-four leg lock, this will be a submission match with Flair never getting another shot at the title as long as Austin is champion. After an amazing battle filled with technical mastery and in-ring theatrics, Stone Cold retains the title via the Texas Cloverleaf.
Brandon Galvin—New World Order
|nWo Souled Out|
|nWo Championship Hell in a Cell Match|
Sting vs. The Undertaker (c)
|War Games Match||Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog & Brian Pillman) vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal), Rob Van Dam & Goldust w/ Marlena|
|nWo United States Championship Match||Rob Van Dam vs. Bret Hart (c)|
|nWo Tag Team Championship Match ||Owen Hart & British Bulldog (c) vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)|
|nWo Television Championship Match ||Goldust w/ Marlena vs. Brian Pillman (c)|
|nWo Cruiserweight Championship Cruiserweight Invitational||2 Cold Scorpio vs. Mikey Whipwreck vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Taka Michinoku vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Psychosis vs. Dean Malenko (c)|
|No Disqualification Match||Tommy Dreamer w/ Beulah McGillicutty vs. Raven|
|Yokozuna vs. Vader|
|Jake Roberts vs. Shane Douglas w/ Francine|
|Faarooq & Kama Mustafa vs. The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa)|
Note: Winners in Italics
Cruiserweight Invitational for nWo Cruiserweight Championship: 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Mikey Whipwreck vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Taka Michinoku vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Psychosis vs. Dean Malenko
nWo opens the night with high-flying action courtesy of the cruiserweight division. Due to the immense talent located in the division, an invitational was held for every cruiserweight in the company. This match features a great range of high-risk maneuvers through the air mixed with technical mastery on the mat due to the highly-skilled participants involved. In the end, it is the master of submission holds, Dean Malenko, who outlasts the field to retain the nWo Cruiserweight Championship.
Faarooq & Kama Mustafa vs. The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa)
Two of the hardest-hitting and toughest teams you'll ever see in the mid-90's square off on a trueslugfest. The slams and hits in this contest would echo throughout any arena, which will keep the fans engaged during this bout. With both teams always looking for a knock-em-out brawl, it doesn't take much to ignite a rivalry.
nWo Television Championship: Goldust w/ Marlena vs. Brian Pillman
A major storyline heading into Souled Out was the stranglehold the Hart Foundation had on the majority of nWo championships in the company. The first title defense for the faction pits Brian Pillman against Goldust. These two have been embroiled in a personal battle and are finally ready to square off with the Television championship on the line. Goldust was underrated performer and Pillman was one of the most talented. With these two personalities, fans know the entertainment aspect will be off the charts.
nWo Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
The second title defense for the Hart Foundation pits Owen Hart & British Bulldog against the Legion of Doom in a match featuring two of the greatest tag teams in the world. These four veteran performers know exactly how to get the most out of ever match and tell a masterful tag-team story inside the ring.
Jake Roberts vs. Shane Douglas w/ Francine
Two of the best heels in the business square off to just who is the dirtiest player in the nWo organization. Both men are high-quality brawlers and understand that timing is everything inside the squared circle. In a classic old-fashioned match, these two prove they will do whatever it takes to win a match.
nWo United States Championship: Rob Van Dam vs. Bret Hart
The final title defense for the Hart Foundation pits Bret Hart against Rob Van Dam in a match featuring two of the most entertaining in-ring performers in the mid-90's. This is one of the money-making matches of the card for a reason as both men can do it all in the ring while making sure fans care about every single maneuver. A motion will never be wasted with these two in the ring and they have the abilities to tear down the house.
Bret Hart had been destroying every opponent thrown his way. Finally, Rob Van Dam stepped up to the plate to bring the conceded villain back to Earth. Unfortunately, Hart's submissions skills ultimately grounded RVD and forced him to tap to the Sharpshooter.
Yokozuna vs. Vader
Two of the most feared monsters in the world during the mid-90's square off to see who is truly the baddest man on the planet. This is a battle of brute strength to see if one immovable object could possibly move the other. After numerous tests of strengths, Vader's athleticism gets the best of Yokozuna.
No Disqualification Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Beulah McGillicutty vs. Raven
Dreamer and Raven have a storied rivalry and this will be another chapter in their book. Both men were two of the most beloved brawlers in the business during their prime. Their complete disregard for their bodies for the sake of the fans' enjoyment is top-notch. Thrown into a No DQ atmosphere, these two will thrive and could even steal the show from the main events.
War Games Match: The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog & BrianPillman) vs. Rob Van Dam, Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk) & Goldust w/ Marlena
Arguably the top storyline heading into the event was the battle between the Hart Foundation against Rob Van Dam, Legion of Doom and Goldust. It has been a lengthy, personal rivalry built on gaining and retaining champions gold, but more importantly, pride. The Hart Foundation has decimated everyone in their path and was looking to put an end to their rivals altogether.
