You have to give them credit, has to be the best "themed" Mania of all time. They got everybody in on the act, the robes, the Roman Colisuem, Cleopatra & Caesar, what a tremendous opening.
1) Shawn Michaels v. Tatanka (Intercontinental Title Match)- 5
They set a slow pace from the beginning, that way they can up or lower the momentum of the match or the quality of big moves or little moves they do, smart. Tatanka was like watching a poor man's Steamboat, he tried all of Dragon's old signatures, the deep armdrags, the flying chops, even the crossbody was bush league. Michaels is bumping like one of those Puttys from the original Power Ranger days. They blew a sunset flip and a victory roll badly, the roll they tried to redo, which is always a no-no. The two women at ringside, Sherri and Luna, looked hideous, almost like worried mothers of the Warriors, with thick makeup caked on. A "Sherri" chant was started near the end of the match; much more thrilling seeing her wrinkled funbags than the uninspired shoulder work in ring. Michaels picked and choosed when he would sell the shoulder despite taking some sick stuff to it, such as posted into steel and a near fall powerslam. Finish didn't do this any favors, had some potential but I think both men were off.
2) Headshrinkers v. Steiner Brothers- 7
This reminds me of Mania 2, where the Bulldogs fought Valentine/ Beefcake in that it feels seperate from everything else on the show. These guys just met head on and kept killing each other, actually remembered halfway through they were in NWA at the same time during that hot 80's tag period, so they knew each other well. Some highlights of this were a double clothesline from the top by the Steiner boys, Scott taking one of the most dangerous unprotected falls out to the floor ever done and Rick pulling off his crazy belly to belly off another guy's shoulders while someone is flying off the top rope at him. The announcers were just gaga over some of the insane stuff these guys were trying, and largely pulling off well. Hidden Mania gem right here.
3) Crush v. Doink the Clown- 2
How stupid did Crush look at this time in that singlet thing? His power game isn't that impressive when he can't pick up a 260 lb. dude and execute his moves on him. Crush's punches look like swipes from the disformed arm of the Elephant Man,and his kicks are on a equal basis of a 7 year old girl (with no soccer experience) Doink is making his setups so obvious they're laughable. Ray Charles could have called this match from behind the stadium. The whole Double Doink thing was big then, but now it's nothing to get excited about. The work here was borderline terrible, reminiscent of a show I can catch at the local Armory.
4) Razor Ramon v. Bob Backlund- 3
Didn't go too long, Backlund warming up with squats was funny though. Hall had that killer right hand, that big, sweeping punch, but he was quick with it and it could look like a million bucks, Backlund gave it $750,000. Hall being flipped on those hiptosses looked like someone pushed a septagenarian down a water slide. Bob looked good but I liked the surprise rollup to end it. Right guy went over.
5) Money Inc. v. Hulk Hogan/ Brutus Beefcake (World Tag Titles)- 3
God Brutus' mask was stupid looking- even Madonna's desperate ass wouldn't wear that thing! They do use it for some bad comedy spots though. Money Inc looks dumbed down here, offense is nothing spectacular. Were they ever a great team? 2 great singles, but over the last 2 Mania's haven't seen much from them. Some 911-style punches from Hogan, hasn't sold anything so far. They change the rules halfway through so Money Inc can't run out- hate when they deconstruct the simple rules of the game. Nobody but Irwin has any range here; he's playing classic heel- using tag rope for chokes etc. Brutus takes punches to the face and sells them like the sun in his eyes- WTF?! you fraggin' Bastich- play your role! You had facial reconstruction surgery, you're supposed to really sell that damn face, you freak! Jimmy Hart plays ref and this is completely Russo-fied. Then they let Jimmy beat up ref. Puke. Next
6) The Narcissist Lex Luger v. Mr. Perfect- 4
Subdued but interesting intro for Luger- by far my favorite of his roles over the years. Guys show chemistry with the opening sequence. Shinbreaker, good vocalization on pain from Luger. Fans are popping for Henning's chops, damn they are sizzling! Hennig goes down on his back at one point and never looks the same after- maybe legit hurt here. Hennig relies on the punches now, his AWA haymakers but w/o the meat behind them. Barely pulls off the dropkick from the top, his offense slowed tremendously. Cheap win is fine for what it was, fun brawl after match with Michaels hanging out by a pile of trash.
7) Giant Gonzalez v. Undertaker- 2
Sasquatch is lost w/in 2 minutes of match. Had a nice neck hang (as memorialized in WCW Wrestling for the NES) Taker bumps badly with Gonzalez in control of his body. He makes a face like he just bit into rotten tuna every time Taker gives him an uppercut. Reverse choke is sloppily loose, like a Tim Boesch version. The supposed "chlorophyll on the cloth" routine gets the DQ. More like Borophyll.
8) Bret Hart v. Yokozuna (WWF Title Match)- 4
Loved the flying dropkick to start, got the pace up right away, Bret controls first section to get the crowd into it. Yoko is also a smart worker, he builds up his power stuff right- starts with chops, kicks, then a clothesline, an elbowdrop. Never attempts a splash or legdrop till later on in the match. Bret got a piggy back ride at one point and looked about as silly as it would were they at an amusement park together. If there's anything we know of his work with Shawn later, he eats a superkick like it kills him, so there's that. Completely laughable it only takes the powder to pin him though; deserved better.
9) Yokozuna v. Hulk Hogan (WWF Title Match)- 0
Hated it then, hate it now. Another ego stroke for Hogan. You can throw this in a closet with his wedding album to Linda and burn it.