In one of the most brutal matches in history, both factions compete in the gruesome War Games atmosphere. The match ultimately came down to Bret Hart and Rob Van Dam, who had competed earlier in the night against each other. Both men being the leaders of their respective stables poured their hearts and souls into the match, but Hart once again took out RVD to cement his dominance and prove that he should be the No. 1 contender for the nWo Championship.
nWo Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Sting vs. The Undertaker
The biggest dream match that fans have yet to ever see to this date remains Sting vs. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell. This match may have been in a higher demand in the mid-90's when both were in their prime and at the peaks of their respective supernatural and 'dark' gimmicks.
Both men possess two of the greatest gimmicks in professional wrestling history, defined their respective companies and are among the most skilled pound-for-pound performers ever. This match, especially in the mid-90's, would trump the rest.
Michael Cahill—World Championship Wrestling
|WCW Championship Match |
Hollywood Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Scott Hall
|WCW United States Championship Match ||Bill Goldberg (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero|
|WCW Television Championship Match ||Kevin Nash (c) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow|
|WCW Tag Team Championship Match||Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von) (c) vs. Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)|
|WCW Cruiserweight Championship Steel Cage Match||Chris Jericho (c) vs. Billy Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Spike Dudley|
|Falls Count Anywhere Match||The Sandman vs. Sycho Sid|
|Co-GM Match||Marty Jannetty vs. La Parka vs. Buff Bagwell vs. Konnan vs. Greg Valentine|
|Lex Luger vs. Bob Holly|
Note: Winners in Italics
Lex Luger vs. Bob Holly
The action kicks off with a match for the ages and those who are fans of super stiff wrestling: Lex Luger vs. Bob Holly. This is a battle of strength and power. It’s about how can pack a more powerful punch. No top rope tricks here. Just a brawl from start to finish. GM Ahmed Johnson looks on and approvingly says: Dis jabba wobba obba dubba.
Marty Jannetty vs. La Parka vs. Buff Bagwell vs. Konnan vs. Greg Valentine
Next Up GM Ahmed Johnson announces that he’s going to have a match to determine who is assistant GM will be. He calls out a bunch of names that no one understands so 5 guys randomly walk out and you have: Marty Jannetty vs. La Parka vs. Buff Bagwell vs. Konnan vs. Greg Valentine. This match is a brawl filled with big spots and looks of utter confusion. While there are several near falls for these cagey veterans, we see a seasoned Marty Jannetty earn an Assistant GM role he will never understand.
Falls Count Anywhere: The Sandman vs. Sycho Sid
The action really picks up here. These are two bruisers who love to inflict pain. Much like Luger and Holly this should be a blood bath and one that will leave no one standing, regardless of the winner. But since someone has to win, Sycho Sid takes this one and Sandman will barely remember it happened.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Cage Match Chris Jericho vs. Billy Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Spike Dudley
The Cruiserweight Championship is all about athleticism and putting this match in a cage should create some memorable moments. While a star like Chris Jericho might have superior skill, this kind of a match evens the odds across the board. Jericho dominates early and makes plenty of attempts to escapes but Spike Dudley stuns the world when he manages to sneak away from bloodied combatants to hit the ground.
WCW Tag Team Championship: Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von) vs. Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)
The crowd is amped to see some of the most memorable tag teams of the era square off. The Dudley Boyz steal the show early, bringing their effortless teamwork to the ring and taking control of the match. The Headbangers grab some momentum but the Dudley Boyz are too strong and too experienced to let this one slip away.
WCW Television Championship: Kevin Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Kevin Nash is one of the legends of the era and Bam Bam Bigelow has been around forever. This match is a lot more fast paced than you would assume. Both men give it everything they got and Bam Bam Bigelow scores the upset in this one.
WCW United States Championship: Bill Goldberg vs. Eddie Guerrero
This match pits two different styles against one another. Bill Goldberg is a slow, methodical wrestler focused on pain and punishment. Eddie Guerrero was a fast paced talent and one of the best we’ve ever seen. Eddie plays the classic heel here. He avoids contact early, makes Goldberg chase him around. Goldberg finally takes control of the match and the punishment ensues. Eddie didn’t get to where he was without being smart in the ring, so a quick reverse roll up and Goldberg loses to an all-time great.
WCW Championship: Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Scott Hall
Hogan and Hall make for one of the most interesting matchups on the card. Scott is the more athletic wrestler while Hogan was one that relied on the crowd. Heel Hogan dominates this match early with some sneaky moves and cheap shots. Hall battles back and uses his athleticism to his advantage. It’s a hell of a fight and one that Hogan gets for the narrow victory.
Mike Chiari—World Wrestling Federation
|WWF Championship Match|
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The Rock w/ Vince McMahon
|No Holds Barred Match ||Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Chyna vs. Mankind|
|WWF Intercontinental Championship Match|
Curt Hennig (c) vs. Chris Benoit
|WWF Tag Team Championship Match|
Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) (c) vs. Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick)
|Retirement Match||"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler|
|WWF European Championship Match||Steven Regal (c) vs. Lance Storm|
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mark Henry
|WWF Light Heavyweight Championship Fatal Four Way Ladder Match|
Ultimo Dragon (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Steve Blackman vs. Glacier
|The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) vs. Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) vs. Rock 'N' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)|
|Dark Match||Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw vs. Mike Awesome|
Note: Winners in Italics
Dark Match: Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw vs. Mike Awesome
WWF’s WrestleMania card kicks off with a rough-and-tumble dark match between Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw and Mike Awesome. As two of the toughest guys in the business, it should come as no surprise that this bout turns into an all-out brawl.
While neither man is able to gain the upper hand throughout the match, things come to a head late as Bradshaw misses a massive clothesline. Awesome then capitalizes by kicking Bradshaw in the gut and hitting his patented Awesome Bomb for the victory. It certainly isn’t the prettiest match of all time, but it gets the fans excited for what is to come.
The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) vs. Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) vs. Rock 'N' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
With the televised card ready to get underway, WrestleMania provides the fans with a fantastic triple-threat tag team match between The Faces of Fear, Public Enemy and The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. The WWF clearly has the deepest tag-team division of anyone and that much is proven true as three capable duos do battle to kick things off.
The contrasting styles of all three teams makes this an extremely exciting affair. While things are fairly tame early on, all six men inevitably get involved and create total chaos. That plays right into the hands of The Faces of Fear as Barbarian super kicks Ricky Morton and Meng finishes him off with the Tongan Death Grip to pick up the win.
Steve Blackman vs. Glacier
During the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, Steve Blackman and Glacier have engaged in a game of one-upmanship. Both men are martial arts experts and they have been aiming to prove once and for all who the true black belt is. This grudge match features a number of martial arts maneuvers and is unlike anything most wrestling fans are used to seeing.
Despite that, the crowd is entertained by a dizzying array of kicks, chops and throws. Blackman was known for his prowess as a hardcore wrestler, so he takes advantage of the situation when the referee is knocked out by hitting Glacier with his trademark eskrima sticks. After following that up with a Bicycle Kick, “The Lethal Weapon” prevails.
Fatal Four Way Ladder Match for WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. 1-2-3 Kid
The WWF did everything in its power to offer alternatives in comparison to its competitors and the Fatal Four Way ladder match between Rey Mysterio Jr., Ultimo Dragon, Jushin “Thunder” Liger and 1-2-3 Kid for the Light Heavyweight Championship proves that. It can be argued that those four men are among the greatest cruiserweights in wrestling history, so the fans are naturally captivated from start to finish.
All four men are well known for leaving everything on the line and putting their bodies at risk. A number of hurricanranas, moonsaults, planchas and other death-defying moves are attempted throughout the match. With Dragon and Kid battling on the ladder late in the bout, Liger launches himself off the top rope and wipes them both out. With everyone else incapacitated, Mysterio grabs a ladder and quickly scales it to win the title.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mark Henry
While The Ultimate Warrior certainly wasn’t at his height during the nWo Era, he was still an extremely popular superstar, so the fans are extremely excited to see him hit the ring. Standing between him and a WrestleMania victory, however, is one of the toughest challengers of his career in the form of Mark Henry. The Olympic power lifter was early in his career at this point and looking to make a name for himself by beating an established star.
Warrior comes out firing as he so often does, but the pure strength of Henry allows him to gain control before long. After squeezing the life out of Warrior with a bear hug, Henry goes for a splash, but Warrior suddenly pops up and goes on a rampage. After body slamming Henry, Warrior somehow manages to complete a press slam before finishing off “The World’s Strongest Man” with a big splash of his own.
WWF European Championship: Steven Regal vs. Lance Storm
The WWF has a rich history of fantastic European Championship matches and another is added to that list at WrestleMania as Steven Regal defends his title against Lance Storm. Leading up to the match Regal has beaten all comers and claimed that the European Championship would never leave the hands of an Englishman. This prompted Storm, a Canadian, to issue a WrestleMania challenge.
Regal and Storm are two of the best chain wrestlers in recent memory, so anyone who is a fan of technical wrestling will certainly enjoy this one. It is abundantly clear from the start that Regal and Storm are as evenly matched as they come, so there are a number of counters over the course of the bout. Regal believes he has the match won late with the Regal Stretch, but Storm gets to the ropes. Regal tries to capitalize with a running knee, however, Storm rolls him into a single-leg Boston Crab and forces him to submit.
Retirement Match: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler
There is no question that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Jerry “The King” Lawler were past their wrestling prime by the time the nWo Era came into existence, but they were both excellent on the mic and could still entertain the fans in the ring. Piper enters WrestleMania on a bit of a losing streak and he has taken a lot of abuse from Lawler at the announce table. Piper is so fed up with King’s remarks that he challenges him to a retirement match.
Lawler tries to resist, but Piper dishes out some verbal jabs of his own and goads Lawler into accepting. This match is a far cry from the one before it in terms of technical wrestling, but Piper and Lawler know how to rile up the crowd. Lawler uses dirty tricks to gain the upper hand, but Piper eventually battles back. Hot Rod eventually locks Lawler into his signature Sleeper Hold, and while King struggles and attempts to escape, he eventually passes out and is forced to retire from in-ring competition.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) vs. Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick)
The next match on the card pits two of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history against each other as Harlem Heat defends the Tag Team Championships against The Steiner Brothers. There is no love lost between these brotherly teams and that is apparent from the time the bell rings. Booker T and Stevie Ray are unwilling to relinquish their titles and they use their size advantage over Scott and Rick to ensure that it won’t happen. The Steiners are able to battle back, though, through will and determination.
The members of both teams are so familiar with each other that it’s difficult for either team to put the other one away. With Harlem Heat growing increasingly frustrated, they decide to dip into their bag of tricks. Booker T manages to distract the referee, which allows Stevie Ray to hit Rick with a slapjack. Stevie then pins Rick and Harlem Heat escapes with their titles. After the match, Scott attacks his brother in disgust and signals the end of The Steiner Brothers.
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Curt Hennig
While WrestleMania has already boasted several spectacular matches, it can be argued that the Intercontinental Championship bout between Curt Hennig and Chris Benoit tops them all. Hennig is quite possibly the greatest Intercontinental Champion in the history of the company, and he puts his title on the line against the upstart Benoit. While both men are impeccable in the ring they boast very different styles as Benoit prefers a submission game and Hennig attempts to use his athleticism to his advantage.
Benoit and Hennig are two of the best in-ring workers of all time and they prove that in this encounter. No matter how hard Hennig tries, he can’t finish off the determined Benoit. In fact, “The Crippler” even manages to kick out of the Perfect Plex. Hennig gets a bit too nonchalant in the closing stages of the match and he pays dearly for it as Benoit executes the Crippler Crossface and forces Hennig to tap out.
No Holds Barred Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/ Chyna vs. Mankind
The feud between Triple H and Mankind is among the greatest in WWE history, and this encounter essentially marks the beginning of their rivalry. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was a star on the rise during the nWo Era and Mankind was certainly beginning to garner a favorable crowd reaction as well. Helmsley began involving himself in Mankind’s matches during the lead up to WrestleMania, so Mankind challenged Helmsley to a No Holds Barred match.
Knowing how great their hardcore-type matches were in real life, there is no question that this bout would have been a fantastic one. Helmsley and Mankind battle throughout the sold-out arena and use essentially every weapon imaginable to their advantage. They eventually make their way back to the ring and Mankind dumps a bad of tacks in the ring. Just as he is about to DDT Helmsley onto them, Chyna enters the ring and hits Mankind with a low blow.
This allows Helmsley to gain the upper hand as he Pedigrees his mentally-unstable opponent onto the tacks. Helmsley then picks up the pinfall victory and continues his ascent to the main-event scene in WWF.
WWF Championship: Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock w/ Vince McMahon
In the main event of the evening, WWF Champion Shawn Michaels defends his title against The Rock. It is certainly fitting that Mr. WrestleMania is headlining the showcase of immortals, but the up-and-coming Rock has other plans in mind. The Rock is accompanied to the ring by Vince McMahon as the WWF’s head honcho aims to put the title on his hand-picked face of the company.
Michaels comes to the ring and receives a great reaction, while The Rock and McMahon are booed loudly. HBK and The Rock exchange blows early and neither man is able to take full control of the other. McMahon is visibly upset whenever Michaels executes some offense, but he stays out of the match until the latter stages.
During the match, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna come to the ring and distract the referee. This allows McMahon time to grab the WWF Championship and slide it into the ring. Instead of giving it to The Rock, however, he relays it to Michaels. HBK hits The Rock with the belt and the follows it up with Sweet Chin Music to pick up the victory and retain the WWF Championship.
After the match, Michaels celebrates with Helmsley, Chyna and McMahon in the middle of the ring. This signals the formation of D-Generation X and it also proves that Michaels was McMahon’s hand-picked guy all along. This sets up a prolonged feud between Michaels and The Rock, who is suddenly the WWF’s top face.
It is an exciting and fitting end to a card that manages to entertain from the first match through the very last.
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